TORCH GRAPHIC/KERI DODGE
WHAT’S INSIDE News......................2-3 Features...................16 Opinion..................5-8 Entertainment....17-19 Comics......................9 Sports.................20-24
TELEVISION The Deep End
Inferno reviews ABC’s latest law drama, airing on Thursday nights. ENTER RTAINMENT Pg. 18
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20% Yes 80% No Check out our new poll every Wednesday “Think Outside. . .”
Directory Managing Board LXXXVII
CHRISTINA HEISER, Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY, Managing Editor NELL O’CONNOR
BILL SAN ANTONIO
Editorial Page Editor Photo Editor
Chief Copy Editor
Entertainment Editor Online Editor
Business (718) 9906576 Advertising 990-6756 Editorial Board 990-6444
Features 990-6445 Letters 990-6445 News 990-6444 Sports 990-6444
Special thanks to Richard Rex Thomas for assisting in the design of The TORCH
Entertainment A New Take on the Apocalypse Denzel Washington attempts to save the world in his latest role. Is he successful? Read our review to find out.
Inferno Pg. 18 Features Greg Mortenson Three Cups of Tea author shares his experiences building schools in the remote communities of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Features Pg. 16
Men’s Basketball Three in a Row The women’s basketball team won its third straight conference game on Saturday at Madison Square Garden against USF. NEWS
Sports Pg. 22
TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
Students abandon their wind-torn umbrellas in trash and recycling bins during Monday’s gusty rain storm. This umbrella, typically given to students during New Student Orientation, didn’t make it past the St. Augustine Library.
27 Jan. 2010
HEALTH CARE REFORM OPINION PG. 6
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FOR MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: 718-990-6756 The TORCH is the official student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University. All contents are the sole responsibility of the editors and the editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of St. John’s University unless specifically stated.
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SJU oﬀers buyout to veteran employees EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor In response to current “economic challenges,” St. John’s University joins a growing list of U.S. colleges offering buyouts to faculty and staff as a way to reduce expenses. The buyout is being offered to all full-time staff and administrators, as well as tenured faculty. In an internal e-mail sent out Monday, University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington said previous efforts to increase revenue and cut spending had kept St. John’s with a balanced budget, but further spending reductions will be needed to keep it balanced. “St. John’s is not alone… many other institutions are reducing expenses as well as eliminating jobs and freezing new
hires,” he stated. “We remain confident that by taking prudent fiscal steps now, St. John’s will be able to continue its core mission and pursue its strategic initiatives well into the future.” In the letter, Rev. Harrington said the use of “Voluntary Separation Offers,” or VSOs, is the latest cost-cutting measure the University is attempting after trying other methods, including reducing department budgets, putting certain projects on hold and eliminating salary increases for most University employees. Rev. Harrington cites changes in enrollment patterns, greater student financial aid need, a drop in investment income, and rising health care and energy costs as some of the reasons for the need to reduce expenses. Dominic Scianna, assistant vice president of Media Relations, said yesterday that although all staff have
been informed via e-mail, all St. John’s employees eligible for packages will receive their individual offers by the end of the week. Once they receive the package, employees will have 45 days to consider the offer, he said. According to the St. John’s 2008 fact book, there are 696 full-time faculty, 830 full-time administrators and 608 full-time staff across all campuses. The statistics also show that nearly 45 percent of full-time faculty employed as of fall 2008 have been with the University for 16 years or more. Institutions nationwide have also been offering voluntary buyouts. Last February, Harvard offered 1,600 buyouts to employees 55 years and older and who have worked there for at least 10 years. The universities of South Florida, Memphis, and Michigan, among others, have also offered veteran employees
voluntary buyouts in order to save money since 2008. As of yesterday, the University declined to comment on the specifics of the VSOs, such as how many employees will receive separation packages. “We feel it is inappropriate to discuss the Voluntary Separation Offers at this time until all parties [faculty, administrators and staff] have had a chance to receive and review the information,” said Scianna. The University last offered VSOs to employees in 1998, he said. In the letter, Rev. Harrington said the University will continue to explore additional cost-cutting methods in the upcoming months. “All elements of our university are being reviewed to determine how best to move forward,” he said. “Some initiatives will receive additional support; others will need to be pared back or eliminated.”
French food becomes main course in class NELL O’CONNOR News Editor
John’s students receiving some form of TAP. The University is one of the largest recipients of this state program. “Right now we’re in the very beginning of the process. The rest of the spring will be spent negotiating the budget, hopefully those cuts aren’t passed,” said Browne. He said the trip will not only allow college students to voice concerns, it will give them an opportunity to “get a crash course on legislative practices.” Students feel that the cuts are taking away money they have rightly earned. “I don’t think it’s fair because it’s something that I am entitled to,” said Jacqueline Aviles, a senior and legal studies major. “It’s something that a lot
of people are entitled to.” This year more than 300,000 students will receive state assistance to satisfy the rising costs of tuition according to the comission’s Web site. In a recent statement Laura L. Anglin, the president of CICU, said, “With demand for state student aid at an alltime high, the executive budget released today puts an obstacle in the path for thousands of low- and moderate-income New Yorkers enrolled at colleges and universities in the state. “By reducing the maximum TAP grant and eliminating graduate TAP, students will lose an essential source of assistance for meeting current college expenses.”
St. John’s students will travel to Albany in February to protest the proposed state executive budget that includes a $71 million cut from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and possibly discontinuing the assistance program for graduate students. TAP is the largest form of financial aid for New York residents attending universities within the state. Governor Paterson’s proposal will cut all TAP awards with the expectation of saving the
government an estimated $50 million. The group of students will depart Feb. 9 from the Queens Campus and will arrive later in the day in Albany. “If I can get February 9 clear, I will be there,” said Dalia Kamal, a senior. At the capitol, students will meet with legislators and attend presentations with other private universities. The event is being organized by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), a non-profit organization that represents over 100 private campuses in New York. According to Brian Browne, the assistant vice president of Government Relations, there are more than 5,000 St.
JOSÉ SILVA Online Editor
27 Jan. 2010
Students plan to protest TAP cuts
A group of students came away with a new appreciation for food after spending two weeks in Paris over the winter break. During the two-week course called “Paris: Food for Thought,” students viewed films that discussed the relationship between humans and food. Led by Dr. Jane Paley, a public relations professor, they also explored the streets of Paris, experiencing the many different types of food and learned the art of cooking. “We looked at food as an act of love and kindness, as an excess, as a community [and as a] family builder,” she said. “At each meal, we talked about the significance of food outside of just eating and preparing.” After viewing such films as Babette’s Feast and Versailles, the class took a trip into the city to critically explore how food affected an average life. The students spent a day with a Parisian chef, going through the preparation of a traditional French meal. Dana DiMaggio, a senior, said she felt that this was the best day the students had. “We went to a chef’s house in Antony,
outside of Paris, and we were there cooking all day,” she said. “We made onion tarts, ratatouille — it was a total experience.” The class also visited a Parisian soup kitchen, to fulfill the Academic Service Learning requirement Paley incorporates into each of her classes. “The trip to the soup kitchen really gave the trip gravitas,” said Paley. “We had seen the people on the street, but the idea of hunger really came home to us then.” DiMaggio was struck most by the warm reception the students got at the soup kitchen. “You hear about the French people being rude, you know,” she said, “but we were able to socialize with them, they were so social and gracious.” The class, which had been conducted previously by other teachers, left the students with a deep sense of understanding of food and its place in society. “We were only there for a short time, but we really assimilated into the culture,” said DiMaggio. Paley said she hopes to continue the program, saying that the class, as well as the overall experience, really gives students an PHOTO COURTESY OF DANA DIMAGGIO opportunity to learn on a higher level. “It was an intellectual experience, a spiritual experience,” she said. “We really came away Professor Jane Paley accompanied these students in Paris as part of an intensive two-week course. with a sense of moderation.”
