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Check, check it, yeah.
The man behind the Phoenix mascot speaks.
NOVEMBER 13, 2009
The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892
Final Logan Arts Center plans unveiled
NSIT to implement e-mail forwarding, new Web portal By Al Gaspari News Staff
edges and a café that sits under the outdoor bridge. Tsien and Williams said their goal was to make all entrances equally inviting, including an open bridge that will connect the northern and southern entrances. “The entrance is actually a plaza. You will feel like you enter as soon as you step off the street,” said Tsien. Although Tsien and Williams’ design for the Arts Center was first picked in a 2007 contest, before the recession, they said it hasn’t significantly changed their plans. Because demand for construction is lower, contractors are forced to offer better deals for their services, they said. The building should achieve a silver
cMail will be discontinued in 2012, part of an NSIT initiative to conserve resources and better serve student demands, NSIT officials announced yesterday at a student forum in the Reynolds Club. A new Web site meant to aggregate University-related tools, myUChicago, was also shown. Greg Anderson, NSIT director, said the recent trend of students forwarding their e-mails to other accounts spurred the decision. He said around 51 percent of students forward their e-mail. Students will keep their @uchicago.edu addresses, but will pick an outside provider, such as Google, to host the account. Current students who do not forward will have one to two years to change their settings. This period represents the amount of time that NSIT has contracted for maintenance service. Students are leaving cMail behind because it does not have the variety of features of other commercial providers, Anderson said. “We don’t have the resources to compete with the Googles of the world,” he said. For example, cMail has one gigabyte of memory, compared to Google’s seven gigabytes. Anderson said the change will save the University money, but he did not know how much. “We are in an effort to gain as much efficiency within a finite set of resources so that we can gain the capacity to do new things,” Anderson said. When incoming first-years choose their CNet IDs in the spring, they will choose where they want their
LOGAN continued on page 3
NSIT continued on page 2
A view of the southwest entrance of the Logan Arts Center, designed by Todd WIlliams and Billie Tsien. Construction is slated for completion on March 26, 2012. COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Design features three performance spaces, “tower of the arts” By Al Gaspari News Staff Architects presented final plans for the Logan Arts Center in a ceremony at the Law School Tuesday, featuring an 11-story tower and an adjacent building filled with performance and teaching spaces. The Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts is expected to cost $114 million and is scheduled to open March 26, 2012. Originally scheduled for completion in fall 2011, the date was pushed back earlier this year.
It will adjoin Midway Studios on 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue. “This will be a beacon to draw people in from across the Midway,” architect Todd Williams said. Williams and Billie Tsien, a married team of architects, have lived in the Carnegie Hall Tower in New York for many years. They said living in a structure devoted to music inspired their design for the Arts Center. “We loved the tower of the arts. That was our big idea,” Williams said. The main floor will have three performance spaces—a 450-seat auditorium, a 120-seat theater, and a black box theater—and a 2,000square-foot exhibition space. A performance space, which incoming Logan Arts Center Director
Bill Michel called the performance “penthouse,” will occupy the top floor of the tower and seat a musical ensemble. To enhance acoustics, the penthouse will feature a 20-foot ceiling and hardwood floors. Two outdoor spaces, a balcony, and a seminar room, will accompany the penthouse and offer views of downtown and Lake Michigan. Studios, practice space, and set shops will fill up a large part of the remaining space in both of the buildings. The set design workshops and arts workspaces will be painted white. “We left these spaces empty for creative students and teachers who want to make a great mess,” Williams said. The buildings will have two small, cantilevered lookout spots on the
Cochran fields concerns on community garden
Lotta asks students to reconsider communism
By Ella Christoph News Editor 2 0th Ward Alderman Willie Cochran said he would form committees to discuss the future of community gardens in Woodlawn at a community meeting in Carnegie Elementary School Thursday, responding to concerns over the closing of the 61st Street Garden. The University remains committed to its decision to close the garden. Cochran held the meeting in order to hear the community’s reaction to the garden closure, which makes room for staging construction for the Chicago Theological Seminary at 61st Street and Dorchester Avenue. He offered city-owned land on the nearby corner of 62nd Street and Dorchester Avenue for a permanent garden. “If this garden subject is what has gotten us here today, let that be one of the things that we take away,” he said. “What I see, here, for me, is
an opportunity to build a coalition where we’ve never seen it before.” Closing the garden is the only safe and efficient option, Associate Vice President for the Office of Civic Engagement Sonya Malunda said, adding the University is aware and appreciative of the the garden’s positive impact on the community. “How can we create a grand vision that brings communities together?” she asked. Malunda was joined by Arnold Randall, vice president for civic engagement, and Rudy Nimocks, director of community partnerships. Over 150 people attended the meeting, including at least a dozen University students. The University announced the decision in April, and the garden officially closed on October 30, but gardeners and community members hope the University will reconsider. Cochran said he will create committees to discuss the future of the 61st Street Garden and
In a talk that was part history and part Sosc class, scholar and activist Raymond Lotta spoke to a packed room in Kent Hall Wednesday, advocating the return of communism to the intellectual agenda. Lotta, on a “Setting the Record Straight” tour organized by Revolution Books, criticized current scholarship on revolutions in Russia and China, and presented a favorable analysis of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. The tour is meant to “challenge the conventional wisdom that communism is a failed project,” said Sunsara Tayor, a writer for Revolution newspapers and the talk’s moderator. “Some of you want to stop the imminent environment emergency, teach in an inner city school, create art,” Lotta said. “But no matter your passions and
GARDEN continued on page 2
LOTTA continued on page 2
By Aviva Rosman News Staff
Communist author Raymond Lotta speaks with students and faculty after his presentation in Kent Hall on Wednesday evening. DARREN LEOW/MAROON
CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | November 13, 2009
“Cyborg astronauts” could scan for life on Mars UNDER
By Stacey Kirkpatrick U of C researcher Patrick McGuire (B.A. ’89) envisions a future where “cyborg astrobiologists,” astronauts equipped with high-tech headgear and software, scour the surface of Mars, electronically sifting through mountains of rocks and soil before being directed to only the most worthwhile samples. McGuire is looking to reinvent the way researchers study other worlds by creating robots that can not only see, but independently analyze images and find patterns that might ultimately give clues to the existence of extraterrestrial life. He hopes to apply the technology to astronauts’ spacesuits, resulting in cyborg spacefarers that can process visual stimuli the naked eye can’t. These cyborg astronauts have the potential to make important discoveries in the field: In
testing in the western U.S., McGuire’s system has been used to analyze small iron deposits in sedimentary rock, called redbeds, which McGuire says are sometimes caused by fungus-algae hybrids known as lichens. Lichens that grow on the redbeds are “not obvious to the human eye,” McGuire said, but cyborgs might be a way to find these tiny signs of primitive life. Using a neural network developed by physicist John Hopfield, called a Hopfield Neural Network (HNN), McGuire’s system mimics biological sight by comparing new data with previously collected data. This way, McGuire’s robots can single out objects that are different from their surroundings. A patch of land is recorded as an image and analyzed in layers of red, blue, and green using software McGuire developed himself. Numerical values are assigned to each color, which are transformed into values for hue, saturation, and intensity. The HNN maps these averages onto distinct points in space and creates diagrams out of them. The computer breaks these images
into similar areas, called segmentation maps. If any points on the map differ from their surroundings, they show up on “uncommon maps,” which detect and highlight unique areas of coloring. From these uncommon maps, McGuire creates interest maps, which are the final product of the analysis. In the past, astronomers have primarily launched unmanned robots, like the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, to take photographs and soil samples, which are beamed back for earth-bound explorers to study. McGuire’s system allows a robot, or robot-assisted human explorer, to focus on areas more likely to merit further investigation. Though most maps created by HNN come from still pictures, McGuire hopes to apply his neural system to video, looking for significant changes in color over time as land is traversed using feedback loops, allowing the robots to “look at a series of images in real time,” McGuire said. Because of the feedback, the novelty detection software has a memory of stored information based on what is has already seen. The AI system “takes the set of ones and zeros [assigned to
the colors] and looks for other sets of ones and zeros that [are] similar to that,” McGuire said. “It’s a way to look for patterns that are familiar.” Even before cyborg-astrobiologists become fully autonomous, astronauts could use this type of technology for planetary exploration. As of now, the system is a “wearable computer,” McGuire said, with the potential of becoming a semi-autonomous system functioning without human control. The computer system includes a video camera, visor, keyboard, mouse, and long-lasting battery pack that all strap on to the user. To develop the system, McGuire drew from his experience with neural networks that began with his undergraduate education at U of C. “I brought ideas, know-how, and technology” to create the cyborg system, he said. Past projects required him to be able to find points of interest in images, which helped him come up with the system of uncommon mapping. Besides being used in space, McGuire said this technology could be used to study places with harsh and extreme environments on earth, such as the ocean floor and Antarctica.
Alderman Cochran suggests gardening on city land, moving on from 61st Street plots GARDEN continued from front page potential new gardens in the neighborhood. He conceded that the meeting should have been held earlier to allow more time for discussion, but said the community should keep up its momentum to ensure its voice is heard by the University—concerning both community gardens and other neighborhood issues. Jack Spicer, garden manager, demanded an open-ended discussion with the University brokered by Cochran, instead of an announcement of already-made decisions. Malunda said she didn’t want people to invest more time and energy in trying to negotiate a compromise when the decision would not change.
