MSG strives to improve apartments

By Kieston Bromley
Staff Writer
Many students would agree that a renovation to the Briggs and Lewis apartments is needed and Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) is taking action to make that happen. The Campus Life Committee and Vice President for Student Life Gerard Tobin, Ph.D., meet monthly to choose goals to strive for. Currently, their goal is to look into students’ opinion on apartments and see what students think should be improved upon. They enact this goal through surveys that engage students in the consideration process. MSG acts as a middleman between the students and the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees. “[It] is also the “voice” of the student body,” said Sarah Allen, assistant director of the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership Development. MSG will present a report of apartment improvements to the Board of Trustees, who play a huge role in how the university budget is doled out, during the Board of Trustees meeting in February. At the end of 2012 fall term, MSG conducted a survey that asked questions about maintenance and what should be improved in the apartments. According to MSG President Richard Molloy, these surveys were painstakingly conducted door-to-door and face-to-face. “Students seemed glad that we were doing something [visibly] proactive about the situation,” Molloy said about the decision to do a face-to-face survey rather than an online survey. MSG paid specific attention to apartments, previously housing three students that now house four students or will do so in the future. The number of apartments to hold four students is expected to increase in the future. “Briggs and Lewis street apartments will become strictly four resident apartments again [in the future],” said senior and Resident Assistance Adrianne LaGruth. An apartment meant for three people can comfortably accommodate all three residents but the inclusion of a fourth resident makes space a serious issue. One of the ways they have come up with to deal with the space issue is to replace the bulky wooden furniture currently in apartments. With slimmer furniture and dressers that can be stacked horizontally instead of vertically under beds, space will be saved. Though the surveys are still in processing because of the great volume of responses, according to Allen, there has been a trend in which rooms students consider need improvements. The kitchen and the bathroom are two areas where problems exist. Since the apartments are old, many built in the 1940s, there is a great deal of strain in these two areas. For example, ventilation in bathrooms is adequate, but no available window means that sometimes bathrooms stay moist

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December 5, 2012

Student faces serious problems with ther drain from mold and mildew in her apartment.
and this encourages mold growth which is a health concern. “The cost to renovate one apartment is relatively small,” said Tobin.

Contributed photo

“But when there are many apartments that need improvements the cost becomes great. Thus, implementing a gradual process of improving apartments is a great concern of future endeavors.” Some apartments, such as the Highland Square apartments on Briggs Avenue, could be redone into high end apartments for students in order to deal with aging apartments and space issues. However, there is a catch. Students would have to pay more for these high end apartments. “[It would] cost different amounts depending on where a student lives,” said Tobin, “but students would have to pay more to live in the high end apartments [than a regular apartment].” The apartment improvements survey collected well over 250 responses and so far boasts a mainly positive student response.

Twerking workout provides

exciting exercise at REC
By Juan Mendez
Staff Writer
You’ve read the word on some social network, maybe watched a video on YouTube, or just heard someone say it: “twerking” might be one of the year’s sensations. Although the fever started a few years ago, after a series of videos of a group of girls who named themselves “Twerk Team” were uploaded to YouTube, the dance style has garnered legitimate mainstream attention thanks to rappers including the word — a mixture of “twitch” and “jerk” — in the lyrics to their songs. Now, freshman Kennethea Wilson instructs a twerking class at the REC Center. The workout is said to help “tighten your abs, tone your legs, and shape your butt,” and takes place on Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. at the REC Center. Student reactions have been positive, praising the originality of the course. Sophomore Alexis Pringle said, “It’s a fantastic workout. It’s a fun, new alternative to exercising.” “My sister has been into twerking for awhile and is really good at it. Now that it’s at Mercyhurst I’d like to learn the skill like my sister,” senior Lindsay Ogden said. The workout is very fast paced and typically features a combination of quick arm and buttocks movements. The class is a first of its kind at the

Mercyhurst University Police & Safety

Recreation Center and provides a whole new type of exercise. Despite knowing little about the new exercise, students are still excited to try something new. “The new twerk class sounds really interesting. Something I’d really have fun doing and definitely worth a shot. I plan to go next week,” sophomore Lauren Smith said. Others are not so sure about the class. “The class seems very odd. The dance movements seem to resemble those of an exotic dancer,” senior Benjamin Snedden. Wilson can be contacted for questions at kwilso24@lakers.mercyhurst. edu.

Monday, Nov. 26 Possession of drug paraphernalia Warde Hall Res-life incident Friday, Nov. 30 Criminal mischief to vehicle Lot #1 Referred for discipline Friday, Nov. 30 Larceny 3923 Lewis Ave. Referred for discipline Sunday, Dec. 2 Liquor law violation Warde Hall Res-life incident

Police Log

Please send all nominations with a brief summary of why they deserve the award to
MSG members and the Merciad staff are exempt from being nominated.

Know anyone that deserves to be Laker of the Month?

Students build houses in New Orleans
By Kayla Kelly
Features editor
While most of us were spending our Thanksgiving break relaxing at home, 16 students and three chaperones went to New Orleans for six days to help rebuild houses that were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Throughout the duration of their trip they worked on three houses, which were all at different stages of repair. The students worked on these houses with Project Homecoming, an independent program to help those in need. Director of Service Learning Colin Hurley was one of the chaperones that accompanied the students. “Sometimes we had to go backwards to go forwards,” Hurley said. Some of the existing houses needed to be gutted before they could prepare for rebuilding. When they were ready to be restored, there were various jobs that had to be done to renovate the homes to their proper conditions. When not working on the houses, the group got to explore New Orleans and help the city in additional ways. They volunteered at the local

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Students work together to rebuild houses in New Orleans over Thanksgiving break.
soup kitchen and helped give out food through the New Orleans mission. Junior Bobby Sumner said this was his most rewarding experience. “My most rewarding experience was going out and connecting with the homeless by giving them food and water because it’s a lot different from having people come in to a soup kitchen. We got to see them in their environment, rather than them coming to us. It was an eye-opening experience,” Sumner said.

