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The Cavalier Daily Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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Volume 123, No. 79 Distribution 10,000

Cavs rule home court Virginia embraces 15-game JPJ win streak, hosts No. 3 Duke Thursday By Fritz Metzinger

Cavalier Daily Sports Editor Ask most fans and analysts what ACC college basketball venue features the most intimidating crowd atmosphere, and “Cameron Indoor Stadium” usually rolls off the tongue. Duke , who will visit Charlottesville for a clash with Virginia Thursday evening , undoubtedly owes some of its perennial college basketball preeminence to the luxury of playing at Cameron Indoor, where the 10,000seat capacity and noisy acoustics enable raucous partisan crowds to inundate opposing

players with earsplitting jeers and cheers. Comparing any other arena in the nation, much less the ACC, to Duke’s famous home digs more often than not invites skepticism and scorn. But in 2013, one ACC team is thriving at home to a degree even Blue Devils fans must respect. The stadium? A sevenyear-old, 15,000-seat facility by the name of John Paul Jones Arena, where coach Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers have won 15 straight contests — with all but three of those triumphs featuring double-digit margins. Fittingly, Virginia will play its first sold-out contest at “JPJ”

Thursday against the program that personifies home-court advantage. “It’s going to be bananas in here,” senior point guard Jontel Evans said. “Electric, crazy, any adjective you can find, that’s what it’s going to be.” Often lauded for its stateof-the-art amenities and dual function as an enjoyable concert venue, John Paul Jones Arena — named neither for the iconic American naval hero nor the Led Zeppelin bassist but for the father of a wealthy donor Please see Basketball, Page A5

Jenna Truong | Cavalier Daily

StudCo makes bylaw changes Unanimous vote approves first major changes to organization’s legistlative proceedings in 34 years By Kelly Kaler

Cavalier Daily News Editor

Jenna Truong | Cavalier Daily

Under the new bylaws Student Council passed Tuesday, full meetings will occur biweekly instead of weekly. On the off weeks, representatives will meet in small-group committees.

Student Council unanimously passed a new set of bylaws Tuesday evening which will fundamentally change the organization’s meeting structure and seeks to reinvent the organization’s relationship to students . The bill is the most comprehensive set of Council bylaw reforms since 1979, said incoming Council president Eric McDaniel, a third-year College student. With the new reforms, Council members will alternate every other week with subcommittee meetings rather than meeting for legislative sessions

weekly. The four different small committees will consist of a small group of six or seven people to workshop ideas and determine which presentations will be made in front of the entire legislative session. “This way, when [a bill is] presented, it’s already been thought through, [and] questions have been asked,” McDaniel said. “It’s a much more approachable [and efficient] Council with all of the kinks worked out.” The new 30-page bylaws also detail standards of practice for speakers at Council meetings , work to increase students’ Please see Bylaws, Page A3

Men’s squad eyes 6-peat Dominant program seeks unprecedented 14th conference championship since 1999 By Matt Comey

Cavalier Daily Associate Editor The No. 9 Virginia men’s swimming and diving team looks to replicate the results of the No. 11 women’s squad as it travels to Greensboro, N.C. this week seeking a first place finish on the men’s side of the ACC Championship. The Cavalier men (8-1, 3-0 ACC) , like the women, have dominated the conference in recent history, especially at the championship meet. They have captured every ACC title but one since 1999 and are looking to win again for the sixth straight year . The women’s team captured its sixth consecutive con-

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ference title this past weekend, a feat sophomore David Ingraham said only gives the team more confidence. “It really gives us confidence in performing just as well as they did, knowing that we worked just as hard as them in practice.” Ingraham said. “That only bodes well for us in our meet and gives us a huge boost of confidence.” The Virginia men enter the championship meet sitting as sole owners of first place in the conference standings and have already beaten two of the next three teams in dual meet competition. “We had a really good dual meet season this year, so I think

our confidence is at an alltime high right now,” senior Tom Barrett said. “Everyone is feeling really good and really rested. I think everyone is really excited.” The swimming portion of the meet begins Wednesday evening, but the male divers completed their events last weekend. Virginia currently sits in fourth place with 65 points behind Virginia Tech, Duke and Florida State. Virginia is fewer than 30 points behind both the Blue Devils (1-6, 0-5 ACC) and the Seminoles (8-2, 3-1 ACC) , but the Hokies (9-2-1, 3-2-1 ACC) have a firm lead on the rest of Please see Swim & Dive, Page A5

Jenna Truong | Cavalier Daily

Sophomore David Ingraham owns the fastest times in the ACC this season in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley events.

News Desk...................(434)326-3286 Ads Desk......................(434)326-3233 Editor-in-Chief.............(434)249-4744 Additional contact information may be found online at www.cavalierdaily.com

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Comics Opinion Life Health & Science

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Comics Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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DJANGEO BY STEPHEN ROWE

SOLE SURVIVOR BY MICHAEL GILBERTSON

OROSCOPES

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You’re celebrating a job well done. Perhaps not a big job. Maybe a job like washing the dishes or spreading a little sunshine between friends. No, not a big job — but one worth celebrating, nonetheless.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You’re someone who likes to make a little trouble now and then. Raise a few eyebrows. Wake the sleeping. Catch the confident off guard. Mischief is your playmate.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). It’s not a fabulous day for systems working smoothly, technology happening without a glitch or messages imparted as told. However, the important stuff gets done. The rest falls through the cracks.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). If you were to be annoyingly honest, you’d have to admit that your problem amuses you. You chose it for this very reason. And you could undo your choice at any time.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Sometimes a favor is given, no strings attached. Really. Accept and acknowledge the help, and be glad that you have a true friend. Spread the good karma by performing a selfless act for someone in need.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Your activities aren’t random. They’re conscious and purposeful plans. Your involvement in them is a matter of personal pride. Loved ones need to understand this before they go changing everything.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). You want to deliver a flawless performance. But reconsider. Flawless is boring. Part of your charm is that you laugh off your weaknesses and even invite others to join in the chuckle.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Your senses are honed, and your powers of observation are outstanding. That makes it a fine day for people watching. Linger in public places. Notice how souls are revealed through the way people walk, sit and talk.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Friend to the friendless, home to the homeless, cash to the cashless — does it ever stop, this perpetual giving? This afternoon it will, when someone gives back to you. Now you can practice receiving.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Your friends gravitate toward you. They don’t need anything; they only want to be near you. Tonight could feature an entertaining emergency. A simple recipe can get you out of a bind.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Seriousness has its time and place — but that time is not today, and that place is nowhere you should be. Others readily respond to your light and hilarious attitude.

THE ADVENTURES OF THE AMAZING <THE> A-MAN BY EMILIO ESTEBAN

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (Feb. 27). The need to express yourself is overwhelming this year, and you use the impulse to show off in the best, most inspiring way. You’re warmly received. Singles meet new prospects in March. Travel in May lives up to your expectations! Family additions are featured in September. You really hit it off with Taurus and Sagittarius people. Your lucky numbers are: 4, 30, 6, 12 and 39.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You can’t get rich from dreaming up original ideas, but you can get rich by acting on one. Once you state your intention, business details may come at you fast and furious.

GREEK LIFE BY MATT HENSELL

RENAISSANCING BY TIM PRICE

A BUNCH OF BANANAS BY GARRETT MAJDIC & JACK WINTHROP

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation BEAR NECESSITIES BY MAXIMILIAN MEESE & ALEX STOTT

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MOSTLY HARMLESS BY PETER SIMONSEN

For Release Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crossword ACROSS

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___” at a checkpoint 13 Finito 14 Balkan native 15 Jackie Robinson’s alma mater 16 It might start with “Starters” 17 2003 OutKast hit that was #1 for nine weeks 18 Bumpkin 19 Po boy? 22 Female kangaroo 23 & 24 Like Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story” 25 Teen heartthrob Zac 27 To a greater extent 29 L.A. woman?

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For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit nytimes.com/mobilexword for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Share tips: nytimes.com/wordplay. Crosswords for young solvers: nytimes.com/learning/xwords.

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NEWS

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | The Cavalier Daily

Three-Day Weather Forecast

Provided by the Cavalier Weather Service

TODAY High of 57˚

TONIGHT Low of 35˚

TOMORROW High of 51˚

TOMORROW NIGHT Low of 32˚

Partly cloudy skies, with southwesterly winds around 6 to 12 mph. Temperatures warming to the upper 50s.

Partly cloudy skies becoming overcast, with southwesterly winds at 5 to 10mph.

Cloudy skies clearing to partly cloudy, with southwesterly winds becoming northwesterly.

Partly cloudy skies, with temperatures sinking into the lower 30s

After two low pressure systems moved through our area Tuesday, yet another front of low pressure will move through Charlottesville Wednesday and into Thursday. Expect cloudy skies and temperatures cooling from the upper 50s into the upper 40s by Friday.

FRIDAY High of 49˚ Partly cloudy skies, with temperatures increasing to the upper 40s To receive Cavalier Weather Service forecasts via email, contact weather@virginia.edu

College Council hopefuls run unopposed Four top leadership roles remain uncontested for third consecutive year, organization decides ballot through internal dialogue By Sarah Pritchett Cavalier Daily Staff Writer

All four executive positions for College Council are uncontested in this week’s elections,

for the third year in a row.

