November 19, 2014

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SJU Secrets Revealed pg. 6

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Commuter Circus events pg. 3


Volleyball splits weekend matches pg. 14 TORCH ILLUSTRATION/GINA PALERMO



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


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

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PHOTO of the week

Torch photo/ANDREA HOHEB

Author Ann Pizzorusso explains the geology of Italy during her lecture in Bent Hall. Full story p. 4



Overnight sign-in policy changes as a result of SGI and Public Safety collaboration President Robert Koehler discusses new change, other long-term goals and projects Talia Tirella News Editor Part of the St. John’s overnight guest policy has changed and will go into effect Nov. 19. All St. John’s students who are overnight guests now have until 11 p.m. to sign into another St. John’s student’s dorm, according to Student Government, Inc. (SGI) President Robert Koehler. SGI has had various meetings over the past months with Public Safety in order to find a compromise over changes in the policy because of the amount of student complaints. On Monday, Koehler said that this part of the policy had been changed. According to Tom Lawrence, vice president for Public Safety, the amended overnight guest registration policy “will now permit a St. John’s student host to register another St. John’s student as a guest until 11 p.m., instead of 9 p.m. The registration policy of 9 p.m. will remain the same for St. John’s students registering non-St. John’s guests.” Lawrence said this new policy was established following a “recommendation made by the SGI Student Services Committee at the bi-monthly Public Safety Advisory Committee meeting,” a fact which Koehler confirmed. Lawrence said that after evaluating the request, both Public Safety and Student Affairs felt that the change would benefit students “without causing a safety concern,” and decided to approve the change. Working to change this policy has been one of several goals that SGI set for this semester. So far, SGI has worked with administrators to create a 24-hour study space in the Residence Success Center, located in Donovan Hall. Koehler said that SGI pushed for this space, and that President Gempesaw was eager to provide the resources needed.

Torch photo Editor/cheyanne Gonzales

SGI President Robert Koehler discussed SGI’s projects for this semester, including opening the 24-hour Residence Success Center and Red Storm Fridays.

The opening of a 24-hour study center gave SGI the idea to push for the D’Angelo Center to be open all 24 hours as well. “Hopefully, if we can pack out the Residence Success Center, we will be able to eventually get DAC [to be open] 24/7, or expand library hours,” Koehler said. Koehler said that SGI is still fighting to reinstate the Manhattan shuttle bus and is also working to improve existing shuttle services to the Staten Island campus. SGI has increased funding for RedZone, and will work together to launch their Red Storm Fridays initiative, which involves members of the University community wearing red “to class, in the office, on the bus [and] throughout New York City,” according to the Uni-

President Obama weighs in on net neutrality Shantavia Thomas Staff Writer What would college students do without the Internet? We use it to freely research for papers, read class materials and most importantly, watch Netflix during those three-hour classes. Well, we may find out sooner than we think. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been in a tango with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and public opinion over the debate of network neutrality for almost a decade. Net neutrality is the Internet we currently know, where the Internet as a whole is treated equally amongst all services and websites. Without net neutrality, ISPs are able to charge for Internet speed and certain services. The President usually doesn’t get involved with dealings of agencies, however, President Obama weighed in on the heated conversation.

On Nov. 10, he released a statement demanding the FCC be clear on what they call net neutrality and said, “It [the FCC] is best served by regulating broadband Internet services in the same way utilities are.” On one side, the activists and Internet firms favor neutrality to stay away from ISPs charging consumers for faster services. On the other side stands the broadband providers, or the cable and telecom firms, who say they should be able to charge for services that generate high volumes of traffic (which includes our beloved Netflix). There’s no telling in which direction that FCC will lean at this point. With words from the President, it’s even more difficult for the FCC to make a decision by the end of this year as they originally intended to. It doesn’t seem likely that a decision will be made before the next presidential election, so it’s possible it will be a topic of debate for the coming candidates.

versity-wide email sent last Thursday by Koehler and Ridge McKnight, chair of RedZone. The initiative began last Friday, Nov. 14, and Koehler said, “It is our hope that together we can foster a greater sense of community and school spirit each and every Friday by making Red Storm Fridays a lasting tradition.” SGI approved 13 new organizations a few weeks ago during their Power to (re)Organize process. Koehler said there were many groups who wanted to be recognized, but that it was difficult to narrow down the choices because resources, such as space, are scarce. He mentioned that Gempesaw is “very pro-student engagement” and is supportive of student organizations. SGI is also in the middle of planning the annual Winter Carnival, and is

collaborating with Haraya to plan the Spring Concert, a popular campus event. Koehler said those meetings are going in a positive direction, and SGI, Student Affairs and Haraya are all on the same track when it comes to making those plans. SGI’s projects fall in line with the three main goals they set for this year. These include empowering student organizations, focusing on the individual student and fostering a sense of community. Koehler said that the focus of SGI “fits right in” with the four priorities mentioned by Gempesaw at his investiture, which are ensuring student success, hiring and retaining the best faculty and staff, enhancing teaching and learning facilities and enhancing local and global community relations. “Improving the student success pipeline fits right in line with our goals of focusing on the individual student, and enhancing community and global partnerships fits perfectly with our building a sense of community,” Koehler said. These four priorities are the focus of Gempesaw’s Strategic Priority Work Group, which Koehler is involved in as the president of SGI. As the only student in the group, Koehler said he acts as a resource and provides the student body’s perspective and contributes ideas to the group. Students will have a voice in the process at different events in December, according to Koehler. The events will be advertised as soon as times are set. Koehler mentioned that students can always become involved with SGI, and even come in the office to sit down and talk to representatives. The office hours are posted on the front door of the office, which is located in DAC 215. Any student or organization can come in and sit down with an SGI representative or executive board member. Student Government meetings, which are open to the public, take place on alternate Monday evenings.

Commuter Appreciation Day is Nov. 20 Samantha Albanese Editor-in-Chief St. John’s is kicking off Commuter Appreciation Day on Nov. 20 with several events. The Commuter Circus will start at 8:30 a.m. with the Commuter Café event that is hosted periodically throughout each semester. The Commuter Café is sponsored by the Commuter Connection Committee and RedZone and hosts a breakfast equipped with free coffee and giveaways. Supporting cancer research, St. John’s is participating in Relay for Life starting at noon on Thursday. The event will have appearances by the Chappell Players Theatre Group and the SJU step team, Step Your Game Up. According to the University website, the keynote speaker and Director of Multicultural Affairs Ching-Wen Rosa Yen, is a nine-year cancer sur-

vivor and will share her story and inspire listeners with her story of survival. At the end of the event, the top fundraisers will be announced and awarded. Starting at 5 p.m. there will be presentations on anti-bullying research, showcasing the events that led to 13-year-old Ryan Halligan to commit suicide in 2003, which influenced the Vermont Bully Prevention bill. Ryan’s parents, John and Kelly will speak about his death in an effort to have enforced suicide prevention education enacted in public schools to “offer a deeper understanding of the devastating impact of teen suicide,” according to the University website. At 5:30 p.m., the Johnnies Club will offer more food, prizes and giveaways provided by RedZone before the women’s basketball game. The final commuter event of the day is a commuter special of DAC After Dark, where a special performance will begin at 8 p.m.


Author discusses book about Italian history with St. John’s students Ann Pizzorusso explores connection between geography and Italian culture, art OLIVIA CUNNINGHAM Managing Editor Ann Pizzorusso, the author of “Tweeting DaVinci,” delivered a lecture about her book, which focuses on the intersection of geology and Italian art to the St. John’s community on Sunday. The author spoke to an audience of around 30 about how her background in geology spurred her interest in Italian culture. “Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for love,” said the author, who has a background in geology and more recently has pursued another of her passions as a scholar of Renaissance art. Pizzorusso’s book, published at the beginning of the month, is an exploration of how geology influenced culture and specifically art in Italy throughout history. “Leonardo was always looking for answers in nature,” Pizzorusso said. The students who attended, many of whom were Italian majors, enjoyed the presentation. “It was very, very interesting,” senior Nick Gilmore said. “I didn’t know that there was so much geology in the art and culture of Italy.” Nirva Eleve, an Italian and French major, said “I loved it. She was a very good speaker.” When asked about the title, Pizzorusso explained, “He [DaVinci] was a great geologist. Most people don’t know that. He was the father of geology.” She went

Torch photo/Andrea Hoheb

Author Ann Pizzorusso discussed the connection between geography and Italian art, and the impact it had on the famous artist Leonardo DaVinci.

on to explain that DaVinci drew many facets of nature in great detail, including rocks, plants and weather formations. It is upon this basis that Pizzorusso makes perhaps the most unusual claim in her book: that the Madonna of the Rocks painting housed in London’s National Gallery was not done by DaVinci, to whom it is popularly attributed. Pizzorusso compared the painting with its twin in the Louvre, also attributed to DaVinci, and cites geological differenc-

es in the backgrounds of the paintings and inaccurate drawings of the flora as evidence that DaVinci did not paint the masterpiece. Other artists and writers were influenced by geology and Italian culture, Pizzorusso said, including Dante, Charles Dickens and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Pizzorusso said that the ancients were perhaps even more in tune with geology and the natural world than more modern

artists. “They were very aware of nature and nature’s signs,” Pizzorusso said. One example of this that the author gave is the mud baths on the island of Ischia, which were considered to be healing in ancient times. Today, scientists know that the water there is slightly radioactive, which can promote healing. “What secrets will the earth reveal to you today?” Pizzorusso asked the audience.

