Letterman passes the late-night chair to Colbert

As anyone who watched the news, looked at Twitter, logged onto Facebook or listened to the radio last week can tell you, David Letterman is finally retiring after over 30 years of sitting behind a late-night talk-show desk. Of course, for most people in college right now, that isn’t the interesting part of the story. No, the far more intriguing piece of this tale is that Stephen Colbert will be taking Letterman’s place. This also means he’ll be leaving his job on Comedy Central, and “The Colbert Report” will soon come to an end.

Stephen Colbert is a good fit for replacing David Letterman’s slot on late-night television. (AP Photo)

Stephen Colbert is a good fit for replacing David Letterman’s slot on late-night television. (AP Photo)

As I’m sure many of you feel about this move, I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it or disliked it. I love Colbert (which can also be read as, “I am a college student”), so I’m glad he’s being recognized for his abilities with this move, but I also love his current format and will be sad to see it go. I’m also a fan of “Stephen Colbert,” the character the real Colbert plays on his show, and evidently we’ll be getting the real man on the Late Show, so the character might be retired.
But after taking a little while to sit on this and mull it over, I’ve decided that I’m happy about it. And now I’m going to attempt to convince you that you should be happy about it too.

See, the first real issue I’ve heard from the people I’ve talked to about this is that no one is really sure how the Real Colbert will be as a host. He’s in character so often — and plays that character so well — that people don’t generally have a good idea of how he acts or thinks in real life — they think the actual Colbert might be boring.

But I’m one of the lucky few who actually got to see “The Colbert Report” in person, and something you learn going to that show is that Colbert addresses the audience after the cameras have stopped rolling. And I mean the real Colbert, not the character. Speaking from my own experience, the real deal is still a very funny guy and quick as lightning with his jokes. He’s also very polite and appreciative — he thanked us in the audience at least three times, which made me feel all tingly inside — and seems completely sincere. It’s a huge change from the character, but in a good way.

As for the gaping hole that will be left after Jon Stewart’s half hour is over, I’m sure they’ll find someone to take over from where Colbert will leave off. John Oliver won’t be that guy with his new HBO show, but “The Daily Show” has a whole bunch of talent waiting in the wings. We’ve seen Steve Carell, Ed Helms and Colbert himself launch from spots in the program to bigger and better heights, and I’m sure Aasif Mandvi, Samantha Bee or especially Jason Jones would make great Colbert replacements.

So don’t mourn the loss of “The Colbert Report.” Look forward to whatever new show comes in to replace it, and give it some time — great comedy doesn’t always happen overnight. More importantly, get excited: The world is about to meet a whole new Steven Colbert, and I’m sure you’re all gonna love him.

Autism Awareness Week a huge success

According to a new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). New Jersey has the highest rate in the country of children with autism with one in 45 children having a form of autism.

To raise awareness about the disorder, the College’s Center for Autism, which seeks to help support families and children with autism as well as educate the community and campus about ASD, held Autism Awareness Week. From Monday, April 7, to Thursday, April 10, the Center held a fundraiser, showed a movie and had experts speak to teach people understanding and acceptance of the disorder.

“We strive for a world in which inclusion is the norm and people understand and embrace each other’s differences,” senior psychology and special education dual major and Center project assistant Jennifer Pote said. “This includes differences in cognition. Autism is classified as a disability, but it also comes with a whole new outlook as well as incredible abilities — this is true of every disability. We want people to focus on expanding their knowledge and tolerance as opposed to increasing pity or ‘fighting for a cure.’”

Another goal of the week was to raise much-needed funds for those with ASD.

“We also do want people to understand the amount of resources needed to appropriately accommodate a student with autism’s needs — educationally, socially, technology, medical bills — which is why fundraising is important,” Pote said.

Pote believes the week’s two lectures and film helped in the Center reaching its goals.

“Other goals were of course for people to learn something and feel empowered, which I think was also accomplished at both of the talks, as well as the film, ‘Black Balloon,’” Pote said. “We learned about where treatment, acceptance, understanding and education of people with autism has started and how far it has come and how far it has left to go.”

The progress that is still needed was especially seen during Richard Blumberg and Jerry Petroff’s presentation, Pote said. Blumberg, special education professor and director of the Center for Autism, and Petroff, special education professor and the Center’s associate director, discussed their recent work in Africa with the Ghana Autism Project. National Autism Speaks speaker and author Kerry Magro also gave a funny and moving talk.

“It was just a great presentation and everyone’s reactions were really positive,” Pote said. “People were still talking about it after — goal accomplished. He was funny, talented and informative. He was open about his struggles with social skills, speaking, certain subjects, fine and gross motor abilities and emotions as a child and says he is still working on learning more every day.”

Magro was an example of how far someone with ASD can go.

