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OP-ED on Modern Activism Page 6

Volleyball Player Honored Page 7

THE TOWER THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF KEAN UNIVERSITY

Human Rights Book Club discusses African issues By Rebecca Panico

Kean’s Human Rights Institute hosted its first monthly book club in the Green Lane Barnes & Noble bookstore on Feb. 3 to discuss “The Enough Moment” by New York Times bestselling author and activist John Prendergast. Prendergast is the Anne Evans Estabrook Human Rights Senior Fellow at Kean and founder of the Enough Project, an organization devoted to ending genocide and crimes against humanity. He’s also worked for the Clinton administration as the National Security Council’s Director for African Affairs and was Special Adviser to the State Department. Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffrey Toney and Felice Vazquez who is President Dawood Farahi’s Special Counsel helped organize the event with Prendergast. The book club was led by the new Human Rights Institute Director Elizabeth Turchi and Holocaust Resource Center Director Janice Kroposky. “Kean University’s first book club on human rights is a unique opportunity for our students to discover how to make the world a better place by learning about successful strategies in advocacy and volunteerism,” stated Toney. “The Enough Moment” features interviews from up-standers, celebrities such as George Clooney and legislators like former New Jersey congressman Donald Payne. The message of the book is one of hope. “… Africa is NOT a continent of despair or hopelessness,” Prendergast pointed out in his book. “Scratch a little beneath the surface and there is much hope. Most of Africa is at peace – democratizing and growing economically.” Prendergast left a video message for members since he could not attend the meeting and elabo-

rated on developments out of Sudan and Uganda since the book’s publication in 2010. Prendergast also explained where he gets his motivation to keep the good fight going in a phone interview before the event. “My resilience comes from two things,” stated Prendergast. “I’ve seen so many examples of hope and I get my energy from my visits to refugee camps, seeing how they’ve survived…That gives me so much fuel to do what I do.” About 75 people registered for the club, although about 15 people came to the event. Four Kean students attended the meeting as well as some local residents. Kim Purdy, an Elizabeth resident, stated that she was enthusiastic about having an intellectual event so close to her home. Members discussed a wide range of topics, including their personal “enough moments” and ways they could help in African countries. Some were interested in starting a Sister School program, an initiative that connects students in the United States to students in African countries. The book club’s list includes works from United States Ambassador Samantha Power, well-known journalists Adam Hochschild and Philip Gourevitch and Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Another book from Prendergast, “Unlikely Brothers,” will also be discussed. All books on the club’s list were handpicked by Prendergast and the first 10 students who registered for the club received their books for free, courtesy of Toney. Proceeds from each presented book will go to the Enough Project. The book club is free and open to the public and will meet the last Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., although this first one was rescheduled for Feb. 3 due to snow. To register, go to: http://www.kean.edu/hribookclub

Will Obama’s free community college plan effect Kean University’s enrollment? Obama’s new initiative could make community college free By Sade Cox

President Barack Obama proposed making two years of community college free which would alleviate the cost of tuition and attract more Americans to seek a degree. Under the proposal, the federal government would cover 75 percent of the average cost of a community college and then states would cover the difference. The White House says if all 50 states participate in the proposal, an estimated 9 million students will save an average $3,800 in tuition each year. This will benefit students by alleviating the burdens of paying for college and staying on track to transfer to a four-year university. Community colleges provide education to almost half the United States’ undergraduate students, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. The average annual tuition at a community college is $3,200, and tuition at an in-state public university is $8,600, according to CollegeBoard.org. Kean University has the lowest tuition rates in the state of New Jersey and an acceptance rate of 80 percent, according to Peterson.org’s college search. According to the Office of Institutional Research, there are 1,630 enrolled transfer students at Kean. Transfer students can apply to Kean at any time, but those who have graduated from a two-year college need a minimum GPA of 2.0, according to Kean’s Transfer Policy. Obama delivered his sixth annual State of the Union Address to Congress and the American people on Jan. 20. In his address, he explained how his new initiative will help Americans from all walks of life. “Forty percent of our college students choose community college,” said Obama. “Some are young and starting out; some are older and looking for a better job; some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market. Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt.”

Photo: Creative Commons

President Barack Obama at the 2015 State of the Union Address

The plan will cost the federal government $60 billion over a 10 year period and provide free tuition to students who attend a community college at the maximum of two years and maintain a GPA of at least 2.5. The program would be available at community colleges with academic programs whose credits transfer to local public four-year universities. Obama’s impetus for creating the program is to prepare Americans for a competitive world economy. “What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a White House video posted Jan. 9. “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”

Photo: Jeff Trussell / Enough Project

Above: John Prendergast in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Below: Members stand with the event’s organizers.

Photo: Rebecca Panico

Valentine’s Day: A holiday for all

By Timonthy Awojobi

Valentine’s Day is known to be a “lovers’ day, however, the origin of the holiday goes back many centuries. The word “Valentine” comes from the Catholic Church, who first recognized Saint Valentinus, better known to us as Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine was killed for trying to help the Christians escape Roman prisons. Some people believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of his death. According to David Kithcart of The 700 Club magazine, “Valentine’s Day is known to be celebrated in many other countries besides The United States. Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia all have their own versions of celebrations for Valentine’s Day.” Currently in the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in schools, churches, community organizations, and even on television. “I remember the time when my friends and I would send love letters and lollipops to our so called ‘crush’,” said Stephanie Barreros, a sophomore biology major. Many years ago, Valentine’s Day was only known to be special for couples and people who were celebrating their love for each other. Now over time, the Valentine’s Day culture has evolved to a more “ego-centric,” meaning of love. Many people feel as if the most important aspect of Valentine’s Day is not only about expressing your love for another person, but rather loving yourself. Valentine’s Day brings about a huge variety of emotions amongst different people. For some, it’s a joyous day filled with love, happiness, and laugher. On the other hand, for someone who is going through a breakup or is in a stressful, long-distance relationship, the day might not seem as blissful. In talking to people, it is easy to find a mix of opinions concerning what continued on page 2

“What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it.” President Obama A lot of gifts to choose from for Valentine’s Day.

