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SEP | 2016
THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF KEAN UNIVERSITY
Former student alleges ‘excessive force’ in lawsuit against Kean police By Rebecca Panico
Photo: Kean University
Kean University President Dawood Farahi.
Kean president announces new dormitories By Micayela Konviser Kean University President Dawood Farahi, in his Opening Day address kicking off the new school year, said the college will build a new dormitory on the grounds of the Campus School buildings and will relocate the Child Care Center to the Technology Building. “Not only our students get the best facilities, and world class faculty, world class program,” he said. “But also, they get to live in world class dormitories [...] and have amazing food, amazing campus, and so on.” Fifteen percent of students attending Kean live on campus, according to, U.S. news’s website. He said that by fall 2018 the school’s “public private partnership” would be used to build new residential facilities holding 388 beds. Most of his hour-long speech was spent highlighting programs and students that have been successful over the past year or few years. Farahi also explained some of the goals that he has for this year and what he plans to do with some of the funding that the school receives. Full-time faculty, staff and some students attended the speech on Aug. 31 in the North Avenue building. Farahi said 35 new faculty members are joining Kean in Union, and 45 new faculty members are joining Wezhou Kean, the university’s campus in China. Additionally, he said 60 staff and continued on page 7
A former Kean University honor student is suing the university and its police department, alleging that campus police used “excessive force” during his arrest in 2013, used racial profiling and harassed him on and off campus, court documents obtained by The Tower show. Obidi Anamdi, 25, also claims he was discouraged from filing a formal complaint with campus police, and was fired from his off-campus job after an officer involved in his initial arrest told his boss that Anamdi was “violent” and “a terrible person.” The state Attorney General’s office, which represents the state’s public colleges in lawsuits, had no comment. The suit named Kean University, the Kean University Police Department (KUPD) and a
number of officers, including some who no longer work at Kean. The university disputes the charges. “Mr. Anamdi’s complaint merely contains allegations,” Kean University spokeswoman Margaret McCorry wrote in an email. “Kean University disputes his version of events and is opposing his lawsuit. Several counts of his complaint already have been dismissed. Mr. Anamdi was found guilty of disorderly conduct in connection with
Photo : LinkedIn
Former Kean student Obidi Anamdi.
Photo courtesy of Tisha Adams
Obidi Anamdi’s alleged injuries after his arrest on March 1, 2013.
his arrest. He did not appeal that verdict. Kean University has no further comment as the litigation is ongoing.” Lawyers from the Attorney General’s office said in court filings that a majority of the charges should be dismissed except for Anamdi’s excessive force claim. After his arrest on March 1, 2013, Kean police records obtained by The Tower via an Open Public Records
request show that Anamdi was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, hindering apprehension, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, terroristic threats, obstruction, motor vehicle citations for reckless driving, careless driving, failure to keep right at an intersection, failure to signal, open container of alcohol and driving while intoxicated. He spent two days in Union continued on page 6
Kean mourns student killed in gunfire By Mike Roche Marcus Corey Ellis, a Kean University senior who was shot dead on Aug. 31 in Plainfield, was a beloved student who left a strong impression on everyone he met on campus. Ellis was a Transfer Instructional Mentor (T.I.M.), which is a student advisor who works with the professor in GE 3000 Transition to Kean courses designed for transfer students. A Brooklyn native and aspiring history teacher, he left a special mark on Prof. Bridget Lepore’s class last semester. The students in that section became close and on the last day of class had a party to celebrate the
Marcus Corey Ellis, wearing a beanie in the right photo, in the T.I.M office.
semester. “He was involved, he didn’t stand back,” said Lepore. “He always had a smile on his face.” According to a report on nj.com, Ellis was killed around 11 p.m. on Aug. 31 in a shooting on the 700 block of Hillside Avenue in Plainfield where two others were left
wounded. The report said Ellis was going to the store for groceries and that he told he his father he would be back in ten minutes. The Plainfield Police referred calls to the Union County Prosecutor’s office, which is investigating. “Marcus was an amazing help in class and the one who
introduced me to Kean during my first semester,” said Danielle Blackston, a senior at Kean. “ He always had me laughing, and truly became my friend.” Ellis had memorized all the students’ names on the first day and stayed engaged with them equally. The students in the class had even planned to continued on page 7
Student government seats still open after April elections Don’t forget about student trustee elections!
By Gail Fredricks Twenty-seven seats in Kean University’s student government remain available after last semester’s annual elections, which left even more positions vacant since no one ran for them. Last April, no student ran for vice president, treasurer, secretary and representatives in the Graduate Part-Time Student Council (GPSC). All positions for the Senior Class executive Board were vacant, as well as the Sophomore and Junior Class vice president, secretary, and representatives. All seats for the GPSC have been filled, according to information from Student Organization Managing Assistant Director Carli Hench. Senior class president and vice president have been filled, while the rest remain vacant. The junior class still doesn’t not have a vice president or secretary and several representative seats remain available. Meanwhile, seats for president, vice president, secretary and representatives for the sophomore class are still open.
Kean Ocean still has four vacant seats for representatives. Applications for freshman class seats -which are not voted on in April -- are available on CougarLink and are due Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. Applications for vacant positions are available on CougarLink at www.kean. collegiatelink.net, and the positions will remain vacant until filled. In the meantime, the responsibilities of each position will be placed on the next senior officer. “Other Executive Board officers are also expected to chip in where there are vacancies and help out until the vacancies are filled,” said Hench. Students can apply for vacant positions and applications will remain available until Feb. 3, 2017, which is when the next election cycle begins. Several people also ran on unopposed tickets in April for positions including GPSC president Student Organization treasurer, assistant secretary and vice president of funded groups. Meanwhile, data from Student Government’s CougarLink page continued on page 7
GRADUATE PART-TIME STUDENT COUNCIL POSITION ALL
STATUS ALL SEATS FILLED
STUDENT ORG. SENIOR CLASS EXEC. BOARD POSITION Treasurer Secretary Senior Class Reps
STATUS NOT FILLED NOT FILLED 5 SEATS OPEN
STUDENT ORG. JUNIOR CLASS EXEC. BOARD POSITION Vice President Secretary Junior Class Reps
STATUS NOT FILLED NOT FILLED 8 SEATS OPEN
STUDENT ORG. SOPHOMORE CLASS EXEC. BOARD POSITION President Vice President Secretary Sophomore Class Reps
STATUS NOT FILLED NOT FILLED NOT FILLED 3 SEATS OPEN
KEAN OCEAN REPRESENTATIVES POSITION Kean Ocean Reps
STATUS 4 SEATS OPEN
Elections for the next student trustee will take place on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. online at cougarlink. Student trustees serve as representatives to the student body on the Board of Trustees, Kean’s final governing body. This is a two-year position, with the student serving the first year as a non-voting member. The second year, the student will be able to vote on some -- but not all -- measures on the board. Christian Meyers currently serves as the voting trustee. Abby Gallego previously served in this role. Student trustees are overseen by the Office of Student Affairs and are separate from Student Organization. For more information, visit: www.kean.edu/offices/studentaffairs/student-trustees
2 THE TOWER
More late fees, tuition increase approved for 2016-17 school year By Rebecca Panico Kean University’s Board of Trustees approved a 2.5 percent — or a $289 — tuition and fee increase for the upcoming school year and also raised another late fee on June 27. Any student who registered for classes after July 28, the payment due date, will be charged $105. Anyone who registered on the first day of class, Sept. 1, will have to pay a $210 late fee. The old late registration fee for those who registered on or after the first day of class was $55. The new fees “are not meant to be punitive,” explained Kean’s spokeswoman Margaret McCorry after the vote. The university found that students who registered late rarely did so because of financial problems, but rather, they didn’t seek timely advisement, she said. “It’s Kean’s hope that they will seek advisement,” she said, adding that timely registration will eventually allow the university to assign professors to classes more quickly — a complaint among students and faculty. It’s unclear when that change will take effect. The newest late fee increase is in addition to the fees that were imposed at May’s trustees meeting, which allowed the university to charge $50 up to four times a semester to any student who owes more than $200 to the university. The state Comptroller’s Office recently audited Kean and two other public universities and called for clearer guidelines — beyond trustees resolutions and bylaws — when raising student fees. Kean said their trustees resolutions are clear enough, but the resolution which raised late fees in May omitted several important facts. Additionally, the board approved a $289 tuition and fee increase for the upcoming school year. Tuition was increased by $189, while only one fee went up by $100. That fee, the capital improvement fee, is used for debt and to fund renovation and construction projects costing $500,000 or more that are not funded by bonds. Tuition and fees at Kean for a full-time, in-state student who commutes now costs $11,869, up from
$11,580 last year. This year’s tuition and fee increase is less than last year’s, which went up by 3 percent, or $337. The trustees also approved a 20 percent tuition and fee discount for law enforcement agencies that guarantee to enroll a minimum of 15 students in degree and certificate programs in the College of Business and Public Management. There are exceptions to the newest late fee increase. Any student who applies to the university and is accepted after July 28 will not be penalized. Kean has rolling admissions, so it’s possible, but rare, that Kean would accept a student after July 28, Trustees Executive Director Audrey Kelly told The Tower after the meeting. Students enrolled in a monthly tuition payment plan will not need tuition paid in full by July 28, but should be enrolled in such a plan by the payment due date to avoid any penalties. Emails went out to students on April 8 and June 22 notifying them of the late fees, pending the board’s approval. The email in June specified that students registering or making a registration adjustment after July 28 will be given an opportunity to fulfill financial obligations within two days before classes are dropped. Nigel Donald, the former Student Organization president who announced during commencement that he will be an alternate student trustee, sat in on a committee known as the Presidential Task Force on Scheduling, where late fees were discussed before the trustees vote, Kean’s spokeswoman said. As of print publication, however, Donald’s trustee seat remains vacant and students will vote for a new alternate trustee later this month. Donald was not at the trustees meeting in June, but did attend an earlier tuition hearing. Meanwhile, former Alternate Student Trustee Christian Meyers was officially installed as a voting student trustee. He replaces Abby Gallego. Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutower.com on June 28. It has been updated to reflect appropriate dates and some new information.
