The Miscellany News Since 1866 | miscellanynews.com
September 16, 2010
Volume CXLIV | Issue 1
Kathleen Mehocic/The Miscellany News
CIE unveils audit of life at Vassar Molly Turpin
Eidtor in Chief
ssues of inclusion and awareness seem to be perennial on Vassar’s campus. Last year advertising for events like the Free Wheezy Mug Night and Miami ViCE brought themes of racial and gender identities to the fore, spurring conversations about sensitivity of diverse student groups. The Audit of Campus Life and Learning, released to students Wednesday, Sept. 15 by the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence (CIE) through the Vassar Student Association (VSA), adds to these conversations, formally committing student concerns to paper. Unlike last year’s reactive conversations, the Audit is the result of nearly three years of planning and data collection by the CIE. The audit identifies themes in the Vassar student experience based on the collected conversations of 12 focus groups with a total of 65 students and 25 student facilitators, most of which were held in spring, 2009. To conduct the Audit, the committee created a subcommittee to focus specifically on collecting this data and brought in a consultant in the person of Professor Emeritus of the University of Michigan Mark Chesler to train mem See AUDIT on page 4
Staff members work for the newly formed Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development. The College recently merged the Office of Development and the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College as part of a reorganization effort.
Divisions merge into Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development Molly Turpin
Editor in Chief
he third floor of the Alumnae House is once again full of activity. A floor historically defined by tiny dorm rooms reserved for the gentleman callers of Vassar women is now bustling office space, the home of the former Development Office staff members who moved in this summer. As President of the College Cath-
arine Bond Hill announced last week in an all-campus e-mail, the Office of Development and the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College (AAVC) have combined to create the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development. As part of the broader reorganization of these offices, the Office of College Relations has become the Office of Communications, retaining its offices in Main Building. By reorganizing these offices, the
Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
College is reimagining the roles of three major divisions of the College. The senior officers who led each one have retained senior positions, though their titles have changed to reflect the new nature of their respective work. Vice President for Communications Susan DeKrey was formerly the Vice President for College Relations. Previously the Vice President for Development, See OFFICES on page 4
Walkway undergoes upgrades Angela Aiuto Senior Editor
fter less than a year in operation, Poughkeepsie’s Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park will be undergoing several improvements in the coming months, including the installation on the City of Poughkeepsie waterfront of both stairs and a 20-story elevator leading up to the bridge. Walkway Over the Hudson, the non-profit organization that led efforts to convert the former Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge into a pedestrian park of the same name, will be implementing these changes in coordination with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2011 and will conclude the following year. The elevator, a project largely funded as a transportation improvement under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will be built about 20 feet from the Hudson River and will be accessible by Water Street upon completion. Its construction of glass and aluminum will allow passengers a unique view of the surrounding area as they ride up to or down from the bridge. See WALKWAY on page 4
VASSAR IN THE PUBLIC EYE
Vassar students consider rankings Conflict seen between image, rank Mitchell Gilburne
Kathleen Mehocic/The Miscellany News
he numbers are in, and the powers that be have spoken! College rankings from Forbes to the Princeton Review to the U.S. News & World Report dominate in the business of guidance for prospective students. The annual publishing of the latest hierarchy of higher education has grown to a nearly ritualistic status. Their pseudo sacred texts affect applications as well as
graduate school admissions and job offers. While there is no shortage of controversy and criticism surrounding this tradition, the content is nonetheless broadcast on a global scale, and consequently, our very own Vassar College often finds itself thrust into the public eye by virtue of its various rankings. Caught within the crosshairs of the unblinking gaze of the ranking system, Vassar students—regardless of their opinions on the matter—are condensed
into the various numbers assigned to the College. And with Vassar’s ranked positions ranging from a mundane assessment of academic quality to the shocking reveal that we are, indeed, the ninth sexiest college in the country, it is important that the student perspective of Vassar’s public image be heard. College rankings create an image for colleges that the institution itself has no hand in creating, leav See RANKINGS on page 6
College Wikipedia page a changing Athlete of the Week: representation of campus life, facts Wiechmann on rugby C Krissa Wiechmann ’12 poses by the rugby field at the Vassar College Farm. Wiechmann sustained a severe spinal chord injury during a rugby game this summer.
Danielle Bukowski Guest Columnist
Mitchell Gilburne Features Editor
ugby is one of the most misunderstood sports on Vassar’s athletic roster in that most of its players have had no experience with the game before arriving at college. Thus students are recruited with zeal and encouraged to throw themselves into the game, learning as they go. Junior
Krissa Wiechmann’s ’12 experience was no different. She recalls her first game against United States Military Academy at West Point with a nostalgic fondness. “I still didn’t know anything about rugby,” she says, “I was just told to tackle…I remember getting a lot of rocks stuck in my knee!” Wiechmann is a beacon of optimism. See WIECHMANN on page 18
Inside this issue
Stir-fry lessons come to the Dining Center
urious about the College, but pressed for time? Type “Vassar College” into Google, and the third website to come up will be the school’s page on Wikipedia. The all-knowing online encyclopedia has long been a favorite of college students for its nearly limitless knowledge and ease of use. So if your quest for college knowledge is on the same timetable as that paper you’ve been procrastinating on,
Good to the last drop: Pick a major with a cocktail to match
Wikipedia has got your back! Despite its convenience, the site boasts a few dreaded pitfalls in the realm of academia. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and has accumulated numerous accounts and accusations of fraudulent claims and outright lies, so taking any of its information at face value can be hazardous. Vassar’s Wikipedia page is one of the few beacons of “inside” Vassar knowledge that penetrates into the gaze of the world at large. Cruising past the comparatively meager
audiences of prospective students and curious alumni, the Vassar College Wikipedia page stands alone as a representation of the College, and a representation in flux at that. Are the impact and validity of the potential inferences an outsider would draw regarding Vassar College’s user generated web presence something the College should pay attention to? Wikipedia, not surprisingly, knows a lot about Vassar. The See WIKIPEDIA on page 6
Vassar Student Band Union rocks on
The Miscellany News
September 16, 2010
Editor in Chief Molly Turpin Senior Editors Angela Aiuto Matthew Brock
Contributing Editor Lillian Reuman Lila Teeters
Mitchell Gilburne/The Miscellany News
Photo of theWeek:The Vassar College campus, pictured above, from the air, is scenic from any vantage point, especially in clear weather.
News Caitlin Clevenger Aashim Usgaonkar Features Mitchell Gilburne Opinions Joshua Rosen Juan Thompson Humor & Satire Alanna Okun Arts Erik Lorenzsonn Sports Andy Marmer Design Eric Estes Copy Gretchen Maslin Photography Juliana Halpert Online Carrie Hojnicki Social Media Marie Dugo
Assistant Features Matthew Bock Danielle Gensburg Assistant Arts Thea Ballard Rachael Borné Assistant Copy Sammy Creath Crossword Editor Jonathan Garfinkel
Miscellany News Staff Editorial
Lazio ignored state’s most pressing issues Alum’s recent campaign too focused on Park51 O
n Sept. 14, New Yorkers took to the polls to vote in the Republican gubernatorial primary. This election cycle has been of particular interest to the Vassar community due to the candidacy of alumnus Enrico “Rick” Lazio ’80, whose loss against businessman and Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino was announced Tuesday night. While initially excited by Lazio’s candidacy, The Miscellany News’s Editorial Board has been disappointed by his campaign’s recent preoccupation with the nationwide controversy surrounding the Park51 community center, the proposed Islamic center to be built in close proximity to Ground Zero. While we may not agree with Lazio’s opinion on the Park51 community center, we recognize that it was necessary for him to express his stance on the issue. Given that the planning of Park51 has been, and continues to be, an inflammatory and divisive issue attracting the attention of both regional and national news organizations, it is clear that Lazio would need to make public his stance as a candidate for the governor of New York. However, in recent weeks Lazio has given this issue more attention and care than nearly any other issue currently facing New York. His attention to this issue was detailed by a New York Times article published in late August, which noted that “Mr. Lazio is making his vigorous opposition to the project a centerpiece of his candidacy, assailing it on the campaign trail, testifying against it at public hearings, denouncing it in television commercials and even creating an online petition demanding an investigation into the center and its organizers.”
The arguments defending the construction of the proposed community center have been well publicized and do not bear repeating. However, it is worth mentioning that a political campaign centered on opposition to Park51 is also a campaign that largely encourages the ostracism of American Muslims, many of whom Lazio would be serving if elected to the governorship. Moreover, as has been acknowledged by New York Governor David A. Paterson and others, Park51’s backers have every right to build the community center, legally speaking. While the center is being built in Manhattan and is therefore a politically salient issue for New Yorkers, the resolution of this controversy is very much irrelevant to the traditional responsibilities and concerns of the governor and his office. As such, the centering of Lazio’s gubernatorial campaign around the Park51 controversy seems not only culturally insensitive, but professionally inappropriate. When The Miscellany News interviewed Lazio in February (“Vassar graduate a top contender in NY gubernatorial candidate,” 2.6.10), he shared a number of proposals to assuage New York’s most serious challenges. Particularly concerned with the state of New York’s economy, he claimed that “the first order of business is to get our financial house in order.” Lazio planned to lower spending and reduce taxes by calling for a hiring freeze on state employees, instituting a property tax cap and implementing policies that would help local governments avoid spending increases. This is the kind of critical thinking that Lazio and his fellow gubernatorial hopefuls should have been offering in these dif-
ficult times. New York’s economy has been badly battered by the recession, which only intensified an already difficult budget crisis over the summer. While planning its budget for the fiscal year of 2011, New York State faced a $9.2 billion budget gap. Scheduled to pass by law on April 1, the budget was not completed in full until August 3; the state legislature, locked in a political stalemate with Governor Paterson, resorted to passing the budget in pieces to keep the state government functioning in the meantime. And while that crisis is over, it leaves a number of complications in its wake: the resultant tax increases and spending cuts will put further strain on New York’s economy, which currently faces an 8.2 percent unemployment rate. Residents will be paying more in taxes, but receiving less in services; this was already evident in our own community upon the adoption of the Arlington Board of Education’s budget in June, which called for a school closing and education layoffs despite a tax levy increase of 7.3 percent. New York needs a governor who can balance the competing demands of our fiscal woes and our foundering economy. If Lazio’s recent Park51-centric campaigning is any indication, he is no longer even aware of these issues, let alone actively contemplating solutions. It is our hope that the remaining gubernatorial candidates will focus on New York’s most critical problems for the rest of the election. -—The Miscellany News Staff Editorial reflects the opinion of at least two thirds of the 18-member Editorial Board.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
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.
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.
The Editorial Board holds weekly meetings every Sunday at 9 p.m. in the Rose Parlor. All members of the Vassar community interested in joining the newspaper’s staff or in a critique of the current issue are welcome. The Miscellany News is not responsible for the views presented in the Opinions pages. The weekly staff editorial is the only article which reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board. The Miscellany News is published weekly by the students of Vassar College. The Miscellany News office is located in College Center Room 303, Vassar College.
September 16, 2010
New signage to pair form with function
Law enforcement departments receive extra funding
y the end of November, new sign posts will be installed throughout Vassar’s campus to improve way finding and conform to safety standards set by emergencyresponse authorities. The new signs “are the result of a two-year long effort to review Vassar’s Landscape Master Plan,” according to Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chair of the Campus Master Planning Committee Elizabeth Eismeier. “One of the reasons behind [the signs] was a difficulty Vassar’s visitors felt in knowing where things are on campus,” said Eismeier, addressing the College’s need for the new installation. The current signage’s ability “to allow for people to find their way around campus” was called into question; another problem with the current signs that Eismeier pointed out was that some of them are not reflective, thus making it difficult to navigate the campus at night-time. In addition to improving way finding, Eismeier noted that an additional reason for the new signs was to make the Vassar campus compliant with the safety standards required by emergency-response teams such as The Arlington Fire District and for occupancy permits in the dormitories. For example Eismeier cited the naming of Josselyn Drive, a sign for which “had to be put up to acquire the certificate of occupancy for Davison House.” For this very reason, the College felt it necessary to install the temporary signs that can be seen around campus, and to name roads and streets that previously held no specific title. Eismeier indicated that the new signs also have aesthetic benefits: The new signs “will blend into the campus landscape” and not be intrusive. To this end, the signs will be dark green in color, “to maintain the visuals of the landscape.” Another design feature of the new signs is their capability of holding a “sub-sign” within their framework. This sub-sign will be able to hold useful information for both members of the Vassar community
The Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Office of Probation, the Town of Poughkeepsie police and the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department will receive $377,724 in funding this year from Operation IMPACT, a New York state program. Operation IMPACT aims to lower crime rates in state counties with the highest crime rates, excepting those in New York City. In 2009 there were 410 violent crimes reported in the City of Poughkeepsie, of which 200 were identified as robberies and 196 as aggravated assaults.
—Caitlin Clevenger, News Editor
VSA Endorses Academics Memorandum Kathleen Mehocic/The Miscellany News
The bottom portion of the new signage, pictured above, will be interchangeable for regular days and special occasions. The top portion brings the College into compliance with safety standards. and guests, such as directions to other campus landmarks and to special events. “In the past, paper signs directing visitors to the location of various events have been placed on an ad hoc basis, but now they can be put up as a sub-sign to the already existing posts,” explained Eismeier. The College also attempted to improve way finding by dividing the campus up into segments. The part of the campus that holds the Town Houses and the athletic fields will be referred to as the West Campus, the area around Skinner Hall and the South Commons will be referred to as South Campus, the Terrace Apartments and the athletic facilities will be called the
East Campus and the area surrounding the North Parking Lot and Josselyn and Jewett Houses will be referred to as the North Campus. In keeping with this, the names of some gates will also be changed. An example Eismeier gave was that of changing the name of South Gate to “Chapel Gate,” thus “providing verbal clues to visitors about where they are headed.” While the College is “trying to address a number of problems at the same time,” Eismeier is confident that this “integrated system will serve several purposes, including improving way finding on campus as well as complying with safety standards.”
On Sunday, Sept. 5, the Vassar Student Association (VSA), in conjunction with the Academics Committee, unanimously endorsed an academics memorandum which could help professors return final work to interested students. This memorandum, if adopted by the faculty, will make it possible for students to receive their thoroughly critiqued final work after the school year has ended. In the memo, the VSA council “suggest[s] that the faculty adopt a policy encouraging students to bring a self-addressed envelope to the final class.” Professors could then use these envelopes to mail final work back to students after the necessary grading period. “It’s only a recommendation” emphasized VSA Vice President of Academics Laura Riker ’11, the memo’s author, “Professors don’t have to adopt this system.” This Academics Memorandum was introduced to the full VSA Council last week and approved quickly and unanimously. Riker saw the beginning of the school year as an excellent opportunity to encourage, change and tackle an issue that all students face. Any students who wish to have their capstone projects returned to them with complete commentary should encourage their professors to consider the VSA’s recommendation. —Dave Rosencranz, Guest Reporter
VSA signs letter to Mayor College sets new goals for requesting local bus service reducing carbon dioxide Ann-Marie Alcántara
n Sunday, Sept. 12, the Vassar Student Association (VSA) endorsed a letter that proposes the addition of a public bus stop close to campus on Raymond Avenue. The letter has been drafted, signed and will be ready to go in a matter of weeks to City of Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik. The College hopes to replace the Poughkeepsie Shuttle bus with a new public bus stop along the Main Street line. Ideally, students would have free transportation by showing their Vassar identification, and the College would pay a lump sum for use of the bus each year. In addition to adjusting the current route, the Main Street line would run every half-hour rather than every hour, as it runs now. “We want it to be just as good or better [than the shuttle]” said VSA Vice
President for Operations Ruby Cramer ‘12. The letter begins by discussing the Poughkeepsie shuttle bus—provided by Vassar and paid for using VSA funds—that brings hundreds of Vassar students into the Poughkeepsie community every week to participate in after-school tutoring, community programs and field work. A bus stop, the letter reasons, will increase relations between Vassar and the surrounding area, particularly by providing more opportunities for students to make a positive impact on the community. The document also argues that the stop will provide both increased mass transit revenue and encourage students to
frequent local businesses and restaurants. The letter frames the replacement of the Vassar Shuttle with a public bus stop in terms of the larger effort made by the College and the VSA to improve relations between Vassar students and Poughkeepsie residents. It references Meet Me in Poughkeepsie (MMiP), which brought over 1,000 students off campus and brought their business into the greater Poughkeepsie and Hudson Valley community, as a particular example of this larger effort. Events like MMiP encourage Vassar students to “consider the City an integral part of their college experience,” the letter states. It goes on to acknowledge that “the same can be said for Poughkeepsie residents, who want to feel more connected to the Vassar community.” Vassar’s hope to replace the shuttle with local buses follows the example of other nearby colleges. Starting in 2007, the State University of New York at New Paltz began a “New Paltz Loop” in an effort to foster good relations with and increase student involvement in the Ulster County region. The goal was to have about 100 riders per week once the bus began running, though the school and students soon exceeded that goal. The VSA highlighted this example in its letter, noting that the established Vassar-run Poughkeepsie shuttle has far more riders than the New Paltz Loop. This letter “is a small way to show the VSA’s support for the initiative,” wrote Cramer in an e-mailed statement. That said, Cramer stressed that “nothing has really even happened yet; this project is not even preliminary—it’s pre-preliminary.”
Caitlin Clevenger News Editor
he College Committee on Sustainability (CCS) has completed a proposal to be presented to the College’s senior officers detailing a plan to reduce Vassar’s greenhouse gas emissions by four percent each year over the next decade. Greenhouse gases, which absorb and emit solar radiation, are linked to global climate change. Reducing Vassar’s carbon footprint is one of CCS’s main goals. In 2005, the College emitted 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, meaning the gas levels have the same climate changing effect as that amount of carbon dioxide. Since then, Vassar has gone through a number of changes that most students “probably haven’t noticed,” according to Chair of CCS and Professor of Earth Science Jeffrey Walker. The central heating plant now uses natural gas instead of heating oil and building and steam lines have undergone renovation to improve energy efficiency. In 2009, Vassar’s greenhouse gas emissions were 24,000 metric tons, a decrease of 20 percent since 2005. These improvements helped earn Vassar a “B” on its “College Sustainability Report Card,” an independent evaluation by the Sustainable Endowments Institute that assesses 300 colleges and universities in the United States. The Committee proposes a four percent average annual decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, when target emission levels would be 10,000 metric tons. This would be a 65 percent decrease from the 2005 emissions and a 58 percent decrease from the 2009 levels. This
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
goal is ambitious compared to the plans of peer institutions, which are generally aiming for two percent annual decreases. Bard College in Annondale-on-Hudson, New York plans to reduce emissions levels by 25 percent by 2020, according to its report to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Though a thorough analysis of costs and savings has not been completed, the proposal offers some speculative strategies for lowering Vassar’s greenhouse gas emissions. These include the purchase of carbon credits to offset emissions released from student and faculty travel, a solar-thermal system for heating water, and increasing the amount of public transportation and bicycle commuting used on and around campus while also increasing the number of hybrid and electric vehicles used by the College. In addition, improvements to increase the efficiency of College infrastructure would continue. “Ely Hall is a big energy waster,” said Walker. The building is being renovated in parts to improve its insulation. “Some [strategies] probably sound appealing, but may have little effect; some sound boring but may have lots of effects,” wrote Walker in an e-mailed statement. To achieve the four percent goal, the College would also be asked to help conserve energy. “Over 80 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions come from either the fuel burned in the central heating plant or through purchased electricity,” wrote Walker in an e-mailed statement. Director of Facility Operations and Grounds Kiki Williams has endorsed the CCS’s proposal, which will be under review by the College’s Senior Officers this week.
September 16, 2010
Offices reorganize, address Cultural audit breaks down inefficiencies and overlaps categories of student concerns OFFICES continued from page 1 Cathy Baer is now the Vice President for Alumnae/i Affairs and Development, and former Executive Director of AAVC Pat Lichtenberg ’90 is now the Associate Vice President for Alumnae/i Affairs and Development while also keeping the title of Executive Director. The timing of the restructuring was motivated by the recent financial constraints on the College, though Baer, Lichtenberg and DeKrey all noted that they had already identified some inefficiencies and overlaps between their areas. “We were duplicating efforts on some levels,” said Lichtenberg. “That was always a source of frustration for all of us professionally, and over the years we have seen the opportunity to make things more efficient and a better service for the alumni and better experience for the employees. So when we had this challenge with the economy, it was an opportunity to say, ‘Oh right, this is the time, how can we make this work better.’” Prior to this effort to combine offices, the divisions had already been working on some informal means of collaboration, including regular dialogue between Baer, Lichtenberg and DeKrey as well as bringing together the related staff of the three offices. Still, these meetings did not go far enough, said Baer. “There were points where you forget, and things wouldn’t get done. I guess I’d say we’d all get busy and then things wouldn’t completely sync with one another.” After reorganizing, the offices are more similar to models at other colleges, though Vassar does not entirely fit a common model. “There are some schools that have the Advancement Model where all three areas are under one director. That really wasn’t going to work here because so much of what [DeKrey] does in communications doesn’t have anything to do with alumnae interactions,” said Baer. “There are many different models out there, and I think it’s important not only to look at other schools but to say, ‘What does Vassar need?’” The Office of Communications remains separate from the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development, but it has taken on the editorial responsibilities previously charged to the Office of Development and to the AAVC, such as the alumnae magazine, in addition to its traditional duties. “We have communicated with alums for years, so it’s not a new audience for us,” said DeKrey of the shift. DeKrey, Baer, and Lichtenberg see the reorganization as an opportunity, even as it created a significant reduction in staff between the three offices. Overall, the offices experienced a 10-12 percent reduction in staffing, mostly from
retirements or employees voluntarily moving on to other opportunities. There were two involuntary layoffs, though Baer noted that both individuals found employment elsewhere within weeks of leaving their Vassar offices. The reductions in staffing also meant that in some cases staff members have been asked to take on new or additional responsibilities. DeKrey acknowledged that the change was stressful and frustrating at times. “When you bring offices together, you bring people together. You have to be respectful of people who have had certain sets of responsibilities in the past, combining those people with other people who have had responsibilities,” she said. “I think as with most things in life, the abstract can be rather straightforward and simple, but the reality when you get into people’s areas, people’s concerns and feelings, those things can be complicated.” While these changes put the former Development Office into even closer contact with Vassar alums than before, the process also clarified the role of AAVC in relation to the College. According to Lichtenberg, AAVC has technically been an organization independent of the College, though it is, in practice, a branch of the College. She says this shift occurred in the 1970s when the responsibility for the Annual Fund moved from AAVC to the College. “Since the mid-70s, we have not been truly independent. All of the staff are Vassar employees, including myself as Executive Director,” said Lichtenberg. “So, [President Catharine Bond Hill] charged a task force of alumnae to look at the structure of AAVC laid against the structure of the Development and College Relations offices.” This task force recommended moving ahead with the combination of offices. The independence of the alumnae/i body is now preserved in the Alumnae/i Board which communicates directly with Hill. “I think the fact that it is called the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development is an important statement that it all starts with good alumnae/i affairs and good relationships,” said Baer. Of all of the changes in the offices, Baer noted, “It’s still a work in progress. This year in particular is going to be an important year in the process,” said Baer. “We’re going to go public with our campaign in January to coincide with the Sesquicentennial of the College, so how do we combine those messages to our alumnae to both celebrate the College, the past and present, and look to the future with the campaign? That’s giving us some clear charges with how we are going to interact with our alumnae in the coming year as the new structure begins to settle.”
