Novermber 5, 2014

Page 1

SGI approves new organizations, freshman representatives elected pg. 5


Opinion: Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to inspire pg. 7

Details on Chris Brown’s Instagram rant pg. 10

Keith Thomas declared ineligible by NCAA pg. 12

The Fresh Meadows Barnes & Noble location will be closing at the end of December this year, according to David Deason, vice president of development for Barnes & Noble. The Barnes & Noble is part of the Utopia Center shopping complex, across from the University on the other side of Utopia Parkway. The store serves three colleges, including the University, and multiple area high schools and elementary schools. The vacant space will be then be occupied by a T.J. Maxx, according to Isaac Massry, the Utopia Center leasing

agent from the Wharton Realty Group. The property is owned by the Wharton Realty Group, in connection with Utopia Center Acquisition, LLC, as confirmed by Massry. The site was purchased for 17.2 million in 2006, according to mortgage records accessible on Lexis Nexis. T.J. Maxx representative Brittany Welch said in an email that the company has not made any announcements at this time with regards to a store in Utopia Center. continued on pg. 3


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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.

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At the 17th Annual President’s Dinner, St. John’s College seniors Anna Misleh and Patrick Casey sang God Bless America before Master of Ceremonies Bruce Beck of NBC News 4 presented the Spirit of Service Awards. (Full story: page 4.)



Fresh Meadows Barnes & Noble will close at the end of December Bookstore will be replaced by T.J. Maxx; some students upset by store closing TALIA TIRELLA News Editor (continued from pg. 1) Deason said, “Our lease is expiring on January 31, 2015 and the store will close at the end of December. We had discussions with the property owner to try to structure a lease extension, but were not able to come to an agreement.” “We enjoyed serving our St. John’s/ Fresh Meadows area customers for the last 10 years and look forward to continuing to serve them at the nearby Bayside location.” According to Massry, Barnes & Noble had stated options per their lease agreement but “decided not to exercise them.” After inquiring at the Fresh Meadows Barnes & Noble location, the Torch was informed that the store manager could not comment on the subject. A petition started by Nikolas Michael of Jamaica, New York alerted the online community that the store would be closing, but did not specify a date. Michael created the petition in order to gain support and attempt to persuade both Barnes & Noble and the owner of the shopping complex, Wharton Realty Group and Utopia Center Acquisition LLC, to come to a leasing agreement and keep the store from closing, leaving residents and students without the resource. Michael could not be reached for comment by deadline. St. John’s students knew about the petition, and a few signed it. They feel that they are losing a place not just for reading material, but for relaxation as


The Fresh Meadows Barnes & Noble is closing at the end of December. The commercial space will be filled with a T.J. Maxx.

well. “I feel like too many students use that Barnes & Noble because it’s so close to the school. It’s dumb that the store is closing. People will have to go to Manhattan to get their books now,” said sophomore Keisha Barnes. “I spend most of my free time there too, and I do a lot of my studying there. Too many people use [the location], and it will be inconvenient when they close it. Nobody reads anymore, and they wonder why,” Barnes said.

University eliminates controversial question SAMANTHA ALBANESE Editor-in-Chief Local colleges are willing to give prospective students who have had small run-ins with the law a second chance. According to an article from the New York Times, St. John’s University, Five Town College and Dowling College will drop criminal inquiries from their application for admission. The decision to remove the question, “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony?” is in the process of encouraging all New Yorkers to seek higher education without fear of having their criminal record get in the way. Susan Barr, the interim president of Five Towns, told the Times that they removed it due to a complaint from the advocacy group Center for Community Alternatives, led by New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Barr explained to the Times that

she was surprised with the request to remove criminal record related questions from their application process, but did not object to it. “We haven’t disqualified anyone because of a minor infraction with the law,” Barr said. “Sometimes kids do things they regret. We want to give them a chance.” According to the Times, collectively, St. John’s and two other schools of higher education came to the agreement with Schneiderman to remove the questions due to the “racial imbalances in how some crimes are processed.” The question is viewed as being too broad and general, as minor infractions with the law are not threatening to the school. With this agreement, the criminal history will not be used to base an admission decision unless there is an indication that a convicted individual “poses a threat to public safety or property, or if the convictions are relevant to some aspect of the academic program or student responsibilities.”

Sophomore Lahjahniek Ramdene agreed. “It’s an outlet for students who want to get off campus and have different scenery for studying and getting books. It was definitely an outlet for people not only of St. John’s, but the surrounding community as well.” Other students expressed their disappointment about the loss of a place to buy textbooks and materials for class. “That Barnes & Noble saved my life when I couldn’t find two books in the school bookstore and I couldn’t find them

online,” said sophomore Tiana Guzman. However, despite the loss of a convenient bookstore, students are hopeful for a new employment opportunity. “I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community and St. John’s students as well. With this being a bigger retail store, it calls for a bigger staff which now creates more job opportunities,” Ramdene said. “This is good because it is hard to find employment close to school because of all the students looking for work as well as people in the surrounding areas.”

Ebola rates drop in Liberia BRIDGET HIGGINS Contributing Writer The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a decline in the number of new Ebola cases across Liberia, the West African country hardest hit by the disease. The WHO is confident that its response to the virus has given them the upper hand, according to WHO’s Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general in charge of operational response, in a BBC News article published Oct. 29. However, he warned that the crisis was far from over. “I am terrified that the information will be misinterpreted and people will start to think, ‘Oh, great, this is under control,’” said Aylward in an Oct. 31 article from The Daily Beast. “That’s like saying your pet tiger is under control. This is a very, very dangerous disease.” In the same Beast article, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said, “The sense down there is that we have to understand what [this decrease] is.”

WHO officials aren’t sure if there are truly fewer new cases of Ebola, or if an overwhelmed medical staff has stopped reporting cases. New Ebola patients could also decide to not go to the hospital. Globally, the number of cases has risen to more than 3,000 since its last report. Out of the 4,920 deaths due to Ebola, only 10 of them have been outside of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The WHO asserts that the mortality rate in those three countries stands at 70% for Ebola cases. The numbers they give are approximations, and it is too early for optimism for the end of the Ebola crisis.

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17th Annual President’s Dinner raises $2 million for scholarships Alumni honored for Vincentian work; NBC 4 anchor Bruce Beck hosts ANABELLE MADHO Contributing Writer This year’s St. John’s University President’s Dinner acknowledged “A Commitment to Service.” Individuals who have lived a Vincentian life were honored for their outstanding commitment to service at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, on Thursday, Oct. 30. Since the first President’s Dinner in 1998, this major fundraising event has accumulated over $26 million. This year’s event raised over $2,405,000 in donations. Those funds will provide scholarships to future St. John’s students, according to a University press release. President Conrado “Bobby” Gemepesaw, Ph.D., hosted the successful 17th Annual President’s Dinner. This was Gemepesaw’s first year hosting the President’s Dinner. William Collins ’76C and wife Lesley ‘83SVC, were the co-chairs of the President’s Dinner. Collins is the founder and chief executive officer of Brencourt Advisors. They were acknowledged for all of the hard work they contributed to making the dinner a success. They thanked everyone present on behalf of future generations of St. John’s graduates. Bruce Beck, WNBC News 4 New York Sports Anchor, served as the Master of Ceremonies. He has performed as the Master of Ceremonies for seven consecutive years. Alumni of all classes gathered to celebrate the success of the University over past generations and for future generations. Many past winners of the Spirit of Service Awards were in attendance as


Attendees pose with the president and his wife at the annual President’s Dinner. L to R: William Collins and Lesley Collins, dinner co-chairs; honoree Kevin Reed; University President Dr. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw; Clavel Gempesaw; honoree Anthony Butler; Peter D’Angelo, Chair of the Board of Trustees; and honoree James Riley, Jr.

well. The institution honored Anthony Butler, Kevin Reed and James P. Riley by presenting them with St. John’s Spirit of Service Awards. All honorees were introduced with A&E Television Network’s production of “Biography.” Each video montage inspired all in the room. Butler, executive director of St. John’s Bread and Life, captured the image of an

Facebook acquires WhatsApp SAMANTHA ALBANESE Editor-in-Chief Facebook closed a $22 billion deal last month with the cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, in a regulatory financial filing released last week, WhatsApp reported $10.2 million in revenue in 2013, proving the acquisition to (so far) be a good move for Facebook. With over 450 million current users and over 1 million new users a day, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app for smartphones, according to CNN. WhatsApp allows users to use their own phone numbers but saves fees associated with regular SMS messages by sending WhatsApp messages over mobile broadband. This allows for international texting without racking up fees on a user’s phone bill. Facebook has always had interest in user connectivity, especially on an international level, so with the unique growth that WhatsApp has gained in a short period of time, Facebook naturally wants a piece of the pie. Prior to acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in April of 2012. Facebook’s acquisition of

Instagram took place almost exactly a month before the company went public in May of 2012, adding assets to boost their company value. WhatsApp drives revenue from charging users one dollar a year after the first free year of use. According to CNN, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said the business model is successful, which “indicates Facebook bought WhatsApp to add value to its existing messaging services, as well as for the long-term potential of the company.” CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized this point when he said he most likely won’t focus on the revenue until they acquire “a billion users.” Facebook initially offered to acquire WhatsApp on Feb. 19, 2014. The stockbased deal closed on Monday, Oct. 7 at $22 billion, an increase of $3 billion from the initial offering, due to an increase in Facebook’s stock. Koum received about $2 billion in stock and Facebook paid $4.59 billion in cash for WhatsApp. The rest was 178 million shares of its stock in addition to paying out 46 million restricted stock units to the WhatsApp employees. It all added up to $21.8 billion with Facebook’s opening stock price of $77.17 on Monday. Koum has also joined Facebook’s board of directors.

individual with concern for others. Bread and Life provides emergency food and services to those in need. Kevin Reed ’75C is the Retired Managing Director of Citigroup Asset Management. Reed sponsors students in Catholic schools around the city and serves on the Board of Governors of St. John’s. Riley ‘74CBA, ‘75MBA was the last honoree of the night. He is a retired part-

ner and managing director of Goldman Sachs and Company. He also is wellknown for his contributions to the Riley Family Foundation, which has created scholarships for 40 students, according to the event program. This year’s President’s Dinner continued a long tradition of recognizing Vincentian service and raising money for scholarships.

