THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009
THE INDEPENDENT DAILY AT DUKE UNIVERSITY
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTH YEAR, ISSUE S3
Law prof Cecil takes individual crown tapped for OLP post by Felicia Tan THE CHRONICLE
by Julius Jones THE CHRONICLE
Professor Christopher Schroeder was nominated by President Barack Obama last week to become the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy. Provided that he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Schroeder, the Charles S. Murphy professor of law and public policy studies, will be making a return engagement to the U.S. Department of Justice. He previously served as assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Council during the administration of former president Bill Clinton. “I’m grateful that such experienced and dedicated individuals have joined my administration at a time when our nation faces great challenges,” Obama said in a May 21 White House news release. “Their deep commitment to their individual areas of work gives me confidence that they will help us put America back on a path to prosperity and security.” Officials at the Office of Legal Policy in the Department of Justice declined to comment further. Schroeder joins a growing list of public officials with Duke ties whom Obama has asked to serve in Washington. Others include Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki, Grad ’76, a retired U.S. Army general who earned his master of arts degree in English literature from Duke, and Nicholas School of the Environment professor Richard Newell, who was nominated to be administrator of the Environmental Information Administration in the Department of Energy May 18. Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, SEE SCHROEDER ON PAGE 4
Freshman Mallory Cecil won the 2009 NCAA women’s tennis singles championship Monday. Cecil had a game plan against unseeded but redhot Laura Vallverdu: take the feisty player out of her comfort zone by staying inside the baseline and staying aggressive. Cecil stuck with it all the way through, setting Mallory Cecil
SEE W. TENNIS ON PAGE 10
LAWSON KURTZ/THE CHRONICLE
In its third straight men’s lacrosse Final Four appearance, Duke again fell short of its first national championship, going down 17-7 to No. 2 Syracuse. SEE STORY PAGE 9
Scholarships see increased yields by Toni Wei
Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy professor of law, was nominated to become the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy last week.
onship May 20 in College Station, Texas. “It feels amazing,” Cecil said. “Just like with the team, words can’t describe how much fight and heart went into this for me, and for me to be out here representing my team and representing Duke, I couldn’t ask for more.” The freshman’s singles title caps an extraordinary rookie season which saw Cecil leap into the No. 1 position for Duke within three matches. The South Carolina native closed her season with an individual
SIMEON LAW/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Vallverdu back on her heels on Championship Point and not easing up until she saw the Miami junior’s return sail long. Game, set, match and championship, 7-5, 6-4. For more than two hours Monday, No. 5 Cecil battled her third Miami foe in the individual tournament’s six rounds. For the sixth time, Cecil prevailed in straight sets, outlasting the Venezuelan-born Vallverdu in an all-ACC final and barreling her way to her second national title in less than a week. The freshman helped lead the Blue Devils to their first team national champi-
Yields for the University’s merit scholarships improved for the Class of 2013, with only the Robertson Scholars Program and the Reginaldo Howard Scholarship failing to reach their target numbers. The Benjamin N. Duke scholarship exceeded its target of 10, with 12 confirmed acceptances out of 17 offers, said Don Taylor, program director of the B.N. Duke scholarship program. The University Scholars Program, Trinity Scholarships and Alumni Endowed Scholars all hit their targets exactly, with eight, two and one scholar, respectively, in the incoming class. The Angier B. Duke scholarship in particular saw an increase in yield, from
“...Our current [testing] method probably catches about one in 10 to one in 20 [cases] that are really happening here.” —State Health Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel on N.C.’s swine flu epidemic. See page 4
36 percent to 69 percent. Melissa Malouf, director of the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows, said the A.B. Duke scholarship extended 26 offers this year, 18 of which were accepted, three more than the target number of 15. “It’s better than the last two years, although three years ago it was 16,” Malouf said. “It kind of goes up and down, and we’re not quite sure what it will be each year.” Current A.B. Duke Scholar Nick Altemose, a junior who has served on the A.B. recruitment committee for the last two years, said it was difficult to pinpoint the cause of the changes.
>> A.B. Duke scholarship yield increased from 36 percent for last year’s class to 69 percent for the Class of 2013. >> B.N. Duke scholarship exceeded its target of 10 by bringing in 12 scholars for next year, but its yield dropped. >> Robertson Scholars Program just missed its target of 18, accepting 15 scholars for the Class of 2013.
SEE SCHOLARSHIPS ON PAGE 4
Men’s Baseball: Snubbed Blue Devils defeat Clemson 10-4, but lose to Virginia 11-7 in ACC tournament. Duke did not receive an NCAA tournament bid, PAGE 10
Triangle gathers for a taste of Durham, Page 3
2 | THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009
Suicide group kills 30, wounds 250
LAHORE,Pakistan — A suicide squad using guns,grenades and a van packed with explosives targeted police and Pakistan’s intelligence agency Wednesday, killing 30 and wounding 250 in an assault seen as revenge for the month-old army campaign against the Taliban in the Swat Valley. The midmorning blast on a crowded street damaged an area nearly as big as a city block, mangling cars, spraying bricks in all directions and leaving behind a swimming pool-size crater. Most of the dead and injured were civilians. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said militants were striking out because they were losing the fight with government forces battling to uproot extremists in the valley and the tribal areas in the northwest near Afghanistan. “I believe that anti-Pakistan elements, who want to destabilize our country and see defeat in Swat, have now turned to our cities,” Malik told reporters.
Zoo keeper killed by white tiger
Today at Duke... Fresh Docs: Doxita II Center for Documentary Studies, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Doxita is a traveling festival of documentary films curated by Karen Cirillo. This season’s theme is All in a Day’s Work.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A rare white tiger mauled its keeper to death in front of horrified tourists at a New Zealand wildlife park Wednesday, then was killed after it refused to release the body. The dead animal keeper, Dalu Mncube, was the second person attacked this year by one of the park’s white tigers. Mncube himself helped rescue the employee mauled in February. Mncube, a South African national, was attacked after he and a colleague entered the cage at Zion Wildlife Park on New Zealand’s North Island to clean it, police spokesperson Sarah Kennett said.
