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Ex-student faces federal charges

By Zach Dorsch
Photo editor Sean Sickmund, a former Mercyhurst University sophomore, was charged earlier this month in Buffalo, N.Y., on federal charges of attempting to convince a 14-year-old girl to send him pornographic pictures of herself over the Internet. Sickmund was allegedly not talking to a 14-year-old girl, but to U.S. Homeland Security Agent Edward J. Williams posing on the Internet as the girl, according to federal court records. According to those court records, Sickmund has been accused of asking for pornographic images and of discussing traveling from Erie to Jamestown, N.Y., to have sex with her. Additionally, he has been accused of asking the actual 14-year-old girl in 2012 for pornographic images of herself. The Homeland Security agent later posed as this girl. Charges were ofcially brought against Sickmund on Friday, March 8. If convicted, Sickmund faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison. During the investigation, Mercyhurst University Police & Safety provided the federal agency with Sickmunds on-campus address in order for them to serve the warrant, Police & Safety Chief Robert Kuhn said. The federal agents arrested Sickmund off-campus, when he went shopping, Kuhn said. In a case like this, it is Chief Kuhns job to establish if there is any threat to the university community as well as keep ResLife and the administration well informed of what is happening in the investigation, university ofcials explained to The Merciad. Sickmund attended Mercyhurst until March 11, university ofcials said. He was a sophomore business major and mens lacrosse player, they said. He withdrew from the university after he was charged with trying to obtain child pornography, university ofcials said.

I wouldnt want this incident to mar any of the other wonderful events that have happened at Mercyhurst.
Mark Gregorio

The federal investigation began Friday, March 1, after the 14-year-old girl approached the federal agent, according to court records. According to the records, the girl explained that Sickmund had been asking her for self-produced pornographic images over a 12-month period. She was 13 years old at that time. According to Associate Vice President of Student Life Laura Zirkle, Ph.D., this type of incident has not occurred at Mercyhurst before. This is the rst time I am aware of that someone was arrested or charged for any misuse of the Internet on Mercyhursts campus, Zirkle said. This case is not expected to affect the universitys reputation, however. I dont believe this will have much effect on the university because this case was brought up externally, Zirkle said. Director of Marketing and Public Relations Mark Gre-

Sean Sickmund has been charged with trying to obtain child pornography from a 14-year-old girl. photo

gorio added, I wouldnt want this particular incident to mar any of the other wonderful events that have currently happened at Mercyhurst.

MSG candidates announced

Kaiser & Mashuda, Penna & Latta run executive tickets
By Stefani Baughman
Staff writer
Platforms have been submitted, campaign posters displayed and the candidates have debated. Now, it is your move. Which of the candidates for Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) president, vice president and treasurer will you choose to represent you and your peers? Juniors Katey Kaiser and Amber Penna are running for president along with each of their vice president candidates, junior Emily Mashuda and sophomore Nick Latta, respectively. Junior Brooke Miller and sophomore Zane Taylor are each running for the position of treasurer. If elected, each of the candidates has expressed a desire to greatly improve communication both between executive board members and the MSG Senate and between MSG as a whole and the student body. Kaiser and Penna have both stated they would try to represent student views to the board of trustees, even if they may not agree with those views. Kaiser and Mashuda are running to serve as an advocate for students, including working with the administration to extend student privileges, and also to foster a greater sense of Laker Pride. We both really felt that we have a lot to contribute to the positions because of our broad spectrum of interests and involvement around campus, and we both really feel that is what MSG needs to move into the future, said Kaiser, on behalf of her and Mashuda, who is currently studying in Ireland this term. Penna and Latta hope to implement new traditions to improve the lives of students, such as through several academic and residential life initiatives. They also hope to promote campus unity. I enjoyed the work of being a junior class senator and addressing the concerns and ideas of my fellow classmates, said Penna. I love trying to make things happen for the school and represent the student body as a whole. Latta is running alongside Penna to implement projects that will have positive impacts on the Mercyhurst community. For more information, both Kaiser and Penna have been campaigning through social media, and both of their platforms, including specic events, initiatives and projects they intend to implement, can be viewed on Facebook. A large component of the MSG treasurers job is interacting and budgeting with Recognized Student Clubs and Organizations (RSCO). Both Miller and Taylor have emphasized improving communication with and the budgeting process for RSCOs, including by moving important documents and forms online for easier access. Miller plans to increase RSCO efciency by creating a Blackboard site and building better, more helpful workshops.

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March 20, 2013

I love trying to make things happen for the school and represent the student body as a whole.
Junior Amber Penna

More informed RSCOs lead to better events, more ways for students to get involved, and a better campus life for all of us here at Mercyhurst, Miller said. Taylor intends to make the budgeting process smoother and easier for RSCOs by using Facebook to provide faster interaction and take them through the

nancial process in small groups. I want to x anything that is broken with the current system, while making the process as easy as possible, Taylor said. In addition to the positions of president, vice president, and treasurer, the MSG executive board has three appointed positions, which include a Student Activities Council (SAC) chair, a MSG event coordinator and a PR coordinator. Following the election, the newly elected Executive Board members will appoint eligible applicants to these positions. To vote in the upcoming election, use the ballot delivered to you via your school email account. Voting opened at noon on Tuesday, March 19, and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

Livingston heads to Lourdes U.