Self defense class teaches students techniques to keep safe Bridget Higgins Staff Writer The Lambda Pi Chi sorority held a self-defense class Monday, Nov. 10 in order to teach fellow students the tricks and tips necessary to stay safe in New York City and here on campus. Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad, better known as the Lambda Pi Chi sorority, has held this workshop for the past eight years, according to junior Yadira Flores, a Lambda Pi Chi sister. “We want to promote awareness for all women by providing a free self-defense class,” Flores said. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 52% of all rape/sexual assault victims are females younger than 25. The rates of serious violent crime for 18-21 year olds were 17 times higher than for persons age 65 or older. “Self-defense is the main key to prevent these issues,” Flores said. The sorority brought in teacher William Kinkel, a retired NYPD officer and current black belt instructor at Isshin Ryu studio. After years of working in the NYPD, he brought his experience into teaching self-defense. “The biggest thing I tell everyone is to be aware,” Kinkel said. In order to explain the importance of being aware, Kinkel showed the class several videos. The first was of a woman being brutally beaten and mugged in Crown Heights recently. The second clip was the popular video of woman being catcalled 100 times in one 10-hour period while walk-

ing through Manhattan. The last clip was of a woman being ambushed and abducted last week in Germantown, Pa. “These attacks are very common,” said Kinkel. According to him, most people have “denial syndrome,” with the mindset “[that] it’ll happen to someone else, but never to you.” This is where self-defense becomes vital when living in a large, urban environment like New York City. According to, there were approximately 1000 notable crimes documented in 2013 in the 107th precinct, where St. John’s University is located. 500 of these involved some act of violence, ranging from misdemeanor assault to murder. “You can’t prevent everything, but you don’t want to make it easy for these people,” Kinkel said. He first taught the class prevention tips, then self-defense maneuvers in case of an ambush or physical attack. “In any situation the first thing you want to do is to create distance,” Kinkel said. He taught the class how to figure out if anyone is following you, to stay a safe distance away from others, and to avoid cell phone use at all times while walking alone. Instead of carrying a cell phone to stay safe, Kinkel suggested a different approach. “Keep something in your hand that, if you are grabbed, you can use it as a weapon…I suggest keys,” he said. As comical as it may sound, it could be a serious help in a bad situation. In any physical situation, Kinkel said,

Torch photo/Bridget Higgins

Retired NYPD officer William Kinkel demonstrated self-defense techniques in a class sponsored by the Lambda Pi Chi sorority.

“Most likely, you are not going to be able to overpower your assailant.” Instead, the focus of this section of the class was on smarter maneuvers to self-preserve and get away from an attacker. Kinkel taught his students how to get

out of a basic wrist grab, a headlock and a hair-pull, to name a few. “It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen,” he said, “it just reduces the chance of it happening to you.”


Student Government, Inc. holds event to gauge student opinion, concern Meet Your Representatives event allows students to talk with SGI members, voice ideas Bridget Higgins Staff Writer Student Government, Inc. (SGI) gave students a chance to meet their elected officials and voice their issues during the Meet Your Representatives Event on Nov. 13. SGI college representatives, e-board members and class senators filled the Sodano coffeehouse in the D’Angelo Center on Thursday. This gave them the opportunity to meet some of the students they represent, and to listen to the issues and problems students may have with the campus and the University. “Sometimes we’re out of touch,” said sophomore Chiara Miuccio, organizer of the event and SGI sophomore senator. “We want to hear from the student body.” SGI plans on making a larger impact this year. This event is just the beginning of a more accessible, open student government. Senior and SGI President Robert Koehler said, “We have three main initiatives this year: focusing on the individual students, empowering organizations and building a sense of community.” The first step to achieving this initiative is to get representatives more involved, according to Koehler. Throughout the coffeehouse, representatives mingled with students. “Most people don’t even know they have representatives, let alone who they are,” said Ceciliana Sturman, freshman representa-

Torch photo/Bridget Higgins

SGI provided comment cards at their event for students to fill out and voice their opinions on various issues that may be affecting them on campus.

tive for St. John’s College. “We just want to meet them, talk to them and have a good time…and eat food.” “Free food at events will always bring people in,” senior and SGI Secretary Domenick Luongo said jokingly.

This seemed to be true, though, as the line of students waiting to get into the event stretched throughout DAC’s second floor. Students who stopped in were pleased with the event. Freshman Alex Cheung said, “I think it’s a great idea…hopefully

they’ll listen to us and actually act.” Raising the voice of the individual student was a common theme in the event. SGI representatives handed out red cards saying “What Would You Change?” with a space for students to write their answers. Danny Pirro, sophomore representative for the Tobin College of Business, handled the cards that students submitted. “Some of them are funny,” Pirro said, referring to one card that offered to change his last name. For the more serious ones, he was impressed with the sheer amount and quality of the suggestions. “People actually want to change stuff,” Pirro said. “This gives students a chance to voice what they want to change.” SGI is planning to take a serious look at these cards, and do what they can to help make progress. “We will go through and digest all of the comments and concerns. If we see a trend, the issue will be put to the top of the priority list,” Koehler said. Beyond the basic topic of meeting the representatives, SGI also promoted the Midnight Run clothing drive. “We don’t want this [clothing drive] to be a one-time thing. We want it to be a tradition,” said Luongo. The clothing drive runs from Nov. 17 through Dec. 10, with the goal of collecting 200 pairs of pants, sweatshirts, shirts and jackets. They are also looking to collect 100 pairs of shoes and 100 hats, gloves and scarves.

Office of Multicultural Affairs to celebrate Thanksgiving Amanda Umpierrez Staff Writer

The St. John’s Office of Multicultural Affairs is teaming up with on-campus organizations to create a traditional Thanksgiving dinner catered to international and resident students on Nov. 21. The event, which will be held in Marillac Cafeteria sections A and B, serves to establish a homespun environment to students who cannot go back home to celebrate the holiday. The dinner serves to bring together international and resident students who have felt alone in their transition to college, a feeling that usually reappears during the holiday season. “They go through transitions of homesickness, and that comes up again during Thanksgiving,” said Director of Multicultural Affairs Rosa Yen. “We try to make this dinner for them to know that St. John’s is a home away from home.” The dinner will consist of traditional American Thanksgiving foods, including turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and corn, but also infused with stir-fry wonton spring rolls and green tea ice cream for dessert. “We made a Thanksgiving traditional dinner for them so they can also get a taste of American culture,” said Yen. To further tackle the home-like atmosphere, family-styled dinner tables will be set up with added games to unify all students and faculty seated together.


Open mic and performances presented by different organizations including Raaz and Chinese Cultural Association will serve as entertainment, adding a mix of cultural diversity to the traditional dinner. “It’s mixing cultural differences with American tradition,” said member of Project A.I.M Onyekachi James. Project A.I.M is one of the many organizations collaborating with Multicultural Affairs to help prepare for the Thanksgiving jamboree. Along with these performances, a

student-made Wall of Thanks will be displayed to show thankful wreaths expressed by the St. John’s community. The Thanksgiving dinner will mark the ending to Diversity Week, a five-day emphasis on all cultures and religions, from celebrating varied tastes and dances to learning about institutionalized racism and police brutality. Multicultural Affairs and the organizations involved hope for students to grab a sense of community and belonging within St. John’s, and to foster a sense of support. Rosa Yen expects the

dinner to help students feeling alone acclimate to St. John’s. “The poorest people in the world,” she says while quoting Mother Theresa, “are the people who are lonely.” Other events that take place during Thanksgiving week include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade during the early morning of Nov. 27., service for St. John’s Bread & Life and the Pilgrim Pedal Thanksgiving Day Bicycle Ride, which emphasizes sports and cycling during the night of Thanksgiving.



