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NJCPA General Excellence 2nd Place winner



Student suing Kean police says ‘This is all our problem’ University releases surveillance video of his arrest By Rebecca Panico A former Kean honor student who is suing the Kean Police Department over alleged “excessive force” shared his story on campus at a book signing for the mother of Sean Bell, who was killed by police in New York City in 2006. Obidi Anamdi, who is suing Kean, attended the event on Nov. 1 for Valerie Bell at the campus’s Barnes & Noble and took a seat next to her during a questionand-answer segment. Valerie Bell spoke to a crowd of roughly 20 people about her book, “Just 23: Thoughts From a Mother.” Her son, Sean Bell, was 23 when he was killed by a hail of NYPD gunfire on the morning of his wedding. His death led to national attention and protests led by AfricanAmerican activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton. “I had an unfortunate, y’know, brush with the police,” said Anamdi, 25, as he sat next to Valerie Bell. “And long story short, I could’ve easily been Sean Bell. I just wanted to share my story because

you actually have somebody who went through that in your community who’s still alive to tell you their story,” he later added. In September, The Tower reported that Anamdi was suing Kean police, alleging that police battered him during an arrest in the Vaughn Eames parking lot on March 1, 2013. The university disputes Anamdi’s allegations. Surveillance video captured Anamdi’s arrest, and The Tower requested a copy through the Open Public Records Act in June. Such requests are generally fulfilled in seven business days. On Nov. 7, Kean released the surveillance video to The Tower; it can be viewed at This past summer, Union County Superior Court Judge Thomas Walsh dropped many of the claims in the suit but ruled that there was enough evidence to claim Anamdi’s civil rights were violated under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. Walsh also said that Anamdi’s charge of conspiracy — in which he alleges that multiple officers acted in concert and

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Photo: Rebecca Panico

Obidi Anamdi, left, sits with the mother of Sean Bell at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at Kean for a signing of her book, “Just 23: Thoughts From a Mother.”

s s e r p to im

Professor Ed Johnston and student researchers demonstrating Liberty Hall 360.

Caela Stewart models clothing

Photo: Shelly Rodriguez

History comes to life with augmented reality By Rose Marie Kitchen

By Maggie Ortuso Shelly Rodriguez, a senior at Kean University, has designed and created a clothing line. The line is called Distressed by Shelly, and it is inspired by vintage clothing. “I got the idea because there was a $200 shirt I wanted but could not afford,” says Rodriguez. “Then I figured, why can’t I make it myself?” After so many people asked her where she got her first bleached shirt, Rodriguez got the idea to start making more and selling them. Shelly frequently goes to thrift shops, and that vintage feel is what gave her the idea of what to design. There are several pieces Rodriguez is making, one of them being bleached t-shirts. This process involves the designer taking an ordinary shirt, bleaching a design on it, and adding her own flair. Rodriguez calls this her “Bleach bae tee” and offers the option of getting a choker set as well. The set will cost $25, plus shipping and handling. There are several customers ready to purchase items being displayed on the Instagram page, @distressedbyshelly. If a customer is interested in buying an item on the page, they can direct message Rodriguez on the account. “I think it’s very inspirational and brave that Shelly is exposing her hard work and creativity to the world,” said Melissa Ceballos, a senior. “It is risky, because when you create something and spend time on it, you can only hope everyone loves it.”

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Photo courtesy of KeanLift

Reliving history and embracing the 1700s has become easier than ever before thanks to a newly developed augmented reality. Under the guidance of professor Ed Johnston, student researchers within the Michael Graves College have announced Liberty Hall 360. “Our liberty hall 360 project celebrates an important moment in the history of the United States,” said Johnston. Liberty Hall 360 is a collaborative research initiative with the Liberty Hall Museum that uses different mixed reality technologies to help create an immersive reenactment of a historic event that took place at Liberty Hall, in the 1700s. “Using your smart phone you can experience something that happened in the 1700s by simply downloading an app and taking a step back in time,” said Mac Peters, student researcher on the project, who

graduated in May 2016 with a major of graphic design. Liberty Hall 360 will create the wedding of John Jay and Sarah Livingston. The wedding took place at Liberty Hall on April 28, 1774 in the Great Hall of the museum. John Jay was one of the founding fathers and the first chief justice of the United States. John Jay and Sarah Livingston relationship became important to the independence of the United States. “You will actually be present in the space with everybody that is at this wedding,” James Wright, student researcher on the project, as well as senior, graphic design major. “When you walk in the door you might see servants carrying the food down to tables, or you might see guests waiting around waiting around for the wedding to begin.” While wearing the virtual reality glasses, individuals can experience the weddings as a guest. The video reenactment can be accessed through downloading an app or accessing it online. The project has successfully reached the goal of $5,000, through the KeanLift Crowdfunding Campaign, towards the purchase of a high quality 360-degree video camera. More information in regards to Lift f Kean o Liberty Hall 360 can be found on y es court Photo the KeanLift website.

The 360-degree camera


November, 2016

Taco outfit wins best costume at Cougar Color 5K run By Mike Roche The sun shone on Kean University on Oct. 16 for the 2016 Nathan Weiss Memorial Cougar Color 5K. Dr. Jeffrey Beck, dean of the Weiss Graduate School, presided over the race and kept everything running smoothly. “It’s going great, we’ve got perfect weather for the run.” said Beck. He spoke about the great turnout and thanked the sponsors of the race. Attendance was in the hundreds for Kean’s third annual Color Run, a three-mile marathon to benefit of the Nathan Weiss Graduate School. The “color” comes from the plethora of paints that the participants are covered with during the course of the race. Getting a good lap time was encouraged, but not required. Runners of all ages came out to support Kean, some as young as 10 and even senior citizens. Awards were given afterward, for men and women in different age brackets and best costume. First place went to Payne Vazquez, a Kean student with a time of 21 minutes and seven seconds. “It was a lot of fun, everyone should

