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–D.C.’S CAN’T MISS EVENTS

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OCTOBER 2013 No.1

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– ALUMNA’S TALE OF SURVIVAL

CONNECTING THE AU COMMUNITY ONE WORD AT A TIME OCTOBER 2013 / ISSUE 1

Searching for the

Fon ITTEST EARTH PG 10


inside THIS ISSUE DAY IN DC / 7

Places to take family, friends and significant others where your money counts the most

DORM DECOR / 9

AU’s best-looking rooms

CLIMATE RIDERS / 12

How three members of the AU community raised nearly $10,000 for the environment

BEN JOHNSON / 15

How the SG Comptroller’s middle school experience impacts the way he represents you

BILLY WALKER / 18

Why you may see more students at athletic events

STAFF

EDITOR IN CHIEF Josh Paunil

AROUND DC EDITOR Katie Johnson

LIFESTYLE EDITOR Mercedes McKeel

POLITICS EDITOR Mike Cipriano

SPORTS EDITOR Michael Gardner

WEB EDITOR Mary Hamula

DESIGN EDITOR Allie Powell

DESIGN ASSISTANTS Madeline Beard Tyler Berg Melissa Logan Anagha Srikanth

MAGAZINE ADVISOR Iris Krasnow

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

After months of reorganizing The American Word in an effort to accomplish our mission of connecting the AU community, we proudly present you with our first issue of the 2013-14 school year. From a 2,000-word profile on a noteworthy alumna to hitting on the fall fashion trends, we’ve touched on a plethora of subjects that are important to you. We value your feedback so email us at amwordmagazine@gmail.com to let us know your thoughts on the magazine.

Pictured on the cover: Brad Williamson and special thank you to Audrey Schreiber Photo by Allie Powell / The American Word

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AROUND DC

D.C.

LIVIN’

D.C. Drag Queen Race

DUPONT FARRAGUT NORTH

FotoWeek D.C. MOUNT VERNON SQUARE

Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show & Holiday Bazaar

Now is the perfect time of year to discover all the D.C.-Metro area has to offer! We picked a few of our favorite events that will be going on over the next month or so, all of which are Metroaccessible.

STADIUM-ARMORY

D.C. Rollergirls Roller Derby @ the Armory

D.C. Drag Queen Race October 29 At Dupont Circle you can see costumed drag queens, who are typically dressed in full heels and makeup, race for Halloween. Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show & Holiday Bazaar / November 3-4 Want to learn a few things about cooking? This enormous exposition is a huge self-labeled foodie event, featuring tastings, workshops, entertainment and full access to the marketplace of local vendors. It will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The cheapest tickets are only $24.50!

FotoWeek D.C., November 1–10 If photography and the arts are what you’re interested in, you won’t want to miss the free seminars, galleries and celebrations of photography this week has to offer. “FotoWeek Central” is at the National Geographic courtyard at 1145 17th St. NW, Washington D.C. D.C. Rollergirls Roller Derby @ The Armory The D.C. Rollergirls opened their season October 5 at the D.C. Armory. They are an amateur, all female roller derby league that holds tryouts. Why not get into some new sports action? Maybe you’ll even find a new favorite sport! Only $12 per game. Visit dcrollergirls.com for details.

Marathons and races coming to the area AIDS Walk Washington / October 26 Get out and support those who are affected by AIDS in our Washington D.C. community. Fundraising is already underway, but you can still walk for the cause. All proceeds benefit Whitman-Walker Health HIV/AIDS programs and services.

Living Social Dance Party 5K November 16 @ RFK Stadium

The Ugly Sweater Run – National Harbor – December 21

Run at RFK Stadium for a nighttime event decked out in glow-lights. It’s a dance party on the move! What better way to spend a night with friends outside the typical scene? It only costs $39 on livingsocial.com.

This run is exactly as advertised—an ugly sweater party on the go. Celebrate the holidays with a nice ugly sweater and friends and family as you run a 5K. In keeping with the holiday spirit, there’s even a hot chocolate station on the course! Visit theuglysweaterrun.com for details and registration.

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 3


A story of love & beauty in a French café-gallery Lindsay Maizland / The American Word

by Ethan McLeod @McMEthan Petite and glowing, Sabrina Ousmaal is the owner and inspiration behind Terasol, a oneof-a-kind café and art gallery located in upper Northwest Washington D.C. that serves French cuisine and doubles as an art gallery for the local community. An AU alumna, Ousmaal leads a dual professional life, working as an Associate Publisher for The Energy Daily during the weekdays and operating Terasol with her husband, Alan Moin, by night. “Take a bite out of life, smile at it, enjoy it,” says Ousmaal, 55, with a smile and a quiet exhale of a deep breath. Sitting at a front window table along Connecticut Avenue within Terasol, only blocks away from Chevy Chase, Maryland, Ousmaal elaborates: “Don’t do a job because it pays the bills, do it because you love it.” At 45, Ousmaal, a native of France, has thrived while fighting against formidable obstacles. In 2005, she was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a form of cancer highly uncommon to Western countries that originates in the upper nasal passage and spreads through the upper respiratory tract. As she chronicles the story of her thriving business, she simultaneously receives chemotherapy treatment from a catheter affixed to her left arm. Over the years, Ousmaal has also battled with a number of other infections and side conditions as a result of her chemotherapy. Despite years of the treatment and an uncertain prognosis for her cancer in the immediate future, Ousmaal’s body has been resilient through new levels of treatment. “I’m not going to say it’s not difficult,” she

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says about the daily pressure of working two fulltime jobs. “When I go to treatment, I tell them, ‘I have my day job, and then I have the part where I need to generate,’ help my husband on weekends and evenings at Terasol.” Even before her diagnosis, Ousmaal had to learn how to cope with the illness that now affects her own body. Her father was diagnosed with lung cancer while she was still a child, and though surgery kept the illness at bay for a number of years, after a second bout of cancer he passed away in October of 1999. The way Ousmaal learned to deal with the pain and sickness was through art. As a child, she had artistic tendencies, noting today her parents even gave her license to design the home they moved into when she was 12. But it was not until a number of years later, after her father’s passing, the very act of creating art began to serve a therapeutic purpose. That same year, a friend presented her with a gift of 10 pottery sessions, and the vital connection she formed with throwing pottery began there. “When I got sick myself a few years later, when I did radiation and chemo, when you have to center yourself and you are throwing, you must put in an enormous amount of pressure. “Walking out of two hours of throwing, it frees and clears your mind to start the workday again on Monday,” she continues. While the prescribed treatments for her cancer and other ailments are certainly vital for her, so is the act of creating art and meeting others who share a passion for pottery. “It’s a drug,” she says with a broad smile. “I love it.”

