July 25, 2014

Holi, Hindu Festival of Colors, Ushers in the Spring Season

Left to right: Katie Curto, Mikaela Kalmar, Ivanna Mazza and Dominic DeMartini

by Jeniffer Riney

With literally millions of events to entertain New Yorkers everyday, thousands of people gathered in South Richmond Hill to participate in one of many Holi Festivals, or Phagwah Festival of Color, taking place all over New York. Celebrated during the last week of March by Hindus all over the world, the festival on this March 30th, was to commemorate the departure of winter and to welcome the fertility and vivaciousness of spring. To the more religiously devoted Hindus, the Festival of Holi is to also rejoice in the triumph of good over evil.

Twenty floats, approximately 30 feet long, lined Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill as they waited for the green light from the NYPD to proceed down the 13-block route to Smokey Oval Park. Overflowing with people dressed in traditional Hindi garbs, the floats carried adolescents and adults alike, either dancing or singing popular Bollywood Holi songs; or competing for who could play the loudest music on enormous sound systems. Stores along the business district of Liberty Avenue remained open, passing out fliers and business cards while enticing prospective clients with tables filled with free water bottles and snacks. The residential portion of the parade route saw people pouring out of their homes, while blasting more Bollywood songs from their living rooms. Standing out on their front porches, people passed out plates of authentic, home cooked, Indian food. The Holi ritual of applying powder or tossing colored liquid to one another’s faces with brilliant pigments of purple, yellow, red, white and green, had met the face of every man, woman and child. The streets were peppered with confetti and the sweet smell of the talcum power permeated the air as did the warm sunshine through the clouds. People from all five of New York’s boroughs attended.

 

Brooklynite Lisa Llanes searched the Internet looking for Holi events in and around New York City. “I have always wanted to go to India to celebrate Holi,” Llanes said, standing next to her boyfriend Brian Booth. “Coming to this parade is the shorter, cheaper version,” she continued. She eventually learned about this festival through her Indian friends, and with all the constraints governing other events, which is antithetical to the spirit of Holi, she decided that this was the best choice. “I thought that considering the area, there would be less restrictions and would be the most authentic experience.”

Llanes could not have been more correct. The spirit of Holi is one of jovial release, and no person escaped getting some sort of colored powder on his or her face.

Many people had so much powder on themselves they were unrecognizable. No person is combative or puckish to another for throwing powder, and in fact, no one is bellicose for any reason whatsoever. Instead, everyone is joyfully celebrating life. Children are released from the usual disciplines and scolding and are given pardons for mischievous behavior, including throwing colored water on someone from huge squirt guns. Likewise, adults are also forgiven any offense usually not allowed, for example, belligerence while intoxicated. All infractions and wrongdoings are excused during Holi. People are encouraged to enjoy themselves and are given absolution during the festivities, which is the true heart and soul of this jollification. Most celebrations in Manhattan did not adhere to this unfettered occasion, which was what made the journey to South Richmond Hill all the more worthwhile.

A tight knit, working class, Indo-Guyanese and Trinidadian community, South Richmond Hill has participated in these particular festivities of parades and merriment for the last 25 years. The tradition of this religious spring festival of colors, largely celebrated in India, made it’s way to Queens, when Indians forced to travel to Guyana to become laborers had in turn immigrated to the United States. Leela Singh, owner of The Good Life Hindu Temple Of New York Inc., had a table of bottled water, soda and apples to give away to people passing by. Born in Guyana, Singh arrived to the U.S. 30 years ago. “My grandmother was a laborer, and I was born there,” she recalls. “My grandmother taught me about Holi and I have passed it onto my children.”

Children atop floates dressed in traditional Indian garb.

Though mainly Indo-Guyanese families came to partake of this cheerful ceremony, other ethnicities attended as well.