Photo: Annalise Knudson


2 THE TOWER

February, 2015

HSA holds vigil for 2010 Haiti Earthquake By Daris Mendez

On January 12, 2010, the country of Haiti experienced an earthquake that greatly affected its structure, as well as its people. Five years later, members of the Haitian Student Association, a Haitian culture based organization at Kean, came together to remember the lives lost and provide reassurance for the Kean Haitian community. In the form of a vigil, the Haitian Student Association and interested students gathered around the clock tower on Jan. 22 at 4:30 p.m., in remembrance of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that took nearly a quarter million lives. The memorial was full of Haitian culture, as the executive board members of the organization sang songs, recited poems and delivered speeches with the message of hope for Haiti. “Since January is very important in the Haitian culture, we want to commemorate the independence and commemorate the earthquake that also happened,” said Jonathan Medor, vice president of the Haitian Student Association. The vigil also remembered the distinct issues that currently affect the Haitian community. Medor stressed the fact that Haiti was one of the first independent nations and has been independent for 211 years. Acknowledging this fact, he urged club members to be aware

of issues such as bringing back Haitian businesses to Haiti to make them, “Haiti owned not Haiti owed,” as he declared in his speech. There was also discussion of cultural issues relevant to everyday life. He mentioned how important it is for Haitian men to show love and respect towards Haitian women, as well as the respectful treatment of Haitian men in return. “Basically today was not a day to shed tears or a day to be sad for Haiti,” Medor said, passionately. “It’s a day to basically empower ourselves as Haitians and for it to be known that unity can make a voice as we work on the unity first. That was the main purpose of the whole vigil today.” This was the second time the HSA had held a memorial, the first memorial being in 2010 in the wake of the earthquake. Norha Kavanagh, president of the Haitian Student Association, stressed that the purpose of this memorial was to remind the Haitian students at Kean about their history. “We tend to forget our history and it [the vigil] was also to remind students on campus here who have not gotten the chance to go to Haiti that yes, our country is alive and yes, even if we’ve had something as tragic as that happen, we are still going to keep going,” explained Kavanagh. “Our goal overall is to educate Kean students that do not fully know the background and history of our culture, and to also educate

Pile into the rugby club at Kean

Vice President Jonathan Medor of HSA speaks at the memorial.

them of such a tragic event and how we were able to overcome it as a nation,” she continued. With this goal, Kean students definitely took notice. Darian Deraman, a student who attended the memorial out of curiosity, took notice of this purpose. “Regarding what’s been happening, I actually feel like, you know, this is a good thing they are doing,“ Deraman said. “It’s not that much because everyone has class and things.

Photo: Darius Mendez

It actually means a lot for me to actually come.” Near the end of the memorial, all those present were asked to take candles in remembrance of all those who lost their lives that day and the purpose of HSA was clear. “What we hoped as an organization that Kean students take away from this particular event, is that despite the many adversaries that our country faced, we will strive for greatness,” Kavanagh said. “As a country that’s what we do, and we won’t stop.”

Clubs on campus: Why are freshmen so eager to join? By Christina Collazo

John Simons fighting for the ball in a lineout.

By Celeste Simmons

Kean University has a number of sports such as soccer, football, and lacrosse just to name a few, but one sport that is missing is rugby. While some students might not see that as a problem, John Simons, a freshman at Kean who is studying Graphic Design/ Advertising thinks it is a major issue. Simons has played rugby for three years on a team from South Jersey. “When I came here I didn’t know that they didn’t have a rugby team already, because I figured most colleges already did,” Simons said. Rugby originated in England in the early 1800’s and can be described as a much rougher version of American football. The game is eighty minutes long with two forty minute halves. It is considered one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Unlike American football, there are no protective pads used, which leads to tackles being rougher because opponents pile on top of each other. The only real protection that is allowed in the game is a mouth guard. Simons said that the club is not official yet but they are trying to recruit people now so they can start a team together and start practicing as soon as possible. This way by the fall when the season starts, they can become an official team and will be ready and well prepared. With neighboring schools such as Rutgers University and Montclair University who both have rugby clubs, Simons assured that they

Photo: John Simons Sr.

would have enough competition. “It’s more like a brotherhood, you all have to work together in order to achieve your goal,” Simons said, when asked what he feels are great aspects of the sport. “When you get the ball it’s almost like you’re unstoppable.” Apart from the family aspect of the sport, rugby requires a lot of stamina and technique. It requires physical strength to a degree because you do not have to be bigger than the person you’re tackling, as long as you know how to tackle them the correct way. With this club, Simons hopes to eventually turn the club into a recognized team at Kean. He hopes to make the school more diverse in terms of sports. “The more sports we have, the more known Kean can be,” Simons said. If students are interested in playing rugby for Kean University, they can contact John Simons at thomassimons. john@gmail.com or join the clubs Facebook page at https://www.facebook. com/groups/kurugbyclub/.

“The more sports we have, the more known Kean can be,” Simons said.

From Forensic Psychology to Hall Council, clubs at Kean University have expanded across a full scope of career fields and interests that with more than 130 student groups and 33 Greek Organizations, new students can find a club that benefits their future. While academic grades are imperative for job applications and career success, many employers are also looking for well-rounded candidates with demonstrated participation in extra-curricular activities. Clubs and organizations give students a sense of community and brotherhood that is accessible outside of the classroom. “Clubs are a great way to network and meet friends on campus,” said Kylie Levy, a freshman at Kean University. The average student participates in two campus activities according to a 2009 NASPA report, which surveyed more than 14,000 students from 35 U.S. colleges and universities. “Students who attend smaller colleges tend to become involved in more organizations,” the report stated. Joining a club opens the door to building new friendships, enhancing academic life, and exploring career opportunities. It will also teach students important leadership and management skills needed when working in any career field. When in a student organization at Kean University students may be expected to plan campus-wide academic, cultural, religious or social events, as well as working on various aspects of student publications, competing in athletic competitions or debate tournaments, attending leadership seminars, and organizing community service projects. “I though that this club would be a great way to help student and get involved on campus,” said Charline Santiago, a member of ACCENTS. ACCENTS is a intercultural club that provides students with an opportunity to use English outside of the class, to help students to improve their English, to arrange meetings, and to help them gain confidence. “This club is a great way for international students coming to Kean to have an easier transition and feel welcomed,” Santiago said. Clubs and organizations improve social and educational growth on college campuses. It can give students exposure to their fields or get them involved in a cause. College is a time for students to meet people and explore new talents and clubs help with making the transition easier. Organizations get students involved in the college campus and as incoming students arrive it helps them to become comfortable with their new surroundings.

