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Professors plan spring rally in response to stalled contract negotiations By Joshua Rosario Full-time professors at Kean University have been working without a master contract for over a year and a half. Negotiations towards a contract have been ongoing for almost two years. The current contract expired on June 30, 2015. “We are planning for a series of actions statewide during the course of the spring semester,” said Dr. James Castiglione, President of the Kean Federation of Teachers, in an interview with The Tower. “Things have yet to be finalized but there will be a day of action.” There are plans to rally on public university campuses statewide to raise awareness among students and the community about the lack of a contract. Faculty and staff believe working without a contract negatively affects students’ education. Castiglione believes it also negatively impacts the recruitment of talented teachers and staff members. Also, it makes retention of those teachers and staff members diﬃcult. “People have not had a raise in two years,” said Castiglione. “ And further, faculty and staff have seen their out-of-pocket healthcare costs go up. The amount that gets deducted out of our paychecks is increasing.” In New Jersey public university master-contract negotiations, The Council of New Jersey State College
“People have not had a raise in two years” - Dr. James Castiglione, KFT President
Local, is the collective-bargaining agent that represents professors from not only Kean University, but also others, including Montclair State University and The College of New Jersey. The Oﬃce of Employee Relations in the New Jersey Governor’s oﬃce coordinates and negotiates on behalf of the state. The last negotiation meeting between the two was on February 10, 2017. No agreement was reached. Contract demands include bringing health care costs under control and moving to a system that is fair. They are also seeking an annual cost-of-living increase of five percent in the first year, four percent in the second and third year, and three percent in the fourth year. The state has countered with a zero percent increase in the first two years and one percent in the third and fourth years. Castiglione said that in the last negotiation meeting on February 10, the state was willing to go to 1.25 percent in the third and fourth year. In the previous contract, the raises were zero percent the first two years, one percent in the third, and 1.75 percent in the last year. The master contract doesn’t affect adjunct professors, but adjunct professors are unionized and are also currently undergoing contract negotiations. The Council is proposing lecturers be added to the master contract. Lecturers have a yearly contract. Currently, lecturers negotiate locally with the university. “The terms and conditions for our lecturers right now are not very good and need to improve,” said Castiglione. “And that is leading to high turnover among lecturers, who, again, teach a lot of classes and interact with students on a very regular basis.” The master contract includes teaching and/or research faculty, department chairpersons, administrative staff (non-managerial), librarians, student personnel staff, demonstration teachers, and professional academic support personnel (holding faculty rank), among others. When asked for a comment on the ongoing negotiations,
College of Visual and Performing Arts becomes a school By Monica Sudﬁeld The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences have been combined into one college, and given a new name: the College of Liberal Arts. When the College of Visual and Performing Arts was created, it had four departments: Theater, Fine Arts, Music and Design. The CVPA college’s enrollment dropped when Kean opened The Michael Graves College, which focuses on both architecture and design, in early 2014. “The term “visual” in the CVPA title no longer exclusively applies to CVPA since Design in the Michael Graves College can be considered a visual art,” said Dr. Suzanne Bousquet, Dean of the combined College of Liberal Arts. The former CVPA college is now the School of Fine and Performing Arts within the College of Liberal Arts. The other five schools in the College of Liberal Arts are: The School of Communication, Media and Journalism; The School of English Studies; The School of General Studies; The School of Psychology and The School of Social Sciences. According to the Fall 2016 factbook on Kean’s website, 351 students were enrolled in the College of Visual and Performing arts, which is not an efficient amount to keep the College independent. The Kean Federation of Teachers, which represents full-time faculty, views the change as a demotion for performing arts. In 2013, a strategic plan was developed to cover goals, objectives and actions through 2020. This plan states the support and further growth of Centers of Excellence, which includes the College of Visual and Performing Arts, noted Dr. James Castiglione, physics professor and president of the Kean Federation of Teachers. Instead, he said the retirement and non-replacement of long-term faculty within the College of Visual and Performing Arts has led to enrollment deterioration. “These Centers of Excellence are supposed to be strengthened, not weakened,” said Dr. Castiglione. ‘We just don’t have the faculty that they need, and that undermines the attractiveness of those programs to prospective students.”
Photo: Monica Sudfield
The College of Visual and Performing Arts is now a school alongside the school of Communications, Media and Journalism in the College of Liberal Arts.
Dr. Castiglione further criticized Kean’s long-time slogan “World Class Education”, and added that there is concern about the future of visual and performing arts at Kean. He said world-class universities offer students a wide variety of classes and majors. “How can you be a world class institution if you’re going to take a thriving visual and performing arts sector and basically sideline it?” said Dr. Castiglione. What seems to many just a change in title leaves others fearing an overall elimination of these programs in the future. Dr. Bousquet said the changes are “an example of another stage of evolution of Kean University.” “The courses remain the same, the studio and performing space remain the same,” she said. “Current students will not experience any changes in the way they continue their academic programs.”
Professors at KFT general membership meeting
Photo: Joshua Rosario
Kean University’s Director of Media Relations, Margaret McCorry said the university would not comment. “The Governor’s Oﬃce of Employee Relations handles the negotiations,” said McCorry. The Governor’s oﬃce did not respond to a request through its website. The Council’s next meeting for negotiations will take place on March 10.
Closed yet again By Gail Fredricks The Terra Momo Restaurant Group has completed its one-year contract with the Kean Foundation on December 31, 2016, and transitioned the management of Ursino back to the Kean Foundation, according to a statement from Kean University’s spokeswoman, Margaret McCorry. The Foundation will continue operating Ursino as a restaurant and will add new and exciting features such as summer camps, catered events and culinary classes in the distinctive space. Attempts to contact Terra Momo went unanswered. This is not the first time the restaurant has closed down. In Sept. 2015, the restaurant closed down temporarily for renovations. Ursino, which was previously under management of Gourmet Dining, was in a tax litigation with Union Township for back property taxes of over $50,000. The argument presented by Union Township was that property tax is owed due to the fact that the company running the restaurant with no educational intent is not exempt, even though the university is. “The court has not rendered a decision,” said Union County tax assessor Paul Parsons, regarding the tax litigation. “Nothing has changed.” The renovated restaurant, Enoteca Ursino, described as an “Italian cuisine with a modern twist” opened in Kean University’s STEM building on May 25, 2016. Previously featuring a farm-totable, Italian-inspired menu, it also features organic produce grown at the Liberty Hall Farm at Kean University. Ursino is set to reopen in several weeks, according to McCorry. They are updating menus, finalizing plans for summer programming and developing culinary programs that will “further enrich the campus community and the region.” According to a statement from the university, The Kean Foundation has identified key opportunities for Ursino to grow as a dining destination in the regional market, as well as providing programming and activities beyond typical dining services, which may be able to solve the problem of running a restaurant with “no educational intent.” “We look forward to welcoming patrons to this expanded approach to dining, entertainment and education,” said McCorry in an email, “...with a refreshed Ursino menu that will delight and please.”
