DECEMBER 13, 2012 VOLUME XXXI, ISSUE 14
Federal Grants in Question For 2014
By GABRIELA MENDEZ-NOVOA Asst. News Editor
With tuition rates at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) and across the country rising, FCLC students are worried about federal financial aid programs, such as Pell Grants potentially getting cut. 92 percent of Fordham students depend on federal, state or Fordham financial aid to pay for tuition, according to Thomas Dunne, vice president of administration. According to The New York Times article “Rising College Costs Pose Test for Obama on Education Policies,” President Barack Obama has increased aid to low and middle-income students during his time in office. The article said the Pell Grant program has grown significantly since 2008, providing nearly $40 billion for almost ten million students this year. However according to Dunne, students may not be able to count on the Pell Grant as aid for much longer. Dunne discussed the current financial struggles that students are dealing with and the risk of financial aid programs getting dropped. “We’re in a difficult position. The Pell Grant has been secured for 2013, but for the 2014 budget it could be affected,” Dunne said. “1,932 students at Fordham are Pell Grant recipients, and 1,336 receive the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.” Kellyann Pintauro, FCLC ’15 said she is concerned about financial aid programs getting dropped because of the economy. “Well, Fordham is too expensive already and potentially having to manage with less aid sounds ridiculous, especially since projections say we won’t have jobs to pay off loans when we graduate,” Pintauro said. “If grants get cut I would be extremely afraid for everyone who relies on financial aid to pay for school.” Denisse Cotto, FCLC ’15, said she depends on financial aid to see TUITION pg. 3
TAVY WU/THE OBSERVER
On Thursday, Dec. 6., Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) lit the glamorous Christmas tree on the Plaza. This Christmas tree, along with the menorah in the front lobby, welcome the holiday spirit into FCLC. For this photo feature Observer photographers explored the city for holiday decorations. From bright lights to the various Santas across the city, the holiday season lights up New York.
Faculty Speak Out Against Salary Agreement By HARRY HUGGINS Editor-in-Chief
Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) Faculty Senate reached an agreement with the university administration over salary raises for the 2012-2013 academic year, almost seven months after raises in faculty salary and benefits are traditionally finalized. The across-the-board raise of 3.25 percent in faculty salaries, along with a merit raise of $800 per year for half of tenured faculty and a one-time bonus of $400, were announced in the Nov. 9 Senate meeting, according to the meeting’s published minutes. Subsequently, A petition was drafted by members of the faculty to strongly encourage the Senate to hold the administration accountable for its refusal to compromise on a number of issues in reaction to the
Senate’s agreement to a compromised set of raises and benefits. The petition specifically mentioned four areas of action the signees expect the Senate to take in response to the administration’s proposals, including higher merit raises, the implementation of a new maternity leave program and on-site child-care facilities as well as fighting cuts to academic programs. Along with the salary agreement came a Senate motion condemning the administration’s decision to allocate “better than budget revenues” to Fordham’s building fund rather than to faculty salaries. “In the context of the President of the University’s priority on faculty development and program development, the Senate believes that it is the responsibility of the university to raise adequate
funds for the endowment through traditional fundraising, and that it is irresponsible and harmful to the university to allocate tuitiongenerated surpluses now and for the foreseeable future to supplement capital reserve funds,” the Senate motion said. Andrew Clark, professor of French and comparative literature and former head of the Senate’s salary and benefits committee, said, “Over the last seven years, the university has put away $123 million in better-than-budget income, and this money is about 80 percent coming from tuition. So it’s coming from students, and it’s coming from faculty work.” “In the foreseeable future, all profits will go into the campus facility reserve, salary raises will be between 1.5 and 3 percent, which
means faculty will see salary raises below the cost of living increases,” Clark said. The faculty’s demands at the beginning of negotiations amounted to $56,000 more than the administration’s offer and included a workload relief program benefit for faculty to replace the current maternity leave with a nongender, non-biologically related maternity leave. That demand, however, was rejected, and through negotiations brought down to the final compromise equal to half of the difference between the faculty and administration offers. To explain the meaning of the motion and the consequences of the salary negotiations and campus facility reserves, The Observer see SALARY pg. 5
ARTS & CULTURE
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The cigarettes, I assure you, didn’t kill the amoeba.
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An exhibit displays the history of photographic manipulation.
Should Fordham have eliminated our “precious” reading days?
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THE STUDENT VOICE OF FORDHAM COLLEGE AT LINCOLN CENTER
News Editor Mehgan Abdelmassih — email@example.com
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
Catholics Support Same-Sex Marriage at Polls By RAMONA VENTURANZA Staff Writer
Despite Catholic bishops’ opposition to the issue of same-sex marriage, their constituents voted against them this November, upholding same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota. Members of the Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) community discussed the Catholic support for same-sex marriage, along with the university’s position on the topic. According to the Public Religion and Research Institute, out of 1,007 individuals surveyed, 59 percent of Catholics supported same-sex marriage. Fifty-two percent of Americans also supported same-sex marriage, regardless of religious status. Same-sex marriage is not seen as favorable in the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. According to John Seitz, assistant professor of theology, Roman Catholic bishops go back to the understanding of natural law, which states that a man and woman are encouraged to produce a child and a family. “A union between a man and a woman is gender complementarity; they have the innate gifts, abilities, and connection to procreate and raise a child,” Seitz said. “The sexual activity of homosexual couples is inheritably disordered—they do not have the ability to procreate a child. They [same-sex couples] would change the social norm of families, according to the natural law of the Church.” According to professor of philosophy Babette Babich, the doctrine has been around for a long time. “The law goes back thousands of years. The Vatican is not going to change these rules about homosexual marriage; this has been set in stone. The Church is closed off to their old fashioned rules—they will not open up to the idea of same-sex marriage,” she said. Fordham does not take a university stance on same-sex marriage. Fr. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC, said that Fordham does not have a statement on gaymarriage. Robert Howe, director of communications, said, “I can say that Fordham University is a Catholic Jesuit university, and we follow the church teachings on this.” But to Debora Mina Kim,
COURTESY OF LAURENCE KESTERSON/PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER/MCT
FCLC ’16, having Fordham allow student-operated organizations such as the Rainbow Alliance to function implies university support for the gay rights campaign. “A Jesuit university like Fordham does not go strictly against gays or heterosexuals—we even have the Rainbow Alliance here and we’re a Jesuit school. It has to mean something, too, that the whole school community and Catholics are very open to such organizations,” she said. Campus ministry leader Alyssa Carolan, FCLC ’14, says that many Catholics distinguish the fine separation between church and state when it comes to dealing with the election. “Most of the liberal Catholics I know, my close friends, are
for gay marriage. It shouldn’t be a Catholic marriage—it is a civil right, really. It is the legality of that union—it is not a church issue,” Carolan said. “Religion is going to inform your vote, but it’s not going to be the reason you vote a certain way. When you look at the issue of gay marriage, it’s not moral to stop people from living together—if you love each other, you can’t stop that. Overall, the two [the church and state] are very separate issues,” she said. When voting, the Catholic Church does not merely consider same-sex marriage, according to Seitz. “Weighing some aspects of moral thought matter over others,” he said. “Some social and ethical problems outweigh same-sex mar-
riage: Paul Ryan’s economic policy, which does not support social programs; and Obama’s immigration policy, which supports a large majority of Hispanic Catholics. Also, some Catholics may not agree with same-sex marriage and call themselves Catholics at the same time,” he said. According to Babich, Catholicism is a religion based on individual interpretation; its Roman Catholic members base their beliefs off of their conscience some times, rather than religious scripture. “One of the wonders of Catholicism is the openness to interpretation. Rather than church doctrine, Catholics follow their conscience,” she said. “Although the Roman Catholic Church rules
homosexuality as wrong, members of the church and all individuals follow their conscience and evaluate whether or not gay-marriage is a moral union of love. In this case, many Catholics in the church see same-sex marriage as a moral, serious union,” she said. Shery Arce, FCLC ’16, indicated that the followers in the Roman Catholic Church are changing. “Catholics and Christians seem to be opening up to new perspectives. We are in an era of time where things are changing. Catholics are so big and diverse; you will find all different types of individuals with new ideas. And in this group, people are starting to change, welcome and integrate new ideas into their faith,” she said.
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THE OBSERVER December 13, 2012
COURTESY OF TERRI BENNETT ENTERPRISES/MCT
ResLife Turns off Holiday Lights in McMahon By NOHA MAHMOOD Staff Writer
For the first time in 20 years, residents in McMahon Hall are prohibited from hanging up holiday lights in their dorm rooms. Facilities Manager Leslie Timoney stated that the decision to ban the hanging of the holiday lights was based on incidents that took place over the past 20 years. The first major incident that occurred was the injury of an Alvin Ailey dance student 15 years ago. “We first were alerted to the holiday light problem by the Ailey School when a top dancer was injured—cut her foot on broken holiday lights in her apartment. We
then had guidelines in the handbook about how to correctly hang the lights and to only have them during the holidays,” Timoney said. One of the incidents involving the holiday lights that Timoney observed was that students would leave the holiday lights hung up all year in their rooms. The student handbook for Residential Life policies states, “Holiday lights are only permitted in McMahon Hall between Thanksgiving and New Year’s due to the fire and tripping hazards they pose.” However, other incidents over the 20 years have taken place endangering the safety of the residents as well as creating damage to the facility, leading the Residential staff to ban the
hanging of holiday lights completely this school year. Some students are unaffected and unaware of the banning of holiday lights in McMahon like Tristan Paguio, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’15. “My roommates and I haven’t decorated for anything, but I’ve seen plenty of rooms that enjoy putting in the effort. I’m also unaware of why they banned the lights in the first place,” Paguio said. According to Timoney, some of the incidents included residents hanging holiday lights on sprinkler heads or too close to them, hanging them across the room creating a safety hazard, or using the holiday lights to make obscene words and pictures in
the building. Other incidents included the students incorrectly removing the holiday lights leaving behind tape or sticky residue that attracted dust or ripping the tape in a manner that damaged the wall. “We educated staff and informed students of the proper way to hang lights. But we still had problems with lights being left up all year long. So then we limited the use to just the holidays,” Timoney said. “But that hasn’t worked and we still have damage during move-out related to the hanging of lights.” Fanni Hedegus, FCLC’15 and a resident at McMahon Hall, is bothered by the decision of banning holiday lights but is also understanding to the reasons that led to that result.
“I find that it is a little annoying because it prevents decoration, but at the same time I understand where Reslife is coming from since it could be a safety issue potentially,” Hedegus said. Others such as Erika Fisher, FCLC ’15, found that the ban of holiday lights negatively impacts the students’ moods throughout the semester. “I feel like it puts a damper on the spirit of the holiday season. Being away from home, having to pull all-nighters to study for finals, and the general stress of being a college student reaching the end of the semester is already troublesome. Hanging holiday lights would add cheer,” Fisher said.
Fordham Reacts to Fiscal Cliff Effects on Student Aid TUITION FROM PAGE 1
pay for tuition, and she is worried about grant cuts taking place before she graduates from Fordham. “I am supposed to graduate in two years, and I’m worried that the government will make cuts to financial aid before I do graduate. I don’t know if I would be able to stay in this school if I lost part of my financial aid,” Cotto said. According to Dunne, the average student debt at Fordham is approximately $27,000. “Fordham provides students $120 million a year in financial aid,” he said.
When asked what steps Fordham would have to take if other federal aid programs are cut in the near future, Dunne said the university would have to find other ways to help students finance their studies. “Well, if more financial aid is cut, you have to make it up. And the way is to raise money from student alumni and create other scholarships,” he said. “Fordham gives $120 million a year to students. We would have to work on getting that number up, and we constantly work on this.” Dunne suggested that students get more engaged in this financial
FCLC students are worried about federal financial aid programs such as Pell Grants potentially getting cut. issue. “We have a very, very active development office and we have increased our institutional funds of financial aid,” Dunne said. “I would say alumni donations are significant, probably in the millions. But I would ask students to become more engaged in the lobbying in Washington.” Dunne said that the adminis-
tration and the board are actively fighting for the preservation of charitable deduction, and that Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham, has written letters to the delegation in support of charitable deduction as it currently stands. “But students should write letters of petition to members of Congress and to
Crime Blotter WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5 On Dec. 5, a student from McMahon Hall reported a scam. She applied for a job for a company after seeing information about it at a website called studentjobusa.com. She received two checks from the company that she deposited for $2,000 in her account. She was told to wire $2,000 to Western Union for the company. After doing this, the money she had received from the company was bounced. Security called the police and the matter is under investigation.
