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Yard Leads Softball Team Page 7
Women’s History Series Page 4
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THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF KEAN UNIVERSITY
Kean pulls Common from commencement By Nicole Brown Kean University backtracked on its decision to have hip-hop artist Common deliver this year’s graduation commencement speech after New Jersey State Police raised concerns over the artist’s support of convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard in his song, “A Song for Assata.” The decision surfaced on March 30, but hours later the university apologized for the premature announcement on Twitter. The university’s flip-flop gained national attention and sparked social media weighins after the incident was reported by The Record on March 31. The New Jersey State Police opposed the content of the Common song in question since it tells the story of Assata Shakur, whose legal name is Joanna Chesimard. She was convicted of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1977, but escaped from prison and fled to Cuba where she now lives as a fugitive. “I’m thinking of Assata, yes,” Common says in a song recorded in 2000. “Listen to my love, Assata. Yes, your power and pride is beautiful. May God bless your soul.” According to reports, two state troopers were patrolling the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973 when they stopped a car with Chesimard and two other passengers. Court testimony explains that Chesimard opened fire on the troopers, killing Foerster and wounding another state trooper. In a telephone interview Capt. Stephen Jones, spokesman for the New Jersey State Police, said he has nothing against the
artist but noted, “We don’t need to glorify a convicted felon.” He also said Kean’s selection would be “a slap in the face” towards law enforcement. “We will continue to bring awareness to the public about the death of the state trooper, and will continue to seek the return of Chesimard to New Jersey to face justice,” said Jones. Common, 41, known for his AcademyAward winning song in “Selma,” has spoken at Kean in the past. Last year he was the keynote speaker at Kean’s Black History Month celebration. Gerard Smithwrick, President of Kean’s Student Organization, defended the university’s decision in a statement e-mailed to all students on April 2. “When we learned of the heightened sensitivity surrounding the choice of Common as our speaker, we (the students and the administration) felt that by continuing with the event as planned, it would detract from this momentous occasion,” Smithwrick said in a statement. New Jersey State Police erupted in anger over the rapper’s invitation to the White House in 2011, but it is unclear if the university had prior knowledge about this incident. Several attempts were made to contact Kean’s spokesperson, but no one responded by this article’s deadline. Richard Katz, an English professor at Kean, said this is just another case of the university’s poor management. “This is sad,” said Katz. “This is a lack of research. Somebody did not do their homework.”
Common performing at a recent show.
Mylon Wason, a freshman student at Kean, was baffled by the university’s decision to pull the artist. “People need to be more open-minded,” said Wason. “There is no reason why he
should not be allowed to speak at the ceremony.” A replacement speaker for the graduation ceremony has yet to be named as of publication of this article.
Construction temporarily slashes parking By Annalise Knudson
collaborate in the studios just as they will in their future careers. “The space was designed to emulate a professional studio,” Executive Director of the RBSD, Rose Gonella, said. “One of our models was Google Labs.” The Green Lane Building opened in January of 2014, and it boasts a polished and modern, six-story, glass exterior. The advertising, graphic, industrial and interior design programs are all available at the RBSD. Students in each are offered resources meant to help them excel and become well-rounded design professionals. An exposed space in the ceiling gives industrial and interior design students a glimpse into the mechanics of their fields. A materials library provides them with fabrics and other textiles that have been donated to the school by manufacturers. A laboratory supplied with Mac computers as well as a fabrication workroom are available for advertising
Parking spots are fenced off, potholes are getting worse, and trucks and workers move on and off campus all day, as construction continues on another new building coming to Kean University. Gruskin Group, the award-winning company that built the Green Lane building that opened its doors for the spring 2014 semester, designed the six-story North Avenue Academic Building. The 114,700-square-feet building is on the corner of Morris and North Avenues and will house the computer science and allied health programs including physical therapy and physician’s assistant degree programs. It is expected to be completed by July (2015). “With the demand for health professionals steadily increasing, Kean University is determined to offer qualitatively superior programs in world-class facilities,” said Danielle Ford, the University’s Marketing Communications Strategist. “The North Avenue Academic Building will be such a facility, pushing the boundaries of 21st century learning.” The building will be connected to Kean’s main campus by flowing paths and park like outdoor areas. The building will feature a 500-seat auditorium with a Meyer Sound “Constellation” system that electronically optimizes acoustics for lectures and presentations. It will also host the Kean Board meetings. The system will allow playback 2D or 3D high-definition content for vocal, choral, and musical performances using the surround sound system. Some Kean students are upset with the construction of new buildings when older buildings still go without technology upgrades. Kean sophomore and Athletic Training major, Raymond Cruz, does not believe that it is a good idea to build the new buildings. “I feel like they’re wasting money,” Cruz said. “It makes no sense because half the buildings we have now aren’t even filled.” Kean hopes the new building will help change the minds of current students as well as prospective students. “The building is designed to facilitate new ways for students and faculty to interact, socialize, engage, learn, and study both in and outside the classroom, via its numerous lounges, breakout spaces, intimate nooks, outdoor terraces, and even corridors that become gathering spots using integrated technologies and the students’ own personal devices,” Ford said. “We are confident that these features will provide enhanced education and earn the approval of our students.”
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Photo: Alyssa Davis
A facade of windows outlines the Green Lane Building.
Designed to inspire By Alyssa Davis From the ceiling to the chairs, and everything inbetween, the fifth floor of Kean’s Green Lane building, which houses the Robert Busch School of Design (RBSD), was thoughtfully planned to foster student creativity. An open floor plan with natural light flooding in from a facade of windows encourages the free-flow of creative thought. An exposed space in the ceiling, tackboard and whiteboard walls, an expansive materials library, and free moving chairs and furnishings that mimic art, offer an environment where collaboration and inspiration can flourish. Students are educated in a more professional setting, where studios serve as the learning environment rather than a typical classroom, making the transition from college to career a smooth one. When class isn’t in session, students are encouraged to work and
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Kean students volunteer their spring break By Timothy Awojobi For some students, spring break is the opportunity to relax, catch up on sleep, hang out with friends, or go on vacation. For other students, their spring break was devoted to helping others. Throughout this year’s Alternate Spring break program, students were divided into three projects on hand. The three projects included the demolition of a backyard that was destroyed through Hurricane Sandy, fencing on an empty land of a home that washed away during the hurricane, and a painting job of a house that has now been rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. Each student was broken up into groups according to their personal experience prior to the trip, although each student wasn’t obligated to have full experience in that set skill. “I truly enjoyed this memorable experience, and I wouldn’t have spent my spring break anywhere else than being at Alternate Spring Break this year,” said Chris Resotko, junior accounting major at Kean University Ocean Campus. The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) provides services for the inner and outer community ranging from breast cancer walks to on-campus community events and is there to provide quality community service. For the third annual year, CLS has been hosting the Alternate Spring Break program in Toms River, NJ. This program mainly enforces the need for community service for Kean college students. CLS has been focusing on giving back to communities that were strongly affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Through this program, students are given the opportunity to display their personal skills, as well as learn new skills to apply to the specified project given.
