Posted tagged ‘St. John’s University’

SD-11 Race Final, Padavan Holds On.

February 11, 2009

With the annoucement finally here James Gennaro’s campaign sent out this statement.

Dear Friend:
     2008 was an exciting and most historic year for politics in America, and I’m proud we were a part of it.  All across the country and here in Queens, people cried out for change, and I’m proud that our campaign brought the promise of change to tens of thousands of doorsteps in a way unseen in four decades.
     I’m proud that almost 100,000 people voted in the 11th Senate District, and that half of those voters believed in and supported us.  I’m proud that we ran an issue-based campaign, educating the public about my opponent’s voting record, especially with regard to women’s health and rights, and proposing fresh new ideas like building a green economy and protecting New York City’s drinking water supply. I’m proud that we also enlightened voters to some of the serious problems that need addressing in Albany, like the billions of New York City taxpayer dollars that go to Albany to be distributed to other parts of our State and leave New York City struggling to pay for basic services.  And I’m proud that we ran a campaign of complete inclusion, uniting a wide range of supporters of all ages, ethnicities, religions and walks of life who collectively represent a new 11th Senate District, one of the 21st Century.
     Little did I know, however, that another, even more significant campaign was to commence after Election Day.  For three months that succeeded, our opponent and his Republican Party lawyers used every resource at their disposal to wage a systematic and sustained effort to either disqualify or deny the consideration of perfectly valid ballots.  As important as any local election is, the right to vote and have that vote count is of paramount importance.  This became our new focus – to fight our opponent’s attempts to disenfranchise voters and to ensure that every valid ballot would be identified and counted.  And, while we did not prevail in the election, we won a great victory: about 1,000 voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – who cast perfectly valid ballots in this most historic election – will now have their votes for President, U.S. Representative, State Senate, State Assembly and Supreme and Civil Court counted rather than discarded.
     I take this opportunity to thank in a special way my wonderful and supportive family, inspired and relentless staff, energetic and spirited volunteers, loyal and generous supporters and all the voters of the 11th Senate District, who by participating in this election demonstrated their personal commitment to our community and our great country.  It has been a great honor and a privilege for me to serve the public for the last 26 years in government and for the last seven years as a Councilman. I pledge to continue to fight for and serve the people of Northeast Queens.  There is serious work to be done in fixing our economy, preserving our communities, protecting our environment and making sure that the world we leave our children is a better one than the one our parents left us.
     I’m so grateful to you for your generous support, and I look forward to seeing you soon!  Of course, please feel free to send me a message any time at

All the best,

We wish him all the best.


Barack Obama’s Inauguration: Stories From The Mall

January 20, 2009
Millions on the national mall awaiting the inauguration of President Obama.

Millions on the national mall awaiting the inauguration of President Obama.

(Washington D.C.) – Today I along with a few other College Democrats joined the millions of Americans from every state stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Within 5 feet were people from Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut, California, Kentucky and a multitude of other states. Even more impressive were the people from the Bahamas and the Netherlands.

Every race, color and creed was visible on the mall. After arriving around 1am there were plenty of people who were rich, poor, tired and eventually just a huddled mass. All of them telling us how they came with friends from South Africa and as far away as Australia. Everyone sharing stories about how Barack Obama’s election has personally touched them in a way no election ever has.

Singing songs together in unity to stay warm, loudly cheering for President Obama when he appeared on the jumbotron and quietly listening to pastor Rick Warren when he spoke to everyone.

Whether you were there in person, saw it at home on your television, saw it online at work, or listened to it on the radio this was a moment for the history books. From Los Angeles to New York to the forgotten corners of the world everyone will remember this moment. What did you make of this moment?

St. John’s University Unveils New Email System For Students

January 5, 2009

St. John’s University always prides itself in its technological expertise, with good reason. We are already one of the most wireless campuses in the nation and every classroom is jam packed with computers, screens, projectors and other electronic goodies. The one area that had always been lacking was the

St. Johns University is already one of the most technologically sound campuses in the United States

e-mail system. Attachments would never go through with the messages, sent messages didn’t automatically save, the amount of available space was lackluster, and the list goes on. The problem was so bad that by Sophomore year, a majority of students have begun using other e-mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and AOL Mail.

According to a recent press release, St. John’s Executive Director Maura Woods declared:

The new system provides increased functionality…It incorporates HTML, has 10 GB of space and spam control. Students will be using the new web-based Outlook, with Office Live tools in addition to a 25 GB virtual hard drive called SkyDrive that will allow for selective file sharing and e-mail collaboration.”

