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University to adjust schedule NELL O’CONNOR Managing Editor St. John’s is announcing some adjustments to the schedule they implemented last semester after a recent survey and reevaluation of student and faculty opinion. Dr. Julia Upton, provost of the University, told the TORCH in a recent interview that several changes will be made to the current schedule, including the reinstatement of Finals Week. Last week, a survey appeared on St. John’s Central asking students if they were in favor of reinstating Finals Week at the cost of increasing weekly class time. Students voted to make the change, which will now increase Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday classes

to 85 minutes, a five-minute difference from the current time. “The survey was pretty clear and confirmed what we already knew,” said Upton, noting that faculty were also given a similar survey. Both polls had been created by a committee by University president Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. last April. The survey did not mention the changing of the time and day of common hour, which Upton confirmed would be Mondays/Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting next semester. During this time, there will be no 85-minute classes, although Upton stated that labs would unavoidably run through the break. Currently, common hour falls on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. It had previously been on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

When the schedule change was revealed last year, students and faculties expressed dismay and concerns, particularly over the potential damage of the loss of common hour. Many believed that student organizations would suffer most because students would be hard pressed to find time in the new schedule for meetings. Dr. Upton did not see any problem with this over the trial semester. “I don’t think Campus Activities suffered because of [the loss of common hour], they found more creative ways to meet,” she said. Students are having mixed reactions to the changes. Most are in favor of the return of Finals Week, while others are opposed to bringing back common hour. Nicole Budine, a sophomore, said that she was in favor of a Finals Week

because it eliminated problems with time during exams. “During a finals week we used to have two hours to take a final,” she said. “Some finals are rushed when you take them during a class period.” Budine also said that having common hour twice a week will help her attend club meetings that may have previously overlapped. Sonali Patel, a sophomore, stills wants to go back to the old schedule, but believes these improvements will make it a little easier on students. “I prefer [Finals Week] because it gives you more time to prepare for exams and study,” she said. “Also, classes during finals week of instruction aren’t necessarily helpful, I believe studying by ourselves using that time is more beneficial for students.”

Celebration broken up after Duke win BILL SAN ANTONIO Sports Editor


Students stormed the court at MSG on Sunday afternoon following the Red Storm’s victory over Duke. According to students, MSG security used excessive force in restraining them.

WHAT’S INSIDE News......................1-4 Entertainment....13-14 Opinion..................5-7 Comic.......................15 Features.................8-9 Sports................17-20

As a crowd began to form, ready to rush the court once the final horn sounded on the men’s basketball team’s 93-78 win over Duke on Jan. 30, senior Bill Brusca tried to stay near the middle of the group where he felt he and his girlfriend would be safe. But as the group pushed toward the court, Brusca and his girlfriend were pushed with it, and were met with return strife from Madison Square Garden ushers who, as first reported by the New York Post, restrained the students using excessive force and profanity. “My foot got stuck under a chair, so I couldn’t really move,” Brusca said. “I tried to free myself but I turned around and an usher got his hands around my neck going, ‘What the [expletive] are you doing?” “I looked around and saw kids getting punched, a friend of mine

MUSIC Justice gets sexy Why USA’s newest series Fairly Legal is not your average law show. ENTER RTAINMENT Pg. 13

had a mark below his eye,” Brusca said. “I saw some girls get trampled by ushers. One usher was just throwing punches.” Another student, junior David Puswald, said that although he was among the few that reached the court, he was pushed back into the crowd by ushers when he tried to exit the arena. “This is college basketball,” Puswald said. “After a win like that, it’s the norm. People storm the court. That’s what happens.” While he acknowledged that ushers are likely most concerned with the safety of players and coaches on court, Brusca said the crowd would have remained safe if the students had been allowed to rush the court. “I was at the Fordham game, and their fans rushed the floor and it was organized and safe because there was no congestion in trying to leave or hold people back,” Brusca said. -continued on pg. 4

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Managing Board LXXXVIII



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Entertainment Tales from the gutter Inferno reviews Talib Kweli’s latest work of hip-hop art.

Inferno Pg. 14 Features Chaos in Cairo Students studying abroad share their story of going to Cairo, Egypt, during the riots.


Men’s basketball Blue Devil of a time The men’s basketball team upset No. 3 Duke on Sunday.


Sports Pg. 19



2 Feb. 2010


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

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

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The “Free Hugs” campaign was held as a part of Founder’s week this year. Groups of students stood in front of St. Augustine library, offering to hug anyone that walked by.


Small fire in Dasilva causes waterdamage, but no injuries SARA CAHILL MARRON News Editor

A small fire broke out on the sixth floor of the DaSilva Residence Hall early last Thursday morning, causing some water damage but no injuries. The fire department identified the cause of the fire as accidental and most likely ignited by a spark or some sort of open flame, rather than an electrical catalyst. An investigation is currently being conducted to determine the exact cause, according to Thomas Lawrence, vice president of Public Safety. Criminal charges are being dismissed at this point as the cause is “obviously accidental,” Lawrence said. Public Safety was notified of the fire at 6:20 a.m. when three smoke detectors went off in suite 609. Lawrence said the fire, which is thought to have started near the closet of one of the rooms in the suite, was contained because of the immediacy of the sprinkler systems. “We were pleased with the way the system worked and the quick response of the fire department,” Lawrence said. Suite 609 was “damaged considerably” because of water from the sprinklers and smoke from the fire. The suite across the hall and two other suites on the fifth floor also sustained some damage because of the sprinkler system, Lawrence said. Freshman Matt Gonsalves lives on the sixth floor in DaSilva. “It looked like someone was smoking

in the hallway,” he said. “It smelled bad. I just got out as fast as I could.” Students that live in DaSilva waited in Montgoris Dining hall until the fire department made sure the building was safe to re-enter. Some students thought the alarms indicated a drill, which usually happens frequently throughout the semester. “We didn’t even know it was real until we got to Montgoris and public safety told us,” freshman Jordan Baptista said. “This has really been an inconvenience.” Shenic Bennet, a freshman living on the third floor was woken up by public safety banging on her door saying “get out, get out, it’s real.” “I had no idea what was going on,” she said. “It was scary.” Freshman Dallas Adams lives on the first floor and was able to see the smoke when he exited the building. “I didn’t see anything when I woke up, but I smelled it,” he said. “When we got outside I saw there was smoke coming out of one of the windows. It was thick, black smoke.”


Firetrucks lined up in front of DaSilva Hall in response to the alarm.

Alumni Insiders View Program offers unique connections


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This year St. John’s is opening its doors for adults who want to take advantage of the free Adult Literacy classes sponsored by the Committee for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLASC). Dr. Alina Camacho-Gingerich, chair of CLASC and professor of Languages and Literature, received a grant from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development that she used towards creating the free classes and workshops. The Adult Literacy classes started this January and will continue through June 30. They take place Monday through Thursday nights, from 6 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. and Sat. mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. in Marillac room 106. The classes are offered in a variety of subjects such as English, math, social studies, science, computer technology, and GED Preparatory classes. All

the materials necessary for each area of study are provided by the University. “It’s a great idea,” said Ioana Donose, a senior education major. “My family is from Romania and classes like these would have been very helpful when we moved to America 10 years ago. My parents would have been able to learn the language and a lot of other useful information for free.” Katherine McGee, a junior speech pathology major, agrees. “It’s a much needed opportunity for the thousands of immigrants in this city to become acquainted with the English language. “If they take advantage of the free classes there won’t be such a large language barrier between me and half the people I come in contact with in New York.”

2 Feb. 2010 The TORCH

The Alumni Insider’s View Program, which was started over 30 years ago with a student trip to Washington, D.C., is offering multiple events for students to network with St. John’s graduates this February. The Alumni Insider’s View program is constantly growing and looking for student input on what students want to see, said Victor Ramos, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement. Upcoming events this month include TCB Alumni Speed Networking and Psychology Connection on Tues. Feb. 8, Young Alumni Success Stories on Wed., Feb. 9, and College to Career on Tues. Feb. 15. The first trip to Washington D.C. was designed to give students the “inside view of what it’s like to work in Washington,” Ramos said. Alumni from St. John’s working in D.C. gave panels on different industries in Washington. According to Ramos, the Office of Alumni Relations wants to show St. John’s students that we have willing alumni all over that constantly want students of their Alma Mater to do well in life and have an edge in the business world.