AUDIT continued from page 1 bers of the Audit Team and student facilitators. “In particular, I shared examples of cultural audits conducted elsewhere (some of which I was involved in), alerted Committee members to common issues related to campus inequities and students’ ways of thriving, suggested ways of gathering data from multiple student communities on campus, discussed ways of conducting effective focus groups, ran a training session for potential focus group facilitators, helped refine focus group questions, advised on ways to transcribe and code focus group results and responded to drafts of the Committee’s report,” wrote Chesler in an e-mailed statement. The methodology for Vassar’s audit included inviting the entire student body to take part in focus group conversations based on the question: “What would it take for you to thrive at Vassar?” Participants were asked to self-identify with different identity groups based on race, gender, socio-economic class, cultural identity and sexuality among others. Though the committee acknowledged that many people belonged to multiple groups, they assigned each participant to one focus group led by a student facilitator where they would discuss a set of broad questions. The questions were the same across the board. “Some of the people nominated originally were people who had already been student fellows or worked for CARES—some of the organizations that do close, non-judgmental listening,” said Associate Professor of Art and co-Chair of CIE Lisa Collins. “But then if they wanted to be the confidential hosts for this project, they had to attend a 6 hour training with [Chesler].” CIE’s Audit Team, the subcommittee overseeing the process, recorded all of the focus group conversations, which were later transcribed by an outside, professional transcription service. From these tapes and transcriptions the committee identified four main themes that carried through the different focus groups. The committee also held larger, more heterogeneous meetings within houses to introduce the idea of the audit and to take notes in a more diverse setting. Though these conversations were not transcribed, according to Collins, the feelings of students in these meetings did factor into the recommendations section of the audit. The four themes broadly identified from the focus group sessions are Inclusion, Dialogue, Governing and Governance and Success. Each thematic issue has a corresponding set of recommendations at the end of the document pos-
ited both by students in the focus groups and by members of CIE. “In the report we wanted both to give a little bit of the texture of the focus sessions, but we also wanted to give some concrete suggestions of places to work on,” said Collins. Recommendations from the report range from the specific, such as including a few new features in new student orientation, to the more nebulous, such as committing to creating new spaces for dialogue on campus. Though the suggestions are put forward by the committee, the descriptions of campus concerns were taken nearly verbatim from transcripts of focus group sessions. “When we express a concern we tried to use the language that students use, so it’s not our rephrasing or our take on the issues,” said Michael Mestitz ’12, a student representative to CIE. The language of the document is key to understanding where the ideas come from. For concerns that were common across identity groups, “some” or “many students” is used to refer to the groups that expressed the opinion, while the committee attributes a few concerns to specific focus groups. “I think one of the most interesting things to come out of the cultural audit was the consensus among students because often I think we tend to think of Vassar as really divided, but as we looked at the focus groups and then went to the dorms it became apparent that there were very similar concerns about campus life and culture,” said Mestitz. For Collins, the methodology was a significant part of obtaining the kind of results the College hopes to see from this audit. According to Collins, CIE looked at a number of audit models from other colleges like Carleton and Trinity College. “Some of the ones that we looked at were merely surveys,” said Collins, “but part of our project the method is part of the goal which is modeling close listening and really hearing what people have to say.” Now that the results have been compiled the CIE as well as the VSA and the Senior Officers of the College are contemplating the next steps to responding to the document. Vice President for Student Life Samin Shehab ’11, who also served as a student representative to CIE in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, said that his main priority now is to get the audit to students. The complete audit, broken into smaller sections, is available now on the VSA website. “I hope most of this rings familiar because this is from students,” he Shehab. “This is their lived in experience.”
Stimulus bill will fund an elevator, stairs to the bridge
Devin Leary/The Miscellany News
WALKWAY continued from page 1 Elevator cars will be able to accommodate a maximum of 25 passengers on each 2.5-minute one-way trip. While only one elevator car is currently planned, the space would be able to accommodate two more cars. Planners say that the installation of the elevator will serve to further integrate the Park with downtown Poughkeepsie and the waterfront by allowing visitors to more easily access one area from the other. “The glass elevator is going to be really good for bridge visitors who come in on the train,” agreed Joseph Hoffheimer ’11, who was an intern for the Walkway this past summer. He explained that currently, Walkway visitors who arrive by train might have difficulty finding the entrance to the bridge, which is located four blocks north from the train station. “[Train visitors] won’t have to rent a car or walk through an area that is not really connected [to the entrance,]” argues Hoffheimer in favor of the elevator. Planners also expect economic benefits to follow increased integration and accessibility, suggesting that the elevator would lead more visitors to restaurants and other businesses lining the streets of downtown Poughkeepsie. Economic growth is a goal of yet another proposed improvement to the area: a zoning revamp of the waterfront. The City of Poughkeepsie is considering a proposal that would create new waterfront zoning districts near the Walkway with the aim of making those areas, now largely occupied by industrial facilities, more
The Walkway Over the Hudson pedestrian bridge, pictured above, has attracted twice as many visitors as originally esitmated. The Walkway is hoping to rejuvenate the area by boosting local business. appealing to visitors. While current businesses would be allowed to stay in their present locations, the zoning ordinances would encourage the growth of more retail and recreational establishments in the area. The City of Poughkeepsie Common Council must approve the rezoning proposal in order for the changes to take effect. A public hearing
on the zoning revamp was held this past Monday, Sept. 13. The Common Council could vote on the proposal as soon as November. These proposed improvements to the Walkway come on the heels of a recently implemented change: Work began over the summer to integrate the Walkway with the Hudson Valley Rail Trail (HRVT), a 2.5 mile stretch of trails
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
leading from the Hamlet of Highland in Ulster County through New Paltz. “You’ll be able to bike from the Walkway all the way to New Paltz,” said Hoffheimer of the HRVT extension. The construction, currently slated to conclude in August, will add a 1.3-mile section to the HRVT. Since its grand opening in October of 2009, the Walkway has vastly exceeded expectations of the number of visitors and amount of money the bridge would bring to the area. Planners initially estimated that the bridge would have an annual usage rate of 267,700 visits per year. These visits were expected to “generate around $14.6 million in direct spending, which would in turn result in a total economic impact of $21 million in indirect annual spending in the regional and state economies,” according to the Walkway Over the Hudson’s website. Within that time, however, an estimated 660,000 people have visited the Walkway, a figure nearly 2.5 times that of the original estimate. One can infer that the Walkway’s economic impact on the surrounding area has thus been much greater than originally thought. Organizers hope that the impending changes will only further the bridge’s current success. “[The Walkway] is actually really, really unrealized,” said Hoffheimer. “Once you have the elevator at the train station things will probably change, though. You could make a decent trip out of going [to the Walkway] and one of the restaurants around there.”
September 16, 2010
Gays of Our Lives: harmful or helpful? Accidental ramblings in M Rhinebeck Jillian Scharr
Carrie Hojnicki Online Editor
Juliana Halpert/The Miscellany News
ost current Vassar students have attended “Gays of Our Lives,” and just as many Vassar students have a strong opinion about it. The purpose of the event has always been to call attention to the assumptions made about sexual orientation in a game-show-like format after which the audience attempts to guess the orientations of several student panelists, but even as it breaks down stereotypes its explicit, and, for some, uncomfortable nature has at times been called into question in relation to its place in Orientation. The event held this past Saturday was sponsored by the Queer Coalition of Vassar College (QCVC). “Up until three years ago, there was little contact, if any, with administrators with respect to how the program related to First Year and Orientation Week,” Associate Dean of Campus Life and diversity, Edward Pittman, wrote in an e-mailed statement. Assistant Director for Campus Life and LGBTQ Programs Steve LaVoie ’08, asserted that the event “has always had an oblique relationship to [New Student] Orientation,” In 2007, LaVoie’s predecessor Julie Silverstein was assigned the role of administrative liaison to QCVC to help plan Gays of Our Lives, “with the goal of supporting the event and exploring how its messages can coincide with goals of the Vassar First Year and Orientation,” Pittman wrote. Fall 2008 marked the first time that attendance was strongly encouraged for freshmen, who were to discuss it afterward among their fellow groups. This year, in order to avoid a scheduling conflict with ViCE and ensure high attendance, Gays of Our Lives was pushed to this past Saturday, explained QCVC co-President Brandon Greene ’13. Greene added that in future years the event will most likely continue to be a part of New Student Orientation. “Vassar is a campus known for its diversity regarding sexuality and sexual expression,” said LaVoie, “and so the purpose of [Gays of Our Lives] is to make that clear: that there’s all kinds of students and people that you’re going to encounter here, and you simply can’t read someone’s identity based on their gait or their affect or the way they style themselves. That really is the purpose of the event: to demonstrate that you could be the most ‘straightacting’ or ‘straight-looking’ person but that doesn’t mean anything about how you express yourself in terms of your gender or your particular sexual orientation. The event is about trying to get students to see beyond the surface value of one’s identity.”
Students participate in Queer Coalition of Vassar College’s event “Gays of Our Lives” on Saturday, Sept. 11. The event is meant to challenge common assumptions about sexual orientation. The often sexually explicit nature of the questions at Gays of Our Lives has always sparked controversy. In fact, one of the reasons it became an administration-sponsored event was that “there was a lot of criticism and people felt that there needed to be some administrative advising in terms of its direction,” said LaVoie. Because the audience has the freedom to ask anything, the questions—often sexually explicit and provocative—may offend some students. Last year, for example, someone asked a member of the panel for advice on how to get another individual’s consent for sex. “I think that it took everyone—it took the hosts of the show by surprise. They perhaps felt…that the question wasn’t relevant to the purpose of the event,” said LaVoie. “I don’t want to say it was handled badly, but rather it seemed like it wasn’t handled at all … It was felt that it wasn’t handled appropriately and students were concerned; they’d just the previous night had the ‘Can I Kiss You’ [Orientation] event and that’s all about consent, so they felt that coming into [Gays of Our Lives], the issue of consent is raised and then dismissed kind of flippantly.” In fact, nearly all of the criticism against Gays of Our Lives has to do with these provoc-
ative questions rather than its frank discussion of LGBTQ issues. Some argue that its sexual content, while entertaining, draws attention away from the event’s true purpose. “I think in general [Gays of Our Lives is] an important event and a good event, and I think maybe it’s better in theory than I’ve seen it turn out,” says co-President of Act Out Katie Atkins ’11. “I don’t know if it actually accomplishes its goals always of breaking down stereotypes, because pretty much all of the questions in the past two years have to do with sex: what’s your favorite sexual position, what’s your favorite this and that.” Atkins postulated that the event’s sexual content actually reinforces stereotypes, instead of breaking them down. “While it’s important to talk about sex…it can also reinforce other stereotypes about the hypersexuality of the gay community or things like that.” Act Out member Nathan Matthew Horton ’13 added in an e-mailed statement, “I perceive that [Gays of Our Lives] may impart a sexually negative (or hypersexual) view of the queer community. This is a bad message for our allies, and what’s worse is that it may perpetuate the mindsets [of others]” “I wish the event went a little beyond who See GAYS OF OUR LIVES on page 6
Freshman independence a virtue at colleges Daniel Gensberg
Assistant Features Editor
t’s Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. 9 a.m. You have just arrived with your parents at Vassar, eager to begin your first year and take hold of the many new and exciting opportunities that await you. Move-in, check. Room key, check. V-card, post office key, cheesy “Vassar Adventures for New Students” (VANS) assignment, check. All is well. Your parents accompany you each step of the way to make the transition as easy as possible. After attending several information sessions, meeting with your Student Fellow groups and learning your way around campus, 4 p.m. arrives. It is at this crucial hour, from 4 to 5 p.m., that the orientation schedule, in dark bold letters, clearly reads: “Family and Friends Farewell.” In a recent New York Times article titled “Students, Welcome to College; Parents, Go Home,” published Aug. 22, 2010 author Trip Gabriel delves into the new process utilized by many universities and colleges to encourage separation between students and their parents. Gabriel refers to several different institutions. Included is Grinnell College, which, for its orientation process, places students and parents in the gymnasium seated separately as the president delivers a speech welcoming the incoming class of 2014 with his back facing the parents. As shocking as the above initiative appears,
many colleges and universities have begun to promote students’ independence from their parents as soon as possible. Vassar, it seems, is no exception to the rule. Dean of Freshman Benjamin Lotto went into detail concerning the freshman orientation process as well as his own interpretation of its significance. While the College does hold an informational meeting from 1 to 2:30 p.m. for students and parents to relay any questions or concerns, at 3 p.m. “students and families split,” said Lotto. New students venture off to meet their Student Fellow groups, while parents head to the Vassar Chapel for President of the College Catharine Bond Hill’s welcome. According to Lotto, the president essentially encourages the parents to leave: “She explicitly tells them to turn off their cell phones, let your students take it from here. Your students are in good hands.” Lotto explains that students are extremely busy during orientation, whether it’s meeting with their pre-major advisor, attending faculty presentations, going on a tour of the library, signing up for classes, attending concerts or busying themselves with VANS: “It’s too busy for parents to hang around,” he said. The College does indeed promote this model of independence. The view of the College is that Vassar students are given this experience and held accountable for it. The vital message, according to Lotto? “Your student needs to
take ownership of their experience in order to fully engage, expand and enjoy Vassar.” In the 8.28.68 issue of The Miscellany News, a year filled with the promise of great change, former President of the College Alan Simpson addressed the freshman class of 1972 with the following words: “It is an exciting time in the history of Vassar College. In your four years here, you will see Vassar admit young men to its undergraduate programs…to enrich the intellectual atmosphere of the whole College. ”Dean of the Freshmen at the time, Glen Johnson, added “The cry for ‘student power’ is already widespread and will be increasingly heard at Vassar. It is symptomatic of a student generation which has seen more of life, tasted greater independence, fulfilled more responsibilities and achieved greater maturity.” In an age with increasing technology, where individuals are in constant communication with one another, whether through Skype, cell phones, or Skype on cell phones (the genius of the iPhone 4), one can argue that our generation of students is also at the brink of great change. In such a period, it can be difficult to maintain boundaries, privacy and space. Whether it’s fair to parents or not, Vassar, along with many other institutions, aims to make it easier for students to embrace college life.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
he Hudson Valley made national news several times this summer. Most notably for Chelsea Clinton’s Rhinebeck wedding, inarguably the “it” wedding of the summer, which has forever left the idyllic village of Rhinebeck a must-see locale in the scenic Hudson Valley. With the Clinton hysteria settled, the quaint village of Rhinebeck seemed like the perfect Saturday destination for a few Vassar kids looking for a taste of the finer life. As luck would have it, our little Rhinebeck romp fell on the same day as the Hudson Valley Food and Wine Festival, which takes place annually just outside Rhinebeck proper. For two pretentious foodies, it was as if our culinary prayers—our cravings for organic fancies and fine wines—had been answered. Unfortunately, the festival was far from the gourmet heaven we imagined. Problem number one: the $30 entrance fee. Sure, we had come expecting some sort of cost, but $30? And right off the bat? This was steep. “But we’re student reporters from Vassar’s newspaper, The Miscellany News. Is there a press special you might be able to hook us up with?” we haggled. “No,” said the man from within the ticket booth. “You can pay $15 and drink the water. But you don’t want to do that.” Puzzled, we forked over the cash, picked up our “free” tasting glasses and, with a spring in our collective step, headed toward the giant tents to let the gluttony begin. Problem number two: Gluttony was not possible, as there was no food. No food at a food festival, you might ask? Well, save for a few melted cheese samples and subpar bread chunks, there was nothing one might deem edible, let alone something to satisfy the sophisticated palate of two wannabe gourmands. Alas, we were left with wine. The tasting cups were sizable, and the wine was plentiful, so why not make the most of our $30? Traveling from vendor to vendor gulping down sip after sip of shamelessly sweet “novelty” wines and battling overweight middle-aged women to do so, we discovered problem number three: The wine was bad, really bad. So with a general air of disappointment, we and our two designated drivers headed a few miles south to find a real meal on Rhinebeck’s charming Main Street. After careful deliberation we landed at Terrapin, a Rhinebeck fixture and, the site of the Clinton rehearsal dinner. With the burn of the wasted $30 still fresh in our minds, we opted for the less expensive Bistro side of the restaurant. Thoroughly enticed by the “design your own sandwich” menu option, we made our picks. Mine, organic chicken breast topped with goat cheese and citrus aioli, and my companion’s, a duck confit piled atop a French baguette, with Brie cheese, caramelized onions and finished with a maple mustard. The food was serviceable, but hardly offered that head-over-heels, fireworks-onthe-tongue gourmet excellence we had come to expect from our culinary adventures. With full bellies we sauntered lazily through the streets of Rhinebeck, stopping to admire restaurants and shops we vowed we would try on our next adventure. We were even lured into a gallery opening at Wing and Clover Workshops with a free glass of white wine. (We’re cheap dates, what can we say?) The combination gift shop, gallery and art studio was darling; items of note included make-your-own nesting dolls and children’s art history books. We ended our ramble through Rhinebeck with a stop at the Beekman Arms, “America’s Oldest Inn,” to get a quick history fix before traveling back to our dear, dear Poughkeepsie. The more distance we placed between ourselves and that gem of a town just a ways north on Route 9, the more we wanted to return.