TUESDAY, NOV. 20 At 4 a.m. a student doing laundry on the 10th floor of McMahon Hall reported a missing black sweatshirt. The sweatshirt’s value is $40.
the president on student aid and the charitable deduction, and if students and the administration work together we could be much more powerful,” Dunne said. Regarding Obama’s work in office so far and his goals for his second term, Dunne said that he is a firm believer in helping students finance college. “His speeches are not just political rhetoric,” Dunne said. “And what he said in the State of the Union is that he wants to slow the growth of tuition and tie federal aid in to slow that growth.”
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
“Queer” Approved for Campus Social Events By MONIQUE JOHN Opinions Editor
“Prior to coming to Fordham, I wasn’t really familiar with the word ‘queer’ and its significance within the LGBTQ community,” Lauren Giangrasso, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’15 said. In April 2011, a task force of students and faculty launched a campaign to have Student Affairs officials allow the word “queer” to be used in club social programming. Dean of Students for Lincoln Center Keith Eldredge and Dean of Students for Rose Hill Chris Rodgers approved the measure in September, and on Dec. 4, Rainbow Alliance hosted its longawaited “Queer Prom,” the first social event to be held at Fordham with the word “queer” in the title. “[S]tudents have taken this really impressive leadership role in this issue,” Anne Hoffman, associate chair of the English department and advisor to the queer task force, said. “The university is a place of inquiry and freedom to explore and that the students have really shown us the way.” Students and faculty involved with the queer campaign said their work is not finished. Though the word “queer” can now be used in the titles of social events at Fordham, it still cannot be used in club names, constitutions nor administrative programs and literature such as the Counseling and Psychological Services’ Spectrum: LGBT Group, the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ LGBT and Allies Network or the Fordham website. Students in Rainbow Alliance were first inspired to lobby for the use of the word “queer” in fall 2011, when editorial board officials expressed interest in changing the name of their organization as well as the name of their annual event, “LGBT Prom” to feature “queer” in them. When discouraged by school officials from using the word “queer,” they decided to take action. The campaign began as a stream of events, such as performances held by LGBTQ students, dialogue sessions and academic panel discussions featuring Fordham professors discussing queer theory. Along with events, fliers were posted throughout Lincoln Center featuring quotes from students describing what the word “queer” meant to them as individuals. “It was completely baffling to me [that we couldn’t use the word “queer”] and I felt it was discriminatory against a whole host of people who claim queer as their identity,” Dorie Goehring, FCLC ’13 said, “so I didn’t feel that that was acceptable, so I got involved.” From there, students including Goehring, Charlie Martin, FCLC ’14 (now president of Rainbow Alliance), Nick Giordano, FCLC ’14, and Nadia
Pinder (now public relations officer of Rainbow Alliance) created a task force involving student leaders from different clubs such as ISIS, Amnesty International, Rose Hill’s PRIDE Alliance and the United Students Government of both campuses, in addition to faculty members, focus on lobbying for use of the word. The task force composed a proposal to present to Student Affairs officials to reach an agreement. Composed of original research conducted by members of the task force, Eldredge and Rogers were provided with information on other Jesuit and Catholic universities’ policies around the use of the word “queer” as well as a definition and history of the word and official statements from allying student clubs and academic departments in support of the provision. “[W]e didn’t want to make any decisions that defined how folks used language to define themselves,” Eldredge said. “Folks could use the word to describe their programs, their events, their activities, because that’s a word that they’re choosing to use as students and as a club at a university.” “The LGBT community is a part of the LGBT community, and it’s equally a part of the Fordham community at large,” Martin said. “So part of being queer at Fordham requires bringing together those two different communities and that is why I think that at Fordham it is extremely important that we try to stay up-to-date on other identities that are important to our community as a whole.” Attending events like “Queer 101” and “Q the Spotlight” (also hosted by Rainbow Alliance and occasionally supporting academic departments like women’s studies), Giangrasso’s understanding of the word “queer” grew, later taking on the identity for herself. “In learning about the word ‘queer’ and what it has evolved into and now trying to get it as a more comfortable and common place term on campus, it’s really provided a lot of comfort,” Giangrasso said. Though the meaning of the word “queer” highly varies in different contexts, it generally is used as an umbrella term signifying marginalized sexual and gender groups. The root of the controversy of using the term “queer” on campus lies in its past as a derogatory term used against people of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities. However, in social movements during the ’80s and ’90s, many people reclaimed term as a positive, more inclusive signifier for those assuming alternative gender and sexual identities. “I think that the term ‘queer’ always evoked that rebellious edge, that constant questioning,” Arnaldo CruzMalavé, professor of Spanish, com-
AYER CHAN/THE OBSERVER
Charlie Martin, FCLC ’14, president of Rainbow Alliance holds a meaningful sign for Queer Prom attendees.
parative literature, and Latin American and Latino studies, said. Also an advisor to the queer task force, CruzMalavé added, “The students themselves that affirming their identity, they are affirming the fact that they are not only for justice, but that they are always questioning social terms and social givens.” Given this history, task force members felt it was important to use more
inclusive terminology for sexual and gender identities that can make more students of marginal groups feel comfortable on campus, while educating older generations on the development of the word over time. Even with the challenges that still face them in changing the policy regarding names and administrative programming as well as organizational literature, Martin does not appear
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discouraged. “Even within the Fordham community, while we’ve seen that we’ve dealt with some challenges about being an open and inclusive campus, the decision of the community to accept a word like “queer,” a word that invokes a lot of complex and intersecting identities, is a very positive step.”
THE OBSERVER December 13, 2012
Faculty Salary Negotiations End in Compromise SALARY FROM PAGE 1
spoke with Andrew Clark, associate professor of French and comparative literature and former head of the Senate’s salary and benefits committee. John Lordan, senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Fordham, did not return phone calls from the Observer requesting comment, and university spokesperson Robert Howe said he had no information on the salary negotiations. According to Clark, the campus facility reserves are meant to target money from unexpectedly high revenues toward funding Fordham’s multiple expansion projects at the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses. Clark said his concerns stem from the consequences of the raises themselves and the establishment of a campus facility reserve. While salaries are rising at or below the cost of living, the faculty’s workload is increasing. “Since 2008, class sizes have grown,” Clark said, “but Fordham has not been hiring more, so the workload is increasing, but the pay is not.” According to Clark, when revenues are targeted toward campus facilities instead of reinvestment in faculty, the university as a whole suffers. “It will affect faculty morale and competitiveness, and students will be affected when faculty move to other positions or farther away to live where they can afford to, and so they [professors] will not be on campus as much,” Clark said. “Faculty engagement with the institution will also suffer, and therefore the quality of programs and quality of education. “That money is not being invested in faculty compensation, which would allow faculty to spend more time for teaching and research, helping with recommendations, helping students with their future careers. The university has raised enrollment without filling teaching lines, they are hiring more adjunct professors without the same longterm commitments to the university
“ The main reason
students do or do not come here is based on the quality of programs.” ANDREW CLARK, associate professor of French and comparative literature and former head of the Faculty Senate’s salary and benefits committee
and students,” Clark said. Students specifically will be negatively affected, according to Clark. “You’ll see more cancelled courses and lower diversity in courses, longer lines to meet with advisors who have more advisees and a general absence of faculty on campus as faculty can no longer afford the transit in and out of the city. It becomes difficult to offer new programs when you are understaffed. Department budgets will be cut so you’ll see less lectures and cosponsoring with Student Activities.” “The main reason students do or do not come here is based on the quality of programs,” Clark said. Clark also discussed the disconnect between how the university community (including students and administrators) views professors’ work and what Clark sees as the reality. “I think there is a sense that faculty don’t really work, we teach 8 hours a week, have summers off,” Clark said. “There is a complete incomprehension of the value of the faculty or what they do, and the cost of living in New York City is really high. Being a faculty member here is wonderful, students are loved by faculty, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to live here.” “It’s really about a basic level of respect, working together in this institution,” Clark said. “We help generate this profit in our labor, we should be at least getting the cost of living increases.”
WEIYU LI/THE OBSERVER
Fordham faculty members are angry about the administration’s decision to set up a campus facility reserve to channel funds from better-than-budget revenues.
USG Institutes “Fordham Thursdays” Push for Maroon Pride to Continue Next Semester By IAN MCKENNA Managing Editor
The United Student Government (USG) held their first “Fordham Thursday” on Dec. 6 at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). The event was the first of series of monthly opportunities to demonstrate school spirit and Fordham pride. “We want people to know that USG cares and we want it to feel like more of a community,” USG President Alexa Rodriguez, FCLC ’13, said. Rodriguez said that “Fordham Thursday” will continue next semester, although the first date of the year is yet unscheduled. “[O]nce a month we will be handing out goodies for people who show school spirit by wearing their Fordham gear,” an earlier announcement from USG read. “Just little things to let people know we care,” Rodriguez said regarding potential prizes. The decision to institute “Fordham Thursday” comes after a year full of USG attempts to “foster a sense of community at FCLC,” the announcement said. “It was a collaboration of the Student Affairs committee, specifically, but I think the overall theme has been something we have been working with and working on since the first couple meet-
ings. As a group, we thought this year we would like to really focus on forming more of a community at Fordham, because we thought that was something that could be better,” Rodriguez said. “It is a little lacking; it’s not that it isn’t present. We just want to improve it,” Rodriguez said. “In my wildest dreams, everyone would be high-fiving each other, wearing maroon. The building would be maroon. Everyone is just Fordham-happy. In a more realistic sense, I hope that people dress up and get excited. I have already gotten really good feedback and heard of people getting really excited. Hopefully, it will stay as a tradition. Maybe somebody could keep it going, and who knows? It might become a bigger thing,” Rodriguez said. The first “Fordham Thursday” was a success, according to Rodriguez. “I saw people that I didn’t know and hadn’t seen before at Fordham wearing maroon. Students ran back to their dorms to grab maroon and participate,” Rodriguez said. “We had a table full of goodies, and by the end, it was all gone.” Although Rodriguez said that the event might have been advertised with more notice, she said, “We’re excited to see what happens at the next one!” PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARA AZOULAY/THE OBSERVER
Monique John — Opinions Editor email@example.com
December 13, 2012
WAGE VERDICT HURTS ALL AT FORDHAM
Fordham College at Lincoln Center 113 West 60th Street Room 408 New York, New York 10023 Tel: (212) 636-6015 Fax: (212) 636-7047
You’ve got your mind on your money and your money on your mind. And so does our faculty. After seven months of negotiations ending in a compromise agreement on salary and benefit increases for the academic year, faculty are still disappointed in the final outcome. As reported in Harry Huggins’ page one article, “Faculty Speak Out Against Salary Agreement,” faculty is feeling left out in the cold after the establishment of a campus facilities reserve channeling all of Fordham’s better-than-budget revenues toward expanding Fordham’s campus. Students do not choose Fordham because of the buildings; shiny glass and fresh concrete mean little if a school doesn’t have substance in both programs and personnel. And for programs to flourish, faculty have to feel valued and invested while being shown that they are respected in the integral role they play in the growth of our community. Denying the faculty’s request for an equivalent of an extra $56,000 in salary raises and benefits does not do this. Prospective students send in their deposits and choose to become Rams because of Fordham’s reputation as a place of quality education. This educa-
The pride and joy of Fordham College at Lincoln Center isn’t our 8-acre superblock, it isn’t the prime Central Park-adjacent location or the size of our law school. tion is founded on Jesuit tenets that offer students the opportunity to learn from professors with serious credentials and ties to their respective fields. The pride and joy of Fordham College at Lincoln Center isn’t our 8-acre superblock, the prime Central Park-adjacent location or the size of our law school. Our reputation is centered on the professional, erudite and caring individuals who spend their days with us, their nights reading our work, and their free time expanding their academic research for our benefit. While we reap many benefits from the
addition of a new building and our prime location, all of this means nothing if our foundation—our dedicated staff—find themselves without adequate compensation. Ninety-six percent of our faculty have terminal degrees in their field. These aren’t people who are asking for handouts. These are the topmost scholars in their field at the pinnacle of academic discourse. And we rank them below steel beams and a new cafeteria. The simple fact is that shiny new classrooms don’t do the teaching, towering edifices don’t prompt learning and sprawling grounds don’t meet us for office hours. This misdirection of funds is a mockery of our worth as students, and the decision undermines the time and effort our brilliant faculty have invested and continue to invest not only in Fordham as a whole but, more specifically, in us as students. By forgoing this investment, the administration is prioritizing the physical image of Fordham University over the experience and quality of learning for us, the students.
