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ARE FRIDAYS THE NEW WEDNESDAYS? The Torch’s top wish list items pg. 9

St. John’s proposes new schedule change Friday and Wednesday classes may be switched

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TORCH PHOTO EDITOR / CHEYANNE GONZALES

Celebrating 10 years of St. Thomas More Church pgs. 10 & 11 Healthy holiday tips pg. 8 TORCH ILLUSTRATION / STEVEN VERDILE


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The Torch wishes you

A Happy Holiday Season! Directory

Managing Board XCII

Samantha Albanese, Editor-in-Chief

Olivia Cunningham, Managing Editor Kyle Fitzgerald Features Editor Natalie Hallak Chief Copy Editor Jenny Chen Co-chief Copy Editor Howard Barrett III Business Manager

Briawnna Jones Entertainment Editor Cheyanne Gonzales Photo Editor Laurice Rawls Online Editor jim baumbach

Adviser

Talia Tirella News Editor Stephen Zitolo Sports Editor Gina Palermo Design Editor

Advertising (718)-9906756 Business 990-6756 Editorial Board 990-5652

Features 990-6444 News 990-6756 Opinion 990-6445 Sports 990-6445

Alexa Vagelatos Opinion Editor

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

To contact The Torch by mail:

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The Torch is typically published on Wednesdays and publishes approximately 20 issues throughout the academic year. Copies are distributed for free on campus and through mail subscriptions.

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Impact of Ferguson decision reaches University University students march on campus in solidarity Cheyanne Gonzales Photo Editor On Wednesday, Nov. 26 students gathered to March for Ferguson to show solidarity for Michael Brown’s family and other protesters across the nation. Current sophomore and co-president of Spectrum Aarika Miller was among the many students that attended the march. “I think that the turnout was very great,” Miller said. “A lot of students actually came, which was shocking to me since Thanksgiving break already started.” The march started in front of D’Angelo Center and proceeded past the St. John’s bookstore, around the Great Lawn, through the courtyards of the Residence Village and down Lourdes Way before heading to the 169th Street Subway station towards Union Square. “I definitely think that it brought good feedback,” Miller said.

“As we were marching around campus, quite a bit of students saw us and decided to march with us.” “Even while we were heading to Union Square, where the protest was taking place, people were cheering,” Miller said. “They thought it was great that St John’s University students, and a young group of people were marching and protesting.” On Monday, Nov. 24, the grand jury in St. Louis declined to indict officer Darren Wilson on the death of Michael Brown. Following the announcement, protesters began to take the streets in Ferguson and other cities across the U.S. “Since many people across the U.S. are upset with the court’s decision, I think that this will make a very positive impact on our future. Because people (of all races) are upset and angry all across the nation, I think that cops will eventually not be able to get away with murder. If it was just the people of Ferguson that was upset, then I don’t think anything would change.”

St. John’s NAACP chapter to hold demonstration Samantha ALbanese Editor-in-Chief The St. John’s University chapter of the NAACP is hosting a “Die-In” demonstration on Thursday, Dec. 4. In honor of Michael Brown, the NAACP at SJU will host the silent protest in the D’Angelo Center at 1:50 p.m. during common hour. The Die-In, more commonly referred to as a “lie-in,” is in conjunction with the protests happening in Ferguson after the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson. People across the country have joined together in support of the Brown family and all social media platforms have been using the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter, #IMatter and #MikeBrown to voice opinions and share personal experiences with racial injustices within law enforcement. In wake of the protests, President Obama called for action

by the Justice Department. On Monday, Obama proposed a $263 million spending plan, which includes $75 million for mounted body cameras to be worn by police officers. The plan also calls for increased training for law enforcement. “There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement and we don’t want those lines blurred,” Obama said on Monday.


News

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Proposed class schedule prompts divided opinions

Change will potentially affect student life, attendance at campus events, courses and internships Amanda Umpierrez Assistant News Editor

• Current schedule (M/Th, W, T/F) is proposed to be replaced by a new schedule, M/W, T/Th with Friday to be a day off or similar to current Wednesday schedules • Administrators received the survey before it was made available to students • Student organizations will be negatively affected by the proposed schedule • Open discussion for student input will take place on Friday, Dec. 5 in Bent Hall On Nov. 21., St. John’s Student Government Incorporated (SGI) released a survey on a proposed class schedule for the Fall 2015 academic year. The survey lists the scheduled proposed classes as Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday and Friday classes, as opposed to the current Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday and Wednesday classes. “SGI’s main concern is that majority of the students are in tune with this issue and that the final decision reflects the overall interests of our students,” SGI Vice President Caroline Zottl said in an email interview. According to Associate Director of

Office of Institutional Research Piyaporn Nawarat, the proposed class schedule was first sent out as an email to faculty members from the Office of the Provost, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 6. It was not until Sept. 29 when the survey was posted on St. John’s Central that students were able to weigh in. Students were given until the same date of Oct. 6 to complete the survey. In a phone interview, Zottl talked about the lack of student opinions this survey received, and the ultimate reason for a second study. “The data surveyed mostly administrators, there was barely any student input,” Nawarat said. “The students are the ones that come first and foremost to the university.” According to Provost Robert Mangione, the proposal of the class schedule change was first presented during the spring 2014 semester, when department chairs of St. John’s College sent a memo to former St. John’s President Rev. Joseph L. Levesque. Among other proposals, the memo included a request to evaluate the benefits of a class schedule change. “The reason was to facilitate availability to adjunct facility, to be on the same cycle,” Mangione said. However, according to Zottl, half of adjunct professors were equitable on the proposal. “Adjunct professors were 50/50 on the issue,” she said. Once the responses from the initial survey were received, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Dr. Derek Owens presented the proposal at a university senate meeting, as stated by Provost

Mangione. The proposal received a two-thirds majority in favor of the change, and then a vote to adopt it. In order to receive more feedback from students, SGI requested a further study. “We felt that this decision was not fully thought out,” Zottl said. “They did not think how severely it would affect all aspects of student life.” For student activity organizations, a main concern is the influence the class schedule will have on the student body’s school spirit and attendance of campus events. As Chair of RedZone’s school spirit committee, Ridge McKnight highly believes the proposal will have a negative effect on campus events hosted on Fridays and throughout the weekend. “For games, I think attendance will take a hit,” he said. Vice President for SGI Caroline Zottl is also a believer on the adverse participation that will result with the schedule change. “There’s a big threat of St. John’s turning back into a commuter school,” she said. Another potential matter at hand is the academic revisions that will follow from this change. Competitive courses including Physician Assistant and Pharmacy labs revolve around a Wednesday schedule, which if the schedule change occurred, would take place on Fridays instead. Also, the switch would potentially disturb business students’ internships, as reported by Zottl. Gina Squicciarini, a junior at St. John’s studying speech pathology, is in

Listening session gathers community input for 5 year plan Bridget Higgins Staff Writer

In order to come up with a suitable long-term plan for St. John’s University, the Strategic Priorities Working Group (SPWG) recently held listening sessions to gather input from students, faculty and staff. The sessions were held Nov. 20 on the Queens campus and Nov. 21 on the Manhattan and Staten Island campuses. Hundreds of people attended these listening sessions and the sessions exceeded all expectations, according to co-chair and law school dean Michael Simons. “We are here, we assure you, to listen,” said Simons. “Our job is to come up with a list of 20 action items for next year.” Facilitator Sharon McDade broke up the large audience into smaller groups of about four to five people for a collective brainstorming activity. Each group member wrote down their personal input, then brainstormed in the group for ideas that fit within each of the priorities laid out by the working group.

New University President Dr. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw laid out four priorities in his investiture speech. Reviewing them, Simons said, “Our priorities are ensuring student success, recognizing and retaining the best faculty, administrators and staff, enhancing our teaching and learning environments and expanding our global and community partnerships.” After 40 minutes of brainstorming, each group shared what they thought was their best collaborative idea. “Expand the space for our students to study,” said one group. “Create more degree programs designed for job placement,” said another. One of the groups suggested having Fridays off during the summer, and there was loud applause from the faculty and staff within the crowd. Most of the ideas were centered on enhancing student learning. There were trends in expanding and developing the library, mentorship programs for firstyear students and bettering the reputation of St. John’s in order to draw in the best students from across the country. “There are some issues that definitely need to be fixed,” said graduate student

Alana Coulum. Each group recorded its ideas on sheets of paper to be collected. The working group will review the ideas, come up with a list of action items and return in the spring to receive input on the five-year plan draft. “This is the first time that St. John’s has had this big of an initiative [for community input],” said Jorge Rodriguez, associate vice president of the Office of Student Financial Services and SPWG member. “From student success to going more global, the community has to let the president know… This is the charge of our committee,” Rodriguez said. Yuxiang Liu of the Department of Institutional Research said, “The University is mainly for the students. We put their ideas into the next five-year plan.” Although Dr. Gempesaw did not attend the meeting, the SPWG will compile the ideas from the listening session into one cohesive list and present them to the president. If you want to contribute to the plan for St. John’s future, look out for the listening sessions during the spring semester and a possible suggestion form on the St. John’s website.

favor of the proposal since it would open up her availability on Fridays. “Normally I don’t have classes on Wednesdays, so I wouldn’t have class on Fridays,” she said. For Ridge McKnight, chair of RedZone’s school spirit committee, although he is personally not in favor of the schedule, he still understands that the students’ decision comes first.