2014 midterm elections MATTHEW MANERI Contributing Writer Most of the discussion concerning this week’s midterm elections has not been about pressing issues facing the nation today, but rather on the possibility of a Republican-controlled Congress. With 33 Senate spots available and all 435 House seats up for grabs, the Republicans were left with a lot to gain and the Democrats with a lot to lose. President Obama’s approval rating is at an alltime low, which left the GOP with ample opportunity to increase their government control. According to the Washington Post, 10 Senate races were on the fence, and the New York Times reported that polls showed a small advantage for the GOP. The race for the House was more clear-cut, with the Post 99% sure the election would result in a Republican majority. A study by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics revealed that 51% of millennials (18 to 29 year olds), who said they would “definitely vote,” preferred a Republican-controlled congress, an unwelcome statistic for the Democrats who had solid support among young voters in recent elections. Despite early signs pointing toward a GOP victory, the election wasn’t so

bleak for Democrats. Based on the analysis of early voting data by the Times, registered Democrats who did not vote in 2010 are now turning out to vote by more than 9%, as opposed to registered Republicans. The analysis was conducted by looking at early voting numbers in Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa. All of these were states that analysts said could go either way. In the South, Democrats used advertisements hoping to get support with a larger African-American turnout by using racially-focused messages such as showing images of the events in Ferguson and mentioning Trayvon Martin’s death, according to reporting by the Times. Republicans took a different approach by running attack ads linking Democrats to the increasingly unpopular President Obama. State and local elections were also held, including gubernatorial elections in 36 states. Here in New York, incumbent Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo ran against Republican Rob Astorino and other third party candidates such as Howie Hawkins of the Green Party. Cuomo was re-elected governer of New York State after votes were tallied Tuesday night.

Student Government approves thirteen new organizations on campus


Student Government, Inc. (SGI) officially recognized 13 student organizations, which range from service-based groups to professional networking clubs, at its regular floor meeting on Monday evening. The newest campus organizations in the budgetary category are Actuarial Club, Circle K International, Drug Information Association, Hellenic Society, Irish Society, and the Pre-Dental Club/ Operation Smile. The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Best Buddies, Glamour Gals, Kappa Psi, L.I.V.E. Dance Crew and the Red Cross Club will be non-budgetary organizations. “We look forward to seeing all that these new organizations accomplish over the next semester and the coming years!” SGI Vice President Caroline Zottl said in an email. New groups are added to the official roster of campus organizations through what is called the Power to (re)Organize process, which is run by the SGI Organizations Committee each year. Potential organizations apply to the committee, which recommends viable organizations to the SGI floor. Floor members then vote on each group. This year, 15 organizations—seven in the budgetary category and eight in the newer non-budgetary category—were given the opportunity to present to Stu-

dent Government and answer any questions. In the voting process, each eligible member of SGI listed the organizations in order of preference, Zottl and SGI Parliamentarian Jason Chen explained. The votes for each organization were then averaged to determine the final ranking. The highest-scoring groups were the Actuarial Club, which provides networking and study opportunities and support for actuarial science students, with a 1.7 average, and Best Buddies, an international organization that pairs student mentors with intellectually or developmentally disabled peers, with a 1.8. The two organizations that were not approved were the Consulting/Business Case Club and the Clinical Laboratory Science Club. The 13 approved groups will join the 80 organizations already recognized by SGI on the Queens campus. Two groups, the Actuarial Club and Circle K International, were previously recognized organizations that have now moved to the budgetary category. Drug Information Association was also previously a campus group, but became inactive. It has now been revived, and L.I.V.E. Dance Crew has been active but not officially recognized since 2008. SGI recognition allows student-run groups the ability to reserve meeting rooms on campus. Official organizations also receive a modest printing stipend in addition to a budget, if applicable, and groups are required to attend various meetings and training sessions led by Student Government.

The organizations committee is chaired by Opjyot Kaur and co-chaired by Sara Restrepo and Sarah Hanna. The meeting was run by Chen and attended by about 50 students and Dr. Daniel Trujillo, the dean of students. The 13 newly approved organizations are listed and described below: Budgetary The Actuarial Club: provides study groups, test preparation and networking opportunities for actuarial science students. Irish Society: a reinvented version of the Gaelic Society, the Irish Society exists to celebrate Irish heritage and culture and broaden awareness on campus. Hellenic Society: Aims to promote knowledge of Greek culture and provide a group for Greek students. Previously an organization, the Hellenic Society has been revived. Drug Information Association: Also previously an organization, the newly reorganized Drug Information Association aims to cultivate awareness of opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry among students. The Pre-Dental Club/Operation Smile: The pre-dental club exists to raise awareness of opportunities in the field of dental medicine and provide students with the resources to successfully apply to dental school. The group plans to partner closely with international non-profit Operation Smile, which works with underprivileged children who have cleft palates. Circle K International: already a non-budgetary organization on campus,


Circle K is a service and leadership organization that is affiliated with the Kiwanis club. Non-budgetary Best Buddies: also a national organization, Best Buddies pairs student volunteer mentors with intellectually or developmentally disabled students. Each pair of buddies spends quality time together and also participates in group events with other pairs. L.I.V.E. Dance Crew: already active on campus, L.I.V.E.--which stands for love, individuality, versatility and expression--promotes excellence of dance. They perform all types of dance, mostly hip-hop, at campus events. Glamour Gals: Glamour Gals is a nationwide organization that provides free makeovers for women living in senior homes. American Society of Consultant Pharmacists: a professional organization for consultant pharmacist that aims to raise awareness among students of opportunities in the field of consulting pharmacy. Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists: part of a larger organization, the St. John’s chapter of AMCP will provide networking opportunities for students interested in managed care pharmacy. Red Cross Club: the St. John’s Red Cross Club will act as a branch of the national Red Cross and provide aid and volunteer services to those in need. Kappa Psi: a pharmaceutical organization that is open to all majors, Kappa Psi’s requirements include eight hours of required study time per week.

New freshmen reps act as advocates, gain experience within SGI Group will work with admininstrators and faculty, give voice to fellow students

AMANDA UMPIERREZ Staff Writer St. John’s Student Government Inc. announced nine new freshman representatives who will each serve as agents to the different St. John’s colleges on Oct. 20. Similar to sophomore, junior and senior representatives, each college will carry two freshman representatives, with the exception of one representative for the School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. Each representative will act as an advocate to student concerns and ideas, as well as work with administrators and faculty. Along with acting as agents, the representatives have a voice in the voting process for new and upcoming organizations. “As freshman, we’re looked at as the minority,” said Sam Marbella, freshman representative for the College of Professional Studies. “Our main goal is to get the student voice heard and help incorporate new tastes and organizations.” Recently, freshman representatives voted in the ‘Power to (re)Organize’ presentations that resulted in 13 new student organization, including the Actuarial Club, the Irish Society and a Red Cross club. SGI vice president Caroline Zottl believes the freshman representatives will make a solid addition to the student government team, and hopes their new titles will act as a slippery slope for further engagement at St. John’s. “They gain a lot of investment in SGI,” she said. “Once they join in their first year, that helps foster their involvement at St. John’s.”

Some of the new freshman representatives for SGI. Each represents his or her respective college.

St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences freshman representative Ceciliana Sturman aspires to target diversification in the St. John’s community. “I’d like to focus on diversity and culture, while also investing time in leadership, service and mission work,” she said. Sturman believes the missions of St. John’s are an important aspect of the community and should be held close to

the heart. Tobin College of Business freshman representative C. J. Martin trusts that his physical appearance played a large role in his election. “I’m very handsome and wealthy,” he said jokingly. In reality, Martin aims to meet a variety of students in order to represent their beliefs. “I’m here to represent and talk to the student body, so I can make their St.


John’s experience better,” he said. More than anything, Zottl is excited to see the freshman representatives immersed in their elected roles, so that their actions can influence the St. John’s student body. “We want their involvement, to see them at events that they’re not originally mandated to go to,” she said. “We want to see them involved.”


