AF grounds for heated religious debate

By Alicia Ceccarelli

Mark Johnson creates painting to encourage spiritual discussion. Photo by Alicia Ceccarelli

Mark Johnson creates painting to encourage spiritual discussion.
Photo by Alicia Ceccarelli

On Monday Nov. 3, students gathered outside Academic Forum and engaged in Christian conversation and religious debate with two evangelical preachers. Rumors spread among the crowd that one of the evangelists, Joy Toy of Delaware County, accompanied by colleague Mark Johnson, claimed that he was a rapist and a murderer before he found Christ.

After committing 30 years to evangelism, Toy accepts that things he will say will be taken out of context. He is used to people swearing, getting angry and saying things like “Hail Satan!” in an attempt to shock him. At one point during the debating, a female student got up, turned to her peers and asked, “Does anyone else want this guy to just shut the f— up?” Toy later dispelled the rumors. He is not a rapist, nor did he ever call himself a rapist while taking to students that day. In saying that he was a murderer, he was referring to his “easy” yet regretful decision to have an abortion with his fiancé when they were in college.

Psychology major, Alex Corson, voiced his opposition about God creating the world, which turned into a one-on-one debate lasting several minutes. Toy argued that science has its place in the natural world, but not the supernatural world. He gave Corson the opportunity to defend how he knew the theory of evolution was true. Corson brought up the big bang theory to defend his belief about how the world may have begun without God. Toy retorted quoting Einstein: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed” to convince Corson with science that the big bang theory could not start the universe. Corson was not opposed to Toy sharing his beliefs, but he did not feel that Toy’s approach was respectful. “He basically said that I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in a god, and implied I wasn’t intelligent because I cursed a few times.” Corson does not have a side particularly in the Christian/Atheist debate, but believes that neither should argue arrogantly as if they know everything. Corson and Toy shook hands.

One group of students who disagreed with Toy’s beliefs about homosexuality, made miniature picket signs protesting his credibility on the subject of sin, due to what Toy allegedly said about his life before finding God. The signs read: “You just said you’re an ex-murderer/rapist, WTF,” “Rape IS NOT OKAY,” “You’re disturbing our peace,” and “Gay is okay.”

While Toy stands by the fact that homosexuality is not in agreement with the Bible, he states that it is not the focus of his evangelism when going to campuses. “We want to try to tear down this Straw Man argument that Christian people hate (the homosexual) community… The reality is that the Bible tells us to love everybody… even if we disagree in viewpoint.” It is not Toy’s motive to put anyone in particular under the spotlight for his or her lifestyle choices. His aim is purely to get students engaging in conversation about Jesus Christ and to relay the message of hope that Jesus brings to the world.

“There is a lot of brokenness and pain, and we are there to remind them too, to say ‘Hey look, there’s a God who cares about you and a God that can be a part of your life.’”

Toy’s colleague, Mark Johnson, painted a visual with the purpose of getting students thinking about how they cope with life’s problems, accompanied Toy. Johnson noted that fellow Christians at AF were beginning to voice their beliefs, survey their peers, and use stories from the bible as references to their discussions.

The college setting is an important place for Toy and Johnson to carry out their missionary work because it was where they came to know God 30 years ago. Toward the end of the afternoon, the discussion broke off into small groups while Toy and Johnson mingled with some LGBTQ members who handed out their pins to support their peers.

Students produce short film thriller

By Haley Bianco

Promotional Poster for “Inside” Photo courtesy of “Inside” short film Facebook

Promotional Poster for “Inside”
Photo courtesy of “Inside” short film Facebook

The student produced short film, “Inside,” premiered on Nov. 12 in the MSU alumni auditorium for students, faculty, staff and other guests. KU students Brandon Wood, Victor June and Kellen Cunningham put their writing and filmmaking skills together to create this production. “It took us two years from original script to final product,” said June. “We learned so much through this process and we got great feedback from the 80 people that attended our premiere.”

“Inside” is a thriller/suspense film. In the movie, the main character, Mark, becomes trapped inside his house. Then he discovers his girlfriend has disappeared and a strange man shows him his dark future. Visit the “filmitnowpro” YouTube channel to watch the trailer.

“Inside” is a short film from Film It Now Productions and June Media. The groups are currently raising funds through for their next short film project in spring 2015. The money raised will go toward equipment rentals and other costs associated with filming.

KU student, 23, dies unexpectedly

By Julia Grimaldi

Charles Eskin Photo courtesy of The Reading Eagle

Charles Eskin
Photo courtesy of The Reading Eagle

The KU community lost both a student and friend when Charles “Charlie” Eskin, 23, died unexpectedly on Nov. 2, 2014.