“We felt that this decision was not fully thought out. They did not think how severely it would affect all aspects of student life.” Caroline Zottl, SGI Vice President

“Most importantly, I think the students should decide,” he said. For more information, students are encouraged to attend #SJUSchedule, an open discussion hosted by SGI that will focus on the proposed schedule change. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Bent Hall, Room 101.

Glove & mitten drive Talia Tirella News Editor An intro to event management class is holding a glove and mitten drive, the Warm Hearts, Warming Hands event on Dec. 9. Kayla Geier, a class member and the student event planner for the class, said that the gloves and mittens will be donated to the Bowery Mission. The event will be held in Marillac Plaza as well as the D’Angelo Center Living Room from 10 a.m. through common hour. The class will collect scarves, socks, gloves and hats, but will also accept monetary donations. They will be selling hot chocolate, coffee and baked goods and students will also have the chance to take a photo with Santa. Geier said that the class aims to raise $100 from the baked goods and collect 70 donations of gloves, scarves and socks. “We are very hopeful with our goal, we feel students will really enjoy our holiday-themed bake sale booth and photo op with Santa,” Geier said.


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Christmas at St. John’s: events Dec. 1-9

photo Provided/St. John’s University

Last year’s fireworks display on the Great Lawn was part of the Christmas festivities planned by the University. This year, the University has planned 9 days of events.

OLIVIA CUNNINGHAM Managing Editor The 24th annual Winter Carnival, hosted by Student Government Inc., will take place throughout the week on the Queens campus. The signature tree lighting and fireworks show will take place on Dec. 9 on the Great Lawn. “Winter Carnival captures the spirit of what St. John’s is all about: its rich heritage and tradition of this blessed and holy season,” read an announcement on the St. John’s web site.

“You don’t want to miss out on these traditions here at St. John’s.” Students can look forward to today’s holiday market in the D’Angelo Center, where they can “snag some awesome Christmas gifts at our pop-up market,” according to the SGI Facebook page. The holiday market accepts cash only. Also today is the Spectrum Initiative’s Ugly Sweater Party, with prizes for the most unattractive Christmas attire. Tomorrow, there will be a Christmas-themed Commuter Café in DAC at 8:30 a.m., and a DAC After Dark event geared toward residential students at 8 p.m.

Students are invited to attend a Winter Carnival Mass before the fireworks ceremony on Dec. 9 as well as a postshow Red and White dessert party. In keeping with the University’s Vincentian tradition, SGI is sponsoring a toy drive. The toys, which can be donated in DAC room 215, will be collected through Dec. 7 and donated to Providence House. They can be new or gently used. Other events include a Christmas karaoke Java Johnnies on Friday and a Live Love Learn event on Saturday. On Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the University is closed

but there will be a Winter Carnival event featuring frozen treats in DAC at 12 p.m. The tutoring center will be present to offer assistance to students struggling to study. Winter Carnival events officially began on Dec. 1 with ice skating at Bryant Park and continued on Dec. 2 with the Central Park Christmas event on the Great Lawn, which featured a horsedrawn carriage. The Festival of Lights, a collaboration between various religious and cultural groups on campus, also took place yesterday.

Executive order to set new immigration policy

Ferguson efforts to mend community-police relations

Joanne Corrielus Staff Writer

Elizabeth Alvarez Staff Writer

President Obama recently gave a speech to the nation in which he unveiled his new immigration reform policy. His new policy will fulfill a promise he made to Americans when he was sworn into office five years ago. In his speech to the nation, President Obama announced that he would be issuing an executive order to enforce his immigration policy after many failed attempts to get a bill passed by both houses of Congress. The most widely discussed part of President Obama’s immigration policy is his plans for dealing with undocumented immigrants. In his speech, President Obama said that undocumented immigrants, who have been living in the U.S. for more than five years, who have children who are American citizens or illegal residents, who register, pass a criminal background check and who are willing to pay their share of taxes will be able to apply to stay in the U.S. temporarily without being deported. News of President Obama’s im-

migration policy has been met with praise across the country, including at St. John’s, which was founded to serve the children of immigrants. “As a Hispanic woman, I’m glad that there’s finally immigration reform,” said sophomore Nathalie Tigua. “The Hispanic community has been waiting for this since Obama came into office. I think he made the right choice because Congress is so divided that the immigration reform probably would’ve not passed.” Although President Obama’s plan has been met with great praise, many political officials believe that President Obama is overextending his power by using an executive order to combat the immigration issue. According to CNN, Senator John McCain released a statement in which he said President Obama’s executive action “not only lacks legal justification, but will set back important bipartisan efforts to reform our broken immigration system and secure our nation’s border.” Despite the controversy, President Obama’s new immigration policy has opened dialogue about an issue that for a long time seemed forgotten.

After the resignation of police officer Darren Wilson from his position at the Ferguson Police Department, the city is taking steps to improve the relationship between the department and Ferguson residents, the mayor told CNN in a press conference. Mayor James Knowles announced a new weekly task force that will consist of residents, businesses and law enforcement personnel that will review complaints to include citizen input in police department policy and procedures. “Our number one goal is to bring together the police department and our community,” Knowles said. The task force is one of the first in the region. The first initiative Knowles announced is the Police Explorer Program, which is aimed at connecting the police department with city youth. The program will begin in the fall of next year.

The last of the initiatives is a scholarship program with Ferguson public high schools set to recruit African American students for the Ferguson police academy. The mayor said the scholarships would be repaid with a two-year employment commitment at the police department. “This initiative is a proactive step in making the department more reflective of the demographics of our community,” Knowles said. The police department will also pass an ordinance in 2015 that will increase a monthly living stipend of $100 to $300 for officers who live in Ferguson. Darren Wilson will not receive severance payment for giving up his position, according to Knowles. Wilson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his resignation was voluntary after the Ferguson Police Department received threats of violence if it chose to continue his employment, CNN originally reported. The officer, who was not indicted last week for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, told the Post-Dispatch that he isn’t willing to let others get hurt because of him.


Opinion

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Staff Editorial Editorial board XCII

SAMANTHA ALBANESE Editor-in-Chief OLIVIA CUNNINGHAM Managing Editor TALIA TIRELLA News Editor BRIAWNNA JONES Entertainment KYLE FITZGERALD Features Editor STEPHEN ZITOLO Sports Editor ALEXA VAGELATOS Opinion Editor

6 reasons why Hillary Clinton won’t be our next president

ETHAN BROWN Staff Writer

4) The recent return of infamous Monica Lewinsky could only dim Hillary’s chances of winning in 2016. Having Monica back in the spotlight only reminds voters of what Hillary’s husband, Bill, did during his time in the Oval Office. Not to mention that Lewinsky’s re-emergence reminds voters, specifically women, of how Hillary supported her husband even after his affair with Monica was made public. Hillary’s support for Bill did not resonate with many women voters at the time and many lost much respect for the first lady.

Even though the 2014 elections were just two weeks ago, everyone has now turned their full attention to 2016 and the race for the Oval Office. Since Obama was re-elected in 2012, political analysts and insiders have labeled Hillary Clinton the de facto nominee for the Democrats, due to her lengthy résumé and name recognition. Right now, things look well for a second Clinton in the White House; however, it is still a long way to 2016 and nothing is for sure. Here are six reasons 5) Her long list of jobs may look imwhy Hillary Clinton will not be the next pressive on paper, but will backfire on her American president: in the end. Having “First Lady” at the 1) Her longtime front-runner status is top of her résumé can only help Hillary waning with the public. By being a con- in 2016, but it also will remind voters of stant figure on all the news programs, the her disastrous attempt at health care legAmerican viewers are getting tired of see- islation in the mid-1990s. She was a “caring the same person all the time. More petbagger” upon her election to the U.S. recently, Obama experienced this. Being senate from New York in 2000, meaning in the sixth year of his presidency and she was not remotely in touch with New the public growing tired of hearing his Yorkers or what we needed, as she had similar talking points, he has suffered a never lived in New York. Her role as Secmajor defeat in this year’s elections. Be- retary of State should be her most sucing number one is a great place to be, but cessful and honorable; however, it was Clinton will have to revive her Democrat- plagued with a lack of leadership from Clinton as Russia and China, amongst ic base closer to 2016. other countries, continued to defy inter2) The same dilemma that affected national law, with Clinton merely standRonald Reagan and John McCain will ing by and allowing it to occur. Also, her also affect Hillary: her age. Clinton, who role in the 2012 Benghazi scandal will recently turned 67, will be one of the old- most certainly come back to haunt her, as est candidates to run for president and, her evasiveness of answering questions if elected, one of our oldest presidents. to political leaders and lack of emotion Comparatively, Obama was 47 at the (her response to the death of an Ameritime he was first elected, while Reagan can ambassador: “What difference does it was 69 upon his election in 1980, during make?”) showcase that Clinton does not have the knowledge to control overseas which his age was heavily scrutinized. situations. 3) Along with the issue of her age 6) Like most politicians, Clinton comes the issue of Clinton’s health, has recently been diagnosed with a case which has been under investigation for of “foot-in-mouth” disease. Along with the past year. While Clinton insists that the quote above, she also complained to she is perfectly healthy, political insiders ABC’s Diane Sawyer earlier this year that have said a different story. According she and husband Bill were “dead broke” to the book “Blood Feud: The Clinton’s when they left the White House in 2001. vs. The Obama’s,” Clinton “has suffered For someone who did not have to pay for more fainting spells than publicly known, is prone to have blood clots and may be at food, gas, electricity, cable or virtually serious risk of having a stroke.” Last year anything else for a period of eight years, she publicly fell and hit her head, fueling then claiming that you are “dead broke” the fire that her health may be a bigger alienates a great chunk of the American electorate, who will see this characterifactor than she lets on. zation of Clinton over and over again in

