RSS Feed

Men’s shots rimming out

Posted on

This season, men’s basketball falls far from a successful season with only three wins out of their 18 games so far.

With six games left the team works hard to do their best. “We’ve had our ups and downs but we work hard everyday to improve,” Coach Mark White said. However, the team has not won a game since Jan. 2 and lost all three of their last home games.

Freshman James Stawarz said: “As a freshman I am pretty upset about having a not so successful season so far. It’s tough not having very many wins when you set your expectations at a high level.”

The team practices at least six days a week and when they are not having a mandatory practice scheduled with their coach, the men can be seen playing together any chance they get at open gyms. They work on everything from defense
transitions to individual position plays and include many scrimmage games in their practices to make sure they are always on top of their plays.

With the team working so hard it is surprising to see the outcome of the season. White said, “This year we have a young team, so we’re still working on coming together and learning how to play with each other.” The team is made up of nine
freshman and sophomores and only four upperclassmen.

“The older guys have basically been through every situation there is in college basketball. They know that things will get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Stawarz said. “They tell us to keep working hard and good things will
come. They are what keeps me going and positive about our season.”

With only six games left, the team is pushing harder than ever to win. They may not have had a completely successful season so far, but they refuse to give up or give in to pressure.

Nicole Foley, Sports Editor

Pro-life advocates gather in D.C. for annual march

Posted on

On Jan. 23, more than 400,000 demonstrators marched through Washington, D.C. in support of pro-life ideology. The Archdiocese of Chicago brought nearly 500 members to this year’s March for Life rally, one of them being Mary Stroka, a senior at Dominican and pro-life activist.

The March for Life first originated in Jan. 1974, and now close to half a million people participate each year. Protestors rally with colorful signs toting anti-abortion messages and pro-life statements.

This year Stroka attended the demonstration for the first time, saying it’s a visual representation of how many people are against abortion and take a pro-life stance, in an age where pro-choice is an idea more readily accepte. Stroka says the crowd included people of all different races, creeds and backgrounds.

“Since I was unable to start a pro-life club at Dominican this year, I felt like it was the least I could do to show my support for a cause that helps the millions of people who every year are affected by abortion: the unborn, women and men,” Stroka said of her first, but not last, time at the annual demonstration.

Katherine Kulpa, Editor-in-chief

Stage Set for Super Bowl Rematch

Posted on

The New England Patriots (13-3 regular season) will square off against the New York Giants (9-7 regular season) in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5. The road to the big game was markedly different for each team – the Giants squeaked into the playoffs on the heels of a 31-14 victory over the Cowboys on the last week of the regular season, while the Patriots have been cruising through games as of late and haven’t been defeated since Nov. 6.

Once in the playoffs the two again had different paths – the Giants, as the 4th seed in the NFC, had to play three games to make it to the Super Bowl, beating the Falcons (24-2), the Packers (37-20), and the 49ers (20-17). Meanwhile the Patriots enjoyed a first round bye, returning to action to beat the Broncos (45-10) and the Ravens (23-20). It marks New England’s seventh trip to the Super Bowl, while New York has been to five – their most recent including 2007’s dramatic Super Bowl victory over the Patriots, who will undoubtedly be eager to avenge the loss.

The Patriots are familiar with the Super Bowl routine, having been to five since the year 2000 and ranking second in the league for regular season passing yards and passing yards per game. The offensive capabilities are undermined by their performance on defense, however – they ranked second to last in overall defense during the 2011 season. Averaging 32.1 points per game helped make up for a statistically weak defense, however, and the Patriots averaged an astonishing 428 total yards per game.

The Giants, on the other hand, forced a respectable 20 interceptions and 11 fumbles on defense, en route to a turnover ratio of 7, the sixth best in the NFC. The Giants also find themselves tied for second in the league in interception returns for touchdowns. New York showed its formidable defense during the playoffs, holding their opponents to 2, 20, and 17 points in each of their three games – an average of just 13 points per game, an impressive figure.

