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NYU’s Daily Student Newspaper

washington square news Vol. 40, No. 12

friday, february 10, 2012

New bill proposes MTA ban on food

Warm winter sees snow in Union Sq. By Emily Yang

By Tony Chau

New Yorkers might have been surprised to see snowboarding children in Union Square yesterday. The Ski Areas of New York, I Love New York and the Olympic Regional Development Authority created a small winter wonderland to encourage New Yorkers to enjoy outdoor winter activities. Scott Brandi, president of Ski Areas of New York, Inc., wanted to inform New York City that nearby ski mountains were open for business. “Just because it’s been a snowless year in New York City doesn’t mean we don’t have snow on the mountains,” Brandi said. “Seeing is believing, so we brought the snow down. We wanted people to see it, touch it and ... come on up and ski with us.” Setup for the event began on

In an effort to combat the growing number of rodents in the New York City transportation system, Senator Bill Perkins proposed a ban on eating in subways, buses and on platforms. If the proposal passes, anyone who eats in the specified locations would be hit with a $250 fine. The potential penalty does not include Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains. Perkins’s concept for the bill arose after reviewing the results of a survey primarily conducted of people residing in his district. Of the 5,000 people questioned, 58 percent said they see rats in public transportation on a daily basis. Only one percent said they never see the rodents. “We have a rodent infestation problem that is growing,” Perkins said. “I know that if you feed

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Carina Wong for WSN

Adults and children alike enjoyed the snowy surprise in Union Square on Thursday morning.

Editor addresses style and race

By Keerthi Harishankar

On Wednesday, NYU’s Department of Photography and Imaging hosted the 2nd Annual State of Our Style Address led by Michaela Angela Davis, former fashion editor of Essence magazine and Kierna Mayo, managing editor of Davis, an NYU alumna, held the conference through her program MAD Free: Liberating Conversations About Our Image, Beauty and Power. The group aims to spur discussions between women of color and address the issues facing the black community in today’s evolving media. As a preface to New York Fashion Week, Wednesday night’s discussion focused on the fashion industry. Davis began the address with a reference to the controversy concerning Ellianna Placas, a white woman who was hired as the fashion director of Essence Magazine. Davis, who disputed the decision to hire Placas, mentioned the issue on The Anderson Cooper Show in 2010. At the State of Our Style talk, she reiterated the point she made two years ago: “There are

Style Coalition hosts Fashion 2.0 Awards By Hilary Presley

Isaac Green/WSN

Davis examined the role of women of color in the fashion industry so few opportunities for black woman in the fashion industry, [and] the hiring of a white woman felt like a betrayal.” She denied the accusation of engaging in reverse racism. “You cannot have anyone but a sister defining ‘black cool,’” Davis said. Afterwards, the conversation

opened up to audience members. They discussed issues seen in the beauty and style industries. Davis’ opening statements led to one major question among the crowd: where are the women of color in the image industry?

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The best and brightest innovators of the fashion industry’s social media scene gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the Style Coalition’s 3rd Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards. Hosted by TV personality Robert Verdi, the show highlighted the best brands in blogging, Twitter and Facebook. While the glamorous fashion industry can seem removed from our daily lives, social media has created a platform for huge brands to communicate directly with their consumers. Now audiences can follow the brands they admire behind-the-scenes — an unprecedented shift is underway. The fashion world is becoming more accessible, more humanized and simply more fun. The awards show recognized the best in the tech scene for their innovative communication strategies across media

channels. With PR teams from DKNY and Oscar de la Renta tweeting nonstop and videos of Lanvin models dancing to Pitbull going viral, this is certainly not the same fashion world Coco Chanel knew. Platforms such as Twitter shift the focus to the everyday person and allow impersonal brands to respond to followers instantly. The biggest winner of the night, DKNY PR Girl, took home the award for the Best Twitter as well as Best Blog. Other big winners of the night included Bergdorf Goodman for Best Facebook, Marc Jacobs for Best Website, Prada’s Spring/Summer Video campaign for Best Video and Instagram for Next Best Thing in Tech. Kate Spade was awarded Top Innovator. The highlight of the night was iconic fashion designer Norma Kamali’s keynote address.