By Alison Hosko
Contributing writer
Associate Provost for Academic Program Development David J. Livingston, Ph.D., was recently appointed as the president of Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. His primary task is to create an environment in which students, faculty and staff can work together to create an outstanding community of learning. His new job will also entail being involved with the Lourdes community to develop a future vision of the school and area through new program development, fundraising, reputation enhancement and increased enrollment. It is an excellent opportunity, and I am very excited about it, said Livingston. Lourdes is a great university with a clear sense of its mission and great potential for growth. Lourdes University is a coeducational liberal arts institution of 2,600 students founded in 1958 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania. The institution is known for its quality academic programs and personalized attention afforded its students. However, Livingston knows it will be difcult to leave Mercyhurst. After 15 years we have developed some great relationships and have so many good memories, he said. I will miss the students and friendships that I have developed over the years. In his time at Mercyhurst, Livingston has had many accomplishments, most notably raising $32 million of a $50 million capital campaign goal two years ahead of the planned date, as well as acting as a project manager for the new Center for Academic Engagement building completed over the summer of 2012. When Livingstons new position becomes effective July 1, Msgr. David Rubino, dean of the Walker School of Business and Communications, will step up and take charge of the advancement function as vice president of external affairs. Rubinos new job consists mostly of coordinating all of the universitys external affairs, primarily fundraising. Ill miss working in the business

March 20, 2013


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school, Rubino said. Regardless, he is excited by the challenge his new job presents because he will be working to bond together all of the schools external factors in a better way. In the case of private institutions like Mercyhurst, this includes nding ways to raise revenue other than by raising tuition. When asked if anyone else was in consideration for the position, Rubino said, I dont think so because it was done internally. Had it been done externally, there would have been. photo

David Livingston, Ph.D., named president of Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio.

New pope emphasizes the poor

By Abigail Robinson
Staff writer
History was made Wednesday, March 13, when the Vatican sent up white smoke, signaling the choosing of a new leader of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was chosen as the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name of Pope Francis. It was a historic decision coming on the heels of the surprising resignation of former Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican chose the rst Latin American, as well as the rst Jesuit priest. Pope Francis spoke from the balcony of the Vatican on that day, addressing the large crowds gathered in the city to witness the historic moment. The world has over 1.2 billion Catholics, who celebrated the news of the new pope. Mercyhurst celebrated the installation of the new pope with a short service on Thursday at the Christ the King Chapel. The service was about 15 minutes long, and all faculty and staff as well as students were invited. The service consisted of a Scripture reading, a hymn and a brief homily. We wanted to do something to bring people together, if they so chose, Father James Piszker said. The new pope is stepping into the papacy during a key period of transformation for the Roman Catholic Church.

Mercyhurst University Police & Safety

Police Log
Friday, March 15 Sexual harassment Warde Hall Referred for discipline Saturday, March 16 Liquor law violation Lot #1 Referred for discipline photo

Pope Francis graces the public at his inauguration Mass at the Vatican.
Piszker believes that Pope Francis will set a new style for the papacy which is already becoming evident. He is a very simplistic man, and a champion for the poor, which I think he will emphasize this social justice teaching throughout his papal rule. Senior religious studies major Tess Sinke agrees, stating that he has proven to be an advocate for the poor, and I think he will continue to do so throughout his time at the Vatican. At a press conference on Saturday the pope highlighted his intentions to work closely with the poor, indicating it should extend beyond charity work and mission trips stating, How much I would like a poor church, for the poor. Many are looking at Pope Francis to address the major concerns surrounding the Catholic Church and he is already making notable changes. The pope is known for his brief, sincere homilies lled with wisdom. At Mass on Sunday the pope said The message of Jesus is mercy, for me, and I say this with humility, mercy is the strongest message of the Lord.

Saturday, March 16 Liquor law, DUI, reckless endangerment Preston Dr. Referred for discipline Sunday, March 17 Public intoxication Lot #15 Referred for discipline Monday, March 18 Larceny Hirt Referred for discipline

March 20, 2013


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Sister Mary Lou Kownacki receives Romero award

By Daniel Tarr
Staff writer
The recipient of this years Archbishop Oscar Romero Award is Benedictine nun Sister Mary Lou Kownacki. The Romero award is given out every year by the Mercyhurst University Religious Studies Department to an organization or individual who meets the criteria of living the call of faith and justice in an extraordinary manner. Kownacki was given the award for her many types of work. Some of the work she has done includes being a coordinator for a national Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi USA, and being the founder of the Erie Inner-City Neighborhood Art House. She has also worked with Emmaus Ministries on the board of directors and has a special emphasis on supporting children while working to help restore local neighborhoods in the city of Erie. The name of the award comes from Oscar Romero, an archbishop from San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while in San Salvador celebrating Mass. Romero is mostly remembered for his commitment to photo