Love

(Continued from page 1)

the holiday actually means. “Valentine’s Day is important for the people who don’t take care of their personal relationships or lover,” said Justin Grubert, a history major at Kean University. “I personally would prefer having a random day to have a ‘Valentine’s Day,’ instead of waiting until February 14th each year to celebrate this special occasion.” “Valentine’s Day is very overrated because it shouldn’t be one day you express your love to someone,” said Ayana Forbes, a junior Communications major. “That should be an everyday thing.” Each year during Valentine’s Day, it is well known around the country for travel and gift expenses to “skyrocket” due to the holiday. Many hotel rates will rise. Restaurants and catering services will also increase their daily food rates. According to Eve Glaser, a worker at Hollywood Florist in Union, New Jersey, the prices of roses and flowers cost more on Valentine’s Day due to supply and demand. The roses are usually imported from other foreign countries into the United States. The cost of air freight, as well as ground delivery, makes the cost of roses increase greatly on special occasions. “Some great tips that people should do to save money are to ‘pre-order’ the dozen roses at least a month in advance, or in January,” Glaser said. “Valentine’s Day should be a special time to celebrate with your loved one. It’s always good to plan holidays and special occasions according to your ‘personal budget’.” At Kean University, members of the Pan-African Student Union (PASU) will be organizing a special event for Valentine’s Day called, Black Love Affair. This event will take place on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in Downs Hall. The event is 5 dollars for all Kean students. “This organization puts together a great event each year for students to enjoy a special occasion with their loved ones,” said Courtney McTeer, a junior accounting major. “I’ve always believed in true love and happiness, and I feel that people should enjoy that special moment with their significant other on this day.”


3 THE TOWER

February, 2015

Two life changing Decembers By Marco Rodriguez

The memories of that day come back to me in a blur. I can vaguely remember the bright lights and the loud noise of people coming in and out of the airport. My father, who months earlier had left our native Costa Rica to find employment, greeted my mother and my siblings at the gate when we arrived that December day. As any nervous four-year-old would do, I clung on to my mother’s side as we collected our bags and found the exit. The sliding doors revealed snow and a bitter cold that I had never experienced before. I was now in America. My life would never be the same. The memories of that other December day are much clearer to me. I sat patiently with my mother waiting for my name to be called in Newark’s Immigration offices. Twenty years after having moved from Costa Rica to the United States, the time had come for me to become an American citizen. The same nerves that my former four-year-old self felt at John F. Kennedy airport came over me as I sat in that waiting room that Thursday morning. I had studied countless hours for the civics test and was convinced that I would pass it. Nevertheless, the pre-exam nerves that we college students are accustomed to began to kick in as I looked around the crowded room. American citizenship is an incredible privilege that I fear most people who have it, take for granted. The rights and liberties we have been blessed with, which have come at the expense of our servicemen and women’s lives, are luxuries many people around the world wish they had. A simple scan of daily newspapers and television news segments can confirm that. While others suffer under cruel governments, we enjoy the riches of a democracy. We are not muted in America,

but have been given the opportunity to step up and make a difference. We have a right to vote for our officials in elections locally and nationally. Not only can we vote, but we can be voted for, as our citizenship allows us the opportunity to become elected officials. While it is true that we have problems here at home, America gives people a hope that they may not have had in their native country. As the time passed and I continued to scan the room, that reality set in. There we were, people of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds all seeking the same thing: a chance to add our names to the list of people who call America “home.” As people completed their interviews and exams, they would walk out of the offices with tears of joy running down their faces. With great emotion, they embraced their loved ones who accompanied them on that special day. What perhaps was once only a dream had become a reality that day. They were Americans. No outside leader, country, or extremist group could change that. They were safe at home. There we were, all different, but all the same. While for twenty years I had lived in America and considered it as my home, this day would make it official and usher in a new season in my life. After about an hour and a half wait my name was called and, with that, the big moment had arrived. I was warmly greeted by an immigration officer who brought me into her office, where I swore an oath to tell the truth during my interview and exam. I took a deep breath and looked out over Newark from her office window. After successfully providing the officer my personal information I was asked ten civics questions as part of my exam. The requirement for citizenship is to answer at least six of the ten correctly, which

Celebrating Black History with the PanAfrican Student Association By Christina Collazo

“Hotep”- a word meaning “At peace”, that the Pan-African Student Association repeats before raising the black liberation flag outside of University Center in honor of Black History Month. In a speech made by Kayla-Simone McKelvey, President of the PASU said, “The colors of the Pan African flag is red for the blood that unties all people of black African ancestry and shed for liberation, the black is for black people that exists as a nation, not only a nation state but affirm by the flag in power, and green is the abundant nature of African land.” On February 5th, students came out to see the ceremonial raising of the Pan-African Flag as prayers were made and a single fist was raised in honor of Black and African culture. Kyleesha Wingfield-Hill, a senior and member of PASU said, “I joined the Pan-African Student Association because I wanted to get in touch with my history, be active in the community goals, and get to know where we come from.” Kyleesha is currently working behind-thescenes in the annual “Black Love Affair” event that will feature a live band, spoken word, and gospel choir which will celebrate love in oneself as well as African descent. The event is scheduled for February 15th in Downs Hall. Kyleesha said, “Black Love”, is to get back in touch with what “Black Love” is and what “Black love” means.” With the activities and events planned in Kean University, The Pan-African Student Association has contributed to a lot of community outreach outside of Kean University with workshops and mentoring. The Pan-African Student Union is a cultural Organization started at Kean University that unites all people of African descent into a greater awareness of self. They emphasize that everyone is welcome to join and come celebrate Black culture. “Sonically, it will be a vast departure from Signs of Life, but it is certain to be the best stuff I’ve ever come up with,” said Smith.

