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Graduates look to the future with confidence Graduation Details

Photo: Rose Marie Kitchen

Tower reporters and editors hard at work Photo courtesy of Kean University

Kean students celebrating at the 2016 graduation.

By Brittany Pavlichko As another semester flew by, the class of 2017 will walk down the stage to receive their diplomas and enter the real world in less than a few weeks. For most graduates, the road was challenging and seemed never-ending. While many graduates will take a much needed break after graduation, others will be in search for their dream job or continue working in their field of study. As graduates enter the workforce or continue their education, they will never forget where it all started; Kean University. Shana Bucher, a communication major, is proud to be graduating from Kean. She is also the first in her family to graduate. She is grateful for the memories she made and also the education she received at Kean. Bucher

plans to take a week off after graduation to enjoy her accomplishments and hopes to land a job immediately forwarding. “It was always nice to talk to other students going through the same problems and situations as myself and how we overcame every obstacle to graduate,” said Bucher. “My degree has shown me that my communication skills have expanded through the years.” On the other hand, students are continuing their education and pursuing their master’s degrees. Annmarie Tomasino, a finance major as well as an economics and marketing minor plans to work as a financial analyst while getting her master’s in finance. “I am looking forward to seeing everyone the day of and then going out into the world on my own,” said Tomasino. “My years at Kean have

pushed me to work harder than I have ever done before and motivated me to do my absolute best.” Another student also plans to obtain her master’s degree and then enter the workforce. Joy Hoglund, an accounting major will obtain her master’s in global business administration. She plans to continue working at her current job, Ernst & Young, but hopes to get into a global aspect of the company in order to put her degree to use. “I cannot wait until my life is homework free and I get my weekends and nights back,” said Hoglund. “The professors at Kean have taught me a lot about global business and I am excited to use my knowledge in the near future.” The undergraduate commencement will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark NJ, on Thursday, May 18.

Nearly one year later, no review of Kean’s internal discrimination report By Rebecca Panico New Jersey’s Senate president told The Tower that Kean University still needs to fulfill its promise made more than a year ago to let an outside auditor review its practices related to charges of institutional racism. Kean was at the center of a controversy last year after a coalition of black ministers led by Rev. Ronald Slaughter of the Saint James AME Church in Newark staged a protest alleging institutional racism, which is prejudice created by behavioral norms and thinking rather than overt actions or words. Kean produced its own report which found no discrimination at the university. At the urging of Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), it was decided that former state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, Jr. -- who served as the only African American on the state Supreme Court during his tenure -- would review Kean’s report. “Kean officials made a commitment to allow Justice Wallace to examine the report and to produce an independent investigation that provides the credibility that is needed for the allegations and concerns that have been raised about the university’s actions and practices,” according to a statement from Sweeney emailed to The Tower in response to a question. “It is critical that any suspicions of discrimination or bias are investigated thoroughly and fairly.” When asked about it, Justice Wallace told The Tower that he was never retained by the university, nor did he ever talk directly to anyone from Kean about reviewing the report. “I never reviewed or commented on the report to Kean University because my firm was never retained,” Justice Wallace wrote in an email on April 11. “Mr. Tambuzzi of Brown & Connery attempted to negotiate an agreement, but was unsuccessful in that effort.” Kean University spokeswoman Margaret McCorry said in a phone interview on April 12 that the report was sent to Justice Wallace and the university “mapped out” what they “were going to pay” him. She later added: “That would be correct” when pressed further

Photo courtesy of the Kean Gospel Choir

Photo by Rebecca Panico

Rev. Ronald Slaughter, center, stands with speakers from the People’s Organization for Progress, left, and the NAACP, right, at a protest on Dec. 11, 2015 at Kean.

about whether Justice Wallace was never retained by the university. “Kean University provided Justice Wallace with a copy of the report prepared by the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees and related materials for his review,” she wrote in a statement via email. “That is where the matters stands right now.” The Board of Trustees, Kean’s final governing body, voted at a May 2016 meeting to authorize “the expenditure to Justice Wallace of an amount not to exceed $15,000” for his review. The charges made by the ministers in 2015 and 2016 came after life-threatening Twitter posts were made against black students during a Kean protest in support of University of Missouri students. Kean informed the campus of the threats, but did not cancel classes. A former Kean graduate who is black was later charged and found guilty of posting the threats, apparently to drum up support for the cause. The coalition also called for Kean President Dr. Dawood Farahi’s resignation at the time, citing discrimination lawsuits continued on page 5

• Procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 18. • No tickets will be necessary for family and guests, but seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. • Graduates must arrive no later than 7 a.m. with cap, gown and reader card and proceed to the Lafayette Tower entrance to prepare for the processional lineup. • The graduate commencement will take place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Tuesday, May 16. Below is additional information: • Procession will begin at 7 p.m. • All graduating students will receive three tickets which will be available for pick up at the Kean stage box office in Wilkins Theatre after you pick up your cap and gown. • Graduates must arrive no later than 6 p.m. and will be instructed by the Kean University marshals on how to enter the theatre and take your seats.

The spots have been measured By Rose Marie Kitchen Have you ever had to climb over your center console in your car to exit through the passenger side door? Or worse, have you had to climb through the backseat or trunk? Well those are questions at Kean University that are answered with a yes far too often. I set out to parking lots at Kean University, with my friend, flash light and tape measurer to get to bottom of the parking situation. Sometimes it may feel like some spots are smaller than others, well I have the answer and measurements to that theory. After spending two hours in the dark at 1 a.m.; I have full break down of the width, of one spot in every single parking lot at Kean. (see page 8) continued on page 8

Photo by Rose Marie Kitchen

Brace yourself for parking at Kean


May, 2017

National Anthem singers announced for graduation By Jennifer Padilla With graduation day rapidly approaching, auditions were held for commencement 2017 National Anthem singers on April 10 and April 17. The winners had been chosen by the judges— Giulianna Viera and Steven Collins. “I am extremely honored,” said Steven Collins, who is graduating in May with a Bachelor’s in theater education at Kean University. “I was in shock at first!” Giulianna Viera, who is also graduating in May with a bachelor in English, said that she cannot imagine how it will feel to sing in her graduation ceremony for herself and many others who will be taking their final walk as students of Kean University. With a total of 14 participants who tried out to sing the national anthem a cappella, priority was given to those students who will be graduating in May. The students’ availabilities were also considered due to the rehearsals needed before the event, according to John Wooten, Producing Artists Director of Premier Stages and Director of Arts Programming at Kean. There were two judges in the room who discussed every participant after each tryout—Wooten, who has been the judge for commencement singers at Kean University for 10 years— and Holly Logue, faculty at Kean since 1984, who chaired the Department

of Theatre for more than 10 years and served as acting dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts for four years. “Before the audition, I sat outside the little theatre for 20 minutes,” said Collins. “I went over the lyrics and breathed deeply to calm myself.” Collins, who has been involved in theatre since High School and has been part of various performances throughout NJ and NY, decided to audition to sing the National Anthem for the 2017 commencement ceremony because it would be the perfect end to his years at Kean University and a great way to celebrate his degree in the arts— also, because he loves to sing. Additionally, Collins taught himself to sing through YouTube videos and took one year of weekly voice lessons at Kean University. Like Collins, Viera has also taken voice lessons here at Kean. She felt nervous through her audition, however, she felt welcomed by the judges who congratulated her on a good performance afterwards. “I wanted to be polite but also confident when coming in,” said Viera. She wanted to make a good impression on the judges. Viera’s music and theatre background comes from her middle school and high school years. She has been chosen to sing for various events at Kean and in the city of Elizabeth; including the memorial service on September 11 and National Night Out. In

Photo courtesy of Kean University

A previous winner singing the National Anthem at commencement ceremony

addition, Viera has participated in musicals for the Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains, NJ and for the Cranford Dramatic Club in Cranford, NJ. Therefore, auditioning to sing the National Anthem at commencement was an instant reaction for Viera. “I made sure I didn’t drink any dairy before singing,” said Viera. “That tends to mess with

your vocal chords and make your singing sound less pleasant.” Fearlessly, Viera and Collins are both standing in front of thousands of strangers who will be watching them sing our National Anthem during graduation. “I constantly went over the lyrics,” said Collins. “There is nothing worst than messing up the words to our National Anthem.”

