HumanRights Exhibition Page 6
Lights on the baseball field! Page 2
SEPT | 2014
Spotlight on Mrs. Pearl Page 3
THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF KEAN UNIVERSITY
Welcome back to no parking spots By Kristen DeMatos
Photo: Mak Ojutiku
Entrance to Harwood Arena
Former Athletic Director gets $1.8 million in settlement against Kean By Mak Ojutiku
Kean University has agreed to pay $1.8 million to former athletic director Glenn Hedden to settle a whistle-blowing lawsuit that charged he was fired for reporting to the NCAA that the university gave special treatment to some of its athletes. Hedden’s attorney, David Corrigan, said the settlement was made in June and that Kean did not admit to any guilt or wrongdoing. “We have agreed to the $1.8 million, to waive all our claims against Kean University,” said Corrigan. Hedden sued the school for wrongful termination after he was fired in May 2011. His termination came five months after he reported numerous violations by the school’s athletic department, and a week after NCAA representatives investigated the allegations. Hedden’s lawsuit was filed in state Superior Court under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, also known as the Whis-
tle-Blower Act. The act protects employees who report violations committed by their employers. Among the charges, Hedden charged that Kean and Michele Sharp, then the head coach of the women’s basketball team, created and approved a TravelLearn class in Spain, so players on Sharp’s team could meet their academic eligibility requirements. Hedden also accused the former acting vice president for academic affairs, of changing the grade of a student on the women’s basketball team from an ”F” to an “incomplete,” without approval from the professor of the class. After investigating, the NCAA imposed a postseason ban on the women’s basketball team for 2013 and placed all of Kean’s athletic teams on probation until 2016. Asked to comment on the settlement, Marsha McCarthy, university spokeswoman, issued this statement: “Kean University reaffirms that its actions were valid and appro-
priate, however, in the best interests of the University and our students, we made a business decision to settle this matter, which bought three years of litigation to a prompt and certain resolution. The action allows the University to continue to move forward and focus on the priorities that make Kean a vibrant world-class institution.” Separately, Kean removed Sharp as the coach of the women’s basketball team during the 2012 season and reassigned her as an overseer for the East Campus weight room. In June, Sharp filed a lawsuit against Kean, claiming the school was making her a scapegoat and that her demotion constituted as discrimination. “I am pleased with the terms of the settlement,” said Corrigan. “My only regret is that Hedden was terminated when he was doing a good job and that so much money was spent on legal fees in this case.”
Despite conflicts around the world Kean is a beacon of diversity By Carl Stoffers
Kean University prides itself on its diversity, but is the Kean community as accepting and open to followers of Islam, particularly of Middle Eastern descent, as other religions and backgrounds? “I’ve encountered prejudice and bias everywhere I’ve gone in America,” said Farah Ali, a twenty-one year-old history student born in Iraq. “I came here when I was three, my parents sought asylum in this country. I don’t know anything other than America, but when people hear I’m of Iraqi heritage, it’s almost like they’re offended.” Ali’s experience isn’t unheard of, especially since the United States spent more than six years at war with Iraq. But college campuses, particularly ones that celebrate their diversity as Kean does, are designed to be bastions of freethinking and openmindedness. “I do feel welcome here at Kean, though. There is a large Muslim community, and there are students from all different walks of life. Still, I get the occasional odd feeling from people when they learn my background.”
Anti-Muslim bias in America has been well-documented, particularly since September 11, 2001. The peaceful religion of more than a billion people, which has been bastardized by a few thousand fanatics, is often seen as violent or extremist because of the tactics of radicals. “I was always confused about odd feeling relating to my country of origin,” said Ali. “I was a child when 9/11 happened, so I didn’t understand
Photo: Yayona Bangura
Pictured above is Safa Basidiq, a senior and sociology major at Kean
such things. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, I was still young, but I began to hear negative things about my parents’ culture. Thankfully, I don’t have the same problem here at Kean.” According to FBI statistics, there were 157 anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in 2012, the most recent year that statistics are available. The Southern Poverty Law Center, however, estimates the total number of hate crimes for that same year at approximately 3,000, based on the likelihood of unreported or underreported incidents. Regardless of which set of statistics is more accurate, anti-Muslim bias crimes are the fastest-growing hate crime occurrences in the United States. While most Kean students said they feel insulated on campus, some have had uncomfortable issues relating to their faith. “When I initially came to Kean, I found that some people seemed to be uncomfortable with my hijab,” said Aamira, a junior who requested that her full name not be used, regarding the traditional Muslim headdress that she wears. “I got strange looks and a few comments about it, but I shrugged it off.” continued on page 4
As a new school year begins, the talk on the Kean University campus is parking. This semester, more complaints are heard in the halls, from both students and faculty. “In my four years at Kean, I never have seen the parking this bad,” said Daniella DellaLuna, a senior special education major. Chris Capaldo, a junior, is dumbfounded at how horrible the parking has become. “I can’t believe how bad the parking situation has gotten at Kean,” said Capaldo. “Students are fighting one another for parking, while others cannot attend class because they can’t find a spot. Even faculty is arriving late to class because of the parking dilemma. This is completely ridiculous!” Parking is so tight that cars are parked on the soccer field at East Campus, where parking lines were spray painted. A petition about Kean’s parking has been created on www.change. org, an online platform where anyone can create petitions and invite others to join them in making a change. So far, the campaign has 237 supporters and is seeking an additional 2,763 more. “Students should not have to fight over parking spots to receive the education they want and are paying for,” the petition states. “This petition is to show that there is a parking problem and students and faculty alike are looking for a solution that has yet to come.” Several petitioners also commented on the site. “I am signing because I witnessed a student crying hysterically because she almost had to physically fight for a spot,” Jasmine Wooten of Newark, Del, said on the site. “She was so upset that I almost wished she could park on top of my car. It shouldn’t be that way for a commuter based University.” A search on Twitter for “Kean parking” produced student complaints and jokes about parking. “Kean parking gives me anxiety. This university needs to fix this problem ASAP,” tweeted Matt Strzala (@everything_matt). Another student, Austin Jon Statinsky (@hello_im_austin) joked,“I nominate Dawood Farahi for the “Parking at Kean” challenge; you have 24 hours to find a spot or fix the parking problem.” Faculty aren’t happy about it either. Kathleen Henderson, President of the Kean University Adjunct Faculty Federation, said it makes no sense that some 1,000 full-time resident faculty and staff, who have to
Parking lot at the STEM Building
be at Kean by 9 a.m, each day, take up all the parking spaces closest to the campus. “This leaves those students and adjunct faculty who attend or teach a 50-75 minute classes scrambling every day to find parking and get to their class on time,” said Henderson. “This creates major stress and occasionally gets real ugly.” She suggests that Kean build an employee lot away from the campus for employees with regular schedules and provide tem with free trolley service at the start and end of each workday to get to the lot. One reason parking may be so hard to find lately is due to new buildings on campus that are cutting into available space for students, staff and faculty. The new building at the Vaughn Eames parking lot at North and Morris Avenue has taken up almost one-fifth of the parking lot for students to park. The Green Lane parking lot at Morris Avenue was replaced with the Green Lane Academic Building. Additionally, students are no longer allowed to park on the top level of the parking deck across the street on Morris Avenue in the Merck Complex. Kean did not return requests for comment about why it’s no longer available. But a Union Township police officer said he was advised by Kean to enforce the rule banning students from parking in the deck. “Any student parked in a spot not designated for them is subject to receive a ticket,” the officer told a reporter. Kean is currently in a dispute with Union Township over the Merck property. Kean wants to purchase the property, but the town wants it to remain a commercial property. According to Union County freeholders, Merck pays over $1 million in property taxes. Since, Kean University is a public institution, it is tax exempt and does not have to pay property taxes. Parking problems at Kean are hardly new, Henderson said. She said a few years ago thousands of dollars were paid to architects to present plans on parking. “Yes, they were ignored…,” said Henderson. “Many of us sat through show and tell plans which included a parking deck over by the residential dorms, and another parking deck across from D’Angola, where the campus school is currently occupying. This is years later and we still do not see those decks.” Marco Rodriguez, Timothy Awojobi and Sonia Aquije contributed to this report.
Photo: Anthony Muccigrossi
“I can’t believe how bad the parking situation has gotten at Kean.”