The play off the two opposing quarterbacks, Tom Brady (NE) and Eli Manning (NYG) is another talking point ahead of the big game. The last time the two met in the Super Bowl (2008), Brady had a q.b. rating of just 82.46, well below his norm. It was Manning who won the day, hitting Plaxico Burress with a go-ahead touchdown pass with just 35 seconds left on the clock en route to a q.b. rating of 87.25 – outplaying Brady in the year’s biggest game. Brady is coming off a weak game against the tough Ravens defense in which he threw for only 239 yards and two interceptions. Manning, meanwhile, had
to contend with the ever-dangerous 49er defense but did well, putting up 316 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. It remains to be seen which Super Bowl winning quarterback will have the last laugh when the teams clash at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 3.

Serek Hahn, Staff Writer

Standing up for what you believe

Posted on

I found myself surrounded by thousands of pro-lifers the weekend of Jan. 20 through Jan. 23 at the March for Life, showcased by the photo on our front page. Ever since the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, a pair of 1973 decisions by the Supreme Court that created an essentially unqualified right to abortion up until the point of birth, thousands of pro-life people have marched in Washington, D.C. during this annual event to protest the decision and show their support for all those who have been affected by abortion. This year was the 39th year since the decisions and another year where the mainstream media, for the most part anyway, ignored or distorted the protests.

Mary Stroka, DOMINICAN STAR

Some people say the pro-life movement is composed solely of people of the middle- aged and older part of America, but my experience that weekend tells me something different: there is a significant number of students and other youths who are actively involved in the movement. I’m proud to say that I took advantage of this opportunity to stand up for what I believe in even though I was nervous about it and am glad that I’m not alone in my position.

I think it’s extremely important that everyone gets over his or her fear of expressing an unpopular opinion or just simply an issue he or she feels strongly about by doing something that takes him or her outside of his or her comfort zone. That weekend was certainly such an experience for me because I actually didn’t know anyone else who was going with the group. But I ended up having an extraordinary experience anyway, and I recommend more people get involved in some way. The issue that you decide is important to you could be anything, just get involved in something.

Often, people will excuse themselves from taking a stance on any topic. Sometimes a person doesn’t know where to start. Sometimes it’s the fear of making a fool of one’s self. And sometimes it’s a matter of a lack of time. But most people have these fears; it just takes a certain amount of courage and ingenuity to overcome these fears and make a difference.

In case you happen to be shy about your beliefs, I’m going to include a few basic tips about activism.

  1. Be charitable. Caritas and Veritas is the best way to go. You’ll attract more people to your cause if you are kind in the way you approach people who don’t believe what you believe.
  2. Study both sides of the issue and make sure you have a pretty good idea of what you’re talking about. Your arguments don’t have to be perfect – that’s a major benefit of debate; you’ll learn more about others’ perspectives and have to consider the issue in a different way. This is especially important if you have a viewpoint that most people don’t agree with.
  3. Create a group or simply gather together some people who believe the same thing you believe. Unfortunately, I have been way too busy this year, my last at DU, to revive a pro-life group on campus, but if you’re a freshman or a sophomore, get busier! You never know who might want to get involved.

Defending your beliefs might not be the easiest way to live your life, but it is essential. After all, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – a quote attributed to Irish political philosopher Edmund Burke.

Mary Stroka, Editor-in-chief

Crumbs Bake Shop a Local Treat

Posted on

For those of you with a sweet tooth, you don’t need to look any further than downtown Oak Park. On Jan. 7, 2012 Crumbs Bake Shop celebrated its grand opening by giving away one cupcake to each of its first 1,000 customers. The store is conveniently located at 1100 Lake St. and occupies the retail space that used to be Barbara’s Bookstore.

Crumbs first opened its doors in 2003 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and since then it has expanded to 32 other locations across the country.

One of their specialties is cupcakes that are “Made by Hand. Baked with Love.” With unique names like “Good Guy” and “Fluff and Stuff,” there is surely something on the menu for everyone. They also offer an assorted 12-pack of miniature size cupcakes for those who cannot decide on a single flavor.

Planning a party? Crumbs also offers cakes, mini cookies as well as big cookies, bars and tarts, muffins, scones, brownies, donuts and pies.

Stop by on a Monday and you will be the first to try their cupcake of the week. If you arrive with a group of friends, consider ordering their Colossal Crumb, which is a giant cupcake that serves up to eight people.