TORCH ILLUSTRATION/NICOLE MARINO

“Demand immediate action”

Ray Rice a free agent, what now? ABHISHEK JOSHI Staff Writer

completely absurd. If a man does so, I believe that he is mentally unfit to even be let into an elevator with someone else. Physical violence is not the answer to anything. It never is. And if it is used Last week, former Ravens runningagainst someone innocent, it is regardback and now a free agent, Ray Rice won ed as an inhuman act. I would not be his appeal against the charges that were pleased to see any of my friends or acput upon him and the indefinite suspenquaintances being physically hurt. More sion was revoked. Rice is now free to than that, I would not be happy to see my sign up with any team. friends initiate such a violent act. When I first got this news, my When the video of Ray Rice punchultimate reaction was of bewilderment. ing his now wife Janay Rice surfaced, it I kept asking myself the same question, created a great buzz. Later on, Ray Rice “Why? Why did all of this even happen did go on to apologize for his actions and in the first place?” The only reason the Janay also said that she had forgiven him incident was highlighted with such great and was ready for a fresh move ahead in importance was probably due to the fact life. that Ray Rice was an NFL player and not I am not aware of what happened any other ordinary man. Being a football before the incident and what the reason player, Rice’s actions on and off the field was for Ray Rice’s use of physical force. affect his image and his influence on his I am, however, aware of the brutality fans greatly. However, looking at this and negativity of the act. Fans like me case, we can see that what happened in see him everyday and some individuals the first place was wrong. A behavior as who are not as mature might fail to see such is unacceptable whether or not it is the dark side and believe that it is okay to in terms with the policies of an organiuse physical force to justify displeasure. zation. It is well-phrased in a philosophy Being a 19-year-old in college, I book, “One who cannot control his or her believe that any violent behavior toward anger can never control anything else.” It women is absolutely shocking and is is high time that we start thinking beyond something I stand against. To think that rational and legal terms and move onto a man can use physical force against a what is right and wrong on the basis of woman whenever he is angry or upset is human rights.


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A love letter to my weave SABBA MANYARA Contributing Writer Dear Weave, Oh, beautiful 100% unprocessed virgin Indian hair, how I adore you. From the moment I removed you from your shiny plastic packet, to the joy I felt when you were finally installed on my head, you have changed my life. I am writing you this letter to express my sincere gratitude for the convenience and variety you bring to my, otherwise difficult, hair situation. As an African girl with thick, curly hair, styling and protecting my hair has always been an arduous task. My childhood was all about cornrows and occasional braids. I occasionally experimented with relaxer and in my teenage years, I relied on flat-ironing to get me by. Shortly before my 19th birthday, I decided to put a weave in my hair, and the decision was pretty tough to make. I wasn’t sure how it would look or feel. It’s been less than two years since, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m in love. Since coming to the U.S. and St. John’s, I’ve been puzzled with people’s adverse reactions to wearing weaves and girls who wear them. Actually, the reactions have been towards black women exclusively, overlooking the fact that women of all races wear weaves and hair extensions. Some critics call weave-wearing a form of ‘self-hate;’ they claim that black women wearing straight hair is a result of them trying to adhere to ‘white beauty

standards.’ Maybe the negativity is targeted at black women specifically because the weaves black women wear are completely different in texture to their natural hair. Whatever the case is, these criticisms and probes into black women’s decisions with their hair need to stop. I don’t speak for all weave-wearing ladies, but I love my natural hair. Just the other day, I posted a selfie on Instagram with my afro in all its glory. Then I put another weave back in. African hair typically needs constant moisturizing and detangling. It is time consuming to wash and style. I wish I had more time to dedicate to detangling, deep conditioning, moisturizing and styling my natural hair on a regular basis, I honestly do. But I’m an over-achieving college student and any opportunity to save time is greatly appreciated! With weaves I can wake up, brush my hair and I’m out the door for my Monday 7:30 a.m. Economics class. I can cut, style and abuse my weave any way I want without damaging my fragile natural hair underneath. Even with that being said, I should not have to answer for my beauty and style choices. Whether a black woman, or any woman for that matter, wants to have an afro, a Mohawk, a bald head, blonde dreadlocks or whatever hairstyle she chooses, she should be free to do so without facing judgment and having to answer for how she chooses to express herself.

Love, Sabba

Obama’s Immigration Policy

SUZANNE CIECHALSKI Staff Writer

President Obama has the right idea by trying to institute a system that will lead to immigrants contributing to our country. The president addressed the nation As a country built by immigrants, on his executive action, stating that the United States can’t seem to figure “Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass out exactly how to handle them. Quite deportation would be both impossible frankly, it’s a little scary. Politicians on and contrary to our character. What I’m both sides can’t agree on a fair policy, describing is accountability – a comwhich has recently left the White House monsense, middle ground approach. in shambles. If you meet the criteria, you can come Recently, President Barack Obama out of the shadows and get right with announced plans to take executive the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be action that would protect immigrants deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. who came to the U.S. as children, who illegally, your chances of getting caught have children that are American citizens and sent back just went up.” and those with “long standing ties to Personally, I think that the President the U.S.,” according to the Huffington has the right idea. The U.S. does need a Post. This is expected to protect around system that allows for people to come 4.4 million immigrants from deportation into the country who want to contribute – an action that has Republicans and and become citizens. We are, after all, many Americans up in arms. a country built by and for immigrants. However, according to a recent Our ancestors who built this country CNN/ORC poll, 50% of Americans were immigrants; people who came here think that the policy is just about right, to seek freedom, to seek a better life. while only 26% find that it goes “too We would be ignoring everything that far.” But 56% of Americans oppose our country was built upon if we simply Obama’s approach to implementing this “closed the borders” as many say that policy through an executive action. we should. In an interview on ABC’s “This Our own people, American born citWeek” the President asked, “Why we izens, have abused our system the same would prefer a system in which they’re way that some illegals have. The issue in the shadows, potentially taking is not immigration as a whole; the issue advantage of living here but not contrib- is those who come to the U.S. illegally, uting?” with no plans to contribute to the nation, Which brings up a great point, and therefore taking advantage of our govan argument that many make while ernment and our people. A solid policy discussing immigration. With millions that has a clear path to citizenship is of Americans working hard and paying what is needed in the U.S. It cannot be taxes each year, nobody wants the sysforgotten that we are the “melting pot” tem to be abused by people who do not and that is what makes our country such contribute purposely. a beautiful place.

Why we should have pets on campus

Adam and Eve and feminism

KRISTEN CATALANO Staff Writer

STEPHANIE ALIAGA Contributing Writer

The university has a strict “no pets of any kind” policy for students living in any type of the dorms, whether they are on- or off- campus. Although the reasons behind this policy are completely valid and understood, there is a lot of research that shows that pets are beneficial to students academically, socially and mentally. They could serve as a great asset to students on campus, if they were allowed. According to Dr. Leland Davis, a veterinarian at Reelfoot Animal Hospital, contact with dogs has been proven to release serotonin and dopamine in humans, which are neurotransmitters related to positive behavior. Students who have owned pets claim to be happier and more relaxed. Many students are stressed out on a daily basis from classes and work and coming home to a pet every day that is always happy to see you can melt away your stress in a matter of minutes. If students are less stressed and happier then they will inevitably do better in school. Having a pet can also reduce homesickness among students who are far from home and only get to see their families a few times a year. According to research done by Ohio State University, students who owned at least one pet were less likely to report feeling lonely and depressed. Pets provide a form of interaction for students who are feeling overwhelmed and isolated as they make the transition from living away from home. Having a pet will also create more

responsible students. If a student has a class at 9 a.m., then they will be forced to get up early to take care of their pet instead of sleeping in and skipping class. Also if students have something at home depending on them then they will have to return to their room instead of going to a party with friends. Although having a pet has many great benefits, especially for college students, the reasons why many universities do not allow them on campus are typically valid. Maybe some universities would be willing to compromise; studies show that even watching a fish swim around reduces stress. Or maybe some colleges can create programs that allow students to spend time with rescue or therapy animals. Either way you look at it, I think that it is universally agreeable that dogs are a better way to relieve stress than other illegal ways.