Being a broke Kean student just got more expensive By Rebecca Panico Kean University’s Board of Trustees voted on May 9 to increase late fees and the cost to enroll in a tuition payment plan without any public discussion, though the adopted resolution omitted some important facts. The unanimous vote follows a state Comptroller’s report issued two weeks prior that asked Kean and two other state colleges to create clear, transparent guidelines for raising student fees. Kean was the only university that declined to comply, stating that the reasoning behind its fee increases are clear enough and laid out in the Trustees’ resolutions. Under the newly approved resolution that took effect July, if a student owes more than $200 to Kean and misses one payment, the university can charge a $50 late fee up to four times per semester – or up to $200. The trustees vote increased the cost to enroll in a tuition payment plan from $25 to $40 starting in the spring 2017 semester. The dates of when these fees will start were not in the resolution, and only learned after The Tower inquired about them after the meeting. The late fees will “motivate” students to pay on time, the resolution said. The late fees will help recover administrative costs, follows “industry standards” and promotes “fair student accounting practices,” the twopage resolution said. Students can also apply for a onetime late fee waiver if they request it. When the resolution went up for a vote, Emily Filardo – a Faculty Senate representative to the trustees — yelled out “Discussion?” since she had no microphone. There was a moment of silence before a trustees member yelled out, “No.” The resolution was then passed unanimously, with four members absent at the May 9 meeting. Filardo has no voting power on the board, and at a previous meeting in March she voiced concerns over the current format of the meetings. If she wants to speak during the meeting, she has to sign up for the public comments section, which has a three-minute limit, she said. “No one had a chance to ask any questions,” Filardo said after the meeting. She said she couldn’t comment on the resolution because she “didn’t understand yet what it means.” “It’s a democracy issue,” she emphasized, adding that if it weren’t for journalists covering meetings and asking additional questions, the public would never learn the details of what was passed. Once the trustees returned from their two-hour private session, The Tower approached the two student representatives that sit on the board – Abby Gallego and Christian Meyers (an alternate, who is “non-voting”) — for clarification on the resolution that was just
passed. They referred all questions to the university’s spokeswoman Margaret McCorry, who doesn’t sit on the board and has no voting power. Gellego said she did not vote on the late fee increase, since student representatives are not allowed to vote on “legal issues.” The Tower approached three other trustees– John Kean Jr., Linda Lewis, and Board Chair Ada Morell – and asked if they could elaborate on the resolution they just voted on. Morell said she was “pressed for time” since the meeting was about to go back into session, but declined to talk to The Tower after the meeting. Kean Jr. said he doesn’t sit on the Finance Committee and referred all questions to Morell. Lewis referred all questions to either the university spokeswoman or the Board’s Executive Director Audrey Kelly. After the meeting concluded, Kelly explained that these fees would kick in during the new fiscal year, which starts July 1. That information was not in the resolution. Kelly also elaborated that Kean is looking to start collecting tuition in-house, and not through Tuition Management Systems (TMS), which is a company that allows students to pay for tuition and fees in monthly installments at afford.com. That information was not in the resolution. TMS will be in place for the fall 2016 semester, but the university plans to put a new billing system in place for the spring 2017 semester, said McCorry, the university’s spokeswoman, a day after the meeting. That information was not in the resolution. The resolution did not explain why Kean was looking for a new billing system. McCorry said that Kean is seeking a new billing and payment system that will allow students more “self-service options and a better online experience that is intuitive, sophisticated, and comprehensive for most student accounting services all under one umbrella.” TMS currently charges a $35 late fee each time a payment deadline is missed for students enrolled in their payment plan system. As of fall 2016, TMS will no longer be assessing any late fees, McCorry explained. Kean will charge $50 on any account that is delinquent, whether the student is on a payment plan or not, she added. This information came two days after the Trustees meeting. “Currently, the search for a new billing and payment system is underway and the University has advertised a request for proposals,” McCorry wrote in an email. “In the meantime, we have sought from the Board the approval to be able to create these new fees in preparation for the transition to the new system and to be able to collect the fees directly.” Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutower.com on May 11.
Student Organization presidents weighs in on new late fees By Rebecca Panico Emily Cubilete, the newly elected Student Organization president, said the Board of Trustees’ May 9 decision to increase late fees and the cost to enroll in a tuition payment plan will “help students” once Kean takes over payment services. Student Organization President The vote comes at a Emily Cubilete. time when the university is looking to bring payment services in-house, rather than through Tuition Management Systems (TMS), which allows students to make monthly tuition payments at afford.com. That information was not in the Trustees May 9 resolution and was only discovered upon further inquiry from The Tower. TMS currently charges a $35 fee on late monthly payments. The Trustees vote now allows the university to collect $50 up to four times a semester – or $200 – if a student owes more than $200 to the university. These fees kicked in July 1. Students can apply for a one-time late fee waiver if they request it, the resolution said. Cubilete said this waiver, which TMS never offered, will benefit students. What’s more, the university will give students more leeway with payment deadlines, she said. “So let’s just say if you don’t pay your tuition on time on the first [of the month], but you pay it on the second, you’re not going to be charged that late fee right away,” she said of Kean’s newly planned system. Cubilete officially took office as Kean University’s first female Student Organization president on May 1, though major seats in both Student Org. and Graduate/ Part-Time Student Council remain vacant. Cubilete said learned of the new late fee deadlines after speaking with university officials like the Student Org. director and some Trustees. TMS currently charges a $25 enrollment fee. The Trustees vote also increased the cost to enroll in a tuition payment plan from the university to $40 starting in the spring 2017 semester. Cubilete recognized this increase, but said that overall, Kean students will benefit. “I feel like all this is actually going to help students because the simple fact of all the benefits that’s coming with it,” Cubilete said, referring to the switch to an in-house service from Kean. “This is for students that are just late every time with their tuition. This is not impacting every student, unless you’re always late with your tuition [and] if you are in that payment plan.” Students, she said, will now get to deal directly with the university and not TMS representatives, claiming that students will not have to wait on hold for long periods of time when they need information. Two student representatives on the Board – Abby Gallego and Christian Meyers, a “non-voting” alternate – declined to speak to The Tower at the May 9 Trustees meeting when the fees were passed. Gallego said she didn’t vote on the fees since she isn’t allowed to vote on “legal” matters. Cubilete said that although neither student representatives voted on the late fees at the last Trustees meeting, their voices are still “being heard” when they sit in on committees before the Board votes. The Trustees vote came just two weeks after a state Comptroller’s report looking into student fees suggested that Kean, William Paterson University, and The College of New Jersey create clearer justification for increasing fees beyond Trustees bylaws and resolutions. Kean was the only university that declined to comply with that suggestion, stating that Trustees resolutions were already clear enough. The Trustees’ May 9 resolution that created higher late fees omitted several important facts, such as when those fees would start and that Kean is seeking to do away with TMS. Cubilete declined to comment on issue of transparency which was raised in the Comptroller’s report or the lack of information in the May 9 resolution since she was not present at the Trustees meeting. Cubilete added that she would “absolutely” like to come to future meetings. Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutowre.com on May 18.