“When no one thought he’d even be able to fully talk he impressed everyone by not only doing that, but also by being a fantastic basketball player, being a famed national speaker and author and by helping Hollywood writers and directors cast actors to appropriately and accurately represent people with Asperger’s and other autism spectrum disorders,” Pote said.

Pote hopes that next year’s week will be even bigger and that the events will continue to have such a great turnout.

“People should go to next year’s Autism Awareness Week to continue to promote inclusion, support the movement for disability rights, advocacy and celebrating human unique-ness,” Pote said. “My main hope for next year is that more people will have a better understanding of what autism is.”

Women’s reproductive rights are human rights

By Stephanie Cervino

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development where nations across the globe, including the United States, declared that reproductive rights are human rights. Over the past two decades, much progress has been made. Yet, around the world, 222 million women in developing countries who want to plan and space their families still lack access to modern birth control and 47,000 women die from the inability to access a legal abortion with an experienced provider. While right here on our campus students can visit the Planned Parenthood office within Student Health Services to obtain sexual and reproductive health services and birth control, off campus and abroad, we still have our work cut out for us.

While students are offered resources on campus through Planned Parenthood, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure reproductive rights. (AP Photo)

While students are offered resources on campus through Planned Parenthood, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure reproductive rights. (AP Photo)

To tackle these significant challenges, in 2015 government members of the United Nations will set new global development goals. And they’ve issued a call for people around the world to contribute to this process by defining the “World We Want” in an online survey and on social media. Beginning last month for International Women’s Day and continuing this spring around major UN conferences, including the Commission on Population and Development, supporters of women’s health and rights are responding to that call with a manifesto defining the world we want.Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey (PPNJ) work to make the world we want a reality every day. For nearly 100 years, Planned Parenthood has worked to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices. And PPNJ is uniquely positioned to engage in UN processes as global citizens — over 20 percent of our state’s population was born in countries other than the U.S., so lawmakers in the state have a particular duty to represent the interests of these global stakeholders. To that end, here’s a little more about the world we want.

In the world we want, access to health care doesn’t depend on your postal code. Or your gender. Or your sexual identity. Or the language you speak. Or the color of your skin.

In the world we want, the College has zero sexual assaults, zero unintended pregnancies and zero obstacles to comprehensive and respectful health services for all students.

In the world we want, politicians don’t come between a woman and her health care provider.

In the world we want, girls are just as likely as boys to stay in school, go after the jobs they want and become leaders in their communities.

In the world we want, there are no new HIV infections, and those living with HIV are able to make decisions about their health and lives, just like anybody else.

In the world we want, young people are empowered and trusted with information about sex so they can prevent unintended pregnancy and protect themselves from STDs.

In the world we want, all people have equal protection and equal benefit under the law.

The world we want is free of stigma, discrimination and violence. And reproductive rights are recognized as human rights. The world we want acknowledges that the only way forward is to protect and expand these rights. In the world we want, all people control their own bodies and their own destinies. This is the world we want. And this is the world we’ll fight for.

Orpah’s new show, ‘Lindsay,’ is addicting

 

Oprah is going to save the world — first the girls in Africa, now Lindsay. (crazydaysandnights.net)

Oprah is going to save the world — first the girls in Africa, now Lindsay. (crazydaysandnights.net)

I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week because, child, I’ve got things to do (and by things to do, I mean people. And by people I mean sitting alone in my room).
Anyway gurlfrand, I just want to alert y’all to a little unknown gem in the TV world. God (aka Oprah to mortals) has her very OWN network. Called OWN. Owned by Oprah. OWN.

On said channel is a groundbreaking, powerful and incredibly moving documentary. Is it about slavery? No. Is it about human trafficking? No. Is it at least about a gorilla that could paint? No, better. It’s about an ex-actress who can’t get into an apartment. I present to you: “Lindsay.”

Yes, our beloved “Freaky Friday” star gets Erratic Sunday as her show airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. During the one-hour-long episodes, you get to ride the train that has long crashed that Lindsay thinks is still running. Watch how Lindsay is refused keys to her own apartment, as she pays a woman whose career is to be a “life advisor” just to tell her that she “can do it,” and as Lindsay spends an exuberant amount of money on couture clothes even though she has no events to wear them to, nor the money to spend on them.

Fascinating. If this were on Netflix, it would be under the category “Dull Trainwreck with a Wonky Female Lead.”

The only redeeming thing about this show is that Oprah sometimes appears in her heavenly might and tells Lindsay to literally “cut the bullshit.” So please, tune in at 10 p.m. and watch with me as we witness Lindsay Lohan’s “comeback” fall back into oblivion.