September 16, 2010
Wikipedia: College rankings inspire conversation home-grown information WIKIPEDIA continued from page 1 school’s page includes mostly standard fare: A quick glance of the page reveals that Vassar was founded in 1861 as a women’s college, our mascot is the Brewer and the campus is an arboretum. The page also discloses that our exact coordinates are 41°41′12.72″N 73°53′42.68″W, an important fact to know the next time you are lost in space. In the Overview section, one learns that the first faculty member was astronomer Maria Mitchell. The listed percentage of minority students—27 percent—is a bit lower than the 25-33 percent boasted on Vassar’s webpage, but aside from that the information is accurate. And, of course, notable alumnae/i—Meryl Streep ’71, Edna St. Vincent Millay ’17 and Justin Long ’00— are also included. The esteemed Miscellany News is mentioned, as well as the fact that “in 2008-09, it became one of the college newspapers in the country to begin updating its website daily.” This oddity is concluded with the hyperlink “citation needed,” the guillotine of all credibility to any Wikipedia fact. Facts that Wikipedia has been told came from reliable sources are cited at the bottom of the page; in this case, that “fact” could have been from anywhere. The rest of the page includes information one might find on Vassar’s own webpage. Great places on campus such as the Frances Lehman Loeb Arts Center, the Thompson Memorial Library and the two National Historic Landmarks (Main Building and the Maria Mitchell Observatory) even have their own pages on Wikipedia. The sections on athletics and extracurricular activities however are somewhat lacking: One might think that all the students can do is whistle and act; Philaletheis, AirCappella, The Miscellany News and Vassar College Entertainment (ViCE) are the only campus organizations represented on the page. Wikipedia while lightly informative fails to capture the living details that give Vassar its distinct flavor. The fact that Vassar has an open curriculum is mentioned, but the way that students use such a curriculum to pursue multiple interests among various departments is not. Other schools similar to Vassar have sections on their Wikipedia pages about their grand old traditions and athletic rivalries. Vassar’s page, however, is devoid of any mention of Serenading, Founder’s Day, or the guaranteed-to-be-fabulous, annual Flawless pageant. Furthermore, no attention is given to such beloved quirks as the rotund, furry “Wump-Wumps” that call the grounds of Vassar their home. The scenic Sunset Lake and the poetically-inspired Shakespeare Garden aren’t listed. And whatever happened to the Vassar Devil? If someone really wanted a list of Vassar’s past presidents, certainly Wikipedia would be helpful, but what if a prospective student only had Wikipedia to inform their college search? This cyber impression of Vassar may fail to offer a complete perspective of the College, let alone act as a substitute for first hand experiences or as an alternative to the sprawling online Vassar encyclopedia. According to Vice President for Communications Susan DeKrey, despite its professional vaneer and factual accuray, the Vassar College Wikipedia page is “not something that the College does, which is a mystery to me. I wish I knew who put it up there!” Dekrey, generally happy with the page’s presentation, admits to occasionally fact-checking its information, but denies any further involvement with its content. The only bit Dekrey takes issue with is the section in which vassar, along with other institutions, is described as a haven for the Protestant elite. “I guess it’s true to some extent,” she concedes, “but it’s not true enough. The college strove at the time to be non-sectarian.” After reading Vassar’s Wikipedia page, one is left with the vague image of intelligent, fairly diverse students who enjoy picturesque scenery. While this bland and ill-defined landscape is not necessarily a fallacy, it hardly presents the wellrounded, dynamic inhabitants of Vassar College with any distinguishing punch, or at least that is our assessment of the page as it stands at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15. By the time you read
RANKINGS continued from page 1 ing much mentioned schools like Vassar’s only option to respond and reflect on these supposedly objective observations. Of course, before the reactions of the student body can be fully appreciated, preliminary information concerning Vassar’s most thought-provoking rankings is necessary. This year, in addition to our ninth place position on Unigo’s Walk of Shame Hall of Fame, Vassar was ranked 23rd on Forbes’ overall list of Colleges and Universities combined, and 12th on the U.S. News & World Report list which ranks colleges and universities on separate scales. Among the Princeton Review categories that inspired the most discussion are our positions as third Least Religious, 20th Most LGBT Friendly, 10th for Strained Town Relations and 14th for Most Liberal. While some were delighted to see Vassar’s name come up so frequently, others were given pause by a few of the various titles attributed to our student body. Who better to reveal the validity, implications and impact of Vassar’s current rankings than the students themselves? Be they freshmen or seniors, Vassar students are rarely without an opinion, and when it comes to judgments being cast from beyond our walls onto the College’s hallowed halls, they are sure to speak their minds. Vassar enjoys an arguably cushy spot on both the Forbes and U.S. News & World Reports lists. While most students express a sense of pride in this demarcation of status and prestige, there are still those who are made uncomfortable by the reduction of the Vassar experience into a number. On the positive end of the spectrum, sentiments range from appreciation of a Vassar education and pride in being accepted into a selective institution, to a fiscally driven relief that a Vassar education is indeed money well spent. Lawrence Flicker ’13 beams, “I think it’s really cool to be at a school that’s ranked. It separates Vassar from the pack.” In the same vein, Noah Cogan ’13 expresses pride in the fact that his contribution to the school may have played a role in its high marks. “I’m definitely proud,” says Cogan, “I think that we deserve to be ranked highly because we have a lot of breadth of academic quality and are a deserving institution.” Harrison Freund ’12 looks at favorable rankings as a return on an investment noting, “We spend $52,000 a year and we make it on that list. I like that!” Under closer scrutiny, the initial surge of pride directed at a high ranking begins to transform into an inspection of the meaning of such a numerical value. Greg Shapiro ’12 almost immediately countered his friend’s enthusiastic reception of Vassar’s status by considering the affects of a college’s rank on
a the opinions of a prospective student, “The issue with these rankings is that they send a message to prospective students that the college process can be reduced to a numerical process. It’s more important to find a good fit than to attend a high-ranking school.” Sean Shoemaker ’12 in response to a peers desire to see Vassar’s rankings rise insists, “We don’t need to be first. It’s not the end game.” Furthermore, Flicker upon deeper thought revises his original endorsement in order to call the authority of the faceless ranking systems into question. “It’s hard to understand what Vassar is unless you’re a student here,” he decides, “In my mind, as cool as it is to be ranked, it isn’t necessarily representative of what Vassar is.” While there is a hesitancy to endorse the wholesale adoption of the Forbes and the U.S. News & World Report philosophies, true worry about the Vassar image only manifested when considering some of the Princeton Review’s more specific categories. With the mentality of “the Vassar bubble” well attested to, it did not come as a surprise to most students to discover how highly Vassar ranked in the category of Strained Town Relations from the Princeton Review. Emily Ludolph ’12, however, worries about the image that this presents of Vassar to both prospective students and the academic community at large. “It does make us sound pretty self-centered,” she notes disapprovingly, “and considering [events such as] Meet Me in Poughkeepsie, I think that’s outdated.” Greater questioning centered on what many consider to be a surprisingly low ranking in the category of LGBT friendliness. Vassar has retained a reputation as a “gay school” for nearly as long as it has been a coeducational institution. Regardless of the veracity of this distinction, Vassar students seem to be able to define themselves in just about anyway they see fit without fearing social repercussions, least of all harassment. In an effort to make sense of our position at the 20th spot Shoemaker considers Vassar’s queer community. After joking that “the gays here aren’t very nice to each other,” Shoemaker comes to the realization that there may be no “queer community” at Vassar at all, which he regards as a sign of our LGBT friendliness. “Larger schools can rank higher because their queer students feel a greater need to band together, but here we’re fully integrated and queer students are not as active [in that respect].” In regards to the allegation that our leftleaning campus might lean enough to warrant the 14th spot in the category of Most Liberal Students, Vassar students were quick to display their disbelief and frustrations concerning this somewhat unsurprising distinction. “Being liberal isn’t something you can reduce
to a number!” shouts an indignant Madeline Zappala ’12. While her sentiment was echoed across her table at the All-Campus Dining Center, Vice President in Charge of Campus Activities for the Vassar Democrats Tess Dernbauch ’12 challenges the use and validity of rankings when they don’t necessarily apply to any specific action on campus. “While I think most Vassar students would describe themselves as liberal,” offers Dernbauch, “I wish that translated into more activity!” Shockingly, the most contention over any one of the Princeton Review’s ranking categories revolved around that which crowned Vassar College the third least religious college in the nation. While students seemed on the whole willing to take other areas of judgment with a grain of salt and a dose of good humor, they drew the line when it came to the implications that accompany our status as a godless wasteland. Perhaps it is due to just how highly we placed in this category, but Vassar students were simply not okay with the idea that individuals could feel marginalized and ultimately dissuaded from applying for fear of their right to religious tolerance. “I don’t want people to have the perception that we wouldn’t accept people who are devout,” attests Max Ernst ’11. He continues, “Don’t you think that being high on the least religious list implies that we don’t accept that sort of diversity?” Ernst’s fears are echoed and amplified by Melanie Horn ’13 who adds, “I think it’s an unfair representation of the religious services we have at this school,” and Jennifer Ruther ’13 who protests, “It’s not as if we’re against religion.” Ruther concedes, “Maybe this stems from the school as an institution trying to distance itself from any specific view.” Regardless of the reason behind the ranking, nearly all students felt that such a ranking could have nothing but negative effects on the perceived quality of the College. In consideration of the impact and implications of the scores that Vassar receives each year, it may be best to consult the insight of a member of the Class of 2014, who so early in the year may find their identity in a position of flux. Not quite yet a full-fledged Vassar student, wizened and jaded by the trappings of a typical semester, yet no longer the prospective student who may have had little more than a copy of the Princeton Review to guide their college search. Upon reflecting on the various rankings Vassar earned, achieved, was saddled with or otherwise, Charlotte Candau ’14 presents a balanced and somewhat conclusive opinion. Candau with careful words and thoughtful measure finds truth in all of Vassar’s rankings, but denies that this year’s scores taken as a whole paint an accurate picture of Vassar circa 2010. “Every student isn’t a combination of all of those things,” she says.
Queer campus split over ‘Gays of our Lives’ GAYS OF OUR LIVES continued from page 5 you’re in bed with and what you’re doing with them because [sexual orientation] is a lot more than that,” Atkins told The Miscellany News. LaVoie defended the event’s sexual content, saying that the inclusion of sex as well as sexual orientation in Gays of Our Lives creates a better representation of Vassar culture. “[Gays of Our Lives] should appropriately reflect what student culture broadly—and it’s different for everybody—but broadly is like at Vassar… sexuality is very much a part of life at Vassar in some way or another and to downplay that— it’s important that we don’t exacerbate it and have the sexual content overpower the other messages we’re trying to convey, but [it’s important that the event] does adequately represent the dimensions of student life at Vassar.” Perhaps, then, the event’s balance between sexuality and sexual orientation needs to be readjusted. Said Atkins, “my freshman year, there were definitely sexual questions, and that’s fine; that’s part of [the event], but there were also questions like ‘Do you own a Britney Spears CD?’ or ‘What kind of music do you like?’ ‘What kind of stores do you shop at?’ These are big stereotypes for the LGBTQ community that would give people an idea of what [panel-
ists’] sexual orientation is—or what people think their sexual orientation is. People think ‘okay, well, that boy has a Britney Spears CD, maybe that means he’s gay,’ and then you find out, ‘Oh, wait, he’s straight’; there’s a stereotype that’s possibly broken down.” Some issues surrounding the event still remain unaddressed: how can Gays of Our Lives represent Vassar culture “broadly,” as LaVoie says, when the College is known for its nuanced social scene and quirky students? Another frequent concern of the event is that panelists reflect the more sexually active facet of Vassar life without regard to those who choose to obstain from the so-called “hook-up culture”. Greene, however, defended the event, saying that “all aspects of our Vassar community are represented in the panel. We all merge and meld and this is what you need to expect from Vassar” He did, however, add that “it’s not necessarily that we’re excluding those who would prefer to wait, because we do hold open auditions for our [panelists], so it depends on who shows up to the meeting.” Gays of Our Lives, he said, is not the proper place to discuss these issues. “How would one represent that outside of a smaller setting, such as QCVC, Transmission, or Act Out meetings, or RSL groups?” Both Greene and LaVoie feel that both sex
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
and sexual orientation are important facets of the event. “I think what’s important is to have a good balance [between LGBTQ and sex issues],” said LaVoie. “Should the College think about creating an Orientation event proper that is similar to something like Can I Kiss You or Altered States that deals with issues of gender or sexual identity in a very special administrative kind of way?” he postulated. “That’s something that the orientation committee will want to talk about.” Then again, perhaps Gays of Our Lives is just right the way it is, as at this year’s event the questions ranged from “What’s your favorite dance move?” to “What’s your favorite sexual position?” At the end of the event, when it came time to guess the panelists’ orientation, one freshman told a panelist—on the cusp of revealing himself to be gay—that “you look like you’re trying too hard to be straight.” The panelist responded, “This is actually how I dress, so I accept your apology.” “[Gays of Our Lives] is definitely not straightforward but it gets a message across,” Greene told The Miscellany News, reflecting on this year’s event. “I feel like it does what it sets out to do.”
September 16, 2010
Tempting tenderloin the new face of dorm dining Stephen Platz
Juliana Halpert/The Miscellany News
n the coming year, there may be times when the thought of another dinner at the AllCampus Dining Center (ACDC) will turn your stomach, everything at the Retreat will seem offensively salty, and Bacio’s will just taste like Bacio’s. Unfortunately, it just so happens that, these events are as likely to occur simultaneously as individually. In spite of this, you will go to ACDC, or the Retreat or splurge a little on a meal out, and you will grumble and pick at the food, and it will leave you satiated but not satisfied because, whether through habituation or some kind of free will, your taste buds will no longer function as they should. It is for these days that this column is written—for those times when the myriad options provided by the dining service seem like no option at all. When, in order to get a satisfying meal, you have to brave the dorm kitchens, and do it yourself. There are, of course, reasons why very few use these spaces with any sort of regularity: in many of the kitchens, utensils are scarce, appliances are faulty and the conditions are, to be frank, unacceptable. However, if you take the time to understand the limitations of your workspace, and if you devote yourself to learning how to best utilize what is provided, you will eventually reach a point when these things are no longer hassles that must be accommodated for, but an intuitive part of the cooking process. You may even find that the challenge of limited resources adds to the satisfaction achieved through the enjoyment of a homecooked meal. The recipes featured in this column provide helpful tips to avoid any obstacles one might face while cooking on campus. These recipes will limit active cooking time and utensils needed and will approach the process with creativity to unleash your culinary MacGyver, Dorm cooking is inarguably an adventure, so roll up your sleeves and dive in! Brined Pork Tenderloin with Brussels Sprout Slaw and Polenta Prepared in Davison Kitchen: Recipes adapted from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller and Alton Brown In this column, all components of a dish are written as a single recipe so as to give the reader an idea about how to cook all the components in the least amount of time and using as few utensils as possible. For this recipe you will need a large frying pan, a small saucepan and a baking sheet. You will also need cup and tablespoon measures, a stirring utensil, and a kitchen knife. There were no baking sheets, stirring utensils, or kitchen knives available in the Davison kitchen. These utensils were borrowed from Raymond.
Pork Tenderloin with Polenta and Brussels Sprout Slaw Pork Brine »» 1/2 cup kosher salt »» 3 tablespoons brown sugar »» 4 garlic cloves »» 8 sprigs thyme (optional) »» 8 sprigs parsley (optional) »» 2 cups boiling water »» 3 cups ice Polenta »» 2 cups vegetable broth »» 2 cloves garlic minced »» 1 cup polenta »» 2 tablespoons butter »» 1 cup heavy cream Pork Tenderloin »» 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound) »» olive oil »» salt »» pepper »» 1 clove garlic Brussels Sprout Slaw »» 1/2 lb brussels sprouts »» 1.5 oz. pecans »» 2 oz. cranberries
1. To make the brine, put the salt, brown sugar, garlic cloves, and any herbs you may have on hand in a small sauce pan. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar before adding the ice. 2. Pour brine into a sealable plastic bag and add the pork. Let sit in the refrigerator for two hours. 3. Rinse the saucepan. Just before removing the pork from the brine, add the vegetable stock and garlic cloves to the sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and pour in the polenta. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pork from the brine and wash under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Trim off any silver skin or excess fat, and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a large frying pan over medium high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork and let it sear for five minutes. Turn the pork and add the butter and garlic to the pan. Sear on the opposite side
for an additional five minutes. 5. Transfer the tenderloin to the baking sheet and let roast for 25 minutes. Reserve two tablespoons of the fat from the frying pan. 6. While the pork is in the oven, add the cream and butter to the polenta, and stir to combine. Season to taste, and keep warm over very low heat. 7. Wash the brussels sprouts removing any wilted or yellowing outer leaves. Trim off the root ends and cut in half lengthwise. Lay the cut sides down and slice radially. Toast the pecans in the frying pan with the reserved oil over medium heat. Remove from heat. 8. Remove the tenderloin from the oven and transfer to a plate to sit for 15 minutes. While the meat is resting, add the brussels sprouts to the frying pan and cook stirring occasionally until it is nicely browned. 9. Add the dried cranberries and season to taste. To serve, add additional cream or water if the polenta has become too dry. Make a bed of polenta and top with the brussels sprout slaw. Slice the tenderloin on the bias and arrange over the brussels sprouts.
Students get schooled at ACDC stir-fry demonstration Vee Benard
Kathleen Mehocic/The Miscellany News
f Vassar College’s three on-campus dining locations, the All-Campus Dining Center (ACDC) is without question receives the most traffic. Students are able to choose from a variety of foods, from pastries to tacos to the occasional midnight breakfast, with a simple swipe of their VCard. What students may not know, however, is that their meal options can be expanded beyond the pre-made daily specials by hunting out ingredients and concocting their own food creations at the stir-fry station, located on the left wing of ACDC. It is exactly this concern which Antony Kim, brother of Professor of English Dorothy Kim, addressed last Wednesday at a live stirfry demonstration at ACDC. Kim, for whom cooking has been a lifelong passion, attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA, while simultaneously completing Engineering school, effectively getting “the best of both worlds.” After graduating college, Kim kept up with the culinary world specializing in baking professional wedding cakes and pastries. Today, cooking is more of a hobby for Kim, but perhaps that is what makes him the perfect authority on how to make a tasty and satisfying meal with little hassle or time commitment. At 5 p.m. last Wednesday, Sept. 8 a cluster of students huddled around Kim and his sister
as they whipped up several dishes that could have easily been mistaken for restaurant entrees. Kim advised students to think big and not limit themselves to standard recipes, encouraging the attendees to be as creative as possible when making their meals. “Be imaginative and explore food pairings,” Kim urged, “apples and cheese, red onions and honey— these are all things available in this building.” Kim also discussed the importance of proper food preparation—he and his sister explained that the best way to properly steam ingredients without ruining them (and filling the cafeteria with smoke) is to heat the pan with oil to a high temperature, and then throw the food in for a short period of time. “This is not a steam room,” Kim joked, “if your ingredients go black and start to burn, that is usually a bad thing.” Of the original culinary creations Kim concocted during the demonstration, his mushroom pasta was arguably the most enthusiastically received. Using the mushrooms and the pre-cooked pasta from the stir-fry station as his two base ingredients, Kim prepped his pan with butter from the bagel station, added a splash of canola oil, and finished with a creamy sauce using a cup of milk he brought over in a coffee cup from the beverage counter. The last piece of advice Kim gave was to never overload the pan, but, rather, to cook systematically, preparing ingredients one after the other instead of all at once.
The stir-fry station, pictured above, is a popular way to have do-it-yourself dinners without doit-yourself dishes. Antony Kim gave a stir-fry demonstration to students on Wednsday, Sept. 8. “The pans we have here are not accommodated to do lots of food at once,” Kim explained, “look at your ingredients, and see what cooks the fastest, what stays warm the longest, and go from there.” When asked for a meal suggestion for the pressed for time Vassar student who might be swinging through ACDC between classes, Kim recommended finding ingredients that are either pre-cooked or can be eaten raw, which will cut down on heating time.
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“It depends on your preference,” Kim said, “but I would find things that take as little preparation as possible if you’re in a rush. For instance, I would do tofu, maybe some brown rice and snow peas, add in some garlic and heat it up. These are all ingredients that can be eaten raw, so if you throw them in the pan and warm them up, you will get a fast but satisfying meal.” If you value flavor over temporal frugality you will be sure not to pass the stir-fry station by. ACDC never tasted so good.
Crew club spirited in
face of cuts Janet Mathes
here are times in our lives when words just don’t seem to be able to capture the emotions we feel. I am not a literary master, nor am I one of the beautifully diverse and extraordinarily impressive students I have been fortunate enough to meet at Vassar. I am, however, a coach. I have had the incredible fortune to work with the rowing team here at Vassar. I came in relatively inexperienced and at a trying time in the team’s history: This year, due to financial constraints and other factors, the crew team relinquished its Division III status and became a club team. We had explored and exhausted every route, but the decision was made and we had to adjust. In addition to the agreed upon sacrifices that the team had to make there were some unforeseen circumstances in the team’s future. With unfortunate timing, our previous head coach decided not to continue with the program this year. Understandably, the team was caught off guard. I had been in this place before, during my collegiate rowing years. Like Vassar, our team was stronger than ever, having just come off of one of its most successful seasons, but our coach had decided to pursue a head coaching position with another program. First, there’s the shock, then there’s the panic, next comes anger and resentment and, finally, acceptance. The feeling of insecurity with the whole situation can be completely overwhelming. Eventually, though, you realize that you just have to move forward. Continually, I had been feeling moments of admiration for the team, but the clarity of the emotion did not strike me with full force until recently. To some the following story may seem anticlimactic but to me it was the cement, the tipping point in the series of events that has led me to feel more pride than I have ever felt in my entire existence. On a Saturday night, without my requesting it, the team cleaned the erg, or rowing machine room. This is usually the point where my friends taunt mockingly, “and then I found a dollar.” After all that has happened and all the obstacles that they have faced, the team took ownership of the situation and started afresh. In scrubbing the floors, arranging the shelves and repositioning the ergs they decided that they would persevere. I walked one step through the doors and was overwhelmed with an immense love for this team and pride in their character. The erg room was cleaner than I have ever seen it. The motivational signs I had posted my first semester of coaching here hung solidly on the walls, the smiling faces of past champions lined the windows, and front and center was a sign that read, “Save Vassar Rowing.” I repeatedly find myself saying that this is the most committed team that I have ever been a part of, and there’s a reason for that. This team never ceases to amaze me. When they could have taken the easy way out and let the program disintegrate, they didn’t … they fought. They will not simply survive, they will thrive, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store. On behalf of the team I would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all of you who in some way, big or small, have contributed in allowing us to succeed. Finally, to the team, I am so honored to be your coach, a heartfelt thank you. On the evening of Sept. 13, the members of Vassar’s crew team were ecstatic to find out that the candidate for the head coaching position has accepted our offer! The team is prepared to put forth a successful season under the guidance of the newly appointed Head Coach Stephanie Ricker and Assistant Coach Janet Mathes. The team is preparing for a set of four races this fall season: Head of the Mohawk, Head of the Housatonic, Head of the Charles and Head of the Fish. They expect to put forward a number of competitive boats. With all of the positive changes taking place the team is anxious to see what the future has in store and would like to again offer their gratitude for all of the support from the community here at Vassar and beyond!
