Women’s Lacrosse Team Makes Blankets for Sunrise of Pasco

Handmade gifts elicit comfort in times of hardship. The Women of Saint Leo Lacrosse know this well. On Monday, October 9, the ladies gathered in Kirk Hall on University Campus and spent two hours cutting and knotting fabric to create blankets for women in need at the Sunrise of Pasco County, Inc. Domestic and Sexual Violence Center’s emergency shelter.

The blankets varied in size and pattern so that they may be used by the women themselves or by their babies or older children that they may have brought to the shelter. The finished blankets will be dropped off by Aubrey Hall, Saint Leo’s Green Dot Coordinator.

Green Dot is a program that works through Sunrise of Pasco to implement awareness of power-based violence such as stalking, harassment, or domestic abuse to Saint Leo’s campus. Hall explained that her goal is to “engage the Saint Leo community at large and bring light to a reality of which people on campus may not be aware.” The idea is that the widespread knowledge of what power-based violence is will reduce the chances of that violence occurring.

According to Hall, the survivors currently at the shelter will be able to choose their own blankets, and the leftover blankets will be placed in welcome baskets for new arrivals to the shelter. Having recently escaped tremendously difficult situations, women often arrive at the shelter with little or no personal belongings, so the welcome baskets would typically include things like shampoo or sweatpants.

Saint Leo students giving back to Sunrise of Pasco furthers the relationship between the two entities, and the women of the team enjoy the experience. Women’s Lacrosse Coach Caitlin Hansen is new to Saint Leo, but she said that the team had participated in creating blankets for Sunrise of Pasco last year and heavily requested continuing the tradition. Hansen felt that the project was good for the team because it “adds color to the day.” In the busy day of a student-athlete, it is calming to craft something beautiful and know that it will help someone.

The School of Education and Social Services encourages students to take part in Green Dot. Dr. Joanne Crossman, Women’s Lacrosse Faculty Mentor and Instructor of Education, expressed that it is positive for the team to reach out and let the women at the shelter know that people care for them. It is a display of “women supporting other women,” according to Crossman.

Next week, October 16-20 is the start of Green Dot week on University Campus. Several on-campus events will provide more opportunity to engage with Sunrise of Pasco, beginning with the Green Dot Melting Pot in the Student Community Center boardrooms 6:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 16. There will be stories of survivors and information and tips about handling situations of power-based violence shared at these events.

Hispanic Heritage Month

On Oct. 3, The School of Arts and Sciences and the Spanish Club hosted a celebration that brought hundreds together.

Though the official dates for the Hispanic Celebration Month are Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Saint Leo decided to dedicate the first week of Oct. to celebrating its Hispanic students and staff.

From the engaging sugar skull coloring sheets to the salsa dancing lessons, students and staff of all ethnicities came together to celebrate the Hispanic community. Megan Orendorf, Administrator for The School of Arts and Sciences, has helped organize the Hispanic Heritage Celebration since it first began. She sat at a table at the entrance of the event greeting everyone with a warm and welcoming smile.

“This is fun to be a part of,” said Orendorf. “It is so important to recognize the Hispanic culture since they are such a huge part of who we are.”

Karen Hannel, professor of Giants of the Arts and Arts of Appreciation, has also been doing the Hispanic Heritage Celebration since it Saint Leo began celebrating it some ten years ago. She spoke about the need for such celebrations.

“The purpose of this celebration is to heal some of the hatred brought on by racism,” she said. She further described how an event such as this one provides room for communication and understanding of different cultures.

Dr. Marcela Van Olphen, Spanish professor and Sponsor of the Spanish Club, also stood proudly by a table hosted by her Spanish class, which consisted of beautiful ceramics and woven baskets from Mexico. The table was always surrounded by students and staff who admired these works and enjoyed the jeopardy questions which tested their knowledge of the Spanish language.

“It is important to divulge culture. It is important to educate and to bring awareness to help appreciate and understand other cultures,” she said. “I am here because these are my roots. This is about bringing peace to the world. The Hispanic culture is extremely diverse and we ultimately all share common interests.” She spoke passionately about spending most of her life in Argentina, and her love for her country.