Third-year College student Christine Miller, current Council vice president who is running unopposed for Council president, said uncontested races are the result of a strong internal dialogue between current executive members and

people interested in the position. “We have a lot of open communication within the executive board and as election season approaches we all discuss with one another what positions we are interested in,” Miller said in an email. Third-year College student Mike Promisel, a student council representative, said though he is not necessarily opposed to the largely self-selected process employed by College Council

members, they need to communicate their process to the student body and explain their reasoning. “Ultimately, the student’s choice, not [an] internal organization’s, is what student self-governance is about,” Promisel said. Miller said the internal process was a proven way to ensure a productive student governing body. “If the reason elections are uncontested is because the people who know and have

worked with those individuals feel they will do the absolute best job, then I feel it is probably what is best for the organization,” Miller said. “Of course, I don’t think anyone should be told they cannot [or] should not run for a position against another candidate if they want to.” Members who work closely together in the Council for a term develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their colleagues,

Miller said. If someone feels less suited for a position than another candidate, they will likely decide not to run, Miller said, but that does not rule out the potential for contested races. “Should two people feel they both strongly want to run for a position, they are more than welcome to,” Miller said. “We do not tell anyone they cannot run against someone else if they are interested in doing so.”

City considers redeveloping local housing Charlottesville commissions consulting architects to evaluate buildings’ condition, potential for structural improvements By Andrew D’Amato

Cavalier Daily Associate Editor Charlottesville City Council has hired a team of consulting architects to evaluate whether several public housing projects and a private apartment complex in the city would benefit from redevelopment and structural improvements. The areas being evaluated are between Avon Street and Ridge Street, bounded by the Downtown Mall on the North and continuing just past Elliott Avenue on the South.

The Charlottesville Public Housing Authority of Residents is taking an active role in any redevelopment projects in the area to make sure residents have an opportunity to voice opinions before any changes are enacted. “This is something that is going to affect residents’ public housing, and we need to make sure that what [City Council] does is something they want to happen,” PHAR Organizer Brandon Collins. “We know that they will come up with ideas that will not benefit people overall. We

need to be there to make sure residents have a clear, strong voice.” Architects did a first round sight tour of the area to evaluate any physical barriers to redevelopment and to locate spots which will require more attention, Collins said. “It is a big area,” said Collins. “They’re looking to improve connectivity and to develop the area to provide some more economic opportunity for people in this area.” Council will be creating a steering committee full of local

University’s systems engineering masters program partners with VMI, National Science Foundation

Jenna Truong Cavalier Daily

By Jordan Bower

The Engineering School’s Accelerated Systems Engineering Master’s Program is looking to increase recruitment of military veterans and alumni of military graduates. The oneyear program is designed for

ment and business folks who want a chunk of land to make money,” said Collins. “They will come up with these ideas and sell them to residents to get people behind it, and we can’t let people be fooled by this. There are lots of big interests in this that need to be balanced by the interests of the residents in the neighborhood.” Collins believes the final recommendation will be ready by June. The report will provide a planned course of action for redevelopment, including zoning proposals.

E-school recruits military veterans

The masters program will hold classes on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be comprehensive discussion sessions on those days. In one year, participants will have obtained a master’s degree in systems engineering.

Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

residents to see whether or not they support changes to the area. Collins said PHAR would make sure resident involvement “is more than just rubber stamping.” Residents’ voices must be legitimately considered by Council because some players in the redevelopment project may have interests at stake that rival those of the area’s residents, Collins said. But so far, the project architects have been very honest with the people involved with the study, he added. “There are a lot of develop-

people working full-time to earn 33 credits predominately through intensive Friday and Saturday courses. The University will pair with the Virginia Military Institute after receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation that aims to increase the number of science, technology

and engineering majors in the workforce. The program also works to ensure those leaving the military have the opportunity to pursue higher education, in order to be competitive in the job market, VMI spokesperson Colonel Stewart MacInnis said. “Usually more than half of

the members of a graduating class enter the military, but only about 16 percent of VMI alumni make the military a lifelong career,” Stewart said in an email. “Most serve a tour and then begin a civilian career. VMI has developed memoranda of understanding with a number of graduate schools and a number of disciplines to allow its graduates to continue their education.” MacInnis said the University program, which typically enrolls between 30 and 40 students, would also benefit from having students with realworld and military experience in the classroom. Graduates of the program

typically seek careers in a wide variety of specialized fields including positions in the defense industry, the banking industry and hospital administration, said Assoc. Engineering Prof. Michael Smith, the director of the accelerated program. “Systems engineers are problem solvers trying to use data and analysis to try and make better-informed decisions,” Smith said. “Systems Engineers solve problems that involve multiple subsystems and components, and we focus on how we can make sure that all the pieces are working together well to try to solve the problem.”

Bylaws | McDaniel hopes for more efficient leadership Continued from page A1 ability to voice concerns to the Council and bring the regulations up to date with Council practice, McDaniel said. “[The old bylaws were] out of date with the way Student Council operates, and going into the coming term we wanted to change and improve efficiency to better equip the

representatives to advocate for students, pass CIO bills [and] approve budgets, [among other things],” he said. Council’s old set of bylaws had dated requirements that created numerous inefficiencies, frustrating both Council members and CIOs, McDaniel said. “I mean, these were preemail bylaws,” he said. “A lot has changed.”

The reforms were presented by McDaniel along with fellow Council representatives fourthyear Engineering student Alex Reber , third-year College student Michael Promisel and graduate Arts & Sciences student Adam Lees. The four were part of a committee developed last year to update Council bylaws, though all members of Council were asked for input in

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the drafting of the reforms. Outgoing Council president Johnny Vroom, a fourth-year College student , praised the reforms for improving the organization of Council operations. “[The bylaws reform committee members] really took the reigns ... they put in so many hours meticulously combing through the old, antiquated

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bylaws and coming up with a more modern, streamlined set for our purposes today,” Vroom said. “To be honest, it’s something I wish I would have come up with when I took the job a year ago.” McDaniel said he hopes these reforms will help Council quell common concerns about a lack of representativeness and a lack of initiative.


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sports

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | The Cavalier Daily

Virginia tops Mount, 18-11 Cockerton, Emery score 10 goals combined; rain forces move to Turf Field

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

Junior midfielder Rob Emery scored four goals in as many shots against Mount St. Mary’s Tuesday and also added an assist for a 5-point night.

By Zack Bartee

Cavalier Daily Senior Associate Editor Though the rain necessitated a move from the familiar confines of Klöckner Stadium to the University Hall Turf Field, the No. 6 Virginia men’s lacrosse team came away with a 18-11 victory against Mount St. Mary’s Tuesday evening to remain undefeated. “When I was standing up at Klöckner at 5:00 ... the water was over my shoes,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “[But] we’re generally a group that is fairly resilient and handles these changes pretty well.” The Cavaliers (4-0) held a 10-0 record all-time against the Mountaineers (2-2) coming into the game, but it was the visitors who got on the board first in a sloppy first quarter. The Mount’s leading assist man, senior attackman Andrew Scalley, found fellow senior attackman Brett Schmidt right on the crease for an easy goal at the 9:06 mark.

Virginia played from behind for more than five minutes until senior defenseman Harry Prevas picked up the ball on a failed Mountaineer clear and pushed the pace in transition, hitting sophomore midfielder Ryan Tucker for a score from in close at 3:24. Junior attackman Mark Cockerton then continued his hot start to the season, picking a bounce pass from senior midfielder Matt White off the turf and ripping an underhanded shot past Mt. Saint Mary’s sophomore goalie Adam Borgogelli for a man-up goal with 2:36 left in the quarter. Sophomore midfielder Mick Parks won the ensuing faceoff and quickly found redshirt junior attackman Nick O’Reilly, who dumped the ball to Cockerton for his second goal in seven seconds. Cockerton tied his career-high with six goals on the night, bringing his team-leading total to 17 for the season. “I have a lot of confidence

going right now,” Cockerton said. “That’s probably the main thing. Guys are looking for me a lot. They know I have ... the hot hand right now. I’m just getting open and putting it in the back of the net.” But the Mount struck first again in the second quarter when redshirt senior midfielder Eric Ososki inverted behind the net and then beat his defender around the crease to close the gap to one goal at the 12:56 mark. The Cavaliers would push the margin back to two goals 13 seconds later in a bizarre turn of events. During the subsequent faceoff, the two teams fought for possession of a loose ball down inside the Mountaineers’ box when Borgogelli came out of the crease in an attempt to scoop the ball. The ball squirted by the Mount’s goaltender and across the goal line, and Parks was credited with the unassisted goal. Then Rob Emery took over. The junior midfielder first blew a sidearm shot by Borgogelli at 9:58 off Cockerton’s lone assist of the game. After redshirt freshman midfielder Greg Coholan hit freshman attackman James Pannell cutting across the crease to make it 6-2 and Mount St. Mary’s senior midfielder Daniel Stranix answered with a bounce shot in tight, Emery found the twine again. O’Reilly moved the ball from down low to Emery at the top of the box with just inside of seven minutes to go in the second quarter, and Emery buried an overhand rip. Two minutes later, O’Reilly, who finished with four assists, received a pass behind the goal off a pick and roll and again found Emery,

who converted to make the score 8-3. “Our attackmen were doing a really good job of drawing the attention of the defense,” Emery said. “I rolled over the top a couple times and Nick O’Reilly made a bunch of really great looks ... catching the defensemen sloughing down, and I was able to put the ball in the cage.” Stranix fired a shot from the top right of the box inside the near pipe and past freshman goalie Dan Marino to cut the lead to four at 2:01, but Emery drove down the left alley and bounced his fourth goal of the quarter by Borgogelli with less than a minute left before halftime. But a Prevas slash penalty would give the Mount a man-up opportunity, and Schmidt would hit Ososki for another goal right on the crease with 0:16 left in the half. “I’m a little concerned about our play defensively away from the ball,” Starsia said. “I don’t worry that much about the goals where they isolated our midfielders behind [the net] and came around and stuck a couple, but they were able to find some guys open away from the ball that still concerns me.” Coming out of the break, redshirt senior attackman Cody Lehrer kept the Mountaineers close when he bounced a shot between Marino’s legs to cut the lead to 9-6. One minute later, Virginia redshirt sophomore attackman Owen Van Arsdale scored off an O’Reilly assist, and another minute after that, Van Arsdale beat his man around the crease for his second goal. The squads continued to trade goals throughout the third quarter, with Scalley, Lehrer and