“Besides the Alternate Spring break program, each month, we do a Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Park, a food bank, Atria Senior Living, and blood drives,” said Abby Gallego, junior psychology/criminal Justice major at Kean University. “Depending on the month, we will try to work around the specific national holiday.” Besides the community service aspect of the trip, students were given the opportunity to enjoy their Spring Break by going on various field trips and group activities. Students were still given free time after each work shift to bond with
one another and create great friendships. During the trip, some students, depending on their site location, were exposed to the horrific sights of damage that were caused by Hurricane Sandy. “The foundation of a home was literally underneath the sand,” said Resotko. “It was a completely empty vacant lot with only cinder blocks and rubble left. The house that used to be there was completely swept into the ocean.” The volunteers enjoyed helping build homes for spring break and hope to pass on the message of helping others.
Photos: Timothy Awojobi
Volunteers helping rebuild homes damaged after Hurricane Sandy.
Kean PRSSA making a splash in partnership with local homeless shelter By Ryan Norton Within the last five years, the use of social media has become one of the most powerful and effective tools in running a successful public relations campaign. Whether it is on television, smartphones, or computers, it’s almost impossible not to see a hashtag somewhere on the screen. In staying with the current trend, Morris Ave. PR, Kean University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (KUPRSSA), continues their partnership with the Covenant House, a homeless shelter in Newark, with a new social media campaign named “Splish Splash.” The idea of this campaign is to donate basic toiletries, such as shampoo, tissues, and soap to the Covenant House. Donators are encouraged to take photos of items they brought, and post them on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags “#covlove” and “#splishsplash.” “We want to get these hashtags trending,” KUPRSSA Vice President Lauren Spain said. “That way, more people know about it, more people donate, and they get as much attention as possible.” According to their website, Covenant House New Jersey was founded in 1989. Their main goal is to provide food, shelter, and care to homeless and runaway men and women between the ages of 18 to 21. Serving nearly 60,000 young
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and graphic design students to create in. The fabrication laboratory, called the fab lab, features a 3-D printer which, according to 3dprinting.com, can make three-dimensional, solid objects from a digital file. Most walls throughout the RBSD space are either whiteboards, meant for students to write on, or tack-boards which are used to display sketches and projects for group collaboration and critique. “You pin up your work and you sit around and you discuss your ideas or you discuss the success of the work,” Gonella said. Tables throughout the RBSD lounge areas have large writing-pads covering the entirety of their tops which provide students with a blank space to sketch out ideas as they emerge. There is one lecture room in the space, which was designed for teamwork and idea exchange. Its chairs are on wheels so that students can easily move around and form groups. Another interesting set of chairs featured throughout the RBSD mixed-use spaces look more like pieces of art than a place to sit. The chairs, which rock side-to-side, resemble larger versions of the tacks that students use to hang-up their work on the walls. The seat is a concave circle which is not supported by legs, but rather the “pinpoint” of the tack holds the chair up. The facade of windows, which is meant to inspire, overlooks Kean’s main campus on one side, and on the other provides a bird’s-eye view of New York City’s skyline. Erica Whyte, a graphic design major, believes that the RBSD space influences design because it is sleek and clean and mimics the setting that design students hope to be in at some point in their professional futures. Design careers depend upon ingenuity and are collaborative in nature. Everything in the fifth floor space was implemented to create an environment which fuses both ideas to aide students in furthering their education and honing their skills. “The idea is to encourage collaboration, community and an interactivity of ideation,” Gonella said.
people, Covenant House has 21 locations throughout North America and Latin America. This is the second campaign Morris Ave. PR is hosting for the Covenant House. Their first campaign was the “Rock Your Socks” campaign that took place last semester. A total of 300 pairs of new socks were collected, just in time for the holiday season. The KUPRSSA is still in its early stages since it started last year in September. With 65 fully paid members, the PRSSA considers it a medium-sized chapter. Suzanne Schwab, a public relations professor at Kean, serves as the faculty advisor. While she does oversee operations, she feels the PR firm would be most beneficial when it is strictly student-run. “My goal is always to help the students get as much practical experience as possible,” said Schwab. “Yes, I teach the foundations and theories behind public relations, but it would be remiss of me not to allow the students to create and execute their own ideas. That’s how they learn to be ready and prepared for a career in PR.” Collections for the “Splish Splash” campaign began on March 25 and ends April 10. Donations can be dropped off in the communications office, located in the CAS building in room 402, or the PRSSA office in CAS 412. For anyone interested in joining the Kean’s chapter of the PRSSA, meetings are every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in CAS 412.
Photo: Ryan Norton
KUPRSSA President Stacey Cooney (Right) and Vice President Lauren Spain (Left) are collecting toiletries for KUPRSSA’s latest campaign.
In order to become a full member, you must pay a yearly fee of $65, at the beginning of either the spring or fall semester. To see updates on Morris Ave. PR’s social media campaigns, they can be followed on Twitter and Instagram using the handle, @MorrisAvePR.
Michael Graves, namesake of the School of Architecture, dies
Photo: Ryan Norton
The Green Lane building, housing the Michael Graves School of Architecture.
By Alyssa Davis Renowned architect Michael Graves, the namesake of Kean’s forthcoming architecture program, died on March 12 at the age of 80. Graves designed office buildings, resorts, retail stores, hospitals, monuments and university buildings, according to the New York Times. The Green Lane Building will house the Michael Graves School of Architecture, which will begin classes in the fall of 2015. The University still plans on going forward with the program built in his name. “We anticipate that the curriculum will be approved
by the New Jersey President’s Council next month,” said University spokesperson Susan Kayne. A tribute to Graves will be held on April 17 in the STEM building in conjunction with the Thinking Creatively Conference, an event featuring presentations, workshops and networking for prospective design students. “We will carry on Michael’s legacy by providing our students with the opportunity to learn from his visionary philosophy and world-class approach to design, which will empower them to succeed as premier architects of the 21st century,” said David Mohney, Dean of the Michael Graves School of Architecture.
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Kean fraternity changes lives and attitudes By Marco Rodriguez It’s often times said that in order to accomplish something great, you should “go big or go home.” Rather than going home, one Kean University fraternity is going big and giving a home to a family in need. Iota Phi Theta, a well-known fraternity at Kean University, is not only preparing to change a family’s life, but also preparing to change people’s perception of Greek life as a whole. In an effort to reach out into the community and get involved, the brothers decided to think “outside of the box” and take on a large scale project that would bring about lasting change. The group inquired for hours and studied their options, before discovering the Valentine’s Day land sale that the city of Newark was holding. The sale, which offered couples of any sexual orientation a vacant lot for $1,000, was the opportunity the brothers needed for their project. Once purchased, the fraternity would work alongside Sierra House, an East Orange nonprofit that helps at risk women, to find a family for the home that they will eventually build. Tosin Oduwole, a member of the fraternity, believes the decision to build the home was just what the fraternity needed to break the mold of common community service projects. “Rather than just do a bake sale or a coat drive, we wanted to do something that would have a longer lasting charitable effect,” Oduwole said. “We want to change somebody’s life, not just get them from point A to point B.” Oduwole and his girlfriend stepped forward to be the couple that would purchase the property on 17th street in Newark that Saturday in February. Every
member of the fraternity donated money, and eventually the group had enough to purchase the lot and move on with their venture. The fraternity plans on building a two family home in which one side can be rented and the other will go to the needy family. Currently, the fraternity has collected over $6,000 through their GoFundMe website for the estimated $100,000 home. According to Oduwole, the rent of the one unit will cover all utilities, property taxes and maintenance of the property. Furthermore, as part of the purchase, the fraternity needed to own the property for five years to be in compliance with the regulations established by Newark’s government. According to Oduwole, the fraternity was able to bypass the policy as they are not transferring the ownership title to anyone when the family eventually moves into the home. Beyond the good deed that the fraternity is undertaking to help the family, comes the opportunity to change people’s perceptions about Greek life. A 2013 USA Today article explored the common stereotypes associated with Greek life and discovered that, among them, was the notion that fraternities and sororities are self-centered. Scott Snowden, director of the Center for Leadership and Service at Kean, dismisses this notion as it is not in touch with the reality seen at the university. “There isn’t a monthly events calendar at Kean that is not filled with Greek programs, fundraisers or service projects,” said Snowden. “This project by Iota Phi Theta is definitely one to be applauded and will undoubtedly encourage and motivate other organizations to be even more creative and determined to give back.” Keely Freeman, founder and executive director of Sierra House, shares Snowden’s
The brothers of Iota Phi Theta fraternity.
