"News is the first rough draft of history." http://www.fdupillar.com The Voice of the College at Florham Thu, 04 May 2017 21:45:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.9 Pet therapy helping students and faculty better handle stress http://www.fdupillar.com/pet-therapy-helping-students-and-faculty-better-handle-stress/ Thu, 04 May 2017 21:45:11 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3423 Larissa Belo



Therapy dogs from Morristown’s Creature Comfort have been making monthly visits to FDU’s Florham Campus to help students de-stress.

Pet Therapy is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment for people who experience stress. Its primary goal is to improve social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning, and it builds on a pre-existing bond between human and animal.

Interacting with a friendly animal can help those with physical or mental issues to improve their overfall mental health.

In addition to improving one’s well-being physically and mentally, the interaction with trained Pet Therapy animals can improve overall cardiovascular health, and also reduce blood pressure.

Due to the calming effect that visiting Pet Therapy can induce, sophomore Fidelle El-Asmar stated, “[going to Pet Therapy] really helped when I was stressed about midterms.”

Dr. Stephanie Koempel, the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and a licensed professional counselor, reintroduced the program at FDU in 2014.

Koempel decided to make Pet Therapy a monthly event in order to improve students’ and faculty members’ overall health.

Therapy dogs had previously been introduced to the Florham Campus by Sarah Azavedo, director of Campus Life Operations, for midterms and finals.

Since the program was renewed, Koempel explained that she has “not seen a spike during midterms and finals” and that “the attendance is about the same each month.”

This event now occurs more often than it had in the past. In regards to the program’s frequency, Koempel said, “Pet Therapy occurs monthly due to the interest students have in the program. I have had requests that Pet Therapy occur weekly, which I will consider for future semesters.

Spending time with animals can positively affect the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of one’s well-being.

Therefore, when students visit with the certified pet therapy dogs, they have opportunities to experience these benefits here on campus.

Most students miss their pets back home so having the chance to spend some time with the therapy dogs results in many students feeling very happy.”

Shelby Wilson, a senior and a frequent visitor to Pet Therapy, said she has made a routine of going to the event because she enjoys the environment and it is a nice time to relax when her weeks become hectic.

When Koempel began hosting the Pet Therapy Program in September 2014, she shifted between Equine Therapy and dogs. Koempel “would invite the miniature horses again this semester.”

The target audience for Pet Therapy is the entire student body. She wants to help everyone better handle everyday stress.

Koempel states, “Staff and faculty are welcome as well and sometimes they do stop in for a few minutes to say ‘hi’ to the therapy dogs. It is always a surprise to the students to see which dogs will be visiting. There are some therapy dogs that regularly attend that the students are appreciative to see.”

Campus clean up raises awareness of Earth Day http://www.fdupillar.com/campus-clean-up-raises-awareness-of-earth-day/ Thu, 04 May 2017 21:00:58 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3413 Athena Zinn

Staff Writer


In honor of Earth Day, the FDU Science Club and Green Club held their annual Campus Clean Up event on the Florham Campus. Students from different clubs and Greek Life organizations joined members of the Science and Green clubs to pick up litter around the dormitory buildings and campus walkways. The event began at 10 a.m. on April 24, when various students met on the Twombly Lounge patio before heading out to clean up the campus. Resident Assistant Austin Bock also helped sponsor the event and offered priority points to the student volunteers. “My reason for running [Campus Clean Up] is to continue to foster an FDU community by having students volunteer to create a cleaner space for themselves,” said sophomore Juster Rivera, president of Science Club. Rivera explained that the event is very important to him because of the awareness it brings to the environment and the perspective it gives to students. “This event, combining both Earth Day awareness and actual greening of the campus community, is an effective model for environmental activism. I wanted to co-organize this event with Science Club because its focus is so heavily environment-related, and because it is an attempt to get the community, not just Green and Science Club members, to appreciate our campus environment,” said sophomore Peerapol Chiaranunt, president of Green Club, which for the first time helped sponsor this event. Volunteers ate snacks provided by the two host organizations, and then put on gloves and grabbed trash bags for litter. Students split into groups to collect trash around The Village buildings, Rutherford Hall and other buildings on campus. They also cleaned grass areas around certain athletic fields. Students collected litter ranging from plastic wrappers to empty bottles, and they noticed many used cigarettes scattered all around campus. Chiaranunt explained that he hoped students would pay more attention to their own personal habits towards the environment after taking part in this event. He emphasized the importance of Earth Day and how essential it is for people to acknowledge the way they treat the planet and how effective their actions can really be in helping to solve the problem. “My wish is for most students to have such a strong habit for recycling that they would forgo disposing their plastic water bottle in a normal trash bin in favor of recycling it at a bin that might be a little bit out of their way,” said Chiaranunt. The event welcomed anyone who wanted to stop by and help whenever they could. Many students arrived to help after the 10 a.m. start time. Sophomore Tran Nguyen, a member of both clubs sponsoring the event, explained how she enjoyed seeing the FDU community come together. “It is important to clean up the campus and keep up this tradition, but it’s even more important to see people come together from different clubs and make connections,” said Nguyen. At the event’s end, students admired their hard work and celebrated by treating themselves to more snacks on the Twombly Lounge patio. Rivera hopes that this event will become an annual tradition and students will truly grow and think about the planet every day. “Our event is a small effort, but it’s an effort nonetheless, to make an impact and hopefully inform everyone about the importance of cleaning up,” said Rivera.