2 THE TOWER
The new Green Lane building makes its entrance By Annalise Knudson
With it’s green glass, brick, and stone, the new Green Lane building is hard to miss when passing by Kean University. Whether the visit is for classes, a snack on the go, buying textbooks, or just to check out the latest Kean merchandise, this new building has everything a student could want and need. The brand new Green Lane building at Kean University is located on the west side of campus at the intersection of Morris Ave and Green Lane. The building opened to students and professors on Jan. 21, 2014. This fall semester, students are now able to visit the brand-new Barnes & Noble bookstore, moved from the University Center, along with the Cougar Café for students to purchase food and Starbucks. The building is a 102,275 square-footstructure designed by Gruskin Group. With its six floors, it includes a rooftop garden and an outside bleacher seating area. The cost of the building was not disclosed with the public, but was financed through bonds which are “debt instruments issued by governments and other entities to raise money to finance projects.” The building is now home to the new Robert Busch School of Design. The Robert Busch School of Design offers programs and professional studies to prepare students with entry-level knowledge in studio-based programs. The school offers three degree programs: B.F.A in Graphic Design, B.F.A in Interior Design, and B.I.D in Industrial Design. In the 2013 fall semester, the school had a total of 432 students enrolled, according to the Fact Book from the Office of Institutional Research. Yasmin Martinez, a sophomore at Kean University, visited the Green Lane building the first time this semester for one of her classes. Martinez prefers the Green Lane building because the classrooms are
Photo: Annalise Knudson
The bookstore’s new Cougar Café.
much larger in addition to a comfortable environment. The only disadvantage she felt about the building was the location of the bookstore. “The UC bookstore was a bit more convenient because it was in the middle of campus,” Martinez said. “On the other hand, the overall look of the new bookstore is amazing, although, there was an extremely long line and some of the cashiers were limited to only accept card payments.” Students are able to park their cars in the Green Lane parking lot, as well as find other parking near Kean Hall. Trolleys are also available to pick up and drop off students on Green Lane at the trolley stop in Kean Hall, directly across the street from the building. Sophomore Raymond Cruz prefers the
new Green Lane bookstore instead of the University Center (UC) bookstore because of its larger size. However, Cruz still enjoys his food on the main campus. “I would rather eat at the Cougar’s Den or the University Center cafeteria mainly because of my class locations,” Cruz said. Not only does the Barnes & Noble bookstore include the textbooks and merchandise that was in the UC bookstore, but also sells a larger selection of books to choose from that you would usually find at an off-campus Barnes & Noble. With the newly decorated, refurbished and updated assets of the new Barnes & Noble bookstore for Kean University, it is definitely worth the walk, trolley ride or drive. Along with its new technology, and bigger, comfortable classrooms for students
and teachers, the Green Lane building proves to be a beneficial addition to the Kean University community.
The Green Lane building seen from its own parking lot.
Michael Graves School of Architecture comes to Kean University By Josue Hernandez
The new and improved Alumni Stadium.
Photo: Jenifer Niemi
Extreme Makeover: Alumni Stadium Edition By Lauren Spain
Kean University reconstructed its home field at Alumni Stadium, located behind Harwood arena, over the summer. The project consisted of replacing the turf field as well as the track. Not only was the Alumni Stadium completely renovated, but the Jim Hynes baseball field and the softball field also received lights, allowing teams to participate in night games come spring. The lights on the baseball and softball field were supposed to be completed last fall; however, due to inclement weather the installation was postponed. Ideas for renovations were talked about within the athletic department for the past two years, but major planning and remodeling was completed within six months, said Athletic Director Chris Morgan. “The condition of the surfaces was the major reason,” Morgan said. “It was completed during the summer months to make sure it had the least amount of impact on the Kean students.” Physical demolition and reconstruction began in May and was completed in August before the preseason schedule began for fall sports. The turf, which is used by football, soccer,
field hockey, lacrosse, intramural sports and gym classes, was restored, along with the track surrounding it. “Since the track receives so much use, we wanted to make sure to continue to provide that opportunity for our students,” Morgan said. No teams or any part of the athletic department suffered any budget cuts due to the reconstruction of Alumni Stadium, said Morgan. All funding for the stadium was separate from the rest of the athletic department. Student athletes say they are pleased with the outcome of the reconstruction and feel that it is another asset to Kean University in its entirety. “It benefits Kean because the rest of our facilities are so nice and now our stadium compliments athletics here,” said senior women’s lacrosse player Kelli Higgins. “I love it.” Other athletes mentioned how the changes will impact the way Kean is seen by opposing teams. “Because so many sports utilize the field it benefits so many athletes,” said Jaclyn Boselli, a junior on the women’s soccer team. “For the university, I think it makes Kean so much more professional, and when away teams come to our home field we look top-notch.”
Kean University hopes to bring the School of Architecture by the fall of 2015. The Michael Graves School of Architecture is a program that Kean has been attempting to offer for a short while now, and it looks like it’s going to happen. With the new design building located on Green Lane, Kean is becoming a bigger university, therefore, allowing more classes and newer programs to come along. The School of Architecture is located on the fourth floor of the building. The Dean of the School of Architecture, David Mohney, is in charge of this operation. The name of the school honors Mohney’s favorite architecture teacher, Michael Graves. Not only will the School of Architecture be here on the New Jersey campus, but in China as well, at the Wenzhou campus. David Mohney has high expectations when it comes to developing this program and believes Kean is the perfect university to have a school of architecture. “Since Kean University is in N.J. and really close to N.Y., the school makes it an amazing asset to have because of all the available resources that is around the university-not only here in the U.S., but in China as well, since we have a university over there,” said Mohney. Promoting the School of Architecture won’t be a hassle; Mohney has it all figured out. “We will be visiting high schools and other schools of architecture in order to make ourselves known,” said Mohney. “We want to make sure that students know about the School of Architecture here at Kean- both the N.J. campus and the Wenzhou campus.” Interior design major Saray Orozco likes the idea of the School of Architecture coming to the University. She believes that it will be helpful for her and other design students. “I think it will be a huge benefit for me,” said Orozco. “Being an interior design major, I am exposed to a lot of architecture both locally and internationally and it allows me to understand my major better and explore the field a lot more and execute a better job.” Orozco is considering returning to graduate school to study architecture.
Bulletin on the fourth f loor of Green Lane Building
Jenise Moody, a senior and also an interior design major, believes the school is a great idea. “Architecture and interior design can tie together and help me find more opportunities when it comes to job searching and they are very well rounded,” said Moody. “From what I am seeing, people are becoming more interested in the study and are considering changing majors.” Mohney has high expectations for the School of Architecture and is confident that students will enroll at Kean as architecture majors. “My main goal is for Kean University to be one of the best architecture schools in the country.” However, not everyone is supportive of Kean’s new venture. In remarks at the opening meeting of the Kean Federation of Teachers, representing full-time faculty and professional staff, KFT President James Castiglione brought up the School of Architecture. “Given that architecture has had a weak employment picture for years, and that N.J. already has two prominent programs at Princeton and NJIT, there is no proven demand for this program, other than that of the Chinese government,” said Castiglione. “Reports in the Chinese media that the goal is to make Wenzhou-Kean an international center for architecture make clear that the primary beneficiary is to be the China campus and not ‘Kean USA’.” Castiglione believes President Farahi is directing resources away from the large academic programs that students want, as measured by their large student enrollments, to small, specialized programs with little demand.
