TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
NELL O’CONNOR News Editor The University’s planned schedule change for next semester is drawing a mixed reaction from students. The new schedule eliminates 55-minute classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and replaces them with 80-minute classes on a Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday schedule.
The new schedule will also designate all three-hour classes to Wednesdays and Saturdays, and common hour will take place on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. “The decrease from two common hours to one a week will disrupt student activities, allowing clubs to meet only once a week or limiting students to one club,” said Kamara Edwards, a junior. “I think this will really hurt student organizations, as well as student life.” In 2008, University officials announced schedule
modifications that were planned for the fall 2009 semester. Under this plan, 55-minute classes on Mondays and Wednesdays were also removed and replaced with 85minute classes like those on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This schedule included the addition of two more common hours bumping them up Mondays through Thursdays. This schedule plan was postponed for the spring 2010 semester and eventually turned into the latest schedule proposal.
See SCHEDULE, Pg. 4
TELEVISION HBO Knows ‘How to Make It’
The executive producers of Entourage are back with a new television series.
ENTER RTAINMENT Pg. 17
Last week’s poll results Are you watching the Winter Olympics?
56% Yes 44% No Check out our new poll every Wednesday “Think Outside. . .”
Directory Managing Board LXXXVII
CHRISTINA HEISER, Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY, Managing Editor NELL O’CONNOR
BILL SAN ANTONIO
Editorial Page Editor Photo Editor
Chief Copy Editor
Entertainment Editor Online Editor
Business (718) 9906576 Advertising 990-6756 Editorial Board 990-6444
Features 990-6445 Letters 990-6445 News 990-6444 Sports 990-6444
Special thanks to Richard Rex Thomas for assisting in the design of The TORCH
Theater Measure for Measure Inferno reviews the new offBroadway play that is sure to measure up to theatergoer and Shakespeare fans expectations.
Inferno Pg. 18 Features Campus Spotlight Advertising professor shares decades of experience in new book.
Features Pg. 9
Women’s Basketball When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling The women’s and men’s basketball teams both beat Notre Dame in close games. TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
Sports Pg. 22-23
MORALITY OPINION PG. 7
17 Feb. 2010
Students fight for aid NATASHA VELEZ Staff Writer
The basketball court in the Residence Village displays last week’s heavy snowfall. St. John’s canceled classes last Wednesday and postponed classes Thursday until 4 p.m.
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St. John’s students rallied for state financial aid in Albany on earlier this month. The seven students who represented St. John’s University met with elected officials of the New York State Senate on Feb. 9 to discuss the potential $71 million cut from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The event was organized by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU). About 800 students from more than 50 different colleges and universities attended the event. “This was an inspiring experience. I receive a TAP award and it was truly comforting to know that all the people we met with were on our side of the issue,” said Loudres Pena, a sophomore. “I feel as though our presence gave a face to the issue and our voices reflected that
of so many other students that depend on TAP in order to go to college.” Students voiced their opinions and concerns about the TAP cut. Toby Stavisky, the Democratic State Senator representing the 16th District, responded in full support of student aid programs. “I am always proud to bring our students to Albany to tell their personal stories to our elected officials,” said Brian Browne, assistant vice president for Government Relations. “Our students are truly the best advocates we have and are living examples of the value and importance of investing in student aid programs.” After a day of lobbying, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who represents the St. John’s area as a NYS assembly member, escorted the St. John’s contingent onto the floor of the assembly chamber where all seven were introduced and their efforts acknowledged. Browne stated that this experience was “the highlight of the day.”
Students celebrate Lunar New Year ALIZA MOORJI Staff Writer
TORCH PHOTO/EVERTON BAILEY
Project AIM hosted traditional Asian performances to ring in the Lunar New Year. Freshman Junhao Liang said, “I want to make more friends here at St. John’s University because I am a freshman and I want to travel all around America.” The event proceeds of $500 will be donated to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. Father Duong expressed his pride and happiness with the celebration. “I remember five years ago when I just came to St. John’s, this celebration [had] only about 70 or 80 people,” he said.
“And now five years later, you can see how many people. So that really shows us how St. John’s has supported the different diversity among the students in the University that help the students to learn and also to share other cultures with one another.” According to Rosa Yen, associate director of Leadership Development and Multicultural Affairs, an event like this takes months of preparation. “The challenges are short of staff, limited budget, and limited capacity
of location. Luckily, Project AIM Peer Mentors, Diversity Peer Educators, and many Asian leaders have been welltrained to work as staff in my area to cover the shortage of man power,” she said. Over the years, Yen said, Project AIM has added a variety of programs to the event, including a dinner and traditional Lunar New Year customs. These include traditional performances by University students and local performers from the Min Hui Chinese School.
LAURA AMATO Photo Editor
Topalin added that the dim lights in the halls have made previously normal, day to day activities more difficult. “Sometimes I would sit in the hall to do my work or study, if my roommates were asleep or talking. Now, with the dimmer lights, I can’t do that.” In the wake of news of budget cuts throughout the University, the decision to decrease light use has caused some students to question the real motive. “I don’t feel threatened by it, but I should be able to expect more from a school where we pay what we do,” said Ryan Garcia, a freshman. “Next thing you know our dorm lights won’t work.” Although some students dislike the decision, there are those who think it was a useful idea. “It’s admirable of the University to be making such a conscious effort to lower energy use,” said senior Jessica Sides. “Nothing bad is going to happen because the halls are a little darker.”
hallways, prompting some residents to question the safety of the program. “It’s alright for me because I live in St. Vincent’s, but that doesn’t seem very safe for the bigger halls,” said Lily Topalian, a freshman. University officials and resident assistants, however, are adamant that the current lighting conditions are only a means of conserving energy, and do not pose any threat to students or their safety. “Since all the safety precautions are still in effect, I think it’s nice that the University is trying to go green,” said Liz Kugler, a senior and a resident assistant in O’Connor Hall. “The dimming of the lights in the halls is a way of saving energy.” According to members of the sustainability initiative, dimming the lights in halls was a simple way for everyone to cut energy costs. “A small change in lifestyle can help fight climate change,” said Goldsmith.
For the last two weeks, St. John’s resident students have been in the dark. Literally. In an effort to lower energy use across campus, lights in the hallways of University residence halls have been dimmed. This latest initiative is a part of University’s participation in this year’s Recyclemania competition and other sustainability efforts which includes a competition among residence halls to decrease their overall carbon footprint. “The dimming of the lights wasn’t just a way to save energy,” said Thomas Goldsmith, director of environmental and energy conservation. “It was a way to remember that we’re in the time period of the challenge.
The lights in the halls are already very efficient.” Residents were informed of the change Feb. 5 via e-mail from residence directors. The lights are expected to return to normal on Feb. 17, while Recyclemania runs until the end of March. While some residents have applauded the University’s efforts to go green, others are concerned about the practicality of the decision to dim the lights. “It does conserve energy, but now it’s kind of dark when I’m doing my homework, it’s hard to see,” said Josephine Marescot, a freshman. Armond Banks, also a freshman, said he thought the school could have used alternative methods to reduce energy use. “It’s pointless,” he said. “They had it the same over Thanksgiving. They should just turn down the heat instead.” Some lights have even been turned off altogether, resulting in much darker
17 Feb. 2010
A dimmer shade of green in the dorms
St. John’s rung in the Year of the Tiger last week in Marillac Cafeteria. Approximately 450 students and guests enjoyed cultural dances, professional singing, a buffet dinner and karaoke at the Lunar New Year celebration on Friday, Feb. 12. “The new year is a sacred time for all the Asian countries who celebrate [the Lunar New Year],” said Father Tri Duong, who delivered the homily during mass. He continued to explain that this is a time for families to come together physically and spiritually. The dinner, spearheaded by Project AIM (Asian and International Mentoring), is one of the biggest events of the year, according to Yvette Clairjeane, the group’s student coordinator. “I think every year the event has been growing so there have been more and more people so we’ve been working to accommodate as many people as possible,” she said. Cilvya Sam-Mensah, an assistant mentor for Project AIM, said that the New Year was one of the community’s biggest events, and praised the University for supporting those who celebrate it. “Asian students look forward to it because it’s like a family away from home and although they can’t celebrate with their family, there’s a place they can go to actually celebrate their culture,” Sam-Mensah said. Xiuhan Hu, president of Interfaith Association, said, “I really feel like I’m home because Chinese New Year is the biggest festival and biggest event for the Chinese community.” Other students expressed their wishes and New Year’s resolutions. Graduate student Zhi Jaei said, “Because the tiger is active and very energetic animal, I hope I can have good performance in my studies this year.”