Asst. News Editor Gabriela Méndez-Novoa Opinions Editor Monique John Asst. Opinions Editor Alissa Fajek Arts & Culture Co-Editors Olivia Perdoch Clinton Holloway Asst. Arts & Culture Editor Brian Bruegge Features Editor Jewel Galbraith Asst. Features Editor Rex Sakamoto Literary Editor Salma Elmehdawi Sports Editor Michael McMahon Copy Editor Anna Luciano Asst. Copy Editor Zoë Simpson
Photo Co-Editors Sara Azoulay Ayer Chan Online Editor Ariella Mastroianni
USG Lights FCLC Christmas Tree
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Asst. Features Editor Rex Sakamoto takes us to the annual USG Christmas Tree Lighting. Acappella group The F#’s sang like Fordham’s personal seraphim and the hot chocolate warmed the soul of even the grumpiest on Santa’s naughty list.
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Images on page 15 in issue 13 were attributed to Sherry Yuan. They should be attributed to Emily Sawicki.
Blog Editor Nick Milanes delivers Bill O’Reilly a taste of his own medicine after Fox News’ controversial segment filmed at Rose Hill asking students whether or not Ann Coulter should have been able to speak at the University. Well done, Nick.
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Layout Staff Sara Azoulay Biannca Mackill Brian Bruegge
A Letter to Bill O’Reilly
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THE OBSERVER December 13, 2012
SAVANNAH SCHECHTER/THE OBSERVER
With the destruction and delays brought on by Hurricane Sandy, Fordham had to make major changes in its academic schedule, eliminating reading days for the fall 2012 semester.
Should Fordham Have Cancelled Reading Days? POINT
Yes, Students Can Use Their Time More Wisely
No, Reading Days are Essential for Finals Studying
there is a comfort in knowing that I have that extra class time to figure anything out with the Asst. Opinions Editor help of classmates and professors, and feel fully prepared for exams. Experts agree that extending time spent in the classroom will only help students to sucAs students, we do most of our learning in ceed. The National Center for Time and Learnthe classroom. In the classroom, we interact ing advocates for expanding learning time to with other students and, more importantly, improve students’ academic success and to our professors. Though we may do most of promote a well-rounded education. I agree that the physical work outside the classroom, such having more time in class can definitely help as reading and reaction papers, talking about these ideas in the classroom is what gives us the students achieve. Yes, reading days can serve a similar most understanding of purpose, but only if what we have studied students use their We are entitled to a certain on our own. Without time wisely and all of this time, we are amount of class time, and prepare materials put at a disadvantage. to study that are We are entitled to a since we did not choose to similar to the exam certain amount of miss classes, we should not they will be taking. class time, and since They are more we did not choose to likely to be studying feel penalized come final miss classes, we should information more not be penalized come examinations because we relevant to their exfinal examinations and the exam because we missed missed these opportunities ams format will be given these opportunities to if they are in the to learn. learn. classroom preparIf Fordham had ing with their progone ahead with readfessor rather than ing days and classes if they are putting were never made up, our chance of doing well in half the effort in the study lounge at 11 p.m. on exams would have been hindered. This the night before the test. A collaborative effort is because many professors did not plan to between faculty and students can make a world change their syllabi after the hurricane. The of difference, even if it is just an additional 75 last things outlined in the course may not have minutes. To quote Stephanie Hirsh, executive been completely understood, yet we would still director of the non-profit Learning Forward, be tested on the materials. With more class “[You] can’t afford not to find the time.” time, students are able to hash out any last
and schools like NYU is that we’re accustomed to having reading days. We expected Staff Writer it, and those who are not freshmen may be conditioned to it. Virtually any student would agree that it is not only how much time you spend As soon as my suitemate ends her four studying, but what you do in that time. So classes on Dec. 13, which follows a Monday one can argue that in this case, studying schedule, she has to pull an all-nighter for a or reviewing materials is more productive final exam on Dec. 14. Promptly after that, than lecturing during class time because she will return to the library to study again it focuses on the end results—what’s going to prepare for her language final the next to be on the final as a whole—rather than a day. On top of this, she will probably have to small aspect of it. In addition, reading days go to work for at least allow students one of the three days to focus on their Understandably, the school (her employer isn’t weaknesses as well student friendly). needs to make up days as meet with study One might sugmates or contact gest preparing for the as part of state requireprofessors with rendezvous now, right? questions. ments. But reading days Maybe it’s doable for Something that some people. However, could help stuare an important part of with two final papers, dents deal with the a presentation and a the school year where stustress of the finals quiz on her schedule is the dents can fully prepare for schedule the last week of classes, library. Starting she faces some difficult Monday, Dec. 10 their exams. upcoming weeks if she (four days before wants to do well. And the first final), like most students, she the library will be does. open 24 hours until exams are over. I’m sure Understandably, the school needs to this will provide an environment that those make up days as part of state requirements. students like my suitemate can go to. But reading days are an important part of Although the university was put in a the school year where students can fully tough position, students are in an even more prepare for their exams. Cutting that extra difficult predicament. Reading days are esstudy time leaves students at an unfair dissential because finals are intense. We need advantage when taking their finals. the extra time to put in our last effort and be Some may say that other schools, such as successful this semester. NYU, manage finals without reading days. But I think the difference between Fordham
confusion before finals. Though it would have been nice to keep the reading days I’m used to,
Happy Holidays from the Observer!
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
Drinking While Pregnant: Her Baby, Your Problem? MARIA FISCHER Staff Writer
It’s your first day as a waiter or waitress. You walk up to one of your customers, a woman with an oddly familiar glow to her skin. She looks up, smiling, and orders a glass of pinot noir. Seems normal, right? Until you look down and notice something odd: the woman is pregnant. What do you do? Surprisingly, waiters and waitresses are now frequently finding themselves in this type of situation. Research now shows that drinking in moderation while pregnant is relatively safe, and more and more pregnant women are guiltlessly enjoying a drink or two with their dinner. However, even the most seasoned waiters and waitresses have a hard time serving alcoholic beverages to pregnant women. If you are uncomfortable with these guilty pleasures, do you have the right as a waiter to refuse to serve a pregnant woman her glass of wine? I say yes. Regardless of what studies say, drinking while pregnant still puts the unborn child’s life at risk—and who wants to risk that for some fleeting, tasty buzz? It’s understandable why a waiter would feel uncomfortable standing their ground. If you refuse to serve a requested drink to a pregnant woman, you seem judgmental. You are sending the message that you think you know more about her body and her baby than she does. But in this case, maybe you do. Despite the recent discoveries that claim a small amount of alcohol has limited effects on the fetus, doctors still warn against it. According to Dr. Ashley Roman of New York City’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, “It is recommended that pregnant women avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption is associated with stillbirth and adverse effects on fetal brain development, which can lead to learning disabilities and mental retardation.” So how what’s the best way to
COURTESY OF ANDREW VARGAS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
If research claims drinking alcohol while pregnant is relatively safe, can waiters refuse drinks to pregnant women?
respond to this order? If you think the potential consequences are not worth the risk, you can absolutely give a firm “no.” Waiters and waitresses shouldn’t be forced to fulfill orders that they are uncomfortable with. I would be conscious of my tone. Stating your opinion in a rude way is not acceptable. Even though Roman warns that there is not a known “safe” amount of alcohol for pregnant women, it’s still inappropriate
to preach. Is a woman who enjoys a glass of wine with her dinner a careless baby killer? No, absolutely not. Therefore, it would be wrong for a waiter to treat a woman like a criminal just because she asks for one drink. Is awkward confrontation worth it? Maybe, maybe not. With so many conflicting sources out there, there’s no way to definitely know if the one glass of wine would have harmed the baby. Since research goes both ways,
in the end it’s up to the mother-to-be to decide her stance on drinking for herself. However, waiters and waitresses don’t have to condone a behavior that they personally feel is inappropriate. As long as they acknowledge her rights as a woman, waiters and waitresses shouldn’t feel obligated to carry out an order that conflicts with their beliefs. Just like it’s your call if that “twenty-something” young adult with an obviously fake ID is
old enough for that beer, you get to make the final choice to either serve this pregnant woman alcohol or deny her request. It’s your decision, and no one else’s. You can’t tell her how to treat her body, and in return she can’t tell you how to think. Respect needs to go both ways. Just don’t expect a tip if you chose to deny your pregnant customer’s drink order. If you voice your two cents, it might be all that you’re left with.
It’s The End of the World...Again NINA GUIDICE Asst. Blog Editor
Guys, it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. Because the world’s not going to end. I’m sorry to disappoint you. The Mayans? Their calendar ended. They never predicted anything. The Rapture? Not really in the Bible. And the Messiah has been expected to return pretty much every year since he left. A pole shift? A sudden shift isn’t scientifically possible. Planet X colliding with Earth? Planet X does not exist. Zombie apocalypse? The CDC shot that down a few months ago. A humongous sun storm? Alignment of the planets? Insane earthquakes? Supernova irradiation? I’m sorry, but none of these things are scientifically predicted. (“But that’s what science wants us to think!” I know, I know. Calm down.) And yes, I’m going to listen to science before I’m going to listen to a doomsday theorist. Because science, at least, is willing to admit when it’s wrong. That’s kind of the whole point. The amount of wrong end of the world predictions is astounding. The accuracy percentage, so far, is nil. Zero. Percent. No one’s gotten it right, though thousands have tried. Why does Joe Schmoe down the street think that he and his friends on the Internet have got the end of the world figured out when no one before him
has? Do you see the pattern here? Over and over again, people predict and expect the worst and it never comes. Isn’t it one of those old sayings that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing time and again and expect a
different outcome? Maybe we can say the entire human race is insane, because the doomsday delusion is not unique to any one culture or people. They all lack a sense of pragmatism. They all seem kind of hopeful. Isn’t it interesting that most people who are super worried
about the apocalypse are also kind of hoping for it to happen? It’s more than a little twisted, right? “Disaster porn” is a genre now and the movies make millions. There’s a link between
REX SAKOMOTO/THE OBSERVER
the cult of doomsday prophecies and the general mood of distress of the public. Horror movies had a heyday during the Cold War. Zombie apocalypses, alien invasions, natural disasters, you name it. When the real world is going through some strife, the fictional world lets out that energy into something entertaining.
World’s gone crazy with some realtime devastation? Why not indulge in something fake? It’s cathartic to see the Grand Canyon flood, for some reason. It’s less cathartic to try and prepare yourself for every apocalypse. In fact, it’s exhausting. Don’t the prep-ers ever get tired? They spend their whole lives looking for a reason to panic. That can’t be healthy. It really can’t be healthy. Don’t get me wrong—it’s good to be prepared. It’s just not good to be obsessed with it. People waste away their lives terrified of something that has little to no chance of ever happening. They’ll scare their children. They might even (as reports are suggesting) commit suicide before Dec. 21, just to make sure they’re not around when it all goes down. Horrifying thought, isn’t it? The terror of the unknown is a tragedy. The things that shouldn’t scare us strike fear into our hearts, but the things that should scare us, we ignore. For example, climate change, global food shortages, world poverty, lack of affordable housing, unequal rights, unequal education. The works. Why do we ignore them? Because it’s easier to throw fear into something that will never happen? Everybody, please. Calm down. It’ll all be okay, most likely. And if it’s not it’s the end of the world. There’s nothing you can do about it. So just hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
THE OBSERVER December 13, 2012
COURTESY OF PHIL SKINNER/MCT
Are We Becoming Too Digitized? With Tech Devices At The Tips of Our Fingers, We Must Draw the Line Between the Useful and the Obsessive RACHEL SHMULEVICH Staff Writer
Each day we see hoards of people trudging along, eyes glued to their iPhones, and texting as if their lives depended on it. I’ve been a part of this crowd before—and it has been the cause of some of my most embarrassing nosedives. But while texting is much easier and faster than calling—especially when you’re in a rush (and everyone is always in a rush)—we seem to have crossed the line separating “useful” and “obsessive.” I know that in addition to texting, my phone is all at once my alarm clock, calendar and map. Without it, I would be a complete mess—I wouldn’t be able to wake up for classes, keep up with due
dates and events or even navigate the city. And this is coming from someone with a phone that’s only one step up from those huge, no flip devices of the ’90s. We have become a society so immersed in technology that it is not only a part of our lives but what defines each day. Beyond this is the question of why texting is so appealing to us. John Palfrey, author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of the Digital Natives,” talks about the lure of texting coming from the idea that the youth can have their own language, or “a space of their own.” But I don’t think that the reason behind this is as complicated as Palfrey makes it out to be. I believe that our love of texting comes from a much simpler idea— it’s quick and easy and straight to the point. Rushing between classes, or even while immersed in my
novel-length notes, I can shoot my parents a text to let them know I’m still alive or finalize dinner plans with friends. You can say a lot more in considerably less time than it takes to have an actual
technologies, raising the question of whether or not they will be able to talk face to face (and not just on Skype!). But our obsession isn’t just limited to texting. Project Glass, a project still
We have become a society so immersed in technology that it is not only a part of our lives, but what defines each day. conversation. In a way, texting does undermine communication—it is after all a superficial form of talking. Our generation didn’t have phones when we were seven or eight, so for the most part, we’re able to carry meaningful conversations—but the kids of today are being more and more fully absorbed in various
under development Google, is essentially augmented reality glasses with a small computer monitor aimed at the eye of their wearer. In addition to all the “basic” features we’ve grown used to, they pick up on others in your vicinity and can tell you their exact location—as well as what their interests are (which in itself seems to be a glorified form of
stalking). You don’t even have to pay attention to the world around you with Project Glass—they tell you where you are, and when to avoid any impending brick walls you’re in danger of walking into. It is a more virtual-reality expansion of the app Google Goggles. I’m a fan of texting, big screen TVs, the Internet and other gems technology offers us, but there’s a point where I have to draw the line. Technology is a huge part of our lives and we wouldn’t be able to function without it, but we need to be aware of the “real world,” and something like Google Goggles or Project Glass, and even texting, severely limits that ability. Yes, they are amazing feats in technological innovation—but it just proves that we are in fact becoming too digitized. The Internet is not a real place, and it’s important to live within the real, tangible world.
