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Phoenix Rising

M AROON The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892

The U of C's mascot is out the door, but a new replacement will rise from the flames.

Sports, back page




Oates opens up about writing, death Alum released after six Writer Joyce Carol Oates spoke on her personal life at I-House weeks in Libyan prison By Jonathan Lai Associate News Editor After being detained for six weeks in Libya by forces loyal to Muammar el-Qaddafi, freelance journalist Clare Gillis (A.B. ’98) has been released and is scheduled to arrive back in the U.S. today. The Libyan government released Gillis, an American citizen, on Wednesday, along with American James Foley, Spaniard Manu Brabo, and Briton Nigel Chandler. The four journalists were brought to a hotel in Tripoli, where they stayed overnight. According to Gillis’s mother Jane Gillis, her daughter left Libya yesterday via Tunisia, and her parents are scheduled to Joyce Carol Oates reads one of her short stories entitled "Pumpkin-Head" Wednesday afternoon at the International House Assembly Hall. After the reading, Oates took questions from literary critic Donna Seaman and the audience.

pick her up today. As a freelance reporter, Gillis was writing for The Atlantic and USA Today on April 5 when proQaddafi forces captured her near the town of Brega in eastern Libya. Gillis was travelling with Brabo and Foley at the time. All three were initially held in a co-ed detention center. However, by the time Gillis made her first phone call to her parents on April 21—her first contact with the outside world—she had been transferred to a women’s prison. In the two weeks before that first phone call home, the Libyan government had continually denied that they were holding Gillis and

GILLIS continued on page 3



her novel Them, was animated during her reading, speaking quickly and gesturing with her hands. During the interview with moderator Donna Seaman, a literary critic for Chicago Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, Oates delved deeper into “Pumpkinhead” and other writing she did to help cope with her husband’s death. Oates said she believed that in the depth of her mourning she experienced

Spirit Week connects RSOs

Renowned author Joyce Carol Oates read her work and spoke on her personal life and the future of the printed novel at the I-House on Wednesday to a full audience. Oates’s talk was part of her tenure as the 2011 Kestenbaum Writerin-Residence in the Division of the Humanities. Oates, who won the National Humanities Medal in 2010, read

the story “Pumpkinhead,” from her most recent collection of short stories, Sourland. In the story, a widow is accosted in her home by a man she met at the supermarket. Oates said that writing the story helped her get over the death of her husband. “Reading this story makes me feel very anxious and excited, because it makes me go back in time to a place I don't have access to,” Oates said. Oates, who won the 1970 National Book Award in fiction for



UEI study links relationships and student safety

Nine U of C undergrads earn Fulbright Fellowships

When relationships within a school are strong, the overall sense of safety is increased, and the two are correlated more strongly than the students’ neighborhoods, according to a report by the University’s Urban Education Institute (UEI). The report found that advantaged high schools with lowquality relationships between students and staff, parents and staff reported about the same or even sometimes lower levels of safety than disadvantaged schools with high-quality relationships. “The most important finding is that neighborhood circumstances from which the students arrive to schools does not solely determine the safety felt by students and teachers,” said Matthew Steinberg, the lead author and a fourth-year doctoral candidate at the Harris

UEI continued on page 2

Nine undergraduate students at the University have been named recipients of the Fulbright Fellowship so far this year, according to Senior Advisor for International Initiatives at the College David Comp. For the 2011–2012 application cycle, a total of 86 Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicants applied from the College, yielding 25 finalists. The nine individuals will go to various places abroad, to conduct research, teaching, as well as some overseas studying. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsors students in their academic endeavors by providing grants that cover tuition, traveling costs, and a living stipend. Kyle Shen, a fourth-year who will be using his Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Macao, recalled the nervewracking experience of waiting to hear back from the Fulbright Commission. “I went through a whole quarter and had not heard anything,” Shen said. Andrew Dallos, a fourth-year, will be using his Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Brazil under the English Teaching Assistantship

Program (ETA). “One of the most attractive aspects of the ETA is that it gives me a substantial amount of time to work on my sideproject,” Dallos wrote in an e-mail. In addition, Dallos will also be involved with several organizations in Brazil that use soccer to teach life skills to at-risk youths. For Dallos, his experience at the University playing for the Varsity Men’s Soccer team has taught him more than just lessons of the game. “I have come to see soccer as a way to reach out to young people and as a great platform for youth-focused initiatives. I believe that sport can be a universal language and as such can be a great tool for teaching life lessons that can help people in various walks of life,” he said. Shen also points to his experiences at the University as the inspiration to pursue a career in academia. “I’m really looking forward to teaching. This is really why I want to do a Ph.D. program. I knew I wanted to do more school after college and I guess UChicago kind of reinforced that,” Shen said. The application process begins in spring quarter of third year and

From a superstition-themed party to the Buddha’s 2,635th birthday, U of C’s Spirit Week celebrations have brought international guests and campus faith groups together. The annual celebration of faith, the University’s second ever, kicked off last Friday with art, lectures, and meditation workshops.

“It’s a chance to invite a friend to something you already do in a more open setting,” Dean of Rockefeller Chapel and Director of Spiritual Life Rev. Elizabeth Davenport said, adding that approximately 20 percent of students on campus belong to a religious organization. Monday, Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gyuto Vajrayana Center in San Jose, CA began creating a sand

SPIRIT continued on page 2

U of C Undergraduate Fulbright Recipients 90 80 70 Number of Students

By Rebecca Guterman News Staff

By Crystal Tsoi Senior News Staff

OATES continued on page 2

By Maria Mauriello News Staff


Number of Applicants Recipients

50 40 30 20 10

20 0 1– 20 20 0 2 0 2– 20 20 0 3 0 3– 20 0 20 4 0 4– 20 20 0 5 0 5– 20 20 0 6 0 6– 20 20 07 07 –2 0 20 0 0 8 8– 20 20 0 9 0 9– 20 20 10 10 –2 0 20 11 11 –2 0 12

By Benjamin Pokross News Staff

months then pass before students hear about the status of their application. The following individuals received a Fulbright for the upcoming year and are listed with the program and its respective country: Moira Cassidy, ETA to Spain; Julia Coburn, Research Grant to Costa Rica; Vriti Jain, ETA to Bangladesh; Megan Race, ETA to Russia; Peter Slezkine, ETA to Kyrgyzstan; Seth Swingle, Art Grant to Mali; and Zoe Vangelder, Research

Grant to Mexico. There are still three alternates who may become recipients should someone decline the award, and five more applications still under review. The U of C had a total of 10 recipients out of 69 applicants in the 2010–2011 cycle and 21 recipients out of 71 applicants in 2009–2010. As recipients finalize their plans, more Fulbright recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.


CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | May 20, 2011


Uncommon Interview

with David Showalter


ove over, Greek Thought and Literature—there’s a new GTL in Chicago academia. David Showalter, a third-year Tutorial Studies major with a focus on criminal justice and a passion for pop culture, is determined to bring MTV’s raucous reality hit, Jersey Shore, out of the tanning bed and into the limelight. Central to that goal is an academic conference, possibly the first ever for the show, which Showalter is planning for this October. Having already garnered media attention around the web, he hopes the conference will bring together journalists, culture hounds, and media studies luminaries from universities all over the country. The MAROON sat down with Showalter to figure out the situation. C HICAGO M AROON : How did you make the leap from Jersey Shore as an object of fascination to being an object of serious academic consideration? David Showalter: I was a really big fan boy of Jersey Shore. I don’t know if there was a particular moment when I was like, ‘Wow, this show is really fascinating ethnographically,’ but the moment when I got the idea for the conference was over the summer, when I came across a blog post that advertised a Jersey Shore conference and actually turned out to be an April fools’ joke. I was like, “Well, this seems wrong”—I don’t know if it’s just me, but things just leap out of the show. A really great example is when Snooki says, “I’m not white, I’m tan.” CM: To what extent, for you at least, is there a tongue-in-cheek element to the conference? D S: The conference definitely has a humorous aspect to it, just because I don’t want to suck the life out of the show. But it’s

not really satirical in almost any respect for me. It’s very much going to be a serious academic conference because the broader point I’m trying to make is that pop culture is really worth studying. CM: The speaking list already contains writers from The Onion, Gawker, and various academics from around the country and Canada—how did you get some of these names? DS: Over the past decade or so there’s been scholarly literature that’s developed around reality TV, and without that existing work that’s been done, the conference really wouldn’t be possible. So I contacted a lot of people who have done work on reality television and said, “You know, I think that different aspects of your work would be really fascinating for this conference,” and I got a few responses. In terms of the nonacademics, that was mostly just dumb luck. The conference broke through last week when Gawker ran a piece on it. They just

Report finds a single, stable adult can improve school environment UEI continued from front page School of Public Policy. In the report, advantage was defined by measures of crime, poverty, resources available in home neighborhoods, and levels of academic achievement. Safety was measured through surveys of students and teachers. Relating school organization and climate to factors outside of the school environment is a somewhat original topic in the literature on school safety, according to Steinberg. “There is a role for schools, families, and teachers to play in insulating students from the adverse circumstances students are coming from in their home neighborhoods,” Steinberg said. He also discussed the policy implications of the report, and said that it somewhat reinforces the efforts of Culture of Calm, an initiative put in place this year by the Harris School in 38 Chicago public schools. The effort focuses on improving the relationships and “social capital” between students and teachers. One of the practical implications, Steinberg added, is the type of punishment used in schools. The report found that schools with high suspension rates had generally lower feelings of safety in students

and teachers, though there is no causal relationship based on the current evidence. In addition to correlational analysis, the report presents case studies that compare tactics aimed at improving the climate within a school. The study compares a categorically disadvantaged school, coded “Lake Erie” with “Huron,” an advantaged school, and suggests that a welcoming environment for parent visitors and respectful words from teachers to students cultivate the best learning climate. “In uns afe schools like ‘L ake Erie,’ encounters between parents and school staff are charged by the chaotic, antagonistic environment of the school itself. The main office, where parents and visitors are directed upon entering the school, is frequently noisy and crowded,” the report described. The third case study uses solely “Lake Erie” school, and shows the difference a strong relationship with even one adult at the school can make, improving confidence and grades among students. The report, entitled “Student and Teacher Safety in Chicago Public Schools,” was released and funded by the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) at the UEI, created by the U of C.

scooped up the funding application I wrote up for the Uncommon Fund. CM: You’ve said that Snooki is your favorite cast member on the show, from both the perspective of a fan and of a scholar. Could you elaborate? DS: First of all, I don’t think anyone could have written Snooki, could have written her character or the things that she says, so she’s a really singular literary achievement. And I’ve read her novel [A Shore Thing] also, which is also a really fantastic piece of work for serious and not so serious reasons. On the show, she puts forward a really interesting portrayal of being a woman. Offscreen, she’s been incredibly savvy about building this branding empire for herself. She’s really realized the fact that she can’t go back to a normal life now, that she’s created this persona for herself that she has to perpetuate. CM: October is just fi ve months away. Are you nervous?