2 THE TOWER
Barnes and Noble bookstore expanded to Miron Student Center this spring By Rafaela Teixeira The Barnes and Noble bookstore has expanded to the hub of Kean University’s main campus in the Miron Student Center (MSC) upon the arrival of the Spring 2017 semester. The size comparison of the new location of the bookstore is much smaller than the one in the Green Lane building. Due to its smaller size, only a select few items are being sold there. For instance, Spirit clothing and gift items, among other tech gadgets, like accessories for phones and laptops. It is really just a small sample of what they have in the main bookstore. John Cusick, store manager at the Green Lane Barnes and Noble bookstore gave much insight to the reason behind the new addition to the Miron Student Center. “While this store has been really successful, one drawback is that we are on the side of campus. We used to be located in the University Center (UC) [now referred to the MSC], where SmashBurger is, then we opened this beautiful store a couple of years ago. So the University asked us to move back into the location”, he explained. The university made a request in which they were happy to accommodate. He continued by saying that, “They wanted a presence of the bookstore over there, especially for the spirit items.” Many visitors on campus do not get to visit the main bookstore. It is more convenient to have an area nearby where they can shop for themselves, or others.
He also explained that when students are taking classes on the main campus and need to buy specific school supplies, they can hurry to the MSC bookstore and quickly purchase what they need. One key benefit Cusick has from the new location is getting to interact and see more people in the Miron Student Center as opposed to the Green Lane building where people do not stop by very often. Another benefit that the main bookstore gets from the new location is promoting new sales, discounts, or delivering new information to students, such as the twoweek free shipping given at the start of the Spring 2017 semester. Students can now be better informed of what goes on over at Green Lane just by asking the employee working at the Miron Student Center. “Everyone who works there works here… all of my employees are good here, but I tend to send over the more experienced and, kind of outgoing employees over there because I need them to be able to inform the customers over there about everything that is going on over here”, he explained. Cusick explained that the system is the same in both locations. Any employee in the MSC will be able to inform students of whether or not the wanted textbook is over at Green Lane. The only reason textbooks are not being sold there is because of the small size of the store. Students are also able to order books online from the new location and pick them up at the Green Lane building.
Photos by: Rafaela Teixeira
Above: Spirit items sold at new bookstore. Below: Tech Gadgets being sold at MSC bookstore.
Learning to listen By Micayela Konviser
Photo source: Ryan Hyde via Creative Commons
Many people can agree that they fall victim to the biggest thief of time...procrastination!
Balancing time By Kiara Mays With the help of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and countless other social media apps; college students are surrounded by distractions on a daily basis. Students are finding it more diﬃcult to give school the amount of time and attention that it requires. Many people can agree that they fall victim to the biggest thief of time...procrastination! College students especially can relate to procrastination being a major reason why homework assignments and school related tasks go undone. That reason alone is why time management is key to a successful and enjoyable college experience. Jean Brown, the speaker of a time management workshop held at the Center for Academic Success (CAS), shared some helpful tips with students in order to combat procrastination as well as other distractions, both internal and external. At the top of her list was the famous Nike slogan: Just Do It. “Good time management is controlling your time and who [or what] you let into your space,” said Brown. Before going in depth, Brown made sure to clarify what is meant by internal and external distractions. Things such as: cellphones, laptops, televisions and so forth are all external distractions while inner thoughts and hunger are both considered internal distractions. Brown also shared that she, herself places her phone on Airplane mode before beginning an important task or assignment and at night before she goes to bed. For those that may be unaware, Airplane mode disables calls, text messages, and apps that
use cellular data; for the time that it is enabled. That way, when it comes time to complete an important project, the phone is not a distraction. In addition to Airplane mode, Brown also suggests that one may want to place their phone into a drawer, so that it is out of sight and out of mind until said assignment is completed. “If I were to manage my time more wisely, then I wouldn’t be so stressed out all the time,” said Keily Padilla, a sophomore, communication major at Kean. “And when I do try to manage my time, I like to write things down and get the more diﬃcult things out of the way first.” During the workshop, Brown stressed that writing tasks down and making lists are effective as helpful time management tools. Therefore, she encouraged the students in attendance to try making a list for everyday of the week. Lists not only allow one to visually see what assignments they must complete, but they also make it so that the student is not overwhelmed with too many tasks at once. “I make a list at the end of everyday and leave it on my desk for the next day,” said Brown. “This way, I have a visual of what important tasks I must complete and I don’t have to waste time thinking about what I have to do.” All in all, Brown stressed the importance of effective time management because the benefits are more than worth it. Good time management can help people and students especially: meet deadlines, get better grades, feel less stressed--and more in control, allot more time for family and friends, and meet future goals, just to name a few!
Everyday people spend a lot of time listening to others. Despite this, many don’t see listening as a skill that needs some work. “Most of us don’t realize that we are not such great listeners,” said Professor Sara Boden-Learner, who began teaching a listening class at Kean three semesters ago. “The focus of this class is to become more self-aware of our listening skills and then learn to develop them.” Boden-Learner, an instructional designer, communication coach and a professor who taught at Kean University for 17 years, says that becoming a better listener can have many benefits. “Good listeners are going to have better personal relationships, better professional relationships, just all interpersonal relationships will improve because the main problem that we have, the conflicts that arise are as a result of not listening properly or not properly understanding each other,” she said. During the semester-long class students spend time doing listening activities, projects to work on empathy, and of course, a lot of time listening to each other. In order to become a better listener, Boden-Learner says the first step is to want to. “Listening is an intentional activity,” she said. “You have to decide, ‘alright I’m going to do this, and I’m going to focus.” She says it is also important to focus on the needs of others, instead of your own. “It’s really about becoming other oriented and listening to what they are saying.” she said. “What their message is, and trying to understand it the way they intend to be understood,” she said. Oftentimes when listening to another person people are not really focused on what the person is saying in that moment. “Most of us, what we’re doing while somebody is talking is coming up with things that we’re going to respond with, coming up with judgements about what they’re saying, or just thinking about something else,” said BodenLearner. In order to become a better communicator it is necessary to become better at listening. By becoming better listeners, Boden-Learner says that will lead communicating in a way so that others will listen to you. Boden-Learner says that listening will not only help with understanding others, but also with communication. “We all know that public speaking is really important, but nobody ever teaches you how to listen. and yet, the expectation for us to be able to listen is always there,” said Boden-Learner. Boden-Learner says that becoming a good listener can take a lifetime. However, during the semester-long class it is possible to get a good start. “What this course will do is teach you what the skills are, make you hyper aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are, and then the rest of your life you can keep working on making them better,” she said.
