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The Merciad, April 13, 2011

The Merciad, April 13, 2011

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The Merciad, April 13, 2011
The Merciad, April 13, 2011

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Published by: TheMerciad on May 29, 2011
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 The actions of a 23-year-old Erie resident recently put Mercy-hurst administrators and late-night campus walkers alike on edge. John J. Durney, a 2009 graduate of Mercyhurst North East,faces four separate criminal charges for stalking women, attempt-ing to kidnap three of them and evading police in a high-speedchase around the college’s campus on April 2.Durney’s alleged creeping spree, in which police say he twicefollowed Mercyhurst female students with a large knife, onceagain raised awareness of campus safety.“We were on red alert,” said Robert Kuhn, chief of Police and Safety.
 The rst incident came in December, shortly before students
left for Christmas break. A student was leaving CVS at East38th Street and Pine Avenue when a man—allegedly Durney— approached her with a knife. The woman managed to escape toher car and lock the doors.Police accuse Durney of striking again 10 days later, this timein the 2800 block of State Street, about a mile from campus. A woman fought off Durney, who police say was in possession of a knife, and made it to her nearby apartment.On March 19, investigators say Durney confronted a woman at West Ninth and Myrtle streets. A criminal complaint the woman
led states he told her she was sexy, followed her in his green
Hyundai Sonata and threatened her with a knife if she didn’t getinto his vehicle. The most recent Mercyhurst campus incident took place March27 near Warde Hall. Campus security footage showed a green carchasing a female student through the Performing Arts Centerparking lot toward her dorm, Kuhn said.
By Ethan Magoc
She, too, escaped unharmed.“For me, it was a nightmare,” said Kuhn, who worked for Eriepolice for more than 30 years. “It brought back memories of trying to catch rapists. Guys like this, they get more adventurousas it goes on if they’re not caught.” The frightening episodes brought about frequent email updates fromKuhn and Vice President of Student Life Gerard Tobin, Ph.D. They continued to stress walking in pairs or calling a policeescort if traversing campus late at night. Kuhn’s April 1 email went so far as to offer rides to inebriated students, as well.“Don’t be reluctant to call because you may have been drinking and fear consequences,” he wrote. “In this instance, we are only interested in getting you safely to your residence hall.”Beyond the warnings and transportation offerings, adminis-trators said they cannot, practically speaking, overhaul campussecurity procedures as a prevention measure.“The reality is we can’t keep everyone safe all the time,” saidLaura Zirkle, assistant vice president of Student Life. “It wouldbe dishonest to say we can.”Still, Zirkle commended Police and Safety’s dedication in appre-hending Durney.
 At about 4 a.m. on April 2, ofcer Jerry Devine was making 
his last few patrol rounds as a campus security guard. It was nearBriggs Avenue that he spotted a green car matching the descrip-tion released after the March 27 incident.He pulled in front of Durney’s car, which then backed up andbegan speeding away. Devine followed but initially lost the pur-suit. He spotted the car again a few minutes later and continuedthe chase.It reached speeds up to 60 mph on Briggs and the surrounding streets, according to Kuhn, who believes Durney’s unfamiliarity  with the campus’s nearby neighborhood led to his downfall.“He must have been a little disoriented because he eventually pulled into a cul-de-sac,” he said.Devine trapped Durney on East 40th Street near the WayneStreet Townhouses and, knowing he was likely armed with a
knife, called for backup. Erie police arrived ve minutes later and
took Durney, once again in possession of a meat cleaver, intocustody.He admitted to the two campus incidents during police ques-tioning.“It was just amazing that we caught him,” Zirkle said. “He(Devine) was very tenacious about it.”Devine joined the Erie police force as a patrolman last week.
Details on Durney’s background are unclear. Ofcials at Mer
cyhurst North East conrmed he graduated from the school’s
culinary arts program in August 2009, but Brian Stahlsmith, aninstructor in the program, declined comment regarding Durney’stime there.Durney, of the 1100 block of East 38th Street, is an Oil City native. He was released Friday from Erie County Prison onbonds totaling $245,000. District Judge Tom Robie has requiredhim to live in Oil City with his parents, stay at least two milesfrom Mercyhurst’s main campus and seek psychological coun-seling.He faces preliminary hearings before Robie on April 21 andMay 27.
