University observes Veterans Day • Ceremony on Great Lawn • Student Veterans Association to open success center • Story on page 3
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Veterans Day at St. John’s celebrates those who served in armed forces Students, faculty and families gather to remember and pay tribute to the military Amanda Umpierrez Staff Writer Veterans, families and students all gathered together for the St. John’s annual Veterans Day ceremony hosted in front of St. Augustine Hall yesterday at noon. The commemoration paid tribute to all veterans who served the country during moments of warfare, including past and present times. “Veterans Day is more than a celebration,” said Dr. Gempesaw, who spoke during the ceremony. “It is a time when we, as a nation and as one, reflect, respect and give thanks to those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.” Gempesaw, whose grandfather and nephew previously served in the Armed Forces, spoke on the sacrifices of families whose loved ones are sent overseas for combat. “[The families] do, in a sense, share their loved ones with all of us in service to our country,” he said. Professor of Military Science Lieutenant Colonel Marci Miller also delivered a speech on the meaning behind the service veterans and current militants have done, describing the individuals as “ordinary people performing extraordinary acts of bravery and selfless devotion.” As rows of military cadets stood at the front of the ceremony, Miller noted the amount of bravery they embodied in order to serve their country. “The cadets who stand in front of you today did not avoid the most basic and cherished responsibility of the citizen: to defend its nation and people,” she said. Towards the end of the service, St. John’s alumnus Andrew Lyons received
Torch photo/Gina Palermo
Veterans and their families attended the St.John’s annual Veterans Day ceremony, held on the Great Lawn.
an honoree award for the 28 years he served in the United States Army. Lyons is currently the director of advising support at St. John’s University Freshman Center. During his thank you address, he mentioned the unforgettable friendships and connections that he will always carry with those who have served and continue serving. “It’s a bond, it’s a connection that no one else knows,” he said. “That’s some-
thing that we share amongst ourselves.” Rather than spending Veterans Day without classes, St. John’s annually hosts this event to encourage reflection among students and the community. Professor Mark Prendergast, who was the awarded honoree for last year’s commemoration, believes that holidays are now used as excuses for sales and days off, instead of for thought. “I do think we should have moments
on a day like today, where we do stop and reflect,” he said. Alessandra Laucella, a junior studying at St. John’s, thinks that Veterans Day should be spent honoring those that fought, and continue in combat today. “Like it’s said, freedom isn’t free. People are willing to go out to fight, and it’s really such a mature decision for them to make,” she said. “I think it’s a brave thing to do.”
Veteran success center to open on campus next semester
JOanne Corrielus Staff Writer
The St. John’s University Student Veterans Association (SVA) is committed to providing resources for our student veterans who have sacrificed their lives to serve and protect our nation. In January, the SVA will open the Veterans Success Center, where members of the SVA will hold weekly meetings and program activities and events. The SVA was formed in the fall of last year. “The idea for the Students Veterans Association came about two summers ago, when student veterans approached me about starting a campus organization for veterans,” said Mary Pelkowski, associate dean of Student Engagement and SVA advisor. According to the St. John’s SVA brochure, “The mission of the St. John’s University Student Veterans Association (SJUSVA) is to support stude nt veterans at St. John’s University in
their pursuit of higher education. “The Student Veterans Association assists student veterans in successfully transitioning from military service to University life through networking opportunities, resources, community service and advocacy,” according to the SVA brochure. “SJU SVA is committed to supporting veterans with their post military adjustment and improving the quality of their University experience.” The top five pillars of the SVA are academics, career, leadership, service and transition. The president of the SVA Charles Taylor shared how he got his start with the association. “My involvement with the SVA happened my first semester at SJU,” said Taylor. “I attended an Open House for Student Veterans in August 2012. From there, I showed up to the meetings and involved myself with the association.” “The reason I decided to help out was due to my own re-acclimation issues after being discharged from the mili-
tary. I had been out of the military for 2 ½ years and had 3 different jobs
“My vision for the next 3 to 5 years is for us to expand our network within the local community. We would also like to expand our association throughout the network of clubs and organizations on campus...” Charles Taylor, president of SJUSVA
before coming back to school at the age of 30,” Taylor said. “As president of the SVA, I work with university administration and veterans to increase mentorship programs, career
advisement programs and networking possibilities. “While still serving as president of the SVA during my last semester, I assisted in the establishment of the new veterans success center, incorporating various services. The SVA also advances student veteran success and helps in improving their mental and physical health,” Taylor said. Taylor also shared his hopes for SVA. “My vision for the next 3 to 5 years is for us to expand our network within the local community. We would also like to expand our association throughout the network of clubs and organizations on campus for the imperative need for raised general awareness of veterans. “This could be a roundtable event, or an open forum with veterans, students and university employees conversing about what it means to be a veteran. The Veterans Success Center will carry on the legacy of the lifeblood of veterans that have attended St. John’s since its inception, where a Civil War veteran attended and graduated.”
University invited to listening sessions with priorities-focused group OLIVIA CUNNINGHAM Managing Editor In order to gather input from the campus community, the president’s recently-formed working group will hold four open listening sessions next week. The sessions, which anyone can attend, will be held on Nov. 20 at 1:50 and 5 p.m. on the Queens campus, on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. on the Staten Island campus and at 12:15 p.m. on the Manhattan campus. More details will be announced later this week, according to Strategic Priorities Working Group co-chair and law school dean Michael Simons. At his investiture, University President Dr. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw announced that he had identified four priorities for the University. “The four priorities are the student success pipeline, recognizing and retaining the best faculty, staff and administrators, enhancing the teaching and learning environments and enhancing community and global partnerships,” working group co-chair Gina Florio said. In order to make progress on these priorities, Dr. Gempesaw formed the strategic working group, which is comprised of 14 members, who represent the various groups at St. John’s, including a student and an alumnus. The working group, which met for the first time on Oct. 23 and held a planning session on Nov. 5, will meet frequently throughout the rest of the academic year to identify up to five action items for each of the priorities. “In essence, our goal is to come up with, really, the to-do list of the University’s priorities for next year,” Simons said. “By the end of this year we’ll have a list of 15 to 20 action items with an in-
PHOTO PROVIDED/MICHAEL SIMONS
Members of President Gempesaw’s strategic priorities working group during their first meeting.