Editorial Board LXXXVII
CHRISTINA HEISER Editor-in-Chief EVERTON BAILEY Managing Editor NELL O’CONNOR News Editor JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor
FLAMES OF THE TORCH
Cutting back on education
EDITORIAL POLICY ions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.
E-mail letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your full name, year, and college (or department). Letters have a limit of 350 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.
ANGY ALTAMIRANO Contributing Writer With Americans leading hectic, fast-paced lifestyles with little downtime, we often turn to fast food. This lack of time and of attention to nutrition has led to an obesity epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a large increase in obesity in the United States in the past 20 years. Various states have obese percentages ranging from 18 to around a staggering 32 percent of their populations. Obesity alone is sometimes the main factor of Type 2 Diabetes, different types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, obesity oftentimes starts during childhood. First Lady Michelle Obama took time to address this issue when she spoke before the U.S. Conference of Mayors last week, stating that “nearly one third of children in America are overweight or obese…” This is due in part to the reliance that many children have on modern technology. Kids are reported as spending upwards of six hours a day in front of televisions and computer screens. And living in a household where both parents work long hours makes it a much easier option to order take-out or
eat junk food on a regular basis. With obesity rates increasing at an alarming rate, measures need to be taken in order to prevent this disease. First, education about nutrition needs to start at an early age. It is important for parents to take the time out to help their children develop healthy eating habits, as well as take the time to teach their children about the importance of exercise and physical activity. Any type of physical activity, whether it’s a walk in the park or a bicycle ride, should become an integral part of a young person’s life. Exercise also helps release endorphins—a chemical that makes people happy— therefore physical activity will produce more enjoyment than just sitting in front of a television screen. If the issue of obesity is not taken care of and controlled, the percentage of the population suffering from it will continue to increase tremendously. This increase in obesity will create tougher times for the country because of the increase of health complications based on the health risks obesity produces. Economically, having to care for so many individuals suffering from obesity can take a large toll on the country. Obesity is unlike the other diseases that strike many Americans; it is one that can be prevented, taken care of and reduced with the proper care and attention.
Mail letters to: The TORCH Letters, St. John’s University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy, Jamaica, NY 11439
Obesity remains a huge issue
Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of The TORCH. Columns are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of The TORCH. Opin-
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KATRIN ASTARITA
27 Jan. 2010
fallen on deaf ears in Albany. In December, the New York Times reported that Paterson was “unilaterally withholding $750 million in scheduled payments to schools and local governments.” In response to such a move, Paterson claimed that more cutbacks were necessary at the expense of New York’s students in order to save the state from further financial ruin. Facing angry students and his many critics, Paterson maintained that he was well within the law to reduce 10 to19 percent of state aid, and that the funding would resume when the state could afford it. Last week, the budget crunching continued in Albany on a monumental scale when Paterson proposed further cuts to school aid and almost $1 billion in additional state sales taxes. The New York Times described the proposed education cut as the largest cut in more than two decades, troubling news for those students petitioning a stop to the cuts. It’s an undeniable truth that the American economy has been suffering in recent years, and with it, state economies in turn suffer too. But to repeatedly deprive the students of this state such an enormous amount of money, and accumulate such an irresponsible streak of tax hikes is truly an unforgivable failure. Governor Paterson has failed the students of New York over the past months, letting them down in a time when they need aid the most. His neglect of New York’s state colleges and universities has been deadly to a once nationally respected public education system, and it has left thousands of students scrambling to fund their degrees alone.
The past year has not been positive for Governor David Paterson’s relationship with New York college students. As the economy continues to cripple state budgets and programs, drastic choices have been made in order to keep the state afloat. Unfortunately for young New Yorkers, education has taken some of the heaviest hits under the Governor’s statewide budget cuts. Earlier in the year, Paterson successfully passed a $90 million reduction in state funding for student financial aid. This past November, a student campaign group called “Many Voices, One SUNY” created a petition to protest proposed budget cuts to the SUNY system, obtaining more than 14,000 students put their signatures to. According to the group’s Web site, studentassembly.org, the petition was hand-delivered to the Governor’s office along with hundreds of student letters. The Web site quotes Melody Mercedes, President of the SUNY Student Assembly, as saying “We are insisting that you make no cuts to SUNY or TAP [Tuition Assistance Program]. We are the future of New York—don’t shortchange our education!” Surely, Ms. Mercedes and her fellow peers have a strong argument for keeping education as well funded as possible. The November petition was a measure to stop the bleeding and prevent a further $24 million SUNY cut from passing, and an additional $28 million to TAP funding. Naturally, this would affect nearly all New Yorker’s who rely on student aid from the state. Considering the timing of this petition and the circumstances, the students involved might be labeled as incredibly resilient. Sadly, the group’s petitions for aid have obviously
27 Jan. 2010
A poor collection of library books could hinder student research
Over the last two years, I’ve seen the St. Augustine library undergo a complete makeover. Renovations made to the interior workings of the building, which often had leaks, were obviously necessary. Other changes, including additional study space with new furniture and more computers on the third and fourth floors, have made the library into a comfortable place for students to sit and relax. But while St. Augustine now looks a whole lot better than it did when I was a freshman, it falls short of being a successful, functioning research library. If you’ve ever had to do research for an assignment at the St. John’s library, you’ve probably felt a certain level of frustration; I definitely have. The major complaint that I’ve heard from other students, and that I’ve encountered myself, is that books that are available on the library’s catalogue on St. John’s Central are missing from the shelves. When this happens, library staff members can visit the closed stacks to see if the book is located there, but most of the time they come back empty-handed. The library staff had to get rid of and move around many books before the renovations began, and a lot of them seem to have been lost in transition. Students are not the only ones who have felt the effects and have complained, though. Last semester, for example, I overheard a professor state that she requested a book from the Staten Island campus; each time, she received an e-mail stating that the book had been delivered to Queens. But each time she went to pick up the book, which she said she needed for her dissertation, no one could find it for her. Because research is a staple of almost any college class, having a functioning library that contains a large amount of material and meets the needs of its students and professors is an absolute necessity at St. John’s. For many St. John’s students, the library is a place to hang out and get coffee between classes, so it is not surprising that St. John’s would remodel its library with more lounge space. Before the renovations, the most crowded and noisy parts of the library were almost always the café and the lounge on the first floor. But did the University really need to get rid of books to make way for more lounge space? The recently opened D’Angelo Center provides more than enough space for students to relax or hang out between classes and easily could have filled this need. In an April 2008 TORCH article, Theresa Maylone, university librarian, stated that in December 2007, the University set the deadline for weeding out books for May 2008. The library staff then found itself in need of completing this task sooner than it had expected. Understandably, many professors said they were concerned about the library removing books, especially on such short notice, and were frustrated that they were not consulted at the beginning of this process. As an English major, it’s easy to see where these professors are coming from. Research is an essential component of higher-level English, as well as other liberal arts, courses. Many of these classes center around a final paper that requires extensive preliminary work—students begin by perusing books and various other materials before they can even begin writing. Therefore, students must have access to a large collection of material in order to be able to do sufficient research. In order for the University to attract the best students and professors, it must be able to provide the most upto-date, comprehensive materials for conducting research. Only then will St. John’s be able to seriously compete with other top universities in the country.