“Most of us, what we’re doing while somebody is talking is coming up with things that we’re going to respond with, coming up with judgements about what they’re saying, or just thinking about something else.”
THE TOWER 3
Kean University alumnus returns to host two events in the Miron Student Center On March 30th and April 3rd, Kean University will be hosting two events that focus on acing interviews in 2017 and educating millennials on how to be successful in the workforce. Antonio Parrales, an alumnus who now runs his own business, will be hosting both of these events in the Miron Student Center. Parrales founded Parrales Consulting LLC in 2009 and has been conducting seminars to many Universities across the nation ever since. The first seminar, which is titled “Acing Interviews in 2017,” is being sponsored by Kean University’s student government, as part of a new series of workshops titled “Life Skills,” designed to educate students on skills they might not learn in a traditional classroom setting such as interviewing, networking, financial planning and much more. Parrales and his staff are currently looking for ten students to participate in a series of different types of interviews such as a phone and Facetime or Skype interview and then will receive tailored feedback on their performances, on what they can improve and what areas they did well on. Students will have their resume critiqued, then do a 30 minute interview on the phone and then a 30 minute Facetime or Skype interview. Students who participate in these mock interviews are also asked to attend the workshop as the last part of the interviewing series. If any student is interested in being an interviewee, they can contact Parrales at AP@AntonioParrales.com. For the first seminar, the videos and audios of each student’s interviews will be used as examples during the workshop to help other students learn how to successfully get through all of the different
stages of the interview process. The seminar will last approximately two hours and will take place in the Miron Student Center in room 228 from 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m on Thursday, March 30th. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served. All are welcome to attend. “Most students aren’t aware of the different stages of interviews that you go through in order to be placed in an organization,” said Parrales. Successfully passing through each stage of the interviewing process is significantly difficult than it ever was before. Not even 10 years ago, applicants could simply submit their resume and somebody would call them back and you got an interview, if the interviewer liked you, you got the position. Not in 2017. During the seminar, Parrales will be educating students on the process [Human Resources and corporations] go through to interview a potential candidate. “It’s not just that we pull a resume, call you and interview you,” said Parrales. “It’s going through an applicant tracking system.” Once a candidate is chosen from the applicant tracking system, then they are called for a phone interview. If the candidate has what [potential employers] are looking for, they then receive a Facetime interview, where [potential employers] look for certain attributes from any possible candidate. “I want to educate [students] on the different stages of the interviewing process, what they need to be aware of,” said Parrales. “So, they can be successful in each stage as it progresses in the interviewing process.” The next seminar, called “Millennials in the Workforce,” aims to educate millennials on how to be effective in the workplace. Parrales will educate students
Kean University prides itself on affordability
Kean Online ranks top 10 Online Colleges in New Jersey by Value Colleges
By Jennifer Padilla Kean University began to offer an online bachelor completion program for community college graduates as of January of 2016. Kean Online has already been recognized by Value Colleges as one of the “Top Ten Best Online Colleges in New Jersey.” Among the colleges listed, Kean Online offered the most affordable tuition. “It is exciting to have Kean Online recognized as a Top 10 College in New Jersey,” said Marsha McCorry, Kean University’s Associate Vice President for enrollment management. “Kean University prides itself on affordability.” Value Colleges’ rankings are based on regional accreditation, number of online programs, institutional reputation, and annual cost. Rankings are measured by research from public sources such as the National Center for Educational Statistics, Payscale, college scorecard (US Department of Education), U.S. News & World Report, and the colleges’ own website, according
Photo source: StockSnap via pixabay
to Carrie Sealey-Morris, lead editor of Value Colleges. With a yearly cost of $11,581, Kean Online reflected on Value Colleges’ that it offers affordable tuition when compared to other online colleges in New Jersey; for example, Rutgers University Online costs $14,131 per year and New Jersey Institute of Technology costs $16,108 per year. Kean Online offers bachelor programs in business, criminal justice and nursing. Their graduate programs include Master of Educational Administration, Computer Information Systems and Hindi/Urdu Language Pedagogy. Being that Kean Online is still a brand new addition to the university, McCorry stated that it will continue to expand its program offerings. Kean Online has partnered with other community colleges in the state in order to make transitioning a swift experience for community college graduates who wish to complete an online bachelor’s program without losing any of their hard-earned credits.
on the different generations that are in the workforce and the way that they work, as well as some of the adversities millennials might face as a result of the different values older generations may uphold in the workforce. This seminar will last approximately 3 hours, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Miron Student Center, room 228 on Monday, April 3rd. Doors open at 4:30 and dinner will be served. Only undergraduates are welcome to attend. “A lot of companies hire me for [educating millennials] specifically because millennials have a distorted view of what the workforce looks like,” shared Parrales. “[Millennials] have this view that they are going to change the world within a month, they are going to be managers within a few months or that they are going to be vice presidents.” While Parrales thinks those things can be achieved, it may take more time then millennials anticipate. Parrales stresses that, in order to achieve, you need to have people on your side. “A lot of millennials enter the workforce not realizing that the people in the workforce are the ones that are going to be the advocates to push you forward and recommend you for advances and opportunities,” said Parrales. “Millennials come into the workforce assuming that in two years they are going to be a manager, not realizing how to manage the relationships around them.” Parrales will also inform the students at the seminar of how to work with the older generations that are in the workforce, how [older generations] view the workforce, how [older generations] were brought up and how that impacts the way that [older generations] do business. This information is crucial, as millennials can learn to understand if they learn how to do business that way, they will learn how
Photo source: Antonio Parrales
Antonio Parrales, alumnus of Kean University and founder of Parrales Consulting LLC.
to work with the older generations and form strong relationships that can help them progress. “We are utilizing the millennials in the workforce seminar for students at the University to educate them on some of the challenges that they are going to be facing once they enter the workforce, with the different generations that are there,” said Parrales, whose own company specializes in educating managers on how to successfully engage and retain millennials in the workforce. “[These seminars] are educating students on things they need to know to be successful in the workforce, that they really can’t get in the classroom per say,” shared Parrales. “In the classroom, you learn about business but it doesn’t teach you about interpersonal relationships, it doesn’t teach you about interviewing skills and those kind of things, this is taking what students have learned and then showing them the skills they’ll need to be effective at work.”