dication for each one, and with each one also the measures of how we’re going to evaluate success, and probably a timeline for implementation.” The list of action items will be presented to the president and discussed at the spring Board of Trustees meeting and at the second annual president’s retreat in May. According to Student Government President Rob Koehler, the student body representative on the committee, students could expect to see priorities put into action as soon as fall 2015. While the specific action items have not been determined yet, Simons and Florio said that there will most likely be a wide variety of “deliverables” on the
list. “Some of them might be the kinds of things that might be implemented within a year, others are probably more longrange things that will take multiple years to bring to fruition,” he said. “It’s not traditional strategic planning at all. Usually strategic planning is maybe a two-year process that comes up with a five-year plan, like we’ve dealt with in the past at St. John’s,” Florio said. “So I think that this is very different and it’s maybe a way to get to something more quickly.” In addition to taking an accelerated approach, the working group represents a broad sector of St. John’s.
“It’s not a top-heavy group; there aren’t any senior vice presidents. There’s an assistant professor who doesn’t have tenure, there’s a student, there’s administrators at the middle level,” Simons said. “That’s reflective of Dr. Gempesaw’s real desire to have a bottom-up planning process that’s broad-based and inclusive and is designed to get input from the entire University community.” Along with the listening sessions, which will be facilitated by professional leadership consultant Sharon McDade, the working group plans to add a suggestion form to the St. John’s website and collect input from SGI and other university structures.
Opinion Staff Editorial Editorial board XCII
SAMANTHA ALBANESE Editor-in-Chief
OLIVIA CUNNINGHAM Managing Editor TALIA TIRELLA News Editor BRIAWNNA JONES Entertainment KYLE FITZGERALD Features Editor STEPHEN ZITOLO Sports Editor ALEXA VAGELATOS Opinion Editor
FLAMES OF THE TORCH In the early years of the 20th century, St. John’s students might have heard familiar songs, such as “Red and White,” “St. John’s Colors” and “Old St. John’s” ringing across campus. With lyrics printed in every freshman student handbook and in publications such as the Torch, these tunes were well known among the student body and sung at formal ceremonies, sporting events and other campus celebrations. Today, “Old St. John’s,” the official alma mater of the University, has virtually no name recognition among students. Those involved on campus may have heard it once or twice, at a ceremony such as convocation or the recent presidential investiture, but many are unaware that such a song even exists. A member of Redzone, the student cheering section, said that they do not currently sing the alma mater at games, in part due to its slower tempo. Even the origins of the song are difficult to discover; University archivists know only that the first stanza was written around 1906 by Vincentian priest C. S. Rosensteel, while the second verse was penned by the Rev. Thomas Ryan (later the ninth president of the University) during his tenure as dean, between 1923 and 1927. Two additional verses of unknown origin appear in a 1930 yearbook, but they were never formally
added to the song and are not sung today. While the words may be unfamiliar, the tune is well-known: “Old St. John’s” is sung to the tune of “Tannenbaum,” or “O Christmas Tree,” otherwise identified as “Maryland, My Maryland” in archived materials. Last year, Student Government attempted to revive the song. To raise awareness, they posted flyers across campus with the lyrics. However, this year’s executive board chose not to continue the practice, and the song has fallen back into obscurity. “We thought the Alma Mater was perfect because it transcends time, individuals, and location,” last year’s Student Government vice-president Mark Benavides said in an email. “No matter where you are or how you say it, when you recite the SJU alma mater you will be brought back to the days when you studied all night in the DAC, or when you received your first A paper...it should remind you of your love for St. John’s.” Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, as St. John’s looks toward its 150th anniversary, we encourage students and other community members to work to bring back traditions and increase school spirit, whether that means breathing new life into the alma mater or something else entirely. We are part of a long tradition of St. John’s students, and that’s something to be excited about.
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.
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“Things we don’t talk about.”
ON ‘CUFFING’ SEASON
Special to the Torch So, the talk of campus is that cuffing season is here. In reply to it, I ask, “Is it really?” For those who don’t know what “cuffing” is, it pretty much means seeking a relationship with someone during the cold winter months. As the seasons change, we tend to stay indoors longer. The people who are usually single and socially confined, tend to open up to the idea of relationships. “Cuffing” to guys means a probable opportunity to not only get to know a person in another dimension, but also to get rid of loneliness and maybe even boredom. Most of the people around me have been talking about it, and after talking to a few people about it, not everyone thinks the same. Some call it stupid, some call it cool, and others like me, who are foreign to this concept, wish to know more. What is the real reason for why cuffing season is supposedly so great? Many times it can be that as winter
arrives, most of us are forced to be in our dorms with the comfort and confinement of the heat, and the sense of coziness, that exists in them. While we try our best to ease out of our dorms, we tend to mingle around and talk to people. While we are at it, a sense of chemistry builds up around us, and the idea of getting into a relationship is generated. While we are living in the same building, street, or village, encounters happen and it is these encounters that give rise to the initial feeling of attraction. The weather is just a cherry on top. It has happened with people I know. It has happened on rainy days, and lonely weekends. When people who, until the morning, did not believe in the idea of relationships, are now dating someone just to avoid being alone. I’m not surprised that it happens when the weather turns and it starts to snow outside. There is nothing wrong with it, and it only makes sense if the other person feels the same way. In the end, who wishes to be alone? If at the end of the day, you are attracted to someone, there’s nothing wrong with it. Go ahead and ask them to pursue something. You may never know where it might take you in the long run.