come out and do this event.” said Vazquez. Best costume went to John Alzate, for his taco costume. At the race he was known as “Taco John.” Several speech majors from the Nathan Weiss Graduate School were clad in bright orange capes that donned the words “Super Speech.” Samantha Turner, a Kean speech said, “This will definitely benefit us, it’s a great thing.” In previous years, the Cougar Color 5K was able to raise $50,000 after expenses. All proceeds will go to graduate school programs in the health sciences, education and other critical fields. Among the attendants was Bernice Weiss, the widow of Nathan Weiss, who endowed an additional scholarship as a result of the race. Nathan Weiss was the former president of Kean University and began the graduate school in his name. Keith Nix, whose stage name is Nix in the Mix, provided music and entertainment. He has worked the last two Cougar Color Runs as a DJ and also done open houses and Greek events at Kean. “It was cool,” said Nix about the race. “It’s for a great cause.”

Pulitzer Prize winner to hold book signing Nov. 18 By Jeremy Negron New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Peter Balakian will be at Kean University Friday Nov. 18 at 10 a.m., at the North Academic Building for a poetry reading. After the reading Balakian will also be signing copies of his latest collection of poetry, “Ozone Journal,” which was published in 2015 and addresses Armenian genocide. Born and raised in Teaneck, Balakian is an Armenian American whose grandmother escaped the Armenian genocide of the early twentieth century. Though initially Balakian was a writer and poet for reasons concerning nature and the environment, the stories of his family history inspired him to address themes of genocide and human rights by incorporating them in his poems and books. Some of his other works include Dyer’s Thistle (1996), Reply from Wilderness Island (1988) Sad Days of Light (1979) and Ziggurat (2010) to name a few. “Peter Balakian’s poetry touches so many subjects that vitally need to be spoken —human rights, genocide, environmental and social sustainability, and the struggles of the individual with disease, death, and both personal and social conflict. ” said Dr. Jeffrey Beck, dean of Kean’s Nathan Weiss Graduate college, in a press release. Balakian is the brother of Dr. Jan Balakian, an English professor at Kean. Educators will be allowed to bring their students to the book signing/poetry reading. The event is public and free of charge. Contact Dr. Beck at to reserve a space for a class or for any other comments or questions about the event.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Peter Balakian will give a poetry reading and sign copies of his latest work, Ozone Journal, at Kean University on Friday, November 18 at 10 the North Avenue Academic Building on the Union campus.

Photos: Mike Roche

Above: John “Taco John” Alzate crosses the finish line at the Cougar Color 5K run on Oct. 16, 2016. Below: A runner gets painted at the Cougar Color 5K run on Oct. 16, 2016.

Be the Change surprises student with scooter

Dr. Suzanne Bousquet, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, stands with Dr. Norma Bowe and members of Be the Change after they surprised Will Leak with a scooter. Oct. 20, 2016.

By Rebecca Panico Dr. Suzanne Bousquet knew she had to help when she learned that Will Leak had fallen due to complications from cerebral palsy, a condition that affects a person’s muscles and their ability to control them. “When he fell, that was the moment when I thought of Be the Change,” said Dr. Bousquet, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kean University. On Oct. 7, she reached out to Be the Change, an organization that has been helping people locally and nationally since 2008, and its founder, Dr. Norma Bowe. Today, members of Be the Change surprised Leak with a scooter in the lobby of the Center for Academic Success building, where he works. The group raised over $600 within a week by asking for donations on their Facebook page, Dr. Bowe said. “I’m always astounded at how everyone has each other’s back,” said Dr. Bowe. “And I think in a world where people are always thinking of themselves it’s incredible to see how these Kean students just care about each other.”

Leak, a graduate student studying psychology, explained that he was born with cerebral palsy. “I tore a muscle, so that’s why it’s hard to breathe right now,” Leak said, referring to his recent fall. “I don’t worry about it too much, but everyone else does.” Lauren Foley, a photography major who has been working with Leak in the CAS for over a year, always noticed it was difficult for her coworker to get around. “He’s a really nice guy and he definitely deserves something like this because he’s very helpful,” she said. Be the Change has a number of other projects in the works, including sending a Bloomingdales teddy bear and gifts cards to Zianna Oliphant, the young girl who spoke out at Charlotte City Council in North Carolina against a recent police shooting. They’re also raising funds for the Flagg Labor Annual Toy Drive on Dec. 15 at Enoteca Ursino, located in the STEM Building. Tickets are $25. To learn more, visit their Facebook page at: Editor’s note: This story first appeared online at on Oct. 20.

Public relations group use their heads, whipped cream to raise over $100 By Rebecca Panico

Photo: Rebecca Panico

The Public Relations Student Society charged people $3 to throw plates filled with whipped cream at their faces on Oct. 20, 2016.

By Rebecca Panico The Public Relations Student Society (PRSSA) charged people to throw plates filled with whipped cream into their faces on Oct. 20 to raise money for their organization. “Just do it,” said Steve Garcia, a member of PRSSA, to encourage a woman who was gearing up to throw a plate in his face. “We signed up for this! It’s alright!”

PRSSA set up their table in front of the Miron Student Center around noon with a cardboard cutout which served as a bulls eye for their faces. People had the opportunity to throw a plate for $3. By the end of the event, the group raised $113. The PRSSA has run a number of charitable campaigns for local organizations. Last year, they collected toiletries and donated them to Covenant House in Newark. Editor’s note: This story first appeared online at on Oct. 20, 2016.