SCHEDULE: Continuted from Pg. 1 “There was a concern with that, that it would become a four-day University and students didn’t want that to be happening and Student Life didn’t want that to be happening,” Julia Upton, University Provost, told the TORCH Feb. 10. According to Student Government, Inc. members, surveys were given to students last school year asking what University policies they wanted to see changed and modifying the class schedule
Students share opinions
was the biggest concern. SGI president Patrick McBurney said he thinks the new schedule will benefit student organizations and should be looked at as an opportunity. “Anytime you change the status quo, there will be some kind of impact,” he said. “It’s going to up to the organizations to make the best of it. The new schedule should put more of an emphasis on programming, especially programming at night.” Sholanty Taylor, a sophomore, said she does not like the fact that common hour will be reduced to once a week.
“The schedule change is going to cause a lot of frustration for people who are really involved,” she said. Katie Belackas, a freshman, also thinks that student engagement will suffer. “I think two common hours are easier to get involved, having just one day limits student involvement,” she said. Upton said that although the changes might not be popular, it will be beneficial to students. “In the end, it’s not a popularity contest,” she said in an interview with the TORCH on Feb. 12. “It’s a decision based on what’s going to make a better
university.” “In 80 minutes you can have more substantial discussion. More students enroll in these classes and professors want to teach those classes.” Jodi Cox, director of Campus Activities, also stressed the importance of student organizations taking the initiative in terms of their programming. “Since we cannot predict what will happen, Campus Activities and ultimately our student leaders will have to remain open to change and proactive with our efforts to reach as many students as possible during our programming efforts,” she said.
We want you! Come to the next Torch meeting in the D’Angelo Center Room 125 on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Editorial Board LXXXVII
CHRISTINA HEISER Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor NELL O’CONNOR News Editor JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor
FLAMES OF THE TORCH
Assessing STJ’s business model
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KERI DODGE
STUDENTSPARKS: Schedule What do you think of the new class schedule for next year?
I hate it, I think we should just have classes Monday through Thursday and I don’t like three-hour classes.
I prefer the new format, it’s easier because I’m a commuter.
Jordan Haskins Sophomore
Heather Pace Senior
[I] hate that, it’s better to break [the schedule] up, students don’t learn as well with longer classes.
I’m in favor of it, because [the current format] is uneven and most classes are Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of The TORCH. Columns are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of The TORCH. Opin-
ions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.
E-mail letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your full name, year, and college (or department). Letters have a limit of 350 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.
Jerry Fonix Junior
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17 Feb. 2010
keting and investment in recruiting is what for-profit universities, like the University of Phoenix, have always been about. These kinds of institutions developed this business model in order to make a large profit, and unfortunately it’s leaking into state and private universities, like St. John’s. But it’s when administrators imitate this for-profit model that problems occur, especially in times of an economic recession when students are less able and willing to shell out the big bucks for a degree. “Administrators can feel pressure to invest in new facilities that look good on the glossy brochures — like a new recreation center — rather than improving student advising or course availability,” says Folbre. At St. John’s, evidence of this forprofit business model is widespread. The new D’Angelo Center flaunts a picturesque golden torch and lush furniture. The façade of the ornate building was printed on the University’s spring 2010 semester schedule, even before it had opened its doors to students. The residence village has been another focus in recent years, as the University continues to build dorms for more out-of-state students, hearding the masses as best they can. Meanwhile on campus and amongst the student population, student engagement has suffered with low turnouts at sporting and activity events. School spirit is low. Many programs and funds have been cut in recent months to tighten the school budget, and VSO buyouts have been offered to full time professors, staff and administrators. The state of St. John’s seems to fit Folbre’s description of a university that is focused more on enrollment than on nurturing the students they have. For university administrators, now may be a good time to consider the state of a St. John’s education, and the future of the University’s business model.
Two months ago, St. John’s opened the doors to its new $78 million D’Angelo Center, a four-story university center designed to enhance student life and educational resources on campus. To some, this is a staple of prosperity and growth for the University. For others, like Nancy Folbre, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, it is a sign of a poor business model that is trending in many of the nation’s colleges and universities. Folbre recently wrote an article for the New York Times business blog, “Economix,” that addressed the business plans of most institutions of higher education over the past decade. She points out that, in recent years, enrollment rates have rocketed far higher than completion rates. Additionally, she notes that many undergraduate students are needing more time to finish their degrees. For example, she provides the disturbing statistic that less than 60 percent of first-time full-time undergraduate students at four-year institutions completed their degree on time in the 2000-01 academic year. In other words, many universities are focusing their funds and efforts more on recruiting students than they are on improving and maintaining the quality of the service they offer those students. As Folbre puts it, “Enrolling in college is a bit like joining a health club. And as with a health club, the revenue comes from signing people up, not from encouraging them to use the services.” It’s a harsh reality that picking a good college is a difficult process for students and parents. Unlike purchasing a car, it’s impossible for students to “try before they buy” when it comes to picking a school. It’s easy to be lured by a clever marketing team who knows their niche audience. According to Folbre, heavy mar-
Losing the popularity contest New proposed class schedule causes concern for STJ students
Over the past week, I’ve received overwhelmingly negative feedback from St. John’s students about the schedule change that will be implemented for the fall 2010 semester. For some, the article printed in the TORCH last week was the first they heard of it, and a few left comments on our Web site, complaining about the logistics of the new schedule and stating that they had never heard that this change was going to take place. Father Harrington sent an e-mail to faculty and administrators last Monday, and that is how many other students found out about the University’s upcoming decision. Yet the student body is the largest group that will be impacted, so why wasn’t Father Harrington’s e-mail sent to the entire student body? If students had gotten this information directly from the University instead of finding out from another source, the reactions may not have been as negative. Last year, Student Government handed out cards to students on campus, asking them what university policies they would like to see changed. But this change comes as a major surprise though,
since plans to overhaul the schedule in time for the fall 2009 semester were dropped; and not only that, the terms of the new schedule are different than what the University had originally proposed. The new schedule calls for 85-minute classes that meet Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday, and threehour classes that meet Wednesday and Saturday. The schedule that the University initially proposed in 2008 would have eliminated Friday classes, but Student Life was afraid that the University would become a four-day-a-week school. I’m not sure that this would be such a bad thing. What student doesn’t want a three-day weekend? I don’t have any Friday classes this semester, and after working hard the rest of the week, I always look forward to having that extra day off from school. Free Fridays could also offer students more flexibility in terms of finding a part-time job or an internship. And, it would give students a day to catch up, or get ahead with school work. In some ways, St. John’s already is a four-day-aweek university. Many students only have classes only on Tuesday and Thursday; some professors hold online discussions on Friday instead of having the class meet; and other students start the weekend early by skipping class on Friday. With the new schedule, there’s still a good chance that these things won’t change. But the elimination of common hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a facet of the new schedule, is going to be more detrimental to student engagement than the threat of a vacant St. John’s on the weekends. Starting next semester, common hour will be held on Wednesdays only. How will students be able to participate in multiple activities if there is only going to be one
Letters to the editor
17 Feb. 2010
To the Editor: I recently read your article in the Torch about “Improving the Retention Rate.” There was a segment in there with regards to New Student Orientation. You stated, “ During Orientation, incoming freshman spend two nights in the dorms, take a tour of Manhattan, attend a dance with a DJ and go on a cruise. Incoming freshman are broken up into groups and have to participate in silly icebreaker games and come up with cheers. You also stated that you” haven’t met one student at St. John’s that has actually enjoyed this experience.” I beg to differ, because I have met plenty. I was an Orientation Leader for two years (Summer 2008 and 2009). In addition, I am also currently a coordinator for the program. First off, there are some errors with the way you describe orientation. Seeing as you are a Senior, you probably weren’t aware of the changes in the past two years. However, I would have thought that you would have researched more about the program if you were going to include it in your article. Students no longer take a tour of Manhattan, instead they attend community service and actually get to have a “taste” of what they will experience during service learning. After working about 15 orientations, I have never had one group who didn’t get something out of it. In fact, I was always extremely proud of how they handled doing community service. Also, students no longer have to attend the DJ party, as it is not mandatory. However, most students still do. Those who do not enjoy the party are free to stay
in their rooms, play games in the lounges, or simply just hang out within the Vincentian Walkway “The Strip.” As far as the “silly” ice breakers and cheers go? Yes, I agree that they are silly. But let me ask you... who ever plays “serious” icebreakers? These are students fresh out of high school who are from diverse backgrounds and don’t know each other. There is nothing wrong with a simple icebreaker to make them smile. This is actually what gets students to talk to you. I have had many students not participate in icebreakers, but even though they found it silly, they liked the fact that I had a sense of humor and was secure enough with myself to be silly and fun. Also, Orientation students are split up into groups depending on their majors. Thus the people you meet may be your future classmates, so it is beneficial. It is also easier to keep track of students when they are divided.The cheers are also fun ways to show group spirit. Nobody is forced to do it, and many students enjoy it. Not only this, but people become close to others in their group. Creating a cheer together is just a nice way to creatively come together and show off pride. Its similar to establishing school pride. Maybe your experience was not the best, and I am sorry for that. But I enjoyed all 16 orientations I was in. Why else would so many people apply to become O.L’s? Its because they enjoyed their Orientation. In fact, in the current class, I have 3 former students who told me that I inspired them to become O.L’s. Not only this, but after Orientation was over, my students posted up pictures and videos of their favorite moments. I still receive notifications on Facebook about
hour a week allotted for organizations to hold meetings? This may actually hurt student participation, which is already low at St. John’s. The elimination of common hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays is going to change the way every student organization operates. For example, at the TORCH, Wednesday is too late in the week to assign articles for an upcoming issue. Although we could always email our writers earlier in the week, it’s much more meaningful to have a conversation in person. By only having one common hour instead of two, the TORCH, along with other organizations, might even face more difficulty recruiting and keeping new members. Last week, Dr. Julia Upton, university provost, told me that the decision to change the schedule is not a “popularity contest,” and that “it’s a decision based on what’s going to make a better University.” Students who are upset should do whatever they can to have their opinions heard: write a letter to the TORCH, contact a Student Government representative, attend a town hall or organizational congress meeting, try to speak with administratorts. Although the decision to overhaul the University’s scheduling options may not be based on a popularity contest, students are the ones paying thousands of dollars a year to be at St. John’s, so it’s only fair that they have a schedule that pleases them. Because so many students are frustrated about the upcoming changes, the University should reconsider its decision.