I was able to do with ease. From there I was asked to read and write sentences in English, which I was able to do successfully as part of the exam. After taking one last look at my paperwork and asking me several questions, the officer congratulated me and told me that I had successfully met all of the requirements for citizenship. I was ready to be sworn in and from that day forward consider myself an American. A great sense of pride and joy came over me at that moment when I heard the news. I quickly made my way out of the office as my mother greeted me with a warm hug and a kiss. Her son, who as a little boy clung on to her that one December day in the airport, now clung on to her as a proud new citizen Photo: Elieth Rodriguez of the United States Standing with my certificate after being sworn in as an twenty years later. American citizen. The swearing in ceremony, which took about 30 minutes, featured mom could take a picture of me with my cera congratulatory speech from the office’s ditificate in hand. I walked out of the building rector, a presentation of our certificates, and that afternoon with a smile on my face and a recorded speech from President Obama. I with my mom by my side. I was now an Amerstood at the front after the ceremony so my ican. My life would never be the same.

Kean offers relief to stressed students By Maria Tutillo

Kean University’s Office of Intervention and Retention offered an Overcoming Anxiety Workshop last December in the Center for Academic Success Building to help students relieve stress. They plan to offer more workshops this spring. Overcoming anxiety workshops are mandatory for students who are under academic probation. Students are subjected to academic probation when their academic performance is not up to standards. Academic probation is removed from students after they attend all sessions of the workshops in that semester and after they have improved their grades. Marbely Perez, a Montclair State University graduate and Kean University alumna Stefanie Perez worked together towards counseling and guiding attendees. “We just try to help everyone who walks in here to walk out feeling a little better,” Stefanie Perez said. “We help them pick up their slack.” However, anyone is invited to attend the workshops. You do not necessarily need to be under probation or be a Kean student. The only requirement is to be active and committed to participate. “We just go with the flow,” said Marbely Perez. “We talk about whatever needs to be addressed to calm students down in anxious times so they don’t stress out

more than they need to.” During the session, several handouts where distributed which helped students measure how severe their anxiety was. The handouts also provided tips and advice on how to deal with excessive anxiety. One of the handouts, an anxiety questionnaire, was developed by Sherrie Nist-olejnik and William Diehl in 1990 to determine if a student experiences a mild or severe case of anxiety. Stephanie Perez commented on how she retains her composure while she counseled five other people during one evening’s session. “You can’t stress the little things because you’ll be stressed all the time” she said. Students that attended the workshops noted they provided a much needed sense of belonging. They felt as though they had someone who understood them, acknowledged their troubles, and wanted to help them do better. Besides the overcoming anxiety workshop, the office of intervention and retention also offers setting boundaries, time-management, note-taking, and managing stress workshops. The workshops will still be ongoing for the spring semester as well. The schedule can be found in the CAS room 118. For more information, call (908)-737-0323.

Human Rights Club urges Kean to sign “Conflict-Free Campus” initiative By Joshua Howard

Although the Democratic Republic of Congo is 7000 miles away from Union New Jersey, Kean University students won’t let distance stop them from making a difference in the Congo. Over the last two months the Human Rights Club (HRC) has been working closely with an organization called Raise Hope for Congo to help implement the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative here at Kean. The CFCI would send a petition to school officials stating that since we support so many of these technological companies on campus, we would like to see change being brought about in their mineral acquiring process. This change would request that these companies audit inventories and give public reports to consumers of where their minerals come from. It would also encourage the campus community to be aware of the issues tied to conflict minerals. The petition is expected to reach school officials this semester. Although this plan is just in the beginning stages, Human Rights Club Treasurer Kasey Walker, believes that this is a vital step in order to reach the end goal. “The biggest step is definitely raising awareness as to why this is important,” said Walker. “Not only is it important for us as global citizens but it’s so important that we, as students, can play a huge role in putting an end to the world’s deadliest war.” The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) uses the power of student leadership and activism to bring about peace in Congo. For more than 15 years, the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered intense conflict, mainly because the area is rich in minerals

like coltan, tungsten, tin and gold. These minerals, which are in extremely high demand, are used in almost all consumer electronics such as phones, music players, cameras and computers. “Armed groups compete for access to these resources, exploiting the land and devastating local populations. Over 5 million civilians have died, making this the deadliest conflict since World War II. About 45,000 people die every month due to famine, disease, displacement, killings, and sexual violence” according to the World Without Genocide Organization. The CFCI, is a campaign that helps build conflict-free electronics. Students, as well as schools, have a huge amount of power and say in this matter because students are the largest consumers of technology, and schools often have many computers, lab equipment and other electronic products. Kean’s involvement in this project has gained the attention of John Prendergast, a human rights activist, author, and former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Mr. Prendergast stopped by Kean on Oct. 9 to discuss the beginning steps of implementing this new initiative here on campus. During his two-hour long discussion with selected student leaders, Prendergast noted how important this movement is, especially because it is being led by students. “President Obama, in 2012, set up a team of workers to specifically inquire about the growing trends and social movements of college students in this country ” said Prendergast during his discussion. He continued by stating “ the fact that we have the potential to get an entire campus on board for this project is really going to send a powerful message to legislators as well as companies that manufacture these products.”


February, 2015

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

4 THE TOWER

Kean Stage brings dance to Wilkins By Adilene Rodriguez

Once again Kean Stage is bringing an array of talent for the rest of their 2014-2015 season this semester. The five different venues on campus, which include Enlow Hall, Wilkins Theater, and the Zella Fry Theater at Vaughn-Eames, serve as host to the various acts that come and go to Kean. But when it comes to dance productions, Wilkins Theater serves as host. This spring, six productions are set to hit the stage. Russian National Ballet’s Cinderella: The Russian National Ballet is coming to Kean on March 14 to perform the children fairytale classic “Cinderella.” The ballet company will be performing Russian composer Serge Prokofiev’s famed composition of the play. New Jersey Ballet presents Romeo and Juliet: The New Jersey Ballet Company comes with their rendition of the Shakespeare classic, which they first premiered in 1986 to rave reviews, on March 21. Following the performance, the ballet company will also be performing popular selections from their collection. New Jersey Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty: The New Jersey Ballet Company will come back the following evening for another night of ballet. Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky’s ballet rendition of the fairytale will serve as the score on March 22. This performance will also be family friendly with storyteller narration to help children keep along with the performance. New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble presents i Balli di Primavera: Performing i Balli di Primavera or “The Dance of Spring,” the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble comes back to Kean on April 19. Previously here for a performance of “The Nutcracker,” the dance ensemble

Photo: Joseph Schembri

The New Jersey Ballet performing

will be premiering four new numbers by choreographers Kate Skarpetowska, Greg Dolbashian, Manuel Vignoulle, and artistic director of the ensemble, Nancy Turano. Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Winners of a New York Times “Critics Choice” Award, Complexions Contemporary Ballet dance company will perform on May 2. Spearheaded by choreographers Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, the Complexions Contemporary Ballet is known for their fresh approach to dance. Together with the rest of their company, the Complexions company challenges style, period, venue, and even culture to showcase their groundbreaking form of art.