November, 2016


Interested in declaring a minor? Try on Africana Studies for size By T. Celeste Mann If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. That’s how a “collateral” program of courses since 1990 transitioned, after years of trying, into a full-fledged Africana Studies minor in fall 2014. Students are now able to graduate with Africana Studies as an official minor on their degrees. Despite this advance, only about 13 or 14 students have declared Africana Studies as a minor, said Dr. James Conyers, Africana Studies director since 2002. While many students are taking Africana Studies courses, they are not aware that they must fill out a form to declare the minor so it is recognized on their degree, Conyers added. “We have many many many students, who have yet to fill out the new form,” said Conyers. Information about the minor as well as the form for the Africana Studies minor can be located in the Office of Africana Studies, which is housed in Hutchinson Hall, room 103. Student’s status will be updated in a matter of days, Conyers said. “We are so new, people are still just finding out about us. So many people inquire, but don’t know where we are,” he said. What’s more, there are no call letters for Africana Studies -- the way ENG stands for English classes or COMM for communication. Courses in Africana Studies are interdisciplinary, meaning they are offered by individual departments each semester. For example, to register for Introduction to Archeology which counts as an elective in the Africana Studies minor, you need to know that the course is listed under ANTH 1900. Additional courses offered for the minor include African History, History of Black America to 1900, Black Theology, African American Art, Films of the African world experience and the History of Cuba. The Africana Studies department has a total of five faculty members devoted to Africana Studies, including Dr. Conyers. “Various professors from other

departments teach courses that students need for the Africana Studies minor,” said Conyers. Conyers highlighted two components in the Africana Studies minor. The first component is academic, and includes a total of 18 credits to complete the minor at Kean. The second component of the minor encourages involvement in African culture by attending forums and other programs sponsored by the Africana Studies department “where we deal with all of the components of the African community,” Conyers said. “We’re not talking specifically of the African American community. We’re talking people of the African descent,” he said. “Whether they’re continental Africans, Africans from Jamaica, or Africans from America, or the Barbados, or Africans from South America. There are many places who don’t think they’re African.” Many think the Africana Studies minor is an entity just for and about African Americans. “It is not! The Africana Studies minor or department, for that matter, is an entity for all Africans,” Conyers said. “It doesn’t matter where the African person comes from....It is open to every and anyone who takes interest in the particular study.” Kean has offered courses in Africana Studies for many years, but until recently

Photo: T. Celeste Mann

Dr. James Conyers sits in his office.

The Africana Studies Department

the program amounted to what Conyers described as a “weak minor” because it wasn’t an approved academic minor. “I’m proud of the progress we have made, considering we are still new. However, I’m disappointed because we could have been a minor long ago,” said Conyers. Conyers, who first started at Kean University in 1990, said that the department has had many forums open to the campus community over the years. Those included a program on Africans and the criminal justice system, as well as special speakers such as award-winning poet Amiri Baraka. A variety of lectures have dealt with racism, as well as questions of identity. In many cases, professors from other colleges have served as speakers. The forums, which are voluntary and open to all majors touch on issues that might not be addressed in classes. “Our academic forums deal with all of the pressing and not-so-pressing issues of all of the African people-everywhere,” says Conyers. In November, the Africana Studies department will feature a three-day lecture

Photo: T. Celeste Mann

series on health and wellness in the African and African American community. The series includes a lectures titled “Mental Illness and People of African Descent” on Nov. 15; “Getting to the Heart of It All” on Nov. 16; and on Nov. 17, “Black Women’s Health Study.” The Office of Africana Studies is also part of Kean’s African Graduation, which is a celebration for Kean graduates of African heritage. Vice President of Student Affairs Janice Murray-Laury was the primary founder of the ceremony, Dr. Conyers said. This year’s African Graduation Ceremony will have the poet, Sonia Sanchez as the guest speaker. The ceremony will take place on April 29, 2017 at 4 p.m. in the Wilkins Theater. “The primary purpose is to give special honor and respect to our own people,” Dr. Conyers said. “We want to honor our own people in our own special way.” The Africana Studies department will continue to do just that, with intentions of one day becoming a major. “Yes. We intend for it to be. But first we have to let the dust settle on the minor,” he said.

Independent candidate for Union Township Committee shares ambitions By Elijah Tarik Powell Jason Krychiw, who is running as an Independent for a seat on the Union Township Committee, spoke of his journey in local politics to the Kean University’s chapter of the Green Party, known as the Young Greens. Krychiw, 26, spoke at the Human Rights Institute on Wednesday October 12 to about 15 Young Greens members. He said that he started his political journey when he was in the same position as the members of the Kean group: politically aware students with big ideas and the spirit to get involved, at this point mostly being through volunteer work or rallies. “When I got in school and I had more free time is when I first started getting involved, and so I started on a volunteer basis,” said Krychiw. “I guess in trying to help and sort of seeing behind the curtain a little bit...I didn’t like what I saw, and rather than wait for something to happen, I got involved.” Krychiw is looking to change the system of government in Union, which is governed by a five-member executive committee. Union residents elect committee members, and then those members appoint one of their own as mayor. “Union has a population of about about sixty thousand and we don’t have a direct election of mayor in town,” he said. “That’s something I’m looking to change, especially in a town the size of Union- we’re the second biggest town in the county… and for a town that size to not have a

direct election of mayor is almost unheard of.” Suzette Cavadas, a current Township Committee member whom Krychiw is running against, said that the committee-style system allows residents to choose a mayor every year, rather than once every several years like in neighboring towns and cities. “...all residents get to judge the mayor every year, as our election cycle calls for at least one or two of the seats to be up every year,” she said via email when reached for comment after the meeting. Jason said that this election should be more conventional. Being part of that committee would give him direct influence over whether or not that change could happen. For Krychiw, it means transparency between the local government and the people of Union. Krychiw is the head administrator of an online Facebook Group called The Union Residents Forum, followed by about 8,000 people. People can post Union events and happenings filling what Krychiw says is a communication void in Union. Krychiw said the main idea behind the group is that the same communication that has brought beneficial interactions between local businesses and residents will also create a similar connection between residents and the local government. “The first comment I see on there is ‘I wish I knew this happened,’ or ‘When did this go on?’” he said, referring to the questions about the system of government in Union. “Really,