Mystery of The Tower’s birthday leads to additional archives By Rebecca Panico I first learned there were different student newspapers before The Tower when I stumbled upon The Nancy Thompson Library’s digital archives over a year ago. The Reflector -- Kean’s first student newspaper -- was created in the 1920s, The Nancy Thompson Digital Media Collection website said. It would remain in publication for about 40 years until The Independent came around in the 1960s. Pinning down the exact date of The Tower’s creation was difficult to discover since our own archives -- which are available to view on -- only go back to 2008. I teamed up Kean archivists Erin Alghandoor and Claire Hendry, who gave me some issues that dated back to 2002. Kean’s archives don’t have all our back issues, but it’s a start. I still couldn’t find The Tower’s very first issue and solve the mystery of when our publication was created though. Luckily, tracking down some of The Tower’s first staff members to help fill in the gaps would be easy. One of this newspaper’s current advisers, Lois DeSocio, served as The Tower’s features editor around 2001. The Independent’s demise was well documented in a New York Times article from 1997 that DeSocio shared with me. The Independent staff alleged in an editorial that Student Organization was censoring them after it pulled its funding

for the paper. Staff from The Independent briefly started a rogue newspaper, known as Not The Independent, in protest too. Student Government pulled The Independent’s funding since staff had only put out nine of the 19 issues they had a budget for, The New York Times reported. David Treadwell, a journalism professor at Kean and former Associated Press reporter,

would eventually become The Tower’s first advisor. Simeon Pincus, who worked as a sports reporter for The Tower and would eventually become editor-in-chief, helped me connect the dots. He worked on The Independent before The Tower was created too. “The Tower was really started as a direct response to The Independent and how bad

Photo courtesy of Simeon Pincus

The first issue of The Tower, dated Sept. 12, 2000.

things were on the inside,” Pincus said in a phone interview. “Treadwell wanted a real paper, not just a club.” Pincus, who currently works as a sports reporter for The Courier News, shared a photo of The Tower’s first issue with me, dated 2000. The first issue features an editorial giving The Tower an introduction. “We see ourselves as the eyes and ears of the Kean University campus, the watchdog of our campus administration and observer of campus life,” wrote the editor-in-chief at the time, Michael Farago. The Tower was funded by advertisements and ran as a bi-weekly publication, Pincus said. With about 10 staff members, the staff also utilized wire services. Today, The Tower is funded by the Communication Department and has a monthly print edition with a weekly online presence. Tower video editor David Long and I documented our search for The Tower’s creation and additional archives in a video, available to view at The archives we received from Kean’s archivists are still missing issues from all of 2000-2001 and 2005. Some issues between 2002 to 2007 are also missing. The chances of someone reading this who could help fill in the blanks may be slim, but those who may have these missing issues are encouraged to email us at

Kean University invests in new radio equipment By Kiana Anderson Kean University’s “New Cougar Radio,” has now invested in new studio equipment. The equipment is a huge investment for the station. Now, all the shows airing through the WKNJ station will be recorded with high quality equipment. The station is now filled with new radio boards, cordless microphones, a transmitter which connects to 90.3FM and also a phone for callers to call in to the station. Saad Majid, of “Nah’Bruh Talk,” says he is so happy to have the new equipment. “The new equipment is a great addition to the radio station. It makes the sound of the shows crystal clear.” When speaking on his favorite feature in the radio station, Majid says the new transmitter. “I really love the new transmitter. It makes me feel really good knowing that my show can be heard throughout the city.” The new equipment now makes the radio station have a real studio feel to it. The station is open to all Kean University students and also students who take an audio production class. It is great for students who are trying to get started on a portfolio or even to better their public speaking skills.

Take a look at the new WKNJ audio board (pictured on the right)

Photo by: Saad Majid

May, 2017


Formerly homeless student’s story reveals ‘hidden group’ on college campuses Carlos Palacios-Avila didn’t want to use the small food pantry Dr. Norma Bowe kept in Hennings Hall room 413 when she told him about it, but eventually he did. “I didn’t want the help,” said Palacios-Avila, a junior psychology major who was a student in Dr. Bowe’s community health class last semester. “ I’m that type of guy. I’d rather do it on my own. I appreciate it, but it’s embarrassing. It felt like mooching, like I owe somebody.” Palacios-Avila, 21, became homeless while he attended the County College of Morris (CCM) about three years ago after his bid for an apartment fell through. He started couch surfing during his first semester and would sleep on park benches in Dover whenever he couldn’t find a place to stay. His situation is not unique. A study released in March by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and the Association of Community College Trustees found that 14 percent of community college students were homeless and one-third went hungry. The study surveyed over 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in the U.S. Things began to turn around for PalaciosAvila once he was able to dorm at Kean University in 2014. Today, he lives with a friend’s father and commutes to Kean, he said. But getting to this point was no easy task. THE PATH TO HOMELESSNESS When he first started couch surfing, he used what money he had from a previous job at a Toys ‘R Us warehouse to buy a gym membership. He’d use the showers there when he couldn’t wash up at friend’s house. It’s just one of the ways he kept his difficult situation discreet. Suffering in silence makes it difficult for professors to know just how many of their students struggle with hunger or homelessness. Dr. Frances Stavola Daly, a Kean professor and coordinator for the recreation administration program, said she knows about four students experiencing homelessness or lack of food this year alone. “You don’t know because the students cover it very well,” said Dr. Daly. “A conversation is triggered by not doing well in class, the student looking very tired, coming and falling asleep in class. And then you begin to realize that there is a bigger picture.” “It’s a hidden group,” she added. Palacios-Avila had a rough, and at times, abusive relationship with his father who lived

in Texas, he said. At 14, he moved in with his older brother who was 23 at the time and lived in New Jersey. His living situation changed at 18 when his brother married and her son from Brazil needed to move in. “He came back and there weren’t enough rooms, so I had to leave. She’s a nice woman,” Palacios-Avila said, referring to his brother’s wife. “I don’t want to make it seem like she was the rudest person in the world. She had to pick her son.” Palacios-Avila thought he’d be alright since he applied for a room on Craigslist, but it fell through. That’s when he started couch surfing. He was straight out of high school. His grades were suffering at CCM during this time. But he didn’t want to reach out for help because he felt embarrassed. “You feel worthless,” he said of his experience. That’s when an old high school friend’s father, Bill Miller, took him under his wing. Miller’s home in Boonton was one of the places he’d go to while couch surfing. He would eventually help Palacios-Avila enroll at Kean after spending one semester at CCM. Homelessness is prevalent at four-year universities like Kean too. A 2016 study from The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness found that seven percent of students at four-year schools experienced homelessness. The study surveyed about 1,800 students at two and four-year schools. For Palacios-Avila, being able to afford Kean was difficult too. A student who is under 24-years-old needs to provide their parent’s financial records to complete a FAFSA form. Unable to do so, Palacios-Avila had to provide his mother’s death certificate, prove that his father gave custody to his brother, that he was no longer living with his brother and that he had no lease. Even with state and federal aid, PalaciosAvila struggled to afford food. He was unable to get housing assistance for the times he wasn’t dorming on campus during summer and winter break, nor could he get food stamps. State law makes it difficult to receive assistance like Section 8 if a student is enrolled at college, is unmarried, or does not have a dependent child. Palacios-Avila would stay at Miller’s house in between semesters. Today he, lives with Miller during the semester and commutes to Kean. “It made me who I am,” he said, referring to his past. “The reason I’m comfortable sharing it now is ‘cause if you neglect who you are in the past, then you neglect who you are now.”

KFT takes action with teach-in By Joshua Rosario Kean Federation of Teachers take “Day of Action” by hosting teach-in session on why unions matters to students. The event took place in the Miron Student Center (MSC) on Wednesday afternoon. This “Day of Action” is to raise awareness among students and the community about the importance of unions and the lack of master contract for the professors since the current contract expired on June 30, 2015. The KFT is the union that represents the faculty at Kean University. “Much of what we do is focused on improving the education that we provide to you, improving the environment in which your learning takes place,” said the first speaker, Dr. James Castiglione, President of the KFT. Castiglione gave a brief history of unions in the United States. He spoke about how the amount of people in unions peaked around 35 percent in the 1950’s. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2016 only a little over 10 percent of workers are unionized. Castiglione continued discussing the many things we have today thanks to the labor movement like unemployment insurance, eight hour workdays, 40 hour work weeks, sick pay, vacations, etc. He finished off with presenting a video about the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the union for teachers. “You know I might mention, the labor movement has had some other impact pushing some other legislation like the family medical leave act. Which allows you to care for a loved one who is sick,” said Castiglione. Castiglione also mentions the civil right act and title 7, a law that prevents job discrimination of race, color, sex, and national origin. English associate professor, Richard Katz, spoke after Castiglione focusing more on the issues here directly at Kean University like the dependency of adjunct professors. According to Kean University’s 2016 Institutional