Contributed photo

Another student commented on his favorite experiences. “I enjoyed meeting the house owner of where we were doing our build because it was good to see what our work was going toward,” said junior Joe LaGruth, “Also, Bourbon

Street was a lot of fun.” In addition, to visiting Bourbon Street, they went to the Po’ Boy Festival and toured the city. “We dined with the rich and the poor,” Hurley said. The trip gave students and chaperones the opportunity to grasp a deeper understanding of people of New Orleans and the city life. Hurley also believed one of the elements students learned from this trip was the importance of community. As a group they shared meals, laughed and worked together, so as their trip was nearing its end, everyone was sad to see it end. If you are interested in helping with upcoming builds or attending a similar trip, over spring break a group is going to North Carolina and spots are still available. You can contact Campus Ministry for more information. In addition, Service Learning and Campus Ministry are planning on going to the New Jersey coast over spring break to help with the Hurricane Sandy relief. To sign up for more service learning trips, visit the service learning page on the Mercyhurst portal.

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MSG hosts Great Room grand re-opening
By Mark Vidunas
Staff Writer
This Sunday, Dec. 2, Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) held its grand re-opening of the newly re-done Carolyn Herrmann Student Union Great Room. In conjunction with last year’s Senior Class Gift committee, MSG had been working on the project for about a year to update and refurbish the Union. Actively changing the room over the summer and in the fall, the new Student Union now holds a new soundproof glass wall, four new flat-screen HDTV’s with Direct TV’s NFL Sunday package, new furniture and end tables, accent rugs, a new pool table, two new foosball tables and art-work. The event included a ribbon cutting ceremony with many in attendance and a viewing party of the Steelers vs. Ravens game, with plenty of free food and drinks. MSG President Richard Molloy had a few words to say on the event. “We are excited for students to see the finished project of over a year,” said Molloy. “We took inspiration for the project from the old room where the sisters used to play pool. We wanted to update and modernize it, make it functional. It’s really great to see students using it a lot already and that we had a great turn out today.” MSG Vice President Brian Lombardo added, “I think that this is a great project. It’s one of the biggest MSG has done in a long time. It’s now a place students can come to relax and enjoy the space. A lot of the credit for this goes to the MSG Board from last year and the Senior Class Gift Committee. It really was a team effort.” There was a large turnout for the event, with the food being gone minutes after the ribbon cutting. Student reactions to the upgraded room seemed to be very positive. “It’s exciting to see people already using the new Great Room,” senior Kelley Clarke said. Senior Nikki Sherretts agreed with Clarke. “I think it provides a better atmosphere for students to hang out, as opposed to before,” said Sherretts. “There are a lot more activities for students to do together now.”


Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Mercyhurst radio station will transition into a new mixed format. The transition will occur to get more students involved with the radio station with music that they enjoy. The new format will allow students to host their own radio shows with a music layout of their choice, according to university officials. WYNE-AM station (North East) and WMCE-FM station will merge together under the new format and will be accessed on Athletic events will be advertised and enhanced on the station at various times. During times shows are not airing, classic 60’s, 70’s and 80’s hits will be played. Jazz music will be moved online and streamed 24/7 on Students are encouraged to join and get involved in the radio station. Shows currently airing are Captain Dan in the Morning, Spanish Radio and Polka Party. Several classic hits are included in these shows. Shows in the making include Choice Cut with Dennis Lebec, The Brady G Show and Love Songs with Sarah. These stations will have public access Monday, Jan. 7, on both 88.5 FM, 1530 AM and online at In addition, a logo creation contest will commence to refresh the make-over of the station. The winner will receive a $50 dollar VISA gift card. Entries are due Friday, Dec. 21, electronically to communication@ Files should be submitted in PDF form and the winner must submit their entry as a vector file. Any proposals for student run shows should be sent to Dan Geary at 824-2264 or at

News Brief
Radio station gets new look

December 5, 2012

Contributed photo

Richard Molloy, Jenna Dascanio, Brian Lombardo, Sr. Rita, Christine Barber, Sarah Allen and Preston Reilly attended the re-opening of the Great Room to celebrate the additions.

Fashion Club raises funds with Christmas items
Fashion Club is getting into the holiday spirit with the Christmas fundrasier this week. This Thursday and Friday (Dec. 6-7) in the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union from 11a.m. - 2 p.m., members of the club will be selling Christmas items and treats on the front table. Personalized fashion merchandising koozies are one of the several items sold at the table. Come finish your Christmas shopping by making a purchase and supporting the club.

Carpe Diem Academy urges votes for violins
Mercyhurst University’s Carpe Diem Academy and the Greater Erie Youth Symphony Orchestra are competing to win a $15,000 grant for free violin lessons to children in Erie’s inner-city. The winner is determined by a popular vote and the entire Erie community is encouraged to vote. The grant given from a $60,000 share from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority. Voting will continue until Wednesday, Dec. 12, at noon. Only one vote per person for each category of the $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 grants. Votes can be cast at

Student Union offices collaborate on ‘Miracle on 38th Street’
By Preston Reilly
Contributing writer
The “Miracle on 38th Street” might look and sound familiar to some students, because it is a re-vamped version of what has been called “Christmas on Campus.” The administrative offices in the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union have been working together to continue a longstanding Christmas tradition at Mercyhurst. The Campus Involvement Center, Campus Ministry, the Office of Service Learning, the Marion Shane Multicultural Center and Parkhurst Dining Services are collaborating to continue the campus tradition, while preparing for changes brought by the new 4-1-4 academic schedule next year. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 14, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the student union. Organizers of the event hope to create the same service-centered feel that has been present in past events by bringing together Mercyhurst University and the Erie community. Fifty children ages 4-10 from local agencies will visit campus for the afterschool program, giving Mercyhurst students a chance to give back to the community. A more intimate and meaningful event is the goal, achieved by limiting the number of participants this year. This year agencies include the House of Mercy, the MLK Center, JFK Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Erie. Each child will be matched up with a student volunteer, whom they will participate with in various crafts and activities provided by Registered Student Clubs and Organizations (RSCO). The event also includes Christmas carols, holiday dancing, Christmas tree lighting and a visit from Santa. Children will each receive a Christmas

December 5, 2012


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gift and have an opportunity to make and pick out gifts for their parents or guardians. Volunteer numbers are being capped at 50 and all volunteers must attend a meeting Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Student Government Chambers. If interested in volunteering, contact Activities and Spirit Coordinator Preston Reilly at preilly@mercyhurst. edu.

