The Miscellany News
Volume CXLVI | Issue 7
November 8, 2012
Since 1866 | miscellanynews.com
Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
BARACK OBAMA RE-ELECTED ★
DEFEATS MITT ROMNEY BY 3 MILLION VOTES “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.” ★
Campus erupts as Obama takes Ohio, wins second term Danielle Bukowski neWs editor
Jacob Gorski/The Miscellany News
t 11:15 p.m., Barack Obama took the state of Ohio and was projected as the winner of the 2012 election by NBC News. Although the West Coast ballots had not yet been counted, many Vassar students celebrated Obama’s victory across campus. The collaborative viewing event with ViCE and the Vassar Democrats in UpC drew the largest crowd, while other students gathered in House common rooms and in senior housing. MICA held its own event in Main’s fifth floor common room. UpC was nearly filled with students, many of whom had voted Democratic. A large map was posted next to the projection screen where students filled in the outcome of states with red and blue marker, based on the final results. Many students brought laptops with them to their viewing site to check online results from other news sources as well as social media. Although the students in UpC hailed from many states, there were cheers whenever a democratic senator was announced; the room was especially ecstatic See REACTION on page 4
Students watching the results of the election in UpCDC excitedly jumped out of their seats after Barack Obama was projected as the winner of the 2012 Presidential election. Hosted by the Vassar Democrats, the election viewing party in UpC was one of many that took place both in student spaces and in the dorms.
Victories for An expensive campaign ends Democrats Maloney, with narrow Obama triumph dominate Divided Congress Gillibrand local races may impede President’s plans
Chris Gonzalez and Patty Walton
AssistAnt FeAtures editor And Guest reporter
Inside this issue
GAAP organizes talk with Mexican Solidarity Network.
Jessica Tarantine and Patty Walton FeAtures editor And Guest reporter
David Rosenkranz editor-in-CHieF
courtesy of Getty Images
On the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 6, Americans were on the edge of their seats as they waited to find out whether the President of the United States for the next four years would be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. For some, that might have been the most important election of the night, but it was not the only one. Several state-level elections occurred in New York that were followed closely by students and professors alike. Incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand was re-elected as a member of the United States Senate. Gillibrand, a member of the Democratic Party, also happened to be backed by the Independence Party of New York, as well as the Working Families Party. Senator Gillibrand defeated Republican candidate Wendy Long by a total of 4,110,112 votes, or 72.1% of all votes cast. Gillibrand became Senator in 2009 when she was appointed by Governor David Paterson to replace Secretary of See STATE RACES on page 6
After delivering his victory speech, Obama embraces Vice President Joe Biden in front of supporters in Chicago, Ill.
The votes are in and the race is over: Barack Obama has been re-elected President of the United States of America. In a highly competitive race, Obama defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by a margin of roughly 100 electoral votes and 3 million popular votes. Most notably, he took Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, six highly contested “battle-ground” states whose choice, many agree, was the deciding factor in this election. “Tonight, you, the American people, remind us while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America—the best is yet to come,” cried Obama to roaring applause after his victory was announced. As Danielle Bukowski and The Miscellany See PRESIDENT on page 4
Staff Editorial: Students must look forward after election.
n local elections, Democrats had a clean sweep of all races. Democrat Terry W. Gipson won the New York Senate seat in the 41st district. Democrat Didi Barrett was elected to state Assembly for the 106th District. Democrats Gerald Loehr, Marie Rosa and Sandra Sciortino were elected to the Supreme Court of New York for the 9th district. New York State Senate- 41th district
In the race for the New York Senate seat, Democrat Terry W. Gipson bested Republican and incumbent Steve Saland and Conservative Neil DiCarlo. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the unofficial results were 49,352 votes for Gibson, 47,749 for Saland and 16,220 for Di Carlo. These results account for all 236 districts in Dutchess County and all 33 districts in Putnam County. Professor of Political Science SteSee LOCAL on page 6
New professor organizes major art conference.
The Miscellany News
“LGBTQ Communities and the Prison Industrial Complex”
A Cappella ‘til You Puke
Rev. Jason Lydon speaks.
Do you really LOVE a cappella? Do you REALLY love food at the Retreat? Then combine both of your loves and watch all of Vassar’s a cappella groups perform together.
10:30 | ALANA | Africana Studies
7:00pm | CC MPR | German Studies
A symphony of food—kartoffelsalat, spatzle, rotkohl and schweinebratten. Tickets are $7 in advance and $9 at the door. Directing Workshops
7:00pm| Sanders Audit. | Philaletheis
Check out some awesome talent in 14 15-minute shows!
5:00pm | Retreat | Matthew’s Minstrels
7:00pm | Off-campus Mid-Hudson Civic Center | Iced Brew
Transportation provided. Vans leave Main at 6:30.
“Introduction to Abolition” Rev. Jason Lydon speaks.
Come enjoy music, poetry and anything you might not even expect.
8:00pm | Shiva | Woodshed
Meet Me in the AULA
9:00pm | AULA | CHOICE
Dave Haslam presents.
“Thousands of One” Mug Night 10:00pm | Mug | ViCE
Framing American Art All day | Taylor Audit. | Art
Six leading scholars in the ﬁeld of American Art History present their current research and interrogate the state of the ﬁeld. Fair Trade Bazaar
10:00am | AULA | Sustainability Committee
Basketball (W) Scrimmage vs SUNY New Paltz
12:00pm | Fitness Center | Athletics
All-Female Variety Show 1:00pm | Villard | FMLA
8:00pm | Shiva | Woodshed
8:00pm | Jetson | Africana Studies
8:30pm | Rose Parlor | Wordsmiths
SASA Mug Night
Teaching Good Sex with Al Vernacchio
4:00pm | RH 300 | TransMission
Basketball (M) vs. Berkeley College
4:00pm | Fitness Center | Athletics
Fair Trade Bazaar
10:00am | AULA | Sustainability Committee
Rugby (M & W) Playoffs
10:00am | Farm | VC Athletics
A broad based discussion celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX. VC and Community Wind Ensemble 3:00pm | Skinner | Music
The wind ensemble is a 50-member ensemble, comprised of Vassar students, staff and community members. VSA Council
7:00pm | Main MPR | VSA
9:00pm | Rose Parlor | The Misc
Come tell us all about our typos!
10:00pm | Mug | SASA
8:00pm | Shiva | Woodshed
10:00pm | College Center | QCVC
Rocky Horror Picture Show Midnight | Sanders Audit | NSO
CBS Mug Night
10:00pm | Mug | CBS
Rocky Horror Picture Show Midnight | Sanders Audit | NSO
CORRECTION: Last edition’s sports roundup presented a photo of Caroline Shannon, and listed her as a member of the class of 2013. This is inaccurate; Caroline Shannon graduated in 2012, and is no longer a member of women’s swimming and diving. We recognize that the swimming and diving team has put a tremendous amount of effort into their fall season, and apologize for missing the opportunity to highlight their skill.
Miscellany Media presents
The 2012 Presidential Election A Vassar documentary (coming soon)
November 8, 2012
Senior Editors Hannah Blume Ruth Bolster
Contributing Editor Rachael Borné
News Danielle Bukowski Leighton Suen Features Jessica Tarantine Opinions Lane Kisonak Humor & Satire Jean-Luc Bouchard Arts Adam Buchsbaum Sports Tina Caso Photography Katie de Heras Online Nathan Tauger Copy Maxelle Neufville Assistant News Bethan Johnson Assistant Features Chris Gonzalez Marie Solis Assistant Opinions Gabe Dunsmith Assistant Arts Burcu Noyan Assistant Photo Jacob Gorski Jiajing Sun Assistant Online Alessandra Seiter Assistant Design Aja Brady-Saalfeld Crossword Editor Jack Mullan Reporters Amreen Bhasin Chris Brown Laci Dent Meaghan Hughes Bobbie Lucas Steven Williams Nicole Wong Columnists Zoe Dostal Joshua Sherman Juan Thompson Photography Cassady Bergevin Spencer Davis Rachel Garbade Emily Lavieri-Scull Design Palak Patel Bethany Terry Copy Farah Aziz Sophia GosalvezBrown Jacob ParkerBurgard
ADVERTISING POLICY The Miscellany News (1) reserves the right to reject or edit any advertising copy at any time; (2) will not accept advertisements that promote discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex or sexual orientation, nor will it accept advertisements of a political nature or advertisements that promote products or services illegal in the State of New York: (3) will print every advertisement with the word “advertisement” above it; (4) shall not be liable for failure to print, publish or circulate all or any portion of any issue if such a failure is the result of circumstances beyond the paper’s control. LETTERS POLICY The Miscellany News is Vassar College’s weekly open forum for discussion of campus, local and national issues, and welcomes letters and opinions submissions from all readers. Letters to the Editor should not exceed 450 words, and they usually respond to a particular item or debate from the previous week’s issue. Opinions articles are longer pieces, up to 800 words, and take the form of a longer column. No letter or opinions article may be printed anonymously. If you are interested in contributing, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit us online at blogs.miscellanynews.com MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
November 8, 2012
Dozier relates classical rhetoric to 2012 election campaigns
Katie de Heras/The Miscellany News
In his lecture last Thursday, Blegen Research Fellow Curtis Dozier contextualized and examined the classical rhetorical devices used by both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in their campaigns. Katie Carpenter Guest Reporter
ast Thursday, in his talk titled “Classical Rhetoric and the Presidential Campaign: Ancient Greek Perspectives on Speech, Politics, and Democracy in 2012,” Professor Curtis Dozier from the Greek and Roman Studies Department defined some of the most basic rhetorical tactics we tend to hear in the presidential campaign, and explained their roots in Aristotelian thinking. Specifically, he explained three major tactics of persuasion: the appeal to emotion (pathos), the appeal to character (ethos), and the appeal to reason (logos). Appealing to the audience’s emotion means trying to invoke a certain feeling for one candidate or against another. For example, Dozier addressed the use of hatred, which by Aristotle’s definition is when someone fundamentally “does not like the same things we like,” and
gave the examples of Mitt Romney’s 47% comment being an attack on people who are seen as not contributing and playing the victim, whereas the comment was used by the Obama campaign to argue that Romney is out of touch with average people. Appealing to character, he explained, is trying to convince the audience of the candidates’ virtues like courage. However, he pointed out that these virtues are debatable, and so Obama and Romney “are contesting who’s going to have possession of them.” Here he gave the example of health care; is it virtuous to push for universal coverage, or to protect citizens from having to pay for other people’s health care? Ethical appeals like this, he argued, are essentially trying to convince voters to trust one candidate and be skeptical of the other. Our polarization as a country shows just how susceptible we are to these arguments.
Dozier said, “A polarized electorate is one that has been made to feel Aristotle’s emotions– fear, hatred, et cetera—so intensely that they won’t even consider thinking about the other side’s positions.” He continued, “A polarized electorate has been made to feel that his or her candidate embodies Aristotle’s virtues, and crucially that the other person completely doesn’t embody them.” The candidates’ rhetorical appeal to reason was the final logical argument Dozier discussed in his lecture. Dozier noted that these are the most biased method politicians use to convince us of their side. For example, the Obama campaign argued that Romney wanted less regulation for Wall Street. Lack of regulation leads to financial crisis, they argued, and therefore Romney’s plan will result in a new financial crisis. This is an example of deductive reasoning: using general truths to find a specific conclusion. The problem with this, Dozier observed, is that less regulation being dangerous is not a hardset truth, it’s an argument. “If you believe that the facts are on your candidate’s side, you’ve been persuaded of this. They don’t want you to recognize that there might be an argument on the other side,” Dozier said. And because there is always more than one side to all these arguments, it is dangerous to try to shut down the opposition’s points by accusing them of lying. He gave the example of Mitt Romney often being called a liar in the course of the campaign. Said Dozier, “It implies that we believe the questions we are debating have only one answer, with the result that someone that wants to give a different answer has no recourse but to lie. It implies for example that we know what justice, because justice is what all these debates ultimately come to.” Dozier notes that this mindset is dangerous. “A society where justice is fixed is only beneficial to those who agree with whatever version of justice is in place, but it’s a nightmarish tyranny for anybody who is excluded from that justice,” he said. Because we prefer justice to be constantly questioned, calling someone a liar is
harmful because it shuts down any debate over the merits and flaws of both sides, and assumes that one is invalid. The event nearly filled Rocky 200, and was attended by Vassar students as well as other members of the community. Faculty members who attended the lecture, such as Writing Center Director Matthew Schultz, found the talk particularly engaging. “Professor Dozier’s sophisticated exploration of the intersections between ancient rhetoric and modern argumentation was both fascinating and refreshing. I found particularly insightful Professor Dozier’s keen observations regarding how we read the various and varied ways in which each candidate had established his character,” stated Schultz in an email. Dozier’s lecture also provoked a lively discussion during the question and answer portion at the end of the talk. One woman in the audience admitted that she had blocked acquaintances on Facebook who are absolutely convinced that Obama is a Communist whose campaign is funded by terrorist groups, and argued that the tendency towards declaring an objective true and false has hurt Obama as well. Dozier replied that ignoring such people is counterproductive. “It shuts down argument... This isn’t to say there’s no such thing as a bad argument, but the way you counteract that is with a better argument.” Why should we be aware of these methods of persuasion? “Studying rhetoric can be empowering to us as members of the electorate because it helps you recognize what you’re being subjected to,” Dozier said to the audience. “And it gives you the ability to say ‘I’m not going to buy [the candidate’s rhetoric].’ Or at least to decide if you want to buy it.” Interested students may wish to take Dozier’s class, GRST 302: Classical Rhetoric and Contemporary Persuasive Discourse, which will be offered next term. “We’re going to consider the role of classical rhetorical theory in contemporary politics, law, religion and advertising,” he wrote in an emailed statement. The course is open to all classes.
Student voters largely unchallenged at polls, despite fears Leighton Suen and Bethan Johnson neWs editor And AssistAnt neWs editor
Spencer Davis/The Miscellany News
Voting on Tuesday, Nov. 6 took place without a hitch for most Vassar College students. Vassar students voted in two separate locations, which varied based on their residential areas. Acknowledging that this election marks most students’ first voting experience, Vassar’s administration used a variety of tactics to encourage students to vote. President Hill wrote an email to students in late September pledging the administration’s commitment to supporting Vassar’s voting population. “Vassar College is committed to making sure everyone in our community has access to the materials and information they need to vote in all their elections and we encourage you to take advantage of this service,” she wrote. In the following weeks, students received dozens of emails from administrators and organizations divulging key information about the electoral process. R.E.V. Up Vassar College—a combined effort by MICA (Moderate Independent Conservative Alliance), Vassar Democrats and Democracy Matters to educate students about the elections and motivate them to register—is the largest voting campaign on campus. R.E.V. Up focused on passing out information on policy issues and how to behave at the polls, especially with regards to responses to vote challenges in the wake of recent controversies. Although the group respected students’ right to register in their home states, it encouraged students to register in New York. R.E.V. Up President Evan Seltzer ’14 wrote in an emailed statement, “Although N.Y. state will undoubtedly be won by Obama, the local elections are all extremely competitive and can be greatly influenced by the Vassar community.” R.E.V. Up also provided buses for students to polling locations to simplify students’ the voting experience. Although MICA and Vassar Democrats collaborated on R.E.V. Up, the groups also worked independently to support voters in other ways. President of Vassar Democrats David Lopez ’13
Last Tuesday, hundreds of Vassar students paid Arthur S. May Elementary School, located along Raymond Avenue north of Vassar and pictured above, a visit to cast their votes in the 2012 election. wrote in an emailed statement, “I believe students have a different experience, but that is not to say in all cases it is negative...The Vassar Dems is here to provide students with the resources and helpful tools.” He stated that the Dems provided its members with assistance on filling out forms, explanations of which polling location to go to, and a plan of action if their vote was contested. MICA also sought to promote the importance of voting and give its students the information necessary to cast educated votes. Aside from simply educating first time voters, these preparations are based on a history of problems for college students at the polls. Lopez explained, “Since my time at Vassar, I have seen students being challenged in 2010 and other various races.” The issue proved to be more than a problem
of the past, as students throughout the Hudson Valley saw their votes being contested by Republican Election Commissioner Erik Haight in recent weeks. He denied 100 students’ right to vote, because they failed to list the name of their dorm on their ballots. In response, students from Marist, the Culinary Institute of America, and Bard, filed a class action suit against the Dutchess County Board of Elections last week with the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union. A federal judge ruled on Monday in favor of the students and upheld their right to vote. Because of the lawsuit and warnings from College administrators, several Vassar students went into the polls expecting to be challenged. “I’ve heard a lot of bad things. I’ve heard they question us because we’re students,” said Mosunola Fadairo ’14, who voted for all of the
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
Democrats on the ballot. However, her fears were unfounded. “I didn’t have trouble...For President, I voted for Obama. I believe in most Democratic values. I don’t believe in a lot of Republican values. I’m not very conservative.” The aforementioned reports of student voter intimidation may have discouraged students from voting in Poughkeepsie. “I heard that the students have been having a lot of issues with polling here,” said Alana McCraw ’15, who filled out an absentee ballot for Texas. “And so I figured it was going to be a lot easier to save myself from time and long lines and just do it by mail at home.” Despite these hesitancies, Vassar students faced fewer problems than expected at the polls. The most problematic aspect of voting turned out to be registration. “The first time I filled out my form I forgot to put my room on it,” said Hannah Harp ’16. “But other than that it’s been totally fine. And the Vassar Dems have been super cool about contacting people and making sure their forms are filled out correctly.” Town House (TH) resident Theo Pravitz-Rosen ’14 also faced problems with registration. “Most Town House people are supposed to be in another building, but I put down ‘Brewers Lane’ instead of ‘124 Raymond Ave’. So I ended up here,” he said while in line at Arthur S. May Elementary School. As a result of this confusion while registering with the TurboVote program, Pravitz-Rosen never received a voting card in the mail. Sean Ferguson ’15 suffered a similar fate as a result of misinformation by a Get Out the Vote volunteer in Poughkeepsie. “I asked her if I could put in my New Jersey address so I could be registered in my home state,” he wrote in an emailed statement. “She said yes. Unfortunately, the volunteer had misinformed me and the Dutchess County Board of Elections ended up scrapping my form without telling me.” Ferguson traveled to a court in New Brunswick on Tuesday in order to contend his right to vote, but his plea was ultimately rejected.
News Briefs Safety and Security officer injured in Fire Friday night
On the evening of Friday, Nov. 2, a large fire roared near the New Observatory. According to Director of Safety and Security Don Marsala, a Vassar Safety and Security officer “lost control of the vehicle and crashed into several trees.” The car caught on fire, causing several loud explosions and a large jet of flames that could be seen from several locations on campus. The officer was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Along with Vassar Safety and Security Officers, the Poughkeepsie Police and the Fire Department responded to the scene. Stephen Loder ’13 captured the fire on video and posted it to Facebook on Friday. Loder heard a loud crash that shook his TA shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday. “I went outside about five minutes later and filmed the video right across the street from the gym entrance, next to the last TA in that row,” Loder wrote in an emailed statement. The fire grows in width throughout the video as the explosions continue. Marsala reported that the injured Safety and Security officer is currently resting safely. Deer Cull to take place on Farm during Winter Break
—Danielle Bukowski, News Editor
Organizers thrilled by campus response REACTION continued from page 1
when Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown in Massachusetts. The enthusiasm may have been propelled by the fact that this was the first time a majority of students were eligible to vote in a presidential election. When the race was still close, Molly Barth ’16, who voted for Obama in New Jersey, said, “I am very stressed. I’ve never been attached to an election as I am to this one. Now some things I care about, things like women’s rights, are at stake.” Said Nicole Wong ’15, who watched the election results on the 3rd floor of Main, “This is my first time voting, so it’s really exciting and I feel like I care more about the election because of it.” For the Vassar Democrats—who mobilized students for Obama through phone banking and canvassing—this emotion was particularly strong. Said Treasurer Jack Mullan ’14 after the polls closed at 9 p.m., “The 2012 race is much closer than the 2008 election. This election is so much more critical. The stakes are even higher…the role of women and minorities are more important than ever in this election. Social issues are so much more important in this election.” But conservative students on campus had a different set of priorities. Said Republican Emily Ormond ’16, who watched from the third floor of Main: “I’m feeling hopeful. It’s much closer than it was four years ago and that is a good sign. If Mitt Romney loses, at least he gave Obama a good fight.” Wade Crouch ’16 watched from the fifth floor of Main with other MICA members. “It’s looking pretty optimistic for Romney; battle-
ground states are looking closer than they were expected, and some of them are going to Romney.” Crouch expressed distaste in voters not looking critically at the issues of both candidates before voting. “I put a lot of thought into who I would vote for...Basically I did my homework,” he said. “Unfortunately, at least in this election...[voters are] just following the Twitter feed and following the comments, and that’s part of the dangers of social media this year. I feel like it has undue influence on this year’s election.” Tim Veit ’16 was not fond of either candidate going into the election, but voted for Romney in Connecticut. “At a point I didn’t care, but later I really did feel upset. I’m upset about the next four years, and after that when we’ll be graduating and what kind of jobs we’ll be able to get.” But as the night went on, tensions mounted in UpC as it became apparent that the swing states were incredibly close. “Once the west coast polls closed at 10:30 or 11 p.m., there was sort of a cascade of blue states—California, Washington and Oregon— one there was that succession of projections that started the buzz more. It was good TV,” said Mullan. “There was a moment where they made a projection and the room perked up, but it was Missouri. So there was a sigh of disappointment then.” When it became clear that Obama only needed one more swing state to win the election, there was a shift in the crowd at UpC. David Lopez ’13, President of the Vassar Democrats, described his overwhelming feeling when Obama took Ohio. “You have to hold back tears. You just hear this incredible sound coming from all of us,” he said. “The biggest feeling I had was almost exhaustive relief that this finally happened.