FDU junior becomes fourth pitcher to pull off no-hitter http://www.fdupillar.com/fdu-junior-becomes-fourth-pitcher-to-pull-off-no-hitter/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:59:44 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3435 Jake Alercio



Last month, junior right handed pitcher Kenny Carrier joined a select group of men and became the fourth pitcher in Devils’ history to throw a complete game no-hitter, a feat he accomplished in the April 2 game against Desales University.

Carrier was shaky in the first inning and started the game with a lead off walk. After allowing a couple of other batters to reach base on walks and errors, Carrier allowed a run to cross on a wild pitch.

From there on out, Carrier played a perfect game, retiring 18 straight batters and striking out six to claim his first collegiate no-hitter. FDU went on to win the game 3-1 with RBIs from fellow juniors Christopher Franco and Reynaldo Diaz.

After shutting down DeSales’ bats for the afternoon, Carrier received a lot of recognition. Following the game, he was named the Middle Atlantic Freedom Conference pitcher of the week. Only a day later, Carrier received more good news, being named the ECAC Metro Pitcher of the week. He was also named to the D3baseball.com team of the week as a starting pitcher.

The D3baseball.com team of the week recognizes the best Division III players in the country from the previous week.

Most no-hitters that we see in the MLB are usually talked about throughout a decent portion of the game and when the final out is recorded it receives a big celebration from the team and fans. However, that was not the case in this situation because nobody really knew that Carrier achieved  a no-hitter.

Junior outfielder Garrett Ruoff said, “When Kenny struck the last kid out and the bench went pretty nuts, I was a bit confused. I knew this was a big game but I didn’t think an ordinary win called for that reaction. I had no idea he had a no-hitter going, all I knew was that we were winning.”

Freshman pitcher Anthony Cuomo, who was enjoying an off day during Carrier’s no-hit bid, said, “A couple of us on the bench started talking around quietly mentioning that he had it going but we didn’t say anything else because we didn’t want to jinx him. We figured everybody else knew but I guess they were too focused on the game.”

Since the Devils went down 1-0 after the first inning, it slipped everyone’s mind that there was even a chance of a no-hitter.

“I had no idea I had a no-hitter. I knew I was throwing well but after you walk the lead off man you kind of forget about all that stuff,” Carrier said.

The no-hitter couldn’t have come at a better time both for Carrier and the Devils.

FDU had already dropped their first two conference games to Misericordia, putting them in a huge hole to start their season and leaving them desperate for a win. Carrier had been consistently good for the Devils as a sophomore during the 2016 season, contributing as the team’s number two ranked starting pitcher.

In the 2017 season, Carrier became the number one starter for the Devils but struggled in the start of the season. The no-hitter propelled his season back on track.

AURA organizes events for LGBTQ+ awareness http://www.fdupillar.com/aura-organizes-events-for-lgbtq-awareness/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:58:05 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3417 Sarena Gerard

Staff Writer


On Friday, April 21, FDU AURA gave Florham Campus students the opportunity to support the LGBTQ+ community.

According to AURA president Lexie Greenberg, the club’s message is in its name, which stands for “Accepting and Understanding the Rights of us All.” Greenberg said that she took charge of planning club events after the recent election. “I came up with the idea of taking two of our annual events, such as the Day of Silence and the AURA Drag Show, and turning it into part of a weeklong Pride where students here on campus could become more knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg said that the club collectively decided to host a panel of members from the FDU community to talk about a range of topics Sarena Gerard Staff Writer impacting the LGBTQ+ community. They also decided to invite speakers to discuss these topics. “We all decided that instead of holding just a small party at the end of the Day of Silence, we would break the silence with our annual Drag Show,” said Greenberg.