Graphic Design alum Kaitlin Badger’s snowboard design picked by Target
By Abigail Robinson
Staff writer
Every major at Mercyhurst has a capstone class for seniors to take that combines all of the knowledge they learned in their four years. For one hardworking student, her final project can now be found in Target stores nationwide. Kaitlin Badger graduated in 2012 from the Graphic Design program and she created a snowboard design for a project in her Portfolio Development class. When looking for jobs, graphic design majors are required to present a portfolio of their complied work to present to their potential employers. This class focuses on how to create said portfolio in a professional manner. Jodi Staniunas-Hopper teaches the class and explained that students are learning how the system of “getting something produced” works. In order for that to happen, Staniunas-Hopper partnered the class with a local design studio Core Creative. Core Creative has a local manufacturer as a client, and Target is a client of that manufacturer. There are many phases the work has to go through including countless revisions, tweaks, channels, and focus groups before it manages to land itself on the desk of the Target marketing department. Target was shown about 30 different designs and Badger’s design was the chosen one. The manufacturer created an additional three designs available for sale at other locations. “It was a cool moment, walking into Target and seeing the snowboard and thinking, I did that, but if it wasn’t for Jodi [Staniunas-Hopper] it never would have happened,” Badger said. Staniunas-Hopper is also proud. “I am thrilled that after all the work put in that Kaitlin’s design was selected. We can only hope to strike magic again. We are currently meeting with the design firm to get our marching orders (trend reports) to create board designs for 2013-14 winter,” she said. Badger explained her design process as one that was very difficult for her, because she was completely out of her comfort zone. “As students, you learn the basics of graphic design and certain ways to portray things, but this project was very complex, and I had to make a design that I would not usually make,” Badger said. She explained her design was targeted to a younger demographic and thought that geometric shapes and bright colors would be best to appeal to that audience. Badger is currently working for Noresco in Pittsburgh and she is continuing her passion for graphic design. She is using her graphic and web design skills to convince companies to reduce their emissions. She is making posters and websites to ultimately attract people to use energy saving behaviors daily. “I am extremely happy to represent Mercyhurst,” said Badger. “But I especially want to thank Jodi [Staniunas-Hopper] because she does so much for her students, to enable us to make connections and get hands-on experience with real clients.”

Kaitlin Badger takes a photo with her new Target snowboard design. photo

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Campus Ministry provides shelter
By Daniel Tarr
Staff writer
There is a rise of homelessness in Erie, Pa. With the winter months coming up, it’s going to become even more dangerous for people living out on the streets. To make matters worse, homeless shelters in the city have started turning people away. To counter this, Mercyhurst University Campus Ministry is starting a movement of emergency homeless shelters for those who cannot get into a regular one. The issue of homelessness was first brought up at a public meeting on Monday, Oct. 19. After the meeting, churches and other facilities decided to host themselves as emergency shelters. The emergency homeless shelter movement began Saturday, Dec. 1, and will continue until the beginning of April. Campus Ministry plans to have select groups of students and employees to stay overnight at the emergency shelters. The overnight groups will be split into two shifts. The first shift will stay at the shelters from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and the second shift will stay at the shelters from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. Students can earn service learning credit if they participate in one of


December 5, September 3, 2008 2012

Hurst to Haiti: Schools of Gros Morne
Senior Caitlin Handerhan enjoyed blogging about her Haiti trip. Amid steamy temperatures, we ventured from the seclusion of our convent to visit students in Gros Morne. Our first stop walking through Gros Morne was a visit to the John XXIII school. As we entered the open-air high school, Sister Marilyn, Sister Annette and Dag, our Haitian born-American raised translator gathered to wait for the girls as I took a stroll through the main hall way of the school. Walking through the school, I saw classroom after classroom packed with students. They stared at that crazy white girl in the tie-dyed t-shirt with the big camera, waving and calling in Creole for me to come to their classrooms. Not wanting to disturb classes, I headed back towards the entrance where Sister Marilyn was, surrounded by a few girls in their school uniforms.

these two shifts. “This is only a short term emergency solution. We’re not trying to build a brand new shelter,” said Director of Campus Ministry Greg Baker. “We just want to get these people off the streets so that they don’t die from the cold winter weather up ahead.” Campus Ministry is also planning on looking at affordable housing. They plan to do this in order to reduce the amount of homeless people in the city of Erie. For more information regarding the emergency homeless shelters or to get involved, contact Greg Baker at (814) 824-2301 or