3 THE TOWER
Kean University’s Pearl
Buckets of water get dumped on Kean President Dawood Farahi
Photo: Anthony Muccigrossi
Farahi joins the ice bucket craze By Roman gerus
Mrs. Pearl E. West at the University Center cafeteria
Photo: Daris Mendez
By Daris Mendez
It’s 11:30 a.m. on the dot. The University Center cafeteria door swishes back and forth constantly as full, satisfied students hold the door open for other students who rush in hungrily. Eyes scan for an empty booth with hopes of a chance to charge their phones. The main goal, however, is to get some brain food before its time to go to class. In the midst of waiting in the line at the Healthy Balance station, where you can get the always reliable and cheap value meal which includes a meat, a vegetable side, a starch, and a fountain drink all for $5.75, you are greeted with a smile by a woman whose name tag reads Mrs. Pearl, wearing a burgundy tee shirt, typically worn by the employees of Gourmet Dining. “I am just a cafeteria lady,” West said shyly and demure. Despite her statement at mere first impression, Mrs. Pearl has the kind of effect that makes people feel something special; the kind of special that makes it impossible to stop smiling for the rest of the day. Being in the food service for 15 years, Mrs. Pearl Elaine West is no stranger to the fast track routine of serving food to busy, hungry crowds. “Busy is good,” West says, “I like serving them (the students) and getting them on their way.” Not only has Mrs. Pearl worked at Kean University for a long time, but she also has worked a food service job at Newark Liberty International Airport and absolutely enjoyed it. “Oh I loved it there,” West said nostalgically as she remembers her time working at the airport. At an early age, Mrs. Pearl wanted to become a teacher and later went to school to be a lab technician. Eventually she found her place in the food service industry. Although her love for food service is apparent, it does not come without its challenges. You can always catch her giving advice on how to stay sweet and courteous during frustrating situations. “Basically I’m a happy person anyway,” West said. “Everybody changes, everybody has their issues but it’s not really good to bring them to work.” Mrs. Pearl also relies on her faith to allow her to be nice to everyone. “I also like to pray,” West said. “Like sometimes before I answer a person and they have an attitude or something like that, I have to step back and pray and then answer the question.” Mrs. Pearl is also a believer that when you give positivity you will get it back; even when a person has not been positive to begin with. Throughout her seven years working at Kean University, one of the things that Mrs. Pearl loves the most about her job is the students. “The thing I like most about working here is the people,” West said. “I like the students. I really like when they come back and are serious about education.” “One young lady came back and said ‘I only come back to see you Mrs. Pearl’,” She explained gleefully. While mentioning the students Mrs. Pearl’s face lit up. “I like that a lot of them are friendly,” West said. “I like their attitudes.” Kean University students love Mrs. Pearl too! Wide eyed and glowing, Sara Abouzid, sophomore and Criminal Justice major, was absolutely charmed by Mrs. Pearl. “My favorite thing about Mrs. Pearl is that she is the sweetest,” Abouzid said excitingly. What originally brought Sara to Mrs. Pearl was the appealing food compared to the food in front of her. Once she got to know Mrs. Pearl’s sweet nature, she quickly became a regular customer. Other students like Sara Abouzid have been spreading the word about Mrs. Pearl as well. Another student named Sarah Abdelnabi didn’t know Mrs. Pearl until a friend of hers told her about the value meal and how nice Mrs. Pearl was. She describes her experience pleasantly. “She was really nice, she just told us about everything in detail like the ingredients and everything and she was open about it,” Abdelnabi said. Mrs. Pearl is one of the employees who contributes to the kindness and warmth that exists in the Kean community. Everyone who passes through the University center is bound to come across Mrs. Pearl’s smiling face. “I like people, all kinds of people it doesn’t matter; I treat people like if I see them I take them for what they are,” West said.
President Dawood Farahi was given a cold shoulder, head, knees and toes when he accepted, what is so far, N.J.’s largest “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Farahi was showered with praise and five gallons of ice water, along with dozens of other faculty, staff and students for promoting awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” and raised over $40,000 for the ALS Association of the Greater New York Chapter. “I think it’s terrific. It’s a good cause and I’m really proud of the turnout of over 200 students,” said Farahi. Farahi and other Kean University board members were challenged by another board member, Dr. Lamont Repollet, who himself accepted the challenge from his daughter. After 10 days of planning and delibera-
tion, Farahi and the Kean University community accepted Dr. Repollet’s challenge on the steps of the officially opened Green Lane building: home to Barnes and Noble and the new Robert Busch School of Design. Farahi, in turn, wishes to “challenge other universities and presidents in New Jersey to do the same”. Katie Dicarlo, a member of the Girl’s Field Hockey Team, was equally as happy to be a part of the challenge. “It felt pretty great to do it with my teammates and my coach,” said Dicarlo. Like the “Ice Bucket Challenge” itself, it was a “spur of the moment thing.” “The coach wanted to do it, so we joined in,” said Dicarlo. The coach, Leslie LaFranz, also donated $100. Dr. Tim Riegle, Professor of Industrial Design of the Robert Busch School of Design, was festively
adorned for the occasion in a SCUBA suit and fins with a black painted cutout of mighty Poseidon’s pitchforked scepter. “I was teaching a Furniture Design class in the morning and I looked up about a thousand pictures of Poseidon’s scepter. So, I cut out this one,” said Riegle. After a long, hot day, Riegle was happy about the challenge and even welcomed some “cold water down his back.” Riegle also donated $100. In a closing statement, John Nolan, President of the ALS Association of the Greater New York Area, gave a chilling reminder of what this challenge is really about. “The Ice Bucket Challenge may become a thing of the past, but ALS will still be here,” said Nolan. This is a reminder to all of us that although this particular challenge is over, the fight to treat and, ultimately, cure ALS remains.
Renting textbooks becomes a growing trend By tim Awojobi
College students around the nation spend hundreds of dollars each semester on books for classes. And yet many students have complained that majority of the time, the professor either doesn’t use the textbook, or the textbook is only used on certain special occasions. “I feel like buying textbooks is a huge investment and money-making business for colleges around the nation,” said Jason Kartock, a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. “I’m literally broke at the beginning of every semester.” According to The Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, college textbook prices have risen at nearly four times the rate of inflation since 1994. The average college student spends about $900 a year on textbooks alone.. But with the advent of e-books, ereaders and tablets, less expensvie textbooks have also become available. You are now able to purchase or rent a textbook downloaded from the Internet at a lower and reduced price than actually purchasing the book in a store. “A student can literally save up to 50 percent off the normal price of a new textbook sold in bookstores,” explained a customer service worker at Barnes and Noble. According to a new survey conducted by Barnes & Noble, an increasing number of students are renting books. Many students may need the book just for a specific time, rather than permanently buying the book. Waliu Saba, biology student at Kean University, complained that often professors don’t use the expensive textbooks. “Nowadays, I don’t even think twice about buying a textbook,” he said. “If I really need it for a specific class, I will either share with another classmate, or rent. Last semester, I saved about $300 when I rented my textbooks.” Renting textbooks and materi-
Created by Libby Levi for opensource.com, Creative Commons
als have not only become the new “money-saver,” it’s also became a trend for many students as well as
faculty members of colleges around the nation.
4 THE TOWER
Welcome back celebration: Cougar style By Nicole Brown
New and current students were welcomed back to Kean with an annual event called ‘Cougar Kick- Off’- a series of happenings including Kean Day, Ice-cream Mix and Mingle, Cougar Country throw down and Cougar social that usually begin in early September and end in mid- September. This year, the grand opening of Cougar KickOff was held on September 2 outside the patio of the University Center. As the Dis Jockey played different genres of music, students danced in the dazzling sun to the beats of Classic, Country, Reggae, Folk and Rock music. According to one of the coordinators, Gerard Smithwrick, president of Kean’s Student, the fundamental purpose of Cougar Kick-Off is to provide a platform for students to socialize, become fully aware of the diversity of programs and services that are offered on campus, and most importantly, to gradually transition from the summer break back into the academic environment. “Cougar Kick- Off provides a platform for students to have their quality of life better at Kean,” said Smithwrick. “It’s an opportunity to become aware and get involved.” For the programs, services, food, or entertainment, everyone had their reasons for attending Cougar Kick- Off. Slowly riding his bicycle through the crowd of students, Ralph Papillon, a senior, said it’s an opportunity to get everything. “You get to meet clubs, free food and its fun,” Papillon said.
Constantly smiling while picking up flyers and booklets from the Office of Intervention and Retention table, Asa Dugger, a freshman, said it is a supportive event. “I like it, it’s really helpful,” she said. Apart from the fun and entertainment, each organization has its individual goals and challenges. This year, the president of the Student Organization wants the campus population to know that the executive and council meet biweekly to discuss the challenges that students encounter on campus and the strategies they will take to resolve those issues. “Some of the main concerns right now are parking and trolley services,” said Smithwrick. “It’s all about collaborating and compromising; it takes time to resolve these issues, but we are working on them.” Smithwrick encouraged the student population to stay on campus and enjoy the opportunities on campus. “Don’t just go home after school,” said Smithwrick. “Enjoy the resources you paid for.” Janice Johnston, Manager of Career Development , wanted to inform students of that office’s primary objectives: to help students with resume writing, prepare students for job interviews and coordinating job fairs. “Working with students is the fun part of the job,” said Johnston. Other sponsors of the events included Campus life Activities for Student Success (C.L.A.S.S), Kean Expedition, Kean’s Student Organization, Health Services and University Center.