Why Climate Change Matters SUZANNE CIECHALSKI Staff Writer
implementing policies to help reduce greenhouse emissions. It doesn’t help that more and more countries are beginning to burn more fossil fuels, contributing to exactly what the UN is warning The New York Times published an against. article a little over a week ago that disIt is apparent that caring for our cussed the United Nations’ recent pleas Earth has become more of a political to curb the burning of fossil fuels as an issue, like everything else these days. effort to slow down climate change. With the United Nations pleading for According to the UN, if emissions world leaders to do something before are not reduced, the world is at risk for food shortages, flooding of major cities, we have gone past the point of no return, it is evident that there should be a major change in climate, mass extincmore focus on improving conditions to tion of plants and animals and refuge the best of our abilities. crises. In the New York Times article, Statistics from the EPA claim that a Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, a climate two-degree increase in temperature can scientist from Princeton University is have the following effects: quoted saying, 5—15% reductions in the yields of “We’ve seen many governments decrops as currently grown lay and delay and delay on implementing 3—10% increases in the amount of comprehensive emissions cuts. So the rain falling during the heaviest preneed for a lot of luck looms larger and larger. Personally, I think it’s a slim reed cipitation events, which can increase flooding risks to lean on for the fate of the planet.” 5—10% decreases in stream flow in Climate change has been a huge topic in the news lately, especially with the some river basins, including the Arkansas and the Rio Grande People’s Climate March that occurred 200%—400% increases in the area in New York City in September, and burned by wildfire in parts of the westrightfully so. ern United States According to the Environmental Clearly, the effects of climate Protection Agency’s website, the global change are not something that should average temperature has increased by over 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the last be ignored and can lead to detrimental consequences for the Earth as a whole. century. It seems like a small number, There is scientific evidence to prove but in reality, it is pretty huge. climate change, and while some may Rainfall and heat waves have innot believe in it, there is no reason to creased in intensity around the globe, polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are not protect our planet. Whether you’re a believer or not, we should all be doing rising and oceans are becoming more our part to keep the environment clean acidic. There is clear evidence that our world’s climate is changing, but govern- and to protect ourselves from possible consequences down the line. ments are reluctant on figuring out and
Special to the Torch Maybe it’s just me, but I never understood the whole idea of “cuffing season.” Sure, I think some companionship is nice, but I never quite understood what it was about this time of year that caused people to suddenly want a relationship. I’ll admit that relationships are nice. Who doesn’t like having someone to cuddle and watch movies with, or someone to have go on cute dates with? Relationships are ideal, but imperfect. They are never exactly what we make them out to be. With that being said, I find that many relationships can be especially stressful – and with finals and the holiday season, who wants even more stress added to the accumulating amount you’re probably already feeling – and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. Relationships are supposed to be something special; they take time. It does not make sense for someone to force themselves into a relationship due
to “cuffing season.” There is no need to feel an added pressure for someone to get themselves into a relationship just because the holidays are here. “Cuffing season” might have worked in high school, but we are adults now. When getting into relationships, we should be thinking of the impact that they will have, and if we see a future with the person. There should be more reasons for us to date someone besides just wanting someone to cuddle with on those cold, winter nights. The whole idea behind “cuffing season” just seems a little silly to me. If you’re that lonely, talk to someone new in class, hangout with your roommates or make plans with an old friend. Instead of wallowing in your dorm on winter nights, go outside with your roommates and build a snowman, or have a snowball fight. Indulge in some good, old-fashioned fun. It may seem silly now, but it will be satisfying in the end. Don’t give into the societal standards set forth by “cuffing season.” A good relationship is something worth waiting for, and no one should feel additional pressure just because of the idea that winter equates to loneliness.
6 reasons to stop going to Starbucks and resort to your local “mom and pop” shop
Ethan Brown Staff Writer
By now, Starbucks has become synonymous with New York City; its hard to pronounce flavors and overpriced beverages and snacks fit right in with the hustle and bustle of New Yorkers. While there are many places to get a cup of coffee in this city, Starbucks seems to be the main choice for many. However, the novelty of simply having the Starbucks logo on your cup of coffee has managed to hide the number of wrongdoings the company has done over the years. Here are six reasons why you should stop going to Starbucks: 1) The whipped cream topping on many drinks is 80 calories alone. Not to mention the actual drink is full of sugars and other unhealthy products. Yes, there are some healthy options on the menu, but since when does anyone go to Starbucks for an apple? 2) Just last week, headquarters banned all Starbucks employees from wearing fancy jewelry, such as an engagement ring. So while they are allowed to charge on average four times more for a cup of coffee than a neighborhood deli, they are not allowing their employees to wear meaningful, expensive items. They also banned tattoos and painted fingernails - sounds like a fun place to work, right? 3) With all of the profits Starbucks receives in a given year, you would think some of that would go back into
the community. Not a chance. The only way to see the money invested locally is to shop at the small businesses throughout the city; that means buying your morning coffee at the corner store for 99 cents instead of $3. 4) During the days following the 9/11 attacks, many of the men and women who generously gave up their time to volunteer with the cleanup would shop around the neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. During one of the warmer September days, a volunteer went into Starbucks for a few cases of water for the crew. Instead of giving the water to the volunteer for free, Starbucks charged the worker $130 for just three cases. You would think that at a time like this, most citizens of New York would show a little generosity to one another, but not this company that’s worth $100 billion. 5) Despite the increased awareness of “going green,” Starbucks has not followed this trend. The company still continues to utilize single-use coffee cups, which all end up in a landfill somewhere. After people began to notice this, Starbucks introduced reusable mugs, with a cost of $1. Only Starbucks would be so condescending as to charge customers for an environmentally friendly mug to offset the costs of producing single-use cups for years. 6) Most coffee drinkers prefer McDonald’s coffee to Starbucks coffee. According to an article from MSNBC, respondents said that McDonald’s coffee was “decent and moderately strong,” and having no flaws, while Starbucks was labeled as “strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open.” Ouch, Starbucks.
