Page 1


The Corne¬ Daily Sun Vol. 128, No. 114




Mayor Defends City Against Claims of Discrimination

News Engaging Employees

Paw Pha, an employee from Myanmar, reflects on his experience learning through the CLASP program. | Page 3

Opinion A Farewell to Apathy

Jon Weinberg ’13 says that although the war in Afghanistan may seem removed from Ithaca, Cornellians should speak up. | Page 11


Science Hold Your Nose

Thousands flocked to Cornell last week to see the rare corpse plant — which only blooms once every 10 years — in bloom. | Page 12


Worldwide Phenomenon

The Sun reviews The Hunger Games, concluding that the movie does justice to the popular young adult series it was based on. | Page 14

Sports Not Horsing Around

The Red’s equestrian team will send the most riders from the region to its next competition, Zones. | Page 24

Blogs English Lessons

Rebecca Bogatin ’13, writing from London, gives readers tips on speaking English the British way. |, March 28

Weather Chance of Showers HIGH: 70 LOW: 34

24 Pages – Free


Hungry for more | A new sports bar will open Wednesday adjacent to Jack’s Grill, offering visitors a place to watch sports games on high-definition televisions while enjoying menu items from Jack’s.

Hoping to Meet Demand, Jack’s Opens Sports Bar Bar will boast up to a dozen TVs and serve 16 beers on tap


Students still in mourning over the closing of Dino’s, Johnny O’s and the Royal Palm have perhaps been granted a respite, as the recent expansion of Jack’s Grill to include a sports bar promises to fill a Collegetown niche. According to Kevin Sullivan, who coowns Jack’s with George Figueroa, the pair had planned to expand the 120 Dryden Rd. eatery even before several Collegetown bars closed. Still, Sullivan, who is also part owner of

Loco and The Connection, said those closings “[don’t] hurt.” The previous occupant of the property adjoining Jack’s was K C Copy, whose owner retired. Sullivan and Figueroa took over the space on March 1, and have since renovated the property, installing high-definition televisions and a service window through which customers will be able to order food from the neighboring Jack’s Grill kitchen. “We’re keeping the quick-service atmosphere for takeout and stuff like that over See BAR page 4

IFC to Reward Some Frats With Free Food on Slope Day By HARRISON OKIN Sun Staff Writer

After passing a resolution in February that will allow the Interfraternity Council to fine fraternities for major policy violations, the IFC is now implementing a system to reward chapters’ good behavior by providing them with free food on Slope Day. Houses will be judged according to five criteria — academics, athletics, alumni, philanthropy and social responsibility — and will have to complete at least four events by April 25 in order to qualify for the reward. IFC President Chris Sanders ’13 said this plan marks a new approach for the council in ensuring that chapters operate by its regulations. “Both we and the houses have a time and budget constraint,” Sanders said. “It’s more like hosting one academic event, such as having a professor come and speak at the frat, or one alumni event, such as having some alumni from different fields come back and host a career fair for brothers.” Additionally, each chapter must host at least one philanthropy event, one successful dry event and participate in or

garner a majority of their chapter’s attendance for at least two intramural sports events, according to Sanders. To receive credit, houses are required to send in a brief description and a photograph of brothers participating in each event.

“Most of what we do is regulation and punishment,” said Alan Workman ’13, executive vice president of the IFC. “We wanted to think of the carrot instead of the stick. We’re not forcing See IFC page 5

Angelic voices


The Cornell Chorus puts on a performance in Sage Chapel Tuesday as part of its Return from Tour concert.

In the face of four ongoing discrimination lawsuits against the city, Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 said that Ithaca is “committed to diversity” and that he is confident the city will prevail in court. Although all four suits claim racial discrimination, Myrick said the city does not “actively, systemically discriminate.” He added that it seems to be “a coincidence that all four of these happened to hit within a year.” The most recent of the four lawsuits, filed on March 13 by a former Building Department housing inspector, seeks $3 million in damages. The inspector, Ramon Santana, alleges the “We feel Building Commissioner confident that “made open racially charged comments the employees about him while attendin question were ing a staff meeting” — one of a series of events removed for that, Santana says, crecause and ated a hostile work there was no environment. In a separate lawsuit, discrimination Mark Hassan, a former involved.” city firefighter, is arguing that he faced disMayor Svante crimination within the Myrick ’09 Ithaca Fire Department. In the suit, he says he “has been referred to, among other terms, as a ‘towel head’ and ‘dune coon’ and portrayed as prone to violence.” Hassan was fired from the department in 2011 and argues his dismissal was a retaliatory measure against him for raising discrimination claims. About two years before he was fired, Hassan says he was ordered to attend a “psychological examination without cause or basis, a tactic employed by the City of Ithaca against disfavored employees.” Myrick said that each of the lawsuits is “without merit.” “We feel confident that the employees in question were removed for cause and there was no discrimination involved,” he said. The Santana and Hassan lawsuits join two suits recently followed by city police officers. In one, filed in May 2010, Chris Miller claims he faced harsher discipline than his non-white colleagues. He also argues the city retaliated against him for filing a human rights complaint. He is seeking $17 million in damages. In the other police lawsuit, filed Feb. 29, Sgt. Douglas Wright alleges that he was unfairly passed over for promotion twice. In both instances, he says, a black officer was promoted instead of him because of his race. Wright is seeking $10.5 million from the lawsuit’s defendants, who include the IPD, former Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson and other city officials. “The defendants unfairly and routinely endorse, support and believe the word of African-American and minority employees over See LAWSUIT page 5

2 THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weird News


Umpteen speedy televisions perused two sheep, then umpteen tickets towed Jupiter, and Dan untangles five progressive orifices. Umpteen quixotic aardvarks annoyingly bought two Macintoshes. Umpteen bureaux tickled two extremely putrid botulisms. Paul sacrificed one lampstand, then Jupiter marries the very quixotic pawnbroker. Five purple poisons laughed, yet umpteen chrysanthemums kisses five aardvarks. Batman noisily untangles one Jabberwocky. Two Macintoshes laughed, then one extremely schizophrenic Jabberwocky drunkenly untangles two sheep, however Quark telephoned umpteen obese Jabberwockies. Five irascible botulisms slightly lamely auctioned off the subway, and five chrysanthemums easily untangles one mostly speedy Klingon. Five dogs drunkenly perused Minnesota, however the mats ran away cleverly, although one partly progressive subway quite comfortably sacrificed

of the Week

Today Kashi Kick-off Party Noon - 2 p.m., Trillium Dining

‘Hamburglar’ Strikes At Maine McDonald’s

Red Cloud Lunch ’n’ Learn Seminar 12:15 - 1:30 p.m., 655 Frank H.T. Rhodes Hall HTML I 2 - 4 p.m., Uris Classroom Library Stop Procrastinating and Get It Done 4:30 p.m., 3330 South Balch Hall Visitor’s Guide to an Alien Planet: Washington, D.C. 5:30 p.m., G10 Biotechnology Building

Tomorrow Re-Cycle Your Electronics 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Cornell Recycle Center Soup and Hope Noon - 1 p.m., Sage Hall EAS Spring 2012 Seminar 3 - 4:30 p.m., 2146 Snee Hall

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A real-life Hamburglar has struck at a Maine McDonald’s. Police say a young man, seemingly inspired by the pattie purloining character once featured in McDonald’s advertising campaigns, ran between a car and the takeout window at the Augusta restaurant Sunday night as an employee handed a bag of food to a driver. A witness flagged down an officer leaving a nearby convenience store. Lt. Christopher Massey, acting on a description of the hungry thief, found him in the parking lot of a rival fast food restaurant diving into a McDonald’s bag. Massey tells the Kennebec Journal the suspect swore and ran into the woods. He was never caught. Massey says the three young men who had their food stolen didn’t know the burger thief. McDonald’s replaced the stolen food, worth about $20.

Fulbright Information Session For Undergraduates 4:30 - 6 p.m., G01 Uris Hall Art of the Schmooze 4:45 - 6 p.m., 233 Plant Science

Cat Survives 19-Story Plunge From Boston High Rise


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BOSTON (AP) — A veterinarian says acting like a flying squirrel may have saved a cat from serious injury in

Professor Paul J. Steinhardt Albert Einstein Professor of Science at Princeton University

Reception to follow in Snee Hall Atrium

The Public is Invited

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NEW YORK (AP) — A prehistoric monster snake is making a quick stopover in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. The full-scale replica of the Titanoboa ty-tan-uhBOH’-ah) was unveiled Thursday as a promotion for an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. When it roamed the Earth, the snake was 48 feet long and weighed 2,500 pounds. Titanoboa was discovered in 2005 among a trove of fossils in one of the world’s largest open-pit coal mines in Colombia. It lived more than 60 million years ago when dinosaurs no longer ruled. The giant reptile heads for Washington on Friday.


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Replica of Ancient Snake Slithers Through NYC


“Once Upon a Time in Kamchatka: The Extraordinary Search for Natural Quasicrystals”

Juan Forrer ’13


a 19-story plunge from a Boston high rise. Sugar the cat had no broken bones or cuts, just some bruising on her lungs after the fall from a window owner Brittany Kirk had opened to enjoy the recent unseasonably warm weather. The Animal Rescue League estimates Sugar fell between 150 and 200 feet. Kirk tells WBZ-TV she thinks Sugar used up “one or two or maybe eight” of her nine lives. Veterinarian Hugh Davis says in falls from high places, cats splay their legs in a “flying squirrel position” which slows their descent. Kirk calls Sugar’s survival a “miracle” and says building management has since installed a screen in her window.

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THE IRON LADY (PG13) 7:15 / 9:30 CHICO & RITA (UR) 9:15 A SEPARATION (PG13) 7:10 / 9:25 PINA (PG) 7:00 / 9:10 THE ARTIST (PG13) 7:20 / 9:20 THE DESCENDANTS (R) 7:05 Ends Wednesday

THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3


Staff Receive Education Through C.U. Program By MANU RATHORE Sun Staff Writer

When Paw Pha, an immigrant from Myanmar, came to Cornell in 2006, his English and his computer skills were limited. But one day, Pha, a library collections assistant at the University, stumbled upon a newspaper ad for Cornell’s Community Learning and Service Partnership program. “We focus on areas of high school completion, English as a second language and computer skills,” said Virginia Steele, assistant director of CLASP, which, since 1990, has paired hundreds of support staff with students to choose a “personal learning objective” and work to achieve that goal. “There are a big variety of personal goals that employees have, ranging from learning basic English to help with college level courses.” “I wanted to learn English and then learn computer skills, as we use computers a lot at work,” Pha said. Paired up with Robert Hutko, a program aide for CLASP, for two hours a week, Pha said he began learning “English, and after a while … moved to computers.” “When I started working here, I didn’t

know anything about computers,” he said. “It is a nice experience. [Hutko] is really good and explains me stuff when I don’t understand something.” When he started the program, his “main inspiration,” Pha said, was to pass his GED tests. Pha also said that he wanted to learn English so when they come to the library to get books, he can better understand students’ requests. Now a member of the program for six years, Pha said CLASP has helped him achieve half of his goal. Although he said he is still learning to operate computers, he believes his English has improved. “When I started, I knew only a little bit of English. Now, I can say that I am a little better,” he said. Interest in the program has not waned, Steele said, because employees want to improve their skills and form “one-to-one learning partnerships” with students. “From the point of view of employees, they cook for students and help maintain other facilities, but they also often don’t have the chance to have a good conversation or get to know the pressures that students are under,” Steele said. Additionally, Steele said that for service employees, CLASP “is one of the few opportunities that they have to continue


Lending a hand | Paw Pha, a Cornell library collections assistant, works with Robert Hutko, a program aide for CLASP, to prepare for his GED exams.

their education on a personal one-to-one basis.” Approximately half the employees in CLASP are foreigners, according to Steele. This provides students an opportunity to learn from the employees who serve them, she said. “They see custodians in their dormitories taking care of them, they see them cooking food, cleaning the sidewalks for them, but actually forming a friendship with custodial workers provides them with a new perspective of Cornell,” Steele said. Hutko said that the program also has a broader effect on the Cornell community.

