November 18, 2015

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To r c h

VOL 93: 12 November 18, 2015

The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

Light for Peace:

‘SJU stands with Mizzou’ Students hold candlelight vigil after


Chanting “SJU stands with Mizzou,” more than 100 students marched throughout campus in the evening hours on Nov. 12 in support of the student-driven protests at the University of Missouri. In a grassroots effort organized by a number of St. John’s student leaders from various organizations, students gathered in front of the D’Angelo Center at 6:30 p.m. before walking past Montgoris Dining Hall and throughout the Residence Village before ending the demonstration at St. Augustine Hall. “For all the people who were here today, we commend you for coming out,” senior Xavier Buck told the crowd of students prior to the march. “For all the people who always thought about how exciting it would be to fight in the 1960s, this is your time right now.” Buck, alongside senior Ascia Brown and junior Kevante Williams, delivered an introduction that gave a back story to the march’s purpose. From the resignation of past University of Missouri president Timothy Wolfe to the ongoing threats occurring on Mizzou’s campus, each speaker highlighted reasons for activism. According to Buck and Williams, the demonstration was planned in just two days in response to the growing perils on the Mizzou campus. “There was a feeling among many leaders on campus to stand with students at the University of Missouri, especially after we heard that there were threats to kill black students,” Buck told the Torch. Representatives from more than 10 organizations participated in preparing for the St. John’s march. “It wasn’t really much about the collaboration, because all we wanted was to become united,” Williams said. “We were just united students.” Continued on page 4

terrorist attacks and natural disasters TALIA TIRELLA AND AMANDA UMPIERREZ Co-Editor-In-Chief and News Editor Dozens of students gripped their candles as darkness casted over their shoulders. By the Great Lawn, they were encouraged to hold the flames in memory of those affected by tragedies worldwide from the past week, and to regularly express their feelings to loved ones. “Always say ‘I love you’ to people, because you never know if that may be your last time,” junior Richard Cantoral said to the crowd. The vigil, hosted by the Latin American Student Organization (L.A.S.O) in the evening of Nov. 16 outside St. Thomas More Church, was designed to promote peace in light of the attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad, and other natural disasters. The event was called ‘Luces Para La Paz’ which means ‘Light for Peace.’ “It reminds me to be thankful, and to be unified,” sophomore Kimberly Alvarez said after attending the candlelight. “To take advantage of what we have now.” L.A.S.O was spurred to hold this event after a string of trage-

dies. Most recently, 40 civilians in Beirut were killed on Nov. 12 after a pair of suicide bombings. A day later, 129 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS throughout Paris. The attacks in Paris hit home for St. John’s, which has its own campus three miles away from the theatre. In a statement released on Monday, the University said, “We are grateful that all St. John’s students, faculty, administrators and staff members associated with our Paris campus are accounted for and safe. Please know that the entire SJU team—in Paris and NYC—is dedicated to ensuring their continued safety and well-being.” Some Discover the World (DTW) students on the St. John’s Paris campus were heading off-campus when they were stopped and ordered to stay in the building, according to two students. Continued on page 5






Marcus Lovett declared academically inelligible to play

Charlie Sheen’s million dollar secret revealed

Paris attack reminds that peace is just a dream

Glamour Gals proves there is no age limit

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Managing Board XCIII

Jenny Chen & Talia Tirella, Editors-in-Chief Kyle Fitzgerald, Managing Editor Cheyanne Gonzales, General Manager

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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.


The Eiffel Tower is lit in blue, white and red to honor the 129 victims that were killed during the Paris attacks on Nov. 13.

News 3 Ozanam Society raises awareness on violence against women Human trafficking and domestic violence among topics discussed

St. John’s students have undertaken a mission to end violence against women. Mainly through the “It’s On Us” campaign, students are being informed about topics such as recognizing that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identifying situations where the assaults may occur, intervening in situations where consent has not or cannot be given and creating an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. The Ozanam Society also undertook a similar mission. On Oct. 12, student members of the Ozanam Society set up tables and different activities to help inform fellow students about violence against women. “Our event is mainly focusing on

bringing advocacy to violence against women around the world,” freshman Ozanam Scholar Reagan Babione said. “Here you can come to learn about anything ranging from domestic violence to human trafficking and much more.”

cooper miqueli Assistant Opinion Editor

It’s not something they choose, they are tricked into it.

Among the many table stations included one concerning human trafficking and one displaying the views of menstruation in different countries. The stations showed how these concerns can prevent education

for girls and women. Freshman Ozanam Scholar Natalia Gierber advocated for victims of human trafficking by having her hands tied with rope. “To represent the women who are forced into sexual trafficking every year. It is not something they choose, they are tricked into it.” Gierber said. St. John’s student Erl Marc believed the event opened eyes to violence concerning women, specifically in accordance to human trafficking and domestic violence. “Very informative for people who didn’t know about human trafficking and how close it is to home,” he said. “I didn’t know that one in four women are victims to domestic violence.” Gierber emphasized the importance of knowing the aspects regarding violence against women, and not just the general term. “I think that violence against women

is something everyone knows about,” she said. “I think it’s great that we did this event to show some of the specifics and not just violence as a whole.” Marc noted the close distance to one of the largest locations relating to violence with women. “It goes on so close to home, maybe 20 minutes from here is Queens Plaza, it’s one of the largest human trafficking locations in the United States,” he said. The Ozanam Society chose to hold this event because of their similar ideas in respect to women’s rights. “We all had a bunch of different ideas that all involved women’s rights and violence against women so we came together and created this event,” junior Ozanam Scholar Dominic Gierber said. “It’s the right thing to do. That is what fuels a lot of our events. We’re in the 21st century and we’re still fighting to stop violence and for equality.”

Organization combats domestic violence for women and men KARINA CASTILLO Staff Writer Domestic violence isn’t a gender-specific problem. In fact, it is an issue that can affect anyone regardless of age, social class or race. One in every three women and one in every four men experience some form of physical abuse in their lifetime. St. John’s Latin American Student Organization (L.A.S.O) hosted “DoMENstic Violence: It’s a Mutual Thing” this Monday to shed light on this issue. Junior L.A.S.O President Richard Cantoral hoped the event would be able to break stereotypes associated with domestic violence. “It’s hard to visualize the fact that men and women are abused at an almost equal rate,” Cantoral said. “But it is important to realize that even the smallest action is worth more than the biggest intentions.” In an effort to demonstrate this, videos depicting real life social experiments were presented. One showed a man verbally and physically abusing his girlfriend in the middle of a busy park. The reaction was almost instant. People rushed over to the bickering couple, sometimes even becoming physical with the aggressor to break the fight up. A second video showed the opposite scenario, a woman verbally and physically abusing her boyfriend. This time, no one offered their help. Some bystander tried to hide the fact that they were laughing, while others had more vocal responses, yelling out “worldstar” and recording the couple fighting. The main reason that most people felt they didn’t need to intervene when they saw a man being assaulted was because


As part of the “DoMENstic Violence: It’s a Mutual Thing” program, students were informed on the violence affecting both men and women.

they didn’t really think his life was in danger. They all thought that he couldn’t possibly suffer any real harm in the hands of a woman. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “male victims often feel too embarrassed to report violence perpetrated against them.” This mentality fuels the domestic abuse cycle, since “men who witnessed domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children than those who did not witness domestic violence.” When dealing with domestic abuse, it

is important to understand that physical abuse isn’t the only form of abuse, since verbal, emotional and sexual abuse exists as well. Often times, the person on the receiving end refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem. The question is: What can individuals do when the victim of domestic abuse keeps making excuses for their aggressor? As a way to help combat this issue on campus, the Student Wellness Center offers a lot of on-campus resources to students. The Student Counseling Center can provide students with someone to talk to

or even refer them to others if more help is required. If the situation has reached the point where students feel they are out of their depth, the Wellness Center is able to step in. They have the ability to take a student out of class, forcing them to get the help they need without any excuses. For L.A.S.O Vice President Magdaline Hurtad, the fight to end domestic violence is one that everyone must join. “Even if it's hard to believe, domestic violence has affected even those closest to you,” Hurtad said. “That is why we stand up against it; for the ones we love.”



continued from page 1

Students march in response to Mizzou protests

Buck urged the St. John’s community to take further action in educating students on dominant cultures and their effects on marginalized groups, and noted that although the University provides a sociology course focusing on inequality with race, class and gender, more response is needed. He also anticipates that professors will enroll in courses focusing on these topics before allowing eligibility for tenure status. “We cannot boast to be one of the most diverse universities in this nation and not supplement that diversity with essential education,” he said. Brown, who spoke at the march, agreed with Buck’s statements during an interview with the Torch. “I think there needs to be more educational platforms that are mandatory for everybody that attends St. John’s,” she said. “Something similar to AlcoholEdu, but more of a structure where you sit down and can have these conversations face-toface.” At the march, students were encouraged to speak and present in front of St.

Augustine Hall. For Senior Maurisa Fraser, that meant performing her two-minute poem, ‘This,’ which emphasized the beauty of black skin and her experience as a black woman.

It amazes me that since Ebola doesn’t affect America anymore it’s not our concern and has drifted out of headlines.

“‘This’ sheds light on this idea that blackness is not something you can remove,” Fraser said. “It was a mini synopsis of my experience as a black woman at St. John’s, in higher education and a part of society.” Senior A.J. Watkins spoke on racism as an international conflict, and how society should learn to love, not hate. “I urged them to not allow everything that has happened to cause hate to settle in their hearts because it is very easy for that to happen,” he said. “We must operate in love to bring about change.”


Top: St. John’s students march throughout the Queens campus on Nov. 12. Bottom: Student leaders speak and discuss topics outside of St. Augustine Hall that concern racial tensions.

Starbucks minimalist cup design stirs up controversy Irene Spezzamonte Staff Writer If you are walking from one class to the other with a Starbucks cup in your hand, you might notice that something is missing. The company has released the new cups for the Christmas season without any reference to the Christian holiday. The cups are only colored with a shiny red that ombres into a darker cranberry shade. The new cup design has created a controversy among the Christian population. A video of former pastor and social media personality Joshua Feuerstein went viral on the web with more than 10 million views, putting the matter under public eye. Feuerstein defined Starbucks as an anti-Christian company and said that Starbucks removed any Christmas writings and/or drawings “because they hate Jesus.” Starbucks replied that the company wanted to “create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity.” According to an interview released on the official Starbucks website, Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of design and content, said, “In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs. This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.” St. John’s students reacted in different ways to the situation. Junior Fausto Rodriguez sides with the Starbucks design,

calling it an inclusive way to celebrate the holiday season. “I think ‘happy holidays’ is the safe way of greeting someone during that time of year, rather than assuming they celebrate Christmas,” Rodriguez said. “It’s foolish to call this an attack on Christmas just because Starbucks wants to include everybody rather than just the majority.” On the other hand, there are students who support Feuerstein’s point of view. “As a Christian, I am outraged by Starbucks’ unethical behavior,” graduate student Marta Hausman said. In the meantime, there are also students who don’t believe the controversy should be a big issue. “This is a perfect example of people digging too deep into things that don’t matter. It may matter to some people. However, it’s really just a cup and you’re still getting your daily dose of caffeine, so why complain,” sophomore Cristina Palavra said. “Compared to those families overseas who can’t even walk out of their houses, nevermind celebrate the holiday season due to never-ending violence, this controversy seems petty and unimportant.” Junior Israel Lopez, thinks the issue is not that relevant. “Christmas is about the coming together of families and communities to celebrate life, not just the life of Jesus but also the life people share together,” Lopez said. “But, we shouldn’t need a written reminder to feel that way.”


