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MOVIES Last Train to Paris

Opinion..................7-9 Comics.....................21

John Travolta goes Bold and Bald in his latest film. Inferno rates his performance.

Features..................11 Sports.................24-28


News......................2-5 Entertainment....15-19


Last week’s poll results Have you contributed to the relief fund in Haiti ?

46% Yes 54% No Check out our new poll every Wednesday “Think Outside. . .”


Directory Managing Board LXXXVII




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Special thanks to Richard Rex Thomas for assisting in the design of The TORCH

Music Born Again Rapper Inferno puts Lil Wayne’s Rebirth rock album to the “Hit or Miss” test.

Inferno Pg. 17

Features Fitness Center University personal trainers help students enhance their workout experience.

Features Pg. 11

Men’s Basketball Free Fallin’ The men’s basketball team has lost five straight games.

Sports Pg. 26 NEWS


St. John’s students gather to watch Super Bowl XLIV in Taffner Field House.


10 Feb. 2010


FOR MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: 718-990-6756 The TORCH is the official student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University. All contents are the sole responsibility of the editors and the editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of St. John’s University unless specifically stated.

To contact The TORCH by mail: The TORCH, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway Queens, NY 11439

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St. John Hall renovation proposed JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor Plans to renovate the second floor of the University’s library, as well as other small projects have been “put on hold,” according to a University official. The Humanities Center, located on the second floor of St. Augustine Hall, was originally scheduled to open in fall 2009. It would have provided office space for professors currently in St. John Hall, allowing Tobin School of Business professors to move in to the building. Instead, the University is planning a $9 million renovation project of St. John Hall, one of the oldest academic buildings on the Queens campus. In a recent interview with the TORCH, James Pellow, University executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) said that the plan will be brought to the University’s executive board in March. If approved, the renovations are set to take place during the upcoming summer in time for the start of the 2010 fall semester. For some, the planned renovation project to one of the campus’ most used academic buildings is a welcome improvement. Students like junior Hakiem Simmons feel that the building’s age has become

increasingly visible and that updating technology is important as the school continues to grow. “I think the plans to renovate [St. John Hall] are very good,” said Simmons. “A room my organization meets in has a hole in the ceiling where the projector should be.” Pellow said the renovations are a part of a University effort to respond to student feedback and modernize the school’s classroom facilities. “The idea is to completely renovate the classrooms in St. John Hall, ceiling to floor — new lights, new furniture, new air conditioning, new smart boards,” said Pellow. Pellow said that by the end of summer 2010, St. John’s students would have “a nice setting” where ever they sit on campus and that a better learning environment would enhance the student experience. Senior James Kin said he is pleased with the plans to modernize St. John Hall, noting that it is “much older compared to the other buildings on campus.” Other students feel that the renovation may not be the best use of money considering the current economic environment. “They already have computers and projectors in the rooms. I think [the money] could go to tuition relief,” said Sheamus Mullarkey, a junior at St. John’s.


The typical layout of a classroom in St. John Hall.

VSOs offered to prevent future S.O.S.


the end of July 2008, a decrease of 1.5 percent. “St. John’s has traditionally had strong operating performance,” the report reads. “In fiscal 2007, the University had an operating surplus of $11.7 million or 2.4 percent of operating expenses; unaudited fiscal 2008 results show a slightly modest surplus for the year.” In the meantime, Pellow said other changes could be on the horizon. “We’re looking at every single budget, every single department, every single division and the way we do business on every campus across the entire university,” he said. “We’re seeking opportunities to redesign, redeploy, and take different approaches to be more efficient or economical in student service and academic quality.” Pellow confirmed that although there will be more changes coming besides the VSOs, the possibility of layoffs have not been “specifically talked about.” “What we’re thinking is that the VSO should provide enough flexibility so that we can redeploy resources,” he said. “There are some areas of the institution that we know we’re not going to operate in the same way. Things that we started 10 years ago, that made sense 10 years ago or 15 years ago, we know are just not the appropriate way to serve students and faculty today.” “We hope that the pieces will fit together and we’ll be able to do it with a minimum amount of impact to individuals.”

10 Feb. 2010

More than two-thirds of full-time St. John’s employees have been offered buyouts, according to University officials. At the end of January, University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington sent an internal e-mail stating full-time St. John’s employees would be receiving Voluntary Separation Offers in an effort to maintain a balanced budget. According to Dr. James Pellow, executive vice president and COO, a VSO is “an opportunity for an employee to, on a voluntary basis, separate or terminate from the institution and receive a series of benefits.” More than 1,700 full-time St. John’s employees have been offered VSOs including 357 faculty members and 1,345 administrators and staff. The University employs more than 2,100 full-time employees and more than 3,000 altogether. All eligible employees have been notified and have until March 12 to accept the offer. Once they accept, they will have seven days to reconsider. Pellow said the upside of the VSOs is that it will make the University more financially flexible. “This is a great opportunity for us,” he said. “It’s going to be hard, it’s going

He said “a dozen or so” employees to be painful in some areas, but at the end of the day, the institution is going to have already filed paperwork while many come out so much stronger because it’s others have shown interest in upcoming provided us the opportunity to rethink informational sessions. “There’s fairly significant interest on how we approach student service and the administrative and staff side of the enhance academic quality. “We’re going to make some really house and there appears to be interest on good repositioning decisions. We’re the faculty side of the house as well,” he said. “But there’s looking very no clear patterns hard and in great on what areas detail at our will be most marketplaces,” We’re seeking affected or what Pellow added. opportunities to redesign, departments To determine will be most eligibility, each redeploy, and take different affected.” employee was approaches to be more Despite the given a score use of VSOs, based on a efficient or economical Pellow maintains combination of in student service and that the financial their years of academic quality. uality. state of the service and age University is to determine “terrific.” their eligibility. “We continue F a c u l t y - Dr. James P Pellow ll to remain very members with strong, very a score of 65 or healthy,” he said. over fall under the eligibility list while 60 is the cut-off “In fact, like a lot of schools, you read in the headlines, many schools are hurt number for administrators and staff. Facility members who accept the by the drop in their endowments. For VSOs will receive a package of two better or worse, St. John’s endowment years pay and up to five years of medical is not $36 billion like Harvard’s was. So benefits. Administrators and staff could while we did suffer a drop of value in our receive packages up to two years salary endowment, the impact on our operating and three years of medical benefits. budget was not as great.” Pellow said the University could According to a Sept. 2008 Standard be investing as much as more than $20 & Poor’s credit profile, the University’s million into this program. endowment was $345 million as of


EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor



The Language Center opened Monday in Council Hall, which was formerly used as event space.

Language Center finds a new home DAMANPREET KAUR Contributing Writer The long-awaited Global Language and Culture Center opened its doors in the renovated Council Hall this week. The new Center is designed to help St. John’s students further their study of foreign languages and is an expansion of the Language Lab, which was located in the basement of St. Augustine Hall. It

is divided into four sections — Italian, French, Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL). Each section has four qualified tutors that have taken higher-level courses in their respective languages and were hand-picked by professors for the job. “We just want a place for students to come to experience a new language yet still feel comfortable,” said junior Maria Gambino, an Italian tutor. The Center has an open space for students to sit down and communicate

with their tutors, as well as many books, dictionaries and movies for research. Sophomore Alma Rodriguez, a Spanish tutor, said there are other perks as well, including a TV for each language on which Spanish, Italian, and French channels help to make the learning experience a well-rounded one. Rodriguez explained that each section will hold approximately three to five culture events, including foreign language movie nights and open table discussions to encourage students to

freely communicate and experience the culture. The Center offers individual and group tutoring, as well as training in the use of the University’s Tell Me More online language program. They also provide language placement testing, pronunciation and accent reduction workshops, and much more. To sign up for a tutoring session or to learn more, visit index.php?page=10.

Student play heralds Black History Month




10 Feb. 2010


Members of Haraya perform a scene from A Raisin in the Sun by Lorainne Hansberry in the Little Theatre.

Members of Haraya, the Pan-African Students Coalition, brought Lorainne Hansberry’s award-winning play, A Raisin in the Sun, to life at St. John’s over the weekend. The event, a part of this year’s Black History Month celebration at the University, was the first play organized by the group in its history. The theatrical production, the first play written by an African-American woman to be performed on Broadway, tells the story of the Youngers, an African-American family struggling in Chicago during the 1950s. “A Raisin in the Sun shows black feminism, the beginning of civil rights and the coming of manhood,” said Nashia Whittenburg, assistant director of Multicultural Affairs. “The importance of this production goes beyond the cast of characters, beyond the Haraya executive board, but rather it seeps into the core of the Pan-African students and alumni, the core and totality that is St. John’s University.”

