TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
CHRISTINA HEISER Editor-in-Chief New York drivers will have to keep their hands on the wheel starting Nov. 1, when a statewide law against texting while driving goes into effect. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, a non-profit organization located in Washington D.C., 18 states have already banned text messaging while driving. The association represents state highway safety offices and implements programs to improve road safety. “The best method is to not use a cell
phone at all,” said Jonathan Adkins, the association’s communications director. “What text message is so urgent that it’s worth risking your life or a ticket?” The current New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, which went into effect in 2001, states that drivers must use hand-free cell phone devices, such as a Bluetooth, or other headsets when in a car. This is a primary law, meaning that police officers can pull over and ticket drivers who use their cell phones in the car. Under the new legislation, approved over the summer by the New York State Senate and Assembly and signed by Governor David Paterson, drivers could be fined up to $150 for using handheld
WHAT’S INSIDE News......................2-5 Features..............12-17 Editorials..............6-10 Entertainment....18-23 Comics....................11 Sports.................24-28
devices to send text messages in a moving vehicle. This new bill is a secondary law, meaning that a police officer can only fine drivers for text messaging if they are pulled over for another violation, such as speeding or not wearing a seatbelt. Queens Assemblymembers said they support this bill because of the dangerous nature of texting while driving. “With the fast advancement of technology and convenience, this bill is necessary for saving lives,” said Grace Meng, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Texting while driving is in many ways more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving.” Assemblyman Mark Weprin echoed
MOVIES Whip It Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore star in a quirky comedy about female roller derby. ENTER RTAINMENT Pg. 21
Meng’s sentiments. “Distracted driving creates serious safety risks,” he said. “The ban on text messaging while driving will save lives.” In a study done by Virgina Tech University’s Transportation Institute in July about the use of cell phones while behind the wheel, drivers who text are 23 times as likely to get into an accident, or almost get into an accident, while drivers who talked on their cell phones were only slighty more likely to get into an accident or near-accident.
See TEXTING, Pg. 5 TORCHONLINE.COM
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Directory Managing Board LXXXVII
CHRISTINA HEISER, Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY, Managing Editor KIRAN JOSEN
BILL SAN ANTONIO
Editorial Page Editor Photo Editor
Chief Copy Editor
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Inferno Broadway Stars on Glee Actors and actresses are moving from Broadway to the Small Screen.
Inferno Pg. 20
Campus Spotlight Henley Road Faculty members and students try a new living arrangement in the Henley Road off-campus residence halls.
Features Pg. 12 TORCH PHOTO/ BRIAN LOPEZ
Men’s Soccer Out of the Slump The men’s soccer team broke its scoring drought in a 1-1 tie against Villanova on Saturday.
Sports Pg. 26
Student groups stress Census participation RAMIRO FUNEZ Staff Writer
OPINION PG. 9
7 Oct. 2009
Students enjoyed Dippin’ Dots and other treats at the San Gennaro Feast in front of St. Augustine Hall Oct. 1. The event was held in honor of Italian Heritage and Culture Celebration on campus.
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St. John’s Phi Iota Alpha and Lambda Pi Chi chapters sponsored an event recently promoting census participation by undocumented immigrants to allow the legislation of the act. “If people speak up for themselves as undocumented immigrants, this issue can be taken care of,” said Shamil Rodriguez, campaign field director for Joseph Crawley, a U.S. Congressman. “Latinos have to confront this issue,” he added. “We need to find students to help us so we can spread the importance of participation in the census.” Rodriguez explained that filling out the census will not lead to criminal prosecution against undocumented immigrants. “Title 13 of the U.S. code protects information given by participants of the census from law enforcement entities or other law enforcement agencies,” he said. Walter Rosales, member of Phi Iota Alpha supported the goal of the event, saying that immigrants should have “just as much opportunity to receive an education like anyone else.” “By giving Latinos citizenship so that they can attend college, their incomes can
increase- allowing the state to tax at higher brackets which would eventually stimulate the economy,” he said. According to its web site, the U.S. Census Bureau utilizes its questionnaire to determine necessary hospital locations, housing developments, and other community facilities. The information provided is also used for decision making on all levels of government to allocate $400 billion throughout states. “It’s an important issue. Undocumented immigrants should have input in the census so that there aren’t any discrepancies,” said Daniel Santos, a student who attended the event. Census questionnaires will be mailed to homes in March 2010. Households that do not respond are visited by census takers who administer the questionnaires personally. “Undocumented or not, this issue concerns everyone in the country,” said Onias Pacheco, partnership specialist of the 2010 U.S. Census. “If we don’t count correctly, false information will be used for city planning of expenses.” The Latino organizations have joined 68 universities in more than 23 states to advocate legislation for the newly introduced Dream Act. If passed, the act would annually allow more than 65,000 undocumented high school graduates permanent residency while attending college.
D’Angelo Center gets University’s blessing Members of SJU community gather for dedication ceremony EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor
TORCH PHOTOS/ TWASON LAMONT
St. John’s president Rev. Donald Harrington (second to left), Peg and Peter D’Angelo (center) and the rest of the D’Angelo family were present for the blessing and dedication ceremony of the D’Angelo Center on Oct. 4 NEWS
community was invited to tour the facility. After the ceremony, Rev. James Maher, vice president of Student Affairs, said touring the building left him very impressed. “It’s a majestic, dignified space for our students,” he said. “I think so many of our students come from such challenging circumstances and it’s a wonderful space that really creates a home and a dignified space to live together and learn together and grow together.” Dr. Julia Upton, university provost, said she has seen St. John’s make great strides since the master plan was first approved 13 years ago. “On that day, it was only about the buildings,” she said. “But to live through those years, it has really been a transformation of this campus.” “I don’t think I could have imagined how much the addition of these new buildings would change and shape us.”
The TORCH Students can expect to move into the D’Angelo Center, St. John’s new five-story, $77 million student and academic facility, around Thanksgiving.
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7 Oct. 2009
During a blessing and dedication ceremony of the new D’Angelo Center Oct.4, University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington said the construction of the new five-story, $77 million building now gives the University all the facilities it needs to “better serve our students the way they need to be served.” “Today, we complete that plan,” he said during the ceremony. “Today, that plan comes to fruition and this campus is now transformed. “The new St. John’s that we dreamed of is a reality,” he added. Final touches are being made to prepare the D’Angelo Center for occupancy after Thanksgiving, according to St. John’s design and construction officials. The creation of the structure, which has yet to open, marks the ending stages of the University’s master plan, originally approved in 1996, Rev. Harrington said. This was a plan developed to convert the Queens campus from its origins as a commuter-only school into one that could handle and support resident students. Over the years, the master plan has lead to the construction of seven oncampus residence halls along with the Townhouses and three other off-campus residence halls, Montgoris Dining Hall, athletic facilities such as Taffner Fieldhouse, St. Thomas Moore Church and other renovations to pre-existing buildings. The D’Angelo Center, located next to Sullivan Hall, hosts 14 additional classrooms, a central and recreational lounge area for students, new offices for student organizations, a dining cafeteria and Starbucks cafe. The building is planned to replace the current University Center as one of the main centers of on-campus activity. Board of Trustee members and St. John’s alumni, Peter and Peg D’Angelo, were also on hand to witness the unveiling of the building named in their honor. During his speech, Peter D’Angelo said he was still getting used to seeing something bear his name. “Until now, I only thought my name was going to be engraved in stone one time, and I wasn’t looking forward to it,” he said. “St. John’s has undergone more than a decade-long transformation from a commuter school to a world-class residential school and this building is another step in that process.” His wife said the couple is proud they have left a lasting mark on the University. “Peter and I are humbled by this tribute but we are also pleased by the excitement the new center had generated on campus,” she said. After the remarks, Rev. Harrington and Rev. Alfonso Cabezas, C.M., Bishop emeritus of Villavicencio, Colombia, blessed the building and the St. John’s
An inside look at the Dâ€™Angelo Center Compiled by Twason Lamont Layout by Sara Rhodes
The First Floor Dâ€™Angelo Food Emporium will host new food options.
Starbucks Coffeehouse on the third floor.
7 Oct. 2009
A game lounge near student organizations offices on the first floor.
A central lounge area on the second floor.
One of the multi-purpose rooms located on the fourth floor can act as a dining and banquet hall.
Career Week draws to a close NELL O’CONNOR Staff Writer Career Week ends today with the Fall Career Fair in Taffner Fieldhouse. More than 100 potential employers will be there to accept resumes for internships, as well as full-time and part-time positions. Companies include GEICO, Wells Fargo, MTV and Abercrombie & Fitch. The Career Center organized Career Week, a week-long series of events focusing on getting students ready to enter the job market, for the first time this year. Patricia McManus, director of the Career Center, said she wants students to become aware of the opportunities the Center offers throughout the year and believes that this week will help do so. “We’ve been working on repackaging our events, trying to create a little buzz about what we have to offer,” she said. Career Week kicked off Sept. 29, with the Fall Academic Internship Fair. More than 850 students attended the fair, meeting with representatives from more than 100 companies, such as Cablevision, Sirius XM Radio and Time, Inc. McManus said that students should keep their options open and not limit themselves to one type of organization. “Almost every industry needs a wide array of employees, so students need to look where they least expect to find a job,” she said. Students were given helpful internship tips at a presentation by MTV. Suzanne Rosenthal, director of College Relations at MTV Networks, spoke to students about how to go about getting internships, as well as the opportunities at MTV and its
affiliates, including positions in production, business, or managing video libraries. Rosenthal informed students that MTV Networks gets thousands of internship applicants a year and that they can only accept upperclassmen. Rosenthal spoke about the laid-back office environment at MTV. “On any given day you could see somebody skateboarding down the hallway or hear someone blasting music in their office,” she said. Rosenthal said students should try to intern during their last semester of college so that they will be fresh in the memories of the people they worked with. She also said students should keep in touch with co-workers in case any jobs become available or need a reference for other jobs. She also spoke about the importance of being punctual and keeping good attendance during an internship. Freshman Brandon Prescott, said he thought the seminar was helpful. “Hopefully I can take the advice given to me here and apply it to getting an internship anywhere I want, whether it be MTV in the future or something else right now,” he said. Students who attended the internship fair had mixed reactions. “I thought it was okay in concept but there were not enough companies there,” said Andrew Mello, a junior. Senior Susan Choi shared similar feelings. “There were a lot of companies that most people hadn’t heard of,” she said. “The only thing that really upset me was that there wasn’t a lot of opportunities for broadcast journalists.”
TORCH PHOTO/ MICHAEL SILVESTRI
Suzanne Rosenthal (right) from MTV, discusses career
Additional reporting by opportunities at the network during St. John’s Career Week Anthony O’Reilly
New law prohibits cell phone use behind wheel
Continued from Page 1 “I’ve actually done it myself, but I think it’s a stupid idea,” she said. Both of these students said they support the new bill being passed in New York. “I think it’s good because some people don’t look at the road [while texting],” said Wiltz. Hidalgo shared a similar feeling. “I think that it [the bill] is great,” she
said. “It will save some lives.” Sophomore Sila Havard said he texts while driving depending on how much traffic there is. “If I’m just cruising, I’ll text,” he said. Junior Bora Lee said that her friend got into an accident because she text messaged behind the wheel. “My friend got into an accident
because she skidded and didn’t brake in time,” she said. Junior Cesiah Moreno, who has texted while being stuck in traffic, said she thinks accidents can easily happen if someone texts while driving. “If you’re not paying attention, it’s one of those things that can happen in one second,” she said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Some St. John’s students said they have text-messaged while driving. “I’ve driven and texted. I’ll hold my phone in one hand and I still look at the road,” said Michelle Wiltz, a junior. “It’s better to wait until you’re at a red light. It’s better to do it [text message] in a residential area.” Kierby Hidalgo, a junior, also said she has text-messaged while driving.
Campaign gives people the opportunity to quit smoking on campus can go if they’re thinking about quitting.” People can pledge to quit smoking via the groups’ STJ Quits Facebook page. Marion and Marilena Minucci, assistant director of Student Wellness Education and STJ Quits faculty advisor, said the success of the campaign hinges as much on their support services as well as on the individual looking to quit smoking. “When you make a pledge to stop smoking, it’s going to be an honor system to a point,” said Marion. “We’re not going to call people every hour and ask ‘did you have a cigarette?’ “They need to take the first step and say I want to quit and that’s the only way we can help and say this is how you can start.”
Marion said although the campaign works to get people to stop smoking, they are not advocating that a smoking ban be put into place at St. John’s. “I think that would be a drastic step for any university, especially ours,” she said. “But I don’t think it would be the right way to deal with it because that’s not going to stop people from smoking, it’s just going to increase the amount of people that will go off campus to smoke.” Minucci added, “We will try to be consistent in supporting them. “Sometimes it takes several attempts [at quitting] to be successful. So we are looking into more ways we can continuously reach out so that people know they have a method of support.”
