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Games You’ve Never Heard of P. 7

The New 2011 Mustang GT P. 5

Kean Combats Hatred P. 3

The Tower Kean University’s student newspaper

Volume 10 • Issue 5 Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010

Kean Grad Reports from Haiti By Junior Jean-Baptiste

Why is this student up a tree? Find out on page 5.

Lab for Disabled Facing Shutdown By Katherine Jarych

“When someone has a stroke and has difficulty talking, the college has a program to help them get better,” says Espesito. No one knows this better than Barbara Espesito, a stroke victim, whose own rehabilitation center discharged her from

“We can provide more long time therapy at affordable rates.” therapy. That is when she came to The Institute for Adults Living with Communication Disabilities, part of the Center for Communication Disorders at Kean. The Kean University program, established to provide affordable speech and

language therapy to adults, may be shutting down due to withdrawal of a financial grant from the Health Care Foundation of NJ. Kean is left with only enough money to last until June 2010. The Institute is forced to come up with the money by organizing fundraisers and accepting contributions from other foundations and individuals. In response to the financial cuts, Wilkins Theatre is presenting a benefit performance of the Tony Award winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2pm. Closing the institute will be a considerable disappointment to its clients, students, and staff. “People with communication disabilities insurance run out of sessions after four or five months,” says Wendy Greenspan, the institute (Continued on page 5)

Erick Parker, a 1999 Kean graduate, was in Haiti as a reporter and was scheduled to return home on January 12 when the earthquake hit. Parker, returned to Kean on Jan. 20 to bear witness to students about his experience, presenting pictures and video clips at the University Center of the devastation of the earthquake. A current student at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Parker had flown to Haiti a week earlier to cover a story for Vibe Magazine and also to conduct research for his graduate thesis paper about indentured servants and child slavery in the country. “I stopped by an art gallery to pick up last minute gifts when I felt the room shaking,” Parker said. “I thought it was the subway near by, but I noticed my translator Vladimir screaming and running out of the gallery and then I knew something was wrong.” Parker wasn’t injured after the earthquake shook the city of Port-au-Prince, but he witnessed first-hand the devastation—bodies buried underneath buildings and people lying dead on the streets. Using his journalistic skills, he was the first to record the horrible event; he quickly went to work and took live footage from his IPhone, interviewing many people who just lost a loved one and recording footage of the aftermath of the earthquake. The coverage aired throughout the world. “I was physically and emotionally exhausted!” says Parker after describing covering live footage of the aftermath of the earthquake. “It didn’t hit me until I got on the plane to go back home when I thought of all the people and the build-

ings all ruined that day.” Perhaps the most harrowing interviews was when Parker saw a gentleman lying on the ground, covering the faces of what seemed to be his own children. After asking whether the children were his own, the gentleman replied, “Yes, they are,” with tears in his eyes. After a long day of recording and interviewing, Parker walked two hours to the city of Carrefour where his stayed for the week in his hotel. Upon approaching his room, he felt the tremors and aftershock of the earthquake and decided to sleep outside with everyone else. “I didn’t want to take the risk of being buried in the Erick Parker

“It didn’t hit me until I got on the plane to go back home when I thought of all the people and the buildings all ruined that day.” hotel room so I ran outside and slept outside,” says Parker. Even though many people died that day and lost loved ones, Parker said he barely saw emergency officials and instead he saw many of the Haitian people helping one another. He saw people digging out others who were still alive under buildings; a nurse was stitching up a patient who sliced open her arm. People cried out, “Jesus,” pleading (Continued on page 11)

VAN GOGH’S EAR—MORE THAN A CAFE! (see centerfold) It’s been one year after the historic inauguration of President Obama. How do feel about him today?

By brett Williams

Photos: Brett Williams


Devin Richardson Senior, Media & Film

Marlise Hendricks Junior, Communications

Raphael Mendez Freshman, Computer Science

Shanda McLaren Junior, Psychology

“I don’t trust him, and I don’t trust the government.”

“I feel he hasn’t lived up to his hype but I’m hoping he will”

“I don’t [like what] he is doing right now, but I feel we should give him more time.”

“Obama is well on his way to improving the country.”

Popcorn Menace


Arts & Entertainment

Kean Students to Rate College


Editorial & View

Grammy Nominee Performs at Kean


Kean’s New Self-help Group

Health & Fitness



A Word to the Wise



Celebs and Crime: John & Junior




Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010 | The Tower

Blue Goes Green: RecycleMania 2010 Contest Launched By Melissa Jewels

To help increase the rate of recycling on campus, Kean University is participating, for the first time, in “RecylceMania 2010.” RecyleMania is a competition that uses recycling programs to help reduce waste and promote recycling around campuses nationwide. Schools are ranked by collecting the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least trash per capita, and the highest recycling rate. “RecyleMania is an excellent opportunity to educate the Kean community about how to minimize waste generated on campus by reducing, reusing, and recycling,” said David Fernandez, Associate Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Kean University. RecycleMania was designed in 2001 when Ed Newman from Ohio University and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler from Miami University wanted to increase recycling in the residence and dining halls.

Newman and Wheeler helped their schools to compete against one another in order to see which campus could produce a greater amount of recyclables over a 10week period. Since then, the competition has grown to 605 schools competing this year. In 2009, 510 schools competed and produced 69.4 million pounds of recyclables. “The competition is 10 weeks long, but the goal is to continue to improve our

“The competition is 10 weeks long, but the goal is to continue to improve our waste reduction practices all year long.” waste reduction practices all year long,” said Fernandez. According to, about 80% of what Americans throw away

is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%. Recycling is simple, yet many Americans fill up landfills with recyclable materials every day. All students, faculty, and staff need to work together to make this program successful. Simple changes such as using recyclable containers, mugs, and bags for eating lunch and for shopping reduce waste production both on and off campus. On campus, recycle your paper products in the blue recycling containers in the buildings. Paper and cardboard cannot be

mixed with other recyclables so be sure to separate accordingly. Bottles, cans, and plastic should be separated into the circular lid containers that are found in hallways and common areas. Residence Halls have trash and recycling bins conveniently located on each floor and are marked to make it easier for disposal of the recyclables accordingly. In addition to the designated bins, an organic waste composter that was designed by Dr. Nick Smith-Sebasto, an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies at Montclair State University, will be available to compost waste including food, plates, and flatware from the dining facilities. RecycleMania is sponsored by The Coca Cola Company and American Forest & Paper Association. To learn more about the competition, visit

Professor Charlsen Wins Painting Award By Casey Murphy

Every year students at Kean University are able to celebrate their achievements earned through hard work, but the students are not alone in celebrating success. Nadine Charlsen, a professor in the Theatre Department at Kean University, won the New Jersey Watercolor Society award from the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club in November 2009. The ceremony was held at the National Art Club in New York City. “I entered the international juried competition from the [Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club],” said Nadine Charlsen. “My painting was selected out of several hundred international entries.” Founded by Catherine Lorillard Wolfe, the Art Club’s focus has always been on the art of women living in New York, although the purpose as slightly changed since it was founded in 1896. Originally, the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club

provided aid, counsel, and exhibition opportunities to women artists living in New York. Now the club’s main focus is “to reflect the members’ professional standing and interests,” according to the Catherine

Photo: Tim Saternow

Nadine Charlsen working on a painting.

Lorillard Wolfe Art Club’s website. Every year the Club has an annual Open Juried Exhibition that provides an opportunity for women artists to display their work at the National Arts Club in New York City. The NJ Watercolor Society’s award was in

the juried competition. Charlsen has been painting since she was a young girl, and took her first painting class in 7th grade. While painting is something she likes to do for fun, Charlsen also uses her skills to work on different theatre sets, including shows performed here at Kean. “I’ve painted for different professional theatres from Seattle to Connecticut,” said Charlsen. “From fall of 1989 I worked on all the sets at Kean, except for one semester when I took a sabbatical and one summer. I haven’t designed them all because some of them were student designs that I supervised.” She spent numerous years studying different aspects of theatre and graduated with a Master’s of Fine Arts in theatre design from Brooklyn College, a Master of the Arts in theatre design from Wichita State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Education in theatre, speech, and art at Emporia State University. Currently, she

is studying watercolor at the Art Students League with Paul Ching-Bor, a well known watercolor painter. “I wanted to know that I wanted to work in theatre when I started getting paid for it,” said Charlsen with a laugh. Currently Charlsen’s work is displayed at the Renaissance Diner on 52nd and 9th Avenue in New York City and in the Dean’s of the College of Visual and Performing Arts office here at Kean. She has had two solo shows at the Berlitz Language Gallery in the Rockefeller Center and has shown work at the Art Students League. Her work was also part of the first Annual Hell’s Kitchen Artists Studio Tour in November. To see some of Charlsen’s work please view the following websites: http:// and http://www.