“I don’t want to mislead anyone at this meeting, with all due respect,” she said. She added that the University has now offered to buy new topsoil for relocating the garden, in addition to its previous offer to move the garden’s current topsoil. Cochran said he wants to put at least 600 more plots in Woodlawn over the next two years, pointing out that permanent plots on land controlled by the ward would establish a strong foundation for urban gardening in the neighborhood. Cochran encouraged attendees to consider future plans for community gardening in Woodlawn, instead of focusing on the University’s decision. “We take our happiness with us. If we focus on one place, we lose ourselves,” he said.
Chalk, cMore, other “portlets” can be rearranged in myUChicago NSIT continued from front page mail forwarded. “Students arrive with an e-mail identity when they apply. Rather than disturb that, we will let the students keep their same e-mail provider,” Anderson said. While College students may not have developed an attachment to the service, Anderson said graduate students, who have used the service the longest, might not transition as smoothly. Anderson said NSIT will help current students transition to the new system. The forwarding service will also allow the University to reach students after they graduate. The other part of N S IT’s initiative, myUChicago, will come out of beta next week. It will resemble iGoogle or myYahoo, portals that consolidate online resources. “This makes it easier for all our constituencies to navigate the University’s resources. Right now it takes students a great deal of time to find their
information,” Project Manager Tamra Valadez said. The page features a series of “portlets,” or rearrangeable boxes, dedicated to different tasks, such as an academic calendar, housing links, and transportation updates. Students will be able to minimize, eliminate, and move most of the portlets. The portal will have customized bookmarks, weather, and RSS feed options. myUChicago will allow single sign-on service for certain sites, but not for others, such as cMore. Because it contains sensitive information, myUChicago will log out after 30 minutes of inactivity. The full version of the site will be accessible to first-years November 18, upperclassmen November 24, and graduate students by division by December 10. Faculty and staff will gain access in the winter and spring, respectively. The staggered introduction gives NSIT an opportunity to watch the site in action, but not worry about traffic bringing it down, Anderson said.
Brandon Johnson, executive director for the Washington Park Consortium, also encouraged attendees to get involved in the park’s community garden planning process, as did a representative from a community garden in Jackson Park. Attendees suggested alternate possiblities for staging the construction of the Seminary, including using land at the corner of 61st Street and Woodlawn Avenue that previously had greenery, but has remained empty since the University put plans for the space on hold. Malunda replied that the University promised the neighbors of that space they would no longer stage any construction there. Malunda did not answer questions on whether construction options might be analyzed by a neu-
tral construction planning company, if the staging process might take place on city-owned land at 62nd Street and Dorchester Avenue, or if the garden closure could be postponed for a month to allow more time for discussion. She stressed that the current plan was chosen for its safety and practicality, and that the University hopes to continue working with the residents of Woodlawn. Woodlawn resident Quentin Young (X ’44), who has lived in the neighborhood his whole life, said the University’s decision reinforced its decades-long conflict with the community. “This is a rare good chance to get some solidarity, which you need,” he said. “It’s damn foolish and arrogant that they don’t see it.”
Blueprints for Harper Court designs shown at TIF meeting By Evette Addai News Contributor All three Harper Court proposals will open Harper Avenue to through traffic, city officials announced Monday at a presentation of the finalists’ designs. The 53rd Street Tax Increment Finance (TIF) meeting was the first time blueprints for the shopping center were revealed. TIF members had said in September that a final design was to be selected this month. Each plan included a mix of retail, residential, and office spaces which the University plans to occupy. In the September TIF meeting, all plans included a hotel, movie theater, gym, and restaurants. They also featured wider sidewalks.
The plans were not detailed and were not attributed to individual development teams. The three developers are McCaffery/Interests/ Taxman Corp Partnership, Mesa/Walsh Partnership, and Vermilion Development/JFJ Development Partnership. Tim Brangle of the Chicago Consultants Studio said the majority of TIF funds will likely be used for “infrastructure,” but did not specify what that meant. Harper Court’s new design will be revealed at the next TIF meeting in January or a special meeting in February, TI F members said. Alderman Toni Preckwinkle said the project will break ground in 2012 at the earliest.
Lotta decries public perception of Mao, socialism
LOTTA continued from front page
On November 6, the caption of the front-page photo of the AIDS Memorial Quilt omitted mention of the LGBTQ Programming Office’s role in the display. The display was a joint collaboration between the LGBTQ Programming Office and Rockefeller Chapel.
convictions, you cannot escape a capitalist logic that shapes everything around us.” He added, “We need a different system—a total revolution. Exactly at a time when capitalism is in crisis, at this moment we are told we can’t go beyond capitalism but can only tinker around the edges. It’s as if there is a warning label affixed to the discourse on human possibility.” Lotta said he wanted to “clear away confusion” about socialism and communism. “It’s amazing what passes for intellectual rigor on communism,” he said. In one paper Lotta presented, Mao was quoted as saying that in order to modernize China, “half of China would have to die.” Lotta traced the quotation back to Mao’s original speech, claiming Mao was making an argument for slowing the pace of
industrial projects in China in order to preserve life. Lotta chose to speak at to University of Chicago because it’s a place where questions of capitalism are openly debated, Taylor said. In the question-and-answer session, audience members interrupted Lotta to respond to him. According to Taylor, the question-andanswer session here was the most heated of Lotta’s campus tour. “The University of Chicago is right in the thick of it,” she said. In response to a question about people emigration under Mao, Lotta said, “Compulsion is not a bad thing.” “There is a positive side to compulsion in social policy,” Lotta said, citing the end of segregation. “This is what a society needs to function.”
On November 6, the caption of the photo of Jessica Halem’s comedy act, which was published in the Voices section, incorrectly attributed the event. The comedy act was an LGBTQ Programming Office program that was co-sponsored by ORCSA. On November 10, the photos accompanying the Voices article, “On the Prowl for Stylish Students,” and the photo accompanying the Sports article, “Third Place Finish has Chicago Back on UAA Map” should be credited to Eric Guo for the MAROON. The MAROON is committed to correcting mistakes for the record. If you suspect the MAROON has made an error, please alert the newspaper by e-mailing chicagomaroon@
CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | November 13, 2009
Booth students find jobs in uncommon places By Hannah Fine Senior News Staff The Booth School’s career services ramped up their efforts this year to find jobs for graduates, as business school alums move away from traditional banking positions. Char Bennington, senior associate director of career management at Booth, said the silver lining to the current economic situation is that students are looking for jobs in areas they might not have otherwise considered. More students are pursuing jobs in a greater variety of industries, especially health care, energy, and education. The top five industries accounted for 67 percent of hires this year, as opposed to 76 percent the year before, Bennington said.
She added that students’ new interests meant the office has forged new relationships with other companies and firms, although this didn’t mean students had to learn any new interview skills. “The things that employers are always looking for are the one thing that I don’t think has changed,” she said. Employer outreach was expanded, with more “feet on the street, people out there talking to companies on behalf of the students,” Bennington said. The office held more question-and-answer sessions to give students opportunities to ask questions about the job search. Andy Walcher, pursing a joint degree in Business and International Relations, received an offer from the start-up company where he worked this summer. He said career services
has improved its services for those interested in non-traditional fields, like non-profits, from when he entered Booth in 2007. As investment banking recruitment “pretty much closed down” last year, people looked to other fields, Walcher said. He estimated that 250 students from Booth looked for consulting jobs this year, as opposed to the usual 150 a year, “just because it’s the next sexiest title. You have to look at plan B, but the question is: Does that work out better for you in the long run than your first choice? Was your first choice just because of the title?” Booth student Amy Chiaverini just got a job offer last week from a Chicago bank. Still, Chiaverini said the process of finding a job “has been frustrating,” especially as she did not
find a traditional investment banking internship this past summer, so she had to find her job through campus recruiting. Chiaverini said recruiters are on campus looking for students at morning, lunch, and evening events, which are all very competitive among Booth students. “Recruitment starts so fast and is so intensive you kind of get career blinders on. It’s really the firms’ fault, but that’s kind of the way it is.” She said recruiters are prohibited from coming to campus. Chiaverini said she knew some recent graduates who “are working and happy with their jobs, and I know some who are still searching, mostly those in private equity and venture capital,” which are more traditional sectors.
Student input, neo-Gothic style incorporated into Logan design LOGAN continued from front page Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification; both buildings will have energyefficient roofs and air-conditioning systems. The architects said the building’s contemporary design was influenced by its neighbors. “The area around it is varied in style,” Williams said. “We want to make a connection to the buildings across the Midway but were not beholden to a neo-Gothic style.” The University had solicited faculty, staff, and student input on the Center’s design, and the architects said they felt that they had incorporated most of the requests. “There was a lot of shuffling. At first we thought it was like putting together a deck of cards. It was more like making a sandwich,” Tsien said.