Promising Beginnings in France

A deep connection to art runs in the Ousmaal family genes. Her maternal grandfather was a professional artist from a highly talented family of artists

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before him. Though Ousmaal’s parents pursued other professions away from art, her upbringing in France provided a perfect place to foster creativity. Growing up in Paris as well as Montargis, which is close to Orleans, she learned to appreciate outside cultures by traveling often with her family on summer vacations. From her childhood, Ousmaal also recalls her introduction to her first creative passion and the practice of her daytime profession: writing. “My elementary school was a perfect picture, a big mansion, turn of the century in the middle of a forest,” she reminisces. “The first 10 years I learned to write with a quill,” she adds, supplementing her story with a demonstration of beautifully written script on a napkin close by. As a journalism and political science major at AU, where she graduated in 1990, Ousmaal learned from who she labels as some of the best professors in the School of Communication. She recalls today professors would criticize her writing style as “flowery,” particularly in her introductory Mass Communications 101 course, and she needed to suit her writing to a style of journalism that differed very much from the newspapers in her own country. Ousmaal also recalls her enjoyable experiences with SOC professor Iris Krasnow, who still teaches her feature writing course at the school today, and AU alumnus and former professor Leon Hadar. Today, Ousmaal has remained on the business side of publishing in her current role as an Associate Publisher for The Energy Daily, for whom she has worked for 17 years. While several different companies have passed off ownership of the print publication, the duties of her position have remained more or less the same over the years. As Associate Publisher, she remains responsible for increasing the scope of The Energy Daily’s readership, company growth and overall relevancy within the energy industry.


Lindsay Maizland / The American Word

The Evolution of Terasol

During her time as a student, Ousmaal simultaneously fell in love with the surrounding area, as well as her husband, Alan Moin. “We met once at a party in Potomac, Maryland, when she was a sophomore,” he recalls. Though Alan graduated and moved to San Francisco for one year shortly after, he returned in 1989 and, after dating for two years, they married and moved into a house on nearby Nebraska Avenue. The two have been happily married for more than two decades, with Ousmaal finding success in publishing and Alan pursuing a career as a commercial real estate agent for Long & Foster. It was not until 2008, three years after Ousmaal began throwing pottery each Sunday, the two decided to open a space of their own. The couple chose to sublet a gallery space in Chevy Chase, just up the road from their current location on Connecticut Avenue, for six months as an experiment. “It was a very small studio,” Moin recalls, adding, “Imagine one-third of this space right here.” After their success selling art created by Ousmaal as well as other local artists, the two set out to find a larger, more permanent space, with an additional idea in mind that they could open a restaurant to supplement the business from the gallery. “One day we were driving down Connecticut Avenue to see if we could find any space, and we saw a lease sign here in the window,” Moin recalls. After working out the terms with the property owner, as well as an additional several months of much-needed renovations, Terasol had a new spacious home, complete with a gallery, kitchen, bar and ample seating space. The variety of French cuisine at Terasol ranges from such treats as pain au chocolat and crepes for breakfast, hearty soups and jambon fromage sandwiches for lunch and specials that include

steak frites and beef bourguignon for dinner. Terasol’s head chef, Hector Guerra, was once ranked as one of the 44 best American chefs in the 1995 book Home Food: 44 Great American Chefs.

“...it’s like you can transport yourself for a night to be in Paris.” -DANNY KELLY

Terasol caters well to the older audience in the area, but Danny Kelly, a server, notes, “students that come in like to come for lunch to relax, have lunch, have coffee.” Looking around the establishment, many of the older customers also seem to enjoy the quiet atmosphere and laid-back jazz tunes, giving them time to talk and enjoy themselves. “With a gallery like this here, it’s like you can transport yourself for a night to be in Paris basically. You can walk down the street, then come in and have your pain chocolat, coffee and listen to some quiet music.” Kelly adds, “You can tell they really care about what they’re doing and it motivates everyone else to make sure we give customers the experience they envision. Being inside the restaurant, it’s clear from the authentic environment of Terasol just how

much heart and soul the couple have put into their business. “We’re putting our blood, sweat and tears into this, and it’s our place,” Ousmaal notes. “That’s Terasol.”

Living the history

Despite the ample amount of time Ousmaal has spent in the United States, it is clear that she is far from losing her roots back home in France. “I’m French, born and raised, and I can’t be American. It’s not that I don’t appreciate American culture by any means; that’s why I’m here. But I’m not of it.” Ousmaal emphasizes just how much she aims to enjoy life and does not miss a beat when it comes to appreciating each day. “What’s the point of working your entire life and not having a perfect vacation in the end?” is the integral question she poses. She connects this thought with her culture back home in France: “I used to think while taking the Metro back in Paris, when I was studying World War II…I closed my eyes and looked around, and realized things had not changed. You are part of the history, you are living the space.” Even as a trade publisher by day and a hardworking business owner by night, Ousmaal has a strong motivation to get the most she can out of life outside of work. “My goal at 55, after another 10 years of work, is to travel and enjoy life,” she adds calmly. “Life is not about working the rest of your life. It’s working to build something; then, let go.” With a blossoming business, and a defiant and irrepressible will to overcome her cancer, Ousmaal cites a belief that has become the mantra of a family that was raised to work hard, achieve and stand by a code of ethics. Gazing serenely out the café window, she smiles and quotes her grandfather: “There’s nothing an Ousmaal can’t do.”

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 5


The Sensual Spot:

Unabridged facts about STDs, female masturbation

Q:

by Kristen Shannon @wefightwelove_ Sexuality is inextricably woven into institutions of higher learning. These microcosms of society serve as the backdrops for the sexual liberation and discovery. Though we learn how to produce collegiate level research papers and read massive amounts of dense readings, we often shy away from deep exploration into more taboo and stigmatized aspects of life, most notably sexuality. Our brains are file cabinets filled with international relations theories, math equations and government policies. So why should we not be as well informed in one of the most basic aspects of our human being: sex? Questions remain unanswered and our conceptualization of sex is unjustly limited. I want to change that. My name is Kristen Shannon and I am a pas-

When should you talk about STDs with a partner? Is there ever a time when it is “too soon” to discuss this?

A:

You are well within your rights to bring up the topic as soon as you sense the relationship is headed for intimacy. As long as you do not come across as being a resident of the ivory tower of perfect sexual health, the conversation will be much less awkward and tense than what you likely expect it to be. Be honest about your own sexual health in this process as well. The role of sexual health between two people in a relationship stems from the larger aspect of trust. Many of the issues dealing with sexual health between partners are predicated off a lack of trust or a breach of trust. While getting tested might not exactly be considered first date material to some, I suggest it should be brought up when sex is introduced to the relationship. There is no “right way” to do this; it

Q:

I’m a single female and haven’t gotten off in a long time, should I be embarrassed about masturbating?