RESOURCES THAT COULD HELP Food pantries are starting to sprout up on other campuses around the nation. The administration at Montclair State University opened a food pantry last year after hearing from students who said they didn’t have enough money for food. At Kean, Dr. Bowe said about 15 students have used the food pantry in Hennings this year. About three or four are regulars who stock up on an almost weekly basis, but they only take what they need, she said. The small food pantry -- which used to be an office for a professor -- was created as an extension of Dr. Bowe’s charitable organization, Be the Change. The group is notable for several projects, including making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless near Newark Penn Station each week. “I was like, ‘Let’s see if we can’t use this office for something other than peanut butter and jelly,’” she said. “So now we have the cereal, the dry fruit, canned goods. Y’know staples that stay forever but can make a meal.” Dr. Bowe hopes that her food pantry can grow, but would like to keep it a bit discreet so students don’t have to feel embarrassed about using it. The food in the pantry comes from donations. Any faculty member on the fourth floor can open the office for a student, or they can see Dr. Bowe confidentially in Hennings room 411. Meanwhile, Kean University’s Behavioral Intervention Team (KUBIT) provides consultation, education and support to faculty, staff and administration in helping students who display troubling behaviors. The program connects students with resources on and off campus. Professors are encouraged to make a referral when they notice several indicators in students, including change in hygiene or appearance, a decline in academic performance or excessive or inappropriate anger. Faculty should also refer a student when the student admits there is a problem, but doesn’t want to talk about it, according to information on Kean’s website. Additionally, Kean’s Counseling Center offers mental health services to enrolled students for free in Downs Hall room 127. The center can be reached at (908) 737-4850. The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness suggests that lawmakers should improve access to existing federal programs like food stamp eligibility requirements. They also suggest simplifying the FAFSA process. The group also recommends creating campus

Photo by: Rebecca Panico

Above: Dr. Norma Bowe’s food pantry, which was converted from a professor’s office space, is located in Hennings Hall room 413. Below: Dr. Norma Bowe, left, stands with Carlos Palacios-Avila while volunteering at a Be the Change garden on South 14th Street, Newark in April.

Becommunity gardens, and food recovery programs in addition to having food pantries. Although counseling services were offered to Palacios-Avila by Kean’s financial aid advisers, he didn’t accept the help. Today, he volunteers with Be the Change and hopes to help others who face the same challenges by becoming a caseworker. “In a way, I think it was important for me because it motivated me,” Palacios-Avila said of his homelessness experience. “It was either that or just die.”

Kean University Department of Public Safety police blotter By Joel Joly

Profile in 2015, 75 percent of professors at Kean are part-time, also known as adjuncts. There are only 336 full time professors at Kean University in 2015. Those 336 full time professors taught almost 47 percent of classes at Kean. “Our working conditions are your learning conditions,” said Katz quoting Castiglione. “The power here rest with you, the students.” Katz spoke on the working conditions for the professors, how the lack of full time working professors is an issue for students, and how this comes back to affect the professors. He also discussed the lack of student voices and students need to be active by speaking out at meetings like the Board of trustee meetings. The president of New Jersey’s AFT, Donna M. Chiera, also spoke about her experience as an educator of 30 years in Perth Amboy and the importance of educators. Representatives of other unions like the Fraternal Order of Police were also in attendance. The day of action was not just held at Kean University. The day of action was a state wide event at all New Jersey public universities involved in the lack of contract. According to Montclair University’s student newspaper, The Montclarion, professors there held a mock funeral for higher education. Professors had a casket with “ R.I.P. Statewide contracts” displayed on the front of the casket. “We thought [the teach-in] would be a great opportunity to collect with students and to build a broader coalition to improve public higher education,” said Castiglione in a phone interview after the teach-in. Negotiations to a final contract have been ongoing for almost two years. In New Jersey public university master-contract negotiations, The Council of New Jersey State College Local, is the collective-bargaining agent that represents professors for 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.

April 1- At 3:00 p.m, in Vaughn Eames Lot, an unknown actor damaged the side mirror on victim’s vehicle.

Police Blotter

By Rebecca Panico

April 2- At 12:45 a.m, a person was trapped inside of an elevator in Burch Hall. However, the person was able to exit safely after the elevator was reset.

April 3- At 2:11 p.m, unknown actor took thirteen Kean football gray hooded sweatshirts from room in the Harwood Arena. April 4- At 10:58 p.m, two actors had an argument which escalated into a physical altercation in Whiteman Hall.

April 5- At 5:12 p.m, unknown actor took victim’s debit card and gift card from room in Bartlett Hall. Debit card was also reported used. April 6- At 8:42 a.m, unknown actor spray painted graffiti on several areas of the east campus field house and shattered a window. April 7- At 10:56 a.m, an unknown actor took victim’s cell phone from bathroom stall in Hennings Hall.

April 8- At 1:52 a.m, student was found sleeping in vehicle at Vaughn Eames Lot, due to not wanting to live in dorm room after an argument with roommates. Students was given temporary residence in another room until a permanent residence can be arranged.

April 9- At 12:57 a.m, Vehicle #1 lost control, jumped two curbs, sideswipe a fence and hit several signs at the Green Lane Entrance. April 10- At 4:08 p.m, a police vehicle stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk and was struck from behind by another vehicle on Whitehouse Road.

April 11- At 9:40 p.m, in the D’Angola gym, a female was transported to the hospital for a knee injury. April 12- At 7:57 a.m, a reported suspicious package was found to be a lunch box that was left behind in the Administration Building men’s bathroom. April 13- At 10:18 a.m, An actor removed traffic cones from a reserved lot and parked his vehicle in the Green Lane Lot.



May, 2017

Kean rappers, indie bass act improvise at benefit show By Rebecca Panico It was hard to notice that two rappers and an indie bass act had never practiced together while they improvised seamlessly April 11 at a benefit show on campus. “You better f--- with local artists ‘cause they go the hardest,” repeated AM-95 -- who also goes by Arte Magnus -- towards the end of the nearly 10-minute improvisation. The impromptu performance also featured TAR!K of Paragon Squad and paul from the internet., a bass act. The phrase captured the essence of the show that night: 10 artists from the area performed poetry, stand up comedy and music for about 30 people in Little Theatre’s intimate setting. The Nu Sigma Phi fraternity organized the event and raised $265 for the Friends of Union Township Animal Shelter. The show was titled “Phierfly,” which is a Greek spin on the spelling of an annual music festival known as Firefly. TAR!K and AM-95, whose names are respectively Elijah Powell and Alec Daily, are Kean University students. Paul Brushaber of paul from the internet. hails from Lake Hopatcong. Their spur-of-the-moment performance Tuesday highlighted the giving and collaborative attitude in local music. Arcways, who played a set before them, let paul from the internet.’s drummer, Sean Farrelly, play on their drumset. “That was really cool,” said Brushaber, referring to the improvisation while he stood with TAR!K and AM-95 after the

show. “I’m so happy you guys hopped on the stage. That was perfect, because I saw you guys playing and I immediately loved you.” By the end of the night, audience members ended up going on stage to share their own talents with others in the room. It was the unplanned performances, like that of Mia Florival (whose stage name is Mia Lavira), which were favorites among some attendees. “I loved it,” said Alissa Carroll, a junior occupational therapy major, who attended the event. “There were a lot of different styles. I loved that one girl, Mia. Her songs were deep and touching.” Kelly Black, a Kean alumna, opened the show with a poem from her senior thesis and another she wrote on her lunch break. Eric Shandroff, a communication major whose stage name is Myster-E, performed hip-hop inspired spoken word. Meanwhile, Justin Williams performed his New Jersey-centric stand up comedy. Adrian Sharp, a hip-hop act performed several of his own songs and shared the stage with Samantha Kromphold on her new single, “Higher.” This is the fourth annual benefit show Nu Sigma Phi has organized. The fraternity previously raised funds for Special Olympics New Jersey and Hometown Heroes, a nonprofit organization that helped Hurricane Sandy victims. “I liked the different types of sets and the diversity within the sets,” said Lucas Hernandez, a Nu Sigma Phi brother. “I think that was a step up from previous Phierflys I attended.”

Na’bruh Talk brings excitement to Kean’s radio station

Photos by: Rebecca Panico

Above: TAR!K, left, and AM-85, perform in Little Theatre on April 11. Below: Paul Brushaber, of paul from the internet., performs in Little Theatre on April 11.