THE TOWER 3
New eateries make their way into students’ hearts, stomachs By Adrianna Ruffo Throughout the past year, Kean University had been planning a few pleasant surprises for students once the new semester arrived. On Sept. 1, students were introduced to a number of new eateries this semester: Auntie Anne’s, a famous pretzel chain, Outtakes, the newly renovated convenience store and Smashburger, a Denver-based fast-food burger chain. Au Bon Pain, a casual bakery and cafe chain, is not yet open, but will be coming soon to the new North Avenue Academic Building. Meanwhile, Enoteca Ursino, located in the S.T.E.M. Building, opened over the summer. Smashburger, Auntie Anne’s and Outtakes were officially open to the public in the Miron Student Center. Smashburger’s menu offers a diverse group of entrees, ranging from jalapeno to black bean burgers, in addition to a fan favorite, the appropriately named “Classic Smash.” “Smashburger is my favorite place to eat on campus, it was the first restaurant I saw as they kept advertising it.” said Christina Edme, a sophomore majoring in business management, “I had to try it.” Another student echoed Edme’s sentiment. “I couldn’t wait to try Smashburger because of their hamburgers and fries,” said Megan Campesi, a junior majoring in environmental science. Auntie Anne’s is also quickly becoming a favorite among Kean University students. Known for their variety of different pretzels such as the cinnamon sugar and sour cream and onion pretzels, it’s surely making its mark on campus. “Auntie Anne’s is my favorite place to eat on campus,” commented Michelle Ripa, a sophomore majoring in speech-language pathology. “I love their mini pretzels, hot dogs and the combinations they offer are amazing. The service is fast and the frozen drinks are always a treat after a long class.” Au Bon Pain, a Boston-based bakery and cafe chain, has been highly anticipated by students. “When I heard that Kean is opening an Au Bon Pain on campus, I was so excited to try [Au Bon Pain]” said Alisa Nulman, a sophomore majoring in health information management. “I’m not sure when it will be open but when it does, I’ll be the first person in line.” According to a recent press release from the university, all the new eateries except for Enoteca Ursino will accept Cougar Dollars.
The hours of operation for all of the new eateries are listed below:
Photo: Kean University
Above: Almost always accompanied with a long line, Smashburger is proving to be a popular destination for students. Below: Located in the S.T.E.M building, this “farm-to-table” restaurant brings fine-dining to Kean.
Smashburger: Miron Student Center (MSC) Monday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Tuesday: 11:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday - Sunday: Closed Auntie Anne’s: Miron Student Center (MSC) Monday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday - Sunday: Closed
Photo: Rebecca Panico
Meanwhile, Enoteca Ursino, after undergoing a large renovation, officially opened to the public once again on May 25 in the S. T. E. M. building on Morris Avenue. According to a recent press release from Kean University, Enoteca Ursino “offers a farm-to-table, Italian-inspired menu featuring a variety of local sources and organic produce grown at the adjacent Liberty Hall Farm.” “Through the restaurant, we are raising scholarship money to support students in their pursuit of a worldclass Kean University education,” said Steve Fastook, Foundation board chair in a press release from Kean University. “The restaurant gives us an opportunity to both support our students and bring the community to Kean’s beautiful campus.” So next time you’re on campus and you’re looking for a place to study or relax with friends, you can make a quick stop and grab yourself a treat from one of these fine eateries.
Outtakes: Miron Student Center (MSC) Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Au Bon Pain: North Avenue Academic Building (Coming Soon) Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday - Sunday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Enoteca Ursino: Lunch: To be Announced Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Kean ranks No. 2 for best dorms in the state, study says By Kiana Simone Kean University ranked No. 2 in the state for best dorms among all universities and colleges in New Jersey, according to a Niche.com study. Kean’s dorms were surpassed by Princeton University, a private and much more costly school. This is the second time Kean University has earned a high ranking for its dorms from the same study. Last year, Kean ranked No. 3 in the state. “Our dorms provide a living-learning environment where student success is linked to community engagement, personal development, outstanding facilities and leadership opportunities,” Maximina Rivera, director of residence life at Kean University, said in a press release. This year, The Richard Stockton College came in at No. 3, followed by Ramapo College and Seton Hall. Students that The Tower spoke with gave their dorms praise, but also pointed out the steep cost of living -- a harsh reality for any college student. “Kean University truly provides a sense of home away from home when living on campus,” said Jomari Andeliz.“I’m comfortable, I enjoy myself, and yes I do feel safe while here.” Andeliz went on to say that it is very peaceful dorming at Kean also. “I have never had to really complain about noise or anything like that,” she said. “My neighbors are pretty quiet for the most part. They never really bother me and I get a
good night’s rest. No complaints here.” On the contrary, some students stated although they enjoyed their stay in the dorms at Kean, their pockets took a hit. Ashley Ford, a junior, states she no longer lives on campus but did enjoy her dorm once upon-a-time. “I loved living at Kean,’ said Ford. “I lived in New Upper, which is the most expensive dorm on campus. Although I enjoyed my stay, living on campus was pretty pricey. I had to not only pay to live on campus but I also had to pay to maintain my dorm. Laundry detergent, food, cleaning supplies, soap…That stuff adds up. Then having to pay for books on top of that? Too much.” Each of Kean’s dorms have different rates, with the new upperclassman residence hall coming in at $6,021 -- or about $12,000 annually -- for a single occupancy apartment, according to Kean’s website. Compartively, Princeton University’s average housing rates are $13,620 annually, Niche.com says. Ford stated her dorm was decked out with carpet inside the bedroom and the living room, tiled flooring in the bathroom, and also the kitchen. She said the kitchen area was nice and she even had an additional sink in the hallway which was equipped with a nice full mirror. Niche.com used four factors when ranking colleges’ dorms at the around the nation. Over 164,000 Niche.com users self-reported which university they attended or recently
Photo: Kiana Simone
The volleyball court near the New Freshman dorm hall.
attended and cast opinions about the quality of their dorms. The website also used data from the U.S. Department of Education to assess average housing cost, housing capacity and student housing crime rates. Each of these categories was weighted at 10 percent in the study. Last year, some people on Kean’s Facebook page questioned the credibility of the website’s study since it incorrectly listed Kean in Union City, located in Hudson County, and not Union. The website lists Kean University in Union City again this year.
Kean broke law when purchasing lavish table, state report says By Rebecca Panico | Published June 2, 2016 A state Comptroller’s report showed Kean University broke state law and its own internal policies when purchasing a lavish $250,000 table from China that sits in the sixth floor of the Green Lane Academic building. President Dawood Farahi “gave the green light” to officials at the Wenzhou Kean University (WKU) campus to purchase the table on behalf of the U.S. campus before getting approval from the Board of Trustees, the report found. The report found that the total cost of the table was $250,000, including a $30,0000 life-sized plywood model and modifications to make the table smaller once it was installed. The U.S. campus reimbursed WKU with some creative accounting: It paid for the cost of the table by deducting from the WKU payroll rather than paying a bill to them directly. Public universities are typically required to publicly bid on expensive items to get the lowest price possible, but exceptions are sometimes allowed. The Comptroller’s Office deemed that the two exceptions Kean cited to circumvent the public bidding process and purchase the table directly from China were not justified. Kean pushed back against the findings in the report, saying that it “has significant omissions that explain Kean’s actions” and maintained that Kean officials “acted legally and with transparency throughout the process of developing” the conference table. In its response, Kean said that they didn’t technically purchase the table until December 2014 — several months after the Trustees approved it — since their payroll deductible for WKU didn’t kick in until then. However, a contract was made
between the two universities and WKU paid 60 percent of the cost to the Chinese manufacturer months before the Trustees gave approval. The Trustees approved the purchase and the bid waiver on May 12, 2014, by which point the table was already on a boat headed to the U.S., the report said. Farahi told the Comptroller’s Office that if the Trustees did not approve the purchase, the table would have been sent back to the Chinese campus and they would have remained financially responsible for it. The Trustees were not informed of this agreement and it was not in the contract between the two campuses, the report said. Kean stated that a conference center was envisioned for sixth floor of the Green Lane Building when it was built. Several smaller tables were originally planned for the space, the report said, but the idea for one big, table with electronic capabilities was conceived by Farahi. Philip Connelly, vice president of Kean, issued a statement to all students, faculty and staff on June 1 about the benefits of the table, stating that it has been used for events including policy discussions on solitary confinement, as well as receiving several Chinese officials like Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, and hosting multiple municipal agencies. Farahi told the Comptroller’s Office that that his idea for the conference table was inspired by similar tables he had seen while travelling in Wenzhou, China and Denmark. He said that the original plan did not match the aesthetic of the circular room. Farahi also said there was a “vanity” component to the table that could also be used to attract potential donors, the report noted. A Kean official also interviewed by the Comptroller’s Office said it was “a nod to our partners in China.”
William F. Loehning, a Kean alumnus, recently donated $250,000 to cover the cost of the table. The room where the table sits now has his namesake. The table has generated $22,000 in revenue from rental costs for the university since its installation, the university said late last year. The state Comptroller’s Office was created to investigate public agencies, but has no legal authority. They can only make suggestions for institutions like Kean to improve upon. The Comptroller’s Office made six suggestions. They are: • Ensure that all University staff and Board members understand their responsibilities with regard to purchasing goods and services • Require that all necessary approvals from the appropriate departments and the Board be obtained before Kean officials or their agents are permitted to enter into a contract on the University’s behalf • Confirm that purchase orders are issued and that vendors provide the University with required documents before issuing payment • Utilize public bidding in accordance with the State College Contracts Law in order to foster competition and benefit from potential cost savings • Refrain from alternative payment arrangements for purchases and ensure compliance with University practices and procedures • Ensure that all monies expended for goods and services are the result of a reasonable and organized strategy designed to obtain the best value for the University Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutower. com on June 2.