NATAN SHARANSKY Searching for Moral Clarity in Today’s World - Soviet dissident imprisoned for nine years - Former member of Israeli Government - Author of The Case for Democracy, Defending Identity, and Fear No Evil
Monday, November 16th 3:30-4:30 PM Ida Noyes Cloister Club Sponsored by: Chicago Friends of Israel Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago Newberger Hillel Center at the University of Chicago
Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien unveil the design of the Logan Arts Center Tuesday in the Law School Auditorium. CAMILLE VAN HORNE/MAROON
CHICAGO MAROON | VIEWPOINTS | November 13, 2009
EDITORIAL & OP-ED NOVEMBER 13, 2009
UChicago 2.0 CHICAGO MAROON
The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892
SUPRIYA SINHABABU, Editor-in-Chief TOM TIAN, Managing Editor ELLA CHRISTOPH, News Editor ASHER KLEIN, News Editor MICHAEL LIPKIN, News Editor CLAIRE McNEAR, Viewpoints Editor HAYLEY LAMBERSON, Voices Editor BEN SIGRIST, Voices Editor JORDAN HOLLIDAY, Sports Editor MATT BARNUM, Editorial Board Member BEN ROSSI, Editorial Board Member DANI BRECHER, Head Copy Editor SHAHZAD AHSAN, Photo Editor JEREMY MARTIN, Photo Editor
Campus technology changes a mixed bag It stands to reason that a university on the cutting edge of so many fields would want to keep its technological offerings to students up-to-date as well. To that end, two major changes to the University’s online resources are under way: First, NSIT has announced that it will be phasing out cMail, and instead will have students forward mail to a third-party e-mail service. Second, the University has announced that myUChicago—a Web portal meant to streamline University resources for students, faculty, and staff—is set to launch next week. While phasing out cMail is a welcome (if overdue) change, myUChicago leaves much to be desired. In an e -mail to students, the team that developed myUChicago
described the site as “a powerful— and handy—collection of many useful University Web sites and password-protected systems.” And sure, the site does aggregate a whole host of links, from library accounts to bus schedules, and may slightly decrease the number of times per day you punch in your cNet ID. But for years, students’ main problem with University Web sites has centered around a process myUChicago barely addresses: picking classes. Course selection requires students to navigate through a confusing array of Web sites, including cMore’s add-drop portal, time schedules, course advice, and the PDF course catalog. MyUChicago seems like the perfect venue for
combining all those resources into a more coherent, easily navigable system. Instead, the portal’s approach to aggregating sites like Chalk and cMore is less than impressive: They appear together in a list of links. With myUChicago, the University missed a chance to deal with a longunmet student need. News of cMail’s demise, however, is a much more encouraging sign of progress. The University’s Webmail service is famously arcane, so much so that many students automatically forward their University mail to another account. It makes good sense, then, for the U of C to dump cMail and allow users to select another e-mail address to which all .uchicago mail will be sent. The change will happen over
the next two years, which allows for plenty of transition time. The greater user-friendliness and reliability of alternate providers like Gmail will be a convenience to students and will save the University money. Yet many universities began outsourcing their e-mail services years ago. It’s a good thing the U of C has gotten the ball rolling on its efforts to revamp online resources for students, but, as myUChicago shows, there’s still considerable room for improvement. — The MAROON Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and an additional Editorial Board member.
HEATHER LEWIS, Head Designer ABRAHAM NEBEN, Web Editor BURKE FRANK, Associate News Editor
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
CHRIS BOOTS, Associate Viewpoints Editor EVAN COREN, Associate Viewpoints Editor RYAN TRYZBIAK, Associate Sports Editor ERIC GUO, Associate Photo Editor
Just beet it
U of C not at fault for lack of pleasure reading time
CAMILLE VAN HORNE, Assoc. Photo Editor JUDY MARCINIAK, Business Manager JAY BROOKS, Business Director
University’s daily workings should be better publicized
JACK DiMASSIMO, Designer IVY PEREZ, Designer JESSICA SHEFT-ASON, Designer NAKUL SINGH, Designer CLAIRE ZHOU, Designer
Eliana Pfeffer Columnist
MATT TYNDALE, Designer ANDREW GREEN, Designer ANNA AKERS-PECHT, Copy Editor JORDAN FRANKLIN, Copy Editor DANIELLE GLAZER, Copy Editor MONIKA LAGAARD, Copy Editor HOLLY LAWSON, Copy Editor MIRANDA LI, Copy Editor LAUREN MAKHOLM, Copy Editor ROBERT TINKLE, Copy Editor LILY YE, Copy Editor WENJIA DOREEN ZHAO, Copy Editor
The CHICAGO MAROON is published twice weekly during autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Circulation: 6,500 The opinions expressed in the Viewpoints section are not necessarily those of the MAROON.
©2009 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
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Last week, I was lazing in a comfy armchair, vaguely listening to my housemates’ debates rage around me as they attempted to decide whether or not Snell should use house funds to buy new pool cues, when someone cleared his throat and mentioned that he’d heard that the University would be using beet juice instead of rock salt to melt snow on campus this coming winter. All other conversation immediately died, and an awkward silence ensued for about three seconds before one girl repeated, in an unsure voice, “Beet juice?”
“I wasn’t given any more information,” the student said, and sat back in his chair. I thought of all of my new pairs of winter boots turning a distasteful brownish maroon rather than remaining beige and actually matching my clothing, and dashed back to my room after the meeting ended in order to ensure that this was just another rumor. I clicked around, searching through old University e-mails, seeing if I’d missed anything important, looking for key phrases like “permanent stains” or “beet juice turning your jeans brown”, but found nothing. Absolutely nothing. This lack of information typifies the atmosphere of this campus. While I was eventually able to discover that the Sustainability Office’s Web site had a PDF file which, at the bottom of the second page, mentions this “beet
juice” plan, it took me hours of searching and asking around. Furthermore, the Sustainability Web site never addressed any of my pressing concerns—whether the beet juice would turn everything I own maroon, for example. I had to do research about that on my own, and I discovered that while beet juice might not stain, some types of “beet salts” smell slightly like brewer’s yeast. Fantastic. I live right on the quads, smelling brewer’s yeast all winter and possibly into spring. This change, like the many others the University tends to make unilaterally, is going to be implemented without even a conciliatory e-mail to students who might be affected by the decision. I spend all of my time on campus—I live here, I eat here, I study here—and it’s absurd that the administration
BEET JUICE continued on page 6
Lessons from a teach-in Students must speak up in defense of campus workers
By Jasmine Heiss Viewpoints Contributor The words “teach-in” may conjure up images of fiery activism and an impassioned response—rather cliché ideas, I suppose,inherited from the 1960s heyday of activism. The teach-in that Students Organizing United with Labor (SOUL) held last Wednesday night, however, was quite a different scene. Attended by a small group of students, the subject matter was a recent decision by the University to cut the 40-hour workweek to a mere 35 hours for Residential Halls and
Commons (RHC) workers. As the two maintenance workers present at the teach-in stressed, these cuts have been debilitating. In addition to resulting in a whopping 8-percent cut in pay, the cut in hours rules out the option of overtime. Additionally, the cuts have been enacted at a moment when there is actually more work, particularly with the opening of the monolithic South Campus Residence Hall. The University promised to hire additional staff with the opening of the new dorm, but they’ve only made the additional work harder to handle. The workers present, John and Tom, described the struggle of being “everywhere at
once,” as they are the only two RHC workers currently scheduled at night. Unsurprisingly, they report that the cuts have been detrimental to the morale of the campus workforce. Sarah Farr, a fourth-year and longtime member of SOUL, spoke at the event. She noted glaring evidence that the University is not too badly off—the brand new cobblestones on the quads and the rather prim new gardens in front of the Regenstein Library are clear indicators that there is money around; it simply isn’t being allocated to benefit campus workers. “As students,” Farr asked, “where do we want our tuition
TEACH-IN continued on page 6
Like Matt Barnum (“Where Reading Comes to Die,” 11/6/09), I’m painfully aware of the gap between the amount I read and the amount of reading required by my self-concept. But unlike Matt, I don’t think this gap can be blamed on the workload at Chicago. There’s simply too much time in the day for homework to ever eclipse reading for pleasure. Take the astronomical figure of 10 hours of academic work per day. You still have 14 hours of free time at your disposal. Now say you devote 40 minutes of those 14 hours to reading for pleasure, and say also that you’re a slow reader, so 40 minutes equals about 15 pages. At 15 pages a night, you could finish War and Peace in just under three months. Get a short story or fiction p o d c a s t ( f r e e o n i Tu n e s ) a n d “read” while you walk to and from campus. Or buy an audiobook. Open the The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction in between skimming turgid ruminations on the public sphere. Put Alice Munro on your pillow and leave Jhumpa Lahiri open by the toaster. You might even, as a last resort, take an English class. What you may find is that these small routines have a twofold inertia: First, the routines become automatic and easy to maintain, like showering or eating (surely there isn’t too much homework for those things?). And second, once the routine has gotten you past the first few chapters of a book, it becomes very natural to finish it, and the routine is no longer n e e d e d . Re a d i n g f o r p l e a s u r e is only impossible if you never bother to do it. Noah Ennis Class of 2010
CHICAGO MAROON | VIEWPOINTS | November 13, 2009
Rethinking the search for research assistantships
Room with a viewbook
New database would be beneficial for everyone
College admissions search isn’t all that meets the eye
By Liat Spiro Viewpoints Staff Where have all the research assistantships gone? I know many departments’ budgets have been cut, but college and graduate students are increasingly willing to work for free. I think research opportunities are, in fact, there; finding them, however, may require diligent hunting and constant vigilance. The seemingly interminable search is productive neither for interested students nor busy professors. To find information, many students must troll the student employment and Fellowship, Research Opportunities, and Grants Web sites, parse through countless listhost e-mails, keep apprised of CAPS events, and e-mail professors. The process can prove fruitless, especially for underclassmen, who haven’t picked majors or haven’t yet developed contacts in their fields. The situation must be similarly frustrating for professors who post on only forum and wait