Starbucks red holiday cups offer a minimalist design where a bright red fades off into a darker shade, different from the winter snowflakes, reindeer and snowmen drawings from previous years.



University releases statement along with solemn ceremony Continued from page 1 “A group of us were on our way to the Eiffel Tower when the front desk and RA stopped us from going out after the first attack,” junior Desiree Avila said in an email from Paris. “A group was walking in from the Eiffel Tower.” The release stated that the neighborhood around the Paris campus is functioning “in a relatively normal way” on Monday, less than 72 hours after the attacks. Classes were held as normal on Monday. Meanwhile on the Queens campus, students attending the vigil were reminded on the significance of a candle, especially during tragic times. “It brings guidance to the darkness, which is currently where we find ourselves,” Cantoral said to students “Our candles signify the start of inspiration and guidance.” Chapter President of Lambda Pi Upsilon sorority highlighted the imperativeness of diversity and acceptance.

Always say ‘I love you’ to people, because you never know if that may be your last time.

“Everyone here comes from a different place, and even if you come from the same place, we have different experiences, and that should not be a basis for hate,” she said. “It should be a basis for love because if you can experience the world in one way, you can experience it through the eyes of your brothers and sisters around you.” A poster was provided for students to write any prayer intentions and messages, and Residence Minister for Leadership Rob Cote announced that Campus Ministry would host Prayer Services every Monday. The University said they would evaluate all possible off-campus activities on the Paris campus to make sure they are “inline with the guidance from the local authorities. The statement also said the University is working to collaborate with other universities with study abroad programs to ensure they are doing everything possible to support students. In the meantime, the University is continuing to monitor the situation and following information provided by the U.S. Department of State as well as the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the French government and major news sources. If you have any concerns, a member of Public Safety can be reached 24 hours per day, seven days per week through the Office of Public Safety by calling 718-9905252.


Top and middle: Over 40 Students gathered on the Great Lawn on Nov. 16 in remembrance of the victims who lost their lives and those who were affected by the recent tragedies. Bottom: A student writes a heartfelt message on a posterboard.


orch briefs

Carson in bad spotlight after alleged lies Arianna Pintado Contributing Writer Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has been under fire recently following the reemergence of his 1990 best-selling autobiography, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” which caused questions to rise regarding the authenticity of these stories. One of the stories revolved around Carson’s history of violence towards his mother and the attempted stabbing of one of his close friends. CNN reporters Scott Glover and Maeve Reston interviewed nine of Carson’s childhood friends, and found that none of the nine friends recalled any of the incidents of violence that Carson disclosed. Another story that was allegedly fabricated was how Carson falsely claimed earning a prestigious scholarship to West Point. Following this, Carson also said that he saved numerous white students by hiding them in a classroom to protect them

from a black mob on the day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. This claim was soon proven to be false by the Wall Street Journal, as they discovered that there was no proof of the incident. In a recent interview with Fox News Reporter Megyn Kelly, Carson tried putting an end to this controversy by saying, “[Investigators] are so desperate looking for a scandal it’s almost comical.” Freshmen Erin Bola and Donna Mourani believe Carson’s refusal to place fault on himself will further hurt his reputation. “It sounds like he is putting the blame on almost anyone but himself. Some of his excuses such as saying that, technically, being urged to apply to West Point is the same as being offered a full ride, seems like a huge stretch,” Bola said. “This might not be as important as his official political stances, but it definitely casts a huge shadow of doubt over his credibility.” “I want a president who is going to be truthful and I feel like I would be able to trust,” Mourani said. “So far, I don’t think he’s off to a good start.”

Ebola: one year later

joanne corrielus Staff Writer

Exactly a year ago, the world was on high alert as the Ebola virus ran rampant throughout West Africa and made landfall here in the United States. Now, one year since the epidemic, the Ebola virus has been completely eradicated from both Sierra Leone and Liberia. New strides are being made each and every day to prevent the disease from spreading once again. During the height of the Ebola epidemic, the West African countries hardest-hit were Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of Nov. 7, the transmission of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has ended. The WHO came to this conclusion after 42 days (two incubation periods) passed since the last person diagnosed with the virus in Sierra Leone had a second negative blood test. In order to ensure that this status re-

T 6

It amazes me that since Ebola doesn’t affect America anymore it’s not our concern and has drifted out of headlines.

mains the same, Sierra Leone will enter a 90-day intensive surveillance period in the hopes of detecting any flare-ups in Ebola cases. During this 90-day period, the WHO will continue to provide assistance to Sierra Leone, according to the WHO website. This same feat was accomplished by Liberia just two months ago, when the WHO declared Liberia Ebola-free on Sept. 21. Junior Nathalie Tigua thinks that these strides are a great accomplishment for the international medical community. “I think it’s a great thing because Ebola is a deadly disease and people are no longer dying from it is a victory,” Tigua said. “Death is never a good thing so this is amazing.” As great as these accomplishments are, it is hard to forget about the thousands of people who lost their lives due to the virus. Junior Shanyse Clark believes the disease should still be covered in the media. “It amazes me that, since Ebola doesn’t affect America anymore, it’s not our concern and has drifted out of headlines,” she said. In the United States, there were four-laboratory diagnosed cases of Ebola throughout the September and October months of 2014. According to the WHO, as of Nov. 10, more than 11 thousand people have died from the Ebola virus. In the West African country of Guinea, the fight to end the transmission of Ebola continues.

Students reveal opinions on dry campus policy karina castillo Staff Writer Long gone are the days when alcohol consumption was allowed on campus. Many don’t know that St. John’s had an on-campus bar before the residence halls were built, when the university was just a commuter school. The Rathskellar was a staple in many St. John’s alumni lives during the seventies and eighties before being officially shut down in the nineties. According to St. John’s Director of Me-

When I got here, it was not anything at all what I thought college would be like.

dia Relations Elizabeth Reilly, the university's efforts to maintain a drug and alcohol free community for students is directly in compliance with federal, state and local laws. In order to maintain this ‘dry-campus’ environment, “The Office of Student Conduct employs both educational and punitive responses to violations of the Alcohol Policy,” said Reilly. For junior Carlos Ramirez, the university's ban on alcohol was not something that affected his decision in applying to the school. “I came here when I was 24 so I had already lived through most of my party years before I got here,” Ramirez said. Sophomore Ruben Rozo didn’t know St. John’s was a dry campus until he started attending the university. “People are constantly complaining about the dry campus,” Rozo said. “It is what it is, for those who don’t drink they don’t have to worry about. And those who do, have to be smart because the consequences can be pretty intense if you get caught.”

The university offers different punishments and fines for students who are caught disobeying the law. For minors, there are fines, community service and enrollment in alcohol awareness programs. For those who are over 21 and supply alcohol to a minor, they could face $1000 in fines and possible imprisonment. According to Harvard School of Public Health, “Students at ban colleges were 30% less likely to be heavy episodic drinkers and more likely to abstain from alcohol.” Despite all of the warnings, some students can’t help but feel disappointed when they realized that the idea they had of what college would be like was not a reality. Freshman Hillary Tejeda came to St. John’s looking for that college experience that was always portrayed in movies and television shows. “It’s not that I came to St. John’s to party and go crazy, but I grew up with an expectation of what the college social scene was like,” Tejeda said. “When I got here, it was not anything at all what I thought college would be like.”

For Ramirez, there were other things that deterred him from partying too hard during the semester. “You’re paying way too much money to just blow it on one party. You’ll most likely be 21 by the time you graduate, party then when you don’t have to worry about midterms and finals.” Apart from the costly effects that alcohol consumption can have on grades, there is also the matter of developing a dependency to alcohol at a young age. In fact, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “youthful drinking is associated with an increased likelihood of developing alcohol abuse or dependence later in life.” Not to mention that, “underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.” St. John’s Wellness Education and Prevention Services offers students the tools they need in order to make more informed decisions regarding alcohol. Through their online AlcoholEdu for college students, they look “not to preach, but rather educate students about alcohol and its effect on the mind and body.”

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

Flames of the Torch: Paris attack At the start of a weekend plagued by tragedies, the world watched in terror as the city of Paris was ravaged on Friday night. More than 120 innocent people lost their lives as victims of a terrorist attack orchestrated by the extremist group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Less than a year after the bloody attacks at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, carnage raged in France once again. We, at the Torch, would like to extend our deepest condolences to any and all affected by the attacks in France last week. The attack hit especially close to home as some of our own students are studying abroad in Paris this semester. Thankfully, all students, faculty and staff on the St. John’s University Paris campus have been accounted for and remained safe throughout the weekend. The University released a statement Monday pledging to closely monitor the situation in order to keep students who are studying in Paris safe. The attack has brought up many issues in foreign policy. In the United States, the admission of Syrian refugees has become a key issue in the debate of what our next steps should be. This has been fueled by reports that the passport of a Syrian refugee was found at the scene of one of the attacks in France. French authorities confirmed that the passport was fake on Tuesday. When tragedies such as this occur,

many people are quick to jump to conclusions. This has, once again, led us down the slippery slope of Islamophobia. More than half of the nation’s governors have stated that they will refuse Syrian refugees’ admission into their states. New York has not yet committed to a decision on the matter. Understandably, this decision has become extremely controversial as issues of safety have repeatedly been brought up. The Torch’s editorial board itself has varying opinions on the matter, as do millions of Americans. In a situation like this, there are no easy answers. We cannot, however, allow ourselves to fall victim to the idea of religious intolerance. The U.S. is a nation founded on principles of religious freedom. It is a well known fact that ISIS is an extremist, terrorist organization that does not represent the Islamic faith in any way. To persecute Muslims after these attacks is unfair. Some of the most sacred, closely-held beliefs here at St. John’s are rooted in the Vincentian mission. These beliefs directly relate to the idea of welcoming all people, regardless of their faiths. As we continue to mourn the victims and monitor the situation, we, at the Torch, hope a solution is found that unites us all.