LONDON — Indignant British veterans and outraged commentators complained Wednesday over the omission of Queen Elizabeth II from the guest list for next week’s ceremonies to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France. Britain played a key role in the Normandy naval landings, which accelerated the liberation of Europe from Germany. Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be there for the anniversary ceremonies—as will President Barack Obama. But the queen, Britain’s head of state, apparently won’t be. Neither she, nor any member of the royal family was invited to attend the ceremony at the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach on June 6, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.
US looks for support against N. Korea
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration Wednesday sought more international support for its tough stance on North Korea as U.S. officials revealed plans for a presidential meeting with Russian leaders on the matter in July and pressed for a cohesive front later this week during a meeting of Far East defense ministers. The White House national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, said Wednesday night that President Barack Obama will discuss North Korea’s recent atomic test and other belligerent actions during a summit in Moscow with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev. “We will be in close consultation with our friends,” Jones said during a speech delivered to the Atlantic Council, a Washingtonbased foreign policy group. As Jones spoke, Defense Secretary Robert Gates took on the delicate task of reassuring Asian allies of U.S. support without further provoking the communist government. Gates flew to Singapore Wednesday for meetings with foreign ministers aimed at firming up a unified response to the North Korean atomic test.
WWII battleship sunk for sport dives
KEY WEST, Fla. — A 13-year project to create a new artificial reef off the Florida Keys for sport divers and anglers culminated Wednesday with the scuttling of a 523-foot-long former U.S. Air Force missile tracking ship. It took just a minute and 54 seconds to sink the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg after demolition experts triggered a series of explosives that lined both sides of the ship’s bilge area below the waterline. Key West City Manager and Vandenberg project administrator Jim Scholl confirmed the ship settled on the bottom of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in an upright position. A dive team verified that all charges exploded, Scholl said, but said they were continuing assessments to verify the wreck’s structural integrity before opening it up to the public for diving.
Field set for Spelling Bee semi-finals
WASHINGTON — Deborah Horton made the most of her time in the national spelling spotlight. She greeted the officials with a perky “hello” Wednesday and asked every question imaginable about a word she could spell in her sleep. “Efficient.” She wanted all the pronunciations and the part of speech. She wanted it in a sentence. She paused between each letter, then was jubilant when told she got it right. It was a moment to savor. Of the record 293 participants at 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee, only 41 moved on to the nationally televised semifinals that start Thursday morning.
B —compiled from wire reports
SATURDAY partly cloudy
Queen not invited to D-Day events
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. — Pablo Picasso
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009 | 3
Laettner Locals savor food, music at ‘Taste’ sued for $1.5M loan by Ashley Holmstrom THE CHRONICLE
Petroleum corporation Chevron is suing former Duke basketball players Christian Laettner and Brian Davis in Wake County Superior Court, WRAL reported Wednesday. Chevron is taking Laettner, Davis and business partner Tom Niemann to court over an unpaid $1.5 million loan that was supposed to be paid off by September 2008, according to the lawsuit. The three reportedly procured the loan from Chevron in April 2007 to fund a planned renovation of the Chesterfield Building in downtown Durham. Laettner and Davis were members of Duke’s championship-winning men’s basketball teams in 1991 and 1992. Although Davis and Niemann are managing partners, Laettner is a special limited partner of Blue Devil Ventures— the community development company that built the West Village complex of apartments, offices and retail space from old tobacco warehouses in downtown Durham. This lawsuit is one of a number of cases against the former basketball players, including a 2006 suit against Laettner alleging failure to repay a $375,000 loan obtained from a Lexington, Ky. bank. —from staff reports
The sun shone down over the Taste of Durham Festival in Research Triangle Park Saturday afternoon, providing some welcome relief from the rain and clouds that have frequented Durham in the past few weeks. Local and nationally reknowned bands—headlined by Latin American rock band Locos Por Juana—entertained the milling crowd with everything from rock, reggae and hip-hop to bluegrass, soul and jazz, while international dance groups performed Irish jigs and taught the crowd to bellydance and swing in time to Salsa tempos. At least 17 restaurants offered a variety of international flavors and local specialities. A beer garden and wine-tasting tent offered drinks starting at a dollar a taste. The event, in its fifth year, suffered some difficulties due to the economy, said Kimberly Ruskan, founder of The Community Chest, Inc., the nonprofit philanthropic organization that organizes the festival each year. She added, however, that despite some restaurants pulling out at the last minute and a smaller attendance than last year, she considered the event a success. One of her goals for the festival each year is to provide a wide array of activities for people of all ages, interests and incomes, while also exposing them to
MICHAEL NACLERIO/THE CHRONICLE
Latin American rock band Locos Por Juana performs at this year’s Taste of Durham Festival in the Research Triangle Park Saturday. The festivities, which is in its fifth year, featured cruisines from both local restaurants and large food chain companies. many cultures they may not typically encounter, Ruskan said. “We try to inject the international theme into everything with food, wine and music,” she said. “[The Taste] is not a new idea but it is new to the Triangle.” Baba Ghannouj Mediterranean Bistro, Carmen’s Cuban Cafe and Lounge, Taverna Nikos, Vita Pizzeria, Pomodoro Italian Kitchen and Tamarind India Bistro were just some of the food vendors present. Larger chains such as Noodles and Company, The Melting Pot, Cold Stone Creamery and Moe’s Southwest Grill were also part of the festival.