weeks for a response. So, in the name of research, I’d like to propose a one-stop shop for undergraduate research opportunities. The database could resemble the USAJobs Web site, the federal government’s online employment site. On USAJobs, users can make their résumés viewable to all potential employers, as well as search and apply for specific positions. Drawing again on USAJobs, the Web site could have a streamlined build-a-résumé system to provide fields for qualifications that would specifically pertain to research. This way, professors could easily identify and contact qualified candidates based on search criteria. The major problem facing students in search of research opportunities and professors in search of assistants is that of low connectivity. Physical science majors and pre-meds typically fare better in their searches not only because of the funding allotted to their departments but also because of the active organizations and communities that exist to get the word out. From the Society of Physics Students to the Pre-Medical Students Association,
lecture series and advising sessions successfully bring people together. Additionally, by the end of her second year, a science major probably will have taken more courses taught by potential employers or professors eager to recommend one. The connectivity of their communities is greater than that of those in the humanities or social sciences. The database (perhaps ugradresearch.uchicago.edu) would vastly ameliorate the situation in the social sciences and humanities, while also bolstering the relative success in the sciences. Coming to the University of Chicago reflects a love of academics and academia for many students. So why not offer students an efficient way to find and engage in meaningful research prior to their fourth-year B.A. theses? Working under the guidance of a professor as a first-, second-, or third-year would likely prepare students for more advanced research to come. The University’s emphasis on close reading of great books and source documents means that opportunities to hone research skills in
ASSISTANTSHIPS continued on page 6
By Steve Balogh Viewpoints Staff When I applied to this school, the only thing I knew about the U of C was what I could deduce from the publications that accumulated in my collection of viewbooks and college brochures. There was a time when I believed that the merits of a school were manifest in its viewbooks, and certainly something about the elegantly typeset, maroonand-white UChicago cardstock made it stand out. Maybe it was the hokey text that suggested wittiness was as ubiquitous on campus as on the pages of the “Life of the Mind;” or maybe the College Programming Office simply did an excellent job at creating a comprehensive U of C aura, one of a quirky, learning-obsessed institution. Whatever it was that caught my attention, I bought it. Others I’ve talked to have applied to schools knowing just as little. In deciding which applications to complete, vague feelings about schools turn into atmospheres; the well-composed people standing in front of ivy-laden buildings, the modern design of the pages, the catchy rhetoric— it all solidifies into something three-dimensional, an idea about a school that suddenly has depth. This is what we use to determine where we spend the next four years of our lives. Certainly we rely on hard facts and statistics to reassure us in our decisions, but the impetus is organic and just a bit too nonspecific to articulate. I still struggle when asked by family members or friends “Why’d you decide on Chicago?” and end up relying on de facto responses about quality of education and student-to-teacher ratio. We believe that there’s something about a college’s culture that is abundantly present in its aesthetic; if not the viewbooks, then the look of the campus or the attractiveness of the students. These are the subconscious ports of infiltration into our decision-making, and certainly they’re being used in the marketing of higher education just as they are in marketing Coca-Cola. But can a school be blamed for trying to present itself as pleasantly as possible? Certainly not, but we have to acknowledge that there is no unifying concept or color scheme to any idea or institution. During my application process, the most influential resources in deciding where to apply were CollegeBoard and Wikipedia: CollegeBoard to ensure that I was applying to schools that I had a chance of getting into and Wikipedia to deduce anything I could about the feeling of the place. Was it respected? Was the city interesting? This is how I systematically went through the top 100 lists: I searched out parameters, compiled lists, and, like a hypochondriac surfing WebMD, continuously convinced myself that I had found my dream school. But my impressions were paper-thin and fleeting, simply because the language of college applications is the same as that of buying a car: All-inclusive stereotypes and idioms are rampant, and the line between misinformation and inaccuracy is heavily obscured. I only truly became aware of the ignorance and uncertainty of determining which school to apply to a couple weeks ago while hosting a prospective student for a night. He knew only bits and pieces about the College; he knew that there was a lot of work, that there was something called the Core, but, regardless, Chicago was his top choice. It dawned on me that the College’s response to his lack of an adequate picture of the school was to give him even more brochures, send him on campus tours, and have him spend a night in the dorm, an experience extremely subjective in nature. Being a “prospie” means being subject to the whim of a student for 24 hours. Whether or not a prospective student has a good experience is often entirely independent of what the actual school is like, and instead reliant on what their host believes constitutes a good time on a Friday night. So what should our decisions be based on?
VIEWBOOKS continued on page 6
CHICAGO MAROON | VIEWPOINTS | November 13, 2009
U of C fails to give workers respect Students should be able to personalize e-mail updates TEACH-IN continued from page 4
BEET JUICE continued from page 4
dollars going?” Perhaps that’s one of the most troubling elements of recent events—the evidence suggests that, as University of Chicago students, we don’t particularly care. In fact, of the students who attended the teach-in, only two were not affiliated with a social justice or labor rights group. And maybe that’s the supreme irony of the University of Chicago—it’s practically impossible to get through your first two years in the College without reading Marx, and human rights courses are often filled to capacity. When it comes to actual instances of social injustice, however, the vast majority of the student population is too busy trying to frantically finish their readings, or pound through a problem set. I am certainly no exception—I wouldn’t have been present without Farr’s encouragement and the promise of a free dinner. What I took away from the teach-in, however, was far more than lentil soup. As I listened to Tom and John talk, my blood boiled. The University of Chicago prides itself on its reputation as an excellent academic institution, and rarely misses a chance to tally up Nobel Prizes. The oh-so-collegiate ivied walls are veritable eye candy for prospective students and their families, the home of the infamous life of the mind. The whole scene begins to take on a sickly pallor, however, with the knowledge that the men and women who work inside those walls are unsure if they will be able to support their families. RHC staff often stress their commitment to the students of this university; for the cleanliness and safety of our environment, we also owe these men and women respect and thanks. Unfortunately, the University of Chicago does not seem to be offering them either. Perhaps the worst part is that no one expects this to be the last of such actions taken by the University. In fact, Joe Sexauer, a member of Teamsters Local 743, referred to it as a potential “trial run.” It is, after all, an optimal situation for the administration—the number of hours cut is too small for the workers to find a second job, yet large enough to constitute a serious decrease in pay. This equals both savings and flexibility for the administration and renders the Residence Halls and Commons workers powerless. It is both the right and responsibility of students to make our voices heard and demand that the University use our tuition money to promote the dignity and well-being of its employees. In fact, without us, they might not be heard at all. When he complained about the gross injustice of the situation to management, John dolefully reported that he was told “Don’t rock the boat, you’ve got a job.” This metaphor seems particularly ironic considering that, according to the two men, in the same week their hours were cut, the director of Residence Halls and Commons bought a brand new sailboat. How’s that for salt in the wound?
doesn’t seem to be concerned that some students would like notification of policies and changes on campus that might affect their daily lives. When similar choices are made by the town and county councils where I live, informational pamphlets are distributed. These papers have all the necessary information as well as a contact number in case of further questions—and yet I had to look all over the Web for this information and meet with a student on the Sustainability Council just to figure out if I should just send my new winter shoes home. This school is plagued by a lack of transparency. Meetings are held behind closed doors, and students might receive e-mails regarding “the financial situation on campus,” but never hear anything else. I, for one, would appreciate a program in which one would choose to subscribe to specific e-mails—construction announcements, new transportation routes, or
— Jasmine Heiss is a fourth-year in the College majoring in Visual Arts and Anthropology.
Admissions must be seen as what it is: an industry
Connectivity is problem and solution ASSISTANTSHIPS continued from page 4
safety alert e-mails, so every student on campus can be as informed as she wishes about the workings of the institution we spend so much of our time working with, instead of hoping a Maroon columnist airs the issue. An example? Sustainability meetings are open to the public. I would never have known this had I not spoken with a council member in order to better understand the new “beet salt” policy. Apparently, meetings are publicized only through select listhosts, so unless you know you’d be interested in these meetings, you’ll never find out about them. And just to let you know—the beet salt? It might not stain your new boots, but it’s about three times more expensive than regular calcium chloride.
classes are few and far between. Just as math majors are expected to pick up linear algebra by osmosis, social science and humanities majors must puzzle together research skills through the occasional assignment requiring outside sources and, strangely enough, through Core Bio. Clearly, groundbreaking research is being done at the University of Chicago. It’s time for faculty and undergraduates to effectively come together to undertake the most urgent, intellectually gratifying, and time-consuming research projects of our day. The problem and solution lie in connectivity. If match.com can provide “a whole new world” for romanceseekers, imagine what a research opportunity database for U of C undergrads could do.
