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Club hockey disbands after 5 years Vol. 95, Issue 9


University of Detroit Mercy’s club hockey team, founded in 2009, is folding. It was not an easy or quick decision. The entire team, along with faculty advisor and supporter Dr. Don DiPaulo, met before spring break to discuss the future of the team. “We had a team meeting with all the guys going on next year, as well as those who are

The student newspaper of the University of Detroit Mercy

leaving,” said Vince Recchia, one of the club’s founders. “They couldn’t come to a decision so they decided to table it and come back after break and have a second meeting. The guys that were leaving weren’t at that meeting. We wanted to leave it in the hands of the younger guys and they decided.” One of those younger guys was sophomore Max Landry. “It was a vote decision,” said Landry. “The yesses had it, but when we looked at it we real-

Students brace for 3.9 percent tuition increase, seek answers

ized we can’t start a team with that many guys. It was a realistic no. Of course, we wanted to see the team move forward and be able to carry it on after those older guys left but we didn’t want to do it half-assed either.” For outgoing captain and soon-to-be graduate Ian Beaver – commonly known on campus as “Beaves” – the decision was surprising. “I thought the guys would pull through and find a way to make it work,” he said. “I thought we definitely had the resources. Maybe we did-


Mark Krgovic, a junior biology major, is just getting by with his tuition. But like college students everywhere, he will face a higher bill this fall. Tuition will be increasing by 3.9 percent – or $700 per semester – for UDM undergraduates who take 12-18 credit hours in most colleges. Engineering and architecture undergrads will pay $733 more. In a letter sent to students over spring break, university officials touted the hike as UDM’s “lowest increase in more than 16 years.” But for some students, that distinction wasn’t much consolation. Krgovic called the hike “disappointing,” noting that he works hard so he can attend school. Garrett Hartinger, a junior nursing major, said he can accept the increase – “as long as they use it to make the learning experience better, such as the addition of air conditioning to rooms or cleaning up the bathrooms,” he said. “I feel like there are improvements that can be made,” Hartinger said. “Briggs is the biggest one.” Chelsea Thompson, another junior, believes UDM officials should increase scholarships to compensate for the higher costs. She said she suspects cuts could be made, but isn’t sure in which areas. Thompson noted that the size of her student loans troubles her. Junior Viola Pino said the school should offer greater details than outlined in the email letter. “With the increase, it would be nice for them to tell us why the increase is happening and where the money is going,” Pino said. She said she would like to know if the funds will be applied to improvements on campus. The March letter echoed the description used last year, when that tuition hike was described as “the lowest increase in more than 15 years.” Both years’ letters noted accomplishments the school has made, though the 2014 version listed only minor updates to academics (such as the new MAP-Works program), facility improvements (such as the renovations to the first floor of the Briggs Building) and the increase in WIFI services in many buildings. The Varsity News sought to meet with UDM President Antoine Garibaldi to discuss the reasons for the tuition hike, but was unable to do so before deadline due to scheduling difficulties. UDM Media Relations Director Gary Lichtman offered a statement on behalf of Garibaldi, reiterating some of what was stated in the letter. “Like last year, these rates will be the lowest in more than 15 years, and they are considerably lower than the university’s 11-year average of 6.66 percent,” he said.

n’t have them right away but they weren’t out of reach. It’s disappointing.” Beaver described this past season as the best one yet. After seeing improvement year after year, he found the reality of the team folding tough. Landry, who played the past two years, agreed. “This past year all together was a great experience,” said Landry. “We had some big wins

Professors ratify contract after lengthy negotiations BY IAN THIBODEAU VN CO-EDITOR


Lammers ties school record

Senior golfer Lindsey Lammers tied a university record with her seventh career medalist honor Monday in Indiana.

Leyden, Henning headline UDM sports-journalism conference

Some of Detroit’s top sports journalists will be on campus next week for a Wednesday, April 2, conference targeting aspiring sports reporters. The event, running from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Fountain Lounge, will feature panel discussions on “Covering the Tigers” and “Adventures in Sports Journalism,” as well as a keynote address by Channel 7’s Tom Leyden. Panelists will include long-time

Detroit News baseball beat writer Lynn Henning, former ESPNw editor Joanne Gerstner, Perry Farrell of the Free Press and Michael Happy of Fox Sports Detroit. High school students from throughout the region will be attending the event, which is also open to UDM students. The $10 admission covers a buffet lunch, and reservations are required. For details, email professor Tom Stanton at

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

After 16 months of negotiations, UDM professors finally have a new contract. In voting that ended Friday, teachers ratified a three-year pact in what Prasad Venugopal, union president, called “an amazing turnout.” “We are relieved and pleased that the contract has been ratified,” he said. Venugopal said he can’t remember a higher percentage of McNichols faculty casting ballots. Ninety percent voted online. Of those, 96 percent favored the contract. Faculty will receive no salary increases in year one, 1.45 percent in year two and 2.5 percent in year three. UDM will make 8 percent retirement contributions in years one and two, and 9 percent in year three – down from the current 10 percent. Although the contract isn’t actually legally binding until both sides sit together and sign it, Venugopal said that he foresees no further obstacles. The two sides were able to reach an agreement on when the contract will go into effect once signed – a stumbling block that apparently halted ratification in December, bringing negotiations to a stand-still again. Once signed, the contract will be retroactive to May 16, 2013, and run through May 15, 2016, Venugopal said. UDM President Antoine Garibaldi was equally relieved, it seemed. “We are pleased that an agreement has been reached with the University of Detroit Mercy Professors Union,” he said in a statement. “I am very appreciative of


the work and time of the respective bargaining teams during the negotiation process.” Venugopal said that the lengthy and heated talks severely strained the relationship between the administration and faculty. “We’re not happy with the way we were treated,” he said. “We were not shown respect for the central role that we play” in the education UDM offers. Venugopal said that he was glad a compromise was reached on the outstanding issues, though. “We’ve reached a satisfactory agreement,” he said. Venugopal hopes the union and administration can build a productive and constructive relationship for the sake of future negotiations, and that the entire university is guided by the teachings of Pope Francis. He quoted the pope as saying last year, when advocating for the rights of workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that “not paying a just (wage), not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking a personal profit – that goes against God!” Negotiations deteriorated last summer and fall, when faculty accused administrators of trying to bust the union, resulting in talk of a strike and protests by some teachers and librarians.

Roche documentary showing on Thursday

Fresh off a best-of-show win at the Free Press Film Fest, professor Jason Roche’s “Stealing Home” documentary will be shown Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Architecture Building. A panel talk will follow, and the event is open to all.


Years of awkward silence evaporate as friends from first grade bridge distance in NY

Really, we didn’t get off to a good start. I was in New York two weeks ago, so I texted a friend I haven’t spoken to in over four years who lives there, uncharacteristically instigating a “catching up” of sorts, and there was a momentary feeling of excitement that was quickly overshadowed by fear. I’d known the guy – we’ll call him John – since first grade. We became close in eighth grade when a mutual friend, Gabriel, lost his father to cancer, and John and I began to spend entire weekends with Gabriel, doing boy stuff. The three of us spent hours playing any video game we could dig up that summer between junior high and high school, and pushed each other into the weight room to prepare for high school football. We ate too many Hot-N-Ready’s from the Little Caesars on the corner. Sometimes we went to John’s, where his parents let us throw small parties, even with girls, in their pool or hot tub. We were inseparable until sometime early in our sophomore year. John got in with a different crowd, and began to party more and more. Though he’d once been a three-sport athlete, he stopped playing any sports altogether. Gabe and I still loved John, and we saw him at parties or around school and our conversations were always filled with too many “remember whens” and “we were idiots” for a couple of teenagers, but that was it. We never got back together, so to speak, and once I entered college, I stopped seeing John around, and I hadn’t spoken to him in about four years until two weeks ago. I mean it; we really didn’t get off to a good start. John walked through the revolving door into the lobby of my hotel, and I felt the urge to give him a hug. I hug his father when I see him. But John went for the handshake, and we were momentarily caught in an awkward, dead-fish handshake combined with a half-hug. John is in culinary school in New York City, and he had a night planned, he said. The first restaurant we were going to hit wasn’t far away. I only realized how nervous John was after his third Marlboro in ten minutes. So, I opened up. I told him how scared I was to graduate, and how simultaneously nerve-wracking and exciting being single for the first time in three years is. And he told me about how he cleaned up and moved to Manhattan because he felt such an urge to change his life. He’s doing well. John works 90 hours a week as an extern at a high-end restaurant in Chelsea, has a girlfriend and loves what he’s learning. Beneath everything we said to each other at the first of two restaurants lay a bit of guilt – guilt that we had lost touch; guilt that I didn’t try to help him; guilt that he let himself slip into different, bad things. It wasn’t until I told him I was glad to see him doing so well and that he didn’t have to apologize for anything at all, and he told me not to feel bad about failing to keep in touch that something snapped us back to six years ago. The rest of the night was phenomenal. We ate like we used to, still too much, only this time we weren’t stuffing ourselves full of junky pizza, and John didn’t smoke as many cigarettes. I caught him up on how everyone from home was doing, and told him how they were all just as lost as we were, and he laughed. He told me he couldn’t get any good Arabic food in New York and nothing he’d had compared to Dearborn, and I told him that when he got home, I’d have my Sitty – Lebanese for grandmother – cook for him. I don’t know how long it will be before I see John again, but at the end, we hugged goodbye without any hesitation and told each other it’d been great, and we’d see each other soon. There’d been a sort of forgiveness granted over those meals we shared, and despite all the buildings and people and wonderful things I learned in Manhattan, the highlight of my trip was seeing an old friend doing so well. And I got to eat some great food, too.