“You are a part of the alumni network once you come on campus,” said Ramos. “Once you’re here, you’re a part of the St. John’s family. The alumni want to get involved and want you to succeed like they are.” The “Day on Wall Street” event is one of the programs big trips. Forty students from both the Queens and Staten Island campuses travel to Manhattan to see the Stock Exchange, Federal Department of Trust and other financial companies such as Fidelity Insurance. “Alumni who were helping with the event and showing students around brought their human resources people who took resumes on the spot because they had the mentality of ‘We want to hire our own,” Ramos said. The Insider’s View Program also offers a variety of events from etiquette classes to interviewing skills in order to prep St. John’s students for the professional world. The workshops are run by alumni that specialize in each particular field. Freshman Nicole Apps works as a “student insider” for the program and creates videos at the AIV events she attends in order to share them with her fellow classmates. “I have tons of fun asking our alumni questions about how the students can benefit their futures and make a path for success,” Apps said.“I learned so much about how to make connections that can benefit my future and what I need to do while I’m here at St. John’s.”



Free adult literacy programs offered


CONT. -continued from pg. 1 Such harsh treatment had become expected from Garden ushers, according to Brusca, but never with the kind of physical force he and other students experienced after the Duke game. Brusca was only able to identify the usher who grabbed him as “Paul J,” but filed a complaint with the Garden anyway. “I’ve been kicked out [of MSG] because I’ve been in the wrong seat,” he said. “I’ve seen kids get kicked out of the student section for not sitting down. It’s just a shame that that’s what the talk was about after the game.” An email to Garden officials was not immediately returned. St. John’s senior associate athletics

director of Communications Mark Fratto told the Torch that the school was still reviewing the matter and would issue a formal statement later this week. According to Brusca, St. John’s athletic director Chris Monasch told him that Garden officials still were reviewing security tapes of the game’s aftermath but if nothing was done in a timely fashion, he’d request the tapes and review them himself. “We expect all of our student fans to behave appropriately at games and in compliance with university, Big East and NCAA policies,” Fratto said. “We also trust that the professional security staff at Madison Square Garden will exercise reasonable judgment when performing its duties. The goal is to maximize the game experience for everyone, and protect the safety of game

participants and fans.” Fratto also said the athletic department would create video messages reinforcing NCAA policies prohibiting fan interaction with playing surfaces, likely to feature men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin, as well as fliers to be placed around the University promoting fan safety at future athletic events. Brusca said he would not press charges against either the school or the Garden, as had initially been reported in the Post, but would like to see the ushers involved disciplined by MSG. “None of this blame at all is going to St. John’s—I want to stress that,” Brusca said. “This has nothing to do with St. John’s. It’s an MSG thing. If they think they can just beat up kids like that, well, whatever helps them sleep at night, I guess.”

Emergency Closing Procedures Facing inclement weather forecasts, decisions must be made


2 Feb. 2010


TERENCE CULLEN Staff Writer With more snow on the way, the University has again taken a look at the weather forecast to see whether or not students will be at risk. The process to determine school closing begins 72 hours before the storm is expected to hit the New York area. Denise Vencak-Toner, executive director of Public Safety Risk & Risk Management, explained that there are several factors that have to be taken to determine if the school should close because of inclement weather. Toner first consults with The Office of Emergency Management and The National Weather Service to see exactly how bad the storm might affect the area. During the 72-hour time period, she will begin consulting other universities and other city agencies like The Board of Education and The Department of Sanitation. Once a storm begins, communication between several decision makers within the school starts. Vencak-Toner will speak to Martin Bender of Facilities to check the condition of all four New York campuses: Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Oakdale. She explained that she will speak to the University’s vice president James Pellow and Provost Julie Upton about closing the school. Vencak-Toner said that closing the school does not usually matter on the amount of inches a snow storm may bring, but rather what traveling conditions will be like for students, staff and faculty such icy roads or mid-storm commutes. The ultimate factor she said is that “you have to worry about people coming and going.” She also said that the safety of the University’s students comes first. If and when the university is closed, Dominic Scianna, vice president of Media Relations, begins the process of making the announcement. Scianna first must notify local news networks to broadcast the University’s closing as well as announcements via text messages, automated phone calls and posts on St. John’s Central. Scianna said that the information goes out as soon as the decision to close is made. Scianna credits the emergency text message system as the biggest success in notifying students before they attempt to journey to their respective campuses.

Junior Jeffrey Hanover was traveling to campus during last Wednesday’s storm when he received a text message telling him the school would be closing early, at 3 p.m. During poor weather Hanover said his fifteen minute commute from Middle Village could normally be doubled. “I feel that the University has done a good job so far this semester in deciding when to close the University,” he said. Though he received a text message nearly

immediately, he said that he already arrived to campus by the time the news was out. “While it is understandable that the University made a decision that day as the weather worsened,” Hanover said. “Many students and professors including myself were already en route to afternoon class and then had to turn around ultimately causing everyone’s travel to have been unproductive.”


Piles of snow blocked walkways and streets around campus last week.

Broken dishwasher in Montgoris still causing a problem LIAM LA GUERRE Staff Writer Disposable paper plates, utensils and cups have taken the place of plastic dishware at Montgoris Dining Hall since last November when the dishwashing machine started experiencing frequent problems. The most recent problem the dish washing machine has is an unmovable belt. Each time the machine broke down a private repair company was called to fix the problem. During the time of maintenance, biodegradable paper plates, compostable utensils and plastic cups were used in place of the plastic dishware, according to Gina Capetanakis, marketing manager at Chartwells. “The use of disposable plates and utensils at Montgoris Dining Hall is an interim solution while the dish machine is awaiting repairs,” said Capetanakis. The machine’s belt is approximately 300-feet long and works similar to that of a bicycle chain. The belt has small plates which fit into the teeth of gears that are in between the track. The belt moves along the top and bottom of the gears so that there is continuous movement, Capetanakis said. There are roughly 300 gears on the wheels and over 2,400 total parts in the machine. Many of the teeth are bent or fell out of place “making use of the conveyor impossible.” The bent teeth may also be the cause of missing slates which make up the actual surface of the belt that students place dishes on, according to Capetanakis. To fix this problem, a completely new dish machine was ordered and is expected to be installed by midFebruary. In the mean time, the disposable dishware has provided a temporary solution. “Reusable plates, cups and utensils are the most preferred service items to use with the dish machine currently not working,” Capetanakis said. “In order to provide these items, Chartwells has incurred additional costs.” Students had mixed reaction about having to use the disposable products. “I don’t like them, I rather real plates and real utensils,” said sophomore James Whitfield. Freshman Jake Katz said that the disposable products were easier to manage. “It’s easier to dispose of stuff because I can just throw the entire plate away,” he said.

Can’t get enough TORCH news? Visit our website for online exclusives.


Editorial Board LXXXVIII

Illustrator’s Corner

JUSTIN THRIFT Editor-in-Chief NELL O’CONNOR Managing Editor SARA CAHILL MARRON News Editor MARK MCDONALD General Manager


Shorter class periods needed

EDITORIAL POLICY ions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.

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

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

To the Editor: We write in response to your editorial of January 26, 2011 titled, “A name we can be proud of.” St. John’s takes great pride in its Graduation Ceremonies and nominates Commencement speakers to be approved by the University’s Board of Trustees each year. Your editorial brought to light several misconceptions about the process and past accounts of our graduations which need to be corrected on the record. You state that the biggest problem in the Commencement selection process is “how little students are involved in it.” In fact, we have had student representation on the committee for quite some time – and this year we reached out to Student Government, Inc. for their recommendations from the student body. They promptly replied with their Top 10 nominees prior to the Thanksgiving break for both Queens and Staten Island. Those names were brought to the attention of the nominating committee for consideration and were formally discussed as part of our process. We will have an announcement on the 2011 speakers in the near future. The last four years (from 2007-2010) have seen names such as George Stephanopoulos, Immaculee Ilibagiza and Bob and Suzanne Wright give the Commencement Address before 19,000-plus on the Great Lawn. Stephanopoulos, current co-anchor of nationally acclaimed Good Morning America, and former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, was not mentioned in your editorial. Rwandan Genocide Survivor, Immaculee Ilibagiza, gave a moving and inspirational speech of her tragic struggles as she lost her family but has made it her life’s work to forgive and teach her experiences to others. She also failed to make your list. Last year’s speakers, Bob and Suzanne Wright, leaders of the Autism crusade across the country, spoke eloquently about their life experiences with their grandchild who suffers from the diagnosis. St. John’s was founded on its Vincentian tradition and the works of St.