Opinion SAMANTHA ALBANESE Editor-in-Chief

Staff Editorial Editorial board XCII


Illustrator’s CORNER



Four reasons why we will miss Barnes & Noble. Last week, Barnes & Noble announced that the Union Turnpike location will close at the end of December (read the full story on page 3). The Torch editorial board believes that the closure of the bookstore nearest to our campus, just a few years after the closure of the popular independent store Ed’s Books, is unfortunate. It saves us money. Most college students are used to living on a budget and searching for the best deals on textbooks, which can be one of our biggest expenses. In our experience, Barnes & Noble offers some of the best prices on books required for class, often underpricing the campus bookstore. Barnes & Noble also offers seasonal discounts, discounts for members and discounts of up to 50% on textbook rentals. In addition to the reasonable textbook prices, the book retailer allows customers to order online and have the books delivered to the local store for convenient pick-up. Barnes and Noble is an invaluable resource. Barnes & Noble has a wider selection of materials than what is available to students in the on-campus bookstore and in the library. There is a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction, along with a selection of magazines, stationery and other entertainment such as CDs and DVDs. Students benefit from Barnes & Noble’s wide selection of study materials and testing resources, such as test review books for graduate school entrance exams, as well as their leisure reading selections. It’s a popular social gathering place. Barnes & Noble is also a place where people can go to study in

groups, read a book or magazine over coffee or pick up a last minute gift for a friend. Barnes & Noble features a Starbucks cafe with a full selection of coffee products as well as food. It provides a convenient place for resident students to hang out and browse the shelves together, and a convenient place for students who live off-campus to meet. It also encourages people to read, which is sometimes a rarity in this day and age. It serves both students and the community at large. The neighborhood bookstore is important to more than just the students of St. John’s. It is a resource for other college students: the online petition provides Queens College and York College. Many residents in the neighborhood look to the bookstore as a resource, and it is also the nearest bookstore to many primary and secondary schools. A bookstore in the neighborhood promotes literacy, an honorable aim. The nearest Barnes & Noble stores besides the current Union Turnpike location are in Bayside and Forest Hills, each of which is 40 minutes away using public transportation, according to Hopstop. Although we will miss the Barnes & Noble, the proposed T.J. Maxx may give students an additional opportunity for employment, as well as provide quick solutions to any last minute dorm or clothing needs. As for our bookstore here on campus, we would like to advocate for lower prices, continued discounts on textbook rentals and a wider range of reading material available. The upgrades this year improved the store, but we feel that our bookstore could grow even more--and indeed, it must continue to improve, in order to fill the void that will be left by Barnes & Noble.


“Survive & reproduce”

Five reasons why having a dog in your life is awesome

ETHAN BROWN Contributing Writer

Let’s take a moment for the cat lovers out there—they are missing out on the great experience of having a dog in their life. Dogs are truly man’s best friend. They’ll support us when we do something wrong, and the greatest moment of their day is when us humans come home from work or school and open the door. The unconditional love they provide is unmatched. If you are a cat person, I am not saying that you are wrong… but can a cat really do the five things listed below? I highly doubt it. Here are five reasons why you need a dog in your life:

1) Dogs are the cheapest and most efficient security system. EDITORIAL POLICY Dogs have an incredible hearing range. Editorials are the opinions of the Opinions expressed in editorials, According to Dr. Bruce Fogel, dogs have a Editorial Board of the TORCH. columns, letters or cartoons are range of 40kHz, which is double the range Columns are the opinions of the not necessarily those of the student of humans. Many dogs can hear what is goauthor(s) and are not necessarily body, faculty or administrations of ing on a block over from their home, so those of The TORCH. St. John’s University. if your dog hears a noise and reacts to it, it’s a warning for danger within the range.


Mail letters to: The TORCH, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439 Submit letters via email to:

All are welcome to contribute to the Torch. Please include your full name, year, and college (or department). Letters have a limit of 500 words and may be edited for content, grammar, or space. Unverifiable or anonymous letters will not be published. All letters are subject to the approval of the Editorial Board of the TORCH.

2) Dogs are like your children, minus the embarrassing tantrums and smelly diapers. Before deciding whether or not to have a child, young adults in relationships (or single) should first get a dog. It will teach you the basic responsibilities of having to care for some-

one else. Also, if a woman does not want to have children or cannot have children, a dog is a great substitute. 3) Dogs will keep your bed nice and warm. Everyone knows how bone-chilling the temperatures get in the New York winter here. While it is not the most ideal to share your bed and blankets with a dog, they will help keep you warm. Also, if your dog is not a snorer, even better! 4) Dogs are always excited to see you when you walk through the door. After a bad day, most people do not want to talk to anyone. But it is hard to stay upset when you know there is a smiling dog with tail wagging in excitement on the other side of the front door. Your dog is not going to be needy like the mean humans you had to deal with all day; all they want is a walk around the block and perhaps a stick or ball to catch and chew on. 5) Dogs love their human family unconditionally. Relationships come and go, but a dog will be your best friend for life. Even if someone else lets you down or you become discouraged about things in your life, a dog will always be there to lend you a helping paw to get through your depression. Every human goes through ups and down in friendships or relationships, but with a dog, the only down there will be is when you catch them eating your leftovers out of the garbage.

Tim Cook continues to inspire

First CEO to publicly and ‘proudly’ come out ABHISHEK JOSHI Staff Writer Last Thursday was just like any other day. The first thing I did after waking up was look and check the news with the help of my smartphone as I laid in bed. The first article that I read that morning was that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had come out and confessed that he is homosexual. My first thought was, “So what? So what if he is gay?” I was initially confused at how his sexual orientation is something that should be newsworthy. But slowly as I thought more about it, the reason dawned on me. Tim Cook has the power to make all of the biggest decisions as he leads one of America’s top five companies. For him to come out in public and say that he is “Proud of it,” makes a big difference to thousands. Many people who are homosexual can relate to Cook, and get motivated to accept their sexual preference. Personally, I don’t think anything is wrong with it. That very evening, after the news had been out for a couple of hours, I drank some hot chocolate with a good friend of mine. He doesn’t wish to be named, but went on to say, “Abhi, don’t judge me, but I think I am gay.” And again, I thought, “So what?” I simply nodded and said that it was great that he was being honest. In the end, being honest to yourself is the best thing anyone can do. And the reason why he probably kept the fact hidden was because he was mentally unsure about how I would react to it. This

is also the problem with many others, who hesitate to accept the fact that they are gay and hide it to avoid the overreaction that is generated at times. After that, I asked him about why he chose to finally come out to me, and he said, “Well, if Tim Cook can, then I can too.” With that being said, I was at a loss of words as to how one man’s actions can serve as a motivation for many others. Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who has achieved raising a family with his beau David Burtka, has been promoting the rights of homosexuality and inspiring many others having a rough time figuring their way out. A similar case exists with actress Raven Symone. Even Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin has said that “Tim Cook’s announcement today will save countless lives.” What happens to be interesting is the fact that being either gay or lesbian is not illegal. It is a matter of preference, a choice that everyone is entitled to make. What happens is that people fear what others, in our current society, will think of them. Their very image comes with a risk. And who would like to be spoken about in a bad way? As a result, people decide to hide their sexuality, which in the end is something to embrace. The reason my friend doesn’t wish to be named is, because he is afraid he might lose his friends. But hold up, whatever makes you happy is what is important. So if you feel like telling someone about your sexual preference is important, then go ahead and say it. Be proud of who you are and what you wish to do.

Reality TV is what you make of it


It’s more than just the ‘Jersey Shore’

KRISTEN CATALANO Contributing Writer Everyday millions of people around the world tune into countless reality TV shows. Some people love them and religiously watch their favorite contestant on “Dancing with the Stars,” while others hate them and criticize everything about them. It is undeniable that reality TV is entertaining, economical and not going anywhere anytime soon. According to a poll done by the New York Times in 2010, 15 of the top 20 highest rated programs are reality shows. The popularity of this genre began to skyrocket in the 2000’s when shows like “Survivor” and “Big Brother” began airing and gaining an audience. After the popularity of these shows began to steadily increase, TV networks from all across the board began producing reality shows from MTV to Animal Planet. Many people feel that these programs have a greater effect on young adults’ behaviors than other shows. Although reality shows such as “Jersey Shore” and “The Real Housewives” do not always promote the best behavior, statistically they do not have any more influence over youths than scripted shows do. The genre of reality shows is so broad that judging it on just a few shows, is inaccurate. This genre of reality TV includes shows like “19 Kids and Counting” and “The Voice.” These two shows in particular are completely differ-


ent in the messages that they convey to audiences, yet they both get grouped into the term ‘reality TV.’ People are able to dismiss the genre so quickly because we are quick to freak out about things that are unfamiliar to us. While reality TV has created stereotypes and conflicts, it has also given us insight into other people’s lives. Some people allow reality TV to capture their good moments, such as when they share a contestant’s inspirational story on “American Idol” or when a family in need gets a new home on “Extreme Home Makeover.” Reality TV is what you make of it. It is not a bad thing to sit down after a long, hard day and enjoy an episode of what many Americans deem as ‘trash TV.’ As long as you stick to your morals and beliefs, and do not follow the example set by certain individuals on some of these programs, it’s okay.