Reflecting on Stanton’s lecture: Thanks for listening

FR. PATRICK GRIFFIN, C.M. Special to the Torch

Brandon Stanton is a young, New York Times bestselling author with three books in print. He draws over 15 million followers on Facebook. His mission, he says, is to take photographs of 10,000 New Yorkers. Two weeks ago, I went to Stanton’s lecture in Carnesecca. Since then, I have been reading his “Humans of New York: Stories” more seriously. Actually, “reading” might not be the right way to describe a person’s relation to Stanton’s work. Most pages have a few words and one large picture. Reading one and then looking at the other without reflection devalues his effort. I do not want to make him out to be some sort of cultural genius, but he does have a good eye for photography with the ability to capture a moment and a good ear for listening to discern the heart of a story. His particular gift brings the two senses together. One could move through his book quickly just glancing at the words and skimming the pictures. Greater effort, however, is rewarded. Often, he hits the same mark visually and verbally. At the lecture, when he spoke about his work, he concentrated on the stories. He spoke about how he encouraged people to share something about themselves by asking them a series of questions. I understand why his technique

succeeds. All of us have stories held in us that we want to let out. Sometimes, we may want to tell them to a stranger because of the presumed lack of judgment and the freedom to describe a situation without prejudice (in the Christian sacrament of Reconciliation, otherwise known as confession, this dynamic can operate during a graced encounter). I imagine that a lot of people felt grateful to Stanton for paying attention to them. Is it just me that thinks that so many of his encounters were with lonely people? Look around. Do you see lonely people among us? They can be painfully obvious or hidden, but they abound. Perhaps, at some time, we have known that kind of loneliness ourselves. His solution lies in finding someone who will pay attention to our story. Many people will talk readily, but how many are really able to hear? Sometimes, people will wait their turn to speak. But, then again, this does not embrace the kind of listening that I mean, which seems more like courtesy. A genuine desire to hear involves a presence for the other, without motives or plans. A really attentive person can draw the words out of us. I happen to believe that Jesus was a terrific listener. As we approach Thanksgiving, perhaps we can be grateful for those kinds of people in our lives. They bring a blessing. Or, perhaps, we can give someone else a reason to give thanks by our willingness to listen to their individual story.

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.

TO CONTRIBUTE Mail letters to: The TORCH, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439 Submit letters via email to:

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

8 Opinion

Consider empathy approaching Mizzou Unfortunately, there are still many people in this country who lack the humanity necessary when approaching situations, such as the ones occurring at the University of Missouri. There have been protests taking place at the Mizzou due to students’ concern for what they believe is the university’s lack of empathy and action in response to racially motivated incidents on campus. All across the nation, people, especially other college students, have been standing with Mizzou. While there has been an overwhelming amount of support for the black population at Mizzou, apathy and ignorance have still managed to surface. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, social media was swarmed with students of color at Mizzou, expressing their fear as white students were “riding around in pickup trucks terrorizing black people.”

There were also vicious, anonymous posts on the app, Yik Yak. One such post read, “I’m going to stand my ground and shoot every black person I see.” Another said, “Some of you are alright. Don’t go to campus tomorrow.” The same anonymous user posted “Well tomorrow Mizzou will really make national news.” There were also unconfirmed reports by students of the KKK being on campus. A number of students contacted teachers informing them of these posts and of their subsequent decision to not attend class the next day. At least two professors’ responses were copied and put on Twitter. One teacher referred to the anonymous users as “bullies” and said, “If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class. I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class.” Another one read, “The messages are quite unnerving, but MU is a big place. I think you have to try not to let this paralyze you.” The disregard these teachers had for

Illustrator’s CORNER

“Right thyroid lobectomy” By: Nicole Marino

their students’ safety is deplorable. These threats should have been taken quite seriously, especially considering the number of mass shootings in public places that have taken place in America over the last few years.


These threats should have been taken quite seriously, especially considering the number of mass shootings in public places that have taken place in America over the last few years.

They should have been grasped fully and students should’ve been able to avoid the threats made upon their lives without facing repercussions. Terrorists such as the ones who posted these threats should have been looked at as such; they are much worse than something as menial as a “bully.” An equally apathetic response to the

terror at Mizzou came from students/ people who attend or support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There were several users on Twitter victim-blaming black students at Mizzou for going to a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). One read, “too bad, they should have chosen a HBCU.” Why are people blaming the students for the mistreatment and racism instead of the perpetrators? It shouldn’t have to be said, but people choose places of higher education with a number of factors in mind, including financial capability. Whichever one they believe will benefit them the most should not be out of the question because of demography. Hatred should not be ignored or avoided, but faced headon and dealt with. Otherwise, it will be left to fester. Before approaching the events taking place at Mizzou, try a cup of empathy; remember that you are discussing other human beings.

Can we no longer “Imagine” peace?

IRENE SPEZZAMONTE Staff Writer It was a regular Friday night in Paris. People were enjoying a glass of wine at a restaurant, while others were supporting their national team in a stadium. There was no fear. At around 9:30 p.m. local time, that happiness abruptly came to an end. Armed attackers entered the Bataclan, a concert hall; taking hostages. Soon after shootouts took place in two restaurants, La Belle Equipe and Le Carllion. Two explosions were heard at the Stade de France where a soccer game between France and Germany was taking place. Paris, the city of love, met hate once again just months after the terrorist attack at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people lost their lives. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. France and the entire European Union with it, is shaken. The terrorist group, masquerading as a state, has been killing innocent people in the name of a medieval adherence to Sharia Law. Members of ISIS are indeed giving their own brutal interpretation of the Quran, the religious text of Islam. According to the Quran, Surah AsSaff, Verse 7, “Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun folk (wrong-doers).” What can be considered worse wrongdoing than killing men, women and children who are simply enjoying their lives?

The solution to this problem comes from the members of the region where ISIS has placed its roots. These countries, many of which include the teachings of the Quran in their very constitutions, should protect their religion from those who would kill in the name of their god. The answer to ISIS isn’t bombs from Washington or Paris, but swift action and cooperation from Tehran, Riyadh, Istanbul and Erbil. President Francois Hollande, who was present at the stadium, declared a state of emergency in the country, closing the borders. He also defined the attacks as “an act of war.” This maneuver will add more fuel to the controversial migrant situation under which Europe is currently living. This series of events has raised an even stronger racist sentiment against migrants from war torn middle-eastern and east-African countries. As a result of this, many governments will ignore the Schengen agreement and put harsh restrictions on migrant flows. More than 120 people died last Friday. More than 120 families are now destroyed. In 1988 John Lennon sang, “Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for.” Nowadays, there are still groups who believe that killing in name of God, whichever name you want to call him, is justifiable. Lennon’s idea is still just imagination.



Trans-Pacific PartnerBo d y i mage t r a nsc e n ds tre n d ship skepticism grows LIVIA PAULA Features Editor We live in a world where we blame society for everything. Yet, we often forget the obvious: we are part of society and we all have a part in what’s trending in the world. An example of this is body image along with the entire concept of what’s considered beautiful. Back in the 1950’s, Marilyn Monroe’s curves made her a sex symbol known worldwide. Years after that, we had the skinny model phase, where the majority of women walking down the runway were very thin and caused people to believe they didn’t fit the “acceptable” body type. Eating disorders soon became a popular trend. Now, in 2015, women face other types of body “goals.”

People need to remember that although it’s okay to pursue another look to make us feel better about ourselves, we must consider the reasons and how far we’re willing to go to change ourselves.

It’s the time where women are hot if they have a big butt and flat stomach with a tiny waist, big thighs and nice breasts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people willing to go that extra mile to achieve such beauty standards. Plastic surgery, butt implants, products that aren’t certified - going to cheaper alternatives for plastic procedures happens more often than we think. Makeup and waist trainers have become more popular as well. Insecurities rise when women feel they aren’t up to these new standards. The Victoria’s Secret fashion aired last week and tweets along the lines of “oh I’ll put my sandwich down now” emerged. Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner made their debut as VS Angels. Interestingly enough, there were rumors circulating last year that Hadid wasn’t accepted into the famous fashion show because her body wasn’t quite “ideal” for it yet. I guess we’ll just have wait for the day a plus size model will show up on the fa-

mous runway to break some stereotypes. Until then, we have more to think about. In the beginning of November, Essena O’Neil, famous for being “perfect” on Instagram, broke down in tears in a video explaining why she was quitting social media. The pressure broke her down. Before deleting her Instagram account, she edited her photos with “real” captions, detailing what was really going on in those photos, such as how she didn’t eat all day so her stomach would remain flat. Now, O’Neil is basically at war with social media and her words opened the eyes of many young girls out there. Such pressure and insecurities that young girls face around the world also come from part of the male population and their opinions on what’s hot and what’s not. They obsess over these women while most of the girls around them probably have an “average” body type. It’s hard when some women are looking for their possible loved ones and they feel like they don’t fit the “perfect” stereotype. People need to remember that, although it’s okay to pursue another look to make us feel better about ourselves, we must consider the reasons and how far we’re willing to go to change ourselves. Confidence can make a woman hotter than any of these women displaying their “goods” to everyone out there. Trends will always change, but we can’t always change with them. Our body and our minds might not be able to keep up with constantly changing trends.

MATTHEW D’AGUANNO Staff Writer With the pertaining elements of the Trans-Pacific Partnership finally being released to the public, the timer is running down on when Congress will agree upon the 12-nation partnership. The economic side of the deal has been widely discussed, with opinions that have both pros and cons from both sides. However, two major, less discussed implementations come down to a discussion on our rights as citizens in regards to the influence of big business and intellectual property laws. This is purely an interpretation and may not have the consequences that will be subsequently shown. The point is, there should be no room for any such interpretation. One huge creation of the TPP is the idea of a legal system called the “investor-state dispute settlement.” The court is one made for settling trade disputes. However, nothing in the agreement meets any of the standards or transparency any of the 12 countries involved hold dear in their respective legal systems. In fact, the landmark case in 2011 where the cigarette company, Philip Morris unsuccessfully sued the Australian government for passing the Plain Packaging Act. The Electronic Frontier Foundation found in their reading that private industry would have won the case.

Welders of society HUNTER RABINOWITZ Staff Writer


Model Gigi Hadid made her debut at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show this year.

They found “all of the provisions that recognize the rights of the public are non-binding, whereas almost everything that benefits rightsholders is binding.” Digital Rights Management is another part of the TPP that has some scary implications. Digital rights come down to the belief a company’s intended use for their product should be the only use allowed by consumer. A famous example of this was the 2005 Sony BMG case where rootkits were applied to CD’s so Sony could control what you did with the CD you had purchased. The main argument as a consumer is that, once a product is purchased, you have the right to do with it as you please. However, under the TPP agreement, the court could criminalize anyone who “circumvents without authority any effective technological measure that controls access to a protected work, performance or phonogram.” Sadly, there are dozens of other grey areas of this document that need to be analyzed. The general public will not be given the appropriate amount of time to convey their feelings towards this and news outlets won’t cover this story due to the apathetic behavior of consumers towards intellectual property rights. This piece is meant to strongly urge you to consider what is being done behind the gaze of international trade. This is corporate pork barreling at its finest and it’s time we opened our eyes.

In the latest Republican debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said, “We need more welders and less philosophers.” As opposed to a typical ire inspired rant, I would like to introduce you to Secundino Rios. Secundino is a 49- yearold priest from Panama studying English at St. John’s for a year. He has a master’s degree in philosophy and he lived during the reign of Manuel Noreiga, who tried censoring him and his church in the ‘80s. He said: “I don’t agree with [Marco Rubio.] I think everyone that works must know how to think. We can study and learn any specific handy job, but Marco Rubio is mistaken because he doesn’t meditate on what he says. It is true that we need carpenters and other manual laborers, but we

always need to think in any country. We need smart people to help us develop our nation. He doesn’t appreciate the benefits of philosophy. He must not understand what ‘thought’ is.” I then asked him why learning philosophy in America is important to our education. He said: “Philosophy affects all of the country and its international decisions. Other underdeveloped countries like Panama depend on U.S. policy. Here, in the U.S., [Rubio] can open another school for workers, but he can’t make philosophy disappear. We must use philosophy to help the world.” As I prepared to end the interview, he stopped me for one last comment on Senator Rubio’s idea that he thought was vital. “He must not want people to think because then people would learn to criticize his ideas.”