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Washington Square news | friday, february 10, 2012 |

SNOW continued from PG. 1

BAN continued from PG. 1

Warm winter welcomes snow

Wednesday night when four truckloads of man-made snow were dumped in Union Square. Burton, the snowboard manufacturing company, designed a Burton Riglet Park: a very small obstacle course with hills, rails and short slopes where young participants could snowboard. Skiing and snowboarding experts from surrounding ski resorts set up tents near the park and helped younger participants around the obstacle course. “We designed a park with terrain and sliding features where we can pull these kids around. It’s really great for [an] introduction to snowboarding in a safe, but fun, environment,” Hillary Sherman of Burton Snowboards said. “It’s a way to get 3-year-olds snowboarding.” Rich Peck, 35, traveled from Brooklyn with his son to enjoy what little snow New York City has seen this year. “It’s great that we wanted to get a chance to play in the snow,” Peck said. “We’ve had snowy days and that’s been it.”

Brandi said some ski resorts have been struggling this season because of the lack of snow. New York, which offers more areas for skiing than any other state in the country, is a major tourism engine. According to Brandi it employs 18,000 people and makes an annual economic impact of $2.1 billion. “We’re not just a sport or recreation,” Brandi said. “We’re an important industry to the economy of upstate New York.” Chad Ypon, a 44-year-old from the Lower East Side, took his 3-year-old son out of school in the morning to join in the snowy merriment in Union Square. “They should do [this] again, especially if it’s not going to be snowing every year,” Ypon said. Emily Yang is city/state editor. Email her at

Perkins pushes for food ban in NYC transportation them, you breed them and we are feeding them by virtue of our eating habits on the public transportation system. My vision is for a rat-free public transportation system.” According to the survey, in order “to adequately meet the demands of our city’s bustling subway system” more trash receptacles should be placed in subways. Aaron Donovan, an MTA media liaison, said the agency is in the process of reviewing the legislation, but declined to further comment on the proposal. The transportation committee submitted the bill. Perkins hopes to raise awareness

of the bill by the end of the legislative session in June. Perkins also said there have been discussions on possible exceptions to the bill, but he would not elaborate. Some subway riders are skeptical of how effectively the bill can be implemented. “Without proper officials, it’s going to be very difficult to enforce it,” said Kainath Ahsan, a CAS sophomore and frequent commuter. But some subway riders are willing to comply if it means a more sanitary subway system. “I wouldn’t eat [food] to get rid of the rats. So if people say not to have food on the train, I

wouldn’t mind that,” said 29-year-old Jose Angomas. CAS freshman Maria Cepeda said she only eats while commuting. “There are people that work like 10 hours straight, and then they go on the subway to go home,” she said. “Why can’t they have a little snack on the subway if they clean after themselves?” Currently, ride Metro-riders in Washington D.C. are subject to fines and arrest due to the system’s strict food and beverage ban. Tony Chau is a deputy city/state editor. Email him at

Steinhardt freshman provides solution to login problems By Sarah Feng Internet users can now log into a website and connect to all of their favorite sites without to re-entering any passwords. Steinhardt freshman Stacey Ferreira and her brother, Scott, created a site called MySocialCloud, which lets users store their Internet logins and passwords in one encrypted location on the web. With just a click, users can access their favorite sites and log in automatically. “For a long time, my brother had been storing his own passwords on

Microsoft Excel sheets,” said Ferreira, a self-taught programmer and Music Business major. “Once his computer hard drive crashed, we spent all night talking about other ways to solve this password issue.” Within the first couple of months of launching MySocialCloud, the Ferreiras hired Shiv Prakash, a computer science master’s student at University of Southern California, as their chief technology officer. Soon after, they added a designer and another web developer to their team. The siblings pitched their idea to

venture capital moguls Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group, and Jerry Murdock, co-founder of Insight Ventures Partners. After seeing the potential of MySocialCloud, Branson and Murdock decided to invest in the startup’s seed round of funding last August. It did not take long before the website was completed. MySocialCloud also includes robust social media features — users can organize their favorite sites into a list and share it with their friends. “[There is] a stream where people can view all the websites that their