“Throughout the whole week, we also did fundraising to give to charity and handed out free rainbow support ribbons too.” According to AURA, those who pledged to take the Day of Silence recognized a need to be supportive and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community regardless of gender or sexual identities.

“The silence represents those in the LGBTQ+ community that have been silenced in some way, killed, or committed suicide because of their sexual identities,” said Greenberg.

“When breaking the silence, and finally being able to talk after your day is over, shows that you still have a voice and have an opportunity to do good with it, as those who have lost their voices would have liked to do with theirs.”

Greenberg said that AURA’s Day of Silence and Drag Show bring awareness of the LGBTQ+ community to the campus setting. “We may have the right to marriage now, but we can still be denied at certain places. Conversion camps are still around, which try to ‘teach others to be natural and normal’ instead of who they truly are,” said Greenberg.

“People are still being attacked for walking together with their significant other, and trans people are still being told they can’t use the bathrooms,” she continued. “There are still so many things that we need to fight for, and it helps when other people have an understanding so that they can help push things forward.”

Greenberg said that she hoped participants in the Day of Silence and in the audience of the Drag Show learned something from the event. “I hope that they can walk away from the show and the Day of Silence knowing that they have a voice that’s worth being heard, and hope to use that voice to spread positive thoughts, not only around our campus, but wherever they go in life,” said Greenberg.

Several Florham Campus students attended the Drag Show in support of friends, the LGBTQ+ community, and for their own awareness. “It gets people out of their comfort zone and [immerses] them in someone else’s environment and culture. Also it’s fun,” said junior Chris Tulli.

For more information on AURA and its events, follow the club’s Instagram at fdu_aura or its Facebook page, FDU AURA.

Student starts troupe to share passion for dance http://www.fdupillar.com/student-starts-troupe-to-share-passion-for-dance/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:57:42 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3433 Sarena Gerard

Staff Writer


Fairleigh Dickinson University freshman Kaitlyn Esposito wanted to create more opportunities for dance on the Florham Campus. She tried the Devils Dancers team, and is even a dance minor.

However, she said she wanted to create something different for others who have an interest in dance. Esposito created the Fairleigh Dance Project, a dance troupe dedicated to using contemporary dance to portray social issues, in January.

As president of the Fairleigh Dance Project, Esposito said she spends time planning different events for the troupe to participate in, as well as choreographing her own dance moves.

Esposito said she got her start as a dancer at age four. Since then, she has moved through Linda D’Amico’s Academy of Dance, and eventually auditioned at the Morris County School of Technology.

“I was a dance major and theater minor in high school,” said Esposito. “I created the Fairleigh Dance Project off of my high school’s program.”

Esposito said that she fell in love with the way the high school’s program was run. “Really, I was inspired by Ruth Clark, the dance department director of visual and performing arts academy at the Morris County School of Technology,” she said.

“I really enjoyed the way it was run, and the rehearsals, because it was very professional and very organized.”

Sharing her passion for dance, Esposito said that she wanted to give other people with an interest in dance the opportunity to join a club that allowed them to pursue that passion. “Through my club, I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to choreograph their own piece, and to dance for causes that they feel strongly about,” Esposito said.

Esposito said that the idea came from discussing her passion for dance with her professional communication professor, Jeffrey Muska.

“After hearing about my enthusiasm for it, [Muska] said, ‘Why aren’t you doing it?’ and he told me what he always does, which is to use my ‘Kaitlyn energy’ and start doing what I love.”

When she began planning, Esposito said that she was worried about competing with the Devils Dancers team.

“I wasn’t sure there would be a lot of interest in the Fairleigh Dance Project, but Professor Muska made me feel that I could do it, and I did it!”

Now with 10 members, Esposito said that her biggest step in getting the Fairleigh Dance Project started was convincing herself that it was a good idea.

“First, I messaged people who were in other dance areas and tried to find interest, and that’s how I found the club’s vice president, Samantha Gee,” she said. “I set up an interest meeting and from there I talked about how this is what I wanted to do and showed people they could be founding members.”

Gee said she was excited about Esposito’s idea for a contemporary dance club because they had worked on dance together before. “Kaitlyn charmed me into helping her bring this project to life, which I’m very glad about,” said Gee.

Gee also said that because the dance community on campus is small, the club was a great way to make a statement.

“Dance is a way of expressing, and if we can express things that are important not only to us, but to our society, then that’s even better,” Gee said.

For freshman member Darlene Benjamin, the Fairleigh Dance Project was about more than just dancing. It was about rehashing old skills. “At first I was nervous to join because it has been two and half years since I last danced,” said Benjamin. “But with ease it was like my dancing abilities never left.”