Eskin grew up in Pennside, Pa. In 2010, he graded from Antietam High School. At KU, he was a communication studies major and will be awarded his B.A. posthumously.

According to an article in The Reading Eagle, Eskin was the son of Diana Gerson and Steve Eskin and the brother of Alex Eskin. He leaves behind nephews: Michael Gerson, married to Susan Schubert, Robbie Gerson, married to Fran Gerson, Danny Gerson and cousins Julia, Cameron and Melissa.

According to the article, “Charlie was a young man with an incredibly strong kind heart, polite attitude, quick wit and friendly demeanor as has been expressed by his many friends. He always had a smile, a laugh and a kind word of encouragement for everyone.”

Contributions can be made to any organization or club that would have meant something to Eskin. Online condolences may be made at

Counseling services are available on campus to anyone that may be struggling with the passing of Charles Eskin. These services are located in 122 Beck Hall, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome.

Enjoy this time of year

By Ashley Fries

It is that time of the semester again, and the holidays are rapidly approaching. The weather is getting colder, and the semester is almost over.

Do not procrastinate, and get all of the homework you can out of the way as soon as possible. Do not wait until Thanksgiving break. That break is for you to spend time with your friends, family or loved ones. It is not time for you to be cramming in weeks worth of homework, projects or papers.

Take advantage of the time you have at home before the last week of school and finals. Take advantage of the break, the sleep and the time in general.

When you come back from break, spend time with your friends because you will be gone for about a month and a half. Enjoy the crisp air with a warm drink and just enjoy yourself. Take advantage of what is going on at KU.

To those who are graduating this semester, congratulations! I hope you have had a wonderful time here at KU and will go far in life after you leave our little home here. Still, make sure you finish any remaining school work and then spend as much time as you can with your friends. Who knows when you will see them again?

If you celebrate the holidays, take advantage of the wonderful gifts in the KU stores. Shop with friends or family and just have a good time. This time of year is really about spending time with those we care about. Make sure you take advantage of that because it will soon be over.

The Keystone staff wishes everyone happy holidays and congratulates the graduates of Fall 2014!

Wrestling competes against nation’s best at ESU Open

By Pat Zazzarino

Matt Martoccio looks to gain position

Matt Martoccio looks to gain position

On Saturday Nov. 16, 16 Golden Bears traveled to East Stroudsburg to take part in the annual East Stroudsburg Open. The event is among the oldest wresting tournaments in the nation and has been known to attract the top talent across the country.

Among the Golden Bears’ senior wrestlers, game-seeking freshmen got their chance to take the mat and win some matchups. These freshmen include; Ryan Appleby, Andrew Moslowitz, Stanley Proctor, John Balboni, Gregory Warner Brandon Wolf and Nicholas DeMarco.

According to an article written on the KU Bears website by Graduate Assistant Alex Slocum, junior Matt Martoccio, senior and top-ranked heavy-weight in the nation Ziad Haddad and Appleby all made runs for the tournament’s championship bracket. Martoccio had a pin himself as well as winning the decision before falling 6-0 by decision to Brown’s Justin Staudenmeyer who eventually earned the silver medal at 175 pounds.

In one of his first tournaments, Appleby competed with Haddad in the heavyweight division, but unfortunately both would drop out due to medical forfeits.

Before their forfeits, Appleby had a pin and won the decision in his first two matches, than losing 5-2 against Zachery Roseberry of Delaware Valley.

Haddad defeated his opponent Pete Andrich in 34 seconds as well as a 9-5 victory by decision against Joseph Goodhart before forfeiting his final two matches.

Nationally ranked senior Bo Candelaria, earned a major decision with a 7-1 win in the 165 pound consolation bracket. Wolfe won three-straight victories in the 174 consultation bracket including a 17-7 major decision.

DeMarco and sophomore Joe Esposito won two hard-fought victories of the day. Both of Esposito’s victories came from pins.

Overall, KU had a hard day with more losses than wins due to the untimely medical forfeits and the superior efforts of the other wrestlers.

KU will return home for their home opener against conference-rival in the University of Pitt-Johnstown this coming Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keystone Arena.

KU Jazz Ensemble releases new CD

By Joshua Herring

Cover art of “Old Guys Surrender the Jukebox” Photo by Joshua Herring

Cover art of “Old Guys Surrender the Jukebox”
Photo by Joshua Herring

The KU Jazz Ensemble I has recently released a new CD entitled “Old Guys Surrender the Jukebox.” These fresh recordings feature the innovative work of KU’s own talented, young musicians and direction from Kevin Kjos, professor of music and director of jazz studies.