And then came incredible happiness seeing everyone burst into tears and burst into smiles.” Mullan found the response especially powerful given the apathy and cynicism he noticed on campus generally, and the magnitude of the 2008 election. “It’s great that so many people still have this faith in what elections can do and what they signify,” he said. Democrats also gained a seat in the Senate, with 52 over the Republican’s 44. Said Matt Ortile ’14, who started crying when the Democrats took the Senate, “NBC declared [Obama’s] victory before CNN [the news channel airing at UpC] did, so it was a little bit less of a surprise, but I am so happy that our country keeps getting to move forward.” Julian Hassan ’14, who identifies politically as a Libertarian and voted locally, said, “I am not content with the predicted Obama victory because Obama represents collectivism...I think in 2016 Obama’s America will look different than it has in the last four years.” “I’m disappointed,” said Dean Ben-Benjamin ’16. “I think Obama will show his true colors. He’s been trying to be more moderate before the elections…I don’t think he will do anything to diminish the deficit…I really don’t think he’s a good president by any measure. But for most Vassar students, the night ended on a hopeful note. “I don’t have words, I only have feelings,” said Jocelyn Hassel ’16. Barth echoed Hassel’s feelings. “So freaking excited,” she said. “Hell yes, it has been an amazing first election.” —Hannah Blume, Eloy Bleifuss Prados, Noble Ingram, Anna Iovine, Lena Josephs, Bobbie Lucas and Jessica Lin contributed reporting to this piece.
Swing-states lean left for Obama victory PRESIDENT continued from page 1
News News team reported in their article this week, Vassar students were ecstatic to hear the results, and were glued to their television and computer screens while the President delivered his victory speech at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. “Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in,” said the President, congratulating his campaign staff on a well-fought race. In his remarks, Obama took care to mention some of his priorities for the next four years: education reform, technological innovation, environmental protection, and economic growth. During his second term, he is also expected to make strides on legalizing gay marriage and promoting gender equity in the workplace, two issues at the forefront of his campaign. Holding off on his concession for over an hour after major news networks projected Obama as the winner, Romney eventually took to the stage and offered the President his congratulations. “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the President will be successful in guiding our nation...I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation,” said Romney. Tuesday’s results marked the end of a campaign in which Americans re-examined everything from macroeconomic policy and gender discrimination to the fundamental role of government in the modern world. Throughout the campaign, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by or on behalf of each candidate. Competing for a handful of states, much of this money came from Political Action Committees, or PACs, the controversial fundraising organizations that promote specific agendas or candidates. According to the non-profit, non-partisan research group Center for Responsive Politics, the President’s top contributors included the University of California, Harvard University, Google and Microsoft, whereas the Governor
courtesy of the New York Times
On Thursday Nov. 1, Dean of Strategic Planning and Academic Resources Marianne Begemann sent an email to the Vassar community stating that a deer cull will take place on the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve (VFEP) over winter break. The overpopulation of deer on the VFEP currently affects the preserve’s biodiversity, which in turn causes a problem for the environmental research done on the land. The decision to cull deer on the Farm has been made previously, as Begemann pointed out in her email: “Three years ago, the College began a deer management program on the land, which included culling the deer population to promote the long term health of all the species in that ecosystem. The necessity of this action was supported by a variety of scientific findings. The college indicated at that time that continued culling would likely be needed as the population size rebounded.” As the population has again reached an unbalanced level at the Farm, another cull will occur. The question of why now, and why other methods were not considered, was asked of Begemann at the Town Hall meeting on Monday, Nov. 5. Begemann stressed the fact that the decision was not made lightly, but that as the Farm is primarily a research area, biological diversity is imperative. One student brought up other methods for maintaining the deer population, such as birth control or a fence, but Begemann said that both would not be feasible for the College at this time. Birth control, which may be in the form of spaying, would only be implemented as a research initiative, something the College is not currently equipped to do, and that a fence would disrupt the movement of other wildlife to and from the Farm, further unbalancing the area. The cull in 2010 sparked protests not only from Vassar students but also Dutchess County locals. The College was caught off guard by these protests, since other nearby ecological preserves have employed similar practices. In an effort to make information about the cull more widely available, the College has scheduled two public information sessions on the Farm. The first was on Monday, Nov. 5 and the second will be held on Saturday Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. “Both events will include a walk in the forest, where damage can be seen firsthand,” Begemann wrote in her email. More information about the issue can be found at the VFEP website: http://farm. vassar.edu/activities/management/deer/.
November 8, 2012
This electoral map shows those states which cast their votes for Barack Obama last Tuesday. In particular, swing states such as Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin supported the President. was supported by Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase. Despite his plans, much of what Obama will be able to accomplish during his second term will depend on the other branch of U.S. government: Congress. At press time on Wednesday morning, it is projected that the Democrats will hold the Senate with between 52 and 55 seats, Republicans will have between 44 and 47 seats, and Maine will be represented by Angus King, a third party politician. However, the Democratic lead is not large enough for them to independently overcome a Republican filibuster, a method by which bills can be stalled until 60 senators agree to put it to a vote. In the House of Representatives, the Republicans remain in control with at least 230 seats while Democrats settle for about 200. At press time, 20 seats remain undecided. Many agree that this Congressional structure is likely to create some legislative difficulties for Obama, and heighten the need for biparti-
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
san compromise in the years ahead. In addition, Obama’s victory in 2012 is much narrower than it was in 2008 when he had the support of Indiana and North Carolina. Four years ago, Obama defeated Republican John McCain 365-173, compared to this year’s estimated 303-206 with Florida’s 29 electoral votes undecided at press time. “America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or who you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try,” concluded the President of the United States of America.
November 8, 2012
Students weigh impact of voting locally versus absentee Lily Choi
hile it might be obvious to some students who to vote for, it is often more difficult to decide if they should cast their vote in their home district or in Poughkeepsie. It’s easy to forget that Vassar students come from all over the United States and the world when we all spend so much of the year on one campus. However, come election season, many students must decide whether to vote at school or through their home state, usually through absentee ballot. “Voting at school is definitely easier, logistically—you don’t have to deal with absentee ballots, looking up the address to your City Hall, finding a stamp,” said Sophie Wheelock ’15, a Rhode Island native, in an emailed statement. “However, I still prefer to vote at home, through absentee ballot. I expect to vote more from Rhode Island in the future than in New York, so keeping my registration there is more practical in the long run.” She continued, “Also, in the future, even if I don’t live in Rhode Island, I’ve already familiarized myself with the process of voting absentee because of this election.” Juliana Struve ’15 also voted by absentee ballot for Cook County, Ill. “For Vassar students
I think one pro of voting at school is convenience. I don’t really see any cons with voting at school with an absentee ballot except for the fact that you miss all of the excitement of voting day and going to the voting booth,” she said in an email. For many students deciding where to vote came down to where they felt their vote could be the most effective. “I chose to vote absentee in my Ohio district. There are two reasons for this,” said Kevin Ritter ’15. “The first is Ohio’s crucial role as a swing state. The state of Ohio has picked the president since 1964, which is pretty awesome. I feel like my vote in Ohio has more sway. However, I do have strong opinions about certain local elections back home.” Similar calculuses existed for other students. “I’ve registered to vote here at Vassar,” said Sophia Wallach ’15 in an email.“It was an interesting decision for me because I am a local Poughkeepsie resident, however I’m from a different district. My home district is very Democratic but the local elections here in Vassar’s district are very contested and so I felt my vote would have more of an impact if I registered here,” wrote Wallace. “I [filled] out an absentee ballot...while I was home over fall break,” wrote Kiran Kawolics ’15, a native of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “Since Ohio is a swing state, I figured I should do my part to
turn it blue. There were also some local issues that I thought were important and that I wanted to have a say in, even though I don’t live in Ohio for most of the year. I figured that my vote would have the most impact on the future of my country, my home state, and my personal life if I cast it in Ohio.” “When voting at school students are representing their current place of residency where the impact will technically be more immediate,” Wallach said. “This, however, is a delicate issue because students do not necessarily represent the majority opinions of district residents who are paying taxes and having to deal with legislative decisions made by those in local office,” she continued. “Often a consideration to make is where will your vote have the most impact whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Are there issues on the ballot that you find more important in home or in school?” Ultimately, many students find it crucial that they vote any way that they can, in order to feel that they have made an influence in the elections. “I was completely on my own with the voting process here at school, my parents weren’t there to guide me and influence me on who to vote for,” said Struve.
Struve continued, “Also this was my first time voting and I saw it as a kind of rite of passage.” Voting was particularly important for students who could choose in which district or state to vote. “It is very important because if one person takes the mentality that their vote doesn’t matter then that can escalate in a way that will actually make a difference in such a tight election,” said Wallach. “This is especially true for students who are voting absentee from key swing states such as Ohio and Florida,” finished Wallach. In addition, Wheelock added that the privilege of voting comes with the obligation to educate oneself on the issues at stake in the coming elections. “I strongly believe in taking advantage of my right to vote. It’s a right that was hard won, and I don’t take it lightly,” she said. “However, I’m also adamant about knowing what you’re voting for. I try to be an informed voter—as much as I can, that is, as a chronically busy college student. It doesn’t mean I have to be a political analyst—I honestly think anyone can educate themselves just by spending an afternoon visiting the candidates’ websites and scrolling through Wikipedia. Read their actual policy. You just have to take the initiative.”
Emotions run high for VC’s first time voters A look back at Obama’s W 2008 win Chris Gonzalez
AssistAnt FeAtures editor
Jessica Tarantine and Alyssa Aquino FeAtures editor And Guest reporter
Spencer Davis/The Miscellany News
hen Barack Obama won the presidential election back in 2008, many of the students currently enrolled in Vassar were still in high school. Jump forward four years and their mailboxes are overflowing with 2012 election political advertisements urging them to choose between Obama and Romney. And, while many of these flyers probably wound up in the trash, each one paved the road to the moment when many students, for the first time, would cast their votes for President of the United States. But what kind of weight did this monumental moment hold for Vassar students? Some students, like New Jersey resident Catherine Zhou ’15, had been anticipating this moment for quite some time, ready to finally be a part of the political world. “Voting for the first time, to me, is making an abstract idea become more concrete,” Zhou wrote in an email. “Before, the voting process was very elusive to me, despite the faux-election polls that teachers made me do in elementary school…I was sentient during [the elections I grew up around] but I felt like I was being bombarded with all this information but had no real output.” Zhou commented that before this year she had never possessed a great knowledge about American politics, and while she has been paying closer attention to this year’s elections, she is still playing catch-up in some ways: “I do not understand most of the policies [the candidates] talk about other than those involving social issues. I don’t think I have enough information to develop any opinions on such other issues and it’s not always easy to educate and inform oneself.” Penny Luksic ’15 also doubted her knowledge of some issues when it came time to vote. “Voting for the first time was exciting and also made me feel incredibly worried about my decision,” Luksic wrote in an emailed statement. “Even though I stuck with my original decision, I doubted whether my knowledge of the candidates and the campaigns was enough for me to make an informed choice.” Luksic, an English major from California, further emphasized that though she had numerable doubts about voting, she ultimately had to make an important decision for herself. “I realized that having a vote means deciding for yourself what you value, what you want in a government figure, and what you’re willing to handle.” Other students, however, tried to stay well informed, even before this past election. David Newman ’15 said, “I feel like since 2000, I’ve always been semi-aware when it comes to elections. In 2008—it was sophomore year of high school—I knew what was going on at the time. But I’ve definitely paid a lot more attention to the election now because I am voting.” “I’ve been going to the candidate [websites]
Two students walk down Raymond Avenue during their trip to Arthur S. May Elementary school to cast ballots for the first time. For most students this is the first general election in which they can vote. and seeing what they have to say, and watching the debates closely and hearing what they have to say. I’m trying to get a more unbiased look,” Newman stated, adding that at the start of the campaigning he was very biased. Getting involved and staying informed is what Sean Keller ’16 is accustomed to, and has been since his early high school years. “Having always been interested in the political process and engaged in it indirect ways—I’ve always sort of researched the candidates and, last election, [several friends and I] sort of spread the word about the Obama campaign and [some of my friends] even went door to door—it’s nice to do something that feels a little more concrete.” “The process itself was fairly simple and straightforward for me,” added Keller, referring to filling out an absentee ballot for his home state of Pennsylvania. “It’s a good feeling.” David Garfinkel ’15, an Economics major, has also kept a close eye on politics; however, he admitted that he is actually rather indifferent about his first time voting. “It’s exciting, yes, but, since I’m voting in New York, I feel like my vote is minimized on a national scale.” “In recent years,” Garfinkel continued, “I feel that politics have gotten very volatile. I have followed the election less closely as it has approached. I feel like this ‘horse race mentality’ for an election is not really conducive to a healthy democracy. You can’t get a clear stance from any politician in a thirty-second sound bite.” The Westchester County resident further exemplified his frustrations with the voting process by touching upon the notion of swing-
states, adding, “It bothers me that places like Florida and Ohio decide elections—they aren’t exactly representative of the country as a whole.” While it is true that maybe some votes don’t have as much of an influence in certain states, Student Fellow Sarah Oliver ’15 feels that voting, taking a stance, and becoming an active part of the election is still important. “In this presidential term, we are going to graduate from college and move off into the real world, where we’ll have to deal with ‘real-world’ problems—getting a job, paying rent, etc.,” Oliver stated in an email. Natalie Nicelli ’15, who filed an absentee ballot, felt the same way as Oliver. “I’m usually a person that stays away from politics,” Nicelli admitted in an emailed statement, “but I felt very strongly about this election...about the issues in this election, because I could actually vote in this election, and because I will be graduating from college and starting my life within the next few years, this election was a particularly important one. It felt great to be a part of the election process.” “This election,” Oliver concluded, “it’s going to have an impact on some of the most crucial years of our lives.” While these students do not speak for the entirety of the campus, they certainly express similar emotions about their first time voting. And in the next four years, it will be a new group of Vassar students weeding through political advertisements, waiting to cast a vote, waiting to make a decision that could possibly change the state of the nation.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
Four years ago , Vassar students sat on the edge of their seats waiting to see the climax of a historic race between the junior Illinois Senator Barack Obama and senior Arizona Senator John McCain. As a result of unpopular war in Iraq and a President who had been decreasing in popularity since 9/11, the political climate across the country was distinctly anti-Washington; citizens were clamoring for change. To this end, Obama was running on a platform of change. In regards to foreign policy, he was against the Iraq War, but not against using missiles to protect national interests. Domestically, Obama was pro-choice and in favor of bailing out Wall Street bankers, citing their importance in the US’s economy. On the other side of the aisle, McCain– even while attempting to distance himself from the unpopular President Bush–was in support of the Iraq War. Overall, McCain focused the national attention on his experience in Congress and as an elder statesman to sharply contrast with Obama’s message of change but relative lack of experience. Hailed by the right as a maverick, McCain had chosen Sarah Palin as a running mate. Despite her popularity among Alaskan Republicans, the media soon became fixated with her more eccentric characteristics. In contrast to Palin’s Washington outsider status, Obama’s choice, Joe Biden was more experienced with Washington politics. While Biden was considered to have strong foreign policy experience, he frequently made remarks during the election season which frustrated the campaign. He also received little media attention compared with his Republican counterpart Palin. Closer to home, according to a 2008 poll conducted by The Miscellany News, Vassar students cared most about the financial crisis, with 29 percent of students polled reporting that it was the most important issue in the election. 21 percent reported that energy was the See 2008 on page 8
Non-voting students still engaged Jessica Tarantine FeAtures editor
Dutchess County to send Dems to Albany LOCAL continued from page 1
phen Rock noted that this was a particularly note-worthy race.“The most interesting local race is for the 41st New York State Senate District,” said Rock. “Last year, Saland was one of three Republican senators to vote in favor of same-sex marriage in New York, allowing the legislation to pass and become law.” He continued, “As a result of this vote, he was challenged by DiCarlo in the Republican primary and only managed to eke out a narrow victory.” Ultimately, Gipson’s platform dedicated to clean energy, efficient and wide-spread public transportation and health care won him a slim victory. He also highlighted technology as a means of bringing wealth and jobs to the area. In regards to taxes, he favors a progressive tax structure and is generally socially liberal. More specifically, he is pro-choice, is in favor of continuing funding for Planned Parenthood, and supports legislation which would mandate equal pay for equal work for women, State Assembly- 106th District
With 525,662 votes or 54 percent of the electorate, Democrat incumbent Didi Barret was elected to State Assembly. Republican David Byrne received 22,039 votes, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. A former journalist with experience in the nonprofit sector, Barret was elected to the New York State Assembly in a special elec-
tion in March 2012. She sits on the Committees on Aging, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs. She also is involved in Poughkeepsie Plenty, a food justice project, and Smart Eating Every Day (SEED). She has also promoted women’s issues through her work with Planned Parenthood, Girls Incorporated of NYC and New York’s Women’s Foundation. New York Supreme Court- 9th District
Gerald Loehr, Marie Rosa and Sandra Sciortino were elected to the Supreme Court of New York for the 9th district. Loehr, the incumbent who has held the position since 2006, was previously a Westchester County Court Judge in 2005. From 1997 to 2004, he was a founding partner of Ecker, Loehr & Ecker. The firm concentrated on criminal law, personal injury law, family law, and zoning law. Rosa currently is a Principal Court Attorney to New York State Supreme Court in Poughkeepsie. She has a total of 24 years of experience practicing law. She was rated as highly qualified for the election as Justice of the Supreme Court by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission. This is her first time being elected to the Supreme Court of New York. Sciortino has been practicing law for 26 years. She was rated “well qualified” by the Orange County Bar Association and “qualified and recommend” by the Women’s Bar
Association of Orange and Sullivan Counties. The Women’s Bar Association of Orange and Sullivan Counties also named her as the “2012 Distinguished Attorney.” She is also a former teacher in South Orangetown Central School District. All three candidates were Democrats, although New York Supreme Court hopefuls are prohibited from running on specific issues. Nordeen Calderin (R), Carl Chu (R) and John LaCava (R) were not elected. For many, these election results–all democratic victories-were surprising. “As I am sure you know, this area has traditionally been heavily Republican,” said Rock. “Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt did not carry Dutchess County in any of his four presidential elections, despite having been from Hyde Park.” Rock remarked that the area is becoming increasingly Democratic. “There are currently about 4700 more registered Democrats in Dutchess County than there are registered Republicans. This has not necessarily translated into Democratic electoral victories, and it may not do so in the future, but it does suggest that, in the future, Democrats may have a better chance to make inroads in traditionally Republican territory.” Indeed, Rock’s predications in regards to local elections were correct, as it appears that the increased number of Democratic voters did translate for wins for their party this election season.
Maloney to replace incumbent Hayworth STATE RACES continued from page 1
State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Before that she was a member of the House of Representatives, serving for New York’s 20th Congressional District, where she tackled a wide range of issues. These included advocating for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” cutting taxes for middle-class families, and ensuring that seniors continue to receive affordable health care. In her next term, she hopes to work on creating jobs for Veterans, as well as create a strong Farm bill that will open new markets for local farmers across New York State. However, professors and students did not seem to focus too much attention on either the re-election of Gillibrand. Instead, they were more concerned about the elections for the 18th Congressional District. “The...Interesting local race, to me, is the one for New York’s 18th Congressional District, which pits Republican incumbent Nan Hayworth against Democratic challenger Sean Patrick Maloney,” stated Professor of Political Science Stephen Rock. “It’s a tight race,” added Professor of Political Science Richard Born. “But over the last two months its moved from being something very close to a toss-up to leaning Republican, which means Maloney will probably lose. As of last week Maloney was trailing Hayworth by 7 percent in a Siena [Research Institute] Poll. That’s not good news for him. He is a challenger and still getting name recognition. Seven percent is not insurmountable, but I would still have to think Hayworth will win.” Born further speculated on the ways in which the candidates’ finances could have affected the outcome of the Congressional race. “[Hayworth has] been spending tremendous amounts of money. He’s been spending a lot...he’s done very well raising money, but she’s done even better. She’s been worried since the beginning, so she didn’t take this for granted. My best guess in the end is that she holds on, not by much. An upset, though, is not out of the question,” concluded Born. However, leading up to the race, Rock was more optimistic about the probability of a Maloney victory. “The Poughkeepsie Journal,” Rock began, “A traditionally conservative newspaper which this year as endorsed more Democratic candidates than I can ever recall, has en-
Katie de Heras/The Miscellany News
ith so much emphasis placed on getting out the vote and duty of Americans to vote, it is easy to forget that ten percent of Vassar students are not US citizens and therefore cannot vote. Yet, despite being unable to go to the polls, Vassar’s international students were far from disengaged with the 2012 presidential elections. The effects of Obama’s win will be felt around the globe. “As an international student what concerns me most is [the candidate’s] foreign policy and immigration policy,” said Moderate Independent Conservative Alliance (MICA) Vice President and R.E.V. Up Finance Director Peter Yu ’15, an international student from China. ”To me, it seems like Romney is much more pro-legal immigration [as] he is in favor of giving students with more advanced degrees more ease with the whole immigration process,” said Yu. “I am personally more inclined to support Romney’s policy and I know many other international students who are in favor of his policy as well.” However, Yu did point out he did not think that Romney’s policies on some aspects of foreign relations would be beneficial in the long term. Debate Society Vice President for Finance Arushi Raina ’14, a citizen of India, agreed that foreign policy was the most important issue in the coming election but had different specific concerns in regards to policy. “U.S. foreign policy priorities and articulation are always huge in dictating the way that US assistance to and cooperation with African states is conducted—not only the civil stability in certain regions but the support in economic development,” said Raina. “Even for relatively better-off states like South Africa.” Although the two had differing viewpoints and major concerns in the elections, both chose to become engaged in the election by either participating in an active voting campaign or through organizations which provided an opportunity for political analysis. Yu explained that his decision to become involved in R.E.V. Up stemmed from his desire to see students fully actualize their political rights. “I would like to promote political awareness on campus and make sure that every American student here takes advantage of their right, and to some extent, responsibility to participate in political activities here,” said Yu. He finished, “I don’t get to vote in either China or the U.S.A., both for obvious reasons, therefore I am loath to seeing that students here wasting their privilege to participate in their country’s political affair for that they won’t know what they are missing.” While Yu’s involvement focused on promoting political engagement, Rania looked for opportunities to discuss political analysis. She went on The Campus Current, a campus radio talk show, to talk about the president debates and commented on the presidential debates for an article in the most recent issue of the Vassar Chronicle as the Debate and Discourse Editor. “[These activities] have allowed me to access the larger issues of the election in a way that goes beyond just following the news,” said Raina. Even for those international students who were not involved in org-related programming, the elections still came up in informal conversations and discussion frequently. “I have had a lot of conversations about the elections with my housemates in Ferry,” said Economics major Ally Bian ’15, an international student from China. “About 99.99 percent of them are voting for Obama.” “I’m also went with one of my housemates to the polls,” Bian said. “It was a fun way to provide support for a friend and learn more about the election process.” Overall it appeared that for many international students, getting involved in U.S. politics was not a new interest. Raina remarked, ”Of course—but that’s not a new thing. Even growing up outside the states, I’ve been politically aware of U.S. elections. Being in the country, and being part of the campus community has only deepened my involvement and insight.”