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Although some festival-goers came especially for the music and dancing, the food appeared to be the central attraction. Many said they generally liked the food they tried, though a few said they wished for even more international options other than chain restaurants. “The cajun shrimp from The Melting Pot was delicious,” said Patty Taylor, a resident of Durham who came to the festival with friends from out of town and said she would definitely return to the Taste in the future. Kevin Rutledge, operating partner of Moe’s Southwest Grill, said he was pleased to be at the
festival and had heard good things about past years, even though this was his first year in attendance. “[Ruskan] sold me on the idea,” Rutledge said. “I figured it would be good exposure even though [our] name is well known.” The event, held in a parking lot near Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Research Triangle Park, was originally held in Brightleaf Square, but Ruskan said that it is logistically impossible to return there. Parking, the lay of the land and local food licensing proved
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First swine flu case reported in Durham The first cases of the new H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, were reported in Durham this weekend, according to North Carolina public health officials. A Durham resident and a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Care worker, who works at a UNC clinic in Durham, tested positive for swine flu this weekend. The two patients were isolated to limit the spread of the virus. Although public health officials say the cases are unrelated, both patients recently returned to the Triangle from New York City, which has more than 450 confirmed and probable cases of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. North Carolina has 14 reported cases of swine flu, but Dr. Jeffrey Engel, state health director, said Tuesday that most cases likely go unreported under the state’s current method of testing through selective sampling. “They will definitely go unreported,” Engel told WRAL Tuesday. “We feel that our current [testing] method probably catches about one in 10 to one in 20 that are really happening here.” The CDC has documented 7,927 cases of swine flu across 48 states, resulting in 11 deaths as of Wednesday. —from staff reports
SCHOLARSHIPS from page 1 “I mean you can only speculate, it could very well be that merit scholarships are more appealing in the economic recession, it could just be the group of kids that we selected,” he said. Malouf said she does not think the economy had a large impact on yield this year. “The richer schools can still finesse their [financial aid] packages in a way we can’t,” she said. “My sense is it comes down to choosing between the schools, not the money.” Malouf said competing institutions’ financial aid packages may have hurt the scholarship’s yield in the previous two years. The Class of 2012 and the Class of 2011 each yielded just nine acceptances for the A.B. Duke. Many of the most prestigious schools in the country, such as Harvard University and Yale University, have recently expanded their financial aid offerings, so that in general, families with an income of less than $100,000 pay no tuition and families with an income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay a pro-rated tuition, said David JamiesonDrake, director of the Office of Institutional Research. “There was that financial aid arms race and that did cause a big effect on our re-
In case of an emergency...
MICHAEL NACLERIO/THE CHRONICLE
Duke University Police Department and Durham Police Department conducted a joint rapid response drill on East Campus Sunday. The 35 participants fired paintballs and devices that simulated gunshots as part of their emergency response training.
cruitment because people were deciding between Harvard and Duke, but they were getting just as much money from Harvard because they had a financial aid program that could offer that,” said former A.B. Duke Scholar Sally Liu, Trinity ‘09, who served as A.B. recruitment chair this past Spring. She added that the A.B. Duke program’s decision last year to cover all fees, room and board in addition to tuition made the scholarship more competitive than other need-based programs. “Also, it’s pretty secure, whereas you never know with need-based aid—it fluctuates from year to year, and it depends on the family’s financial situation and school’s financial situation,” Liu said. “That’s pretty scary, because you never know how it will change.” Current A.B. Duke scholar Amanda Peralta, a sophomore who chose Duke over Harvard and Stanford University, said she had a full ride at all the schools she was considering, so money did not make much of a difference to her. “I think it’s kind of a 50-50, and it really depends on what the student wants at that time,” she said. “Sometimes Duke will lose out if prestige really matters.” Peralta said the A.B. Duke made her pick Duke, noting that the scholarship finalist weekend was the only reason she originally visited the University.
“I think that I really enjoyed it, but I think the best part is that it allows a lot of the scholars in the community here to build a lot of ties with the incoming people,” she said. “They made a really great impression on me and I left with a lot of great people I wanted to stay in contact with.”
“I mean you can only speculate, it could very well be that merit scholarships are more appealing in the economic recession, it could just be the group of kids that we selected.” — Nick Altemose, junior, A.B. Duke scholar The scholarship finalist weekend plays a large part in luring A.B. recipients into matriculating at Duke, Liu said, adding that the recruitment committee made several changes this year, including making planning more formalized and having more organized social activities for all participants together, as opposed to splitting them up
like in previous years. Malouf said this year’s scholarship weekend had many improvements from past weekends. “I think this year we did a better job of just kind of giving them more of the experience of Duke rather than just the scholarship weekend,” she said. “That included... three seminars by various faculty, and there was just more kind of opportunities to engage in the intellectual life on campus.” Malouf said competing institutions for the scholars were the usual suspects, citing schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton University. B.N. scholars faced similar decisions. This year’s recipients who turned down the scholarship chose to go to Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of South Carolina, Taylor said. She added that two accepted the Morehead-Cain scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I can’t necessarily speak for everyone but for most of the kids that I’ve talked with, for a lot of them they didn’t want money to be the deciding factor. And for a lot of them, their happiness for the next four years was going to trump the cost,” Altemose said. “They mostly decided that they liked Duke, that they liked the A.B. program, the sense of community and support they would get as an A.B. scholar.”
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SCHROEDER from page 1 said he was not surprised by the large number of people with Duke affiliations who have been asked to join the Obama administration. “Universities are places where administrations go head hunting for people to fill positions,” Schoenfeld said. “There are a number of very talented people at Duke who have and will be asked to serve and make a difference.” Schoenfeld said Schroeder has been a respected member of the Duke community for many years, adding that he is known across the country as a brilliant legal scholar. “It should give all of us great comfort that someone of such talent will be in a position that is of great importance within the Department of Justice,” he added. Curtis Bradley, Richard A. Horvitz professor of law and public policy studies, said he had a favorable opinion of his colleague Schroeder. “He’s a very thoughtful scholar and a very careful law-
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009 | 5
yer,” Bradley said. “He’s an expert in constitutional law and in other areas of law and has a wide range of experiences as both a professor and in government.” Schroeder and Bradley have worked with each other in multiple capacities at Duke. Together, they currently serve as co-directors of the Program in Public Law at the School of Law. In addition to their work for the program, the two men co-authored the book “Presidential Power Stories,” in 2008. Bradley said as a leader, Schroeder is easy to work with. In addition, Schroeder serves as a mentor to those who work alongside him and to the students who participate in the Program in Public Law, Bradley said. “He’s good at managing projects, managing the details and organizing events,” he said, adding that Schroeder’s strong legal background and reasonable views will lead to a smooth confirmation process. Previously, Schroeder was the chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He has also been a member of National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine committees that assessed the U.S. drug safety system.
TASTE from page 3 to be the major issues of holding the event in downtown Durham, said Ruskan, equating planning the festival to a “huge, complex algebraic equation.” “If logistics are better or the same, we’ll move back downtown,” said Ruskan, adding that she is always open to suggestions on how to run the event. In addition to the food and music, the Taste provided entertainment for the whole family. Snow My Yard, a family-owned company, was one of the busiest attractions of the morning, sporting a small man-made sledding hill. Brian Turner, co-owner of Snow My Yard, said they finished building the luge a few months ago, adding that under the hot sun, it had about 3 tons of ice and had to be maintained every one and a half hours. The family said they have had a lot of success with the business, including covering the stairs and basement of a fraternity house with ice for a party at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alhough they were at the Taste last year, the Turners said the sledding hill, rather than just a small field of snow, was an even bigger hit.
