TUESDAY • FEBRUARY 28, 2012
THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SINCE 1892
ISSUE 30 • VOLUME 123
Pierce residents cry foul over plumbing fiascoes Lina Li News Staff Residents of Pierce Tower are organizing to demand immediate action from administrators on the persistent water outages, exploding toilets, and other inconveniences that have dogged the building since the start of the school year. Most recently, around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning, a toilet in a tenthfloor restroom erupted with such force that splintered pieces of porcelain were left scattered about the seat, at about the same time that a water outage left residents coping with sinks spurting jets of yellow water; cold water was restored around 3:30 a.m., but hot water did not return reliably until around 1 p.m. The explosion startled first-year David Goldfeld, whose room is across from the bathroom. Goldfeld, who said that the noise “sounded like a shot-
gun,” joined other residents and tried to notify the building’s front desk of the incident, but found that the building’s elevators were stuck in the basement. When the residents got in touch with the front desk, they were told that engineers were on their way. The same eruption happened in a fourth-floor toilet Saturday around 5:30 p.m. These problems are not isolated nuisances. Last October, water outages were so frequent that Shorey House Resident Head Evan Kuehn encouraged his residents to shower at Ratner Athletic Center when they occurred. Students and resident heads submitted work orders, but plumbing problems continued. First-year Henderson House resident Michelle Rodriguez had an especially unfortunate experience earlier this year. “The toilet literally turned into a TOILETS continued on page 2
Strutting their stuff MODA’s Spring Fashion Show at Union Station’s Great Hall featured University students Friday evening, showcasing student-made designs as well as clothing by brands such as Ann Taylor and Rent the Runway. GRIFFIN DENNIS | THE CHICAGO MAROON
New ice cream parlor dishes Hyde Park flavor
SG resignation has first-years running
Jennifer Standish News Staff
Raghav Verma News Staff
Hyde Park entrepreneurs Jackie Jackson and Kenneth Faulkner have sealed a sweet deal to open a second branch of Kilwins ice cream and candy shop on East 53rd Street and South Harper Avenue this fall. The cherry on top? The neighborhood will finally be immortalized, in sugar and
heavy cream, with its own flavor: “Hyde Park Mud.” The business duo, both South Side natives who have been running a branch of the shop in the Old Town neighborhood since 2008, decided it was time to treat Hyde Parkers to the store’s offerings, including its not-yet-famous local variety. According to Jackson, Hyde Park’s eponymous flavor will consist of “creamy vanilla ice cream with explosions of choc-
olate chips and swirls of caramel.” She expects it to be a best-seller. “First of all, we’re residents in the area, so we wanted to bring the fabulous taste to our own neighborhood,” Jackson said. “Secondly, Hyde Park is lacking ice cream.” Oprah Winfrey helped to provide the impetus to open a second Kilwins location, when she spoke with Jackson and CANDY continued on page 2
Plan approved, University ready to plow ahead on Woodlawn Avenue development
A first-year SG representative has resigned his seat on College Council (CC), which will be filled by an SG vote later this week. Representative llknur Aliyev declined to comment on his resignation. College Council chair and fourth-year Glynis Fagan said that Aliyev had stepped down from his position “for personal reasons that he does not wish to share.” Following Aliyev’s resignation, Fagan sent out an e-mail to members of the Class of 2015 in the College to announce the newly
available first-year representative position on the council. SG President Youssef Kalad said that 18 students had shown interest in the position, and that each candidate would be given the opportunity to deliver a statement of no more than 30 seconds and then answer a series of questions at SG’s assembly meeting on Thursday. The CC will then select the new representative by a blind vote. Fagan does not think the resignation will pose a problem to SG’s plans for the rest of the year. “Our other first-year representatives this year are extremely enthuSG continued on page 2
Madhu Srikantha News Staff
Fenn House, located at 5638 South Woodlawn Avenue, is one of several buildings preservationists are trying to protect by creating an historic district in the area. JAMIE MANLEY | THE CHICAGO MAROON
Temperatures in Fahrenheit - Courtesy of The Weather Channel
The Chicago Plan Commission has unanimously passed a crucial amendment to the development plan for several major University properties, after months of heated deliberations over the conditions of the document led to extensive revisions to its language. The amendment to the Planned Development 43 agreement passed through the CPC February 17, eliminating one of the last impediments to full-out development on South Woodlawn Avenue, including on the Seminary Co-Op building, McGiffert House, the William Eckhardt Research Center, and a new daycare center. Alderman Leslie Hairston, an early critic of the agreement who claimed that its initial drafts lacked PD43 continued on page 2
Maroons aim for NCAA swoosh Mahmoud Bahrani Senior Editor More than 1,500 fans were on hand Saturday to watch Chicago best Wash U 76–67 in a grinding physical affair. The win capped a perfect 25–0 regular season, an unprecedented event in U of C basketball history. Players and coaching staff downplayed the importance of the accomplishment, saying that they were excited, before immediately returning to the one-game-at-a-time motto that they’ve espoused all year. “I really haven’t thought about it,” head coach Aaron Roussell said. “I didn’t think about it all season. The more you allow your-
self [to think about it], it’s just a truly remarkable accomplishment. But as much as we’re going to downplay it right now because we still have other goals, they’ll be a time to look back and really feel that sense of accomplishment.” Perhaps more impressive, the win was Chicago’s 43rd straight regular season win, dating back to last year. The Maroons have lost just once since December 13, 2011, in the Elite Eight to Wash U. As expected, it was an intense competition between the two heated rivals. Wash U committed 25 fouls in the contest, and Chicago wasn’t far behind, with 22. NCAA continued on page 11
UBallet performs lesser-known La Bayadère to great success » Page 7
Maroons lag behind Wash U, Emory at UAAs
Academy Awards stick to routine
The show ends for senior septet
» Page 7
» Page 12 » Page 12
THE CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | February 28, 2012
Oprah pushed owners to expand their Old Town business CANDY continued from front
Faulkner via Skype at their Old Town location during an episode of her show last October. “She said you have to go for your dream, go for your business,” Jackson said. “Oprah gave us that last push to say, ‘Okay, we’re gonna do it.’” Both Faulkner and Jackson were drawn to Hyde Park because of efforts to stimulate the area with projects such as the redevelopment of Harper Court, where the store will be located. “We just really want it to be a hangout, a fun place,” Jackson said. Once it opens in early September, the Hyde Park location will be about twice the size of the Old Town store, Falkner said, allowing for a larger seating area
in which customers can enjoy their ice cream and award-winning fudge. The owners also expect to host special events at the store, such as birthday parties, bridal showers, and business meetings. The store will also add an educational aspect to its operation by hosting field trips where students can see how chocolate is made, learn about the history of Kilwins, and become apprentice chocolatiers, themselves. This summer, Jackson and Faulkner will host a “taste of Kilwins” event targeted towards Hyde Park residents at the store’s Old Town location. They will serve samples of the chocolate, fudge, and ice cream and dish out coupons for the grand opening of the store this fall.
Booth students claim international prize in marketing contest Tiantian Zhang News Staff A team of MBA students at the University’s Booth School of Business had a “leg up” on the competition and won an international case contest as first-time entrants to the 22nd Annual Marketing Summit hosted by the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University earlier this month. The summit, which took place February 18, required MBA and undergraduate students to devise strategies for real-life marketing situations, including one for hosiery, in two cases written by Wake Forest business students. A panel of indus-
try experts chose the winner after a three-day competition. Booth’s seven-member team won the $75,000 cash prize and the Cheerwine Cup, awarded to the competition’s champion. Booth team member Christina Maria DesVaux also received the summit’s MVP award and a $1,000 cash prize. The team’s winning marketing plan for Hanes Brand, Inc.’s hosiery division utilized a data-driven approach to solve the company’s problem of low consumer demand. “We took a lot of time researching and identifying who the targeted consumers are. And we made our suggestions based on the trend of consumer behavior,” DesVaux said.
Consumer research conducted at Walmart and Target also helped the students prepare for the competition, said team member Tom Batten. Team member Sinem Guzelce, who competed in marketing for the first time, enjoyed the novelty of the experience. “Compared to banking and consulting, I can get to the core of the consumers and work more closely with them,” he said. The team divided the winnings evenly and most members plan to use their shares on travel. Batten, however, will use his portion of the prize money to replace a car that was stolen on the Midway.
Irked students have engaged with administrators individually
Other CC reps will take on projects Aliyev started SG continued from front
siastic, and I think we’ll take up the next representative into that enthusiasm,” she said. One of Aliyev’s largest commitments on SG was to the Committee on Recognized Student Organizations (CORSO). Kalad said that Fagan would temporarily replace him on that committee, but that someone else would permanently fill the role. First-year representative Raymond Dong said that he and fellow first-year representative Yusef al-Jarani would continue a project related to disabilities that Aliyev had recently started. Earlier this quarter, fourth-years Nakul Singh and Joe Sullivan gave up their respective seats as undergraduate liasion to the Board of Trustees and CC representative to take personal leaves of absence from the University. SG filled both positions by informing students of the vacancies and then having interested candidates make a statement before either the general assembly or CC, depending on the position. Thirdyear and CC Chair Travis Benaiges
gave up his seat this quarter to study abroad; the current SG bylaws do not clearly lay out whether Singh, Sullivan, and Benaiges will be able to resume their positions when they return to the University. “We are talking about how to handle these cases in a more specific manner,” Fagan said. On Thursday, SG will vote on an amendment to explicitly say whether students can run for a position if they intend to study abroad and whether they can return to their seat after taking a leave of absence. This fall, 20 first-year students ran for College Council, tying the record high size of last year’s candidate pool. Kalad said that he hopes future candidates for SG will consider the commitment they are making to other students. “When you run for SG, you are making a promise to your student body and its constituents that you’re willing to put their interests above your own,” he said. “You’re willing to sacrifice a lot of other things, and that’s something I want people to be keenly aware of when they run for SG.”