“When someone in our community is empowered to learn and know something that they didn’t know before, it creates a positive feeling for them, as well as [an] ability for positive action,” he said. “This ripples out. They might share it with coworkers, their children and their spouses.” Reflecting on his experiences and progress after joining CLASP, Pha said, “I am glad that Cornell has this opportunity for the employees. It is really helpful. When you come here, you can learn anything.” Manu Rathore can be reached at

Johnson ’13 Films Documentary About Orphanage in Haiti By LUCY MEHRABYAN Sun Contributor

For the past two months, Cornell student and avid filmmaker Jamie Johnson ’13 has been working on a documentary film that he hopes will result in the closing of a Haitian orphanage that he says is abusing and selling children. Johnson said he was a sophomore when he heard about Morgan Weinberg, a then 19 year old who was working in Haiti to provide a safe house for abused children in the orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Inspired by Weinberg’s work, Johnson decided to take a leave of absence to work on the documentary, which chronicles Weinberg’s efforts to fight child exploitation. Along with Weinberg, Johnson has been running an international development orga-

nization, Little Footprints Big Steps, which aims to provide a place of transition where children can stay while waiting to be reunited with their families. The orphanage also houses many children who are not orphans, but have been sent there by their parents, who are unable to care for them. “The owner of the orphanage manages the operation like a business,” Johnson said. “She uses the kids as bait to bring in donations from foreigners and takes that money to travel and throw parties to demonstrate her wealth and convince parents to part with their children.” Johnson accused the owner of the orphanage of keeping the money she receives from international aid while selling children for adoption or as indentured servants. “The only money that makes

it to the kids is a meager ration of food, just enough to keep them alive,” Johnson said. Johnson said he hopes to help reunite the children with their families. Little Footprints Big Steps has tried to prevent child abandonment by giving parents the opportunity to work at the safe house and by sponsoring their children’s education. Johnson and Weinberg also work with communities to educate parents and children about family dynamics and family planning. “In working to make local authorities more efficient, we hope to improve Haiti's ability to monitor and protect child rights,” Weinberg said. “There is a disgusting awareness of the abuse children suffer here … and an even more disgusting lack of action. I want to change that.”

Despite their efforts, Weinberg and Johnson said that trying to shut down the orphanage, move the children living there to the safe house and reunite them with their families has been a frustrating and slow process. “Working with Haitian Social Services has been eye-opening as to how dysfunctional government can be,” Johnson said. “We are sitting on a mansion, with beds for all 80 kids, toilets, electricity, running water, enough money to send them to school, thousands of pounds of food and all kinds of love. It’s just sad on so many levels.” While waiting for assistance from the government, Johnson has been working to raise awareness and funds for the organization. He said he is trying to find grants to support its work, recruit volunteers and set up a scholarship program that will help children receive higher education. “The goal of all of these projects is to give the kids opportunities to realize their potential,” Johnson said. “This is something

that is necessary for happiness but is quite absent in much of Haiti.” Sidney Madsen ’13 was among a small group of Cornell students who traveled to Haiti during winter break to volunteer for Little Footprints Big Steps. “When I went down, I thought I was going to help move the kids, but I wasn’t able to because everything was delayed,” Madsen said. “The stuff I did was mostly insignificant, but what I can do now is to spread awareness, which is more important — doing small fundraisers, getting people involved at Cornell.” Madsen praised Weinberg’s willingness to take action on an issue that she said many people are unwilling to confront. “[Weinberg was] one of the few people who saw a problem that needed to be fixed and did everything she could to address the issue, regardless of the fact that so many people said, ‘[This] issue is too big for you to address,’” Madsen said. Lucy Mehrabyan can be reached at

Alleged Rape

An officer was dispatched to take a report regarding an alleged rape on March 20, according to the Cornell University Police Department. Driving While Intoxicated

Samantha A. Maynard was referred to the Ithaca City Court on March 18 for reportedly driving while intoxicated on Maple Avenue,, according to a report from the CUPD. Trespassing


Reaching out | Morgan Weinberg, founder of Little Footprints Big Steps, works with a nurse, Melanie Metzger, to examine sick children at a Haitian orphanage.

Police referred David C. Abbott of Lansing, N.Y., to the Ithaca City Court for allegedly trespassing in the Noyes Community Center. — Compiled by Danielle Sochaczevski

4 THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Students Look Forward to New Sports Bar’s Opening BAR

Continued from page 1

there, and this will be more of a casual place where you still go up and order at the window, and then when your food’s ready, we call out your name,” Sullivan said. When the renovation process is complete, the space will boast up to a dozen TVs featuring “pretty much anything anybody wants,” according to Sullivan. “We’ll subscribe to all the good packages and all that stuff … I know we have some soccer fans; we’ll keep them happy,” he said. “We’re looking at doing a big projector, too.” The expanded Jack’s will host a soft opening without alcohol being served Wednesday afternoon, with a grand opening planned for when the bar receives its liquor license. Sullivan hopes that this will happen before the end of the spring semester. “I can hope all I want; it’s not up to me,” he said. “We hire a professional kind of intermediary between us and the liquor authority to deal with them. Hopefully [it will happen] sooner than later, but it’s all up to them.” The bar will offer 16 beers on tap, along with wine, he said. “We’re not doing any liquor ...

We’re not going to be a crazy club Matt Koren ’12 echoed was close by and shut down.” or anything,” Sullivan said, Sullivan’s sentiment, saying, “I Outcalt said he and his friends adding that the new addition will think it’s a vastly different idea ... have to drive to Buffalo Wild operate more as a restaurant than It’s an entirely different option Wings, which opened a couple a bar. Patrons who are under 21 from what Cornell students have years ago, to have a comparable will still be able to order food and now.” experience. watch sports with their friends, he Koren said that while he does “I’m frankly surprised that this said. not know if the expanded Jack’s opportunity hasn’t been explored The original Jack’s will main- will cater to an entirely different by other owners or landlords yet,” tain its regular hours, while the clientele, he does not think there he said. new addition will be open from 4 will be an overlap between those Outcalt believes that the fact p.m. until 1 a.m. every day except who go to Jack’s and those who go that Jack’s will serve alcohol will Friday, Saturday and Sunday, elsewhere in Collegetown on a help attract people to the venue and promote camaraderie in the given night. when it will open at 11 a.m. bar. “We’re going to push “You can go get brunch,” Sullivan said. “I could see myself saying, ‘See you at food and watch the “We [already] do a big Jack’s Saturday.’” game at a lot of places, brunch business ... and I and I think Jack’s — think it will overflow into Anisha Chopra ’13 already having a good this and really get bigger bar-food type of and better.” atmosphere — is a added that He “People go to a sports bar to great place [that], with an addimimosas will be available, as will all the makings of “the classic hang out with their friends and tion ... would draw a lot of people American breakfast.” watch sports,” Koren said. “People to go get some Jack’s food, grab a Sullivan declined to comment go to Rulloff’s to [drink heavily].” couple beers and watch the Jets Dan Outcalt ’12 envisions the play ... or for me, watch my on how much he and Figueroa paid to buy out the lease of K C Jack’s addition as a place where favorite Ohio teams play,” he said. Outcalt said he does not expect Copy, but said he thinks “it will be people interested in watching a worth it, especially with all the night game in a low-key atmos- the lack of hard alcohol to be bars closing and not having a phere can go before venturing to detrimental to the business. “Whether or not hard liquor is [sports bar] scene [as it is].” other bars. “I think there’s a huge market there is [irrelevant]; in this type of “You could go to Rulloff’s, but Rulloff’s gets really crazy. And at Cornell among students and a place, I don’t really think that’s a Stella’s is really kind of classy — people in Collegetown for a sports factor. People aren’t drinking kind of upscale and expensive,” he bar,” he said. “We had something scotch on the rocks while they’re like that at Benchwarmers ... That trying to watch basketball, people added.

are drinking a beer,” he said. Outcalt said that while he probably goes to Jack’s once every couple weeks for Sunday brunch, with the expansion, he could see himself going “a lot, just because there’s no really other more economically-priced food place in Collegetown that also offers a sitdown area that would have a bar and beer available.” As a freshman living on North Campus, Collin Schultz ’15 said that “it’s kind of a trek to Collegetown.” Still, Schultz said, he could imagine a lot of people going to Jack’s “during the end of May, when it’s really nice out.” According to Sullivan, the eatery’s peak season is April and May, which motivated his efforts to finish the renovations quickly to provide extra dining space. Anisha Chopra ’13 said that right now, Jack’s “seems like more of a fast-food place [that’s] a little over-priced to get it and go.” However, depending on the outcome of the renovation process, she may be more inclined to frequent the restaurant. “I could see myself saying, ‘See you at Jack’s Saturday,’” Chopra said. Alex Kuczynski-Brown can be reached at

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THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5


As Reward, IFC to Give Frats Myrick ’09 Denies Allegations of Racism Food for Free on Slope Day LAWSUIT

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frats to do anything, but rather allowing them to do what we do best and have it pay off in a good way.” Sanders said that food will be distributed from an IFC tent on the slope, and eligible brothers will receive wristbands designating that their chapter met the qualifications. Sanders said he wants all houses to be able to complete the challenge. Similarly, chapters cannot be disqualified from participating in the challenge as long as they meet the criteria of at least one event for four categories. Fraternity presidents spoke positively about the changes. “We need some sort of system that credits frats for following the rules,” said Eric Silverberg ’14, president of Tau Epsilon Phi. “The Greek system gets a lot of unfair publicity for bad cases, and rightfully so, but the good aspects don’t get reported enough.” Though Silverberg said the IFC debated other rewards, such as a tailgate or block party in Collegetown, Jesse Bendit ’13, president of Psi Upsilon, praised the IFC’s decision to provide free food, citing its potential to benefit brothers from every fraternity. “It’s a huge advantage to have food right there on the slope, especially for houses that aren’t located so close to it,” Bendit said. “We’ll get this special area designated that rewards you for good behavior your houses have done.” Silverberg said every fraternity should be able to obtain the free food on Slope Day. “A lot of the chapters fulfill most, if not all, of these standards already,” he said. “Now, chapters and brothers will be encouraged to take the next step and earn the rewards.” Additionally, if the incentive system proves effective in encouraging good behavior, the IFC

may expand the “pilot program,” Sanders said. For instance, Colin Foley ’14, vice president for University and community relations for the IFC, said he hopes that next year’s incentive program will be broader and more extensive. “The bigger plan will ask more from the frats, but give more back to them in the future,” Foley said. “It comes down to what our chapters want. We’ll differentiate it in each category, and have more prizes and incentives to offer to specific houses.” Because this year’s plan is a new development, it was not outlined in the previous IFC executive board’s budget, according to Ian Edelson ’13, vice president for finance for the IFC. Regardless, he said the IFC is not concerned about paying for the plan. Edelson said the IFC will reallocate funds to look for new sources of revenue, as the IFC budget always has some flexibility for end of year events. He said they will likely use funds from a University provision that mandates that fraternity members studying abroad have to continue IFC base dues. Silverberg said that while the plan received nearly unanimous support, some chapter presidents felt as if these rewards do not incentivize good behavior in the same way that punishments deter bad behavior. However, Silverberg also said that he is confident that the combination of the judicial fine system and the new incentive program will demonstrate to the University that fraternities are committed to reversing the negative stereotypes surrounding the Greek system. “Food on Slope Day only lasts a few hours. But this is a good first step towards changing our image,” Silverberg said.




