BARNARD BARNARD BARNARD
Vol. CXVII, Issue 9 Vol. CXVII, Issue 8
April 5-April 26 2009 March 8th-March 21st 2009
Inside: Barnard Bears the Storm
Letter From the Editors The signs are everywhere, and we’re not talking about spring. Virtually no one has secured a job or internship. Barnard summer housing,will only be available after August 15 for an additional fee of $880. Columbia College is admitting 50 more students into the class of 2013, citing financial reasons. Barnard is trying to ease this burden, with President Spar turning the Senior dinner at her apartment into dessert, or the repeated promises of maintaining or increasing the current avaiability of financial aid. In our centerpiece on page 16, we recap the meeting Barnard’s Vice President for Finance Greg Brown held with students, and explore how these changes will be implemented. However, even with these efforts to ease the burden, in some instances students will bear the brunt of it. Many Barnard students rely on summer housing, but will pay more for less this coming summer. Although this does not affect all students, the price increase comes at a time when even an internship, let alone funding for an internship, is very hard to come by. Our first issue of the year was at the beginning of the fall semester, when you could use the phrase “economic downturn.” Now as we face a full-on financial crisis, we look out the Bulletin office window onto the Quad and wonder: how many more times will Barnard redesign Aurthur Ross courtyard? Look familiar? It’s our first issue cover of the fall semester.
Editorial Board Co-Editors-in-Chief Alison Hodgson ’10 Allegra Panetto ’09 Managing Editor Viana Siniscalchi ’11 Editor-at-Large Amanda Lanceter ’09 Co-Features Editors Samantha Greenberg ’11 Hayley Panasiuk ’11 Politics & Opinion Editor Nancy Elshami ’10 Arts & Entertainment Editor Rebekah Kim ’10
Music Editor Rebecca Spalding ’12 New York City Living Editor Emma Brockway ’10 Art Director Emily Stein ’09 Head Copy Editor Gillian Adler ’10
Management Head of Finance Nelly Davcheva ’10 Advertising Manager Iffat Kabeer ’11 Office Manager Claire Frosch ’10
Please note that the opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily reflective of the Bulletin Staff.
Public Relations Coordinators Tracy Rodrigues ’11 Miriam Toaff ’10 Chief of Distribution Stefie Gan ’12
Front Cover Art
Production Associate Editors Ariel Merrick ’09 Daliya Poulose ’12 Amanda Rodhe ’12 Claire Stern ’12 Layout Editor Meagan McElroy ’10 Assistant Art Director Mabel McLean ’12
Want to support the Barnard Bulletin? Check donatons can be made payable to the Barnard Bulletin and sent to: Barnard Bulletin, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Photo Editor Julia Martinez ’09 Web Designer Diana Windemuth ’11
Drawing: Emily Stein Concept: Alison Hodgson Allegra Panetto Emily Stein
Back Cover Jessica Cohen
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Essentials 5 Top Five Reasons You Should be Twit tering 6 Rever ber ations 6 Medical Minute 7 Cooking Column: Flatbread Fiesta 8 Supergirls, Super world 9 Facebook Relationships: Cyber space and Reality Blurred 30 Alumna Let ter 31 Archive Page
Politics & Opinion
10 11 12 13
Obama’s Economic Strides Divestment Demands Stir Campus Dissent Campus Activism: Omnipresent Israel’s Next Golda Meir : Tzipi Livni
Barnard Bear s the Storm
Arts & Entertainment
International Film Tour for the Not-So-Jet Set 19 Thinking Outside the Box in DUMBO 20 Book Review: Sima’s Undergarments for Women 21 Musings of a Pop Culture Junkie: The Anatomy of a Junkie 14
“Get Lifted” With John Legend 23 The Chinese Proverb 22
The Wandering Photogr apher : NYC Spring 24 The Fr ugal Foodista: A Salt & Batter y 25 Sense in a Centsless Wor ld: Fares and Fairness 26 Channel Your Inner Kate Moss at Top Shop 27 From Barnard to Bedbugs 18
bear essentials PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT LOTTERY: Students must take part in the lottery in order to enroll in a laboratory or statistics course offered by the Department of Psychology. The lottery for courses offered in Fall 2009 will open on Monday, March 30, and close at 11pm on Sunday, April 5. If you have questions, please contact Ms. Megan Wacha, Psychology Dept. Administrator ( HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org; 212-854-2069). ACADEMIC STANDING REPORTS: The Dean of Studies Office is receiving reports from faculty members about students who seem to be having difficulty in particular courses. If we receive one for you, we will ask you to meet with your adviser or Class Dean to talk about ways of improving your standing. We hope that the reports and conversations will be helpful to you. STUDY ABROAD INFORMATION SESSIONS: Florence, Italy (Syracuse University program): Information session with a Syracuse representative on Tuesday, March 31, 5:30-6:30pm, Milbank 227. Ireland and Spain (Arcadia University programs): A representative from Arcadia will be available to answer questions on Tuesday, March 31, 11:30am-1pm, Hewitt Dining Room. WRITING FELLOW APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE: Do you like writing? Do you like working with your peers? Please consider applying to be a Writing Fellow! Writing Fellows are specially selected and trained Barnard undergraduates who staff the Barnard Writing Center and work with their peers to strengthen student writing in all disciplines. The Center seeks strong readers and writers, but equally crucial to being a Writing Fellow is an ability to connect with other people. First-years and sophomores of all majors are encouraged to apply. For more information, or to apply, please visit our website at www.barnard.edu/ writing or visit the Writing Center in 18 Milbank. Applications are due Wednesday, April 8, at 1pm.
NEW STUDY ABROAD BLOG: Check out www.barnardabroad.blogspot.com for all the latest news on approved programs, upcoming information sessions, scholarships, summer opportunities, international events on campus, students currently abroad and much, much more!
NEED FINANCIAL AID FOR 20092010? Applications are due Friday, April 17. All documents can be downloaded or linked to from the Financial Aid website www.barnard.edu/finaid. Click on “Application Procedures” and “Returning Students” and you will be connected to all required forms. There are also links to connect to and complete the Federal FAFSA form and the CSS PROFILE form on-line. Please note: All materials should be sent in one packet by the deadline to College Board IDOC, PO Box 4017, Mt Vernon, Illinois 62864 and not to the Barnard Office of Financial Aid. SNAP PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT: On April 20, 21, and 22, in the James Room, Barnard College will present its 8th annual photography exhibit and contest. Entitled SNAP: See New Abroad Photos, the exhibit will include more than 100 photographs by Barnard students who studied abroad in the spring and fall of 2008. Stop by for the opening reception at 5pm on Tuesday, April 21. SPRING LISTENING HOURS: The Furman Counseling Center offers evening residence hall walk-in sessions. No appointment necessary. No concern or topic is too big or small. Whether the financial climate has you stressed and strained, or senior thesis and job searching feels overwhelming, or you need a place to talk out the final push towards exams or summer planning, or you just don’t know what’s bothering you but you think something is, drop by one of our Listening Hours and we’ll help you sort it out. Listening Hours are open to all Barnard students. They are held by Counseling Center staff on Tuesdays in Plimpton Hall, 7-9:30pm, and Thursdays in Elliott Hall, 7-9:30pm. STRESSED OUT? Every Wednesday, 12:15-1pm, there’s a Stress Management workshop in the Well Woman office (119 Reid), facilitated by therapists from Furman Counseling. No sign up necessary, just show up. Come once, come every week! TRAVEL WELL, TRAVEL SAFE: If you are planning to study abroad, please contact the Barnard Student Health Service at 212-854-2091 to schedule a pre-travel visit 4-6 weeks in advance. You may need to update routine vaccines or you may need recommended or required vaccines based on travel destination. (The CDC
is our resource for recommendations: www.cdc.gov/travel.) A pre-travel visit consists of any needed vaccination and travel health counseling, which covers topics such as water and food precautions and personal protective measures against mosquitoes and insects that carry disease. Depending on where your study abroad program takes you, you may need prescriptions for malaria, traveler’s diarrhea, altitude sickness prevention and more. Please contact Nicole Casten, RN Travel Health Coordinator, with any questions at 212-854-2091. REMAINING SPRING 2009 PROGRAM PLANNING MEETINGS FOR MAJORS AND PROSPECTIVE MAJORS (scheduled as of 3/9/09): These meetings are very informative, and we urge prospective majors, as well as majors, to attend. ASIAN & MIDDLE EASTERN CULTURES: The Department does not hold a Program Planning Meeting, due to the variations across tracks in the major. If you are interested in the major, please meet with the following persons, by world area: For China track: Focus on Social Sciences: contact Prof. Guobin Yang (email@example.com, 321 Milbank, office hours: Tuesday 4-6pm, Wednesday 2-4pm). Focus on Humanities: contact Prof. SunChul Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org, 303 Milbank, office hours: Monday 4-6pm). For Japan or Korea track: contact Prof. Sun-Chul Kim. For Middle East and South Asia track: contact Prof. Rachel McDermott (email@example.com, 321 Milbank, office hours: Monday 11am-1pm; Thursday 11am-12pm). CHEMISTRY/BIOCHEMISTRY: Friday, April 3, 12-2pm, Sulzberger North Tower NEUROSCIENCE & BEHAVIOR: Thursday, April 2, 12-1pm, 903 Altschul PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY: Tuesday, March 31, 4pm, 514 Altschul SLAVIC: Wednesday, April 1, 5:306:30pm, 226 Milbank STATISTICS: Please contact Prof. Dan Rabinowitz, Undergraduate Adviser for the Department (firstname.lastname@example.org. edu; 212-851-2141). URBAN STUDIES: Wednesday, April 1, 6pm, 202 Barnard Hall
Top Five Reasons You Should be Twittering By Kateri Benjamin To twitter or not to twitter? Nowadays, that is the question. What you may not realize is that your friends, your family, and even celebrities have already joined the “twitterverse.” What are you waiting for? Here, the top five reasons you should be twittering now:
3. Stalk James Franco. Keep tabs on Columbia’s famous student by sharing Butler sightings with friends. For example: “Franco in 209 now!” It’s faster than texting because 50 of your friends can read it at the same time. Then you can all run there and stare study.