ARTS & CULTURE
4 THE TOWER
Everybody’s dead in the gallery By Joshua Rosario HurtJohn, an art movement comprised of over 300 artists, dancers, designers, painters, rappers, poets, actors, and songwriters, collaborated with Kean University’s Human Rights Institute and Dryfoos Gallery, to create an exhibit entitled “Movement,” which captures what the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has been trying to spotlight throughout its rise in America. “Everybody’s dead in the gallery, nobody is alive that is being depicted in the gallery” says John Hurtado, former Kean University Student, founder of Hurtjohn, and CoCurator of the Movement exhibit. In the hands of a young, sad, black, male child in a hoodie, a newspaper he brings to his father in what appears to be a sequence of days represented by the shift in colors of the boy’s background and hoodie color. On the paper, each day a different name largely and boldly represented on the paper: Amadou Diallo, Tarika Wilson, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis , Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston, Shereese Francis, Tyisha Miller, Ramarley Graham, and many others. What do these names have in common? They are all names of victims of police violence. Names mentioned often in Protest by The Black Lives Matter Movement. “The thing that stands out to me about that piece is the fact that when you confront that piece, initially, you’re suppose to be a little confused like it’s supposed to be repetitive. What gives it context is Trayvon Martin because you kind of understand
unconsciously, hold on, these are other people that have died and I don’t recognize their names. It makes you think about how many other people have gone under the radar without us actually realizing... without them actually getting their respect.”, Hurtado says, “And that piece we are talking about is a 100 piece set. There’s only 30 pieces up in the gallery because only 30 could fit but there’s 70 other names that the artist has, and the irony of it is that when we put up those 30 pieces, two days later, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile had died...two more names to add.” “This is an important topic that needs to be heard and seen in a certain way,” said CoCurator and Kean alumnus, Gabriel Kissoon, 22. Featuring such works by Joel Lopez’s Blackface Christian and Michael Brown by Fresco, the Curators say the exhibit has been well received by students. In the Dryfoos Gallery, the Curators left note cards for viewers to leave comments about the exhibit. Some of the note cards have been displayed on the HurtJohn Instagram page. “Out of probably I think 70 notes left at the gallery, only one of them were in any way negative it was more so about the aesthetic, they felt it was a bit too graphic. Either way, we knew showing these works were necessary, graphic or not”, said Hurtado. Along with the Movement exhibit, HurtJohn productions sponsors a gofundme campaign to bring more artists of color to Kean University. “The reason I want to bring more people of color, including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, and all other races to Kean
Photo: Joshua Rosario
Michael Brown by Fresco
or to the art world, is because Kean along with other major institutions is the first step towards shattering the glass ceiling. We will open the doors for those who come after us. This is our mission. We will forever change the art world,” said Hurtado. The exhibit runs Monday to Thursday from 11a.m. to 8p.m. through September 28 at The Human Rights Institute and Dryfoos gallery, located in the Kean University library. To find out more about HurtJohn movement follow @HurtjohnCircus on Instagram.
‘Be the very best’ at Kean with Pokemon Go Pokémon fans at Kean University are excited about the latest game in the Pokémon game franchise that is called Pokémon Go. The game was released on July 6, 2016 and it is a free augmented reality cellphone app that uses each players’ GPS and camera to place Pokemon, gyms and PokeStops throughout the entire world. The game starts off by the player registering and then making him or her an avatar and then the avatar will appear on the map when the player finishes creating them. “I like that the virtual world is a reflection of the real world” says 21-yearold Alyson Barr. As the player goes off to find Pokémon they will see that as the player is moving the avatar on the screen will move too. To capture a Pokémon the player must
throw a Pokeball at the Pokémon and then once the player successfully captures the Pokémon then they will take ownership of the Pokémon. If you want to find more Pokemon on campus some of the Poke stops include Nancy Thompson Library, Human Rights Institute, Miron Student Center, CAS, Hutchinson Hall, Gazebo, Greek Life Rocks, Technology Building and the Kean Sign in front of the school. “The game could use some improvements in mechanics and some of its features” said William Fine, another Kean student. Another part of the game is training the Pokémon and players can train their Pokémon in the Pokémon gym where they can compete in the Pokémon League. After a player finishes training their Pokémon and they can choose to have their Pokémon battle another Pokémon at gyms. In a lot of the Pokémon games Pokémon
Kean’s wifi upgrade gets mixed reviews By Elijah Powell Last year, many students had negative experiences with the Wifi connection at Kean University, and over the summer the system underwent some changes. According to the Higher Ed Tech Decisions website, Kean switched from a centrally controlled legacy network to an “Avaya LAN 9100 Series,” with the intention of preparing for the incoming student population who now connect to multiple devices for academic use. It’s been a few weeks since classes began for the Fall semester, which is just about enough time for students -- both residents and commuters -- to judge this supposed improvement. So far, it has mixed reviews. “It’s still not the best, but it’s definitely better,” said Katyana Deleon, with her friends sitting around her nodded in agreement. Some students like senior commuters Brook Rodrick and William Weaver say they “haven’t even noticed” a change from the previous school year. Roderick and Weaver said they shut off their LTE connection while on campus because of past experiences with Kean’s free Wifi where it disconnected at random, causing their phones to use data instead. Depending on the service provider and data plan, random cut-offs like that can mean expensive overage charges. Phone connection is not the only factor. Many students bring laptops, and residents bring personal wireless routers and video gaming systems that sometimes require Internet access. Depending on who you ask, this may add to the inconvenience. “There were a few interruptions and it took us ten minutes to connect [our devices] when we first moved in, possibly because of people having their own hot spots,” said Patrick Misale, a junior who lives on campus. However, Misale and his roommate both own Playstation 4 gaming consoles, which they report have connected well. Sophomore resident Chauncey Patrick who owns an Xbox One, also gave positive remarks regarding the Wifi connection to his gaming console. But when it came to his Iphone, Patrick had a different story to tell. “My phone got worse, and my laptop is slow too,” said Patrick said, who uses AT&T as his phone service provider. Mike Daniel, a junior who commutes, was one of the students who kept his LTE turned off for fear of random wifi cut offs, but his friends surrounding him during the interview laughed about it, saying they considered his service provider, T-Mobile, as the unreliable service. Another T-Mobile customer, Junior commuter Katyana Deleon, said her Wifi at Kean was working pretty well. On the U.S. News & World Report’s website, Kean University reports total undergraduate enrollment of 11,814. If the average student brings a smartphone, a laptop, and a tablet, that means there are about 35,442 devices that need to be connected.
battling is an essential part of the game because it helps make your Pokémon grow stronger. However with the success of the game has come some controversy and concern including recent new of the dangers of safety of players as they go around looking for the Pokémon. The cause for concern is because this game requires you to find Pokémon using your phone and most young people do not always pay attention to where they are going when they are going and that they will get hurt. “I don’t necessarily worry about getting hurt because I can multitask but they need to fix some of the problems within the game like the mechanics,” said 19-year-old Fine. If you have not yet played the game and would like to try it for yourself, it is available to download on the iPhone and Android.
Map view with Poke stops
By Jasmin Kee
Kean University Department of Public Safety Police blotter By: T. Celeste. Mann Sept. 1
Police reported that an unknown person took a victim’s laptop from a backpack around 10 a.m. in Sozio Hall.
An unidentiﬁed person took a PBA shield, phone charger and coins from a victim’s vehicle in Vaughn Eames around 8 p.m., police reported. Sept. 2
Police reportedly arrested a person in Freshman Hall dorm for criminal mischief and underage consumption for alcohol around 3:45 a.m. It was reported that the person pulled the panel of oﬀ the elevator wall and then passed out from intoxication. A 20-year-old Somerset woman was arrested at Rogers Hall for possession of a controlled dangerous substance around 11:30 p.m., police reported. Sept. 3
Theft: Police reported that an unidentiﬁed person took a victim’s cellphone from the back pocket of a victim’s jean’s around 11 p.m. Sept. 4
A 19-year-old South Brunswick man was arrested for underage consumption of alcohol and disorderly conduct around 5:30 p.m on Morris Avenue, police reported. Sept. 6
Police reportedly arrested a 46-year old West Orange man for contempt at 10:54 a.m.
Theft: An unidentiﬁed person took a victim’s iPad from a study station in the Green Lane Academic building. Sept. 8
Harassment: At 9:30 p.m., an person verbally harassed victim and threw a basketball at the victim in Harwood Arena, police reported. Theft: An unknown person took victim’s laptop from classroom in Hennings Hall, police reported. Sept. 9
Motor vehicle accident: Police reported a hit and run in the Kean Hall lot around 10:15 a.m.