sentiment and believes this initiative can be a sign of things to come. “This move from Iota Phi Theta is community service at its best,” Freeman said. “By helping this family, they’re making sure people’s bad reputation of fraternities is gone. If anything needs to become a trend among college students, it’s activities like this.” According to Freeman, since the purchase of the property a family has been chosen to live in the home that the fraternity will build. The women at Sierra House, all homeless, held a meeting and unanimously agreed that a 22 year-old single mother should be the one selected to move into the home, due to her work ethic and aspirations. News of the fraternity’s endeavor has also swept across campus with students supporting the decision to help out the family in need. Thomas Monto is optimistic about the effects the good deed will have on and off campus.
Photo: Tosin Oduwole
“I think this decision really shows what Greek life is all about,” Monto said. “Sure they have fun and party occasionally, but at the end of the day it’s about coming together to do something good for others.” Monto’s friend, Christopher Capaldo, also agrees that the fraternity is making a lasting impression. “Not only does this look good for the fraternity, but also for Kean at large,” said Capaldo. “I’m sure other fraternities and sororities will attempt to do the same going forward.” Capaldo’s comments resonate with Oduwole, who believes his fraternity’s action is just a glimpse of future Greek activities. “I feel we have set the bar high, but I hope that other student organizations set an even higher standard in the future,” said Oduwole. “Together we can continue to show that Kean University doesn’t just produce students, but produces great people!”
Student demonstrators express frustrations
Photo: Phil Anthony
Demonstrators stand together in solidarity outside of the University Center.
By Rebecca Panico About 20 students demonstrated inside and outside the University Center on March 13, hoping to bring attention to alleged racist comments of a Kean professor, a supposedly unsupportive Student Government Organization and other national issues currently facing black Americans. Students gathered in a circle in front of the UC at approximately 3 p.m. on March 13, with some wearing signs that read,
“Does my skin color offend you?” in light of recent racist chants of members from a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity based out of the University of Oklahoma that went viral and gained national attention earlier this month. Although the demonstration was not organized by the Pan-African Student Union – an organization devoted to empowering students of African descent -- PASU President Kayla-Simone McKelvey was very outspoken at the event. McKelvey spoke on behalf of the demonstrators, voicing their concerns over a psychology professor, who they claim made racist comments about Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot dead by Cleveland police in November, 2014. The professor, whose name they would not disclose, allegedly stated that Rice deserved to die and that the only mistake police made was driving too close to the boy. Demonstrators did not want to name the student who came forth with the complaint and none actually claimed to have heard the professor say the remarks. Susan Kayne, a spokeswoman for the University noted, however, that an investigation has been made into the matter. “The administration is investigating allegations against the psychology professor,” stated Susan Kayne in an e-mail. “They are not in a position to talk about the
investigation at this time.” The demonstrators also stated that when they tried to organize trips to the Apollo Theater or museums during Black History Month with the help of the SGO, their paperwork was always deemed incomplete. According to demonstrators, SGO President Gerard Smithwrick allegedly stated that their trips would be an unnecessary use of SGO funds. “I can state that nobody in the Office of Student Government nor myself would have answered a student in that manner,” Smithwrick said when reached for comment. He went on to explain that a programming board made up of students outside of the SGO were responsible for planning and organizing events for Black History Month in February. He also commented on PASU funding, although demonstrators did not represent the organization. “PASU is a Funded Group of Student Organization, they have a budget for programming which was how they were able to fund and coordinate the annual Black Love Affair in honor of black history month,” Smithwrick said. When asked for the SGO’s budget, SGO Director Stephanie Faser could only offer the top-five funded group events of this year so far, with no dollar amounts attached. After calling out names of black
Americans that were recently killed by police, such as Eric Garner or Michael Brown, demonstrators held hands and marched into the UC cafeteria where they were confronted by two administrators. Director of Leadership and Service Scott Snowden and Carli Hench, Managing Assistant Director of the SGO, calmly spoke to the demonstrators and told them they needed to go through the proper protocols at the university to organize a demonstration. “This [the cafeteria] is considered a private venue,” said Snowden, adding that the demonstrators were making other students uncomfortable. Both administrators emphasized that they were supportive of the student demonstrators and would like to sit down with them in a more appropriate setting where they could voice their complaints and concerns. After the demonstrators cleared the cafeteria, students commented on their feelings towards the sit-in and allegations. Some found it hard to believe that any professor on campus would make comments like the ones alleged by the demonstrators. “The way they did it wasn’t the best way to go about it,” stated Karen Gaviria, a therapeutic recreation major a Kean. “It made some people uncomfortable... Honestly, I think people are overthinking it.”
New Jersey raises the bar for teachers By Nicole Brown Graduating with a degree in education may become more difficult under the new proposals from New Jersey’s Department of Education made in February. The new plan set by the state would raise standards for teachers entering into the profession to guarantee preparation that supports high-quality instruction in the classroom. Student teachers are currently required to complete one semester of student teaching, but the state’s proposal would require students to complete two consecutive semesters of student teaching and enroll in special education sessions. Student teaching would also be conducted under careful supervision of highly-qualified teachers and would follow more rigorous standards. The new plan would also impact substitute teachers and those seeking the alternative route. In order to earn a substitute teacher’s license in New Jersey the state requires 60 college credits. The new law would require substitutes to obtain a bachelor’s
degree, including enrollment in a teachers’ preparation program. Dr. Thomas Walsh, Associate Professor at Kean for math and science education, said students are already struggling to get through the education program and the proposals would only make it more difficult. “There are many students who work full time to pay for their education, including those who have bills to pay and families to support,” said Walsh. “Two unpaid semesters in student teaching would be challenging.” Walsh also noted the importance of having good teachers in the classroom and strict requirements that would support this. “If the proposals are approved the quality of education will increase, but the number of teachers will decrease,” said Walsh. “A lot of students will drop out of the program, but those who remain will get quality preparation.” According to Dr. Anthony Pittman, Acting Dean for the College of Education, the efforts to improve the quality of education for all pre-k through 12 grades make the proposed changes relevant. “The goal is to ensure that the life cycle
of the teacher is respected, is of paramount importance and teachers in general get the support they need in order to execute their responsibilities,” said Pittman. However, Pittman highlighted that the proposed regulations raised questions and concerns particularly to the certification and preparation of potential teachers. “Presently, there are exorbitant costs that teacher education candidates incur, and if these regulations are passed, the expenses will raise yet again,” said Pittman. “Resources continue to dwindle, yet teacher education programs continue to struggle to do more with less.” Pittman said the proposals, in many ways, address “the what” but they do not articulate sufficiently “the how.” For instance, he noted that many would-be teachers would weigh the struggle to finance a full year unpaid student teaching internship. The state would need to be more incentivized in order to attract more potential teachers, especially in an era where the stakes for standardized testing are high. Alternate route teachers, who are candidates looking to venture into a career
in education, must meet all the New Jersey entry requirements and complete training with the same provider before earning an initial certificate. Under the current law teachers can earn a lifetime license to teach in New Jersey after one year of teaching and three observations conducted by a principal. But the proposal would extend the provisional period to two years, including two years of effective instructional ratings. In New Jersey, almost any out of state candidate who has a certificate, regardless of experience and qualification receives the equivalent certificate. The proposal would require alternative route candidates from out of state to meet the same requirements as an alternative route teacher candidate in New Jersey. Danielle Wellington, an early childhood education major, said that the proposed changes would better prepare potential teachers. “Two semesters of student teaching would benefit us,” said Wellington. “It would allow us to gain the experiences we need for the classroom.”