Benjamin continued, “As the Fairleigh Dance Project has finished for the year, I do not regret joining because I was able to meet new people and get back to dancing.”

Esposito said that the troupe’s first rehearsal was a success, and so were the rest. Rehearsals were on Monday nights, “and the dancers prepare choreography and share it with each other,” said Esposito.

Esposito said she is thankful to have supporters of the Fairleigh Dance Project, especially when things got crazy during planning for events this semester.

Esposito said that the troupe’s biggest supporter and club adviser, Cynthia Thole Loewus, was unable to make it to the troupe’s first showcase.

“Showcase was a hassle because toward the end it was hard to book rooms and spaces,” said Esposito. “At the last minute, we booked the Orangerie, and we had problems because our advisor couldn’t make it, but luckily, Sarah Azavedo stepped in for the showcase, and I am so grateful she was able to help out because she’s one of our biggest cheerleaders.”

Esposito also gives credit to freshmen Gino Mainiero and Brian Quinones for helping with sound problems and ticket sales in the Orangerie and to freshman Brandon Ferriero for helping with film and photography for the troupe’s social media accounts. “We were really pleased with the turnout of the showcase, and we were extremely happy to have the support of friends, family, faculty, and fellow students,” said Esposito.

For next semester, Esposito hopes to involve the Fairleigh Dance Project in two showcases. “We want to do what we’ve already done and add opportunities like the Homecoming game and Family Weekend,” Esposito said. “We’re hoping people will reach out to us for other opportunities, and we will keep asking if there are any opportunities for us to partake in.”

This year, the Fairleigh Dance Project performed at Relay for Life, the Maddy Awards, the IMAGES Student Arts Festival and their own Showcase.

“The biggest success of the semester was seeing the impact it’s made on campus and in people’s lives,” Esposito said.

For more information on the Fairleigh Dance Project, follow the group’s Facebook page at Fairleigh Dance Project, or its Instagram account at fairleigh_dance_project.

Opinion: Inconsistent? A look at evangelical conservatism http://www.fdupillar.com/opinion-inconsistent-a-look-at-evangelical-conservatism/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:54:18 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3431 James Neidhardt

News Editor


On April 20, The Pillar published an opinion piece by Editor-in-Chief Ore Obiwumi, who argued that conservative policies are inconsistent with the Bible’s teachings, and that therefore “conservative Christians are hypocrites.” Obiwumi asked me, the News Editor and an evangelical, to respond. Before I examine whether a Christian can vote conservative with integrity, I would like to point out two things.

First, Obiwumi’s sweeping statement is biased and self-refuting. To argue “conservative Christians are hypocrites,” implies that liberals are not also hypocritical at times, which undercuts her argument. Personal hypocrisy transcends ideology because all people are subject to emotion and change, and therefore at times behave in ways that are inconsistent with their stated beliefs.

This is true irrespective of ideology, but a lack of conformance thereto does not invalidate same. It merely demonstrates that people are human. Thus, the term hypocrite could rightly be leveled at both camps, and if that is so, what is the point?

Second, Obiwumi’s terms are poorly defined. “Republican” and “conservative” are wrongly used synonymously, and “conservative Christian” imputes a false homogeneity to conservative religious groups that does not exist and ignores important nuances among them.

In this piece, I will refer to conservative ideas and evangelical Christianity. Not every Republican is conservative. Donald Trump is not; maybe Glenn Beck would have backed him if he were. According to Barna Group, a research group, roughly 73 percent of Americans identify as Christian, but only 7 percent meet the criteria for belief and practice needed to be labeled evangelical.

Now, as for Obiwumi’s assertions, I cannot answer them all, but she writes, “Despite the fact that God commands us to ‘fear not’ 365 times throughout the Bible, conservatives’ vote for Trump was informed and guided by fear – fear of the changing economy, fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims.”

It is true that according to the Bible, fear is a sin. From what I can tell, over 100 “fear nots,” are in the Bible, but not 365.

So, did Christians who voted for Trump violate this command? Some did, but people can do the same thing for different reasons. How does Obiwumi know they all voted out of fear? Is there empirical evidence for that? It seems to be a straw-man argument.

While I personally can think of a few Christians I know who might have voted for Trump out of fear, I also know many who did not. Also, what about the immigrants and Muslims who voted for Trump? Asra Nomani, a former reporter who is a woman, an immigrant, and a Muslim, voted for him, as did many Cuban immigrants in Florida, according to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Also, many evangelical conservatives did not support Trump. Albert Mohler, described by the Chicago Tribune as “an articulate voice for conservative Christianity at large,” adamantly opposed Trump, as did the evangelical editors of World Magazine. Peter Beinart in The Atlantic writes, “A Pew Research Center poll last March found that Trump trailed Ted Cruz by 15 points among Republicans who attended religious services every week.”