At 7 p.m. in the Technology Building, an unknown person broke the rear access door to the point where it was split from top to bottom near the hinge door. Sept. 10 An a person verbally and physically harassed victim on several occasions in Barlett Hall, police reported. Police reportedly arrested a person for verbally and physically harassing a victim in the Hutchinson parking lot around 3:20 p.m. Sept. 11 Criminal Mischief: An unknown person dented, scratched and left pry marks on the outside of the doors on a victim’s vehicle in a visitor’s parking lot around 11:40 a.m., police reported.
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Inside look: The new North Avenue Academic Building By Emily Gonzalez
The new 114,700 square foot North Avenue Academic Building will house the health and computer science programs and the bakery franchise chain Au Bon Pain. Overlooking Phil Rizzuto Park on the corner of Morris and North avenues, it is home to a 500-seat auditorium and an interactive iTouch wall.
Kean concludes no discrimination on campus following internal study By Rebecca Panico A report released May 9 by the university at a Board of Trustees meeting concluded that African American students and employees at Kean are “not subject to institutional or structural discrimination.” The report comes after a coalition of black ministers led by Rev. Ronald Slaughter of the Saint James AME Church in Newark and Kean’s full-time faculty union – the Kean Federation of Teachers (KFT) — alleged racism on campus last semester and called for President Dawood Farahi’s resignation. “The findings of this review support that Kean is diverse and provides an environment that furthers equality and opportunity,” said Linda Lewis, chair of Kean’s Board Governance Committee which headed the review. “Is it a Utopia? Is it striving to overcome societal ills that nurtures bias and discrimination? Yes. It is time for malicious defamation and finger pointing to cease, and a cooperative spirit that moves Kean forward to begin.” The minister’s coalition and others were spurred to action after a former African American graduate from Kean made death threats against black students on campus using Twitter. Rev. Slaughter called the report “ridiculous” and pointed out that former state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace should conduct his own, separate report. Wallace was recommended by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) amid concerns regarding Rev. Michael Blackwell, who was hired by Kean to assist with the report and admitted a bias in an interview with The Tower. “This report is ridiculous and Lewis interviewed no one that would be opposed to Farahi or who have filed grievances,” Rev. Slaughter wrote in an email. “And Justice Wallace isn’t hired to review their report but to conduct his own investigation. I’m not shocked that this incompetent board continues to play games with public money/taxes. Any report
from Blackwell and Lewis shouldn’t be taken seriously.” A university spokeswoman clarified that Wallace has not seen or worked on the report at this point, but it will be forwarded to him, as Farahi agreed to do. Wallace will receive $15,000 for his work, just like Blackwell. KFT President James Castiglione echoed similar sentiments, though he admitted to just skimming through the report, which is over 100 pages long. “Former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Wallace must be allowed to conduct his own, unencumbered independent investigation,” he said in a phone interview. “Perhaps not surprisingly the report fails to address the fundamental issues that we have been raising, namely that Kean’s majority minority student body has far fewer full-time faculty and staff providing student services then their peers at our sister institutions in New Jersey.” The report made four recommendations, which included meeting with the KFT to determine if there are any issues facing African American faculty. “We welcome the university’s stated willingness to meet and we hope that President Farahi will follow through on the recommendation to meet with the KFT leadership,” Castiglione added. Kean’s Board of Trustees voted to accept the findings in the report at last night’s meeting. “The report presented by Ms. Lewis, whose career as a compliance officer gives her expert status in these issues, is an affirmation of the ongoing work of so many in our administration, faculty and student body,” Farahi said in a statement. “We will continue to use best practices to ensure that our community remains richly diverse and that our graduation rates for African American student success outcomes for all students grow stronger each year.” Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutower.com on May 10.
Findings in the report; Graduation rates: 1. Kean had the second-highest ratio of African American students enrolled in any four-year public college or university in New Jersey during 2014. Rutgers had the highest number of African American students, but they only account for 10 percent of the overall student population. This information was found in the appendix of the report. 2. African American students who enrolled in 2003 — the year Farahi took office — had a nearly 30 percent six-year graduation rate. Caucasian students who enrolled in the same year had a 53 percent six-year graduation rate, while 41 percent of Hispanics in the 2003 class graduated in six years. That information was found in the appendix of the report. 3. Twelve percent of African American students who enrolled in 2003 graduated in four years, compared to 23 percent of Caucasian students from the same group. 4. The overall trend for graduation rates of African American students has increased since 2003. Seventeen percent of African Americans in the class of 2011 graduated in four years, while nearly 41 percent of African Americans who enrolled in 2009 graduated in six years. Faculty promotions/terminations: 1. Nearly 8 percent of Kean’s full-time faculty was African-American in 2015, the report said using data from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Kean was the fourthhighest ranking university in the state in this respect. 2. Promotions of African American faculty “lagged” behind the ratio of overall African American faculty on campus, accounting for 4 percent of promotions in the past 10 years, the report said. In the past five years, African American faculty accounted for 6 percent of promotions. Staff promotions: 1. In the past 10 years, Kean’s non-
faculty Caucasian staff gained 53 percent of promotions, the report said using date from their Human Resources department. African Americans earned 21 percent in the same time frame and Hispanics earned 18 percent. 2. From 2010 to 2016, less staff were promoted overall when compared to 2005 to 2010. African Americans accounted for 18 percent of promotions in the last five years. Caucasian staff earned 60 percent of all promotions in the same time frame. Lawsuits: 1. Kean has settled seven discrimination cases brought forth by African American employees over the past 12 years, the report said. By settling, the university admits no wrongdoing. 2. The report noted about three other discrimination lawsuits at other New Jersey colleges and universities – though the report was unclear how Kean compares to other universities or colleges overall in this category. Kean’s Board Governance Committee made four recommendations for improvement to administrators. They are: 1. Increase both the African American and overall graduation rates by meeting with the state Equal Opportunity Fund office to explore new initiatives. 2. Consider more targeted faculty recruitment strategies, including marketing in such specialized areas as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 3. Review full-time faculty promotion procedures with Kean’s full-time faculty union, the Kean Federation of Teachers, to determine if issues are negatively impacting African American faculty and if those can be addressed. 4. Establish job placement tracking research software for Kean University students to ensure more opportunities for success after graduation.
35 new U.S. citizens sworn in at Liberty Hall Museum By Rebecca Panico Thirty-five immigrants hailing from countries as far away as Haiti to France were sworn in on June 20 as United States citizens at Kean University’s Liberty Hall Museum, the university announced in a press release. The naturalization ceremony was a first for Liberty Hall, which served as the home of New Jersey’s first governor, William Livingston, and has been visited by nine U.S. presidents. U.S. Representative Albio Sires, a naturalized citizen from Cuba who served as the keynote speaker at the event, noted the beauty of the museum and Kean’s rich ethnic diversity, according to the press release. “To think that this place goes back to 1772,
and all the history that is here. Today, you are making history as you are sworn in as an American citizens.” Kean University Board of Trustees Chair Ada Morell recalled her own journey from Cuba to the U.S. to become part of an “amazing, supportive and prosperous nation,” the release said. “I know the excitement, the nervousness and even a little bit of disbelief that you are probably feeling today,” she said. “I also know the joy and the pride you will feel at the conclusion of today’s ceremony.” The ceremony took place in a tent strewn with glittering white lights on the Liberty Hall grounds on what was not only the first day of summer, but also World Refugee Day.
“This was so much more than I expected,” said Taissa Vaz of Elizabeth, who emigrated from Brazil. “It was wonderful and beautiful.” All of the new citizens who took the United States Oath of Allegiance at Liberty Hall Museum live in Union County, according to the university. They were born in the following countries: Algeria (1); Angola (1); Brazil (2); Colombia (1); Costa Rica (1); Cuba (1); Dominica (1); Dominican Republic (3); Ecuador (2); El Salvador (2); France (1); Ghana (1); Guyana (1); Haiti (5); Italy (1); Nicaragua (1); Nigeria (1); Peru (2); Philippines (1); Portugal (4); St. KittsNevis (1); Ukraine (1). Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutower.com on June 21.
Thirty-five new U.S. citizens from 22 countries were sworn in June 20 at the Liberty Hall Museum’s first naturalization ceremony at Kean University.
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Type AB? Type O? This diet is according to blood type
By Dr. Josh Palgi Naturopathic physician Dr. Peter D’Adamo first made the blood type diet with his 1996 best-selling book, “Eat Right 4 your Type,” which is still wildly popular today. In his book, D’Adamo claims that a diet based on your blood type will not only bring weight loss, but can assist with allergy and infection resistance and will achieve overall good health. According to Dr. D’Adamo, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance. This reaction is caused by a factor called lectins. People with different blood types digest lectins differently, and that if people eat food that is not compatible with their blood type, they will experience many health problems. On the other hand, if a person eats food that is compatible, they will be healthier and have more energy. The more symptoms you have that are potentially associated with diet, especially gastrointestinal and food allergy-type symptoms (diarrhea, bloating, and fatigue), the more closely you should follow your recommended way of eating. No single designed study has been conducted to either confirm or refute the benefits of the blood type diet. The blood type is just another potential guideline to consider. Here are the types: Blood type – O The type O diet focuses on lean, organic meats, vegetables, and fruits and avoid wheat, corn, oats, and dairy, which can be triggers for digestive and health issues in type O’s. Also type O’s should avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine can be particularly harmful because of its tendency to raise adrenaline and noradrenaline, which already high for Type O’s. Type O’s tend to have sluggish thyroids, so it is advised to not eat members of the Brassica genus, such as cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and mustard greens, because they suppress the thyroid.