Crumbs Bake Shop also finds ways to give back to the community. They were active participants in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk in Central Park in October 2011. Crumbs also raised $3.5 million last year during their Super Saturday fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), which is the largest private philanthropy in the U.S. dedicated to funding research for ovarian cancer.

– Agata Kubinska, Staff Writer

SGA pushes for student friendly enviroment

Posted on

With the spring semester well underway, the Student Government Association has been actively working towards focusing their mission around enacting and enforcing new campus legislation in order to create a more student-friendly environment.

This past fall, SGA initiated a new campus-wide smoking policy. After initiatives created last school year to improve health on campus, SGA passed regulations outlining new outdoor smoking areas. With the help of Campus Security, SGA created signs and re-located ashtrays and furniture to their current designated locations. This semester, members are working to co-sponsor an event with Campus Security, “to educate the student body about the new smoking policies,” SGA President Sara Vicente said.

This new policy, although done to secure health for the student body, is controversial because some think SGA has not carried out these policies to the best of their capabilities. Sophomore Dwaine Porter points out that the smoking areas are unclear and there are not enough signs designating approved locations. The access to the locations is also an issue at times, especially recently considering the constantly changing weather. “During winter, smoking areas are not kept up,” says Porter, in reference to a smoking area at the Priory Campus. After the last big snowfall, plows pushed snow piles directly in front of the entrance to the designated smoking area in front of the garden.

Jackie Glosniak, DOMINICAN STAR

With this policy being brand new SGA is working to help students understand that the policy is in place to benefit the student body. Sophomore Brandon Forrest says smokers are also a little upset about the new policies, but believes they are effective. “I think they do a good job for the most part,” Forrest said.

Last semester, SGA also collaborated with Physical Plant and IT to provide a filtered water dispenser and network printer in the Coughlin Commons to accommodate resident students. This became a focal point because water fountains in the residence halls often do not work, and many students have complained in the past about having to leave the residence halls to print out assignments.

SGA already has a lot on its plate to accomplish this spring. They are currently helping Student Involvement by overseeing the organization development judiciary process necessary for reviewing and approving constitutions, as well as reviewing budgets for annually funded groups.

The group will also soon be focusing on officer elections in late March. “[We] encourage students to vote in our second annual online elections in March,” Vicente says. SGA will be looking to fill open positions within the Senate and University Committees, all seats which are up for grabs.

Along with moving new policies forward, SGA is striving to spark interest in more students across campus. Members of SGA work to stress the idea that general meetings are not only open for all students, but a good way to listen and speak up about issues across campus. Between tables at Involvement Fairs to flyers and banners created on behalf of Secretary Jonathan Rodriguez and the Publicity Committee, SGA tries to attract as many new people as possible to the organization.

Norah Collins, faculty adviser for SGA, says that speaking up at meetings “allows students to use their voice in constructive ways.” SGA strives to approach student concerns first before any other initiatives that have to get done. “We’re focusing on Dominican as a whole, [but mainly] with students and student organizations,” says Elizabeth Dunn, SGA student trustee.

“I don’t feel like a lot of people know about SGA efforts. I only know because I’m involved,” says Porter, who is not a member of SGA but who serves as treasurer for Resident Student Association and Black Student Union. And even though he does not necessarily want to become involved with SGA, Forrest thinks the organization should send mass emails to students simply to publicize about what they’re doing. “I just like to be informed,” he says.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, SGA held a Meet and Greet in the Lewis Alcove. Students had the opportunity to meet executive members and gather information about upcoming events.

On Feb. 14, SGA will welcome the League of Women Voters of Oak Park-River Forest to campus to provide students with information and encourage them to become registered voters in time for the March 20 presidential primary election.

SGA is also hoping to host another Town Hall meeting so students can voice their concerns directly to faculty.

Students who are interested in SGA still have plenty of opportunities to attend general meetings this semester. Their next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6 in the Cusack Board Room.

– Jackie Glosniak, Staff Writer

SOPA and PIPA: Two sides to a surging debate

Posted on

Recently the hottest debate has been about SOPA and PIPA. Many people voiced their opinion, largely in opposition to the government’s attempt to have some control over the internet in attempt to protect intellectual property. Petitions and opposition were largely shared through social media sites and search engines, such as Google and Wikipedia. Is it really wrong to vote these acts through? Two of our writers explore this issue.

