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VOLUME 12 • ISSUE 5 • FEB. 16, 2012 - FEB. 29, 2012

Board of Trustees calls emergency meeting By Daniel Reyes

Photo by: Lee Burrell

Students, faculty, staff and alumni pack into Kean Hall Conference Room for an emergency Board meeting.

The Board of Trustees of Kean University announced that a follow-up emergency meeting regarding the investigation of President Dawood Farahi will be held on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. The Board predicts that a final decision on Farahi’s employment will be announced at the meeting. The Board held a five-hour emergency meeting on Feb. 9 in response to allegations levied at Farahi in November that he falsified credentials on past resumes. Ada Morell, the Chair of the Board, moved to adjourn the meeting late Thursday night after the board spent more than three-hours in closed, executive session. She announced that the Board would reconvene “early next week,” to continue the meeting and make a final decision. The Board met at the Kean Hall

Farahi investigation began with a question and a flier By Daniel Reyes The allegations that President Dawood Farahi misrepresented himself on resumes dating back to his 1982 application to Kean, which were levied by the Kean Federation of Teachers, began with a colored flier, distributed by Peter Pezzolo, a professor of Philosophy. “I circulated three flyers last semester about the issue of President Farahi’s scholarly publication claims,” said Pezzolo in an email. The three fliers questioned past claims that Farahi authored “over 50 technical articles in major publications” (according to a 2008 resume posted on kft2187. org/farahi). Questions were also raised about an award he received and a position he held as dean prior to his employment at Kean. Farahi is quoted in an article published in the Star-Ledger that mistakes were made on his resumes, but that it wasn’t his fault. After being alerted about the inaccuracies, James Castiglione, a Physics professor and president of the KFT, Kean’s union of faculty, professional staff and librarians, wrote a letter to Kean University’s Board of Trustees in late November alerting them to the situation.

“No one’s been able to find anything published by President Farahi,” said Castiglione in an interview. “Zero, peer-reviewed publications.” After two weeks of silence, he wrote another letter requesting an update. In return, he received a letter from Chair of the Board Ada Morrell stating that the Board has received his letter and it had been referred to the Executive Committee “ for handling.” Then, over winter break, The Wall Street Journal reported on the allegations against Farahi, soon followed by The Star-Ledger.

Photo by: Lee Burrell

President Dawood Farahi.

tion, but when a phone call was made to find out the hierarchy of power, a spokesperson for Secretary Rochelle Hendricks said that “The Trustees of the University are investigating the

“Fliers questioned claims of ‘over 50 technical articles in major publications.’” Several local news outlets, as well as national ones like the Chronicle of Higher Education, have also reported on the Farahi controversy. The decision, under the state college system, rests with Board, with no official oversight existing since the mid 1990s. Last Year Gov. Christie appointed a Secretary of Higher Educa-

allegations, and it would be inappropriate for the Secretary [of Higher Education] to comment at this time.” Still, the president of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten, as well as Castiglione, sent a letter to Gov. Christie asking for a full investigation. The KFT has been distributing

fliers to faculty and students in an effort to bring more awareness to the topic, as the University has not released a statement on the issue. The accusations about academic misconduct span from his time before Kean in the early 1980s to his 2008 resume to the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. On his 1982 resume and job application to Kean University, Farahi lists an article titled “Patterns of Administrative Efficiency” that was accepted for publication by Administration and Society, and another article named “Budget Control and Fiscal Policy” that was submitted for publication to Administrative Science Quarterly. The KFT has received letters from both publishers which states that neither has received or published any work by President Farahi. In his 1994 and 2008 National Association of Schools of Public Affairs & Administration accreditation resumes, Farahi also said he was Acting Academic Dean at Avila University in Kansas City, MO, but the union says he was not. Farahi, in an interview on Feb. 3, would not talk in detail about the allegations saying only that the inves- continued on page 5

Conference Center to a standingroom-only crowd of students, faculty, staff and alumni. After an initial 40 minute private session, the Board opened the floor to those who wished to address the room. The seven that signed up were each allowed a maximum of three minutes to speak. Dr. James Castiglione, a Physics professor and president of the Kean Federation of Teachers outlined a KFT meeting that was held just hours earlier where the union voted unanimously to call for Farahi’s resignation. He went on to ask the Board to restore academic integrity to the university by removing Farahi from office. Jesus Diaz, a professor of General Studies, spoke on a similar note, saying that “The evidence is out in public. The evidence is undeniable.” He went on to say that in the event of Farahi staying in office, continued on page 13 a degree

KFT asks Farahi to resign over charges By Lee Burrell In a formal motion that passed without objection the Kean Federation of Teachers asked for President Dawood Farahi’s resignation. The KFT met Feb. 9, just hours before an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees was being held. The status of Farahi’s resume and the formal investigation into the resumes’ legitimacy was the prominent issue of the meeting. KFT President James Castiglione, a physics professor, summarized the recent efforts of the KFT in regards to the current allegations facing President Farahi. The room was filled and the audience was vocal. A member of the audience who said he worked in the admissions office, but did not give his name, said that he’s seen many essays stating how comfortable students are with the president’s leadership and he seemed to doubt the KFT’s accusations. KFT member, Bert Wailoo, a professor, responded that: “Farahi does not have qualifications continued on page 15


February 2012 | March 2012


Gain access to your rights through the Human Rights Institute By Melissa Heron After maneuvering our cars or SUVs into a white-lined parking space or a yellow-lined one if you’re fortunate, most of us are in such a rush to make it to our classes that we do not know how much this campus truly has to offer us. One such gem is the Human Rights Institute here at Kean University. I have heard scores of students ask, “Where is it?” not knowing that they’ve walked by the institute numerous times. Ceiling to floor glass windows, hallway floors and walls all covered with vivid reaffirming quotes of justice and equality from powerhouses like John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, invite us into the Kean University Human Rights Institute, located in the same building as the Nancy Thompson Library. In May 2010, Kean’s Human Rights Institute formally opened its doors at a dedication ceremony featuring Kerry Kennedy, co-founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights. The space includes a state-of-the-art gallery that highlights issues, artwork and publications related to human rights viola-

Kean’s Human Rights Institute.

tions and victories around the world. The mission of the Human Rights Institute is to raise awareness regarding human rights violations worldwide, and to produce curricula, material and seminars that promote tolerance. The Institute invites Kean and its surrounding communities to come in for

Photo by: Ana Ferrer

individual and group visits to discover Human Rights, the history of Human Rights  and to explore their featured exhibits free of charge.  These public programs are designed to educate visitors about their individual rights and to  improve social responsibility, while exploring our connections as human beings. In

the past, the Institute has hosted Kean University classes and social groups, as well as local Elementary and High School groups. Kean’s Human Rights Institute is the culmination of the resistance of centuries of hatred and oppression. This institute was built to inspire and provide future generations with the knowledge needed to prevent human injustices. The institute is Kean’s call to action. We have an obligation to teach, to educate and most importantly, to act on behalf of humankind. So, the next time you visit the library take a walk through the institute not just to admire the beautiful art work and the quotes calling for equality and justice but, to also reflect on the fact that had it not been for the sacrifices of those who are memorialized in the Human Rights Institute most of us studying and working here at Kean University would not have been allowed the opportunity to pursue our education. Let the power of the words imbedded in the hall and the images of humanity in. Who knows maybe you’ll discover your inner humanitarian or activist, after all I did.

SOPA and PIPA spark controversy and discussion By Alexandria Addesso The recently proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and The Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) threaten to change the way most college students, and people in general, use the Internet. Republican Lamar S. Smith, U.S. House Representative for Texas’ 21 District, introduced SOPA. The act is meant to stop online sharing and selling of copyrighted intellectual property such as movies and music. Such file sharing is most common among the younger generation, especially struggling college students, who find it easier to download music, movies or shows online rather than spend $20 or more for a CD or DVD. Other than stopping illegal online file sharing, SOPA also stops the sale of any illegal substances or services like counterfeited goods. SOPA pays special attention to the sale, or attempted sale, of counterfeit drugs such as bath salts, K2, Space or even counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs such like OxyContin. The act stresses that counterfeit medication can result in death. SOPA states that an individual taking part in the trafficking of such goods may

be fined up to 2 million dollars and or imprisoned up to 10 years. If someone dies from using a counterfeit drug, the distributor could be fined up to $5 million and/or imprisoned for life. The Democratic Senior United States Senator, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, introduced PIPA. PIPA works in conjunction with SOPA to protect copyrighted goods and stop counterfeits and piracy. PIPA requires an organization to ask for an individual’s written consent before disclosing their information to another organization. However, under sections 19 and 20 of PIPA, organizations may disclose personal information without the individual’s consent for reasons deemed reasonable by the organization. For instance, retailers may share information with third party companies such as the Utilities Consumers Advocate or to family or friends of the individual if they hold an outstanding debt to the organization. While acts like SOPA and PIPA are constructed to protect American citizens, the fact that these organizations have the authority to decide what is in the individual’s best interest concerns some people. Kean University senior Lynne Schmidinger said the acts were “stupid,” outlining the common view of the acts by

Kean students while others had no clue what SOPA or PIPA is. “The internet should be as open as possible, anything censoring it becomes problematic,” said Political Science professor Jacqueline Keil. Keil also stressed the importance of social media and online communications at Kean, where most of the student body is made up of commuters who would otherwise not know what is going on at their

as well as international transactions. “Throughout U.S. history, the Commerce Clause has served as the force behind some of the greatest social and political change the country has seen,” said Dr. Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of African American History and faculty advisor of the Kean University Pre-Law Society. “For instance, significant civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 60’s was justified through the Commence

“The internet is very useful for mobilizing young people.” own school. “The internet is very useful for mobilizing young people,” said Keil. On the legal and constitutional side SOPA and PIPA raises various concerns to citizens’ freedom of speech and right to privacy. “It needs to be closely watched in terms of restricting freedom of speech,” said Keil. Included in the Constitution is the Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government power to regulate interstate

Clause.” Although the Commerce Clause and other changes to the constitution in contemporary times may contradict original amendments, it should not completely disregard them. “However, legal precedent dictates that more recently ratified constitutional provisions supersede earlier provisions; based on that line of reasoning, the fundamental rights associated with the First Amendment cannot be negated by the Commerce Clause,” said Perkiss.