Schmidt each tallying goals for the Mount, while O’Reilly and Cockerton scored for Virginia. The Cavaliers held a 13-9 lead entering the final quarter. Cockerton opened the quarter by scoring two consecutive goals off assists from Van Arsdale in the first four minutes and later scored the Cavaliers’ final goal during a stall warning at 4:52. Tucker face dodged past his man to bounce a shot into the back of the goal at the 7:33 mark, and White recorded his ninth goal of the season shortly thereafter from the right wing on an assist from Emery. “We’re all working together as a team,” Cockerton said. “This year we don’t have that superstar guy, so we’re all working together as a team and ... they can’t really guard us, because everyone’s doing their own thing.” Though Schmidt and his brother, senior midfielder Bryant Schmidt each scored for the Mount, Virginia’s lead proved too large to overcome. The Cavaliers held a 51-34 margin in total shots, marking the fourth time this season they have outshot their opponent. The team averages 55.5 shots per game, a significant increase from last season. “I think it’s a big factor and it’s something that we stressed over the course of the offseason,” Emery said. “With the rule changes that came along this year we wanted to play a little more up-tempo, and move from shooting somewhere in the [range of] 30 shots per game to closer to the 50s. The evidence speaks for itself so far, I think we’ve been doing a really good job of that.”

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sports

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | The Cavalier Daily

Cavaliers remain unbeaten Rescheduled midweek matchup pits 7-0 squad against winless George Washington By Michael Eilbacher Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

If this past weekend proved anything, it was that the No. 19 Virginia baseball team has started its season off on the right foot. For the players, though, their early season dominance is no surprise, and they are excited to keep their unbeaten streak alive Wednesday as they host George Washington at Davenport Field. “We knew we had the talent,” said Nick Howard, sophomore pitcher and third baseman. “We just had to go out there and prove it. In the clubhouse, we all knew we had the talent to do this.” The Cavaliers (7-0) have certainly proved their talent in the early goings of the season, thoroughly outperforming their competition both on the mound and at the plate. They have outscored their opponents 73-19 on the year, thanks in large part to a .323 team batting average and a starting pitching staff that has allowed just three earned runs and is currently working on a 29.1-inning shutout streak. The two sides of the Virginia success reinforce each other, and when they are both clicking, the team is unstoppable. “When we know we have this kind of offense, it’s pretty easy to go out there and try and fill up the [strike] zone,” Howard said. “We know those bats are going to come alive sooner or later, so

it definitely makes my job [as a pitcher] a little easier.” Howard has done his part both on the hill and at the plate, going 1-0 without allowing an earned run in his two starts as a pitcher and batting .400 with six RBIs in five games at third base. The Cavaliers’ pitching success is arguably the more surprising facet of the game, given the makeup of the roster. Three out of the four starters and five of the eight relievers Virginia has used so far this season are freshman, which has put a lot of pressure on starting catcher Nate Irving to call a good game each time out. The sophomore has started every game this season and the pitchers credit him with strong leadership behind the plate. “He just guides the pitchers into that zone with what he preaches when he comes up to the mound,” Howard said. “You feel confident after talking with him.” Irving, though young for a player being lauded by the pitchers as a critical voice of wisdom behind the plate, has a wealth of experience to offer from his own development last season. “Nate Irving had a really good year for us last year, catching practically every game for us as a true freshman, and that experience that he had last year is certainly valuable to him this year and our ballclub,” coach Brian O’Connor said. “He knows what we want, he knows what

the pitchers need to do to have success and he’s certainly doing a great job of leading our team from behind the plate. We don’t have a whole lot of options because a couple of the freshman catchers are dinged up and not able to catch, but when they get healthy, hopefully we’ll be able to spell him and not wear him down too much.” Irving prides himself on developing a good relationship with his pitchers, and he believes his cohesion with them has allowed the young staff to perform beyond their years in the opening weeks of the season. “I think we all get to know each other as a team,” Irving said. “I feel definitely that this team has come together really well, even more so than last year. We have a lot of guys who are around the same age group — a lot of sophomores, a lot of freshmen. I think we’re all in it for each other, and that’s been the biggest thing so far.” The Cavaliers will have their next opportunity to perform when they take the field Wednesday afternoon against George Washington (0-5), an opponent they were supposed to face Tuesday before inclement weather forced the teams to delay their affair by a day. The Colonials come into the game on the opposite side of the spectrum of success relative to Virginia, having dropped their first five games of the season. They are coming

M Basketball | JPJ attendance

falters despite remarkable run Continued from page A1

— has never played host to such sublime basketball from its men’s team since opening for the 2006-07 season. Virginia compiled a respectable 63-31 record at home since 2009-10, with Bennett posting a 35-15 mark since arriving in Charlottesville in 2009. Yet, the Cavaliers have never dispatched their opponents as decisively as this season with the backing of its partisan crowd. The squad is thrashing opponents by an average of 18.7 points and holding adversaries from the offensively-oriented ACC to an absurdly meager 49.1 points per game. Most astoundingly of all though, Virginia is steamrolling visiting foes at such a record rate during a season in which the school has toiled to boost the lowest average attendance in the arena’s seven-year history. With just 9,182 patrons per game, the Cavaliers have drawn inspiration for their scintillating home performances from a modestly sized but rowdy core of spirited fans. “It gives us a lot of confidence,” Evans said. “Our fans are like the sixth man out there.” While disclaiming he still needed to analyze Virginia’s p l ay o n f i l m , D u ke c o a c h Mike Krzyzewski — whose

440-58 home record as the Blue Devils’ coach implies a degree of wisdom on the subject — conjectured that Bennett has constructed his squad in a manner which galvanizes home crowds. “Your fans would really love a team the way that Tony put his team together,” Krzyzewski said. “So they’re going to have even a little bit more confidence [at home].” For all that home excellence, however, Virginia remains on the fringe of NCAA Tournament qualification thanks to an uninspiring record away from the comforts of JPJ. The Cavaliers are just 3-7 outside of Charlottesville, including a neutralcourt loss to lowly Old Dominion. When the setting shifts, the elite defensive discipline and prolific outside shooting which fuel Virginia’s home play too often dissipate, as the recent two-game road losing streak against North Carolina and Miami exhibited. The drastic discrepancy between Virginia’s home and road play could stem partly from the five inexperienced, impressionable first-year players who regularly participate in Bennett’s rotation — freshmen Justin Anderson, Evan Nolte, Mike Tobey and Taylor Barnette and redshirt freshman Teven Jones. Blessed with significant

playing time in their debut seasons, the quintet has shot 46 percent at John Paul Jones Arena but just 41.8 percent elsewhere. Compare that to junior guard and seasoned starter Joe Harris, who is shooting just two percentage points lower and actually averages three more points — 18.6 to 15.5 — per game away from home. Krzyzewski said the JPJ support and stabilizing influence of upperclassmen leaders such as Evans and Harris likely has a disproportionately positive effect on the Cavaliers’ young guns. “The younger you are, it helps you a bit more,” Krzyzewski said. That Virginia thrives much more at home than on the road hardly represents a unique phenomenon though. Combined, the five teams with winning records in ACC play so far this season have dropped a total of three games at home this season. NC State and North Carolina both fell to No. 5 Miami at home, while the Cavaliers faltered 59-53 against CAA also-ran Delaware Nov. 13. Rather than receiving some special boost from the John Paul Jones fans, Virginia may just be exemplifying a trend sweeping across the conference and the country: it’s

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

Sophomore catcher Nate Irving has played an instrumental role in guiding Virginia’s young pitching staff to a 2.14 ERA.

out of a weekend road trip to South Carolina Upstate where they were outscored 17-4 during a three-game series. The team is batting just .185 on the season and will look to bounce back against Virginia’s freshman Trey Oest, making his second start of the year. Oest dazzled spectators in last week’s win against St. Peter’s, allowing just one hit in six score-

less innings to pick up the win in his collegiate debut. The righty showed off his big-time stuff against an overmatched lineup, and his team is confident he can impress again. “I’m just expecting Trey Oest to throw like he’s capable of,” Irving said. “If he throws like he’s capable of, then the results will take care of themselves.” First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Quote of The Week “They put their shorts on just like we do. If we come in here with the mindset that we can play with these guys and we’re connecting on all cylinders and doing the things we’re capable of doing, then we should come out with the win.” --Senior point guard Jontel Evans on Virginia’s matchup against No. 3 Duke looming Thursday

simply getting harder to beat a competitive team on the road these days. Still, fans and players who have experienced the JPJ atmosphere this season have consistently lauded the crowd for offering a pivotal, tangible advantage to Virginia. “It’s the fans,” Evans said. “When we’re in a slump, they just rev it up and get loud out of nowhere and it just raises our level of play.”