A:

The topic of female masturbation has often been confined to the realm of clutched pearls and censored discussions. We are constantly bombarded with sexual images in the media from Miley Cyrus “twerking” on Robin Thicke while wearing a saran wrap bikini at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards to the various celebrity nip-slips that constantly find their way into the pages of popular magazines. The sexual revolution occurred several decades ago and the sex-positive movement continues to gain traction; the topic of sexuality in general has become much more of an open forum. Yet, the very notion of female masturbation is met with a mixture of nervous laughter and awkward tension. Vaginas should no longer be perceived as dark

Vaginas should no longer be perceived as dark moist caves of despair and agony. sionate supporter of the “there are no such things moist caves of despair and agony. When we think

a dumb questions” logic. I am a junior in SIS and I come from a Catholic school background. This last fact is to stress my information on sexuality was largely confined to the “Mean Girls” interpretation, that is: “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die” (and rot in hell). I do not pretend to be a professional sex guru. Rather, I am a 20-yearold female from Bowie, Md. who wants to provide you with unabridged facts and genuine advice on concepts in sexuality that might not otherwise be addressed. This column will be your chance to ask questions and receive feedback on anything you ever wanted to know about sex. This is your space. I will launch my column with two of the most prevalent questions I hear in my friend circles. Please write me with your questions to be discussed in future issues at amwordmagazine@gmail.com.

e adavic la mode

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of feminism and women liberation, images of figures like Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis and Sandra Cisnedepends on your individual comfort levels with each ros pop into our minds. These strong-willed women other. However, there is a right time to do this, and are staples of the feminist movement in America and that is before you have sex and not after. According greatly contributed to the progression of the conversato the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tion of female sexuality. Yet, if we ponder the possibility (CDC), an average of 14 percent of American fe- of these exact same women masturbating during the male college students get infected with genital HPV course of their lives, many would turn their nose up each year. A startling 27 percent of young women and hold these women to a much lower regard. between the ages of 20 and 24 are infected with We continue to make strides as a society so we the HPV virus. Additionally, young adults between can talk more freely about these topics and remove the ages of 20 and 24 have the highest rates of the stigma from them. Male masturbation has long chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. been accepted and even glorified, what is keeping While these diseases can be cured and treated this from being the case for females? The more peowith medicine, there are more serious STDs/STIs ple know about the benefits and dynamic nature of that have lifetime effects, such as HIV/AIDS and female masturbation, the more the conversation can even HPV. Knowledge here is not only power, it can be transformed from awkward pearl clutching moalso save your health and lengthen your life. ments to relaxed and enlightening discussions.

Are you having relationship troubles? Is your roommate ruining your chances with your crush? Are you having difficulties adjusting to college life? “Advice A La Mode” is a weekly advice column written by Rachael Somerville. Send your submissions and receive great feedback to help you tackle life’s biggest issues at amwordmag.com.

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rican Word

Melissa Logan / The Ame

Middle: Katie Johnso

n / The American Wo

rd

Photo courtesy of Arm

ie

Five library movies you need to rent by Katie Johnson @katieejohnson Once in a while, things can get repetitive. “Girls night out” movies or drinks can only be done so many times before it gets to be boring. When friends visit, how many of us roll our eyes at the thoughts of going to see monuments again? You’re not alone. Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered! Once an issue, I will take on the sights and tastes of D.C. trying to answer one simple question: What else is out there? My boyfriend and I went on an exploration with three key goals: 1) Find a place to enjoy the community and D.C. culture, 2) explore an area of interest that is not on our typical path and 3) go to a new restaurant (Chef Geoff’s is getting kind of boring) while making our way to all parts of the city. We started the morning by hitting the Metro to head to the Flea Market at Eastern Market. I’ve heard everyone rave about it, but I never felt like making the trip to southeast. That was my first mistake—this place is extremely easy to get to! Eastern Market has its own Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines and it is most definitely worth the ride on a Sunday morning. If you haven’t been before, it’s a fantastic way to spend a morning—browsing and even buying things produced in the local community! Another great aspect was the ability for each of us to spend whatever we chose. After meandering the stands for about two hours, we hopped on the Metro and hit the National Zoo. Here, we were met with adorable (and some scary) animals to watch, along with a plethora of places to grab a quick snack while we fawned over the pandas and watched, in awe, as the lions grabbed at birds passing through the exhibit. One downside to our day—I wish we packed lunch! The tables and dining areas surrounding

the exhibits would have been perfect for a good old-fashioned picnic in the park. You don’t even feel like you’re in the city here, and the calm atmosphere is great for couples, friends and out-of-towners that want to see monuments away from the hundreds of tourists. Soon, we felt exhausted and starving. In keeping with our adventurous spirit, we went to the infamous H street corridor to dine in an overwhelmingly unique place called “The H Street Country Club.” The second floor is a mini golf course and the entire bar area featured classic arcade games. On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, you receive a free game of mini golf with an entrée purchase. I wish we went to the Sunday brunch, where you’ll find meal and drink special galore. Even more unique was the food selection; the restaurant featured Mexican cuisine despite the fact it appeared to be a typical American-style bar. We sat on the rooftop overlooking the city. From the top of the three-story restaurant, we got to watch the sun set as we dined. It was picture perfect! As for the food, we could not have been happier. While the service was a bit slow, the food came out promptly. We began with an appetizer, splitting nachos with a trio of dips, which were all housemade: guacamole, salsa and pumpkin seed. The flavor was not overwhelming and the rich texture met our appetites perfectly. We were still raring to eat by the time the entrées came out. I opted for the “Country Club Salad,” with cheese, fried tortillas, chicken, avocado and tomatoes. It was a good rendition of a classic salad and I really enjoyed it! My boyfriend, however, ordered a “Taco Trio,” which our waitress allowed him to mix-and-match the types. He got steak, duck and pork belly tacos, all of which were delicately served with sides of rice, beans, sauce and sour cream. He loved every bite. Overall, we were in and out within an hour. Both of us plan to spread word of this delicious little gem we had never heard of before.

Many people only go to the library to print or get a book, but did you know you can also rent thousands of DVDs for free? You can take out up to two DVDs at a time and keep them for three days before you must renew them. This is a great option you need to take advantage of. Here are five great options you should check out:

5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

Beasts of of the the Beasts southern Wild wild Southern

Pitch PERFECT perfect PITCH

Lincoln Lincoln

django Unchained unchained Django

Cloud Atlas Cloud Atlas by Daniel Deitrick / @DannyDeitrick

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 7


1 2 3 4

Improve lighting

Home away from home I remember my thoughts upon first seeing my concrete-walled dorm room in Anderson Hall, “I want to go back home.” Calling it quits before I even unpacked wasn’t an option, so I instead decided to transform my dorm room into a place I wanted to call home. For anyone else struggling with the idea of living in a room that more closely resembles a prison cell than a home, here are some tips on how to turn your dorm room into a space you can love.

by Nicole Russo @nicoleelaina

The fluorescent, industrial lighting found in most campus housing ruins the ambiance of a dorm room. During the daytime, it’s best to leave curtains open so natural light can stream through the windows. Hanging up holiday lights or paper lanterns allows for an alternative source of lighting during the evening, creating a warmer glow.

