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2009-10 athletic department budgets
Emergency texts alert Ecodemia offers students to campus update on ‘Hurst sustainabilty danger
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Opinion: Why write of sports and tuition?
Josh Shields set to pursue second title
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sense of pride. But these successes also come at a cost. Mercyhurst reported $76,685,276 in total expenses in its 2009-10 Accountant’s Report and Financial Statement. From that sum, more than $10.8 million was spent on the school’s 24 varsity sports, according to the U.S. Department of Education. That accounts for approximately 14 percent of the college’s annual operating budget. The expenditures include “gameday operating expenses” per team, recruiting money, sports related student aid and coaches’ salaries. Gannon University, Mercyhurst’s crosstown Division II rival, spent $5.8 million on athletics in 2008-09, the most recent year with numbers available at publication time. Edinboro University capped its athletic expenses at $5.3 million in 2009-10. With respective operating budgets of $93.6 million and $106.8 million at Gannon and Edinboro, the two area universities each spent
eight to nine percent less on athletics than Mercyhurst during the past two years. Although the ratio of student athletes at the three schools is unequal, with 569 student athletes at Mercyhurst, 406 at Edinboro and 282 at Gannon, Mercyhurst still spends signiﬁcantly more money on its sports teams. The Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) of 1994 requires all coeducational colleges that receive federal student aid to submit annual ﬁnancial athletics data. It provides data on total athletic spending, athlete scholarship totals by team, coaching salaries by team and “game-day expenses.” Mercyhurst spent just over $450,000 in game-day expenses to operate the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams in 2009-2010, and more than $250,000 went to the men’s basketball and football teams for similar costs. Gannon spent $146,313 on the men’s basketball and football teams’ game-day expenses, a number lower than Mercyhurst’s on the court and gridiron. Gannon does not offer varsity men’s or women’s hockey programs. While the U.S. Department of Education requires that these numbers be made publicly available, the information is generally not common knowledge. But with tuition increasing every year, students have the opportunity to know that a substantial proportion of their money ﬂows toward the west end of campus. “Institutions like Mercyhurst, which derive most of their revenue from student tuition, must pass most of their expense increases to their students in the form of tuition increases,” Mercyhurst’s website says on its page of frequently asked questions about tuition and fees. The question remains: Should Mercyhurst inform its current and prospective paying customers how much of their tuition money goes to funding athletics? “I don’t mind that they spend that
December 15, 2010
much money,” said senior Angela Mills. “But we should be told.” “If they give that much to athletes, other (non-athletes) should get equal (non-athletic) beneﬁts.” Mills said. But who provides this money? Where does it come from? At some colleges and universities, some of that money comes from a speciﬁc athletic fee, but Mercyhurst has no such fee. A look at the tuition billing breakdown for the current school year provided little information. Each student pays ﬁve fees in addition to tuition—green energy, registration, technology, student government and a building assessment fee—totaling $1,698. The ﬁve fees are distinctly itemized and available on the college’s website. The other $24,648 students pay in general tuition is not broken down. A more comprehensive breakdown of costs might allow students to see where their money goes.
Cost of play: How Mercyhurst funds its varsity sports
By Tori Pepicello
Last year, approximately one in seven dollars that Mercyhurst College spent went to varsity athletics. There’s little doubt that the college boasts some talented and dedicated athletes. Two of the athletic department’s most visible programs, football and women’s hockey, have made or could make history during the current school year. The football team went on an unprecedented run to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and the NCAA playoffs in October and November, while the national attention the women’s hockey program garners has enabled Mercyhurst to be selected as this spring’s host school of the women’s Frozen Four Tournament. The successes of these and other programs bring the college national and regional recognition and give the college and Erie community a
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Game-day expenses for 24 sports
December 15, 2010
Athletic expenses $10,818,479 vs. total budget
Mercyhurst $76,685,276 $5,663,321 Gannon $93,648,139 $5,333,592 Edinboro $106,793,559
cally associate with sports. These are all essential to running the department, but attracting athletes to attend Mercyhurst is where the majority of costs lie. “Our suspicion is that most people who play a sport would not have come here,” said Ludlow Brown, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy and head of the college’s Athletics Review Committee. The committee, which was organized ﬁve years ago at the request of the Faculty Senate, was formed to “study the general characteristics of athletics and how they reﬂect the mission statement of the college,” Brown said. “Our aim,” he said, “is to make everybody, including athletes, have a better experience.” Brown and the Athletics Review Committee are trying to answer basic questions based on the facts. “Would Mercyhurst be as recognized as it is without sports?” he asked. “I don’t think people realize how much representing of the college athletes do.” Brown and Mercyhurst Provost James Adovasio, Ph.D., offered an intriguing sentiment. “It’s naïve to think we could simply stop (offering athletics), and nobody here has that idea. Mercyhurst as an institution wouldn’t survive,” Brown said. Adovasio, who deals with both major and minor expenditures, including the college’s athletic department, said sports represent a more indirect but important revenue stream. “If the sports didn’t exist, I don’t think we’d be nearly as ﬁscally viable as we are,” he said. Still, some students say the college could beneﬁt from more transparency. Sophomore lacrosse player Kayla Minner agreed with Angela Mills. She, too, said she would like to see a cost breakdown. “It makes it so you know where your money is going,” Minner said. Minner said she thinks all money spent on sports ultimately goes back into the school and beneﬁts everyone. Sophomore Kylie McCormick agreed with Brown’s statement about the nature of student athletes. McCormick, a sophomore utility on the women’s water polo team said she would not be at Mercyhurst if not for athletics. Colleges in McCormick’s home state of Florida do not offer varsity water polo programs. “I looked in the Northeast, came here, loved the school and between academic scholarships and the polo program, it was a good ﬁt,” said McCormick. Many people assume students like McCormick are at Mercyhurst on full athletic scholarships, but that is not the case. While the college does spend a large sum on athletically related student aid—more than $5.6 million in 2009-10—these students are here for academic reasons as well. “As a Division II school, very, very few—maybe 35 or 40—are on a full scholarship,” Kimball said. “Usually they are here because they are a good student.” The notion that other students work and pay tuition so that athletes can beneﬁt is unfair, said Kimball. “They (other students) don’t understand how much time the athlete puts in,” he said.