Kean to become third American university in China By Nicole La Capria After six years of bureaucratic difficulties, Kean University will move forward with their plan to open a college campus in China by 2016. The campus will be built in the city of Wenzhou, located on the southeastern coast of the province of Zhejiang about 200 miles south of Shanghai. The school is expected to enroll 5,000 students, the majority Chinese. 500 slots will be opened to American students wishing to study abroad. Most classes will be taught in English by American professors, except those

“Degrees will be issued by Kean University in education, public administration, business and computer science, with more programs expected to be offered in the future.” required for Chinese students by Chinese law. Degrees will be issued by Kean University in education, public administration, business and computer science, with more programs expected in the fu-

ture. Master’s degree programs will also be offered. The Chinese government will fund the $236 million project, but Kean will be responsible for the curriculum, hiring

the administration as well as training the professors. This project is a product of a 30-year state-province relationship between Zhejiang and New Jersey, created for business and cultural exchange. The cities of Wenzhou and Union then began their own partnership as an extension of that relationship. In 2001, Kean University developed a program for Chinese government officials to earn a Master’s in Public Administration through the university. In this program, Kean professors would teach classes in China for six weeks in the summer continued on page 3


February 2012 | March 2012


Kean police officer raises money with Police Monster Truck By Francesca Figalo One year ago, Police Officer Randy Diakunczak spotted a plain, white truck for sale on Morris Avenue in Elizabeth. After buying it and putting eight months of labor into it, he had the truck lifted and transformed into a police monster truck with police lights, sirens and bigger tires. Diakunczak, the Police Community Coordinator at Kean University and a representative of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJSPBA), drives the Fallen Hero Truck to parades, memorials, funerals, fundraisers and candlelight services for police officers to raise money for a cause. “The concept that I came up with is to see how I can help to raise money for the families of police officers that are killed in the line of duty,” Diakunczak said. Donations are sent to organizations, such as the NJSPBA Survivor and Welfare Fund, which provides aid to the families of fallen officers. “My end is that if someone comes to me with a contribution, money-wise I can’t take it,” Diakunczak said. “But I give

them information about the fund and they can write a check specifically to that fund.” The Fallen Hero Truck is more than just a police monster truck. With the U.S. flag depicted on the sides, it symbolizes American pride and honor, and it also provides comfort to families who have lost a hero in protecting our society. Diakunczak and his Fallen Hero Truck have appeared at several events in the past year. He tries to attend as many parades, memorials and fundraisers as possible as long as they don’t interfere with his work schedule at Kean. Many police departments have also been requesting the truck for the upcoming summer and Diakunczak has his hands full at the moment. “The truck is really taking off and a lot of people are staying behind what I am doing, but I am really one guy with one truck,” Diakunczak said. “It’s hard for me to go to everything, but I try to go to the events that are prioritized.” The truck can be used only when driving to and from events, but before Diakunczak could drive it, he had to obtain

i am kean

Photo by: Francesca Figalo

This article continues the series profiling Kean University community members.

approval from the PBA. When the truck is out on the road, Diakunczak has to have a police escort ac-

company him and when the truck is not in use, it is stored in a storage facility. The Fallen Hero Truck is sponsored by the Police Fuel Energy Drink Company and by the Northeast Off-road Center (NOC), which allow Diakunczak to hand out their products as samples at events to attract more people and to draw attention to the truck. The NOC also customized the Fallen Hero Truck the way Diakunczak desired. The truck is advertised during events and through a Facebook page, which displays where the truck will appear next. Diakunczak has spent $60,000 on the truck in addition to the $120 to fill up the tank with gas after attending events. He provides for the expenses with the help of his family. He also plans to attend more events in the future with his Fallen Hero Truck as long as he has a job and as long as he can afford additional costs. “I have been a police officer for eight years and it’s my thing to give back to police officers who have served and have put their lives in jeopardy,” Diakunczak said.

Activist speaks about the life & times of Dr. Martin Luther King By DeWayne Harper The tall gray-haired gentleman could have passed as a student’s grandfather. But, what set this particular gray-haired man apart from everyone else was the story he began to tell. The speakers name was Les Payne. He was the special guest speaker invited by the Office of Africana Studies to speak about the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King at Kean University. Payne, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was born amidst the backdrop of the segregated south on July 12th 1941, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He began his story reminding the room of just how young Dr. King was when he stepped out on that balcony of the Lorraine Motel that fateful day 44-years ago. “King was 39 … had he lived he would be 83-years-old,” said Payne. A few weeks ago he was speaking to one of former New York City mayor David Dinkins’ classes at Columbia University. Dinkins reminded him that if King lived he would be two years younger than the former mayor. Dinkins had also told him that had it not been for King he would have never been the first African-American mayor of New York City. Payne reminded the audience, on the eve of Black History month that, the second youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize was President Barack Obama,


the first was King. Obama has also recognized that if it were not for Dr. King he would have never won the prize, nor would he have been the first AfricanAmerican president of the United States.

gerous man in America. J. Edgar Hoover and President Lyndon Johnson considered him an enemy of the state after he came out against the war. Bill Moyers, the man who hired Payne

“What troubles me about racism in America is the denial of racism.”

Photo by: DeWayne Harper

Les Payne speaking at MLK Event.

“The most important thing about King was his work,” Payne said, “Not just his speeches, but his life’s work, is what affected change in America.” Payne said that while King was working towards gaining civil rights for all Americans many prominent people and politicians considered him to be the most dan-

at Newsday, was the White House Press Secretary for the Johnson administration. Moyers said toward the end when King came out against the war President Johnson use to refer to him as “That goddamned nigger preacher.” This type of talk was common in The Johnson White House. “What troubles me about racism in America, is the denial of racism, said Payne. No one ever talked about racism.” The constructive point of the civil rights movement was not to rub people’s noses in mistakes of the past, but that you try to get over the point of denial. In his 7,000-word document called “The Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” King laid out his general philosophy on non-violent civil disobedience. In the document King said, “Segregation gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.”

King was instrumental in passing The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was some of the most sweeping legislation since reconstruction. The latter guaranteed the vote for African-Americans, said Payne. As Payne began to wrap up his talk he said he wanted to end by opening up the door to debate about who killed King. Payne had investigated the King assassination 1965 after the New York Times completed their investigation. For the first time the information was released that for the last year of his life the FBI had followed King 24-hours a day. Except on April 4, 1968, the day he died. Activist Dick Gregory along with lawyer Mark Lane conducted landmark research into the assassination of King. The research was based on Payne’s investigation of King’s assassination and moved the U.S. House Assassinations Committee to investigate the murder along with John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Payne’s investigation said the James Earl Ray did not act alone and the FBI had knowledge of what was going to happen and sat back and allowed it to happen. Payne also claimed that Ray was fulfilling a $50 thousand hit contract. Payne is currently working on a book about the life of Malcolm X. The book is the result of over 20 years of research. “They both were the opposite side of the same coin and they met at the edges,” said Payne

(Continued from page 2)

for 12 credits, and then students would travel to the U.S. to earn 15 credits in the fall and spring semesters, and six more in the summer. Students would then return to China with an MPA from Kean University. After Sept. 11, obtaining a visa became difficult for Chinese students, and discussions began of conducting the entire program in China. When a new law was passed allowing foreign universities to build campuses in China, Kean’s busi-

ness counterparts in Wenzhou encouraged the idea. After six years of hurdles through various levels of Chinese bureaucracies and governments, the planning process can now begin. Kean will join universities such as the University of California and the University of New York, both of which plan to open campuses in nearby Shanghai. “This initiative is a tremendous opportunity for not only the students and the

faculty of Kean University, but also the state of New Jersey overall as well,” university president Dr. Dawood Farahi said in a statement. “Education is a highly desirable commodity, and we will provide the people of Zhejiang Province with the graduate and undergraduate programs that we do best—education, public administration, business and computer science....”

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February 2012 | March 2012

Amid accreditation concerns, Kean aims to meet standards By Arkor Kolubah and Trevor Conlow While Kean University prepares to submit its Monitoring Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, some students and faculty are concerned about the fate of the university’s accreditation. The Monitoring Report, which is due to Middle States on March 1, will address issues relating to how well student learning is measured and how effective Kean is at meeting the goals indicated in its mission statement. After Middle States has received and reviewed the report, its team will make a follow up visit April 1113 to validate it. Kean has to improve two standards of assessment of student learning and institution effectiveness in order to remain the accredited institution that it has been since the 1960’s. While the university still has its accreditation, it has been placed on “Warning” until it improves its standing. The university has taken several actions to address these issues. Recently, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeffrey Toney launched a blog on the university’s news outlet, Kean Xchange—to “facili-

tate communication between academic administration, faculty, staff, students and the broader community.” On the blog, Toney discussed activities held “to strengthen the key areas of institutional assessment and assessment of student learning.” Last summer, Kean held workshops in various departments and schools to discuss how “each academic area defines student learning outcomes, their mission and their goals.” The university also hosted a conference over winter break for faculty, managers and some staff on how to use assessment to improve student learning. Experts on assessment in higher education, retired Dean of UMDNJ Dr. David Gibson and Emeritus Faculty at Southern Illinois University Douglas Eder, spoke and led participants in the activities. More than 200 faculty and staff participated. But even with these actions, some students feel that they do not have enough information. Earth Science major Rebecca Allian expressed her concerns to The Tower in writing. “I feel the information is unavailable to us, and that I was given false information

via email from the university. I am awfully unaware of the situation and the impact that losing accreditation could have on my college experience,” she said. The loss of an institution’s accreditation can affect transfer status, financial aid and higher education prospects. Also, as students from other universities become aware of Kean’s accreditation debacle, they have begun to make impressions about the school based on rumors. Kooshaw Ahkavi, a sophomore at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, told a reporter that he and many of his friends were aware of Kean’s accreditation issues. “I heard that Kean failed its evaluations,” he said. “Won’t [Kean students] be unable to use [their] credits to transfer?” Jacqueline Keil, an instructor of Political Science at Kean, said she has had several discussions in her classes about this issue. She said students have expressed concerns that they may have a difficult time getting into graduate schools because of the university’s situation. “I think the overarching theme that links the concerns about Middle States and the Farahi investigation is the dam-

age being done to the reputation of the university,” she said. When asked if he’s confident that Kean will keep its accreditation, Toney said, “… external experts and scholars of assessment have affirmed that Kean University has made significant progress in meeting MSCHE (Middle States Commission on Higher Education) standards and that we have demonstrated a systematic, sustainable approach to assessment.” Toney said Kean has identified the problems it needs to address—like its need to foster a culture of assessment— and is working to improve them. “By the establishment of a clearly articulated system for evaluating student learning and institutional effectiveness, we have taken on and accomplished the work necessary to establish and document a sustainable culture of assessment…,” he said. In the next five to ten years, Toney envisions Kean as an institution with innovative graduate and undergraduate programs with an emphasis on global education and applied research. In five years, he said, Kean will have a new Ph.D. program in Nursing Educational Leadership and a campus in Wenzhou, China.

Kean professor has a passion for photography By Alexandra Waller Nestled in-between the Nancy Thompson Library lobby and the on-campus Starbucks; the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery displays heartfelt photographs of one Professor’s family members. Vivian Rodriguez, a Kean alumni and adjunct professor at Kean University, says that photography has been an inspiration and an outlet for her. Her collection of photos entitled ‘Warriors of Light’ pays tribute to her Uncle and other family members who where immigrants from Cuba and came to the United States to start new lives. The loss of her loved ones made her realize that she wanted to capture their stories. Rodriguez always heard stories when she was a young child and wanted to honor her Uncle, Jesus Valle. Rodriguez’s uncle was proud that she wanted to do this with him, which, motivated and inspired her even more. Rodriguez hopes that her photos will push people to appreciate, and celebrate their families’ lives. Being a Superintendent of Schools and an adjunct professor Rodriguez finds an, “outlet” in art. Although very busy, and loves her job, photography gives her a way to express herself and let loose. “Artwork makes me feel happy and complete”, said Rodriguez. Using a Canon Rebel, Digital SLR camera she takes pictures wherever she is, whether she is in NYC visiting her daughters, or simply doing everyday activities. “You can find inspiration anywhere,” Rodriguez said.

One of her favorite spots in New York City is Central Park, where she can just relax and watch people and see the beautiful scenery, said Rodriguez.

changed and cameras are everywhere; on cell phones, tablets, and small digital cameras. She said it has really changed photography.

has her camera with her wherever she is. She loves traveling into New York City, and spending time with her two daughters.

Photo by: Alexandra Waller

Professor Vivian Rodriguez with her Uncle, Jesus Valle (above); One of her photographs (left).

“Always have a camera with you and take pictures and you would be surprised what an inspiration it can be.” She wants others to pick up a camera and experience this great art. “You don’t need a fancy camera to take great pictures,” she said. She mentions that times have

“Always have a camera with you and take pictures and you would be surprised what an inspiration it can be,” said Rodriguez. Rodriguez loves to travel and of course

Going to museums, small venues, and walking the streets are some of her favorite things to do. Rodriguez explains that you do not need a lot of money to enjoy life, just open your eyes and enjoy what is around you. Rodriguez’ mentor is Professor Donald Lokuta, who is a Kean photography professor. Professor Lokuta has encouraged Rodriguez, and has always told her she is amazing, and to never give up. Being a very inspirational woman, Rodriguez uses her art to communicate messages that not only inspire her but also hopefully inspire others. “When you wake up and put your feet down, you decide if you are going to walk in a positive direction or a negative direction, and you should always make it right,” Rodriguez said.