1. Glean priceless celebrity wisdom. Take this recent twitter from Ashton Kutcher (twitter.com/aplusk): “I feel like someone should invent ‘your welcome’ cards for the occasion when someone should have send a thank you and didn’t.” Clever, right? You don’t want to be missing these. 2. Save yourself. If your friend’s Twitter says that she’s in a bad mood— “Ugh, I hate everyone today” —avoid her! If your other friend reports that “love sucks,” then don’t bring up her boyfriend when you see her in Barnard Hall later. If you find yourself ill and alone in your dorm room one morning, tweet it and 20 friendly faces will come baring soup.
through those awkward times when you’re standing alone on a street corner. 5. Become one of Gawker’s Twitterati. The New York gossip website posts a collection of the day’s most interesting tweets from celebs, politicians, and the media elite. Who knows, maybe if your life is exciting enough (or if you make it sound exciting enough), one day you’ll make the list too. Better start a following now. Still in doubt? Consider this March 4 tweet from Demi Moore (twitter. com/mrskutcher): “Facebook is cool but Twitter is the sh*t!” ‘Nuff said. Kateri Benjamin is a Barnard senior.
4. Look Important. It’s easy— when in public, just pull out your iPhone or Blackberry and type furiously. It doesn’t even matter what you write! See: “Just saw the cutest dog,” and “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” Perfect for getting
R EVE R B E R AT I ON S
Creative fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose submitted by Barnard students. This poem was submitted by a Barnard student who wished to remain anonymous.
Untitled do a line and take a car use the car like a hendrix guitar race it, smooth it, sail it, soothe it curl it around my finger and hold my breath like there’s nothing else left pierce fear like a needle in a cloud overcome, i’ve got to face it now relinquishing memories, i need to be free i’ve got to be free we remember the things we had chosen to forget the people that haunt our dreams the broken wings tried on and clipped the empty childhood i would have been better off without but not stronger
i can feel no thing, no one, no where but it is real, so real flashes burning and falling with the rest, but faster and smoother so much involuntary passion electrifies the steering wheel like wildfire they beckon and i fall so much faster than the rest i might as well do this when i don’t give a fuck whether i live or die tomorrow i withdraw and cannot save myself
Medical Minute By Marjorie Seidenfeld, M.D. Medical Director of Student Health Service and Jessica Cannon, Health Educator, Health Service and Well-Woman By now, everyone on the Barnard College campus is likely to be an expert on bacterial meningitis, but we thought we’d outline the facts on this illness, just in case there were still some concerns. Meningitis is an infection in the membranes or covering layers around the brain and spinal cord, caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The symptoms are usually fever, neck stiffness and change in mental status (confusion, disorientation, or worse), but can also include headache, vomiting and seizures. Meningitis caused by bacteria is usually more sudden and severe, and can rarely be fatal. The diagnosis of meningitis is made based on symptoms, typical findings on an examination, and by a lumbar puncture or “spinal tap” (which involves threading a catheter into the spinal canal to obtain fluid that is tested
for the infection). As soon as the diagnosis is even suspected, the patient is given antibiotics via an IV in order to treat as soon as possible. Steroids are sometimes also given to try to prevent swelling in the brain which can occur. Bacterial meningitis is spread through fairly intimate contact with an infected person – living with him/her (and even then only 5% of those living with someone with meningitis will actually get the illness), sharing eating utensils, kissing, and so on. Those with immune system suppression (on chronic steroids, chemotherapy, and illnesses which suppress immune function) are more susceptible, as are very young or very elderly people. It’s important to remember that casual contact does NOT spread meningitis. In order to prevent the spread of
this illness, a vaccine has been developed against 4 subtypes of the bacteria Meningoccus (one of the more common types of bacteria that cause meningitis). This is the vaccine you’ve been advised to get prior to coming to Barnard. While this vaccine does offer excellent protection against the 4 subtypes that it is designed for, it does not protect against all of them (for example, it did not protect against the strain that infected the students at University of Pennsylvania). This is not an argument for not getting the vaccine; on the other hand, we’d likely be seeing more frequent outbreaks of this illness if students were not being vaccinated. Questions about meningitis or the vaccine? Contact the Barnard Student Health Service at 212-854-2091 to speak with a health care provider.
A column by Christina Black A week ago I had no idea how easy—or cheap—it was to make my own bread. Today I stand before you a full convert, having made it three times in the past five days, yesterday with a double batch. Flatbread in particular can be ready in 30 minutes, from start to finish with only 15 minutes of real work. And let me tell you, there’s nothing like pounding out a piece of dough at the end of a rough day. The bread can take it. In fact, your taking out your stress on it only makes the final product all the better. After mid-terms, what could be better? If you need any more convincing, this flatbread tastes a thousand times better than the best grocery store brand, and a hundred times better than what I’ve consumed in Lebanese restaurants. It also costs less than a dollar to make. Flatbread tastes great naked and warm or with nearly any topping. Eat it with a homemade hummus: puree a drained can of chickpeas with a bit of sesame or olive oil or tahini and two very juicy lemons. Add parsley before you puree and garnish with chopped tomatoes to make it pretty. Or roll a flatbread around a salad of chopped tomato and
cucumber (seeds removed), served with feta cheese (or anything like it), chopped parsley, a bit of red wine vinegar (or more lemon juice), and a bit of olive oil. Make a sandwich with a smear of hummus and top it with any leftover meat. Your imagination and appetite are the only limit.
To make 8 servings: -1 and 2/3 cups all purpose or white pastry flour (plus extra for dusting work surface) -1 heaping teaspoon of salt -1 Tablespoon olive or sunflower oil -2/3 cup warm water
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. (Sifting means shaking through a fine-mesh sieve) Add the oil in the measuring cup with the water and pour the liquid into the flour in a thin stream with one hand while using the other hand to stir it. Form the flour and water into a soft ball of slightly sticky dough (you may have to add a little extra flour or water to get the texture right). Rub off any dough that sticks to your hands
Sprinkle flour onto a work surface and start kneading the dough by pushing the heel of your hand (where the palm meets the wrist) into the dough to stretch it. Fold it over, give it a quarter of a turn, and then stretch it again. If the dough starts to stick, simply sprinkle it with more flour. Keep kneading for 5 minutes, until the dough feels smooth and plump. Again, the longer and more aggressively you knead, the better the dough. Cover the ball of dough with the upturned mixing bowl and let it rest at least 15 minutes (longer is better but not strictly necessary) When ready, roll the dough into a sausage shape and divide into eight pieces. Flour the work surface again, and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a very thin round roughly the size of a small plate. Get a frying pan very hot over a high heat, and then turn the flame down to medium-low. Shake off excess flour from the rolled-out piece of dough and put it in the pan for about 30 seconds to a minute each side, until bubbles form. Roll out each piece of dough individually and cook one at a time.
Christina Black is a Barnard senior and Bulletin cooking columnist.
Supergirls, Superworld We all know her. In fact, we may even be her. That girl who seems to do it all—18 credits a semester, president of her dancing group, vice-president of the activities club, and student representative in the Student Government Association. She holds down a part-time internship two days a week, exercises regularly, and gets perfect grades. For her, sleep is a side-note, and she functions entirely on coffee and Red Bull. How does she do it? And, more importantly, is it healthy? Liz Funk explores this very question in her new book: Supergirls Speak Out: Inside the Crisis of Overachieving Girls. A 20-year-old Pace University student, Funk exposes the quiet culture of young girls who are pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion and mental illness: “Why stop an individual on her quest to perfection? Because it’s lethal.” Employing expert interviews, relevant literature, and reports from
Supergirls themselves to inform her research, Funk finds that the pressure to be a Supergirl starts early—in high school, or sometimes even in middle school. In addition, girls face enormous pressure to maintain a long list of accomplishments, all while looking hot: “To be an overachieving woman, looks are imperative.”
Supergirls are highly competitive, especially among themselves, and friends (think Mean Girls). The alarming effect of all this, says Funk, is a culture rampant with eating disorders, a craving for male sexual validation, and an increasing dependence on drugs like Adderall and caffeine. So where’s all this coming from? Funk asserts that the “Supergirl mechanism (when taken to its extreme) is really a coping mechanism, a way of dealing with our own fears and insecurities.” She argues that the Supergirl crisis is really overcompensation for the immense strain the feminist movement placed on women to close the gender gap. Funk calls for Supergirls to “scrap what society told them was ‘empowerment’ and instead be true to themselves.” Though Funk presents clear evidence for the dangerous phenomenon of the American Supergirl, she fails to address the issue that many Supergirl behaviors—“functioning fully on little sleep, multitasking and juggling several activities and stimuli at once…” are not gender-specific, but are a reflection of American society as a whole. Over-commitment to clubs, sports, and activities is not just a problem facing teenage girls, but a way of life for their male counterparts as well. Despite this, Funk raises some interesting points to ponder, most notably the female tendency to apologize for everything, “even for things they didn’t do,” and that women are “conditioned to take jobs in low-paying fields,” as the most notoriously underpaid fields are also the ones most occupied by women. In addition, Funk discusses the existing need for women in power to “act like men,” and wonders whether femininity will ever have a place in the workforce. With all this in mind, it’s important to note that by writing and pub-
By Kateri Benjamin lishing a book at such an early age, Funk herself is guilty of the very Supergirl tendencies she writes about. She acknowledges as much and weaves many of her
“A 20-year-old Pace University student, Funk exposes the quiet culture of young girls who are pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion and mental illness: ‘Why stop an individual on her quest to perfection? Because it’s lethal.’” own personal anecdotes into the book, detailing everything from her issues with eating disorders, her obsession with getting into a prestigious college (she was rejected from Barnard), and her drive to publish a book by the age of 18. She admits that in regard to being a Supergirl, she is still a work in progress. Her book is a quick and easy read and may find many Barnard women nodding in agreement and understanding when they see their own stories mirrored in those of the Supergirls. It would also make an excellent gift for a parent of a teenage daughter. Of course, there is an upside to being a Supergirl: “What’s cool about the Supergirl dilemma is that it made it cool to be smart.” Whew. Breathe easy, Barnard ladies.