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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A Season of Cinderella By Gabrielle Gale Prendatt-Carter
Cinderella as seen in the ballet performed at Wilkens Theater on March 14th.
The Russian National Ballet performed Cinderella at the Wilkins Theatre on March 14th. There were two acts of ballet, choreographed by Rostislav Zakharov, with no dialogue, sixteen characters, and pre-recorded music by Sergei Prokofiev, playing in the background. The costumes were aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, and the sets were kept simple, both made by Elisaveta Dvorkina. Non-original characters included the Fairies of the Seasons Princesses; Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and the Ambassadors; Mauritanian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and The Time. These additional characters made the cast multicultural, and this version of Cinderella unique. Rather than the ball being just a communal affair solely highlighting Cinderella’s soon-to-be prince, the ambassadors and seasonal princesses dressed in ball attire, appropriate to their cultures and seasons, which made this rendition of Cinderella very diverse. Unlike the often-told version of the fairytale, Cinderella’s father was not deceased in this production. Watching the ballet left much to the imagination due to the fact that there was no dialogue and limited sets, which left
more room for the audience to embrace a romantic Pas de Deux by Cinderella and her prince, and beautiful costumes, rather than be distracted by an elaborate scenery. Meanwhile, Walt Disney Picture’s 2015 non-traditional, live-action version, starring Lily James as Cinderella, is the #1 movie at the box office since its release on March 13th. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and a screenplay written by Chris Weitz, Cate Blanchett stars as the evil stepmother, and Richard Madden as the prince. According to the research group, Entgroup, Cinderella accumulated $53.45 million in ticket sales the first 10 days in China, which is the world’s second biggest film market. Renamed Ella, “Cinderella is no damsel-indistress- and no shrinking violet,” according to Jonathan Olley of news website The Daily Beast. “Branagh’s Cinderella hasn’t contributed to the ‘princess craze’ or furthered the ‘girlie-girl culture’,” said Olley. Although Disney princesses, such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, await their charming princes to rescue them from their probable dark fate, this modernized version of Cinderella places this princess on a different plateau with sass, independence, and morality. In the parting words of her deceased mother, Ella stresses to “have courage and be kind.”
Kean’s Women’s History Month speech series: Women in the media
By Sade Cox In honor of March’s Women’s History Month, Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams analyzes the impact of cultural misuse on the racial identity of Black young women through popular culture. Ellis-Williams, a women and gender studies professor at New Jersey City University, delivered a presentation entitled “When the Booty is White: Race, Identify, Appropriation & the Lingering Sarah Baartman Effect on Young Black Women.” It explored how African-American women are still poorly depicted in the media, examined gender stereotypes of women in the media and explained perceptions of beauty standards for AfricanAmerican women. The media’s fascination with Kim Kardashian, Iggy Azalea, Shakira and Coco’s behinds is only a recent example of the appropriation of women’s beauty. Before Kim Kardashian “broke” the internet, Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman was the first woman who was exploited among race and gender lines. Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman was born a slave in Cape Town, South Africa where she was discovered by a British doctor, William Dunlop, who persuaded her to travel to England with him to be the main attraction in hopes to gain her freedom. She was forced to put herself on display in a building and paraded around naked in circuses, museums, bars and universities and told to show off her protruding posterior.
“Racialization involves attaching racial meaning to a previously racially unclassified relationship, social practice, or group,” explained Ellis-Williams. Kim Kardashian infamous “Break the Internet” photographs from Paper Magazine show her balancing a champagne glass on her rear end dressed in a black sequin dress. Another photograph shows Kim Kardashian posing half naked exposing her backside to the public. The poses were a remake of an African-American model Carolina Beaumont who did the same pose, however, she was naked just as Sarah Baartman. “Black women are often demonized or criticized for their body features,” Ellis-Williams stated. “Serena Williams, Grace Jones, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna have all received negative backlash for their shapes or for displaying their bodies in a similar fashion as white celebrities. On the other hand, some Black women continue to feel compelled to exploit their bodies for fame and fortune, in the guise of sexual liberation.” There is a racial double standard for AfricanAmerican and white women to be socially accepted when it comes to objection of body images, EllisWilliams noted. Female rapper, Nicki Minaj received harsh criticism after she revealed the song cover for the song “Anaconda” on Instagram where is posed in a squatting position displaying her rear end. However, Sports Illustrated models posed on the cover of the magazine displaying their behinds.
Photo: Sade Cox
Dr. Ellis-Williams captures the audience with her presentation.
The images sparked a debate on which pose was acceptable or unacceptable. “Objectification of women comes in all colors,” stated Ellis-Williams. “What people have to understand is that racism is huge especially with women and gender,” stated Keira Davis, a senior majoring in psychology at Kean. “There is a double standard of black and white women in media.” Throughout the month, the women’s studies program hosted various events such as lectures, presentations, films, and readings in honor of March’s Women’s History Month. Dr. Celen Krauss, Dr. Abigail Perkiss, and Dr. James Conyers were just a few of the speakers.