Kean University Dance Ensemble Retrospective Dances with The Well Performance Project: The final show of the season will be left to Kean’s very own. The Kean University Dance Ensemble, or KUDE, will take the stage on April 10 and 11, with performances by Kean dance faculty, artistic director Luis Martinez, and guest artists. They will be performing a variety of dance genres, ranging from contemporary modern to jazz, classical, urban and ethnic dance. To purchase tickets to any of these events, ticket pricing or for more information, you can go to the Kean Stage website at: www.keanstage.com

Birds of a Feather Flock Together at Kean By Vera Boateng

Creative and independent artwork by students in the Fine Arts and Design departments are presented in the first floor student gallery each semester at the Vaughn Eames Building. From Jan. 21 to Jan. 28, Artist and Kean alumni, Michelle Harpster, featured her works entitled, “Birds of a Feather.” Harpster, a Summa Cum Laude recipient, graduated from Kean in 2014 and earned her bachelor’s degree in K-12 Art education. She is also a member of the Lambda Alpha Sigma Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society. Harpster returned to Kean as a Graduate Assistant in Fall 2014. She has also studied abroad in countries such as Brazil and Italy to gain more knowledge in the arts. Her other works include “When Feathers Fly” that was shown in 2014. According to the exhibit, it showed how the birds offer insight into a world of visual symbolism and how perceptions of different bird species are different throughout cultures and folklore. For example, some differences in perceptions are that birds are seen as signs of renewed life or the transition between life and death. Also, that the birds for mankind, suggest that they are signs of eternal life The exhibit also pointed out how owls were perceived in countries such as Africa and Europe. In Africa, owls are associated with witchcraft and bad luck. In Europe owls are perceived as wise creatures. Other types of birds discussed in the exhibit were doves and ravens. Harpster said that her line-work in each of the works in the exhibit showed unique, delicate, beauty. She also wrote in the exhibit introduction, that the birds act as a spiritual vessel for transition and growth. The artist’s reception to “Birds of a Feather” was held on Jan. 26 in the student gallery in the Vaughn Eames Building. Some other gallery exhibitions to come this semester include: “Only Human” by Aliyah Bradley in the Vaughn Eames Student Gallery, “Mill Street Salon: Beyond the Image”, in the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery, “Norm Chow, Outsider” in the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery, “Wish You Were Here” by Bridget Schmidt and Jesse Michalski in the Vaughn Eames Student Gallery, and Jan Karski “The World Knew” in the Human Rights Institute Gallery in the library.

Photo: Vera Boateng

A brochure collection of what is to be shown in the galleries at Kean this semester.

Woody Allen T.V. Series coming to Amazon By Anthony N. Muccigrossi

Woody Allen

Photo: Steve Granitz Copyright wireimage.com

Woody Allen, known for his writing, directing and acting, has been signed by Amazon Studios to write and direct his first TV Series, according to a press release from Amazon. com “Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all-time, and it’s an honor to be working with him on his first television series,” said Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios. Mr. Allen, who has 75 writer credits, 51 director credits and 45 actor credits, according to IMDB.com, will finally write and direct his first television series. The name of the series has not been disclosed, but the release stated that a full season of half-hour episodes was

ordered by Amazon Studios. “From Annie Hall to Blue Jasmine, Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn’t be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year,” Said Price. The release said Prime Instant Video will be the source for customers to watch the series developed by Mr. Allen, which is among five other series to launch in 2015. “I don’t know how I got into this,” said Mr. Allen. “I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin. “My guess is that Roy Price will regret this,” Mr. Allen said. According to IMDb.com, Mr. Allen has won 136 awards including an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay for “Midnight in Paris,” among many of his awards and nominations.


5 THE TOWER

February, 2015

movies

The Oscars

Controversies abound in Oscar nominated bio film By Kristen DeMatos

In Bradley Cooper’s newest film, “American Sniper,” the actor portrays former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The movie is based on his memoir of the same title. Although the movie has been nominated for Picture of the Year in the Oscars, some people feel that the film portrayed Kyle in a more positive light than deserved. The movie begins during Kyle’s childhood, with his dad explaining that as long as protection is being provided against the “bad guy,” violence is okay. Kyle grows up and joins the Navy SEALS, and the film shows what he must go through to become one. During his training, he shows great shooting accuracy. After the September 11th attacks, Kyle is sent to Iraq for the first of his eventual four tours. With pin-point accuracy, Kyle becomes the most successful sniper in the US Military with a count of 160 confirmed kills. The film follows him over seas and during his visits back home and shows his struggles both with the war and adjusting to family life when he was home. In 2009, Kyle was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy with two Silver Stars

and five Bronze Stars. Kyle helped to found Fitco Cares, a non-profit organization with a program intended to help veterans suffering from PTSD or war injuries. On February 2, 2013, Chris Kyle was shot and killed by a U.S.veteran, who he was helping, with his companion Chad Littlefield. The movie was intended to depict Kyle’s life as a heroic one. However, some audience members feel the movie has also aggravated the debate over recent American military action. Director Michael Moore recently stirred up controversy when he posted the following on Twitter: “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” This caused an uproar and many stood up for Kyle and fellow military snipers, including Sarah Palin, who said, “God bless our troops, especially our snipers.” Discussion has also been brought up over Kyle’s past actions, including an unverifiable story where Kyle claims he went to Louisiana post-Katrina with a friend of his, and they shot looters who were trying to break into homes. Another story that has circulated

Bradley Cooper holding fake baby in American Sniper.

alleges that shortly after his return home from his fourth and final tour, Kyle was approached by two men with guns who threaten to shoot him if he did not hand over his wallet and keys to his truck. Kyle pretended to reach into his truck in order to grab the keys, but instead, grabbed his gun and swiftly shot the two men. A version of the story says that Kyle called the police to the scene, and when they arrived, he had them speak to an official at the Department of Defense who helped him to evade any possible charges based on the fact that he was a decorated

Oscar film reviews

Photo: Warner Bros.

veteran. The final controversy that has emerged from the film is on a much lighter note. Fans and critics have pointed out that in a scene where Cooper is speaking to his wife, he is holding a baby that is undeniably fake and unrealistic. Unlike the other controversies, this one has brought laughs and jokes. Regardless of political stance, American Sniper is an incredible film filled with emotion, struggles and American pride. It’s no wonder the film has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards.