Fun facts for Easter

Easter is a joyous time. Most importantly, it is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but there are other aspects that help make the day enjoyable, as well: We are welcoming the beautiful spring weather, there is good food, Easter egg hunts, Peeps, jelly beans and chocolate bunnies — lots and lots of chocolate bunnies.

The average family will spend $131 on Easter each year. (pragmaticcompendium.com)

The average family will spend $131 on Easter each year. (pragmaticcompendium.com)

Here are some fun facts from DoSomething.org and ABC to help you celebrate the day. Plus, you can even impress your dinner guests with some of this trivial knowledge.Households spend $131 on Easter each year and $14.7 billion in total.

After Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy-consuming holiday. In fact, 120 million pounds of candy are bought each year.

In the U.S., 90 million chocolate bunnies, 91.4 billion eggs and 700 million Peeps are produced each year.

What’s the first part of a chocolate bunny to go? 76 percent of people eat the ears first. 5 percent of people eat the feet first and 4 percent eat the tail first.

Americans consume over 16 million jelly beans on Easter, enough to circle the globe three times.

About 120 million cards will be sent or exchanged this Easter. That means it holds the fourth spot of the largest card-sending celebration in the U.S.

The first White House Easter Egg Roll was hosted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1878.

If you lay all of the PAAS Easter egg dye kits sold each year end-to-end, they would reach from Miami, Fla., to Chicago, Ill. — that’s about 1,400 miles.

For all those who celebrate, enjoy the time with your family this weekend.

HOPPY EASTER!

 

 

Standing together for Ally Awareness Week

The Day of Silence ended with a coffeehouse. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Assistant)

The Day of Silence ended with a coffeehouse. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Assistant)

By Tiffani Tang
Staff WriterFrom Tuesday, April 8, to Friday, April 11, the College’s LGBTQ alliance club, PRISM, held Ally Awareness Week.

Ally Week is held in order to encourage people to be allies against anti-LGBT, bullying and other forms of harassment.

“An ally is somebody who is willing to go out of their way to fight for a cause that is important to them,” junior computer engineering major Kari Gilbertson said. “An ally is not a label, it is an action. Every cause needs allies to spread the word and recruit more allies. They are the gateway for success toward our cause.”
This year, the first event was “Different Spectrums within the Spectrum,” an activity that required everyone to stand up and walk between two pieces of tape, which resembled a “spectrum” of extremes. When prompted with a question, attendees would have to choose a side depending on their answers.

The questions started off light and jokingly, asking attendees if they preferred subs or hoagies.

As the night progressed, the questions became more serious. The topics ranged from privilege to confronting people who made harmful decisions to bullying to gender policing to standing up for personal beliefs.

And with each question, participants were encouraged to expand their views and explain why they chose their position on the spectrum.

“Reporting a hate crime is one way to be an ally,” event coordinator and freshman criminology major Robin Schmitz said.
The following day, “RENT,” a famous show and movie about six friends and their struggles with AIDS, was shown in the Cromwell lounge.

On Thursday, April 10, students were joined by the College’s professors who stand by the cause. The professors spoke about the importance of being an ally, as well as the different types of allies.
Ally Week ended with the National Day of Silence and a “Breaking the Silence” coffeehouse.

Students were encouraged to not speak in order to bring awareness and represent those who could not speak up for what they believe in. There was a table set up in the Brower Student Center for allies to sign a banner against LGBT hate crimes.
Later on that night, students performed poetry and music that was inspired by the week.

The first act took the stage. Bernard Miller, a 2013 English graduate, performed Bob Dylan’s “Tangled up in Blue” before being joined by Daniel Fitzgerald, a junior interactive mulitmedia and communication studies double major, and Connor Mullin, a sophomore political science major, to cover “Here Comes Your Man” by Pixies.

Mullin played “It’s Only a Paper Moon” by Nat King Cole, a sweet solo that left the audience snapping along.
He was rejoined by Miller and Fitzgerald for their last piece, an original, “Jessica’s First Love.”

Sophomore communication studies major Jared Sokoloff followed next, armed with a guitar and his voice.

He dedicated Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” to a friend who wasn’t present and then dedicated “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 to anyone who wanted to break down walls.

Ryan Eldridge, a freshman political science and Spanish double major, played two Chopin pieces for attendees. “Nocturne in E major” and “Nocturne in E minor, E5 major” were both sweet waltzes that enchanted listeners.

Senior women’s and gender studies and sociology double major Remy Lourenco and Gilbertson sang a cover of “Picture” by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.

At one point, the background music stopped, but the audience began to clap and the duo continued a capella. It was great to see such a supportive group.

“Awesome performances,” Eldridge said, smiling with approval.
The floor was opened up as an open mic and several people jumped at the opportunity.

There was some more singing, a poetry chain and several more impromptu performances.