Ian Thibodeau

Thibodeau is VN co-editor


Contact us at the Neal Shine Media Center in 305 Briggs, by email at or through Facebook.


MARCH 26, 2014

BREAK Students grow, learn helping others during alternative to break


Sarah Cornwell spent part of spring break working on a former drug house. A sophomore biology major, Cornwell was at Nazareth Farm in Salem, W. Va., helping less fortunate people with home repairs as part of UDM’s alternative spring break. Sponsored by University Ministry, the program takes student and staff volunteers to spots across the country to volunteer for service-learning projects among diverse cultures and environments. In West Virginia, Cornwell met Chrystal, who had bought a drug house in 2012 but was unable to make repairs or changes to the house because all of her money went into buying the home. Cornwell and her team helped Chrystal put in insulation and dry wall. The previous day the team had demolished the walls so they could build them back up. Chrystal’s home was just one of five sites where the alternative spring breakers helped out. Each group rotated between the five sites, spending only one day at each site. The groups had no idea how long they were at the owners’ homes because they


Sarah Cornwell (right) works outside of Nazareth Farm in West Virginia.

were never told what time of day it was. Cornwell said that not having a cell phone or any electronic device meant for a peaceful change. “It really helps you connect with your group members on a different level,” she said. The alternative spring break participants travel together, by plane or bus, and live together in a community-like atmosphere, almost in a dorm-type setting. Each day one group always stayed at camp and prepared all the food that the groups were to eat. “You give care to yourself and your home before you can give it to the community,” she said. Each person takes on specific roles but members keep rotating throughout the

week so they do each task. When group members arrive in their designated city, they are usually greeted by other alternative spring breakers from different schools. They are then broken into smaller groups made up of students from different schools. Teaming students with people they don’t know helps them to bond and come together as a whole in a different way. To be part of an alternative spring break trip, you must sign up in the fall. Candidates are interviewed to determine the ways in which they can help. After the interview, each participant must raise at least $150 by attending basketball games, selling paczki, sending solicitation letters or participating in a bowling fundraiser.

ory house. The play’s theme focuses on trying to discover who you are with the guidance of your parent. “Everybody will be able to relate to this play. All of us have been children and had to depend on parental guidance and comfort from our parents,” said Regal. The play stars UDM’s Ashe Lewis playing the daughter, Katia, and Equity guest artist Stephanie Nichols playing Maggie, her mother. “Both characters are well defined and

decent human beings, with the kind of flaws and shortcomings that many of us share,” Regal said. The play wraps up UDM’s 43rd theatre season. It will run March 28, 29 and April 4 and 5 at 8 p.m., as well as March 30 and April 6 at 2 p.m. at the Grounds Coffee Haus on the McNichols Campus. UDM and Marygrove students pay $5 for admission; other students, $10. UDM faculty, staff, alumni, donors and Detroit residents pay $17. The box office is open from noon to 5 p.m. Call 313-993-3270 for tickets or more information.

‘Memory House’ comedy opens Friday


UDM Theatre Company will open its comedy “Memory House” on Friday. Written by Kathleen Tolan, the dynamic play will be directed by UDM’s David Regal. The story begins with a young woman trying to figure out what to write for her college entrance essay three hours before the deadline. She turns to her adoptive mother for guidance about her roots, background and personal history to create her own mem-

Jesuits celebrate first year of new pope’s tenure


It was a year ago that white smoke billowed from the chimney atop St. Peter’s Basilica, marking Jorge Bergoglio’s transition to Pope Francis. This was an important moment for UDM, and the many Jesuits who reside here. The Rev. Gerard Albright was delightfully surprised by the Jesuit roots of Pope Francis, and prayed for him as he would for any new Pope. “I hoped he’d have the strength to carry on the very important and complicated job

of being Pope,” said Albright. “It’s a big job. We all raised our prayers for the sake of the new pope.” Now, a year later, Pope Francis has done a lot of work in the church, and has made some progressive strides. “His first year has certainly been strongly positive throughout the world,” said Albright. “All of us here, being Jesuits, are glad that he was chosen for the job.” In his first year, Pope Francis has created a synod of bishops to advise him on important issues, has shocked the world with his examples of humility and has been named Time Magazine’s Person of

the Year. “I think he approaches things in a more humane way,” said Fr. Gerald Cavanagh. “I don’t think he’s controversial at all.” Cavanagh also appreciates the changes Pope Francis has made within the Vatican. “I’m more than happy with what he’s been doing,” said Cavanagh. “He’s extraordinary. Just the way he does things, he’s so sensitive, bright and he has a marvelous way of showing the Jesuit tradition.” The Jesuit tradition has a focus on mission and humility, which Pope Francis has exemplified during his papacy, UDM Jesuits say.

Pope Francis has been seen washing feet, and embracing and praying with men and women all around the world. “From the very beginning, he was open to meeting the people directly,” said Albright. “I think the cardinals recognized that, and that’s why he was picked to be pope.” Albright will continue to pray for Pope Francis throughout years. “I hope he’ll have the strength to do the job, and that his health holds up, of course,” said Albright. “I pray that his work, determination and views will reflect the beliefs of the church a have an effect on the whole world.”

CO-EDITORS-IN-CHIEF: Ian Thibodeau and Curtis Pulliam

NEWS EDITOR: Tommy Zimmer FEATURES EDITOR: Maggie Jackson ASSISTANT EDITOR: Jack Walsworth STAFF MEMBERS: Colin Bennett, Carlton Brundidge, Vito Chirco, Kamara Fant, Joe MacLean, Alyssa Lotito, Emily Oberheim, Joe Oster, Anthony Shepherd, Tyler Staruch, Chantel Watkins, Veronica Whitehead and Paige Zmudczynski. Faculty Adviser: Tom Stanton.


MARCH 26, 2014


A taste of brackets success helps her see the interest in sports

I have never understood why March Madness is called March Madness. True, March is usually the time when everything happens at the same time, but is that really a reason for madness to ensue? For the first time ever, I have found that the answer to that is “yes.” It is pretty obvious that I am not the sportiest person. I have tried to follow sports before, but nothing has stuck. Maybe it is because I swam for 16 years and sports that occur on land are a foreign concept or maybe it is because I have a short attention span. It is probably a combination of the both. When it comes to March Madness and a little thing called bracketology, I choose to let all the sports maniacs that I know handle everything. This year, however, was different. At my internship, my director started a museum-wide March Madness pool. Being the lowest on a very large totem pole, I decided to make a bracket because I honestly had nothing to lose. (I can just feel our sports editor’s eyes rolling now.) Making my bracket entailed hard work, determination and research. (OK, a little bit of research and flipping a coin to decide between teams.) Not thinking that I would have a chance of winning the very large grand prize of $25, I submitted my bracket to my director without a second thought. When the games started, something strange occurred. I was guessing every win correctly. Dayton, Harvard, Pittsburgh and others were correct and I was winning the pool. Frequent emails were being sent to the staff and in first place was Maggie Jackson, PR intern. Besides a lot of shock at my standing, I felt a bit of competitiveness coming out. I was doing well and I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that it stayed that way. I finally started to pay attention to sports, and while winning, it was going to stay that way. Now imagine the shock that I caused when I told everybody on the first night that I had the perfect bracket. It was so awesome that it is hard to describe. The girl who only goes to sporting events for the social factor had beat out people who have been following the teams since the beginning of the season. Of course, I feel bad about it now, but doing a happy dance around them felt pretty good that night. My seemingly amazeballs bracket did take a few hits here and there, but I was still in first place – until recently. A coin flip can really only go so far before the madness of March begins to take its toll. The determination of my Final Four rested on the simple game of heads and tails and it went like this: Dayton, Michigan State, Nebraska and Kentucky; my final two, Dayton and Nebraska; and the overall winner, Nebraska. If you follow the tournament, you now know that I was telling the truth. I really don’t pay attention to sports. Of course, I was mad, but I also knew deep down that I was not going to have a perfect bracket and something did come of that. I learned a lesson. Never put your trust in Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt or Washington because they are really not that reliable. Seriously, though, if I am going to make a bracket next year or ever again, I need to know what I am actually getting myself into. I need to open myself up to new horizons and actually watch a game or two. Maybe I have been too haste with my assumptions about March Madness and sports in general. Maybe this experience will make me a fan of basketball or football. This may even lead to me writing a sports column next year, (I feel some more eyes rolling.) Whatever happens between me and the world of sports has yet to be decided, but I have wet my feet in it and whether or not I will dive in, who knows? For now, I will just enjoy watching the trials and successes of bracketology.