10 Features

Bringing the party to the SJU block B l o c k Pa r t y p r o v i d e s t u d e n t s a c h a n c e t o s h o w t h e i r t a l e n t s


St. John’s Block Party pose outside the DAC Ballroom during LPiU sorority “Taste of Elegance” event on Nov. 6, where they were invited to perform. The group shows its signature symbol. (right)


Staff Writer

Coming from his day job as State Farm insurance account representative, St. John’s alum Andre Karma comes back to St. John’s to teach a group of about 25 girls the new choreography for for their latest dance routine. They rehearse in whatever room they can find. It’s hot, there are no speakers and there is hair all over the floor. Even in these conditions, Karma pushes his dancers to master the choreography. It takes the dedication of all the dancers to pull off their newest dance. St. John’s Block Party made their first official debut as a dance group during a hip-hop showcase sponsored by some of

the Sorority and Fraternity Life and have since preformed at numerous events both on and off campus and they are currently working on making choreography videos as well. Karma, who has been dancing for six years, started out dancing in the Live dance group and began teaching hip-hop workshops and in the D’ Angelo Center and the Fitness Center. “I just wanted to open up to people who wanted to learn how to dance,” he said. While teaching his classes, Karma recognized the untapped talent that some the attendants displayed. One of the first members, junior Izzy Odigie, came up with the name because a block party reminds you of the people you grew up with who shape people into who they are. “I’ve been dancing my whole life, it’s

how I find happiness in whatever new place I find myself,” Odigies expressed. One of the things that set St. John’s Block Party apart from other dance groups is that, instead of auditioning, Karma sits down to interview with you. “Leading a dance group is kind of like being a parent mixed with a politician, not only do you have to be a good leader you have to be a good listener,” Karma said. “Coming from Dallas to New York City, I wanted to find a team I could dance with and I found Andre on the Internet and he reached out to me and he interviewed me,” said freshman Allison Anderson. “It takes a lot of time to do this. I respect Andre because of it.” Karma works with many beginners and people unfamiliar with the hip-hop dance style.

“I was a classically trained ballet dancer,” says sophomore Tara Buttermark. “After long hours with Andre just teaching me different techniques, I learned how to loosen up.” Though they mainly dance to hip-hop, the group is made of a diverse collection of individuals coming from different ethnic and dancing backgrounds. “Since we are so diverse we don’t have to go to outside resources to learn different dance styles,” Anderson states. The dance crew connects with each other outside of their rehearsal, during the interview. “We are like a family,” sophomore Christina Boccio states, “we support each other in everything we do.

Dr. Forman’s shell-f-less life lessons


Staff Writer

Ask any Honors Program student who his or her favorite faculty member is and his or her response will more likely than not be Dr. Forman. Dr. Robert Forman has been at St. John’s since 1970. He teaches courses in global and ancient Greek and Roman literature as well as Latin language. He is also the director of the Honors Program at the St. John’s Queens campus. Dr. Forman is best known for his deep care and compassion towards his students. Although his academic accolades surely make him stand out amongst the rest, it is his heart that makes him an invaluable asset to St. Johns. “I think there are more people overall who really care about other people here than in other comparable institutions,” Forman said about what makes this university stand out amongst others. There are over 1,000 honors students here at St. John’s and each of them has been, in a sense, initiated into the Program by Dr. Forman’s Shell Tradition. During the New Student Orientation, Dr. Forman allows each Honors Student to choose a shell from a clear box and then


Dr. Robert Forman is the director of the Honors Program and a member of St. John’s since 1970.

encourages them to bring it back once they have completed their academic career here. “This is a kind of a first gift and first lesson for the Honors Program,” he said. “And, although I must admit I don’t get

many of these shells back, the important thing is walking over to the place where these shells came from and putting them back there because that’s leaving what we had behind us and going on and appreci-

ating‘I’ve learned the lesson that this shell taught me. Now I can go onto something else.’” The shell also teaches students the value in individuality and uniqueness. No one’s shell is like the other and no one’s thing can be defined in the same way that one similar to it can. This teaches students a strong lesson in defining your own self and your own experiences. “One’s own estimation of oneself. You cannot possibly depend upon the estimation of others or the rewards of this world because the rewards of this world seldom come. And, when they come, they often do not measure very much,” said Dr. Forman on what he believes makes a successful person. There are many lessons students at St. John’s can learn from Dr. Forman, but the most important one is to approach everything we do, and the people we come in contact with, with the utmost regard. “When you come in contact with someone and when you have dealings with someone,” he explained, “You should try to understand them. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to be great friends. It probably means you won’t, but at least you can understand where they’re coming from.”

Features 11

Glamour knows no age limits Glamour Gals provide makeovers and companionship to senior citizens



The St. John’s Glamour Gals chapter participated in the fall 2015 activities fair to recruit volunteers.

Volunteers provide makeup, manicures and a friendly face to senior citizens accross the country.


they’re not forgotten.”As people age, the amount of compassionate interactions and conversations they experience decrease, especially for those in senior homes. “We always stress anyone can do nails, anyone can do manicures and makeovers but really that extra step of being able to hear their stories and go in to meet them and basically spending time with them,” treasurer Cody Sheeler said. “They get so much more out of that and having that peer interaction and someone listening to them.”

Staff Writer

St. John’s students are bridging the gap between two generations in a refreshing way with the organization Glamour Gals. Glamour Gals, a non-profit organization, brings together the elderly and young adults through connections and conversations. By providing complimentary manicures and makeovers to women in senior homes, Glamour Gals is allowing them to share their stories and let their legacy live on. Founded in 1999, Glamour Gals has over 1,400 volunteers with chapters across the country, including one here at St. John’s. Students Fareesha Ali, Cody Sheeler and Daniel Pottinger brought the organization to St. John’s about a year ago. Glamour Gals goes to nursing homes near St. John’s, such as Chapin Nursing Home, and participates in collaborative makeovers with other universities and high schools from Manhattan and Queens. The organization usually has two makeovers done a month.

“Depending on what senior home we go to, if there’s like a conference center where the seniors convene, what we do is we gather them together (particularly female residents) and do their nails, give them hand massages and apply makeup,” co-president Fareesha Ali said. “Our sole purpose is to communicate and talk to them.” Glamour Gals promotes dignity, care and involvement in the senior home, as many of the elderly women tend to become lonely and isolated.


Glamour Gals will be celebrating its first anniversary as an official St. John’s chapter in Dec. 2015


In this case, an honest smile is very rewarding.

70 percent of seniors residing in senior homes are women. 66 percent are widowed and 46 percent have no living children. “A lot of times we go there and like one resident told me, ‘Oh, my granddaughters was supposed to visit me, my daughter was supposed to visit me and nobody ever shows up,’ ” Ali said. “So, we carry on their stories and make them feel like they’re loved and know

The St. John’s chapter of Glamour Gals has 172 registered members. At each makeover, the organization takes around 15-20 members, sometimes 5-10 to volunteer their time. “Usually people hear about us through their friends and our pink logo really attracts people because they want to know what this is and we tell them it’s more than just makeovers and manicures,” Ali said.

The organization promotes their mission by doing a lot of networking events, like having a booth set up at family weekend. Not only do they do makeovers, the organization also has bake sales and gets a lot of sign-ups through that. “I feel like especially the people in student development have really helped market us and really allow us to branch out to meet other orgs, make those connections and really expand the brand of Glamour Gals,” Sheeler said. Many students can relate to the organizations foundation because their grandparents may have passed away or they just don’t get to spend enough time with them. With doing this community service, they get to bond with the seniors to build that connection and fill that gap. Most of the seniors are also taken aback at the male involvement in Glamour Gals. The 20 male members also participate in the manicures and makeovers. “The ladies are usually surprised that a lot of guys are interested in doing this too,” Sheeler said. “Especially because all of the guys know how to do nails and stuff like that. As long as they feel comfortable with us then it’s great.” Members are rewarded with the connections they make with the women at the senior homes, taking home more than just the feeling of helping someone, but also memories of the stories they’re told and the impact they made on these ladies’ day. “It’s really nice hearing their stories and personal connections,” Sheeler said. “To me, that’s probably the most rewarding part.” The organization will be celebrating its one-year anniversary here at St. John’s next month. “That would be around the end of December because that’s when everything came through and when we got the follow up from St. John’s with the okay to go ahead,” Ali said. And the rest is history.

12 Features

Helping veterans battle homelessness LIVIA PAULA

Features Editor Every year in November, we have a holiday dedicated to the veterans of this country. We honor the soldiers who fought and risked their lives for the United States, regardless of the fact they were leaving their families and lives behind. Throughout the years, we dedicate special holidays to those who fight for the United State. Often enough, these brave men realities are forgotten under the various sales and social media posts of the American flag. Many veterans in the United States face the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) alongside other mental and physical issues from their time serving for the country. However, an issue that many Americans are unaware of is that many veterans suffer with homelessness here in the U.S.


Dr. Licari and students received donations.

“No Wrong Door” is one of the initiatives from the V.A. to assist veterans who face homelessness.

On Nov. 16, a group of St. John’s students sold cookies in Marillac cafeteria and accepted donations of items such as toiletries or money. The proceeds went towards the Veteran Affairs’ (VA) harbor homeless programs. According to sophomore Angela Gattuso, these students are involved in the V.A. N.Y harbor homeless program, and they are working alongside with professor Dr. Andrea Licari on the issue. Gattuso references a package from the V.A.’s initiative, and what her fellow St. John’s colleagues are helping, and she said it’s a yearly initiative. “A basic overview of the packet is V.A.’s strategy to eliminate homelessness among veterans and the process,” she said. “For example, they support psychical and mental health stabilization and treatment provide substance use disorder treatment, and enhance independent living for them. But, as far as what we’re doing to help is donating unused clothing, food, toiletries, money trees and etc.” She is thankful that Dr. Licari introduced her to the project.

“I got involved with this project thanks to my professor assigning it to us,” she said. “She taught us the principles of marketing and how to obtain a target audience through services. With this information she has given us created the success to get enough donations for the veterans.” Gattuso said that her role in this project is to spread awareness on social media such as posting the cookie sale banner on different outlets such as Instagram and different St. John’s pages on Facebook. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, veterans make about 12 percent of the adult homeless population. Gattuso said that the V.A. created “six strategic pillars,” those being outreach education, prevention, treatment, housing, income and employment benefits and community partnerships. They also have a “no wrong door” policy to assist on the issues of homelessness, drug addiction and other psychological issues. “They want to provide every homeless veteran with an individualized, patient– centered and holistic treatment model in

the stabilization and recovery process,” she said. Although Gattuso was never directly affected by homelessness, she said the fact a lot of people are unaware of this issue bothers her. “It is important for our students to donate to our veterans because it strikes the importance of remembering and taking care of our American veterans,” she said. “Veterans are asked to fight for us and with that they face extreme consequences like losing their homes. With that, we must remember our veterans and take care of them.” On Nov. 19, they will be hosting another sale taking place on the first floor of the D’Angelo Center. “When I think of a veteran, I think about all they have done for the citizens of the United States of America and how they sacrificed for our freedom,” Gattuso said. “Each veteran made a difference for us and we should open our eyes to that.”

