"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

Provost Greene to retire


At the end of this school year, Campus Provost Kenneth Greene will be leaving Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham after 38 years of service.
Greene first worked as an assistant professor of political science after arriving at the campus in 1974, and was promoted to full-time professor in 1982.

Greene assumed the role of the social sciences and history department chair from 1979 to 1997 and served as assistant, then associate, provost at the university from 1997 to 2002.

Despite the many years he has spent with the school, Greene is the first to admit how fast the time has passed.

“It doesn’t seem that long. It went by pretty quickly actually,” said Greene. “There were some good years, some bad years, and some good years again.”

Greene is departing just as the John and Joan Monninger Center – arguably his biggest alteration to the College at Florham – is set to be completed within the upcoming semester.

Even as the stage is set for his exit, Greene continues to speak of his responsibilities at the university in the present tense.

“We’re all together in this, it’s just how we do it,” said Greene.

Greene said that his time at FDU was spent in pursuit of maximizing the school’s strengths as a “small college” by implementing positive changes at the academic level, as well as by improving the campus facilities.

“I really like small colleges,” said Greene. “They have small classes, so there’s lots of personal attention and there’s a chance for you to get involved.”

Besides the new Monninger Center, Greene has also overseen successful alterations to Twombly and the Dreyfuss building while acting as Campus Provost.

His hopes for the university in his absence will remain the same as they were while he served as provost. Greene stated that he would like to see Fairleigh Dickinson continue to be “an exceptional small college,” as well as keep students “very intellectually active on campus.”

Though Greene was open to discussing the changes that have occurred and his dreams for the school, he was also candid about the things he wished were different.
“Money has always been an issue,” he said.

With more money to spend, Greene would have liked to have hired more full-time faculty members, as well as spend more on “campus beautification.” Above all, he intended to supplement the means for students to actively engage themselves on campus as much as possible during their time at FDU.

Greene anticipates he will be applying those same holistic values towards his retirement plans, which he said will be made up of primarily working on his golf game, reading more and doing some home remodeling.

Although Greene lives nearby, which is an indication that the campus will not be too far from his watchful eye, he has faith in his successor, Peter Woolley.
“I think he’ll do a really good job. He’s committed to the place,” said Greene.

Woolley will be assuming the role of Campus Provost during a time that Greene feels is a healthy one for the university.

“I have really been impressed with the students. I think they have really responded to the small college atmosphere,” said Greene.

He went on to report that there has been less vandalism on campus currently than there has been in the last ten years and that, overall, there is more participation on the part of students.

“I think the direction we’re moving in is the right one,” Greene said. “It’s just, can we do it faster?”

The answer to Greene’s question will only come along with the passage of time, but what remains unarguable is that Fairleigh Dickinson University will be left without the talents of a man who dedicated a large portion of his life towards the betterment of the school.

According to Becton College Dean Geoffrey Weinman, who has known the outgoing provost during his entire tenure and has worked with him closely over the past seven years, Greene provided a “foundation on which to build the future.”

University Provost reflects on year


On July 1, 2011, at the start of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s new fiscal year, Christopher Capuano was named the new University Provost. The position puts him directly under University President Michael Adams in the school’s hierarchy and the increase in responsibility has come as no surprise to the man assuming the role.
“It’s been a challenging year for me, and I knew it would be,” said Capuano.

Capuano, who had been serving as FDU’s Vice Provost of International Affairs, was named University Provost after a national search conducted by the school. A university-wide search committee composed of administrators and faculty was appointed to review the potential candidates, both internal and external.

The review process consisted of phone interviews, followed by campus “call-ins” for applicants who made it past the first screening. The top three candidates were then selected from this pool with the university president eventually making the final appointment. At the end of the entire process, Capuano was the last man standing.

The promotion did not relieve him of one of the primary responsibilities of his old job, which was overseeing the development of FDU-Vancouver. While serving in his new role, Capuano continued his oversight of the Vancouver campus, which has moved past its “break-even deficit” (the amount of money that has been invested on the part of the school) and is close to making $1 million, he said.

While the fast turn-around at FDU-Vancouver was a pleasant surprise to Capuano from numerous standpoints, it rendered him incapable of turning over the reins to someone else once he received his promotion.