Lifestyle An experience like no other

Sophomore Brendan Hogan shares his experience with RedZone and the world ’s most famous arena. LIVIA PAULA

Staff Writer

Sundays during the St. John’s basketball season are special for sophomore Brendan Hogan. Before the game he meets with the Johnnies Club, where they provide transportation from school to Manhattan. Post drop-off the Red Storm fans head to Rose’s, a pizzeria in Penn Station, where they eat and chant to get ready for the game. Afterwards, they walk to Madison Square Garden, and continue the excitement throughout the game. It’s a tradition that Hogan became part of after joining RedZone, and he enjoys it every step of the way. Hogan is one of the many students involved in Redzone, the biggest function of the School Spirit Committee of the Student Government and they also work closely with the department of athletics. According to Hogan, when he thinks about school spirit he automatically associates it with RedZone. “I came to St. John’s not knowing anything about the school,” Hogan said. “These kids (RedZone) knew the school song and everything about the school, and I wanted to be like that.” Hogan is a homeland and corporate security major who is also involved in ROTC. He said that he became part of Red Zone “by accident” after one game. That’s when he decided to join and participate as much as he could. Hogan tries to “fit” as many sporting events as he can in his schedule, and

“I came to St. John’s not knowing anything about the school,” Hogan said. “These kids (RedZone) knew the school song and everything about the school, and I wanted to be like that.”

The RedZone section in full force.

his favorite one would be the basketball games. He recalled a time when he was watching St. John’s play against Creighton. It was one of the first games he watched.Hogan had no idea about the rivalry that these two universities shared. And now, Hogan had a front row seat to experience this rivalry.


“It was insane,” Hogan said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. We beat a top-ranked team, and I didn’t even know.” He added that the energy from the St. John’s crowd yelling “We won!” was one of the biggest factors that inspired him to be part of RedZone and cheer

along, as many games as he could. Hogan said that being a part of RedZone is more than just free gear, t-shirts and basketball games. According to him, not only is it a big network where you get to meet so many people, but also a place where you have to participate and help, even if you are unable to attend a game. “They want to see people be active,” Hogan said. He also stated that the people are coming to support because they actually care are the foundation of the true school spirit that the organization embodies. Hogan reminisced about the time when he was chosen to be part of the half-time show during one of the Madison Square Garden basketball games. He was picked to do sit-ups, push-ups and run in front of the crowd. When Hogan was there, he realized he was standing on the ground that hosted so many historical and incredible events, from basketball immortality playing to transcendent fights and noteworthy concerts. “My heart started pumping,” Hogan said with excitement. “We don’t understand how big this is, we got MSG!” Hogan is grateful for all the opportunities and events that he was able to participate in and experience through RedZone. He also said that after any game, win or lose, RedZone sticks together and go back to campus together, however long the trip back might be. “People take it to heart,” Hogan said. “We try not to leave anyone behind. It’s like a family, really.”


A da y a t t he races: the Ne w Yor k Mar at h on

2014 Marathon displays a remarkable tale about 50,000 individuals and the human spirit.


Features Editor

Twenty-four miles down. Just 2.2 more to go. Thousands upon thousands of runners had this very thought as they passed that ‘Mile 24’ threshold in Central Park East this past Sunday. Just 2.2 to go, and they would finally complete the 2014 TCS New York Marathon, and with it, one of the toughest and most physical challenges known to man. To those of you unfamiliar with the marathon, it covers 26.2 miles of New York City and encompasses all five boroughs. It begins in Staten Island before passing through Brooklyn and Queens, then the runners spend some time in the Bronx before they reach the finish line in Manhattan’s Central Park. Fitted in my green poncho and blue latex gloves I witnessed the exhaustion and dedication of these runners who passed me by on their way to Mile 25. But what led up to this point in the day? I arrived at Central Park East (behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art) at 8:30 in the morning, and was instructed on arrival to put on a green poncho (which I was thankful for later) and a pair of blue latex gloves as I was there to volunteer at the fluid station. The next two and-a-half hours of my day consisted of filling numberless cups with water. I myself opened 10 gallons of water. Roughly 50,000 people ran on Sunday, so we had to plan accordingly. Our station at Mile 24 was over 50 feet long, with three levels of cups of water and Gatorade. We filled probably four or five trashcan-sized bins with that endurance formula. Perfect for these runners. And then the marathoners came. First up were the wheelchair and handcycle categories. Often overlooked, this group of marathoners are rather striking in that they obviously cannot run. So what do they do? They are placed in a tricycle/cart hybrid and use their upper body strength to make the wheels move. They had to do this for 23.2 miles (the length had to be adjusted because of the high winds). Honestly, if you ask me, that seems much more challenging than running for 26.2 miles. Of course, I haven’t done either (yet) so my opinion isn’t entirely valid. This handcycling was something that I have never seen before, nor was I ever aware that people without functioning

legs can complete a marathon. To me this is a tremendous victory for the human spirit. These marathoners range from amputees to wounded warriors to people born without functioning legs or are paralyzed from the waist down because of some sort of accident. How incredible it is for these impeccably strong individuals to complete such a feat. After that wave came the professionals. For that wave and the following six hours the road was filled with nothing but runners. My hip firmly attached to the fluids table, I had to give the cups of Gatorade to these marathoners. Easy, right? All I had to do was give someone a cup. Nope. For one, you had to hold these Gatorade cups from the palm of your hand and pinch the bottom of it with your thumb and your index finger - you certainly would not want to knock a cup of water out of anyone’s hand. Let’s factor in nervousness, the wind and the cold, too. So, in short, my hands were trembling the entire time. The first person to actually grab a Gatorade from me was a professional woman trying to win the darn thing. As odd as this may seem, it was such a strange – as I cannot find another word to use – feeling when she actually grabbed the cup from my hand. What a feeling. And then the next professional came (this one was a man, not named Meb) and he didn’t connect with the cup and it just fell to the ground and splattered. I actually didn’t realize how common it was when it first happened. Then I noticed that they missed with other people as well, so I felt less guilty. Whew. But that wasn’t the interesting part, unless you were actually one of those frontrunners (for the record, Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany of Kenya were first to cross their respective finish lines). The exciting part came maybe a half hour to an hour later. That’s when the first wave of runners came. A goal of mine whilst volunteering was to see Caroline Wozniacki, one of my favorite tennis players. It was impossible for me to miss her, I thought to myself. Sure enough, I did. Not because I wasn’t paying attention, but because she blended in with the other many a runner (most of them adorning neon of some sort) that passed through the fluid station at Mile 24.


Marathoners braved the windy and frigid conditions Sunday.


The marathon route.

Apparently she didn’t want Gatorade by then. Maybe she had some Gatorade at Mile 23 or Mile 25. Long story short: the fluid station was a ceaseless stream of marathoners-to-be paying us and our organized mess a visit; and it was our job to make sure that none of them pass by unnoticed. One of my fellow volunteers, who has done this in years past and even owns a running shop of his own, advised that I hold two cups at a time: one in my left as the parched participants reached for their thirst to be quenched, and another in my right so I can quickly give it to the next. Great advice. But that wasn’t quick enough. With an eye always looking for runners in search of some lemon flavored Gatorade, I had to actually hold three cups in my right hand and one in my left. Thousands upon thousands of individuals came in endless waves. I was the third volunteer they passed by. Want to try a fun activity? How about giving four cups of Gatorade to four running people at once and then another two cups less than two seconds after. All whilst shaking in the cold. These marathoners were exceptional, though. After 24 miles and exhausted beyond belief, they all still managed to smile and hold out optimism for the victory that was soon to come. Pretty soon Central Park East became a haven for crushed green cups, remnants of the Gatorades and Poland Spring Waters consumed. The scene was one of those very rare moments when you actually look at litter and think to yourself, “Well, if that just isn’t an incredible sight to see.” This is also the point where I became thankful for that green poncho I had to wear. I didn’t realize why I had to first wear it, I thought it was so that people can identify me as a volunteer (even though I was wearing a credential). You see, when people are running and hurriedly grab a cup of Gatorade from you, it is prone to splashing. And when you factor in the wind, there are cups that are bound to spill over (as it happened at my station). If it weren’t for that handy dandy green poncho of mine my clothes would have been drenched in Gatorade.

My shoes. however, were not quite as fortunate. Sticky as can be. As the hours passed by I saw more and more countries represented. Poland, Slovakia, Canada, Denmark, Kuwait, South Africa, Norway, France. You name it. And then there were the charitable foundations that ran for awareness and financial support for causes like breast cancer, education and wounded warriors: DetermiNation, Team for Kids and Team Achilles were three of the more well-represented charities on that gusty Sunday. On that day, too, the TCS New York marathon saw its one millionth finisher. Think of it: one million citizens of the world crossed that line; in conditions good and bad, with heavy hearts and warm smiles, and with the audacity and crazy-minded spirit to run 26.2 miles. And what happens when these brave souls do finally cross that finish line? Probably collapse from exhaustion. Or relief. Or both. Joking aside, though, they actually get a medal to commemorate their triumph; tangible evidence of their mental fortitude and phsyical abilities that they all worked so hard to obtain and maintain. There isn’t anything quite like the New York Marathon when it comes to measuring the true grit of the human spirit. From all four corners of the world people came for that medal at the end of the race. Whether they raced for a cure for cancer, a friend’s memory, or just for the sake of running, these determined folks gutted out 26.2 miles in blistering wind on a very cool Sunday – it was quite a difficult running environment. To all of these marathoners that crossed the finish line on Sunday: you deserve to be acknowledged for your strength, your charisma, your dedicationand your never-say-die attitude. Yes, they all do eventually reach that formidable and mythical wall at one point or another, but it is their determination and boldness and insanity that allowed them to break on through to the other side. These tens of thousands of people are a perfect representation of the human spirit and of the human endurance. And each marathoner can display that 26.2 sticker with unabashed pride.