Vincent de Paul. Ms. Ilibagiza and the Wrights were the perfect complement to that mission as St. John’s students move on and take their service-learning skills to communities locally, nationally and internationally to make a difference in the lives of so many underserved. Finally, you refer to Maya Angelou’s attendance at our 2008 graduation. The Daily News reported that she could have been a speaker but was not formally asked by the University. What the Daily News failed to report was that the University did not find out Ms. Angelou was coming until a day or two before the ceremony – and made special accommodations for her and her family to insure their comfort on graduation day. There was no conflict between Ms. Angelou and the University. In closing, the editorial takes us to task for having “less famous speakers” at our disposal. On the contrary, we have had our share of star power names grace the University recently. Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, received an honorary degree from St. John’s in Queens in 2007. The event was open to students and the public. And, former Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair met with members of the St. John’s President’s Society in 2008 at a gathering of the University’s Loughlin Society in New York City. And, Alec Baldwin, who you refer to in your editorial and Meryl Streep filmed the motion picture “It’s Complicated” on the Great Lawn in the summer of 2009. The film’s producers used St. John’s students as extras – filming our actual graduation ceremony and featuring it in the film. In the end, the record will show that the University prides itself on providing a quality experience for all, while firmly standing by its students and mission every day. Commencement is a top priority of that unwavering commitment by University administrators, faculty and staff, who, all students can be proud to know, have their best interests at heart. St. John’s University Commencement Committee


Letters to the Editor


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-


2 Feb. 2011

better working schedule for the future. However, as the spring semester gets underway we still have one pressing suggestion for the administration to consider as they look to prepare for next fall. Based on what students and faculty members have said—starting at the forums last spring and continuing into this year—we feel it imperative that the option of 55-minute classes is reinstated and made available to the student body. As of now, the 85-minute classes are set to stay intact for next semester, which was one of the bigger changes from the schedule of years past. Whereas every class is now 85 minutes in length, in prior years students had the option of taking 55-minute classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The longer classes are more demanding of students, pushing the envelope of critical attention span. We believe that the option of 55-minute classes not only benefits student learning and experience, but faculty preparation and performance. Simply put, the option of taking shorter classes makes it easier for many students to learn and stay focused on the lectures at hand. Any longer, and many students feel their attention begins to fade. Whether or not this gels with the opinions of the faculty or the administration, the opinion is widespread and frequently spoken. We hope the administration will consider this, as we have seen it to represent a widely held opinion of students at this University. In reforming the current schedule and reintroducing more reasonably timed classes, the University can resolve the issue of an unsatisfactory schedule at hand.


Since the start of last semester, the St. John’s community has been adjusting to an unwelcome change of schedule. In the fall students and faculty dived into schedules that replaced 55minute classes with 85-minute ones, set two days between class meetings, and contained a day in the middle of the week for three-hour classes. The school also lost its twice a week “common hour” period to a strange and confusing time on Wednesday afternoons when student groups can meet if they’re not already in a three hour class and happen to be on campus. A few professors and students have spoken positively about the change, and to this year’s freshmen the new schedule is all they’ve ever known. But for the rest of St. John’s the schedule change has been mostly an unnecessary hassle, nonsensical and a slap in the face to those who voiced their concerns last spring when it was merely a proposed idea. It’s no surprise that the University has decided to make some changes for next year. The TORCH has been critical of the schedule change since word of it first broke last spring. The nontransparent way in which the administration came to their decision in March caused anger amongst the student body and faculty, and we did our best to be critical of the University keeping its community in the dark over their decision process. Now that the University has decided to reform the current schedule, we must congratulate the administration on finally cutting its losses. There is no doubt that this year’s change of schedule was met with the same distaste as it was last spring, but at least the administration is taking action now to recover a


TORCH Opinion

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What kind of Facebook user are you?

If the first step in overcoming an addiction is acceptance, I’m already at step two. Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve experienced slight Facebook addiction. Be honest with yourself and chances are very good that you too, tiny dancer, have also developed some form of Facebook addiction. If not, you’re a refreshing rarity amongst us common scullions of the social network. I tried to delete my account. I logged off eternally (or so I thought) and eradicated it from my life altogether (for a few months). This lasted a summer before I went running back like a spineless junkie. Truth is, as much as I resented giving in to Facebook’s potency, I couldn’t deny its social wingspan. I missed being connected with my cousins and family overseas; missed people from where I grew up hours away. I also disliked not knowing about photos of me that were popping up after parties or events I attended. So I reactivated my account, and here I am. Back where I started, slightly disgusted with myself, and not surprised at all. I am, however, slightly more socially greased on a daily basis. Score another for technology. What I’ve learned is this: like virtually everything else in this life, nothing (except murder and bear-baiting) is bad in moderation. Strangely enough, some people still believe that it’s impossible to be addicted to Facebook, and some even deny that the Internet can leave negative marks on our lives. These people are wrong. The research of numerous psychologists disagrees, as a group at Stony Brook University first found a few years back. More recently, psychologists at the University of Leeds in England

linked cases of depression with excessive Facebook usage, citing the website as a “major” cause in cases of depression amongst adolescents and young people. It makes perfect sense. In the ’70s, kids got a respite from social anxiety by going home at the end of the school day – now they’re smothered by their social worlds 24/7. Though my usage of Facebook was becoming more than in moderation, it never reached the severity of some others around me. Not to be too judgmental, but ddddaaammmmnnnn. My own experiences and observations of people I know has lead me to believe that there are a few kinds of Facebook users; three, to be exact. Facebook personality 1: The Casual User. This person has no amount of Facebook addiction whatsoever, and most newcomers to the site fall into this category. These people have a realistically normal amount of friends, between 200 and 800. (Note: These numbers don’t apply if you’re over 40, or if you’re extremely attractive). The Casual User almost never uses Facebook chat, can go 2-3 days without logging on, and spends no more than 10 minutes on the site on average when they do. They enjoy the social pleasantries that come with having a Facebook page, but their days would in no way be affected if they didn’t have one. Safe. Normal. No addiction. Facebook personality 2: The Facebook Socialite. This person is beginning to show signs of Facebook addiction, although they aren’t past the point of no return. Seldom are the days that this person forgoes logging in. However, they are only logging in two times a day, and on average their total time on the site usually docks no more than 30 minutes daily. Every once in a while, this person will get lost surfing friends’ pages for an hour, but this isn’t too common. They’re sometimes prone to Facebook stalking, hardly miss the chance to wish a happy birthday, and update their status only for significant moments. This is the most common of users. Facebook personality 3: The Junkie. By far, this is the most dangerous kind of user to be because they have an unhealthy addiction to Facebooking. If you



Are you addicted to your Facebook page?

Joseph Martin Sophomore

I like twitter more. I can say whatever is on my mind and you can post random things. Melina Turner Sophomore


2 Feb. 2011

No, I could live without it.

Yea, It’s interesting to keep tabs on your friends Michael Martinez 1st year grad student

Yea, it allows me to do some things when I have nothing to do. I can also keep in touch with friends from High School. Bejo Maniara Freshman COMPILED BY THOMAS CARNEVALE

meet this person and have a decent, mid-length conversation with them, they will most likely Facebook you within 24 hours. The Junkie may have Facebook set as their homepage. Owning an iPhone ups your chances of becoming this user, because they can’t go to a restaurant or the grocery store without updating friends on the weather and how it affects their current mood. It’s common for these users to post cell-phone photos of a billboard that made them laugh or a nice breakfast they just cooked for their significant other. They show up multiple times on news feeds every hour, and they are capable of “liking” more things in a single night than most people will in one month. This person never misses a birthday. Ever. (If this personality misses your birthday, it was an intentional statement). This user (if female) will always carry cameras to events with the intent of snapping new Facebook shots; the turnaround time between the event and the photos being uploaded is usually under 48 hours. Their pages commonly act as forums with their statuses accumulating sometimes 20+ comments. When the Junkie attempts to do homework, the formula is as follows: read a page, check Facebook. Get a drink, check Facebook, solve a math equation, send a text, check Facebook, go to the bathroom; take a study break; study break ends, check Facebook, read another page of homework. Repeat. If you identify with this user personality, seek help. Don’t rely on an intervention from your friends because chances are high that they’re all dealing with their own battle against the Book. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “This is crazy, and I don’t fit into any of these three categories.” If this is the case, you’re either a) not a Facebook user, b) somewhere slightly in between categories, or c) in denial. How many times do you think I checked my Facebook while I wrote this column? The world may never know. Justin Thrift is a senior English major who coincidentally resembles Mark Zuckerburg. He can be reached at:

TORCH Opinion

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Seniors enjoying good ball for first time

41-14. For football, this is a blowout, but on Jan. 30, 2008, as I sat in my dorm room (Century Hall, Room 111; let’s just say that the repairs on that room have been, er, interesting), I saw this score displayed on the TV in front of me: Georgetown 41, St. John’s 14. At halftime. No, we did not come back and win; we doubled our first half point total to only lose 74-42, St. John’s worst loss in Big East history. And it was at the Garden. To say St. John’s basketball was bad that year, and for pretty much all of the almost five years I have attended here, would be an understatement. That night against Georgetown, St. John’s shot 10-for-47, which is roughly the ratio of explosions-for-seconds in a Michael Bay movie. I could look out my window at the court by Montgoris and see higher-quality ball.

