The Chronicle T h e i n d e p e n d e n t d a i ly at D u k e U n i v e r s i t y
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTH YEAR, Issue 139
Duke adds Costa Rican prez backs sustainability master’s in downturn by Samantha Brooks THE CHRONICLE
New degrees bring benefits, costs to Duke by Zachary Tracer THE CHRONICLE
The economic crisis has forced deep cuts in spending at Duke and prompted administrators to consider new ways to raise revenue. One money-making mechanism that has come into vogue in the last two years is the creation of master’s programs. In the Pratt School of Engineering alone, the number of master’s students may news double to about 600 in the next five years, analysis thanks to a new master’s program. The program, a Masters of Engineering, is one of four that have thus far been approved. Another four programs will be voted on—and likely approved—at an Academic Council meeting in May. In all, the new degrees—ranging from a Master of Arts in Christian Practices to a Master of Science in Biostatistics—stand to add about 600 graduate students and upwards of $20 See masters on page 4
andrea korab/The Chronicle
José María Figueres, former president of Costa Rica, delivers a speech titled “Democracy and Environmental Sustainability” at the Goodson Chapel Thursday as part of Mi Gente’s United College Conference.
Economic growth does not have to come at the expense of the environment, said José María Figueres, the former president of Costa Rica, in a speech at Duke Thursday. Figueres spoke to students about “Democracy and Environmental Sustainability” in the Goodson Chapel at Mi Gente’s first annual United College Conference. Figueres, now the chief executive officer of social investment company Concordia 21, discussed opportunities in sustainable markets for economic growth in developing Latin America. He emphasized that the economic crisis demonstrated that policy and government, not financial markets, should facilitate a concrete, environmentally-friendly economy. “During the last 20 years, the markets have been kings,” he said. “But policy is again in the driver’s seat.” Figueres stressed that the key to creating development opportunities is to shift away from the Latin American paradigm of “banking on the growth of other countries” and profiting from exports to those countries, which are carbon dependent. Instead, developing Latin American nations should go straight to the use of energy-efficient technologies. He said the planet is now resource-constrained, which could facilitate innovation. “In our countries we don’t need to go the same way in which the developed world has gone about putting together a carbonSee figueres on page 6
DUMC joins Provost explains University finances with LabCorp Details from closed meetings presented to student leaders by Taylor Doherty
by Sonia Havele
The Duke University Medical Center has announced its new partnership with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, a laboratory testing company. The collaborators publicized their joint venture to commercialize biological markers—proteins or other substances that can indicate the presence of a particular condition or disease—in a press release Tuesday. The venture will be known as “The Biomarker Factory” and will combine “Duke’s excellence in biomarker discovery with LabCorp’s expertise in the development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic and laboratory tools,” according to the statement. Duke researchers anticipate that LabCorp will be an outstanding partner on both a business and scientific front, said Dr. Rob Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research and director of the Translational Medicine Institute. Dr. Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs and See labcorp on page 5
Duke has reduced its spending by approximately $60 million this year, Provost Peter Lange said in a presentation to student leaders Wednesday. The administration still seeks approximately $40 million in reductions, though this number may change depending on economic conditions in the near future. Through his slideshow, “Financial Challenges and Academic Opportunities,” Lange noted that the University is fortunate to have two more years in its three-year cost cutting plan because the remaining cuts will be increasingly difficult. He made the presentation to apPeter Lange proximately 15 undergraduates, including several reporters from The Chronicle. Lange said earlier this month that he would be making presentations on the financial cuts in closed meetings to allow for frank dialogue among the faculty. Lange said Wednesday, however, that he had received “a little flack” for the closed sessions and decided to
share the plan with students. The 45-minute overview contained the same slides that he showed to the University’s individual schools, Lange said. He did not include the school-specific slides that he adds to the presentation based on the group he is addressing. He focused on the challenges that Duke has faced as a result of the economic downturn and the administration’s proposed solutions. Lange noted that the University is making efforts to support workers at the lower end of the payscale. The presentation noted that one-time payments of $1,000 issued this year to employees earning $80,000 or less affect almost 100 percent of biweekly staff, or 4,626 workers; 80 percent of monthly staff, or 5,612 employees and 36 percent of the faculty, or 858 professors. The one-time payments, combined with a 2.2 percent increase in total compensation due to the increased cost of fringe benefits, will cost the University $37 million. Compared to a 3 percent increase in the University’s salary pool, however, this will save Duke $22 million. In the midst of the recession, administrative costs have See finances on page 5
Duke beats B.C. to reach ACC Tournament semis, Page 7
“There is an outside demand for students with a certain skill set that graduates of the new master’s degree can satisfy.”
—Academic Council Chair Craig Henriquez on Master’s programs. See story page 3
Duke takes on conference rival Virginia... again, Page 7
2 | FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 the chronicle
Aftermath of volcano blast shows lack of research
U.S. investigates Chinese NASA ends major program goods for false subsidies WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA’s administrator faced sharp and often hostile criticism and questioning from Republican senators Thursday as he defended Obama’s plan to dramatically change the agency’s human space exploration program. Under that plan, NASA would end much of the Constellation program, begun under President George W. Bush, and rely on the burgeoning commercial space industry to provide transport to and from the international space station. NASA would focus instead on designing and building a new rocket and space capsule that could take astronauts into deep space and ultimately to Mars. In scrapping large parts of the Constellation program, however, Obama has outraged lawmakers from Gulf Coast states and Utah, where contracts and jobs may be lost.
Everything you can imagine is real. — Pablo Picasso
WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department plans to investigate whether some Chinese aluminum products are getting unfair government subsidies and being sold at below-market rates in the United States. The statement Wednesday didn’t say whether the probe would look into complaints over currency valuation. A group of U.S. aluminum extrusion manufacturers said in a filing that China’s foreignexchange policy acts as a $514 million subsidy to makers of goods used in construction, including window and door frames. The Obama administration is under pressure from steel, paper and aluminum companies, as well as lawmakers, to determine that China’s currency policy undervalues the yuan and amounts to a subsidy, and that tariffs should be imposed.
celed following the April 14 eruption amid concern that glass-like particles formed when lava was cooled by ice might melt in aircraft engines and clog turbines. European transport ministers took five days to agree that airports could open with the dust still in the air. Carriers including London-based British Airways said soon after the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano that test flights had shown no damage to aircraft or engines. Governments initially resisted the calls for services to resume, citing advice from the International Civil Aviation Organization to bar planes from flying through any level of volcanic debris. They later ruled that operations were safe except where dust levels were at least 10 times the norm, as assessed by the British Met Office’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.