BRIAWNNA JONES Entertainment Editor Social media went wild Monday night as Chris Brown started an Instagram fight with “The Real” talk show hosts Adrienne Bailon and Tamar Braxton. In full attack mode, 25-year-old Brown posted a picture of Bailon with a lengthy caption blasting the two talk show hosts calling them “basic b*tches and ‘thots.’” The harsh comments left many puzzled as they wondered what triggered Brown’s anger. A video of “The Real” soon surfaced where the ladies were seen discussing “inter-friend-tions” and used Brown’s relationship with on-and-off again girl-



friend Karrueche Tran as an example. In the clip, fellow host Jeannie Mai calls Brown a “bad guy” with Braxton and Bailon chiming in giving their opinion on the couple’s relationship. Not one to ever hold her tongue, Tamar, immediately clapped back, letting Brown know that she is everything but basic using the hashtag #whenyourgirlhasatalkshowinsteadofcryingaboutyouwhilONone. The hashtag was referring to Karrueche’s appearance on “Just Keke” with KeKe Palmer where she shed tears talking about her difficult relationship with the R&B bad boy. Of course Brown responded, but this time he posted a video saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It was not long before more fuel was added to the fire as Bailon’s ex-boyfriend Rob Kardashian started following Brown and liked the post attacking the former Cheetah Girl. While Bailon never directly responded to any of the drama, she threw subliminal shade at Brown liking multiple Rihanna pictures. Adding her two cents before the night was over, Karrueche finally responded after Tamar accused her of being a mute who never stands up for herself. She took to her Instagram, letting all who were watching the beef play out know that she “could care less about the opinion of others.” Putting an end to all the drama, Brown posted a message Tuesday morning not apologizing but simply reflecting on how he could have handled the situation differently. While many would hope that Brown would learn to just bite his tongue, he let it be known that it will not be happening anytime soon. He ended his post saying, “Like I said before, I say what I feel and what I want especially if anyone has an opinion about me and mine. Somedays I’ll be cool and then other days ima roast ya a**.”

RihRih is back, like she never left at all. Rihanna, reappeared on Instagram, early Sunday making her “rih-debut.” In the wee hours of the morning, a sultry selfie of the popstar made its way to her 13 million followers, after her six month hiatus from the social media site when her account was allegedly banned back in May. The 26-year-old singer came back with a bang proving she was truly missed as fans flocked to her pictures leaving tens of thousands of comments using her hashtag #RihUnited and #badgalback. One can only hope that things play out differently as @badgalriri was suspended the last go around for posting her super sexy photographs from her spread in Lui magazine. However, it doesn’t look like Rihanna is planning to play it safe as she has already posted racy pictures from her December Esquire UK spread where she is photographed topless in men’s briefs. Tuesday morning, Amanda Bynes revealed on Twitter that she had been diagnosed as bipolar and was receiving medication. However, hours later she denied it. Although the tweet came from her verified Twitter account, Bynes claims the series of tweets did not come from her. After sharing her condition, she called the post completely false tweeting, “I was at a friends apartment last night and one of my friends tweeted my phone.” Followed by, “sorry guys!” Her bipolar disorder announcement came weeks after she accused her father of physically, mentally and sexually assaulting her; claims that she also later denied when she tweeted on Oct. 10, “My dad never did any of those things. The microchip in my

brain made me say those things but he’s the one that ordered them to microchip me.” As for now, Bynes is having financial problems after a judge granted her parents control over her accounts upon her release from a rehabilitation center, where she was on an involuntary emergency psychiatric hold. A tweet from the 28-year-old troubled actress’ account read “I got discharged for not being gravely disabled. But i am conserved and my parents only give me $50 dollars a day and it’s really annoying. ... I need to get an apartment and my parents won’t give me access to any of my funds.”



The Flaming Lips release Beatles inspired cover album JON MANARANG Staff Writer The Flaming Lips

With A Little Help From My Fwends

After 2013’s “The Terror,” neo-psychedelic band The Flaming Lips have released their third cover album, “With a Little Help From My Fwends.” Taking on the entirety of The Beatles’ 1964 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is a daunting goal in itself, so the band recruited some

new and old friends for contributions. Some come from alternative artists like J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. and Maynard James Keenan from Tool. Most notably, vocals are featured from former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus on “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” After having Lips’ singer Wayne Coyne appear on Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour to sing the Lips’ classic “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1” and even performing their Beatles cover on the Billboard Music Awards, the duo has tracked their ‘fwendship’ through Coyne’s oft-deleted Instagram account. Cyrus takes the role of Paul McCartney on the final track of the record, “A Day In the Life” which like many of the tracks on the album is transformed from lush orchestral arrangements into avant-garde synthpop blips. Harps and violins are traded off for auto-tune and 808 drum beats in an effort to bring “Sgt. Pepper” into the 21st century. However, this isn’t the band’s first

collaboration with controversial pop singers. On their 2012 album “The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends,” the band recruited the artist formerly known as Ke$ha for a track with Biz Markie. “With A Little Help From My Friends” sees a complete transformation from Ringo Star’s legato call-and-response dynamic, to a harsh-screaming-over-breakbeats composition. Even George Harrison’s solo moment on the original record “Within You Without You” imitates the use of traditional Indian musical instruments (sitars and tabla) with fuzz-laden drones and arpeggiators. Other appearances on the album come from The Flaming Lips’ side projects with related bands Electric Wurms, a band comprised of Coyne and Lips’ guitarist Steven Drozd, appears on the cover of “Fixing A Hole.” Stardeath and White Dwarfs is the band of Wayne Coyne’s nephew Dennis Coyne and appears alongside Tegan and Sara on “Lovely Rita.”

They also appeared on The Flaming Lips’ 2009 cover album of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” aptly titled “The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon” with Henry Rollins of Black Flag and vocalist Peaches. In 2012, the band released another cover with a tribute to King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” on “Playing Hide and Seek with the Ghosts of Dawn,” again with The Lips and Stardeath both collaborating. Proceeds from sales of the record go to the “The Bella Foundation,” an organization in Oklahoma City which provides veterinary care for pet owners in need. Overall, the album shifts and distorts the iconic classic rock record into a strictly modernist piece of electronica, fraught with collaborations. The campiness of The Beatles is replaced by the sardonic and macabre sound The Flaming Lips has developed in their recent records.


Taylor Swift Indie Shuffle: from Cali back to Cape Town ‘Shakes it Off’ with 1989 ALEXA VAGELATOS Opinion Editor

TAYLOR LEONARD COLEMAN Staff Writer Taylor Swift 1989

When Taylor Swift decides to do something, she does it bigger and better than ever before. So with her fifth album, “1989,” nothing was left undone or unsaid as she turned herself into her own version of a 1980s pop sensation. The country star-turned-pop singer has shed every last bit of her country twang on this album and has given her fans a glitzed-up pop powerhouse that doesn’t miss a beat. This album takes a drastic departure from her usual emotion-filled lyrics and changes the game. Swift has collaborated with producer, Max Martin, who produced seven of the thirteen songs on the album. His beats provide that Saturday night fever feeling as Swift sings about the single life in the Big Apple. The best moments come when Swift shakes things up and mixes up the best of her new tricks with some old ones as she strums her trusty acoustic guitar over an aggressive disco beat. Although Swift was only a mere month old in 1989, her album shows otherwise. She has said that the title declares her symbolic rebirth, cutting the umbilical cord between Nashville and the stylistic trappings of country music. The first single, “Shake It Off,” does a great job at not only catching the listener’s attention but also transforming the energy into a dance hit. With songs like “Welcome To New York,” Swift is moving full force ahead singing about her new hometown of New York and being able to spread her wings. “Blank Space” brings a Lorde type of beat to the race, with the relatively dark lyrics for Swift. She’s always sung about romantic ups and downs, but on “1989,” Swift took a slightly different approach. Adopting a slightly more adult attitude, she has strayed away from finding Mr. Forever. The album is certainly a refreshing take on the new and improved Taylor Swift who only seems to have more surprises up her sleeve. For more Lifestyle updates, follow @TorchLifestyle on Twitter.

After a quarter-life crisis and a vision of corporate life keeping him as a “monkey in a cubicle,” Jason Grishkoff decided fairly quickly that that wasn’t quite the life for him. The South African-native with a British-influenced accent wanted to be his own boss—an entrepreneur. He refused to surrender to an unfulfilling life. Although his grandmother still insists that he hasn’t hit the “what am I really going to do in life?” stage yet, this 29-year-old can finally say he’s comfortable, and lucky to be. Currently living 7,803 miles away in his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa, Grishkoff pours about 12 hours a day into his job, which consists of constantly updating, fixing and developing aspects of his prized possession, website and music blog, Indie Shuffle. While sitting in the private room of his office space, six hours ahead of us, he began to tell his tale of how it all began, and where it is that he is going. At age 12, Grishkoff moved to the United States – Irvine, Calif. to be exact. His collegiate years were spent at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied history and political science. He graduated in 2007 with a blank vision of his future. With very little prep for the real world and post-grad stress, Grishkoff gave himself a year and a half to figure it all out. In figuring it out, he decided to take the jump to move across the country. In 2009, he took a job at a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. where he was figuring out executive’s com-

pensations. “I hated it,” he said. He was alone, and felt extremely disconnected. Between trying to make friends and working, Grishkoff filled his time streaming music—at least a couple of albums a day. He decided the best way to fulfill his social desires, was to email his friends about the music he was discovering on a weekly basis, which unknowingly led him to the start of something amazing. His obsession with streaming music quickly grew and each week he was sending the emails out to at least 50100 people at a time. It was then that he decided to pull together a website to catalog the information and bands that he was finding. With very little knowledge in web development, Grishkoff taught himself how to do it, thus the birth of Indie Shuffle. Although the idea of this website seemed more appealing, Grishkoff still needed to work full-time. In late 2009, Google had offered him a job in their executive compensation department, which was very similar to what he had been doing at his non-profit job. He interviewed, and got the job in San Francisco, leaving D.C. behind. “In fact, it was perfect timing. I was about to be fired from my job in D.C. for not showing enough ‘passion’ and for tinkering around on a stupid website that wasn’t going to go anywhere,” Grishkoff said. “They legitimately said ‘you’re at a point in your life where you need to think about your career, are you going to be professional or not? You have the opportunity to succeed in the professional world, or you can keep screwing around with your website, and I said ‘ehhh…’” he continued.