“Managing the growth sometimes is more difficult than handling the start up,” said Capuano.

The new University Provost has been up to the challenge, though.

“I want to see the university continue to build on its reputation of providing a global education,” said Capuano.

This sense of commitment to and understanding of FDU’s mission leads one to believe that Capuano is the right man for the job, and he reflects his beliefs in how much responsibility he has shouldered in terms of managing the overall growth of Fairleigh Dickinson.

“We need to remember that that’s who we are. We need to remember that [being the leader in global education] was a founding principle in the university,” said Capuano.
Besides his management of growing FDU’s brand, Capuano has also tended to the task of strengthening it from within in his short time as University Provost.

“I’ve put a lot of time into reorganizing academic affairs,” in an effort to make things more efficient, said Capuano.

During this reorganization, Capuano restructured the system so he would have significantly fewer people reporting directly to him, which in turn allowed him to identify and pursue his goals in a much more efficient manner. By streamlining, Capuano has structured a better vehicle through which his message can be heard more clearly.

His message is simple: “Continue to enforce quality programs and programs that are connected with careers,” while promoting “uniform standards for quality across the university.”

Part of that search for quality rests in retaining the highest accreditation standards for Fairleigh Dickinson’s academic departments. Just recently, FDU’s Silberman College of Business was renewed for its AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation, which according to the university website is the “world’s preeminent accreditation authority for collegiate schools of business.”

Maintaining such accreditation standards allows for graduates of the school to “connect to employers,” according to Capuano, by proving their worth across a universal set of standards.

While FDU’s ultimate direction under Capuano’s watch has yet to be seen, his first year as University Provost has been guided by foundational principles of the school both from a business and philosophical perspective.

From the editor’s desk: To you


Since this is probably the last thing I will have published for some time, I will be careful not to waste my words.

This column has provided me with an appropriate outlet to express myself when I felt it necessary, and while I appreciate that opportunity for independent thought, I would like to dedicate this last piece of space to the people in my life who have always, and will always, be there when I need to vent.

This column has been there for me for a year. You will all be there for me for the rest of my life.

I have been blessed in so many ways, not limited to the work I have been able to complete in my time here as Editor-in-Chief. I’ve watched my last full year of college fly by me faster than any of the 21 years previous, and it’s eerie how quickly the hands on the clock seem to be gaining momentum as I get older.

Two life-altering experiences have happened to me this year that will ensure that I will change for the better.

This year, I learned the meaning of hard work. Hard work, in the purest sense, is giving everything you have to something. You give so much and so freely that in the end you forget what you’ve given. If you were to ask me what was on the front page of a recent issue, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. But if you put that issue in my hands I could probably tell you what nightmares we faced trying to get it out.

The responsibilities of being Editor-in-Chief have caused me to be in such a state of hyperfocus that the only elements of it I have internalized were the circumstances that were wholly outside of myself. The rest of the experience was me, and what I chose to give to it, which was everything I had. Thus, the whole year just seems like a blur.

I think that the reason it’s been hard for me to put this year in perspective is because I gave it my all and, as with everything else in life, it’s hard to fully separate yourself from something that is truly a part of you.

For better or for worse, each of the 17 issues I published this year has been a part of me. Now that it’s over, I have only just started to take a step back and reflect on what has happened. The reason I am able to do that now is because it’s over. Only when a big part of your life vanishes, never to be seen again, are you inspired to ponder what that missing piece had meant to you. Only when that happens do you take stock of what is left in the wake of the departure and consider how valuable it is.

Relinquishing my position at The Pillar is an example of how loss causes reflection.

Saying goodbye to my grandfather, who passed away on April 13, provides another one.

My grandfather, Thomas Ford, was a wonderful person whose life had a distinct impact on my own. If he wasn’t the man he was, I certainly wouldn’t be the man I am today. In fact, if he hadn’t been such a guiding presence in my life I know I wouldn’t even be able to confidently call myself a man in the first place. I have a pit in my stomach thinking about how much more I could have given him in his time here. What turns the pit into a black hole is knowing that this realization didn’t crystallize in my mind until he was gone.