Administration explains $10.8M sports budget
By Ethan Magoc
It’s not an easy budgetary tightrope to traverse. Finding a balance between ﬁelding competitive athletic programs and providing a ﬁnancially stable but valuable postsecondary experience is not a simple game. No one knows this struggle better than Mercyhurst College Provost James Adovasio, Ph.D., who also serves as dean for the college’s Zurn School of Natural Science & Mathematics. As provost, Adovasio spends much of his time helping to determine which departments, including athletics, receive exactly how much funding each year. Inevitably, some areas receive less than others. He and other college administrators closely weigh a cost-beneﬁt ratio in every decision. “Every once in a while, we look at a department and say, ‘Wow, these guys cost us a bundle. It’s probably not worth keeping them,’” Adovasio said. “They have ceased to attract people and they cost too much money.” Varsity athletics at Mercyhurst are not immune to such discussions. But Adovasio said the school’s 24 Division I and II sports programs play an integral role in the survival of the college. He cited the number of athletes who attend Mercyhurst without a full scholarship as actually helping to balance the college’s budget. “They still pay a substantial chunk of money to the school,” he said. “If they were not doing so, we wouldn’t be consistently delivering the revenue margin the Board (of Trustees) requires.” But upon ﬁrst glance, seeing that the college lists total athletic department revenue for 2009-10 in excess of $11 million is confusing. Few sports generate much of any money through ticket sales, and Mercyhurst does not feature the wide alumni donor base for athletic spending that larger universities do. “When you don’t have a huge endowment that you can freely plunder...then you have to make sure every dime you spend counts,” Adovasio said. Revenue, in this case, is actually another term for the college’s cost of doing business—how much tuition money does a competitive athletic department require? Colleges do not attempt to bury that fact, says Ludlow Brown, Ph.D, who heads Mercyhurst’s Athletics Review Committee. “It’s very difﬁcult to say where the pieces of a dollar go. Nobody’s trying to hide it,” he said. Still, in comparison with the yearly sporting expense budgets at Gannon, Edinboro and every other participating Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference institution, Mercyhurst’s $10.8 million athletic budget may seem excessive. Not even PSAC powerhouse California (Pa.) came close with its $9.2 million athletic expenses in 2009-10. Adovasio noted the availability of 24 programs—a number higher than any PSAC institution and many Division I universities—and the men’s and women’s hockey programs as being behind the bloated expense list. He also repeatedly described the athletic department as an important “recruitment vehicle.” The college became co-educational in 1969, and men’s sports were added shortly thereafter to help grow the school’s male student population. Golf and rowing were the ﬁrst in 1970-71, and basketball followed a year later. Forty years later, more than nearly one in four Mercyhurst male students played a varsity sport. In Adovasio’s opinion, that population, along with the heightened visibility that successful sports teams can bring to an institution, justiﬁes the college’s annual athletic expenditures. “Were I a student, I’d want to know ‘Is our investment in athletics compromising the educational product we can deliver?’” he said. “I don’t think that’s the case.”
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“There is no (athletic) fee per se,” said Director of Athletics Joe Kimball. This means that all of the money it takes to operate the 24 varsity sports teams offered at Mercyhurst ultimately comes from student tuition or other sources such as ticket sales or alumni donations. The former source is usually minimal since students are admitted to sporting events for free. Mike Lyden, vice president of enrollment, said compiling a more comprehensive breakdown of tuition for students and parents to view it is not that easy. “The vast majority of our revenues come from tuition and fees which are all lumped in a general fund,” said Lyden. “There are so-called ‘operating budgets’ for all different departments,” he said, ﬂipping through an enormous three-ring binder. The list contained everything from the Hammermill Library, Egan Hall Cafeteria and the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center to lecture series,’ summer education and janitorial services. “Every single department there is at the college is listed in there,” Lyden said. “It’s one long laundry list. Each has its own budget approved each year by its administrators, and athletics is the same way. “There is nothing from revenues that goes to each. It’s in one lump sum and allocated to different departments,” he added. Rent, advertising and postage are a few of the athletic department’s costs most people would not typi-
December 15, 2010
Emergency text messages alert Female student students of danger on campus nearly abducted
By Stacy Skiavo
In order to keep students safe, Mercyhurst College is required to notify students of any threats on or near campus. This is why Mercyhurst offers the E2Campus Emergency Messaging System. This text alert system was implemented in 2007 and has been widely used since then. Sophomore Laura Fiegelist said, “The whole idea is a really good way to inform students. A lot of people have texting and will receive the message quickly.” The system reaches almost half of campus with its 1,343 active users. Although, 2,500 people are signed up, various reasons, such as cell phone numbers changing, may have made several accounts inactive. “As long as we reach some, they will alert others,” said Administrative Assistant for Student Life Nadine Bower. “We just want to reach as many people as possible.” The system has been used for two real alerts and one timely notiﬁcation. The notiﬁcation was sent on Monday. Read the story at right for more details. The ﬁrst alert was during the construction of The Warde Residence Hall in 2009. A rough storm hit the area causing many shingles to blow off the roof, which put nearby students in danger. The alert was sent instantly, and no one was injured. The second text notiﬁcation was during a chemical spill on the third ﬂoor of Zurn Hall last year. Everyone was evacuated safely, and once again there were no injuries. Students were then allowed to re-enter the building several hours later. A text alert was also sent out this year on Nov. 4, but this was merely a test text to make sure the system was working properly. “We just wanted to make people aware of the system with the test run, and it worked,” Bower said. The only issue the system has faced is students misreading the ﬁrst text sent and not replying. If the student does not reply, the system will not activate for the user. Sophomore Kaylyn Stack said, “I’m not signed up for the system; however, I think it’s a great way to alert students of emergencies.” The system has remained about the same throughout the years with minor updates to remove students who have graduated or who have expired accounts. The layout is also the same, though an e-mail was added, and the message now appears on the portal. Sophomore Lisa Guest said, “I’m signed up for the text alert system, and I like knowing that if an incident should occur on campus I’ll know right away.” The alert system doesn’t just inform students and employees on the Mercyhurst campus. Several parents have asked to sign up to receive the text messages in order to be quickly informed of possible danger at Mercyhurst, according to Bower. Visit the Mercyhurst Portal at my.mercyhurst.edu and click on Residence Life and Student Conduct under the Campus Life menu in order to sign up for the E2Campus Emergency Messaging System.