All SJU students are invited to fight the issue.

Amazon: The fresh prince


General Manager

Tired of having to commute to the grocery store every week and spend time trying to plan out a week worth of meals?


AmazonFresh trucks deliver your groceries to your door at your convenience to optimize freshness.

Check out AmazonFresh and you can get same-day or next-day delivery. Amazon launched their home grocery delivery service back in 2007 to select zip codes in the Seattle area. By 2014, its same-day delivery service expanded to New York City. To order from AmazonFresh, you must be a Prime member on Amazon, which is a membership you won’t regret. St. John’s students can get a first year Prime membership for free. After the free year, as a student you will be charged $49 a year plus the $99 as a normal prime member. With your Prime Student membership, you can try AmazonFresh for free as a trial run for one month. After the one month free trial, you can use AmazonFresh with a $299 annual fee (less than $25 a month). When ordering AmazonFresh, you can choose what time and date you would like the items to come. Their hours accomodate your schedule. You must spend $50 or more on AmazonFresh, which is pretty easy when you’re buying a week’s worth of meals. The items are all listed at reasonable prices, and some items match the local grocery store prices. When adding the items up compared to shopping at a gro-

cery store, you’ll find that it is, at times, significantly cheaper through Amazon. Amazon Fresh also allows you to purchase fruits, vegetables and greens through local farmers markets. Amazon categorizes the bundles according to what they may be best used for (roasting vegetables, stews, juices, etc.). All of the vegetables that are delivered are incredibly fresh. The brussel sprouts that were delivered came attached on their stem. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. When the items are delivered, you can check Doorstep Delivery or Attended Delivery with the the desired drop-off time. The bags the food is delivered in are eco-friendly, temperature-controlled tote bags. With Doorstep Delivery, you can receive the items within a three-hour time period. Attended Delivery ensures that you can receive the items within a onehour time period. The process is easy, fast and reliable. You don’t have to stress about planning your meals and being overwhelmed in the grocery store.The AmazonFresh process allows you to sit, think and take time in deciding by adding things, at your pace, into your online cart. Fresh foods, great service, no check-out lines.

Cheyanne's Infififfiinite Playlist 1. “Black Flies” by Ben Howard (2011) “Maybe you were the ocean, when I was just a stone.” This specific line is what brings the song to my number one slot for this playlist. Ben Howard is my go-to artist. It’s not only his superb vocals and acoustics, it’s the lyrics. His lyrics are relatable. As a college student, I’ve found it necessary to have the little escapes from everything going on around me and Ben Howard helps me get away from all of my troubles for a little bit. As the weather starts to change and winter draws near, I recommend sitting and listening to a few of his songs. 2. “Say It To Me Now” by Glen Hansard (2007) (earlier version by The Frames (1995)) I’m a lover of acoustics and Glen Hansard. In fact, I could make this entire playlist on Hansard, but I won’t. If you haven’t listened to this song or even heard of Glen Hansard, I encourage you to look him up. This song, specifically, can be interpreted in hundreds of different ways. For me, it’s the emotion in his voice, the pain and longing to want to know what’s going to happen next. You can find this song on the soundtrack to the Irish movie “Once” or on an earlier version that was released in 1995 by The Frames. In the movie, his character plays a vacuum repairman who plays his guitar on the streets of Dublin, not just for money, but to be heard. If you’re someone that goes to music for comfort during hard times or for every situation, give this song a listen. 3. “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors (2015) I found this song this semester on a Spotify playlist and, oh boy, was it a good find. After listening to it a dozen times and thinking about how fitting it was for the series of events going on in my life, I decided to share it with my little sister and cousins, who now hate me for sharing it. So, I decided to share it with all of you. For us, we related to it on a different level from how other people who have listened to it and interpreted it. We all come from a broken home. By broken, I mean divorced parents, parents who are still married but stay together for different reasons and many other forms of broken. “Hold onto me, ‘cause I’m a little unsteady.” That line, itself, can relate to anyone’s life. If you have yet to listen to the X Ambassadors and their new album, “VHS,” they’re worth the listen. 4. “Impossible” by Shontelle (2009) This is the song that I can find myself standing on a chair in my living room with my sisters singing into wooden spoons. My sisters and I are obsessed with Shontelle, mainly the song “Impossible.” “Impossible” is one of those songs that you can let go and dance to. Growing up with 3 sisters and coming from a big family, dance parties were a must. As a college student, I find that dance parties, even alone, are a form of therapy. If you have the time or need a break from reality, when in doubt, dance it out.

6. “Carry on My Wayward Son” by Kansas (1976) I have to throw a song by Kansas into this playlist, specifically, “Carry on Wayward Son.” It is a song that reminds me of long road trips throughout my childhood. To stay awake, my family or friends would blare the bands Kansas or Styx. A lot of people from the younger generations know this song as the theme song to the show “Supernatural.” The American classic rock band has produced eight gold albums and three sextuples-platinum albums. The band’s influence has reached different artists like the Foo Fighters, Panic at the Disco, The Showdown, Stryper and many others. I hope this song’s influence on other artists can influence your life as well. 7. “All I Want” by Kodaline (2013) Kodaline is a band that has continually helped me through the dark times of college. The album “In A Perfect World” has been my go-to album for the past three years. The Irish rock band, originally known as “21 Demands,” grew up together, making their music so much more interesting to listen to, for me at least. Personally, I find the lead vocalist, Stephen Garrigan, to have a unique voice. His high notes sound like Bono and his lower notes sound a lot like Chris Martin from Coldplay, but you can be the judge of that one. Kodaline is a band I can listen to in any mood I’m in. If you’re someone that likes rock bands, check them out. 8. “Dark Times” by The Weeknd (2015) I found it best to include a song by The Weeknd. Not only is Abel’s vocals powerful and soulful, the “Dark Times” track includes one of the most popular lyricist of this decade, Ed Sheeran. The two talented artists combined vocals, for what I believe to be one of the best songs of 2015. Though one could argue that other tracks on The Weeknd’s new album, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” such as, “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills” and “Angel,” are all significantly better than “Dark Times.”, you can’t argue that a song with these two artists is one of the best duets this year. 9. “Blowin’ In The Wind” by Bob Dylan (1963) Oh, man, Bob Dylan. Out of all of his songs, I made the tough decision to choose this song for the playlist. Bob Dylan and Lou Reed are two artists that I cannot go one day without listening to. Bob Dylan’s famous lyrics have inspired other artists for decades. Though “Blowin’ In The Wind” is arguably known as a protest song, it is vocally a song that is also known for peace, war and freedom. I’ve found myself raised by parents who have a love for music and have taught me to find what I love about it. Coming from a family of musicians, writers, painters, chefs and teachers, I’ve learned to view things with an artistic approach. Bob Dylan has influenced me throughout my entire life through what I read, listen to, how I view life and the poetry I write. Take the time to sit and listen to some of his songs, but do so with an open mind. 10. “Howlin’ for You” by The Black Keys (2010) Okay, I know it’s typical to have one of the more popular songs by the Black Keys on my playlist. In one of the songs listed before this one, I mentioned how I like to have dance parties, to let go and be worry-free. “Howlin’ For You” is a song where you can find me doing a very uncoordinated dance, with a head bobbing motion. The Black Keys have been one of my favorite bands since middle school, a band that I plan to have playing during any significant moments in my life. If you want to let go and listen to a great band, take a look at their music. Let go and let the music take control.

5. “Have Faith In Me” by A Day To Remember (ADTR) (2009) This song, itself, got me through high school. The album “Homesick” is one of my top five all-time favorites. I can listen to the entire album for a month straight. It has songs like, “The Downfall of Us All” and, of course, the famous, “If It Means Alot To You” that can relate to the angsty side in all of us. I’ve seen the band live on several occasions. Through moshpits and screaming at the top of my lungs, there are a lot memories that come when listening to them. ADTR has been successful with combining metalcore and pop punk into their music. This American rock band has my heart for life. CHEYANNE GONZALES I highly suggest listening to a few of their songs or look up General Manager some of their lyrics. You won’t regret it.

14 Entertainment

Jeff Lynne: Party of one Former ELO frontman releases first album since 2001


Jeff Lynne’s ELO “Alone in the Universe” 3.5 out of 5 Stars After 14 years since his last album, Jeff Lynne is back and, as the title of the album suggests, he’s going at it alone. Once the frontman of one of the most dynamic and progressive rock groups in history, Jeff Lynne is the only credited musician on the entire album (except for playing the shaker and the tambourine). For a band that once had violinists, cellists, keyboardists, wind instruments and more, it’s quite a different world that Lynne is in right now. Fans of Electric Light Orchestra (Lynne’s former band), looking for the pop and over-the-top flare that they once gluttoned in the 70s and 80s, will find themselves wanting much more. Lynne’s solo project is very similar to ELO works of the past, but it lacks the excess that defined the

prog-rock pop masters during their apex. The clue is hidden in the name. This album is interlaced with nostalgia, tiredness and longing. At times, it’s straight up melancholic. It doesn’t get more nostalgic with the first track, and lead single, “When Was a Boy.” Jeff Lynne worked very closely with The Beatles way back in the day and explored with different melodies that The Beatles never reached. John Lennon even said that ELO picked up where The Beatles left off. Musicians influenced each other back then and the music would obviously stick, considering that many of them often collaborated (think Jimmy Page only played for Led Zeppelin?) Listen to the opening notes of “When I Was a Boy.” If it sounds familiar, it should. That’s nearly the same opening as “Let it Be.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, given how closely Lynne worked with the Beatles (especially near the end of their tenure, which is when this song came out). “When I Was a Boy” is an almost-autobiographical song for Lynne, as he recalls fond memories of his entering into the music world, where money didn’t have any impact on the work he created. Lynne seems to be wanting to go back to those days, where ELO was just this grand operatic masterpiece in his mind. He says it quite clearly: “Don’t want a job cause it drives me crazy, just wanna sing, ‘Do you love me, baby’” (referring to “Do Ya”, a song just before ELO formed). “When I Was a Boy” is about a man who’s just about to reach 70 years of age, wanting to rediscover his carefree youth. This single accomplishes its purpose. It lures the listener to continue hanging around for the rest of the album. It also sets that melancholic, nostalgic vibe.