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Arts & Culture
Arts & Culture Co-Editors Clint Holloway — firstname.lastname@example.org Olivia Perdoch —email@example.com
December 13, 2012
Manipulating Reality: How to Fake Photography By MICHAEL O’DONNELL Staff Writer
“Every photograph is a fake from start to finish, a purely impersonal, unmanipulated photograph being practically impossible.” So said Edward Steichen, an early 20th century American photographer featured in “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” a new exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met). The gallery, which features work ranging from 1800s family portraits to contemporary magazine covers, offers a unique glimpse into the time before digital photography, a time before retro filters and surreal imagery were only a tap or click away. The exhibit is enlightening, if not overwhelming, when approached from a modern sensibility. Many of the techniques on display—slimming waistlines, removing blemishes, adding people or objects into scenes—are widely used today, making the images seem rather ordinary to the 21st century onlooker. However, rather than highlighting the content of the photos, the exhibit grounds itself in the technique and motive behind their manipulation, creating an engaging and provocative narrative to the images on display. Mia Fineman, curator of photography at the Met, stated that the intention of the exhibition is to express “how photographic manipulation has changed from the 19th to the 20th and 21st centuries. Are there things that can be done digitally now that couldn’t be done before? What are the different approaches? What are the reasons behind the manipulation?” The answers to these questions manifest themselves through the images, the earliest being a portrait from 1850 titled, “Young Girl with Hand on Shoulder.” The image is a simple portrait of an anonymous young woman, manipulated through the addition of subtle touches of color—a radical departure from the standard black and white photos of the era. Her blouse is infused with touches of light green and blue, while her face, ghostly white, has the impression of rosy cheeks. When the medium of photography was first established in the 1800s, critics questioned whether it could truly capture the essence of human sight. As Fineman wrote in
COURTESY OF METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
The Met’s current photography exhibition shows how photographers were able to manipulate their photos long before the existence of Photoshop.
the exhibit’s accompanying book, “Many of the early instances were, in fact, efforts to compensate for the new medium’s technical limitations—specifically, its inability to depict the world the way it looks to the naked eye.” Manipulation, in this vein, allowed photographers to document reality in increasingly accurate and thought provoking ways. In 1856, French photographer Gustave Le Gray captured a series of marine views that became an international success in galleries in London and Paris. Onlookers were immediately taken aback by the depth of the images and how he was able to create such detail in the breaking waves and clouds drifting above. Le Gray’s secret, which he took to the grave, was that the image came from two separate negatives, one capturing the waves, while the other cap-
tured the clouds. By manipulating the two images to his liking, Le Gray was able to create a photograph that successfully conveys the sensation of looking out over a marine landscape. While many photographers simply wanted to portray a more perceptive image, others had different intentions, manipulating images as a powerful propaganda tool. “Dirigible Docked on Empire State Building, New York,” a famous image of a zeppelin docked at the tip of New York’s most famous building is an example of this. No airship ever docked at the top of the building, but it was promoted as a way for weary European travellers to dock and reach street level within minutes. Dangerous winds prevented this image from ever coming to fruition, but the attention did allow
building investors to add nearly 200 feet to the top of the building, making it the largest in the world. In 1941, Alexander Zhitomirsky, working for the Soviet propaganda ministry, created posters and pamphlets that would be dropped from Soviet fighter planes as a way to demoralize German soldiers. In “The Corporal is Leading Germany into a Catastrophe,” Zhitomirsky depicts a larger-than-life portrait of Otto Von Bismark condescendingly pointing down at Hitler. The implication is that Hitler, who never rose above the rank of corporal, did not have the credentials to lead the German army as Bismark did in the mid-19th century. While the technology has changed, this sort of manipulation still exists, especially in the political sphere. During the election, a photo
of Mitt Romney’s family wearing T-shirts that spelled out “Romney,” was rearranged to read “R-Money.” After Romney’s “binders full of women” gaffe, the Internet exploded with memes and images of Romney holding literal binders of women. Separate images, combined in order to serve a political agenda, effectively discrediting his campaign. “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop” is based on this very sentiment. Technologies have and will continue to change, but the way people think and use these new technologies will likely reflect the attitudes of the past. It is easy to take our technologies for granted, but exhibits like this force us to put our iPhones and digital cameras in perspective. The exhibition will run through Jan. 27 at the Met.
Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” As Time Goes By By CLINT HOLLOWAY Arts & Culture Co-Editor
COURTESY OF PAULA COOPER GALLERY/MOMA
A still from Marclay’s immersive video installation, “The Clock,” playing at MoMA starting Dec. 21.
Have you ever found yourself checking the time while watching a movie? Perhaps it was the fact that the feature itself was so boring and you wanted to know how much longer you had to sit through, or you were simply checking it to gauge how many more things you could accomplish through the rest of the day. “The Clock,” an immersive video installation showing at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) later this month, takes the concept of timekeeping in films and pushes it to its utmost limit. Created by visual artist Christian Marclay and having made the rounds at various international galleries and art festivals since its debut in 2010, acquiring an almost legendary status along the way, “The Clock” is a 24-hour montage of scenes in films relating to time. This includes everything from
close-ups of watches and clocks to exterior landscape shots indicating the time of day, edited in a fluid and coherent order, as the day goes on. One of the stipulations of “The Clock” is for it to be synchronized with the actual time it is exhibited; so, say, if you walk in at 4:30 in the afternoon, “The Clock” will be showing the exact same time. The result becomes almost hypnotic and strangely entertaining. When watching it, you never know what you will see next among the thousands of different films Marclay assembled. While it may come across as overly heady or daunting, there is fun to be had. One can get a kick out of counting the times you are able to recognize the film and the scene that is being shown. Another one of the most amusing aspects of viewing it is seeing the eclectic and at time jarring differences between the array of movies; a tense moment of people all looking at a clock on the wall will be
juxtaposed with a matter-of-fact declaration of what the time is. “The Clock” makes for a fascinating and engrossing experience. The sheer magnitude of it is astonishing, and if you just vaguely consider the amount of time and effort that Marclay had to put into creating it, it is an extraordinary achievement. One of the things you take away from watching “The Clock” is seeing the multitude of ways in which films use time, whether it is as straightforward and simple as informing the viewer of what stage the story is at or to ratchet up the suspense or create a sense of calm. While watching it, you can be so wrapped up in it that you may lose track of time, even though you are constantly being reminded of it onscreen. At the very least, you do not have to bring a watch. “The Clock” runs at the MOMA Dec. 21 - Jan. 21.
THE OBSERVER Decemeber 13, 2012
Arts & Culture
Country: America’s Newest Form of Escapism The Musical Genre Has Proven Reflective in Several Facets of Pop Culture By ANDREW MILNE Staff Writer
Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, The Band Perry and Sugarland are all household names. Taylor Swift continues to be a maven for adoration as the country-pop princess released yet another best-selling album last October and on Nov. 28, Scotty McCreery lent his crooning bass to this year’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting. It’s safe to say that country is trending in the American consciousness. That is not to say that the country and blues musical genres have not had their pockets of fans in past years, but the recent trend is unique in its pervasiveness; it seems as if country is everywhere. The best explanation can be summed up in everyone’s favorite catchall: the economy (and more importantly, dealing with it). Like the stories of the Great Depression, country music often deals directly or indirectly with the economy and money. Montgomery Gentry’s “Where I Come From” glorifies small-town honesty and community over a glamorous city lifestyle, a place where it doesn’t matter so much if one has money since relationships and people matter more than things. Eric Church’s “Homeboy” shares the same mindset, though it also serves as a direct reaction to the excess glorified in hip-hop (“with your hip-hop hat and your pants on the ground/Heard you cussed out Momma, pushed Dad-
SARA AZOULAY/THE OBSERVER
Country star Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Red,” sold more than one million copies in its first week of release.
dy around… Here you are runnin’ these dirty old streets/Tattoo on your neck, fake gold on your teeth”). Today’s country extols
down-home virtues of hard work and immaterial joys, virtues that become much easier to appreciate without money to complicate
them. The mindset behind this southern trend is now deeply entrenched in American society and reflected
in media other than music; country is now a huge and fashionable part of TV, movies and style as well as music. ABC’s “Nashville” and Reba McEntire’s new show “Malibu Country” are just a few examples of the country trend manifestation. The most telling, though perhaps more subtle, example is the recent emergence of cowboy and riding boots as particularly trendy; one can see such footwear worn proudly and often far north of the Mason-Dixon line, with Vogue magazine catching on and acknowledging them as a trend. Country’s influence can be seen in even the most unlikely of places. Country is appealing in today’s world because it embraces having fun and raising hell without being rich or highbrow. The pathos of the argument can be appropriately summed up in the chorus of Church’s “Homeboy”: “You’re gonna wish one day you were sittin’ on the gate of a truck by the lake/with your high school flame on one side, ice cold beer on the other/Ain’t no shame in a blue collar 40, little house, little kids, little small town story/If you don’t ever do anything else for me just do this for me brother, come on home, boy.” It is popular now because the idea that a small life can be just as important as “making it big,” a lesson that hasn’t been as close to home since the Great Depression. In many ways, country symbolizes making lemonade out of lemons (or in this instance, perhaps sweet tea).
Making the Most of Matriculation “Quick & Dirty Tips for Life After College” Offers Advice for Soon-To-Be Grads By ELIZABETH COLE Staff Writer
Beata Santora, an English professor at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) this semester, also graduated from FCLC, so she’s been through what every junior and senior at FCLC and other colleges across the country are going through right now. The unknowns are the worst: Will we get jobs? Should we take the first job opportunity that is given to us? Should we go to grad school? What about law school? Where are we going to live? How are we going to afford to live? Luckily enough, Santora and a group of contributors at “Quick & Dirty Tips,” a website that gives advice for a plethora of situations, just released an e-book called “Quick & Dirty Tips for Life After College” to help answer these questions. Santora says that this e-book is an attempt to make life after college a little bit easier. “We all have goals in college, but a liberal arts education doesn’t prepare anyone for the real world. Most students don’t know how to balance personal finances, or stock a kitchen on a small budget. Most don’t know how to network to get a job.” Here at FCLC, we all learn “wonderful knowledge,” as Santora put it, but there’s no way to apply knowledge on Chaucer or organic chemistry to making a living or getting a job. The topics range all the way from getting a pet to how to find a job or what job should be taken. It’s all about the transition to the real world. However, we all know there are countless books of advice for life after college, so I was interested in what set this book apart and why students should pay attention to it.