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February 2012 | March 2012


The African Continuum celebrates Black History By Melissa Heron Black History is alive and explosive with vivid artistry, colors, culture, poetry and music all emanating through the halls of the Human Rights Gallery here at Kean University. The Gallery which is housed in the same building as the Nancy Thompson Library currently features “The African Continuum,” exhibit which opened in January and will be displayed through Friday, March 9th, 2012. The Human Rights Institute is inviting all the members and visitors of the Kean community to visit the Gallery for a viewing of this phenomenal show. The exhibit, jointly prepared by the Department of Public Information and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is part of the UN’s year-long observance of the International Year for People of African Descent 2011. In 2011, the United Nations High

Commissioner for Human Rights celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Durban Proclamation by having this exhibit created in order to exemplify the cultural contributions that emanated from the African continent. The exhibit, “The African Continuum,” was displayed during the 10th anniversary year in the Lobby of the United Nations. Now, the Human Rights Gallery at Kean University has the honor of being the first venue selected to display this exhibition outside of the United Nations. The multimedia show features the work of artists and photographers which collectively showcase the dispersion of Africans and their culture. “The African Continuum: Celebrating Diversity, Recognizing Contributions of People of African Descent”, celebrates the contributions of people of African descent to global civilization and aims to foster greater awareness about the challenges being faced.

The exhibit features an eclectic collection of art and culture including the short film “IndiVisible: African-Native Americans Lives in the Americas,” which explores contemporary stories of peoples and communities whose shared histories are woven into the fabric of American identity but whose presence has long been invisible to many in the United States. Prepared by the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the film presents enlightening perspectives of people of African and Native American descent. The film sheds light on the dynamics of race, community, culture and creativity and addresses the human desire to belong. Another prominent feature of this exhibit is the lit, etched glass which displays a handwritten copy of the esteemed Dr. Maya Angelou’s poem “A Brave and Startling Truth.” With individual themes such as “Celebrating Contributions to

Humanity,” “Equality and Access: Call to Action,” and “Recognition: Identity and Participation,” this exhibit has something for everyone. Dr. Henry Kaplowitz, Director of the Kean University Human Rights Institute is very pleased that the Human Rights Gallery was selected as the first venue for this show to be exhibited after leaving the U.N. and hopes that the Kean Community will visit the gallery and enjoy the remarkable photographs. “As an institution of higher education that takes great pride in the diversity of our students, faculty, staff and curriculum, it is an honor to host this exhibit which promotes the mission of the Human Rights Institute to combat prejudice by celebrating and respecting the diverse contributions that all human beings make to society,” he said.

Governor Christie calls for gay marriage referendum By Avani Kapur Last month Governor Christie suggested a ballot referendum for the samesex marriage bill just hours before it advanced to the full Senate by the Senate Judiciary Committee in an 8-4 party-line vote. The Judiciary Committee advanced the bill further in a 5-2 vote on Feb. 2 after a nearly 7 hour hearing. Despite his call for a referendum, Christie has promised to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. After being introduced, a bill is assigned to an appropriate committee, generally a small group of legislators. Once passed through the committees the bill is then introduced in the full senate consisting of 40 senators and the full assembly consisting of 80 assemblymen. If passed in both houses, the bill is sent to the Governor for approval. The Governor can pass the full bill, veto the full bill or veto a line item, resulting in the bill being sent back for amendment. If the gay marriage bill reaches Christie’s desk, a veto could be final. Democrats are confident they have enough votes to pass the bill (21 in the senate, 41 in the assembly) but do not have majorities strong enough to override a veto; 2/3 of the senate and the assembly would be needed. While Christie and supporters of a public vote say the people of New Jersey should decide what’s right for the state, the Democrats in control of


the legislature believe gay marriage is an issue of civil rights that has no place on the ballot. A recent Kean University/NJ Speaks poll of 1,000 expected voters revealed

Act passed in 2006. During a Senate hearing on Jan. 24, testimony from a number of same-sex couples in civil unions revealed that they are not working as intended. In one case, a man from Asbury Park was denied the

percent said they would favor putting the bill to a public vote while 14 percent opposed the idea. Many students said they favor Christie’s proposal since his promise to veto the bill leaves little hope of it passing in the legislature.

“Democrats in control of the legislature believe gay marriage is an issue of civil rights that has no place on the ballot.” Photo by: Fibonacci Blue (Flickr)

that 57 percent support a public vote, while 32 percent do not. It also found that 48 percent favor gay marriage, while 37 percent oppose it. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, a business and political polling company, and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. On Jan. 17 Democrats introduced the bill, “Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act,” or bill number S1, first in the senate’s new session to dignify its importance. While recognizing same-sex marriage, the bill would end civil unions and all previous civil unions would be deemed as marriages. Controversy has surrounded civil unions, intended to give the same rights as marriage, since the Civil Union

right to authorize surgery for his partner or search his wallet for his insurance card. He also testified that his partner’s neurosurgeon asked him what a civil union is. The bill also states that no religious institution or official would be required to perform a same-sex marriage or allow these weddings to be held at any of their facilities. However, this did not stop some of the opposition from citing religion as a reason to vote against the bill, quoting the Bible at the hearing. In 2010, a similar bill to legalize gay marriage was rejected by the senate in a 20-14 vote. While Republicans and Democrats in the senate hold opposing views on a referendum, Kean’s students are leaning toward favoring the public vote, but are still torn on the issue. In an informal poll of 50 students, 86

Junior Kristen Hager, English/Special Education major, said that she finds same-sex marriage to be an issue of civil rights that shouldn’t be put on a ballot. She added that she would consider favoring a public vote if she was sure it would result in the bill passing. “If I had to pick the lesser of two evils it would be that; there are issues either way,” said senior Marie Brown, a Communications Major, in support of a public vote. She added that while she recognizes the issue as one of civil rights, Christie’s promise to veto leaves a public vote as the only possible option. On Feb. 13, the full Senate passed the bill 24-16, with the full Assembly vote to be held on Feb. 16.

“Under President Farahi we’ve now seen the University placed on warning by Middle-State that our accreditation may be in jeopardy,” said Castiglione. “I think there was a sense among the faculty as to what else is going on.” Separately, a Facebook page called Farahi Fraud Investigation aggregates news posts as well as images of Farahi’s resumes and job applications. “For the president of an institution to say he’s going to hold students to the high standards of our Academic Integrity Policy and then have a double standard for himself,” said Castiglione. “He’s lost all legitimacy and credibility as president.” Farahi maintains that he has greatly

improved Kean since taking office. “I am here to serve the students and that’s what I have done. I have made some choices that have been unpopular for other groups, but never unpopular for students,” he said. “The students don’t have to worry about me changing to a different direction than doing the best I can for them.” Student Katie Arzig, a junior and one of the founders of Occupy Kean University, criticized Kean for not communicating to students about the controversy. “Whether it is true or not affects our school and the student body deserves to be addressed on it, or told something at the very least.”

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tigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment on the allegations at this time. “My employers [The Board of Trustees] were given a set of allegations and they have a due process that they need to follow; and as soon as the process is complete and they made a decision, then I will be free to talk to you,” he said. “And I will talk to you, because I have a lot to say.” Farahi contends that any investigation into academic misconduct should be met with privacy and confidentiality, and that any student or staff member would also request the same privacy, were they under investigation. “I respect the process for my students, I

respect the process for my faculty and I respect the process for myself,” said Farahi. “If the same allegations were made about a faculty member, I would not discuss it with you until the process is complete. If allegations were made about a particular student, I would not discuss it at all until the process is complete. The presumption of innocence is the very nature of a free society.” The KFT and Farahi have had a rocky past since he became president in 2003. Last summer, Farahi received an 83 percent vote of no confidence by the faculty at Kean, and the KFT has set up a website that details all of their allegations against Farahi (


February 2012 | March 2012


Meet the Greeks returns to Kean By Christy Petillo The Meet the Greeks event returned to Kean on Feb. 1, allowing aspiring members to meet the sororities and fraternities and gain a better understanding of what they are all about. The brothers of Sigma Theta Chi and the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon, along with the other Greek life organizations, set up booths in the atrium of the University Center in the hopes of attracting future pledges.      The booths, adorned with each organization’s Greek letters, showcased pictures of their members at various events held at Kean. Interested students walked from booth to booth, learning about each organization while at the same time learning what Greek life is all about.        While several sorority sisters acknowledged that it was too early on in the event to gauge how many students were interested in joining a sorority, Jasi Tauber, a sophomore majoring in Special Education

and Communications and member of Theta Phi Alpha stated, “We’re hopeful to get a good amount of girls to join the sorority!”      Alissa Easlick, a senior majoring in Interior Design and president of Theta Phi Alpha, said after the event that, “We filled up

Photo by: Ana Ferrer

A Meet the Greeks Flier for the Feb. 1 event.

a few pages. Great turn out for the spring.”    Several of the fraternities and sororities are also offering “Meet and Greets”— otherwise known as mixers—within the next month. This offers a more personal setting, which allows students who are still interested in the idea of officially becoming a brother or sister the oppor-

New Year’s Resolutions: have you kept yours or fallen off the wagon By Justine Clini Now that we are a month into the New Year, how have those resolutions been going? You know the ones you made a month ago to better yourself? Planning out a New Year’s resolution seems to get everyone pretty motivated, although how many people actually kept

“Remember this is your life, your goals and your schedule.” to their word and stick out their whole resolution to the point where they are proud of the outcome of their set goals. Whether it is spending more time with family and friends, saving money, quitting smoking, drinking less, enjoying life more, getting all A’s for the year and achieving a 4.0, learning something new, getting organized, getting out of debt or the most popular, fitting time in for fitness. Carolay Caceres, a psychology major, made not only one, but two resolutions this year. “My first one was to keep my cool in stressful situations and not go crazy or get mad. And that one is going pretty good. I am happy that I feel less stressed and I know how to handle those kinds of situations. And of course the cliché reso-

lution…to lose weight; but that is not going as planned. There is just not enough time in the day for a full time student, babysitter and mother,” said Caceres. As each New Year approaches, we come to find that reaching these goals is challenging. Facing these difficult objectives can be time consuming, courageous and demanding. But with the right incentives and key skills overcoming these obstacles can help you maintain a much healthier and livelier lifestyle. However, people need to start sticking to these aspirations and go forth with them; instead of just wishing and hoping that one morning they will wake up and have a burst of energy and drive to start completing their goals. Sadly, it does not happen like that, YOU need to find that drive in yourself to conquer the challenges that are important to you. No one else is going to do it for you; only you can prevail through your own struggles and hardships. As for Kean student Rose Essig, an E ducation major, she has a change of heart for the whole New Year’s Resolutions craze. “I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think a person should wait for a certain day to change their life,” Essig said. Whether it is the 31st of December or the 1st of January; setting goals is always essential. It helps with raising your standards to new heights and keeps you motivated all year long. “My resolution was to be more organized not just in school but in life in general and I have been working on that,” said Jasneel Bhatia, Senior, Business Management major. “So far I have started on little things such as organizing my books, pens, assignments, etc. I just started writing down ‘to-do’s’ daily so I don’t forget anything because I do have a memory problem. Thank goodness for my iPhone to help me be more organized too.” So why not make 2012 your year? Who says you cannot start now? You still have eleven more months to go; or make it more if you would like. Remember this is your life, your goals and your schedule. Go at your own pace and you just might be stunned at the end result.

tunity to ask questions and get to know the men and women of the sorority or fraternity they are interested in joining. Many of the fraternities and sororities are involved in service projects such as Relay for Life, which helps those who have battled cancer and Habitat for Humanity, an organization dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing for low-income families. The sisters from Theta Phi Alpha are also dedicating some of their spare time to make Valentine’s Day cards for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The main goal of this event was to raise awareness that joining a sorority or fraternity enables students to make connections with a variety of men and woman that can ultimately lead to both memories as well as possible job opportunities upon graduation while giving back to the Kean community. “I love the sisterhood aspect and making connections with all the girls,”

said Easlick. Junior Samantha Costantino, an Occupational Therapy-Communications major from Delta Phi Epsilon said, “I love sisterhood. I have a bond with 40 other girls that will last me forever.” Being a member of a sorority or fraternity offers the possibility of meeting a unique group of men and women who are interested in adding new members to their already large family. Junior and Psychology major Erica King from the sorority Nu Theta Chi said, “I’m an only child, so I love all my sisters.” Many students who dorm at Kean University look to a sorority or fraternity to become their family while they are away at school. Nu Theta Chi sister, Amber Hewko, a Secondary Math Education major said, “We’re a strong group of girls who enjoy giving back to the community, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.”

