Category Archives: Featured

Student Finance Board funds comedy night

The Muslim Student Association was half-funded by the Student Finance Board for $5,500 to host a comedy night at their weekly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The MSA’s reason for presenting the event was that the comedians would bring cultural diversity.

“I like the event, I just don’t see three comedians being justified,” said programming director Brian Green in regard to MSA’s request for three comedians, all of whom would require $11,000 in funding.

Chabad’s event is tabled due to ‘unnecessary’ expenses. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

Operations director Brian Hurler agreed, motioning to allocate funding for MSA to either host comedian Dean Obeidallah at $5,500 or host both Preacher Moss and Maysoon Zayid, together totaling at $5,500.

The motion passed, allowing MSA to make their decision on which comedians will perform at the Brower Student Center on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m.

The Leadership Development Program presented to SFB for their annual Leadership Lock-up, requesting funding of $5,414.26.

The request was tabled due to the fact that they did not provide the required clear break-down of expenses.

Green brought up during the meeting the point that “we (SFB) need to be more consistent.”

“I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that they have the invoice,” Green said.

Finally, Chabad was tabled for their request of $4,828.75 for a Chanukah festival event.

“I think this is a wonderful event but I think that half of the expenses are unnecessary,” sophomore representative Christina Grillo said in reference to Mexican food and a surfboard ride, which most of the Student Finance Board members felt had no relevance to the theme of the event.


Sharing love at fall concert

Despite almost an hour-long interlude of electronic music, there was a tangible change in the energy of the crowd as Grouplove came onstage to Skrillex and ASAP Rocky’s “Wild for the Night” at the Fall Concert in Kendall Hall on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Once Grouplove’s performance was fully underway, their music worked its magic on the crowd. The second song they played, “I’m With You,” reflected the crowd’s change in demeanor as its intro built in intensity and merged different musical elements.

By the time singer and guitarist Christian Zucconi crooned the opening line, “I’m with youuu,” the students, who had occupied individual seats, took to their feet to form a group swaying and dancing in unison.

Grouplove rocks out at their show at the College. (Courtney Wirthst / Photo Editor)

“I really felt the love. Their music is just so upbeat and easy to relate to,” senior graphic design major Mariska Voell said.

The synergy that overcame the audience on Saturday night was paralleled by the strong bonds the band created at an artist residency in Greece. Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Wessen said,

“We were a tight-knit group among other artists, when we got together we would yell ‘Group!’ Then we just evolved into Grouplove.”

After touring and recording together for more than four years, the group is still extremely positive about the connections between their personal and musical relationships.

“It’s like being on a team, and you’re with your homies,” said vocalist and keyboardist Hanna Hooper.

Wessen then added, “It really prolongs your career if you can say ‘OK’ and be friendly with one another … I feel like (the band) is still in its honeymoon period.”

Despite the strong connection among Grouplove’s members, they don’t take on a single image and don’t collectively fill a specific stereotype. This description is personified in their willingness to embark on new adventures while on tour.

“We like to do anything that’s unique, because the lifestyle can be very monotonous if you let it,” drummer Ryan Rabbin said.

This penchant for the unbeaten path has taken members of Grouplove to Red, White and Blue thrift shop in Trenton before Saturday’s concert and beekeeping during their previous stop at American University.

The diversity that defines Grouplove is also evident in their music — both stylistically and in its meaning.

During the concert, Grouplove showcased a wide variety of tracks from their three current releases featuring poppy songs, tracks reminiscent of rock ’n’ roll and even synth-laden jams. This range of musical sounds and instruments was indicative of the band’s open-ended intent for its music.

“We look to move listeners in a positive way,” Wessen said. “If you want to be happy, we make you more happy. If you want to feel depressed, we make you feel more depressed. We’re looking to accentuate the mood that you want to believe.”

Grouplove’s product isn’t targeted at one type of fan, and it isn’t created to evoke a particular emotion. But whether they’re performing at a college, major venue or large festival, there is a specific style in which they perform.

“We only know how to play one way, which is super reckless and fun. Depending on whatever arena you’re playing in, that never changes,” Wessen said.

Grouplove’s ability to appeal to a wide group of people was evident in their concert succes. Combined with their commitment to performing enthusiastically, the band ultimately left a positive impression on the College’s students.

“It was incredible when (they) started playing,” senior exercise science major Michael Yarish said. “I found myself dancing in unison with kids I’ve only ever seen in class.  Powerful stuff.”


Wrestling opens season with Fall Brawl

The Lions display their depth against teams from Divisions I and III. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk.)