An outlet with the power of anonymity

Students use social media to share cr ushes, secrets and problems LIVIA PAULA

Staff Writer

Imagine you are bored going through your Twitter timeline or your Facebook news feed, and you see your picture or your name pop up on a random St. John’s account. You scroll through ‘SJU Crushes’ and see your name mention. You are now someone’s “crush”, and others will see that as well. You wonder who this person is, but you won’t ever know who that admirer is, who used either of beautiful compliments or indecent comments by which to refer to you. Perhaps it was one of your friends trying to be funny, or maybe it was someone who really wants to talk to you but was just too afraid. So that person used a social media outlets to speak their mind while keeping their anonymity. Situations like this do not happen in the social media accounts that St. John’s encourages the students to follow and be active on – these are only found on those unofficial SJU accounts created and run by students for the students. These social media accounts use the university’s name to point out different aspects of St. John’s and its students in a relaxed and sociable way. From accounts that students share problems or complaints they may find around campus, to others that share anonymously post a student that they admire, there are people who see the good and the ugly side of having these many alternative accounts. Senior Paul ‘Gee’ Gordon believes that these accounts “weirdly” show school pride. “It shows that people are just thinking or talking about the school,” Gordon said. The Communications major student is highly involved with the “St. John’s Now” social media accounts. On Twitter, @StJohnsNow has over 7,200 followers. However, Gordon thinks that these unofficial accounts can be seen as good only if they are used in a positive manner. He said the accounts that share pictures and comments of students can sometimes be looked at as a form of bullying or harassment, and the fact that it’s anonymous just makes it easier for people to do so without worrying about consequences. Gordon also said that in some cases, these accounts follow that idea where “misery enjoys company.” He believes that while the official St. John’s social media pages reaches students with a positive approach, people rely on the other ones to voice their opinions about situations found on campus. “I feel like some of the accounts, such as ‘St. John’s Problems’, can raise awareness on things that are going around campus,” sophomore Stefan Chong said. Situations shared on this particular page vary from humorous, minor complaints to bigger issues. In his opinion, if students share on social media the problems they “People are curious,” the SJU Crushes administrator said. “It’s fun to guess who said what, and read things people are too

QA &


the people behind

‘SJU Secrets’


Staff Writer

There are four administrators to ‘SJU Secrets’, a Facebook/Twitter account that allows students to anonymously post secrets. The fourth administrator was unable to attend the interview. Out of respect to the four administrators, their identities will be kept private. Torch: What influenced you to start the account? Admin. 1: Well I created the page and saw that there was no account where St. John’s students could send in secrets, and I follow NYU Secrets and I saw they had a lot of good secrets and I thought that St. Johns’ should have one too. So one Saturday or Sunday I created the page. T: How did you promote the page? A1: Well I started posting on different pages, like, ‘Go follow SJU Secrets,’ then I had the other administrator post on other pages so it didn’t look like I was the only promoting it and I invited friends; and after that, every day we would get hundreds and hundreds of followers. T: Was it hard to promote the page in the beginning? Admin. 2: It was hard because it was suspicious that it was only us two [administrators] promoting the page because we were sending it to people to follow [our] page. So we had to tell a few of our close friends to spread the word so nobody would know that [we were behind the account]. If 20 people invite you to join a page then you really would not know who was the one who created the page. T: Does running the account affect your personal life or school work? A1: Sometimes we don’t have the time for it or we forget to post a secret and then people send in secrets saying that we are terrible administrators and that we do not post enough. Then I go on a spree of posting many secrets and then I take breaks. A2: It’s not that it affects our lives, we just neglect it [the account] because we have lives: we all work and have school work.

T: Is it hard keeping your identities private? A1: Some people do know who the original administrators are, but they don’t know the other two because they came on later. But the majority of our followers don’t know might find on campus, it could catch the university’s attention to fix them. Chong also mentioned “SJU Crushes”, where anyone can anonymously write who we are. about their crushes. He believes that in some cases, it can be harmful since it is easy Admin. 3: No one has ever come up to me and told me ‘I think you are the admin of for people to lie as well as create problems between others. SJU Secrets’, so it is not really hard to keep my identity private. Freshman Lauren Martinez said that she doesn’t see this as a healthy approach to compliment someone. In fact, Martinez believes that it is “degrading” to anonymously share a name or picture on a social media outlet, particularly if a crush is listed solely because of T: Are there any restrictions on secrets you won’t post? physical attracvieness, and even more so if crass language is being used to describe A1: I’ve received some weird secrets that I won’t post because they violate people’s that person. It can be very damaging to the way one may look at himself or herself. privacy. People will constantly message us and say ‘Put my secret up.’ People also send “You don’t need other people to say [if] you’re attractive or not,” Martinez said. us things to advertise and I don’t want to post those things up because that is not the purpose of the page. We don’t want to advertise. “Especially when it’s anonymous.” The SJU Crushes Facebook page administrator, who wishes to keep his or her A2: We try not to offend people. identity anonymous, thinks otherwise. The upperclassman prefers to remain anonymous because the person enjoys the followers wondering if it is a male or student running the page. According to the administrator, there was a SJU Crushes page before that was T: How much backlash do you guys get for putting up a certain secret? no longer active, so he or she decided to start the page again in the fall 2013 se- A1: We get a lot of backlash. When I first started the page the first 10 secrets were, ‘Shut the page down. This is stupid. Why are you bringing this up now?’ We get a lot mester. The administrator mentioned how he or she is always mindful of what is posted of backlash if we don’t post enough. Or we will also get backlash if we don’t post a on the page. If a comment is insulting and irrelevant, then there is absolutely no certain secret. need for that comment to be posted. A3: We get backlash if people get offended because of a post. Regardless, the audience “It can be difficult to decide what is or isn’t offensive in these politically correct is really good because they post support to the administrators. times,” the SJU Crushes administrator said. “But if it catches my eye or makes me uncomfortable, I consider more deeply how it make someone else feel.” Despite some people who see the negative aspect of the anonymous pages, it seems that the pages are popular among the student body. The SJU Facebook page T: Do you think you’ll ever reveal your identities? A2: We probably will when we graduate. has over 820 “likes” and the St. John’s Problems Twitter page has 692 followers. Why are so many people drawn to these accounts? What is so compelling about these secrets, these crushes and these complaints? “People are curious,” the SJU Crushes administrator said. “It’s fun to guess who To view the Q&A in its entirety, go to said what, and read things people are too afraid to say out loud.”

BRIAWNNA JONES Entertainment Editor Solange Knowles broke the Internet Sunday evening after pictures of her nuptials to longtime boyfriend Alan Ferguson surfaced online. The pair wed in an intimate all-white ceremony at the New Orleans Museum of Art surrounded by one hundred of their closest family and friends. Knowles, 28, instantly became a trending topic on all social media platforms as her artistic wedding portraits went viral. The photo plastered all over the web featured Solange and her bridal party all dolled up in white with Beyoncé and Mama Tina front and center standing beside the blushing bride. The newlywed star stunned throughout the day wearing numerous outfits in different shades of white. Arriving to the scene on a bicycle, Knowles rocked an off-white jumpsuit and cape

by Stephane Rolland, while now-hubby Ferguson looked dapper in a white suit and black shoes with gold tips. She later, changed into an ivory gown with an attached cape by Humberto Leon for Kenzo, and then into a second jumpsuit by Rolland. While there was no word on whether or not Mathew Knowles, father of the bride attended the wedding ceremony, it did not seem to put a damper on the wedding reception as Solo axed the father-daughter dance for a cute mother-son dance. The now-Mrs. Ferguson danced her heart out as she and 10-yearold son Juelz’s Nae Nae’d to Rae Sremmurd’s “No Flex Zone.” In the cute video floating around online, the two are flashing the pearly whites in their all-white ensembles. Although the night ended somewhat tragically as newlywed Knowles was photographed rushing into a SUV with her new husband, Bey, Jay, Blue and Juelz after breaking out in hives toward the end of her reception. Despite the incident, Knowles took

to Instagram sharing intimate pictures from her magical night. In a picture of the two lovebirds embracing each other on the dance floor she captioned it, “Yesterday, I had the best day of my life and ended it with an abundance of peace, love over flowing through me like never before. Words only understate the feelings I experienced, but I want to thank you for all of your beautiful sentiments. I’m now one with the one.”