it! I even had one student who wanted to do it all over again. This is what keeps me going and enthusiastic about the program. Student Feedback! Knowing that I have the power to make someone feel comfortable about their current school is a euphoric experience.I’m sure that this is why you would choose to write in a paper...to empower and enlighten others. It is worth the sleepless nights (O.L’s get about 4 hours a night), the long days, and dealing with the pessimism of some students. Even better, is when I STILL get stopped by students who tell me about how great I was and how they miss Orientation. I actually feel that Orientation excites students, and true “St. John’s college-life” disappoints them. As for your suggestion of a one day Orientation? Remember that St. John’s mission has 3 aspects (Catholic, Vincentian, Metropolitan) thus Orientation encompasses all three parts. The Catholic portion is covered on the first day, as the first stop is campus ministry (after lunch). The Vincentian portion is covered during community service. The Metropolitan aspect includes the boat ride in the city. Remember that the University prides itself on its mission. Also, do you really think that students would enjoy an Orientation that consisted of “exploring the campus.” Many of them have already come to numerous tours of the school, and the campus isn’t too large. So, without stormcards or an agenda outlined for them, an Orientation of this nature would serve no purpose. People would basically just leave and not even feel welcomed to the school. They would never meet O.L’s or feel close to other students who they could use as a resource. Granted, are there aspects that the students dislike? Of course. Is the program perfect? No. However, I felt that I needed to defend the program that I have dedicated 3 1/2 years to. Because Orientation
Christina Heiser is a senior English major. She can be reached at: email@example.com
has played a huge part of who I am on campus. It has led me to discover that working with students is an amazing experience that I would never trade. So as far as that portion of your article,...Im sorry, but I beg to differ Cenia Santana Class of 2011
To the Editor: The 1985 final four reunion at the garden last night was the perfect example of how Political Correctness ruins tradition. When you take a step back and realize how much St. John’s basketball played a dominant role in NYC sports over the years, and what a social event they use to be (remember when Eddie Murphy was invited to go to the St. John’s game in the movie “Coming to America”?!). It was so disappointing to see the general lack of enthusiasm from the student body, where only 5000 people showed up on what was supposed to be a special night. Losing never helps, and there have been many ugly ones (that Syracuse game last year was a blood bath!!), but what really was the stake through the heart of many St John’s fans was the changing of the proud historical name of Redmen to red storm. (Coninued on page 7)
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Religious vs. secular morality JUSTIN THRIFT Editorials Page Editor
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KERI DODGE
At the root of such psychology is the principle of respect for the welfare of others. As Hauser and Pyysiäinen suggest, this moral capacity is a kind of “universal grammar,” certain values that are mutual among all humans. Yes, the specifics of our morals will differ between cultures and settings, but the fundamental notion that harmful actions are immoral can account for much of what we all know about our human morality. And while this research propels the notion of innate human morality, the authors’ do not neglect any benefits of organized religion that the research did find. In an article recently published in the British newspaper The Telegraph, Dr. Hauser is quoted as saying, “Although it appears as if co-operation is made possible by mental mechanisms that are not specific to religion, religion can play a role in facilitating and stabilizing co-operation between groups.” Hauser reminds us that these studies and the research they provide are not in the spirit of atheism, nor are they interested in tearing down the value of organized religion.
Religion can help unify groups of society around defined moral goals. It can promote goodwill beyond the components of our intuition, and be a catalyst for community involvement and charitable service. What this research accomplishes is to disprove the notion that the correlation between religion and morality is a dependent one. To believe in religion as the sole path to a moral life is unwarranted. To promote intolerance of the secular life is unjustified and counterintuitive to acceptance and tolerance. Hauser says further in The Telegraph article that he believes, for some people, “criticism targeted at religion is experienced as a fundamental threat to our moral existence.” Surely, many religiously devout would undoubtedly agree with Hauser’s thoughts. Still, the religious life should not be seen as the only means to a moral one. Different religions practice different beliefs, but they’re united in their moral teachings. Just the same is the religious world and secular world. After all, strong morals could be the only thing keeping us all together.
feelings…It is a fact that the school as never looked prettier, even since 2004…but it is also a fact that the soul of this school is missing. St John’s has always been a part of my life; my parents, brother and over ten members of my extended family have graduated or attended St. John’s. I am proud to say that I followed my dad’s and uncle’s footsteps and became a commissioned officer in the United States Army from St. Johns. I ask all St. John’s fans, alumni, and donators to demand the name Redmen be reinstated and once again be proud of what St. John’s represents. WE ARE ST. JOHN’S! Drew Lyons Class of 2004 Captain and instrcutor Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX
The name came from the old football team that wore red uniforms; that’s how the nickname Redmen was born. The birth of our name is just as great as Tex’s Rangers; or the way a sportswriter changed the name Highlanders to Yankees because the name Yankees was easier to write. The history of the name is just as important as the team itself. Calling yourself an American is not just saying where you are from but what you represent. The name Redmen represents a local Catholic University That always opened the door to the less fortunate, that gave anyone who wanted it a chance to succeed. St John’s was the school that, during the Vietnam War, brought in the Army ROTC as other NYC universities kicked the program off because SJU (NOT STJ…JUST STUPID) knew the importance of supporting American through the good times and bad. This is what Redmen means to me…red storm represents the complete opposite of these ideals, red storm represents bending to popular opinion, trying not to hurt anyone’s
(Continued from page 6) Almost 20 years later there is an identity crisis at every game. You will hear the chants from the peanut gallery of “let’s go St John’s”, or “let’s go Johnnies”, but never will you here the name muttered Red Storm…Even the chant of “We are St. John’s “is hardly chanted with much enthusiasm (unlike when my parents used to go to the school in the late 70’s and early 80’s where the chant of “WE ARE ST.JOHN’S!”, used to shake the rafters of then Aumni Hall). The main culprit of all this is political correctness! When you try to please everybody you please nobody and if you look at the stands during games and the fans that go to the fund raisers there is huge difference in numbers of the old Redmen supporters to the current Red Storm supporters (I graduated in 2004). The fact that the school no longer celebrates midnight madness is just another sad indication of how tradition has gone to the wayside. I know this has been stated many times but I will say it again: The name Redmen is NOT an Indian name!!!
17 Feb. 2010
Letters to the Editor (continued...)
Nobody is capable of proving the benefits (or side effects) of organized religion. Most people, religious or not, accept that a difference in opinion between the devout and secular will forever more probe unanswerable questions about human existence. But is it unreasonable to place the source of human morality outside the realm of these unbounded questions? That the ethics of atheists can be just as moral as those of churchgoers? This is exactly the proposal behind newly published research. The study comes from Harvard University’s Dr. Marc Hauser along with Dr. Ilkka Pyysiäinen from the University of Helsinki in Finland. Their research, which was recently published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, claims that “individuals show no difference in the pattern of their moral judgments for unfamiliar moral scenarios,” regardless of their religious backgrounds. The researchers found that while nearly all religions provide moral codes that can succeed in organizing society, people with no religious background still display strong intuitive judgments of right and wrong in line with the pious. This is fairly logical research: If someone does not prescribe to the traditions and teachings of an organized church, there is no reason why good morals should not be intuitive in their social behavior. If this research was not true, then any person not exposed to a religious upbringing would be unable to distinguish between right and wrong, civilized and uncivilized. The threshold of what makes a person good and bad would be mutually exclusive to the religiously involved. This, we know, is not the case in society. The team analyzed multiple psychological experiments in order to test individuals’ moral inclinations. One study explained in the essay was a Web-based survey of thousands of male and female subjects with broad political views, levels of intelligence, ages and vastly different amounts of religious experience. Subjects were asked to read and judge “the moral permissibility of an action on a seven point scale (where 1=forbidden, 4=permissible, 7=obligatory).” As Hauser and Pyysiäinen convey in their essay, the research repeatedly shows that the “pattern of moral judgments” of subjects with religious backgrounds does not widely differ from those of atheists. What’s even more compelling about the research presented in cases like this one is that a subject’s religious involvement is not the only factor considered. Children in elementary school produced similar results as doctoral students, as did liberals and conservatives, young and old. The reason for such an even plateau in moral belief, according to the authors’ research, is a psychological one. These studies conducted to test the relationship between religion and morality suggest that there is a “(unconsciously operative) knowledge that mature members of a community bring to bear on moral problems, and the mechanism by which all children come to acquire such moral competence.”