“It’s not angry, but it’s about unrequited love,” said the final performer, incoming freshman Amanda Skriloff, about her piece.

The piece represented the internal struggle of keeping silent and keeping those strong feelings hidden. It inspired audience members to be an ally so these struggles might one day cease to exist.

Campus Style

By Jordan Koziol and Heather Hawkes  
Columnists 

With fair weather starting to melt away the wintery blues, fashion begins to bloom once again, eliminating our fear that bulky coats were going to be our permanent fate. In order to kick off this “rebirth” of fashion freedom, we wanted to provide you with some noteworthy blogs to keep your eye on this season:

Who What Wear: To the busy fashionista who needs style inspiration and needs it fast, this blog basically consists of everything you’d ever need to satisfy your fashion craving. From fashion trends to celebrities to beauty tips to street style, this blog has it all in an easy-access format that doesn’t require you to scroll through pages to find what you’re looking for.

Blogs can keep you up-to-date with the season’s biggest trends. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)Man Repeller: Tailored to the Miss Independent trend-setter, this blog will surely make you feel at home. With everything from harem pants to boyfriend jeans to wild and eclectic jewelry, blogger Leandra Medine offers a new take on fashion dubbed as “man repelling.” Her sarcastic and humor-coated dialect is sure to keep you entertained while getting some of the best fashion advice on the web.

Bryan Boy: Shout out to the guys who read our column! We didn’t forget about you. Bryan Grey Yambao, better known as Bryan Boy, offers a ton of noteworthy fashion sense for men in this blog. As a highly successful name in the fashion industry, he provides behind-the-scenes glimpses into some of the most prestigious fashion shows and upcoming lines that are sure to get you pumped for spring.

Cupcakes and Cashmere: For our more delicate and LA-loving fashion followers, this blog is sure to set off your spring fever. With outfit inspirations painted in pastels and floral prints, you’ll have a different outfit idea for every day of the spring season all the way into the hot summer months.

 
Blogs can keep you up-to-date with the season’s biggest trends. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)

College worker excited for the future

By Liane Librizzi
Correspondent

You don’t have to be a student at the College to learn here.
Though the thought seems rather paradoxical, it’s a proven fact that to work diligently at achieving your goals and furthering your passions doesn’t necessarily come with a tuition price. As a matter of fact, quite the contrary — you can even get paid for it instead.
Just ask Bessie Gardner.

Gardner, of Trenton, N.J., has been wearing many hats since she began working at the College eight years ago. Her day typically begins at 8 a.m. when she works with building services until 4:30 p.m., keeping Travers clean and aiding in snow removal on days that require it.

“I like helping out wherever it’s needed,” she said with a smile.
Yet, her eyes began to glisten with true satisfaction as she began to tell of her night shift in the TDubs kitchen. The sound of clanging pots and pans in the background, Gardner stood in front of roughly 60 pieces of wheat and white bread, preparing to make more than 30 sandwiches that would later be sent to the Library and C-store as “To Go” options. It takes about an hour and half to make the orders of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, along with the buffalo and chicken Caesar wraps that would be set out as options for students in a hurry the next day. Gardner, though, is slow to complain — she’s too driven to be drained.

“My goal now is I’d like to go to school to further my education … I want to go for culinary arts,” she said with excitement. “Once I (pay off my vehicle this year), I am looking to move forward.”
Gardner further went on to explain how her 28-year-old daughter is soon opening a restaurant in Texas, and she projects that she may be able to work with her there once she obtains her degree.

“I love what I do, but I also try to keep my mind focused on trying to move ahead,” she said, wiping the counter before beginning her sandwich-making.

Little does she know, with every sandwich she makes, she’s one step closer to achieving that dream, reminding all of us that our work at the College, though sometimes unnoticed, can be just the beginning to greater things.

Consumer corporations and wind energy

Wind energy is becoming the go-to environmentally cautious option for energy-consuming corporations across the country. Windmill farms are primarily composed of multiple wind turbines that convert kinetic energy from the wind into electrical power that can be used to power factories.

Corporations like Intel, Whole Foods, Walmart and Google have been active investors in wind power as well as alternative renewable energy sources, and the popular Swedish furniture store Ikea has joined the club. The Ikea Company recently purchased a 98-megawatt wind farm in Illinois, acquiring the company’s largest source of renewable energy.

IKEA plans to build its own wind farm by 2015. (AP Photo)

IKEA plans to build its own wind farm by 2015. (AP Photo)

The company has been taking steps in hopes to lessen its carbon footprint — it has committed to using renewable energy and minimizing its carbon emissions as much as possible. Although things such as solar panels are not the fiscally responsible choice, there are many environmentally friendly options that double as economically smart business decisions. With goals to be energy independent by 2020, Ikea, along with a handful of other corporations, has taken an initiative to keep the planet safe.The company hopes to have the wind farm up and running by 2015. It is expected to generate up to 380-gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year. This amount of energy is equivalent to removing over 50,000 cars off the road each year. Ikea executives say the proposed outlook is that the wind energy will cover up to 18 percent of the electricity used by the Ikea organization worldwide.