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THURSDAY May 28, 2009
Jake Lemmerman and five other Blue Devils will spend their summers playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Five Duke players participated in the CCBL last year.
Duke undone by Orange attack Syracuse offense scores 17 in Final Four romp by Stephen allan THE CHRONICLE
LAWSON KURTZ/THE CHRONICLE
Defenseman Parker McKee looks dejected as two Syracuse players celebrate during the Orange’s 17-7 win.
Blue Devil defense unravels in key moments by Will Flaherty THE CHRONICLE
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — If the Blue Devils were already six feet under when the scoreboard hit 14-6 at the end of the third period of Syracuse’s 17-7 whitewashing of Duke, the shovel that dug Duke’s grave was shoddy defense—particularly in pivotal end-of-quarter situations. The Orange ended two periods—the first and third—with a pair of goals within the final minute of the quarter. With the score knotted 2Game 2 at the :35 mark of the period, Syracuse’s Analysis first Pat Perritt netted a seemingly impossible shot, as the ball snuck between the right post and the leg of Duke goaltender Rob Schroeder. But before television replays could even appear on the Gillette Stadium Jumbotron, Syracuse had struck again, with Orange attackman Kenny Nims slicing in a goal as time expired to double up Duke 4-2 going into the second quarter. Nims and Perritt reprised their goalscoring roles at the end of the third quarter as well, as Nims netted a goal at the :59 mark to put Syracuse up 13-6. That was followed by Perritt’s fourth and final goal of the game with 26 ticks left on the clock. “We were certainly on our heels,” Duke head coach John Danowski said of his team’s defense. ”We did some uncharacteristic things at the end of quarters, and we seemed to be out of sorts, but maybe that was Syracuse making us out of sorts, as opposed to saying it was us.” Whether it was a matter of the Orange’s talent—Syracuse ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in scoring offense—or Duke’s own errors,
the Orange had no trouble receiving the ball in front of the net, leading to numerous point-blank shots that were impossible for Schroeder to stop. Going into the semifinal matchup with the Blue Devils, Syracuse’s game plan was to emphasize a finesse approach that stressed fewer well-placed shots instead of a power game with a heavy dose of long-range but high-velocity shots. As evidenced by the numbers on their side of the scoreboard, the Orange’s efforts paid off. “Their goalie takes up a lot of space in the cage and I just wasn’t trying to shoot the ball too hard, shoot it through the net,” Perritt said. “[Head coach John Desko] said during the week to just try and place the ball, shoot it overhand and put it to the far corners, and that’s what I tried to do and it worked.” Another source of Duke’s troubles was the Orange’s relentless pursuit of faceoffs and ground balls. Syracuse led Duke in both statistical categories, and its ability to transition quickly from defense to offense resulted in easy goals. Four of Syracuse’s 17 goals came within a minute of a previous Orange score. “We felt that Duke really concentrates on the center of the field, that [it] really want[s] to go after ground balls and get possessions there and beat you there,” Desko said. “The game starts with a face-off and we have to go after loose balls and get possessions and get the ball to our offensive end. And we were able to create some transition off of it [too].” The Orange used that transition to take advantage of any Duke miscues, pile on the goals, and bury the Blue Devils. “We thought they were terrific.” Danowski said of the eventual national champion Orange. “If we made a mistake, they capitalized, and we tip our caps to Syracuse
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The third trip to the Final Four was not the charm for No. 3 Duke. In fact, Saturday’s national semifinal was arguably the worst performance in the Blue Devils’ 29-game postseason history. No. 2 Syracuse dominated No. 3 Duke (15-4) in every statistical category, outshootthe Blue Devils DUKE 7 ing 48-32, winning eight 17 more faceoffs and icSYR ing a red-hot Duke team that had won 12 of its previous 13 games in a 17-7 blowout at Gillette Stadium. The Orange (16-2) won the NCAA championship Monday against Cornell in a 10-9 overtime classic after trailing by three with four minutes left. The Blue Devils’ loss was their second straight in the national semifinals and third straight on Championship Weekend. The Blue Devils lost to Johns Hopkins in last year’s Final Four and two years ago in the championship game. The 17 goals allowed Saturday were the most since 2004—before head coach John Danowski came to Duke or any player on the current roster wore a Blue Devil uniform. The 10-goal rout was easily the most lopsided defeat of the year, and also represented the biggest loss the program has suffered in the postseason. The previous worst was a mere three goals. “They punched us in the mouth early, give them credit for that,” attackman Max Quinzani said. “They didn’t allow us to have long possessions, and then we started running around like chickens with our heads cut off.” Quinzani said the team never solved the Orange’s defensive scheme in large part because when Duke did have the ball, it quickly lost possession due to forced turnovers or sloppy offensive play. Near the end of the first quarter, though,
Duke had managed to play Syracuse to a draw. After the Blue Devils gave up two early goals, attackman Zach Howell scored twice less than two minutes apart to knot the game at two. But in less than one m i n u t e , the Orange shifted the momentum heavily in its favor. With 35 seconds remaining in the period, Syracuse attackman Patrick Perritt nailed a shot from the right side that barely snuck past well-positioned goalie Rob Schroeder for the one-goal lead. And as time wound down, a diving Kenny Nims scored over Schroeder’s left shoulder to give Syracuse a two-goal lead. Duke would not tie the game again. In fact, the Blue Devils would not even keep the game competitive. Syracuse outscored Duke 10-4 over the next two periods, including a back-breaking goal seven seconds into the second half that pushed the Orange’s lead to five. “We know Syracuse likes to play to their strengths and they knew exactly what those strengths were,” head coach John Danowski said. “Coming into the game, I thought we had a plan for that, but they had some tremendous looks and plays. Those open players often found themselves right in front of the net, as quick passing and fluid movement left numerous Syracuse attackmen with only Schroeder to beat. And once the Orange started piling on the goals, Duke didn’t know how to react. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been behind in a game, so I think we began pressing a little bit,” Danowski said. “Everyone probably has a hand in this, but we won’t know until we look at the video, which probably won’t happen until 2012 or 2013.” By then, the Blue Devils may have a national title under their belt—but for now, they will have to settle for another unfulfilling Final Four.