Though some students attended the event due to extra credit assignments offered by their teachers, a majority of the students were there out of personal interest.

Caroline Harvey, a Criminal Justice major, loved her time there as she learned how to dance salsa, and spoke about getting beat by the “red” team at a trivia session. The game consisted of questions about the many countries of South America, their geography, their foods, and famous people who originate from these. She had a good time teaching other students how to speak Spanish and was proud of her poster on Sonia Sotomayor, a Supreme Court Justice whom she is interested in.

At a table at the celebration, a drive and FundMe page was announced in hopes of raising donations and awareness to the countries that have been affected by the natural disasters which have occurred in these past few weeks. All of the proceeds will go to Caribbean countries who were affected by Irma and Maria, as well as Mexico. If you see a red, tall bin around campus, please stop and read the instructions to help collect the materials needed to help alleviate some of the stress and damage caused by these horrific storms.

The event encouraged students never to forget that all countries are family and that we should all be willing to help, even in the smallest ways possible.

Banding together for the Fall Into Song Concert

By Phillip Waitkevich

Last Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the SCC Boardrooms, the Saint Leo Rhythm Machine, the Saint Leo Singers and Chamber Singers, the Saint Leo Strings, and Just the FACTS banded together to perform seventeen songs from the 1960s for the Fall into Song Concert.

With only five weeks scheduled to practice (and only four weeks practiced because of Hurricane Irma), the groups had to dedicate themselves to many long hours of rehearsing, both scheduled and unscheduled. Dr. Cynthia Selph, the director of this concert, was very content with how the concert went.

“I think this concert got us off on the right foot for this semester. All of the soloists were introduced to new music they had never sung before,” said Selph. “The sixties songs sound simple, but they are very hard to pull off. I think we all experienced some musical growth and that’s what we’re here to do: to learn to be better musicians.”

It takes a lot of patience, determination, and courage to sing in front of an audience. The performers not only had to perform the songs at 4 p.m., but they had an encore show at 7 p.m. Why do they do it?

“I’ve been [singing] since I was little and it’s just brought me so much relief and so much joy that I wanted to share my talent with others,” said sophomore Anthony Marchitto.

The staff and performers weren’t the only ones who were happy with the event’s turnout. Audience members were swaying and tapping their feet while they listened to the songs of their childhood.

“I came here because my friend said it was really good. I know a lot of people who are performing, and I wanted to see how good it really was,” freshman Tabitha Martorano said.

The songs performed ranged from folk songs like “Scarborough Fair,” to early rock and roll such as “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix. Other popular songs included “Dance to the Music” by Sylvester Stewart, “Happy Together” by the Turtles, and “Hello, Goodbye” and “Yesterday” by the Beatles, and “Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.

“The music was all chosen over the Summer. We wanted songs that represented the decade because this is the theme [that was selected by] the [School of] Arts and Sciences.,” said Selph. “We tried to get a variety of music that was popular. We had a Simon and Garfunkel tune. [We represented] Elvis Presley. Paul Anka [was represented]. A lot of those were really big names in the Sixties, but I didn’t want to do something that was all just exactly alike.”

As for the future performances, the groups are scheduled to perform again on Sunday in the Abbey for the Fall Family Festival. And in another five weeks, there will be a concert in the Winter.

“We have a pretty full performance schedule. They work hard and they learn quite a bit of music, but that’s what you do in college. I think their hard work pays off and they do a really good job,” Selph said.

“Cuphead” Brings Back Old-School Animation

“Cuphead” features many different kinds of bosses, with many gimmicks and tricks to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Credit: @StudioMDHR

One of the strangest games to be announced at Microsoft’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) conference in 2014 was “Cuphead.” An Xbox exclusive side-scrolling retro-cartoon inspired indie game released by two brothers as their first game.

“Cuphead” is a retro game in every meaning of the word. Its art style is the single most striking part of the game. The game is a made as a love letter to 80’s and 90’s kids who grew up watching old timey Disney movies while playing side scrolling run and gun games. The developers, StudioMDHR, made up of the two brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, even stated that they themselves grew up watching old cartoons on compilation VHS tapes and late at night reruns.