The Theory of Everything By Anthony N. Muccigrossi

“The Theory of Everything” provides a dramatic glimpse into the life of Stephen Hawking, a physicist, who lives with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The film combines a touching true story with dramatic cinematography. Beginning with Hawking’s college life, the film features how a typical brilliant college student’s life was shattered by a diagnosis of ALS.

However, Hawking wouldn’t let his illness prevent him from his work. After enduring many medical boundaries, Hawking continued to pursue his dream of Astronomy and Cosmology. While the film places a strong focus on Hawking’s battle with ALS, it also equally showcases Hawking’s personal and family life including his caring wife and three children. If you’re looking for a memorable and touching movie, “The Theory of Everything” is one to see. Photo: IMDB.com

Birdman By Bryan C. Kuriawa

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s newest film: The masterwork of the year. On those rare occasions, a certain film come along that makes a viewer question how they view cinema in general. For this writer, that often results in long extensional debates over existence and how such cinematic monstrosities are conceived. However this is not one of those unfortunate occasions as we look into the latest film from Alejandro González Iñárritu. Once a popular actor known as the cinematic superhero, Birdman, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) has fallen on hard

times. Desperate to restart his career, he puts all his effort into a self-produced adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. Battling with financiers, actors, his manager, his daughter, a miserable critic, previews, and his psyche, Thomson discovers more than anticipated. Nominated in multiple categories at the 2015 Oscars, “Birdman” is a superb film for this year’s award season and for audiences. With Alejandro González Iñárritu at the helm, led by Oscar-nominated actors, Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone and featuring a creative and unique storyline, we have the finest film of 2014. Truly an excellent movie for all those interested in one with Oscar anticipation.

Photo: Impawards.com

Boyhood By Adilene Rodriguez

Director Richard Linklater was able to transform the universal story of growing up, into a timeless piece of work. “Boyhood” is a coming of age story that made cinematic history by being the first film to be shot over the course of 12 years with the same cast, which includes Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, both nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Actor at this years Oscars. The film tells the story of Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, a young boy who deals with the trials and tribulations of growing

up with divorced parents, moving around, falling in love and figuring out what he wants to do with his future. You’re so entranced with the story and being empathetic to Mason and his family, you forget that you are watching the same actors aging before your eyes. It is such an ingenious idea for a film, it’s hard to believe that this is the first time its ever been done and the simplicity of the story is what makes it that much more genius. For any film maker who dares try to imitate this has their work cut out for them. And after “Boyhood”, it’s hard to imagine anyone else would, making “Boyhood” that much more exceptional. Photo: IFC Films

Selma By Adilene Rodriguez

By now most moviegoers know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his role in the Civil Rights Movement in America. “Selma” highlights the events that lead up to the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in 1965. But what “Selma” most importantly does is tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr. the man. In some of the scenes, such as one where right before King heads out to Selma, he calls gospel singer Mahalia Photo: IMDB.com

Jackson and request that she sings for him, soothing a visibly frightened King. Scenes like these and scenes we see him with his wife, Coretta Scott King (played by Carmen Ejogo, her second time playing this role), allows the viewers to see him in another light no other film about King has been able to do. Actor David Oyelowo portrays King with such humanity; the outrage over Oyelowo and “Selma” director Ava Duvernay not being nominated in this year’s Oscars is completely reasonable.


6 THE TOWER

OP-ED February, 2015

Modern Activism: A lost cause By Bryan C. Kuriawa

Activism is seen as individuals, or a group of people, whose goal is to support a particular cause or course of action. They believe their cause, regardless of its subject matter, is a just or “good cause.” To this extent, individuals believe they may be able to bring change to a particular injustice. Historically, such a principle has been the hallmark of various social movements that have succeeded in improving the world and various groups involved. To university students, activism encompasses a need to remove impasses to achieve the possibility of individualistic self-actualization. At Kean, last December, we saw students come out in protest against the death of Eric Garner and the subject of police brutality. We are told about the subject of protesting, and, as university students, getting involved in such actions is a sign of being aware of the world around. Such is a straight-forward concept, yet when protesting, the question remains, what is the overarching goal. What would these protesters see as true alternatives to existing situations? In several recently covered protests, the core arguments of activism fell to the wayside. Less on the concept of individual rights and closer to the ideals of control. In September, New York City was host to the People’s Climate March. Intended to demonstrate a people-orientated movement against environmental degradation, it made national headlines. One must go no further than the over-filled garbage-laden waste bins near the protest streets to see the reality of this march. To many the People’s Climate March was seen as a logical action against what they see as environmental destruction by big government and their large corporate interests. One does not have to go far to realize we do have an ever-increasing government with corporations and special interests who need government for their very survival. Yet when looking at many in this protest, we see signs that advocate the destruction or collapse of capitalism. We see those who advocate socialism or communism as superior alternatives. In essence, rather than stop the corporatism and corruption inherent in large governing bodies, they advocate the arrival of collectivism, inherent in such systems. For those in need of a refresher on socialism, several countries in South America, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, would be sufficient. These countries are becoming fast lessons and false hope for advocates of such concepts. From the “Occupy” movement’s premise of replacing big government with larger government to the recent debates concerning modern feminism, activism is failing to meet its basic criteria. On the latter of those two subjects, let it be stressed that the United States, Canada, and much of Western Europe are among the freest societies on Earth. Yet there are those who believe we live in the past and women are subjected to a patriarchy. In this concept many, not all, modern feminists feel that women are still restricted. We are consistently told of “Rape Culture” and of video games, television and film being detrimental, if not misogynist to the opposite sex. To many in the U.S., it is often stated that women are not “equal” to men in rights and that we are not a free society. One may recall the words of economist Milton Friedman on the misuse of the term, Equality. “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before

