Page 1



Make the date without breaking the bank. PAGE 16

Controversy surrounds black teen’s death. PAGE 8






Expansion Decision Prompts Action By HARRY HUGGINS with reporting by FAITH HEAPHY, MONIQUE JOHN and LAURA CHANG News Co-Editor with Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and News Co-Editor

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) faculty and many student leaders are disappointed in the way the university administration decided to reallocate bed space in the new law school building opening in 2014. Faculty and student members of College Council first learned of the plans to extend the Gabelli School of Business (GSB) to the Lincoln Center campus during the March 8 meeting, where many professors voiced their disapproval in being left out of the decision making process. During the meeting, Dean of FCLC Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., revealed the plan to give 200 of the 436 new undergraduate beds that come with the new law school building to GSB students. These beds were previously expected to go to FCLC student expansion. This would be part of a new undergraduate business program on campus. The plan, which would take effect in 2014 when work on the new building ends, is being developed by the vice president’s task force at Fordham and has not been approved yet, according to Grimes. The approximately 40 faculty members present in McMahon Hall 109 for the meeting voiced concerns about transparency and a change of academic culture at FCLC. In response, the Faculty Senate met on March 23 and passed, among other things, a resolution objecting to the lack of faculty involvement in the space allotment discussion. According to faculty senate presisee SENATE pg. 2


It’s easy to forget that we walk the streets of a city as historical as New York. For this issue’s Photo Feature, Observer photographers documented places that have been a part of New York for ages. Above, Gotham Hall, which once was Greenwich Savings Bank, was built in 1922.

Counseling Attends Vagina Monologues Debrief By LAURA CHANG News Co-Editor

The “Vagina Monologues” at Fordham College at Lincoln (FCLC), directed by Ashley Almon, FCLC ’14, was performed in the 12th floor lounge of the Leon Lowenstein building on March 24 and the South Lounge on March 25. Although the play by Eve Ensler has been banned by Student Affairs since 2003, this was the first year that Counseling and Psychological Services, a department under Student Affairs, was allowed to take part in the debrief ses-

sion held after the show in the South Lounge. According to Rebecca Gehman, FCLC ’12 and president of Isis, Fordham’s feminist club, the club was unable to label the “Vagina Monologues” as an Isis event because of its ban from Student Affairs. Even though this event was sponsored by Women’s Studies and African American Studies, Gehman said that whenever “Vagina Monologues” was performed, flyers excluded Isis from the brand. Student Affairs oversees several departments including Counseling

Services, Residential Life and the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSLCD); therefore staff members from those offices were not permitted to attend the play. Counseling Services had to move to a separate space in the South Lounge after the play was over for further discussion. Gehman said that the reason Student Affairs does not approve of the “Vagina Monologues” is due to a situation in one monologue whose message they do not want to promote. “There is a young female that has consensual sex with an older female,

but because of the age difference, it is legally rape,” Gehman said. “Even though this is a play, it’s from a real women’s story and it is an artistic expression.” Keith Eldredge, dean of students, said, “The ‘Vagina Monologues’ is not supported by the administrative units of the university, including the departments in the division of Student Affairs.” However, students affiliated with the production, along with United Student Government see MONOLOGUES pg.2




How to find what you need around Rose Hill. u PAGE 15



Fordham’s first female swimmer invited to NCAA championships. u PAGE 20


THAT SILVER MAPLE Can a relationship be saved? u PAGE 18

Mary Bly Talks New Book: “Paris in Love” By MEHGAN ABDELMASSIH Blog Editor

Mary Bly’s mission in life is to remember. And her biggest fear is forgetting. The romantic novelists and professor of English at Fordham College at Lincoln Center is releasing her memoir, “Paris in Love,” on April 3. It is delicate, funny and yet fragile. It begins with her breast cancer treatments— with Bly on sabbatical from Fordham University—and then relocating to Paris, France with her husband and two children. The Observer had the chance to sit down with Bly, discussing everything from Leonard Cohen, being a hypochondriac and most of all, her writing. OBSERVER: You print under Eloisa James,

but you’re really writing as Mary Bly. Do

you think your readers will experience a revelation about who the real Eloisa is? MARY BLY: The memoir is a crafted piece

of writing. So who is the real Eloisa or Mary? It’s not a memoir like “Running with Scissors.” A lot of writers create a persona and it’s needed nowadays with social media. I’ve got 33,000 people following me on Facebook, which originally made me post the stories to my wall. My followers felt that they had an intimate connection with me. The thing is the intimate reach. If I was writing “Running with Scissors,” my writing would have been more raw. What I decided to bring out was very different from what I could have expressed. Anytime a person writes about his or herself, they specifically choose to bring something particular forward. My memoir, “Paris in Love,” is an Eloisa production of Mary’s life.


OBSERVER: You always end chapters on

a descriptive/illustrative passage. Is that something you arranged in order to end the French scene on a French note? M.B.: The passages moved until I hoped the

book had rhythm. When it went up for auction, a couple of publishing houses wanted me to write in essay form, and I said no. I wanted someone who was working hard to pick it up and fall into the story and then put it down without falling into anxiety. I wanted them to read it the next day and not lose the thread to the story. I aimed to get that rhythm to be right so you didn’t fall down in the middle of a chapter or become too depressed. It all had to flow so that the charm was diluted by grief or by reality in some sense. That took me forever. see MARY BLY pg. 11



March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER

Holy Week’s Deeper Meaning for Community By RAY WALSH Staff Writer

As Lent draws to a close, Fordham’s Christian students and faculty are preparing for Holy Week, during which many Christian denominations remember the final days of Jesus Christ’s earthly life with both fasting and celebration. Holy Week, beginning on April 1 and leading up to Easter on April 8, starts off with the observance of Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, which celebrates Christ’s entry into Jerusalem as well as his Passion. The Easter celebrations begin on the evening of Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which recalls the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist. The next day, on Good Friday, the Church celebrates Christ’s passion, suffering, and death on the cross. Holy Saturday is a day of waiting and fasting in remembrance of Christ in the tomb. Finally, many Christian denominations ring in Easter by observing a vigil, and spend the day in celebration of Christ’s resurrection. This is a time of prayer, fasting and reflection. “Holy Week means, slow down and stop and focus,” said Rev. Phil Florio, S.J., director of Fordham’s Campus Ministry. “The focus is on what is really holy, what is of God. It is the passion, death and resurrection. It’s our entire faith encapsulated into a few days.” And for Fordham students, that faith, expressed in special attention to fasting, prayer and service during Lent and Holy Week, challenges the values and paradigms of Western society and culture. For some students, Lent represents a time to limit consumption. “Even just with the markets and the obesity problems in America,” said Alyssa


St. Paul’s Cathedral at 60th St. and Columbus Ave. is the center of Holy Week celebrations for Lincoln Center.

Carolan, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’14, “the idea of, say, not getting an extra-large something during Lent because you’re fasting, by doing that you’re thinking more, you’re reflecting more.” For others, Lent and Holy Week are times to rethink the penultimate value placed on achievement. According to Faith Brancale, FCLC ’14, in a society in which good grades are becoming essential for success, taking time during the day to pray and reflect appears counterintuitive, but, because of that, it carries an added significance. “Reliance on God is something we don’t necessarily want to do because we are people of the world, it’s all about achievement, it’s all about success, and to say I trust the will of God is crazyperson talk,” Brancale said. “But from my experience, trusting in God is not

the most terrible thing, and the whole problem with students especially is to be like, ‘OK, I’m going to go to daily Mass instead of spending that hour studying.’ That’s huge. That can mean a grade.” “You need to achieve a certain goal academically and strive to achieve the standard, but that can blur the line between what’s important and what’s not,” Alex Lupo, FCLC ’13, said. “People get so bogged down in what they are told to do and they don’t actually take the opportunity to realize what they really want to be doing. You have to realize whether you care about spirituality or not.” For other students, Holy Week is a time to examine individual and structural injustices. “You look at Christ, he was crucified, but what was he killed for? Sedi-

Expansion to Include GSB SENATE FROM PAGE 1

dent Joel Reidenberg, the decision should have been made with input from professors, since half of the classes taken by the new GSB students would be liberal arts courses taught by FCLC faculty. “It has a great impact on the teaching resources available across the school,” Reidenberg said. “The senate is very disturbed by the lack of adherence to shared governance in this decision for the space allocation…Under university statutes, primary responsibility for university programming falls to the faculty.” Fawzia Mustafa, associate professor of English, said the senate’s main argument was that since “decisions about space affect the nature and charge of what is taught, who is taught and how that teaching will happen, then space issues are very much curricular issues, and should involve professors.” Frank Boyle, associate chair and professor of English, said that finding out about this at the “11th hour” makes things challenging when it comes to hiring faculty and planning for an influx of students, which he said takes a minimum two years of planning. He said that the plan, as faculty understood it, was to provide the majority of new beds to FCLC students. “What is clear to me is that the program has been thrown together as a bare bones program and we’re being asked to actually make it work, and that’s just completely inappropriate governance for our university,” Boyle said. “Faculty are systematically excluded from the deliberations that went into this incredibly important issue.” In addition, Boyle said that it is “upsetting” to hear that there are no representatives of faculty involved in this process. “I believe

The “bare bones” plan will give 25 beds per year to incoming FCLC students over the next four years. the university runs better when the people who actually do the work are involved with the planning,” he said. Student leaders have also expressed frustration in being left out of the discussions. Five students are part of College Council, and three attended the March 8 meeting where the council passed a motion to attend the March 23 senate meeting. Faculty senate rules, however, prevent anyone but faculty members and guests invited by the senate to address specific issues from attending their meetings. Prior to learning this, United Student Government (USG) Treasurer Chris Chromey, FCLC ’12, planned on attending the senate meeting to address his concerns. “I was disappointed,” Chromey said. “The student government has been there for the faculty numerous times in the past. It’s a little dangerous that the faculty is seeing this as a faculty issue, because this is a college made up of students. I think it’s unfortunate that we lost that input.” Melissa Gazal, FCLC ’14, represented Commuter Student Awareness (CSA) at the March 8 meeting. She said she understands that there could be confidentiality issues with students attending faculty senate meetings. “It’s sort of a difficult situation,” Gazal said. “However, I do feel that the student voice should also be heard.”

The details of the plan itself are still in development, but Grimes said the “bare bones” plan will give 25 beds per year to incoming FCLC students over the next four years, raising the total population of the school. The other 100 beds will be reserved for students who would have been commuters. If the plan takes effect, the resident-to-commuter ratio will change from its current 55-to-45 to 60-to-40. In addition, the GSB will develop a new program available at FCLC for students to major in business. In 2014, 50 freshmen will be accepted to the business program and it will increase by 50 students a year for a total of 200 business students. Grimes said that Quinn Library will relocate to the current law school library’s space, however no other decisions for space have been made. Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, established the Lincoln Center Task Force to prepare for the expansion and space re-allocation. In a release sent out detailing their recommendations, the Task Force laid out their reasoning behind the decision. Admission applications for FCLC are down 2 percent compared to last year, while GSB applications are up 20 percent. According to the release, the Task Force believes GSB is positioned for stronger growth. “The introduction of new academic programs is vital to enrollment growth and strength of academic profile at Lincoln Center,” the release said. “The introduction of business education in a preferred format and the opportunity for new programs and synergies across departments in all schools at Lincoln Center is the foundation for a very promising future.”

tion against the Roman Empire,” Matt Cuff, FCRH ’12, said. “In America we’re obsessed with good things: the benefit, the nice thing and the resurrection is a nice thing. But some guy getting executed for talking a little too loudly is not very convenient, especially in a country that pretty closely models the Roman Empire.” For some Fordham students, Holy Week is a call to question social injustices in this country and abroad. For Cuff, the remembrance on Good Friday of Christ’s death specifically represents such a call. “I think we need to talk more about the historical Jesus, why he was killed. I think there is something inherently radical about that and not just on the level of, ‘Oh, he was killed for our sins, blah, blah.’ Maybe, but he was also killed for this statement and that action.”

He continued, “There is also the idea of a sin of omission, of not doing something, so I think the Church recognizes that it is not just about doing, but it’s about not doing as well. I think we are not doing a lot for a lot of people, we forget that the South Bronx exists, we forget that Appalachia exists, and the only time we remember Africa is a real thing is when Bono sings about it. That’s omission. And think about how indulgent we are on Easter! ‘Oh, I gave up chocolate so let me eat a box of it.’ What is that?” Holy Week affects Brancale in a similar way. “There are so many sins that are not OK, and why would God forgive me? Because the world doesn’t forgive me. The world doesn’t forgive anything. The world looks and if they see something that they reject, whether it’s a sin or not, some failure in their eyes, that’s it. There is no redemption for you. So with that in mind, when I look at Jesus Christ on the cross, I think about what he did for us, what God did for us. You can ignore it until Holy Week, but then it becomes so real.” But while repentance is a major theme of Holy Week, Carol Gibney, associate director of Fordham’s Campus Ministry, made a point to stress that this season is not a time to moralize, but rather a moment to love. “Lent is supposed to help us recognize that religion is a path of beauty as opposed to a set of rules, that God is not the judge but rather that God is the healer, a doctor who wants us to be healed of our ills and the ills of the world,” she said. “So we need to move away from that [idea of the] judge with a long white beard that is going to point a finger at us and move toward facing [the idea] that we all need help, the world needs help.”

