Get to know this year’s Mr. Eastern contestants

According to junior Beth Sherron, the coordinator for this year’s Mr. Eastern, there will be four different rounds in the competition. “We will have the talent section, lip-syncing, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and, since the event is happening so close to Halloween, we will have them dress up for Halloween and make them bob for apples,”  Sherron said.

Bettie Ann Brigham, Daryl Hawkins, Dr. Lindy Backues and last year’s winner Drew Krupp will serve as judges. Krupp, who graduated last semester, is coming back to judge and hand down the crown of Mr. Eastern. The event will take place on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Dinning Commons.

Candidate Questions:
1. Major?
2. Favorite pastime?
3. Talent?
4. Why should you win?
5. What would you do with the $30 gift card if you win it as the prize?
6. How would you ask your crush out on a date?


Junior Jonathan Hodge

1. Communications–Mass Media
2. Dumpster dive with my friends.
3. Stand-up comedy.
4. Because I am tired of seniors winning. Also, I was close to winning last year.
5. I would either go to Wawa or Walmart.
6. I would ask her through The Waltonian.


Senior Mike Montgomery

1. Youth Ministry, Biblical Studies and Theology
2. I love to worship and lead worship.
3. I am probably doing a song I wrote titled, “I Don’t Deserve This Love.”
4. I am a cool guy who deserves to win this competition. Also, I am funny and talented.
5. I would probably just put it in the bank and use it to pay off the many loans I will owe after my graduation, or I will use it to buy pizza or a two liter of Coke.
6. If she doesn’t get my signals, I would say, “We are good friends but I want it to be more than that. I want to take you out on Friday and be blessed by your presence.”


Junior Jason Collier

1. Music Education
2. Play piano, sing and play Mario Kart.
3. I am planning to sing.
4. Because I am persistent.
5. I would probably spend it on iTunes or put it toward my trip to Europe in the spring to Austria, Germany and Czech Republic.
6. Would you allow me the honor of taking you out?


Senior Dominick Baruffi III

1. Theology
2. I like climbing things. I often climb trees, buildings and cars.
3. Poetry and motion.
4. I should win because I have nice toes, and I think whoever wins Mr. Eastern should have nice toes.
5. I would go out to dinner with Ken Hufnal (roommate) who lost, but he will just watch me eat.
6. Take her to a park in the evening as the sun is going down. I would sneak away for a moment and then surprise her by hanging upside-down in a
Spiderman suit, and then I will ask her out.


Senior Tommy McGrady

1. Biology
2. I love playing ultimate frisbee, dodgeball and football and I am also the director of Transformed, so that keeps me occupied.
3. Some impression.
4. I am just doing this for fun and to have a good time. I also want to make a fool out of myself.
5. I would probably go out with Ken and Dominick (roommates) to Kildare’s, and they can watch me eat.
6. I would probably ask (senior) Dave Miller to serenade her with his guitar, and then I will ask her.


Senior Kenneth Huffnal

1. History
2. Play football, baseball, being outdoors, mountain biking, searching for wildlife–I saw a rabbit the other day.
3. When in Rome…?
4. The competition is not there. I am not intimidated. I am ripped like a house. I am tall and dark. I am hungry–hungry for victory. Homecoming was just the appetizer. This is the main course.
5. I would go out to dinner with Dominick Baruffi (roommate) who lost, but he will just watch me eat.
6. I have a crush on you. Would you like to date me?

For the record

Senior Shafarr Savoy

“No, it began with Druid and Celtic priests following Samhain, the celebration of ghosts and demons entering the world for demonic purposes.”


Junior Crystal Yetter

“Yes, it is fine to celebrate Halloween as long as it is all in good fun. It’s like the Harry Potter books. It’s fun to read and imagine, but it does not mean that you have to believe that is it real.”


Senior Shannon Larkin

“Yes and no. I am okay with trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving, but I don’t like the demonic aspect of it, which includes dressing up like witches.”


First year Steven Green

“No, because Halloween has several different meanings to it which all come to one thing, and that is Satan.”

Natural and unnatural elements lead to excess pond scum

Eastern’s three ponds – Upper or McGraw Lake, Lower Lake, and Willow Lake – are typically picturesque. Photographers and painters travel miles to capture their beauty. However, the ponds sometimes seem a little more unhealthy than usual and a green film appears along their surfaces. Students have frequently wondered what causes this.