I graduated high school in 2006, so to the freshmen, I might as well be an old man. Back then you could only get on Facebook if you went to a certain college that had it. If you’ve studied ancient history and saw The Social Network, you might think “There’s like no way!” – but it’s true. Anyways, I knew the history of Red Storm basketball, and as much as I hated the nickname “Red Storm” for so many reasons, I was ready to watch them play. And yeah, I also knew about the wonderful disciplinarians Mike Jarvis and Kevin Clark and their top-notch student athletes who managed to nearly destroy the entire program, but I figured in a year or two we’d be good. It’s New York City right? Everybody wants to come to New York City! Of course you don’t really realize until you get here that Manhattan might as well be 100 miles away, and in those first couple years at school I slept in and missed the entirety of those Saturday-atnoon-at-MSG games. I did attend a few games my freshman year, but when 75 percent of the smattering of people at the games are cheering for the other team, our players are featured in SportsCenter’s NOT Top 10, and, to paraphrase

DJ Khaled, “ALL WE DO IS LOSE!” I vowed to never waste my money that could have been spent on a $9.00 cup of noodles at the C-store until we changed coaches. I continued to watch every game, kept up when I went to Europe on Discover the World my junior year (plug: you should go, it’s a blast), and agonized over the heartbreakers against Marquette last year. Since I arrived, the Red Storm have gone 72-75 and beat five ranked teams. So if I took my over-$200,000 in tuition and were paying the team (and, under Mike Jarvis, I literally would have been), each victory would cost me $2,985.42. One victory against a ranked team would cost me $42,990.07. So to the freshmen and sophomores, I say: you lucky [expletives deleted]. I’m sorry, that’s a little harsh, but you actually get to watch some great basketball. That win against Duke on Sunday was absolutely incredible, and believe me – guys like DJ Kennedy, Justin Brownlee, Dwight Hardy and the rest of the seniors deserve this success for all the work they’ve put in. And you know what? So do the people graduating this year. The ones who have taken four years to graduate, and the ones who assumed a

Human rights and online freedoms violated in Egypt

Over the past week, the global community has been paying close attention to the ongoing unrest and revolution in Egypt. After decades of being ruled by President Hosni Mubarak and his seemingly corrupt government, the people of the historically rich nation took to the streets in hopes of forcing out the dictatorship. After a week of demonstrations, moderate violence and a government shake-up, the protesters—comprised of Egyptian citizens of all ages and backgrounds—are fighting to get their message heard. The government shut down the Internet, text messages and cell phone services in an effort to silence the protesters and regain control. This came as a direct result of protesters using popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach supporters and plan demonstrations. However, while the Internet was crucial in the success of the organizers, it was not their only weapon. Without it, they will still be able to carry on with their fight, for as long as they see fit and have the ability to. For many, including myself, the underlying issue in the shutdown is that it essentially violates human rights as society understands them today. Everyone should be able to have access to the Internet and means of communication with others, no matter what their status or location. While this is not always possible because of financial, geographic or any other number of reasons, it is still something that should not be subject to government interference. In his address to the country regarding the situation in Egypt, President Obama encouraged President Mubarak and his government to return Internet and cell phone access

to the people. He maintained that no government should disturb human rights, such as the freedom of speech and to assemble. Individuals, no matter who or where they are, should ever worry about their ability to freely and honestly express themselves. By cutting off the Internet, which is arguably the biggest platform for free speech in the modern world, the Egyptian government did nothing to prove that they wanted to listen to the people or that they are actively working towards a better society. Instead, they have now isolated themselves and given the demonstrators more reasons to protest. Mubarak and his government thought that by cutting off the Internet, they would be able to control what the people were saying about them and successfully end the protests. But revolutions and uprisings occurred before the World Wide Web, although modern technology has made fighting for a cause much easier. In an article for, David Kravets noted that Egyptian journalists estimated that only a quarter of the population even had the Internet prior to the uprising. Although the protests may have started on social networks, they spread by citizens coming together and spreading the word whatever way they could. The strength of the Egyptian people is something that should be a standard for the rest of the world. Here in the United States, most of us probably could not imagine what it would be like to go even an hour with no Internet or cell phone access. We cannot dream of a government who would be so willing to cut off it’s own people from global communication. Despite being put in that very situation, the citizens of Egypt are still fighting for what they believe in, for the changes they want to see enacted. As global citizens, we must all stand with them in their time of need and hope that they too will some day live in a country where freedom for all is respected and protected. Nell O’Connor is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at:

“bonus year” would be free, like me (I assumed wrong), and anybody else who has been around for the past several years to watch the Garden be smothered in Syracuse orange, or Georgetown and Duke blue, or UConn white. Sure, St. John’s has produced some great athletes and teams in the years I’ve been here – baseball dominates the Big East, fencing produces Olympic medalists, and lacrosse has…well I still have no idea what’s going on in lacrosse, but by avoiding scandal they too have done better at a sport than Duke. But we all know the truth – the sports tradition at St. John’s begins with men’s basketball, and their success will be a catalyst for overall sports fandom here in Queens. Freshmen, enjoy the next four years of basketball, your future of wearing LOVIN’ LAVIN’! shirts, and never hearing the words “sold out.” Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go throw on some Taylor Swift and cry until the Rutgers game Wednesday, because I looked at my tuition cost again.

Jeffrey Gilbert is a senior. He can be reached at:




Think Outside...



Deo Niyizonkiza speaks at St. John’s MELISSA MCGRATH Staff Writer


2 Feb. 2011


Genocide is a crime against humanity that the international community pledged “never again” to happen, but it isn’t as simple as those two words. Several countries in Africa have fallen victim to genocide and the effects that hatred has on people. St. John’s University may not have witnessed these calamities firsthand, but on Friday, Jan. 28, students were fortunate enough to see it through the eyes of someone who has. Deogratias Niyizonkiza, who spoke to the University concerning his struggles, is the hero of Tracy Kidder’s exalted novel Strength in What Remains. Walking into the conference room in D’Angelo, Deo sat at the table in a button-up shirt and tie with a warm smile on his face. He did not look like someone who has seen some of the most horrific things that can happen to a nation, but once I comment on how inspirational his story was for me as a student, he puts his face in his hand and looks back up morosely, saying “Thank you.” TORCH: How did you transition from Burundi to New York City? Niyuzonkiza: This is a very complex question. First, when I arrived at JFK, I was not a person that was coming from a normal place and being a Catholic boy and reading the Bible and [being taught religion], I remember

back to the horrible times [of the genocide, when we were taught about] the end of world, there would be signs — killing each other, hunger, misery. So during these difficult times I thought it was the end of the world. Nothing good was going on: blood, tears, girls as young as ten being raped by monsters with guns and machetes. There was nothing beyond that that I could think of, so when I landed here, [it was like] I came from Hell to paradise, people still smiling. It was shocking. I remember the first thing I saw was a limo that I thought was a train. I was numbed, silenced for quite a while by seeing that a huge part of the world was smiling, while in another part people were being killed every second and the rest watched and did nothing. But I realized that this country had problems; the homeless. The gap that between the welloff and homeless was unbridgeable. It raised a lot of questions about human life. How can we allow these things to happen in the 21st century? TORCH: What was a source of hope that helped you escape the terrors of the past? Niyuzonkiza: I think the past never really leaves us. In fact, it’s not exactly a good thing to move on. My parents taught me that I was not poor even though I was poor. There are tragedies — there are no reason for them to happen except for lack of compassion, ignorance and the inability to think that another human being is a human being like us; there is a lack of understanding that the pain of oth-