The truth is what I used in an attempt to comfort my family at the wake and the funeral.
Being a journalist, I’m pompous enough to think that the truth is one of my specialties. I told them it was the right time for him to go. He was 79 with a slew of previous health problems and hospitalizations. He was a man with nine lives who had finally used them all up. At least he got to see all his grandchildren settled in college and pursuing careers, I said. At least he was able to witness our lives beginning as his came to a close. Even though I believe this is the truth, my sentiments were always prefaced with “at least,” as if these realizations had meant nothing in the wake of losing him. The truth is; they did mean nothing.

He was that important, that loved. His death, though ultimately expected, was not easier for anyone to bear. I had to ask myself “why is that?”

The answer I came up with was that humans, as a race, are never ready to consider mortality until it becomes offended at our ignorance and smacks us directly in the face.

Mortality is a concept that is so heavy, so nebulous, that you are incapable of truly wrestling with it unless someone you have loved for your entire life is lying stiff in a box, right in front of you. It is only then that you know that you will never, ever be able to see them again.

There’s an old saying that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I have always believed this since I was a little kid, but it’s as easy to forget as it is to believe. The components of a daily routine morph your aptitude to think about your life with gratitude into a fat, disgusting sense of entitlement.

When you lose power in a hurricane you never want to turn on a light more, never want to store something in the fridge more. But, instead, you find yourself emptying out the fridge in the darkness because you don’t have any other option. You recall while you are doing this how easy it is to take things for granted, how when something is there for you every day it becomes subject to neglect. This is certain for lights and refrigerators, and it takes on a whole new meaning when it pertains to people. Especially the ones we know in our hearts mean everything to us.

Despite the pain, going through the loss of my grandfather has ensured me that I won’t take anyone I love for granted, ever again. This column, this space in my life, is dedicated to everyone who stood by me this year. Every word that I have written is a pledge to you, and I hope that it will stand here forever in ink. So as one chapter ends for me and another begins, I promise, I will never forget you.

‘Wanderlust’ review: Apatow knocks another out of the park


I saw “Wanderlust” this weekend as sort of an afterthought. There were two movies that I wanted to see more but due to some scheduling difficulties I ended up going to “Wanderlust.” I was not disappointed in the least. If you thought “Role Models” was funny and could use a good laugh, I’d recommend you give this movie a shot.

If I had to compare the two, I’d say that “Wanderlust” succeeds where “Role Models” was lacking, as well as dominates in the area that could be considered the bread and butter of “Role Models.” I rarely ever laugh out loud during movies. “Role Models” took me to that level on certain occasions, while “Wanderlust” had me whipping the tears of laughter out of my eyes so I would be sure not to miss the next moment of hilarity.

“Role Models” failed for me in the ability to draw believable characters whose trials I could grow to care about. Frankly, while the movie was hilarious, it wasn’t funny enough to compensate for the fact that I didn’t care at all what was going to happen to Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott in the end. I didn’t care about their “personal growth” because I thought they were lame characters who had nowhere to go but up anyway.

In “Wanderlust,” George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) also have nowhere to go but up. They are barely treading water trying to live the prototypical “New York lifestyle,” overextending their budget for a studio apartment scarcely bigger than your average FDU dorm room, in the West Village.

George is humping a job at an unethical company and ends up getting fired by his boss as the FBI takes him away in handcuffs after raiding the office. Linda, after a myriad of other failed business endeavors, is trying her best to pitch a documentary film featuring a penguin with testicular cancer to HBO. She fails miserably and before they can even get comfortable in their new apartment they are beyond their means and forced to leave the city.

On their way down to Atlanta, where George is planning on taking a job with his d-bag brother Rick (Ken Marino), the couple decides to call it a night and shack up at a bed and breakfast, which also turns out to be some sort of a commune.

As a result of this one-night stay, George and Linda are subjected to the absurd antics of all of the members of the commune, and are enthralled and unnerved at the same time. The free living commune lifestyle presents them with a stark contrast to the life they were just coming from, and this underlying plot element drives the story forward until the very end where it is tied together smoothly.

Other actors that deserve an immense amount of credit for the movie’s sensational humor are Aniston’s new beau Justin Theroux (Seth); Kerri Kenney-Silver (Kathy), who is probably best known for portraying Officer Trudy Wiegel on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!”; and Kathryn Hahn (Karen) who played the role of Alice, Derek’s wife, in the movie “Step Brothers.”