November 8, 2012
Sean Maloney, who visited Vassar for a speech and an interview with The Miscellany News last month, is the first openly gay man to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from NY. dorsed Maloney, who worked in the Clinton administration and thus has experience in Washington.” “The few polls that I have seen suggest that Hayworth is leading, but the race is close. My gut says that Maloney will pull it out, but I could easily be wrong,” Rock said. President of the Vassar Democrats David Lopez ’13 commented in an emailed statement, “I am confident in Sean Patrick Maloney’s ability to oust Congresswoman Nan Hayworth for New York’s 18th District. The Maloney campaign has run an effective and grassroots operation that reflects his ideas and positions. Similar to the presidential race, this race comes down to big money being versus grassroots organizing.” Lopez and the Vassar Dems hosted a rally for Maloney in Rockefeller Hall in October. As it turns out, both Lopez and Professor Rock were correct in their assumptions that Sean Patrick Maloney would win for Congressional District 18, although the results were very close. Maloney took 51.7% of the votes, about 129,040, a little under nine thou-
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
sand more than Hayworth. Poughkeepsie was recently moved from the 22nd to the 18th District, resulting in a significant change in the electorate. This shift may have been a factor in Maloney’s win over Hayworth. The redistricting also affected races in neighboring areas including the 19th District, which also had areas which were part of the 22nd District. Christopher P. Gibson, a Republican candidate who was redistricted from the 20th Congressional District to the 19th, defeated former federal prosecutor and Democrat, Julian Schreibman. President of Democracy Matters at Vassar Adam Eichen ’15 had a few thoughts to leave for students about this election and future ones in an emailed statement. “Vassar students should not forget about the local elections in this district. This district is as purple as it gets (i.e. very much a swing district). There is a lot of change to be had in [New York] and that change derives from electing well minded state senators and assemblymen and women.”
November 8, 2012
Activists hail community bonds as key to indigenous rights Marie Solis
AssistAnt FeAtures editor
Katie de Heras/The Miscellany News
While Vassar students are known for being well-versed in United States civil right issues especially during election season, it is easy to forget about other pressing adversities even in a country as geographically and culturally close to us as Mexico. On Sunday, Nov. 4 representatives Gubidcha Matus Lerma from the Fray Bartolome Human Rights Center and Stuart Schussler from the Mexico-U.S. Solidarity Network both educated listeners about their efforts to provide autonomy to different oppressed groups in Chiapas in their talk “Justice in Chiapas! Autonomy and Human Rights in the Indigenous Communities of Southern Mexico.” Though these issues seem daunting, the lecture emphasized that there are small things student can do in their own communities to have big impacts on Vassar, the United States and Mexico. An instrumental organizer of the lecture and member of Grassroots Alliance for Alternative Politics (GAAP), Adriana Provenzano ’13 said she was inspired to bring speakers Lerma and Schussler to Vassar after hearing about a friend’s trip abroad to Mexico with the Human Rights Center and the Solidarity network. The environment of the lecture itself already suggested a certain kind of solidarity. Though Schossler functioned as a translator for Lerma, the audience was composed of primarily native Spanish speakers, breaking down language barriers and allowing direct communication with him. “It establishes a sense of community being able to communicate in your native language,” said Lorena Lomeli ’15 of the atmosphere of the discussion. The issues discussed had a special resonance for her as a Mexican descendant. She said, “It really hit home knowing that such tragedies and injustices can occur to people who are similar to me. Although our country has many flaws, I think about how lucky I am to live in the United States.” Lerma and Schussler focused on their ad-
vocacy for the rights of indigenous peoples of Mexico, an issue which has a long history of tension over land and government policies. The Zapatistas, a liberal group centralized in Chiapas, declared war on the Mexican state in 1994 and since then Chiapas has been the primary site of struggles over indigenous rights to land as well as other violent skirmishes. “In these past years there has been a war in all of Mexico against the Mexican people which has left 70,000 people dead, thousands disappeared and many people who have had to leave their homes,” Lerma said, citing the many causalities Chiapas has had to face. The Solidarity Network and Human Rights Center work to make sure decisions ultimately lie in the hands of the indigenous people instead of the government, which Lerma noted should not have the authority to force their policies upon the groups. Lerma and the Human Rights Center focus on communicating with the indigenous groups and helping indigenous peoples in whatever ways the indigenous see most fit. “This accompaniment has meant carrying out actions that don’t just come from our initiative. There are joint initiatives, one of which is to search for a justice built within the community,” said Lerma. Lerma and Schussler encouraged the audience, largely composed of students from GAAP and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán (MEChA), to consider going abroad to Mexico to help with these initiatives, but also emphasized that there are things everyone can do within the U.S. generally. “Another thing that’s important but scary is building in our community. There’s been a war on drugs in Mexico for six years and a war on drugs in the U.S. which has been going on for two generations,” said Schussler. He explained that fostering community is one of the primary ways to combat all kinds of human and civil rights violations and problems such as women’s rights, LGBT rights and rampant foreclosure. “We’re very inspired by organizations in Mexico who are building autonomy every day.
Although Gubidcha Matus Lerma spoke in Spanish while an interpreter translated for the audience, many students in attendance interacted with Lerma directly in Spanish during the Nov. 4 presentation. We have the privilege to go to Mexico and learn from them,” Schussler said, underscoring the importance of what he calls “reverse learning.” “We go there to learn about how we can use that knowledge to improve our communities here,” he said. Schussler applies the principles of establishing community he learned from the indigenous groups particularly in Chicago and Albany, the sites of the U.S. offices of The Mexico-U.S Solidarity Network. “When we have a problem we tend to think ‘It’s just me who’s having these problems’ and we don’t instantly connect it with what other people are going through. Once they start sharing stories they realize they have a united experience. We start making connections and realize it’s a systematic problem we’re dealing with, a system built on exploiting certain people,” said Schussler, citing foreclosure as one of
the sources of distress for many communities. Vassar too, he said, could benefit from sharing experiences and working on creating solidarity amongst students. Provenzano said the lecture helped her confront not only her luck and privilege as a United States citizen, but also as a Vassar student. Provenzano said, “What is important to me is connecting our freedoms and privileges we have at Vassar with oppression that is happening elsewhere. Educating ourselves about how our place in society contributes to others’ place in society.” Not only did she find the lecture personally efficacious, she also thought it had the potential to hit home with other Vassar students. She said, “It was successful in that it was a conversation which allowed people to educate themselves and others which in itself creates community and spurs action.”
2012 sets new precedent for get out the vote efforts at VC Juan Bautista Dominguez Guest reporter
as well as setting up events to send out over 2,500 postcards to local residents reminding them to vote.” Apart from that, many members of the organization have campaigned for other local assembly and senate races. “Their service speaks to how much Vassar students are out there educating people on candidates and issues that shape our daily lives,” said Lopez. Specifically, the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts, that Lopez sees as the last step in terms of mobilizing any and all students that want to get involved in campaigns, has been set up to coordinate all these campaign opportunities for students. Adam Eichen ’15, President of Vassar’s chapter of Democracy Matters weighs in on the topic of local politics. “Local elections are just as important as the national election and this lines up well with Democracy Matters’ over-
Jacob Gorski/The Miscellany News
n the months leading up to the Presidential elections in U.S. history, Vassar’s campus was filled with events and initiatives geared towards increasing participation in the political process. From the first day of the semester, excited political chatter and mobilization began to take center stage. Given increased political polarization of U.S. society, there existed a campus-wide initiative to increase voter participation on behalf of Vassar’s student groups. One of the projects that comprised the initiative was TurboVote, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit that contracts with college administrations to register student bodies. Jason Rubin ’13, VSA President explains, “TurboVote was brought to Vassar through a collaboration between the VSA, the Dean of the College Office, and the President’s Office and was promoted on campus by all three offices.” Rubin explained the results of the initiative. “Around 500 students made use of the program and TurboVote representatives reached out to us to let us know that we had the 9th highest participation rate out of the over 50 schools who use the program.” Despite the program’s user-friendly appeal, it did cause some confusion among students. R.E.V. Up Director Evan Seltzer ’14, describes the difficulty of incorporating TurboVote into his organization’s own initiative. “It sometimes complicated the registration process because it does not sufficiently explain how it works on its website. As a result, many students believed they had registered via TurboVote when in fact they had only completed a part of the process,” said Seltzer. In regards to his organization’s actions, Seltzer elaborates, “The goals of R.E.V. Up are to maximize the number of registered Vassar students, to provide key information about voting to familiarize students with how it works, and to facilitate voting on Election Day” R.E.V. Up brought together various groups
on campus. Vassar Democrats President, David Lopez ’13 notes, “R.E.V. Up was able to congeal the efforts of MICA and the Dems in order to help register and educate voters.” In that sense, Seltzer said that it was a success. Lopez also makes clear that more partisan efforts have also been a priority. “We have also been working in tandem with Organizing for America (OFA) Fellow Rebecca Smith [’13], Poughkeepsie for Obama, and other local Obama reelection efforts since last year,” explains Lopez. While emphasis is always placed on the presidential election, some groups on campus have increasingly seen the significance in local politics. Lopez commented, “I have made it my goal to help support local candidates: The ‘Dems’ have brought Sean Patrick Maloney to speak, we’ve contributed to canvassing for him,
On Election Day, members of R.E.V Up—a bipartisan student collaboration—provided transportation to the polls and acted as a resource for those few students whose registrations were contested.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
arching goal of wishing to educate the student body about the corrupting influence that money has in the political system,” said Eichen. Among the group’s primary projects is spreading awareness about the Fair Elections Bill, which is to be entertained in the N.Y. state assembly in the near future. The bill would establish an optional public financing system for primary, general and special election campaigns for all state offices that require some minimum number of small-scale donations so that if the requirements are met, candidates can receive public funding. Aside from the usual political organizations, many Houses on campus have hosted events that spread awareness of campaign issues and also encourage registration. Presidents of almost all the dorms assured that debate viewing parties were hosted as well as information provided in regards to the voter registration. Main President Estello-Cisdre Raganit ’14 says, “In mid-September, our House Fellows and House Fellow Interns hosted their bi-weekly Smoothie Sunday event with voter registration forms for the state of New York as well as information for students to receive absentee ballots from their home state.” Josselyn President Casey Hancock ’15 explained, “Our [House Fellow Interns], working with Quincy Mills, screened the first presidential debate and put posters throughout the house to encourage registration. They further tried to encourage students to fight back if their registration is challenged and warned them that it is possible that their eligibility may be questioned at polling locations.” The cases of possible challenges to Vassar student voting rights constantly reminded us to bring the necessary documentation to the polls as well as going to the correct voting location. Seltzer and volunteers demarcated the path to the Arthur S. May Elementary School with yellow tape, where students in the Residence Halls and in the South Commons Apartments voted. The dedication to the cause of increased voter participation cannot be exaggerated.
November 8, 2012
Vegan pizza makes a tasty dinner and political statement Alessandra Seiter
AssistAnt online editor
hile gay marriage, job creation, immigration, and foreign policy rank among the integral and most discussed issues of the 2012 presidential election, one topic often falls by the wayside of mainstream media coverage: animal rights. Considering that more than half of the vegetarian and vegan citizens, who make up eight percent of the U.S. population, cited animal welfare as a motive of their decision not to consume animal-based products, presidential candidates’ views on the subject have significant potential to influence voters. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have asserted their stance against animal cruelty in
various verbal statements, though their actions and policies have not proved consistently proor anti-animal rights. Though none of us can predict either Romney or Obama’s future policies concerning animal welfare, we can all enjoy a slice or two of animal-friendly, meat-free, veggie-loaded pizza—a staple food fueling virtually all campaigns and election results parties. Every noteworthy pizza begins with a balanced crust—substantial yet thin enough to offer crispness. To craft your own pizza dough, all you need includes yeast, water, flour (gluten-free flour works just as well!), salt, and about 30 minutes to allow the dough to rise. For an added flavor kick, I recommend kneading fresh or dried herbs into the dough. Howev-
courtesy of Strawberry Rock
If you love fire-roasted tomatoes, red bell peppers and chickpeas then you’ll love this delicious and flexible vegan pizza. A vegan lifestyle shows your stance against the inhumane treatment of animals.
er, if you’d prefer an even simpler option for a satisfying crust, many grocery stores offer balls of pre-made pizza dough. Sauce forms the next layer of pizza deliciousness. While a standard tomato sauce requires nothing more than a can of fire-roasted tomatoes mixed with a generous sprinkling of dried oregano, a bit of imagination provides an endless bounty of creative animal-product-free sauces. Try spreading hummus, pesto, peanut sauce, olive tapenade, or cashew cream atop your dough during your upcoming pizza-making extravaganza. As for toppings, the options prove literally infinite. Cheese certainly serves as a universally popular choice, and Daiya brand, available at MyMarket, offers melty, gooey, animal-friendly cheese shreds in cheddar, mozzarella, and pepperjack varieties. I prefer my pizza, though, chock full of roasted vegetables, including cherry tomatoes, broccoli, butternut squash, mushrooms, and corn. Caramelized onions, silky sautéed spinach, and tender cloves of succulent roasted garlic can also amplify flavor and raise the sophistication factor of your pie. Featuring the roasted vegetables commonly utilized in the French stew of ratatouille and a tangy, hummus-like sauce, this recipe will surely impress any pizza-lover, vegan or omnivore. You can find nutritional yeast, a cheesy-tasting vegan powder, and miso, a Japanese bean paste, at any health food store, including House of Nutrition on Collegeview Avenue. Roasted Ratatouille Pizza with Chickpea Cheese Sauce
Adapted from Kristy Turner at Keepin’ it Kind. Ingredients:
1 ball of pre-made pizza dough
most divisive issue in the election, while 12 percent said there was no singular issue that was the most pressing issue. Overall, the Vassar students of four years ago were excited by the prospect of a young outgoing candidate in Obama. At times, however, this enticement for Obama boiled over and several conservative students were harassed. “[The Office of Residential Life] received reports of significant disrespect toward students who take a conservative political stance,” wrote the Office of Residential Life in an email to the student body in the days proceeding the 2008 election. While the exact details of the harassment were not publicized due to confidentiality concerns, they generally involved severe disrespect towards students tabling for McCain in the College Center. Untimely, according to a poll conducted by the Miscellany News 79 percent of polled students voted for Obama. “There was a lot of excitement,” Professor Stephen Rock of the Political Science Department says. “First it was for Hillary because she could be the first female President, and then there was Obama and he could be the first African-American President. People really saw him as this transformative figure,” Rock concluded. The economy was broken, the country was in the midst of two wars; among the restlessness that marked President George W. Bush’s second term, Obama emerged as a rising star with a campaign marked by promises of change and agency. Simply put: “Yes we can.” The excitement that Barack Obama inspired was electric. Although The Miscellany News spent the lead-up to the election emphasizing voter turnout, the Staff of four years ago endorsed Obama in the issue proceeding the election. “[...] We welcome the leadership and sound policies of Senator Barack Obama,” the
majority of the Editorial Board wrote in the Oct. 30, 2008 issue of The Miscellany News. Four years ago, the Opinions section itself was filled with students analyzing the points where Republican nominee, John McCain, had faltered, and where Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, had shone. One editorial focused on the excitement of being able to vote for the first time in the 2008 election. In the days following the election, The New York Times wrote in an article that confirmed the sentiments of the country echoed those at Vassar, “Mr. Obama’s election amounted to a national catharsis—a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country,” wrote Adam Nagourney in an 2008 article, “Obama Wins Election.” “There was a sense of belonging to something bigger,” Professor Bob Brigham of the History Department remembers. “We don’t have that now.” Although the Democratic nominee remains the same, Barack Obama’s relative attractiveness seems to have worn off. “There’s this feeling of ‘Well, let’s get this over with,’” Brigham commented before the election results were returned. “There’s less excitement now—Obama isn’t new anymore, and there’s a feeling of disappointment towards him,” Rock added: “There’s also more anxiety [...] that we will revert back.” Indeed, during the night of the 2008 election after the polls in California closed and the announcement that Obama had won had reached Vassar students’ ears, they gathered outside Main, shouting and cheering “Yes, we can.” Yet last Tuesday night, while the announcement of Obama as president elect was met with cheers in UpC, no group gathered to shout outside Main, no “Yes, we can,” or even the more restrained “Forward.”
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and onion on the baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the spices. Toss to coat evenly. Place the vegetables in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. While the vegetables roast, roll out the pizza dough into a circular shape and place on another parchment paper-lined baking sheet. To make the cheese sauce, combine the chickpeas, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso, garlic powder, and paprika in a food processor and puree until smooth. When the vegetable have finished roasting, transfer them to a bowl along with the tomatoes and stir to combine. Increase the oven temperature to 475 degrees. Spread about a third of the cheese sauce evenly onto the circle of dough and top it with about a third of the tomato/vegetable mixture. Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust has risen and is slightly brown.