OATES continued from front page profound dislocation from her powers of representation. “You go back to your house, and all the things that you shared with a person have no meaning,” she said. “I’m so interested in the fact that for so many people around the world throughout history, life has no coherence.” Oates also spoke about the digitization of books, saying that she felt that a complete bound book with symbolic cover art added to the meaning of a book. “Would you work as hard as James Joyce if your book was only going to be published online and it’s not going to be this beautiful book?” Oates asked the audience. Oates

added that she owns an Amazon Kindle, and reads both online and in print. Oates, who has taught creative writing at Princeton since 1978, also spoke about her current work, saying her upcoming novel will follow the breakdown of a female president of a college modeled after an Ivy League school. “I want to show someone who disintegrates but then picks herself up and comes back,” she said. During her stay at the U of C, Oates visited Humanities lecturer Bonnie Metzgar’s 21st Century Dramatic Texts class, where she spoke about a film adaptation of one of her novellas and answered questions about adapting works from the page to the screen.

DS: I guess my biggest concern is that [the conference] remains a serious scholarly enterprise. I don’t think this is a danger that’s unique to media studies in any way, but there is always the danger of people just taking PopCulture Phenomenon X and Obscure Author Y and trying to combine them together. I don’t really want to say any names because I’ve received [paper] abstracts that deal with this problem, but I think that there are useful ways to use Jersey Shore and then there are completely unuseful ways to use Jersey Shore.

Secular students host Friday the 13th bash during Spirit Week

Monks from the Gyuto Vajrayana Center complete a sand mandala at Rockefeller Chapel. JAMIE MANLEY/MAROON

SPIRIT continued from front page

Oates wonders whether e-books would lessen importance of novels


mandala–a sacred, circular sand painting–grainby-grain. Mandalas—the objects of meditation and devotion in many Buddhist and Hindu traditions—are ceremoniously dissolved in water upon completion to stress the impermanence of existence. The Gyuto mandala was dissolved yesterday morning in a closing ceremony on the shores of Lake Michigan. The sand painting was part of an installation being held in Rockefeller Chapel titled “Impermanence,” which also includes photography, assemblage art, and poetry. Students were also invited to create art that mimicked the techniques in the exhibit. Davenport said that the idea of Spirit Week was to create “something visual that would speak to spirituality in a broad context.” Various student religious organizations sponsored prayer and meditation workshops occurred throughout the week, including those by Hindu Student Sangam, the Buddhist Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, and the Latter-Day Saint

Student Association. Christian Williams, a Divinity School student and member of the Spiritual Life Council, described the week as an “open door to the rest of the campus” to learn more about religious groups. The installation’s opening on Monday coincided with the date recognized as the birthday of the Buddha, which visitors celebrated with a birthday cake. Approximately 65 people also attended the first-ever Annual Multi-faith Celebration on Sunday, which featured presentations by 11 different student-led organizations showcasing the many faith traditions on campus. The Secular Students Alliance opened the festivities last Friday with their Superstition Bash in Hutch Commons, while Grammy Award Winning musician Paul Jacobs performed an organ recital in Rockefeller Chapel on Sunday afternoon. The Spiritual Life Office at Rockefeller Chapel and the Spiritual Life Council, a group of 12 students with ties to 37 religious networks, sponsor the annual event.


CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | May 20, 2011



Pro-Palestine demonstrations Lost Boys find U of C support draw mixed reactions By Jonathan Lai and Sam Levine Associate News Editors Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) distributed fake eviction notices in dorms and staged a mock military checkpoint this week to commemorate the 1948 Palestine war and resulting displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. The events were part of the RSO’s annual Nakba Week, which this year included a film screening, guest speaker, and culture fair. Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” refers to the 1948 Palestinian exodus following the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and subsequent Palestine War. To publicize the week’s events, SJP distributed 210 flyers Sunday night designed to look like eviction notices. According to SJP President Sami Kishawi, the flyers were placed on the ground in the middle of hallways in each of the houses in three dorms on campus: South Campus, Pierce, and Max Palevsky. “The point was so that when people woke up the next morning they would be able to see it lying in front of their door,” Kishawi said, “We know that housing has a few guidelines, so we figured we could put them in the hallway area, and we did that in a random area so that people wouldn't think they’re being targeted, specifically.” Still several students alleged that SJP broke housing rules with its flyers. Fourth-year Grace Chapin, an RA for Flint house in Max Palevsky, sent out a house-wide e-mail Monday morning letting residents know that they were not being evicted and that the distributors of the flyers should not do so in the future. Second-year and Resident Master’s Assistant in Max Palevsky Stephen Lurie said he doesn’t know whether the flyers broke house rules, but he wishes SJP had chosen a different means of publicity. “I thought it was a clever idea, but I think it’s another sad example of the sort of lack of productive discourse that we have on this campus about Middle East issues,” Lurie said. “I fear this type of communication, whether or not it will be followed-up with cooperative discussion, will be radicalized.” Kishawi said that he consulted with SJP’s

RSO advisor and Assistant Director of the Student Activities Center of ORCSA Arthur Lundberg, though the decision was made by the RSO without Lundberg’s explicit permission. Lundberg could not be reached for comment. According to Assistant Director of Student Development Stacey Ergang, who is substituting for Lundberg’s role with political advocacy student groups, said that ORCSA has not received any feedback about the publicity campaign. On the back of the “eviction notice” flyers is a schedule of Nakba Commemoration Week events, including an event for Tuesday listed as “Surprise” taking place at “We’ll find you, Noon.” The event turned out to be a mock military checkpoint. Closing Hull Gate, two students posed as Israeli soldiers with cardboard guns and refused to let other students participating in the protest from passing through the gate. While the soldiers yelled and forced the other students to the ground, one student posed as a doctor attempting to treat participants who were forced to the ground. Another student posed as a member of the press and snapped photos. Between 1:20 and 1:30 p.m., a period of heavy foot traffic between classes, several students stopped momentarily to observe what was going on. Only a few students stayed to see how the protest would play out. First-year Divinity School student Baqar Syed, one of the few students who lingered to watch the protest, said he felt the demonstration was effective because most people don’t remember the Nakba. Kishawi said the flyers and mock checkpoint were meant to catch students off-guard and raise awareness. “We hoped for a shock factor…We figured we’ve done fliers in the past, we wanted to make sure this could no longer be ignored, we wanted to bring awareness to the events,” he said. Noha Syam, an exchange student from Egypt, believed that the protests were a good way of grabbing student attention. “It’s good that people can see this, because those who can’t follow the news can follow it here,” Syam said.

Friend says Gillis’s release shows the danger of modern journalism GILLIS continued from front page the others. On April 26, exactly three weeks after her capture, Gillis made a second phone call to her parents. In both phone calls, Gillis told her parents that she was well. After the second phone call, Jane Gillis wrote on the Facebook page dedicated to Clare Gillis’s release that Clare had received gifts from supporters, including chocolates, books, and perfumes. According to Associate Editor of The Atlantic Max Fisher, the Libyan government had charged Gillis, Foley, and Brabo with illegally entering the country. “It wasn’t like the Qaddafi regime sent police out to their hotel and arrested them,” Fisher said. “They were out reporting near the frontlines, some troops saw them, some troops picked them up, and then several weeks later the government formally charged them with illegally entering the country.” Gillis, Brabo, and Foley each received a one-year sentence, which was then suspended. Afterwards, the three journalists— along with Chandler, who was detained separately from their group—were brought to the Tripoli hotel, where they were released. Offered the option to stay in Libya and continue reporting with a visa, all four chose to leave, Fisher said.

According to Fisher, who is Gillis’s editor as the International Editor of, the journalists’ “long-promised” release came at the end of a long process involving many groups, including the U.S. State Department, the Turkish government, The New York Times, and Human Rights Watch. “Obviously, this is great news,” said Assistant Professor of Art History Aden Kumler (A.B. ’96), who met Gillis while the two attended graduate school at Harvard. “This is a time for celebration, now that Clare, Jim, and Manu are out, but as far as I know nothing has been heard about [Anton] Hammerl, and there are other people still being held who need to be released soon.” But last night Hammerl’s family announced via Facebook that he was killed on April 5. He was a dual South African and Austrian citizen and photographer who was traveling with the group when he was shot. Like Kumler, Fisher also expressed his happiness at the journalists’ release, while noting their courage. “I think this is also just a really good opportunity to reflect on the role that foreign correspondents like Clare play in putting themselves in incredibly dangerous situations to tell us these stories, and it’s so important what they do, and they put themselves in such harm’s way to do it,” he said.