I came across a St. John’s student, who wishes to remain anonymous,  who has seen and used the new system already:

It’s a step up from the old e-mail system.  It’s similar to Gmail and the other email services while providing for it’s own unique style. It comes with a calender, great spam control and all that good stuff.

Now students can finally store e-mails in their account without stressing about space, and papers will finally get to teachers. Could this be the end of the days where teachers always thought we were lying but it was really just a faulty e-mail service? I certainly hope so.

The new e-mail system should provide for a better, stress free online experience

The new e-mail system should provide for a better, stress free online experience

The new system is set to be released before the Spring 2009 semester, and every student can be assured that their stored e-mail’s will be carried over to the new system.  The new system has not been tested on the large scale of the entire University population yet, so it’s efficency has yet to be seen. With a new website and a new e-mail system, St. John’s is taking a positive step in the right direction by embracing and using all new available technology.

*Images provided by

St. John’s University has a record-breaking Blood Drive

December 23, 2008
Chris Puntarelli of the College Democrats is among the first to donate blood.

Vice-President of the College Democrats Christian Puntarelli helps with the record breaking blood donations at St. John's in 2008.

According to a recent St. John’s University press release, this year was the most successful blood drive in the history of the university. 1,639 pints of blood were donated from across the Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Oakdale Campuses.

The blood drive was organized by St. John’s University led by the Vice President for Community Relations Joseph Sciame and Community Relations Associate Kevin Ryan, J.D. and cosponsored by a number of student organizations including the Physician’s Assistant Student Association, Muslim Students Association, Indian Students Association, Spanish Honor Society and the Lambda Phi Sorority.

This shows the high level of activism and engagement the students of St. John’s have expressed in 2008. From registering over 700 students to vote this year and making trips to local food shelters to feed the hungry, St. John’s has continued to lead in serving the community.

For more information:

St. John’s Alumni Assistance Program

December 23, 2008

(New York) – St. John’s University recently launched, without much fanfare, a new program aimed at helping its alumni. The program is aimed an any alumnus from the University who has been laid off in the last six months. The program will allow all alumni to attend graduate school at discounted rate of 50%.

This programed is aimed at alumni who are hurting during this economic recession and allowing them a chance to reevaluate their career path. The law school however is not included in the package. The program is set to debut in Spring 2009 and last through the fall after which it will be reevaluated. Once in the program, one will have two years of the discount rate.

University of Chicago To Allow Co-Ed Dorms

December 23, 2008
Several towers of the Main Quadrangle of the University of Chicago seen from the Midway Plaisance.

Several towers of the Main Quadrangle of the University of Chicago seen from the Midway Plaisance.

(New York) – The University of Chicago is joining the ranks of close to 30 other school around the United States which have adopted the measure. Previously the college had a same-sex policy much like St. John’s University where men and women were allowed to live on the same floor as each other, however not in the same room.

This new rule called “open-housing” will allow opposite sex roommates. The school sent a letter to parents last week informing them of the school’s decision. The school says it was a student-led initiative that isn’t aimed at romantic couples, however couples won’t be excluded.

The new policy does not require parental approval, and is not open to freshmen. When asked about the new policy one St. John’s student gave his view, “It sounds like a good idea, but what happens if the couples break up during the year?” he said.

Republicans vs Students

December 2, 2008

Here in SD-11 the Republican party has it out for the students of St. John’s University. After challenging the votes of some voters in the district (as is usual for elections) the Republican party is challenging the votes of students here.

Senator Frank (the tank) Padavan has subpoenaed a handful of students at St. John’s.

The New York Times reports:

“Republican lawyers have challenged the votes of students, mostly from St. John’s University, saying that they filled out affidavit ballots with addresses that were not their permanent residences. In the paper ballot count, Mr. Padavan is leading by about 600 votes, but about 1,000 more ballots remained to be counted and the validity of an additional 2,000 must still be reviewed.

While the challenges and subpoenas have angered students, who are being forced to appear during exams, they underscore the high stakes attached to winning the Senate seat in Queens.”

The Republican party has gone out of its way to hassle students who were excited to vote in an election for the first time in decades.

Yesterday, I spoke with a classmate of mine who was recently featured in the Times article who was incensed that the Republican party has challenged her vote in court not only forcing her to prove she voted legally, but the fact that it’s during the final exams.

I’m glad this race is finally getting the attention from bigger media outlets it deserves. From what I know, students are upset but will show in court. I ask you, don’t let this discourage you from voting in the future. Do not let anyone take away your right to vote. I leave you with a quote from Lyndon B. Johnson.

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

Lets break down this wall of injustice.