Society. “We are hoping to do a luncheon event and invite people who have been actively involved in STJ Quits, people who have already quit and they want to share their stories with others and we just want to make it a celebration and give recognition to these people who have quit,” Marion said. In the future, organizers of STJ Quits say they hope to also hold focus and support groups to offer further aid to people who want to quit smoking. “We feel that there is a very high percentage of smokers on campus and we feel that a lot of people probably do want to quit but don’t really know where to turn,” Marion said. “We want them to know that we are here and that there are places they
A new student-run campaign created this semester aims to help people kick the smoking habit. The campaign, STJ Quits, assists anyone in the St. John’s community looking to stop smoking. “We’re looking for positive outlets for people who want to quit smoking,” said Jena Marion, a junior and one of the campaign coordinators. “We don’t want to take cigarettes right out of peoples’ mouths and tell them to stop smoking and we don’t want to bombard them with pictures of what could happen to them if they continue to smoke
because we think people know that already. “We want to focus on something a little more positive.” The inspiration for STJ Quits came from the NYC Quits campaign from the New York State Department of Health. The group said they had about 30 people signed up to receive assistance from them during the Wellness Fair Sept. 22. Currently, the group provides resources for people who have expressed an interest in quitting smoking, such as ways to get in touch with services offered by Queens Hospital and the Smokers’ Quit Hotline. In November, the group plans to host “The Great American Smokeout,” an event sponsored by The American Cancer
7 Oct. 2009
EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor
Editorial Board LXXXVII
CHRISTINA HEISER Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor KIRAN JOSEN News Editor JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor
FLAMES OF THE TORCH
7 Oct. 2009
Texting and driving Driving in New York State will be a little bit safer in a month when a new law goes into effect to crack down on the growing trend of texting while driving. The new law makes it possible for people to be fined for sending text messages while driving a car, a dangerous maneuver that has become a daily reality on many roads, not only in New York, but across the country. The lure of an unread text message or the ability to quickly communicate with others creates a temptation difficult for many drivers, especially younger ones, to resist. Cell phones have developed into a device so essential to our everyday lives that we seldom go anywhere without them, and we use them for organizing, e-mailing, and most importantly, staying in contact with people. The technology involved enables us to be accessible 24/7 in multiple ways that are fast, impersonal and highly convenient. But while these phones are modern devices that bring luxury and clarity to our lives, the reality is that they become deadly distractions when drivers decide to pick them up. Cell phones are perhaps the biggest culprits for creating distracted drivers on our streets, and the new law that was recently set in place will not fully eradicate the problem. Every day people wreck their cars and cause serious injury to themselves and others around them because they couldn’t wait until they finished driving to send their next text message. The new law may classify texting while driving as a fairly small infraction, but killing someone in an accident is not so small a crime.
Drivers should really think about the implications of texting at the wheel and realize that it only takes one slip of the wheel to end up off the road or in a head-on crash. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the bad habits of friends and people around us, but it is never safe, or sensible, to distract yourself with a phone while driving a car. In order to avoid the temptation, drivers could put their phones out of reach while driving, or silence their ringer to avoid distraction. By taking action against a bad habit, it becomes easier to avoid the danger. While the new law enables police to impose up to a $150 fine for texting behind the wheel, it is only considered a secondary offense, meaning drivers cannot be pulled over solely for texting. This lessens the capacity of the enforcement, and may not be enough to completely dissuade all drivers from partaking in the risky act. So while this new law may not necessarily invoke the fear of God into drivers who text, drivers should understand the real dangers involved and take responsibility for their driving. The only way that we can truly expect to see change in the bad habits of modern drivers is to not adopt these habits ourselves. If you are a driver who frequently uses the phone while driving to your next destination, consider the dangers involved, and think of ways to make it impossible for you to be tempted by the phone. Breaking a habit can be a hard thing to accomplish, but putting the phone away for the drive should be a primary concern for all drivers.
EDITORIAL POLICY Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of The TORCH. Columns are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of The TORCH. Opin-
ions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.
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TORCH ILLUSTRATION/CATHARINE CORRIGAN
Letters to the editor To the Editor: Twelve years ago this month I got involved in the fight to end Nike’s sweatshop abuses. Twelve years is one third of my life. It’s somewhat surreal when I think of it like that. In 1997, I was in my first season as a graduate assistant coach with the Men’s Soccer Team at St. John’s University, the defending NCAA Division I National Champions. Along with my coaching, I was pursuing a master’s degree in Theology. For one of my first classes, I was charged with writing a research paper linking moral theology and sports. I researched Nike’s sweatshops in light of Catholic Social Teaching. Simultaneously, the STJ Athletic Department was negotiating a $3,500,000 million endorsement contract with Nike. Within six months I was at the center of a campus-wide debate over whether STJ should ink the deal. Within 10 months I was given an ultimatum by my head coach: “Wear Nike and drop this issue, or resign.” I resigned in protest and became the first (and still the only) athlete or coach in the world to say “no” to taking part in a Nike endorsement deal because of their sweatshop abuses. The New York Times and the AP Wire
picked up my story and I became an instant expert on the sweatshop issue. My critics charged that those were “great jobs for those poor people” and that “you can live like a king on a sweatshop wage in places like Indonesia.” I knew from my research that they were wrong, but I wanted to prove it. In July 2000 I lived with Nike factory workers in Indonesia. I lived in conditions they lived in and on the wages they were paid - $1.25 a day. I lost 25lbs in a month in a rat-infested slum in Tangerang, Indonesia, home to tens of thousands of the women and men who produce the Nike sneakers worn by all athletes and coaches at SJU. Following that initial immersion in 2000, I conducted field research in 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2009; I took part in demonstrations on three continents; I met with an Indonesian President (Wahid) and members of the U.S. Congress; I led workshops and listening sessions with Nike workers from a dozen factories in Bekasi, Bogor, Bandung, Balaraja, Tangerang, and Jakarta; I lobbied Nike shareholders and was escorted by police from at least one shareholder meeting; I produced a short documentary, “Behind the Swoosh” and am currently producing a feature documentary and writing a book, both under the title, SWEAT; I lectured at more than 400 schools in 39 states and in three different countries; and I
Maintaining political enthusiasm
Student interest suﬀers in the wake of the presidential election
I, like many of my fellow St. John’s students, am rarely interested in politics. But with the election of President Barack Obama last November, something magical happened. Obama offered the country a fresh perspective and a new hope for the future. Not only that, he ignited passion in so many young adults, including myself. This is a passion that hasn’t been seen in decades. As I worked on an issue of The TORCH the same night as the election, I saw the energy that Obama’s win created on campus. It was truly amazing to see the response from the St. John’s community when the results were announced. I’ve never seen St. John’s students so excited about anything while I’ve been a student at this university. However, with local New York City elections about a month away, the excitement that Obama’s campaign generated among youth voters seems to have died out. “There has been a drop off, overall, in college students’ interest in politics from last year,” said Brian Browne, assistant vice president of Government Relations at St. John’s and one of the coordinators of the Participate in ’09 initiative. “I don’t think you see the same excitement as this time last year.”
The TORCH interviewed a few students last week for a story about the upcoming elections, and many of their answers echoed what Browne said. A lot of students who said they are registered to vote in New York said they are not interested in these elections. Some students also said there’s not enough media attention surrounding these candidates for them to be fully aware of who they are and what they stand for. I can see where these students are coming from. While there has been some attention paid to the democratic candidates for comptroller (John Liu) and public advocate (Bill de Blasio) because they had to have a runoff race last week after their primary results were too close, I admit that I don’t even know who their republican opponents are. But in the race for mayor, it seems as if Mike Bloomberg has continually controlled the media, not just during this campaign, but during all three of the times he has run. He has more money than his opponent Bill Thompson (and just about anyone for that matter), so I can understand if students are not as aware of Thompson, since Bloomberg seems to have overshadowed him. During this campaign alone, Bloomberg has spent more than $60 million of his own money, while Thompson has spent about $4 million, half of the $8 million he received as donations and public funds. St. John’s is doing its part to keep young voters aware and informed about these local elections. Last year, the University launched Participate in ’08, a successful initiative co-sponsored by College Democrats, College Republicans, Student Government, Inc. and a few faculty members. This year, the initiative is back under the name Participate in ’09, with a focus on New York City elections for mayor, comptroller, public advocate and many
city council positions. Since the beginning of the semester, Participate in ’09 has hosted forums where candidates running for comptroller and public advocate visited the University in an effort to define what their role in city government actually is, (comptroller is the chief fiscal officer for NYC and public advocate acts a watchdog of the city govenment ), and they informed young voters on their positions on various issues. In addition to this, College Democrats and College Republicans are hosting voter registration drives until Oct. 9, the deadline for voter registration in New York. If you haven’t already registered to vote, this is a fast and easy way to do so before the November elections. “The old cliché ‘all politics are local’ is very much applicable and that’s why it’s important to know what’s going in on in the neighborhoods right around you,” said Browne in an interview with a TORCH reporter last week. Browne is definitely on target. For example, last week, I wrote about Bloomberg’s potential smoking ban in city parks and beaches—if you’re a smoker, this would have a direct effect on your life. Therefore, it is extremely important to be informed about what all of the candidates stand for. Although these local elections are not of the same magnitude as last year’s presidential election and the candidates may not be as inspiring as Obama, the decisions they make will have an impact on your life.
Christina Heiser is a senior English major. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the editor (continued) the causes of poverty and social injustice,” (SJU Mission) have abetted Nike in promoting the lie that they “fixed those sweatshop problems.” They did not. How do I know? I was in Indonesia as recently as August 2009 and in my meetings with workers I heard all too familiar stories of inadequate wages, forced overtime, illegal firings for union organizing, workers being cheated out of pay, etc. In part, what made this trip slightly different, was that Caitlin Morris, Nike’s Director of Sustainable Business and Innovation, accompanied me. So now, when I put forth a charge about Nike’s sweatshop abuses, Nike (and Fr. Harrington) cannot say it isn’t true as Ms. Morris was in the room with me when the latest round of videotaped allegations were made. Now, some may want to give Nike a tremendous amount of credit for sending Ms. Morris to Indonesia with me and for taking action on the aforementioned
menstrual leave and union organizing issues. I give Nike no credit for these. Why? Because Nike did not make any of these improvements voluntarily; they needed to be publicly embarrassed and pilloried to make each of these changes. Congratulating Nike for discontinuing these corporate crimes would be like congratulating a thief for no longer stealing or congratulating a rapist for no longer raping. So, what do we do to get Nike to take action on the wage and collective bargaining issues? The same stuff we did to get them to move on the other human rights violations. We engage, we demonstrate, we publicly embarrass, and we organize, organize, organize!
met with representatives from Nike at all levels, including Nike founder and chairman, Phil Knight. Has there been any progress? Has anything changed? Yes. For example, because of the pressure that was placed on Nike by consumers, women workers no longer have to prove they are menstruating to get their legally guaranteed leave. Also, workers are no longer beaten with machetes or threatened at gunpoint for union organizing activity. However, while we have seen the progress mentioned above, we still have no movement on the two most important issues - Nike workers are still being paid a poverty wage and Nike still refuses to bargain with their workers in good faith. Why? Because Nike has lied about working conditions and many in the SJU community who claim to “devote (their) intellectual and physical resources to search out
Jim Keady, SJU ’99
How do you feel about St. John’s getting a football team?
COMPILED BY THOMAS CARNEVALE
7 Oct. 2009
Kareem Porter Sophomore
It’s lousy. Going to college and football go together. It would be beneficial for the school to have a team.
I think it would be more fun to have a football team because a lot of big schools have it and it would bring lots of school spirit.
I’m a little disappointed that we don’t have a team. I think it would be good to have one.
Kingsley Osuji Junior
Lauren Cramer Sophomore
Kristen Turchioe Senior
I am very disappointed that we don’t have a football team. It would provide a much better sense of school pride.
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KERI DODGE
St. John’s Football
7 Oct. 2009
Should St. John’s think about bringing a football team back to the athletics scene? MARK MCDONALD General Manager
JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor
At most universities, Saturdays are a hallowed event filled with tailgating, school spirit, and a football game. College football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, a growing phenomenon that even garners the attention of the President. Although St. John’s has many high-quality sports, it is lacking a football team. Student engagement and school spirit are two issues that people consistently criticize at St. John’s. Although it is not a sure-fire solution, college football teams have been a consistent way to galvanize students into unifying for other universities, so why wouldn’t it work at St. John’s? Having a football team could be a solution to the identity crisis that St. John’s has been experiencing for many years now. It is a social event that many are sure to enjoy, and could result in a more tightly knit student body. The image of walking into DaSilva Field on a Saturday afternoon to a sea of red shirts, the sound of cheering fans, and the feeling of intense competition add together to create an experience that would surely keep the student body coming back for more. While other sports are great, football is a proven way to engage students at many universities. Going to a college football game is an experience that no other sport can provide. Every possession is intense. Game-changing plays can happen any second, making each and every drive intense and filled with excitement. The thrill of watching and experiencing a team as it plays through different weather conditions makes you feel almost like a part of the team. College football also ignites intense school-to-school rivalries that add a dynamic element of entertainment to the experience. Some may believe that the cost of bringing in coaches, preparing facilities, and scholarships for the players themselves will cost too much money, and that the investment in a football team will not bring a return. However, athletics are usually big moneymakers for colleges, and football is among the biggest. If St. John’s were to add a football team, it would almost certainly result in more revenue for the school. From the national coverage to the TV rights, the income from a college football team would be significant. Ticket sales, merchandising, and food sales are just a few of the areas that would see increases as a response to the addition of a football team. In addition to these benefits, having a football team would help in recruiting new students. The allure of college football is something that many prospective students take into heavy consideration when choosing a school. A football team and the way that students embrace the experience is often used as a gauge for how involved and school spirited the general student population is. Overall, a football team is something that could be used to help light a fire under the student body of St. John’s and change the attitude of the entire school. From apathetic to excited, uninterested to intrigued, a football team could change St. John’s from a cold-weather front into a full-fledged Red Storm.