According to the timely notiﬁcation Mercyhurst College students received on Monday, a female student was nearly abducted on Saturday on the corner of East 38th Street and Pine Avenue. A male approached her as she was walking to her apartment. He had a knife in his back pocket, and he asked, “Are you scared yet?” The man is a white male in his early 20s and is approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. He was wearing a dark colored leather jacket and jeans. Police and Safety Chief Robert Kuhn encourages students to travel in pairs when going to CVS. Students who are signed up for the E2Campus Emergency Messaging System received a text message on Monday to inform them about the abduction attempt. The text read, “A Timely Notiﬁcation has been added to the my. mercyhurst.edu site and sent to your Mercyhurst email...” Vice President of Student Life Dr. Gerard Tobin said this message was sent out so students would check their e-mail. The text did not include details of the incident because texts limit the number of characters that can be used, and Tobin said he was worried a brief message that was not speciﬁc would cause students to think there was “imminent danger” on campus. If there was imminent danger on campus, the message would relay the danger instead of telling students to check the Mercyhurst Portal. The text was sent out about 36 hours after the incident. Tobin said he is working to ﬁnd a better way to get emergency text messages to students on time.
Kirby Company salesman causes concern
By Ethan Magoc
Mercyhurst College commuter students living off-campus in southeast Erie may need to be on the watch for pushy, permit-less door-to-door salespeople hawking Kirby Company vacuums. On Friday, Nov. 12, a man and a woman pulled up at an apartment occupied by Mercyhurst students in the 500 block of East 36th Street. Two of these students, who declined to publish their names, were home when Kirby’s tan, 15-passenger van pulled up at about 6 p.m. The salespeople asked the students if they would be interested in a free in-home demonstration of a Kirby shampoo and vacuum system. Naive to the company’s aggressive sales techniques, the students accepted the sales offer. The two salespeople then left in their van, but the woman and a different man—who would perform the demonstration—returned a short time later. The woman then dropped the man off and drove away in the van. Since the 1920s, the Kirby Company has relied on door-todoor demonstrations and a direct sales approach, according to the Kirby website. The business model has proven successful for the company’s longevity, but it can confuse some customers. This was the case for these students last month. “The rep who was going to do the cleaning seemed very new to the job,” one of the students said. “He was constantly referring to his notes and pretty much made a mess of what he was trying to get across.” The salesman continued to demonstrate the Kirby and insisted on staying for more than two hours in an attempt to convince the residents to make a purchase immediately. The students became nervous about the man’s prolonged stay in their apartment and eventually called the City of Erie Police. At about 9 p.m., the students ﬁnally expressed their uninterest in the shampoo and vacuum system and asked the sales rep to end his demonstration and leave. The man seemed to accept, but said he could not call his manager to pick him up because his cell phone plan had run out of minutes. The students let the employee borrow one of their cell phones, but the original pairing did not return in the van for another 10 minutes—during which time a police ofﬁcer arrived. The ofﬁcer questioned the product demonstrator for 10 minutes, asking for a permit that is required for door-todoor selling in Erie. The salesman said his manager had applied for one, but it had not yet been granted. After the salespeople ﬁnally left, the ofﬁcer told the students that others in Erie have called the police with similar complaints, but the salespeople often leave before the cops arrive. The commuters say they have not seen the tan van in their neighborhood since last month’s incident but are now more cautious about visitors to their house. “Don’t be oblivious to who comes to your door,” the student said. “We got caught up in the sound of a free carpet cleaning and ﬁgured ‘Why not? Who the heck cares?’” The student offered simple and preventative advice. “Say no thank you to the offer and close the door.”
Bracelets sold to honor Jenni-Lyn’s memory
Mercyhurst dance majors are selling white and blue swirled bracelets that say “<3 Jenni-Lyn Watson <3 Forever in our hearts.” The bracelets cost $2. All proceeds go to the Watson family. Bracelets may be purchased in the dance space at the desk.
December 15, 2010
Christmas on Campus gives clubs a chance to give back to the community
By Lynn Dula
The Mercyhurst Campus got a taste of Christmas spirit and giving last weekend. On Saturday Mercyhurst held its annual event Christmas on Campus event. This event allows children from the area who are involved in community outreach programs to participate in Christmas activities. Every year, children from programs like the Boys and Girls Club, the Y.M.C.A., the Booker T. Washington Center and the Mercy Women’s Center come to Mercyhurst’s Student Union where they pair up with a buddy, a volunteer from the Mercyhurst student body. Buddies take the children around to the various activity stations run by the clubs and societies, such as the Social Work Club, Theater Appreciation Club and the honors societies. Each club or group is responsible for creating a Christmas activity for the children to participate in. Some clubs had activities that were pertinent to the nature of the group, such as the Chemistry Club, which had the children make test tube sand art ornaments. The Astronomy Club also stuck with its “theme,” and the children decorated their own “wishing stardust.” There was a huge variety of activities, such as writing letters to Santa with the Theater Appreciation Club, and making graham cracker houses at the Habitat for Humanity table. Children participated in the activities of their choice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to the large number of clubs that participated, it was a challenge to create activities that no other club was running. Some clubs used materials they happened to have on hand to create unique activities. Tri Beta used the large number of seashells they had to create seashell ornaments with the children. During the activities, pizza was available to the children, as well as an abundance of candy. The candy was handed out by students dressed up as favorite
Jillian Barrile photo
Many groups coordinated their activities to coincide with their club’s theme.
characters, such as Christmas elves, Disney characters and even Spongebob Squarepants. There was also an appearance by Santa himself. After the activities were over, children gathered on the main ﬂoor of the Union to eat cookies and drink milk while Santa read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Then, every child received a Christmas present to open. To ensure every child would receive something they really wanted, there was a place to write down present ideas for every child during registration. Christmas on Campus is an important outreach program that has a huge impact on the community. “Christmas on Campus is not only a great opportunity to work with kids from the community,” said junior Nikki Zeak, vice-president of the Theater Appreciation Club. “But it’s also a great opportunity to bring all the college’s clubs and organizations together for a common cause.”