board ofcersbusy planningimprovementsFormer stafferNell Hardycontinues to ght
Ecodemia offerstips on reducingimpact, celebrating
Earth Day
No. 4 men’slacrosse teammakes nalplayoff push
Page 2Page 4Pages 5-8Page 11
Page 2April 13, 2011
New MSG board plans for improvements
Recently, the new MercyhurstStudent Government (MSG) Boardfor the 2011-12 school year waschosen, and the board membershave already been busy planning tomake changes on campus. The positions of president and vice president, secretary and trea-surer were all elected positions. This year, the president and vicepresident positions were electedas a “ticket ballot” in which they  were chosen as a pair in order toensure the pair would be able to work together efficiently. The results were Meghan Hessand Reed Garetto for president and vice president, respectively, SarahBarr for secretary and Killian Bowefor treasurer.Shannon Kissel was appointedevent coordinator, Jeremy Dickey public relations coordinator andIssac Smith was appointed Stu-dent Activities Council (SAC)chair. The appointed positions wererecently sworn in by the prior posi-tion holder and will assume theirduties starting with the next schoolyear. The new MSG board has set up alist of goals they plan to accomplishfor next year. These include reach-ing out to all types of students,finishing what they have already started, identifying to the publicexactly what MSG is and develop-ing MSG internally.During winter term, MSGemailed a survey to students asking their opinions about the HermannStudent Union as well as the elec-tronic kiosk near the Audrey Hirt Academic Center. The survey asked if studentsthink the Student Union should berelocated to a more central area of campus. The survey showed thatthe majority of students think theUnion is in a good location.Some students, however, dis-agree.“It seems too far away from mostcampus housing,” sophomore KyleMcIntyre said.Students discussed services they  would like added to the Union. The survey results showedstu-dents would like more food service,a study area, 24-hour access to aprinter and office areas there.Students said one centrally-located mailroom, instead of thecurrently divided one, would be apositive change, too.“I feel the Union needs to be
more inviting for students to cometo and hang out. It could use a few more TVs and have a more relaxedatmosphere,” sophomore MaxSusko said.MSG members agree somechange needs to be made to theStudent Union.“All I can say is that MSG real-izes the need for a more centralizedStudent Union that features every-thing the students need, and onethat targets not only upperclass-men, but underclassmen as well,”Dickey said.For now, MSG plans on putting together a proposal highlighting the main interest of the majority of students. It would consist of whatMSG thinks needs to be done inorder to create a “dream” StudentUnion.Currently, there is no set planto alter the union; however, theproposal will remain on file andthe MSG members will discuss theissue further.Regarding the electronic kiosk,the survey found most studentsthink it is a valuable tool that they use every day. The most popular answer aboutits location change was to move thekiosk to the corner of Zurn Hall where the current marquee boardis located.“Since the senior gift has beenplanned to be constructed wherethe X meets in the sidewalk infront of Zurn and Hirt, the kiosk as is, will create an eyesore,” formerMSG President Santina Sgro said.“We have plans with the collegeadministration to move the kiosk to the corner of Zurn, where theshowcase is currently located, nearGarvey Park.”Other plans for the campusinclude getting a printer studentscan access 24 hours a day in the24/7 study lounge.“This will bea huge help toanyone that needs to finish up andprint a paper late at night,” Dickey said. As far as reaching out to stu-dents, MSG would like to help stu-dents on campus with more eventsand work with freshman RAs togive students as many opportuni-ties as possible. The executive board would alsolike to strengthen the relationshipbetween Police and Safety and thestudents.MSG wants to assist students who stay on campus for breaks by ensuring a contract that makes anEMTA route available for themand by working on funding foodstipends for those students.Members of the executiveboard think it is their duty tomake international and commuterstudents as comfortable as they can. They hope to help with thetransition for these students as well as work with the Center of Student Engagement and Leader-ship Development to cosponsorevents for commuters. Another important goal to MSGis making students aware of whoMSG really is and what it can do forthe students.“It’s time to let students know  what we are really about,” Hesssaid.MSG wants to develop eventsthat will appeal to all studentsas well as let students know thatthrough MSG they will have a voice at every level of their col-lege.“I would like to start a weekly or bi-weekly press release with theMerciad to make students moreaware about MSG and what we aredoing,” Dickey said. Aside from that, Dickey wouldalso like to start a Facebook pageon which students can start discus-sions and speak their own opin-ions.He plans to frequently keep theMSG website better updated sostudents will always know what isgoing on.MSG not only wants to do work externally but also internally in theirorganization. The group has plansto develop an open working envi-ronment for the MSG board andsenators as well as utilizing the tal-ents of these members.“We encourage all students toattend our meetings in the StudentGovernment Chambers,” Hesssaid. The meetings are at 8:30 p.m.every Monday and students may correspond with Dickey, MSGpublic relations coordinator, by email at msgpr@mercyhurst.edu.
By Stacy Skiavo
Staff writer
A survey emailed to students in winter term asked about pos-sible improvements that can be done to the Student Union.