And though they may not yet wield the influence associated with the “Cameron Crazies,” the JPJ faithful — in abundant numbers, this time — may at long last spur Bennett and Virginia to their 16th consecutive home victory against Duke Thursday. “It’s nice to see that the crowd’s really rallying behind these guys,” Bennett said. “It has to make a difference, without a doubt.”

Swim & Dive | Florida State, Virginia Tech lead upset bids Continued from page A1 the pack with 138 points. “We already know where we stand relative to the diving scores going in,” coach Mark Bernardino said. “That’s the most points we’ve scored in diving in a very long time, so we’re really thrilled about where we stand ... Unfortunately, Virginia Tech had a monster diving meet and really put up a significant amount of points on the board. We’ll just have to do the best we can to chip away at that lead.” Sophomore JB Kolod led the way for the Cavalier divers, finishing fourth in 1-meter diving, third in 3-meter diving and eighth in the platform event. Kolod was joined by freshman Carl Buergler as the only other Virginia diver to compete. Similar to the women’s team, the Virginia men boast a plethora of swimmers who can legitimately contend for individual conference titles. Only four

events do not feature a Cavalier among the three fastest times posted in the ACC this season and only two events do not include a Cavalier in the top six. And after a few weeks of tapering, Bernardino expects those time will only improve. “I would be very disappointed if we didn’t swim a lot of lifetime bests at this meet,” Bernardino said. “We’ve pointed at this. This is what we’ve peaked for. This is what we put our heart and soul in for.” In sprint freestyle events, the Cavaliers will be led by Barrett, with help from sophomore Jake Pearce. Barrett holds the conference-leading time in the 200 this season, and his 50 and 100 times are good for sixth- and third-best, respectively. Pearce ranks No. 12 in the 50 and No. 10 in the 100 this season. “I’d personally like to go best times in all my events,” Barrett said. “I’m feeling good in the water at the moment. Obviously I’d like to place pretty high in

the 200, and see how high I can get in the 50 and 100 — there are some really fast guys from Florida State.” The Cavaliers’ forte will likely be the distance freestyle events. Junior Parker Camp posted the third best conference time in the 200 this season, and the junior duo of Jan Daniec and Brad Phillips have been exceptionally reliable point-scorers in the 500, 1000 and 1650. Daniec posts the first, third and second fastest ACC times on the season in those three events, respectively, and Phillips enters ACCs as the fourth, second and sixth fastest, respectively. “I think we’ll be very strong in the 500 free and the mile [1650],” Bernardino said. “The distance guys are terrific athletes. But it’s such a competitive conference that every team has a guy that can win every event.” In the other strokes, the Cavaliers will look to dominate the backstroke and individual

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medley events. Virginia holds five of the conference’s 10 fastest times of the season in the 100 back, led by junior Jack Murfee in third. In the 200 back, four Cavaliers rank in the top 10 on the year, including freshman Luke Papendick and senior Brady Fox, who are both among the top four. Ingraham leads the conference in both the 200 IM and 400 IM on the year, and is joined by a slew of other Cavaliers ranking in the top 10 in both those events. “For me, I’d definitely like to win my events, but just for the sake of getting points for the team,” Ingraham said. “I’ll also try to advance to NCAAs in March, which is a really big goal for a lot of the guys of the team. We’re trying to swim fast just for the points and to make a big statement on the national scene.” Among the other teams in attendance at the meet, Bernardino believes Virginia will face

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its greatest competition from Virginia Tech and Florida State. The Hokies finished second to Virginia at last year’s ACC Championship and the Seminoles are the only other team besides Virginia to win an ACC title in the last 12 years. The Cavaliers defeated Virginia Tech in a dual meet in late January but did not face Florida State. “Florida State has their best team since their championship team of 2007,” Bernardino said. “This a very good and very dangerous Florida State team.” The swimming portion of the meet begins Wednesday and will continue through Saturday night. “As a team, we’re definitely pretty confident and expect to win,” Ingraham said. “We know that we have some formidable opponents, but we’re looking forward to racing those guys and the opportunity to have a competitive meet. We’re definitely expecting to come out on top.”


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Opinion Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Cavalier Daily “For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” —Thomas Jefferson

Kaz Komolafe Editor-in-Chief Charlie Tyson Caroline Houck Executive Editor Managing Editor Meghan Luff Kiki Bandlow Operations Manager Chief Financial Officer

An unwelcome editor

The University Board of Elections should not have revised referenda language approved by more than 2,100 students The University Board of Elections’ decision to alter the text of a proposed amendment to the Honor Committee’s constitution before voting started Monday raises questions of fairness. Second-year Law student Frank Bellamy this month put forth a referendum that offered an alternative to the Committee’s Restore the Ideal Act. Bellamy’s referendum supports informed retraction but not jury reform. While the Committee has served up these two components as a package deal, Bellamy sought to extricate the reforms, presenting students in favor of informed retraction but uneasy about jury reform with an appealing alternative. Bellamy wasn’t alone in thinking the reforms should be voted on separately. His amendment garnered roughly 2,100 signatures, landing it a spot on the ballot. When penning his proposal, however, Bellamy got his shoelaces snared in the Committee’s bylaws. Informed retraction as defined in the Committee’s proposal takes place early in the case process. After receiving a notice letter formally accusing them of an honor offense students have a week to submit an informed retraction — before the Committee launches an investigation. Bellamy’s proposal, before the UBE revised it, offered the informed retraction as an option for an “accused” student. In the Committee’s bylaws, a student is not considered “accused” until an investigative panel votes to formally accuse him or her. If Bellamy’s proposal were to pass in its original language, students would potentially have the option to weigh evidence against them before deciding whether to submit an informed retraction. Honesty would give way to self-interest. The problem was a matter of one word and thousands of signatures. So the UBE brandished its red pen to change “accused” to “informed” in Bellamy’s proposal. The word change aligned Bellamy’s referendum with the informed-retraction option put forth in the Restore the Ideal Act. Bellamy affirmed that the change was consistent with his intentions — and, he believes, the intentions of the 2,100 students who flocked to sign his original amendment. We don’t doubt that the UBE’s language change aligns Bellamy’s proposal with his intentions and the intentions of most students who signed. But is it the UBE’s role to fix errors to satisfy intentions? The UBE’s action

sets a disconcerting precedent. Determining intention is difficult. Whether all of the 2,100 or so who supported Bellamy’s original measure approve of the UBE’s change is a tough claim to sustain. A few with knowledge of the Committee’s workings might have wanted informed retraction to come later in the process. And if the UBE’s change would cause a signee to revoke her support, can her signature, which helped the measure nab a spot on the ballot, still count? The Committee’s constitution requires that 10 percent of the student body sign a petition for an amendment to be placed on the ballot in a University-wide election. Some 21,095 students are currently on Grounds. If the UBE change were to cause even a fraction of Bellamy’s signees to withdraw their support, his proposal’s spot on the ballot would no longer be valid. Retroactively changing the proposal’s language makes any claims about intention disputable. One can guess at others’ intentions, but one cannot definitively ascribe intentions based on speculation. But the question of whether the language change honors the signees’ intentions or impacts the legitimacy of signatures is a side concern. More pressing is the matter of process. For the UBE to change referenda language that could enact something potentially illegal, or something the Board of Visitors would undoubtedly reject, might be justified. But should the UBE change already-approved referenda language in response to the intentions of students who submit proposals? Bellamy’s error is forgivable. The distinction between “accused” and “informed” is hazy for those not immersed in honor proceedings. But the Committee posted the full text of the Restore the Ideal Act online in late January, said Committee Chair Stephen Nash, a fourth-year College student. Bellamy submitted his proposal in mid-February, which gave him a few weeks to review his amendment’s language to make sure it was in accordance with the Committee’s reforms. The UBE should have let Bellamy’s error stand rather than risk overreaching. Though the UBE’s own intentions were surely pure, retroactively intervening in referenda language makes assumptions about others’ intentions that cannot be confirmed. If 2,100 students sign off on referenda language, that language should not be unilaterally changed before it hits the ballot.

Editorial Cartoon by Stephen Rowe

Featured online reader comment “Actually back in the 1970’s, a series of candidates ran for office on the express platform of “I will vote not guilty in every trial,” and one even ran a counter-campaign of “I will vote guilty in every trial,” and a number of these candidates won!...”

“Bob,” responding to Nick Hine’s Feb. 25 guest column, “Reforming a perspective.”