“Wanderlust,” a Judd Apatow production, capitalizes in the way that Apatow’s films have achieved such notoriety for. They portray believable characters with conceivable problems, and watching these types of people navigate through the ridiculousness of an Apatow movie is almost as enjoyable as the brilliant comedy you observe.

In terms of off-the-wall humor, few movies in my recent memory could hold a candle to “Wanderlust.”

The fondest memories are those that you least expect; Even driving through Virginia can cause you to reassess your life


I remember being in the backseat of a Jeep, feeling really tired because I hadn’t slept in three days.

It was the beginning of summer, and the car was cutting westward through the wide, repetitive space of land known as Virginia.

I had the window down, and I leaned my head against the crook of the door. The wind whistled in an oddly soothing fashion as it whipped through my side, roughly tussling my hair before exiting abruptly through the opposite window. I didn’t like how this felt, so I slid my limp body up the doorframe until I could feel the warmth of the sun against my face.

I don’t know if the sun shines differently on a specific patch of Virginia highway, but on that particular day I would have been willing to make the argument.

Maybe it was because the summer was just beginning, maybe it was because I was in a car full of friends who had been talking about where we were heading for the previous year, but I’ve never felt the warmth of assurance in what I was doing like that before in my entire life.

The closest comparison I can make to what it felt like is taking a plunge into a freezing ocean on an extremely hot day.

It was receiving the instant sense of relief followed by a coaxing, radiant sensation when you reemerge and the heat in the air no longer bothers you. Rather, it invigorates you in the way you never thought a hot, sticky day could before you took that initial plunge.

It was that tingly sensation, paired with the wind, which due to my new posture was rushing unceasingly up through my nose and out of my mouth, that made me single out that point in time as worthy of remembering. It felt like a fire was nestling itself down deep into the back of my throat before I breathed it out. It was the strangest feeling.

With the rolling green hillsides streaking in and out of sight and the crisp air circulating in and out of my body and the sun caressing my cheeks affectionately, I felt like life itself was running through me just as surely as it was passing by outside of me.

It sounds crazy while I’m putting it down on paper, and my logical reaction to this whole episode as I write is that I was simply lucky not to have swallowed a bug. The only thing that I keep coming back to is the feeling, though, and I can feel it now just as strongly as I did on that day.

There has to be something to it.

Call me crazy, and maybe I am, but if being crazy is what caused me to feel that way on that particular day, I’m content with my insanity.

When I think back on that day, I try to recall it more within the scope of where I was in my life rather than the idea that the sun and air in Virginia possess some type of magical qualities. Although, this could be possible. Try driving through the place. It takes forever, bordering on infinity.

Some things are cliché for a reason, and sometimes it’s because they are the closest things we have to Universal Truths.

Road trips with good friends are one of these things. You’re leaving someplace where you have been imprisoned by circumstance, and you are heading to a destination that is offering you a promise.

If nothing else, it’s a promise that you’ll end up somewhere different than you were before.

The bonds of friendship strengthen as you all share the burden of getting to the destination, each of you with the same ends in mind and sharing the same sense of adventurous spirit that spurred on the whole trip in the first place. This sense of adventure pervades everything, and the relative sense of the unknown excites your world, while the familiarity with those you’re sharing the trip with provides the overall sense that everything is OK.

When you can find that type of symmetry in an otherwise chaotic existence, everyday things like the sun and the wind can take on their own spiritual forms of being. It’s funny what feeling purposeful can do to a person. Reflecting back on these types of experiences is life affirming, and I think that the affirmation of a meaningful existence is the stuff of the best memories.

If you’re still reading this and you think I’m crazy, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you.

I will say, however, that when my time is almost up and I’m remembering the things I am grateful for, I will not be ashamed to recall the day where the wind tasted like fire and the sun kissed me on the face. I prefer to think of these things as an indication that I’m doing something right.

Series presents the ‘Myth of Race and Public Policy’; Discussion features the scientific and folk definitions of race

Continuing the Politics on the PublicMind Series for Black History Month on Feb. 9 was Franklyn Jenifer, who gave a speech concerning the “Myth of Race and Public Policy.”