without that social media aspect there would be no communication between a lot of the people in town, the businesses, and the government bodies.” Young Greens members chimed in to talk about issues in Union like snow removal and potholes that have yet to be filled, which Krychiw used as a segue to talk about his platform for infrastructure reform in Union. Krychiw said he plans to have built-in emergency funds to hire more snow plowers in the event of severe snow storms. He also proposed his Act Plan, which would make Union’s local government activity more public. “Our township has an interactive website (commended for its ease of use) which deals promptly with citizens concerns by department (example- having a pothole repaired by DPW), interactive Facebook and social media…” Cavadas said. “...all meetings are available quickly on our website, as well as replayed on local access cable stations, where they reach thousands of people.” Krychiw earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Rutgers, and has served in Union on the Board of Health, the Recreational Advisory Committee, and the Mayor’s Alliance Against Drug Abuse for two years. Young Greens member Evan Bombeke found Krychiw’s visit essential to what the group stands for. “One of the main reasons we’ve gathered together as Kean Young Greens is to support, number one the third party, and second is the

Photo: Elijah Tarik Powell

Jason Krychiw, right, receives Green Stamp Of Approval from Young Greens Chairman Louis Nicastro.

power of local legislators,” said Bombeke. “So I think the fact that Jason came by and talked to us was important because he’s one of the most critical politicians in regards to who can affect us [the residents].” Union Township residents will elect their executive committee members on Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and appropriate polling stations can be found by using the State Department’s poll locator tool online at Editor’s note: This story first appeared online on Nov. 6. Visit to learn which candidates were elected to the Union Township Committee.

Former Student Organization president runs for Linden Board of Education By Gail Fredricks Nigel Donald is applying his experience as Kean University’s former Student Organization president in his bid for a different type of public office: Linden’s Board of Education. “I 100 percent believe that if it wasn’t for me both being in Student Government and at a time the president of it I wouldn’t have the idea of running even for public office,” Donald said in an email. Donald, 22, earned his undergraduate degree in economics with a political science minor from Kean in May. He is continuing his education in the master’s program at Kean, and is pursuing a degree in public administration.

Donald announced he would serve as student trustee on Kean’s Board of Trustees at commencement last May. He gave up the position since he now works as an admissions counselor at Kean and thought it would be a conflict of interest to work in both roles. A lifelong resident of Linden and a student of Linden public schools from pre-k to 12th grade, he now has his sights set on serving in his hometown. Donald hopes to increase the involvement of parents within the district if he wins. “There is quantitative data that supports when parents are involved in the schooling and educational process that the student has a greater educational performance,” said Donald.

Donald also plans to expand SAT/ACT preparation, create new academic courses to match the required skill set of modern day jobs and college success, expand the PTA programs in schools, and push for more studies of minority groups like Native Americans and African Americans in the district. Donald has relied on family, friends, and volunteers to assist with his campaign. He and his running mate, Aaron Howard, have posted over 100 campaign signs throughout the city of Linden to get the word out. Although Donald’s cousin is the mayor of Linden, he does not credit him in playing an influential hand in his decision to run. Instead, his motivation for running was to help the

students of Linden, Donald said. “The students of Linden high school and district are some of the greatest students I’ve ever met. They are hard-working, goal oriented, and passionate students you could come across so for me, I’m running to grow the opportunities my Linden students should have.” Linden residents will vote for Board of Education members on Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 6 a.m to 8 p.m. Editor’s note: This story first appeared online on Nov. 3. Visit to learn which candidates were elected to the Linden Board of Education



November, 2016

Will new sign be added to zodiac? By Adrianna Ruffo According to a recent blog post written by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the long-forgotten 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus, has resurfaced. Ophiuchus, also known as the “serpent bearer” is between Sagittarius and Scorpius on the zodiac calendar. The mystery of the 13th sign has been studied for thousands of years. The ancient Babylonians invented the 12 signs of the zodiac to correlate with the amount of months in a year. They picked 12 constellations to complete the zodiac.They believed that when the Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun would pass through each part of the zodiac. Although there was 13 constellations, the Babylonians decided to exclude Ophiuchus from the rest of the zodiac. While the idea that there may be a 13th sign added to the zodiac may shock some, several astrologists have debunked the sign’s legitimacy. “There are a lot of constellations - 88 if you want to get right down to it - so I’m not sure why everyone’s up in arms about this one,” said Susan Miller, a famous astrologist in an interview with Elle Magazine. “The ancients discussed whether or not to include a 13th sign - they debated, they did empirical studies, and in the end they felt it was not significant. Remember, they invented astrology, and we have to go with what they gave us. When the news of the alleged 13th sign broke, many were skeptical of how the new sign would have an impact on their daily lives. While many believe in the legitimacy of astrology, many are unsure. “I do believe in [astrology] but society portrays it as something you have to believe,” said Marcella Fazzolari, a junior majoring in communication studies, who identifies as a Cancer. “Sometimes I don’t, I think a lot of the time it’s just a coincidence.” “I’m not sure [about astrology],” said Courtney Glynn, a sophomore majoring in communication

studies who identifies as an Aquarius. “Didn’t people just use the stars in the sky and the planets to mark the calendar?” While the legitimacy of astrology is often debated, many also misinterpret the difference between the astrology and astronomy. “Astrology can be used to predict the future while astronomy is a science that tries to explain the past and future of the universe,” said Professor Oleh George Kolodiy, an associate professor who teaches science and education at Kean University.