Over the weekend, social media users were outraged as they blasted Lifetime network for their television movie Aaliyah:Princess of R&B. Meanwhile, the small-screen film paid tribute to the 22-year-old rising icon, who died unexpectedly in a plane crash returning from a video shoot in the Bahamas. The film executive produced by television host Wendy Williams received major backlash with fans lashing out at Williams and Lifetime for the casting that many felt was done poorly.


The role of Aaliyah was protrayed by young actress, Alexandra Shipp, who took to Instragram to defend herself against critics who claimed she did not do the role justice. She posted, “When watching my film tonight, know that I am human,” Shipp said. “Know that your words and your opinions are your own and that you may think you know, but until we speak face 2 face, you’ll never truly know who I am. That’s ok. I can’t wait to meet each and every one of my fans one day. Because I’m a fan of them too! I work hard, I put all my effort into whatever I do. At the end of the day I’m just a normal girl who got the opportunity of a lifetime and wouldn’t let that go for anything or anyone.” While Aaliyah’s family who were against the film from the start and refused to give the network rights to the music, the “One and a Millions” close friend and producer Timabaland took to social media sites blasting Williams and those involved retweeting memes insulting the movies bad casting choices.

Australian indie artist Kimbra rocks out NYC concert JON MANARANG Staff Writer Australian indie-pop songstress Kimbra brought her highly eclectic catalogue to a show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday, Nov. 3. Sponsored by footwear brand Steve Madden, a considerable turn-out was drawn. Tickets sold out within minutes of being available on Ticketmaster. The show was supported by her opening act, electronica vocalist Empress Of, a local trio from the borough whose use of sampling, bass and drum sections and vocal style is comparable to that of Grimes and FKA

Twigs. Following the success of her 2009 album “Vows,” as well as her Grammy-winning contribution to Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” the singer released and is touring in support of her new album “The Golden Echo.” After her “Golden Electric Tour” of Australia with Janelle Monae was cancelled due to Monae’s illness, Kimbra embarked on her second solo U.S. tour. On this tour, Kimbra brought musicians Timon Martin on guitar and Stevie McQuinn, from her “Vows” tours, as well as new rhythm section Taylor Graves and Frank Abraham for her backup band.

Bringing her full energy into the first of three NYC shows, Kimbra took the stage in a large white and gold tinsel cover-up and some daunting heels. Opening with “Teen Heat,” the first track off “Golden Echo,” she whisked the layer away to reveal a large, reflective golden dress. The set list ranged from older hits like “Settle Down” and “Cameo Lover” to deep cuts from her newest record like “Goldmine” and “Rescue Him.” In addition to her vocal styling, Kimbra made use of a sampler and tambourine to add a live element to her presence. After the main set ended with the soulful groove of “Miracle,” the band left the stage, only for

Kimbra to re-emerge with Graves to perform the piano ballad “As You Are.” The intimacy of the venue did not work in their favor, as rowdy crowd members were clearly heard from the back of the house. The encore set ended with a bang rather than a whimper when she brought out the rest of her band to play her 2009 hit “Come Into My Head.” With two albums under her belt now, Kimbra proves that she can hold her own as a live performer. No longer constrained by her collaborations, Kimbra has finally developed her live act, not only as a show, but into an experience.

Kim Kardashian spread creates conversation JASMINE HARRIS Staff Writer Paper Magazine released their December cover of Kim Kardashian. It instantly became the number one talking point and the launching pad for hundreds of memes. The cover features Kim holding a bottle of champagne bursting in an arc landing right into a glass that’s balanced on her butt. The other pictures in the spread are of her taking off her dress, including one of her butt and a full-frontal shot. Paper brought in the French photographer Jean-Paul Goude, to recreate a photo he took in 1976 with Kim as the model. All of the photos have elicited a wide variety and abundance of responses. On the magazine’s side, they have enjoyed an increase in followers on all of their social media sites, and it seems they will have a very high circulation rate for this issue. Though the goal may have been to #Breaktheinternet, the magazine has definitely achieved the goal of establishing their presence on the Internet. As far as celebrity opinions go, the most notable is Naya Rivera’s comment “I normally don’t. But … you’re someone’s mother...” when Kim Instagrammed the exclusive cover with the shot of her revealing her posterior. The common response to Naya from various commenters is that being a mother doesn’t mean you’re not a person anymore and they don’t have to give up who they are. Other fans slammed Rivera saying she was simply a copycat of Kim. On Nov. 13, Rivera posted a picture of her moving her hand to cover her mouth, an action of regret, with the caption #Instagramgotmeintrouble. Others believe the issues are much deeper than the Kardashian simply being nude. Many sites have said that the


cover is a display of how black women are treated in the media. Instead of focusing on Kim, they bring the attention to revisiting Jean-Paul Goude’s photography. When revisiting the champagne picture’s inspiration, the picture of a nude, black woman in the same position as Kim, many have connected it to Saartjie Baartman. Baartman was KhoiKhoi woman who was part of a freak show where her body was on display for everyone to see. Many went to see her because of her large rear-end, making her quite famous in the 19th century. She has been brought into this conversation because something so similar being used for entertainment may be a glorification racism, oppression and misogyny that has been associated with the freak show. The original photo comes from Goude’s book entitled “Jungle Fever.” Many of Goude’s previous photos include his then-girlfriend Grace Jones including one where she is in a cage bearing her teeth. As Blue Telusma puts it in her opinion piece for the Grio: “Back in 1982 (before shows like Law & Order: SVU taught folks how to identify the subtleties of abuse), when this book came out, many were dazzled by his pictures of Grace Jones and, since she and Goude were lovers, assumed that when he took shots of her in a cage, on all fours bearing her teeth like a caged animal – it was ok. Because lovers don’t ever disrespect each other right?” Kim has not commented on any of the opinions that have been made. Drew Elliot, Paper Magazine’s Chief Creative Officer told Adweek that Kim was familiar with Goude’s work and very excited to work with him for the first time. Whatever the goal may have been, the cover has launched discussion of maternity, female nudity, abuse and representation of minorities.

Kim Kardashian graced the cover the of Paper magazine, but its the photos inside that have the Internet exploding,

Tova Shimunov, Sophomore

Taylor David, Junior

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous because first off, she’s someone mother. Secondly, its completely photoshopped, and third, it gives attention/fame in a negative aspect and light. Especially towards women.”

“She could have “broken the Internet” in a much classier way.”



Kelan McTang, Junior

Seyi Omonira, Senior

“Kim let herself go. This is a bit ridiculous. No one regardless of their physical appearance should be doing anything like this.”

“It is just another publicity stunt to get her name trending, it wasn’t that interesting to me “



Xavier Quarterman, Junior


“I think it was rather tasteless on her part to pose that way. She has a child and a husband that will be impacted by those provocative pictures. She also exploited minority women as a whole, replicating an image used to degrade black women. She needs to reecaluate her life if thats all she has time to do.”

Shanice Perry, Senior “I thought she looked great!”



Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes sparks stereotypes debate BRIONNA JENKINS Staff Writer 15 years ago, California made the first state to create a domestic partnership statute and fast-forwarding to 2014, more than half of the U.S. now honors same sex marriages as well. Such a significant shift in the rights for a particular group of people may very well lead some to think that the country has entered the realm of change. Somehow, despite the growth that has been made, the widely held ideas of certain groups of people continue to manifest in the minds of some.When asked what comes to mind when she hears the word, ‘stereotypes,’ 21-year-old Sharifa Case remarked, “generalizations.” The grouping and generalization of certain people based on preconceived notions is by definition a stereotype; however, the definition itself may not accurately represent the significant daily affects it has on the lives of some. “I believe it’s a label, or something that stigmatizes people that are expected to do a certain thing,” says senior St. John’s University student Antoinette Stewart, 22. Stewart wears her hair in what she likes to call her ‘natural crazy state’ and feels that she is often stereotyped for that. On the other hand, Andrew Sinclair, 22-year-old Baruch College graduate student isn’t sure that he cares so much about stereotypes at all. “When I hear stereotypes, I think black people and fried chicken,” says Sinclair. “It’s mostly


ignorance and people’s shortcut ways to identify people.” Each of the student’s opinions on the maintenance of stereotypes all balled down to one word: ignorance. The era that we currently live in is easily remarked as the information age with knowledge at our fingertips, so the question becomes whether or not lack of knowledge can become a valid reason for pre-judging individuals. “It’s a bit more understandable when it’s done out of ignorance, but people are going to choose to

be ignorant whether you like it or not,” commented Case. Whether it is a common stereotype about African Americans, Hispanics or any other race or nationality, there is that one prominent misconception about the group that does not hold true to every individual involved. In recent news, primetime producer and powerhouse Shonda Rhimes was ridiculed and referred to as “an angry black woman” by New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley. US Weekly reports

that Stanley wrote “when Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’” Stanley then argued that “Grey’s Anatomy” character Dr. Miranda Bailey and “Scandal” character Olivia Pope “get angry,” stating that the producer “has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the ‘Angry Black Woman.’” Rhimes took to her Twitter account to comment on the widely declared insensitive critique given by the New York Times writer. If given the choice, this is the exact stereotype that both Ms. Case and Ms. Stewart would abolish. “It’s a misunderstanding. We, as in black women, are not able to show our true emotions without getting that card thrown at us, without being angry or without people even doing the research as to why we feel the way we do. It’s really unfair because we don’t ever get the chance to express ourselves the way we need to,” says Stewart. Although we’ve come so far as a society in many ways, we still have not overcome the habit of pre-judging and boxing in individuals based on what we see on the outside. When asked why society still chooses to stereotype despite the many successful attempts to prove the notions inaccurate, Antoinette blamed it on self-motives saying, “it’s comfortable for them. They find a certain comfort being able to point out what someone is and if someone is different from them, [pointing out] what they are. It makes them feel better about who they are or what they have.”

C i t i B ike s bro u ght to Lo n g Is lan d City CHANEL D’EPAGNIER Contributing Writer Citi Bikes have been a common way for New York residents and tourists to travel around the city. They have recently announced their expansion to various neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens beginning in 2015. The Citi Bike system has thousands of stations for bike users, available every day of the year at any hour. The system is operated by a touchscreen and the biker must be at least sixteen years old. The bike system will develop over 700 bike stations-an increase from the 330 stations that are now available. This involves the addition of 6,000 bicycles, amounting to about 12,000 bikes. Along with the addition of thousands of bikes, representatives from Citi Bike have also announced that the prices for the

annual memberships will rise. The current price a year-long membership is $95, but it will increase to $149. “Since there are no benefits for me, the price increase is an extreme inconvenience,” Citi Bike user, Hunter McCauley said of the uprising price of the annual membership. The bike users have been unsatisfied with the availability of bikes at the docking stations as well as with some glitches with the system. The owner of Citi Bike, Alta Bicycle Share, promises to combat these issues by repairing the stations and service the bikes. “Yes, I would be more likely to use the bikes if they were more accessible,” said Long Island resident, Brad Bieselin. To combat this issue, Citi Bike’s touchscreens have an application that allows users to search nearby stations in order to return or take a bicycle.


The addition of the docking stations to Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island City appears to be a positive aspect to the cities. It has

the potential to bring in revenue to the city and benefit the community as a whole.

Opinion Staff Editorial Editorial board XCII


Illustrator’s CORNER


FLAMES OF THE TORCH Around this time of year, most students (Torch editors included!) are counting down the days until Thanksgiving break and finals week. Although, while we rejoice over those lazy days without classes or on-campus jobs, this is also a good time of year to remember those less fortunate and help to embody the Vincentian portion of the St. John’s mission by serving the poor and those in need. A great place to start serving is through St. John’s. Consider visiting to learn more about service opportunities, which include midnight runs to distribute food and supplies to those experiencing homelessness nearly every day of the week and the St. John’s-run Bread and Life soup kitchen. For any students who want to celebrate Thanksgiving with their St. John’s family, there will be a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Multicultural Affairs on Friday Nov. 21. In addition to Thanksgiving staples, a variety of multicultural foods will be served. For more details, read the full story on page 5. Thanksgiving dinner, which is arguably one of the best dining-hall meals of the year, is also offered in Montgoris Dining Hall. Meanwhile, Student Government has begun a new tradition of “Red Storm Fridays.” Students are encouraged to wear red gear

to class and around campus each Friday. “It is our hope that together we can foster a greater sense of community and school spirit each and every Friday,” read an email announcement sent to the entire student body. As we urged in last week’s editorial, it’s time for Johnnies to embrace school spirit and foster traditions that we can pass down, such as the singing of the alma mater at formal University events. For students who would like to provide feedback to the recently-invested University President Dr. Gempesaw and his Strategic Priorities Working Group, there are four upcoming listening sessions, open to the public, including two on the Queens campus on Thursday. Anyone can also complete the online form, available at the link below, and their feedback and suggestions will be discussed by the working group. spwg-feedback

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“Wrong way down a one way.”

Youth voters aren’t voting

ANNA KULESA Contributing Writer

Last week’s midterm elections were important in determining what direction the country will be going in the next two years. The Republicans won the majority of the Senate, which was previously held by the Democrats. The Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which will make President Obama’s last two years in office increasingly difficult. What is more surprising than the Republicans winning the majority of the Senate is the voter turnout for the midterm elections. According to, the voter turnout was the lowest it has been in the midterm elections for 72 years, when the U.S. was still fighting World War II. Out of eligible voters, only 36.4% voted, whereas in 2010, 40% of eligible voters voted, according to Time. Only 13% of young voters, ages 18-29, turned out for the midterm election. According to CBS, there were about 14 million less voters from the 2012 election, where 19% of young voters voted. When St. John’s University students were asked if they were voting, an overwhelming majority said no. The real question was why they were not voting, even though they are given the right to at age 18 in the 26th amendment to the Constitution. “I wanted to be more educated and did not

have time to educate myself” said sophomore Sarah Murphy. Another student claimed something similar. “My absentee ballot did not come in time” said freshman Anthony Cipriano. “I was preoccupied with my own stuff. I’m not interested in politics because it does not affect me that much.” The majority of young voters were uninterested in the election, according to a Harvard Institute of Politics Poll ( Many young voters might not know how or where to vote, especially when they are away at college. For out of state students it is more difficult to vote, because they need to request an absentee ballot several weeks before the election in order to vote. Young voters also may feel that they are not educated enough to know how the United States government works.Many young people believe they have no involvement or influence on society and so do not vote. Younger voters typically do not own property or have children, so they are not interested in where their tax money is going, according to The most common reason is that they are simply not interested in voting. The negative campaigns and the corruption of politics turn off the youth voters. In their minds, nobody is even worth voting for. They believe politicians do not have their best interest in mind. Perhaps politicians should keep this in mind during the next election, when they are fighting for the youth vote.

Why writing is the best stress reliever KAYLEE KOSAKOWSKI Contributing Writer When college students think of writing, their minds travel to the seemingly irrelevant essays they have completed in the past, or are dreading to complete in the future. The memories of long nights in front of the computer screen, the strained feeling of their eyes as they fight to stay open, the indisputable unhealthy dependency on caffeine flood into their thoughts and then they may remember why they ‘hate’ writing. For students who do not have the slightest interest in English, composing a multi-page paper interpreting the thoughts of an author who wrote a book decades, maybe even centuries, ago is not appealing by any means. But by taking a step back from looking at writing in the context of the classroom, its benefits are endless. Writing is a great way to relieve stress. For college students, the feeling of being overwhelmed is nothing new. In fact, being relaxed might be an unfamiliar sensation. An important skill as a student is finding how to best cope with stress. Some students may already have it figured out—maybe they will take a jog on the treadmill, maybe they will indulge themselves in some chocolate, maybe they will listen to some music. However, for those students who have not found their perfect escape, let me suggest writing. Whether it is making a list of things that need to be done or journaling about how the day went, the benefits are undeniable. Taking the thoughts that clutter your brain and putting them down onto paper lifts a weight off of your shoulders. Most students have heard the “get involved” speech plenty of times as they transitioned from high school to college and even more importantly,

many students have taken said advice. With schedules packed from morning to night, it can be easy to forget smaller tasks as the day progresses. Making a list and checking jobs off is one incredibly simple form of writing that is much more rewarding than it sounds. Also, a personal journal is as judgment-free as stress relief can be. If there is a social situation that plagues your mind, write it down. Recording thoughts on paper not only helps to put certain stress-inducing scenarios in perspective, it may even spark a creative fire within. Weaving stories and poems together, using inspiration from events that happen in life, allows your mind a priceless outlet. Even more interesting is that researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand have found that expressive writing can help physical wounds heal quicker. And of course, as college students, few things are treasured more than sleep. This ever-elusive necessity can make or break a new day, so why not get the best out of what few hours are spent sleeping? Studies conducted from numerous psychologists have proven that logging in a “gratitude journal” for 15 minutes prior to sleeping will result in a more restful night. While it may sound cheesy, falling asleep thinking about the great things in life makes for a happier sleep. If the thought of giving up 15 minutes daily is unimaginable, another study conducted by Robert A. Emmons (University of California, Davis) and Michel E. McCullough (University of Miami) shows that recording just one statement of gratitude once a week can have long term effects—a more optimistic and happier mindset. When you write for yourself, there are no expectations and no rules—and let’s be honest, isn’t that the freedom that most college students are searching for?