Listening to this album several times since its Nov. 13 release, “Love and Rain” is definitely the catchiest. There isn’t a heck of a lot of percussion on this album, but Lynne perfectly nails it on this track, which accompanies an easy going guitar lick, also featuring a brief yet killer guitar solo, cascading vocal overdubs and violins. This album has pretty solid songs, but it also has a couple of weak ones, such as “Ain’t it a Drag.” Orbitson’s influence is clearly noticeable here with the guitar tab, but the lyrics are not that strong and it doesn’t fit well with the rest of the album. To follow such a beautiful and longing song of “The Sun Will Shine on You” to one-dimensional lyrics is a bit disappointing. “Dirty to the Bone” also seems like a misfit in this album. With an album that includes a lot of nostalgia, there doesn’t seem to be much of a place for that typical song about a woman dragging some guy alone (dare we call her, “Evil Woman?”). The musical arrangement itself is great, but the lyrics just seem out of place. Sure, this album may not be what fans of ELO had imagined when they heard that Lynne was going to be releasing a new album. It’s not the album one listens to for a pick-me-up. Honestly, it’s a bit of a mood killer. It’s also very short, only 33 minutes in length. Anyone who’s familiar with Lynne’s work understands how truly brilliant he is in composing music and that he accomplished exactly what he wanted to do. This is a solid album, especially considering that this is his first in 15 years. Hopefully, he continues to grow in his musical rebirth to pump out a couple more albums and give fans that orchestral-prog, rocktype masterpiece that has defined him as a musician.

Again, a warning: anyone thinking that this album will have any cheery track like “Mr. Blue Sky” will be disappointed. If ELO ever produced a blues song, it would be “The Sun Will Shine on You,” but, of course, it’s filled with backing tracks and, more-or-less, anything that would not represent the style of the blues. Leave it to Jeff Lynne to accomplish that.


The clue is hidden in the name. This album is interlaced with nostalgia, tiredness and longing. At times, it’s straight up melancholic.

The fourth track on this album continues to carry itself with a sort of weariness as Lynne must certainly be thinking through his dark times: “You’ve got to learn how to cry / before you learn how to fall / You’ve got to turn from the darkness / And go through it all.’” Coming from a man whose closest friends passed away (George Harrison and Roy Orbitson) and is now working solo while the rest of his band is touring elsewhere, it does hit that melancholic tone. The album’s namesake track, “Alone in the Universe,” brings out all of the synthesizers and composition that put Electric Light Orchestra on the map nearly 50 years ago. Lyrically, it sums up the entire journey that Lynne just took. He went from just a boy with a dream to create some of music’s most dynamic and shifting tunes to a solo artist who’s left to reminisce with his past and come to terms with his present. It’s a fitting close to this album.

ELO’s 1977 album “Out of the Blue” features the band’s signature emblem: a UFO.


Jeff Lynne performing “Mr. Blue Sky” at Hyde Park, his first show in London in over 30 years

Entertainment 15

J. Cole “kicks it” old school

KADIJAH PORTER Contributing Writer On Nov. 13, A Tribe Called Quest released their debut album, “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm,” to celebrate its 25th anniversary, which originally debuted on April 10, 1990. The third single off of the album was “Can I Kick It,” which was released in 1991. The upbeat, jukebox mash-up single featured verses from A Tribe Called Quest’s group members, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.

Other producers included on the album are Pharrell Williams and CeeLo Green. St. John’s alumni and platinum recording artist J. Cole is responsible for the remix to the 1991 hit single. The original song featured many samples, including “Walk On The Wild Side” by Lou Reed and “Dance of the Knights” by Sergei Prokofiev. In the J. Cole produced remix, Lou Reed’s sample song has been removed and the overall vibe is softer. The original verses by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg remained, but the smooth, head-bopping, upbeat rhythm has transi-


Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad formed A Tribe Called Quest in NY in 1985.

tioned into a modern day relaxing, atmospheric aura. This remix, surprisingly, doesn’t feature a verse from J. Cole. Cole was solely responsible for reproducing the song. He isn’t known for his production work, but actually has a few production credits under his belt. He produced a majority of the songs on his mixtapes (mostly samples) and has worked with other hip-hop heavyweights, including Kendrick Lamar, with his “HiiiPoWeR,” and Talib Kweli, with his “It Only Gets Better.” It’s too early to state what the reviews

will be on the re-released album, but the members of A Tribe Called Quest have previously stated that they would not reunite. The album release and performance on Jimmy Fallon have made a reunion and possible tour seem like a possibility in the future. Fans will have to sit back and wait for any updates on the group reuniting. For now, let’s feel the vibes and the nostalgia as we bop our heads to the pioneers that we know and love. “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” is now available and can be ordered on Amazon.


SJU alum J. Cole performing at Carnesecca Arena in sold out homecoming concert in April 2015.

“WTF:” Missy Elliott is back

This isn’t exactly a comeback, but with a song like this, it’s almost like she never left. Rapper and producer Missy Elliott has had a long- standing career in the music industry, but she’s been sparsely seen for the past few years. She’s released some singles that haven’t connected so well with fans, but it looks like Elliot hasn’t lost her edge. Elliott just released her single “WTF (Where They From’s)” music video on Nov. 12. As of Saturday, the video has gotten close to four million views on the Atlantic Records YouTube channel and it makes it look as if Missy never left. The bright colors, crazy outfits and makeup have always been a staple in her career. In her initial appearance in the video, her outfit is a mirrored track suit with glittery lipstick to match. Another look features half of her face covered in yellow spots contrasted by bright blue eyeshadow. The songstress and Pharrell Williams, who is featured in the song, appear as marionette dolls dancing to the song’s beat. The video continues on with that theme as Elliot and her dancers perform as human-sized boxes and in outfits that


Rapper and producer Missy Elliott in her newly released video for “WTF (Where They From).”

are covered in plastic. The pulsing lights throughout help cultivate the song as an option for a Friday night post-work kickback, but can also be used to dance with friends after you draw the curtains. While the video is a reflection of her iconic vision, there are also mentions of today’s trends. The futuristic feel of the video is pushed forward by dances and tricks that were performed on those balancing scooters that have been seen all over campus. It’s in direct contrast with the baggy, oversized

pants and hoodies scattered throughout the video. The dancers, which have been a constant in Elliott’s videos, delivered. Their energy and consistency, alongside the rapper, has a fluidity that matches her own. Missy Elliot took her time off because of health issues. She’s been battling with Graves Disease, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a disease that causes the body to overproduce thyroid hormones. This can cause a number of things in-

cluding a fast or irregular heartbeat and weight loss. Tremors, another symptom, were experienced by Elliott firsthand. In an interview with People Magazine, she stated that she was diagnosed after almost crashing her car from being unable to keep the car brake down. Despite this setback, she hasn’t been completely off the radar. During her absence, Missy Elliott performed with Katy Perry at the Super Bowl earlier this year and has worked with artists such as J Cole, Demi Lovato and, K-Pop artist, G-Dragon. Elliott may not be singing with her head in her hand like in the video for “One Minute Man,” but “WTF (Where They From),”and its music video, shows that she can stay true to herself while adapting to an industry that has undoubtedly changed since her last album release over 10 years ago.


As of Saturday, the video has gotten close to four million views on the Atlantic Records YouTube channel and it makes it look as if Missy never left.

16 Entertainment

The million-dollar secret is out Charlie Sheen reveals that he’s HIV positive

JASMINE IMANI DAVIS Entertainment Editor “It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life.” Early Tuesday morning, Actor Charlie Irwin Estévez, best known by his stage name Charlie Sheen, appeared on “The Today Show” and revealed that he is HIV positive. “I have to put a stop to this barrage of attacks and sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me that threaten the health of so many others,” said the 50-year-old during his exclusive interview with Matt Lauer. “[It] couldn’t be farther from the truth.” HIV is transmitted mainly by having sex or sharing injection drug equipment such as needles with someone who has HIV. According to the former “Two and a Half Men” star, he was diagnosed about four years ago, but isn’t sure as to how he contracted the virus. He has only trusted the news to his trusted companions. Like almost every celebrity, he has paid over $10 million to

keep the news under wraps. By talking about his diagnosis on “Today,” he hopes that the payouts will seize. “I think that I release myself from this prison today,” Sheen told Lauer. Sheen does not know whether or not he transmitted the virus to other people. But, even though he admitted to having unprotected sex with two partners since the diagnosis, he assured that they were both informed before hand and are being treated by his doctor. The treatable virus leads to AIDS, which isn’t curable. Because of medical advances, the virus is manageable with antiviral drugs that have to be taken for a lifetime. According to the actor’s physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, “Charlie does not have AIDS. He shared the news with his ex-wives, Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller, when he found out and had recently told his oldest daughter.

Sheen shared that he has to take four pills daily. Because of his troublesome past, his doctor is really concerned about him relapsing into substance abuse and entering into a state of depression because of his diagnosis. “We’re petrified about Charlie. We’re so, so anxious that if he was overly depressed, if he was abusing substance, he would forget these pills and that’s been an incredible worry,” Huizenga said.

However, he said that Sheen “has been vigilant about his regimen.” After people showed their support for Sheen via social media, he feels like he could be some kind of “poster man” to deliver a cure. “Hopefully, with what we’re doing today, others may come forward and say ‘Thanks, Charlie, for kicking the door open.’”


The former “Two and a Half Men” star, Charlie Sheen, smiling at paparazzi before an event.

Angels spread wings once more

PRECIOUS WATTS Contributing Writer

The 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is causing a flurry of excitement and it hasn’t even aired to the public yet. Every year, this extravaganza somehow manages to go above and beyond. So, if you aren’t hip, I’m here to fill you in on all of of the important details. This year, the show took place in our beloved New York City yet again, one of the few places where anything this overthe-top can be dismissed as casual, everyday ambiance. A model prancing around in her underwear with rollers in her hair and a phone in hand is a common occurrence backstage. Everyone is getting ready and wants to personally document their experience. Along with the veterans, there are a few newbies, but the two that are most notable are Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. I can’t help but think that Kim Kardashian paved the way for her family where each one of her family members is capitalizing on their own endeavor. Jenner is a great model, but she just might be considered one in a million if the Kardashian name wasn’t attached to her. She wanted to just be known by her first name, “Kendall,” trying to alleviate


Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are ready to walk their first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway.

some of the buzz her name generates. Nevertheless, she has reached the holy grail of modeling while debuting as an angel amongst some of the current greats. The power of social media works in the favor of these girls. For instance, Hadid, daughter of an ex-model and cast member of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” has grown up in the spotlight just as much as Jenner has. This show seems to have been taken over by two girls that are the same age as most of the St. John’s students, while other models are vying for the spotlight. There were 47 models in the show, but Jenner and Hadid stood out among the others. Even with their presence, there were

other notable models in show. Maria Borges, a 23-year-old Angolan model, made her third appearance in the fashion show this year wearing her hair all natural. This was groundbreaking, considered that the angels tend to have a “cookie cutter mold,” which includes long, flowing locks of hair. Borges rocked the runway with her cute, curly fro, hand-inhand with The Weeknd. It was truly a sight to behold. So many girls already feel the pressure to be perfect while looking at these pencil-thin models. But, seeing someone with natural hair adds an element of realness, which made Borges more relatable. Natural hair being equated with beauty is a milestone that is slowly being reached.