Below: Astrological clock at Venice by Zachariel Image: Jacopo Montano


“Astrology is like trying to predict your fortune based on when you born, under what sign you were born,” said Kolodiy who is an Aquarius. “However, the difference between astronomy and astrology is big, they have nothing to do with each other. The only thing that is the same is the word “astro” in the beginning, otherwise there is absolutely nothing they have in common.” According to Ophira and Tali Edut, famous astrologers known as the AstroTwins, astronomy and astrology are not the same. Even with the introduction of Ophiuchus, the zodiac dates do not change as the system of how one identifies with a particular sign is based upon a Western“artificial” system. The zodiac calendar is not affected by Ophiuchus due to Earth’s rotation around the Sun remaining constant. “Ophiuchus has nothing to do with astrology, it’s not an astrology issue,” said Rick Levine, another famous astrologist in an interview with “It has to do with the stars - it’s not a sign, it’s a constellation.”

Students hungry for more hours at campus eateries By Jasmin Kee Several Kean University eateries are cutting back on their hours and some students say they are not happy about this. Some food services are closed on Fridays and stay closed for the entire weekend. “I only come here Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for classes and sometimes I will go to the Cougar’s Den to eat before my next class,” said Briana Adams, 21. “But now they are closing on Fridays, which is really annoying because there are not that many places I like to eat on campus.” Outtakes, Starbucks and New Upperclassmen Residence Hall Café will stay open for the entire week. Some students don’t think that is enough. “ I don’t understand why it is such a big deal to have all of these facilities open everyday even if it is just for a few hours,” said Cassie Brown, 20, a Nursing major. Brian Styles, 20, Communication major, said: “ I live on campus in the New Upperclassmen building, and I eat in the New Upperclassmen dining area often, but at the same time I don’t want to eat there everyday. With these new hours, it makes it harder for me to be able to get what I want whenever I want.”


The new food service hours in the Miron Student Center are: Cougars Den: Monday: 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Tuesday: 11:00 a.m – 7:00 p.m Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Friday - Sunday: Closed Jersey Mike’s: Daily 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Closed on Saturday & Sundays Smashburger: Monday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Tuesday: 11:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday - Sunday: Closed

By Quincy Rodgers

Auntie Anne’s: Monday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday - Sunday: Closed Starbucks: Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday: 1 - 8 p.m. Outtakes: Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. New Upperclassmen Residence Hall Cafe: Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday - Sat: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday: 1 - 8 p.m.

November, 2016


Senioritis: An excuse to slack off or a real condition? By Babtunde Dahunsi Senioritis — a colloquial expression used by students in their last year of college who are eager to graduate, but lose the motivation to give 100 percent toward their studies — can spread like wildfire for students who take more than the traditional four years to graduate. The definition of what it means to be a college senior can be ambiguous. If it is based on years attending college alone, some students would officially be seniors. But senior status is based on credits earned, not time spent in school, so the reason for delayed graduation, and the accompanying lethargy, varies among students. Senioritis can be on the rise among students midway through that last semester as students approach the finish line and become more and more lethargic in their efforts. “A lot of us have internships and real jobs that we’ve taken or that are lined up,” said Kean student Andrea Thurston. “Once you’ve acclimated yourself to the working, it’s difficult to still sit in a classroom and stay mo==tivated.” For some students school has become tedious and redundant. “I’ve been in school for six years now, “ said Kean senior Devonte Morris. “I’ve transferred a few times and it’s been a long journey. I‘ve lost credits and gotten them back, but I’m glad it’s about to be over.” Lack of motivation can diminish for many of those who begin to close the semester out and see graduating as a reality. But some believe senioritis does not exist and is, instead, an excuse to slack off. “Senioritis is not real, and anyone who thinks it is a liar,“ said Kean student Jordan Biggums. Editor’s note: This article was originally published online at on Oct. 25, 2016.

Senioritis can be on the rise among students midway through their last semester. Photo: CollegeDegrees360 via Creative Commons

Union Public Library offering free resources for college students By Cody Louie Union Township’s Public Library is a hidden treasure trove of public resources and events. From access to databases, workshops, books, and movie airings, the library has it all. And the best part? They’re all free. Adult Services Librarian Karen Jason said it is hard to get college students to the library since “many don’t know how much the library has to offer them.” Many see the library as a place that holds books and not much else, however, the library is a lot more “with the times” than people give it credit for. The Union Public Library hosts free events for those of all ages. Being a resident, student or worker of Union can get you a library card, which

unlocks a number of helpful resources, including the museum pass program, Rosetta Stone software, access to the Overdrive App which lets users download ebooks and audiobooks through their library card. Library card holders can also access the library’s subscriptions to scholarly databases. The library is also starting their Career Connections program sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The program will allow people to get help with their resume, and finding jobs. The Union Township Libaray plans to hold workshops under the Career Connections program as well. Suggestions for future events can be emailed to

November event list at the Union Public Library: Tuesdays @ 2 Movies (MN)* • Nov. 15 Café Society (2016) • Nov. 29 The Meddler (2016) Book discussion group • Nov. 17 Off the Shelf (MN) • Nov. 28 Hilton Readers (VH)* Wrapped in Love Monthly Knitting Group (MN) • Nov. 21

New Volunteers Shannan McCarthy (left) and ShaSae Martinez (right)

Lincoln Center Local showings (MN) • Nov. 17 Heritage Blues Trio • Dec. 15 Curtain up: School of American Ballet Workshop • Dec 17 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Tai Chi (VH) • Tuesdays @ 12:30 *(MN) = Main Branch (VH) = Vauxhall Branch

Union Public Library interior

Adult social group 50 years strong

Photo: Cody Louie

By Joshua Rosario Every Wednesday throughout the semester, Kean Community Outreach Coordinator, Ina White, and a group of Kean student volunteers, host a social group for adults with developmental disabilities in the East Campus. The members of the group are provided light refreshments paid by their membership fees. The volunteers play games with the members like Uno, arts and crafts, and many other planned activities. Some just hang out and talk. “John Haffly Young Adult Social Group” or “Wednesday Night Adult Social Group” as it’s commonly known will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary next year. According to White, it started out as a summer camp for kids with mental disabilities. “Some of the members have been here longer than I have,” said White. White has been running this program for over 30 years. The group consist of 40 members, between the ages of 20 and 55. “I treat them with respect, and as a person with a disability. I understand that’s not always the case. I try never to underestimate them,” said White, who had a spinal cord injury at birth making her paraplegic and developed a respiratory condition. The volunteers mostly consist of members of Kean University Council for Exceptional Children (KUCEC). “We both go hand and hand, it is not completely from KUCEC” said KUCEC Secretary Christina Manago, who is also studying special education. “We definitely promote Ina, give her support, and we try to get our KUCEC members to go to her, help her, and volunteer for her. So she can get her story out there and promote her group.”