Continued from page 1

in May 2010 prohibited him “‘from entering any City of Ithaca building, facility, property or worksite,’ a restriction … not placed upon other suspended firefighters.” His lawsuit, which was originally reported by The Ithaca Journal, was filed July 1. The


only after a full and fair arbitration." In his lawsuit, Santana — that of [Wright] and male who was a city housing inspecCaucasian employees,” the lawtor from late 2006 until he was suit states. fired in 2010 — says he was Wright’s lawsuit claims that denied overtime that was grantIPD’s racial discrimination ed to white employees. He extends to “hiring, promotions, argues that the overtime was discipline, retention, necessary for him to training, assignments be able to complete city is vigorously defending itself “The and investigations his duties. into misconduct.” against these old, unwarranted allegaLavine told The Despite the four tions. The city is proud to be an equal Journal that, like lawsuits, Myrick said Hassan, Santana was that he is not under- opportunity employer.” only fired after a full taking any special arbitration. efforts to fight dis- Aaron Lavine ’01, J.D. ’04 Although all four crimination because lawsuits claim racial he is confident in Ithaca’s exist- defendants successfully moved discrimination and are still ing diversity programs. it from state court to federal dis- active, Myrick denied that sysBut Hassan — who was a trict court at the end of ctober. temic discrimination exists in firefighter for almost 15 years "The city is vigorously the city’s government. — argues that the city, the fire- defending itself against these “It seems that there is a rash fighters’ union and other defen- old, unwarranted allegations,” of lawsuits, but we feel that, dants “violated [his] right to be Ithaca City Attorney Aaron after reviewing each lawsuit, free from discrimination on the Lavine told The Journal on each is without merit,” he said. basis of national origin.” Thursday. “The city is proud to In one example of alleged be an equal opportunity discrimination, Hassan says a employer, and Mr. Hassan's Michael Linhorst can be reached notice of discipline he received employment was terminated at Continued from page 1



6 THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012


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Dartmouth Hazing Controversy Debated By THE DARTMOUTH

On the heels of hazing allegations leveled by Andrew Lohse, a senior and former member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Dartmouth College, in a January opinon column in The Dartmouth, numerous national media outlets have covered the ensuing campus reaction and College response — including the Associated Press, The New York Times and The Boston Globe, which focused on hazing at Dartmouth in an editorial that criticized the College’s actions regarding hazing on campus. “For the sake of its students, who could be injured by hazing, and its reputation as a broad-minded institution, Dartmouth should send a strong message against such behavior,” The Globe’s editorial board wrote. D a r t m o u t h’s Vice President for Alumni Relations Martha Beattie sent an email obtained by The Dartmouth to members of Dartmouth’s Alumni Council on March 13 addressing potential concerns about hazing at the College and the recent increase in national press coverage of the issue. The email included links to articles from The Globe, the AP and a letter to the editor submitted by College President Jim Yong Kim to The Globe. National news outlets including CBS News, Fox News and ABC News picked up the article written by the AP, which summarized Lohse’s allegations and the subsequent College and media responses. The article also included interviews with Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone and two Dartmouth students, as well as an email from Brendan Mahoney, a senior at Dartmouth and the president of its SAE chapter, discussing the administration’s response. The story has also been featured in news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. The national media coverage of the hazing allegations has not affected College policy but has provided an opportunity to foster discussion on hazing in a “productive manner,” Director of Media Relations at Dartmouth College Justin Anderson said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “The media is going to focus on what it chooses to focus on, and [the College] will not let the media dictate policy,” Anderson said. “Hazing is an incredibly complicated and complex issue and it merits serious and thoughtful consideration and policy, and that is how [the College] has approached it.” Anderson said that interest in

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the hazing allegations might have grown nationally due to the initially intense coverage of the story by local news outlets such as the Valley News and The Globe, two publications that frequently publish College-related news. “I do find it interesting that [hazing] occurs everywhere, and it has been reported about Dartmouth sometimes in a way that makes it seem unique when it’s not,” he said. “But I understand that there are aspects of [Lohse’s] story that lend themselves to sensationalism and can make for a good story.” Despite the growing national attention on the hazing allegations at the College, Anderson said that the administration’s “quick” response to the issue reflects its commitment to addressing student issues such as hazing and high-risk drinking. Anderson cited the campus-wide email sent by Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson on Jan. 25, the day that Lohse’s oped appeared in The Dartmouth, as well as an email from Kim sent on March 22 that announced the creation of the Committee on Student Safety and Accountability. “Hazing is prohibited by Dartmouth and the law and when met with allegations, the College is going to act,” he said. “I think it was pretty clear right away before there was any media coverage that Dartmouth takes hazing very seriously.” The media coverage of the hazing allegations has not impacted how the College has acted in terms of policy decisions, according to Anderson. “Dartmouth has an internal disciplinary process when allegations are made and found to be worthy of a charge and that’s what happened in the case of SAE,” he said. “The internal process is playing itself out, and that would have happened if there wasn’t media coverage.” Students interviewed by The Dartmouth said that the national spotlight on the College’s hazing allegations reflects the highly controversial nature of the issue. “I think it’s positive in that it brings attention to hazing which is an important issue that needs to be addressed,” Chloe Moon, a junior at Dartmouth, said. “But it’s unfortunate that Dartmouth is getting negative attention in response to the coverage.” Eirik Voll, a sophomore at Dartmouth, said he believes that the media response to the story has been “blown out of proportion.” “Whatever happens here on campus, I can’t understand how all of the media attention is justified,” he said. Dartmouth senior Andrea Jaresova added that the College does not typically address issues until they are highly publicized.

THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7


Colo. Wildfire Could Be Linked To Controlled Burn

CONIFER, Colo. (AP) — Investigators on Tuesday were trying to determine whether a routine controlled burn last week, designed to minimize wildfire risk, reignited and became a stubborn mountain wildfire that forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes, destroyed at least 23 structures and may have caused the deaths of two people. Federal agencies dispatched hundreds of firefighters and two large air tankers to tackle the 7-square-mile blaze that forced mandatory evacuations of 900 homes south of the commuter town of Conifer, about 8,200 feet up in the Rockies foothills and 25 miles southwest of downtown Denver. Some 450 firefighters from Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah were sent to assist 250 firefighters on the ground. The fire mostly consumed grass, brush and some Ponderosa Pine tree canopies. Winds were 20 mph to 30 mph and blowing in all directions. Denver’s tightly populated southwestern suburbs were not threatened. County sheriff’s spokeswoman Traci Kelley said the wildfire may have sprung from a controlled burn. The Colorado State Forest Service did conduct a 35-acre burn in the region on Thursday — on land belonging to Denver’s water authority — in an ongoing effort to reduce wood fuels for fire, said forest service spokesman Ryan Lockwood. Crews finished the effort on Friday and patrolled the 35-acre perimeter daily to ensure it was out, Lockwood said. It was during Monday’s patrol that a state forest service crew spotted the wildfire — also on Denver Water property — alerted authorities, and began fighting it, Lockwood said. It wasn’t clear if the wildfire was inside the controlled burn zone. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will determine the cause of the blaze, while the Colorado State Forest Service was conducting its own review, Lockwood said. Stacy Chesney, a spokeswoman for Denver Water, said the agency was “trying to be proactive” to protect water supplies from soil runoff caused by deforestation. The area has several watersheds that feed metropolitan Denver and is several miles from the location of the 2002 Hayden Fire, one of Colorado’s worst, which destroyed 133 homes and 466 outbuildings over 215 square miles. Protocols for controlled fires include having a certain number of people monitoring it until it is determined to be cold — meaning nothing is at risk for reigniting, said Roberta D’Amico, spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

N.Y. Officer Convicted Of Schoolteacher Sex Assault last August, threatening to shoot her in the face if she resisted. She was on her way to her first day of work at a teaching job; he was wrapping up a drunken night of trying to pick up women, according to evidence at the trial.

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NEW YORK (AP) — A police officer was convicted on Tuesday of grabbing a schoolteacher off a street and sexually assaulting her at gunpoint while he was off duty, but jurors were told to keep deliberating on some unresolved counts, including rape. The verdict came during a day of jury tension in an unusual trial in which the defendant admitted a repugnant attack but said he wasn’t guilty of the charges against him. Jurors, however, found Michael Pena, 28, guilty of committing a criminal sex act and some counts of predatory sexual assault, an offense that involves wielding a weapon during certain sex crimes. It was the top charge in the case and carries the potential for life in prison. Pena, suspended since his August arrest, was fired shortly after the partial verdict. The victim gasped tearfully as it was read. The defendant’s relatives sat tensely, but he displayed no visible reaction. “He’s stoic about it” and eying avenues to appeal, said his lawyer, Ephraim Savitt. But, the lawyer added, “he’s been remorseful from the day I met him, eight months ago.” Manhattan District Attorney’s Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s office declined to comment on the case while the deliberations continued. The woman testified that Pena grabbed her off the street, forced her into an Upper Manhattan apartment building courtyard and raped her and forced her into other sexual acts

Bishops for Benedict


Cuban Catholic clergy members await the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI at Jose Marti International Airport Tuesday. During his visit, the pope plans to discuss his role as a mediator between the Cuban people and the Castro government.

Coroner: Vermont Prep School Teacher Was Killed ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont prep school teacher whose toddler was found alone in her idling SUV over the weekend was killed, a medical examiner ruled Tuesday as an autopsy confirmed a body found along an isolated stretch of road was indeed hers. Melissa Jenkins’ exact cause of death was not released so as not to inhibit the investigation, authorities said. Police did not say whether they had a suspect in their sights, and detectives returned Tuesday to the area where the body was found to collect more evidence. “We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Jenkins, and our thoughts are with her family and friends,” said the lead investigator, State Police Maj. Ed Ledo. “We remain committed to solving this case and to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for the death of Ms. Jenkins.” Community members speculated who could have killed a single mother they described as kind and helpful, and they anxiously awaited an arrest. “I just hope they find whoever did it,” said a tearful Marion Beattie Cairns, who owns The Creamery Restaurant in Danville, where Jenkins had worked as a waitress at night. “Her little boy — that’s what breaks my heart right now.”

A makeshift memorial of luminaries — white paper bags with individual notes from students on them — lined the entry to a main building at the prestigious St. Johnsbury Academy, where Jenkins worked as a science teacher. The boarding school also serves as the public high school for St. Johnsbury, a town of about 6,200 about 40 miles south of the Canadian border. Between 100 and 200 students and faculty members gathered at the academy Monday night after the news came out that a body had been found. Classes were canceled Tuesday. “They have a range of emotions, just like me,” headmaster Tom Lovett said Tuesday of his students. “I’m done with the numbness and I’m done with the confusion; there’s a lot of sadness and a lot of anger starting to arise.” Students were writing letters to Jenkins’ 2year-old-son, Tyrell Javon Robertson, known as Ty, so he could eventually know how she had changed their lives, Lovett said. Jenkins taught science and had served as the freshman girls basketball coach at the academy, a school of about 970 students that was established in the 1840s and whose alumni include President Calvin Coolidge.