Sister Kownacki happily received Romero award.

help the lives of those less fortunate in El Salvador. Mercyhurst religious studies professor Thomas Forsthoefel, Ph.D., is one of the people responsible for selecting the recipient of the award every year. Forsthoefel explained that the award aims to bring awareness of the values of the university, which is grounded in the gospel. It is a call to self-sacrice,

service, justice, and faith. Archbishop Oscar Romero is a profound modern example of someone incarnating these values in a remarkable manner, demonstrating his commitment to the very end, said Forsthoefel. He spoke the truth, he accepted the price for it, and did not make his choices based on personal safety or regard. Forsthoefel said winners of this award demonstrate the same intensity as Romero. The intensity is a lifelong commitment to the justice and dignity of the human person. To display this quality in todays society is certainly challenging. People tend to put a premium on power and wealth that can sometimes even challenge the Church. So, the Romero award can afrm the prophet in the Christian community, calling us to afrm our deepest, truest values and our best and noblest humanity, Forsthoefel said. If you would like to know more about the Romero award, Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, or about Archbishop Oscar Romero himself, please contact Forsthoefel at or at 814-824-2353.

Bowe photo

Wheaton holds his published eBook, The Poor Mans Guide to Weird and Unusual Video Games.

Wheaton writes book on gaming

By Caitlin MacBride
Staff writer
Come out as a gamer, dont be afraid of doing it. I am obviously not afraid to say I am a gamer. I am always in peoples faces about it, senior Charlie Wheaton said. Wheaton, new author of The Poor Mans Guide to Weird and Unusual Video Games expressed his feelings about the gaming community. His new book was released on for the Kindle. The book is about games that anyone can play online and on a budget. Gaming has always been a very prominent part of my life, Wheaton said. During his freshman year, Wheaton began writing game reviews for The Merciad. Ive always enjoyed writing and Ive always enjoyed gaming, so I put the two together, Wheaton said. After writing for The Merciad his freshman and sophomore year, Wheaton decided to combine his reviews into one book. The book also includes other non-published reviews. Aside from writing, Wheaton enjoys playing and creating video games. He is also a strategic communications major with a minor in geology, which has contributed to his successful book.

You can blame Professor McKenzie for that, Wheaton said. Having the science background helps with the problem solving we do in communications. While Wheaton is not sure if he knows enough about geology to write a book about it, he will continue to write about other topics. He also aspires to work in the communication eld or in the gaming or toy industry. I would like to market and promote games, said Wheaton, I also understand what it takes to develop a game but that is no longer my focus. The Poor Mans Guide to Weird and Unusual Video Games is only available for the Amazon Kindle at the moment, but Wheaton said it might be published as a hard copy in the future. Amazon makes it easy to self-publish. It depends on how popular the book gets on Amazon if I publish it otherwise, Wheaton said. If you dont have a Kindle, dont worry. Kindle apps can be downloaded on computers, phones and iPads. Wheaton paused when asked about his advice for other writers. If you feel like you want to write or do whatever you want to do, do it in the best way that you can, said Wheaton. At least you can say youve done it. Do you want to look back and say I wish I would have?

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March 20, 2013

Hurst Idol to feature Laker talent on campus

By Garrett Erwin
Staff writer
American Idol is a long-running, popular, entertainment television show that is now coming to students, Mercyhurst-style. Hurst Idol is coming Friday, April 5, and the student body has the chance to assist in deciding a winner. Students on campus had the opportunity to submit a video recording of their singing talents for a chance to win some great prizes, including a semesters worth of books from the bookstore next year. The Student Activities Council (SAC) took in around 40 submissions, and from those submissions, the top 15 performances are chosen and featured on its Facebook page. From there, the student body will be voting for the 10 singers that they would like to see perform live on the Performing Arts Center (PAC) stage, next month. We are very excited about the event, and we have had a lot of interest, event co-programmer Michelle Farley said. As of now, the planned campus-wide voting for the top 15 is uncertain, but students are encouraged to stay alert for how they can help in
St. Baldricks Foundation photo

This child participates in St. Baldricks event for cancer research.

Contributed photo

The ofcial logo for the event.

the process by liking the Student Activities Council Facebook page. Not only is the SAC running this event, but also the fashion merchandising department is getting involved by supplying hair styling and make-up design for the live performers. The audience also has the chance to win prizes by attending the event. SAC is currently reviewing submissions and is in the process of ordering t-shirts. At the event, we will be having a text-voting system to truly resemble the American Idol atmosphere, and to get the audience involved in the show, said Farley. We are extremely hopeful that Hurst Idol is going to be a huge hit, and that it becomes an annual showcase of talent to be displayed on campus. Farley encourage students to email SAC with questions or visit them in their ofce located on the lower level of the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union. We invite students to come talk to us since we are YOUR weekend, Farley and Gass said. Hurst Idol will be Friday, April 5, at 8 p.m. in the PAC and is free for all. For more information, stop by the SAC ofce, email SAC@mercyhurst. edu, or check out its Facebook page for continuous, upcoming details.