ers is ours. This has helped me think in a positive way, that I would be able to change things. Although we have a lot of tragedies. There’s a lot of good things available that we can do. Compassion is needed a lot to change the world — it doesn’t cost anything. Hatred does, it’s painful; we get lost in it. TORCH: Why did you choose to go back to Burundi and help your people through the construction of clinics? Niyuzonkiza: There were so many diseases. I lost so many friends. It wasn’t a thought of what I was going to do tomorrow; it was if I was going to make it. I grew up being acquainted with death so much that fear was there. I knew something was wrong. We approached the community, the community donated the land and we chose a site that looked beautiful; it started with the community. We are talking about a community that has less than nothing. Its people are sick, uneducated, hungry and therefore dehumanized by misery. TORCH: What do you want the students to get out of hearing your story? Niyuzonkiza: That each one can be reminded that they have the power to change the world and the power to do good. Realize that these tragedies are manmade and that they must understand the world [to fix it]. People without shoes and watches, they are not stupid, they can teach us a lot [if only we] listen with an open mind and heart and come together to lift problems [off of each other’s] shoulders.”


Niyuzonkiza spoke at St. John’s on Jan. 28

Project HOPE reaches out to the homeless JOANNA ADDUCI Staff Writer

In an effort to reach out to the homeless population of New York City, St. John’s students gathered at the wee hours of the morning on Monday, Jan. 31st to walk the streets of Manhattan to make a difference and enhance the lives of others through genuine service. The Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) brings New Yorkers together in an effort to improve outreach programs and ensure progress in the lives of homeless people. Volunteers are divided into teams and sent to different areas of the city, including outer areas of Brooklyn and Queens. The volunteer experience is described as “the biggest service project in NYC.” The New York City Department of Homeless Services conducts this program to evaluate current programs and determine their success. Their mission, to “overcome homelessness in New York City, prevent homelessness wherever possible, and provide short-term emergency

shelter and re-housing support whenever needed,” was thoroughly tested through Project HOPE. St. John’s students gathered for this mission, for a night of providing service to the less fortunate. According to the NYC Department of Homeless Services, over 3,000 people participated in the volunteer project, spanning across five boroughs. They described volunteers as, “the eyes and ears of the City – canvassing streets, parks and other public spaces to identify individuals living unsheltered.” Through a short, yet effective orientation, students were briefed about the evening, including the active participation of students surveying the homeless. Over 150 students were eager to participate, honored to work with others toward a progressive change in Manhattan. St. John’s provided students with free coffee mugs, a surplus of pizza and fresh brewed coffee. Students were then separated into groups and boarded buses to various site locations. “It was really refreshing to see all the different types of students who dedicated time to providing for our homeless and looking out for their interest,” said student Aaron Miller. The event was organized through the

group STJ Service – which participates in various volunteer projects in an effort to represent the service values of the St. John’s community. STJ Service constantly updates their Facebook and Twitter, where students can stay up to date on events and opportunities to get involved. Miller was placed with other students in Times Square at the Times Square Hotel which was recently converted into a permanent housing site for the homeless. “Once we arrived, there were people of all color, gender and age there to help count the homeless and potentially provide them with service for the night,” he added. Students were surprised to see they rarely came in contact with homeless people, which could prove as both a positive or a negative. “It could appear negative because the low numbers could potentially create a false image of homelessness in NYC and report lower numbers of homeless than actual number,” said Miller. He then explained that it was positive because less people were sleeping on the streets, insinuating they had shelter in an indoor location. Students came in contact with the homeless throughout the evening, find-

ing they were receptive to questions, but often unwilling to accept offers of shelter. Overall, students found the night to be a step toward change and progress in the area of lessening the negative aspects of homelessness. “It was a great night. I met other people who were dedicated to their communities, I had the chance to see a different face of NYC and offer assistance to those who need it most,” said Miller. A statement was issued through the Department of Homeless Services stating, “With dangerous winter weather quickly approaching, we ask every New Yorker to dial 311 if they see a street homeless individual who may be in need of assistance,” said commissioner Diamond. “The participation of ordinary New Yorkers is vital to our street outreach program and continues to make a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness.” St. John’s students were honored to be a part of Project HOPE, a progressive and eye-opening experience to transform the lives of the homeless population of NYC. Through service and volunteer experience, students are able to come together as a community and represent St. John’s in a superior manner.


Walk like an Egyptian Students studying abroad share their experience during the protests NELL O’CONNOR Managing Editor St. John’s students were on the frontlines of history this past week when their trip to Cairo, Egypt, coincided with an uprising by the country’s people against the reigning government. A small group of students who have been studying at the University’s Rome campus planned a weekend excursion to see the Pyramids when they got caught up in the latest of several recent revolutions in the Middle East. Protesters have been demonstrating in the streets for over a week, calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and his allegedly corrupt government. Mubarak has been in power for almost 30 years and announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election. Ancy Skaria, a sophomore who was a part of the student group in Egypt, said that the students planned the trip themselves and arrived in Cairo the night of Jan. 27, two days after the protests started. The group stayed in a hostel in the city, where on the relatively calm first night they sat and spoke with the locals gathered there. “They were telling us how this has been organized for months by the lawyers in Egypt,” said Skaria. Many of the people Skaria and her fellow students encountered stated that they were tired of Mubarak’s presence and believed that he did not care about the people. The protestors told them of the corruption in the government and how the people were suffering from high rates of poverty and unemployment. On their third day in the country,

Mubarak dismissed the government and began appointing a transitional government, despite continuing protests. Skaria said that at that point, the city descended into a state of chaos. “There was no government, no police officers, no banks, all the prisons were free, all the prisoners were looting all the stores and everything,” she said. “All of a sudden everyone was panicking and all the stores were closed.” She said that the students were instructed by people in the streets to return to their hostel and remain there. Instead, she and a friend took a risk and stayed to watch some of the protesters in action. “The air was really intense because the protest of the day was brewing so you could just feel the tension,” she said. “And everyone had a weapon in their hand.” On their way home, Skaria and her friend encountered a man who got a little too close. When he tried to grab them, a group of men came from nearby and stepped to protect the two American girls. “All the men protected us because the Islamic faith teaches that women are sacred and should be cared for like that,” she said. “It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Skaria said that throughout her time in Cairo, the Egyptian people were hospitable and respectful, apologizing for what was happening and ensuring their safety. At the end of the trip, Skaria and the other St. John’s students went to the airport, where she says their American citizenship helped get them out of the country quickly and efficiently. Despite the drama of the trip, Skaria said that she and her friends came away


The streets of Cairo erupted with riots on Jan. 27 that continue to draw global attention. with a positive view of Egypt and the Egyptian people. “I know people that were completely terrified and sat in their rooms

Torch Delights!

How to make your Super Bowl party the best one around FEATURES

What You’ll Need 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls ¼ cup pizza sauce ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz) 1 egg, beaten For the meat-lovers: ½ lb bulk Italian pork sausage or ground beef ½ cup chopped green bell pepper

2 Feb. 2011

How to Make ‘Em: –Heat oven to 375°F. Grease or spray cookie sheet. – On cookie sheet, unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles; press each into 7x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Spread1tablespoon sauce on half of each rectangle to within 1 inch of edge. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over sauce; top with one-fourth of sausage mixture. Fold dough over filling; firmly press edges with fork to seal. Brush top of each with egg. With fork, prick top of each to allow steam to escape. – Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.


–Sausage Calzone: In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in bell pepper. Add to calzone as desired. –Pepperoni and Vegetable Calzone: Replace sausage with 1/2 cup diced or sliced pepperoni. Cook vegetables in oil; stir in pepperoni. Shape and bake as directed above. To reheat, wrap loosely in foil; heat at 350°F 20 to 25 minutes. For added flavor, sprinkle each calzone with Italian seasoning before baking.


These tasty calzones will help make your Super Bowl party the tastiest one on the block.