Add some life

Literally. For many students, leaving home also means leaving pets behind. While a fish may not compare to your beloved dog or cat, it’s amazing how much having even the tiniest pet can brighten your day and dorm. Plants, too, can help make your room seem less cold. Having something thrive and under your care provides a great sense of pride and accomplishment (and your parents will be impressed that you not only managed to take care of yourself at college, but another living thing as well).

Add elements from home

The best way to make your dorm room feel like home is to bring home directly into your dorm room. You can buy postcards from your town or state and hang them up or cut out an outline of your state, draw a heart in the location of your hometown and add glitter for a simple decoration that reminds you of home. Try to think of even the most random items that remind you of home. For example, mason jars remind me of home, so I used one as a pencil holder.

Buy posters

There are posters for almost anything imaginable. Large posters and tapestries are great for covering the bare walls and adding color. While posters may not be as creative as some other decorations, they allow you to show off your interests to people who visit your room.

5 6 7 8

Choose a theme

One of the most important parts of dorm decorating is choosing one central theme. Try choosing one or two colors that will be used throughout all the decorations and bedding in the room. Doing so will create a sense of unity to your room. Choosing a theme will also clearly distinguish your space from your roommate’s.

Print out photos

Chances are you have hundreds of photos on your cell phone, camera and Facebook. Pictures make for great decorations because they take up a lot of wall space. You can get creative putting up pictures by hanging them in various patterns and shapes or creating cool frames using Washi tape. In order to cut down on costs and add variety, you can print pictures in various sizes.

Try DIY crafts Do-it-yourself crafts make for awesome decorations that are not only more creative and personal than store-bought decorations, but also much less expensive. Collages are simple, easy DIY projects with endless possibilities; all you need are some old magazines, books, calendars or memorabilia.

Stay organized

You want your dorm room to feel like home, but unlike at your house, there is no one to tell you to clean your room. If your room is messy, you are not going to want to be in there and neither will anyone else. Utilize all available space by with under-thebed, hanging and stacking storage to keep your room organized.


Sabrina Barrett, Freshman Anderson Hall

2ND PLACE

Daylyn Weppner, Junior Nebraska Hall

see what our readers did>>

WINNER

3RD PLACE

Dorms are the home away from home for college kids, which is why we asked students to submit photographs of their dorm rooms. The winners of the contest received a gift card of their choice to Panera or Chipotle. Congratulations to our winners and thanks to everyone for their submissions! All photos courtesy of the winners

Ava Cates, Sophomore Centennial Hall

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 9


CROSSFIT: THE NEW FAD IN FITNESS

Allie Powell / The American Word

by Lindsay Maizland @LindsayMaizland   While flipping through TV channels, do you ever pause on a professional sports game, watch the athletes sprint through the finish line or make a powerful volleyball spike and question your life choices? Those athletes commit their lives and bodies to becoming faster and stronger; meanwhile, you lounge on the couch and eat a bag of chips.   Originating in 2007, the CrossFit games competition contains events made up of a broad range of functional movements to determine who is the “fittest on earth.” In the past, these have ranged from dusty hill sprints to sandbag carries to ocean swims and endurance events. If watching the games doesn’t make you feel completely weak, I don’t know what will.   Former gymnast Greg Glassman first introduced his groundbreaking exercise regiment, CrossFit, in 2001. Since then, the program has exploded throughout the country and CrossFit-affiliated gyms can be found in every major city, including Washington, D.C.   CrossFit is an intense exercise program featuring dynamic exercises like plyometric jumps and Olympic lifts while using non-traditional weightlifting equipment such as kettlebells, sand-bags, suspension systems or water-filled implements. The program is structured in such a way that participants are challenged to do a certain number of repetitions in a workout in a specific time frame.   In an interview with CrossFit Journal, Glassman

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described the foundations of the grueling physical challenge saying, “The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse and randomized physical challenges.”   I have done CrossFit before, though I can hardly compare myself to the athletes of the CrossFit Games. My brief bout with CrossFit occurred during my high school gym class. Those gym classes were some of the most physically intensive hours of my life, even compared to track practice. I left the class looking like I had just sat in a sauna for an hour, complete with beads of sweat dripping down my tomato red face, saltwater burning my eyes.   CrossFit prides itself in joining people of all different ages and fitness levels in a common bond of strength, so don’t be quick to be discouraged. I left class looking sweaty, but I felt like I could accomplish anything. I accomplished something I didn’t think I was strong enough to complete; proving yourself wrong is a great feeling.   Lee France, a freshman at AU, has about a year and a half of experience with CrossFit. He enjoys the variety of CrossFit and “the consistent strain of muscle groups over and over and over again.” Offering some advice to beginners, Lee said, “Prepare yourselves. It’s going to be challenging but if you take it seriously, the benefits outweigh the challenges.”   Group CrossFit classes are not offered at the fitness center; however, there are many CrossFit-affiliated gyms to choose from in the surrounding D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.   Clearly, CrossFit is an insanely challenging yet re-

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A few tips for success to keep in mind: • Push yourself but don’t push yourself too hard. CrossFit is supposed to be difficult but know your limit and work on improving every time. • Stay hydrated and eat healthy. • Ask for help if you don’t understand an exercise. • Most importantly, have fun and feel good about yourself!

warding sport; I strongly recommend that everyone interested in fitness gives it a try.   A final word of motivation from CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman: “I think it’s the belief in the improvability of ourselves and each other—that you can make yourself better. You can decide for yourself what better is.”


FALL fashion fall, but the tranOctober: technically sitioning weather would

suggest otherwise and so would the merchandise at clothing stores. Since the beginning of August, we have seen coats, jackets and boots slowly trickle into the seasonal stock of retailers. Considering how long summer is in D.C., that’s pretty early.

Greta z.

Top: H&M Jewelry: Gifted Pants: Forever 21 Boots: Bondolino

  With morning temperatures as low as 50° and afternoons reaching upward of 70°, how does one dress for transitioning weather? It is clearly too early for an overcoat. However, if you have the right combination of clothing you can get through this awkward season of transitioning weather. These three students get it right by mixing high-end clothing with street fashion.

Yakam N.

Ariel f.

top: T by Alexander Wang

jacket: H&M shirt: asos Pants: bcbg heels: zara

clutch: american Apparel pants: zara boots: vince camuto

All photos: Ezra Menelik / The American Word

We all know cold mornings lead to warm afternoons and by midday it gets hot—yes, hot enough to even wear a sleeveless top. With a neutral colored shirt paired with black denim and black boots, this outfit suddenly becomes appropriate for early fall. The leather motorcycle boots adds edge to the look. The silver rings are consistent with the neutral color story and make a dramatic statement.

One of my favorite things about this outfit is the color; the neutral tones in this outfit epitomize fall. The knee-high boots and oversized clutch make bold leather statements while the asymmetrical pocket t-shirt adds an effortless street chic to the look. The pants give a pop of color to this look. Again, we have the neutral colors and silver jewelry which works really well.