TORCH ILLUSTRATION//MIKE MONTIJO
Food for thought 7-Eleven oﬀers cheaper option for resident students petanakis, the marketing director for Chartwells, referring to the food at Montgoris and other dining halls on campus. JUSTIN THRIFT “So we are not able to get the low Editorials Page Editor enough price from our vendors that perhaps a 7-Eleven could.” Freshmen Francesca Bartalini is also upset with the prices at It is a well-known fact that colthe C-store. lege students are very conscientious “I think they have to take into conconsumers, especially when making sideration that a lot of us have to be everyday purchases. spending very little,”said Bartalini, Although it is convenient for stuWe’re on very tight budgets since dents to go grocery shopping on camwe are away from home. As much as pus, is there a savings that’s worth it is convenient to us, it is too walking the few extra blocks? much.I’d rather buy things The Hungry Johnny, comin bulk and carry them a long monly known as the C-Store, I think they have to take into way than go to the C-store,” is the only convenience store said. on campus available to stuconsideration that a lot of us have she And while Chartwells does dents who dorm. to be spending very little, were assess their prices in order But because of its usually high prices, many stuon very tight budgets since we are to provide students with betservice, Capetanakis said dents prefer to take the trek away from home. As much as it is ter that the prices are adjusted to 7-Eleven or even dare the convenient to us, it is too much. only once a year, during the long walk to the Rite Aid on summer. Parsons Boulevard. “On convenience store In order to shed further rtalini talini items Francesca Bartalini probably not light on the various prices Freshmen shmen going toyouseeare changes throughavailable to student buyers, out the year but if you look at the TORCH recently compared other items like fruit, prices are prices on goods between the Luarte said he pays an average of adjusted on a weekly basis,” said CaC-Store and 7-Eleven and found the $10 per C-store visit and only gets two petanakis. numbers to be drastically different. The TORCH compared typical items candies and a drink for that amount. According to Chartwells, the reathat a college student would purchase. Our grocery list included milk, toi- sons for the higher prices on campus let paper, Tostitos restaurant style tor- have to do with the nature of their tilla chips, canned salsa, peanut butter, business. Interested in reading more Features “We’re purchasing mostly food jelly and a loaf of bread. articles? Visit out Web Site at: Overall, the total on seven items to cook and serve,” said Gina Ca-
17 Feb. 2010
was much cheaper at 7-Eleven. The biggest surprise was the price of a half-gallon of milk, which cost $3.65 at the C-Store and just $1.99 at 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven sold every item cheaper; the C-store was sold-out of bread on the day we went shopping. The prices bother resident students like Michael Luarte, a freshman and Psychology major. “I feel they are pretty high, I would actually take the time and walk to Rite Aid just to get a better deal on what I’m buying,” Luarte said.
C-Store Prices Non Fat Milk: $3.65 Toliet Paper: $1.69 Can of Salsa: $3.99 Jelly: $4.59 Peanut Butter: $4.39 + Tostitos Chips: $4.19 $22.50
7-Eleven Non Fat Milk: $1.99 Toliet Paper: $1.39 Can of Salsa: $3.79 Jelly: $3.69 Peanut Butter: $3.39 +Tostitos Chips: $3.99 $18.24
Professor impacts art SARA CAHILL MARRON Staff Writer
Professor Oswald Alfonso is part of a new interactive exhibit by British-German artist Tino Seghal at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. Alfonso, associate professor of mass communications and TV and film at St. John’s, is an interpreter who speaks during “This Progress,” a piece of art that is real, yet materially intangible. The work consists of conversation between total strangers. A participant entering the Rotunda is greeted by a young child between the ages of eight and 10 who quickly questions, “This is a work by Tino Sehgal called ‘This Progress,’ can I ask you a question?” “I heard about the opportunity like everybody else; a friend of a friend or a colleague of a colleague,” Alfonso said. There are many interpreters that rotate throughout the piece at any given time during the week. “There are so many of each age group,” Alfonso said. “I have no idea how many total there are.” Interpreters work in shifts with a usual duration of four hours a shift with a minimum of 12 hours a week. Alfonso recognizes the opportunity as a unique one for PHOTO COURTESY OF GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM students and faculty alike. “I became interested because I had never been involved with anything to do with a museum before. It’s The Guggenheim Museum is hosting a new interactive exhibit by artist Tino Seghal. fascinating because you get to talk to perfect strangers from Switzerland and Greece.” head and let your students teach you. Don’t run the about all kinds of things,” Alfonso said. Alfonso detailed several conversations that danger of imposing your values onto them. Meet them “I’ve spoken with people from many different particularly stood out for him, including one with an where they are.” countries and of many different ages. Some people are Asian woman who refrains from all uses of technology, He added, “I would recommend that students and tourists, some are art people. Some come for the expreferring to document in long-hand. teachers all come. It works best when your walk in and hibit, and some are only there to see the Guggenheim.” The aversion to technology is a trend in Sehgal’s are immediately immersed in deep conversations with Topics are unlimited; Sehgal’s only parameters are piece, the nature of the artwork itself centering on its strangers of all ages. It’s really opened my eyes.” the prompts that he gives to the interpreters when they inability to be quantified, existing only as a conceptuSehgal’s exhibit will be on display until March are trained. alization. 2010. The Rotunda of the Guggenheim, usually filled “I’ve spoken with people about prejudice, war, “I’ve begun to really think about the issue of techwith pieces by Kandinsky, now boasts empty white religion, economics, and morality. The topics really run nology and how it’s changing the world,” Alfonso said. walls. the gamut,” Alfonso said. “One person—a teacher—advised me to view my Instead, “This Progress” encompasses the spiraling “I enjoy it as much as the visitor do I think, I’m student’s habits in a different way. He said, open your space with much more than canvases. learning from not just New Yorkers, but from people
From classroom to bookshelf CAROLYN WARGULA Assistant Features Editor
Interested in reading more Features articles? Visit out Web site at: www.torchonline.com
Dr. John DiMarco publishes his third book, Digital Design for Print and Web, in March.
17 Feb. 2010
TORCH PHOTO/PATRICE BENDIG
St. John’s professor John DiMarco is no stranger to writing textbooks. DiMarco, who teaches classes in advertising, public relations and media communications, recently published his third book, Digital Design for Print and Web: An Introduction to Theory, Principles, and Techniques, which will be available for purchase at the St. John’s bookstore, and on Amazon.com starting March 1. DiMarco started working on his latest book in April 2009 and finished the manuscript in December. He then went through the editing and proofing processes, and put the finishing touches on online movies that will be available with the book. “This book is by far most difficult. The book was longer and all the examples I actually produced myself,” he said. “It was definitely by far a more rewarding project now that I’m done with it. I am most proud of [this book].” The textbook is aimed at students who are learning media graphics and digital design. It marries both theory and principles with digital technique, containing more than 200 illustrations and practical step-by-step how-tos for students to gain experience. “The book is a teaching tool and innovative because part of what you get is access to 100 online tutorial videos that walk you through the steps in the book,” said DiMarco.
DiMarco said he believes that writing books has allowed him to become a better teacher. “Another great benefit of publishing books is that you gain knowledge of how to do that and bring it directly to the students,” he said. “When you are a professor and expert in the field, one way to build knowledge is to publish and give expertise to a larger audience.” DiMarco spoke about why he enjoys teaching. “One of the things I like a lot is the students,” he said. “I find the students are very eager to learn and it becomes very rewarding when people succeed in classes and we graduate them and they become successful in their careers.” Before DiMarco began teaching at St. John’s University, he worked as a curriculum developer for Canon. He also owned his own design and public relations firm and taught art at the CW Post campus of Long Island University for a year and a half. DiMarco said he considers receiving his Ph.D. one of his greatest accomplishments. Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Information Studies from Long Island University CW Post.
Professor DiMarco publishes textbook on practical application of design
ENTERTAINMENT PHOTO COURTESY OF VALENTINESDAYMOVIE.COM
Inferno attempts to celebrate Valentine’s Day
17 Feb. 2010
He Loves Me, He Loves Me... NOT!