St. John’s is a university steeped in athletic tradition. The volleyball, tennis, fencing, baseball and lacrosse teams have all experienced some form of national success in past and recent years. Last year, the St. John’s men’s soccer team earned one of the best records in the country, making it all the way to the Final Four and finishing the season ranked as the third best team in the nation. And, of course, the basketball program is perhaps one of the biggest contributors to the school’s national recognition. Mention St. John’s to anyone outside of New York State, and they’re sure to recall the school’s Big East success and the glory days of Lou Carnesecca. It is for this reason alone that it shouldn’t surprise new St. John’s students that the school does not currently, nor will they ever, have a competitive football team. First of all, the financial backing is simply not a reality. With the immense size of the school’s basketball program, the large-scale media, advertising and sustainability costs that come with it, St. John’s simply could not afford to take on another big team. In addition to the giant cost of running the basketball program, SJU team sports like baseball and soccer are also competing at the highest national collegiate level, and to maintain an additional football program would simply be too much. The St. John’s athletics and media offices would likely have a difficult time juggling the responsibility that comes with college football in addition to the responsibility they have to all the current teams. This leads to the next problem involved: the St. John’s athletic landscape is already filled with a substantial cast of Red Storm teams. The University’s current host of sports teams have enough trouble as it is consistently drawing large crowds and student interest; a new football team would only further bury these teams. As if these reasons weren’t enough to refute any talk of a possible Red Storm football team, the University also lacks the proper facility to host college football. Other Northeast schools with current football programs like Boston College, UCONN, Temple and Syracuse all have football stadiums that can seat thousands – a drastic converse from the seat-less DaSilva Field. If St. John’s were in the process of developing their own football team, a proper facility would have to be erected that could account for the fan’s, media’s and player’s needs. Once again, the financial reality of this project would prove extremely difficult, especially in the wake of the new $77 million D’Angelo Center, which ironically sits on the old bleachers of DaSilva Field. All of these factors and realities just do not add up to bringing football to St. John’s. Considering the financial mountain and lack of proper venue, it would be too much to expect a St. John’s football team anytime soon. Though a football team could bring newfound school pride, entertainment, and joy to football fans on campus, students will have to settle for what they’ve already got: a great college athletic scene with history, variety and top-class athletes. TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KERI DODGE
Reality family TV stars get more than they bargained for PATRICE BENDIG Features Editor
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KATRIN ASTARITA
ACORN cracks RACHEL DOLCE Staff Writer
and have been strong supporters of President Obama even before he ran in the 2008 election. Therefore, ACORN is clearly not a non-profit and not nonpartisan group. Every organization has its political views and beliefs, but it’s something quite different for the organization to not be clear or honest about its political affiliations. What is more troubling is why a number of politicians, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama say that they knew nothing about ACORN getting federal funding or about any of its questionable activities. President Obama said in an ABC interview on Sept. 20 that he didn’t know that ACORN got a lot of federal funding and that it’s not an issue he’s been following closely. Yet, according to David Brown, a reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, President Obama paid ACORN $800,000 for its voter registration services in the 2008 election and he also worked with Citizens Service INC to help increase voter participation. CSI says that it is a separate organization from ACORN, yet it is headquartered at the same address as ACORN’s New Orleans’ office. It is understandable that President Obama is trying to downplay his past affiliation with this organization, and he even said that the actions of its employees on the videos were inappropriate. As Speaker of the House, Pelosi has access to an unlimited amount of information about committees and the organizations that get tax payer dollars so it is unlikely that she knew nothing about this group. Only now that these videos have been released to the media is she saying that the House Appropriations Committee will investigate ACORN. There should have been an ongoing investigation into ACORN’s activities a long time ago. It is very disconcerting that many politicians who have had contact with and even done business with this group now deny knowing anything about it. It is only now, as more states look into the offices in their areas that they are finding more corruption. Voter fraud has been a common problem in a number of states that have ACORN offices. For example, in New Mexico, 1,100 suspicious voter registration cards were found with incorrect birthdates and social security numbers. Hopefully, this situation will serve as a learning tool for Congress, which needs to be more watchful of what groups get tax payer dollars and what these groups do with that money.
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On Sept. 10, filmmaker James O’Keefe and freelance journalist Hannah Giles, secretly videotaped a meeting they had with an ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) employee at the organization’s office in Baltimore, Maryland. Posing as a pimp and prostitute, they sought advice on how to open an illegal brothel and get government funding for it. Instead of the ACORN employee turning them away, or reporting them to the police, she gave them in-depth advice on how to go around filing taxes and how to get government funding for their “business.” The ACORN employee told Giles to declare her occupation as a performing artist so it wouldn’t look suspicious on the paper work and instead, as a prostitute, she could get federal aid. In addition, the ACORN employee told the “pimp and prostitute” to declare the underage, illegal alien girls who would be working in their brothel as dependents so they would get a federal tax deduction. This is just one in a series of undercover videos exposing ACORN’s illegal activities. The other videos were recorded at the organization’s offices in a number of cities. Now ACORN’s offices in at least 20 states are being investigated for a number of illegal activities including fraud and voting irregularities. Since these videos have been released, the House voted 345 to 75 to strip ACORN of all federal funding, including stopping the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department from giving it aid. It is very troubling that this story was not followed closely by many news channels. ABC news anchor Charles Gibson, for example, said he didn’t know anything about the recent ACORN scandal. But the real issue is this: why did it take an amateur filmmaker and journalist to go undercover into the ACORN offices and release their findings to the public for an in-depth government investigation to take place? ACORN presents itself as an organization that is, according to its Web site, “A non-profit, nonpartisan, social justice organization.” They are selfdescribed as an organization that targets medium to lower income families helping out with social issues such as health care, voter registration, and neighborhood safety. Michelle Malkin, a prominent political commentator, noted on her website that Acorn receives 40 percent of their revenue from tax payer dollars
Sitting down to enjoy a night of television may be a bit unsettling these days. Flipping through the channels you may see contestants trying to find love in a pitch black room, or perhaps the classic Survivor where contestants are still forming alliances to try and outsmart the other contestants (although after a decade on air, people have caught on). Finally, you may land on a channel featuring shows about the joy of parenthood, with children running through the house, playing and laughing. But as the show goes on, it’s evident these are not child actors. They are real children who are living their lives in a fishbowl. From toilet training their children, to dealing with their marital problems, Jon and Kate Gosselin have exchanged their privacy, as well as their children’s, for fame and fortune. America has watched their eight children grow over the past five years through their television show Jon and Kate Plus 8, which documents the family’s daily lives. The show has created a huge fan base, spawning books and five seasons of hit television. Viewers even have their favorite child, and speak as if they know these children personally. However,what started as a regular family with eight children (a set of septuplets and twins) that captivated viewers with their antics of parenthood, has now taken a turn for the worse. Viewers tuned in by the millions for the announcement of Jon and Kate’s divorce over the summer, which was the highest season premiere in the history of TLC. The family has turned into a train wreck, hooking viewers with the possibility of seeing a meltdown from Kate or a glimpse of Jon’s new girlfriend. This may be acceptable if this was a primetime drama on NBC, but it is not. This is a family like any other one out there, that are now being criticized by the country for their parenting skills, personal choices, and even the clothes they wear. Viewers are blind to the fact that these children will be able to view their parents’ divorce on the Internet and realize how dysfunctional their childhood was. Everyone has experienced painful family experiences growing up that they wish they could forget, but for the Gosselin’s and other reality show children, that will never be possible. Americans, more than ever, have been captivated by shows with “real people” but how real are these families featured on reality programming? Normal families do not get paid to drink a certain type of juice, or open their doors to the harsh light of camera crews. Although the adults of the families consent to the taping and are being compensated for it all very graciously, it is the viewers that fuel networks to keep producing shows similar to Jon and Kate Plus 8. It seems that America is intrigued with any family that is different. Another TLC program, 18 and Counting, chronicles a strict Christian family that has 19 children, ranging from 20 to less than a year, all natural births. ABC offers programming such as The Bachelor, and Dating in Dark, where love is found in abnormal ways, forcing intimacy upon complete strangers on a sound stage. NBC aired Welcome to the Neighborhood this summer which locked families in an area together, to compete against each other for a cash prize. These reality families are not the only ones in America that have to step back and question their ethics. Aren’t the viewers just as guilty for the demise of these families, by fueling the interest in their lives even though they know it cannot be healthy? If it was a normal family that was not on a television program, it would be considered unhealthy, and in some cases illegal, to become so engrossed with a particular family in which one has no connection to. Sadly, these children that viewers adore so much will have to spend their hard earned money from reality television to pay for years in therapy dealing with a distorted childhood being tabloid headlines.
A glitch in the system Investigating the long lines and service at the school’s IBM laptop shop IDA BRITTANY NEWKIRK Contributing Writer Many St. John’s students wait in line in Sullivan Hall to have their laptops repaired at the University’s IBM laptop shop, but does the shop do a successful job at repairing laptops in a timely manner? First, all students must wait in the same line, regardless of what type of repair they need. Even if a student is purchasing a new battery charger or picking up a repaired laptop, he or she must still wait in the same line as students needing repairs. In addition to this, the majority of service is provided by a limited amount of student workers. This causes long lines that often extend outside of the computer lab doors and can leave students waiting for more than an hour. When a student does give his or her laptop to one of the student workers, the procedure is usually the same. If a laptop has a virus, a worker will replace the hard drive with a new one, which sometimes leads to students lose many of their files if they have not backed them up. With more complicated issues such as a broken screen or a computer that won’t start, the worker will print up paperwork, have the student fill it out and then ship the laptop off to IBM, leaving students without laptops for an indefinite amount of time.
However, IT is addressing these issues and hoping to improve the quality of service at the University’s laptop shop. Kenneth Mahlmeister, executive director of IT, and Maura Woods, associate vice president of IT, said that at the beginning of the semester they discussed necessary changes that needed to be made. These changes included expanding hours of operation and remaining open on certain holidays and weekends. They also discussed in-house repairs with a 48 hour turn-around time, two additional work stations to provide additional staffing during busier times, staffing the front desk with full-time technicians and assigning a permanent work station to identify laptop name plates. Mahlmeister, Woods and James Salnave, associate dean for Student Development, said they understand why students get frustrated by having to constantly return to the laptop shop and wait in the long line. They also said
they are doing their best to improve the situation. For example, for the first 10 days of the semester, they had several laptop assistance tables set up around campus to help alleviate the number of students lining up at the shop. However, due to poor advertisement which all three noted, the majority of students went straight to the laptop shop, and the lines, like last semester, were straight out the door. The administration is certainly taking positive strides in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go in improving the service of the shop. Though the lines have been somewhat reduced since last semester, concerns are still relevant in the students’ experience. Once the shop’s operation issues are improved, it will be able to better assist students to the point where they won’t have to continually return. In order to maintain the success of the school’s student laptop program, it is imperative that these changes be made as swiftly as possible.
The administration is certainly taking positive strides in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go in improving the service of the shop.
TORCHCOMICS I Canâ€™t Draw Alex Reyes
Controlled Chaos Catharine Corrigan
Prof. HOOTS: Life Coach Preston Palmer
Cloister Matt Brown
7 October 2009
TORCH PHOTOS/ANNALEE CAMPBELL
(Left:) Dr. Mark Sutton, his wife Elizabeth and three daughters and (right:) Dr. Gina Floria and husband Jon are among the first faculty members to live in Henley. The building, which opened this year, is home to both students and three faculty members and their famiies.