Ikea is not an American company, so although this is its first wind farm in the U.S., Ikea owns a substantial amount of wind farms in various countries such as Canada, France, Sweden, Germany and Denmark. In addition to wind energy, the Ikea Company has been increasing its reliance on solar power. As of 2012, 90 percent of Ikea stores within the United States generate solar power. As Ikea proceeds to move into the environmentally cautious business world, we can only hope that others will follow.

Annual disability art show raises awareness

Whether they were painting pastels, fashioning beads together or creating tools, Mercer County residents and the College’s most creative gathered together in the Education Building room 212 on Monday, April 7, to unfold their artwork.

Hosted by the College’s Students for Disability Awareness Club, all the work exhibited was created by individuals with disabilities in an effort to eradicate any negative stigmas associated with being disabled.

The art show displayed numerous different types of art, from paintings, to jewelry, to even tools.

While many artists create art to please the eye, other artists form art for a specific reason. Freshman undecided major Kristen Windram, for example, created a still-life in memory of her best friend who had passed away due to breast cancer. Windram said she had a love of art ever since she was little, and she was further inspired by her mom and high school art teacher.

Senior Mallika Desai, a member of the Career and Community Studies (CCS) program, also had a passion for art at a very young age. Desai revealed that she started painting her brilliant acrylic paintings in ’97. As a child, she enjoyed learning new techniques in art class and had always found painting so relaxing.

“Vincent Van Gogh and Monet are my inspiration,” she said.

Furthermore, Julia Sternlieb, a junior and also a member of the CCS program, bedazzled art-show goers with her collection of bracelets and necklaces. At age 13, she was searching for a new hobby and discovered it in a jewelry-making kit. On average, it takes her crafty hands about an hour to make one of her stylish bracelets.

The art show also featured a colorful drip art series created by the Arctists Collective by The Arc Mercer. This organization of Mercer County provides social, recreational and vocational opportunities to individuals with disabilities. The Drip Art Series was composed of both individual paintings and collaborative paintings.

Daniel Lapidow, a sophomore in the CCS program, discovered his interest to become a blacksmith at age seven on a visit to a farm. Two years later, at age nine, he had hammered and nailed his way up to being a member of the New Jersey Blacksmith Association. Today, Lapidow can be found in the Hebrew Hammer Blacksmith Shop in Lawrenceville making tools.

All in all, the art show was a very creative and flattering-to-the-eyes experience. Stay tuned to see what these crafty individuals have in store for next year’s Disability Art Awareness show.

 

Around the Dorm 4/16: Shabazz, Embiid & Wiggins, and “4 Years a Slave”

In this week’s Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Chris Molicki, asks our panel of experts three questions: should college athletes like Connecticut’s “hungry” Shabazz Napier be paid for what they do, which of Kansas’s two NBA prospects — Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins — should go first in the draft, and are New England’s winning ways worth a controversial culture criticized by Brandon Spikes?

1. The men’s Connecticut basketball team won the national title, but other stories surfaced from the team — namely Shabazz Napier saying there were nights he went “hungry.” Do you think college athletes should be getting any sort of payment for what they do?

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Matt: College athletes should absolutely be paid for their play. Major universities make millions of dollars a season for ticket sales, memorabilia and jersey sales and TV deals. All of these things are a direct product of the athletes’ performance on the field. Student-athletes are the reason schools like Notre Dame, USC and Florida State are so popular. Look at Florida Gulf Coast as an example: Two years ago, nobody had ever heard of FGCU until their Cinderella run in the NCAA tournament, and now the university is reaping the financial benefits the athletes have earned the school. FGCU saw a 35 percent increase in admission applications after the school’s tournament run. Playing a sport in college is a full-time job, and athletes should be paid.

Gabe: This is an extremely layered issue. On one hand, many of these athletes are receiving compensation in the form of free education via scholarship. On the other, the degree to which some of these athletes are being educated is indeed questionable. This is certainly no rule of thumb, as there are plenty of institutions that don’t excuse their athletes from being held to the same academic standard. Then there’s also the fact that the NFL and NBA don’t allow players to enter their drafts immediately after graduating from high school -— and these schools, and the coaches of these programs, are raking in a ton of money. While the rules of entrance to the professional sports leagues are not up to the NCAA, it can’t hurt to provide a little bit of compensation for these athletes. Is it really too much to ask the colleges to compensate the athletes enough that they can eat well? These athletes don’t have the time to get adequate jobs during their seasons. Logically, it doesn’t seem to add up, and I think paying or providing meals for athletes should seriously be considered.