Dr. Rodriguez joins criminal justice dept.
By Derek Smith
Contributing writer
This year Mercyhurst University has welcomed 25 new faculty members, including Frank Rodriguez, Ph.D. Rodriguez is a member of Mercyhurst’s Criminal Justice Department. He currently teaches American Criminal Justice, but has taught Criminology and Police System and Procedures at other schools. Rodriguez was born in the southern tip of Texas only five miles away from the Mexican border. “When I look at the map, and see where I was born in the southern tip of Texas, I see that a lot of Mexico was north of me,” he said, “It’s very easy to see how different my life could have been.” Rodriguez lived on the border for several years and saw the hardships that workers from Mexico experienced. From a young age Rodriguez wanted to be a police officer, influenced by his uncle who was a member of the Edinburg Police Department. “Growing up when I was three or four years old, I would see my uncle in his police uniform, and I would see him with his badge and his gun–to me he looked like a soldier. And then he would come over with his police car, and he would turn on his siren and his horn and it was like Christmas,” Rodriguez said. After high school, Rodriguez went on to get his undergraduate in criminal justice and went into the police academy at age 21. Rodriguez is a former police officer of Pegresso Police Department in Pegresso, Tex. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas Pan America, and earned his master’s and doctorate degree from Prairie View A&M University. During this time he received his doctorate in criminal justice with a specialization in juvenile justice. After receiving his degrees he went on to teach at University of Texas Pan-American, Prairie View A&M University and the University of Houston Downtown. He has taught almost every age group: bilingual kindergarten classes, middle school, high school and at the collegiate level. He has also coached baseball for a juvenile home and for a high school varsity team. Rodriguez quit the police department, realizing that the work was just not for him. He disliked having to work such a stressful job, and dealt with some very gruesome situations. “It takes a very special kind of person to be a police officer,” Rodriguez said. After leaving the force, Rodriguez moved to California to live with his sister and while living there his younger brother died. His brother had been working all day in the hot Texan summer and had been out drinking, which left him dehydrated. His brother then got into trouble with the police and was maced and tazed by the officer, shutting down his liver. This incident led Rodriguez to get his master’s and Ph.D. so he could teach at the collegiate level and educate the people who would be in these situations. “I love this campus. I fell in love with this campus the first time I walked on to it,” said Rodriguez. He added that he views his coworkers as “a family away from the family.”

Contributed photo

Girls gather around for picture at the John XXIII school.
What I didn’t see was the group of girls coming down the stairs to my right, and I was immediately plastered with kisses from the new arrivals. Caught completely off guard, I didn’t realize it has a sign of respect to kiss the cheek of a person in greeting as well as goodbye. After I recovered from the initial shock, it was quite an endearing custom. After the greetings were concluded, Sister Marilyn spoke to a few of the girls and we learned a little more about their school day. After saying goodbye, we left the gated area of the school, and headed further into the city. The sights that met us past the school were astounding. Not only were people living in extreme poverty, but also they were cheerful. Going about their daily lives with such a sense of normalcy, since this is the only life they have known. Some were perplexed by my camera, and seemed to shy away from it, but others were happy to pose for a photo. Snapping countless pictures as we went, I was able to get many great candid shots of daily life in Gros Morne. Turning down a side street, Sister Annette took us up to a black metal door, looking foreboding with bars on top. This was the school we were visiting next. Never would I have picked this out as a building with daily operations, let alone a school. But our walk back up to our lodgings was nothing like the commute some of these girls must make. The trials and tribulations these girls go through in the pursuit of education amazed me. I really took for granted not only the proximity I am to my schooling, but how readily available is was to me in the U.S. Stay tuned to learn more about Caitlin’s trip to Haiti in upcoming columns.

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Well-known opera singers visit campus
By Mathew Anderson
A&E editor
Earlier this week, the D’Angelo Department of Music was joined by the company of two international opera singers who now teach voice at the Depaul School of Music in Chicago, Il. Voice Coordinator Jane Bunnell and Professor of Voice Marc Embree not only attended the Student Forum performance class held in Walker Recital Hall every week to hear a random selection of the D’Angelo School of Music’s talent, but also gave three individual voice lessons to one Mercyhurst student and two alumna while here. After attending the student forum

Friends of Mercy return to campus
By Ethan Dovensky
Contributing writer
As you walk through the ground floor of Old Main you will notice that from end to end the walls hold a vast amount of artwork. These are all part of the “Friends of Mercyhurst” Art Show, now in its seventh showing. Each artist participating in the exhibition has a connection with the University, ten of which are former students and seven are Mercyhurst faculty members. Many of the artists have participated in the show in previous years, donating works to the Mercyhurst College Permanent Art Collection, which is graced with works from the “Friends” exhibits. A featured work in the show is “Raku Place: The Bamboo Rock”– a mixed media installation by Governor’s Artist of the Year Award Recipient Susan Kemenyffy. Raku Place is a 47-acre botanical art garden run by Susan Kemenyffy and an Edinboro University art professor. “Raku Place: The Bamboo Rock” is modeled after a bamboo grove within the garden with a prominent large rock in the middle of the grove. The display takes up the entirety of the alcove adjacent to the financial aid office, comprised of bamboo stalks along the walls, short cordgrass covering the floor, and a cutout of the boulder in the center. Another interesting work is a mobile by David Seitzinger titled, “Healing.” Seitzinger is an Erie metal artist who also collaborated with Gary Cacchione on the Giant Quacker, which is the large duck seen around the campus. The metal mobile hangs in the center of the hallway, and is comprised of colorful geometric shapes on each arm of the mobile. One Mercyhurst alumnus, Scott Rispin, has three works in the pro-

The Friends of Mercy art show is housed on the first floor of Old Main and features an extensive collection of art, including this painting created by James Vredevoogd.

Sarah Hlusko photo

class, Bunnell and Embree joined a group of voice majors in their Opera Workshop class and gave a lecture on important information for the students to know if they were to pursue their careers in performance. One of the most important and fundamental pieces of information given to the students was done by Embree, who said that one of the most important aspects of voice is breath control and support, without which, proper technique cannot be sustained. The voice students here at Mercyhurst owe this amazing opportunity to meet and work with internationally acclaimed singers to D’Angelo Department Chair Louisa Jonason, who became close friends with both Bunnell and Embree when the three performed in New York City together.

gram. Two of them are small gauche paintings depicting French Creek, with dark tones in “French Creek Shade Prequel” and the impression of water ripples in “French Creek Saegertown.” Dispersed throughout the hallway are pieces of driftwood art by Brian Pardini. Near the doors to Preston Hall resides the Guardian of the Steppe, resembling a bust of a man with a long face, and the Rising figure, which looks like a standing person with arms stretched out to embrace an unknown thing. This exhibition is a display of the wonderful talent that Erie has to offer and will come to an end on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Be sure to take a stroll through the first floor of Old Main to check out this truly one-of-a-kind works from artists that help give Erie a creative atmosphere we can all be proud of. Looks like “The Quacker” isn’t the only piece of art to take notice of.