Released on Friday, Nov. 7, this jazz record encompasses the ever-changing nature of the genre. All songs and arrangements were recorded at the KU Recording Studio in Old Main on Dec. 9, 2013 and May 10, 2014. Studio Recorder Katsu Naito of Avatar Studios mixed and mastered the tracks.

The title emerges from one of the songs on the CD, in which English Department Chair Dr. Andrew Vogel narrates an excerpt of poetry written by Michael Perry.

“Jazz is constantly evolving,” says Kjos, “the title serves as a double meaning, representing the emergence of new sounds as well as indicating one of the tracks composed by Geoff Keezer.”

Progressive standards influence many of the recordings in this CD. Kjos often says to his students, “let’s be current.”

“One of the reasons jazz is so challenging is because it’s a moving target,” said Kjos.

Throughout the year, students among the Jazz Ensemble create and perform various arrangements. With “Old Guys Surrender the Jukebox,” they were able to pick and choose their best and most inventive creations to be recorded.

The composing, arranging and recording process is the ultimate educational tool, according to Kjos. Not only are students able to be a part of a professional experience, but the older students often offer knowledge to the younger students, perpetuating creative jazz music here at KU.

The CD includes seven songs, all distinct and sonically ambitious. Most were recorded semi-live, with musicians separated for easier mixing and mastering. However, two songs, “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Aboard the Karlynn,” were recorded live and create a special sound, seemingly replicative of concert style.

“When people think of jazz, they usually think of the traditional swing sounds of Glen Miller,” said Kjos. The songs in this CD attempt to move beyond this, but also, they are surprisingly lengthy. Because of this, the CD has a brilliant story-like quality, employing and translating sensations of wittiness, beauty, mystery, passion and sensibility.

To hear these new jazz recordings or find more information about musicians and composers, a copy of the CD can be found at the KU bookstore or obtained by contacting Kevin Kjos at All proceeds go to the department of music and jazz studies.

“Old Guys Surrender the Jukebox” was produced by Kevin Kjos and Carver Scott Lee. Communication design students Amanda Vasko and John Woodward created the album artwork.

Ellen Groeneveld takes on final year as KU swimmer

By Kasey Cauto

Ku swimmer Ellen Groeneveld

Ku swimmer Ellen Groeneveld

Ellen Groeneveld is taking on her last year as distance freestyle and mid-distance backstroke swimmer on the KU swim team. She began swimming at the age of eight years old, and fell in love with the sport instantly. In the 14 years she has been swimming competitively, she has learned that “anything is possible, if you want something enough and you put your heart into it, you can do it.”

The greatest achievement Groeneveld has conquered thus far in her swimming career was being able to swim for a Division II team. “People thought I wouldn’t be able to make it in a Division II team, but I proved them wrong,” She said. She started out in college with not being able to swim more than two miles a day, no lifting experience and a weak stroke. She raised the bar to swimming double, gaining the lifting experience and fixing her stroke.

However, it’s a lot of dedication, hard work and is time consuming. Groenveld explains her practice schedule, which consists of at least two and a half hours of swimming per day every week, two hours of distance practice and lifting at least once a week. “It’s a lot to get used to,” she said. “I’m constantly sore and exhausted, but I’m always improving.”

Head coach Tim Flannery of the KU swim team has made an impact on Ellen’s career. “He’s the best coach I’ve had. He cares about all the swimmers and helps us with anything we need,” said Groenveld. “He pushes me to do some really hard practices, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.” Alex Crigler, a former swimmer for KU, is the assistant coach of the team. “She’s always there to help calm us down before an event when we get stressed,” Ellen said, “Her practices are extremely tough but it benefits the team.”

Without swimming in her life, Groenveld has no clue where she would be.

The sport has helped her gain both physical and mental skills, along with skills in time management. She accomplished her goal with hard work and the help of her coaches. Groenveld hopes to further her education in psychology after graduating KU, and continue to swim competitively in the future.

In her most recent meet, Growenveld finished with a career-best 12:10:99 agianst California University of Pa.

In her four years as a KU swimmer, she has competed in seven meets and has participated in freestyle and the backstroke. She is one of four seniors on the team that will graduate in the spring.

Her next meet will take place this weekend at the Franklin and Marshall Invite. The starting gun will fire off at Fri. Nov, 21, and will end on Sunday, Nov 23.