Christina Heiser is a senior English major. She can be reached at: email@example.com
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/KATHLEEN HANNA
Democrats and health care continue to be taken advantage of by an unfair and unjust health care system. Thanks to misleading information about the bill from opposing interest groups, Republican politicians We are in the midst of one of the most de- and others with stakes in private insurance companies, fining moments in generations, closer now to an inescapable backlash is taking place that largely real, tangible change than any of us have ever begins and ends with the same bitter question: “Why been in our lifetimes. should I pay for another person’s insurance?” It may be redundant to repeat what’s already been It’s hard to blame the common citizen—who has said time and again, but health care reform is one of heard nothing but the term “tax increase” in referthe most important challenges this country is fac- ence to this bill—for being skeptical of health care ing, and it’s been said repeatedly for a reason. Yet, reform, especially during an economic crisis. The fact as often happens, the people that seem to grasp this is, however, that the common citizen will not be seethe most are those who resist this change, a change ing any increase in taxes. Instead, those earning more that threatens the indulgent recipients of a broken and than $200,000 a year ($250,000 for joint filers) will easily-abused health care system, among many other be the ones seeing the much disputed .5 percent Mediproblems that leave the bulk of the American people care tax increase, an increase that vulnerable to corporate and pomany people in this bracket litical exploitation. will not stand for, even if it A week ago, this counHow can such a seeming- means providing almost 50 try witnessed one of the most of their struggling ly obvious idea like health million shameful moments in Democountrymen and women care reform become a dirty with health insurance. cratic Party history unfold when Republican State SenaFurthermore, what is term in a country where boggling tor Scott Brown, a well-camis how Democrats almost 50 million citizens have been so confident in ouflaged super-conservative, won in the overwhelmingly urance? passing this bill that they lack health insurance? Democratic state of Massachuhave refused to take the necsetts, a state that hasn’t voted essary, yet painfully simple for a Republican president or step of reiterating this fact senator in more than to the American people. Is it two decades. so hard to publicly reaffirm that the vast majority of How can such a seemingly obvious idea like Americans will not be seeing a tax increase, even if health care reform become a dirty term in a country it needs to be said over and over again? It’s one thing where almost 50 million citizens lack health insur- if Senate Republicans stand their ground in opposiance? Even more frustrating is that the people aren’t tion to this bill, but it’s another when the people of to blame for the last-minute cold feet spreading America are beginning to lose confidence as well. around much of the country. This confusion is, unfortunately, a sign of comInstead, we can thank the deception on the oppos- plete failure on the part of the Democratic Party; a paring side and incompetence on the side of Democratic ty that, with Senate elections looming in November, leadership, which has failed to defend their bill in the has made the potentially fatal mistake of taking their face of an onslaught of uninformed criticism. Rather, power for granted. And meanwhile, this disheartening Democrats have opted to rely on their assumed Sen- fact remains: millions in this country live without the ate majority to pass a historic bill without actually security of knowing a serious injury or disease doesn’t explaining it to the people. threaten financial security.Deception and petty poliThis has proven catastrophic not just for the tics have reared their ugly heads once again, the latDemocratic Party, but for those who are actually af- ter emitting a negative energy that has permeated the fected by the decisions politicians make: the afore- mindset of countless Americans who couldn’t care less mentioned 50 million people who are still wait- that so many of their fellow citizens are deprived of ing for help, as well as the millions of others who what should be a basic right.
JOSEPH AZIZ Contributing Writer
Getting a message across When American propoganda is more than meets the eye JUSTIN THRIFT Editorial Page Editor For almost 40 years now, the United States has been involved in a lengthy propaganda war in Cuba. The Bush administration, for example, consistently dropped leaflets over the island in hopes of reversing anti-American sentiments and fallacies generated by longtime dictator Fidel Castro. In an article published shortly after President Bush’s second inauguration, Gary Marx, who had been reporting from Havana since 2002 for the Chicago Tribune as a foreign correspondent, detailed the reaction of some local Cubans when they awoke one morning to find bright leaflets scattered on their lawns containing an image of George Bush and his second inaugural address in print. In that speech Bush vowed to “free the world of tyranny,” and a second accompanying leaflet contained the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As Marx explained, the pamphlets were a “part of an escalating U.S. government program to spur political change in this one-party state.” Gary Marx was eventually ordered out of the country by Cuban officials who
told him his work was “negative.” Historically, propaganda has been a common part of military strategy, and governments such as the U.S. have employed propaganda to combat fascism and dictatorship. In the 60s and 70s during the Vietnam War, U.S. aircrafts dumped leaflets across the Vietnamese countryside in an attempt to influence locals to support the American effort and resist the Viet Cong. The same was the case in Korea and during WWII, where American propaganda was even aimed at its own citizens, flooding them with images of evil Nazis and Uncle Sam’s patriotic call to serve. More recently, the United States has started taking their propaganda campaign to the Web. In May of 2008, USA Today released an article detailing the launch of a Pentagon run news Web site aimed at communicating with people in the Arab world. The site, www.mawtani.com, is entirely in Arabic and composed of articles written by local journalists hired by the Pentagon. The site posts daily articles that “promote U.S. interests and counter insurgent messages.” Similar to what Gary Marx said of the pamphlets dropped in Cuba, Pentagon-run Web sites like www.mawtani. com are a part of the United States’
growing Information Operations, making the Internet both a battle ground and frontier for American propaganda. And mawtani.com is not the only Web site with American sponsorship; the Pentagon also runs sites for people in the Balkans, North Africa and Latin America. For some Americans and professional journalists, the most troubling aspect of these sites is the discreet manner in which the Pentagon displays its affiliation. Only by clicking on a small “about” link located at the bottom of the Web page will readers find any information that reveals American backing. But it’s important to realize that many readers would be turned off by a blatant display of American endorsement. In order for these sites to reach the broad audience required to make a difference, subtleness is necessary. For the Pentagon to be moving away from the days of scattered pamphlets is a positive thing for the nation’s Information Operations. News Web sites have more credibility and reliable content for the reader and the information that appears via these sites is available to anyone, not imposed. More young people use the Internet to stay informed than ever before, making it the most crucial modern arena for in-
formation exchange. The creation of sites like www.mawtani.com is an essential part of reaching the youth, and combating messages of terrorism and religious extremism in the world. Because of the large grasp of the Internet, terrorist organizations and American adversaries utilize the Web to spread much of their extremist propaganda. It is the responsibility of the Pentagon as our central defense agency to counter these harmful messages and offer the truth to people who live in areas of the world where accurate news is hard to come by and warped perceptions of the U.S. are promoted. It is for this reason that sites like www.mawtani.com are not as much promoting American ideology as they are countering anti-American extremist propaganda. There’s a lot of danger lingering in the confines of the Web, and the U.S. has a good vehicle in these sites for replacing some of the falsities with truth and extremism with rationalism. While the history of this country’s propaganda programs may seem imperialistic and disturbing to some, these Web sites are a necessary component in defending our nation against those who wish to harm the American way of life.
Google’s exit in China could be costly in the future SHREYA BANSAL Contributing Writer
Google has a significant market share in the world and a decent share in China. China is a lucrative market and some form of commercial cyber U.S. presence in China’s domain is necessary. Furthermore, if Google pulls out of China, then Baidu will have a free hand to come up with better algorithms and programming that could later override Google’s dominance in general. From all the cyber attacks, it is clear China is willing to do anything conducive to its economic and technological prowess and world standing. If Google remains in China, it will at least be possible to keep an eye on the activities of the rival cyber giants while taking advantage of a profitable market. In the end, Google may have legitimate reasons for its complaints about the Chinese government, but pulling out of the country may not help anything in the long run. It would be best if Google negotiates with the government and came to a compromise. China has too much financial and political allure to risk a cessation of operations in the country.
27 Jan. 2010 The TORCH TORCH ILLUSTRATION/MATT BROWN
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In a shocking decision last week, cyber search engine giant Google threatened to stop offering its services to China. For many people, this conflict signifies a troubling development for the freedoms of the Internet. Google cites a number of reasons for this decision, including alleged cyber attacks against itself, its customers and its clients. Google indirectly accused Beijing of having targeted the e-mail accounts of human rights activists in China as well as the accounts of about 20 large businesses including Google itself. In a press release on Jan. 12, a Google representative said, “We detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the left of intellectual property.” And the company, which agreed to censor search results when it launched in China in 2006, is also claiming that it now wants to adhere to an open Internet policy. China’s response to this has been that all companies are welcome as long as their activities are “according to law,” clearly signaling little chance of the Chinese government compromising on its censorship policy. But what is the real intent behind Google’s move to stop all activity in China? And is Google making the best decision?