Photos courtesy of Justin Williams, Kelly Black and TAR!K

Music Cafe shares the inside details of their annual college tour By Kiana Anderson

Na’bruh after a successful radio show

By Kiana Anderson Jean Exume, Oluwakemi Alade and Saad Majeed have now taken politics to a whole new level with their radio show “Na’bruh Talk.” The show airs every Monday on 90.3FM, sponsored by WKNJ, the New Cougar Radio, which is located on the 4th floor of the Center of Academic Success (CAS.) The show centralizes around conversation on topics that will open lots of minds. Kean University senior, Jean Exume is the creator of Na’Bruh. When speaking on the show and why it is important to him, Exume says, “Na bruh’s focal point is to send out a new and important message to our listeners every time they turn us on. Our mission is to inspire and change the minds of people, so they are able to find their own true purpose in life.” The team conducts various interviews with entrepreneurs of all trades such as singers, rappers, clothing designers, to even lawyers. The group’s latest show featured lawyer Albert Telsey who is an environmental lawyer. Telsey spoke on how crime and the environment

Photo: Hussain

intertwine with one another. Co-host Oluwakemi Alade states this radio show is very important to her because she gets a chance to be a voice for those around her who may not have the same opportunities. She says, “we believe we are the change this generation needed the entire time and we will always be that. We want to be the foundation of people’s success stories down the line. We want help other people and other brands get to where they want to reach as well. We’re big on supporting our peers and our former interviewees.” Co-host Saad Majeed agreed with his partner saying, “Na’bruh Talk is important to me because I feel like our topics can make a difference in someone’s life. The things we say and talk about can one be an inspiration to others. What is more beautiful than that?” When the cast is not on air at WKNJ, they are conducting podcast interviews at locations of their choice. Na’Bruh talk is a very interactive way to get students at Kean University to express their opinions on different things and also a way to get more people involved with the radio station.

Music Cafe has now indulged in their annual college tour. Kean University graduate Desmond Wilder and partner, Ryan Warren-Saunders has done a great job at organizing their team this time around. When speaking on how the tour is going thus far, Warren Saunders says, “in general the tour this year is good. Our band’s chemistry right now is on a high level. Our artist have great work ethics and support each other in all aspects to the fullest.” According to Music Cafe, the goal for this year was to get back to the roots and the basics of real music. Warren-Saunders says, “we watched the maturation process of these artist from when they were first auditioning until now and it makes us as a production team feel amazing.” Many of the artist who get chosen to travel and perform with Music Cafe have never performed live before. Music Cafe has had the opportunity to bless many artist with their first live experience. To them, it means everything to see the artist’s months later with energy and comfortability to perform in a room full of people that don’t know them or never even heard their music to experience the beauty of it. Desmond Wilder says thus far, their best show was Montclair State University. “I would say our best show thus far was Montclair State University. It was our first official college tour show for this Spring 2017 and the energy was different in that room. We knew it was going to be a good show before we even stepped into the room,” Wilder says. “The rehearsals leading up to that show were some of the best sessions. Our artist were really anxious to show people what they are capable of and I feel along with the band, they executed very well.”

Photo: Music cafe

Music Cafe gathers to take on yet another tour stop

May, 2017


How to end and recover from breadcrumbing in 3 steps By Chelsea Lange Amanda Matos 27, of Vernon, NJ was in a relationship for three years until she realized something. “I would sit at home picking myself apart when he was absolutely fine. I would think I was the problem but in reality he was,” said Matos. She continues by stating, “He would plan a time to meet when it was only convenient to him and would ask to get together without ever following through.” Matos, since has realized that she had been, breadcrumbed. Breadcrumbing gets misconstrued as the dating trend, ghosting. The “Huffington Post” describes ghosting as, “the instance when someone ends the relationship by cutting off all communication, without any explanation.” Although ghosting seems harsh, breadcrumbing is worse. Young millennials seem to keep on falling down this path of lies, miscommunication and quite frankly, a big waste of time. Breadcrumbing is when someone doesn’t really care for the person they’ve been dating but, continues to lead them on with random phone calls or text messages whenever they feel like speaking to them. Some individuals put all their time and energy into a significant other for months or even years just because they believe the relationship could eventually

work. Unfortunately, he or she is just NOT that into you. Ending the Relationship It could be difficult to realize that you have to end this relationship but you don’t deserve this. In the words of the Backstreet Boys it’s time to tell that person to, “quit playing games with my heart.” Cutting off communication is key, but before that, you need to explain why you are. He or she should know that you’re not “ok” with playing those games. Dr. Jack Sargent, Executive Director of The School of Communication, gave some words of encouragement by making you undergo realization. “What rewards are you getting out of this relationship? Think of your own self worth and respect,” he states. Take his words into consideration, what are you truly getting out of this? Start your emotional detox right away by telling that person your happiness is your first priority and that you’ll be moving on to the next chapter in your life. Take Steps Towards A New You After ending your relationship remember who you are and what you deserve. Don’t drag yourself down a path that won’t have a happy ending. Start by creating your better self. Matos took a step in the right direction by starting to

Photo: Katherine Cabrera Photos source: Flickr

Above: The dating game has changed forever Below: Urban Dictionary breaks down the new social term breadcrumbing

write her feelings in a journal and doing different activities. “Get out of your comfort zone and only surround yourself with people that mean most to you,” she states. Start Dating Dr. Sargent, also described how dating is ever-changing. “Dating has significantly changed with the advantage of social media with dating apps or media sites,” said Sargent. “But the desire for human connection

will remain the same.” Being vulnerable and putting yourself out there might be difficult but you will find desire for someone else. Not every guy or girl has the same traits as that breadcrumber. Remember not to hold yourself back from a new dating experience. There’s someone out there who knows your worth and how you should be treated. Chelsea Lange is a senior majoring in Sociology.

Millennials speak up after Pepsi commercial By Kiara Mays Today, Millennials (born 1980-2000) make up the largest, most diverse living generation in the United States, that’s roughly 80 million people. With that many people comes the challenge of understanding how and why this group of individuals think the way they think and care about the things they care about. A few of Kean University’s millennials tell us what social issues they are especially attentive to. “Equality. Everyone was created equally, I feel everyone should have a fair and equal chance, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, etc.,” said Krista Vaeth, senior communication studies major.“I have friends and family that are gay; so equal rights for everyone is important to me.” Kendall Jenner recently made news headlines for starring in a controversial Pepsi commercial. In the commercial, Jenner was shown at a political protest where she walked through a crowd of protesters, can of Pepsi in hand, until she came face-to-face with a police officer. She handed the officer the Pepsi, which he accepted and cracked a smile thereafter, thus “curing” the world of all its social issues.

The commercial was then pulled immediately after receiving backlash for appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement and using social justice to sell soda according to CNN. While some individuals did not see an issue with the commercial, many felt otherwise and believed the ad made a mockery of real issues that people dedicate their time and efforts to. “As an African American, I care much about social injustice issues concerning the black community,” said Al-Tahnay Wells, sophomore communication major. “Aside from that, it’s ignorant and insensitive to assume the resolution to any protest is a damn Pepsi.” The Millennial Impact Project (MIP), an ongoing, comprehensive study of the millennial generation found that on average, 52.5% of Millennials identify themselves as activists. While one study conducted by the MIP found that Millennials care most about issues concerning the environment, education, and health, a second study found that Millennials named economic, gender issues, or wage as issues they care most about. “I definitely consider myself to be an activist for sure,” said Keily Padilla, sophomore public relations (PR) major.

Discrimination Report against the university to support their claims of “structural racism.” The threats and the coalition’s outcry drew widespread attention from Sen. Sweeney, the media and other legislators. Kean hired Rev. Michael Blackwell as a consultant to investigate the discrimination charges. But Rev. Blackwell’s credibility was questioned by the coalition and legislators. Rev. Slaughter wants Justice Wallace to conduct his own investigation, not review Kean’s report. He said he’s never met or spoken to Justice Wallace, but recommended him because of “his stellar reputation, experience and resume.” “In reference to Justice Wallace, Kean

Kendall Jenner starred in the conversonal Pepsi commercial

“At the moment, I try to use my voice as much as possible regarding issues concerning our environment because we are literally destroying our planet.” Evidently, as provided by these responses, millennials do not limit

Photo: Twitter

themselves to one specific cause; but instead, dedicate their time to a variety of causes and social issues. To learn more about the MIP, visit their website at:

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University, as I suspected they would, did everything to make sure he never made it on that campus,” Rev. Slaughter stated in an email on March 10. “I believe Wallace’s independent forensic report would have exposed/revealed all the things the coalition and I spoke out against.” Kean’s full-time faculty union, the Kean Federation of Teachers (KFT), joined the ministers’ coalition in protest and also questioned the administration’s intentions. “If the university has nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear from an investigation by Justice Wallace,” said KFT President Dr. James Castiglione.

About 57 percent of the university’s student population is minority, according to 2016 data from Kean. The ministers contend that the students are set up for failure because Kean is cutting staff and faculty at the same time the minority population needs more support. Also, women and minorities are most often those who are terminated, they claim. The coalition cited several discrimination lawsuits filed against Kean, including that of Sherrell S. Holderman, a former Kean employee who alleged she was fired because of her race, gender and age. The university settled that case, and in doing so,

admitted no wrongdoing. Since then, other lawsuits against Kean have gained media attention. A former Kean honor student filed a lawsuit alleging Kean police used “excessive force” during his arrest in 2013 and harassed him on and off campus. A trial date has not yet been set for that case, which was first reported by The Tower. The university also settled a lawsuit with a former Kean police officer, Randy Diakunczak, who alleged the university fired him after he complained about racially and sexually-charged pranks within the Kean Police Department, NJ Advance Media reported.