Maggie Jackson

Jackson is VN features editor


Campus Life


For alum Luther Keith, it’s been a long journey from McNichols campus to national blues stages BY VITO CHIRCO VN STAFF WRITER

He’s a “Badman” on the guitar who’s been influenced by the likes of fellow guitarists and legendary musicians Chuck Berry, Albert King and B.B. King. He’s also a Detroit alum, who wrote for The Varsity News when the university was known as the University of Detroit. His name is Luther Keith. While he’s a “Badman” blues vocalist and guitarist while performing in concert, the nickname doesn’t transcend to Keith’s life off the stage. And, boy, has his life taken its twists and turns. The U of D class of ’72 graduate started as a journalist who wanted nothing to do with music and believed music wasn’t for him. “I didn’t think of myself as a musician when I was growing up,” Keith said. “I loved the Tigers and loved listening to them on the radio.” Keith wanted to be a centerfielder for the Tigers when he was growing up. He played baseball with other children in his neighborhood during his grade school years on a baseball diamond located at Northwestern High School in Detroit. When he realized he wasn’t good enough to play major league baseball, he turned his attention to writing. In fact, while attending the university, he worked for The Detroit News, where he

helped load daily editions of The News onto trucks. After graduating, he became a reporter at The News, where he covered the Titans for five years. He rose to the rank of editor and stayed at The News until 2005. A year later, he started his own non-profit organization called “Arise Detroit!” Through “Arise Detroit!,” Keith seeks to provide opportunity for less fortunate individuals by producing more resources in areas such as drug prevention and education. Along the way, Keith found a love for blues music. In doing so, he has effectively taken on the persona of “Badman,” a moniker handed to him by the drummer of his band, The Luther “Badman” Keith Band. “I got the ‘Badman’ nickname in either 1998 or ’99,” Keith said. “The bad is a good kind of bad for me, as it implies that I give it my all and put on good, fun shows for my fans.” Keith lives up to the stage name, no matter where the show is and no matter how many people are in attendance. As a performer, he lives for the next gig, although he does possess an extremely fond memory of performing at Ground Zero in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the international Blues Challenge in 2008. At the renowned Memphis club, Keith met Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who owned the club and was in atten-

dance the night Keith and his band performed. Although it was an awe-inspiring performance for Keith, he doesn’t believe Freeman would even remember him. Keith, however, put on a memorable show for UDM students Feb. 27. He put his high level of energy on display at Grounds Coffeehaus, captivating the audience. He mixed his signature blues music with some old-time rock n’ roll throughout the performance. For Keith, the whole night was well worth it. “It was surreal to perform at the school I went to and graduated from,” Keith said. When he’s not performing, he finds time to stay true to his journalism roots by teaching advanced journalism as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University on Thursday evenings. Keith still has room in his heart for writing, alongside the substantial spot that performing blues music holds. He loves giving back to the community, and wants to assist in the rebuilding of Detroit through “Arise Detroit!” It’s his goal to personally witness the comeback of Detroit. And when Detroit does become rejuvenated, Keith will be able to say he told those willing to listen about the capability of the city to come back strong. He’s a man inspired to do good, contrary to the vibe given off by his “Badman” stage name.

UDM skaters head to world event


Three UDM students will start their trip abroad Friday to prepare for their largest competition this year, the World Synchronized Skating Championship. Liberal arts majors Sharon Neff, Josephine Zolynsky and Jacquelyne Zolynsky – the last two are twin sisters – are part of a team of elite synchronized skaters, the Dearborn Crystallettes, who make up Team USA. A few weeks ago, the Zolynskys and Neff, along with the rest of their team, traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., to compete in nationals, the competition that decided whether or not they would travel to Courmayeur, Italy, for the world championship. “Our team traveled to Colorado before our competition so that we could adjust to the altitude,” said Jacquelyne Zolynsky. “When we first got there, we could barely get through one of our programs because the air was so thin. By the time we competed, we were all fine. Both programs,

Josephine Zolynsky, Sharon Neff and Jacquelyne Zolynsky.

the long and the short, went well. Nobody fell, which is always a good thing.” The Crystallettes’ performance at nationals landed them in second place overall, earning them a spot to compete for the world title starting on April 3. The team is leaving Friday for France for more practice time. “We are traveling to France first so that we can practice and adjust to the altitude again,” said Zolynsky. “From there we will travel to Courmayeur, which is right outside of Milan, where the competition will start. We did not qualify to go to worlds last year, so it is exciting to be able to compete in the competition again.”

Before leaving, the team is still practicing and also fundraising. “The practices are pretty much the same as they were before nationals,” said Zolynsky. “The practices are more structured, though. There really is not a lot we can change at this point. “Besides practicing, we are also fundraising because for everyone to go, the skaters and the coaches, it is going to cost over $100,000. Our club and the U.S. Figure Skating Association are helping out a lot, but we still want to meet our goal.” Once the skaters leave France for Italy, Jacquelyne Zolynsky said that they will have to make sure that they represent Team

USA positively at all times. “Once we get there, we are going to have to look like a team at all times, so we are going to have to wear the same thing and have our hair slicked back in a bun,” said Zolynsky. “We will all dress up for the opening ceremonies where all the teams walk in and the draw the skating orders. Then we compete.” There are two teams representing the U.S., and Zolynsky said that she hopes that her team places in the top six. “We are really focusing our attention on the other Team USA, Team USA 1. We are Team USA 2,” said Zolynsky. “People are guessing on who will win, but it is really up in the air. Really, I just love watching all of the other teams. “The Finnish, Swedish, Russian and Canadian teams are amazing to watch. The sport is very appreciated in Europe. The Finnish team who won last year did not qualify this year so it is interesting to see what will happen. It really depends on the day and how you skate then.”


Hockey PAGE 4

MARCH 26, 2014


over some competitive teams. Those are the cool things to have in your pocket.” Among them were wins over Adrian College’s gold team, which has won the national championship the past three years, and Oakland’s club team, which also made a trip to nationals this year. For Recchia, the most memorable game will always be his first wearing the UDM sweater. “The first game we ever played we won, which was huge,” said Recchia. “None of us had ever seen a club hockey game before. Half the guys were juniors, seniors and sophomores. They’d been out of the game for a couple years. Nobody had any expectations.” The players aren’t the only ones disappointed with the decision, so are faculty, professors and students alike. The team was popular on campus, sometimes outdrawing UDM’s Division I teams. “We, as a team, worked really hard at building a relationship with students, which I think no other sports team at this school has done,” said Recchia. “For regular students to be sad that we’re not coming back next year is tough to hear. It means more to us that we built that relationship. It’s not that we just can’t play but we won’t have that bond anymore with everybody that we used to. I’ll be graduating regardless but it’s too bad it’s not carrying on.” Beaver said that whenever he wore his team jacket around campus, professors would stop and ask him how the team was doing, something he appreciated. Both Recchia and Beaver stressed how much the support from students and key staff members, such as Dorothy Stewart, Monica Williams, Adam Hollmann and DiPaulo, among others, meant to the team. “It was one thing to continue playing, which was huge. But without certain people, we wouldn’t have had certain games,” said Recchia. “So many people stepped up and they didn’t even have to.” Beaver echoed the point. “We weren’t able to pay anybody because everything was coming out of our pockets,” said Beaver. “We really appreciated them and tried to provide as much incentive as we could to the people who helped us out.” Despite the door being closed for next season, it doesn’t need to remained closed forever. Beaver said the team gave its league, the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference, an early enough answer that it would be welcomed back should the UDM club ever resume operations. “It takes the right guys,” said Recchia. “We’re in the hockey hotbed of America. Eventually there’s going to be enough interest and enough talent to do it again.” Landry is also optimistic. “I think that door is always going to be open,” said Landry. “I know we won’t have a team next year. However, if we do some recruiting, do some searching within the school next year and find out there are more hockey players than we think, then we can work on it for my senior year. … Hopefully we can get some more guys because that’s the biggest thing.” In the end, Recchia’s take on the team is simple. “We had our moments and we’ll always have them,” said Recchia. “I hit my five years of eligibility anyways.”