— Eliana Pfeffer is a second-year in the College.
— Liat Spiro is a second-year in the College.
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VIEWBOOKS continued from page 5 Higher education is an industry, after all, and we are being sold a product. If we can’t trust the aesthetics, or even an event as seemingly expository as a night at the school, how do we evaluate what is right? The principal problem in college applications, in my very limited experience, is that we don’t realize that colleges are trying to sell us something; they’re trying to sell us an education, a culture, an academic identity. Most of our ideas about a university are direct from an Office of Undergraduate Admissions, so we must be wary of the ivy. I think the only thing we can do is read everything, from every angle, and compile an aggregate idea of what it really is to be a student at a particular school, because there is so much that is lost between the lines of viewbooks, as well as the Princeton Review. — Steve Balogh is a first-year in the College.
Free Incoming claim based on combined voice, Text and Pix usage by typical U.S. Cellular customers. Other restrictions apply. See store for details. ©2009 U.S. Cellular.
CHICAGO MAROON | VOICES | November 13, 2009
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NOVEMBER 13, 2009
Cerqua combines classic and contemporary in fall concert
Victors write history: Plouffe records Obama campaign strategy
By Christy Perera Voices Bebop
By Ruben Montiel Voices Pappy O'Daniel
On Saturday, dancers from Cerqua Rivera Dance will fill Chicago’s Theatre Building with dramatic energy and inspire the audience with their unique form of modern dance with their fall concert. The show consists of two very distinct halves. The first is a compilation of new works in celebration of Black History Month and a tribute to Miles Davis. The second, entitled “Latin Fire,” incorporates contemporary dance and Latin-inspired music to tell stories about the difficulties of immigration, living with HIV, and being a child soldier. This incredibly unique performance features a mere 11 dancers from the Rivera Dance Company, along with live musicians for some of the dances. Slideshows of photos relevant to the themes of the particular dances project behind the dancers, making the performance a truly multimedia experience
CERQUA RIVERA DANCE THEATRE FALL CONCERT Theatre Building Chicago November 14, 8:15 p.m.
The first portion, entitled “Corner Sketches: A Tribute to Miles Davis,” demonstrates the variety of these dancers’ capabilities. They present modern and contemporary dance, typically done without footwear, to convey a story. The dancers perform in couples, solo, and in groups, all with extreme precision. In every case, they mirror each other perfectly and their movements sync impeccably with the pulse of the music. Traditionally, Latin dance is seen as very struc-
DANCE continued on page 8
Were one of your professors to say about you “There is nobody I trust more,” you’d be flattered. Your best friend? Honored. The leader of the free world? It’s likely your editors would slap it on the front cover of your new book. That’s exactly what President Obama said about David Plouffe, the wunderkind campaign director of the Obama presidential bid. He took some time to talk with the Maroon in anticipation of his appearance at the International House, where he is promoting the release of his new book, The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory. The conversation centered on idealism in politics, “new media,” and, of course, hope and change.
COCO BEFORE CHANEL
Directed by Anv
I-House November 13, 6 p.m.
CHICAGO MAROON: You write that Obama was a candidate driven by ideals. For example, he felt it was necessary for individuals to reengage in civic life, which led to the importance of volunteers. How did Obama’s idealism affect the strategies used by the campaign?
Unlike U of C students, Rivera dancers know how to make eye contact in "Corner Sketches" COURTESY OF RENEE GOOCH
If you want some Aqua Teen, Lakeshore will give it to ya By Jessen O'Brien Voices Number One in the Hood Last Saturday, the Maroon conducted a phone interview with Dana Snyder and Dave Willis, the writers creators of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF), as they sat across from an alley strewn with condom wrappers in Austin, Texas. In addition to co-creating, co-writing, and co-producing one of Adult Swim's most popular shows, Willis also plays the voices of Meatwad, Carl Brutananadilewski, Ignignokt, and Boxy Brown, while Snyder provides the voice of Shake. Our conversation ranged from Scooby Doo to the birth of the Aqua Teens. Snyder and Willis will be performing skits from the irreverent, frequently unearthly adventures of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force this weekend at the Lakeshore Theater.
AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE LIVE Lakeshore Theater November 13—14
C H ICAGO M ARO ON : How do you plan to transform an animated TV show into a live performance? Dana Snyder: There’s only two-thirds of us. It will be more powerful, and it will be in your face. And this is the only time we’ll have audience
ATHF continued on page 8
David Plouffe: First of all, we built a very powerful grassroots campaign. But that started out not as a campaign strategy, but as a dictate from President Obama. So his belief that people could be engaged in the process—particularly young people, people who had checked out of politics—that was an idealistic vision that ended up coming to fruition. Also, I think he really believed he could engage people in a serious conversation about the issues. You might remember during the campaign that political commentators would criticize him for sounding too much like a professor, but it was his belief that you didn’t just have to engage in cheap sound bites. At the end of the day, the American people were ready to be challenged again, and that’s what he’s doing now as president, on health care and energy, issues that have lingered on. CM: You also write that then-candidate Obama didn’t have a “pathological” need to become president, that he was perfectly fine not winning. But as a campaign manager, were you? DP: Well, no. I’m a competitive person. But he didn’t have a pathological need to win—I write about this—and that was very healthy. We didn’t have that stifling pressure that comes with a candidate whose whole life is wrapped up in this thing. Now once we won the nomination, I think we had a deep obligation to win, because the country couldn’t afford four more years of Bush policies, which was largely what McCain was offering. So then we did have stifling pressure, but it didn’t come from the personal ambition of Barack Obama. It came from the need to win. Listen, I obviously wanted to win this desperately, but I think we were very healthy about it, and that made us a good campaign. CM: Your campaign mobilized voters to great effect using new media—Facebook, e-mail, text message, etc. Much has been made of its positive effect on the campaign and on voter turn-
PLOUFFE continued from page 8
CHICAGO MAROON | VOICES | November 13, 2009
Plouffe proposes that Facebook is the future of politics
According to their parents, Willis and Snyder are special snowflakes
PLOUFFE continued from page 7
ATHF continued from page 7
out in Obama’s favor, but lately your opponents have also used those tactics. The Tea Party protests, for example, have been characterized as grassroots activism, essentially using the tactics of your campaign. How do you feel about your strategy being used by your opponents?
participation, so they just know they’ll be able to be part of what we’re doing. Part of our show is a Meatwad contest. Everyone who has a Meatwad impersonation comes in and riffs with us. Does the voices we do. And then they will win a very valuable and lucrative prize.
DP: Well, of course everyone is going to analyze what is working out there and try and adapt. I’m not going to criticize anyone for organizing because we believe in that, but I will say a couple of things. One: the tea baggers. Their message is something that at the end of the day is flawed. I don’t think that that’s where a vast majority of the American people are. It appeals to the Palin/Limbaugh side of the party, but I don’t think it’ll appeal to the moderate centrists. Secondly, I think they’ve been pretty good at creating a lot of noise; that’s different [from] gritty, day-to-day organizing. I actually think the supporters of health care reform have been much more organized and been quietly talking to people across the country. And support for health care reform, despite the attacks, has remained pretty stable over the past few months. The one thing I know is that technology continues to change rapidly, and you can’t fault anyone for trying to organize. But real organizing is hard. It’s day-in and day-out; you’re not just trying to make a splash. You’re trying to make an impact person-to-person.
Dave Willis: And Dana will also do the voices of Frylock, as well as Master Shake.
CM: Is new media here to stay? Will any future presidential campaigns have to utilize it? DP: Oh, I think so. One thing I put in the book is that I don’t think it should be called “new media” anymore. It should be called “digital strategy,” because it’s just not “new” and it’s just not “media.” But yeah, I think that pretty soon, more and more people will be consuming information on mobile devices…and getting their information online. It impacts all aspects of the campaign: your ability to organize, to raise money, to communicate internally. So really, in many ways, it will become the foundation of the campaign. CM: Why did you choose to write the book now? Why not after Obama’s presidency or closer to election time? DP: This is something that’s humbling to say: Our victory wasn’t something that just belonged to us in the campaign or a normal election victory. It was an important moment in history, and I thought it needed to be captured. And the only way to capture it proper was to do it right after the election, where it was still in my memory. And I thought it was important to capture the campaign through our eyes. Now, I don’t think it’s necessarily a playbook. Campaigns are different, every year is different, and politics are not static. And I thought it was important to capture both [Obama’s] remarkable leadership qualities as well as the remarkable work and effort all of our volunteers put into the campaign. CM: Given that every campaign is different, and every year is different, do you think you could have achieved this success with a different candidate or a different time? DP: No, not with a different candidate. The grassroots campaign that we built, our ability to win states like Indiana and North Carolina, Virginia—all of that was because of Barack Obama. None of this was transferrable. It was all due to his leadership and his inspiration. Could we have won this in a different year? I don’t know. The timing really worked this year. The country was hungry for change, someone without a long Washington résumé, technology improving to the degree we were able to use it during the campaign. Everything aligned well. But one thing I will stress: This campaign couldn’t be moved over to a different candidate. It wouldn’t work. You can’t manufacture these things.