Jillian Barrile photo
Student volunteers traveled around with their child “buddies” and participated in holiday themed activities.
Teacher feature: Thomas Hubert
By Jennifer McCurdy
Associate Professor of Art Thomas Hubert, who has taught at Mercyhurst for 31 years, promotes a liberal arts education. “I’m a big proponent of no minors,” Hubert said. He encourages students to take a wide variety of classes rather than adopt a minor, which he thinks cuts down on the liberal arts quality of a college education. “Employers are not as interested in minors as they are in activities and achievements,” Hubert said. Hubert completed his undergraduate studies at Mercyhurst and pursued his master of ﬁne arts degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Between college and graduate school, Hubert worked at a graphic design ﬁrm for a year. After graduating, Hubert then spent 12 years making pottery for a living while teaching part time at Mercyhurst. He received tenure in 1999, which he said, “is an important afﬁrmation that a teacher has made it.” He regularly teaches classes on ceramics, sculpture, and 3D design. The best part of teaching, according to Hubert, is the students who bring new ideas and an “energy of creativity” to the classroom. To engage students in the classroom, Hubert seldom lectures or uses PowerPoints. Instead, he relies on real or digital images, conversations with the students and ﬁeld trips to art shows. Hubert’s students are asked to
Daniel Williams photo
Hubert throws pottery in his studio on Dec. 9.
produce and critique one another in order to develop a critical eye. They also give many demonstrations to establish their “expertise to present in the classroom.” Hubert asserts that an art major is as marketable as other majors.
Art therapy students, for example, can work in hospitals, prisons and schools. “Just like in any major, for a student willing to work,” Hubert said, “there are many jobs available for an art major.”
In the college community, the art department serves a unique role by providing the visual aspect of creativity such as hallway displays. “Art provides an atmosphere of creativity and an air of celebration,” Hubert said. In particular, the Cummings Gallery displays two to three student art shows every year, which Hubert encourages students to attend. Hubert participates in the Empty Bowls program, which is sponsored by the art education and social work departments. Last year, the event raised approximately $6,000 for the Second Harvest Food Bank. In his spare time, Hubert works in his studio every day and even prefers his studio over traveling. He ﬁnds inspiration in music and said, “Music’s always playing in my studio.”
What is Sustainability?
By Brittany Prischak Sustainability Coordinator According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sustainability is a call “...for policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (epa.gov/sustainability). The international movement toward sustainability seeks to address the social, economic and security needs of all peoples now and far into the future. Sustainability represents a profound paradigm shift in human experience that is (albeit slowly and incrementally) redefining how we think about everything from economic development to national security to agriculture and necessitating a fundamental reorientation of our relationship with the natural world. Here at Mercyhurst College, our sustainability efforts have for the past decade or more been primarily aimed at improving the environmental performance of our physical plant by, for example, making buildings more energy efficient. We employ renewable energy wherever we can and experiment with sustainable building materials and practices such as our new green roof. More recently, courses across the curriculum, focused through our Sustainability Studies academic program prepare our students for a future in which the principles of sustainability (environmental and public health, localized development, social equity) will increasingly shape and impact every walk of life. Much of the movement toward a sustainable future is driven by a desire to strengthen local communities’ ability to feed themselves and provide for their energy needs. This is seen in the widespread emergence of farmers markets, which provide healthier food choices for individuals and families, while also supporting local farmers and offering tangible lessons in sustainable economics. Similarly, new companies developing renewable energy sources and ways to improve energy efficiency help to strengthen the security of communities that are now at the mercy of the utilitycontrolled power grid and long-distance transmission. Even long-established companies such as the giants of the American auto industry are finding new life and generating American jobs by developing more fuel efficient and smarter vehicles that can help wean America away from our dependency on oil and minimize future environmental disasters like the recent Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Every step counts, no matter how small. The old bumper sticker slogan is true: Everything is connected. Turning off the lights when you leave the room is linked to the urgent need to end mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. Buying local, buying less, buy fair trade, replacing your light bulbs at home, walking, biking or using public transit when you can, using reusable water bottles, turning off the lights and computer… We all know what we need to do. But if you’re not convinced, then remember what we at Mercyhurst have learned, along with countless businesses and governments around the world—being environmentally responsible does save money. Get involved.
Planning for Earth Week events have commenced. If you would like to be a part of the planning committee for environmental education programs in April, please join us on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011at 3:30pm in the Egan 315 conference room. A theme is yet to be determines. Although we have several ideas, we would love additional help organizing and coordinating. If you would like to help or are interested in more information, please contact Brittany Prischak at email@example.com or Analida Braeger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help plan Earth Week 2011
Old phonebooks are once again being collected on campus for recycling. Drop off last year’s yellow pages in the bins in the foyer of Preston/Old Main, next to the stack of 2011 phone books, or in the bin located in the library lobby, next to the Merciad newspaper stand. Remember, recycling phone books benefits the Second Harvest Food Bank and supports Erie Energy Products, a local business. They churn phone books into home-insulating material, which in turn saves energy. This is a win-win-win project!