“It’s told in the perspective of experts in their fields,” Santora said. “Each of them has been in your shoes, each of them has struggled to get a job and finance their lives.” These areas of expertise range from health to money to animal care to personal hygiene. It is available only as an e-book, which Santora thought was more convenient for college students. Knowing the budget we all seem to be on, Santora thought it would be more easily
Here at FCLC, we all learn “wonderful knowledge,” as Santora put it, but there’s no way to apply this knowledge on Chaucer or organic chemistry to making a living or getting a job.
accessible for students of all monetary demographics in this format, as opposed to being published in the more expensive print edition. It’s only $3.99 and it’s short— there’s “not a lot of verbiage,” to confuse you or bore you. As Santora laughingly said, “It’s quick and dirty.” The authors, or experts, of the e-book are the same ones who write for the “Quick and Dirty Tips” website. There are about 15 experts in total for the site, all of whom are a part of the field they write for— Santora said multiple times “this is
what they do”—and they write articles and record podcasts in their specific topic all the time. For example, Santora brought up the “Get Fit” guy: this man is an Iron Man and a triathlete, and he podcasts about his own experiences with advice thrown in. They “curate content for you guys,” meaning the information is simple and honest. Santora said, “They do this because they love it and because we are a platform to get their information and knowledge out there.” One of her favorite parts about the book is how succint and to the point it is. “You’re not going to get theory or general advice like this anywhere else. It’s specific information in bullet form.” Santora also said that it’s great because it gives precise steps on how to move on after graduation. The tips you pick up in the e-book can be taken directly from the ereader and applied to life. She also said that this book covers everything she would have liked to know when she graduated, especially the importance of networking. The expert who wrote the book’s section on networking is a public speaker and a communications expert. This expert explains that one of the the best ways to network is through the alumni association. Santora used magazine publishing as the example: “Oh, So-andSo went to Fordham and she/he edits at this magazine, let me contact her/him.” Most people, Santora said, would never think of the alumni association when trying to break into their desired industry. That’s a bit of free advice for all of us. Want more? The e-book is easily available electronically, so grab your e-reader and buy it now. You’ll be glad you did.
AYER CHAN/THE OBSERVER
FCLC faculty member Santora contributed to “Quick and Dirty Tips For Life After College,” available on iPads and e-readers.
Arts & Culture
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
Theater and Dance Majors Prepare For Showtime By HANNAH NEWMAN Staff Writer
With her hair and makeup done, her costume in place, and ten minutes to curtain, dance major Cassie Lewis, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ‘16, is ready to perform—almost. Before going backstage, she plants a kiss on her dressing room mirror for good luck. As a performer, superstitions and habits like Lewis’s can often be a crucial calming influence for pre-show nerves. Lewis knows this and makes use of her habits to get her adrenaline up and her mind focused before a performance. She has many superstitions—besides kissing her dressing room mirror before each show, she also places an elephant on her makeup stand with its tail facing toward the door, a tradition she kept with her friends throughout high school. Not all of Lewis’s backstage rituals are superstitious though: her showtime habits also include drinking a liter of Dr. Pepper throughout the performance to keep her energy up. And it seems that caffeine is popular with other dancers as well: dance major Terrell Spence, FCLC ’15, eats candy and drinks a Red Bull before his shows. Like Lewis, Spence has certain performance traditions that he hopes bring him good fortune onstage. “I did have a lucky bracelet, but then it broke,” he said. However, lucky socks, bracelets and quirky routines are not as common as one might think. Theater major Dylan Ungaretta said that he “tries very much to not have any superstitions.” But actor Paul Thode, FCLC ’15, said there is one superstition common to all members of the theater world, “You’re not allowed
COURTESY OF HANNAH NEWMAN
One of dance major Cassie Lewis’ long-standing pre-show rituals is placing a toy elephant on her makeup stand before a performance.
to say ‘Macbeth.’” And a superstition that all dancers abide by religiously is that performers never say “Good luck” before going on stage—they say “Merde,” a French swear word instead. Another key aspect of performance prep is the performer’s preshow routine, from music, to socializing, to warming up physically. Actors in particular often talked about music as an integral part of their routine. Actress Maryn Shaw, FCLC ’16 listens to music before each show, but the specific song and genre of music varies depending on what show she is performing in. Performers’ ideas on socializing were very different and reflected
how important it is to tailor your pre-show routine to your particular personality. Dance major Maia Bedford, FCLC’15, feels that spending time with the rest of the dancers is an essential part of preparing to take the stage. “It’s a balance of sitting by myself and talking to other people that I’m going to dance with. Because it’s not about me, it’s about us,” Bedford said. Actress Courtney Williams, FCLC ’16, agreed in that she seeks to do something with the rest of the cast, such as pray, that “gets us all excited and united,” but acknowledged that there is a time when she needs to get in a zone by herself. And for most dance and theater
majors alike, a physical warmup is crucial to the pre-stage routine. Megan Stricker, FCLC ’15, said, “I always take a minute to really warm-up. And part of that is getting in the mindset too and taking a minute to breathe.” She said that this warm-up is always specific to the show in which she is performing and that she’ll do different exercises depending on what type of dance she’s in: if the piece involves partnering, she will take some time to connect with her partner before going on stage. Many dancers will also give themselves a condensed ballet or modern class to warm themselves up without getting too worn out by a full-length dance
There, their or there? Your or you’re? Too, to or two?
class. Many actors also do a physical warm-up before shows, incorporating specific exercises, breathing, and stretches. Shaw even does yoga to open up and calm herself before going on stage The one thing that was common to all actors and dancers was finding a routine that worked for their particular personality and preferences. They all know what they need to do to keep calm, focus their minds and get excited for the performance ahead. It takes a lot of focus and preparation to be ready for a show—and for some, it takes a few superstitions too.
Arts & Culture
November 15, 2012 THE OBSERVER
TAVY WU/THE OBSERVER
WEIYU LI/THE OBSERVER
Saks Fifth Avenue.
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SHERRY YUAN/THE OBSERVER
Tiffany’s window display on 5th Avenue.
SAVANNAH SHECHTER/THE OBSERVER
Holiday lights in The Shops at Columbus Circle.
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TAVY WU/THE OBSERVER
Store fronts at Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.
THE OBSERVER November 15, 2012
Arts & Culture
EMILY SAWICKI/THE OBSERVER
WEIYU LI/THE OBSERVER
ZEINAB SAYED/THE OBSERVER
WEIYU LI/THE OBSERVER
Santa display at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Store fronts at Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.
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59th Street Columbus Circle subway station.
SAVANNAH SHECHTER/THE OBSERVER
Features Editor Jewel Galbraith —firstname.lastname@example.org
December 13, 2012
Promoting Change by Learning about Credit Students Learn Financial Literacy Alongside Bronx Residents to Become Advocates By MEG O’HARA Staff Writer
For residents of the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, opportunities to gain financial know-how are few and far between. But two Fordham students are working in the community to change this: Pia Desangles, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’14, and Esteban Orozco, FCLC ’14, are devoting their free time to helping underprivileged Bronx residents learn how to protect themselves financially. Desangles and Orozco have been attending financial literacy classes in Spanish in the Bronx. These classes, which are also offered in English, are free and organized by the United Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) to help educate local residents about their finances. Individuals in the class set financial goals for themselves during the first of five weeks; they are then assigned a counselor who helps them keep these goals even after the five-week course is over. Credit unions, which are usually reserved for individuals with a high credit score, will be open to students who graduate from the course. Desangles and Orozco began attending the classes in order to get involved as volunteers, but Desangles said that she feels like one of the students because of how much she’s learning. “They’ve been showing us a lot of charts and information about finances in the Bronx—and the neighborhood really has been affected by things like the sub-prime mortgage crisis,” Desangles said. “There’s this American dream of
COURTESY OF JET NI
Desangles and Orozco travel to the Bronx for classes at the United Neighborhood Housing Program.
owning a home—we have the highest home ownership rate among developed countries—and people get convinced to buy a house, even if it’s not financially smart. They think it’s this great investment, even if they definitely will default
on it— because they’ve been told that owning a house is the end goal of a good life.” Orozco said there are also other financial concerns that vary among the students. “There’s one guy in class who’s
really confused about the banking system here—he’s from the Dominican Republic and he has no idea how to establish credit. By the end of the class he’ll know how, but more importantly, he’ll be able to join a credit union,” Orozco said.
Desangles said her own goal is to work with the UNHP again during tax season. “I’m taking this class now so that I can get certified as an IRS volunteer in the spring, so I can help people in the Bronx file their income taxes,” she said. “A lot of them don’t know what kinds of tax deductibles they qualify for—let’s say they make under a certain amount of money, or they have a certain number of kids. It’s like when someone at HR Block files your taxes for you—but this is free. Many of these people are paying too much simply because they don’t know these deductibles even exist.” UNHP also conducts research, which Orozco said he is looking forward to getting involved with. “They’re currently doing research on the economic needs and practices of the community,” he said. “Then they base their programs, like the financial literacy class, on this information. They’re really committed to helping the community through the spread of knowledge, which I personally think is the most effective way to create change.” Desangles and Orozco were inspired to work as IRS volunteers as part of their service learning for a world poverty class, and Desangles said she couldn’t think of a better way to get involved. “We’re both really into economics—but not because we like to sit inside and do math homework. It’s all about finding ways to allow as many people as possible to benefit from a system—and helping out a population as vulnerable as those in the Bronx is a good first step.”
Fordham’s “Mr. Fix It” Is a Fixture At Lincoln Center By KIMBERLY GALBRAITH Staff Writer
Professors at Fordham College at Lincoln Center often face technical issues wtih their smart podiums while conducting class. Rien Chy, also known as “Mr. Fix It,” is the man who solves them. For six years, Chy has been working at Fordham University as a technical assistant for media services, and he can find the solution to a computer problem within a few seconds of seeing it. “It’s like second nature to me,” Chy said. A Bronx native who attended Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH), Chy spends his free time playing competitive beach volleyball. His other favorite hobby has always been working with technology. “I’m the only technology geek in the family,” Chy said. Chy grew up during the advent of the computer, when the world of technology was changing every year. “When the computer first came along and I was like, ‘Wow!’ I basically knew that it was going to take off and I just had a feeling it was going to get better and faster every single year,” Chy said. Like many kids growing up, Chy was also addicted to video games. “I used to go to the deli all the time and used quarter after quarter after quarter playing video games,” said Chy. “Year after year, I could see video games getting better and better. When I was a young man, in just a few years the video game industry went from something very basic to something that was very real.” When Chy was in high school, he realized that he wanted to turn
KIMBERLY GALBRAITH/THE OBSERVER
Rien Chy was born in the Bronx, studied computer science at Rose Hill and now works at Lincoln Center.
his fascination with computers and electronics into a career. “That’s when I knew that’s where the world was headed towards,” Chy said. He went on to pursue a double major in computer science and information systems at Rose Hill. During his undergraduate career at Fordham, Chy learned how to solve technological issues through
hands- on experience. “In college, my geek friends and I used to just strip a computer, upgrade it and put it back together to make it faster than the current computer that was on the market,” Chy said. “We thought that was a fun and exciting because we had the fastest computer with twice the amount of memory with multiple CD-ROM drives. That
set the foundation for me for how to take things apart and how to fix it.” After his years rebuilding computers at Rose Hill, however, Chy took a job in a different field before returning to the university. “I was an account manager at a water filtration company,” Chy said. “I didn’t really like that side of business and it wasn’t my passion. I wanted to
do something along the lines of my field, which is computers so that’s how I found myself back at Fordham and working for Fordham IT.” A typical day for Chy, who works 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and sometimes on weekends for events, involves “providing support for faculty members and students in the classroom with the podiums and for audio and video conferences.” The technology he works with allows students from all over to access Fordham’s lectures digitally. “We have programs that faculty members can use to teach from anywhere around the world. We install hardware for that, such as video capture, that allows them to videotape class sessions, put them online and have the students download them and watch them at their own convenience,” Chy said. When the workday ends, gadgets remain a constant fixture in Chy’s life—he even uses his computer to fix his car. “There are a lot of videos on YouTube and I am a new car owner. So instead of going out to a mechanic, I go on YouTube, do my research. Then I know exactly what parts are wrong with it,” Chy said. “Technology also increased my productivity because I have an iPhone. With the calendar I schedule my day accordingly. Technology revolves around my life and basically runs it.” Both at home and at Fordham, Chy loves to expand his knowledge of the tech-field. “Being a technical assistant is a learning process and every single day I learn something new,” Chy said. “It’s challenging, but at the same time it is very rewarding.”