TODAY IN HISTORY
1661: English King Charles II crowned in London
2009-10 Deans’ Dialogue
Pratt School of Engineering Dean Tom Katsouleas and Duke Chapel Dean Sam Wells
Tuesday, April 27, 12:15-1:15 pm Schiciano Auditorium Side A, Fitzpatrick Center, Pratt School of Engineering Lunch refreshments will be served
LONDON — A shutdown of European airspace that cost carriers $1.7 billion following a volcanic eruption in Iceland was exacerbated by a lack of research into the effects of ash on jet engines and over-reliance on computer modeling. While the blast was unusually disruptive because of a rare mix of ice and molten rock, together with a wind direction that blew dust to Europe, flight bans would have been shorter with a better understanding of engine tolerances and cloud density. “This has highlighted a black hole in our understanding,” said David Macdonald, who manages the private-jet unit of London-charter company Air Partner. “There needs to be some urgent research into what concentration of ash is permissible.” More than 100,000 flights were can-
4/11/2010 7:33:41 PM
Kostas tsironis/bloomberg news
Protesters fill the streets in Athens, Greece. The country’s government faces pressure to accept a European Union bailout. The public outcry comes after bond yields surged to its highest rate since 1998.
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 | 3
Faculty members question Duke’s electronic security by Christina Peña THE CHRONICLE
Jock Fistick/Bloomberg News
Passengers wait for information Tuesday at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. European airspace that was closed by the volcanic eruption in Iceland gradually reopened to flights Wednesday.
London airports open, sparking rush from flyers By Steve Rothwell, Nichola Saminather and Patrick Donahue Bloomberg News
Thousands of travelers stranded by the Icelandic ash cloud began returning to Europe as London’s Heathrow Airport became the last major terminal to open after the end of a six-day flight ban that cost airlines $1.7 billion. British Airways PLC and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., the top long-haul carriers at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, aim to operate all intercontinental services Wednesday after the United Kingdom
joined other nations in permitting flights through the ash. “We came in a mad rush,” said Diana Tucker, 60, as she lined up for a British Airways service from Sydney to London in a bid to get home to the Channel Islands after Tuesday’s flight was scrapped. “We don’t know if we’ll get on. We’re very tired.” Airlines have lost an estimated $1.7 billion in revenue following last Wednesday’s eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull See airports on page 6
Ocean Sands Beach Resort
A proposal to refresh the Acceptable Use Policy at Thursday’s Academic Council meeting raised more concerns than expected, leading to a lengthy and at times heated discussion about privacy and security of information on Duke servers. Although the Council decided to postpone decisions about the policy to its May meeting, it also heard proposals for the creation of five new graduate and doctoral degree programs and a Masters Advisory Council before entering executive session to discuss honorary degrees. The Information Technology Advisory Council is attempting to refresh its statement on security and privacy, first released in May 1997, by adding clauses to encompass certain legal, regulatory and compliance issues that have developed since its creation and to account for the present technological environment. According to the proposed revisions of the current Acceptable Use Policy, investigations, subpoenas, lawsuits or threatened litigation may require Duke by law to provide electronic records or other related information resources to protect the University’s legal interests. Richard Hain, professor of mathematics, however, brought up a number of concerns about the privacy of the data on
his computer. “I’ve had all my files since I’ve been using the Duke server in the late 1980s,” Hain said. “What assurance do I have that [my information] is going to be kept from prying eyes?” Academic Council Chair Craig Henriquez, professor of biomedical engineering, wrote in an e-mail that Hain raised a number of points about who has access to data and e-mails and whether the data could be somehow encrypted to protect against being compromised by an unauthorized group or individual. “The privacy of data and messages on Duke servers cannot be ensured,” Henriquez said. “This is not to say that Duke is making it less secure, but the policy is letting people know that they need to take responsibility for keeping their own data and passwords secure and private.” Faculty members proposed making the policy more detailed in order to address their concerns, but information technology members were hesitant to do so because they said it would be entering the realm of human resources. The debate concluded by pushing the discussion to the Council’s next meeting in May, allowing ITAC to iron out the questions raised by Hain and other faculty members. See council on page 5
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4 | FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 the chronicle
masters from page 1 million a year in revenue to the University, according to the program proposals. “It would be wrong to think that this growth of master’s programs is just a function of trying to find new sources of revenues,” Provost Peter Lange said. “The downturn in the economy gave that added push. It’s not like someone said, ‘Oh God, we need money.’” Lange, the University’s chief academic officer, said many of the new programs were being considered before the downturn. But financial considerations pushed school leaders to act and helped get faculty on board with the programs. The new programs offer educational benefits to students and a financial opportunity to the University, administrators said. But questions have emerged about oversight, and whether the new programs will drain Duke’s resources or change its culture. Mastering the Master’s Master’s degrees have become much more common nationally over the past five years, Lange said. As the number of individuals with bachelor’s degrees increases, students are looking for new ways to stand out. Add to that the tough economic climate and stiff global competition, and many people having difficulty finding work are turning to master’s programs. “The race of life for jobs and employment and stuff like that has now become internationalized and so people are looking for every advantage—education gives them some kind of a hook,” said Stephen Trachtenberg, president emeritus of The George Washington University and an expert on higher education. “It’s a variation on double majors. Everybody is searching for product enhancement because they feel a little nervous.” The rapid addition of master’s programs to the University has led to concerns among some professors and administrators about the processes for creating and evaluating new degrees. “The key is to make sure we’re all aware that this growth is taking place and we need to prepare for a lot of issues that are more complicated than admitting students
and then educating them,” said Academic Council Chair Craig Henriquez, a professor of biomedical engineering. To account for these issues, ranging from oversight and quality control to revenue sharing among schools, Lange created an ad hoc committee on master’s programs. The committee was chaired by Jo Rae Wright, vice provost and dean of the graduate school, and its report was delivered at an Academic Council Meeting Thursday. “The bottom line, I think, from my perspective is that the goal is to have the highest quality degree coming out of Duke for all of our degrees,” Wright said in an interview. “Both the review process and the vet-
sity is parking,” said Bill Boulding, deputy dean of the Fuqua School of Business. Fuqua created a one-year Master of Management Studies degree last year and a Master of Management in Clinical Informatics program this year. Stretching resources Faculty workload is another concern that some of the new programs are working to address. Most of the proposals call for master’s students to take existing courses or for new courses to be taught by current professors, rather than for new professors to be hired. The proposal for a Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts indicates that no new professors will be hired,