Phonebook recycling begins
By Angelina Viveralli As campuses across the United States work towards a more environmentally friendly future they have begun tackling problems in areas such as waste, energy, food, and transportation. Mercyhurst has made great strides in the areas of waste, energy, and food however, there are fewer opportunities to promote green transportation on a primarily residential campus. Students are able to use public transportation in the city and soon, they may be able to borrow campus bikes. The Green Team is developing a series of proposals for the Green Energy Fund to both reward those students already using bikes as transportation and hopefully to inspire more students to cycle. One idea is to implement a bike rental program on campus. Other ideas are to plan events on campus to promote bike riding. After an evaluation of existing bike racks, the Green Team will request funds for more convenient bike racks and storage areas on Briggs and Lewis Aves. We will also propose to purchase a bike rack to be mounted on one of the campus vans in order to allow bike trips for students to Presque Isle and other local trails. A bike rental pilot program would inspire more bike use on campus. Through this program students would be able to rent—free of charge—one of four new bicycles and helmets purchased from local bike shops. Although the exact details of the rental program are still in the works, we are confident that the program would run in half to full day rentals and that the bikes could be taken off-campus. Call for Submission from Students and Faculty: Narratives of Travel and Navigation: English by Water, Air, Land, and Imagination. Does the end of the term have to mean the end of student’s coursework? Is the recycling bin the inevitable destination of graded assignments? Can the three Rs of recycling ever apply to essays without plagiarizing? Students who have taken Western Classics, American Classics, some history classes, and perhaps a few others may have written something for class that could earn a wider, real world audience. The Pennsylvania College English Association (PCEA) invites proposals for original creative works and critical interpretations of any genre of travel narrative or stories of journeys or quests for self, real or imaginative. Analysis of landscapes in travel writing and inquiry into attitudes about nature and the natural world in literature would support the conference theme. In addition to the special sessions on the topic of travel and navigation, PCEA welcomes all proposals related to the study and/or teaching of literature, film, composition, and linguistics, as well as creative works. The conference will meet in Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center, March 24-26th. It couldn’t be easier to attend! Graduate and undergraduate students who submit an abstract for the conference may also compete for the Best Paper Award, which is given by PCEA in three categories—critical, creative poetry, and creative prose—and carries a small monetary prize. Award winners will also be considered for publication in PCEA’s journal, Pennsylvania English. For more information about submissions for the conference or the essay contest, visit: http://www.english.iup.edu/pcea. Need more incentive? The Student Creative and Scholarly Research Fund supports research opportunities for undergraduate students at Mercyhurst College by reimbursing them for research and travel expenses to present completed research at a professional research conference such as the PCEA conference, or to present or perform an artistic creation/ exhibition. In other words, you could share your important academic or creative work, get an accolade for your career file, and enjoy a day or two off campus on the Bayfront for free. For more information, visit http://lakernet.mercyhurst.edu/students/ student_research_fund.php
No need to ship spent toner cartridges long distances for recycling. From now on, toner cartridges can be placed in the ink cartridge collection bins. Recycled ink and toner cartridges as well as cell phones will all be sent to the Funding Factory, which is a local recycling company. The Funding Factory deals with remanufacturing and reusing of these recycled materials. Collection bins are located in Old Main on the second floor next to the Center for Teaching
Mercyhurst now recycles toner cartridges
Excellence, in Preston on the first floor near the corner offices and in the basement next to the Mailroom and in Hirt on the second floor next to the stairwell. A cell phone collection bin is located in the basement of Preston near the Mailroom. Reducing waste sent to the landfill, refilling cartridges for reuse, and recycling what’s left; it’s the three R’s of recycling accomplished with one easy action.
Earth Week Planning Committee Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 3:30 p.m. Location: Egan 315
Bike/Run Duathlon Planning Committee Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m., Location: 118 Hirt.
All Campus Green Team Meeting Monday, Jan. 17 at 3:30 p.m. Location: TBD – Stay Tuned
very reasonable prices. One of Nunzi’s weekly specials contains a steak, a plate of spaghetti, a cup of soup and dessert for only $7.25. For my order, however, I purchased a “Grandma’s Favorite Sandwich.” This sandwich contained two large slices of homemade bread, meatballs, sauce and cheese. Although I had to eat this “sandwich” with a fork, it was fantastic and the portion size was huge, especially for the inexpensive price tag of $7.16. Along with specialty sandwiches, Nunzi’s offers all kinds of pasta, stromboli, pizza, desserts, soups and salads. Almost all the portions of their meals are large and can usually last me at least three meals, if not more.
December 15, 2010
Erieite appetite: Nunzi’s Family Restaurant
By Liz Zurasky
Food: 5/5 Service: 3/5 Location: 4/5 Nunzi’s Family Restaurant is deﬁnitely a restaurant worth visiting. With reasonable prices, authentic Italian food, and close location to the college, I highly recommend this establishment. As soon as you enter this familyowned restaurant, you get the comforting aroma of good, homecooked meals, and a very friendly atmosphere. There is not a hostess, so guests can seat themselves wherever they would like. The menu is extensive, and has is almost as good as my mom’s, and the meatballs on my sandwich were moist and delicious. Nunzi’s is also extremely easy to ﬁnd because it is located at 2330 E. 38th St., the same street as the college. They have terriﬁc hours and are open until midnight on the weekends. They also have a takeout option for those who do not wish to use the dining room. Online, there are mixed reviews about the service at this establishment, but I have been there many times and have never had a problem. Nunzi’s is a great place to go out to dinner with friends or take your parents when they’re visiting. It’s a family oriented restaurant with fantastic food.
Liz Zurasky photo
Zurasky enjoyed a ‘Grandma’s Favorite Sandwich’ at Nunzis.