Microwave Popcorn Menace: Pop Goes the Banned List By Audrey Oguss

It was 1 a.m. and cold. The fire alarm was blaring. I was standing outside the new Upperclassmen Dorm beside my tired mother, who had come from Pennsylvania to give a speech to my Recreation class and was now closing her thin, white robe tightly, feeling the bitter November air. The students from the New Upperclassmen Residents Hall spilled out the back door and filtered their way to the front. As we made room for the newcomers, I looked about to see if anyone knew the cause for this latest nighttime fire alarm. It was clear that everyone around me was doing the same thing. Resident assistants and dorm authorities alike came out and told us we all needed to keep to the walkways, fearing we’d hurt the grass. Angry and tired, people began to fill the small concrete crevasses left for them. The Fire Department sped up to the building from the resident’s quad and made their way into the building. In a few moments, it became quite obvious what the cause of the alarm was: Mini Bags of Popcorn.

Strange as this is, those new, singleserve bags of buttery-goodness are the reason for at least seven dorm evacuations last semester and have been since banned from the New Upperclassmen dorms.

needed to make two lines: one for those with their Kean ID cards, and another for those without. My mother and I were in the latter line. Usually, before you are allowed to enter any dorm you have to let

“Next time, a room better be on f----ing fire!” “The Fire Department can tell by the smell,” said John Faranda, a Field Engineer for the new dorms, working on behalf of Residence Life. His job is to insure the building is a safe environment to dorm in, and he works with many departments to do so. In fact, he, along with the Fire Department, made smoke alarm readjustments when they kept going off due to shower steam. That was at the start of the year, before anyone had ever heard of the havoc that small popcorn bags could wreak. My mom and I had been outside for 45 minutes. By then, all of the Resident Assistants had gone through the dorm to make sure everyone had left. Two people came out and screamed to us that we

your ID be swiped so the University has an electronic record of your entrance. But for those rushed times when you cannot grab it, you just have to wait. “Next time, a room better be on f----ing fire!” said a man who stood in front of me who seemed ready to take action. He was not alone. After it became clear that Popcorn had caused the numerous evacuations, the Office of Residence Life made a unilateral decision to ban

mini popcorn from the new upperclassmen dorm. I was both surprised and curious when I saw the ban notice taped to my cabinets upon returning from Thanksgiving Break. Surprised, because I had no idea banning was an option, and curious as to how the school would punish those who have been caught “Popping.” “It takes 60-seconds for small popcorn to burn,” said Residence Hall Director Donna-Lee Mahabeer. In the few short months she has been director, she said she has noticed that one of the main reasons fire alarms go off is because students automatically push the popcorn button on the microwave, which typically has a set heating time of two minutes or more. What they don’t notice is that they are making a mini-bag, which only requires a minute or so. The popcorn buttons on microwave ovens are meant for full bags, with roughly two or so servings. Mini-bags burn well before nuking time is up. But if this is such a problem, what could a ban do? How can a college, one that still has weekend drunks (Continued on page 3)

The Tower | Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010


Kean Combats Hatred With its Human Rights Conference By Dawn M. Phillips

Keynote speaker Morris Dees, founder and Chief Trial Counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, found it quite relevant that Kean University’s conference on human rights last month was being held very close to the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. “Dr. Martin Luther King has given us lessons on human rights for a lifetime,” said Dees. Entitled “Combating Hatred,” Kean University held its third annual conference on human rights on January 29 at Wilkins Theatre where every seat in the auditorium was filled with teachers, professors, high school students, Kean students, administrators, and members of the community representing all different races and ages. A streamed video from Wilkins Theatre was also shown to an overflow crowd of more than 200 guests in the Little Theatre, due to capacity. The program began with opening remarks from Dr. Hank Kaplowitz, Special Assistant to the President for the Human Rights Institute at Kean University. Kaplowitz expressed his appreciation for all in attendance. A video was then displayed showcasing the victims of horrific crimes committed by people all driven by hate. Dees then spoke of King’s many political rivals, but praised how he still preached of fairness and justice despite opposition and prejudice. Dee thought it significant that, 40 years after King’s death, an African American is President of the United States. “We can make history. You have a front row seat to history,” said Dees.

Dees stressed the importance of the 50 percent rise in hate groups since 2000, with 926 hate groups existing in America to date. Dees explained that hate groups are on the rise because they dislike the increasing amount of diversity in America. Dees also emphasized that America is changing, and there are two options: sit in your seats and watch, or take a stand.

“Hate is never abstract; it’s personal, very direct and harmful.”

Poster from Kean’s Third Annual Conference on Human Rights

The importance of teaching acceptance and tolerance in schools was highlighted for the many teachers, administrators and students in attendance. The topic of cyberhate was introduced by the next speaker Mark Weitzman, director of government affairs and director of the task force against hate and terrorism for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Weitzman described the internet as a nest of hate, and said that 1.7 billion people are connected to the Internet. “Hate is never abstract, it’s personal, very direct and harmful,” said Weitzman. He directed the audience’s attention to

Cougar Fair to Take Over Wednesdays By Charley Falkenburg

Classes are back in session, which means daily schedules will be packed with homework, exams, papers, and, once again, the Cougar Fair. But students might not know that when they spend money buying things at the Cougar Fair, they’re also spending money to help the University hold more events. Starting on February 10, Kean’s University Center Administration Office will hold the Cougar Fair from 10 am to 6 pm every Wednesday on the first floor of the University Center. The Cougar Fair is a market where Kean students can purchase items they might need or want. “The money goes back to student activities that the University Center Administration coordinates,” said Sheila Philbert of the University Center Administration. So students are able to keep warm and happy with his or her new sweatshirt and the student organization has more money in its pockets. Student groups are especially encouraged to take part in the Fair because it is a great opportunity for them to fundraise, according to Philbert. “The Cougar Fair gives the campus community an opportunity to shop at local


the many websites that harbor hate, noting the use of games, music, and media that have hate within them. Weitzman said that any group can be targeted online and face extremists. According to Weitzman, we must look at the internet with a healthy dose of skepticism. Lunch was served for an hour in Downs hall for all guests at 11:30 am. Following

businesses without leaving the campus,” Philbert said. New Jersey registered businesses of all kinds participate in the Fair, offering products like hair care, cosmetics, apparel, jewelry, and gift sets. However, the Cougar Fair venders are not just limited to local businesses. “[The Fair] also gives departments and student groups an opportunity to bring

“The Cougar Fair gives the campus community an opportunity to shop with local businesses without leaving the campus.” awareness to different services that they offer,” Says Philbert. Next time you have a break in between classes or have extra time on a Wednesday, make sure to stop by the UC to check out the products or learn about different student organizations. The Cougar Fair only lasts until April 21, so get out there and shop until you drop!

lunch, speaker David L. D’Amico, detective of the Bias Crimes Unit at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spoke on the issue of bias crimes. He displayed a video, History of Hate in America, which showcased hate in the form of groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and the Nazis, as well as inside some political parties, and some religions. The video went back to the days of lynching to the modern day 9/11 attacks, noting all were motivated by hate. “Hate is nurtured, it’s a learned behavior,” said D’Amico. D’Amico blames peers, the media, parents, and today’s music for the bias and stereotypes encountered on a daily basis from infancy. He described hate as a pyramid, with ignorance as the foundation. The pyramid moves up to verbalization, avoidance, exclusion, physical attacks and life threatening acts or death. He compared the pyramid to a volcano which eventually erupts. He urged the audience to stop hate at its first level to prevent eruption. Three reso-

lutions to stop such hatred were offered: recognition, responding, and reporting. D’Amico continued his speech with graphic, traumatizing autopsy photos of James Byrd Jr., who was murdered in 1998 in Jasper, Texas for no apparent reason other than the color of his skin. Byrd was African American and picked up by three Caucasian males who beat him unconscious and dragged him by his feet tied in chains to the back of their pickup truck. D’Amico warned the audience of the graphic nature of the photos, but wanted to show them for the purpose of combating hatred. The photos sparked emotions filled with tears in the audience, and he went through numerous photos of Byrd’s body burned, scarred, missing elbows, knees, buttocks, and his head. The photos were followed by a compelling video on the history of the n-word, and how it creates a spirit of hate. “I know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes; I am gay,” said D’Amico, a 21-year veteran in the justice system. D’Amico went on to describe his testimony of ignorance and hate within the police department because of his sexual orientation. He continuously had to prove himself in life threatening situations that he could fight like a man, without the help of his co-workers. His co-workers and lieutenant did not approve of his lifestyle and thus created a hate-filled work environment for D’Amico. “What are you gonna do to combat hatred? The power and control is in your hands,” said D’Amico.