Engineering students from 10 universities competing at UDM




Movie will assault your intelligence


“Endless Love,” quite simply put, is idiotically embarrassing. Based on the 1981 film of the same name, the film, directed by Shana Feste, centers around Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde), a beautiful high school senior who is set to go to Brown University next fall. She somehow went unnoticed by virtually all of her classmates for four years, which is never the case for an attractive and highly intelligent girl. The film explains this through the mourning of the death of her older brother, which occurred about five years prior. But I still find it extremely hard to believe that Jade never managed to make anything even remotely close to a friend. She lives in an old-fashioned mansion with her father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), a cold, stern heart doctor, and her mother Anne (Joely Richardson), a former author who only wrote a single novel. Jade’s brother Keith (Rhys Wakefield) is also home from college for the summer with his girlfriend. Alex Pettyfer stars as David Elliot, the cool, kind, brooding, good-hearted kid from the other side of the tracks who’s “madly in love” with Jade. Feste tries way too hard to show how “rugged” and “hardworking” David is. His life is one humongous cliché. His dad is a mechanic and his mother is out of the picture. They’re less fortunate than most financially, but they’re content and happy. And, of course, David scored exceptionally well on his SAT without the thought of attending college ever crossing his mind. Apparently his lone interest is finding true love, and he is convinced that is Jade. Faced with only a few weeks before she leaves for her summer internship at Brown, David is hell-bent on making his dream a reality. The problem with all these potentially interesting characters is that they’re paper-thin. We’re told early on that Jade’s best friends are her parents. They never truly interact. Jade’s father is constantly scolding her for running around with David, while her mother is always melancholy and un-

derstanding. Keith is always goofy and rebellious against his father, but never bonds with his sister, with whom he is allegedly close. Every character has only one gear. There’s zero depth. This sort of film relies heavily on the romantic leads and their chemistry, which ends up being the movie’s pitfall. David is supposedly this romantic prone to making grand gestures in the name of true love. His love for Jade is “endless.” This becomes almost laughable. Feste only shows their relationship develop through montage scenes, where the two engage in stereotypical teenage romantic activities (concerts, waterparks, etc.) This scene spans over the course of maybe a minute. Never do we hear David and Jade have a conversation about anything other than how much love they have for each other. Hugh’s hatred for David is befuddling and, quite frankly, stupid. Other than the fact that he’s dating Hugh’s daughter, David is literally flawless. He’s respectful, kind, handsome, hardworking, unassuming, morally sound and pretty much every desirable quality for an 18-year-old guy even if these characteristics contradict. Even the big reveal of his dark past turns out to be understandable and forgivable. It all becomes exhausting. As Jade, Wilde is permanently, innocently wide-eyed and fluctuates between lovey-dovey and on the verge of tears. On top of that, she seemingly has zero thoughts that do not involve her burning love for David. The whole story is teenage romantic-fantasy banality, complete with brushes with death and the obligatory overly dramatic run through an airport. The performances seem lazy and mailed in except for Dayo Okeniyi’s. As Mace, David’s buddy, Okeniyi shows great timing and wit in an otherwise limited character. You can see a spark in his acting that is promising. It’s the same flicker of talent he showed as Marcus in “The Spectacular Now,” a coming-of-age love story that also happens to take place during the summer after high school. Ironically, “Endless Love” plays like a dumbed-down MTV version of that exact film. Save your money. Go rent it. GRADE: D+

Embattled judge to speak at law luncheon BY IAN THIBODEAU VN CO-EDITOR

A controversial Wayne County judge, whom one UDM student credits with helping him stay out of jail, will be a featured speaker when the School of Law hosts a diversity luncheon Thursday, April 10, on the McNichols Campus. Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow, who could be suspended for misconduct by the state Supreme Court, will speak at 12:45 p.m. in room 114 of the Chemistry Building. The event is being hosted by UDM’s Black and Latino law-student associations. Edward Martell, a UDM senior who will enter law school in the fall, planned the event to encourage students of all backgrounds to consider law school. “The purpose is to create a more diverse legal community,” he said, “which makes for a more just environment.” Too many students, especially minority students, fail to even entertain the possibility of becoming a lawyer, Martell said. He said that as a Latino pursuing a law degree, it’s important to him that other students keep an open mind. “The Latino law student is almost

non-existent,” he said, adding that is something that must be changed. Judge Morrow has been a mentor to Martell, who is 36 and doesn’t have what he would call the typical background of a law student. When he was 15, Martell dropped out of school and spent 12 years committing crimes that took him in and out of jail – until 2005 when he found himself in front of Morrow. Morrow could have sentenced him up to 20 years in prison, Martell said. Instead, Morrow gave Martell probation and encouraged him to do something with his life. Decisions like the one Morrow made in Martell’s case have resulted in the judge being questioned by the legal community. According to a Detroit Free Press story, the Michigan Supreme Court, on the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, may discipline Morrow for disregarding the law. Paul Fischer, a commission general counsel, said that Morrow “failed to remain impartial, (and) advocated for the defendant,” according to the Free Press, which cited occasions in 2005, 2007 and 2009 when Morrow made decisions or acted in ways in the courtroom that are not seen as appropriate in the legal community.

But Martell defends Morrow. He said all of the scorn Morrow has received isn’t warranted, and it’s important that students hear Morrow speak about his experiences as a judge. “If it wasn’t for him, I’d still be doing what I was doing,” Martell said. “I’d still be outside those gates.” Since Morrow granted Martell a second chance, Martell has earned an associate degree from Wayne County Community College and nearly completed a bachelor’s degree at UDM in political science, with certificates in legal studies and Spanish. He will graduate in May, and plans to enter law school on a Jesuit Founders Award scholarship. For Martell, his current success as a minority student heading into law school shouldn’t be the focus of the luncheon. It’s important that students receive Morrow’s message, he said. “He is what makes the current judicial systems diverse,” Martell said, “both racially and philosophically.” According to Martell, that is why the event isn’t only for minority students. “It’s for everyone,” he said. “I would love to see all the students come to UDM Law … but the purpose of the event is just so they understand that there is a need for diversity.”

For the first time ever, the American Society of Civil Engineers will be bringing some of its competition to UDM’s historic Calihan hall. Though it’s been around for about 30 years, the competition has never been hosted on the McNichols campus. The event will be held on March 28-30, with 10 universities from across Michigan and Ohio participating. It is made up of three main events: steel bridge, technical paper and concrete canoe. The steel bridge competition determines which entry can hold the most weight without collapsing. The event is also judged on the time it takes to put the bridge together. Five races comprise the concrete canoe event. Males and females will compete separately in a 200-meter race before joining to race in a 500-meter endurance race. This year, the concrete canoe races will be at Belle Isle on Sunday, March 30. The technical paper focuses on a specific topic given to each team a month in advance. The paper is read at the competition and judged. It plays a big part in determining which team goes to nationals. If a team comes in first in the canoe race but didn’t submit a paper, it cannot continue to nationals. Junior Julie Roberts, the UDM society president, is awaiting the competition as she continues working on her team’s concrete canoe. Roberts said that in the last five years the team has been taking the concrete canoe event more seriously. “We have the right mix of students who are willing to devote their time,” said Roberts. “It’s especially harder for us because we don’t have any resources or money. The money we get from fundraising is all we have to work with,” she said. “Other schools get money from their school, we don’t.” Roberts said that Michigan Tech is usually number one, in part because they receive money from their school. Another drawback is that UDM’s team has only 12 members. Teams are allowed up to the 35 members.