Photo: Joshua Rosario

The group is open to anyone who wants to volunteer. The volunteers said the members are always welcoming, and will never forget your face. “I hope Kean will keep this going one way or another,” said White. For those who don’t know how to speak with someone with a mental disability, third-year volunteer and KUCEC President Cynthia Torres, does not want you to be afraid and knows that you might feel intimidated. “The second you sit down and actually talk with them you realize they are just like you,” said Torres. “They get up every day, they go about their day, and they do what they got to do. It is like talking to one of your friends.” “ They are so much more than their disability,” Torres added. “They all have such great personalities. They are wonderful people.They all have great things that make them so outstanding. Like Randy, he loves sport, you can talk to him about sports Yankees, baseball, basketball. There’s John who loves music and who no matter what room he walks into, he lights it up.”

Photo: Joshua Rosario

Cynthia Torres and Ryan Aspinwall serve the members


November, 2016


HEALTH The Freshman 15: Real or myth?

By Dr. Josh Palgi “The Freshman 15” is an expression commonly used that refers to the amount of weight gained during a student’s first year at college. Is the freshman 15 real, or just a cultural myth? The belief that college students gain 15 lbs. during freshman year is widespread. The purported causes of this weight gain are increased alcohol intake and the consumption of fat and carbohydrate-rich cafeteria-style food and fast food in university dormitories. In addition, lack of sleep may lead to overeating and weight gain, because it lowers the level of leptin, a hormone that is involved in the regulation of energy intake and expenditure by the body. Leptin is important, and cytokine plays a key role in the regulation of appetite, food intake and metabolism. Leaving home for the first time is scary enough. But the idea that you are probably going to gain weight when you go off to college can make that first year at college even scarier. We also can’t forget that more than twothirds (68.8%) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than one-third (35.7%) of adults are considered to be obese. Almost 3 in 4 men (74%) are considered to be overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (36%) We can’t forget that. For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years, the prevalence of obesity has remained about 17% and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents for the past decade.

Despite how commonly the freshman 15 is sorted, studies show that the average college student gains only two to five pounds in their first year. Additionally, it shows that college students did not gain any more weight than non-college students of the same age. Hence, evidence for the 15 lbs. increase during freshman year of college are limited. There are a variety of additional events that can trigger weight gain as you progress through adulthood such as malnutrition, stress, decreased levels of exercise, as well as marriage and parenthood. Meanwhile, gaining weight doesn’t have to be part of your college curriculum. A simple overhaul of your lifestyle habits can help to cut down on some of the damage. The mission of higher education is to develop the total person. By teaching students how to develop balanced habits for life, college and universities can equip young adults with the knowledge to live healthfully in school and beyond. With today’s technology, we can be as precise and accountable as we want to be when managing our health. We are at an amazing intersection, with a wealth of information about how to live a healthier lifestyle, and having so many tools at our disposal to help us reach our goals. College students are at the perfect place in their lives to leverage this information and use these tools, not only to avoid the freshman 15, but also to lay a foundation for good health throughout the college years and beyond. If you buy into the folklore and believe that college weight gain is unavoidable, the myth could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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It is all up to you whether you experience freshman 15 or not. But if you follow these tips, the myth will not become a reality for you...

• • • •

Watch the drinking Bring a scale to school Eat breakfast Don’t get addicted to smoothies • Get regular exercise • Get enough sleep


• Eat with your friends rather than in front of your computer • Don’t stress out • Curb alcohol consumption

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(Continued from page 1)

were motivated by racial discrimination — may also go forward, court records say. At the bookstore event, Valerie Bell answered questions regarding her thoughts on policing today, and Anamdi shared his thoughts. “Y’know it lays dormant for a while and then something like this can spark it back up,” Anamdi said, referring to Valerie Bell’s story. “It’s more frustration than anything else because you always try to see why things happen, but you have to come to the realization that some things just happen for no reason at all.” Anamdi was a senior comparative politics major at Kean, set to graduate two months later, when he was arrested. He later transferred to Rutgers University because he was placed on no-trespass list at Kean and faced intimidation by Kean police on and off campus, his lawsuit alleges. “This is a real issue that we have in America,” Anamdi said. “Whether you’re white, black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever have you, this is all our problem, believe it or not. I look at the university now and I see all types of people -- all types of races, backgrounds, ages -- and we’re all one. Just start thinking. Open your mind up to what’s really going on out there.” According to Kean police reports obtained by The Tower through OPRA, the 2013 incident began when police spotted Anamdi’s car at around 2 a.m. “driving at a recklessly high rate of speed” in the Vaughn Eames parking lot. Backup was called because Anamdi was ignoring officers’ commands, a police report states. Police reports state that Patrolman Chris Blath initiated an arrest for “hindering and disorderly” conduct after Anamdi began to scream, curse and refused to show his hands. Anamdi tried to run away after he pushed himself off a patrol car, causing two officers

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.