Preservationists satisfied with new plan PD43 continued from front
transparency, predicts that the new plan will easily pass the City Council, the Hyde Park Herald reported. The new provisions in the agreement include a lower cap on building height and clearer language about zoning divisions, two points of contention with last year’s original proposal. Specifically, in the final draft, all 12 of the University properties affected by the amendment were bundled into a zoning “subarea,” in which all new development would be capped at 65 feet. “We very much look forward to proceeding with several projects dependent on the ultimate passage of the amendment,” University spokesman Steve Kloehn said in an email. “We are also very pleased at the dialogue that developed between representatives of the University and members of the community, facilitated by [Alderman] Hairston.” However, Jack Spicer, a board member of the Hyde Park Historical Society and one of the loudest voices in the community during
the amendment process, maintains that there is still room for improvement. “It doesn’t solve all the problems,” Spicer said, concerned that the agreement does not extend sufficient protections to historically important buildings on South Woodlawn Avenue that the University does not own, but may purchase in the future. “There is a possibility that people might do really horrendous changes to the façade [of such buildings].” Spicer also said that University ownership might pose a danger to real estate rates in the area. “There’s a chance that if the University continues to buy up more property on the 55–5600 block that it could kind of destabilize prices,” he said. Despite his preservation concerns, Spicer says that there is “no looming tragedy,” and commends the result of months of conversation between the University, the Alderman, and the community, calling it a truly “multilateral” process.
The sinks in Pierce, following a toilet explosion in the tenth floor bathroom Monday morning. COURTESY OF THE SAVEPIERCE TEAM
TOILETS continued from front
geyser,” she said, recalling an incident during the start of fall quarter when she had happened upon a used toilet and decided to flush it. “I had pieces of someone else’s excrement on my hair, my face, my lips. Even the ceiling gets spotted with excrement when this happens.” Since there was also a water outage when the toilet erupted that time, Rodriguez had to use Clorox wipes to clean herself. Elevator outages, urinal leakages, broken ceramic tiling and linoleum, decaying furniture, broken drains, mid-winter heating outages, and ceiling mold have also been subjects of student complaints. Administrators sent students a list of improvements made over winter break, including thorough cleanings and increased communication mechanisms, in response to grievances aired prior to the break. Students have been encouraged to go through official channels to address the problem by submitting work orders and bringing up complaints during house meetings. However, the continued inability to fix Pierce in the long term has provoked a number of students to seek assistance directly from University administrators. After the explosion yesterday morning, Goldfeld stayed up and wrote sev-
eral e-mails to University administrators, including Dean of the College John Boyer and Vice President for Campus Life Kimberly Goff-Crews. When he didn’t receive any responses yesterday morning, Goldfeld met with both administrators at their offices. Boyer and Goff-Crews were receptive to student concerns, Goldfeld said, and Goff-Crews pledged better communication between administrators and students. One Pierce resident, who assumed the name “John Smith” posted on the Facebook group “Overheard at UChicago”: “If conditions do not improve and response time to these problems does not quicken, I can assure you the proper legal course of action will be taken.” “Smith” plans on meeting with Assistant Vice President for Student Life Eleanor Daugherty today. First-year Rodriguez and others have also created and maintained a blog, savepierce.tumblr.com, with descriptions and pictures of neglected Pierce infrastructure and amenities. Meanwhile, second-year Jane Bartman has started an online petition, now with over 100 signatures. Bartman is also a Maroon staffer. “The maintenance problems that arose this weekend at Pierce Tower are unacceptable, and they require urgent attention. The University’s leadership is working at the highest levels to find
both short-term and long-term solutions to this situation,” Goff-Crews said in an e-mail to the Maroon. Goldfeld agreed with ideas expressed in a paper Boyer wrote in 2008 about the importance of housing in the academic experience, in which Boyer lamented the U of C’s relatively low participation in the residence system. “Boyer supported infrastructural renovations as necessary, as UChicago isn’t offering what comparable schools, like the Ivies, offer,” he said. In response to recent concerns, Luttig-Komrosky and other administrators have stationed a 24-hour facilities staff member to monitor water levels, engaged with plumbing consultants, and employed an on-call engineer. They also offered to host senior leadership from Campus and Student Life, Facilities Services and the College for a town hall–style meeting at 8:30 p.m. today in Pierce Dining Commons, and met with resident heads last night. RH Kuehn said that, for all of the benefits of closeness in the housing system, inevitably, students get fed up. “Although we take pride in a close Pierce culture and community, we’ve had students who have said that they just can’t deal with another year of living in Pierce if conditions don’t improve,” he said. “What if we had prospective students here?”
CORRECTIONS » The February 17 article “Doc Films Hit With Projection Problems” misrepresented a trend
in the number of projection mishaps. There is no recorded data to support an “increase.” Due to an editing error, the article also misstated the number of Doc Films heads who spoke on the organization’s behalf. Only third-year Andrea Nishi spoke with the MAROON.
Editorial & Op-Ed FEBRUARY 28, 2012
Wiping the slate clean SG should overhaul the slate format and introduce separate elections for specialized positions The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892 ADAM JANOFSKY Editor-in-Chief CAMILLE VAN HORNE Managing Editor MAHMOUD BAHRANI Senior Editor JONATHAN LAI News Editor HARUNOBU CORYNE News Editor SAM LEVINE News Editor EMILY WANG Viewpoints Editor CHARNA ALBERT Arts Editor DANIEL LEWIS Sports Editor VICENTE FERNANDEZ Sports Editor DOUGLAS EVERSON, JR Head Designer KEVIN WANG Web Editor ALICE BLACKWOOD Head Copy Editor DON HO Head Copy Editor GABE VALLEY Head Copy Editor DARREN LEOW Photo Editor JAMIE MANLEY Photo Editor REBECCA GUTERMAN Assoc. News Editor LINDA QIU Assoc. News Editor CRYSTAL TSOI Assoc. News Editor GIOVANNI WROBEL Assoc. News Editor AJAY BATRA Assoc. Viewpoints Editor
With College Council elections in the fall and Slate elections in the spring, Student Government leaders normally expect a reprieve from campaigning during the winter. But that makes now the perfect time to reflect on procedures and infrastructure in anticipation of the big vote at the beginning of next quarter. While U of C students have never been the most bright-eyed politicians, it’s clear to every observer that SG lacks a certain zeal that belongs on every college campus. Comparing our SG to the College Councils and Student Senates of peer universities shows that SG has limited itself by maintaining an inept and exclusive structure and should call for reforms before this year’s Slate elections. A couple of decades ago, SG had a variety of positions, and candidates didn’t have to choose running mates. These positions attracted so many students that the Maroon’s
election insert consisted of several full pages of candidate bios. Partially to maintain control over elections, SG changed its policies to the current slate format, in which a president, vice president for administration, and vice president for student affairs are required to present themselves on a single ticket. Although this unorthodox system allows for organized elections (largely because there are usually only one or two serious slates in the running), its rigidity limits perspective to an extent that reduces SG’s effectiveness. Student governments at almost all peer schools have a wider variety of leadership positions, and candidates are expected to have a specific drive and area of expertise in order to make beneficial changes. Instead of having three general leaders working with a very broadly focused College Council, SG should create multiple elected positions that would concentrate on
areas like Health, Safety, Athletics, Campus Dining, Academics, and Greek Life. A president and vice president—elected separately from one another—could act as liaisons between SG, administrators, and the student body, while the College Council could still organize initiatives and lobby for student groups. But expecting the best student leaders to run in a slate election with each other, with the losers being turned away from SG entirely, is a counterproductive procedure. Additionally, expecting SG members to be familiar with all fields but masters at none means that there are no stand-out leaders to step up when they are confronted with an issue involving something specific, like a string of campus muggings, lackluster nutrition in the dining halls, long waits at the health center, or a fraternity stabbing. Some may argue that this would create an uncontrollable number
of positions. But SG is already on the right track to a gradual retrofit. Two years ago, the position of Community and Government Liaison was created, which is elected, specialized, and not tied to a slate’s ticket. SG should continue this step forward this year by introducing two more specialized positions in those areas which students deem most important. Once this new system takes shape, SG should work towards breaking apart the deficient slate concept. If one thing is for sure on this campus, it’s that U of C students are insightful and full of good ideas. It’s about time that SG takes on a structure that is more open to its students’ unique abilities so that it can, in turn, serve them more productively.
The Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and an additional Editorial Board member.