Alums return to campus to share wisdom, advice BY CHANTEL WATKINS VN STAFF WRITER

Alumni returned to campus last week, sharing stories, experiences and advice. Major events occurred all over campus throughout the week. Among the more than dozen speakers:  Emily Doerr, director of community and economic development for the city of Oak Park;  Louis Guston, founder of the Greater Works Foundation; and  Trevor Prawl, a 2011 MBA grad who directs Pure Michigan’s Business Connect Michigan Economic Development Corp. “I really owe so much to the University of Detroit Mercy,” said Prawl at the “Detroit: Beyond Bankruptcy” event. Some students enjoyed the alum visits. “Alumni week is a great opportunity for alumni to come back and share their knowledge and experience with us,” said senior Jameela Muhamed.

‘Better Living’ might’ve been ... better MARCH 26, 2014


Oh, what a missed opportunity this was. All the pieces were there for a sleeper indie hit or at least a cult classic. Charming leading man? Check. Gorgeous female lead who actually can act? Yep. Internet sketch comedian making the leap to the big screen? Got it. First time writer/directors ready to burst onto the scene? And we have a problem. A major problem. “Better Living Through Chemistry,” directed by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, has its moments, but not enough to make up for a bland script. The film centers around Doug Varney (Sam Rockwell), a nerdy, pushover pharmacist seemingly on the verge of a typical midlife crisis. He gets trampled and bullied by his wife (Michelle Monaghan), his father in-law and even his 12year-old son. Rockwell is one of the most underrated, charismatic supporting actors of his generation,

who works best going off the cuff and stealing scenes and is surprisingly convincing as a spineless dweeb. Unfortunately, watching Rockwell do this isn’t really entertaining for the audience. We want Rockwell to be the coolest guy in the room, talking at 200 miles an hour, zipping oneliners over our heads. It’s one thing to go against an actor’s typecast; it’s completely different to do so at the expense of an entire film. Doug is held back from being anything other than pathetic until he’s introduced to the actual use of over-the-counter drugs by Mrs. Elizabeth Roberts (Olivia Wilde, who’s really quite good here). Once the two married individuals develop an affair, Doug’s straight edge becomes a little duller, saving the film. Doug and Elizabeth go on a pill binge that rivals even Jonah Hill and Leo in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” but it doesn’t amount to nearly as much amusement. Thanks to a mixed bag of specially made cocktail capsules, Rockwell is finally allowed to return to where he feels most comfortable. His comb-over is spiked up. Passive facial expres-

sions turn into crude, witty snaps at his foes. It’s fun for a while, but quickly the laughs run dry and the weak script just idles out. For a comedy, “Better Living” is strangely devoid of laughs and even casual chuckles. Even with the script problems, Rockwell and Ben Schwartz, who plays Noah, a druggy assistant at the pharmacy, should’ve been able to improv one or two classic, gut-busting scenes. Schwartz is a gifted, relatively under-theradar comic, best known for his random, highenergy humor on College Humor’s “Jake & Amir” web series. In “Better Living,” he’s completely wasted. Schwartz only shows up in a handful of scenes (maybe two?) and is given next to nothing to work with. Additionally, the film’s underlying message is a little misguided and convoluted. Basically, Doug shows the audience that even though overdosing on over-the-counter pills made his life spiral out of control, those drugs were necessary to improve his life. On top of all this, the film is narrated excessively by Jane Fonda, who only appears in character once late in the film.

Church, corps. failing on gender equality issues, scholar says BY ALYSSA LOTITO VN STAFF WRITER

Despite progress, women are underrepresented in leadership roles throughout the world and in the Catholic church, a decorated scholar told a UDM audience March 19. Dr. Lisa Cahill, a professor of theology at Boston College since 1976, delivered the George Pickering Memorial Lecture in Ethics as part of the seventh annual Cushing Distinguished Lecture in Religious Studies. Her talk was titled “Catholic Women and Gender Equality: Models of Renewal Since Vatican II.” Cahill said that while the world may be learning to recognize all races of people as equals, its recognition of women lags behind. She noted that men still hold more managerial positions than women, and that when in those positions women make only 73 percent of the salary of men. Further, she said, only about 40 of the CEOs of Fortune’s Top 1000 companies are women. As a group 20 percent of women

earn at least half or more than their husbands, with that number decreasing greatly after kids, she said. Cahill explored issues of “gender equality” as they relate to the Catholic church. From a theological point of view, women cannot hold the higher positions when it comes to the Catholic community. They cannot be ordained and are seen as ideal for more of a gentle, nurturing role rather than one of power, she said. Recognition has been increasing, she noted. Pope John Paul II specifically thanked women for their work and in his 1995 “Letter to Women” at the Vatican advocated for men and women to have equal access in the Catholic Church. The current pope, Francis, has also mentioned that the Catholic Church needs a new view of women, Cahill said. In January in Italy, he noted that the role of women in the Catholic community has grown. But, according to Cahill, he added that it is due to their tenderness.

This is a common stereotype that women hold and one that Cahill wishes she could diminish. Cahill said that not all of the scriptures in the Bible rely on man. In Paul’s letters to the Romans, chapter 16, he mentions Junia, wife to Andronicus, as an outstanding among the Apostles, which in the Catholic religion usually only refers to men, she said. While detailing her views of the Catholic Church’s unequal treatment of women, Cahill did note that although change has not been as quick as desired, the church has come a long way on these issues. For example, women can earn a degree in theology, attend graduate school and teach in the Catholic church, she said. But they cannot hold the higher offices in the Vatican nor be ordained. These are issues Cahill wishes to be changed. But she said she fears that if the Catholic community does not stay interested and invested in these issues, they may never change.

Symposium focuses on healthcare act


The university will be hosting an urban health symposium on April 4, where healthcare experts will discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act and explore ways to better serve the healthcare needs of the city’s underserved residents. The symposium will feature a keynote presentation by Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, and attendees with be able to pose questions to a panel of health professors, healthcare executives and healthcare providers. Dr. Mary O’Shaughnessey, chair and associate professor of Health Services Administration, said that the symposium will provide participants an opportunity to examine ways

they can satisfy patient needs while adapting to the changes in healthcare provisioning and financing under the Affordable Care Act. “You have someone come into your clinic or your hospital that now has new insurance, how are you going to satisfy the patients’ needs while satisfying your financial needs, because the reimbursement is changing,” O’Shaughnessey said. Although the changes created by the Affordable Care Act may not be on the minds of many students who are covered by their parents’ insurance, the issue should concern students as they get older and especially those whose parents are uninsured and must find their own, she said. “Depending on the risk status of the student, they may want to look into getting their own health insur-

ance through the Affordable Care Act, which is hopefully a little bit better for them financially than in the past,” she said. Dr. Carla Groh, professor in the McAuley School of Nursing and one of the featured speakers at the symposium, will be discussing nurse-manager centers as a strategy to providing health care within Detroit’s urban setting, noting the work that is currently being done by McAuley Health Center. A psychiatric nurse practitioner, Groh hopes to discuss the issue of behavioral health needs in Detroit and her experience with providing care to some of the city’s uninsured residents. Groh said that health care – as well as how to ensure access to that those who currently have little or no care – is especially pertinent at UDM, given its urban

setting and mission of peace and social justice. “It really is a social-justice issue here, with health disparities in minority populations,” Groh said. “If people have poor health it affects everybody, either directly or indirectly. So I think it has relevance for everybody.” Groh encourages students to become more knowledgeable about healthcare and the Affordable Care Act because such issues will ultimately affect them directly. “They might not be thinking about what happens once they turn 26, or if they get a job that doesn’t provide health insurance,” she said. The symposium will be held on April 4, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the Student Fitness Center. Student registration is $10.