PHOTO/FLICKR.COM

she wanted to share the knowledge with Adam, which shows that she was caring and generous. Eve’s actions truly demonstrate equality. In “Enchanted Love,” Marianne Williamson once said, Feminism begins with accepting “Men and women need each other, for a that man and woman are equal. There deeper experience than mere procreation shouldn’t be a feminist vs. ‘menist’ or protection.” because pointing the finger and blamBoth Adam and Eve are equally ing the other gender does nothing but wrong for sinning. Many people tend to hinder equality. Just a couple of decades forget that Adam indeed sinned as well; ago, all women were underestimated he failed to judge their act as wrong and many women today have proven and resist it (Reeder, 43). Others blame that stereotype wrong. However, there Eve because she is the first one to be still is a lot more work that needs to be tempted and insisted on sharing it with done. There is domestic violence, rape, Adam. However, Eve should be recslavery, female genital mutilation and ognized as being a strong woman who forced marriage still happening today. was brave enough to take the first bite Both sexes need to recognize that they and kind enough to share the knowledge are needed in feminism. with Adam, not the victim of being a The creation of human beings is scapegoat. explained in the book of Genesis. God It’s as if the fall in Eden determined is imagined as a potter that forms man the role of women in society. Since from “the dust of the ground” (Gen 2:7) we sinned first and is responsible for and woman was made from the man’s original sin, we are punished by obeying rib. This portrays that man and woman men and giving up our rights to them. were created in relation, not in compeZachary Mahabir, 18, a St. John’s stutition to one another (Mueller 44). Why dent from Valley Stream, N.Y. considers do so many people misinterpret the himself a feminist and believes that understanding of man and woman being it is necessary for men to be a part of made as one? feminism, “Men need to support and In the mythic story of Adam and understand women being equal to men, Eve, it displays a possibility of how not become the problem.” people can believe in inequality. For We still live in a world where instance, blaming Eve for eating the women are mistreated everyday. Women forbidden fruit leaves the image of Eve suffer from sexism, however men do having the burden of blame for original as well and excluding the male gender sin. However, in Eve’s Apology in Defrom feminism is unjust and contrafense of Women, Aemilia Lanyer critidicts the whole meaning of it. We have cizes how Adam is just as wrong as Eve. the advantage of using social media to She argues how if men were supposedly enhance the feminist movement and get wiser than women, then Adam would the word out. We have the privilege to have resisted from eating the apple. Eve witness and be part of a feminist movewas not trying to deceive Adam because ment that is happening right now.


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Compiled By: ANABELLE K. MADHO, Staff Writer

Anthony Ferrera, Freshman

Remery Camacho, Junior

Q: What is the significance of St. Thomas More Church to you?

Q: How has St. Thomas More Church directly impacted you?

A: To me, the church is significant because it’s where all the students of the Vincentian body come together and celebrate Mass, and celebrate the gifts God has given us and thank Him for bringing us all together.

A: The Church has not impacted me directly, but I plan on changing that and spend some more time there. I’d like to get to know it more.

Alina Martinez, Sophomore

Kelly Ferrara, Senior

Q: In your opinion, what role does St. Thomas More Church play to the culture on campus and/or student life?

Q: What activities hosted at St. Thomas More Church have you attended, or plan to attend? A: I always go to the Winter Carnival Mass, before the tree lighting and the fireworks. I also went to other holiday Masses like the St. Patrick’s Day Mass.

Photo/Suzanne Ciechlaski

A: The Church really is just a building. Even my theology class didn’t take us there. They kind of overlooked it. I don’t really think of it as important as Carnesecca Arena, which at least has a gym for me to work out.

Ariana Urena, Freshman Q: In your opinion, what role does St. Thomas More Church play to the culture on campus and/or student life? A: I think the Church is a huge reminder that we’re all about giving and helping our neighbors and people around us and whatnot. I think it’s cool and the architecture is really beautiful.

Armand Jennings, Junior Q: How has St. Thomas More Church directly impacted you? A: I have gone there many times just to pray and be alone with God. I really do enjoy going there to relax between class breaks and have time to myself to reflect. Without the Church I wouldn’t have been able to do that.

The happiest show on Earth CATHERINE FARQUHARSON

Staff Writer

The members of the university’s Chappell Players Theatre Group premiered their musical titled CabaDisney on Nov. 20 in the Little Theatre. All of the proceeds from the cabaret went to the St. John’s Bread and Life Mobile Soup Kitchen. The Brooklyn-based organization travels throughout the city helping to address the issues of hunger and poverty. “They work extremely hard to combat these issues and we are so happy every year to assist in their efforts,” CabaDisney writer and director Emily Abma said. This year, the Chappell Players managed to raise over $2,400 from the cabaret. This year’s cabaret featured a handful of famous Disney movies to create your everyday high school ensemble. Charlie, played by freshman Keith Buxton, is the nerd who longs to win the affection of the school’s most popular girl. Freshman Evgenia Vasilyeva plays Maddy, Charlie’s best friend and the over-achiever in the show. She wishes to be pretty and is secretly in love with him. Maddy even goes so far as to try out to be a cheerleader in the hopes that Charlie

will notice her. Fellow freshman Darius Harvey, plays Nick, the class clown who to be taken seriously by his peers. Brandon Lisama plays the jock shose dad pushes him to be the best basketball player but he instead aspires to be a cheerleader. Lastly, sophomore Gabriella Tripodi plays a cheerleader who longs to win her mother’s approval. Throughout the course of the musical, the characters draw on several Disney songs to tell their story. Emily Abma states that that staging the songs was the most interesting part for her. “We knew we couldn’t just stick scenes from Disney movies onto the stage for obvious costume, set, and music reasons,” she said. “Thus, we had to come up with a creative way to incorporate Disney songs. Since the music of Disney is so universal, we decided to use the existing themes within Disney lyrics to tell a story.” During his tryouts for the basketball team, Charlie and several male members of the cast sing, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” the renowned song from “Mulan”. Determined to fit in with her peers, Maddy sings, “Part of Your World”, inspired by The Little Mermaid. During a

cafeteria scene, the cast bands together to sing, “Be Our Guest,” from “Beauty and the Beast”. The musical’s final number was “Get Your Head in the Game,” from Disney Channel’s “High School Musical”. Abma is a senior majoring in education at St. John’s and is the current president of the Chappell Players Theatre Group. This was Abma’s first time directing a full musical. In the past she assisted in directing, including their most recent

show, “In the Heights”. Abma does a fantastic job of tying in the high school storyline with Disney songs. The songs were a way for the characters to express the struggles that they try to overcome. Abma discussed her joy with directing the show. “I had a wonderful time directing. It was a huge challenge but was extremely fun and rewarding to have a vision come to life with a group of fantastic people,”

TORCH PHOTO EDITOR/CHEYANNE GONZALES

The Chappell Players borrowed Disney songs to complement each character ’s storylines.


8

Ariana Grande releaes new Christmas single KORI WILLIAMS Staff Writer Ariana Grande Santa Tell Me

That gingerbread, holiday sweater, Christmas lights time of the year is here once again. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now the time is right to drape the house in tinsel and sing-along to your favorite Christmas tunes. Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me” is a new twist on the classic Christmas song by fusing in elements of a love song. In one verse of the chorus, Grande sings about a love interest from the previous holiday season. It seems as if things didn’t work out “Santa tell me if you’re really there/ Don’t make me fall in love again if he won’t be here next year.” Grande wants to avoid having her feelings hurt so she asks Santa to guard her heart with knowledge of her love’s true feelings. She is unsure of how to act when she sees this former beau and only wants to act on her feelings if she’s sure he feels the same. Last year, Grande released the holiday album “Christmas Kisses” that featured the song “Santa Baby”. The two songs are similar, but “Baby” is more of a sultry tone. It had more of the seductive tone the original song was comprised of. “Santa Tell Me” can be considered a revision of “Santa Baby” whether it be Grande’s version or the original. Either way, “Tell me” might be the most original of them all. Grande stays true to herself and her style of music by keeping the beat of the song catchy and uplifting. However, the Christmas themed love song makes it clear the holiday spirit is what’s getting her down. “I’ve been down the road before, fell in love on Christmas night/But I knew you say I woke up and he wasn’t by my side/… I’m avoiding every mistletoe until I know it’s true love.” For more Lifestyle updates, follow @TorchLifestyle on Twitter.