Obiwumi claims that Christians who vote for conservatives violate God’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself,” because they are “turning their backs on Syrian refugees.”

Christians are not turning their backs on refugees. Christian organizations such as World Relief, Samaritan’s Purse, and Heart for Lebanon are helping Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States and abroad.

Richard Fausset and Alan Blinder write in The New York Times, “at a time when conservative politicians, many with ties to Christian religious groups, have aggressively sought to keep the Syrian newcomers out of their states, it is conservative people of faith who, in many cases, are serving as their [Syrians’] indispensable support system.”

There are over 4.8 million Syrian refugees, and another 6.6 million Syrians are displaced in Syria. Though President Obama in 2016 allowed a record number refugees to enter the U.S., only 12,587 were Syrian, according to the Pew Research Center. In contrast, the U.S. took in 16,370 Congolese refugees that year. In addition, the U.S. took in only 1,682 Syrian refugees in 2015.

President Obama’s refugee policy did not significantly address the crisis. Other nations are taking in tens of thousands of refugees. Germany has accepted hundreds of thousands, and has spent over 20 billion euros doing so —well over budget, according to The Independent.

In the words of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, “There’s a limit on what the United States is able to do in terms of actually resettling refugees. We have to get at the root issue: why are people seeking to flee from Syria, from Iraq, from other places in the Middle East? It’s because they’re being hounded, and targeted, and hunted down, by murderous thugs. And so, we need to address that.”

Perhaps Republican President Trump has come closer to that than Democratic President Obama, who did not keep his own red line.

In any case, even though neither Republicans nor Democrats have done much to help refugees, Christians have.

Obiwumi says the Republican Party continues “flagrant, but usually insidious racism.” Of course, racism is evil, and Acts 17:26 says that God “made from one man every nation,” and therefore there is only one race – the human race.

So are Christians who vote for conservatives inconsistent? They would be, if Obiwumi’s claim about Republican racism were true.

Conservatives oppose affirmative action because they believe that blacks are just as capable of reaching the standards whites are held to, and that when the standards are lowered for blacks, they can be hurt because they get into academic institutions for which they are not prepared, according to political commentator Derryck Green (who is conservative and black). 

Also, voter ID requirements do not target minorities, according to Green. He said European nations require voter IDs, and in the U.S., IDs are required “to drive, to fly, to buy a beer, even to purchase some cold medicines.”

Nikki Haley, the former Republican governor of South Carolina (one of the most religious states according to the Pew Research Center) and now President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, is Indian-American. So is Hirsh Singh, a Republican candidate for New Jersey governor.

In 2016, there were Hispanic, Black, and Indian Republican presidential candidates. If conservative ideas are racist, then why would Bobby Jindal (who went to Brown University), Ben Carson, (who went to Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School) or Ted Cruz (who went to Princeton University and Harvard Law School) advocate them?

Evangelicals work toward racial reconciliation. It is an issue passionately preached on by evangelicals like Russell Moore, John Piper, and Ken Ham.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest and most diverse evangelical denomination in the U.S., has experienced great racial reconciliation, as demonstrated by men such as H.B. Charles and Fred Luter.

Christians are also against racism because the Bible says that all human beings have value as God’s image-bearers. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

In Genesis 9:5-6, God says, “for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning . . . From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

God instituted capital punishment for murder because people are made in His image. As God’s image-bearers, people have intrinsic value and dignity. People are precious to God.

God gives murder the highest penalty because he considers it a high offense. This is because it destroys people, who have the highest value in his creation. Jesus, God incarnate, did not die on the cross for the trees, but for those made in his image.

Thus, the death penalty affirms human dignity by responding to the seriousness of murder. Yet the Democratic platform not only advocates granting murderers life, but also denies that same right to the most innocent – the unborn.

Evangelicals recognize the implications of verses like Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 49:1, Exodus 21:22-25, and Psalm 139:13-16. Life in the womb matters to God. If human life is intrinsically precious, then it is precious without qualification and regardless of developmental stage.

Therefore, evangelicals believe that abortion is murder. Since murder is such a serious crime, how could an evangelical vote for a pro-choice candidate?

Finally, Obiwumi says “conservatives generally have outspoken contempt for welfare and free healthcare programs, despite Jesus’ penchant for giving to the poor and healing the sick (for free!).”