At the beginning of 2013, things took a turn for the best for Indie Shuffle. Grishkoff was picking up a lot of traffic on the site, allowing him to sign an advertising deal with Spin Magazine. He eventually left Google, and for these last two years he’s been taking Indie Shuffle to all new extremes. He’s created a mobile app, altered its functions and now has people from across the world contributing their findings. Grishkoff’s vision going forward is his goal and desire to diversify. “Indie Shuffle is really cool, it gets me a lot of street cred and it allows me to do a lot of awesome stuff and travel all over the world, but there’s no guarantee that it will be around forever,” Grishkoff said. “And it certainly will not make me a millionaire,” he continued. Web developing has opened up a lot of opportunities for him, and he’s aiming to start up a web agency and actually start building websites for other people. As of today, Indie Shuffle has evolved to become its own beast with about 300,000 unique visitors listening to 6 million songs each month. “The idea is freakin’ genius. When I first heard about Indie Shuffle, I went into a music coma. I couldn’t stop searching and listening. I truly think it’s an amazing idea,” said Sara Waters, a senior here at St. John’s. Grishkoff claims his journey is a blessing, and advises everyone to take chances. “You aren’t going to get it right the first time and if you do, I feel sorry for you. Because you don’t actually know if you’ve got it right. You won’t understand the experience of being down, and you won’t appreciate finally being in the right place.”

Drake previews ‘Views From the 6’ TAYLOR LEONARD COLEMAN Staff Writer Drake

[Unofficial Album Tracks]

It seems as if some of Drake’s best songs often hit the Internet while many are still asleep. Unlike many artists whose albums are sometimes leaked online before their actual release dates, the Toronto rapper unexpectedly dropped three new songs on his October’s Very Own blog. He tweeted “You should probably keep an eye on that in the next hour…just saying…” and within an hour there were three new tracks along with the album cover for his upcoming fourth studio album “Views From the 6.” It is said that Drake did the three-song drop due to some hackers already having the music. Many believe Drake might have been feeling extra generous due to it being his 28th birthday weekend, but

the jury is still out on that one. As usual Drake shows many different sides to his music and these three songs were no different. The first, “6 God,” is probably the most hard-hitting of the three. With his new single “0 to 100” out, this next track is sure to be a hit. It definitely picks up where the first one left off and has Drake in overdrive. From the beat to Drake’s iconic delivery, everything is next-level. On the second song, “Heat of the Moment” fans get a sound advance from Drake’s dad, Dennis Graham, as the two discuss spur-of-the-moment sexual encounters and lustful relationships. On this track, Drake is a lot more soft-spoken and brings back his lovesong crooning we’ve become accustomed to. With lyrics like “Who am I gonna be when it’s all over? / When it’s all over? / I don’t wanna think about that right now/ Heat of the moment,” it gives the song a ‘YOLO’-mindset. If you were looking for a song that was a mix between the black and white, the hard-hitting and the soft-spoken, then “How Bout Now” is just that. It definitely is a middle ground between the first two songs. Rapping over a sample of Jodeci’s “My Heart Belongs to U,” Drake talks about the girl he was once with and truly emits genuine emo-

tion. With all of these tracks it could mean that we are that much closer to a new Drake album. It seems like ‘Drizzy’ is not changing his formula but only making it better as he builds the momentum from last fall’s release of “Nothing Was the Same.”




St. John’s forward declared ineligible by NCAA


St. John’s men’s basketball team’s hopes at making a run at that Big East title and a possible NCAA Tournament bid took a huge hit this past Wednesday. St. John’s announced that Keith Thomas, who was supposed to be a starter, was ruled academically ineligible for the season. As a result, Thomas is no longer a student athlete here at St. John’s. “Academic integrity is treated very seriously at St. John’s University and we are committed to maintaining high academic standards for all of our student-athletes,” Athletic Director Chris Monasch said. “Our athletic compliance office recently became aware of information that triggered an additional review of Thomas’ academic credentials at Westchester Community College. Our assessment and decision are in accordance with University and NCAA policies.” Thomas was ruled ineligible by the NCAA after an investigation into his

transcript from his former school, Westchester Community College, revealed that Thomas’ grades did not meet the standards set by the NCAA for transfers. According to the New York Post, Westchester Community College has been under scrutiny for forging player’s transcripts. Thomas’ Westchester CC teammates Jamell Walker and Damien Davis had their scholarships revoked by Florida A&M University because it was found that their transcripts had been forged. The forger at Westchester CC was assistant coach Richard Fields, who was fired on Oct. 16. So far, Thomas’ transcript has not been connected with any tampering issues. According to, “The National Junior College Athletic Association was tipped off to suspected transcript fraud in the Westchester Community College men’s basketball program more than a year ago through an anonymous email, which the NJCAA [National Junior College Athletic Association] forwarded to WCC’s president.” If it is found out that tampering was involved, then Westchester CC didn’t do their due diligence on an anonymous email that reported the supposed fraud more than a year ago. Thomas was expected to be a key member of the Red Storm frontcourt this season. Last year he had a stellar season at Westchester CC as he averaged a double double, leading all Division I junior college players with 15.7

rebounds per game and averaged 15.3 points per game. This season as he was brought in as a junior college transfer by head coach Steve Lavin to help replace what was lost by the departure of big men like JaKarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez and God’sgift Achiuwa. Thomas was also supposed to be a big help to the only experienced big man on the roster, junior Chris Obekpa. “We share Keith’s disappointment and as a basketball family, will provide moral support during this challenging time in his life,” Lavin said. “Keith clearly has a bright future in basketball and is determined to ultimately further his education.” With the loss of Thomas, St. John’s now has limited issues to fill in at the four spot. Many say senior Sir’ Dominic Pointer could fill in as an undersized starter in Thomas’ position, but St. John’s needs length down low. While Pointer is very athletic, he does not provide the big body that Thomas did. The Johnnies bench does have size but lacks experience in Division I basketball. Freshman Adonis Delarosa has talent, but the Red Storm doesn’t know how his game will translate from high school. The player with the most experience and who will have to play is redshirt sophomore Christian Jones, who played two years ago and averaged 2.5 points per contest. St. John’s journey to reaching their goals took a huge hit with Thomas being

declared ineligible. If they want to win the Big East and vie for a NCAA Tournament appearance, the inexperienced players must grow up… and fast.


Keith Thomas walks out of the tunnel at Tip-Off on Oct. 17.

More than turf burn


St. John’s Belson Stadium and DaSilva Memorial Field contains millions of microscopic recycled tire fibers. These black rubber spheres provide support, creating the ideal playing surface. However, current research and findings by Environment and Human Health Inc. has shown just how dangerous these tire strands can be. According to their website, Environment and Human Health Inc. is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health from environmental harms through research, education and the promotion of sound public policy.” These tire crumbs were discovered to contain volatile organic hydrocarbons, more commonly known as VOCs. They pose a mild threat of carcinogenic potential, which has been extracted from the recycled tire material in various laboratories throughout the country. Studies from respected health commissions such as the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Protection all doc-

ument a spectrum of health effects, ranging from severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation to three forms of type 1 cancer. However, both of these organizations stress the rarity of such dramatic illnesses. Combating these attacks, the Synthetic Turf Council states that evidence collected by scientists, state and federal agencies prove that artificial turf is safe. In fact, some might argue turf fields are a huge success. “Not only have turf fields diverted millions of tires from landfills, but they don’t require fertilizer or pesticides, and can save municipalities hundreds of thousands of gallons of water each year,” said Dan Zielinski, spokesperson for the Rubber Manufacturers Association in a press conference last month. Zielinski continued to say, “The potential risks, as we know it today, are extremely low.” Spanning over 97,669 square feet, Belson Stadium is scattered with tiny black specs. These crumbs add up to roughly 90 percent of the field’s overall weight, which is amazing since the tire shavings are roughly the size of sand grains. These tire shreds are spread two to three inches apart over ribbons of green plastic, which are used to simulate green grass. FieldTurf is the company that put

the current turf field down on Belson Stadium in 2012 using cryogenic rubber infill. The same company, FieldTurf, laid down the turf of DaSilva in 2004.

The Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Protection all document a spectrum of health effects, ranging from severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation to three forms of type 1 cancer.