Blood type – A Type A’s flourish on a vegetarian diet due to the fact that they have an inadequate amount of stomach acid and do not digest animal protein or fats very well. Once Type A’s eliminate meat from their diet they will find that they have more energy. In particularly eating their foods as natural a state as possible: pure, fresh, and organic will help change their immune system and potentially short-circuit the development the development of life-threatening diseases. Blood type – B The biggest foods to avoid are corn, wheat, rye, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. They all affect the efficiency of their metabolic process, resulting in fatigue, fluid retention and hypoglycemia – a severe drop in blood sugar after eating a meal. Type B’s should also avoid pork and chicken, which form a dangerous lectin that attacks the bloodstream. Type B’s can enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats such as olive oil, flat oil, ghee, and almonds. Type B’s fare better than all the blood types when it comes to dairy foods. Blood type – AB Type AB reflects the mixed inheritance of their A and B genes. They have low stomach acid, but also have type B’s adaptation to meats. Therefore, they lack enough stomach acid to metabolize them efficiently, and the meat they eat tends to get stored as fat. Type AB’s should avoid caffeine and alcohol and should focus on foods such as tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. Avoid all smoked or cured meats. These foods can cause stomach cancer in people with low levels of stomach acid. There are many theories on how an individual should eat, and many diets have been created as a result of these beliefs. Whether a person eats vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or intuitively, it is a very personal decision based on experience and individual needs.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: REBECCA PANICO NEWS-EDITOR: GAIL FREDRICKS SPORTS EDITOR: SARA RIDGWAY FEATURES/A&E EDITOR: ROSE MARIE KITCHEN VIDEO EDITOR: DAVID LONG
STAFF ESTEFANI HERNANDEZ JASMIN KEE MARGARET ORTUSO JEREMY NEGRON ELIJAH POWELL MICHAEL ROCHE
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OPINION PIECES AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
(Continued from page 1)
County jail. On June 24, 2015 Anamdi, was found not guilty of all charges except for the municipal ordinance violation of disorderly conduct, court records say. Anamdi, an international comparative politics major, was set to graduate from Kean just two months after his arrest in 2013, but alleges he had to transfer to Rutgers University because he was placed on a no-trespass list and faced intimidation and harassment from Kean police, according to his lawsuit, which states he graduated from Rutgers in January 2014. The case is still in discovery – a period in which both parties’ lawyers gather evidence in a lawsuit – and no trial date has been set. Discovery ends on Nov. 22, according to Union County Superior Court Civil Case Management Supervisor Andrea Spears. A LOST CELLPHONE CHARGER, AN ALLEGED BEATING According to the lawsuit filed by Anamdi’s lawyer, Tisha Adams, Anamdi and two others were chatting in the Vaughn Eames parking lot on March 1, 2013 where he had dropped them off after a party. Anamdi dropped his cellphone charger and started searching for it on the ground when Kean University patrolman David Balanta drove up to the group and asked Anamdi where he was coming from and whether he was speeding, Amandi’s suit alleges. Balanta drove away after he was “satisfied with” Anamdi’s response, Anamdi’s lawsuit says, but minutes later, Balanta returned with patrolman Chris Blath and stopped at Anamdi’s car. Amandi’s lawsuit charges that Blath stepped out of his car and questioned Anamdi, who was still searching for his charger with the light of his cell phone. Blath asked Anamdi to show identification and Anamdi’s lawsuit says that he complied. Anamdi charges in his lawsuit that when Blath ordered Anamdi to put his hands on the police car, Anamdi asked why, and that “Blath became irate and maliciously beat plaintiff in the head and body with his baton causing severe bruising and lacerations to plaintiff Obidi Anamdi’s head and body.” Amandi’s suit also names Kean University police officers Dylan Cosgrove, Brad Dustin, Keith Graham and Roberto Cruz, who he charges joined Blath in the beating. “It’s very much a traumatic experience,” his lawyer, Adams, told The Tower. “It’s very much one he will never forget. It’s something that he’s going to live with for the rest of his life. It was definitely a violation of his rights.” Police reports obtained through the Open Public Records Act give a different version. Blath’s report states that he and Balanta saw a BMW driving “at a recklessly high rate of speed” at about 2 a.m. when they decided to follow his
car into the Vaughn Eames lot since no one else was patrolling that area. Anamdi ignored Blath’s requests to show identification and smelled of alcohol, a police report states. Blath’s report says Amandi kept his hands inside his pockets after police repeatedly told him to make his hands visible. Blath radioed back-up because Anamdi was ignoring his commands, his report says. Police reports were filed by Blath, Balanta, Cosgrove, Dustin and Graham. Blath’s report alleges that an arrest was initiated for “hindering and disorderly” conduct after Anamdi began screaming and cursing and refused again to make his hands visible. Anamdi was ordered to place his hands behind his back, but allegedly refused and began to push himself off the vehicle causing Cosgrove and Blath to fall into a patrol car. Blath’s report states that additional officers attempted to “subdue” Anamdi while he was still resisting and swinging at officers. At one point, Dustin alleges that Anamdi tried to run away, but grabbed him by his clothing. Officers used their expandable batons to strike him in the legs and hands, police reports say. He was eventually wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. Officers spotted a half-full bottle of ciroc peach vodka lying on the back of the seat of the BMW, Blath’s police report says. Blath’s report alleges that when officers tried to put Anamdi in a police car, he called an officer a “slave driver” and said that they “picked the wrong educated black man to arrest,” before he had to be wrestled into the back of the patrol car. In the patrol car Anamdi allegedly said, “Don’t you know slavery is over” and “you are the white devil.” Police reports also allege that during processing Anamdi said, “I’d kick your ass Officer Balanta see me outside (sic)” and “if you didn’t have your badge and gun I’d beat your ass.” Anamdi’s lawyer says that a video of the incident in the Vaughn Eames lot exists. Police reports also confirm this. The Tower put in an open public records request on June 13 with the Kean University Custodian of Records, asking for police reports and surveillance video from that night. On Sept. 6, The Tower received the police reports and was advised to go to student accounting to pay $1 for the CD that the video was on. “Upon receipt of proof of your payment by cash, check or money order in the above amount, the CD will be released to you,” a letter sent to this reporter and signed by Custodian of Records Laura Barkley-Haelig said. Student accounting was unsure of what an OPRA request was and asked for this reporter’s student I.D. number to make a payment for the CD. Upon showing proof of payment, Meaghan
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Lenahan of the Human Resources department told this reporter that the video was not ready. She did not give a specific date for its release. ALLEGED INTIMIDATION, HARASSMENT ON AND OFF CAMPUS Anamdi’s suit charges that after his release, Blath saw Anamdi giving another student a ride, pulled his car over, and shined a flashlight in Anamdi’s face. He then asked the passenger if she was being held against her will. She responded, “no.” Blath allegedly looked at plaintiff and uttered, “I’ve got my eyes on you,” according to the lawsuit. The next day, Anamdi went to the Kean University Police Department to file a complaint, his lawsuit says. An unnamed officer allegedly began questioning him in an “intimidating manner,” said he had heard about Anamdi’s case and that it wasn’t a good idea to file a report. The officer told Anamdi he should “lay low” and that “staff was instructed by Lieutenant [Vincent] Kearn[e]y not to provide [Anamdi] with any information since [Anamdi] was charged with an indictable offense.” Anamdi left the station without filing a complaint because he was “intimidated and fearful,” his lawsuit says. Anamdi eventually started a security job at Central Park, a restaurant/bar in Roselle. He was employed for approximately three weeks when he bumped into Cosgrove, an officer in the alleged beating, the suit says. Cosgrove allegedly told Anamdi’s supervisor that he was “violent” and a “terrible person who makes trouble and should not be working for Central Park.” Cosgrove also said the restaurant/ bar should not keep Anamdi as an employee because he was a liability, the suit alleges. Anamdi was asked by his supervisor if he was facing charges from the KUPD, and Anamdi told him charges were pending. Anamdi was fired immediately, his lawsuit says. Police reports indicate that Anamdi was put on a no-trespass list, which only allowed him to go to the cafeteria between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., go to class and use the library. Campus police saw him entering Harwood Arena on March
10, 2013 and told him to leave, which he did, a police report says. On March 26, 2013, Anamdi was arrested for defiant trespass since he was in the cafeteria at about 5 p.m. He also had an outstanding warrant from Union Municipal Court, police reports say. THE CHARGES AGAINST KUPD This past May, Superior Court Judge Thomas Walsh dismissed some of Anamdi’s charges due to a lack of evidence, according to court records. The judge dismissed the charges of abuse of process, malicious prosecution and infliction of emotional distress. Judge Walsh also dismissed a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. But Judge Walsh said Anamdi’s lawyer provided enough evidence to claim his civil rights were violated under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. The conspiracy charge — in which Anamdi alleges that multiple officers acted in concert and were motivated by racial discrimination — may also go forward, his decision states. In his statement of reasons, Judge Walsh found that Kean police are not entitled to sovereign immunity, which contends that state institutions cannot break the law and are therefore immune from civil or criminal prosecution. Some members of the Kean University Police Department are no longer working on campus, court records state, including patrolmen Cosgrove and Balanta. Former Police Director Adam Shubsda no longer works at Kean too. Other defendants named in the case include Lt. Kearney, Lt. Darren Simms and Detective Sergeant Annie Coll. Michael Gorman III, who was a sergeant at the time of the alleged incident, is also named as a defendant in court records. Gorman is one of several Kean police officers involved in another lawsuit, first reported by NJ Advance Media, in which a former Kean police officer alleges in-fighting as well as racially and sexually-charged pranks within the KUPD. Editor’s note: This story originally appeared online at kutower.com on Sept. 13.