Would you want to be ‘Alex From Target’? The pros and cons of your picture going viral


tunities for young adults. But being in the public eye also gives individuals the idea that they are able to violate and bully both you and your family in ways that would otherwise be unacceptable. Two weeks ago, being a cashier at Target was all that 16-year-old Alex Lee Some people have even gone as far as to send Lee death threats. These threats was. Now, he is has been googled more have become so regular that Lee’s partimes than Justin Bieber. ents have been in contact with the local Lee was thrust into the spotlight when a customer tweeted out a picture of police in order to assure the safety of their entire family. him bagging her groceries. The picture It is undeniable that being “famous” was taken because of his looks and was sounds fun and exciting but would you tweeted out on the customers twitter feel that way if you had no choice in the account. From that moment on, Lee’s picture could be found on multiple social matter? Would you be willing to give media sites. He gained over 700,000 fol- up your privacy for your 15 minutes lowers on twitter overnight. But, becom- of fame? There is really no way to tell ing “internet famous”as had its downfalls how someone would truly react in this situation until it is thrust upon them. for Lee. According to an interview that Whether you believe that you would he did with the New York Times, Lee is “afraid to leave his house” because of the revel in it or not, taking someone’s picamounts of death threats both he and his ture or video without their knowledge and posting it on your social media family have received. Also people have leaked his family’s personal information site is an invasion of privacy and you never know what will happen once you including their social security numbers hit that “tweet” or “post” button. The and phone records. After watching Alex Lee’s quick rise young girl that posted Lee’s picture to fame and the aftermath, it triggers the probably did not think that it would evolve into what it has. question of whether or not you would want your photo or video to go viral. Having your face plastered on every social media site has advantages. It opens up many opportunities, for Lee these included being a guest on Ellen and being offered numerous advertising deals. This type of exposure could PHOTO/ELLENTV.COM open many career and financial oppor-

The arts: they’re what keep us alive SUZANNE CIECHALSKI Staff Writer

constantly growing and in need of professionals, many people automatically assume that these are the best routes to take for their future. Many people Britain’s Education Secretary Nicky choose these careers for money, not for passion. That is not to say that students Morgan recently infuriated students are not passionate about fields relating around the world after making stateto STEM, because many are. But many ments that degraded studying the arts. According to the Independent, Mor- are just as passionate about the arts and gan spoke at the “Your Life” campaign, humanities. Adults use these prosperous fields to scare students out of pursuing which aims to increase the number of their passions in the arts, but the reality students studying math and physics by is that our society needs the arts as 50 percent in the next three years. At this campaign, Morgan stated, “If much as we need STEM. The humanities are where some of you wanted to do something, or even if you didn’t know what you wanted to do, the rawest forms of human expression then the arts and humanities were what happen. Not only that, but they are enriching and educational. As more and you chose because they were useful more emphasis is placed upon STEM for all kinds of jobs. Of course, we know now that couldn’t be further from programs, less and less people understand the value of the arts, especially the truth – that the subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock young people. The arts help people to develop. the door to all sorts of careers are the Without writers, there would be no STEM subjects.” books, or plays. Without the visual arts, STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. Mor- there would be no dancing or acting. There would be a lack of importance gan also insinuated that studying the placed on history, religion, philosophy arts holds people back, whereas math and sciences open up options. While the and language. All of these forms of art latter is true, that does not mean that the contribute to the formation of people’s true selves. It is through the arts and arts necessarily limit someone. humanities – writing, painting, dancing, The lack of value currently being philosophy, etc. – that many people find placed on the arts is ultimately frightthemselves and realize their values. ening. President Barack Obama has STEM programs are equally as imalso placed a large emphasis on STEM programs in the United States. Accord- portant as the arts as they help society advance in the fields of medicine, mathing to the White House’s official site, ematics and technology. STEM keeps it is his belief that improving STEM our society moving forward just as art programs is “going to make more of a does. difference in determining how well we The two have something in comdo as a country than just about anything mon; they keep us alive – mentally, else that we do here.” physically and emotionally. They are According to the U.S. Departequally important in the development of ment of Commerce, the gap of growth between STEM-related jobs and others our society. is about seven percent, with STEM programs growing at 17% and others growing at around 9.8%. Because all areas of STEM are

Sexual assault in the workplace

Yale medical school suspends doctor of his service ABHISHEK JOSHI Staff Writer On Nov. 14, the New York Times reported that the Yale School of Medicine had suspended Dr. Michael Simons of his services as he was accused of sexually harassing a postdoctoral researcher in 2013. He was suspended for 18 months from his position of University Chief of Cardiology. As a student of a university with high Catholic beliefs, I believe that cases like these not only generate fear, but also fury and rage along with the question of safety. Harassment is a serious issue and if something like that can happen in an educational institute, then there is no question of its impacts on the outside world. We live in an environment where men and women of all different backgrounds come and work together, many times in tandem. Reports were that Dr. Simons had apparently been pressuring other researchers into making comments that would support him and probably save his career from jeopardy. It is said that in the month of February in 2010, Dr. Simons, who is a married man, began making advances on researcher Anita Di Lorenzo and he did so through a letter. He continued to do so even after consecutive denials by Lorenzo. Lorenzo, a married woman herself, left the university in the year of


2011. This is not only outrageous but also shameful that Lorenzo, who was well-settled in her field, had to leave her research in the midst of it since she did not feel safe. It happens many times that I have to work in groups and quite a few times, the peer whom I am working with is a female. So the first thing that comes to my mind is to make her feel safe and comfortable. In the end, we have come together to work. This case shows the concept of need for safety in the workplace. Even if Dr. Simons was really attracted to Lorenzo, it was unethical and unacceptable to think of having a relationship like what he desired in a work place and especially at an educational institute. I agree the steps that the university’s authorities have taken are correct and appropriate. My question however is, “Why was there a delay?” Anyone who can go beyond appropriate behavior to an extent of sexually harassing someone should be treated with a fairly straightforward and unbiased treatment. Five years is a long time, but in the end, what matters is how fair the decision was.



St. John’s defense overwhelming in opening win over NJIT BRANDON MAUK Staff Writer

St. John’s overcame foul and shooting troubles thanks to a dominating effort on defense to down The New Jersey Institute of Technology, 77-58, in their season opener at Carnesecca Arena on Friday. Donned in navy blue, the Red Storm held the Highlanders to 17 field goals in 60 tries and they drove to the basket with ease all game. They led for over 39 minutes. They won handily despite 23 fouls committed and poor outside shooting. “Overall I was pleased with our defense, but there are a number of areas that we need to improve on,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “I wasn’t pleased with the end of the first half or our end of game execution, but I thought the overall defensive effort was solid.” Lavin stressed the importance of avoiding foul trouble and wanted to have the team have an aggressive but focused effort on defense. “Pressure with purpose, purposeful pressure,” said Lavin. “We want to be disciplined but we also want to be organized and disciplined with our defense. These players at this point of their careers are capable of doing both.” Rysheed Jordan led all scorers with 18 and Chris Obekpa accumulated his first career double-double with 13 points (career high), 13 rebounds and four blocks. Lavin has regularly praised Obekpa’s

improvement, particularly on the offensive end, and it showed on Friday. “I focus on my whole game,” said Obekpa, “I pick up everything.” The Red Storm was able to overcome their foul trouble also due to a strong bench led by Jamal Branch, who scored 11 points. The bench overall provided 17 points. “We’ve got a really good group of guys that can score and do everything,” said Branch. “It was good for us.” “If there is a positive in all the foul trouble, those are opportunities for our reserves to show they deserve more playing time,” said Lavin. Two other Johnnies also scored in the double-figures. Sir’Dominic Pointer also had a double-double as he scored 13 points and 10 rebounds. D’Angelo Harrison scored 10 and picked up seven rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers in just 20 minutes. With his performance, he moved up to the ninth all-time in St. John’s history with 1611 points. “Coach keeps stressing sharing the ball,” Harrison said. “We’ve done a good job with that as you’ve seen tonight. It’ll probably be like this rest of the season because everybody picked up their game.” The offense mainly focused on driving inside and slicing, as they scored 38 points in the paint. This managed to offset poor outside shooting, as they hit

just two of 16 attempts from three-point range. “Because we had different combinations of players on the floor, I think that affects your rhythm and flow,” said Lavin. “I don’t think that the shooting tonight is an indication of anything than the disjointed play, the lack of rhythm, our flow.”

and we won the game. So that’s all that matters.”