“The race of life for jobs and employment and stuff like that has now become internationalized and so people are looking for every advantage—education gives them some kind of a hook. It’s a variation on double majors. Everybody is searching for product enhancement because they feel a little nervous.” — Stephen Trachtenberg, George Washington University President Emeritus ting process have that goal in mind.” The report recommends the creation of a Master’s Advisory Council to advise schools looking to start new programs and to help evaluate existing ones. Because master’s students generate revenue and do not require housing, the report notes that there are few natural constraints on the growth of the programs. Still, it is necessary to be aware of their incidental effects on the University. “It will be important to monitor growth in these programs and to be attentive to the impact of increased program size on the University’s resources, culture and the character of the institution,” the report states. The council would also help facilitate interdisciplinary programs and serve as a liaison with student services to ensure graduate students’ needs are met. “You have to worry about people getting meals and access to food given the schedules, and one of the biggest things you have to worry about at Duke Univer-
while the Master of Engineering proposal notes that there is room for about 125 more students in current graduate-level courses. “The electives and department and crossdepartment classes are initially expected to be chosen from courses that already exist,” the Master of Engineering proposal states. “Additional faculty will be added as needed and as justified by revenues.” Jeff Glass, Pratt senior associate dean for education, said individual departments will manage enrollment so that their courses do not get too big. Biomedical engineering, for instance, is unlikely to add master’s students because its courses tend to be full. Other considerations for programs include advising and career counseling as well as providing English as a second language instruction for international students. Glass said the costs for those services are incorporated into the Master of Engineering proposal. “Those are critical... I would say if we see that they are anything but excellent, we have to be as responsive to changes there as
we are on the academic side,” he said. The Master’s Advisory Council will ensure that every new professional master’s program proposal addresses these financial and administrative issues by developing a template and check list for future proposals, according to Wright’s report. Master of the job hunt Wright’s report also discusses how master’s programs may interact with other forms of graduate and undergraduate education. But it does not address competition for jobs between master’s students and undergraduates or advanced graduate students. Instead, the issue has been raised by individual schools and programs. Glass said competition for jobs between Master of Engineering students and undergraduates in Pratt could occur if the program grows too large. But he said that because the program’s growth will be controlled, the additional engineers will create more opportunity for Pratt graduates at all levels by drawing more recruiters to Duke. Many of the new degree programs are career-focused, and several outside higher education experts said students should be aware of their employment prospects and the possibility of going into debt before entering a master’s program. “If the job market is crappy, do I go to work at Wendy’s... or do I got out and get my master’s degree?” said Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and an economics professor at Ohio University. He added that the trend toward more graduate education is evidence that society is too focused on credentials. But Trachtenberg, the higher education expert, said the decision of whether or not to pursue a master’s degree is often intensely personal, and has as much to do with intellectual exploration as with economic considerations. He added that a person with a liberal arts education and a professional master’s degree is often attractive to employers. He compared such an individual’s blend of competencies to a well-made cocktail. “Gin by itself, as delicious as it may be, is not a martini,” he said. “If you want to do a martini, you’ve got to put a little vermouth in it. There’s an elegance to drinking martinis.”
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FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 | 5
labcorp from page 1 chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System, also expressed his excitement and hope for the enterprise. “I think with everything we do, we want to help patients, improve health and improve society,” Dzau said. “[This collaboration] is about medicine, about research and about finding ways to improve health—this is going to be fantastic.” Dzau also notes the financial benefits of collaborating with a company like LabCorp. “[The corporation] provides a source of funding that is traditionally not supported by federal grants,” Dzau said. A S&P 500 company, LabCorp had annual revenues of $4.7 billion, more than 28,000 employees around the world and more than 220,000 clients in 2009, the release noted. LabCorp is the second largest laborato-
council from page 3 In other business: The Council elected its new executive committee, adding three new members: Jennifer Brody, professor of African and African American Studies, Steffen Bass, associate professor of physics and Larry Zelenak, Pamela B. Gann professor of law. Various departments proposed a total of five different graduate and doctoral degree programs at the council’s penultimate meeting of the year. The degrees include Masters in Biostatistics, Masters in Fine Arts, Master of Christian Studies, a Master of Arts in Christian Practice and a Doctor of Ministry degree. The Council will vote on the proposals at its next meeting.
ry testing corporation in the U.S. and has the capabilities to influence doctors’ offices and hospitals across the country, Califf said. As a notable and established company, LabCorp is a “good scientific platform to be collaborating with,” he added. Califf noted that there will be two basic aspects of the partnership. The first will entail conducting laboratory analyses and collecting blood samples from people in an effort to develop biological markers—an intensive, long-term effort, he added. The second will involve working with LabCorp to provide better information to doctors and patients about the laboratory tests being conducted. “I feel that this is an innovative relationship that can be win-win because it helps us to fund, it helps with patients, and if something comes out of it, it helps us to fund other research in the future,” Dzau said.
finances from page 1 also been examined. Academic and administrative support costs, known as allocated costs, are passed on to the schools within the University. According to the presentation, in the 2009-2010 fiscal year these costs totaled $119 million. Of those expenses, $76 million were shared across all units and the remainder attributed to the schools to which particular services were provided. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, there was no increase in the costs passed on to the schools from the previous year. Lange said the provost’s academic support units, such as Duke University Libraries, absorbed $4.7 million in expenses that normally would have been covered by the schools.
In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the presentation noted that there will be a 1.4 percent increase in allocated costs to make academic improvements. The provost’s academic and central administration’s support units will absorb $3.3 million of costs. One opportunity the tough financial times have presented Duke, however, is attracting top faculty to the University by conducting aggressive faculty searches, Lange said. There is a large supply of professors but less demand as universities across the country freeze hiring. Lange said Duke will benefit in the long term given its dedication to luring talented professors, although he noted that continuing such hiring means sacrifices across the University must continue to be made.
In further graduate school-related efforts, the Council approved the creation of a Masters Advisory Council, which Henriquez said will help the process of getting new programs, aid in the review of programs and help monitor the growth of the number of students across many schools, avoiding redundancy of efforts and services. Henriquez noted that there are three main reasons there has recently been a surge in the creation of new masters programs. “There is an outside demand for students with a certain skill set that graduates of the new masters degree can satisfy,” Henriquez said. “The programs can help generate some additional revenues for the schools [and] the new programs will help generate new projects and research areas for the faculty and students.”