Jenifer, a recent addition to Fairleigh Dickinson’s Board of Trustees, is also the current President Emeritus at the University of Texas at Dallas. Previously, he served as the president of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Aside from his experience in the academic sphere, Jenifer also maintains status as a scientific authority, holding advanced degrees in both Plant Virology and microbiology. Jenifer utilized the diverse nature of his wealth of knowledge to speak about a wide variety of topics that ultimately traced themselves back to one, over-arching theme, the concept of race in society.

“The word ‘race’ is a very sloppy word to begin with,” Jenifer said before splitting its definition into two different sub-definitions.

Jenifer identified the first connotation of the word race as the one used most prevalently in America, the definition that is based “on your bloodline.”
The second way to examine race, according to Jenifer, is in the scientific meaning.

“We haven’t been around long enough to have race exist in the scientific sense,” said Jenifer.

Jenifer’s breakdown of a term that is so often an emotional topic highlighted the scientific application of the concept of race. He asserted that since mankind hasn’t existed long enough as a species to be deemed an actual race, scientifically there are no such things as racial differences, using the meaning that the word usually connotes in America.

“We look at race in folk terms, not scientific,” said Jenifer. “Race in America is based on bloodlines.”

Jenifer emphasized the importance of the scientific definition of race in relation to Americans’ misconceptions about the term.

He contended that if one were to take two Africans and compare them, while also taking an African and a Scandinavian and comparing them as well, there would be more of a difference between the two Africans than between the African and the Scandinavian.

In the U.S., the idea of race is often glanced over based on superficialities with a lot less attention paid to the details.

“If you have a black relative in your family as far back as your grandparents, you are considered black in America,” Jenifer said.

Jenifer then began to recount the history of African people in America as an example for analysis. He mentioned the year 1619, when the first Africans arrived in America on slave ships.

Originally, they were told they could make their way as indentured servants, who would be entitled to eventual freedom. However, once their owners became economically dependent on the free labor, they devised other means to retain their servitude.

“It’s very difficult for one human being to hold another in slavery,” Jenifer said.

As a result, the idea of race was used to hold people in permanent bondage, with a terminology that was meant to dehumanize.

Even today, the use of “code words” that imply but do not actually refer to race are used among policy makers in the discussion of sensitive issues.

These words, like a struggling “welfare mother,” do not state the race of the subject outright, but possess a certain racial connotation nonetheless.
Nearing the conclusion of his speech, Jenifer once again brought up the subject of race in the scientific sense.

He referenced the research of the human genome study, which concluded that the genome pairs making up human DNA are 99.9 percent similar. Findings in the study also speculate that humans all hail from a common ancestor.

Tying the topics of science and race study together in the conclusion of his speech, Jenifer recommended that “scientists of a particular race should be used when studies are being done about that particular race.”

Jenifer ultimately stressed the strong undercurrent of ancestral unity flowing beneath all of the presupposed differences.

“No matter who you are, you are a homo sapien,” Jenifer said. “You are each brothers and sisters with a common ancestor. You are equal to every other human being.”

From the editor’s desk: The fight for a new world happens between the last people that you’d expect


Days fly by when things are going well, and if you’ve been lucky enough to have a consistent string of great things happen to you, you know the feeling.
During times like those, you wish you could hold on to the hands of the clock because the grip you have on your own life isn’t tight enough to stand the test of time.

That’s how things are, though. Whenever you are enjoying what you’re doing you feel like you never have enough time.

People who have truly gotten what they wanted out of their lives must have felt like they only lived for five minutes. I, on the other hand, have watched my life pass by in varying degrees of speed.

When I’m happy, the hours are more like seconds. When things are bad, and I’m wading in misery, it seems like each passing minute should be the one that signals the end of the day. But it doesn’t.

Instead, I’m left to contemplate my circumstances and the things that went wrong. What drives me to this state the most often is when I have a fight with someone I love, and in my opinion there’s no quicker way to lose your grip.

Do you know the feeling?

Your stomach turning itself inside out over and over again as you recycle the things that you said over and over with the same frequency. You feel ill, but you’re not sure about what because there are so many things that sicken you.