Students to Rate College By Laura Urban

Freshman and seniors at Kean will soon have the opportunity to express their feelings towards their university. Starting in mid-February Kean University, along with hundreds of other colleges and universities throughout the United States, will be administrating the NSSE, or National Survey of Student Engagement. The survey will be given to freshmen and seniors who attend Kean and will ask about students’ undergraduate college experiences. The information helps Kean to assess its effectiveness in the eyes of students. “It gives us information that will help us change anything that might be essential to better help students with what they are trying to do here,” said Dr. Linda Best, Professor of English and the Internal Consultant for the Middle States SelfStudy Process. According to an official university statement from Kean, the survey will measure the level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environments. The survey, which will be distributed through students’ Kean email accounts by

President Dawood. Farahi, will be available for students to take until the beginning of April. First administered in 2000, more than 1300 different colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada have participated in

“It gives us information... that might be essential to better help students.” the NSSE. The last time Kean University participated in the NSSE was in 2003. The 2003 NSSE survey given to Kean students asked students to rate how often they took certain steps for their classes such as working outside of the classroom with other students and how often they would prepare two or more drafts of a paper before it was turned in. It also asked students to rate their institution and the level of academic advisement they received there. ”Universities and colleges need a mechanism for learning from their students and what their experiences are like,” said Dr. Best. For more information on the NSSE visit the official website at

(Continued from page 2)

despite being dry, use a ban to stop the pop? “No one would fail a room inspection if a Resident Assistant found bags,” said Mahabeer. She means bags of popcorn, by the way. “But they might face a fine or community service.”

Frankly, this does not seem an effective penalty. Anyone who has lived on campus knows that room inspections only happen a few times a year. Those five minutes that the RAs spend inside the room are usually used for inspecting how clean the place is, not for finding forbidden items. Unless

the popcorn is out in plain sight, RAs will never know about it. Yet the ban worked. Despite the fact that anyone can still sneak in bags of popcorn in the dorm, the ban alone has sent the message either not to automatically push the “popcorn” button for a mini-bag,

or that no one likes being woken up by a fire alarm because of popcorn. “I went through six fire alarms,” said Amanda Slade, a senior who resides on the second floor of the building, “And since the ban, they have stopped.”


Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010 | The Tower

Ezra Schwartz’s (Failed) Self-Protest By Matthew Marchesano

One of the Kean student body’s most popular class-clowns, Ezra Schwartz held an impromptu protest against himself on Friday, Jan, 22. But, alas, despite his marketing efforts on Facebook to attract fellow protesters and in his own promotions around campus, the “event” held outside of Wilkins Theatre was sort of a bust. Approximately ten spectators attended the protest during college hour, the planned start for the protest, until a faculty member from the Student Affairs office noticed Schwartz walking around the clock tower and speaking through his miniature megaphone. The faculty member made him stop. Schwartz said he was unable to acquire the necessary documentation that allowed

for the protest because his cause—whatever that may have been is still somewhat unclear—was deemed unworthy by Kean. But despite the administration decree, the spectacle ensued. He preached in third person atop a bench alongside his stuffed penguin doll, prepared with homemade signs that he handed out to the crowd along with a long list of similar “Anti- Ezra” phrases.

“He preached in 3rd person atop a bench alongside his stuffed penguin doll.” Schwartz remained extremely tonguein-cheek with a very comfortable demeanor, keeping his comments rhythmic and

his audience laughing. By four o’clock. Schwartz began a ‘calland-response’ styled chanting of self-dep-

recating phrases such as “Roses are red, we want Ezra dead. Violets are blue, Ezra is a jerk!” and “Ezra is stupid! Or he’s at least a C average student!” Who is this guy Schwartz? A struggling sketch comedy writer, Schwartz leads an improvisation and sketched comedy troupe that at the moment lacks a moniker. Currently, he and his friends are working on a web site to display their video and audio clips and a feature length, “very low-budget” movie spoof entitled, The Real High School Musical. Wonder if he’ll try to show that one at the Little Theatre? For further details, he directs all inquiries to his account page.

Grammy Nominee Allison Brewster Franzetti Performs at Kean Stage By Matthew Marchesano

It is seldom that a musical virtuoso performs in small, intimate settings. Kean University is lucky to welcome the 2008 Grammy® Nominee for Best Instrumental Soloist without an Orchestra, Allison Brewster Franzetti. Franzetti, Concert Artist in Piano and adjunct faculty of music at Kean, is performing in support of her newest released album of all French composer Maurice Ravel pieces. Maurice Ravel is one of the most prominent figures of the French Impressionistic period. He is considered a genius of musical texture and soft tempered melodic phrasing. He has composed orchestral music, solo piano music, vocal music and chamber music. Some of his timeless pieces include Ma Mere L’Oye, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales and Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2. Franzetti a Cranbury, NJ resident, has watched her musical expertise lead to national recognition. She performed across the states, at the Robert Schumann Festival at the Marcella Sembrich Museum in upstate New York and at American Classical Music Hall of Fame in Ohio. Possibly her most celebrated invitational performance was at the Grammy® Awards for the Classical Music Tribute to Earl Wild

and Lang Lang at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Franzetti’s art is appreciated within the international classical music scenes as well, having toured Mexico, Europe, Argentina and Japan. Her wealth of notable gigs from outside America include playing at the English Sinfonia and the City of Prague Philharmonic. Franzetti also played piano at the world premiere of modern Latin-classical composer Carlos Franzetti’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires under conductor Javior LoGioia Urbe. She fluently performs both solo piano pieces and orchestral pieces, some of which she has creatively formed her own arrangements of, as she did with 20th century French composer Camille Saint- Saens playful Carnival of the Animals suite at Basking Ridge’s own Colonial Symphony. Connoisseurs of classical and unfamiliar ears alike should not miss this all-star performance. Franzetti plays Maurice Ravel in a show titled Revel in Ravel on Thursday, February 25th at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Wilkins Theater box office and can be reached via phone at 908737-SHOW (7469) or purchased online at

Colombia Club Returns to Kean to Promote Latin Heritage By Carlos M. Reynosa

Since it was founded in 1996, Club Colombia has always been a gathering of people who wish to learn about their Latin culture. Its sudden disappearance last semester, though brief, was very much noticed. Now, thanks to its new president, Marie Olaya, the Latin club is back. Olaya, a member of Club Colombia since the Fall of 2008, said she enjoyed the club, including its sense of family, as well as its networking opportunities, and academic support. Olaya was disappointed to learn that the club was inactive last semester after a key member became ill. “Our last President Diana Carolina Canajal got sick and was unable to come to Kean for the whole Fall 09 semester,” said

Olaya in a recent interview. “Paper work was late, plus most of the members of the board graduated, so there was no support…(and) the club had to be inactive.” Upset by the loss, Oyala decided to do something about it. “I talked to our counselors Maria Obando and Jorge Sanchez and asked what

“I chose to be the president because no one wanted to take the responsibility. Plus I didn’t want the club to be shut down,” said Olaya. “It was founded [in] 1996 and it’s not fair to let it die.” With a new club president, Club Colombia is not only active again but it has a new ambition. Olaya’s first order of busi-

“It was founded [in] 1996 and it’s not fair to let it die.” could I do as a member,” said Olaya. Olaya and other students at Kean were advised that members of the club needed to appoint a new club president and a new Executive board in order to remain active. Despite the responsibilities, Olaya accepted the challenge and was elected president of the club.

ness was to spread the word of the club’s rebirth to its old members and to possible new members. She handed out flyers and contacted people on Facebook as well as on other social media networks.. Olaya’s goal is not only to inform members of Kean’s events, but to have the club itself become part of Kean’s m any events

through networking. She also encourages those who don’t speak Spanish but are interested in learning about the Spanish and Latin culture to attend the meetings. She will provide the translation to make sure that everyone in the club is included. “We believe it is important to bring the club back,” said Olaya, “not only for Colombians but for anyone that wants to join. Most of our members are still unaware that the club is active and aren’t aware of the activities or events that Kean offers to all students.” Meetings for Club Colombia are held every other Thursday in J-137 at 3:30pm. For more information about Club Colombia you can contact them through Facebook at Kean Colombia or email at

The Tower | Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010


Kean Student Climbs His Way to the Top By Jillian Johnson

If you see a bunch of trees, why not climb them? Tree climbing may be an unfamiliar sport to many, but it’s a certified favorite to Kean student Peter Avelar. Though he’s a sophomore at Kean majoring in Music Education, Avelar has become so high on trees that he hopes to start a business teaching tree climbing as a sport. He wants to introduce it to the northern New Jersey-New York area perhaps as early as this month or next month. “The idea of being high in elevation is, to me, the coolest thing,” said Avelar. His interest in tree climbing began a year ago when he and a friend looked on search engines about the sport. Together,

Photo: Tim Saternow

Tree climbing is this student’s sport.