Lifestyle

Great holiday gift-giving suggestions JASMINE HARRIS Staff Writer

Giving gifts can be extremely difficult when you’re a college student. Our minds tend to be preoccupied with finals, and the ever present “broke college student” lifestyle, but despite the struggles it’s still possible to pick out a good gift for everyone in your life. A good place to start when browsing for your friends is technology. Though you might not be able to shell out the money for that thing everyone has been arguing about, there are some neat, cheap accessories that make everyone’s life easier. If you have the friend who always sits by the outlets in class, go for a portable charger for their phone. Most models will hold at least one charge in them, and will keep your friend from complaining that their constant scrolling on Twitter draining their cell battery. There are also a plethora of unique phone stands that will prop a phone up while it’s charging. From cute phone swings to the minimalistic rubber stands, they’re not only stylish, but keep clutter at bay. Particularly with the release of their commercial earlier in the year, stickers for Mac laptops have become very popular. There are a wide variety of them that can match the personality of any Mac user, and are available all across the Internet including Amazon and Etsy. With the closing of Barnes and Noble on Union, it would be a smart idea to scouring their sales for holiday presents at a good price. For the person in your life that can never pass up the new stand up special on Netflix, go for Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please”. The book includes a collection of Poehler’s stories, thoughts, and idea and will

make any SNL fan happy. For an avid student, or someone who is always thinking “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell would be the best option. After his success with “Outliers”, Gladwell returns to explain what makes up underdogs and why some tend to be more successful than others. If you think someone might like a book to cozy up to in the colder months go with “The Mistletoe Promise” by Richard Paul Evans, or “Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton. Affectionate gifts to give to your parents, or anyone your close to, are winter accessories such as gloves, scarves, beanies or mittens.

TableCraft Whiskey Chilling Stones, Target, $14.49

Iron Man Mac decal, Etsy, $6.80

There is a wide variety from cartoonish and homemade to sophisticated, and best of all they are useful. The last thing you want is for your gift to flop and collect dust for the next few years. For a parent that likes a good drink at the end of the day, metal or granite ice cubes are the way to go. They keep a drink cold without the mess of real ice cubes. If you’re looking for anything for a significant other food is always a good idea. Cute cookies or an assortment of their favorite candy will make anyone happy. It is also a good idea to peruse a beauty or department store. They always have gift sets for a good deal.

3 in 1 Powerbank, Torch, and Handwarmer, I Woot,

Humans of New York, Barnes and Noble, $14.99

Ways to main tain h e alth dur i ng ho li da y s

TAYLOR LEONARD COLEMAN Staff Writer

The holidays are one of those times during the year when you really want to feel your best. There are many health problems such as colds and the flu to party hangovers that can bring down your holiday cheer. Besides getting the flu vaccine, there is a lot you can do to help your body conquer the season.The holiday season often times means frequent travel for many people. So before you settle in for your flight, train or even bus ride run a disinfecting wipe over the armrests, the tray table, air vent and seatbelt buckle and let everything air-dry. It may seem extensive but cleaning anything you might touch is just a precaution so you don’t pick up any germs from those that sat there before you. It is also important to stay hydrated during these colder months. Due to our airways being vulnerable to viruses and bacteria when dry we need to keep those mucous membranes moist

so they can better keep bugs out of our systems. A cheap tool to combat these symptoms is a personal humidifier, which could be as affordable as $30. As hard as it may be during the holidays when there are sweets galore, say no to treats. While strolling around the mall shopping we often say, “I deserve a treat!” thinking that we’ve worked off many calories. In reality that Cinnabon or pretzel may cause you more harm then pleasure in the long run. If you must snack while out, try packing healthy snacks in your bag to fight temptation. A piece of fruit, low-fat string cheese, almonds or other nuts, or a granola bar are great options when in the need for a pick me up. As New Yorkers we are constantly moving and the holiday season makes for no difference. But if you run yourself ragged and don’t get a good night’s rest, you risk the chance of getting sick because you have worn your body out to the point that it can’t fight against whatever nasty virus or bug you happen to catch. You won’t be called the Grinch if you skip that holiday party because

you feel worn-down; you’re just being smart. Try getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and you are less likely to catch a cold than those of your counterparts who will have slept less than you. Now there’s going to be food galore this holiday so I’m not telling you to pass on that tasty cheese spread but if you’re feeling like you had one too many helpings next time try popping a piece of gum for 15 minutes before hitting the buffet or dinner party. Chewing the gum will trick your brain into thinking you are eating, so that you actually eat less. A mint will do the trick as well. Last but not least comes the alcohol. Wine, eggnog, champagne. When you’re at a party, try to limit yourself to two drinks and alternate them with glasses of water to prevent a nasty hangover the next morning. Also remember to eat before drinking and never drink and drive. Now that you know how to be healthy this holiday season, enjoy yourself and the time with your loved ones.


9

Compiled by: Briawnna Jones

Designed by: Gina Palermo


12

Dylan Terrell Freshman, Communication Arts major “An important necessity for the winter season is a simple topcoat to compliment the warm layers underneath.”

Priscilla Agyeman Senior, Biology major “I call this my winter uniform because it’s simple, classy and comfortable. If you ever see me on campus, nine times out of ten I’m wearing black because it’s effortless.”

Topcoat - Thrifted - $12.00

Jeans - BDG - $60

Joy Copeland Senior, History major

Delanique Millwood, Junior, Advertising major “This is the season for layering, and I like to keep it fun and stylish without being overdressed. To make your daily sartorial simple, always start with black then layer with colors of your choice. And coffee, never forget coffee.”

“I love to wear oversize sweaters during the winter season because they are easy to wear with anything - you can dress them up or down.” Sweater - PearlsXDemons - $10

Red skirt - Forever21 - $20 Compiled by: Brittany Spell


13

JASMINE DAVIS Contributing Writer Congratulations to our favorite meatball, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, 27, and Jionni LaValle, 27, her now husband. This guido and guidette got married Saturday, Nov. 29 with a spectacular Great Gatsby-themed wedding ceremony at St. Rose of Lima, a Catholic church in East Hanover, N.J. followed by a reception at the Venetian banquet hall by Garfield, N.J. The former “Jersey Shore” stars shared love for one another through their vows with 17 groomsmen and 15 bridesmaids, including Jenni “JWOWW” Farley as Nicole’s maid of honor and nearly 500 of their closest friends and family. “Snooki” wanted her two children to be a part of one of the most important days of her life. Their 2-year-old son, Lorenzo walked down the aisle while their newborn, Giovanna, was escorted down the aisle in her stroller. Nicole shared her excitement with her fans by posting the first official wedding photo on her website of

her and her new hubby, captioned: “Here is the first picture of me and Jionni as husband and wife! Thank you all for all your messages of love and support! We had a magical ceremony and I can’t wait to share more with you soon!” Mazel tov to the LaValles! America’s number one dad, Bill Cosby, has been accused, yet again, for acting ‘inappropriately’ towards a large amount of women. After 19, Bill Cosby accusers have surfaced. Actress Michelle Hurd, famously known from “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” stated on her Facebook page, which was later deleted, “LOOK, I wasn’t going to say anything, but I can’t believe some of the things I’ve been reading, SO here is MY personal experience,” said Hurd. “I did stand-in work on ‘The Cosby Show’ back in the day and YES, Bill Cosby was VERY inappropriate with me.” Later on in the post, she went into detail about how he’d touched her inappropriately while performing “weird acting exercises” in his dressing room. She also added that

he wanted her to shower at his house so that he could blow dry her hair to see what it looked like straightened, which she politely declined. Hurd also knew of another actress who was treated inappropriately by Cosby and had allegedly been drugged by him. Because of these multiple accusations, Cosby’s new sitcom, which was to debut summer 2015 on NBC, has been cancelled and “The Cosby Show” is being pulled from TV Land as well. Cosby remains silent about the allegations, but continues to do interviews about his endeavors.

to a new song snippet. With the caption, “Ph–kin roun in da studio,” the ‘Rihanna Navy’ is excited for, what seems to be, a new album. Rumors have been floating around social media that her new album will be released on Black Friday, but the Bajan beauty said otherwise. On Nov. 25, she addressed these rumors by tweeting, “ANY news about #R8 will be delivered directly from me!!!!” Welp, we will be patiently waiting, Miss Fenty.

A few weeks ago, Beyoncé released an unannounced video for her recently leaked track “7/11.” Is Rihanna following in Queen Bey’s footsteps? After returning to Instagram, Rih Rih posted a video on her RIHproved account of her in a dark room, listening

Centric gets groovy with 2014 Soul Train Awards BRIAWNNA JONES Entertainment Editor

were treated to an energetic performance of Tinashe’s smash single “2 On,” which was a bit overshadowed by her hilarious intro from Flava Flav who attempted to sing the party anthem acapella. Duo Nico & Vinz and soul singers Kem and Ledisi also graced the stage as well, making the show very well-rounded, touching all genres of urban music.