THE TOWER 7
Athletic training: More than a major, it’s a lifestyle By Sara Ridgway They may not wear a uniform or have a number, but the Kean University students in the Athletic Training Program play a huge role in the success of Kean’s athletes. Unlike most other majors, the AT Program not only requires students to take extensive classes in the healthcare field, but also requires countless hours of rehabilitation and clinical time. Ray DiVirgilio, who happens to be among the first students who graduated from Kean’s AT program, is the Program Coordinator. After graduating in 1986, he has traveled around the country and gained experience working with high school, college, olympic and professional athletes while also earning his Master’s Degree. DiVirgilio elaborated on what it takes to be an Athletic Training major. The aspiring AT’s journey begins during the spring semester of their freshman year. During this semester the students take introductory and lab courses. They then continue to take their beginner AT courses in the fall semester of their sophomore year. Throughout this time period, the students are only intended AT majors and therefore in the first week of Dec. submit their application to the program. “Along with that they have to hand in a reference letter from two people that they worked with either in camps or they were bosses or anything that would tell about their character,” DiVirgilio said. During the spring semester of their sophomore year, each student is required to have a physical done, go through an interview process and score an 80% or higher on a written and oral practical. Throughout this time, and the rest of their time in the program, students must maintain a grade of a B- or higher in all of their Athletic Training classes and a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher. “If they do all that then they are indoctrinated into the program and it doesn’t get any easier,” DiVirgilio said. “As I tell my juniors, I said their first semester is going to be their worst semester and the reason is, is because they’re going to AT courses where they’re learning all these health related courses and they’re also doing clinical time at the same time.” It is understandable how putting in 20 hours a week at a clinic, maintaining high grades as a student and somehow maintaining their own social and personal
life can become stressful very quickly. “So they feel like they never have any time to themselves because like all students they put more time than they should, that they need to, because they get fully engrossed in the program,” DiVirgilio said. DiVirgilio described the program as a family. When a student is putting that much time in and out of the classroom into this field, they are going to gain valuable relationships and bonds with their fellow students, teachers and certified trainers they work with. With the AT community being as small as it is, everyone knows each other on a very close level. Graduates of the AT Program at Kean have found themselves working on each side of the Seattle Seahawks-New England Patriots Super Bowl, with the Carolina Panthers, the Detroit Lions, Circus Soleil in Las Vegas, as well as with the United States Ski Team. While some stay local and some branch out, an Athletic Trainer can find themselves working in a variety of fields. Graduates have utilized this program to further advance their career in the healthcare industry by becoming doctors, physical therapists, physicians assistants and chiropractors. AT’s can find themselves working in any field that is based around physical activity including broadway, stunt actors in hollywood, the military, Nascar, rodeos, dance companies and the FBI. The possibilities are endless in a world that does not stop moving. Students are required to be at Kean during physicals for athletes in the summer. For clinical time students can be assigned to a Kean sports team, work rehabilitation hours at Kean, work at other colleges and in high schools. There is not a set amount of clinical hours each student is required to complete. Instead DiVirgilio described the time spent doing clinical rotations as time spent gaining more experience by working hands on with real patients. The demanding program attracts very high caliber students, but at some point, many will realize the extent of the work they are putting into it, is not for them. There is a traumatic drop in the number of students in the program each year. Currently there are 82 freshman and 48-50 sophomores intended AT majors and there are 15 juniors and 17 seniors in the program. At the end of their journey here at Kean, an AT major will take a certification exam
Photo: Sara Ridgway
Kean University Athletic Training Room
which, in the event that they pass, allows them to be certified around the country. Different states may require a state license and other criteria, but the certification is applicable across the nation. Some international areas also recognize the certification. A junior student in the AT program, Calli Scheuermann, was inspired to take on this major through her experience playing sports since being in grammar school. She has experienced injuries as a volleyball player and can credit athletic trainers for rehabilitating her back to health, in the shortest amount of time possible. “I was extremely grateful for the help that I received while being hurt and I knew that I wanted to assist athletes with their injuries in the future,” Scheuermann said. “I hoped to be able to reciprocate the care that I received unto those who needed it.” With a main goal of receiving her doctorate in physical therapy, Scheuermann has also considered becoming a high school athletic trainer. If she chooses the latter she would pursue a master’s degree in exercise science. Whichever path she takes, athletic training will have served as an essential stepping stone in leading her in the right direction. Scheuermann elaborated on the point DiVirgilio previously made about the
strenuous workload and time commitment it takes being an AT major. She describes being an AT major like being a full-time athlete year round. “If a student is not in class, he or she is either in the rehabilitation facility, setting up for practice, at practice or studying,” Scheuerman said. Athletic trainers assigned to a sports team arrive to practices an hour early and also have to stay after. So a two and a half hour practice for an athlete, can really be at least a four hour practice for the trainers. Now in the fall semester of her junior year, Scheuerman feels she is ready to begin helping athletes with the knowledge and experience she has gained thus far in the Athletic Training Program. She has been working with athletes in rehab since the football team started pre-season on Aug. 13. Throughout the fall she is assigned three rehab slots a week so she can continue gaining valuable experience through interacting with athletes. “They should be commended for what they do because they give a lot of themselves and don’t ask anything in return,” DiVirgilio said. “That’s basically what the profession is. If you’re a giver it’s great for you but you have to make sure you give time for yourself.”
Three gyms for the price of none By Maggie Ortuso The new school year brings new classes, new friends, and possibly a new workout routine. For many students, their motto for the year is “new year, new me.” To renew oneself, students try going to the gym. At Kean University, there are three gyms accessible to students. A gym that is not very well known is the East Campus Fitness Center, which is open during weekdays. There are fewer crowds at this gym, because not many people know about it. “I love the gym at East Campus” said Junior Erika Bott. “It’s Kean’s best kept secret. It’s not as popular as the one at Harwood and it smells a lot better.” When a student or faculty member wants to use the gym, they have to bring their Kean University ID to swipe in. The facilities are free to anyone that attends or works at Kean. One gym is the D’Angola Gymnasium, which is located in Harwood Arena. Students can use this gym every day, including weekends. There is a cardio loft to workout at in D’Angola Gym,
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administrators are joining the university this year. He said Wezhou Kean had it’s first graduating class of 287 students earlier this year. This fall, 500 new freshmen in China were accepted to Wezhou Kean. He said that a lot of construction is ongoing, and that next year faculty housing will be completed. Farahi said that for students looking to study at Wezhou Kean, there is a donor who will pay for the trip there and back. “If you haven’t had a chance to go to Wenzhou Kean... See if you can do it,” Farahi said. “And for students if you’re qualified to go there, and your program is there, you know what’s gonna happen? I have already found a generous donor to pay for your trip to Wenzhou Kean, and back.” He also said the Elizabeth NJ Transit train station is getting a $55 million renovation, which will help fulfill his previously announced plans for a “University Boulevard” along Morris Avenue. The future University Boulevard, which is an idea that the city of Elizabeth supports, would revitalize the campus community stretching the mile between North Avenue and the Broad Street train station in Elizabeth. “We are going to have spectacular things over there,” he said. “A whole bunch of businesses, where you kids, mostly the athletes, will buy stuff you absolutely positively do not need.” He also announced the opening of a new
place to eat on campus, Smash Burger. Farahi complained about Kean’s graduation rate, which an internal report from 2012 marked at 18 percent for four years. Compared to eight other public universities in the state, Kean ranked sixth in this respect. Farahi said he will be requiring departments to come up with plans on how to improve this. “We need to Make sure we have four year graduation moved up,” said Farahi. He explained a few of his ideas on how to improve the graduation rate. “We have to fix our advisement system,” he said. “Some of our students have taken classes that they shouldn’t, some of them are missing classes that they should have taken, and that delays their graduation, it delays their future.” Throughout the speech he praised many of the departments and students. “Our students are not only smart, they’re not only cute, they’re not only the best there is, but they have a sense of public service no other University can match,” he said. Farahi said that receiving a degree from Kean is not to become a millionaire. “If you’re here -- I’m talking to the newbies -- to become a millionaire you have serious psychological problems,” he said. “This is not about the money, it’s about the desire to do something spectacular for somebody other than yourself.”
which includes treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines. Opening times for this gymnasium vary, but Sunday through Thursday it is open until 10 p.m. while on Friday and Saturday it is open until 4 p.m. There is also a pool at the D’Angola Gymnasium, which is open during the week. All students can access this pool with their Kean ID. Another workout space Kean students can utilize is the Carol Hynes Field House located behind Harwood Arena. Typically used by sports teams, but is open to all Kean students, the field house is a smaller gym with less machinery and more free weights. The field house is open on Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For other ways to stay active this semester attend Fit To Be Kean (FTBK) classes. Located in Downs Hall, FTBK offers a variety of classes ranging from Zumba to Ultimate Conditioning. Simply bring your Kean ID and workout. Visit the FTBK page on Cougar Link for the full schedule of classes.