MUSIC: Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” By Darian Maduruh Before I begin, the debut album of controversial aspiring pop star, Lana Del Rey, I have to say I don’t understand where all this hatred for her comes from. It all started last year, when the 25-year-old singer released a video for her song “Video Games.” The video soon gained viewers and now has over 20-million views on YouTube, kick starting the hype and eventual backlash. Throughout 2011, she dropped songs and music videos for tracks called “Blue Jeans” and “Off to the Races,” and both were met with a positive response from fans. In addition to the songs, people seemed to initially like the Lana Del Rey persona. As many have noted, Lana Del Rey once referred to herself as a “Gangster Nancy Sinatra,” styling herself like something out of an old Hollywood movie from the ‘50s. Her videos are often laced with imagery from classic films. The backlash began when it was discovered that Lana Del Rey was once Lizzy Grant, and had released an album several years back. The album was taken off the shelves after it was virtually ignored, and seemingly wiped from existence. This led to many doubting Lana Del Rey’s credibility. And there is of course Lana’s recent vocal performance on Saturday Night Live, which was widely panned. But really, though? Let’s be honest…. are people bashing her because she changed her name? In fact, the music industry is built on personas…or do people really think Katy Perry and Lady Gaga walk around with gun bras while shopping for groceries? Did you dislike her bad live performance? Artists like Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna are known for not having the strongest live performances. But enough about that…this is an album review, after all. As an album, I enjoyed “Born to Die.” First of all, I’d like to congratulate the production team behind this album. Producers Jeff Bhasker, who worked with Kanye West on numerous occasions, Emile Haynie, Jeff Parker, Patrick Berger, Rick Nowels and whoever else produced this album deserve accolades. From a production standpoint, the album sounds beautiful. The som-

Photo: Courtesy Interscope Records

ber, noir mood is really brought to life thanks to the team behind this. “Video Games” in particular reminds me of a haunting lullaby. And what of Ms. Del Rey’s performance? In his L.A Times review, Randall Roberts states “This lack of belief in her protagonist is what ultimately dooms ‘Born to Die.’ Lana Del Rey isn’t nearly as convincing a fiction as David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Madonna Ciccone’s nameshortened boy-toy persona or even Taylor Swift’s character, ‘Taylor Swift.’” I disagree with that. While I wouldn’t put Del Rey on the same level as Ziggy or Stardust, she definitely portrays her “persona” well, the persona of a sad young woman fixated on star-crossed romance with bad boys, alcohol, and swimming pools. It’s like she’s Taylor Swift’s rebellious, melancholic older sister. Truthfully, there are flaws with this album. First off, the best tracks of the album are put up front. By the time you get to track seven, the album is past its prime. However, this does not mean the rest of the songs are not good. As much as I like the individual songs, listening to the album as a whole can sometimes have a draining effect due to all the tracks having that intense, moody production. Ultimately, “Born To Die” is not the disaster some might have hoped for. Tracks like “Video Games,” “Born to die,” and “National Anthem,” show off Lana’s talents. Del Rey shows potential for growth, and hopefully the backlash will die down by the time she puts out her second album.


February 2012 | March 2012


Why are you watching the Academy Awards? By Iman-Jazelle Bond For almost 84 years, The Academy Awards has been the most highly anticipated awards show in Hollywood. A-listers gather in the most glamorous attire to honor the best performances in film over the past year, but movies have changed and so has the audience. The ratings of the awards show depends on what films were box office hits such as, “Titanic,” in 1998, which caused the show to gain 57.25 million viewers and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” in 2004, with 43.56 viewers. Throughout the years, the ratings for the Academy Awards dropped due to the amount of Independent films nominated such as, “No Country For Old Men,” 2008, in which the show only had 31.76 viewers, the lowest ratings to date. “They are kind of boring and I don’t usually watch it,” said Lakira McQueen, junior at Kean University. Other students had similar opinions. “I didn’t know when it was going to happen,” said Isaiah Labarrere, another junior. There was Madiyna Bass, junior, who doesn’t exactly plan on watching past the red carpet but, knows who and what she

Amnesty International gets a chapter at Kean By Brian Konchalski Have you ever felt helpless or alone about the suffering of other people across the world? Then Amnesty International is the group you should join. It may have taken one semester, but Kean University now has its own chapter of Amnesty International, the largest human rights group. Kean’s chapter of Amnesty International is not to be confused with the existing Human Right’s club which has been long established at Kean, according to the chapter founder, Alejandro Vasquez, because the two clubs have different mission statements. “This chapter of Amnesty International follows the main mission statement of the organization…,” Vasquez explained, “The main mission statement [of Amnesty International] is to protect human rights and raise awareness of human rights violations everywhere.” The club was approved by the administration in December 2011, although it is not recognized as an official funded group, yet, by the Student Organization, Kean’s student government. In order for it to become a recognized as a funded group by Student Org., the club must go through a probationary stage. “By the time the club gets recognized as an official funded group,” said Vasquez, “it will be 2014 and by that time I will have graduated from school.” The Amnesty International club currently has 10 members, and is holding their inaugural meeting February 16, in room 226A in the University Center at 3:15 PM.

wants to win. “The only time I really watch it is for the outfits,” said Bass. “But I want Jonah

er struggling to put together the perfect baseball team. “I couldn’t believe it was the same guy

covers a life far different from his own. The film is nominated for four Academy Awards. Some film students at Kean University hope that “Moneyball,” nominated for six awards, should take the win for each category the film is nominated for because it was real and relatable. “All the other stuff is boring. I’m what’s the point in watching it on TV, when you

“The only time I really watch it is for the outfits.”

Hill to win best supporting actor because I love him and “Midnight in Paris” to win any award because it was just awesome.” There has been a lot of praise for Jonah Hill for his performance in “Moneyball,” a story about Billy Beane, a general manag-

from “Superbad,” said junior and film major Will Rodgers. “Midnight in Paris,” a romantic-comedy starring Owen Wilson, tells the story of a family traveling to France for business and the main character, Wilson, dis-

can just find out who won online later?” said Rogers. A majority of Kean University students have only seen “Moneyball” and it was a big screen family film, there is tons of faith that it will take home the Oscar for best picture this year. Hopefully, they decide to watch as well.

The Yoruban art exhibit is a must see By Aaron Mena

the show is the “Sword of Authority,” which is presented to a new king. This sword crafted from brass or iron is mainly for symbolic purposes which include leadership and ultimate judgment, possessing the ability to cut through problems and conflicts in the community. Another leadership sword in the exhibition is made from cloth and beads; it’s a prime example of the Yoruba’s skillful craftsmanship. The sword features com-

A unique exhibition is now on view at the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery in the C.A.S. building. The exhibit features artwork from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth created by the Yoruba people of West Africa. Roughly 25 million Yoruba live in Africa making it one of the largest and most influential cultures in the country. The 28 pieces currently in the gallery express the relationship of the spiritual world and art. Upon entering the gallery a visitor is greeted with a large and colorful Egúngún Masquerade costume. This ceremonial garment is comprised of silky looking

“Many wooden figurines and carving adorn the tables in the gallery with detail that seems to be impossible to be created by hand.” Photos: Courtesy of The Newark Museum Collection

fabrics accented with bright stitching, vibrant piping and intricate beadwork as well as sequins. Frills line the edges of fabric and tiny shells line the center of the garment. Masquerades are big part of Yoruba culture; the annual Egúngún festival is an event that lasts for about three weeks. During this event performances are conducted to summon deceased family members for brief interaction. People taking part in the ceremony pray for the health and well being of everyone in their community. Many wooden figurines and carving adorn the tables in the gallery with detail that seems to be impossible to be created by hand. These carved figures are said

Clockwise from top left: Mask for Egúngún, Divination board, Leadership sword.

to resemble deities or spirits that took on human form. Other figurines were crafted form bronze or iron and have the same symbolism and role in spiritual ceremonies. One of the most interesting pieces in

plex beaded patterns, figures and shapes. Beautiful and intricate beadwork boasting loud and vibrant colors adorn ceremonial headdresses, slippers and other garments. Slippers and a foot cushion also exemplify similar beadwork throughout the other garments except these items display faces, flowers and letters. Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art is on view from January 31 through April 18, 2012. The exhibition is definitely worth visiting; although the works of art were not originally intended for that purpose they certainly display talent and creativity.




By Eric albuen

Dear “Soul Calibur,”



At an Alaskan oil facility, John Ottway, played by Liam Neeson, acts as a security guard, protecting against any animals that may threaten them. Yet for John, the recent passing of his wife and the hostile environment has begun to take a toll, to the point where the end of the work-season may be the only escape. On a flight back to Anchorage, John’s plane is caught is the mist of a severe winter storm, and is forced to make a crash landing. Soon, John finds himself among the few survivors, who have discovered that a pack of wolves have begun hunting close to the site of the crash. Realizing that rescue Photo: Courtesy of may be far off, John and the remaining survivors begin to make their way to the south, braving the elements and the wolves. Released by newcomer studio, Open Road Studios, The Grey arrives on movie screens after a slow and somewhat lackluster start to the year in cinema. Based on Ian Mackenzie Jeffer’s short story, “Ghostwalker” and with star Liam Neeson, director/screenwriter Joe Carnahan develops an excellent action film that goes beyond conventional genre expectations with a unique psychological perspective and tone. In the acting field, the cast is excellent throughout, with all of the performers contributing much to the screenplay, but also to their characters direction. As the film’s lead, Liam Neeson is excellent, bringing a well-developed emotional tone to the role, while at the same time bringing a clear sense of loss to his character. From an audience perspective, we can sympathize with his struggles as he attempts to survive this ordeal, while overcoming his own personal difficulties that continue to cloud his mind. Supporting Neeson, Frank Grillo is superb in his role as Diez, an ex-prisoner who initially is the lone dissenter amidst the group, until saved by John from the grip of a wolf, and becomes one of the most prominent members of the cast. Dermot Mulroney and Nonso Anozie also have their own commendable performances as members of John’s group who are suffering from their own personal fears, such as Mulroney’s character fearing he will never see his daughter again, and Anozie who is suffering from severe altitude sickness as the ordeal progresses. Production-wise, director Joe Carnahan is excellent in his direction, capturing all of action on camera, while at the same time creating a dark atmospheric tone within the confines of his environment. His camerawork, while often handheld and first-person is presented in a well-developed and kinetic manner which captures through its lens, the isolation, and the unusual beauty of the Alaskan landscape. Sadly, underneath the film’s many successes lies a series of faults throughout. The largest and most prominent of these faults is the violence and bloodshed within this feature. While the violence is only seen at various points throughout, it can be disturbing and somewhat offputting to potential audience members. Overall, The Grey is an excellent, if somewhat faulted action film which possesses a deep psychological tone that elevates itself from the level of a typical survival tale. With excellent performances from Liam Neeson and his supporting performers, along with a well-composed screenplay and direction, it is an entertaining film that will satisfy all expectations. —Final Rating: 8/10.