Counselors Allowed at Debrief MONOLOGUES FROM PAGE 1

representatives, requested something new this year. “They asked for a separate program, to be held after the performance, at which staff from Counseling and Psychological Services would facilitate a conversation about sexual violence and the related issues raised by the performance,” he said. Eldredge said that Isis was able to offer the new debrief program after working out the logistics with Jeffrey Ng, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, and Eldredge himself. “As administrators, we are very concerned about sexual violence and pleased that we were able to collaborate on this initiative,” Eldredge said. The debriefing sessions after the “Vagina Monologues” were created as safe space for anyone who wanted to talk about their reaction to the play, Arielle Lhotan, FCLC ’12 and vice president of Isis, said. “What’s amazing about the debriefings is that everyone is incredibly supportive and you can feel the genuine love between students for one another. We need safe spaces for students and support for one another to really build community,” Lhotan said. In addition, Gehman said the “Vagina Monologues” raised $2,000 from the tickets sold in two nights, including promotions and donations. 90 percent of the profits went to Hope’s Door, a local women’s shelter that provides legal services for women. The other 10 percent went to VDAY Global Safe Houses to build safe houses that help girls and help protect women from risk of violence. Tickets were sold to students for $8 and $10 for non-students. Although this was the first time the “Vagina Monologues” performed in the 12th floor lounge, the cast was unable to practice in the space. Gehman said there was a technical issue with how the space works. “The 12th Floor Lounge is run by the Vice President’s office and you’re only allowed to have events there if you have a certain amount of audience. So even if no one is using the room, if you don’t have a certain amount of audience members and

a faculty member present, then you’re not allowed to use that room,” she said. Gehman said that searching for space was the most frustrating part. Since this event is not sponsored by Student Affairs, the group cannot directly use OrgSync to reserve a room and instead must go through a “complicated communication train” with the Women’s Studies secretary who helps them call Conference Services to find a room. “It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault, but without the support of Student Affairs or someone full-time backing us up, it makes the process so difficult,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s not like we’re trying this hard to put on a play. We’re trying this hard to put on a play because it speaks to survivors of sexual violence,” Gehman said. For students who attended the debrief after the show, some described it as helpful and emotional. Alyssa DiScipio, FCLC ’14, said, “Considering the kind of emotions that the “Vagina Monologues” could bring out, I think having a debrief afterwards was a great way to talk about the message of the show and let everyone’s voice be heard.” DiScipio also said that considering the lack of institutional support of the play, “I think it was very positive to have Counseling Services there because it lets people know that there is support within our community.” Tiia Fischer, FCLC ’14, said, “Shows like the “Vagina Monologues” are so great because they make people aware of these issues and force us to talk about them.” Fischer said that it was a positive experience having Counseling Services there because they facilitated the discussion and served as a “support system for those who may have needed it.” Gehman said that she has been very appreciative of Eldredge and Dorothy Wenzel, director of OSLCD. “It’s not their obligation to sit down with me and give me tips on how to make this whole process easier and it is not their say whether the play goes on or not…but, [Eldredge and Wenzel] have been as helpful as they can be in their position.”

THE OBSERVER March 29, 2012

Recyclemania Highlights Problem Areas McMahon Hall usually has the lowest waste production and the highest rate of recycling compared to the residence halls at Rose Hill.


Fordham has placed as one of the top 50 schools of a national recycling competition every year that the university has competed, according to the Environmental Club. Recylclemania, a nation-wide recycling competition, is a sustainability and recycling event currently taking place at 605 universities across the country. The tournament, which lasts for eight weeks, promotes recycling and other sustainability activities at college campuses. All the schools that are participating are ranked each week according to the largest amount of recyclables per capita, least amount of trash and highest recycling rate. As president of the Environmental Club, Ben Schaub, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’14, took initiative and is working with Leslie Timoney, resident manager of the facilities operations and the rest of the Environmental Club, to encourage residents of McMahon Hall to recycle more and to be less wasteful. According to Schaub, Fordham has been one of the top 50 schools of the competition for every year that Fordham has participated. Schaub said that McMahon Hall usually has the lowest waste production and the highest rate of recycling compared to the residence halls at Rose Hill. However, Timoney points out that in order to compare residence halls in Lincoln Center and in Rose Hill, you need to think in terms of similar housing styles. “Residents of dorms, that is, single rooms on a corridor, eat all their meals at McGinley,” Timoney said. “Their garbage is composed of wrappers, papers and beverage containers. Apartment-style living has residents who eat at McGinley or who cook in their kitchens. Here at McMahon Hall, we have access to good supermarkets so students can buy bulk items and prepare their meals, generating less trash.” Other schools located in New York that are participating in the compe-


While students are recycling their garbage in McMahon Hall, people in the streets of New York City are doing it without the competition.

tition include St. John’s University, Ithaca College and Cornell University. Nothing has completely changed compared to last year’s Recyclemania. “The rate continually remains between 20-25 percent of residents who recycle,” Schaub said. “Although McMahon Hall always recycles more than Rose Hill, our number one issue at McMahon Hall is the fact that garbage is always contaminated with recyclables. We’re trying to focus more on what students are doing with the garbage and recyclables in their rooms,” Schaub said. For Schaub, the importance of Recyclemania is not for one particular school to win, but for all the schools that are participating to encourage their students to understand the importance of sustainability and recy-

cling. “It’s important to inform people of the ethics of clothing, the different foods we can eat, and of course recycling,” Schaub said. “People tend to have the throw-away mentality, where people just throw away things without really thinking about if it is recyclable or not. This mentality leads to a huge amount of waste.” Schaub says that residents of McMahon Hall do put a lot of effort in recycling. “Students have approached me on how to be more recycle-friendly. It is nice to see that students are recognizing the importance of the issue and that they have an impact on the environment.” However, Schaub would like to see even more student engagement and involvement in the little sustainability choices in the dorms. “McMahon Hall currently uses a recy-

cling system with color-coded bags for recyclables, but students don’t know how to use it, or don’t even bother,” Schaub said. As Recyclemania enters its last week, both Timoney and Schaub still have some things planned to make students more aware of the environment. Similar to last year, there will be a distribution and selling of water bottles to decrease the use of plastic water bottles. According to Timoney, there will also be a contest for a recycling mural to be painted in McMahon’s A stairway from the 6th floor to the 2nd floor. “The hope is that the mural would help freshmen learn the recycling rules at McMahon,” Timoney said. Timoney also said that the moveout donations program, which allows residents to donate their clothing, bedding and other household items to social service agencies instead of throwing them away, will return this year. The goods are then donated to Goodwill and Project Find senior centers. Silverware, Tupperware, nonperishable foods and books are all in demand at the senior centers. “We’re hoping residents save some time at move-out to sort their discarded items to the bins in the lobby,” Timoney said. Schaub said that he knows that not everyone wants to help with the environment. “People tend to get defensive when it comes to helping the environment and with sustainability. People generally don’t like being told what to do. It is about finding a way to show people the importance of sustainability without feeling like they are being told what to do,” Schaub said.

Business School Dean Talks Ethics On March 14, The New York Times published a headline-grabbing resignation letter from a former Goldman Sachs executive that bashed his firm’s culture as “toxic and destructive.” According to Greg Smith’s letter, the financial giant’s leaders had strayed far from their duty to look out for clients’ best interests. Smith’s letter spawned stories of decreased interest in Wall Street positions from college students due to the perceptions of firms like Goldman Sachs’ unethical atmosphere. The Observer recently sat down with Donna Rapaccioli, dean of Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business, to discuss the ethics of business school. OBSERVER: How does the Business

School work the topic of ethics into the classes of Gabelli students? DONNA RAPACCIOLI: We do it in

several ways. It is infused in every class. Every business class has an ethical element to it: either a case or an assignment. But in addition to that, they take philosophical ethics and then they take business ethics, and if you are an accounting or finance major, there is also ethics in financial reporting. So embedded in the curriculum are three ethics courses, as well as ethics being infused in each of the core classes. One of our learning goals is competency and awareness in ethical decision-making. So each of the core business courses has to explain how they address this issue. The other thing that we just started doing this year is some-

“ Entrepreneurship at this school is exploding.

It’s incredible how many students come to my office with a business plan for a cookie company, T-shirts and fantasy sports classes.” –

DONNA RAPACCIOLI, dean of Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business

thing called the Dean’s Essay, which is a broad question. In the fall there was a series of three of them: the first was “What is the purpose of the firm?” the second was “What is the role of the CEO?” and the third was “What is the purpose of the board of directors?”… we want students to think about questions from different perspectives, and hopefully this will help them make better decisions. This term, the first essay was about Occupy Wall Street, and it was “How can a business student use activism in a positive way?” I haven’t read any of those yet. The best six in each category get to have lunch with me. OBSERVER: In light of the recent

business scandals, have you reconsidered the way you teach ethics to the students? D.R.: Well yes. The whole idea behind

the Deans Essays is new. The social entrepreneurship, the social enterprise focus, that all came after this. It caused a lot of soul searching among the faculty and the choices we were making of who we were inviting on campus.

OBSERVER: Have you noticed a ten-

sion between teaching students how to make good business decisions that will benefit their investors and the Jesuit tenets of our school? D.R.: I think it is all about the time

frame. What we are trying to make the students think about is: if you look at things in the long run, the decision that aligns with Jesuit values is the decision that will benefit stakeholders so you have to move away from a shortterm focus. You have to move away from a shareholder focus and broaden your view to a stakeholder focus. If you look at the stakeholders and the long-term, it absolutely aligns. We’re really trying to bring to top of mind a different way of looking at business and business decisions. There are a number of professors who are doing different approaches to business. There’s a professor Michael Pirson, and his whole approach is about humanistic business. We try to bring speakers on campus that highlight what happens when you make an unethical decision. It’s not one thing that we’re doing. We’re trying to push this from different angles. The other thing that really


Calendar THURS., MARCH 29

CFM Send Off

12:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. Student Lounge


SOL’s and Global Outreach’s Que Caliente 7:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. Atrium and Student Lounge SAT., MARCH 31

USG’s Amazing Race All Day Student Lounge SUN., APRIL 1

Soccer Game Noon - 1 p.m. Bryant High School 48-10 31st Ave. Mon., APRIL 2

CAB Dinner Outing to ABA Restaurant 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. LL Security Desk


Q the Spotlight 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. Student Lounge

Relay for Life Zumba Classes 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Student Lounge


Commuter Friendly Tae Kwon Do Workshop 2:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. McMahon 109

Occupy Wall Street in Iran 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Student Lounge THURS.-MON., APRIL 5-9

Easter Break




drives deeper decision-making is to experience what is happening in the world—a real dedication to service. Because if you help a social enterprise or a business that is just trying to get off the ground, you’ll see how unethical decisions can really hurt. OBSERVER: Have you noticed

decreased interest from students in places like Goldman Sachs that have been found to have unethical environments? D.R.: What I have seen is a renewed in-

terest in small business and launching your career. [On March 21] we had 70 small firms on campus and there were at least 100 students—we called it the Small Business Connector—whereas five years ago there wouldn’t have been very many students that would have been interested in that. We had a not-for-profit event and it was also very well subscribed. We had four students that got front office positions at Goldman Sachs and they were really happy, so I still think there is some of that interest. We were just there the other night; Fordham had an event there. I also see there is a great interest in launching a career in a much smaller firm and starting your own business. Entrepreneurship at this school is exploding. It’s incredible how many students come to my office with a business plan for a cookie company, data mining websites, T-shirts and fantasy sports classes. There is a lot more diversity in where students want to begin their careers.


MoMA PS1 Outing 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 22-25 Jackson Ave. Long Island City TUES., APRIL 10

Movie Night: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. FCLC

I <3 Consent: Fundraiser for GEMS 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. South Lounge WED., APRIL 11

Commuter Mentor Roundtable 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. MM 205/206

Compiled by Rex Sakamoto


TUES., MAR.19 At 2 p.m., an adjunct professor reported he had left his iPad in room in room 524 in the Leon Lowenstein building. When he had returned, the professor found his iPad was gone. So far, the search has been unsuccesful.

Compiled by Richard Ramsundar


March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER




or the past two years, we have been anticipating the new facilities and residence hall being built for Lincoln Center students, slowly watching the steel beams of the new building rise into the city skyline. However, with recent changes to the building plans on campus, many students in Fordham’s Lincoln Center community are frustrated, wondering if their patience of the inconveniences that have come along with the construction was futile. According to Harry Huggins’ article “Expansion Decision Prompts Action” on page one, it was announced that the residence hall assumed to be reserved for Fordham College at Lincoln Center students will now be in cut in half, as 200 out of the 400 beds will be given to students in the Gabelli School of Business. The change has been met with mixed reactions. Some are supportive of the new plan, arguing that business students can offer positive changes to our campus. Others are upset about the new decision, feeling that giving these resources in classes and dorm space is simply robbing from

FCLC students. Some faculty members were also put off by the decision, saying that this can alter the campus’s academic culture in liberal arts. Furthermore, both students and faculty members that oppose the plan expressed their concern that they had no input or knowledge of the changes in the plan. While faculty were informed of the new arrangement to bring business students on campus months after it was first introduced, students were barred from attending the Faculty Senate on March 24, preventing them from voicing their opinions and suggestions on the matter. It is an accepted reality that there are some larger decisions that will be made by higher-up officials in the administration. There are countless matters throughout our university that must be dealt with by experienced professionals. However, it is problematic that students are left in the dark about changes happening on campus simply from school officials’ anxiety of an angry response or belief that students do not care about the changes that are happening. Students do care. Students want to be informed. And

yes, students may occasionally disapprove of our administration’s decisions affecting life at Fordham for themselves and faculty. But students have the ability to express their concerns through a constructive dialogue that can be well-received (if not understood) by their peers and authority figures alike. Fordham has proved that it can listen to it students. According to Laura Chang’s article “Counseling Attends Vagina Monologues Debrief” on page one, on March 24 and 25, the Counseling Services Center was permitted to attend the studentrun production of the Vagina Monologues. This was the first time that members from Student Affairs were allowed to be involved with this controversial play, a change due in part to collaboration with the United Student Government and the Counseling Center. We are thankful that officials have listened to our concerns and we commend their efforts to work with students, reaching compromises based on what we feel are important issues. We now hope that officials will continue with this pattern as future changes are made on campus.