(Continued from page 1)
Despite the occasional issue, Kean’s diversity has been a strong point in making Muslim students feel welcome and included on campus. The school is home to a thriving Muslim Student Association, which lists its purpose as, “to get involved as much as possible, and as often as possible with other organizations and clubs on and off campus.” The MSA also stipulates that it is open to all students, not just Muslims, a key to fostering understanding and openness with other groups. “Being a Muslim, you would think people would feel cautious or discriminate against you,” said Safa Basidiq, a senior and sociology major at Kean. “However, I feel more of my peers are intrigued to find out more about my culture and religion.” Recent graduate Asher Sheikh also feels that
Kean is a place where he can be outspoken about his religion. “I think Kean is very welcoming,” said Sheikh. “There are a number of Muslim students and the Muslim Students Association is very active on campus. Therefore, it does not feel weird to be vocal about my religion.” Being able to be vocal about one’s religion and simply avoiding biased attitudes are two different things. But on the Kean campus, Muslim students seem to feel that they can do both and still find acceptance. “I do not necessarily feel less or more at ease on Kean than in my regular society,” said Sheikh. “There are prejudiced people in all atmospheres, but I do feel more sheltered at Kean.” Yayona Bangura contributed to this report.
Students lined up for free food and games at “Cougar Kick-Off ’
Photo: Patricia Lauro
5 THE TOWER
Sidewalk surfing of the next generation By Joe Katulak
A new generation of sidewalk surfers is hitting the streets and college campuses all over the country. The art and majesty of skateboarding is slowly starting to fade away with the resurgence of the skateboard’s awkward cousin, the longboard. Longboards are beginning to take the place of skateboards as an alternative mode of transportation, a new way to get from point A to point B. Skateboarding is looked at as an art form by many people. Manipulating a piece of wood to do different tricks is something that has a lot of meaning to skateboarders, especially those who see it as a life-long passion. However, many people in today’s culture have decided to toss away their skateboards in exchange for a longboard. The differing factor is that longboards are completely flat, whereas skateboards are curved at both the nose and the tail of the board, giving the skater the ability to manipulate the board to do tricks.
Longboarding is a growing epidemic. “People come into the shop looking to learn how to skate because they see other people doing it and they think it looks cool,” said Brad Wyatt, skateboarder and employee of the NJ Skateshop in New Brunswick. “A lot of kids just come in to say they want to start skateboarding and most of them just buy a hundred fifty dollar board and it just sits in their garage or dorm room.” Longboarders ride with a completely different mindset than skateboarders do. With longboarding, it’s all about cruising from place to place and getting to your destination as quickly as possible. There is no real progression with longboarding, and once pushing is mastered, there is nothing really to get better at. Since there is such a lack of skill and progression with longboarding, many longboarders find themselves only riding throughout college or high school as a way to get to class until they finally decide to hang up their boards after graduation.
On the contrary, skateboarding is all about progression. Skateboarders feel sour toward longboarders because they are, in a sense, taking the easy way of riding a board. “I just don’t get it,” said Wyatt. When it comes down to it, the skateboarding industry is still a business, so if longboards are what people want, that is what the shops will sell. Shops, such as Pure Board Shop in Maryland, have noticed significant sustained growth in longboard sales, especially over the past two years, according to Transworld Business. Even though Pure Board Shop was primarily a skateboard shop, the rise in longboard sales has forced the shop to expand its longboard section and begin to carry more gear. At the current time, it is still too hard to tell if longboarding will be able to stick around like skateboarding has done for the past 50 years. Many longboard riders are just happy to be able to walk into a shop and buy the things they need, whereas two or three years ago, most accessories for longboards needed to be
purchased online. Some skateboarders are still baﬄed at how popular longboarding has gotten. A lot of skateboarders frown upon longboarders because, in many cases, people were too scared to try riding a traditional skateboard or didn’t want to put in the effort to actually learn how to ride one. Of course, there are many longboarders that disagree with all the various opinions of skateboarders. “There is a certain thrill you get bombing a big hill on a long board,” said Oleg Berenzon, a college student, and avid longboarder. “When you hit that perfect curve or cruise down a smooth hill, it’s a feeling that can’t be matched.” Longboarding still needs to stand the test of time. At the moment, it is just another activity for college students and the awkward cousin of skateboards. “It’s just a fashion accessory,” said Lawrence Larstanna, college student and skateboarder of ten years.
Rutgers college students looking through New Brunswick’s NJ skate shop
“It’s all about cruising from place to place.” Student walking into the UC with a longboard.
One student’s best friend By elizabeth Bracey
“Ditto can pick up dropped items, pull open doors/drawers if there’s rope tied to the doors. He knows more than 30 commands and, most importantly, he’s my best friend,” said Kean University student Nicholas Tyler. Tyler, 21 and a junior, is talking about his service dog, Ditto, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever. Tyler has cerebral palsy and he was paired with his highly trained assistance dog last August. Both share an unbelievable bond. Just ask Tyler, who lives in Brick, New Jersey with his parents, his younger brother and his canine companion, Ditto. Tyler takes classes virtually through Kean Ocean County College and also attends classes for his elective courses. Tyler communicates mostly with a computer program called SmartNav, which uses a hands-free mouse that allows control of a computer through head motion. Ditto is a part of Canine Companions for Independence. CCI is a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs for an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of a facilitator. “Canine Companions for Independence is privately funded through individual foundations and corporations,” said Deb-
ra Dougherty, executive director of CCI. The breeding program, located in Santa Rose, Calif., is home for the assistance dogs until they are paired with a person with disabilities. The participant has to go through a written, oral and in-person application and interview process to be considered for review. CCI then finds a dog that is suitable and will invite the participant to come to team training. “Nick and Ditto returned to Brick, N.J. after completing CCI’s recent Team Training Class, an intense, two-week course held at CCI’s Northeast Regional Center in Medford, N.Y. – one of five such centers nationwide. The Northeast Regional Center serves a 13-state area from Maine to Virginia,” according to CCI publicist John Bentzinger. With the help of Ditto, life is much more easier for Tyler. Ditto is Nick’s second Canine Companion. He had his first dog, Titus, from 2000 to 2010, when Titus died from a brain tumor. Tyler’s ultimate goal is to build software to make technology easier to use for disabled people at little or no cost. “For tips on how to receive a dog companion go to cci.org and select the region you live in then there should be contact info to answer all questions,” said Tyler.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
6 THE TOWER
By Jennifer Deligne
Students: stay in style on campus this spring “Wall of Memories” by Diane Kahlo
Photo: Jennifer Deligne
The Disappeared Women of Juarez In commemoration for multitudes of girls that died in Juarez, Mexico due to femicide, the mass killing of women, the Human Rights Institute gallery holds “Las Desconocidas de Ciudad Juarez,” Spanish for “The Disappeared Women of Juarez,” an exhibition created by Diane Kahlo expressing the loss that cannot be said through words. In the year 2009 alone, 630 women went missing with many of the cases unsolved. There were theories as to why these horrific cases happened; some think it was gang related, while others believe the police were involved in the disappearances. There were even assumptions that the disappearances were due to spiritual rituals. Regardless of the circumstance, what happened in Mexico was purely a femicide and it becomes clear once in the gallery. The “Wall of Memories” portion of the exhibit is an homage that portrays around 150 of the girls that went missing. Kahlo, a distant relative of famed Mexi-
can artist Frida Kahlo, has painted the girls in small purple frames displaying them how their families would want to see them- happy. Kahlo painted these girls with the intention to give them the recognition that many people who aren’t wealthy or highly esteemed receive. For the girls with unavailable images, Kahlo painted a butterfly or another symbolic image representing the girl. The Mandala, a circular symbol demonstrating the cycle of rebirth and life, is made up of discarded bottle caps, representing the bodies of several girls who were also discarded. It is a colorful piece adorned by beads found in yard sales and flea markets. Kahlo’s use of a metaphor in this construction signifies the actual beauty of what was simply thrown away. A sequin-adorned skeleton figure is shaped so each limb belongs to the “desconocidas,” or the unknown girls, whose bodies have been found but unidentified. Each leg, arm and hand is fashioned with different colored sequins, with a veil placed on the head of the figure.