to fall, police reports stated. Officers used their expandable batons to strike him in the legs and hands, a police report said. He was eventually wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. Anamdi’s lawsuit alleges that Kean patrolman Blath “became irate and maliciously beat [Anamdi] in the head and body with his baton causing severe bruising and lacerations” to Anamdi’s head and body. Kean police charged Anamdi with 12 infractions, including driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault on a police officer and terroristic threats. He was held in Union County jail for two days, the suit states. Court records obtained by The Tower show that Anamdi was found innocent of 11 out of 12 charges, and guilty of a municipal violation of disorderly conduct. Kean University spokeswoman Margaret McCorry declined to comment on Anamdi’s visit at the bookstore, but released a statement in September about his lawsuit “Mr. Anamdi’s complaint merely contains allegations,” McCorry wrote in an email. “Kean University disputes his version of events and is opposing his lawsuit. Several counts of his complaint already have been dismissed. Mr. Anamdi was found guilty of disorderly conduct in connection with his arrest. He did not appeal that verdict. Kean University has no further comment as the litigation is ongoing.” The case is still in discovery, a period in which both parties’ lawyers gather evidence in a lawsuit. “In my community -- I’m from Irvington, New Jersey -- unfortunately, if an altercation happens or an incident happens, the last thing the we do is call the police,” Anamdi said at Barnes & Noble. “That’s the absolute last thing we do is call the police. And that just shows you how far gone we are from our belief in the police system.”

Distressed to impress

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Another featured item is the “limited vintage tees.” After buying a vintage shirt at a thrift shop, Rodriguez redesigns it. These shirts can be done in several ways, such as cutting the front, putting holes in the shirt, and stringing a lace through the holes. Rodriguez calls them her lace ups. With so much demand for her Ranger’s shirt, the second batch of lace up shirts will be sports team, and will be available in the future. Having so many requests for shirts, it must be demanding for Rodriguez to balance classes, work, and a new Image: Shelly Rodriguez business. However, she is not Shelly models her clothing doing this alone. Rodriguez attributes her clothing line to her late friend, Michelle Mian. “A part of me knows that she is the one that has manifested my desire to create this clothing line,” says Rodriguez. “I swear her hand is guiding me on my shoulder when a new idea flashes in my head.” She considers herself and Mian to be a team, and knows she could not do this without her spirit being there. The plan for Rodriguez is to finish designing the rest of the pieces, and to start selling and shipping them by mid-November. “I’m very excited about the future of my line” says Rodriguez. “People just have to remember it’s a one-woman show, and I’m still a full-time student with a job as well.” Distressed by Shelly is being sold soon, and customers are encouraged to start putting in orders now.


November, 2016


Men’s soccer team wraps up season

Photo: Jake Santos

The team huddles up on the field.

By Estefani Hernandez The Kean University Men’s soccer team ended their season with an overall record of 14-5-1 after a tie with Ramapo College, falling short of making the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs. Head Coach, John Velasco emphasizes the importance of always keeping the main goal in mind which is staying motivated. Starting this season with a new head coach was a bit of a challenge for the players, but Velasco said that the boys did a great job adapting to the change. “Being head coach, you develop your own philosophy on things and I think we’ve had a successful season so far,” Velasco said. With the 3-3 tie against Ramapo College in their final game, Kean was in a four-way tie for fourth place in the NJAC. Due to the league’s tie-breaking procedures, Kean could not advance to the playoff tournament. However, these results did not discourage the players. “We’re still on the rise, and we plan on doing big things next season,” said Jake Santos, who

just concluded his first year playing for Kean. Santos felt the senior players left a big impact on the team this season. “They really brought us into this family and taught us a lot,” Santos said. 11 seniors will be leaving the team this season and the Men’s soccer team will be recruiting for the upcoming season. “With the seniors that are leaving we just have to work a little harder, but this season has definitely brought us closer,” said Junior Alex Noriega. Noriega’s teammate, Freshman Jake Lopes added how the seniors influenced their team chemistry this season. “We’ll miss the Seniors,” said Lopes. “They really treated us like brothers.” In April of 2016, the team made time to participate in the Special Olympics for Young Athletes here at Kean. This program introduced children with intellectual disabilities to the world of sports and it is designed for children from the ages two and a half to seven. The boys spent time playing with the kids and teaching them about their sport. With that being said, Velasco hopes to do

Photo: Alex Noriega

The team smiles while volunteering at the Special Olympics here at Kean

more community service with the team in the future. Now that the 2016 season is in the books, it is time to start preparing for a new chapter of Kean University Men’s soccer in the Fall of 2017.

How to join Kean intramural sports By Craig Epstein Intramurals are always a fun way of of playing sports and meeting new people. Whether you want to play flag football, tennis, dodgeball, or basketball, Kean University has it all. If you are interested in Kean intramurals, log onto intramurals.keanathletics. com and take a look at all of the exciting options it has to offer. Registering for Kean intramurals is a very simple process. First, you must log onto intramurals Next, click on the registration tab that is located right underneath the word “intramurals.” You should be taken to a page that asks you to list your sport, team name, captain’s name, ID #, phone number, and email. Please fill out that page and click submit. Kean University intramurals strive to include as many students as possible. Once again, if you are interested in playing sports and meeting new people, intramurals are definitely the way to go. It does not matter what grade you are

Sports are a good way to have fun and meet new people.

Photo: Craig Epstein

in or how well you can play, everybody is welcomed. Joining Kean intramurals will undoubtedly make your college experience even more enjoyable.

November, 2016



Sophomore Marajiah Bacon.