Langer Film Series: ‘Where Do We Go Now?’ photo

Set in a remote village where the church and the mosque stand side by side, “Where Do We Go Now?” follows the antics of the town’s women to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war. Women heartsick over men lost to previous flare-ups unite to distract their men with clever ruses, from faking a miracle to hiring a troupe of Ukrainian strippers.

Taylor Little Theater Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 - 2:15 p.m. & 7:15 p.m.


Full list of events can be found on the PAC website

View upcoming performances:

www.merciad.mercyhurst. edu/arts_entertainment

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‘Tis the Season,’ a holiday treat
By Mathew Anderson
A&E editor
The holiday season now seems to be synonymous with holiday performances of music and dance. This year at Mercyhurst is no different as the dance department prepares for this weekend’s performance of “Tis the Season.” Held in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC), “Tis the Season” will run Dec. 7-9. Featured in the concert is a new creation of “Babes in Toyland,” choreographed by the dance department’s newest faculty, Melissa Bobick. The scene is set to an adaptation of the original score, Toyland is depicted vividly as two children are drawn into the mythical place on Christmas Eve. This section features Elaina Sutula and Kelsey Sawyer as the two girls who find themselves in Toyland. While in Toyland, the two girls meet, play and dance with a gaggle of life-like toys that take the forms of ballerina dolls, Hobbyhorses and Marionettes. When asked about her choreographic work, Bobick said, “When looking for a story to choreograph, I came across Babes in Toyland and, after some research, discovered it was originally an operetta by Victor Herbert premiered in 1903. I was lucky enough to find an instrumental adaption of the

December 5, September 3, 2008 2012

Collaborative orchestra concert delights D’Angelo audiences
By Marika Koch
Staff writer
When one thinks of autumn, one thinks of a number of things: the solemn beauty of the landscape, the growing darkness of the season and the nobility of the more sensual seasons falling into winter. During the Mercyhurst Symphony Orchestra’s Fall Concert—directed by Dr. R. Scott Tomlison and performed in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Dec. 2— the themes of nobility and the diverse colors of beauty were exemplified and carried throughout the whole of the performance. The program featured a number of pieces by such famous names as Bartok, Britten and Beethoven, as well as some newer and more well-known works, such as an orchestral arrangement of “O Holy Night.” The program was also unique in that this concert was the first in Mercyhurst University’s history to feature an orchestra integrated with members of orchestras from Penn State Behrend, Gannon University, SUNY Fredonia, as well as Mercyhurst students and alumni. This experiment was very well-received. Sophomore Rosalie Reed said, “I really liked the connection between the areas; it’s always good to bring in a greater sense of community in our music program.” The performance started wonderfully strong with the perennial favorite Beethoven, and a piece called the “Namensfeier Overture” (the “Name Day Overture”). The ‘Canzonetta’ followed the first movement, and provided contrast with its delicacy and Romantic-sounding leading tones and minor tonalities longing to return to major. The final movement of this work, the “Tarantella,” was quick, spirited, and with a strong brass solo following behind. It could remind one of anything from a kind of chase to a children’s song. The next piece on the concert, “Lullaby,” by William Hofeldt, proved to be one of the most popular from the audience’s perspective, even though it came from a composer whose name isn’t as recognizable as Beethoven’s. Senior Kaleigh Hubert said, “I really liked the ‘Lullaby’ because it was slower, different, and it flowed well with the rest of the performance.” Indeed, this piece began to show something that wasn’t so spirited and ardent as the rest of the works in the program, but allowed for a bit of a lull in the emotional action of the concert. The gorgeous rolling chords in the cello with a sweet, simple violin melody over top that continued through the piece made a work that sounded quite modern. It maintained these qualities while remaining an orchestral masterpiece to be respected among the likes of Britten and Bartok.

Students from the Penn State Behrend orchestra joined those from Mercyhurst for an excellent display of musical camaraderie last weekend. The collegiate orchestras gave a stunning performance of bright and light hearted works conducted by Mercyhurst’s own Dr. R. Scott Tomlison.

Salina Bowe photo

Bela Bartok, a composer known for his efforts in preserving folk music, followed, with a brilliant selection of short, characteristic folk tunes called “Romanian Folk Dances.” These were all small pieces that seemed to form character studies, pieces that lasted hardly a minute each, but which gave one a sense of music from that area of Eastern Europe: Wide, open fifths, bright, winding themes, and a surging strength brought every one of the works together pleasingly. A seasonally satisfying arrangement of “O Holy Night” followed, with a beautifully shared melody and a very modern sound in the percussion. The program concluded with the popular “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss Sr., and struck one by its precision and utter brightness. The themes of the concert were very much appreciated by the audience at large, and one hopes that we shall be able to have more performances of this collaborative sort in the future. Freshman Nhi Tran was particularly impressed. “This was the first time I went to an orchestra concert; I liked the music because of the orchestra’s expression.” Tran said. Although there will always be some small technicalities to be worked out, Mercyhurst University succeeded in an emotional sense with this very diverse fall concert.

score that works quite nicely for dance. Throughout the piece’s history there have been many versions of the Babes in Toyland story, and most of them are extremely complicated. Taking inspiration from each of these different versions, I created an original holiday-themed story that works well for ballet.” Also featured in this incredible holiday performance, the Mercyhurst Dances will perform “Santa’s Toy Shop,” which includes seasonal magic such as Santa’s reindeer, frolicking elves, and tap-dancing soldiers all topped off by jolly old Saint Nick himself. The Liturgical Dance Ensemble, directed by C. Noelle Partusch, choreographed to J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio,” will perform “A Multitude of Angels.” The event will be topped off by musical performances in the lobby before the concert and a special treat from Saint Nick for each child. Performances are on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. in the PAC. Tickets for the weekend performances are $15.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and students, $7.50 for President’s Cardholders, $5 for youths 12 and under, and $3.50 for Mercyhurst students. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 824-3000. A preview performance will also be offered Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m. with all tickets selling for $5.