NYU announces Green Grant winners By Eric Benson New York University’s Sustainability Task Force announced its 2012 Green Grant recipients last week. Cumulatively, the eight proposals received $52,374 based on their methods of energy conservation and community outreach. This year, projects centered around food, energy and sustainability. Christina Bronsing, NYU Wagner graduate student and developer of the Climate Change: It’s What’s for Dinner proposal, said she and her seven colleagues from Wagner, NYU Law and Steinhardt were inspired by the overwhelming number of decisions one must make in terms of the environment. “The problem is that we don’t know which decisions actually matter most in the broader picture of solutions,” Bronsing said. “I didn’t realize how big a role meat production really plays. Cutting back on meat and driving down demand for livestock production are a central part

of what needs to happen to impact our emissions.” Bronsing hopes her project will have an impact on the way NYU students, and people in general, consider their food options. “Changing personal habits and eventually institutional habits takes time,” Bronsing said. “Our proposal hopes to affect the NYU community in that we aim to set the stage for larger changes down the line...whether through leadership on behalf of NYU or increasing student demand for more vegetarian options. Bronsing hopes this will eventually translate to a larger institutional impact. The Green Grant program was established during the 2007-08 academic year as part of NYU’s Green Action Plan with the intent of reducing NYU’s carbon footprint. Over half of GG pilot proposals have been developed into campus sustainability programs. Over the past four years the STF has awarded over $392,983 to 61 projects that promote a green community.

Submissions were assessed by their probable impact on NYU’s current environmental footprint and completion. NYU Green Grants Coordinator David Seaward believes the Green Grant program is critical to the NYU community. “With such a large campus, the Green Grant program allows us to cover much more ground in terms of sustainability,” Seaward said. “Since the entire NYU community is invited to submit proposals, it also offers a great sense of community.” Jeremy Friedman, NYU’s manager of Sustainability Initiatives, emphasizes the importance of an open grant. “It all pays off in the way the program has served as a ‘star factory,’ helping to generate tomorrow’s groundbreaking green initiatives today, at a time when sustainability is more important than ever.” Eric Benson is a deputy university editor. Email him at

friends are sharing and accessing across other social networking platforms, like Facebook and Twitter,” Ferreira said. She said iPhone and Android applications are in the works. Ashley Podhradsky, assistant professor of Computing and Security Technology at Drexel University, told Tech News Daily that when consumers store passwords in clouds they face two critical flaws in passwords management: weak passwords and reused passwords. She said storing passwords on the web helps

protect consumer information. Steinhardt sophomore Julianna Garreffa tested the beta version and praised Ferreira’s work. “Not only can I generate the safest passwords through it, but I get to explore all the cool sites that my friends use too,” she said. “This website is brilliant.” The site is currently available in an invite-only mode. NYU students can use the promo code NYURocks to gain early access. Sarah Feng is a staff writer. Email her at

Brooklyn residents support NYU’s new science facility By Hanqing Chen As NYU 2031 sluggishly moves through negotiations with Greenwich Villagers, NYU Poly’s expansion plans seem to be having better luck. Downtown Brooklyn recently voiced support for NYU’s efforts to expand the NYU Poly campus with a 90-second commercial, produced by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the DUMBO Business Improvement District. Since October 2011, NYU has been in negotiation with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to purchase an abandoned MTA building as the university’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. Although NYU originally offered $20 million to assist in taking over the MTA’s long-term lease on the property on 370 Jay St., the MTA has now increased its asking price to $50 to $60 million. John Beckman, Vice President for Public Affairs, attributes the welcome to the fact that Brooklyn and NYU are on the same wavelength. “I think it is attributable to a really vibrant, supportive Brooklyn community that sees, as NYU does, the promise of CUSP to contribute to and propel Brooklyn’s tech sector,” Beckman said. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who has been a long-time sup-