The cast put the production together in less than a month and often had to stay past 1 a.m. for rehearsals. “I just think Haraya is taking it to the next level,” said Ricardy Fabre, Haraya’s treasurer. “It is capable and doing so much on this campus, not just for the African-American community, but for the campus as a whole. It [the play] is a platform to do so many things.” Fabre said the idea to put on the play spoke about how he and Candace Pickering, vice president of activities for Haraya, came up with the idea for the organization to put on a play at St. John’s. “We were in the UC one day, and we were both saying let’s put on a play,” he said. “We loved the idea, so we took it to the rest of the executive board, and Nashia Whittenburg, and we took the steps to make it happen.” The cast of A Raisin in the Sun included: Candace Pearl Pickering, Corrinne Lauren Bynoe, Seth Alexander Johnson, Ricardy Fabre, Autumn McDonald, Jaleesa Cooke, Justin Phillips, Aaron A. Poon, Lamar Perry and Ysmael Reyes.

Student organization fights MTA price-hike RICHARD MILLER Staff Writer

In the face of ongoing budget cuts, one student organization wants to take on the MTA in an effort to extend public transportation discounts to St John’s commuters. According to Campus Activies, roughly 83 percent of St. John’s students are commuter students. The Campus Commuter Connection (CCC) is collaborating with other colleges in New York City, in an effort to provide discount MetroCards to students. Donald Wiggins, a sophomore and

the secretary of CCC, said that the push for discount MetroCards is still in the “beginning stages.” The MTA has recently announced extensive budget cuts. Under the proposed plan, MetroCards discounts will no longer be offered to middle school and high school students. About 400,000 public school students currently receive full fare MetroCards and about 170,000 students receive reduced fare MetroCards. According to Wiggins, a petition is being circulated to convince the MTA of the need to not only continue the discounts, but extend the reduced rate to area college students. The CCC has worked with the University on several other projects before this one. According to Wiggins, CCC

was involved in revising the University’s shuttle schedule. The organization also holds gatherings for commuters to get together and interact, such as Commuter Chat, which is a chance for commuters to come to the CCC with questions or concerns. The CCC will then take these to the faculty and administration. CCC is relatively new to the fight for college MetroCards. “We became involved at the end of last semester, in light of [MTA] rate hikes,” said Yvette Clairjeane, president of the CCC. Several commuter students said they support the organization’s efforts. Freshman Sara Kryeziu, who travels by mass transit twice a day, said that the discount would help already cash-

strapped college students. “[Commuters] don’t work, and if we do, we don’t work a lot,” Kryeziu said. “We’re working for our Metrocards. $2.25 for a 20 minute ride is ridiculous. Who can afford to pay for MetroCards?” Sophomore Faith Victoria Ndifornyen (agreed that she would utilize discount MetroCards for college students. “I’m a Staten Island student,” Ndifornyen said. “I take the shuttle, but when the shuttle is inconvenient, I have to take MTA transit.” Senior Andrew Detoure drives to campus each day and called the MTA transit system “a hassle.” However, he would support any measure that could lessen the burden on financially-stretched students.

Schedule changes and less classes in fall JOSE SILVA Online Editor St. John’s will be changing the class schedule format in the fall semester, according to an e-mail sent out Monday from University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington. In the e-mail, Harrington explains the need to alter the current schedule “to a more flexible format of Monday/ Thursday and Tuesday/Friday.” The new schedule will also fit in three-hour classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. These days, Harrington said, will also allow more time for service projects and

special activities. “The revised schedule will provide more effective teaching time frames and greater flexibility for both students and faculty while increasing classroom utilization by 15 percent,” said Harrington. The e-mail also states that the “number of sections offered each semester will be reduced by carefully cycling courses, rotating electives, and reducing or eliminating under-enrolled courses. University provost, Dr. Julia Upton said on Tuesday that the University has been working on the schedule changes for the past two years, but the initial idea is quite different from the final plan. “We had Friday and Saturday as

the days with three-hour blocks,” Upton said. “There was a concern with that, that it would become a four-day University, and students didn’t want that to be happening, and student life didn’t want that to be happening.” Students have mixed feelings toward the schedule change. “I’m pretty unaffected by it, but I would like to have two common hours,” said Bill Baptiste, a junior. “I would have preferred if they would have kept the same schedule because I like 55-minute classes.” Upton also said that students were elemental to the change. She said there is “a large cohort of


students” who would prefer the new schedule, since it requires them to be on campus less often. Brittney Desrouleaux, a junior, feels that the new schedule will not mesh well with her activities. “If I want to go to one meeting, there might be a meeting with another organization that I am part of so it will be hard to balance everything,” she said. The e-mail also noted a growth in distant-learning courses. “To respond to the growing student demand for distance-learning courses and leverage our substantial investment in technology, we will significantly expand distance-learning offerings over the next two years,” said Harrington.

Times foreign affairs editor speaks at STJ SARA CAHILL MARRON Staff Writer

ANJANIE KASHIDAS Contributing Writer

of the students,” she said. “They make the school, and they may feel like a failure because of it. It’s all about reaching down to the core of the problem. “What is it that’s causing students to perform poorly? They should take the appropriate measures and fix it. Closing the school just seems like they are running away from the problem.”

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Queens. “It’s a big school and it’s a big part of the community.” Gero Gonzales, a senior, agrees. “It would definitely be bad for the community because the students who go to [junior high school] are going to transfer to other schools and those schools are already overcrowded,” he said. “The kids who are being displaced will probably feel like they failed. They may even be more likely to drop out, but that just depends on the individual.” Gonzales also said that he thinks that it will give a bad message to current students. Christina Gogas, a freshman, also thinks that students will be discouraged. “If they consider the school violent and poorly educated, then it’s a reflection


Jamaica High School will close its doors due to poor performance after more than 100 years of educating the community. The city proposed that the school, located only a few minutes from St. John’s at 167-01 Gothic Drive, stop accepting ninth grade students in 2010 and then slowly phase out the enrolled students. “I just don’t think they have a good enough reason for it. It just seems like they’re taking the easy way out,” said Brenna Dillman, a freshman.

According to, an independent guide to NYC public schools, the high school’s graduation rate has been around 50 percent for years. The attendance rate has remained at a constant 80 percent over the last three years, but the number of suspensions given has increased seven percent in the past three years. The school received an overall grade of proficient in 2008-2009 by the Department of Education. Jamaica High School also received a D on their 20082009 progress report. They scored in the bottom four percent of all schools in the state. In the two previous years, the school received a C. Dan Bart, a junior, thinks that the school still serves as a source of pride in

10 Feb. 2010

City to phase out Jamaica High School


Kirk Kraeutler, assistant foreign editor at the New York Times, spoke to students Tuesday, Feb. 9 in Bent Hall about the his experience covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South Asia. Over the past decade, Kraeutler has had several bylines in the travel section of the Times. He now coordinates a team of correspondents abroad that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their work. Cindy Grossman, director of Student Information and Services at St. John’s, opened the lecture with a summary of what Kraeutler and other speakers bring to the University. “The lecture series features many speakers with an expertise in foreign affairs,” Grossman said. “Part of our strategic goal, as a University, is that you get a global education.” Kraeutler began speaking about the important role of the student in media consumption. “We’re living in one of the most tumultuous periods of media upheaval,” Kraeutler said. “Every waking moment of everyday a battle is waged—everyone wants your attention and not all the information they want to give you is good and valuable.” According to Kraeutler, the average American between the ages of 8 and 18 spends about 7 and a half hours plugged into some sort of technology or media outlet. “In the midst of all this chatter, the news media wants your attention,” Kraeutler said. After he spoke about the modern consumption of media in comparison to newspaper, Kraeutler shared his first-hand experience with the war in Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to Kraeutler, in 2007-2008 when things in Pakistan and Afghanistan were

unraveling, the coverage of events inAfghanistan amounted to 1 percent of news. Kraeutler cited expense, danger and complication as the reasons for this low statistic. “It’s dangerous, and security costs money,” Kraeutler said. “It’s also difficult for the public to follow because there are no clear lines there. The New York Times has made a commitment to coverage of these areas, though.” After a short movie produced by the Times about Pakistani girls’ dwindling accessibility to educational opportunities, Kraeutler spent the final 20 minutes of the lecture taking questions from students. When asked to give advice to prospective journalism majors, Kraeutler responded by emphasizing objectivity. “In a world this messy and this dangerous and complicated, good information is important, and this information is hard to come by,” Kraeutler said. “With things like Twitter, distrust the information — don’t dismiss it, but balance it, challenge it. Set aside time for the things that are complicated and that you don’t understand.” “It’s also always good to have one area that you know, one area of expertise,” Kraeutler said. “Bring to the craft something other than just the practice of journalism.” Senior Mario Vergara commented on his motivation for attending the lecture series. “I came because I was interested in international reporting and hearing about the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Vergara said. “It really opened my eyes. I didn’t realize that journalists there were at such a risk.” While encouraging the students to read newspapers scrupulously and to stay informed, Kraeutler left the audience with a piece of advice. TORCH PHOTO/BRIAN LOPEZ “Every once in a while, look up,” Kraeutler Kirk Kraeutler, New York Times editor and journalist speaks to said. “You might be missing the things in life while you think you’re enhancing it.” students in Bent Hall about his experiences.