May, 2017

The end of an era for Dr. Katz By Gail Fredricks Dr. Richard Katz, professor in the School of English Studies, former president of the Kean Federation of Teachers (KFT), and Assistant Director of English programs at the Modern Language Association will be retiring at the end of this semester after 34 years at Kean University. His reason: the decline of higher education in general, and the damage done to Kean University, in his view, by the current administration. “I love teaching. I love my students, that will never change,” said Katz. “I assumed I would be teaching until I was 70, 75. But I can’t participate in this any longer.” Katz received his Bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in Ohio, his Master’s and Ph. D. in English at the University of Washington. Katz’ dissertation focused on the evolution of symbol into image in 19th and 20th century British and American poetry. Over the years, he’s taught many courses, including senior seminar, American literature after the Civil War, modern and contemporary poetry, romanticism, writing about literature and critical theory. Over the course of his career, Katz has experienced the transition from Kean College to Kean University, as well as the changes that have come along with it. “I noticed at that time great collegiality among the faculty across disciplines,” said Katz. “When we became a university, we overextended our reach and headed down the road of the ‘Walmartification’ of higher education.” His first experiences at Kean in the 1980’s showed an institution that prided itself on its support for students, evident in the smaller class sizes and individual attention for students, he said. Now, with more than 1,000 adjuncts -- who are paid per class -- Kean, he said, has a 50 to 1 student to (full time) faculty ratio.

“When I became president of the KFT in 96’, over seven years we saw a resurgence which has been undercut and undermined with needless expenditure of resources on projects peripheral to academics,” said Katz. “The ridiculous conference table, the needless glass edifices that remain largely empty, the wasteful, pointless restaurant, and the satellite campus in China that serves no one in New Jersey.” Katz said the greatest challenge and joy of teaching at Kean has been transforming the lives of the students, many of whom are the first in their families to college. “That begins with getting our students to trust and respect their own minds, to value their own ideas,” said Katz. “From there, students can learn how to develop ideas; to see the complexity of human thought to accept, not try to avoid, ambiguities and uncertainties as a condition of living an intellectual life.” His devotion to his students and teaching has not gone unnoticed. “Dr. Katz is an outstanding professor who inspires his students to work at understanding and appreciating literature,” said Dr. Charles Nelson, Executive Director of the School of English Studies. Dr. John Gruesser, a fellow professor who met Katz when he first got to Kean in 1990, said Katz’ retirement is a tremendous loss for Kean University. “There is a magic which sometimes happens in classrooms,” said. “It’s part the students and it’s part the teacher. It takes a special kind of teacher; he’s one of the few teachers who makes it possible for those kinds of magic moments to happen on a regular basis.” Aside from praise from his peers, he has touched the hearts of his students as well. Mariela Valdez-Cordero, was a student of Dr. Katz while completing her second degree at Kean, said he is one of the best educators she has ever encountered.

Photo: Gail Fredricks

Dr. Richard Katz in his office

“He was not just a force in the classroom,” said Valdez-Cordero. “...but his guidance truly helped me throughout my journey, and his help has directly led to where I am today.” Valdez-Cordero describes his style of teaching as tough -- only in the sense of trying to make his students become better writers. Candid, open, and one to never beat around the bush, she admitted his classes were not easy but the challenge was welcome. Valdez-Cordero will be accepting the Stephen J. Haselton Memorial Endowment For Excellence in Scholarship in the senior seminar, and plans to recognize Dr. Katz’ work and how much of an impact he has had on her life. “I feel a sort of sadness that he is

retiring, because so many students can benefit from his wisdom and guidance,” said Valdez-Cordero. “...he is an amazing educator and deserves to be recognized as such.” Katz said he will continue his passion by teaching a course or two at a community college, and doing some writing. He still feels strongly about the direction Kean is heading, stating that the core educational mission needs to be discovered, or continue down the road of bankruptcy; with the overbuilding of the campus and the cost of maintenance and physical plans skyrocketing. “The institution is at a crossroads,” said Katz. “Support for full time faculty has diminished. The losers in this bargain are the students.”

Kean graduate named head coach in Westfield

Photo by: Alex Wisniewski

Matthew Gualtieri on the ice at Union Sports Arena

By Alex Wisniewski Matthew Gualtieri, a graduate of Kean University, has been named head coach of the first-ever girls’ ice hockey team of Westfield High School. Gualtieri, who has been coaching hockey for twenty-two years, was selected for the coaching job in the Spring of 2016. The team finished their first season with a 3-11-1 record. Gualtieri attended Kean from 1995-1998 and again from 2001-2005. He received a degree in adult fitness as well as a teaching certification in physical education. He was an assistant coach for the Westfield High School Boys Hockey team from 1996-1998, and head coach of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School team from 2006-2013. Gualtieri played for Kean’s now-defunct club hockey team from 1996-1998. In addition to the Westfield team Gualtieri also coaches for the New Jersey Youth

Matthew Gualtieri coaching the team at Warinanco Park

Devils and the Union Thunder youth hockey clubs. As a newly-minted team with many first-time players, Gualtieri was not expecting a winning record, instead he focused on improving the quality and ability of each player. “I’m not really judging so much by wins and losses” said Gualtieri, “I’ve seen a few of the girls after the season and how much better they’ve looked versus when I saw them during the season so I think it was good to see how much they’ve progressed in terms of skills individually.” The team considers their first season a success and are pleased with Gualtieri’s coaching ability. “When we started, some people could barely skate and had never touched a puck in their lives” said freshman player Maddie Katz, “I think that the fact that a lot of girls were able to keep up in the game and even score was a huge improvement.” The success of the Westfield team has spurred other schools such as Randolph and Chatham/Madison to establish their own girls’ hockey programs.“Several

Photo by: Beth Hornstein

public schools are starting to transition into this ‘new’ sport and it is really great to see the influx of girl ice hockey players” said Westfield team captain Ally Hornstein, a junior, “It is a little crazy to think that we had something to do with that.” The Westfield team is both a reflection of and motivator for the growing interest in Girls’ Ice Hockey in New Jersey. “I think it has developed [girls’ ice hockey]” said Freshman player Maddie McDevitt, “we’re raising awareness for newer, younger girls to start playing and so there’s a lot of talk about it.” Gualtieri and his team are now eagerly looking forward to next season. They hope to continue improving their players and raising interest in girls’ ice hockey. “I think if we establish a good program and create a culture within that’s going to help us win” said Gualtieri, “we’re on our way towards that.”

May, 2017


Embracing art with a selfie By Gail Fredricks Kean University galleries invited the campus community to submit a ‘Kean Art Selfie’ - with a picture with any of the artwork around campus. The university has five galleries to choose from; but community members were encouraged to take a picture with an outdoor sculpture or a painting found in any office or hallway. The ‘Kean Art Selfie’ was created by gallery director Neil Tetkowski, graphic designer and photographer for the Office of University Relations; and Ricardo Fonseca “Some students do not know that we have art galleries on campus and that in itself was a big focus in coming up with the idea,” said Christine Lopez, a student worker for Kean Galleries. “I was inspired by Ricardo Fonseca’s Kean selfie exhibition that displayed at the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery three years ago.” Fonseca’s exhibit featured over 500 ‘selfies’ from Kean students and faculty. They were displayed on the walls of the

Nancy Dryfoos Gallery. Kean Galleries hopes to strengthen their relationship with the Kean community, as well as increasing awareness of the many galleries and other art available at Kean, “one selfie at a time.” “We want students to know that we’re here and they’re always welcome in our galleries,” said Lopez. “...There’s a lot you can do here. It’s within reach too. If you can’t afford to go to the galleries in New York you have five different galleries to choose from here on campus.” The galleries at Kean University are The Karl & Helen Burger Gallery, James Howe Gallery, Student Gallery, Nancy Dryfoos Gallery and Human Rights Institute Gallery. Selfie submissions were to be submitted through email or posted on Instagram using the hashtag #keanartselfie. Each photo submitted was be posted on the walls outside of the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery in the Center for Academic Success (CAS.) All who participate were entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

Liberty Hall Museum finds a wine bottle from 1798

Embracing art to the fullest at the Karl & Helen Burger Gallery, One of Kean’s galleries

Photos: Gail Fredricks

“Some students do not know that we have art galleries on campus and that in itself was a big focus in coming up with the idea”