Letters to the editor A simple misunderstanding Opponents to the proposed honor reforms do, in fact, comprehend the reforms’ content In an op-ed published Monday, second-year honor advisor Nick Hine writes that “anti-honor rhetoric has its roots in common misunderstandings ... Kyle Schnoebelen’s denigration of the Honor Committee represents a larger problem in the overall honor debate” (“Reforming a perspective,” Feb. 25). Basically, he attributes the entirety of my argument in the Feb. 19 op-ed piece, “Restoring an ideal community of trust,” to my alleged belief that honor juries function the exact same way as criminal juries. Ah, me so stupid! Why didn’t I realize?! Repent, and ye shall be saved! Just to be clear: myself, the Student Honor Caucus, law professors Josh Bowers and Kim Forde-Mazrui, and most of those writing in opposition were and are well aware that honor juries function differently from criminal juries. The fact remains, however, that the verdict remains in the hands of this jury. That its proce-

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dural function differs from criminal trials does nothing to alter our concerns about the “representative” nature of the Honor Committee, or the projection of the consensus of an insulated few on the rest of the University that will result from the replacement of a random jury with an elected tribunal. It does nothing to alter the dire implications for the community of trust. It is not surprising, however, that an Honor Committee which regards the average University student as incapable of functioning as a full member of the community of trust would chalk up all opposition to a lack of understanding. Of course they do. It’s pretty simple, really. The only reason the ignorant masses could possibly disagree with this brilliant proposal is our regrettable susceptibility to “misconceptions.” Kyle Schnoebelen is a master’s student in the Batten School.

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The Cavalier Daily is a financially and editorially independent newspaper staffed and managed entirely by students of the University of Virginia. The opinions expressed in the Cavalier Daily are not necessarily those of the students, faculty, staff or administration of the University of Virginia. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Managing Board. Cartoons and columns represent the views of the authors. The Managing Board of the Cavalier Daily has sole authority over and responsibility for the newspaper’s content. No part of The Cavalier Daily or The Cavalier Daily Online Edition may be reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the editor-in-chief. The Cavalier Daily is published Mondays through Fridays during the school year (except holidays and examination periods) and on at least 40 percent recycled paper. The first five copies of The Cavalier Daily are free, each additional copy costs $1. The Cavalier Daily Online Edition is updated after the print edition goes to press and is publicly accessible via the Internet at www.cavalierdaily.com. © 2011 The Cavalier Daily, Inc.

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STAFF Assistant Managing Editors Matt Comey, Andrew Elliott Associate Copy Editor Megan Kazlauskas

Skin care

The federal government needs to regulate tanning salons to mitigate misinformation, risk The Food and Drug Administra- and examination gloves. Such a as 10 years old to tan. Granted, Missouri has no tantion exists to regulate products and classification is a major mistake. protect consumers from ingesting Tanning beds simulate the sun’s ning regulations and may be an dangerous substances. And it is ultraviolet rays. More stringent extreme case when it comes to time the FDA exerted more influ- guidelines should be applied to tanning salon irresponsibility. ence into a new area, one that ensure that people are not being Nevertheless, the Missouri tanning bombarded with industry serves as an indication involves neither ALEX YAHANDA u n a n t i c i p a t e d of how dangerous tanning busifood nor drugs. As levels of UV radia- nesses can become if they are not of now, the FDA SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR tion as a result of subjected to proper oversight. The is responsible for poor manufactur- medical community universally advising people on the risks presented by indoor tan- ing. Labels warning consumers acknowledges the dangers posed ning. It has not actively sought of a tanning bed’s negative side by prolonged exposure to UV light. to enforce tanning safety. The effects are not sufficient protec- Indoor tanning does nothing but increase those dangers, as people regulation of the tanning industry tion. What is perhaps even more dis- are exposed to UV radiation often is currently done on a state-bystate basis, which has resulted in turbing than the lack of regulation without protection while seeking glaring inconsistencies in safety for tanning beds is the misinforma- to receive tans over an accelermeasures from state to state. That tion many tanning salons spread. ated timeframe. Zero-risk tanning does not exist. needs to change, and the FDA, or A s t u d y o f “Tanning beds are currently Experts estisome other government agency, Missouri tanmate that up should begin regulating tanning ning salons classified as only Class I to 20 percent performed by salons on a national scale. Tanning has grown into a $5 the Washing- medical devices. That means of Americans tanning beds are regulated may be diagbillion dollar industry, and 30 ton Univermillion Americans visit tanning sity in Saint as strongly as bandages and nosed with skin cancer salons every year. Moreover, the Louis Medical examination gloves.” during the frequency with which Americans School procourse of their are visiting tanning salons is duced alarmon the rise. Unfortunately, this ing results. Forty-three percent lives. Among younger Americans, trend is especially strong among of the surveyed salons adver- who constitute the demographic younger people, most notably tised to their customers that tan- most likely to go tanning, melaning involved no risk whatsoever. noma — the deadliest kind of skin women. The tanning industry, though it Other salons claimed that their cancer — is now the third-most is large and growing, involves a customers would experience no common cancer. To have a tanning salon claim troubling lack of regulation. Tan- risk if they followed the proper ning beds are currently classified steps, and only 20 percent of salons that its business presents no risk as only Class I medical devices. advised protective measures such should be illegal. Providing such That means tanning beds are as sunscreen. Additionally, most false information to consumers regulated as strongly as bandages salons allowed children as young should never be allowed, nor

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News Editors Emily Hutt, Kelly Kaler Senior Associate Editor Joe Liss Associate Editors Andrew D’Amato, Jordan Bower, Alia Sharif Opinion Editors Katherine Ripley, Denise Taylor Senior Associate Editor Alex Yahanda

Production Editors Rebecca Lim, Sylvia Oe, Mary Beth Desrosiers Senior Associate Editors Olivia Brown, Caroline Trezza Sports Editors Fritz Metzinger, Daniel Weltz Senior Associate Editors Ian Rappaport, Zack Bartee Graphics Editors Peter Simonsen, Stephen Rowe Advertising Manager Ryan Miller Health & Science Editor Kamala Ganesh

should salons be allowed to let people of such young ages tan. Tanning’s negative effects are exacerbated the younger a person is. Nations like the United Kingdom and Australia have already instituted laws banning children under 18 from using tanning salons. The United States needs to follow suit. Leaving the laws and regulation up to individual states has not resulted in even protection from the harms tanning perpetuates. I don’t mean to say tanning should be banned outright. But the FDA or another organization would be wise to institute nationwide regulations. Every would-be tanner can then be presented with the same statistics and risk factors regarding tanning. Moreover, a national age limit needs to be set so that children are not exposed to unnecessary UV radiation too early. The limit could be until a child is 18, or perhaps an age recommended by the medical community.

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Life Editors Valerie Clemens, Julia Horowitz Photography Editors Dillon Harding, Jenna Truong Associate Editor Marshall Bronfin Arts & Entertainment Editors Katie Cole, Conor Sheehey Senior Associate Editor Kevin Vincente Multimedia Coordinator Claire Wang Social Media Manager Greg Lewis

Of course, if someone of legal age wants to visit a tanning salon or purchase a tanning bed for his own house, he is free to do so. To that end, more public advertising of tanning’s risks could help deter people or encourage less risky tanning. The United States has been running anti-smoking ads that exhibit the medical problems that are a result of smoking. While tanning warnings need not be as widespread — or graphic — as anti-smoking ads because tanning does not produce unhealthy secondhand effects, tanning’s dangers should become more widely known. Unwise tanning ultimately presents a health hazard to Americans. The government must step in to more forcefully standardize the practice. Alex Yahanda is a senior associate editor for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at a.yahanda@ cavalierdaily.com.


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OPINION

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | The Cavalier Daily

Fighting a trend Suicide, an oft-ignored topic, is a rising problem we must confront This semester has brought to tions, eating and sleeping irregulight, for me, a topic that was larly, and they are engaging in never really talked about during activities that, anywhere else, they might avoid. my first year — suiAlcohol abuse and cide. Events of this SAM NOVACK destructive relayear, both here at OPINION COLUMNIST tionships are just the University and some dangerous around the country, have demonstrated that sui- factors that I have noticed in cide is an important topic, one my time at college. But given that needs to be understood and these risk factors, what actually pushes people toward suicide? openly addressed. Most of us know of the tragic There are about 30,000 suicides annually in the United suicide of Tyler Clementi, the States, and it is the third-most gay Rutgers student who was common cause of death for recorded and ridiculed through people between the ages of 10 his roommate’s webcam, which and 24. What is worse, the sui- captured Clementi’s interaccide rate is almost always on the tions with another male student. rise, and is the second-leading Clementi jumped from George cause of death among college Washington Bridge soon after. Then there is Trey Malone, students. Dr. James C. Turner, executive director of Student the Amherst student who was Health at the University, found a victim of sexual assault and that suicide caused more deaths who wrote a long and powerful than alcohol among college suicide note that touched upon populations, edged out only by his college’s shortcomings in providing support. These young vehicle accidents. What do all of these statistics men were promising individumean, and how are college stu- als who felt marginalized and dents, in particular, affected? In without a solution to the probsome ways, everything about col- lems they faced. They also faced lege life contributes to increased adversity from the very places suicide risk. Students are away to which they were hoping to from home or removed from turn for help. Fellow students, in their support systems; they are some cases, are part of the probworking under stressful condi- lem. Whether they are hitting