December 5, 2012


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The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst University, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be emailed to

Mercyhurst radio station outdated
Station’s jazz line-up not appealing to students
By Stacy Skiavo
News editor
When I turn on the radio, whether I’m doing homework or driving in the car, I want to hear music I enjoy. I would like to think that I listen to a wide range of music and am pretty accepting of most genres. Still, I have never turned on the radio and searched until I found jazz music. Here at Mercyhurst we have 88.5 Jazz FM, the station that plays nothing but jazz. Call me crazy, but I do not think most of the student body enjoys the melodies of jazz music. As a transfer student, my old school had a wide-ranged fan base for their radio station that allowed the students to have their own radio shows. The DJs were allowed to play whatever they liked as long as the music was appropriate. I frequently listened to the radio shows and, most importantly, enjoyed the music. The music ranged from popular songs today to indie and alternative and more. I enjoyed the music and hearing my favorites as well as discovering new catchy tunes. I have never had the desire to listen to 88.5 Jazz FM, nor do I know anyone else that has either. To me it is common sense that the genre the kids are listening to is not jazz. I also wonder how the idea for a 24/7 jazz station came about? Isn’t a college radio station supposed to be for the students? Which brings me to my point of why doesn’t our radio station play anything the students want to listen to? For example, our friendly college neighbor, Gannon University, plays a mixture of alternative and popular songs that people in the college age group listen to. I personally enjoy listening to the station and know several other people at Mercyhurst that also enjoy the songs. Considering our school rivalry with Gannon, the fact that many students prefer their station to ours is supporting the enemy. Gannon’s radio station caters to their students want to listen to. Jazz seems to be catering to possibly the older faculty here? 88.5 Jazz FM currently lacks student involvement. If the station gave more leeway for students and allowed them to have shows outside the jazz world, I’m sure the participation would increase. Students don’t want to play or listen to music they do not enjoy. It’s a great opportunity to have a radio station on campus; however, if the students are not listening to it, then what’s the point? Gaining the experience from working on a college radio station is a wonderful thing to put on a resume. It’s a way students can express themselves and get involved on campus. It saddens me such a hands-on experience seems to be going to waste. I am happy to hear that changes are coming to the station, with hopes to revive the failing outlet on campus. Hopefully, in future years students will be jamming to their own school’s station instead of our rivals down the street.

Good mentors make all the difference to students
By Jaslyne Halter
Staff writer
I find it really amusing how all college students, whether they wish to admit it or not, will have feelings of doubt and failure, feeling as though they are not doing enough or will never succeed in their field. Furthering my amusement, come the times when professors tell a students to reconsider their future telling them that they “aren’t a fit” and that they “won’t succeed.” However, in the midst of those doubts, feeling lost in a sea of undergrads, feeling as though it is going to be nearly impossible to make your dreams come true, comes a professor that makes you rethink all of your doubts; with a professor whom you were not even supposed to have, but got stuck wtih because the other class was already filled when you tried to schedule. It is funny how family and friends can support you, but you feel as though they speak out of obligation. It is different when someone unbiased tells you the same things that your family does. It is funny how that professor you considered the “last resort” turns into the professor who tells you what you do well and how little improvements will help you, that knows you will succeed, and makes sure that he lets you know when you are succeeding. In the midst of this holiday season, I have been trying to think about all of wonderful people that I have encountered, things to be thankful for, and trying to let everyone know how much I appreciate them. So, here’s to you, unnamed professor, for unknowingly changing my entire perspective of myself and everything that I do on campus. Thank you for helping me to unmask the potential that, by the discouraging words of other advisers and the comments of others, I did not see. Thank you for pushing me, making me a better student, seeing the time and effort I put into your class, and subtly acknowledging it. Thank you for helping me to see through the negativity that I had

about myself and my progression through the department, and for opening doors I didn’t think I could open before. I think that everyone has one of these encounters, whether it is in school, a job, or just in their day-today lives. It is necessary to take a look at the grand scheme of things once in a while. I don’t necessarily have an explanation, or any particular beliefs, but I know that everything happens for a reason. I can’t explain why, but everyone in life has a destiny, a place where they are to ultimately find themselves one day. Sometimes it just takes an individual, or perhaps a few, to figure out where your life is supposed to go. Occasionally you just need to put all of your cards on the table and see where you wind up. Blame it on miracles, religion, science or whatever you wish, I’ll just call it the game of life.

If you don’t want it printed . . . don’t let it happen. Editors Positions editormerciad Alicia Cagle Editor-in-Chief newsmerciad Stacy Skiavo News Editor featuremerciad Kayla Kelly Features Editor opinionmerciad Caitlin Handerhan Opinion Editor sportsmerciad Joe Chiodo Sports Editor entertainmentmerciad Mat Anderson A&E Editor copymerciad Chelsea Schermerhorn Copy Editor photomerciad Samantha Link Graphics photomerciad Zach Dorsch Photo Editor ejohns89 Ethan Johns Web Editor admerciad Laura Fiegelist Ad Manager wwelch Bill Welch Adviser

The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst University. It is published throughout the school year, with the exception of finals weeks. Our office is in Hirt, Room 120B. Our telephone number is (814) 824-2376. The Merciad welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and names will be included with the letters. Although we will not edit the letters for content, we reserve the right to trim letters to fit. Letters are due Mondays by noon and may not be more than 300 words. Submit letters to box PH 485 or via email at

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The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst University, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be emailed to


