November 11, 2015

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To r c h

VOL 93: 11 November 11, 2015

The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

Breast cancer walk is a success COOPER MIQUELI Assistant Opinion Editor St. John’s students and thousands of other participants met at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Nov. 8 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, hosted by the American Cancer Society. “We had close to 500 students. The office of community relations worked very hard to increase student participation and I think it was one of the best student turnouts in the past few years,” Student Government Incorporated (SGI) President Ridge McKnight said. The walk took place around the Citi Field area and distanced at approximately 1.5 miles. SGI, Donovan Hall Council and Greek life members were only some of the organizations representing St. John’s at the walk. Throughout the month of October and November these different organizations raised money through different activities and tabling events. “Throughout the month of November, our hall council worked weeknights to spread awareness and raise money for Making Strides against Breast Cancer under the American Cancer Society,” Donovan Hall Council Vice President Matt Sulewski said. “Every penny counts, and we’re so grateful for all of the donations we received.” The event began at 8 a.m. outside of Carnesecca Arena. Students then made their way to the park, where thousands had gathered and many tents for different organizations throughout the New York City area were set up. The St. John’s cheer team, dance team and pep band were at the walk as well, cheering all of the participants on. Continued on page 3

Brandon Stanton: Embrace Failure

TORCH PHOTO/ Meghan Driscoff

AMANDA UMPIERREZ News Editor Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton urged 3,500 St. John’s students to embrace failure and challenge themselves. “You’ve got to learn to fail, and you’ve got to learn to fail right now,” Stanton said during a Nov. 5 lecture series. The 31-year old world recognized photographer spoke in Carnesecca Arena about the start to his critically acclaimed project, the failures he encountered and the journey it has taken him on since. “It started with the decision that I wanted to do something that I love, and the faith in myself to figure everything else out afterwards,” he said. Before moving to New York City, Stan-

ton had been consumed in drugs, fired from his job as a Chicago bond trader the one he landed after betting on Barack Obama for president in 2008 - and failed out of the University of Georgia. As a dire attempt to escape his nightmare, Stanton bought his own camera. “I bought the camera in desperation, as a way to kind of create some part of my life that was separate from work, just to blow off steam,” he said. Stanton noted some of the difficulties with his photographs, such as the innumerable attempts in persuading his friends to purchase his pictures. He succeeded in one case, when his friend paid $300 for one of his works. Stanton used this money toward paying for his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment in NYC. He accentuated

his hard work, the defeats that came with attempting to rise to stardom in the big apple and what he learned along the way. “I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t go to concerts. I didn’t go to restaurants. I didn’t go to theatres. All I did was photograph,” he told the students. “It was the hardest time of my life, but also the greatest time of my life because I was doing what I loved every single day.” He said it takes courage and skill to embrace failure. “When you’re not afraid to fail, it’s like having a superpower because you can take any risk that you want,” he said. “When you’re willing to take any risk that you want, you’re gonna be a success.” Continued on page 3




Women’s soccer makes history... again

Diving into the meaning of beauty with “The Souls of Black Girls” Page 12

From Halloween to Christmas: Why are Americans overlooking Thanksgiving? Page 7

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Torch Eats: Tasting Greek food

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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.

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


New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence helped guide his team to a 1-0 over DC United in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, Nov. 8.



“Humans of New York” photographer comes to SJU Advises students to “learn how to fail” during college years



Brandon Stanton poses for a picture during a meet-and-greet session after the Nov. 5 event.

Stanton and a St. John’s student reenact a day-by-day interview in front of 3,500 students.

continued from page 1

The advice resonated with sophomore Julia Bennefield, who found Stanton’s words promising. “When he was talking about how much he’s failed and then seeing how successful he is now is so encouraging but also relatable for someone like me,” she said. Freshman Lauren Majid agreed, and enforced the importance of approaching mishaps. “In order to succeed, it’s essential to know how to handle the setbacks and bumps in the road,” she said. When first moving to Manhattan five years ago, Stanton’s dream was to photograph 10 thousand people. He mentioned the first portrait he ever took in NYC, of two young kids accompanied by their parents on the train, both gazing at the same subway sign. The picture generated zero likes and only one comment from a fellow classmate on his community college quiz bowl team that read, “Racial harmony. I like it!” Since then, Stanton notes the vast contrast in both popularity and style

of his pictures. What was once a collage of NYC’s funky, unconventional exterior shifted into personal portraits, ones that focused more on the intimate details. ““It had gone from something very visual, where I was connecting with things based on what they looked like, to something that was much more about the storytelling,” he said. Today, the HONY Facebook page carries more than 15 million fans, with each picture racking up thousands of likes. Its international popularity has allowed Stanton to visit Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, South Sudan, Jerusalem and Democratic Republic of Congo, among others. The popularity he has garnered has granted him the ability to raise up to five million dollars for various causes. In one instance, fans were able to raise enough money to buy a second tractor for a heavily injured Pakistan man who had spent his savings on a first one, but then wrecked it during an accident and could hardly afford to pay off his debts. Towards the end of the event, Stanton called for one student volunteer to assist

him in displaying a standard interview. He confessed his one and only rule with interviewing, to “never approach anyone from behind,” and disclosed that he looks for solo subjects who appear to have time on their hands. While his interviews may take up to 40 minutes, he never initially admits this when walking up to people, as he understands the busy life followed with NYC. “There’s no harder place to stop people and ask them for their time than in New York City,” he said. His questions range from ‘What is your biggest challenge in life right now?’ and ‘What do you feel most guilty about in life?’ to ‘What was the happiest moment of your life?,’ all of which may elicit a thought-provoking response. However when Stanton asked the volunteer what he felt most guilty about, he replied, “I guess maybe cheating in some classes,” prompting the biggest reaction of the night. His response led Stanton to acknowledge the importance of honesty in his interviews, and how the sound of candor differentiates from a rehearsed answer.

““I appreciate when somebody gives an honest answer. Suddenly they become a human being, and not some soundbite,” he said. In an interview with the Torch, Stanton said how if someone were to inquire on him, he would have no problem answering his own questions. “Sometimes people ask me my own questions, and I’ll feel like it’s bad karma not to answer,” he said. From the lecture, freshman Mijad enjoyed how Stanton was able to connect HONY to his personal self. “It was a very personable lecture, so I feel like that was a testimony to who he is as a person and to reinforce his idea that HONY is a way to see the world through a different lens,” she said. With the Torch, Stanton answered one of his own questions, what his biggest challenge is in life. He mentioned his ambition to focus on himself more in the upcoming future. “To kind of create a space inside of my mind outside of Humans of New York,” he said. “To just kind of be Brandon.”

St. John’s combats breast cancer in annual Queens walk continued from page 1

The atmosphere was filled with high energy as participants walked and encouraged each other throughout the park. “There is a lot of great energy,” said SGI Sophomore Senator Frank Obermeyer. “ I look forward to doing more of these events in the future.” Everyone at the walk had their own story; their own reason why they walked. They walked because someone they know had or has breast cancer because they want to help end breast cancer or because they know someone who told them about the event. When asked why she walks and why Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is

such an important event to her, SGI Secretary Chiara Miuccio said, “Every year student government tries to support all of our causes. This year, I have noticed how the school reacts towards cancer in general and how motivated they are towards eliminating cancer. I walk to support my classmates and I want a world without cancer. I walk to finish the fight.” The walk turned to be a great success for not only St. John’s, but for the American Cancer Society as well. “A lot of people showed up,” freshman Jenni Sofing said. “You could feel the love and support throughout the participants.”


Members of Donovan Hall Council pose for a photo during the morning event.





SNL Trump hosting stirs up controversy with public

Presidential candidate and frontrunner for the Republican vote Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7, collecting a vast amount of both positive, and negative attention. Among jokes about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Trump joined skits that included him being a ‘Tax Guy’ in the notable ‘Hotline Bling’ parody, a neglected laser harp player and even one in which he appeared as president of the United States and had Omarosa, infamous for her appearance on Trump’s former reality show “The Apprentice,” as his “madam secretary.” Senior Joseph Belusic, a Trump fan himself, enjoyed the former Apprentice star as the host of the show. During Trump’s opening skit, actor Larry David said he was given five thousand dollars to interrupt Trump by yelling “You’re a racist.” Belusic thought this was a clever way of playing off of the negative media attention. “I loved the beginning part. I thought they played off the ‘you’re racist!’ thing really well,” he said. However, not everyone felt the same way towards Trump’s hosting. Many students, along with members of the American public, chose not to watch the episode because Trump was the host. In the past, Trump’s outspoken, and argu-

tayah page-harper Staff Writer Last Monday, civil rights activist Quanell X and Fox host Angela Box had a heated argument after the host blamed police brutality on black culture. The two began arguing on Fox Faceoff after Box claimed that black culture is the “root” of police brutality. X and Box were discussing the incident where an officer threw a 16-year-old student across a classroom in South Carolina while trying to arrest her. “I think it’s high time we start addressing the root causes of all this: the disrespect of teachers, this Black Lives Matter movement, this perpetual chip on your shoulder against everybody that’s not like yourself. It’s got to stop. We’ve got to address the culture,” Box said. Box went on to say that the officer should have never been fired because she believed he was just doing his job. “When you have a student disrupting the class, making life hell for the teachers and other students, it is impossible for other students to learn,” Box said. “I do agree the cop went too far, but

I don’t think he should have lost his job over it.” X retaliated Box’s claim by arguing that the real disruption comes from students who bring weapons to school and put classmates in harm. “Now, for you to say that we need to deal with the culture of black kids in schools, let’s deal with the culture of these crazy fanatic white boys who go in schools with guns and shoot and kill everybody,” he said. Students that saw footage of the segment, like Chyna Davis and Jailyn Mitchell, are questioning Box’s claim on police brutality. “I don’t understand how she could blame police brutality on an entire culture,” Davis said. “Culture has nothing to do with the way people should be treated.” “I feel like, as a student, that [this] incident kind of hits home,” Mitchell said. “And then, the fact that people agree or somewhat support the officer’s actions is scary, too.” A video of the argument was posted on Facebook and received almost 100,00 views, with viewers stating their opinions in the comments.