record on a webcam or saying cumstances turn, and what can something derogatory through the rest of us do to help prevent social media or in person, fellow tragedies from happening? At the University, students can we have our create and “Beneath the surface of resident advistrengthen the people we walk past sors — young the sense of every day are some truly men and isolation felt by many who monumental challenges and women who I have seen ultimately turn to sui- struggles, yet there are also step into and those who take the time to resolve dancide. Other gerous situastudents may get their fellow students’ tions where not take an lives back on track and suicide was active role make a lasting difference.” possible. We in hurting have counsela peer, but ing services apathy can such as CAPS do just as and various much harm to someone looking for a friend services for sexual assault issues. Then there are other students, in as outright signs of dislike. The most vulnerable are gay many cases the first and last line students. Compared to their het- of defense for community memerosexual counterparts, young bers in trouble. Unlike family and many childlesbians are six times more likely to attempt suicide, and hood friends, who may have young gay men are 30 times formed a pre-college support more likely. But any student who system, fellow University stuis noticeably different faces an dents are always around and uphill battle in being accepted can form the kind of support socially by his or her peers and troubled students need. Peers is therefore more vulnerable to recognize a potentially tragic the kind of pressures and isola- situation when they see a post on tion that lead young people to Facebook, read a tweet or overhear a conversation. They can suicide. Where can students in such cir- step in and avert disaster, some-

times through just an hour’s time, sometimes with a greater personal commitment. I am not a hero or a saint in this category, but I know people who are, and I have been amazed by their consistent and selfless effort on behalf of those in trouble. I have seen the forging of new friendships, coaching during crushing academic struggles and healing after deeply harmful relationships. Beneath the surface of the people we walk past every day are some truly monumental challenges and struggles, yet there are also those who take the time to get their fellow students’ lives back on track and make a lasting difference. The struggle to prevent suicide is ongoing and difficult to pin down. It is, however, becoming less taboo of a subject, something people are more willing to talk and learn about. It is up to us as students to put this knowledge into action. We need to ensure that those on the fringe do not slip through the cracks, and that the voices on the edge of our hearing do not go unheeded. Sam Novack’s column appears Wednesdays in The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at s.novack@ cavalierdaily.com.

Pulling out the weeds Weed-out classes are not conducive to an enriching educational experience Weed-out classes are familiar tion to General Chemistry, which territory for most college stu- is considered a weed-out course, dents. Many have taken at least the class was designed as an one such course either to fulfill informal ranking system. Those major requirements or gradua- who received the highest grades would receive an tion requirements. A, whereas those I myself have FARIHA KABIR who received the taken a couple of OPINION COLUMNIST lowest would get courses that would Fs. One may think qualify as weedouts. Though I did not think the that if a student fails the exams, courses were too difficult, I dis- he or she should receive an F. agreed with the way the classes But the course’s grading strucwere structured. They seemed ture ensures that if a student too cutthroat. Generally, weed- received an average of C on the out courses run counter to what exams but was ranked lowest of should be the objective of an all the students in the class, that education system: to encourage student would still receive an F. As a consequence, some students and maximize learning. Those in favor of weed-out will inevitably fail regardless of classes usually argue that it is their actual averages. Though my necessary to separate strong stu- situation was not that extreme, I dents from weak students in a received a lower grade than particular field. Otherwise, there anticipated because the ranking would be too many students pur- system worked against me. There are two main problems suing the same subject, including students who may not be as with such a system. First, this competent. I can understand scenario creates a competitive this logic. But my concern lies in environment where everyone how this goal of separating stu- is concerned with only their dents on ability is accomplished. own success. Group studying is Weed-out courses are structured often a recommended mechain a manner to ensure a certain nism to study for exams, but the number of students fail. For competitive nature of weed-out example, when I took Introduc- courses discourages students

from working together because that leads to failure based on a a peer’s success could hurt your grading curve but rather because the student did not learn the own final grade. Second, the objective of an material appropriately. Making education system should be these weed-out courses difficult beyond to encourage hat is and propel stu“If a student fails, it should w anticipated dents to learn; courses should not be because the system for a 1000or 2000have a positive is designed in a manner course atmosphere. that leads to failure based level (which is Courses should on a grading curve but generally not be designed to ensure stu- rather because the student the trend) dents fail but did not learn the material it so e n so ou gr ht rather to make appropriately.” the strong sure students from the obtain as much weak withinformation out taking and knowledge extreme as they can from the class. The objective of a measures to ensure some stuweed-out course contradicts the dents fail. These courses go from purpose of education — to edu- simply being difficult to being cate. If in the learning process, ruthless by attempting to sepamany students learn and suc- rate students by ability. An additional point that I cessfully take their exams, they should be rewarded accordingly. would like to make is that stuEducation should work toward dents enrolling in these weedhelping students achieve suc- out courses, particularly in math cess, and failure should never and science, come from difbe an objective in that process ferent academic backgrounds. of achieving success. If a student Some students are coming fails, it should not be because the here from governor’s schools system is designed in a manner with a focus on math and sci-

ence, while others may not. Others are coming from subpar high schools, which may have lacked adequate math and science instruction. Those who are coming from institutions with weak math and science classes are often at a disadvantage in weed-out classes in comparison to those coming from math- and science-specialized high schools. Such students may find it harder to take on the level of difficulty posed by weed-out courses. These students with weak math and science backgrounds are denied sufficient opportunity to build their skills in those subjects because of the nature of weed-out courses. Though learning and weedout courses are not mutually exclusive, the grading structure of weed-out classes takes the focus off learning and creates a negative academic atmosphere. Weed-out courses should not be encouraged in an institution that boasts stellar academics. Fariha Kabir’s column appears Wednesdays in The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at f.kabir@ cavalierdaily.com.

Jury duty The absence of four jurors from a recent honor trial does not prove student juries are incompetent As a former student juror for vice chair for trials, he has not an honor trial, I would like to needed to cancel a trial based respond to the recent article in on insufficient juror turnout The Cavalier Daily regarding — which confirms that there is no cause for the attendance alarm. Evidently, of jurors (“Four CHRIS COLLINS the Honor Comjurors miss hearGUEST VIEWPOINT mittee sees juror ing,” Feb. 25). In the article, the issue of atten- absences as a chronic problem, dance is clearly overblown by yet has taken no steps to correct fourth-year Engineering stu- it. The proposed jury reform dent Clifton Bumgardner, the in the Restore the Ideal Act — vice chair for trials. The fact replacing student jury panels that “on average, one juror does with panels of Honor Commitnot show up to almost every tee members — is a solution, one of the 20 or so honor trials albeit a very drastic one. A more each semester” itself dispels the reasonable solution would be to notion that there is a crisis in have more jurors called at each juror turnout. If, on average, trial to add a margin of safety to only one juror is missing at each the quorum. I am strongly disappointed in trial, very few trials would ever be put in jeopardy of cancella- Mr. Bumgardner’s use of this tion. In fact, Mr. Bumgardner anomaly as an opportune politiadmits that during his tenure as cal statement about the Restore

The Ideal Act. Mr. Bumgardner it very reasonable to believe sees this issue as a reason to that a jury panel consisting of push for so-called “jury reform.” Committee members would not But I see it as just the opposite. have been as impartial as one The student jurors who served with jurors having no Honor Committee on the panel with me were “Based on my experience as affiliation. Mr. Bumfocused, asked a juror, I find it very reasongardner thought-proable to believe that a jury makes it voking and clear in the pertinent panel consisting of honor article that questions, members would not have jurors who and above all, been as impartial as one fail to attend were genui n e l y i n t e r - with jurors having no Honor their scheduled trial can ested in the Committee affiliation.” be subject to pursuit of the University truth. The Judiciary depth and Committee breadth of their experiences as students charges against them. I endorse of all levels was invaluable in the idea that there should be reaching our verdict. Based on consequences for jurors who my experience as a juror, I find shirk their duty as members

Concerned? Write a letter to the editor. opinion@cavalierdaily.com

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of the community of trust. Mr. Bumgardner, however, said he does not actively pursue these charges. If the Honor Committee is looking for ways to reform the jury system, it would be prudent to start enforcing punishments for missing jurors who do not have a legitimate excuse. By not actively implementing this policy, the Committee does not place as much value on the roles of student jurors as it claims. Rendering a verdict in an honor trial is not an easy or inconsequential task. It is not, however, a task that student jurors are incapable of handling adequately. Chris Collins is a second-year Engineering student.


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Life

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dancing to Save a Life Dance Marathon’s local chapter hosts annual event, exceeds recent years’ fundraising records with $60,000 By KELLY SEEGERS | CAVALIER DAILY STAFF WRITER The University’s chapter of Dance Marathon, a renowned philanthropic organization that has divisions at universities and colleges all across the country, held their annual event Saturday at both Memorial Gym and Boylan Heights. Hundreds of students spent their day dancing and playing with the children in support of the U.Va. Children’s Hospital, fundraising for children with cancer and other serious illnesses through the hospital’s division of the Children’s Miracle Network. During the 14 years since the chapter was created, the organization has raised more than $600,000 . This year the event raised more than $60,000, the highest amount the organization has raised in the past five years. The final fundraising figure was announced Saturday evening at Boylan, where attendees enjoyed a live band and a choreographed fraternity dance-off. “Funds like this make the U.Va. Children’s Hospital the premier pediatric care [center] in Charlottesville,” said Ryan Lightner, program coordinator for the Children’s Miracle Network at the University Hospital. “There are children with very severe cases of ill-

nesses or injuries and other hospitals can’t necessarily treat [them].” At the event, children ran around Memorial Gymnasium and danced alongside University students. At the beginning of each hour, members of Dance Marathon called everyone to the hourly “morale dance”, where participants eagerly came together in the middle of the room and danced in unison to popular songs, from “Gangnam Style” to “Thrift Shop.” Fourth-year College student Jackie Bechara, co-chair of the Dance Marathon chapter, said part of the event’s success comes from the personal connection it achieves between the dancers and the children the event works to support. “I just kind of signed up on a whim first year, but seeing the kids and their families really meant a lot,” Bechara said. “I could see what kind of cause it was going toward and that’s why I decided to get more involved.” The biggest push for fundraising and publicity happen just a few weeks before the event, but gathering support for the event is a yearlong commitment for team members and

members of the executive board. Organizers reached out to local businesses, corporations and, most influentially, friends and family to raise money for the event. They also held bar nights and sold food at the Corner throughout the fall semester to reach their fundraising goal. Local businesses typically contribute gift cards and other small tokens to give out to dancers, and around $10,000 in the overall fundraising came from donations from big corporations, said the organization’s fundraising chair Anne Carter Blankenship , a third-year Commerce student. The rest of the money comes from personal donations from friends and families of the dancers, she said. Members of the Hospital staff are appreciative of the work the Dance Marathon members put into raising money for their cause. One organizer said a pediatric researcher stopped students painting Beta Bridge to thank them. “It’s just really heartwarming for me to work with [University students],” Lightner said. “It makes me proud to be a part of the U.Va. and Charlottesville community.”