Editorial Board LXXXVII

Illustrator’s Corner:

CHRISTINA HEISER Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor NELL O’CONNOR News Editor JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor


Professionalism on Facebook


STUDENTSPARKS: Valentine’s Day What is your opinion of Valentine’s Day?

Love existed before the holiday and it will exist after. Sekou Bandele Sophomore

If you have enough money for a drink, it’s a good time. Tom Rogers Freshman 10 Feb. 2010

truth and misconception. One possible explanation for the huge disparity in numbers that InformationWeek points out is 75 percent of job recruiters in the U.S. are required by their companies to perform an online search of job applicants’ online information. For many young Facebook users, this could be motivation enough to delete their accounts all together. Though Microsoft’s research may be shocking at first, it makes practical sense. Often times a person’s Facebook is a more genuine account of what that person is really like. A resume and cover letter may paint a pleasant picture of the job applicant and their best qualities, but that’s exactly what these things are supposed to do. No one’s resume reveals information about their friends, musical taste or delivers snapshots of what they choose to do in their spare time. To an employer who knows nothing about a person except the resume they’ve provided, a quick Facebook search could fill in lots of missing pieces. While many students may feel safe and secure posting personal information to the Web, it’s important to understand the visibility of their online action. The Web is fully transparent and accessible, and with almost 90 percent of American students using Facebook, it should be assumed that companies are researching who they’re dealing with before they make a hire. But students shouldn’t necessarily be scared away from social networking. Using common sense and good judgment when setting up a Facebook account will protect users from casting a non-professional image of themselves. With some tactfulness and attention paid to the image published to the public, students can use their Facebooks to communicate, socialize and network without hurting their chances of securing a job.


In February of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched the social networking site Facebook from his Harvard dorm room. At first, the site was limited solely to Harvard students. It quickly grew into a site for the entire Boston area college scene and other Ivy League schools like Stanford. Finally, within the first year it was open to every college student in the nation. Zuckerberg was an undergraduate sophomore when he first starting writing code for the site and since then has seen his online networking creation evolve into a cultural phenomenon that a staggering 85 percent of American college students now use, according to But while Facebook has changed the way college students communicate and define their social networks, it has also contributed largely to the debate over online privacy. The question that sites like Facebook create is exactly how private can users’ photos, friends and information really be? The reality is, nothing put online is really fully private. Last month, in coinciding with national Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28, Microsoft released a special report detailing the effect that sites such as Facebook can have on getting jobs. Unfortunately for many college users, an article in InformationWeek by Thomas Claburn reports that it’s “indiscreet publication of information online” that can be the nail in the coffin for job applicants. Claburn reports the specifics of Microsoft’s research, including the unsettling statistic that 70 percent of human resource workers surveyed admitted to rejecting a job applicant based on “information found through an online search.” Conversely, only 7 percent of U.S. consumers who were surveyed felt that online data had any weight in being hired. This creates a rather unfortunate dichotomy between

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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It’s a time to appreciate a significant other that you don’t on other days, like your mother and not someone you always see like your girlfriend. Ian Baichan Senior

I think its fun, people do creative things they would not do on other days. Amanda Pasciola Senior COMPILED BY THOMAS CARNEVALE

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Improving the retention rate St. John’s would do well to re-examining its student experience

In 1998, St. John’s shifted its focus from being a commuter-heavy school to one that had more resident students, with the addition of dormitories on campus. In order for this shift to happen smoothly, the school had to rethink many of its programs and the way it did business. That year, the University offered its first buyout package to full-time employees. Twelve years later, St. John’s has announced its second buyout package to full-time employees across all five of its campuses. Sure, the term buyout might seem scary, but this shouldn’t come as such a surprise given the economic condition of the United States right now. Many other universities, such as Harvard and the University of Michigan, have also had to scale back, offering similar packages. This Voluntary Separation Offer is only the first in a series of changes that are set to take place here, though. According to James Pellow, chief operating officer of St. John’s, the University will be undergoing a “repositioning,” one that I believe couldn’t come at a better time. While there are some students here who are happy, the University’s retention rates speak volumes. Seventy-five percent of freshmen return for another year

as a student here, meaning that a large chunk — one in four — leave after just one year, so it makes sense that St. John’s would want to retool in certain areas. Other colleges in the NYC area, like Queens College, Manhattan College and Wagner College, have retention rates in the mid-80 percent range. And after being a student here for three and half years, there are a few things I believe should be changed in order for St. John’s to keep its students happy and from transferring to another school. Most importantly, the University needs to focus its energies on improving the level of academics. This is something that St. John’s is already in the process of doing, with plans to completely overhaul all of the classrooms in St. John Hall by the end of this summer. The classrooms in St. John Hall and Marillac make a lot of students feel like they are still in high school, with the desks set up in rows — I even had one professor who made the class sit in alphabetical order. Why would students who are paying thousands in tuition want to continue paying to go to a college that feels just like high school? St. John’s should consider retooling its application process, too, by making letters of recommendations and a personal statement a requirement to ensure that only the highest quality of students are accepted. Once this begins to happen, the University will be better able to compete with top-ranked schools across the country. The University also needs to re-examine its Freshmen Orientation program. During orientation, incoming students spend two nights in the dorms, take a tour of Manhattan, attend a dance with a DJ and go on a cruise. Incoming freshmen are broken up into groups and have to participate in silly icebreaker games and

come up with cheers. I haven’t met one student at St. John’s that has actually enjoyed this experience. After orientation, many of my friends and I even wondered if we made the right choice for college. Since most students come away from this experience unhappy, St. John’s should consider cutting down orientation to one day, where students explore the campus instead of spending money on a cruise, a DJ and a tour in Manhattan. Another area that is worth retooling is the Freshman Center — is it really necessary for college students to have their first three semesters planned by someone who doesn’t know their interests or schedule outside of school? and are you sure that’s the experience for everyone? When I was a freshman, I was assigned a threehour Saturday morning class and had large gaps between my classes during the week — since I’m a commuter student, it was impossible to go home between classes. College students are adults and are competent enough to choose their own classes — I know I would have been a lot happier during my freshman year had I been able to make my own schedule. St. John’s is in the process of undergoing another major transition, and these are only a few of the areas that the University will have to think about re-examining. Although change can be scary, it is necessary that this University retool the way it operates in order to compete with top-ranked schools and to make sure it is doing all it can to retain the best and the brightest.

Christina Heiser is a senior English major. She can be reached at:


CBS holds true to image Network refuses to air gay commerical during Super Bowl


10 Feb. 2010

MARK MCDONALD GENERAL MANAGER Since its inception, the Super Bowl has been one of the highest-rated television programs every year. The sheer amount of people who watch the game is so high that advertising space during the Super Bowl commands a massive premium. Out of this situation, a pseudo-art form has arisen: The Super Bowl commercial. Everyone remembers the big commercials. The best ones can take brands and products to a completely different level than they were before, just ask the E*Trade babies. The cost of these commercials are justified by the new consumers the company can reach, which is why every business wants their commercial aired during the Super Bowl. However, not every company gets that chance., a gay male dating site, submitted an ad for the Super Bowl, only to have it rejected. Immediately, gay rights activists and others who felt that this was unfair stood up to defend the company. While the Super Bowl has tra-

ditionally been less of a soapbox, this year also saw a pro-life ad starring Tim Tebow run, upsetting ManCrunch advocates even more. It stands to reason that CBS had two options regarding these commercials: They could run both, or they could choose not to air either. Obviously, someone at CBS made a large mistake in choosing to air one over the other, right? It seems that the truth is not as black-and-white as the facts present. Putting personal beliefs and convictions aside, it’s hard to argue that the commercial starring Tebow was offensive or derogatory. In all fairness, there wasn’t much of a message in the commercial, other than to visit the “Focus On The Family” Web site. The unaired commercial, however, could be considered offensive to some, derogatory to others,

and idiotic to many. The commercial depicted two men watching a football game that both reach for the bowl of chips at the same time, only for their hands to have a chance encounter. This leads to an over-the-top make out session (although no actual kissing is shown), and an awkward friend being caught in the room and forced to watch. There have been plenty of stupid, offensive commercials in the past and there will be many more in the future. With that said, it’s obvious why CBS didn’t want to see the ad run during the Super Bowl. When the “Focus On The Family” ad aired, the advocacy group did a surprisingly great job of making a classy commercial that made an attempt to reach its audience without being too overbearing.

The unaired commercial, however, could be considered offensive to some, derogatory to others, and idiotic to many.

ManCrunch went in the opposite direction, choosing to make an over-the-top commercial in an attempt to drive traffic to its Web site and create publicity (good or bad) in any way possible. They accomplished their mission either way, as traffic to the site has surely gone up since the ad was reported as being rejected. It appears that CBS may have done Mancrunch a favor in spite of themselves. The ad was nothing but a slap in the face to the gay and lesbian community that has worked so hard to gain equal treatment in a world where so many are against the lifestyle. Instead of giving CBS a slap in the face for failing to air an ad that would have undoubtedly upset numerous people, gay or straight, maybe they deserve a pat on the back.