China has a fast-growing economy and is home to about 350 million Internet users, making it an important market from a strategic and financial perspective. But the country has a long history of unabashedly pilfering cyber information and knowledge from other companies and countries. For example, a California-based software company called Cybersitter filed a lawsuit against China for $2.2 million two weeks ago for stealing the computer code for use in a state-run program. After this lawsuit was filed, the law firm’s accounts were apparently attacked by Chinese hackers. The point is, China has a voracious and bold appetite for any scrap of information, code, or algorithm that makes it stronger. Perhaps Google is choosing to pull out of China to protect Google’s algorithms and programs that make it a cyber giant and not just to protect its clients. It is quite possible Google wants to protect its “family secrets” of codes that give it the edge over other search engines. Another point to note is that in China, Google has only 30 percent of the market share as opposed to the 60 percent held by Baidu, its rival competitor that is favored over Google by the Chinese government. The chief architect of Baidu claims this to be a financial move by Google and not a customer-protection driven decision. Whatever Google’s true motives may be, it may not have been the smartest move for Google to cease ties with China.
Massachusetts Senate race reveals much ANTHONY O’REILLY Staff Writer Last Tuesday, the voters of Massachusetts shocked the political world when they voted Republican Scott Brown into the United States Senate. This is the first time a Republican has taken a Massachusetts Senate seat since 1972. Brown takes the place of staunch Democrat Ted Kennedy, who left behind the Senate seat he had filled for more than 45 years. The election of Brown has thus become a hot topic, with political experts and media pundits questioning why he beat his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, who seemed to have a comfortable lead in the polls going in to the election, and what this means for President
Obama and the Democrats as a whole. Some believe this election signals that voters are unhappy with President Obama due to his recent action of sending more troops to Afghanistan and his plans for healthcare reform, among other issues. While this may have been a factor, as Obama’s approval rating continues to dip, it is not the main reason Scott Brown was elected. Scott Brown’s win has more to do with Coakley’s failed campaign than it has to do with the American public’s frustration with Obama. When a candidate holds a double digit lead over an opponent in the polls, it takes a lot to lose the entire election. And yet that is exactly what happened to Coakley. One of her first mistakes was calling former Red Sox pitcher Curt
Schilling a Yankee fan. Although this statement had nothing to do with politics, Coakley drew a lot of criticism for this and lost points in the polls. Meanwhile, Scott Brown spent New Year’s day at Fenway Park, rallying the fans when the Bruins played in the NHL’s Winter Classic. Another key mistake was the way she interacted with potential voters. Critics of her campaign stated that she was not personal enough in her approach to the people. She rarely shook hands with anybody, limited her outdoor appearances, and drew major criticism when she did not offer a fallen journalist a hand when he was pushed down by one of her supporters. Two of her political ads also came under fire. One misspelled the word
“Massachusetts” and the other used stock footage of the 9/11 attacks to compare what Scott Brown would do to Wall Street if elected. While President Obama’s approval ratings may be down, this election is surely not a referendum on his policies. Even if it was, the Democrats still hold a majority of power in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Where the Democrats did fail was in choosing Coakley as their candidate. This election showed that her campaign skills are weak and that the people prefer a more sociable candidate like Scott Brown. While it may be big news for Massachusetts to have a Republican senator, it is surely not as large as the conservative politicians and media are making it out to be.
STUDENTSPARKS: Student feedback We asked students what they would improve about St. John’s and then talked to administrators about their concerns.
“ “ “ “
St. John’s guests should be Jo able to sign in [to the resident halls] after 3 a.m.
Tunisia Morrison Sophomore
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Ryan LaBauex Sophomore
Students Stude commute from all five boroughs. We need a shuttle to go to every borough, like Brooklyn and the Bronx.
27 Jan. 2010
They should have more intramural soccer..
Heather Viebrock Junior
The F Food is too expensive. nsive.
Suraj Mathial Sophomore
“The University, and the department of Residence Life, has an obligation to provide a safe and secure environment for its students living in a residential community. The visitation policy that is currently in effect, although it may be viewed as “strict” or “restrictive,” is the best policy that can be implemented to keep our residents safe in an urban environment. Some students may argue that we are not in an “urban” environment such as NYU or Columbia and although that is a fair perception, the reality is in direct contrast.” Dominic Petruzelli Director of Residence Life
“Based on student request from the previous year we decided to have a tournament last fall and this semester we will have a soccer league every Friday and Saturday starting in early March.” Casey Ellin Coordinator of Intramurals
“The University Shuttle is designed to support students in their commute to campus. It is in no way meant to replace the mass transit system New York City provides. It would be impossible for the University to provide enough shuttles to appropriately accomodate the thousands of students that commute from all five boroughs.” Jackie Lochrie Associate Dean of Students
“We understand price sensitivity is a major factor and work with Chartwells to insure there are value priced options at each dining location. The new D’Angelo Center also offers Combo Meals now along with Meal Exchange options for meal plan customers in addition to the Marillac Food Court. We encourage diners to ask associates at the location if they have questions regarding the Combo Meal pricing or menu options.” Kenneth Waldhof Executive Director, Auxiliary Services COMPILED BY THOMAS CARNEVALE
I canâ€™t draw Alex Reyes
Controlled Chaos Catharine Corrigan
27 January 2010
PHOTO COURTESY OF COCA-COLA VIA YOUTUBE
St. John’s students take part in the latest virtual advertising campaign for Coca-Cola, which was filmed in Marillac Cafeteria in December 2009.
‘Happiness Machine’ comes to SJU Coca-Cola teams up with the University to film a new viral advertising video CAROLYN WARGULA Assistant Features Editor
Flowers, pizza and subs are not typically what you would expect to come pouring out of a CocaCola vending machine, but that’s exactly what happens in a recent ad for the soft-drink company that was filmed on the Queens campus. Using hidden cameras, Coca-Cola filmed 16 hours worth of footage Dec. 7 and 9 of St. John’s students making purchases from a new vending machine in Marillac Cafeteria only for them to get more soda than they bargained for as well as a box of pizza, flowers, a balloon animal and a massive 12-foot sub. As of Jan. 27, the two minute-long, Coca-Cola “Happiness Machine” video has received more than a million views on YouTube. In order to pull off the commercial, the video’s producers created a new wall behind the coke machine in the cafeteria where they hid, handed out the items and monitored the students’ reactions. The producers used five hidden cameras including one in the ceiling above the vending machine to
record all the action. Sophomore Angela Eyers, who appeared in the Coke commercial along with a few of her friends, said she was caught off-guard by the items coming out of the machine, but overall found the experience fun. “We just thought the Coke machine was being very silly,” she said. “But then we realized it wasn’t a real machine when a pizza came out and we really wanted to try it. The machine just kept spitting out Cokes.” Afterwards, the disguised Coca-Cola workers asked Eyers and her friends to sign waivers to appear in the video. Dominic Scianna, assistant vice president of Media Relations, said Coca-Cola approached him with the idea to shoot a fun and enjoyable commercial that would stream across the country. “Coke was impressed by our campus,” he said. “With the new facilities, lots of trees and the new class of students, Coke decided St. John’s would be the best place to shoot their video.” Scianna also said the video has received international attention as well. “Last week I got a call from a newspaper in
France called Le Post, so this campaign has reached very far,” he said. St. John’s has also been fortunate to appear in the Golden Globe nominated film, It’s Complicated. The Queens Campus was shown briefly in a graduation scene that was filmed during the University’s commencement ceremony last May. “Our philosophy is that if we can do it, we would like to bring more publicity onto campus,” said Scianna. Eyers also agrees that she would like to St. John’s represented further in the media. “I feel like they should do more promotions from St. John’s,” she said. “We have a really cool student body and the fact that the nation is looking at that is awesome.” To see the finished commercial, go to http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U.