Kean University Department of Public Safety police blotter By Cody Louie Feb. 1 - At approximately 11:30 a.m. a 23-year-old Irvington man was arrested for contempt. Feb. 2 - A suspicious person verbally harassed another in the Hutchinson lot at approximately 8:30 a.m. Around 3:30 p.m. a 25-year-old Perth Amboy man was arrested for contempt. Soon after, a laptop was stolen by an unknown person in a room in Burch Hall. Feb. 5 - At approximately 12:00 a.m. in the Vaughn Eames Lot, multiple people were found attempting to open doors to vehicles. Later on around 4:00 a.m. a 22-year-old Belleville man was arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the Science Lot. Feb. 6 - An unknown person at the library asked questions regarding the university which compelled the complainant to report it. The grease bin at the University center lot was broken into at approximately 2:00 p.m. The unknown person cut through a portion of the lid closed shut by a Master lock. Around 5:30 p.m. three telephones were taken from a conference room table at the North Avenue Academic Building. At around 9 p.m. a person was utilizing vulgar language and giving attitude to employees of the UC Hall Cafeteria. Lastly, at 9:30 p.m. a person scratched a victim’s vehicle as a result of a parking dispute in Willis Lot. Feb. 7 - Oﬃcers assisted the Hillside Police Department on a complaint of excessive trash left behind by a fraternity party at approximately 8:00 a.m. Around 10:30 a.m. oﬃcers assisted the Newark Police Department with an arrest for an active warrant. Two of a victim’s tires were slashed in the campus school south lot around 11:30 a.m. the person who did it is unknown.Feb. 8 - At 6:00 a.m. a suspicious person was found in Bruce Hall which was closed and was asked to leave. Around 11:30 p.m. students got stuck in elevator one in Bartlett Hall. One student managed to get out of the elevator on their own. The elevator was then declared out of service. Feb. 10 - A 30-year-old Newark man was arrested for contempt on Morris Avenue at approximately 10:00 a.m. Feb. 12 - At approximately 1:00 a.m noise complaints were filed in Rogers Hall and Dougall Hall. At Rogers Hall the people involved were informed of the complaint and told to quiet down. In Dougall Hall the area in question was inspected and no one was found or heard. At approximately 11:00 a.m. a person was trapped inside elevator one in Bartlett Hall. After several attempts the person was freed and the elevator was deemed out of order. Feb. 13 - At approximately 4:00 a.m. a noise complaint was filed in the Freshman Hall. The people involved were informed and told to keep the noise down. Around 1:30 p.m. a complaint for a controlled dangerous substance was reported in the Freshman Hall. An odor was found in the room, however, no substance was found in the room. Near 4:00 p.m. an unknown person removed a keyhole cylinder from a door handle to an office in the Green Lane Building. Feb. 14 - At 4:00 p.m. an unknown person took a victim’s wallet, money and car key at the East Campus. Around the same time, a person reported an odor of a controlled dangerous substance in her dorm room multiple times that week due to her roommate. At approximately 10:30 p.m. a person borrowed a victim’s vehicle and failed to return it as planned. Feb. 17 - At approximately 10:30 a.m. an unregistered vehicle was towed from the Green Lane Lot. A suspicious package was reported in the men’s restroom of Bruce Hall around 3:00 p.m. The package was later found to be a bag of garbage. A wallet was reported stolen in the Freshman Hall at 6:30 p.m. and was later found. Feb. 18 - An unknown person cracked the windshield, dented the roof, and left footprints on the trunk of a victim’s vehicle in the Vaughn Eames Lot around 3:00 p.m. Feb. 19 - An argument occurred between two people in the Freshman Hall in which they shoved one another around 1:30 a.m. At approximately 5:00 a.m. a person was intoxicated and standing in traffic on Morris Ave. Feb. 21 - A laptop charger was taken from a victim’s office at 10:30 a.m. in the Science Building. Around the same time a gas leak was reported in the Science Building. The Union Fire Department deemed the building safe after no detectable odor was present. At approximately 11:00 a.m. a person took money from a victim in a theft by deception in Whiteman Hall. The person claimed he was from the IRS and said the victim owed money.
By Adrianna Ruffo
ARTS & CULTURE
4 THE TOWER
S.H.E Vibes hosts Kean’s first annual paint & poetry night By Joel Joly On Monday, February 13, 2017, students, alumni, family and friends gathered together inside the Center for Academic Success (CAS) building for Kean’s first annual paint and poetry night hosted by S.H.E. Vibes. Doors opened at 7 p.m and the performances started from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The founders of S.H.E are three juniors that attend Kean University: Hana Sabree, psychology major, Linda Velez, public relations major and Sunae Long, art major. “S.H.E stands for sophisticated, headstrong, and exotic women. We want S.H.E to be everywhere, not just Kean, we want to go beyond,” said Linda Velez. This event included a number of young talented poets and painters collaborating together to perform a show about love and self-expression. While the poets perform on stage, painters will paint depending on what vibe they get from the poet. A dating game was also held during the event where they would have three contestants competing for one person of the opposite gender. The three contestants would then answer questions to show who would be the best candidate to go on a date with. There were about 75 to 100 people in attendance. A few candies and treats were also handed out during the event for students and guests. “The audience was amazing, everyone had participated, everyone was focused and everyone had a good time. It was a very comfortable feeling, and it was a great vibe,” said Sunae Long. “We want to touch more women, we want to touch bases with everything on campus because everyone goes out to a party but not everyone can come to an occasion like this, so it was a beautiful thing to see.” Stay tuned for more upcoming events hosted by S.H.E vibes this spring.
Above: Founders of S.H.E.Vibes. Below: Students gather for a night of paint and pottery. photos by Joel Joly
“S.H.E stands for sophisticated, headstrong, and exotic women. We want S.H.E to be everywhere, not just Kean, we want to go beyond.”
Black Love Affair takes place at Kean once again
Kean students talk about their plans for spring break By Johanna Ekladous
Above: Chuck Wepner (right) met with bar-goers at Sharkey’s Campus Inn for an annual holiday party at the bar Below: Sharkey’s Campus Inn, a bar located at 498 North Ave. in Union, NJ. Photo: Joel Joly
The event served all kinds of food, ranging from macaroni to jerk chicken.