While the art style is obviously incredibly retro inspired, the gameplay is as well. One of the most popular genre of 90’s gaming was the side scrolling run and gun game. The gameplay is incredibly simple while also being very difficult but enjoyable to play. The player needs to move the titular character, Cuphead, from left to right on the screen with a small gun as their only weapon. This gameplay, while simple and fun, is also deceptively difficult, with many players taking to social media with their frustrations.

The art style of the game, being as beautiful as it is, also runs at 60 frames per second, making it look incredibly fluid and sharp. This graphical choice and fidelity allows players to trace the path of every bullet and projectile coming at their characters. The art style also allows for any single still screenshot of the game to look like it is taken straight out of a 1930’s hand painted cartoon, like the old Disney Mickey Mouse cartoons.

The story of “Cuphead” is fairly simple, as is to be expected by its genre and inspirations. Side scrolling games are not usually known for rich and heavy stories like you would find in a “Grand Theft Auto” or “Life is Strange.” Instead, the motivations of characters in this genre of games is usually as simple as “save the princess!” or “stop Dracula!”.

The story of “Cuphead” simply resolves around the titular Cuphead and his brother, Mugman. Cuphead and Mugman sneak into a casino and eventually make a deal with the devil for their souls. They eventually lose to the Devil, who says that if they are able to collect the contracts other residents of their land owe him then he will let them go. The player then must battle many bosses to receive their soul contracts for the devil. The developers purposefully made the story a bit different than the standard “damsel in distress” trope, making the main problem of the game a problem brought along by Cuphead himself.

“Cuphead” released on Sep. 29, 2017, over three years after it was initially revealed to massive praise and sales from players and critics alike. The game received a 9.5 out of 10 from gaming magazine Destructoid, 5 stars from GamesRadar, and an 87/100 from Metacritic. These scores are very impressive for such a small game, especially being a small studio’s first attempt at developing a video game.

The game has 30 bosses, and also has post-release support coming in the form of expansion packs, each with ten to fifteen more bosses each.

In a gaming environment full of triple-A massive budget video games all with similar playstyles and graphics, Cuphead stands out as an original and beautiful game hidden in the woodwork.

The Heart of a Poet: Gianna Russo Wins Prestigious Award

Emily Kochanski
Russo once preferred writing primarily about her personal experiences, but her horizons were broadened during her time as a college student. “I try to find ways to sync what is happening in the world with what is going on or has gone on in my life,” she said, describing her new works.

On Sep. 28, a member of Saint Leo’s Creative Writing team proved that she was among the “Best of the Bay.” Gianna Russo, the Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, took home a Reader’s Choice Award for Best Local Poet. The award was presented by Creative Loafing: Tampa Bay.

Russo has been a member of the University’s Creative Writing department for seven years, but writing has been a major part of her life for far longer than that.

“I’ve been a writer since childhood. My parents were great readers and storytellers,” Russo elaborated. “I wrote poems all through middle and high school, but never showed them to anyone.  In college, I finally met my first poet—another student—and began to call myself a poet.”

Russo previously took home the Critic’s Choice award for Best Poetry in Motion in 2011. She describes her more recent win as positively “thrilling.”

“I’m honored because there are a whole lot of terrific poets in the Tampa Bay area,” said Russo. “And because poetry is usually so much on the outskirts of American life, it’s just great to have it recognized at all.”

Russo has had several of her poems published, and many are also available through online literary magazines. One of her latest pieces will be published in a magazine called the “Green Mountains Review” and will be available on their website later this month. Some of her other works, such as her full-length poetry collection titled “Moonflower,” can be found on Amazon.

Though a little recognition is always nice, Russo’s main source of joy comes from the writing experience itself, not the awards.

“I know it’s a cliché’, but writing is a way for me to express myself,” Russo Said. “It’s also my way of contributing to our common humanity. That’s sounds kind of high-flown, I know, but it feels like truth.”

Russo encourages all of her students to follow their passions, whatever they may be. For aspiring writers, she advises them to “keep writing and keep reading.” To read some of Gianna Russo’s work, head to Amazon.com or stop by her office anytime. Be sure to check out her latest poem at http://greenmountainsreview.com/about-2/ when it goes viral later this month.