The Ursinus College Fall Brawl marked the opening tournament for the sixth-ranked wrestling squad. While some of the top wrestlers did not compete to rest up for the first dual meet, the Lions still had a great showing. This individual event gave the Lions the perfect opportunity to display their depth against both Division I and Division III schools. While only two placed, the day was still successful as the men used this tournament to prepare themselves for another successful season.

“There are guys at the Ursinus tournament that come from DI programs, so a lot of losses we had were against very good guys,” junior Joey Dicarlo said. “So just getting on the mat and getting started with the season for the young guys and picking up some big wins is important, and that shows the promise that our season is going to have.”

Leading the Lions was junior Nate Leer, who wrestled in the 197-pound weight class. Leer, who had struggled with injuries the past two seasons, impressively finished second out of 20 competitors and easily made his way to the semifinals before defeating a difficult Ursinus College opponent, 7-4. His run came to an end against another Bear with an 11-1 loss in the championship round.

“Nate had a great day and has been working like an animal in the room, because 197 is not an easy weight class,” DiCarlo said. “I think he is going to continue to compete well for us during the season.”

Sophomore Dylan Thorsen also had a great start to the season by finishing third at 149 pounds. After receiving a bye and then earning two straight victories, Thorsen had a tough match against a Division I opponent from Franklin & Marshall. Despite losing 5-3 in OT, Thorsen held his own ground.

“He lost in overtime so it was a great match all the way through the end,” DiCarlo said. “The only reason he went to overtime was because Thorsen gave up a point for cautions, which is basically equivalent to walking a guy when the bases are loaded.”

Although it may have been a tough loss, Thorsen was not fazed and came back to take the third place match, 3-1.

“It is a tough thing to do,” DiCarlo said. “Most people say to wrestle back for third is harder than winning the tournament because you have to bounce back from a loss and win in order to place.”

While Leer and Thorsen were the only two to place, there were other wrestlers who won some big matches. Sophomore Mike Shaughnessy won four matches at 149, while Antonio Mancella and DiCarlo both worked their way to three wins at 165 and 133, respectively.

With team captains Brian Broderick and Zach Zotollo returning for the first dual meet against Stevens Institute of Technology, DiCarlo and the squad are looking to turn some heads.

“I think we are on track to have one of the best dual meet seasons in a couple of years,” he said. “(Just because we) are ranked sixth does not mean we are the sixth best team in the country. We have to go out there and prove it by winning and earning that ranking.”


Swimming teams combine for 6-0 start

By Chrissy Onorato and Ryan Molicki
Staff Writers

Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have begun their seasons as strong as ever. With three meets completed so far for each team, they have emerged victorious in all.

The swimming teams start the season where they left off last year. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

The first meet of the season came against Montclair State University on Friday, Oct. 25. The men’s team came out with a 129-94 win, showing how ready it is for this season to get underway.

Early in the meet, the Lions came up with first- and second-place finishes in the 200-medley relay as junior Aleksander Burzynski, sophomore James Shangle, sophomore Joseph Dunn and senior Philip Hawley grabbed the victory.

Freshman Scott Vitabile then came in first in the 1,000-freestyle, while freshman Jason Ivins placed third.

Dunn had a remarkable first meet of the season, as he placed first in the 50-free, 100-butterfly and 400-medley relay. In the 50-free, his teammates junior Brett Pedersen and senior Michael Oliva placed second and third, sweeping the podium.

In the 100-free, Pedersen came in first with a time of 48.13 while Hawley and freshman Andrew Nesbitt came in second and third.

Burzynski placed first in the 100-backstroke with a time of 56.43, while junior Matthew VanBiervliet finished second.

In the diving event, sophomore Daniel Tsinis came in first in the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions.

The women’s team was just as successful in its first opener of the season as well, claiming a narrow 119-111 victory over Montclair.

The College won the 400-freestyle relay as freshman Colleen Magley, freshman Brenna Strollo, sophomore Lauren Rothstein and junior Summer Thomas worked well together and finished with a time of 3:47.05.  Thomas also took the 100- and 200-free events while Strollo took the 100-backstroke and finished second in the 1,000-free.

“The team is great,” freshman Strollo, who was named the NJAC rookie of the week, said. “Being able to compete at our own pool with our friends and family around was fantastic. I had a blast at the season opener.”

Senior Amy Schurer came in second in the 200-individual medley and in the 100-butterfly, while junior Brennah Ross came in first in the 50-free and senior Nina Sabatini finished third.

In the diving events, sophomore Edith Duggan came in first in the 1-meter and 3-meter events.

The College then took on Ramapo College a few days later when both teams came out with the wins again. The men defeated their opponents 156-95 while the women defeated theirs 164.5-92.5.