Artist Nancy Staub Laughlin displayed a new form of artwork

By Rafaela Teixeira Kean University’s Liberty Hall Museum recently took inventory of the wine cellar and discovered a wine bottle dated back to 1798. The brand of Robert Lenox Madeira has been around for many years and has been known as a long lasting wine. When shipping wine across oceans from Europe to America hundreds of years ago, Madeira was the brand that lasted long enough to still be consumed after much time on sea. Bill Schroh, Jr., the Director of Museum Operations at Liberty Hall Museum, said that the rooms at Liberty Hall have not been lived in for 250 years. Every year, the team picks a room to renovate. In 2016, the project was the wine cellar. The staff not only cleaned out the room, but they listed and sorted through every bottle belonging to the Kean family. Kean University owns all buildings and all grounds, however John Kean has the rights to all artifacts and content in the Liberty Hall house. Schroh said Mr. Kean can come in at any time and take a bottle with him. “There is a possibility of the wine being great [or] also a possibility of it tasting like vinegar”, said Schroh. The wine cellar had not been properly cleaned in 50 years, said Schroh. It was decided to take inventory as the walls were being painted and floors being redone. Although it was important to keep the house looking relatively similar, it was decided by the University to make it adhere to the museum look. The cellar is now decorated with glass shelves to display the alcohol to visitors as an exhibit, as well as cigars, glasses and other objects that go in hand with drinking. Schroh stated, “It made more sense to [take] inventory of all the alcohol, because it hadn’t been in our lifetime”. John Kean, Sr.’s mother was the last person to live in the Liberty Hall house and was a resident of the historical property until 1995 before it being turned into a museum in 2000. “There were bottles on top of bottles; some were bad, some were good, some were popped and emptied, some were broken; but there were just so many. There were at least 200 years’ worth of bottles in there,” he said. Staff members were not sure of what they would find in the mysterious wine cellar. There were six cases down in the basement of the main house. All six were popped open to which the Madeira wine from 1798 was found, sealed and corked. Schroh also stated that Mr. Kean had a great explanation of why there are high amount of contents in the house to sort through.

Photo: Monica Sudfield

Laughlin’s artwork displayed a new form of art Photo: Rafaela Teixeira

Oldest bottles of wine protected in the wine cellar

“Someone lived in this room (Schroh’s office), then that person died. Another relative comes live in the house and instead of throwing the other person’s stuff out, the person takes it all and puts it in the attic. The family did this seven times. Every time someone passed away, their belongings would be kept somewhere in the house”, this is how Mr. Kean described his family to Schroh. Every generation contributed to the contents of the house. The team continues to sort through the objects and historical papers to make important discoveries. For instance, a meal log was found where members of the Kean family wrote all the names of the people they invited to dinner and luncheons at their house in New York. Big names, like President Teddy Roosevelt, were found written in the document showing the connections the family had. Members of the family also listed and took their own individual inventory lists of bottles purchased in their time living in the Liberty Hall house. This is helpful to the team because they can see where each bottle of alcohol comes from and more about the different brands. The next project of the house the team will tackle is the Alexander Hamilton room. Alexander Hamilton was connected to the family as a friend of a friend, as well as a political associate, said Schroh. He continued, “one of the spaces in the house is legend to him staying in the house when he lived in New Jersey in 1773. This room will be restored and decorated in colonial times to be dedicated to his memory.”

By Monica Sudfield Nancy Staub Laughlin, established pastel and photography artist, has reunited with Kean by arranging some of her latest pieces in the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery. Seven years prior, Laughlin’s work was featured in Kean’s “New Jersey Masters 2010” exhibition, according to Kean Galleries website. Impressed by the 2010 exhibition, Laughin was eager to work with Kean again and reached out to Neil Tetowski, director of university galleries, asking him if he would consider giving her a solo exhibit. “I’ve had a lot of exhibitions but [Kean] just was a class act. They did everything so beautifully and [Tetowski] gave the nicest speech,” said Laughlin. Laughin’s statement featured on her website,, explains her newest technique, assemblages, which is the combination of her two preferred forms of art – pastel and photography. “I’m focusing in on a detail of the photograph because I don’t want it to be so recognizable,” said Laughlin. “To have them work with the drawing, it’s almost like a mathematical equation.” The combination of the different forms reveal Laughlin’s distinctive creative process, while also allowing viewers to experience artwork through a perspective never practiced, said Laughlin’s site. According to artrepreneur coach Renee Phillips, art critic and historian of modern and contemporary art Sam Hunter referred to Laughlin’s new concept of the “still life” as “refreshingly unique”. One assemblage in particular stuck out to Ashley Battista, senior at Kean University, who wrote a midterm paper on Laughlin’s “The Light and Sparkle of Winter” piece. “Her technique to create such three-dimensional beads was amazing. She used different values of a color along with shading to give the circular bead a more spherical appearance,” said Battista. “The Light and Sparkle of Winter” features two photographs of what look like the horizon line where the sky meets the ocean blue water. Behind the two photographs is pastel work. “Actual clear mini micro beads were used to either look like rain or snow crystals. The use of these beads created the illusion of form,” said Battista. Laughlin’s newest piece, “Twinkle, Flurry and Glow” incorporates pastel work to extend the visual aspect of the photograph within the complete piece, which is a concept she plans to continue building on within future creations. “There is a little piece of drawing underneath that photograph that looks like it is part of the photograph, until you get up to it and realize that it is actually drawn with pastel,” said Laughlin. Laughlin’s assemblage’s have left critics using words such as “unique,” “distinctive” and “new,” which can be viewed on her website under “critic quotes.”. According to Laughlin, what she is creating welcomes viewers into her unique world.


May, 2017

The skills are many, the words are few Thank You

THE TOWER Department of Communication Kean University Center for Academic Success 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 Telephone: (908) 737-0470; Fax: (908) 737-0465 Email:;

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



Departing editor-in-chief receives the Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities award

By Rose Marie Kitchen The skills are many, but the words are few … “thank you” for a semester that I will never forget. As I sit here and edit this last print edition for this spring 2016-2017 semester, it makes me realize two things. One, graduation is less than weeks away and two, that means the end of my time here at The Tower. It is something that is bittersweet to me. I’ll be the first one to admit that The Tower was not where I started my journalism career at Kean; however, it sure is where I am finishing it. Being editor-in-chief of The Tower was an experience, to say the very least. What seemed like an uphill battle most days, was still an experience that I would not trade for the world. The skills I learned can stretch across the globe and the connections I made are like no other. Being at The Tower had a sense of ownership and it gave me something to be proud of. Thank you to the spring 2016-2017 Tower staff for helping me pull together four strong issues. It may have seemed like a long road in the beginning, but we did it! Another special thank you to Sara Ridgway, the incoming Editor-in-chief, that has been with me every step of the way; through every crazy text, email and vent session. Sara;


congratulations, good luck and thank you; I know you’ll help lead The Tower to another general excellence award. Most importantly I would like to say thank you to both Tower advisors, Professor Pat Winters Lauro and Professor Lois DeSocio. You both recognized my full potential before I could even believe in myself. Through every up and down, thank you for it all. Thank you both for believing in and providing me with this opportunity. Thank you for showing me what it means to truly love journalism and giving me a passion. There is always that one professor that makes a difference in a student’s life but I have been lucky enough to have two professors. Looking back, I realized a lot. I realized that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Here I am four years later graduating from the school that I had my heart set on. College was opportunity for me to do everything that I always wanted. I got involved on campus as much as I could, and I must say that it did pay off. The biggest accomplishment for me was probably receiving the Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities in America award. It was an award that I personally wanted for four years. As I move forward with graduation, I’ll always look back at my time at Kean University but most importantly my time at The Tower. This is something that I will never forget.




OPINION PIECES AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Tower welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor from any source. Such material should be submitted to or left at The Tower’s offices. To verify sources of written material, submissions must include the writer’s name and contact information. Students should include their class (sophomore, graduate, etc.) and major. Faculty and staff should include campus title or position. On request, names may be withheld from publication if The Tower staff determines there is a legitimate reason to do so, but no anonymous letters will be accepted for publication. The Tower reserves the right to edit, and refuse publication of any submission.

Parking lot widths at Kean by lot

(Continued from page 1)

Parking Lot Dominick Carnevale, part of the heavy and general labors for 33 years as well a member of local union labors 472, has helped us break down what the different measurements of the parking spaces mean. Carnevale has paved roads and college parking lots specifically. “There is no standard spot size,” said Carnevale. “Spots are created depending on the availability, the size of the lot and what is needed.” He explained that some spots spaces are created smaller because they are designed for compact cars. He explained that college campuses need to utilize all the space they have and break down the lots accordingly. If you are worried about car dents and dings be sure to arrive to campus early and park your car in one of the few 8 feet wide spaces.