Society Needs Both Introverts and Extroverts to Keep Things Interesting Introversion Shouldn’t Be a Negative Trait in Our Fast-Moving World PIYALI SYAM Contributing Writer

Unapproachable. Unfriendly. Antisocial. All of these words are commonly associated with a word that is often perceived negatively itself: introversion. It’s strange to think that being identified as an introvert can carry these negative connotations, especially when you think about the fact that author Susan Cain, whose New York Times-bestselling and TED talkinspiring book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” estimates that at least a third of the population is introverted. Western culture praises extroversion. Extroversion is typically associated with positive traits like success and popularity, while introversion is typically associated with shyness and social awkwardness. But what is introversion? Like many negatively perceived things, introversion is misunderstood. What introversion and extroversion are more about is how and where one focuses one’s energy and from where one gains one’s energy. Whereas an extrovert is more externally oriented toward the world around them, an introvert is more inwardly focused toward the world inside them. So a naturally extroverted person typically gains energy by being with people and finds being alone draining, and a more introverted person might find too much interaction draining and need more alone time to recharge. Being an introvert does not necessarily mean, then, that you don’t like people. Introverts can also be successful and popular. And extroverts can also be shy and socially awkward. I identify as an introvert, and for the longest time, I felt strange and removed from other people, isolated by my own nature. I have often been misinterpreted as

unfriendly when I’m simply lost in my thoughts. I’ve been publicly singled out and embarrassed for not talking much or participating in group activities. But I don’t see my innate nature as weird or shameful or a bad thing. Sometimes I prefer to observe rather than participate. I certainly enjoy other people’s company, but selectively and in degrees. This does not mean I do not engage with the world or isolate myself from it. I merely engage with it in a different way. I perceive the external world through the lens of my interior. New York is an interesting place in which to consider the introvert dynamic. The city is a place of unique diversity which brings people of all types together. There are so many people here that the city has become known for being a place where you can be alone in a crowd. People walk past each other, brush against each other, yet how often do they actually talk to one another and avoid eye contact on the subway? On the flip side, so much of city life revolves around the culture of “going out” to clubs, bars, parties (drinking in general), etc. The culture of New York seeps into Fordham. So many conversations I hear revolve around going out. Yet one of the most common complaints I hear about Fordham is how hard it is to make friends here. Commuters find it hard to make friends if they leave campus and just go home after class, and residents find it hard to make friends with a strict closed-door policy, which results in a more shut-off, impenetrable dorm environment where people are contained in their respective rooms and often choose to stay there. Many of the concerns that come up in talking about introversion are issues that have become especially central in and relevant to the culture of our generation. How many people don’t feel awk-


From literary masterminds and film directors to civil rights activists and scientists, introverts have made their mark on society.

ward or worry about being socially awkward on a daily basis? The

fact that being “awkward” is such a common subject of our humor

nowadays is a good indicator of the answer to this question. How often do we complain about weird roommates who sit in their rooms all day? Yet the rise of texting, Facebook, and other forms of technological communication that remove the face-to-face component of our social interactions contribute to this paradox. The key value I see in recognizing the difference of introversion is that it is part of a natural behavioral spectrum. Introversion and extroversion are not absolute; everyone has introverted traits and extroverted traits to some degree. It all depends on the individual and the degree of each. Introverts enjoy parties, and extroverts enjoy solitude. The thing to take away from introversion is that instead of stereotyping, we need to respect each other’s differences as people. We can be most productive as a society when we allow for different types of individual preferences in methods of functioning. Extroverts certainly have talents that allow them to contribute to society in a clear way: great people skills, boldness, leadership. But introverts also have special talents to contribute as well, such as a unique creativity and focus that grows out of introspection, and a powerful way of quietly dissipating their ideas and connecting with people. Without introverts, society would not have the first Apple computer (Steve Wozniak), Google (Larry Page), certain social movements (Gandhi, Rosa Parks), fantastic stories (J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss) or the theories of evolution (Charles Darwin) and relativity (Albert Einstein). Accepting the method that is conducive to our natural states of being and builds upon, rather than frustrates, the natural strengths and talents that come with them, is the key to success and personal and social fulfillment.

THE OBSERVER March 29, 2012



Our Western World Focuses on Staff Sergeant Robert Bales Rather Than His Innocent Victims THE OBSERVER Fordham College at Lincoln Center 113 West 60th Street Room 408 New York, New York 10023 Tel: (212) 636-6015 Fax: (212) 636-7047

Editor-in-Chief Faith Heaphy Managing Editor Monique John News Co-Editors Laura Chang Harry Huggins Asst. News Co-Editors Richard Ramsundar Rex Sakamoto Opinions Editor Colleen Thornhill Asst. Opinions Editor Sara Azoulay Arts & Culture Co-Editors Mike Madden Katie Lockhart Asst. Arts & Culture CoEditors Brian Bruegge Olivia Perdoch Features Co-Editors Mario Weddell Darryl Yu


Because these tragedies have happened to strangers in far-off Afghanistan, Westerners are sadly less likely to take an interest in their deaths.


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Recently, Frenchman and selfproclaimed “jihadist” Mohammed Merah went on his own killing rampage in France by targeting a Jewish school. He murdered seven people, three of them children. Western news sources vilified him by honing in on his “petty criminal” background, whereas for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, the American who killed 16 Afghani citizens, the Western media highlights his financial struggles and his physical injury. Western media did not humanize Merah or attempt to understand his motivations. Merah told negotiators that he targeted the Jewish school because of the oppression of Palestine. When I read this I can understand how anyone would be infuriated by the situation in the West Bank and in Gaza where Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is unjustly and inhumanely revoking the Palestinians’ right to land, to running water and to working sewage systems, among other things. In addition, Merah asserted famously that he “brought France to its knees,” especially after its involvement in Afghanistan. French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration is notorious for its aggressive nationalism and exponential Islamophobia. Mainstream Western media chose to overlook the growing bigotry in France that might have contributed to Merah’s extremism and instead perceived him as an isolated case. Interestingly enough,

mainstream Western media takes the time to dwell on the environmental and circumstantial factors behind Bales killing the 16 victims in Afghanistan. Rarely has a journalist used the word “racist” or “bigoted” in context with Bales. Instead, Western media highlights the mental and emotional ramifications of being in a war zone and serving four tours. In the International Herald Tribune article “Why We Look to Distinguish Robert Bales From Mohammed Merah,” journalist Harvey Morris points out that in regard to Merah, the media asserts that “Nothing can justify such attacks.” Ironically, in regard to Bales, there are quite a few excuses to justify his actions. Merah, frankly, was an immoral and evil bigot. That’s not hard for Western audiences to discern. However, why has it been difficult for these same observers to grasp the fact that Staff Sergeant Bale is just as evil, bigoted and immoral? The reason is that Afghani victims of his crime are less significant to Western audiences due to their nationality. The nine children, three women and four men who were murdered by Bales are placed in the background of this tragedy. Bales, according to Western media, is the real victim of the tragedy that is war. I understand how Bales’ story resonates more with a Western audience, because he is of the same culture, nationality, language and identity. However, the tragic death of the recent Afghani victims should be weighed equally with, for example, the American Fort Hood victims.

When Palestinian Muslim Nadil Malik Hassan killed thirteen fellow soldiers at the Fort Hood base, Western audiences read the victims’ profiles on the web and in print. We in the West visibly mourned the deaths of the Fort Hood victims. Their lives were abruptly taken away and it shocked us all to the core. What about those sixteen Afghani civilians? What about their lives? Why do we in the West not visibly mourn them also? The Afghanis are the voiceless observers of a war that has been waged in their country by the United States and a coalition of European countries for 11 years. They were not killed by an Afghani but by an American soldier. They, too, are the victims of this war in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Bales was recently charged with seventeen counts of murder, counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and other violations of military law. Peter Bella of The Washington Times explained in his piece “SSG Bales to Be Charged in Afghan Murders,” “Though he is accused of capital crimes, it is unlikely Bales will be executed if found guilty. The military has not executed a service member in nearly five decades.” However, I’m confident that if the culprit were a Middle Eastern, North African or South Asian Muslim, the majority of Western observers would think that only death would suffice in bringing justice. In context with Bales’ trial, I think we in the West need to make a strong initiative to demand justice for everyone and not just fellow Westerners. To be frank, the ramifications of Bales’ heinous actions are extensive. Bales has single-handedly

undermined the benevolent efforts of a notable amount of servicemen and perpetuated a disturbing stereotype of Western soldiers as cold-blooded, murdering bigots. The New York Times reported that Bales’ killing rampage has severely undermined longstanding NATO efforts to win support from villages in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and have shaken relations with the Afghanistan government and its President Hamid Karzai, who told the U. S. government that he wanted American forces out of villages by next year. The message that I hope Western audiences take away from Bales’ killing rampage and his corresponding military trial is that there is a gratuitous amount of violence that Afghani (and Iraqi) civilians have become victims of during the United States’s 11-year war on terror. Recently, mainstream news sources have reported that Bales’ wife set up a fund to raise money for the legal costs of her husband’s trial. Now I ask who is supporting the families of the four men that he killed? Who is raising the children of the three women that Bales also murdered? And who is demanding justice for the six children that Bales shot, burned and stabbed? Who is consoling their parents and their inconceivable grief? These innocent civilians are equally important human beings. Any individual or group, whether it is Staff Sergeant Bales or not, who dares to threaten the lives of innocents should be held just as accountable as if the victims were Westerners themselves.

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March 8, 2012 THE OBSERVER

Racial Injustice Permeates the Death of Trayvon Martin BIANCA JEAN-PIERRE Staff Writer

Seventeen-year-old African American Trayvon Martin was on his way back to his father’s home from a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Fla., when he was shot in the chest and killed on Feb. 26. The shooter, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, claimed that Martin was a “real suspicious guy” during a phone call with the Sanford Police Department before opening fire. The police department assured Zimmerman that an officer was on his way and there would be no need for Zimmerman to follow or observe Martin any longer. They also stressed that Zimmerman should not approach this “suspicious guy.” Zimmerman approached Martin anyway and minutes later, shot the teenager multiple times with a nine millimeter handgun. It was later discovered that all Martin held in his hand was a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Martin had no record of being a criminal, but was shot and killed as if he were one. Zimmerman was reported saying to the police, “These assholes always get away,” while observing Martin. Well, the same can be said for Zimmerman, who remains free. According to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, those who act in self-defense cannot be charged with murder. But if Martin posed no threat to Zimmerman besides wearing a hoodie, looking around and being black, self-defense is not a factor at all. Martin was confronted by Zimmerman for no justifiable reason. Even Florida Governor Jeb


Martin’s death has sparked national outcry, and protests have sprung up across the country in response.

Bush, who signed this bill into law, denies the application of this law to the case, as noted in the recent CNN article “Family of Trayvon Martin to Pursue Civil Case.” Yet Zimmerman has yet to be arrested for his actions. Zimmerman always seemed a bit paranoid, having called the police nearly 50 times since January. According to phone calls recorded by the local police, Zimmerman went on to say, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something… And he’s a black male... Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check

me out. He’s got something in his hands.” Martin was not on drugs as Zimmerman incorrectly assumed. These careless and irrational words spoken by Zimmerman moments before the fatal incident have been pushing this case to the forefront of media attention and causing much controversy. The issue of race has been raised, not just among the black community but also by leftist blogs such as Think Progress and opinion editorials for New York magazine and the Huffington Post. According to neighbors, Zimmerman is known for focusing on young black

males when combating crime. That reputation paired with his comment “and he’s black… something’s wrong with him,” reveal that race undoubtedly played a role in Zimmerman’s decision to shoot. The cops even told Zimmerman not to approach Martin and that they would handle the situation shortly, but Zimmerman’s irrational fear and racial biases caused him to make this grave mistake. The trend of young black males being viewed as harmful or more commonly, “scary” is rooted in the act of racial profiling, which is practiced by many figures of

authority, even today in the era of the first American black president. Although other circumstances, such as Martin looking around or carrying something in his hand, might have prompted fear in Zimmerman, he did not stop for a moment to think about his rash actions before ending the life of an innocent teenager. His malicious behavior was motivated by his fear of an unfamiliar black male in his neighborhood without any reasonable suspicion. Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera recently commented on the “gangster” image portrayed by many young black males and how it probably influenced Zimmerman’s suspicion. No one, regardless of race, should be approached and assaulted for wearing a hoodie or portraying any stereotypical image if they are not posing a serious threat. Rivera’s comments represent the ignorant justification for Zimmerman’s actions as based on Martin’s attire. I know how it feels to be trapped in a menacing or dangerous image because of stereotypes associated with being black. Recently, I approached an Asian woman to ask for directions and she scurried away from me in fear while clutching her purse. The fact that I was misjudged by the color of my skin is upsetting. Unfortunately, such misjudgment proved to be fatal in Martin’s case. This could happen to any black and innocent life unless these ignorant stereotypes are brought to the forefront of conversation and discussed. Zimmerman’s actions need no justification or further analysis. His arrest is not only necessary for providing comfort to Martin’s family and the millions protesting, but to ensure that justice is colorblind.

Trying to Tackle the Language Problem at Fordham The Language Department Should Re-evaluate Its Methods of Teaching and Placing Students SARA AZOULAY Photo Editor & Asst. Opinions Editor

Sometimes when I’m on the fourth floor of Lowenstein and see a tour group walk past the Language Lab, I want to yell out to them that the students they see in the lab miserably typing away will be their bleak future if they choose Fordham. But I’m polite, so I refrain from doing so. My contempt toward the Language Lab doesn’t come without reason. The reason, however, is not connected to having to take language classes. To be honest, I love learning different languages. Language enables us to communicate and creates a deeper connection between unique cultures and people of the world. I like that Fordham has an intensive language requirement. However, there is a continuing flaw in the way we are taught language. Fordham’s language requirement is a burden about which I’ve heard many students complain. The truth is, unless a student has a deep desire to learn as many languages as possible (or at the very least, just one more), students see the language courses at Fordham as a burden to their life. And I’m pretty sure that they don’t speak the language fluently upon finishing the requirement. So what’s the dilemma? Why are students not correctly learning language through schooling at Fordham? My question raises a lot of other questions in response. It’s a deeper problem that doesn’t just concern Fordham. There has been criticism from people who claim that America is too proud to have their students

I look back at the Language Lab and realize there were so many things that could have been done with the hours I spent there. It didn’t benefit my learning experience one bit.

learn a different language. I don’t think this is the case; I just think we have to go about language in a different way. Fordham’s own language department could be vastly improved by changing the Language Lab on the fourth floor. Requiring college students to sit in a room for multiple hours doing language exercises is a situation that sounds like a disaster. But it’s our reality at Fordham. I finished up my language requirement last year. Can I fluently speak Spanish? Sadly, no. I look back at the Language Lab and realize there were so many things that could have been done with the hours I spent there. It didn’t benefit my learning experience one bit. Yet, Fordham still thinks we need to spend our time there for courses. If we didn’t have the Language Lab and instead focused on students practicing the language with other students or the professor, I think we would see improvements. Another issue that I saw in my Spanish courses was the difference between students who wanted to learn and the students who were required to take the course. Of


The depressing Language Lab, with its monotony of cubicled computers, is hardly conducive to learning a second language. Perhaps some TVs and couches would spice things up.

course, students like that exist in every class but it is more readily apparent in language courses. I took two language courses and the main reason why it’s so difficult to properly learn the language is because everyone in the class is at a different level. I relearned a bunch of material I already knew from high school. Fordham should take it upon itself to ensure that their evaluation is fair and that each student can excel in the class. The entrance exam should be reworked and evaluated more critically. A simple number shouldn’t reflect a student’s ability to take a certain course level. Some students may excel in reading comprehension, while others may do better when speaking the

language. If the test favors those who are literate in a language but don’t speak it well, they will hold back students in their higher-level classes. Students who speak the language well but aren’t necessarily the best at writing may find themselves sleeping through their beginner-level classes. The way the language program works now, students usually go through the first courses with ease, only to be shocked by how hard exit-level is. There should either be a harder and more thorough entrance exam or the people administrating the placements should be more critical and careful with their evaluations. Students’ interest in language should also be taken into account. Maybe some students who don’t have

any desire to learn a language should only have to take two regular-level courses. Maybe they shouldn’t be forced to take an exit level course. There should definitely be a way to separate the students who are serious about learning the language from the ones who just want to get the requirement out of the way. We should also petition to make the Language Lab into something more conducive to learning. Perhaps it could offer more than just computers. I know if it was transformed into a lounge with couches and televisions that have channels with different languages, I might be more inclined to visit. Maybe my thoughts are just wishful thinking, but the problems are plain to see.