On the men’s side, the College took all 12 individual competitions and both relays. Vitabile came in first in the 200-butterfly and the 100-free.  Freshman Ryan Gadjzisz claimed the 1000-free, 500-free and 200 individual medley.

The 400-medley relay team was made up of Burzynski, Shangle, Dunn and Nesbitt and came out victorious with a time of 2:09.31.

Burzynski claimed the top spot in the 200-backstroke, Nesbitt in the 50-free and Dunn in the 200-free. Freshman Vince Masciandaro placed first in the 100-breast.

The women’s day was equally dominant as the men’s.

The 400-medley team consisted of senior Ashley Conroy, senior Kelsey Sumple, Schurer and Ross. They took the first spot with a time of 4:15.96.

Schurer came in first place in the 200-butterfly and 200-backstroke as well, and Ross claimed the 100-free.

The final event of the week came against Southern Connecticut State University where the men took the win 169.5-116.5 and the women took their win 157-131.

In the 200-medley, the men took the win with a time of 1:36.08.  Gadjzisz had another impressive day as he came in first in the 200-individual medley and the 500-free. He also placed second in the 1,000-free.

Burzynski claimed the 100-backstroke while Dunn captured the 100-butterfly. Nesbitt then won the 200-free.

On the women’s team, Schurer and Thomas placed first and second in the 200-IM, and the 400-free relay was conquered by Rothstein, Ross, Conroy and senior Michelle Sanders.

Sophomore Eilish Devine captured the 1,000-yard in the distance free events.

The Lions are off this coming week before they head to New York University on Saturday, Nov. 16.


Visitor shares value of baseball history

We all know the words to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and we are all familiar with hearing the song in stadiums or on TV. But just how many of us know that “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was a song inspired in part by Trixie Friganza, a public supporter of the women’s suffrage movement and mistress of songwriter Jack Norworth? Probably not many, since usually only the chorus is played, omitting the stanzas in which the singer talks about what she wants to do on a date.

This look into a classic baseball tune was just one of many interesting facts about the history of baseball presented to students by Brad “Brooklyn” Shaw on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the College, an event sponsored by the History Honors Society, Phi Alpha Theta. Shaw spoke to interested students about baseball history while decked out in a traditional baseball uniform.

“Baseball is a constant,” Shaw said. “There is no game that you can actually go back into and compare players from one era to another, quite like you can in baseball.”

It was also the first big sport, Shaw said, and it helped take the public’s mind off the worries of its day.

“People going through anything bad could just use baseball as an outlet, during World War I (or) World War II,” Shaw said.
“Anytime anything bad was happening, you could turn to baseball and just get away from it all.”

Shaw teaches baseball history while decked out in his old uniform. (Mike Herold / Staff Writer)

Shaw, along with being a baseball history buff, also takes part in something quite special: Vintage Baseball, where players from over 100 teams participate in actual games and tournaments of baseball as it was once played in the late days of the 19th century, complete with historical accuracies such as playing without wearing gloves. It was a pastime that Shaw stumbled into almost by accident.

“I was reading a magazine, and I see this guy with a uniform just like mine, and it was just an epiphany,” Shaw said. “The next year I started my own team … At first I didn’t have all that many players, I just basically pulled from my friends and coworkers, but now after a few years I’ve got 20 players … It took a while, but now we’ve got more than enough to play.”

Shaw’s old baseball equipment. (Mike Herold / Staff Writer)

Shaw mainly discussed the history of early baseball, but he still had to answer one question that drew upon his vast knowledge of baseball history.

“The greatest player of all time was probably Babe Ruth,” Shaw said. “He was just so far ahead of everybody else in his time. He was hitting 50 home runs while everyone else was hitting 10 or 15. There’s just no one else who was so far ahead of his peers.”

Shaw brought with him the tools of a baseball game: a traditional bat and ball, which looked very similar to the ones we know and play with today. Baseball is, after all, a constant.


Revising music: a complex and hidden art

By Chelsea Cannon

Revising a piece of music is like “an architectural construction,” “translating a Russian novel,” and “looking at your seventh grade picture,” according to Stephen Gorbos, who presented as a part of the Brown Bag Series on Friday, Nov. 1.

Gorbos opened the lecture, “Inside a Composer’s Studio: The Process of Revising a Piece,” with a word of relief. He and his fellow composer, the College’s director of bands David Vickerman, geared the presentation toward “people who maybe have a limited experience with music.” As a result, the lecture included a slew of metaphors, anecdotes and practical platforms to illustrate the process of revising a piece of music.

The TCNJ Wind Ensemble helps to perform Gorbos’s musical piece ‘Bounce,’ revised to synchronize with the group’s wind instruments. (

The focus of revision centered on the piece “Bounce,” which Gorbos began to work on a year and a half ago.