It’s been 13 years since we first met. We’ve had a couple of great times throughout the years, but it just seems like lately, you haven’t been yourself. It’s like everything that used to be fun just hasn’t been as fun as it used to be. While your first two showcases were something to rave about, your recent efforts have fallen short of expectations. Personally, I think most people lost faith in you during that time. Myself included. So recently, you’ve tried to come back into my life with “Soul Calibur V.” I have to say you’ve left me in a tight spot. I still like you, but I’m skeptical to see if you’ve changed. The fact that you’ve decided to jump 17 years into your future seems like an iffy concept, but I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt at this point. You had “Star Wars” characters in your last game. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t do worse than that. Thankfully, after two strikes, you didn’t strike out. I’ll admit, advancing the story 17 years was a risky move, but it paid off. You’ve introduced me to your new and colorful cast of characters as well as inviting Ezio Auditore from the “Assassin’s Creed” series to the party. Interesting choice, but he fits. The story you’ve written this time is pretty interesting as well. As far as I can remember what you’ve shown me, the story revolves around two of the newer characters, Patroklos and Pyrrah, the son and daughter of Sophitia from the previous games and how they become the new successors of the two spirit swords. Interesting story, but it falls a little short in my opinion. Nothing I couldn’t get through in about three hours or so. But two of the most notable features you’ve brought to the table have been quite the interesting upgrades. Back in “Soul Calibur III,” you gave us the opportunity to write

“Thankfully, after two strikes, you didn’t strike out.” ourselves into your story, but the customizations were far from perfect. A lot of stuff was rough around the edges, but eventually got somewhat better in “Soul Calibur IV” where they were more robust, but still fell short due to the additions you made that armor made a difference in what extra skills we could equip into battle. This time around, you’ve managed to finally drop all those gimmicks and just give us the most robust character creation so far. From adding crazy pattens to giving the biggest, burliest man the highest pitched voice ever, this is probably the most impressive effort you’ve made so far. I applaud you for that. I give you a bigger thumbs-up for how much better your online system has gotten as well. While “Soul Calibur IV’s” system was nothing to write home about, this one has a couple features I’ve never seen before in a fighting game. One of the unique features I’ve seen was the addition of a lobby of sorts where you could chat with multiple players through text chats as well as battle against random people and even participate in tournaments in a non-ranked situation. Of course, there’s ranked matches available, but this time around, you could set your location and even customize your search to find people in certain regions. It’s a pretty nice feature that really expands on how online games should work. Kudos to you. It’s refreshing to see that gameplay I once loved shine throughout the series. While the addition of a Critical Edge (think Supers/Ultras from the Street Fighter series) was an odd choice, this gameplay element could easily change the course for a match. I’m happy to see you back to your old self. While there are still some things that need to be worked on, you’ve really jumped back from some of your mistakes in your past. It’s far from perfect, but I still have to give you a B for the effort you’ve put in to put yourself back on track. Sincerely, Eric

Follow us on Twitter @keantower

Photo: Courtesy of Microsoft


FIVE MEN OF STREET FASHION In the past few years, street style websites have been popping up all over the Internet. You even see the influence of street style on the Kean University campus. What once was an underground style has since caught the attention of the mainstream fashion media. Now every “GQ”, “Details” and “Men’s Vogue” has a street style section in their magazine or website. Here are five names you should know in street style.


“GQ” named him one of the top 10 most stylish men in America. Fashion Photographer Milan Vukmirovic is the next name you should know. Vukmirovic co-founded the famed Parisian store Collette. He became the Gucci Group Design Director in 1997 during Tom Ford’s tenure. After his stint with the Gucci Group Vukmirovic, he became creative director at Jil Sander.

on many of the New York Fashion Week show’s front row and has been credited with bringing an element of sophistication back to the NBA. Stoudemire started a clothing line designed by designer Rachel Roy geared toward women who are also avid sports fans and has been described as “courtside apparel for the fashion forward female,” said Stoudemire. Macy’s is supposed to distribute the line.

He is also the youngest person on this list. Kissi is considered an innovator when it comes to street style and has started a movement called “The Black Ivy” with a group of his mostly New York native friends. The final man and possibly the most important on this list is Nick Wooster. Wooster is the former Men’s Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman and has recently been named


Glenn O’Brien, who has been featured as “GQ’s” “The Style Guy,” for a number of years, has published a book of the same name and is the first man on our list. O’Brien was also a card carrying member of Andy Warhol’s famed New York studio and art movement, The Factory. He has led a storied career in the art and fashion industries and has held editor positions at “Allure” and “Harper’s Bazaar”. He was a music critic for “Interview” magazine. and later became the Editorial Director of Brant Publications, which includes “Interview”, Art in America and Antiques. In 2009,

As editor-in-chief of international menswear magazine L’Officiel Hommes, he personally shot the majority of the main fashion editorials. Throughout his career as an entrepreneur, photographer and editor he has been praised for his own personal style. In 2007, Trussardi 1911 hired him as their creative director. Besides revamping their style he also shoots their noted advertorials. The third man on this list is probably the most recognizable; Amare Stoudemire is considered one of the bestdressed men in the NBA. After coming to New York to play for the Knciks, Stoudemire has become a popular mainstay


THE 2012 SURVIVAL STYLE GUIDE With all the news and propaganda surrounding the world ending on December 21, 2012, have you thought about what you were going to wear? We started our spring semester off with sunny days and extremely warm weather for this time of year. It definitely put a damper on our unscheduled snow days off. So how does one dress in these preapocalyptic times? Well, for one, we can’t rely on a groundhog seeing his shadow or not; he’s definitely been a little off in the past couple years. Since we may be subject to monsoon downpours, below freezing temperatures, hail the size of golf balls, or surprise earthquakes, I say dress for the weather. If it’s 80 degrees outside but its midFebruary, then pull out the shorts. The next day may feel like one of the coldest days of the year. But what are the essentials? Think utilitarianism. What ever you wear must serve many purposes. A convertible jacket can be worn as a full coat or vest, making it easy to transition through seasons. Must have sunglasses; they shield

Above, left to right: Glenn O’Brien, Milan Vukmirovic, Amare Stoudemire. Right, top: Joshua Kissi; right: Nick Wooster

The fourth man on the list is Joshua Kissi. Kissi and his partner Travis Gumbs started the wildly popular street style site, Their website breaks down classic American pieces like pocket squares and penny loafers and gives their interpretation of the proper etiquette to wear the items along with some history behind them. Kissi, known for his classic vintage style, has graced the pages of several major publications including GQ magazine along with his partner Gumbs.


as Fashion Advisor for Gilt MAN. Wooster is known for his often whimsically coiffed hair and meticulously trimmed mustache. He has reshaped men’s fashion into a sort of ruggedly sophisticated era, which has garnered him the name “The Sartorial Badass.”








your eyes from harsh sunrays and they also just make you look cool. Anything made with Velcro sounds appropriate.

Harry Potter get out of trouble, I’m sure it can save us. For a purchase try Diagon Alley. Full leather outfit - (Man-made leather will suffice, no one wants to upset PETA) will shield you from acid rain. Gold watch – will come in handy for bartering. Batman’s Utility Belt - It comes equipped with custom blades and rope;

“Anything made with Velcro sounds appropriate.”



From leather to gold-tone belts and see-thru ponchos, fashion to help you survive.


Our “Hunger Games”–esque attire must be completed with the standard hiking boots. Here’s a list of clothing and accessories you may want to invest in: Invisibility Cloak - if it helped


they sell everything on eBay. Bunny costume - because everyone should have one in his or her closet. Those items will help protect you if in fact the world does end. But if it doesn’t rocking all the pieces sounds like an awesome party. It’s a win-win situation.



February 2012 | March 2012


THE TOWER Department of Communication


Kean University Center for Academic Success 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 Telephone: (908) 737-0460; Fax: (908) 737-0465 Email:;

By The Tower Editorial Board Regardless of whether or not the accusations against the university president are true, students deserve an explanation. Obviously while the investigation is ongoing we don’t expect a full report of the ins and outs of the investigation, but the student population deserves a statement from the school administration. Many of the students are only aware of the “Dawood Debacle” through what others have told themleading to misinformation and further speculation. The student body should be respected enough for us to be acknowledged in the matter. In addition to the fact that no statements have been directed to the students regarding the president’s credentials, at an emergency Board of Trustees meeting that was expected to be the final decision-maker in the entire situation, the Trustees reviewed in a closed executive session for more than three hours only to decide that they will revisit the issue in a meeting earlier in the coming week. The disrespectful nature of this act was like a slap in the face of the students, faculty and staff who waited diligently in the meeting room of Kean Hall. Rumors have been circulating, and confirmed by a member of the Kean Federation of Teachers, that some faculty members are planning on boycotting the commencement ceremony in May if Farahi is still president. If there are no members of the faculty present at the ceremony, why should the Class of 2012 be present? Students that have worked hard for their possibly worthless degrees deserve to have the support of their professors when they walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. For professors and members of the KFT to believe that boycotting graduation is what’s best for the greater good, it makes students feel like their caught in the middle of a fight between Mom and Dad. Students are the true victims of the bureaucratic nightmare that is Kean University right now. We are left out of the informational loop, hung out to dry, disregarded and disrespected. The Board of Trustees and the KFT should remember whose best interest they should be fighting for.

The Tower is an independent, laboratory newspaper of Kean University’s journalism option in the communication major program. It is published monthly through the regular academic year and supported by advertising and the Department of Communication. The Tower is not responsible for claims made by its advertisers. The Tower is a public forum and is free from censorship and advance approval of content by the university administration. The Tower staff is responsible for its content.




Daniel Reyes


Lee Burrell


Nicole Marie Padinha




Eric Albuen Arkor Kolubah



Francesca Figalo Avani Kapur


Dear Social Life,

Pat Winters-Lauro Bill Kolbenschlag

I miss you terribly. It’s been ages since we’ve been together and sometimes I worry that I won’t remember how to act around you anymore. When we used to spend every waking moment together, life was free, fun and fantastic, but lately now that you’ve been out of my life it’s been nothing but work. Don’t get me wrong, the “work” that I’m doing now will ensure that I have a plethora of time for our relationship later on, but for now we must keep our distance.

“It may be years until the day, my dreams will match up with my pay.”—Feist Unfortunately my relationship with you was sometimes be a distraction and I ended up doing things I would later regret. When I think back on all of our glorious times together I can’t help but have a grin from ear to ear. I know that we’ve had our ups and downs, but honestly, whose relationship hasn’t? We just have to keep telling ourselves to just keep holding on, and remember that it will all work out for the best. Our little casual encounters in the past few years have been wonderful, much needed breaks from my other relationships and I CANNOT wait to get back to those days. But, for now we must stay apart. It’s only a few months more, my darling. The separation is hard, I know, but how does that saying go... ahh yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Yes, this absence will make our reunion very fond. Giving up my weekend nights to someone else, instead of spending time with you has been especially rough, but I try to make the best of it so that even if only for a moment, I have some time with you before starting this vicious and grueling cycle all over again. Every day that I’m away from you, I work hard trying to build a future for us and I always try to remember what I’m doing this for. You.


Stephanie Skirvin


Opinion pieces and letters to the editor The Tower welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor from any source. Such material should be submitted to or left at The Tower’s offices. To verify sources of written material, submissions must include the writer’s name and contact information. Students should include their class (sophomore, graduate, etc.) and major. Faculty and staff should include campus title or position. On request, names may be withheld from publication if The Tower staff determines there is a legitimate reason to do so, but no anonymous letters will be accepted for publication. The Tower reserves the right to edit, and refuse publication of any submission.

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Tower publication schedule

Forever Yours,

FALL 2011: Sep. 22, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 8

Ana Ferrer Editor in Chief of The Tower

SPRING 2012: Feb. 16, Mar. 1, Mar. 29, Apr. 19



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February 2012 | March 2012


ADVICE AFTER VALENTINE’S DAY LOVE AFFAIR By Dasia Brown Flowers, candies and candles spell out romance, for some people. For others it’s simply remembering their favorites and surprising them with a basket full of goodies before taking a long walk together or just watching a movie like “The Notebook” on a Friday night. The one thing that people forget is that romance doesn’t have to be a separate day such as Valentine’s Day for example; it can be displayed any day. Many college students find it hard to balance a romantic relationship while trying to work and maintain their grades. When Valentine’s Day comes around they find it even harder to balance their checkbook and being able to provide a memorable day for their lover.