FieldTurf was contacted for comment regarding the health concerns of rubber infill, but couldn’t be reached prior to publication. Officially opened on Feb. 1, 2001, Belson Stadium quickly became an architectural success story. Serving as home for both men’s and women’s soccer, Belson Stadium stands atop concrete pillars and a massive park-

ing garage. Funded by a $6 million gift from Maxine and Jerome Belson, the stadium is equipped with lighting, private suites, media boxes, locker rooms, various press areas and seating for 2,168 screaming fans. DaSilva is the home of the men’s lacrosse team and the women’s track and field team. It has a seating capacity of 1,200. Turf controversy remains a hot topic both locally and nationally. A request was sent by email to the St. John’s Athletic Department, but they declined to speak on the possible health issues of turf fields. In fact, Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Wash., made a last minute change to its new turf football field, which cost a total of $2.4 million. Kennedy Catholic decided to rid the field of turf. They weighed the health risks and spent an extra $20,000 to replace the recycled tire crumbs with state-of-the-art Nike Grind material. “The little black rubber crumbs on the turf field are extremely annoying,” said Michael Cannella, a member of St. John’s flag football program. “If you dive, the black rubber specs get stuck to your skin, leaving marks on your body.”

Red Storm falls to No. 13 Georgetown in D.C. ALLAN GOMEZ Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. The St. John’s men’s soccer team wrapped up their season finale on the road Saturday at the Nation’s Capital, losing 1-0 to No. 13 Georgetown 103-4 (5-2-1). The Johnnies have dropped another close game falling to 4-9-4 (1-61) in Big East play. This time there was no magic for the Johnnies as the Hoyas were able to return the favor from last year’s defeat at Belson Stadium 1-0. It was senior day at Shaw Stadium and the momentum seemed to swing in favor of the Hoyas early on. The Hoyas’ first half attack proved too much for the Johnnies to overcome. It was their relentless pressure on both sides of the ball, which led them to capitalize late in the first half. The Johnnies were able to compete with powerhouse No. 13 Hoyas, before allowing a late goal in the 40th minute by sophomore midfielder Bakie Goodman (his first goal of the season), assisted by senior midfielder Jared Rist and junior midfielder Josh Turnley. Trailing in the second half 1-0, the Johnnies had a couple of scoring chances

to try and tie the game, but was not able to capitalize on them. In the 84th minute Daniel Herrera’s shot was saved by senior goalie Tomas Gomez recording his 9th clean sheet of the year for the Hoyas. “I thought we were doing well to limit them offensively in the first half, so it was very disappointing to give up a goal right before halftime,” said head coach Dave Masur. “We did a better job of moving forward in the second half. We were able to create more chances and still limit their opportunities, but we just weren’t able to finish,” Masur added. Prior to entering the second half, the Johnnies managed only two shots on goal, all coming in the second half. Senior midfielder Luis Esteves was the other only player to have a shot-on-goal. The Johnnies were able to stay close through out the game holding the Hoyas to just three shots-on-goal. The Johnnies are now 0-5-1 in their last six games. This is the sixth time that the Johnnies have lost by one-goal this year as the Johnnies are now in last place in the Big East Conference. Senior goalie Jordan Stagmiller was 2/3 on save chances in the game. The Hoyas are 5-21-3 all-time against the Red Storm with a mark of 3-8-1 at

home. Last year, Georgetown fell 1-0 in Queens despite St. John’s playing with 10 men after a red card. The last meeting at


Shaw Field was a 2-1 victory in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal game.


Dela Agbotse advances the ball upfield towards the goal on Oct. 16 versus Creighton.

Women’s soccer ends regular season with loss, but starts Big East tourney with win Fall to DePaul 3-0


On Friday, Oct. 31, a blustery Chicago day that saw the windy city more than live up to its famous pseudonym, the St. John’s University Red Storm women’s soccer team played its final regular season match against the DePaul Blue Demons. DePaul (15-0-3, 7-0-2) was able to defeat the Red Storm (10-7-1, 6-2-1) 3-0 to remain unbeaten and claim its first ever Big East Regular Season Championship. DePaul, one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the NCAA, was able to take an early 1-0 lead, following an impressive sequence which saw senior defender Rachel Pittman find Abby Reed, the Big East’s leading scorer, for her 11th goal of the season. However, the Blue Demon’s first half of scoring was far from over and in the 29th minute, DePaul was again able to take advantage of a scoring opportunity when freshman midfielder Alexa Ben was able to score her ninth goal of the season and give DePaul a 2-0 lead. The second half saw the match halted after a lightning struck in the vicinity of the DePaul campus, giving the two clubs a brief respite from the extremely windy and damp weather conditions. After the half an hour-or-so-long intermission the Blue Demons continued their offensive

onslaught with Reed scoring her second goal of the match and her 12th of the season, putting DePaul up 3-0, the contest’s final score. Following the loss at DePaul, St. John’s will return home to Belson Stadium to square off against the Villanova Wildcats (8-5-3 overall, 3-2-2 Big East) in the first round of the Big East Tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The winner will go on to face the Georgetown Hoyas in the tournament’s semi-finals on Nov. 7.


Rachel Daly drives towards the net.

Beat ‘Nova at Belson 2-0


me scoring is brilliant and yeah I love it. It’s awesome.” Kearney-Perry led a suffocating defense that let up just nine shots. Only one went on goal. Keeper Diana Poulin picked up her ninth shutout of the season. McLaughlin picked up another assist in the 61st minute as she made the pass to Shelby Halasz for the games second goal. “I think we really just have to keep that fire going just like today,” she said.“We controlled the tempo, we controlled the game. We’re going to have to do the same thing with Georgetown. I think to our advantage, we have a fiery team and I think that’s what going to count for next game.”

St. John’s took care of business on Tuesday night and won handily in the opening round of the Big East women’s soccer tournament, beating Villanova 2-0. They advance to the semifinal against second seed Georgetown, which will be on Friday. “First of all, we’re going to enjoy this one a little bit,” head coach Ian Stone told “All the way through this season we we’re trying to get back here for the semifinals. We’ve achieved that goal, but obviously in the BIG EAST at this point, they’re all great teams and so as a result today was tough battle, but Friday’s going to be tough as well so we have to prepare properly for that.” The Red Storm has a massive advantage as they host the entire women’s Big East tournament for the first time.Georgia Kearney-Perry, the 2014 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Caitlyn McLaughlin assisted on the goal. It was Kearney-Perry’s first of her career at St. John’s “Scoring a goal in itself is an amazing feeling, but scoring in a quarterfinal of the Big East is an even better feelTORCH PHOTO EDITOR/ CHEYANNE GONZALES ing,” the senior defender said. “I obvi- Women’s soccer team celebrates a goal. ously don’t get to score many goals, but

Volleyball splits weekend, moves to 17-10 overall WILSON SY Staff Writer

The St. John’s Women’s Volleyball team earned a much needed victory against Villanova (3-0) last Saturday night, after falling short of a comeback to rival Seton Hall (3-1) Thursday night. In keeping their Big East Volleyball Championship hopes alive, St. John’s improves to 17-10 overall and 6-6 in Conference play. In the first home stand against Seton Hall (23-25, 21-25, 25-23, 22-25), the first two sets remained close, but the Red Storm was unable to take control. The Johnnies were able to capitalize on the third set by registering 3 straight points in building a 24-20, while finishing on a Aleksandra Wachowicz kill. St. John’s however got off to a slow start in the fourth trailing 3-10 early and fell short of a comeback 22-25. “We played a great team, a great defensive team I loved the way we fought, the ways our middle came and our setters had a terrific match and I we need to win some big points”, coach Persico said after the loss. “We have to bounce out. In this league you have to shake that one off and get the next one, especially at home. Saturday is even more important now.” In the loss, Junior Karin Palgutova led the match with 20 kills along with 18 digs. Senior Aleksandra Wachowicz finished with 16 kills, while sophomore right-side hitter Mona Karkkainen tallied a career

high 12 kills on a .706 attacking percentage. On Saturday night, the Red Storm eventually did bounce back on in a sweep over Villanova. After clinching the first set win on a Palgutova kill (25-23), St. John’s took control of the next two sets building an early 21-10 lead for a comfortable 2515 set win and leading 20-11 resulting to a 25-21 set victory to complete the sweep. “I thought we went out with great energy but we backed it up with good skills. … We had a balance attack, we had a lot of good people, we had different people hitting the ball for us so I thought we had a nice offensive attack and that could only be done with good serve-receive”. Palgutova and Wachowicz led the Johnnies reaching double figures in kills (17) and (16) for the ninth consecutive match. Junior setter, Deniz Mutlugil finished with 35 assists and six digs. Off the bench, redshirt sophomore Briana Guzman had a match-high five blocks and sophomore Mona Karkkainen finished with four blocks. Coach Persico on how the team has grown, ““I’ve seen us cuddling and embracing, getting joy from the bench translating over. In terms of a team, we have not only all the diversity, the most diverse in the country. They all respect each other, so I think that carries over to the court and were going to continue to bring that energy, that fire and confidence in that postiveness to the next match.” Up next, the Johnnies will travel to Milwaukee to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles on Friday Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.


The St. John’s volleyball team lines up before their match versus Seton Hall.