Kateri Benjamin is a Barnard senior.
Facebook Relationships: Cyberspace and Reality Blurred “When I came to Barnard, my hall mate thought I was a lesbian,” laughs Rachel Peck, BC ’12. “I am not.” What could have led Rachel’s hall mate to believe she was a lesbian? Rachel was engaged to her friend Alexis on Facebook, and had jokingly put “interested in women.” Peck’s story represents the major impact the Facebook relationship has on people’s lives. The Facebook relationship status one chooses, and the options are many, ranging from not answering to “single” to “it’s complicated” to “married,” can have a variety of unforeseen consequences in our non-virtual lives. While it is common for Facebook users to become “engaged” or “married” to a friend on Facebook, even these facetious relationships can have negative ramifications. Grace Royer, BC ’11, was personally affected by a Facebook relationship when after not speaking with a friend for a period, her friend canceled the relationship. “I realized I had really hurt my friend; now I am married to no one,” she says. Many students feel that putting a relationship on Facebook is a means for an individual to “claim their territory.” Does the Facebook relationship actually help the stability of a true romantic relationship? For some, it seems so. Katie Tongalson, BC ’12, explains, “Some people may need that confirmation of a relationship… so that people won’t hit on them or assume they are single.” Elizabeth Hastie, BC ’12, decided to put her relationship on Facebook once at college. Despite thinking it was silly at first, she is “glad everyone knows
[her boyfriend] has a girlfriend.” Peck says her public Facebook relationship with her boyfriend has been better for them. “There is no confusion… over what’s allowed and what’s not,” she says. Upon entering a relationship on Facebook, many dating options diminish as people see that an individual is now off the market. Aileen Farren, BC ’11, explains, “When you meet people, especially guys, they friend you on Facebook and they stop talking to you if they see you are in a relationship.” Thus, many choose to not answer the question as a means of keeping their dating options open. Some would argue that the validity of a relationship can be seen through a Facebook relationship. Brian Marcus, CC ’12, says that it shows a level of commitment. “A Facebook relationship is a way of showing you are ready for every to know you are a couple because you are announcing it to everyone,” he says. Yet several students’ say that Facebook relationships are negative no matter what. Carla Stoffel, BC ’12, says that going public on a relationship is not a positive thing.“It’s completely selfish to be in a relationship with [someone] on Facebook. Most people do it to proclaim [their relationship] to everyone else,” she says. “It doesn’t leave room for privacy, and the worst is when you break up and you just hit cancel, I think that discredits [the relationship].” Indeed the Facebook relationship break up can stir up a lot of drama for individuals both in and out of the
By Amanda Evans relationship. Kiva Eisenstock, BC ‘12 lamented that after her breakup everyone saw it on Facebook and knew in school the day after. “People kept giving me sympathetic looks and asking if I was okay,” Eisenstock says. Emma Sorkin, BC ’12, once received Facebook messages asking, “what happened” before she had even told her friends about her breakup. So when is the appropriate time to go “Facebook official” if one chooses to do so? Farren recalls a situation where a friend went on a date with a guy, and upon checking her Facebook the next day he had “in a relationship” on his profile. When she asked with whom, he replied, “Um, you.” They haven’t spoken since. Despite the varied opinions on the Facebook relationship, almost everyone agreed that they enjoyed the guilty pleasure of seeing the relationship statuses of others. Barrie Sterling, BC ’12, admits, “When people don’t have their relationship status I get angry.” Sam Klug, CC ’12, agreed that he enjoys seeing the relationships in his newsfeed even though he himself does not list his relationship status on Facebook. While Facebook relationships can be a great source of entertainment for observers, they can cause partners in these relationships to experience a great deal of grief. Those contemplating entering a Facebook relationship, whether serious or playful, should be weary of the negative results going “Facebook official” can have. While the relationship may be made or undone with just one click, there is no “cancel” option for the real life damage it may cause. Amanda Evans is a Barnard first-year.
Obama’s Economic Barack Obama bears the momentous task of making good on his campaign promises and lifting America out of the deepening financial crisis. President Obama must implement programs that generate short-term growth and make long-term policy changes that will not necessarily have an immediate effect on the economy. Although many Americans are facing looming foreclosures and job losses, the Obama administration seems to be focusing on a long-term solution. In fact, the President has reiterated that the economic crisis will get much worse before it gets better. The American people’s fear of how much deeper the crisis will get, a lower than expected fall in GDP, and higher than expected unemployment rates all present an unnerving contrast to President Obama’s optimism towards revitalization of the economy with his financial plan. On the heels of his inauguration, the president hit the ground running, trying to get Congress to pass his stimulus package. The details of the package are intricate, but it is clear that at over $789 billion it is one of the largest ever in U.S. history. The Republicans and some Democrats are concerned about the stimulus’ price tag. Their concern is valid but what is most important is how the money is spent. The Obama administration must revamp the automobile industry (on more environmentally-friendly terms), overhaul the health-care system and improve education. President Obama and his team must reinforce the foundations of the American economy to ensure that another recession of this nature will not occur anytime soon. In addition, Obama must make a break with the Bush administration, which preferred to bail out
banks, and put money back into consumers’ pockets. The former administration failed to realize this dimension when responding to the crisis. In fact, many banks that received bail-out money are holding on to these funds instead of providing loans to businesses and Americans at large. The banks’ actions run counter to the need to circulate added funds in the market. Obama’s stimulus package is an effort to get more money flowing in the economy. One of the take-away lessons of my “Introduction to Economic Reasoning” course with Marcellus Andrews
is that a country must spend its way out of a recession. Yes, the package will increase the already large budget deficit, but this spending is exactly what is needed to rescue the American economy. People fear a return of big government, but the financial crisis is a prime example of what happens when government fails to oversee the financial industry. In other words, what is important is not a government’s size, but its strength. Undoubtedly, the Obama administration will need to be tough and respected to ensure that every penny of the $789 billion is properly spent. During the presidential debates, Obama was reluctant to concede that the crisis would hamper his attempts to
By Shoshannah Richards bring change to Washington. For the time being he is sticking to his plan to fix the education and health-care systems. The stimulus package will temporarily expand access to Medicaid, increase spending on health IT in an effort to make the industry more efficient and provide funds for computerized medical records to reduce paperwork and thereby cut medical costs. With regard to education, the stimulus package will give more Americans the opportunity to attend college by increasing the availability of grants. According to the New York Times the plan will provide “a vast two-year investment that would more than double the Department of Education’s current budget.” This news must come as a relief to cash-strapped school districts, college financial aid offices, and students and parents worried about meeting the costs of college tuition. The stimulus package is not without its critics. The Republicans have not been shy about voicing their discontent and branding the plan as a step towards socialism. Also, some sectors feel that the plan does not provide enough relief. The Obama administration was wrong to drop funding for family planning programs from the package to acquiesce Republicans. In addition, the Republicans think the stimulus package should include more tax cuts. The Obama administration ought to constantly revise the stimulus package to ensure that the reforms are having the desired effects. In such pressing economic times, the Democrats should take into consideration Republican criticisms not only to allay their fears but to ensure that the best package is implemented. After all, the economic crisis calls for an end to the politics of the right and left and new era of pragmatism.
Shoshannah Richards is a Barnard sophomore.
Divestment Demands Stir Campus With each display of oppression and brutality the state of Israel exhibits toward the Palestinians, there is a palpable rekindling of dormant activism, sup-port, empathy, indignation, and, ultimately, political conflict. Columbia University notwithstanding, the latest offensive on the Gaza Strip has ignited a series of protests and movements on campuses worldwide. The recently established Columbia Palestine Forum, a group that advocates University divestment from Israeli companies, may have little hope in the way of actually achieving its goals, but has nonetheless paved the way for renewed debate, awareness, and contention on campus. In their flyer campaign opposing the Forum’s aims, Lionpac and Hillel have urged that “divestment is not a game.” In this respect, they are correct. Divestment is not a game. It is not the brainchild of a group of whimsical students who fancy supporting the cause of the hour. The notion of divestment has been an essential component of anti-occupation discourse and action. Divestment is a necessary step toward ensuring the enforcement of international law and ending the cycle of violence that plagues the region. Israel currently stands in direct violation of countless UN Resolutions and is not held accountable for its war crimes against the Palestinians. While Israel urges the imposition of sanctions on Iran to ensure that it abides by international consensus, it fails to apply this respect and concern for international consensus and resolutions to its own affairs. The hypocrisy Israel exhibits as it heralds the necessity of international resolutions while it currently occupies illegal territories is audacious, albeit unsurprising. The failure of the international community to hold Israel responsible for its actions as an occupying power has perpetuated the crisis rampant in the area and has undermined the efficacy of international law. Resolutions and sanctions seem to have become measures we apply selectively based on political interests, not to uphold human rights or
condemn crimes against humanity. Divestment is thus a measure of non-violent resistance to Israel’s transgressions, and one that garners considerably more leverage than do demonstrations and protests. Divestment and the imposition of sanctions against Israel are long over-due. Such measures are essential to securing Palestinians’ rights in a nonviolent manner. The Columbia Palestine Forum’s aims attempt to effect positive change at the institutional level, in hopes that this awareness may spread to the national level. Its demands include transparency of Columbia’s investments, divestment from Israeli companies which support the occupation, and formal statements in support of Palestinian academic freedom and self determination. This call for Palestinians’ right to self determination is especially pertinent now, as Benjamin Netanyahu is projected to become the next prime minister. Likud, Netanyahu’s political party blatantly undermines prospects for self-determination and completely obliterates the notion of a two-state solution. As the party’s charter states, “the Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs.” Another point of contention against the forum is the usage of the term ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel. While the Palestine Forum’s statement of purpose and demands nowhere mentions or invokes the term ‘apartheid,’ the countermovement led by Lionpac and Hillel has hinged on this term for its criticism and denunciation of the Forum. The rejection of this term is based on the idea that “apartheid is a factually inaccurate term and calls for divestment are malicious attempts to associate Israel with some of the world’s most evil regimes.” In Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, an apartheid crime is described as one
By Nancy Elshami which is “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and “Dominance hierarchy” domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” The term apartheid is usually used to describe the former regime of South Africa. The Zionist project never called for the enslavement and exploitation of the Palestinians, this is true. This rests
“Divestment and the imposition of sanctions against Israel are long over-due.” on the fact that, essentially, the Palestinians were disposable to the Zionist project which aimed towards Jewish labor colonization of the land. In this respect, Israel differs from the oppressive South African regime. That Israel has committed other crimes of apartheid, however, is indubitable. Israel has expelled, killed, dispossessed and socially and politically oppressed Palestinians with impunity for over 60 years. Call this systematic subjugation oppression, call it state-sponsored terrorism, call it ethnocentric, call it “democracy”, call it apartheid- the phraseology does not alter the facts on the ground. While the Columbia Palestine Forum is far from achieving its stated goals, it has certainly succeeded in inciting debate and awareness on campus. Considering Columbia’s deep-rooted ties with Israel, and President Bollinger’s unfaltering record of appeasing the dominant tide, the Forum’s practical goals are seemingly unattainable. However, futile as they may be, they are an important and essential sign that there is still room for political dissent and questioning in an institution and a country that harbors unrelenting bias towards the powerful. Nancy Elshami is a Barnard junior and Bulletin Politics and Opinion Editor.