As dark as this issue is, the colors in this exhibition were anything but. Bright flowers seem like they’re floating under the Lady of Guadalupe. Light pinks and royal purples take over the room, making each and every piece interesting and attractive to the eye. A huge quantity of people in Mexico lost daughters, sisters, aunts and friends, or are unaware of the whereabouts of their loved ones. Some loved ones, however, have been found but not claimed by their families. The abundance of missing girls, found and unidentified, painfully reveals how much of a genocide and massacre against women this really was. A video in the exhibition shows many faces of those who went missing as well as the families marching, wanting answers. Kahlo intends to keep the memory of these young women alive. She immortalizes girls that shouldn’t be forgotten and brings their beauty back to life.
Fall TV preview
By Kristen DeMatos
Fall is a time where school starts again, leaves change, and football season begins. Fall is also the time when people’s TV favorites return to the big screen, right alongside a few new shows. Shows like NBC’s “The Blacklist” and CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” will be returning for some fans, while shows from last fall fell flat, like NBC’s “Welcome to the Family” or the CW’s “The Tomorrow People” are being replaced this season with new shows. Five shows to watch out for in the coming weeks include: 1. Black-ish (ABC) This show stars and was created by comedian Anthony Anderson and is about a man who is trying to create a cultural identity for his family, when he realizes his children don’t identify with their African American background. His younger son, Andre, prefers to be called Andy and, although the family isn’t Jewish, Andy insists on having a bar mitzvah. Premieres Wed, Sept. 24 at 9p.m./8p.m. CDT 2. A to Z (NBC) A to Z is a new romantic comedy that has been compared by critics to “How I Met Your Mother” and the movie “500 Days of Summer.” After countless near misses, protagonists Zoe and Andrew finally meet and begin dating. The show follows their love story right from the beginning. Premieres Thu, Oct. 2 at 9p.m./8p.m. CDT
Viola Davis stars in “How To Get Away With Murder.”
3. Red Band Society (Fox) This show follows the ups and downs of adolescents in the children’s ward of a Los Angeles hospital. They are all suffering from different illnesses ranging from heart defects to cancer. One young patient in a coma narrates “Red Band Society.” Although most patients keep a positive attitude, and the show has elements of comedy, it is sure to pull on some heartstrings once audiences see all that these patients are going through and the bonds they create. Premieres Wed, Sep. 17 at 9p.m./8p.m. CDT
4. How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) ABC’s newest drama centers around lawyer/professor Annalise Keating, played by Viola Davis, as she teaches her Criminal Law 100 class , or as she prefers to call it, “how to get away with murder.” She takes her students into real courtroom cases and shows them how law works. She also has some unconventional methods, which may or may not involve her students covering up a murder. Premieres Thur, Sep. 25 at 10 p.m./9 p.m.CDT 5. Jane the Virgin (CW) Based on a Venezuelan telenovela, “Jane the Virgin” cen-
Photo: Nicole Rivelli/ABC
ters around Jane , a virgin, who gets accidentally artificially inseminated when she goes to her gynecologist for a routine pap smear and the doctor confuses her with another patient. Although the premise seems a little farfetched, the characters are charming and other factors of the show, like the fact that the “specimen” she was artificially inseminated with was that of an old flame and her current boyfriend proposes just as Jane finds out she’s pregnant, are sure to draw in an audience. Premieres Mon, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m./8 p.m. CDT
7 THE TOWER
By Rebecca Panico
Enlow Hall fall preview
Enlow Recital Hall’s 2014-15 season is about to kick off, celebrating its fifth year anniversary. The stage will once again be filled with an array of internationally acclaimed artists.
Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 908-737-SHOW(7469) Sutton Foster Opening night is Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. with two-time Tony Award-winning and esteemed Broadway actress, Sutton Foster. Foster will be showcasing a variety of Broadway numbers, as well as cabaretstyle ballads. A second show will also be available for Sept. 28. Tickets run from $55-$75. Street Corner Symphony On Oct. 5, the a capella group, Street Corner Symphony, will take the stage. The Nashville, Tenn. group gained international recognition after placing second on NBC’s 2010 a capella singing competition “The Sing-Off.” The Street Corner Symphony performs an eclectic range of styles from gospel to barbershop tunes. Tickets are $25-$35. Preservation Hall Jazz Band The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint will be performing on Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. The nationally acclaimed jazz musicians will come together for a night of entertainment. Tickets cost $35-$45. Branford Marsalis & The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia On Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Grammy Awardwinning saxophonist and Tony Awardnominee composer Branford Marsalis will be conducting The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. They will be performing a selection of Baroque-period pieces from composers Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and many more in a concert titled “Marsalis Well-Tempered.” Tickets run from $55-75 Acro Ensemble & All-Star Orchestra Back for their fifth performance at Enlow Hall, the Acro Ensemble will be joined
Inside Enlow Hall’s elegant reception area.
by Gerard Schwarz, conductor and Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, on Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. They will be performing pieces from famous composers such as Grieg’s “Holberg Suite,” Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings,” and will include Schwarz’s own rendition of German-composer Strauss’s “Capriccio.” The evening will end with a question-and-answer session with Schwarz and musicians from the Acro Ensemble. Tickets are available for $25. Vienna Boys Choir The final act of 2014 will be by the renowned Vienna Boys Choir. In spirit of the holidays, they will be performing “Christmas in Vienna” on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. This program consists of traditional Christmas carols from around the world as well as popular holiday tunes. Tickets run from $35-$55. Tango Buenos Aires dance company Enlow Hall’s first performance of 2015 will be on Sunday, Feb. 15, with a traditional tango performance by the Argentinian Tango Buenos Aires dance company. They will be performing “Song of Eva Perón,” which retells the life of the Argen-
Photo: Rebecca Panico
tinian first lady, Evita, from the 1930s to the ‘50s. Tickets are between $35-$55. Natalie Merchant Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant performs on Mar. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Once the front woman of 10,000 Maniacs, a folkrock band from the 1980s, Merchant will be performing at Enlow Hall as part of her tour in support of her self-titled solo album. Tickets are available from $55-75. Irish Times Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, Tomaseen Foley’s “Irish Times” will be igniting the stage on Mar. 15 at 3 p.m. An ensemble of traditional Celtic musicians and dancers will come together to fire up the stage with exhilarating ballads, songs and stories. Tickets costs are from $35$45. Arco Ensemble The Arco Ensemble will return for a spring performance on Apr. 19 at 3 p.m. with a concert they’ve titled “Under The Sun.” Jean-Marie Zeitouni will conduct Arco this time, performing works of Nino Rota, best known for his work in film scores. In addition, they’ll also be
performing Ottorino Respighi’s “Il Tramonto,” an Italian piece featuring mezzosoprano Abigail Fischer. Once again, all performers will be holding a question and answer session after the performance. Tickets will be $25. Sandi Patty The final performance of the season will be delivered by gospel singer Sandi Patty on May 3 at 3 p.m. Patty is a renowned performer, having earned five Grammy Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, as well as having three albums go platinum and five go gold. Although she’s a notable gospel singer, Patty will also be performing songs from her latest album, “Broadway Stories,” which features songs from “Fiddler on the Roof,” “My Fair Lady,” and “The Sound of Music.” Tickets are on sale for $35 to $55.
For more information regarding tickets and performances visit the Enlow Recital Hall website at enlowhall.kean.edu.
By Vera Boateng
Krakow Academy of Fine Arts in Poland present works in diverse media “Exercise Exercise Repetition” can be just a random grouping of words without meaning. For Kean University students, it’s the title of the James Howe Gallery exhibition, “Project Exercise.” The gallery opened on Sep. 3 in Vaughn Eames, the Fine Arts building on campus. Artists featured in the gallery were students from Jan Metejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. The Guest Curator of the exhibition is Kean Fine Arts adjunct professor Joanna Wezyk. The various artists included were Zbigniew Bajek, Roman Fleszar, Elzbieta Zrobek and Krzysztof Marchlak to name a few. “At the opening artists came from Poland and were excited to have their work at The James Howe Gallery,” said Franki Vicini, a graduate student worker at the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery, who worked as security at the opening to make sure that no one was touching the artwork that was displayed. At the opening, Alumni of Kean and current Kean students were among some of those that showed up. “The exhibition was popular because the artists’ work was so different,” Vicini commented.