The green film is made up of different types of algae, duckweed and native aquatic plants. “These plants have the ability to be the most aggressive and fast-growing plant species in the ponds and quickly respond to the opportunity to grow, presented by the abundance of dissolved nutrients in the water,” said John Munro, adjunct instructor and applied ecologist.

According to Executive Director of Campus Services Carl Altomare, the algae explosion is part of a natural progression. Under certain circumstances, an imbalance can occur, causing extreme growth in some populations and a decrease in others. 

“The exotic fish population, fertilizer put on lawns to make them look nice and green and the many unpleasant gifts left by geese and ducks have provided perfect conditions for an algae explosion,” Altomare said.

An overload of nutrients and sunlight cause plants to grow at a rapid rate. “You can’t get rid of (the algae) by just skimming it off,” Munro said. “The key to removal is to reduce, remove or isolate the source of the nutrients.” The Eastern staff has to try and cope with the algae with limited resources. 

Furthermore, the ponds sometimes have a pungent odor about them. “The mud stinks when disturbed,” Munro said. 

Munroe and Altomare explained that the maintenance of the ponds is quite complicated, especially when exotic or foreign plants and fish find their way into the ponds. A few years ago, McGraw Lake had some restoration work done to it. 

“The water quality is the best of the three,” Munro said. “It has little or no algae on it.” 

Unfortunately, less than a year after the restoration, about 500 goldfish were illegally released into the pond. The goldfish are exotic and bad for the pond, so Eastern got a permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to get rid of the invasive species. 

According to Munro, there are plenty of natural inhabitants of the pond. “The pond has bluegills, bass, some macro invertebrates, mallard ducks, painted turtles, snapping turtles, green heron, great blue heron, Canada geese, and other species, ” he said.

For the record

First year Lauren Taylor

“Do not rely on yourself, but rather rely on our Heavenly Father because through Him, your paths will always be straight.”

Sophomore Jeremiah Graham

“Never go to an awards show with Kanye West.”


Junior Amanda Holland

“Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

Senior Andrew Minnick

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. Psalms 119:9.”

After 45 years, antigravity monument still standing tall

There are a lot of existing theories and ideas that deserve to be questioned, but most people do not second-guess the concept of gravity.

At least not anymore.

According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, in the early 1900s, self-made millionaire and one-time presidential candidate Roger W. Babson believed gravity could be overcome and controlled by humans.

Babson, who had a sister and grandson die drowning, became obsessed with gravity, writing an essay titled, “Gravity–Our Enemy No. 1.”

After founding the Gravity Research Foundation in 1949, Babson began giving grants to small East Coast schools to place monuments on their campuses to recognize the research he sponsored.

Today, there are 13 schools with antigravity monuments, including Eastern.

While unknown to most current students and faculty, the monument sits to the right of Andrews Hall, stating its purpose of reminding “students of the blessings forthcoming when science determines what gravity is, how it works and how it may be controlled.”

According to university archivist Dr. Frederick Boehlke, the monument was placed during the dedication of Andrews Hall on Oct. 15, 1964.

Boehlke said the president of the Gravity Research Foundation, George B. Rideout, had a daughter who was a sophomore at Eastern at the time. In addition, the university received a $5,000 grant for planting the marker. 

However, in all the coverage of the dedication ceremony, none of the campus publications mentioned the antigravity marker. 

“I think the college was a little bit embarrassed about it,” Boehlke said with a laugh, noting the connection between the monuments and the theory of perpetual motion.”But, I’m sure they wanted the $5,000.”

Photo Caption Contest

Take a nice long look – then tell us what you think is going on in this photo.

Send your caption for “Racism… Check-mate” to by Oct. 6. The editorial staff will deliberate over every entry and chose the best one. All entries must include your name and year. The winner will be published in our Oct. 14 online issue and receive a $10 gift card to either Starbucks, Wawa or Blockbuster.

If you have a crazy photo, send it to us for future contests.

So tell us, what exactly IS happening here?

Freedom in the air

Imagine standing in a plane, stuffed like sardines in a tin can, with your heart clenched in a fist. Suddenly the back door of the plane swings open and there is nothing but open air and the ground 14,000 feet below. Nothing happens at first: Then, with a run and a jump, you are airborne, free-falling for the longest sixty seconds of your life before the parachute is pulled and you gracefully float down to the landing point.

This is what junior Dan Lenko does every week.

“It’s indescribable,” he said. “You’re so removed from everything.”