Fantasy Football Sleeper Picks for Week 6

Jalen Richard could be featured much more in the Raiders run game with Marshawn Lynch Struggling. Credit: @postbroncos

This week in the NFL features some great matchups and figures to give us some great fantasy football performances. So far this season there have been some sleeper picks that ended winning people matchups with their great performance and hopefully that can continue this week. Here are the top sleepers in fantasy football for Week Six.


Robby Anderson, WR New York Jets:

There aren’t many Jets worth starting usually, but in a matchup against a terrible Patriots defense, there are some names worth exploring. Heading into Week Six the Jets and the Patriots somehow both sit at 3-2 but it is pretty obvious that New York will most likely lose this divisional matchup. With that being said, Anderson figures to be a sneaky option at wide receiver this week seeing as the Jets may have to air it out a lot to keep this game competitive. The speedy wide receiver only has one touchdown this season but has a good chance to break a long score this week against the worst secondary in football. All Anderson needs is one big play to make him have starting value, and this could be the week Josh McCown finds him deep down the field. Consider the second year wide receiver to be a low-end flex play this week in a great matchup.


Jalen Richard, RB Oakland Raiders:

This will be a tough sell for most people, but there is reason to believe Richard can provide some value this week. This is Marshawn Lynch’s job no doubt, but last week Lynch received 12 carries and Richard got a season high nine carries, possibly due to the fact that the Raiders would like to keep the ball on the ground more even if Derek Carr returns from his injury this week. The sophomore running back is currently producing 5.3 yards per carry and has looked much better than the struggling Marshawn Lynch (3.4 YPC). Lynch’s struggles could allow the younger running back to see more opportunity behind one of the league’s best offensive lines. This week the Chargers come to town with the worst run defense in football, Richard should be given even more chances by the coaching staff in this game to show what he can do. Richard probably won’t receive any goal line carries but should be able to get some nice yardage making him an intriguing flex option in deeper leagues this week.


Trevor Siemian, QB Denver Broncos:

The third year quarterback has slowed down a bit since he started the season hot with six touchdowns in the first two games of the season. The Broncos had a Bye in Week Four, but the two games before that Siemian only had a combined one touchdown to go along with two interceptions. There is reason for optimism this week when the Giants come to the mile high city as their defense has allowed 10 passing touchdowns to go along with only one interception. The Giants are still looking for their first win and this should be a fairly easy matchup for Denver now that Odell Beckham Jr. is done for the season. If Siemian can play mistake-free football, expect a couple of passing touchdowns to go along with around 200 passing yards. With quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson on bye weeks, Siemian can be an above average fill-in with some nice upside.


Ameer Abdullah, RB Detroit Lions:

Anyone who bought into the Ameer Abdullah hype in the preseason has been somewhat disappointed thus far. He hasn’t been a bad flex play with at least eight fantasy points in three of five games this year in standard scoring, but he hasn’t been showing the breakthrough play we’ve all been waiting for. The third year running back is getting the majority of the touches in the backfield as he has been averaging around 15 carries per game, now it’s time for him to start producing consistently. The Lions have a nice matchup against a Saints defense that has thus far given up 4.5 yards per carry, so it’s a great matchup for Abdullah. He has shown he can produce like a star running back with a great performance in Week Four when he ran for 94 yards and a touchdown. It was discouraging to see Zach Zenner get a goal line touchdown last week but this is Abdullah‘s backfield and he should be able to put up RB2 numbers in this great matchup on Sunday.


Eric Decker, WR Tennessee Titans:

It’s tough to trust anyone in the Titans passing game especially if Marcus Mariota isn’t playing, but this week the team has a solid matchup against an awful pass defense. Eric Decker has been very disappointing thus far and hasn’t even been startable on his new team, but a nice matchup on Monday night might be able to change things. The veteran wide receiver is a big target in the short passing game and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him score his first touchdown of the season against the Colts. Even if Marcus Mariota doesn’t play, Decker provides a nice target for any quarterback to throw to. It hasn’t panned out for owners thus far, but a nice prime time matchup could make him a nice sleeper option to slot into your flex spot this week. Hold onto Decker for at least one more week to see if he can take advantage of a nice matchup at home.