Presidential candidate Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live during its Nov. 7 show.

kori williams Contributing Writer

News host and civil rights activist altercate on Fox

I’m tired of his antics just to get attention and I’m tired of the American people giving him the attention he wants.

ably offensive, views have been frowned upon by minority groups. “I’m tired of his antics just to get attention and I’m tired of the American people giving him the attention he wants,” said junior Miguel Vasquez. “He’s a bigot who could potentially be a huge danger to our country if he were to come into power.” When Trump’s hosting was first announced in October, many throughout the public, including latino minority groups, criticized NBC and SNL for allowing the Republican candidate to appear on their set. The negative opinions towards Trump stemmed from his comments towards hispanic and latino groups. The news of his hosting generated so much controversy that Luis Gutierrez, a Democratic congressman from Illinois, gave a speech about the issue on the floor of the House of Representatives. In an interview with NPR, Luis Gutierrez noted the widespread problems with having Trump on SNL. “They’re saying it’s OK to say these things,” he said. And, it’s not OK and I don’t think Americans think it’s OK.”

High hopes for Marijuana legislation in Ohio are rejected Karina castillo Contributing Writer Hopes for marijuana legalization went up in smoke in Ohio last Tuesday. Ohio voters felt that the legalization of recreational marijuana was a premature one, considering the fact that the medical use of marijuana is still illegal in the state. This discrepancy caught St. John’s freshman Bobby Charalabidis’s attention. “I’ve noticed that many of the states that have managed to completely legalize marijuana started out with first legalizing medicinal marijuana,” Charalabidis said. Apart from decriminalizing the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana, the proposed bill sought to hand wealthy investors full control of marijuana farms. While many Ohio voters showed some form of support for the legalization of recreational marijuana, many more did not support the monopolizing of the marijuana industry. The proposed amendment would have placed all of the control in the hands of 10 marijuana-growing facilities, giving them all of the power and right to commercialize the use of marijuana. Junior Ashley Rodriguez was outraged

with the way the wealthy looked to control. “They couldn’t pass a law that everyone could have benefited from,” Rodriguez said. “They had to try and sneak things in there to make the whole thing ugly. Now, no one wins.” If it had passed, the bill would have also allowed licensed individuals the ability to grow, possess and cultivate up to eight ounces of marijuana. For junior Isaias Bulus, the criminalization of marijuana is something that robs people of a fundamental right. “I’ve never smoked weed,” Bulus said. “It’s not something that I’ve chosen to not do. Everyone should have the choice to do what they want. If it’s going to reduce the ridiculous number of kids going to jail and help the economy, why not legalize it?” According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than half of the nation's drug-related arrests are for marijuana, with a whopping 88 percent coming from simply possessing small amounts of marijuana. Despite these setbacks, activists say they won’t stop fighting for the legalization of marijuana. They look to propose changes to the controversial bill, allowing small businesses to get into action instead of a few wealthy investors.



HERO bill voter denial receives national attention “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” played role with rejection

Crystal Grant Contributing Writer The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as 13 other different classes from housing and employment discrimination, was rejected by voters last Tuesday. While the Ordinance received support from President Obama and national gay rights and civil rights groups, it was rejected with a vote of 61 percent versus 39 percent. The bill received opposition from many conservatives and religious leaders who claimed the ordinance had nothing to do with protecting citizens from discrimination. Instead, the bill was all about pushing a gay agenda onto the city. The ordinance was also designed to exempt religious institutions and organizations from compliance. “No Men in Women's Bathrooms” was a common slogan used to criticize the bill, claiming that it would allow access for possible predators to inflict harm on women in restrooms. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, one of the key leaders opposing the ordinance, stated, “It’s just common sense and com-

mon decency. We don’t want men in women’s lady rooms. It was about protecting our grandmoms and our mothers and our wives and our sisters and our daughters and our granddaughters.” Senior Jenika Mitchell notes the importance of separating prejudiced points of view from liberation. “Regardless of people’s personal feelings, everyone should be free from discrimination,” she said. “Personal option should not dictate someone else’s freedom.” Annise Parker, Houston’s openly lesbian mayor, expressed her disappointment towards the rejection of the ordinance. While stating her views towards the campaign launched in opposition to the ordinance, she said, “This is a campaign of fear mongering and deliberate lies. This isn’t misinformation. This is a calculated campaign of lies designed to demonize a little understood minority.” Senior Jessica Fejos believes that all humans should be able to feel safe, especially from any bigotry. “Everyone deserves to be protected from discrimination,” she said. Although one major focus of the bill was to end discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, it would


Houston Mayor Annise Parker is one of the first openly gay mayors in a large U.S. city and has been elected three times, serving since January 2010.

have also guaranteed protection from discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status, which already have protection under federal law.

After the results of the vote, Mayor Parker is concerned about the future of Houston. “Unfortunately, I fear that this will have stained Houston’s reputation as a tolerant, welcoming, global city,” she said.

6 Opinion Staff Editorial board XCIII

TALIA TIRELLA Co-Editor-in-Chief JENNY CHEN Co-Editor-in-Chief KYLE FITZGERALD Managing Editor CHEYANNE GONZALES General Manager AMANDA UMPIERREZ News Editor STEPHEN ZITOLO Sports Editor LIVIA PAULA Features Editor JASMINE IMANI DAVIS Entertainment Editor SUZANNE CIECHALSKI Opinion Editor

The changing landscape of marijuana ANGEL VERA Staff Writer This past Wednesday, a major breakthrough was made with the Mexican drug policy as the Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (Supreme Court of Mexico) ruled in favor of Mexican citizens having the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. Although this does not strike down any current laws or allow for commercial production, it is a start for the much needed marijuana reform not only in Mexico but in all of Latin America. Mexico has been plagued with an epidemic of drug wars since the 1980s, which started predominantly with the smuggling of marijuana into American markets and black markets around the world. American prohibition has also fueled an illegal drug industry due to its firm and staunch positions on drugs. Mexico itself has had a stance of zero tolerance policy on drugs, following the pattern most Latin American countries have on marijuana (with the exception of Uruguay, which has implemented liberal drug policies). Brazil has also started to open the floor for debates on possible reform. Although this may not make an immediate impact on drug smuggling, it does send a message to the Mexican government and to American policy makers that prohibition and criminalization does not equate into safety and prevention. Nonetheless, this ruling has already had its criticisms, as president Peña Nieto stated “an open door for which the inclusion and consumption of drugs is allowed

is much more harmful for our health.” That feeling also mimics the sentiment of the older and more conservative-minded Mexican generation. The way the general public views marijuana is changing for the better. Similar to the American prohibition of alcohol, politicians and policy makers are realizing marijuana has become as embedded in our social culture as tobacco or alcohol. Bernie Sanders made headlines this week for introducing a reform bill that would “limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marijuana, and for other purposes.” Taking notice of what Colorado has done with marijuana regulation, it seems illogical not to tap into that revenue stream, which from January to July of this year has created a tax revenue of $73.5 million and counting, according to Colorado’s Department of Revenue. This is the money Colorado would save from not sending Americans to jail from non-violent and petty drug related charges. Why marijuana is held to the same scrutiny as heroin or crack-cocaine by some people is beyond the understanding of many Americans and it’s an issue that the government has continuously failed to solve. This failure has not only hurt American citizens due to the extreme incarceration rates, but it has also increased violence domestically and taken away from possible revenue that could be used in the public sector. If the health and safety of our children and communities really is the priority, then what our policies have done to communities in Mexico and the United

Flames of the Torch The power of student voices on their own campuses are greatly underestimated; too many believe that one voice cannot make a difference. But what happens when people with common interests come together to work toward bettering the community as a whole? Students at the University of Missouri bore witness to the power of their own voices this week. Protests over racial tensions, including a weeklong hunger strike by one student, led to the resignation of the university’s president and chancellor on Monday. Discriminatory actions and speech have afflicted the university this year, including racially-charged slurs shouted at the student body president and a Swastika drawn in feces on a residence hall. The response of the university, or lack thereof, led to escalating frustration among students. The administrators’ inaction effectively allowed the tensions to grow and breed feelings of intolerance throughout the campus community. A series of protests by students beginning in early September began to spark the movement for change on campus. Protests have picked up in the last week, furthering the pressures being placed on the administration. Jonathan Butler, a graduate student at the school, even went as far as going on a hunger strike until the president announced his resignation. But it was the university’s football team that is believed to have applied the greatest deal of pressure onto the situation. The university’s football team is one of the best in the nation. Without games, the school would lose up to one million dollars. Last weekend they announced, with the support of the coaching staff and athletic director, plans to refuse to play another game until the president resigned from his post. On Sunday, President Tim Wolfe stood strong, issuing a statement saying the administration “has been meeting

around the clock,” to find a solution. But the next day, Wolfe did an about-face and announced his resignation. History will show it was the student body that forced the administration to finally confront the issue and make changes that would improve the educational environment and safety of the university’s students. Here at St. John’s, we pride ourselves on being one of the top, most diverse private universities in the country. Students have been willing to express their feelings on hot-button societal issues. In the past, there have been “Black Lives Matter” protests on campus. For years, students also advocated for the institution of a group dedicated to the LGBTQ community, which led to Spectrum. As the youth of an ever-growing nation, we must always remember we have the tools to create change right at our fingertips. Social media has become a powerful tool in student advocacy, as seen during the protests in Missouri. The student group, ConcernedStudent1950 utilized Twitter to dispense information regarding the situation on campus. They also used it as a call for action among students. Our ability to be heard through this platform is one of our greatest assets. Not only does this allow us to reach our fellow students, but it also provides us with the ability to be heard by a much broader audience, both domestically and internationally. University students have the power to mobilize and create change through our first amendment right to free speech. While gaining traction can be difficult, it is nowhere near impossible. It only takes one voice to spark change. We commend the students of Missouri for their passion and dedication to creating an accepting environment for the entire community. Not only have they shown a great deal of resiliency in the face of an inactive administration, but they have also displayed the power and ability of students.