PHOTO/CENTRIC

Starting off with a bang, the “Soul Train Awards” pulled out all the stops in Las Vegas getting pop star Chris Brown to open the show performing a medley of his greatest hits. Taking it back nearly a decade, Brown performed a few of his old hits, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” “Poppin” and brought it back to current times ending his set with “Loyal.” Despite the applause, and swooning of the ladies remembering CB, pre-Rihanna, it was obvious that things weren’t the same as the vocals and dance moves were not quite the same. Hostess with the mostess, Wendy Williams made a grand entrance in a very dramatic way, as she waltzed onto the stage in a sparkly number with a masked man who was later revealed as Hollywood hunk Boris Kodjoe. The 50-year-old talk show host may be known for not having a filter but managed to remain a class-act throughout her introduction video and opening monologue, showcasing a softer side. It only seemed right that the first televised award of the night went to R&B crooner Trey Songz for Best R&B/Soul Male Artist. The “Na Na” singer known for his flirtatious

ways and sexualized lyrics shared a cute moment onstage with Chris Brown’s protégé Sevyn Streeter. Other major winners of the night included Pharrell William’s “Happy” for Song Of the Year, “Beyoncé” by Beyoncé (Album of the Year) and Chris Brown’s “Loyal” featuring Lil Wayne & Tyga for Best Collaboration. As the night went on, viewers

R&B group Jodeci reunited performing their new single “Nobody” with rapper B.O.B.

Keeping its promise to be the “hippest trip in America,” viewers were taken for a crazy ride back to the early 90s as Jodeci made their way to the stage. The original bad boys of R&B performed their classics “Freek’n You,” “Come and Talk to Me,” “Stay” and “Forever My Lady.” The fellas were a crowd favorite of the night as there wasn’t a head not bobbing and a hip not swaying as the crowd gave a standing ovation and the people at home went wild on social media. Honorees of the night Kool & the Gang receiving the Legend Award were treated to a spectacular tribute. It seemed as the lineup did not stop as everyone from Ma$e to Tamar Braxton and Joe were on the stage within a 15-minute time span. However, the tribute performance that made everyone’s mouth drop was the reunion of Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Da Brat and Left Eye later joined by Yo-Yo, the Lady of Rage, MC Lyte and R&B group total for 1996s “Not Tonight,” a remake of Kool & the Gang’s “Ladies Night.” Closing out the show, Doug E. Fresh started a classic soul train line that turned into a massive dance party on stage. Despite the stigma surrounding the awards show in the past, this year proved to be a win for Centric/BET as it gave their audience a night full of love, peace and soul.


GET BUCKS FOR BOOKS IN-STORE OR ONLINE AT

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Sports

15

St. John’s survives surprising test from Niagara BRANDON MAUK Staff Writer

St. John’s improved to 5-1, but Niagara gave them everything they had in a 70-54 victory for the Red Storm. After a successful first half, the Johnnies saw an eleven-point lead become one halfway through the second half. Nevertheless, they closed out the Purple Eagles with a 24-8 run. We were disappointed with our collective rebounding effort,” St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin said . “As a result of our poor performance on the boards, we allowed Niagara to come back and make it a one-point game on our home floor. We were fortunate that our zone defense down the stretch allowed us to pull away late.” Lavin rolled with a different starting lineup with walk-on freshman Myles Stewart and senior Jamal Branch starting in place of Sir’Dominic Pointer and Rysheed Jordan. Stewart connected on three three-pointers and collected three blocks in 19 minutes and Branch scored 12 points and dished out six assists. D’Angelo Harrison led the Johnnies with 16 points and nine rebounds “The threat of Myles on the perimeter distorts defenses,” Lavin said, “[it] puts opponents in a bind because you have to choose: if you stretch to a shooter like Myles . . . that creates better offensive

spacing in terms of the action underneath as well as dribble penetration into the jaws of the defense. [He’s] an old-fashioned basketball player.” It seems St. John’s plays to their competition. They held their own against a pair of tough, larger teams in Minnesota and Gonzaga last week but were equal in rebounds against a much smaller Niagara team that collected 14 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points. After the Purple Eagles shot just 26% from the field in the first half, they got hot early in the second to cut the St. John’s lead to one with 11:26 remaining. They made eight of 15 shots and five of seven from three-point range. “We were off to a good start, but got kind of lackadaisical,” senior D’Angelo Harrison said. “Coach [Lavin] said just now, `that’s not how we’re supposed to play even though we got the win.’ But you have to credit Niagara, they did a good job tonight. We just need to do well collectively. We had some let downs on defense, which we will work on tomorrow. We’ll learn from it and get ready for Saturday.” The Red Storm immediately responded with a 24-8 run. Pointer scored six of his eight points during the run strictly on fastbreak dunks. The Johnnies scored a whopping 18 points on the fastbreak. Niagara made just four of their last 20 shots and finished just 21 of 70 from the field. Just another day at the office for one of

the country’s better defensive teams “We went to the zone,” Lavin said. “We just focused on [getting] some stops, [creating] distance between us and the other team and [finding] a way to get the win here.” For Niagara, Emile Blackman led all scorers with 21 points and Ramone Snowden scored 13 and grabbed a game-

high 12 rebounds. St. John’s got 21 points off the bench while Niagara got just seven. The biggest test of the season is coming with a showdown at the Carrier Dome against former Big East rival Syracuse. The Johnnies have not beaten the ‘Cuse since 2007, but a win over the Orange would put the Red Storm on the map.

PHOTO/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Sir’ Dominic Pointer drives to the basket and lays it up in Johnnies win over Niagara.

Red Storm rout Wagner, Tartamella’s best start as HC WILSON SY Staff Writer

The St. John’s Women’s Basketball team took control from the start and cruised to a 71-49 victory over the Wagner Seahawks. The Red Storm (50) secured their best start in the Joe Tartamella era ever since taking over as head coach in 2011-12. “I’m happy with our performance in a number of areas. I thought this was a better team win for us as far as how we played for a forty-minute span than we did the other day,” said head coach Joe Tartamella. “This was an important game from the standpoint that it was a Friday-Sunday doubleheader like we are going to play in the Big East. We wanted to prepare ourselves and give us an opportunity to get in that rhythm. Now we turn the page and have our first Big East game on Wednesday against Xavier, who is a very, very good team. “ Junior guard, Aliyyah Handford led the Johnnies with 21 points on 10-of14 shooting along with grabbing eight rebounds. Danaejah Grant added 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds. In the middle, Amber Thompson posted her first double-double of the season adding 14 points and 10 rebounds. Three freshmen also scored their first collegiate points on Sunday’s win: Crystal Simmons, Tonoia Wade

and Tamesha Alexander. On the team’s defensive intensity, head coach Joe Tartamella said, “We came out today more ready than we were in the last couple of games, defensively especially. I was very happy to see us disrupt what they were trying to do. I thought Aliyyah Handford gave us great energy in the lane and (Jade Walker and Amber Thompson) are getting better every day defensively. It’s a huge plus for us to be able to pressure a little harder than probably we have done in the past.” St. John’s jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead to start the game, sparked by Aliyyah Handford scoring eight points in the first six minutes of action and knocking down a couple of mid-range jumpers. Aliyyah Handford on her improved mid-range game, “It was important [for me] to get in the gym this summer and get my jump shot ready. Basically I just come out and, if I see that the jump shot is open, I’ll shoot it. I felt great about my shot selection today. I didn’t rush any shots.” The Red Storm shot a season-high 51% and outrebounded the Seahawks 45-30. The defense from the Johnnies defense held Wagner to only 25% shooting in the first half while scoring 14 fast points and holding the Seahawks to zero. After Wagner narrowed the St. John’s lead to 17 with 6:12 remaining, coach Tartamella sent several starters

by in and the Johnnies would answer with a 12-3 run of their own in the next 3:30 and extended to a 70-43, their largest lead of the game. The women’s basketball team

will host their first conference game on Wednesday Dec.3 in a matchup against Xavier. The game can be view in the Big-East Digital Network while tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

PHOTO/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Amber Thompson recorded her first double-double of the season with 14 pts & 10 reb.