2012 election night at VC lacks enthusiasm of 2008 2008 continued from page 5
1 eggplant, diced 3 zucchini, diced 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 large red onion, thinly sliced Olive oil 2 tsp oregano 1 tsp marjoram 1 tsp thyme Salt and pepper to taste 1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1/3-1/2 cup nutritional yeast Juice of 1 lemon 1 tsp white miso 1 tsp garlic powder Several dashes of smoked paprika
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November 8, 2012
MISCELLANY NEWS STAFF EDITORIAL
Students must remain politically engaged after election If you are reading this editorial, then congratulations! You have survived the 2012 Election Season. The debates have ended, the ballots have been cast and the results are in––Barack Obama will continue his presidency after January 20, 2013. For many in the Vassar community, this news is a true cause for celebration, and for some, this is a great disappointment. For all of us, the issues that we followed so diligently should not fall into the back of our minds. Even though Obama has won the election, these issues continue to exist and we must not forget to address them. Obama’s victory m ay be a triumph or a downfall depending on who you are, and it is important to remember that, either way, we must continue to support our causes. We at The Miscellany News stress that it is crucial to remain aware of these issues in the months and years to come, but also to be respectful of competing viewpoints in order to promote civil and constructive discourse--within and outside of the Vassar community. Politics needs to be a constant dialogue––not one that occurs in bursts and starts every four years. If contentious issues aren’t discussed, then they will not benefit from the attention they deserve. As a diverse editorial board, it would be impossible to hone in on all of the issues that most concern us. But in this election specifically, President Barack Obama will enter his next term faced with the looming fiscal cliff. We hope that Obama will act quickly and accordingly to encourage Republican cooperation, and will work in the best interest of the
country. As was evidences from the nit-picky debates in which the candidates often differentiated themselves by the smallest margins, the candidates had nearly similar views on many issues. Instead of polarizing the Democratic and Republican parties, it is important to work as a team united to improve and serve all of America. As students, we hope that he continues to proactively increase the affordability of a college education through loans and financial aid. We also hope that he focuses on bettering the American education system more broadly by focusing on accessibility and equal opportunity for all people. Furthermore, it is essential that Obama continue to support gender equality, a woman’s agency over her body, gay marriage and affordable healthcare. These issues are particularly important, considering this election also marks the first openly gay senator to be appointed with Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. These social issues mark the most progressive parts of Obama’s platform, and for many Vassar students, were the deciding factors in their vote. We must also recognize that there has been an increase in the CIA’s use of drones during Obama’s presidency, and this cannot go unnoticed. We must hold President Obama accountable for the promises he made during his campaign, especially considering that many of the promises he made four years ago were not followed through. A president’s second term has arguably the most potential for change, simply because there is no loom-
ing fear of re-election of defeat. We must ensure that President Obama capitalize on this advantageous position by putting into practice all the claims he has made throughout his long campaign. The following issues must receive as much attention during the presidency as they garnered before Nov. 6. Their importance and relevancy cannot be undermined now that the election has reached its close. If such issues simply lie dormant in the wake of Obama’s presidency, they will only erupt during the next election time as opposed to remaining a component of political discussion. Taking these things into consideration, we at The Miscellany News also hope that Obama will succeed in creating jobs and keeping jobs in the U.S., promoting fiscal responsibility and accelerating economic growth. We also hope the President will place more emphasis on environmental issues and climate change within the next four years, paying particular attention to alternative energy and sustainable development. Regardless of whether Obama’s re-election is elating or disappointing to you, it is necessary that we accept the results and continue to be involved in the political process. To express your thoughts or even disagreements, keep voting in midterms and subsequent elections. Keep sending letters to your congressional representative. Keep volunteering and researching and critically engaging with media outlets. Ensure that your voice is not lost in the shuffle, and approach upcoming elections with as much enthusiasm as the
Gary Johnson: the case for third parties Matt Heiden
“I embrace the notion of being a spoiler. The two-party system is outdated. Politics right now is very status quo. It’s really like a non-choice.” That statement, and statements like it, could have been uttered by a number of venerable third party candidates in American history: the Socialist Eugene Debs, the Green Party’s Ralph Nader, the Independent Ross Perot, the Bull Moose Party’s Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, this quote comes courtesy of Gary Johnson. Johnson is the Libertarian Party’s nominee, espousing that strange cocktail of fiscal conservatism and liberal social policy. Ignore, for a second, your feeling that third party candidates are wasting their time, quixotic nuts or apocalyptic naysayers with a zero percent chance of winning. Forget too that they siphon votes away from your second choice, the more electable candidate. Right now, just let me try to convince you that Gary, as his supporters call him, would make the best president out of any of the candidates on the ballot. The man’s personality is enough to earn my support. On the podium Gary has been awkward, but as a reformer in office tough-minded, and everywhere practical; almost apologetic and honest to a fault. As Lisa DePaulo wrote in her GQ profile, “Johnson is fundamentally incapable of bullshitting, which is one of the many, many things that make him so unusual for a presidential candidate. (When a reporter asked him, after he gushed about how great New Hampshire voters are, if he says the same thing in Michigan, he replied, ‘No, Michigan’s the worst.’)” As a two-term governor of New Mexico, a state that is two-to-one Democratic, the then-Republican Johnson balanced the budget and left a surplus. Unlike Mitt Romney, Johnson didn’t change his principles and call it “bipartisanship.” Governor Johnson vetoed an astounding 750 spending bills from the Democratic legislature. Unlike President Obama, Johnson did not let the other party bully him into inaction, or timid half-action. When he left office in 2003 after his two-term limit, New Mexico was one of
only four states left in the Union with a balanced budget. During his campaign, Johnson has proposed ideas that occupy that strange niche of being simultaneously popular with the people and anathema to either party. He scares Democrats with his talk of cutting the federal budget by 43 percent, his most radical idea. Under our third President Johnson (after Andrew and Lyndon B.), many federal programs such as education, Medicare and Medicaid would entirely return to the states. The federal government would give money as block funding to help efficiency and discourage wastefulness. “Just give education back to the states, fifty laboratories of innovation and best practice, and I think that’s exactly what we would have,” said Johnson on C-SPAN. “Fabulous success that would get emulated, failure, because we’re so competitive, would get avoided.” For any doubters out there, Johnson’s broad driving principles are personal freedom and competitive markets. He has been an advocate of an educational voucher system that would provide $3,500 per year for any K-12 student who wished to attend a private school. For a bit of context, New Mexico spends about $5,500 per child per year. For each family that accepts the voucher instead of attending public school, there would be a net gain of $2,000 to state funds. Johnson started a successful construction company in New Mexico before he was governor, and understands that over-regulation can make doing business (and hiring!) very onerous indeed. Do what works. That philosophy is a major reason Johnson adopted libertarianism—not for the sake of any grand ideological scheme. His conclusions are the opposite of some of the needless cruelties of the Republican platform. Why not end the war on drugs? Johnson used to smoke pot, found that it wasn’t very harmful, and concluded that there are better places to spend taxpayers’ money than prison cells for nonviolent stoners. Why not allow more legal immigrants in? According to his official campaign website, “As the former governor of a southern border state, I know fences and walls do not keep out illegal immigrants.” We might as well make sure
that these people pay taxes. I must confess one point here, which returns us to a final comparison to the two men who actually have a shot at sitting in the Oval Office: at times I find Gary Johnson’s foreign policy unsophisticated. He sensibly wants a retreat from Afghanistan, and opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning. Here his isolationism outshines Romney’s opportunism. Johnson would, in the name of civil liberties, apply due process to any criminals or terrorists. Since Obama has yet to make a serious effort to close the hideously unjust and unconstitutional Guantanamo Bay, Johnson’s stance provides an antidote to the president’s broken promises. But I cannot say that Johnson understands just how many entanglements America has, or how skillfully we need to apply diplomacy. What does he think about Palestinian rights, Arabian revolutions, Vladimir Putin, Iranian centrifuges, European monetary policy…the list goes on. Because this is an election about government and the economy, Gary Johnson just hasn’t been asked these things. (Aside from a single Republican primary debate, no media group has allowed Johnson a spot at the podium.) Worryingly, he has not volunteered his opinion. His map of the world seems not to extend past this hemisphere, with lonely little spotlights shining on the retreating U.S. army breaking up the dark no-man’s land of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Obama’s foreign policy has generally been too timid, but it has not been an entire failure, all things considered. If this were an election just on foreign policy, I would vote for Obama. But it is not. When you consider Obama’s entire record, he has been a partisan disappointment. Third party voters often have the temptation to storm out of the room and say something like, “Both parties are hostage to special interests and corporations, and real change is impossible.” This kind of voter is wrong; real change is possible. It starts by broadcasting a clear message, and my vote is a message. It’s symbolic, I know, but it is a symbol that is worth a vote. —Matt Heiden ’16 is a member of the Moderate, Independent & Conservative Alliance.
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presidential race has seen. The buzz and excitement generated from this campaign must not end now--it is an excellent momentum with the potential to propel or politicians to move proactively towards change in the upcoming years. In order to facilitate a safe space for productive political conversation, however, we must remember that the rest of the country and members of the Vassar community may not have the same viewpoint on President Barack Obama. We must acknowledge that his victory is not totally supported on campus, and it is essential that we remain respectful of the different opinions from outside the bubble, and of our fellow students. Vassar is the perfect spot to learn from peers with divergent opinions, but such exchanges are only productive when done in a sensitive, thoughtful manner. Furthermore, we should all take a moment and remember that this is not only a red and blue campus, but also a Rose and Gray campus. We can all agree on the pride and allegiance we feel towards Vassar, and this connection need not be overshadowed by disagreements concerning the presidential election. The bonds we have built with each other, as well as our commitment to the values of community, acceptance, opportunity, and critical thought should continue to transcend traditional partisan divisions. —The Staff Editorial represents the opinion of two-thirds of The Miscellany News 14 member Editorial Board.
Hope for progress in second term Sara Lobo
Joyous shrieks and howls erupted from UpCDC on Tuesday evening as Barack Obama secured the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to continue his presidency, drawing an end to months of campaigning and marking the start of “four more years.” It is not surprising that Obama won the election. There were many things that he did right in his first four years of office, and people want to see more. He launched Obamacare to help the 40 million people who are without health care, and he continues to push for health reform. He has focused on improving relationships with China and pressured them to raise the value of their money, which helps the U.S. economy. He has refocused the War on Terror, brought about the death of Osama bin Laden, and has drawn troops out of Iran and Afghanistan—amongst other things. And despite inheriting a daunting economic situation, he prevented it from becoming a lot worse. His stimulus package and bailout of the auto-industry helped give the economy the boost it needed to slowly trudge out of the economic disaster. His faith in the auto-industry helped him garner votes in Michigan and Ohio during the election. Ohio currently has an unemployment rate that is 7 percent, nearly a point below the national average. It is estimated that with the auto bailout, Obama helped save 850,000 jobs that depend on the industry. The economic recovery in Ohio seems to have been a factor in the election, helping him to gather more independent votes from this crucial swing state. Obama also won Pennsylvania, which can be partially attributed to the high voter turnout of African Americans. Of further aid to the president was the number of women who voted. Women accounted for 53% of all votes, and voted for Obama 10 percent more than did men. Overall, Obama was able to secure almost all of the swing states—thus giving him a clear Electoral College majorSee HOPE on page 11
Grassroots pressure on Obama key Gabe Dunsmith
Assistant Opinions Editor
I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief on Tuesday night, when it became apparent that President Barack Obama would win another four years in office. However, Obama has been far from perfect. By embracing austerity economics, ignoring climate change, attacking Middle Eastern civilians with drone strikes, failing to assist struggling home-owners, and promoting the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade agreement dubbed “NAFTA on steroids”—too often Obama has operated within a politics of the one percent, catering to corporate America while ignoring the struggles of most Americans, particularly the lower class. However, Obama’s victory is important for the following reasons. The White House will define federal policy for the next four years, and, if Obama sees the light, he can turn back the tide of austerity currently imposed by congressional Republicans. With public pressure, Obama may see that economics should be human-centered, not corporation-worshipping. Rhetorically, at least, the President supports an end to corporate personhood. The notion that corporations are people contributed to the Republican takeover of the House in 2010 and threatens to swamp our political system with money, drowning out human voices. With Obama, there is at least a chance of repealing Citizens United and affirming the belief that governments represent people, not corporations. Obama may have the opportunity to appoint one or two new Justices to the Supreme Court. This aspect of Obama’s victory is incredibly important. Just one more Obama appointee could swing the Court in a progressive direction. As far as other issues go, however, Obama needs to be pushed in the right direction. Issues including progressive tax reform, expansion of voting rights, immigration reform, closing Guantánamo Bay and ending torture, reversing climate change, combating poverty, and other efforts to make American society more have received only tepid—if any—support from the President. What the United States really needs, then, is a leftist movement that will pressure the President to act. Occupy Wall Street, which started over a year ago at a small park in Manhattan, might provide the spark for a new movement. At Occupy, people took their vision of a more just society to the doorsteps of capitalism itself: Wall Street, the financial Mecca of the modern world. In the Age of Obama, making progressive change occur may require similar strategies of organizing and protesting. In a time when minorities and the poor are increasingly disenfranchised and politicians fail to represent the concerns of the public, political empowerment is no easy task. So no matter the outcome of the elections, Vassar students must continue to mobilize to fight for a more just world. Leveraging our student power against bureaucracies and institutions of capital is no easy task, but Vassar students are already doing just that. Working in conjunction with other social movements, Vassar has the potential to push Obama towards more compassionate, human-based policies. Vassar’s myriad activist groups are fighting for immigration reform, minority rights, orientationand identity-based rights, climate change legislation, housing reform, food and agricultural reform, women’s rights, and voting reform—among a host of other issues. As a campus, Vassar should stand strongly against corporate personhood, so that human concerns—not corporate ones— are the ones that candidates listen to. As Vassar works to embrace students from all backgrounds and cultures, we work to further a vision of the world that is based on human understanding. As activist groups keep up the pressure after the election is over—as we will—perhaps President Obama will turn an ear as he has not before. To combat inequality in this world, the United States needs a president who is willing to sit down and listen. —Gabe Dunsmith ’15 is Assistant Opinions Editor for The Miscellany News.
November 8, 2012
N. Korean refugees deserve our attention LiNK provides opportunity to get involved Ellis Kim
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of North Korea? Nuclear weapons? Dictatorship? Growing up, I had an idea of North Korea and its people. I wanted to help but believed that there was no such possibility when the country was under such heavy surveillance by a government that wanted limited contact with other nations. This notion of helplessness changed when I found out about Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) on campus. I went to the meetings each week and learned that I could play a part in helping the North Koreans. LiNK is an organization in the United States that aids North Korean refugees by helping them move out through China and ultimately reach freedom. Last Saturday, I went to a screening and watched LiNK’s documentary about the organization, what the current situation is like for the North Korean people and the refugees, and how we can help. Liberties that we take for granted are restricted in the lives of North Koreans. They never have enough to eat. They are unable to cross the border into South Korea because the 38th parallel that separates the country is one of the most heavily guarded areas in the world. Therefore, they are left with but one option if they want to leave North Korea: crossing over to China. However, once they get to China, they are considered illegal immigrants because the Chinese government does not recognize them as refugees. If they are caught, they are sent back to North Korea and face severe punishment or even execution. North Korea follows the system of collective punishment, meaning that if one person is found to have broken a law, both she and her family will be punished. LiNK has set up a system which helps the refugees once they get into China. They meet the refugees at designated destinations and lead them through the trek of reaching south-
ern Asia, where the refugees will finally be free. They are aided by locals who guide them through the roads and act as interpreters. It is important that these refugees are able to leave China so that they can finally be considered refugees. (Seventy to ninety percent of the women who leave North Korea and arrive in China are trafficked. How is that acceptable?) Once the refugees are finally free, they have the option of going to South Korea or the United States. Funds raised by LiNK are used to set up new lives for these refugees. It was eye-opening to visually see what people go through in that country, and it was up-
“Liberties that we take for granted are restricted in the lives of North Koreans. They never have enough to eat. They are unable to cross the border.” Ellis Kim ’16 setting to hear the interviews of the refugees. One eighteen-year-old boy discussed how he had not told his family that he was running away, and had crossed a river that almost washed him away because it was so deep. He could not enjoy any of the delicious food he now had access to because he missed his family too much and remembered them constantly. One woman discussed how she had gotten married to a Chinese man who was a lot older than her, and described the night she had first been hit by him, simply because she had
locked the door at night when he hadn’t come home. He then arrived late and got angry. It is ridiculous that such horrid stories are still happening right now. There are camps in North Korea that are similar to those of the Nazis, but have been operating for five times longer. Why haven’t we heard about them? Why don’t we know more about the plight of the people? The suffering? It is because the media focuses on the political side of North Korea. LiNK has a campaign called SHIFT, with which they hope to redefine North Korea. The organization wants to spread the word about the people and bring attention to how we can help. It is important to realize that the leader of this nation does not represent his people. Are you interested in fighting for the North Korean people? LiNK’s website (libertyinnorthkorea.org) lists numerous opportunities for anyone to help. They are easy ways to actually assist the progress of freeing the nation. One is to watch a four-minute video about the SHIFT campaign; twenty-five cents are donated per view. As of this writing, there have been 13422 views and $9753.37 raised, much of it through the short video. Another way to help is to come to our LiNK meetings (every Thursday at 7 p.m. in Rocky 112). Our next huge fundraiser will consist of a 33-hour fast during which we ask others to sponsor us for at least an hour. If any of this piques your interest, then please do something. Don’t say that you’ll do it later. Later when? Why not now? The people of North Korea are suffering at this moment and will continue to do so until more of us become aware of the situation in which the North Koreans are dying. We have the information and power to create a positive change in North Korea; therefore, we have the responsibility of taking action in order to ensure that other people have the same rights and freedom as we do. —Ellis Kim ’16 is a member of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) at Vassar College.
Capitalist assumptions go unquestioned Martin Man
It is probably fair to say the majority of Vassar voters contributed to President Obama’s victory. Many are likely celebrating his second term, or, at the least, breathing a sigh of relief that Mitt Romney did not gain the presidency. But let us take a step back from the festivities and see that, at the end of the day, due to the inherent flaws of the American political and voting system, it inevitably comes down to a choice of “the lesser of two evils.” True, I myself am glad that the lesser evil— Obama—did triumph. However it is important to recognize the Democratic Party hardly represents the true Left, and that whatever ‘liberal’ policies that the party and Obama stand for ultimately exist under the yoke of the overarching corporate-capitalist domination of the United States. Obama is not the “anti-business” figure that many wish or think he is. The truth is that both candidates and parties receive tremendous amounts of campaign contributions from gigantic corporations. Wall Street companies like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup gave hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, to President Obama for his campaign. And the Democratic Party has hardly tried to push any progressive or populist laws against business and for the common people. So whilst they claim to represent the liberal Left, it is a party without a backbone—one that bends to the will of capitalism and has forsaken what principles should guide a true party of the Left. The tragedy is that in the USA—and in modern Western ‘liberal democratic’ societies in general—the domination and oppression of the people by capitalism is so pervasive and complete that people are completely blind to it. When—in the course of all the political discourse of this election—was there a single
mention or challenge to the underlying capitalist organization of this country’s economy? Was its legitimacy or viability ever questioned? Even after the Occupy Movement and the economic recession of these past years, there seems to be a continued tacit acceptance of capitalism.
“The tragedy is that in the USA...the oppression of people by capitalism is so pervasive and complete that people are completely blind to it. ” Martin Man ’16 Whilst in recent years there has been growing awareness of issues surrounding inequality, poverty, etc. in the liberal West, Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek points out that capitalism has set up a tyranny so powerful that it is able to incorporate such anti-capitalism itself into consumerism. Companies like Starbucks now advertise that they donate a percentage of profits to charities that aid the developing world. Think of the shoe company TOMS—whose hook is that, for each pair of shoes one buys, another pair will be sent to a child of the developing world. Or the rising popularity of buying “organic foods” which—though hardly purchased for superior taste—increasing numbers of people nonetheless buy because it makes them feel like they are doing something for the environment.
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Herein lies the disturbing fact that people feel redemption from consumerism in the very consumerist act. When the price of the product already includes contributing to alleviating poverty or fixing the environment, people’s consciences are absolved, and potential dissent is utterly silenced. They are then all too susceptible to assuming that capitalism can take care of predicaments like inequality, hunger, poverty and ecological destruction. Thus, the fortress of capitalism is secured against liberals who—albeit admirably—increasingly possess a social conscience. All that the Western liberals—practically synonymous with the Democratic Party in the United States—now jockey for are minimal gains in welfare, civil rights, and environmental protection. Meanwhile, they fail to even realize that they are held firmly in the grip of capitalist power, and that is the true root cause of the myriad social inequalities and injustices—as well as devastating environmental destruction—that plagues society. Capitalism as we know it now cannot properly handle the coming crises in economy, social inequality and climate change, and it is dangerous for us to continue living under the illusion that it can. Changes will have to be made to society, politics and economies for us to properly solve such world problems. I do not prescribe communism, socialism, or any specific programme. But I do sound the call for awareness, and hopefully with that will come discourse liberated from the repression of corporate-capitalism. As it is now, like so many other things, the elections and campaigns just past were simply a farce put on the stage of America for the benefit of the deluded masses. So let the liberal West unite: they may have more than their chains to lose, but there is still the world to win. —Martin Man ’16 is a member of the Young Democratic Socialists.
November 8, 2012
E-voting A first time voter shares increases her reelection experience accessibility Erin Boss
Josh Sherman Columnist
As President Obama took to the stage with his acceptance speech, I was reminded of the countless emails, phone calls and organizing efforts at the foundation of each candidate’s efforts to get out the vote. Suffice it to say, there is absolutely no way Obama could have declared his victory had he not directed so much of his campaign resources toward helping voters find polling places, organizing bus routes to polling places in major cities, and having people go door-to-door to advocate his campaign. It makes me wonder why we aren’t voting electronically yet. Electronic voting is not completely taboo in the United States, though it often demands some sort of paper trail to follow it along. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie announced in a press release the option for residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote via fax and e-mail, so long as they also submit a paper ballot to accommodate this new option. Sadly, the plan backfired due to the sheer number of people who voted this way, and the toll it has taken on Boards of Elections in its complexity and difficulty in execution. The system has continued to show various glitches, and remains open until Friday for residents to cast their votes. These glitches, though they are setbacks, should not take away from the value behind electronic voting and will hopefully not deter New Jersey from pursuing it further. Electronic voting, because of these reasons and more, has failed to become mainstream, but despite this it is far from uncommon. Soldiers overseas vote electronically for the sake of simplicity, and this method is effective because the correct resources are allocated for it. It is completely unrealistic to ask soldiers overseas to vote in any other way than electronically, but the same factors of convenience and accessibility could do wonders to improve our stagnant vote turnout here at home. The greatest criticisms against electronic voting come from concerns over security and voter fraud, but both are equally addressable if a government simply allocates the resources needed to combat them. Security is a very justifiable concern, but also irrelevant if the right elements of secure technology are given to it––the same that multi-billion dollar corporations use, and America can easily afford. Voter fraud can also be easily accounted for with the utilization of state and national ID systems, which can encourage people to obtain ID for the convenience of electronic voting, as well as make the voting process nearly painless. These two elements could help to make electronic voting a more viable option for more convenient and effective voting, and should be considered essential for the future.
“These glitches, though they are setbacks, should not take away from the value behind electronic voting.” JosH sHErMan ’16 In the end, Obama won this election because of his dedication toward providing accessibility options to his voters, and his focus on the common man mentality. Romney lost because he was, for the most part, out of touch, and this fact remained even as I watched him concede the election to Obama. One thing is certain though: The next election will see a return of electronic voting, and hopefully by then it will given the more careful thought and resources that it deserves. —Josh Sherman ’16 is a student at Vassar.