THE OBSERVER March 29, 2012



“Dark Money” Destroys the Integrity of the Election Season NINA GUIDICE Staff Writer

Everyone has heard of Super PACs, those ultra-powerful, ultra-rich organizations that can use their funds for whatever they please, so long as they don’t have direct coordination with a candidate. As Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times explained in his March 25 piece, “When Other Voices Are Drowned Out,” corporations can now donate millions upon billions of dollars to a Super PAC that supports a candidate they want in office, and they don’t have to disclose these funds. All of this is mostly common knowledge among interested parties. However, the new hot button Super PAC topic is the possibility of these corporations (or independently wealthy donors) writing their donations off on their taxes. The effect of money on how successful a campaign is and who wins an election has been proven time and time again. A candidate backed by a lot of money can afford a lot of air time and a lot of advertisements. Such candidates can hire more staff to spread the word and they can travel around the country at their leisure. They can afford to take risks and chances that a candidate with fewer funds could not. Money undeniably has a loud mouth and a big voice. That is why the subject of “dark money” is so significant. Because these Super PACS like the Red, White and Blue Fund (pro-Santorum), Restore our Future (pro-Romney) and Winning Our Future (pro-Gingrich) have so much control over our political discourse, there is no reason that they shouldn’t


It is hard to determine where candidates are getting their money from noawadays. This controversial issue has become so prevalent that it is now the subject of parody in political commentary.

be required to be absolutely forthright about where their money is coming from and how big their donations are. Every citizen who wants information on their candidate should have as much as possible; who a candidate gets money from says a lot about their character, and it says a lot about their beliefs. A candidate that opposes abortion may find it disadvantageous to advertise his belief, but if he’s receiving dark money from anti-abortion groups, the public will be unaware and uninformed. An uniformed voter is equal to a deceived voter— in each case, the people’s

power to make an informed and purposeful decision is undermined. And even if they’re not required to disclose where that money is coming from, there is no way the donors— both corporate and individual— should be allowed to write that money off on their taxes. This is not a charitable donation. It is, in effect, lobbying for a candidate and a cause. It is an attempt, usually successful, to feed their special interests by putting a friend in office. Taken a step further, this money buys their interests support. I don’t think anyone wants to live in a world where politicians cater

more to their rich, insular, special interest-guided donors than to the majority of their constituents. The practice of donating “dark money” undermines our political system. We are no longer a democracy when secret moneys are being sent from secret sources and when that money goes on to make or break a campaign. Santorum and Gingrich would have been long gone from the Republican primary without their Super PACs. As it stands, Santorum still has a horse in this race, and it’s thanks to dark money.

Because of their money and all the power these donors wield, they remain unaccountable for their actions. They directly affect campaigns, elections and American politics, yet the American voter has no information and more importantly, no say. If a third party can exert that much power over an election, what use is my vote and my voice? I happen to believe that donating to a campaign is the same as saying, “I am very partial to my money and would rather not get rid of it, but I believe in this candidate so much I’m willing to sacrifice some dollars to help him campaign.” The way these corporations are doing it, though, is donating millions and millions of dollars that they’ll write off on their taxes like a reset button. They essentially give nothing to get what they want, and I find that to be an abhorrent display of disrespect for our campaign system. The American political system is propped up on lofty ideals of democracy, choice, freedom and equality. It’s too bad that these ideals do not translate to reality. The thin line of what is legal and what is not is being toed with increasing frequency in American politics. When obscene amounts of money donated by wealthy, mysterious, powerful donors overshadow the voice of the American people, the election system becomes a farce. At what point does this all become unreasonable? Millions of dollars are spent on attack ads, fundraisers, airtime and rallies, and zero of it benefits the American people. Our country is broke. Surely all this money being thrown away could be put to better use than buying an election.

Is a Required Ultrasound a Step Too Far or Justifiable Legislation? POINT


Heavy-Handed Abortion Guidelines Violate a Woman on All Levels

An Unwanted Ultrasound Offers a Second Chance and Should Not be Equated with Rape


Usually, it is considered highly immoral to implement laws that impede a person’s path to exercise their rights. Somehow, though, the rights for a woman to decide what happens to her own body have been seriously put into question. The most recent legislative amendment to a woman’s right to choose has been the required ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion. In many states, women who seek an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy are required to have an ultrasound via vaginal probe. Virginia’s new law requires the ultrasound, but they backed off the vaginal probe after public outcry. The Texas Sonogram Law, however, continues to require the probe, as do others, perhaps because the Texas law hasn’t gotten as much press coverage as the Virginia debate did. Is this, as some claim, a form of “statesanctioned rape?” I would say, yes—the laws force women to have a foreign object inserted into their bodies, unwanted. For this reason, I believe the connotations of the law are akin to molestation. It would be one thing if the ultrasound was medically necessary, or if not necessary, then beneficial to the woman’s health. However, it’s not. These ultrasounds are medically worthless, with no effect on the woman’s body or her health. The act makes women feel guilty about seeking an abortion and has the potential to turn away women who are fearful of the unnecessary procedures. State Senator Dan Patrick, who authored the Texas bill, estimates that the new

legislation will stop one in five abortions, or 15,000 out of 80,000 per year. I will concede that some of those women will make the right choice, for them, to keep their child. However, it’s likely that a number of women will be deterred from seeking help in the first place, and that is something I find reprehensible. Think about rape victims. A victim of rape who finds herself pregnant will find herself subjected to an unnecessary procedure that will most assuredly force her to relive the horrific experience of being raped. This is not a universal provision, as some states make exceptions for rape victims, but the intent remains. It’s an act that has the possibility of discouraging victims from aborting a fetus they didn’t want. The intent of this law is the problem, though the particulars of the legislation vary between the states in which it is implemented. In some states, the woman listens to the heartbeat and sees the image of the fetus. In some, the woman does not have to see the image, but she does have to have the ultrasound stored in her medical records. This does two things, both of which I don’t agree with. First, it tries to guilt a woman out of doing something she has a legal right to do. Second, it’s not necessary, with the (high) possibility to be emotionally damaging— women likely to need abortions are the same women likely to be scarred by the ultrasound experience. The effects of the law, emotional and physical upheaval, are enough to make the law horrific and in violation of the right to privacy and the right to choose. But the act of the law, a woman being forced to undergo a vaginal probe, is enough to qualify it as rape. Perhaps not in the tight legal definitions of the word, but rape nonetheless.

MICHELLE PRADO Contributing Writer

Texas’s new law toward abortion has created quite the scandal. Strongly supported by Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Sonogram Law requires women to have a sonogram before they can have an abortion. According Nicolas Cristof ’s article in The New York Times “When States Abuse Women,” this required sonogram should be considered rape because of the way it is conducted. It’s not the traditional gel-onbelly sonograms. For this type of sonogram, an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina and the patient must listen to the fetus’s heartbeat. Then, the doctor must explain every single part of the baby’s body. Finally, the woman is sent home to reflect and must wait 24 hours before she comes back to have the abortion. To support his view, Cristof quoted Texas doctor Curtis Boyd, who suggests this type of procedure to be rape because the patient is being forced by law to have an ultrasound that requires insertion into the female. Although other females might agree with Boyd, I disagree. Actually it’s a great idea because it gives the woman time to think, and decide if she really wants to end her pregnancy; it also gives life more value. Many times fetuses are undermined because they do not have two legs and a head, but they are still life. The fact that this law has been passed is a way of giving much more weight to life regardless of the stage it is in. Even in the womb the fetus already has a heartbeat. It is alive and ending the pregnancy would be destroying a life. It also promotes rational thinking.

There are many reasons why a woman might want an abortion and one of them might be because she feels her only option is aborting the child. She goes to the doctor for an abortion rather than weighing her options. Now, with this law, women have the possibility of rethinking their decision and making sure that an abortion is the way to go.

The object of the law is not to make women undergo a grueling process; the government is simply making women realize the significance of their decision.

This procedure is not rape. The object of the law is not to make women undergo a grueling process; the government is simply making women realize the significance of their decisions. Although I understand an ultrasound is a very difficult procedure, with the law it has become part of the abortion formula, and more women should not criticize this new law but rather see it as an addition to the procedure, a good addition. Maybe after listening to the heartbeat of her fetus, the mother could have a change of heart and decide not go through with the abortion. I’ve heard plenty of women say that after they hear or see their child for the first time through a sonogram a bond is formed. That’s the objective of this new law. It gives the fetus a chance to live and it gives the parents a chance to determine if terminating the pregnancy is what they want.

Arts & Culture

March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman Revived on Broadway By KATIE LOCKHART Arts & Culture Co-Editor

Remember sitting through 10th grade English class trying to watch your classmates attempt to act out scenes from Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” but wishing you could poke your eyes out instead? Well, thankfully, the Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman,” which opened March 15, is nothing like that experience. This play isn’t an uplifting story, hence the title, so don’t expect to leave the theater skipping. In case you didn’t read the play in high school, it centers on a Brooklyn family with two sons who can’t seem to get their act together. The curtains opened to a small, aged apartment in Brooklyn where most of the action of the play took place. The apartment was complete with two beds upstairs, one for Biff, played by Andrew Garfield, and one for Happy, played by Finn Wittrock. There was also a bed for Willy Loman, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and his wife Linda, played by Linda Edmond. On paper the cast is impressive and they’re even more extraordinary on stage. Biff was the stereotypical star quarterback in high school and had a scholarship to college but never graduated. After he and his father experience an unfortunate event while on business in Boston, their relationship is never the same and Willy is always on Biff’s case shouting at him about being a slacker. The character Happy plays a less important role in the production and is somewhat of a womanizer who gets most of the laughs. The play chronicles Biff’s time at home as he tries to open up a sporting goods store with his brother and make his father proud after his mother tells him that his father is sick and has been trying to kill himself. The play is a mix of reality and a trip inside Willy’s mind as the audience sees his hallucinations of his older brother Ben. There are also a few flash-


Andrew Garfield, Finn Wittrock, Phillip Seymor Hoffman and Linda Edmond in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” directed by Mike Nichols.

backs thrown in of Biff’s time in high school to explain when he and his father’s relationship fell apart. Hoffman is marvelous as the feebleminded, suicidal traveling salesman. However, he does tend to shout a lot of his lines, mostly during some intensely emotional fights with his son Biff. But its rare to see an Academy Award-winner act in front of you or actor of that caliber. It was like seeing Bob Dylan

perform at The Bitter End in the ’60s, the kind of thing you tell your grandkids about. Andrew Garfield was the dark horse of the play. I would have expected him to be in “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” instead, but he gave Hoffman a run for his money as the estranged son with daddy issues. Especially during the scenes where he and Hoffman were practically wrestling and Garfield

ended up on the floor in tears. This play is well worth the almost three hour running time, as well as the questioning of one’s self worth that is sure to follow. For the low Student Rush ticket rate of $30, you would be a fool to miss out on such brilliant performances by one of the best actors in the business and one of Hollywood’s rising stars. If you wait outside after the show, the cast, including Garfield, will

sign your playbill. But unfortunately Hoffman sneaks out the side door. IF YOU GO

Death of a Salesman WHEN: Playing now WHERE: Ethel Barrymore Theater, 243

West 47th St. PRICE: $30 Student Rush tickets

A New Generation of ‘Ungovernable’ Artists on Display at the New Museum By JACKSON GALAN Staff Writer

“The Ungovernables” is the second triennial exhibition in the history of the New Museum. It brings together 50 artists and artist collectives from around the globe, occupying all five gallery floors. Most of the artists involved are young people working through experimental forms. The term “ungovernable” in the context of art and the art world refers to free expression and the abandonment of preconceptions. Innovation has always been the hallmark of great art, and here, it is the common factor for such a large exhibition. Radical innovation of the sort on display here can be laughably stupid or awe-inspiring, and amongst “The Ungovernables” is plenty of both. The photo journal and handwritten diary entries of Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade in his work “Ressaca Tropical” describe romances and political philosophy. “I feel that I am an attractive guy— I’m not handsome, but I am very sexy and have that ‘X’ factor... When I said that I’m not handsome is because I don’t have aesthetic beauty,” Andrade wrote. These entries line the wall of the fifth floor, flanked by photographs of Brazilian cityscape and people. Though not in strict chronological

order, the combination of personal text and imagery resembles Facebook’s Timeline. The series either ends of begins with entry “11/09/77,” “I am sexually frustrated... a great anxiety.” The second floor houses a similar journal by Lebanese artist Mounira Al Solh, entitled “From waiting blue to lingering yellow (or vice versa).” A group of 44 orange, yellow and blue multimedia paintings are arranged scattershot on the gallery wall, accompanied by hand-written text, typically a line or two about waiting. The pairing gives the sense that these images were created, conceptually or otherwise, in between events in the artist’s life, waiting for a friend, waiting for a file to download. This work, like much of that in “The Ungovernables,” requires that the viewer invest some time and concentration. Sometimes, this is rewarding, sometimes, disappointing. In the case of “From waiting blue to lingering yellow,” it’s impossible— the second floor is too loud. Some of the work lives up to the title “Ungovernable” too much so. Hassan Khan’s “JEWEL,” a six-and-a-half-minute film set to Hassan’s droning, percussive, thunderous original score, bleeds into the gallery, clashing against the thump of Jonathas de Andrade’s film “4000 Disparos” and Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machado’s

“O Século,” a loop of trash being thrown into a street, with the sound of clanging five-gallon drums and breaking florescent light tubes greatly amplified. That last one invades from the third floor. While “O Século” and “JEWEL” are some of the most captivating works in the exhibition, their sheer volume spoils some less assuming pieces. One piece that could not be overrun, however, is Adrián Villar Rojas’s massive sculpture, “A Person Loved Me.” The floor-to-ceiling construction of clay, wood, metal, cement, Styrofoam, burlap, sand and paint resembles a futuristic mech. Composed of tubes, joints, pistons and oculi, it could’ve crashlanded out of Starcraft. Yet the cracked clay lends it an ancient quality, suggesting a future past, or lost, alien world. The work is enigmatic and arresting, forceful, defiant, ungovernable. Such a huge exhibition can’t help but fail at times. Some of the works — especially, in this case, the sparer, more conceptual pieces— fail to command attention, or reward it. Much of the experimentation is perplexing or even frustrating. But the successful works, and there are many of them, gratify the viewer on emotional, intellectual and visceral levels, and one can help but be excited to witness a new generation of artists prove that they never needed to earn their freedom.