Premiere Stages brings range of opportunities for theater majors
Premiere Stages’ 2014 Summer Intern Company
Photo: Heather Kelley
By Adilene Rodriguez In such competitive fields like theater, finding a bounty of career-starting opportunities could be difficult in this day and age, but Premiere Stages tries to make it easier for theater students. Premiere Stages, a professional Equity Theatre company in residence at Kean, works with the Theater Department to give theater majors and anyone interested in theater production a kick-start to their professional career. During the semester, Kean students are able to understudy with the production company and gain one point towards their union card through the Equity Membership Candidate Program from the Actors’ Equity Association, a U.S. labor union that represents more than 50,000 theater actors and
professionals, via a special partnership they have with Kean. John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages, says Kean is one of the few universities in the country to offer such an opportunity to their theater students. “All of the students who are affiliated with Kean University that work on a production, have the opportunity to gain one point towards their union card for each week that they work with Premiere Stages,“ said Wooten in a phone interview. “There could be theaters affiliated with universities, but I don’t know if there’s any university, that are programs of the university, that offers this benefit,” said Wooten. Other schools who have such an oppurtunity are St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, University of Southern Indiana in Evansville,Ind., and Columbia University in New York, N.Y. Students can also gain one point their union card if they understudy a play, perform in a play, work along side with professionals at Premiere Stages or as an intern of the Premiere Intern Program. The Premiere Intern Program consists of two summer sessions, the first of which is June 8 through Aug.1; the second session is from Aug.11 through Sept. 20, for about seven to nine interns. Applicants for the internship can apply starting in September, with interviewing and selecting happening at the end of March. The interns receive an option of $175 per week stipend or college credit and free housing in the dorms. Interns gain hands-on experience in production part of theater. Premiere Stages strives to make the interns time with the company as productive and beneficial as possible for their future careers by trying to break from a traditional internship experience, according to Wooten. “What makes our intern program unique is there’s a lot of intern programs in the country where they bring in students to [do] disgruntle labor, just kind of do all the very medial
task, but because we’re a university we’re very conscious of the fact that it’s very important that students learn what we’re doing in an internship,” says Wooten. “So in addition to working on the job we have weekly seminars for our interns. Once a week they take a different seminar.” The weekly seminars are about various topics that include stage management, design, theater as a business, etc. According to Wooten, the internship is one of the most competitive theater internships in the country and for this summer alone, Premiere Stages received roughly 300 applicants, with an estimated 20 of those being Kean students. Even though there is a lack of Kean students applying for the internship, Wooten says Premiere Stages does prioritize the Kean applicants. When asked about the few Kean applicants, Wooten cited various possibilities. “Sometimes Kean students are here during the fall and spring so they want to get away for the summer,” says Wooten. He also mentioned the stipend as a factor. “A lot of people who go to Kean support their own education, during the summer they need to work jobs where they make more money that that, ” said Wooten. “[Students] might not apply for the internship because they’re also auditioning for the summer. Kean students who are understudying and acting are separate from those who are interning.” Wooten also mentioned how Kean students have all year round compared to the summer interns at an opportunity to participate and gain professional experience. “The ways they can participate are not just as an intern, that’s just kind of one aspect of how you can get engaged with Premiere Stages,” said Wooten.
5 THE TOWER
television Who is “A”? By Daris Mendez For five seasons, the teen drama “Pretty Little Liars” has brought secrets and has intrigued faithful viewers. The anonymous and almost omnipotent stalker has been terrorizing Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell), and Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) ever since the mysterious text was first received at their troubled friend, and cause of much drama, Alison Dilaurentis’s (Sasha Pieterse) alleged funeral. The prospect of who exactly is “A” has been questioned since the pilot episode. Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish), was revealed as A in the season two finale however, as the show progressed, it was clear that the “A” game was taken over by a “Big A.” Numerous theories have been created by fans to explain who they believe this mysterious “Big A” is. The social blogging site Tumblr has become an “A” theory feeding ground; where fans of the show post their most elaborate “A” theories. Pretty Little Liar fanatics also post hundreds of theories and reactions on the show’s respective social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Before the premiere of the season five finale episode, even more theories and speculations as the show producers revealed that the identity of “A” would be revealed in the episode. The episode titled “Welcome to the Doll House” aired on March 24 and has been noted as “the beginning of the end” by
the executive producer Marlene King, on Entertainment Tonight online. “It’s the most important episode we’ve done so far,” King told ET exclusively. “It’s just balls out, and really fun, new, and an interesting direction for the show” King continued. Prior to the big “A” reveal, some of Kean’s very own Pretty Little Liars fans joined in the fun and explained their own “A” theories. “My theory is that Bethany isn’t really dead and she has been torturing for something Ally did” said Lynn Philippe, referring to Bethany Young, who was the young girl who actually died and was the body at Allison Dilaurentis’s funeral; it was revealed in season four that Alison Dilaurentis is in fact alive. Freshman student Yordana Zapata finds that figuring out who is “A” is extremely complicated. At one point she believed that it was Paige, Emily Field’s, one of the girl’s love interest. “I also think it could be one of the girl’s boyfriends,” Zapata said with a smile pointing to the haunting possibility that one of the guys close to the main characters could be terrorizing them. Richonda Fegins, an English major at Kean, as well as a very faithful fan believes that “Big A” is among the group of main characters. She believes that Aria Montgomery is the mastermind behind the threats and texts. “My ‘A’ theory is based on Aria right now,” said Fegins
Photo: ABC Family
Pretty Little Liars main characters
“I go on YouTube a lot and I watch the videos and like it seems so obvious,” Fegins continued. Fegins also based her theory on the clues that executive producer Marlene King gives to fans on Twitter. Fegins mentioned an instance where a fan asked who “Big A” was on twitter and King tweeted lightning bolts and kiss emoji’s. Fegins pointed out that Aria’s character wore outfits with lightning bolts and kisses on multiple occasions and this clue is one of many that point to her. This is how intensely fans analyze each episode to figure out who has enough motives to constantly threaten the main characters. In true Pretty Little Liars fashion, in the March 24 season finale, a glimpse of who “A”
truly is was revealed and the answer is one that not many expected. “Charles is A,” was displayed as a hash tag during the last minutes of the season five finale. This mysterious Charles was speculated to be a long lost sibling to Alison Dilaurentis and the twin of Alison’s brother Jason Dilaurentis This reveal has left even more questions and new expectations for the much anticipated summer premiere in June. Pretty Little Liars has also reportedly been renewed for two more seasons by ABC Family President Tom Ascheim. This renewal implies that even though viewers have an idea of who “A” is, this mysterious character will continue to shock fans for two more seasons.
“Gladiators” connect deeply with ABC’s Scandal By Bhriana Smith Shonda Rhimes’s hit drama series “Scandal” is one of television’s biggest sensations. Fans all over the world have coined themselves as “gladiators,” a member of Olivia Pope’s team. It is no surprise that Kean University has a couple of Gladiators of its own. Every Thursday night at 9 p.m., Kean Gladiators drop anything that they’re doing to see what drama is awaiting to unfold in the newest episode. A few of Kean Gladiators expressed their thoughts on the show. “Huck is definitely my favorite character,” said Aerianna Hardy, a junior at Kean University. “Cyrus is definitely my least favorite character,” says Hardy. There are so many diverse characters in the series, so it is always interesting to see which character people favor, and which one people absolutely disdain.
From the myriad of ever growing plot lines to the scandalous relationships and schemes that simultaneously occur in every episode, there is far too much to like –and dislike –about this show. “I like all of the story lines and how it shows the conspiracies that can happen in politics,” said Hardy. “If I have to choose a person to be my favorite, I say Huck,” said Anthony Watts, a proud, male Gladiator. “Not that having PTSD is something to glorify.” Some gladiators feel a direct connection with the characters –even if they are just made up people in a fictitious show. “If I could’ve been an actual Gladiator, I would have been Harrison-even though they killed him,” said Hardy. “His monologues were amazing, and I admire his drive and intelligence.” Other gladiators enjoy the real life events –like activist movements –that Shonda Rhimes manages to incorporate into the episodes.
“I like when [Shonda] uses the show to deliver a positive message,” said Ashley Fields, another Kean Gladiator. “For example, in the episode before last, she incorporated the Black Lives Matter movement into it. It was a powerful episode.” Of course, there are people that love the sexy, scandalous moments. “I like the sex scenes with the President and [Olivia],” said Fields sheepishly. There’s never any harm in being a little scandalous, dear Gladiator. “I love Kerry Washington as a person but I kind of don’t like Olivia,” said Watts. “I feel like she causes too many problems, even though she is supposed to fix them.” Like Gladiators everywhere, Kean Gladiators have a lot to look forward to in the future, according to show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes. “In the near future, I expect more twists and turns,” said Hardy. “I also want to see what’s happening with Olivia Pope’s parents.”
Photo: Bhriana Smith
Members of Kean Gladiators await the start of ABC Network’s Scandal in Sozio Hall Community Center.