Winter sports aim for a successful upcoming season By Brittany Pavlichko As the fall sports seasons come to a close, Men’s basketball, Women’s basketball and Men’s volleyball are just beginning their new season. Kean University’s women’s basketball program will start their season with a game Tuesday, Nov 15th at Brooklyn College. Head coach, Mandy King will be returning for her fifth season with the ladies and looks forward to a great season. “Our goal is to win the NJAC and to get as far as we can into the NCAA tournament,” said King. We expect great things from our captains as well as Miesha Bacon, Danielle Oakley, Ruby Asabor and Brianna Burgess.” The heart and soul of the team are their cocaptains, Senior Jaquetta Owens and Sophomore Marajiah Bacon. Marajiah Bacon was the nation’s leading scorer and earned NJAC and National Rookie of the Year honors. Jaquetta Owens was an honorable mention All NJAC selection and was among the top 50 players in the nation in five statistical categories. The ladies will also have assistant coach, Brian Erickson and a graduate assistant coach, Dana Peterson. Last year, the cougars had a 15-11 record and hope to gain a little more success this year as well as having success in the classroom. They are at a 3.0 GPA standing as a team, and hope to Photo: Larry Levante achieve a 3.4 GPA by the end of the season. Men’s Basketball will have their first game on Nov 15th facing Stevens Institute of Technology. Head coach, Rob Kurzinsky will enter his 10th

year coaching for the men. In his coaching career at Kean, he led the cougars to six NJAC tournament appearances. He strives for the team this year to succeed on and off the court. “Following a 4-20 season last season, we focus on winning each day by making daily improvements and strengthening our culture,” said Kurzinsky. “We are certainly young, but have more than enough skill and commitment to win.” The 2016-17 roster will consist of the following players: Senior Kevin Grek, Sophomores Mike Summerer, Keenan Williams, Jodrell Thompson, Micah Kerr, Justin Watson, Kevin Pacheco, Inderpaul Pinghlia and Trey Gomez and Freshmen Denzel Washington, Chris Mucthinson and Anthony Gomez. Furthermore, their coaching staff consists of assistant coaches, Kyle Taylor, Jonathan Jones, Mike Burton and Matt McDuffie. “Our weight room sessions and basketball sessions will be necessary, but the teaching points of the game will be the things that make our team better than last year.” said Jones. Men’s volleyball will open their season on Thursday, Jan. 12 facing Endicott College in the Kean Winter Classic. The boys will be back in the gym for preseason in early January. Head Coach Charlie Ginex will enter his fourth season as head Men’s volleyball coach for Kean. He led the men to three NCAA Division tournaments the past three seasons and his team ended last season with a 31-7 record. Assistant coaches, Jimmy Pompeo and Ed Jedziniak, both who played volleyball for and graduated from Kean in 2013 and 2016 respectively, will be joining Ginex on the coaching staff this season. Ginex recruited five freshmen plus a number of walk-ons for the 2016 season. During the recruitment process, he not only tries to bring in

Photo: Larry Levante

Women’s basketball team.

great volleyball players, but he also gets to know their families in the process. 11 players are back from last year’s roster and have a lot of talent that they will bring to the new season. Additionally, Ginex not only wants his team to win the conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament, but wants to focus on growing as a team on and off the court. “We want to be able to look back at the season when it is over and know that we were able to grow, not only as a team on the court, but as young men off the court,” said Ginex.

“I think the regular season has gone pretty well,” Doherty said. “There were a couple of games we lost that I think we could have won, but I am very happy with the team’s progression throughout the season.”

The team huddling up before a home game.

Photo: Larry Levanti

Women’s soccer regular season review By Craig Epstein After the close of the regular season, the Kean University Women’s soccer team advanced to the semifinals of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) where they fell to The College of New Jersey with a score of 4-0. But before reaching the NJAC playoff tournament, the team battled through the season, resulting in a record of 11-7. After starting the year at 1-3, the team managed to rattle off two wins in a row to get back to .500. One of their more notable wins came at the expense of Franklin & Marshall. Going into double overtime the game was tied at 1-1. It wasn’t until the 109th minute that Kean took advantage with a corner kick that led to the game-winning goal scored by midfielder Jordyn Bronsky. After getting to 3-3, Kean quickly fell back to a game under with a 3-1 loss to Stockton University. After the loss to the Ospreys, the Cougars pulled off back-to-back shut-out victories against the College of Staten Island and Rutgers-Newark to improve to 5-4. Their shutout streak came to an end by rival Montclair State University in a 3-1 loss, dropping Kean’s record back down to .500. Kean finished the regular season on a positive note. After a 2-0 loss to Rowan University, Kean won six of the eight games played in Oct. to end the regular season at 11-7. They beat the likes of John Jay College, William Paterson University, New Jersey City University, RutgersCamden, St. Joseph’s College-L.I., and Ramapo College. Their two losses during this streak came at the hands of Rowan University and The College of New Jersey. Kean’s most notable win during this streak was the defeat of John Jay College by a whopping

score of 8-0. Eight different Cougars scored that day, including freshmen Taylor Hueston and Lexy Monroy, recording their first ever collegiate goals. Midfielder Taylor Hueston provided her thoughts of the team’s performance during the regular season and what she hoped to accomplish going forward. The Metuchen, New Jersey native had much to say. “We’ve been here since August 19th, we put in eight days of pre-season which consisted of three practices a day and fitness at 7 a.m.,” Heuston said. “These types of things really prepared us for what was to come during the season.” She went on to say more about the impact the seniors had on the team this season. They’ve lead the squad to play tough and hard against good teams. “We’re losing 5 great seniors that bring aggression, talent, hard work, and motivation to our team and they all leave an impact in a lot different ways,” Heuston said. “Having them leave our team leaves a huge dent, but we’re an all-around heavy hitting team and I think that we’ll still be solid in the spring and next year.” Coach Brian Doherty contributed a reflection of the regular season. “I think the regular season has gone pretty well,” Doherty said. “There were a couple of games we lost that I think we could have won, but I am very happy with the team’s progression throughout the season.” Thinking towards the postseason, Coach Doherty had more to contribute about his team. “Going forward we hope to continue to progress and play our best soccer in the NJAC, NCAA, and/or the ECAC tournament,” Doherty said. After going through a regular season that consisted of its ups and downs, the Kean Women’s Soccer Team looks to get hot at the right time. The team will go on to play in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament, with their first game on Sat. Nov. 12, 2016.

The Tower Nov. 2016  
The Tower Nov. 2016