“The Ungovernables” features 50 artists from around the world.

THE OBSERVER March 29, 2012

Arts & Culture


A Conversation With Fordham Professor, Writer Mary Bly MARY BLY FROM PAGE 1 OBSERVER: Are you worried you

will lose your capability to express yourself with words? MB: Yeah, I’m almost certain I

will. I have a terrible memory so I’m basically halfway there already. On the practical side you could say new drugs are constantly being developed, so by the time I get there hopefully they have some fabulous medicine. But on the non-practical side, you can spend all the time worrying about what you’re going to lose, or you can just try to write as much as you can now. That’s what my father did. He lived his life in order to write. It is very sad to watch him unable to write, but I think that if he looked back, he wouldn’t change anything. So, that impulse in Paris to write my life down, a lot of that came from the double diagnosis: my dad’s dementia and my breast cancer. OBSERVER: As a result of your

breast cancer, did you develop a minor hypochondria? MB: I am a Googling addict, but I

don’t think it gives you a qualification as being a hypochondriac. You can’t Google any medical symptom because you will always end up with cancer. There is something about sitting across from a doctor and if he says the biopsy is positive, it gives you the awareness that it’s not going to be great forever. This road goes in only one direction and that’s towards death, basically. It makes you more fragile; it makes you more frail. That’s one reason why I stopped Googling medical terms. You don’t want to spend the time you have freaking about Huntington’s.


Fordham professor and writer, Mary Bly, talks about her new book, life with breast cancer and her life in Paris. OBSERVER: Do you think that all

writers have some preoccupation with their mortality? MB: I think all people do, espe-

cially after they’re out of their twenties.

OBSERVER: Were you a different

person when you were in Paris? MB: I don’t think I change very

much when I’m in a new place. I feel happy when I think about it, though. Let’s say I get dementia, but I captured that one year from my family. And I think I caught them growing up. Luca, my son, can remember our year in Paris in a really clear way. Same for Anna, and she was only 11. But I think that year will be really vivid in her memory. I can’t even remember my

11th year at all, really. OBSERVER: How do you run to

Leonard Cohen in Paris? That isn’t music you typically run to! MB: It was all part of observ-

ing stuff. I wanted to have a soundtrack that I liked while looking at Paris, although I was running. I preferred Leonard Cohen to The Rolling Stones.

OBSERVER: What does Leonard

Cohen sound like in Paris? Do you think there are particular artists that are for France only? MB: I wouldn’t say that they’re

for France only, but I would have to say that Leonard Cohen suited Paris perfectly. He’s not American; he doesn’t feel American.

Think Summer, Think Fordham Summer Session 2012 Session I: 29 May–28 June Session II: 3 July–7 August • Advanced and core classes in every discipline • Air-conditioned housing at Rose Hill or Lincoln Center • Special topics courses, including the 13th annual Sports Communication Institute and the new Musical Theatre Workshop • Register via when you are eligible to register for fall

Learn more at or call (888) 411-GRAD



Arts & Culture

March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER

Why My Kids Will Listen to the Boss and Like It


With the recent debut of Bruce’s 17th studio album, “Wrecking Ball,” and being featured as the keynote speaker at this year’s SXSW, Bruce is bringing an old sound to a new crowd. By MIKE MADDEN Arts & Culture Co-Editor

Bruce Springsteen, for me, is my gringot: a storyteller that took the ugliest parts of New Jersey, and made them beautiful in song; a historian of sorts whose commentary is solely painted with romance and escape for kids of the ’70s and ’80s who are now parents themselves; a patron saint that seemed to watch over me wherever I went as I experienced shitty summer jobs, high school hierarchies and Jersey shore romances that constituted of catching footballs and Frisbees in front of girls on the beach. With the debut of his 17th studio album “Wrecking Ball,” Bruce enforces the reason why so many still call him “The Boss.” Through my parents’ will to expose Bruce’s music to my young and impressionable mind, I finally learned what it meant to have an

identity. Before Bruce, my New Jersey consisted of drives on I-280 through the ruins of factories and power plants in Newark, a scene that elaborately illustrated New Jersey to outsiders as the “armpit of America.” But because of Bruce, I learned to own that identity and give a big f*** you to anyone who tried to diminish that image. In many ways, Bruce was the cool uncle that visited every once in a blue moon, and during those visits, told you dirty jokes, taught you how to fistfight, snuck you beers at neighborhood barbeques and slipped you $20 here and there to go spend in the city. But as the Boss provided my adolescence with a burgeoning Jersey-based identity that was OK to be proud of, he also taught lessons of class, race, religion and ethnicity through song and action that you couldn’t learn from any middle or high school.

I was taught what “blue collar” meant; I learned that many of Bruce’s early musical inspirations were black doo-wop and soul artists such as James Brown; I discovered that my hometown of West Orange, as well as other towns my family associates with like Jersey City, Newark and Lyndhurst are the quintessential towns in which Bruce sang about—communities that featured a melting pot of cultures that fed off of each other and painted each town in white, black, brown and yellow. He reassured me that it wasn’t embarrassing to attend Sunday school at my local church because he went through it as well. I inherited all of this in my upbringing— enforced through the good graces of Jersey’s favorite son—a feat that has been well taken into account the importance and gravitas that a scrappy kid from Freehold was able to teach a pudgy and puzzled kid

from West Orange 30 years apart. My trips to the Jersey shore wouldn’t have been complete without the Boss by my side. Each CD case I opened with the lyrics inside the booklet gave guidelines as to how to spend the night with your summer crush you met on the beach. But, some things were easier said than done. Yet, it was the thrill of knowing that Bruce was right alongside you, narrating your night as if it was written out on a pre-destined love note that said “check yes” if you wanted to put your big boy pants on or “check no” if you still wanted to remain a little kid with your hand down your pants. Bruce’s music enabled any teenage male with the swagger and attitude that he himself had when he strutted the boardwalk of Asbury Park during the summer months searching for a girl, with no help from Madame Marie of

course. When the time comes that I do have kids, they will listen to Bruce and like it. Packs of diapers will be stored next to copies of “Born to Run” while the summer heat will usher in “Hungry Heart” as I feed my son or daughter in a soaked button down fresh from work. Our vacations to the Jersey shore will be characterized by “The Wild, the Innocent and E Street Shuffle” as I play wiffle ball in the street with my kids in front of our beach house. When I take my kids to see the new New York City skyline and tell them of the two tall buildings that used to be there, I’ll tell them through “The Rising.” Bruce is 62 years-old now; he may or may not be still alive once I have my first kid, whenever that is, but I know this: He/she/they will appreciate Bruce and what he did for me, my friends, my hometown, my home state and my childhood.

FCLC Junior Mixes Paints and Beats By BRIAN BRUEGGE Asst. Arts & Culture Co-Editor

Fordham College at Lincoln Center junior Ike Edgerton is a visual arts major that has a knack for making art that grabs peoples’ attention. Not only has he been painting eye-catching canvasses for as long as he can remember, he also creates rap music in his spare time that has gained publicity from NPR and in places as far away as Hong Kong and the UK. As a painter, Edgerton uses acrylic paints to create works that he describes as naturalistic. His painting allows him to explore subjects that he finds interesting in a way that leaves him with a deeper knowledge of it. For instance, recently Edgerton has been painting in a way that tries to accurately capture what the eye sees in a way that a traditional painting or a camera would not. “Everyone paints by moving the eyes around the whole thing that they’re looking at, focusing on each of those things and producing a painting that’s entirely in focus. This is the opposite of your moment-to-moment experience, which is focusing on a tiny area. I want to capture that in paintings,” he said. Another series of paintings he did focused on the ubiquitous camera-in-mirror self-portraits that have become so well known in the age of social networking sites. The idea came after he noticed

how popular the photos were and began thinking about what they signified in the photographer. “I decided to paint them to immortalize their folly, but I was also thinking about the tripled narcissism that it represents.” Edgerton said. “You’re so concerned about what you’re going to look like that you, yourself take control of when the picture is taken and you get to watch yourself the whole time.” Edgerton’s artistic career began as a child, when he would scribble all over the walls of his house. “I had this intense interest in depicting trucks, cars, things with a lot of wheels. I didn’t get into drawing people until really late,” he remembers. From there, he participated in several art programs and attended the artistic-leaning Waldorf School in his hometown of Chicago. But most of what he made still came out of his own personal drive to create. His paintings have gotten attention from friends and strangers alike, five of whom have commissioned their own works from Edgerton. It’s an exciting way to earn money, but not enough to support himself in the long run. In the future, Edgerton plans on getting a master’s degree in urban planning or learning a trade that will supplement his income as a painter. Though Edgerton focuses on his painting, he frequently gets equal

attention for his other projects. In his spare time, he writes and records rap music that has gotten him a bit of international press for its unique subject matters. One such instance was in 2008, when out of his love for quality journalism, Edgerton wrote a hip-hop homage to the Economist magazine. On a whim, Edgerton decided to send the track to the magazine to see what they thought, and before he knew it, word was getting around. The track was featured in the Guardian, a Hong Kong business magazine, and on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” for which he was also asked to write an NPR rap. “They asked me about why an aspiring young rapper would write a song about the Economist,” Edgerton said about the interview. “I told them that I thought they deserved props for quoting the Onion.” Now he is working on a new album that depicts a day in which he goes on an adventure ref lects “The Odyssey” from a New York perspective. Currently, 18 out of the 22 songs planned for the album are finished. Whether he is painting or rapping, Edgerton is always working on some project or another; it’s a part of who he is. “I’m compelled to do it,” he says. “I don’t understand people who don’t have projects. You just have to keep doing things.”


Fordham junior Ike Edgerton talks about his passion for painting and his career as a rapper.


Arts & Culture

March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER



Founded in 1891, the Botanical Gardens are still a popular tourist attraction.



John B. Snook designed Grand Central Depot and it opened in 1871.



Horses line 5th Avenue, the past home of people such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.


Both the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens were previously owned by Fordham. The university sold it to the city in the 1880’s.


The Northern Dispensary, a clinic for the sick, was built in 1831. The building today remains unoccupied.


Alexander Hamilton’s home, built in 1802, is located in Harlem.

THE OBSERVER March 29, 2012

Arts & Culture




The marble arch in Washington Square Park was designed by Stanford White in 1892. The arch was orginally built in wood to celebrate George Washingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inauguration. HARRY HUGGINS/THE OBSERVER

The Dairy, in Central Park, was a place for families to drink milk and enjoy treats in the 19th century.


The Fountain of Peace (1985) outside the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights.


The Greenwich Savings Bank building was constructed in 1922-24 and is now called Gotham Hall.


The Bailey (of Barnum & Bailey fame) castle on 150th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, is currently under construction.


The Northern Dispensary in Waverly Place has a unique triangular shape.


The Nicholas C. and Agnes Benziger House (constructed from 1890-91) is located on 150th Street and Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem


Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine began construction in 1892 and was completed in 1911.


March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER


Smartphone and tablet games give people something to do when they find themselves with a minute to spare.

Mobile Games for the Less-Than-Avid Gamer By ALEX ARMERO Staff Writer

The world of video games is vast and can often be frightening to ‘newbies’. Obstacles such as expensive hardware, complicated control setups, and steep learning curves, deter inexperienced gamers from playing these games. But by embracing smartphones, quick and simple mobile games have become a major player in the video game industry. These mobile games can be played by almost anyone, regardless of whether they have any previous gaming experience. The iPhone App Store and Android Marketplace can be confusing gaming wastelands. So instead of sifting through the endless game apps, get started with these four great mobile games for people with some time to spare.

Words With Friends

Words With Friends is the popular game of Scrabble ported seamlessly to mobile devices. Connect the app with Facebook to play against friends or simply play against a stranger. In each match, the two players take turns using their six letters to create words on the board. Each letter is worth a different amount of points and a player’s score is the sum of all the letters used to make words. Look out for valuable multipliers on the board that can double or triple a letter or word’s value. As soon as one player runs out of letters or skips his or her turn three times, the game is over. The whole ‘With Friends’ series is perfect for those who have never played a video game and have no desire to ever try one. Words With Friends does not require quick reflexes, nimble dexterity, or a time commitment; it only requires clever thinking and a decent vocabulary. Fans of Words With Friends should check out Scramble With Friends and Hanging With Friends as well.

Draw Something Players draw an object with their finger, send it to a friend and watch their buddy struggle to identify the image. Draw Something may sound straightforward, and that’s because it is. There’s no complex tools or controls here; Draw Something is pure, simple fun. With easy, medium and hard difficult levels, players will find themselves drawing a huge variety of things, from dolphins to Skrillex. But no matter what the subject is, the final product always looks like a kindergartener’s refrigerator art. OMGPOP’s massively popular Draw Something has been downloaded over 35 million times since its debut on Feb. 1. And this was no accident; with over 2 billion pictures drawn, people just can’t get enough of the quick and quirky fun. Just like the game itself, this nationwide phenomenon has no end in sight.

Angry Birds Angry Birds Space is Rovio’s latest bird-flinging pig-squasher. As one might expect, the lovable animals are headed on a mission to space. Angry Birds Space features new birds, new environments and a novel take on the timeless gameplay. When launching birds into orbit, players will have to consider the gravitational pull of the various planets. All these elements combine to form a stellar sequel. The Washington Post calls Angry Birds Space the “first mobile blockbuster.” With 10 million downloads in just three days, it’s clear this game means business. More than two years old, the original Angry Birds needed an update. This cosmic bird-blaster is exactly the breath of fresh air the franchise needed. For the Angry Birds fan, Angry Birds Space is a must-have game.