LAWSON KURTZ/THE CHRONICLE
Sam Payton and Duke won just 10 of 28 faceoffs in their 17-7 loss to Syracuse in Foxborough, Mass. Saturday.
10 | THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009
Clemson win not enough to secure NCAA bid by Emmeline Zhao THE CHRONICLE
Despite Duke’s 10-4 win over No. 14 Clemson Friday, the Blue Devils missed out on a chance at the 2009 ACC title with an 11-7 loss to No. 9 Virginia Saturday—a loss that might have cost Duke an NCAA tournament bid. The Blue Devils finished 1-2 in ACC tournament play after going 15-15 in conference during the regular season. But the NCAA selection DUKE 1 committee, which the 11 announced UNC field of 64 for the DUKE 10 NCAA tournament Monday, did not CLEM 4 award Duke a spot in the bracket. DUKE 7 The Blue Devils 11 (36-23) have not UVA made the NCAA tournament since 1961. “I think our kids are really disappointed,” head coach Sean McNally told the (Raleigh) News & Observer after the loss to Virginia. “We had a sense coming out of the ACC Tournament...that we might have a tough time getting in. “But absolutely, we take a lot of positives from this year, and I do think with time, the guys will appreciate that we’ve taken a step forward—even if it wasn’t as a big a step as we would have liked.” Though Duke left Durham Bulls Athletic Park disappointed Saturday, the Blue Devils were in high spirits Friday after one of their biggest wins of the season. Starting pitcher Andrew Wolcott gave up a home run early in the game that gave Clemson (40-19) a 1-0 lead, but he shut the Tigers
W. TENNIS from page 1 record of 32-4, which she amassed entirely during the spring after arriving at Duke in January. Cecil becomes the second Blue Devil to win the individual championship, following Vanessa Webb’s title run in 1998. She is only the 14th player in NCAA history and the first in ACC history to take both the team and individual titles in the same season. The straight-set final score belied a gritty, tight match at George P. Mitchell Tennis Stadium. The 24th-ranked Vallverdu entered the contest playing with a high level of intensity and riding a 17-match winning streak. Cecil matched the Miami player step for step, and the two traded the first six games on serve. “[Vallverdu] was doing a really good job of keeping the balls low,” Cecil said. “She likes to pull you back behind the baseline and then she likes to drop shot you, so I was taking her balls a little bit earlier, and I was expecting her shot. I think by taking that away from her, I took away a little bit from her game.” The Blue Devil freshman took advantage, dictating the points and pushing her opponent back. She claimed the first break for a 4-3 lead, then fought off three break points to hold serve for 5-3. However, Vallverdu broke back to move to 5-5. Cecil, though, returned the favor, and she closed out the tough frame with a win on serve for the one-set lead. The second set saw Cecil break early again and go ahead 2-1. She then slowly pulled away to 3-1, 4-1 and finally 5-1. “I knew [Cecil] was going to come out with big balls,” Vallverdu said. “She kept pull-
IAN SOILEAU/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Andrew Wolcott got the win Friday against Clemson, but Duke did not receive a bid to the NCAA tournament. out from that point until the eighth inning. “He’s got great poise,” McNally said. “He’s unflappable—it usually takes him a little while to set in.... But he’s very tough with runners in scoring positions....
ing and pulling across, and I thought she was going to go line, which is what I’ve seen from her. I was just getting pulled out wide a lot, and I didn’t know what to do with that ball.” But the junior with a history of coming back wasn’t about to let the title slip through her fingers without a fight. A day earlier, the Venezuelan had fought back furiously from 5-2 down to take the set and match from the eighth seed, Georgia’s Chelsey Gullickson. Monday, Vallverdu rallied again, taking three straight games to pull back to 5-4 and fending off three match points in the process. With the championship now on her racket, Cecil converted on her second chance to bring the title home. In the final game, she whipped a superb crosscourt backhand to go up 30-15, and a deep forehand gave the rookie 40-15 and match point. Cecil sealed the national championship by using the strategy that had worked for her all match long, moving into the court and watching as Vallverdu’s shot dropped out behind the baseline. “For Mallory through this week, and the team before, I don’t think we could have asked for a better two weeks,” Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “It’s been an unbelievable freshman year for her and an unbelievable year for the whole group.” Cecil admitted she isn’t 100 percent sure about her future plans at this point, with the possibility of turning pro a real option. She plans to play some tournaments this summer and is currently slated to be back at Duke in the fall. For now, though, Cecil is just living in the moment. After all, she has two newly-acquired national championships to enjoy.
“He has been rock solid all year long— he’s a cornerstone guy for our season and our program.” Wolcott’s run support came almost entirely in a six-run sixth inning that knocked
Tigers’ starter Chris Dwyer out of the game. Senior first baseman Nate Freiman led off the inning with a deep home run over the Blue Monster in left field. The home run, the 43rd of his career, set a new school record, and also gave Freiman an ACC-best 20 homers on the year. After Freiman’s leadoff bomb, leftfielder Jeremy Gould bunted for a single. Shortstop Jake Lemmerman drove Gould home with a triple, and Lemmerman scored seconds later on a wild pitch. Alex Hassan drove in two runs with a single up the middle later in the inning, and what had been a 2-1 game turned into an 8-1 blowout. “The sixth inning was rough,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “We had the same amount of hits as they did, but they made theirs count.” Making those hits count was exactly what McNally needed from his team to clinch a berth in the NCAA tournament. “We feel like we’re one of the best 64 teams in the country,” McNally said following Friday’s game. “There’s no question about that.” But that sentiment was not reflected by the selection committee Monday, and Duke’s defeat against the Cavaliers certainly didn’t help its cause. If Duke had beaten Virginia (43-12-1), it would have advanced to the ACC tournament title game by virtue of a better head-tohead record than the Cavaliers. In the end, Virginia took down Florida State Sunday in the conference championship game. Duke led Virginia 4-2 in the top of the seventh Saturday night, and to that point SEE BASEBALL ON PAGE 12
KEVIN LINCOLN/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Mallory Cecil capped off an ideal freshman season by winning the NCAA individual title Monday in College Station, Texas. Cecil led the Blue Devils to the team national championship last week at No. 1 singles.