16

Volleyball’s season comes to close with two straight loses

Palgutova selected to Big East first team, Wachowicz selected to second team ALLAN GOMEZ Staff Writer

The Red Storm (19-14, 8-10 Big East) concluded the volleyball season losing their last two at Xavier and Butler. On Nov. 21, the Red Storm was swept (22-25, 13-25, 16-25) for only the third time all year against Xavier (19-12, 12-6 Big East) at the Cintas Center. The Red Storm was held to a season-low .093 hitting percentage compared to Xavier .318. Senior captain Aleksandra Wachowicz led the squad with six kills and two blocks and senior Ashley Boursiquot had five kills and two blocks, one solo and one assisted. Juniors Karin Palgutova and Yaidy Santiago both added four kills each, while redshirt sophomore Briana Guzman had three kills. Junior setter Deniz Multugil ran the offense and finished with 18 assists and five digs, while defensive junior Shawn-Lei Santos recorded nine digs, two assists and one service ace. Xavier was led by sophomore Abbey Bessler, who finished with a match-high nine kills on a .318 hitting percentage and six digs. The Red Storm had trouble

dealing with Xavier’s serving as they racked up eight aces. Freshman Jesse Earl picked up four service aces, five assists and 11 digs for Xavier. At the season finale on Nov. 22, the Red Storm lost in five sets (10-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-17) to Butler (20-10, 12-6 Big East) to wrap up their 2014 season. After Butler took the first two sets, the Red Storm was able to fight back to tie it up at 2-2. But Butler had the Johnnies number and managed to pull away late in the fifth to earn the victory. The Red Storm had three players in double-digits in kills and two in double-digits in digs. Palgutova finished with a season-high 26 kills and nine digs, narrowly missing her 15th double-double. Aleksandra Wachowicz capped off her senior season with 18 kills, two digs and an ace. The Red Storm had to replace Santos due to an injury. Senior captain Morgan Thomas filled in for Santos and did not disappoint. Thomas, playing in her last match for the Red Storm, finished with a team-high 16 digs, three assists and an ace. Santiago contributed with 12 digs. Junior setter Deniz Multugil, the Big East leader in assists per set (10.85), tied her career-high in assists with 61, while also tallying seven digs, two kills and an ace. Senior captain Ashley Boursiquot closed out her career, finishing with

nine kills on a .250 hitting percentage, and also picking up two digs and two blocks. After the season concluded, a pair of St. John’s outside hitters garnered conference accolades as Palgutova was

a unanimous first team All-Big East selection for the third-consecutive year, while Wachowicz earned second team All-Big East honors for the second-consecutive year.

PHOTO/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Morgan Thomas played in her final collegiate match on Nov.22 at Butler.

Cross country finishes 11th at ECAC’s, Batt-Doyle finshes 4th Indoor season starts Dec. 5 for Track & Field squad REZA MORENO Staff Writer

On Saturday, November 22nd the women’s cross-country team came in 11th place at the ECAC Division I Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx. The team gathered a total of 288 points by the end of teh event. Freshmen Izzi Batt-Doyle finished in the top 4, an outstanding accomplishment for her first collegiate cross-country season. In the race there were 18 teams and about 170 runners, BattDoyle was one of the fastest athletes in the bunch finishing with a time of 18:26. “I thought our ladies did an awesome job today,” head coach Jim Hurt said. “We finish the season on a very high note. Izzi Batt-Doyle finished top-4 which as a freshman at the ECAC’s is a tremendous accomplishment. Our whole group behind Izzi did an awesome job. We are very proud of the effort today and all season, and we look forward to a great indoor season.” The other talented Red Storm runners such as junior Stephanie Van Pelt beat her personal record placing 23rd and her twin sister was right behind with a time of 20:07 in 88th place. Junior Kerri Butler finished in 102nd place while fellow jumiorVeronica Thompson followed in 115th place with a time of 20:31. Senior Chelsea Trant was recovering from an injury this past month but

pushed through so she would be able to experience this race with her fellow teammates and came in 128th place in her last ECAC Championship race of her career.

“We finish the season on a very high note. Izzi Batt-Doyle finished top-4 which as a freshman at the ECAC’s is a tremendous accomplishment. Our whole group behind Izzi did an awesome job. We are very proud of the effort today and all season, and we look forward to a great indoor season.”

-Jim Hurt-

Freshmen Melissa Hidalgo had a great achievement by finishing the season with a personal record of 22:20. Junior Tiffany Evanego lost a shoe mid-run, but made sure to push through and to not let that stop her as she finished with a time of 22:52. The team will be heading indoors as the track and field season will open up for the team on Dec. 5 as they are headed to the Manhattan College Opener in the Bronx.

PHOTO/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Izzi Batt-Doyle finshed fourth overall at the ECAC Championship.


Red Storm fall to No. 10 Gonzaga in NIT Final

17

Johnnies almost come back from 15-point deficit, fall 73-66 to Zags’

CARMINE CARCIERI Staff Writer

After an impressive victory against Minnesota, St. John’s lost to Gonzaga 73-66 on Friday, wrapping up the NIT Tip-Off Classic at Madison Square Garden. Phil Greene led the Johnnies with 20 points including four three-pointers while D’Angelo Harrison added 15 points. Sir ’Dominic Pointer had nine points and nine boards and Chris Obekpa played only 22 total minutes and finished with one point because of foul trouble. The Johnnies got out to a slow start offensively, shooting only 35 percent from the field. In the first half, Sir’Dominic Pointer had two early fouls that affected the defensive side of the ball. Even though Gonzaga was able to knock down 50 percent of their jumpers, the Bulldogs only led by five points at halftime. “I wasn’t pleased with our defensive effort,” Steve Lavin said. “We need to go back to the drill work to sure up those areas of play.” With 6:40 left in the second half, Chris Obekpa picked up his fifth personal foul and this put St. John’s at a significant disadvantage against one of the

biggest frontcourts in the country. That left Pointer, 6-foot-6, as their biggest man on the court while guard, D’Angelo Harrison, was matching up against 6-foot-10 Domantas Sabonis. Despite the size disadvantage and a 15-point deficit, St. John’s would not back down as they cut the lead to three points with 1:01 remaining. “We did some good things,” Steve Lavin said. “I was pleased with our fight back. That was the positive with the degree of foul trouble we had, but we expect to win.” Rysheed Jordan had a terrific game scoring the basketball, 18 points, but he finished with nine total turnovers. The biggest turnover happened with just 30 seconds left in the game when the point guard drove into the lane and missed a difficult layup attempt before losing the ball out of bounds. After the turnover, the Johnnies were able to get the ball back thanks to solid pressure by Phil Greene. D’Angelo Harrison was then called for a questionable charge on the next play, and 10th ranked Gonzaga was able to hang on for the victory. “My job is to play,” D’Angelo Harrison said after the game. “I wish (the call) went our way. It was a big play in the game, and I wish we could have pulled it out.” The Johnnies ended the game tied

with Gonzaga in the rebounding battle but the failure to attack the basket in the first half was the main concern for the team. “Coach emphasized that we attack the rim and the paint just like (Gonzaga) was,” Greene said. “We wanted to go

to the basket and draw some fouls (in the second half) so we could get in the bonus.” St. John’s (4-1) returns to action on Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena against Niagara.

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Aliyyah Handford lead all scorers in the home opener with 27 points.

St. John’s squeezes past Gators in home opener Handford goes for 27 points, Grant scores 26 to lead Red Storm

NICHOLAS HUGHES Staff Writer

Following a strong outing by the Red Storm just five days earlier to open the season on the road against Yale, they were back at it again on Thursday Nov. 20. Despite a close call late in the game, head coach Tartamella’s squad was able to squeeze out a six-point win against Florida. The game got off to an interesting start for both sides as the first four shots of the game for both sides featured three missed 3-point field goal attempts, two by Florida and one by St. John’s. Afterwards, both teams seemed to turn it around and produce a good start. At the 12-minute mark, the score was in the Johnnies’ favor as they were able to grab a 13-10 lead. That’s when things were really able to take off for the Red Storm as they got into the run-and-gun style of play that the St. John’s women’s basketball team has long been known for. Over their next seven scoring possessions, the offense capitalized via the fast break five times. The Johnnies would cap off an 11-2 run on a Kyra Dunn free throw, over three minutes later. A major bright spot for the Red Storm during the run and even later on in the game was the confidence junior guard Aliyyah Handford seemed to have in her jump shot. Coming into the season many felt that her ability to consistently knock down jumpers was the major weakness in her game. 13 of her 25 shot attempts

came from the pull-up game, including three shot attempts from beyond the three-point arc (two of which she would connect on). “I’m just working on my jump shot so people can play me for it,” Handford said after the game, “then I can drive and play both games.” Handford would go on to lead the Red Storm in scoring for the night with 27 points. At one point in the first half, the Red Storm held a 15-point lead over the Gators. They headed into the break up 40-26 on the back of strong defensive play and a surprising rebound advantage given the disadvantage of size they faced. As coach Tartamella would say after the game, “It was a tale of two halves.” The Johnnies came out of halftime exuding confidence, much of the team was all smiles, but as they’d soon learn, no lead is ever safe. Florida began to march back into the game with strong post play for which Tartamella seemed to have no answer. In addition to that, Gator guard Carlie Needles began snapping from beyond the three-point arc. She would contribute nine of her Gator-high 16 points off of threes in the second half of play. She made four of five from deep throughout the game. The St. John’s lead would be decimated to just one point by the 6:20 mark and Florida would actually take control of the contest roughly 20 seconds later. The Johnnies would regroup from a time-out, however, and come out strong to reclaim the lead and win the game. The final score of the contest was 72-66.