First year Pratt students, covered head to toe in colored powder, Dominic DeMartini, Ivanna Mazza, Michaela Kalmar, and Katie Curto all live on the same floor in the dorms. They had also searched Facebook and the Internet looking for an exciting weekend get together. “This is so awesome,” Kalmar said enthusiastically. “We’re not sure the exact reasoning behind it, but we’re really having a great time.” An exchange student from Hong Kong, she had never experienced anything like this before. Her colleagues eagerly agreed. “I am from Venezuela,” Mazza said. “New York City has so much to do, all the time. I’m glad we found this event.” Curto, a resident of New Jersey chimed in saying, “It was surprising how welcoming this area is.” The gaiety of the event and the genuine friendliness of the people really inspired all four friends. “We want to see other things that happen in different cultures, and experience what they do,” said DeMartini.

The parade, followed by it’s revelers, made their way from Liberty Avenue to Smokey Oval Park, where they awaited  more food and games, but most of all, more powdered color to cake onto already colored faces.

Singh stood in front of the temple she, with has run in this area for two and a half years, a big smile on her face, proud and pleased to see so many happy people. “This is a blessed occasion. It’s like celebrating New Years.”

Westport Fight Leads to Stabbing

By Benjamin Passikoff

Ahmed Jaradat contributing reporting.

At 11:10 A.M. today as John Jay College students prepared for a 3rd period research class in room 107 of Westport, a student attacked another with an 8-inch serrated bread knife.

“There was an incident,” risk management and ethics manager Ryan Eustace said. “One student was arrested. One student went to the hospital.”

The altercation occurred before the professor had arrived for class.

It is not clear how long the fight lasted, but the assailant was taken into custody by NYPD officers and the wounded student was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital across from Harren Hall.

Toppled chairs in Westport 107 after students rushed out and down the stairs away from the fight. By 12:15 P.M. the door to 107 was locked.

 

Professor Maria Volpe, a professor of sociology at John Jay, was on her way to meet Kate Szur, who is senior director of Student Academic Success Programs.

“I was twenty minutes early to my meeting,” Professor Volpe said. “There were all these students rushing out of the building.”

According to Professor Volpe, one of Szur’s student peer leaders had taken control of the security desk, as the Public Safety officer had chased after the assailant towards 10th Avenue.

“I heard some skirmish,” Szur said. “I was on my email, trying to finish my work. We came down to ask security what happened.”

Stephanie Zomer, a John Jay Health Services employee and member of Student Academic Success Programs, whose offices are in Westport, was one of the first responders to scene.

“The students came screaming out of their classroom saying that a student was just stabbed,” Zomer said.

Zomer ran down the stairs, out of the building, and towards 10th Avenue. As she reached the corner of 56th Street, she saw Public Safety had subdued the assailant on the corner of 55th Street and 10th Avenue.

“By the time I got there, security was holding him down, and people from the streets were holding him down, and the guy that actually got stabbed was holding him down,” Zomer said. “So I got the guy that was bleeding all over the place-I took my shirt off right away and I wrapped it around [his wrist].”

The Counseling department provided with fresh John Jay work out apparel as a replacement for her bloody clothes.

“He had a really deep laceration on his wrist, and his bone was out,” Zomer said. “I was trying to put as much pressure on it as possible. I just had blood all over me from trying to get it to stop bleeding, but it just wouldn’t….”

Blood drops on 55th Street and 10th Avenue.

 

The two students were in the same class, but, according to Zomar, the victim did not even know his assailant, or why his assailant attacked him.

Professor Volpe and Szur remained on the scene with Zomer and waited as a public safety officer took her statement in a back conference room of Westport.

Dean of students Kenneth Holmes was proud of the speedy rate of response. He was involved in a behavioral intervention meeting with members of his office, Public Safety, and college council, when he heard the news.

“When we heard about the situation, the assistant director for security went to initially take care of the situation, then counciling went, then I went,” Holmes said. “It was the ninth response from the college community in hearing about it, and getting the information to all of the different ears of the university that needed to respond.”

According to a letter from President Travis, the student who was cut did not sustain a life threatening wound. It is expected that St. Luke’s will release him today after treating his injury.

My Encounter With the Informant

By Ahmad Jaradat

Can you cover our event?” asked Talha Shahbaz, Muslim Student Association President.

I thought about it for a second and said, “I have so much to do man, I’m working on this other story about teachers in the media but I’ll talk to my professor, well see.”