“I hope that Olivia’s father comes back in the next few episodes,” said Watts. “She thought she could make it without him, but she’s not doing all that great.” The show is in its fourth season and airs every Thursday night on ABC’s Network. The season finale is scheduled to be in mid-April.
Music If you’re reading this, you are right on time By Vera Boateng
On Jan. 13, 2015, one of the most popular platinum selling hip-hop record artist and Grammy-Award winner Aubrey Drake Graham otherwise known as Drake, added a new 18-track mix tape album to his discography. The last album the artist came out with was called, “Nothing Was The Same” in September 2013. Some featured hits on the album include song titles such as “Started From the Bottom,” “Worst Behavior,” “The Language,” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” Before the release of “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late,” in July the artist revealed to various magazines that his next album was going to be called “Views From The 6.” According to Kean University students this unannounced album is not too late but in fact, right on time for the summer concerts and music festivals to come. With the local radio stations repeatedly playing songs from the new album, listeners can hear
what’s on the record. “On Drake’s new album, I have only heard the songs called, ‘Energy,’ ‘Ten bands,’ and ‘Know Yourself’,” said Elaina Brown, a junior at Kean University. “I am not really a big fan of him, but I like the songs and might download the album off of ITunes at some point,” commented Brown. “I like Drake a lot so I was happy when this album came out all of a sudden,” said Alyssa Defonte a senior at Kean University and a Drake fan. “What made it so exciting, was the fact that no one really expected Drake to come out with a hot new album now, right before the summertime,” said Defonte. Previous albums by Drake have been about the arduous journey he faced to be successful in hip hop, emotional songs about relationships, his debut as an artists and his transition from being an actor to a musician. He also talked about his own personal insecurities. The surprise released album is,
according to the “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” description, a compilation of songs that question the loyalty of Drake’s old friends and questions the artist’s future of his career in hip hop, most heard in the song “6PM in New York.” Kendrick Lamar, another popular hip-hop artist also recently released an album called, “To Pimp A Butterfly” on March 16, around the same time that Drake released his album. Lamar’s album has influences of jazz and reggae, and challenges issues of racism, sexism, and self-destruction within his own community. “I don’t think that there is competition between the artists simply because they are both different lyrically, and have such different sounds,” said Justin Rodriguez, a freshman at Kean University. “It’s like day and night,” added Rodriguez. “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” offers a new sound and a more aggressive narrative that helps with
Drake’s new album
Photo: OVO Sound
telling the compelling story of Drake’s life. The album is a treat for fans and it is a great start for him in 2015. The album is available for download on ITunes, Google Play Music Store, and Amazon. For more information on Drake and his upcoming plans visit www.drakeofficial.com.
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Yoga/Hot Yoga vs. Bikram Yoga By Dr. Josh Palgi It is said in the bible “Be still and know that I am God.” In these few words lies the key to the science of yoga. Yoga is an ancient Indian body of knowledge. The word yoga came from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means “to unite or integrate”. Yoga then is about the union of a person’s own consciousness and the universal consciousness. Ancient yogis believed that in order for man to be in harmony with himself and his environment, he has to integrate the body, the mind and the spirit. It’s harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing techniques, yoga postures (asanas) and meditation. Yoga is about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose. The poses are a constant but approach to them varies depending on the yoga traditions in which the teacher has trained. There are various paths of yoga that lead toward this good, each one a specialized branch of the comprehensive system and they are hatha yoga, Karma yoga, Mantra yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja yoga. As yoga becomes increasingly diffuse and diverse, a simple common definition is all but impossible. The different styles of yoga are vast and varied, such as Bikram Yoga and Hot yoga not to be confused mention two. Like with “regular” yoga, hot yoga comes in all kinds of different styles. Bikram yoga is considered the original incarnation of the form. Bikram Choudhury is an internationally renowned yoga teacher from India. He took his system to the U.S. in the 1971 at the invitation of the American Medical Association. Bikram yoga is a combination of Hatha Yoga and other yoga techniques. Any Bikram yoga class lasts 9 minutes and provides you with a set of breathing exercises and 26 unique poses in a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius (95 for degrees Fahrenheit) and 40% humidity. Bikram yoga will teach you how to love your body and treat it with pride. It will improve your balance, flexibility, strength and mental health. It will invigorate and detoxify your body through the release of toxins in your sweat and clear your mind and heal your spirit. Hot Yoga is inspired by Bikram Choudhury, the original hot yoga gura. The yoga consists of a sequence of postures scientifically designed to work into the next posture so by the end of the sequence the whole body is worked out. The heat allows the body to detoxify and cleanse through sweating in addition to making the body more pliable. Hot yoga brings its own external heat source
up a room to around 100 degrees. However, you produce your own internal heat when you exercise (moderate exercise). Hot yoga uses static holds (and some flow) which lengthening specific parts of the body depending on what pose you are in and isometrically contracting the muscles that are keeping you stable.
Check the list that makes a class Hot or Bikram Yoga:
Editor-in-Chief: Bryan C. Kuriawa
• Bikram yoga consists of the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises performed in the same order every class for exactly 90 minutes.
Managing Editor: Kristen dematos News Editor: rebecca panico
• Hot yoga can be comprised of many different poses that vary by class and studio.
FEATURES EDITOR: annalise knudson
• Bikram yoga studios, what Choudhury calls “torture chambers,” must be heated to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity.
Arts & Ent. Editor: Adilene Rodriguez
• Hot yoga rooms can vary in humidity and are generally heated to anywhere from 80 -100 degrees.
Sports Editor: Mak Ojutiku
• The floor of Bikram yoga studios must be carpeted with mirrors on the front wall and bright lighting.
Online EditorS: anthony muccigrossi Yayona Bangura
• Hot yoga may be performed with dim lights, by candlelight, and on any surface. • Bikram yoga instructors must be trained by Bikram Choudhury himself and their studios must be affiliated in order to be considered true Bikram yoga. • There can be no music, clapping, or hands-on instructor adjustments in Bikram yoga.
STAFF Jamie Alicea Phil Anthony Timothy Awojobi Vera Boateng Nicole Brown Sade Cox Alyssa davis
• Hot yoga often has music playing during the class and is followed by a round of applause. • Students are not permitted to talk during Bikram yoga. • Hot yoga students are allowed to interact with each other and with the instructor. • All Bikram yoga is hot but not all hot yoga is Bikram.
Krzysztof kucza Daris Mendez Anthony muccigrossi ryan norton Marco Rodriguez celeste simmons bhriana smith
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If you are interested in becoming involved in yoga as a way to strengthen both your mind and body, you owe it to yourself to discover more about this unique exercise method. No matter the type of yoga you indulge in, you will be doing great things for your body and soul.
Count the cones on the Cougar Walk By Rebecca Panico You won’t look attractive strutting your stuff down this catwalk -- or rather, Cougar Walk. Kean University’s main thoroughfare, which stretches from Vaughn-Eames Hall to Harwood Arena, has taken a hit after snow and ice ravaged its pavement this winter. The bad weather was nearly a weekly occurrence, as the campus closed its doors five times from January to March. As spring slowly inches forward, traces of abrasive salt still linger on the Cougar Walk as a not-so-friendly reminder of this winter’s grueling conditions. Bright orange cones liter the campus marking loose bricks, large cracks, and uneven pavement. The condition of the pavement is especially troublesome for Kean’s skateboarders and longboarders. Stephanie Marchetti, an education major at Kean, described how she copes as a skater. “I noticed that the bricks are getting more and more uneven and there are certain areas where the bricks are actually out of place in front of the Starbucks,” said Marchetti, who dorms and uses her board to get around campus frequently. “It’s impossible to even skate over. I’ll have to either ollie or jump over it or literally get off my board and walk.” To compensate, skaters are starting to use skateboards with larger and softer wheels to roll over cracks. The heavier wheels may make skating around campus easier, but the trade-off is that performing tricks becomes more difficult. According to Kean’s spokeswoman, Susan Kayne, repairs to the Cougar Walk will be made soon.