DAVID KANER Assoc. Viewpoints Editor TOMI OBARO Assoc. Arts Editor MATTHEW SCHAEFER Assoc. Sports Editor TIFFANY TAN Assoc. Photo Editor TYRONALD JORDAN Business Manager
Game change The media’s treatment of political campaigns as a spectator sport discourages voter participation
VIVIAN HUA Undergraduate Business Executive VINCENT MCGILL Delivery Coordinator HAYLEY LAMBERSON Ed. Board Member HYEONG-SUN CHO Designer SONIA DHAWAN Designer ALYSSA LAWTHER Designer SARAH LI Designer AUTUMN NI Designer AMITA PRABHU Designer BELLA WU Designer KELSIE ANDERSON Copy Editor CATIE ARBONA Copy Editor
By Ajay Ravichandran Viewpoints Columnist
AMISHI BAJAJ Copy Editor JANE BARTMAN Copy Editor MARTIA BRADLEY Copy Editor ELIZABETH BYNUM Copy Editor ALAN HASSLER Copy Editor NISHANTH IYENGAR Copy Editor MICHELLE LEE Copy Editor KATIE MOCK Copy Editor JEN XIA Copy Editor ESTHER YU Copy Editor
Anyone who has followed the media coverage of the seemingly endless race for the Republican presidential nomination has probably noticed that most campaign reporting is guided by a desire to answer the following question: Who will the party’s eventual nominee be? Apart from actual primary results,
the stories that tend to be featured most prominently are discussions of new polling data and their implications for the next election’s outcome. Speeches announcing new policy proposals generally get much less attention, and even when they are discussed, the focus is often on how they will affect a candidate’s chances. Interviews with the contenders spend nearly as much time on questions about how their recent statements will affect their prospects for victory as on those statements’ substance. This approach to campaign reporting is certainly not a unique feature of the present race; virtually every presidential contest is covered in the same way. Indeed, you might now be wondering why I’ve devoted
so much attention to a fairly banal point. Isn’t “who’s going to win?” the most obvious question to ask about any competition, whether that competition is a political campaign, a sporting event, or an awards ceremony? However, I think that the pervasiveness of this approach to campaign coverage blinds us to just how strange it actually is. Reporting on sports or the Oscars and Grammys should focus primarily on predicting winners because it addresses an audience of pure spectators, who have no control over the outcomes of these competitions and who follow them mainly in order to find out what will happen. But political coverage, at least in a democracy, is consumed by the ordinary voters
who will ultimately determine which candidate is elected. One would therefore expect political reporters to accordingly devote most of their energy to giving the rest of us the information we need to choose wisely by presenting the best available evidence on how voting a given politician to the presidency will impact our lives. It’s rather bizarre that reporters instead spend most of their time informing us about how we are likely to decide. But the standard approach to campaign reporting is not just an odd curiosity; it is probably harmful as well. One obvious cost of this misguided focus is the time wasted on giving voters useless information, which could instead be spent COVERAGE continued on page 4
BEN ZIGTERMAN Copy Editor
A time to redefine Black History Month celebrates a misleading, exclusive definition of the black experience Sherraine Ashley Viewpoints Contributor The Chicago Maroon is published twice weekly during autumn, winter, and spring quarters Circulation: 5,500. The opinions expressed in the Viewpoints section are not necessarily those of the Maroon. © 2012 The Chicago Maroon, Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 Editor-in-Chief Phone: 773.834.1611 Newsroom Phone: 773.702.1403 Business Phone: 773.702.9555 Fax: 773.702.3032 CONTACT News: News@ChicagoMaroon.com Viewpoints: Viewpoints@ChicagoMaroon.com Arts: Arts@ChicagoMaroon.com Sports: Sports@ChicagoMaroon.com Photography: Photo@ChicagoMaroon.com Design: Douglas@ChicagoMaroon.com Copy: CopyEditors@ChicagoMaroon.com Advertising: Ads@ChicagoMaroon.com
February is Black History Month in the US and a few other countries, a time set aside for all to reflect on and celebrate the history of black Americans and, as time has passed, the achievements of black people more generally. Whenever Black History Month comes around I think about the month’s intended goals relative to its success in meeting them; for me, Black History Month doesn’t do enough to highlight the diversity of experience in the black community in people’s minds. Having one month dedicated to black history suggests to the world that there is a singular definition of what it means to be black. It appears as if all black people are celebrating the same history and the
same achievements and culture, which is not the case. A perfect example of this for me would be an experience I had this past spring. In my Self, Culture, and Society class, we touched upon African American/Black speech patterns, which brought about an interesting, if stilted, discussion. I myself had never heard the term AAVE (African American Vernacular English) before then; I had only heard it called Ebonics, a politically incorrect term. As the “token black girl” of the class, I felt called upon to give some sort of lesson on the subject, but I rarely ever speak this way; it’s not how I grew up speaking. It’s something I picked up in middle school just to fit in. In my house and my predominately white elementary and high schools, most people spoke “proper English.” Even
my mother, who forever peppers her speech with her native Jamaican patois (far more familiar than AAVE, yet far more phony in my mouth, because I don’t have an accent), will chide me to follow the “correct” way of saying things. What some people don’t realize is that speech is cultural, so this style of speaking is actually unfamiliar to a lot of black people. It truly is a predominately black American way of speaking—and if you’re first generation, or you happen to go to school with people who don’t exactly look like you, you miss out on it. None of this is to say I was insulted by the fact that they thought I could provide the “inside scoop.” I have found myself to be the token many times and believe it’s easier to respond with a quick summary or a polite, “I’m just as clueless as you
are,” rather than with rage. The way I see it, at least they’re admitting their ignorance rather than pretending to be knowledgeable, right? At times though, I’ll pretend to be clueless about something that I really can speak to. I was asked during this same conversation essentially what it felt like to be a token. I could have given an impassioned speech about it if I wanted to—not about injustices, because I’ve never really faced any, but about ignorance, and about moments exactly like that one where I was asked to speak for a group of people that I alone could not possibly represent due to its sheer size and diversity. But instead, I just said, “Well, golly, I’ve never really noticed, my race has never come up. I’m cool with everyone, and everyone’s cool TOKEN continued on page 5
THE CHICAGO MAROON | VIEWPOINTS | February 28, 2012
Learning for earning’s sake President Obama’s emphasis on obtaining a college degree ignores the equally vital role vocational schools play in producing jobs Adam Gillette Viewpoints Contributor This is the only time I will ever write this: I agree with Rick Santorum. The blind squirrel of last century’s sexual ethics and theocratic conservatism found an acorn last week. You’ve likely seen or heard the quotation by now. Speaking in Michigan in advance of Tuesday’s primary, the former Senator said, “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.” He then returned to form and hopped aboard the crazy train, adding something about “indoctrination,” evil liberal professors, et cetera. But there was a nugget of truth there, I promise. Calling the President a “snob” wouldn’t be my first instinct, but then again, I’m not campaigning. Yet this much is true: The President has established a college degree as the standard of educational achievement, which means that everything else is, by definition, substandard. And that’s wrong. I haven’t found any evidence verbatim from the President to back Santorum’s words. But if President Obama hasn’t said exactly
that, he has at least danced around it, saying everything but. His preference for Americans to go to college is clear—he puts a premium on a four-year degree. For example, in his 2011 State of the Union, the President warned, “The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to ninth [in the world] in the proportion of young people with a college degree.” I’m not sure the latter point deserves to be given the same urgency as the former, which concerns the real, legitimate failure of our nation’s public schools. To be sure, the President’s premium on a college degree is in tune with the market’s. You know the statistics: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a college degree-holder earns almost twice as much over the course of her lifetime compared to a high school graduate— $2.1 million to $1.2 million, respectively. But vocational training can have the same effect, and the President knows it. In his State of the Union address last month, he praised the cooperation between a North Carolina robotics plant and a local community college to fund vocational training that allows workers to gain new skills
and job prospects. And that’s what this is really about: jobs. It’s in the President’s interest—it’s in America’s interest—that our workers be employed. I ask my fellow students of this ivory bastion of theory, not practice: Who has the better chance of finding a job by June, someone with an associate’s degree in automotive robotics, or us? The last thing I want is a debate about the value of the life of the mind. But understand that it’s in the economic interest of our nation that our people are taught to work, not just think, and vocational training is best suited to this need. In other words: So what if we’re globally ninth in college degrees? Not everyone has the desire or talent to hack it at a four-year school. Yes, too many of our nation’s promising young people can’t afford college, and that needs fixing. I support the President’s efforts to make college more affordable. He wants to expand and strengthen federal grant programs that have made my education here possible. He wants to incentivize universities to provide more funding for low-income students. Often, and sensibly, he praises the role junior colleges play in our
communities and economy. I applaud his efforts to give Americans equal opportunity. But I get frustrated when the President sullies his platform of equal opportunity with talk that assumes equal ambition. Education that ensures a livable income and a stable livelihood is most important. The reasons our economy remains in tender condition are many and varied, as are the reasons unemployment levels remain high. But consider the jobless college graduate. Could it be that the reason a college degree matters less is because too many people have them? A four-year degree shouldn’t be the default option. Not every student can generate the return on a liberal arts education that makes the (often debt-creating) investment worth it. A message from the bully pulpit that implies otherwise is harmful. Don’t drop out now—the education provided here can co-exist with the one that puts Americans back to work in reparative, globally leading numbers. How will we be a part of that recovery? Adam Gillette is a fourth-year in the College majoring in History.