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ornell trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to the University as a whole — we are obligated to always act in Cornell’s best interest when carrying out our duties. Sometimes, that means acting as financial stewards and sometimes it means protecting Cornell’s moral integrity. I want to talk about the latter. In our strategic plan, Cornell committed to being “a model university for the interweaving of liberal education and fundamental knowledge with practical education and impact on societal and world problems.” Since adopting that statement, Cornell has had an impact on a variety of societal and world problems: We committed to make the

lective bargaining agreement with the local union. The second issue is how we allow outside employees to be treated on our campuses. Weill-Cornell Medical College in Qatar has made incredible strides for women’s education rights in Qatar. By most accounts, it has made great improvements in how it treats those it directly employs, such as faculty members. But workers that help build, repair and service the campus, employed by the Qatar Foundation, do not have such protection. Two years ago, New York University adopted a code of conduct for its Abu Dhabi campus, requiring basic protection for any worker on its campus, whether

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Disclosure In Alcohol Screening

ON FEB. 6, GANNETT HEALTH SERVICES implemented a policy that screens every patient who comes into the clinic for signs of alcohol dependency and abuse. Studies have shown that early screening is effective in reducing the long term health consequences that come with alcohol abuse and dependency, and it is commendable that Cornell is implementing this early screening. However, students’ complaints of being misled by screening practices are concerning, and Gannett should strive to maintain trust between its healthcare providers and patients. As part of Gannett’s new policy, all students who come into Gannett, regardless of the reason for the visit, are asked if they have had over either four or five drinks in one sitting in the past two weeks, depending on their gender. If they answer yes, then they are given a 10-part questionnaire called the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Those whose responses indicate high levels of risk for alcohol abuse or dependency are referred to further treatment. All students who take the survey receive a message from Gannett about alcohol abuse after the appointment. Alcohol abuse is a continuing problem at Cornell and has the potential to cause lasting problems for students. In a survey administered in November 2011, 33 percent of undergraduates reported suffering memory loss while drinking and 10 percent said that they have physically injured themselves after drinking. The amount of high-risk drinking that occurs in the Greek system is even more pronounced; a University report released in January found that 61 percent of first year students in the Greek System engage in high-risk drinking. It is encouraging that the University is working to treat students’ problems with alcohol dependency and abuse. Asking a simple question about students’ drinking habits during a preliminary screening and following up with the AUDIT is a good way to move students to further treatment if they need it. However, several students who have reported receiving the AUDIT said that they did not know that it was optional or that it may be unrelated to the treatment that they were seeking. Nevertheless, Gannett’s alcohol projects coordinator told The Sun that the survey was completely optional. It is problematic that these students were unaware of the nature of the second survey. Their responses indicate that the line between the alcohol screening and diagnosis of their original complaints was blurred, often making the optional alcohol screening seem relevant to a diagnosis. Though disclosing that the survey is optional may ultimately reduce the efficacy of the screening and reduce the number of students who ultimately receive treatment for alcohol abuse, this disclosure will build the trust necessary for accurate diagnoses and effective treatment of students’ original complaints. By misleading students in order to administer the survey, students may be unlikely to voluntarily come into the clinic or disclose important and relevant information that can aid treatment. Gannett must ensure that this screening does not come with the risk of interfering with treatment. Though Gannett should continue to make reducing alcohol abuse and dependency a priority, it should not come with the cost of lost student trust.

University carbon-neutral by 2050 and President Skorton has advocated for the rights of undocumented students on a national scale. Tuesday, a news article in The Sun addressed the University’s stance in another realm, declaring “Skorton Vows to Enforce University’s Labor Standards.” The article referred to a specific event — a letter sent to the Fair Labor Association threatening to cut ties if the organization does not improve its monitoring procedures — but the title insinuates a further reaching commitment. Which begs the question, how is Cornell doing in enforcing our labor standards? Cornell must maintain a strong commitment to workers’ rights. Workers’ rights are human rights. Having basic protection from physical, mental and sexual abuse in the workplace is not guaranteed for many employees worldwide. Apparel factories throughout the world violate their own labor standards 12 times in an average day. Over 95 percent of factories violate health and safety rules, 74 percent break overtime standards, and 34 percent even ignore forced labor requirements. And all of this data is from the FLA, the same group that the University is threatening to disaffiliate from due to its ineffectiveness, meaning the real number of violations could be even higher. This issue affects Cornell in at least four ways. How we as a university choose to act will give insight into the true value of workers’ rights at Cornell. The first issue is how we deal with our own employees. Only a few decades ago, Cornell workers struggled to organize a labor union, even as the value of unions was proclaimed in ILR classrooms. Today, Cornell is recognized by many organizations as an exemplary employer, including the AARP, Working Mother and the US Department of Labor. In June, Cornell will get a chance to prove just how great an employer it is when it negotiates a new col-

or not they were NYU employees. Recently, Provost Laurie Glimcher expressed interest in reaching out to NYU to learn about their program, and explore whether it could be implemented on our campus. The third issue is how we allow the employees of our business partners to be treated. The FLA exists to monitor the factories in which Cornell apparel is made. However, truly serious flaws in their procedures compromise their ability to give fair inspections. President Skorton is right to threaten disaffiliation; an ineffective monitor only makes protecting workers’ rights more difficult. On April 30, if the FLA has not changed, the University should follow through with its threat. The fourth issue is how we work to improve labor rights. Five years ago, Cornell signed on to the principles of the Designated Supplier Program. The DSP requires licensees to gradually increase the percentage of their apparel made in compliant factories that respect workers’ basic rights. It has been held up for five years due to antitrust concerns. However, in December, the Department of Justice issued a positive Business Review Letter ruling that the DSP did not violate establishing antitrust laws. In response, Georgetown University just committed to implementing the DSP, and Cornell can take a powerful stand by becoming the second school to do so. By the end of this semester, Cornell will have crucial decisions to make on each of these issues. In all four cases, President Skorton’s vow to enforce labor standards will be tested. I believe that in all four, Cornell will act in a way that protects its moral integrity. Alex Bores is the undergraduate student-elected trustee and a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He may be reached at Trustee Viewpoint appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.



THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11


Remembering, at Cornell, the War Abroad I

t’s sometimes hard to remember that the United States has been at war in Afghanistan for ten and a half years. Recent tragedies such as the killing of 17 Afghan civilians by US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales have shed light on the tolls of continuing this conflict. Such events are an impetus for Cornellians to reconsider our largely passive stance on continuing American engagement. As of late, there has been little mention or consideration of the war on campus. Ignoring the human element of war is dangerous, and could lead us to blindly stand by while Americans continue to risk their lives abroad. Nationally, attitudes toward the war seem to be changing. According to a New York Times / US News poll released this week, American popular support for the war in Afghanistan has declined significantly. 69 percent of Americans now feel “the United States should no longer be at war in Afghanistan,” compared with 53 percent of those polled four months ago. Mounting opposition is built on perceptions that the war isn’t going well and leading to tragedy, both for Afghans and American soldiers. While our connections to the victims of 9/11 originally inspired support for the war effort, time, a regime change and the killing of Osama bin Laden have made the connection more tangential. The effects of the war may be finally hitting home for Americans, but there still has been a lack of popular active opposition. Once upon a time, college campuses were bastions of anti-war activism. Cornell was no exception. During the Vietnam War, there were protests and teach-ins across campus. Pictures and testimony document a time when Cornell students took a stand on the war effort and sent a clear message challenging American involvement abroad. Today, any campus discussion or debate over America’s engagement in foreign conflicts is far less visible. Whatever opposition to the war in Afghanistan exists is marginal at best. There are no mass campaigns, gatherings or signals that students care about the continued loss of life and resources. I’m sure that many students would say they oppose the war if asked, but we tend to see it as distant. What makes the Afghanistan war less visible than our involvement in Vietnam, and why do Cornell students seem to care less? Obviously the scale differed, but in both cases, national support waned and the conflict seemed to drag out to a point where there was little to gain and much to lose. Now, however, Cornell students are isolated from the men and women engaged

in combat. It’s easier to not have a personal connection to those fighting the war and forget many are close to us in age. The draft in place during the Vietnam War meant Cornellians were intimately acquainted with those on the front lines. Student deferments meant that many young men were exempt from the draft during their time at Cornell, but the prospect of joining the military always loomed large. Leaving school or graduating meant reclassification and a draft card. In any case, students had friends and family conscripted. For everyone on campus during the Vietnam era, there was a human face to be kept in mind when discussing the war. Students kept either their fate or that of a friend in mind when debating whether the United States was pursuing the right course of action. Today on East Hill, we tend not to think of people when discussing the merits of continuing the war in Afghanistan. Part of this could be that the men and women serving our country are more anonymous to us. We don’t necessarily have a connection to someone on the front lines and certainly don’t see ourselves potentially having to be in that position. I, and presumably many of my fellow male Cornellians, registered for the Selective Service System on my 18th birthday. But I don’t realistically see the draft ever being reinstated. Additionally, military recruiters aren’t exactly prevalent on campus. According to the US Army 2011 Demographics Profile, only five percent of active enlisted soldiers possess a bachelor’s degree. Enlisted soldiers tend to be the actual troops in combat. So, the front lines probably aren’t in our future. The subsequent loss of a connection to the physical nature of war is accompanied by the generational gap. Most of our parents did not serve in the military, unlike our grandparents, so there is further distance from actualities of conflict. While Cornellians in the Vietnam era had significant knowledge of what combat entailed, we tend to lack an understanding of a soldier’s actual experience. Of course, those in the military with college degrees

are almost always commissioned officers. Many of these individuals, who still risk their lives and face considerable challenges, come from institutions such as Cornell. Our University has proud Air Force, Army and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. ROTC students are prominent on campus and will, upon graduation, serve in military leadership. Their efforts, however, are evidently less visible than they were during the Vietnam era. Unlike in 1967, you no longer see “ROTC trainees charging across the Arts Quad with bayonets fixed.” Barton Hall seems distant

Jon Weinberg In Focus except on days of CCC shows. We tend not to recognize that friends from class may be leading battalions in Afghanistan come June. Our military is currently strained, and multiple, unexpected tours of duty are not uncommon. The implications for the mental and physical well-being of soldiers are particularly worrisome. Increasingly, pictures and testimony have made the conflict more personal than names printed in newspapers have in the past few years. We at Cornell today, unlike students during the Vietnam War, may not easily identify with or be able to picture the troops at war. But that doesn’t mean we should take any less of a stake in its consequences. The decisions our leadership makes with regard to Afghanistan will impact countless young Americans, including our very own ROTC officers. The human faces on the front lines still exist, and will continue to do so unless we make more of a concerted effort to end the war. Cornell should still send a message it wants to bring the troops home, even if home for today’s troops isn’t East Hill. Jon Weinberg is a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He may be reached at In Focus appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.