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Photo: Rebecca Panico
Try to avoid the cones in the University Center’s plaza.
“The University is committed to making all the necessary repairs, however, the work cannot be done until the ground has completely thawed,” Kayne explained. “Some repairs will be made over Spring Break while pedestrian traffic is light and others will be made on an on-going basis around campus.” More snow fell upon the campus the first day of spring, March 2. All the cones that were put in place early March still remain, with some now tipped over and forgotten. So who will fix the Cougar Walk’s unsightly appearance? According to Kayne, the Office of Facilities and Campus Planning will oversee the repairs and an experienced masonry contractor will head the work. Minor repairs to the Cougar Walk began on March 26, mostly fixing loose bricks. As of publication of this article, most of the cones still remain.
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The interactive and audience-collaboration system can allow up to 100 students to post content simultaneously from a variety of electronic devices to the auditorium’s main screen. “A 30-foot-wide by 7-foot-high interactive iTouch wall, planned for Photo: Annalise Knudson the building’s main The view of the North Avenue building from North Avenue and lobby, will allow stu- Morris Avenue. dents to draw, research, play games 1,444 spaces in the Vaughn Eames and search online with a mere swipe parking lot are being used for conof the hand,” according to Gruskin struction. Group’s website. Of the 188 spaces, about 60 spaces Even though the Green Lane buildare being used for the Vaughn Eames ing just recently opened, Ford conScene Shop project, which will be comfirmed that because Kean continues pleted by May, and the spaces will again to grow and expand, it has an ongoing be available to students. The other 128 need for new educational and research spaces are being used for the North Avfacilities for its students. enue Academic Building project. Tyler Piazzolla, a senior Physical “When the project is complete, all Education and Health major, believes but about 10 spaces will be available that it is a good idea for Kean to build to the students once again,” Ford said. the new North Avenue building. “The 10 spaces that will not be avail“It takes away parking, but it’s also able are because we will be adding a good to expand the programs,” he said. trolley stop at the front of the build“The students who are in the program ing.” will benefit further for their educaKean students can expect to find the tion.” building finished when they return to Currently 188 spaces out of the Kean for the fall semester.
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Standout pitcher Yard leads softball team By Angel Ospina Whether its centimeters, inches or yards, Courtney Yard is willing to travel whatever distance is necessary in order for her to accomplish her goals. Yard, a senior student-athlete for Kean’s softball team has gotten off to a dynamic start as she has saved her best for last, and has started the 2015 season off with a bang. “I would love to see the team win our conference. We’ve been close most of my years here and I would love to have the title this year,” stated Yard. The softball team started off their season in Florida for the Rebel Spring Games and left the sunshine state with a 6-3 record. Yard pitched well on the trip, and added NJAAC Pitcher of the Week to her long-list of accolades accumulated over her career as a Cougar. “The sport isn’t only about you, so when you make an error or are having an off day, the girl next to you is there to pick you up,” said Yard. Yard has practiced that team-first mentality for many years, as she has been playing the sport she loves since she was a child. Playing since the tee-ball days, where parents watch their five-year-old kids chop at a baseball on a tee, with over-sized t-shirts and helmets, is where the love of the game began for Yard. “I love that it’s a team sport. It’s awesome to be a part of such a good group of girls that will always be there for you.” she said with a huge smile on her face. Yard is from Stockton, New Jersey and she attended Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemmington. Fast-forward from swinging at the ball on a tee in Stockton till now where she is capping off a career where she may go down as one of the best softball pitchers in Kean’s history. “I can’t believe after all these years, this is my last year,” she said in a reminiscent tone. Yard uses experience of her past to fuel her motivation for her final year on the diamond. “Last year we played really well, and losing to Montclair in the super regionals was so crappy because we have beaten them before, but they’re always great competition,” Yard stated. Last years season ended in a heart breaking lost to rival school Montclair State University but she’s put the past in her rearview mirror. “I am just always looking for ways to get better and make sure I give 110% every time so I leave with no regrets, so that helps me get through both good and bad games,” said Yard. “I am self-motivated and my dad has always been a big influence in sports,” she said. Yard uses that self-motivation in every aspect of her life on and off the field. She is a special education and a math K-12 major and hopes to be a math teacher in the near future. “Court is a great leader, she’s the type of person who leads by example,” said former teammate and now assistant coach Kelley Moorehead. “Everyone looks up to her whether they are older or younger than her. She is very hard working and very positive. She’s one of the greatest teammates I’ve ever had the honor
Photo: Angel Ospina
Yard in action.
to play with not to mention she’s an amazing pitcher.” Yard referred to herself as a “home body” for the simple fact that she enjoys being home and spending time with her family. Yards strong personality and leadership goes a long way when dealing with her “family” on the field, especially since this years team is stacked with freshman. “My advice to the younger girls is to enjoy every single minute you’re on the field.” said Yard. “She is a great leader and an even better role model for younger softball players and girls in general.” said senior Stephanie Gilbert who is also a pitcher. Gilbert and Yard have been teammates for six years as they played for Top Gun, a women’s competitive softball organization out of Edison, New Jersey. “She is an amazing person and an even better friend.” said Gilbert. “I would always want Courtney on my side in any situation.”
Pitching leads the way for baseball team By Jamie Alicea III Baseball is a game of focus and defense, and if there’s one position that exemplifies both those qualities, it has to be the pitchers. The Kean mens baseball team is stacked full of throwers that are ready to step up on the pitching mound at any given moment. To create a strong pitching rotation, you need to have leadership in place, especially to help out the young gunslingers. No one on the Cougars embodies leadership more then senior pitcher Charles Thielmann. “Charles is a great leader whether he’s
pitching, leading the cheers, or picking people up when we’re struggling.” said relief pitcher Vinny Zanfordino. Thielmann is a 6’3 right handed thrower whose leadership on and off the field has bettered his teammates. His play and behavior is the epitome of his coach’s philosophy of “just winning now”. “I just love baseball for the love of the game and the overall grind. You just have to love it.” said Thielmann. “And being a leader, what I really try to let the young guys know, is that not everything is handed to you. What happens when
The team is currently ranked 6th and continues to consistently protect their home field advantage with just one loss out of 10 games at home. The Cougars maintain the mentality Ioverio has instilled onto his players of throwing strikes, staying calm before the storm, and just going out there and winning. “This is the best chance I’ve had in four years at making a championship run.” said Thielmann. “We have a few kinks to work out, myself included, but once everybody is healthy and ready to go I think we are a really scary team to take the field against.”
nobody is around is what separates you from the rest, so just stay humble and work hard,” Zanfordino is another blue chip product of coach Ioverio that has really come into his own game. He’s already recorded 3 saves and 6 strike outs to start the season. “Baseball is my therapy.” said Zanfordino. “It’s what I do when I’m home, not happy. I continue to play for my grandpa. We have what it takes not just for NJAC title but for a national title. It’s like coach tells us every practice, you have to stay calm before the storm.”