Uninformed voters lack political efficacy, hurt democracy COVERAGE continued from page 3 covering candidates’ platforms and records. Furthermore, when most reporters approach politics as just another competitive game, the voters who follow their coverage will likely come to view politics in the same manner and consequently attach little importance to political participation. The failure of this prevailing style of political journalism to illuminate the myriad ways in which the political process affects our interests and how we can influence that process likely drives many ordinary Americans away from politics, thus enabling angry partisans and special interests to dominate public discourse. Defenders of this focus on winners and losers would likely make two points in response. First, they might argue that the candidate who seems most likely to win is probably the one who would perform best in office, since developing an effective campaign requires the same perseverance and managerial skill that a successful occupant of the Oval Office must have. But while this claim is probably true to an extent, it does not really vindicate most actual press coverage, which focuses not on candidates’ role in organizing getout-the-vote efforts or fundraising (which are presumably the types of activities in which the skills in question would be exercised). Rather, it focuses on things like the number of gaffes they’ve made and the appeal of their rhetoric. Second, and more powerfully, defenders of the standard approach would likely make the obvious point that horse race coverage attracts a larger audience for a lower cost than does more substantive reporting. It is much harder to present policy proposals and governing records in a way that the typical voter finds interesting than it is to focus on the latest gaffe or scandal, and the latter are also much easier to gather information on. In response, I would argue that journalists in a democratic nation perform a vital social function that sometimes requires them to ignore market incentives. While most voters obviously do not have to be policy wonks, they cannot serve as an effective check on elected officials without a general sense of how politics affects their lives. If we want to preserve the freedoms we cherish, we must find some way of furthering the sort of journalism that provides such knowledge. Ajay Ravichandran is a fourth-year in the College majoring in philosophy.
111 Year History
Ravisloe Country Club
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THE CHICAGO MAROON | VIEWPOINTS | February 28, 2012
No particular background can be considered more â€œauthenticâ€? than another struggles of being black in America, a struggle that is still pertinent today for its success in earning rights for black Americans. This history should continue to be celebrated so that it is not forgotten, but I think that it is equally important to recognize that people of the African Diaspora have landed all over the world, and their experiences are equally important this month. Being black in America has incorrectly come to be seen as a singular identity. It is true that some social problems affect them in particular: Black people in America generally are still unjustly imprisoned, educationally underserved, and disproportionately impoverished. Yet, that doesnâ€™t completely reflect my experience, and there are many others for whom that is also the case. As this month comes to a close, something we should strive to remember is that being black means having a multifaceted identity, not conforming to a stereotype.
TOKEN continued from page 3 with me.â€? It got me funny glances from my peers and an uncomfortable change of subject, but honestly, what else did they expect my story to provide? A moment of sympathy for the smart black girl who clearly grew up poor and must be suffering such a culture shock at this big white university? I donâ€™t need it. Thatâ€™s not my story. Iâ€™m a first generation American born to Jamaican parents. Iâ€™ve gone to predominantly white schools. I hang out with black people, but neither exclusively nor even in the main. Iâ€™m not a part of any black organizations, though that may change. Iâ€™m all about being a â€œstrong black woman.â€? I actively read about and willingly discuss racial issues and black culture, but only as it fits into my life as a whole, in which I strive to be multi-culturally informed. I donâ€™t feel the need or desire to always be a spokesperson or poster child for black people to the world around me. Iâ€™m not ashamed of my blacknessâ€”I wear it proudlyâ€”but, at the same time, I unabashedly recognize that I have not led the same life as other black people. Is my black experience consequently any less â€œauthenticâ€? than those who have grown up speaking AAVE, who choose to have a network of predominantly black friends, or who have faced the negativity this world can sometimes dole out? Is my experience too â€œgood?â€? Must I tell you tales of growing up in the â€œhoodâ€? streets of Crown Heights with an absent father and putting juice in the Kixâ„˘ instead of milk for you to let me have my black card? Absolutely not! My skin says it all. My experience lies on a spectrum. It isnâ€™t better, nor worse, but just different. What Iâ€™m trying to say is, there is no common black experience. To really understand a people, you have to understand that no two are exactly alike, however similar their story. Black History Month began as a way to honor the common
Sherraine Ashley is a second-year in the College majoring in sociology.
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Trivial Pursuits FEBRUARY 28, 2012
Left to right: Third-year Jade Avery, second-year Rachel Jameau, first-year Helen Dongyue Li, second-year Zach Loubert, and second-year Maggie Sivit model student designs in MODA’s annual spring fashion show. DARREN LEOW | THE CHICAGO MAROON
At Union Station, fashion’s on schedule Anna Hill Arts Contributor Union Station looked a bit different this past Friday—instead of humming, as it usually does, with rolling suitcases and ripping ticket stubs, the space echoed with fast-paced music and clicking cameras. Station-goers traded their Skechers for stilettos for the annual MODA Spring Fashion Show, where 20 designers and artists presented their work to a dressed-up audience of 800. The 20,000-square-foot Great Hall presented MODA planners with a difficult challenge: namely, how to fill it. Lauren Kelly-Jones, a second-year MODA-ite, commented, “It’s such an iconic space . . . It’s so much bigger, so much more
intimidating.” Though the massive room did feel a bit hollow on show night (how could it not?), the space was smartly organized and provided a marble-clean backdrop for the ultimate stars of the night—the designs. The buzzing crowd had plenty of room to mingle, to meander to the wine table, to chase down a server for some hors d’oeuvres, or to snap pictures with the many chic attendees. Before the show even started, fourth-year Sam Edds compared the venue to those of years past, remarking, “This is by far the best show, probably the most extravagant. It’s incredible to look back from first year to now.” Judging from the upturned heads and wide-eyed expressions throughout the room, the audience seemed to feel the same way.
After the general admission attendees had been whisked off to the sides, organizers projected a short video describing Dress for Success, the nonprofit group to which MODA donated all of the night’s proceeds. As soon as the video clicked off, the loud music clicked on, and the show began. The first model out might have been the best of the night, strutting confidently down the twisting runway that wound through the station’s long waiting benches. What followed behind her was an interesting display of movement that at times gracefully contributed to the clothing, and at times painfully distracted from it. Considering the short amount of time most of the models had to prepare, though (only a few rehearsals, including
one in Harper Library), the outcome was admirable. Needless to say, the University of Chicago isn’t exactly where models go to perfect their craft. Much like the models, the designs themselves presented a handful of lovely pieces punctuating a string of good-but-not-great attempts. Lizmarie Oliveras produced several clean pieces, of which one (a navy blue halter dress with leveled hem) was simple yet innovative, and struck a fresh note between the somewhat heavier designs that preceded and followed it. A stunning painted coat by second-year Kimberly Lum was the most striking individual piece in the show. The most memorable collection of the night belonged to Columbia College student Shelby Steiner, who provided an unusual
combination of pattern and texture, fusing florals, sheers, and leather (or something like it) into an exciting and innovative display. CLEONS, a line by Columbia College student Chad Leon, who described himself as “just an underground fashion designer,” broke the pattern of dresses and skirts with an aggressive collection of shiny, shoulder-heavy menswear that jolted the show with an unexpected energy (however, the claw-like mass of fabric hanging from one of the models’ hands was a bit distracting, I must say; I’m not sure where he was going with that one). Well-tailored blue pants emerged as a theme of the show, as pieces by Ann Taylor and student designer Fatima Ibrahim offered breezy MODA continued on page 7
Hollywood’s biggest night makes cameo in dorms Eliana Polimeni Arts Staff Personally, I’ll take any opportunity to dress up. Wearing heels to an event usually excites me more than the event itself. My perpetual desire to look fancy tends to reach its peak around Oscar time. Why can’t I spend an entire Sunday in my classiest clothes and get my picture taken so the world can appreciate them? It’s a dilemma that many people face. Fortunately, a number of different dorms on campus took action, hosting Oscar parties for sartorially savvy youths this past Sunday. It’s become somewhat of a tradition. In Broadview’s Wick House for example, dressed up guests could choose to eat from nine different pizzas, each representing the nominated Best Pictures. But while each House has its own signature twist on the
Oscar party, South Campus’s may just be the swankiest. On Sunday at 6 p.m., the eve of the Oscars, people from every corner of South flocked to the west commons for the annual Oscars party organized by the South Campus West Dorm Council, comprised of representatives from Halperin, Kenwood, Keller, and DelGiorno houses. Second-year Sara Hupp, the president of the council, organized the event. Those who dressed for the occasion were fully committed. Outfits were complete with dress shoes, ties, bow ties, lipstick, and that perfect necklace saved for special occasions. Even the smallest details were accounted for: Shirts were tucked in, hair was pinned up, and the classiness just effervesced. The party itself fit the dress code flawlessly. Tables of food PARTY continued on page 9
Students watch the Oscars Sunday night in South Campus West’s annual Oscar party. SYDNEY COMBS | THE CHICAGO MAROON
THE CHICAGO MAROON | ARTS | February 28, 2012
MODA show a success despite some awkward walks, designs MODA continued from page 6 interpretations of casual springwear. Despite obvious construction flubs, (the sewing was questionable in a few cases), the show was a success. Sure, some of the model walks were a little uncomfortable to watch and a few of the designs raised confused eyebrows, but considering the fact that many of the designers only began working with clothing in MODA’s Designer Boot Camp, held just ten weeks ago, the results were commendable. Though voices could be heard afterward chuckling, “Someone’s boob pads fell out!” and “What the heck was on that girl’s head?” the response was, on the whole, positive. After the show, third-year model Marsha Moses exclaimed, “This was a night of fun and a night of elegance,” and as the buzzing crowd filed out of the glowing room, everyone in attendance—models, designers, parents and friends— seemed to agree.