“I called the piece ‘Bounce’ because I wanted it to have the possibilities for openness or interpretation,” he said. “You can take ‘Bounce’ and see what it means for yourself.”

While Gorbos spoke at the lectern, Vickerman stood alert and ready to conduct, as the lecture included both past recordings from the Albany Symphony and live excerpts performed by the College’s Wind Ensemble on stage.

Gorbos articulated the trials of revising “Bounce” from an orchestral piece to something suitable for a wind ensemble. He explained that an orchestra filled with string instruments produces a very “homogenous” or unified sound. In contrast, a wind ensemble is considered “heterogeneous” because “there are so many different tambours to work with.”

A number of problems emerged while translating the piece to a different set of instruments. In what Gorbos referred to as his “special violin section,” the flute could have certainly matched the ethereal pitch, but it was unlikely to have the same weight of expression. He reached a solution by alluding to a jazz-like style with a soprano saxophone instead.

The lecture concluded with a full performance of the nine-minute piece. “Bounce” had a light sound with a syncopated beat that evoked both playfulness and anticipation. As Gorbos put it, he created “an athletic piece” that was open to interpretation.

“One of the things we don’t usually recognize when we’re looking back at these master works of classical music … is that they were all very fluid,” Gorbos said. “They lived in flux as a composer revised or tweaked certain things.”

The College’s Wind Ensemble will play another rendition of “Bounce” next Friday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. in Kendall Hall.


No ‘boos’ at Mixed Signals’ show

Seeing Disney characters speak in strange cockney accents as they pretend to be other characters isn’t the type of treat you’d expect to receive around Halloween. But it was nevertheless one that the audience at the Mixed Signals’ Halloween Show was given on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Putting on their usual improvisational style of comedic performance, the Signals delighted their viewers by incorporating many of the best parts about Halloween into the show (goofy costumes and candy) while doing a good job of sticking to what they do best — being funny.

The Mixed Signals dress as Disney characters for their Halloween garb. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Assistant)

The night included a costume contest for audience members. Characters such as Slenderman and Buddy the Elf, who appropriately asked everyone’s favorite color, were the biggest hits, along with the usual skits performed exclusively by members of the troupe.

Some of these skits were not in the Signals’ usual repertoire, though.

“‘Ding-and-Sing’ (one of the games played) is a skit which has been considered very difficult in the past,” said senior history and secondary education double major Jonathan Dowler. “Not only do you have to sing, but you have to sing with a partner, and it’s hard to get on the same page without having some basic ideas down. It’s a difficult game, but we’ve been pushing ourselves to try more difficult and new games.”

The singing bits, which could have been considered more of a trick than a treat to the musically-inclined members of the audience, served their purpose: They made the people watching laugh.

The new games and added styles served a purpose for the Signals as well, as they continue to always seek ways of improving their shows.

“Every year in the beginning, we try to go back to the basics and really (create) more characters, which I think really came out in the show,” junior women’s and gender studies major Morgan Teller said.

The characters included a pair of strange-speaking Lego builders, many of the aforementioned British with cockney accents and even Satan and his assistant made an appearance as they judged the sins of the nose-picker.

All of this, believe it or not, was fairly standard for one of these shows. And while it may not make any sense out of context, to the people who are performing, all that matters is getting the audience to do one thing: Laugh.


Saudi Arabia turns down UN security council seat

By Melissa Katz

Saudi Arabia turned down a highly coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council on Friday, Oct. 18, in what the United Nations and many others around the world saw as a shocking and unprecedented move, only a day after they had won a Security Council seat for the first time, according to The New York Times.

Saudi Arabia shocks UN by turning down security council seat. (AP Photo)

The nations’ own diplomats—both those in the United Nations and in Riyadh, the capital of the largest city in Saudi Arabia—were busy celebrating the new seat, only to find out a few hours later that the Saudi Foreign Ministry released a statement rejecting the seat, as reported by The New York Times.

The General Assembly of the United Nations offered Saudi Arabia a two-year term to the Middle East “oil giant,” electing them to one of the 10 rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council, according to CNN.

Abdallah Y. al-Mouallimi, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, signaled that his country is standing by its choice to turn down the seat, further lashing out at the Security Council, The Associated Press reported. He attacked the Security Council for “failures to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Syria, and to convene a conference on creating a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction at a day-long council meeting Tuesday on Middle East hotspots.”

Initially Al-Mouallimi, undoubtedly thrilled with the news, said after the General Assembly vote, “We take this election very seriously as a responsibility to be able to contribute to this very important forum to peace and security of the world. Our election today is a reflection of a longstanding policy in support of moderation and in support of resolving disputes by peaceful means.”