“Overall I was pleased with our defense, but there are a number of areas that we need to improve on. I wasn’t pleased with the end of the first half or our end of game execution, but I thought the overall defensive effort was solid.”

-Steve Lavin-

Despite a 39-point outburst in the second half from NJIT, they could not close the deficit to any less than 12. “At the end of the game, we won by 19 points,” said Harrison. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted to in the second half, but we still got a 19-point lead


Chris Obekpa’s career night was the key to the Johnnies win over NJIT.

Offense carries Red Storm over Franklin Pierce D’Angelo Harrison leads scoring with 31 points, career-high 17 rebounds

WILSON SY Staff Writer

The St. John’s men’s basketball team starts the season 2-0 by defeating the Franklin Pierce Ravens 9481 in an NIT season tip-off opening round game in Carnesecca Arena. After a slow in the first half down by as many as 10 points, the Red Storm took control of the second half and never looked back. D’Angelo Harrison led the Johnnies with a game-high 31 points along with a career-best 17 rebounds. Sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan finished with 19 points and snatched eight rebounds, while Phil Greene IV netted 18 points in the Red Storm victory. Chris Obekpa and Christian Jones each chipped in eight points. Franklin Pierce started the game firing on all cylinders when #23 senior forward Ryen Vilmont knocked down 5-of-6 from three and scoring 21 points in the first half. The Johnnies would find themselves trailing 50-43 at halftime, while the Ravens shot 54.5%. “Once you allow someone to come in on your home court and established

some confidence and a belief that they can win, then you find yourself in a dogfight which is what we had tonight,” said head coach Steven Lavin. “We were disappointed with our first half performance defensively. We made adjustments in the second half and as a result we pulled away for a win.” Coming out of the gates in the second half, the storm certainly erupted for the Johnnies after scoring nine quick points to take a 52-50 lead in the first 2:14 of action. During the first seven minutes, head coach Steve Lavin stuck with the starting five of Harrison, Jordan, Obekpa, Pointer and Greene IV which led to great results during the spurt. The Red Storm continued to build up the momentum led by Harrison who knocked down two three-pointers and Greene IV scoring two lay-ups to start the half with an incredible 21-0 run in taking a commanding 64-50 lead. St. John’s would go up as many as 16 points while shooting 16-of-31 from the field in the second half. Defensively, the Johnnies guarded the ball extremely well coming out of the locker room after halftime by not allowing a field-goal for the first

9:52 and forcing six turnovers in the first five and a half minutes. St. John’s held the hot-handed Vilmont without a field-goal until the 3:13 mark when the game was already out of reach. Franklin Pierce was also held to just shooting nine of 27 (33.3%) in the final 20 minutes of action. Going forward on preparing for the next game, coach Lavin responded, “It’s a balance of doing enough prepa-

ration, but also wanting to be fresh. We have some kids playing heavy minutes and purposeful preparation is probably the best way to describe what we will do.” The NIT Season tip-off will resume on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. when the Red Storm will look to make it 3-0 while hosting LIU Brooklyn back in Carnesecca Arena.


D’Angelo Harrison’s 31 points and 17 rebounds led the Red Storm to the win Monday.


Grant’s career night leads St. John’s past Yale

Red Storm return home for opener at Carnesecca versus Florida NICHOLAS HUGHES Staff Writer

Saturday afternoon’s game against Yale featured a heavy dose of points from the dynamic backcourt duo of Danaejah Grant and Aliyyah Handford, as the Red Storm picked up an opening day win on the road. The Red Storm won the game by a score of 61-50 with Grant and Handford scoring 79% of the team’s points. Danaejah Grant scored a game and career-high 30 points on 14 of 26 shooting from the field. This incredible scoring output surpassed her previous career high of 22 points. She rounded out her stat line by grabbing 4 rebounds, dishing 4 assists, blocking a shot and tallying a steal. The contributions from Aliyyah Handford were also a huge boost for the Johnnies, as she scored 18 points on 7 of 16 shooting. Handford added to her stellar opening day performance with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a game-high 3 steals. The other starters for the Red Storm in this game were Aaliyah Lewis, Jade Walker and Amber Thompson. They scored 4, 4 and 3 points, respectively. The real contributions from Walker and Thompson were on the rebounding front

as they combined for 21 of the team’s 47 boards. Saturday’s game started off with an eight to four run for the Yale Bulldogs. Their strength early on in the contest came from beyond the three-point arc as Katie Werner and Meghan McIntyre knocked down a pair of long balls. Heading into the close of the first half of play on Saturday, the Johnnies led the Bulldogs by a score of 31-21. All of St. John’s scoring up to that point had come via the backcourt. Grant, Handford and Lewis had 16, 11 and four respectively to help the team jump out to the 10-point advantage. Coming out of the break it quickly became apparent that we’d be in for more of the same as Danaejah Grant dropped the Red Storm’s first six points to tie her previous collegiate career-high. Yale refused to stay down for long as they chipped away at the St. John’s lead over the course of a 16 to six run. At one point they had managed to trim the lead to a single point with just seven minutes remaining in the game. A strong defensive push managed to quell the Yale scoring run, and pushed the Johnnies on to victory in the final minutes. Coach Joe Tartamella emphasized the importance of this win for the team, especially away from Carnesecca, “Road wins are always important, especially as

we prepare for conference play.” The next game for the Red Storm will

be the home opener. They’ll go up against the Florida Gators on Thursday, Nov. 20


Danaejah Grant shooting around before an intrasquad game during Tip-Off. .

Cross country finishes 31st at NCAA Northeast Regionals Johnnies looking forward to the ECAC Championships SAMUEL DIEUDONNE Staff Writer

Aided by a pair of career-best efforts by freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle and junior Stephanie Van Pelt, the Red Storm cross country team finished 31st out of 40 teams at Friday’s NCAA Northeast Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. As a team, St. John’s totaled 851 points and improved by two slots from their 2012 finish. The NCAA Northeast Regional was one of nine regional meets taking place around the country on Friday, determining which teams and individuals will compete at the 2014 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 22. On the women’s side, Iona College and Providence went 1-2 in the Northeast Regional team race to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship. Furthermore, 13 at-large bids will formulate the field of 31 in Terre Haute. Freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle set the pace for St. John’s by finishing 83rd out of 273 runners in a personal-best 6K time of 21:52.32. Batt-Doyle is the first Red Storm student-athlete to crack the top-100 at the NCAA Northeast Regional since Nicole Cocozza, who finished 94th overall in 2011. Batt-Doyle’s time on Friday was 42 seconds faster than her 6K time from this season’s Big East Championship where

she finished 43rd. Also setting a new 6K personal best in the Bronx was Stephanie Van Pelt, who improved by over 100 places from her 2013 finish to place 114th with a time of 22:17.90. Van Pelt improved her 6K personal best by approximately 18 seconds after running 22:35 earlier this season in Princeton, N.J. Finishing third for the Red Storm and continuing a successful return from injury was junior Kerri Butler, who finished 193rd in 23:29.20, while classmate Michelle Van Pelt was 223rd in 24:05.81. Junior Tiffany Evanego finished 15 more places back to round out the Red Storm scorers in 24:24.87 and classmate Veronica Thompson crossed the finish line in 25:37.41. Freshman Melissa Hidalgo joined classmate Batt-Doyle in making her first career appearance at the Northeast Regional and managed a time of 28:02.45. St. John’s averaged 23:14.02 as a team and posted a first-to-fifth spread of 2:32.55. “I was very pleased with our team’s effort today in a very intense race,” said SJU head coach Jim Hurt after the proceedings. “We have overcome some physical challenges all season and it was great to see people step up in the big meet. We hope to continue the momentum next week at the ECAC Championships.” The Red Storm will return to Van Cortlandt Park next Saturday to conclude its 2014 campaign at the ECAC Championships on Nov. 22


Stephanie Van Pelt and Izzi Batt-Doyle competing on Sept. 7.