Bruce Student Bruce Teacher Green Lane Kean Hall Science Building Student Science Building Teacher Henning’s Hall Student Henning’s Hall Teacher Hutchinson Student Hutchinson Teacher Willis Wilkins

By Quincy Rodgers


Parking Lot

7 feet by 6 ½ inches 8 feet by 8 ½ inches 8 feet by 8 ½ inches 7 feet by 7 ½ inches 7 feet by 8 inches 7 feet by 8 inches 7 feet by 8 inches 7 feet by 9 inches 7 feet 8 ½ inches 7 feet by 9 inches 7 feet 8 ½ inches 7 feet by 9 inches

Vaughn Eames Student Vaughn Eames Teacher North Ave Student North Ave Teacher STEM Student STEM Teacher East Campus Student East Campus Teacher Tennis Court East Campus Hardwood Kean Hall Visitor Lot

Width 7 feet by 7 inches 7 feet by 8 inches 7 feet by 8 inches 7 feet by 8 inches

8 feet by 8 ½ inches

8 feet by 8 inches 8 feet by 7 inches 8 feet by 7 inches 8 feet by 6 inches 8 feet by 2 inches 7 feet by 8 inches 7 feet by 8 inches

May, 2017


Kean kid’s day raises money for children’s specialized hospital By Monica Sudfield Professor Edgley’s group communication course hosted Kean Kids Day, a field day event for students and children, on the Jim Haynes field to raise money for the Children’s Specialized Hospital. Since April is Autism awareness Month, the class wanted their funds to be donated to an organization that helped individuals with this condition. “Everyone came to an agreement that the Children’s Specialized Hospital was the perfect candidate, especially because Kean has been one of their biggest donators in the past.” said Tiffany Osoria, campus liaison for Kean Kids Day. Last April Kean University raised $38,014.24 for the Children’s Specialized Hospital at the Kean Dance Marathon event.

Another marathon occurred on April 7, which raised $47, 485.98, according to The Children’s Specialized Hospital website. When the Kean Kids Day team found out about KDM, they were thrilled that the organization will be receiving even more donations than they anticipated to raise through their event alone. “I believe Kean Kids Day is a great way to raise money because you are not only getting the campus involved, but the community as well,” said Taira Holley-Mayfield, Kean Kids Day ambassador. The activities that were present at the event were kickball, face painting, board games, and corn hole. A DJ was also present, playing tunes for everyone to boogie down to. “The event itself raised $200 and is still accepting donations until the week of May 1.” said Professor Edgley.

Photo: Rose Marie Kitchen

Kean Dance Marathon total money raise for the children’s specialized hospital

Right: Student Jaimera Bassett paints children’s faces with stars, snowf lakes, and other small designs Far Right: The Cougar pays a visit to Kean Kids Day and helps celebrate the event Photos: Tiffany Osoria

Dental hygiene project begins to brighten smiles By Joshua Rosario The key to a good smile is clean teeth and proper brushing. Physician Assistant Professor and Research Coordinator for Kean University’s School of Physician Assistant Studies, Dr. Denise Rizzolo leads her dental hygiene project to Kean University to keep young teeth sparkling at YMCA during President’s Day. The program was created to teach young children good dental hygiene like brushing, good and bad foods to eat, and the importance of overall dental health. Rizzolo explained that oral health is poor in this population, there is dental decay, dental pain, more frequent infections and even some deaths in younger populations due to poor oral hygiene specifically abscess of the mouth. “The reason why I am so involved in oral health, somehow, at some point in healthcare, we have taken the mouth out of the body and we really don’t consider the importance of good oral health,” said Rizzolo. “Our younger children are most at risk for dental decay and poor oral

health.” Additionally, Kean students from the Pre- Physician Assistant club, Pre-Medical club, Physical therapy club and the Speech Language Pathology join Rizzolo to assist with the program. “It is not what you would normally think for an outreach project, there is a difference. When you think outreach you think going out and healthy eating,” said Rizzolo. “When they heard oral health I think the students were a little skeptical. What is this about brushing, flossing and eating things that are not sticky, but once they engaged in the project and the process I think they really got a clear understanding of why it is important and they enjoyed working with these kids.” Moreover, the group first reached out to the Elizabeth YMCA in February and showed children ages three to five the importance of dental hygiene. Rizzolo plans to make the program a monthly, bi-monthly event. She hopes to see it flourish to adults and elderly as well. “We want to raise awareness to help kids take care of their teeth,” said Roanne Jimenez, senior and molecular biology

major. “You need to be an advocate and promote medical education, you have to teach them so you can prevent whatever diseases, this is what we are trying to do, we are trying to help these kids understand their own way the importance of good dental hygiene.” Each Kean student that attended worked with about two kids each using props of big mouths and toothbrushes. Some kids even practiced on their own and had fun with the props. “This made me think about pediatrics, I like working with kids,” said Senior, Rohan Panchal. “Everyone is different, all the kids are different, some kids are quiet and really smart, and some are jolly and playing around but they are smart, too.” The project is funded through a grant given by The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant health foundation. According to the NCCPA health foundation’s website it is charitable nonprofit organization that designs solutions for improving the capacity of certified physician assistants to impact quality and accessibility of health care delivery.

Photo Courtesy of Pre-physician assistant club

Kean students teaches children about good oral health

State official tells Kean students Black history isn’t just for February By Adrianna Ruffo The state assemblyman and civil rights worker who introduced the legislation requiring that black history be incorporated into the teaching of general history from grades K-12 said the law has not been honored. In a presentation on civil rights issues to several Communication classes, former Assemblyman William D. Payne (D-Newark) said the Amistad legislation he introduced and was passed in 1998 requires African American history to be included in the curriculum all year-round. “One of the major reasons for racism that exists in our country is the fact that the history and contributions made to our country by African Americans is distorted or entirely omitted from the curriculum which is used throughout our entire system of education,” said Payne. Instead, he said, black history is relegated to being taught mostly in February, which is Black History month. This leaves the mistaken impression that black Americans were not involved in the founding of America

and the continuing fight for freedom. The omission is a lie historically, but it also hurts children who then grow up not having appropriate role models. He then recited names of great Black soldiers; inventors and other significant black Americans who he said are not recognized for their achievements alongside white men as they should be. Mr. Payne was at Kean in April after he was invited to speak to a class on News Literacy, which had earlier reviewed news coverage of what is referred to in the media as the Newark riots when a police incident led to massive rioting and 26 deaths nearly 50 years ago in July 1967. Payne explained that what the media called “riots” is seen among many who were involved not as a riot but as a revolution because it was borne out of oppression and racism. Payne, who was born and raised in Newark, and graduated from Rutgers University told the students about his time working in the civil rights movement when he had the honor to work with the movement’s greatest leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King,

Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. He recounted the trials the group endured and presented photographs of himself standing next to Dr. King, and other major Civil Rights leaders. “I truly believe that if we are able to teach the truth, that we would have changes of attitude,” said Payne. William Kolbenschlag, a communication professor at Kean, brought his Public Relations Writing class to hear Payne and the class was interested in his points about the importance of teaching public school students the contributions that African Americans have made to the United States. “I decided to bring my public relations writing class to the event because we are talking about op-eds and opinion pieces and I thought this would be a great topic for them to write about,” said Kolbenschlag. “So for them, it became a lesson in writing, speaking, history, politics and civil rights all in one.” Kolbenschlag said his students were also impressed by Payne’s experiences, that his stories of that period is “not the kind of thing they saw in history books.”

Photo: Rebecca Panico

William D. Payne talks to students about civil rights “I learned a lot in a short amount of time. In just an hour or so he covered so many different topics,” said Kolbenschlag. “So not only was this an opportunity for my students to learn, but it helped me gain a better understanding for the topics discussed as well.”