William Mou (speaking) was joined by Mayar Bona and Malth Arrik Ajak to give a presentation about their efforts to help the "Lost Boys" of Sudan in McCormick Lounge on Wednesday. JAMIE MANLEY/MAROON

By Jingwen Hu News Staff Three Southern Sudanese refugees spoke about the progress their nonprofit organization has made, and the challenges it still faces in the wartorn village of Malualkon, Wednesday night in the McCormick Tribune Lounge. William Mou, Mayar Bona, and Malith Arrik Ajak, ranking members of the nonprofit Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan (LBRSS), spoke to students in Partnership for the Advancement of Refugee Rights (PARR), an RSO and major benefactor of LBRSS. LBRSS is a nonprofit organization that aims to build high schools in Southern Sudan. The term “lost boys” refers to Sudanese refugees displaced by the decades-long civil war that began in 1983. A group of lost boys founded the organization in 2006 after a tentative peace agreement passed a year earlier. PARR, which has partnered with LBRSS since its founding, donated $12,000 to the organization in 2008—the largest donation that LBRSS has received as of yet. The money came from the University’s Darfur Action and Education Fund, established in 2007 amid a flurry of student protests against the U of C’s investments in companies tied to the Sudanese government. Though the administration chose not to divest from the companies in question, the Board of Trustees established the $200,000 fund with a personal donation from then-Board Chairman James Crown. Fourth-year and PARR President Liz Kerr said she has been impressed with the U of C’s openness to the cause, noting that many of the 30 or so attendees at the talk were new faces. LBRSS representatives thanked PARR and the University for helping them financially and strategically. The representatives said that the building foundation for one school has already been laid, and they are in the process of recruiting local villagers to construct the rest of the building. They have also bought two brickmaking machines and constructed four latrines. “We never had that opportunity to study in school,” Mou, LBRSS’s chairman, said. Personal anecdotes about their experiences in Sudan led to a deeper understanding for students about where the money went. “A lot of times with these things, you don’t have

a clear sense of what is going on. With NGOs, they reappropriate money,” fourth-year and PARR member Anna Alekseyeva said. Alekseyeva also said that donating the money to LBRSS was a good strategy because the NGO’s employees have roots in Sudan and are familiar with the cultural and political dynamics of the country. “[That] they’re not outsiders coming into a foreign environment but are actually in that environment is a really great thing. I’m really happy that we are able to promote that--not necessarily giving money to an American NGO with a bunch of Americans,” Alekseyeva said. Bona, the secretary of finance for LBRSS, said students will enroll on a first come, first serve basis and the first year’s tuition will be free. After several years, when people have found employment, Bona said that they may charge tuition. Malualkon is a small village in the North Bahra al Ghazal region of Southern Sudan. According to Bona, there was never a school in the region, even before the war, and the closest school to the one they are constructing right now is 30 miles away and was constructed by another NGO. “Most of the people in that area are illiterate. Most of them have never been to school for the whole of their lives,” Bona said. With many educated Sudanese having fled the country, finding qualified teachers for the school has proven a challenge “Some people are educated in Sudan. Some people are educated in Kenya or in Uganda. We need people who are quick learners, to catch up to the [Sudanese] education curriculum,” Bona said. LBRSS plans to seek help from other NGOs and government agencies in its recruiting efforts. The Harrington College of Design in Chicago designed the school with the approval of LBRSS’s board, Bona said. “Right now we don’t have much knowledge about Sudanese architecture. Harrington had a lot of people who already study African design. They came up with an idea. It was really a legitimate idea, good idea,” Bona said. For Ajak, LBRSS’s vice-secretary of finance, this school will provide educational possibilities he never envisioned as a child. As a child, he only envisioned working with livestock, as that was the reigning occupation. “Other generations can wake up in the morning, not to go to the cows, but to school,” he said.

CORRECTIONS » The May 17 article “Library Like No Other Opens To Crowds” mistated the total cost of the Mansueto library construction. The project cost $81 million. » The May 10 article “B-J Dethrones Snitchcock At Scav” misidentified a team member of the Max P Scav team as a University student. » The May 17 article “Rain Blows Breeze Inside” incorrectly stated that the beer garden was a part of the Summer Breeze carnival. » The May 17 editorial "Removing The Cap” mistated the number of internships offered in the Metcalf Fellowship program. This year, it is almost 400 internships. 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 Editor@




VIEWPOINTS | May 20, 2011





The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892

ADAM JANOFSKY, Editor-in-Chief CAMILLE VAN HORNE, Managing Editor AMY MYERS, News Editor CHRISTINA PILLSBURY, News Editor PETER IANAKIEV, Viewpoints Editor SHARAN SHETTY, Viewpoints Editor JORDAN LARSON, Voices Editor CHARNA ALBERT, Voices Editor MAHMOUD BAHRANI, Sports Editor JESSICA SHEFT-ASON, Sports Editor DOUGLAS EVERSON, Head Designer VICTORIA KRAFT, Head Copy Editor MONIKA LAGAARD, Head Copy Editor HOLLY LAWSON, Head Copy Editor ALICE BLACKWOOD, Head Copy Editor DARREN LEOW, Photo Editor LLOYD LEE, Photo Editor KEVIN WANG, Web Editor HARUNOBU CORYNE, Assoc. News Editor JONATHAN LAI, Assoc. News Editor SAM LEVINE, Assoc. News Editor COLIN BRADLEY, Assoc. Viewpoints Editor ILIYA GUTIN, Assoc. Voices Editor HANNAH GOLD, Assoc. Voices Editor VINCENT McGILL, Delivery Coordinator HAYLEY LAMBERSON, Ed. Board Member IVY PEREZ, Ed. Board Member ANDREW GREEN, Designer ALYSSA LAWTHER, Designer RACHEL HWANG, Designer ALYSSA MARTIN, Designer ALEXANDRIA PABICH, Designer VINCENT YU, Designer AMISHI BAJAJ, Copy Editor JANE BARTMAN, Copy Editor HUNTER BUCKWORTH, Copy Editor MARCELLO DELGADO, Copy Editor DANIELLE GLAZER, Copy Editor DON HO, Copy Editor JANE HUANG, Copy Editor ALISON HUNG, Copy Editor TARA NOOTEBOOM, Copy Editor LANE SMITH, Copy Editor ANNA AKERS-PECHT, Copy Editor ALEX WARBURTON, Copy Editor BELLA WU, Copy Editor LILY YE, Copy Editor MICHELLE LEE, Copy Editor MERU BHANOT, Copy Editor JULIA PEI, 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.

©2011 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

Blowing off steam After an admirable effort, MAB can make changes to ensure greater Summer Breeze success As one of the largest and most anticipated events on campus, it’s important that Summer Breeze be consistently successful. However, while the day is supposed to celebrate the end of dreary winter weather and spring quarter midterms, this past Summer Breeze fell on a cold and rainy day. The inclement weather prompted a massive modification of the carnival and evening concert, which left many hopeful attendees disappointed. Although plenty of students still enjoyed themselves this past weekend, the Major Activities Board (MAB) could learn a thing or two from this season’s Summer Breeze about how to make future ones better for the University community. For the past two years, Summer Breeze has taken place on wintry days that are hardly reminiscent of its namesake weather. Although springtime in Chicago is notoriously fickle, MAB should consider holding Summer Breeze later in

the quarter–closer to ninth week instead of seventh week. Waiting until later in the month of May would increase the chances of the weather being sunny, warm, and perfect for an outdoor concert. MAB would also be wise to make Summer Breeze a more cohesive, community-wide event by having the concert on the main quad and open to the public. Northwestern’s Dillo Day and Yale’s Spring Fling, both events similar in significance to Summer Breeze, host free concerts available not only to the student body but to the University community. Every student should have a chance to stop by and appreciate the music, even if they can’t spend their whole afternoon at the concert. Making Summer Breeze free and open would be best for the student body, the wider community area, and the University’s reputation. Although both parts of this year’s Summer Breeze went relatively smoothly despite the inclement

weather, MAB could have done a better job publicizing the changes it made to the concert. For one, MAB did not actively notify ticket buyers about the concert’s venue change to Mandel Hall. Attendees had to go either to MAB’s webpage or the Summer Breeze Facebook event to see the changes. Though this is a valid way to notify attendees, an e-mail or message the night before,alerting students as to the possibility of a venue change, would have greatly decreased confusion the next morning both as to whether or not the concert would take place outdoors and who would be able to attend. Concert ticket-holders were also met with the unwelcome surprise of having their tickets voided unless they were one of the first 1,000 buyers. These last-minute changes with little notification left many students disappointed and without any alternatives for the night. As Chicago weather is often unreliable,

MAB should better articulate the 1,000-ticket rule during the sales process, allowing students to time their purchase better. Although we feel MAB is able to improve scheduling and publicity, this year’s Summer Breeze concert undoubtedly boasted one of the best lineups in years. From the Walkmen to Wale, a variety of genres were represented. Having four entertaining, energetic acts perform over six hours made the concert a unique on-campus experience, even in a cramped indoor space. There can be no dispute that the concert was a success; the only drawback was that it was enjoyed by a mere lucky thousand. Next year, MAB should ensure that thousands more enjoy one of the most festive events this College has to offer. The Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and an additional editorial board member.