But the statement released by the Saudi Foreign Ministry the next day had a vastly different tone, focusing on what Saudi Arabia deems necessary, the United Nation’s must improve their peace contributions, The New York Times reported.

“Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people by the chemical weapons, while the world stands idly, without applying deterrent sanctions against the Damascus regime, is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities,” the statement said.

According to The Associated Press, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has not currently received any official documentation or notification from Saudi Arabia rejecting the seat despite all other claims.


Venturing through fall: things to do this season near the College

When autumn arrived, the College’s students found time to get off campus and enjoy the crisp, beautiful season. Students visited a variety of places in the surrounding area, some are well known destinations and others are hidden gems.

Sculptures stand at attention. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

Grounds for Sculpture:
One town over from the College, in Hamilton, N.J., Grounds for Sculpture is a public modern sculpture garden and museum. The grounds opened to the public in 1992, thanks to the vision of philosopher and sculptor, J. Seward Johnson. Visitors can roam and explore the 42 acres filled with sculptures ranging from Robert Strang’s abstract forms to intricate, realistic scenes sculpted along the river.

“I would say the best part was seeing famous paintings such as “The Scream” brought to life in a 3D sculpture that allows you to actually see the subject from all sides,” said freshman physics major Tim Osborn after his trip to the Garden’s with the College’s honors program. Admission is $12 for adults, and within the garden there is restaurant and small café.

Trenton Farmer’s Market:
When looking for pumpkins and gourds to decorate a dorm room, or fruits and vegetables to do some weekend cooking, the College’s students turn to the Trenton Farmer’s Market.

A sculpture in the sunlight. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor).

The market is located on Spruce Street right next to the common ice cream destination, Halo Farms.

The fruitful market has rows upon rows of freshly grown and relatively inexpensive produce from a collection of local farms. In addition to the products that grow there, the market also sells homemade desserts and breads.

Princeton Art Museum:
Hidden a bit deeper within the Princeton University Campus, the Princeton Art Museum has 80,000 pieces of art from a broad range of world regions and time periods.

The museum frequently hosts exhibits in addition to the usual collection.

The museum is an indoor fall activity, but if the weather is beautiful, the University’s campus and Nassau Street can stand alone as destinations to explore when students are looking to make a day of their trip to Princeton.

Terhune Orchard:
When it is time for time for the most classic of fall events — apple picking  — students at the College pay a visit to Terhune Orchard in Princeton.

The homey, family farm lets apple-lovers pick their own apples in the orchard in addition to picking their own pumpkins and relishing in farm animals and freshly-baked pies.

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Locals shop around at Tyler State Park. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

Tyler State Park:
Across the river, in the neighboring Buck’s County, Tyler State Park offers students a chance to go hiking, fishing and picnic or even enjoy a game of disc golf.

The park is 1,711 acres and has four miles of hiking trails. Along the trails, hikers can stop off at picnic groves or explore the shore of the Neshaminy Creek. The park frequently hosts craft fairs and the Center of the Arts there offers classes and workshops.


‘Carrie’: remade with a gory vengeance

The promotional posters for the reboot of “Carrie” promise “you will know her name.” This is less a threat than a statement of the obvious. Even those unfamiliar with the 1976 film know the story of Carrie White, a loner who discovers that she’s telekinetic just in time to release a world of hurt at the senior prom.

While I understand the concept of treating a reboot as its own film rather than comparing it to the original, in the case of “Carrie,” the new mimics the old so much that it doesn’t seem worth it to view one independently of the other (the film even uses much of the same dialogue). The new “Carrie” does a lot of things right. That doesn’t mean, however, that sometimes we shouldn’t just stick with the classic.

Carrie prepares for prom, unaware of her peers’ impending cruelty. (AP Photo)

Let’s start with the positive. Julianne Moore, you are beautiful and incredible and absolutely terrifying. This film opens not with the infamous shower scene (don’t worry, that’s coming) but with Moore, playing the insane Margaret White, giving birth to Carrie alone in her bedroom. We hear Moore’s shrieks of pain before we see her, and when she finally does pop out our favorite little telekinetic mass murderer, the baby gets an up-close-and-personal look at a pair of scissors.

The scene is perfect in setting up the environment that Carrie must contend with for the entirety of her short life, and establishes Moore’s psychotic take on a much more violent Mrs. White.

Luckily, Chloe Grace Moretz’s Carrie can handle herself. While she lacks the pathetic, kicked-dog characteristics of Sissy Spacek, Moretz plays up on Carrie’s powers, giving her a greater amount of control over her strength than we see in the original. This Carrie is ready and willing to use her powers, which gives her more agency in the film.