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009 | 11
Blumenherst, Lee lead Duke to 6th at NCAAs by Gabe Starosta THE CHRONICLE
Duke saved its best performance on the links for the last day of competition at the NCAA championships in Owings Mills, Md. But just like a year ago, that performance wasn’t good enough to challenge for the national title. The tournament marked the end of the careers of two of the most decorated athletes in Blue Devil history, Amanda Blumenherst and Jennie Lee. The two were both four-time All-Americans and were part of two national championship teams in 2006 and 2007. Despite not truly being in contention for a team championship, Duke carded an impressive 296 Friday, the Blue Devils’ best round of the tournament. Lee and Blumenherst led the charge on the final day, shooting an even-par 72 and a 1-under 71, respectively, to drive Duke up the leaderboard. Improved putting and fairway play from the whole team propelled the Blue Devils from eighth to sixth place in the standings—a result that might not have pleased head coach Dan Brooks, a five-time national champion, in past years. But Brooks said that the struggles and difficulties his team has faced this season—including Mina Harigae’s decision to leave school to play professionally and the coach’s own illness in the fall—made this season one of the most rewarding in his 24 seasons at Duke. “It has more to do with the attitudes and the hard work that went into this [tournament],” Brooks said. “That’s what I’m most satisfied about. Given the year that we’ve had—it’s been a year of injury and high-impact departure—if you add
all that up, for us to finish where we did is pretty satisfying.” Arizona State won the tournament at 30over, finishing 25 strokes ahead of Duke. It was the first time in six years that the Blue Devils finished out of the top three. Lee said she and Blumenherst felt little pressure during their final round, simply enjoying the experience. Lee, who recorded the best finish of her Duke career as a freshman in the national championships when she placed second, finished in a tie for 25th individually. Blumenherst finished fourth in the individual competition, just four strokes behind champion Maria Hernandez of Purdue. Blumenherst said she was near tears on the 18th green, her last as an amateur. After spurning professional golf for four years to complete her degree, Blumenherst finally turned pro Wednesday when she signed with IMG. She will begin her professional career at the end of June at the Wegmans LPGA in Pittsford, New York. “It was definitely different—much more emotional,” Blumenherst said of her last tournament. “We didn’t win or anything, but after I got off the green, the whole team came to meet me and there were definitely a lot of tears shed.” Brooks echoed Blumenherst’s sentiments, and praised both players’ commitment to a program that they took to two national championships and three ACC titles. “[Amanda and Jennie were] as excited to be college golfers as any athlete you’ll ever see,” Brooks said. “Neither one of them wanted this to end, this college career that they’ve had.”
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BASEBALL from page 10 had gotten a strong effort on the mound from freshman Eric Pfisterer. Pfisterer allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to keep the Blue Devils in the game. But a sloppy seventh inning in the field gave the Cavaliers a chance to earn a place in the ACC title game. After getting the first two hitters out, junior reliever Will Currier walked two straight batters. Then, with a chance to end the inning on a ground ball, Freiman committed an error, keeping the inning alive for Virginia. One hit batsmen, two doubles, and a triple later, Duke was staring at a five-run deficit. The Blue Devils cut the Virginia lead to three in the bottom of the eighth, but Cavalier closer Kevin Arico shut the door on Duke’s ACC title—and NCAA tournament—hopes.
MICHAEL NACLERIO/THE CHRONICLE
Senior Nate Freiman set a new school record for home runs Friday night.
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Duke in contention after Day 2 By Dan Ahrens THE CHRONICLE
Through the first round and a half of the NCAA Championships at the Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio, the Blue Devils are in eighth place with a score of 14-over par. Weather delayed play for nearly five hours on Wednesday, and darkness forced the players to leave the course with several holes remaining in their rounds. On Tuesday, the first day of the tournament, the Blue Devils combined to shoot a 13-over par 297, trailing current leaders Oklahoma State by nine strokes. Senior Michael Quagliano led the way for Duke, shooting 73, two strokes over Inverness’s par score of 71. Following Wednesday’s rain delay, the Blue Devils set a blistering pace and finished their day only 1-over par with the tougher front nine yet to play. Duke started on the back nine Wednesday. Quagliano is 4-under par through the first ten holes of his second round, and his current total score of 2-under par is tied for the sixth-best individual score of the tournament. He trails current leader Alex Ching of San Diego by four shots. The Duke senior opened his second round with four birdies in his first seven holes, then gutted out three pars as darkness set in. The key to the Duke senior’s impressive run was his solid play off the tee and on the approach: He hit all ten greens in regulation and eight of ten fairways on his drives. “I just wanted to give each putt a chance to go in,” Quagliano said. “I am putting really well right now so I feel if I can get it on the green I have a chance to make birdie.” Senior Clark Klaasen is at 3-over par and Junior Adam Long has played at 4-over, good for 35th and 44th, respectively. Ranked outside the top 25 beginning the tournament, the Blue Devils are playing well above others’ expectations, and look to continue their good play through the end of the championships. In order to do that, they will need to survive a brutal day Thursday. Play will start for those who failed to finish their second rounds at 6:45 a.m, with the third round expected to tee off only hours later at 10 a.m. “[Thursday] is going to be a bit of marathon day to play,” head coach Jamie Green said. “The golf course should still be soft when we find it and that will be key.”
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resident Barack Obama Law Journal. And as Obama announced Tuesday noted Tuesday, she has more that judge Sonia So- judicial experience than any tomayor would be his first current Supreme Court jusnominee to the Supreme tice had at the time of their Court. The selection of Soto- appointment. mayor has some But, as is political implitypical with staff editorial cations. If conSupreme firmed by the U.S. Senate, Court nominees, the media Sotomayor’s appointment mining for criticism began would make her the court’s early. And, incidentally, much second female member and of the initial controversy centhe first Hispanic justice in its tered on comments that Sotohistory. Her nomination as a mayor made at Duke. justice is symbolic of much of “All of the legal defense what Obama’s election meant funds out there, they’re lookto the country. ing for people with court of It is clear, however, that appeals experience, because the choice of Sotomayor is court of appeals is where polmore than just a matter of icy is made,” Sotomayor said symbolism. Her qualifications during a 2005 panel discusare indisputable. She gradu- sion at the School of Law. ated summa cum laude from Cable news networks and Princeton before going on to conservative critics jumped serve as an editor of the Yale all over these comments, of-
onlinecomment The number of families able to pay $48,495 per year is shrinking rapidly. When will Duke face this fundamental fact and get off its spend-spend-spend merry-go-round? It is long past time to roll-back the spending excesses of the current administration.