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6 | FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 the chronicle
figueres from page 1
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intensive economy,” he said. “In our case, we can be constructive and leapfrog directly into the global economy... and that is a great opportunity.” The former president stressed the immediacy of climate change by targeting students with questions on the environment and incorporating Spanish phrases into his talk. “[Climate change] is here today. The numbers do not lie. Oil is the equivalent to the global economy that blood is to the human body,” he said. “Do you know the
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number of vehicles per 1000 people in the United States? 920.” Despite his emphasis on Latin American development, many students who were not associated with Mi Gente came away from the speech inspired. “I was very impressed,” said freshman Adiel Mora. “I’m a public policy major, and I never realized what a big role policy will be playing. Now I’m just excited to go reconstruct our policy system.” Sophomore Linda Li said the speech had caused her to think harder about climate change as a global issue. “I am interested in climate change, but I wasn’t convinced we were in a crisis,” she said. “[Figueres] gave a lot of good evidence in terms of what we can do. He was not so much pointing fingers as looking forward.” Junior Luciano Romero, founder of UCC and co-chair of Mi Gente’s Political Affairs Committee, said Figueres was inspirational for urging students to forget the “old way” of business and develop innovative alternatives. “We wanted to bring academic discussion to political issues in Latin America, especially directed to questions of how in a context of poverty and inequality you bring solutions to climate change,” he said. “He not only painted a picture of Latin America, but he drew from examples for solutions. He was fantastic.” Ciaran O’Connor contributed reporting.
airports from page 3 volcano, the International Air Transport Association said. Flights within Europe still face cancellation as planes are out of position, and discount carriers Ryanair Holdings PLC and EasyJet PLC said timetables will be limited for days to come. Ash represents a threat to jetliners because it could stop their engines by melting and congealing in turbines. More than 100,000 flights have been canceled since the eruption began, including 5,500 Wednesday, according to Eurocontrol in Brussels, Belgium, which coordinates routes in the region. While restrictions remain in Finland and parts of Scotland, almost 100 percent of services should operate Thursday, it said. Heathrow, which attracted 66 million passengers in 2009, ranking it second in the world after Atlanta, opened Tuesday night after the United Kingdom and planemakers agreed new rules for plane inspections and flights through thinner parts of the ash plume. British Airways, which lost $30 million a day in revenue during the shutdown and wasn’t able to resume short-haul services until 1 p.m. local time, had criticized Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government for applying a stricter safety regime and keeping airports closed as hubs in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam opened for business. Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh, a former pilot, said in a briefing that imposing a “blanket ban” on U.K. flights was unnecessary. Executives from TUI Travel PLC, Europe’s largest tour operator, and Thomas Cook Group PLC, the No. 2, met Tuesday night with U.K. Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis and were given “no clear reason” for the airspace closures, according to a statement Wednesday. More than 100,000 customers of the two companies have been stranded, they said. A spokesman for Brown said in a statement, “The government will continue to work with all of the relevant agencies to ensure that people can return home to the U.K. quickly and safely, and that those booked on flights out of the U.K. can travel as soon as possible.”
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 | 7
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Ned Crotty, Max Quinzani and Parker McKee were voted onto the All-ACC team Thursday. It is Crotty’s second time on the list and Quinzani’s third
Blue Devils gunning for ACC wins
Cavaliers and Duke, part deux After season-best performance, Duke paired up again with Virginia by Jacob Levitt THE CHRONICLE
With five teams constantly ranked in the top 25, the ACC isn’t a conference where teams typically get much of a chance to catch their breath. However, this weekend’s trip to Winston-Salem to take on conference doormat Wake Forest represents a good chance for the Blue Devils to make up some ground in the ACC standings. As Duke (22-16, 6-12 in the ACC) prepares to enter the stretch Wake run of the season with vs. its eye on a berth in the conference tournaDuke ment, the Blue Devils sit in ninth place, three FRIDAY-SUNDAY games behind N.C. Winston-Salem, N.C. State, Boston College and Virginia Tech. In order to qualify for the postseason, Duke needs to finish among the top eight teams in the conference, and a sweep of Wake Forest (10-30, 2-16) would help close the gap. “We just got through arguably the toughest three-week stretch of anyone in all of college baseball,” head coach Sean McNally said. “Now, we have a big series ahead of us, and we need to make a run and start making up some ground down the stretch.” Getting the ball in the first game of the series is versatile freshman Marcus Stro-
Six days after a dominating 13-9 win over then-No. 1 Virginia in Charlottesville, No. 4 Duke will now face the Cavaliers in College Park, Md., with even more at stake this time. When the two last met, both teams were already locked into their tournament seedings. Virginia (11-1) had No. 2 already clinched UVa the top seed in the vs. ACC Tournament No. 4 while Duke (11-3) Duke could not improve its status as the No. FRIDAY, 5 p.m. 4 seed. Despite the College Park, Md. ACC Tournament win, the Blue Devils are not overconfident—they know this game means more than their last contest. “The guys know what’s at stake here,” junior defenseman Michael Manley said. “You look at that game [last week], it’s just another game. [But] we’re going in with the same mentality as last week. Nothing’s going to change— they’re the same team, we’re the same team—confidence-wise, we’re going to play the same.” Even with a short turnaround time between the games, don’t expect No. 2 Virginia to come out discouraged Friday. “They were very, very successful up until last Saturday,” head coach John
See baseball on page 11
See m. lax on page 11
by Jason Palmatary THE CHRONICLE
Chase olivieri/Chronicle file photo
Last time Duke and Virginia met, six days ago, the Blue Devils toppled the No. 1 team in the country, 13-9.