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Telling the untold stories Zinn’s voice will live on in his account of American history MATTHEW MCENERNEY Contributing Writer In the past few weeks, two best-selling and controversial authors passed away: J.D Salinger and Howard Zinn. Salinger, the more provocative and perplexing of the two, has received more attention, but Zinn’s career should be celebrated equally as much for the work he has done in preserving the “bottomup” power of this country. It was in his most successful book, A People’s History of the United States, that Zinn showed that history should not only remember the rich, the powerful and the influential; it must include the workers, minorities and those who said “no” when it was popular to say “yes.” His alternative look at the history of America has been divisive. To some he is an anti-American anarchist; to others he is a revolutionary demigod. Maybe it isn’t fair to try and encapsulate a man in a single title of cliché ideology. Maybe this particular man was neither, he was simply trying to provide an argument that this country is great, but in an unfamiliar framework. Zinn believed that this country is great not because of the Hilary Clintons and Sarah Palins, but because of the women that marched down city blocks for the right to vote; not because General Patton gave great speeches, but because men of middle and lower classes stormed the beaches of Normandy for no other reason than for the right to go home; not because President Johnson signed a civil rights act, but because African-American men marched for miles in threepiece suits on a summer day for equality. Maybe Zinn just made the case that our history often forgets the bottom and chooses to reward individuals at the top, maybe because we can comfortably give them a title. He believed that democracy is something that must be exercised everyday. He believed that if people wanted to be heard, they couldn’t wait for people to listen. He not only wrote about these beliefs, he lived it. After risking his life for this country as a military aviator in World War II, Zinn participated in the civil-rights and anti-war movements in the 1960s and 70s, and was a constant representative of peace, equality, and workers and consumer rights. He is, in so many ways, what is great about this country: A man who wanted to have his voice heard and make a difference and truly did. If you haven’t already, make sure to pick up a copy of A People’s History of the United States. Do not be overly cynical or prideful when reading, for Howard Zinn never was, and that is why so many find him and his life’s work so important.


LOVELL NIMMONS Contributing Writer


not possess the ability to compromise values that are embedded in the fabric of its nation. Both of these stances are valid in their own right, but there is one element that drastically affects the issue: The element of urgency. In the case of murder versus self-defense, urgency is considered within the context of the offense, as one’s need for self-preservation outweighs the social responsibility to not kill. But, just as someone cannot completely disregard legal statues when defending themselves (such as firing at a fleeing assailant), the U.S. government should not completely disregard their Constitutional standards when interacting with suspected terrorists. There must be a middle ground found, a balance achieved, where, in light of urgency, interrogation absent of the reading of Miranda Rights, should be allowed to take place within a specified period of time immediately following arrest. After this period, detainees should be afforded all of the rights that non-detainees are. Here, both sides of this issue would be satisfied without disregarding the context in which the alleged offense is in. Ultimately, everything is contextual.Though this is not an excuse to forsake ideals, it must be considered when dealing with issues of this kind, and few issues will ever be as controversial as the treatment of alien criminal detainees.

10 Feb. 2010

A burning debate has ensued in light of combating violent extremism. Should authorities be given the right to interrogate those who have either exhibited behavior that is indicative of violent extremism or who have verified ties to violent extremists, without the presence of a lawyer and the opportunity to remain silent in the interest of national security? Or should detainees be given the same rights that are afforded to nonmilitary suspects accused of committing a crime in this country, such as having their Miranda Rights read and being afforded council. This debate has picked up intensity after the recent treatment of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber who was granted these amenities during his questioning. There are essentially two sides to this issue. After 9/11, America performed an overhaul of its national security procedures. As the possibility of other attacks seems not only realistic but likely, it can be said that America’s primary responsibility is to its citizens and their ability to experience the freedoms that are delineated in its founding documents. Interrogation should take place without the presence of an attorney and Miranda Rights should not be read at

that time, in light of what appears to be relentless attempts to send the U.S. reeling and the possibility of multiple attacks occurring simultaneously. Valued intelligence information is vital and would probably not be extracted from someone who is protected by the Fifth Amendment. As in the issue of the infamous Bank Bailout, where systemic risk outweighed moral hazard, national security should outweigh Constitutional integrity when dealing with issues of this kind, as lives are hanging in the balance. On the other hand, America has been known for years as an international superpower and the template for all other countries to emulate. This gave our country the almost nationalistic pride that some would argue was prevalent for years and that characterized the Bush administration’s sentiments towards the rest of the world. In light of this, America has been burdened with the responsibility to act with the utmost of integrity when interacting with those of differing international ties. In the case of violent extremism, it could be argued that the U.S. should behave no differently, as those who are suspected of being affiliated with extremist groups or who have been explicitly caught performing extremist acts should be treated with the same “Constitutional respect,” as a person who is accused of mugging an elderly woman in a dark alley. International climate and sentiment towards the U.S. should


Two sides of the coin on detaining alien terrorists

Think Outside...






Greg Mortenson spoke to the University about his philanthropic work in Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Bringing education to Middle East Activist turned author strives to improve schooling in Pakistan and Afghanistan SARA CAHILL MARRON Staff Writer

we can’t do that. If you fight terrorism, it’s based in fear, but promoting peace is based in hope,” Mortenson said. Since his humanitarian efforts began more than a decade ago, Mortenson has established 131 schools in regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan where few opportunities for education existed before. Roughly 58,000 children are able to attend schools that did not exist before Mortenson’s philanthropy. “I still think there’s a lot of work to get done. I find it very disheartening, even in our country, that there is so little of our funds and monies being put into education,” Mortenson said. Even with numerous awards and accomplishments to his name, Mortenson remains motivated and forwardthinking about his goals for the future. “The challenge I see is not what I’ve accomplished, but rather the other half of the glass,” Mortenson said. “My goal is that every single child on this planet can go to school.” When asked what advice he could give to St. John’s students in their own service projects, Mortenson advocated starting small. “Find something you’re passionate about, don’t just do something to do something,” Mortenson said. “Do one good deed a day, you have to make it a habit. Philanthropy is not helping people, its empowering people, and there’s really a big difference.”

Trainers at the Fitness Center offer students a chance to pump up their exercise routine HANNAH GUTIERREZ

didn’t feel healthy, so I changed things up,” he said. “All the gym trainers really know their stuff and are really disciplined with their workout program. Listen to them and you’ll get in the shape you want to.” Ashley Meadows, fitness coordinator at the center, feels that being fit is just as important as other investments into a student’s life. “It’s an investment into your future,” said Meadows, who graduated from St. John’s recently and has been a personal trainer since 2006. “Most people want to diet, extreme diet, but more consistent and moderate changes [are needed]. Staying healthy requires both a healthy diet and a good workout,” she said. “They go hand in hand.” Kim agrees that a healthy diet is essential to fitness and that without it, it’s impossible to stay fit. “The number one thing is diet. If you just try eliminating sugar…I will guarantee you will feel better,” he said.

Deciding to go and spend time at the gym is the first hurdle to tackle when trying to get into shape. The second task is figuring out how to actually get the machines to work to your advantage, without hurting yourself or getting overwhelmed. That’s where the fitness center’s personal trainers come in handy. Five CPR and AED-certified personal trainers work at the Center and are available for hire. The cost of sessions depends on how many times someone would want to visit with the trainer, ranging from $10 to $110. One session with a personal trainer costs $10, four costs $36, eight costs $75, and twelve sessions costs $110.

One of the trainers, Charles Kim, is a senior in the ROTC program at the University and has been a personal trainer for four years. He believes that being involved in ROTC plays a large role in his training style with his clients. “My style is very aggressive,” said Kim. “If I see slacking in any way, I’ll be hounding that person.” In addition to training students at the Center, Kim will be running a new fitness class in March called Cross Fit. The purpose of the Cross Fit program is to help students strengthen and condition their bodies. After experiencing the Cross Fit program himself, Kim made a big effort to include this class for St. John’s students and faculty. One of Kim’s personal training clients, senior Allen Crane, trains with Kim three times a week. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always worked out. But by freshman year, I got lazy and out of shape and I just


Staff Writer

10 Feb. 2010

Getting personal at the gym


Greg Mortenson has a had a very rich, eventful life so far. Not only has he become a published author, but he has traveled across the world to fight for women’s educational rights. He has won numerous awards for his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including The Sitarae-Pakistan, meaning “The Star of Pakistan.” It is one of Pakistan’s highest civil awards and was presented to Mortenson in 2009 for his aid in promoting education and literacy over the last 15 years. In both 2008 and 2009, bipartisan U.S. Congressional representatives nominated Mortenson for the Nobel Peace Prize. “The most exciting news to come out of the country is that in 2000, before 9/11, there were 800,000 people in school, mostly boys, in Afghanistan,” Mortenson said. “Now, there are 8.4 million children in school in Afghanistan. And 2.5 million of those are female, which is the greatest increase in school enrollment in modern history.” Mortenson described his philosophy on social reform, necessary to promote education in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, which prompted him to

work toward making changes in these regions. “In the last three years the Taliban has bombed and destroyed about 2,000 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Mortenson said. “What they’re really afraid of is not a bullet, but a pen.” Tuesday, Jan. 26, in Carnesecca Arena, Greg Mortenson shared his experience working in this region. Based on his best-selling book, Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson’s lecture at St. John’s centered upon the spirit of service and helping those who are unable to help themselves. Three Cups of Tea is required reading for U.S. Special Forces that deploy to Afghanistan, U.S. senior military commanders and officers in counter-insurgency training. Additionally, the book has started to become required reading for classes at universities across the nation. According to Tiffany Tomlin, senior manager of the Penguin Group Speakers Bureau, Three Cups of Tea has been adopted by 110 schools. One school has already adopted Stones Into Schools, the sequel to Three Cups of Tea, for a specialized reading program. In addition to his writing, Mortenson co-founded the nonprofit organization Central Asia Institute and founded Pennies for Peace. “We’re trying to build walls around America because we think that safety and freedom is building walls and