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fering them as proof that Sotomayor favored a form of judicial activism that would allow her to make laws from the bench. Public officials should always be held accountable for what they say in public, and perhaps Sotomayor could have expressed herself better, but this is a case of a quote being taken wholly out of context. In her remarks, Sotomayor went on to clarify that the court of appeals is where the law is “percolating,” a description which gives a more precise indicator of her actual meaning. Sotomayor was explaining the difference between a court of appeals justice and a district court justice to an audience of law students at an information panel about judicial clerkship
opportunities. She was not making any argument about how a court of appeals judge should act. The irony of the situation is that Sotomayor seemed to know her comments would be misconstrued, even as soon as she said them. She quickly drew laughter from the crowd by adding, “I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know... I’m not promoting it.” There is some evidence that Sotomayor envisions a more active role for the Supreme Court—she ruled against New Haven firefighters who were deemed ineligible for promotions after an examination failed to produce any black employees who were in line for promotion too. But none of this sup-
posedly damaging evidence can be found at Duke—it is publicly available in the pages and pages of rulings that Sotomayor has issued during her long career as a federal judge. As he announced his pick of Sotomayor to the media, Obama said one of the qualities he sought in nominating a justice was, “a recognition of the limits of the judicial role, an understanding that a judge’s job is to interpret, not make law, to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice.” Sotomayor and Obama may indeed envision a more active role for the Supreme Court, but it is unfair to suggest that they are judicial activists who support simply legislating from the bench.
Keep the questions coming
hat do you believe? Why? Have you always believed this? What role does this tradition, this spirituality, this religion play in your life? Why are we so scared to ask these questions? The two weeks after exam week, I, along with nineteen fellow Dukies began a conversation in search of these answers. We had all applied to take a trip to Turkey hosted by the vanessa kennedy Duke Faith Counglass half full cil, and had been chosen in order to create a team featuring a balance of gender, school year and religious background. Our mission was to engage in an interfaith dialogue—to explore the faith profile of Turkey as well as to learn more about the faith practices of both ourselves and others. Together, we traveled throughout Turkey, learning, exploring and most importantly, asking a lot of questions. As I embarked on the trip, I was both interested and excited—I enjoy traveling and learning from new people, and I consider myself to be a religious and spiritual person. The trip combined several of my interests and felt like a perfect addition to my ever-growing list of unique opportunities Duke has shown to me. However, what I didn’t realize was how unfamiliar I was with participating in an honest dialogue about faith. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Every night, after spending the day exploring Turkey’s plethora of historic and religious sites, our team paused to reflect on our own religious traditions and experiences, as well as listen to those of others. We quickly adopted a “keep the questions coming” policy, in which we were all welcome to openly ask each other any question about faith. The questions began to flow, and as I began to appreciate the intricacies and traditions of other faiths in an entirely new light, new sides of old friends were exposed. Day by day, we started to better understand why our beliefs, practices and tradi-
tions are important and how they can fit together to form a diverse campus and community. Leaving Duke and traveling to Turkey was in many ways a breath of fresh air. As an engineer, I’m often scared to talk about faith at all, at the risk of sounding unintelligent and unscientific. When I do talk about my faith, it’s always been in a narrow, safe environment- my family, my church, my friends with similar backgrounds and similar beliefs. I had never before been in a situation where I was allowed—even encouraged,—to ask honest questions about the faiths of others. Having conversations about religion is something I’ve always shoved aside. I’m scared of offending someone, of crossing into unfamiliar territory and sounding rude and ignorant. I, a practicing Christian, spent six weeks living with a Jewish roommate at Duke, yet never once really asked her about her Kosher diet, or her weekly Shabbat services. I knew the “what”—I had taken a world religions class and was familiar with terminology—but I never dared to cross over into the “why”. It’s one thing to learn about Judaism from a textbook, or to ask Wikipedia to fill in your knowledge gaps about Islam. It’s another thing entirely to visit a Shabbat service, to step inside a Mosque, to sit down with your peers and honestly ask, “Why exactly do you do that?” While the answers you find aren’t always theologically accurate, they shed a personal light, providing a deeper understanding and insight of what this belief, this religion, is really about and why that matters to the people around us. Why was it that, before traveling to Turkey I’d had hundreds of conversations with my friends of different faiths, running the gamut in topic, I shy away when it comes to spirituality and religion? Why are we so scared to honestly learn about something that is often an integral part of our friends’ backgrounds and beliefs, allowing us to understand them better as people? Vanessa Kennedy is a Pratt senior. Her column will run on Thursdays during the summer.
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THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009 | 15
student’s poetry,” reads a June 8, 1982 article in The Harvard Crimson, “the professor suddenly said that he did not want to discuss poetry and began to discuss sex, asking the students, ‘Would you make love with me?’ The student [who filed the complaint] declined Walcott’s advances and reportedly received the only C in the class.” The Dean of the Faculty at Harvard “admonished” Walcott in a letter and recommended that his ongoing position at Boston University be revoked. BU, however, opted to keep Walcott on staff. The second incident, from 1996, involved a BU student who claimed that Walcott refused to produce her play after she turned down sex with him, the New York Times reported. The student and the professor settled the matter out of court. While I do acknowledge the seriousness of these decades-old allegations, an orchestrated attempt to discredit a poet has succeeded, and, because of the obsession with correct conduct in academia, this controversy may outlast the seemingly eternal beauty of Walcott’s work. Writers have not always had to worry about their personal lives eclipsing the quality of their art; when you think of previous generations, many of the world’s great poets have not exactly been characterized by their conservatism and prudence. Indeed, if you list off the wordsmiths commonly found on English 101 syllabi, the social delinquents seem to greatly outnumber the strait-laced paradigms of decency. Let’s do a run-through: Samuel Coleridge was in constant need of that opium fix; Dylan Thomas drank himself to death; Ezra Pound was fascist and anti-Semitic; Allen Ginsberg talked of his weed-induced spiritual revelations; John Cheever came on to most of his students and drank inordinate amounts of scotch while he taught classes; Arthur Rimbaud smoked hash and went on absinthe-induced benders—oh, and then Paul Verlaine shot Rimbaud in the wrist. And the list goes on. Though today these poets and writers would, evidently, not have a chance at becoming the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, their work survives in classrooms because scholars recognize that their brilliance is independent of the way they lived their lives. And, having read his widely acclaimed long-form poem Omeros, I can say with certainty that Walcott deserves a place among these long-gone poets whose words still echo in the books of today’s students. If Walcott’s poetry manages to rise above these attacks and make it to reading lists on future college campuses, it will be a true example of poetic justice.