Time crawls and crawls, mocking your misery while perpetuating it. All of the things about the world that made sense to you previously seem to distort themselves, and your perception blurs.

Why did this have to happen, you ask yourself.

Did I want this to happen?

You’re not quite sure, but you know for a fact you feel worse now than you did before you said what was on your mind.

So, by process of elimination, was what was on your mind wrong?

Or, are you just heartbroken because a piece of your world, a person that you love, has fallen out of it?

Even if it just ends up being temporary, as far as you are concerned, in the moment, the sky might as well be crashing down.

There are so many questions to ask, and thanks to the newfound fickleness of the clock, you have a lot more time to ponder the answers.

The truth is, the ones we love are just as integral in dreaming up our worlds as we are. The things that they say to us and do for us intertwine their sentiments into our reality. The only reason we know of ideas and feelings outside of our own is because they have been gifted to us by others, especially the ones closest to us.

Thinking of their gifts makes it extra difficult when we disagree with those closest to us, because part of our world is being called into question as a consequence.

Disagreeing with loved ones is one of the most difficult challenges presented to us. You internalize all of the inconsistencies between your world and theirs, not wanting to upset the beauty of the bigger picture.

Eventually, though, those suppressed feelings bleed through and make themselves known in more venomous ways. We might say the things that we mean, but maybe not in the way that we meant to say them. The resulting emotional frenzy leaves both combatants dazed, a state that shifts into a mood of resigned contemplation once both fighters return to their corners.

After a while, no matter how slowly time seemed to pass, a resolution is reached. The latent feeling that the world was going to end vanishes, and it’s not because the belief was unfounded.

Your world as you knew it has vanished, with new horizons drawn as a result of you and your loved one finding new common ground.

The College at Florham selects new campus provost from within


Fairleigh Dickinson University students who have grown accustomed to seeing emails from Campus Provost Kenneth Greene flood their inboxes might want to get used to a new name attached to their daily stream of university updates.

Due to the upcoming retirement of Greene, Professor Peter Woolley will inherit the title and responsibilities of Campus Provost for the College at Florham. Woolley will officially take the position on July 1.

“Of course I’m honored, and I’m excited,” Woolley said of the decision, which was made in January.

Woolley was chosen at the culmination of a multi-layered selection process, which included the involvement of a search committee, the vice presidents of the university, as well as public forum selection events.

While the inclusion of the search committee and university vice presidents represented the involvement of the administration in the decision, the public forum events (Q&A sessions) allowed interested FDU students the opportunity to get to know the internal candidates being considered for the position. These events had no bearing on the final decision, however.

Woolley will become provost as a result of Greene’s retirement following 38 years of involvement with the school, which began when he joined FDU as an assistant professor in 1974.

The university website quotes Greene as saying: “My vision was for us to create an exceptional college that had strong academic programs, extensive co-curricular activities and impressive facilities. The campus would have a strong sense of community and would provide students with a well-rounded educational experience.”

Woolley is definitely familiar Greene’s vision for the university, which currently can be observed in the large dirt hills and lengths of construction fence that dot significant portions of the campus.

“[Greene] hired me in 1987,” said Woolley. “I’ve known him since I stepped off the plane from Pittsburgh.”

His familiarity with Greene has provided him with a blueprint outlining what it takes to make it as campus provost for the long haul.

“[Greene] is calm, reasoned, judicious and a supportive colleague and leader,” Woolley said.

Woolley has his own vision for Fairleigh Dickinson that he intends to pursue during his time as provost.

“I want to help make the campus beautiful, safe and fun,” Woolley said.

Woolley acknowledged an element of Fairleigh Dickinson he feels will aid him in his mission.

“Right now I think the university is treating its people well,” said Woolley. “That’s important because there is a ripple effect from the teachers to the students. They are a good group to work with and a good group to work for. That’s key in any organization.”

Woolley said he would like to emphasize the importance of students reaching out to alumni. “Once you’re here, you should always be a part of the family,” he said.

That mentality could serve to bridge the gap between alumni who are already entrenched in the precarious market and students about to enter it.

“In these kind of economic times, it’s important to focus more on how to get a job,” said Woolley. “Skills like networking, interviewing.”

