October 21st, 2015

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To r c h

VOL 93: 08 October 21, 2015


The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

Photo: Courtesy of stjohns.edu



News Editor

Best-selling author, notable photographer and blogger Brandon Stanton will be speaking at St. John’s come Nov. 5, highlighting his journey in his Humans of New York (HONY) project and how it initiated a worldwide trend. Associate Dean of Student Engagement Mary Pelkowski, who served as the steering wheel in organizing and coordinating the event, believes it will connect people in diverse ways. “I think this speaks to a lot of different people at a lot of different phases of their lives,” she said. Along with Pelkowski, Student Government, Inc., Alumni Relations, Multicultural Affairs, Residence Students Association, Campus Ministry, Career Services and Student Affairs collaborated in creating and constructing the event. According to Pelkowski, 3,200 students have registered to hear Stanton speak as of Tuesday, with the maximum only managing to hold 5,000 seats. Pelkowski’s interest in reserving Stanton as a speaker for the Academic Lecture Series stemmed in May 2015, at a time when various departments had already began to research lecturers. “When we looked at him, one of the things that I’m always looking for is ‘does our speaker always speak to our mission? The mission of who we are as a University?’” Ultimately the University, along with Pelkowski, trusted that Stanton would inspire students, especially at a time when college students may not always recognize what their aspirations are. (continues on pg 3)

Illustration: Courtesy of Steve Verdile Photo: Courtesy of Connor Coughlin

Sigma Puppies Raise PTSD Awareness

LIvIA PAULA Features Editor

Dogs are universally known to be men’s best friends. Dog owners see them as part of their families, and sometimes for many people, dogs might be the only family they have. Service dogs can make someone’s life easier as well, as they are the eyes for those who are blind, or they can substitute the “calm pill” for those who are having anxiety attacks. For the veterans whom fought for their country in the war, dogs can be a very helpful and cute medicine when it comes to their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


Sports Big East Media Day Page 17 PHOTO/ CHRISTIaN ESPINaL

According to www.ptsd.va.gov, owning a dog brightens up your mood. They also provide their owners a sense of companionship, so they know they are not alone. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, outside the Veterans Success Center office located in Marillac hall’s cafeteria, there was something different going on. Aside from the members of Sigma Pi fraternity selling food to raise money to Veterans, there were also some very special guests: service dogs and therapy dogs. Sigma Pi Fraternity hosted “Sigma Puppies,” where they collaborated with the St John’s University Student Veterans Association to not only gather donations

but to also raise PTSD awareness on war veterans. “Dogs help with the mood, they’re good companions, they take orders very well,” Junior Richard Cantoral, Sigma Pi’s Secretary, said. “These dogs definitely have saved many veterans in terms of mental wellness and emotional wellness.” According to Cantoral, all proceeds will go to the St. John’s veterans’ center so they can create their own banner to walk the Veterans Day parade in November. According to Mandi Dillinger, any topic of mental illness is easily overlooked, and it is important to make these issues known. (continues on pg 13)



Competitive gaming hits St. John’s

Can SJU become a Fair Trade university?

St. John’s Students react to university’s smoking policy.

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