The professors from Krakow Academy, along with graduate students, presented works in diverse media. Some of the art that was displayed were paintings on canvas-like material, different-shaped images and abstract images that featured the use of light and dark colors. One of the images displayed was one of someone playing a piano. This image put emphasis on many aspects, including the form of someone’s hand before they play the piano and detailing the hand to the keys being touched as the person plays. The unique nature of each piece allowed the exhibition to inspire other artists at Kean and beyond to continue to bring forth very inventive art. The James Howe Gallery is located on the first floor in Vaughn Eames. Project Exercise is opened now until Nov. 12. Other galleries on campus include, Karl & Helen Burger Gallery located in Center for Academic Success building, Nancy Dryfoos Gallery located in the Nancy Thompson Library, Human Rights Institute Gallery also located in the library and the Student Gallery located in Vaughn Eames. James Howe Art Gallery located in Vaughn Eames
Photo: Vera Boateng
8 THE TOWER
President Obama caps student loan payments By Clifton Andrews
Earlier this year, President Obama stated in his 2014 State of the Union that 2014 would be a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans. One such action that has been a center for both relief and controversy has been the Presidential Memorandum on student loans. President Barack Obama officially signed the Presidential Memorandum to help struggling federal student loan borrowers manage their debt, on June 9, 2014. The Memorandum itself presents several executive actions that will help cap student loan payments by 10 percent of their monthly income. This memorandum comes as a relief to the 71 percent of graduates who graduate with bachelor’s degrees and an average of $29,400 in debt. Therefore, this would decrease the minimum amount of money that borrowers would have to pay. In other words, those who cannot afford payments of more than 10 percent of their monthly income would no longer have to, relieving them financially. However, those who can afford to pay would still be allowed to, showing that the memorandum was truly made to help the 71 percent that are struggling with
their debt without hurting the 29 percent that are not. This memorandum also comes as a relief to both potential college students and graduates. Potential college students would able to apply freely without the fear of a huge college debt looming over them after they graduate. At the same time, potential college graduates would be able to study without the constant pressure to graduate into a high paying job, in order to avoid transitioning into massive debt. This would basically increase the affordability of college altogether and allow more people to attend college without financial fear or restriction. However, this Presidential Memorandum still has a long way to go before it actually helps anyone. While the Memorandum is an official government document, it is not an official law capping student loan payments. Since the Memorandum is a series of executive actions that will be taken by the Secretary of Education, there is no guarantee that the memorandum will accomplish its goal. Even if the Secretary does all of the actions in the memorandum, there is no guarantee that these actions will automatically have the intended result. There is actually a fair chance that Congress may not allow the Memorandum at
health Did you get your flu shot yet? By Dr. Josh Palgi
So you are back in school. You bought textbooks, notebooks, and pencils, but did you get your protection against the flu virus? “Flu” is short for “influenza.” The name goes back hundreds of years when the disease was thought to be caused by supernatural “influences.” The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at time can lead to death. The two basic types of viruses that can cause flu are A and B. Anyone can get the flu as it is spreads easily and college students are particularly vulnerable because of their close living quarters, social activities and low vaccine coverage. In fact, only one in five college students reported getting a flu shot during the 2009-2010 flu season at eight North Carolina Universities, according to a study in the Journal of American College Health. Another study published in the archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that college students who have been immunized against the flu were 30 percent less likely to contract an influenza illness and were also less likely to miss class or become unable to complete work because of flu-like illness. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets of people with the flu who then cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or nose of people who are nearby. Less often a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. You can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. People who have the flu often experience fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness), vomiting and diarrhea. Certain symptoms of the flu may signal
an emergency and should be assessed by medical professional. How does the flu vaccine work? When disease germs enter the body, they start to reproduce. The immune system recognizes these germs as foreign invaders and responds by making proteins called antibodies. These antibodies help destroy the germs that are making us sick by eliminating the attacking germs, antibodies help to get well. In addition, antibodies protect the body from future infection. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Minor side effects of the flu shot may occur and may include soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, low-grade fever and aches. There is no scientific evidence that any herbal homeopathic or folk remedies have any benefit against influenza. However, some people should not be vaccinated without consulting a healthcare provider. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop that will provide protection against the flu. The CDC and flu experts recommended that just about everyone get a flu vaccination every year and should get it soon as the flu vaccine becomes available. The vaccine will change year-to-year depending on the most common type of influenza that circulated in the previous flu season. Flu vaccines are offered in many locations including doctor’s office, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, college health centers and more. For detailed information about the flu shot (influenza vaccine) benefits and risks, review the CDC’s vaccine information statement: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/ www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm Dr. Palgi is a professor in the Department of Physical Education, Recreation & Health.
Everyday prevention actions to stop the spread of germs • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based rub • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth • Try to avoid close contact with sick people • Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
President Obama signed a Memorandum in order to reduce the burden of student loan debt in the East Room of the White House on June 9, 2014.
all. Since the President used his executive authority in the Memorandum without the approval of Congress, Congress may decide to repeal the Memorandum or any of the actions in it. In addition, one of the executive actions the Secretary of Education must complete is to propose official regulations that would allow additional students who borrowed federal loans to cap their payments at 10 percent of their income. However, Congress may vote against the regulations that are pro-
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
posed since the president has used his executive authority to go over their heads. This makes the memorandum a controversial document as it almost bypasses the government’s system of checks and balances; it’s no wonder why Congress would be against it. So while the principle of the Presidential Memorandum may provide considerable relief for millions of Americans, its actual practice may prove risky and controversial with or without its success.
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9 THE TOWER
Random act of kindness as received by a student at Kean By Bryan C. Kuriawa
In the everyday life of college students, it is often commonplace for people to go through motions, on their routine. Sometimes I find myself trying to make sense of it all. Between class and work, often times students donâ€™t see time for the extraordinary. Earlier this week, I was returning from my art class before realizing my car window was open in the rain. Walking back to my car, I found two Barnes and Nobles bags on the inside of my window. Believing it was someoneâ€™s idea of a prank, I threw the bags out. Looking on my front seat, I found the note printed above this article. This unknown writer mentioned how they saw my window and covered it, so that no more rain would come. Within a moment, what had been frustration, gave way to a sense of relief. In my personal life, I often find my views in the ideals of Humanism, the belief of individuals doing good for any reason. For Hu-
manists, the view is to see the good in others and stress their value in the world. In a sense, it was of the most unusual, yet simply most direct gestures any person could have done. Within our lives, we are often bombarded by tales of a cruel world, where humanity is evil and kindness is dead. Yet for the most universal of reasons, one person conducted themselves without the negative perception of the world, beyond simplicity. Many of you dear readers may be wondering why I write about this act at such length. Well, to put it as bluntly as possible, it was sweet and thoughtful. To the unknown individual, thanks for keeping the rain out of my car. Continue doing kind things in the world around you, for the rest of your life. In a world, where people take more selfies than are countable, and people wonâ€™t stop talking about celebrity photo leaks, it shows that kindness can exist in the most unusual places. Unknown Author
Ecuadorâ€™s famous yellow line features a giant plaza where musicians and artists regularly perform, three cultural pavilions, and even a chapel for tourists to attend. Past all of that, the shopping area is revealed. The shops were in the form of houses and they each sold park souvenirs, as well as souvenirs of Ecuador at large. The time passed and it was time for me to make my way to Quitoâ€™s airport for the flight home. Before we left the park I took another look at the star of the show, the line. While the monuments, shops, and restaurants all add value to the park, the primary reason for all to come is to admire the line. Children and adults, as well as college students, domestic and foreign, took their turn to appreciate what the yellow line represented. They were at the middle of the world and it was only right to celebrate it. There is no big national park with businesses and profits to be made, if there is no line. Without that yellow line, we donâ€™t have a reason to come together and celebrate the location. At the end of it all, itâ€™s the simple things that matter in life and make all the difference.