Signed, Sealed and Delivered


Pg. 18


Inferno writes to Dear John


BLAZE Hit or Miss



Compiled by Adelle Platon



Contributing Writer

FALL INTO SERENDIPITY In the Upper East Sides lies a tiny little restaurant made for lovers. Serendipity 3 is known for its unique decorations and romantic ambiance, but many have also fallen for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which can serve as both a complementary drink and dessert. Although customers do not regularly order the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae (which must be ordered 48 hours in advance), couples can enjoy picking off of each other’s plates of lemon chicken, Madame Butterfly pasta and delectable meat crepes for a significant fraction of the cost. 225 East 60th St. (between Second and Third Avenues) Subway: N, W to Lexington Ave.—59th Street (212) 838-3531

SAIL ON THE LOVE BOAT Every Valentine’s Day, the Queens of Hearts Yacht sets sail from Pier 79 with lovers on board. For $30 a ticket, couples (21 and over) can partake in a buffet and dance the night away with three floors of popular music to choose from. The midnight cruise sails along the Westside Highway from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, making the unique experience fit for Cupid. The Love Boat Pier 79 38th Street Subway: 1, 9 to Christopher Street (212) 987-9200 x302

Satisfy your significant other’s sweet tooth by giving him/ her a box of Valentine’s Day cupcakes, complete with edible roses. A dozen “roses” come at a pricy $24 but there are over 16 flavors to choose from including: red velvet, coffee caramel bourbon, maple bacon, and peanut butter banana honey. Tiny bite-size morsels will warm the heart of your special someone.

Malice ‘N’ Wonderland


(Rap/Hip-Hop) 1/2




he band Sade re-establishes their R&B legacy in their newest album. With only six albums in their 25-year career, Sade Adu (whom the band is named after) maintains the smooth and hypnotic vocals that have made her a musical icon in Soldier of Love. The album opens with the sensual ballad, “The Moon and the Sky,” where Adu sings about heartbreak after a lover takes her heart then returns it. The love journey progresses forward with the reggae-infused “Babyfather” and the piano-backed “Morning Bird.” The album’s selftitled track “Soldier of Love” has a militaristic rhythm that will ultimately have listeners grooving as Adu serenades listeners with poetic lyrics: “I’ve lost the use of my heart/ But I’m still alive/ Still looking for the life/ The endless pool on the other side.” Sade’s indistinguishable voice continues to deliver the natural charisma the artist has been gracing the world with since the ’80s. Her ability to heighten the senses of her listeners is a staple characteristic of all the songs on the album. The only criticism that can be offered is the slow tempo and theme of heartbreak and disappointment that dominates Soldier of Love. Overall, soulful instrumentals combined with Sade’s mesmerizing vocals make for an excellent album that redefines R&B.


he “Doggfather” of rap returns with his 10th studio album determined to satisfy both his old-school fans and a new generation of listeners. Malice ‘n’ Wonderland, released Dec. 8, 2009, showcases the legend’s lyrical genius and laidback flow, bringing back the flavor reminiscent to his “doggy style” days. The album will be re-released on March 23 in a deluxe version under the new moniker More Malice set to feature a mini-movie of Snoop’s superhero persona named Malice. Since his debut in 1992, the rapper has been experimenting with different styles of R&G (respectfully dubbed rhythm and gangsta), which is evident in the new material that appears on the album. Malice begins with the hit single, “I Wanna Rock,” which will have listeners bopping their heads and “jerkin.” “Two Minute Warning” is a track reminiscent of Snoop’s throwback style with two minutes of nonstop rhyming over a bass thumping rhythm. Although Snoop calls on the talents of R&B’s biggest artists, such as The Dream, Brandy and Jazmin Sullivan, the album comes with some flaws as the rapper takes a chance on auto-tune. “Pronto,” featuring Soulja Boy, contains mediocre lyrics and a repetitive chorus that will have listeners skipping through the album. Snoop tries to cater to a younger audience, which can be a double-edged sword for rapping legends trying to stay current in today’s music industry. Overall, Malice ‘n’ Wonderland will be a crowd pleaser, but not a classic.



St. John’s University Residence Halls



Who I Am



Another Round

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. St. John’s RAs are hosting their very own speed dating event in all residence halls throughout the campus. On select dates untill Feb. 14, residents are encouraged to participate in mock five minute dates around the room. A special surprise awaits the end of the program. Make sure to check your floor’s bulletin board.


Lil Wayne charters new territory as he attempts to create a rock album with the long anticipated Rebirth. The album is the rapper’s first solo effort since his highly successful release Tha Carter 3 in 2008. Rebirth, originally released as an album download on the Internet, is a space-filler on music store shelves that will leave both rock and rap listeners disappointed. The album’s tracks reflect a different side of Wayne that fans are not accustomed to hearing. Wayne heavily relies on auto-tune in order to

make up for his singing vocals while his lyrics do not seem to flow with the hardcore rock beats. The most popular single from the album is “Prom Queen,” which tells the story of a woman Wayne is interested in rejects him, but becomes interested after he becomes famous. Artists Kevin Rudolf and Nicki Minaj make contributions to Rebirth, but do not redeem the album as a whole. The only track worth a listen is “Drop the World” featuring Eminem, which starts with Wayne delivering arguably his best verse on the album: “I’ve seen nights full of pain/ Days of the same/ You keep the sunshine/ Save me the rain.” Although Lil Wayne should be commended for venturing into a new genre (even though rapper Jay-Z has done the same in the past by collaborating with alternative rock group Linkin Park in 2004’s Collision album), critics will agree that the rapper should stick to familiar territory. The best advice for Wayne’s fans is to save money and wait for Tha Carter IV.

10 Feb. 2010

Kumquat Valentine’s Pop Up Shop At Kill Hill Devil 170 Franklin St. (between Kent & Java Streets) Brooklyn, NY At this location from Feb. 10 – 14 Subway: G to Greenpoint Avenue To place an order, contact


Soldier of Love









ear John is the latest romantic novel-turnedfilm courtesy of famed author Nicholas Sparks. Directed by Lasse Hallström, the movie tells the story of John Tyree (played by Channing Tatum) and Savannah Curtis (played by Amanda Seyfried) as they struggle with separation over the span of seven years as Tyree re-enlists in the army while Curtis attends college. The film captures the essence of every Sparks’ novel – sappy, romantic and heartbreaking. However, it is no predictable love story. Tatum and Seyfried play a convincing couple in love, who become smitten with each other in merely two weeks. Tyree is a Special Forces Army sergeant who meets Curtis while on leave from the army. They try to maintain contact through written correspondence, taking on each challenge as it comes. Tatum’s character reminisces about his childhood frequently throughout the film, resulting in many flashback scenes that show the struggles he faced as a young boy, especially dealing with a father who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Dear John is a near-perfect replication of the novel, much like its Sparks’ predecessors The Notebook and Message in a Bottle. The movie wonderfully depicts the three-part story of Tyree’s childhood struggles through vivid flashbacks, the couple’s fateful meeting during a housing project in North Carolina for Habitat for Humanity and the progression of their relationship. They become quick friends after Tyree retrieves Curtis’ purse


Dear John, based on the romance novel written by Nicholas Sparks, tells the story of a young couple who try to overcome the obstacles of time and distance by writing letters to each other. from the ocean. The audience goes on the journey of love with them as they learn to cope with the distance that life’s circumstances impose on both of them. The series of letters play a symbolic role in the film as they serve as a testament to their feelings for one another. The first letter is written by Curtis starting with “Dear John” and sealing her promise to love him in spite of

No Love For Paris

the obstacles. In return, Tyree vows to marry her once he completes his deployment. As time and distance take a toll on their flourishing relationship, Tyree re-enlists after the September 11 attacks occur. Years of separation put their love to the test. The best aspect of any romantic film is portraying a love story that many can sympathize with. During a time where many servicemembers are forced to go to war and away from their loved ones, Dear John offers a bittersweet source of solace in overcoming inevitable odds to make a relationship work. Audiences will be moved to tears and feel the passion that pervades every Sparks novel. It is the ideal date movie that guys can take their dates to see on Valentine’s Day.





he newest thriller in theaters is an hourand-a-half joyride of corny humor and intense action. From Paris with Love, directed by Pierre Morel, who has been praised for his work in such movies as District 13 and Taken, does not meet viewers’ expectations. The director’s edge for special effects and high intensity action sequences remain evident whereas the cast offers little to “love.” The plot begins with a humble low-level operative in the CIA named James Reese (played by Jonathan


10 Feb. 2010


Staff Writer


John Travolta (left) and Jonathan Rhys Myer (right) play the perfect mismatched pair on a CIA mission in From Paris with Love.