The thunder behind the storm
RedZone brings an endearing energy to support their school ’s athletics. VALERIE JUAREZ
As you make your way through the cozy Carnesecca Arena or the gates leading into the soccer pitch at Belson Stadium, be sure keep an eye out for a large group of loud students decked in red and black. They aren’t that difficult to miss. Whether you are at a home or an away game, there will always be a sea of St. John’s students dressed in Red Storm gear cheering on the athletic teams with insatiable energy. There is no surprise that students are yelling at the top of their lungs and screaming their heads off, as they are filled with school pride. RedZone is a daughter committee of Student Government Incorporated (SGI). It is the student section of all St. John’s athletic events. Paige Band, a junior and Red Zone committee member, is involved with creating and planning the events that RedZone offers to the student population. “Our job is to get people to come out to games, for people to have fun at games”, Band said. This year, Red Zone has been making large strides in pushing students attend games with the
aid of social media. They want the student stand to be covered head to toe in the school’s colors. “Everyone talks about how we want St. John’s to have this D1 feel, but we can’t do that without students,” Band said. “Especially students actually cheering, painting their faces, and being decked out in red. That’s what we are aiming for.” Ridge McKnight, president of RedZone, has helped with starting a reward program called “Johnny of the Week”, which entices students to be boisterous in their support for the Red Storm. “The idea behind that is to give students the incentive to be loud and cheer at all the sporting events,” McKnight said. “It seems like it’s a good vibe and recognition that we, as RedZone, do see you going out to the events and being loud, and putting all the energy in supporting the team.” Red Zone’s motto centers around “creating experiences that leads long lasting memories.” This motto rings true for passionate members like Band and McKnight. Some of these experiences include, which RedZone is particularly notorious for, barbeques and giveaways. “You name it, we’ve probably done it in the last five
years of giveaways,” McKnight said. “But our goal is not to give away a t-shirt. Our goal is to have students come out and support [athletics] such as the soccer team and you get a t-shirt while doing it.” Band shared her favorite memory being a part of RedZone. “Freshman year we went to Rutgers and watched our team play them in basketball and it was really cool because we had a really cool group of students going at the time and, being a freshman, it was really my first trip,”
Band said. “We were up in the nosebleeds cheering our heads off. They wanted us to be quiet and put our heads down.” A game that had a lasting impact on McKnight was a basketball game against Creighton and one of the best collegiate players in the United States, Doug McDermott. The stage was set at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s managed to pull off the upset. “I think [my favorite moment was] going to Creighton last year and I think they were
ranked [No.12/12] but we beat them at the Garden and we shut down the best player, which was a lottery pick in the NBA draft. Cheering them on was the best memory,” he said. Band wraps up what she believes to be RedZone’s mission in a nutshell. “We are all about creating an amazing experience that creates lasting memories,” Band said. “We want people to come out to games, we want them to enjoy going to those games and keep on going to them.”
TORCH FILE PHOTO The RedZone section can be identified as the boisterous students in the red shirts.
Fitness center just around the cor ner
Contributing Writer Located between Parsons Blvd. and 164th St. on Union Turnpike, just a 10 minute walk from Gate 4, Pilates Bodies NY offers a wide array of fitness classes for everyone, regardless of previous experience. Larisa Mar, St. John’s 2011 alumna and studio director, urges St. John’s students to come join the fun and health benefits that the studio has to offer. The space is divided into two studios. Studio Two is a bigger group class room, with TRX suspension bands and a variety of equipment to use for the many classes the studio has to offer. Studio One is used for pilates, with the appropriate machines that are used in the classes. The studio offers a variety of instructors, with their expertise ranging from physical therapy to dancing. “It’s a really great community here because it’s a non-intimidating environment; compared to a lot of classes in the city,” Mar said. Pilates Bodies is welcoming to all, whether you are an instructor yourself or just a curious student. However, if you chose to take a Pilates class, as a pre-requisite, everyone must take the Fundamentals of Pilates Work-
shop. This class gives everyone a fundamental understanding of specific moves that are used and to aid in familiarzing the clients on how to properly use the machines to prevent any injuries. Don’t be intimidated, though. The space is an open space with an understanding that everyone is on a different personal journey and goal. It provides a comfort level for all who attend Pilates
Bodies. “What’s so important is to come here and not be surrounded by athletes,” Mar said. What also distances Pilates Bodies from other classes, similar to those offered at St. John’s, is that you use the machine. The machine offers a greater variety of exercises that can be used. The classroom itself is roomy in size, but has eight machines. So anyone working on
Pilates Bodies NY offers an array of machines and classes.
PHOTO PROVIDED/PILATES BODIES
one of these would be getting an experience as if they worked with a personal trainer. Pilates Bodies offers St. John’s students a variety of ways to save money on classes. Students are offered a 10% discount if they chose to purchase a package. Also, all Studio Two classes are usually $15.00 per class, whereas it is only $10.00 per class for a St. John’s Student. Students also receive a 20% discount off all personal training. You can get all of this by simply showing your Stormcard at the front desk when you go to take a class. Larisa suggests wearing form-fitting clothing because “instructors to be able to see the bending of the body to make sure you are doing the exercise correctly.” Attendees also need to wear socks with a grip on the bottom to help prevent them from slipping, which Pilates Bodies sells at the studio. Pilates is a great way to help find a balance in the everyday hustle and bustle everyone experiences, especially for students attending college. It helps provide a balance between body mind and spirit. Perhaps, most importantly though, “it really is just a lot of fun,” as Mar puts it.
‘Dear White People’ flips the script for Black America NICOLE McCAMBRIDGE Contributing Writer
paper, which may not have caused an issue if the editor was not also a man. Lionel has to write a profile piece on being African-American at Winchester University while also trying to discover what that means. Finally there’s Coco who is played by Teyonah Parris. She parodies Sam’s show on YouTube and t u r n s it into videos about what
According to the film “Dear White People,” movies are not catered to a black audience in the way they should be. Reggie, played by Marque Richardson, stated, “so basically we’ve got black people dying in the past and black people dying in the present.” In this film, nobody dies. Instead, they embrace life in a series of events during a semester on campus. The film focuses on four students at an Ivy League college called Winchester University. Sam White, played by Tessa Thompson, is the child of a black mother and white father, which plays a lot into her character. She is the star of a radio show called “Dear White People” and her friends decide that she is the one who needs to lead them to equality on campus. She is elected as the leader of all racially-charged events and Head of House, which creates conflict with Troy. Brandon P. Bell plays Troy Fairbanks. His father is the dean of Winchester University and has been in battle with the current school’s president since they were both in the university together. Troy is thrown into the middle of this feud
when his dad expects him to win Head of House and he loses to Sam. Tyler James Willams, known from the TV sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris,” plays an aspiring journalist named Lionel Higgins. Lionel has a hard time fitting in because he does not believe he is black enough or white enough. He falls for the editor of his school’s news-
According to Box Office Mojo, “Dear White People” had a big opening weekend, earning $344K, despite only opening in 11 theaters.