DS: That’s right. Sort of a more urban feel when I do it. CM: What are some of the difficulties in transforming ATHF from one medium to another? DS: This thing isn’t a direct transfer. So far the difficulty has been figuring out to get the guy to play the DVD at the right time in the show, all the clips and things. That’s proved quite difficult. DW: It’s actually not difficult at all. It’s the same process; it’s just that this way people can’t steal it. DS: It’s much harder to download this. DW: Yeah. You’d actually have to download our DNA. DS: That’s what’s fun about it, it’s an event type thing. A special event. DW: We have another one in Austin later today...I’m standing across from an adult video store that’s just fascinating to me. It’s tigerstriped. CM: Besides the fact that people can’t steal a live show, what are some other advantages?
Attention to acting elevates Rivera's intimate performance
DS: You can’t download it on the Internet. I think it’s funny, you know, when we make this format we won’t have to watch it and review all our mistakes over and over. When we review the
There are an alarming number of condom wrappers in this alley over here. show, it’s just a series of tiny, mundane stupid decisions you make in a dark room no larger than a closet. And then you put it on the air, and you really have no idea how people reacted, you only know how the crazy people who go straight to the internet, what their opinions react. This is kind of cool, getting an instantaneous response. It’s very direct, it’s not at all like the tedious work of making a cartoon for television. And it’s fun. It’s fun to meet the people, and it’s fun that people seem to appreciate what you do. How’s that for a direct answer? I went through some media training.
solving premise of the show? DW: We aborted that about two or three days into making the shows. And we were saddled with it out of some bizarre passion for Scooby Doo that the network has, this fixation with Scooby Doo and solving mysteries that the people at Cartoon Network can’t get over. They’re obsessed with the fact that they think kids like mysteries. And uh, I dunno. I remember someone saying, “Are they superheroes?” I said, “No.” “Then make them detectives.” So we did. The cast, we were getting paid at the time to do that. I think once we finally punted that to the curb and decided we liked the show better, we liked imagining them as having a detective agency that failed at one point. They still have the corporation name and the web site and the stack of T-shirts that their detective agency had in a closet somewhere.
DW: There are an alarming number of condom wrappers in this alley over here. CM: Why is it named Aqua Teen Hunger Force [ATHF]?
CM: ATHF is not only a TV show. You’ve produced one movie, have another one planned for 2011, have released a video-and a mobile phone game, are featured in Danger Doom’s album The Mouse and the Mask, and have just released a Christmas album, Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas. In addition, you now are touring the show. Why do you think this show is able to translate over so many different media? To what do you owe its continued success?
DW: That was the first thing that I said in the writers’ room. We wanted the show to sound a lot cooler than it actually was going to be, so we were trying to sort of fool viewers into thinking that they would be watching an incredible, awesome, spine-tingling show. So, ATHF were the first words that we came up with, and we said let’s call it that, let’s not even come up with a second option.
DW: Why do we think we’ve done so well? I think because we’ve both had parents who have really been supportive of us over the years and always assured us that we were the smartest, brightest boys in our class and have given us the self-confidence to go out into the world with our stupid ideas and really just inundate people with them, until they agree to accept them until they tell us to shut up.
CM: What happened to the original crime-
DS: That’s true. I think that’s partly true.
HARRAN PRODUCTIONS FOUNDATION
DANCE continued from page 7 tured, yet passionate, but Cerqua Rivera Dance has completely reshaped this conception. The dances showcased here possess quintessential Latin rhythms like that of salsa or tango, but the dancing was far from the traditional style. Sharp lines and quick footing combined with fluid hips and expressive arms are a unique take on Hispanic dance. The dancers’ impressive talent is manifest throughout the show—every minuscule motion they make has clearly been rehearsed time and again. However, what really sets them apart is their attention to acting. Rachel Cortés, one of these elite 11, commented, “We always try to make it as real, as honest as we can when we’re performing.” While watching the dancers, it is difficult not to empathize with them—their palpable emotions radiate from their faces and their bodies. In the portion concerning children soldiers, for example, they react vividly to the sounds of gunfire, mimicking the reaction a child might have. The chemistry and camaraderie among the dancers is also evident throughout the performance, especially when their personal space is eliminated entirely. Throughout all the pieces, the dancers perform many complicated lifts that require them to be exceptionally comfortable with their fellow dancers. “We’ve created a really open atmosphere for them to take chances,” said artistic director Wilfredo Rivera. He also commented on how the dancers are a group of friends who support each other and enjoy time together, something that was obvious watching them interact. The dancers seem extremely comfortable with each other, often mimicking very intimate situations. In the end, Saturday night will show more than the extraordinary talent of both the dancers and directors of Cerqua Rivera. With the combination of live music and visual art, and the concentration on contemporary social issues, Cerque Rivera’s Fall Concert goes beyond turning the beat around.
AN EVENING OF
SUNDAY, NOV. 15 AT 5 PM Free Donations accepted
OF FAITH SACRED SOUND
A tapestry of sound drawn from the rich liturgical and cultural traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Performed by leading practitioners including: Alberto Mizrahi and Deborah Bard Rockefeller Chapel Angela Spivey 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. Amir Koushkani 773.702.2100 Salem Baptist Choir Rockefeller Chapel Choir rockefeller.uchicago.edu Thomas Weisflog, organist harranfoundation.org Directed by James Kallembach Introductions by Bill Kurtis and Shakeela Hassan T THH EE
I EV RES RI TSYI TO Y UUNNI V F
COH FI C A G O
CHICAGO MAROON | VOICES | November 13, 2009
G a d a b o u t
b y i l l i ya g u t i n
The Depot American Diner Bringing an American tradition back to life I don’t do diners. For many years I lived by that simple motto. No black coffee breakfasts, no overflowing appetizer samplers, and certainly no stale, prepackaged, “home-style” apple pies just begging to be put out of their misery with a trip down the garbage disposal. And if you’re thinking of dismissing this repulsion on inexperience, know that I’m from New Jersey, the Land of the Diner. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the diner. It’s a throwback to the simpler days of America where the nuclear family stood firm and the Fonz could fix any jukebox with his elbow. But it’s become a cliché of traditional American culture; just like the Fonz, the diner jumped the shark. But when all hope was lost, I met the diner’s savior: The Depot American Diner. Located at 5840 West Roosevelt Road, the Depot is an adrenaline shot straight to heart of the American diner. It gives this tradition a second chance at life—and this time, it won’t fail. The menu transported me to a childhood I never had—an odd sensation of faux nostalgia
that ran perpendicular to my Russian upbringing. Where my people had borscht and pelmeni dumplings, while at the Depot, I found myself thinking, “So this is what those capitalist dogs ate…” Unlike modern diners, there was no meddling with foreign cuisine or trumpeting of low-carb alternatives. The food was straightforward and oddly elegant. Essentially, it was diner classics (BLT, reuben, french dip, meatloaf, fried chicken, open-face sandwiches) at their finest. The choices were daunting, but I decided on soup, two sandwiches (with a pickle and coleslaw of course), and dessert to get an overall impression of the place. The waiter was nice enough to recommend the soup of the day: a smooth and rich cream of lentil. The problem with “cream of ” anything soups is their tendency to be thick and goopy, one of the most unpleasant textures known to man. This soup, however, had an excellent and welcome lightness that managed to preserve the savory sweetness of a heavy cream without overpowering the subtlety of the lentils. There was a lot of depth for such a simple soup. After the entrees arrived, I would love to say that, for the sake of standing behind my con-
victions, they were terrible and better suited for a truck-stop buffet. Alas, they were not. They, too, were delicious. My experiment’s control was a basic meatloaf sandwich, something I thought could provide a good standard. The meatloaf was moist, like a very high-grade hamburger, and perfectly mixed with sautéed onions and tomato-chili sauce, which helped to emphasize the surprisingly intense meat flavor. The bread was just thick enough to contain the sandwich without dominating the flavor. The house specialty was a pot roast sandwich. Of course, pot roast was its main focus, but it was so intricately “decorated” with crispy fried onions, mushrooms, and peppers that each bite revealed some new and incredible combination of flavors. In fact, it was so intensely flavorful and juicy that the bun could not contend with the forces within and slowly withered away. If "The Star-Spangled Banner" were a sandwich, this would be it. Before this sandwich, I had only dreamed of a future where my children could enjoy such decadent
splendor, the American dream. This splendor carried through to the dessert, which was simply titled “Donuts & Mocha.” Though not donuts, per se, they were fluffy yet crispy beignets with a warm chocolate dipping sauce. There was a hint of mocha, mostly just to do the dish’s name justice and create some extra warmth. Again—simple, yet delicate, obviously a running theme in this place. The check brought yet another smile to my face. Under $15 per person is a small price to pay for this quality. And they aren’t exactly stingy with the quantity, either. As I stepped outside, I realized what made my trip to the Depot so successful. To say that the restaurant saves the legacy of the American diner is an understatement. The Depot redefines it. The food takes those comforting post-war American recipes we are so familiar with and seamlessly updates them to contemporary, elegant cuisine. The Depot’s formula is easy: Don’t be pretentious and don’t be lazy. They put time and attention into simple dishes, which translates into an amazing dining experience.