This restaurant really is authentic to its Italian cuisine. They make their own sauce and you have the option of ordering homemade pasta as well. I come from a family that has Italian lineage and we enjoy cooking Italian food. Their spaghetti sauce
Renting books saves money and the environment
By Alex Stacey
With thousands of dollars each year being saved by students who rent their textbooks rather than buy them, it is no wonder Chegg.com is rapidly gaining popularity. Chegg is a website that lets students rent their textbooks for a chosen period of time, and easily return them with pre-paid shipping labels. According to Chegg, students who rent their textbooks rather than buy them can save up to $500 per year. Since the company was founded in 2007, they estimated to have saved students over $240 million. Dan Rosenwig, Chegg’s President and chief executive says that it is their mission to provide students with a cost friendly option for purchasing books. “These are difﬁcult economic times and anything we can do to make it easier for students to get the books they need and for less, is a good thing,” Rosenwig said. One major beneﬁt to making any purchase online is that students do not have to deal with the hassle of a bookstore. Rarely will one ﬁnd a book out of stock on this website. Chegg also makes it very easy for students to receive packages quickly, as well as send them back easily. Bill Driver, the assistant manager of the Preston Hall mailroom says that Chegg makes it easy for students to ship their books. Driver said, “Chegg does make processing relatively easier as they often ship multiple books in one box, so we end up checking-in one package as opposed to two or more. “Their boxes are bright orange with white lettering, which makes them very easy to see as they are coming down our receiving chute or if they are sitting in a stack of packages awaiting processing.” Finding the books on the website is also very simple. With more than 4.2 million titles, Chegg almost always has what a student needs. A search can be made by title, author or ISBN. Many students choose to rent books they don’t feel attached to, or will no longer be needing when the course is over. Sophomore Larae Tymochko has been renting her books since she started attending Mercyhurst. “The books that I rent from Chegg are those that I don’t plan on keeping if they aren’t required for my major,” Tymochko said. “It saves me money to rent them because the sell back prices of textbooks are next to nothing.” In addition to being an affordable option for students to purchase texts, Chegg does what it can for the environment. Every time a student rents with Chegg, they will plant a tree on the student’s behalf. The student even gets to choose where the planted tree will be located. This program is due to a partnership with the American Forests’ Global ReLeaf program. With the cost of attending college reaching an all time high, who wouldn’t want an easy, efficient and cheap way to get textbooks? Chegg is a great, new option.
Ethan Magoc photo
Chegg sends its shipments in brightly colored packages, which makes them easily recognizable in mailrooms.
December 15, 2010
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Wyatt Award and a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Based on the short story “I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down” by William Gay, the ﬁlm follows the story of Abner Meecham, an elderly man who tries to return to his farm after being placed in an assisted living facility by his son. However, the property in Tennessee that Meecham has loved for so long is being rented out to another family. Meecham moves into an old shack on the property and refuses to leave, as does the tenant, each making claims to the land. Anger escalates and boils under the hot Southern sun as the two men make desperate and enraged efforts to secure a home they each consider to be rightfully their own. The ﬁlm stars Hal Holbrook and Raymond McKinnon in outstanding performances, which have received great reviews by all. Ain’t It Cool News says, “Won-
‘That Evening Sun’ portrays struggles of home
By Claire Hinde
The highly acclaimed ‘That Evening Sun’ is being shown at the PAC today at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are free for Mercyhurst students.
“That Evening Sun” will be presented in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center today at 2:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. through the Guelcher Film Series. The ﬁlm series, which presents independent and foreign ﬁlms each Wednesday, offers an incredible opportunity to Mercyhurst students and the Erie community at large. The series has hosted such acclaimed ﬁlms as “Atonement” and “The Wind that Shakes the Barley.” The series is now showing a ﬁlm sure to astound all sorts of ﬁlm fans alike. “That Evening Sun” opened in March 2009 at South by Southwest and immediately went on to collect over 22 awards from film festivals and more, such as the Top Honor
derful… Hollbrook is brilliant. This ﬁlm absolutely deserves to be seen.” According to the New York Times, the film portrays exactly “the sense of rootedness and contentment felt by far m people who have not much else to show for their labors besides their land and their houses.” The story is a classic Southern gothic, letting the audience feel the confronting humidity that puts everyone on edge and is sure to be full of exciting and dramatic confrontations. It is surely a story full of the idea of home sweet home and is well worth seeing. The ﬁlm will be shown in the PAC today at 2:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are free for Mercyhurst students with valid ID, $6 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased by calling 814-824-3000 or by visiting the box ofﬁce.
Mercyhurst dancers to appear in ‘Nutcracker’
By Sarah Mastrocola
This coming weekend, the Lake Erie Ballet will present its 52nd annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the historic Warner Theatre in downtown Erie. Performances will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 19, at 2:30 p.m. With its bright colors, family friendly atmosphere and general holiday cheer, “The Nutcracker” is a season favorite for many balletgoers. “There are a lot of different parts in ‘The Nutcracker’ suited to different age groups,” said Mercyhurst freshman Eliza Davidson, who will appear in the performance. “There is something for everyone.” Since the Lake Erie Ballet Company is made up mainly of Mercyhurst dancers, many of the lead roles will be danced by Mercyhurst students. The Lake Erie Ballet Company is the professional division above the school. Sophomore Olivia Boyd will appear as Rose in the “Waltz of the Flowers,” and freshman Linnea Stureson will dance the role of the Snow Queen. Many other Mercyhurst students are featured in supporting leads as well. Sophomore and Lake Erie Ballet Company apprentice Ana Welsh said of her experience working on the ballet, “Dancing in ‘The Nutcracker,’ for me at least, is rewarding. Of course it is hard work and there are lots of rehearsals, but it starts to get exciting when we get to try on the costumes and rehearse on stage because it starts to feel more real.” This year’s production will also include local artist Carrie BurnsFrase as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Guest artist Ernest Tolentino of Milwaulkee Ballet and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will dance The Cavalier. The Saturday show will feature a live orchestra led by Bruce Morton Wright. Joining the orchestra this year will be the Villa Maria Elementary Christmas Choir directed by Katelyn Kurpiewski. As an added treat, a Friday night open dress rehearsal will include a “Meet the Performers” session with Burns-Frase and Tolentino. The Sunday afternoon performance will include a Sugar Plum Fairy Party prior to the show where children can meet the many magical characters of the “Nutcracker” story. In addition to the regular “Nutcracker” performances, the Lake Erie Ballet will host extra shows as part of their Special Performance Series, one for a local elementary school and one for assisted living and special needs patrons. Tickets for “The Nutcracker” are available through the Erie Civic Center Box ofﬁce at 814-452-4857 or via the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices range $12 - $32.