September 16, 2010
“Navigating Vassar” now much easier John Joyce
hough much of the campus community was not aware of it, a group of Vassar students produced a document this past spring and summer titled “Navigating Vassar.” Intended to introduce the campus to the many materials and resources that the College has to offer, the document represents a creative, student-led initiative which is part of the College’s increase in support and resources for its student body. In May 2007, several Vassar students organized the Class Issues Alliance (CIA) as a way for first-generation, low income and working-class students to come together to talk about the issues they faced at Vassar. Now known as the Vassar Association of Class Activists (VACA), the organization also provides a space for socio-economic issues to be more broadly discussed. Part of the then-CIA’s efforts at expanding conversations about socio-economic issues on campus was the First Annual Northeast Class Issues Conference, hosted at Vassar in the spring of 2008. The conversations that came out of this conference led a number of Vassar students to think more creatively about the resources available for all students here, and more importantly, how to access them. These students knew that Vassar offered a broad array of resources but they also knew that many students were unaware of how to access them. So these students, taking matters into their own hands, conceived of “Navigating Vassar,” a document that would provide a solid introduction to the financial and non-financial resources of the College. With funds from President of the College Catharine Bond Hill’s office, two students conducted research during the summer of 2008. The document was revived during the 2009-2010 academic year, and further re-
search and editing was conducted throughout the spring and summer of 2010. I’m pleased to inform the student body that the first edition of the document was completed at the end of this summer, and printed copies have been made available to all incoming students. Furthermore, an electronic version of the document is being made available to the remainder of the student body and campus community. Though “Navigating Vassar” was initially conceived as a resource by and for working class and first-generation college students, it has become clear over the past two years that the entire campus community—students, faculty, staff and administration— can benefit from a more centrally-located index of the College’s resources. While the document is incomplete and will certainly grow over time as information, needs and supports change, in its current form it can begin to assist those seeking an introductory guide to the financial and non-financial resources of the College. The creation of the document has been student-led from the beginning, and the support identified in “Navigating Vassar” is that which students have found particularly helpful during their time here. But we are not focused on “resources” in a limited sense. Instead, resources are part of several key themes explored in the document. One key area of focus is, of course, the financing of one’s Vassar education, including information about financial aid, student employment, and the many funds, fellowships, and grants that students have access to. A second area is the large number of free or low-cost resources—places, events, and activities—already available to students. The final area of importance is academic advancement, especially the importance of getting to know the campus, profes-
sors, administrators, and other staff here on our campus and what they have to offer, as well as having the confidence to ask around about the many resources not included in “Navigating Vassar.” It is this last area of focus that is perhaps most important and illustrates the commitment of the authors of “Navigating Vassar.” Many of the financial and non-financial materials outlined in the document existed long before “Navigating Vassar” was conceived, and the number of grants, funds and fellowships allocated to the College’s financial aid budget continue to grow each year. These are perhaps the more noticeable resources, although one might have to specifically look for them to find them. But what is important for many students—myself included—is having the support of students, faculty, staff, and administration in accessing these opportunities. What we’ve tried to do in “Navigating Vassar” is highlight the availability, support and helpfulness of the many offices and individuals around campus in taking advantage of what they and the College have to offer. Having spent this past summer and semester working on draft after draft of “Navigating Vassar,” it is my hope that the document will become a permanent fixture of Vassar students’ reference materials. Though the document will inevitably grow and change over time, our current copy should prove useful for many members of the campus community. “Navigating Vassar” also speaks to something else. It was the product of a group of students who recognized that something was missing, conjured up a plan to deal with the issues and then implemented the plan. Vassar students are often stereotyped as apathetic people but “Navigating Vassar” shows that occasionally we dispel those stereotypes.
Libertarians have strange idea of LoV Steve Keller
ast week, I read an article in which Paul Weinger ’13 (“Libertarianism Supports Free Choice,” 09.08.10) sought to introduce libertarianism to campus as an ideology that recognizes and celebrates freedom. Weigner is forming a group on campus called Libertarians of Vassar (LoV), a group he calls a haven for libertarian thought. As vice president of the Moderate Independent Conservative Alliance (MICA) this semester, I can say our mission of “expanding the breadth of Vassar’s political discourse” is similar to his, so I commend him and wish him success. However, I want to continue this article by shedding my MICA hat. The following views are not endorsed by MICA, but are rather my own personal reflections on his article. I felt his description of libertarianism was not entirely forthcoming and obscures the true nature of the ideology; he puts it in a Vassar-friendly, socially liberal packaging with scant reference to the economic and political philosophies of libertarianism. True, libertarianism is about freedom. Why should the government tell me who can marry? Why should the government tell me what I can do with my body? These are questions that I ask as a social liberal, and I think that Weinger and I would very much agree: We should shed nearly all government intervention in our personal lives. But libertarianism isn’t just about social freedoms. Libertarians take these notions of liberty, radicalize them and place them in the economic sector. Yes, I believe in capitalism, and most people do as well. We all celebrate entrepreneurism and following your dreams in a free society. After having grown up in Germany, my grandparents came to this country seeking opportunity. They opened a delicatessen and for 25 years earned their livelihood to pass on to my parents and me. Their hard work is what led me to the life I lead right now, and I thank them.
This is why capitalism is good. But it is not perfect. A free market requires a government to remain free from monopolies, hedge funds, predatory lending, speculation, outsourcing and stockpiling of money in offshore bank accounts. These are among the maladies that unrestricted capitalism has given this country. They lead to inefficiency, inequality and can threaten the entire economy, as the recent financial crisis has shown us. I think that most Vassar students would recognize those things as problems with laissez-faire economics. The dirty little secret about libertarianism, though, is they do not believe this inequality to be a bad thing—or at least not bad enough for us to raise a finger to correct it. I believe that communism is an inherently and fatally flawed ideology and economic system—thus it is not the remedy to inequality. But I see statistics that show that 83 percent of U.S. stocks are in the hands of one percent of the people, and I wonder if that’s a good thing. I see that in the last 15 years, one percent of households has doubled its share of corporate wealth, while the rest of our incomes have declined. The problem is that libertarianism’s strict worship of uncompromising liberty does not give even a minimal safety net for those who happen to be left behind. Libertarians want to rely on charity alone to cure these ills, but if charity is not available, that’s just too bad. You lose. That’s the game and there are no rules. This extrapolation of freedom to its illogical extreme brings us to a dark place. Libertarians believe that it is a lesser crime for a poor, sick person die for want of medical care than to violate some vague notion of personal freedom. That’s because libertarianism is socioeconomic Darwinism incarnate. Those who come up with great ideas are rewarded. But what of those of us who are not entrepreneurs? What of those of us who can’t afford Ray-Ban sunglasses? What of those
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of us whose parents did not work hard? What of those of us who are trapped in a lower socioeconomic class because of bad luck? Too bad—you get no help. That’s because in a libertarian world, taxation is theft. Thus, social programs—Social Security, Medicare, and even food stamps—are extortion. And how about public schools? How about meat inspection? How about federal emergency relief for New Orleans? They chose to live below sea level. Why should I pay money for their mistakes? What separates our species from a gang of Neanderthals running around with clubs, hitting each other across the head and calling it competition, is the fact that we can come together and decide to shape our world in the way we choose. We’re not beholden to the will of the largest, the physically strongest, or he who has accumulated the most wealth through a mixture of skill and luck. Though this simplistic ideal of people coming together is not always actualized, this is government. It’s clear that libertarianism is not common sense respect for the free market. Libertarianism is, at its best, a lazy a lack of ideas, and at its worst, a blatant refusal to govern. I bash modern conservativism a lot, but that’s only because it has become corrupted by what should be separate ideologies. Libertarianism is the idea that we should not debate on how to govern, but whether to govern at all, at least, on the domestic front. Liberalism and conservativism have their differences, but at least both should seek good governance rather than a lack of domestic public policy and programs at all. “We do not believe you need to be forced to help others,” Weinger writes. The problem is that sometimes, you do. Sometimes people are greedy. Sometimes people are lazy, or make unfortunate choices. And as the annals of history all-too-often demonstrate, power corrupts. Is our capitalist society exempt from human nature?
September 16, 2010
What is diversity?: More Liberal Arts degree has than just tired stereotypes surprising career options Shruti Manian
tatistics have shown that Vassarâ€™s Class of 2014 is one of the most diverse classes in the Collegeâ€™s history. With around 10 percent international students from across 29 countries, this class promises to be an exciting melting pot of cultures. As an international student myself, I was very excited at the prospect of â€œdiversity.â€? Yet when I came to Vassar for International Orientation, I couldnâ€™t for the world of me fathom what all the hoopla about diversity was. Sure I met people from every imaginable countryâ€” England, France, China, Honduras, Switzerland, and so many others. Yes their names were hard to pronounce (including my own), and they had accents. But we all seemed pretty similar. We wore the same brands, listened to the same music, watched the same television shows. At first this suited everyone just fine. It is obviously always easier to make friends with people who have similar tastes and with whom you have a lot of common ground to cover. Hours of talking about Gossip Girl and Coldplay and making my first bunch of friends at Vassar later, I began to wonder at the lack of the much hyped â€œdiversity.â€? There had been no gizmo wielding Japanese, no Germans with bottles of beer, no Russians guzzling vodka. And no, in India I never rode an elephant, nor has my Jordanian roommate ever ridden a camel. Pretty much all my romanticized ideas of international diversity were quashed and I simply put it down to being one of those overly-hyped ideas that colleges like to advertise. Throughout the machinations of International Orientation, where they had so painstakingly devised activities that would â€œhighlight our differences,â€? we had a good laugh about how pointless these activities were because all of us seemed so very similar. Of course orientation was all forgotten when classes began. In classes for the very first time in two weeks I began to engage with my classmates on a deeper level. In classes like politics, history
and international relations, discussions about current political, social and economic topics are of course inevitable. This was an eye-opening experience for me: It was the first time Iâ€™d spoken to a Muslim who thought that building Park 51â€”a Sufi Muslimâ€“affiliated community centerâ€” at Ground Zero was not disrespectful to the victims, but would rather put a stop to the further isolation of Muslims and help integrate them into the community. It was the first time I had ever heard the argument put this way. I went to a South Asian Student Association meeting, where I was asked if I would like to be a part of a program that helped villages in Pakistan. As an Indian, this was the first time I ever thought of Pakistan as anything more than a hostile neighbor. All of this made me wonder what diversity actually meant. I realized that what I had been thinking of was not diversity. I had been expecting stereotypes. The differences do not lie in superficial things that manifest themselves in physical appearances, like clothing or language. The diversity lies in our perspectives, the way we look at the world and understand it. And based on this definition, of course Vassar is diverse! What it does not have is stereotypes, which was what I had unfortunately been looking for. To use a clichĂŠ, yes, the world is becoming a smaller place everyday and pop culture breaks all barriers, making us a community of people who are not joined together by nationality, language, or thought, but rather by media. But what is amazing is that â€œdiversityâ€? still comes across. What diversity brings to a college is that it opens up each of our minds to newer possibilities and makes us realize the limitations of our perspectives. In my case it got rid of my oversimplified notions of diversity and showed me how diversity could be retained despite uniformity. On the face of it, maintaining and understanding diversity can be conflicting to integrating the world community. But if we look deeper, we realize the two are in fact inseparable and go together. The more we open our minds to diverse outlooks, the more we understand them and the easier it is to respect them.
any Vassar students find themselves faced with a difficult decision as their studies at Vassar draw to a close: Should I pursue a career or graduate school? At the core of this question is also, â€œWhat can I do with a liberal arts degree?â€? Oftentimes, Vassar students find themselves hopping between jobs, traveling and looking at different paths before finding meaningful work. That isnâ€™t how it has to be, though. Perhaps if one were to consider thinking about careers earlier, then the number of poorly-compensated work years could be reduced, which would lead to a more fulfilling career and the potential for early retirement. This way, you could have plenty of time to travel later on in your life, as well as enjoy your youth doing satisfying work. Furthermore, job stability is very desirable in this current economy, and business-related careers can provide such constancy. The Vassar Business Club (VBC) is making efforts to make this type of planning possible for a variety of fields. One of the beauties of a liberal arts degree, and especially one from Vassar, is that you can study your interests very meaningfully; however, many students who do not major in fields typically thought of as leading to business careers do not consider the possibility that they can also find employment within the business world. Fields such as marketing, consulting, banking and even the music industry are very realistic paths for Vassar students, and can allow one to utilize distinctive studies in a professional context. In fact, one Vassar alumni works at EMI, which manages Katy Perry and other musicians. Perhaps, however, you are interested in languages; many wealth management firms offer rotational jobs and internships where students are required to be fluent in at least three languages. They are then placed in different offices worldwide based on language preference. Alternatively, one
could help a non-profit or community organization improve its outreach through consulting techniques and frameworks. Both of these professions are in demand, and a student with a liberal arts degree and those impressive skills can thus pursue a very fruitful career. Given the current job market and economy, it is important to keep an open mind; students can no longer apply to only a few positions and hope for the best. Considering that Vassar students are bright, thoughtful and active people, standard â€œmanagementâ€? work will probably not excite us; some of the most unique careers can be found if one looks to careers in business. In fact, there are many panels and career fairsâ€”some of which are sponsored by the VBCâ€”where companies are looking for students with varied interests such as those most Vassar students possess. Business is not all about investment and the stock market, though these are important aspects of the field. Rather, there are many vocations under the broader field of business; whether you want to help make the world a better place, travel and speak foreign languages or use your love of music to help promote great talent, learning about business can help you pursue your interests in a way that wonâ€™t lead you on a typical, tired path. Instead of wondering what to do with your life post-graduation, learning about business can help you to venture into the future with confidence. So, donâ€™t be left wondering at your senior year Founderâ€™s Day, â€œWhat am I going to do next?â€? Learn about all your options and get started on a fulfilling career. â€”Lingyun Hu â€™11, Alumni Liasion of the Vassar Business Club; Kelly Shortridge â€™12, Publicity Chair of the Vassar Business Club. The Vassar Business Club meets Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in College Center 204.
Unexpected lessons from freshman year at Vassar Sharon Onga
learned quite a few things my first year in college. I learned to prize roundabouts over street lights for their elite aesthetic and New England simplicity by internalizing what seemed to be the accepted collegiate approach to problem solving: replace pragmatism with idealism and hope everything else falls in place. I learned to question my views on bi-sexuality as more than just the byproduct of a culture of opportunity, and homosexuality not as a deviation caused by unrealistic standards of masculinity but as legitimate variations of sexuality. Of course non-heterosexual orientations were stifled by cultural bigotry but their existence was not a corollary. I learned that Vassar was a place where I could hide from my problems, submerge myself into a selfish and indulgent routine and be shielded from my responsibilities to my community. Everything I did was an extracurricular, not a social responsibility, and that was okay. How my participation in the Vassar Haiti Project last year became an option and not a
must, still shocks me. I learned to understand my relationships outside of Vassarâ€”including the ALANA Center and LGBTQ Centerâ€”as support systems constituted by individuals I could relate to and depend on. My other relationships at Vassar were a coping mechanism, an attempt to consciously dichotomize my interactions at Vassar for the sake of diversity. I learned that when it came to social justice, the solution would forever be ambiguous and the results would always be circumstantial. I once saw the Vassar Student Association (VSA) as a potential facilitator of campus social harmony. As I try to predict how our student government will handle the challenges to come, I reflexively contemplate their future actions as nothing short of reinforcing the status quo and upholding disjunctive standards of operations: majority rule. With power comes a high degree of immunity to the repercussions of mismanagement. Since the groups with hegemonic hold are not interested in dismantling the social constructs that perpetuate the systematic and institutional oppression of minority groups; the realist in me wants to say: â€œDear
VSA, I hope your motives are more about being part of the solution than simply getting ahead.â€? I learned that it is subconsciously believed that minority rights will bring dystopia, thus responsibility, thus oversight to majority interaction. I think W.E.B. Du Bois said it best when he wrote â€œThey [minorities] have simply to be unrepresented in Congress or to be perpetually represented by their active and militant enemies.â€? From this, I now see that the root of the majorityâ€™s paranoia comes from disbelieving that minority intentions are deliberately in their best interest. In this way, the path of least resistance means being sensible when standing in opposition and ritually escrowing in whiteness my vision of the ideal solution. Iâ€™d like to say I learned a bit more in college than my transcript accounts for. For example, I learned to be a passive activist; I learned how to spit â€œmad theoryâ€? in the classroom but take the Vassar shuttle instead of the Poughkeepsie City Bus to the Family Partnership Center. I learned to rationalize and subconsciously practice â€œsocio-economic profiling,â€? because there is no way the butt-grabber could have preferred Sperryâ€™s over Jordans or a fedora over a fitted.
I learned that any and every decision, interaction, belief or circumstance necessitated dualism. When dealing with controversy, disproportionally focusing on intent and impact somehow disenfranchised offenders and victims equally. I learned that no matter how incongruous, the plight of the individual was in perfect harmony with the needs of the community, and that the well being of the individual guaranteed the survival of the community. (How? TBA after sophomore year. ) I came here hoping to one day walk, talk, think, breathe, sleep and eat like the uppermiddle class American. Not only was this a possibility at Vassar, but I also learned that Vassar was perfectly capable of socializing me in the attitudes of entitlement. So last but not least, I learned that until I am fully white washed, I need to warn the people around me of my belligerent tendencies so they donâ€™t feel attacked when I do decide to look a bit closer at the dynamics of social interactions on campus, and toâ€”no matter how incoherentlyâ€”voice my critiques of them.
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Ronald Linchner, Director
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Barack Obama underrated by right and left Juan Thompson Opinions Editor
ast week, President Barack Obama announced a massive drawdown of American troops in Iraq, keeping his promise of ending major combat operations in that country. Watching the president, it occurred to me that the Commander-in-Chief isn’t getting enough credit for his policy achievements. What happened after Obama’s Oval Office address? Our focus shifted to some nutty Floridian preacher who had plans to burn dozens of Qurans on Sept. 11. I’ve read countless blog posts and articles detailing how Obama is already a failed president, how he has not pursued transformational policies and how the administration needs a spark. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius even suggested last month that Obama dump Biden in 2012 and recruit Hillary Clinton to be his vice president. And Newsweek ran a piece highlighting how Hillary Clinton’s supposed political power rivals that of the president’s. Left wing critics attack the president for not doing enough and for not keeping his promises, while right wing critics attack the president for, well, everything. American conservatives are not serious political people; they’re buffoonish caricatures of the worst order—characters who oppose everything Obama puts forth because they are so obsessed with defeating him and regaining power. The Republican Party is filled with sociopathic, power-hungry troglodytes, but because of high unemployment and American impatience those same partisan hacks will probably be in charge of one, if not both, chambers of Congress following the November elections. The president and his party, however, have kept most of their promises. They passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act that allows women to sue for equal pay discrimination past the previous 180-day statute of limitations. They expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S CHIP) that will increase the number of middle class and low-income children with access to health insurance. They passed a health care reform bill that will help over 30,000,000 citizens gain health insurance, a feat that had eluded Democratic and Republican presidents for nearly 70 years. (While the health care bill is far from perfect, it is a giant improvement over the current system that ignores and denies coverage to millions.) The president See OBAMA on page 12
September 16, 2010
GOP poised to regain Congressional control Democratic Party out of touch with voters Josh Rosen
hanks to the two-year electoral cycle for the House of Representatives, midterm elections often are a referendum on the sitting president—instead of removing the president, voters shift majorities in Congress. One of the more extreme cases of voters indicating disapproval of a sitting administration occurred in the midterms of 1994, where the Republicans gained their first majority in the House in 40 years thanks to a negative reaction by voters to former President of the United States Bill Clinton’s universal health care plan and increased firearms regulations. The 2010 midterm elections, as mentioned ad nauseum across newspapers nationwide, are shaping up much like 1994: The Republicans stand to gain a majority in the House and pick up a few seats in the Senate due widespread disapproval of President Barack Obama’s handling of economic and social policy. According to the Sept. 9 to 11 Gallup poll, Americans are split 46 percent to 46 percent on their approval of the president . Along the same lines, a Sept. 3 Gallup poll revealed that Americans would choose a Republican newcomer to Congress over any other candidate—and Republican candidates, generally. This evinces a pent-up anti-liberal incumbent sentiment that is quite likely to manifest itself. Such fervor is what Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia, called “the time-honored American way” that “voters will be inclined to punish the party in power by checking and balancing it with
more members from the opposition party.” Sabato is certainly correct that voters will punish the Democratic Party, but it is not merely the American tradition of rejecting incumbents of the sitting president’s party in midterms that is motivating a GOP comeback. Rather, there is a growing sentiment that the Administration’s policies and “Recovery Summer” have moved towards what economist Arthur Laffer called “our worst nightmare…a severe ‘double dip’ recession” in The Wall Street Journal earlier in the summer. Such a recession would be catastrophic, for in a double dip recession, growth drops again just after a short period of recovery, causing housing prices to fall further, unemployment to continue rising and even further declines in consumer spending, already down by well over 30 percent—from $97 in August 2008 to $63 in August 2010—from 2008, according to Gallup. This short-term repetition of the economic downswing only motivates more voters to provide a mandate for the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, as well as significant gains in the Senate, gains of up to 47 seats in the House and nine seats in the Senate, according to Sabato. A 47-seat gain in the House would truly make 2010 a year of reversal on the scale of 1994, and allow the Republicans to stymie Democratic efforts in almost every aspect of policy. The few policies of the Obama Administration that have been realized since the 2008 election—at least, those that the Re-
publicans and conservative Democrats could not weaken significantly—too are being rejected by the American people. Redistributionist ideology, perhaps epitomized best by the president’s expressed desire to “spread the wealth” is being actively repulsed. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News on Sept. 9, the president made the accurate assessment that Americans are “anxious and…fearful” because of record-high unemployment rates that have been holding for over a year. The president is certainly right: Americans are frightened, but not just because of the recession. On top of their fear of a poor short term economic prognosis, which may not be ended by any realistic methods, Americans are anxious about the administration’s mixed signals about raising taxes, and instituting more bureaucracy, just as they have with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, perhaps better known as ObamaCare, among other big-government gestures. A larger government that wants higher tax rates, namely for business owners and hard-working professionals, made quite clear by Obama’s willingness to increase marginal tax rates, is not viewed positively by the American taxpayer. Big government Democrats are running their races in a political environment toxic to redistribution and expensive government, as suggested by the latest Allstate/ National Journal Heartland Poll. In that poll, 48 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that the government has “run up a record federal deficit while failing to See MIDTERMS on page 11
Voter apathy does not denote laziness Emil Ostrovski
n Soviet Russia, my parents participated in a “democracy-of-ones.” They had a choice to elect one party, and within that party they had a choice—read as, were told—to elect one candidate. It probably seems strange then, that with this heritage behind me and with my great fortune to live in an actual democracy, I would choose not to exercise my right to vote. And I am not the only one, of course. Something like 40 percent of Americans do not go to the polls. And when elections come in November, we will undoubtedly be, to some extent, blamed for one or the other party not getting what it wants. If only those 40 percent
had shown up! How different might our situation be, if only, if only, if only. The reason given for our non-participation in the democratic process usually amounts to apathy. We are apathetic. Apolitical. Well, I am not apathetic. I do care what happens in my country. I will feel something once the results are in. And if you’ve read any of my previous columns, you probably have gathered that I am also not apolitical. More to the point, I think being truly apolitical (or apathetic) is impossible, and I think that the people who wear those titles like badges of honor are disingenuous. So why then, do I not vote? Well, if Soviet Russia was a “democracy-ofones,” America sometimes feels like a “democracy-of-twos.” Take, for example, presidential
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elections. The possibilities are either red or blue. New York will go blue with or without my input, and the Democratic candidate will get New York’s electoral votes regardless of who I do or do not vote for. As for non-presidential elections, the problems of our democracy of two and the redundancy of my vote essentially remain the same, though in a slightly different form. The only real choices, for the most part, are between Democratic and Republican candidates, hence our entire approach to politics is strangely polarized. As for my vote, well, true, in non-presidential elections we do not have the electoral college to deal with, so my vote will actually contribute to the outcome of the election in a conservation of votes sort See ABSTAINING on page 12
September 16, 2010
M i d te r m s US needs to learn tolerance referendum Jones exploits Sept. 11 tragedies on President MIDTERMS continued from page 10 end the recession or slow the record pace of job loss,” and only 39 percent supported the alternative, big government position, that more deficit spending was necessary to prop up the economy. . This objection to large-scale government intervention and bureaucracy characterizes the broad strokes of how Americans want the political economy to look, and rightfully so: higher taxes and burdensome debt due to excessive expenditures are not the correct prescription for current economic woes. Congressional Republicans have plans to allow growth, chief among them being broad based tax reform coupled with debt reduction as outlined in what has come to be known as the Paul Ryan plan, after the eponymous Representative Paul Ryan (R-OH). The Ryan plan is estimated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to reduce the national debt to zero percent of GDP by 2080, while continuing with big government policies could lead to a GDP to debt ratio of 433 percent by 2060 and perhaps over 700 percent by 2080. Evidently, continuing current spending habits is not wise for the health of the American economy. American voters realize this, and through the ballot box, they will make their voices heard. The 2010 referendum on the president’s failure at managing the economic crisis is quite likely to result in a Republican majority in the House and gain of a considerable number of seats in the Senate. For the country’s future, such a balance between the executive and legislative branches would be for the better—economic growth and rollbacks in big government are the mantra of the Republican Party, and this will continue ringing through the Capitol.