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
I PITY THE JEWEL
Keep the Crazy Schoolwork Going All Night long JEWEL GALBRAITH Features Editor
Good news, readers: today’s column is a special edition of “I Pity The Jewel.” What’s special about it? Well, I’ve been awake for 28 hours, there is an exciting amount of coffee in my system, I’ve listened to more than one Justin Bieber hit single today and I am just now sitting down to write. Are you excited? I am. Let’s do this. If you haven’t guessed already, I will explain: I pulled an all-nighter last night. I won’t say for which class (Note to all my professors: This story is fictional) (Note to all students: No, it isn’t), but I will say that I had a long paper to write and just enough of a cocky attitude to think I only needed one day to write it. With the memory fresh in my mind, I will now embark with you on an all-access tour of the all-nighter experience. Emotionally, the all-nighter is a roller coaster. You can vacillate from total despair (“I can’t understand Kant and I never will and I’m going to fail a core class and become a vagrant”) to insane overconfidence (“How hard can this calculus exam be? If I do one integral every thirty seconds for the next two hours I’ll be done reviewing by midnight”) in a matter of minutes, sometimes even seconds. The good news is that any
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARA AZOULAY/THE OBSERVER
tears you may shed during the night will eventually be balanced out by an equal amount of crazed laughter. Your roommates might not love it, but don’t forget the old adage: he who laughs at old Facebook pictures of himself at 3 a.m., laughs best. Another major all-nighter concern is hygiene and physical well-being. There is not much getting
around the fact that between your sweatpants and unkempt hair, you will look a lot like Cosmo Kramer and feel a lot like someone who lives in a garbage can. One important point to consider is that even if you think it’s a good idea to look in the mirror, it’s not. Because you look like a corpse. The fact that you’re wearing the
same clothes that you wore yesterday despite the fact you didn’t technically sleep in them only adds to the confusion. In this puzzling situation it is best to mentally detach your mind from your body (Descartes style) and continue to hammer out that paper as best you can (Gangnam style). Food poses another conundrum—now that you’re staying
up all night, you’re awake for around seven hours during which you wouldn’t normally eat at all. Naturally, you will work your way through half a box of dry cereal and possibly some of your roommate’s forgotten candy. Whatever you snack on, it will definitely be a non-meal and you definitely will not eat it off of a plate. No shame, though. Plates don’t get A’s. As far as the actual work you’re doing during an all-nighter, all I can say is that it is probably terrible. Well, not terrible—what I mean is that your brain is running on fumes at this point. There is always the chance that come morning, you’ll read over your lab report and realize that it is just serial killer-style gibberish. It could turn out to be brilliant, too, but all I’m saying is be prepared. Now I have explained all the information that I feel prepared to impart to you about the journey to all-nighter enlightenment. Full disclosure: though I wrote the first draft of this column post-study session, I did some heavy editing on my sleepdeprived ramblings later on. So if you’re wondering how I managed to be coherent, there’s your explanation. Now that the column is fully edited and I’ve reclaimed my sleep schedule, I will leave you with my best wishes for your final exams. I hope that you can avoid all-nighters completely but if not, I hope you at least have your J-Biebz Pandora station at the ready.
WORD OF MOUTH
A Ramen Bar for the Budget-Conscious Student REX SAKAMOTO Asst. Features Editor
As the end of the year approaches, my budget is becoming tighter. When my friends visited last week, I had to use some of my money for ice skating. Then, when the winter market opened, a good chunk of change went to buying presents for friends and family. On top of that, I spent another few bucks to go see “the Nutcracker” and the Rockettes. Thank goodness I managed to find some discounted tickets. In addition to all of all this, I still have to eat, but who has time to cook on the eve of finals? Fortunately, Terakawa Ramen, which is just down the street (Columbus between 58th Street and 57th Street), dishes out warm and filling meals for under $10. The little hole-inthe-wall restaurant is cozy inside with barely enough seating for ten customers, which reminded me of my trip to Japan a few years ago. Some of the ramen bars in Japan are so cramped that you have to stand while you eat. During dinner it can become quite crowded inside Terakawa too, but most customers do takeout, leaving one or two seats open at the bar to sit. When I went to Terakawa Ramen, my friend and I ordered the chicken teriyaki and the sho-yu ramen, both of which cost $9. Sho-yu is Japanese for soy sauce. Usually I wouldn’t agree to order chicken teriyaki because I feel it is so American, but my American friend insisted. It’s not that I do not like chicken teriyaki, I just prefer trying the restaurant specialties. I will admit, however, that the tantalizing picture on the menu did look irresistible. About 10 minutes after ordering, our food was served. The chicken teriyaki dish was larger than I had expected. It came with ten pieces of chicken, a large helping of rice and a salad with ginger dressing. The chicken pieces were moist and flavorful. Un-
like many other restaurants, Terakawa Ramen uses the juicy thigh meat of the chicken instead of the breast meat. The teriyaki glaze was not gelatinous and had a smoky sweet flavor. The chicken also had a slight char, which added a little depth to the flavor. Was I disappointed? No. Would I order the teriyaki again? Unfortunately, yes. The sho-yu ramen was topped with a slice of kamaboko (fishcake), bamboo shoots, a runny hardboiled egg, pork slices and green onions. For $2-$3 extra you could add various extra toppings. The ramen noodles had a chewy texture and the broth had a light soy sauce flavor. If you want to spice up your ramen, they have a condiment box with an assortment of options ranging from togarashi (Japanese style pepper seasoning) and hot sauce to crunchy garlic pieces and chili oil. One of my favorite pieces about the dish is the runny hard-boiled egg because of its savory soy sauce marinade. On the menu there are more fancy ramen bowls with extra meats and toppings. During lunch there is a special where you can order a side dish along with your entree for an extra $2. The side dish options include pork fried rice, pan-fried dumplings and chicken curry. The service was prompt and helpful even though there was a rush of people coming in for takeout. Despite the fact that there was only one waitress, she was still attentive and even managed to keep my water glass full. As a side note, remember to bring cash because the restaurant does not accept credit or debit card. This place is a great stop to pick up a hot meal during these cold months. Fortunately, it is easy on a college student’s budget, which makes the food taste even better. IF YOU GO
Terakawa R amen $ out of $$$$$ (CASH ONLY) Where: 885C 9 th Ave., New York , NY 10019
REX SAKAMOTO/THE OBSERVER
A bowl of Sho-yu ramen is easy on the wallet and warm on a cold December day.
Literary Editor Salma Elmehdawi Submissions: email@example.com December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
When it comes to writing a memoir or young adult/children’s literature, writers often reflect on their own memories and experiences in order to craft a beautiful tale. In this issue of The Observer, students from Professor Sharon Wyeth’s “Young Adults/Children’s Literature” master’s class and Associate Professor Elizabeth Stone’s “Writing for Autobiography” course share their stories and memories with us.
Meatballs By LIZI LATIMER Contributing Writer
I hate to be within a two-block radius of my workplace on a day that I don’t work, but I told Ryan I was going to meet him at the restaurant so we could go to Dylan’s party together. It’s a Saturday evening and I’m starving. I didn’t eat all day and was in one of those moods where I could eat anything: roast chicken, pretzels, stuffed cabbage, enchiladas, a chocolate croissant, lentil salad, or falafel. Anything, really. My body was not telling me what it really wanted! Between giving hugs to my co-workers, my eyes fixate on our pastry case; a tier of golden brown muffins each made with buckwheat, marzipan and rosemary. They sit staring straight at me. I try to justify my reasoning for going behind the counter, grabbing a wax to-go bag, and in one quick swoop snatching a muffin, sliding it into the bag, and stuffing it in my purse. “It would hold me over until we got to Crown Heights,” I think to myself, “No, Lizi. Don’t. It really won’t. You’re just going to scarf it down in a hot second on the walk to the train and then still be hungry immediately afterward.” “Ryan, hurry!” I whine to distract myself from grabbing a muffin, “I just want to get to Dylan’s so I can eat hummus and drink beer!” He looks up and starts seductively body rolling and gyrating his pelvis on our coffee station’s countertop, a sheer sign that he is derailing our departure just to piss me off. “Let me finish cleaning!” The counter, the coffee machine, everything, looks spotless. But it being Ryan—also known as a Nazi-barista boy depending on who you talk to—spotless isn’t good enough. “Let’s go!” I cry. He grabs his backpack, wipes off an invisible mess from the clean countertop and clocks out. We shout our goodbyes and exit at last. “You look cute!” he says as if he is surprised. “You have avocado on your lip,” I notice. I yank his arm and we speedily ramble onward towards Union Square. With each step I realize how hungry I am. “God, you know what I’m craving right now?” I announce as we cross East 8th street. “What?” he asks. “The Meatball Shop.” Ryan stops moving. He stands in the middle of the street, staring at me, motionless. I stop a few feet in front of him and turn around. Time freezes. “Ryan?” There is a moment of silence. “I cannot believe you just said that.” Ryan stammers as if I just insulted him. “What?” “The Meatball Shop, Lizi? Like, really?” “What are you talking about? Yes, The Meatball Shop. You know, the cute restaurant with cottage décor, and delicious yummy meatballs for a great price! Yes, that Meatball Shop!” “Oh my god.” Ryan begins to walk again, this time picking up his pace. I can hear his feet stomping on the pavement as he takes big heavy strides. I skip to catch up to him. I laugh out of confusion. “What is wrong?” I ask. His eyes stay fixated ahead. “I. Hate. The Meatball Shop. No, I beyond hate The Meatball Shop. There is nothing more grotesque and ridiculous than the stupid Meatball Shop.” “What are you talking about?” “I want to ambush that place.” “Ryan!” (I am very cautious of using the words
‘ambush’ ‘attack’ or anything that has to do with anarchy or terrorism in New York City). I tell Ryan this. “Fine.” He respects what I say. “I want to shit on that place. I want to take the world’s largest, heaviest dump so that the whole kitchen is immediately destroyed.” “First of all, they expanded to three locations so you would have to muster up a lot of excrement to get rid of all of them. Secondly, there are three of them now because the food is so good and so many people like eating there!” The stoplight switches red. We stop on the corner waiting to cross East 10th Street as cabs zip by us. Amongst the taxis and bikers I notice that one swarthy guy in his gaudy Vespa scurrying down the street. There’s always one. “No,” Ryan continues, sweating at this point, “people like The Meatball Shop because it’s hip. Not because it’s good. They eat there so they can say, ‘Oh, yeah look at me! I live in the trendy Lower East Side’ or ‘Oh, yeah I live in hipsterville Williamsburg but I’m still a grounded person because look at me, everyone, I eat meatballs!” A bystander snickers, which is Ryan’s indication that he has an audience. Ryan turns his body towards his listener and begins to spew his hatred for The Meatball Shop all over again. Behind this balding middle-aged man’s glasses I see tears form in the corner of his eyes as he continues to laugh away, “Wow, bad date tonight, huh?” This is where I begin to shout over Ryan. “No! No! Not a bad date at all! We—” “I’m gay!” Ryan interjects. That’s not what I was going to say. I shove my hip into Ryan forcing him back so that I position myself in between Ryan and the ever so amused spectator. “We didn’t even go to The Meatball Shop tonight! I’ve never. In my entire life. Eaten at The Meatball Shop with him!” The guy begins to laugh even harder. “I’m so sorry, sir,” I say as I begin to pull Ryan’s arm hairs in order to break him free from this drawn out monologue that keeps recycling itself with “I hate The Meatball Shop”, “The meatballs suck”, “Oh, look at me fork a shitty meatball!” Ryan can’t stand the pain anymore and begins to cross the street as I tug on his sleeve. He’s panting. “You need to calm down,” I say. After two blocks his breathing settles to a normal person’s steady heart rate. We turn left on East 14th Street. “Look,” he says in a calmly manner. “If you’re going to name your restaurant after a certain food, that food better be out of this fucking world. That food better make me feel like I’ve just had the best sex of my entire life as soon as it is brought hot from the kitchen and is set in front of me.” We scurry down the station steps. “But the meatballs are great,” I defend, “and you can choose from so many different kinds of meatballs: pork, beef, vegetable, chick—” “Wait, did you say vegetable?” He stops in front of the turnstile. “Yeah!” It gets me excited just thinking about it. “They serve meatless meatballs at this junction?” “Oh, God. Yes, Ryan. The whole point is that the menu is customizable. That’s why the menus are laminated and they give you a cute whiteboard marker with a sunflower attached to it!” “I can’t breathe. I’m going to have a panic attack. I
might die.” I open my purse. “Swipe your card first. I hear the train coming.” We slide our MetroCards and hustle down the stairs, hopping on the train just in time. The train is surprisingly not packed with the normal eclectic crowd of exhausted middle-aged drones who can’t wait to be home and vibrant youth who can’t wait to be drunk. Instead there are people sitting alone scattered throughout the car, reading their Kindles or staring at the ground listening intently to their music. We sit down immediately at the end of a bench opposite the daily newspaper that lies scrunched up and stained with a substance that looks similar to jam, perhaps from someone’s jelly donut earlier this morning. “Why can’t we all be more like the French?” Ryan marvels. “You walk into a restaurant. There is no menu. They tell you what the chef is making that night. You sit down, you eat it, and it’s the most incredible food in the world. Plus there are no markers, no laminated menus and no oxymoron meatball dishes!” I roll my eyes. “Can we stop talking about meatballs? I’m not even hungry for them anymore.” We ride the train. We sit in silence in our own worlds for a moment. I gaze up at the subway ads filled with bilingual instructions telling riders who to call when they need to bail themselves out of jail. Suddenly, I feel Ryan firmly clasping his hand over mine to form a tight seal. He’s holding my hand, a nice gesture to show how much he appreciates me putting up with his angsty self. A few more minutes go by. He turns and looks at me. “I’m going to shit on that restaurant.” “Jesus Christ!” We finally get off the train, turn the corner, and arrive at Dylan’s house. He opens the door, which cues us into our little jig of “Oh, look at you Dylan, livin’ in yo snazzy new house in B-k town!” He cuts us off by giving us each a warm embrace (I would like to think that he does this out of love and not to simply stop us from dancing.)“Come on in you, boobs.” We walk inside and there is a small group of people, some familiar faces of servers and hostesses from work. I smell the delicious tangy smell of what can only be good beer. As our duo selves schmooze our way around the room together, introducing ourselves to those we don’t know and pulling out our little inside jokes with our co-workers who are already relaxed and drinking. “Oh, guys. I have to introduce you to my friend, Jessica!” Dylan exclaims before motioning us over. I spot the food and drink table, dip a baby carrot into the spicier looking hummus and grab a beer on my walk over for the introductions. “Jessica, this is Lizi.” With the hummus now in my teeth and on my breath, and a beer in my hand, I awkwardly shake hands. Dylan continues the introductions, “And this is Ryan. Ryan loves to cook!” Ryan realizes that she must have some culinary background for Dylan to have introduced him like this. “Oh, are you a chef?” His eyebrows lift revealing the sparkle in his sea blue eyes. “Yeah, I am!” She says with pride. “That’s fantastic. Where do you work?” Ryan inquires. “The Meatball Shop.”