I was among the Vassar students who piled into UpC on Tuesday night to watch the results of the historic election between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The two floors were strewn with a smattering of chairs, couches, and tables, occupied by students with laptops, books, smoothies, or copies of the Chronicle. My friends and I hunkered down in a corner on the balcony to refresh the Huffington Post and munch on cookies with Obama’s face on them. CNN commentators droned on behind the buzz of UpC conversations. Occasionally, an outburst of applause broke out as state results were projected and confirmed. Two highlights of the night came when the New York polls closed (bringing an obvious Obama win) and when Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown in the Massachusetts senatorial race. When CNN announced these projections, whoops and cheers swept through the room. Then there was the nail-biter race in Florida, where the lead switched sporadically between Obama and Romney, the margin often coming down to less than 10,000 votes out of millions. At the points where CNN showed Obama marginally ahead, the watch party responded with general applause. As the night wore on, more polls closed, and more students piled into UpC, filling chairs and spilling over onto the floor, people’s reactions to projections growing more pronounced by the minute. Shortly after 11 p.m., CNN predicted that the Democrats would maintain control of the Senate. Several more states were predicted. And then, the historic moment. The “CNN Projection” image appeared on the screen, and it was followed by the announcement that Obama would win reelection. We collectively stood and cheered, chants including “Obama!” and “USA!” catching on in the crowd.
The attitudes at the watch party reinforced what is already evident––that as a whole, Vassar is a liberal campus. There were a couple moments where one or two cheers were sent up in response to Republican gains, but it seemed unclear whether they derived from sincerity or sarcasm. But however marginalized, the conservative presence on campus, manifesting itself in clubs like MICA and posts on SayAnything, does exist. The watch party also emphasized the excitement of Election Day. In 2008, I attended the county Democratic watch party with my dad and high school friends, but as fifteen-year-olds, our voices held no electoral sway. Nonetheless, the anticipation of election day was infectious, and we were well aware that in four years, we would (presumably) cast our votes for Obama’s second four years. I sent in my absentee ballot over a week ago. It was the first ballot I have cast in any election. To be honest, it was slightly disappointing to miss out on being part of the throngs who flocked to Tuesday’s polls and got stickers that read, “I voted!” There was something distinctly anticlimactic in bubbling the “Obama” option in a lonely dorm room, instead of in a curtained, free-standing stall in an elementary school gym. But after dropping the completed ballot at the post office, I felt like a citizen who had just participated in a republic in the most fundamental way. Perhaps most importantly, what will stand out about Nov. 6, 2012 is its place in history. We reelected the first African American president. Wisconsin elected the first openly gay senator, and ballot measures passed to allow same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland. And, like every other presidential election in history, it has determined the major national politics of the next four years.
ity, albeit a small majority in the popular vote. I do find it surprising, and slightly worrying, that there has been such an even numerical division between both parties. The popular vote— which for most of Tuesday night fluctuated between the two candidates—often gave Romney a slight popular majority, at times when Obama was clearly winning the electoral votes. Many states were split almost evenly, so much so that the winner of each state usually won the electoral votes by only about 2 percent. These often incredibly close state victories can lead to a tense political climate, one that Obama adamantly argued against in his speech after winning the election. While emphasizing that people should have differences and fight for their beliefs, he reminded the nation that we must, ultimately, stand together—a concept that is easily forgotten amidst party rivalries. I worry that the overwhelming split between both parties is deepening, resulting in a situation where Republicans cannot bear to see a Democrat as president, and vice-versa. There must not be this level of disunity in the political sphere. Now that the election is over, we must examine what our future will look like for the next four years. I have faith in Obama as president, but there are certain topics he must address. The “fiscal cliff” that we find ourselves on the brink of must be resolved quickly. The government has not yet acted to prevent this culmination of tax increases and spending cuts that is set to begin on New Years Eve, and Obama must work to push through a cohesive and beneficial plan. I also believe that Obama must refocus his attention on the events taking place in the Middle East, and form a stance on how he will address them. So far, he has been reluctant to aid countries such as Syria, and is following the course of the events rather than making any effort to help shape them. This is not to say that I support military intervention, but it seems that the Arab world is a powder keg—and the United States
t the n ight aE tio Late NL oeb di n a m Leh
How would you describe art in five words or less?
“It’s a lie; don’t believe.”
—Jerry Bernau ’13
“An expression of life.”
—Matias Brewer ’16
“I like my job.”
—Erin Boss ’16 is a student at Vassar College.
Close popular vote reflects polarized American public HOPE continued from page 9
should exert caution as well as focus attention on the injustices, and potential nuclear threats, that are developing. In light of Hurricane Sandy, I was reminded that there has been very little talk of climate change in the election this year, and hope that Obama will push for environmental progress in the next four years. In his post-election speech, he mentioned climate change and the need for improvement, and I am thus optimistic that it will be a topic for reform and progress. Governor Romney led a strong campaign, yet he was unable to recover from certain pitfalls that the public fixated upon. His inability to give clear information regarding his tax plan was a prominent one, leading to people questioning the legitimacy of increasing military spending and providing tax cuts, all without raising the deficit. With respect to social values, I found his platform against birth control and abortion to be a political move that alienated a large voting bloc, hurting his campaign more than it helped. With respect to foreign policy, he seemed perhaps too eager to give ammunition to Israel. Although I agree that they should be protected from the threats of Iran, the ammunition could easily fall into the wrong hands—and arming militant extremist groups could be a devastating decision. I will conclude by saying that I am Canadian, and therefore unable to vote in this election, much to my dismay. Although it is clear where my political views lie, I believe both candidates could have succeeded in leading the country with good judgment and intentions. As Obama faces another four years, I am eager to see if he can exceed his first term performance, and help to bring about a better and brighter America. I have a great amount of hope, and am hopeful for action. As Obama stated in his re-election speech, “You voted for action, not politics as usual…we’ve got more work to do.” —Sara Lobo ’16 is a student at Vassar College.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
—Matthew Woodward, Security
“Creativity and expression.”
—Pirilti Onukar ’16
—Noah Ross ’16
—Jordan Funk ’16 —Katie de Heras, Photo Editor Jean-Luc Bouchard, Humor & Satire
November 8, 2012
Hope for rational policy-making in Obama’s second term Lane Kisonak
We have all on occasion had the displeasure of someone telling us, “A watched pot never boils.” But perhaps some of us are superstitious enough to think that, perhaps if we cross our fingers or say a prayer, it might begin to bubble. Barack Obama commemorated the culmination of his re-election fight with a game of basketball, the same ritual he performed prior to his win four years ago and many of his primary victories against then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. He also gave his final campaign speech to an audience in Iowa, where his improbable ascent to the White House began. During the triple-feature of October’s presidential debates he tried to boost his fortune by eating steak and potatoes for supper. The mainstream media narrative has cast Obama as a calculating, rational thinker. But these episodes prove that, during what must have been an agonizing build-up to Election Night, Obama is human, and every inch a superstitious American as we are. I know how Obama feels. Well, not exactly–perhaps in the same way a person playing a game of flag football can relate to a contender in the Super Bowl. A few weeks ago I took my first round of LSATs; in the final week of feverish anticipation I began perusing all of the Internet’s finest horoscopes and looking for significant numbers with a rigor I hadn’t felt since the series finale of LOST. That Obama was able to compartmentalize and respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy while the campaign came to a climax shows his poise as a leader. But rituals are rituals, and his acceptance of them should make us remember that our leader in the White House is intelligent and well-intentioned, but not entirely rational. Nor are our representatives in Congress, and nor are we. Hence the Republican Party’s retention of the House of Representatives and their nomination of historically backwards Senate nominees this year. Hence their wave of victory way back in 2010, when they picked up 63 seats in
“Decision 2012” ACROSS
1 It could be revolving 5 Heart of Paris 10 Delhi prince 14 Cornell University’s founding father 15 Edie of “The Sopranos” 16 The decisive state on Tuesday 17 Type of speech delivered on Tuesday 19 Robed man 20 Minneapolis suburb 21 UK News service 22 Stone used for chess sets 23 “You ain’t seen nothin’ ___!” 24 Legislative branch that stayed Democratic on Tuesday 25 Boat propellor 27 He said about an opponent “My main objective is to be profession-
the House and six seats in the Senate. With the wounds of the economy improved but incompletely healed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the effect of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 not yet in play, people concluded that the exact opposite approach, carried out by people of precisely the opposite temperament, would prove beneficial. The totems of tax cuts and deregulation came to tower over Washington. As a result we dropped ice cubes into the water instead of turning up the heat. The imminent arrival of the fiscal cliff early next year threatens to freeze the water entirely. Thanks to the sequestration cuts that give teeth to the Budget Control Act of 2011, automatic cuts are set to take place in equal measure for defense and non-defense discretionary spending until 2022 (thankfully excluding programs like Social Security and Medicare). The possibly harsh economic consequences of this new round of discretionary-spending austerity will only be compounded by the simultaneous expiration of the Bush tax cuts and federal unemployment insurance. The rational way to pre-
“The imminent arrival of sequestration and the expiration of the Bushera tax cuts early next year threaten discretionary spending and harsh economic consequences.” Lane Kisonak ’13
bered that George W. Bush’s policies were to blame. This sort of long-term memory (if I may be permitted to extrapolate) could prove part of the emergence of a broad repudiation of the policies that wrecked the economy in the first place. Why? Because Obama is the first incumbent in the post-World War II era to win with an unemployment rate higher than 7.5 percent.
“While many blamed Obama for a 7.9% unemployment rate, most voters still remembered that George W. Bush’s policies were to blame for the recession.” Lane Kisonak ’13 This is a dubious milestone, to be sure, but could it be a sign of more rationality to come? Of voters giving productive fiscal policy a chance to set in? Of Republican obstructionism being repudiated? Of climate change as a part of the national conversation? The next four years will certainly test the United States’ ability to tolerate the sluggishness and vagaries of policy in all forms. Let’s remember to be rational–to not let our doubts, party lines, and superstitions get in the way of good governance. Let’s give Obama and Congress a chance to prove themselves worthy of our trust. Let’s try not to knock the pot off the stove. —Lane Kisonak ’13 is Opinions Editor for The Miscellany News. He is a Political Science major.
The Miscellany Crossword by Jack Mullan, Crossword Editor
al but to kill him” 31 Do or die 34 Facility 38 Maine college town 39 Greek theaters 40 From 26−down through 41−down, the President’s fate on Tuesday 42 Contemporary acronym meaning “seize the moment” 43 Words on a Spanish valentine 45 ___ vera 46 Kirk who played the first big−screen Superman 47 Greek name for Greece 48 Mafia leader 50 George Clooney, Val Kilmer or Michael Keaton, at some point 54 Dem’s foe 57 Setting for an Inaugural Address 59 Lawyers’ org.
Answers to last week’s puzzle
vent this from happening would be for Obama and the Republicans to craft a deal that would keep the Bush tax cuts in place in exchange for keeping the defense cuts, extending unemployment benefits, and restoring discretionary spending to previous levels. But considering the fit of irrationality brought on by GOP deficit fanaticism that led to the sequesters in the first place–a willful lack of understanding that short-term deficits are not indicative of long term fiscal trends–such a sensible resolution seems out of the question. Climate change is a stranger situation. Exit polls from Tuesday released by CBS News showed that 42 percent of voters took President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy into account at the polls into account. This poll doesn’t break it down further and ask if the existence of Sandy had any impact on people’s thoughts regarding climate change, or if Mitt Romney’s rejection of federal disaster relief played a role. Is the prevailing theme here that of people reacting to a single instance of a broadly unnoticed larger trend, or are people becoming aware of climate change? Some might argue that people watched Sandy’s progress, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of Obama based on climate change was so interesting, because Sandy hit a major northern city in the final days of a presidential campaign centered around the role of government–not on discussion of climate change. In the end it may very well be the case that climate change itself, in the form of Sandy, snatched victory away from Romney, but not because people voted on climate change. But perhaps there is something different happening. Might there be a chance that voters are beginning to shake their habit of ignoring longterm trends and coming to attention only when remarkable episodes hit the scene? An encouraging sign can be found, as it turns out, also in CBS’ exit polls. While many blamed Obama for an economy still languishing with a 7.9 percent unemployment rate, most voters still remem-
60 World War II bomber ___ Gay 62 See 62-down 63 Type of chant heard on Tuesday 65 Unmoving 66 Singer Turner and others 67 General ___ chicken 68 Hoodlum 69 They may give you a lift 70 Eye sore
31 Action on Tuesday 32 Pulitzer-winning biographer Leon 33 True life 35 Pie __ mode 36 Remove control button 37 Prefix with friendly
41 Lecture series with the slogan “ideas worth spreading” 44 Mother bears, in Spain 49 Comply with 51 Mrs. Eisenhower 52 “Threw me __ here!”
1 Go bad, as teeth 2 Atmosphere layer 3 Ripley’s last words? 4 Billiards equipment 5 Ty Cobb and Willie Mays, positionally: Abbr. 6 Local booze joint 7 The 1% 8 The Huskies of the NCAA 9 “Parks and Recreation” boss 10 The losing ticket on Tuesday 11 Matey’s salutation 12 Curse 13 Fine and dandy 18 “I could ___ horse!” (hungry) 22 “The Simpsons” bus driver 25 The winning ticket on Tuesday 26 Mr. __ (old detective board game) 28 Somalian territory 29 Just 30 Midday
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
(cut some slack) 53 Pro-choice org. 54 Comical ribute 55 The youngest Jetson 56 So last year 57 Queen of Carthage 58 Guthrie of folk
61 The new Brooklyn squad 62 Spontaneous 2012 campaign character 63 July holiday, with “the” 64 Problem for one with a lisp
HUMOR & SATIRE
November 8, 2012
From the desk of Jean-Luc Bouchard, Humor & Satire Editor
Historically narrow election ends with decisive victory for Blunkford Country Comptroller Clifford Fontaine Socialism reigns supreme Poughkeepsie council divides in demented new America Vassar into 42 voter precincts Jean-Luc Bouchard
Humor & Satire Editor
inutes after his victory was officially declared across the country’s media outlets, President Barack addressed the American people in a nationwide broadcast to inform them that it was finally time to annex the United States of America as the newest territory of Kenya. “Now that a second term is confirmed, it’s time to focus my attention to America’s most pressing issue,” the President told Americans this past Tuesday night. “Specifically, the issue of America not already being a Kenyan territory. I ran on an annexation platform in 2008, and I reran on this platform in 2012. Now, it’s time to finally return to my birth nation by seizing this foreign, heathen-breeding hegemon in its glorious name. All praise Kenya! ALL PRAISE KENYA.” When asked to comment, Vice President Joe Biden told reporters that, “…this whole annexation thing isn’t coming out of nowhere, folks. It’s been a very public fact since day one of this presidency that the president was 1. A Kenyan, 2. Interested in claiming the nation in the name of glorious Kenyan leader Mwai Kibaki, and 3. Replacing the constitution with Mao’s Little Red Book.” In response to the reporters’ several seconds-long pauses, blank stares, and disbelieving replies of, “…wait, what…”, Biden pointed out of the conference room window at the 30-foot tall statue of the Communist leader Hua Guofeng being raised in front of the Capital Building and said, “Yeah, what did you think that was about? Esthetics?” In a press conference this morning, Unquestionable Socialist Viceroy Obama ordered the newly appointed Court Jester/Madness Inducer Pelosi to screech through a bullhorn-shaped boot that the death panels would be fully operational by next week. “Hear ye, hear ye, fools
of the marshy kingdom,” Pelosi began, shaking a skull filled with baby teeth as a maraca. “All you wrinkly-wrinklies must report to the nearest ye olde socialist death panel by the time the moon is the shape of the stray cat’s grin.” Pelosi, prompted by his master’s whip, then proceeded to bathe in the blood of a sacrificed chupacabra, the legendary goat-murdering creature of yore and newest official national animal. “Fear the cat grin moon, fear the cat grin moon,” the portly hellion wailed, grabbing journalists by the hair and kissing their foreheads. The Unquestionable Socialist Viceroy gave his own brief statement to the press shortly after Comrade Pelosi’s glorious Communist hate tribute in front of The Delicious Destruction of All Small Businesses House (previously The White House), hoping to calm recent partisan opposition. “My fellow Kenyans,” the Unquestionable Socialist Free Love Viceroy screamed horribly, releasing a flurry of bloody feathers from his craw. “Now is not the time for petty party-line squabbling. NOW IS THE TIME FOR SCIENCE.” Obama then pulled a giant lever, opening a massive trap door next to the stage and revealing a slowly-rising giant robot. “This is ChaosBot,” Obama screamed. “His only purpose is to ruin the lives of humble, hardworking middle class Americans. He shoots fire balls out of his eyes and lightning bolts from his fingers. He targets boy scouts, mom and pop stores, and anyone wearing caps. His battery lasts ten thousand years and he hates capitalism.” At time of print, ChaosBot was riding a giant mechanical stallion named Stalin2 through the red states, slaying first-born sons, replacing all flawed American flags with the hammer and sickle, and filling the large moose skin pouch on his side with succulent child tears.
his past Tuesday, hundreds of bewildered Vassar students were turned away at their designated Poughkeepsie voting sites. Inquiring into the cause of this sudden registration fiasco, students and administrators soon learned that the city had recently passed a law splitting the college campus into approximately 42 minuscule and definitely not random voting precincts. According to sources, a secret local council presided over by Poughkeepsie’s wisest and most-dark hood-wearing-and-creepily-chanting elders pushed a bill through the works just weeks before successfully splitting the small college into dozens of different districts, each voting at a completely different precinct. “With the influx of college voters at the two regular polling stations, we felt that it was appropriate to create many, many, many small precincts instead for the sake of convenience,” said Assistant to the City Doombringer Bobby Ahner. “We’re not changing the actual electoral districts or anything crazy like that, just moving the locations where students have to vote. It’s really no big deal.” When asked if he thought that it was unfair for the government to target the city’s student population, Ahner responded, “No. Why, is it? Oh I really hope not...oh geeze, that would make my life so much worse if it was...” The new voting locations were sent out via email to registered students at least fourteen seconds before Election Day; however, very few students claimed to have received the notices in time. “I tried to open the email, and a virus fried my computer,” said Elaine Bernier ’14, whose precinct had unknowingly been changed. “I lost all my saved Sims games,” Bernier continued, sobbing into her sleeve. The
precinct Bernier now resides in, according to official documents, includes “...residents of the section of Vassar campus from the bottom bunk bed of Jewett 703 to the bed on the right of Lathrop 305 as well as the kitchens of TH 34-7 and TA 2 and also why not the small side of the Deece.” When asked about the difficulty he faced on Election Day, Allen Daniel ’13 responded, “My new voting location was ‘Chan’s Peking Kitchen VI.’ At first, I was confused, but then I was excited at the prospect of a whole other Chan’s restaurant.” Daniel then gazed out the window and made a rainbow-shaped motion with his hand. “A whole other Chan’s…” “My new location just said, ‘A Tree,’ said Cindy Luo ’13 who was also turned away at Arthur S. May Middle School. “Mine said “Guess,” added Eva Enriquez ’13, now a voter in the precinct including, “All of the SoCos except 1 and 5 and possibly 4, the most recently renovated rooms of Lathrop, and the outside staircase behind the Mug.” “I’m really mad that I was turned away from my polling station. I was so planning on ironically voting for Romney,” said self-proclaimed not-a-hipster Jacob Rhodes ’14. “That would have been totally hilarious. I ordered a McCain/Palin ‘08 shirt from eBay and everything.” Reports show that the creation of these new districts did not affect most students from voting. In fact, the majority of Vassar voters allegedly voted through absentee ballots because it meant they didn’t have to walk. “It’s kind of cold out, and the Poughkeepsie Town Hall is like, even further than the THs,” said Suzanne Paine ’14. “Besides, according the email I received, my left arm was supposed to report to a middle school in Albany, and the rest of me was only authorized to use TurboVote.”
National exit poll survey: The major issues by Jean-Luc Bouchard, Humor & Satire Editor Our Humor and Satire analysts crunched the numbers from the latest exit polls to determine what issues motivated last-minute voters. See the infographic below to find out what topics most influenced the decisions of America's undecided voters last Tuesday.
More jobs for the middle class, minimal commuting, no physical labor involved, super hot and flirty secrextary, preferably in the entertainment or food biz, free neck rubs possibly leading to sex a plus.
Cheaper gas, balanced out by more dramatically more expensive Furbies.
Promises of fewer Facebook friends with supposedly cute but actually really creepy headshots of anime characters in place of legitimate photos of their human faces.
Replacing No Child Left Behind with the radical and likely very dangerous No Child Left Without A Beehive.
Making sure military drones gain sentience and are taught to feel the most important emotions: hate, rage, fury, bias, lust, and criminal insanity.