ometimes I think we forget—or choose to ignore—that this country is capable of producing some truly unhinged people, the kind of person that rational people shy away from conversing with. The United States has seen the birth of some truly unpleasant and dangerous people, and the scary thing is that sometimes those people find themselves in positions of power, like Don McElroy, Chairman of the Texas Board of Education and a driving force behind the damaging revisions of middle- and high-school textbooks; Jim Jones, the man behind the formation of the Peoples’ Temple cult, who orchestrated the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana; Former President of the United States George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney (yes, I know they’re easy targets, but let’s not forget that there’s a reason for that). History shows that dangerous people with the determination to gain access to power are usually crazy or evil enough to use it. That said, let me introduce the focus of this article, that being Pastor Terry Jones, who announced his plans some time ago to burn as many copies of the Quran as he and his parishioners could get their hands on Sept. 11. Jones is one of those people that the world likes to hide from us, tricking us into forgetting that people this crazy and this stupid exist just long enough for us to react with the utmost shock when they reappear in full view of the public. Jones has said that he does not know much at all about Islamic culture, and has explicitly stated that he does not want to know. He knows exactly what he needs to know, and all he needs to know is that Muslims blew up two of our national monuments and they need to feel the full force of our scorn. Pastor Jones, we’ve waged two separate wars under the auspices of trying to crush terrorism and Islamic extremism. We’ve captured, killed and detained hundreds of Al-Qaeda members so that what happened nine years ago does not repeat itself. In short: Pastor,
your patriotic fervor is appreciated (I guess), but you’re a little late to the party, and what you almost did was about as dangerous as anything a civilian can do short of hijacking North American Aerospace Defense Command. Luckily, and for reasons known only to him, Jones did call off his bigoted plan in the nick of time. There is a very important component of this story that actually has meaning for every American, and that component is that Jones fails to recognize the difference between a normal Muslim and a raving al-Qaeda extremist, prepared to blow all of us up for his God, because Jones knows nothing about Muslims. This kind of willful ignorance is not uncommon in this country, unfortunately. The real tragedy of Sept. 11 did not occur on one day, nine years ago. Rather, it is still in the process of happening, because when someone without basic critical thinking skills and too much patriotism decides that because al-Qaeda members flew planes into our buildings, any and all Muslims with or without the desire and the legal documentation to live in the U.S. must be punished for the actions of other Muslims. That sort of thought has no place in our supposedly advanced society. After nine years, the real tragedy of Sept. 11 is the fact that we really haven’t learned a thing from it, except how to be paranoid and bigoted. Change we can believe in, right? Okay, that dig at President Barack Obama might be a little uncalled-for, as he was one of the many people of influence that cried out for Pastor Jones to stop his madness. Personally, I think the craziest thing about this entire situation is the fact that Jones managed to unite almost the entire world against his stupidity and ignorance. So maybe, in the long run, this whole debacle might be counted as a victory for the forces of logical thought and general good humor. Maybe, but it’s hard to say, and I’m just a student, not a judge. Still, pats on the back all around. Hopefully we’ve learned something, and this won’t be a case of “too little, too late.”
What would President Hill’s superpower be?
Alex Elder ’12
Ricardo Espinosa ’14
“She’d dress Diane Harriford in high-waisted pants.”
Chris Flynn ’14
Feminist movement impedes true progress Chris Phillips
arvard University professor Ruth Wise described the late 20th century feminist movement best: “By defining relationships between men and women in terms of power and competition, instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions draw their strength.” I agree. The late 20th century feminist movement has done harm not only to people but also to our politics and societal discourse in general. As the mid-term elections approach there will be all sorts of outlandish, divisive rhetoric from people who label themselves feminists. We’ve already seen it in California where incumbent Democrat Barbra Boxer has said that if her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina, had her way, women’s rights would take a giant step back. Boxer has accused Fiorina, a pro-life candidate, of wanting to lock up women and doctors. She also said that women will die if Fiorina prevails in November. I warn you, however, to not be fooled by this garbage because those in the modern feminist movement, like Boxer, have no interest in improving the lives of the women they claim to be fighting for; they are only using them for political power. The contemporary feminist movement would have you believe that women are the victims in every area of our society. Of course there are some feminists who look beyond just women; but they are often overshadowed by the demagogues. Sexism certainly rears it head occasionally but if one looks closely at the statistics they tell a story about a changing nation. In the business world, for example, we hear complaints about how women are
forbidden from advancement because of the sexist men who dominate business. In reality, according to the Small Business Administration, over 40 percent of small businesses are owned by women, a fact one would figure the feminists would be highlighting. But if they had to admit that women are much better off today than they were before, which is absolutely true, they would lose some of their political power. Americans have to move beyond the past and quit playing blame games. If the modern feminist movement were to resist playing the victim card I would be right there helping them, but their divisive presence turns me and other Americans off from their cause. If they truly had the moral high ground, then the American people would support their issues gladly. But by making every issue that even remotely involves a woman out to be a struggle against men, feminists only create animosity and weaken legitimate claims like pay discrepancy for example. Instead what we get is hypocrisy and scare tactics. Take, for example, the treatment of Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin. All three women are influential conservative voices within the Republican Party, and yet all are hated by feminists. Wouldn’t it be a momentous achievement to have women holding such dominant positions within one of the two political parties? Palin, Coulter and Malkin have all achieved great success through hard work, not by playing the victim card. The three women are great examples of what America should be: a place where no one’s sex holds them back. Why weren’t the same feminists who supported Hillary Clinton in huge part because of her sex ecstatic about the potential for a female vice president? That, of course, is assuming they
want the advancement of women and not the advancement of their leftist politics. It would seem logical that feminists should be proud of such progress in the 2008 election season, since less than a century ago women didn’t even have the right to vote. The feminist movement of the mid-20th century was an admirable movement that was dedicated to righteous endeavors like giving women the right to vote. Today we still have problems like the pay discrepancy issue I mentioned above, but to believe that 21st century American feminism is going to solve those problems is naïve. To put it more bluntly, feminists thrive by constantly making it us versus them and, fairly or not, people perceive this as a total attack on men. And why do we really need to think that the sexes are equal to each other in all fields at all times? I would be wrong if I were to say that I am capable of doing many things as well as other people. I have strengths and weaknesses the same as any other person. Would it not be good for me, then, to find those that compliment my weakness with their strengths? For example, if I am a terrible cook and my wife is a good cook, would it be so wrong of me to ask her to prepare dinner? Humans are social creatures and we need the company of each other. We need the help and perspectives of others because we are limited by the knowledge we possess as sole individuals. And we must be careful to not give away the moral high ground to those who toss around the lives of others like a political football. More than anything, however, we must do a better job of understanding each other and having compassion for the plight of others. But we must stop playing the blame game and end the hypersensitivity to perceived aggressions.
“Walk through walls.”
Erin Clarke ’12
Alex Parayannilam ’13
“The ability to shoot Vassar Devils out of her eyes.”
Lucia Rieur ’14 —Joshua Rosen Opinions Editor
September 16, 2010
Obama has seen through many exceptional policies
A single vote won’t determine the outcome of any election
OBAMA continued from page 10 and his party also passed financial reform, as well as an $800 billion stimulus bill in 2009, which will go down in history as the largest single investment in social policy ever. In the education arena, the president is forcing the nation’s school districts to reform themselves with his Race To The Top program that rewards more money to school districts that implement educational reforms in an attempt to turn around failing schools that aren’t making the grade. A part of his reform overhaul also included eliminating the middle man—in this case the banks—from the student loan industry, instead shifting all student loans to the federal government. And Obama, as he explained last week, has effectively ended the Iraq War—a war that just four years ago was a major point of contention in this country, and a war that many thought would be this generation’s Vietnam. Will he get credit? I hope so, but probably not, since our attention spans are so myopic in the age of iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, MacBooks and so on. Has the president been perfect? He certainly has not. He promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp that has become a symbol of American torture. He didn’t. He also promised much tougher Wall Street reform but instead Wall Street watered down his initial proposal. And Obama told the nation that if his stimulus package were enacted unemployment would hover around 8 percent. Today, the unemployment rate stands at 9.6 percent. Naturally the American people are angry, anxious and in the mood to punish someone. And since Obama is not on the ballot this fall the public is going to do the next best thing and punish his party at the polls. The White House has also done a horrible
ABSTAINING continued from page 10 of sense—a certain amount of votes go in, and the same amount of votes go out. But in reality, had I not shown up, had I not voted, the overall outcome would remain the same. In the absolute best-case scenario, which is highly statistically unlikely even at the local level, the most a single vote can ever do is break a tie. Once you’ve broken the tie, all the other votes are pretty much redundant and serve no actual purpose, unlike say in parliamentary systems where parties get a certain number of representatives based on the percentage of the vote they manage to garner. 1. If everyone thought this way, democracy would fail. And I say—no way. A system that is governed by votes is reliant on people voting? Madness! Sheer madness! But anyway, here’s the thing. “People,” is not necessarily me. And don’t delude yourself—dem-
job of highlighting the Democrats’ accomplishments. In 2008 the country saw a well-oiled machine in the Obama campaign, but in 2010 this machine is broken down and struggling to remain relevant in a changing political environment. President Obama has kept many of his promises from two years ago. And he has achieved long sought-after policy goals that eluded many of his predecessors. The White House should do a better job of communicating this, and the center-left should do a better job defending the most progressive president we’ve had in decades. Does that mean we should halt criticism of the Democratic Party? No. We should continue to hold their feet to the fire and always strive for the most progressive policy solutions. But we cannot buy into conservative memes and side with them when they attack the president. The right wing’s only concern is regaining power. American conservatives have no real concern with working people’s problems. If they did they would offer solutions for said problems. But the concern of the president and the center-left is, and should always be, to work towards a society where every single citizen has the chance to create some level of comfort and prosperity for themselves. Our goal should be to make this nation a more just, prosperous and egalitarian one. And right now the only vehicle we have to make that sort of change a reality is Barack Obama. As columnist Paul Krugman fabulously put it, “Barack Obama may not be the politician of our dreams but his enemies are definitely the stuff of our nightmares.”
ocratic decision-making is concerned with PEOPLE, not with any given person. (Unless a given person commands a following, which gets us back to people.) In other words, democracy is only concerned with individuals in terms of which factions they fall into. Because I fall into the non-voting faction (among others), I find myself the subject of annoying TV ads and wellintentioned young door-to-door campaigners. But they are not addressing Emil Ostrovski. They are addressing potential Democrat/Republican voter number [insert big number here.] 2. It is a symbolic gesture of faith in democracy/the democratic process/America. We’ve heard voting referred to as our “patriotic duty.” But then, there are many ways to express patriotism, right? I mean, certainly, my choice to live in America, tying myself, my life, to this country, is the greatest gesture of faith any person can give?
Crossword by Jonathan Garfinkel ACROSS 1. Where the rub is, perhaps 4. Roger Goodell’s org. 7. Certain malevolent A.I. 10. Sousa piece 12. Tic-tac-toe win 13. Rocky mountain native people 14. Loaded (with) 16. Childhood room feature 18. Heart line, briefly 19. “A ___ on you!”
20. Luau accessory 21. Guitarist Paul 22. Noble light, say 25. Hike 29. Move air 32. “Entourage” agent Gold 33. Wrath 35. Wicked wench, perhaps 37. Sheets, et. al. 40. Purpose 41. Underwater explorer Jacques ________
Answers to last week’s puzzle
44. They may be classified, briefly 45. Reason for a stop by the PD 46. Certain warriorwomen 49. Fill up 51. Italy’s ex? 52. Some window features, briefly 55. Ignited 58. Parisian summer 60. Creepermobile? 61. Streep’s opposite in “Kramer Vs. Kramer” 65. Spillcam’s focus 67. Valuable rock 68. From ___ Z 69. Ian McEwan’s latest 70. Grad. sch. req 71. Feline whine 72. Bug DOWN 1. Actor Mineo 2. School (of dress)? 3. Opening, perhaps 4. ___ Hill, San Francisco 5. Disgusting 6. Like a certain ranger, say 7. Center of activity
8. Consumed 9. Little light, abbr 10. Efficiency meas. 11. Curses 14. Fam. member 15. With “out”, just barely make it 17. Set of parts 23. Special ___ (SEAL’s purview) 24. Med. research agency 26. Techno scenes 27. “____ Go Bragh” 28. Highland attire 29. _____-wreck 30. Seattle-based outdoor equipment co. 31. Poet St. Vincent Millay and others 33. Parka wearing indigenous 34. ___ judicata 36. Airport screen infobit (abbr.) 37. Some new TVs, briefly 38. Early caucus state 39. Acad. time unit 42. Carrier purporting to “know why you fly” (abbr.) 43. Israeli weapon
47. Cookies-and-cream ingredient 48. Early film “Birth of a ______” 50. Certain green-clad assistant 52. Allege
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53. NCAA’s Bruins, briefly 54. Whence “Operaman” (abbr.) 56. Muslim holy man 57. ____ Modern, London
59. Jazzy Fitzgerald 61. Harley, say 62. Bruin Bobby ___ 63. Charge 64. 90’s-00’s pop album series 66. Do as a tail might
HUMOR & SATIRE
September 16, 2010
When good advice goes bad: Taking platitudes a step too far Mazi Kazemi
ust because you’ve heard it all your life, doesn’t mean it’s true.
1. Grab the bull by the horns…
Dan had been training for this moment his whole life. The rodeo clowns had told him over and over again, “Hang in there as long as you can. Once you’re off, run like hell for the fences.” Dan, however, was mulling over a piece of advice he’d been given long ago, and he had his own plan. He hung onto the bucking bronco for 20 seconds before being tossed off. He looked around and saw the clowns running into the ring, frantically motioning him towards the fence. Dan scoffed and turned to face the big, infuriated bull. As the beast charged at him like a possessed locomotive, Dan calmly reached out his arms. He could visualize those horns in his hands already… Dan was subsequently gored to death. 2. A cat has nine lives…
Felicity Hasting panicked once the family station wagon crossed the state border. “Mom! Dad!” she cried. “We forgot to leave out food for Gogo! We have to go back!” “Haha, dear,” chuckled her father from the driver’s seat. “You know what they say about cats, don’t you? He’ll have eight whole lives left!”... When the Hastings returned from the Cape two weeks later, they were greeted by the putrid stench of Gogo’s rotting carcass. 3. An apple a day keeps the doctor away…
Joe Kristofferson finished reading the letter. “Well, it says here we have asbestos in the attic,” he said, addressing his family in the kitchen. “Not to worry! You kids have been eating your apples, haven’t you?” he asked his three daughters. They nodded. “Good!”
Joe then took his wife aside and asked gravely, “Honey, you did buy enough apples to get us through this, didn’t you?” “Yes dear, I did.” “Great! Then we’re all set,” exclaimed Joe… The Kristoffersons were later known in the medical community as the only family on record to have all five members simultaneously diagnosed with Mesothelioma. 4. Let the cat out of the bag…
Louis had invited his lover, Zanine, and her husband, Xavier, over to his house for dinner. He couldn’t keep his passion secret anymore, and planned to tell Xavier about the affair that night. Zanine had no idea. “So, how do you know Louis again?” Xavier asked his wife. “We work together,” she answered curtly. “Right, right.” Xavier was not suspicious. All three were seated in the living room, quietly staring into their drinks. Occasionally, somebody would flip through a book on the long, glass coffee table, but otherwise no one spoke or moved. It was when the tension seemed unbearable that Louis stood up and said, “If you’ll excuse me a minute, I have to fetch something.” He scurried off. Five minutes later he entered the living room carrying a large burlap bag containing what looked to be something struggling to escape. Louis let out a jagged and triumphant “Ha!” as he tossed the contents of the sack onto the table. The overweight grey cat meowed and flailed as it flew through the air, unceremoniously landing on, and shattering, the coffee table. Louis stood, chest thrust forward, panting heavily, and smiled victoriously at Xavier. Zanine stared at the wounded feline trying to free itself from the remnants of the coffee table. Xavier looked at the cat, then the burlap bag, and finally up at Louis… “Holy shit! You’re sleeping with my wife!”
Mestitz’s mixers by major Cocktail for your department Michael Mestitz Guest Columnist
n celebration of my recent 21st birthday, I’ve taken the liberty of mixing up some drink recipes that may suit a Vassar student returning to campus after a long summer of gainful employment, unpaid internships and/or wanton misbehavior (e.g. being totes cray and bellig). Ease back into academic life with an academic cocktail, tailored to your department of choice.
ART: “A Studio Artini.”
Drawing I is a prerequisite for mixing this drink, because it’s a prerequisite for everything even remotely related to the words “studio art.”
Make any drink and try to stir things up, experience disastrous results, throw the whole thing out, and have a Bloody Mary. GREEK AND ROMAN STUDIES:
Nope. I had this joke all lined up with the word “classics,” and then they went and changed the name and now it’s ruined. I hope you’re all pleased with yourselves. DRAMA: “Screwdriver.”
ENGLISH: “Tequila mockingbird.”
Equal parts tequila and rum, 1.5 parts sour mix, a splash of cola and the death of innocence.
WOMENS’ STUDIES: “A Rum of One’s Own.”
ECONOMICS: “Market Meltdown”
Two parts champagne and one part juice. Add grenadine and vodka for a “Communist Manifesto,” or bitters for a “Wall Street Sour.” The trick with this champagne drink is to spot the bubbles before they burst. HISTORY: “Whiskey Rebellion.”
Straight whiskey. If you’re fancy, serve in a rocks glass. If you’re 90 percent of Vassar students, Solo cup all the way. When life gets too taxing, drink straight whiskey until your lunch stages an insurrection.
Dry and acidic red wine, sliced fruit, simple syrup, a dash of brandy. I’m not telling you the quantities; that’s why you learned composition stoichiometry. A drink that everyone takes, but nobody likes.
Three parts champagne, two parts chilled orange juice stolen from AllCampus Dining Center in an opaque water bottle. A mimosa for when you reach a new low– on a closed interval [a,b].
Weekly Calendar: 9/16 - 9/22 Uncut. Rose Parlor.
MED-REN: “The Jane Grey.”
You know how to make this one already. But trust me, it’ll help you build those damn flats in 103.
3 p.m. Tea. The Real Tour of Vassar College: Bigger, Longer,
A regular martini, but with three twists.
Rum, straight up, in a highball glass and garnished with tragic passion. Ms. Woolf was wrong; THIS is all it takes to write fiction. PHYSICS: “μjito.”