My main problem with this is that Carrie has too much power — not only can she move things with her mind, but she can also apparently fly, weld locks shut and cause roads to crumble like she’s some kind of earth bender. These extra powers are one of two completely unnecessary changes made to the film (I won’t even bother talking about the other. It’s stupid and pointless and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you see it).

The film lacks the undercurrent of sexuality that pervaded the original film (you won’t be seeing anyone’s dirty pillows in the locker room this time around), which means that the menstruation scene isn’t quite as drawn out and animalistic. Portia Doubleday, however, is just as vicious as potential sociopath Chris, and is one of the few actors in the film who surpass their predecessor.

But there was an element of the plot that wasn’t as fully explored by the movie (neither this new version nor the original, actually) as I wish it had been, however, and it gave me the wigs even worse than Moore.

Carrie exacts her revenge, but do we learn our own lesson? (AP Photo)

“Carrie” is, at its core, a movie about bullying and the effects it has on both the victims and the perpetrators. The scariest moments of “Carrie” aren’t necessarily the ones that involve carnage — they’re the ones in which a poor girl is humiliated by her peers, made a laughingstock both in school and online.

This new “Carrie” does a good job of demonstrating the devastating effects of online bullying, and its timing unfortunately couldn’t be better. With the suicide of a young girl from Florida and the charges her tormentors face appearing in headlines around the country, we need to consider the story that “Carrie” isn’t telling: the story of kids that are getting bullied but have no hidden superpower to hide behind.

We revel in the revenge Carrie takes against her bullies, but in the end she, too, dies alone and frightened. Both films get so caught up in the carnage that they fail to see and capitalize the social commentary imbedded in the plot.

“Carrie” may be momentary escapism for the weak, but we can’t let her rise to power obscure what maybe should have been the real point of the movie: there are Carrie Whites everywhere, and we’re doing nothing to help them.


Lost in translation, Legault recites his poetry

Modern times are a beautifully absurd place to be for Paul Leagult. Hailing from the postmodernist enclaves of Brooklyn, the critically acclaimed poet and translator offered a reading of his work to the College on Wednesday, Oct. 16. At times, Legault twisted cultural mysteries into an upside down art form — at others, his poems seemed to pilot a thought process without his listeners quite on board. Perhaps that’s the point.

Legault blends absurdism with humor in his postmodern poetry. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

Born in Ontario and raised in Tennessee, Legault had originally wanted to be a screenwriter after “renting too many movies out at Blockbuster.” He obtained his B.F.A. in screenwriting from the University of Southern California, but after dedicating so much of his spare energy to poetry, decided to earn an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia. There was never a definitive moment when he learned how to write, as he noted in his question and answer session. It was indefinitely started but constantly pursued.

Legault has since published three books of poetry, selecting a few pieces from each to read aloud. These books include “The Madeleine Poems” in 2010, “The Other Poems” in 2011 and, most recently, 2012’s “The Emily Dickinson Reader.” The latter is a self-described “English-to-English” translation of all 1,789 Dickinson poems, only condensed into quipping, 21st century one-liners. It’s a rare combination of both Legault’s voice and the 18th century Amherst poet. The result, when flipping between the originals and Legault’s stripped-down drag translations, is enlightening and hilarious.

“I live dangerously indoors,” reads one translation. Dickinson, the formidable recluse, may have chuckled at Legault’s catty interpretations of her work.

But his adaptations were often faithfully sentimental, too. “You live very far away, but I would still like to see you,” read another. The audience swooned. There are, after all, emotional bridges between dead poets and their readers centuries later.

“I used to get angry when people tried to connect (Dickinson’s) poems to things happening in her life,” Legault said. “But then I realized that these funny things people were saying, pointing out that she had emotional feelings parallel to our own, was really useful.”

The translations within “The Emily Dickinson Reader” are succinct and relatable, but these are qualities that tend to evade Legault’s other works. His previous poetry, littered with dialogue between inanimate objects and incomplete observations, is a winding path to follow. Dogs put on hats with no conclusion, and “tiny versions of yourself (are) stacked” atop one another like a Tower of Babel in more ways than just the figurative.

It’s unclear what’s really going on in these poems. To analyze individual stanzas would be to shake a mixed bag of unsorted thoughts. And while these may be clear to Legault, both quirky and brilliant, readers may view its contents through a distant kaleidoscope.

Still, that’s modernity to Legault: a dizzy, funny, inscrutable take on the universe, far from the truth but maybe inching closer to it. And for all his topsy-turvy writing, he’s still grounded in the moment of his northeast home.

“All of my ideas come from here, this tri-state area,” Legault said. “That’s how my ideas travel but stay in one location at the same time.”