 Jill Barrile photo
Page 3April 13, 2011
Former professor returns to read at Lit Fest
 The second event of the ninthannual Literary Festival broughtformer faculty member Gary Myersback to Mercyhurst’s Taylor Little Theatre Thursday evening.Myers taught in the Englishdepartment at Mercyhurst Col-lege from 1986 to 1989. During his time, he served as departmentchair, and he founded the Poetry in the Schools program at St. LukeSchool. Since then, he has helpedbuild the Creative Writing programas the Dean of the College of Artsand Sciences at Mississippi StateUniversity.“It’s exciting to see this collegegrowing as fast as it is,” Myers said.“Some things are the same, butthere are new things as well.”Myers began writing poetry incollege. His inspiration came frompoets from all over the world ratherthan from people near his home inthe Midwest.“There’s a certain lack of some-thing in the Midwest that drovepoets to Europe,” Myers said.He drew inspiration from surre-alist poets of Spain and France, andhe talked about his experience andthe inspiration he received fromSouth American anti-poetry.“It has a kind of attitude,” Myerssaid. “I got mesmerized by this styleof South American poetry.”Sophomore Seth Stonis wasimpressed with Myers’ variety of influences.“I noticed a lot of his work talkedabout the moon and the stars. It’scool that he’s from the Midwest,but he uses European influence,”Stonis said. Though his poetry covers a wide variety of topics, imagery is an obvi-ous strength of Myers. SophomoreChelsea Schermerhorn admiredMyers’ imagery.“I liked the recurring images heused, especially women. For somereason the images were very evoca-tive especially when repeated,” shesaid. “I’ve never seen someone useimages as repeatedly but still convey different ideas.Myers read some of his newest works, which concern the events thattook place during the Holocaust.“It’s hard to write about thateventm-the magnitude of it. I triedto write about specific events,” hesaid.His new series of poems arepoems written in four lines, whichare known as quatrains. The poems
that Myers shared showed the crowdunsettling scenes in their minds.“I actually went to a concentra-tion camp in Germany,” said Stonis.“I could see what he was talking about, and I could tell that he washesitant writing on the topic.”Myers offered suggestions toyoung writers.“Try to find a way to break outof the commonality of what thelanguage offers,” he said. “You canhave a lot more fun if you con-sider other perspectives. Otherwise,you’ll be locked into conventional writing.” The best advice Myers couldgive was to “take risks and chancesjust to see what can happen. You’dbe surprised at what you do whileexperimenting.” The third and final event of Mer-cyhurst’s Literary Festival will takeplace Thursday at 8 p.m. in TaylorLittle Theatre with the unveiling of the Lumen and the presentationof the P. Barry McAndrew Writing  Awards.
By Chris James
Contributing writer
Mercyhurst to offer new minors inintegrated marketing, film studies
 The Mercyhurst College Faculty Senate recently approved the addi-tion of two new programs, a majorin integrated marketing and a minorin film studies. The integrated marketing pro-gram is a change from the formerbusiness concentration in market-ing and stands as a separate major. The change in the programspawned from major changes in theindustry.Integrated marketing incorpo-rates concepts from a variety of disciplines to include all the areasand ways that companies reach outto consumers.Companies have begun to rely more on integrated marketing professionals to reach consumersin new and more efficient ways, which is accomplished by com-bining all of these disciplines intoone.Moving away from a programthat is strictly focused on marketing to one with a wide range of disci-plines will benefit students studentsentering a changing industry.Students will be required totake courses from accounting, art,business, business administration,communication, graphic design,economics and marketing, which will open doors to jobs in eacharea.Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that work in this field will continue toincrease through 2018, which pro- vides demand in this industry in thecoming years. Walker School of BusinessDean Jim Breckenridge formed acommittee to start looking into theidea two years ago, including com-mittee chairperson and AssociateDean Meredith Schultz, AssistantProfessor Shelly Freyn, graphicdesign Program Director Jodi Sta-niunas-Hopper, CommunicationDepartment Chair Anne Zaphi-ris, Ph.D., and Kimberly Zacherl,instructor in the Walker School of Business. This committee developed themajor and was responsible forgetting it voted through Faculty Senate.Since the approval, the WalkerSchool of Business is now seeking a qualified candidate to head theprogram. The new film studies minor rep-resents an interdisciplinary effortprovided by the history, commu-nication, English, world languages,psychology and philosophy depart-ments. According to the formal ratio-nale for the minor, the program isdeveloped “to enable students tounderstand and critically engage theimages that pervade their lives.” The program was developedaround the understanding of how important film is to art during the20th and 21st centuries.“Students need to develop lit-eracy in the visual media that sur-rounds them, gain an appreciationfor the aesthetic quality of film,and become savvier about decod-ing the images saturating our cul-ture,” said Jeffrey Roessner, Ph.D.,dean of the School of Arts andHumanities and chair of the Eng-lish department. The program will maintain aninterdisciplinary focus because it willbe conducted between the commu-nication and English departments,operating from mostly pre-existing courses.“Most of the courses already exist and count for other degreerequirements,” Roessner said. “Stu-dents can take a number of inter-disciplinary courses that combinehistory and film, philosophy andfilm, world languages and film, andpsychology and film.”Both the integrated marketing major and film studies minor willbe offered this fall.
By Joseph Pudlick
Contributing writer
Poet Gary Myers was a professor at Mercyhurst College in the English department from 1986-1989 and came back to speak at the ninth annual Literary Festival.
 Jill Barrile photo

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