Welcome to the neighborhood
7 Oct. 2009
MALLORY TOKUNAGA work police.” He and the other professors Chief Copy Editor Upperclassmen. Resident Assistants. Campus minister. Resident Director. Public safety officers. Professors. Of all the people on that list, the last is most interesting. While students are used to seeing RAs, RDs, Public Safety officers, and fellow students in their residence hall, for students in Henley, some of their neighbors are out of the ordinary. Dr. Mark Sutton, Dr. Gina Florio and Dr. Kathleen Marks are the brave, pioneering souls lucky enough to participate in the University’s first studentprofessor integrated building. Sutton, a theology professor, is originally from the Midwest and obtained his doctoral degree from Marquette University. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Henley with their three daughters: Edith, 1, Anastasia, 3, and Felicity 4. He started teaching at St. John’s last year. “[The University] is a great fit for the kind of teaching I want to do,” he said. The undergraduate core requirements present many opportunities for him to teach different theology courses each semester. Sutton said he wanted to live in Henley to create a “new level of engagement between professors and students.”And it’s working. “My apartment is starting to become a beehive with different people constantly coming in and out,” he said. Sutton hopes the presence of professors helps to make the dormitory a learning environment. “It’s not just a place you live,” he said. “It is a place where you can learn, too.” He said the goal in mind is to help students “become young intellectuals” by creating opportunities to have engaging conversations and activities led by professors, not to act as “home-
plan to host events similar to a lecture series to stimulate intelligent conversation as well as outings to the city to see movies, dine and visit museums. “It has stretched my understanding of being an educator,” he said. “It has stretched the classroom to include where I live.” Another faculty member that is stretching her classroom by living in Henley is Dr. Kathleen Marks. She lives with her husband Gregory and their sixyear-old daughter Grace. This is Marks’ sixth year teaching English at St. John’s and she is up for tenure. So far, living in Henley has “exceeded [her] expectations,” she said. “Besides the occasional fire alarm, it is peaceful and quiet.” Marks’ years as an undergrad at The Thomas More Institute of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire inspired her to participate in this test-run. Marks said she savored the years she spent studying at a small liberal arts college because it promoted a strong sense of community. She said she wants to cultivate the same experiences for St. John’s students. “We are trying to break down the student-professor barrier naturally by being neighbors,” she said. Marks emphasized that the professors are not trying to force interaction with synthetic ice-breakers and claustrophobic door-to-door introductions. They want to meet the students organically, just as they would with new neighbors. An example of this would be Marks’ “tour of the dead” in Manhattan. It will provide students an opportunity to, at their own volition, learn something creepy and fun about the city while getting to know a faculty member outside of class. “It is important to engage with students outside the class-
room,” Marks said. She and the other faculty have several events and excursions planned to interact with students on a more informal level, like going to see the next Twilight installment: The New Moon or just going to get something to eat at a nice restaurant. And since the faculty living in Henley receive a budget to host events, some of these outings will be paid for in part or in full. Dr. Gina Florio is equally enthusiastic about strengthening relationships with students. She lives with Jon, her husband, Luca, her fickle-tempered cat and is expecting the arrival of her newborn sometime around finals. She hasn’t picked any names. “We are the first people to do this. It is intimidating,” she said. Florio was interested in the idea of a student-faculty integrated living environment. In 2007, she was selected to partake in a faculty-led St. John’s College Enrollment Task Force, a group organized to find ways to enhance student retention. “Our research concluded that faculty participation in a residential setting helped increase retention,” explained Florio.
Meanwhile, the University was thinking the same thing and arrived to the same conclusion separately. In May 2009, Florio said she was happy to receive an e-mail from the Office of the Provost encouraging professors to apply to be Faculty in Residence (FIR). “I saw the e-mail and jumped on the opportunity,” she explained excitedly. She proceeded to immediately forward it to her husband, then apply with her CV, cover letter and some flyers from Learning Community events she hosted last year. Living in the dormitory, Florio expected the faculty to have a positive influence on the students, but she said the students also influence the professors. “I knew the presence of faculty would change the students, but the students changed our perspective of things as well,” she said. Florio said the Provost, Dr. Julia Upton, referred to the FIRs as pioneers. As such, protocols or guidelines for the faculty’s events are not as strictly regimented. Their requirements are not as rigid as those imposed on the Resident
Assistants. This freedom allows the professors to take creative liberty with selecting academic lecture topics and places to explore in the city. “Our primary goal as FIRs is to build community,” said Florio. “We can pursue whatever type of programming we thing will enable us to achieve this goal.” Some events will be more entertainment based, some will be more about cultivating appreciation for the arts and sciences and some will simply be an excuse to eat cake. Sunday, the FIRs hosted their first Birthday Club social. They plan to host one every month to celebrate all the birthdays of people living in Henley. Florio, for example, is planning a trip to the Guggenheim to view the latest Kandinsky exhibition. The most important thing is not to dismiss these professors as imposters. They are not Big Brother. They are just the people who live next door. But unlike the average neighbor, these neighbors actually want to get to know you.
Dr. Kathleen Marks, husband Gregory and daughter Grace are neighbors with St. John’s students, hoping to break down the student-faculty barrier in place.
Dancing on the sidelines The Red Storm Dance Team displays its school spirit at each sporting event is held annually in Florida. They hold auditions within their team to gain a spot on the team for this event. The dancers going to nationals also have extra practice, even during It’s half time at Madison Square Garden with winter break, because they need to learn the dances the Red Storm. The crowd is quiet with suspense. for both the competition and for sports teams. Recently, in 2005, the Red Storm dance team Suddenly, the crowd roars at the sight of St John’s Dance Team. Their hard work and dedication is placed third, and have since then placed seventh. Sophomore dance team member Krystle Whitshown throughout each routine displayed. The Red Storm Dance Team has been a part of ley feels being a member of the team has enhanced her college experiSt John’s University ence. for more than 40 Being on the Red Storm Dance team “Being on the Red years. The team memhas given me school spirit, a sense Storm Dance team has given me school bers’ backgrounds of a campus family, commitment, spirit, a sense of a range from jazz to hip hop. Captain organization, challenges. campus family, commitment, organizaRoselle Carlino tion, challenges, and feels the diversity of the team invites stu- Krystle Whitley helps me work with the other dancers as a dents to join. team,” she said. “We definitely Christine McCalook for diversity in rton, head coach of the different dance types, and we have requirements on certain moves the dance team, has been working with the team for about eight years. the dancers need to do,” she said. Before coming to St John’s, McCarton worked As of this moment, there are 19 members on with the Dance Team at C.W. Post but moved over the team, of which two are male. The dance team is always looking for new to St. John’s because of the drive and commitment dancers each spring, who can add to the vivacious the Red Storm Dance Team demonstrated. “Since this is a Division I school, they do not energy that the current members demonstrate durconsider the dance team as just a club, they coning each performance. Dancers on the team follow a strict regime, sider it a competing sport,” said McCarton. Thom Herits, a sophomore, is able to share his working out three times a week for three hours each day, in addition to daily work outs that last at passion of dance with his peers, while getting an education at the same time. least two-and-a-half hours. “Dancing is my life, and I get to do it here,” When not dancing for St. John’s sports teams, the dance team isn’t just sitting around; they are said Herits. “I have the opportunity to dance with a bunch vigorously training for their own competition, the UDA College Dance Team Championships, which of talented people.”
ANALEE CAMPBELL Contrubuting Writer
TORCH PHOTO/BRIAN LOPEZ
Dancers practice their routines for upcoming sporting events on a daily basis.
Enhancing education through song ANGELIKA SWATOWSKA Contrbuting Writer
All this, the seminar-like, multidisciplinary structure and the events sponsored by the Honors Program, highlight the dedication of the faculty to their students. Honors students are taught in small classes (usually around 20 students each) that approach an academic topic from an unusual angle. For instance, this year’s Honors Global Literature 2150C course approaches literature by exploring its connections with the ocean. Such uniqueness, an unusual approach to academics, and the cultural experiences show he best of St. John’s University and New York City to the students.
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ductions,” said Dr. Robert Foman, the director of the Honors Program. The Honors Department chooses the classic New York City events for students to attend, like Aida or Balanchine’s ballet The Nutcracker. They are the must-sees of New York’s performances. They have been on stage for decades. In this way, students might be able to bring in “something else” to class, and relate this new knowledge with syllabus material. For instance, they might find a similarity in the tragic fate of Aida, to that of Antigone, in Sophocles’ Antigone, even though the two plays are not connected in any way. “It is a stretching of the mind”. By offering free tickets to students, the Honors Department hopes to give students the possibility to attend events they might have not been able to attend otherwise. Indeed, when asked, many students confirm that Aida has been the first opera they have seen in their lives. The Honors Program not only acts as a force that expands the students’ horizons, but also, as a force that incites selfdiscovery.
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The best ingredients of an unforgettable St. John’s experience include opera nights in the Met through the Honors Program. It is Tuesday night, well after 11 p.m., and several St. John’s students can be identified amid a hushed crowd watching an opera being performed just a couple of balconies below in the Metropolitan Opera. It is the dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. The performance is in its fourth act, a point of major tension, as the two lovers Aida, the Ethiopian slave, and Radamès, the Egyptian warrior, have just been imprisoned in a tomb, and their lives are reaching their end. Together with the orchestral accompaniment, conducted by Daniele Gatti, the singers’ voices reflect the tragedy of this crucial moment. This is just one of the scenarios of how a student’s late Tuesday night, or any other night, might look like, if he or she forms part of the St. John’s Honors Program.
Students thirsty for a richer academic experience, one that extends beyond the classroom, can attend a whole range of exciting events such as Great Book Discussions, Manhattan Walking Tours, Uncommon Hours, Classical Myth Goes Hollywood Film Series and softball games. The Honors Program evolved from the St. John’s College of Liberal Arts. Over the past years, however, an increasing effort has been made by the Honors Department to extend the curriculum to comprise courses offered by other St. John’s Schools. Hence, the Honors Program became a university-wide program only seven years ago. Similarly, services like free opera, Philharmonic or ballet tickets date back to 2006. Each year, the Honors Department requests 40 tickets for certain Metropolitan Opera events at a very reduced price. These tickets are then offered free of charge to Honors’ students. Students rush to obtain one. Usually, the tickets sell out within 24 hours of their release. Approximately 1,350 students are enrolled in the program. “These events suppose the most spectacular of New York’s classic pro-
The Honors Program brings students to the Metropolitian Opera
Architecture in the big apple Famed historian Barry Lewis speaks to SJU about NYC’s buildings ANURADHA BYAGARI Staff Writer
Professor Barry Lewis is an architectural historian, educated at UC Berkeley, La Sorbonne in Paris and the New School for Social Research. He teaches at Cooper Union and the New York School of Interior Design. Lewis was unrelentingly witty and spirited as he delivered his lecture about New York City. TORCH: Was it your experience in Paris that really made you appreciate architecture? Lewis: I lived in Paris when I was 19 to 20 years old and I went to the Sorbonne on my own. There, I basically became interested in Gothic architecture which France created back in the 12th century. It’s all there in Paris but, more than that, the French love cities. Americans don’t like cities. We can’t wait to get out of the city! Parisians love their city. When they found out I was American, I spoke French and I loved history, they would take me all over Paris and show me all the byways of Paris going back to the Middle Ages, going back to the Roman times, specifically Medieval and Renaissance Paris. It was just fascinating. They taught me how to look at a city and I have to give the Parisians credit for that.
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TORCH: You’ve achieved immense success between your Channel Thirteen televised walking tour series, numerous published books and traveling lectures among others. Which element of your professional career do you enjoy most: writing, teaching or lecturing? Lewis: I’ve always enjoyed teaching and so, by extension, I love doing video work because video is really the modern way that people learn about things. Frankly, it looks like people in the 21st century are reading too many books. People absorb what they know through video whether it’s a Hollywood film or documentary or something they saw on the History or Discovery channels. I enjoy doing it. I make it lively. I make it interesting – because I think history is very interesting. You want to know why we are, what we are, you go back in history and find out what we were and where we came from and that’s my basic take. I talk to my audience. I grew up in the retailing business. My parents had the local five and ten and I grew up in that store – that was part of growing up working in the store. And I learned to deal with the public really from when I was a kid. My father always said “you’re here to serve the customer,” and in a sense I always felt that when you teach, you’re here to teach the students. You talk to them. That’s what I do when I do video work. I really enjoy it.
borhoods like TriBeCa where I loved the old warehouses and 18th century quiet streets. It’s not so quiet anymore – it’s gotten very chic. If you go one stop out of Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights where you not only have the skyline of Brooklyn, but you have the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which is built over the double-decker Brooklyn Queens Expressway. You get this spectacular view of the whole New York Harbor, lower Manhattan, you see all the way up to midtown. It’s really quite spectacular. It’s surprising to out-of-towners. It’s also surprising to walk around Brooklyn Heights because you’re only one stop from Manhattan and it’s so different. Personally, I love Jackson Heights. Jackson Heights was a planned neighborhood. It has beautiful 1920s apartment buildings and it has people from everywhere. It’s one of the most diverse populations in this country. I think its zip code is considered probably the most diverse population of any zip code in this country. And the great thing about it is it’s not Manhattan. Unfortunately, Manhattan gets too much media exposure so places like the Meatpacking District have a kind of touristy feel to a New Yorker. When you go to places like Smith Street in Brooklyn or the restaurants in Jackson Heights or the Mexican places in Sunset Park, the Chinatown in Sunset Park, or Little Asia in Flushing, you get more of a feeling of the older city not the newer, younger, wealthier city that Manhattan represents. I say to people : “Try and get out of Manhattan and you’ll live. You’ll actually live. You may not know where you’re going, but you’ll come back alive.” TORCH: What is your favorite New York moment? Lewis: I have many favorite New York moments, most of which can’t be repeated (laughs). I lived through
the 60s and the 70s, remember. But, I think that one of the highlights of living in New York was going to the centennials of both the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Those centennials were in the 1980s. Even better yet, the bicentennial in 1976 was a time when the city was really on its knees: people were leaving New York; the middle class was abandoning New York. People actually said in 1976 that by the year 2000, New York would be a ghost town. Can you imagine? And, yet we pulled off the Bicentennial with the tall ships and the fireworks and all that and all those people gathered to watch and there wasn’t one single incident. There wasn’t one single problem, there wasn’t one single criminal act because we’re New Yorkers. We know how to live with each other and that’s what I’ve always loved about this city. We’re from all over the world. We always work and we accept you for who you are. We don’t care if you’re shorter than other people or if you have one limb or you wear a teapot on your head, even. If that’s what you like to do then do it! But if you’ve got a good mind, and you’re willing to do a day’s work, we’re interested and we get along with each other no matter what backgrounds we’re from. And we’re not California so it’s not a love-in. We tolerate each other. We don’t love each other but that’s fine and we give each other space. I like that. When I lived in Europe, I discovered the Europeans have trouble with minorities. If you’re not one of them going back 1,000 years, you’ll never be one of them. In America, in New York, you get off the plane, you learn to say “yep,” “nope,” and “no problem,” and you’re American. And nobody asks where your documents are. Nobody cares. As long as you can do the job and you’re willing to work, fine. You’re hired. And that is what I love about this city.