Rhys Myers) who aspires to be a field agent. After being assigned to his first senior-level assignment, Reese meets his new partner, the eccentric Charlie Wax (played by John Travolta). The two men make the perfect mismatched pair of brawn and brains as they face a wave of gangs, drugs and terrorists in the underground world of Paris. It becomes an unforgettable 48 hours for both parties, but is, forgettable to the viewers. The film plays more like a lukewarm parody of a James Bond movie mixed with the characteristics of a dramatic comedy. With recycled lines such as “Wax on, wax off,” the screenwriters attempt to include humor in an action film, but instead confuse audiences. The movie seems to lack any solid depth of emotion, only eliciting a few sporadic chuckles from viewers. The esteemed actors also do not contribute to the movie’s appeal. Travolta’s role does not fit the typical suave secret agent, but instead a rough-around-theedges and slightly insane assassin with an interesting sense of humor. He is known for playing crazy characters very well, but falls short in making his character believable. A husky 50-something-year-old Travolta going on shooting sprees in the middle of Paris makes the role awkward. Myer’s character lacks a bit of depth as he plays the more reserved, straightedged and eager sidekick, who realizes the chaos he puts himself into afterwards. What the movie lacks in characters and some content, it makes up in action and cinematography. Morel does not miss when it comes to stunning visual effects in action, especially with preposterous, but satisfying, well-choreographed fight scenes. For about an hour and a half, it makes for an entertaining mix of highs and lows. From Paris With Love is a minimally exciting thrill ride combined with a tragic love story. The main problem is that it often fails to convince the audience with authenticity and seriousness of characters and its plot. If given a better screenplay, the storyline could actually be intriguing. However, it ends up just being a mediocre film that leaves audiences hoping for a bit more.


Channing Tatum (left) and Amanda Seyfried (right) give a convincing performance onscreen.


DANIELLE CAMPBELL Contributing Writer


ast coast fraternities stepped their game up for a cause in the first Sprite Step-Off Competition. Competing for a share of the $1.5 million dollar pool of scholarships, performers from Howard University, Temple University, Jersey City University and Morgan State University filled Manhattan’s Roseland Ballroom on Jan. 30 to give back to the community and inspire the youth of the Boys and Girls Clubs into pursuing a higher education. The evening’s event served as the appropriate closing to a day of community service. The performers participated in the Sprite Step-Off Service Challenge earlier in the day to help promote volunteerism and community service. The two-hour service activity took place in the Bronx at the Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse. The teams’ members mentored and instructed children from the Boys and Girls Club in step routines. During the competition, the teams were judged on precision, choreography and audience reaction. The judges included Vice President of Coca-Cola Stephen Boyd, DJ Peter Paul, Power 105.1’s Cherry Martinez, choreographer Chuck Maldonado (known for his contributions to the movie Stomp the Yard and the television shows America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance), and Lisa Talley, an executive for

NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Though every sorority brought their A-game, none were a match for Howard University’s salmon-pink and applegreen team. The Alpha Kappa Alphas donned skirt suits, pearls and heels as they cut loose in their asylum-themed routine. The crazed criminals were guilty of “killing people’s rhythm,” said member Ashley Maltbia. The performance fused the old with the new — the girls moved with peppermint canes and dance moves like “The Jerk” to popular music. Maltbia said, “Perfect practice, perfect performance,” to sum up their win. Howard’s men also outperformed the others with their law and order-themed performance. Equipped with bulletproof vests and smooth moves, Kappa Alpha Psi stole first place and the scholarship money for the fraternities. Prior to the show, senior Chris Tyson said, “Aside from the prize, we’re doing this for McDonald’s and the Boys and Girls Club. Doing community service is what fraternities and sororities are based upon.” Hip-hop artists also contributed to the event by performing some of their hits for the kids and the steppers. To kick off the competition, rapper Wale delivered a powerful message that stressed the importance of these events for the urban youth. “I’m young, and I come from a place where a lot of key things happen,” said Wale, who hails from Washington, D.C. “I was raised to see things that I probably shouldn’t have seen and I’ve done things I probably shouldn’t have done.” In an interview with the Inferno, Wale said that being asked to perform at the event was an “incredible accolade.” He also talked of his struggle in reaching the youth with his hip-hop music. “I think there’s a lack of balance. I feel pressured


The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha represented Howard University in the competition, winning a share of the $1.5 million prize pool in New York. to have balance. I don’t want to go too far in either direction—not too preachy, but nothing too damaging.” However, Wale said that education comes first in theme with the event’s emphasis on a college education and giving back through community service, “I think having an education is one of the most important things someone can have in this world.” Rapper Ludacris also made an appearance as the closing act for the evening.

Known for his explicit lyrics and derogatory statements, Luda promised to “keep it clean” for the children in the crowd. He performed the hits “Southern Hospitality” and “Get Your Stroll On” before presenting the winning teams with their scholarships. The top teams will go on to compete in the finals against winners from other regions in Atlanta on Feb. 20, and recaps of the Jan. 30 shows in New York and Houston can be viewed on MTV2.



I can’t draw Alex Reyes

Controlled Chaos Catharine Corrigan

Snow Day Theresa Flaherty


Jonathan Roman

10 February 2010


SJU Basketball legend McGuire dies at 84 BILL SAN ANTONIO Sports Editor


Dick McGuire won two Haggerty awards and an NIT title while at St. John’s and represented the New York Knicks in five NBA All Star games.


Dick McGuire, former St. John’s and New York Knicks basketball star, died last week at the age of 84. The Queens native suffered an aortic aneurysm, according to his wife Teri. Nicknamed “Mumbles” for his soft-spoken and often jumbled onversations and “Tricky Dicky” for his offensive moves, McGuire helped lead the Redmen to their second consecutive NIT title in 1943-44, his first season with the team. He was honored with the Haggerty Award that same year as New York City’s most outstanding collegiate player. McGuire took leave during the 1944-45 season to serve in World War II, returning the next season. He won his second Haggerty Award in 1949 while playing alongside his brother, Al. “Dick was one of a kind,” said former St. John’s basketball coach and Hall of Famer Lou Carnesecca. “He was a great ballplayer and coach and a better human being. All of basketball is going to miss him.” McGuire played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Knicks and Detroit Pistons, representing the Knicks in five All-Star games (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956) and leading the team to three-straight NBA Finals appearances (1951, 1952, 1953). He ranks third on the franchise’s all-time assists list (2,950). The Rockaway Park native was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993

after a storied career with the Knicks organization, serving as a player, assistant coach, head coach, head scout, and senior basketball consultant – his most recent position – for 53 of the team’s 64 seasons. His No. 15 was retired by the Knicks in 1992, and his No. 21 was retired by St. John’s in 2006, when the school bestowed him with Basketball Legacy Honors. “Dick McGuire was the epitome of what it means to be a Knickerbocker: pride, tradition and class,” said Knicks president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh. “It was an honor to watch him play for our hometown team and I consider myself very lucky to say I worked alongside a man who shaped the National Basketball Association for parts of all eight decades of its existence.” In a statement released Thursday by NBA commissioner David Stern, McGuire was crucial in the early years of the league. “Whether as a player, coach, scout or consultant, Dick loyally served the New York Knicks organization,” he said. The Knicks will wear a black No. 15 patch on their uniforms for the remainder of the season, and McGuire’s Knicks banner was recently changed from white to blue in his memory. “He’s been a part of this, almost like the bricks, and so I don’t know of anybody else in the league that I can say that about in the same way,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “So it’s a terrible loss for us.” McGuire is survived by his wife Teri and their four children; Richard Jr., Leslie, Michael and Scott, as well as seven grandchildren.


10 Feb. 2010

Roberts has done all he can for the Men’s program If St. John’s chose to fire men’s basketball coach Norm Roberts and his staff, I’d certainly understand. The Red Storm lost to unranked Rutgers and to then-No. 6 West Virginia by 19 last week after blowing an 11-point halftime lead. If that wasn’t enough, the team allowed two 33-point solo performances by the Scarlet Knights’ Mike Rosario and the Mountaineers’ De’Sean Butler and is currently in the midst of a five-game losing streak. On numerous occasions this season, the Johnnies have stayed competitive with some of the top teams in the Big East – they did, after all, lead by as many as 13 points Saturday against the Mountaineers early in the second half. Yet somewhere around the 12-minute mark, everything falls apart for the Red Storm and they find a way to lose.