Bare it all for childhood cancer research

By Kayla Kelly
Features editor
Looking for a way to give back? Mercyhursts Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is working with St. Baldricks Foundation to coordinate a Bare It All for Childhood Cancer Research head-shaving event on Saturday March 23 from 1-4 p.m. at Molly Brannigans Irish Pub. The St. Baldricks Foundation is a childhood cancer charity that funds research to help nd cures for kids with cancer. It is the leading childhood cancer research foundation in America. The event the club is organizing is to promote the cause and raise money for children with cancer. PRSSA is dedicated to creating learning opportunities for all of our student members, but in learning to do so we are blessed to have the opportunity to follow in our Mercy tradition and give back. The St. Baldricks Foundation provides numerous resources to help us host a successful event, senior Joe Pudlick said. The club chose Molly Brannigans for the event because St. Baldricks was started by people of Irish descent, so PRSSA felt this was a tting location. In addition, the pub is located at 5th and State Street, which is a prime destination for not only the Mercyhurst community, but also the entire Erie community. To become involved, you can pledge to shave your head, donate, or volunteer at the event. If you take the plunge to shave your head, you receive a button that says why you shaved your head. Or you can donate by purchasing a lucky charm, which is $1 and you will write your name on it to have it displayed in Molly Brannigans. All of the proceeds go to St. Baldricks. You can sign up on the St. Baldricks

Friendly Laker Inn cashier brightens day for students

By Abigail Robinson
Staff writer
Parkhurst Dining Services provides students not only with good food, but also a friendly staff. There are many people that work with Parkhurst that truly make students smile. One of these caring individuals is Cashier Colleen Swope, who works at the Laker Inn. Swope has worked with Parkhurst for four years, but she has worked at Mercyhurst for 13 years. As you can imagine, after working on campus for so long, Swope has many stories. She explained that the stories keeps her laughing all day long, so she is never having a bad day when she comes into work. Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, Swopes bright and cheery attitude keeps students smiling. Despite having to be up so early to get to her job in the Laker, Swope said she wouldnt have it any other way. Her great relationship with students and all the ladies that work with Parkhurst makes the job well worth her while. One of the perks of working at Mercyhurst is that she gets a summer off, just like the students. Swope spends her summers outside. She loves landscaping, spending time reading on her deck, or playing with her dog, Amber. Swope describes herself as a laid back person. She loves spending time with her family and her dog, whom she adopted through the Because You Care organization. Amber is a golden retriever and

St. Baldricks Foundation photo

yellow Labrador mix, who used to be an aid dog before she was put up for adoption. She is an amazing animal and I love spending time with her, Swope said. Swope has two daughters who live in the Erie area, and she described her daughters as her best friends. This additional information about Swope should come to no surprise, because her friendliness is consistently transparent whether she is at home or on the job. I truly love all the students. They are what make my day. I look at each student as my own, said Swope. I would want someone to be nice to my girls, so I always try and be as friendly as I can. Swopes genuine smile and loving attitude is something that truly makes a difference on campus, and we are lucky to have her.

The organization encourages people to help the cause.

website at or through the Facebook page St. Baldricks Bare It All for Childhood Cancer Research. If you dont want to become involved you can still attend the event to cheer on your friends that are shaving their heads for the cause, while enjoying the delicious pub food. For clubs and departments looking for a simple way to give back, this is it. Its such an easy way to raise money and awareness for a cause that has in some way affected each and every one of us, Pudlick said. So whether you want to shave your head, donate or volunteer your time come to the Bare It All for Childhood Cancer Research event on March 23 to support life-saving childhood cancer research.

March 20, 2013


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Contributed photo

Contributed photo

The Marriage of Figaro will be performed in English this weekend in the Performing Arts Center. Senior Devon Meddock plays Susanna who eagerly waits to be married to her beloved, Figaro.

Music dept. presents The Marriage of Figaro

By Garrett Erwin
Staff writer
Students at Mercyhurst are constantly involved in various events taking place on and off of campus grounds. An exciting performance is coming to the Mary DAngelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) as The Marriage of Figaro is performed for the Erie community to see this upcoming weekend. The performance is comprised of three acts with a minor intermission, and features the spectacular talent of multiple Mercyhurst students, as well as a small chamber orchestra. The curtain opens with two servants, Figaro and his ance, Susanna, preparing the room given to them by their employer, Count Almaviva, as a wedding gift. After learning that the Count has his eyes on Susanna, Figaro vows to outwit his master with the help of Susanna and the Countess. The story continues to unfold as different relationships are broken, and others come to light.