By Joel Joly The annual Black Love Affair event was all set and ready to go on February 15, 2017, in the STEM Building on the 6th floor. Doors were open at 7 p.m. and the festivities were ranged from 8 p.m to 11 p.m. “Black love is a tradition here at Kean University, many of the students here of color are a part of PASU (Pan-African Student Union) and not just black students, but all students such as Latinos, and Asians,” said Oluwakemi Alade, a communications and African studies major and president of the PASU. Students that attended the event came formally dressed and waited to see what the night had to offer. The night consisted of students supporting and cheering on other young talented students that performed poetry, singing, rap, dancing, and fellowship. Dinner and beverages were served during the event. Macaroni, jerk chicken, catfish nuggets, corn bread, peach cobbler, and more were available. After enjoying the food and the performances held by the students, the night ended on the
dance floor with old-school music followed by new school music as students danced away, grooving to the songs played by Dj Wallah. “It was a real nice experience, I saw a lot of faces that I’ve known. I saw people perform talents I didn’t even know they had and that was amazing to me”, said O’Donovan Coke, a junior majoring in accounting. “It was like a real big happy family in here especially during Black History Month.”
Spring break has come a little early this year, but that is not ruining Kean student’s plans. Students across the campus are talking about what they plan to do during their time off. Activities range from staying at home to traveling overseas. Some students, even though they have time off from attending classes, they will still have to go to work or have to study for upcoming midterms. Have no plans this upcoming spring break? Take an opportunity to explore the campus for activities. Some places to visit on campus, are Liberty Hall Museum or a performance at the Wilkins Theater. For events and activities check out the upcoming events page on Kean’s home page. “My plan for spring break is to hang out with my girlfriend who lives overseas. We never really get to see each other much or hang out, so we’re just gonna do some shopping and hang out in the city,” said Craig Lowery, marketing major. “I don’t really have any plans for spring break. I’m probably just gonna stay home, hang out and work,” said Natalie Wright, elementary education Major “To eat a lot of pepperoni pizza and write one of the six papers I have,” said Frank Mellana, marketing major. “I play soccer, so I’m probably gonna be playing in soccer games this spring break,” said John Baldino, business management major. “I’m going to Bermuda for my spring break. I’m from Bermuda so I’m gonna go swimming and do stuff I can’t do out here right now,” said Jari Ming, math major.
Photo: Joel Joly
Students arrived, dressed to the nines for a night of dancing and food.
Photo: Johanna Ekladous
Jari Ming, math Major
THE TOWER 5
Two takes on Black History Month speaker
Dr. Tyrone Powers during his presentation on The Challenge and The Dilema: “Crime, Violence & Justice”
Powers on African Americans in the criminal justice system By Johanna Ekladous Dr. Tyrone Powers told Kean University students during a presentation honoring Black History last month that America’s criminal justice system is a form of modern slavery. Powers, an expert legal consultant on criminal law and civil court procedures concerning civil rights and police ethics and practices, said the NAACP states that African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States. For centuries African Americans had been considered to be three-fifths human and were slaves for the majority of American history. After passage of the 13th Amendment, many believed that slavery was abolished, said Powers, but it is not true. He read the 13th Amendment to the audience, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States...” Powers said that those who are imprisoned are the equivalent of indentured servants and are used as free labor. Meanwhile, the prison systems do not offer proper rehabilitation programs for those who are incarcerated, he said. “How can we expect for those who have been imprisoned to come out changed when they have been beaten, raped and shanked multiple times?” he asked. “How does this experience help them become better citizens once they are back out in the world? It won’t. If we don’t give them the education they need to change the way they think, then their actions will still be the same when they are free.” Those in our society with higher education are burdened to question the issues surrounding African Americans and crime today and discover a solution to the problem. “The solutions aren’t just about reducing crime but about increasing life chances,” Powers said. As a society we have been able to come up with breakthroughs in medication and create nuclear weapons but we have yet to come up with a solution to this crime problem, he continued. “People aren’t afraid of failure; they are afraid of success...Success is the heavier burden,” said Powers. Powers explained the reason for this is because once you become successful academically or hold a certain position then you have the responsibility to do something with it. At the same time, he criticized the lack of correct Black History in our schools. Most of our education excludes a lot of important information regarding not only famous civil rights activists, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also our presidents, such as Thomas Jefferson who was a slave owner. If there is a lack of proper education for our youth, then there can be no change in the future of African Americans, Powers said. Furthermore, a lack of proper education about our history hinders how our society not only thinks, but behaves. “Life is hard, but it’s harder when you’re stupid,” he said. Quoting the founder of Black History month, Carter G. Wilson, Powers said: “The battle is for the mind. The first revolution is the revolution of the mind. Change a person’s thinking and you control their actions. Just control their body and they will go back doing the same thing over and over again.”
By Quincy Rodgers
Photo: Johanna Ekladous
Fighting with Facts with Dr. Tyrone Powers By Joshua Rosario Dr. Tyrone Powers wants to fight crime with facts. Inside Kean University’s Mirion Student Center’s Little Theatre , Dr. Powers, author of Eyes to my Soul: The Rise or Decline of a Black FBI Agent,” showed a picture of Carter Woodson, the founder of Black History Month, and asked if the students if they could identify the man. Few could. “Whose fault is that? That’s the educators,” said Powers, “who can celebrate Black History month every year and never put up a picture of the man who started it, that’s not the children’s fault.” Powers, who has also been a criminal justice and sociology professor in Maryland, discussed an array of subjects as varied as the racism of founding father Thomas Jefferson to how the minds of African Americans are still being oppressed today to the Trump Administration. The former special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, discussed the government’s efforts in looking into the Black Panther Party. He went into details on the subject of the declassified FBI program, COINTELPRO, which he said methodically destroyed the Black Panther Party. The Party, which he noted was originally named the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, originated not as a criminal entity but as a group to help neighborhoods with programs like school lunch for poor children. According to the FBI website, COINTELPRO was a counterintelligence program launched in 1956 to disrupt activities of The Communist party of the United States. It was expanded to include The Ku Klux Klan, The Socialist Workers party and The Black Panther Party in 1960. All operations were ended in 1971. “J. Edgar Hoover wrote this, this is what he wanted agents to do: Get rid of a messiah, destroy the organizations, deunify them, discredit them, then in 2017 you get what you get,” said Powers. The event ended following a question and answer discussion on President Trump. Powers talked about fighting Trump with facts, and that Trump’s attitudes aren’t new as a president. “President Truman said this is what he said
and go look it up online. Truman said all men are created equal unless they’re black or Asian. He was President of the United States when he said it,” said Powers, “If you call Trump racist, what you going to say about Thomas Jefferson?” Found online, Truman did have those sentiments. Powers was quoting from a letter written in 1911 from Truman, who became president in 1945, to his future wife, Bess Wallace. It reads, in part: “It is race prejudice I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America.” (Due to the multiple use of racial slurs the full quote was not included in this article.) According to PBS’s Jim Crow Stories, Truman was also a supporter of civil rights and pushed for it to be part of the Democratic party platform. Truman also issued an executive order desegregating the armed forces on July 26, 1948. His presentation had a mixed reaction from the audience, which included three classes of students. “Dr. Powers’ presentation is always informative, provocative, and of the highest quality toward our understanding of the criminal justice system,” said Dr. James Conyers, Director of Africana Studies. Conyers invited Powers to speak. Criminal Justice Professor Alexander Sepulveda brought his proof and verification in criminal justice class to listen to Powers. Sepulveda said he doesn’t blame educators as much he blames social promotion for young people who don’t know history. “There’s a lot of holes in history not only Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month. There are a lot of holes you’re not taught in school. Everyone knows that,” said Sepulveda. “If he meant to say elementary school, I’m a strong believer that is the beginning of it you lose people before they get to junior high school.” Alicia Clark, a criminal justice major in her junior year, who was there with Sepulveda’s class, said: “I know some people thought it was racist or anti white and I do understand where those people are coming from. I do think he educated many of us on things we either do not know a lot about, or have no knowledge of it.”