Devin Harner, professor of Intro to Journalism, suggested that the event “Jesus the Messiah in Islam” was worth covering. It was in April 2012.

Imam John Starling spoke to an audience of people with different faiths.  He addressed his speech about how Jesus is the messiah for Muslims, as well as Christians.

That night was my first encounter with Shamiur Rahman, the informant hired by the NYPD to spy on the MSA.

At the time, no one was aware he was appointed as an inside agent.

Rahman always had a larky smile spread across his face. He did not care much about what people thought of him. Some of the MSA members agreed that a whiff of marijuana reeked from his clothes.

 I wanted to know how he heard about the event. I would do that with any new face. In this case, however, I was more inclined to ask him questions because he did not seem to care about the lecture and more about the pizza. I was just curious, not suspicious.

Who told him to come here? Some of the members told me to give him some space because he was here to change himself for the better. So I left him alone as he joined us in prayer.

After the event, all of the brothers (not biologically, by religion) went to eat at a pasta restaurant on 8th Avenue by John Jay. With my suggestion, we all agreed to have a BBQ the following weekend. Everyone put in $10 to buy food, and for those who did not have money like Rahman, others paid for them.

I was responsible to collect the money and Esa came with me to Jetro, a wholesale market, to buy all the stuff we needed.

During the BBQ, which was at Manhattan Beach, one of the MSA members referred to Rahman and said, “This guy is paranoid.”

“He asked us if we feel like we’re being watched” he said. Rahman would jokingly point at random people and say hey look he is a spy.

No one suspected he was a spy. We didn’t judge his comments because we thought they were mere jokes.

He was unlike the rest of the students. What was a guy who questioned a religion’s unity doing with a group like ours? I thought.

He would say “religion is only there to divide.” Even after all his jokes and statements, no one thought it was possible he was spy. We just thought he was strange.

“You’re leaving already? There still more chicken, and salmon to grill,” I said.  “I have to go take care of my kittens,” he answered. He had already had some burgers, so I handed him a plate of chicken legs and thighs and he left.

There were at least 25 of us at the barbeque. Some members from City College came, but the majority students were from John Jay. I was by the grill most of the time. The others were scattered: some played handball while others played basketball.  After I finished grilling the food, I got a chance to play.

Rahman showed up to every John Jay MSA event after that. On Oct. 2, he revealed on Facebook that he worked as an informant. He expressed remorse for what he did. Rahman told the Associated Press that his job was to fool us into thinking he was trying to change.

He tried to provoke the speakers at some of the events with questions that they thought were presumptuous. The speakers said any question that starts with “do you agree” is never good.

Rahman’s questions always ended with an interjection of his own opinion. He would answer his own questions. Shahbaz thought he was doing that just to anger the speakers. The speakers never showed any anger.  After we found out the truth, Shahbaz said he had forgiven him.  President Travis said he had no knowledge of the informant and that he was “deeply troubled.”

Now I’m trying to understand how something like this happened and if there’s a possibility it might happen again.

What’s the process of hiring spies?  Are they usually civilians, ones who have a history of offences? Do they get acquitted after their service? What about actual Intel and actual cops who have this job? Are they better at provoking?  Where is the balance between freedom and safety?

New Gen-Ed Courses Approved Amid Controversy

This story was written by Ben Passikoff and reported by Navita Nauth, Aya Abdelmoamen, Taja Whitted, Manolo Morales, Ahmed Jaradat and Neka Williams.

College Council members vote on the new gen-ed courses Oct. 18.

John Jay’s College Council approved the the first new courses on Oct. 18 under the new gen-ed curriculum  known as Pathways. This is the last step for the new courses; they will be available in Fall 2013.
“We have been through a remarkable journey, coming to grips that our gen-ed needed to be revised,” said President Jeremy Travis, commending the committee for the long journey that started about six years ago.

Courses like Introduction to Africana Studies, Introductory German I/II and Origins: From the Big Bang to Life on Earth are all new additions to the gen-ed offerings.

Courses like Female Felons in Premodern Europe and Politics of Global Inequality are revamps of old courses.