Proposed bills threaten Internet and freedom of speech

Imagine the Internet being censored. Wait what? This is exactly the sentiment that many people across the United States felt recently. The proposed SOPA and PIPA acts caused a stir through the technological world, sending waves of opposition through social media and blogs.

Many people heard of these proposed laws, but who knows if everyone was fully informed on these bills. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a bill that was proposed in the House of Representatives. This bill would expand the ability of the government to fight online trafficking, which includes things such as intellectual property and counterfeit goods.

PIPA (protect ip act) is a law that was proposed in the Senate. It would give the government and copyright holders more tools to curb access to web sites that infringe on intellectual property rights.

At first these proposed bills may have sounded like a good idea; it would help protect intellectual property that others have the right to control. But the grim reality of this is what the government would be doing if they were passed. If passed, this would essentially give the U.S. government some substantial control over the Internet. If this were to happen, this would be very dangerous to the Internet and all its users.

The government having the ability to censor would be detrimental to the essence and fundamental function of the Internet: to promote free speech and innovation. People have long been using the Internet, often while using another person’s work as inspiration or for background information.

Imagine an aspiring artist not being able to post a cover of a famous song on YouTube because they do not have the rights to that song. Of course, these proposed bills were not met with many positive responses in the Internet world, especially by younger users.

If either of these two were to pass we would be crippling democracy and the freedom that the Internet has always provided. The government shouldn’t dictate Internet policy, since there technically is none.

In a matter of days Facebook was full of links to petitions to kill these bills, including the telephone numbers of representatives, urging people to call and express their dismay towards these proposed laws.

The outcry did not stop there. Large websites took notice as well. Google blacked out its name on its home page in protest of SOPA and PIPA. Mark Zuckerburg wrote a letter on Facebook proclaiming his opposition to the bill. Wikipedia actually went dark for a whole day in protest of them as well.

A few days after the Internet erupted in protest, many senators backed out of their support of the bills.

At first this was something that was being largely ignored by the mainstream media, but it was impossible to ignore. With Wikipedia blacking out and Internet users everywhere flooding social media sites with links and statuses, the news was soon peppered of SOPA and PIPA related items.

The voting on these bills has been delayed, due to the mass amount of outcry and petitions. These laws would have a much more detrimental effect than any lawmaker in support of it could imagine.

Of course there are people who lose money due to illegal downloads from the Internet, but these laws mean more than that. Instead of trying to censor a tool that has proven beneficial to our country, I believe lawmakers should be focusing on more important issues. The highest priority topics should consist of talks about the economy, education and foreign policy, not how to hinder an open medium that has long been under no central control.

Rene Howard-Paez, Managing Editor

Lawmakers attempt to protect intellectual property

First and foremost, everyone take a nice deep breath.

After that, rejoice in the idea that because of your outcry and your opposition of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), the Jan. 24 date of voting has been postponed, according to bbc.co.uk.

And yet, why do I feel like people have petitioned, protested and signed against this bill for all the wrong reasons?

Let’s face it, we as college students are notoriously known as being broke. So instead of going out and spending 14 dollars on a movie ticket (along with popcorn and a soda) what do we do?

Google [Insert name of the latest movie] and download for free.

The whole point of the SOPA bill was not to stifle user creativity and content. It was to ensure websites did not encourage piracy of the latest movies or music and for those same websites to not profit from this illegal content.

Every time you visit a Web page that features illegal videos, ever notice those ads either around or directly in front of the video?

The webmaster of that page essentially is profiting from someone else’s production, the very thing the bill sought to reduce.

The bill also attempted to shut down websites that produce counterfeit products, websites that knowingly steal your credit card information or steal your personal identity. It was meant to protect you.

I know, I know. Shutting down an entire website due to one user’s illegal uploads is harsh and a little overboard. But this is why the bill has been taken off of the table and is being rewritten.

I have MANY friends who signed petitions for the same reasons: to keep their bootleg movies, music and games, and I’m sure there are many others.

However, the SOPA act wasn’t the evil empire from Star Wars, seeking to capture and detain any and all user-created content. The central idea of the act was actually well-meaning. I can only hope people take a step back next time and learn the facts about legislation instead of signing blindly and wildly on the dotted line.

– Anthony Garcia, Staff Writer