The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
December 2008 September 3, 15, 2010
Why we wrote about sports and tuition
By Ethan Magoc
On a warm September morning (a faraway concept this week), I was clearing past issues of this publication from racks across campus when I glanced at the cover of USA Today. The Sept. 21 issue of the nation’s biggest newspaper featured an in-depth cover spread on how much students at universities with massive Division I athletic departments contribute to their schools’ sports programs through mandatory athletic fees. A localized story idea was born and then grew as our staff discovered that Mercyhurst does not list such a fee, but sports programs here still reap a significant portion of the student tuition dollar. A $10.8 million portion in 2009-10. Our goal in publishing these numbers was not to push an agenda. It would have been easy to spin our coverage into saying that the athletic department’s annual budget is wasteful, unnecessary and in need of reform. That is an aged and biased argument that does not have a place in any balanced news publication, such as the one we strive to produce each Tuesday night. Still, it is worthwhile for the paying customers of this college to know where their money is going. I am fortunate to hardly be able to count myself among them. I piled up debt during two years as a student at Bowling Green State University, where, according to USA Today’s report, I directly contributed more than $1,200 in athletic fees during a 21-month stay. In May 2009, I decided to transfer to Mercyhurst, where I could save money with a parent on faculty. Despite this benefit—for which I remain grateful to Mercyhurst—I am no less conscious of the value that each dollar carries when a student invests in a college education. And after speaking with several college officials and members of the athletic department, staff writer Tori Pepicello and I discovered that no administrator here thinks they are playing with monopoly money. As in any department, there are important calculations behind each decision made regarding the use of student tuition to support varsity sports. We were also certainly not seeking to alienate anyone in the athletic department. Personally, there are few experiences I have enjoyed more during my fourplus sports seasons here than photographing and writing about our student athletes and their events. To a certain extent, those images and stories would not be possible without funding 24 varsity sports programs. Yet if you feel strongly one way or the other about how the college allocates tuition money, please let us know. Our e-mail addresses can be found below. We will gladly run each response online throughout Christmas Break.
Bento Bowl has become a very popular part of The Laker, so they are thinking about extending the hours.
Men’s water polo operates on a game-day expense budget of about $8,000 a year, yet it went undefeated in its conference.
On Saturday night, a female student was approached by a man carrying a knife. When did the Mercyhurst neighborhood become so dangerous?
Gay rights demand attention
Time to take a stand against prejudice
By Kathleen Vogtle
essence of military capability.” The law has undergone multiple attempts for repeal, especially since the start of the Obama administration. These attempts were underlined this fall when a federal district court judge declared the law unconstitutional. Even the majority of military personnel, whom a change of this nature would most directly affect, said they wouldn’t mind serving alongside openly gay comrades. It appears as though this highly-debated topic has reached a head. The fact that a dramatic change is being promoted so high in the governmental hierarchy indicates its importance. This is further compounded by current events. The Colorado Supreme Court just swore in its first Latina, openly-gay justice. The battle for legal gay marriage is currently being fought in California after U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker held that the current law which banned such a union, Proposition 8, was unconstitutional. The United States has recently proposed a resolution to the United Nations supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Also, the battle for equality is being fought on a worldwide front from India to Africa. The world is saying that it’s time to take a stand. People are beginning to recognize the fundamental, undisputable truth which has existed all along: Just because a person may love another of the same sex does not make him or her beneath notice, respect, or the basic human rights.
If you don’t want it printed . . . don’t let it happen.
Editors Ethan Magoc Kelly Luoma Alex Stacey Victoria Gricks Nick Glasier Alaina Rydzewski Samantha Williams Tyler Stauffer Ethan Johns Chrissy Mihalic Max Rivera Bill Welch Brian Sheridan Positions @mercyhurst.edu Editor-in-Chief editormerciad News Editor newsmerciad Features Editor featuremerciad Opinion Editor opinionmerciad Sports Editor sportsmerciad A&E Editor entertainmentmerciad Graphics photomerciad Photo Editor photomerciad Web Editor ejohns89 Copy Editor copymerciad Ad Manager admerciad Adviser wwelch Adviser bsheridan
I was reading an article this week about the Senate’s failure to pass a measure which would help dissolve the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay members of the US military. It feels as though this topic is just the tip of the iceberg that is the struggle for equal rights for gays and lesbians. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” regulation has been in effect since 1993. It is a policy enforced by federal law under the implication that the presence of an openly gay person “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline and unit cohesion that are the
The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst College. 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 e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 15, 2010
ﬁnishing the season with an overall record of 29-3. Other results at the national tournament include a runner-up ﬁnish last year, and a fourth place ﬁnish in 2008. Early in November, Josh competed in the Virginia Tech Hokie Open, placing second in the 167 pound division. He started the tournament 3-0, defeating all Division I opponents, and advanced to the ﬁnals where he lost due to a medical forfeit. The expectations for Shields are quite large as he looks to complete his career as a national champion; however, Wehler sees the biggest pressure on Shields coming from Shields himself. “He has pressure from himself to do great. He really wants to ﬁnish off his career as a national champion,” Wehler said. As the season unfolds, two other Lakers expect to do some big things this season. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Shields, brother of Josh Shields, won his ﬁrst tournament, going 60 at the Washington and Jefferson tournament. Jordan Shields is currently 9-2. Moving up a weight-class from last year, Jordan wants to dominate the 157 pound class. He placed
Youth movement for wrestling team
By Nick Glasier
There is a youth movement under way for the Mercyhurst College wrestling team. So far this youth has injected a new optimism into the wrestling program. This season seven out of the Lakers’ 10 starters are sophomores or younger. Despite the normal growing pains associated with such a young team head coach, Mike Wehler is very optimistic about his team. “I knew we were going to be young and I just want us to get better as the season goes on,” Wehler said. So far, the young starters on the team have responded well to competition as freshmen Ryan Bohince, Shane Foster and Michael Pollard each placed in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship (PSAC). This showing by the freshmen has Wehler optimistic that some of the other young starters will follow suit. “Some of the younger guys are responding better than others, but I think we will get there,” Wehler
Ethan Magoc photo
Mercyhurst College redshirt junior Fred Hale hopes to bring some stability to a young Laker squad.