This Sunday, Americans across the country will sit down in their living rooms and partake in one of the greatest national past times: Super Bowl Sunday Snacks. Sure, there will be a football game happening, million dollar commercials premiering and the Black Eyed Peas performing, but everyone is definitely looking forward most to the food. There will be the old stand-bys to munch on, chips and salsa, pigs-in-a-blanket, vegetable crudités, chicken wings, pizza. Soda and (if you’re of age) beer and other libations will be flowing. But if you’re the one throwing the party, you may want to consider having a few appetizers that stand out and look like the took you hours, when in reality they took mere minutes. For some quick and easy appetizers, visit They have tons of cheap, practical snacks designed to taste good and save you time. Check out the “Crescents” section for some recipes utilizing everyone’s favorite dinner roll. Maybe you want to excite your guests’ taste buds with Crescent Jalapeno Poppers or Nacho Cheese Pinwheels. But one of your safest bets is the Crescent Calzones. For lovers of Italian food and crescent rolls, these melt-in-your-mouth snacks are the perfect appetizer. And, with any luck, your favorite team will win and you’ll be able to enjoy the sweet, saucey taste of success.

all day,” she said. “But I would have never traded the experience even though it was dangerous.” “It was truly amazing.”




Cali Swag District tells Inferno why they’re more than just “a group with a dance song”


Dougie Nation






whole dougie-thing to fade away.” Cali Swag knows that haters are inevitably going to hate, but the last thing they want to be seen as is a gimmick. The group was formed by former Death Row Records recording artist Big Wy in Inglewood. “Big Wy was really the guy that brought everything together he really pushed us,” recalls C-Smoove. “We were all friends throughout middle school and high school but once we got the group together, we put all of our energy into it.” As any other person who has profiled Cali Swag District would, I asked, “Where did the idea of “the Dougie” come from? According to C-Smoove, the dance actually stemmed from another dance called the C-Town Boogie which was based in Dallas. Eventually, the group “re-birthed” the dance and brought it back to the west coast, thus spawning a cultural phenomenon. “Dougie” and the Michael Jackson-sampled single “Where You Are” will both be featured on their upcoming debut effort The Kickback which is set to be released Feb. 15. “People should get ready to be shocked,” said C-Smoove. “We feel that we’re underrated by a lot of people and we feel that we have something to prove. “There’s a lot of heat on this album.” It will be interesting to see what happens with Cali Swag District. They could fall in the pantheon of one-hit-wonder hip-hop artists such as Sir Mix-A-Lot and MC Hammer or they could develop as artists and become the next big thing. They certainly have talent and personnel to do so at this stage of their game. It is simply about executing and keeping their momentum. If things don’t turn out well for the group, their name and their signature song has already been cemented in pop music as the biggest dance craze sing the “Macarena.” And rest assured, there will always be a kid who wants to be taught how to Dougie.


Kate Reed (right) is a lawyer-turned-mediator who has to deal with her District Attorney ex-husband Justin Patrick.


here are some tracks in the American songbook that people recognize instantly. These songs are considered classics, music that millions upon millions of people know and enjoy. Perhaps The Beatles’ cover of “Twist and Shout” could fall under this category. Maybe even a contemporary jam such as Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” which I’m sure even my grandmother could recognize within the first few seconds. Well, “Teach Me How to Dougie” is about to be added to that list. With its hypnotic beat and catchy chorus, the track behind the Dougie dance by the Cali Swag District has become an epidemic. From the group’s homebase in Inglewood, California to the east coast, the song has been blasted everywhere from NBA arenas and attempted by the likes of esteemed anchors such as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and ABC’s Barbara Walters alongside Justin Bieber. “It was pretty funny,” said the group’s lead member C-Smoove when asked what he thought of the video that circulated on YouTube of Walters attempting to do the Dougie. “It just goes to show how big this whole thing has gotten.” Cali Swag District is part of an ever growing contingent of new artists and groups in hip-hop that rely heavily on the chorus and the beat as the verse takes the backseat. Hip-hop purists disregard it, parents try to it ignore it and the kids love it. “The state of the game has changed a lot,” said C-Smoove. “Obviously the Internet has changed things and it’s a lot harder to get a hard copy of your album sold. But we’re trying to show everyone that we’re for real.” “Dougie” has held a spot in the Top 10 on the Billboard R&B and Rap singles charts last year, but most music skeptics wonder if the District’s swag is just a fad. “We are more than just a group with a dance song,” said C-Smoove. “We kind of want this

2 Feb. 2011



Cali Swag District is comprised of (from left to right) Jay Are, C-Smoove, Yung and MBone. They are known for creating the dance behind the hit “Teach Me How To Dougie.”


fter airing only two episodes, it’s safe to say that USA’s new hit series Fairly Legal is fairly addicting. As a former lawyer at her father’s firm, Kate Reed (Shahi) is trying to make things right as a highly sought after mediator. But with her father dead, her evil stepmother as her colleague and her ex-husband the Assistant District Attorney of San Francisco, everyone else’s problems seem more easy to solve than her own. Her Louboutins aren’t hard to notice either. “It’s like if Law & Order and Sex and the City had a baby, it would be my show,” said star Sarah Shahi in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Shahi is no stranger to the small screen after starring in shows like The ‘L’ Word and NBC’s Life, but was hesitant about making the return to television after Life was given the axe. Shahi showed up at her two-round audition for Fairly Legal in her husband’s clothing, the only pieces that would fit her after just giving birth five weeks prior. She was hired for the part after letting the producers know that she didn’t want to play a character who was spoonfed scripts, but had an actual say in the story lines. And that’s much like Reed herself. What viewers will admire most about her is her ability to stand up for what she believes in and to put in the work to get the results she wants, especially if it concerns the well-being of those who don’t deserve legal punishment. However, Shahi says that Reed is more whimsical and immature than she. Living on her father’s boat, Reed’s personality is “feisty” and “flirty.” Her idiosyncracies include a frequent dose of black and white cookies and neatly assigning those closest to her to a character from The Wizard of Oz. Viewers will find Reed all over the place, both geographically and on the emotional spectrum, which contributes to her overall charm. The only caveat about the show is the sometimes unrealistic scenarios Reed finds herself in, where she is sandwiched in between bizare situations outside the office, such as stopping a teen from holding up a local deli or two men ready to kill each other over coffee. She embodies her work in every aspect of her life. According to, the show’s premiere garnered 3.9 million viewers, falling behind MTV’s Jersey Shore, FOX’s American Idol and below the network’s averages. However, it is the first series from USA to make a winter debut. Despite her killer looks, Shahi says that the show has been reeling in more female viewers. “I feel like Kate is a character that women can relate to because of all of her faults,” Shahi said. Reed portrays a modern-day super woman of the law world that both men and women can appreciate. Fairly Legal is the type of dramedy (drama/comedy) that is hard to resist. Offering eye candy to both audiences and engaging plots, the show is undoubtedly the next big thing.





n a world of music where every artist seems to follow a road already paved, rapper Talib Kweli has always opted for the one less traveled. It has been a few years since the release of Kweli’s last project. His fifth solo studio album titled Gutter Rainbows was digitally released Jan. 25, though a CD and limited edition multicolor swirl LP will be released as well. The album title was inspired by the oil and water rainbows around the gutter neighborhoods of Brooklyn, where the rapper grew up. They served as a symbol of Kweli’s music, “finding and preserving the beautiful in the hideous, the rainbows in the gutter,” he said. It is clear in Gutter Rainbows that he attempts to steer away from any sounds or topics that embody today’s hip-hop. His sound remains raw and his lyrics unique. In the track “Self Savior” featuring Chace Infinite, Kweli says, “My authenticity virtually guarantees me a flawless victory.”