Campus Activism: Omnipresent In recent years, the media and older generations have painted a picture of today’s students as politically unaware and apathetic. College students’ commitment to political groups and causes is often considered absent. The generations who attended colleges in the 60s and 70s, for example, might especially feel this way when they compare their campus activism with that of today. While concerns since then have changed, political dissent is certainly not absent from today’s campuses. Campuses across the globe are politically engaged and active—whether in protests against war, strikes for better pay, or a general list of grievances against a school, it seems that protesting is very much a part of campus activity. The most recent news of campus activism comes from New York University, where a group of students with the organization Take Back NYU have organized protests and created a list of demands that they are asking the admin-
istration to meet. The students have even created an online blog, which includes a list of their eleven demands and the letter presented to NYU President John Sexton. Some of the demands include: public release of NYU’s annual budget and endowment, annual scholarships provided for thirteen Palestinian students, and a fair labor contract for all NYU employees at home and abroad. Of course, New York City is not the only place where campus protests have sprouted. Across the country, different colleges and universities have created organizations in solidarity with Israel or Palestine. Our own campus has both a pro-Palestine and a pro-Israel group, as do most colleges and universities. As a matter of fact, Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, recently became the first of any collegiate institution in the United States to divest from companies if they were at all involved in the support of the continued occupation of Palestine. Outside of the United States, the political passions are no less tanglible. For example, in Bangladesh there is a constant stream of campus unrest. Recently, at least fifty students and police officers were injured in a riot that occurred at Jagannath University in Dhaka. The dispute was the result of the
By Shazeeda Bhola allegation that local leaders and businessmen have occupied twelve campus halls. Additionally, the Dhaka University Peace and Conflict Studies department protested against Israel’s attacks in Gaza. In France, teachers and students protested against the proposed educational reforms of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Students and teachers alike are enraged over changes made in the syllabus for trainee schoolteachers, in addition to job cutbacks and reforms that will boost the financial independence of the French universities from the state. Several marches were planned in numerous cities throughout the country. It is evident that campus activism today spans a rather wide range of causes. Some are political—both domestic issues and international concerns— and others are in protest of the educational administration. Unlike the 60s and 70s, there is not a single mobilizing cause to organize today’s students like the Vietnam War. (Perhaps the last mobilizing cause was the recent Presidential election.) As a matter of fact, with the array of issues that concern today’s student population, it would not be surprising to have more than one form of protest occurring on one campus within a short amount of time. Today’s students are not necessarily united on one particular front or cause; every imaginable cause is represented and defended. Campus activism needs to be viewed in the context of current political and educational circumstances in which students are united not by a particular cause, but by the core idealism of living in a better society. Shazeeda Bhola is a Barnard sophomore.
Women in Politics
Israel’s Next Golda Meir: Tzipi Livni
In Israel, the representation of women in government remains similar to the representation of women in other countries, particularly democracies of the West. Public domain is perpetuated as that of the male, while the private one is considered the natural sphere belonging to the woman. Nevertheless, the illusory image of a free and egalitarian government is associated with Israel because of a few women who have at times symbolically represented the presence of a female population in the country’s politics. Tzipi Livni recently won the majority of votes in the recent Kadima leadership election, and has risen in some ways to become the new Golda Meir. Like Golda Meir, she has served as Foreign Affair Minister; in addition, Livni campaigned in February’s elections for the Knesset, the national parliament, and won the most seats. While it cannot currently be determined whether Livni’s one-seat advantage will facilitate Livni’s final victory, as rival Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party, Livni promisingly demonstrates herself as a rising female politician, emerging from comparative political obscurity to high national positions, some of which have included Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, within the past 10 years. The myth of Israel’s political egalitarianism, however, may suggest why Livni faced sexist barriers in her endeavors to win the election in the Kadima party. Unlike Golda Meir, who filled the
position of prime minister in the 1970s, Livni has encountered a neo-Orthodox movement that has prevented photographs of her and all other women from being published in newspapers. While this did not entirely stifle Livni’s compaign, according to www.TimesOnline. com, the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, voters comprise approximately 15% of the Israeli electorate, and members of this reclusive community only learns of news through the newspaper, as it generally condemns the television and Internet. Livni also became the subject of disapproving and patronizing verbal accusations, some which may strongly parallel with those brought against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Many of the disparaging remarks and boundaries that Livni faced may have been the cause of the neckand-neck race, where Livni won by only one percent of the ballots cast, according to www.TimesOnline.com. Israel is not the only place where women face forms of sexism once they leave their “natural” provinces. The contradictions of supporting a democracy – by definition free, equal, and inclusive – while mocking a political candidate for gender sends a message that suggests women as a social category and their “private” traditional roles as self-evident. Nevertheless, Livni’s goals in office should not be fraught by setbacks of opinion; if elected prime minister, the 50-year-old lawyer plans to reach a compromise with the Palestinians to create laws and standards that are concurrent for two states located next door to each other. The daughter of nationalist activists in the Irgun movement, she has risen to become a politician who is hopeful to create peace accords. In 2006, she commanded an Israeli team to negotiate a covert settlement under which a future Palestinian state could be founded. According to www.bbc.co.uk, Livni spearheaded compromises with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
By Gillian Adler Prime Minister Livni faces some ambivalence from fellow politicians, though: some view her as inexperience in handling national strategic threats. However, many present her as the force to terminate the rule of corrupt male politicians who have dominated Israeli politics. Supporters also suggest that Livni is unaffiliated with and untainted by corruption allegations that have targeted numerous members of Israel’s senior political establishment.
“The myth of Israel’s political egalitarian- ism, however, may suggest why Livni faced sexist barriers in her endeavors to win the election in the Kadima party.”
According to Israel’s Women’s Network, a comparison among countries regarding female representation in government placed Israel in 54th place among 119 countries presented. While an increased rate of approximately 11-13.5% of women’s representation has been seen in the United States and Israel, it is nevertheless low compared to other western countries. Israel lacks female power in government and the parliament, in particular; during the 16 governments since the establishment of the state of Israel, only 9 have served as cabinet ministers. Even under Golda Meir, no women served positions of ministerial post. In addition, since the establishment of the State, female representation in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, declined. Despite hurdles, Livni’s meteoric rise and future symbolize a momentous and telling advancement in Israel’s vision of political equality.
Gillian Adler is a Barnard junior and Bulletin Head Copy Editor.
Escaping Post-Spring Break Doldrums: A Film Tour for the Not-So-Jet Set by Rebekah Kim
Here’s a scenario for you: your roommate just walked in with a hearty “Guten Tag!” and a suitcase full of bratwurst. The problem? While she was gallivanting through lederhosen land, you spent another Spring Break on the island—and that doesn’t mean the Bahamas. No sweat. Here’s an international film tour for the perpetually sedentary and broke. It may not be as good as having a real piece of the Berlin Wall, but you can at least pretend for two hours. And that’s two hours you don’t have to listen to how much sauerkraut she ate in Munich, how funny Tobias was, where she bought this stein…
First Stop: Germany
side with real indifference (a neighbor ignores Emmi’s tears and simply says goodnight as he walks past). The camera’s capturing of enclosed spaces and its own self-awareness challenge the viewer to think less about the characters’ social values—those come cheap and change easily—than with their silent, repetitive, often tired movements through small spaces and small lives.
Next Stop: Guatemala, Mexico, California
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul See a side of Germany and humanity you probably wouldn’t notice in a nutcracker tourist trap. In this 1974 film written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, elderly cleaner Emmi (Brigitte Mira) falls in love with a younger Moroccan immigrant (El Hedi ben Salem), to the disgust of Emmi’s family and colleagues. The film is less concerned with the plot itself than the way it is played out, aesthetically, hatefully, capriciously, awkwardly. Shots of impassive faces abound, significantly and strangely paired with spat dialogue. And there are times when raw emotion— Emmi weeps bitterly, for example, when Ali does not come home—exists side by
El Norte Roger Ebert called this 1983 Gregory Nava-Anna Thomas film the “Grapes of Wrath of our time.” Rosa (Zaide Silvia Gutierrez) and Enrique (David Villalpando), siblings from a Guatemalan village, are forced to flee the brute force that killed their croppicking, union-organizing father. The film spotlights the invisible economy based on illegal immigrant labor and the system of power controlling it. But there is also the personal, family story of hope that tries to survive within that system. El Norte is a story of beauty, eagerness, and touching emotion, but also a story—a reality—of rats, money, and petty egoism. A quarter of a century after its release, the film still exposes truths about a system that it would be more convenient to smother. They may not be a vacation, but two hours of El Norte are realer than a week of lying on and believing in a Tijuana beach ever could be.