As the world both outside and inside the walls of Fairleigh Dickinson continues to shift, the idea of proper guidance has assumed more importance now than ever. As campus provost, Woolley will have his chance to lead.

“[FDU] is a campus with great people, great students and it’s their campus,” said Woolley. “So, I’m looking forward to serving them.”

From the editor’s desk, the men of PSU


When this issue goes to print, it will be nearly two weeks since the former Pennsylvania State University football Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on charges of sexual abuse of young boys.

The allegations against Sandusky are despicable, and he will face his day in court.

What also concerns me is that the university is at fault for not stopping this sooner. The details that have risen out of the case so far can’t help but to ring eerily true with the philosophy of Edmund Burke, who famously said that “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

I think that the lack of moral fortitude in this case on the parts of former Head Coach Joe Paterno and Assistant Coach Mike McQueary, who was placed on administrative leave, is abysmal. In this case, it was actually the irresponsiveness of these men and others that allowed evil to prevail.

Joe Paterno has arguably stripped the spotlight of the case away from Sandusky, at least for the time being. Paterno was, up until this point, revered as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport. He held his tenure as Head Coach at Penn State from 1966 until Nov. 9, when he was fired along with University President Graham Spanier in an apparent effort by the school to “clean house.”

During his time as Head Coach, Paterno amassed more victories than any other coach in the history of college football. In my opinion, he was working on borrowed time.

Ever since his failure to go to the authorities on behalf of a child, I discredit Joe Paterno of everything he has accomplished on the football field, and I do this because I think he restrained himself and the influence he had within Penn State for the sake of his own reputation, as well as the reputation of the university.

There is nothing good to be found in what Paterno did in 2002. According to the grand jury report, he merely relayed to Penn State’s athletic director a report from his graduate assistant, identified in the media as McQueary, about what Sandusky had been engaged in with a young boy in the showers of his own locker room.

He could have done more and he didn’t.

Those who want to blame the official he filed the report to for not being forthright as well, feel free, but nobody had more influence on that campus than Paterno did.

According to the grand jury report, the graduate assistant left immediately after witnessing Sandusky rape a child; that insured the success of the most heinous crime in the world.

This is not to mention, for lack of sufficient information at this time, the actual number of victims who subsequently fell prey to Sandusky following the incident. Aside from the fact that McQueary failed to intervene at the time of the rape, the first thing he did after witnessing it was to call his father, according to the grand jury report.

McQueary’s actions can only suggest that, even in the presence of this atrocious act, he somehow managed to keep the idea of reputation in mind. Even if he was too much of a coward to physically stop Sandusky, how did he not show the slightest bit of moral decency by informing the authorities after the fact?
The individuals involved in this case represent everything that we should not be striving for as a collective race.

I have to admit that I am extremely biased on the issue. Personally, I feel depriving a defenseless child of his innocence is the worst act a human can commit against another human.

The true colors of Penn State University officials have been revealed, and hopefully justice will be served against the perpetrators who allowed these horrible things to happen. I doubt many will face legal consequences because they did “what was necessary” in the legal sense (once again, a move that just screams self-preservation), but their legacies should be besmirched for the rest of time.

I feel that elements of this case are analogous to a lot of the moral questions we are battling with as a society today.

Up until a few weeks ago, Penn State was regarded as one of the top public universities in the United States, and Paterno and his staff were representative of the all that was right in the world of college sports.

Turns out, this virtuous image was merely smoke and mirrors.

How many times have we seen this before, just in the past few years?

Almost on a daily basis, we witness the supposed “best and the brightest” fall from their plateaus of excellence seemingly overnight. Powerful senators and their sex scandals. Filthy rich bankers and their money. One of the scariest questions that we need to ask ourselves is: Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

Once these individuals reach the highest positions available to them, where do they have to go but down?

Arguably, it’s their inherent narcissism that got them to where they are in the first place. That is not a personal quality that just outright disappears.
It’s been said that the people best suited to lead are the ones who have no desire to do it in the first place. They are the selfless moral backbone of our society that we don’t often hear about, except for in a “feel good” news feature every once in a while.

These remarkable individuals are the ones we should read about in the papers, and see when we first turn on our televisions. The reason we don’t is that they are too busy supporting our society in the areas that it needs the most, in the spaces that our current self-centered leaders wouldn’t condescend to see themselves in.