Twitter? I hardly knew her Though labeled as superficial social media, Twitter has both comic and serious uses in the global community

By Ivy Perez Viewpoints Columnist Like many people, I was initially skeptical of Twitter’s potential. In general, I’m usually on the rearguard of new technology. It took me a long time for me to switch over fully to cell phones and text messages from regular landlines. I am constantly cynical about the worth of new social services, and

I hate that we now seriously talk about Googling and Tweeting each other. But applying the same quasiLuddite approach to Twitter and to many of the other new platforms of Web 2.0 is a mistake that ignores much of the value that can be found and created on Twitter. Tw i t t e r i s , l i k e m a n y o t h e r things on the Internet, a new social medium. Like many media, its possibilities and unique capabilities arise from its particular quirks. The most defining feature of Twitter is its 140-character limit, which forces concise, quick-read commentary. But the true genius of Twitter’s appeal, as well as its potential for a wide variety of uses, is rooted in two other overlooked features, hashtags and @mentions. The @

mentions feature allows users to tweet directly at other people, instigating a direct and public dialogue. On Twitter, they can be used to communicate with the largest companies and the closest friends. Hashtags, on the other hand, work much like topic tags on the rest of the web, allowing similar tweets to be grouped together and seen as interconnected and universal commentary on a specific subject. Of course, hashtags have undergone a sort of revolution that allows them to be used ironically and in casual conversation, #ifyouknowwhatImean. Hashtags are the ideal example of Twitter’s immense and unique ability to cater to multiple consumer purposes. For example, comedians are a group that has particularly

flowered on the Twitter platform, using hashtag trends to create witty and precise one-liners. One example of this is the trending hashtag of #fatindiebands (best hits: Crystal White Castles, Almond Joy Division, Cinnab on Iver, Tacob elle and Sebastian). Hashtags help Twitter capitalize on its identity as a social, crowd-sourcing medium, instead of just being another soapbox for already famous comedians. And yet, while helping these creative individuals, it also compels some of the world’s largest corporations to enter its online domain. In fact, large companies were among the earliest adopters of Twitter, using it as way to communicate with their large consumer bases. This is

TWITTER continued on page 5


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Judging a bookstore by its cover Small, independent bookshops have better chance of survival than corporate chains By David Kaner Viewpoints Contributor A bookstore going out of business is usually a bittersweet occasion. On the one hand, there are DI SCOU NTE D! B O OKS! to be had. On the other hand, the neighborhood loses a business that people depend on. My feelings as I walked through the now-shuttered Borders on East 5 3rd Street last winter didn’t really tend towards either. Maybe it was the depressing state of the

store itself, with its half-barren shelves in disarray. Perhaps it was the fact that by the time I arrived, the selection of DISCOUNTED! BOOKS! had been reduced primarily to diet guides, self-help books and copies of America by Heart (sorry, Sarah). Whatever it was, I didn’t feel like I was going to miss it. Had it been any other literary establishment in Hyde Park, it would have been different. The Seminary Co-op’s labyrinthine corridors, 57th Street’s elaborate staff

recommendation cards, Powell’s free box, O’Gara and Wilson’s mannequin in a monk’s robe that nearly gave me a heart attack the first time I tripped over it—all have unique characters that have endeared them to Chicagoans for decades. Borders was just…a shop. No more, no less. Much has been made recently of Border’s spectacular financial collapse and how it signals the beginning of the end of the brick-andmortar bookshop. After all, why would anyone walk to the store

when it’s so easy to have volumes shipped to your door, or downloaded instantly to your Kindle? I have a confession to make: I wouldn’t. Not, in any case, to a place like Borders, cast from a generic, corporate mold like thousands of others. Your other options are just too easy. We shouldn’t completely count out booksellers entirely, however. It is an experience, rather than books, that bookstores are being forced to sell now. In that arena, I don’t

BOOKSTORES continued on page 5




An unscientific method Professional research papers should cut jargon, focus on simplicity By Suchin Gururangan Viewpoints Contributor The University of Chicago’s biology department teaches its students the foundations of science in a brilliant and innovative way. Diverging from the common high school method of mindlessly pushing through a textbook—merely shoving facts down students’ throats—the department harnesses the educational power of professional research papers. Utilizing these primary sources of literature facilitates scientific education in two main ways: 1) It offers students a method of understanding how research is conducted, immersing them into a world of inquiry without actually being in the lab, and 2) It teaches students how to read professional research papers. One would probably think that both benefits are very valuable, and one would be correct in thinking so. But why does the latter benefit even exist? Why do we have to learn how to read professional research papers? Excessive jargon, complex sentences, and intricate graphs and pictures that have little explanation make many research papers too difficult to understand unless one has years of background and has developed the capacity to single out dispensable, false, or ambiguous information. The reasons for the unnecessary complexity of research papers are twofold. For one, scientific publications are stringent on their page limits, word limits, and figure limits. These regulations encourage researchers to fit years of work into two or three pages, thereby leaving less room for explanations of explanations. But researchers themselves are to blame as well. Many researchers, in some sort of arrogant mind-set, attempt to impress others with complex language and jargon that portray their knowledge as more exclusive. The fact that research is not readily accessible to the general public seems extremely contradictory to the aim of science, a discipline that promotes collaborative effort in understanding, and the easy flow of information to facilitate that understanding. Researchers write papers to provide far-reaching presentations of ideas so that others can build upon, refute, or confirm them. What’s the point of

scientific endeavor if only an extremely small subset of the population can truly understand and participate in the intellectual discussion, while the rest of the population must wait for journalists who are inexperienced in scientific research to give dumbed-down reports of breakthroughs? Is that really how knowledge should permeate the country? There is some hope, however. Science publications like the Scientific American show us that it is possible to bring complex ideas to the public without dumbing the material down. TED, the global conferences focused on ideas worth spreading, has also shown us that the general population can access technical ideas if those ideas are delivered in a simpler manner. For years now, creative, successful academics have given TED talks that condense years of research into less than 18 minutes, and their concepts are readily understood by everyone who hears them online. Granted, the audience for TED talks is different from that of academic research papers, but we can still learn from TED: There is a strong correlation between the successful spreading of ideas and the simplicity of conveyance. For some reason, it has become commonplace to think that complexity equals quality. We must realize that this is not the case; simplicity is the key to collective intellectual development. Science should not be exclusive. Solutions to this unwarranted and unnecessary complexity could include publications relaxing their stringent content restrictions, but scientists should also take simplicity into their own hands. I wait for the day when high school students can read professional research papers and subsequently build upon or refute what they have read with the confidence and understanding of a professional researcher. I wait for the day when researchers can publish groundbreaking papers on news media outlets for the world to read. That would not only embody true science, but it would also significantly improve the standard of our nation’s scientific education for years to come.


May 20, 2011

Small bookstores thrive on environment, atmosphere to create unique and personal experience BOOKSTORES continued from page 4 think the giants can compete with the little guy. Living in a world in which the corner store has been replaced with the crisp, clean, focus-grouped and boring, it’s refreshing to come across those quirky, local places with a real story to tell, a sense of time and place. You can’t find that at a Borders. But maybe you don’t care too much about atmosphere. You are there to buy books and get out. That’s O.K. However, if you want to be exposed to new, good reads, there’s a process of literary discovery that happens more frequently at an independent bookstore than a big-box (and is damn better than some algorithm crunching variables at Amazon headquarters). When was the last time you saw a recommendation card taped to a bookshelf at a shopping mall bookstore? I’d wager never. I’m not by any means saying there aren’t people there who know their books—just yesterday, someone at the campus Barnes & Noble stopped and told me in no uncertain terms that the copy of Ulysses I was mulling over purchasing was not the right one. Yet that felt more like the exception rather than the rule. By contrast, at many small, independent (one could even throw around the word “pretentious”) booksellers, the staff sees it as their job to point you in the right direction. Some of the best conversations about literature I’ve ever had in my life weren’t in class or at the dinner table, but with staffers at the Strand Book Store in New York, whose “18 miles of books” constitute one of the most intimidating, thrilling, and addictive shopping experiences in the Western Hemisphere. The people who work there are surly, standoffish, and

absolutely sure they’re better read than you (they’re right), but they also have the sacred, self-appointed responsibility not to rest until they’ve found you the perfect book. Of course, there have been many times when I have gone into the shop and found books on my own—but there are so many others lining my shelf that I would not in a million years have come across without their sage advice. So overall, forget the inevitable columns that come out every time a new e-reader launches about how bookstores are becoming obsolete and going the way of the local blacksmith and haberdashery. Yes, the economics of publishing are looking pretty bad for books of the paper and glue variety, but consider a parallel case: the recording industry. Nearly all music is now purchased online, yet walk around areas like Wicker Park and you’ll see plenty of storefronts stuffed with vinyl. Independent record stores have remained vibrant because they form unique communities with distinct social scenes, weathering the digital revolution where big corporations like Tower Records could not. Likewise, we may be seeing the end of the giant reading emporium, but I have hope the neighborhood bookstores will live on; they’re too special to us. So the next time you have a musty paper craving, turn off your Nook, cancel that Amazon order and take a walk up East 57th Street. Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you just might return with a good story of your own. David Kaner is a first-year in the College.

Graduate Student Housing Residential Services

Suchin Gururangan is a first-year in the College.