She goes on these overly long monologues explaining Doug’s actions and thoughts, so much so that it feels a little degrading to the audience. I began to feel as if I were watching the first half of “Stranger Than Fiction,” without the humor or irony. Fortunately, Rockwell refuses to say die and does everything he can to yank this film out of neutral. “Better Living” is worth a look for him alone, but other than that, there’s not much else going on here. GRADE: C-

Graduate students make up large part of UDM’s enrollment


Blake Reedy became a graduate student at UDM this winter. In pursuit of an MBA, with a specialization in finance, Reedy hopes to broaden his career path upon completion. He is one of more than 2,000 graduate students – including those in the law and dental schools – who attend UDM. The university’s graduate school programs are well known, and draw students of all ages. Reedy graduated with honors from Oakland University’s business school in December with a bachelor of science in economics, after transferring from Valparaiso University in 2011, where he was a member of the men’s varsity soccer team. “I chose UDM’s MBA program because after researching different business schools in the area, I felt it was the best fit for me,” he said. “My dad is a successful businessman and always told me that in order to be great at what you do, you have to separate yourself from the competition. By pursuing my MBA, I feel as if I am doing so.” Still, there have been adjustments. “Grad school isn’t what I expected it to be. I expected to do

hours of reading,” he said. “My experience at UDM has been quite the opposite. My classes are small and the teachers genuinely care about the information they are teaching. It’s refreshing.” Gabriella DiFiore completed her undergraduate work at Xavier University in Cincinnati before choosing to attend UDM on the recommendation of a family member currently enrolled in an undergrad program. “After grad school, I am hoping to attain a job in HR (human resources) at a hospital,” DiFiore said. “I am hoping to get experience in HR first, and then work my way up to administration at a hospital.” She believes her UDM degree will be an advantage. “It is a well-established school with strong academics,” DiFiore said. As for his educational journey, Reedy plans to complete his master’s and get out into the real world. He doesn’t see himself pursuing anything further at this time. “Maybe I’ll go back for my doctorate, but for now I plan to complete my MBA and hopefully start my own company,” Reedy said. “The professors I have had so far in my MBA courses have been some my favorite of my college career.”

Plastic may be in Tommy’s future BY JACK WALSWORTH VN ASSISTANT EDITOR

2014 is a plastic world – for credit and debit card plastic, that is. But there is one place on the UDM McNichols campus where you cannot use plastic: Tommy’s. Not yet at least. Named after UDM’s beloved mascot, Tommy’s is the place to go for smoothies and other healthy snacks in the Fitness Center. Tommy’s currently accepts cash, flex and even munch money but, according to fitness center director Jeff Latinen, that might change in the near future. In order to accept credit and debit cards, the registers at Tommy’s need to be outfitted to be like the ones found in the gift shop at Calihan Hall. Latinen said that the inability to accept plastic hasn’t affected business but that he still wants to add the plastic option.


‘What will my legacy be?’ VN news editor wonders

This week, I was interviewing Wayne County executive Robert Ficano for the last installment of my “Alums in Politics” series that began last semester with the story of a UDM veteran trying to get back into the game and help the state of Michigan. During my conversation with Ficano, a west-sider like me, the topic turned to legacies. What legacy will you leave behind, Mr. Ficano? He was quite adamant that he would be judged over the timespan of his entire career, which began working with Wayne County Clerk Jim Killeen as an attorney all the way up to his now 12 years in office as county executive. Ficano said he believes he is leaving a positive legacy, having been the first to start an internet police task force, where officers posed as underage women to catch sexual offenders. This, along with being a champion for economic development in Wayne County, has what seems on the surface to be a great legacy. Regardless of what people think of him, he will always have what he believes, and that is important. When I look back on my career at The Varsity News and at the University of Detroit Mercy as a whole, I wonder what legacy I will leave behind. Will I be remembered as time goes on for my career at the newspaper, which began with an awardwinning story about the failed presidential career of Thaddeus McCotter, one-time congressman from Livonia. Though I can say I never meant to harm his character, he probably thought differently. I merely tried to show the reader who he was and what impression he had left on people who were still around and had taught him, like professors Victoria Mantzopoulos and Donald Burkholder. In my interview with him before an election-petition scandal brought him down, he compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, and while their life stories do have quite a bit in common, I will admit, corruption was certainly something Lincoln would not stand for; McCotter was lax in that end. Months after his resignation from Congress, I wrote how I felt let down. He disappointed me, and his legacy will forever remain as maybe not a corrupt congressman but a lazy one for sure. So, where does this lead me? I am a senior student graduating from programs in English writing, multimedia journalism and economics. Does that really mean anything? It means, to me, that I tried to stress myself as much as I could academically, but also give myself a chance to adapt myself to new studies. I always knew, even from my one year at Kalamazoo College, that I wanted to study English and journalism, but low would I learn I had a gift for economics. I cared about the way the economy worked and affected average people. I had seen it affect my family and the families of my friends, so after doing an economic forecast for my final article of my first semester at The VN, I realized I wanted to add an economic impact part to as many articles with financial aspects to them as possible. I wanted to make sure students had the truth about the way the economy was headed, and had an understanding of how political problems or debates would impact markets and, in turn, them. I sought out, since I have seen a lessening of emphasis on learning economics in my generation, to try to point those factors out by educating myself and speaking to some of the brightest economic minds at the university. In addition, I tried to make sure students were heard in most of my pieces. I want any person who comes across me to understand that I do care about what the student has to say, and hope, if they are unhappy, they would be willing to alert me to an issue. This happened when I wrote a story last semester on a veterans organization and its struggles for reforms to the President’s Council’s Constitution that governs all extracurriculars on campus. Other groups on campus felt the same reforms should be made, so I felt especially strong about the story. In addition, I was spurred on to do it by an alum I interviewed. I don’t know what legacy I will leave behind here. I know quite a lot of people here have told me they like me, think I am talented and would be willing to help me with anything I need. I can also say many of them have cared about me personally, which has been very encouraging. I could not find a better university to attend that really fit everything I was looking for as a student with the opportunities that arose for me and the experiences I have gotten; heck, I got to interview Robert Ficano. That just about tops it for me. He is someone I have followed all my life, and knows various people I know. It was cool to have such an opportunity, which I would not have had otherwise. I would have just been anyone else, but I worked hard, and it paid off. Some alums out of UDM’s journalism program, such as Mike Martinez at The Detroit News and Nina Carter on TV in North Dakota, are achieving their goals. Looking forward, I wonder where I will be living in a few months. I wonder if that will be Detroit, but I have been encouraged to move while I am young. I feel a strange somewhat sense of responsibility to stay in Detroit, but I don’t know. Like many of my friends, I have applied to many places, and hope that something pops up. As time goes on, I know that, like the events of Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” all of our lives will be lost to the history books as time erodes. The war between Amsterdam Vallon and Bill “The Butcher” Cutting was lost to time as New York developed into a modern Metropolis. I hope to be remembered not just by my friends at UDM, but by all the professors I have worked with, and the great souls I have met like Birdie and the librarians in the library. But like Amsterdam Vallon said, other promising students will come, and dazzle the university. For many of us, it will be like “we were never here.”

Tommy Zimmer

MARCH 26, 2014

‘Kennedy Dem’ battles in GOP-controlled senate ALUMS IN POLITICS: One in a series of stories


“When the ground shifts, you have to do what’s best for your constituents, and cannot remain tied to one ideology,” Bieda said. He said Bush had to do this because, though a conservative Republican. After Bush finished his final month in office, President Barack Obama took over in January 2008 with an economy that had not yet begun to rebound. Worse yet, the auto companies were financially suffering and heading closer and closer to bankruptcy. Obama decided to back a bailout of General Motors and Chrysler in June 2009. Ford did not seek government intervention. The deal was that Obama would offer them loans. But for the first time in a bailout, the government would buy a piece of stock within the company, granting it a controlling interest in the firm.