Sandal heels have been all the rage lately, especially during this past summer season. Bringing these heels into fall to dress up casual street wear works really well here. The leather motorcycle jacket adds personality to the look and manages to still give a cool vibe without an “I’m eager to dress for fall” kind of look. All black also works well in the winter.

So maybe it’s not best time to shop for winter clothing. With the weather changing so frequently, my suggestion is to mix existing summer and fall clothing into something appropriate for this transitioning weather period. In short, wear what you already have and hold off until its actually winter. In the meantime, begin planning what you will invest in during the fall/winter time.

Do invest in leather boots; do invest in a leather handbag; and do invest in a leather jacket.

GLITTER + GLOSS

by Ezra Menelik @ezramenelik

Say goodbye to touchups with Primers and BB Creams by Kate McDaniel / @kdmcdaniel27

For college students, reapplying makeup is a time consuming hassle that can be avoided by using BB cream or a primer. Said to be the miracle makeup because it combines foundation, primer, moisturizer and SPF, BB cream is the newest rave in beauty products. Read more about it at amwordmag.com.

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 11


Three Eagles

bike hundreds of miles to raise thousands

for environment

Photo courtesy of Aliya Mejias

by Rachael Wolff @wolff_rt Wake up at 6 a.m., bike dozens of miles up and down hills and repeat for five days through four states. That’s what two CAS seniors and an employee in the Office of Sustainability did as they joined hundreds of cyclists who trekked over 300 miles and raised more than $500,000 for environmental causes. Emily Curley, a Sustainability Coordinator, rode with Aliya Mejias and Becca Shapiro, a pair of Environmental Studies majors, September 21-25 for Climate Ride NY-DC 2013. “We were just slap-happy the entire time,” Shapiro said. “We spent half our energy laughing.” Commonly referred to as the “green conference on wheels,” the event passed through the countryside of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland before arriving on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol in D.C. Proceeds benefitted more than 60 organizations advocating for sustainability, renewable energy, climate, public health and bicycle riding. Together, the trio raised nearly $10,000. Curley raised $3,025 for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-National Capitol Region). Mejias raised $3,225 for Grist, Environmental Working Group, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and 350.org. Shapiro raised $3,073 for 350.org, Alliance for Climate Education and National Parks Conservation Association.

Why they rode

Although the trio shares a commitment to sustainability, each individual approached the issue with a unique background. Mejias, a native New Yorker, began her journey to protect the environment around the same time she started school. When she was 5, she was puzzled after her family told her they couldn’t drink Hudson River water. “I was just blown away by this concept that humans ruined the water,” she said. “It connects with the human interaction with nature and how we have this responsibility to protect it.” Mejias is active with Eco-Sense, Food and Water Watch and the Alternative Breaks program and knew Shapiro from classes they took together. Shapiro knew Curley because she was a Green Eagle in the Office of Sustainability, a department Mejias is also familiar with, in 2011-12. Curley, who graduated from AU in May with a Masters in Global Environmental Policy, and Mejias both passed through their hometowns during the ride. Curley hails from Lancaster, Penn. whereas Mejias is from Suffern, N.Y. “It kind of struck me that day [I rode through Lancaster], this beauty, this community, culture of this place, is something I really want to be around in a hundred years,” Curley said. “That is kind of the place I think about, and seize on, and that brings it home for me–literally.” Shapiro, who is from Highland Park, Ill., works for the Audubon Natural Society, which provides environmental education and advocates on behalf of clean water, rural lands and smart


transportation in the D.C.-Metro area. Though she can’t peg her favorite moment to one specific moment, she felt a sense of calmness during the ride.   “We were riding through these very beautiful places,” she said. “The whole time, I was just like… ‘Oh my God, this is why I’m here.’ That’s why I rode, just because of nature.”

A Test of Character

  After a summer of biking down back roads and suburbia, Climate Ride proved to be a real test of the spirits. Each day covered anywhere between 45 and 69 miles. Riding in a group provided much needed encouragement, but it wasn’t a cure-all to the bumps that arise after spending eight or nine hours pedaling on the road.   The girls admitted the struggle was both physical and emotional. Curley’s biggest challenge was encountering flat tires on the hilliest days of the ride. Shapiro rode the whole course on a mountain bike.   And Mejias? She fell on some rusty barbed wire on day two and suffered a scar starting at her elbow that went up her arm.   Despite the obstacles, the trio was all smiles and

giggles as they complained about the difficulty of the bike ride. They explained their motto, “nothing is permanent,” got them up many hills.   That attitude gave them the peace of mind to enjoy the beauty of their surroundings, which included sunrises, horse and buggies in Amish town, wooded areas and sunsets.   Each evening, the girls would set up camp,shower and relax. With endless snacks, as well as vegetarian, gluten-free and meat options, the girls “ate like queens.” They also enjoyed Climate Ride’s speakers, who were leading advocates, conservationists and scholars in the field.   By 9:30 p.m. every night the girls were in bed and ready to do everything all over again.

Finishing Strong

  The large pack of riders slowed down for the last three miles as they made their grand entrance into D.C. Honking, cheering and police escorts welcomed the riders ranging in age from 17 to 74-years-old.   “You get a bike! Everyone, get a bike!” the group yelled as it passed lines of traffic stopped on Con-

stitution Ave.   The following day, Curley subjected herself to “one more scary thing at the end of a longer scary thing”: lobbying Congress.   She joined other Climate Riders who voiced their opinions on environmental concerns. Facing her Pennsylvania senators was daunting, but it was one part of the ride that impacted her most.   “It’s really empowering for them to get my message, as well as all the things they probably hear on a daily basis,” Curley said. “So, I also hope to carry forward the more civic activism, especially locally.”   Shapiro will also carry Climate Ride in her back pocket. One biker encouraged her to “push yourself as far as you can go because you really just don’t know what your body can do.”   “And I think that’s what I’ll take out of it the most,” Shapiro said. “Just the physical challenge and getting through [it] and still being sane.”   Mejias recommended bike riding as the ideal mode of transportation.   “It’s the most efficient way to move yourself,” she said. “I love it so much. Because I hate walking!”

THE ROUTE DAY 1 45 MILES

DAY 3 69 MILES DAY 2 68 MILES DAY 5 62 MILES

Photo courtesy of Aliya Mejias

DAY 4 62 MILES

Princeton, N.J. phoenixville, Penn.

susquehanna river

reisterstown, md.

washington, d.c.