Jake Walerius Arts Staff
About 800 tickets were sold, 90 students modeled, and 20 students designed for the show at Union Station. COURTESY OF KATE CHIU
UBallet performs lesser-known La Bayadère to great success
The lovers Solor (third-year Matthew Walsh) and Nikiya (Katie Grogan A.M. ’11) are finally reunited in the spirit world in UBallet’s performance of La Bayadere on Sunday. MONIKA LAGAARD | THE CHICAGO MAROON
Alexandra McInnis Arts Staff Of the many groups dedicated to the arts at U of C, the University Ballet of Chicago is one of the most noteworthy. This weekend’s performance of Marius Petipa’s classic ballet La Bayadère in Mandel Hall demonstrated UBallet’s remarkable dedication to professionalism among its dancers and commitment to the entire production. Not quite as famous as Tchaikovsky ballets like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, featuring the music of Ludwig Minkus, is a tale of forbidden love set in India.
Academy Awards stick to routine
Part of the ballet’s attraction is that it infuses traditional ballet elements with exotic sensuality, a not easy feat that UBallet pulled off admirably. Classic leg technique was combined with arm movements evocative of Indian dancing, and the dancers incorporated accessories such as scarves, fans, and drums (one dancer even performed with a golden statue on her head). A hypnotic aura, punctuated throughout the ballet by wild-haired fakirs, came to a climax in the famous Kingdom of Shades scene, where an opium-induced vision produced sixteen spirits or “shades” dancing in perfect synchronization. The
dancers’ identical movements, performed on a staged wreathed in smoke, were simultaneously demure and eerie. In the ballet, the beautiful temple dancer, or bayadère, Nikiya (played by Katie Grogan) falls in love with the warrior Solor (Matthew Walsh). The High Brahmin’s affection for Nikiya, as well as Solor’s involuntary betrothal to the Rajah’s daughter Gamzatti (Tiffany Hu), challenges their love, however. From the moment of her dramatic unveiling, Ms. Grogan was an enigmatic and delicate presence onstage. Whether she was portraying Nikiya as blissfully in love, haunted by betrayal, or
as an airy spirit weaving across the stage, Grogan maintained Nikiya’s gentle appeal. Walsh, an emotive Solor, often served as Ms. Grogan’s compliment, guiding her through the pair’s most complicated lifts during their pas de deux. However, Walsh’s individual talent came alive during a solo dance in the Kingdom of Shades scene, where he executed a dizzying series of leaps and turns. Where Ms. Grogan conveyed fragility as Nikiya, Ms. Hu, as rival Gamzatti and Grogan’s equal in dance skill, exuded the impenetrable confidence of a rajah’s daughter. The strength and triumph in her movements left no room for doubt that
she would obtain the object of her desire. Similar refinement in technique was also visible in the ballet’s non-principle roles, including Jessica Lin as both the lively Golden Idol and the haunting shade. Her pas de trois with fellow shades Olivia Li and Sara Schwartz demonstrated the collective talent in UBallet, which extended to the majority of the performers. The theatrical elements of the ballet also did not disappoint. The Indianinspired costumes were rich in color and embroidery but still met the practical needs of ballet garments, while the elaborately painted sets transformed the stage into an opulent kingdom. The commitment to these visual elements undoubtedly heightened the ballet’s appeal to those with less of a technical appreciation for ballet, making the performance accessible for viewers in all forms. Artistic directors Vivi DiMarco and Jessica Lin decided to stage the production such that elements from the original ballet as well as the Soviet and Natalia Makarova version were combined into the one performance, epitomizing the thoughtfulness that pervaded throughout the entire UBallet production. And clearly, UBallet’s attention to detail and demand for precision has paid off. If UBallet continues to uphold the standards set in La Bayadère, their future productions will delight ballet fans and casual viewers alike.
Nothing says playing it safe like Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars. Well, “the magic of the movies” as the theme of this year’s Oscars also might say it. Billy Crystal and the magic of the movies. What could go wrong ? Nothing, actually. The question is if anything went right. Sunday’s show was an exercise in restraint. I can’t help but think that the producers might ultimately want to get rid of the whole thing and hand out the awards in the mail. No one would be offended, no one would have to pretend to laugh, Billy Crystal could stay at home. Everyone could just relax. But this is Hollywood. The show must go on. And there’s no problem a little star power can’t solve. Right? Crystal’s opening skit, which saw him pop up in scenes from several of this year’s best picture nominees, was, to put it mildly, mild. When the highlight of anything is George Clooney giving Billy Crystal a quick kiss on the lips it’s safe to assume that few boundaries are being broken. Not even a brief cameo from Justin Bieber could shake things up. “I’m here to get to the 18-24 demographic,” he said, as if everyone who isn’t a 14-year-old girl doesn’t already hate him. And, with that, it suddenly became clear just how out of touch the Academy has become. It’s been 84 years now, and still no one has mastered the art of making it seem like they’re making up the words they’re actually reading off of a card. Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz were the first to really struggle with the idea. Melissa Leo was creepy in all the wrong ways and Christian Bale just looked bored. Not even Batman enjoys the Oscars anymore. The worst presenters, though, were the ones who had to give the serious speeches. Natalie Portman and Colin Firth, presenting the best actor and actress prizes respectively, addressed each of the nominees personally. I’m sure Jean Dujardin’s victory was that much sweeter knowing how much it personally affected Natalie Portman. This fake sentiment was thrown into relief a couple of times, however, when we were all reminded that movies can matter. Asghar Farhadi, winner of best foreign feature for A Separation, gave an emotional tribute AWARDS continued on page 8
THE CHICAGO MAROON | ARTS | February 28, 2012
Folk duo turns Mandel Hall into a cozy, intimate setting
David Wax and Suz Slezak, an indie folk band, played Mandel Hall as part of Artspeaks. COURTESY OF DAVID WAX MUSEUM
Emma Broder Arts Staff In a back dressing room in the basement of Mandel Hall, Suz Slezak, one half of the creative team behind the indiefolk band David Wax Museum, applied her makeup and talked about the band’s new van. On February 22, the band had posted on Facebook: “Bad News: our minivan that devoted two years and over 100,000 miles of its life to the band finally bit the dust. Good News: we’ve just welcomed a new 15-passenger van to the Museum family. Stay tuned for a naming contest!” “I’m happy to be on the road again,” said Slezak, who, upon meeting me, enveloped me in a hug. Next week, the band will tour China, where their chame-
leon-like cultural approach will surely be appreciated. “I really thrive on the energ y of the audience,” Slezak said. During the show, she described being on tour as a “waking dreamlike musical state.” David Wax Museum played Friday night in Mandel Hall as part of the eighth season of Artspeaks, a University initiative that brings artists to campus for performances and workshops. The band, which has two core members, David Wax and Suz Slezak, was joined by a percussionist, Greg, a clarinetist, Alec, and an accordian player, Jordan Wax, David’s cousin. It is known for integrating Mexican folk traditions with Americana, and it occupies a space that is at once ambitious and humble, a mix of scholarly musical breadth and
populist sensibility. Mandel Hall seemed oddlysuited to the task of housing a band that thrives on performances in living rooms, bars, and smaller venues. “I keep seeing this stained-glass window out of the corner of my eye that’s like a row of elders or angels looking down on me,” Slezak said. As the audience was taking its seats, ushers instructed the audience to sit close to the aisles, to create a more intimate atmosphere than Mandel Hall usually affords. Brian LaDuca, the Director of Theater and Performance studies and University Theater, said that the event would mimic the MTV “Unplugged” concerts, in which the artist talks in between sets. “Their new, unique aesthetic is creating waves in communities,” LaDuca said. “They’ve played so
many house concerts, bars. We want them to drop inside the audience—it’s an environment to mirror their aesthetic.” And drop they did. Live performance is clearly comfortable territory for David and Suz. Their sheer vivacity is overwhelming in performance: Suz destroyed half her bowstrings during the show and sat on an audience member’s lap; David serenaded the audience in Spanish from the balcony of Mandel Hall, his sky-blue tie askew; when, at one point, the band spoke about money (they are raising money for their next album by taking pledges from fans), Jordan cried out in anguish; and the clarinetist, Alec, had a solo within the first five minutes of the performance. The band balanced its raucous moments with several more serene ones,
which often featured just one or two members instead of all five. “When You Lie Still” was simple and lovely. Less dynamic than the music was the conversation the band had with Theaster Gates, the University’s director of arts and public life. Gates’ questions were as unspecific as “I just want you to talk about your commitment to form” and “reflect about being hot, and young, and able to make music.” Throughout the conversation, the dynamic onstage grew dragg y. Toward the end of the concert, he remained in his seat in the audience despite having said that he would ask the band more questions. Despite Gates’ lack of direction, the band was game. “We have cultural access to such a diverse palette of musical languages, and those all give birth to new forms of expression. What’s important is keeping your feet firmly established in your musical identity, especially since we have a huge range of cultural identities that we can take off and put on like masks,” said Jordan, the accordionist. Percussionist Greg spoke of a complex musical identity, saying, “There’s a certain nomadism that comes with this life, with this choice. As we move through different forms, we hope we touch upon this ground in a way that is respectful—we graze here, we graze there. Hopefully, we can do right by it, and come up with something new.” The band’s members thus bared their souls to Gates, who inexplicably replied, “Hopefully, we can go into more depth next time.” Also strange was how little of the audience was affiliated with the U of C, which became clear when Suz asked for a show of hands to find out how many people had found out about the concert independently of Artspeaks. A little over half the audience raised its hands. Introducing the band, Mary Harvey, an associate provost, said, a little nervously, “I’m here to tell you that arts are happening at the U of C!”
