Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hazard Zet Forward

What is Hazard Zet Forward? I'll get to that. Hang on.

We spent yesterday in the footsteps of Tony Soprano.

It was our first visit to Seton Hall University with Oldest Son. He was accepted there in late January and we never visited it on the first round of visits. In fact, it only got on the list because we made him put a New Jersey school in the "the list" and it was the only one that met his criteria. I was thinking a New Jersey state school and it's lower priced tuition but God has a way of sorting it all out. Be careful what you ask for.

The University is located in South Orange, NJ 14 miles from the city. It's what appears to be a lower middle class town with houses that look Junior Soprano's scattered around the iron gated campus. It is definitely Soprano-ville. I fully expected to see the pig over Satriales and Pizzaland down the street but was a little disappointed when all they had was a Dunkin Donuts and Cold Stone Creamery. At least they could have had a Jamba Juice store.

I'm sorry but I had Sopranos on the brain the whole time while driving around. Maybe it was the Turnpike. Right now I'm listening to Woke up this Morning by Alabama 3 and last night I watched an episode of the Sopranos on HBO on Demand. I'm stuck.

Overall, Seton Hall was a pleasantly surprisingly nice school.

Educationally they have a very good communications department and offer a Masters Program in 5 years, which Oldest Son likes and they are fireproof which I like.

Let me explain. You may not remember, but in January of 2000 one of the freshmen dorms at Seton Hall had a serious fire killing 3 freshmen and injuring over 50. The fire was national news and caused New Jersey to change it's laws about sprinklers in College dormitories. Either way, let's just say that Seton Hall is still a little sensitive to fire safety.

Today I was surprised to learn that the fire had a Sorpranos-like connection. Two freshmen started the fire to get back at a resident assistant. They set a bulletin board on fire with lighter fluid to burn up some signs that the RA had made up welcoming the freshmen back from Christmas break. They were mean and had mafia ties.

After the fire they clammed up and then lawyered up. It took years for the county prosecutor to get a case against them but when he did, it came from a surprising source.

A convicted Mafia hit man. I am not making this up. It's all here.

Somehow, a convicted mafia hit man (and a State's witness) overheard a conversation between one of the Mom's of the boys stating that the boys had done it. Based on his testimony, which he traded for his freedom, a wire tap was obtained.

In 2006 the boys pleaded guilty and received a 5 year sentence apiece in a youth facility.

The hit man walked and was put in the witness protection program.

Anyway, Seton Hall moved to the top of the list based not on it's fire resistance and mob ties but on the scholarship money and the school itself. Today Hofstra came back with scholarship money too but not as much as Seton Hall. Susquehanna also accepted him so he is three for three so far.

So what of Hazard Zet Forward? It is a combination of Norman French and archaic English meaning at whatever risk, yet go forward (What, no Algonquin?)

Hazard Zet Forward is official motto of Seton Hall.

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