By Marco Rodriguez
Standing tall in the Andes Mountain Range lays the city of Quito, Ecuador. Quito, which is home to about 2.2 million residents, is the capital city of Ecuador and has an elevation of about 9,350 feet (1.7 Miles) above sea level. This last fact I would come to experience first hand as I walked off the plane that Tuesday night at the eleven oâ€™clock hour. With some tightness in my chest, I stepped off the airplane and met my host family. The purpose of my trip to Ecuador was to visit a congregation that my church has a relationship with in the city of Ambato. We took off for the city of Ambato in the middle of the night as we made our way through mountains and valleys to finally arrive at the familyâ€™s home. Nevertheless, in the two hours it took to get to Ambato, I was reassured that we would be going back to Quito in the following days to visit one of the cityâ€™s most popular tourist attractions. The Middle of the World National Park, located in the northern Quito, is home to the historically accepted location where the Equator splits the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. A four-floor monument is located at the center of the park and is perhaps one of the most photographed structures in the area. The monument, which houses a museum and has the supposed line of the Equator running through its base, is what catches the eyes of tourists as soon as they enter the parkâ€™s vicinity. As I entered the park, I immediately noticed the tremendous work that the Ecuadorian government has put, and continues to put, into making sure that tourists and business people continue visiting. The park was very clean and businesses such as banks, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are all located inside the park, as well as in the strip mall directly in front of the park. Additionally, a headquarters building for the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is under construction and will be completed by the end of the year. One of the great benefits of visiting Ecuador is that as of the year 2000, the American Dollar is the official currency in Ecuador, which made everything much easier for me as I made my way around the country. After paying the $3 fee to enter the park, I made my way down to the parkâ€™s main monument. Along the way I saw stat-
Facing East while standing on the famous yellow line between hemispheres.
Photo: Marco Rodriguez
ues, museums, restaurants, and shops all promoting Ecuadorâ€™s rich history and culture. After a short walk we finally reached the famous yellow line. The line, which symbolizes the line of the Equator, has an â€œNâ€? and an â€œSâ€? marked on either side of it, representing the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It amazed me how a popular tourist attraction like The Middle of the World National Park, could be so inundated with people, but at the same time be so peaceful and relaxing. The views from the top of the monument were amazing as you looked out over Quito and enjoyed the cool dayâ€™s breeze. I took the stairs down the monument and enjoyed the museum inside. Every floor was filled with pictures, videos, and artifacts of the countryâ€™s different regions and indigenous people. I purchased a Mora (Blackberry) ice cream at one of the parkâ€™s small shops and made my way to the shopping areas. The park
A challenge to Keanâ€™s ice bucket challenge: Donâ€™t waste the water By Dr. Kathleen Henderson
The ALS Association stats show that nearly 5,600 people die from the ALS disease annually, and, because statistics are underreported or are guesstimated from third world countries, we can be assured it affects thousands more. How many students who raised money at Kean today even know what ALS stands forâ€Śâ€?Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosisâ€?. Keanâ€™s Ice Bucket challenge in comparison to the number of children who die each year from lack of safe drinking water was disappointingly more theatrics and PR than true money raised for research. Truth be told only 27-28% of all funds raised goes to research for this disease. Waterborne illnesses worldwide significantly affect more people than ALS alone does. Everyday throughout our country the ice bucket challenge is raising money for a most worthy cause, as are all causes the public engages in: Cancer, Blood Bourne diseases, Alzheimerâ€™s, Heart, Diabetes, Asthma, Autism, Tuberculosis, HIV, etc. However, in the innocence of promoting the Ice Bucket challenge we did more harm to the environment than we accomplished. Did anyone consider the thousands of gallons of clean drinking water we are just wasting by pouring it over our heads to the ground? It is wasteful, and we as a university should have thought of an alternative way to raise money for this worthy cause, besides wasting water and purchasing environmentally non-friendly blue ice buckets.
Food and Water Watch-Water Facts states that â€œ780 million people in the world live without clean drinking waterâ€?, and â€œevery 20 seconds a child under the age of five dies due to waterborne illnesses.â€? â€œDiarrhea killed more children in the last decade than in all armed conflicts since WWII combined.â€? â€œ Dirty water kills more children than malaria, HIV/AIDS, and traffic accidents joined. And â€œ75% of the people in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer from chronic dehydration because of poor water qualityâ€?. Given these statistics, I believe that even though the ALS ice bucket challenge was exceedingly effective as a teaching tool for our marketing students, it showed that Kean speaks out of two sides of our mouth. Even our caterers charge visitors to Kean for green biodegradable cups and plates to protect the environment, and then turn around and waste clean drinking water in a self-serving marketing ploy. There had to be a better way. When dozens of Kean students (three in my own classes) had to drop out this semester because they had a problem with their student loans. Could we not have had a fundraiser for them? Maybe we would not have the retention and graduation rate problems we currently have, if we only practiced what we preach. Dr. Henderson is the president of the Kean Federation of Adjunct Faculty, which represents adjunct professors.
%XLOGD Stronger 5HVXPH As a College Nanny, you will build your resume with important skills that are essential for tomorrowâ€™s workplace. A part-time nanny position will supplement your education with meaningful work and real world experience. Nanny positions are rewarding and fun! Great Nanny Positions Available! +3DUWWLPHĂ H[LEOHVFKHGXOHV + Great Pay +1HZ3RVLWLRQV$GGHG'DLO\
10 THE TOWER
11 THE TOWER
Photo: Kean Athletics
Stephan Lewis (10) and A.J Dobson (44)
Football team seeking redemption By Jonathan Bonilla
The Kean University Cougars football team finished the 2013 regular season with a 2-8 record, putting up the lowest numbers in rushing, passing, and scoring since head coach Dan Garrett took over in 2006. The Cougars had a senior lead team where many played for the first time. “At the end of the day, they were a great bunch of guys,” Garrett said. “They were bought in and they believed in our system, it was just game experience and the lack of.” Since then, the team has been making changes with personnel, making cuts and taking in transfers and fresh-
“No matter how successful you were the week before, or if you didn’t have success, that has to be in the past and we have to work for the next week.”
men. In addition to those changes, Garrett has taken over the role of offensive coordinator. “I just think the mentality needed to be one that had to go back to the roots of any successful organization, which is discipline,” Garrett said. Seeking redemption, the Cougars will strive to reach their peak, taking it one game at a time, in the 2014 season as Garrett hopes to compete for the NJAC championship. “If we do what we’re supposed to do and go 1-0 every week,” Garrett said. “We should be right where we need to be to compete for NJAC Championship.” The Cougars lost its Sept. 5 season opener to the Albright Lions 25-14. The game got out of hand in the second quarter when an Albright player threw a punch and got ejected in an altercation on the Cougars sideline after a play. Shortly after that, game officials ejected a second Albright player after he body slammed Cougars quarterback, Charles Vellis. The Cougars kept their composure throughout the game showing no signs of retaliation. After trailing 16-0 at the half, Albright scored again midway through the third quarter but a blocked extra point kept the Lions at bay. The Cougars found some momentum after an eight
yard touchdown pass to Quadir Johnson from Vellis. The Cougars defense held off Albright’s offense allowing another touchdown pass from Vellis, this time to Dante Burton and then a 2-point conversion from Robert Meade III to Burton, making the score 22-14. Needing another touchdown and a 2-point conversion, a late interception thrown by Vellis stopped the would-be comeback. Albright then made a field goal, finishing the game 25-14. The Cougars will return home against Endicott College on Sept 20 after a bye week. “We have a bye week, where we’re going to go back to like a mini camp. These guys aren’t going to have an easy week.” The Cougars will try to keep their expectations high and carry out the rest of the season, despite their opening loss. There is work to be done for the Cougars, but it’s early in the season so there’s plenty of time for them to get into gear. “Our goal was to obviously win our opener, and that didn’t happen,” Garret said.” No matter how successful you were the week before, or if you didn’t have success, that has to be in the past and we have to work for the next week.”