Duke cruises in ACC quarters No. 2 Blue Devils launch ACC title bid by Patricia Lee THE CHRONICLE
In the opening day of the ACC Tournament, No. 4 Duke cruised to an easy 17-6 victory over Boston College to advance to the semifinals. The Blue Devils (12-4) scored the first eight goals of the game, setting the tone for the rest of the contest, and left the Eagles (10-5) in the dust. “Obviously, if you look at the score, I’m thrilled,” head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “It was a 6 huge difference from the last time BC we played them, and I’m really DUKE 17 pleased with our effort today.” Duke was up by eight in the first 12 minutes, and the team made over half its shots in the first half—8-of-14, while Boston College made only 1-of-8. The Blue Devils last faced the Eagles April 10 at Koskinen Stadium and came away with a close 12-11 victory after coming back from a four-goal deficit in the second half. “The last time we played Boston College, I didn’t feel like we came out ready to play, and today, I felt like we came out strong from the get-go,” Kimel said. Following the win, Duke faces top-seeded North Carolina (13-1) Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Ludwig Field on the camSee W. Lax on page 11
by Gabe Starosta THE CHRONICLE
caroline rodriguez/Chronicle file photo
With a smashing 17-6 win over Boston College Thursday, Duke moves on to face top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Behind the success of star freshman Henrique Cunha, who was named ACC Player of the Year Thursday, Duke has ripped through conference play with only two major blips. No. 7 And this morning, the No. 2 Blue FSU Devils begin their quest to avenge those vs. losses, take down the best team in the No. 2 country and earn national respect at Duke the ACC tournament in Cary, N.C. After an opening-round bye, secFRIDAY, 12 p.m. ond-seeded Duke (16-7) takes on No. Cary, N.C. ACC Tournament 7 Florida State (13-8), a team it beat in Tallahassee last week, with a spot in the tournament semifinals at stake. In the semis, the Blue Devils would most likely be matched up with No. 3 North Carolina, and it would mark See m. tennis on page 12
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 | 11
Rematch with ’Noles no Duke confident gimme for No. 4 Blue Devils going into ACC’s by Gabe Starosta
by Nicholas Schwartz
Just a week after taking down then-No. 15 Florida State at home, Duke is matched up with the Seminoles once again. Only this time, the stakes are a little bit higher. When the Blue Devils (19-6), the fourth seed in this weekend’s ACC tournament in Cary, N.C., meet fifth-seeded Florida State (12-9) once again, a spot in the tournament semifinals No. 5 will be on FSU the line. And vs. perhaps more No. 4 importantly, Duke the chance to host an NCAA FRIDAY, 9 a.m. tournament Cary, N.C. ACC Tournament regional— meaning that the team would get to play the first and second rounds of the knockout tournament at home—could be up for grabs, as well. Duke barely hung on to its position among the top four seeds in the ACC tournament, but having done so could have important repercussions this weekend. The top four teams in the conference— North Carolina, Miami, Clemson and the Blue Devils—all received byes through the first round. The Seminoles, meanwhile, had to take the courts Thursday. They had no trouble with Maryland, the ACC’s worst team, but fatigue could become an issue for them against a fresher Duke side.
The Blue Devils will look to carry momentum from an impressive showing two weeks ago into the ACC Championship, which tees off this morning at the Old North State Golf Club in New London, N.C. A young Duke squad heads into the weekend with two golfers who have never played in an ACC Championship before, but head coach Jamie Green is confident his team is ready for the challenge. “I know we’ve got the talent for it,” Green said. “Any time you’re going into a single round and you can have any one of your guys put up the best number—or win the tournament—you know you can be competitive. Their composure is really strong right now.” One of those newcomers, standout freshman Julian Suri, finished in a tie for second in the Wolfpack Intercollegiate April 10, a tournament won by senior Adam Long. Suri has put together an impressive catalog of efforts already, and a team-leading 30 percent of his rounds have been under par. Suri and the rest of the No. 23 Blue Devils will be tested by the 7,202-yard, par-72 Old North State layout, and it will be essential for Duke to put up a competitive score on the first day. Last year, the Blue Devils could not make up for an openingday 290 that placed them nine shots behind eventual winner Georgia Tech. “Anytime you’ve got players of the caliber of all these teams, giving them a spot of seven or eight shots is going to be a tough margin [to come back from],” Green said. This marks the ninth consecutive year that the ACC Championship has been held in New London, and Green is banking on his players’ familiarity with the tricky Tom Fazio design to help Duke get out to a fast start. “They’re confident, they’re calm and they took great notes,” Green said. “[Wes Roach and Long] were sharing their experiences on the course [with the younger players] in the practice round. Adam can say, ‘I’ve holed out of this bunker’ or ‘I made a great birdie from here’—it’s good to spread those vibes around.” Fazio’s track allows players to get off to a good start if they can tame a pair of par-5s in the first four holes. The golf course is in peak condition according to Green, and the fast and firm fairways should allow the Blue Devils to take advantage of scoring opportunities if they can keep their drives in the fairway.
margie truwit/Chronicle file photo
Duke will play at the early time of 9 a.m. Friday, when it faces Florida State in Cary. In the teams’ most recent meeting, at Ambler Tennis Stadium April 17, the Blue Devils were able to rely on the bottom half of their order to get the 4-0 win. After winning the doubles point with victories at Nos. 2 and 3, singles played out in much the same way—fourth seed Amanda Granson, fifth seed Monica Gonry and No. 6 Mary Clayton only lost 13 games combined in three straight-setters. The top of the order was more of
a fight, but that might not matter for Duke if it can get similar production from its lower-ranked players. If they struggle, though, Duke could, too. Top seed Ellah Nze was up a set but down a break when the match against the Seminoles was called, and No. 2 Elizabeth Plotkin was down a set at the time. If they play as well as they have at times this season, though, the Blue Devils should be staring at a rematch with No. 1 North Carolina Saturday.
w. lax from page 10
baseball from page 10
m. lax from page 10
pus of Maryland in the semifinals of the tournament. The Blue Devils fell to the Tar Heels 9-6 in an away matchup last week and hope to come away with a win this time around to advance to the finals. “That was one of our better games of the seasons, but one of the differences was that we didn’t shoot well [against North Carolina April 14],” Kimel said. “We did well on the draw, and we defended them well. We had some great offensive opportunities, but we didn’t finish on the shots, and if we can generate the same kinds of opportunities this time, I think we’ll be in good shape.” Duke has one more regular-season contest against Brown at home May 9 before the NCAA Tournament starting the second week of May. Competing with a relatively young team this year, the Blue Devils are hoping to gain more experience out of the ACC Championships to better prepare them for the NCAA Tournament. “We’re a younger team, but we’re constantly evolving, and with one more regular season game and the Tournament, we hit the real thing,” Kimel said. “We’re hoping we can grow even more in the next few weeks.”