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 13


Nicole Brunet / AU Photo Collective

KPU director spends summer with Frank Underwood as “House of Cards” extra by Josh Paunil @JoshPaunil Chandler Thornton was on his lunch break sitting under a large tent at a picnic table in July when Kevin Spacey suddenly sat down across from him. “I was shocked,” the SPA junior said. “It was my first day and I couldn’t believe it. It was really cool.” But that ended up being the norm for Thornton, who worked as a production assistant on “House of Cards” this summer in Joppa, Maryland. During that conversation with Spacey, Thornton discussed Maryland politics with one of the show’s stars and executive producers. “He’s actually really knowledgeable about politics on the Maryland level even though he has no connection to Maryland,” Thornton said. “Not only is he an exceptional actor, but he is someone who really understands the inner workings of the political system we have in this country.” The junior Political Science major and Communication minor first learned about the opportunity

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through an email from AU’s School of Communication. The message didn’t mention details, but it said filming would be in the Baltimore area. Thornton was already staying in D.C. over the summer and immediately contacted the talent agency, which was contracted by the production company Netflix created for the show. “I’m a huge fan of the show and like many people, I watched it very quickly so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of the show that I love,” he said. Part of the reason Thornton got the job was because the agency admired his love for “House of Cards.” He worked on the show as an extra and a stand-in, which required him to work some long days including several lasting up to 12 hours. “There were times when they needed to practice the line and see what it looked like on the shot for the main characters of the show,” he said. “That was a pretty cool experience to say that you said the same lines that someone like Frank Underwood would say on the show.” When Thornton arrived on set in the mornings, he went into the holding room to talk to the casting agency. They’d coordinate with the wardrobe work-

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ers and sometimes told him to bring a certain outfit. He then had to do paperwork and read the script for the day. The “House of Cards” job marked the first time Thornton has been an extra. Thornton, who is also the Director of the Kennedy Political Union, is now eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild. “The coolest part of it all was meeting the people that make the show,” he said. “It was eye-opening to me because it was a political drama and I love politics but regardless of the show itself, it’s so cool to see how many hands are involved in the production of the show.” Thornton couldn’t disclose many of the details of his involvement because of a non-disclosure agreement he had to sign, but he did indicate that he may see some screen time when the second season premieres in the spring. “It’s hard to say what they’ve done with the edits but I believe there’s one scene in particular where you’d probably be able to see my face,” he said. “I’ll probably be able to notice if I see myself as a blurred figure walking in the background because I remember the shot being taken but we’ll just have to wait and see. It will be exciting for all of us.”


politics

How did AU become one of the most politically active schools?

“Hey faggot!” was how bullies regularly addressed Johnson, knowing his quiet demeanor would not evoke a response.

by Emily Molloy @EmilyCMolloy In Princeton Review’s 2013 college rankings, AU is rated the fourth most politically active campus in the country, a noticeable drop from the top position last year. According to the Princeton Review website, this ranking is determined based on an 80-question survey. Only four of these are directly related to the political activity of a campus. Can the political atmosphere of the campus really be expressed by a mere survey? Does the difference in ranking really signify anything? In the minds of AU students, the answer is a resounding “no.” Similar to most schools, AU has sports, clubs and offers jobs to its students. But what sets the AU student body apart from other schools is the overwhelming presence of political efficacy. “American University gives the students so much ability to vie for the issues they care about,” Will McNamara, a freshman in SPA, says. “In front of MGC, on any given day, you’ll see four or five tables with people trying to tell you about saving the whales or reducing fossil fuels. You can just be going to lunch and find people passionate about an issue.” Such clubs and organizations allow students to act on these passions by engaging in relevant service projects, fundraisers and attending events with speakers that champion for a certain cause. The two clubs that are best known for their political activity are the College Republicans and College Democrats. “Being politically active just means caring about the future of the country,” Lucy Lohrman, President of the AU College Republicans, says. “I think all people can care about the country in their own way, however they interpret exactly what that means. Students getting involved in causes that are bigger than themselves is really admirable.” It’s obvious, just by glancing at the list of clubs and organizations on campus, that AU is not at a loss for passion. However, feeling strongly about a specific subject only translates to political activity through action. “Being politically active means that you have to actually care about a particular issue,” McNamara says, “and then actively contribute or work to solve it.” Whether AU is the first, fourth or 100th mostly politically active school in the nation, the ranking has not changed the level of passion and action evident within the student body.

read more about johnson onlnie

Photo courtesy of Ben Johnson

Get inside the head of AU campus leaders such as Johnson by reading our “10 Things I Think I Think” series at amwordmag com.

Childhood bullying leads to life of activism for SG Comptroller by Maddi Pariser @MaddiRose20 SG Comptroller Ben Johnson spent his middle school years trying to blend in, but preteens made it impossible for him to go unnoticed. “Hey faggot!” was how bullies regularly addressed Johnson, knowing his quiet demeanor would not evoke a response. In the gym locker room he would become the bullseye for target practice. Relentless children would pelt Johnson with backpacks, binders and lunch bags. Throughout the abuse and torment, Johnson never struck back. Because he went through an early growth spurt and was always at least half-a-foot taller than most of his classmates, it would have been fairly easy for him to retaliate with force. However, starting at a young age, Johnson decided responding to harassment with violence would not resolve his issues. His experiences with aggressors ignited his passion for social justice. “Being the target of social alienation was extremely disempowering,” Johnson said. “Now, I have a critical understanding of how people abuse power over others who are perceived weaker which became my political and social understanding of what’s right and wrong.” Growing from his experiences, Johnson developed a deep desire to become involved. Initially a journalism major, Johnson was asked to write for an English-language Pakistani newspaper about the Occupy Movement forming in D.C. Once he began covering the movement, he found it appealed to his advocate within. He spent 30-40 hours per week passing out fliers and attending anti-oppression trainings, which were group discussions about the way gender, race and class play into daily repression. “I was down there so much that one of my friends thought I had dropped out of school,” Johnson said. “It taught me that we have been socialized to under-

stand that a white man can exert more dominance over other people and his position in society is privileged so people aren’t as likely to discipline him if he steps out of line. “I can’t compare my childhood to being alienated along the lines of race or gender because that’s a totally unfair comparison and not a life experience I’ve had but the fact that people abuse power over one another is something that has an unsettling emotional impact on me.” Johnson participated in a break off movement, specifically focused on housing justice, known as Occupy Our Homes D.C. He helped organize petition drives and protests to benefit people losing their homes throughout the city. He has participated in several sit-ins including one that took place at a Chase Bank. After much dedication and hard work, Johnson felt it was time to infiltrate the system. Johnson, a junior, was elected to SG for this school year. His major concern is making SG’s budget more transparent and accessible for students. He began to do so by creating an itemized budget of SG’s spending online. In addition, he plans to improve the efficiency of bike lending and the auto program through focus groups addressing the concerns of the students. He also wants to restructure the student activities fee. SG can continue to host student activities with a smaller percentage of the fee, according to Johnson. Instead, he would like to see more of the funds allocated to on-campus clubs and media. I’m very focused on material gains in what I do,” Johnson said. “I want students to hold us accountable because we really are supposed to serve the students.” After dealing with bullies for much of his childhood, Johnson is tired of seeing the power-hungry push the more docile around. Being taunted and ridiculed caused him to feel defenseless. He refuses to allow this type of nonsense to happen to his fellow students, especially by their own representatives. Johnson is looking to shape SG into a more student-friendly organization so students no longer feel their government is taking advantage of them.