TWITTER continued from page 4 one instance, among many, in which the 140character “limitation” of Twitter is in fact an asset: For both consumers and companies, the shorter format is preferential to comparatively lengthy phone calls and e-mails. Additionally, the public nature of these tweets and of Twitter enables companies and other consumers to see how widespread and pressing certain issues are. If numerous consumers are tweeting about a problem, both the company and the consumers know about it, creating a transparency that also gives companies an incentive to act faster to solve problems. But its benefits don’t stop at consumer satisfaction. Like Facebook and other social media of the web, Twitter has already begun to be used in larger social movements. The half-open, conversational aspect of Twitter has been exploited in the so-called “Twitter Revolutions” in the Middle East in the past year. In Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, Twitter has been used both to publicize conflict and organize protests, helping to expose issues that would normally be suppressed by more restricted media outlets. In the US, the power of these “Twitter Revolutions” is underestimated, because Americans already have a number of avenues for free speech. But in countries where free speech is more difficult to protect, the anonymous and concise natures of tweets provide a safer and faster way to display dissent

and disseminate information. At its heart, Twitter is a medium that capitalizes on the mass nature of the web. It takes the web’s inherent expanse and scope and harnesses the power of the masses by limiting their output. Although sites like Blogger and WordPress allow anyone with Internet access a soapbox from which to spout their ideas at infinite length, the bite-size proportions of Twitter communication allow for the possibility of actually reaching out to large numbers of people who will actually read and absorb your information. Even in this early stage, Twitter has proven that it is appropriate for a variety of uses, some trivial and some revolutionary. Twitter is a medium, and like any other, it should not be criticized for some of its more popular uses and users. Much like Facebook, the many uses of Twitter are what give it its power: through its diverse functionality and universal accessibility, it has established itself as part of the everyday life of a large number of users. Instead of decrying the vulgarity of new media and the superficial uses to which it can sometimes be put, we should attempt to explore the beneficial possibilities of new platforms instead of pigeonholing them according to their more popular and stereotypical uses. Ivy Perez is a fourth-year in the College majoring in History and English.

Twitter's power taken for granted, should be recognized as legitimate force

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UBallet dances circles around Disney

Gershwin’s genrebending classic comes to life

By Michelle Lee Voices Fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty, University Ballet’s latest production, is in many ways one of the organization’s most ambitious projects to date. The full-length production, based upon the original chore ography by Marius Petipa and featuring music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, retells the popular fairy tale that many of us know. However, it deviates from its Disney counterpart in several key ways.

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY May 21 and 22 Mandel Hall

Jessica Lin (Princess Aurora) and Vivi DiMarco (Lilac Fairy) prepare to dazzle Chicago's Grant Park in front of Buckingham Fountain with UBallet's The Sleeping Beauty, a production with a cast of over 60 people.

“ Th e b a l l e t i s m u ch d i f f e r ent [from the Disney movie] in that it has a much wider range of characters…[and] draws on several other famous fairy tales in its closing act,” said fourthyear and artistic director Michael

UBALLET continued on page 9


By Tomi Obaro Voices Jazz Standard “Summertime an’ the livin’ is easy…” Few know that this famous line, a staple of musicians from Billie Holiday to Janis Joplin, origina lly c om e s f rom George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess, now showing at Court Theatre. Originally a novel by Dubose Hey ward, Porgy and Bess was transformed into what Gershwin himself called a “folk opera” by Heyward, his wife Deborah, George Gershwin, and Gershwin’s older brother Ira. When Por gy debuted in 19 35, opera purists dismissed it for its obvious jazz influences, and black musicians admonished it for its characterizations of rural African-American life. The play inevitably begs the question: Is it a compelling depiction of rural 1920s African-American life or a patronizing encapsulation of the worst of African-American stereotypes?


O’Brien explores subconscious effect on creation

PORGY AND BESS Court Theatre Through July 3

By Morgan McCarty Voices String Theory Chicago-based multimedia artist William O’Brien’s newest exhibit at the Renaissance Society examines the origins of creativity through the use of ceramic, metal, wood, and other materials. Multimedia works, mainly ceramic, are arranged in such a way that when you walk in, each piece reminds you of a child begging for attention. Formed in the shape of a “T” and filled to the edges with O’Brien’s pieces, the exhibit falsely conjures familiar memories of craft shows at local organizations or schools.

WILLIAM O'BRIEN Renaissance Society Through June 26

William J. O'Brien uses materials such as ceramic, metal, and wood to explore the themes of memory and repetition. COURTESY OF C.J. LIND

O’Brien is a multi-disciplinary artist, working in everything from ceramics to tapestries. It’s as if O’Brien can’t keep up with his conscious and subconscious thoughts, and, in order to process them, turns them into works of art through a cathartic process. Each piece is a manifestation of subliminal thoughts and memories pulled to reality and made physical. Inside the gallery of the Renaissance Society, O’Brien’s Freudian states are turned inside out. While the exhibit may seem to be just a chaotic set up of O’Brien’s works, the pieces on display try to achieve a balance. Masks, vases, and distorted forms are scattered throughout the display, while similar works in each section unite the

exhibit and pull the viewer from one end to the other. O’Brien’s unconscious must skip and hop around itself, trying to find a connection from one thought to another. The works comment on maternal forms, sexuality, and structures of information and understanding, showing an authentic relationship between art and life. O’Brien is working to show not only an artistic signature (though it is certain he has one), but to present proof of an origin of creativity. The exhibit asks many questions it doesn’t necessarily answer, like “Where do ideas come from?” and “How do they manifest and become products, regardless of their aesthetic value?”

Meaning is found in repetition in this exhibit. Associate Curator and Director of Education for the Renaissance Society, Hamza Walker, points out in the exhibit’s accompanying essay that repetition is the process by which repressed memories achieve representation. O’Brien’s works display a wide variety of scale and texture; some are large, bulbous, and wrapped in string, while others are smaller and more self-contained. What is interesting about the works is that each piece is covered in impressions, lines, and incisions underneath twine, wood, paint or plaster. The exhibit’s lack of impulse, as noted by Walker, can be seen very clearly.

O’Brien makes no attempt to hold back from creation, subverting each material from its original use in a chaotic and exuberant manner. Carpet is wrapped around ceramic forms and then tied with pink string after being covered in plaster and glitter, while other ceramic works twist and turn upwards and back into themselves. A collage of narrative, accidents, hypotheses, and propositions, O’Brien’s works hover somewhere between chaos and control. The distorted, odd, and abstract creations of William O’Brien seek balance and understanding of the unconscious, if only through the act of creation and display.

H o w e v e r , C o u r t Th e a t r e ’ s artistic director Charles Newell’s rendering of Porgy and Bess renders these questions obsolete. The wrenching performances, minimalist staging, and virtuosity of Gershwin’s music cover up most of the holes. Porgy and Bess tells the story of a crippled beggar, Porgy (Todd M. Kryger), and his undying love for Bess (Alexis J. Rogers), a wayward woman with a habit for dope and bad men. The opera is set in the fictional waterside tenement Catfish Row, in Charleston, South Carolina. Because Porgy and Bess is so genre-defying, interpretations of the piece tend to vary wildly. In Court Theatre’s version, everything is stripped to its essence, from costume designer Jacqueline Firkin’s simple, loose, and freeflowing costumes to the limited number of musicians (six total, stripped down from a score originally intended for a symphony orchestra). All the actors have mics, but the amplification is rarely needed. Restraint and simplicity are found in all the play’s aesthetic aspects. The minimalist aesthetic does not extend to the acting, however. The two leads in particular give stellar performances. Charles Newell and musical director Doug Peck made the choice to use actors who could sing as opposed to singers who can act. By and large, it was an effective

PORGY continued on page 8




A play within a play about theater clichés ters’ reality is only a performance for the audience, Ruhl has caused us to question and ponder the very nature of theatre in a profound way.

STAGE KISS Goodman Theatre Through June 5

He (Mark Montgomery) and She (Jenny Bacon) prepare for a stage kiss (or is it a real kiss?) COURTESY OF THE GOODMAN THEATER

By Ana Klimchynskaya Voices False Exit Even after Shakespeare’s famous proclamation that “all the world’s a stage,” the idea of the world as a stage and the stage as reality continues to fascinate playwrights. Sarah Ruhl is among them, and her play Stage Kiss, currently playing at Goodman Theatre, offers another take on the relationship between the romantic world of the stage and the monotony of reality. Stage Kiss tells the story of two estranged

lovers (He and She) who play the role of two estranged lovers. After having separated many years ago, they meet again as the leading actors in a play. Soon, life starts to imitate art (or is it art imitating life?) as the two fall in love again. Their love, of course, bears a purposeful resemblance to that of the protagonists they play. However, this close correlation between stage and reality begins to dissipate in the second act; reality and the romance of the stage diverge, and the two are left to decide which they prefer. The unique nature of this play lies in the