TORCH: If you could recommend a particular neighborhood or spot or even walking tour for non-New Yorkers to visit and explore, which would it be? Lewis: There are all kinds of suggestions including places right in front of your face. One of my favorite New York neighborhoods is Rockefeller Center, because I grew up with Radio City Music Hall. I remember going there to see the first-run movies; there were Rockettes in between the movies; the state show which always included the Rockettes and a whole vaudeville act and I always loved that. And we used to watch the ice skating. We used to go up to the Top of the Rock which is open again today and it’s one of the best places for a rooftop viewing in New York. The Empire State treats you terribly, but at the Top of the Rock, they treat you very nicely and you’re really in a more intimate relationship with New York. I think Brooklyn Heights, which is only one stop away from Manhattan or another few stops into Brooklyn (Park Slope) you get the feeling that not all of New York is 70 stories high. To me, the East Village and the Lower East Side are so popular, I don’t even have to mention them. But I used to love to walk around neigh-
PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY
Barry Lewis, famed architectural historian, spoke about his knowledge of the history behind each of the neighborhoods in New York City. Each of the boroughs has distinct architectual significance.
Students come together to help planet CAROLYN WARGULA Staff Writer
There are many energy-saving acts that can help save the planet, such as turning off a light before leaving a room and recycling paper and plastic products. St. John’s Sustainability Initiative turns these little acts into stepping stones for major environmental reform. The Sustainability Initiative Committee was created in January 2008 right after President Rev. Donald J. Harrington joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s PlaNYC challenge. Through the “10 goals for 2030,” Mayor Bloomberg encouraged local colleges such as Columbia, Fordham, NYU, and St. John’s University to reduce carbon input on campus. PlaNYC hopes to reduce emissions by more than 30 percent and open 90 percent of New York’s waterways by reducing pollution by the year 2030. Ashley Brown, president of Earth Club and a member of the Sustainability Committee, said the campus lacked environmental implements on campus until a few years ago. However, Thomas Goldsmith, director of Environment and Energy Conservation, changed St. John’s direction by creating recycling opportunities and by planting over 70 trees for carbon reduction, fulfilling the request of Mayor Bloomberg’s initative. “I wanted to see better recycling and better windows on our buildings for heating,” said Brown. “So this right now is so exciting because we are making such a difference,” she said. St. John’s University was the first American University to receive the A500 Rocket model food composter from the U.K. The composter consists of a cylinder with woodchips and a certain formula which increases the speed of food trimming’s bacterial growth, which is used as mulch for gardening. Not only does the A500 Rocket cut food waste, but it provides compost for St. John’s University’s new organic garden, located next to Donovan Hall. Brown and the other members of the committee got
ideas and plans from Boston College’s organic garden, such as increasing the garden’s variety by planting tulips in the future as well. Starting last semester, the Sustainability Committee began to meet with Student Government, faculty members, and professors to contribute new ideas and give feedback on the committee’s progress. Earth Club also plays a significant role by putting the theories into action and getting the student body more involved with the environment. Brown said she believes students should be more concerned with the environment since it is a reflection on human use and a mirror into the future of our planet. “We need to sustain local environments to aid worldwide environments. What we do here affects water shortages in Africa,” said Brown. Dr. Richard Leakey, a paleoanthropologist, spoke on campus in late September concerning the changing climate. In his speech, “Climate Change and the Future of Life on Earth,” Leakey said that water is a main resource people take for granted. Since the earth only has three percent of fresh water, developed countries deplete large amounts through pollution. Without advocacy for change, this can have grave consequences on the planet. “If we don’t pay attention to [the environment], it will make itself known and we will eventually have to since we could be in a better situation or a lot worse in years to come,” said Brown. Ashley Brown and Christina Zaccarelli, vice president of Student Government, will accompany Goldsmith to Notre Dame’s “Sustainability and the Catholic University” conference Oct. 9. Through this conference, Brown hopes to not only represent St. John’s but gather new ideas to improve sustainability on campus. The Earth Club started a movie series in which they will show a different section of BBC’s Planet Earth every month. They also hope to plan a Swap Meet in December. The Swap Meet imitates a farmer’s market in which students can exchange items between one another free
of cost. Even though St. John’s has not worked on the initiatives until recently, Brown is excited with the campus’ accomplishments in such a short amount of time. “It’s never too late and we are definitely on the right track,” she said. “ We are moving quickly and it’s good. We’re doing a good job now.”
TORCH PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY
Flower and lettuce seeds were planted next to Donovan Hall this past August, to help reduce the campus’ carbon input.
7 Oct. 2009
A Biting Comedy Inferno reviews a new addition to the horrorcomedy genre, Zombieland PG 19
Comedy Gets Depressing
RICKY GERVAIS HIGHLIGHTS THE WORST IN THE DARK COMEDY INVENTION OF LYING LIZ WALSH Staff Writer INVENTION OF LYING-
OUT OF 4 STARS
icky Gervais’ and Matthew Robinson’s brainchild, The Invention of Lying, is a relatively dry comedy about a fictional world in which no one has ever lied. The film ventures even further into fiction when the main character, Mark Bellison (played by Gervais), accidentally stumbles upon the idea of lying and affects the entire world as a result. Gervais’ masterful wit and eye for the ironic are both present in this film of comedic and dramatic proportions. Although the movie is funny, the atheistic undertones are more distracting than amusing. The film could easily have een the light-hearted comedy it attempted to be if there were fewer references to death and the afterlife, which made it more depressing than uplifting. Because Gervais’ character lives in a world without lies, he not-so-coincidentally lives in a world without religion—until he creates religion through his lies. Even for the droves of non-believers, the constant allusions to the melancholy idea of imminent non-existence after death and the references to an afterlife as a lie to justify unhappiness is a little too much to bear. What is meant to be a romantic comedy, starring Jennifer Garner opposite Gervais, actually becomes a miserable retrospective look at society and belief systems. At two separate points in the film, Gervais dons a sheet and a Moses-esque beard and hairstyle and holds pizza boxes containing 10 things that people need to know about the afterlife, which only reminds audiences how much they do not want to think about religion as a guise for fear or the impermanence of life. Gervais’ deadpan humor is blisteringly sharp and funny,
but unfortunately it could not save the film. The attempt to expose society as one massive, mindless herd was over-the-top, even with the comedic tone. It is hard to tell, however, if Gervais was poking fun at society in general, as a collective that is too eager to believe what it is being told, or or if there would be no reason to doubt in a world without lies. Judging by the way the characters and plot are handled, it seems that it is the former. One of the film’s highlights is the several surprising but equally ingenious cameos by talented actors and actresses. Tina Fey is amusing as Gervais’ resentful secretary who cannot withhold her joy when faced with his removal. Jeffrey Tambour is just as funny as Gervais’ hesitant boss who is unwilling and unable to fire him. Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman is probably the most surprising and most enjoyable addition to the cast, weighing in as Gervais’ bartender and friend. Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Louis C.K. and Jason Bateman all receive big laughs from their minor roles. Jennifer Garner is also sweet and witty as Gervais’ love interest, but harder to like than other characters because of her character’s shallowness and pretentions, which is revealed through her inability to lie. Gervais’ ability to make miserable things funny backfired and transformed what was meant to be a comedy into a relatively funny, but fundamentally depressing film. The talented cast and amusing plot line did make for a solid film with several memorable quotes and entertaining scenes. However, despite some of the strong points, what is taken away from the film is the memory of a lessthan-hilarious film harshly commenting on the fabric of society and the role religion plays within it. For audience members expecting an easy laugh rather than a depressing, thought-provoking film, The Invention of Lying does not deliver.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Rob Lowe (left) and Tina Fey (right) are two of the comedians in The Invention of Lying.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Matthew Robinson (left) and Ricky Gervais (right) behind the scenes of the film they wrote.
Love, Laughter and Gore ZOMBIELAND MANAGES TO FIND THE PERFECT BALENCE BETWEEN HORROR AND COMEDY JACOB SULEYMANOV Staff Writer ZOMBIELAND-
ombieland is set in a post-apocalyptic world where almost the entire population has turned into members of the undead. A few survivors have managed to avoid contamination, and the movie follows their quest for survival. The film follows the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Shaun of the Dead in attempting to walk the thin line between a horror and a comedy.
7 Oct. 2009 The TORCH
PHOTO COURTESY OF MOVIECHOPSHOP.COM
The talented cast of the horror-comedy Zombieland includes (from left to right) Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Woody Harrelson.
Along the way, he comes across Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a man with nothing to lose and no rules to follow. Even though their personalities contrast, they choose to stick together for a while. They subsequently meet Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), two sisters looking for a zombie-free zone. The four leads of Zombieland bring the action alive with terrific acting. Eisenberg plays his usual stuttering, know-it-all nerd. However, he shows some range with good comedic timing and delivery. Harrelson garners the most laughs with his portrayal of Tallahassee, a well-meaning cowboy who has made an art out of zombie killing. His mannerisms and delivery round out the appealing characterization of Tallahassee, and ultimately creates one of the most likeable zombiekilling heroes in recent movie history. Stone is extremely likable as Wichita and represents a female who, in a time of crisis, stays strong and takes care of her younger sister. Breslin does an admirable job and is believable as a 12 year-old hardened by the disturbing event that has happened to the world. The movie works best when the characters are together and are allowed to play off each other. There is a natural chemistry among them, which is enjoyable to watch. This also elevates many of the jokes, since they are coming from fleshed out, believable characters rather than stereotypical caricatures. Along with exceptional actors, Zombieland also features a terrific script. There are numerous clever jokes written with biting realism. Some of the most interesting moments are when the characters meet and start to get to know eachother. The atmosphere is set up well and Columbus’ narration never seems intrusive and always earns a laugh in some sense. The film does have minor flaws, such as predictability and a semi-frustrating third act. There are moments where the characters act only to further the story, even though what they are doing is obviously misguided. This mainly occurs in the last act of the film, which is the only time the film feels forced and overwritten. However, Zombieland bounces back quickly with a finale that makes up for the slight predictability. Overall, Zombieland is an exceptionally amusing and clever addition to the horror/comedy genre.
1/2 OUT OF 4 STARS
The sucess of Zombieland comes through in the balance between the humor and gore. Due to the strong script and exceptional chemistry among the leads, the film is able to find a balance between the two genres. In Zombieland, a virus has broken out and started to turn people into flesh-eating zombies who, in turn, spread the virus by biting other civilians. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Columbus, a loner on his way home to Ohio from his college dorm in Texas. Although Columbus never had a strong connection with his family, he is driven to make sure they are not bitten. Being scrawny and cowardly, Columbus does not seem to be the sort of person who would survive an outbreak. However, he has stayed alive by sticking to a set of survival rules.