6 THE TOWER
The difﬁcult decision of a college student
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: ROSE MARIE KITCHEN MANAGING/SPORTS EDITOR:
Should attendance really matter for college students?
Photo source: Tomwsulcer
SARA RIDGWAY FEATURES/AE EDITOR: ADRIANNA RUFFO
By Gail Fredricks As a college student, it’s always interesting to see the difference in number of students in the classroom in the beginning of the semester from the number of students still standing strong towards the end of the semester. Earnest and eager, it’s like the first day of kindergarten. We all dress in our best clothes, our hair is in place, and our notebooks and pencils are fresh out of their packets and ready to be used. Fast forward a couple of months, it is a completely different story. Our best clothes have turned into sweatpants and pajamas, we fail to even look in the mirror before leaving the house and our notebooks have been replaced by our cell phones. According to an article in USA Today, most colleges have given the power to the professors to implement their own attendance policy for their classes. On average, most professors believe to do well in a class and get the best grade, attendance is mandatory. A lot of student and even some professors disagree. There seems to be a lot of miscommunication when it comes to trying to figure out why students do not attend their classes. Some professors assume students are just lazy, others are more understanding if presented with a valid excuse why their students are missing classes. According to a survey done by the “Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” “Why Students Don’t Attend Class,” there are four factors that help students decide whether or not to attend class. They are: whether the students expect to learn from the lecture, the diﬃculty of the class and the material, how the lectures will relate to tests and/or homework and how interested the students are in the subject matter. Who wants to go to a class where they aren’t learning anything? It’s pretty safe to say most college students would rather have that extra hour or two of sleep than attend a class where they feel they aren’t benefiting. If a student is not challenged by the material or what is being taught in class won’t be on a test for a grade, students could use that time to work on other classwork or assignments for other classes they may be struggling with. Especially if a college student is working, as most are, time is of the essence when it comes to making time for more assignments they find more diﬃcult or time-consuming. From experience, one can sit in a lecture for three hours of their day twice a week and when it’s time for a test, none of it what was spoken about in class relates to the test. Everything will be out of the book, if there is one. Students feel that lectures should be aligned with what appears in the homework and on tests. As with anything in life, the more interested you are in something, the more effort you’ll put into trying to gain knowledge about the subject. Some professors go out of their way to try to spark interaction among students and get them excited about the subject matter. Other professors, have accepted their fate and drone on each week with no mercy on the ears of the students they are robotically lecturing to. It’s simple. Most of the time, if a professor is passionate and excited about the subject they’re teaching, there’s more of a possibility the students will be too. It is true. Some students really are lazy. Some students really do not care. However, students who understand the value of their education and find it in their best interest to attend the classes they are paying for. A student who frequently misses class may decrease their chances of receiving a high grade in a given course. However, as adults, we are given the choice to attend college. We are given the choice to spend thousands of dollars to receive a degree. By paying that money, we have the right to choose how many classes we attend, and our grade will show for it. As adults, it is our prerogative whether we want to utilize the classes we register for eﬃciently and get the most out of it. At the end of the day, it is our choice. As Laura Quinonez said in her article, “Taking Attendance in College is Ineffective and Inconvenient,” “Taking attendance doesn’t make students learn, it just makes them present.”
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Free space over safe space By Johanna Ekladous “Safe spaces” on campuses around the country are causing controversies because for years, we as a society have coddled our children and tried to “protect” them from “pain”. Today, It seems that no one can speak of an unpopular idea or belief without fear of condemnation. University and college students who cry “safe space” and want justice are missing the mark on freedom of speech. This is exemplified by activists who choose to scream at others who are different, disagree with, or who try to educate them. Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative, freespeaking gay man, has come under attack numerous times already while on his provocatively titled “Dangerous Faggot” tour. His tour’s purpose is to restore common sense, free speech and political debate at college campuses across the country. According to the article “Inflammatory and Turned Away” by Kasia Kovacs in “Insider Higher Ed”, at least five universities across the country have canceled Mr. Yiannopoulos’s tour and stated that it was for “security reasons”. Ari Cohn, an attorney at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education stated, “A lot of times universities cancel events not because of objective criteria but because people are offended.” During a critique of the Black Lives Matter movement at DePaul University, Yiannopoulos voiced the reasons why he believes the Black
Lives Matter movement is insignificant. Two protesters stood up and overtook the stage to cease others from hearing what Milo had to say. Security did nothing to stop this attack on free speech, perhaps because they were concerned with being labeled racist or against Black Lives Matter. Mr. Yiannopoulos’s scheduled second appearance on campus was canceled after this incident. Since when did it become okay to act as a boor and then have no repercussions for your actions? There shouldn’t be harm in being of a different mind, but in the state that our society is in, there may be. Because our youth has not been properly educated in the understanding of free speech and what it means to have respect for others while agreeing to disagree, we now have a society in which half of the country has no voice. An incident at Yale University, captured on video, illustrates this problem. In the fall of 2015, a student mob attacked Professor Nicholas Christakis. One of the female students confronted Christakis by screaming, disrespecting and intimidating him due to his stance on students’ freedom of choice. She claimed that because he believed students should be allowed to make trivial choices for themselves, such as which Halloween costume to wear, it was affecting the “safe space” on campus. Christakis’s wife, who also worked at the university sent out an email to the students prior to this event which caused the discomfort on campus, stating:
“Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious... a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves!” After seven months of harassment, property vandalization and no support from the school’s administration, Mr. Christakis and his wife quit. The students received no punishment for their obscene behavior; instead a letter of apology to the students was issued. It has become diﬃcult to think for oneself-not just in our educational institutions, but in our society as well. Hypocrite activists have taken over and have imposed on others the very thing they fight against. We are all different, yes, and therefore we think, speak and understand differently. Instead of socalled “safe spaces” that cause unsafe spaces in our society, we need free spaces that allow for freedom of thought and speech without the fear of being labeled as a racist, a homophobe, an islamophobe or a bigot. Allowing for free spaces in our society will be what makes America great again. We have been told that there are two things you don’t talk about--religion and politics, because it can be offensive. There are many Christians who feel like they can’t express their thoughts because they may offend someone.