Evangelicals care for the needy. For example, Pastor Timothy Keller’s Hope For New York raises hundreds of thousands of dollars and mobilizes tens of thousands of volunteer hours to help the poor in New York City.

Jesus commanded his followers to help the poor, and he exemplified it.

Yet he never forcibly took someone else’s money to give to it to the poor as the U.S. government does. He wanted helping the poor to be individuals’ personal initiative, not an impersonal government’s forced-duty.

Jesus also never advocated using government to accomplish the Church’s job.

Writing about Arthur Brooks’ book, “Who Really Cares?”, Jonah Goldberg in National Review says, “the data indicate that not only is Joe Churchgoer nearly twice as likely as Sam Secularist to give money to charities in a given year, he will also give 100 times more money per year to charities (and 50 times more to non-religious ones).”

There is evidence that conservative economic policies help the poor more.

According to the Heritage Foundation, “greater economic freedom is also strongly correlated to overall well-being, taking into account such factors as health, education, environment, innovation, societal progress, and democratic governance.”

To increase “economic freedom,” governments can “reduce taxes, rationalize the regulatory environment, open the economy to greater competition, and fight corruption.”

According to the Heritage Foundation, the United States, along with nations such as Pakistan and El Salvador, has become less economically free.

There are also reasons to doubt whether welfare reduces poverty. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” began in 1964, yet the poverty rate today is practically the same as it was in 1967, according to the Heritage Foundation. The Democratic Party’s increasingly socialist policy proposals, exemplified in Bernie Sanders, will likely only increase poverty, as socialism has in nations such as Venezuela.

Evangelical conservatives therefore share with liberals concern for the needy. They merely disagree on what is the most effective method of helping people.

So, would it be consistent for evangelicals to support candidates whose advocating for abortion and euthanasia and fighting against the death penalty does not respect human dignity, and whose education and anti-poverty policies have proved unfruitful?

My answer is no. Conservatism may not be perfect for Christians, but it is more consistent than the alternative.



Students display work at IMAGES Arts Festival on campus http://www.fdupillar.com/students-display-work-at-images-arts-festival-on-campus/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:52:38 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3415 Ore Obiwumi



Last week, Fairleigh Dickinson University students displayed their artwork in the Rothman Building for students, faculty and guests to admire. The display was part of the 18th annual IMAGES Student Arts Festival, which was presented by Becton College’s Visual and Performing Arts department.

At the studio art exhibition, student artists were able to display their work and speak with viewers about it. Professor of Fine Arts Judy Moonelis said the exhibition included a range of artwork from students of many different backgrounds, including business majors and fine arts majors of different years.

Junior art/Quest major Kiara Rafael was one such artist. Rafael had several pieces displayed in the Rothman Building, and stated that she had been working on them since last semester. She said that her two favorite pieces were her painting of Beyonce and her stylized version of the “Moonlight” promotional poster. She said that she was “infatuated” with Beyonce, and that she had done an honors thesis on how Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album advanced black feminism. Rafael said she felt her most important work that was on display was her painting of the “Moonlight” poster, which she mixed with some prints of the women’s march posters created by Shepard Fairey. She stated, “If anyone notices any of my pieces, I would want them to notice that one” because it highlights the importance of intersectionality. “People don’t pay attention to marginalized communities, much less marginalized people within marginalized communities,” she said. “In today’s sociopolitical climate, we need to be open to having discussions we don’t want to have.”

Another artist whose work was displayed at the festival was Kim Carrera, a junior psychology major. She said that one particular piece, her rose mask, was reminiscent of the Day of the Dead and was inspired by her half-Mexican ancestry. Morgan Philhower, a junior art/ Quest major, also had several pieces featured at the festival.

She believed that her most important piece was a series of butterflies painted on clay plates that she made, entitled “Epidermolysis Bullosa.” She created the butterflies in honor of her Goddaughter, who was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa, a disease often called “the worst disease you’ve never heard of.” According to Debra of America, an organization that conducts research on and provides support for people with the disease, the prominent symptom of Epidermolysis Bullosa is “extremely fragile skin that blisters and tears from minor friction or trauma… is always painful, often pervasive and debilitating, and is in some cases lethal before the age of 30.” Children with the disease are often known as “Butterfly Babies.” Philhower stated, “I made this piece to spread awareness.”