“If you can’t afford the diamonds don’t worry, you can still be unique and romantic by giving them a Ring Pop in their favorite flavor.” Remember, romance has no time or day so here are some tips to help you surprise your lover or admirer with an After-Valentine’s Day affair. If you live on campus, ask your roommates if you can have the dorm to yourself for the weekend to create a lovers paradise. Everything in the store post-Valentine’s Day is cheaper making it even easier to gather the items needed to make the place look as festive as possible. Decorate the dining room to make it look like a café. Make hot chocolate, play music or even make s’mores by candlelight. You can then make the living room into a private movie theater with all your valentine’s favorite snacks and movies. You can also do this if you live at home or in your own apartment.

Another idea is to create paper flowers with construction paper. Roses are expensive sometimes for a college budget so take it back to kindergarten and get creative with the flowers. Use leftover construction paper to make a card as well. By doing so, it shows you took time to create something not only special but also romantic. .Spill your loving words throughout the inside of the card and watch your special someone light up. If you can’t afford the diamonds don’t worry, you can still be unique and romantic by giving them a Ring Pop in their favorite flavor. Some people prefer quality time so if that’s the case prepare a manicure and pedicure afternoon. Gather the items needed to massage the person’s feet and hands creating a little spa for the day. Some say that romance is just for girls but guys can be swept away as well. The ideas above are for anyone. If you find that you want to do something a little different for a guy that’s romantic, try any of the ideas mentioned. Make him a basket full of his favorite teams’ items such as clothes, playing cards, mugs or even a jersey. When creating your After-Valentine’s Day bliss remember to keep that persons’ likes and dislikes in mind. Be creative and have fun. Just a heads up, all things “valentine” go on sale the next day so gathering those things should be cheap and accessible. Romance can be done any day of the year, so even if your Valentine’s Day didn’t go as planned there’s always another day. What’s important is to take time out to show the ones you love most just how important they are to you. If you have any questions or concerns about anything that you would like advice about please send an email to I will advise you the best way I know how, with truth, Remember it’s strictly anonymous!

HEALTH & FITNESS 49 COOL FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY By Dr. Josh Palgi Did you know that: 1. The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. 2. It takes 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body. The average human will eat an average of eight spiders while sleeping. 3. The average woman consumes six lbs of lipstick in her lifetime. 4. On average, a 4-year-old child asks 437 questions a day. 5. Only 7 percent of the populations are lefties. 6. The average person’s left hand does 56 percent of the typing. 7. A human brain weighs about three pounds. 8. One-quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet. 9. You blink 10,000,000 times a year. 10. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop…even your heart. 11. If you yelled for eight years, seven months and six days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. 12. Hair is the second fastest growing tissue on the body. Bone marrow is the first. 13. Around 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe goes to your brain. 14. The human heart beats an average of 35,000,000 times per year – thus, the average human heart beats around 100,000 times per day. 15. A man’s testicles manufacture 10 million new sperm cells each day – enough that he could repopulate the entire planet in only 6 months! 16. The largest organ in the body is the skin. 17. Each kidney contains 1 million individual filters. They filter an average of around 1.3 liters (2.2 pints) of blood per minute, and expel up to 1.4 liters (2.5 pints) a day of urine. 18. In 30 minutes, the average body gives off enough heat (combined) to bring a half-gallon of water to boil. 19. The eyes receive approximately 90 percent of all our information, making us basically visual creatures. 20. The female ovaries contain nearly half a million egg cells, yet only 4,000 or so will ever get the opportunity to create new life. 21. There are about 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. And the hardworking heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood through those vessels every day. 22. In a lifetime, the average person produced about 25,000 quarts of saliva – enough to fill two swimming pools. 23. By 60 years of age, 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will snore. 24. The nails that get the most exposure and are used most frequently and are used most frequently grow the fastest. 25. Fingernails grow fastest on the hand that you write with and on the longest fingers. On average, nails grow about one-tenth of an inch each month.

26. The human head is one-quarter of our total length at birth but only one-eighth of our total length by the time we reach adulthood. 27. The largest cell in the human body is the female egg and the smallest is the male sperm. 28. Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest. 29. Scientist say the higher your I.Q. the more you dream. 30. 80 percent of the brain is water. 31. Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s. 32. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart. 33. You could remove a large part of your internal organs and survive. 34. A full bladder is roughly the size of a softball. 35. Earwax production is necessary for good ear health. 36. About one-third of the human race has 20/20 vision. 37. If saliva cannot dissolve something you cannot taste it. 38. The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t repair itself. 39. The most common blood type in the world is Type O.

“The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.” 40. It is not possible to tickle yourself. 41. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. 42. It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. 43. There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long (eye, hip, arm, leg, ear, toe, jaw, lip, gum). 44. The average human head weighs about eight pounds. 45. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing 46. An average human scalp has 100,000 hairs. 47. The length of the finger dictates how fast the fingernail grows. Therefore, the nail on your middle finger grows the fastest, and on average your toenails grow twice as slow as your fingernails. 48. When you are looking at someone you love, your pupils dilate, and they do the same when you are looking at someone you hate. 49. Your thumb is the same length as your nose. Dr. Palgi is a Professor in the Physical Education, Recreation, and Health Department.



February 2012 | March 2012

These websites ask “Who’s the fairest of them all?” By Andrea Edwards So you want to know just how attractive you are to other people huh? So you go find a picture of yourself, and feeling pleased with your choice, you post it on a cyber-rating site. Basically, all you really want to know is whether, by the world’s standard of beauty, you’re considered hot, or not. No harm, right? “What’s the harm? I do it because it’s fun to see what some of these girls will do for a good rating,” 24 year-old Donald White said. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to attractiveness, there is no one definition that works for everyone. Instead, it varies widely among cultures, ethnicity and individual preference. Needless to say, “when you subject yourself to being rated on a physical level, you subject yourself to someone else’s criteria for attractiveness. The likelihood that most of the people rating you hold the same standards as you or your love ones, are unrealistic to say the least. Then there are those people that will simply give you a poor rating just because, you’ve put it out there and it makes them feel better to do so. Still, people flock by the millions to rating sites each day, all in an effort to seek validation and approval from people they may never meet, and who could care less about what other good qualities you may have to offer the world. These rating sites, or “rate me” sites are designed for users to either vote on or rate an individual participant on physical attributes alone. They typically ask

users to make a quick evaluation, often using a score of 1-10, or yes or no. Some, like, requires users to choose between two pictures, and give instant feedback on the subjects score, as well as the percentage of other users who also agree with the user. Some go as far as to provide statistical data of who made the best or worst list. Rating people on a scale of 1-10 is no new phenomenon. There was even a 1979 movie made about it simply called, 10. In the movie, the character portrayed by actor Dudley Moore uses a system of grading women’s attractiveness on a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest level of attractiveness). He becomes obsessed after running into a woman he considers to be, an 11. After that movie became a hit, the words “perfect 10” became as popular as a one-dollar bill. Still until recently in our society, such

ratings were shared between snickering girlfriends or among men in a private setting or the locker-room. Today however, with the advent of the internet, the “10” phenomenon has been revived, thanks to these rating websites like RateMyFace. com, Facemash, which was originally created by Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg to compare the attractiveness of students at Harvard and HotorNot. com, launched in October of 2000. quickly became a hit, boasting 40,000 hits the first day, after its founders James Hong and Jim Young sent out 40 emails to friends. According to an article in, the duo was topping $600,000 per month, and averaged 10 million views per month before selling the company eight years after it. Obviously rating is big business. However, while physical appearance rating sites may generate a lot of earnings

and viewers, many people, both in and out of the psychological field, argue its negative effects—especially for women and young girls. In a psychological study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and conducted by Dustin Wood of Wake Forest University and co-authored by Claudia Brumbaugh of Queens College, “men’s judgments of women’s attractiveness were based primarily around physical features and (they) rated highly those who looked thin and seductive.” According to Wood, in an article appearing in, the study provides implications for eating disorders, and how expectations regarding attractiveness affect behavior. In fact there have been several studies relating to the phenomenon, and it’s perceived negative effects on females. “Look, if girls want to show their bodyparts for a vote—I don’t have a problem with that. They’re usually the ones who get my vote,” said 22-year-old Najee Smith, who describes himself as a frequent participant. However, such rating sites are not exclusive to the young—not by a long shot. Instead, what you’re likely to see is a variety of men and women in age groups ranging from 18 to 70+ years of age in many cases. With the billions of dollars we as a nation spend on beauty products each year, it should come as no surprise that we do care what others think about us; obviously to the tune of billions.

Death and public speaking By DeWayne Harper Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked about a survey that said the average person had a greater fear of public speaking than a fear of dying, “During a funeral most people would trade places with the guy in the casket, before trading with the guy giving the eulogy,” said Seinfeld. Many students at Kean University experience Gloss phobia, or speech anxiety, better known as the fear of public speaking. Studies and surveys show that more often than not, people place Gloss phobia, the fear of public speaking, above Necrophobia, the fear of death, Aerophobia and Acrophobia which are the fears of flying and heights respectively. Besides the various phobias involved with giving a speech, or making a presentation, there are students at the university who simply would like to sharpen their oratory skills. For all of those issues the school offers some guidance. The Kean University Speech lab offers help on a variety of different levels of oratory skills. “I get nervous every single time I give

Student takes advantage of the Speech Lab.

a speech. It’s natural and it’s not necessarily a bad thing because it gets your adrenaline pumping,” said Jessica Perez, a graduate assistant to the Communication department who works in the lab tutoring students in the oratory arts. A study done in the Psychological Bulletin, a journal of the American Psychologi-

Photo by: DeWayne Harper

cal Association, or APA, said short term stresses like speaking in public, boost your immune system in ways that tend to ensure that you’re the person eulogizing, rather than the person being eulogized. The mission of the Speech Lab is to help students get better prepared, organized and present speeches. It is to help

students improve on a variety of oratory skills such as, vocal quality, pace, eye contact, presentation style and audience engagement. Perez preaches repetition to her students. “Practice, practice, practice, we cannot stress to students enough that the best way to get better at presenting is to keep doing it,” said Perez. Some students do not see the how becoming an adept public speaker would have real world application. For those students, Perez said, we all will present things in many capacities for the rest of our lives. If you have an idea for a product or campaign, or a solution to a problem, you need to be able to articulate that to your coworkers as well as your superiors. The skills students learn in the speech lab will be very applicable when trying to get their point across. Confidence is key. Being knowledgeable and having full command of credible sources will allow your speeches to seem extemporaneous. The Speech Lab is located on the fourth floor of the CAS building, across from the communication department office.

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February 2012 | March 2012


What’s in store for the Lady Cougars? By Danielle McFadden The Kean Women’s Basketball Team is still reigning after losing head coach Michele Sharp. As a member of the team I can say that my team was forlorn but not defeated. The team has seen a lot of adversity this season but refuses to raise the white flag. After losing seniors Noel Mathis, Briana Winston, and freshman Anna Rose Pierre, the women’s basketball team continues to play against their leading competition, themselves. Junior Captain Kyanne Sager has high hopes for her team this season. “I think we have a long road ahead of us,” she said. “We have three games left in our regular season and one of our goals is to win a National Championship.” The team has high hopes of winning an NJAC championship. Sager also said, “If we can win an NJAC while facing adversity we can do anything. Our season has been anything but ordinary for us, but we all want to succeed and reach our most important goal of winning a National Championship.” Ranked No. 21 in the NCAA National Poll, 10 girls have gone on to be coached by former assistant, now head coach Karima McKenzie, former student athlete at The College of New Jersey. Karima McKenzie returns to the Cougar staff for her second season. McKenzie has coached at McNair and Ferris high School. What was really expected from Kean


and out rebounding our opponents. McKenzie also said that she expects maximum effort from the team during practice and games and also for them to continue striving for their short and long-term goals. “I expect the team to be humble in winning and gracious in defeat, maintaining positive attitudes, always conducting themselves in a manner which brings honor and pride to the Kean University

“On and off the court, this team is a family.” The Lady Cougars huddle and get pumped for a game.