Borges was absolutely stunning and stole the show in her own natural way. Each section of the show had its own theme, from hip ‘60s angels to patriotic pink ones. The iconic “Fantasy Bra” is what everyone was really waiting for. This jewel encrusted, glittering bra is worth 2 million dollars, and weighs in at 19 pounds, if you include the battery pack. Lily Aldridge, Victoria’s Secret Angel and Sports Illustrated model, had the honor of modeling this bra. Still, 2 million dollars was nothing compared to the 20 million dollar bra back in 2000 worn by Gisele Bundchen, who also appeared in this year’s show. Many were sad to hear that Rihanna would not be performing this go round, but The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding and Selena Gomez were adored by the audience all the same. Each of these artists have hits, many current, and I personally can’t wait to see what they have performed once it airs. Not only was the runway star-studded with world-class models and performers, but the audience was filled with the rich and famous as well. The Big Apple drew in celebrities from all genres to the show. Nick Cannon, Matt Harvey and Caitlyn Jenner were just a few of the notable stars that graced the show with their presence. Be sure to tune in to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Dec. 8 on CBS.

Sports 17

Mullin looks “sharp” in first career win BRANDON MAUK

Digital Sports Manager Chris Mullin won his long-awaited coaching debut with thanks in part to his international recruiting class. Freshmen Federico Mussini and Yankuba Sima, two of Mullin’s top gets this summer, led St. John’s to a 66-57 victory over Wagner on Friday at Carnesecca Arena. Mussini scored 18 points on 6-of-11 shootings and Sima scored eight points, eight rebounds and three assists. The Red Storm (1-0) got the job done through a tried and true formula for basketball success: defense and shooting. They held Wagner to 31.7 percent (19of-60) shooting and shot 9-of-20 from three-point range. Mussini hit four of those three-pointers. Mussini will be the primary handler of the ball with Marcus LoVett ruled ineligible for the season. He struggled in exhibition play, but he looked confident this time and got the jitters out of the way. He credited his teammates for moving the ball well to find him open for threes. “Every time I have a bad game, I know that I have to work harder. So, this week, I focused on taking every practice as if it was a game. I still have confidence in my shot and I know when I’m open I have to take it,” Mussini said. Eight different players on the Red

Storm’s completely revamped roster scored points. Outside of Mussini and Sima, graduate transfers Ron Mvouika and Durand Johnson pitched in with nine and 12, respectively. Freshman Malik Ellison had seven as well. After the team struggled in exhibition play, these are the kind of results Mullin was happy with in the postgame, as it capped his emotional day. Following the win, Mullin was shown on television and the jumbo-tron embracing his old coach from when he played at St. John’s, Lou Carnesecca. The two remain close and “Looie” remains supportive as Mullin takes his turn as head coach of the Johnnies. “First thing [coach Carnesecca] said to me is that I look sharp, but it won’t last. Soon my shirt will be hanging out and my tie will be undone. He’s had such an influence on my life. Just like when I was 10 years old, he guided me [today]. It was a blessing to have him here and it’s been a blessing to have him in my life for the past 42 years.” St. John’s closed a tight game out in the final six minutes with a 13-7 run on defense and free-throw shooting. The Red Storm held Wagner to 1-of-9 from the field in the last 6:20. Johnson was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line to ice the victory. “For the most part, I think we played hard defensively and that’s where it starts. The offense is not going to be pretty every night, but defense wins games.

That’s what we say in the huddle before we come out. As long as we handle it on the defensive end, the offense will take care of itself,” Johnson said. Japhet Kadji silenced the lively Carnesecca crowd with a three to cut St. John’s lead to three, but Mussini hit a three of his own to put the game out of reach with 1:15 left. The performance made Mullin seem more relaxed and confident and it’s just what they needed with the exhibition struggles and key NCAA ineligibility issues.

“I think the lesson is that we’re building this thing one brick at a time. Despite setbacks or good times, we have work to do. “What’s going to keep us grounded is that we’re building something, so the diligence and the attention to details will not waiver on outcomes,” Mullin said. St. John’s continues its homestand with a match in the Gavitt Tip-Off Games against old Big East rival Rutgers. Then, it’s off to Maui to take on even tougher competition.


Chris Mullin celebrates first career victory versus Wagner on Friday night at Carnesecca Arena.

Mussini led Johnnies ease to victory over UMBC TROY MAURIELLO Assistant Sports Editor

After notching a victory to open up the Chris Mullin era in Queens on Friday night, the St. John’s men’s basketball team returned to Carnesecca Arena to

blow past the UMBC Retrievers, 75-53, on Monday. Monday’s game would serve as an opening round matchup of the 2015 Maui Invitational, as the Red Storm (2-0)will travel to Hawaii next week for the tournament’s championship round to face some of the nation’s top competition.


Federico Mussini scored a game-high 18 points to go along with six assists.

The Johnnies opponent on Monday night, however, was far from that. UMBC is coming off a 4-24 record last season, and was selected to finish seventh in the nine-team America East in the conference’s Preseason Coaches Poll. Early on, the young Red Storm looked like they would make short work of the mid-major squad. St. John’s knocked down seven of their first 13 shots to surge to an early 18-8 lead within the game’s first ten minutes. The Red Storm would continue its strong shooting as the half progressed; however they were unable to pull away, in part due to 10 first half turnovers and they would head to the break with a 3122 lead. A balanced St. John’s first half scoring effort saw freshman guard Federico Mussini lead the way with eight points, while freshman center Yankuba Sima recorded five rebounds and three blocks in just 10 minutes. As the second half got going, the Retrievers would hit five of their first six shots to cut the St. John’s lead down to 37-34 with just under 16 minutes left to play. However, graduate student forward Durand Johnson would keep the Red Storm afloat, scoring eight of their first 10 points to begin the second half. A 15-6 run from that point on, fueled by Johnson, Mussini and graduate student forward Ron Mvouika, would put the Red Storm ahead 52-40, leading to

a UMBC time out with just under nine minutes left to stop the momentum. St. John’s would lead by as many as 15 in the ensuing minutes. However, timely shooting by the Retrievers would continue to keep them within striking distance down the stretch. But, similar to Friday night against Wagner, the Red Storm did a nice job closing this one out. They would power past UMBC in the game’s closing minutes for a 75-53 win, improving their record to 2-0 on the young season. Mussini would end up leading the way for St. John’s for the second straight game with 18 points on five of 10 shooting and six assists. Mvouika added 16 points as well, while Johnson would score all of his 15 points on the night in the second half. The pair of graduate students, along with senior Christian Jones (seven points and seven rebounds), were a big part of the strong Red Storm second half. “We all gotta come together and lead by example,” said Johnson. “Because the younger guys, they’re watching us…every day at practice, every game, they’re watching us every step of the way.” “DJ and Ron were big time tonight,” said Mullin postgame. “They played like the leaders that we needed them to be, I’m happy for them…and we need them.” Next up for St. John’s will be a showdown with Rutgers at Carnesecca Arena on Thursday night in the first installment of the annual Gavitt Games.

18 Sports

Red Storm drop opener to UCLA Trouble in the paint hampers Johnnies in California SYDNEY JOHNSON Staff Writer

The St. John’s women’s basketball team struggles in the paint led to a 7358 defeat at the hands of the UCLA Bruins in their season opener on Friday night. This loss to the Bruins, the defending WNIT Champion, was the first time in three seasons the Red Storm lost their opening game. Friday was head coach Joe Tartamella’s 100th game and he felt this was a good start to the season. “This was a great opening test against a proven opponent,” Tartamella said. “We certainly understand what we will need to improve on moving toward.” The Johnnies (0-1) came up on the paint against the Bruins as UCLA’s size proved to be a nuisance. The Bruins outrebounded the Red Storm 50-32. Momentum was hard to maintain throughout the game as well. The Johnnies went into the second quarter with an even scoreboard after the junior guard Aaliyah Lewis hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 51 seconds on the clock. With the game tied at 12, the Bruins attempted a drive to take the lead into the second quarter, but were stopped by the dynamic duo of senior guards Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant.

The St. John’s rhythm was disrupted in the second period by a Bruins 15-0 run and the Johnnies remained scoreless until the 4:50 mark. Despite the deficit, the Storm did not stop fighting. The team was able to go on an 11-2 run and cut the lead to six, but was answered with a 7-1 Bruins run. This allowed UCLA to go into halftime with a 36-24 lead. The second half started with a Bruins three-pointer, but it was immediately answered by a fast break led by Grant. The teams consistently traded baskets throughout most of the third quarter, but the Bruins pulled away near the end of the period. They were able to head into the fourth quarter with a game-high lead of 21 points. In the last quarter, St. John’s was able to reduce the deficit to 15 points, which is how the game would finish. This was also the first Red Storm competition with new rule changes. The most drastic of these changes is the league’s decision to adjust the game’s layout from halves to quarters. Tartamella thought “there were some great takeaways from the game.” Sophomore forward Imani Littleton had a strong starting lineup debut, scoring eight points and earning eight rebounds. Akina Wellere debuted with nine points and six boards. Both members of the unstoppable

pair, Handford and Grant, scored in the double figures, netting 14 and 10 points, respectively. Their presence on and off the court will be a major factor in the team’s performance throughout

the season. The Johnnies’ next game will be away against Rutgers on Thursday. Their first home game will be Sunday against Marist.


Aliyyah Handford scored a team-high 14 points in the loss to UCLA.

St. John’s gets back on track versus UC Irvine ANNA KULESA Staff Writer

The St. John’s women’s basketball team finished their West Coast trip with an 8563 win against UC Irvine Sunday night in the Red Storm’s first win of the season. Three different Red Storm (1-1) players scored in double figures against the Anteaters. Senior Danaejah Grant scored 28 points and made 10 out of 13 shots. Junior Jade Walker put up 15 points making seven of eight shots. Freshman Akina Wellere scored 11 points and made four of eight shots. The 85 points was the most points the Red Storm have put up since Feb. 2014, when they scored 85 points against Providence. Junior Aaleigh Lewis led on the defensive side by logging four steals and three rebounds. Overall, the women forced 18 UC Irvine turnovers and were 41-32 in rebounds. Lewis also helped out on offense scoring seven points and had six assists. Senior Aliyyah Handford had six assists and eight points, tying Kia Wright for fifth place on the St. John’s all time scoring list with 1,536 points. Ten of the eleven St. John’s players scored on Sunday night. The Red Storm started the game off strong with Grant, scoring the first points of the game with a layup to help the team

put up an 11 point lead in the last few minutes of the first quarter. UC Irvine was able to lessen the lead to five points at the end of the first. St. John’s came out strong again in the second quarter, going on an 8-1 run. The women ended the first half with a 44-31 lead. The Red Storm led 13-7 in turnovers and had seven steals at the end of the first half. Grant continued her impressive game at the beginning of the second half, sinking two three pointers to give St. John’s a 17-point lead. At the end of the third quarter, Walker scored seven straight points to extend the lead to 66-47. The Red Storm’s lead reached 27 in the fourth quarter before finishing the game with a final score of 85-65. Head Coach Joe Tartamella was happy with his team’s play on Sunday, “This was a great effort in a game that was an important bounce back from Friday night. I was pleased with our improvements in most areas of the game and it was a great performance by our team. We are all looking forward to heading back to the East Coast and preparing for another difficult opponent in Rutgers. I was happy to see all 11 of our players have an opportunity to contribute tonight, which will be a very important moving through the season.” The Red Storm will travel to New Jersey to face Rutgers on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7.