Matt wins for saying athletes lead to an increase in admissions, Gabe gets 2 points for saying schools can afford to pay, and Andrew gets 1 point for explaining the difficulties with paying.

2) Kansas teammates Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins have both declared for the NBA draft. Not considering Jabari Parker who may stay, if you were an NBA general manager, would you go the big-man route in Embiid or shoot for the forward potential in Wiggins?

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Matt: Lottery teams will have a tough time choosing between the two. If I were a GM with the first pick, I would take Wiggins without hesitation. Wiggins averaged 17.1 points as a freshman in what was considered an up-and-down season. He showed flashes of how dominant he can be, scoring 41 points in 39 minutes played against West Virginia. Wiggins has ideal NBA size to become a scoring forward like Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. He averaged more points per game than eight of the last 10 first overall picks. On the other hand, Embiid has the potential to be a dominant center, a player that comes along once every decade. However, Embiid is coming off of a stress fracture in his back that made him miss the team’s last six games. Teams should be worried about the severity of this injury. Just think back to Greg Oden. The center is also a dying position in today’s NBA. The Miami Heat have won the past two titles without a true center. The NBA today is all about star scorers, and Andrew Wiggins is exactly that.

Gabe: Conventional wisdom of the last decade says take the forward in Wiggins. Both guys definitely have loads of potential, but the safe bet (based on the recent years) says the big man is less likely to avoid injuries. The hype surrounding Wiggins entering his freshman year at Kansas was the highest it’s been for an incoming freshman in some time. Embiid is a 20-year old, seven-foot, 250-pound center from Cameroon — he’s only been playing basketball for a few years now, and his nimble footwork has seen him draw comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon. The last time it came down to taking a big or a wing like this, the Trailblazers chose the clunky Greg Oden over the slender, wiry Kevin Durant. For much of the college season, Embiid was number one in most mock drafts, but when he was forced to miss the last several weeks of the season and the NCAA tournament due to a back injury, Wiggins ultimately regained his spot at the top in most mocks. While I acknowledge that Wiggins has plenty of potential, I truly do not believe he is going to be the next Slim Reaper. In fact, I’m really not nearly as sold on this draft class living up to all its hype. But if I had to take Wiggins or Embiid, I’d take Embiid. I wouldn’t be able to pass on the best big-man prospect to enter the draft since Tim Duncan.

Andrew: The decision is a toss-up. While big-man Embiid is definitely the better pick, his health is a major concern. After hurting his back and missing the NCAA Tournament, one can only wonder his true value. If, however, Embiid remains healthy, he is definitely a no-brainer and an immediate impact player. It is tough to find an elite center, and for teams in need of a big man, Embiid fits that role nicely. As for Wiggins, he began his career with Kansas as being the biggest prospect out of high school. That said, while the sky is the limit for him, I question how his skills will translate to the NBA. Depending on what team I was managing, the big question I ask myself is whether I want to win now or wait a few years for Wiggins to develop. With everything considered, Embiid is the better pick.

Matt wins for saying teams are built around wing players, Andrew gets 2 points for highlighting the rarity of good centers, and Gabe gets 1 point for talking about big men’s injury history. 

3) Brandon Spikes went on a Twitter spree, saying his time with the Patriots was “4 years a slave.” If Spikes is speaking the truth about the Patriots’ culture, do you think New England should change the way they do things despite their winning ways?

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Matt: Brandon Spikes’s Twitter rant about the hallowed “Patriot way,” while entertaining, was not a good move. Spikes, who signed with Buffalo this offseason, said he was “4 years a slave” in New England. What Spikes doesn’t realize is he was also four years a winner. Although they have not won a Super Bowl in almost 10 years, the Pats have won 51 games during the span of Spikes’s time in New England, more than any other team during that time. I do not believe the Patriots have a culture problem. Yes, Bill Belichick is probably the strictest coach in the league, but I find it hard to believe that the conditions in New England are that bad. If there were slave-like conditions in New England, players would be leaving left and right. The Patriots have already re-signed five of their free agents, so clearly players are happy with their situation. I doubt veterans like Vince Wilfork would re-sign if conditions were truly terrible. If the “Patriot culture” means winning football games, then Brandon Spikes is the problem here. Maybe he simply didn’t fit in with the Patriots’ expectations on player conduct. Either way, get used to losing, Spikes.