This concept is made even more devastating because it gives the foreboding nature of Burke’s idea so much more potential to be realized.

We have evil right now embedded in the most important spheres of our society, in the most important places. Not only will the evil consistently have the power to do nothing and extend the horrible cycle of deceit and corruption that is pervasive in our country right now, but the good won’t even be allowed to have a say in the matter.

Hopefully, all of these crimes against humanity that have been brought to light recently is sparking some awareness.

If this is true, now all we have to consider is the best means by which to regain the power from those who should not hold it.

We need to find the proper channels to get the country back into its best hands, our own.

Author presents ‘Man Who Couldn’t Eat’ to FDU


When author John Reiner addressed the Hartman Lounge on Nov. 2, the room was full to capacity.

Reiner came to Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1984, to read a few passages from his book, “The Man Who Couldn’t Eat.”
The book was an expansion on an article Reiner wrote for Esquire magazine in 2009, an article that won him the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for Magazine Feature Writing.

Reiner began his speech by talking about his deep connections with the university.

He explained that his father had been a professor at the College at Florham for 39 years, and that the first piece of writing he ever published was in the student newspaper.

The very sickness that caused him to go through the experiences that made up the Esquire article, Crohn’s disease, was diagnosed while he was still an FDU student.

When Reiner went on to tell the rest of the story, he explained that his battle with the disease “for the most part, hasn’t been difficult, but a few years ago it became sort of a life or death situation.”

The “situation shift” Reiner refers to is his hospitalization, which occurred after he began to experience crippling pains in his stomach.
His worsening condition required surgery, after which his doctors put him on a “nothing by mouth” prescription, according to Reiner.

In other words, he would not be allowed to eat anything outside of liquid food for a span of three months.
A specialized machine that had been installed in his house would take care of that.

Before these unfortunate circumstances, Reiner had proven himself to be a starving writer.

He said that over a 15 year period leading up to “The Man Who Couldn’t Eat,” he had authored three manuscripts that hadn’t been published. After his hospitalization due to his disease, he was encouraged by a friend (who also happened to be an editor at Esquire) to write about his experiences.

After the publication and subsequent success of the article, Reiner was propositioned by his agent to try and turn it into a full-length memoir.
Marketing the memoir proved to be a very difficult task for Reiner and his agent.

Most of the publishers they talked to thought that, while the writing was good, the subject matter behind the story was much too depressing to garner much mainstream appeal.

When Reiner finally did find a publisher and an editor who believed in what he was doing, he did not shy away from the opportunity.

The starving artist rose to the challenge by turning in an 86,000-word manuscript after seven months.

Though his new editor had a reputation for being classically thorough in her review process, Reiner was still shocked about the length of time that elapsed before he heard anything back from her.

It was only after five months of waiting that Reiner finally received her extremely detailed comments marking the manuscript.

After three more rounds of drafts and edits, Reiner said, “The Man Who Couldn’t Eat” was ready to be published.

A question-and-answer session followed Reiner’s account and readings.

Most of the questions were asked by the creative writing students and faculty, so Reiner was very open and genuine in his responses.
Most of his answers concerned the challenges of getting published, the challenges of writing about people that you know and the specific problems involved in writing a memoir, as opposed to a novel.

“One of the challenges we faced during trying to pitch the book was because it was a very trying thing that this guy was going through,” Reiner said, addressing a student’s question about how difficult it was to get his memoir published.

Due to the somewhat morbid content of the story, Reiner explained that “using humor to tell the story was necessary to engage readers,” and this humor occurs prevalently because it is a significant part of his writing “voice.”

When responding to a student’s question about what it takes to be a good memoirist, Reiner replied that “a good memoirist is naked on the page,” meaning that the author holds no personal details back in an effort to save face. Rather, good memoirists put themselves out there openly to their readers in an effort that, through the brute honesty, real truths can be observed.

“I was writing about myself, and a year-long struggle I had in the context of food, and of food as culture,” said Reiner.

As for the brutally honest part of Reiner’s memoir, he made a simple statement near the conclusion of the event.

“You are what you crave,” said Reiner. “Tell me what you crave and I’ll tell you what you are.”