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
ZEINAB SAYEDT/THE OBSERVER
Rotting By MEGHAN ABDELMASSIH News Editor
You broke your sandwich, full of day old raw lamb, in half and fed me. I felt the tapeworm slide down my throat. Five consecutive months with a bloated stomach, diarrhea and a stinky belly button. Rotten marble bathtub with a hot water tank hanging near the door; I had 15 minutes of steamy bliss. Always wore rubber sandals in the shower; black worms squirmed everywhere, no matter how often I mopped and scrubbed. The German didn’t seem to mind, as she was nestled in bed with pants covered in mud and gas leaking from her space heater. The doctor visited me whenever he had the chance, with just a stethoscope and a Syrian accent, reassuring me that it was amoeba swimming in my guts. Post-Flagyl,“you’ll be fine,” he said. Dirt on my potato skins bound me together. Everyone talked as if they had been through this before. No electricity for six hours; I didn’t know who to blame. Bundled up in three blankets, but slept with the window open. The heater tinkered in the mornings only. Lizards hopped into bed with me; spiders spinning webs above my head, sliding down my throat, joining the swimming amoeba. I was rotting. Poking my finger into my belly button, I never smelled this before. Washing my skin with olive oil, I thought the toxins were pouring out of me. My hair long, gracing my backside; I felt feminine for the first time in my teenage years. See-through lace shirts in the fall, the elders blamed the cold air for my tummy
aches. “Andik sa’a, wear a sweater,” she told me in the laundry room. She would break her sandwich in half many times for me whenever the school chef made falafel, my least favorite food in the world. Gossiping over cigarettes and Turkish coffee, my fortune read by noon each day. The first grade students pissed their beds again; she was getting sick of the laundry room (her place of employment for the past three decades). The cigarettes, I assure you, didn’t kill the amoeba. Daddy via phone card would advise me to quit drinking coffee, but he knew it was impossible to decline; this place still had a presence in his veins. Her nephew took off my lace shirt by the big tree at the highest point in our village. Was I being attacked? Hair on his back, his neck, his shoulders, Jesus Christ, is he an animal? After one beer, he made sure the last of it went down my throat, helping me tilt the bottle back, helping me lay on my back, all I could think of was my lace shirt being ripped by the rocks on the ground. Indigestion, my mom calls it. I heard myself saying no, holding in the diarrhea. My jeans were too tight. See through shirts are a bad idea; I still wear them. Groping me, I think he growled. He slept on the couch at his Aunt’s house. His parents lived next door. Again I’d have coffee and a smoke inside of her home, never displaying a hint of affection towards her nephew. Nauseous, disgusted, I hope he got a whiff of my belly
button. Snowcapped mountains, that’s all I had around me. He’d pick me up in his Jeep, we’d have dinner in a nearby village, sneak into my apartment on the school grounds, have sex, goodnight. I tried to say “I love you,” he asked me why, I never answered, and never said it again. Loud sex was reserved for Beirut, in a former General’s abandoned apartment. His sister’s husband left him the keys while they carried on with their lives in Canada. Without electricity and water, we dripped hot wax on the tiles and lined candles along the floor. An old mattress unknown, going through items left behind by strangers: a pair of D.J. headphones, baby photos, outdated dress shirts, eyeglasses without lenses. Too often I’d cry, turn away from him and fall asleep in my twin bed. Gigi, the old hunchback that had the bedroom next door, certainly heard him annihilate me at night. She never mentioned it, no one ever did, but they all knew. I ate raw vegetables again, and told him it was over. You don’t read poetry, right before my nineteenth birthday, over my weekly ice cream sundae. He sat there trying to quote Rudyard Kipling, trying to find the words to keep me tacked to the bed, in case I could produce a Visa.
THE OBSERVER December 13, 2012
Cole By LARKIN HASKELL Contributing Writer
I’m like a seagull, stretching my arms like wings and floating on the cold wind blowing through my sweater. I feel bubbly little wave crests tickle my ankles and soft sand sinking under the tide flowing between my bare toes. I fly down the deserted shore, towards the jetty of rocks jutting into the bay way down at the end. I take it slow at first, but move faster thinking about the crowds and the giant families that used to line the shore. My feet pick up to a jog as I remember the traffic stopping and going for miles on Route 6. The sand starts flying behind me hearing Amy’s voice gossiping about who-knows-who doing I don’t-care-what to someone-else’s boyfriend. I yank off my sweater without breaking pace, happy not to have itchy sunburnt shoulders. I wrestle my jeans to the ground— the unbreathable humidity. My shoes hit the sand— the boredom-induced bickering— at a full sprint I plunge into the water. Finally, my favorite day. That first really cold day in September announcing the end of summer. Not that summer was all that bad— no homework, time to spend with good friends- but nothing beats this moment right here right now when all the tourists get blown away and the world settles down. It’s better than hot, fresh calamari, better than coconut cream pie. In the muffled quiet under the surface, I hang in the cool water as it wraps and swims around my skin. I let the sand and salt water scratch away the summer sweat. I float underwater as a part of the world of fishes and crabs, even sharks and dolphins. And just when I can’t hold my breath any longer, I break into the air with a huge exhale like a whale. And see Cole.
AYER CHAN/THE OBSERVER
December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
Epheron Chapter 1: Lilly By KIM NAPLES Contributing Writer
COURTESY OF FORESTWANDER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Lilly looked out the small, circular window of Earth Ship Moirae. She could see her home planet through thick layers of plexi-glass. “Bobby, look at Earth! It looks so bright! And space is so black!” she said to her brother. “Let me see,” he answered as he leaned across her lap to look out the window. “Cool.” “What’s wrong?” Lilly asked. She looked into his eyes that were the same icy blue as hers. “Aren’t you excited? Are you scared?” When he lowered his head so his golden brown hair hid his eyes, she knew she had hit a nerve. He was definitely scared. “I don’t know. Yeah, I guess I’m just nervous. I hope Epheron isn’t that different from home,” Bobby said. “What do you think the people are like? What about the aliens?” “Mr. Miller said not to call them that! Granitarians remember?” “They’re aliens to us! I wish he had told us what they look like.” “Me too, but ‘that’s classified,’” Lilly mocked Mr. Miller’s deep and nasally voice. Lilly and Bobby laughed nervously and fell silent. Bobby stared at his lap and Lilly turned back to the window. She swallowed around a lump in her throat. Earth was getting smaller and smaller. “This is really happening,” she thought. Her home planet looked so beautiful from space. But now that she was actually in the ship leaving it, reality hit her. Boarding the ship had been a blur and she had focused on keeping track of Mom and Bobby in the crowd of colonists, astronauts, soldiers, families saying goodbye, and the press yelling questions and taking pictures. Now that she was quietly sitting in her seat, she realized that her stomach was churning icy lumps. Her throat and mouth felt dry, like she was chewing on cotton. Goosebumps rose on her skin. She shivered slightly. She felt so fragile, as if a breeze from the Air Cooler could shatter her. Lilly leaned forward and looked across the aisle for her mother. She had her back towards Lilly so all she could see was her mother’s long, smooth black hair. Lilly and Bobby’s mother was chatting nonchalantly with a dark-skinned woman with cropped hair sitting next to her. Lilly heard them laugh and wondered why they weren’t scared, too. She took a deep breath and tried to relax in her seat. She thought back to the night she had first found out that her family was on the list for the Epheron colony. That night, she woke up from the nightmare. In the dream, a black cloud comes and consumes her father. She tries to run after him, but she can’t move and he doesn’t hear her yelling… Lilly’s dad had died four months earlier and she had this nightmare often. She called out for her mom to calm her down. When there was no answer, she got out of bed and peaked into her mother’s room. The bed was still made, and empty. She walked to the top of the stairs and stopped when she heard a voice. “I don’t know if I’ve made the right decision.” It was her mother sitting in the living room. “Julie, to be honest, I can’t tell you if it’s the right thing to do or not.” That was her mother’s friend Maureen. Maureen’s voice was quieter than Mom’s, so she must have been on the TeleScreen. “Trust your intuition, if you think it’s right, then it’s right.” “I just can’t stand this house anymore. He’s everywhere. Even this couch reminds me of him. I can’t look at it without feeling ill. I can’t even stand this town. Everyone knew him. Everyone knew what kind of person he was. I can feel them thinking that our family is better off without him. I can’t put up with it anymore. I need to leave.” Lilly almost lost her balance and fell down the stairs. Leave? And go where? She liked her life in their small, white house on Iron Mountain Road. She had finally made some friends in her class…some real friends who actually liked her. At the same time, she knew what her mother meant about the couch. None of them sat in the spot Dad used to sit in. “Well,” Maureen continued. “Just because your name is on the list doesn’t mean you’ll go tomorrow. You have some time to change your mind.” Lilly’s breathing stopped. Her stomach flipped and she felt like she might throw up. The List. No. Her mother had put them on the list to move to the Earth Colony on the planet Epheron.