December 5, 2012

Holiday brings nation together
Student finds camaraderie in Black Friday sales
By Zack Yost
Students dining at the Laker on Sunday, Dec. 2, were entertained by an impromptu banana-beingchased-by-gorilla tumble through the dining area. The students wearing the respective banana and gorilla costumes identities’ are unknown. Regardless, all in the vicinity were greatly entertained by their antics. Staff writer
Once again the holiday season is here. In all this hustle and bustle it can be very easy to overlook many of the things we take for granted. As I was out shopping on Black Friday, I began to reflect on what I was witnessing in the vast teeming throng. When you stop to think about it, what goes on is truly miraculous. The day Black Friday itself is impressive. No one ever declared the day after Thanksgiving to be a holiday, yet it is widely celebrated all over the country. The government did not have to direct all of the nation’s retailers to have great deals and amazing giveaways, yet it happens and it happens on a vast nationwide scale. And what takes place on this holiday called Black Friday that sets it apart from other holidays? Firstly, it is very inclusive. You don’t have to be a certain race or follow a certain creed. All you need to do is want to get great deals. It doesn’t matter what holiday you plan on celebrating or your religious belief. People from all walks of life find themselves in close proximity and bump elbows with each other. Compare this to most other holidays that are celebrated with one’s family in one’s own home. There is nothing wrong with this, of course. I, for one, love being in the privacy of my home celebrating things with family and loved ones but this is one of the few holidays where you must be out in public and with your fellow man in order to partake, but the impressive spontaneous order that has established Black Friday is nothing when you begin to reflect on what is actually going on. Whenever you buy something at the checkout in the mall you are only the last in a huge line of voluntary interactions and exchanges that has resulted in the shirt or TV or iPod or whatever it is that you wish to purchase. Thousands upon thousands of people have worked to make it possible for you to buy whatever you want to buy. It is impossible to trace the long list of people involved in getting something on a shelf for you to choose in the department store. Take a television, for example. From the rare earth metals, likely from China or Mongolia, to the plastic on the surface, each component requires additional components to be produced in the first place. Whether it was mining equipment to provide the various metals needed or massive oil rigs in the middle of the sea to provide oil to be refined for the various purposes for which it is required. Once the television is assembled, there are still thousands of people involved in getting it from the factory to the store. the product of thousands more people. A simple TV requires the cooperation of thousands and thousands of people in order to be bought by someone. Yet there is no central planner organizing this complex and mind boggling process. There is not an agency in charge of organizing and marshaling the vast resources and people needed to create a single TV. Rather, these thousands of diverse people from all over the world are able to have their actions coordinated by capitalism to stock the shelves of stores all over the world. I am astounded by this spontaneous order when I stop to think about it. Thousands of people are able to cooperate for their own self-interest in order to provide what I want to purchase on the shelf. I find it very fitting and frankly beautiful when I reflect on the purchases made on a spontaneously ordered holiday like Black Friday. The purchases represent the culmination of the thousands of diverse and different people’s efforts guided by the very same spontaneous order that has many of us waiting in line at 3 a.m. in the first place.

When you stop to think about it, what goes on is truly miraculous. - Zack Yost

For the first time in recent history, there are 4 weeks of classes before Christmas break instead of the traditional 3 weeks before we leave for the holidays.

Trucks need built to ferry the product to the shipping port, ships are needed to get the TV across the ocean. Gasoline is needed to power everything. There are distribution centers requiring computers and programs to track and organize the dispersal of the TV to various stores and outlets where still more people and resources are required from janitors to sweep the floors to cashiers each needing tools that are themselves

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The furniture in the honors lounge in is falling apart, complete with foul stains on the blue pillows adorning the couches. The aging decor might not need replaced, but a good cleaning wouldn’t hurt anyone.

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December 5, 2012

of the year; our ultimate goal being to win a Frozen Four. Unfortunately, our league doesn’t get an automatic bid into the tournament, so in order to achieve our goal we need to ensure we stay highly ranked,” Bram said. The Lakers have come together and worked hard all season, and the success they are having is backed by

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Women’s hockey continues to impress
By Joe Chiodo
Sports editor
With a nine-game win streak and a fantastic record of 14-1-1 overall, the Lakers’ women’s hockey team is an unstoppable force. After crushing Penn State University’s Nittany Lion’s 7-1 on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Lakers have improved their CHA (College Hockey America) conference record to 6-0-0. With all of these statistics, it should come as no surprise that the Lakers have managed to maintain a 4th place national ranking for Division I women’s hockey. In Saturday’s game against the Nittany Lions, sophomore Shelby Bram scored one goal and assisted in two others. With the goal, Bram has successfully scored in the last five games. “It always feels great to contribute to the team in any way I can, especially when the team’s doing so well,” said Bram. “I’m fortunate enough to be on a successful team, surrounded by great players.” The Lakers have plenty of goals to reach this season. “We always set team goals at the start

When you’re winning and having fun, everything else comes easy.
Shelby Bram

strong support all around. “I believe the success that we have had as a team so far this season is a demonstration everyone on the team, including our coaching staff ’s belief in the team and what we can do,” said Bram. “We are winning and having lots of fun, and when you’re winning and having fun, everything else comes easy.” The Lakers will travel to Pittsburgh to face Robert Morris University on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.

Sydney Cuscino photo

Shelby Bram brings the puck across the ice in the Laker’s game against Penn State University on Saturday.

Two freshman Lakers honored by PSAC
By Samantha Bante
Staff writer
Coming off of losing five out of six starters can be a challenge for any team, but Mercyhurst’s men’s basketball team is stepping up and making a name for themselves, on and off the court. With last year’s record of 18-10 the Lakers are looking to step it up on the court to make this year one to remember. Four new freshmen have proved to be a valuable addition to the team as well. Two freshmen who made PSAC Western Division player of the week are guard Beau Samuelson and forward Andy Hoving. Samuelson and Hoving have started in all the games thus far, standing out on the court. “I think the freshmen have a real challenge this year. They have to really work hard and try to fill in some

It’s all about working on our skills and really coming together as a team.
Gary Manchel

shoes that we lost last year, and they are called on to do a lot more,” Coach Gary Manchel said. “We have had our ups and downs so far. We have played well, but we look like a young team. It’s all about working on our skills and really coming together as a team,” Manchel added. With losing two seniors last year, along with three more key players, the Lakers are a younger team than usual, but looking to challenge their young players. With a close loss to East Stroudsburg University on Dec. 1, 62-67, and

Sydney Cuscino photo

Coach Gary Manchel advises the Lakers during their game against East Stroudsburg on Saturday.

a record of 2-3 thus far, the Lakers are fighting to be a contender this year. “We definitely have a tougher schedule this year. Four out of the five teams we play all have winning records and they are better than we thought. This is definitely one of the better years in the league for the teams so it is going to be a challenge for us,” Manchel said. Leading the way is captain and senior forward Luis Leao. With being all-league all three years, he is one of the Lakers’ stand-out players and looking to make a difference on the team. “Every year we expect to win, this is going to be a down year for us losing so many key players, but we might as well win, and still work as hard as we can,” Manchel said. The Lakers travel to Ohio for their next game on Wednesday, Dec. 5, against Notre Dame College.