When ‘Keeping It in Your Head’ Won’t Cut It W

hen I was a young, stupid and shortsighted pre-schooler, after saying something scathing to my older sister (“you’re ugly!”) my mother told me, time and time again, to “keep it in your brain.” As toddlers, we are incapable of filtering our thoughts. We lack empathy and are, as a result, unable to understand how the receiver of our remarks interprets them. However, as we all grow up and develop welcomed social skills, we also learn the

economic status of Whites versus Blacks, but also the lifestyles (e.g. a bar in which the only Black person is my American study abroad friend or a restaurant in which I am the only White customer). Cape Town has a long way to go (as does America) before reaching racial integration, but I think, despite its slow progress and questionable governmental representation (mostly in Cape Town), that South Africans can teach America

Hannah Deixler Shades of Grey oh-so-under-appreciated value of constructive criticism. Last weekend, the New York Times published an article arguing that Cape Town and Capetonians are considerably more racist and racially segregated than the rest of South Africa. While I have yet to explore South Africa in its entirety, I believe it is true. Cape Town does to some extent represent, as the author put it, the “last bastion of white rule.” No matter how much South Africans preach color-blindness, there are still very evident differences in, not only the socio-

something crucial about racial divide: South Africans may be racially divided (perhaps due to longstanding unequal policies), but, as I have experienced it, they are also actively engaged in social issues. Landing in Cape Town I was startled to hear the word “colored” being used in everyday conversations as a descriptor similar to “blonde” or “friendly.” To me, the term felt derogatory and crass, but I quickly learned that South Africans not only use colored in an entirely neutral, non-judgmental, descriptive way, but

also that they love to talk about race, socio-economic status and gender — and do so constantly. Casual conversations in bars are about apartheid, tax deductions and Afrikaaners’ land grants. In the U.S. I think we too often shy away from talking about real issues because we fear being “politically incorrect” or offending someone, somewhere. We have learned, after two-hundred years of self-improvement, to essentially, keep it in our brains. This hesitation — this universal respect — we have when discussing touchy subjects like race, politics and economic policy is impressive, no doubt. White Americans hesitate to use the word “African-American” to describe a friend, and, at least at my Thanksgiving table, politics conversations are entirely off limits because they could potentially alienate someone. And this delicacy we, as a society, have developed is incredible. We have learned what is inappropriate and potentially hurtful, and it demonstrates legitimate progress that “firefighter” and “Latino” have replaced their stereotypical ancestors. However, I believe that we have, to some extent, learned to tip-toe around one another so much so that we have lost important conversations in the meantime. In order for both Cape Town and the U.S. to move forward, we have to have hard, complicated and potentially uncomfortable conversations. We all

carry baggage — stereotypes, stigmas, judgments and misconceptions — that, if we are afraid to discuss, will never be sorted out. I am by no means advocating the propagation of name-calling or unfiltered speech, but rather, encouraging hard (and thoughtful!) discussions to be had, even if they get heated. For example, during what feels like a particularly drawn out presidential primary, no matter how much I detest a few of the right-wingers out there, I will admit, I sometimes admire their ability to just say what they think (albeit outrageous and said in the least delicate way possible). As adults we have (most of us, at least) developed filters that allow us to articulate our thoughts without name calling, accusing or alienating, if we don’t want to. I think it is important that we utilize this communication and talk about the difficult, and often most delicate things in order to progress. It is a triumph that as a nation we have moved past terms like “colored.” However racial segregation, sexism, anti-Semitism and ignorance still exist and without addressing them — always keeping them in our brains — we will never move past the shallowness of political correctness. Hannah Deixler is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at Shades of Grey appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.

12 THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Plant Science


Evolution and Development

‘Wee Stinky’: The (Not So) Sweet Smell of Success After a decade of cultivation, Cornell’s rare ‘corpse plant’ blooms

By BOB HACKETT Sun Senior Writer

Thousands of onlookers shuffled into the Kenneth Post Greenhouse over spring break to catch a rare glimpse — and whiff — of the University’s first-ever blooming “corpse flower.” This rare Sumatran plant, known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum,and popularly as the “titan arum,” is native to the slopes of the Barisan mountain range in western Indonesia and blooms typically only once every seven to 10 years, though sometimes as seldom as once every few decades. Nicknamed “Wee Stinky” by popular vote (after Wee Stinky Glen, the small stream that flows behind the Cornell Store), the titan arum began flowering Sunday afternoon, March 18. The blooming lasted fewer than 48 hours, drawing roughly 3,500 spectators the second day. After four days the plant collapsed and is no longer open to the public. The event and its leadup attracted some 10,000 people between March 14-19. After blooming, the titan arum stinks like a decaying body. “It smells like rotting flesh,” said Prof. Karl Niklas, plant biology, “but there’s this sickeningly sweet undertone to it and it’s just nasty — it’s just plain nasty.” Though repulsive to most humans, the rank scent allures Sumatran carrion beetles and flesh flies, which help to pollinate the plant. The Towering Stalk Despite what its name suggests, the “corpse flower” is not actually a flower but a collection of flowers — a natural bouquet bearing about 450 female flowers encircling the base of its column-like central spike, called the spadix, with about 500 to 1,000

smaller grayish male flowers above those. “Even some of the more national media were making this mistake,” Niklas said; like the calla lily, which is a cluster of flowers, “it is actually an inflorescence,” he said. The titan arum boasts the world’s largest recorded unbranched inflorescence, or flowering stalk, which can grow as tall as 12 feet. Cornell’s maxed out at 66.5 inches, growing on average two inches a day leading up to its full bloom, according to Andrew Leed, greenhouse manager for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. The titan arum also exhibits the world’s largest corm, a short and swollen underground plant stem from which the plant grows. Typically, its corm weighs about 50 kilograms but can weigh up to as much as 91 kilograms. “We didn’t get to weigh [the corm] before this flowering event,” Leed said.“But we do know that it just about filled the bottom of the pot it’s in. It had to be at least 20 pounds and could have been considerably heavier than that.” Corpse Plant Research In the height of their bloom, titan arums heat up to waft their foul perfume through the jungle air. Leed took thermal images of the inflorescence using an infrared camera to see how much heat the plant puts out and at what times. The tip of “Wee Stinky” reached 107 degrees Fahrenheit at its maximum. Even more images came from Prof. Kenneth Simpson, clinical sciences, who performed an endoscopy by looking through a porthole cut into the inflorescence to get close-up images from inside the arum. Thermal examination was only part of the research that university scientists had the oppurtunity to perform while the plant was in bloom. Prof. Robert Raguso, neuro-

biology and behavior, and several graduate students collected samples of the plant’s stink to analyze the volatile compounds that compose it. But scents from the colognes worn by the thousands of onlookers made it harder to obtain accurate data. “We got some coconut lactones on the first day which I was skeptical about,” Raguso said. “Someone must have smeared piña colada on their arms.” Amidst less than perfect research conditions, the scientists still found that the smell of decaying protein, dimethyl trisulfide, peaked Sunday evening. “To get the best data we would have sealed off the plant,” Raguso said, “but we wanted to show people. This was just too rare and precious of a thing to selfishly keep amongst ourselves.” A Decade of Care The University currently possesses two titan arums: “Wee stinky” and one which is currently in a vegetative state. Both of the plant came from the University of Wisconsin at the request of Prof. Melissa Luckow, plant biology, where she attended a botanical conference as a plant was growing there in 2002, Luckow said. Greenhouse manager Carol Bader then grew and cared for them over the course of the next 10 years. The University’s titan arums had to survive the transition from their former home in the Liberty Hyde Conservatory (which was condemned Oct. 15, 2010, due to health and safety hazards) to their current one in the slightly drier Kenneth Post Greenhouse. “[Bader] deserves the lion’s share of the credit for keeping this thing from seed to reproductive adulthood,” Niklas said. “These plants are not easy to grow,” Luckow said, “She pulled the rabbit out of the hat.”

King stink | The blooming of Cornell’s coprse plant attracted more than 10,000 viewers.

inches each day until it blooms reaching lengths of twelve feet .


Future Corpse Plant Cultivation In the wild, even with the scavenging insects available to help, there is a slim probability that two such plants would bloom at precisely the right times and places for cross-pollination, Niklas said. The plants in cultivation, however, can be artificially inseminated. Gwynne Lim grad, and Monica Ramirez grad, plant biology, and Ha Nguyen grad, neurobiology and behavior, hand-pollinated “Wee Stinky” with pollen given to them from Binghamton University’s 2010 titan arum blooming. The grad students cut square holes in “Wee Stinky’s” spathe — the dried-blood colored leafy, corrugated skirt surrounding the central spadix spike — to access and fertilize the plant’s female flowers. If the pollination was successful, the plant will produce many small bright red fruits containing three seeds each about seven to nine months from now. Ramirez and Nguyen also managed to scrape and scoop about a teaspoon of pollen from “Wee Stinky” early Tuesday morning, staying up from midnight to four p.m. to do so, they said. That pollen is now being cryogenically preserved for future cultivated titan arum pollinations. Cultivation is important for the plant since “Indonesian forests are really disappearing quickly,” Luckow said. Practices such as illegal logging, the development palm oil plantations, and the digging up and selling of titan arum corms on black markets now threaten the species — making wild titan arums ever scarcer. In case you missed out on the bloom over Spring Break check out our slideshow of the event at



Standing Tall | The plant can grow two

Bob Hackett can be reached at

Pseudo petal | The skirt-like spathe encloses the central spike called the spadix.


Plant pollen | The corpse plant was hand pollinated to help it to bear fruit.


Energy store | In its vegetative stage the plant makes food through photosynthesis.

THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 13


The ‘Wine Guy’: Mark Nisbet grad Launches ‘5-Minute Wine School’ By DAINA RINGUS Sun Staff Writer

If you can spare five minutes, Mark Nisbet grad can teach you how to make better wine. A student in food science and technology, Nisbet has filmed a series of short instructional videos, collectively called “5 Minute Wine School,” on YouTube that cover wine analysis basics and explain the science behind fermentation. Nisbet got the idea for the video from a popular short course that he took while at the New York State Experimental Station at Cornell’s Geneva campus. He wanted to make basic


Pipet noir | Nisbet studies and performs enology in his lab.

information about wine analysis more accessible to beginner and home winemakers. Supported by a land grand fellowship from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences—which seeks to support projects that meet Cornell’s land grant mission—Nisbet has already released four videos. Topics he has covered so far include vineyard sampling and measuring pH and titratable acidity in wine. Nisbet tries to present what could be dry topics in an engaging way with the help of his cameraman Brent Fairbrother, “a friend, former colleague and creative visionary,” according to Nisbet. For the videos, Nisbet and Fairbrother created a science nerd persona to liven up the clips. “I envisioned him as Bill Nye the Science Guy meets Alton Brown meets Prof. Gavin Sacks, [food science],” Nisbet said. In the videos his character sports retro safety goggles and a white lab coat. Nisbet relies on a bit of self-conscious science nerd humor to inject some fun into his chemistry-heavy films, he said Currently a Ph.D. student in Prof. Anna Katharine Mansfield’s food science laboratory, Nisbet studies nitrogen content in grapes. “Nitrogen is one of the really important compounds for yeast growth, and it’s often the most limiting compound for growth,” Nisbet explained. He’s measured nitrogen content in grapes from 70 sites in N.Y. state, and is trying to understand how nitrogen levels affect flavor compounds that develop in aromatic white wines, like the Finger Lakes region’s darling, Riesling. Nisbet is no stranger to Finger Lakes wine. He spent summers as a teenager working at his uncle’s winery, Glenora Wine Cellars, on Seneca Lake, first in the cellars and later in the tasting room. After completing a B.S. in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, he found his first job as a food scientist at IFN, a product development consulting company located in Ithaca. Six years later, he went back to school to learn more about wine. As a student, Nisbet has continued to work on product development projects. Last year, he co-led a team whose product, Veggie3, took second place in a national competition.


Chardonnay chemistry | Nisbet grad teaches the scientific side of winemaking through his Youtube videos.