Count Almaviva (senior Matthew Tolbert) is outraged to nd Cherubino (junior Kathleen Reveille) hidden in a womans room.

Stories are twisted, and deals are made and broken among other characters in this embodiment of love and betrayal. Senior Eric Delagrange, playing the role of Figaro, says that the cast has taken many risks in order to nd themselves within these roles. Not only is our cast full of brilliant musicians, but we have analyzed the nature of our characters, and their relationships amongst each other, said Delagrange. It takes a lot of inner searching to create a show where the audience becomes completely invested in the actions we perform on stage. Earning student roles as prominent as these is not an easy task, and it takes a major amount of hard work and dedication to prepare for the shows. This opera has denitely been an experience I will never forget. It hasnt been an easy process but it has been a learning experience, everyday, I think for all of us, senior Kirstan Orgel said.

This opera is performed in English, but also has two particularly well-known arias kept in Italian. This production of The Marriage of Figaro is produced and directed by Louisa Jonason, chair of the music department, with the help of her assistant director, James Bobick. Performers are certain that the audience will be captivated in this comedic opera. Sophomore Alexa Zeremenko earned the role of the countess. I am very excited to perform this opera this weekend. Its denitely not a show to miss, Zeremenko said. The Marriage of Figaro has two evening performances on Friday and Saturday, March 22, and 23, at 8 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, March 24. Tickets are available at the door as well as in advance from the Mary DAngelo Performing Arts Center box ofce. For more information, contact the PAC at (814) 824-3000.

Contributed photo

Senior Kirstan Orgel, also cast as Susanna, performs the role on the Friday night and Sunday matinee performances.


Full list of events can be found on the PAC website

View upcoming performances:

www.merciad.mercyhurst. edu/arts_entertainment

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Flute Force gives imaginative recital

By Mathew Anderson
A&E editor Interesting is a word that is used and over-used daily and is often used with no real meaning behind it. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes the word interesting as something that holds ones attention, or arouses interest. With this very strict denition in mind, I will call last Mondays performance by Flute Force in Walker Recital Hall interesting. Founded in 1981, Flute Force is seen as Americas paramount ute quartet. The group gave a stunning recital that was divided into two parts, separated by an intermission. The rst portion of the concert featured three works that included utes and various other instruments. One of the wind instruments used in the rst piece is not common in Western cultures the Shakuhachi. The second part of the recital consisted of a 40-minute lm titled A Bookmobile for Dreamers. Using three utes and a theremin, the abstract lm featured a recorded soundscape and a video which delved into a meditation on books, libraries and the culture that surrounds reading. Motivated by the love and joy of browsing books, A Bookmobile for Dreamers glories the human imagination as it is instigated by the written word to create images of beauty and magnicence. A small, toy bookmobile makes its rounds as the lm depicts the dives into various stories and scenes, all of which are extremely abstract and gives the human imagination a eld day of inspiration. The theremin is the only instrument in the world that can produce pitch and be played successfully without being touched. It operates on radio waves and uses two antennae, which the player waves his hands in front of, producing volume and pitch. Using stop-motion animation, the lm features the metaphysical with the three utes and theremin acting as a Greek Chorus. Audiences on Monday had the rare opportunity to hear the piece performed by the composer herself. Elizabeth Brown played the theremin so exquisitely that many seemed to be mesmerized by the performance. It is complicated enough to perfect the art of playing an instrument, let alone one that is played without physically touching it in any way. Overall, the concert was a huge success causing the audience to grant multiple ovations to the renowned group. The group was invited to campus through the Visiting Artist Series, which seems to be getting better with every group.


March 20, 2013

Flute Force, shown here, preformed at Walker Recital Hall on Monday, March 18.

Sami Rapp photo


Free housing Discounted tuition Three, five, six, eight and 10-week sessions On-site and online courses


REGISTER ONLINE NOW AT or by calling 412-536-1080

9000 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15237

March 20, 2013


Page 9

Well-known authors attend Literary Festival

By Chelsea Schermerhorn
Copy editor For 10 years, the English department at Mercyhurst has brought poets and ction authors on campus to facilitate and promote literary and creative arts to students. Some of the big names brought to campus include Robert Bly, Grace Paley, Peter Coyote, Joy Harjo, Robert Coover, Martin Espada, Li-Young Lee, Francine Prose and Sonia Sanchez. The 11th annual Mercyhurst Literary Festival will begin Thursday, April 11, with a reading by Marjorie Agosin, a Chilean poet, at 8:15 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre. Agosin is well-known as a human rights activist and poet, having published multiple books. In 2002 Agosin received the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor for Life Achievement from the Chilean government and was nominated for the Neustad Prize for World Literature in 2003 and 2005. The second event of the literary festival will bring William Kowalski to campus. Kowalski, a native of the Erie area who now lives in Nova Scotia, is the author of several bestselling books, and will speak at 8:15 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre. His website can be found at The last event of the literary festival is the Lumen unveiling on Thursday, April 25, at 8:15 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre. The Lumen, Mercyhurst Universitys creative arts magazine, contains works of ction and poetry written by Mercyhurst students, as well as artwork in the printed edition, with the digital edition including music and dance clips. The P. Barry McAndrew Awards will be presented at the event for rst, second and third prize in creative writing and for the best literary essay. An open microphone will conclude the night, with students invited to go on stage to read, recite or perform their creative works. photo

ocal L Events
Wednesday, March 20:
7 p.m. Director Mark Kitchell & A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet Walker Recital Hall 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Global Gifts Fair Student Union