white people need to understand about black people. She goes into detail on how one girl asked her if she “weaved” her hair. One video spends its entirety trying to explain that it is called a weave. She’s an interesting character because she fights against being black while all of the others embrace it. “Dear White People” talks a lot about stereotypes towards black people, but is not driven solely by race. Each character has conflicts and flaws that do not rely on race. That’s something that makes it truly special. It is not a film about white versus black, but instead a film about being human. Overall “Dear White People” was a beautifully written satire. Writer and director Justien Simien made each section as a chapter in a book. This not only added a unique take, but also made it visually appealing. None of the actors are well known and that adds to the experience of the film. They each played their roles wonderfully. This is a film that can speak to people of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Nicki Minaj made major headlines over the weekend after she hosted the 2014 MTV European Awards Sunday night in Glasgow, Scotland. As a host and nominee, the 31- year- old rapper and singer made the most of every moment as she took control of the night shining bright every chance she got. The “Pills & Potion” rapper made a grand entrance as she opened the show suspended from the ceiling in a sparkling bra and matching gray high-low skirt, with a lengthy train designed by Peter Hidalgo that could give Princess Diana a run for her money. Like a true “Barb,” she managed to fit in 10 wardrobe changes throughout the night. Although the Queens native received great feedback from viewers for her job as hostess, performer and winner for Best Hip-Hop artist, many were upset that the pop star constantly used profanity. She opened the show with “What the f*** is good, Glasgow?”and continued to use profane words until it ended. Responding to the negativity,
Minaj tweeted “I’m sorry if I cursed, I am Nicki Minaj.” Unfortunately for the “Anaconda” songstress, it did not end there as she received even more backlash of the lyrics and video for her new single “Only,”, featuring Lil Wayne, Drake and Chris Brown. Many accused Minaj of being a Nazi-enthusiast, as the animated video is very similar to Adolf Hitler’s propaganda. In the video, Nicki serves as the dictator to Wayne, Drake and Chris as well as other soldiers who are seen wearing an “YM” emblem that slightly resembles a swastika representing her label, Young Money. Abraham H. Foxman, a survivor of the Holocaust and the national director for the Anti-Defamation League, told ABC News Minaj’s video “disturbingly evokes Third Reich propaganda and constitutes a new low for pop culture’s exploitation of Nazi symbolism.”
Minaj apologized publicly on Twitter Tuesday morning, tweeting “I didn’t come up w/the concept, but I’m very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone.” She continued on writing, “I’d never condone Nazism in my art.” After her apology she went on to further explain this in a series of tweets saying that one of her best friends and overseer of the pro- cess
In his lyrics seen in his “Shady Cxypher” video that included Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf, the 42-year-old rapper pokes fun at the infamous Ray Rice video. The veteran rapper took jabs at Janay Rice in the verse saying, “I may fight for gay rights, especially if they d*ke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice.” He then went on to attack Lana Del Ray rapping, “Play nice, bitch I’ll punch Lana Del Ray in the
was Jewish, adding that the animated video was inspired by Cartoon Network’s “Metalocalypse.”
face twice like Ray Rice in broad daylight in plain sight of elevator surveillance ‘til the head is bangin’ on the railin’ ... then celebrate with the Ravens.” As of now, neither Janay Rice nor Lana Del Ray have responded to Em’s trash-talking.
Known for harsh and explicit lyrics in his music, Eminem usually gets a pass with his vulgar language. However, this time he took things a little too far, as fans and critics are upset after he spit controversial lyrics making light of domestic violence. INSTAGRAM/TAYLORSWIFT
BRIAWNNA JONES Entertainment Editor
CBS revealed Monday morning that Taylor Swift would be performing multiple songs at the networks 54th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade live from New York City. The announcement seems fitting as Swift was recently named New York’s Global Welcome Ambassador for 2014-15. Other acts sharing the stage with the “Shake It Off” singer include Nick Jonas, Idina Menzel, Lucy Hale, Quvenzhane Wallis, KISS and the Broadway cast of Matilda and Pippin.
Kelly Rowland welcomes her very own ‘Destiny’s Child’ JASMINE DAVIS Contributing Writer
Congratulations are in order for former Destiny Child star, Kelly Rowland, 33 and her husband manager, Tim Witherspoon, as the couple welcomed their first born son, Titan Jewell, on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m. PT, weighing
7.5 lbs. People
magazine was the first to report the good news. “We are thrilled to announce that today we are the proud parents of our first son,” said Rowland in her statement. “We are blessed to report everyone is healthy and happy!” Rowland was very private during her pregnancy, but did not hide her excitement. She posted a picture on Instagram, with the caption, “I’ll be stuntin’ like my daddy,” of father-andson Jordan sneakers. After the pregnancy, rumors started to surface; a few days later, she posted a picture of her doing yoga, sharing with the world her growing baby bump. From yoga to the gym, the multitalented singer remained focused on staying fit and living an active lifestyle during her pregnancy. Even though she did not let her pregnancy stop her, she still was mindful about her unborn child.
“To be honest, I did modify my exercise routine a bit by just listening to my body,” Rowland shared with Elle magazine. “I would tell my trainer [Jeanette Jenkins], ‘This move doesn’t feel right,’ and we’d modify it. I still walk two miles everyday. I still work out. It’s important to me.” Her friends and “sisters,” Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, shared their excitement about being new aunts and for baby Titan’s arrival. They both posted pictures on Instagram congratulating Kelly. “There’s no better feeling than holding my beautiful nephew. I thank god for the honor of witnessing my sister’s journey into motherhood,” said Beyoncé’s caption with a black and white photo of her holding the newborn’s hand. “I’ve always dreamt of our little ones growing up together. I’m so thankful for our bond. Baby Ty, I love you so
much. Congrats to my Spoons.” Solange shared two separate black and white photos on Wednesday to congratulate the new mommy. The first post was a photo that Rowland did during a pregnancy photo-shoot for Elle magazine with the caption, “#wcw I witnessed a miracle yesterday. My beautiful sis is a mommy!” The second post was a throwback picture of Kelly, Beyoncé and herself with a beautiful caption expressing her joy of their growth as women. Now that Rowland has given birth, she is focusing on expanding her family. “I’m very happy,” she expressed E! News. “I’m a very, very happy woman.”