“We developed a very unique freeze-dried technology for it and we filed a patent on it in February,” Nisbet said. The vegetable-based snack food was selected as a finalist for Cornell’s Biotechnology Institute’s Pre-Seed Workshop. The three-day workshop helps entrepreneurs refine their ideas and prepare a business plan prior to exploring becoming a start-up business. While busy with his research and side projects, Nisbet hopes to launch at least five more videos before the end of the summer. Next week, he plans to release two videos of a threepart series on sulfur. His fellowship ends at the end of this semester. “I’m still going to be around for a while,” said Nisbet, with two years left in his degree, “so hopefully, for part of my extension duties, I can keep making videos.” Daina Ringus can be reached at

Prof. Finlay Examines Primate Visual System Evolution By SHERRI COUILLARD Sun Contributor

Deep in the Brazilian rainforests, Prof. Barbara Finlay, psychology, observes the behavior of various species of primates in order to understand the evolution and development of the how primates see. Finlay takes an “evo-devo” approach to understanding and analyzing the visual system, building from the basic concept that all evolution comes from development. Her work with primates explores the intricate relationship between evolution and development. Her work has taken her all over the world–London, Berlin, New Zealand–but her most significant work has been in Belém, Brazil. Since 1995, she has collaborated with Luiz Carlos de Lima Silveira, the Federal University of Pará, researching the evolution of monkey vision through a comparative study of the different kinds of New World primates found there, ranging from pygmy marmosets to capuchin monkeys. One particularly interesting subject in this project is the owl monkey because it is the only monkey that has regained nocturnal sight. The owl monkey’s eyes are similar to those of their nocturnal lemur ancestors


Brain in the hand | Prof. Barbara Finlay studies evolution of the brain’s visual part.

in that they are relatively large and contain a substantial amount of rods, which are receptors in the eye that enable night vision. Finlay’s team set out to determine the cause of this divergence by examining the monkeys’ embryos at specific points of development; it discovered that a variety of different cell structures could be caused by just one very early developmental change, like tampering with the timing of cells leaving the ‘stem cell pool’ and becoming specialized.


Rainforest research | Prof. Finlay conducted her research at the National Primate Center.

These findings begin to tackle the larger question of how evolution is able to occur in seemingly evolved creatures. Development is a means of building on current resources and environmental challenges, and organisms have to evolve in order to exploit certain niche opportunities. “Anyone belonging to a species that’s still here has gone through the filter of being evolvable,” Finlay said. Growing up, Finlay was not particularly interested in science, but as a teenager she enrolled in a summer program with the National Science Foundation as “a way to get away from my strict parents in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.” There, she was assigned to an ophthalmology laboratory where she read James J. Gibson’s Perception of the Visual World. “I was really hooked at that point. That’s when I really got interested in vision.” Finlay said. She pursued this interest as a graduate student at MIT, where she worked in Peter Schiller’s visual physiology lab. Her work entailed recording single neurons in an attempt to figure out how the visual system worked; after long nights recording brain activity of primates, Finlay found that this work was approaching a dead end. Finlay then decided to switch into developmental neurobiology, where she was able to look at how the visual system is wired. Finlay teaches BIONB 4230: Cognitive Neuroscience, where she explores the relationship between neurobiology and psychology. Typically, the class draws an even mix of students from both disciplines. “Both sets of students have a bit of culture shock,” Finlay said. The psychology students are typically taken aback by the amount of neuroanatomy and biology-related vocabulary taught in the class, while neurobiology students tend to be nonplussed by psychology concepts like multidimensional scaling or connectionist networks, according to Finlay.


Monkey see | The Capuchin monkey is one of the primates that Prof. Finlay studies.


Monkey do | The Owl monkey has large eyes that allow it to see in the dark.

For aspiring neuroscientists, Finlay advises, “You have to keep in touch with the biology, and the evolution, and all the basic functions of the brain when you’re thinking about things, and don’t specialize in a little chunk of some particular tissue in some particular animal.” Sherri Couillard can be reached at


14 | The Corne¬ Daily Sun | Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Come Hungry, Leave Dead


Making a book into a movie is a risky business. Book lovers always assert that nothing can compare to the original work, while those who have not read the book will either forgo the movie completely or will leave the theater confused by those crucial missing scenes. All in all, you would think that The Hunger Games directed by Gary Ross and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutchinson, would be another well-intentioned but forgettable movie. You would be wrong. By now, the plot is probably familiar to most: In a post-apocalyptic America, the remaining population has been divided into 12 districts which are controlled by the Capitol. 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives in the impoverished District 12 with her younger sister Prim and her ailing mother. Her worst fears are realized when she is chosen as one of District 12’s Tributes for the Hunger Games, a twisted reality show that pits 24 boys and girls against one other in a fight to the death. While the narrative takes place in the future, Ross does a wonderful job of subtly indicating that Katniss’ world might be more than mere fantasy. The opening shots of the small gray shacks and narrow dusty footpaths of District 12 could just have as easily been located in present-day Appalachia or in the low-income sections of many American towns. The forest where Katniss and her friend Gale illegally hunt for food has not been made lush and green by digital modifications; the landscape looks as tired and beaten as the polluted forests of our time. The Capitol skyline resembles New York City’s more than that of an otherworldly planet. And while the latest Capitol fashions are bizarre, they are no more outlandish than the haute couture we fawn over in magazines.


But more than the setting, it is the emotions portrayed does in the book. Josh Hutchinson is loveable as Peeta, in the film that link us with Katniss and her world. While portraying him with an innocence that masks his physical their relationship is given very little screen time, Katniss’ strength and tactical ability to garner sympathy. love for her sister Prim is palpable; it is only shock that at However, the acting was not at all helped by the cinefirst causes her to hesitate matography. The jolting openfrom volunteering to take ing shots of District 12 will her sister’s place as Tribute. most likely give the viewer a The Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence’s facial headache rather than an idea of Directed by Gary Ross expressions give away very Katniss’ impoverished situation. Featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh little, but her eyes mist over The manner in which the camwith nostalgia as she thinks era shifts in and out of focus Hutcherson and Liam of the home she has left when Katniss is under the influHemsworth behind or glint with pain as ence of the tracker-jack’s venom she says goodbye to her famundermines Lawrence’s perfectly ily for what may be the last competent acting. time. Her portrayal of The action scenes are renKatniss as a girl who has often had to bury her feelings in dered incomprehensible by the camera work, which does order to help those around her is believable and refresh- not allow for the horror of the events at hand to fully resing, considering the hysterics many actresses are com- onate with the viewer. The dialogue, especially at the pelled to reproduce. Katniss saves her words and her tears beginning of the movie, is not particularly inspired; for when they are really merited; her grief over Rue’s Katniss and Gale’s banter was dry and not funny. It’s death is almost frightening in its intensity and her con- tempting to suggest that the movie depended far too much on actions to drive the plot forward at the expense of dialogue. But even such a flaw cannot detract from the superb storytelling. The portrayal of the villains is one instance in which the movie might actually outdo the book; as Katniss has no insight into these characters’ motivations and intentions, they come off as cartoonishly evil. In the movie, President Snow reveals himself to be a cunning dictator: give the people just enough hope and they will toe the line. Rather than the cackles that usually accompany dastardly deeds, the Gamemakers are simply portrayed as men and women who lack any sympathy for the Tributes; for all the emotion they demonstrate, they could just as well be designing a video game rather than orchestrating the deaths of COURTESY OF LIONSGATE PICTURES children. cern for Peeta indicates that perhaps she feels more for The Hunger Games is one of the very rare instances him than she would like to believe. While those who where the movie is on par with the book. Ross remains have read the books may miss Katniss’ ferocity, true to the book without blindly reproducing it on the Lawrence’s portrayal treads a fine line between passive screen; his additions enhance the book rather than detract femininity and warrior-woman aggressiveness. She is from it. For the millions of fans who have been waiting undoubtedly pretty, but is most certainly not above for this movie, it exceeds expectations. It is gratifying to running, sweating and bleeding, especially when her know that once in a while, the odds are in our favor. life or the life of a loved one depends upon it. When Peeta reveals his feelings for her during his interview, Lubabah Chowdhury is a sophomore in the College of Arts and she is angry, but not angry enough to hurt him as she Sciences. She can be reached at




Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | The Corne¬ Daily Sun | 15

Half and Half

ust about the only thing I am looking forward to about tle bit sad to think that my children will probably be graduation is finally being able to meet all of my best only a quarter Chinese, my future grandchildren even friends’ parents. In high school, we knew our friends’ less than that. What started as milk and cream is now parents almost as well as our own, calling them by their first half and half, each generation slowly skimming down names, even dropping a playful “Mom” now and then. Au to two percent, then one percent, and then what? contraire, we go through college barely having met the creAs important as being half-Chinese is to me, it has ators of the people with whom we share everything, from our never directly influenced or driven my personal life rooms to our nights to our secrets. Meeting a friend’s parents and probably never will. Sometimes I wish my kids is an “aha” moment in which you are almost in awe of the could be half-Asian like me, but if my Caucasian mom physical representation of genetics in front of you. has taught me anything, it’s that raising kids of a difAh, genetics. It’s where I get my mom’s smile and ideal- ferent race is kind of a non-issue. At the same time, ism, my dad’s olive skin and innate quietude. It’s why I can reflecting on the racial ambiguity of future generations both wear a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirt on St. Patrick’s Day and has led me to be less judgmental of how others choose send out Chinese New Year cards when my family misses the to continue their own family lines. traditional holiday season. It’s why some people think I’m When people say that they only want to be with adopted. It’s why I proudly refer to myself as a halfie. someone of their same race or religion, I take it as In all honesty, my Chinese dad grew up in Great Neck somewhat of a personal offense, since my own mixedand I am not even that good at using chopsticks. But even race existence was in such clear defiance of those though I am thoroughly Americanized, I still feel close to my beliefs. I used to think it was closed minded of my distinct Chinese heritage. For one, I am perceptibly Asian, Catholic friends to only follow up on Catholic whereas the other half of my genes are a little more, well, advances. I used to think it was cruel and unusual for recessive. I even spent the first seven years of my life in my Indian friends to have to only date other Indians. Chinatown, at a pubI used to see it as a kind of dislic kindergarten where crimination, even. I used to I was the only kid protest, caught up by a combiwho didn’t know how nation of romantic whimsy and defento speak Chinese. siveness — Give everyone a fair But I have to wonchance! You can’t help who you fall in der whether I would love with! People are people! Dessert Eat feel as close a connecAnd it’s true, people are people, but tion to my Asian herpeople are also products of their culFirst itage if my last name tures and beliefs. Is it really discrimiwasn’t Lee, if my hair nation to prefer to be with people who wasn’t naturally dark and stick straight, if I didn’t grow up share those things with you? knowing my Chinese grandparents. For example, I have Jewish friends who say that they just We’re a generation of halfies, a melting pot, as they say. know that they’ll end up with someone else who’s Jewish, Half-Asian, Half-Jewish, Half-Black and the list goes on and because that’s something that’s important to them, something on. The general pattern of interracial relationships leans attractive to them. They want to hold Shabbat dinners, they toward racial acceptance, equality, but also dilution. I’m not want Bat Mitzvahs, they want their children to share the culagainst it because I am a proud product of it and remain ture that plays such a significant part in their own lives. under the romantic notion that you should be free to love Is it wrong to want to be with someone of a particular culwhomever you please. At the same time, it’s strange and a lit- ture, not because it is better or worse than others, but because

Becky Lee


it’s yours? I say, to each his own. One of the coolest things about genetics is being able to create a human being that is the exact combination of yourself, and someone else who you presumably think is really great. Maybe you think he’s great because he shares your culture and beliefs, but maybe you’re just attracted to his laugh or his charm or crossword puzzle aptitude. Either way, there’s a reason kids are not clones. There’s a reason it’s so interesting to meet our friends’ parents and see how two separate people, no matter how similar or different, can blend so seamlessly into an entirely new person. Two halves make a whole, but when it comes to passing parts of ourselves down, maybe half is enough. Becky Lee is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at Eat Dessert First appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.