During the meeting many issues were raised whether new general courses and new minors should be passed. Not every professor was as copacetic with Pathways, however.

English Professor Adam Berlin expressed his opposition of the new gen-ed requirements at the meeting. “I believe Pathways is a roadblock that will keep faculty from doing their best job,” said Prof. Berlin. “This is a dilemma, a  dilemma that should have never been foisted on us or our students.”

Berlin spoke in opposition of the new Pathways curriculum because he felt that it would lower the standards of teaching for students. He was also the first person to speak, so the meeting started off with a cautious view of the new curriculum.

“We know our students best,” Berlin said. “We understand their strengths and their shortcomings.”
Dean of Undergraduate Studies Anne Lopes says the new gen-ed courses meet the rigorous standards of Middle States. She pointed out to the dissenters that Pathways is the foundation not the limit for our gen-eds. “We took the Pathways gen-ed and fashioned it into our own gen-ed,” Lopes said.

Palumbo Resigns, Stafford Assumes Duties As Interim Athletics Director

 

 

By Ahmed Jaradat

 

In a some what shocking turn of events, Dan Palumbo, who’s been the Director of Athletics since 2008, has resigned.

Thomas Stafford, the interim Vice President of Student Affairs has assumed his duties.

Palumbo, will stil remain the baseball coach as well as well as the Director of Special Projects. As director of special projects Palumbo will also be the special assistant to Stafford.

“I will be at as many sporting events as last year, if not more… I will be able to focus more on the student athletes.” said Palumbo.

The only difference in Palumbo’s job description is that he will no longer be handling budgeting and contracting but he still will be in charge of coordinating evens such as Homecoming.

He felt it was time for a change for the athletics department and himself. “I came in as a baseball coach. and I am defined by that and I will always be a baseball coach.

My strength is in the interaction with the athletes, now I have more flexibility to be involved with them.

I was very proud to be the athletics director of the best students in the nation but obviously an Ads work is a lot of meetings and office work. It takes away face time with the athletes and that is what I enjoy.” said Palumbo.

Palumbo was here to see the changes in John Jay over the years, and even though he is no longer the athletics director, his mission is still to provide John Jay students with a great college experience.

“My thing was and still is, connecting every department and I look forward to homecoming which will have eight departments involved as everyone appreciates each others missions.”

Palumbo thanked John Jay for the opportunity and looks forward to a continued relationship with the college.

 

 

 

John Jay Remembering 9/11

By Ben Passikoff

On Wednesday September 12, eleven years and a day after the towers fell on 9/11, John Jay College held a special remembrance ceremony in the New Building for the 68 alumni that lost their lives on that day.

John Jay lost more graduates on 9/11 than any other college in the country. President Travis as well as Thomas Stafford our Vice President of Student Affairs, two students and an alumnus of John Jay spoke of their experience of 9/11 and how it has effected them since.

President Travis spoke about how John Jay college was temporary headquarters for the Secret Service, whose offices were demolished when the towers fell. He was full of reverence when he led us in a moment of silence at the end of his speech.

A trio of two violinists and a cellist played during the silent intermission that followed.

Darakshan Raja spoke of how the experience not only changed New York, but changed the way people all over the world looked at Muslims. Her uncle disappeared in England a few months after the attacks, and his body was sent back to the states two months later with threats forbidding her family from seeking justice, lest this happen to them.

Another musical interlude fit quite nicely between her and the next speaker. The audience was allowed a period of reflection.

Christopher Neff spoke who is a current student of John Jay, but was an ex-soldier in the United States Marines Corp. He likened 9/11 to Pearl Harbor saying it “was my generations call to duty.”

“I was already slated to leave for the Marine Corps the following June, but the world had changed and I immediately called my recruiter to leave as soon as possible. I am extremely proud to say that it took me countless attempts and several hours before I could get through, due to the amount of people who wanted to serve. I was on the bus to boot camp a month and half later.”

He was last to speak at the remembrance event, but Ronald Spadalfora, an Assistant Chief in FDNY, told his story afterwards in the entrance hall of New Building. He was an Deputy Chief back in 2001.