man, who will be making the first start of his collegiate career. Although he is the team’s starting second baseman, the youngster is no stranger to the mound as he has made 12 relief appearances, posting a 4-1 record and a 4.34 ERA. Stroman will take on southpaw Tim Cooney—the Demon Deacons’ most consistent starter. “We’re at a point in our season, with four ACC series left, where Friday night we need to set the tone for the weekend,” McNally said. “We want to go with our best available arm, and he’s had plenty of experience on the mound.” Another freshman, 6-foot-6 righthander Chase Bebout, is getting the starting nod on Saturday and will be making his third consecutive weekend series start. After starting off the season getting the occasional midweek start against some of the schedule’s lesser foes, McNally rewarded him with a start against Clemson, in which he pitched into the eighth inning and secured a win. Last weekend’s start against Florida State wasn’t as successful, but on the season, he boasts a 3.72 ERA to go along with his 4-1 record. “Chase has really earned his spot on the weekend by pitching well in the midweek,” McNally said. “We’re confident that he’s one of our top three starters, and he has been keeping us in games, giving us a chance to win.” Sunday’s series finale will pit junior Dennis O’Grady against Wake Forest’s struggling righthander Michael Dimock. Dimock’s difficulties have been representative of the greater struggles that the Demon Deacon pitching staff has faced this year—the team has a 6.74 staff ERA. If Jeremy Gould, Jake Lemmerman and the rest of the Duke offensive standouts can manage to stay hot, this series could feature a few offensive outbursts that would offer Duke’s young pitching staff some breathing room. Also, in recent weeks, Will Currier has solidified himself as the regular designated hitter on the strength of his seven home runs and .368 batting average over the last 11 games. With matchups against N.C. State and Virginia Tech looming, a sweep of the Demon Deacons would be an optimum way to build some momentum as the Blue Devils look to secure a spot in the conference tournament and keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Danowski said. “So I’m sure that [Virginia head coach Dom Starsia] is confident and their players are confident that all they have to do is play a little better to win.” Last week’s win was the ninth straight for the Blue Devils, who have not lost since March 10 against North Carolina. Duke’s win gave the team the nation’s longest winning streak and made it arguably the hottest team in the country. But there’s always something to improve—the Blue Devils converted only one of their four extra-man opportunities. “We just want to get better,” Danowski said. “Certainly we felt that we weren’t as good as we could’ve been, and defensively there were certainly some plays that we would’ve liked to have back.” One thing Duke won’t need to improve is its faceoff performance. Sophomore defenseman and faceoff specialist CJ Costabile was named ACC Player of the Week after going 10-for-13 in the faceoff circle, which allowed Duke to control possession and tempo in a dominant second half. Despite Duke’s momentum, the rest of the ACC is certainly more than up to the task of competing for the ACC championship. Not only did Duke lose in its first meetings with No. 5 Maryland and No. 3 North Carolina, but the national rankings also demonstrate the strength of the conference. All four ACC teams are locks for at-large bids to the 16-team NCAA championship bracket, regardless of what happens this weekend, and four of the top five teams in both major national polls come from the ACC. No. 1 Syracuse, the only non-ACC team currently in the top five, lost to Virginia at home in its only match against an ACC team this season. Right now, though, the Blue Devils just want to stay focused on the task at hand, rather than worry about which team might await them if they get a chance to play the ACC championship game. “It’d be nice to keep going,” Manley said. “But our focus right now is Friday. Then after that, we’ll have a quick turnaround and we’ll focus on the next opponent.”
12 | FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 the chronicle
m. tennis from page 10 the teams’ first meeting since their epic, five-hour match two weeks ago that Duke triumphed in. With that kind of match on the horizon, the Blue Devils might be tempted to look past the Seminoles, but Duke can look back to last weekend to see that danger. Having not played since beating the Tar Heels three days before, the Blue Devils traveled to Florida for matchups with Miami and Florida State—both teams they expected to beat. The Hurricanes fought back from an early deficit, however, and upset Duke, 4-3. A similar lack of focus from the Blue Devils this weekend, though, is unlikely. Duke has waited throughout the conference season for a chance to prove itself against the nation’s best, and possible matchups with North Carolina, and eventually, No. 1 Virginia loom in a loaded field.
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Henrique Cunha became the first player in ACC history to be named ACC Freshman of the Year and ACC Player of the Year.
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The Chronicle reasons why we want to visit costa rrrrrrica: pretty colors on the poison dart frog:�������������������������� charlie, toni tacos y burritos:��������������������������������������������������� taydough, lindsey este se ejecutó a través de traductor Google:������������������ alejando it’s all about the guaro:������������������������������������������������������������ drew baseball recruiting:�������������������������������������������������������� andy, jdizzy photograph the magical rainforest...:����������������������� melissa, c-rod ...oh, wait, it’s gone:���������������������������������������������������������������dennis 120 percent humid days:��������������������������������������������������������� carter Barb Starbuck doesn’t speak spanish:�������������������������������������� Barb
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14 | FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010
Evaluate living groups on conduct This is the second of two The RGA evaluation simeditorials on the new Col- plifies the process used by laborative Housing Process. RGAC and focuses more on Today’s editorial discusses penalizing groups for bad the Residential Group As- behavior. sessment process. Yesterday’s Under RGAC, evaluation editorial delved of groups was editorial into the culmibased on a comnation of the plex formula three-year Residential Group involving behavioral probAssessment Committee pro- lems, but also the fulfillment cess and the reintroduction of certain internal and camof the Approval and Removal pus goals, like hosting philanCommittee. thropy projects and large proThe new RGA process, grammed events. Under the which will replace the Campus new RGA process, 60 percent Council-run RGAC process of each group’s score will be starting next year, will contin- based on quantitative analyses ue to evaluate fraternities and of behavioral problems and selective living communities facilities concerns, and 40 on campus. Instead of produc- percent will be based on hosting binding results, however, ing three events that are open the RGA will make recom- to a diverse group of students mendations to the ARC. each semester.
With Kyle back, Duke is the consensus preseason number one…no questions asked. —“jack sparrow” commenting on the story “Singler to Return for Senior Season.” See more at www.dukechronicle.com.
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The RGA will then make recommendations to the ARC for further action based on groups’ scores. While we believe that the changes to the RGA are a step in the right direction, we feel strongly that groups’ behavior and how they treat facilities should play an even larger role in the RGA process, and that the RGA should limit, or eliminate altogether, scores based on group programming. Mandated programming will do little to supplement campus culture or activities for independents on campus. It is somewhat patronizing to believe that independents need fraternities and selective living groups to program for them. It is important to
make sure that these groups, which get special privileges like priority housing, give back to the community in some way. But hosting pumpkin carving or a screening of a movie, the two examples given by Campus Council of recommended events, would be a waste of resources rather than a valuable contribution to campus culture. Additionally, most groups would probably do the bare minimum rather than plan events for the broader community. The new quantitative section of the RGA process, which analyzes each group’s conduct, is a big improvement. Now, the Greek Conduct Board, the Office of Student Conduct, and individual
resident assistants and residence coordinators will give scores based on the conduct of groups. This is a much more objective standard than the student evaluations used by the RGAC. Independents care about whether groups are good neighbors, not whether they throw a movie night every few months. Thus the RGA process should look primarily at this behavioral information and give penalty recommendations to the ARC. The RGA process still is not perfect, but with a few changes, it has the potential to provide students in living groups with more equitable treatment and independent with a more positive on-campus living experience.