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 15


Depression and Frustration A first-hand account of turmoil in Egypt

by Michael Cipriano @mikecip07

It is hard for Seif Omar to truly relax in the comfortable atrium of AU’s SIS building. On a beautiful autumn afternoon, he can’t help but wonder about his turbulent homeland of Egypt and the safety of his family. Omar, a junior in the School of Communication, frequently thinks about the events he witnessed this summer. w

Photo courtesy of Hatem Fawzy


“I have been affected, everyone has been affected in the sense that depression has caused a very big frustration,” Omar says. “Everyone in the streets is very angry. Everyone is paranoid. When you’re walking in the street, if you hear a motorcycle going by, you jump.” Omar worries about his mom and brother. “My mom, she can handle herself,” he says. “But if anything actually happens…You don’t know your future for sure. You don’t know the future of Egypt for sure.” At the start of 2011, President Hosni Mubarak had been in power for nearly 30 years. The poor were growing poorer, more than they had ever been before under the two previous presidents, and there was social inequality everywhere. Jobs were scarce and people didn’t have money. According to the Associated Press, nearly half of Egypt’s 80 million people live under or just above the poverty line set by the United Nations at $2 a day. “It was just a very hard life for at least, I’ll tell you like 40 percent of all of Egypt,” Omar said. A revolution began Jan. 25, 2011, when tens of thousands of Egyptians filled the streets of several of the country’s cities, including Alexandria, Suez and Mansura, to demand the end of Mubarak’s reign of power. The police used rubber bullets and tear gas to drive back the protesters. The demonstrations were largely fueled by the death of an anti-government blogger named Khaled Said in 2010, who witnesses say was beaten to death by the Egyptian police. The government disputed these allegations and an anonymous human rights activist created a Facebook page titled, “We Are All Khaled Said.” According to The New York Times, hundreds of thousands of people joined the page, making it the biggest dissident Facebook page in Egypt. “The police was sort of an enemy force, because the people saw them as defenders of Mubarak,” Omar said. “They used violence, they did. They took bribes all the time.” Mubarak resigned after 18 days of demonstrations. After his resignation, the Muslim Brotherhood became legalized and formed a political party called the Freedom and Justice Party. They won nearly half the 498 seats in the 2011-12 parliamentary election, and its candidate Mohamed Morsi, won the presidential election. Morsi’s victory was largely disputed. Omar said the Brotherhood helped shaped the election’s outcome through bribery, threats and false votes. Its members also went to the countryside to give people sandwiches and sell them of a better future for their vote. “A lot of the illiterate, ignorant people vote for them because, I mean why wouldn’t you?” Omar said. Morsi’s reign of power led to the spread of vi-

olence from the Brotherhood throughout Egypt. Omar described how its members were going around the country, robbing people at will. “If they see a car on its own, they corner it, they stop it in the highway, they hijack it, they rob you.” he said. “They take your car, they take everything.” Omar had two friends and a former Arabic teacher who were robbed at knifepoint by the Brotherhood in broad daylight. Atrocities like these created a sense of depression around the country, Omar said. “People are murdered in ways you can’t even imagine,” he said. “You see such crazy stuff, at this point right now, everyone is taking it in stride as like, all you can do is pray.” According to Omar, the Brotherhood has burned at least 18 churches and captured a number of policemen. Its members once slit the throats of three policemen after accusing them of being traitors, simply for not agreeing with them.

Everyone in the streets is very angry. Everyone is paranoid. “They [the Brotherhood] are the type of people who are terrorists in the sense that they have only one point of view, and they think that they ought to slaughter in the name of their religion,” Omar says. “And that is not what Islam is and that is not what it represents. People are furious because their religion is being used for violence.” The military played a unique role in the lives of Egyptians during this time. It posted checkpoints on the streets in response to the car thefts where it would check bags and licenses. Omar described one incident where the military stopped a car filled with about 20 members of the Brotherhood. It found and confiscated guns and other weapons they were carrying. “They’re providing safety in that kind of sense,” Omar said. “If you see something suspicious you can tell them and they will cooperate with you. They are protecting us in every way possible.” After only one year in power, Egypt fared no better under Morsi. A group of young people called “Tamarrod,” which means rebellion, garnered over 20 million signatures calling for Morsi to step down. 33 million then took to the streets in mass protests throughout the country.

Omar and his family personally took part in the demonstrations. He was originally on the north coast of Egypt when the protests began. He and his family wanted to be a part of them and drove all the way back to Cairo to join them. “We watched the news in the morning,” Omar said. “We couldn’t just sit there.” Omar and his family protested in Tahrir Square one night and went to Al Etihadeya the next day. He saw a number of people he knew and described the demonstrations as, “an insane experience.” “You meet a lot of random people, like an old teacher, an old friend from middle schedule,” he said. “It was really nice, because they really were peaceful protests.” The military forced Morsi out of power three days later, and inserted Adly Mansour as the acting president. Though Omar recognized the historic moment, he said that many Egyptians, he included, were frustrated with the media’s coverage of the events. He said one of their biggest problems was outlets like CNN were calling the ousting of Morsi a coup d’état. “A coup d’état means that the military has taken control of power in the country,” Omar says. “That’s not what happened.” Omar also said the anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters were pictured as the Brotherhood supporters on CNN and the real supporters were shown as the anti-government protesters. “That’s very insulting,” he says. Since’s Morsi’s removal from power, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters banned “all activities” by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to BBC. The ruling will apply to the Islamist movement, its non-governmental organization and any affiliated groups. It also ordered the interim government to seize the Brotherhood’s funds and form a panel to administer its frozen assets until any appeal had been heard. Omar says that although he is not a professional, he believes one of two things will happen going forward in Egypt. One possibility is a civil war will break out because of how the Brotherhood’s continued actions. The other is the turmoil will subside a shortly after the new elections. “The mistake people do not want to repeat anymore is to have the constitution before we elect a president,” Omar says. “Because last time when Morsi won, what he did was he released an amendment in the constitution that gave him full legislative and judicial power, which means that anyone who goes against him was guilty of defying the country. To them, ‘You’re not with us? Oh, okay, you’re against us. You’re an infidel. You’re a traitor. You are meant to die or go to jail.’ So going on forward, there is hope, I think things will go relatively smoothly, because no one wants to see more massacres.”