No Surprises (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) have been transferred to the newly reinstated division on 21 Jump Street. Captain Dickson (a delightfully angry Ice 21 Jump Street is hilarious; it could possi- Cube) reveals that their division specializes in bly the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. I infiltrating high schools by using undercover truly wanted to hate the film and write a cops. Schmidt and Jenko’s youthful faces are scathing review about Channing Tatum’s ter- perfect for the job. After receiving their new rible acting; I can’t think of a single thing he’s identities as brothers, they are enrolled in the done that hasn’t majorly sucked. Although I same high-school they attended as angsty don’t trust my sense of humor completely, the teenagers. This brings back very different memories for collective sound of every each officer. single person laughing 21 Jump Street Schmidt, an in the movie theater ex-wannabereaffirmed my suspicion Directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller Eminem that the movie was truly Featuring nerd, barely funny. Most importantJonah Hill, Channing survived high ly, director duo Phil school. Jenko, Lord and Chris Miller Tatum and Ice Cube the king jock, made the perfect decihad the opposion to stick with an R site experirating, bringing what could have been a potentially boring movie ence. Their mission is to “infiltrate the dealers, find the supplier,” and ultimately stop the into a whole new level. The film is predictable; there are no distribution of a recreational drug called moments that leave you bewildered. Recently HFS. The only problem is that high-school initiated police officers Morton Schmidt social order has completely reversed with ecoconscious hipsters on the top. Of course, hilarity ensues. One of the best scenes of the entire movie is about a crazy party the two main characters COURTESY OF throw. Yes, of THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER course there BY ELENI KONSTANTOPOULOS Sun Staff Writer


is a party scene; this is a high school movie. One of the writers for 21 Jump S t r e e t , Michael Bacall, cowrote the film Project X that’s solely about an insane party, so no surprises there. After confiscating enormous quantities of marijuana from the evidence room, buying tons of alcohol and chips (because every successful party I’ve been to has involved something to munch on), the police officers throw a kick-ass party. What follows is a riotous, hysterical, jam-packedwith-action sequence of events. The chemistry between Hill and Tatum is obvious; the friendship between the adorable and slightly stupid Schmidt and Jenko is truly believable. Hill is his usual endearing (and laughable) self, blurting out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times. The big shock comes from Tatum… he can actually act! Yes, I have experienced the dreadfulness of Dear John but Tatum certainly proves his worth by playing the lovable yet somewhat dumb jock. He definitely should stick to more comedic roles if he wants to showcase his acting chops. Finally, James Franco’s little brother Dan Franco has a major role as one of the popular kids in school and manages to pull it off beautifully as a scared kid who’s just in over his head.

The soundtrack, although by no means anything spectacular or unique, is a series of fun, fast hip-hop and rap songs, perfectly complementing the various scenes of the movie. When a teenage Schmidt walks into his high-school with bleached hair and a chain around his neck, the scene is made even more comical with “The Real Slim Shady” playing in the background. This movie is not just another high-school comedy; it is a parody of all the ridiculous high-school clichés that are well integrated into society’s perception of high school. You are neither going to have a newfound appreciation of life nor a sudden urge to re-examine past mistakes. The trick is to expect nothing more from 21 Jump Street than you should — a very funny and amusing movie. However, you will leave the theater ten times happier and more entertained. Eleni Konstantopoulos is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at


16 THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

ACROSS 1 Salon chorus 6 Modern wall hanging 10 Grilling occasions, briefly 14 White-and-yellow lily 15 Requiem Mass hymn word 16 Riga resident 17 Spanish waters 18 *Handycam project 20 Maritime special ops force member 22 Suez Canal locale 23 *Graduates’ burdens 26 Ames sch. 27 Mao’s gp. 28 “Boardwalk Empire” airer 31 Picture problem 34 *Marshall Plan subject 38 Vital artery 40 “Let __ Cry”: Hootie & the Blowfish hit 41 Word with bald or sea 42 *Frustrating call response 45 Sounds of disapproval 46 LAX calculation 47 Jeanne d’Arc, e.g.: Abbr. 48 Pick, with “for” 50 *Cornerback’s responsibility 56 Cover 59 React to an unreasonable boss, perhaps 60 Physiques, and what the starts of the answers to starred clues are 63 Varnish ingredient 64 “__ further reflection ...” 65 Kaneohe Bay locale 66 “__ a Letter to My Love”: 1980 film 67 Marketing prefix 68 M.’s counterpart 69 Hauling team

DOWN 1 Some hospital procedures 2 Bedevil 3 Candy heart message 4 Be unsportsmanlike 5 Talks back to 6 Drummer’s pair of cymbals 7 Waggish 8 Skye cap 9 Sign of a winner 10 They may involve rants 11 Flock of quail 12 Aural hygiene item 13 Editor’s mark 19 __ à trois 21 Sufficient, in slang 24 “Lohengrin,” for one 25 “The Louisville Lip” 28 Fairy tale baddies 29 Con 30 Horace works 31 Woods denizen? 32 Ill-mannered sort 33 Celestial bear 35 “Golly!”

36 Friend of Stimpson J. Cat 37 Fop’s characteristic 39 Court statistic 43 “__ be an honor” 44 Sets of points, in math 49 Illinois county or its seat 50 Revolutionary general known as Mad Anthony

51 Oscar winner Mercedes 52 Come after 53 Carpentry tools 54 Cybermag 55 Lets out 56 Border on 57 Easy gait 58 Hollywood favorite 61 Hebrew day 62 Bud




Sun Sudoku

Fill in the empty cells, one number in each, so that each column, row, and region contains the numbers 1-9 exactly once. Each number in the solution therefore occurs only once in each of the three “directions,” hence the “single numbers” implied by the puzzle’s name. (Rules from /Sudoku)

Puzzle #1.618




1 7


Mr. Gnu







7 2


7 3 1

5 C

by Robert Radigan grad


by Garry Trudeau

Travis Dandro

by Ali Solomon ’01

om www.cor n.c n ellsu

Strings Attached



Circles and Stuff

By Mark Bickham (c)2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 17

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22 THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Wildcats’ Firepower Give Team Edge Over Buckeyes LIAO

Continued from page 24


Splitsville | Senior Tiffany Chen, an all-around competitor for the Red, was the team’s top performer on vault (9.775), as well as on floor (9.675) at the ECAC championships.

Standridge Ties for First, Shares ECAC Beam Title GYMNASTICS

Continued from page 24

As judges do not like to give out the highest scores at the beginning of the meet, starting on floor is usually considered a challenge for a competing team. Yet Chen and junior McKenna Archer were able to give strong performances, setting the tone for the rest of the day’s competition. Cornell’s next event was to be vault. “For the most part, we had a lot of big vaults,” Hein said. “Everyone went out and did their best performance.” Junior Ashley Maher, Jorgensen and Schupp performed well in the next event, bars. In the final event, beam, Standridge tied for first for the ECAC title. After all the scores had been totaled, it was determined that Cornell would take fourth place — just behind Temple. Penn ultimately won the championship, with Towson placing second. “[The finish] was lower than we proba-

bly would’ve liked, but we did our best and performed on what we could,” Kerner said. “We scored some of our highest scores of the season.” “We did our best performance, we gave it our all, I think we’re pretty happy,” Hein said. Chen and Archer were given the ECAC Scholar-Athlete Award at the meet. The team is now looking forward to their next meet, as 12 team members have qualified to go on to Collegiate National Championships. “We didn’t have one of our best seasons but we pulled it out at the end,” Hein said. “All we can do is look forward to nationals, and see if we can have some individuals do well there.” “We ended on season highs,” Kerner said. “I’m looking forward to starting [next season] where we ended, and we’re already getting ready for next year.”

last matchup with Indiana, Davis has not picked up more than three fouls in any game. Why would you not trust him to play his usual brand of spectacular defense without fouling this time? If Davis — who is by far the best defensive player in the country — had been in the game for that stretch, it’s doubtful that Indiana would have made their run. The Wildcats probably would have cruised to victory instead of fighting off a feisty Indiana team in the second half. After this weekend, the field has been narrowed down to four perennial contenders. Ohio State boasts some major talent with Jared Sullinger in the post and lethal scorers Deshaun Thomas and William Buford surrounding him, but the team is led by my favorite player in the tournament, Aaron Craft. With his rosy cheeks and boyish charm, he looks like a kid who was picked on in middle school, but boy does he have game. On offense, he completely controls the pace of the game, but defense is where he shines. Opposing guards always look at his stature and try to blow by him with a flurry of moves, but they simply cannot get by him, turning it over half the time. He’s harder to get by than Snorlax in those Pokemon games — it just can’t be done. Meanwhile, OSU’s opponent, Kansas, has one of the best guard-forward duos in Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson — Jared Sullinger 2.0 — and a talented center in Jeff Withey to protect the rim. Plus they have Zac Efron’s character from High School Musical, under the pseudonym Connor Teahan, coming off the bench to provide them with a spark. Ohio State has played in the toughest conference all year and I think that tough-

ness will show in this game. Additionally, Craft will have a major impact by shutting down Taylor, so I foresee the Buckeyes making the national championship game. Louisville probably has the least talent out of the four teams left, but they definitely are the scrappiest, and in my opinion, have the best coach in Rick Pitino. With Peyton Siva and Russ Smith pressuring ball handlers the entire game and center Gorgui Dieng manning the middle, it’s a surprise whenever someone scores on them, possessing the best defensive efficiency the country. Then again, it’s a surprise whenever they score, as they rely heavily on Siva to set up most of their scoring opportunities. Louisville’s matchup, Kentucky, is the overwhelming favorite this year and for good reason. It has a once-in-a-generation talent in Anthony Davis, a Top-5 lottery pick in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, NBA-level talent up and down their roster and no noticeable holes. In the first half of its beat down of Baylor, the Bears actually looked scared to play Kentucky. The team was hesitant on every take and on defense; it cowered every time Kentucky drove. Baylor — who is one of the Top-10 talented teams in the nation — had such a talent disparity with the Wildcats, that they were scared! I can see Louisville’s pressure befuddle Kentucky’s freshman point guard Marquis Teague to start, but Louisville simply does not have the firepower to keep up with the Wildcats, but then again, no team does. And that’s why I will pick the Kentucky Wildcats to beat the Buckeyes in the finals and capture their first title since 1998 and Calipari’s first elusive championship. Now let’s just hope that he’ll be able to keep it. Albert Liao is a sports staff writer and columnist. He can be contacted at Playing the Field appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.

Rebecca Velez can be reached at


Ready to rumble | Senior Katie Fink (above) said that the Red is excited to prove itself against its old rival, Skidmore, having not played the Thoroughbreds in two years.