It is obvious to all listeners that he aims to stay true to his nature, but after a few tracks, the album becomes stale and almost repetitive in content. While other rappers may lack originality, Kweli does not cater to the mainstream audience with this album. Gutter Rainbows is unlike anything currently playing on the radio. Kweli’s lyrics are more socially focused and he is often looked at as one of the few social conscious rappers left in the industry. In fact, this has been a major concern for the rapper since the beginning of his career. It has been a struggle for him to remain true to his craft so that he is not labeled a “sell-out” by his fans. After over a decade of being in the rap game, Kweli has gained respect from his peers, critics and afro-centric hip hop followers. One thing he could not avoid was the mediocre sales that come with being an independent artist. In order to promote his new album, Kweli recently signed up to do a Pepsi Max’s NFL playoffs campaign. “There’s a segment of my fan base that wants to believe that I’m in some basement somewhere with a notebook, with a backpack on, writing rhymes to Eminem instrumentals or something,” said Kweli to Billboard. “I have grown man responsibilities, so of course I’m going to get paid for my craft.” Only time will tell if his independent technique will succeed, but Gutter Rainbows will surely please his established fan base and possibly pique the interest of other music fans. Songs to check out are “Cold Rain,” “Gutter Rainbows” and “After the Rain.”

albums were worth the listen. In this new EP titled The Love, she sings five amazing cover songs that are sure to put listeners in a loving mood. With covers from artists including Prince, Bob Marley and Doris Day, this EP is definitely a Valentine’s Day must. Onthesong“I WannaBeYour Lover,” a Prince cover, Rae shows her interest in classic old-school jams. It was more sensual, but captured the essence of the words. In Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” she brings a soft and gentle feel to the beloved Marley track. The songs are perfectly picked for the title of this EP. Rae does an amazing job transforming classic songs into her own. This EP should be added to any music lover’s collection.



ritish singer/songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae returns with a smooth audio treat titled The Love EP that many fans are sure to enjoy. This EP is definitely a positive turn in Rae’s music. With record hits such as “Put Your Records On” and “Like A Star,” Rae has already proven that her vocals are soft yet profound. Her first album, self-titled Corinne Bailey Rae, was very soulful and jazzy. It evoked positivity, empowerment, and inspiration. When her husband died in 2008, it had a huge effect on her second album The Sea, which was released two years later. The album seemed to be a bit darker and sadder. Although it was more about love and passion, it did so in a nostalgic way. Despite the contrast in emotional content, both

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2 Feb. 2011







Highline Ballrom February 3, 8 p.m.

Terminal 5 February 4, 8 p.m.

Madison Square Garden February 3, 8 p.m.

Webster Hall February 8, 7 p.m.





Terminal 5 February 12, 7 p.m.

Irving Plaza February 12, 8 p.m.

Radio City Music Hall February 14, 7 p.m.

Mercury Lounge February 14, 7 p.m.





Highline Ballroom February 16, 7 p.m.

Radio City Music Hall February 16, 8 p.m.

Bowery Ballroom February 18, 8:30 p.m.

Madison Square Garden

February 21, 8 p.m.

TORCHCOMICS The Adventures of Rufus James Kerigan

1-800 ARMSTRACO Johnathan Roman

Pam’s World

Keri Dodge

Michelle Alerte

2 February 2011


Knights trapped in Storm MIKE GURNIS Staff Writer With 10:21 remaining in the women’s basketball team’s 51-48 win over Rutgers, the Red Storm held a 10-point lead and seemed prime to cruise to another win.





The Scarlet Knights, however, had other ideas, going on an 11-1 run by the 7:44 mark that brought Rutgers all the way back. A few possessions later, Rutgers had tied the game. Then the Scarlet Knights’ Erica Wheeler stepped to the free throw line. After missing the first attempt, she made the second shot—but a lane violation on the play resulted in a turnover, rather than a one-point Rutgers lead. “For us to get that call, I think that was big time, and we were deserving of it, and it was the correct call,” added Barnes Arico. “No (I’ve never seen anything like that),” said head coach Kim Barnes Arico. “After being the underdog for so many years, you always feel like you’re on the short end of getting a call in a crucial minute. I just think that’s the nature of the game. The stronger team makes the big plays.” The win improves St. John’s to 16-6 overall, and 5-4 in the Big East. Rutgers, they fell to 12-9 overall, and 5-3 in the Big East.

“It was a really exciting game obviously. We turned the ball over a little bit in the second half, but I was really proud of the way that we hung together, because we could have fallen apart once they took the lead,” said Barnes Arico. “We didn’t do that, and we made the play that we had to make at the end, and I think it’s a great win for our program, and hopefully it’s a great win to get us into the NCAA Tournament.” St. John’s Sophomore Amanda Burakoski had a career-high 16 points, which led the team. Junior Da’Shena Stevens had eight points and six rebounds, and Shennika Smith had nine points and six rebounds. “I knew I had to step it up today, and once I let that first shot go I felt like a lot of confidence was rushing through my body, I kind of felt it right away,” said Burakoski. “It’s always nice to have people confiding in me and for me to have the ball, but it’s also good for my team because it makes the defenders come up on me and gives open looks and easy baskets on the inside.” Coach Barnes Arico was very pleased with Burakoski’s performance. “It seems that every time she’s in the lineup, we’re always positive (scoring more points than giving up). The reason is, because she extends the defense. Even if she’s missing, they key on her which opens things up for our inside kids,” said Barnes Arico. “She’s been doing a real good job, we try to pump her up every day, she knocks down shots. I tell her to shoot the ball. I took her out one time because she didn’t shoot the ball. She’s playing with a lot of confidence, and she did a really great job scoring for us tonight.”


Sophomore Amanda Burakowski led the Red Storm with 16 points. SPORTS

2 Feb. 2010 The TORCH


Red Storm hits Blue Devils Men’s basketball team beats Duke for the first time since 2003 BILL SAN ANTONIO Sports Editor


2 Feb. 2010


A fan attending St. John’s Jan. 30 game against No. 3 Duke at Madison Square Garden arrived at his courtside seat and took off his coat. Underneath, he wore a red t-shirt bearing the popular “Beat Duke” slogan. The Red Storm did, and in more convincing fashion than the man’s wardrobe choice.





St. John’s went on 13-4 run with 17:49 left in the first half that gave them the lead for good in its 93-78 win over the Blue Devils, the team’s first win over Duke in eight years and third this season against a ranked opponent. “I was just thanking God for the opportunity to play the No. 3 team in the country and helping us get a win to build the momentum going into the rest of our games this season,” said senior Dwight Hardy, who led the team with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting. The Red Storm (12-8, 4-5) forced 11 turnovers in the first half that led to 21 points. They also held senior Nolan Smith to just 1-of-4 shooting for the half and Duke (19-2, 6-1) to just 1-of-13 from 3-point range. “I just felt we were not ready to compete,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We had blank looks on our faces and guys weren’t talking and that’s my responsibility.” St. John’s shot 57 percent from the field and 26-of-33 from the free throw line, its 93 points the most since a three-overtime

win over DePaul last season. The Johnnies led by as many as 25 early in the second half and withstood a late Duke comeback that brought the lead down to 11 with about three minutes left to play. “Duke is a tremendous team as everyone knows, so they are going to make plays,” senior forward Justin Burrell said. “They’re going to make shots, especially when it’s coming down to the end like that. “But we stuck to our principles, got out in the passing lanes,” Burrell said. “And of course at the end of the game, when they tried to pressure a little bit, we got into our back-door cuts and made great plays off of those.” St. John’s scored 50 points in the paint, attacking Duke forwards Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly, who each had four fouls. In addition to the tandem of Burrell (eight points) and senior Justin Brownlee (20 points, nine rebounds), senior Sean Evans added a season-high 10 points off the bench in 11 minutes. “It’s been a tough year for him,” senior forward Justin Burrell said. “He’s worked extremely hard, but the ball hasn’t bounced his way a lot. So we were really excited about him coming out and playing the way he did today—he really lifted our team.” The win marked St. John’s eighth consecutive game against a ranked opponent, and entered the game losers of its last three and five of its last six. Hardy named to weekly Honor Roll Dwight Hardy earned a spot on the Big East’s weekly honor roll for the week of Jan. 24-30, marking the second time this season the senior guard has been recognized by the conference for his play. Hardy averaged 18 points,


Senior guard Dwight Hardy led the Men’s Basketball team with 26 points and was named to the weekly Big East Honor Roll. four rebounds and 1.5 assists in for the Red Storm last week, shooting 44.8 percent from the field and a 36.4 from the 3-point line. On Jan. 3, he was named Big East Player of the Week for the first time since Daryll Hill was the Co-Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 3, 2005. Brownlee gets treatment for fractured thumb

A day after helping St. John’s take down Duke, senior forward Justin Brownlee was treated for a fractured thumb. X-rays revealed a nondisplaced hairline fracture toward the end of Brownlee’s left thumb, according to an examination taken by the St. John’s medical staff. He was examined further by hand specialist Michelle Carl-

son, M.D., of the Hospital for Special Surgery, who fitted his thumb for a fiberglass splint. Brownlee was cleared for practice by the medical staff and will not miss any time, according to head coach Steve Lavin. Brownlee’s 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting against Duke marked the fourth 20-point game of his career.