Next Stop: France L’homme du Train There is a world of French film itself to explore, and an Aristotelian shell within that of films taking place only in Paris. If the City of Lights is what you’re looking for, take your pick; you won’t go far wrong with Agnès Varda’s Cléo From 5 to 7 (1962), François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959) or Silvain Chomet’s animated version of Paris in The Triplets of Belleville (2003). But there are people in France who aren’t Parisians, people who are more tucked away behind little towns in big, lonely houses. Patrice Leconte’s 2003 film L’homme du Train focuses on one such man. Manesquier (Jean Rochefort) is one of those quiet types, an elderly teacher whose life lacks excitement—that is, until tough criminal Milan (Johnny Hallyday) walks off a train and needs a place to stay. The two men quietly commune in a removed setting at times saturated with color, at times gray, and begin to occupy a space between their opposed extremes. The film is visually beautiful and offers a sensitive look into the lives of these two hidden men. (And a bonus: if you’re really craving some stereotypical “Frenchiness,” there are a couple shots of baguettes to appease your appétit.)
Tokyo Godfathers All right, so this 2003 animated feature from directors Satoshi Kon and Shogo Furuya might be more appropriate for the Winter Break blues, as it takes place on Christmas Eve. However, nighttime Tokyo comes off so beautifully in the film that it can serve as a helpful escapist aid even in the spring. The city provides more than just a backdrop for the characters’ adventure; Tokyo in its many manifestations is rather part of the plot. The film follows the central characters, three homeless misfits who find an abandoned baby, through ramshackle shelters, snowy backstreets, and red herring apartments, until they eventually reach the heights of the city and discover something about their own winding, mistake-ridden lives. Often hilarious, sometimes serious, Tokyo Godfathers combines place and plot to great visual and narrative effect. As an animated feature, it presents a Tokyo that isn’t real in a strict sense, but it’s a fascinating Tokyo nonetheless.
Final Destination: China 2046 Written, produced, and directed by Wong Kar Wai, 2004’s 2046 is a trip. It is a trip through time and space to a time and place that may exist only in the mind. Whose mind? Well, that’s not clear, either. But clarity may be overrated. The love affairs that occur in hotel room #2046 aren’t clear, nor is the narrative structure (who is this narrator, anyway, telling us about his sci-fi novel also titled 2046?). But the experience is beautiful and strange and provokes thought after
viewing. It is confused thought, emotional thought, perhaps, and maybe completely disoriented thought. But like the film’s train heading toward the year 2046, the images and the disjointed narrative relentlessly drive forward into the viewer’s consciousness, even as the ideas flash back and forward and sideways. The film stimulates and confounds long after the first viewing, and offers a stylish escape from dorm-room reality. Rebekah Kim is a Barnard junior and Bulletin Arts and Enterrtainment Editor.
All three shorts are available in the YouTube Screening Room at: http://www.youtube.com/ytscreeningroom.
All of the films from this international tour are available at Butler Media Reserves.
Next Stop: Japan
Now that classes have started again, you may not have the time to watch a feature film. Never fear; there is a healthy selection of shorts available online. Here are some particularly good ones: “The Chestnut Tree” (4:08) from PicnicProductions. Beautifully animated, the short’s simple lines capture the lively movements of a little Korean girl and her mother. The endearing images and spot-on musical pairing make the short reminiscent of a classic Fantasia segment. “How to Say I Love You,” (7:48) directed by Hayley Stuart and Francesca Sophia. An Irish teenaged boy tries to cheer up a girl and connect with her on a genuine level. The short is sweet, funny, and well acted. “Hungu” (9:11) by Nicolas Brault. Stark, highly original animation tells the story of how the hungu, an African musical instrument, came to be.
Barnard Bears the Storm By Nancy Elshami As the world plummets into an economic crisis of sizeable proportions, laced with the bitter aftertaste of what Alan Greenspan once dubbed “irrational exuberance,” Barnard College finds it necessary to make financial adjustments to weather the storm. The monetary constraints that face Barnard will have tangible consequences on several facets of the institution, tuition notwithstanding. Amid these trying circumstances that will undoubtedly strain department spending, hiring, and much more, Barnard affirms its commitment to accommodating students’ needs and providing adequate financial aid; administrators draft out a plan to deal with the situation prudently. Among Barnard’s most pertinent concerns during this crisis are the ability of students to pay tuition, the future spending from the endowment, and fundraising prospects. Unlike Barnard’s affiliate, the School of Arts and Sciences, Barnard does not depend heavily on its endowment for its yearly revenue. As opposed to the Columbia University endowment of $7.1 billion, the Barnard endowment is rather modest. The endowment first reached the $200 million mark in 2006 and increased to $216 million in 2007. However, the repercussions of the crisis have initiated a 25 percent loss, bringing the endowment to $163 million as of the beginning of 2009. The Arts and Sciences endowment also suffered a $280 million decrease. In a presentation given by Greg Brown, the Vice President for Finance at Barnard, he explained that the endowment accounts for about 7 percent of the 2009 budgeted revenue of $137.6 milion, whereas tuition, room, and board account for 78 percent. Gifts are 5 percent and other sources are 10 percent. Barnard will be implementing a 3 percent increase in tuition which amounts to $1560/year. This is still less than the increase in New York’s cost of living, which rose by 3.9 percent. Accommodations are being made to ensure that the tuition increase does not surpass this level, and to make certain that Barnard is able to provide for its students financial needs. It was recommended to the Board of Trustees that there be no salary increases in order “to protect and preserve financial aid.” As Brown stated, “Throughout the history of the institution, financial aid has really been the core of what we are.” Financial aid accounts for approximately 21 percent of Barnard’s yearly expenditures. Of this percentage, the Barnard Grant covers 80 percent of allotted funds, alongside federal, state, and outside aid. According to Brown, there is actually an expected increase in financial aid to address the needs of students whose families have been adversely affected by the current conditions. “They’re [the middle class] the ones who are really suffering the most,” Brown said. “Their house values and investments are going down.” In determining financial aid awards, the College takes into consideration family
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“Throughout the history of the institution, financial aid has really been the core of what we are.” - Gregory Brown, Vice-President for Finance contribution, summer work contribution, assets, and self-help (work-study, loans). After these components are factored in, any remaining funds are covered by the Barnard grant. The average financial aid award this year was $27,000. Concerns about spending cuts that will be implemented to weather the storm raised a few questions during Brown’s presentation. “I’m hoping that the changes [in spending] will be less visible,” he said. For example, Barnard spends $1.6 million per year on printing and postage. By using technology to cut costs (e.g., send e-mails instead of mailbox notices; use webcasts instead of flying a person out to a meeting), the College will be saving money in a less conspicuous manner. There is no certainty over whether there will be any salary cuts yet. In terms of job cuts, Brown commented that “I’m not projecting layoffs, but we’re looking at how we do business.” He suggested the possibility of job consolidation. Across the street however, job cuts seem imminent as Vice President of Arts and Sciences Nick Dirks forecasts a 2 percent decrease in faculty, and a 7.5 percent decrease in administrative staff. The School of Arts and Sciences also plans to increase acceptance levels for the undergraduate and masters programs. “Depending on our ability to identify appropriate housing, classrooms, instructional resources, and other student services,” Dirks stated in a letter addressed to faculty, “we will increase the number of first-year College students this fall by between 25 and 75 (compared to the original target of 1,024), and seek some additional sophomore transfers and spring visitors as the quality of these applications permits.” The University will also increase class sizes, and will no longer compensate professors for seminars with enrollment of less than 5 students. When asked whether Barnard, too, will be increasing its student body to garner more revenue from tuition, Brown replied, “I don’t know where we would put them.” He explained that this is not feasible for Barnard logistically. He also stated that students from New York shouldn’t be forced to commute because that option is cheaper and will allow for more accommodation of out-of-state students. “We really want to stay a residential college,” he said. “That’s our niche.”
mage of 3 barnard girls .both w/o lines around em
While apprehensions about the global economic crisis are high, the administration seems confident in Barnard’s ability to endure the new constraints while upholding its commitment to financial aid and academic quality. Barnard, in addition to Columbia University as a whole, has undoubtedly been severely affected by the conditions of the economy. Administrators are hopeful, however, that the new government’s policies will help alleviate the pressure. “We did a little happy dance when the stimulus package went through,” Vice President Brown said, because the Pell Grant went up $500 (whereas it was not a priority for the previous administration). There is still a long road ahead and the burden of the crisis will have to be shared by students, staff, and faculty alike. While the tuition increase is definite, the rest of the plan will be decided upon in the first week of June. Nancy Elshami is a Barnard junior and Bulletin Politics and Opinion Editor.
The Wandering Photographer
N YC S p r i n g By Embry Owen
Escape Manhattan with a trip to DUMBO, the neighborhood on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge. See both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges up close at one of the waterfront parks, and enjoy a long afternoon at one of many area cafes or bakeries. Explore
Celebrate the arrival of spring with a trip to a community garden to view blooming flowers and plants in a restful space. While community gardens can be found throughout the city, there are several excellent ones in the East and West Villages.
Walk up the Upper West Side and explore your own neighborhood. Start at Columbus Circle, the gateway to the area, pass through the beautiful halls of Lincoln Center and enjoy the relaxed urban spirit north of 72nd Street.
Museum of Contemporary Art, then stand atop its 7th floor balcony for an unparalleled view of downtown. Afterward, visit other galleries in the area or take a walking tour through the up-and-coming Lower East Side, filled with small affordable shops and restaurants.