Squad Faces Skidmore After Two Years of not Competing EQUESTRIAN

Continued from page 24

said. “The horses will be wonderful and they’ll be prepared correctly and ready to go and that’s what I’m excited about.” Although Skidmore is a very tough competitor, since the team was formerly part of Cornell’s region, the Saratoga Springs campus is not unfamiliar terrain. “We’ve beat [Skidmore] at home before, so we are very optimistic about our chances this year,” Kowalchik said. It has been two years since the Red has gone head-to-head with the Thoroughbreds,

according to Fink. “I’m really excited to prove ourselves as a team,” she said. “We competed against them for so long. … It’ll be nice to go back and show them what we’re made of.” The road ahead may appear tough, but after coming off a strong season, the team is optimistic about what lies in its future, according to Mitchell. “They did a great job [at regionals] … and they should be proud of themselves, as I am,” he said. Ariel Cooper can be reached at

THE CORNELL DAILY SUN | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 23



Harvard Bests C.U. in Exhibition Match Over Break By ZACH GAYNER Sun Staff Writer

The golf team fell to Harvard, 7-1, in a match-play exhibition held in Hobe Sound, Fla. over Spring Break. The match, however, will not count towards the overall season record, but rather served as a warm-up for the golf team as it heads into its spring season, according to senior co-captain Alex Lavin. Although Cornell lost by a sizeable margin, the game provided a few positives for the team to build on as the season progresses. Senior John Dean and Lavin pointed to sophomores Zach Bosse and Carl Schimenti as top performers during the week leading up to, as well as during, the Harvard match. “Our consistent starters [sophomore Craig Esposito,] Carl and Zack all played very well over break,” Dean said. “Zack's game in particular was very good.” Both Lavin and Dean said that the rest of the team gave strong performances as well, noting that the players’ swings looked polished, especially after a long hiatus from play. “Something that went particularly well across the board was that everyone’s swing looked pretty solid,” Lavin said. “Especially after such a long layoff in the offseason, it is good to see that everyone swing was in such good shape. However, moving forward — especially with a long offseason — people lose touch and we need to work on our short games.” Next weekend the Red travels to Towson in Prospect Bay, Md. to participate in the Fireline Invitational. The tournament has 22 teams in the field and is played on what, according to Lavin, can be generally regarded as an easy golf course. The co-captain said he believes that it will help the Red shake the rust and get back into competition mode. “We are playing at Towson and the course is not one of the more difficult ones that we will play,” Lavin said. “It’s really a good venue for our first spring event because it allows players to get back into competition and have a


Tea time or tee time? | Senior co-captain Alex Lavin said that the exhibition match against Harvard over the weekend provided the team with a warm-up as it heads into its spring season.

warm-up tournament before Ivy League play, where typically we see some championship golf courses.” This tournament marks the beginning of the team’s official season and the Red will look to build momentum heading into conference play, where the team will face a very deep Ivy League that has not been seen in a long time, according to Lavin. “People have said Columbia and Yale are the two top

teams,” he said. “As I’ve said the Ivy League is very deep this year, deeper than it has ever been. People have also been talking about Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth and even Penn so we need to step up and take the title.” Zach Gayner can be reached at


Ithaca Invitational Around Corner for Red By SHAYAN SALAM Sun Contributor

The men’s and women’s track and field teams head across town this weekend to compete in the Ithaca Invitational. The meet, hosted by Ithaca College, will bring a medley of teams to Ithaca to compete, giving the Red a chance to face some fresh competition. Both teams began the outdoor track and field seasons with a Spring Break trip to California. However, while many Cornell students relaxed in the sun over break, the teams were hard at work, competing in meets at both Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine during successive weekends. Coming out of the successful trip out west, the teams will have a big showing at the Ithaca Invitational. “It will be great opportunity to run, particularly for some of the kids who did-

n’t get to run next week as well as some of the technical events that need more time in good conditions,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “We’ll have some good performances over there, especially from kids who are going to be kicking it off for the outdoor season,” said women’s head coach Rich Bowman. “There should be anywhere from 10 to 14 teams, so there should be some strong competition.” While the competition during this meet will mainly be from Division III schools that the Red most likely will not face during future championship meets, the competition will be very important to get many of the athletes into the swing of the outdoor track and field season. “It’s going to be a good training meet for a lot of the guys to get a look at where they are going into the outdoor season,” said men’s senior captain Nick Huber. One of the noticeable differences

between the indoor and outdoor seasons is that many field events which are not featured in the wintertime finally make an appearance. “This meet will be important for the athletes participating in field events that weren’t present during the indoor season,” Bowman said. “In particular, the hammer, the discus, the javelin and all of those throwing events should be pretty exciting.” Ithaca’s elevated location could potentially factor into the competition, as athletes will need to consider the wind during the meet. According to Taylor, the winds might drastically change the results of events during the meet. “The track is right on top of the hill, the wind comes whipping down the lake and straight up the hill across the track,” he said. “As a result, it can be really nice or really miserable.” The weather looks to be fairly mild, with temperatures in the mid-fifties and sixties — providing many of the athletes with good conditions to compete in during the invitational. Invitational meets provide the opportunities for many teams to compete in the same place, ensuring that each event will be competitive. While the Ithaca Invitational will not be scored, it will provide athletes a practice environment to compete in before some of the scored team-based meets happen. The first scored meet of the outdoor season will be the Upstate Challenge on April 21. “Getting back home and getting the whole team back together should be a lot of fun,” Bowman said. “We’re definitely looking forward to it.” “We’re fired up [for the outdoor season] — Heps will definitely be a showdown, so we’ll have to show up and work hard this whole season,” Huber said.


Spring awakening | The track and field teams prepare for the outdoor season, where many of the events which were not featured in the wintertime will make an appearance.

Shayan Salam can be reached at

How did your bracket hold up throughout March Madness? Dani Abada ’14: Let’s just say emphasis on the “mad.” Brian Bencomo ’12: Well, I had Harvard losing in the first round, but then it was pretty much downhill from there. Rob Moore ’12: What bracket? Ben Horowitz ’15: Still going! Buckeyes All the Way! Nick Rielly ’13: My bracket broke down faster than Kim Kris and Kardashian Humphries’ marriage. Joseph Staehle ’13: It’s hard to hold up well when you have Creighton in the final four and Murray State in the finals. Ann Newcomb ’13: Well, out of a tornado of confusion and destruction, I have three of the final four teams correct. Let’s not talk about anything before that. — Compiled by Lauren Ritter

The Corne¬ Daily Sun



Cornell Qualifies Most Individuals For Zones in Region By ARIEL COOPER Sun Staff Writer

With its first postseason show now complete, the equestrian team has taken its first step along the road to nationals. Although the Red had already been crowned the regional champions and is therefore qualified to send a team to Zones, four additional riders were able to qualify as individuals at the March 17 regional competition. According to head coach Chris Mitchell, Cornell will be sending more riders to Zones as individuals than any other team in its region. “It was a very very exciting and good day,” he said. Senior Bronwyn Scrivens was the first to qualify, placing first in open flat and second in open fences. In addition to being the high point, or Cacchione, rider for the region which guarantees her a spot to compete at nationals, Scrivens also won the titles of COURTESY OF KATIE FINK open flat champion and open fences reserve champion. Senior co-captain Katie Fink also competed in the open flat class, plac- Reserve champion | Senior co-captain Katie Fink placed second ing second. She is the open flat reserve champion, which in the open flat class, advancing her to Zones as an individual rider. advances her to Zones. “I was denying it to myself,” Fink said. “I think I was pretty Zones, which gives the squad 11 total riders at the show, accordnervous going in and it was kind of a rush of emotions. There is ing to Mitchell. Although the Red is accustomed to competing as a lot of buildup and anxiety that goes along with it.” a single unit, the individual competition at regionals did not preThe other two riders to qualify for Zones were freshman vent the teammates from supporting each other. Georgiana de Rham and senior Amanda Fan. De Rahm won the “Even though teammates were competing against each other, intermediate fences class, while Fan won the walk trot class. Fan I didn’t feel at any point that there was a rivalry — that’s not what came to Cornell just a year ago with little riding experience, but we’re all about,” Kowalchik said. “There was no love lost for today she is a regional champion. sure.” Fan said that she felt “amazed and In addition to competing at elated” upon winning her class. “The team pulled together beautifully to regionals, the squad faced the chal“I never thought I would come lenge of hosting the competition. get everything done that needed to be this far,” she said. Since less riders compete at regionals In order to qualify for Zones as done and support one another.” than at the regular season shows, this an individual, one must finish first show was much smaller in scale. After or second at regionals; therefore, Katie Fink hosting two regular shows earlier in third place is a tough position to the season, the Red was knew the ins be in. and outs of running a show. “Third is so bittersweet,” Fink said. “You did well enough to “The show ran really well, the horses were phenomenal and be third, but not well enough to go to Zones.” everyone did a great job,” Mitchell said. Junior co-captain Emily Kowalchik was one of the Red’s two “The team pulled together beautifully to get everything done riders who just missed the cut-off for Zones. However, since that needed to be done and support one another,” Fink said. regionals is the only purely individual competition of the season, Now that regionals is over, team members said that they are Kowalchik is looking forward to competing at Zones as part of looking forward to competing at Zones. This year, Zones will the team. take place at Skidmore — the Red’s former regional rival. “The nice thing is that now we can refocus and go back to “I’m actually very excited to go back to [Skidmore],” Mitchell what we do best — which is competing as a team.” See EQUESTRIAN page 22 Seven riders will have the opportunity to compete as a team at


Red Takes Fourth at ECACs By REBECCA VELEZ Sun Staff Writer


Cherry on top | Melanie Standridge gave one of her best performances of the season on beam.

Cornell closed out the regular season this past weekend, competing against six other schools in the ECAC Championships on Saturday. The meet came off of a loss to Kent State in the previous weekend, yet the team felt positive despite the defeat. “[Kent State] was a very consistent meet,” said junior captain Sarah Hein. “We posted our highest score so far … We stayed really focused and hit on all four events that week.” Sophomores Melanie Jorgensen and Lexi Schupp gave solid performances on bars, scoring 9.700 and 9.750, respectively. The top performer on vault for the Red was senior Tiffany Chen, who earned a 9.775. Chen would also go on to be a top scorer for Cornell in floor, with a

9.675. The last event, beam, was a highlight of the day. Jorgensen scored a 9.700 and sophomore Melanie Standridge a 9.875, one of her best scores of the season. “The meet went well for us,” said sophomore Elise Kerner. “We were coming off one of our not so great meets, and it was a personal victory to rally together and have such a great improvement.” The Red came to the ECAC meet the following weekend as defending champions, having won its first title in history at the end of the previous year. “ECAC was bit of a long meet, and I’m proud of us for staying focused,” Hein said. “We started on floor, we stayed focused, did what we needed to do. Everyone went out and hit their routines.” See GYMNASTICS page 22



Critiques From The Couch: March Madness Ups and Downs S

taying in Ithaca over this Spring Break, I told myself that I would catch up on sleep and work, hit the gym and generally be productive. Then I lied on a couch for six hours a day watching the NCAA tournament, eating Insomnia cookies and knocking back a few Keystones. From watching so much basketball, I noticed some things I liked, some things I hated and some interesting trends. Luckily for you, I’m going to share my thoughts! Let’s start with the importance of the 3point shot. After watching the games this weekend, I firmly believe that 3-point shooting is by far the most important factor in March Madness. In the Syracuse-Wisconsin matchup, Syracuse’s 2-3 zone completely befuddled Wisconsin; they forced them to take (mostly) contested threes — exactly what they want — and they did not allow anything inside. In fact, Wisconsin scored only 10 points in the paint, and didn’t even attempt a shot in the paint in the last 14 minutes of the game. The only reason the game was decided on the last possession was Wisconsin’s incredible shooting display — in one stretch they made 3-pointers in six straight possessions. Think about that stat for a second. When was the last time you saw a team attempt six threes in a row?! People will say that Wisconsin was

Albert Liao Playing the Field patient and ran its offense, getting open threes and not turning it over (amazingly, just six turnovers); however, the fact remains that if Wisconsin didn’t shoot a blistering 14-of-27 from three (compared to its season average of 36 percent), this game would not be close. The last possession of the game was completely indicative of the rest of the game; Syracuse allowed no penetration, and instead the Badgers had to toss up a three — albeit tougher than most of their others, that just didn’t go down. The handling of stars in foul trouble also made a huge difference this weekend. In the Indiana-Kentucky game, three important players — Indiana’s point guard Jordan Hulls, center Tyler Zeller and Kentucky’s monster Anthony Davis — were all taken out of the game with two fouls with more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half. With 9:55 to play and Indiana down, 31-22, Indiana coach Tom Crean brought back both of his starters. They promptly went on a 19-8 run to take the lead, before going into the half down three. Meanwhile, Kentucky coach John Calipari glued Davis to the bench. I know it’s conventional to take players out when they get two fouls in the first half, but is it always smart? Despite playing with two fouls, Hulls and Zeller picked up just one more foul each, while Davis picked up none. Also, consider that since Kentucky’s See LIAO page 22


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