Can’t get enough TORCH features? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com
Author shares stories with University Greg Mortenson speaks about promoting peace and education in Pakistan and Afghanistan
27 Jan. 2010
SARA MARRON Contributing Writer
Greg Mortenson, has worked in Pakistan in Afghanistan, setting up schools and promoting education for young children. He chronicled his work in his best-selling book Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time. He spoke to St. John’s about his experiences Jan. 26. TORCH: How was your treatment in Pakistan and Afghanistan when you were there and how has it changed over the years when you’ve gone back? Mortenson: Most people there are very compassionate. I only had one bad experience when I was kidnapped in July of1996. I was Wazirstan which in the North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan. I went into a tribal area without asking for permission,
and what happened was I got kidnapped. I was detained for eight days by the Taliban. I didn’t ask for permission to come in and be with them, I was actually looking for a place to build a school. I wasn’t treated very well. In comparison, since 9/11 I’ve gotten a fair amount of hate mail and death threats from Americans. They called me a traitor to the country because I’m helping Muslims; but what I say is that, no matter where you are, the real enemy is ignorance. TORCH: What were the young people that you helped build schools for like? Mortenson: It’s so exciting to see the tenacity and fierce desire for education in Afghanistan. This is something very few Americans know about. The most exciting news to come out of the country is that in 2000, before 9/11, there were 800,000 people in school, mostly boys, in Afghanistan. Now, there are 8.4 million children in school in Afghanistan. And 2.5 million of those are female, which is the greatest increase in school enrollment in modern
history. What is interesting is very few Americans are aware of that, but the bad news is that in the last three years the Taliban has bombed and destroyed about 2,000 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. TORCH: Did you ever see yourself as a best-selling author? Mortenson: I’m actually a pretty shy person. I grew up in Africa. I don’t really consider myself a writer. What I really love is storytelling and the tradition of learning from our elders. I’ve really started trying to encourage kids from the U.S. to do storytelling. How many of you have spent a lot of time talking to your grandparents? The average in the U.S. is about 10 percent. If you ask that same question in Pakistan or Afghanistan then 90 percent of the kids put their hands up. I think that is one of the great tragedies of our society — we’ve lost the tradition where we can learn from our elders about our heritage, culture or folklore. TORCH: What are your goals for the
Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace, considering the current economic situation? Mortenson: Our support has really gone up every year. Even since the economic crisis, it has gone up 20 percent. Most of our support is grassroots; it comes from average people. I have three goals for the organizations. One is that in five years from now our organizations will be running entirely on their own. I would also like to set up kind of a global portal, because there are a lot of women that graduate from high school and then fall into the cracks. They fall into slave trafficking or indenturement and they don’t have that opportunity to fulfill their dreams. So, I was thinking about setting up, I mean anybody could do it, you could do it, a global portal where you could go online and find a woman in, say, Bolivia, Cambodia, Sudan, and you could help them with there education with very little overhead. To help especially young women to graduate and go on with their dreams.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THEBOOKOFELI.WARNERBROS.COM
27 Jan. 2010
Inferno opens up The Book of Eli
Last Man Standing
Another Apocalyptic Disappointment DENZEL’S PERFORMANCE MAY SAVE HUMANIT Y, BUT NOT THE MOVIE Dan Bailey Staff Writer THE BOOK OF ELI-
OUT OF 4 STARS
n apocalyptic future has become a popular theme in movies released in the past couple of months, but most have failed to live up to their expectations. Along with Hollywood blockbusters about robots threatening to end humanity in Transformers 2 and Terminator Salvation, and cataclysmic events devastating the world in 2012, The Book of Eli also paints a grim future for moviegoers but leaves little to remember in the end. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting 30 years after a war that causes worldwide devastation. A wanderer named Eli (played by Denzel Washington) spends his days traversing across what is left of America, and becomes a warrior out of necessity. With the last remaining copy of the Bible in his hands, Eli remains hopeful that his vision of a better future will eventually come true. Eli uses ninja-like fighting abilities to protect the book from getting into the wrong hands, especially those of Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman), the leader of a small town of thieves and gunmen. He yearns for the book and the power that Eli possesses, which his stepdaughter, Solara (played by Mila Kunis) recognizes as far beyond her father’s
level of control. The actors do a decent job at bringing their characters to life, but Washington’s portrayal of Eli as a mysterious and tough, yet kind, vagabond is underdeveloped. The audience only learns the reasons of Eli’s travels and his protection of the Bible, but little is revealed about his background. Oldman plays the chaotic and selfish villain well by showing his evil determination to do what it takes to get what he wants, even if it includes abusing his blind wife. Kunis’ character seems to have no reason for being in the movie other than to serve as Eli’s companion and eye candy for the audience. The directors of the film, Albert and Allen Hughes (who also directed From Hell and Dead Presidents), create a beautiful post-apocalyptic world with desert landscapes and ominous skies that depict the appropriate tone of gloominess and despair. However, The Book of Eli is nothing more than impressive visuals and great action sequences. Although the significance of preserving the pre-apocalyptic world through the Bible is evident, the ongoing battles between Carnegie and his henchmen against Eli overwhelm the audience with unnecessary violence. The ending also makes little sense and might be disappointing for a film that features a premier PHOTO COURTESY OF THEBOOKOFELI.WARNERBROS.COM actor like Washington. Audiences should not Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington costar in a postclose the book completely on Eli, but it does not quite meet its potential. apocalyptic film directed by the Hughes brothers.
A Sinking Drama VIEWERS TURN IN THE VERDICT BEFORE THE SECOND EPISODE CHARLES ONYEWUCHI Contributing Writer THE DEEP END-
27 Jan. 2010
PHOTO COURTESY OF THEBOOKOFELI.WARNERBROS.COM
The Book of Eli tells the story of a wandering warrior who holds the last copy of the Bible.
1/2 OUT OF 4 STARS
BC’s newest law drama, The Deep End, has been promoted as Grey’s Anatomy but with lawyers instead of doctors. However, nearly five minutes in, it becomes disappointly clear that this new show lacks what brought its counterpart so much acclaim. The show is based on the successes and shortcomings of five twenty-something new lawyers who try to stay afloat at the prestigious Sterling Law Firm in Los Angeles. The hype behind The Deep End fades as its irrational story lines unfold, which prove to be less than plausible given the show’s setting. The plot contains a series of improbable, yet predictable, scenarios. Cliff Huddle (played by Billy Zane), also known as “The Prince of Darkness” for his arrogance and vindictiveness both in and out ofthe court room, has temporarily been put in charge of the law firm after the founder’s son, Hart Sterling (played by Clancy Brown), leaves for three years to tend to his wife’s medical needs. Sterling returns to the firm after the loss of his wife and finds himself playing secondin-command to Huddle. In addition, Huddle’s wife, Susan Oppenheim (played by Nicole Ari Parker) happens to be the senior partner alongside her husband,
playing the power couple of the law firm. Another example of the show’s outlandish scenarios is the first pro bono case for Dylan Hewitt (played by Matt Long), one of the new, young attorneys. In the case, a mother fights for custody of her son following her husband’s sudden death. However, the boy’s grandmother also wants custody of the child. After a series of hogwash events, audiences discover that the grandmother is actually his biological mother, a surrogate for her late son. Hewitt finds a loophole in the California
state law and wins the case in the grandmother’s defense, giving her legal right to her grandson/son. The Deep End has its moments of charm and interesting characters, but the storylines are too over-the-top, which leaves the show feeling more like a judicial satire. Although the show has potential, the writers may need to add a touch of reality to the plot to increase its viewership. Audiences should know beforehand that the show’s season premiere is enough evidence for The Deep End to be a sinking show – case closed.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC.GO.COM/SHOWS/THE-DEEP-END
The Deep End follows first-year associates as they experience the trials and tribulations of a prestigious law firm.