Weekend festivities

Old friends, good food, fun times, nice weather and a win for the Lions: What else could the College’s students and alumni ask for?

Homecoming was surrounded by a controversy this year due to some of the new regulations implemented by the College — cars were not allowed in the tailgating area, tailgaters needed to wear wristbands to identify who was over and under 21, and attendees were not permitted to have their own music. But whatever qualms people may have had about the changes were replaced with excitement for the day’s celebrations as students, alumni, family and friends showcased school pride on Saturday, Oct. 19.

“It was nice to see everyone so bonded. Everyone had TCNJ swag — they had their shirts and pins and hair ties — and they had a lot of fun together,” senior biology and women’s and gender studies double major Stephanie Cervino said. “Even other organizations were mixing because they were so close together. It was a nice way to build community.”

However, there were people who thought that the changes did damper the Homecoming spirit a bit but had fun regardless.

Students tailgate the game. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

“I think that there’s less unity, because not everybody who goes to school is at the tailgate. Most people are doing their own thing in their dorms, and I think that kind of takes away from the whole feel of homecoming,” sophomore communication studies major Theresa Soya said while going to watch the football game. “But it’s better than I thought it was going to be. There’s a lot of people still out and the music’s good … I love Homecoming.”

Tiffany Moscatello, a ’00 graduate of the College, agreed that last year’s Homecoming was better than this year’s, but said that the energy was still there. She was there with her husband, also a College graduate, and her three young children.

“It’s great coming back every year. I love bringing my kids back,” Moscatello said.

Moscatello pointed out that the first time the College had tailgating for Homecoming was her senior year. Before that, she said the big hang-out place to celebrate the day was the Rat.

Trenton State College alumnus Frank Haas also mentioned that tailgating was a new aspect of Homecoming since his graduation in ’77. He was at this year’s Homecoming to meet up with his old friends from Sigma Tau Chi. More than 70 of the fraternity’s members attended this year’s Homecoming.

According to Haas, besides getting to re-connect with his friends from school, the best thing about coming back to the College was seeing all of its recent updates.

“My favorite part is to see how much it’s grown. It’s huge. Same space, but it’s unbelievably huge. There’s so many new buildings here,” Haas said.

There was a performance by the College’s cheerleading and dance teams before the winners of the two-week Homecoming Queen and King contests, seniors Ryan DeAngelis and Stephanie Rindosh, were crowned.

“It’s a huge honor. You know, everyone out there deserved it, and they’re a great bunch of guys and girls. It was really cool, especially representing the Ambassadors. I really appreciated it,” said DeAngelis, a chemistry major who represented the Ambassadors.

Rindosh, a civil engineering major who represented Delta Phi Epsilon, was also elated and said that being honored with the title “means that you just truly embody the TCNJ spirit and that you make the most of this place while you have it here.”

After the ceremony, the Lions took the field once again to defeat SUNY Morrisville 21-20.

“It was my first and last Homecoming as an undergraduate, and I’m really glad I went because it’s a big experience that undergrads have,” Cervino said. “I saw a lot of alums and it was good to see them again, and I know next year it’s going to be me doing that.”


Teams come together in Spirit Week events

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Twenty-eight College organizations, 13 teams and one week to prove that your team has the most school spirit.

To rally school pride in time for this year’s Homecoming, the Homecoming Spirit Week Committee and the Office of the Dean of Students held the 26th annual Spirit Week, with the theme of “Musicals,” from Monday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 18.

After competing in the week’s 11 events, the “Phantom of the Opera” team of Sigma Kappa and Phi Alpha Delta came out victorious, proving they possessed the ultimate school spirit. The team captured first place in six events: the backdrop, lip sync and banner reveal contests, as well as the three-legged, human pyramid and potato sack races.

The winning organizations’ names will be added to the President’s Spirit Trophy. The winners will also receive a dinner hosted by President R. Barbara Gitenstein, as well as $300, according to the Homecoming Spirit Week Committee’s website.

Tug-of-war is one of the many competitions in Spirit Week. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

Also receiving cash prizes are the second-place team of Zeta Tau Alpha and Sigma Pi (“Willy Wonka”) and the third-place team of Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Tau and Delta Lambda Phi (“Footloose”).

According to the Committee’s website, the week was created “to bring the community together while demonstrating our campus’s student pride and involvement.”

A volleyball tournament, cheerleading competition, tug-of-war game and other field games led to the week’s biggest events: the lip sync and dance competitions.

On Friday, Oct. 18, each team performed a skit, which included elaborate backdrops, costumes and props of the team’s theme. Each skit was required to involve the College, the Homecoming football game and the team’s

musical theme. Sound bites anywhere from Cher’s “Believe,” to the “Drake and Josh” catchphrase of “Hug me brother,” to the viral video of “Charlie bit my finger” were used.