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attend Homecoming as a group Ellis’ influence didn’t stop at the classroom. Co-worker and friend Steven Walters spoke of Ellis’ positivity, his homemade catchphrases and his love of Asian culture and Snapchat. “If you were in a bad mood, he always knew how to put a smile on your face,” said Walters. Dr. Charles Nelson said Ellis was personable, engaged in his work and took time for each individual student. “He was just a person I liked, somebody who was easy to talk to,” said Dr. Nelson. Wilma Velazquez, a T.I.M supervisor, said Ellis was never too busy for people despite a hectic schedule. She said that he took classes full-time, made the Dean’s List last semester, held three other jobs and still found a way to be close to his
Student Government showed that 1,437 students voted, or 9 percent out of a total graduate and undergraduate population of 15,406. Student Organization President Emily Cubilete, who was elected last April as the first female for the position, said it is her job along with the board members to help spread word about elections and to get students involved. “One way we are making this a success is by tabling and speaking to the student body about the positive outcomes you can encounter when elected into a position with
family. “He was just a kind soul.” said Velazquez. Kean University issued a memoriam about Ellis via e-mail on Sept. 9. “The Kean University community mourns the loss of Marcus Corey Ellis, a senior studying history teacher education, who died tragically on August 31.” Ellis is survived by his parents, Jerrell and Yolanda, and his four brothers. Ellis was also known for his unique way of saying goodbye. What he said was, “Love, peace and hair grease.” Love, peace and hair grease to you, Marcus. R.I.P. Students in need of counseling are encouraged to visit the Kean Counseling Center, located in Downs Hall room 127. Employees may seek assistance via the Employee Assistance Program by calling (908) 497-3954.
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Student Government,” Cubilete said. “We have many students that are interested and applying for the positions. We are taking action and moving forward with the applications.” Student Organization advertises their involvement opportunities on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. They can be followed @KeanStudentGov. Any student who is interested in fulfilling any of the positions available can contact Carli Hench, at email@example.com.
8 THE TOWER
Women’s soccer team heads to Costa Rica By Estefani Hernandez The Kean Women’s Soccer Team flew to Costa Rica over the summer to play against three different semiprofessional teams, and came back with memories that will last a lifetime. This is the third time that Head Coach Doherty brought his team to Costa Rica. A total of 21 players attended this trip and stayed for 10 days. The girls first arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica and began their very busy schedule. Head Coach Doherty stated that the girls trained everyday and were scheduled to play a total of three games. Kean lost the first game 2-0, but quickly redeemed themselves with winning their next game with a score of 4-0. The last game the team was supposed to play was cancelled due to bad lightning. “Being able to play at a stadium that seats 15,000 people was the best feeling ever, and just playing the same sport in a whole different atmosphere,” said Shannon Brown, a Junior who is in her third season playing soccer for Kean. Brown stated that her and her team did a lot more than just play soccer when they were on their trip. Despite the busy schedule that they had, the girls found time to volunteer at an orphanage in San Jose, where they spent the day with the kids. The team visited “La Fortuna” waterfall, which is one of the most dramatic waterfalls in Costa Rica with a drop of 230 feet. They also visited the Arenal hot springs. Located at the base of the Arenal Volcano, there is a number of natural hot springs thanks to the geothermal activity that this volcano provides. “Its very important the girls experience the culture that Costa Rica has to offer” Doherty said. The game that was cancelled was scheduled to be at Flamingo Beach Resort. However, the day was not wasted as the other team had a generous amount of fruit set up for the Kean girls to enjoy. Both teams were able to get to know each other better and learn about where they are from. “It was really an amazing time and this trip was so much more than just soccer, it was educational as well.” Doherty said.
New interim head soccer coach focuses ‘on the now’
The soccer team smiles and poses with the kids from the orphanage.
Photo: Shannon Brown
OP-ED Tim Tebow: Baseball player? By Craig Epstein
Coach John Velasco in office at Harwood Arena
By Brittany Pavlichko Kean University announced that previous assistant men’s soccer coach, John Velasco, would take on the position as interim head coach for the Cougars on Aug. 3. Velasco’s focus for the upcoming season, which kicked off on TK, is to live up to former head coach Rob Irvine, who led the Cougars to an impressive 26-14-1 record and two New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) appearances over the past two seasons. “One thing I say is, regardless of how your team is rostered or structured, we take it here one game at a time,” Velasco said. Under Irvine’s leadership, despite the team’s overall winning record from the past two seasons, the Cougars have struggled in conference play with only a 10-8 standing. The NJAC has proven to be one of the toughest conferences in Division III. Additionally, with 10 returning seniors including all NJAC honorable mention players, Steven Osores and Robert Barrera, the program is seeking a deep playoff run this year. “Coach John inspires us every game by constantly reminding us of our goals this season, to win the NJAC championship,” said Carmine Colasurdo, a senior soccer player at Kean University.
Photo: Brittany Pavlichko
“He reminds us of the things we’ve been through as a team, of the extra hard work we have put in day in and day out regardless of the odds against us,” Colasurdo said. Velasco will bring a lot to the table for the men this upcoming season with his educational and knowledgeable soccer background. He has been in four conference championships: two at East Stroudsburg University and two at Montclair State University. He worked as an East Coast Regional Tour Manager at Nike and as an academy staff coach at Columbus Crew Soccer Club. Since Velasco has been in the college circuit for many years, he has seen the diverse cultures of soccer programs, which is his motivation for coaching. He does not face the pressure of Irvine’s success with the team. Instead, he believes it is a great challenge and is going to try his best to continue to build the growth and motivation of the team. “The idea, the goal, would be to continue the growth that’s something the boys would strive for and I know as a coach I would do anything to facilitate that train of thought,” Velasco said. “But I think those are the kind of goals that we want as a team, as a staff and as a program here at Kean.” The next game is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Rutgers-Newark.
On Thursday, Sept. 8, the New York Mets did what 29 other major league teams were unwilling to do: they signed former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow to a minor league contract. This came as a surprise to not only the baseball world, but the sports world as a whole. The following is a brief synopsis of Tim Tebow’s short NFL career: Tebow was drafted 25th overall in the 2010 NFL draft Photo: Creative Commons by the Denver Broncos. The former Florida Tim Tebow at the quarterback took the starting position from Sports Authority Kyle Orton in the middle of the season. To Field at the surprise of many he took the Broncos all Mile High. the way to the playoffs where they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the season, the former Heisman trophy winner found himself out of a position with Denver because they had decided to sign legendary quarterback Peyton Manning. After that, he floated around a couple of other organizations until he ultimately found himself out of the NFL. There are a lot of ‘what if ’s’ when it comes to Tim Tebow’s NFL career. What if the Broncos never decided to sign Peyton Manning? What if he never went to the New York Jets, who were viewed as a circus at the time? What if he listened to many people in football and switched his position? Unfortunately for him, the sports world is not about the what ifs, it is about what is. I asked Kean University’s very own Professor Hunt, who is a big time Mets fan, what he thought of the signing. “If you purely look at it from the stance of Tim Tebow making the MLB, I would say the odds of it happening are remote. If their goal is to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, then it’s more understandable considering he and Tebow share the same agent,” Hunt said. “And, the agent might be more willing to negotiate.” Tim Tebow is just trying to live out his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. It is a little fishy that out of all of the teams that would sign him it is the Mets, considering the feeling among MLB scouts is that he is not any good. Many Mets fans have a feeling that their owners, the Wilpons, run a very stingy organization. Their most recent decisions were to not re-sign now NL MVP candidate Daniel Murphy while they had hesitance in re-signing their slugger Yoenis Cespedes to a longterm contract. Is this a case of the Mets bringing in a big name with a lot of appeal in order to boost ticket sales? Or is this a very strategic move in order to appease the fanbase and sign Cespedes to that long-term deal? Only time will tell. Tim Tebow will begin his professional baseball career on Sept. 19 for the fall instructional league which is located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He is sure to be determined to prove his doubters wrong again.