Comedy’s Rising Stars Shine Brighter INFERNO SITS DOWN WITH THE NEXT-BIG-THING OF COMEDY BRETT KALWARSKI Contributing Writer
PHOTO COURTESY OF COMEDIANS.JOKES.COM/HANNIBAL-BURESS
Hannibal Buress was hired by NBC’s Saturday Night Live a few days after appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
annibal Buress has quickly become a rising and shining comedian, starting his career in 2002 as an undergrad at the Southern Illinois University, when he followed a friend to an open mic night event. Four years later, Hannibal is dubbed the “Best Comedian in Chicago” by Chicago’s Time Out Magazine. Buress is also a writer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, but fans and comedy showgoers alike can catch him in action every Sunday at the Knitting Factory. It was not until an appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last summer when Buress not only blew away the audience with his deep evaluations of random subjects, such as handle bar mustaches and apple juice, but also impressing the producers of SNL so much that they signed him as a writer for the show a couple of days later. The comedian admits that he had no previous professional sketch writing experience other than one writing class at the People’s Improv Theater. “I never thought, ‘Hey! I’m going to take this class then next month I’m going to be writing for SNL,” Buress said. “They called me in for a meeting and I didn’t even think it was for a job. We talked for 20 minutes, then I was shocked to hear them offer me a writing position on the show.” Since then, Hannibal has appeared on Lopez Tonight, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and John Oliver’s New York Stand Up. During retired NBA player Charles Barkley’s hosting of SNL, Buress landed his first speaking role in the beginning monologues and first sketch in a segment called “Barkley Golf,” humorously referring to Barkley’s unorthodox golf swing. Buress is a big sports fan and when asked who his favorite guest has been so far, he honestly responded, “I’m biased because I got
on camera and my sketch was shown, so yeah, Charles Barkley is my favorite host.” Buress hopes for more screen time and a potential segment on SNL, which will be on hiatus for several weeks due to the Winter Olympics. The comedian has many projects coming up early this year, including an upcoming appearance in the African-American stand-up documentary The Awkward Kings of Comedy in April on Comedy Central. Buress encourages his fans to reach out to him directly via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with name suggestions for his yet to be titled comedy CD, which will also be released later this year. If interested in seeing Buress live, visit the Knitting Factory, where he hosts every Sunday. He does his classic routine and tries out new material. “I have a lot of stuff written down, many notebooks… I’ve probably used about 10 percent of it. I’ll keep looking back to use it and adding more to it.” If audiences have only seen 10 percent of what Buress has, the future of comedy can only guess what he has store. For some laughs, follow Hannibal on Twitter (www.twitter.com/hannibalburess) and Myspace (www.myspace.com/comedianhannibal).
See Hannibal every Sunday at: Knitting Factory – Brooklyn 361 Metropolitan Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211 Tel: (347) 529-6696 Train: L to Bedford Avenue bk.knittingfactory.com/
Three runners qualify for Tourney
27 Jan. 2010
DYLAN KITTS Staff Writer Despite his team finishing 11th of 25 schools Friday at the Great Dane Invite, St. John’s track Head Coach Jim Hurt still walked out of the Armory in Manhattan satisfied. And it wasn’t due to low expectations. The Red Storm qualified three players at the Indoor Big East Tournament. Asia Nettles and Molly Ellis qualified for the 400-meter dash, and Erika Lovely qualified for the 55-yard dash. The Tournament takes place at the Armory on Feb. 20. The trio increases the number of qualifiers to 10, which is already “ahead of schedule,” Hurt said. “This event went really well for us,” said Hurt, now in his 21st year as head coach. “We had another big qualifying day. We were waiting for the 400s to finally get it. It was only a matter of time.” Thrower Chanel King also inched closer to qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, as she threw the discus 17.16 meters, one meter less than the NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 18.75. “She made a big improvement in the weight throw,” Hurt said. “She’s one of the best throwers on the eastern part of the United States.” The competition at the Great Dane Invite featured two other Big East teams. Seton Hall won the Classic, finishing with 98 points, while Villanova finished seventh with 37.50 points. St. John’s scored 22 points. Toledo, Penn, Albany and University of Massachusetts-Amherst rounded
out the top five. In order to participate in the Big East Tournament, Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament or NCAA Tournament, a player must reach their qualifying score. It must happen at a sanctioned event, but can happen at any time during the season. A player can compete in all three of the Tournaments. Nettles was confident she would qualify for the Big East Tournament eventually this year. The senior qualified for the postseason tournament the past two years. Yet, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t nervous before the race. “I get really really nervous before I run,” Nettles said. Nettles finished seventh in the 400-meter dash, but attained a personal best 57.36 time. Ellis, a freshman, finished eighth with 57.49. “It felt really good,” Nettles said. “It’s a big relief since it’s only the third meet out. You don’t have to chase the time, now you can kind of relax and work on my training.” Senior Sarah Fry also exceeded a personal-best, as she finished the 3,000-meter race with a 10:50:64 time, 30-seconds less than her previous. Although Lovely, another freshman, she wasn’t completely satisfied with her time, even though she qualified. The race, which featured two rare false starts, was close. Lovely was neck-and-neck with Albany’s Feyisara Adaramola. As Lovely approached the finish line however, she held up, which she called a “rookie mistake.” “I think I did all right today,” Lovely said. “I think I could have done better. My start off was pretty good, I came off pretty good.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Asia Nettles qualified for the Indoor Big East Tournament on Saturday.
Athletics to honor 1985 Final Four team BILL SAN ANTONIO Sports Editor
All throughout the 2009-10 season, the St. John’s Athletic Department will be celebrating the accomplishments of the 1985 Final Four men’s basketball team. Next month, the fans get to join the festivities. Prior to the Red Storm’s Feb. 11 game against Louisville at Madison Square Garden, the St. John’s Athletic Department will hold a reception and ceremony in honor of the 1985 team at The Garden’s Theater Lobby. Members of the team, including Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Bill Wennington and coach Lou Carnesecca will be in attendance to greet fans and reminisce about the season. At halftime, the team will be
PHOTO COURTSEY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Chris Mullin and Lou Carnesecca will be at the celebration for the 1985 team Feb. 11. introduced and honored on the court. Tickets are $150 each and can be obtained through the Athletic Development Office.
In 1985, the then-Redmen reached the Final Four for the second time in program history, rattling off noteworthy wins against Southern
University, Arkansas, Kentucky, and an Elite Eight match with North Carolina State during which Mullin scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half.
“With five seconds left in the game, I looked up at the clock and kept thinking, ‘We’re going…we’re going.’ I am very much elated to think I’m finally going [to the Final Four] after [coaching] 1,000 games,” Carneseccasaid during the postgame press conference. “When I’m going to my grave, this I’ll remember.” The Redmen’s run ended at the hands of Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas 77-59. Earlier in the season, the Johnnies defeated Georgetown in Landover, Md. to overtake the No. 1 national ranking, but Georgetown won the next two meetings, including the now infamous “Sweater Game,” during which Georgetown snapped the Redmen’s 19-game winning streak, and Big East Tournament title game.