Avelar and his friend discovered the New England Tree Climbing Association, which offers tree climbing training. Although the association is located in Vermont, Avelar and his friend attended a chapter in Connecticut, which lasted roughly three to four days. And now they are certified tree climbers.

In order to become certified, Avelar had to go through physical training and take a formal test. “It was pretty intensive,” said Avelar. There are two types of courses, a facilitator course and an instructor course. The facilitator course focuses on climbing and helps teach one how to climb. The instructor courses focuses on teaching climbers how to teach others how to climb, and also students are taught safety and rescue techniques. Avelar said the trees he climbs are usually maple and oak. “We can’t climb any old tree,” said Avelar. The trees must be tall enough to climb, in which a 50 foot tall tree is acceptable. Also, safety gear must be worn, which in-

cludes a helmet, safety knots to prevent falling, a harness, gloves, and goggles depending on the weather. Ropes and knots are used to climb the trees. Avelar said tree climbing is the kind of sport many people can enjoy. Also, little training is needed as long as students follow instructions. Physical fitness isn’t required, although it can be beneficial. Avelar said he enjoys going to West Hudson Park every weekend to climb, which costs $35. To Avelar, tree climbing is not about being up in the tree, but rather actually climbing up the tree. He encourages Kean students to give tree climbing a try. His advice: Grab a rope and safety equipment and climb your way up, but get instructions from a certified climber first.




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TRANSFER TUESDAYS February 23 • March 9 & 23 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Transfer Students must bring to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (Hepburn Hall, Room 207): Official transcripts from all colleges olleges attended, completed application and an essay. All transfer students must have earned a minimum of 12 college credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.


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Mustang GT Ups Competition By Charley Falkenburg

The prayers of Ford enthusiasts have finally been answered: Ford is bringing back the 5.0 liter engine in the new 2011 Mustang GT. In response to the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, Ford has yet again whipped up a new and improved version of its iconic muscle car. While its sleek and aggressive exterior can make even the most avid Chevy fan take a second look, this pony’s real secret lies under the hood. The heart of this performance car consists of a full 302 aluminum cubic inches complete with 32 valves. According to, this “coyote” engine puts out a hefty 412 horsepower, 400 pounds of torque, and 11:1 compression. With power like that, this pony is bound to be a serious contender on the street as well as the drag strip. Ford engineers have also incorporated Ti-VCT (twin independent variable camshaft timing) in the Coyote. According to, Vi-VCT will provide off the line acceleration, lower emissions, and better gas mileage. With a six speed transmission available in automatic and manual, this car gets 25 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in the city. The GT also comes with specially tuned electric power assist steering. According to, this allows for a quicker steering response so that the driver won’t have to twist the wheel in a circle before the car begins to move in the desired direction. Consumers can also opt for the Brembo brake package, which includes calipers, 14 inch front discs, 19 inch alloy wheels, and summer performance tires with plenty of rubber to burn. This package deal ensures that this Mustang will brake quick, drive hard, and look

good while doing it. Ford created its Mustang car with a serious performance mindset, sporting a 3.7 liter aluminum engine that pushes out

305 horsepower and 280 lbs of torque and a dual exhaust, this base model demands respect. This V6 model is the spitting image of the GT minus the engine displacement and horsepower. To cater to the consumers interested in quick daily drivers, said the V6 comes with luxuries such as pull drift compensation, which adjusts the steering for different road conditions, active nibble control to get rid of the shaking at high speeds when a wheel is out of balance, and a limited slip rear differential that will create better traction. Plus, with 30 mpg on the highways and 20 mpg in town, how can you go wrong? Both Mustang models are capable of revving up to 7,000 rpm’s and come with updated speedometers that go up to 160 mph. The cars also have the MyKey system, which limits the top speed and radio volume and enforces traction control so that even the most mischievous valet is unable to take your car on a joyride. Beware hot rods and performance cars, the 2011 Mustang is on its way and will be available in the spring of 2010. While the 2010 Camaro is still fearlessly roaming the highways, this spring Ford may have the last laugh yet.

(Continued from page 1)

coordinator. “We can provide more long time therapy at affordable rates.” In the fall of 2007, Kean University received a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to open the institute.  “The foundation agreed to award the center $130,000  the  first year, $100,000 the second year, and $50,000 for the third year,” said Dr. Martin D. Shulman, Chairperson for the Department of Communi-

cation and Deafness. In January of 2008, after buying equipment, hiring, and beginning the program, the Health Care Foundation of NJ withdrew its initial proposal. It said it would only be able to award $50,000 for the second year and nothing in the third year. This program offers therapy, discussion groups, support groups, computer classes, and internet  “telepractice”  therapy, but

also provides a learning experience for Speech Pathology graduate students. The students administer therapy under the supervision of licensed and certified speech language pathologists. In return, the students receive the clinical practicum necessary to obtain a master’s degree in the field. Vanessa Lambert, a first year graduate student, called the institute “a great edu-

cational experience and opportunity to help people.” Tickets to the play/fundraiser can be purchased at  or by visiting the Box Office and  requesting “Benefit Tickets” for $25. The Institute for Adults Living with Communication Disabilities is  expecting that the event will help to keep the facility up and running. 


By Rachel Rothspan

Age: 21 Year in School: Senior


Where You’ve Seen Him: in 2006, He co-anchored a local cable show called “Teen Talk” on channel 36 in Summit. More recently you may have seen him performing in Midnight Madness with the Alvin Ailey CitiGroup Theatre (considered a Broadway performance!), in NJPAC’s performance of 1776 (he played John Hancock), or even on the Kean Stage in Pirates of Penzance. Awards He’s been nominated for: He was a 2009 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan Nominee and Finalist. He’s also the recipient of the Kean Theatre Department Scholarship.


Get to know Green: The man behind the curtain: Green often works on the sets for shows that he’s been in doing carpentry work and prop work. His heroes: “First and foremost my parents Frank and Deborah Green”, starts Green, before listing contemporary players Tyler Perry, Blair Underwood and Jamie Foxx., who have overcome big obstacles with style.


A Family’s History of Art

All-around all-star: Beyond the stage, Green has won many awards from his other field; he is also a football player on the Kean team. Not always the big dog: Green is the youngest of four children. First big dreams: “I am a HUGE WWE wrestling fan and considered it a career when I was very young”, says Green. By D.J. Jean

“In selecting works for this exhibition… I have relied on my training and experience…”

He’d like to thank Kean: “for all the opportunities. Scholarships, Dean’s List, as well as a chance to play college football and pursue an acting career on and off campus have been incredible blessings.” His own words: Why do you think that performance is important for other people to be part of? “Performing onstage is a fantastic experience. Not only are you really embracing something different, you receive so much in return… You have to take a character that you only know about by the things written on a page, and bring to life using only your mind. Unlike other art forms, I feel you are presenting a true physical, mental and emotional work of beauty.” What are your dreams and aspirations, and goals for the future? My ultimate dream and goal is to perform on Broadway. I know that the future does hold graduate school and teaching drama in high school. But in the end, my dream is to definitely become a Broadway star. What would you like to say to other students here at Kean? “Take advantage of everything in front of you. The world is full of so many chances and opportunities, that you shouldn’t let any pass you by. Be comfortable and confident in yourself, and try everything you can because you never know what you will fall in love with.”