Kelly Seeger | Cavalier Daily

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It’s never too late for a 3-pointer

used to be entirely indifferent toward U.Va. basketball. It wasn’t personal; I’m actually indifferent about most sports. If you think about any sport too much, the whole thing seems dumb. Even when I lived in Lambeth, JPJ seemed like a real hike for something that wasn’t really worth it. Basketball seemed like a less social version of football games that you don’t get dressed up for. What’s the point? But college is about trying new things, growing up and learning — so I am here to openly acknowledge the error of my old ways. I’ve been to nearly every game this season, only missing a couple for class or other legitimate reasons. I even went to a few hungover — that’s dedication if I’ve ever encountered it. And having sat through the Cavaliers’ rocky season start, I’m hardly a fair-weather fan. It turns out, I might like basketball games better than football games — a shock, I know. The

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I’ll admit, at first, it was awkgames are closer, they require a smaller commitment and they’re ward. I didn’t know the cheers climate controlled. You still get and can’t clap in rhythm to save to throw up spirit fingers on the my life. What do you do with foul shots. The band still pro- your hands while watching the vides killer jams, supplemented game? Some boys put them in their pockets, by songs blasted Dear Abbi but I’m a girl, in through JPJ’s loud leggings. Even speakers. You don’t more problemget to sing the “Good atic, I had literOl’ Song” as much, ally no clue what but hey, you can’t was going on. I win ‘em all. get the 3-point And then there’s line thing, but halftime. Two that’s about it. words: Red Panda. As a hint to all Red Panda is argumy fellow novably the greatest ices — look for act I’ve ever seen. the second scoreIf you don’t know ABBI SIGLER board next to the what I’m talking main one, above the plasma about, YouTube it immediately. Such skill, such focus. Cav Man screens. It shows you how many couldn’t even successfully throw points and fouls each player on the dishes to her, but she could the court currently has, and it a kick them to her head one by one great way to pretend you know into a neat stack while riding a what you’re talking about. In the beginning, my favorunicycle and wearing heels. I ite part of U.Va. basketball can’t even walk in heels.

Somewhere besides Virginia Winters

have lived through 21 Virginia a nice restaurant. I write for a winters. For 21 years I have local newspaper. I’ll save up known, for the most part, my money and take off a few months from what my Decemwork. I’ll travel. ber, January and Things I Don’t Know From Charleston, February will look I can go to all of like. I know that For Sure my other someit won’t snow on wheres. They Christmas and that look like Italy the roads will ice and Greece and over a few times South Africa and in January. I know India — or even that no matter how states I’ve never sunny the day is, visited: Texas , the bare branches California , Aristill beg for their zona, Colorado. missing leaves. I In my mind, know not to pay these someany heed to the happy chirping of CONNELLY HARDAWAY wheres are magnificent. They’re birds; their singing is as misleading as the sun’s rays. soul-soothing and breath-taking Whether by the sea or in the and awe-inspiring. For a writer mountains, I’ve always known with waitressing dreams, they that I will only ever be able to even seem attainable. These magnificently attainable somestand 21 Virginia winters. As soon as I graduate this May, wheres are still very young, I want to leave Virginia. I want though, for only recently have I to leave Charlottesville, and then come to the realization of how I want to leave Gloucester. It soon I need a “somewhere” after shouldn’t take me long. I think “here.” For most of my life, I have shied I’m going south, so from here, I can get to North Carolina in four away from the idea of travel. hours. I think. How fast do I need When I was very young I loved to get where I’m going? And how the thrill of it: the planes, boats and cars. Of course, my family far do I need to go? I want to go somewhere. I have rarely ventured farther than a few different somewheres in the sandy banks of various east mind. The first one looks like coast states. But even then, I revCharleston. I’m a waitress in eled in the experience of packing

and unpacking, of waking up early and staying up late — just because you were someplace different. As I grew up, I started to hate airports. I got bored in cars. Ferries made me anxious. And no matter what fabulous Caribbean vacation my mother had planned for us, I really just wanted to be home. But the past four winters have crept slowly into my heart — alternatively warming and chilling my heart with each passing weather front. More coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots have exploded in my closets. Charlottesville winters are even more confusing than Gloucester ones. They teach you that even when roads ice over, you can walk anywhere you need to be — and fall just as hard on the sidewalk as a car may spin out on the road. Charlottesville winters have introduced me to my two greatest joys: soy lattes and wine consumed on a couch. Yesterday, as I was walking home, I felt a warm breeze lift a piece of my hair. I couldn’t pinpoint the origin of the moving air, but I’m positive it was real. I smiled, thinking about all the possibilities of a Virginia spring. And then, I almost started to cry. Because when you run away to Please see Hardaway, Page A9

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games was the Cane’s Challenge. Recently you haven’t had to waste your time worrying if we were going to rise to the challenge and sink four 3-pointers in a half, because our team is on fire. The counter has been just a formality; you can spend your time thinking about more important things. Now I get to spend timeouts looking forward to the Kiss Cam, formally known as “Smile and Smooch.” At first, the Kiss Cam caused me a lot of anxiety. I always sat with my guy friends so I could bug them about what was actually happening on the court, but the potential for Kiss Cam-awkwardness was often overwhelming. Would we be those people that don’t kiss? Those people are the worst; that’s out of the question. Would I go for it and get denied? Would we meet halfway and have one person kiss on the cheek? What if we really kiss and it was surprisingly, abnormally good?

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My friends and I have ultimately devised calculated plans when going to games — including a future one involving my roommate’s boyfriend that she isn’t aware of yet. The Kiss Cam shows a disproportional number of old people, but that’s okay because nothing warms my heart like seeing two old people who still have the spark. Basically, U.Va. basketball games are the best. Our players aren’t too bad either — especially on the eyes. If you haven’t gotten into it yet, there are still two home games — though getting Duke tickets may be out of the question at this point. For an actual rundown on how great we are check the Sports section. I’ll see you in the stands — who knows, maybe even on the Kiss Cam. Go Hoos! Abbi’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. She can be reached at a.sigler@cavalierdaily.com

A reality check of sorts

’ l l b e h o n e s t : I d i d n ’ t bers, and chugging orange r e c e iv e a ny c ho c o l a t e s , soda instead of jungle juice. roses or plush toys this I drink so much orange soda, i t ’s a m i ra c l e most recent Valentine’s Day due Laura in Wahooland my best friend’s name isn’t Kenan to the absence and I don’t work of a significant at Good Burger . other. Even those I expected a same Facebook bit more from photos are simicollege, to be larly pitiful — honest. I envifurther evidence sioned myself for my lack of a gliding down quintessentially Rugby Road with collegiate social a skirt that left l i f e . Yo u w i l l nothing to the imagination and LAURA HOLSHOUSER find no sorority squats hidden in a Solo cup in my the meticulously hand, the very epitome of collegiate class. g r o o m e d “ Ta g g e d P h o t o s ” Well, my fantasies of wan- section. Actually, I once tried tonness have not, to say the sorority-squatting in front of the rusty mirror hanging in least, been fully recognized . This really shouldn’t come my matchbox of a room, and as such a shock to someone I simply looked as though I whose high school years were had been unable to find a o c c u p i e d l a r g e l y by b o w l - restroom for 24 hours. To avoid this sad reality, ing and incessant “Friends” reruns , but I nevertheless I Fa c e b o o k - s t a l k m y h i g h pictured college to be some- s c h o o l b oy f r i e n d s — c o n thing of a fairy godmother to firming my suspicions that me, completely transforming they are all newly “in a relamy social existence with a tionship” with fresh-faced, shower of glitter and empty short-skirted sorority girls who are no doubt living out beer cans. Instead, I sit in my dorm on the harlot fantasy I myself a Saturday night, perusing my once dared to envision. Well, tagged pictures on Facebook instead of a newly acquired Please see Holshouer, Page A9 plethora of male phone num-