Food Fight: Lao Sze Chuan has got it goin’ on By Emma Erlich and Eleanor Anderson Voices Tofu Ladies This is the first installment of Food Fight, a competition we're having to find next year's food columnists. We will make our decision based on a combination of reader and Maroon editor feedback. Go to chicagomaroon. com to voice your opinion. Some friends and I recently ventured to Chinatown’s well-known Lao Sze Chuan. We were convinced by our friends raving about its Ma Po Tofu and their claims that we could order any Chinese dish that we could think of from the restaurant’s extensive menu. I have definitely been convinced of the greatness of its Ma Po Tofu. It is some of the best I have ever had. The restaurant was busy even on a Tuesday night, and we’re told that 20 to 30-minute waits are never uncommon. Even so, the restaurant wasn’t too noisy. After going through the ordeal of deciding what to eat—every time I turned a page of the menu I found something that looked even better than what I’d previously chosen—we were served complimentary spicy cabbage to tide us over during the short wait for our main dishes. The large flecks of red chili pepper generously sprinkled over the cabbage were harbingers of a very substantial spicy kick, but it mellowed out to reveal the nice woodsy flavor of the cabbage itself, and it had a satisfying crunch. The food arrived once the spicy cabbage had become a pleasant memory. Everything we ordered was delicious, and there were no disappointing dishes among them. We did notice a trend, though; while the spicier dishes were standouts, the plainer

dishes were not as good. The green tea, while bland, cut through the spiciness of the food and was a perfect palate cleanser without drying out the mouth like many other green teas I’ve had. Also, though our food was brought out promptly and still warm, most of the dishes were somewhat colder than desirable, most likely indicating that the quick turnaround comes from precooking elements of the dishes. Our particular favorites were the Ma Po Tofu and the Sze Chuan Beef Tenderloin, both dishes that I would order again in a heartbeat. The Ma Po Tofu was the spiciest of the dishes we ordered and had a wonderful bite to the sauce, along with creamy chunks of perfectly cooked tofu. The Sze Chuan Beef Tenderloin was amazing: It had a satisfying amount of tender meat, with flawlessly cooked vegetables giving a nice sweetness to the dish. It was coated with a sauce that, unlike most of the other ones, started out mild and then built up to a pleasant spiciness. We ended up with leftovers despite eating as much as we could. It’s a testament to Lao Sze Chuan that they were all gone within a day. We passed on ordering dessert at the restaurant, as the selection was sparse and unappealing, and chose instead to get bubble tea from one of the many excellent shops in the area, something I would urge those who like to end their meals on a sweet note to do as well. Lao Sze Chuan is somewhat pricier than some of the other restaurants in Chinatown, and there is a one-dollar surcharge per person for rice, but it’s not so much more that going here will break the bank. All told, Lao Sze Chuan is worth the trip in

fact that it’s a play about plays, and, often, a play within a play. This raises a question: To what extent can theatre really imitate life? Even in Stage Kiss, an irreverent sendup of some of the biggest of theatre clichés, some things are just not cliché. The entire plot is bizarre, convoluted, and hilarious, but in the end, it’s still a play, and the audience expects conclusion and reconciliation, which, of course, is not guaranteed in life. This is not a limitation; on the contrary, by writing a play about plays and drawing our attention to the fact that the charac-

Essentially, though, this is a play more about love than about theatre. There’s a reason it’s called Stage Kiss and not, say, False Exit (another theatre trope ridiculed by Ruhl). Many plays about love-- Romeo and Juliet, for example-- tell stories of true love and two people meant to be together. Yet to create that story about love, tw o actors must pretend to be in love, must kiss and make believe, though each may in reality love and be married to another. And, of course, what we see onstage are usually the most romantic parts: Two people falling in love and coming together. What theatre doesn’t show us, of course, is what would have happened if Romeo and Juliet had not killed themselves. Would they be happily married a decade later, or would they, more likely, have decided that their love was infatuation and have moved on? In the end, as She comes to a realization about the differences between love on stage and in real life, so does the audience. However, the actors also deserve recognition for bringing life to this complex play. It’s extremely difficult to play a terrible actor well, and both Jenny Bacon (She) and Mark Montgomery (He) are really good at doing a really bad job. They can effectively switch between “candid” and “onstage” personalities, and the entire cast handles the complex theme exceptionally. Scott Jaeck is also particularly touching as She’s patient, long-suffering husband. They remind us how much good actors truly become the characters they’re playing, and how important that is for creating the illusion of theatre.

Porgy and Bess' sminimalist staging avoids sentimentality PORGY continued from page 7 decision, bringing emotional resonance and power to the often-melodramatic material. Kryger is particularly effective as the polio-stricken Porgy. He brings dignity to a character that could very easily have drawn condescension from the audience. And considering the fact that Kryger’s mobility is confined to a stool and crutches for most of the play, his ability to sing so robustly is all the more remarkable. Rogers is formidable in her own right. With her petite stature and curvy figure, reminiscent of television star Chandra Wilson (best known as Grey’s Anatomy’s Miranda Bailey, and who, incidentally, has a history in musical theatre), Roger brings vigor and intensity to Bess, who’s only a one-dimensional temptress on paper. Her voice is limber, ranging from deep and woeful like a jazz singer, to taking on a remarkably ethereal quality, revealing her classical training. Other notable performances include Sean Blake as Sporting Life, who sings with the nasal intonations

and vaguely reptilian motions that befit a petty drug dealer. Bethany Thomas also gives a tour de force performance as Serena, a bereaved widow, in the play’s most powerful scene. Clutching her husband’s dead body to her chest, Thomas wails out the high notes in “My Man’s Gone Now,” and absolutely nails the challenging glissando towards the end of the piece. Some of the ensemble actors, most noticeably Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, who plays Clara, are weaker vocally. Plumpp’s diction on “Summertime” could be better; when she sings the higher notes, the brightness of her vowels belies her musical theatre background. However, the many elements of the play come together to create an effective whole: The ensemble cast does a wonderful job, musical transitions are seamless, the few moments of dialogue in the play are integrated well, and most important, the musical genius of Gershwin gets the recognition it deserves.

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The Fun Corner PHOENIXWORD By Graham Rosby

Across 1. The Beach Boys' "Sloop ___" 6. Unit of magnetic induction 11. Certain vegan diet 14. Follow 15. Paper by Pascal 16. Biblical morpheme 17. *Mom might have you set it 19. Soft & ___ (deodorant) 20. Morsel 21. More homely 23. First word in a tongue twister about seashells 26. *Mediation pro 28. *Belligerent leader 30. Untamed 31. Animated chipmunk, and others 32. Barcelona's ___ Ramblas 33. Sixth sense 36. Twice, a notable blog 37. Hoodwink 38. ___ have my Pops! 40. Noted 9 digit no. 41. TV home of The Lonely Island 42. Main arteries 43. Abundant bra size? 45. *Significance of shouting "Uno!" 46. *15 MPH areas, perhaps 50. It's done eye to eye 51. Food to peel n' eat 52. Supplies the cash for 54. Cleveland's Shin ___ Choo 55. *"Hasa Diga Eebowai" in The Book of Mormon 60. Bro's counterpart 61. Radiating glows 62. Penned 63. We call them 4th yrs. 64. Cafeteria carriers 65. Parachute material Down 1. ___ Bartlet, president on The West Wing


2. Japanese demon 3. Infomercial initials 4. Now, to Caesar 5. Sport played with 22 red cups 6. Activate superpowers, as the Hulk 7. How easy something might be 8. iPhone-to-Mac port 9. SIU athletes 10. Superman co-creator Jerry 11. Go back for more salsa 12.___ Grows in Brooklyn 13. Blender sound 18. Sorry lot? 22. Guided 23. Cleans, as a ship deck 24. 61-across synonym 25. Commissioner Burrell on The Wire 27. Actor McGregor 29. Author Yutang 32. Internet acronym that has crept into speech 33. Singers James and Jones 34. Gaze 35. ___ Chat (ballet step) 37. Bolivian Terrorist org. (and the only truly awful entry in this puzzle!) 38. Blows 39. Fantasy baddie 41. Element of London's Gunpowder Plot? 42. I am no tree. I am ___ 43. Rapper Big ___ 44. Brand name earth orbiter 45. Burdens 46. 2004 album by The Parselmouths 47. Groups on risers 48. Perot who got a fifth of the popular vote for POTUS in 1992 49. Right ___ 53. Energetic for one's age 56. 60 minuti 57. Campaign hustler, for short 58. Command for DDE 59. Stimpy's pal

Solution to last Friday's puzzle

Sleeping Beauty is one of UBallet's largest and most professional project to date UBALLET continued from page 7 Scalzo. “For example…at the wedding of Princess Aurora and Prince Desire, well known characters such as Cinderella, Scheherazade, Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf, and Puss-in-Boots, bring their stories as gifts along with lesser known tales such as that of Princess Florine and The Bluebird.” First-year Jessica Lin and third-year Vivi DiMarco star in the leading roles of Princess Aurora and the Lilac Fairy, respectively. Lin deems the role of Princess Aurora one of the most challenging parts in classical ballet. “Aurora has to grow throughout the ballet, starting from a sweet 16-yearold girl in Act one to a sophisticated, mature woman at her wedding in Act three,” Lin said. To prepare for her role, she studied videos of previous dancers and drew from the nuances and qualities she liked to create her own interpretation. DiMarco further elaborated on the difficulty of the roles. “The choreography is highly technical, but there is also a lot of dramatic development, which involves pantomime and committed acting,” she said. Describing her character of the Lilac Fairy as powerful, regal, and incorruptible, she seeks to express those qualities through her dancing. “I try to convey that with port de bras [carriage of the arms] that’s strong but not sharp, and with movements that are precise but generous—not static,” she said. “There’s too much vitality in her for that. She is radiant.” Besides mastering the ballet both emotionally and technically, one of the challenges dancers and directors faced was managing such a huge production.

The Sleeping B eauty comprises roughly 60 roles—one of the RSO’s largest casts ever—with many dancers playing at least two roles. Indeed, more so than in most of UBallet’s productions, the characters of The Sleeping Beauty are paramount to the ballet. “Unlike other productions, The Sleeping Beauty draws from a theatrical tradition in which character roles are very important to the ballet’s plot,” Scalzo said. “Although the dancing is quite beautiful, much of this performance’s magic comes from a carefully constructed fairy tale environment with equally fantastical characters.” DiMarco added to this, “In some ways, Sleeping Beauty is one of the more difficult ballets to dance, because the story is so much simpler than other ballets.” Reimagining the fantasy that is The Sleeping Beauty, UBallet has teamed up with Make Up First, LLC; Tricoci University of Beauty Culture; and Broadway Costumes, Inc. to create an aesthetically stunning production. Alongside professional backdrops and authentic costumes, hair and makeup artists will help “create unique looks…especially [for those] taking on more evil and bestial roles,” said Scalzo. The production will also “incorporate a Georgian theme,” boasting such iconic elements as “large coiffed hairstyles and frilly, lace-trimmed dresses.” The extent to which The Sleeping Beauty has used professional assistance is a first in UBallet history. “ Th i s s u r g e i n p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m h a s allowed us to execute an incredibly intricate performance that required months of rehearsals and endless hours in the studio,” Scalzo said. “I am the most excited I have been in the past four years to share this amazing production with the University of Chicago community.”