Not Another Love Movie A-LIST CAST CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY WITH A LESS-THAN-FLATTERING FILM ON ROMANCE STEPHANIE GOMES Contributing Writer VALENTINE’S DAY-
OUT OF 4 STARS
he new hit movie Valentine’s Day showcases love in different shapes, sizes but most importantly, different ages. Katherine Fugate, director of the romantic classic Pretty Woman, creates a forgettable film about the holiday that people either love to love or love to hate. With an A-list cast of big-name celebrities including Julia Roberts, Queen Latifah, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx and Jessica Alba, the film struck big with $52.4 million its opening weekend. However, the actors do little to save the plot. The movie Valentine’s Day is extremely sporadic with a storyline that lacks character development. With such a large cast, each actor gets about five minutes of screenplay. The easiest way to understand the movie is by breaking up the many romantic subplots by age groups. The children’s section includes Bryce Robinson, who plays Edison, a child who tries to cope with his schoolboy crush and win her over with more effort than most his age. Teenagers capture the essence of infatuation, with the typical teenage love story portrayed by actor Taylor Lautner and singer Taylor Swift. An example of the poorly written script is seen in Lautner’s scene, where he refuses to take his shirt off in public and proves far from hilarious. As for Swift, the Grammy-winning country starlet belongs behind a microphone and not the big screen. The film also shows the other side of teen romance as depicted in the mature relationship between Emma Roberts and Carter Jenkins, who make the decision to postpone having sex. The main love story centers on Ashton Kutcher, a sensitive florist who realizes that the love of his life, Jessica Alba, does not feel the same way about him as she does her career. Kutcher’s best buddy, Jennifer Garner dwells on a potential romance with Patrick Dempsey, the conniving doctor. Audiences also discover that the characters played by Anne Hathaway and Bradley Cooper have unexpected
PHOTO COURTESY OF VALENTINESDAYMOVIE.COM
Jennifer Garner (left) and Ashton Kutcher (right) co-star as buddies in the film Valentine’s Day, where Jessica Alba, George Lopez, Anne Hathaway and Bradley Cooper also make appearances. secrets. Fugate tops the film off with Jessica Biel’s AntiValentine’s Day Party, where she finds her shared hatred of the holiday in the comedic sports reporter played by Jamie Foxx. Grandparents will also take interest in the film with the couple portrayed by Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine, who take unconditional love to a new level. Julia Robert’s heartwarming role really gives viewers something to “aw” about in the end. However, it is Queen Latifah, who plays the sassy boss, who steals the
show with her punch lines. The film succeeds in showing that love does not discriminate by age, but the storyline behind Valentine’s Day will keep audiences wanting more. It is a lighthearted attempt to poke fun at a controversial holiday, not a blockbuster romance. Just in time for Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day is the ideal movie for those who simply want to see all their favorite actors in one movie. The formula for any successful romance movie should be that less is always more.
A Howling Tale of Horror HOLLYWOOD SHIFTS ITS FOCUS FROM VAMPIRES TO WEREWOLVES IN A REMAKE OF THE 1941 FILM
17 Feb. 2010
DAN BAILEY Staff Writer THE WOLFMAN-
1/2 OUT OF 4 STARS
t seems like Hollywood has decided to take a break from their obsession with vampires in order to focus on other mythological creatures. The Wolfman, a remake of the 1941 film of the same name, takes place in 1891 in Blackmoor, England. Lawrence Talbot (played by Benicio Del Toro) returns to his family’s estate when his brother, Ben (played by Simon Mercell) is mysteriously murdered. Instead Lawrence discovers that a werewolf has been feeding on people as if they were turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. The Wolfman is directed by Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III), who focuses more on the action and suspense rather than the physical and emotional torment Talbot sometimes experiences. The directing is good, but the plot gets dull at times and even with all the fog in the movie, the ending is predictable. PHOTO COURTESY OF THEWOLFMANMOVIE.COM In a plot filled with darkness and insanity, Benicio Del Toro makes the full transformation from deranged man to audiences may feel somewhat haunted by the bloodthirsty werewolf, who attacks villagers after the full moon appears. flashbacks of dead characters and werewolf en-
counters. However, the cast does little to instill fear. Del Toro does a good job at portraying the sad and hopeless Lawrence, who loses his sanity after watching his mother die at a young age. Emily Blunt is a talented actress, but does not get a chance to shine until the end. Hopkins is mysterious, but very dull and forgettable. However, Hugo Weaving redeems the cast by playing the smart and entertaining Francis Aberline, the detective investigating the werewolf murder, whose character is loosely based on Frederick Aberline (the real life inspector on the Jack the Ripper case). Despite a less than stellar cast, The Wolfman has impressive special effects in it, but can pose a problem for those who get squirmish at the sight of blood and gore. The actual werewolf looks very realistic as much as the individuals who get their limbs and heads chopped off by him. The movie is filled with mainly action sequences where the werewolf is attacking people and Johnston overdoes the gruesome violence. The suspense in the movie is also weak and unoriginal. Overall, the movie has potential, offering audiences a different kind of monstrosity and savageness in an age where vampire films dominate the big screen. The Wolfman deserves a viewing at home as a rental, but is not worth the trip to the theater.
A Dollar and a Dream RALPH BRISTOUT Contributing Writer HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA-
OUT OF 4 STARS
merican dreams take flight in the newest HBO series How to Make It in America. Made by the executive producers of the hit show Entourage, viewers follow the story of two friends and business partners, Ben Epstein (played by Bryan Greenberg) and Cam Calderon (played by Victor Rasuk), who try to make a name for themselves in the highly competitive New York fashion scene. The 30-minute pilot episode, which premiered on Feb. 14, showed Epstein and Calderon going through many adventures quicker than a New York minute. The two characters work well together, balancing each other out in personality though identical in ambition. Epstein is a Fashion Institute of Technology dropout, who works a miserable job at the upscale department store, Barney’s. Calderon plays his polar opposite as the freelance businessman who tries to sell whatever falls into his hands. Epstein also plays the calm and laid-back individual who is in denial about reality, while Cam is the free-spirited go-getter who enjoys chasing success as much as he does
achieving it. The show’s unrealistic (yet somewhat reasonable) perspective on hard work wins over viewers with its outlandish scenarios. The comedy-drama also depicts the lazy pursuit of success as a situation that many can relate to, especially in New York City. Aside from Epstein and Calderon, the supporting actors fit their roles as rapper, Kid Cudi (real name Scott Mescudi) makes his acting debut as the popular Domingo, a well-connected hip-hop recording artist. Luis Guzman also co-stars as Calderon’s ex-convict cousin who introduces a new energy drink imported from the islands called “Rasta-Monsta.” “Everybody has ideas, but nobody wants to put in the work” is a memorable line said by the rich father of Calderon’s friend that summarizes the mind-set of each character. Trying to find the shortcut to success through their individual street smarts and special connections, the cast of How To Make It in America possesses their own unique flavor that collectively makes for good television. Overall, How To Make It in America is not meant to be an Entourage remake, but has the formula to gain a mass following: talented actors, humor, a New York setting and a gang of pals who try to redefine success without the hard work. Viewers will be glued to their television sets every Sunday night, anticipating what these guys will think of next to make it in the city of big dreams.
PHOTO COURTESY OF HOWTOMAKEITINAMERICA.COM
Fashion Forward McARTHUR JOSEPH Staff Writer
he snow has yet to melt, but the fashion industry is already looking toward fall 2010. From Feb. 11 through Feb. 18, New York City hosted their semiannual Fashion Week. One of the major trends to watch out for is a huge return to the color black. Contrary to last season where big and bold colors were king, it appears that black will once again be the new black. Another emerging trend is the layering and mixture of different fabrics and textiles all in one outfit. This means that the combination of such fabrics as leathers, knits, and other kinds of separates are more than just appropriate, but also fashion savvy.A new trend that has been recycled from previous seasons is the tailored look for both men and women, but this time with a twist. For men, designers are avoiding the typical business and plain looking blazers and spicing them up by changing the trim shape and adding splashes of color. For women, the classic blazer is taking a sexier turn by appearing in both business and night on the town outfits, creating a look that is versatile and more revealing. Many people find the shows of New York Fashion Week accessible only to the social elite, but there many ways to get past the faux exclusivity and experience the fashion hype firsthand.One of the most straightforward ways of scoring tickets is to e-mail the designer and ask if there are any available seats. Usually, seats are not reserved for outsiders but standing room tickets are sometimes available for free. In some cases, those in the standing section are granted seating if there are unoccupied spots. If one yearns for a more hands-on experience, many designers allow people to volunteer as dressers and assistants for their shows, but this must be done months prior to Fashion Week since they are highly coveted positions. Another way to watch Fashion Week is right from the comfort of home though the Internet. Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, and Isaac Mizrahi have taken to the Web to stream their new collections live.