Women’s Basketball team? Sometimes it takes more than blood, sweat and tears to enthuse a team to success. For this team to play better we had to hear people say we couldn’t do it. All we have left is our talent and our sisterhood. On and off the court, this team is a family. We are a family that stays steadfast even when things are tough. We are a family that expects to claim a victory through adversity. If our season doesn’t go as planned who is really charged with the accusation? Basketball goes beyond

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from Kean would be “worthless.” Student Ashley Kraus cited the Academic Integrity Policy required on all Kean syllabi and then, looking at Farahi, asked, “If we have to abide by it [the policy], shouldn’t you?” Faculty member Gilda Del Risco, Elementary and Bilingual Education, turned the attention of the room to the KFT, saying that the allegations it is levying at Farahi are destructive to the university. “What you’re doing to the university is wrong. What you’re doing to the students is wrong,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.” She went on to ask how anyone would know if the KFT wasn’t responsible for some of the errors on Farahi’s resumes. “They [the KFT] have always been trying to get rid of Dr. Farahi,” she said in an interview with a Tower Editor after the Board went back into executive session. “They were never able to do it. Now they find this [the resume errors] or came up with this; ‘oh, now we got him.’” “When Dr. Farahi came he established order,” she said. “And you know why? Because of you guys, the students.” Castiglione, when asked afterwards for a response to her allegations, said it was “classic ‘blame the messenger.’” “They have no evidence for that and there is none,” he said. “It’s…it’s absurd.” Farahi supporter Jose Sanchez, Executive Director of Social Sciences, was met with laughs by some of the audience when he called Farahi “an honest man.” “It may be a lot of fun for you to do all this,” he said. “But it is sadistic and wrong.” The Board moved back into a private session and did not return to the conference hall for more than three hours. While the audience was waiting for the Board to return, Castiglione said that this is the students’ university and “the academic integrity and the reputation of your [the students’] university deter-

mines the value of your degree; and the students need to make their voices heard to protect the academic integrity of their degrees.” Castiglione also acknowledged rumors that some of the faculty were talking about a possible boycott of May commencement ceremonies if Farahi remains in office. “There are some faculty,” he said. “Who are putting together an effort to boycott graduation.” “Graduation is for the students. That’s why it’s so important for the faculty to stand up for the Academic Integrity of the institution, and the degrees that are being conferred to the students,” he continued. “That the president has no legitimacy to confer those great degrees to students on the basis of this Kathleen Henderson, president of the union that oversees the adjuncts, said that the state of affairs now is a no-win situation, also adding that it is impossible to take a side without hearing both sides of the argument. Castiglione said the next day over the phone that the Board’s decision to reconvene next week was both hopeful and unsettling. He reaffirmed that he is happy the Board is not “whitewashing” the allegations, but feels that there is overwhelming evidence to support the accusations. “They [the students] should speak out about this,” said Kraus the next day during a phone interview. “Because really it’s our money, we’re the paying customers here.” “If he’s lying about this, what else has he lied about? And if he can come up with the proof, then that’s fine,” she continued. “I don’t think that he’s [Farahi] a bad person. I just think that he should own up to what’s right.” The University has not released a statement regarding the accusations.

Photo: Nicol Biesek

the NCAA, basketball is our escape every day we step on the court. No one ever cared to ask us how we felt but through it all we are a link that can never be broken. This season, a memory that we will never forget. With an overall record of 19 wins and three losses, the women’s basketball team is getting ready for the end of their regular season and the beginning of the playoffs. “I expect our girls to work hard and continue to make every effort to meet our long and short term goals,” said McKenzie. Those goals include limiting turnovers, team defense, making free throws,

Women’s Basketball Program,” added McKenzie. Junior Simone Smith refuses to let the misfortune affect her success on the court. Smith is the starting center for the Cougars averaging 9.7 points per game and five rebounds. “We needed to come together as a team and I think we’ve accomplished that by continuing to win games. I’m very proud of my team and I can truly say I’m proud to be a part of Kean Women’s Basketball Team,” said Smith.

Women’s basketball coach relieved of her duties By Ryan Gaydos The season has been all but tough for the Kean Lady Cougars this season. They have eclipsed the 15-win mark already this season and seem to be on their way to a New Jersey Athletic Conference title and a berth into the Division III tournament. Everything seemed to be sailing smoothly until head coach Michele Sharp was relieved of her duties in mid-January. Kean University has offered no explanation for this event. However, due to the recent notice from the NCAA that Kean had to answer to five infractions the committee found within the athletics, Sharp’s dismissal was, in all likelihood, a result of four of the five infractions being found in the women’s basketball program. Those infractions included providing extra benefits to basketball players who went on a trip to Europe. Sharp was re-assigned as the director of the East Campus Recreation Facility. That is a significant demotion considering that she led her team to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight three times in four seasons.

Photo: Kean Athletics

Coach Michele Sharp.

Sharp said she was not ready to comment. Kean spokesman Matt Caruso released this statement in an email: “Kean University Athletic Director Chris Morgan has relieved Michele Sharp of her duties as head coach of the Women’s Basketball program and reassigned her to another position within the Athletics Department. Mr. Morgan said his decision was in the best interests of the student athletes and the university.”

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February 2012 | March 2012

Kean students support effort to help the homeless School competed in the second game, followed by Roselle Catholic High School and St. Patrick’s High School in the third and final game. Kean University Work-Study student at the Elizabeth Coalition, Carolina Londono, who helped out at the concession

By Maya Brown Kean University students attended the 18th Annual “Hoops to End Homelessness Tripleheader Basketball Classic” hosted by the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. At the event, which was held the evening of Jan. 28 at the Dunn Sports Center in Elizabeth, Linda Flores-Tober, Executive Director of the Coalition, expressed her gratitude for all of the volunteers who helped to plan the event. She thanked the Basketball Committee, TKE Fraternity, Kean University Work-Study students, Elizabeth Coalition staff, as well as all the teams involved in the triple-header. The first game was between St. Mary’s High School and Fanwood High School. Upon entrance, attendees were given the opportunity to win a new Apple iPod Touch, compliments of the Elizabeth Coalition. The raffle winner, David Cherry of Linden, was contacted by phone and picked up his prize on Feb. 1. In addition to the iPod Touch giveaway,

really nice people.” Strick added, “We plan to volunteer for the Coalition again in the future.” After what was described by FloresTober as a series of “nail-biter” games, Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, and Roselle Catholic high schools were the winners

“The whole audience was on edge… It was exhilarating and a really good event for the community.” Photo: Maya Brown

St. Mary’s high school awaits the official call.

guests had the opportunity to purchase “50-50” raffle tickets. The raffle winner received half of the proceeds from the event. The winner, whose ticket was drawn immediately following the first game, decided to donate his prize back to the Elizabeth Coalition. Elizabeth High School and Sparta High

stand, said, “The whole audience was on edge (during the last game of the tripleheader). It was exhilarating and a really good event for the community.” A member of the TKE fraternity at Kean, Frank Strick, was also at the event. “My frat volunteered to go pick up the donated pizzas to be sold at the concession stands during the game,” he said. “We all really enjoyed helping out and met some

of the triple-header. In a post-event interview, Flores-Tober said the basketball classic was “a great event that brought the public and private sectors as well as multi-generations together all working to help the homeless in their community.”

KU Men’s Volleyball team battles on after rocky season opener Photos: Laura Urban

By Thomas Antonelle Despite a rocky season opener for the Kean University Men’s Volleyball team, it only took a short time for the squad to find their mark. The Cougars suffered their first loss on the road as they opened up their season visiting The Scarlet Raiders, of RutgersNewark on January 27. The team failed to get an early season tally in the wins column, as Kean lost in the match by the score of 3-2 (20-25,2125,25-18,25-18,17-15). The season took a pleasant turn for the Cougars as their first ever Skyline Conference play began. Battling on the road this time would not be a factor in the Cougars play. A well-deserved leap into the conference would prove true as the Cougars ended their back-to-back matches with a pair of wins. In the Cougars’ first match against New

Jersey City University, the team fought back from a 2-1 deficit and won the remaining sets (25-16,22-25,24-26,2523,15-13). Kean senior Christian Portera tallied 13 kills while freshman setter Alex Barnhard put up 27 assists. The Cougars carried the momentum from their victory over New Jersey City University into their matchup against NYU-Poly. NYU-Poly had no answer to the Cougars squad. The Cougars defeated NYU-Poly in a straight set win (25-22,25-18,25-16). Again, contributions from key players made the difference. Christian Portera had 10 kills and Alex Barnhard recorded 34 assists. The Cougars are now sitting with a 2-1 record overall with a 2-0 record in conference play. In a grueling season that spans until mid April, the upcoming schedule looks

Photo: Kean Athletics

Christian Portera (left); Alex Barnhard (right).

to be promising for the Cougars. A tournament and an invitational are also on the horizon. The Baruch Quad Invitational includes four different games that take place in mid-February. The Springfield College Tournament also consists of four games and takes place in mid-March. Kean hopes to finish this year in a victorious fashion, as they will be without two of their seniors next year.

Sam Haimann and Christian Portera will have one season to make a lasting impression on the Skyline Conference before graduating. The good news for the Cougars happens to be the new faces brought on by freshman players, Ron Dunn, Ed Jedziniak, Mike Sheuermann, John Cunningham, Kyle Farley, and Alex Barnhard. Head Coach Don Perkins leads the team. Perkins entered the Kean community in 2009 after serving as an assistant coach at Mississippi State University. His other coaching duties include the head coaching title at the State University of New York Institute of Technology. Kean hopes to win a championship with him as coach boasting 12 years of experience. Perkins was a student-athlete at Syracuse University where he was a member of the men’s Volleyball club.

Kean Men’s Basketball winter recap By Darien Evans-Raines After a slow start in late 2011 and early 2012, Kean’s Men’s Basketball Team continued its season during the Winter Break. Going into the Winter Break, the Cougars were already well below .500 at 2-7. To complicate matters, six of nine games were away. Two games were held at the R-MC Coaches Classic in Ashland, Virginia. Out of the nine games, the only bright spot was the game against The College of New Jersey. In an upset, Kean held TCNJ to 37 points the entire game. The Lions shot for a horrid 28.3 percent at the field. Throughout the rest of the nine-game trip, the Cougar defense was nonexistent. On average 60.4 points were given up by the Kean Men’s defense. That type of average will not cut it since this is the first season without last year’s star Jonathan Jones. No one has stepped up and stayed con-

Photo: Kean Athletics

2011-12 Men’s Basketball team.

sistent throughout the season. The player that has been the closest has been NJAC Rookie of the Year sophomore guard Michael Burton with an average of 12.2 points per game. Michael Burton has started where he left off from last season. He has more responsibility this year and has made good use of his opportunity

starting as point guard. If Michael Burton is Batman his Robin is another Sophomore Kyle Latorre. The Kean forward is averaging 9.3 points per game and is the leading rebounder on the team. With the season coming to a close, sophomores Michael Burton and Kyle

Latorre are something to look forward to for next season. This surprisingly woeful season has the Kean Cougars at a record of 4-18 with three games to go. The NJAC tournament is in jeopardy with TCNJ ending their season with three in a row of NJAC games. If Kean loses these three games and the TCNJ Lions wins two out of three, including its rematch against Kean, the Cougars will be out of the Tournament. Kean needs to sweep the next three games so it can secure a spot in the NJAC tournament. Coach Kurzinksy has brought Kean to the NJAC tournament every season since he was hired in 2007 and took over the reigns from Sean Drennan. Kean’s next three games are against Rutgers-Camden, TCNJ and Richard Stockton College. The big test will be against NJAC South leader Richard Stockton College, which has only lost one conference game the whole season.