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(Stuff to Do)

Voices STD With Christine Yang

Friday | May 20 Unlike other DJs who call pushing play on a laptop “performing,” RJD2 (real name Ramble John Krohn) transforms performance into art. The multifaceted producer, instrumentalist and singer will be spinning a set with DJ Intel and Big Once. (Mannequin Nightclub, 306 North Halsted Avenue, 10 p.m., $15, 21+)

Saturday | May 21 Spend your Saturday with over 400 pugs from the Chicagoland area at the 17th annual Pug Party. Pugs (and their owners) will strut their stuff in a fashion show and talent competition, all while trying to stay off the Most Wanted Pugs list. Feel free to bring your beloved pug, but a canine companion is not necessary for entry. (740 West Weed Street, 12 p.m., free)

Sunday | May 22 Celebrate all things Turkish at the 9th annual Chicago Turkish Festival. Visitors

will be able to experience the diversity of Turkey through the 40 booths at the festival, such as orchid ice cream, silk carpet weaving and calligraphy demonstrations. There will also be a midday show featuring the Ottoman Military Band, whirling dervishes and a Turkish fashion show. (Daley Plaza, 12 p.m., free)

no narration, the clever sound editing done to tell the story of the unraveling dictatorship made this the most buzzed-about entry in last year’s Cannes Film Festival. (Chicago Cultural Center, 164 North State Street, 6:15 p.m., $7)

Decide for yourself whose meatball brings all the boys to the yard at the Rosebud’s annual Meatball Contest. Contestants include Rosebud’s “Mama’s meatballs” as well as competitors of all skill levels. The winner will be determined by both a panel of celebrity judges and by popular vote, a la Throwdown with Bobby Flay. (1500 West Taylor Street, 2 p.m., free)

Watch out Lady Gaga, because Adele is in town. Not only has the British singer’s album 21 trumped GaGa’s The Fame as the best-selling digital record in the U.K., but it is also one of the most played albums on newly inaugurated mayor Rahm Emanuel’s iPod. The singer, who was already in Chicago to perform at Oprah’s finale spectacular, will be performing at the Riviera. (Aragon Ballroom, 4746 North Racine Avenue, 7:30 p.m., $35)

Monday | May 23 In The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, filmmaker Andrei Ujica tells the story of the 25-year reign of the infamous Romanian dictator through the propaganda and footage of speeches, parades, photo ops and other official state events. While there is

Tuesday | May 24

Wednesday | May 25 In the 1960s, the Blackstone Rangers, now known as El Rukns, was one of the most notorious gangs in Chicago, as it evolved from a youth gang into a large-scale operation ultimately caught up in terrorism

charges for connections to Libya. Natalie Moore and Lance Williams, authors of The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of an American Gang, will be at the Blackstone branch of the Chicago Public Library to discuss the history of the gang. (4904 South Lake Park Avenue, 6 p.m., free) Nick, Joey, AJ and the boys are back and even larger than life than before. The superband NKOTBSB, formed by Live Nation in a commercial ploy to try to reignite the boy band craze, kicks off its 53-show tour this Wednesday in Rosemont. (6920 North Mannheim Road Rosemont, 7:30 p.m., $29.50)

Thursday | May 26 Dale Talde, Chicago native and competitor on both Top Chef Season 4 and Top Chef All Stars, will be speaking on his experience on the shows as well as the influence of his Filipino-American background on his cooking. The event is sponsored by PanAsia and the Culinary club. (BSLC 115, 8 p.m., free)


The Simon M. Shubitz Cancer Lecture 2011 “Overcoming Resistance to Targeted Therapy” Presented by The 2011 Simon M. Shubitz Lecturer

Charles L. Sawyers, M.D. Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Chairman, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York Sponsored by The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center and The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation

Monday, May 23, 2011 Noon The Frank Billings Auditorium, P-117 Lunch will be served


TREASURES performed by the University Symphony Orchestra, University Chorus, and Motet Choir Featuring Winifred Faix Brown, soprano and Jessye Wright, mezzo-soprano

2011 Cathy Heifetz Memorial Concerts

Saturday, May 28 at 8 pm Sunday, May 29 at 3 pm Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street, Hyde Park Music by Strauss, Weber, Wagner, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Mozart, and Verdi.

FREE ADMISSION Donations requested: $10 general/$5 students event hotline: 773.702.8069 • Persons who need assistance should call 773.702.8484 in advance.


Have an idea for the unofficial name for the Mansueto Library? Go to to place your vote in our poll.



Bonnett: Most members of the sports teams have no clue who I am

Maroons favorite to win quarter-finals; will face difficulty in semi-finals against Williams

MASCOT continued from back page

WOMEN’S TENNIS continued from back page

to happen and Homecoming is one of the biggest events in athletics throughout the year. I remember walking out and still kind of learning all of the ways of communicating without talking and still kind of learning on the job pretty much everything. It was nerve-wracking in a good way. It was also kind of an awkward setting since everyone was just sitting with their friends at the pre-game barbeque thing. CM: Did you grow past that awkwardness? What was that like? SB: I definitely grew into the role once I developed a few different routines that I have. I have a pre-game stretching routine now that I am very proud of where I am doing all these crazy stretches that look even more preposterous in a big bird suit. Figuring out different ways for me to be doing intentional things during the time I was visible was something that made me a lot more comfortable. CM: What do students say when they see you on campus? Do people know that it’s Stephen inside the suit? SB: I have had a lot of people assume that it’s their friend (who isn’t me). They will be like ‘Oh, some random person, I know you’re in there,’ and I’m like, ‘No....I’m not.’ There are occasionally people who do know it’s me as over time I’ve told more and more friends as I have come closer and closer to graduating. Except for a few people, most of the members of the sports teams have no clue who I am since I have literally never interacted with them outside of the costume. It’s very weird that the varsity athletes don’t know who I am, since we’ve high-fived each other, head bumped each other, we’ve shared a lot of moments—yet they don’t know who I am, when

I know all the things they have done on the field or the court. CM: Have you ever been harassed while dressed up as the mascot? SB: It’s a bit more difficult doing the job of the mascot than most people would assume. There is a lot of interpersonal judging that you have to do through the limited visibility of the head. Whether someone is just playing along with you in good fun or whether someone has had maybe something to drink and is more aggressive, you have to be able to tell. When someone is playing along you can push it a little farther. When someone is more agitated you need to be the more mature one and calm it down or walk away. I’ve always been able to differentiate those situations from each other. CM: Any moments where you weren’t able to tell, or things got difficult? SB: One time I was at Summer Breeze and some super drunk people said, ‘Oh lets steal his head!’ And they did. Fortunately, one of my friends who knew I was the mascot chased them down and got my head back, while I was covering my actual human head with my wing to prevent other people from seeing what was up. That was a very traumatic situation. CM: How do you think school spirit has changed during your time as the mascot? SB: I definitely think that in my first two years when I was wearing a really unimpressive costume I got a lot of comments like, ‘We even have a mascot?’...a lot of incredulity. When we upgraded the costume to something that looks like it actually belonged playing some sports, it contributed to more legitimacy for athletics on campus. That people are aware of how many sports we can excel at here is a healthy thing for us.

Twenty Minutes Still Feeling the joy. Twenty minutes at ROCKEFELLER each morning, 8 am. Mondays — Meditation with Zen practitioner Annie Markovich Tuesdays — Mindfulness meditation with Ginger Carr Wednesdays — Restorative yoga with Meredith Haggerty, gentle stretches and poses, with optional neck massage following Thursdays — Meditation and chant with Elizabeth Davenport Fridays — Ananda meditation with Christian Williams

Drop in any day. Find out what it’s all about. TQJSJUVDIJDBHPFEVt

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playing next week in both singles and doubles,� Li said. If Hu is able to make a comeback in both singles and doubles, it is easy to say that the Maroons will make a return to the national quarterfinal on Wednesday, where they will likely face the three-time defending national champion Williams (19–3) squad. Given their history at the tournament, Williams is favored to win. However, the Maroons upset Williams recently on March 25, winning a tight 6–3. Despite Hu being in the lineup, three singles matches went into a third set, where the Maroons won two out of those three matches. The other two losses came at number four and number six singles. Yet, Chicago took commanding wins in all three doubles matches. To defeat Williams again, doubles victories are a must. “I think the key to winning this match will be doubles. Last time when we played

[Williams], we went up 3–0 after doubles, and I think that was very important as it gave us more confidence and momentum going into singles,� third-year Jennifer Kung said. Even with three points at doubles, the Maroons will still need two singles wins to clinch a spot in the national title match, a feat Chicago has never accomplished. Beyond the fundamentals, mental toughness will decide a winner and a loser, given that both teams are evenly matched. “We will have to dig down deep, as every person in the lineup will have to focus on their own match. We have the raw talent; it is just the matter of who will actually show it that day. We know we can do it,� Li said. The Maroons play Denison this Tuesday. If they reach the semifinal, they will likely play Williams on Wednesday. If they pull the upset, the national title match will be held on Thursday.