Track and Field wins Metropolitan Championships RYAN GORMAN Contributing Writer The Red Storm Track and Field squad won its first title since 1989 by narrowly defeating Rutgers University 147-142 on Jan. 30 at the Metropolitan New Balance Armory in Manhattan. With a meet that was close all day, the 4x400 meter relay kept both teams glued to the track as St. John’s freshman Shayna Presley ran away with the victory to give the Red Storm the deciding points. The winning relay team of Rene Cousins, Molly Ellis, Presley and Lauren Wynter recorded a time of 3:50:60. It was a season best and also qualified them for the ECAC Championships.

By the time the meet was finished the team tallied 12 individual performances that were career-bests, six Big East and ECAC qualifiers and five first place finishes. “I’m so proud of the way we fought throughout the entire meet. We put forth gutsy efforts in every event,” said head coach Jim Hurt. “Today was the perfect example of what college championship track & field is all about.” Senior Priscilla Frederick was the main story on Friday. She competed in the pentathlon and placed first in all but one event for 3,612 points; a career high that puts her 13th in the nation and 1st in the Big East. She continued her performance Saturday with a win in the high jump, a seventh place finish in both the 60 meter hurdles and long jump and

an eighth place finish in the shot put. Her 25 points set a new career and school high, breaking her old record. Other personal bests on the day came from Chanel King 17.30 meter throw put her in first place while Angela Onve placed fourth with 15.97 meters in the weight throw. In the shot put, King came in second as Natasha Amazan came in fourth with a 12.68 meter throw. There were more bests for St. John’s from Molly Ellis with a time of 56.33 in the 400 meters, which qualified her for the ECAC Championships, and a 25.42 time for third place in the 200 meters. Kim Piard posted a season best 1:15:69 in the 500 meters to qualify for ECAC and Lauren Wynter placed fourth with a personal record 1:15:81 that also qualified her for ECAC.

All St. John’s participants in the 800 meter race recorded career best times, led by Sarah Sudbury’s fourth place 2:16:71 time. In the 1,000 meters, Michelle Duffy’s second place 2:58:40, Samantha Meyerhoff’s fourth place time of 5:13:24, Nicole Cocozza was right behind her in fifth at 5:13:31. St. Johns next competes with a split squad at Notre Dame and the New Balance Invitational this weekend.

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Leavin’ their Mark Women’s tennis beats Pitt

The St. John’s women’s tennis team improved to 1-1 on the season with a win 5-2 over Big East rival Pittsburgh in Buffalo, NY on Saturday. The doubles tandems of junior Joanna Zwirbulis and freshman Diamond Adams, Nakita Austin and Jenny Yonkis won their matches. The Red Storm then won four of its six singles matches to wrap up the victory. St. John’s next opponent is Columbia, Feb. 4 in Manhattan.

Frederick named Field Athlete of the Week TORCH PHOTO/KRISTEN FARMER

Justin Brownlee and his Red Storm teammates didn’t back down from No. 3 Duke on Jan. 30.

To beat Duke, Johnnies had to be perfect

Blowin’ in the Wind

In order to beat them today, we would have had to have shown up and be ready to compete at the level we normally compete at. As a program today, we did not show up to compete. -Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on his team’s loss to the men’s basketball team on Jan. 30

Red Storm home games

Lacrosse Feb. 12 Lafayette Rutgers

9:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Feb. 13 Georgetown

2:30 p.m.

Feb. 2

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

1:00 p.m.

Men’s Basketball: Feb. 13 Connecticut


Headin’ this Way

2 Feb. 2010

as this team can look sometimes—and recent conference losses to Louisville and Georgetown were pretty bad—they looked pretty damned good against Duke. The Red Storm’s win over Duke not only improved the team’s non-conference record, but it also had a hand in improving their NCAA Tournament hopes. Granted, the team had just come off three straight losses against ranked opponents, as well as losses in five of its last six entering Sunday’s game. The win over Duke now gives St. John’s three victories this season against ranked opponents, with about half the conference schedule left to play. “I don’t think it’s ever happened,” head coach Steve Lavin said of his team’s current stretch of eight consecutive games against ranked opponents. “I’ve had teams that have played 12 Top 25 opponents stretched out, but the odds of drawing eight consecutive, from a mathematical probability. It’s got to be one in a zillion.” St. John’s didn’t just beat Duke Sunday, they beat defending National Champion Duke. That, even more than Duke having been ranked, speaks volumes on the Red Storm’s at-large hopes. Of course Duke came unprepared Sunday—the Blue Devils expect to reach the NCAA Tournament every year. Their season starts in March. If the Red Storm reach March Madness, it would be considered, around campus, almost as highly as another national title for Duke. As the sellout crowd of 19,353 had begun to file out of the stands, one Duke fan turned back to the court and yelled, “We’ll see you come March!” With another big win under their belts, the Johnnies just might.


To get it done, they had to play perfect basketball. To beat No. 3 Duke in a raucous environment on Jan. 30, albeit on a Madison Square Garden floor they knew well, the men’s basketball team had to be absolutely perfect. That meant very few missed free throws, few offensive lulls, and an airtight defense forcing turnovers aplenty—as well as the transition offense to take advantage of empty Blue Devil possessions. At the very least, this kind of basketball out of the Red Storm should have kept them in contention with Duke throughout the game. If the Johnnies snuck away with a win, it should have come because of a very close match, pitting Duke’s game against the Storm’s very best. I don’t think anybody foresaw what actually happened—a 93-78 trouncing of the Blue Devils that was virtually over by halftime—not even Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “They have had outstanding games this season and this was one of them,” Krzyzewski said. “In order to beat them today, we would have had to have shown up and be ready to compete at the level we normally compete at. As a program today, we did not show up to compete.” The Johnnies shot 57 percent from the field, forced 11 Duke turnovers and scored 22 points in the paint, carrying a 21-point lead—their largest of the half—into halftime after controlling the flow of the game from the opening minutes. The Red Storm opened up a 25-point lead with 18:57 left in the second half, but even as Duke went on a 6-0 run a

few minutes later and brought a 24-point St. John’s lead to within 11 with three minutes to play—a deficit Duke is more than talented enough to quickly eliminate—the Johnnies put the game out of reach for good by making free throws and running the shot clock down as long as possible. The Red Storm teams of yesteryear would have sat on their 25-point lead and just tried to run the clock out, a strategy that hasn’t worked well in the past. That’s why, for the last 15 minutes of the game Sunday, St. John’s University held its collective breath. St. John’s shut down some of Duke’s younger players—with the exception of seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, and junior Miles Plumlee, the other six players to record minutes for Duke Sunday were underclassmen—but as the Blue Devils attempted a comeback, the ball was put in the hands of their seniors, the cornerstones of the school’s 2010 National Championship team. Smith had 27 points in the second half alone, hitting two 3-pointers within one minute to try and spark the comeback. Singler had 12 of his 20 points in the second half as well, and a team like Duke is never out of a game no matter how large the deficit may be. But for all the scoring done between the Duke seniors, St. John’s countered with seniors of their own. Justin Brownlee, guarded mainly by sophomore Ryan Kelly, had 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Dwight Hardy, guarded by Smith, led the Johnnies with 26. That’s what made the game perfect for St. John’s. The Johnnies stood up to Big Bad Duke not once—in the face of those intimidating black jerseys—did they back down. The Red Storm held a lead against one of the toughest opponents in the country and not only pulled out a win, but crushed their competition. As bad

Senior Priscilla Frederick was named Big East Field Athlete, the second time in 2011 she has received conference honors. Frederick led the Red Storm to a team title at the Indoor Metropolitan Championships on Jan. 29 at the Armory in Manhattan, scoring a teambest 25 points in five events. At Manhattan college day day prior, she scored 3,162 points to win the pentathalon, taking first place in the high jump, long jump, shot put and the 55-meter hurdles and placed fourth in the 800-meter race. Her point total was her personal-best and tops the Big East.




The women’s basketball team won a nailbiter against Rutgers Tuesday night.

The track and field team won the Metropolitan Championships on Jan. 29.

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