Temple Run While on an adventure through ancient ruins, the explorer finally discovers the hidden treasure. And as soon as he picks up the booty, the temple comes to life. That’s where Temple Run begins. Running for the exit with treasure in hand, the player has to navigate endless booby traps and hazards by swiping and tilting his or her mobile device. Of course, it’s in the explorer’s best interest to snatch up some score-increasing coins along the way. Temple Run is straightforward all the way down to its controls: swipe upwards to jump, swipe downwards to slide, swipe left and right to turn, and tilting the device moves the hero left or right in their path. But although it’s one of the simplest games on the list, it’s definitely one of the most addictive. And because Temple Run is free to play, there is no reason not to download this great game right now.

Searching for Big Screen Stardom in New York City By CLINT HOLLOWAY Asst. Features Editor

For many people, the prospect of acting in a film is a distant fantasy or pipedream. For the dedicated students at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), it may be a legitimate goal for the future. Sara Kapner, FCLC ’12, has managed to turn her aspirations of appearing on the silver screen into a reality. Kapner appeared in the independent film “A Little Help,” which received a limited release last summer. Starring Jenna Fischer and Chris O’Donnell, the film gave Kapner the opportunity to work alongside established talents. “Working with seasoned actors was both nerve-racking and thrilling,” Kapner said. “I was definitely a little out of my comfort zone, but once we started shooting, it was a blast.” Although Kapner does not study acting as part of her undergraduate education at Fordham (she is a communication and media studies major with a minor in Spanish), she has had a passion for acting since she was very young. “When I was nine or 10, I went to a musical theatre class on Long Island where I grew up. I was just taking it for fun with my friend, but the woman who ran the program thought I should start doing it pro-


Sara Kapner, FCLC ’12, acted in “A Little Help,” an independent film.

fessionally,” Kapner said. “I loved it, and my parents were on board, so then I started auditioning.” Upon entering college, Kapner

decided to scale back her acting career in order to devote more time to her studies, only giving thought to projects with real potential. “When

I went to college, I decided with my old agent that I would only handpick the scripts,” Kapner said. “So I decided that I would only audition for scripts that were Broadway, offBroadway, movies and television.” “A Little Help” was one of the projects that happened to come her way. Upon receiving the character breakdown of the role she would be auditioning for, she knew it would fit right in with the characters she had portrayed in the past. “Basically, I’m good at playing ‘the brat,’” Kapner said. “My characters always have some edge. I’ve never been the sweet ingénue. So when I first read the role, I thought, ‘That’s me!’” The process of Kapner getting the part lasted only about three weeks, but was thorough, involving a series of callbacks with the producers and eventually the director. “I figured I didn’t get the part,” Kapner said. “But a week later, I was walking down Fifth Avenue and 45th Street, and I got a call from my agent telling me I got the part. I was so excited and energized, I walked all the way home to 95th Street.” The film went into production in May 2010, just as Kapner’s sophomore year was ending. “I had to go to the readthrough late because I had a final,” Kapner said. “So when I got there, Jenna Fischer was in the middle of this really emotional scene. It was

definitely nerve-wracking sitting around a table of famous people and rich people who are investing in the movie.” The five-week shooting schedule proved grueling and rigorous. “The hours were insane,” Kapner said. “I didn’t get a lot of sleep, because we would shoot all night. There are very strict rules where you can only shoot for so long at a time, so we had to work very fast.” The experience on the film also gave Kapner, whose background in acting was on the stage, a chance to find out what it’s like to act in the medium of movies. “In theatre, you have an audience and you know what they are going to respond to,” Kapner said. “But with film, it’s like a little bubble, there’s no real outside opinion. We thought we were hilarious, but who knows what the world thinks.” Kapner has continued cultivating her acting career alongside her education at Fordham, and upon graduation plans to go at it full force. “A big reason why I chose to come to Fordham was because it’s smack in the middle of the city and I could make it to auditions easily,” Kapner said. “It still was hard to split my focus, so I’m excited to put all my effort into acting again.”



March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER


The Desert Grandfather I Met Fifteen Years Ago Mario Weddell Features Co-Editor

My grandfather died of cancer this weekend in Arizona. I didn’t grow up around him; I didn’t even meet him until I was seven. This may seem strange, but my own father was adopted and didn’t learn of his biological father until 1997. Although I didn’t know my grandfather until then, I probably spoke to him more than my other relatives as an adult. I didn’t really grow up around any of my extended family, so I only saw my relatives twice a year at most. When you’re little, those vacations lasting 10 days in a year of 365 often carry the weight of dental checkups as the adults look you over; someone may comment on how large your teeth are coming in, and your mom makes a joke about you eating carrots. You stand there with bony knees and say that you do like eating carrots, and everyone chuckles, and you smile with dopey pride, unaware that your sincerity is amusing. The adults are nice, but you’re shy each time you meet them, since they don’t know the names of your new friends, and you don’t remember where the bathroom is in their home. Often, you wonder why it takes everyone so long to drink coffee after dinner. They tell stories they’ve forgotten individually, so they take turns piecing them back together between each nostalgic sip. You laugh at a detail that was not the punch line, and someone tussles your hair absent-mindedly. You aren’t old enough to have any stories as long as theirs, so you’re mostly quiet. The first time I met my grandfather, my family drove across the desert from west Texas to central Arizona. He lived in a home he had built into the side of a hill. There


My grandfather, Ferd Thomas (Mar 7, 1924 - Mar 25, 2012), died of colon cancer. His house was built into a desert hill (right).

was a saguaro cactus on his dirtcovered roof, and green artificial turf carpeting in the living room. He had acres and acres of desert, sprinkled with construction machinery and roads he had carved through the rocks. A day after meeting him, I went exploring the property. I soon found myself standing on a rock over a rattlesnake den, hearing the hisses and warnings of their angry tails. I called for help, and he ran over with a shovel. He grabbed my arm and pulled me off the rock, then flipped it over and cut their heads off. It seemed my newly discovered grandfather was a madman. He was a storyteller. He spoke fast through loose dentures, with the voice of an older man who

has learned that people usually won’t listen to every word you say anyway, so just go for it. I was at the age when I was becoming aware of possessing a sense of humor, something that is often intertwined with fledgling confidence and an ability to respond to questions with full sentences. I met this man at the same time as my parents met him, so for the first time, we could all be a little shy together. They lacked the advantage of years of familiarity that they had with our other relatives, and I followed my new grandfather’s winding tales more closely with my young ears than they could. Through the next 15 years, I saw him more often than my other relatives, who lived further away in California and Mexico, making

cheaper road trips less feasible for everyone. Sometimes my grandfather would call and say he’d be visiting in seven hours. He didn’t know me as a baby, which meant that I didn’t have to feel guilty for getting older around him. I think that’s one of the hardest things about growing up. Your parents remember when you were just getting started, so sometimes they still view your behavior as an extension of the choices their growing five-year-old is making. On the other hand, my grandfather often looked at me and wondered why I wasn’t a man yet. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer, I called him and spoke to him, not about family or the specifics of his cancer or anything we already knew about

each other, but just as men. We just spoke about life. He said he was okay with dying, because he had done enough in his life to feel like he had done enough. He never went to college, but he thought he would have been sharp enough to go if he could sit through it. He said college was probably for dummies, but maybe I was one of those dummies who could sit through it. People were different, so as long as they did what they wanted, that was probably what they should be doing. It was probably the closest he ever came to approving of any kind of school. He said it didn’t really matter what we did in the long run, as long as we felt like we did something. Maybe he wasn’t such a madman after all.


Spring Cleaning Starts With the Cleansing of the Body By DARRYL YU Features Co-Editor

With spring in full gear and summer just around the corner, it’s time for us to break out of our lazy winter shells and embrace the warmth of a healthy lifestyle. For the past week, scores of people have suddenly been inspired by the beautiful weather to go jogging and work out. I’ve also been bitten by the physical bug, cycling around Central Park three times just last week. But physical activity alone isn’t enough to start a healthy lifestyle. With March being National Nutrition month, I decided to forgo my usual choices of unhealthy food and go for something a little healthier. Searching far and wide around the city for healthy eateries, I came across this small Japanese restaurant called Kyotofu. Located in the middle of the famous Hell’s Kitchen district of New York City, Kyotofu takes a unique minimalist perspective on food. Decorated by Japanese architect Hiromi Tsuruta, Kyotofu’s interior is supposed to be a modern take on a traditional Kyoto style home. At Kyotofu, patrons are given a variety of tofu based dishes such as silken tofu salad (a dish filled with roasted vegetables, mesclun greens and yumiso dressing) and the cha soba noodles (green tea buckwheat noodles soaked in shiitake-kombu dashi broth with abura-age tofu). If that wasn’t


Kyotofu offers a wide variety of healthy dishes for those wanting to embrace.

enough, Kyotofu also has an impressive selection of Japanese desserts and a variety of Japanese teas that are sure to keep you wanting more. Looking to start my new healthy diet, I ordered sweet potato chips and warm Japanese mushroom salad when I first ate at Kyotofu. Arriving in record time, my sweet potato chips were

exactly how I pictured them to be. Presented in a simple ceramic bowl, the chips were delightfully crunchy but sadly lacked the memorable taste that I was looking for. They were at times bland and needed a sauce to kick up the taste. Next up was my warm mushroom salad. It had a mixture of unique ingredients such as mes-

clun greens, red onion, panteleo cheese, honshimeji mushrooms and maitake mushrooms. But although there was a lot of variety in the dish, the salad fell a little bit short of what I was generally expecting. The one thing that bothered me was the strong cheese flavor. Looking forward to a salad filled with greens and different kinds of mushrooms, I was instead

met with a thick layer of cheese on top of my salad. Nevertheless, as soon as I got past the cheese layer I really enjoyed the smooth and balanced flavor of the salad. Toward the end of my meal, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that my entrée came with a free cocktail. Choosing between a number of drinks such as bloody Mary and mimosa, this was the icing on top of a relaxing, simple andhealthy lunch. Located only a few clicks away from Fordham College at Lincoln Center, this modern simple Japanese restaurant is a good place to take a small group of friends. Its small interior design is perfect for those wanting a more intimate dining experience. In terms of food, Kyotofu, in my opinion, was a value for money deal. For under $20, I was able to try a lot of pretty decent medium-sized dishes. With still so many more healthy dishes in the menu to try Kyotofu is definitely a place you want to check out if you’re looking to embark on your healthy lifestyle quest for spring. IF YOU GO

Kyotofu $ out of $$$$$$ Where: 705 Ninth Avenue (between 48 th and 49 th) New York , NY 10019 Darryl’s Recommendation: Warm Mushroom S alad

THE OBSERVER March 29, 2012



Your Ultimate Guide to Rose Hill By FAITH HEAPHY AND COLLEEN THORNHILL Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor

At some point, most of us will have to take the Ram Van uptown to our more picturesque campus, Rose Hill. While some of us revel in the gothic architecture and excess of greenery (thanks, Bulfamante and Sons Landscaping) at Rose Hill, others may feel out of their element with classes in multiple buidlings. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of a few places at Rose Hill that might help you feel more at home the next time you find yourself uptown. So whether you’ve got time to kill between classes or just want a change of scenery, use this guide for tips.

Millenium Grille: At the base of the O’Hare dorm, this tiny food venue is like a smaller version of the Lowenstein Café. Famous for its Buffalo Chicken Wrap, the Grille also offers soup, paninis, quesadillas, pizza and madeto-order salads. There are a few tables inside, but stone tables and benches outside are plenty inviting on a sunny day.


Keating Basement: Wandering around campus feeling lost? Express yourself through music in one of the music practice rooms in the Keating Basement. Here you’ll find pianos and drum sets to help you rock out. There are also printers in the language lab here if you need to print that last minute paper.

Sports: It’s spring, and tennis and baseball are in season, so make sure to check out a game. Most games are free with your Fordham ID. You can find out the next home game by visiting the sports calendar online. Then throw on a burgundy t-shirt, hop on the Ram Van and pretend you know the words to the Fordham fight song. Be a Ram.

Eddie’s Parade: Chill out on this expanse of green located in front of Keating and across the road from McGinley Center. Grab some shades and a Frisbee, or pretend to catch up on some reading while you really just watch some guys play football. Or girls suntan. Whichever. (That’s what the shades are for, right?)

Martyr’s Lawn: Consider this other expanse of green Eddie’s little brother. It’s seen the likes of MGMT and Third Eye Blind. Home to Spring Weekend’s Saturday outdoor concert and Under the Tent Dance, Martyr’s is just as lovely as Eddie’s and probably less crowded on those semi-charmed kind of days when you need to soak up some sun.

Lombardi Center: Looking to blow off steam? Get your workout fix for the day at the Lombardi Center. Take a run on the indoor track, bulk up those biceps in the weight room or cultivate those calves on an elliptical. It’s a workout just wandering through this massive area, especially considering it only takes about 15 seconds to take a full jog around McMahon Hall’s fitness center. Make sure you have your ID on you for easy access, but be aware that some rooms may be restricted for sports teams only, depending on the day.

Dagger John’s (with takeout): If you’d like something a little less rushed and have some time to kill, try Dagger John’s. In the basement of McGinley Center past the mail room, Dagger John’s is like a neighborhood bar and grill that somehow ended up on a college campus. As an added bonus, there’s also takeout. Recommended: Chicken BLT sandwich. Basement of McGinley: When you walk into McGinley, go down the stairs to the right of the entrance. Then make a left and find yourself in an area full of tables, chairs and access to Dagger John’s takeout. When it’s not lunch time, it’s usually pretty quiet down here and the multiple outlets on the walls means you can bring your laptop and watch a movie while you’re waiting around.

Faculty Memorial Hall (FMH) Third Floor: If you’re a communication major, come here to print for free. Located two minutes from the Ram Van office, it’s perfect if you’re running late for class. Just make sure you have your ID ready since FMH is off campus and security will check it upon entering.

Commuter Lounge: Located adjacent to the mail room (also in the basement of McGinley) at the foot of the stairs is this commuter-friendly lounge, complete with loads of places to sit, take a nap or play pool. Yes, that’s right, there’s a pool table down here.

Marketplace: If you’re really hungry and in dire need of an excess of Sodexo cookies, look no further. This is it: a real college cafeteria. It puts the Lowenstein Café to shame because with one swipe of your card (you must have at least $8 on your card or have a Rose Hill friend swipe you in as a guest) upon entry, you can have as many servings of food that you’d like. With multiple stations—pasta, sandwich, salad, pizza, vegetarian, just to name a few—this place has something for everyone. And don’t forget the all-important dessert station, with self-serve ice cream, frozen yogurt and Italian ice. It’s no Red Mango, but it’s not half bad either. There are also about two hundred seats in here, so you won’t be hard-pressed to find a place to sit.