Thinking Outside the Box in DUMBO The black box has gone green. Galapagos, an art space in DUMBO, is trying to make a difference. The Galapagos Art Space, a venue known to support experimental performing arts and dances in Brooklyn, moved from Williamsburg to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in 2008 to escape its skyrocketing rent. Galapagos turned a onetime warehouse into a chic space for nightlife, smearing the exterior with cement and transforming the interior into a dark, intimate bar and art space. It also became New York City’s first LEEDcertified, “green” cultural venue. LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development—is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization established in 1993 that advocates green building construction and operation. The LEED distinction has become a national benchmark for welldesigned and -operated green buildings. Galapagos’s new home, DUMBO,
is located near the shores of Brooklyn overlooking Manhattan. The feel of the neighborhood is something like Chelsea meets Greenwich. Abandoned buildings, solid brick boxes without windows, conspicuous cobblestones, and crisscrossing streets make up the area. The Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges contribute to the shadowy, mysterious atmosphere hanging over the art center. The streets themselves are different from those rigid rectangular blocks in the city, their very patterns contributing to the foreign artistic expression of the neighborhood. The Galapagos Art Space fits right in aesthetically, but behind the look are environmental considerations. Past the main door, for instance,there is another glass door on the left, a set-up that prevents direct wind from entering the room. The space is lit conservatively, with candles on the wall and dimmed colored lights coming from the stage. There is limited use of electricity. The space inside is open, bare, and used optimally, for the
By Stefie Gan open space above the first floor serves as a second level for the audience. The art gallery above, with its interior walls covered with cement, mimics the aesthetics of the exterior, while skylights fill the room with sunlight. The openness of the venue allows it to serve as a gallery, construction, and audience space with offices in the back. The entire center, indeed, is low maintenance. The center’s innovations extend beyond the interior art spaces. Further plans for the green Galapagos include a geothermal heating and cooling system and a “sustainable sidewalk” that allows water to pass into the soil below. The center also plans on recycling materials to make productions less burdensome on the environment, and the area will look physically greener with more trees and flowers. Additionally, there are plans to install a green roof on top of the building, and other sources of energy will come from wind and water. Galapagos is not only experimental when it comes to theatre, but is open to finding creative ways to protect the environment. Yet Galapagos is not a total island in its environmental endeavors. The green art scene is now also present on campus, though in a smaller way. NOMADS (New and Original Material Authored and Directed by Students), a Columbia theatre group, is also going green, asking audience members to recycle their programs for future shows. They are also having a contest, ending March 22, for artists to design a new box for the recycled programs as a part of their Green Programs Initiative. It may not be as big as that warehouse in DUMBO, but NOMADS will be introducing its own green box to the campus art scene.
Stefie Gan is a Barnard first-year and Bulletin Chief of Distribution.
Sima’s Undergarments for Women
Reading Ilana Stanger-Ross’s debut novel Sima’s Undergarments for Women is like peeking into a secret world— a world where women bare their bodies and souls within the comfort of Brooklyn’s finest underground bra shop. Set in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Boro Park, Sima’s basement lingerie store provides an essential service to the women of her community. The story plays out mainly through Sima’s interactions with the women of her community, a focus that the author relates to her time at Barnard. “I was interested in women’s stories, and women’s bodies to some extent,” she says. While Stanger-Ross flavors the novel with the humorous dialogue that takes place within Sima’s basement, the intimate confessions spoken within the lingerie shop hint at a deeper insight into the mutual sorrows of humankind. The all-female environment of Sima’s shop provides her customers with a level of comfort, allowing them to voice the lamentations that reveal their shared insecurity. Stanger-Ross deftly contrasts the varying body types of Sima’s customers with their common suffering, as they all seek to alleviate the burdens of their lives, starting with the perfect bra. Sima’s colorful customers “reveal themselves, literally, in a store like that, as well as in the stories they reveal behind the curtain,” Stanger-Ross comments. Yet, while Sima labors tirelessly to provide the women of Boro Park with support, she constantly denies her own needs. She seeks to forget the nagging tragedies of her life through her work, offering her customers a stage upon which to voice their own joys and sorrows. StangerRoss says that she began with that contradiction, “the idea of
Ilana Stanger-Ross, BC ’98 By Mira de Jong a woman who worked with women’s bodies and repressed her own.” The story was also inspired by the author’s own experiences with Boro Park’s basement shops. “When I was about twelve,” she says, “when my mom took me to buy my first bra, she took me to a store much like the one in the novel. I expected a more anonymous experience, but I got over it.” The author became a regular patron of the lingerie shop, and upon learning of its closing during a trip home, she took her mother’s advice to write about the type of hidden women’s community of which Sima is a vital part. Stanger-Ross writes a beautiful and touching tale of selfdiscovery, as Sima learns to face the pain that has plagued her life and marriage. While Sima has long since resigned herself to an unfulfilled life, the arrival of Timna, a beautiful, lively, young Israeli who begins work as the shop’s new seamstress, awakens the need for happiness that Sima has so long denied. As Timna leads a seemingly glamorous, untroubled life, Sima is reminded of the mistakes of her youth and the wish for real happiness that she had so long abandoned. The voices of Sima’s shop mix to awaken her long dormant needs, inspiring her to reevaluate the isolated and sorrowful existence that she had accepted as fate. Reading Sima’s Undergarments for Women is truly a treat, as Stanger-Ross’s skillfully crafted characters maneuver the unexpected, sometimes tragic, but ultimately uplifting plot turns of the Barnard alum’s first novel. The poignant story offers powerful insight into the human soul, questioning one woman’s sorrows and suggesting to readers that, just like Sima, they do not deserve the pains that they too have learned to live with. “I also thought about what would make the reader turn the page,” Stanger-Ross says. “You always hope that your reader will keep turning the page.”
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Mira de Jong is a Barnard first-year.
Musings of a Pop Culture Junkie:
The Anatomy of a Pop Culture Junkie Over the summer, a friend of mine came to visit me at home in New Jersey. She had never been to my house before, but had been in my very cluttered dorm rooms several times over the years, filled with piles of books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs. She probably thought she was prepared, but she had no idea. I took her into a small room off of the living room, one that few people besides my parents and myself have been in. As I opened the door, she took it all in. Stacks of cassette tapes, bookshelves crammed to the brink, shelves of old LPs and VHS tapes… and of course, the floor to ceiling shelves filled with approximately 1200 CDs, not counting the binders full of bootleg recordings (mostly Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen). “Wow. This explains a lot,” she said. When I told my father the topic of this particular column, he responded, “So, what you’re trying to say is you weren’t born nuts, you were raised nuts.” It’s an accurate assessment. While I don’t doubt that my obsessive tendencies are somewhat innate (and probably inherited from him), I can look back to very specific reasons why I am the way I am today. I am a pop culture junkie and a music obsessive (to borrow a term from Nick Hornby), and it was because I was raised to be one. I had no other option; I had to turn out like this.
A column by Amanda Lanceter
My father is a Bob Dylan fanatic. He’s loved Dylan since he was a teenager and hasn’t stopped since. I’ve seen Dylan in concert at least seven times at this point, and that was within a six-year period. I can only imagine how many times my father has seen him. In the first few years after we got a computer and my father found Dylan newsgroups and message boards online, bootlegs of rare recordings and concerts came flooding into our house, secured through trades with other fans. Before the rise of the CD burner, they were cassette tapes; once burning CDs became more accessible, the packages became thinner but no less frequent. In my house, it was acceptable, even required, that if you loved an artist, you must do everything in your power to get your hands on everything you possibly could. It was also evident to me that your music collection must be broad, encompassing many different genres and containing the complete catalog of most of the artists contained within it. I would estimate that I own at least 300 CDs, separate from the 1200 that belong to my father. My iTunes has over 46 GB of music. When I was younger, I would go to friends’ houses and see their parents’ collections of 50 or so CDs and wonder where the rest were. I didn’t realize until I was older that
having a separate room for your music collection was not the norm. Growing up with this mentality, it’s not surprising that I went through several of my own obsessions with different artists. If you’ve read the Bulletin over the last three years, you may have seen quite a few articles on Rufus Wainwright and family. I’ve seen him in concert 16 times, though as I always like to point out, this is mainly due to the fact that he plays in the New York area frequently. I love Tori Amos and own every album, DVD, several rare CD singles, books, and official “bootlegs.” I once won a contest to sit in the front row at a concert because of my obsession, writing an essay about why I was a fan and “deserved” the upgraded tickets. And thanks to my Beatles phase, I can tell you that purple was George’s favorite color and that Ringo received the most fan mail. Is this normal? Probably not. Would I prefer it any other way? Definitely not. Although this will be my last year writing this column, I will remain the Pop Culture Junkie until the day I die.
Amanda Lanceter is a Barnard senior and Bulletin Editor-at-Large.
With John Legend By Sophia Mossberg Amidst the news coverage of our current economic state are the sounds of various addresses to the nation, and whether made by our president or by artists whose music acts as a press conference of its own, the tie between politics and music remains strong. Songs of protest calling for peace or social mobility are as old as the issues themselves, and though audiences today are perhaps not as roused by lyrics as in 1971 (when Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On riled up impassioned responses to the Vietnam War), music still has the power to move its audiences. In this context, it is fitting that soul singer, songwriter, and pianist John Legend is on the scene musically and politically. Judging from his recent performances and latest album Evolver, he is here to stay. As the lights dimmed at the “We Are One” Inauguration celebration, the Democratic National Convention, and the “Declare Yourself” show for the Born Again American initiative to increase civic engagement, John Legend’s sultry voice and gripping lyrics energized audiences everywhere. With a voice that summons to mind the classic sounds of Frank Sinatra combined with the rawness of Ray Charles, Legend is unconcerned with adherence to formulaic singles,
instead producing a mix of mellow R&B, coarser hip-hop, and jazzy soul. Though hits like “Green Light” featuring Andre 3000 and “It’s Over” featuring Kanye West from his 2008 album Evolver are dominating radio waves, it is the politically infused “If You’re Out There” that rings most relevant to these winter days. The ballad is pure and concise in its intention, drawing to mind records of similar intent from an unfortunate plethora of past times of war and strife. Its message, however, is laced with the uplifting hope that has characterized much of the past political campaign: “No more broken promises/No more call to war/Unless it’s love and peace that we’re really fighting for/We can destroy hunger/We can conquer hate/Put down the arms and raise your voice/We’re joining hands today.” Legend had already proven himself to be an agent of change when he released his 2004 smash debut Get Lifted, the critically acclaimed R&B album that catapulted him into the mix of musicians breaking into the commercial market. Produced by Kanye West’s record company, Get Lifted is infused with the mellowness of smooth piano and the grit of Legend’s soulful voice. The
nearly flawless ballad “Ordinary People” is the standout, and sets the tone for the emotion-ridden relationship ballads Legend has become known for. The gospel driven powerhouse “It Don’t Have to Change” is wonderfully powerful. Legend’s second album Once Again features equally stirring tracks like “Again” and “Coming Home” on which his emotionally driven vocals soar and crack with each moment of remembrance and hope. Evolver is perhaps a combination of the soulful grit of his first album and the smooth R&B vibes of his second; a more prominent hip-hop focus is also reflected in the collaborations with Kanye West and Andre 3000. While his trademark ballads are present, there is a palpable absence of piano on many of the tracks, in which electric guitar sets the tone, suggesting a slight deviation from his reputation as a piano man. However, Legend’s ability to redefine himself puts him in good company of other artists who are able to stay afloat in the artistic storm of the music industry, and his recent endeavors in the political sphere suggest that his presence as a musician will only be a part of what his legacy has in store (not to mention his name).