Shakespeare Measures Up OFF-BROADWAY PLAY CATERS TO A NEW AUDIENCE BY BRINGING A LITERARY CLASSIC TO LIFE CHRISTINA HEISER Editor-in-Chief MEASURE FOR MEASURE-
1/2 OUT OF 4 STARS
n the latest adaptation of Measure for Measure, based on one of Shakespeare’s darkest comedies, director Arin Arbus and Theatre for a New Audience successfully update this classic play for a 21st century audience. By having the actors dress in contemporary clothing and modernizing some of Shakespeare’s language, the director makes the play accessible to those not too familiar with Shakespeare’s work and adds a new twist on an old favorite for those who are Shakespeare-philes. Furthermore, the Duke on 42nd Street Theatre provides an intimate space, making audiences feel as if they are a part of all the action. Measure for Measure tells the story of the Duke of Vienna, who vacates his office so that he can disguise himself as a friar in order to learn the innermost thoughts of his Viennese subjects. He chooses Angelo as his replacement due to his hard-nosed views about justice. Angelo’s first order of business as the new duke is to make an example out of Claudio, whose girlfriend is having a child out of wedlock, sentencing the young man to death. Claudio’s sister, Isabella, tries to persuade Angelo to release her brother. These events all lead up to the return of the duke. The director skillfully draws out the comedic moments of the play and the actors bring Shakespeare’s humor, which may fall flat on the page, to life. This is because the comedic characters have been cast so perfectly. Alfredo Narcisco, as Lucio, provides subtle, dark humor; John Christopher Jones, as Elbow, garners laughs thanks to his slow, dejected enunciation of lines and slumped posture; and John Keating, as Pompey, truly steals the show with over-the-top curly hair, a suit straight out of a bad ‘80s movie, his execution of his lines and his physical behavior. But the heart of this production lies within the two scenes between Angelo (played by Rocco Sisto) and Isabella (played by Elisabeth Waterson) thanks to the choice of actors, who are able to effectively portray a
17 Feb. 2010 The TORCH
Elisabeth Waterson (left) and Jefferson Mays (right) star as Isabella and the Duke in a contemporary remake of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure that centers on dark humor and power. struggle for dominance. Sisto brings his character to life with a creepy, almost sinister, portrayal of Angelo. In this version of Measure for Measure, Angelo is an older man preying on a younger girl. Waterson is spot-on in her portrayal of Isabella, who, during the course of the play, blossoms into a woman who understands her power and is willing to use it to save her brother’s life. The two are equally matched onstage in wit and even in height, but their huge age difference adds an interesting dynamic to their relationship. The tension between Angelo and Isabella culminates in a shocking moment
that audiences will not see coming. Overall, Arbus has skillfully adapted Shakespeare’s classic play about different types of authority into something quite enjoyable for the modern-day audience. Measure for Measure features a cast of talented dramatic and comedic actors that bring all of the characters to life. Although the running time is a little long at two hours and 40 minutes, the time flies by quickly thanks to a balanced mix of dark humor and central questions about authority that will always be timeless. Measure for Measure is playing at the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street, located at 229 W. 42nd St., now until March 14. For ticket information, visit tfana.org.
Comedy’s Secret Weapon THE PIT UNLEASHES A COMEDIC DUO THAT TAKES IMPROVISATION SHOWS TO THE NEXT LEVEL BRETT KALWARSKI Contributing Writer SWORDS-
PHOTO COURTESY OF PLAYBILL.COM
OUT OF 4 STARS
words clash at the renowned People’s Improv Theater (PIT) in New York City every Friday night from Feb. 19 to March 12 as the double-edged comedy duo perform a hilarious gut-wrenching improv narrative show. The comedy team consisting of Bradford Jordan and Lucas Kavner have only been working together for less than a year, but are quickly excelling into one of the top tier acts of improvisational comedy. At the beginning of the show, the two men ask the crowd to name a place. One person shouts, “Bowling!” and the comedic duo automatically break into an outlandish simulation of two bowlers fighting over a bowling lane, with the lane and one of the bowler’s wife at stake. The absurdity of the situation is humorous, but captures the essence of the comedy they are great at creating. The best part of their show comes from the multiple characters (they each can play at least 10 different characters in the same skit) that the two comedians act out combined with their natural tran-
sitions from one to the next, maintaining a flowing narrative that is easy for the crowd to follow. Then there’s the “ImproView,” where Jordan and Kavner pick a random audience member and conduct an interview. The two then perform a hilarious show based off the person’s responses. Regardless of the content, the show’s consistency makes it a knockout crowd pleaser. When Inferno asked where inspiration for their shows comes from, Kavner said, “I never have a funny idea that I wake up to, like a man falling crouch first on a fence and try to force it into an act. It would just come out bad.” However, Jordan and Kavner had a good start by taking classes at the PIT and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (the UCB) in Manhattan. After completing classes, they started to gain momentum by joining improv teams like the Baldwins and Party Lights, where they were first introduced to the public. Through their connections from the PIT, the comedic duo started out by doing side bits of work outside the theater. Jordan has been working with the Striking Viking Story Pirates at the New York City School System for creativity while Kavner participates in plays throughout New York, writes for the hilarious McSweeny’s journal and doing commercial
gigs. But when the theater company directors at the PIT decided to put the two together, the sharp and frenetic improv group called Swords was born. Swords, nominated by Improvisation News for Best in Sketch Comedy, Most Innovative Comedy Show or Group, have won the most recent Sketchprov at the PIT. When asked how their spontaneous improv makes them successful, Jordan used a simple analogy: “It’s like taking a girl on a date and you don’t really have to try and everything just clicks together. And then there are those dates where you force everything and then have a lot of awkward silences,” Jordan admitted. Their shows and personalities are true testaments to their talent. For a lovely evening with the Swords, see them perform at the PIT, located at 154 W. 29th St.
Can’t get enough of Swords? Follow Bradford and Lucas on Twitter at twitter.com/bradfordjordan and twitter.com/lucaskavner.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THEPIT-NYC. COM
Swords consists of the comedic tag team, Bradford Jordan and Lucas Kavner.
TORCHCOMICS 17 February 2010
I canâ€™t draw Alex Reyes
Controlled Chaos Catharine Corrigan
Thanks for the Reminder
Tea Cozies & Machine Guns Agatha P. Winklebean
Mullin’s college stats enough for the Hall
My suitemate said something very interesting on Saturday night, as we watched New York’s own Nate Robinson defeat Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan in the finals of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. I had just explained to him how the sports editor position grants me audiences with some very interesting people, recently Chris Mullin – due to last week’s celebration of the 1985 St. John’s basketball team that reached the Final Four, and even Robinson himself. This turned his attention away from the contest, underwhelming because the names Dwight Howard and LeBron James were not mentioned among the participants, and onto me. “Well,” he said with a chuckle and a roll of the eyes, “I’d much rather meet Nate Robinson than Chris Mullin.” Admittedly, my suitemate isn’t one to understand much about college basketball history, nor NBA history for that matter. Mullin, the star of the 1985 St. John’s team that reached the Final Four, was also on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, the same one that featured Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird and every other conceivable basketball superstar of the early 1990s. He even won Olympic gold as a member of the 1984 Amateur Olympic team with teammate Bill Wennington. Surely, Mullin would be a pretty interesting person to talk to, considering
he was named as a finalist last week for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on two tickets, as a player and as a member of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. It’s a given that the Dream Team will be inducted. That team dominated every game it played and there was no question they’d take home gold. But what about Mullin the player? In the NBA, Mullin was an All Star in five straight seasons from 1989-1993, averaged over 20 points in six consecutive seasons and reached the playoffs eight times in his 16-year career. He played in at least 70 games seven times and started all 82 games four times. Mullin’s numbers have all the makings of a solid but not Hall of Fame-worthy NBA career. The Naismith Hall of Fame’s criteria, however, are different from that of the baseball or football hall of fames. Naismith Finalists have their entire body of work – from high school right through the NBA— studied and deliberated over. Since that’s the case, Mullin should easily reach the Hall of Fame on his accomplishments at St. John’s. Mullin averaged over 15 points per game and shot over 50 percent from the field in each of his four seasons as a member of the Redmen. He was a 1981 McDonalds All American at Xaverian High School in Brookyln and earned second team All America honors in 1983-84 and first team honors in 1984-85. He is also one of two players who have won the Haggerty Award – which commemorates the best college player in New York City – three times in their college careers, and he won the Wooden Award and was named USBWA College Player of the Year award in 1985. Mullin is also St. John’s all-time leading scorer, and won three Big
2010 Basketball Hall of Fame: The Finalists Here are the finalists that are up for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. North American Committee Finalists:
Women’s Committee Finalists: Cynthia Cooper – Player Harley Redin – Coach All-American Red Heads – Team
Jerry Buss – Contributor Robert “Bob” Hurley, Sr. – Coach Dennis Johnson – Player Bernard King – Player International Committee Finalists: Karl Malone – Player Vladimir Kondrashin – Coach Chris Mullin – Player Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira – Player Don Nelson – Coach Scottie Pippen – Player Jamaal Wilkes – Player Tex Winter – Coach 1960 USA Olympic Team – Team Veteran Committee Finalists: Richard Guerin – Player 1992 USA Olympic “Dream Team” Gus Johnson – Player – Team East Player of the Year awards while competing against Patrick Ewing of Georgetown. I understand the Karl Malone was named to 14 All Star games, and that Scottie Pippen was a part of six NBA championship teams, and that Cheryl Swoopes helped the Houston Comets win four WNBA titles. They’re all shoo-ins, unquestioned first-ballot Hall of Famers. But Mullin was the face of basketball in New York City in the
early 1980s, and his accolades and achievements rank him as one of the best players in Big East history, as well as one of the greatest to put on the St. John’s uniform. What better honor than for Mullin to be inducted to the Hall of Fame upon the 25th anniversary of the 1985 Final Four team? It would be a celebration difficult for anyone in the St. John’s community to ignore. Maybe then my suitemate will take notice.