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CHICAGO MAROON | CLASSIFIEDS | November 13, 2009
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CHICAGO MAROON | SPORTS | November 13, 2009
For women, goals at Regional are fifth place and an NCAA berth CROSS COUNTRY continued from back page the year and the last opportunity to check off anything left on their to-do lists. “Conference was a big disappointment, but for cross country, regionals is definitely the biggest meet of the season,” third-year Felipe Fernandez del Castillo said. “The UAA was a really tight, really strong conference this year, and going in we knew we could have an only okay day and finish seventh. That’s pretty much what happened. We know we’re better than that, and we’d like to show that this weekend.” The team is looking to place in the top 10 at the regional—not high enough for the team to qualify for NCAAs, but high enough that some individual runners might be able to make the
trip to championship. “For the team, we are hoping to be in the top eight or nine in the region,” third-year Arthur Baptist said. “The top five teams will go to nationals, and while that is likely out of our reach, I think it would be great for us to mix it up with teams going to nationals.” The women are also looking to bounce back from their unexpected sixth place finish at UAAs. Despite that showing, the Maroons are hoping to qualify for nationals as a team. As with the men, that will likely mean finishing in fifth or better in the team competition. “We are aiming to finish fifth,” second-year Rachel Ohman said, “with as small of a gap as possible between the fourth-place team and us,
in order to maximize our chances of receiving an at-large bid for the national championships.” A t t h e O c t o b e r 17 U W – O s h k o s h Invitational, at which Chicago finished eighth in a field of 34, the Maroons had a chance to run on the same course they’ll use this weekend. The women are confident that this second go-round will be even better than the first. “Our team is extremely prepared for this race. We have trained consistently for months and are committed to our goals and to each other,” Ohman said. “In addition, three weeks ago we ran on this same course and had an excellent team race and are looking forward to matching, if not besting, that performance.” The Maroons know that to qualify as a team,
turning in a few outstanding performances will not suffice. Every one of the top five runners needs to race well for the team to move beyond regionals. “I feel like recently we’ve really come together as a team—that is, we’re getting very good at running in packs,” second-year Jane Simpson said. “We are going to scare the heck out of whoever we pass.” For the Maroons, the rough day at UAAs served as a reminder that success can’t be a foregone conclusion, and the women are now even more determined to extend their season past tomorrow’s race. “The bad place we got in [conference] further knocked us out of our complacency. We know we’re a good team, but we’re a better team when we don’t count on it,” Simpson said.
Sometimes they’ll talk about eating me, frying me up. But I’m used to that by now.
of whack. I’m pretty happy with how it is now, compared to how it was at the beginning of last year and the end of last year especially.
Phil the Phoenix “enjoys long walks on the faces of the opposition” MASCOT continued from back page she told me to e-mail the coordinator of the pep program, who also [coordinated] the mascot, and I did, and it turned out they were interested based on what [my hallmate] had told them… CM: Was there any sort of tryout? Did you have to give them a portfolio? SB: I didn’t. I wrote them an e-mail saying, “You’ve heard about me through this person, and I enjoy dancing and having fun and being energetic. And I can make these dates of the home football games.” CM: Do you get dance moves from someone else? From music videos or anything like that? SB: No, I get them from my own crazy world. I’ve been the only person who dances the way I dance for the entire duration of the time that I’ve been dancing. You know the song “Chicken Noodle Soup”? “Let it rain, clear it out. Let it rain, clear it out”? It’s an East Coast thing. Anyway, that song is about this person that dances so crazy that whenever they start dancing, everyone clears out of the space they’re in, for fear of getting injured. I’ve been doing something that has that effect since high school. CM: If nobody taught you, do you have any inspirations? SB: Everyone who knows me even a little bit will be amused to hear that my inspiration is the one-and-only Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige. Because she’s awesome. And actually, in my life, I was not always open and expressive and bubbly. In middle school and through ninth grade, I was kind of introverted and afraid of human beings and all that. University of Chicago students can relate. Then in 10th grade, there were a whole lot of
changes going on in my life, and I was opening up to a lot of things, and her breakthrough album was coming out at that exact moment—fall of my 10th grade. And so it was just a really meaningful album for me, that fit exactly what I was and who I was at that time. And so I’ve been her biggest fan ever since, and I’ll often listen to her stuff to get energized, or to pick me up when I’m down. CM: Would you say there’s been any artistic growth during your time as a mascot? SB: I did think of one cool thing that I didn’t start out doing. When I get there, and the game hasn’t started yet and people are still filing in, I’ll do this thing where I’ll “stretch out.” Which is a good thing to do anyway. So I’ll touch my big, enormous white shoes, and I’ll stretch my wing, and all that kind of stuff. CM: What do people around campus say when they hear you’re the mascot? Or is your identity known? SB: I tell many people. I don’t tell everyone I know, just because I don’t know how people are going to take it. But people who get used to me, in general, as someone who has a lot of energy and is outgoing and full of pep and jazz hands and stuff, those people once they are used to that, I will often tell. Some people will be like, “Do we even have a mascot?” And others of them are like, “Wow, how’d you get that?” Because it isn’t something that’s advertised on “Campus Jobs.” CM: Do opposing fans ever give you grief? SB: Oh yeah. Not too major a thing, but there will often be opposing fans, and they’ll taunt me. Most often it will be, “What are you anyway?” And they’ll start throwing random bird names, they’ll start squawking like a chicken.
At Wheaton, Thunder fans make their support known M. SOCCER continued from back page teams on the other side of the Maroons’ regional, for a second-round match Saturday evening. After Chicago plays tonight, Wheaton and Calvin then play on the same field, and if the Maroons win, they’ll sit down and scout the opposition afterwards. But, as they have throughout the year, Chicago is proceeding game-by-game, and this entire week has been given over to preparation for Wartburg. Should the Maroons make it to a Saturday night match-up with Wheaton, they’ll be in for a rowdy atmosphere against the home-standing Thunder. At Wheaton, the only thing that rivals the quality of the soccer teams each fall is the dedication of their supporters. Brett Marhanka, Wheaton’s sports information director, told how Michael Giuliano, the Thunder’s head coach, left D-I San Diego State to coach at Wheaton. After his first game at Wheaton, Giuliano called his former school in
CM: Is there any give-and-take there, or are you hands off? SB: I can’t speak in the suit, of course, so what I’ll often do is I’ll turn around and shake my tail feather at them. Or I will make hand motions that indicate that I’m not impressed. Wing motions, I should say. That’s pretty much all I can do. CM: Is there any one really good story that stands out to you from your time as a mascot? SB: Most of the most fun times involve kids, because their sense of wonder at the world is pretty fresh and real still. And so often the best interactions are little kids who—during the basketball games they’ll play the “Cha-Cha Slide” at halftime and I’ll do it—and usually a few kids who I’ve high-fived in the first half will come out and try to do it with me, which is precious, or they’ll hold onto my legs while I’m doing it, which is even more precious. There are a few times when some of the kids get a real close bond with me over the course of the game, and every second that I’m anywhere nearby, they’ll scream and wave, “Hi, bird!” Whenever a kid gets really into it, then that’s one of the happy times, definitely. CM: A lot of mascots have that padded, burly look, but the Phoenix is pretty lean. You ever think about some shoulder pads, bulking him up a little, make him a little more imposing? SB: A lot of people will say, “You need some meat on you, Phoenix.” That is something that I’ve definitely heard enough that I’m thinking about it. It’s been a pretty constant struggle to get it repaired. If you remember last year, there were enormous tears through the seam of the legging, the tail was falling off, and the shoes were out
CM: What about other aspirations? Are you going to keep doing this throughout your time here, and could you take it to the next level? SB: Wow. I definitely do hope to keep it up throughout my time here. And I hadn’t thought much about it as a career, in part because I don’t know much actual dance. It’s more the kind of spontaneous stuff that might fly in minor league baseball.... But I’m enjoying it so much, that I would definitely be interested and willing to do it for some minor league baseball sometime. CM: I’ve wondered, does the Phoenix have a name? SB: Yes. His name is Phil.... I’ve said to a few people, when I felt like being creative, he enjoys long walks on the faces of the opposition, and being engulfed in flames. CM: Any other stories to share? Surprising things about being a mascot that you didn’t expect going in? SB: Not that many. Every once in a while, I do something and I feel really bad about it, because in the costume, if I make a mistake—if I accidentally hit someone; or if I’m getting a drink of water after a really exhausting performance, and my head is off because I can’t drink through the head, and then people are walking down the hallway, so I’ll throw a wing up to cover my head, but it’ll be too late and they’ll get really freaked out—I feel bad about it, but I can’t apologize, because I’m not there. To read the full transcript of the interview with the Phoenix, visit: chicagomaroon.com/sports
Possible second-round opponent Wheaton playing through an off year W. SOCCER continued from back page California and described the Wheaton followers. Back in San Diego, Guiliano’s old colleagues couldn’t believe what they were hearing. “They tend to be loud,” Marhanka said of the Wheaton faithful. “They have a good time, and they’re fairly knowledgeable.” Chicago would surely relish playing in that environment. The Maroons are excited as is, and seem to have taken the cue of fourth-year defender Drew Marshall, one of the only Maroons to remember the team’s last NCAA trip, in 2006. Marshall said it was important that the team understand the rarity of today’s game. “I just hope people realize how special it is to be in the tournament,” Marshall said. “You don’t get to go every year.” But special as the circumstances are, all Chicago needs today, Marshall said, is more of the same. “We just need to come out focused and play our game,” Marshall said.