Josh Doctson, WR Washington Redskins:

Doctson makes this list as the final player to be featured, he’s being added on here as a very deep sleeper, meaning that he should only be given a shot in leagues larger than 12 teams. The bad thing about the second year wide receiver is that he’s only received six targets over three games, so there is a very low floor associated with him. The good news is that he has scored a deep touchdown on one of his three catches and Kirk Cousins looked his way in the end zone at the end of their Week Four game. If the trend continues, Doctson will keep building his chemistry with Cousins and may have a good chance to find the end zone against the 49ers. San Francisco has been one of the worst defenses against the pass this year and the former first round pick might be able to find the end zone.

Game Gone Wrong : “Gerald’s Game” Movie Review


By Madison Whatley

When the romantic getaway of a strained couple becomes malicious, Carla Gugino as Jessie Burlingame is forced to mentally confront the vestiges of her repressed childhood trauma to survive the events caused by her husband, Gerald’s (Bruce Greenwood) disturbing fantasies in the Netflix original thriller, “Gerald’s Game.” “Gerald’s Game “ is an adaptation of the Stephen King novel by the same name, released Sep. 29. This suspenseful, feminist film is undoubtedly worth watching for viewers that can persevere through many unsettling scenes.

Most of the film takes place in a small bedroom in a vacation home by the shore, and with Gerald’s early removal, the film’s limited setting and characters allow viewers to focus solely on the development of Jessie. Because she is rendered stationary throughout her predicament, the plot is mostly mental. Viewers learn about Jessie through her dreams depicting abuse that she received as a child as well as her hallucinations of herself and her husband representing the tension between her gutsy spirit and the meek persona that she had taken on in response to her traumatic experiences. Between the looming presence of her husband’s rotting corpse, a starving, bloodthirsty dog, and an ominous man with a collection of bones and the threat of death by starvation and dehydration, Jessie is under high stress. It is easy to understand how these dark circumstances have drudged up tough memories for her. Her trauma is a mental block that could condemn her to death.

In the opening scene, the couple packs their bags as Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me” (1962) plays in the background. The scene shifts to the couple in the car on the way to the vacation home and Gerald is playing the song in the car until Jessie shuts it off to “enjoy nature.” The song is sweet and upbeat, fit for an exciting occasion. However, closer inspection of the lyrics reveals a more sinister tone that foreshadows the dark turn that is about to take place in the film: “You know I’ll always be your slave/ ‘Till I’m buried, buried in my grave.” Once Jessie is in the room, there is no music. The audience feels Jessie’s anxiety and understands the helplessness of her situation. The audience only hears what she can: the sounds of the room. The only time that music comes up again is when Jessie recalls a specific instance of abuse against her as a child. Her father puts an oldies station on the radio, and during a pivotal moment, “Bring It on Home to Me” begins to play. This choice by the filmmaker shows the parallel between Jessie’s husband and her father.

Jessie’s uncovering of a long-forgotten piece of her past is what ultimately reveals to her a grizzly means of escaping the bedroom. The imagery of the solar eclipse in the film is symbolic of the overlap between her past and present. By surviving the ordeal, she brings herself “out of the darkness,” but not without lingering repercussions. While it would be unrealistic to show a complete recovery from the abuse, the resolution instead portrays female empowerment as a journey of resilience. Jessie is finally able to exercise her potential and work towards her fulfillment.

It is especially refreshing to see feminism in a genre that is known for its objectification and weak characterizations of women. Although Jessie is the typical passive female victim at the beginning of the story, in a deviation from the norm, she becomes a hero for herself.

Director and co-writer Mike Flanagan is certainly earning his stripes in the horror genre. With recent 2016 works Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil in addition to Gerald’s Game as his most recent release, he is becoming known for creating suspense with vulnerable characters and confined spaces and executing it exceptionally well. Fans can look forward to his upcoming projects: a remake of I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and a Netflix original TV series The Haunting of Hill House based on the novel by Shirley Jackson.

Gerald’s Game is a sophisticated and honest survival story that adds depth to the typically cookie-cutter genre of horror, but it is not suitable for younger or more squeamish audiences. For its originality and oddly uplifting mood:

Movie Review Score:                             4.5 out of 5 Paws