PHOTO/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Aliyyah Handford lead all scorers in the home opener with 27 points.


18

St. John’s beats Minnesota at MSG in NIT Tip-off

Johnnies win could be crucial come NCAA Tournament time WILSON SY Staff Writer

The St. John’s men’s basketball team made a strong statement against the NIT Champions Wednesday night by coming back from being down double-digits in the first half to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 70-61 in the NIT Season Tip-off semifinals. Although, the Red Storm only converted on 22 of 37 foul shots and hit just 2 of 13 three-pointers, they capitalized on 24 points while forcing 20 turnovers. After the slow start in the first half, the Johnnies played suffocating defense in the second half holding the Gophers to just 25.0% shooting. “It was clearly a total team victory, “head coach Steve Lavin said. You could feel it in the huddles, in our bench even in our reserves, our staff and people were locked in. “They lost themselves to the game, to defense, to the front of the jersey—‘St. John’s.’ That’s who we have to be if we’re going to have a special season.” On the comeback, Sir’Dominic Pointer said, “It’s time for us to grow up. We’ve been here for four years. I feel we have a good team this year, so it’s time

for us to grow up and come together. The first half we played like little kids… In the second half we said ‘it’s time to man up,’ and that’s what happened.” Leading the way for the Red Storm was D’Angelo Harrison who finished with a game-high 19 points including six steals along with connecting a big-time three from the corner plus the foul after saving the possession for the Red Storm and giving them a 65-59 cushion. Rysheed Jordan netted with 18 points, while Sir’Dominic Pointer had the highlight of the game by stealing the ball after a St. John’s miss and dunking over Gophers 6’11 big man Elliot Eliason and also contributed playing a solid overall game by chipping in eight points, 11 rebounds and five steals. After trailing 40-31 at halftime, St. John’s controlled the momentum of the game after a Pointer putback dunk off a missed free-throw cut the deficit to two. St. John’s finally went ahead when Harrison connected on two foul shots for a 61-59 lead with 3:28 left. The Red Storm held Minnesota to only two field-goals made in the final 12:19, while closing out the game on a 16-2 run. “Tonight was a step in the right direction but now we have to focus on the task at hand, which is to get a win Friday,” said Lavin. “It would be the first championship for this group and they are deserving of doing some special

things this year.” With the victory, St. John’s starts the season 4-0 for the first time in six years. The Red Storm will have a challenging task Friday night Nov. 28 as they take

on 10th rank Gonzaga Bulldogs, who defeated Georgia 88-76 in the second game of the double-header. Tip-off begins approximately 7 p.m.

PHOTO/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Sir’ Dominic Pointer dunks over Minnesota’s Elliott Eliason in 70-61 win Wednesday.

Women’s basketball downs mid-major power Marist Grant’s last minute shot gives Red Storm 49-48 victory. NICHOLAS HUGHES Staff Writer

Head coach Joe Tartamella’s squad came into Monday’s game on the road against Marist averaging 66.5 points per contest. That trend of consistent scoring came to a halt despite a Red Storm win against the Red Foxes, with a final score of 49-48. The Marist Red Foxes are an 11-time defending MAAC Regular Season Champions. Coach Tartamella couldn’t express enough the importance of this win for the Red Storm this early on in the season, “This is a great win for our program on the road against a perennial mid-major power in Marist,” Tartamella said. “ I’m incredibly proud of our effort.” The Red Stom got off to a hot start in the first half as they led by as much as 11. But the Red Foxes held the Johnnies scoreless for just over seven minutes to close the St. Johns lead to 22-18 at the half. The second half was a defense battle for both teams. It would take a comeback from the Johnnies and strong defense to end the game to hold off the Red Foxes. Danaejah Grant was in double-figures scoring-wise for the Red Storm with 12 points against Marist. She continues her hot start to the season, averaging 28 points per game entering Monday’s game. No shot for Grant was bigger on the night, however, than her last minute go-ahead bucket that

proved to be the deciding basket in the win for the Johnnies. Amber Thompson and Aliyyah Handford paced an incredible rebounding night for the Johnnies as they combined for 29 of the team’s 47 boards. Thompson’s 17 rebounds ties a career high for her. The leading scorer for the Red

Storm will come at home against Binghamton on Black Friday. This will be the Johnnies’ second game of

the season at Carnesecca Arena and they will look to continue their early season momentum with another victory.

“This is a great win for our program on the road against a perennial mid-major power in Marist. I’m incredibly proud of our effort.”

-Joe Tartamella-

Storm in the contest was sophomore forward Jade Walker with 14 points. This is her second consecutive game with scoring in the double figures as she contributed 11 points in the Johnnies’ win over Florida in their last contest. This game was a tough challenge in the young season for the Red Storm and should only serve to aid them as they prepare for upcoming conference play in a tough Big East. The next matchup for the Red

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Danaejah Grant’s last-minute bucket sealed the win for St. John’s over Marist.


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Check your St. John’s e-mail account for a special message urging you to share feedback about your classes. Our student evaluation of teaching instrument makes it quick and easy to provide feedback about your instructors.

Student Evaluation of Teaching Features • The e-mails you receive will contain links to the evaluations. • Subsequent reminders will contain links only to evaluations you haven’t yet completed. • Your feedback and insights really count. • A s always, your responses are totally anonymous.

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The University and your professors use your responses to improve courses and curricula. Please check your St. John’s e-mail account for messages from the Office of Institutional Research.

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Steven W. Glogocheski, associate director of academic assessment, at glogochs@stjohns.edu.


SPORTS LIFE & DECEMBER 3, 2014 | VOLUME 92, ISSUE 13 |

TORCHONLINE.COM

TALKS

Dr. J WILSON SY Staff Writer

On a very special evening with St. John’s Basketball, the Office of Athletic Development hosted the team’s annual fundraising event on Tuesday, Nov.18 for donations to the men’s and women’s basketball team. Held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City, NBA legend Julius Erving served as the guest speaker for the event. Some of the alumnus attendees included college basketball analyst Tarik Turner, former NBA player Zendon Hamilton and legendary Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca. “I think we just want to carry on the tradition that we have,” Carnesecca said. “As you know, we have a great tradition going back to the guys like Buck Freeman, coach Frank McGuire, coach Joe Lapchick and now along with coach Lavin. It’s a great tradition and it’s wonderful to see this event taking place. It’s wonderful.” On the St. John’s men’s team, Carnesecca stated, “They can be very explosive if we can stay free of injuries. I really have a good feeling; I think they will be good. They have so many good scorers plus they

have the experience. They have been to all these wars so this will be the year.” While at the podium, President “Dr. Bobby” Gempesaw, shared his story in regards to Julius Erving. “The first NBA game I watched live [was] a 76ers game in the early 1980s and the thing was played at the place called spectrum,” Dr. Gempesaw said, “[While] I love playing basketball, I obviously cannot dunk the ball. So I decided to become a university professor instead. When I became a faculty member in the mid 1980s. One of my students learned that I loved the sport and enjoyed playing basketball, so he started calling me ‘Dr. G’ after Dr. J.” Junior guard Danaejah Grant talked about her team’s expectations this year, Grant stated, “This year I think we’ll be relentless on both ends of the floor. Last year, we came up a little short as far as the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. We’re very hungry and we’re ready to do whatever it takes to make it back, but not just make it there, to bring home hardware this year.” As for the men’s team, coach Steve Lavin asked senior guard D’Angelo Harrison to describe his team’s aspiration this season. “I love spending every day with the guys,” Harrison

said of his teammates. “This group is the tightest we’ve ever been since I’ve been at St. John’s, so this is a special group. I feel it. We’re capable of big things this year and I’m looking forward to it.” The keynote speaker was Julius Erving who grew up 15 miles away from the St. John’s campus in Long Island. Erving was highly recruited but narrowed down his choices between St. John’s and the University of Massachusetts before making his decision to play for his high school coach in UMass. During that time, Erving recalled crying in coach Carnesecca’s office about his decision, not wanting to disappoint the Hall of Fame coach. “Well for me, coming back to New York is a treat; it’s the greatest city in the world,” said Erving. “Even though I live in Atlanta, Ga., being from here, I know when I come back I’m going to see a lot of old friends and make some new friends possibly and maybe see something that I haven’t seen before which is always a good thing. Brace yourself for the element of surprise.” On his message to the St. John’s student athletes going forward, Erving recalled, “Keeping the drive alive, staying focused and determined. The importance of academics is very clear.”

December 3, 2014  
December 3, 2014  
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