Taylor Little Theatre Friday, March 22, at 2:15 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. $6 for adults, $5 for students/seniors $4 for presidents card holders and FREE for Mercyhurst students (with ID)
Language: French with English subtitles

Langer Film Series: Ai Weiwei Never Sorry

Thursday, March 21:

Friday, March 22:

2:15 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Ai Weiwei Never Sorry Taylor Little Theatre 8 p.m. The Marriage of Figaro Performing Arts Center

Saturday, March 23:


Are you interested in being an extra in a student lm? Then come help with the production of the movie 100. We have 3 big scenes left and need A LOT of people!

1-4 p.m. St. Baldricks Fundraiser Molly Brannigans 1-4 p.m. & 6-9 p.m. Wine on the Lake Bayfront Convention Center 7 p.m. Erie BayHawks Erie Insurance Arena 8 p.m. Star Wars and Beyond Pop Series Warner Theatre 8 p.m. The Marriage of Figaro Performing Arts Center

Dates are: photo

Met HD Live: Francesca da Rimini

by Zandonai
DAngelo Performing Arts Center Sunday, April 14
Start Time: Noon Eastern Time Approx. Runtime: 4 hours

March 20 March 21 March 23 April 14

Filming will last about an hour each day Contact or call (216)-469-2000 for more information.

Sunday, March 24:

2 p.m. The Marriage of Figaro Performing Arts Center

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


March 20, 2013

Crazy behavior is usually expected on St. Paddys Day. Compared to last year, however, Mercyhurst students were relatively calm since the weather prevented a party on Lewis Avenue. This may be unfortunate for students, but administration was able to breathe easy.

MSG GPA: Not the bottom line election input

By Alejandra Zeron
Staff writer

By Angela Sbroglia
Contributing writer

Students have been noticing HurstMakeouts following them on Twitter and advertising itself as the ofcial twitter for all of the PDA at Mercyhurst University. While these types of Twitter accounts are common among universities nationwide, many Mercyhurst students are offering criticism against it. As if friends posting pictures on Facebook wasnt bad enough, now strangers get to share makeout pictures on Twitter. Fortunately, HurstMakeouts has yet to tweet anything.

Hey, you. You know what time is coming up, dont you? The time to vote for student ofcers is right around the corner. Im writing to tell you a little information about my friend, Brooke Miller, and why she would make a great treasurer for the 2013-2014 school year. Not only is she hard working, but she also dedicates herself to bringing new and exciting ideas to Mercyhursts campus in more ways than one. She also does her very best to address student questions in addition to reassuring student input makes it back to the Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) board. Through dedicating a large amount of her time to Mercyhursts student government, she has accumulated ideal characteristics that would be very benecial in a treasurer position. If you dont want to take my word for it, approach her yourself and youll see she has the ability to do an exceptional job. Make sure to vote Brooke Miller for treasurer.

Today, grade point average (GPA) is considered to be the standard and reliable measurement of a students character and intelligence as a predictor of future success in the real world setting. GPA certainly reects a students commitment to the class as well as his or her grasp of class concepts. Nevertheless, is a student with a record of straight As really going to be more successful than his or her classmate who gets lower grades? Recently, USA Today published a debate about the worth of a GPA as an indicator of an individuals potential both within and outside the academic realm. Surprisingly, admission counselors from top colleges and universities revealed that a numerical gure such as a GPA is not truly a comprehensive and relevant way to judge an applicant. In todays competitive marketplace, an individuals potential can be best demonstrated in a combination of factors that include extracurricular activities, internships and other relevant hands-on experiences. Its articial, says Jim Bock, admissions dean at Swarthmore College, which is the top private college in The Princeton Reviews Best Value rankings. So unimportant is the GPA that

Swarthmore doesnt bother calculating it for guidebook publishers. Frank Rizzone, associate director of the Career Development Center asserts, GPA is one indicator of a students ability, but its not infallible. During his years of experience helping students and alumni obtain professional employment, he states that it is not rare to encounter students who with a 2.2 GPA, per se, secure successful and coveted jobs. However, Rizzone does indicate that the importance of GPA can oftentimes be circumstantial. He points out that the highly specialized on-campus majors of accounting and intelligence do require students to procure and maintain a specic GPA to either stay on the academic program or obtain a job upon graduation. What do these ndings that indicate that the utmost importance of GPA as the screening tool that indicates future success is dwindling represent to students?