equality will get a high degree of both.” Equality is a term truly misused in today’s culture. Rather than stress individual rights for all under the same system, and both sexes, it is being used as a term to make everyone and everything the same. The idea is to create a form of conformity where everything is properly structured and verbally correct in the world. To those stressing current feminist trends, it’s less about reform and individuality and more about controls acting as laws. Such is the hope of utopian dreamers with no understanding of the inner workings of society. Last December, New York City experienced a second wave of protest surrounding the death of Eric Garner. Garner’s death, after being placed in a police chokehold for resisting arrest, sparked a continued debate over excessive force being used by law enforcement. The protests continued for several weeks with the support of government officials and other social activist groups. In truth, regardless of police conduct, Garner’s action prior to resisting arrest, selling untaxed cigarettes, was viewed as a crime. Such is the example of a pointless and incredibly unnecessary law. The man died simply trying to earn money in a way he could, something police and legislatures should not concern themselves with. Yet this was drowned out in the cries of racial discrimination charges by protestors and other groups. By month’s end, two police officers were dead in the city at the hands of a man who wanted to kill police over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Garner in New York. At the year’s start, New York City saw record drops in tickets for minor offences as officers refuse to acknowledge Mayor Bill de Blasio over his comments on Garner’s death. We are constantly being told in protest after protest about the problems of environmental destruction, the “lack” of women’s rights, and racial injustice, yet let’s ask another question. Do the protestors know what they’re protesting? When America tuned into the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, after the decision in the death of Michael Brown, they saw a town in flames. As the president urged peace, we saw looters burn down local businesses, vandalize stores of their items, and let a community fall into anarchy. Is that protesting, or is our definition losing focus? Perhaps the above mentioned subjects are merely a cover. Recently a Tumblr writer, by the name of Serfdom-are-we-there-yet, wrote a short piece on Social Justice that made this writer curious. “Here’s the truth about social justice and feminism. It’s a diversion. A smoke screen. Because if people ever realized exactly how bad things are, sexual and racial inequality would be the last thing on their minds,” Serfdom-are-we-there-yet said. ---- “The petty squabbling of the social justice “warriors” and feminists does absolutely nothing except divide people against each other, while the elite merrily pick pockets and slit throats, covered by the din and confusion of the ridiculous.” Protest movements cite their claims to remove injustice in the world, yet their actions may result in a loss of freedom that one could scarcely imagine. This is not the way a reason-based culture works; this is how totalitarianism is bred. One in which your very life is determined by those who know nothing of you. Such is the hallmarks of today’s activism, it is not to draw attention and promote change, it is to misinform and utilize force to recreate civilization. Such is the culture that the insane may only inhabit.

THE TOWER Department of Communication Kean University Center for Academic Success 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 Telephone: (908) 737-0460; Fax: (908) 737-0465 Email: thetower@kean.edu; www.keantower.com

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

Editor-in-Chief: Bryan C. Kuriawa Managing Editor: KRISTEN DEMATOS News Editor: REBECCA PANICO FEATURES EDITOR: ANNALISE KNUDSON Arts & Ent. Editor: Adilene Rodriguez Sports Editor: Mak Ojutiku Online EditorS: Kristen Dematos Yayona Bangura ONLINE VIDEO EDITOR: Anthony muccigrossi STAFF Jamie Alicea Phil Anthony Timothy Awojobi Vera Boateng Nicole Brown Sade Cox Alyssa davis

Krzysztof kucza Daris Mendez ryan norton Marco Rodriguez celeste simmons bhriana smith

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

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SPORTS

7 THE TOWER

February, 2015

Men’s Volleyball Player Spikes Home Honors By Krzysztof Kucza

Senior Bez Arslani received two awards in one week as he was named Player of the Week of the Skyline Conference and also the Corvias ECAS Player of the Week during the week of January 16. These awards sprung from the outstanding performance from Arslani after sweeping Kean’s first ever Winter Classic. “To me the biggest award from this week has to be us going undefeated this weekend to start off the season and also creating a stronger bond between my teammates,” Arslani said after receiving the awards. The 6’1” outside hitter averaged 4.27 kills and 2.27 digs over 11 sets over that weekend and when it came to the biggest game of the weekend, the Wayne native stockpiled 22 kills in the Cougars’ 3-2 win over No. 10 Elmira. “Coming into this match, knowing we were ranked sixth in the nation and also knowing that we lost to this Elmira team twice in the previous year, I had to bring everything I had and leave everything on the court.” said Arslani. “With such a veteran team this year, we had the chemistry and composure to fight through the struggles of this match as a team.” Volleyball wasn’t something Arslani ever even thought about picking up in his youth. He once told his eventual high school coach that “volleyball is a girls sport”, and that he was going to play baseball. Shortly after saying that, he caved into playing volleyball instead. This decision ultimately started a successful and great path for Arslani, as he not only lead his high school team to a county championship his senior year but additionally earned First Team All Star honors. This success encouraged him to pursue college athletics and he ended up playing for New Jersey City University in his first two years in college, after he was unsuccessful in getting into Kean University. This didn’t stop the Albanian as he eventually ended up transferring to Kean after his sophomore year. Since being part of the Kean’s Mens Volleyball team, “Bez Dispenser”, has maintained a 3.6 GPA. This intelligence has crossed over to the volleyball court as he helped the cougars start the season an impressive 6-0. “Bez is the type of player that can hype you up when you need it and is always there for you. He can provide sparks throughout matches when we need them in vital moments” said current teammate Ed Jedziniak who was named AVCA Division III Men’s National Player of the Week two years back for the first time in school history. The physical education major has high hopes on continuing his volleyball career. He plans on reaching out to coaches in Europe and playing professionally overseas after he gets his degree. “As of right now, I am focused on this season and winning a national championship and being the best teammate I can be.” said Arslani. “Statistics are something that are forgotten but the feeling of winning a national championship would stick with the team and me forever.”

Arslani was named player of the week for his outstanding play.

Photo: Kean Athletics

“Statistics are something that are forgotten but the feeling of winning a national championship would stick with the team and me forever.”

Photo: Krzysztof Kuczah

Bez Arslani in action.