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Men’s soccer reaches Final Four semis
By Joe Chiodo
Sports editor
The Lakers refused to go down without a fight in their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Final Four semifinals 4-1 loss to Lynn University on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Evans, Ga. After winning the regular season and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) playoff championship, the Lakers earned their spot in the NCAA Final Four. Although starting the season with three subsequent losses, sophomore Ryan Lund knew this year would be an improvement from last season. “I feel that we have proven many people wrong, especially since we started the season with three losses in a row. It was amazing to see such a different team after that,” said Lund. “After last year’s loss to Millersville in NCAA play, we were very determined to make a postseason run this year. We all knew we had a team with the quality to make it far, and felt we deserved to be in Georgia for the Final Four.” Lund recorded the only goal for the Lakers on Thursday, stopping Lynn University from having a shutout. Off a pass from sophomore teammate Dane Rimko, Lund headed a shot into the bottom left of the net. “We were just having a rough game and I believe it was important for us to see that we can score against a top ranked team at such a high level. Regardless of who scored the goal, it proved to us that we can play at the highest level,” Lund said. The Lakers’ journey to the NCAA Final Four had been in the planning Manea. “After the team came together after our first three games, we started to play like we wanted.” Lund believes the Lakers’ productive season is a result of their dedicated practice and time together. “This team had a perfect balance, in my mind, of experience and overall skill. We all bonded so well, and on the field we have been together through everything,” said Lund. With the Lakers’ year over, Manea can reflect on a remarkable 2012 season. “The team was pretty affected right after the game against Lynn University, but after a while we all looked at the entire season and thought that we had a huge step this year and for the following years,” Manea said. Lund is looking forward to next season, and another chance to reach the Final Four again. “We are looking to make it back to the Final Four for redemption to reach our goal of winning a title,” said Lund. “This year was very important for us to develop some experience that we can build off next season. Now that we have done that, we are determined to win a national title. It will be an exciting year.” Head coach Dale White knows that the Lakers are well on their way to claiming the national title they deserve. “Next season is a long way away, there are a lot of physical and mental preparation that needs to go in before we start to think about next season. The coaching staff did leave Augusta, Ga. with a very clear vision of the direction we have to go on the field if we want to capture a national title.


December 5, 2012

Sydney Cuscino photo

Ryan Lund dribbles downfield in the Lakers match against Lynn University. since before their season even began, but was not predicted to happen until the 2013 season. “Before the year started, we proposed to ourselves that we win the regional championship this year and make it to the Final Four next year,” senior Alex Manea said. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Manea was named to the Daktronics Honorable Mention All-American team. Manea recorded a team-high of 16 goals and seven assists. After redshirting due to injury last season, Manea returned this year to play his last season as a Laker. “I wanted to end my career here playing all season and I am glad I decided to redshirt and come back because we were very successful this year,” said Manea. “I wanted my last year to be the best I could make for myself, and to see myself accomplishing that feels great.” Manea pinpoints the Lakers’ incredible season success to the team’s unique blend of styles. “The players this year really complimented the style we have been trying to play for the past few years, which is one of continuous offense and possession. The players we had in the past years were not really that style,” said

Volleyball falls to Gannon in NCAA play
By Lindsey Burke
Staff writer
The Mercyhurst volleyball team fell to cross-town rival Gannon in the first round of NCAA play. The Knights also defeated the Lakers in the first round of PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) play; however, the team received an NCAA bid the following week. Senior Elyse Texido was named 2012 PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year, recording 666 digs, accounting for a new school record. Fellow seniors Becky Smith and Becky Leusch. Leusch finished the season with a team-high 343 kills, Smith added 248 kills alongside 124 blocks. Head coach Ryan Patton thinks the all-PSAC selections represent the team as a whole. “Our team’s trademark is how well we balance each other out,” said Patton. “In a lot of ways, having one or three players honored is truly honoring the whole team.” Senior Kiera Rebert agrees. “We were all extremely excited to have all-PSAC selections on our team, not only for the three amazing athletes but also for being recognized as a program,” said Rebert. “It fueled our confidence going into post season play.” After losing in the PSAC tournament, hopes for continuing on in NCAA play were all the team had left. “In mid-September, we looked at the standings and our hopes were bleak,” said Patton. “We knew we did not have much wiggle room, we had to get hot and spark a run, and we did.” The Hurst drew the task of trying to defeat the Golden Knights again, who were the No.2 seed in the region. With a 28-5 record, Gannon’s wins were the most by a Gannon volleyball team since 1993. “We spent time working on the little technical things at practice, we tweaked and improved the physical part of our game however; our mental side changed the most,” Rebert said. When the Hurst faced Gannon in the NCAA Tournament, the Lakers fell in a 4-game match. In the fourth match, the Lakers never gave up, rallying 10 straight points fueled by service aces from Elyse Texido. Mercyhurst finished with a 25-11 record, representing the most wins for

the program since 1993. The Lakers defeated every other team in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division for the first time ever. “An NCAA tournament appearance sets the tone for following seasons,” said Rebert. “It’s an exciting experience and a feeling that is contagious. It is now a goal the program will continuously strive for.” Along with Rebert, six other seniors exit the program in 2012. Elyse Texido, Becky Leusch, Becky Smith, Amanda Balasko, Katie Powell and Gretta Freyermuth.

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