Walsh Library: This expansive home to two million books will make you wonder how you ever spent so many hours in the windowless Quinn Library. Walsh has study rooms, four floors and plenty of natural light. If you need a coffee break, head to Jazzman’s in the lobby, but finish it there, since the library has a strict no-food policy. Both the first floor and the basement also have plenty of computers and printers. Not in the mood to study? Rent a DVD and scope out a comfy couch (note: Your best odds for finding couches are the far ends of the floors, furthest from the elevators and closest to—what else?—the windows).

Rodrigues Coffee House: If Rose Hill is known for jocks and Lincoln Center for artsy kids, then Rodrigues is at the wrong campus. This little place of zen breaks down the stereotypes with its laid back atmosphere and hipster vibe. Both student and guest bands tend to make appearances here, so be on the lookout for fliers advertising events. Student Deli: Hidden on the side of Bishop’s Hall across from Rodrigues, this deli serves up a variety freshly-made hot and cold heroes, like the Italian Hero or a simple turkey sub. In the mornings when you’re extra hungry, stop by for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. There’s also a milkshake machine, which, plainly speaking, is thoroughly entertaining. Just pick a flavor, put its cup in the stirrer and watch a milkshake get spun before your very eyes. Then sit at one of the three high-top tables and take a load off.

Empire State Cafe in Campbell Dorm: This newly-built café lounge has large TVs, comfy chairs and sofas, and it also serves up Starbucks coffee, pastries and hot food, like penne a la vodka and grilled chicken. If you find yourself crashing between your morning classes at Dealy Hall, stop by Empire for a Mocha Latte pick-me-up and a buttered bagel. It’s also the perfect place to finish up some reading or meet up with a friend between classes.



March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER


For affordable dates, check out the Pink Pony Cafe (left) or Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (right).

Cheap Dates That Don’t Require a Cafeteria Swipe By DIANA KOKOSZKA Staff Writer

Love makes you do crazy things, but going broke on a date in New York City doesn’t have to be one of them. Around here, dinner and a movie can cost as much as a hardcover business textbook, and the date will probably be just as boring. For a fun and memorable rendezvous, get creative, whether you’re trying to impress your beloved, your soon-to-be beloved or that cute, lanky guy in your class that makes you swoon (what, you too? Jeez, back off). If all goes well, you can put the money you saved toward paying off Fordham’s overnight guest fines, if you hear what I’m saying. Here are some affordable date ideas that are sure to impress, unless this person is a gold-digger. In that case: you’re welcome.

UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE THEATER 307 W. 26th St. Take in a bit of comedic theater at the UCB or UCB East (153 E. 3rd St.), offering improv and stand-up shows for around $5 to $10 a person. They feature pretty well-known comedians (fun fact: Amy Poehler’s career started right here), so you won’t have to cringe through one awkward open-mic victim after another. I highly recommend their monthly show, “Nights of Our Lives”. If you really like him/her: They sell wine (in a can!) for $6 a pop. HANCO’S 350 7th Ave. Impress your date by going someplace far away and exotic…like Brook-

lyn. The crowded F-train gives you an excuse to get uncomfortably close to your date, among all the other strangers, and hey, at least it’s not in Queens. Hanco’s makes amazing, no-frills Vietnamese Sandwiches with prices to match ($5.75 each). Their menu offers a variety of options from the classic Banh Mi with pork to the more tame, albeit delicious, chicken version. Also, skip the tic-tacs, nothing is sexier than Sriracha breath. If you really like him/her: Spring for the bubble tea at $4 each. DIVE 75 101 W. 75th St. Of all the dive bars near Fordham, Dive 75 has earned mention because of their huge collection of board games, comfy couches and abundance of candy dishes. It’s a perfect place for

a date because it’s never too crowded and it encourages a bit of friendly competition.. Take your date out for happy hour (Monday - Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.) and you get two-for-one deals during your Scrabble showdown. Don’t forget your dictionary, lest your date is an idiot and hasn’t heard of the word jehu. If you really like him/her: Nothing says “I find you sexy yet respectable” quite like a single malt scotch for $6. PINCHE TACQUERIA 333 Lafayette St. Pinche’s is cheap, fast and delicious. On a warm night, the outdoor seating makes it an ideal date spot. Their delicious tacos (starting at $2.95) are evocative of any good relationship: spicy, satisfying and sometimes a little bit messy. If you and you’re beau are

‘Skyrim’ Allows Gamers to Create New Lives for Themselves By MALCOLM MORANO Staff Writer

Just last year, Bethesda Softworks released the heavily anticipated game “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” Since its release, the video game has gained critical acclaim and commercial success, shipping more than 7 million copies of the game within the first week of its release. “‘Skyrim’ has all but dominated the Game of the Year picks, being chosen as overall game of the year by Gamespot, Game Informer, Spike TV and many more. Due to all of this acclaim and success, it has become the new “nerdy” fad in the world of gaming. “Skyrim” is the fifth game in the “Elder Scrolls” series. “The Elder Scrolls” games are open-world roleplaying games set in a “Lord of the Rings”-type fantasy world called Tamriel. They belong to a category of games known as sandbox games, which have an open world where the user can go wherever they want and do whatever they want (like “Grand Theft Auto”). Role-playing games involve character customization (leveling up a character’s abilities), looting (finding weapons and other treasures) and lots of quests. In “Skyrim,” the player can explore an enormous fantasy world, fighting goblins, bandits and dragons with swords, magic, and more. Most importantly, players actually gain dragon powers over the course of the game. “Skyrim” offers users a limitless virtual world. “The best thing about ‘Skyrim’ is the endless hours of gameplay coupled with all the

options and choices of gameplay style,” says Joey Lovoi, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’14. Walk into any city within the game and strike up a conversation with anyone and you’ll either learn something about Skyrim’s mythology or you’ll get a new quest. Ask an in-game retailer about their business and they’ll probably mention something they could use your help with (retrieving a stolen good, intimidating a rival business, etc.). Or simply walk down a path for long enough until a bandit tries to rob you or a drug dealer offers you some “skooma” (an illegal substance which players can take to boost their stamina). The list of possible activities goes on and on. “Skyrim” features an incredible amount of content, and the player is free to engage with it in whatever way they want. In this sense, it is very user-friendly. “‘Skyrim’ is so popular...because [Bethesda] steered away from the complicated original class customization and made the game more of a ‘pick up and play’ kind of character creation,” explains Tom Lento, FCLC ’14. This means that rather than going into a menu to increase a specific ability, a character’s abilities increase based on which ones are used more. This new type of character development enables the player to easily level up their character’s skills based on how they play. Players with different styles of gaming will have very different experiences with the game. However, many find the whole “Skyrim” trend to be pointless. As Troy Krusz, FCLC ’15, puts it, “The

world of ‘Skyrim’ just sucks people into wasting a big chunk of their time.” This is the distinct reputation growing around “Skyrim.” The typical picture looks something like this: six guys huddled around a TV, watching one of them battling a pack of wolves with fire bolts while traveling to the Greybeards to learn a dragon shout. An image like this is not hard to crack jokes about. But fans of “Skyrim” believe their pastime to be no more wasteful than others. Zach Wightman, FCLC ’14, thinks that “Skyrim” deserves more respect. “Almost an entire industry is set up to keep people updated on Jennifer Aniston’s love life, and playing a game where you could in theory fight a dragon with your bare hands is a waste of time?” Lento points out that “[‘Skyrim’] has taken a great step with the fact that it’s so densely packed with content and endless amounts of gameplay.” The combination of so many things to do with so many ways to do them makes “Skyrim” an extremely dynamic and interactive experience. With so many games in the sandbox genre, “Skyrim” actually has the content to back up that name. Even Krusz has to admit, “I can respect ‘Skyrim’ as a game because of the intricate and complex world those computer programmers created.” “Skyrim” may not be the most productive activity, but that isn’t really its purpose. Video games are meant to entertain. As a breakthough in the sandbox trend, “Skyrim” does this exceedingly well.

getting serious, order the Elote (spicy/ cheesy corn on the cob), only recommended for couples well past food-inteeth embarrassment. If you really like him/her: Ask for two straws with your order of sweet Horchata (cinnamon rice milk) for $2.75. THE PINK PONY CAFÉ LITTERAIRE AND CINE CLUB 176 Ludlow St. This little French café offers free movie screenings (check their schedule online for dates). Entrees are reasonably priced if you consider how much you’re saving on movie tickets, but for a truly cheap date, stop in for a late-night snack and feed each other frites ($4). If you really like him/her: Order something unpronounceable in your

best broken French. The more you stutter the more sympathy points you’ll receive from your date! THE MORGAN LIBRARY 225 Madison Ave. Museums are perfect for a little cerebral intercourse, but the Met is an obvious choice. The Morgan Library is a perfect combination of ancient book smell and modern museum. They always have a few exciting exhibits on show in addition to their historical library collection. It’s free on Fridays after 7, so you can afford to grab some refreshing apple cider in the Morgan family’s original dining room. If you really, really like him/her: Their menu offers libations referenced from the pages of Vonnegut, Dickens, and Hemingway at the high-roller price of $12 each.

Think Summer, Think Fordham Summer Session 2012 Session I: 29 May–28 June Session II: 3 July–7 August • Popular Culture (SOCI 2960) • Introduction to Graphic Design (VART 2003) • Afro-American, Afro-Britain: 1900-1960 (ENGL 3667) • Arabic Language and Literature (ARAB 2001) • Or choose from 200 other exciting courses

Learn more at or call (888) 411-GRAD



March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER


“We are authorized to take pictures…this is just a picture of your iris...We’re matching that iris to see if you’re the same individual. Our lawyers say we don’t need any mandate to do it.” - Ray Kelly, NYPD Police Commisioner “It is nearly impossible now to walk a block in lower Manhattan without being on television. There are 2,000 cameras, and soon there will be 3,000— all of which feed into this control center housed in a secret location.” - from a “60 Minutes” segment with Kelly on anti-terrorism measures, Sept. 25, 2011


Between blue shirts, white cuffs, gray bars, he takes our hands, our faces, our names. “…all of which feed into this control center housed in a secret location.” We’re mostly new, but we all know the blue floors, white walls, and gray faces that keep our hands. Our faces are names. “There are 2,000 cameras and soon there will be 3,000.” Her hands, her face and her name held together by blue sleeves, white cuffs, and gray ties, and are up next at the machine.

“It is nearly impossible now…

And since her hand, her face, and her name blew right into the gray of the streets, “…to walk a block in lower Manhattan.”

Then they’ll ask her for her eyes.

They say it won’t hurt, that they’ll throw them away, but who knows what’s true when you’re blue, white and gray and they got your hand, your face and your name. “We are authorized to take pictures…this is just a picture of your iris.” “Mr. Blue,” said with wide eyes and frayed face, “You’ve got my hand, my face, and my name. Why you wanna take my eyes?” “Our lawyers say we don’t need any mandate to do it.”



March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER



The husband stormed out of the house, axe in hand, his wife crying behind him. “Don’t do this!” she screamed, “Stop!” He walked to the silver maple which stood in their yard. It was majestic, swaying in the gentle summer breeze. The husband walked into the shade of the tree. He brought the head of the axe out and swung it into the base of the maple. The wife stood behind him. Her head looked down and her auburn hair covered her eyes. Tears landed on the dirt. “Why are you crying?” he asked, “You knew what you were doing, you knew what you were getting yourself into, sneaking around behind my back.” “I’m sorry, that’s why I told you, I’m so sorry.” She looked up at him. Her face was red. “‘Sorry’ isn’t enough, not for this.” He lifted the axe up again and slammed it into the tree with a brutal chop which echoed off. It was their silver maple tree. They had planted it together when they were just children. It was a childhood love, a first love. When they bought the seeds, the salesman had warned that silver maples never lasted long in the winds. They were too weak to stand up to those brutal gusts brought by the hurricanes that swept the coast every few years. The two of them had looked at one another when he said that and smiled and laughed. It was a childhood love. Somewhere in each of them there was the thought that it wouldn’t last. Each chop was more brutal. Sap began to bleed down the tree and pool at the base. “You disloyal bitch, how could you do this to me? I’ve given you everything you ever wanted. Clothes, shoes, jewelry, vacations, how could you?” She stood behind him, silent. He continued to dig into the tree. The seed took root in his backyard and sprouted. It sprouted up and grew quicker than anyone had imagined possible. It shot up into the air and out with branches, so that in only some few years the tree was a giant. Hurricanes came and went but the tree stood its ground. But though it did remain, its branches were always weak and when they swayed they made these awful sounds of pain. It was something that was barely alive, but that couldn’t die. “You were the one that started this. You’re the one who put this axe in my hand.” “It was only a kiss. It didn’t mean anything.” “Only a kiss? Are you kidding me? Do you hear yourself?” He now brought against the tree a round of viscous and violent chops, each one ending with a loud grunt. The husband gnashed his teeth. He swung and swung at the tree until his breathing grew heavy in the summer sun. The chops grew less and less frequent until he was panting under the half chopped maple. The wife walked up behind him and put her gentle hand on his thick shoulder. He turned to her and brought his hand up and pushed her and she stumbled backward with her arms flailing to grab onto to something that wasn’t there and she snagged her foot on a root and fell to the ground. The roots had been the biggest surprise for them, for no matter how big the tree appeared above ground, its roots were triple the size below. They had grown in secrecy until one day she took a walk and found the yard to be infested with them. They had seemed to slither around the dirt, wrecking fences and waters lines. They destroyed everything, including her prized chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemums she had spent so long planting and caring for, making sure to trim them early so that they bloomed beautifully in the fall. She had gone to her garden one day, all dressed and ready to care for the little flowers, to find them dead, strangled by the roots. The husband dropped the axe and stood there, under the tree. Sweat stained his white shirt and he wiped more from his brow. The wife stood and moved behind him. She grabbed the axe from the ground with her small, but strong hands. She raised the axe. “I was wrong,” she said to him, but she didn’t look at him, “that kiss did mean something.” The axe soared into the tree with a booming chop. “It was filled with passion and adoration, actual feelings.” The axe screeched through the air into the maple. “You’ve given me clothes and jewelry and so much more, but you never gave me any feeling.” The tree groaned beneath the axe’s blows. “I was always just an object to you.” The tree cried in agony as it lurched and bled. “You’ve done nothing but strangle my life.” Her final chop landed home deep in the tree. There came a death rattle from it. The husband looked upward, from beneath, and saw each and every leaf shine silver in the sunlight. And then it toppled, slamming into the ground with a shock. It was a clean landing, a beautiful landing. The wife dropped the axe and looked at her husband. She didn’t say a thing. She just looked at him. Her face was delicate and gentle, only her deep brown eyes showed her anger, and they burned with it, burned until there was nothing left to char. And then she walked off. She walked past the house and down the block and through the town and onward. She left behind her clothes and her jewelry and her house and her husband and, most importantly, she left that silver maple, dead.