The wheels on the bus
hate to end the semester on a negative note, now, it goes to Chapel Hill. Unless you’re a Robbut I have a formal complaint. As someone ertson Scholar or a fun seeking 21 year-old headed who takes the majority of her classes on East to Franklin Street, avoid this bus at all costs. It will Campus, it’s something I’ve nonot take you to your dorm room. ticed time and again and I must Lesson 3: Say hello to the bus speak my truth. That’s right freshdrivers. Perhaps this is my Southern men, I’m talking to you. upbringing ringing true, but I am a Apparently most of the Class firm believer in being courteous to of 2013 did not use public transall people, especially to those who portation back at home and are provide us with a unique service. A unaware of the do’s and don’ts of friendly “hello” or a pleasant smile molly lester traditional bus etiquette. I have brightens everyone’s day. Besides, been shoved one too many times; don’t they hold your life in their more taste, I have seen too few underclassmen hands for five to seven minutes? Do less filling pay attention to the route labeled unto others… clearly in glowing neon letters and Lesson 4: Your bookbag does I have cringed all too often at a fellow rider’s not need its own seat. I understand your laptop is complete and utter disregard for the driver that fragile, but so is mine and it has survived many a takes him from A to B. trip in my book bag rested on the bus floor. More I’ve flirted with the idea of suggesting a manda- seats for more riders means fewer innocent stutory bus seminar for all incoming freshmen during dents stranded at the bus stop. Orientation Week next year, but I realize I don’t And last, but certainly not least, Lesson 5: have that authority. Fear not! I will simply take mat- Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot coffee should not ters into my own hands. That said, remember, I’m be consumed on a moving bus. The reasoning beno bus traffic controller: I’m a columnist. hind this final lesson is two-fold. First, none of the Lesson 1: Let everyone on the bus exit before you buses (to my knowledge) have any sort of air cirenter. It’s just like an elevator, people. The cluster culation other than an open window. Therefore, if caused by this lack of order is not only frustrating, you eat Sitar during your commute from West to but it impedes the bus’s already tight schedule. East, not only will you smell like curried chicken, There truly is nothing worse than watching this but I will too. Don’t get me wrong; I love this Great confusion: Two riders, one in a hurry to exit, the Hall favorite as much as the next person, but some other in a rush to enter, each look up as they are find its aroma offensive, particularly when preparface to face on the narrow bus stairs. Unable to ing to take a test or interview for a job. shuffle sideways and let the other pass, they force Second, the road quality on campus is subthe developing lines of students behind them, par. We all know this. The potholes are giant craboth in and outside the bus, to back up. Book ters that plague the campus roads. Truly, there bags flail, angry yells erupt and worst of all, the was one outside of White Lecture Hall that could bus must sit at its stop for additional minutes. I have held me captive forever if I’d been unaware know, I know, “minutes” doesn’t seem like much, and fallen into its gravel abyss. Needless to say, but when it’s 10:01 a.m. and you have a 10:05 a.m. the buses must drive over these potholes, as on East, every minute is precious. many of them make their home in the middle of Lesson 2: Read those bright neon, entirely CAP- Campus Drive. ITALIZED, they’re-in-the-same-place-on-every-bus Ah, basic math: a cup of scalding hot coffee ridletters before getting on the bus. It always baffles ing in a 14-ton bus going 25 miles per hour over me to look up during my commute back home to a pothole will spill onto its carrier and its carrier’s see another rider with a look of sheer shock plas- neighbors and it will burn. Badly. If you must bring tered on his face. What he thought was the C-1 was coffee with you, make sure it has a lid. actually the C-2 and now he must go all the way to I’ve spoken my peace (in my final piece!), so Central Campus before the bus takes him to East. let us go forth and be courteous for the remaining This is a problem that can easily be avoided. three days of class. Happy Friday. What if the bus doesn’t have bright neon capital letters instructing riders which route it takes? Well Molly Lester is a Trinity junior. This is her final colthen, it’s a Robertson Bus and you don’t know by umn of the semester.
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Reali and the inside track
ony Reali, the boyish host of ESPN’s “Around the dent, Mary Dwyer, insider info becomes an undefined, Horn,” is an enthusiastic proponent of what he floating mass that defies even Tony Reali. calls “inside information.” Reali’s chief responsiSo when we think we have a leg up on the newsbility on ATH is to award points to the reading public, all we might really have show’s four talking heads based on the is a badly distorted version of the truth worthiness of their arguments about crafted not so much to explain as to sports. Allusions to a particularly rare justify. On the average-sized college piece of info always make him triggercampus, where everyone is more or less happy. “Inside information!” he’ll gleeone or two degrees removed from each fully pronounce at the mention of a other, this idea seems particularly pertibehind the scenes conversation, before nent. While it’s nearly impossibly to find ben brostoff hammering down on the points button. someone who can tell you the intimate I used to find this scoring quirk gimdetails of the SEC’s case against Goldbro’s stuff micky, as it generally watered the level man, it’s easy to find a friend of a friend of conversation down to such enlightening comments on DSG who supposedly is in the know about the Judias, “I talked to such and such, and he said….” On the ciary ruling on the College Republicans. Here, a goal other hand, Reali probably instilled in a generation of to get on the inside track of every big issue is plausible, sports fans an uncanny respect for primary sources. albeit not advisable. To become engrossed in the uniPerhaps for this reason, I felt particularly proud of versity rumor mill is to acutely overvalue the insider, myself when an e-mail exchange with a former Duke and undervalue a complete picture of events. professor for a term paper led to some unexpected I come away with this one insight from my modinside baseball. The ex-prof essentially implicated two est attempts to piece together news and offer a semibig-name administrators in distorting the importance respectable opinion on it over the last few semesters. of their roles in planning a groundbreaking project The story always deserves another day of development, purely to give themselves a national PR boost. If true, another day for the inside information to conglomerthe accusations would have cast considerable doubt on ate. Months, days or mere hours after you formulate the parts of the paper I had already written, in addition an opinion, you’ll inevitably stumble across a gameto casting doubt on the credibility of the admins them- changer: that the point guard cheated on the SATs, selves. This information went uncorroborated, and may that the lab technician failed the lie detector test, that well have been borne out of the aforesaid source’s dis- the student government recalled the election, that, yes, taste for Duke. Nevertheless, I temporarily felt privy to Grizzly Adams did have a beard. The terms of agreean insider’s view of the world, above the bland press ment between the columnist and the column are always releases and politicking stonewallers that would have us changing, making the formerly infallible diatribe on believe the company line. controversy X about as clean as a John Calipari recruit. Most of the time, however, the company line is all As a result, truly earning Reali’s insider points we have to work with. You can adamantly argue “We did should never be as simple as talking to a few sources, not structure a portfolio that was designed to lose mon- doing the relevant research and conjuring up a novel ey” (Goldman on selling its allegedly rigged ABACUS thesis. I’d like to think that our job as writers demands collateralized debt obligation) is a false statement, but something more: namely, that we’re skeptical about the have no means of proving it without “inside informa- entire process and have a healthy level of doubt about tion.” The same is true for issues we deem inane (Clin- the finality of our conclusions. ton’s “I did not inhale”) and significantly close to home Indeed, where “Around the Horn” is involved, the (Homme Hellinga’s, “These things [the verifiability of last columnist standing on Friday is often the first one now controversial research] were talked through very out on Monday. carefully with all the people involved.”) When insiders disagree about the nature of “inside information,” as Ben Brostoff is a Trinity sophomore. This is his final colwas the case with Hellinga and his former graduate stu- umn of the semester.