Amanda McCarty, a senior graphic design major with a minor in fine arts, displayed a series of abstract sculptures at the event. She stated that she was particularly proud of her piece, “Endogeny,” which she considered a “gateway sculpture.” She said that that piece led to her other works, “The Depths” and “Mangrove.” McCarty stated that her pieces are “totally open to interpretation,” and that “the theme is life and organic matter.” She said that in order to create each piece, she is first inspired by something in nature. She then “she then distills it” and creates something that she sees as “the essence of the thing.” Another student who displayed some of her work was

Daria Approvato, a senior fine arts major. She stated that she mostly creates two- or three-dimensional self-portraits. She said, “I mostly work in the self because it’s what I know best.” She creates simpler versions of herself because she feels that these versions are more “idealized” and “personal.” When she creates her work, she thinks of “a minor thing,” and then builds the rest of the piece around it. She said that her wire three-dimensional pieces are most important to her because they include many of the things in which she takes comfort. She stated, “I want to make things that children would like. Things that my childhood self would like.”

Jael Joaquin, a junior art major with a minor in animation, who featured her comic book at the Hot Topics panel, “‘I Can’t Breathe’: The Police and the African American Community,” also featured her work at the student arts festival. She featured some aspects of the comic book, which was based on a conversation about racism that she had in class after the 2016 Presidential Election. Alongside this she featured some other pieces, including two three-dimensional clay sculptures.

The festival also included band, choir and dance performances, as well as the graphic design thesis reception. Sophomore Tyler Bissell attended the art show to see what the art students had to offer this semester. “It’s polar opposite of what I am used to. Being a computer science major, I deal a lot with different math and sciences course, so it is nice to see what other programs are doing on campus,” Bissell said.

Michele D’Aries contributed to this article.

Senior Weekend packed with events, tickets on sale now http://www.fdupillar.com/senior-weekend-packed-with-events-tickets-on-sale-now/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:50:04 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3429 Jordan Gillespie



The Senior Committee of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus has been planning the events for Senior Weekend throughout this semester. Now that the semester is coming to an end, it appears all the plans are official.

The itinerary for the weekend is as follows:

Friday, May 12 – Gathering at Sona Thirteen in Morristown

Saturday, May 13 – Dinner cruise on the Hudson River

Sunday, May 14 – Last Pub Night on campus

Tickets for the weekend cost $200 and will be on sale until May 8. The price includes all meals, a specific number of drinks allotted per event, transportation to and from the events, on-campus housing for the weekend and the opportunity for lasting memories with peers.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be purchased with cash or checks made out to Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The Senior Committee will announce different locations where tickets can be purchased daily, through the use of its multiple social media accounts. Seniors who wish to participate in the festivities should look for those announcements.

“The time for Senior Weekend is finally here! Words cannot properly explain how hard we’ve all worked planning and putting the events for Senior Weekend together, so I think I speak for all members of the Senior Committee when I say the feeling of seeing everything come to fruition is indescribable,” said senior senator Troi Ward.

Ward went on to say how stressful the process of planning this event was, and how “even though we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s still work to be done. We have to get these tickets sold, and that’s going to be an all-hands-on-deck task.”



‘The Idiot’ comes to Florham stage http://www.fdupillar.com/the-idiot-comes-to-florham-stage/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:48:38 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3427 Michele D’Aries



“The Idiot,” a 19th century novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was chosen as this semester’s play at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus.

Professor Stephen Hollis, director of the theater program, said he chose this play because of its appeal to all students. Literature and history majors alike can come together to enjoy it.

Hollis said this is a theatrically effective play, adapted from a serious novel. According to Hollis, it is full of drama, tension and compromise.

This mid-1800s play will have time period costumes representing Russia during this period in history. The stage will be simple, yet suggestive so that the audience can imagine the settings as well.

Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, played by Jesse Lab, is the main character and made to be a “Christ-like figure.” Senior Savannah Lloyd, assistant director, said the play is “a story of broken souls and their struggle for belonging.” As Hollis said, this is something to which everyone can relate.

Hollis received a scholarship for young directors from the Arts Council of Great Britain, where he trained for a year. “The only way to learn is to get thrown into it,” he said.

He said you have to learn to be a team member and spot talent, as well as learn to guide and sculpt the actors of the performance. Hollis fell in love with Manhattan and decided to stay in America. Now he is fully immersed in the FDU theater program.

Hollis explained how helpful Lloyd has been throughout the process. Lloyd did the research on the social background of this time period in Russia.

Lloyd’s first experience with directing was in her high school drama club. After coming to FDU, she first worked with Hollis during her sophomore year after being cast as the lead in “Much Ado About Nothing.”

She explained how Hollis has been a mentor to her and said she is honored to work alongside him for this play.

Lloyd noted that she loves this story because “it challenges the one thing that continues to plague the human race: money.”

The question is: can Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, as a truly good and pure character, survive in the world?