EDITORIAL POLICY 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.

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

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Homeless in NYC: de Blasio’s “Broad way” HUNTER RABINOWITZ Staff Writer Come out to Broadway sometime this autumn and prepare yourself for the revival of the century. I’m sure you’re all bored of the phantoms in their operas and the Lion King on DVD will satisfy your craving for Disney just fine. It’s a 1930s revival and not a great work by Eugene O’Neil or an extravagant musical production. In fact, it’s by any theater. If you look hard enough on the sidewalk, you can see the “players” asking for money for a bite to eat at the nearest bodega. They’re dressed in authentic rags and they do not act; their suffering is not for our enjoyment, but no one, pedestrian or government official, does anything to participate.

This show is New York City, Bill de Blasio’s New York City, where the mayor’s approval ratings have dropped to an all time low of 38 percent, according to CBS. To understand why his ratings are so low, one must only take a trip down Broadway to get a glimpse of what the city has become. From Brooklyn, you see the large city buildings. From a distance on any city block, you can see the bright city lights at night that illuminate the lives of people without shelter, food and adequate life on the city streets. In this city, 59,305 are without homes and 23,923 of them are children. The overall number is nearly 20,000 more than the peak amount of homelessness during the Bloomberg administration, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, an administration whose poli-

cies de Blasio is trying hard to overturn. There’s a major crisis happening in the city and whether you’re a native of NYC or just dorming for the next four years, you cannot deny the impact of it around you. Presently, while we go down to the financial aid office to fight for a problem on our large tuition bill, the homeless ascend from the welfare and unemployment offices losing a fight for a morning bagel and maybe a sip of clean water. While we cozily sleep in the uncomfortable conditions of Donovan, the homeless will sleep in the uncomfortable conditions of concrete beds. While we go to the dining hall for a bite to eat and complain about the food, the homeless will spend starving days begging to deaf ears for a dime, a feeling of loneliness and despair that no cheerful Salvation Army Santa can lift. We live under the administration of a

man without the slightest regards to these human lives. While President Obama successfully increases the number of jobs throughout the nation, our mayor successfully allows the numbers of people without jobs and housing to increase in the city that boasts itself on Frank Sinatra’s lines “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Old Frank may have remained the greatest spokesman for the city it had not the Hobbesian thumb of Bill de Blasio prevented even the slightest hint of success from happening in these past months. That New York is not so far in the past,and if we reach our hands out far enough, maybe we can bring its reign over New York and allow it to prosper once again. At the very least, maybe we can get 59,000 individuals a home and a basic breakfast every morning.

The consequences of Jumping the gun on Turkey Day “political correctness” MILES KOPLEY Staff Writer On Sept. 15, President Barack Obama stood before a crowd at a town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa and said some remarkable words during a discussion on free speeches at universities. “I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who, you know, is too conservative. Or, they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I don’t agree with that...I don’t agree that you— when you become students at colleges— have to be coddled and protected from different points of view,” he said.

“There is knowledge in everything, even in books and principles that may be offensive for some people to read.” It’s an interesting point. One that affects us on a daily basis at St. John’s University. This “coddling” principle, as President Obama referenced, is detrimental to our education and experiences here at St. John’s. Of all the benefits St. John’s has to offer its students—a 40-minute subway ride to the greatest city on earth, a hidden Starbucks at the law school, unlimited ranch at Monty’s, etc.—the foremost important reason we have come to enroll at this uni-

versity is for our education. We have all come here in an attempt to learn, to aspire to be something better than we were before and, ultimately, we will network through and around the school as St. John’s alumni to make those dreams come true. This is where this principle interjects itself directly into our personal lives and our investments into our future. Political correctness at an educational institution shelters us from reality. It grants us a false sense of security and ultimately leads to disillusion with how much of the world operates. Most importantly, it censors us from discovering ideas that we might find unappealing as young minds, ideas that could prove valuable to build off of for the future. Every university is a sanctuary of learning, empowerment and inspiration. Putting a security blanket over young minds to keep them safe in a personal bubble is a shame to all. To state the cliché Socrates quote, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” How can we expect to examine ourselves and the world around us if we’re too worried about what will and won’t hurt someone’s feelings? There is knowledge in everything, even in books and principles that may be offensive for some people to read. There are arguably more lessons learned from principles unfamiliar to oneself than those already close and comfortable. Moreover (and again with the cliché statements) the human mind is a terrible thing to waste and it shouldn’t be sacrificed for the sake of correctness and questionably reassuring comfort.

TOMMIE BROWN Staff Writer Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…a month too early. On Nov. 1, a friend and I indulged in our daily 9 a.m. Starbucks routine. To my surprise, I found that Starbucks was advertising the return of seasonal drinks and a new reusable cup that read “JOY” in large red letters across the front. Within the next few days, I noticed a similar pattern with multiple things I bought. Coca-Cola bottles want us to “Share a Coke with Elves.” Dunkin Donuts got festive with mini Christmas trees on their donut boxes. The list of the amount of companies who turned fall into winter overnight is endless and I cannot help but feel enraged. My family, like many families, has the tradition of ripping down fall décor in our home and getting to work on the Christmas tree around Dec. 1. American consumerism, however, has the tradition of hanging up the garland while they are still scarfing down mini trick-or-treating candy bars. November has become nothing more than a bridge from October to December that we try to cross as fast as we can, while grabbing as many tree ornaments as sales allow along the way. But, what is lost in this holiday whirlwind is one of, if not the most, significant holiday on our calender: Thanksgiving. I find tremendous irony and symbolism in the fact that a country ran by big

business and commercialism forgets to acknowledge the one day of the year designed for gratefulness. Thanksgiving is a day decorated with only conversation and a meal. There is no glitz, there is no glam, and there are no green and red finely wrapped gifts under a tree. It is a day of communion that can only be celebrated by taking a timeout from the rush of life to give thanks to what has brought us here. There is no money in Thanksgiving for businesses. Besides having a sale on pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes, there’s not much strip malls and department stores can squeeze out of its celebration. Rather than embracing that and celebrating the simplicity and authenticity of the day, American businesses pretend it doesn’t exist. I would even argue, with the Black Friday hours being pushed to start at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, businesses are trying to make the holiday completely obsolete. Like the sheep consumers have become, we turn our turkey and ham into lunch instead of dinner in order to be 77th in line outside of Target’s doors, following retail’s lead. Thanksgiving is a day that refuses to be bought or sold. It is a holiday that exists for the graciousness of hearts and thankfulness of minds, not credit card swipes. Yet, as mass consumers, we allow producers to sweep it under the rug. How symbolic it is, and how shameful it has become, that a country fueled by transactions and industry seems to annually forget the simple 24 hours designated per year to show a little gratitude.

8 Opinion

The defining truth behind feminism ALYSSA FORD Contributing Writer Powerful words were exchanged when Emma Watson sat down with Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, last week and interviewed her. “I am a feminist, and we all should be feminists because feminism is another word for equality,” said Yousafzai. Watson stated in a Facebook post that, while planning for the interview, she originally had a question about whether or not Yousafzai was a feminist. But, when conducting research she learned that Yousafzai had never identified as such, so Watson decided to remove the question.

“This is not just a battle for women; men are needed if we want any chance of equality. Together we can change the world.”

During the interview, however, Yousafzai delivered the answer anyway when asked a question regarding her father’s advocacy for women’s rights. Yousafzai shared that both her and her father identify as feminists and that people should stop being so afraid of the word.

The word “feminist” has taken a negative connotation throughout the years, because people have forgotten what it actually means. As Yousafzai stated, it is simply another word for equality. Feminism is literally defined as the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Unfortunately, when some people hear the word they think it is about crazy, men-hating women, which is not the case at all. Feminism is about treating all people as what they are: human beings. It’s about not discriminating based on gender. Rather than fearing the word, people should really be afraid of the drastic inequalities many women face around the world. It’s not just about dress codes and not wearing bras; it’s about giving women around the world access to health care, sanitation, clean water and education. These are all basic human rights that women in numerous third world countries do not have. Imagine that: not being allowed to be educated or have proper sanitation just because of your sex, something you are born with. Something I find extremely inspiring about these women is their recognition for the necessity of men’s support of this movement. This is not just a battle for women; men are needed if we want any chance of equality.