On one hand, it means that students who do not perform well on standardized tests can demonstrate their abilities and qualications through other activities that reect drive and motivation. Nevertheless, it can also lead to an increased pressure for students to not only do well in their school work, but also to undertake multiple extracurricular activities, projects, research and off-school jobs as a means to stand out. Even though the signicance of a number such as a GPA cannot be entirely overlooked because it reects a students efforts, it is not the only factor that will determine success following graduation. Determination, attitude and passion can oftentimes be more important tools in helping a person thrive. Therefore, students who work hard yet are not able to attain a high GPA should not be discouraged.

If you dont want it printed . . . dont let it happen. Editors Positions editormerciad Alicia Cagle Editor-in-Chief newsmerciad Stacy Skiavo News Editor featuremerciad Kayla Kelly Features Editor sportsmerciad Joe Chiodo Sports Editor entertainmentmerciad Mat Anderson A&E Editor copymerciad Chelsea Schermerhorn Copy Editor photomerciad Samantha Link Graphics photomerciad Zach Dorsch Photo Editor ejohns89 Ethan Johns Web Editor admerciad Will DeFeo Ad Manager wwelch Bill Welch Adviser

The Person & The Parakeet

by Brady Greenawalt
An original comic about struggles in a modern world.

The Hammermill Library has work-study students manning posts at the bridge to the CAE and the exit out of Weber Hall and their job is to count. They count people coming and people going all day long. What could be more exciting than sitting at the post, putting a hash mark as a person walks by. The ugly part: Machines are at each location doing the same thing.

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

March 20, 2013

By Joe Chiodo
Sports editor
Being bestowed with the title of PSAC Western Division Athlete of the Year is a major accomplishment for Leao, and one he is proud of. It is denitely one of the biggest awards Ive won here at Mercyhurst University, right up there with my Academic All-American First Team award, Leao said. It is good to know that my name will be in the Mercyhurst books for history. After all, I gave everything I had during these four years. Leao has put a lot of hard work and dedication into his time as a Laker, and handled it like the most important job he could have. Basketball was my profession for the past four years, and my paycheck was my scholarship. So, just as in any other regular job, you have to be at the top of your game and prepared for every day that you step into the ofce, said Leao. Leao struggled with injury last season, playing in only 15 of the Lakers games during the 2011-12 season. I took care of my body, and since Ive battled with injuries all four years basically, I was able to stay healthy and nally play a full season, said Leao. Being selected to the PSAC West First Team is not a rst for Leao, as he was also a member during the 2010-11 season. Nonetheless, Leao is excited to be selected to such a prestigious team a second time. Its a huge honor, especially because there are so many great players in the PSAC that play my position. It has to be such a difcult job to select only six players to the rst team, said Leao. The fact that four out of the six players selected played my position just proves the competitiveness of it. On Jan. 12, 2013, Leao broke 1,000 career points. By the end of the 2012-

Leao named PCAC Athlete of the Year

Although the basketball season has been over for the Mercyhurst University mens basketball team for a few weeks, one Laker is still receiving recognition for his incredible performance. With an average of 18.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season alongside scoring double gures in 28 of 29 games, senior forward Luis Leao stacked up an impressive list of accomplishments during the 2012-13 season. Leao broke plenty of records and received quite the recognition this season. He broke 1,000 career points back on January 12, the ninth most in Hurst history. Additionally, over the course of his career as a Laker, he averaged 17.4 points per game, the fourth most of any Laker on record. The list doesnt end there; Leao made 166 foul shots, which set a Mercyhurst University record, and his 73 career blocks puts him at the tenth-most in program history. For his spectacular 2012-13 season, Leao was rightfully named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division Athlete of the Year. This award has never been granted to a Laker in school history, and Leao is the rst player born outside of the United States (Leao was born in Brusque, Brazil) in PSAC history to win the award. Additionally, Leao was named to the PSAC West First Team, Capital One Academic All-American First Team, and 2012-13 Daktronics NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Second Team (another Hurst rst).


Page 11 September 3, 2008

Brian Vail photo

Luis Leao was named PSAC Western Division Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 5.
13 season, he tallied an incredible 1,221 points. Contrary to what one would expect, Leao was not a bit concerned with the career milestone. I had no clue I was up there in terms of points. It was never a big deal for me, but once it happened it was very fun, said Leao. There is always a certain degree of feeling like you have accomplished something great when you do things like that. Although Leao has received a multitude of awards, acknowledgments and selections for his work as a Laker, and even set and broke a few records along the way, he recognizes the importance of his team and coaching staff in helping him to receive such accolades. I would say the biggest role of it all was played by my team and coaching staff. They have all trusted me throughout the entire season, and ran the offense through me, and I owe a big thank you to them, said Leao. These guys and coaches were very loyal to me, and loyalty is something I have always had in myself as well as being the trait I appreciate most in a person. I believe I had 14 very loyal teammates and three very coaches that I was blessed to work with this past season.