RED STORM STATISTICS MEN’S BASKETBALL
Villanova Syracuse Pittsburgh Georgetown West Virginia Notre Dame Louisville Cincinnati Connecticut Seton Hall Providence St. John’s USF Marquette
7-0 7-1 6-3 4-2 4-2 4-3 4-3 4-4 3-3 3-4 3-4 2-5 2-5 2-5
18-1 20-1 15-4 15-4 15-3 15-5 13-7 13-7 13-6 12-6 11-8 12-8 12-7 11-8
Connecticut Georgetown West Virginia Notre Dame St. John’s Rutgers Syracuse Marquette Providence Louisville DePaul USF Cincinnati Pittsburgh
7-0 6-0 5-1 4-1 4-2 4-2 3-3 3-3 3-3 3-4 2-4 2-4 2-4 1-5
20-0 17-2 18-2 17-1 16-3 12-8 16-3 12-7 12-7 11-9 13-7 11-8 9-9 12-7
STATISTICS AS OF LEAGUE LEADERS
LEAGUE LEADERS 24.7 22.2 21.0 19.5 18.7
1. Pope, SHU 2. Monroe, GU Peterson, PC 4. Harangody, ND 5. Johnson, SU
11.1 10.1 9.9 9.0
Steals 1. Rautins, SU 2. Walker, UConn 3. Jones, USF Hazell, SHU 5. Harvey, SHU
2.4 2.1 2.0 1.8
1. Moore, UConn 2. Rodgers, GU 3. Marandola, PC 4. Charles, UConn 5. Ray, GU
18.6 18.4 18.3 17.6 16.6
6.2 5.8 5.2 5.2 5.0
1. Miles, WVU 2. McNutt, GU 3. Barlow, ND 4. Robinson, MU 5. Diggins, ND
Women in Sports Day set
JANUARY 27 1. Cole, Pitt 2. Lawson, USF 3. Reid, LOU 4. Charles, UConn 5. Green, SHU
11.1 10.8 9.2 9.1 8.8
1. Walker, UConn 2. Jackson, ND 3. Rautins, SU 4. Hansbrough, ND 5. Dyson, UConn
Leavin’ their Mark
Scoring 1. Harangody, ND 2. Hazell, SHU 3. Jones, USF 4. Dyson, UConn 5. Reynolds, VU
3.1 2.8 2.4 2.3 2.2
1. Miles, WVU 2. Quigley, DPU 3. Robinson, MU 4. McKenith, STJ 5. Harris, SU
6.9 5.1 4.7 4.4 4.2
-Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright about the St. John’s men’s basketball team
Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games
Men’s Basketball: Feb. 6
Women’s Basketball: Jan. 30 Providence
Feb. 10 Louisville
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the country here today,” Gelman said. “This type of competition absolutely helps us down the road in the NCAAs.” The Red Storm were competing on short rest after participating in the NYU Invitational on Saturday. Being able to compete at home in front of family and friends helped to re-energize some of the athletes. “Being at home is great, we have that advantage,” senior Alexis Ladreville said. “We like having people come to cheer for us, especially on the second day like this. Everyone is tired. It gives us that extra energy.” The invitational also marked the first home match for Irina Koroleva. The highly-regarded freshman came to the United States on Monday from her native Russia. Koroleva, who played in her first match for the Red Storm on Saturday, said that her nerves were the biggest issue coming into today’s match. “It’s hard for her right now but she’ll do fine,” Gelman said. “She was a little disappointed with her performance but she did okay.”
The best fencers in the country came to St. John’s on Sunday as the University hosted the 2010 St. John’s Fencing Invitational. The event featured top teams from around the country including Penn State, Notre Dame, Harvard, Columbia and Ohio State. All of the visiting teams are ranked in the Top 10 in both the men’s and women’s polls. Led by freshman Evgeniya Kirpicheva, the St. John’s women’s team captured the Best Team Cup, awarded to the winner of the invitational. Kirpicheva won 13 of her 15 individual matches in the foil. As a team, the Red Storm went 4-1, defeating No. 4 Columbia (14-13), No. 6 Ohio State (14-13), No. 1 Penn State (14-13) and No. 3 Harvard (19-8). “Evgeniya was great, but a lot of people fenced well today,” head
coach Yury Gelman said. “I was very pleased with our performance.” Junior Dagmara Wozniak and senior Tanya Novakovska also helped pace the Red Storm, compiling 12-3 records in their respective divisions. The men’s team finished the day 2-3, defeating Harvard and Columbia. Sophomore Daryl Homer led the eighth-ranked Johnnies, compiling a 12-3 record in the sabre, while fellow sophomore Marat Israelian finished 11-4 to lead the epee team. “One of our strongest guys, Alejandro Rojas, wasn’t able to go today because he is returning from [a competition in] Spain,” Gelman said. “To do this well without him shows how strong we are as a team.” Top-ranked Penn State captured the men’s title with a record of 4-1, losing only to Notre Dame. Gelman said the experience of facing such stiff competition will help his team as they prepare to make a run for the national title. “This was the six best teams in
You’ve just got to get that big [win]. That’s what I said to our guys about this team, ‘They’re going to do it.’ We just don’t want it to be [against] us.
27 Jan. 2010
MATTHEW BULTMAN Contributing Writer
Blowin’ in the Wind SPORTS
Fencing hosts weekend tournament
St. John’s will be celebrating it’s 13th-annual Women in Sports Day on Feb. 27 with special guest Misty-May Treanor and its annual Pink Zone basketball game to raise money for breast cancer awareness for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. “I am excited that we are once again participating in the WBCA Pink Zone campaign to raise money for breast cancer research,” said women’s basketball Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico. “It is an honor to continue our partnership with the WBCA and help raise money to find a cure for something that has affected so many people. What makes it even more special is that we do this in conjunction with the University’s annual Women in Sports Day. We really look forward to this every year.” The team will pay tribute to former player Ebony Dickinson by dedicating the Pink Zone game in her honor. Dickinson played with the Red Storm in 1997-98 and 1998-99 and lost her battle with breast cancer on Sept. 29, 2009 at the age of 32. “Ebony was a great person and she is deeply missed,” said Barnes Arico. “This is our way of honoring her, her impact as a player and her courageous battle with breast cancer.” The first 500 fans at Carnesecca Arena will receive a free St. John’s Pink Zone T-shirt.
SJU hoops going in Defense carries Women’s Basketball to its third straight conference win JOHAN ACOSTA Contributing Writer
27 Jan. 2010
The St. John’s women’s basketball team made the most of its only game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday by picking up its third straight win and sixth out of their last eight. The victory didn’t come easy, as the Red Storm squeezed a 57-55 win past South Florida. ST. JOHN’S
South Florida (11-8, 2-4) came to Madison Square Garden with two straight conference wins over Syracuse and then-No.3 Notre Dame. The Red Storm (16-3, 4-2) had won its previous two games as well, silencing Cincinnati at Carnesecca Arena and then snapping DePaul’s eight-game home winning streak. With both teams carrying momentum entering the game, the Red Storm held the Bulls to just 19 points in the first half, the sixth time this season the Johnnies have held an opponent to less than 20 points in a half. While St. John’s did end the half with a 7-2 run, Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico knew she had to switch things up at halftime. “We wanted to change the tempo [in the second half]” she. “We couldn’t do that in the first half because we couldn’t score.” St. John’s responded with a 7-0 run to start the second half and shot 44 percent from the field in the half, compared to just 32 percent in the first. The teams volleyed control of the lead,
with four lead changes and two ties between them. With five seconds left, the Red Storm’s Nadirah McKenith grabbed a loose ball off a missed free throw to seal the two-point victory. Barnes Arico continued to switch up the rotation, as senior Kelly McManmon came off the bench after starting two games in a row. McManmon only had six points off two crucial three-pointers with less than five minutes left in the game. Three South Florida players scored in double figures despite taking just two free throw attempts in the entire game, both coming late in the second half. Senior Jessica Lawson dominated inside with 10 points and 16 rebounds. KeNeisha Saunders led the team with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. “[Lawson] beat me up a little bit,” said Centhya “Coco” Hart about guarding the taller, 6-foot-3 center. “We worked all week on trying to decide which side to defend [Lawson],” said Barnes Arico. But Lawson’s outing wasn’t enough to stop the Red Storm, who had three players in double figures. Sophomore Da’Shena Stevens led the team in scoring and rebounding, scoring 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting and pulling in eight rebounds. “We just came off a bye week so we’ve tried to stay in shape and work hard, but these next couple games we have are going to be tough,” she said. “Every game is important, so a game like this is really important to us down the line.” Three of the Red Storm’s next four games will be on the road and they are all conference match-ups. Last season, St. John’s didn’t win its 16th game until
TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
Centhya “Coco” Hart had to contain 6-foot-3 Jessica Lawson of USF on Saturday. Feb. 25, so being ahead of that schedule gives the team an even bigger boost of confidence, especially with its upcoming schedule. But
according to Hart, there is still work to be done. “I think we can play better,” she said. “We play well, we got the win, but I think we
can play better. We missed a lot of shots. We can rebound better. We can improve guarding the post, rebounding [and] we got beat in transition a lot.”