17 Feb. 2010
Lacrosse ends preseason with loss to Lafayette STEVE SIDOTI Contributing Writer
Its official: The lacrosse season is set to begin for real this time. Saturday concluded the exhibition schedule for the lacrosse team, as the St. John’s team got their final tune-up in a 9-8 loss at Lafayette. However, despite the snowy weather conditions, it was not the way the Red Storm wanted to end the preseason. Down 4-0 after one quarter, Head Coach Jason Miller decided to put pressure on Lafayette’s offense and the Red Storm defense caused turnovers. To Miller’s credit, his
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Gavin Buckley made a few exceptional saves Saturday in the Red Storm’s loss. team came back in the second quarter with goals from sophomore attacker Harry Kutner, and freshmen midfielder Dillon Ayers and midfielder Brandon Ayers.
Kutner is coming off a productive freshman season where he put up 24 points on 13 goals and a team-high 11 assists last year. The Garden City, N.Y. native will be counted in a big way, while
being expected to construct similar numbers. Despite a change in game plan, the defense remained a little shaky, but senior goalie and captain Gavin Buckley made
quite a few exceptional saves, showing why he enters the season ranking ninth in team history on the all-time saves list. Careless mistakes by the first-year player gave St. John’s easy opportunities to score, with the final being no indication of how the game was played. The one bright spot on the offensive side of the ball was the play of junior Terrance Leach, who played well and stepped up at the attack with a handful of goals. The Red Storm will open the regular season at home when they take on Holy Cross on Feb. 20. This year will mark the first season in the Big East lacrosse conference, with Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, Syracuse and Villanova will make up the rest of the newly-formed conference.
RED STORM STATISTICS MEN’S BASKETBALL
Syracuse Villanova West Virginia Pittsburgh Georgetown Marquette Louisville Cincinnati Notre Dame USF Seton Hall Connecticut St. John’s Providence
11-2 11-2 8-4 8-4 8-5 7-5 7-5 6-6 6-7 5-7 5-7 5-8 4-8 4-9
24-2 22-3 19-5 19-6 18-6 16-8 16-9 15-9 17-9 15-9 14-9 15-11 14-10 12-13
Connecticut Notre Dame West Virginia Georgetown St. John’s Rutgers Providence USF Marquette Syracuse Depaul Cincinnati Louisville Pittsburgh
12-0 10-2 9-2 9-2 9-4 7-4 5-6 5-6 5-6 5-7 5-7 4-7 3-9 2-9
26-0 23-2 22-3 20-4 21-5 15-10 14-10 14-10 14-10 18-7 16-10 11-12 11-14 13-11
STATISTICS AS OF
1. Harangody, ND 2. Hazell, SHU 3. Jones, USF 4. Peterson, PC Reynolds, VU
1. Pope, SHU 2. Harangody, ND 3. Peterson, PC 4. Monroe, GU 5. Johnson, SU
11.0 10.0 9.9 9.5 8.8
Steals 1. Rautins, SU 2. Walker, UConn 3. Hazell, SHU 4. Jones, USF Hayward, MU
Rebounding 24.1 22.4 21.6 18.9 18.9
2.1 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.8
After leading the men’s basketball team to two victories and sinking the game winning free throws against Notre Dame, junior swingman D.J. Kennedy was named to the Big East Honor Roll for the fifth time this season. Kennedy averaged 13.5 points per game during the two game stretch, including a 15 point, five rebound performance in front of former St. John’s stars Chris Mullin and Bill Wennington against Louisville last Wednesday. Against Notre Dame on Sunday, he scored 12 points, including two free throws to put St. John’s ahead 12.5 seconds to help the Red Storm earn their first Big East road victory. He joins Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds, USF forward Dominique Jones and Notre Dame center Luke Harangody as the only Big East players to receive conference honors five times this season. For the season, Kennedy leads the Red Storm in several categories, including points per game, rebounds, assists steals and minutes played.
LEAGUE LEADERS Scoring
Leavin’ their Mark
1. Moore, UConn
2. Rodgers. GU 3. Charles, UConn 4. Marandola, PC 5. Reid, Lou
18.0 17.9 17.8 16.3
5.7 5.6 4.8 4.8 4.7
1. Miles, WVU 2. McNutt, GU 3. Barlow, ND 4. Diggins, ND 5. Robinson, MU
10.8 10.0 9.2 8.9 8.8
1. Walker, UConn 2. Jackson, ND 3. Hansbrough, ND Jardine, SU 5. Rautins, SU
1. Lawson, USF 2. Cole, Pitt 3. Charles, UConn 4. Reid, LOU 5. Green, SHU
2.8 2.8 2.4 2.4 2.3
1. Miles, WVU 2. Quigley, DPU 3. Robinson, MU 4. McKenith, STJ 5. Simms, Pitt
6.2 5.1 4.8 4.5 4.1
He’s being aggressive every time he touches it. He’s rebounding and doing all the little things.
-St. John’s men’s basketball coach Norm Roberts about Justin Burrell’s recent performance
Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games
Feb. 17 Seton Hall Feb. 24 Marquette Feb. 27 Pittsburgh Can’t get enough TORCH sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports
Women’s Basketball: Feb. 27 Villanova Feb. 16 Notre Dame
7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. noon 2:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Durning struck in the second off Tiffani Smith after Chrissy Montez and Kristi Cady singled and Julia Sanchez was hit by a pitch. Smith lasted three innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking one and striking out three.
St. John’s travels to North Charleston, S.C. Feb. 19-20 to play in the Charleston Southern Tournament. They are set to take on Louisville and Youngstown State on the 19th, before moving on to face tournament hosts Charlestown Southern and Youngstown State again on the 20th.
The St. John’s softball team won its season opener Sunday, as the Red Storm run-ruled Liberty 8-0 in five innings in the Charlotte Round Robin after junior outfielder Chelsea Durning’s first career grand slam and five shutout innings from Kat Lawrence.
“I’m thrilled for Chelsea,” Head Coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “One of her individual goals was to hit a home run this season and I am so pleased that she was able to do that. Fundamentally, the swing was beautiful and it came in a muchneeded situation. That was critical. At that moment when she got up to bat, I felt good.” The Red Storm struck again in the fifth when Kaycee Cox singled in Durning and freshman Amber Curry. Britini Hawley, who pinch ran for Cox, scored on Cady’s fielder’s choice, and Stacia Dopudja scored St. John’s fourth run of the inning after Dominique Marcelino and Jenna Berger drew walks. Cox finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Curry went 2-for-3, stole two bases and scored a run. Lawrence struck out four and allowed one hit. “I thought our execution today was excellent,” Kvilhaug said. “We had timely hitting and made key defensive plays and had a solid pitching outing by Kat.”
Blowin’ in the Wind 17 Feb. 2010
ASHLEY BAILEY-RACHEL Contributing Writer
Nadirah McKenith of the women’s basketball team has been named Big East Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday. McKenith helped lead the Red Storm to a 91-58 win over Louisville Wednesday and kept the team in contention against No. 1 Connecticut, playing the Huskies closer than any other team in conference play this year. Last week, she led the team with 13.1 points per game and shot 12-for-24 from the field. Against Connecticut, McKenith recorded her first career double-double, with 15 points (tying a careerhigh) and 11 rebounds (setting a new career-best). The freshman had one of her best complete games of the season against Louisville, with 12 points, seven steals, seven assists and three rebounds.
Softball rolls to first win of the season
McKenith Frosh of the Week
Luck of the Irish Kennedy’s late free throws help Storm win first road game of the season MIKE CUNNIFF Staff Writer
17 Feb. 2010
After last Thursday’s win over Louisville, men’s basketball Head Coach Norm Roberts told his team to bottle up whatever mojo they displayed against the Cardinals and carry it over to the next game.
They responded with an equally impressive performance on the road against a shorthanded Notre Dame team. When Notre Dame guard Tim Abromaitis scored six of his 24 points to turn a 64-60 St. John’s lead into a 66-64 deficit with 1:29 to go, it looked like St. John’s would follow the same script they had all year—blow a halftime lead and lose a frustratingly winnable game because of an inability to guard an opponent’s star. But the Red Storm changed the script on Sunday night. Junior guard Dwight Hardy drilled his fifth 3-pointer of the night to answer Abromaitis and put the Johnnies back on top, but with 38 seconds left, junior forward Justin Burrell was whistled for his fifth foul on a
TORCH FILE PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
D.J. Kennedy made the game-winning free throws after being fouled by Carleton Scott. questionable call when he contested a shot by Notre Dame forward Tyrone Nash. The ensuing free throws gave the Irish a 68-67 lead.