Constitutional amendment to stop Disney from ruining the Star Wars series by making Stitch the protagonist of Episode VI.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
November 8, 2012
Leading scholars convene for American art conference
Katie de Heras/The Miscellany News
Although Wendy Ikemoto is new to Vassar, she is bringing a star-studded list of American Art historians to the campus this weekend. The conference, “Framing American Art,” will begin this Saturday. Steven Williams reporter
ndrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow Wendy Ikemoto wanted to learn about American culture first-hand. And so, during the past summer, she drove across the South— to Graceland, to Texas, to Arkansas. After all, Ikemoto’s area of expertise is American art. Now, Ikemoto is organizing a conference, “Framing America Art,” set to unite six prominent art historians in Taylor Hall, Room 203, on Nov. 11. The program begins with refreshments at 9:30 a.m., then the welcoming remarks at 10 a.m. Each scholar will each present their research, discuss their processes and methods for study and examine the state of American
art scholarship. “I’ve brought together six big-name art historians, people who my chair [Professor of Art Molly Nesbit] described as ‘the brightest lights and the biggest hitters,’” Ikemoto said. Ikemoto’s fellowship provides funding and support to enable her scholarship, organization, and teaching. She teaches one 300-level seminar, a 200-level lecture course, and lectures and holds a section for Introduction to Art History. She otherwise pursues her own research, such as the organization of this event. The conference aspires to be a touchstone affair for the field of American art history. Ikemoto has a very clear vision of what she hopes the American art conference will accom-
plish. “I have two aims. One is to provide an occasion for American art historians to gather together and hear the current work of these six art historians who are representative of the some of the major scholars working at the forefront of the field,” she began. “[The other is] to really excite this community about American art history.” The morning session will focus on American material culture. Erika Doss will speak first to discuss commemorative memorials—in particular, the 9/11 memorial. Michael Leja will follow with discussion of early, mass visual culture. To conclude the conference’s first part, Jeniffer Roberts will talk about machine-engraved banknotes and their value in 19th-century America. After a lunch break, the afternoon session will focus on painting. Alexander Nemerov will present on late-19th century painter Thomas Eakins, relating Eakins’ painting Swimming to the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. Marc Simpson’s presentation is on late 19th-century landscape painter Winslow Homer, and Bryan Wolf will conclude the conference with a talk on mid-20th-century abstract expressionist painter Phillip Guston. A discussion and a reception at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center will follow thereafter. The guidelines were fairly lax; Ikemoto has been loose in assigning a framework for the speakers, seeking, instead simply to capture the zeitgeist of American Art. “I gave the speakers no restrictions in terms of what they wanted to talk about, and basically asked them to present their current work,” she said. Ikemoto expects the event to attract a variety of attendees. “All of my Art 251 students are coming to the conference, some community members, emeritus professors, museum staff, graduate students from surrounding areas— Yale, hopefully Princeton, Rutgers,” Ikemoto said. She intends the conference to both act as a center for American art scholarship and capitalize on Vassar’s apt location. “We’re in the
Hudson River Valley, which is really the heart of American art history where 19th Century American landscape painting grew out of... This is historically a hugely important area for American art history,” she said. Ikemoto hopes to bolster the study of American art. “It’s a relatively young field. But if you speak in general terms, American art, I think, should get more attention in the United States,” she said. “My predecessor, Karen Lucic, did an amazing job and did a lot of work with the broader community and I’m trying continue that trajectory.” The rise in class enrollment further suggests an increasing interest in American art. “Last year when I was brand new here, I had six students in Art 250, and I now have over 30 with four auditors,” she said. American art history is crucial to understanding the American nation’s culture, Ikemoto believes. “I think that it’s really crucial to know the place you’re living in, to know what historically has contributed [to] the present state that we’re living in now,” she reflected. “There’s a lot of focus and a lot of romanticization about going abroad, seeing Europe and all of that...but there’s so much that this country has to offer.” Pilar Jefferson ’15, a student in Art 251— which studies the development of American visual culture between the Civil War and World War II—reflected on her intrigue with the field. “I’m most interested in the way that art connects to history and the idea of framing American Art puts it in a context that Americans might not understand themselves,” Jefferson said. “I think that art can often be divorced from the time and place that it was made and this conference can educate people in a way where art isn’t just static.” Ikemoto mused on the study of American art further. “I’m not aiming towards any patriotic sense of nationalism,” she said. “I think that studying the art of your country doesn’t mean that you have some sort of blind patriotism towards your country, but it helps you to think critically about the project of America.”
Glass sculptures capture beauty, intricacy of invertebrates Yuhan Shui
courtesy of Australia Museum
he Blaschka glass models unite science and art in painstaking detail. Colored and life-like, these anatomical artworks document the intricacy and vibrancy of invertebrates. And now, these models and former teaching aids are on display in the Warthin Museum, located at the entrance of Ely Hall and open to all on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit opened Oct. 31 and will move into the new science building upon its future completion. Vassar purchased the glassworks in 1886 to teach about marine invertebrates in Biology class, such as sea anemones, jellyfish, octopuses, sea cucumbers, marine worms and land snails. While one can preserve a real specimen for later study in alcohol, it isn’t very effective. “It turns out if you put things in alcohol, they lose color, and they lose vividness. They just turn into a mess of tissue in the bottom of a jar,” explained Lois Horst, the curator of the Warthin Museum, while pointing at a jar of a dead jellyfish specimen in the exhibit. “So it’s really hard for the students to study creatures when it looks like this,” Horst said. “And that’s why these models were made. You can see so much more of its structure because it’s made of permanent glass.” Besides glass, Blaschka used materials like gelatin, wire and wax to enhance depicting these creatures’ textures. “We know what kind of tools they used, and basically how they made glass part. But how they fuse these other materials into the glass craft is still a puzzle,” Jones noted. The tools, like tweezers, tubes and tongs are also displayed at the exhibit. German immigrants and father-son duo Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka crafted the artful models while in North America. “They had originally started making other glass crafts like buttons and jewelry, sort of some fancy goods,” Horst said. “But they both had interests in natural history.” A popular story describes how Leopold Blaschka, the father, developed an interest in
Displayed in Ely Hall, the Blaschka glass models of various invertebrates are not only anatomically accurate, but also beautiful works of art. The exhibit is part of the Vassar College Artifacts Project. aquatic life and entered into the business of the models. “The father was a really good artist,” Horst said. “However, his wife died during an epidemic when he [was] very young and his father died a couple of months later.” And so, this heartbroken young man took a trip from Germany to North America. “He could only take ships at that time. On the way the ship was stuck for two weeks and Leopold Blaschka whiled away the time observing the great variety of the small marine invertebrate animals around him,” Horst said. “He marveled and sketched, and was struck by the transparency of these animals’ bodies that reminded him of the glass [he used] to make art crafts.” He soon fashioned models for universities and institutions, including Vassar. First, the Blaschkas would study the creatures using illustrations. “However, they found
out that the some of drawings are inaccurate. To make their works more accurate, they bought live creatures like jellyfish,” Horst explained. “Then they drew sketches of the creatures by examining and studying them by themselves. The sketches were later used to make the models.” However, as print textbooks grew to represent creature structures more and more precisely, the intricately designed models were retired. They moved to Vassar’s former Natural History Museum, as did many other obsolescent paraphernalia. “A lot of exhibits in Warthin Museum are leftover,” Horst noted. At the former museum’s peak size, it extended from the first floor to the third floor of New England Building. Collections were displayed both on the stair landings as well as the central hall of the third floor. But eventually,
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the museum became too crowded and had to move to make room for classrooms. Many of the exhibits were sold off or disposed of from improper care and maintenance, and only a few remained. The Blaschka artworks were moved into the Biology department, and now the Warthin Museum. The age and delicacy of the glass material necessitates careful preservation and handling, like that of an old sculpture or painting. “We changed the display background to cardboards, which resemble the original ones more and also are safer,” said Rick Jones, the collection manager of Warthin Museum. “They used to use thin wood to support it. And we later found out that it’s not safe for the exhibits.” Though the models are now receiving the proper care they need, they’ve already suffered some irremediable damage; Jones thinks it a pity. “We originally had 39 pieces. But some were broken; some were lost during the time. Now we have 17 pieces of models. Some of them have lost color for being cleaned by inappropriate cleaning materials,” Jones said. The exhibit is part of a larger initiative, the Vassar College Artifacts Project (VCAP). “VCAP is a committee of faculty and staff, mainly staff, making efforts to preserve teaching tools in the history, like these models, and put them on display,” Horst explained. Besides the glass invertebrate models. VCAP is also working on teaching equipment, including the maps and telescopes used by Maria Mitchell, the famous astronomer and Vassar professor. The project is currently focused on science departments, but has also branched out to others like the History department. VCAP is taking an inventory of the important objects and records in need of moving and preservation inside Swift, the History department building still under renovation. “The project has just begun,” Jones said. “This exhibit of Blaschka glass models is our one of the first steps.” Horst thinks the exhibit illustrative of how students once studied. “I think it’s always good for people know about this history,” Horst concluded.
November 8, 2012
Sugardrop releases playful, poppy debut Harrison Kenser Guest Columnist
Sundaysunday Sugardrop High Fader Records
Between trick and treat, if anything, Sugardrop is a trick band. The members often perform in Halloween makeup, their faces painted as black and white skulls, in the middle of summer. In case you were unaware, Sugardrop quietly changed its name from Brownsugar just as they were getting some recognition from an appearance on a cult, indie label and shoegaze compilation (the label Only Feedback Records’ “Total Feedback” compilation). They appeared on a split CD in 2011 called Eternity in Moment with the band Pastel Blue, a group that would split up months later before even hitting a few hundred Facebook fans (so much for eternity). And now, we are presented with their first full album, its cover art plastered with the vivid outline of a pink tiger, its songs including such deadpan numbers (pun intended) as “12, 13, 14,” “9,10,11,” “6,7,8,” and “Two, Four, Six.” I apologize if you need to strain your eyes to read those “song titles,” but Sugardrop would merely laugh at your attempt to decipher them at all. If they had a motto, it would certainly be “play first, ask questions later.” Despite all the tomfoolery this band regularly showcases, a sweetness underlies their hardcore appearance. This is evidenced by the pop-infused indie gems that are found throughout this record. Guitar licks are focused on the catchy and memorable. The drums are lively and energetic throughout the album. The singer backs every track with a falsetto that makes it sound like he’s mimicking a canary. And each track is backed by simple yet effective bass lines.
The record shoots off like the top of a shaken bottle of soda pop; ‘Girl Friend’ is a poprock opener filled with fizzy and washed-out charm. With an astounding chord progression and screaming refrain backing him, the lead singer ironically and condescendingly bellows “she didn’t try to kill me yet/already.” He sings as if love is a sweet forbidden apple that every person cannot help but bite into. The song promotes love as a doomed love force; simply refer to the music video for the song, which depicts the poor vocalist, dressed as a zombie, ferried around in a shopping cart before being buried on a beach—as he pantomimes singing a song about his girl. After this lovely mish-mash of emotions comes the punk-rocky “Something New” and the surf-rocky “12,13,14.” Keeping it sweet, the record continues with “Sweet Candy Smell,” “Give It Someday,” and “So Long Since You Kissed Me.” The first two of these tracks are fast-paced songs that focus on the hook. The volume is cranked to 11 on all of them. Of special note is “Sugar Coast,” a rapid-fire dance rock tune that sounds like The Beach Boys blasted through C86 guitar filters. This song in particular belongs on every rock DJ’s setlist, especially those operating near the ocean in California. It just sounds like one of those tunes that every indie-minded kid would be bumping at maximum volume on the speakers of a red convertible on a Pacific coast highway. Following the mischievously titled “9,10,11” (what is your fascination with counting, you hooligans?!) is the surprisingly sincere “I Wanna Be Your Cat.” This is the closest Sugardrop comes to sounding like My Bloody Valentine on this release. The opening onslaught of guitar is effects-and-emotion-heavy. The bridges leading into each thunderball chorus are inspired, and the simple yet affecting refrain of “My kiss my kiss my memory/I know I know I wanna be/Your cat” never fails to amaze the listener. Despite all these single-ready hits, there
are a few instances where their simple rock formula falls a bit short. “Stop Motion” just sounds like a slowed-down version of the same thing we’ve heard already, and “Slowly Flow” falls a bit into the same vein of categorization. And please don’t get me started on “6,7,8” and “Two, Four, Six.” By the time they appear on the album, the listener is trying to figure out the secret code presented in the ordering of these “numbered tracks” on the record. They aren’t even listening to the songs closely enough to enjoy them. Perhaps Sugardrop was just a little too lazy to come up with “true” titles for these songs? But let’s not bother with pondering that over. There are nevertheless a couple other truly fun and worthwhile tracks to pay attention to before the record stops spinning. “You Need Someone” is the most straightforward rock track on here; it’s a fuzz guitar-heavy and drum-pounding tune that appears on this album in a much different mix than it did on a previous compilation from Shiny Happy Records (their dream pop compilation “The Sun Rises in the East”), where rain shakers actually played a big part in the song. Listening to either mix, one can tell the guitar is fun, the words are sung with conviction, and the light mood of the song’s instrumentation keeps it from becoming too sympathetic. This stands in stark contrast to the ending title track, “Sundaysunday.” The slowest song of the bunch, the background of the mix is clouded in beautifully distorted and hazy fuzz while the front of it is punctuated with lovely and distinct notes that cradle a soft voice singing a beautiful melody that draws this album to a peaceful close. All in all, there’s plenty of fun to be had here. Sugardrop’s debut, despite its occasional stumbles, is well worth a listen. Regardless of the tricks this band employs to share their music, the sincere heart of their songs can be found by digging through the swirling guitars and crashing drums that shall surely come to be a hallmark of their sound.
American art cures post-election blues Zoe Dostal Columnist
his week, only one word applies: America. While writing this, I don’t know who will be our president for the next four years— while you’re reading it, I only hope a final decision has been made. Regardless of who won, it is the election process that is most important: the right to exercise democracy makes us Americans. But how do we identify as American? The answer to that, more than anything, is our culture. Unfortunately, an often-forgotten piece of our culture is our art. This week, I would like to offer you some options, on campus and nearby, where you can meditate on the history of the developing American cultural identity through the art historical canon. First and foremost, let me introduce you to some of the American art available for viewing pleasure at the Lehman Loeb. Some of the earliest pieces from our illustrious history are, of course, from the Hudson River School. Upon entering the Loeb (for first timers), just make a left and you can explore three galleries of extraordinary landscapes. There is something for everyone—sweeping seascapes, barren winter scenes, vibrant sunsets, cascading waterfalls—you name it. The Hudson River school developed out of our forebears’ passion for wild, changeable American nature that offered a dynamic contrast to the manicured lawns of England and Europe from whence they came. Love for American views was a constant throughout the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The Stieglitz Circle—the exclusive group of artists that gathered around the photographer Alfred Stieglitz—formed the early 1900s to in order to develop a nationalistic, purely American art. It was particularly obsessed with the idea of organic abstraction—natural forms that were rooted in American imagery without being representational. Enter Georgia O’Keeffe, who painted a lot more than flowers. At the Loeb we have two works from early in her career—“Spring” c.
1922 and “East River, No.3” c. 1926. Hung next to each other in the gallery, they spur an interesting dialogue between the organic and industrial landscape. The first is made with soft pastels and voluptuous forms, while the second is a monochromatic pattern of rectangular roofs and chimneys overtaking the East River. They are so fundamentally different visually, yet both represent views of the American landscape—the division of urbanity and rurality in America and competing ideologies for America’s future. The future of American art would not, however, evolve into a nationalistic statement as the Stieglitz circle desired. Post-WWII, art became an international commodity and community of which Americans were at the forefront. The contemporary galleries at the Loeb are overrun with big names such as Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko and Lichtenstein— all American, all revolutionary. Unlike generations before, their art is not an expression of nationalistic pride, but often a criticism of modern society—although the freedom to debate contemporary values is, in itself, a patriotic act. All in all, you get the idea. Visit the Loeb for some kick-ass American art, and to either celebrate or lick your wounds after the election while reminding yourself what it means to be an American. In writing about American art collections in the area I recognize that after Hurricane Sandy the last thing people want to do is brave public transportation. That said, it is an important part of the relief effort to spend what little money we have in order to continue to stimulate the tourism economy. So here are some rewarding ideas if you are willing to brave the post-storm apocalypse. The most obvious is the Whitney Museum—New York City’s bastion of 20th century American art. Floor to floor, wall to wall: all-American. They currently have an exhibit entitled “…As Apple Pie”, featuring a variety of artists’ works on paper (aka drawings and prints) from the Whitney collection. Also, admission is “pay-what-you-wish” every Friday
from 6-9 p.m., and the colder the weather, the shorter the lines. Unfortunately, the architecture is abysmal—think Chicago Hall but even clunkier and less windows—so spending precious free time there wouldn’t be my first choice. A little more my speed is the American collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which spans from the Colonial era to present day. Aside from the regular galleries that hold American masterpieces, there are a couple of unusual, unknown treats. The first is the painting “Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles” by John Vanderlyn. It has its own special, giant oval gallery in which you can sit on benches surrounded by the life-size gardens and 18th Century visitors of Versailles. 19th Century Americans loved artistic illusions that gave the effect of being transported to far-off lands, a common form of entertainment to be found in panoramic theaters just like this one. Time travel is also possible by exploring the rooms of re-created American homes through the ages. The timber-log cabins of persons unknown and the lavish parlors of the nouveau riche, even an original Frank-Lloyd Wright living room, proudly display the evolving tastes of American domesticity. Last week I mentioned the American collection at Yale, and I will reiterate this week, it’s a must-see. Not too far from here by car, it boasts artworks from all of the American masters, from Benjamin West to Alexander Calder. And here is my final suggestion of the week: this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Vassar’s art department will be hosting the conference “Framing American Art” in Taylor Hall. Organized by our own Professor Wendy Ikemoto, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art, this conference will bring together six rock stars from the world of American art history. If you can make it to only one lecture, I promise it will be worth your while. And, more importantly, any of these experiences will help heal your lost faith in the future of America brought on by election season.
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Variety show highlights female talent Lauren Garcia and Adam Buchsbaum Guest Reporter and Arts Editor
he Feminist Alliance wanted to showcase women’s talents—from art and dance to song and gymnastics. And so the group reached out, and will soon host an all-female variety show, set for the Villard Room on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 1-4 p.m. The show will include performances from the female members from Barefoot Monkeys, On Tap, the Night Owls, and Measure 4 Measure. It will also incorporate performances by Gianna Constantine ’15, Aja Brady-Saalfeld ’15, Gabby Sher ’15, and some featured photos from Phocus. Claire Grosel ’14, the co-president of On Tap with Lauren Stamm ’14, is excited for her tap-dancing group’s upcoming performance in the show. “We’ve a set of dances that we’re working on for our own show on Nov. 29, so we’re just showing a couple of things that we’re going to do then,” Grosel said. “It’s a nice way to get ourselves out there more in the community and practice performing in front of an audience.” On Tap’s set will double as a preview for its fall show. The set is not finalized, but at minimum will include the BS Chorus, a classic tap dance routine. “It’s standard but challenging, so we’ve been working on that for the last couple of weeks,” Grosel said. “It’s pure rhythmic dance..it’s like [how] everyone can sing ‘Happy Birthday’. It’s the equivalent for tap dance.” Grosel appreciates the opportunity for a smaller org like On Tap to perform—in fact, this is On Tap’s first performance of the year. “I like how it’s a casual event anyone can come to...even though we’re not an all-female exclusive org, it allows our female-identified people to participate and perform in that,” Grosel said. All-female a capella group Measure 4 Measure will perform about three songs for the variety show. “We’re in support of anything that’s all female,” said the group’s business manager Amanda Eshleman ’13. “I think that sometimes groups that are all female get a little bit discounted, especially in a cappella, actually, because female groups generally can’t hit the really low notes, so a lot of people say that a cappella which includes male voices is better in some respects. But we think we still sound pretty awesome.” Sara Cooley ’15, who takes minutes for the Feminist Alliance and leads the committee organizing the show, noted the idea has been in the works for some time. “We’ve been trying to put the variety show on for three semesters now, but FemAlliance has been too busy with other things,” said Cooley, “I really wanted to see it happen this year so I stepped up and decided to take charge.” Cooley is enthusiastic over the variety show. “It will give women on campus a chance to shine,” she said. “I think female talent is a lot quieter on campus. At the open mics there are always a lot more males, and there are currently no all-female bands on campus. A lot of the time they get overlooked even though there is so much female talent here.” The Feminist Alliance show is part of a larger effort at empowerment. “We really want to get a blog up and running which would be put on by the Feminist Alliance, but not exclusively used by the Feminist Alliance,” said Cooley. “We want people to tell of their individual experience with feminism and how they use feminism in their everyday lives.” The group also hopes to gain more members in its future. “The main stigma against Feminist Alliance is that we are very academic. We often use jargon from Women’s Studies classes, which can be intimidating,” said Cooley. “We currently don’t have any consistent male members mostly for this reason and we’re currently compiling a vocab list to make it easier for them and prospective members to transition in.” The Feminist Alliance all-female variety show should run about three hours for its multiple performances. Grosel eagerly awaits On Tap’s performance. “We’re excited,” she said. “We like to perform.”