In Sigma Kappa and Phi Alpha Delta’s winning skit, the SUNY Morrisville “Phantom” took the College’s cheerleader hostage. In order to win the game, the football player had to rescue her.

In between performances, the crowd danced, celebrated and cheered their team’s name and chant.

Spirit Week is crucial to the campus because it is the one week when the College feels like a community, according to junior psychology major and Sigma Sigma Sigma education director Kaitlin Shepard, who was on the “West Side Story” team.

“It is important for TCNJ to have a Spirit Week because it brings the school together. It allows the opportunity for all different student organizations to come together, form teams and have a fun week,” Shepard said.

For those who did not compete in the week’s competition, there were free giveaways throughout the week, including cupcakes and rally towels, as well as the chance to tie-dye a Spirit Week T-shirt.

According to Shepard, the week is a great way for students to build up school unity in time for Homecoming.

Oompa Loopmas make an appearance at the lip sync. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

“The overall atmosphere of Spirit Week is upbeat and lively. Every day of the week there is something exciting going on to look forward to,” Shepard said. “The competitive nature of the events makes things fun, but in the end, everyone remembers that they are all one school and comes together to celebrate on Saturday.”

The week was co-chaired by senior English and Chinese double major and Student Government President Tyler Liberty and senior elementary education and math double major Stefanie Grossman. According to Grossman, this year’s Spirit Week was a success, and a goal for next year is to have even more people join in on the fun.

“People should want to participate in Spirit Week next year because it is a week full of fun and a way to make great memories. Everyone on campus has a different talent to offer, and Spirit Week provides an outlet for those talents to shine,” Grossman said. “It’s a busy week, but in the end, it’s something to do to show your school spirit and have a great time with friends, as well as make some new ones.”


Defense clutch again for Homecoming as football wins fourth straight

Receiver Jeff Mattonelli catches a 51-yard touchdown. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk.)

The stage was set for something dramatic at the end of Homecoming, a game in which quarterback Chris Spellman came alive and the football team’s defense stayed dominant for a 21-20 win over visiting Morrisville State College.

Leading by just a point in front of nearly 1,500 fans with less than two minutes remaining, the conference-best Lions (4-2, 3-0) defense needed to stop Morrisville’s conference-best offense only one more time to push the College to the top of the NJAC standings.

Morrisville drove to the College’s 37-yard line, but the Lions defense did what it needed to do in crunch time: end the game by forcing a turnover on downs, which it has done regularly this year.

“That really comes from our mentality,” senior linebacker Nick Bricker said. “Although we may not be the biggest, fastest or strongest team, we have a great team chemistry and truly believe in one another. Believing that your teammate will get the job done is pivotal to our success. As for our defense, we have a bend-but-don’t-break mentality that has helped us succeed tremendously, especially late in games.”

Bricker led the way with a game-high 19 tackles, including an assist to force fourth down on Morrisville’s final drive, while junior linebacker Ryan Lowe added 15 to limit Morrisville to season-lows of 20 points and 431 yards.

“Our main goal in every game is to shut down their offense,” Bricker said. “We were extremely excited to go up against the top-ranked offense, to truly test our defense. (Defensive coach Rocky) Hager and the other defensive assistants put together a great game plan in defending Morrisville, and our guys executed on game day. It is great to see our defense melding together and some new faces making a huge impact.”

While clutch play from the defense has been largely responsible for the Lions’ four-game win streak, its best stretch since 2010, opportunistic play from Spellman and the passing game put the College on top from the beginning.

The College never actually broke into the red zone and only entered Morrisville territory four times, but never needed anything more — getting three long TDs from Spellman, including the fourth-quarter winner.

With 10:09 remaining in the game, senior wide receiver Fred Sprengel made a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch for the 30-yard TD to tie the game at 20-20, and sophomore kicker Evan Costello stayed cool in delivering the extra point for the final 21-20 score.

“Getting a win on Homecoming is always a great feeling,” Bricker said. “To show our friends, family and alumni that we are able to succeed is a great experience. It is very fortunate that this Homecoming win also concluded with us being first in the NJAC.”

Spellman ended the night 11-for-22 with 190 yards, 3 TDs and one INT, while sophomore running backs Victor Scalici and Brad Young were largely responsible for the Lions’ 121 rushing yards.

The Lions have another big game this week, though, as they travel to SUNY Cortland (2-1) on Saturday, Oct. 26 to stay in first place in the NJAC.

“Now we have to keep the momentum rolling and get ready for a great opponent as we travel up to Cortland,” Bricker said. “Take it one game at a time is our mantra from this point on.”