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010 | 15
Why DSG should work with greek life
he Chronicle’s editorial board brought up some address its socioeconomic issues but creates a mechaimportant points in its April 2 editorial, “Greek nism to solve them. access not DSG’s domain,” in which it criticized Third, one of DSG’s long-term goals concerns exthe involvement of Duke Student Government in creat- tending financial support to all clubs and activities ing financial support for greek dues. As the chair of the at Duke. DSG believes that every student, regardless Greek Financial Aid Committee, the DSG of financial background, should have senator working on this initiative and a steven mcalpine the opportunity to find a sense of comformer greek chapter president, I would munity and to benefit from the rich guest column like to address the board’s concerns. variety of activities at Duke. The capacFirst, greek life constitutes a major aspect of the ity to unite and fundraise successfully, coupled with Duke undergraduate experience. Approximately 32 the level of organization and connectivity to alumni, percent of the undergraduate student body belongs to makes greek organizations an ideal first step in achieva greek organization and greek life affects many non- ing such a goal. The Greek Financial Aid Committee greeks, whether they attend greek events or not. Duke helps greeks help themselves by creating a system that Student Government has a responsibility to represent makes it easy for greeks to fundraise. Should the modall members of the student body, greeks and non- el prove successful, DSG will likewise use it to help greeks alike, as well as address issues facing the entire other student groups and clubs. campus. The consequences of high dues range from Over the next few days, the Greek Financial Aid excluding students who cannot pay, to creating family Committee will begin recruiting students to fill three income disparities between greeks and non-greeks and open positions on the committee: director of finance, concentrating wealth within the greek community. This web developer and director of chapter communicareality has led to the perception of greeks as elitist and tions. These positions entail managing the returns from over-privileged, thus affecting our campus culture. an endowment, setting up a website as well as helping Second, Duke Student Government, in collabora- greek organizations create their own and working with tion with greek leadership, has worked hard to establish greek chapters to manage outreach efforts to alumni, the Greek Financial Aid initiative. In no way has this ef- respectively. If you are interested in promoting sociofort rested solely on the shoulders of DSG. The Greek economic diversity and equal opportunity of experiFinancial Aid Committee consists of the presidents of ence for all Duke students, please consider applying for the four greek councils, the DSG vice president for one of the aforementioned positions when the Greek student affairs, the DSG president-elect, members of Financial Aid Committee releases the applications. greek council executive boards and various DSG student affairs senators. This initiative, with DSG’s active Steven McAlpine is a Trinity senior and a DSG student support, not only challenges the greek community to affairs senator.
live with an alien. Her name is Shibby Shibby and she is a shape-shifter. Well, she might be a shape-shifter. Most of the time when I’m watching she looks like a walking shadow with cutebut-creepy yellow eyes. It’s when I’m not watching that she does her shape-shifting. I also live with a monster. Her name is GreyOne, and she is bigger than Shibby Shibby. She is also more elad gross athletic, but where her dexterity wins out, her intellikitty babies gence is obviously lacking. She keeps her same form all the time. Imagine what a Ghostbusters’ Marshmallow Man would look like if it was made out of cotton balls dyed in the colors of a grayscale rainbow and you’ll get an idea for the GreyOne’s appearance. GreyOne talks all the time. Shibby Shibby cannot speak. To communicate, she bobs her head repeatedly and then commits herself to somersaults. Shibby Shibby and GreyOne also happen to be the Kitty Babies. They are creatures resembling cats that my girlfriend and I adopted from a pound in St. Louis almost a year ago. And for the last year, they have been the inspiration for my column’s ever-present tagline. Before they came along, my tagline was “Smile.” Since they give me plenty of reason to be glad, the substitution seemed fitting. It’s most often their quirks that make me smile the most. I’ve never met a cat-like creature before that chose not to meow like Shibby Shibby. It’s not as if she has nothing to say. She just chooses not to say it. And so, when the two Kitty Babies need food, GreyOne makes sure to let the giants with opposable thumbs know. In return, if GreyOne’s athletic pursuits get her stuck in some disastrous predicament, Shibby Shibby will perk up to investigate. In just one year, Shibby Shibby and GreyOne have become inseparable. They sleep, eat, play, poop, shed, look out the window, greet people at the door and vandalize everything together. They fight with and clean each other. They even plan elaborate schemes to steal food together. In short, they are best friends. When the school year is over, Shibby Shibby and GreyOne will stay together. They will continue to beat each other silly and break things together wherever they go. They will grow old together, and, in a little less than 20 years, one will die and the other will shortly follow. I’m not sure if the Kitty Babies understand that they are mortal, but they seem to take the old concept of carpe diem to heart. They make the most of each opportunity to get into the trash, or kamikaze onto their prey from a high perch or slip into the cabinets to sleep in a pot. Every day they formulate a different strategy to claim a new frontier by marking it with their hair. When the Kitty Babies are forced to settle for less than utter domination, they begrudgingly do so only to fight another day. One day, I am going to chronicle the Kitty Babies’ journey to Earth. I imagine their travels to be similar to those of the Little Prince, but I’ll just have to wait for GreyOne and Shibby Shibby to tell me themselves. Everyone’s journey is different, of course. And so are our journeys. Unlike the Kitty Babies, for many of us our futures are uncertain. We may not know where we will be next year or what we will be doing 10 years from now. We do not know what tragedies and triumphs life will bring us. And through it all, we may not have the opportunity to spend the rest of our lives with our best friends. But before we go our separate ways to venture into the unknown, maybe we should stop and ask why it must be so separate. How can we become so lonely in a city of thousands, a country of millions, a planet of billions? Maybe the only way we can be ourselves is if we take this journey together. Maybe it’s by sharing our lives that we become truly human. Yet we remain alienated from each other, regardless of what we could accomplish together. We will always be this way until we understand that our fates are tied. Being human is not an individual experience. It is shared among the billions of us here. Whether we realize it or not, the potential impact we have on others is incalculable. But as long as we choose not to realize it, we continue to lose our meaning as humans. Of course, I may be overreaching as to the lessons of the Kitty Babies. I’m sure they’ll let us know what they have in mind when they are good and ready. Elad Gross is a Trinity senior. This is his final column.
16 | FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010
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