Broadway Meets Sitcom MUSICAL THEATER PERFORMERS ARE DRAWN TO THE NEW SONG-FILLED COMEDY, GLEE SAMANTHA DELISO Staff Writer
eople who claim that the musical is dead clearly have not tuned into any sort of media form in the past month. Fox’s popular television show, Glee, has taken America by storm. Centered on a fledgling high school glee club’s struggle to gain popularity, each episode is filled with both teenage and adult drama laced with chills and inducing musical performances. Not only has the show been going strong Wednesday nights, but songs from the show have also been among the top songs purchased on iTunes. Minutes after each new episode reaches an end, Facebook feeds and Twitter trending topics are inundated with the key word, “Glee.” Thanks to the show’s fame, the musical is far from being dead; it is very much alive and kicking. Even with the show’s focus on musical theater, it may serve as a surprise that several of its stars have actually been borrowed from the Great White Way. Matthew Morrison, who plays Spanish teacher and glee club coordinator Will Shuester, has held prominent roles in the musicals Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific. Both Lea Michele and Jenna Ushkowitz, who play glee club members Rachel and Tina respectively, have recently emerged from roles in the Tony award winning musical Spring Awakening. Transitioning between theater and television has always been a common occurrence for actors and actresses; fleeting roles on Law and Order are constantly mentioned in the cast member bios found in both Broadway and off-Broadway playbills. However, it has been
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Lea Michelle (far left) and Jenna Ushkowitz (far right) both performed on Broadway in Spring Awakening before joining the cast of Glee. They are just two examples of Broadway actors in the cast.
a long while since musically inclined performers have been able to display their talents on the small screen as part of a television show. Not only does Glee call for acting skills that theater performers are used to exhibiting, but it also calls for singing and dancing skills that are not normally exercised anywhere else but in a live
Boring Medicine WITH DULL CHARACTERS AND PLOTS, THREE RIVERS FAILS TO BRING ANYTHING NEW TO THE HOSPITAL DRAMA GENRE JOSHUA TAYLOR Contributing Writer
7 Oct. 2009
OUT OF 4 STARS
his Sunday at 9 p.m., CBS ran the series premiere of the new hospital drama, Three Rivers. The series follows a team of doctors as they deal with the politics and issues involved with organ transplanting. Located in Pittsburgh, Three Rivers is described as the leading transplant institution. The series tries to put a new spin on the all-too-familiar hospital drama by taking a look behind the scenes at the interactions between organ donors, the recipients and the institutions. This relationship inspires the title, Three Rivers, along with its historical reference to the Pittsburgh area. However, this slightly new take does little to inspire any excitement while watching the pilot. Three Rivers attempts to touch upon moral subjects such as the issue of immigrants in conjunction with the state of organ donor rights. The episode featured an immigrant who was injured and killed on a construction site. The family members were left with the decision whether to allow the man’s heart to be used for a transplant. Racism and prejudice art major themes throughout the decision-making process which play out in the show. However, this twist in the plot leaves the happy ending very much unscathed. In the end, the family lets go of their preconceived notions of discrimination, and a fresh heart is delivered to a pregnant woman, who had developed a rare and fatal heart disease due to her pregnancy. By the end of the pilot, all of the problems have been tied up perfectly. The cast of characters, though played by decent actors and actresses, do nothing to add any flare. The characters are generic, level-planed and idealistic, with little or no range for development. The protagonist, Dr. Andy Yablonski (portrayed by
Alex O’Loughlin), is the typical optimistic, passionate, and “perfect” head of surgery. Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig) is the straight-laced overachiever with a chip on her shoulder from being in the shadow of her father, who is said to have put his body and soul into erecting the facility. Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney) is the smooth, playboy surgeon. Ryan Abbott is the wet behind the ears, inexperienced, eager donations coordinator. Then there is Alfre Woodard, who portrays Dr. Sophia Jordan, the stern, but caring, head of operations at Three Rivers. There is not a single element in Three Rivers that has not already been done or overdone in the hospital TV realm. The dull characters combined with the predictable plotline add up to create more lackluster programming. Three Rivers is not a terrible show, but it does not offer anything special either.
theatrical performance. It is not only the primary cast members that have frequented the Broadway stage. Even in the early episodes of its first season, Glee has attracted some of the biggest names in theater as guest stars. The most notable guest star was featured in the most recent episode titled “The Rhodes Not Taken.” Kristen Chenoweth’s role as April Rhodes was anticipated by both television watchers and theater lovers alike. Though many know her as Olive Snook from the television show Pushing Daisies, she is also known for several different roles on Broadway, including Glinda in Wicked and Sally in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Of course, Kristen Chenoweth was not the only Broadway star to grace an episode of Glee. Thumb-less “Acafella” member Henri St. Pierre was played by John Lloyd Young who won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in Jersey Boys. Even Victor Garber, who played Will Shuester’s father, has a long, detailed history in theater. Though Broadway and television have always overlapped at the edges, they had never been truly blended together. As the first season of Glee progresses, it will be interesting to see if the two spheres of entertainment continue to intermingle.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NEWSOK.COM
Alex O’Loughlin (right) and Katherine Moenning (right) play transplant surgeons on the new CBS hospital drama, Three Rivers.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Kristen Chenoweth takes on another television role as April Rhodes on Glee. Chenoweth is known for her roles in Broadway musicals.
INFERNO LISTS A FEW OF THE FINDS AND UPCOMING EVENTS THAT THE CITY HAS TO OFFER Compiled by Jessikah Hackett
REWIND WITH A DAY AT THE SPA If you have always wanted to give yourself the spa treatment but have not been able to afford the spa prices, be sure to check out Euphoria Spa this weekend. From Oct. 5 to Oct. 12, Euphoria is allowing patrons to have all the pampering for a fraction of the price. With midterm exams on the horizon, most students have never needed a massage more desperately. Euphoria Spa 18 Harrison St. Subway: 1 to Franklin St. Station (212)-925-5925
CONNECT TO YOUR INNER HOBBIT For those who could not stop listening to the soundtrack of The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, now is the time to put away the headphones. This week at Radio City Music Hall, New York’s Collegiate Chorale and Brooklyn Youth Chorus will be participating in a live performance of Howard Shore’s score for the fantasy adventure film. The event will be happening on Oct. 9 and Oct. 10, so all LOTR fans should start searching for tickets now. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave. For tickets visit: www.radiocity.com Subway: B, D, F, V to Rockafeller Center
GET OUT OF MONTGORIS
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket Flatbush Ave. at Eastern Pkwy. Subway: 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza (718)-965-8999
DREW BARRYMORE MAKES HER DEBUT AS A DIRECTOR IN THE EMPOWERING COMEDY WHIP IT DAN BAILEY Contributing Writer WHIP IT-
OUT OF 4 STARS
lthough it contains a few clichés, Whip It is a charming comedy that entertains its audience. The movie is based on a novel written by Shauna Cross, entitled Derby Girl. Cross also wrote the screenplay, in which she created many entertaining moments and hilarious one-liners. In Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, she emerges as a sensitive director who, despite a tendency to make some overly romantic choices, knows how and when to let an emotional moment linger on the screen. Although the movie is slow and predictable at times, Barrymore does a good job at combining comedy and drama to make the film an enjoyable experience. One of the main focuses of the movie is roller derby. Roller derby is an American sport where two teams of five players skate around an oval track. The object of roller derby is to score as many points as possible. In order to score points, both teams create a jam formation in which four of the members of one team create a line. The last member of each team is called a jammer and must break through that line, by knocking the defenders down, to score points. Fans of roller derby will most likely understand what is going on right away, but audiences who are not fans of the sport will catch on as the movie progresses. Ellen Page (Juno) plays the main character, Bliss Cavender, who is being pressured by her mother to participate in beauty pageants. Reluctant to do so, she discovers the world of roller derby and instantly falls in love with the sport. As a result of being too afraid to stand up to her mother, Bliss tells her mother that she is taking SAT classes when in reality she is participating in the derby league. Bliss’ teammates are not too fond of her at first, but they accept her after they realize how talented she is at roller blading. Throughout the course of Whip It, Bliss strains her relationship with her best friend Pash, when she pushes her away to hang out with her new teammates. The rest of the film explores Bliss’ relationship with her teammates, friends and family. Her roller derby experience is much like a coming of age process. During the movie she becomes more independent, outgoing and she begins to gain control over her life. Bliss is just an average teenage girl who wants to hang out with friends, have crushes on boys and have fun doing what makes her happy. Page is excellent in the lead role. She
PHOTO COURTESY OF ACESHOWBIZ.COM
Ellen Page stars as Bliss Cavender, a timid loner who loves roller derby. makes her character genuine and believable, and is very amusing during comedic situations. Bliss’ mother, Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River) is very convincing as a mother who wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps as a beauty pageant queen. Some of the best scenes in the feature Bliss and her mother arguing and trying to understand the decisions the other is making. Harden and Page make their scenes vivid and interesting, while creating an authentic and complicated mother-daughter bond. Another good supporting role is Kristen Wiig, who plays Maggie Mayhem, one of Bliss’s roller derby teammates and mentor. Wiig’s character is given a lot more to do in this film than in her more recent film Extract, allowing her to prove her talents as an actress. Along with directing, Drew Barrymore also takes on a supporting role in the film. Barrymore plays Smashly Simpson, another one of Bliss’ teammates. She is surprisingly funny and charming as the team idiot. The movie does have flaws. It is predictable at times and yes, most of the audience might know how the ending will conclude before it comes. However, despite this flaw, Whip It has enough substance and entertainment value to keep audiences interested.
If the campus dining halls are not offering all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you are craving, spend some time at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket this weekend. This Brooklyn treasure is the second largest greenmarket in New York City. Vendors offer everything from fresh produce and baked goods to meat, dairy and fish.
Girl On Wheels
7 Oct. 2009
GET YOUR DAILY CALCIUM The TORCH
If your tastes have matured beyond Kraft Macaroni and Cheese but you still crave the comfort food, look no further than Macbar. A recently opened New York hotspot, Macbar’s chief chef, Michael Ferraro, has dreamed up dozens of variations on an old childhood favorite. Seating is limited, so do not be surprised if your bowl has to be taken on the go.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Although Whip It is occasionally predictable, the charming cast and well-written script create enough substance and entertainment to make up for the flaws.
Macbar 54 Prince St. Subway: 6 to Prince St. (212)-226-8877
The City’s Best Desserts SERENDIPITY 3 HAS DELICIOUS TREATS BUT THE SERVICE LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED EBOSETALE OKOJIE Contributing Writer
amous for their “frozen hot chocolate,” Serendipity is worth looking into for a late night dessert treat in the city, but not much else. Founded in 1954, Serendipity 3 was New York’s first coffee boutique. Best known as the locality of the movie Serendipity, the restaurant is described by its three owners as “a tiny principality in the basement of a tenement.” Tucked into a corner on the Upper East Side, Serendipity 3 is indeed tiny enough to miss. Set up like a trinket shop at the front, the restaurant actually sells all sorts of items, from their one of a kind frozen hot chocolate mix to more out of place items like bride-to-be party favors. The atmosphere is overwhelming with its extravagant decorations, including a floor-length clock and ornate chandeliers made of plastic fruits and what appears to be a collection of hundreds of pearl necklaces. The restaurant has two floors but the space still feels as though, if not cautious, tripping over the next table is a likely possibility. The first floor, with its Alice in Wonderland reminiscent embellishments, is more suited for kids. The second floor offers a more elegant scene with its grand mirrors, artwork and Victorian décor. Overall, the restaurant elicits a certain charm, albeit an opulent one. While there, restaurant goers stand the chance of running into a celebrity, as the restaurant has been visited by Cameron Diaz, former President Bill Clinton and Beyonce. Andy Warhol even declared it “his favorite sweet shop.” Pricing ranges from $8 omelets to $23 spiced chicken flambé. The restaurant offers an array of foods, including foot-long hot dogs, caviar burgers, country meatloaf and sautéed chicken livers. The tortellini primavera and salmon a la garden of allah are two entrees that are pretty good, but nothing to get excited about.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GREATCOMMISSION.COM
The delicious food at Serendipity 3 almost completely makes up for the unsatisfactory service. The most worthwhile pieces on the menu are definitely the desserts, which have attracted most of the customers. Serendipity 3 offers a wide and hearty selection of desserts such as chocolate blackout cake, cheese cake Vesuvius and a banana split that comes in a “coward’s portion.” They even serve humble pie, creamy peanut butter with a graham cracker crust. It’s the dessert section that also houses the most expensive item on the menu— the Golden Opulence Sundae for $1,000, a Guinness World Record. The service, while not atrocious, was far from attentive and considerate. The waiter, who never introduces himself, hands over the menu and walks away. He will return in 10-15 minutes (depending how busy the restaurant is), take the order and not return again until the order is ready to be placed on the table. Need to leave early or just ready to place a dessert order? Good luck finding him. Reservations are heavily suggested, although only a
limited number are accepted. The alternative, not having reservations, means being prepared to wait. Seating for just two can take up to an hour to acquire, suggesting that visiting in large groups is all but out of the question. On top of this, the small opening does not provide much of a place to wait, which pours the line out into the street. Serendipity 3 is located at 225 E. 60th St. between 2nd and 3rd avenues. For more information, including the full menu, check out www.serendipity3.com
HOW DOES SERENDIPITY 3 STACK UP? FOOD-
OUT OF 4 STARS
OUT OF 4 STARS
OUT OF 4 STARS
OUT OF 4 STARS
Watch History in Motion
WITH MOVIES, GAMES AND FASHION, THIS MUSEUM HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE MCARTHUR JOSEPH Staff Writer MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE-
1/2 OUT OF 4 STARS
PHOTO COURTESY OF ARCHIETECHTUREDESIGN.COM
The American Museum of the Moving Image invites visitors to take a closer look at the media industry through various exhibits.