“I was at my mother’s house. I had bought some gardening  tools; I was going to help her rebuild a wall, and my mother calls me inside to tell me she couldn’t watch any of her shows because everything on TV was a Bruce Willis movie.”

He immediately left for Ground Zero, “I didn’t leave the site until Friday morning. So I was there from Tuesday morning to Friday morning.”

His spirit kept him going, although he found time to rest once a night. “You would find a place you could lay down for a few hours. I was in a computer store on Vessey street.”

Assistant Cheif Spadalfora knew about 200 FDNY officers who lost there lives that day, and mourns that loss 11 years later. All 2799 people who died on 9/11 have friends and family they left behind, but even though most Americans cannot say they knew 200 people who died on that day, every American remembers them.

Mixed Martial Arts Fights Its Way Into Pop Culture

By Jason Chester.

On a Friday evening, in Carmine Zocchi’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy located in Maspeth, Queens. It’s open mat night. From 6pm to 9pm, guys from other gyms as well seasoned fighters are sparring with each other, practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu which is a form of grappling and Mixed Martial Arts, which mixes various styles together to make one complete fighter. The room smells like sweat and sanitizer. The sounds bouncing around are grunts and groans, Carmine Zocchi the owner of the academy and former fighter stands to the side with his stocky build overseeing his students with concern for their safety, but a drive to push them to excel.

“Open mat is for guys who have brought themselves up to a higher skill level in the sport. They then want to spar with each other… Most guys come to the gym because they want to connect with other people; it’s a combination of training and building camaraderie.” said, Carmine Zocchi.

What is MMA?

Mixed martial arts has a long history. It is best known as Vale Tudo in Brazil which means “anything goes”. It’s a sport that mixes all fighting styles together. The Gracie family from Brazil brought MMA to America in 1993 under the brand Ultimate Fighting Championship.  A young amateur fighter Taj Abdul-Hakim who has been fighting for about four years said, “I participate in mixed martial arts because I am a student of martial arts. With that being said, every student needs to be tested somehow. MMA is my way to see if this stuff really works.” He has seen the evolution of the sport and witnessed its gaining momentum. “In 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was the first combat promotion that started this. There were hardly any rules and no state regulation. There were no weight divisions, time limits and wearing any type of protection such as cups or gloves were optional,” said Abdul-Hakim. Now they are weight divisions, time limits, and all fighters have to wear mouth guards, 4 oz gloves, and a protective cup. The referee also gets to stop the fight the second one of the fighters looks like he can’t defend himself.

MMA fighters compete in a cage not a ring, like in boxing. The cage keeps the fighters from falling out onto the floor. MMA puts ground fighters who would be skilled in Greco-roman wrestling, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu against standing fighters, better known as strikers. The strikers are skilled in boxing, muay Thai kickboxing, and karate. Grapplers tend to take the fight to the ground. Their strategy is usually getting the opponent to tap out by using a choke or a lock on a joint. Strikers are known for their fast pace and lethal blows. Now in MMA one person can master all of the above, which in turn creates an ultimate fighter.

Is MMA Too Violent?

A lot of people have described MMA as “Human Cock Fighting.” On an NPR radio show in 2007 Stephen Acunto, a boxing coach, said, “It attracts more people because I think it satiates the barbaric pleasure of people who like to see someone hurt,” Acunto says. “I think they would watch cockfighting, bullfighting, dog fighting and anything of that nature.”  UFC the leading company in MMA has paved the way in making MMA safer.

Abdul-Hakim said, “MMA has evolved. Not just as a sport, but as a serious industry. Because of the combined efforts of the martial arts community and states that gave it a chance, MMA is one of the safest contact sports around today. Fighter safety is a top priority in this industry.” The concern has always been for the fighters, if they are getting proper testing and how are they treated. Abdul-Hakim said, “We have to get physicals before every competition, our blood is tested for diseases, we must wear a cup, mouth guard and 4 oz. grappling/MMA gloves.”