Together, we can change the world. This change will not come until we realize we are all humans and deserve the same rights and quality of life. It is amazing to me that Yousafzai, at just 18 years old, has done so much for this movement. She started her own organization “The Malala Fund,” which aims to raise money and awareness for this issue. Yousafzai states in the interview, “it is my simple dream…I want to see every child get quality education.”

environmental disaster of the 21st century at this point in history. The haze crisis is an annual occurrence for the people of Indonesia. Timber and farming companies have been practicing slash and burn agriculture in Indonesian forests for decades. Plantation companies, mainly focused on the selling of palm oil, move in to de-

stroy what remains of the forest to plant. The easiest way to clear the land is to torch it. What makes this year extraordinarily morose is an extremely dry year from a delayed El Niño rain season, creating the perfect environmental disaster scenario. While the smoke has drifted into Singapore and Malaysia, the Indonesian people have suffered the most. The Global Fire Emissions database has released reports stating the 100,000 active fires detected are producing more carbon dioxide than the entire U.S. economy daily and, in three weeks, the amount released is on par with the entire German annual carbon dioxide emissions. Visibilities in some cities have become limited to 30 meters. 10,000 respiratory infections have been reported since Sept. 4, including the death of three children by respiratory failure. The beautiful Sumatran Tiger, Orangutan and clouded leopard species, among thousands of others, are being driven from their homes and displaced throughout the country. #EvakuasiKami, or #EvacuateUs were trending hashtags on Indonesian Twitter, calling the government to take action, evacuating children to Pekanbaru, the capital of the Riau province, where three 24 hour shelters have been opened.


This is the goal of the Malala Fund: to see every child go to school, especially those 66 million girls that are not allowed to. Yousafzai was once one of those girls who struggled to get an education and was shot in the face by the Taliban because of her passion for knowledge. So, the next time you are struggling to go to your 9:05 class, you should think about all of the children who would risk their lives to sit in a classroom.


Actress Emma Watson sat down with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai last week to interview her on her career as an activist and her views on feminism.

Indonesian fire buried beneath the brush


No opening sentence can accurately depict the hell on Earth imagery that is currently occurring in Indonesia. The 5,000-kilometer long stretch of land in the South Pacific is engulfed in raging flames, classified by many as the worst


Indonesian wildlife, like this orangutan, are forced to flee their native homes as plantation companies spread forest fires across the nation.

President Widodo desires to be democratic and run the country. He presides over a lawless nation where, less than 50 years ago, Suharto death squads killed millions, prospered from illegal deforestation. The Pancasila Youth is a paramilitary group making their living off of new government subsidies for palm oil production that instigates further burning. Their members are currently over 3 million. So, where are the front-page headlines, relief efforts and social media trends outside of Indonesia to discuss this issue? As a capitalistic establishment, the news media is designed to bring in viewers to their programs as well as bring those Nielsen ratings to advertisers and watch the money pile in. It’s a huge reason the broadcasting of egregious celebrity news and sensationalist journalism is so prominent and pervasive in our media culture. I suppose the world’s biggest climate crisis just isn’t desirable enough for the evening news time slot. But, aren’t we to blame as well? When we don’t show that we care, the news doesn’t report on these issues and the government especially will not bother or feel the need to address them. It’s a reactionary process that starts with us.



Detrimental Keystone XL Pipeline rejected ABHISHEK JOSHI Staff Writer On Friday President Barack Obama rejected the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, a dangerous and environmentally detrimental project. The Keystone XL had a green flag from nearly every state that it passed through, except; Nebraska. The route that TransCanada had suggested for the Keystone XL ran a bit parallel to the original Keystone before diverting to intersect in the state of Nebraska. Former President George W. Bush made an agreement with TransCanada and proposed a pipeline that would take crude oil from Canada all the way to Texas. Phases of the pipeline, where oil would be stored, would be located in North Dakota,

Kansas, Oklahoma and Illinois. The project kicked off in 2005 and was successfully completed and in operation by 2010. While the Keystone came to life, TransCanada proposed a slight extension, to the prevailing pipeline, now known as the Keystone XL, in order to aid and provide transportation of an additional 830,000 barrels of oil. President Obama, under whom the decision of the pipeline remained, decided to take his time to assess all of the potential threats and weigh the pros and cons. During this process, TransCanada asked President Obama and the United States government to put a hold on to their assessment. President Obama had already declined the pleas of TransCanada. Now the company is in a very tough position; it is a public

Illustrator’s CORNER

“There is no other version of this story (just this one story).” By: Nicole Marino

limited company and its stocks are falling. Obviously TransCanada was waiting for Obama’s successor to be the one deciding the fate of the pipeline. In any case, the project would be delayed, not to mention the money that is invested in it. The objection of the President is reasonable, as the pipeline would interfere with Sandhills, which rests atop the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the most sensitive wetland ecosystems and freshwater reserves in the entire world. As Obama said in a statement on Friday afternoon, “We don’t need the pipeline for gas to get cheaper. It carries dirty crude oil that we do not need.” If there were any leaks or spills, about 180,000 barrels of oil would be dumped into the fresh water reserve that provides drinking water to about eight states near-

by. Frankly, I would not like to drink my water every day while thinking that this very water is at risk of an oil spill. While the premise behind the construction of the pipeline was smart, it jeopardizes the safety of millions and the environment of the country that I call home. Every day we hear millions of people cry out about how our environment is at risk and how we must do something about it; even the government pleads the citizens to do something good and something “green” as often as they can. But, what would be the point if it is neglected in the first place? America’s future in clean energy is one thing that everyone is passionate about. If this U.S.-Canada agreement can somehow manage to do its deal without hurting our home, then yes, make this ex-

A prayer for Kristallnacht FR. PATRICK GRIFFIN, C.M. Special to the Torch

In my role as a minister at St. John’s University, I have been invited to represent the Catholic/Christian community at a Kristallnacht commemoration service at Queens College on Nov. 15. Kristallnacht, you may recall, refers to the night of Nov. 9, 1938, when a large coordinated attack was launched against the Jewish community throughout the German Reich. It has come to be called the “Night of Broken Glass” as it references the Nazi shattering of windows throughout Germany and Austria. Throughout the night, estimates indicate that 7,000 businesses were destroyed, 900 synagogues were set afire, 91 Jews were killed and 30,000 men and women were sent to concentration camps. The horrors of the coming years were clearly in evidence. The Center of Jewish Studies at Queens College runs a program called: “Kristallnacht: Commemoration and Recommitment in Combating Anti-Semitism and Hatred.” It involves an interfaith service containing prayer (offered by a Rabbi, an Imam and a Priest), a lecture, some musical interludes and a candle-lighting ceremony. Thus, the community receives an opportunity for thoughtful reflection on an ugly moment in human history. I have been thinking about my prayer. The story of Cain and Abel in the First Testament has always been a challenge for me to read. It drew my attention in this case.

This is my prayer: Great God, from the very beginning of our human story we are reminded of how we can do violence to our brothers and sisters. Cain kills his brother Abel and the blood of Abel cries out to you for remembrance and action. And, you do act. And, we do remember. What was the reason of Cain? What allowed him to attack his only brother with whom he lived and spoke? How could this have happened? Yet, it did happen, and it continued to happen and it happens in our own day. We gather here today to remember a time when hatred drove brother and sister against brother and sister. The damage of homes, businesses and sacred places was as nothing compared to the taking of human life and human dignity. And this action marked a step toward greater and more horrible sibling destruction. We remember, Lord, and in remembering we face a frightful truth about ourselves. Yet, there is another truth. Before the murder, Cain is warned that “sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it” (Gen 4:7). We recognize the possibility of violence in ourselves, but we can also be men and women who choose peace and fraternal love. We are promised your help to rule over the darkness which seeks to reign within us. We remember today, O Merciful God, our brothers and sisters who have died because of sibling hatred. We ask that you bring these innocents to yourself and welcome them at your table. And, we ask that you enable us to learn the terrible lessons of our past and allow them to teach us the path of peaceful coexistence for the future. We make this prayer as your beloved children, all of us. AMEN.