Sophia Mossberg is a Bulletin Staff Writer and a Barnard first-year.
The Chinese Proverb The Chinese proverb “may you live in interesting times” may come to define 2009, a year already marred by “interesting” events—Wall Street’s downfall, the shedding of countless jobs and, of course, a new Commanderin-Chief. Citizens are preparing for turbulence in the changing financial landscape as the fetishtization of “Hope” by President Obama illustrates the populace’s belief in American resiliency. Artists, and musicians especially, have always viewed “interesting times” such as these as inspirational and ripe for artistic interpretation. Jazz, folk, rock, and grunge were all musical movements that grew out of decades filled with turmoil and expressed the popular anxieties of their time. So, one must ask, where are the Bob Dylans, Kurt Cobains, and Duke Ellingtons of the twenty-first century? Where have all the politically minded musicians gone? News commentators’ descriptions of the past decade as a lost decade for the financial sector may also come to describe the musical movements
“As the music industry grows larger and larger, popular music has become more and more artificial with many songs being modified beyond recognition in studios.”
that have occurred since 2000. As the music industry grows larger and larger, popular music has become more and more artificial with many songs being modified beyond recognition in studios. Lip-syncing often permeates “live” shows and it is often hard to tell what an artist’s authentic voice actually sounds like. Even the best voices in the industry often waste their talent on pre-packaged songs instead of politically motivated pieces. For instance, Beyonce proved her singing chops with her song “Listen” for the movie Dreamgirls. However, most of the songs on her latest album are the same songs that America has been singing to for the past ten years. As the superficialities of Wall Street have met public criticism, so must the trivialities of the music industry. If the country is heading for tough times, the public needs to hear their concerns expressed through music in a serious and dignified manner. The advent of youtube, myspace, and music distributed over the Internet may be the answer to the lack of ingenuity in the commercial mainstream music market. The growth in popularity of Internet music means that aspiring musicians can find a direct audience for their work and speak directly to the public. This decentralization of music industry may loosen the grip of commercial hits that have dominated the charts for the past decade. There are some artists that have
By Rebecca Spading risen to the challenge of writing music that does not patronize their public; however, these artists are often not dominant in the public consciousness. In order to change the industry, musicians such as these must be able to achieve some commercial success in order to attract the public and industry executives alike. Artists such as Wyclef Jean, M.I.A., and Lauryn Hill are all names that have achieved some commercial success while speaking of serious subjects and are examples of politically conscious artists.
As American look onto the darkening horizon, we need more artists such as these to represent our voices.
Rebecca Spading is a Barnard first year and the Bulletin music section editor.
The Frugal Foodista
A column by Ava Friedmann
A Salt & Battery
cooling down for a couple of minutes, they were ready to be consumed, but only after being garnished by the various condiments at hand. Salt is always a good place to start, because the food is board, your hardest decision will be what lightly seasoned. An authentic dousing type of fried protein to order. of malt vinegar is next, bringing a tang In the fish category, A Salt and to the dish. Ketchup is also available to Battery offers Pollock, haddock, sole, cater to the American palette, but I opted whiting, shrimp, and scallops. Not so for the homemade tartar sauce. sure what the difference is between each While A Salt and Battery would fish? I wasn’t either, but luckily their undoubtedly be successful selling only paper menu will steer you in the right fish and chips, they do offer an extended direction with simple descriptions. I menu of pies, sides and dessert. Like a chose their daily special, a locally caught scene out of Sweeney Todd, I watched sustainable cod that they offer seasonally. chefs carry baking sheets lined with If fish isn’t your forte, chicken chunks or fresh pies hot out of the oven. Each pie, battered sausage are equally delicious classically executed with a hole in middle, alternatives. And don’t forget to order a attracted customers with its flaky crust side of chips, but whatever you do, don’t and comforting flavors. Chicken and call them French fries. mushroom, beef and onion or steak and As each basket of food emerges kidney pie are timeless throwbacks to from the kitchen, you’ll hear a voice with the 19th century. In addition to chips, a British accent scream out, “Beautiful, I ordered a side of battered beets and your order is ready!” or “Girls, your mushy peas. If you’re a beet lover like chips are here!” Beware, because the I am, this battered variety is not to fish and chips always arrive piping hot. be missed. The crunch of the batter When I started digging into my basket paired with the soft beet is a perfect of fried goodness, I could feel the heat combination with the addition of a little of the fresh batter against my face. After salt. The mushy peas, a mix of mashed and intact, were perfectly seasoned and textured, nothing likes Gerber’s pureed version. If after basket and basket of fried food you are still searching for more, A Salt and Battery is not afraid to dip their batter in sweeter ingredients. From Mars bars and toffee to bananas and pineapple, there is really no going wrong when it comes to their dessert. It is no surprise that A Salt and Battery beat Bobby Flay at a Throw Down on The Food Network. No doubt that the restaurant’s British owners know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to frying. When leaving the restaurant, I overheard a daughter accuse her mother of being a “batter hog.” And with good reason too, because their batter truly brings their fish (and the occasional Mars bar) to a whole new level. Ava Friedmann is a Barnard senior and Bulletin Food Critic.
112 Greenwich Avenue between 12th and 13th Sts. 212.691.2713 www.asaltandbattery.com
As a mature senior, I’ve been in a steady relationship throughout this year… with my thesis. As your food-obsessed restaurant critic, it is no surprise that I decided to focus the never-ending paper on culinary history. My thesis explores the beginnings of fast food culture in London, which naturally got me craving the street grub. Reading book upon book about fish and chips and meat-pies galore, my grumbling stomach motivated me to find an authentic English dive in the city. Conveniently located in the West Village, the king of fish and chips resides at A Salt and Battery, catering to customers that aren’t afraid of fried fare. If the name alone doesn’t convince you to stop by this English gem, one sniff of the restaurant’s aroma will. As soon as you step into A Salt and Battery’s worn-in tiled floor, the sweet smell of fried food takes over your body and welcomes you. The sizzle of fish and potatoes hitting the oil assures you that every batch is made to order. Staring up at their vintage menu
Sense in a Centsless World
Fares and Fairness: MTA Proposes Fare Hikes, New Yorkers Foot the Bill I have always been fascinated by the intricacy of the New York City subway system. Consider the amount of coordination required to build and run such a sophisticated structure, and the ingenuity of the designers and engineers who first conceived of the project. The mass transit system has become an indispensable part of New Yorkers’ lives; I am convinced that public transportation gives New York its pulse. Fantastic as the five boroughs’ mass transit system may be, it has not escaped the wrath of the recession. Not surprisingly, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is struggling to keep its head above water financially. Officials at the MTA have proposed increasing base fares to $2.50 from the current rate at $2, and raising the cost of unlimited monthly MetroCards from $81 to $103. (Dust off your times tables and you’ll find that the monthly MetroCard currently pays for itself, if one uses mass transit to travel to and from work, five days a week for a whole month give or take a ride or two. With the higher price of the unlimited card, commuters are better off paying the $2 base rate per ride). Ultimately, these plans will increase MTA’s annual revenues by 23%, lifting a heavy burden off the shoulders of city government and placing it directly on those who rely on the mass transit system as the primary means of transportation in and around the five boroughs. The MTA has also suggested cutting subway service along the G and M lines, and eliminating the W and Z lines entirely, in addition to bus route cutbacks. These cutbacks are equally inconvenient and burdensome to subway and bus riders as fare hikes, and will put MTA employees out of work. Former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch has suggested that sources of new revenue could also include instituting tolls on bridges and charging
a “payroll tax on businesses.” To keep rides cheap, to keep the city from going broke, and to keep New Yorkers happy while maintaining the functionality of the mass transit system, the MTA will have to be more creative. Frequenting the metro system doesn’t exactly qualify me to make policy changes, but I’ll offer some suggestions anyway. Maybe the Tolls and Bridges Authority should increase existing tolls and implement new tolls on free crossings into Manhattan, as per Mr. Ravitch’s
proposal. While this would further crowd mass transit, it would raise MTA revenues and simultaneously decrease the number of cars coming into the city every day. In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg unsuccessfully tried to address midtown traffic congestion with his “central area toll,” for a “greener, greater New York.” Alternatively, the Transportation Authority could charge peak and offpeak fares, like Metro North and the Long Island Rail Road currently do. Even though this solution would not eliminate the financial stress on riders,
By Melissa Lasker it provides an incentive for commuters to buy the more expensive unlimited-ride MetroCard. As explained, commuters who purchased the $81 unlimited-ride card earned their investment back in exactly one month of traveling to and from work, five days per week, four weeks per month. With a $2.50 peak fare, for example, the $103 unlimited-ride MetroCard would be worthwhile for commuters. (And if they use their MetroCard once or twice more than number of rides that takes them to and from work, they effectively take those additional trips for free!) Another effect of this plan is that riders who can travel during off-peak hours will have an incentive to wait until those designated times – avoiding paying the full peak fare – in turn, decongesting trains and buses during rush hour. You may be concerned that the MTA’s long-term, capitalintensive projects, like the Second Avenue Subway line, are the cause of this financial strain. Another of these projects is the East Side Access initiative, designed to allow trains that arrive in Penn Station via Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad to reach Grand Central Terminal. Interestingly, the additional revenue from increased fares is not intended to finance these long term projects. The construction of the Second Avenue Subway, a new South Ferry Terminal, and the East Side Access initiative are being paid for by municipal bonds. There are no simple answers to the challenges this recession has posed for New Yorkers. While the financially conscious among us are willing to sacrifice luxuries, the subways and buses are last resort modes of navigating New York. Service cutbacks and fare hikes don’t please anyone, but if the MTA needs cash to continue providing this vital service, riders will likely give it to them.