The Fans

MMA has a mix of fans. The MMAPayout website states, “The size of the UFC fan base in the United States is estimated to be approximately 31 million people.” They all watch for different reasons. A female fan Jo Arellanes said, “I love MMA – I’ve been studying various forms of Martial Arts for 20 years and I am endlessly excited to see how those guys combine so many philosophies.”

According to MMAPayout.com there is a 75-25 viewership of men over women. The website stated, “MMA is a rough and violent sport that still possesses a brutal image in some circles of the larger population. It will be a while before it can eschew conflicts with this boxing paradigm through which most casual sports fans still view combat sports.” Boxing is a favorite still for many, while MMA is seen as a more dangerous and barbaric alternative. “MMA is safer than boxing in the long term. This may seem like an absurd statement, but think about it. Boxing uses the hands to attack the torso and head. In MMA the entire body is used to attack the entire body. So, because MMA fighters can use submissions such as joint locks, chokes and can also attack the legs with strikes, there is less emphasis on strikes to the head” said, Abdul-Hakim

With sold out shows nationwide and millions made off of pay per view. MMA has grown from small towns to big cities, and from being legal in a few states to now being a main attraction for many of them. New York has yet to legalize MMA, whether or not it will someday remains to be determined. However, the controversy behind MMA has not slowed its momentum, but seems to serve as its own form of advertising.

John Jay Builds “Pipeline” For Prison

Português: Uma cela moderna em Brecksville Pol...

Português: Uma cela moderna em Brecksville Police Department, Brecksville, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Manolo Morales.

This year there have been approximately 100 incarcerated men from Otisville Correctional Facility who applied to the John Jay Prison to College Pipeline Program that would allow them to earn college credits while still being in prison, but there were only fourteen slots available.

The program is oriented towards men who are within three years of release to get a head start on earning college credits for their education. The program’s goal is to make these men prioritize college as a positive reinforcement back into society and in doing so, the program aims to reduce recidivism.

Baz Dreisinger, an English professor, offers and teaches a class at the prison. She said that the program “offers incarcerated men, and eventually women, an opportunity to take college classes while in prison and then transition directly into college upon release.”

The pipeline program is funded by a private organization called the

. Dreisinger, along with teaching the prison inmates, is also the director of the program alongside Ann Jacobs.

Dreisinger hopes that the fourteen slots available will double as the program grows but, “Money is what keeps it small,”she said

Yet Dreisinger points out that funds should be increased because the more money spent on the program the more money, through the prison system, will be saved. Less people going back to prison will ultimately save more money.

“Education saves us money because for every dollar spent on incarcerating someone, you can spend fifteen cents educating them, so it costs twice as much to incarcerate as to educate,” she told The Sentinel.

Before being accepted into the program, however, the men have to take the CUNY assessment test for reading and writing and those who pass must then submit an essay.   These essays are then read by the program personnel, who select the men they want to interview. The men who are accepted into the program are guaranteed a slot into any CUNY school of their choice.

Once a month, the men participate in a learning exchange program with John Jay students who go to the prison and engage with the men on various subjects. 

“It’s an opportunity for the John Jay students here to see what goes on inside a prison environment, and meet these guys who probably don’t fit the image of a stereotypical inmate, so the students get to question their notions of what a stereotypical inmate is,” said Dreisinger.

Michelle Tsang, a junior majoring in Criminal Justice, is one of those students who is currently participating in the learning exchange program with the inmates of Otisville Correctional Facility. 

She said that the program has allowed her to gain a new perspective of an inmate, “These individuals who are incarcerated are extremely intelligent but society does not see that,” said Tsung, who is glad to be part of the pipeline program and, surprisingly, has learned that these men have much to say.

She believes that these men deserve a second chance, and by helping them, we are preventing recidivism.

This program has increased Tsang’s interest in the prison system.

“I definitely want to help these individuals to start over and start some type of mentor-ship or something for them because I do see that they have a lot of potential, and they also have more motivation,” said Tsang, who hopes to continue helping these individuals to rehabilitate.

Krystlelynn Caraballo, a senior majoring in Forensic Science, is another student who volunteers in the learning exchange program with the inmates of Otisville Correctional Facility.  This program is giving her an opportunity to interact  with inmates on a personal level.