“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” – those 1961 words of President John F. Kennedy may seem like ancient history for many of us but for state Sen. Steve Bieda they resonate yet. “I grew up in a family of Kennedy Democrats that wasn’t ever in politics, but were very involved in the community,” Bieda said. But Bieda’s aspirations for public service came from somewhere entirely different. He was originally attracted to drawing, and his father would read him the newspaper cartoons. Bieda had trouble understanding the editorial ones that poked fun at politics. “So I started to try to figure out what those were and figure out what the editorials were about,” Bieda said. Bieda won an arts scholarship for school, choosing Wayne State University for his undergraduate education. He jumped around a bit, going from art to premed to biology, until he discovered he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Eventually he graduated with a bachelor’s in public policy and political science. After attending Wayne State -- SEN. STEVE BIEDA for his master’s in public administration, he earned a law degree at the University of Detroit Mercy before making a final return to Wayne State’s Law School to get a master’s in tax law. Bieda said he comes from an auto He wasn’t a huge fan of law school, family, and his district is heavily autohe admits, but he loved the sense of his- based, which made him concerned tory, logic and ability to build upon about the auto sector during these legal precedents. events. Before jumping into the political “The economics of it, if you took a ring, Bieda worked as director of labor look at how many people would have relations for the city of Warren, and been unemployed if you go down, it went on to be senior policy analyst for made good economic sense to do those the Michigan House of Representa- loans, which have been largely paid off tives. by now,” Bieda said. “It was a reset In 2002, he began his first real days mechanism that was needed.” in the Lansing legislature as a repreHe said he understands the purists sentative for the 25th District. He stayed who believe in keeping government out until term-limited, and then ran and of business but Obama had the same won for the Michigan State Senate in situation as Bush in looking at the best November 2010. of the worst decisions one could make During his time in office, Bieda has with regards to fixing the economy in witnessed some historic economic mo- the short-term. ments in American history. Had those two companies gone In 2008, many banks on Wall Street under, a lot of the suppliers, third-tier were heavily invested in subprime and independent, would have gone mortgages and mortgage-backed secu- under too, which would have affected rities, and with the result of the firms Ford, as well, Bieda said. not knowing the value of them, a lot of In November 2012, Gov. Rick Snythem began to go under. der signed into law the controversial Faced with this situation, President “right-to-work” law, which essentially George Bush began to get himself more gave workers the ability to remain in involved in the financial sector of the their positions at union shops without economy than arguably any other pres- paying union dues or belonging to a ident in American history. union. Bieda saw this as the “politics of “I spoke against it, and the way it pragmatism,” fearing any inaction was done was anything but transparwould harm the economy in Detroit. ent,” Bieda said. “It is one of those things where you He said it was the singularly most have a bunch of undesirable actions undemocratic bill passed in all his time where you would say on paper, ‘I don’t in office because, for one, there were no like this, I don’t like this, I don’t like hearings whatsoever on the bill and the this,’ and you have to pick the most ob- governor was going against what he jectionable one,” Bieda said. said during his campaign in that he was He said that if the Bush administra- not interested at all in passing it. tion had done nothing, the economy According to Bieda, he felt like he would have been in dire straits right was living in a “police state,” with state now. Bieda said it would have been five police and peaceful protesters everyto 10 years of recovery before anything where. got better. He said Snyder used the state police

“When the ground shifts, you have to do what is best for your constituents...”

to guard state buildings to prevent protestors or anyone from interrupting the votes or his signing of the bill. He said he thought this was retaliation by the Republicans for what the unions did with trying to get their ballot proposal passed. But Bieda was quick to say that union backers did it legally and not through the closed-door sessions of Snyder and his party. Bieda, however, expressed support for the controversial Affordable Health Care bill passed in 2008, though critics have said it was similarly pushed through with only one party’s support. The Democrats actually did hold hearings on this bill, Bieda said, and Obama did campaign on it in the presidential election in 2008. During his tenure in office, Bieda has had success working to get certain pieces of legislation passed. The reform of the Paternity Act was something he felt strongly about. It reached Snyder’s desk in 2012. “There was a presumption if somebody was married and had a child that the child was a product of that marriage, and society is not quite built that way,” Bieda said. “So we did this revocation of the Paternity Act, and I think it is more reflective of what is happening in society today.” He said it took him about a year to get that passed but there was also another huge piece of legislation he thought was significant. “The Legal Defense Reporting Act was signed by Gov. Granholm, and dealt with situations where an elected official may form a special account because they might be under some legal challenge or whatever,” Bieda said. He said the obvious poster child was Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit, but Bieda actually got the ball rolling before the chaos of the Kilpatrick regime began. He said he had seen it nationally and in other states, and this piece allows for groups giving money to different political candidates and vice-versa to be public, so the electorate can see and understand who they are voting for. “It’s a piece of legislation I am very proud of, because I came up with this idea on my own. I was the sole pusher of it for several legislative sessions, and was able to pull several government transparency groups together to help,” Bieda said. He feels this is one part where Michigan is lacking, and has also proposed legislation requiring a full disclosure of elected officials’ finances. “If you own stock in this company, if you have an ownership in this company and are on the board of directors in this company, you should disclose that,” Bieda said. “We are one of three states with no disclosure requirements, and we are the only state with a fulltime legislature that doesn’t have one. I think it’s appalling.” He has also worked on what he calls “dark money,” the 527 accounts that politicians and third-party groups put together because there are no reporting requirements. Coming up, he is promoting judicial reforms, new-alternative energy ideas, no-excuse absentee voting, online voter registration and some reforms for local units of government so they can put millages on the ballot.

MARCH 26, 2014




Bedell first Titan to make leap to ML soccer

Adam Bedell, now a member of the Columbus Crew, led the Titans as a 6-foot-7 goal scorer. Said UDM coach Nick Deren: “He came in and brought winning back to the program.” PHOTO COURTESY OF UDM SPORTS INFO


Adam Bedell is part of an elite crew of Detroit athletes who have been drafted by professional sports clubs. In fact, Bedell is the first men’s soccer player in school history to be selected by a Major League Soccer franchise. The 2012 Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year was taken in the third round of this year’s MLS SuperDraft. Bedell, a two-time All-Horizon League first teamer, signed his first professional contract – with the Columbus Crew – on March 5. “It was something special,” Bedell said. “I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time now.” The journey leading up to the inking of his contract was comprised of intense practices and training sessions. “It took me a couple of weeks to figure out the quickened pace of the game plus the extra physicality involved with it,” Bedell said. While this is the case, Bedell said playing at Detroit for four years under coach Nick Deren enabled him to be prepared for the new opportunity. And Deren enjoyed every second of the time he spent coaching Bedell. “He understood what I was talking about almost from the get go,” Deren said. “I appreciated the fact that he’s a student of the game, who

wanted to make everything work for his teammates.” Deren told Bedell it was his team during his sophomore year – in the middle of a spring match against Western Michigan. Bedell then knew he had to be the man, and he never looked back. He became the go-to scorer as a junior, using his great 6-foot-7 inch frame in leading the Titans to a Horizon League regularseason championship. Despite a disappointing senior season that saw Bedell and the Titans win only three games overall and zero games in conference, Deren will never forget the impact Bedell made on the men’s soccer program. “We were not very good for an eight- to 10year period,” Deren said. “So he came in and brought winning back to the program.” Deren believes Bedell will be most remembered, however, for his high degree of “coachability” and maturity. These two attributes, along with his size and technique, are his strongest ones as a soccer player, according to Deren. With Columbus, the Livonia native has already seen 75 minutes of action in three preseason ap-

“You think about it, dream about it and you wonder how it’s going to be... It was a rush of emotion.”

pearances. One of his more impressive outings came against Toronto FC on Feb. 19, during which he recorded the third goal of a 3-1 victory for the Crew. “Playing against Toronto was surreal,” Bedell said. “It was a great game, and I got to play the entire second half, applying everything I’ve been working on in

training.” Additionally, Bedell played in the team’s season opener, which took place on March 8 against D.C. United. In the match, Bedell logged three minutes and was on the field when the Crew scored its third and final goal in a shutout victory over Washington’s MLS club. Bedell’s father and brother were in attendance to watch his MLS debut. “It was something special and even a little bit surreal,” Bedell said. “You think about it, dream about it and you wonder how it’s going to be. And for me, it was a rush of emotion.” Playing with Columbus has been a unique experience for Bedell so far. However, it won’t ever replace the relationships he had with his Titans teammates.

“I’ll miss the guys, as everybody on the team was great to me during my time at Detroit,” Bedell said. The feeling possessed by Bedell toward his Titans teammates is shared by class of ’12 graduate Pat Lepera, who spent his final year at UDM as Bedell’s roommate. “Bedell was a great teammate on and off the field, as well as a friend, and he still is,” Lepera said. “He was my roommate so I was able to get to know him a bit better than anyone else on the team, although our team was very close to begin with.” Lepera is not surprised that his former teammate has the opportunity to play in the MLS. “He put in a lot of extra work outside of our team and that’s what helped his game get to the next level,” Lepera said. “He’s one of those guys you want on your team for more reasons than one and the Crew will quickly realize this.” Lepera believes if Bedell maintains the same work ethic he had at UDM, only good things will come. Bedell strives to become a better soccer player every day. He is passionate about the game, and hopes to show it during his time with the Crew. According to Deren, Bedell will do just that. And Deren believes the former Horizon League Player of the Year will make a name for himself as an MLS player.