DePaul wins Big East at Belson Kearney-Perry, Gibbons honored WILSON SY Staff Writer
Staff Writer Despite a loss to Georgetown in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Belson Stadium, two members of the St. John’s women’s soccer squad were named to the All-Tournament team. Seniors Jen Gibbons and Georgia Kearney-Perry sparked the Johnnies to a 2-0 win over Villanova and helped the team reach penalty kicks against Georgetown. Defender Kearney-Perry did not have a single goal in her college career coming into the tournament. In two games, she was able to produce two critical goals; the first goal was a game winner against the Hoyas and the second was to tie the game in the 73rd minute against the Wildcats. During the regular season, Kearney-Perry was awarded with Big East Defensive Player of the Year and her senior
leadership was an important asset for the team’s success throughout the year. Besides a critical assist on Kearney-Perry’s go-ahead goal versus Georgetown, Jen Gibbons did not light up the stat sheet. Instead, she made multiple plays that changed the outcome of both matchups. Gibbons showed outstanding effort and grit. She suffered multiple injuries, but her ability to battle through the issues uplifted her teammates and gave them multiple opportunities to win. Even though they did not reach the NCAA Tournament, it was an excellent overall year for Ian Stone’s team. They ended the season at 11-7-2 and finished second in the Big East behind DePaul, who went on to win the Big East Tournament.
PHOTO/ ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Jen Gibbons .
PHOTO/ ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
The top seeded DePaul Blue Demons celebrated in the campus of St. John’s University after defeating the second seed Georgetown Hoyas 2-0 to claim its first Big East women’s soccer championship last Sunday afternoon. On playing in Belson Stadium, DePaul head coach Erin Chastain said, “It’s a great venue to play in. It’s a nice turf field, it’s a great atmosphere and it was a fun place to win the championship.” With the victory, DePaul remains undefeated with a 16-0-3 record earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship as they will take on the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday Nov.15 at 7:30 pm. It will be their third tournament appearance in school history. The Hoyas fall to 11-4-5, but was also selected to play in the tournament to take on West Virginia on Saturday Nov.15 at 4 pm. “I’m really proud of our team, I think they’ve had a remarkable season to be unbeaten and to win the regular season and the conference tournament is really really special,” said DePaul, head coach Erin Chastain on the undefeated streak. “I think it just shows what kind of group we have; they’re really consistent, they buy into our game plan every game and they’re really focused on winning games and were not satisfied with our record and we’re going to keep going.” In the 26th minute, the Blue Demons scored their first goal after junior for-
ward Elise Wyatt shot was rejected by GU’s goalie Emma Newins, Wyatt recovered her own missed and chipped it into the net for a 1-0 lead. In the second half, DePaul built up their lead to 2-0 in the 60th minute, when senior midfielder Amber Paul scored her eighth goal of the season from the right wing assisted by freshman midfielder Alexa Ben. The Hoyas would outshoot the Blue Demons 13-4 in the second half, but their comeback would fall short. During the final 30 minutes of the game, Georgetown blasted a flurry of shots as freshman midfielder Rachael Corboz blasted a shot from 20 yards going wide, with a minute later following a shot by Big East Offensive and Midfielder of the Year Daphne Corboz, which was saved. During the award celebration, Amber Paul was named the Big East Championship’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player while defender Sarah Gorden was notched as Most Outstanding Defensive Player as DePaul held their opponents scoreless throughout their two games in the Big East Tournament. “Today’s victory was a grind, we knew that it was going to be a mental game because against Marquette, we put so much energy and obviously Georgetown is a very good team and I think every day we come out and play for each other,” said DePaul midfielder Amber Paul. I’m just so proud of my teammates and it’s so amazing to be in this.”
Women’s soccer falls in Semifinal heartbreaker
DAVID DRESSEKIE Staff Writer
O n a windy and chilly Friday evening, 670 spectators filed into Belson Stadium to watch the St. John’s University women’s soccer team square off against the second seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the Big East Tournament’s semi-finals round. The Red Storm were able to play Georgetown to a 1-1 tie during regulation but ultimately fell short when the Hoyas were able to take a 4-3 lead with a series of decisive penalty kicks. The Hoyas were able to take an early 1-0, following a header by Georgetown’s junior defender Marina Paul in the seventh minute, and the Red Storm spent much of the match playing catch up. On two separate early occasions in the match it seemed as if senior forward Caitlyn McLaughlin had been able to tie the match, but her goals in both the 22nd and 52nd minute of play were waved off by linesmen who ruled her offsides. St. John’s was eventually able to rise above this bit of bad luck with a bit of nifty passing from McLaughlin and Jen Gibbons, knotting up the score at 1-1 in the contest’s 73rd minute with a goal from Big East Defensive Player of the Year Georgia Kearney-Perry . Following Kearney-Perry’s late
game heroics, the remainder of regThe Hoyas advanced to the Big East ulation and the two overtime periods Tournament finals where they faced, saw the two clubs fight through both and were defeated 2-0, by top-seeded exhaustion and injury, with sever- DePaul. al players from both sides leaving and returning to the match. Although Georgetown was able to outshoot St. John’s 24-5, sophomore goalkeeper Diana Poulin, Big East Goalkeeper of the Year, was able to make six saves in the match and keep the Hoyas to just one goal. The two teams were unable to decide the match in regulation and the ensuing two overtimes produced no victor leading the teams to go into penalty kicks to decide the match’s winner. When four iterations of penalty TORCH PHOTO EDITOR/ CHEYANNE GONZALES kicks saw the two teams tied up, the Jen Gibbons in the last game of her career at Belson Stadium versus Georgetown. fifth round proved to be the deciding factor, as freshman Rachel Corboz was able to find the back of the net to give the Hoyas the lead. Hoyas’ senior goalkeeper Emily Newins was able to turn senior Marisa Ammaturo shot aside and win Georgetown the match. After the match, St. John’s head coach Ian Stone said that “It was an unbelievable performance in terms of playing against a phenomenal team, hanging in there, battling, finding a way to come back after being a goal down,” coach Stone went on to add that “Everyone left everything they TORCH PHOTO EDITOR/ CHEYANNE GONZALES had out on the field. I’m so proud of Shelby Halasz pushes the ball upfield during the Big East Semifinal versus Georgetown. them.”