“When I entered the classroom for the first time, I was extremely nervous not because I was fearful of the inmates, but rather I was afraid I may say something stupid and offend them,” said Caraballo, about meeting the inmates for the first time.

Caraballo wants to help these individuals in prison because “there are both economic and moral reasons to wanting to educate these individuals,” Caraballo said.  “First, if we do not educate these individuals, there is a strong likelihood that they will not fully understand the societal impact they are making.”

Dr. Kimora is an Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, who teaches criminal justice.  She taught a class on ethics at Otisville Correctional Facility in December, 2011.  Like Tsang and Caraballo, she also agrees that these incarcerated men are quite brilliant.

“I have come to learn that these men in prison are usually bright, creative, and deeply insightful,” she said.

Kimora believes that many of these men want to change, but they do not have the tools,  that is when people like her come in to help.

Kimora has been teaching in various facilities for 23 years.

“The work is challenging and so interesting,” she said.  “The clients are precious.”

Both Professors  Kimora and Dreisinger agree that people should care more about educating people in prison.

“We are one family,” Kimora said. “We just need to realize all the folks in prison and jail and on probation or parole are our brothers and sisters who need to heal.”

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Bloodhounds on their way up

NEW YORK - APRIL 16:  CC Sabathia #52 of the N...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

 

 

 

 

 

 

By John J. Werner III

 

This season, the Bloodhounds finished with an even .500 record in conference play, with five wins and five losses, but don’t let the record deceive you; this team is on its way up. This record was achieved with many younger players on the team. Some of the players that were a factor in this year’s third place finish will be eligible to come back. What makes that a key component of the potential resurgence is that these players are young and stand to only get better with experience. A big part of the youth movement was freshmen pitchers Braylin Perez and Mark Marte.
Pitcher Perez pitched ten strong innings in John Jay’s upset win over Baruch in the CUNYAC tournament, highlighting a season where he got better throughout the year. He lost his first conference start in a game against Yeshiva University, where he gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings pitched in what turned out to be a six to four loss for the Bloodhounds. However, he showed a glimmer of hope striking out eight of the batters he faced. During his next start he received a no decision in the Bloodhounds eight to six win against Baruch. Perez threw five and a third innings and struck out six. His next two games showed his potential to become the staff ace as he pitched two complete games and got the win in each. Finally in the CUNYAC he pitched an incredible ten innings in John Jay’s win over Baruch. Using the game score method used by Major League Baseball, which starts with an average score of 50 and uses a formula to judge a pitchers performance, with higher being better, he scored a 66.
To put his performance against the conference into perspective, the use of FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) can help. FIP measures variables that the pitcher controls, such as home runs allowed, walks allowed, and strikeouts, to measure how effective he was on his own. Should a FIP be higher than a pitchers ERA (Earned Run Average, how many earned runs he gives up for every nine innings), it generally means that his defense made him look better than he was. For example Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia’s current ERA is 2.89, an incredible number, however his FIP is 2.84, meaning he’s pitching slightly better than his defense is playing. Braylin had an ERA of 4.02, but his FIP was a 3.97, meaning he slightly outplayed his defense. The best part of this: he’s only a freshman. With experience, he is bound to find better control of his pitches, leading to less walks, less hits, and ultimately less runs allowed.
Mark Marte, another freshman, put up excellent numbers for a freshman, though most came out of play. He made seven appearances during the season and posted a 4.75 ERA, however his FIP was a 4.06. Like his freshman counterpart Perez, he struggled with giving up too many walks. Similar to his counterpart, he has room to grow into a dominant pitcher.
In collegiate athletics, teams are at their strongest when they have a core of experienced players. The Bloodhounds this year discovered some of the cornerstones of what could be the strongest team in the CUNYAC of the future.
Next year The Bloodhounds have some solid players that under normal circumstances stand to only get better. With their improvement, Head Coach Dan Palumbo stands to lead a squad that is ready to contend for a CUNY title, and bring John Jay home another trophy to add to its already impressive list.

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