Melissa Lasker is a Barnard junior and Bulletin Finance Columnist.
Channel Your Inner Kate Moss at Topshop
Every month, fashion magazines enthusiastically instruct readers on how to get their favorite celebrity look. But even with all the details of the stars’ perfectly thrown-together styles, the steep price tags on Mary-Kate’s or Chloë Sevigny’s effortless chic sends all hopes of celeb street style out the window for us commoners. But there is genius behind Kate Moss for Topshop: getting the celeb look cheaply, straight from the celebrity herself. The trendy British clothing chain Topshop will make its American debut on April 2 in Soho, and much of the hype surrounding the opening is due to the store’s collaboration with Kate Moss. The supermodel has partnered with Topshop since April 2007 to design a wildly successful clothing line that channels her personal style. Kate Moss for Topshop
has thrived since its inception, selling out within an hour of debuting at Topshop’s London flagship in 2007 and bringing in millions since. The store’s collaboration with Moss is clearly built on “getting the celebrity look for less.” Kate Moss is one of the most recognizable supermodels in the world today, gracing ads for Rimmel London, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli,
Donna Karan and countless other designers. More importantly, Moss is a fashion symbol, a true celebrity with an iconic rocker-meets-boho look and the ability to spark trends worldwide. For example, Hunter Wellies, the trendy rain boots that come out in full force when rain hits Morningside Heights, gained immense popularity after Moss was seen clomping around a muddy, outdoor music festival in 2007 sporting the boots with teeny shorts. The media hype over the boots was enormous and spawned headlines such as “Glastonbury: Music Festival or Kate Moss Fashion Show?” Stylistically, Topshop bears comparison to Urban Outfitters and H&M, the latter a Topshop rival along with European-based chains Zara, Mango and Mexx. The store, like Kate Moss, has become a fashion icon itself, and the Oxford Circle flagship draws an average of 28,000 shoppers a day. Boasting over 300 outposts throughout Europe, the Topshop chain is part of the Arcadia Group, which claims to be “the largest privately owned clothing retailer in the world.” At Arcadia’s helm is Sir Phillip Glass, the famous “bullish British billionaire” with an estimated worth of $5 billion. Moss had been a Topshop regular when she met Sir Phillip Glass at a 2006 charity auction. The two met when Glass bid on (and later won) a kiss with Kate Moss. The kiss never happened, but the Brits from the same Croydon neighborhood in London immediately hit it off. “Before Kate, there wasn’t anybody we’ve ever wanted to work with,” said Glass on collaborating with Moss. But it just “felt right,” said Moss, and they’ve been working closely ever since. While Moss refers to Glass as “Uncle Phil,” and Glass often regards Moss with the lighthearted amusement and indulgence of a Daddy Warbucks, the two moguls share a mutual respect and no-nonsense attitude that makes the collaboration work. The collaboration seems to work just fine, considering it is Kate’s unique style that the masses want. That famous personal style is an eclectic mix of bohemian and vintage finds, punky accessories and high-end designer
By Ellie Krupnick pieces. While Moss is constantly moving on to new looks (just as the public embraced the skinny-jeans-andflats trend she popularized, Moss had switched to ’70s-inspired, wide legged jeans), the Kate Moss style is consistent in its irreverence, in its embodiment of unexpected contrasts and natural chic. Topshop has been reaping the rewards of this collaboration for several years and on April 2, it will finally bring the goods stateside. In this challenging retail climate, Sir Phillip and Kate debut their moderately priced trends at the first American Topshop to be located at 478 Broadway. The opening, repeatedly delayed due to logistics and construction issues, has been surrounded with media hype and the burgeoning excitement of future shoppers who can’t wait to get their hands on Topshop duds. With a cult
following that’s been made to wait for months, Topshop can expect a frenzied sell-out when it opens its New York doors next month. As for Barnard students, there’s no doubt that any stylish college student looking for the next best (and cheap) thing will be part of the opening day crowds. Ellie Krupnick is a Barnard sophomore and Bulletin staff writer.
From Barnard to Bedbugs The bedbug and I have a lot in common. We both love springtime weather and late night snacking under the covers. When either of us does something wrong, we retreat into hiding. Do bedbugs share my passion for clothes? You decide, but remember that a group of the insects infested the fashion department of Marie Claire last year. (If they bear any responsibility for ending the metallic legging trend of ’08, we should thank them.) I actually feel sorry for the little guys—wouldn’t it be awful if your telltale hickeys got you blacklisted across the city? Before I take the comparison any further, and in the process lose my friends, boyfriend, and next year’s housing privileges, let me clarify: unlike a Barnard woman, the bedbug’s diet and reproductive practices warrant stigmatization and even, at times, fumigation. Edward Cullen of Twilight may have made bloodsucking sexy again, but New Yorkers prefer vampires to vermin. Bedbugs are malicious minisurgeons, not megastar sex symbols. They inject anticoagulants and anesthetics when they bite, keeping a host’s blood flowing into their tiny, reddish brown bodies until they are sated. Bedbug bites can look much like mosquito bites or razor burn, but the telltale sign that you have
been bitten is the pattern of three bumps in a row: breakfast, lunch and dinner. These bugs reproduce by means of (not joking here) “traumatic insemination.” In recent years, the United States has seen a 500% increase in the bedbug population. New York City in particular has been subject to a growing rate of infestations. Spring, for some New Yorkers, despite its balmy weather and longer days, heralds the rediscovery of many unseemly evils: how much you’ll pay in taxes, the discrepancy between your actual size and last year’s bathing suit size… and what may be lurking under your mattress. Before you reach for your bottle of Clorox (or Ambien, if you fear you will never be able to “sleep tight” again after reading this article), you should be aware that bedbugs do not necessarily gravitate toward filthy environments. A hipster’s den of debauchery with day old Thai takeout is no more susceptible to infestation as the chichi, impeccablyclean Hearst Corporation building in midtown. Like wayward college students, bedbugs are capricious critters, whose unpredictable behavior is especially frightening to Type-A city dwellers. Bedbugs have made a successful comeback, in part because they are economical, cosmopolitan travelers known to hitch rides in the suitcases and
By Emma Brockway belongings of foreign visitors coming into the country. Unlike college students, their accommodations are not limited to budget hostels. They have been spotted all over the city. Bedbug mobility and reproduction remain unfettered, since DDT, a synthetic pesticide known to be effective in eradicating bedbug populations, is no longer used to treat infestations, due to its unfortunate relationship with human health. You can’t deny the resilience or resourcefulness of a bedbug, but there’s no need to forego sleep or contemplate a move to suburbia. After all, this is New York City: the little guy, no matter how clever or crafty, always gets literally and figuratively squashed. Next time you’re in a subway car that doesn’t feature an advertisement for Dr. Zizmor or Damages, you’ll probably notice a few ads for exterminators promising a swift removal of bedbugs and thus a return to sound sleep practices. Added bonus: some exterminators have begun to use dogs (like the adorable ones featured in a recent New York Times article about bedbug extermination) as a source of detection. If you are an unlucky host to bedbugs, you can now get puppy love and a clean apartment… if the mutts don’t bring in fleas.
Emma Brockway is a Barnard junior and Bulletin New York City Living Editor.
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Barnard Women and Service
I am a Barnard alumna from the class of 2006 and the cochair of the City Year New York Alumni Board. Before coming to Barnard I deferred a year to serve as a City Year Corps Member in Boston. City Year is a national non-profit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world. As tutors, mentors, and role models, we make a difference in the lives of children and transform schools and neighborhoods across the United States. City Year is a proud member of AmeriCorps.
“We are not the exception, but the rule: Barnard women serving our communities, leading the way to stronger neighborhoods throughout New York City and beyond!” During my senior year of college two of my friends asked me about my work with City Year; they were planning to apply and wanted an insider’s opinion. I shared my experience with them and by next fall, both Nicole Tsang and Maris Goodstein were serving with City Year. They used leadership skills learned at Barnard to attain positions as “Service Leaders,” heading up a team of Corps Members in a school each day. After their Corps year, both Maris and Nicole stayed at
By Hannah Roth ’06
City Year New York in staff positions. As a Program Manager, Nicole supervises teams of young people in service, improving programming, and coordinating the middle and high school programs. Maris works with the Development team as a Corporate Relations Manager to secure City Year’s financial health. In my role as Alumni Board co-chair, I have had the pleasure of working with these wonderful Barnard women in their new capacity as change makers. Last year, the City Year team gained a new Barnard addition: Danielle Wolfe. Danielle was also a Service Leader and is now on staff as a Program Manager. This year a former City Year Corps Member, Aviva Stampfer, started her freshmen year at Barnard, increasing our City Year New York/Barnard team to 5. With Obama calling on the nation to serve in his upcoming inaugural address, this could be a great time to profile our fivewoman City Year/Barnard team. We are not the exception, but the rule: Barnard women serving our communities, leading the way to stronger neighborhoods throughout New York City and beyond! Sincerely, Hannah Roth Barnard ’06 City Year New York Alumni Co-Chair Editor’s Note: Both the House and the Senate recently voted in favor of a bill that nearly triples the AmeriCorps program over the next eight years. Additionally, City Year hired five seniors from the class of 2009 after this letter was written.
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