While everyone will walk around with a different feeling about the play, Lloyd suggested, “We should always strive to find the redeeming qualities of even the most flawed people, but not for the sake of self-sacrifice.”

“The Idiot” is being performed in Dreyfuss Theater through May 7.

Shows begin at 8 p.m. today through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $5 for the FDU community.

Opinion: O’Reilly and the culture of sexual harassment http://www.fdupillar.com/opinion-oreilly-and-the-culture-of-sexual-harassment/ Thu, 04 May 2017 20:46:37 +0000 http://www.fdupillar.com/?p=3425 Caitlin Nestler

Student Voice Editor


When Bill O’Reilly parted ways with Fox News and his prime-time “news” show “The O’Reilly Factor,” it was a victory for women and sexual assault advocates.

After being accused of sexual harassment multiple times during his tenure at Fox News, 21st Century Fox, its parent company, finally decided that it could not stand for such behavior.

Except that is not exactly how it played out.

Fox News has been fully aware of O’Reilly’s behavior for years. An investigation by The New York Times found that O’Reilly or 21st Century Fox had settlements with five women accusing O’Reilly of sexual harassment, all of whom worked for O’Reilly or were on his show at some point.

Five women and $13 million in payouts.

So why wasn’t he ousted the first time? Second time? Third time? Presumably, because Fox News had no problem with an accused sexual harasser on the air as long as he brought in extremely high ratings and advertising revenue.

After The New York Times published its front page story, companies began pulling ads from his show. It was only then that O’Reilly became a problem.

Sexual harassment claims? Fine. Losing advertising revenue? Sorry, we have to let you go.

O’Reilly promptly took a supposed pre-planned vacation, and never returned. For his behavior, he reportedly received a $25 million severance, according to NBC News.

It shouldn’t take 15 years of sexual harassment claims before a man loses his job. There is no reasonable excuse for allowing O’Reilly to continue raking in millions of dollars a year, sitting behind a news desk every night.

Fox made the right decision in firing O’Reilly, but it almost feels like too little too late.

Fox News hired a law firm to start investigating the claims of sexual harassment only after The New York Times report. O’Reilly should have been investigated after the first allegation.

O’Reilly maintains his innocence, claiming that he is the victim and that his fame makes him an easy target. Apparently we should all feel sorry for him; he is just too famous and women are lining up to accuse him of sexual harassment. Because making such accusations and telling the truth is never humiliating for the women at all. But the president said he knows him and he’s a good guy, so that’s reassuring.

In a statement that was released before it was decided that he would be leaving Fox News, O’Reilly said, “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.”

That isn’t exactly a good defense. Clearly women have complained or there wouldn’t have been $13 million in settlements. And many women find it very difficult to come forward. A 2016 study by the Equal Opportunity Commission found that three out of four people do not report harassment at work.

Many women don’t come forward for years, if at all, because of fears that they will not be believed or that coming forward will jeopardize their careers. When they are sexually harassed by men in power or their bosses, this is an extremely real fear.

In a sexual harassment lawsuit against O’Reilly, Andrea Mackris said O’Reilly threatened her, saying, “he would make any woman who complained about his behavior ‘pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born,’” according to The New York Times report.

This is the reality that many victims of sexual harassment often face.

For some reason, O’Reilly still manages to come out relatively unscathed. He may have lost his show, but it was certainly at no big detriment to his immediate finances.

Big supporters aren’t leaving his side, so his reputation doesn’t seem to be taking too much of a hit. And he still has a platform for spewing whatever he wants, as he has restarted his podcast “No Spin News.” The first episode is free; after that you can only listen to if you are a subscriber (but you get a free book!).

O’Reilly isn’t alone in his ousting from Fox News based for sexual harassment claims. Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO, was forced to resign last summer for similar accusations from multiple women.

He also maintained his innocence. For his behavior he was reportedly given $40 million, according to The Daily Beast.

It’s worth noting that this is twice as much as his accuser, former Fox host Gretchen Carlson, received in her settlement. After news broke of Carlson’s lawsuit, more than 20 women also made allegations against Ailes, according to The Guardian.

Over and over again powerful men (including the current president of the United States) are accused of sexual harassment and then claim they are the victims and blame their accusers.

These women, the men claim, are either out to get them, or after money, or fame. The burden always falls upon the woman to prove she was sexually harassed/assaulted. Her word is never enough. The response from powerful men seems to be “prove it.”

When women came forward accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault or harassment, he, of course, denied it and then he threatened to sue them all.

He was then elected president of the United States.

It is easy to see why so many women do not come forward when they are the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace or elsewhere.