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 17


Sports

The doctor is in:

How AU’s new athletic director will increase support for sports

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MEN’S BASKETBALL’S HOME ATTENDANCE AVERAGES

and I think they are going to help us win.” Walker said at his introductory press conference that he was attracted to AU because of the stability of the Patriot League, a significant advantage he has over many other athletic directors in the country. Dozens of college programs have changed conferences in the past few years, leaving those left behind in tumult. Walker experienced that at Air Force with the Big West as four schools left the conference in the past four years. “Conference turmoil is probably the biggest issue in intercollegiate athletics right now,” Walker said. “But I think the Patriot League has positioned itself very strongly. It has tremendous leadership. And the addition of Loyola and Boston University will strengthen it as well.” Although the games have just begun, Walker’s new policies and attitude have already gained him the support of many student-athletes. They see the new athletic director as a symbol for a new and better era in AU athletics. “Having a couple more people at the games that actually get into it, it really does make a difference,” Osborne said. “You go to games where it’s just your parents and that’s it. The atmosphere is dead. You get to a game where there’s like 500 or 600 kids there that actually are rooting for you and you’re like ‘I gotta play good.’”

‘07’08

creasing support. “When you come to stuff, you can have people my age there that are sitting there and clapping politely, and it’s fun,” Walker told an AU journalism by Josh Paunil class. “But when you have a bunch of students @JoshPaunil there with their guts painted red, white and blue and going nuts, that’s a lot more fun.” Another strategy Walker has implemented to imAU Director of Athletics & Recreation Billy Walker prove support is simple: Build a winning program. has only been on the job for about six months, but He hired three new head coaches in his first four athletes have already spotted a reverse in the direc- months on the job as he brought on men’s bastion of the athletic department. ketball’s Mike Brennan in April, women’s lacrosse’s “One of the key points he wanted to focus on was Emma Wallace in May and women’s basketball’s trying to get more people at games and really raise Megan Gebbia in August. the profile of the athletics here, which I thought was Brennan was an AU assistant coach when the awesome,” Conor Osborne, a junior midfielder on the team won back-to-back Patriot League Champimen’s soccer team, told an AU journalism class. “He onships in 2007-08 and 2008-09. In the past four seemed really intent on trying to increase awareness years, he accumulated a 252-163 record as an asabout sports at the school.” sistant coach at Georgetown University. Osborne compared Walker to the latter’s preThe Eagles suffered its worst men’s basketball decessor, Keith Gill, and noted that Gill’s focus was season since joining the Patriot League in 2001 last seemingly on men’s and women’s basketball rather year as they failed to earn a top-four seed in the conthan the department as a whole. ference tournament and lost in the first round of the “I really never heard him say one word,” Osborne tournament, both firsts for the program. added about Gill. “He was a kind of like in-his-office The team’s average attendance was just 1,201 guy. If you saw him, he would never recognize that in the 2012-13 season compared to a Patriot Men’s Basketball Average Home I was an athlete. I really like that [Walker] seems in- League average of 1,682, ranking seventh out of Figures terested in improving [smallerAttendance sports’] situation here, eight schools. When the Eagles made their first (courtesy of the Patriot League) which I thought was really refreshing.” NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2007-08 Walker has already made several changes in an season, their average attendance was 1,858 and effort to increase attendance at athletic events, in- over the conference average. cluding bringing back “Fan Friday,” where he and “I want coaches that I think can win,” Walker SG President Pat Kelly walk around and give out said. “I think the four [sic] coaches I hired demonfree pizza to people wearing Blue Crew or AU athlet- strated all those things. They are people of characics gear. He has also reached out to students who ter. They understand what this institution is about, typically don’t attend games for their advice on in- and they’re a good fit. And they’re great coaches

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Photo courtesy of aueagles.com


Q&A with

Photo courtesy of Glen Katz

Morgan Hendrix

CLASS: Senior SPORT: Volleyball MAJOR: Film & Media Arts If someone wrote a biography about you, what would it be called? “The title would be ‘You Can’t Make This Up’ because I say it all the time. Things that happen to me just don’t happen to other people. It can be anything from a small volleyball thing to my breakup with my boyfriend. You just can’t make it up.”

What is the most embarrasing thing that has happened to you at AU? “Last year at the volleyball banquet, I got MVP for my team. I didn’t think I would get the award and I wore four-inch heels. When [Head Coach Barry Goldberg] announced my name, I got up and basically sprinted to the stage because everyone before me walked really, really slow. So there was a projector and one of those black cables running under electric tape and I stepped on the cord and fell on my face in front of everyone. Then I had to get up and shake our brand new Athletic Director’s hand and meet him for the first time.”

How did you get your internship working (indirectly) for Will Smith at Overbrook Entertainment? “I got that job because I applied to an outdated post from 2009 online and I replied to that and they called me and did an interview. They asked me why they should hire me and I said, ‘I have no experience and absolutely nothing on my resume besides nannying and volleyball but you have to hire me!’”

ANA SANTOS / THE TALON

No, adding a football team will not create more school spirit by Ben Florence @bflo360 It appears the hot topic at the start of a new academic year is the support, or lack thereof, the student body gives for AU athletics and it appears the root of the problem many folks have is that AU does not have a football program. If I had a nickel every time I heard or have read someone say “I would support athletics more if we had a football team!” I would not need financial aid. There is only one problem: a football team would solve nothing. It is little more than a cop out. The idea is laughable that students will suddenly start going to volleyball games and wrestling matches just because the Eagles football program was resurrected. It would take years before a football team would even see the field. Take a look at one of the newest football programs in Division I, the 49ers of UNC Charlotte. Their Board of Trustees voted to add the football program in November 2008. Funding was approved in 2010. The team first took the field at the end of August of this year. That is five years from the program being approved by the Trustees to actually hitting the field. And then how long until an AU football team would be competitive, and would it ever? It would take

years for the team to get up to speed and to even have a chance and considering the small size, high academic standards and high tuition costs among other hurdles, it would appear that AU football would already be at a disadvantage. Then if the team is mediocre, would the fans still come after the initial novelty wears off? Then let’s look at the costs of getting a football program off the ground. It certainly would not come cheap to put together a coaching staff, acquire equipment, upgrade facilities and find or construct a home venue, and thus would the students be willing to pay more in tuition and fees to subsidize it all? There are reasons why the fan support is low including the absence of a natural rival, the type of students that are desired through the “Wonk” campaign and poor promotion by the athletics department. I am more than doubtful that a football team would solve any of those problems. And look at other schools in the area, George Mason does not have a football program, George Washington does not have a football program and Georgetown’s is all but nonexistent. The two newest schools in the Patriot League, Loyola and Boston University, do not have football programs either and both have much better fan support than we do. We can hope and dream about having a football team, but instead we should be supporting our Eagles.

OCTOBER 2013 / THE AMERICAN WORD / 19


TOP 3 STUDY ABROAD AREAS AU SPENDS MOST ON

IN AU’S ASSETS

$1,273, 274,511

EUROPE MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA EAST ASIA/PACIFIC

All figures, language and information were gathered from the Department of Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service form 990 AU filled out in the tax year lasting from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.

$1,329,847 KERWIN’S SALARY IN 2012

$441,610,902

SPENT YEARLY BY AU ON STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS

AU’S FISCAL YEAR REVENUE

A YEAR IS RECIEVED IN STUDENT TUITION FEES

$12,536,815

$605,251,243

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