For centuries, art has remained an integral part of marking thoughts and ideas, and expressing emotions that transcend life’s circumstances. The new exhibit, Making marks: Drawings from the Yoskowitz Family Collection, features fifty-one original drawings from artists ranging from Western Europe to the United States, collected by Kean alumnus Robert Yoskowitz throughout his life. “This collection was not intended to be didactic, but rather, these are images that Karl Helen Burger Gallery reflect a period in art history in which I Drawing from the collection. was especially intrigued by early modernism," said Kean University alumnus, Robert Yoskowitz. Yoskowitz graduated from Kean University in the early 1970’s with a degree in Fine Arts, and began collecting various drawings, coins, photographs, and ceramics. As he moved on to earn three advanced degrees and become a college professor, he continued to collect Modern Art pieces of various mediums by various artists, including Carlo Carra, Oscar Bluemner, Albert Marquet, Edouard Vuillard, Morgan Russell, Charles Burchfield and Robert Henri. Yoskowitz’s collection of works comprises Modern drawings made by using traditional techniques and materials, such as graphite, pen and ink, brush and ink, chalk and Conté crayon, on a variety of paper surfaces. “They [the artists] embraced the freedom of expression in the belief that art should stem from color, form, mood, and gesture rather than from an accurate rendering of the natural world” said Neil Tetkowski, Director of University galleries at Kean University. “The artists in this exhibition represent this new way of depicting life ushering in the modern age.” The opening reception, held on January 28 in the Carl and Helen Burger Gallery, attracted an array of enthusiasts, both young and old. There were those who came in groups discussing their interests in the drawings, to individuals who came to view the collection of fifty-one original drawings. Robert Yoskowitz, a former Kean student of the fine arts and current professor of fine arts at Union County College, and his wife Catherine were the contributors to this exhibition. “In selecting works for this exhibition, I have relied on my training and experience as an artist and art historian, as well as my emotional response to the unique qualities of each work,” said Yoskowitz. Making Marks: Drawings From the Yoskowitz Family Collection exhibit will be open until March 12 on the first floor of the CAS building. For more information on Kean University Art Galleries, visit http://www.

Performance D N NG A R I G PEN O




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night life

Van Gogh’s Ear Offers More Than a Café

By Junior Jean-Baptiste

Imagine walking into Starbucks Café in the middle of your work shift; you order your croissant and a coffee, and as one of the employees calls your order to be made, you sit down in the wooden chairs, only to wait for a short amount of time with no portraits or light music. Café Van Gogh’s Ear, five minutes away from Kean University, is located on the corner of Stuyvesant Ave. and Morris Ave. in Union. Offering a much different atmosphere than any other café I’ve ever encountered. This location is furnished with old fashioned couches and chairs for guests to sit on, book shelves located in the corners, a standing piano, and a portrait of namesake Van Gogh in the corner of the café. Their allure extends beyond their inviting feel, however, with events such as Open Mic on Tuesdays and live Jazz Band on Sunday nights. “We try to set up a comfort level for our guests to make them feel like they’re at home or in their own living room,” said co-owner Sarah Perara, 26 year-old Union resident. “We have free wi-fi, and we develop this setting so our guests don’t have to feel the pressure of being rushed out of our café.” There are two entrances in the café, front and back. Before entering the back of

“We try to set up a comfort level for our guests to make them feel like they’re at home or in their own living room.” the café, there is a clear sign stating no one under the age of 18 is allowed to enter the café, unless performing in Open Mic or accompanied by an adult. “We’ve had problems in the past letting 14 and 16 year olds into our café,” says Perara. “We try to keep it a more college oriented, adult atmosphere here.” Started in 1996, the café was designed to have a feel of the Van Gogh era of the 1800’s to make guests feel like they’re at home. Sam and Virginia were the original owners of the café until it was passed down to Perara. The café is one of the last places to stay open late on the strip of Stuyvesant Ave. open 11:30 a.m. until midnight Monday to Thursday, and till 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Sundays, allowing students from Kean Univer-

sity and Union County College to come in to do homework, or just grab a late night meal and a cup of coffee while chatting with their friends. “We get such a mixed crowd during the day and late at night,” says café waiter Peter Mitchell, 24 and also a Union resident. “We get business workers coming in during the day and at night we’ll get a variety of college students staying in late.” The outside of the café does not have any neon lights or enormous signs to try to attract guests, but rather it is set up like most fancy cafés’, similar to those in Philadelphia or New York City. “We don’t go to schools or jobs to promote our business,” says Perara. “We use Facebook and Twitter to inform our guests or friends about our upcoming events…” The café offers reasonable prices on coffee, exotic cafes, food, and discount pricing for students Monday nights. Students can get a free coffee with a purchase of any meal of $5 or more and, of course, need to show proof of a college ID. There are 10 to 15 rotating jazz bands performing on Sunday nights and about 10 contestants who perform for Open Mic. Kean student, Matt Koziol performed Open Mic when he was 16 years old and still continues to stop in to the café to perform. “He’s opened for Marcy’s Playground in Asbury Park and also at the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville.” says Mitchell. Whether it’s an exam students have to study for or a chance to get away from a hard day’s work, take the time to come into Café Van Gogh’s Ear and see for yourself a different atmosphere unlike any other café around the area. Be sure to choose your time; if you’re trying to do homework, avoid Tuesday and Sunday, where you’ll hear chatter and music that lights up the room, and get to experience the magic of an old fashioned café performance.


Great Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Eric Albuen

Searching for a good video game is like searching through a mysterious cave. You’ll either strike it rich finding lost treasure of unknown proportions, or you’ll end up dying under the pressure of everything terrible that lies within. But, sometimes you find a gem you never thought existed. We’ll start with a treasure that can be found here, but its origins are in Korea. The DJMAX series started back in 2004 as an online game for PC users by Pentavision. The concept was simple: Hit the buttons in rhythm to falling bars to a song playing in the background. The more on rhythm you had, the higher your score and a better sounding song. It has similar concepts to Dance Dance Revolution and beatmania IIDX. The game was later ported to two separate versions on the Playstation Portable in 2006, which had much popularity. The game eventually released two more versions, giving beginners and experts alike a chance to challenge themselves. Beginners were presented with DJMAX Portable: Clazziquai Edition. (This version was named after a popular Korean pop group, Clazziquai; many of their songs are featured in the game.) Experts had DJMAX Portable: Black Square. The sheer difficulty of this game challenged even the greatest DJMAX players and pushed them to their limits. These games, however, were only released in Korea. But in 2009, the United States got DJMAX Fever by PM Studios. This version contains songs featured in the first two DJMAX Portable games. It provides a fun challenge for those who love music as it introduces many artists of different genres. More often than naught, I’ll be jamming to the soundtracks of each of the games in my car. Another treasure, although it doesn’t glisten as brightly as the others, is Earth Defense Force 2017 for the XBOX 360. To any normal gamer, it would look like a game no one would ever think of playing. But to the adventurous type, it’s an action-packed game with more creative concepts.

The premise is simple. The Earth is under attack by giant insects and humongous alien robots. As a member of the Earth Defense Force, it’s your job to eliminate the creatures that threaten our planet. While the game might not look amazing, and there is extreme game play slowdown during many of the battles, it’s probably the most fun. The final treasure in this hunt would actually be something from the last generation of gaming. While the Playstation 3 might be showing off how amazing high-definition can be, the Playstation 2 still releases amazing gems to this day. Persona 4 is a game in the large collection of Shin Megami Tensei series. The story takes a silentprotagonist high schooler who moved from the city to the country where his uncle lives in rural Japan. Within days of the protagonist’s arrival, unexpected murders happen one after one, but the cause of death remains unknown. Following a rumor involving a television at the protagonist’s school, a group of students discover a fog-shrouded world within the television that’s overrun by enemies called Shadows. They fight off these enemies using their Personas and throughout the game investigate the connection between the TV world, the random murders, and hope to catch the one behind all of this. The game provides a deep RPG experience with a compelling storyline and lovable characters. With hours of game play and fighting against time, gamers can expect to be busy with this one for quite sometime. There are a lot of hidden gaming treasures I’ve found over the years, but sadly I can’t name them all. Each gamer has different tastes and hopefully some of my gaming experience will lead you to what I see in these games. The world of gaming is huge. What might be one’s Person’s trash might be another’s treasure. Perhaps you’ll find your own treasure among the rubble.


Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010 | The Tower


The Tower Department of Communication

ALL EYES ARE ON OUR NEW GOVERNER It’s a new semester here at Kean and a new year for our government. On the federal level, we’re mired in debate about health care, and as our writer, Joe Tingle, said maybe it’s time we stop whining and get some work done. We have the same advice for our new leadership in New Jersey. As you all know, Chris Christie, former US attorney for New Jersey, was sworn in as our new governor. We’re all waiting to see what Mr. Christie can do for our state. Clearly it needs a lot of help. Here at Kean, we are facing difficult times as well. Our professors and staff have all taken furlough days to save the college money and so far the college has been able to stave off major tuition increases. We worry how Mr. Christie will treat the state university system. Most of our students and their parents are already stretched to the limit. And apparently so are our professors and state workers. We’re not sure where he saves money here; in fact, we’re hoping he’ll send some money our way. At the very least, we hope for some federal stimulus funds. For now, let’s wish Gov. Christie well and hope he can come up with some unique and sane solutions for our colleges.

Kean University Center for Academic Success 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 Telephone: (908) 737-0468 Fax: (908) 737-0465 Email: The Tower is an independent, laboratory newspaper of Kean University’s print 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.

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There’s been a lot of controversy in the news lately about President Obama’s healthcare plan. For some, President Obama is too liberal. For others, he’s not liberal enough. The debate has remained a purely ideological one: no one in the news media is talking about the facts, or how our health care system could be reformed in a way that doesn’t interfere greatly with our economic freedoms. The debate remains the typical one of “small government” vs. “big government.”

“The overwhelmingly negative message of… the Republicans isn’t helpful at a time like now, when the nation is so polarized” President Obama’s failure to send a clear message to Americans has not gone unnoticed. We have already seen the election of Republicans in New Jersey and Massachusetts—two of the most liberal states in the nation. But are the Republicans, who’ve spent the last year acting as mere obstructionists, mature enough to take part in governing again? Part of the problem with countering the Democrat’s debacle-in-the-making is lack of a legitimate alternative. The Republican Party has been full of criticism regarding President Obama’s agenda, but has suggested few sensible alternatives. The problem is with the leadership. Right now, the prominent Republican voices favor

ideological ranting over sensible alternatives. Glenn Beck, for example, released two books last year: one a Thomas Paine themed effort that harkens back to Colonial era pamphleteering, and another called “Arguing with Idiots,” a novel where Beck continues the right’s hijacking of our nation’s traditions by dressing up like a founding father and having Socratic dialogues with another version of himself—literally, an idiotic Liberal Nazi. Beck’s attempts seem unique, but the overwhelmingly negative message of Beck and the Republicans isn’t helpful at a time when the nation is so polarized. While the Democratic leadership has made steps towards compromise, the Republicans continue with the same nation-dividing tactics—calling the President’s sensible policies “Communist” (obviously not true), spreading lies about “death panels,” and now, of all things, complaining about amnesty that’s been given to Haiti. It’s unfortunate. Everyone should be in agreement that there is a problem with the United States’ health system. While there’s plenty of reason to believe that the Democrat’s lukewarm policies will not be good for the nation, the Republicans have failed to reincarnate as cool and clear-headed pragmatists who can offer a better way for the nation. It’s been said that, “the Republicans are the party of bad ideas, but the Democrats are the party of no ideas.” That may have been true four years ago. Now, the Democrats have some bad ideas. Unfortunately, they’re going unchecked because the Republicans have become the party of bad attitudes.

The Tower | Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010


TRIBUTE A Thank-you to a Fallen Soldier By Jillian Johnson

Every day I walk out of my dorm building and pick up a copy of USA Today. When I’m not walking to class, I just turn on my laptop and visit I always like to be up to date with the news. But, on January 24th, I read a story I hoped I would never have to read. Jeremy Kane, a Marine stationed in Afghanistan, was killed in a suicide bombing. He was 22. Kane and I attended high school together and we were good friends. After graduation in 2006, we parted ways, but still spoke every so often. I saw him just this past summer. Although I knew he was stationed in Afghanistan at the time, I chose not to think of the possibility of death. I was informed of Jeremy’s death by a mutual friend who called me. After hanging up the phone, I went online and read of his sudden death on My eyes filled with tears when I saw his name in print. According to, Kane decided

to join the military after the September 11 attacks took place. On that exact date five years later, shortly after graduating high school, Kane enlisted in the Marine Corps. The following summer, friends and I celebrated Kane becoming a Marine. When I saw him for the last time this past summer, Kane, myself and mutual friends went to the movies and to eat afterwards. I hadn’t had the chance to talk with him in the two previous years, and it was great to see him again. A few months later, in October, Kane was deployed to Afghanistan. According to friends and family, he was supposed to come home this May. I knew he was serving in the Marine Corps, but I guess I never paused to truly recognize he was risking his own life to protect us in war. On January 29th, I attended Kane’s funeral in Cherry Hill. I was not surprised, but filled with gratitude, to see so much patriotism and support for him. Outside of the synagogue where the service took place, Vietnam veterans who came on motorcycles stood surrounding the entrance

doors in proper formation holding American flags. Soldiers from all different branches of military, although mainly Marines, came dressed in uniform. Following the service, a long procession drove to the cemetery. While driving, I looked out at police, not

“It’s important to recognize and honor those who risk their lives to defend our country.” directing traffic, but standing in proper formation. The firefighters too stood at attention. Students stood outside our old high school, holding the American flag, as the cortege drove by. Stores and churches alike raised American flags to show their support. At the place on burial, prayers were said and the Marines did a 21-gun salute. We all mourned his loss, but rejoiced

in that he was a part of our lives. As supportive as I am of the U.S. military, it’s not easy to accept the passing of a friend or relative in the midst of war. But, Kane wasn’t the only soldier who lost his life in battle. According to the Defense Department, over 5,300 military personnel have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It’s important to recognize and honor those who risk their lives to defend our country. How many people wake up every day and stop to think about the soldiers stationed overseas? And how many truly recognize their importance? My oldest brother once said to me, “You need to live your life in a way that honors the service and sacrifice of those who exude the highest of values. That is the only way to properly put their service in context.” To every soldier out there, whether currently serving or recently served, you are always in my thoughts and I thank you for your services.


Some Thoughts on Responsibility From an Adult Student By Joseph E Herbert

There is one thing every person needs to know before they go out in the world, whether this means going to college or getting a job. You are the person who is responsible for your own success and you are equally responsible for your own failure. Neither your parents, nor your educators are responsible for your success or failure; in the end they can only guide you to the best of their own ability, hoping for the best possible outcomes. No one in this world is completely altruistic—it is a given that if someone does something for you, that they gain something for their effort, even if it is just the satisfaction of doing something good and doing it well. Your circumstances are not at fault either—no person or situation can share that responsibility. Every outcome requires your individual involvement to create the final result. If you fail, you need only check the mirror for a perfect reflection of the most re-

sponsible person. Ff you compound that failure by giving up-- by refusing to try again you are now irresponsible as well-you have caused those who were dependent on you to fail as well. In the preceding paragraph I used the word responsible in two cases, one de-

“Wherever you find a successful person you will find a responsible person.” noting success and the second, failure. Responsible is a word used freely in life, it has hundreds of possible connotations and is used in virtually every spoken, written or signed language on earth. Wherever you find a successful person you will find a responsible person. ‘Brangelina’ (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) are, as a couple, true examples of success. Last year they made $9.7 million dollars after spending nearly $900,000 on personal needs—guaranteeing the education

and welfare of two natural children and four adopted children—they contributed the balance, thru their respective foundations, to charitable causes. When asked about their altruistic behavior, Pitt commented, “We had enough and it’s all about responsibility.” There are four components in the base meaning of responsible. They are: Opportunity, which is largely created by your own initiative. Acceptance, wherein you take responsibility for the opportunity; Commitment, where the actual work is done, whether a volunteer public service opportunity or valid employment, where you are responsible to your employer, ethically, for the money you get for doing the job. This means showing up to do the work promised, not shirking the responsibility you were offered and accepted, and Completion, this means finishing what you start. Imagine, if you will, the personal satisfaction Brad and Angelina will get as they and their children present a displaced family in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

with their new home, the one hundredth one they’ve built, on Valentine’s Day. Memories of their movies and their abilities will fade, but a few generations in the future, the people of the Ninth Ward will remember. Each human is a tiny disturbance in the force of life, the ripples extending outward are the people the person touches and affects. When that life is expired, the hole is instantaneously filled, all that remains then is memory and good work. We are best known by the responsibility we have accepted, by our successes and the character of our children. At the end we are judged by what we have done. When ordinary people, you and I, are responsible, positive change occurs. Hundreds of small, responsible efforts are united and the world changes. That is the true meaning of responsibility, and yes, success as well: when someone compliments you for your responsibility, they are really talking about your success. The writer is a graduate student at Kean.