Men’s soccer falls to Seton Hall on senior night five of them to Seton Hall and four to St. John’s.
TROY MAURIELLO Staff Writer
It would not be a storybook ending for the five seniors on the St. John’s men’s soccer team in their final game at Belson Stadium, as the Red Storm fell 1-0 to their tri-state rival Seton Hall on Thursday night. The night began with a ceremony to honor the five graduating seniors of the 2014 class. Marco Bordon, Daniel Herrera, Casey Osborne, Jordan Rouse and captain Tim Parker were each greeted by family members at midfield during the celebration. The five seniors made three NCAA Tournament appearances (2011, 2012, 2013) and tallied 19 total goals throughout their St. John’s careers. As the pre-game festivities came to a close, the match would begin with a slow start for each team. After the rivals would trade a few meek scoring chances, the Red Storm would have a golden opportunity to take an early lead in the 28th minute. After Bordon was able to fire a shot at Seton Hall goaltender Julian Spindler, it would be deflected away by the goalie. Luis Esteves had a chance on a close-range header that bounced off the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless. Neither team would really threaten for the remainder of the half, as only nine total shots would be taken throughout the period,
However the Pirates, who were playing to keep their Big East Tournament hopes alive, would come out much more energized in the second half, and in the 56th minute, they found their go-ahead goal. It would be Andrew LoManto who rifled in a shot from inside the six-yard box after a beautiful pass from Samuel Geiler to give Seton Hall a 1-0 lead. From there St. John’s struggled mightily to find an equalizer, as the offensive woes, which have plagued them all season were prevalent once again Thursday night. They would have a few chances in the game’s final 15 minutes, but none of them came to fruition, and the Pirates held on for a 1-0 victory. The Red Storm would finish the year with a dismal 1-7-1 conference record and a 4-10-4 overall record. This marks the first season since 2010 that they failed to make the NCAA Tournament. “This was a difficult season for us,” head coach Dave Masur told RedStormSports. com after the game, “but our guys played with a lot of pride and showed a lot of character throughout, and I am proud of that.” When asked about what was going through his head as he walked off the Belson Stadium field for the final time, captain Tim Parker responded, “Shock.
Kind of how quickly the years go by here. You experience so much and had so many moments of joy and happiness, and it kind of goes real quick.” Parker tallied four goals and four assists
while playing in 79 of a possible 80 games in his four years at St. John’s, including 78 starts. He and his fellow seniors will certainly have the support of the Red Storm community for years to come.
TORCH PHOTO EDITOR/ CHEYANNE GONZALES
Marco Bordon on Senior Night at Belson Stadium versus the Seton Hall Pirates.
Tim Parker’s collegiate career comes to a Kearney-Perry leads Big East’s best close, looks towards professional dreams defense in 2014 BRANDON MAUK Staff Writer
PHOTO/ ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
PHOTO/ ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Senior Tim Parker has been one of the best players in the history of the men’s soccer program at St. John’s University. During the defender’s four seasons here, the team enjoyed a consistent amount of success. They won the Big East in 2011, had three winning seasons and appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times. “Winning the Big East Tournament as a freshman would probably be the highlight,” Parker said. “It was the only championship I won, so it was pretty special. Beating Delaware on the road in the NCAA Tournament last season would be up there as well since we had lost our first game in the previous two NCAA Tournaments.” Parker personally attributes his success to “hard work, dedication and the desire to be out there competing everyday,” as well as always staying fit. He says he’s learned a lot as a player and a person here at SJU. “I’ve learned a lot about the tactical side of the game, particularly spacing and where to be on the field in different situations. I’ve also become better at adapting as things happen during games. As a person, I think that I’ve developed as a leader. Soccer shows the importance of taking advantage of opportunities and I’ve taken that mindset off the field as well.”
Parker was certainly a big reason for ALLAN GOMEZ the team’s success. He registered four Staff Writer goals and 12 assists in his career here (defenders usually don’t get a lot of scoring chances, mind you). The Hicksville native was chosen to be in the All-Big East honors during each of his three years and will likely be named again this year, even after a trying season for St. John’s. “When I first arrived, my goal was to play,” Parker said. “I wanted to compete and earn a spot in the lineup. As a long-term individual goal, I wanted to be a captain by the time I graduated. As far as the team was concerned, I wanted us to win championships and reach a final It was just four years ago when senior D/M four.” Georgia Kearney-Perry suffered a season endSadly, it was a struggle for the teaming injury against then No. 4 Virginia (Aug. 28) in 2014 after three previous campaignscausing her to miss the rest of her freshman year. ended in the NCAA Tournament. The Everything was new for Kearney-Perry, an Red Storm finished dead last in the BigEnglish native living in a new country in New East (4-10-4 overall, 1-7-1 in confer-York, dealing with an injury, rehabilitating ence play) and scored just 15 goals in 18and attending classes now seems like a distant matches. They were shut out 10 times. memory for the senior. “We just weren’t able to finish in the Kearney-Perry was one of the key leaders on final third,” Parker said to explain thethe defensive side of the ball for the Red Storm team’s struggles. “We possessed the balland was statistically one of the top in the Big well and created plenty of chances in theEast in the 2013-14 season. Kearney-Perry was final third, but it didn’t always result ina key contributor on the Red Storm making the goals. I think we also had some break-2013 NCAA Tournament for the first time in downs on the defensive side and that canschool history, advancing to the Big East semibe the difference when you lose as manyfinal game in as many years. 1-0 games as we did this year.” So it was fitting for Kearney-Perry to win the Like most collegiate athletes, Parker2014 Big East Defensive Player of Year award will have to make a choice regarding hisand also being selected to the All-Big East first athletic future. He says he plans to pur-team as well. sue a professional career, preferably still “Freshman year was really a struggle for me, in the United States in the ever growingbut I was able to sit back and learn how to play MLS (Major League Soccer). and work on my game,” said Kearney-Perry. “I would love to play for the new team “The game is really different here from my in New York, NYCFC,” Parker said. “Ofhome looking back, I obviously grown as a course, I’d like to keep playing soccer forplayer, which helped to be a well-rounded as a as long as I can. After that, I would likeplayer and made me deserving of the award,” to coach a college soccer team or use myKearney-Perry added. finance degree to work in the sports in- Kearney-Perry credits her teammates for dustry.” winning the Big East defensive player award
saying she would not be a player without them. “I believe she was deserving of this award and last year as well. If you look at this year’s stats, we conceded less goals this year in the Big East,” said coach Ian Stone to SJU-TV. “Georgia has been phenomenal; she has got better and better and has always been a great defender and has improve on her on-ball,” Stone added. Kearney-Perry from Tring, England in tandem with sophomore goalie Diana Poulin helped anchor the Big East’s stingiest defense in league action, as the Red Storm compiled a conference-best 0.65 goals against average during Big East contests. In the Red Storm’s first eight games in conference play, they allowed just three total goals. On the season Kearney-Perry was one of the main factors in helping turn in eight clean sheets, just two shy of the program-record. Last year it was more of junior D/F Rachel Daly’s offense that led the way for the Red Storm in a breakout season leading to a NCAA Tournament appearance. This year it has relied more on their defense and younger players stepping up. Able to host the Big East Tournament for the first time in school history was big for the Red Storm. They would eventually along with teammate senior D/M Jen Gibson was named to the All-Tournament team for her performance. Kearney-Perry and the Red Storm will miss the leadership of the eight seniors on the team that will be graduating. “I’m going to miss their faces, all the different characters and just not having them around will be a change,” said Kearney-Perry. Kearney-Perry’s fondest memories are the friendships she built and the bond with her teammates—as they are like sisters—, returning back from injury in her sophomore year and beating Georgetown 1-0 this year, making the NCAA Tournament last year and bringing more success to the program.