said. One of the big factors in the Lakers’ success, despite such a youthful roster, is the presence of senior Josh Shields. Wehler sees Shields as the undisputed leader on this year’s team and has seen his positive inﬂuence spread to every one of the young wrestlers. “It’s a different feeling this year as I am more so teaching this season but Josh has stepped in and been a great leader,” Wehler said. Shields, a senior, captured the 165-pound crown the following weekend, posting a 6-0 record at the National Catholic Invitational. Four other Lakers placed second, accumulating enough points for the team to ﬁnish third overall. Shields is no stranger to the national spotlight, competing in the national tournament all three years he has been a Laker. He won the Division II National title in 2009,
sixth last year in the PSAC. Junior Michael Baxter rounds out the super trio of Lakers. Baxter ﬁnished ﬁfth in the 2009 Division II Super Region 1 Championship, before taking a red-shirt last year. He took second place at the National Catholic Invitational, after taking a medical forfeit in the ﬁnals. The Lakers have also gained redshirt junior Fred Hale and red-shirt sophomore Jeffrey Pollard back. Both Hale and Pollard rejoined the team only days after completing their football season. Wehler was not surprised that both of these wrestlers returned so quickly after a long and grueling football season. “I was not surprised at all, we have a good group of guys,” said Wehler. “It’s unbelievable for these guys to be playing two sports in college and be very successful at both.” The Lakers face two tough upcoming matches against East Stroudsburg and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. “If I look at it objectively, they seem to have the edge on us, but I really think that we will be in it and have a chance to win,” Wehler said.
Seniors show off their competitive nature
By Rachel O’Connor
Competitive is a word Mercyhurst College senior Amy Achesinski would describe her fellow senior basketball player Samantha Loadman. Over the past four years Loadman has been a pivotal part of the Lakers success. She sits third on the All-Time 3Point ﬁeld goals made with 172, hitting 70 of them last season, and 50 of those in conference play making her top in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Loadman averaged 12.5 points per game last season alone as well as scoring in double digits 20 times out of 26 contests. These efforts led the team in scoring 10 times during the 2009-10 season. Achesinski, who Loadman also describes as competitive, led the Lakers in scoring and rebounding for a third time in 2009-10. Last season Achesinski scored in double ﬁgures 19 times, including eight double-doubles as well as being named to the All-PSAC West Second Team, and CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team. During her junior season Achesinski averaged 12.7 points per game and is currently 10th on the AllTime scoring record with 1,166 points. In her junior year she led the team in scoring 14 times, and 19 times in rebounds. As impressive as these two astonishing athletes look, this only begins to scratch the surface of the effect the pair has had on the program. On the court it is evident that both Loadman and Achesinski bring an enormous amount of quality leadership, and effort to each game they play. They have been active in all 90 of the program’s contests since 200708 and together tallied 2,265 points during their time here. For the rest of this article go to merciad.mercyhurst.edu and click on the sports tab.
Mercyhurst College senior Samantha Loadman has been an offensive catalyst for the women’s basketball team.
Through three complete seasons she has tallied 615 rebounds
Ethan Magoc photo
and averaged 8.5 per contest last season.
December 15, 2010
Johnson says he attends every football and basketball home game. “Some away games, too,” Johnson, a criminal justice major who would like to someday work in a courtroom as a bailiff, said You may have heard him pushing the football team’s playmaking offense for a touchdown, heckling defenders, or seen him jumping onto the ﬁeld after the Lakers captured the PSAC title in November. But now, with basketball season has arrived on campus, Johnson can be easily seen and heard. He sits (and quite often stands) in the front row of the student section at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center, mouth constantly moving, hands clapping, yelling in support. And the gym plays to his advantage. “Most of the time, there’s not a lot of people there,” Johnson says. “But when there are, my voice can project in the gym better than outside. “Everybody knows who I am, so they know they’re going to get some good quality stuff when I’m at the game.” The best value Johnson brings to events might be his role as a type of sixth player. He seeks to get inside the heads of opponents, sparing few aspects of their play or appearance from his ridicule. “No profanity and nothing about people’s mothers. Everything else is fair game,” says Johnson. At the Lakers’ home game on Dec. 6, he verbally rode a Mansﬁeld guard with braids as the player stood at the foul line late in the game. “HEY XZHIBIT!” yelled Johnson, making a connection to the formerly braided hip-hop artist. “Don’t miss this shot! Do not miss it.” The player did, letting the Lakers pull within two points before they narrowly lost, 75-72, a few seconds later. His quick wit means no opponent is safe from abuse. “Actually, I do a little scouting report,” he said, not quite indicating if he was joking or not. “I ﬁnd their roster online so I can know them on a ﬁrst-name basis when I call them out. “I take this stuff serious, man.” Gerald Anderson, the football
Michael Johnson shows off voice, support
By Ethan Magoc
Mercyhurst College student Mike Johnson likely has the loudest voice at home basketball and football games. He might have one of the biggest hearts, too, when he’s cheering at events. Except when it comes to welcoming players from visiting teams. A self-described “big sports dude,” Johnson played basketball and football at Irvington High School in Newark, N.J. The 22-year-old senior came to Mercyhurst to play varsity football, but he stopped playing in 2007 and became a full-time student and fan. team’s senior running back, is familiar with Johnson’s work. He says he couldn’t hear Johnson during football games but knew he was there. “He’s a funny dude,” Anderson says. “He’s good entertainment.” “Yeah, you saw me doing the wave, right?” replied Johnson, recalling the Nov. 13 PSAC ﬁnal against Bloomsburg when he and a few friends had much of Tullio Field’s home fan section out of their seats. “I do it all.” Anderson and Johnson will both soon graduate, but for now the latter plans on letting his voice be heard as much as possible. “This is college. Once you’re in the real world, it’s over. You can’t do this anymore,” Mike Johnson says. “Be supportive of all our sports.”
Mercyhurst College senior Mike Johnson cheers on the men’s basketball team during the second half of the Lakers’ Dec. 6 loss against Mansﬁeld University.
Ethan Magoc photo
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