Athletics launches ‘Inside St. John’s’ online featurettes BILL SAN ANTONIO Sports Editor Many athletic programs nationwide have limited the printing of media guides due to impending NCAA legislation to cut costs and “go green.” Earlier this month, the St. John’s Athletic Department unveiled a series of
interactive video features on RedStormSports.com called “Inside St. John’s.” Beginning with men’s and women’s basketball, the video series gave alumni, fans, media, benefactors and others a behind-the-scenes look at all things Red Storm. “The launch of the ‘Inside St. John’s’ Web sites keeps us on the cutting edge of an ever-changing medium,” St.
John’s Athletic Director Chris Monasch said. “The sites will assist us in our efforts to ‘go green’ and contain costs, and will also help us reach an even greater audience by giving these products a permanent online home.” Each “Inside St. John’s” page contains links to rosters and biographies, schedules, ticket information, archived video, athletic traditions and
to social networking affiliates like Twitter and Facebook. Featurettes include a tour of Taffner Field House with Quincy Roberts of the men’s basketball team and a walk through Carnesecca Arena with Sky Lindsay of the women’s basketball team. In the coming weeks, other “Inside St. John’s” pages will be launched, for baseball, softball, lacrosse, men’s and
women’s soccer, cross country, and track and field, tennis, golf and fencing.
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opposite directions Men’s Basketball falls to ’Nova after another strong first half showing KATIE BECKMANN Staff Writer For one half, the St. John’s men’s basketball team seemed poised to pull the upset over then-No. 3 Villanova on Saturday. VILLANOVA
TORCH PHOTO/LAURA AMATO
Dwight Hardy had 11 points in the first half against Villanova on Saturday.
Tracking the Storm: Pittsburgh The Red Storm take on Pittsburgh tomorrow night, a team that has so far been the biggest surprise in the conference having recovered from the losses of DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields quicker than anyone expected. Pitt had two winning streaks of seven games or more earlier this season and currently stand at 15-4 overall with a 5-2 conference record. However, the Panthers have
dropped their last two games, including a 64-61 loss on the road at Seton Hall on Sunday. Sophomore Ashton Gibbs leads the team in minutes (37.5 per game) and scoring (18.7 points per game) during conference play. Junior Brad Wanamaker is the team’s most complete player, leading the team in rebounds per game (7.0) while averaging 5.0 assists and 11.7 points during conference play.
Men’s team lacking a ‘killer instinct’ throw line. Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns may have combined for 34 points, but Reynolds consistently carries his team to victory. He’s got an instinct for it. He has the killer instinct. This is not to say Kennedy, Horne, Mason Jr. and Hardy are not talented players who can lead St. John’s through tough conference battles later on this season. But of these players, is there any one you’d trust taking and making a big shot with the game on the line? Or, in this case, someone who can carry the bulk of the scoring and put a team away? I don’t think there is. And if there is one among them, he’d better make himself known during a game pretty quick. But even if it doesn’t happen, hey, at least we still get to see Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl next Sunday.
And Hardy was held to just nine second-half points as the main target of Villanova’s halftime defensive adjustments. The Johnnies wound up shooting 11-for-38 from the field and 3-of-11 from three in the second half. That equates to 28.9 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three. The Johnnies maintained contention in this game early because of their ability to put the ball in the basket. With the game still in hand at halftime, somebody had to step up to put Villanova away. Peyton would have done it. Jordan would have, too. And Jeter and Mo and Kobe and Tiger. And for Villanova, that player was and always is Scottie Reynolds, who had a team-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free
the St. John’s men’s basketball team has it. D.J. Kennedy might have had it. As the team’s leading scorer, at times he is everywhere at once and gravitates to the ball at both ends of the floor. Last season, Paris Horne may have had it. The guard upped his scoring output nearly six points and put on a shooting display every night. In the past, Anthony Mason Jr. might have had it. He currently ranks as one of St. John’s all-time best three-point shooters and is the face of the men’s program. A week ago, we thought
Dwight Hardy had it. Hardy grabbed steals on two consecutive possessions, got to the free throw line each time, and made all four free throws en route to the Red Storm’s first conference win of the season against Cincinnati. But none of these players have it. We learned that Saturday against Villanova. St. John’s shot 56.5 percent from the field in the first half and 60 percent from three-point range, taking a 38-37 lead into the locker room and leading by as many as 11 thanks to Hardy’s 11 points. But in the second half, the Wildcats shut each of these players down on the defensive end. Kennedy shot 2-of-12 from the field. Horne failed to make a single three-pointer. Mason Jr. scored 10 points but still didn’t take over the game offensively the way he used to.
27 Jan. 2010
The best athletes in sports have what is known as a “killer instinct.” Peyton Manning has it. Michael Jordan had it. Derek Jeter. Mariano Rivera. Kobe Bryant. Tiger Woods. They all have it. LeBron James has shown flashes of it. Larry Bird mastered it. In fact, anybody who’s been in a Gatorade ad within the last 10 years has it. The list goes on and on. You’d recognize the killer instinct if you see it. It comes out to play late in a close game, when the superstars look like Michael Jackson during the middle of the “Thriller” video and do inhuman things on the field. They want the ball in their hands. They itch for that at-bat, that inning on the mound, that last possession. They want to be the one to take over the game and bring home the win. That said, no member of
Junior Dwight Hardy scored 11 points, including three three-pointers. Redshirt senior Anthony Mason Jr. made his first start of the season and even scored four points in the first half. Rookie Omari Lawrence was finally starting to get his offensive game rolling. And most importantly, the Red Storm led by as many as 11 in the first half and went into the half leading 38-37 over the Wildcats. However, things were too good to be true as the Johnnies hot shooting turned cold in the second half and Villanova took advantage of the opportunity and defeated the Red Storm 81-71 at Madison Square Garden. “We had some opportunities and we just didn’t convert,” said Roberts. “I thought our energy level was good, I though we tried hard and I thought we got better and we are going to get better as we come along.” As well as Villanova played, St. John’s showed a lot of promise during the game, causing 20 Villanova turnovers, despite the offensive troubles. No one saw the potential in St. John’s more than Villanova coach Jay Wright. “You’ve just got to get that big [win],” said Wright. “That’s what I said to our guys about this team. ‘They’re
going to do it.’ We just don’t want it to be [against] us.” Hardy scored a team-high 19 points for the Red Storm (12-7, 2-5), shooting 5-of-9 behind the arc. Sean Evans added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Mason Jr. and D.J. Kennedy each added 10 points apiece. Lawrence had one of his best games of his freshman season, shooting 4-of-6, finishing with eight points. Justin Burrell chipped in five points and six rebounds while rookie Malik Stith added four assists. Forward Justin Brownlee was not in attendance, having traveled home because of a death in the family. As a team, St. John’s shot 39.3 percent and 37.5 percent from three-point range for the game despite shooting 56.5 percent and 60 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. Woeful shooting in the second half was what did the Johnnies in for the game. They shot 28.9 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from beyond the arc. “We didn’t sense it coming, I think it just happened. They started hitting their shots and we started missing shots,” said junior Malik Boothe about the second half. “It is not that we played bad in the second half. We had the same amount of energy in the second half, we just had that one lull and that is where they took advantage.” Three Villanova (18-1, 7-0) players finished in double figures. Scottie Reynolds led the team in scoring with 19 points, also adding four assists and three steals. New York native Corey Fisher added 18 points. Maalik Wayns came off the bench to score 16 points. “You just have to fight through it,” said Roberts. We missed a couple of shots; they made a couple of shots. The other thing is that we are playing against a very good basketball team. We executed. We played hard.”
SPORTS 27 JANUARY 2010 | VOLUME 87, ISSUE 14 | TORCHONLINE.COM
TORCH PHOTO/ LAURA AMATO
The fencing teams hosted the St. John’s Invitational over the weekend.
The men’s basketball team could not stop conferenceleading Villanova at home Saturday.