TORCH PHOTO EDITOR/ CHEYANNE GONZALES
NOVEMBER 12 2014 | VOLUME 92, ISSUE 10 |
? Born and raised in England, what do you see
as the major differences between U.S. soccer and U.K. soccer? Football in the U.K. takes up over 10 pages in the newspapers. It’s on all the TVs and you can’t escape it. “Soccer” in this country is the fifth most popular sport. I think the major difference comes down to tactical and physical play, whereas players in the U.K. are a tad better mentally and players here are gifted with physical prowess.
? This year marks your 21st season here at St. John’s, what has this program meant to you? My journey here started a long time ago. I began as a part-time head coach and quickly realized how successful this program could be. With the help of amazing assistant coaches and players, I find myself here today. It has really taken up most, if not all of my time but I love being here on campus. Spending time and bonding with my players is what it’s all about and St. John’s has allowed me to do that for a long time and I’m very grateful. ? Describe your relationship with the girls this year and how this team is different from others you’ve coached. Another tough question. I compare this team very closely with the first team I ever coached at St. John’s in 1994. Both of those teams had a determination to win once they crossed those white lines. Also, both teams were technically gifted and shared a strong chemistry. As for this year’s chemistry? This team took a bit to bond and totally buy into what I was trying to teach. But now, they understand what it takes to win and push each other along the way.
? Describe this year’s team in a nutshell, what
makes them so special? This is a team that has gone through a lot this year. But they bonded through hard work and heart. I think that’s their best attribute: their determination to win trumps all.
ANTHONY SCIANNA Staff Writer
? Talk about the senior players’ journey and how much will they be missed. These seniors have meant a lot to the program throughout the years. Players like, Jen Gibbons, Georgia Kearney-Perry, Deanna Murino, Caitlyn McLaughlin, Chelsey Martino, Marisa Ammaturo, Sandra Osborn, Rachel Hoffman and Jazmine Rhodes will be missed and they are leaving everything on the field this season. But the thing I like most is that they understand their leadership roles and mentor young players.
? Looking back at your already legendary career
at St. John’s, take me through some of your most memorable moments as a coach. I would have to say winning the Big East Tournament my first year here as a part-time head coach ranks up there for sure. Also, 2009 was a major year for the program and we were lucky enough to advance to the NCAA Tournament. That experience [developed] me as a coach and definitely ranks up there for me as well.
? You are the ‘winningest’ coach in St. John’s women’s soccer history. Speak about what this major milestone means to you. Like I said before, starting out as a part-time head coach, I really never thought I would get to this point. I think St. John’s and the players deserve most of the respect. Especially the players, there is only so much I can do from the sidelines. Of course,we prep and prepare for the games but it’s on them to execute. Overall, I’m honored and glad to be a part of the great soccer history here at St. John’s. ? Rachel Daly’s prolific goal scoring has carried the team at times this year. Describe her role on the team from a coach’s standpoint. Rachel has come a long way since she started here, both on and off the field. She leads our team with her play and also brings the girls closer together with her international experience. I think that really sets her apart. Playing on a world stage at such a young age was huge for her. Now a few personal questions:
? On the opposite end, your freshman performed
? Being from the U.K., I would imagine you follow the Barclays Premier League. What team do you support and why? When I was around four or five, my father gave me an all-white jersey with no logo on it. So naturally I asked, “What team is this?” and he said Leeds United. From that point on I supported Leeds and still am today. Although it’s tough to watch their games out here, I try my best to keep updated through Twitter.
? How would you describe your coaching style?
? What coach do you replicate your style after and what are some of your major influences?
extremely well this year. Talk about the bright future of the team. Definitely, the future looks bright. Shea Connors and Jesse Schaefer highlighted the freshmen this year and show promise for the future. Our major focus is to keep on improving their development and make them into successful four-year players.
My coaching style isn’t too complicated. I try to focus on two-sided player development. I try my best to mature players off the field while improving their game as well. I take it very seriously and I’ve had a bunch of great players, for me it’s all about player development. Me and the assistant coaches try our best to do what’s best for our players.
I can honestly say various St. John’s coaches have made me the coach I am today. Dave Masur has been instrumental [in] my progression as a coach. Also coaches like Steve Lavin and Lou Carnesecca have showed me the New York mindset. Finally, Ed Blankmeyer has also been very important to me. I can bounce ideas off him, which is nice.