Gabe: While the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2005, they should not and will not change anything about their culture. The opinion of one man, Brandon Spikes, means next to nothing in the big scope of things. If Tom Brady had said it, it’d be a big deal, no doubt. The Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since the Spygate controversy, and they may not have enough talent to win another one in the Brady Era, but Bill Belichick isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Andrew: In football, it doesn’t matter how nice a person is. It doesn’t matter when someone was drafted. All that truly matters are the results. While Spikes may say he was a slave during his time with the Patriots organization, no one can argue the Pats’ success over the past four years. In that time span, New England won all AFC East Titles and reached the Super Bowl in 2011. The Bills — who have not had a playoff appearance since 1999 — will predictably have a similar year to last one. It will be interesting to see what Spikes says after his one-year contract runs out and whether he misses his winning ways.

Andrew: Under no circumstances should college athletes get paid for playing their designated sport. One could argue that Napier is already getting paid through an athletic scholarship. While Napier may say he was hungry, throughout his four years, he received a free education worth over $120,000. That money saved is more than enough to cover the cost of food.The other problem with paying college athletes is there are a lot of gray areas. Johnny “Football” Manziel believes he deserved to be paid. While statistically he is more valuable than the second-string punter, universities would have a very difficult time determining who should be paid and figuring out their worth.

All three players get 2 points for making the same argument that the Pats keep winning and Spikes seems like a disgruntled player.

Matt wins Around the Dorm, 8-5-5

Payne, ‘little sister’ stars of March Madness

Payne’s ‘little sister,’ 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth, helps him cut down a net. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Payne’s ‘little sister,’ 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth, helps him cut down a net. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

March Madness is one of the most exciting times of the sports year. Upsets like Mercer over Duke, Cinderellas like Dayton, and emerging stars like Frank Kaminsky are often the on-court highlights from March Madness, but it is often off-court stories that really leave a lasting impression on the sports world. This year was no different, as March Madness introduced us to the beautiful relationship between Michigan State star Adreian Payne and eight-year-old Lacey Holsworth, also known as “Princess Lacey.”

Lacey had a fatal nerve-cell cancer called Neuroblastoma, which caused her to be hospitalized constantly in order to get treatment and chemotherapy. During one of her stints in the hospital, fate united her with Payne, and they had an immediate connection. Payne would constantly visit Lacey in the hospital and invited her to a few home games. Their bond grew stronger and stronger, and Payne even called Lacey his “little sister.” He even carried her around the court after Michigan State’s senior night and brought her to cut down the nets with him after Michigan State won the Big Ten Tournament this year.

Lacey was a small celebrity to Michigan State fans and in Big Ten country, but the whole country was introduced to this beautiful little girl during Michigan State’s run in the NCAA Tournament. She was at all of Michigan State’s games during their run in the East Regional and accompanied Payne to the NCAA Dunk Contest, where her smile and resilience through such hard times really made the country fall in love with her. Payne always reiterated how hard he was playing for Lacey, and you could see through his passion and emotion that he was determined to make his little sister proud.

Then, tragedy struck. This past week, the sports world was stunned to hear that Lacey Holsworth had died in her home. This was extremely devastating, not only because she was so young, but because Lacey seemed so strong and happy as she cheered on Payne just days before in the Dunk Contest. I know I struggled to hold back tears as I was reading and hearing about this story and as I wrote this article. Following Lacey’s death, Payne tweeted: “It was time for my lil princess to go home & feel no more pain, now she’s happy & she’s my angel watching over me.” It’s obvious that Lacey changed Payne’s life just as much as he changed hers. Support from all over the sports world came pouring in through social media and various media outlets as well.

This story showed the bond between two strangers from two completely different backgrounds whose paths crossed and taught the country the power of friendship and love. This unlikely bond touched everyone who followed or watched the tournament this year. Even though Lacey is gone, I expect her to live on with Payne as he moves on to the NBA and continues to spread her spirit throughout the country. Prior to the tournament, we all knew what a great player Adreian Payne was, but now everyone knows what a great person he is too. I think it’s safe to say that if more athletes and people in general were like Payne, the world would be a better place.

Softball continues to look for first NJAC win

The Lions’ winless streak continues against Rutgers-Camden. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The Lions’ winless streak continues against Rutgers-Camden. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The softball team’s struggle for wins this season continued, as they played Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday, April 8, and lost both games in a doubleheader.

The Lions (6-20, 0-10) are keeping a positive mindset on the matter and keeping it all in perspective, though. When a team has a multitude of freshmen and sophomores, it is critical to build the team up and get the technique perfected before games will be won.

The Lions are in the process of building up their team, and it looks promising for the end of the season and next year. As they play more games, it will become easier to tack on those wins, and the Lions are confident they will get there soon.

In the first game of the doubleheader against Rutgers-Camden, the Scarlet Raptors scored early and often in a 6-2 victory.