10 Features

A taste of Queens’ own piece of Greece LAUREN EDEN

Staff Writer

Although Astoria, Queens, has a mix of different races and ethnicities, one of the most prominent cultures present is Greek. This means there’s a plethora of Greek bakeries that have homemade baklava and Greek restaurants that offer the freshest seafood. There is, however, one eatery in particular that ranks supreme in terms of Greek cuisine and that is Taverna Kyclades located on Ditmars Boulevard. Taverna Kyclades is easy to spot with its bright blue awning amid a rather basic looking block. Keep in mind that it’s crucial to go at the right time in order to get a

The Greek style shrimp will keep you hooked.

table because the normal weekend dinner wait can be hours. Once you are seated, a loaf of olive bread served atop olive oil is delivered to your table. Try to refrain from eating the entire loaf. You’ll want to save room for the rest of the meal, but it’s completely understandable if you have no self-control because this bread can be addicting. The Greek salad at Taverna Kyclades is a must-have. The vegetables are crisp and the huge blocks of insanely fresh feta cheese accompany them perfectly. For an entrée, the wait staff and any patron that has dined at this spot recommend seafood. One of the most popular dishes is their octopus, which is served as one large tentacle. For the picky eaters who are not so keen about eating seafood, the chicken kebab or spinach pie may be the best option for you. I have frequented Taverna Kyclades twice now and have ordered the same entrée both times, the “Greek style shrimp.” Let me say that this is extremely unlike me since I usually like to switch it up and try different menu options whenever I dine at restaurants more than once. However, I consider myself a self-proclaimed shrimp connoisseur and I truly believe that this shrimp dish is the best of the best. The shrimp are fresh and plump as can be. They are served with a mixture of sautéed bell peppers, onions, crushed tomatoes and a divine feta cheese that simply melts in your mouth. Everything is burst-


The olive bread will please you shortly after seated, reassuring you picked the right place to dine.

ing with flavor; my mouth is watering just thinking about it. With an entrée, you get to choose a side order of roasted lemon potatoes, fried potatoes, rice or horta, which is boiled greens cooked with spices. Although the lemon potatoes are a fan favorite, I go with the rice because it’s simple and pairs harmoniously with the shrimp. I scoop up the rice and put it into the shrimp dish so that the rice soaks up the flavor from the light red sauce that the sautéed vegetables provide. At the end of the meal, Taverna Kyclades

presents you with a dessert on the house; a custard type pudding with a phyllo dough top covered in cinnamon. I can’t say I’ve had too many Greek dining experiences. I do order chicken souvlaki or gyros every time I go to a diner on Long Island (all Greek-owned), but I think it’ll be tough for any place to beat Taverna Kyclades. The prices are moderate with the entrees typically ranging between $14-30, so as a college student it’s not a place I can eat at too often, but it’s definitely a restaurant I think about…a lot.

Take a tour where art meets modernity


Umberto Boccioni’s “Dynamism of a Soccer Player” (left) and “The City Rise” (center) as well as James Rosenquist’s “Marilyn Monroe I” (right) are part of the variety of unique art works featured at MoMa.


Staff Writer

It’s hard to find a little peace and quiet in New York City, but the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) accomplishes it. With six levels of historic artwork covering the walls, it makes for a great day filled with travelling from floor to floor. The Museum is located in midtown Manhattan at 11 West 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Ave. Starting from the top is a great way to go through MoMA because there are pieces hanging between the floors. Right outside of the Museum, you can find The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, which can be seen through the windows and walked through. Each floor has benches where viewers can study the artwork further, or just take

a quick breather. Headphones are available for use if you wish to gain more knowledge about the pieces and their creators. You’ll get a history lesson as you’re exploring to your heart’s content. MoMA received its first artworks in 1929, the year it opened. Today the Museum’s collection has almost 200,000 pieces from around the world gathered throughout the last 150 years. According to their website, the collection “includes an ever-expanding range of visual expression, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, architecture, design, film and media and performance art.” MoMA is committed to helping everyone understand and enjoy their collection. Their website contains almost 60,000 pieces from nearly 10,000 artists. You can search the collection for a particular artist or artwork by filtering by date or classifica-

tion. Those who go on the website can also view the art that is now on display at the museum, works that were recently added to the collection or an index of artists. MoMA is open Sunday through Thursday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm. On Fridays, the Museum is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission for full-time students with current ID is $14, while admission for adults is $25. Children (16 and under) are free and seniors (65 and over with ID) are $18. The price of admission covers special exhibitions, audio programs, films and gallery talks. MoMA offers one free admission to active members of the U.S. military with valid ID as well as free admission for military families. U.S. military tickets are available at the information desk. All other tickets are available online or at the information desk.

Want some eating options? MoMA offers a café on the second floor in addition to an espresso bar. Terrace 5 is a café adjacent to the Painting and Sculpture galleries. The cafés are open Saturday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m to 7:30 p.m. The Modern is a restaurant that overlooks The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, which is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for dinner. Located outside MoMA at West 53rd Street and 6th ave is Halal Guys, authentic New York cuisine. Definitely try some of their rice and chicken gyros for $7 before you go home. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and explore the advancements of art throughout time. You’ll want to return to MoMA time and time again.

Lauren's Infififfiinite Playlist 1. “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin (1969) This is going to be my wedding song. If my future husband isn’t okay with that, then we aren’t getting married. Just kidding, well, kind of. But really, this ballad simply enters me into a state of euphoria right from the start with Robert Plant’s soft, nearly whispering opening words, “If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you”. It never fails to send chills down my spine. And, of course, it’s another Zeppelin song where John Bonham’s drumming brings it home. I think I can honestly say this is my favorite song of all time from any artist or musical group.

6. “What” by Bassnectar (2012) If you feel like head banging, this is the song for you. His real name is Lorin Ashton, but he goes by Bassnectar for a reason; if you have loud enough speakers, your floor will be shaking and it’s magical. “What” comes off of the album, “Vava Voom,” and although there are minimal lyrics, one of the lines that gets repeated is, “Are you ready, are you ready,” as the bass intensifies and leads to the epic drop. Nothing in the world compares to seeing this artist live. If he includes this song in one of his ever-changing sets, then you are in for absolute madness. I mean that in the best way possible.

2. “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones (1971) The instrumentals, lyrics and melancholy tone all work together flawlessly in this song. I’ve listened to this song countless times, but I have recently played it on vinyl while going through a difficult time, and it truly moved me. Music is weird like that. You may like a song just because it’s pleasing to the ear, but if you listen to a certain song during a certain period of your life, it can really make you change the way you view it. That’s what “Wild Horses” is for me; a song that I was able to lean on during a trying time.

7. “Lionhearted” by Porter Robinson (2014) Porter Robinson’s entire album “Worlds” brings a special sound to electro-pop that I can’t even compare to any other artist. It’s almost a shame that Robinson is considered an EDM artist since the genre receives such horrible criticism, but this album and “Lionhearted,” in particular, elevate the artist beyond the genre he’s identified in because it’s so creative and outside of the box. Urban Cone, a Swedish indie-pop band, provides the vocals and, if you close your eyes while listening, it feels intergalactic. Robinson is known for being influenced by anime and video games when producing music and it’s represented by the unique pulses and progression in his songs.

3. “Warning Sign” by Coldplay (2002) This song comes off of “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” which is arguably their best album. It’s about a lover looking for excuses to leave their significant other, but then realizes what a mistake it was. If there’s one vocalist that I would want in my ear serenading me to sleep every night, it would be Chris Martin. Coldplay makes you feel things that you don’t necessarily want to feel but, at the same time, you don’t really mind. Somehow, they manage to take solemn songs, such as “Warning Sign,” and make them feel like a blanket wrapping around you when you need a warm hug. Is it wrong of me to say that Chris Martin hugs me? 4. “Hello” by Adele (2015) Although this isn’t my favorite Adele track of all time, it’s still piercingly beautiful and I’m so glad to have her releasing new music after nearly a five-year wait. In Adele’s last album, “21,” she had the whole world wondering, “Who hurt you?” When “Hello” came out a couple weeks ago, I was asking that question again. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the artist reveals that the song is about reconnecting with yourself after making it out of your early 20s and becoming an adult. When her entire “25” album releases on Nov. 20, I am purchasing a small rowboat to save myself from drowning in tears. 5. “Can I Kick It” by A Tribe Called Quest (1990) I’m going to stray away from the powerfully lyrical songs I’ve chosen thus far and move to one much lighter. Tribe takes a sample from another great song, Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side,” and adds their personal funky style and smooth, witty rhymes to make it something of their own. It’s simply a feel good song that you listen to when you’re literally kicking it back with some friends.

8. “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John (1971) This is the ultimate song to jam out to in the car. I think it’s mostly due to my favorite film, “Almost Famous” and the scene where everyone on the tour bus belts out the lyrics in unison. I can be anywhere and as soon as I hear that initial playing of the piano, I know it’s about to go down. “And you can hear me, when I say softly, slowly... *Drums on steering wheel* Hold me closer tiny dancer!” 9. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West (2007) I hate how much I love Kanye; his ignorance, his baffling statements, I love it all and I don’t know why. Kanye’s “Graduation” album is not only my favorite he’s released, but it’s in my top five favorite albums of all time. The lyrics in this song have a pretty straight forward message, serving as an “in-yourface” type shout out to all of the people who ever doubt, hate or try to tell you that you’re not capable of doing what you want. Although I like most of the stuff he’s come out with since, his music, in my opinion, has regressed. Old Kanye, I miss you. Come back. 10. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel (1970) It baffles me that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel supposedly had irreconcilable differences because they executed some of the most harmonious music. There are different opinions about what this song means. To me, it’s the ultimate anthem of friendship. “When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all; I’m on your side, when times get tough and friends just can’t be found.” It embodies what it means to be there for someone through all the difficulties of life, and I think that’s pretty cool.

LAUREN EDEN Staff Writer

12 Entertainment

“The Souls of Black Girls” Does self-image disorder exist?



“The Soul of Black Girls” (2008) documentary.

What is beauty? The term is so simple yet so complex. We can easily define the physical attributes that make us beautiful, but these very same attributes are what hinders how we see our inner beauty. This concept of self-image disorder is what St. John’s Alumni and Producer, Daphne Valerius, captured and shared with the world in December 2008 through her documentary, “The Souls

of Black Girls.” She shared it with SJU students in the D’Angelo Center on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Inspired by her professor, Dr. Edmond, Daphne Valerius opened her eyes for the first time in college to what made her beautiful. Her dedication to filming the plight of young women of color which creating this dialogue has redefined what it means to be beautiful. She has traveled across the country promoting the messages in her film and has been a member of panels where her work was used as a keynote for discussions. She was also recently invited by First Lady, Michelle Obama, due to her work in uplifting women and girls. This documentary focuses on the question of this self-image disorder and how it is affecting young women of color. It highlights the issues the media creates in young women when they portray these high expectations of beauty. The film takes on several conversations and, through them, displays this disorder first hand among a group of girls that suffer from it daily. In addition to these group conversations, it features a wide array of interviews featuring actresses like Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith.