Chris Rock, Emma Stone, among others are Oscar telecast’s saving grace AWARDS continued from page 7 to the people of Iran, and there was another touching acceptance speech from the makers of Saving Face, a film about reconstructive face surgery in Pakistan. All things considered, then, comedy was the best policy for the presenters on Sunday. Tina Fey, as always, was worth watching. Emma Stone and Ben Stiller did a good job, even if Stone’s “I’m excited because it’s my first time presenting an award routine” did go on a little long. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were a welcome respite from the I’m going to pretend like I care brigade and Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph managed to pull off a minute long penis joke
without anyone getting too uncomfortable. It was probably Chris Rock who stole the presenting show, however, as he announced the prize for best animated feature. “I’ve done animation and it’s the easiest job in the world,” he said. “They tell me the line, I say it…and then they give me a million dollars.” There was also the small matter of the awards to deal with. The Artist was the biggest winner of the day, with five Oscars including best picture, best director and best actor. It was nice to see some outsiders mix it up with the Hollywood elite too. And for all of the Academy’s banality, its decision to reward a black and white silent film, even
if it was the favorite, should be applauded. There were a couple of lovely acceptance speeches from the best supporting actors as well. Octavia Spencer showed that tears aren’t necessarily a bad thing after winning the best supporting actress prize for her performance in The Help. And best supporting actor winner Christopher Plummer was evidently delighted. “You’re only two years older than me darling,” Plummer said to his statuette, “where have you been all my life?” Underneath all the glitz and the glamour and the clenched teeth and forced laughter, it’s easy to forget what it means to win an Oscar, so it was nice to have a few reminders.
Still, there’s this bizarre juxtaposition between what the Oscars is and what it tries to represent. “Nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues,” Crystal joked at the beginning of the show. But he’s right. On the one hand, the Oscars are as ridiculous as watching millionaires giving each other golden statues. But, on the other, there is some magic in the movies. The problem with Sunday’s ceremony was that they kept telling the audience that they were escaping. And the magic starts to fade when you have to be told where it is.
Meryl Streep won Best Actress for her role in ‘The Iron Lady’. COURTESY OF PATHE PRODUCTIONS LTD/ THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
THE CHICAGO MAROON | ARTS | February 28, 2012
SHoP exhibit explores line between home and museum Alice Bucknell Arts Staff With the First Unitarian Church planning to sell the Fenn House, the current residence of the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP), the title of SHOP’s latest exhibition, This House is Not a Home may seem especially bleak and foreboding. Yet, despite its somber title, SHoP bore no trace of flightiness or temporariness during the opening reception for the exhibit this past Saturday. In fact, as if in defiance of the lease’s inevitable end, SHoP appeared more integrated with the Fenn house than ever before, evoking the warm sensation of a timeless home. Drawing from the SHoP’s own understanding of an impermanent living space, resulting from the organization’s nomadic nature and consciousness of the often unclear dividing
line between residential area and museum space, much of the featured artwork attempts to reconcile this division. Dan Peterman, a Chicago-based artist, occupied the old mansion’s library with his site-specific installation piece. Using multicolored post-consumer plastic boards to take on the guise of real texts, Peterman carefully assembled these pseudo-books on the preexisting bookshelves. He also used hundreds of these boards to create a patterned tiled floor. The boards themselves were not adhered to their respective locations; walking on the fake tiles made them come loose with a clatter, and the “books” could easily be pulled from the shelves to reveal their true nature as painted blocks of plastic. This worrying instability –uncomfortable to tread across, and dismaying to hold in one’s hand–forces the spectator
to double-question the apparent homeliness of the traditional library setting with its true nature as a filler. The paradoxical eeriness develops its impact by using our own assumptions about the familiar comfort of home against us, and serves as a backbone for many of the works featured in This House is Not a Home.
This House is Not a Home Southside Hub of Production Through April 8
On the second floor of the Fenn house, hundreds of family photographs that, judging by their curling edges and vintage grain, seemed to date back at least a couple of decades, were on display. Included in these photos were close-ups of grandparents and infants cradled in their parents’
arms, too young to recognize what was going on. Their blank, shocked stares and the laughing moments of intimacy, all captured on film and displayed as a winding panorama from top to bottom of the staircase, left me with that familiar feeling of discomfort and intrigue. I felt somehow as if I were encroaching on highly personal family history, though I had been in countless “real” homes that also made use of this space in the same manner. The exhibitionist qualities of “family photos” – both in what we choose to display to visitors and how we choose to display them – became immediately apparent, and the contrast between a stand-in house and a real home with a genuine sentimental import all the more heightened. On the second and third floors of the house, the exhibited artworks became
increasingly more personal. “Seven Day Self Portrait” by David Durstowitz was a set of seven mason jars filled with the leftovers of the artist’s food intake for each day. Matt Joyat’s installation piece occupied a closet space on the third floor, where he painted song lyrics from a punk song popular in his youth. Meant to effectively recreate the artist’s own bedroom, where he once scribbled poems, lyrics, and drawings of his own, the piece evoked a similar sensation of highly personalized exhibitionism where the artist’s own adolescent frustrations came to light. An old-school tape player was haphazardly placed at the edge of one of the room’s shelves. and the viewer was invited to listen to the song from which the lyrics are drawn. Back downstairs, the SHoP’s guest band Zamin wooed its listeners in to a soft
sway with its murmuring, ethereal sound. “Our name literally translates into ‘earth’ from Urdu, which is a Hindi language,” said Charlotte Malin, the band’s violinist and a Music Performance major at Northwestern University. With its fusion of Eastern language and Western Classical roots, Zamin brought two unique traditions under one cohesive and unprecedented style. This merging, while contributing to the comforting aura of a household with its harmonious and entrancing style, doubled as a thoughtful parallel to the theme of the exhibition at large: namely, the consolidation of different art practices and influences under one roof in an effort to distinguish house from home, personal living space from public exhibition, and a place to merely inhabit from a place which to fully belong.
Campus Oscar parties have become a glamorous annual tradition
Second-years Jissy Cyriac and Jessica Goodman at the Stony Island Oscars party. COURTESY OF MAURICE GREEN IV
PARTY continued from page 6 and drinks lined one wall, and I was invited to help myself. And then I saw them. Chocolate-covered strawberries. Possibly the greatest combination of fruit and chocolate ever invented. So I beelined to the plate. After grinning to myself for grabbing one of the few strawberries left, I looked at what else was on the tables. Cheese and crackers, vegetables and dip, shrimp cocktail, meatballs, and bruschetta—so many hors d’oeuvres. At an adjacent table, council members were serving an assortment of “mocktails,” complete with clear cup and crushed ice (because, really, how else could you drink a strawberry margarita?). As a testament to how good the food was, I never again managed to snag a chocolate-covered strawberry. I guess sitting down was my key mistake: Those smart people hovering over the tables, mingling with one eye on the kitchen, were one step ahead of the game. The room itself was meticulously decorated. There were gold and silver balloons and streamers to match the color scheme of
the ceremony. The windows were decorated with painted Oscars. The ceremony was projected on a large screen on the wall. In one section of the room, behind the screen, was a makeshift red carpet leading to a tripod where second-year Lynn Garrett, the treasurer of the council, was taking pictures of students. Representatives of the four houses in the council would then judge the pictures and determine the best dressed guy and girl. First-year Quinn Quintanar, dressed in a suit and bluish purple tie,which matched his purple pinstriped shirt, and first-year Alex Opechowski, wearing gold studded black peep-toe heels, a short-sleeved black dress with a lace back, and red lipstick, were the lucky winners. People also got to predict the winners for categories such as best picture, best leading actor, and best supporting actor, and other popular categories, at a ballot table. First place for the most predictions went to second-year Michael Reinhard, and second place went to firstyear Stephanie Twellmeyer. All winners
received $10 movie passes. When the ceremony began, the general reaction was relatively underwhelming. People continued to mingle while sipping mock champagne, talking about that midterm they should really be studying for, and occasionally glancing at the screen. Others had their laptops out and let their eyes dance from one screen to the other. Other people just sat and socialized, commenting on how timeless George Clooney is or how nice Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress was. In general, it seemed as if the Oscar party was more of an opportunity to bond then actually watch the ceremony. Even though the party was from 6-11 p.m., the number of people never dwindled. This seems to be true for the other dorms on campus which offer yearly Oscars parties, as well: Christine Otte, the resident head of Stony Island, said that about half her house attends the Stony Island party, a five-year tradition that the resident heads have attempted to make a “fancy-shmancy” affair for the past four years. One thing’s for certain; whether you come from South or Stony, watching the Oscars in fancy clothes with close friends certainly beats watching it alone in your pajamas.