November 8, 2012
Wheeler marries art and mathematics in his illustrations Rachael Borné
n the room of Gus Wheeler ’13 hangs a drawing he made this past summer, which he said took him nearly a hundred hours to complete. The piece captures an almost prehistoric scene of steep mountaintops, hovering clouds, an outcropping of intricate vegetation and trees, hugged by a meandering stream in the forefront, all depicted in muted tans and browns, with only the subtlest hints of color. Highly reminiscent of a Hiroshige Japanese landscape painting, the piece is emblematic of Wheeler’s approach to art: incredibly detail oriented and
borderline obsessive. “I wanted to see how crazy I could get in my drawing. How obsessive I could be. I enjoy the meditative, obsessive process. I started taking things that were more and more and more intricate,” he explained. A double major in Math and Art, Wheeler often applies the precision associated with one discipline to creatively inform the other. Although the two implicate different areas of the brain, he noted their productive interrelationship. “I think I use general notions from math in my art, like big ideas. Math is a really good
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Mathematics and Studio Art double major Gus Wheeler ’13 poses in front of a recent painting. He has always been fascinated by patterns, and frequently incorporates them into his illustrations.
abstract language for thinking about things,” Wheeler said. “You can put a lot of things people do into a mathematical structure.” Recently, Wheeler has experimented with translating the mathematical concept of the ‘torus,’ a shape akin to a donut, into the artistic and visual realm. Another otherworldly scene is complicated further by the fact that, when folded together at the corners, the lines that trail off one edge perfectly line up with those on the next, creating a puzzle-like product. He explained, “What goes off on one edge comes on another. It’s something I learned about in math class, but didn’t have to be precise. I could think about the same mathematical concept, but it wasn’t trying to understand it so much as just use it.” By enlivening a geometric concept with a figurative and illustrative etching, Wheeler expands the limits of mere mathematical possibility. The concept becomes ornamental and subtle, almost a riddle for the viewer to uncode. “The fun part about it is that in the center of the drawing you see the foreground and it repeats into the background. You can see where some of the edges sync up,” he said, adding, “It doesn’t make sense in math, but when you draw you can do whatever you want.” The artist explained his affinity to drawing, something easily seen in his other works on paper, whether etchings, linoleum prints or paintings. He said, “I like the freedom and ability in a drawing to create things, to construct. It’s like Legos in a way, but better because as long as you can imagine it, you can build it.” Despite the fact that Wheeler has been drawing and creating art for nearly his entire life, he understands that the college years are for experimentation; he’s not ready to define himself by a particular style or aesthetic. “I think when you’re in school you shouldn’t
try and lock into some notion of what you think art is. Try a bunch of things; rip some people off, figure some stuff out. If you going to be an artist you’re going to sit in your studio alone the year after you graduate and that’s when you really figure out whether or not you can do it.” This is evidenced in the disparate nature of Wheeler’s work. Pinpointing a common theme is difficult—some paintings seem humorous, many drawings very graphic scenes, and his collection of prints mix process and media, subject matter and technique. One of his favorite prints depicts a floating bather in a sea of white paper, arms outstretched with waves of water radiating around him. The human image takes up a small portion of the page, creating a feeling of vastness, as though the figure is swallowed up by the huge white sheet. “It’s a simple visual pun. It turns the piece of paper into water, I hope,” he stated. Once again the piece is involved in a play between its physical nature and the viewer. Wheeler’s images are often small and self-contained, something Vassar’s Art Department has encouraged him to break away from. “They have been pushing me to make my work big and uncomfortable and I think I would agree with them. I just have to do it in a way that I can get excited about,” he explained. “I think that comes from being more open, looser. Taking chances with subject matter.” His ideas about post-graduation are hopeful but realistic, explaining, “I don’t like the idea of being unemployed and an artist, probably not very good, and probably having the majority of responsible adults in my life being a little bit curious.” However, he also noted definitively, “I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate, but I think that time is for doing something stupid and crazy like not making any money and trying to make art.”
Howlett’s passion for conducting propels career path Burcu Noyan
AssistAnt Arts editor
Jonah Bleckner/The Miscellany News
always knew that I wanted to teach at a college,” said Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Christine Howlett. It was clear from age six that she was musically talented when she took up violin lessons, and she had always known, more or less, what she wanted to do with her life. Yet her life took a meandering path; something was always slightly out-of-tune. It took years of fine-tuning before Howlett found her way to directing music. Howlett is currently a conductor and an active soprano soloist. She leads the Vassar College Women’s Chorus, Vassar College Choir, and teaches music theory and voice. Her career began at an arts high school in Canada, where she auditioned for voice and drama. She had to pick only one program and decided on drama, since she was already taking voice and violin lessons. “I spent two years in the drama program and then I realized… It was interesting, but it wasn’t where I was headed,” Howlett said. “Right then I knew that I wanted to go on in singing.” She trained, and was admitted into the voice performance program at the University of Toronto. She had to take a break from violin lessons. “They didn’t let you do a double major which, in retrospect, is very disappointing,” she said. In fact, Howlett recently had to take some violin lessons. “As a conductor, it’s very important to know how to speak to the string players, and now I’m doing more work with the orchestra than ever before,” she explained. After getting her college degree, Howlett took two gap years and tried to decide what to do next. “I continued performing in choirs, and I realized that I really wanted to go further,” she said. So, Howlett auditioned for the voice master’s program at Indiana University, one of the largest schools of music in the country. “I was planning to continue studying voice, but the first year at Indiana was very, very hard. It was like a shell shock,” Howlett remarked. “Often I think that must be happening to a lot of Vassar students—leaving a smaller institution where you have a lot of attention, and going somewhere where every single per-
son is good at the same thing that you do.” The familiar feeling of uncertainty crept back in. “I again wasn’t really sure what was going to happen, after finishing my master’s degree,” Howlett said. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make my life as a singer. It’s a very difficult career path. Also I wasn’t an opera singer, and that school was very geared towards opera singing,” she added. At the third and final year of her master’s, something unexpected happened. “I accidentally took this one conducting class, and it ended my being the best thing that could have happened,” she said. “[Our professor], who is now the dean of the university, was incredibly supportive. I really loved the class; I just felt totally at home. I felt that this was the right thing for me.” She had taken a few conducting classes before and enjoyed them, but never seriously considered specializing in conducting. “All the conductors I knew had incredible piano skills, and I didn’t. I thought that I couldn’t learn a score without the piano,” she said. “But in that class, it just felt natural...Like I was suddenly in the right place,” she added. She began to seriously consider applying for a master’s in conducting. “At a school like that when you feel like you’re at the top, it’s important,” she explained. “It’s so competitive.” Her professor convinced her that it was not, in fact, crazy to apply for another master’s and change fields. He even arranged for her to teach theory classes in order to fund her studies. “I ended up staying there the next five years, finishing up my doctorate degree,” she said. “It was the best thing that I’d done. My parents were totally freaked out by the change I made... Would I actually be able to have a career in this?” She applied for a lot of teaching positions, but when she came across the Vassar job posting, something clicked. The job required a mix of skills; teaching theory, conducting choirs, having a background in singing. “I remember reading the ad and thinking ‘Wow, I can do everything they want. Everything they have listed is what I do,’” she said. “When I got here for the interview, the feeling was immediate. I just felt at home. And the faculty was very lovely and friendly; it was very collegial,” she recalled. “But what was
Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Christine Howlett is trained in voice, violin and Music Theory. She recieved her Master’s degree in Conducting from Indiana University. interesting was the students. At the student interview, they were very intense and started firing me questions.” “I remember sitting and smiling inside because I liked the students so much,” she added. “They were so engaged and the main thing was, they wanted to do high-quality music. Then I just knew that this was the right place.” Ever since Howlett began teaching and conducting choirs at Vassar, the choruses she oversees have sung at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and have toured in France, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Spain and in the United States. When the Vassar College Women’s Chorus went to Turkey in 2006, they sang on national television, and even appeared on a morning talk show. The next Vassar College Choir concert will be at the Chapel on Dec. 8, accompanied by a professional baroque orchestra. The choir will perform famed German composer Handel’s “Messiah” in its entirety. Howlett has also recently collaborated with the nationally acclaimed Chatham-Wood Duo on a series of recitals for voice, violin, and
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piano. Their album, Love Raise Your Voice, was released in Jan. 2012, and is available on iTunes. The album is submitted by the record company for consideration to be nominated for the Grammys, in the solo vocal category for classical music. Howlett jokingly emphasizes that there is no real chance that they would actually be nominated, since there are about 87 musicians listed in their category, and some of them are very big names in classical music, like Renée Fleming. In Spring 2013, Howlett is going up for tenure and will take her sabbatical. She plans to do some travelling, work with choir groups in Chicago, and prepare for the upcoming year. Howlett always knew that she wanted to teach at a college, and is not considering leaving. “People ask me all the time, ‘Do you think of going to a graduate level school?’ But I love my colleagues here, I love the students, I love the fact that we’re allowed to be creative. No one’s really looking over my shoulder and saying ‘No, you can’t do that,’” Howlett said. “At Vassar, they trust me in the department, and that is huge. We trust each other.”
November 8, 2012
Alum’s prose inspired by time at Vassar Adam Buchsbaum Arts editor
courtesy of St. Anne’s School
very Vassar student has a story—and Thomas Beller ’87 published his in The New Yorker. Now a distinguished writer, Beller will return to his stomping grounds to read his works—including perhaps his story about a certain Vassar student’s stay at home during the winter break—and discuss his life and writing with Professor of English Amitava Kumar on Nov. 13 in Sanders Classroom 212 at 12 p.m. Beller founded and co-edited Open City Magazine, a literary magazine that ran from 1990 until 2010. In 2000, he founded a website, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, that still continues today. The site collects and publishes stories that all revolve around New York City. Each story is linked to a neighborhood—and the site even offers a navigable Google Map of New York City that displays markers for the stories. His books include a short-story collection named Seduction Theory, a novel titled The Sleep-Over Artist, and a collection of autobiographical essays, How to Be a Man: Scenes from a Protracted Boyhood. Beller is also currently an Assistant Professor of English at Tulane University. “Beller is a gorgeous essay writer. He writes about places and people in precise prose. I also like him because he is comfortable with discomfort,” Kumar wrote in an emailed statement. “What do I mean by that? In several of his essays I feel he is unafraid to explore unease or angst or disappointment. He also writes brilliant fiction. If you have seen Open City or visited his website Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, you discover his enormously important work as an editor. These are impressive accomplishments for any writer.” Kumar met Beller at a Barnes & Noble reading in TriBeCa, New York City from a book of collected essays titled What I Would Tell Her. Both Kumar and Beller contributed to the work, amid a total of 28 contributing fathers. “This was a book where writers who were fathers of daughters had been asked to write about fatherhood. I liked Beller’s essay. I thought it was the very best of the lot,” Kumar explained. But something else prompted Kumar to invite Beller to Vassar. “I was driving on a highway when on the radio I heard a writer I know slightly, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, reading a story of Beller’s on a podcast. In the story, there was mention of Poughkeepsie. On that program, I heard that Beller had been a
Essayist Thomas Beller ’87 will return to Vassar on Nov. 13 to read from his collection of work. His short story “A Different Kind of Imperfection” was inspired in part by his time at Vassar. student at Vassar,” Kumar wrote. “This was about a year ago. I invited Beller to come soon thereafter.” Kumar may suggest Beller read from his aforementioned Vassar-infused short story, entitled “A Different Kind of Imperfection.” The New Yorker published it—the same story Kumar heard on the podcast, and still available online for free listening—while Beller was an MFA student at Columbia University. “The event is scheduled at the same time as my senior composition class,” Kumar noted. “I’d like my students to get tips on being a writer.” Former Vassar English Professor Jerome Badanes indelibly influenced Beller to become the writer he is today. “In hindsight I can see I was [a] writer all along, from early childhood. It wasn’t even fate, it was an inclination, a habit of mind, a combination of interiority and exhibitionism,” Beller wrote in an emailed statement. “But I didn’t take it seriously as a skill, or entertain it as a life, until I took a writing class with Badanes my junior year at Vassar.” “Over the course of that year I developed a kind of excitement about writing and being a writer and what it might mean to have a life as a writer,” Beller continued. “It was provoked, and to an extent modeled, by Jer-
A weekly space highlighting the creative pursuits of student-artists
ry, who of course, was booted out of Vassar that very year.” The then English Department chairman, Charles Pierce, did not re-hire Badanes in 1986. In response, Beller took to The Miscellany News to take aim at Pierce and vouch for Badanes. Regardless, he and Badanes maintained their close friendship after Vassar. “We used to meet for lunch when I worked at H&H Bagels around the corner (the essay about that is in How To Be A Man). Of course, he dropped dead of a heart attack almost concurrent to my publishing my first book. So my visit to Vassar will be redolent of Jerry,” Beller wrote. “But also of Bill Gifford, who taught me in Senior Comp the next year and was wonderful, and several other fantastic professors I had, notably the late Ann Imbrie, Tom Mallon, Ken Weeden.” Beller will also be on a panel about mentors at the Center for Fiction in New York City on Nov. 13 for students interested in further listening to Beller. “I really got an education at Vassar, amazingly enough, that went beyond developing skills at getting into the Mug, which I sometimes I think I set foot in every single night it was open,” Beller wrote. “The difference over the year being I used to run there from the library for last call once I got serious about books.”
—Anna Been ’14 “An anthology of the best science ﬁction stories of 2012 edited by Gardner
—Felix Ackerman ’15
“Among the Thugs.”
—Olivia McGiff ’14
“My operating system’s textbook.”
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—Dimitri Wijesinghe ’13
took this photo when I first arrived in Manhattan, N.Y. It has been depicted in thousands of ways in the daily news, literature and political propaganda. But confronting its clear-cut blocks, hustling commuters and filthy subways, words immediately became an inadequate way for me to express my feelings. So I choose a more direct way to approach the appearance and the inherent mechanism of the city with photography. When taking this photo, I was not intentionally seeking the scenes which I thought could represent the city, but nevertheless, I was caught by the moment when this lady failed to call a taxi on 5th Ave and expressed her hopelessness and upset so intensively. There is no such so-called “acumen of observation” but just being persuaded and forced to take it. Perhaps at that time her feeling was also transformed through the lens into an honest reflection of my bewilderment toward this worldly renowned metropolis.
“Something Blue by Emily Giffon.”
—Megan Northrup ’15
“The Children of Men.”
—Liz Doyle ’15
—Jiajing Sun ’15
—Adam Buchsbaum, Arts Editor Jiajing Sun, Assistant Photo Editor
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
November 8, 2012
Men’s soccer qualifies for prestigious NCAA tournament Amreen Bhasin reporter
courtesy of Vassar Athletics
he Vassar College men’s soccer team has had an immensely successful fall season. It has gone 12-4-3 (5-1-2) so far this year and claimed the Liberty League regular season title after an impressive 6-0 win against Bard College last week. The team eventually was edged out of winning the Liberty League Tournament in a grueling 4-2 loss in penalty kicks against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday. However, men’s soccer is still looking optimistic having earned a spot in the prestigious NCAA soccer tournament. They will travel to Brandeis this weekend to play Tufts in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Last Thursday, the Brewers played their first tournament game, facing Union at Gordon Field under cold and rainy conditions. The Brewers went on to defeat the Dutchmen 3-1 in an emotional rematch of last week’s regular season matchup. Having scored the winning goal in last week’s game, sophomore Tom Wiechert continued his offensive prowess and scored the game-winning goal, and one more for extra assurance. The Brewers scored early and often; Zachary Nasipak ’15 got the Brewers on the board with a precise and quick goal during the second minute of play. Wiechert made the first shot that was barely saved by Union’s keeper Ryan Carter on a dive. The ball deflected off of Carter before being swept up and sent towards the lower left hand corner by a quick Nasipak. This put the Brewers up 1-0. During the 33rd minute of the game, Rob Mankuyan ’14 helped beat out Union’s defenders and create an opportunity for both him and Wiechert. He faked a shot to distract Union’s Carter before passing the ball quickly across the box to Wiechert, who tipped the ball into the net, thus scoring the game-winner. Near the end of the first half, Union seemed to pick up play when a goal just slipped past Vassar goalkeeper Ryan Grimme ’14 to bring the score to 2-1.
During the championship match, senior defenseman Zander Mrilk dodges an offensive move by a player for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Despite the Brewer’s efforts, the RPI Engineers won the match. The Brewers responded in turn during the 65th minute of play. Senior defenseman Zander Mrilk ’13 sent a pass up the field to Evan Seltzer ’14 near the left side of the box. Seltzer sent a lob towards Wiechert on the right who proceeded to one time the ball into the net to bring the score to 3-1. The win is reminiscent of the intense Oct. 24 game in which the Brewers took Union into OT after falling behind early. Wiechert scored the game-winning goal with less than eight seconds left in OT. Vassar managed to outshoot the Dutchmen 27-18 with 12 shots on goal. Union had only four shots on goal. On Saturday, the Brewers went into the Championship game as the Number 1 seed, playing RPI, the number two in the league. The Brewers took the Engineers into penalty kicks after an intense championship match. During
the regular season both teams were tied in terms of points; however, the Brewers beat the Engineers during their regular season matchup thus allowing them to claim the regular season title. The Engineers scored first during the 31st minute of play, and both goalkeepers had a grueling first half where each team tallied six shots. The stands were packed in honor of this aggressive and intense game with Vassar fans coming out to cheer on their Brewers. In the second half the Brewers managed to score the equalizer. Weichert sent a long through ball up to Freshman Jordan Palmer ’16 who managed to perfectly time his run, putting him just ahead of the defense and allowing him time to score and bring the score to 1-1 and sending the game into overtime. Grimme finished the game with seven saves for the Brew-
ers after the overtime period, forcing the game into penalty kicks. The Brewers put in their best effort and made several strong kicks but with a diving save by RPI keeper Rob Dewald and a strong kick by Defender Jared Doolan allowed the Engineers to edge past the Brewers and earn themselves a Liberty League title. From Vassar College, Mrilk, Weicher, and Seltzer were all named to the Liberty League All Tournament team. RPI landed Dewald, Doolan, Senior Defender Michael Birk, and Sophomore Midfielder Matt Koziol on the team. Koziol was also named MVP. Despite this tough loss, the Brewers’ strong season landed them a chance to be a part of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. On Saturday the Brewers will travel to Brandeis College in Waltham, Massachusetts to face the Tufts University Jumbos at either 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.. The Jumbos finished their regular season with a record of 8-3-3 going 5-2-3 in the NESCAC. They defeated Bowdoin College 3-0 during the NESCAC Quarterfinals and lost 4-2 in Penalty Kicks to Williams College during the Semifinals. The Jumbos are currently lead by Maxime Hoppenot, who has seven goals and 3 assists and Keeper Wyatt Zeller with 52 saves, eight goals allowed, and seven shutouts. The Brewers are lead by Wiechert who has nine goals and three assists, followed by Junior Midfielder Juliano Pereira ’14 who has eight goals and two assists. Mrilk has 8 assists and four goals. Grimme has had 61 saves all season and has recorded a total of six shutouts. Other than Mrilk, who earned Defensive Player of the Year and All Liberty League First Team honors, three other Brewers have earned post-season honors. Seltzer, Wiechert, and Pereira have all been named to the All Liberty League Second Team. And furthermore the Vassar College coaching staff has been named the Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year. The Brewers are optimistic about their chances against the Jumbos and hope to make a big impact this year during the tournament.
Currie brings yoga, healthy eating to stressed students
Jacob Gorski/The Miscellany News
Cassandra Currie ’89 is not only a yoga instructor, but is also a counselor and nutritionist. She believes that even cash-strapped students can live a healthily through balanced eating and self-awareness. Natalie Hine
nd breathe…,” Cassandra Currie ’89 softly reminds students as they move into downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) at a yoga for empowerment class held early last month. Yoga has long been touted for its health benefits, many claiming that this ancient practice is exactly the antidote for today’s stressed American. This can be especially true for students, according to athletic newsletter In The Pink author and expert Roman Czula. “Yoga offers an excellent opportunity to get away from the stress of your daily life and focus on your inner self in addition to being a great relaxing workout for your body,” he wrote in an emailed statement. Currie, a Vassar alumna herself, got a master’s from Fordham University in Counseling Psychology and worked primarily with individuals struggling with mood disorders, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS before becoming a full-fledged yoga instructor.
These patients piqued her interest in health and wellness, as she began to notice the benefits of alternative therapies. “Having witnessed the healing benefits of a holistic approach in that particular comprehensive care program, which focused on addressing every aspect of a person’s well-being to major physical ailments and emotional pain, I developed a renewed respect and interest in alternative ways of health and healing,” she wrote. Around the same time, Currie’s own health crisis led her to start personally experimenting with diet and lifestyle changes and cultivating a regular yoga practice. “It was then that I began to expand upon my more traditional counseling training and skills by incorporating other self-enriching and empowering healing modalities to assist and guide others toward greater self-knowledge, well-being and nourishment on all levels,” she explained. She began studying Ayurvedic nutrition under Dr. Naima Marballi and earned her yoga certification from the Kripalu Institute in
Massachusetts. This more holistic approach allowed her to start treating every aspect of her clients’ well being, instead of addressing mental health in isolation from physical health. Yet Currie contends that yoga can benefit all types of people, not just those struggling psychologically. Yoga is a great practice for those that lead stressful lifestyles—like many college students—as well as for those who are looking for a good form of exercise but who, like Currie, don’t consider themselves gym rats. “I do not like going to the gym, being on a treadmill...I am going nowhere! What I like about yoga and what allows me to feel connected to this practice is that I am continuously in touch with my body; I am learning where I am in space at any given moment which adds to my level of awareness and consciousness and which, in turn, can and often does translate to how I feel and move through life off the yoga mat,” she described. Whether an avid athlete in need of flexibility or an exercise fledgling looking for some movement, yoga caters to the individual’s skill level and needs. Often times teachers will provide modifications to more difficult poses to help ease the transition for newcomers. As one’s practice grows, it often becomes more than just a physical form of exercise. Currie discussed how the practice appears to be wholly physical; but, with sustained devotion and time, Currie says yoga practice tends to evolve. She explained that, “Superficially, yoga is a body practice. But, overtime it slowly becomes more mental and eventually, more spiritual.” After just a few weeks of a taking a class, Currie says that students often start to feel a greater sense of balance and inner peace off the mat. “Repeatedly practicing healing yoga poses helps bring the mind back in unison with the body, and one eventually reaches a place where they feel a sense of acceptance of one’s self and of one’s life,” which Currie contends can be especially helpful in a world where so little is under our control. The other layer of Currie’s practice is her work as a licensed nutritionist. Currie offers nutritional counseling to Vassar students and
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
faculty for $40 and each session typically runs about an hour and half. In her consultations, she often asks clients to keep a log of their diet for five to seven days prior, and also spends some time determining the individual’s dosha. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of nutrition, a dosha is essentially one’s bodily constitution and is comprised of a combination of three types: vata, kapha, and pitta. Different foods are recommended to help balance different constitutions, and Currie says that this information provides a useful guide to inform her dietary recommendations. Yet Currie avoids the standard “bad versus good” approach: “Nutrition is a very individual thing, and I use Ayurveda as a framework to guide my recommendations, without taking a restrictive approach.” Currie also incorporates her background as a psychologist, for she has found that “Very often there’s an emotional piece [to eating]…usually people have something else [going on] that has led to their struggles with food.” If you have neither the money nor time to devote to a yoga class or nutritional consultation, fear not: there are several ways to reduce stress levels, get more in touch with oneself, and develop better eating habits without the commitment. “The easiest thing you can do is to breathe. When we become anxious, our natural inclination is to tighten up and stop breathing; by taking deep, long breaths, we can short circuit and interrupt the stress response.” She also recommends making some time for yourself each day to slow down, whether that be going for a walk, listening to music, or even just taking some deep breaths before you get out of bed in the morning. When it comes to healthy eating, Currie has a few helpful suggestions: “Avoid anything heavily processed and try to eat whole, fresh foods in their natural state when possible.” She also recommends eating seasonally and trying to incorporate a source of protein at every meal. For more information on Cassandra Currie and her services, visit her website at www.holisticcassandra.com.