St. John’s falls to Creighton on senior night Seniors Boursiquot, Wachowicz, and Thomas honored


The St. John’s women’s volleyball team fought until the end on Senior Night at Carnesecca Arena but failed to hold off the best team in the Big East, the Creighton Blue Jays. Despite trailing two sets to zero, the Johnnies were able to ride the crowd and the leadership of Ashley Boursiquot made an incredible comeback, forcing a fifth and final set. “We’re not built to give up,” head coach Joanne Persico said. “That’s not in our vocabulary. Perseverance is key in any job and that’s one trait our team has.” They trailed for most of the deciding set and on match-point, a Blue Jay serve bounced right off the hands of Shawna-Lei Santos. That point gave Creighton the victory (25-21, 25-22, 21-25, 21-25, 15-13) to improve to 22-7 on the season and a 15-1 record in the Big East. St. John’s dropped to 19-12 on the season and only 8-8 in the difficult Big East Conference. Karin Palgutova led the Johnnies with 23 kills while Aleksandra Wachowicz added 20 kills. Ashley Boursiquot played incredible defense as she finished with four digs and three blocks. Morgan Thomas also contributed, seven digs for the Red

Storm. St. John’s worked as a team throughout the match demolishing the Blue Jays in the assist category (67 to 49). Creighton played better defense as they defeated the Red Storm in the blocks category (17 to 12). Danisha Moss played an important role in leading the Johnnies to the fifth set by coming up with three blocks. Before the game, Ashley, Aleksandra and Morgan were honored after four stellar years for the Johnnies. It was a special moment for all three seniors as St. John’s has been a critical building block for them not only on the court but also off of it. “I feel like I have changed so much here at St. John’s,” Ashley said. “I know how to balance the fun of the game and the seriousness and I feel like I have grown into a better woman.” There is no shortage of talent with this senior group. All three seniors are looking to play volleyball overseas when they graduate but what really stands out with this group is their leadership. “They are great student athletes and they represent the school so well,” coach Persico said. “They are just great teammates.” The Johnnies close out the regular season with two critical matches against Xavier and Butler. These final two matchups will decide if the Johnnies will play in the postseason tournament.


Aleksandra Wachowicz serves the ball during her final match of her collegiate career on senior day this past Saturday versus Creighton


Not Your Average Jones Cast



We have not yet seen Christian Jones’ full potential, but we have seen flashes of it. As a 6’7 native of Texas and power forward on the St. John’s men’s basketball team, Jones appeared in only 24 games his freshman year. During this stretch, he averaged only 9.4 minutes a game, almost teasing fans as to what they could expect next year. His freshman year totals reflected his limited playing time as he averaged 2.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and shot 45.2 percent (28-for-62) from the field. Before his sophomore year, Jones was forced to make a tough decision. With the help of family, friends and head coach Steve Lavin, he decided to sit the year out and declare a red-shirt position. “When I first declared to red-shirt, I didn’t think it was a good move. I wanted to play, but as games started I got a bigger picture view. I started to look from the outside in. Mentally, it really prepared me for this year,” said Jones in an exclusive interview with the Torch after St. John’s 94-81 win over Franklin Pierce University. In the win, Jones scored eight points while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out five assists. With the loss of key men Keith Thomas and Adonis De La Rosa, Jones’ role is almost guaranteed to be greater. Both of

these losses shatter depth in the frontcourt and Jones is ready to pick up the pieces. “It hurt when we lost Keith, but it also told me that I had to step up. Doing everything that I can to help the team, I try not to shy away from things. Confidence is huge for me and hopefully that reflects in my play,” stated Jones. With two more years of eligibility including this year, Jones is set to make his mark on St. John’s basketball. “Long term, I just want to keep the St. John’s wins going. Ultimately, we look to win the Big East Championship and get to March Madness. Short term is really as simple as taking it day-by-day and getting better,” said Jones. Christian Jones is an interesting player. His skill set blends speed and force. In fact, Jones describes his play in a completely different way. He stresses the importance of team play in order for the team to be successful. “I don’t come in expecting to get the ball every time. I focus on the dirty work, trash work, rebounds, assists, charges and diving on loose balls. I view myself as a hustle player. I try to do everything that other players wouldn’t do. I’m here for the team, so I’ll help us do whatever it takes to win,” admitted Jones. After the disappointment of last year’s team not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, this year’s team is poised to perform at a high level and Jones knows that. “The expectations are pretty high. From the three years I’ve been here, I really think this year can be our year,” said a confident Jones.

Leavin’ their Mark

Adonis De La Rosa elgibility status under investigation by NCAA



Christian Jones walks onto the court before the opener in Carnecca Arena.

Volleyball storms past Georgetown 3-1 in Taffner Bourisquot and Karkkainen’s defense tough on Hoyas REZA MORENO Staff Writer

St. John’s women’s volleyball won 3-1 against Georgetown University on Friday night in Taffner Field House. The Red Storm moved to 19-11 overall and 8-7 in Big East play. The team beat the Hoyas 25-17, 25-20 and 25-11, but both teams played back to back trying to get the first 25 points in the third set. Unfortunately though, Georgetown won that one 25-22. Still, the Storm pushed their way through in the last set versus Georgetown. Throughout the match, the defense team of senior Ashley Bourisquot and sophomore Mona Karkkainen were very strong. Coach Persico said, “Today we had 17 blocks altogether and a really nice defense which is something we did well in today’s match.” In the first few minutes of the first set, the Storm already had a head start with three points with no time for the Hoyas to catch up from the spikes made by junior Karin Palgutova and sophomore Briana Guzman. In the second set, senior Morgan Thomas showed her overall great plays by serving and saving multiple times. After St. John’s called a timeout when they were ahead by 6-3, Georgetown pulled ahead. The team really pushed through trying to save the ball when the Hoyas were ahead 10-6. Defense again helped St. John’s catch up and senior

Aleksandra Wachowicz had excellent spikes scoring points for the Red Storm as they dominated the set. After winning two sets, St. John’s and the Hoyas were at crunch time. The Red Storm really tried their best to dominate this set to win 3-0. Palgutova and Thomas played great as both teams were playing nonstop before giving the point to St.John’s 11-9. Georgetown caught up, tying with St. John’s until

they caught up to two points more winning 25-22. Going into the last set, St. John’s defense really helped the teams as they finally dominated winning the match all together. With the final two matches this weekend and the Big East Tournament, coach Persico hopes to “Gain our 20th win and win all games against these tough teams.”

It has been a crazy week to say the least for freshman center Adonis De La Rosa. Last Tuesday evening it was announced by St. John’s that De La Rosa was declared a non-qualifier by the NCAA. De La Rosa remains enrolled at St. John’s but cannot participate with the men’s basketball team until he meets the academic standards set forth by the NCAA. “The St. John’s Athletic Department was recently informed by the NCAA Eligibility Center of the change in certification status for Adonis De La Rosa after new information revealed the student-athlete does not meet eligibility requirements,” said St. John’s Director of Athletics Chris Monasch. “The University will continue to review the options available in this particular case.” “Adonis is currently attending his classes and working with the institution to gain clarity on his eligibility status,” said St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin. “We are hopeful that he will be able to rejoin the team at some point in the future.” The reasoning the NCAA declared De La Rosa ineligible was because of suspicion that he had not taken his SAT’s before he graduated in June of 2014. De La Rosa filed an appeal to the NCAA as he was able to obtain proof that he did indeed take his SAT’s while attending Christ the King High School in Middle Village. So last Thursday, after the proof of taking the SAT’s was sent to the NCAA, they decided to make him eligible until they make a final ruling on his appeal. Head coach Steve Lavin spoke about his being declared eligible and said that De La Rosa wont play until the NCAA has made their final decision on his appeal. So until the final ruling comes down from the NCAA, De La Rosa won’t be seen on the court for the Red Storm.


Aleksandra Wachowicz spikes the ball over the net versus Georgetown.


WBB schools Yale in season opener Page 13



Johnnies suffocate NJIT in opener TORCH PHOTO/ MAGDAVENA CASTILLO

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