Never Say Never: Kean’s New Self-help Group By Emerald Vaughan

Throughout life, we all endure some hardships that make us feel hurt. Some people decide to channel their pain and hurt others, while some end up hurting themselves. Inspired from the self-help group, To Write Love on Her Arms, we now have our own self-injury group here at Kean University called Never Say Never. A freshman at Kean and Co-founder of Never Say Never, Jackie Twaddle, defines self-injury as people who “[hurt] themselves without the intention to actually commit suicide” and includes people who cut but would also love to help people who do other forms of self-harm.

Considering era of social networking, Twaddle along with Jazmine, the other Co-founder of Never Say Never, created a MySpace to spread the word about their cause and inspire more people to join. The founders of Never Say Never want to promote a welcoming environment and help people, even if you are just a friend of someone who self-mutilates. The purpose as found on the Never Say Never web-page states: “We are here to provide support and help for those who are suffering from self-mutilation. We are also here to show rescue is possible; they’re not alone. We are not professionals, but we will provide hotlines for those who are. “ To advocate her humanitarian efforts,

Twaddle has also been reaching out to the New Jersey Self-Help Clearing House for more than a year. They are also conscience of her participation in Never Say Never and provide consistent help for how to expand the cause. Other students that have tried to start self-help groups at their high school have also collaborated with the founders of Never Say Never. This is a major contribution to helping man-kind, considering peer self-help groups are extremely rare in New Jersey and most of the Tri-State Area. The faculty of Never Say Never consists of real people who have real experience with people who overcame self-harm. According to Twaddle, “We all live in a tough world with many obstacles and

sometimes we take the wrong path, such as going into self mutilation. We’re here to help and lower the rate of cutters and help them get through it in any way, either by coming to the meetings or finding them

“We are also here to show rescue is possible; they’re not alone.” help at a rehab center.” For more information feel free to contact Never Say Never at: or


Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010 | The Tower


New Year, New Decade, New Look By Dr. Josh Palgi and Dr. Jessica Adams

Oprah Winfrey said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” The New Year is upon us, and for many people it includes a New Year’s resolution for achieving improved health and happiness. This New Year is also special in that it marks the passing of the first decade of the 2000’s. We look to the New Year and decade for a fresh start. It is a time to re-evaluate our lives, our habits, and our relationships. Unfortunately, we all make them and we often break them. A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to themselves or others regarding a certain project or reforming a habit. They are often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. In the United States, popular goals include resolutions such as:


• Improve Finances - Get out of debt or save money • Improve Career - Get a better job • Improve Education - Go back to school • Improve Self - Become more organized • Take a Trip • Volunteer to help others • Enjoy life more • Spend more time with family • Achieve your resolution According to a Marist Poll taken in December, the top resolutions were to lose weight (19%), quit smoking (12%) and exercise more (10%). Sound Familiar? To be in shape and to be in perfect health in the coming year is definitely the dream of everyone. So, let us have better health for an enhanced tomorrow by making a New Year’s resolution to get a fitness routine and feel the difference of a healthy start.

The top steps to living a healthy lifestyle include: • • • • • • • •

Eat well Stop smoking Find someone to talk to Visit the dentist Drink water Exercise Develop a routine Get your rest

Making changes that last is not easy, but can be done and there are simple things we can do to snap the cycle of busted resolutions. • Create a plan and give yourself crystal clear directions • Focus on realistic goals with measurable results • Break things down into small steps that

you can manage • Avoid perfectionist thinking • Make your environment support your change • View setbacks as lessons for growth • Have fun Remember that action proceeds motivation, not the other way around. Don’t’ wait until you are motivated to start doing something healthy for yourself. You need to take action first and inspiration will follow. Also, starting with a few good health habits tends to lead to more good habits. You are young and healthy, but do you want to look and feel even better? Dr. Palgi and Dr. Adams are professors in the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Health.

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her. She was his first love and high school sweetheart. Lately, I have been feeling as if there could be a chance of them reuniting because of their great history. Am I being insecure? Should I feel threatened by the mother of my boyfriend’s child? Signed, Threatened Dear Threatened, Trust is very essential to any relationship.

It provides stability within the relationship, if shared by both parties. Are you threatened by Mike’s child’s mother because you don’t trust him? Having a good relationship with the mother of his child shows maturity and responsibility on his behalf. “Too often when we are feeling badly, we only focus on the possible negative aspects of our relationships and our lives. Force yourself out of this pattern and into the practice of catching the other one in the act of doing

something good”, said Dr. Kathy Nickerson, Orange County marriage counselor. Instead of assuming that his thoughts or actions are suspicious, think of them as trustworthy. Nickerson recommends breeding closeness, so you can get as close as you can to your boyfriend and intertwine your lives as much as possible. After all, he is your boyfriend for a reason. Consider also that you have only been dating Mike for a few months. Do you see yourself with him in a year’s time?

If so, think about sitting down with Mike and expressing your concerns. Communication is a key factor in all relationships. Communicating with Mike will allow you to understand his feelings about his son’s mother, and if in fact there could be something more than just a parental bond. Keep in mind that they are not in a relationship for a reason. Somewhere along the line their relationship did not meet both their needs.

The Tower | Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010



Don’t Call it a Comeback... The Cougars Are Just Doing Their Job By Andrew Czirjak

Nay Sayers, be quiet. Disbelievers, restore your faith, and to the Cougar fans, sit back and enjoy the show. The men’s basketball team at Kean University has put on quite an impressive run during the second part of the season. Not that the beginning to the Cougars campaign for a NJAC championship was bad. However, since January 3, the Cougars have been sublime. “The most influential reason for our recent success is our players understanding what actually wins games,” said Rob Kurzinsky, Head Coach Kean Men’s basketball. “For us, it has been the player’s adherence to our scouting report defense and their conditioning.” Lately, the team has taken many of their opposition to the woodshed [a special place every athlete and team end up after they loss]. And the Cougars have taught their competition knowledge you cannot learn in college. The Cougars, lead by teammates, senior guard Vinnie Darpino and junior forward

Jonathan Jones, have helped carry the team to victory. Jones earned NJAC and ECAC Player of the Week honors, posting his fifth straight double-double, with career and game-highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds. “Jonathan Jones has been a dominate post presence this season for a couple of reasons,” Kurzinsky said. “He [Jones] has used his athleticism in transition. He [Jones] has shown a willingness to pursue the ball off the glass.” Kurzinsky has found a beautiful balance for keeping Jones at the top of his game. “He [Jones] has benefited from a “less is more” approach,” Kurzinsky said. “Jones gives us [the team] impact minutes in shorter stretches, as opposed to being unengaged and just trying to stay on the court.” Also contributing to the Cougars latest success has been Darpino. “Vinnie has continued to develop as a player,” Kurzinsky said. “He [Darpino] has a better understanding of how to play [basketball] without the ball. [Darpino] has become more committed defensively.


Both of which help teams win.” Still, it was the time and hard work Jones and Darpino devoted to training that helped elevate their games. “Both players [Jones and Darpino] have worked as hard as anyone in the off season,” Kurzinsky said. “They [Jones and

“The most influential reason for our recent success is our players understanding what actually wins games.” Darpino] put in tremendous amounts of time on their skill development and physical conditioning.” Yet, with 4 of the last 6 games being played at Kean’s Hardwood Arena, Kurzinsky believes the home crowd support will help in the upcoming games. “You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and this is true for any perceived home court advantage

Women’s Basketball Team Aims Higher By Matt Chin


Saturday, February 27 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. • Private auditions and sessions with the faculty to review your portfolio • A chance to talk with current students and meet the faculty • Mini-recitals open to the public blic

Share your talents and learn about exceptional opportunities in the arts at our main campus in Jersey City. Prospective graduate and undergraduate students in ART and MUSIC may schedule an audition or portfolio review to qualify for these programs.

• Tour the new dedicated facilities ities and studios of the Visual Arts Building ilding • Meet with Admissions and Financial Aid staff

in all sports,” Kurzinsky said. “College athletics are very unique, they provide each student, athlete or not an opportunity to impact the outcome of games played.” Fortunately, the Cougars have played their best at home. “The college atmosphere can be an intimidating one for opponents. It [home court advantage] can provide support and inspire home teams,” Kurzinsky “We [the basketball team] have been very fortunate to have had good support for both our men’s and women’s basketball programs. Vice President for Student Affairs Janice Murray-Laury and Mr. Kerrin Lyles, Residence Hall Director for the Office of Residence Life has been instrumental in creating a positive atmosphere for our home games.” And as for the basketball fans and supporters, Kurzinsky has a message for them. “We [the Cougars] will certainly need everyone to support and to inspire us as we fight to make the NJAC playoffs,” Kurzinsky said.