February 2012 | March 2012


KU Baseball team comes into the 2012 season ranked third By Nick Mojica The Kean University baseball team has reached their seventh consecutive 30win season. The team finished 42-11 (which was the second most wins in the program’s history) and won the New Jersey Athletic Conference for the second time in a row. All of these feats led Kean to their fourth World Series appearance in five years. However, the Kean Cougars were unable to capture another National Championship. 2012 brings a fresh start to the season. The Cougars have some major players that are leaving the team. Outfielder Ken Gregory, a 2011 second team All-American, will end his two-year career with the Cougars with a .411 career batting average, and Outfielder Nick Nolan, the 2010 NJAC Player of the Year, will also leave the team. Nolan leaves the program as the all-time leader in single season batted in runs, career triples and home runs. But even with these departures, the Cougars are coming into the season ranked third overall in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason poll, only behind No. 2 Chapman and No. 3 Marietta, the defending champions. The Cougars’ pitch-


(Continued from page 1)

[to be president]. He has to be removed. It’s as simple as that.” A woman standing in a side aisle of the auditorium expressed frustration about the lack of action taken by the Faculty Senate and asked why it had not asked for Farahi’s resignation already. She cited a past employee who was dismissed for committing far fewer infractions than the current president is now accused of. Some members voiced concerns that they fear for their jobs if they speak out publicly against Farahi. One faculty member said that if the board fails to remove Farahi from office, they will have heaped shame on the university family as well as permanently besmirched the university. When members asked what they could do to progress this issue, Castiglione urged the members to contact their representatives on both the Kean Faculty Senate as well as the New Jersey State Senate so that the issue could come up on the floor of each Senate for discussion. KFT Vice President Barbara Wheeler said concern for the university was not related to proximity to the campus, but had also reached alumni. “I’ve received calls and letters and so forth from alumni as far away as Europe, California, and Miami this morning, and New Jersey,” she said, “these students are wondering what’s going on, why has he not been asked to resign?” Ana Ferrer contributed to this report.


Photo: Kean Athletics

“The rotation has been called “one of the best pitching rotations in the land.” ing staff has five starters returning, a staff that combined for 29 wins last season. The rotation has been called “one of the best pitching rotations in the land” by Preseason All-American Mike Russo went 10-2 last season with an ERA of 1.93. Another big part return-

ing to the pitching staff is junior Kevin Herget, who posted a 7-1 record with a 2.68 ERA. On the offensive side, returning to the team is senior Lee Cavico. Last year he earned the Eastern College Athletic Conference player of the year award,

posting a .356 batting average with nine home runs and 48 runs batted in. Last season’s team leader in steals, Vinny Galya is also returning. Galya stole 33 bases last season. While Kean has dominated the NJAC, the rest of the teams are looking to knock Kean out of their top spot. Rowan, who went 31-13 last year, was just left out of the Top 25, receiving 49 votes. Returning for Rowan is CJ Szymczak. Szymczak picked up 17 runs batted in with a batting average of .345. The Rowan Profs also have a strong pitching rotation coming back for the 2012 season. Also vying for the top spot, is, Ramapo College. The Roadrunners went 30-14 last season and like the top teams in the conference, have a strong rotation, led by Travis Zilg, who posted an earned run average of 2.93. Montclair State finished the last 10 games of the season with a record of 6-4, but many have them as a team to watch in the conference. William Patterson University finished with a 2017 record but ended their last 10 games with a record of 4-6. Adam Derner is returning to the team. Derner had a .387 batting average, hitting nine home runs and 29 batted in runs.

KU Women’s Basketball team remains undefeated in the NJAC South Division By Raymond Gurbisz The Kean University women’s basketball team has been on an absolute tear since winter break began, dropping only one game in their last 13, going 12-1 during the stretch and allowing the team to remain undefeated in the New Jersey Athletic Conference South Division. The No. 21 ranked Cougars (19-3, 10-0 NJAC), since their game on Dec. 20, have outscored their opponents by an average of 15 points per game and have sustained a 6-0 record at home since the start of winter break. Top-ranked Amherst College is responsible for The Cougars single loss during the break. They were beaten 81-58, keeping the Lord Jeffs 58 game home winning streak intact. Things have been going the Cougars’ way as of late and have helped them keep their perfect record within the NJAC. The Cougars have been consistent when it comes to winning within their conference and have a chance to prove that further with their last three games coming up all being conference match-ups. The Cougars’ next game comes against Rutgers University-Camden (13-8, 2-7 NJAC) as the team will go on the road and try to beat the Scarlet Raptors and maintain their perfect conference record. The last three games of the season are crucial to finishing off the Cougars’ regular season on a positive note. Aside from Rutgers University-Camden, the Cougars still have to face a solid TCNJ team (14-8, 6-4 NJAC) and a Richard Stockton College squad (12-9, 4-6 NJAC) to conclude their regular season. A big win at Rutgers University-Camden would definitely help the Cougars keep

Photo: Kean Athletics

2011-12 Women’s Basketball team.

rolling within the NJAC. Points wise, the team is led by junior guard Naimah Clemons, who is averaging a team-best 23.8 points per game. On the other side of the ball, senior forward Danielle McFadden has a team-high, 154 total rebounds, while junior forward Simone Smith has recorded a whopping total of 30 blocks. High scoring and good defense were the key factors for the Cougars in their last three games, scoring a total of 242 points while having only 152 points scored against them during the stretch. If the team can keep up the consistent scoring gap in the concluding games, the Cougars squad will be in great shape once the season is up. Perhaps one of the most shocking stories to come up relating to the Kean Uni-

versity women’s basketball team during the break was the recent firing of head coach Michele Sharp. In a statement released by campus officials the university stated, “Kean University Athletic Director Chris Morgan has relieved Michele Sharp of her duties as head coach of the Women’s Basketball program and reassigned her to another position within the Athletics Department.” Nothing positive usually comes out of the dismissal of a head coach, however one good thing that came out of the situation is how the Cougars team has been able to rally around each other and continue to play well. It will be interesting to see how the Cougars go forward from here and if they can hang on to maintain their current hot streak.

“Dignity does not consist in possessing honours, but in deserving them.”—Aristotle



February 2012 | March 2012

sports The New York Giants capture their second Super Bowl in five years By Ryan Gaydos The New York Giants were looking to somehow pull off another upset against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl as they did four years ago. They did just that Sunday. The Giants defeated the Patriots 21-17 to capture the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVI. The game kept fans on the edge of their seats and was almost an exact replica of Super

Bowl XLII. Eli Manning would play another huge role in the Giants victory.

With less than four minutes to play, Manning would lead the drive down the field. Manning led an 88-yard drive that included a huge 38-yard catch by wide receiver Mario Manningham that resembled former Giants’ wide receiver David Tyree’s catch four years go. The drive was capped off by an Ahmad Bradshaw six-yard run for the eventual game-winning score. The Super Bowl win marks the second for Eli Manning and

head coach Tom Coughlin. Eli Manning now has more Super Bowl wins than his brother Peyton Manning. This has some people wondering which Manning is better. This win also marks the eighth win in the last nine playoff games for the Giants and puts them on a five game winning streak. Another Super Bowl puts a successful notch in the average Giants fans’ belt after an up and down season. The win just shows

that the Giants have been one of the more successful teams in the last 10 years. In the past 10 years there have only been three teams with more than one Super Bowl win. The Patriots have three of them, the Giants have two and the Pittsburgh Steelers have two as well. The next step for the Giants this season would be the impending free agency period as well as the 2012 NFL Draft.

INTERVIEW Dan Garrett talks about past success, recruiting and expectations DAN GARRETT: “Football is a unique sport. It is the ultimate team sport and that was the most fun. Spending time with the guys that we had. Seeing this team mold together from last January through the end of November and December. Their chemistry and leadership, on top of their lack of egos, that’s the most impressive thing for me to acknowledge about this team.

Photo: Kean Athletics

“We don’t accept mediocrity.” By Eric Haftel The Tower’s Eric Haftel sat down with football Coach Dan Garrett to talk about the success of last season and to find out how recruiting for next season has gone so far. ERIC HAFTEL: Last season was the best in the program’s history. Your team won the New Jersey Athletic Conference title, earned the program’s first trip to the NCAA playoffs, and also won a school record of ten games. What would you say was the highlight of last season?

EH: You won Coach of the Year. What does that mean to you? DG: “I think it means a lot because that award is nominated by your peers. When you get nominated by your peers that is a great sign of respect. I think it’s the ultimate team award. It says coach of the year and it goes to me but I have 14 assistant coaches and 100 players that work tirelessly. It’s a shame that it just says ‘Coach of the Year,’ meaning me, because it’s about the team.” EH: You said you are the busiest after the season. Why is that? DG: “We lost on Saturday. We had a meeting as a coaching staff on Sunday and then we had a team meeting with the players on Monday. Then we go right on the road recruiting. We hit about 232 high schools all in New Jersey and a few in Staten Island. It was usu-

February, 2012 15: Women’s Basketball vs. Stockton 15: Men’s Basketball vs. Stockton 18: Men’s Basketball NJAC Tournament 21: Women’s Basketball NJAC Tournament 22: Baseball vs. Stevens 23: Men’s Volleyball @ Purchase College 24: Baseball @ College of St. Vincent 25: Men’s Lacrosse vs. Castleton State 25: Baseball vs. Gwynedd-Mercy

ally three to four schools a day. So from Dec. 1, right up until Christmas, everyday from 8 in the morning until 4, I would go there. Then I would come up here and meet with every single player to have an end of the year evaluation. Then in January there is a national convention that we go to for four days. Then we come back and the kids are back on campus. So we have our spring meetings and weight room in the morning for three hours a day, plus recruiting. I also speak at different clinics including the Nike Coach of the Year clinic. Plus I spend five to eight hours a day watching highlights from our games and the players we are recruiting. These last three weeks, I have been at home less than at any point during the season.” EH: It sounds like Kean’s program isn’t a Division III but closer to a Division II or Division I. DG: “ I don’t coach Kean like it’s a Division III school. I make sure my coaches and players understand that. Our mindset and our mentality is we are going to run this like a Division I program minus the scholarships. We want to make Kean University the place that everyone sees as not only good students, good people in the community but a really, really good football program. We have a saying that we have used since the start of last summer. The old Kean football program, that’s not

around anymore. We have a new standard and our job is to uphold the standard. Our standard is to carry ourselves with class and humility and be the class of college football.” EH: How many recruits would you actually bring in? DG: “Out of those, give or take, 800 students that we initially sat with, we are going to have 120 kids visit the campus. After that we are going to have 25-30 that we are going to say, we want you to be a part of us. We want good people, who want to go to college, that can play ball.” EH: I know that quarterback, Thomas D’Ambrisi and running back, Chris DiMicco are no longer playing for Kean. What other starters are done with their careers and do you know who will be the new starters? DG: “At the end of the day we are going to play the best people, whether that’s an incoming freshman or a guy who has been in the program. We won’t promise anybody any playing time until they come here and compete for it. We are losing three offensive and defensive linemen, a tight end, safety Jamahl Williams, Tommy, Chris and a senior wide receiver. So we are losing a bunch. Six years ago I would be nervous, but then we just had a team. We have a football

program now. We aren’t in that rebuilding phase. We have guys who have been waiting a year, two years, three years, who have established themselves and are ready to play for us. Even though we are losing a lot, we have a lot in the tank.” EH: Are all coaches, including coach Mike Teel, going to be returning, and how big of an impact did coach Teel have? DG: “Mike was a phenomenal addition to the staff. It’s very hard to find good quarterback coaches who are smart football guys and Mike is a guy who has all those football smarts and didn’t have to research it. He had a huge impact because we had a good quarterback and he made that very good quarterback, better. Mike’s network is huge. It includes everyone he was coached by at Rutgers, the Seahawks, Bears and Patriots. Mike is going to be a phenomenal young coach and I don’t know how long we are going to be able to keep him. He’s going to have a huge amount of opportunities because of what he has been able to do.” EH: What do you expect from this upcoming season? DG: “The expectations moving ahead are to have great expectations. We don’t accept mediocrity.”

25: Men’s Volleyball vs. Elmira College (in New York, NY) 25: Men’s Volleyball vs. Massachusetts Tech (in New York, NY) 26: Men’s Volleyball vs. Stevens (in New York, NY) 26: Men’s Volleyball vs. Pfeiffer (in New York, NY) 28: Baseball vs. Moravian 28: Men’s Volleyball vs. NYU-Poly 29: Baseball vs. FDU-Florham 29: Men’s Lacrosse vs. Wesley College

The Tower Volume 12 Issue 5 (2/16/12)  

The student newspaper of Kean University

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