Watching others in The Big Dance inspires Titans for next year Titan Insider

All this season, I could only think CARLTON about BRUNDIDGE taking UDM back to The Big Dance, which many may also know as the

NCAA Tournament. Having had the experience of going with the University of Michigan in 2012, I can remember the atmosphere of the arena. There were hundreds of fans cheering us on, the loud music and our hearts pounding out of our chests. It was and still is one of the

most remarkable days of my life. So upon making the transition to Detroit, I can even remember seeing the Titans win their conference championship and make it into the NCAA tournament. I wanted to be a part of that, and I can say that it was a key factor into making the ulti-

mate decision to come here. After falling short this year, we now know, as a team, the things we need to do in order for us to make it to The Big Dance next year. From the outside looking in, with all the losses that we faced this past season, it may seem as though “we never got the memo.”

However, in every experience wisdom can be obtained. By that I mean, we’ve learned teams’ strengths and weaknesses – and not just theirs, but our own, as well. Prior to some of the greatest victories there are a million failures. The things we want to accomplish aren’t going to be

easy or handed to us. We have to, and will, work for it. This summer we plan to not only change our game play, but also convert our minds into one of a winning team. Brundidge is a VN staff writer and Titan studentathlete



Dennis’ greatest marks may be off field

Heading into law enforcement, he takes his obligations as a role model seriously BY CURTIS PULLIAM VN CO-EDITOR

Being a big brother/role model is always a hard thing to do, but senior lacrosse player Troy Dennis embraces the role. “My brother, he’s 14. He does the same things like I do (lacrosse and football),” said Dennis. “I wanted him to look up to me and know that his brother did the best that he could, that he wasn’t just an average student.” An average student Dennis is not, as he has been a two-year member of the MAAC Academic Honor Roll and All-Academic team, as well as a four-year member of the University of Detroit Mercy’s Athletic Honor Roll. “My mom and dad were really hard on me. They knew that I was smart and they just wanted me to do the best that I could,” said Dennis, a criminal justice major. “My parents have been very supportive for all the years I’ve been playing sports.” Dennis’s dedication paid off recently when he was a nominated for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award, which is given to a top senior in their re-


Troy Dennis, who is from New York, found UDM a welcoming environment during his four years here.


spective sport for demonstrating excellence in four key areas: classroom, character, community and competition. Dennis, who came to Detroit Mercy from Baldwin, N.Y., has felt very welcomed by the people at the university, especially those on his team. “It’s been everything I thought it would be and more,” said Dennis who will graduate in May. “For all four years that I have been here, my teammates have made the most of my college experience.” Chris Shevins, a junior defenseman, said Dennis has been a great teammate. “Considering we’re both from Long Island, it is not unusual to find talented players. But he has a work ethic and hard-working mentality that helps set him apart from others,” said Shevins. “He is a focused and charismatic individual and player that is essential to any team.” Nick Garippa, a senior midfielder like Dennis, says Dennis is the right man for the nomination. “It’s always great to see a teammate excel,” said Garippa. “I know how hard Troy works on and off the field.”

In addition to being an excellent teammate, Dennis also prides himself on being an active member in the community whether it be in his hometown or here in Detroit. “Growing up I received almost everything I could ever ask for so I feel that helping people who unfortunately do not have much is the best thing to do because giving back to the community is a high priority, said Dennis. Dennis has played in 44 out of 46 games for the Titans, contributing 16 points in that time span. Also in that time, Dennis has played in two MACC title games, with a win over Siena last season to advance to the NCAA tournament. “It was probably one of the best experiences of my life flat out,” said Dennis. “Once Mike Birney hit that shot it was kind of like, finally I’ve done it, I’ve won a championship.” Although Dennis’ lacrosse career will more than likely come to an end after this season for the Titans, he has plans after his playing days. “I am looking to go into law enforcement,” said Dennis. “My dad is a police officer so I am going to try and go through his department.”

Howard topples expectations, eyes next year


For Juwan Howard Jr. this year was drastically different from last year for the redshirt junior. The forward went from averaging 7.6 points per game to 18.3 points. “The coaches at the beginning of the year were like, ‘We need you to play hard, be a leader. They didn’t bring up scoring once,’ ” said Howard. “I didn’t think I would be scoring 18 points per game but hard work paid off for me.” The Titans, after ending last year with a 20-13 record and losing four of their starters, finished with a 1319 mark this season. “This year was an updown year for us,” said Howard, who averaged 5.3 rebounds per game as well. “Coming off years of being at the top of the Horizon League, you know it’s been a learning experience for all of us. We just have to learn how to get back to winning and get back on the right foot.”

The second-team All-Horizon League performer, who shot 83.9 percent from the free-throw line, was disappointed he was not chosen for firstteam all-conference but Howard is not overly worried. “I just did what I could control and that’s play on the basketball court as hard as I could,” he said. “I thought I should have been first-team but it just gives me another chip on my shoulder for next year to go Howard led the Titans in scoring. harder and prove Senior forward Evan Brueverybody I should’ve been insma described Howard as a on that first-team.” Ugochukwu Njoku, senior great competitor and player. “Juwan was fun to play center, said it was a good experience to have Howard on with,” said Bruinsma. Howard Jr., the son of the team this season. “It was really great,” Juwan Howard, a former Njoku said. “He had a great NBA player and Fab Five work ethic and he set an ex- member at the University of ample of what it takes to Michigan, said his parents achieve success. He brought have had a great influence on a lot of energy every day and him but never forced him to that rubbed off on everyone.” play basketball.

“They let the game come to me,” said Howard, whose mother also played college basketball. “They only took it as serious as I would take it. When they saw me getting serious, that’s when they got serious.” Then, Howard Jr. said, his dad was constantly talking to him about the game. “My dad is probably my biggest critic,” he added. “He knows the game, he knows what it takes to get to where I want to go and I’m glad to have him here.” Howard Jr. scored a career-high 35 points against Valparaiso this season and had multiple big shots at the end of games. He looks forward to those late-game situations. “I just took it as a challenge to knock down those shots,” said the Detroiter. “The ball is in your hands and everybody has confi-

dence in you. You gotta knock it down.” While this year taught him a lot about himself and his teammates, Howard – who will be returning to the Titans for his senior season – knows one valuable lesson the team must focus on going into the 2014-15 season. “We gotta take pride in each possession more,” he said. “A missed layup or missed steal or missed offensive rebound can change the outlook of the game. We also learned the last four minutes are very important.” As for next year, Howard thinks he will be playing a similar role. “I still see myself a big leader on the court,” he said. “I have to improve as being the leader and lead this team to a Horizon League championship.” Howard also has a prediction. “NCAA Tournament and NCAA championship,” said Howard Jr. “That’s what we are fighting for each and every year, and that’s we’re striving for next year.”

MARCH 26, 2014

New York visit inspires possibilities

I still have a long way to go. There is no doubt I have had many marvelous experiences over the last four years at the University of Detroit Mercy, but a recent weekend has to be one of my favorites, if not the best. Going to New York for a college journalism media conference was an excellent and unforgettable experience. But the city itself was incredible. The way the city lights up at night is almost indescribable. There is never a dull moment, hence the nickname “the city that never sleeps.” When not attending media sessions, our group (fellow editors Maggie and Ian, with professor Tom Stanton and his wife) walked around the enormous city. Getting there, however, was also very exciting. It was my first plane ride ever and it was a memorable one. As expected, the take-off caused the most anxiety. I was pretty nervous after having everyone tell me that it was the worst part of riding a plane. When we took off, I immediately felt the popping of my ears. I knew it was coming but it still hurt a tad. The popping of the ears ultimately forced a tough headache. Somehow, though, I was still able to take a nap. When I woke suddenly and looked out the window, I saw one of the greatest sites in the world, the Statue of Liberty. It was a welcoming site, and it looked absolutely stunning. There were a couple of spots that made a larger impact on the visit, however. Seeing the Freedom Tower rise above all the other buildings in the towering city was magnificent. It hurt my neck to look up at it from the ground. It was nothing I have ever experienced before. It was almost like a dream. Even more dreamlike was the view in New York’s Central Park. Located in a city with millions of people, it felt like a place you could easily escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. When we walked through it, my breath was taken away. Overall, it was a great experience and I learned a lot about the city. It is a huge place that combines many different cultures and people from all over the world. Unfortunately, we were only there for a couple days. There is so much to do and see there – so much stuff that we didn’t catch on the short trip but I would no doubt love to go back on a visit. I have another month of undergraduate school to finish before starting my journey into the “real world.” That said, who knows? Maybe my journey will one day take me back to the striking city. While the trip was awesome, it is time to get back to reality. With the semester almost over, the emotions are starting to hit me. But I will save that for next time.

Curtis Pulliam

Pulliam is VN co-editor

Vol. 95, Issue 9  

Winter 2014

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