Womens lacrosse off to strong start

By Lindsey Burke
Contributing writer
The Mercyhurst womens lacrosse team has started the year with a 3-1 record. The only loss has come against nationally ranked Limestone College. The Lakers have won against Queens University (Charlotte), Seton Hill University and Lake Erie College. The team welcomes 11 freshmen for the 2013 season. These 11 join a young squad comprised of only three seniors. Alisha Catalino, a native of Webster, N.Y., Kayla Minner, a native of Lockport, N.Y., and Brittany Tucker, a native of Las Vegas, Nev. The freshman are extremely hard workers, they not only take feedback and apply it to their game, but they take it to heart, said Catalino. Their hard work and intensity makes everyone ght for a spot on the eld which ultimately amps the atmosphere at practice. Catalino noted tough Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) competition would be fought against Bloomsburg, Gannon, and Lock Haven. Those three have always been our tougher games, said Catalino. Although they will be tough games, every game will be tough and we have to continue to play together to defeat any opponent. The Lakers were ranked No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Womens Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) preseason poll and picked to nish fourth in the PSAC. Sophomore Rebecca Himes returns after leading the team with

...we have to continue to play together to beat any opponent.

- Alisha Catalino

52 goals and 65 points. Anna LeGrett recorded 37 goals and a team-high 21 assists, while Minner added 27 goals. Catalino scored 34 goals and compiled 95 draw controls, becoming the

schools career record holder. We will be very successful if we keep pushing ourselves everyday in practice, said Catalino. Our team chemistry is there, everyone is focused and in it to win it. The Lakers will look to continue their success against Tifn University on Friday, March 22, at 4 p.m. on Tullio Field. The Lakers begin home PSAC play on March 26 at 4 p.m. against Slippery Rock.

Page 12

McAvoy named ECAC Specialist of the Week

By Samantha Bante
Staff writer
Having Mercyhursts rst ever undefeated regular season would be an honor for almost any team. Ending its 2012 season with a record of 13-0 and losing only once in a playoff game, the Mercyhurst mens lacrosse team is proving again, that they are a force to be reckoned with. Weve had a pretty tough beginning to the season and we are getting solid play from a lot of people on our team too, said Head Coach Chris Ryan. We are able to keep our rivals going, and ve of the teams we play are in the top 12. With a record of 5-0 so far, holding the No. 1 position and a win over Lindenwood University during their ECAC opener on Saturday, March 16, the Lakers are working hard to make this season one to remember. We are a great team, but we have a lot of room for growth as well, Ryan said. We are not where we were this time last year. We are working on our identity and the guys are working really hard at it.


March 20, 2013 September 3, 2008

Coming out and making himself known this year is No. 45, junior midelder, Mitch McAvoy. This is McAvoys second straight Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) award, winning a total of 50 out of 79 face-offs this year so far. Mitch is strong for us when it comes to our faceoff, Ryan said. He injured his thumb awhile back, but was able to bounce back really fast for us. He has had a high level of faceoffs over the past few games and is a strength for us. Losing a total of eight seniors, the Lakers had lost leaders on both ends of the eld. With an addition of 15 freshmen, the Lakers are working on replacing the depth within their team. The freshmen are doing a pretty good job so far adjusting. Were getting a lot of effort from them, and they are handling everything pretty well, Ryan said. One thing that is unique is that lacrosse is the only sport really around that you faceoff. Mitch is able to produce a ton of possession for us and is probably the smartest when it comes to lacrosse IQ on the team. He brings a lot of presence for us and is also able to play middle defense for us as well. The Lakers next home game is this Sunday, March 24, against Walsh University at Tullio Field.

Mitch McAvoy was named ECAC Specialist of the Week on Monday, March. 11.

Brian Vail photo

Mens hockey keeps hope alive

By R.J. Niedzwiecki
Staff writer
The Mercyhurst mens hockey team is preparing for the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) Tournament. The Lakers started the rst round playing Army at home on March 8 and 9. The Lakers took down the Black Knights 3-1 and 5-2 at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The quarternals were held at Holy Cross for a three-game series against the Crusaders from March 15 through 17. The Lakers took two of three from Holy Cross, posting a 3-2, 3-2, 1-0. In game one, goals were scored by sophomore Tyler Shiplo, sophomore Daniel Bahntge, and senior Grant Blakey. Game two goals were scored by sophomore Chris Bodo and Grant Blakey. In the deciding game three, the goal went to Blakey. On Monday, March 18, Blakey and junior goaltender Jordan Tibbett received AHA weekly honors for their roles in these wins at Holy Cross. Since taking two of three from Holy Cross, the Lakers move on to the seminals where they will face the University of Connecticut. The game is scheduled for Friday, March 22, at Rochester, N.Y. in the Blue Cross Arena. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m. Additionally, Mercyhurst University will be hosting a send-off for both the mens and womens hockey teams as they make their way into their respective tournament play. The send off for the mens team will begin at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. The send-off for the womens team will take place at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21.