The interviews also include artist and political activist Chuck D, cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis, “Essence” editor Pamela Edwards and many more who have helped make this film as powerful as it is today. The inspiration to create this documentary came from a real place within Valerius. “I was on this campus and I didn’t feel pretty,” mentioned Valerius during the panel question and answer period during her documentary debut at SJU. “I never felt pretty. We lived in Century Hall and I never used to let my suitemates see me without makeup on.” This was her reality and, through research and growth, she thought to herself, “I cannot be the only one feeling this way.” Throughout this documentary, Valerius shares her, as well as so many other young women’s, reality when they look in the mirror. Their standard of beauty was so flawed that it caused a lot of hurt and pain. They were doing things to themselves that only made sense because that is what the media characterized as beautiful. It was not until she started the editing process that she says she really started to heal.

“When you’re locked in a room editing and reading back these powerful words, my process started. I began to heal,” Valerius said. “If Regina King is telling you ‘Girl look at yourself ’ and you hear it over and over again, you start to believe it.” The pivotal moment for many people during the film was Michaela Angela Davis’ words, “I’m sorry.” Many viewers saw this as a call to action because Davis was apologizing for not being that role-model to young women to uplift themselves. Once the editor of Honey Magazine, she saw the plight happening, and she felt like she did not do enough to change those things. In the end, Dr. Yvette Morgan, another former student of Dr. Edmond at SJU and leader of the “GEAR UP” program here on campus, brought the conversation full circle. “We thank you for empowering us,” Morgan said. “Now let’s empower each other and go and give back to those that need us just as much.” “The Souls of Black Girls” is now on DVD. In addition, Valerius is working on a sequel “The Souls of Black Girls Too,” and is currently working on a television pilot entitled, “The Block.”

been polarizing with an audience mostly in attendance for the upbeat synthpop of Matt and Kim, they took some efforts to reach across the aisle, covering “I Won’t Back Down” as they performed a Halloween show as Tom Petty and playing their own songs to a response of “this song changed my life.” Backed by artwork from their third album “Sidewalks,” the duo came onstage to raucous fanfare and dove into the first track off the the record “Block After Block.” Their self-titled debut

didn’t make the cut on the setlist, but their second major label debut, “Grand,” just barely got on the set with only an hour allotted for the band to perform. With their latest release, “New Glow,” the band was still breaking in some of the newer material like “Hey Now,” “Can You Blame Me” and “Hoodie On,” but primarily relied on tracks from “Lightning” and their major hit off their sophomore record “Daylight.” Matt introduced the track with an anecdote about the Twitter interaction

with Kanye West, with the rapper tweeting “Matt & Kim– Daylight […] drums are so stupid on this song!! peep this Ninjasonik flip” and how the band clarified the tweet with West. With a heavy connection to hip-hop, the duo tossed in a cover of R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix),” saw Kim grinding on a cameraman to Beyoncé and even playing Rich Homie Quan in between tracks. The band’s candid on-stage banter and lack of any proverbial filters has been so strong that ticket sales sites display the disclaimer, “Language may not be suitable for all ages.” The duo played a remix of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with the vocals replaced by the “Smoke weed everyday” voice from Snoop Dogg’s “The Next Episode.” As a couple, the banter divulges into talking butts and boobs on stage with Kim even declaring, “Humor is to girls what boobs are to guys.” While the band’s usual stage presence brings full throttle energy, especially with a homecoming show, Matt and Kim brought balloons, confetti cannons and their signature brand of indie pop, which turned an evening at Music Hall of Williamsburg into a massive party.

Matt and Kim take Brooklyn


The first fall show for “Steve Madden Music’s” free concert series, featuring Matt and Kim, saw the duo returning to their native borough, Brooklyn, having played the much larger NYC venue Terminal 5 earlier this year. As graduates of the prestigious art school Pratt Institute, the band played a homecoming show to a packed house. Opening the show were fellow Brooklynites “Heliotropes,” whose heavy fuzz rock sounded reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney. With the occasional heckling of audience members screaming statements like “I want your body,” singer/guitarist Jessica Numsuwankijkul retorted back “No, I want YOUR body.” Although the official lineup is comprised of four ladies, the roster was adjusted at the show with Richard Thomas and Ricci Swift filling in for Amber Meyers and Nya Abudu. Also joining the quartet was tenor sax player John “Hot Juan” Stanesco, who is featured on the band’s latest record. While the band’s sound may have


Matt and Kim at the “Steve Madden Music’s” free music concert series at Terminal 5 in Brooklyn.

Entertainment 13

Go nuts with the “Peanuts” DAVID ROSARIO Contributing Writer

Snoopy and Charlie Brown are two of the most recognizable cartoon characters of all time, despite not appearing in all that many comic strips or television specials this side of the 21st century. Annual reruns of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” around this time of year have helped keep the Peanuts gang alive in the consciousness of the average movie-going audience. Now, they’re back again with their first 3-D feature length film, “The Peanuts Movie.” Thankfully, the wait was worth it. The signature look for all of the characters remains intact, only they now inhabit a fully three-dimensional world. While the film does have a slightly different aesthetic than some of the classic Peanuts stories of old, the lightheartedness remains fully intact. Charlie Brown is still the same lovable, clumsy kid who only ever wears that bright yellow shirt with the zigzag stripe, Lucy van Pelt still pulls the football away right before Charlie Brown can kick it, Linus is still inseparable from his blanket and the iconic theme music, the one everyone can hum even if they’ve never seen a Peanuts special before, is back as well. The filmmakers did their homework


“The Peanuts Movie” advertisement, which premiered in 3-D for the first time on Friday Nov. 6.

and successfully incorporated a lot of the classic elements that have made these characters so beloved for over 60 years. As far as the story goes, Charlie Brown is hopelessly enamored with the new redheaded girl, who moves in right across the street from him. He struggles to find the courage to introduce himself, despite his friends’ reassurances that she’s going to like him for who he is. Charlie spends the majority of the film coming up with different ways to impress the girl in order to win her over. Although it’s one of the most basic plotlines ever put to film, it’s done with so much charm and innocence. Audiences of all ages will be able to identify with the Charlie Brown character and his

dilemma of seeking a crush’s attention. It’s important for children to see a protagonist who represents them, someone who can make mistake but isn’t afraid to learn from those errors. Charlie Brown is the best kind of hero; he’s the everyman. Just as he learns a valuable lesson in selfworth so, too, the audience is educated because they’re with this character every step of the way. While the primary story in “The Peanuts Movie” is about the underdog, the secondary story is all about the dog. Snoopy doesn’t utter a word in the entire film, but he steals the show each time he makes an on-screen appearance. Bill Melendez, who passed away several years ago, posthumously provides the

voice for Snoopy (as well as Snoopy’s bird sidekick, Woodstock) through archive recordings. As great a job as the animators did with making the characters look like their two-dimensional counterparts, it’s the voice work of Melendez that fully breathes life into Snoopy. The endearing canine helps Charlie Brown throughout his crisis, but he occasionally slips into daydreams of being a World War I fighter pilot going against his nemesis, the Red Baron. Snoopy’s storyline parallels that of Charlie Brown’s, as he dreams of rescuing a fluffy pink poodle named Fifi. It’s puppy love in the most literal sense, and Snoopy’s daydream sequences are some of the most visually striking moments in the entire film. “The Peanuts Movie” is a filmmaking triumph on every level. The animation is a perfect combination of the older handdrawn style and today’s computerized graphics. More importantly, this film captures the magic of these characters so well. The joyful manner in which the story is presented will appeal to younger and older audiences alike, regardless of whether they’re already familiar with the Peanuts gang. These characters feel just as fresh as they did 60 years ago, and this latest installment is a clear indication that they’re here to stay.