THE OBSERVER December 13, 2012
The Loudest Thing I Never Told You By RAVEN DILTZ Contributing Writer
Dear Hallway Boy, How long does it take to fall in love? Does it take a second or a minute or an hour or a day or a week or a month or a year or an eternity? Because love is cliché and stupid and terrifying and everything I would love to avoid or get lost in, I’m not sure which, and it may have happened today. It didn’t take long. I looked at my phone after, and it hadn’t even been two minutes since the bell rang to signal the end of second period English. And I had walked down the hallway for what I’m estimating was about a minute. So the entire thing must have only taken a minute or so, give or take a few seconds. And now I sound stupid and terrifying and like I’m searching for something to avoid or get lost in, I’m not sure which. I was never the person who admitted openly to believing in love at first sight. I mean, let’s be honest. The only time that stuff was believable was in Greek mythology, and that’s because a. they had those hot little togas and b. they had Cupid. Last time I checked, I was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans. And if I start seeing little kids with working bows and arrows, I’m calling child protective services. Because I’m pretty sure that shit isn’t legal. Sorry. I’ve been told I have a problem with tangential thinking. Anyway, the point is that I may have a hopeless romantic huddled in the back corner of my mind or heart or wherever, but I have never been that girl – the one who pretends to be dumb every time a boy pays attention to her or cries over pints of chocolate ice cream. Though I do like chocolate ice cream. Anyway, I don’t know your name, or even what you really look like. You know how when you look at someone the first few times, it seems like you’re seeing them in two dimensions? Like you can’t take them in all at once. They seem flat until you’ve memorized what they look like from all angles. You, whoever you are, were still very much two-dimensional. But there was also something else there. Something that made me wonder if I really need a toga or a baby stabbing me with arrows to know that everything is about to change. Hopefully I’m still, Ivy
SARA AZOULAY/THE OBSERVER
Sports Editor Mike McMahon —firstname.lastname@example.org
December 13, 2012
Running Back Koonce Has Season for the Record Books By MICHAEL MCMAHON Sports Editor
From last season’s one-win team to this year’s winning record, Fordham has seen a phenomenal and dramatic turnaround of its football program. The team’s recent success is due to many of its players and coaches, but perhaps none more than running back Carlton Koonce, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’13. In the last game of the 2012 season, Koonce piled up 232 rushing yards on 33 carries, and in the process shattered the school’s nine-year-old single-season rushing record. Koonce’s 1,596 yards now stand as the most in school history. Koonce’s transformation from last year to this one is at least as dramatic as that of the team. After spending his junior year as wide receiver, Koonce only garnered 11 carries in 2011, good for 77 yards. With a new coaching staff in place, he was put back on to the offensive backfield and became the centerpiece of a team with a deadly rushing attack. “I guess the coach decided to make that call. He knew my prior history, that I was a running back prior to being a wide receiver, and that’s my more natural position. That’s what I was recruited as coming out of high school. It was a switch I was very grateful for. I didn’t request it, but I just try to go out and do my best no matter what.” When asked who, if anyone, was the professional-level inspiration behind his historic season, Koonce named New Orleans Saints running back Darren Spoles, noting the similarities in their smaller, quicker games. Most of all, Koonce pointed out Spoles’ role as a third-down back, saying he hoped to be the player that the coaches trust in blitzing situations, too. A consummate teammate, Koonce was not the least bit hesitant to share the credit for his fantastic year. While piling up over 140 yards per game, the All-Patriot League running back never lost sight of the big men who paved the way. “Words can’t really describe it. It’s a group effort. That record’s really more ours than it is mine. Our o-line [offensive line] is one of the best olines I’ve run behind all my life. They did a fantastic job. The coaching staff, putting us in position for long runs like that, just paying attention to detail, you know, it was great. It’s a great feeling. From a personal standpoint, this is something that I’ve worked for
since I was little. I wanted to play college football and try to pursue it to the next level. Having the record is something that means a great deal to me. It just goes to show that hard work does pay off. From where I came from to where I’m at now, from playing wide receiver, being behind on the depth chart…it means a great deal to me, and it’s something for me to work on. I’m never satisfied. I came four yards short of 1,600, and so I’m really hoping we can work together and improve on it next year.” When asked about the team’s thrilling season, Koonce admitted he was excited to be part of a team that was rewarded for their hard work, but was still focused on improving. “This feels amazing, you know, it’s fantastic. We had a great team and great leadership on the team, and with the transition, the new coaching change and everything like that, going from a 1-10 season to a 6-5 season that potentially could’ve been way better than 6-5, it just speaks volumes. The hard work that we put in day in and day out, getting up in the morning, conditioning, grinding…you know, it’s things like that. We come to work every day, and this is how we’re paid. This is our reward. We’re hoping to build on it and have a better season next season.” Koonce, though a senior, has not yet seen the end of his days as a Ram. His first year of college was spent at Hofstra University in 2009, and thus will be eligible to return for a fifth year. Though the team will see quarterback Ryan Higgins, FCRH ’13, and kicker Patrick Murray, FCRH ’13, leave come spring, they still retain some major pieces. All-Patriot League players Koonce, wide receiver Brian Wetzel, FCRH ’15, and tight end Dan Light, FCRH ’15, will be back as key players in a very effective offense. Make no mistake about it either: Koonce has set his expectations high. “Our expectations are nothing less than an undefeated season going in to the playoffs. I know it’s a tall task, but we’re up to the challenge. We all know what the coaches expect of us and we expect of ourselves, and that we have to try and be perfect. We understand that if we pay attention to detail and do the little things right, then that can be accomplished. We have a great coaching staff. Every game that we lost we’d been in, so you know they’re doing their jobs; we just have to do ours. We’re taking the offseason one day at a time.”
EMILY SAWICKI/THE OBSERVER
Running back Koonce, FCRH ’13, broke the school rushing record by piling up 1,596 yards this season.
Women’s Basketball Breaks Losing Streak By MICHAEL MCMAHON Sports Editor
After starting the season with a historic four-game winning streak, their best start since the 1995-96 season, the Fordham women’s basketball team endured a 3-game streak of the opposite kind, losing to Marquette, Yale and Stony Brook. With their record sitting barely above .500 at 5-4, the team responded in their second game of this home stand, beating the Southern University Jaguars by a score of 56-44. The victory was their sixth by a margin of seven or more, and their ninth contest to be decided by more than five. Fordham’s latest win came on the backs of Erin Rooney, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’14, and Samantha Clark, FCRH ’16, whose career efforts this past Monday were maintaining the team’s winning record. Clark tallied 11 points and nine rebounds in the first half alone, finishing the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds, the first double-
double for the women’s team yet this year. The second half was dominated by the guard Rooney, who tied her career high with 22 points after halftime, contributing four assists, five rebounds and three steals as well. Rooney’s 7-of-11 shooting made her one of only two players to shoot better than 50 percent for the game. Despite the decisive margin of victory by Fordham, the game was actually well-contested for a long stretch, with Southern cutting the lead to two early in the fourth quarter. It was finally put away for the Rams when the team went on an 11-0 run, made possible by graduate student Marah Strickland, who contributed six points to the run, including four on a four-point play. For all of the team’s eye-catching offensive stats, the Rams defense was stifling. They held Southern to a 34.5 percent field goal percentage and just 3-of-9 three-point shooting. The home team out-rebounded the visitors 44 to 30. The win over the Jaguars, who fell to a record of 0-8, snapped the losing
skid and gives the squad more than a fair shot at maintaining a winning record leading up to the in-conference games they play beginning in mid-January. For the Rams, who sport a 3-1 home record, the slate of upcoming games looks somewhat friendly. Three more home games come before the new year with two tilts against losing teams are immediately in store. Both Morgan State, with a record of 4-5, and Lafayette, somewhat worse off at 3-7, are set to visit the Bronx before year’s end. If the team can take these two winnable games, they will climb to an 8-4 record in time for the 2012 Fordham Holiday Classic. For now, the Rams sport a hardearned 6-4 record. If this Monday’s game was any sort of coming out party for the rookie Clark, this already strong team may well be on their way to greatness. A dominant winning record heading into conference play would boost their efforts, both in terms of momentum and daunting appearance.
COURTESY OF FORDHAM SPORTS
Guard Rooney, FCRH ‘14, scored 22 points in the Fordham win.
THE OBSERVER December 12, 2012
Knicks Have Arrived atop the Eastern Conference By VICTOR URQUILLA Staff Writer
The New York Knicks stand atop the Atlantic division through the first 20 games of the year, and leading the charge is Carmelo Anthony, whose impressive scoring has never been the problem. This year, his all-around game has improved. Anthony is the undisputed leader of this team and is playing like an MVP. For the team, the defense has stepped up when needed, and the old veterans are playing crucial minutes down the stretch. All in all, the Knicks are for real. After defeating the Denver Nuggets Sunday night, their record at Madison Square Garden remains perfect (8-0), while the team has witnessed their crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets crumble over the last couple games with a four-game losing streak. Through the first 20 games of the year, the Knicks are defending New York home-court much better than the Nets. There are several explanations for the success the Knicks have had during the early part of the year, and it all starts with the defense. Ranked in the top 10, their defense is sparked by the high-IQ play of Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer, Tyson Chandler and, somewhat surprisingly, J.R. Smith. With so many defensive-oriented players playing for a defensive-minded coach, the formula seems to be working. Anthony has bought into this system, and his defensive skills have been on display. Talent was never an issue for Anthony, but the question
of his effort has disappeared, as he is now committed and playing excellent ball on both ends of the f loor. Ball movement has changed quite a bit this season, too. The one-on-one is something of the past, with the exceptions of isolation plays for Anthony and Smith. With Raymond Felton and Kidd in the back court, the ball movement has been f lowing smoothly to find the more than occasional chance for an alley-oop to Chandler, a backdoor-pass to the cutting Brewer, or to find the open man in the corner for a three, usually Steve Novak. All the little things have been figured out, which means a deeper team down the stretch. While Anthony’s average points per game won’t stand out from his previous seasons, as he stands at 26.8 and has averaged 24.7 for his career, the one element that has changed is his mentality. His three-point shooting is more efficient, and his defense is now what many pundits and players alike thought it could be. Looking as polished as ever, he has emerged as an MVP candidate. His scoring is there, as well as his defense and rebounds, and his team has not only a winning record, but also the best record in the Eastern Conference. With Amar’e Stoudamire and Iman Shumpert both on their way back from injury, this team should become even deeper down the stretch in March and April. The Knicks are here, and they are here to stay. Miami, here come the Knickerbockers.
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Anthony’s improved all-around game has been essential to the the team’s 15-5 start.
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December 13, 2012 THE OBSERVER
COURTESY OF FORDHAM SPORTS
Swimmer Brienne Ryan, FCRH ’13, has won the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Performer of the Week award a conference record four weeks in a row.
2012: A Good Year for Swimmer Brienne Ryan By JENNIFER KHEDAROO Staff Writer
Brienne Ryan, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’13, has had an amazing 2012. The senior competed in both the NCAA tournament and the Olympic trials, and was selected as the Women’s Performer of the Week for four straight weeks. The Atlantic 10 (A10) Conference gave Ryan the honor for the fourth time after her performance at Princeton during the 2012 Big Al Open on Nov. 10. Ryan swam in four races at the Princeton Invitational. She came in first place in the 100-yard backstroke race with a time of 55.79 seconds and second place in the 200yard backstroke race in 2:01.02. She had season bests in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly races. There she clocked in 23.86 and 57.90 respectively to place third in the 50 -yard free and sixth in the 100-yard
butterfly. Talking about the honor, Ryan was pleased, but noted that a lot of her close competition didn’t compete that week. “It’s kind of cool. But at the same time, I know that other teams, like the top teams in the conference, like Richmond and UMass didn’t have meets that week. I know that they have amazing swimmers too. But it’s pretty cool though.” Ryan’s success continued at the Bucknell Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa. During the span of three days, she did well in both relay and individual races. On Nov. 16, Ryan, along with her teammates Chandler Lulley, FCRH ’16, Alana Biagioli, FCRH ’13, and Shannon Lulley, FCRH ’16, placed third in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.48. She then swam an individual race, the 200yard backstroke, and won first place. On Nov. 17, Ryan won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.13 and
placed fourth with a season best of 56.41 in the 100-yard butterfly. In the 200-yard backstroke, she won again with a season best of 2:00.84, sweeping the backstroke races at the Bucknell Invitational. Swimming has been something Ryan has always wanted to do after feeling some sibling rivalry at a young age. “I was about five years old and I happened to watch my sister’s swim practice, I had to go with my mom to watch it. And I was like, she’s getting all the attention, I was like any other jealous little kid. And I said, ‘I think I can do that,’ so that’s how I got into it actually.” Ryan is the only one out of her four siblings who still swims today. With years of swimming under her belt, and all the success that she’s faced, it’s easy to see that she doesn’t get fazed by competing in a race. In fact, Ryan is completely calm moments before a race begins. “Right be-
fore a race…you know it’s going to be over in however long the race is, and whatever you’ve done, you’ve prepared enough as you could’ve done, so you just have to trust in that and all the work you’ve done.” Swimming for Fordham has been mutually beneficial for both the team and Ryan. “It’s been awesome to represent Fordham. They’ve helped me to go to so many big meets. I went to the Olympic trials this summer; I went to the NCAA for the first time last season. So it’s great to represent Fordham and they help me get to wherever I need to go.” Competing in the NCAA championship, Ryan was 17th of 49 in the 200-yard backstroke race and 20th out of 60 in the 100-yard backstroke race. It was the first time a female Fordham swimmer was invited to the NCAA championship. An even bigger deal was swimming at the trials for the Olympics this past June.
Ryan said that just being at the Olympic trials was an amazing experience. “I was in the same pools as all the Olympians this summer. I was right with them. I was sitting right behind Natalie Coughlin in the ready room, stuff like that. It was awesome. It’s cool to watch them, while they are warming up, and see they are going through similar things. Just to see how amazing they are, but to still see them not on TV but behind the scenes kind of stuff.” In terms of her own future, Ryan is not sure whether she will compete or not at the Olympics. “I have no idea. I get that question a lot, people asking if I’m going to compete after college and stuff like that. I really don’t know yet.” For Ryan though, one thing is for sure: “The goal for this season is to make NCAA. So, I’m really looking forward to trying to get a spot in NCAA this year.”
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