Terry Bradshaw, NFL Commentator and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, in an interview with CNSnews said: “We can’t talk about Jesus. We can’t mention that anymore. So we say ‘I’m religious’ - because if we say Jesus, you automatically are pigeon holed and kicked off the desk.” This is the imposed self-censorship we have that started the lack of free speech, not only in our universities, but in our society as a whole. In order to make the most educated decision one must be presented with all the facts and with a diverse set of ideas. We have been given only one side and are being forced to accept it as truth. We have failed to educate our current generation with the values that made America what it is: a safe haven for all religious beliefs, ideas, and viewpoints. As Yale example shows, safe spaces are causing a society without free spaces, which America needs again.
THE TOWER 7
Men’s volleyball competes on the road in February By Sara Ridgway The men’s volleyball team battled against several nationally ranked teams while travelling to New England on two separate occasions. The team’s record currently stands at 11-6, with four of their losses coming from on-the-road competitions. On Fri. Feb. 3, 2017, the team embarked on their journey to Massachusetts where they faced #1 ranked Springfield College and #6 ranked New York City University in the Hall of Fame Classic. Following a three-set loss to Springfield, Kean picked up a three-set win against NYU. But playing competitive volleyball was not the only highlight of this trip. The players also had the opportunity to teach a volleyball clinic for people of all ages. For junior, middle hitter Jared Warner, the trip to Springfield was very different than previous trips he has been on during his three years at Kean. “We were able to share some of what we know and what we are taught in our gym at Kean,” Warner said. “I personally enjoy these clinics because I remember participating in camps and clinics when I was younger and always looking up to the guys doing the teaching.” On the same trip, the team visited the volleyball hall of fame where there was a banquet for the four teams competing in the Hall of Fame Classic. “It was great to see the legends from the past from all of the world and see how things began for volleyball as a sport and where it was most popular,” Warner said. On Fri. Feb. 17, 2017, the team once again hopped aboard a bus to began their trek to Massachusetts, which resulted in a three set loss to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The following day the team traveled to New Hampshire where they split on the day with a five-set loss to #13 ranked Rivier University and a four-set win against Regis College. So why travel the long distance for volleyball matches? Assistant Coach Jimmy Pompeo elaborated on the process of creating the schedule each season. Often times, coaches will alternate seasons hosting matches on their home court against specific teams. With it being Kean’s turn to hit the road for several teams, it resulted in a
season of travelling. “Something we do specifically at Kean with both the men’s and women’s programs is schedule a trip to wherever the current season’s NCAA championships are held,” Pompeo said. “That way we have some experience in the atmosphere we may later be playing in.” Warner feels that traveling to new environments is a positive learning experience for the team as a whole. “Usually when we travel far it is to play other ranked teams so we are always going to be tested with a good game and good competition,” Warner said. As per Warner, travelling those long bus rides can have an effect on the players mentality, but this diminishes once the players focus in and settle into the game. Pompeo added that although traveling can be a test of the players mental toughness, it also provides the opportunity for the players to establish culture and chemistry among themselves. The team’s record on their home court is 9-2 where on the road, their record is 2-4. Warner accounts the “home court advantage” of having fans at big games, support from other teams on campus and knowing the gym layout to the difference in performance. “Traveling to away games shouldn’t impact our performance, although sometimes I think we slip up and let the crowd or distance get to us,” Pompeo said, “however once we get into a rhythm, our confidence takes over and we can beat any team anywhere.” Next season the team will be changing regions and conferences. Expanding outside of the region this season was important for players to get experience competing against future opponents. Earlier in the season, two freshmen received Skyline Conference Rookie of the Week recognition. Steven Zarycki and Dylan Flor were named Rookie of the Week on Jan. 23, 2017 and Feb. 7, 2017, respectively. Zarzycki, an outside hitter from Rochester, Ny. and Flor, a rightside hitter from Quakertown, Pa. have both played in 16 of Kean’s 17 matches. “They are very talented guys and work hard every day in the gym,” Pompeo said. “They’re open
Kean University’s 5 v. 5 intramural basketball tournament
Junior Steve Schrank serves
Photo: Sara Ridgway
to learn, have the drive to improve, and put the team above themselves.” Along with Zarycki and Flor, the overall freshman class has made a presence on the court this season with frequent appearances by setter, Ian Capp and outside hitter Jacob Milnazik. “Having such a young team, any time the freshmen step up and make a positive impact, it’s huge for the program,” Pompeo said. “They’re the future, but the faster they can make a difference the better the team will be in the present.” This year, the team is not traveling anywhere for spring break. In past years they have travelled to Wisconsin and Florida. The season will resume after the break on March 16, 2017 with an away match against Baruch College. “As a young team, having had a bumpy season so far, it’s important for us to find our identity, get into a groove, and have some fun on our way to a conference championship, and eventually a national championship,” Pompeo said.
Get ﬁt with Kean
Photo: Craig Epstein
Harwood Arena’s basketball court is constantly kept in wonderful condition
By Estefani Hernandez
By Craig Epstein
Get ready for summer with Fit To Be Kean. Fit To Be Kean is a personal wellness club free to all students and offers a variety of classes. Classes include Zumba, Pound, Cougar Intensity, Step Aerobics, Cardio Kickboxing, Boot camp and Total body conditioning. These classes are taught by certiﬁed trainers and held in the Whiteman Hall Lounge.