ifeguarding is a journey into fiction. In my several years guarding the lives of dozens of entitled patrons, the books on my shelf have increased exponentially while my save count has flatlined at zero. It is a job that invigorates the mind, if not the body. Sitting in a chair all day with no companion except a damp paperback, you start to question the impassioned cry of your high school English teacher that art reflects life. The more interesting moments in the life of a lifeguard— those that inevitably occur away ben brostoff from the pool—lend a bit more credence to the claims of our bro’s stuff literary-minded brethren. I was more inclined to believe in art’s similarity to life when I discovered that my family’s stay in a New York area Marriott coincided with a national convention for a Haitian church. Indeed, I felt as though I was in the pages of one of the books I read poolside when I walked into the hotel’s small gym, coincidentally dressed in all Duke attire, and found myself the lone white guy among a group of positively ripped Haitian men. After grabbing a pair of weights that looked embarrassingly small compared to the ones wielded by my darker-skinned counterparts, I was approached by a small Haitian boy, presumably the son of one of these giants, armed with a notepad and pencil. “May I have your autograph, Mr. Paulus?” A storybook moment, no doubt. It is always strange when we are mistaken for someone we are not. Throw on a Duke hoodie and it’s highly probable someone pegs you as something altogether different from the typical classifications you generated the first eighteen years of your life. The Blue Devil insignia seems to have become synonymous with a spectrum of reactions from observers, including eyebrow raising, eye rolling and wide eyes. Geographical proximity to Durham may act as the primary determinant of where people land on the spectrum: I would venture that as you get closer to ACC country, the more extreme the reactions are to Duke blue (similarly, in the Northeast, anyone who wears Harvard gear is subject to far more heckling or curious inquiries than in other regions of the world). The cost of attending a well-known University is frequently dealing with these polarized reactions to your school, and, by some illogical tenet of the transitive property, you. This jump in logic, wherein it is assumed what’s true about a school is true about its individuals, is apparently supported by the Duke Athletics Department. University sports seem to have embraced an advertising campaign where athletes and fans loudly proclaim, “We are Duke!” I sincerely hope that a throng of insane, facepainted super fans who believe Kyle Singler is the second coming of Larry Bird is not an accurate representation of our school. Fortunately, misconceptions about our major revenue sports teams, in the long run, are largely inconsequential to Duke’s image: more troubling is the tendency for Durham’s residents to associate Duke and its students with some entitled underclassman who was captured on video (that was later aired on a Durham local cable station) screaming hysterically at authorities, as she was ushered into a police car for underage drinking, “You don’t understand, okay! Like it doesn’t matter! I don’t go to f—ing Durham Tech. I don’t go to Central. I go to Duke.” To be perceived as a heavily biased joke-of-a-sports-fan, as well as a ridiculously entitled nitwit, is certainly annoying, and even unfair, but it is the price of attaching oneself to an institution with national distinction. It is a price that will always be non-negotiable. Michael Schoenfeld, Phail Wynn, in addition to the scores of well intentioned students who intend to fix Duke-Durham and public relations— namely, anyone who wants to depolarize the masses when Duke enters the conversation—are constantly fighting an uphill battle that won’t end anytime soon. We pride ourselves at school for our unity, our indestructible spirit, our love for the Blue Devils, but then politely disassociate ourselves from our college when, removed from campus, someone snidely mentions lacrosse, or the endowment, or Trinity Heights. I wasn’t a part of that, I don’t know much about that, etc. A summer away from Duke is, in some ways, a lesson in establishing independence from everything that lays claim to you at school. “No, I’m not Greg Paulus,” I told the Haitian boy. It was surprisingly difficult for me to acknowledge this little fact, after which I watched his face drop in disappointment, and the notepad and pencil escape into his pocket. There would be no celebrity appearances today, no brushes with greatness and, for the autograph seeker and myself, life would again take on its predictable monotony. I would be mistaken for no one except myself.
Nathan Freeman is a Trinity senior. His column will run every other Thursday during the summer.
Ben Brostoff is a Trinity sophomore. His column will run every other Thursday during the summer.
Hire professors on merit
n the hallowed halls of Oxford University, the selection of the new Professor of Poetry—a 300-yearold honor unmatched in the field—has become a tumultuous, controversy-fraught disaster that has prevented a highly acclaimed poet from winning the job. The instigator? An anonymous letterwriting campaign intended to dismantle the candidacy of the one-time frontrunner, Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, by digging up past allenathan freeman gations of sexual misgood night, conduct. and good luck The conspirators in the anti-Walcott effort sent dozens of Oxford academics excerpts from the book “The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus,” by Billie Wright Dziech and Linda Weiner in order to make a case against him. After the evidence surfaced, the smeared Walcott dropped out of the race, allowing Ruth Padel to be elected to the post, as the first woman in the position’s history. And the carnage continued: a newspaper found recently that, contrary to previous statements, Padel had indeed sent e-mails alerting journalists of Walcott’s alleged instances of sexual harassment. The Sunday Times reports that in April, Padel informed at least two journalists of the past accusations. Once Padel admitted to the claims, she decided to resign the post. I have had the great pleasure of encountering the genius of Walcott’s poetry in and out of the classroom, and it is a shame that the fracas made over these allegations is depriving Oxford students of a world-class artist and academic. The quick dismantling of the search for a new Professor of Poetry is an example of how the politics of choosing candidates for academic positions can become too steeped in moralizing conduct, allowing their qualifications to take a back seat. As a result of an unfortunate display of mudslinging, Oxford students are now being deprived of the chance to learn from a master poet. Until now, the kind of misconduct cited in “The Lecherous Professor” has not impeded Walcott from teaching at Columbia, Yale and Boston University among other institutions. The first incident cited in the book occurred when a student filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Walcott, who was then a visiting professor at Harvard. “In a discussion of the
16 | THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009
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