Tracking the Storm: Seton Hall The Red Storm will put their two game winning streak on the line tonight when they return to Carnesseca Arena to take on Seton Hall. The Pirates are 14-9 overall, 5-7 in the Big East and have won two straight. St. John’s will have to try to slow the Seton Hall’s frenetic offensive pace. Under head coach Bobby Gonzalez, Seton Hall has developed into one of the highest-scoring and most up-tempo offenses in the Big East. They are currently third in the conference in scoring at 81.3 points per game. Much of the Johnnies’ focus will be on stopping junior guard Jeremy Hazell. Hazell, a Harlem native and former prep school teammate of Red Storm guard Dwight Hardy, has emerged as one of the top scorers in the Big East. He averages 22.4 points per game and averaged 26.5 in the Pirates last two games. “We’re just going to play our usual man-to-man defense, try not
to give him any open looks and just try to concentrate on him for 40 minutes” said Hardy. “I think we’re a pretty good defensive team. I think we can get under their skin and make it tough for them. On the offensive side of things, the Johnnies hope to keep playing efficiently. They shot 48 percent in their win over Notre Dame and 47 percent in a victory over Louisville last Thursday and shot over 73 percent from the free throw line in both games. Last season, the teams played twice, with each team winning on their home court. St. John’s allowed the Pirates to dictate the tempo and speed up the game in the first matchup, en route to a 91-81 loss. In the second meeting at Carnesseca Arena, the Red Storm slowed down the pace and grinded out a 70-65 win. St. John’s has won six of the last seven home games against Seton Hall and is 10-4 at home overall this season.
On the ensuing possession, junior swingman DJ Kennedy refused a ball screen from junior forward Rob Thomas and drove strong down the left side, drawing the foul on Notre Dame forward Carelton Scott. He then calmly sank both free throws with 12.5 seconds left to give St. John’s a 69-68 lead. After sweating through two missed 3-pointers by Notre Dame guard Tory Jackson, St. John’s left the Joyce Center as winners, the first time they’ve done so on an opponent’s floor in Big East play this season. For much of the game, St. John’s outshot Notre Dame, one of the best shooting teams in the conference. They shot the Fighting Irish out of their 2-3 zone in the first half thanks to seven 3-pointers, including four by Hardy and two by Kennedy. The hot shooting propelled them to a 37-34 halftime lead. It was the fifth time in the past six that they’ve entered the locker room ahead. They would push the lead to nine in the beginning of the second half, and had an answer every time the Irish made a run. Unlike previous games, where they would break down in the second half, against Notre Dame they were able to handle everything the Fighting Irish threw at them and still came out on top. “Our guys have really been working hard,” Roberts said. “That hard work is really paying off for them right now. I thought we got contributions from everybody. Everybody made big plays in order for us to get a team win.” Junior forward Justin Burrell, who
had 12 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench, had his share of big plays. While Hardy stole the show with five 3-pointers and 16 points, and Kennedy made the big play at the end, Burrell quietly turned in another solid game. The big man went tit-for-tat with Nash, who had 16 points filling in for injured Notre Dame superstar Luke Harangody. “He’s being aggressive every time he touches it,” said Roberts. “He’s rebounding and doing all the little things.” The Red Storm have won two straight games following a five-game losing streak. Roberts is pleased his team hasn’t given up despite the tough run. “Our kids have great character,” Roberts said. “They’re tough kids who want to do well. They stuck together. They never gave up on one another, and they persevered.” St. John’s (14-10, 4-8) plays Seton Hall tonight at 7:30. Notre Dame (17-9, 6-7) travels to Louisville tonight for a battle with the Cardinals.
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with the Red Storm Kia: This year’s team is better than one from ’06
DYLAN KITTS Staff Writer
TORCH FILE PHOTO/BRIAN LOPEZ
Da’Shena Stevens made both free throws after grabbing a loose ball late in the second half to ice the win.
Women’s Basketball hangs on late for win over Irish DYLAN KITTS Staff Writer With less than a minute remaining and their once-12-point lead over No. 4 Notre Dame cut to five, St. John’s Da’Shena Stevens refused to watch the lead slip anymore. 76
17 Feb. 2010
Stevens had just missed her second free-throw attempt. With the ball seemingly in Notre Dame’s Brittany Mallory’s hands, Stevens trounced on her, then stole the ball and was immediately fouled. “It was very important to get those free throws,” Stevens said. “A lot of games are
half. Mallory scored 17 points while Ashley Barlow scored 10 points. St. John’s 14-point loss to No. 1 Connecticut last weekend, the closest any team in the Big East has played with the Huskies this season, helped ignite the Red Storm’s opening 18-6 run. “The feelings I have right now I don’t even have words for,” said senior Joy McCorvey, who had six points and eight rebounds. “It’s definitely a big win. Playing with UConn showed us we can play with anyone. We didn’t let the number in front of [Notre Dame] make us scared.” While the Red Storm led for 39 minutes of the game, they had to tightly grab onto their lead at all times. After building that 12-point lead in the first half and forcing Diggins, Notre Dame’s leading scorer, to commit early foul trouble and sit for the majority of the first half, the Fighting Irish jumped to a 12-1 run, cutting the lead to 19-18 with eight minutes remaining in the first half. “Our kids started to smile and it made me a little bit nervous,” Barnes Arico said. “I didn’t want them to get too comfortable, too early. I knew they were going to get back.” St. John’s then answered with a 14-4 run, capped off by a Lindsay 3-pointer with 3:21 remaining in the first half to extend their lead to 33-22. In the second half, Notre Dame then slashed an 11-point St. John’s lead with 13 minutes remaining into a one point lead, 51-50, in less than two minutes. Behind Smith’s eight points in eight minutes, the Red Storm went on an 18-7 run, extending their lead to 69-57 with only three minutes remaining. “They made some incredible runs at us and our kids came together and continued to fight,” Barnes Arico said. “We could have folded at times and I was really proud of the way we played tonight.”
won and lost off of free throws.” The sophomore forward, only a 50 percent free throw shooter, then nailed both ensuing shots. Notre Dame (23-2, 10-2) called it the dagger that seized their last comeback attempt, as St. John’s held on to their lead to defeat the Fighting Irish 76-71 last night at Carnesecca Arena. The win marks the Red Storm’s first victory against a top five opponent ever, improving their record to 21-5 and 9-4 in conference play. “When I was in that locker room those kids were going crazy and they had every right to,” St. John’s Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “They should be proud and enjoy this for a minute.” Shenneika Smith led the team with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Stevens scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Sky Lindsay had 13 points. Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins scored 18 of her team leading 20 points in the second
Before the postgame press conference about their victory against No. 4 Notre Dame last night, women’s basketball Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico was already asked a question she knew was unavoidable. Kia Wright, the star of the 2006 NCAA team, was in attendance, and asked her former coach, “How does this team compare to the NCAA team?” With the team up to their greatest start in school history, 21-5, it’s now a fair question. In the midst of their toughest stretch of the season, the Red Storm have aced every test. Along with last night’s win against the Irish, St. John’s crushed last year’s National runner-up Louisville by 35 and only lost to No. 1 Connecticut by 14, the smallest margin of victory for the Huskies all season. “The team is always surprising me,” Barnes Arico said. Barnes Arico said there are two main reasons for the Red Storm’s resurgence: their improvement on defense. During their first postgame press conference of the year, Barnes Arico bluntly stated her team was the worst defensive team in the country. Last week against Louisville, the team forced 31 turnovers. The Red Storm also held UConn to a seasonlow 66 points and 39 percent field goal percentage. “We have come a long way,” Barnes Arico said. “That’s something we focus on all of the time. It’s something the kids really buy into all of the time.” According to Barnes Arico, freshman Shenneika Smith has made the greatest strides. Having been criticized about her defense earlier in the year, Barnes Arico now typically puts the 6-foot-1 guard against the opposing team’s toughest offensive weapon from the perimeter. Smith held Notre Dame’s leading scorer Skylar Diggins to two first half points. Yet Barnes Arico told Wright the reason why she believes Wright’s team was better than this year’s team was the experience at the point guard position. “I said I still have a tough time telling people that our group now is better than that group because of the experience that group had,” Barnes Arico said. Wright disagreed. “No question your team now would beat our team.” After last night’s performance, no one could blame her for that answer.
SPORTS 17 FEBRUARY 2010 | VOLUME 87, ISSUE 16 | TORCHONLINE.COM
TORCH PHOTO/ BRIAN LOPEZ
The softball team won its season opener against Liberty at the Charlotte Round-Robin on Sunday.
The menâ€™s basketball team won its first road game of the season over Notre Dame on Sunday.