Scoring three runs in the first inning, Rutgers took the early lead, and the Lions fought hard to catch up. Despite good pitching and defense, the Scarlet Raptors scored two more runs in the fourth, but the Lions refused to be shut out.

In the fifth inning, the Lions rallied and scored a run when freshman right fielder Olivia Fahr singled and was sent home by sophomore left fielder Christine Desiderio’s single to left field. The Lions scored once more in the seventh when Fahr doubled and was again sent home by Desiderio with another base hit.

In the next game of the doubleheader, the Scarlet Knights took the second victory with a score of 9-4. The Lions took the early lead when freshman second baseman Colleen Phelan had a two-run single, which scored senior center fielder Lindsey Williams and senior shortstop Kristen Lake.

However, their opponents came back strong in the bottom of the inning and scored three runs of their own. With the score tied at 3-3, the Lions tacked on one more run in the sixth when Williams singled, allowing freshman pinch runner Rachel Cipolla to score.

The Lions offense was then silenced as the Scarlet Knights scored six more runs, defeating the Lions 9-4.

On Saturday, April 12, the Lions took on Montclair State University in a hard-fought battle. Despite their opponents taking both games, the Lions looked improved and hopeful.

In the first game, the Lions fell in a 2-0 Montclair victory. Stellar defense began the game as the Lions held off a bases-loaded first inning. Senior pitcher Alex Carisone was on the mound for the Lions and pitched a strong couple of innings to start off the game.

Sophomore catcher Jamie Purcell aided the Lions’ strong offense, going two-for-three on the day. However, in the eigth inning, the Lions let up the only run of the game, ending the hard-fought battle.

The next game again resulted in a defeat for the Lions, as they fell 0-5. The scoring began in the fifth inning when the Red Hawks put three on the board and were then able to shut out the Lions for the remainder of the game.

The Lions, though, are learning from each game and are confident they are where they need to be, continuing to improve one game at a time.

“This season hasn’t gone exactly how we envisioned,” sophomore pitcher Ashtin Helmer said. “But we are focusing by remaining positive and by improving each game. We are taking each game as an experience to learn and improve. We are going to continue to battle until the season is over.”

This week, the Lions will take on Rowan University on Tuesday, April 15, and New Jersey City University on Friday, April 18.

Baseball outplayed in reversal of fortune

Baseball’s early advantage in the NJAC slips away during a rough week. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Baseball’s early advantage in the NJAC slips away during a rough week. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Coming off an eight-game win streak, the Lions stumbled this past week, losing four of five games.

“We’ve just been getting outplayed,” sophomore pitcher Steven Volpe said. “If we get back to the basics and fundamentals of the game, we’ll be fine.”

All four losses came against conference opponents. The one win and four losses dropped the College all the way from first in the division down to sixth place out of 10 teams. With a 4-5 conference record, the Lions sit four conference points back from top-seeded Rowan, with 11 conference games left in the season.

“(Coach Glus) reminded us to execute, maintain our focus and have trust in ourselves and teammates to get the job done but still have fun out there,” sophomore catcher Matt Facas said.

Volpe picked up the team’s only win this week on Thursday, April 10. He pitched into the sixth inning, on his way to his fourth win of the season. Volpe worked his way out of jams all afternoon, before leaving the game with runners on first and second and no outs in the seventh inning.

Sophomore relief pitcher Mike Correa was called on to protect the team’s three-run lead. Correa gave up a single that cut the Lions’ lead to 5-3. Sophomore center fielder JC Rizzi made a nice catch on the run for the first out to limit William Paterson’s damage. Correa dug in to record the force, a pop up, and then a strikeout to end the Pioneers’ threat.

Junior pitcher Benito Gonzalez shut the door on the Pioneers in the ninth inning, picking up his first save of the season and giving the Lions a 5-4 win, avenging the previous day’s shutout loss to eighth-place WPU.

The College followed up Thursday’s win with back-to-back losses to fifth-place Ramapo College. The team dropped the first game by a final of 9-4 before a 7-1 defeat in the second game.

The Lions’ schedule does not get any easier this week with games at Farmingdale State College and a home-and-home with fourth-place Montclair State University. The team will then travel to Rutgers-Camden University for a doubleheader with the first-place Scarlet Raptors on Saturday, April 19.

“As long as we stay positive and continue to go out there and keep working hard, we’ll be fine. We are still in good shape for the last three weeks of the season and we just need to get back into a rhythm, start winning some ballgames, and build up our confidence as a team going into the final stretch of the regular season,” sophomore catcher Matt Facas said.

If the Lions can do that, there’s plenty of time remaining to improve their standing in the NJAC — and they can start by getting back to the win column this week.

“Baseball’s a long season. There’s a lot of ups and downs, but the character of this team is strong,” Volpe said. “I’m sure we’ll bounce back this week and get a few wins.”

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