The Kean women’s basketball team has a goal that remains far in front of them even after winning 19-straight games this year. The coach says there is still much more to accomplish in the weeks to come. “We have a bigger goal than just winning 19-straight games. Our bigger goal happens in March,” said head coach Michele Sharp. After completing an undefeated month in January, the Cougars held a record of 20-1, and went unbeaten in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, 9-0. All too often, teams let 19-straight wins go to their head, but Coach Sharp refuses to let that happen to her team. “I always tell the team our biggest challenge for us, is us. We, as a team, always talk about winning the right way every day,” said Sharp. Even though the team is full of youth, with eight freshmen, the core group of five seniors helped the team with leadership responsibilities.

“We have a great balance between our veteran players and our younger players. The veterans have stepped up and helped to bring the new kids along,” said Sharp. An addition to the Cougars veteran leadership has been senior, 5-foot-8-inch guard, Melissa Beyruti. Beyruti leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.9 points a game. “She’s the player who wants to take the shot at the end of the game when the game is on the line,” said Sharp. Having a player like Beyruti, on the team will help the team accomplish their goals for playing in March. Last season ended with an NCAA tournament berth, this year’s team would like to accomplish that same goal. “We would like to get home court advantage throughout the NCAA tournament, at least the first couple rounds,” said Sharp. The Cougars look to extend their winning streak and wrap up the regular season in the coming weeks with key matchups against NJAC rivals looming.

• Free parking • Free morning refreshments


du .e U JC .N U ed er w po Em


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why they had lost all their families and buildings. More than 100,000 people have been killed. It has been recorded that there are over a half of million people homeless after their homes have been destroyed by the earthquake. There are also inmates on the loose after the jail collapsed, freeing many of them. President Barack Obama has enforced military, rescue teams, and doctors to help out the victims. The tragedy is not contained to just Haiti; thousands living in New Jersey have family on the island and were unable to contact them. Phone lines were down the first few days after the earthquake, but are now back on.

At Kean, the Haitian Club responded quickly, organizing a prayer vigil days after the earthquake and collecting supplies from the Kean community to send to the island. “There will still be inadequate education, there will be homeless people, but we can fill the gaps by helping out,” said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who was at Kean and spoke about the group, NJ for Haiti. For more information on how to help or donate to the people of Haiti, log on to or contact the HSA (Haitian Student Association), here at Kean to find out ways of helping out.


Feb. 10-Mar. 9, 2010 | The Tower


Celebs Get Off Too Easy For Crime



By John Cherry

Junior Jean-Baptiste

Many people have faced it: that little question on the job application that asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime. For the people who have to checkmark the yes part on this portion of their application, it severely damages their chances of getting that job—even if the crime was, say, smoking pot or a youthful fight in a bar. Some businesses may even throw the application away immediately without reading anything else. Professional sports, however, must not have this question on their job applications because they not only take in felons, but they glorify it. Supporter say they are helping this person out in their time of need. But what would really help them out would be saying no to them, and make them get the kind of job that mere human beings get when they come out of jail. Let’s see some star athletes get out of jail go get a job working construction or at McDonalds. In fact, most people with a record can’t even get those jobs. “If you check that you’re a felon on a Best Buy application, they don’t even bother to look at it,” says Senior Kevin O’Brien who is an employee for Best Buy.

I understand the side you’re taking John. It’s a privilege, not a job to play at the highest level of any sport. However, what about actors, actresses, and singers who commit felony crimes? Are they not allowed the right to return to their singing and acting careers after serving their time? It is not up to us to decide whether or not these highly publicized figures get a second chance to return to their professions. As loyal fans to some, we are supposed to encourage and support them as they should get a second chance just like everyone else.

“As loyal fans to some, we are supposed to encourage and support them in as they are giving second chances just like everyone else.” Gilbert Arenas

“There is no reason to be carrying a gun illegally.” So Michael Vick can have a job making a couple million dollars a year with the Philadelphia Eagles, but if he wanted to make 10 bucks an hour at Best Buy, he’d have no chance. Michael Vick It has gotten so bad in sports that when you hear of an athlete getting arrested for drunk driving or possessing a firearm illegally, people aren’t even surprised anymore. Great role models, huh? These players are given the gift of a lifetime to play in professional sports and get paid millions of dollars to do so. This should be considered a privilege not a job and if you do something of such atrocity, you should not be allowed the privileged of playing professional sports. This probably is never going to change, but these professional leagues should at least make these athletes see what it’s like to be a regular American for a year or two. Make them work a minimum wage job or construction before coming back to their respective sport.

I understand many will be upset with a lovable figure, like Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna after the Grammy’s in 2009. He is still serving his five year probation and has completed his community service. He lost many of his endorsements. He is paying dues. So why should we deny the right for Chris Brown to not continue his career in performing for his many fans and friends? We as individuals should be helping the athletes who have done their time for the crime, and stop denying them the right to play their sport. I understand Michael Vick isn’t the perfect person. Who is? But he did his time, and he contributed to many animal protection workshops. We should give him and any other athletes a second chance. Besides, these individuals don’t pay our taxes, so why be upset?


A WORD TO THE WISE By Lisa Martinez and Dawn M. Phillips

All Grown Up and Ready to Move I’m in my senior year and feel that I have surpassed campus life. I cancelled my housing on campus and am now commuting from my parent’s home. Some of my friends live on their own and I’m now feeling as if perhaps it is time for me to as well. However, whenever I’ve spoken to people about it, they tell me to stay home and save my money at least until school is over and I have secured a full time job. My parents are laid back and do not have a problem with me living with them for as long as I need to, but I do want my own place with the privacy and freedoms that come with it. What should I do? Signed, Sorta Homeless Dear Sorta Homeless, Your dilemma is a common one amongst many college students. Living on campus usually is when students begin to feel independent and learn to live on their own, prepare their own meals, do their own laundry, etc.

After living on campus, moving back home can seem to be a backwards transition. But while your thoughts on moving out seem to make a lot of sense considering the current condition of our economy, taking on such a large monthly expense can be a huge liability. If your parents are understanding and are financially stable enough for you to be able to stay at home, why not consider it? But don’t make it permanent; try to set up a move-out goal, a particular date as to when you want to be financially stable enough to move out. By financially stable we mean having first and last month’s rent, security deposit and a little nest egg just in case you fall into hard times. Does My Professor Dislike Me? I recently registered for a class with a professor that I am convinced does not like me. I had her a few semesters ago and got a bad vibe from her. She was always short when speaking with me; she seems to try to avoid calling on me in class and when I tried to dispute my grade over the break, she refused to respond to me or even acknowledge that I contacted her.

I asked other students to see if perhaps she was the same way towards them, and they all said no. I am not paranoid, I do not feel as if the world is out to get me and I consider myself a good judge of people’s feelings. I know that professors are supposed to be neutral and treat all their students equally, but I sincerely feel that this woman does not care for me. I had no choice but to sign up for her class as she was the only one teaching it and it’s a major requirement for me. Should I meet with her privately and discuss my feelings or should I just leave it alone and hope for the best in this class? Signed, Disliked, maybe?

did not have the best or most ideal student/ teacher relationship in the past and I’d like to get some suggestions as to how I can improve that.” However you approach your professor, make your words will sound as if you are making an effort to address whatever it may be that she “doesn’t like” about you. Perhaps there was some sort of bad impression that was made that she just did not shake off. Your other option is to leave things unsaid and hope for the best this semester. Keep in mind that in doing this, you are running the risk of once again having the same awkwardness, bad feelings and perhaps unfair treatment that you feel you experienced in the past. Weigh the pros and cons of each solution and decide what is best for you. Good luck!

Dear Disliked, maybe? If you do decide to meet with your professor privately, you have to be careful how you word whatever it is you decide to say. Keep in mind that this is a professor and you do not want to be confrontational, threatening, or accusatory in any way for fear of being disrespectful or offensive. Instead of saying, “why don’t you like me” say something like, “I noticed we

Threatened by Boyfriend’s ex I’ve been in a relationship with a guy I’ll call “Mike” for a few months and things are going very well. Mike has a three-yearold son from a previous relationship. He’s a great dad and a great boyfriend. Mike and his son’s mother have a really good relationship; they never seem to fight and he only has good things to say about

Feb. 10 - March 9, 2010  
Feb. 10 - March 9, 2010