A Strong Start: Men’s Volleyball By Alyssa Davis

The Kean University men’s volleyball team won all four of their matches on opening weekend at the Kean Winter Classic to start the 2015 season with an undefeated, 4-0 record. In their first match at the Classic, the Cougars went toe-to-toe with Elmira College. After Kean won the first set 27-25, Elmira responded with a win of their own, 24-26. Kean came back to win the third set, 25-18, but, Elmira had an answer to that as well, winning the fourth set, 24-26. In the final set of the match, the Cougars went 15-13 to secure the win. In the second match of the event, the Cougars shut out Brooklyn College three games to none, winning the sets 25-4, 25-1, and 25-12, respectively. Kean then hosted Endicott College in the third match of the weekend. After losing the first set 24-26, the Cougars came back to win in straight-sets, 25-21, 25-20, and 25-23. In the fourth and final match of the event, the Cougars defeated Johnson & Wales University three sets to one. After winning the first two sets, 25-10 and 28-26, Johnson &

The men’s volleyball team

Wales won the third set, 30-32 before Kean rallied to earn a 25-14 victory in the fourth to secure the win. Head Coach Charlie Ginex has high hopes for his team after their impressive start.“We

Photo: Kean Athletics

will be very good this season but, with a lot of tests along the way,” Ginex said. The tests, as the second-year head coach referred to, are the 13 nationally-ranked teams that the Cougars have ahead of them this season.

The sixth-ranked Kean Cougars come back this season after going undefeated in the Skyline conference (14-0) and making it to the quarter-finals of the NCAA tournament in 2014. “We have a very different team this year compared to last,” Ginex said. “We have five seniors, one junior, no sophomores and nine freshman, making the majority of our team young players.” Although the Cougars roster is compiled of mostly underclassmen players, they only lost one senior starter from last season’s team. “We are a great combination of returning experience and young talent, so it will be a fun season seeing how it all comes together come late April,” Ron Dunn, team captain, said. Dunn also commented on the great chemistry among the members of the team, saying that they are all friends off the court making them a better team on the court. The Cougars are practicing eight to twelve hours per-week in preparation for the matches ahead of them. “My coaching staff and I want to be able to say ‘we are better this week than we were last week,’ and if we are able to do that, the sky is the limit,” Ginex said.


SPORTS

8 THE TOWER

February, 2015

Photo: Kean Athletics

The 2013-2014 men’s lacrosse team.

Men’s Lacrosse Team Set High Goals for Upcoming Season By Angel Ospina

Kean’s Men Lacrosse team looks to build on its success of the past, as the season is quickly approaching.Shelley Sheiner is entering his 12 year as the head of coach the Cougars. He’s earned over 100 wins in his tenure here at Kean. “I am looking forward to another excellent season.” said Sheiner. “We should continue our winning ways and complete a decade of 10 consecutive winning seasons and playoff appearances.” The team is coming off a 15-3 season, which matched the team record for most wins in a season. When Sheiner was asked about which of his returning players he is most excited to coach this year he spoke highly of his team’s juniors. “My top players include juniors Matt Speciale and Anthony Carpenter on offense, both had breakout seasons in 2014 and they will lead our attack this year,” said Sheiner. Midfielders and team captains, Senior Dave Hobson and Junior Anthony Perrotta look to lead the team both on offense and on defense. “Being a junior captain is a great honor. said

“We are looking to continue the family bond our team has and we really stress the importance of being in shape both physically and mentally,”

Perrotta. “We are looking to continue the family bond our team has and we really stress the importance of being in shape both physically and mentally,” The Cougars are on the hunt for the Skyline Conference Championship, which they haven’t won in six years. “We are a young and hungry squad with only 3 seniors on our roster, said Sheiner. “but Hobson, Mike Cristitello and Jamar Thigpen have us going in the right direction,” Student assistant coach, Marc Zolchonock is also looking forward for the season to begin as this will be his first year on the coaching staff. Zolchonock spent the last four years at Kean as a long-stick defenseman and he is looking forward to applying his experience to the younger student-athletes. “ I am most excited about working on the staff and helping our 2015 defense be as strong as our previous defenses,” said, Zolchonock. The season starts with a home game on Tuesday, February 24 where they will be taking on Arcadia University.

Struggling Cougars Look Towards the Future By Ryan Norton

The Cougars facing off against Stevens Institute of Technology

Photo: Mak Ojutiku

On February 18, Kean University’s men’s basketball team will be playing its final game of the 2014-2015 season against The College of New Jersey. After finishing last season with a 16-14 record, the Cougars’ season got off to a slow start, dropping their first six games. Of those six, four games were losses to teams within their division, the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Despite the losses, Kean’s Cougars remained competitive on the court, losing three of those six games by four points or less. The team’s first two wins would come in back-to-back games in December, defeating Rutgers-Newark by a score of 58-55, followed up by defeating Delaware Valley College 63-60. On December 18 and 19, Kean University, along with Sewanee, Keystone College, and Hampden-Sydney College all participated in a four-team tournament, The Luck Stone Holiday Tournament, in Hampden-Sydney, Va. In this single elimination tournament, Kean lost their first game to Hampden-Sydney College, 80-56, but quickly rebounded in their next game the following day, defeating Keystone College 65-51, securing third place in the tournament. The month of January saw the Cougars continue to struggle, posting only a 2-8 record in that time. Their victories came in an 81-78 OT win over Montclair State University, and a 71-70 victory over Ramapo College, which saw senior Emmanuel

Omowole put the finishing touches on a 15-point comeback by hitting a 3-point shot in the final seconds. Rob Kurzinsky, the head coach of Kean’s basketball team, is still trying to find solutions to difficulties the team is facing during a game. “As Bill Parcells once said, ‘you are what your record says you are’, and the team’s record falls on my shoulders,” Kurzinsky said. “Part of our culture is that we start every day 0-0, and we are just trying to win that day and get to 1-0 each night. Our guys have stayed true to that belief and have competed hard on a daily basis.” At the conclusion of this season, the team will see the departure of three senior starters: JJ Hladik, Tim Steward and Emmanuel Omowole. Sophomore Kevin Grek, and juniors Mike Diamond, Dre Kelly, and Tommy Soulias have elevated their game throughout the season, and are being seen as the key players of the team going into next season. Going forward, the coach has a very positive outlook about his team. “I am extremely optimistic about our future,” Kurzinsky said. “Our culture is strong, we have the right type of individuals leading our program. At times, the difference between winning and losing in the NJAC is a very fine line. We certainly need to address some of our weaknesses, but most importantly is we need to continue developing our players, both individually and collectively, on a daily basis to get to where we want to be.”

The Tower February 2015  
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