n the heart of Astoria, Queens is one of New York City’s best-kept secrets, The American Museum of the Moving Image. This out-of-the-ordinary gem is a surprisingly spacious and interesting two-storied museum focused on film and television history. The first floor boasts many different exhibits and attractions like walls of memorabilia, fan magazines from the 1940s and different advertising tools. Visitors can also take a look at the museum’s excellent collection of authentic costumes that were used in television and film productions. Among the items that the Museum of Moving Image has on display are a small portion of the infamous Bill Cosby sweaters from the Cosby Show as well as costumes worn by Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and Catherine Zeta Jones in the awardwinning movie Chicago. Also on the first floor is a contraption called the Magic Mirror, which allows people to see how they would look in iconic costume pieces. After adjusting the height and width people are to pick three different costumes to “try on” and their image is displayed on a mirror in front of them. The first floor has something for everyone. For the game enthusiast there is an arcade filled with a variety of old school games like Pong, Donkey Kong, and Tron. For history buffs, the museum offers an opportunity to watch some of the first silent movies and read Orson Welles’ handwritten telegraphs. Music lovers can also sit down at a station and enjoy selections from some of the best soundtracks. There is also a marvelous looking mini theater called Tut’s Fever, which is cleverly designed to look like something straight out of ancient Egypt. The theater pays homage to the magnificently decorated theaters in the 1920s. Every day at 1:30 p.m. there is a classic short movie that can be viewed. Currently, the whole second floor of the museum is devoted to the “Behind the Scenes” exhibition. As soon as a patron walks into the “Behind the
Scenes” gallery, he or she is introduced to the special effects corner. Visitors can see how the child from The Exorcist was able to turn her head 360 degrees and how special effects influence TV and film. There are many masks on display and museum-goers can even see the real gloves used by Freddy Kruger to inflict fear on the Elm Street movie series. While the first floor of the museum is interactive, the second takes the entertainment to a new level and allows people to get inside movies. For starters, patrons can record their own 10 second video flipbook with themselves as the stars. A person can also use the power of animation and create a 10-second animation using up to a 100 frames. To do this a person just takes snapshots of real cut-outs and then are allowed to use playback to see their creation. Another station available is an auto displacement recording studio that allows visitors to add their voices into a real movie and watch a character use their voice. Now anyone can say Dorothy’s famous line “We’re not in Kansas anymore” and have it on display. In order to show the importance of sound cues, there is a machine that lets visitors swap current movie sound cues. Instead of the usual crash and explosions noises heard in an action movie, a huge crash can be replaced with farm noises. One of the last interactive things a person can do is play with the musical score. This can make a usually funny scene become sinister or make a rather dramatic scene induce laughter. All in all, the Museum of the Moving Image is a cool museum that has something for everyone. Unlike the Met or MOMA, the museum is conveniently located in Queens and is less than an hour away from St. John’s University. Even better, it is usually not bombarded with long lines and tourists. The Museum of the Moving Image’s interactive and informative exhibits make it a must-see spot for everyone in the metropolitan area.
Mystery and Controversy THE LOST SYMBOL OFFERS ENOUGH DANGER AND MYSTERY TO EXCITE NEW READERS KATIE CIMMINO Contributing Writer OUT OF 4 STARS
The TORCH PHOTO COURTESY OF RANDOMHOUSELIBRARY.COM
The Lost Symbol is a page-turner that has readers searching for time to finish it. The Lost Symbol is a great book to read in order to pass the time. Once again, Dan Brown manages to connect some of the world’s most powerful men under one secret society. One does not even have to read the previous two books because Brown only references them briefly, and those stories are not crucial to this plotline. The 500 pages seem to fly by as the protagonist is faced with dangerous and mysterious obstacles.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUN-SENTINEL.COM
Dan Brown’s new thriller leaves readers anything but lost with its suspenseful plot.
7 Oct. 2009
an Brown’s new thriller, The Lost Symbol, has been highly anticipated and cloaked in mystery. Although fans suspected that the book would be set in the nation’s capital and be about the Freemasons, nothing was truly confirmed until the book was released. The Lost Symbol is the third book in the Robert Langdon series. Written in the same style as The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, Brown’s newest book continues to enthrall readers. It is a captivating page-turner—the short chapters flip between multiple characters and plot lines that finally culminate into an unexpected climax. This book contains just as much controversy as the previous two. Brown tries to unite religion, science, and philosophy all into one. He even comments on the
THE LOST SYMBOL-
controversy of his books when he has a character say that Langdon’s adventures in The Da Vinci Code caused such a “scandal.” The Lost Symbol is certainly no different. It raises many questions about the Freemasons, the U.S. Government, and noetic science. The book begins with Robert Langdon being whisked off to make a speech in Washington D.C. as a favor to an old friend and mentor, Peter Solomon. Langdon quickly finds out that he was duped and that Solomon has been kidnapped. The only way to save Solomon is to play the game that a psychotic villain, Mal’akh, has created. Luckily, Langdon receives help from Solomon’s sister, Katherine, a noetic scientist, as well as from some highranking members of the Masonry. Katherine works as a good female foil to Langdon. Her intellect often surpasses Langdon’s and she is able to decipher some of the clues. This way, the reader does not always have to go through Langdon’s thinking process. Although the new villain is not an albino who practices an extreme form of religion, Mal’akh does have some cult-like characteristics. He is described as a monster covered in tattoos and hyped up on steroids. While the other antagonists cloaked themselves in religion, Mal’akh is more like a comic book villain who is just plain evil. Within the first few chapters, the kidnapping turns into a matter of national security and the CIA steps in. Once again, Langdon is fleeing from the authority figures because he cannot figure out if they are good or evil. At least in this book Brown does a better job masking the CIA’s true alliance. This helps sell the conspiracy theories about the U.S. government agencies, which appear as a subplot in the book. The Lost Symbol has many twists and turns that are unpredictable, not because Brown cleverly masks things, but because he never really foreshadows anything. Throughout the whole book, Brown only reveals things through cryptic codes and only after Robert Langdon processes all the information. At some points it becomes frustrating since each symbol has at least twenty different meanings. Brown does an amazing job describing some of the nation’s most respected places. He goes into descriptive detail and uses vivid imagery so that the reader can actually imagine sitting in the Library of Congress watching the events unfold.
And your kid can swing Red Storm freshman Ballo finishes second at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate
MIKE GURNIS Staff Writer Freshman Peter Ballo finished second overall at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate last weekend. Ballo completed the tournament with a score of 76-66-70—212 (-1), which tied him for second place in the tournament individually with Appalachian State’s Casey Johnson and Florida Gulf Coast’s Josh Leppo. After shooting a 76 on the first day of the tournament, Ballo responded by shooting a 66 on the second day, the lowest score of the tournament by any golfer. He finished the tournament with a 70 on the third day. “I didn’t really expect this. It felt really good,” said Ballo. “In the second round, it felt like nothing could go wrong for me.” For a freshman like Ballo who was playing in only his third collegiate tournament, a performance like this can be seen as a huge confidence boost going into the next tournament. “I expected to have success, but I didn’t really expect to be second. I felt like I can play with them, and help the team out as best as I can,” said Ballo. “It made me feel like I can maybe come close to winning one. But now I know that it’s possible.” Ballo’s older brother Mike, who is also a member
of the St. John’s Men’s Golf Team, sees that his brother is making a good contribution to the team’s success. “It’s good anytime a freshman does well, it only makes it better that he’s my brother,” said Senior Captain Mike Ballo, Jr. “He’s done nothing but help the team, he’s helped us in big ways. Anytime a freshman does this well, it takes the pressure off of the upperclassmen.” With the younger Ballo’s early success, it’s nothing but good news for the older Ballo to see his brother perform at such a high level this early in his career. “I always want to see him do well,” said Mike Ballo, Jr. “Even if I wasn’t playing golf here at St. John’s, I’d still want him to do well. I’ve done my best to help him, and it’s a huge plus that I’m his senior captain. So it’s a win-win.” Mike Ballo, Jr. also had a successful weekend, as he shot a 76-70-72—218 (+5) which was good enough for a top 10 finish, and was tied for eighth. “I played well, I had two good rounds, but I’m looking to perform better,” said Ballo. “I can’t be too disappointed with a top 10 finish.” The St. John’s Men’s Golf team returns to action on Saturday Oct. 10, as they travel to the Philadelphia Cricket Club to compete in the “Big Five Classic.” The tournament will take place over Saturday and Sunday.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Peter Ballo shot one under-par to finish second at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate Sunday.
7 Oct. 2009
Athletes can say everything by saying nothing Kristin Russell entered my lexicon of favorite athletes Sunday. No, the St. John’s goalkeeper didn’t add another shutout to her legend and come one step closer to the St. John’s all time record. She didn’t take matters into her own hands to leave her post and take on Cincinnati herself for the ever-so-rare goalkeeper goal, either. In fact, had the Red Storm not lost the game, 1-0, to me she’d still be another college keeper on a very good women’s soccer team. It was what Russell did after the game that sealed her fate in my book. After the team’s postgame meeting, I asked Russell what the looming shutouts record means to her. She told me the record doesn’t enter her mind; that she doesn’t think about it. Great, the St. John’s keeper is humble. Fine. Always a good character trait for an athlete to have, even if it leads to a boring quote. But later in the interview, I asked her what she could learn from her counterpart in net, Cincinnati’s Andrea Kaminski,
who shut out the Red Storm and made eight saves. This time, I got a far different answer. Russell looked at me and chuckled. She began a statement, stopped, and thought for a second. She looked at her Sports Information Director, then back at me, and began another thought. Again she stopped, chuckled again, and said this: “To be honest, I have nothing to say about that. To be honest, I wouldn’t want it to be written.” With that, Russell’s interview was over, and she jogged off the field at Belson Stadium to join her teammates in the UC parking lot.
I was completely stunned. Not only did Russell not answer my question, she didn’t give her opponent any credit, even though credit was due. She took an early-October conference loss so personally she couldn’t bring herself to say anything positive about the Bearcats team that just beat her Red Storm. And it was just the answer I was secretly looking for. Sure, I didn’t get Russell to praise an opposing player nor could I coax one bit of self-praise about her own accomplishments. I got something better. Kristin Russell literally said nothing, but in reality said everything. It is for that reason I now see the women’s soccer keeper in a different light. It is a light I have always wanted to view the athletes we watch on the field and write about in our newspaper. Far too often we hear athletes sounding like political diplomats, giving the bland postgame quote that barely answers the question out of
fear that their words will cause controversy or be misunderstood. Some athletes are just too afraid to pour gasoline on a fire that isn’t really there. Then you get athletes like Russell, athletes who aren’t afraid to say exactly what they think – or in this case, imply how they truly feel. The ones who wear their emotions on their sleeves for the world to see, then get those sleeves as dirty as possible on the field. I think Russell didn’t say anything because she didn’t feel the Red Storm should have lost. She certainly thought she was the better goalkeeper in that game, and was truly angry the results weren’t in her team’s favor. That kind of attitude could become infectious. Plant the seed in the minds of other St. John’s athletes that they cannot be defeated and they will have nothing but confidence once game time rolls around. At most they’ll elevate their games to Russell’s level. At least, well, we’ll get honest, unfiltered quotes after their games.
The hunt for a Red October Women’s soccer team embraces October road trip
Russell, Storm fall to Bearcats at Belson BILL SAN ANTONIO
Sports Editor Kristin Russell will have to wait for another shot to chip away at the St. John’s all-time shutouts record. CINCINNATI
The Red Storm’s sophomore goalkeeper entered Sunday’s game against Cincinnati with 15 career shutouts, four shy of tying the program record. But with time winding down in the first half, Bearcats forward Evi Ranson scored the game’s only goal on a header just out of Russell’s reach after multiple players volleyed for possession deep in the Red Storm’s goalkeeper’s box. Though St. John’s outshot the Bearcats, 17-7, the team had just eight shots on goal, and was held scoreless by Cincinnati goalkeeper Andrea Kaminski. “It was disappointing that we couldn’t come back and tie the game or even win,” Russell said. Though Russell shut out Louisville on Friday
night, and while the record looms, Russell is focused on simply giving the team the best chance to win as the team advances through conference play. “I don’t even think about [the record], to be honest,” she said. The Red Storm’s best offensive opportunity came late in the second half, when freshman forward Runa Stif Stefansdottir lured Kaminski out of the net, but the Cincinnati defense swarmed the box and did not let Stefansdottir penetrate with a goal. “We possessed the ball pretty well, but sometimes in college soccer it isn’t about who possess the ball better – it’s the team that wants it more and I give Cincinnati credit for wanting it,” head coach Ian Stone said. Once again, strong defensive play aided the Red Storm in contending with the Bearcats, the team that knocked St. John’s out of the Big East Tournament last year. Entering Sunday, the Bearcats had scored at least two goals in five of their last six games. “Our defense is really good and our goalkeeper is really good and I thought we pretty much played well defensively,” Stone said. “In a game like today’s, we needed our defenders to actually start
DYLAN KITTS Staff Writer
TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
The Red Storm outshot Cincinnati 17-7, but the Bearcats had the elusive goal that won the game. our offense and get the ball on the ground which was a little disappointing to begin with. We’re always going to be in games because we aren’t going to concede many goals, but we need to do it on the other end of the field.” Despite the team’s multiple offensive chances – eight Red Storm players took shots, including midfielder Raelynne Lee, who led the team with five – they came too few and far between for the Red Storm to build momentum against such a high-powered offensive opponent. “We need to come out a little bit stronger from the start,” Stone said. “If we come
out with energy, it’s difficult for teams to play against us because we’d have the ball the whole time and I think we gave them a little bit of hope in not being as crisp as we could have been.” The Red Storm’s lack of ferocity early in games has been a problem so far this season, one Stone will look to fix before the team leaves for a four-game road trip elapsing the entire month of October. “We’ve been successful, and we have to recognize that every game we play from now on, we’re playing against good teams,” Stone said. “We can’t be complacent. We have to keep pushing forward.”