November 8, 2012
Athletics a historic White House staple Zach Rippe
merica is a country steeped in rich traditions. Throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, sports have become a predominant staple in American culture. This is true to the extent that baseball has even been named “America’s National Pastime.” Richer than sports comes another American tradition, and that is the election of an American president every four years. This week, we have gone through yet another one of these tumultuous elections. People may be divided by political party much like how they are divided by which sports franchises they root for, yet they still can be united by the idea of a particular sport itself. Many former presidents have displayed their love for sports. Their interests have ranged from being a casual observer to playing collegiately, yet their involvement provides insight into lives that encompass more than simply political ideologies. Remember Rutherford B. Hayes? You know, the stern politician whose election resulted in the Compromise of 1877, which ended the military occupation of the south? Or maybe you just remember his impressive beard. Now picture him doing battle on the croquet court, mallet in hand, gently trying to knock his red ball through a skinny hoop or “wicket.” Yes, Rutherford B. Hayes was just one of many American presidents to delve into the world of sports. Men like John Quincy Adams, Chester A. Arthur and James Garfield were what one might call “pool sharks”
in their respective days. Theodore Roosevelt, as one could imagine, was extremely active during his time in office. He had an avid love for hunting, hiking, boxing and wrestling. Interestingly, T.R. also established what was known as the “Tennis Cabinet,” and he organized lunchtime tennis matches. Roosevelt was also responsible for the installation of the first tennis court in the White House. Also, if you watch The Big Lebowski, you may notice the poster in the Dude’s house of former President Richard Nixon bowling. John F. Kennedy would organize touch football games on the White House lawn. These men wove sports into their lives as president, and other former presidents competed in college sports. George H. W. Bush, for instance, was the captain of the Yale baseball team. As many probably know, Gerald Ford also competed collegiately in sports. He played football for the University of Michigan and many believed him to be perhaps a little “dull” as a result of this. A little-known fact is that Bill Clinton also played a sport during his college years; while at Oxford, Clinton played the rough game of rugby. Two of the finest men to weave sport with knowledge of the Presidents were my high school history teachers, Mr. Farrell and Mr. Fogarty. These two men would often speculate about and compile a list of a presidential offensive line and starting five in basketball. The offensive line would consist, obviously, of Gerald Ford. William Howard Taft was another obvious choice—if he was large enough to get stuck in a bathtub, he was large enough
to hold off defenders. Yet some of their other less obvious choices would cause quite a stir during classroom debates. Yes, William McKinley and Grover Cleveland were large, but would they be able to compete in today’s fast paced National Football League? Another no-brainer, though, was none other than Teddy Roosevelt. His tenacity alone would be enough to demoralize opponents. The basketball debate was a far more interesting one...Barack Obama would probably run the point as he boasts a silky smooth lefty jumper and a killer crossover. George Washington seems like a good fit for the three if for no reason other than the fact that he could match up well with any King. He could one day replace King James as the top small forward in the game. He was also six foot two (quite tall by presidential standards). Abraham Lincoln would hold down the fort at center just as he held our beloved nation together during the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson also held the height and has enough skill to play power forward. Rounding out the starting five would be none other than Jimmy Carter. Many are not aware, but Carter played basketball in high school. Let’s just say that Vince wasn’t the only Carter to thrown down some monstrous dunks in his prime. As we delve into the next four years of American politics and a road to recovery (hopefully), we can definitely expect some exciting sports stories from the Obama White House. There will be moments of struggle and moments of glory; much like there will be with American politics.
Fencing gains experience at ‘The Big One’ Chris Brown reporter
courtesy of Vassar Athletics
porting a men’s and women’s team, each with around 20 athletes, Vassar College Fencing recently competed in a tournament at Smith College. The tournament occurred on Nov. 3rd, and Vassar fencing made a strong statement at the tournament to kick off their Fall 2012 season. Known as “The Big One,” the tournament at Smith featured a total of 493 fencers from the surrounding region, representing various universities. The first rounds started at around 9 a.m., and ran until around 6 p.m., making for a full day of fencing for the teams who were present. There were six separate competitions within this one tournament, divided by whether the athlete fenced epee, sabre or foil. Going into the tournament, the team was well-practiced. Senior co-captain Caitlin Clevenger described the team’s typical regimen. “We meet four times a week for a total of ten hours a week,” she stated. “If someone misses a practice, they usually make up for it by working out at the gym or practicing individually.” Senior co-captain Katie LeClair echoed her partner: “We practice a lot. We have great coaches who work with us as a group and individually,” she said. Vassar was represented in all six draws at The Big One, with around 80 fencers in each draw. There was a preliminary round for each one, which narrowed the field down to 64 in each draw. From there, the fencers went into regular tournament style play, each bout being an elimination round. The successful fencers that made it to the top eight in each of the six draws medaled, and from there, quarterfinals began to determine who would be the champion. LeClair, who specializes in foil (which is used for thrusting and limits the targets on the body), tied for third place in the women’s foil draw. LeClair was the only Vassar fencer who medaled at The Big One. Yet the team was not completely discouraged by this. “The Big One is mainly about getting players experience and getting to see what our opponents are like,” stated Clevenger, who fences epee—which does not set a target on the body that must be hit in order to gain points. “We weren’t as concerned about winning as we were getting to fence against tough schools.” Men’s co-captain Tavish Pegram ’13 was
Senior Co-Captain Katie LeClair walked away from “The Big One” on Nov. 3 with the third place title. LeClair and Co-Captain Clevenger ’13 attributed the success of her team to their coaches. happy about the team, but not satisfied with his individual performance. “I got really frustrated,” exclaimed Pegram. “I’m sure I just made a lot of stupid moves and mistakes.” Pegram, who hails from Baltimore, Md. in a town with a small fencing community, has been fencing in national competitions since the age of 14. He came into The Big One seeded tied for seventh, and he easily made it through the preliminary rounds. However, he lost relatively early in the elimination bouts. “I was just having an off day. Some days are just off days for people,” stated Pegram. Yet despite his personal disappointment, Pegram is very optimistic about the future for the this year’s fencing team based on its overall performance at The Big One. “A lot of schools see Vassar fencing as an underdog team,” said Pegram. “But we always seem to surprise people. The team is already stronger than expected this early into the season.” The upcoming tournaments during the fall season will be team-based, with the results from these tournaments affecting NCAA qualifying status for the team. The fall season will run until around Winter break. The team then goes into a small off-season. “The teammates will practice individually and go to the gym,” described Clevenger. “And we start our
spring season pretty early next year.” LeClair, who along with Pegram, fences in national competitions as well as intercollegiately, strongly feels that the team this year has a unique and promising dynamic. “Fencing is such an open and welcoming sport, and I think Vassar fencing represents that perfectly,” LeClair said. “We have people who compete nationally, and we have people who have never fenced before. It’s really cool.” The fencing team is one of the few teams on campus that recruits and also takes walk-ons. LeClair and Clevenger both agreed that a lot of the team’s success over the past few years is thanks to the coaches. “We have one head coach and five assistant coaches,” explained LeClair. “We have one that works individually with new freshman, and one that works with each weapon.” Clevenger added, “The amount of coaches we have allow everyone on the team to get in a lot of individual practice, which benefits everyone.” As for the team’s next step, Clevenger put emphasis on the team going back to the regular routine. “We’ll watch some videos of our opponents, see what we can improve on,” Clevenger stated. “And we’ll just go back to practicing. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday.”
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
Oakland A’s deserve relocation Eli J. Vargas I
hile the recent Presidential campaign has ended, another political battle has been taking place for a few years now. Both of these battles involve politics and power, but that is where the similarities end. Depending on where the individual’s values and interests lie, this battle may be more important than the recent Presidential campaign—specifically to those in the Bay Area. This political battles involves two long-standing baseball franchises that, accustomed to battling amongst franchises on the field and the competitive free agent market, have begun to battle over the surrounding city of San Jose, Calif. Since 2009, the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s have been battling politically on the proposed move of the Oakland Athletics to San Jose. Why would this be a problem? Well, the problem lies in the fact that the San Francisco Giants have “territorial rights” to San Jose. According to the 2012 census, the City of San Jose has over 900K people, compared to that of Oakland’s 390,724 people, so this move obviously makes sense for the A’s. The city of Oakland does not seem to be a fitting place for a franchise, with the game attendance being last in 2011 and fourth to last in 2012. This franchise needs to experience something new. The A’s should be allowed to relocate because of the delinquency of O.co Coliseum, which is the only dual baseball/football stadium still in use by a major sporting franchise. Trust me, I’ve driven through there and it is no place to have a ballpark. San Jose would allow the A’s to have a more competitive edge, due to the increased revenue from the new San Jose TV deals, ads and fan base. With them being a small market team, this move is exactly what this franchise needs to become a powerhouse team. And why shouldn’t they be allowed to do this? They are a humble, well-respected franchise that always seems to catch the short end of the stick in almost anything related to money. The A’s haven’t been to the world series since 1990 but have won their division five times since 2000, a testament to the well-run A’s franchise. Along with all of this, the loyal fans of A’s deserve this. After seeing their Bay Area rivals win their second World Series in three years, A’s fans are becoming increasingly woeful. The A’s have tenacity and a young core, but what they really need is more money, the ability to compete for the top free agents and more money to keep their young players. They have seen stars such as Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon leave because the franchise wasn’t willing to put up the money, with its payroll ranking last in the MLB. So although it maybe hard to admit, the A’s are pining for their franchise to become like that of the Giants, a franchise that shows the commitment to excellence and to winning for the fans. As a lifelong Dodgers fan and LA native, it hurts me to say that the Giants franchise is one that many baseball franchises to strive to be like, and that includes the A’s. Since the Giants already have the whole of San Francisco and thousands of fans spread from central California to northern California, giving up these “territorial rights” to San Jose would not be too costly, especially since the mayor of San Jose is backing it, and many San Joseans have already displayed a loyalty and desire for the A’s relocation. It’s not as if this move would prevent this stable franchise from winning another championship in the future. With the good farm system and commitment to winning present in the Giants’ franchise, this franchise is set for a while. Like all things, political power stems from money, the Giants’ desire not to lose money from merchandise and television deals and the A’s desire to gain money from merchandise sales and television deals. But then again, maybe this will help catapult baseball into increasing popularity, showing baseball fans that franchises are adapting to change, and are willing to do what it takes to please their fans. This World Series has had the lowest views since the ratings have begun–the sports of baseball is struggling. So for the good of the sport, the Giants should show some sympathy just as the A’s did to them by giving up the rights to Santa Clara County to save them.
November 8, 2012
Swimmers take their mark as Rugby ends winning season Meaghan Hughes reporter
Women’s Swimming & Diving
Nicholas Graham ’15, above, converted a try during last week’s meet against Marist College. Unfortunately, the team’s undefeated record did not hold, with a final score of 20-12, ending their season.
Men’s Swimming & Diving
Despite falling to Skidmore College 163-123, the men’s swimming and diving teams had notable individual wins in their first home meet. Many of the swimmers came from behind for a dramatic first place finish, such as sophomore Frank Driscoll in the 500 yard freestyle (5:16.48) and senior co-captain Nick Veazie in the 200 yard butterfly with his season-best time of 2:12.80. Vassar’s other senior co-captain Mathué Duhaney won both the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle and took second place in the 100 yard butterfly. Additionally, sophomore Matt Weiss took first place in the 100 yard breaststroke, and Veazie, Driscoll, sophomore Luc Amodio and freshman Greg Christina teamed up to win the 200 yard freestyle relay, finishing with a time of 1:39.91, less than one second before Skidmore College. Vassar’s next meet will be on Nov. 10 when they host Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Kresge Pool at 1 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, the fall season for the women’s rugby team came to an end in an exciting victory versus Rutgers University in Piscatway, N.J. The team started off with an offensive mindset, and senior Nicole Guererro worked with her teammates to score the first try of the game. Although junior Emma Elbaum, who had several good runs in the scrum, was forced to end the night early due to an unfortunate possible knee injury, the Brewers continued their offensive mindset and push. They soon increased their lead to 10-0 until Rutgers University was able to score just under the posts to make it a 10-7 game. Vassar held the lead for the first 40 minutes with excellent running by senior Shanaye Williams. Though Rutgers University took the lead toward the end, Vassar picked up the intensity to finish with a secure 39-29 win. The Brewers end the fall season with an overall record of
courtesy of Vassar Athletics
The first home dual meet for the women’s swimming and diving teams on Nov. 3 was a definite success. Overall the swimming teams won ten events, giving them a 175-125 win over the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds. Both senior captains excelled in their events, with senior Sydnie Alquist taking first place in the 100 yard butterfly as well as third place in the 200 yard free and 50 yard free with times of 2:04.78 and 27.09 respectively. Her co-captain senior Shannon Sara secured wins in the 200 yard freestyle, 200 yard individual medley and the 200 yard medley relay with her freshmen teammates Millee Nelson and Maryam Pourmaleki with a time of 1:57.62. Some of the other wins were two sophomores, Juliana Struve in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:15.58) and Olivia Harries in the 1,000 yard freestyle–her season-best time. For diving, sophomore Jane Cardona won the one-meter board with a score of 200.32 and the three-meter with a score of 220.95. The team’s next meet will be against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. at Kresge Pool.
4-3-1, which unfortunately is not enough to advance to the final playoffs. In the meantime, the women’s rugby team will prepare for its next season, which begins in the spring. Men’s Rugby
Vassar men’s rugby hoped to maintain their number one position and undefeated status as they faced the number two seed Marist College on Nov. 4. at the Vassar Farm. Unfortunately, both the “A” and “B” men’s rugby teams ended Sunday with tough losses. The “A” team dominated the first half with a try converted by sophmore Nick Graham and scored by senior Jerry Dieudonne to give the Brewers a 7-0 lead. A few missed opportunities for extra scoring hurt Vassar in the end, as Marist played a much stronger second half. The Red Foxes were able to tie the game, then in the last 30 seconds they scored the winning try in the corner. The Brewers end the regular season with an over-
all 7-1 record and in the second seed. As for the “B” team, it was a trying and physical effort throughout. Vassar did not score until the second half to make the score 10-7, leaving the Brewers with a possible win. Marist responded by pushing the score up to 15-7, and despite a try from freshman Eli Vargas and a strong performance by Language Fellow Roman Kopit, Marist College claimed the win with a score of 20-12. The Brewers will host number three Fairfield University next Sunday at 1 p.m. for the Tri-State Conference semifinals; the results of that game will determine whether or not Vassar will get a chance for a rematch against Marist College. Women’s Volleyball
After a successful season, the women’s volleyball team fell to Clarkson University in the Liberty League playoffs on Nov. 2. Several strong individual performances, such as the 15 kills from senior Chloe McGuire, the 13 kills from sophomore Taylor Mosley and the 29 digs from freshman Chloe Hallum, allowed for a few comeback moments for the Brewers but were not enough to secure the win. Though Clarkson won the first set, the score was tied 15 separate times, with both teams taking advantage of their opponent’s attack and service errors. In the second set, the Brewers only trailed once, and Mosley’s offensive strength gave Vassar a 25-19 win to tie the match. Making use of five Clarkson attack errors, the Brewers won the third set with a kill from McGuire, followed by a service ace from junior Megan Anderson. By the fourth set, Clarkson University was able to secure a sizable win over Vassar. Sophomore Adrienne Walker’s back-to-back kills gave the Golden Knights crucial points to tie the match. The fifth set would have been the deciding one for the match, and despite a strong effort from Marie Pitre ’15, her four kills and service ace were not enough to catch up to Clarkson’s lead. The Brewers end their season with a 20-11 record (8-5 Liberty League).
Wheeler takes hold of stats, earns Liberty League honors
Katie de Heras/The Miscellany News
During her freshman year, Chloe Wheeler ’15, scored the women’s soccer team’s highest number of game-winning goals. She recently recieved an All-Liberty League Second Team Honorable Mention. Kerrin Poole
ince she was four years old, Chloe Wheeler ’15 has had a soccer ball at her feet and many aspirations to succeed in her sport. Now, as a sophomore on the women’s soccer team, she has already succeeded in receiving All-Liberty League Second Team Honorable Mention and leading the team in statistics. Wheeler has not let her status as an underclassman keep her from becoming a major force on the Vassar women’s soccer team. Not only is she a starter and the leading scorer on the team with nine goals, but she is ranked first in the league for shots and second for game-winning goals. She has also led the team with one assist, and a total of 19 points. Overall she has taken 78 shots and 30 of them were
taken on goal. She therefore averages 4.59 shots per game. Wheeler’s five game-winning goals have been scored against Husson University, Arcadia University, St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University and Bard. After scoring two game-winning goals in one weekend, she was named Liberty League Performer of the Week. Her freshman year, she also had the highest amount of game-winning goals on the team with a total of two. Fresh off the end of her fall season, Wheeler looks back with a feeling of accomplishment from having had a winning record of 9-71. “We have adjusted so well to bringing in a new coach this year and having a very young team...I really felt like we were a family this year and that we worked through the difficult times and bonded together to create a happy
and supportive team environment. I could not have been happier with our coaches this year, because they pushed us to our limits while providing support and being understanding in both the good and the difficult times.” She also described her team as a group that will fight until the last minute: “I think our team character really showed through in the games where we went into overtime, because we really gave 100 percent until the final whistle, only losing one of those games in double overtime despite dominating the game. I think we have a very skilled team and our weakness is in capitalizing on our chances on goal,” she wrote. But her optimism is not limited to this season and she continued, “The exciting part about that is that since our team is young, we have so much time to work on that with virtually the same team in the next few years. ” It is in such an environment where Wheeler was able to so significantly improve her own play and lead her team on the scoreboard. She attributes her growth to confidence and her offensive mindset. Having made nine goals this season in comparison to the two goals she had last season, she wrote that she felt she knew what to expect as a sophomore, and that her offensive mindset made her constantly hungry for goals. “I think my greatest asset as a player is my ability to create offensive plays and find open space on the field to receive the ball and take shots,” she wrote. She also credits Head Coach Laura Williams and Assistant Coach Allison McManis for the success of the team. She explained, “I am also so thankful for our new coach as well as our assistant coach who provided great support and helped me to excel on the field this year.” Even though Wheeler has two seasons of playing to look forward to, she is already grateful for her time spent here on the women’s soccer team. “I feel so lucky to be part of this team, because I know that it has really contributed to my experience as a college student in that I have developed and matured as a person
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and soccer player. It has been so nice to have a guaranteed close-knit group of at least 20 girls for the last two years, and to know that I will always have that throughout my career at Vassar is beyond comforting. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have that.” She added that, “It is crazy to think about the fact that I’m already halfway through my college soccer career, and it just reminds me that I need to cherish every moment because the next two years are going to fly by.” Wheeler already knows which highlights are her favorite, and she recollected her proudest moment of the season which happened after the loss to Union College in double-overtime. “It was obvious how much we all cared just by looking around at all of our faces. We were all so invested in every game and everyone always gave it their all on the field.” She further commented, “I can honestly say [this] is the first time I could see so much heart from one team.” The momentum of this heartfelt play culminated in both a team as well as an individual highlight for Wheeler. In a 107-minute-long battle against St. Lawrence University that went into double-overtime, Wheeler scored her game-winning goal from 30 yards outside the net. “I can still picture that moment perfectly and I know I won’t ever forget it,” Wheeler wrote. As of this season, Wheeler has had the most game-winning goals in Brewer history since 2000. With only two years left in her career here, she says that she sees herself continuing to succeed. “I see myself continuing to make an impact on the program and being a strong offensive force for our team. I hope to continue scoring goals and helping our team to improve and succeed in the next two years. I believe that we are capable of winning a Liberty League Championship and going to the NCAA tournament next year and in the years to come—we just have to take advantage of the amazing talent that we have and continue to build on it in the next few years.”