Saturday’s collapse has been a recurring theme for the Red Storm this season. St. John’s has led in six of its 10 losses this season and with the amount of talent the Johnnies possess, there have been more questions than answers. Roberts did say earlier in the season that NBA scouts have inquired about D.J. Kennedy, Sean Evans, Paris Horne, Justin Burrell and Anthony Mason Jr. So if St. John’s decided to relieve Roberts of his duties as head coach, now would be the right time to do so. Roberts has obviously proved incapable of fully maximizing the talent he has brought to Queens, and

when a team cannot make the most of its talent, changes need to be made. That is not to say Roberts hasn’t made strides in his six years at the University, and the chants of “Fire Norm!” by St. John’s fans these last few years have been completely unjustified. People tend to view Roberts only in terms of his record, and sometimes fail to see the good he’s brought to the program. Remember the program he took over in 2004, the one that had to forfeit its 2003 NIT championship because of multiple NCAA violations? Roberts took on the toughest rebuilding project in the nation with his first head coaching job at the Division I level and, though he is 76-95 all-time at St. John’s and just 28-66 in Big East play, he has in no way been a failure at the school. Early on, Roberts lost out

on local recruits who didn’t want to play at a school where their reputation would potentially be tarnished by the mistakes of the past. Instead, Roberts had to utilize his strengths – teaching young players and going beyond the mainstream recruiting scene to find talent – just to get the Red Storm to the level of competition at which they currently play. Roberts has brought in players from all over the country in his six years, players who are even better people than they are basketball players. That is the foundation Roberts built for this program. It’s one that whoever took over that program in 2004 would have had to build, one that was going to take time to grow. Those players have an incredible opportunity to diversify that foundation. By playing well and winning, not only would St. John’s become relevant again, but

even better basketball players would eventually want to call St. John’s home and further the project that Norm Roberts undertook in 2004. Unfortunately, that project just isn’t finished and Roberts isn’t the right man to complete the task. When a team continues to struggles in the same aspects of the game – in the Red Storm’s case, scoring when a team switches to a zone defense – and fails to make any sort of noticeable improvement over time, it’s time for somebody else to step in. The men’s basketball program has gone as far as Norm Roberts can take it.

Bill San Antonio is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at










Conference Overall


Conference Overall

Syracuse Villanova West Virginia Georgetown Pittsburgh Louisville Notre Dame Marquette USF Cincinnati Connecticut Providence Seton Hall St. John’s

10-1 10-1 8-3 7-4 7-4 6-4 6-5 6-5 5-6 5-6 4-6 4-7 3-7 2-8

23-1 21-2 19-4 17-5 18-6 15-8 17-7 15-8 15-8 14-9 14-9 12-11 12-9 12-10

Connecticut Notre Dame Georgetown West Virginia St. John’s Rutgers Syracuse DePaul Marquette USF Providence Cincinnati Louisville Pittsburgh

10-0 8-1 8-1 8-2 7-3 5-4 5-5 5-5 4-5 4-5 4-6 3-6 3-7 1-8

23-0 21-1 19-3 21-3 19-4 13-10 18-5 16-8 13-9 13-9 13-10 10-11 11-12 12-10




Seton Hall










1. Harangody, ND 2. Hazell, SHU 3. Jones, USF 4. Dyson, UConn 5. Reynolds, VU

1. Rautins, SU 2. Walker, UConn 3. Hazell, SHU 4. Jones, USF 5. three tied with

1. Pope, SHU 2. Harangody, ND Peterson, PC 4. Monroe, GU 5. Johnson, SU

10.9 10.1 10.1 9.6 8.8


Steals 2.3 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.7

FEBRUARY 9 Rebounding


Rebounding 24.5 22.0 21.9 19.0 18.8

This past weekend’s trip to the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, New Hampshire could have gone better for the Women’s Tennis team. The Red Storm were outmatched in both of their matches, falling 5-2 to Boston University and 6-1 to Dartmouth College. By coming up short in Friday and Sunday’s games, the team now stands at 1-4 in non-conference play. Against Boston University, sophomore Ece Firat notched a singles victory for St. John’s 6-4, 6-3, the only singles match the team would amass. Junior Jenny Yonkus did however claim the No. 1 doubles point, 8-4. Firat continued her success on Sunday, defeating Dartmouth’s Georgiana Smyser, taking the No. 4 singles point, 7-5, 4-6, 1-0. The Red Storm will host its first home match of the spring 2010 season Feb. 17 against Stony Brook.



Leavin’ their Mark

1. Rodgers, GU 2. Moore, UConn 3. Marandola, PC 4. Charles, UConn 5. Reid, LOU

18.6 18.4 18.3 17.6 16.6

5.9 5.7 5.0 4.9 4.8

1. Miles, WVU 2. McNutt, GU 3. Robinson, MU 4. Diggins, ND 5. Barlow, ND

10.6 10.4 9.0 9.0 8.9



1. Walker, UConn 2. Jackson, ND 3. Hansbrough, ND 4. Jardine, SU 5. Rautins, SU

1. Lawson, USF 2. Cole, Pitt 3. Green, SHU Reid, LOU 5. Charles, UConn

2.1 2.7 2.5 2.4 2.2

1. Miles, WVU 2. Quigley, DPU 3. Robinson, MU 4. McKenith, STJ 5. Harris, SU

6.3 5.0 4.8 4.5 4.2

Freshman Stephanie Barnes also improved upon her season-best mark in the long-jump preliminaries, where she jumped 5.17 meters. She also competed in the triple jump preliminaries, where she jumped 11.72 meters. Junior Bintou Dibba competed in the triple jump with Barnes, recording a distance of 10.26 meters, which was better than Barnes’ mark. The Red Storm will head to Boston University this weekend for the Valentine’s Day Invite, and will eventually return to New York for the Big East Championships at the Armory Feb. 20-21.

Blowin’ in the Wind

It’s just a matter of certain times the ball doesn’t bounce in their favor.

-West Virginia forward De’Sean Butler on the men’s basketball team’s struggles this season

Red Storm home games

Men’s Basketball: Feb. 11 Louisville Can’t get enough TORCH sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives.

7:00 p.m.

Women’s Basketball: Feb. 10 Louisville Feb. 16 Notre Dame

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Headin’ this Way


The St. John’s track and field team had several Top 10 finishes in the New Balance Invitational last weekend at the Armory in New York City. Junior Priscilla Frederick, the reigning Big East Field Athlete of the Week, finished second in the high jump championship, tying her school record height of 1.82 meters, putting her right behind Wisconsin’s Megan Seidl. Freshman Rikka Lovely qualified for the ECAC Championships in the 200-meter dash Friday, posting a time of 24.89 seconds in the preliminary heat. Lovely also ran a 7.79 in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash. Sophomore Chanel King also came close to joining Lovely at the ECAC Championships, as King threw the shotput a personal-best 13.31 meters, but fell short of the ECAC-qualifying distance of 13.50 meters. King also placed 18th

in the weight throw with a distance of 16.51 meters. Junior Kim Piard competed in the championships for the 500-meter dash, where she finished eighth overall with a time of 1:15.16. But the Red Storm didn’t just find success in the individual events. St. John’s also finished strong in the relays. In the New York/New Jersey heat of the 4x400-meter relay, the Red Storm managed fourth. Molly Ellis, Asia Nettles, Rene Cousins, and Lauren Wynter all combined for a season-best 3:54.89. St. John’s also finished 10th in the 4x800-meter relay, where Piard, Sarah Sudbury, Pamela Petruski, and Alexis Bean combined for a time of 9:20.30, which beat their time from the previous week by twelve seconds. Sarah Sudbury also competed in the 1000-meter race, where she improved her season-best time by almost four seconds, with a time of 3:00.64, good enough for 28th in the event.

10 Feb. 2010

MIKE GURNIS Staff Writer

Last Monday, unveiled its new StormTracker Mobile Application, which will serve as the official iPhone application of St. John’s Athletics. The application can be downloaded from the iTunes store or from the App Store on your iPhone for $4.99 per year. It’s set to allow “easy access to up-tothe-minute news, scores, schedules, rosters and streaming audio and video of the Red Storm.” Along with headlines, player bios, rosters, schedules and select on-demand audio and video content, the app includes postgame highlights, blogs and even press conferences, fans can stream audio for live events. The StormTracker Mobile iPhone is only compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch and requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later.


SJU gets “on track” at New Balance Invitational

Red Storm iPhone App.