Lenko is only four jumps away from earning his A-license in skydiving, which will allow him to jump anywhere in the world and in up to 30 mph winds. Currently, he can jump solo with the parachute above him, working with instructors to learn more complicated moves in the air. To earn his solo license, he had to do jumps with an instructor ten times within 30 days, and to keep his license current, he has to go skydiving once a month.

Lenko first got involved in skydiving last fall when he went with Eastern’s Outdoors Club to Freefall Adventures in Williamstown, N.J. Lenko loved it so much that he earned his solo license by the end of the semester. He is now the vice president of the Outdoors Club.
“I would have never done it if I hadn’t gone to Eastern,” Lenko said. “Eastern really gave me the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do as a kid.”

This activity does more than give you thrills; it also helps you face your fears. Believe it or not, Lenko is afraid of heights–and he goes skydiving every weekend.

But he is not afraid: Lenko equated the experience of skydiving not with falling but with floating.

“It’s just freedom in the air,” he said. “You’re in complete control of your body the whole time.”

The first minute of skydiving is a 5,000-foot freefall at 120 mph until the parachute is pulled. After that, it is nothing but a gentle coast for three to four minutes until landing.
Anyone can do it, as long as he or she is 18 years old and weighs less than 250 pounds. Last month, Lenko saw a man paralyzed from the waist down go skydiving–twice.

The Outdoors Club is still taking students skydiving, including sophomore Andrew Robertson, Lenko’s roommate. This will be his first time, and he is very excited.
“I feel like I’ve always wanted to do it,” Robertson said.

Junior Kim D’Abbene has gone skydiving one time with the club: April 5, 2008, the day before her twenty-first birthday. Her parents paid for her to go as an early birthday present.
“It reminds me of the power of God,” D’Abbene said. “There’s no experience like it.”



The Outdoor Club will be taking students to Freefall Adventures in Williamstown, N.J. on Oct. 3. It is $189 per person, but the first twenty students to sign up will get $20 off. For more information, e-mail Dan Lenko at or check out

Dia del Este strikes again

Dia del Este came back bigger and better than ever this semester, causing the entire campus to burst with excitement from Sept. 17-19. The festivities began Thursday night with a showing of the theatre department’s Waiting for Godot, which was free with a Dia del Este ticket. The party really started Friday afternoon with the triumphant return of Hainer’s Country Fair, followed by Gallup’s Luau, Kea-Guffin’s ‘70s House, the performances of both Fault Line and Jenny & Tyler and a late-night dance party in Gough.

Saturday’s events opened with a Fall Carnival on the softball field, where some of the braver students attempted the gyroscope. At 6 p.m., a massive fan base from Eastern made the trek next door to watch the men’s soccer team battle with Cabrini. The night wrapped up with a B-I-N-G-O party at Doane and the wildly popular video karaoke party in the Dining Commons.

Students receive warm welcome at Ramadan feast

A dozen Eastern students chose to spend their Saturday evening on Sept. 12 at a different type of celebration.

As part of his Heritage of Islam class, Dr. Andrew Bush takes some students to Villanova’s Foundation for Islamic Education each year to experience Ramadan firsthand.

The feast began immediately after the fourth of five prayer cycles, which occurs daily at sunset. The fourth prayer cycle also marks the end of fasting each day during Ramadan.
Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during the 30-day celebration. Nothing can enter their mouths, which means no water or chewing gum.

After breaking their fasting by eating dates and drinking milk or juice, the group entered into prayer.

Junior Alexander Kautardze, an international student from Georgia, chose to participate in the prayer session.

“It’s actually a really great experience because it helps one connect with the people,” Kautardze said.

After the prayer, the group moved to a neighboring gymnasium for the Ramadan feast that included lamb, chicken, rice and baklava.

While eating, the students mingled with the Muslims, who eagerly answered questions about their faith and practices.

Cindy Elayoubi, a graduate student at Temple, said her family moved to the United States from Egypt before she was born.

The main difference, Elayoubi said, is that when it is Ramadan in the Middle East, everything adjusts. Schools do not begin until after Ramadan and work shifts are shortened.

Many Muslims begin partaking in Ramadan before they reach puberty, with many eager to share that they can fast for an entire day.

“The youth are very proud of their, faith, which is surprising,” senior Chris Hamilton said. “Christian youth aren’t always as proud and devoted to it. As a youth ministries major, it was cool to see.”