White rum, sugar, lime, sparkling water, mint and calculus. They say that alcohol is a social lubricant; grab yourself a mojito, be smooth, and try and explore the concept of “skin friction” a little. (You know, the viscous drag in the boundary layer of a given object, which follows Rayleigh’s drag equation and rises with the square of the velocity… What did you think I meant?)
CHEMISTRY: “Orgo Sangría”
FILM: “The M. Night Shyamalan.”
URBAN STUDIES: “The Brooklyn.”
Like a Manhattan, but with cheaper alcohol and skinnier jeans. PHILOSOPHY: “Jürgenbomb.”
A shot of Jägermeister dropped into Red Bull. There’s no joke here. Habermas’ theory of communicative rationality in the context of post-metaphysical philosophies just makes me want to drink heavily. EARTH SCIENCE: “A sedimentini.”
On the rocks.
by Alanna Okun, Humor & Satire Editor
ling over what a mensch you’ve been this year. Don’t let her down, you schmuck. Bayit.
ber of the women’s rugby team after one too many bottles of Strawberry Andre.” Rose Parlor.
3:30 p.m. “Phishing: Don’t Get Caught!” Yeah, then you’d be
6 p.m. Catholics and Conversation. “So, um…what’s your fa-
5 p.m. Vassar Filmmakers 12-Hour Film Fest Screening.
totally phucked. Taylor 203.
vorite flavor of communion wafer?” Jade Parlor.
Come for the pasty, frail David Lynch enthusiast you moon over while waiting in line at the Vegetarian Station. Stay for the corn syrup blood and dramatic close-ups of your freshman-year roommate’s nose hairs. Rocky 300.
8 p.m. Philaletheis Directing Workshops. I’ve been trying to
think of a tasteful way to somehow incorporate “Philalletio” here, but I can’t. Oh well. Shiva.
Friday, 9/17 3 p.m. Tea. “Alright, everyone, please follow me. Let me
know if I’m about to trip over a prospie! Ha ha! No, ma’am, I’m afraid your daughter will not be automatically offered admission just because she’s taking thirteen Advanced Placement classes and discovered nuclear fusion using nothing but a mechanical pencil and some cherry Chapstick.” Rose Parlor. 5:45 p.m. Yom Kippur Pre-Fast Meal. Somewhere out there,
in Florida or Western Massachusetts, your bubbe is kvel-
Tuesday, 9/21 3 p.m. Tea. “Here we have the Thompson Memorial Library. It’s a gorgeous, historic, state-of-the-art facility in which your child will frequently update her Facebook status.” Rose Parlor.
10 p.m. “Anything But Cloth” Dance. Nothing like tying a trash bag around your torso to make the panties drop. Villard Room.
10 p.m. Jazz Night. Homework on a Tuesday night? You’re doing it wrong. Mug.
3 p.m. “Impollinazione Concert: the Cross-Pollination of
3 p.m. Tea. “We conclude our tour with the All-Campus Dining
Italian and American Popular Song.” Sometimes my job is
Center. You’re right, the initials are ACDC! Like the rock group you used to listen to in your misspent youth! I never thought of that before! Anyway, this is where your beloved offspring will one day hold the distinction of being the only Vassar student to ever eat 14 Monte Cristo sandwiches in one sitting. Any further questions? No? Balls, I need a cigarette.” Rose Parlor.
just way too easy. Skinner.
Monday, 9/20 3 p.m. Tea. “To the right we see Main Building, where your precious honor-roll student will lose his virginity to a mem-
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
September 16, 2010
Lecture series shines light on art of campus locales Erik Lorenzsonn Arts Editor
Kathleen Mehocic/The Juliana Halpert/TheMiscellany Miscellany News News
Devin Leary/The Miscellany News
id-day sunlight filtered through the elegant stained glass in Vassar’s Chapel as a small crowd of students, faculty and visitors stood amongst the pews and paid rapt attention to Professor of Chemistry Christopher Smart ’83. Smart stood in the middle of the chapel’s aisle, directing his listeners’ gaze to his favorite window in the 106-year old building: The Tiffany Rose window, high above the pews over the entrance balcony. The colorful and radially symmetric circle of glass holds a special place in his memory: “I was actually married in this Chapel,” he chuckled, “so the Rose window was one of my first views of married life.” Smart and the coterie of listeners had gathered for the first installment of a new lecture series offered by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (FLLAC) called “Insights on Site.” The series is premised on the idea that there is more to art at Vassar College than what lies within the FLLAC, as the Art Center’s Anne Hendricks Bass Director James Mundy pointed out: “A campus of this age has many elements that are themselves works of art.” The Tiffany Rose window in the Chapel is a primary example. As Smart explained to the smattering of attendees, the window was created in 1906 by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the founder of the American diamond dynasty Tiffany & Co and internationally-renowned glassmaker. His Rose window was created in 1906 to honor former College President James Monroe Taylor, evidenced from the Latin inscription circumventing the glass. Most impressive about the window, according to Smart, is the diverse coloring within individual pieces of glass. Color was something that was very difficult to gauge during the glassmaking process: “When glass is in molten form,” said Smart, “it just looks like a big orange blob.” Stained glass in the Chapel is the second topic that has been featured as part of the series, with three more to come in the near fu-
The Vassar Chapel, left, and the Jade Parlor, right, are both featured in the Loeb’s “Insights on Site” series, which seeks to teach students about the art that exists on campus outside of the FLLAC. The Chapel contains beautiful stain glass windows while the Jade Parlor boasts an array of Asian artifacts. ture. Each site will be described by a faculty member outside of the Art Department, giving a multi-disciplinary perspective on the architecture of campus. The emphasis on lecturers who are non-art historians makes “Insights on Site” a spiritual successor to a lecture series from years past called “The Artful Dodger.” The difference between the two is that now professors will turn their eye to the entirety of the campus, instead of focusing on the FLLAC collection. The Jade Parlor in Main Building was the first campus location that came to mind for Anthropology Professor and Director of Asian Studies Martha Kaplan when she was ap-
proached to lecture for the series. “I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite place on campus,” disclosed Kaplan, “because I don’t know what my favorite place is. But for me it’s definitely one of the most intriguing.” Kaplan has always been intrigued by the origins of Asian objects and influences on Vassar Campus, especially with those found in the Jade Parlor. “Other tokens of Asia exist on the Vassar landscape, but the Jade Parlor grew to be the focus, mostly because of the mysteriousness of its origins and the questions it evokes.” The biggest question for Kaplan: why these tokens were in the parlor at a time when so few people from Asia were at Vassar?
Along with 2010 Ford Scholar Adhira Mangalagiri ’11, who will contribute to Kaplan’s lecture, she began to research the history of the parlor. But the task of research proved to be more of a challenge than they had envisioned: “It led us to the archives, but there was no folder called ‘Jade Parlor.’” Mangalagiri ended up scouring through entire books and photo albums in search of Jade Parlor-related material. She and Kaplan also went to Buildings and Grounds to find the original architectural plans of the room. The fruits of their research yielded many answers as to the origins of the rooms’ elements. Kaplan See INSIGHTS on page 16
Vassar Student Band Union kicks off inaugural semester Rachael Borné
Assistant Arts Editor
Rosie Wahlers/The Miscellany News
ast Thursday, the Vassar Student Band Union (VSBU) kicked off the year with a show of epic proportions. There were light effects, three high-energy rock ‘n’ roll bands and a huge crowd of students busting sick moves. That’s not even to mention the latest, state of the art 3-D glasses that amplified the whole experience tenfold. Perhaps the best part, however, was the fact that the show kept it close to home: each set included real, organic Vassar talent. “I think the great turnout and overall success of the 3-D show demonstrates how committed [the VSBU] is to reppin’ Vassar’s bands,” said Mara Connor ’13, VSBU member and vocalist for the show’s opening act. Connor is a testament to the organization’s goal to help aspiring musicians: “Last year, before VSBU existed, Vassar bands like my own, Shark Wrangler, had a really hard time finding a place to play our music,” she said. This year, after merging with Vassar College Entertainment (ViCE), the VSBU has big plans to book as many gigs as possible to showcase bands on campus. Because the organization effectively took over After Hours, upcoming shows will include more upbeat pop and rock bands as well as singer/songwriters. The VSBU simply aims to provide a performance outlet for all types of student musicians, whether a loud, five-piece indie band or a single guitarist. “The next show will be ‘Light up Your Life’ on the [residential] quad. It’s going to be an open-mic, acoustic kind of thing,” said VSBU co-founder and student musician Andy Diamond ‘12. “There’s going to be blankets on the ground, hot cocoa and Christmas lights.” In October, the VSBU will host what Diamond refers to as a “Zombie Show,” which promises to be a hit: “We’re going to do a rock show for Halloween in which bands will dress up as dead bands and play covers of their songs,” he said. Last year, the VSBU took the music scene off
Students, equipped with their 3-D glasses, came to watch the Vassar Student Band Union first performance of the year. VSBU recently merged with ViCE and plans to showcase student talent. campus by booking gigs at Zorona’s Hookah Bar and Baby Cakes. Though that type of show is definitely still in the works this year, the VSBU wants to keep things near the home base at first. “Right now, since we’re an official organization, we’re focusing on on-campus stuff because those events are easier for students to access,” said Diamond. In addition to supplying students with opportunities to perform, the VSBU also wants to arrange a better practice space. “In the past, we’ve had to resort to playing in Joss [Josselyn House]’s sketchy basement as our fellow students wandered in and out of our ‘practice space’ to do their laundry,” explained Connor. Other students must fight for a slot practicing in the oft-booked and inconvenient Matthew’s Mug. To remedy the situation, the VSBU has
suggested several potential practice areas to the Vassar Student Association (VSA). “There’s an empty office on the third floor of Rocky [Rockefeller Hall] with enough room for at least a five-piece band,” Diamond explained. “There’s also a place in the College Center called the non-traditional student’s lounge. It’s always locked, I’ve never seen anyone in there and it actually used to be a band space. It’s our main candidate right now,” he said. “We’re offering to use our funding, plus a little bit of extra funding to sound-proof whatever room we get so it won’t be a nuisance to other people,” said Diamond. Once the VSBU gets hold of some practice space, the next step is equipment. “We’ve proposed getting some middle to low-end stuff— stuff that does the job but isn’t too valuable,”
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said Diamond. “We want to buy a PA [public address], so that if there’s a synthesizer, if there’s a vocalist, or even two back up vocalists, you can mic all of them,” he added. One of the main reasons for the conception of the VSBU was the general shortage of student resources on campus. By approaching the situation with a Do-It-Yourself mindset, the organization can set their own rules. “Students should be more proactive about making and supporting the kind of music they want to hear,” said Ricky Goldman ’12, VSBU member and saxophonist for student band Facts and Figures. “So many outside groups are brought in, some at a really significant expense to the College. I think that channeling that money more towards student initiative would be a comparable way to spend our funds.” In order to bring together and organize student talent, the VSBU created an online musician’s database and information center. The website includes updates on VSBU upcoming events, an extensive list of musicians, their instruments of expertise, what they’re interested in playing and how to contact them, as well as a new “gig section.” “The gig section allows us to get e-mails from organizations on campus that are looking for bands to play at their events,” said Diamond. Right now on the site, there is a list of such organizations and their events, paired with contact info for the interested bands. “The website has made me more aware of the real scope of musical performing artists that are actually on campus,” said Goldman. “I now know exactly what people play and how good they are.” With a growing list of musicians in its online database, as well as a stellar turnout at its inaugural show, VSBU has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following. “Vassar was screaming for an organization to come along with the sole purpose of showcasing the talent of its very own students,” said Connor.
September 16, 2010
Workshops cover wide range of material Filmmakers to screen films A from festival Connor O’Neill Guest Reporter
Shruti Manian Guest Reporter
Christie Chea/The Miscellany News
n artist’s big break can come at any time. One serendipitous convergence of opportunity, circumstance and enthusiasm can be the spark that lights an insatiable fire. Fortunately for aspiring directors on campus, the Philaletheis theater group launches each semester with their Directing Workshops, taking place this fall on Sept. 16 and 17 in the Susan Stein Shiva Theater at 8 p.m. The workshops, each lasting between ten to fifteen minutes, vary from short one-act plays to excerpts from full-length productions to student-written pieces. Directing a short for the workshops also opens up the future opportunity to direct for Philaletheis as well: “In order to direct a full-length show for Philaletheis, you must first complete a directing workshop, so we have a wide variety of students who participate,” explained Jake Levitt ’11, head of Philaletheis this year. This year, there will be eight individual performances over the course of two nights. Ranging from freshmen to seniors, each student hopeful gets the opportunity to step into the director’s shoes without the time commitment of a full show. Said Philaletheis board member Emmaline Keddy-Hector ’11, “They allow you to get experience working with actors and a text in a short period of time with limited design and tech. Its a very stripped down directing experience and is a great way for fledgling directors to get their feet wet.” The workshops are among the first student theater productions of the year and generate a lot of buzz for both Philaletheis and the students involved. “They are a great way for new students to get involved in theater right away on campus,” said Levitt. “We get a lot of enthusiasm right out of the gate.” This enthusiasm is taken in many different directions, as is evident from the variety in this year’s set of eight shows. Samuel Beckett’s one act “Krapp’s Last Tape,” directed by Iris Kohler ’13, depicts a man playing tapes he recorded during different stages from his life; “Finger Food,” written by Dean Lundquist and directed by Michael Kaluzny ’14, is a lot less dark, detailing the lamentations of a fork and a spoon about the rise in finger food, The program also features pieces written by students: Julia Anrather ’13 is at the helm of her own work entitled “Fireworks,” a play about the bickering of a couple on a beach. Because the actors and directors are work-
Students participating in Philaletheis directing workshop were given the opportunity to direct short plays in an effort to show their talent and experiment with a new role in theater. ing in a short form, they have occasion to experiment with new and exciting realms of theater. “It often is a trial and error sort of experience,” says Levitt. “New directors can really explore different directing styles and approaches to find out which work best for them.” Violet Edelman ’12, who is production coordinator this year, has experience in the directing workshops herself. “I’ve gone on to direct full-lengths through Philaletheis, and the directing workshops definitely gave me an idea of what it means to be a director and a sense of how I need to organize myself and my actors in order to pull off a presentable production.”
Edelman also looks back fondly on her experience as an actor in the workshops. “It was wonderful to feel involved in the student theater world so immediately upon arriving at Vassar.” Just as directing the workshops can be a good way for directors to test the waters, so too do the actors enjoy a more relaxed environment to try their chops on stage. “People like to audition because they’re fun and a small time commitment,” comments Keddy-Hector. Going up on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. and running again on Friday, Sept. 17, the audience can expect a night of exploration and invention in which the seeds of theater are sown in another generation of thespians.
on’t be alarmed if last Friday you saw packs of excited students running around campus with cameras, boom mics and tripods; it just meant that the Vassar Filmmaker’s 12-Hour Film Festival had officially kicked off. Amateur directors, cast and crew partook in the event, that gave teams twelve hours to create fun and dynamic short movies. Their craft will be shown on Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. at Rockefeller Hall room 300. The kind of film the festival will showcase still remains a mystery; it depends completely on the creativity and imagination of the participants. “Who knows what the resulting films will look like—perhaps there will be some real gems—but getting a polished end product is not the only aim,” wrote Filmmakers President Grace Statwick ’11 in an e-mailed statement. As Statwick implies, the Film Festival is not just about creating quality film. It also sets a tone for the organization that emphasizes participation of all experience and skill level, something that Statwick hopes to keep up throughout the year. She wrote: “One of my goals this year is to help develop a more collaborative, active film community.” The Film Fest is a step towards achieving this, with a definite purpose of bringing together students at Vassar who are interested in building a larger presence of filmmakers on campus. In the Filmmaker’s first event this year, students worked in groups of four or five with film equipment provided by the organization. They were also given a set of prompts describing lines of dialogue, props or camera techniques, three of which they were required to incorporate in their finished project. With this guidance and equipment, they were then given 12 hours to form a three to five minutes long movie. The filmmakers worked in shifts writing, directing and acting their movies— the first one starts at 9 p.m. on Friday and will go until 9 a.m. on Saturday, with the next shift beginning immediately after the first set of teams finish. The groups are now spending the whole of this week editing and fine-tuning the films they made, preparing to showcase See FILMMAKERS on page 16
Osborne croons Italian cabaret in Skinner Hall of Music Mary Huber
Photo courtesy of Robert Osborne
hances are, you have never bemoaned the lack of Italian cabaret music in your life, but it’s probably because you’ve probably never even listened to it before. But if one was to drop by Skinner Hall of Music at, say, 3 p.m. on Sept. 19, Adjunct Artist at Vassar Robert Osborne and pianist Richard Gordon will gladly acquaint you with what you’ve been missing. Their program, entitled “Impollinazione: The Cross-Pollination of Italian and American Songs,” highlights Italian popular music from the 1920s through the 1970s, an oft-neglected area of musical history. “When you think of cabaret music or what we call ‘standards,’ most people think of French or German or American songs. But Italy also had a wealth of composers writing this kind of music,” Osborne explained. Osborne, a member of Vassar’s music faculty and a bass-baritone, will sing with accompaniment from his collaborator Gordon. At his studio in Skinner Hall, Osborne talks easily and knowledgeably about the history of the Italian popular song. Americans tend to associate Italy with opera and high art, but with the advent of radio and film, American jazz and popular music made an impression globally, especially in Italy. Of course, there were obstacles: “Around 1936, there was a global clampdown on artistic freedom,” said Osborne. “Mussolini and the fascisti [fascists] banned jazz music, as did the Soviets and the Nazis.” To evade regulations, composers sometimes
changed the lyrics and titles of songs, but generally American-influenced music lived on in dance music. After World War II, American popular music had a resurgence as Italians, suffering through a dire economic depression, aspired to American culture. While the musical impact Italy had on America is less pronounced, Osborne insists that it was significant thanks to people like Harry Warren. Warren, born Salvatore Guaragna, was the only major Italian-American composer of standards. He brought a sort of Italianate feeling to his songs, while also occasionally poking fun at Italian music. He received 11 Academy Award nominations for film scores and his hits, which remain American classics, including “I Only Have Eyes For You” and “That’s Amore.” “I’m excited to present this for the first time,” said Osborne of Italian cabaret, “but I’ll probably be nervous too.” Many American classics were rewritten in Italian, so Osborne will sing both the English and Italian versions of songs by the likes of Gershwin, Berlin and Kern to demonstrate the differences in meaning and sound. “There are only seven vowel sounds in Italian, and almost every syllable ends in a vowel sound,” explained Osborne, “which encourages you to sing with an openthroated sound.” When asked what he thinks is most difficult about the program, Osborne readily admitted, “It’s hard to sing the same song in two languages—it becomes very easy to mix up the words.” Osborne has performed standard and caba-
Adjunct Artist at Vassar Robert Osborne sings classic Italian cabaret pieces. On Sept. 19 he and pianist Richard Gordon will perform these songs for the Vassar community in “Impollinazione.” ret numbers at Vassar before, but mostly from German and French traditions. He credits collaborator and pianist Gordon with introducing him to Italian popular song. Gordon has taught about Italian popular music to conservatory students in Italy and organized programs dedicated to it in the U.S. Gordon and Osborne hope to become spokespeople of sorts for Italian cabaret and popular song. Os-
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borne is in talks with the Casa Italiana in New York City and other venues to bring Impollinazione to a wider audience. Osborne’s other motives are less lofty. “Mostly I want people to be entertained,” he said, “and this is a good way of showcasing this music in an entertaining way.” He also added, “If they like [this kind of music] then I would love for them do something with it.”