Starting in the spring, Kean University is offering a five on five intramural basketball tournament. American Collegiate Intramural Sports (ACIS) is sponsoring the tournament and will be providing giveaways and promotional items. Divisions are separated by gender and is available to anybody that is interested. Preregistration for the tournament is required and all paperwork and payments must be delivered to Harwood Arena in room 219. Participants must be a current Kean University student and have a valid Kean ID in order to register; alumni and guests are prohibited. Failure to comply will result in forfeit of the season and any registration fee paid. The rules for intramural basketball can be found on intramurals.keanathletics. com. Under the section of basketball,
there is a tab which reads rules where it states all of the rules and regulations of the tournament. These rules must be followed in order to ensure the safety of all parties involved. The games will be played on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights starting at 6 P.M. and running until 10 P.M. No more than 10 people are allowed on a team and all players must wear the same color shirt, as uniforms will not be given. The schedule is subject to change whether it’s related to weather, availability of facilities or number of participants for each sport. If interested in participating in the tournament, students can call 908-7370606, email email@example.com or stop by room 219 in Harwood Arena (located on the second floor). There will be many special events taking place throughout the course of the tournament and it is guaranteed to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
SPRING 2017 SCHEDULE Cardio Kickboxing with Zara: Mondays and Wednesdays 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. 30-Minute Scorch with James: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. 6 p.m. ZUMBA with Rachel: Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., Sundays at 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. POUND with Rachel: Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. -7:45 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m. - 1:45pm Body Sculpt with Zara: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Step Aerobics with Alexandra: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. YOGA with Alexandra: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. If students have any questions regarding the Fit To Be Kean program call (908) 737-4880 or email ﬁtkean@kean.edu FTBK is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat: @ ﬁttobekean
8 THE TOWER
Softball kicks off the season By Brittany Pavlichko For the 18th consecutive season, head softball coach Margie Acker will be returning to Kean University in addition to 4 new players on the team. Some of the new faces on the field will include freshman infielder Julia Stasil and Tatiana Yourstone, Pitcher and outfielder Taryn DiGiacomo and transfer pitcher and infielder Jacqueline Riley. Stasil has a lot of knowledge and experience she will bring to the table in her first year. She has been playing softball since she was five years old and in Watchung Hills Regional High School all four years. Additionally, she was captain of the team in high school and at the end of the season her coach nominated her for a $750 softball scholarship for all of her hard work, leadership and contributions to the team. She wants to bring that experience to Kean and have a voice by cheering her teammates on. “I look forward to seeing how the team will work together as a whole, and how we all connect as we play,” said Stasil. “I truly believe that team chemistry helps wins games, and in order to be successful, we all need to have each other’s backs. I am curious to see how our first game goes, and from there, we can only get better.” Additionally, assistant coaches Chrissy Yard, Nicole Scarillo, Kelly Moorehead and Sarah Prezioso will be returning as well. According to the Kean athletics homepage, Kean was picked to finish 6th in the New Jersey Athletics Conference (NJAC) after finishing in the same slot at the end of the 2016 season. The Cougars had a 20-22 record last season. Furthermore, many awards were given to players for their work on the field last season: Amanda Zeni: NJAC Rookie Pitcher of the Week Olivia Zengel: NJAC Rookie of the Week Emily Sabo: First Team All-NJAC Lexi Oakley: NFCA all-America Scholar Athlete Shannon McMahon: NJAC Pitcher of the Week Dana Knapp: NFCA Third-Team All-American, NFCA First-Team All-East Region, First-Team All-ECAC, FirstTeam All-NJAC, NJAC Player of the Week Zengel, Sabo, Oakley, McMahon and Knapp will be returning to the lineup this upcoming season. Furthermore, for spring training the team will be traveling to Florida to prepare for their conference games. The team has fundraised a lot for their trip to Florida through selling Yankee candles, cookie dough, ads and poinsettias during Christmas time. Their first game will be on Saturday, March 4, 2017 against Coe College at 10 a.m. starting their Rebel Spring games.
“I look forward to seeing how the team will work together as a whole, and how we all connect as we play.”
Right: Kean 2017 Softball team Photo by Julia Stasil
By Greg Patuto
By Gregory Patuto
Despite missing the postseason last year, the Kean women’s lacrosse team comes into this season with high expectations and a solid group of returning players. The Cougars are returning 18 players from last year’s team including juniors Emily Stasuk, Nikki Apostolopoulos and Brittany Ballack. “We are a solid team all around,” said Stasuk. “We will need to step up and take charge. We need to work for each other and make the right decisions.” Stasuk had 33 goals last season to lead all returning players. Apostolopoulos posted a .573 save percentage last season which was the second-highest in school history. Ballack racked up 25 goals, 9 assists and grabbed 21 ground balls. She had a hat trick in four games and one game with four goals. Her play earned her First-Team All-NJAC honors. Kean finished 2016 with a 12-5 overall record but was only 2-4 in conference play. That turnout has not kept anyone down, including head coach Jordan Trautman. “Our ultimate goal for the season would be to win the NJAC and make our first ever NCAA appearance,” said Trautman. In the New Jersey Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the team was selected as the conference’s dark horse candidate. They were picked to finish fourth overall in the conference. This would result in a playoff appearance and give them a chance to accomplish their goal. “The competition in our conference is tremendous and consists of some of the best teams in the country,” Trautman explained. “If we can win the NJAC, it will set us up for success during the NCAA tournament.” Good relationships off the field make for success and good relationships on the field. This is one of the reasons that this team believes they can be successful this season. “On and off the field, we are sisters,” said Stasuk. “We have grown closer each and every day we take a step out on that field.” The Kean women begin their season on March 4 and conference play kicks off on April 8 against Rutgers-Camden.
The men’s lacrosse team at Kean University has seen a lot of success over recent years. They have made postseason appearances 11 straight years and this season they look to make it 12. Coming off last season where they finished 11-7, the Cougars will have a new look to the team this year. They lost six All-Conference players and 16 seniors overall from last season. But head coach Shelley Sheiner believes his team can win. “We brought in a great recruiting class and two very talented transfers to offset our graduation losses,” Sheiner explained. “I believe our young guys will step up and compete.” Losing a lot of seniors means that new guys will have to step up and become leaders. Kean will return some key players from last season as well. Senior Matt Brodley saw action in all 18 games last season, including 13 starts. He scored 22 goals and had 31 total points; both are team highs among returners. Seniors Danny Rito and Tyler Randolph are the only two returning players to start all 18 games last season. Randolph was selected as a Second-Team All-Skyline Conference player for the third year in a row in 2016. Kean was picked to finish fourth in the Skyline Conference’s 2017 preseason coaches’ poll. Montclair State, Stockton and Farmingdale State were picked ahead of them. “The conference added some new teams and is the strongest it’s been in years,” said Sheiner. Montclair State, Richard Stockton and The Merchant Marine Academy will be tough opponents.” With a mixture of old and new, coaches and players believe this team is ready to win a conference championship because of how well they work together. “The team has been working really well together and I like the attitude of the players,” Sheiner stated. “The veterans have been so receptive to the new staff and players.” Kean began their season on Feb. 25 and conference play begins on March 18 against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.