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THE CHICAGO MAROON | SPORTS | February 28, 2012
At North Central meet, athletes’ last chance to advance to NCAAs W.TRACK continued from back
tions were pretty awesome and created a great environment to compete in,” thirdyear Julia Sizek said. “Many people tend to think of track and field as a very individual sport,” Ohman said, “but it is simply not possible to have a successful program without being a unified, supportive team. We were able to have a great weekend because we were competing not for ourselves, but for each other.” Most of all, though, the Maroons now know they have the ability to step up when it really matters. The number of personal records over the weekend is the greatest demonstration of that and if the team—which is still very young—is able to
maintain that attitude, the future will be bright. “Our kids went out a little bit more focused,” Hall said. “It was a more important meet than some of the other meets this season and a lot of it was attitude. I thought our women competed really well. They rose up a level which was really good to see, but we still have some growing to do as program.” Perhaps most importantly, though, the Maroons have learned how much they need to improve if they’re going to challenge for conference during the outdoor season. The improvement, they hope, will continue next week at the North Central Last Chance meet this Thursday and Friday.
Williams leads team with 14 points in loss; Johnson, MacKenzie follow with 11 M.BASKETBALL continued from back
numbers in the second half. They shot only 12–30 from the field and 2–10 from behind the arc. “I think we had some really good looks that didn’t go in, and we just couldn’t keep that ship rolling a little bit,” McGrath said. Although the Bears shot and made the same amount of shots as the Maroons in the second half, Chicago could not overcome Wash U’s 11-point first-half lead. “Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best game,” McGrath said. “I’m not sure Wash U played [its] best game [either].” Johnson finished with 11 points on the day, shooting 4–14 from the field, well below his 20.2 points per game average for
the season. Williams paced the Maroons with 14 points and third-year forward Matt MacKenzie contributed 11 points. But the day was not about winning or losing. It was about the fourth-years going in front of their home crowd one last time. “They’re the kind of guys we want to represent our program and we want to represent our school,” McGrath said. “They’re the kind of guys we want to go to practice with every day.” While the Maroons hope to win a championship next year, the fourth-years were an instrumental part of this season’s team. “I think the world of them,” he said. “We’re going to miss them.”
Limited participation characterizes Midwest Invite Men’s Swimming & Diving Sarah Langs Sports Staff In their season finale, the Maroons finished third at the Midwest Invitational over the weekend at Ratner Athletics Center. All that is left now are the NCAA D–III Championships in March. “Place was not a factor in this event,” head coach Jason Weber said. “It was purely an event for our non-conference swimmers to compete at a championship-style meet and to try to get some faster NCAA qualifying times.” The team approached the meet as a tool they could use to their advantage, rather than a competition. The utility of the meet lies in the way the coaching staff chose to place swimmers in events. “[Not everyone participated], and we didn’t have people in every event,” first-year swimmer Andrew Angeles said. Assistant coach Krista Carlson attributed this approach to the loss, again placing very little significance on the third-place finish. “[It was a result of the] number of athletes participating,” she said. Given the selectivity of the swims the coaches chose to place the team in, the re-
sults were favorable. “Everyone who swam at this meet was a highlight for us,” Carlson said. “With only a few swims, Coach Weber and I were very happy with how everyone swam.” In terms of actual accomplishments, Angeles achieved a faster time in the 100-yard breaststroke. “We had a few swimmers meet their NCAA ‘B’ cut as well as some improve their cut times for a better chance to compete at the National level,” Carlson said. On the emotional side, first-year swimmer George Gvakharia noticed the effect of the meet on the fourth-years. “This was most of the [fourthyears’] last meet of their careers,” he said. “There was a lot of nostalgia going on because of that.” Now, the team has a long period to train and rest before NCAA Championships. “We’ll be building our endurance back up, and shortly before NCAAs we will taper again,” Carlson said of the team’s conditioning strategy moving forward. “The NCAA Championships is a very large, fast, and competitive meet,” Angeles said. “We are getting focused and eagerly awaiting the NCAA meet.” The Maroons will compete in the NCAA D–III Championships on March 21–24 in Indianapolis.
Pennisi: I’m excited to compete at this level WRESTLING continued from back
practice over the next couple weeks, albeit with a heightened focus on their qualifier. The season is most likely over for the rest of the team, but there was still plenty to be proud of. “Our [first-year] placers wrestled very well for their first Regional at the end of the long season,” said Kocher of Long, Palmisano, and Hankenson.
Next year should bring better results for the Maroons, who will lose only one fourth-year from a young team that will benefit from this year’s experience. Before that, though, one Maroon will go alone, with his team behind him, to wrestle at the highest collegiate level of the sport available. “I’m just really excited to get the chance to compete at this level,” Pennisi said.
Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano
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THE CHICAGO MAROON | SPORTS | February 28, 2012
Monmouth awaits in first round of national tournament NCAA continued from front
The two teams shot a combined 64 free throws. “It’s always pretty physical between us and Wash,” first-year Hannah Ballard said. The Maroons fell behind early, down 10–4 after a jumper from star Wash U guard Dani Hoover. They quickly righted the ship, and a three-pointer from Ballard gave Chicago their first lead of the game with about ten minutes remaining in the first half. Chicago stretched the lead on the back of their free throws, as frequent foul calls quickly forced both teams into the bonus. The Maroons made eight of their 11 first-half free throws, and ultimately sunk 31–37 for the game—an 84 percent clip. At the end of the first half, Chicago held a 13-point lead. “We have a really tall team, so people know they’re going to have to defend us in the post,” Ballard said. “That puts us at the line a lot, so we know it’s really important.” A team of Wash U’s caliber was not about to go away quietly. The Bears charged out of the gates in the second half with a 9–1 run to pull back within four. That would be as close as the teams would get, though, as Chicago responded to the Wash U assault, as they have all season to all different teams. The game seesawed
for the rest of the half before Chicago sealed the deal with yet more free throws, hitting six of eight down the stretch to put the lead at 10 with just 45 seconds to go. They would go on to win by nine. The win over the Bears sends Chicago into the postseason with even more momentum than they had last year, when they were coming off the heels of an 18game winning streak. The D –III tournament bracket was revealed yesterday, and Chicago was awarded home-court advantage for the first two rounds. “It’s really exciting to be on our home court,” said fourth-year forward Morgan Herrick, who led all scorers on Saturday with a careerhigh 24 points. “I think we play better on our home court, and to be able to have the advantage of our own fan base and not having to travel is huge.” Unlike the D–I bracket, the D–III bracket does not have official seeds, so although Chicago is the heavy favorite in the region, they are not technically a number one seed. The tournament is also more regionally oriented, with certain regions featuring stronger teams than others. Chicago’s quarter of the bracket features #5 Calvin, #12 UW–Stevens Point, #13 St. Thomas, #15 Franklin, #16 UW–Eau Claire, and #25
The women’s basketball team says “bring it on” as they finish their season undefeated and move on to the NCAA tournament. JAMES MANLEY | THE CHICAGO MAROON
Johns Hopkins. Wash U finds itself on the other end of the bracket, so Chicago would not play the Bears until the Final Four. “We knew going into it that with the amount of good teams in our area, we were going to have
Whitmore wins title, Brizzolara overcomes injuries in championship letdown Men’s Track Matthew Schaefer Associate Sports Editor It’s been fifteen years since the Chicago men finished fifth or worse in the UAA Championships. That same year—1997—the Wash U Bears returned to St. Louis with the title, and the Maroons returned home with nothing. Let’s call this a full circle. At the Armory in New York City, Chris Hall’s squad (60 points) finished behind a quartet of conference rivals: Wash U (117), Carnegie Mellon (90), Emory (90), and NYU (75), in a surprising, and disappointing, weekend battle. “I think [we were] shocked that a couple of schools just had phenomenal weekends,” associate head coach Laurie McElroy said. “I think it was not so much us doing less than we expected. I think it was more of a result of other teams just having major performances at the right time. “I think, for the most part, we went in and performed where we were.” And third-year Billy Whitmore—it should come as no surprise—came home with his first conference championship in the 5,000 meters, narrowly defeating Wash U’s Kevin Sparks. “It was great. For a really long time I wanted to win a UAA title—that’s the one thing I really, really wanted,” Whitmore said. “Going into that last lap, I really wanted it, and I gave it all I got.
“Just the fact that I was able to win a conference title at The Armory—this historic venue in New York City—it was really special. It’s a really special place in the track and field world, and I’m really happy with my performance.” Another third-year, sprinter Dee Brizzolara, racked up third-place finishes in the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash. McElroy called his performance “phenomenal.” “I thought Dee’s performance this weekend was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen,” Hall said. “He is not healthy, and for him to go out and, first of all, decide, You know, I really want to do this. The team needs me, and I’m going to get out there and I’m going to compete and do it well—it takes a special athlete to do that when they’re not 100 percent, and it’s something you don’t often see in our sport out of sprinters.” Those were the highlights. Other scoring performers include fourthyear Moe Bahrani in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, Tyler Calway in the 60-meter hurdles, Semi Ajibola in the high jump, and Donni Chi in the long jump, as well as the 4x400 and distance medley relay teams. Nick Rockwell and Dan Heck also finished second and third in the weight throw—a strong showing. “Nick Rockwell and Dan Heck did outstanding in their throwing events,” McElroy said, “and really helped carry the team, helping us to get that first place, day one lead.” But the rest, for the most part, was abysmal. Consider: Even though the men were winning after day one of the competition, they ultimately
scored in only 10 out of 16 events. “Every once in a while you’re snake-bit—and we have been, with injuries and sickness throughout the season. And I just don’t think it’s allowed us to get to the level we’re capable of being yet,” Hall said. “We’re not in any way satisfied.” “I think we were prepared adequately,” fourth-year Brian Schlick said. “We were just missing too many people.” Let’s call this a disappointment. “We weren’t expecting to win, but we were expecting to do a little bit better,” fourth-year Robert Cooper said. “After the first day of competition on Saturday, we were in first place. I think what it came down to at the end of the day was that—and I’m not pointing fingers or anything—we were just expecting to get top three, maybe second if everyone had a good day,” Whitmore said. “So obviously we were a little disappointed with the men and their overall finish. I think we could have scored more points in the field events, in the distant events.” Let’s look forward. Next Thursday and Friday, individuals will have their last chance to advance to Nationals when they compete at the North Central Last Chance in Naperville, Illinois. The following weekend is the NCAA Division III National Championship in Grinnell, Iowa. And so the running, the throwing, the jumping, the hurdling, the pole vaulting—goes on.
a tough draw,” head coach Aaron Roussell said. “That was the case, but we wanted nothing more but to be at home, and we got our wish.” The Maroons will first play Monmouth, and, if they win, will
then play the winner of UW–Eau Claire and Simpson. As for Chicago’s goal, it’s pretty simple. According to fourth-year forward Meghan Herrick: “We want to win a national championship, hands down.”