Cross country finishes ninth overall at Big East Championships SAMUEL DIEUDONNE Staff Writer

Last Friday morning, the St. John’s Cross Country team competed at the

2014 Big East Cross Country Championship. It is one of the toughest conferences in the country and they rallied to a ninth place overall finish in spite of the windy and wet conditions. The Big East Conference has ten participants which are: Georgetown, Providence, Butler, Villanova, Marquette, Xavier, Creigh-

ton, DePaul, St. John’s and Seton Hall. The event took place at Northview Church in the Indianapolis, Ind. area. The Red Storm team’s finish at this year’s conference meet is a one-place improvement from last season. As a team, St. John’s tallied a total of 271 on Friday, 18 less than their score at last season’s meet in Somers, Wis. The Red Storm held off 10th place Seton Hall by six points and trailed ninthplace DePaul by 18 points. Freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle led the way for St. John’s for a fourth time this

season, getting out aggressively in the early stages of the race before finishing 39th in 22:34.4 for 6k. Competing in her career-first Big East Championship, Batt-Doyle was the 13th freshman to rush across the finish line and averaged 6:05 per mile on the slippery hills of the Northview Church course. Also capitalizing on a fast start to earn a top 50 individual finish was junior Stephanie Van Pelt, who was the 45th overall finisher in 23:07.6 after finishing 59th at last year’s conference meet. Junior Kerri Butler was St. John’s


The St. John’s cross country team running at Metropolitan Cross Country Championships on Oct. 10.

third runner across the finish line. She ended up being the race’s 60th scorer on the back of a 24:06.0 run. Butler’s classmate followed and finished 63rd in 24:42.4, as fellow junior Veronica Thompson was the very next runner to cross the finish line, registering a time of 25:08.9. Competing in her second career Big East Championship, junior Tiffany Evanego finished 67th in 25:55.4 before freshman Melissa Hidalgo rounded out the Red Storm by finishing 70th in 27:27.2. After the meet, St. John’s head coach Jim Hurst was left satisfied with what he saw, and had the following to say, “I thought our team competed well despite the difficult conditions. Izzi and Stephanie got out into the top group early in the race and our team established good position in the race pack and ran tough races in the windy and rainy conditions. We were able to move up a notch from a year ago which was our aim going into the meet. We are looking forward to more improvements at the NCAA Regional and ECAC Championships in the weeks ahead.” In the end, Georgetown prevailed as the 2014 Big East team champion on Friday, scoring a field-low 19 points and placing all five of their scorers in the race’s top-six finishers. Hoyas (Georgetown) senior Katrina Coogan was the women’s individual champion on the back of a 20:31.0 run. Providence was the women’s team runner-up with 65 points trailed by championship host Butler with 82 points. St. John’s returns to action on Nov. 14 at the NCAA Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y.

Ambry Bishop unwavering in father’s defense Ted Bishop dismissed from PGA over Poulter comments CARMINE CARCIERI Staff Writer


Ambry Bishop

St. John’s women’s golf coach Ambry Bishop has defended her father,former PGA President Ted Bishop,in the wake of his recent dismissal over his negative comments about women on social media. “I’m 32 years old, and never once in 32 years has he ever hinted or made a derogatory comment or a suggestion about women,” Ambry Bishop told Golf Digest. “This is a tough day for me. He’s done nothing but empower me and promote me

to be the most successful person, type of person I’m trying to be.” Ted Bishop, whose two-year term was set to expire in a matter of weeks, was fired on Oct. 24, a day after he referred to European golfer Ian Poulter as a “Lil girl” on Twitter for complaining about another golfer’s statements. That same day, Ted Bishop wrote on Facebook that the golfer “sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess.” Ted Bishop was referring to Poulter’s criticisms of Nick Faldo having referred to Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia as “useless,” regarding the 2008 Ryder Cup where Europe lost at Valhalla. Poulter had said Faldo “has lost respect from players because of what he said,” and that Faldo was contradicting himself because he was the captain on that 2008 team. But Ambry Bishop, the St. John’s coach since 2005, says the public is not seeing the true picture of her father. She told Newsday that her father has been a women’s golf advocate and that he feels bad some people now think otherwise. She told Golf Week that many women have reached out to the family in support

of him during this tough time. “There has been a large outreach of former teammates, players and girls my sister and I played junior golf with,” she told Golf Week. “Their support and emphasis of the supporting role my dad always played has been valued during this tough time.” A St. John’s University spokesman said Ambry Bishop declined to comment to the Torch. The PGA gave Ted Bishop the option to resign a day after the comments, but he said he declined to do so because he felt like he didn’t get a chance to defend himself. The PGA fired him hours later. He also said he should have immediately apologized for the comments instead of simply taking down the Twitter and Facebook posts. “I created this mess—it’s my fault,” Bishop told the Golf Channel. “I don’t think the punishment fits the crime, but it is what it is.” Ambry Bishop added to Golf Digest: “This is a tough pill to swallow. Yeah, looking back on it he could have chosen better words. He does care what people think and he’s sorry.”

Local product Lewis named starting point guard NICHOLAS HUGHES Staff Writer

Entering a year highlighted by an increase in size and length for the Red Storm, it has been made apparent in the weeks leading up to the season that some of the biggest production in the 2014-15 campaign will come from the smallest player on the court. Aaliyah Lewis, standing at just 5’5”, played high school basketball right here in New York for Bishop Ford in Brooklyn. After averaging three points per game in 19 minutes of playing time, Lewis looks to be a stronger contributor on offense from the jump this season. At women’s basketball media day, the Staten Island native noted that her biggest adjustment for her sophomore season with the Johnnies will include “being more aggressive on the offensive end.” She’d go on to elaborate that coach Tartamella has been actively trying to get her to become a more consistent jump shooter. It is important to remember this year that the Johnnies will be without three of their most influential guards from the 2013-14 season. Briana Brown was the former team captain and hero of the first round of the NCAA Tournament along with Keylantra Langley, whose 2013-14 campaign featured seven double-figure performances. Finally, Eugeneia McPherson left the Red Storm after spending her entire collegiate career as a Johnny and as the Big East Sportsmanship Award Winner last season. The absence of these three major pieces of the Red Storm backcourt ensures a guaranteed increase in minutes for Aaliyah Lewis and, as a result, added responsibility. Thankfully, Lewis is no stranger to playing a huge role for a winning team. As a junior at Bishop Ford High School, she led her team to its first ever CHSAA

Brooklyn-Queens Division I title game. Along the way, she garnered various awards and accolades for her individual performance. She would average 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals per game by the end of the season. She spoke on her transition to the college game last season, saying that in high school she was much better known as being a potent scorer, but having played behind Eugeneia McPherson she’s learned to be more of a playmaker and distributor. “On defense, having my head on the ball because that starts the offense,” is how she emphasized her role on the other end of the floor this season. Ball-hawking defense is another element of Lewis’ game that will translate well on a team known for getting out and running the floor whenever possible. In practice, the sophomore seems to be making a con-

certed effort at stripping ball-handlers and jumping the passing lanes, which has been leading to quick and easy transition opportunities for herself and her teammates. Lewis’ contributions seem to have more of an emphasis, as she appears to be taking on a leadership role in a backcourt that will feature returning stars Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant, as well as the new additions of freshmen Tamesha “Sox” Alexander and Crystal Simmons. Coach Tartamella has expressed uncertainty thus far about his lineup heading into the first game of the season at Yale on Nov. 15. However, it appears through practice that Aaliyah Lewis is providing him with a valuable rotational piece that can fit in with nearly any combination of her teammates to form a cohesive unit.


Aaliyah Lewis comes out to the roaring crowd during Tip-Off.



Leavin’ their Mark

Obekpa shines with triple-double as Red Storm squeeze by Humboldt State BRANDON MAUK Staff Writer

St. John’s overcame their sloppy play in the first half to down Humboldt State 95-83 in their first exhibition game Saturday. D’Angelo Harrison scored 28 points and Chris Obekpa finished with a triple-double. The Red Storm made 20 of 31 field goal attempts in the second half and outscored the Lumberjacks 51-38 after they trailed by one at halftime. “Overall, we were disappointed with our performance in the first half, but the kids played better basketball in the second half,” head coach Steve Lavin said. “The two positives were that we came out with more purpose offensively in the second half and had better ball movement.” Chris Obekpa had a career day as he accumulated the triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and a signature 11 blocks. “Today is emblematic of how [Obekpa has] played the last couple of months,” Lavin said. “He’s in a really good place on both ends of the floor.” Lavin praised Obekpa’s work ethic and improvement in the offseason and during the game. Also leading the Red Storm attack were Rysheed Jordan and Sir’Dominic Pointer. Jordan was one of the sparks in the second half; he overcame eight turnovers and scored 18 of his 19 points in the period. Pointer had 15 points of his own. St. John’s suffocated Humboldt for much of the game, as the Lumberjacks shot just 38.5% from the field and 30% from three-point range. Another key to the win was efficiency from the free throw line, which Lavin likened to a football team’s kicking game in terms of importance in a close game. The Red Storm hit 31 of 38 foul shots on the game. “Free throw shooting, naturally, is something that hurt us at times over the past couple of years,” said Lavin. “So I’m encouraged, particularly by Obekpa.” There must also be improvement on the offensive side of the court. St. John’s turned the ball over 21 times, which was a problem last year as well. During the game, they only hit four of 16 attempts from the three-point range. “We had a more balanced attack in terms of playing inside, getting some points on the break, getting some points off the foul line,” Lavin said. “Both inside and outside there was a nice rhythm to our offense and we were able to create and generate points in a number of ways.”

Women’s Soccer storms past Villanova Page 13




A study by the Environment and Human Health Inc. shows a possibility of serious health concerns that can be attributed back to playing on artificial turf fields. There are 2 turf fields on campus; Belson Stadium DaSilva Memorial Field See page 12 for more


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