New “Ash vs. Evil Dead” The king is back, baby, and in full effect

MICHAEL AMBROSINO Assistant Entertainment Editor Like the Evil Dead themselves, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” rips and rides its way through the darkness of night and attaches its evil to the poor souls who unleashed it. That would be us, the small yet sick group of fanatics who have been begging filmmaker Sam Raimi, the creator of the original “Evil Dead” trilogy, to bring the dead back to life after 30 long, ‘Ash-less’ years. Only this time, the Evil Dead possesses our television screens. Ash is back, and he’s old and out of shape. About 30 years after the events of “Army of Darkness,” the third of the “Evil Dead” films, Ash remains selfish and eccentric yet lively and hilarious. He is still a stock boy and lives in a small trailer in the woods. One night, high off of his rear-end with a beautiful woman, he breaks the “Book of the Dead” out from its (rather cheap) security and decides to read from it. Oh boy. This, once again, unleashes

the Evil Dead, putting the entire world in danger and forcing Ash to get back in the game--he wields his boom-stick, attaches his chainsaw-arm, throws on his dashing blue button-down and partners with two of his co-workers, Pablo and Kelly (played by Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo, respectively), to fight off the evil and stop it from possessing innocent souls around the world. Danger, blood, action and tons of wild, relentless fun awaits. What makes “Evil Dead” so much fun? What is it, exactly, that underlines them as unique, absurdly enjoyable films? A handful of things, I would say, from their seamless blend of comedy and horror to the character of Ash, the joyously energetic hero, performed remarkably by Bruce Campbell, who gives the films their beating heart and sense of humor. Raimi, who also was the developer of “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” introduced a slick, “in-your-face” style of horror movie filmmaking in “Evil Dead,” and pretty much proved that he is a master at effectively balancing comedy and horror. Having

directed the pilot episode of “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” he keeps that style consistent throughout, which is terrific considering that is one of the many definitions of the “Evil Dead” films. Ultimately, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” stays true to what spawned it. Bruce Campbell’s Ash is entertaining as hell, the comedy springs with color and energy, the barrel-to-zombie action is beautifully shot and exceptionally well edited, in its low-budget-looking sort of way and Raimi doesn’t shy away from dripping blood and exploding guts. Everything that makes the original “Evil Dead” movies entertaining is present in this show. If you’re an “Evil Dead” fan, you will enjoy everything that is on display here. If you’ve never seen an “Evil Dead” movie in your life, you will still enjoy everything that the new show has to offer . Gloriously cheesy and a lot of bloody fun, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” revitalizes the franchise and makes for an epic introduction to what could certainly be one of the most fun shows on television. It will ramp you up and make you excited

to watch TV, of course alongside series like “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.” It’s not as dead serious as those two shows, but “Ash vs. Evil Dead” sneaks its way into the party. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is on Saturday nights on Starz.


“Ash vs. Evil Dead” advertisement poster.

14 Sports

St. John’s falls in Big East semifinals to Butler STEPHEN ZITOLO Sports Editor

If one were to look at the final shot tally between No. 22/15 St. John’s and Butler in Friday night’s Big East Tournament Semifinal, St. John’s would’ve looked like the clear winner. But, that wasn’t what the final outcome reflected at Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The top seeded Red Storm (15-3-1, 7-1-1 Big East) out shot fourth seeded Butler (15-6-1, 6-3 Big East) 26-5 (122 shots on goal) on the evening but the Bulldogs made the most of their opportunities as they defeated the Johnnies 2-1. St. John’s had opportunities all night long to find the net but seemingly every cross, corner kick or shot on goal was hit with too much power or was just a foot too far to the left or right. The Red Storm struggled to find any offensive rhythm as they fell to the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs jumped onto the scoreboard first in the 10th minute as Serina Kashimoto scored on a free kick from 25 yards out and past an outstretched and injured Diana Poulin. The rest of the half saw the Red Storm trail on the scoreboard but they did have their chances to tie things up or take the lead as they had their share of opportunities outshooting Butler 12-3 at the half. In the second half the Red Storm’s offense came out and looked even more dominant as they controlled the ball and

put consistent pressure on the Bulldogs’ defense. The Bulldogs were able to slip down the field for what seemed like just a moment, but that was all they needed to find some insurance. In the 58th minute, Butler’s Paige Monaghan streaked down the left side of the field and let off a booming shot that hit off the fingertips of Diana Poulin and into the net for 2-0 Bulldog advantage. With 32 minutes left, the Red Storm needed to score fast if they were going to get back into the game. In the 63rd minute, senior defender and captain Georgia Kearney-Perry found the scoring the Johnnies needed. Freshman Lucy Whipp controlled a booming free kick from senior Alexis Urbanski, the freshman got off a shot that the Butler keeper Madison Card deflected. Card’s deflection found a waiting Kearney-Perry who buried the ball past Card; Whipp was given an assist on the goal. With only 27 minutes left St. John’s trailed 2-1. The Red Storm would, at times, have 10 players on the Butler side of the field to try and find the equalizer, but the Butler defense did a great job of keeping the Red Storm off kilter. The Bulldogs didn’t try to create offense for the last 15 minutes of game action. They focused on killing time and not getting over aggressive. The strategy paid off as Butler held off St. John’s and advanced to the Big East Tournament Final. The possibility of the Red Storm’s season continuing hangs in the balance, as

the NCAA selection committee will determine the team’s fate. The announcement of the 64 NCAA Tournament participants will come down at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9. Prior to the game, the Red Storm’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI), which is

a key stat used in determining who makes the NCAA Tournament, sat at 26th nationally. Butler’s RPI was at 102 prior to Friday night’s match. Even with the loss, the Johnnies most likely sit in a good position for selection in the NCAA Tournament due to their strong regular season.


Georgia Kearney-Perry(r.) scored the lone goal for the Red Storm versus Butler in the Big East semifinals. All of the senior defenders career goals have come in postseason play.

SJU falls short of Big East birth

Red Storm sweep Friars



Assistant Sports Editor

Believe it or not, going into Thursday night’s game at Providence, the St. John’s men’s soccer team was still alive for a position in the Big East Tournament, which began this week. Despite a weak 4-10-3 overall record on the year coming in, the young Johnnies conference record of 2-4-2 left them still holding on to some hope that they’d sneak into the Big East Tournament with a win and some help Thursday night. However, that road win would be easier said than done for the Johnnies, who would suffer a 4-0 loss on Thursday night, effectively squashing their postseason hopes and ending their season. Although it ended in a blowout, Thursday night’s game actually saw the Red Storm get off to a very positive start. In the 11th minute, the Johnnies leading scorer, freshman forward Mike Prosuk, had a one-on-one breakaway attempt denied by the Providence goalkeeper to keep their game scoreless. St. John’s would continue to attack in the ensuing minutes; however, in the 31st minute, the Friars began what would turn into a scoring barrage. A nice cross into the box from Providence’s Julian Gressel led to an easy goal for Mac Steeves, who beat redshirt senior goalkeeper Jordan Stagmiller to make it 1-0 Providence. Just nine minutes later, Gressel was at it again for the Friars. He found Alex Vigliotti open inside the 18-yard box, and Vigliotti was able to make a nice move and curl one

into the back of the net to give Providence a 2-0 lead at halftime. With their season on the line, the Johnnies had a chance to strike back right as the second half got going. Senior midfielder Luis Esteves was able to maneuver into a scoring position in the 47th minute; however, he wouldn’t be able to capitalize. As the Red Storm continued to play catch-up throughout the second half, they were unable to create much offensively. St. John’s had just one shot in the second half and four total in the game. With the Johnnies offense struggling, one final push by Providence would put the game out of reach. The Friars took a 3-0 lead on Vigliotti’s second goal of the game in the 79th minute, and just two minutes later they would add another goal to make it 4-0. St. John’s wouldn’t threaten in the game’s final moments, as they were officially eliminated from Big East Tournament contention with a 4-0 loss. “I thought we got off to a good start,” St. John’s head coach Dave Masur told “The two counter-attack goals we gave up towards the end of the first half really changed the game.” With the loss, St. John’s ended their season with a 4-11-3 overall record and a 2-5-2 mark in Big East play, good enough for an eighth place finish that left them two spots out of the conference tournament. With a group of talented newcomers that gained some much-needed experience, the Johnnies will look to build on this 2015 season and return to the top of the Big East in 2016.

Staff Writer

After three consecutive losses the St. John’s women’s volleyball team finally got back into the win column to keep their Big East Volleyball Championship aspiration alive. The Red Storm (16-13 overall, 6-8 in Big East) won a hard-fought game 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 27-25) against Providence (10-18 overall, 1-13 in Big East) at Carnesecca Arena on Friday night. “We played good teams, top teams in the Big East last weekend. We’re trying to get better and make a run to the playoffs” head coach Joanne Persico said. “Every team in the Big East is competitive. We’re one of those good teams” The Red Storm’s defense was able to hold Providence to a .195 attacking percentage. Senior Karin Palgutova had 17 kills and 12 digs for her 10 double-double of the season and fellow senior Shawna-Lei Santos tallied 44 assists (match-high) and 11 digs. Santos also made some history by passing Connie Chae (1995-1998) for third-all time on the career digs list in the third set. Santos now has 1,564 digs on career. St. John’s also got strong performances from senior Yaidy Santiago and freshman Margherita Bianchin. Santiago contributed 12 kills and eight digs while Bianchin collected 12 kills, eight digs and had a career-high .522 attacking clip. Redshirt junior Briana Guzman put together a strong showing with five kills, three blocks and .444 attacking percentage.

Sophomore Julia Cast continues her terrific season by coming away with nine kills, a .500 attacking clip and just two errors. Cast has been a model of consistency this season with her strong play for the Red Storm. St. John’s will close out its final homestand this coming weekend as they will take on Marquette Nov. 14 and DePaul on Nov.15. The match versus DePaul will mark the final home game for the four members of the senior class. Palgutova, Santiago, Deniz Mutlugil and Santos will all be honored before their final game at Carnesecca Arena.


Shawna-Lei Santos moved into third place on the St. John’s all-time kills list.