September 16, 2010
Insights on Site looks at art beyond FLLAC Acting dynamo Anrather looks to direct Danielle Bukowski Guest Reporter
hen Julia Anrather ’13 came to Vassar, she knew she would be involved in the theater groups. But just this year, the thespian decided to take a step away from acting to give directing a try. She is intrigued how the two very different roles the two elements interplay with each other in theater: “When you’re acting you’re caught up in the text, you’re concerned with each word,” said Anrather. “Your director has to lift your head up so you can see where you’re going and how you got where you are.” This semester Anrather direct her own short play, “Fireworks,” in Philaletheis’ directing workshop; it will be her maiden voyage in the director’s chair, but Anrather has racked up nine years of experience as an actor. At Vassar she is involved in the Shakespeare Troupe and Future Waitstaff of America (FWA). She acted in FWA’s production of In 2007, she went to the Boston University Summer Theater Institute. She thought “[it was] a good start, but one that really took off at the Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Summer Program in 2008. Powerhouse was incredible. Do it if you already haven’t, and if you have, do it again.” Some directors do an individual scene from a longer play for the workshops, or another student-written work. This semester, Anrather is the only director out of eight to have written her own play. “I wrote it after reading A Clockwork Orange and then having a conversation with my sister about how her boyfriend couldn’t talk about emotions, and realizing the gender dynamics in my own relationships,” said Anrather. “[The play] deals with the new territory of a relationship. Some people handle it well and some people handle it badly. [The characters in my play] are handling it badly,” she said. In “Fireworks,” that new territory is “a couple on a beach having a fight.” Anrather discusses the humanity of her play: “I love the idea that theater is, in some fundamental way, truth-seeking. And maybe that’s not what it is for everyone, but I think that’s what it is for me. You’re trying to answer the question: what’s the truth about being a human being in this situation?” Anrather hopes to direct a longer play next year. She is interested in creating “a crazy version of Alice in Wonderland,” possibly next semester. She is writing a musical as well, but since musicals involve a lot of work, they are
Christie Chea/The Miscellany News
INSIGHTS continued from page 14 and Mangalagiri discovered an array of connections that existed between students and faculty and the Asian continent: Much of the room’s décor was donated from alums who visited Asia or had friends there. “It’s a uniquely decorated public room amongst the parlors,” said Kaplan. “And one of the thing’s that’s interesting is that most people that use it don’t have any idea of its history.” Mundy himself will give an “Insights on Site” lecture on an often-overlooked aspect of campus: the exterior sculpture on Taylor Hall. Above the doors of the buildings entrance and around the building are sculptures of historic individuals, which Mundy says speaks to a Victorian tradition of putting famous names on buildings. In American metropolises, it is a common architectural meme to feature sculpture similar to Taylor Hall’s. “What struck me the most whenever I looked at these buildings,” said Mundy, “is that there was always a name that hadn’t stood the test of time.” Taylor Hall shares this foible: One sculpture is of French inventor Joseph Jacquard, who invented the Jacquard loom. His loom is considered an important precursor to programmable technology such as the computer. Another conundrum amongst the figures embedded in Taylor Hall’s walls is Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The American sculptor is much more of a household name than Jacquard; he is credited as being a major pioneer in the BeauxArts generation in American architecture, and is responsible for prominent fixtures in the cityscapes of Chicago, Boston and New York City. But the inclusion of his image in the building’s architecture still struck Mundy as somewhat odd because of the timing. Saint-Gaudens had died in 1907, and Taylor Hall had been constructed in 1915. Considering how recent his impact on the art community had been compared with the other figures around Taylor Hall, the sculptor seems out of place. “Putting Gaudens on that building would be like putting a sculpture of Picasso in a building in 1980,” said Mundy. “The fact that he is so contemporary in this building is sort of an interesting quirk.” Mundy’s lecture will be on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Other future “Insights on Site,” include Kaplan and Mangalagiri’s lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 21; a lecture by Nicholas Adams, the Mary Conover Mellon Professor in the History of Architecture, on an area on campus between Rockefeller Hall and Chicago Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 5; and a lecture by Colton Johnson, Dean Emeritus of the College and Professor Emeritus of English, on the Maria Mitchell Observatory.
Julia Anrather ’13, above, rehearses for a performance. Anrather is involved with the Shakespeare Troupe and the Future Waitstaff of America and is directing her own play “Fireworks” this semester. “not what I see myself directing the first time around.” Theater is Anrather’s main focus, and she definitely wants to major in Drama. But her interests reach beyond the stage wings: she also loves dance, music and philosophy. For the rest of her time at Vassar, she wants to “learn the tools to become a highly functioning professional in theater.” But Anrather ultimately wants to make a goal of just “graduating alive,” like the rest of us. After Vassar, Anrather says: “I want to be someone that good professionals want to work with. It is a somewhat impossible goal, but it’s worthwhile. I want to be good enough at my job [so that I can] pick the people I work
with.” She does not want to go to casting calls and end up with “a crappy project and people who just don’t care.” She is very focused on theater and is busy developing her own ideas into future works. Anrather has made a commitment to acting and directing. She has big plans for projects in the future, and can’t wait for more opportunities to work with such great actors. When asked about her final goal for the next three years, she said “[I want] to have everything I’ve said in this article proven wrong at least once.” Anrather approaches her future of directing and performing at Vassar with great ambition; she’s ready to learn from experience and refine her craft with every step of the way.
12-hour festival fosters inclusive, creative filmmaking
Image courtesy of the Vassar Filmmakers
Above, a group of students work on their submission for the Vassar Filmmakers’ 12-Hour Film Festival. Participants are given 12 hours to write, act and direct a three-to-five minute film.
FILMMAKERS continued from page 14 their final pieces at Saturday’s screening. Nat Allister ’10 was a member of last year’s Vassar Filmmaker corps group, and partook in the organization’s 12-Hour Film Festival from last semester. His submission was also built around the set of prompts he was given before he began filming: a pizza cutter had to used as a prop, and a change of exposure (the amount of light allowed to filter onto the film) in the middle of a shot was required. He also had to include a hypnotist as a character, as well as the dramatic line of dialogue, “You’re the 1,000 pound elephant in the room!” The film Allister made using his bizarre set of prompts is now available on the Vassar Filmmakers’ website as an embedded YouTube video. “The Hypnotist’s Apprentice,” is based on none other than the classic Disney sequence from the film Fantasia, but instead of featuring a wizard and his magical hat, Allister spins a yarn about a hypnotist who lulls paying customers into a deep sleep with a pizza cutter, and then convinces them that they are a 1,000-pound elephant. But soon the hypnotist’s mischievous apprentice gets ahold of the cutter, and within minutes the campus is full of student-elephants.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
The movie uses an old-fashioned filter to give it the qualities of a silent film, complete with crackles, blots, reel jumps and title cards. While creating a film like Allister’s is every aspiring director, writer and actor on campus’s dream come true, it’s also an amazing chance to meet new and like-minded people who share a common passion. Wrote Vassar Filmmakers President Grace Statwick ’11 in an e-mailed statement, “This is a good opportunity to work closely in a group with three or four other aspiring filmmakers. Some of my best friendships at Vassar came about through working on projects for the Vassar Filmmakers.” The Vassar Filmmakers also held their first-ever Vassar Adventures for New Students (VANS) activity this year, where freshmen were divided into groups and asked to make their own short films. Encouraged by the extremely enthusiastic response to the VANS activity from students, Grace estimates that 40 students participated, and in fact calls this number a “conservative estimate,” going by the number of film enthusiasts on campus. “These events are fun, somewhat insane introductions to down-and-dirty filmmaking at its finest,” wrote Statwick in an e-mailed statement.
September 16, 2010
Founder’s Day band plays clean, fun rock traditional sense. Their first album—the deliciously titled Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone—is probably best known for placing its finest track in a Saturn commercial. Bows + Arrows, their sophomore record and arguably their artistic peak, was my “favorite record of all time” for several months when I was 15, and remains a classic—the kind of record that sinks in slowly after repeated listens. The band stumbled during the middle of the decade with their third album, A Hundred Miles Off, and a poorly conceived tribute record that barely deserves mention alongside their original material. They came back strong though, with 2008’s You & Me, a poignant record that provided most of the songs for that Founder’s Day set. And much like the best of their previous releases, Lisbon, The Walkmen’s newest offering, is a strong, likable record that revels in subtlety and class while still managing to rollick with gusto when it needs to. Throughout their career so far, The Walkmen’s music has remained superhumanly consistent thanks to their unwavering choice of instruments, how those instruments are played, and how those instruments are recorded. Perhaps most important to The Walkmen’s sound is Paul Maroon’s use of guitar—a big hollow-body that creates a pristine reverb, one that fills the recording with weight and space instead of useless echo. Coupled with a muddy, vintage organ or a twinkling upright piano, the interplay between the two seems to conjure up some zombie mutation of U2’s expansiveness and The Velvet Underground’s lo-fi rumble. The rhythm section is rounded off with a reliable bass sound and Matt Barrick’s superb, whirlwind drumming. (For proof of Barrick’s brilliance, see “The Rat” of off 2004’s Bows + Arrows.) The final touch is lead vocalist Hamilton Leithauser, who thankfully has the voice to match his regal name. Though
Lisbon The Walkmen [Fat Possum]
hough you may have been too inebriated to remember, The Walkmen played a sturdy, workman-like set out on Ballantine Field this past Founder’s Day. There was nothing flashy or even energetic about the afternoon performance—just five guys, dressed as always in jeans and button-downs, playing their woozy, reverbdrenched blend of rock-and-roll with efficiency and poise. No synths, no laptops, no gimmicks, no theatrics to speak of. Despite this, the crowd danced and swayed, a few people sang along, and from under the shade of the stage’s awning you could even see one of the band members occasionally smiling to himself. It was, in a sense, what all live shows should aspire to be: simple, crisp, and easy to get into, no matter how familiar you were with the music the band is playing. And if you were one of those unfamiliar admirers of The Walkmen’s last Founder’s Day, you can’t really be faulted. The Walkmen are one of those quiet bands that many have heard of but few really know all that well. They’ve been toiling for about a decade, releasing albums and touring constantly with a consistent sound and a reliable fan-base, without ever really “breaking through” in the
he seems to has perpetual gravel in his throat, this roughness is merely a decoy that allows him to switch effortlessly between soft croon and roaring growl. On the band’s earlier records he seemed to prefer Bob Dylan’s nasal whine mixed with the occasional manic scream, but on Lisbon he’s cooled off a bit. The result is a rich, confident voice, one that sounds mature and aged into suaveness after years of hard drinking, though I could be wrong about this. Lisbon’s understated opener, “Juveniles” provides a fine specimen of Leithauser’s new vocal restraint. When the organ kicks in during the chorus he works slightly into the upper registers, but on the verses he utilizes a talk-sung voice full of calm weariness. Elsewhere on the record, Leithauser chooses to play second gun to Maroon’s guitar—complimenting the riffs instead of singing over them. On “Woe Is Me” Maroon’s lick is downright playful, allowing Leithauser to wryly sing “Let me tell you about a girl I know/she was mine not so long ago” softly enough for the listener to miss the thematic contradiction between the lyrics and the music. “Angela Surf City” is the friendliest track to Barrick’s drumming—an upbeat verse explodes into the heaviest chorus on the record, during which Barrick gets to show off his furious drum fills. And on “Torch Song” the band slows for a second to something like a waltz, even throwing in background vocals and a steady blanket of piano chords. Lisbon is filled with moments like the supple, fading outro to “Torch Song”— moments that might pass by if you’re not paying attention. And it’s good that The Walkmen are focusing on the subtleties and nuances, and focusing their sights on the details of their impeccably-crafted sound. The rushing wave of an organ chord, the stark twang of a lone guitar note— these are the small things that when recorded correctly can make all the difference, and the difference is quite clear on Lisbon.
Campus Canvas A bi-weekly space highlighting the creative pursuits of student artists Traveling Verses Aaron Colton ’12 I
Let us speak in gestures
My language, tongue cut
Pulse 80 to Salt City
on this highway—
Onward by plain
us dusting Nebraska.
Tumbleweeds left understudies.
Let middle lands
We’ve been a mute pamphlet,
bastard dog—shotgun rider—and I
You and I
of stillborn tourism.
My stray companion Front seat Nevada mutt Strong Your silent council Wherein we The meanderwhile Receive Missive from Whiskey trials Verdict of tumbleweed Guidance of trust We Shepherds of wind
We cannot paint these that we cannot imagine: Aeolus winds ride atop our sails.
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On his cross-country drive back to school this past summer, Aaron Colton ’12, a California native, began working on this series of pieces, creating a mythic travelogue of sorts. “I’ve always had this romantic vision of like, Nebraska and driving through the Midwest, which is a really strange thing to have a romantic vision of,” Colton said. For Colton, the Midwest of his imagination holds a certain allure. “I’ve written a bunch of poems about Omaha, Nebraska, which I’ve never been to,” he said. However, despite originally intending to stop in Omaha, he ultimately decided that this imaginative vision was worth hanging onto for its promise of creative productivity. “As we were driving through [Nebraska], we made the last-minute decision [not to stop], just because I didn’t necessarily want to be disillusioned by it,” Colton explained. “I decided that the fiction that was in my head about Omaha might get me more writing material than Omaha actually would. So we changed our route.” Subsequently, he added, “These poems are anticipations of the events to take place.” —Thea Ballard, Assistant Arts Editor
Will trail the flock
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“A Light Conversation”: Dance by Wally Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy. NY Friday, Sept. 17 - Saturday, Sept. 18. 8 p.m. $15, Capturing the spirit of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard through dance is no easy feat, but Wally Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos do just that in their duet A Light Conversation. The performance, set to a fragmented clips of the BBC program “In Our Time With Melvynn Bragg,” has received rave reviews from both the Village Voice, the New York Times and the Washington Post for its nonrepresentational interpretation of Kierkegaard’s ideas of indirect communication, truth and love. The choreographers Vonmoos and Cardona initiated the play’s run in 2008, and have continued to tour the country with their incredibly complex and multi-layered performance. Their intimate spectacle will be well worth the train ride to Troy.
Responsible Fest Various Locations in New Paltz, NY Saturday, Sept. 18 - Sunday, Sept. 19 If you’re into DIY, twee, twee-folk, experimental, ukeleles, or “Star Wars-themed hardcore,” you might want to trek out to New Paltz for Responsible Fest this weekend. Presented by Responsible Records, a cassette label run by two State University of New York-New Paltz students, the event will feature a multitude of young local talent (and at least four bands involving the label’s co-founder Dean Engle). Day one takes place at the Frat House on Mulberry Street, beginning at 8 with a $2 cover, and day two starts for free at 1 pm at Rhino Records at 3 Church Street, both in New Paltz. Bands include Pizzza Time, Dude Man Dog Call Me Bro, dalliances, and Ken Griffey Junior, purveyors of the aforementioned Star Warsthemed hardcore; a free download of tracks from each performing band will be available on Thursday 9/16 at www.responsiblerecs.com
“Franz Erhard Walther: Work As Action” art exhibit Dia: Beacon Saturday, Oct. 2-Sunday, Feb. 13 Looking for an interactive art experience? German artists Franz Erhar Walther will bring a selection of his performance pieces to Dia: Beacon for an exhibition that begins at the beginning of next month. Walther’s work is known for its exploration of physical action as part of the sculptural process. The exhibition will investigate the body as a material form by involving people with fabric. One such piece, 1.Werksatz (First Work Set), 1963–69, uses fifty-eight fabric elements to accentuate the human body.Visitors are welcome to ‘step into’ the art and experience hands on the conversation between action, space, and humanity.
Frank de Las Mercedes Art Opening Zen Dog Cafe and Gallery in Rhinebeck, NY Saturday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. Picasso, Chagall, Dali,Tale: if not Franck de Las Mercedes, at least those other names should ring a bell.All of these artists, including de Las Mercedes will be featured in a collection in the brand new Zen Dog gallery in Rhinebeck, NY.The New York City-based Nicaraguan-born painter De Las Mercedes has garnered plenty of media attention lately for his abstract and figurative works. His latest series is known as “Interruption”:The bright acrylic pieces feature dazzling network of geometric lines interspersed with splotches of brilliantly-colored paint. If you want to see some of his work, as well as hear the artist himself give a talk, this is a reception you need to attend.
September 16, 2010
Basketball’s Robin Deutsch wins Grant Burger Award ‘superfriends’ T invade Miami Corey Cohn
Katie De Heras/The Miscellany News
ith the summer now pretty much behind us, it’s safe to say that the “Superfriends” of Miami, LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, were the talk of what was otherwise a pretty eventful few months. However, I feel like I’m one of the very few people who isn’t surprised by how that whole escapade turned out. In this the age of Facebook where fake friendships and intricately contrived social circles seem to dominate our lives, why is everybody so shocked that a bunch of basketball players, who know each other pretty well, decided to team up? Discussion on the topic always centers on the issue of competitiveness. Everybody complains that James’ action finally cemented the death of the “good ol’ NBA,” where ruthlessly competitive athletes would massacre opponents in incredibly over-glorified campaigns for championship rings. We all love and remember Michael Jordan because he was the meanest, the craziest and quite simply the most ruthless. Jordan was the ultimate competitor and the best in his sport, in turn becoming the yardstick against which we measure all other superstars. From the day LeBron James stepped out onto the NBA parquet, he was deemed the “second coming” of Jordan, even sporting his number and a tattoo on his calf that read “The Chosen One.” Like excited schoolboys, we all peed our pants and hoped against all hope that it was true. We not only wanted James to dominate, but we wanted to see a whole new level of destruction with bodies sprayed on the floor and James wiping away the remains. Basketball fans became hungry for blood, especially once we realized that he was essentially a mutant, huge in every physical sense yet dexterous, agile and athletic enough to be compared with just about anybody. He was the monster to our Dr. Frankenstein. We all wanted to love the monster and cheer for him as he let other teams have it. He was meant to rip smaller defenders limb from limb and destroy centers with other-worldly dunks, all the while snarling at them and screaming obscenities. Yet, our wishes did not come true. Instead here was our monster laughing with opponents before games, hugging teammates and taking little joke snapshots in before game routines, allowing ridiculous teammates like Delonte West to make him look about as mean as Ice Cube in yet another Disney flick. Even during games, he was audacious enough to do something as crazy as smile! Smile! I remember sitting in front of the television during playoff games and screaming at the screen each and every time James would smile following a mistake or a defensive lapse. I wrote him off, claiming that this imposter was no Michael Jordan and was in no way, shape or form fit to wear his number or be associated with him. I deserted James for the closest thing I could find to Jordan, Kobe Bryant, because to me James wasn’t that competitor, that cocaine kingpin sporting crazy eyes, an M16 and a grenade launcher mowing down those who dared oppose him. No, James wasn’t a ridiculous, ruthless competitor. He was friendly, approachable and in some strange unsettling way, very corporate. He always spoke exactly as he should, never missed a beat in interviews, commercials or even in games. He was everything advertisers wanted and PTA members hoped their children would look up to, and many basketball fans like me were strangely and subtly disgusted. But we didn’t understand why that was. James wasn’t a competitor because he didn’t need to be. He never had to claw his way up the rankings or fight it out like others did before him. He was child of the information age, a product of highlight reels, blogs and Facebook, revered long before he had achieved anything of value and as such not in need of a fighting attitude. James wasn’t born short like Allen Iverson or skinny like Jordan. Nor, as crazy as it sounds, was he ever over-hyped like Dajuan Wagner or J. J. Reddick. Instead James had it all. He had See SUPERFRIENDS on page 19
hree-peats are rare, usually claimed by only the elite members of the upper echelon in sports. The Chicago Bulls (twice), Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Yankees all accomplished the feat with championships in the late 1990s and early 2000s and were accordingly labeled “dynasties.” Individual three-peats are even more exclusive, especially when it comes to awards. Michael Jordan (twice) and Shaquille O’Neal won three straight NBA Finals Awards (the first two players to do so), and Brett Favre is the only NFL player to win three straight regular season MVP honors. Add to this esteemed class Vassar’s own Robin Deutsch, the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications, Marketing, and Promotions. This past June, Deutsch received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Grant Burger Media Award for Division III women’s volleyball coverage—for the third consecutive year. The honor is given to those communications professionals who exhibit outstanding efforts promoting volleyball programs. Deutsch, who is one of only 10 Division III recipients of this award (30 nationally), says it is humbling and has strengthened his alreadypotent work ethic. “The first year, I was completely blown away,” he remembers. “I didn’t think, given the number of people considered, I’d ultimately be chosen. Winning it three straight years has made me work even harder.” It’s difficult to imagine that it is possible, at least if you ask anyone within the broad network of people who laud Deutsch’s work. Though the Grant Burger Media Award specifically acknowledges achievements in volleyball, Deutsch promotes all 27 athletic teams on campus. In fact, after hearing about the honor, other Vassar coaches e-mailed him, saying they would love to nominate him themselves if there were ever the opportunity in their particular sport. Deutsch’s dedication is apparent in the schedule he maintains. Last weekend, he worked at the Betty Richey field hockey tournament, collecting statistics at a field hockey game between Elms College and Manhattanville College. Basketball season forces Deutsch to work late, as 8 p.m. games on Friday evenings keep him at work until 11. Director of Athletics and Physical Education Sharon Beverly has this to say: “The entire Department of Athletics and Physical Education benefits from the outstanding work and efforts of Mr. Robin Deutsch. We celebrate his much-deserved recognition as a three-time recipient of the Grant Burger Media Award!”
Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications Robin Deutsch, above, received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Grant Burger Media Award for the third year in a row. Deutsch, though, is appropriately a team player, and he is quick to point to the other sources of this growing success. He accredits the enhanced technological facilities that have opened the door to multiple new possibilities. In particular, Deutsch says that the revamped website has helped immensely; it now features live statistics. “This is still a person-toperson business,” he explains. “But the web is our window to the world where we can tell our story.” He is quick to mention, however, that each advancement only came when the time was right. “With the new sports complex at Prentiss Field, the three press boxes we didn’t have before, the new website—only now do we have the right resources in place to take the steps we’re making.” Now in his seventh year at Vassar, Deutsch recognizes the other significant changes that have occurred in his work environment. “It’s a complete 180-degree turnaround from when
I started. The first four years, I managed this department alone and with only three students; now, I have a fulltime assistant and eight student assistants.” “Assistants” implies the necessary professional relationship that exists between Deutsch and the students. So far, this has reaped tremendous results, as Deutsch emphasizes that the AVCA award does not solely reflect his personal success. “Excellence in this office is shared,” he says. And it’s earned. Deutsch likens his team to the ones it supports on the fields of play. “We’re never going to mail anything in. We work to be the best we can be, then when we reach that point, we try to take it up a notch.” He knows this objective is not unique, and that inspires him further. “At the end of the day, this office is the face of the Athletics Department and representative of the college. See DEUTSCHE on page 20
Wiechmann celebrates rugby career WIECHMANN continued from page 1 Her smile is bright, her laughter light and her manner poised. Wiechmann, a psychology major, partially credits the appeal of rugby to primal satisfaction. But she also cites the camaraderie of her team as a defining factor of her Vassar College experience both on and off of the field, noting, “You get really close to your teammates.” Wiechmann beams as she reflects on the support and friendship that she feels is unique to the experiences of a rugby team, and explains that she made some of her best friends at college through her sport. When considering her tenure on the field, Wiechmann is drawn to a memory particularly representative of the highlights of her experience with the sport. Wiechmann recalls scoring her first try as her most triumphant moment in regards to rugby. It was relatively early in her career, the veneer of eager sportsmanship had yet to show any signs of wear, and Wiechmann was in her element. With her supportive teammates at her side, Wiechmann burst across the field exploiting every opening in the enemy’s defense, charging towards her goal with mental acuity and perfectly harnessed physicality, and she scored! And to make the moment all the more sweet, Diane Wiechmann, Krissa’s mother, was aglow with pride in the stands, having visited all the way
from South Dakota and thrilled by her daughter’s achievement. “It was especially awesome because my mom was here, and she got to see that.” Wiechmann’s words are simple, but loaded with heart and backed by a wizened serenity and the advantage of hindsight. In the waning days of the summer of 2008, Wiechmann was among the throng of clamoring freshmen, eager to find their niche and make their mark on Vassar’s campus. As fate would have it, Wiechmann’s campus job brought her her under the encouraging attention of Head Rugby Coach Tony Brown. Always on the look out for new talent, Brown encouraged Wiechmann to consider rugby. Wiechmann, of course, did consider, but more than that, she excelled. By now, it is no secret that on Friday, June 11, 2010 Wiechmann suffered a severe spinal chord injury while playing for the Northeast Rugby Union Women’s Under 23 Select Side. While it is likely that this deeply unfortunate turn of events has ended Weichmann’s formal rugby career, it would be foolish to think that it has diminished her presence, her spirit, her blinding optimism or, least of all, her love for her sport. Wiechmann remembers the event of her injury with an intelligent matter-of-factness, “The other team went early for the engage [in a scrum], and I wasn’t physically ready for it.” This simple statement reflects the tragedy of Wiechmann’s accident. Still, she refuses to lose
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herself in the gravity of her situation. Instead, Wiechmann chooses to focus on the love and support of her friends and family. “I just got so much support,” she says with a small lump in her throat, “One of my teammates came to the hospital to visit me and before she did that, she told the team and brought pictures and letters that she hung on my wall.” Despite her indelible optimism, the fact remains that Wiechmann got hurt, and badly at that. Still, she has no regrets, “It was just such an amazing feeling when you were on the field, and I’ve played a lot of other sports competitively, and never felt the same way.” Wiechmann may be off the field permanently, but she is not done with rugby just yet. Brown, enthralled in the business of his season, wrote in an e-mailed statement, “It is wonderful to have Krissa back on campus. She has already been out to games and practices and helped the team. She is a very determined young woman and we miss her being on the field.” A fixture of every practice and every game, Wiechmann refuses to see the end of her physical participation as the end of her role on her team. She is an inspiration to her team, a rugger for life and a true athlete in every sense of the word. For more information on Krissa’s recovery check the Facebook group “Help Get Krissa Wiechmann To The Mayo Clinic”
September 16, 2010
Soccer captures non-conference games On the Road: Brewers have mixed success
Harrison Remler Guest Reporter
Andy Marmer Sports Editor
Courtesy of Sports Information
fter losing in the final minutes against Manhattanville College on Sept. 4, the Vassar men’s soccer team played with a sense of urgency, winning their second non-conference game of the season against State University of New York Old Westbury on Sept. 8. “We were forced to move on quickly and we learned a lesson. We need to stay tough and focused throughout the game,” said forward Evan Seltzer ’14. Sophomore Alexander Mrlik attributed the win to the team’s higher level of intensity and focus. “We worked on our mental focus and everyone elevated their level of play in the win. The winning goal was a total team effort,” said Mrlik. Struggling to find an offensive rhythm in the first half, the Brewers missed on set plays and open chances as the half finished in a scoreless tie. “The set plays will take time as everyone has to get used to each other’s playing styles,” noted Seltzer. Despite the lack of goals, strong defensive play kept the Brewers alive, as goalkeeper Ryan Grimme ’14 had three saves on the day. Sophomore Juan Dominguez came off the bench with a crucial defensive stop with 12 minutes remaining in the first half, preventing Old Westbury’s Victor Farfan from a one-onone scoring opportunity. “[Dominguez] made an awesome play for us as he slowed the opposition down and committed on his mistakes. Overall it was a great play,” added Mrlik. Mrlik returns to the team after leading the Liberty League in assists (10). After losing Brian Bianchetti ’10 and Chris Nieminski ’10 to graduation he believes that the Brewers will begin to convert as the team continues to come together. “It will take time and the set plays will start to come as the season progresses,” said Mrlik. While Head Coach Andy Jennings made some tactical changes before the start of the second half he also encouraged his players to play with confidence. “We wanted them to play with a little more confidence and to play to be successful, not to play to avoid mistakes,” said Jennings. His advice triggered an energized offensive attack, which saw substitute Adrien Demelier
Ethan Hallber ’14 scored the first goal of his college career as the Brewers defeated St. Mary College 2-0, following a win against SUNY Old Westbury the previous day. ’14 net the only goal of the game with 18 minutes left in the second half. Harrison Freund ’12 assisted on the play. “It was overall a great passing effort by our entire team and a great assist by [Freund],” noted Demelier. He continued, “It felt awesome to score and I wanted to take advantage of my opportunity on the field.” Jennings started four freshmen in Wednesday’s contest, impressed with the entire freshman class’s efforts throughout the season. “The freshmen have done very well. Not just the ones that are playing, but all of them have come in and contributed in their own way. We are still a young team but we are maturing quickly,” said Jennings. “There is a big difference from high school to college, and there is a difference in intensity from non-conference games to the Liberty League match-ups. Physical games like the Old Westbury win will help us get ready for the toughness of league play. We all need to elevate our game and continue to hit our stride as the season continues,” said Mrlik.
After Demelier’s goal the Brewers held Old Westbury scoreless to garner their second victory of the season. Following their victory Sept. 8, the Brewers persevered last Sunday over Mount Saint Mary College, 2-0. The Brewers received goals from Seltzer and Ethan Hallberg ’14 in the win. Seltzer scored first for Vassar, when Ben Scaglione’s shot forced the Mount Saint Mary goalkeeper to make a diving save, giving Seltzer access to an open net for his goal. The Brewers added an insurance goal as Mrlik played the ball to classmate Noah Michelon ’13, who used his chest to play the ball to Hallberg. Hallberg did the rest, notching his first college goal. Heading into the final stretch of their nonconference schedule, the Vassar men’s soccer team is hoping to return to the Liberty League playoffs for the first time since 2002 (when the league was known as the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association). Vassar will next play Sunday at Drew University.
elcome to the debut of On The Road, a place where we will focus exclusively on Vassar’s away contests. Women’s Soccer This weekend, the women’s soccer team participated in the Valiant Classic, hosted by Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. The event, a four-team tournament, featured Vassar, Manhattanville, Eastern Connecticut State University and Montclair State University. Last Saturday, Vassar played its first game of the tournament, a 3-1 victory over Manhattanville. The victory advanced Vassar to 3-0, with all of their wins being by the identical 3-1 score. Against Manhattanville, Alix Zongrone ’12 struck first for the Brewers, heading home a corner from Keiko Kurita ’13 seven minutes into the second half. 12 minutes later, the pair struck again in similar fashion, with Zongrone heading home a Kurita corner to give Vassar a 2-0 win. Manhattanville tried to battle back, as Holly Nonis scored on a free-kick with under 18 minutes remaining in the game, but Vassar closed it out five minutes later. A pair of freshmen combined for the Brewers third goal as Gavriella Kaplan ‘14 received a throughball from Sheeva Seyfi ’14, and tucked her third goal of the season—one in each game—into the back of the net. In their second game of the tournament last Sunday, Vassar faced Eastern Connecticut State, which tied Montclair State 1-1 the previous day. Vassar struck first 24:35 into the game as captain Allison McManis ’11 scored her first goal of the season tapping in the rebound, following a shot off the post by Kurita; however, the Warriors scored twice in the second half to hand the Brewers their first loss of the season. Friday the Brewers will host New York University, before traveling to Elms College on Saturday. The following weekend Vassar will begin Liberty League play, traveling to St. Lawrence University, on Friday, Sept. 24.
Your Week Two NFL picks: James and friends can’t live up So I can keep my kneecaps to Jordan’s legendary example Andy Sussman Guest Columnist
fter a fun-filled opening weekend, the National Football season is upon us. Now it’s time to cover the most holy of football traditions: who am I going to pick so I can pay my bookie Vinny back and not get my kneecaps broken? At least, that’s my tradition. So without further ado, here are my picks against the spread, with home teams in all capital letters. Kansas City (+1) over CLEVELAND: Browns QB Jake Delhomme is truly one of the most giving players in the NFL. He’s willing to pass to anyone, regardless of what color jersey they wear. He really would be Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream quarterback, if Dr. King wanted to lose. Buffalo (+13) over GREEN BAY: The current selection of offensive lineman for the Bills consists of Goldberg from the Mighty Ducks, George Constanza and Fat Albert, so protection is a slight issue. Meanwhile, 35-year-old Packers star cornerback Charles Woodson received an extension through 2014. Perhaps it’s not coincidental that people in Green Bay are suggesting a change of their stadium to Life Alert field. Baltimore (-2) over CINCINNATI: The Bengals have two wide receivers with reality shows, a cornerback more known for his visits to strip clubs than his playing skills, and a defensive tackle who had enough weapons in his basement to arm a militia. So I think we can agree that they will be completely focused to play. On the other
hand, the Ravens have Ray Lewis who, according to a recent Old Spice commercial, blew up Saturn. TENNESSEE (-5) over Pittsburgh: The Steelers are still without Ben Roethlisberger, who is suspended for not being a good boy, so they are frantically searching for a new quarterback that the rest of the league can boo. Philadelphia (-4.5) over DETROIT: The Lions suffered a brutal loss to the Chicago Bears last weekend, when wide receiver Calvin Johnson appeared to catch the gamewinning touchdown only to have it ruled incomplete. Luckily, the Lions fans have no idea what happened, since the paper bags over their heads prevented them from seeing the game. Chicago (+8) over DALLAS: After a sloppy loss to the Washington Redskins, Dallas will be prepared to listen to more Carrie Underwood than ever to get them inspired Sunday against the Bears. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler may demand a trade because his team only has one win so far and he misses his mommy. CAROLINA (-2.5) over. Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers won the opening Toilet Bowl of the NFL by defeating Cleveland, showing that they already are better than a real life professional team! Everyone on the Panthers, meanwhile, seems to be on the hot seat, including cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who appeared to have been majorly outplayed last week by General Mills and Colonel Sanders. See FOOTBALL on page 20
SUPERFRIENDS continued from page 18 the height, the athletic ability, the skills and the respect. When he came into the league he was handed the reins of the franchise and told to run wild, and he did. That wasn’t the case for just about every other great competitor we love. Allen Iverson was doubted, called too small and incredibly immature. Charles Barkley was deemed overweight and short. Larry Bird was too slow and lacking in athleticism. Even further back, players like Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor had to deal with unrelenting and horrifying racism in and around the league. Even the great Michael Jordan dealt with his fair share. Apart from being cut from his high-school basketball team his sophomore year, Jordan was drafted third in the NBA and doubted from day one with just about everybody questioning whether or not he was a “winner” rather than just a “scorer.” James, on the other hand, didn’t deal with the world in that way. He entered a league after already achieving superstardom in high school. He was quite simply physically and mentally superior and as such exhibited a lack of competitiveness that was demonstrated by others in the same position, like Wilt Chamberlain, a monster in his time, and Magic Johnson, another physically and mentally superior player for his time. Just like those two, James seemed more obsessed with the fame and the social world of the NBA than winning. To make matters worse, whereas Chamberlain and Johnson had competition to push them in the form of Russell and Bird, James seemed without equal. In fact, he was friends with the only people that could have challenged him from his experience on the national teams
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with them and general interactions in the league. Like Johnson, James became more known for his smile than his snarl, and why not? James entered the league in the age of Facebook, well technically MySpace, where human social status was judged by quantity of friends and relationships, not quality or any other measure, and in that sense James was the champ. Everybody loved him, both in the league and outside it, so why should he care to try and rip out their throats? It wouldn’t make sense given his experience. The competitors were the outsiders, those that weren’t supposed to have made it. Russell Westbrook, for example, first dunked in his senior year of high school and is now arguably the most explosive and exciting player in the league. Guys like Rajon Rondo, called incapable of so much as playing on the Boston Celtics due to his immaturity and inexperience, who has since emerged to be possibly the best playoff performer of his generation, excluding this year’s finals—sorry, I am a Lakers fan, after all—should not have been here. James didn’t mix with that crowd; he had already made it, without championship rings or anything, so why should he foam at the mouth during games or feint competitiveness? He’s set, and only wants a few rings to cement the dynasty that he has pretty much already created. So why not do it with his friends? Cue Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and the creation of the “Superfriends” and using their combined powers, as well as the rest of the NBA leftovers on the Miami Heat roster, to get those rings. Competitiveness is an afterthought. The “Superfriends” have figured out their time brilliantly. The name of the game today is “collude and conquer,” and competition is for losers.
September 16, 2010
Vassar brings home Betty Richey title SCOREBOARD Andy Marmer
september 12 field hockey
Juliana Halpert/The Miscellany News
fter five straight years of championship game defeats, the Vassar Field Hockey team finally broke through to win its second-ever Betty Richey Tournament. In the championship game, Vassar triumphed over Smith College 4-2, led by a hat-trick from Anna Schroeder ’14. Said Captain Jessica Lance ’11 as quoted on the Vassar College Athletics website following the victory, “We had such a will to win. We wanted to bring Betty home so badly.” Lance would be honored with the Tournament MVP Award. This year marks the 22nd incarnation of Vassar’s annual Betty Richey Field Hockey Tournament. The tournament’s namesake began teaching and coaching at Vassar in 1937, the beginning of a 41-year career. Richey helped to found the Intercollegiate Women’s Squash Championship in 1965, and created varsity programs in field hockey, men’s and women’s squash and tennis. In addition to her coaching prowess, Richey was an All-American in both field hockey and lacrosse, earning acclaim as a member of the inaugural U.S. Field Hockey Hall of Fame class in 1988. Following her death in May of 1988, Vassar hosted the first annual Betty Richey Tournament in 1989. The Brewers opened the tournament last Saturday afternoon persevering over a resilient Manhattanville College squad, 3-1. Emily Maier ’12 opened the scoring for Vassar knocking home a cross from Schroeder under seven minutes into the contest. The Brewers held this lead for the majority of the half, until Manhattanville’s Alex Pomato knotted the game at one, with just over four minutes to play in the half. But just two-and-a-half minutes later, the Brewers retook the lead, on a goal from Madeline Rooney ‘11. Rooney aligned herself with the far post of the goal, and awaited a pass from Lance. Once Lance had slid her the ball, Rooney slipped it past Manhattanville goalkeeper Melissa Grant to give the Brewers the lead. Six minutes into the second half, Rooney notched her second goal of the game, once again off an assist from Lance. Following the goal, Vassar locked down on the Valiants defensively, holding them scoreless for the remainder of the game, en route to the 3-1 victory. The Brewer’s victory, partnered with Smith defeating Elms College, 3-0 in the second game of the day, set up a Seven Sisters championship matchup. The championship match proved to be a highly offensive affair, with both teams trad-
Janet Kanzawa ’14 defends against a player from Smith College, helping the Brewers defeat Smith 4-2 and win their second-ever Betty Richey Tournament, named for a former coach at Vassar College. ing goals before Vassar persevered. Elizabeth Feltch ’12 struck first in the contest, just under 15 minutes into the game. Feltch saw her first bouncing shot saved by Smith goalkeeper Sora Harris-Vincent, but charged the net and was able to put home her own rebound to give the Brewers the lead. The Vassar lead did not last long; just 42 seconds later, Smith tied on a Nomindari Goulden goal. It took just one minute and 28 seconds for Vassar to prove that they too could answer. Schroder positioned herself in front of the Smith Cage and redirected a shot from Lance past Harris-Vincent and into the back of the net. With the Brewers leading by one, they continued to press Smith. The Brewers’ offense struck again with 12:57 to play in the half, and once again Schroeder put the ball in the goal. Off of a penalty corner, Lance found herself with the ball at the top of the circle. Lance passed it off to Rooney on the wing, who slipped the ball to Schroeder in front for the goal. Smith attempted to equalize, drawing within one on a goal by Alexandra Stein, with 3:25 re-
maining. After the half, Smith continued seeking that elusive tying goal, but ultimately it was Vassar who notched the next goal. Schroeder took a pass from Maier, and found the bottom left corner of the net, giving Vassar their insurance goal. A two-goal lead was all the Brewers needed, as their defense took care of the rest, closing out the 4-2 win. The victory clinched Vassar’s first Betty Richey championship since 1995. Schroeder noted to the athletics website, after the victory “It’s great to win after 15 years. We played well as a team and we played together” With three assists overall, including one in the championship game, Lance earned the tournament MVP award. Rebecca Smith ’13, Rooney, and Schroeder joined Lance on the Betty Richey All-Tournament Team. Even after their successes, Vassar has not lost sight of bigger goals. Maier noted, “we prepared all week specifically for this tournament. We were obviously very satisfied with the results. Hopefully we can translate this success into Liberty League games.”
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Deutsch wins media award NFL games picked against for third consecutive year the spread: Who will win? DEUTSCH continued from page 19 We have to continuously improve to promote our athletes and teams the best way possible.” This attitude is fully embraced by his staff, as Assistant Sports Information Director Shane Donahue ’10 attests. “Robin demands excellence but teaches everyone how to be excellent. He makes sure everyone fits into the team. The office can’t do it without the students—Robin would probably say they should get the award.” But Deutsch appreciates his staff for more than just the tireless work they put in each week. He strongly values the familial bond he has formed with the students as well. “Working with Robin is a privilege; I’ve learned a lot under his tutelage in the past two years.” Said Andy Sussman ’12. “We spend a lot of time together,” he says. “They become much more than student workers; I become a surrogate parent, a confidant, a mentor and a friend.” This special relationship explains why Deutsch refuses to describe himself as a “boss.” “That’s a negative word. I don’t boss anyone around here.” The students may not call him “boss,” but they do have a nickname for him: “King.” This has caught on so effectively that Deutsch claims he hears that more often in the workplace than his own name. “It’s how the students refer to me,” he says, “they call me ‘King.’” The students show allegiance to their King
before and even after they’ve moved on from Vassar. A former student-turned-full time assistant, Chelsea Katzenberg ’08, would call him “Mr. Grant Burger Media Award Winner,” Deutsch says, to playfully pay homage to his expertise in the field. Christina Verdirame ’13, a current sophomore on the women’s volleyball team and sports information student assistant, was one of the first to text him about the award this year. “She wanted to tell me she was honored to work in the same office as me,” Deutsch recalls. “That kind of sentiment makes me work harder to be the best possible manager and mentor for her.” Some students even get a little competitive when it comes to the award. Deutsch mentions Phil Tully ’10, who received All-American AVCA honors for volleyball in each of the years that Deutsch won the Grant Burger Media Award. “He wanted to make sure I’m not nominated again this year, so we can each just have three,” he says with a laugh. But Deutsch says he’s not even thinking about a four-peat. He knows as well as anyone that success is predicated on teamwork, which doesn’t have to equate to individual accolades. “We have one of the best sports information departments in the country,” he states proudly. “That’s a tribute to my students and me embracing it. It’s not a job to them.” Deutsch loves his job, too, and takes it seriously, but with great humor. And it shows, for now this King has a lot to display on his mantel.
FOOTBALL continued from page 19 ATLANTA (-6.5) over Arizona: The Falcons continue to be the most boring team in the NFL, not scoring a touchdown in their overtime loss to the Steelers last week. This week, however, I expect the hometown gunshots to wake the team up, although it may cause a plethora of false starts. Miami (+5.5) over MINNESOTA: Rumor has it that the mayor of Minneapolis has agreed to let the Dolphins win if the Miami Heat allow the Minnesota Timberwolves to have Michael Beasley. Sadly for Minnesota, they already have Beasley. St. Louis (+4) over OAKLAND: Coming off a bad loss to Tennessee, Raiders owner Al Davis demands some serious changes this week. So I would expect the 81-year-old Davis to quarterback the team and in the process be better than the past ten Raiders QBs using his zombie face to scare away Rams defenders. DENVER (-3.5) over Seattle: Tim Tebow made his NFL debut last week, and though his in-game numbers were not particularly impressive, he managed to baptize the entire stadium while giving out free circumcisions. Can Kyle Orton do that? Well, can he!? Huh? HUH? Houston (-3) over WASHINGTON: The Texans shocked perennial AFC powerhouse Indianapolis behind running back Arian Foster’s 231 yards and three touchdowns. Now that Houston head coach Gary Kubiak has a
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clear-cut number one running back he will decide never to run the ball again and cause fantasy football owners to cry themselves to sleep. Jacksonville (+7.5) over SAN DIEGO: If Jacksonville defeats San Diego, Jaguars pro bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew promises to add another last name. Jacksonville coaches have already asked if he could instead give them their first wide receiver. New England (-1.5) over New York Jets: The Patriots got into hot water several years ago for spying on the Jets during a regular season game, but now the Jets are the team with the controversy: Coach Rex Ryan has been said to steal opposing players cheeseburgers and then put extra cheese on them before eating. COLTS (-5.5) over Giants: It’s the Manning Bowl again! I can’t wait to see Peyton and Eli make the Manning face before they cut to Archie making the Manning face. Finally, broadcaster Cris Collinsworth will say “these teams both better ‘Manning’ up followed by Al Michaels banging his head against the wall in despair. New Orleans (-4.5) over SAN FRANCISCO: Saints quarterback Drew Brees is so beloved throughout the nation, the 49ers defense refuses to disrespect him by even trying to defend him. Instead, the coaching staff will spend extra time laughing at 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and how bad he is at football.
Published on Sep 15, 2010