2014-2015 Women’s basketball team
Photo: Kean Athletic website
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Men’s volleyball wraps up mid-West swing By Angel Ospina Experience is the teacher of all things, and the upperclassmen student-athletes of Kean’s baseball team are ready to put that experience to the test, as they believe the skies are the limit for this upcoming season. “My goals are the team goals which are wining the NJAC, the NJAC Tournament, winning the regionals and getting that championship,” said senior, James Lyczkowski. With the season quickly approaching, the studentathletes are determined to provide whatever leadership skills are necessary in order to accomplish their long list of goals. The seniors of the team are looking to provide a mentorship role to the team’s underclassmen. “When a younger player doesn’t do what he is supposed to do, I just go up to him and try explaining what he did wrong and teach him how to do it the proper way,” said Lyczkowski. Lyczkowski is a catcher who is battling two herniated disks in his back, but the injury will not stop him from trying to lead on and off the field. Senior Charles Theilmann is going into his final season with the Cougars with a team first mentality. He and the other seniors are preparing to lead the team to their first NCAA Division III National Championship title since 2007. “This season I personally don’t have any personal goals because once we get to that point where we compete for the championship and get the ring all of
Photo: Kean Athletics
Kean players huddle up after point
the personal awards will come with it,” said Theilmann. The Cougars are coming off a season where they went 35-14. “I’m just gonna have to lead by example and answer any questions they have because the game is really fast when you first get here,” said Theilmann. Theilmann is a right-handed pitcher from Piscataway, New Jersey who is determined to make his final year on the team, a year to remember. “All we want is to be at the top after the last game,” stated Theilmann.
Junior Ryan Kelly didn’t mention any accolades, but instead just looks forward to playing baseball and being around his teammates for the entire season. “ The atmosphere of being around the team and competing on an every day basis is what I’m most excited for,” said Kelly excitedly. On Feb 28, the team opened their season with a 3-1 home win over Eastern Connecticut State University. Sophomore Emilo Calderon pitched for eight innings, giving up only one hit. Thielmann recorded the save with two strikeouts.
On your mark, get set, go; Track team looking for comeback By Celeste Simmons
Kean on the attack against Arcadia
Photo: Mak Ojutiku
Mens lacrosse looking to turn season around By Mak Ojutiku Putting on a great performance usually isn’t easy. Following up that great performance with another extraordinary outing can be even more difficult. Last year, Kean University’s mens lacrosse team put on one of their better performances. They finished the 2014 season with a 16-3 record, which is the most wins in a season in the program’s 45-year history. Right now though, the team is heading into the second half of this year’s season with a record of 6-5. They’ve experienced more than a few issues and setbacks. “I don’t feel good about where our team is right now.” said the head coach of the team, Shelley Sheiner. Sheiner has been the head coach for 12 years now, and his team hasn’t posted a losing season in eight years. The coach says their record isn’t an accurate reflection of the skill of his team. “We’re better than a 6-5 team,” said Sheiner. “We just haven’t executed and played to our capabilities.” One thing the Cougars have been struggling to find this year is consistency. The team wasn’t able to string together any kind of winning streak in March. One cause for that could be the relative youth of the team. The team returned only three seniors this year, while bringing in 14 freshman. “That’s what kind of tripped us up in the early going,” said the head coach. “We’re going through some growing pains. We’re a young team. We’ve got a lot of first year guys playing in some spots and some guys who are still on their way a little bit.” Mother Nature has also provided some obstacles for the lacrosse team. The unusually frigid and snowy weather cut into the team’s practice and playing time in a big way during the first few weeks of the season.
“The fact that we couldn’t get onto our field for quite some time has been a major factor for us.” said Sheiner. “We haven’t had adequate practice time and we haven’t had adequate space and use of the field.” Despite their disappointing mark, the team has shown the occasional flash of greatness. The same greatness that broke records last year. In the opening match of this season, the Cougars found themselves up against the Knights of Arcadia University. While the game took place on a cold February night, the Cougars offense was anything but cold. Kean scored nine goals before the Arcadia got on the scoreboard, and the Cougars eventually won the game 132. Junior Anthony Carpenter recorded his first hat trick of the season in the game. Carpenter and fellow junior Matt Speciale are the leaders in the team’s offense. Carpenter leads the team in goals with 12, while Speciale has seven goals with four assists. Sheiner expects more out of the pair going into the second half of the season. “(Speciale and Carpenter) have not played up to their capabilities yet, but I’m expecting big things in the second half of the season.” said Sheiner. One bright spot for the team has been goalie Max Fields. Fields wasn’t the intended starter going into the season, but he’s proved he deserves the spot with his play. The junior goaltender has stopped 98 goals and currently has the eighth best save percentage in Division III (.679). Conference play is coming up for the Cougars soon, and despite all the setbacks Sheiner has high expectations for his team. “We’re gonna make some positional changes.” said Sheiner. “We’re gonna tweak some things and we’re gonna be ready for conference play. I expect us to win the conference.”
Long jump, high jump, shot-put, discus, pole-vault, 100 meters, 400 meters, 1600 meters; these are just some of events that make up track & field. Unfortunately enough, many Kean students have never been exposed to them. Five years ago however, it was a different story. Up until 2010, Kean had a track team. “The team was great. The boys sprint team was really good.” said Joe Badru a 2014 Kean graduate. Badru was on the track as a freshman right before it was disbanded. Why was the team disbanded is the question many are left with, but there seems to be no exact reason as to why. Badru stated that his older teammates told him the team ended because the school couldn’t afford both the track team and the new men’s volleyball team, but those were just rumors. “We had a lot of good sprinters, a really good high jumper, a decent amount of distance runners, and a great field team.” said Badru “There weren’t a lot of girls on the team but the girl’s team was good.” If the team was so good, why end it? Why not cut a team that had not been doing so well? All of these question remain unanswered and while what actually happened to the team may always remain a mystery, Kean may have a track team in the near future. Stephon Fields, a freshman business management major, has been working with a few other students to bring track & field back to Kean. Fields and his friends have proposed a budget and designed a uniform. They’ve contacted the athletic director and are just waiting for him to respond with
2010 men’s 4x100 meter team
a meeting date. “We had a petition and over 200 students signed it.” said Fields. “At first we wanted a club, but when you look at the grand scheme of things, do you know how many people would like to come to Kean just for the track team?” This could very well be true. Track scholarships are hard to earn, a lot runners look for affordable schools that have track teams. Savonn Maye, who is a student at Union County College in Cranford studying Liberal Studies, is the captain of his school’s track team. “I would be more willing to transfer to Kean if they had a track team. Because it may open up more opportunities for the future and possibly lead to a future in the sport.” said Maye. “I wouldn’t transfer their if they didn’t have a track team, because wherever I go I would want to run track.” Maye will be graduating from UCC in the fall of this year, and he is currently in the process of looking for schools to transfer to. Fields and his friends are really pushing for a team here at Kean and it seems as though there efforts may be worth it. KaylaSimone McKelvey, president of the Pan African American club here at Kean, said that the school is in the works of bringing the team back. McKelvey says there is more of a need for freshmen to want to join the team as opposed to upperclassmen, but that getting a track team has been talked about. Fields and his friends are hoping the team will be approved in time for outdoor season of next year. “I really do believe that if we all come together we can get a team.” said Fields.
Photo: Kean Athletics