Absolution on the gridiron and off By Mak Ojutiku
“Hey, she looks just like me don’t she?” he says grinning. At first it’s hard to see a resemblance between Joseph Mendes and his daughter. After all, she’s a little three-month-old girl and he’s a towering 25-year-old linebacker. On closer inspection though, you can see some of the elder Mendes in her. They have the same nose, the same light brown eyes, and when he bounces her on his knee and plays with her, it’s easy to see they share the same smile. Today was the first time Mendes brought his daughter to his dorm. He made sure to show her off to all of his roommates. To him, this is the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon: with family and friends. This peaceful scene is almost the exact opposite of his second favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon: on the gridiron. Standing well over six feet, with a broad muscled physique, Mendes looks exactly like the kind of linebacker a quarterback or running back wouldn’t want to see lining up on the other side of the field. And he didn’t just look the part. From his high school days, to his Division I days, almost every program Mendes played for saw him put on either record breaking or season leading performances. In 2005, as a senior for Montclair High School, Mendes recorded 26 sacks, which lead the entire state of New Jersey. That earned him a scholarship at Delaware State. Because of grade issues, Mendes wasn’t allowed to play with or workout with the team in his first year
on campus. “Had to workout with the volleyball team,” he says with a chuckle. When he got on the field, he made the most of it. In the 2008 season, he led the team in sacks. When former teammates talk about his style of play they speak of his wild physicality and quickness. Unfortunately for Mendes, he was as wild off the field as he was on it. Mendes had discipline issues in his youth and it didn’t change much when he got into Delaware. “I put myself in situations that I shouldn’t have been in.” Mendes said. “I was a prominent athlete, but I just wasn’t mature. That’s probably why I’m not living my dream in the NFL right now.” His issues piled up over time; at the end of his junior year, the year he led his team in sacks, he lost his scholarship. Despite that, Mendes was adamant in making use of his final year of eligibility. “My goal was always to graduate, but also to finish my last year of college football,” Mendes said. “I wanted to show my family that it was possible to overcome.” After a detour through Wesley College, Mendes found his way to Kean University. He immediately made an impact on the team. “He was a momentum changer,” said Tahaj Williams, a former Cougar teammate of Mendes. “When we needed a play to be made, he made it.” He was credited with 1.5 sacks in his first game and went on to become the team leader in sacks for the season. Mendes draws inspiration from the struggles he endured in his youth. He was born in Trenton to a 15-year-old single mother. His family soon moved to East
Orange. There, he grew up surrounded by gangs, violence and drugs. Mendes’ youngest brother was diagnosed with autism shortly after his birth. That led Mendes to major in psychology. “I just want to help people. That’s gonna be my calling no matter what,” Mendes said. Drug addiction was something that ran his family, but Mendes himself never fell to those vices. “Growing up in an environment where it surrounds you, it’s easy to fall prey to but it wasn’t something I ever did,” Mendes said. Today, Mendes uses those struggles to fuel the journey of achieving his dream: becoming a professional football player. His goal is to get onto an Arena football team or a Canadian league team. One person who’s helping him with that goal is Jarvis Johnson. “I took him under my wing and we developed a relationship to help him accomplish things in his life,” Johnson said. “I’m here every step of the way as long as he needs me.” Johnson helps Mendes with his growth on and off the field, and he’s witnessed a change in him. “I see him maturing in a lot of ways to where he doesn’t have to resort back to the things that a lot of young black men have to go through,” he says. “It’s great to see these guys that make a change in their lives for the better. So many guys at this level lose sight of that. It’s easy to lose sight of your dreams and your goals.” Mendes is doing strength and conditioning drills now, but he’s waiting until after he graduates, to go full time into his pro football pursuits. Up until a few
Joe Mendes, former playmaker for the Cougars
months ago, he was focusing primarily on school. Now he’s focusing on school and his daughter. “Before it was school then me, now it’s her, school then me” he said with a laugh. “You learn that you can’t think about yourself, you have to think about someone else. All the decisions you make, you have to think how will it affect my family.” This May, Mendes will become a graduate of Kean University and that’ll make him the first graduate in his family. Mendes says that achievement is only the beginning. “If I saw the light at the end of all those other tunnels, why shouldn’t I give my dreams a shot,” he said. “With everything else I’ve endured and overcame, why can’t I try to overcome?”
12 THE TOWER
Field hockey team hopes for repeat of last year’s success By Jamie Alicea
Kean’s women’s field hockey team is looking to continue where they left off last season, where they posted a 15-5 record, the second best season the program has had in its history. The Cougars started off this season strong, going on a three-game winning streak. The last two games has seen the Cougars struggle though, as they recorded a hard fought loss to Stevens Institute of Technology and a heart-breaking overtime loss to Vassar College. “We switched to a new system last game and it was more defensively because we felt like we were giving up too many goals,” said Leslie LaFronz, head coach of the team. “Because we’re so high powered, I felt like we’re better off having a better defense, not 2014 Field Hockey team giving up goals because we have a better chance of capitalizing in less opportunities.” Their losses this season don’t appear to have anything to do with a lack of offense, as the Cougars have shown flashes of a very highpowered offensive system, averaging about five goals a game. From the outside looking in, the Cougars might look like they’re in a rebuilding stage, considering their loss of six seniors and the fact that five new freshman are currently starting this year, but LaFronz and her team believe differently. “This team is very highly skilled,” she said. “We have a very highpowered offense. We have speed and we are going to take some lumps, but as the season progresses if we can come away with a winning season with five starting freshman and only one senior that’s the beginning of a program.” No one believes more in the coach’s words than senior captain Stephanie Rios. “I eat, sleep, and breathe field hockey,” Rios said. “It’s changed me by boosting my confidence and my passion- working as a team, representing my team by not acting a fool in class, becoming a woman and being empowered.” Although the Cougars are currently 3-2, they believe they have a program that’s up for the challenge and ready to post double-digitwinning season.
Photo: Kean Athletics
“It means something to be an athlete at Kean University. All of the athletes support each other… understand each other…there’s a lot of interaction between the coaches. We cross train and I think we realize here that it’s not about a stick or a ball; it’s about family,” said LaFronz. The Cougars are readying up for a double header this weekend as they go on the road to face Thomas College, then head to Maine to play St. Josephs College of Maine.
“I eat, sleep, and breathe field hockey.”
New era for Kean’s men’s soccer
“This is a national championship program. It has a very rich-storied tradition. I feel very fortunate to be following in the footsteps of Tony.”
Freshmen Forward Sevag Kherlopian dribbling passed University of Mary Washington
By Gerald Lima
The Kean men’s soccer team looks to bounce back after a 9-10-1 season last year, under new head coach Rob Irvine. “I have to lead in a way in which I feel more comfortable leading,” coach Irvine said. “I think I’m a pretty structural person. I try to implement as much structure as I can. The second thing is habits. I’m big on habits both on and off the field.” Irvine starts a new era with the Cougars after spending eight years at Penn State University. He’s entering a program that has been coached by former head coach Tony Ochrimenko for the past 37 years. “It is definitely a privilege,” Irvine said. “This is a national championship program. It has a very rich- storied tradition. I feel very fortunate to be following in the footsteps of Tony.” The Cougars started off the 2014 season with a record of 2-2-1, which included a 1-1 record on its trip to Colorado. Sophomore midfielder Steven Osores came off the bench
last season, but, under Irvine, he has earned the opportunity to be a starter. “As a starter you are expected to be consistent throughout the entire game and effective throughout the 90 minutes of play,” Osores said. “Coming off the bench, you are expected to keep up with the game speed and make a difference when coming on. It’s different.” Irvine uses his formation to lead a more offensive strategy. “Coach Rob’s playing focuses mainly on pressing the other team to make a mistake,” Osores said. “He knows our team has great technical players to attack and can trust us offensively to get results.” According to Irvine, the Cougars and him are just getting to know each other, but both have to learn each other’s way quickly in order to get it going. It is still early in the season. “I believe our team’s chemistry is great,” Osores said. “We welcomed the new guys with opened arms. We have built a family amongst us and, as time goes on, we will become even closer to one another.”
Photo: Gerald Lima
Only 17 players have returned from last year’s 27-man roster. “We are a brand new group,” Irvine said. “When you form a new group there is different stages to forming a group, which are the storming, the norming and finally the preforming stage.” The Cougars are optimistic about the rest of the season and are looking to work on its errors from last year and improve. “Our team, this season, is working on avoiding set pieces by being better defenders and not allowing unnecessary fouls in our defensive third,” Osores said. “Set pieces last season caused us to lose many games in overtime.” The Cougars now hold a record of 4-3-1, leading halfway into the season. The Cougars will play three back-to-back home games starting with Vassar College on Wednesday September 24 at 7:30 p.m.