May, 2017

Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony By Craig Epstein On what was a very ceremonious night, seven new members were inducted into the 20th edition of the Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame. Melissa Beyruti, Pascal Clergio, Johanna Hedler, Ebony Jackson, Melissa Nunez, Perry Schatzow, and Jay Sgaramella made up the Class of 2017. Each member showed extreme humility and grace towards their induction and it really showed in their speeches. Kicking off the ceremony was none other than Director of Athletics, Jack McKiernan and President of the Kean University Alumni Association, Ed Esposito. In their speeches, they each thanked all of the friends and family of the recipients for coming and supporting them in their time of triumph. They also both congratulated all of the members for receiving the prestigious honor of being called a Hall of Famer. The first person to receive their honor was the man who played such a key role in the 1992 Kean men’s soccer national-title-winning team, Pascal Clergio. Unfortunately, Clergio was not present due to the fact that he lives all the way in Brazil. Instead, a former teammate and current friend accepted the honor on his behalf. But, in an e-mail read by said friend, Clergio made it very clear that his time playing soccer at Kean were some of the best days of his entire life. The next person to bask in their moment was two-sport standout, Melissa Nunez. Nunez was very grateful for what she had accomplished and thanked not only her family, but her teammates and coaches as well. She stated that without them, none of her accomplishments would have been possible. In what was a very heartfelt and emotional part of the night, both Melissa Beyruti and Ebony Jackson were inducted by their former basketball coach. Their coach reminisced about the times that they used to share together and how thankful she was to have gotten to know them not only on an athletic level, but on a personal level as well. In one of the more memorable stories of the night, the coach told a story of how at one point in time, Beyruti outshot a young collegiate point guard at Davidson College that went by the name of Steph Curry. Beyruti thanked her family, friends, teammates and coaches for always believing in her and sticking by her side. Beyruti, who is now a mom, finished her speech by stating that “raising children is harder than any game I’ve ever played.” Jackson also made sure to thank her mom, coaches, friends and family in her speech. Jackson,

who now serves as a Drill Sergeant for the U.S. Army, gave what was truly a memorable and tremendous speech. Transitioning from the basketball court to the football field, the next person to receive their honor was former starting quarterback and current Assistant Director of Recreation, Intramurals, Facilities & Event Management, Jay Sgaramella. In an act of true humility, Sgaramella accepted his award on behalf of his teammates. He also thanked his coaches and family for everything that they did in order to make him into the man that he is today. In an interview with Sgaramella, he stated that it was “truly an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, especially with this group of athletes that I know very well.” He went on to say that his source of inspiration was his entire family. As not only being a Hall of Fame shortstop for the Kean softball team, but a two-time scholar athlete of the year as well, Johanna Hedler proved to be a superstar both on and off the field. Hedler made sure to thank her coach, parents, step-parents and Athletic Department as well. She stated that due to their efforts, she “learned how to be a leader, passionate, and never give up.” And, she ended her speech by thanking softball for all of the memories. And last but certainly not least, the final recipient of the Class of 2017 was former shortstop for the Kean baseball team, Perry Schatzow. The love and admiration that was shown to Schatzow was truly inspirational. He was described as being calm, understanding and never one to complain. He was also said to be a very cerebral baseball player because he seemed to know everything that was going on all of the time. Schatzow thanked Kean University and the Athletic Department for everything that they did for him. And in a truly unselfish act, he congratulated all of the members of the Class of 2017. Finishing off his speech, Schatzow stated that, “while the walkoff hit to win the national title was icing on the cake, tonight is the cherry on top.” As Athletic Director Jack McKiernan put it, “the theme of the night was teamwork and family.” Each member of the Class of 2017 has a very loving and reliable group of people that they could turn to in their times of need. Whether it was their teammates, friends or family, each member had someone that they could give credit to for their success. In what what was a very ceremonious night for this group of phenomenal athletes, they showed what it truly meant to be a Hall of Famer.

Men’s volleyball wraps up 2017 season By Sara Ridgway The men’s volleyball team reigns as Skyline Conference Champions for the sixth consecutive season. After going undefeated in conference play during the 2017 season, the Cougars faced St. Joseph’s College - Long Island in the semifinals of the conference playoffs for a three-set win. Advancing to the finals, Kean faced The College of Mt. St. Vincent and again tabbed a three-set win, resulting in Kean being crowned conference champions and the team receiving a bid to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Tournament. The Skyline Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player was freshman setter, Ian Capp. Junior outside hitter, Jacob Kauffman, was named Skyline Player of the Year. Four Cougars earned recognition on the All-Skyline Teams. Kauffman and junior Jared Warner landed spots on the first team while junior Shayron Taylor and freshman Steven Zarzycki were named to the second team. Kauffman was also named to the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) First Team. Although there were many individual accomplishments throughout the course of the season, Head Coach Charlie Ginex reiterated that the team is a team and they are the strongest when it is a group effort. “At one point or another every player made a major contribution to the overall team goals,” Ginex said. “Not one player in our gym did not make a major impact in some capacity.” Upon entering the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, the Skyline Champions record stood at 26-8. On Saturday, April 22 at 4 p.m. in Harwood Arena, Kean hosted the number 4 ranked team SUNY New Paltz who were the Division III NCAA Champions in 2016. Ginex said the team felt very strong going into the NCAA Tournament. “We felt like we were playing our best volleyball when it counted, at the end of the season,” Ginex said. The match was a five-set thriller that kept the players and fans of both teams on their toes. New Paltz snagged the first set 25-21, but Kean pulled through in the second set winning 25-20. Going into the third set the teams were 1-1, but New Paltz pulled ahead 25-19. The fourth set could have gone either way and went into extra points as the Hawks and the Cougars battled. Kean captured the set 27-25. The teams stood at 2-2 and the match proceeded to the 15-point deciding set, where Kean came on strong with an 8-3 lead. But after the teams switched sides at the eight point

mark, Kean lost momentum and New Paltz took the lead. The set ended 15-13 in favor of the opponent and New Paltz proceeded to the next round of the tournament. “This one stings,” Ginex said, “this one will not be forgotten anytime soon, but we will learn from it.” Regardless of the outcome, Ginex felt that the performance of his team showed a lot of character. “For us to have an opportunity to win the match against the defending national champions was a great accomplishment and I am very proud of the resolve of our team,” Ginex said. Ginex was named ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Division III South Coach of the Year. He was named Skyline Conference Coach of the Year in 2014, but is the first coach at Kean to earn the ECAC honor. But Ginex was not aware about earning the award until a day or so after it had been announced. “I focus more on the team than the individual accolades and as nice as it is to be recognized, it is something I would trade in a heartbeat for a chance to keep playing and coaching the young men that I had the pleasure of working with this year,” Ginex said. Ginex revealed that this season is the last year that Kean is participating in the Skyline Conference. In 2018 the team will be joining the Continental Volleyball Conference, also known as the CVC. “The CVC is a much bigger (geographically) conference, and a much better conference as a whole, one in which we will be tested for sure,” Ginex said. Skyline rival Ramapo College will also be joining the CVC with Kean. Rutgers University - Newark, Cairn University and Neumann College will be played twice during conference play. Kean will play the teams in the West Division of the conference as well which are Marymount University, Southern Virginia University, Eastern Mennonite University, Juniata College and Thiel College. This season, the competition in the Skyline was significantly better than the past five years that Kean has dominated the conference. With the addition of St. Joseph’s College Long Island, a first year program that came on strong, and the competition of the other conference teams improving, earning the conference title was more of a challenge this season. “We had to earn and work for every win this year, but that also makes it more satisfying, knowing that nothing was handed to us,” Ginex said. A long haul, the men’s volleyball season began in early January and ended in late April. Through ups and downs, the team pulled out a conference win, NCAA appearance and boasted a 74.3 win percentage with an overall ending record of 26 and 9.

Photos: Craig Epstein

Jay Sgaramella holding his prestigious award

20th induction class of the Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame Below: The North Avenue Academic building was where the Hall of Fame ceremony was held

Women’s lacrosse in hope of postseason run By Greg Patuto Before the season began, head coach Jordan Trautman had one thing in mind and that was for her team to make it back to the postseason. With conference play winding down, the women’s lacrosse team is right where they need to be. The Cougars are 14 games into their season and hold a record of 9-5, 2-2 in conference play. They currently hold that fourth and final spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference playoffs. The team’s offense is off to a hot start in conference, scoring 55 goals total in four games. The offense is led by junior Emily Stasuk, who has scored 42 goals and has 52 total points, both team highs. “We play really well as a unit,” Trautman said of her team. “It’s not one person having to do all of the work, it’s really a lot of different people contributing and that makes the offense flow really nicely.” The Cougars are looking to get back in the conference tournament and make some noise. It will not be easy though with the competition they will have to face. TCNJ, who is ranked number one in the country, and Montclair State have proven to be the best teams in the conference. TCNJ has a long history of winning the NJAC tournament and even winning a few games in the National tournament but the Cougars feel confident they can win. “As far as having the skill level, I definitely think we can make big things happen,” said Trautman. “We just have to put our mental and physical games together but this is a team that could get in a surprise people.” The women’s lacrosse team at Kean has never won the NJAC tournament. Coaching in her fifth season at Kean, Trautman has made the postseason three times including one trip to the ECAC tournament. With just two conference games left, Kean will be looking to pick up wins and improve their record even more. Both of their losses were close, including a 10-9 loss to Stockton, these are games they will need to win if they want to have a chance. “I think it’s just about having some maturity and finishing those types of games,” said Trautman. “It’s all about making sure you’re playing all 60 minutes not just 30 or 40.” The Cougars will end conference play on April 29 against top ranked TCNJ. The NJAC tournament begins on May 3 and the championship is held May 6.

The Tower May 2017