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LIFE

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | The Cavalier Daily

All you need is love — and maybe a smile All people have their own them. They can’t hold it in; yet, ideas of happiness. Around they want nothing in return. here, happiness is that feeling They pay it forward and kill you get when you’re running people with kindness everyday. We all know these people. completely late and somehow make it to class on time, or when Many times, it’s the person you finally get to the front of the who holds the door open for us even when we’re counter at Chrisstill an awkward tian’s after waitLIZARD JOYNES 15 feet from the ing in line for Cavalier Daily Guest Columnist entrance. Other what seems like t i m e s , i t ’s t h e an eternity. Take a step back from life around acquaintance who remembers Grounds, and you will find even to ask us how our test went when we thought we barely more. I can’t claim to know the true mentioned it to them in passmeaning of happiness, but it is ing. Then, sometimes, it’s the most certainly linked to kind- barista at the coffee shop who ness and compassion. Happy smiles and says “your coffee is people radiate love. It’s not only on me today.” No matter which the sincerity in their actions, but one it turns out to be, they also their willingness and desire always evoke the same reaction: to give it out to everyone else, a delightfully surprising swell of as if it’s about to burst inside of gratitude for their small kind-

ness. These encounters always leave me smiling to myself, wanting to concoct my own plan to pay it forward. It is as if these people woke up in the morning and thought, “I want to make your day better just because I can.” This semester, I want to make their days better. For all those people who bring warmth and cheer to those monotonous, daily routines we often fall into, I want them to feel the same unforeseen, genuine love they give to us. My friends and I have formed a group to do just that — we call it the Happiness Group. Every week, we have a project. From sharing small, goofy pick-up lines to giving an old friend a call, we just want to make people smile a little

bigger. Each person involved has planned to spearhead a project, no matter how small, and with the help of everyone involved that person will spend a week paying it forward in whatever form he or she chooses. We’ll spread kindness as a cohesive group. Then, after each week, we’re going to write about it — about anything and everything we see. Whether we get confused looks, blank stares or big smiles, it is all for the better. If one person feels the effects of our intentions, the entire project will be worthwhile. We just wish to give back to all of those who have been kind to us and to share the love we have been given. Our column will be online at www.cavalierdaily.com every

week. It is our hope that you’ll read along with us, and, if you’re even moved to join us, we would love to have you. All you have to do is let us know you want to be involved by sending us an email at happiness@virginia.edu. No part of this effort is exclusive, and the more people we can touch the more fulfilling it will be — but we also welcome you to just look online to read our articles and get updates on our progress. There was an old saying we had around my house as I was growing up. My dad began to say it a few years ago after my grandma passed away, and it served as a source of comfort to us. Now, this simple phrase is the inspiration for this project: “Never miss an opportunity to be kind.”

Hardaway | Virginia Holshouser | Friends

welcomes returnees prove great Valentines Continued from page A8

somewhere, you have to leave here. And I really love it here. I have cultivated two homes in Virginia. I have loved and hated them, and in return they have forced me to live through their winters. They have taken me in, and I think if I let them, they’d allow me to stay forever. This is why I must go. I want to go somewhere. From the safety of February I can dream of somewhere warm and far, far away. In my messy college house, I can dream up new lives for myself. Right now, I can’t wait to hit the border. I can’t wait to say goodbye to 21

Virginia winters. Do I need an actual place that fits my dreams of somewhere? Or is the dreaming just enough? I fear that I might have to answer these questions in March or April. It’s scary and exciting, and it’s sad and wonderful. Most importantly, though — it’s happening. I think I can finally say that when I have to leave, I’ll be kind of ready to go. For even if somewhere doesn’t work out, I’ll always have Virginia to return to. Connelly’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. She can be reached at c.hardaway@cavalierdaily. com.

Continued from page A8 I have come to terms with the fact that my dream of flooziness lies in its grave; “life has killed the dream I dreamed,” as a fellow Les Miz nerd might put it. This past Valentine’s Day, you would have found me plopped on a sad little couch with a mug of orange soda, watching some generic chickflick or another with my three suitemates. And even though it was the complete antithesis of what I would’ve imagined myself doing on Valentine’s Day a year ago, I would honestly have it no

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other way. I’m comingw to terms with the fact that I am just simply not made to be a party-girl who consistently has three guys hovering around. That’s just not me. I like bowling, and orange soda, and “Friends.” And I love my real friends; I wouldn’t trade our nights together for some half-rate Valentine’s Day with a mediocre guy, even if he had come bearing roses and overpriced chocolates. Laura’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. She can be reached at l.holhouser@ cavalierdaily.com.

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Don't be left in the dark!

Read The Cav Daily everyday!


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Health&Science Wednesday, February 27, 2013

By MONIKA FALLON | CAVALIER DAILY NEWS ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Who runs the world? Girls GEMS program mentors girls to become future scientists, engineers

In 1990, 15 percent of all engineering bachelor ’s degrees in the United States were awarded to women , according to statistics from the National Science Foundation. Twenty years later, an additional 4,000 female engineering graduates increased that number to roughly 18 percent. There were roughly three men for every one woman in science and engineering jobs in 2008, even though the number increased throughout the ‘90s. Here at the University, a small group of women have taken the responsibility of improving those numbers. For more than five years, female students involved in Girls Excited about Math and Science have regularly brought science and math-based activities to middle school-aged girls in the Charlottesville area. Currently, the organization has 10 active members who visit three local middle schools: J.T. Henley Middle School and Jack Jouett Middle School once a week, and Charlottesville Catholic School once every two weeks. The students spend roughly an hour — usually during an activity or “club” period for the middle schools — mentoring young girls and emphasizing the fun and interesting parts of science. From

doing simple math puzzles, to making DNA molecules out of marshmallows, to designing and building rockets, GEMS provides a small, stress-free environment in which young girls can feel comfortable learning the basics of science and meet women who are successful in many different fields. Katie Read, a recent graduate of the Mechanical Engineering school, said her involvement with GEMS as a Henley student many years ago impacted her decision to get involved again during her time at the University. “[In middle school] we got to do a tour of the Engineering School and Grounds,” Read said. “It may have inspired me to eventually make my home in the E-school.” In middle school, Read said, it was inspiring to see female college students taking the time to share their knowledge and serve as role models for the younger girls. As a college student, Read joined GEMS to return the favor and make friends within the University. While helping to bring together young girls interested in math and science, the group also allows college women to be comfortable and have fun “nerding out” with like-minded students. Second-year College student

Lauren Abbott said she joined GEMS because her middle school didn’t have a similar program, and she instead joined a science club with very few other girls. “From the science extracurricular programs I’ve seen, including the science club I was involved with in middle school, most of the participants were male,” Abbott said in an email. “GEMS strives to offer a place for young girls to express their interest in the sciences and to give them good role models [in] women planning on entering these fields of study.” Many teachers have told the members of GEMS there has been a noticeable rise in interest in the sciences among the students participating in the program, said second-year College student Sarah CottrellCumber, GEMS president. “I think they’re getting a lot more individual attention and making friends they wouldn’t [necessarily] have in school,” Cottrell-Cumber said. “They’re getting support in ways they can’t be supported in a classroom environment.” Parents of the middle school students have also expressed appreciation for the GEMS program — some of them have even offered donations to cover the organization’s costs.

Giant Meteor Strikes Russia Space rock striking Chelyabinsk prompts questions of prediction, prevention By ALEX RUSSEL | CAVALIER DAILY STAFF WRITER The YouTube-famous Russian dashboard camcorders have regularly recorded road rage and tanks crossing streets, but even the most hardened of drivers did not expect to see a 55-foot wide meteor burning through the sky on the morning of Feb. 15 , in Chelyabinsk, Russia . The meteor, which expelled 500 kilotons of energy and injured more than 1,000 people , was the largest recorded strike since a 1908 impact in Siberia. The meteor struck the same day the larger, unrelated, 165-foot wide meteor DA14 narrowly missed the Earth. The meteor striking Russia is a once-in-a-century type of

Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

event, while a meteor strike from an asteroid as big as DA14 is likely to happen once in a millennium. The two events reminded many people, from Russian civilians to the United Nations’ Office for Outer Space, of the significant dangers meteors pose. The latter called for an increase in the currently underfunded international effort in asteroid early tracking and warning systems. But if an asteroid were detected on an impact course with the Earth, there is little we could feasibly do to stop it, Assoc. Astronomer Prof. Ed Murphy said. “If we discovered a large meteor even three years [before

it would hit], there would be nothing we could do about it,” Murphy said. “The solar system is not a safe place.” Preventing a meteor strike would require discovering the culprit asteroid far ahead of time, and engaging gravity tractors or asteroid pushers to change its course . Gravity tractors, as conceived by NASA, are extremely heavy spacecraft placed near an asteroid that produce sufficient gravitational force to change the asteroid’s orbit . Other asteroid pushers would employ mechanical force to similarly push or knock the asteroid out of orbit. These instruments remain

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largely conceptual, but the main problem remains in detecting asteroids in the first place. Whether they are going to hit within a year or within a hundred years, it is extremely difficult. “[Detecting a possible meteor] is like us driving down the interstate and trying to track a bug before it hits our windshield,” Murphy said. DA14 passed Earth multiple times before even being noticed, and today’s technology limits researchers’ ability to detect smaller asteroids, like the Russian meteor, that do not reflect enough light to be seen by telescopes. Meteors, however, do not pose a frequent or particular risk to

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life on Earth, Murphy said. “The risk of being killed by a meteor is far, far less than [the risk] of being killed by things you do in your everyday life, such as driving,” he said. Despite their potential for destruction, meteorites prove to be valuable aesthetic and scientific tools. Small meteors that disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere are responsible for shooting stars and brilliant meteor showers , and meteorites provide scientists with specialized insight into the age and history of the universe. The remnants of the Russian meteor are 4.5 billion years old and originated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

February 27, 2013  

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