Storm slipping away With loss to WVU, the Men’s Basketball team falls to 12-10 after 10-2 start MIKE CUNNIFF Staff Writer


10 Feb. 2010


In the first half of Saturday’s game against then-No. 6 West Virginia, the St. John’s men’s basketball team reminded the Mountaineers why the Big East is the toughest conference in the country. WEST VIRGINIA




The Red Storm, 14th in the conference standings, jumped out to a 33-22 lead behind the strong inside presence of junior forwards Justin Burrell and Justin Brownlee, leaving West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins searching for answers. But in the second half, West Virginia reminded St. John’s why they sit near the top of the toughest conference in the country. The Mountaineers, buoyed by a season-high 33-points and a career high seven three-pointers from senior forward Da’Sean Butler, outscored the Johnnies by 30 points in the second half to hand St. John’s its eighth loss in conference play, 79-60. The loss is the fifth in a row for the Red Storm, dropping them to 12-10 and 2-8 in the Big East. West Virginia improved to 20-3, 8-2 in the Big East. In the first half, St. John’s played its best ball of the year. With starters Malik Boothe and Sean Evans on the bench due to early foul trouble, the Johnnies showcased their depth. Eleven players saw action in the first half, leading to 23 bench points. “We executed the game plan like coach asked us (in the first half),” Malik Stith said. Freshman point guard Malik Stith said the game plan was the push the pace at every opportunity. “They’re an offensive rebounding team, so whenever we got a rebound we wanted to take


Omari Lawrence’s layup with 9:48 remaining in the second half accounted for two of the Red Storm’s four points in an eight-minute span against then-No. 6 West Virginia on Saturday. advantage and run,” he said. Head Coach Norm Roberts agreed, “We were able to get out and run, attack and those things. We weren’t able to do that in the second half.” The biggest difference between the two halves was the defensive intensity of West Virginia and the Mountaineers’ switch from a man-to-man defense to a 1-3-1 zone. St. John’s was able to push the ball up the floor and get good shots off in transition against the man defense in the first half, but appeared helpless against the zone. “You can practice (the zone) for two days, but you can’t really get the hang of it in two days,” Butler said. “You don’t know what people on the other team are going to do, as far as how they guard. It’s very difficult to just bring it up a couple days in practice [and succeed

against it].” “We knew they were going to play the zone,” said Roberts. “It’s not something you can simulate in practice because of their length.” While Roberts may have known it was coming, his team’s offense was still punchless against it. After eight straight points to start the second half from junior guard Paris Horne put the score at 41-26 with 17:25 left, St. John’s went cold, scoring only four points in the next eight minutes. By the time Omari Lawrence muscled in a layup with 9:48 left, St. John’s had taken two timeouts in addition to a media timeout, but to no avail. The Red Storm fell behind on one of Butler’s three-pointers in the midst of a 16-0 West Virginia run and never recovered.

Roberts said the team had no answers for the West Virginia defense. “The zone slows down the game,” Roberts said. “Then when you’re not getting stops on the other end, that compounds it and that’s why you can’t get out and run.” Butler, however, succeeded against everything St. John’s threw at him in the second half. After scoring nine points in the first half, he exploded for 24 in the second half, including five three-pointers. “A great player in our league really got hot,” Roberts said. “But we didn’t do a good job of piggybacking screens and staying on them throughout the whole second half.” The Mountaineers shot 19-of-28 in the second half and scored 57 points, the most given up by St. John’s in a half this season.

Men’s team trying to figure out what’s gone wrong MIKE CUNNIFF Staff Writer The days of the men’s basketball team receiving votes in the major polls seem like ages ago. Following a 10-2 start, the Red Storm have gone 2-8 in conference play, with many searching for answers as the team gets deeper into conference play. The question isn’t whether things have gone bad. It’s more a question of why. And nobody has an answer. “I can’t pinpoint it,” said

junior forward Justin Burrell. “I have no idea what it is. We sat in the locker room for ten minutes after this game and tried to talk about, ‘What is it that we can’t do?’” Apparently they can’t score. The Red Storm sit at the bottom of the conference in most offensive categories, including shooting percentage, three point percentage and points per game. They’ve topped 70 points just twice in conference play. Why they can’t score is an even harder question to answer. Five players have averaged at least 10 points per game once in their college careers, including junior transfer guard Dwight

Hardy, who is averaging double digits this year. Even people outside the program are surprised at the Red Storm’s lack of success. “They have a lot of talent,” said West Virginia forward Da’Sean Butler, who scored 33 points against St. John’s on Saturday. “They work hard. They’re scrappy. They’ve got a good coach. “When they lost the first three, I was kind of surprised, but when I saw them bounce back and get the next two I kind of thought ‘Here they come.’ They’re that good of a team.” But Butler struggled to find a reason for the team’s struggles.

“It’s just a matter of certain times the ball doesn’t bounce in their favor,” he shrugged. Whatever the reason, neither the players nor the coaches are spending time feeling sorry for themselves. “We’ve got to just fight and keep playing,” said Head Coach Norm Roberts. “There’s nothing else you can do. No one’s going to give you a game. There are no easy games in this league, no matter where you play, so you have to battle it out. Our guys knew that. They knew that when they came to play in this league. They knew it’s a battle every single night.” With the conference season

more than half over, it will be hard to turn things around. But it won’t be impossible. Nobody in the program has given up. “I think we can still be very good,” said Roberts. “There’s still a lot of time to be good. We just have to focus on the next game at hand and try to get better.” One of his stars still has faith. “There’s definitely still time to turn it up,” said senior forward Anthony Mason Jr. “In the Big East, anybody can lose to anybody. So definitely, in the Big East, we’ve got time. It’s not like we’ve got two games left.”



It keeps gettin’ better Women’s hoops in Top 25 rankings KATIE BECKMANN Staff Writer


Nadirah McKenith hit two free throws that sparked a 12-4 St. John’s run midway through the first half Sunday.

Storm respond from loss with win over Pirates KATIE BECKMANN Staff Writer





10 Feb. 2010 The TORCH

Coach Kim Barnes Arico never was one to look down the road because of her mentality. “We need to take it one game at a time,” she said. In the next match up, on the road against Georgetown, the Red Storm saw their five game winning streak put to an end. The loss gave the Red Storm a reality check that they really do need to take it one game at a time or they can watch their NCAA hopes slowly go away. The Red Storm rebounded from the loss against the Hoyas and took it out on the road against the Seton Hall Pirates with a impressive 66-45 victory on Super Bowl Sunday. “It was a complete team effort for us today,” said Barnes Arico. With the win, the Red Storm improves to 19-4, 7-3 in Big East play, while Seton Hall falls to 9-14, 1-9 in Big East play. “We had a slow start to the first half and we were able to get it together in the second half,” said Barnes Arico. “We were much better at our offensive production in the second half.”

each scored 10 points a piece. Stevens also added five rebounds, two assists and one steal. McKenith had another outstanding game, setting a career high with eight rebounds. “Nadirah had an excellent game for us. She really helped us in the second half,” said Barnes Arico. Senior Joy McCorvey had another strong game for the Red Storm, with eight points and seven rebounds. As a team, the Red Storm shot 41.9 percent from the field, 50 percent from behind the arc and 78.6 percent from the free throw line. They only had six turnovers during the game and they forced 21 turnovers on the Pirates. The Red Storm square off next in a home match up against Louisville at Carnesecca Arena on Wednesday.


When the St. John’s women’s basketball team went on their third five-game winning streak of the year with impressive wins over Big East opponents last week, talks a trip to the NCAA Tournament started to happen.

In the first half, Seton Hall jumped out to a 14-6 lead to start the game. Nadirah McKenith responded by hitting two free throws, which sparked a 12-4 Red Storm run. The Red Storm led at halftime 26-25. In the second half, the Red Storm outscored the Pirates, shooting 48.4 percent from the field and holding Seton Hall to a 32.1 percent shooting percentage. Five players reached double digits in scoring for the Red Storm. Senior Kelly McManmon and junior Centhya “Coco” Hart each came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 11 points apiece. McManmon shot 4-of-7 from the field while shooting 3-of-5 behind the arc. Hart shot 5-of-8 from the field and added six rebounds. Sophomore Da’Shena Stevens, Rookies Shenneika Smith and McKenith

February has been good to the St. John’s women’s basketball team. For the second week in a row, they’ve been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, receiving 68 points. They also improved to the No. 24 ranking in the Coaches Poll, earning 67 points. “We are really excited to be ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll,” said Barnes Arico. “I am really proud of the team and what they have accomplished so far this season. We still have some tough games left in the Big East play, but we are going to enjoy this moment.” After receiving votes in 10 out of the first 11 weeks of the regular season, the Red Storm were ranked in the Feb. 1 AP Poll, earning 78 points to seal the No. 25 spot. The Red Storm were also ranked No. 25 in the Feb. 2 ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll with 58 points. The Red Storm have won six of their last seven games and currently stand at a 19-4 overall record and a 7-3 Big East record, which is one of the best starts under Barnes Arico. The last time the Red Storm had this much success was the 2005-06 season, when they were ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the Coaches’ Poll. That was the same year when Barnes Arico and the Red Storm reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years. After making it to the WNIT Tournament in the past years, the thought of making the NCAAs has got the Red Storm players very excited. “If we play hard, we stick together, we play as a family, we play as a team, and carry out the potential that [Barnes Arico] sees in us, then we can do big things,” senior forward Joy McCorvey said. “Everybody bought into that. Everybody believes in each other. The coaches believe in us, so we keep playing hard and we have room to grow.” The Red Storm will close out their season in an extremely difficult six game stretch, where they will face Big East opponents Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Villanova and Pittsburgh.




The track and field team had a successful weekend at the New Balance Invitational at the Armory.

The women’s basketball team defeated Seton Hall on the road Sunday.

Pg. 25

Pg. 27

Torch 02/10  

Torch Feb 10