“One of the blessings we continue to receive is that our success is shared throughout the group. We never know who it is that will step up big for us and it usually is someone different in each game.” The Spartans are looking for a much different result from the one they got in the first game, but Drugan did not expect to change his game plan for this match. “We do not intend to do anything different as a result of having played them in September. We are who we are, and that, in the end, is who we shall be,” he said. Less than an hour after Chicago and Aurora wrap, Wheaton and Carleton will knockoff their fourth contest in the past two seasons. Wheaton has won the past three meetings, including a 2–1 win over the Knights in the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA tournament. Carleton’s record this year is pedestrian for a tournament team, but the Knights showed they are a force by beating 10th-ranked Concordia in penalty kicks to reach the
MIAC tournament finals, where they defeated Macalester 3–0. Wheaton, for it’s part, is one of the powerhouses of D-III soccer. The Thunder finished as national runners-up in 2008 after winning NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007. This season, however, has been more difficult. “This has not been a very smooth year overall for us, in comparison to the past three to five years,” head coach Pete Felske said. “Lately, we’ve been playing better, with more confidence. We went through a streak earlier in the year where we found a way to win but weren’t playing well.” If the Thunder are to replicate past successes, they’ll undoubtedly rely heavily upon fourth-year forward Taryne Lee. Lee was recently named CCIW Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. . Unfortunately, Wheaton will be without the services of another key player, secondyear forward Jaime Orweiler. According to Felske, Orweiler broke her collarbone about a week ago.
IN QUOTES “You did the right thing.” —Bulls forward Joakim Noah to Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey, after Morrissey poured salsa on one of his
columns and ate at it. In the column, which was published shortly after the Bulls drafted Noah, Morrissey claimed he would eat his words “with salsa” if Noah wasn’t a bust.
For postseason, Maroons plan more of the same
Fourth-year defender Gabe Iatarola cuts past a Wash U player during last Saturday’s game. Tonight, the Maroons play Wartburg in a first-round NCAA game at Wheaton. EMILY LO/MAROON
It’s tempting to say that today’s N CA A first-round match with Wartburg will be a whole new ballgame for men’s soccer. The Maroons earned enough breathing room in UAA play that they never faced a
must-win game like this one down the stretch. They haven’t played at Wheaton—the site of today’s match— since Octob er 2 007, and they haven’t played Wartburg since the 2005 NCAA tournament, when the team’s four fourth-years were still sitting in high school classes. But that isn’t how head coach
By Jordan Holliday Sports Editor
Scott Wiercinski looks at it. To hear him tell it, this isn’t game one of the postseason; this is game 19 of a season that began with practices in the mid-August heat. Wartburg (15–4–1) is just the latest part of a project that Chicago (12–3–3) has been working at for months now. “At this point in the year, our
guys do what they do well,” Wiercinski said. “We’ve worked on this all season long, and we really don’t plan on changing much as we go forward.” That’s not to say that Chicago isn’t doing what they can to prepare for Wartburg, a team with a name so unfortunate you could almost forget that they beat third-ranked Loras (18–2–1) to win the IIAC tournament last weekend. Or that the Knights have won six games in a row, and 10 of their past 11. Four years after that game, Wi e r c i n s k i s a i d t h e K n i g h t s ’ strengths start with their goalkeeper, Trent Miller, who has started 16 of 20 games this year and recorded all 15 of Wartburg’s wins. Besides Miller, there are some quick-strike forwards, and midfielders who see the pitch and move the ball well. In short, the Knights are an NCAA tournament-calib er team, and there aren’t any gaping holes to be found in their scheme. “They’re a well-balanced team.” Wiercinski said. “They don’t have any weaknesses that are going to be easily exposed. We’re going to have to play really, really well in order to have a good result.” If that good result comes, Chicago will be paired with either Wheaton (14–3–3) or Calvin (15–4–1), the
M. SOCCER continued on page 11
At Regional, runners Shaking a tail feather with the Phoenix hope to keep UAAs By Jordan Holliday Sports Editor behind them By Alex Sisto Sports Staff Heading into this weekend’s Midwest Regional, the men and women’s cross country teams can’t dwell on the past. Both teams are coming off disappointing finishes at the UAA Championship and so are all the more motivated to prove their talent tomorrow. A seventh-place finish at UAAs left the men’s team unsatisfied, and now the Maroons are excited to test their endurance against the runners from the 42 other D-III schools competing in the Midwest Regional in Oshkosh, WI. “To a man, we felt that our performance at conference was not characteristic of the effort and talent we have on our team,” fourth-year Alex Garbier said. “As a result, while the regional is certain to be very difficult, we really look forward to competing strongly and mixing in with some nationally-ranked opponents.” With just a handful of races during their season, the runners have only a few chances to accomplish the personal goals they might have. For runners who don’t qualify for the NCAA Championship, the Midwest Regional will be the final meet of
CROSS COUNTRY continued on page 11
There are only a handful of people—on this campus or elsewhere—on whom a lanky, full-length bird costume could ever be becoming. Thirdyear Stephen Bonnett, to his great credit, is one of them. Since last fall, Bonnett has been the man behind the University’s Phoenix mascot, boogieing along the sidelines at football and basketball games in a threadbare, maroon-and-white suit that you wouldn’t know to be a phoenix unless you asked (and many do). Blending physical comedy with hip-hop dance moves of his own invention, Bonnett delivers a performance that could do both Young B. and Foghorn Leghorn proud. This week, he talked to the Maroon about his big break, his artistic vision, going pro, and the guilt that can rack a mascot’s soul.
MASCOT continued on page 11
By Ryan Tryzbiak Associate Sports Staff When women’s soccer takes the field against Aurora today in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Maroons may have the distinct feeling that they have done this all before. That’s because, in fact, they have. Back on September 26 and 29, Chicago hosted consecutive matches against Aurora and Wheaton. The Maroons won both games, defeating Aurora 2–0 and Wheaton 3–1. If Chicago (14–3–1) is to advance past this weekend in the tournament, they may have to repeat that very feat. The first game of today’s NCAA Regional doubleheader at Stagg is a rematch between Aurora (16–5) and Chicago; the second is between Wheaton (15–4–1) and Carleton (10–5–5), and the two winners will play their second-round game tomorrow, again at Stagg. In the first Chicago–Aurora clash, second-half goals from fourth-year forward Brooke Bontz and secondyear forward Haleigh Stopa powered the Maroons past the Spartans. Chicago dominated the game statistically, recording 23 shots and 10 corner kicks, while Aurora took just seven shots and one corner kick. But that match was seven weeks ago. The Spartans have won 10 of 11 games since, and have a goal differential of +31 over that stretch. Aurora head coach Kanute Drugan pointed to his team’s maturation as the reason for their strong close to the season. “We are a young team. We have had to grow and develop quickly. We came together as we had hoped to do and that is when we started to gain the success that we had difficulty achieving earlier,” he said. Drugan identified team play as one of the Spartans’ biggest strengths.
W. SOCCER continued on page 11
CA LEN DA R Friday
• Women’s Soccer hosts NCAA Regional Chicago vs. Aurora, 11 a.m. Wheaton vs. Carleton, 1:30 p.m. • Men’s Soccer @ NCAA Regional (Wheaton, Ill.) Chicago vs. Wartburg, 5 p.m. Wheaton vs. Calvin, 7:30 p.m.
CHICAGO MAROON: How did you break into—I don’t even know what to call it. Is it “mascoteering”? Stephen Bonnett: I knew someone in my house—and I’m a very expressive person, physically and otherwise—so on the hallway there was someone who was in the pep band, and she saw how energetic I was, and she expressed that the person in charge of the pep program was feeling around for a new mascot… So
In NCAA, Chicago welcomes back familiar opponents
• Women’s Cross Country @ Midwest Regional, 11 a.m. • Men’s Cross Country @ Midwest Regional, 12 p.m. • Football vs. Carnegie Mellon, 12 p.m. Animated by third-year Stephen Bonnett, the Phoenix dances at a football game earlier this season. Bonnett said he was chosen to be the Phoenix for his energy, dance moves, and availability during football season. SHAHZAD AHSAN/MAROON
• Women’s Basketball @ Olivet, 3 p.m.
Published on Sep 14, 2011
By Al Gaspari News Staff By Al Gaspari News Staff DISCOURSE FRIDAY A view of the southwest entrance of the Logan Arts Center, designed by To...