Danaejah Grant put on a dominant display versus UC Irvine as she scored 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

Sports 19

Red Storm’s historic ride comes to “bittersweet” close STEPHEN ZITOLO Sports Editor

All good things must come to an end. The most historic, and undeniably greatest season in St. John’s women’s soccer came to an end on Friday night. The Red Storm couldn’t hold off a late run by Boston University as they fell 2-1 in overtime at Belson Stadium in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. “I thought it was a game of two halves in that we played very well to begin with. I’ll give Boston University a tremendous amount of credit because I thought they battled tremendously hard and put a lot of pressure on us in the second half and really dug a little bit deeper than we were able to tonight. I give Nancy Feldman a lot of credit,” head coach Ian Stone said. “She’s a tremendous coach and BU is a phenomenal program. You don’t win the number of conference championships that they’ve won without being a very very good team. Unfortunately, tonight we just came up on the wrong end of the result.” In the first 35 minutes of action, on a freezing Saturday night, it looked as if the Red Storm (15-4-1) had everything under control. They were playing their fast-paced attacking style and consistently putting pressure on Boston University’s backline. For the first 20 minutes, the Terriers (13-5-3) were able to hold off the Johnnies attack. In the 21st minute, St. John’s finally

broke through. Junior Morgan Tinari left minutes left when Daly went down with a off a corner kick to the front of the net that bad shin injury in the 41st minute. Daly found the head of converging senior Rachel had to be helped off the field and the Terriers seemed to have new life after that. Daly. To no one’s surprise, Daly was back on Daly headed the ball towards the keeper the pitch when the as sophomore Jesse second half started, Schaefer broke to but the Terriers came the front of the net. out and changed the Schaefer took the games momentum header from Daly by being the offenand lined up a header of her own that sive aggressors. At the beat Boston Uniend of the first half, versity keeper Alyssa St. John’s led 10-4 in Parisi and gave the shots. In the second Johnnies a 1-0 lead. half and overtime, The goal was Schaethe Terriers out shot fer’s first of the year St. John’s 14-6. and second of her The Red Storm career. held the Terrier attack at bay until the St. John’s were on 78th minute, when the cusp of scoring Alexandra Cooper on two other occasions in the first half. let off a shot and got Both times were on it past outstretched corner kicks from junior keeper Diana Tinari as in both the Poulin to tie things 15th and 25th minup at one. utes Rachel Daly The game would let off shots to the remain scoreless for right corner of the the rest of regulaTORCH PHOTO/GINA PALERMO tion and it would take net. Both times the Georgia Kearney-Perry and Rachel Daly Terriers’ Jenna Fisher suited up for the Red Storm for the last time on overtime to decide the was there to turn her Saturday night against Boston University in the game. NCAA Tournament. The Terriers would away. be the one’s to find the The games turning net first in the sudden point came with nine

death overtime as 3:52 into the first extra period senior Clare Pleuler would find the net and end the Red Storm’s historic 2015 campaign. Even though the Red Storm lost, the night was still historic as it was the first NCAA Tournament game to be played at Belson Stadium in program history. The game marked the final time that the culture altering and record-breaking group of nine seniors would ever put on their St. John’s uniforms. “These seniors have meant so much to this program because they’ve really taken the program to a different level,” Stone said. “For us to be able to host an NCAA Tournament game on Belson, compared to where we were when they came in, they just elevated it to a whole different level and it’s not just on the field, it’s kind of the personalities and the leadership they show off the field to the younger players as well.” The seniors who stepped on the pitch for the final time were: Rachel Daly, Georgia Kearney-Perry, Emily Cubbage, Shelby Halasz, Diamond Thomas, Alexis Urbanski, Katie DeVault, Alana Mitchem and Kelly Crevani. “It’s obviously very bittersweet right now,” Kearney-Perry said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in fully yet, but I’m super proud and super humbled of everything we’ve achieved individually, as a program, as a team, over my five years here. “It’s a beautiful program and we take pride in everything that we do and I think this season showed that.”

Camara strived at SJU Seniors say good-bye WILSON SY Staff Writer

For senior captain Gabriel Camara, the experience playing college soccer was a memorable journey. With the men’s season over in early November, the Johnnies captain reflected on his experience. “I loved coming four years ago as a freshman, just 18 and needing to adjust the pace to the quality,” Camara said. “I learned a lot from the culture, my teammates, especially the older guys. To fit in, to adapt the style of soccer, I’m very thankful I came to St. John’s.” Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, it was a big adjustment to move to the United States. Coming from a small town in Atibaia, the 6’1 defender was amazed by the level of competition and intensity of Division 1 soccer. “When I came, I was a little out of shape, so I’m glad I came over the summer, so I had time to get in shape. The main difference on defense I felt was athleticism and physicality,” Camara said. “Here in the U.S, everyone was faster, taller and stronger than back home. So, that took me a couple weeks to adjust.” The senior leader finished with a total of five career goals, including a game-winner during the 87th minute in a regular season match against Fordham on Sep. 17 at Belson Stadium. However, two of Camara’s most memorable moments came from his debut in Belson alongside his big play in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

“My first game that I played here, there was over 1,000 people watching, that’s the first time in my life that I played for so many people, Camara said. “Great experience, I wasn’t expecting that.” “But, my happiest moment here was playing under the national championship in the NCAA Tournament away against Delaware and scoring the first goal that made it 1-0,” Camara continued. “So I remember that day as one of the greatest days that I had here. Just helping the team go past the first round away against a very good Delaware team with over a thousand people. I’m sure I will never forget that experience.” The Sao Paulo native also acknowledged his incredible time serving as captain of the young soccer team which includes 16 freshmen. “It was a great experience to be a captain of the team after everything that St. John’s gave me in the past 3-4 years,” Camara responded. “It’s my turn to give a little bit back. We had very good group of guys very different backgrounds and characteristics It was a pleasure. We worked out together. We worked out well. I hope my experience helping them with school and soccer carries on for the next 2-3 years.” After graduating from St. John’s in May, the future looks bright for the Brazilian native. “I’m pursuing my MBA in Business Administration,” Camara said. “I want to 100% stay in touch with St. John’s, to see how the boys are doing, the coaches and, hopefully, start working in New York City.”


In front of a full-house at Carnesecca Arena on Sunday afternoon the St. John’s women’s volleyball team (18-13 overall and 8-8 in the Big East) defeated DePaul (16-13 overall, 4-12 Big East) 3-2 (2520, 16-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-6) on Senior Day. It was the Red Storm’s first win on Senior Day since Nov. 7, 2010. Carnesecca was packed with family and friends who came to show love and support for the team and the senior class. Each senior (Karin Palgutova, Yaidy Santiago, Artiana Wynder, Briana Guzman, Shawna-Lei Santos and Deniz Mutlugil) received a plaque and flowers before the start of the matches by St. John’s University President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, PhD and the Associate Vice President of Athletics Kathleen Meehan. “These seniors are great student-athletes and they have worked hard every day for the past four years,” head coach Joanne Persico said. “They respect each other and play hard for one another and their school. We will miss them because they can’t be replaced.” “I didn’t expect to make school history and my biggest lesson at St. John’s was how to be a leader,”senior Karin Palgutova said. Palgutova became the all-time career leader in kills this season passing Jackie Ahlers (2002-04.) Palgutova had 22 kills and 14 digs for her 13th double-double of the season

along with five blocks. Fellow senior Santiago collected 12 kills and 10 digs (her fourth double-double of the season plus three service aces tied a career-high). Sophomore Julia Cast and Freshman Margherita Bianchin both had strong games. Cast collected 10 kills and a .400 attacking percentage and Bianchin did a little bit of everything with 12 kills, six digs, two aces and two blocks. Senior Shawna-Lei Santos had a fifth double-double in a row with 32 assists (team-high) and 17 digs. Sophomore Delaney D’Amore finished the game with 10 digs and three assists. After losing the second set, the Red Storm took the third behind 14 assists from Santos. The third set had six ties, the last one at 20-20 but St. John’s went on a 5-1 run to take a 2-1 lead. DePaul won the fourth set 25-21 to force a fifth and final set. The Blue Demons had a .371 attacking clips while forcing the St. John’s to a .243 attacking percentage. With the set tied at 2-2 the Red Storm went on an 8-1 run, which forced DePaul to call a timeout. With the crowd rocking Carnesecca Arena the Red Storm held the Blue Demons to one point the rest of the way to take the match and final set, 15-6. St. John’s finishes the 2015 regular season on the road with two games against Seton Hall and Villanova. The Red Storm play Seton Hall Pirates on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Walsh Gym in South Orange, N.J., then the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Jake Nevin Fieldhouse in Villanova, Pa.

SPORTS November 18, 2015 | VOLUME 93, ISSUE 12 |



LoVett, Balamou ruled ineligible Assistant Sports Editor


Chris Mullin’s first season as head coach of the St. John’s men’s basketball team is expected to be a clear cut rebuilding year with nine new faces. That task has proven to be much more difficult after the NCAA ruled freshman Marcus LoVett and senior Felix Balamou ineligible. The NCAA came to a decision regarding LoVett’s status just two days before the Red Storm’s season opener against Wagner last Friday. The investigation was centered around the point guard falling behind with his schoolwork when heading into his senior year of high school. But, according to the New York Post, LoVett made up all his credits by taking night and summer classes, and St. John’s was confident he would maintain his eligibility. Even after exhausting his appeals process, LoVett may decide to challenge his partial qualifying status by hiring a lawyer. “The University disagrees with the NCAA’s decision and the process it used in reviewing Marcus’ initial eligibility wavier request,” St. John’s

interim athletic director and general ly benefited from LoVett’s calming counsel Joseph Oliva said in a state- presence. ment. “We have engaged in several Without LoVett, Mussini will conversations with the NCAA to have to handle the brunt of the ball handling responsibilities while also having to adjust to American basketball on the fly. Meanwhile, Balamou is dealing with an unspecified NCAA violaThe University disagrees with the tion. NCAA’s decision and the process His ineligibility was announced it used in reviewing Marcus’ initial by St. John’s just hours before the eligibility wavier request. team’s opener. There are no specific details as to whether the senior guard will be inactive for the remainder of the season but the University is seeking reexpress our concerns that their pro- instatement. cess may have violated Marcus’ le“We understand Felix’s disapgal rights. Unfortunately, it appears pointment and we are here to supthat the NCAA elected to disregard port him,” Oliva said in a statement. these concerns. As one of three returnees from last “We have advised Marcus and his season’s NCAA tournament team, family to consult with appropriate le- Balamou was expected to provide gal counsel about the options that may critical senior leadership and experibe available to challenge the NCAA ence while bringing versatility, athruling and the standards it applied in leticism and strong on-ball defense. this process.” Balamou has gone through the rigors The six-foot freshman from Chi- of the Big East before and, while his cago was projected to be the team’s minutes haven’t been consistent, he starting lead guard due to his superb has talent. handles, playmaking ability and The Johnnies will have plenty of unique vision. depth without the two guards but Now, the Johnnies will have to Mullin’s job will not be an easy one, rely on fellow freshman, Federico especially when Big East play rolls Mussini, who would have great- around.


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