Light Phil the Phoenix on fire, don’t let a Wash U bear take the honor PHEONIX continued from back page and waiting for Phil to die from natural causes or from a Wash U bear mauling—we should light him on fire instead. Not only would the burning be epic in scale, it could be done in a variety of ways. As a result, the student body could become active in the process by voting for their favorite method. For people that really enjoyed reading the Iliad, we could possibly burn it on a pyre. Those who prefer films, might like seeing Phil try to jump through a ring of fire as in the classic film Old School. Or for the civil rights inclined, we could light him aflame in a protesting manor for a cause such as animal rights, or to raise money for PETA. When Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,� wasn’t he talk-

ing about phoenixes? Phoenixi? Anyway, since the phoenix is a cyclical creature by nature, we should continue this tradition every four years into eternity. Since we are dealing with a bird that is able to regenerate, I believe it is important, nay, crucial, that we sever all ties to its current origin by burning it like a retreating army burns bridges. Even though I never asked the bird what his opinion on the matter is, I’m confident he would be opposed, yet understanding if we decided it was the best course of action for our sports teams. He is, as well all know, first our mascot and secondly a bird. Also with Phil needing to be reborn, feel free to contact Carissa Sain ASAP at Applications will be due May 20.

Teammates feel pain and pride at final meet of the season TRACK AND FIELD continued from back page 800 and sub-49 in the 4x400, where I run the second leg. But mostly, I’m hoping to compete hard in a competitive field with several other national qualifiers,� fourthyear, middle distance runner Andrew Wells-Qu said. Those who have qualified for nationals and will likely be running in the NCAAs are competing today and tomorrow. “We want to stay in a competitive mindset and the competition level is at such a high standard this weekend that it will help to simulate the NCAAs,� head coach Chris Hall said. For some athletes even a small improvement at this meet could assure them a place at nationals. “As of last weekend, my time in the 110 hurdles of 14:71 seconds could still be good enough to get into nationals. However, if I could improve on that by even a few hundredths of a second, my place in the national meet would be assured,� Andrycak said. For those who won’t be qualifying for nationals, this meet is still important for setting personal bests and validating the work of the season. “We want to finish the season on a really positive note. Goals are for people to set new personal records, to compete better than they ever have before in their lives,� Hall said. While this meet is likely to lead to faster times and exciting results, parting ways

with the fourth-years on the team will give it special significance for Chicago. “On a sad note, this will be the last time watching many of my fellow senior throwers who are graduating this year as well as watching my two remarkable senior role models, Kristen Constantine and Stephanie Omueti, but hopefully, I will be able to learn one last piece of advice while watching their final performances as a UChicago athlete,� firstyear thrower Omoluyi Adesanya said. The time spent as student-athletes at the University of Chicago has been formative for many members of the track and field team. “I’ve spent time with people I’ll remember the rest of my life, people whose character I hope has rubbed off onto me; and I’ve tasted pain and pride like I’ll never taste again,� Wells-Qu said. “All of our national qualifiers so far have been seniors, so we’ll hopefully get one more week with a small group, but that’s only a small fraction of our senior class,� Andreycak said. Today, the men’s and women’s hammer throw, discus throw, pole vault, 5k, and 10k will be held. The rest of the events will be held tomorrow beginning at 4 p.m. “I started off my track career here with speed, but being that I have had a less than great season, I am finishing off my senior year with my heart: Start with speed, but always finish with your heart, and I believe I have,� Omueti said.


IN QUOTES “Those guys are actually a whiny bunch. They said a couple times this year, ‘Well the world is happy the Miami Heat [is losing].’ Please don’t flatter yourself.” —Sportscaster Charles Barkley referring to Heat players Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James having “defensive attitudes”.



Chicago chases title dream to California Last Chance for

Third-year Carmen Vaca Guzman focuses on returning the ball at last weekend’s NCAA Regional tournament. The Maroons won the tournament and will be competing in California this week. COURTESY OF DAVE HILBERT

By Alexander Sotiropoulos Sports Staff After not allowing any team to win a match at the NCAAs regional action this past weekend, the 19–3 Chicago women’s tennis team looks to continue their success at the NCAA D-III national quarterfinal, as they face a Denison

squad which boasts an 18–4 record. They play this Tuesday in Claremont, CA. While both teams have had a large amount of success the entire season, the Maroons are the clear favorites to win the match. Chicago has faced Denison twice this season, easily winning both times. In March 5 semifinal clash at the

ITA Team Indoor Championships, Chicago cruised to a 7–2 victory. In their most recent meeting, the Maroons won 5–1 at the Midwest Invitational final. Even with all of this, the South Siders do not want to look straight ahead to the semifinal and past Denison. “Even though we’ve always come out ahead from a match

against Denison, we know that they are a tough team,” third-year Tiffany Nguyen said. “We know that we just need to keep our heads down and compete hard to give ourselves the best chance to win the match.” To have a three-peat against Denison, and more importantly make the national semifinal for the third year in a row, the Maroons need to maintain focus and put the pressure of being favorites out of their minds. Individual players have already begun to garner this mentality. “For me, personally, I just need to work on my mental toughness on staying in the point,” secondyear Linden Li said. “My goal for next week is to just let loose, and play the game.” It will be important for the Maroons to execute in the bottom of the lineup at singles. In both matches this season, Chicago has lost to Denison at the number five singles spot. However, in both matches, fourth-year Chrissy Hu was not playing. Hu boasts a nearly unstoppable 10–2 record at number five singles and is probable on having a full recovery and return to both doubles and singles on Tuesday after only playing doubles on Sunday. “Chrissy [Hu] is feeling better, and we all hope that she will be

WOMEN’S TENNIS continued on page 11

Maroons at North Central By Katharine Marsden Sports Staff

Fo r t h e i r f i n a l m e e t o f t h e season, excluding the NCAAs, Chicago track is competing in a two-day meet in Naperville, IL that starts today. The North Central Last Chance meet will close out the season for the Maroons as a team. “This is our last meet as a ‘full’ squad,” thirdyear sprinter Stephanie Omueti said. The Last Chance meet will be an opportunity for athletes to break records and set personal bests, but it will also be a time to say goodbye to the fourth-years on the team. “It’s going to be extremely emotional close to the meet. It’s always been tough to say goodbye to the graduating seniors before, but there are so many of us this year who have given it our all for the past four years. I would count on there being more than a couple tears shed,” fourth-year hurdler Brian Andreycak said. Many of the personal goals for the Maroons are to break records or hit new personal bests. “I want to run sub-1:50 for the

TRACK AND FIELD continued on page 11



The man behind the mascot

A phoenix to rise from the ashes

An interview with Stephen Bonnett

By Matt Brickell Sports Contributor

By Jessica Sheft-Ason Sports Editor Fourth-year Stephen Bonnett has been delighting Maroon fans and athletes alike for the past three years as Phil the Phoenix. As Bonnett will be graduating in the coming weeks. the Athletics Department has started the hunt for the next school mascot. Bonnett sat down with the Maroon and told us what it was like to celebrate Homecoming, boogie at Dance Marathon, and cheer on athletes–all dressed up as our favorite creature, the phoenix. C HICAGO M AROON : How did you become the school’s mascot, Phil the Phoenix? Stephen Bonnett: One of my friends was very active in the pep band and she had seen me being a force of energy in all different kinds of circumstances. She was aware that they were looking for a new mascot, and so she was on the lookout and recommended me to her boss at the time. All I had to do was e-mail her boss and say ‘I’m this person.’ CM: Which events do you go to? SB: All of the home football and basketball games and whenever there are special events on campus, like when

we host the UAAs it’s really important for me to try to make it to every sport. There’s a concentration, though, on football and basketball. I will also dress on my own. I do a lot of volunteer work for different charitable events on campus. Every year I’ve been the mascot I’ve stopped by Dance Marathon for a little bit and motivated everyone with a few intervals of dancing.

CM: What was your first event dressed as Phil? What was it like for you to be dressed up as a Phoenix? SB: Homecoming of my second year. It was kind of nerve-wracking because I had no idea what was going

At schools with living mascots, that have ones such as longhorns or bulldogs, when they get a new mascot to represent their university it is because theirs has died. The Chicago Maroons have a unique predicament: our mascot is a real live phoenix named Phil. Now I know you’re asking yourself, “How does one kill a phoenix?” Well, you’re right; it’s hard to kill a phoenix because, by definition, they can be reborn. That’s why I believe it is our duty, in true school spirit and support of our great University, to help Phil be reborn for the new school year and sports seasons next year. So, I propose we light Phil on fire and let him be reborn from his ashes. Earlier this year, a soccer player for Deportivo Pereira in the Primera, a Colombian soccer league, kicked the opposing team’s fluffy owl mascot off the field. It died, sadly, because it had been kicked too hard. Unlike the cruel death of that bird, I think that our own Phil has earned a proper type of death and rebirth. We should not be sitting around

MASCOT continued on page 11

PHEONIX continued on page 11

CM: Does the costume come home with you? Where is it kept? SB: The costume is expensive, and they would not let me keep that at my apartment. It is kept at Ratner in a very safe, secure place. So I have to get a facilities manager to get it for me. The previous costume was much less impressive so that one they did let me take home one time, but this one—not a chance. CM: How much does the costume cost? SB: I’ve heard rumors, but it’s some number of thousands of dollars.

Chicago mascot, Phil the Phoenix, shows off his moves at the “Beach Night” basketball game earlier this year. JAMIE MANLEY/MAROON


“It’s a chance to invite a friend to something you already do in a more open setting,” Dean of Rockefeller Chapel and Director of Spiritual...