March Madness The Maroons are in the postseason, and one of the favorites to win it all. To celebrate, the CHICAGO MAROON is having a D-III bracket challenge! Fill out your own bracket and compare it to your friends. Compete against other entries for the chance to have your name printed in the MAROON, in addition to other prizes!
No knowledge of sports required. Instructions 1. Go to chicagomaroon.com/category/sports and print out your bracket for the D-III women’s basketball tournament. 2. Fill out your bracket with your name and email address and turn at Harper, Ratner, or the Reg at the MAROON drop-off locations. 3. Check out the editors’ picks online and compare them to your own.
TURN IN BY FRIDAY, AT 8 PM TO HARPER, RATNER, OR REG
IN QUOTES “It hurts, man. It doesn’t feel good. That’s why the cops use them.” —Professional tazer ball player Jason Bornstein on the tasers used in the Ultimate Tazer Ball league.
Maroons lag behind Wash U, Emory at UAAs
First-year Ezgi Cubukcu competes at the Margaret Bradley Invite earlier this month at the Henry Crown Field House. DARREN LEOW | THE CHICAGO MAROON
Women’s Track Jake Walerius Sports Staff The UAA Championship last weekend was a mixture of success
and realization for Chicago. The Maroons achieved their goal of a third-place finish, but they couldn’t close the gap between themselves and secondplace Emory. Wash U finished first with 149 points, Emory sec-
ond with 136, and Chicago third with 63. “We took our competitive level up a notch,” head coach Chris Hall said, “but I thought Wash U and Emory did the same thing.” Chicago won’t beat itself up
over the loss, but it will be important for them to put it into perspective as they head into the final two weeks of the indoor season and beyond. “It’s not an extraordinarily balanced conference,” Hall said. “Emory dominated the sprinting events and Wash U dominated the distance events. We were the team that picked up a lot of extra points, but we weren’t getting a lot of support coming from the other teams taking points off Wash U and Emory. I didn’t think we closed the gap, but we showed promise that we’re capable of doing that going into the outdoor season.” “We were quite happy with our third place finish,” fourth-year Rachel Ohman said. “The UAA conference is easily one of, if not the, best D–III conference in the country, and a third place finish is very respectable. Our team struggled with illness and injury a fair amount this season, so our great team performance this past weekend was especially rewarding.” As has often been the case this season, the middle distance and distance runners performed well for Chicago. Third-year Kayla
McDonald broke her own 800meter school record for the third time this year in the heats, running a time of 2:12.43 seconds, before finishing second in the final to Wash U’s Erica Jackey. Thirdyear Julia Sizek finished third in the 3000-meter (10:00.32) with the third-best time in U of C history, and second-year Michaela Whitelaw finished third in the mile (5:06.35). Fourth-year Sonia Khan’s fourth place finish in the 5000-meter (18:06.68) also marked a significant personal record. In the sprints, fourth-year Jaleesa Akuoko finished fourth in the 400-meter final and picked up a new personal record (59.49) in the heats. First-year Simone Aldredge also had an encouraging performance in the 200-meter, where she improved her seeding to finish fifth in a time of 26.50 seconds. This was a meet in which the Maroons knew they had to raise their level, and they did. All season long, the coaching staff has focused on the importance of the team, and the athletes have responded. “I thought our cheering secW.TRACK continued on page 10
Pennisi places third at Great The show ends for senior septet Lakes, qualifies for Nationals Men’s Basketball Wrestling Derek Tsang Sports Staff The Maroons finally placed one of their own in the playoffs. Second-year wrestler Sam Pennisi qualified for the D–III Nationals on Saturday at the Great Lake Regional with a third-place finish in the 184-pound weight class— highest among Chicago’s five wrestlers placed sixth or higher. Pennisi rattled off four straight wins after losing his first match to the eventual second place finisher. “I knew I had a tough match in the first round,” Pennisi said, “but I knew that I was still in a good position to go for third. I just tried to take it match by match.” The Maroons finished eighth out of fifteen teams—Augsburg, St. John’s, and Elmhurst finished in the top three, respectively. The field included a handful of teams that the Maroons faced earlier in the year, including Wheaton, Knox, Augustana, St. Olaf, and North Central; the focus, though, was qualification, not team victory. The team knew they would have a fair chance at qualification; four of the Maroons began the day seeded. Third-year James Layton earned the third seed because of his strong season at 165 pounds, first-year Devon Range the fourth seed in 157 pounds, firstyear Ryley Hankenson the fifth in 174 pounds, and first-year Mario Palmisano seventh in 197 pounds. “I was looking for a performance where team members matched or exceeded whatever they were seeded,” head coach Leo Kocher said.
Layton and Range did not place, but Palmisano and Hankenson grabbed fifth and sixth place, respectively. In addition, first-year Will Long and third-year Francisco Acosta, who wrestled up a class, placed sixth in 133 and 141 pounds, respectively. Palmisano and Acosta are both alternates for nationals, although getting a call to the national tournament would be unlikely for them. Pennisi lost in 2:37 by a pin in the first round, but followed that with a 9–1 major decision, a 3–1 win in overtime, and a 5–1 decision. In the placing round, he faced an opponent who had won three straight rounds by pin. “He tried to throw me almost right away,” said Pennisi of his last round, “but I stayed in a good position and ended up coming out of a scramble with him on his back.” Pennisi acknowledges that he began the year slowly. His strong performance came as a result of continual focus and improvement. “I always thought that Sam was capable of wrestling better than he sometimes did,” Kocher said. Kocher attributes Pennisi’s success to his hard work and to his consistent effort to “listen to his coaches and try to apply what he is being taught.” Last year, the traditionally strong Great Lakes region had 19 NCAA place winners, and this year’s field is deep as well. Pennisi has two weeks until the NCAA D–III Championships at UW–La Crosse on March 9–10. “The next two weeks are going to be about fine-tuning my wrestling and correcting the little mistakes,” Pennisi said. The Maroons will continue to WRESTLING continued on page 10
Alexander Sotiropoulos Senior Sports Staff Before the start of every men’s basketball game, with exactly 2:26 left on the clock, Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s song “Karn Evil 9” greets the crowd: “Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends.” For seven fourth-years, the basketball show ended on Saturday. The Maroons (14–11, 7–7 UAA) lost to rival and UAA champion Wash U (19–6, 11–3) by a final score of 73–60. Despite the loss, the Maroons had a certain confidence during warm-ups that they had not shown before. Even with the game’s lack of tangible implications, players were displaying their creativity through crowd-pleasing dunks. “I think the guys were pretty charged up,” head coach Mike McGrath said. “I just said, ‘Hey, we talk about playing for each other; lets do that right now.’” Perhaps it is fitting that fourthyear guard Matt Johnson managed to score two points before the opening tip-off. Wash U received an administrative technical foul, which allowed the Maroon and UAA leading scorer to sink a pair of free throws. That was as easy as the game got for the Maroons. “I think it was two teams that really knew each other and kind of slugged it out,” McGrath said. The only fourth-years playing in the contest were Matt Johnson, Tommy Sotos, Michael Sus-
Fourth-year Matt Johnson goes in for a layup during the men’s basketball game against Wash U on Saturday. AUMER SHUGHOURY | THE CHICAGO MAROON
tarsic, and Tom Williams, due to the unavailability of Chase Davis, Stephen Palmtag, and Steve Stefanou. The Maroons relied heavily on jump shots, specifically threepointers. In the first half, Chicago was 5–19 from behind the arc and 10–31 from the field. “I think we took a lot of jump shots…more than I wanted to,” McGrath said. “Our strength is
shooting the basketball.” Meanwhile, the Bears were 15–32 from the field and 2–10 on three-pointers. Chicago faced a 38–27 deficit going into halftime after receiving some momentum via Sustarsic’s buzzer-beating three-pointer to close the half. The Maroons were unable to come out with higher shooting M.BASKETBALL continued on page 10
Published on Feb 28, 2012
The show ends for senior septet TUES Madhu Srikantha News Staff Mahmoud Bahrani Senior Editor Raghav Verma News Staff Jennifer Standish News...