March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER

Tebowmania Not the Off-Season Move the Jets Needed By JOE SPORACIO Assistant Sports Co-Editor

Tim Tebow is less than a week removed from the trade that sent him to play backup quarterback for the New York Jets, and the city is already ablaze with opinions and excitement. Normally, the addition of a backup quarterback gets little to no recognition with very minimal press; the New York Giants signed David Carr as their backup quarterback this offseason with no press conference and not even a fraction of the buzz that the Jets are getting for the Tebow signing. Why all this excitement surrounding Tebow? The answer lies in the journey that Tebow has taken in his rise to stardom while playing for the Denver Broncos, and the near-cultish fan base that Tebow has accumulated over time. After a 1-4 start to the 2011 season, the Denver Bronco fans were not happy. The Broncos had a great defense and a powerful offensive line, but no offense to speak of. Kyle Orton, the Bronco’s quarterback at the time, was losing, for the seemingly hundredth time, by an embarrassing 16 points to the San Diego Chargers when he was replaced by Tebow during halftime. The fans had been chanting T-E-B-OW every time Orton had thrown an interception since the first game of the season; their mouths had been watering for the famed college quarterback to finally have his shot at starting in the pros. Tebow was an enigma; his outstanding Heisman-winning college play would normally have given him the fast track to the job of starting quarterback, yet his unorthodox style of play had led to much criticism when he arrived at the pro level. Tebow was

a running quarterback who had an intense drive, extremely good speed and an ability to handle pressure situations, but he didn’t have a good arm. For this reason, he started the season on the bench for the Broncos, deemed “unfit” for the starting job. Though he started the year on the bench, Tim Tebow carried with him an army of fans, believers in the “Tebow brand” of football, who loyally followed him from college to the pros. As the chants for the backup quarterback rang out, Tebow nearly led the Broncos back from the 16-point deficit, as he both passed and ran for a touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter. Tebow never looked back. He seized the opportunity and baffled opposing teams with forceful speed. Tebow had an uncanny knack for making seemingly impossible comefrom-behind wins. In his first full start as a Bronco, Tebow won the game against the Dolphins in overtime, after being down a seemingly insurmountable 15 points with under three minutes to go. Tebow then went on and helped the Broncos win six of their next seven games, including four consecutive games in which he led a winning drive in the fourth quarter in overtime. He brought the Broncos to their first playoff birth and division title since 2005 and gained immense league-wide fame. Tebow began to polarize not only Bronco fans but NFL fans in general; you were either a Tebow lover or Tebow hater. His personality was analyzed and fans became obsessed with Tebow’s religiousness. His usual routine of praying after every win and before every game became known as “Tebowing,” and his seemingly perfect off-the-field lifestyle was followed closely by many. Yet, while


The Jets may not be ready for the circus that comes with Tim Tebow.

his personality seemed flawless to the masses, his skills as a quarterback were all but flawless. Critics of Tebow’s playing style called him lucky and many wrote articles about how the Broncos were winning with “smoke and mirrors,” winning in spite of Tebow. One cannot overlook that Tebow was not a good passer; his completion percent was sub-fifty, meaning that he was far below average for an NFL quarterback. Purists hated how he could not throw the ball accurately, yet many supporters pointed out that his accuracy did not matter, as long as he brought with him a “winning culture.” The Broncos surprised many this offseason by signing premier quarter-

Baseball Opens A-10 Play By MAX WOLLNER Staff Writer

After a sub-par 7-15 start to the season, the Rams baseball team are looking to rebound as they begin play against their rivals in the Atlantic 10 (A-10) Conference. Despite their record, the Rams are confident and eager to begin conference play. They have proven themselves to be competitive in the A-10 with a record of 56-48 since 2008. Although their conference record has consistently been around or above .500, the team wants to build and improve on their A-10 success. In his first season as head coach, Kevin Leighton has had to work with a relatively young squad that has put up strong pitching performances, but has lacked timely hitting and solid defense at times. In order to play like a championship caliber team, the team must excel at multiple elements. “Leighton’s brought a lot to the team,” Chris Pike, Gabelli School of Business ’14, said. “He’s very knowledgeable and he’s taught us to excel in the small things—executing on offense, getting ahead in the count and making plays defensively.” The Rams opened conference play last weekend against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen (3-6) hoping to find their groove, but the three-game series was a tale of two different teams. In the first game the Rams looked as though they would start the A-10 competition with a win, but the pitching unraveled late. Starter Daniel Munday, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’12, cruised on through seven 1/3 innings to the tune of a 4-1 Fordham lead, but after two singles, a hit by pitch and a walk that forced in a run, his day was over. Rich Anastasi, FCRH ’13, relived him and struck out the next batter before allowing a game-tying two-run single. The bullpen’s struggles continued into the ninth inning, as the Minutemen managed to add one more run to take

the lead and eventually win. The next day the Rams were motivated to make up for their mistakes, and, although it didn’t look like it at first, they did just that. The game opened with UMass and Fordham trading runs in the first inning and the Minutemen scored again in the second. The Rams countered to take the lead with a three-run third, capitalizing on two UMass errors. From then on, UMass starting pitcher Glen Misho, FCRH ’14 and Chris Pike, FCRH ’14, traded zeroes until the seventh inning when UMass tied the game at four—very similar to the previous game. Determined not to lose twice the same way, Fordham limited the damage and went into extra innings. After a scoreless top of the tenth, Matthew Cianci, FCRH ’15, hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. This opened the door for a walk-off single by third basemen Ryan Maghini, FCRH ’12. In Saturday’s game, Fordham had quality starting pitching, minimal but timely hitting and despite making four errors, managed to play stable, heads up defense by picking off two Massachusetts base runners. “I thought we played really well as a team,” Pike said. “Our offense was tenacious, we had great starting and relief pitching, and we were strong on defense.” If the Rams have contests where they play like last Saturday, Fordham could see the baseball team make quite a comeback during the second half of the season. After just missing out on an A-10 playoff spot last year, this team can smell the postseason. This year, the A-10 Championship will take place at Fordham’s Houlihan Park, so it is important that the team performs well to get there. If they make it, they could have a potentially dangerous home field advantage. “Our biggest strength is our versatility,” Pike said. “We have a lot of guys that can fill holes in the lineup and on the field. You can call on anyone and they’re ready to go.”

back Peyton Manning and then had no further need for Tebow. The Jets decided to trade for Tebow as a backup quarterback, and, according to ESPN, agreed to pay half of the $5 million Denver owed Tebow as well, in order for the deal to be completed. This trade came only days after the Jets signed Drew Stanton to play backup and after they extended their starting quarterback’s contract for 40.5 million dollars over the next three years. The media was immediately all over the Jets, and the last week has been infused with “Tebow talk.” The Jets made a big mistake acquiring Tebow. Rather than having a quiet offseason and solidifying their

offensive line and running back position, the Jets decided to give up draft picks and 2.5 million dollars to sign a second backup quarterback. Tebow brings with him his plethora of crazed fans, who will chant his name the very second that Mark Sanchez goes on a losing streak or throws too many interceptions. The Jets brought with them not only a player with an unorthodox throwing style, but also a player with a lot of unwanted and unneeded baggage. When asked about his opinion of the Tebow signing, starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, was quoted saying, “We’re adding another player and we’re not replacing anybody. I mean, he’s here to help us and I’m confident in my abilities. I know the team feels the same way about me.” Although he said this, Sanchez must no doubt have his doubts about his general manager and coach’s loyalties if they were willing to sign such a big name as a backup quarterback. Management claims that Tebow will be used for trick plays and to help bolster the Jet offense through more frequent usage of the wildcat, which the Jets used quite effectively when they had Brad Smith two years ago. The Tebow signing will also no doubt bring in lots of revenue, as jerseys are already flying off the shelves. Yet in reality, the signing was more of ploy to dominate the back pages of the newspapers and make a big splash in the offseason to appease disappointed fans. The fans will soon be chanting T-E-B-O-W and may lose patience with Sanchez, just as Bronco fans did with Orton. Let’s hope Head Coach Rex Ryan can integrate Tebow into the Jets’ system and prevent Tebowmania from engulfing and destroying a 2012 season that has much potential.

Knicks Resurgent Under Mike Woodson’s Leadership By MIKE MCMAHON Staff Writer

To date, it has been quite the season for the New York Knicks. From the introduction of point guard Jeremy Lin and the ensuing seven game winning streak, to the resignation of Head Coach Mike D’Antoni, there has undeniably been a whirlwind atmosphere around the 2012 team. Yet somehow, through all the potential distractions, concerns about team chemistry and even a coaching change, the Knicks are still looking at a playoff spot. Since taking over as the interim head coach, Mike Woodson has led the Knicks to a 7-1 record, including an away-game victory over division-leading rivals Philadelphia on March 21. The Knicks’ latest win brings their record to 25-25, exactly .500, and keeps them in the number eight playoff seed. If that sounds unimpressive by itself, truth be told, it is. The impressive part is that the Knicks, once suffering from a 6-game losing skid, have pulled to within three games of the 76ers for the division lead. Were the Knicks able to take the division from Philly, it would all but ensure that they would dodge the bullet of having to face either the Chicago Bulls or the Miami Heat in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. Fans who were worried about D’Antoni’s departure signaling the end of New York’s beloved “Linsanity,” the cult of fandom that has exploded around Jeremy Lin, need not worry any longer. While Lin’s place as the team’s leader and driving force has faded, his presence has not.


The Knicks have gone 7-1 under Head Coach Mike Woodson.

His 14.6 points and 6.1 assists per game are more than healthy contributions to the team, and his presence on the court is just one more weapon for opposing teams to be concerned about. Having Tyson Chandler, Baron Davis, Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire in a team’s arsenal is nothing short of impressive, and the Knicks’ depth should be a key asset in what they hope will be a good playoff run. However, the recent feel-good nature of the team has hit a snag because of the injury bug. Stoudemire is out indefinitely with a bulging disk in his back. If he is to miss an extended period of time, it could be crippling to the Knicks because he has been a major catalyst during the Knicks’ recent resurgence. To

make matters worse, Anthony tweaked his groin during Monday night’s game. Melo already missed multiple games earlier this season because of the same type of groin injury. If the Knicks can get healthy and play on a less-streaky basis, the division is within reach, something they more or less need to claim. Their current playoff standing makes them the lowest seed, and gives them a very difficult path to the NBA finals. A division title would give the Knicks the number four seed, which would afford the opportunity to avoid Chicago and Miami for at least one playoff round. If their latest success under Mike Woodson is any indication of things to come, this team might well be the one the city’s been waiting for.



March 29, 2012 THE OBSERVER

Brienne Ryan Has Strong Showing At NCAA’s By RANDY NARINE Sports Editor

Brienne Ryan, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’13, capped off her phenomenal season by becoming Fordham’s first female swimmer to compete at the NCAA championships. Ryan was invited to compete at the championships after a record-breaking season, which saw her break four individual school records and one relay record. “It was incredible to be invited,” Ryan said. “The meet is so fast and the top swimmers in the country, some of them Olympians, are there. It was amazing to just even be there.” Ryan, who competed on March 17 and 18, swam both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events at the championships. She placed 17th out of 49 in the 200-yard backstroke and 20th out of 60 in the 100-yard backstroke. Her time in the 200-yard (1:54.67) broke a Fordham school record and was just 0.03 seconds behind 16th place. As a result, Ryan was an alternate for the “B” final, which was for swimmers who placed ninth through 16th. “It was an overwhelming experience,” Ryan said. “The pool is fantastic and the energy in the pool is just unreal.” Ryan has come a long way since she began swimming at the age of five. “My sister was on a swimming team and I would go and watch her practice,” Ryan said. “She was


Junior Brienne Ryan became Fordham’s first female swimmer to be invited to the NCAA championships.

getting all the attention and, since I was a little kid, I got jealous. I was like. ‘I can do that,’ so I started swimming for a recreational team.” Ryan swam for her recreational team, the Viking Aquatic Club, from the age of five through the end of high school. The junior also swam varsity for her high school team.

After high school Ryan’s coach from the Viking Aquatic Club, Carol Colton, played a major role in her choosing to swim for Fordham. “My coach’s son and daughter were on the team and she had a big influence on me choosing Fordham,” Ryan said. “Because of her, I came to Fordham and I liked the school and the coaches and it was close to home.”

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Ryan still maintains a strong relationship with Colton to this day. “She had the biggest influence on me in swimming,” Ryan said. “I still call her before and after every race. I know she’s always there for me, no matter what I need.” Now that the 2011-2012 season is officially over, Ryan has a lot to be proud of. On top of invitation to the NCAA championships, the

junior swimmer was also highly successful at the Atlantic-10 (A-10) championships, earning All A-10 honors in seven events. The highlight of these was Ryan winning the 50-yard freestyle event. “I had swim meets at this pool throughout high school and I had come up short in the A-10 championships the past two years,” Ryan said. “I placed second two years in a row and to finally win, and at this pool, it just made me really happy.” However, Ryan won’t have much downtime as practices begin again this week. She will be training for the Olympic trials in June. “I qualified over the summer for the Olympics in long course,” Ryan said. “I think I will be ready for the trials. It will be one of the fastest meets in the country, if not the fastest. It’s just cool to even qualify for it.” Despite Ryan being successful at the many different events she races in, it is actually a race she doesn’t compete in that is her favorite. “The 100-yard fly is my favorite race to swim,” Ryan said. “I always swim the backstroke, so it’s a nice change. Also, I used to swim the fly in high school.” After all of her accomplishments, Ryan stressed that she wouldn’t have been able to come this far without her team. “I really appreciate all the support from my team and my coaches,” Ryan said. “Everyone was texting me at NCAA’s telling me they were watching me online and the whole team was backing me up.”

Proudly Welcomes


Alice McDermott 2012 D’Angelo Endowed Chair in the Humanities

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he two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and National Book Award winner joins the English faculty of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences this spring semester. Professor McDermott’s visit engages and inspires students through on-campus events including a fiction-writing workshop, individual meetings and public lectures. Established in 2007, the Peter P. and Margaret A. D’Angelo Chair in the Humanities promotes excellence in teaching and scholarly exchange.



Fordham Observer Issue 5 2012  

The Student Voice of Fordham College at Lincoln Center