Sports 15

Sima shines in exhibition win over Sonoma State BRANDON MAUK

Digital Sports Manager For the last couple of seasons, it has been a block party every time St. John’s took the court at Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden. Even with a new cast, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change. Freshman big man Yankuba Sima held one of those block parties on Saturday. He swatted eight shot attempts away and also scored 16 points and 16 rebounds in a 64-46 victory over Sonoma State that served as a last tune-up before Friday’s season opener against Wagner. “I feel good. I just give my best. I did everything I could do to help the team win; that’s it,” Sima said. “I hope to try to do it every day, every game.” The 6’11” big man from Spain was one of new head coach Chris Mullin’s big prizes during his recruiting tour this summer. He was a top-15 recruit at the center position. Sima’s size and athleticism make him a force on both sides of the court. He showed it Saturday, and he’s ready for it to carry over into the regular season. “I think it builds our confidence so we aren’t nervous in the first [regular-season] game,” Sima said. “These [exhibitions] will help us going forward.” He was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line with a smooth shot unusual for a big man, which shows how complete his game can be. “Today I improved my free throws,

thank you to my coaches, because they help me.” Sima showed he could follow in the footsteps of Chris Obekpa, who shattered school and NCAA records blocking shots in his three seasons at St. John’s before transferring to UNLV this year. St. John’s controlled much of this game. They used a 10-0 run to end the first half and build a 14-point lead. They went on a 13-2 to ice the game in the final seven minutes. The performance was an improvement after a 32-point loss in the previous exhibition against St. Thomas Aquinas. Coach Chris Mullin was pleased with the team’s resiliency through adversity. “Sports are a great metaphor for life. Sometimes you learn more from losses and tough times than you do with good times,” Mullin said. “I wouldn’t go through the [last game] again but, to me, it’s more how you react to things like that than what happens. You assess it, you don’t run from it, you claim it and you try to do something about it.” St. John’s only shot 36.2 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times, five by freshmen Federico Mussini. They got it done primarily at the line, as they were 29-of-34 on free throws. The overall effort on defense was noticeably better from Wednesday’s game, as they held Sonoma State to 22.4 percent shooting. The Seawolves were just 13-of-58 from the field. “I thought we had two really good practices that were very intense. One focused on defense, one focused on

offense and the carryover was there,” Mullin said. “I am pleased with how we bounced back. We put good work in [practice] and were able to transfer some of that into a game situation.” Redshirt junior Christian Jones added a double-double of his own with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He also added two steals and went 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Jones is one of the three returning lettermen for St. John’s, and is looking to have a breakout season and help

freshmen like Mussini and Sima establish themselves into the program more comfortably “Being that I’m a junior, I want to be a leader for these guys because that’s what I had when I was coming in. Most of the freshmen and sophomore players hit walls and it’s hard for them to transition into league play.” St. John’s opens the regular season at 6 p.m. Friday against Wagner at Carnesecca Arena. You can catch the game on Fox Sports 1.


Yankuba Sima displayed why he was a coveted recruit as he scored 16 points to go along with 16 rebounds and eight blocked shots in the Red Storm’s 64-46 exhibition win over Sonoma State.

St. John’s struggles versus D-II St. Thomas Aquinas CARMINE CARCIERI Assistant Sports Editor

Chris Mullin’s first game in his highly anticipated return to Queens did not go according to plan.

The new, inexperienced St. John’s roster was dominated from start to finish by Division II St. Thomas Aquinas, 90-58, in the team’s opening preseason match-up at Carnesecca Arena on Wednesday night. “It’s embarrassing,” Mullin said following the loss. “But, it’s something we have


Christian Jones was one of the few bright spots for St. John’s as the redshirt junior scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had four steals in the exhibtion loss to Division II Thomas Aquinas.

to claim. We did it together and there’s no time for pointing fingers.” The lone bright spot for the Red Storm was redshirt junior forward Christian Jones who recorded 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Jones was active on the glass and showed his experience playing at the collegiate level as he contributed 19 minutes off the bench without missing a shot. Freshman point guard Federico Mussini led the team in scoring with 16 points and four threes but struggled to separate from the Spartans pressure defense. Shooting guard Malik Ellison (10 points) and stretch four Darien Williams (eight points) also chipped in on the offensive end of the floor while graduate transfer Durand Johnson failed to continue his hot shooting from the Red and White Scrimmage, scoring only a single point. Missouri State graduate transfer Ron Mvouika and freshman big man Yankuba Sima both had rough outings, combining for just seven points and seven rebounds. The Johnnies were missing freshman Marcus LoVett (knee) and Kassoum Yakwe (eligibility issue) along with senior Felix Balamou (undisclosed injury). With seven new players receiving minutes and three coming off major injuries, the lack of chemistry at both ends of the floor was evident. The Johnnies committed 28 turnovers (16 at halftime) and failed

with their defensive rotations, letting the Spartans score 48 total points in the paint. “The biggest thing is the basic fundamentals,” Mullin said when asked about what he could take away from the game. “Passing, getting open, taking care of the basketball, breaking the press. It wasn’t effective enough and that’s what these exhibition games are for.” St. John’s dug themselves into a 16-point hole at halftime as the Spartans shot 63 percent from downtown, 62 percent from the field overall and converted 21 points off turnovers. With the ability to beat Mullin’s guards off the dribble, the Pennsylvania squad finished at the rim with ease. It was not a better performance in the second frame for the Red Storm. St. Thomas Aquinas continued to play with a chip on their shoulder with Chaz Watler (18 points), Justin Reyes (25 points) and Shaquille McFarlan (13 points) leading the team on a 10-0 run early in the second half. The Johnnies finished the game shooting 37 percent from the floor and 59 percent from the free throw strike. “I take the responsibility,” Mullin said. “I thought they were more prepared than they were. But, we’ll get back to the details and we’ll have tremendous things to work on from the tape.” St. John’s opens the season on campus versus Wagner on Friday, Nov. 13.

SPORTS November 11, 2015 | VOLUME 93, ISSUE 11 |


Going Dancin’

It definitely took longer than expected for the St. John’s women’s soccer team to hear their NCAA Tournament fate. After waiting 15 minutes longer than the rest of the nation’s teams due to the lack of WiFi connection, the Red Storm heard the news they were awaiting: they were going dancing. “That was weird,” head coach Ian Stone said. “I didn’t expect that to happen. But it just added to tension a little bit.” “[It was] horrible, honestly. I’ve been waiting all day for that. But then to have it extended by that technical difficulty was awful,” senior defender Georgia Kearney-Perry said. “But it was well worth it.” This historic Red Storm group checked off another first for the program, as they will play host to their first ever NCAA Tournament game on Saturday night at 7 p.m. They will be welcoming the Boston University Terriers to Belson Stadium. The selection marks the third appearance in the NCAA Tourney for the Red Storm (2009, 2013, 2015). “It’s absolutely massive,” Kearney-Perry said of the game at Belson Stadium. “I always had hopes and good positive vibes going into this that we would make it. But to host a game is like a different level, especially on Belson where we are a very good home team and take a lot of pride playing

on that field. I’m just so excited to get the chance to play on that field again.” Even though Boston University might not be a hugely recognized elite national program, they are a team to watch. The Terriers (12-5-3) are experienced in the NCAA Tournament as they have made it 10 of the last 11 years. They have won the Patriot League title for three consecutive years and have a coach in Nancy Feldman that has been their leader for the last 21 seasons. On the offensive side of things for the Terriers, the teams leading offensive threats are freshman forward McKenna Doyle, who has six goals and three assists on the year and senior Jenna Fisher, who has scored five times and assisted on four others. The Terriers defense is one of the better back lines in the nation. Senior keeper Alyssa Parisi anchors the Terriers’ defense and with Parisi in net, the team has a goals against average of .68 and are 12-3-3 when Parisi is in goal. Boston University’s struggles this season seem to come when they move away from their home turf at Nickerson Field and go on the road. The Terriers are 4-33 on the road and 8-1 at home. That is a statistic that could play right into the Red Storm’s hands, as they are undefeated at Belson this season. “I think we are 6-0 this year on Belson and play pretty well here,” Stone said. “Boston University is a great team and I’m not going to say it’s going to be an easy

game by any means because I have the utmost respect for them. But I would certainly rather be playing them here than at their place.” The home game at Belson and even


Boston University is a great team and I’m not going to say it’s going to be an easy game by any means because I have the utmost respect for them. But I would certainly rather be playing them here than at their place.

making the NCAA Tournament itself was something that the team was unsure of after its loss to Butler in the Big East semifinals last Friday night. Even though Butler ended up winning the Big East Tournament, the Red Storm won the Big East regular season championship and the team had three wins in the regular season versus teams to make the NCAA’s (Butler, Farleigh Dickinson, and Boston College). Due to those victories, the selection committee had no choice but to make the Red Storm a tournament team. “I was in tears after our game on Friday,” senior forward Rachel Daly said. “I slept in my uniform. I didn’t want to take it off. To get this chance again is obviously huge for us. I want to play in this uniform

as long as I can.” “I was confident, until we lost to Butler. Then I thought anything could happen,” Stone said. “Obviously some of these conferences like the ACC, SEC and the Big Ten were stronger than the Big East and I didn’t want that to hold us back because the girls have done everything asked of them. I’m happy to get in and really really happy to host.” One more home game also gives the senior class one more chance to play on their home turf and in front of the St. John’s faithful crowd one final time. “They’re deserving of it,” Stone said. “I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. Obviously it’s the first time we have ever hosted an NCAA game. But it is really because of that group of seniors that have turned the program around. It’s a reward for them for everything they have put in over the years.” “To have another chance at Belson is great,” Kearney-Perry said. “I hope we have a good crowd out there on Saturday. It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait.” St. John’s is six wins away from every college soccer team’s dream of a National Championship and coach Stone isn’t shy about how far this group can go. “Anytime these girls have been given a challenge they have risen to the occasion,” Stone said. “I wouldn’t fear anybody that we are matched up against. I still think there’s more to come from this group because some of the freshmen are improving rapidly as the season goes on.”

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