7 Oct. 2009 The TORCH
Raelynne Lee led the Red Storm with five shots on goal against Cincinnati in Sunday’s home loss.
TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
The St. John’s women’s soccer is approaching one of the most crucial segments of the season, the October road trip. Past October road trips were the main barrier blocking the Red Storm from attaining their first NCAA Tournament bid. Two years ago, they cruised to an 8-1-3 record before they faced a four game road trip, where they went 1-3. Last year, the team was headed into the road trip in the midst of a three game winning streak, but went 1-1-1. This year, with a 9-2-1 record, the team doesn’t think history will repeat itself. “This is a different team, this is a different year,” St. John’s midfielder Raelynne Lee said. “We do have a lot of confidence and belief in ourselves.” The road trip begins Friday against Pittsburgh and continues Sunday at West Virginia. Next Thursday, the team travels to New Jersey to face Seton Hall. Two days later, they visit Rutgers. “It’s huge,” St. John’s goalkeeper Kristin Russell said. “We have four away games in a row. It’s key for the season.” On Sunday, the Red Storm lost to Cincinnati, 1-0, after falling behind in the first half. Similarly, against Connecticut and Louisville, the Red Storm failed to set the tempo early in the game, and fell behind. “I’m honestly not sure why,” Lee said. “We talked about that at the end of the game today. As a team we are going to try and figure it out.” Stone said he may tinker with the pregame routine and workouts for the upcoming trip. “I told the girls we have to work it out and may have to do a different work out or something,” Stone said. “… [Starting games] against good teams, we can’t be complacent.” So far on the road, the Red Storm has been successful. Already defeating CalState Fullerton and USC on their California trip, and then beating Columbia two weeks ago. “Last year we were a totally different team; our confidence is a lot stronger this year,” Russell said. “I think we have proven we can win on the road. If we win the next four games away, that’ll be huge.” Unlike other years, Stone believes the team should win every game it plays. “They always bounce back,” Stone said. “We are a resilient group of people. We are a good team and I expect to go into every game and win the game. That won’t change after today.”
A small break in the streak
Red Storm tie at ’Nova, but score first goal in four games MIKE CUNNIFF Staff Writer
7 Oct. 2009
For the fifth time in nine games this season, the St. John’s men’s soccer team left the field Saturday without a winner determined. Playing in uncertain weather on the road for the second straight game, the Red Storm tied Villanova, 1-1 in their fifth double-overtime game of the season. VILLANOVA
“We gotta show a little more toughness in some key areas,” head coach David Masur said about his team’s inability to find a golden goal. For a while, it looked like St. John’s would not even get in position for a tie. As storm clouds loomed overhead, the Johnnies fell behind in the 26th minute when Villanova defender Ryan Whalen launched a cross to forward Mike Seamon, who lost his defender and put a shot past goalkeeper Derby Carillo in the high right corner. It was the third goal of the week for the Villanova senior. The first half was another one of frustration for St. John’s, as they matched Villanova in shots but trailed on the scoreboard. In the second half, Masur moved Joel Gustafsson, the Big East’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, to a forward position. However, he flatly denied changing his strategy in an effort to break his team’s scoreless streak. “We’re not focused on streaks,” he insisted. Having scored no goals in their last three games, the Johnnies’ outlook seemed bleak, but they stayed patient and kept on the attack. Midway through the second period, Gustafsson, playing as a forward, laid a perfect ball at the feet of midfielder Nelson Beccera that led to a Villanova foul. Tadeu Terra took the free kick in the 64th minute from just outside of the penalty box, and put it past a six-man Villanova blockade and goalkeeper Chris Bresnahan for his second goal of the season. The tally ended a 374 minute scoreless drought, and put the Red Storm in a position to come away with at least one point on the road. “Tadeu gives us a tremendous amount of energy…he scored a great goal,” Masur said of the junior midfielder. Terra took six shots in the game, including two on goal. Both teams had offensive
chances after Terra’s goal, but each goalkeeper was up to task. Bresnahan stoned Adam Himeno in the 72nd minute, and in the 73rd minute, Carillo denied Seamon’s bid for a multi-goal game. The two keepers each made six saves in the contest. Junior John Tardy provided a spark off the bench for St. John’s, as the Clemson transfer played in his first game off the bench for the Red Storm and registered three shots, including one shot on goal, in 57 minutes. The tie puts St. John’s record at 2-2-5, and 1-1-3 in the Big East. While the team and Masur have been disappointed of their play offensively, their strong defensive play had kept them alive in the Big East’s Red division. The Red Storm have been solid defensively, allowing only two goals in five Big East games. Their .40 goals against average is the best in the Big East. The offense is what is holding them back. Terra’s goal was just the third time they have scored in conference play. Masur attributed the team’s offensive struggles in part to poor decision-making. “We have to make better decisions in the attacking third of the field,” he said. After a three game road trip, where they went 0-1-2, St. John’s will get a chance to earn a victory at home on Wednesday, when they go up against conference-rival Rutgers at Belson Stadium. The Scarlet Knights are 5-4-0 overall, with a 3-2-0 record in the Big East. With the lowest goals against average in Big East play – just two goals allowed in five games – the Red Storm sit just four points behind Big East Red Division leader South Florida, who they play Saturday on the road.
TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
Tadeu Terra scored the men’s soccer team’s first goal in over 300 minutes Saturday.
So far, potent oﬀense stifled MIKE CUNNIFF Staff Writer After finishing second in the Big East in goals scored last year and returning their top seven scorers, the St. John’s men’s soccer team expected to have a potent offense. So far this season, that has not been the case. Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Villanova yielded only the sixth goal of the season for the Red Storm, as the team had been shut out the previous three games against Big East teams of varying skill level. But don’t ask head coach David Masur about it.
Tracking the Storm The Streak: Sept. 18 -Oct. 4
minutes since last goal
Record over streak
goals this season
Goals as of Oct. 4 last season
“We’re not concerned about the (scoreless) streak,” he said. “We don’t talk about the streak. We don’t know about the streak. We’re not focused on streaks. We’re focused on playing as well as possible and trying to do the things that are necessary to win games.” When asked if he changed anything offensively to try to get the offense going, his response was a flat, “No.” But while Masur might say he’s not doing anything differently, he has made some personnel changes to ignite his team’s offense. Junior Adam Himeno, normally a starter, came off the bench against Providence. It was just the fifth game of his career that he did not start. He was back in the starting lineup against Villanova. Junior midfielder John Tardy, a transfer from Clemson, saw his first action of the season Saturday, playing 57 minutes off the bench and putting up a shot on goal. Defender Joel Gustafsson, the preseason Big East Defensive Player of the Year, was moved to forward in the second half of Saturday’s game. The move paid off, as he made a key entry pass that led to a free kick in the 64th minute. Junior Tadeu Terra put home the free kick to end the scoreless drought. Terra’s goal marked the first time that St. John’s has hit the back of the net since he scored a put away goal against Georgetown on Sept. 18, a span of 15 days and nearly four games. Since then, the Johnnies had been shut out
three games in a row, against opponents of all different abilities. They were shut out by the good (Connecticut, 4-1 in the Big East), the mediocre (Providence, 2-2-1 in the Big East) and the bad (Seton Hall, 1-3-1 in the Big East). The Red Storm, ranked in the top five in every major preseason poll, and number one by College Soccer News, figured to expand upon their successes of last year, when they scored 39 goals, good for second in the Big East. Instead, the team has found itself at the bottom of the conference in most offensive categories, included goals scored and goals per game, and slipped out of last week’s NSCAA/Adidas Coaches poll. The Johnnies have had to rely on their defense and goalkeeper Derby Carillo, who has five shutouts in nine games. Of the team’s five ties, three have been of the 0-0 variety, where the offense’s ineptitude was saved only by the strength of the defense. Masur said the offensive issues are mostly from the neck up. “We gotta be smarter and tougher in the attacking third of the field,” he said. But with scorers like preseason All-American Nelson Baccera, (23 points last season, 4 this season) and Trevor Chiduku (15 points last season, none this season) yet to come around, conventional wisdom says it should be only a matter of time before the offense gets rolling.
CROSS COUNTRY TORCH SPORTS
Leavin’ their Mark Fencing goes to Turkey
Two members of the St. John’s University Fencing team, junior Dagmara Wozniak and sophomore Daryl Homer, will be representing the United States at the World Fencing Championships in Turkey from Sept. 30 through Oct. 8. Last year, Wozniak represented the U.S. Fencing team as an alternate in the sabre division. This year, she is one of five fencers who will compete for a medal in the competition. Homer will be competing at the WFC for the first time. According to assistant Red Storm coach Boris Vaksman, the goal for Wozniak is to be one of the top 16 fencers. Vaksman also said that for Homer, the goal is to reach the top 32. “Regardless of how they do in Turkey, making the senior team is an accomplishment in itself,” Vaksman said. “Making the team is the result of their hard work.” Last season, Wozniak and Homer helped lead the team to the sixth place finish at the 2009 NCAA Championships last March.
Storm loses power PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Pamela Petruski finished first overall for the Red Storm at the Paul Short Invitational last weekend at Lehigh.
ANGEL PEREZ Staff Writer
We’re not concerned about the streak. We don’t talk about the streak. We don’t know about the streak. We’re not focused on streaks. -men’s soccer coach Dave Masur on his team’s performance
Oct. 7 Rutgers Oct. 17 Louisville Oct. 20 Brown
7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games
Oct. 10 Syracuse Oct. 11 Marquette
2 p.m. 2 p.m.
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Blowin’ in the Wind
are providing. Once healthy, the team could have everything it needs to become an elite team in the Big East this season. Last week’s Paul Short Invite was the team’s final tune up before their first championship meet of the season, the Metropolitan Championship. The team finished fourth out of fourteenth at last year’s Metropolitan Championship, including top 20 overall finishes from Trujillo and Sudbury. The team will look to build on last year’s success in order to gain some momentum for the rest the 2009-2010 season. The meet is set to take place in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx with a 2:15 p.m. start time. “I’m really excited about this Friday’s race at the Mets,” Fry said. “Pamela and I have been having some great workouts and are getting into a good groove. Last Friday was a great race for all of us. The conditions were perfect and we performed pretty well.”
7 Oct. 2009
Seniors Pamela Petruski and Sarah Fry of the St. John’s cross country team finished first and second, respectively, at the Paul Short Invite last Friday at Lehigh University. Despite placing 24th out of 39 teams in the meet, St. John’s managed to improve their average 6K time to 23:47 from the 25:37 the team finished with at the Iona Meet of Champions. Since being named co-captians, Petruski and Fry have taken on much needed leadership roles with the team, and are leading by example. Fry has finished in the scoring top five in each of St. John’s three meets so far this season. Her 23:26 time at the Paul Short Invite was her best 6K time in a meet since her sophomore year. Petruski drastically improved her 6K time as well, finishing the Paul Short Invite more than two minutes faster than she did at Iona. “We were very pleased with our effort last Friday at the Paul Short Invite,” head coach Jim Hurt said. “Although we ran without some of our top runners, the rest of the team really stepped up
and performed well. The improvement in times from the previous meet showed that we’re moving forward.” St. John’s has also received a nice boost from junior Sarah Sudbury. Like Fry, Sudbury has placed in St. John’s scoring five in every meet this year. However, last week was a prime example of how much the Red Storm need their younger runners to step up, if they plan on making an impact in the Big East this year. The short-handed Red Storm competed last week without sophomore Aryon Trujillo and freshman Michelle Duffy, who both missed the meet due to injuries. Trujillo started the year off with a bang, finishing first overall at the Hofstra Invitational with a final time of 19:58.42, while Duffy fit right in with her new team, finishing third and first on the team in previous meets before missing last week’s meet. Another freshman, Stephanie Barnes has a couple of top five finishes of her own for St. John’s, and set her career 6K bench mark with a 23:36 time at last week’s meet. If the Red Storm continues to see great things out of their freshman and sophomore runners, the team will have the depth it needs, in addition to the experience the junior and senior runners
Petruski, Fry lead Red Storm at Lehigh
The volleyball team’s weekend match at South Florida Sunday was cut short when the arena lost power. The Red Storm trailed the first set, 3-1, when the game was postponed. The team’s only point came off a kill from junior Kun Song. No make up date has yet been scheduled.
SPORTS 07 OCTOBER 2009 | VOLUME 87, ISSUE 08 | TORCHONLINE.COM
TORCH PHOTO/ LAURA AMATO
Freshman golfer Peter Ballo finished second overall at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate last weekend.
The womenâ€™s soccer team will embark on a four-game road trip after losing its last game to Cincinnati.