porter of the CUSP project, said that NYU would invigorate downtown Brooklyn’s economic scene. “Downtown Brooklyn is a vibrant, 24/7, live-work urban center with excitement and sizzle,” Markowitz said. “But we still need to create more jobs, and the Center for Urban Science and Progress would do that.” Markowitz also noted Brooklyn’s sizable college student presence, even compared to other areas that are better known for their academic pedigree. “I always like to say that our downtown has more college students than Cambridge, Massachusetts,” he said. “NYU-Poly could further solidify Brooklyn’s reputation as a center for higher learning.” Local businesses agree about the influence NYU-Poly students have on their businesses and the overall lively atmosphere. The businesses look forward to the expansion. “It definitely has contributed to the businesses,” said Karen Vargas, manager of a local Five Guys Burgers and fries. “We have rush hours and you can see students and professors taking lunch breaks here.” According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a decision regarding NYU’s purchase of the building will be announced sometime in February. Hanqing Chen is investigative editor. Email her at


Washington Square news | friday, february 10, 2012 |


edited by jessIca littman DAVIS continued from PG. 1

AWARD continued from PG. 1

Fashion editor discusses media issues for black community

Style Coalition holds third annual Fashion 2.0

Audience members’ frustrations were centered towards major publication houses like Condé Nast and Hearst. “I’ve been finding smaller blogs that post real black women and what they’re wearing,” said CAS sophomore Audrey White, who has stopped following mainstream, highfashion blogs. However, inspiration rose above the disappointment. Throughout the night, speakers stood up and talked about their entrepreneurial ventures in the design world. The audience responded with enthusiastic applause. “Seeing people behind the movement who are pushing forth positive imagery is really powerful,” White said.

Isaac Green/WSN

Panel discusses beauty as women of color.

Having designed clothes for over 40 years, Kamali has always been on the forefront of fashion innovation. But she said this is the most revolutionary time in fashion, considering what is currently happening in the social media scene. “What is most modern, innovative and new is not the clothes. What matters is how we tell the story about fashion, how we personalize it, how we humanize it.” Kamali said. Social media is crucial to humanizing fashion and has made the industry more accessible than ever. A special Visionary Award was presented

to the creators of the online retailer Gilt Groupe, Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, for their incredible impact on the way people shop. The website marks a notable shift in the industry by making luxury brands more accessible online. It is the Neiman Marcus of the new generation. Style Coalition is continuously fostering the social media environment of the fashion industry. Be sure to check out the night’s big winners online. Hilary Presley is a staff writer. Email her at b/

Follow us on Twitter @nyunews

Keerthi Harishankar is a contributing writer. Email her at b/

Best buys on a student budget By Avianne Tan

Sticking to a budget may seem like committing yourself to a semester inside your dorm room. But, many businesses now offer special discounts to make student life cheaper and easier. Now you can hit the streets without leaving your wallet at home.

1. Go to a Broadway show:

2. Grab a bite at Papaya King:

3. See a ballet performance:

4. Go shopping:

Broadway shows are one of the perks of living in NYC, but average ticket prices are around $100. As a student, take advantage of student rush discounts for Broadway and Off Broadway shows. NYU Ticket Central offers markdowns for NYU students, but if you cannot find what you are looking for there, head over to the box office the morning of the show. You can get up to two tickets for $20 to $30 if seats are still available. Make sure to bring cash and arrive early.

Know as a “tropical oasis in the concrete jungle,” Papaya King was the first eatery to offer papaya drinks with frankfurters. Two hot dogs and a 16-ounce drink costs $4.76, which is already a great deal. But, by bringing your student ID you receive 25 percent off. The original location of this savory joint is uptown at 179 E. 86th St., but the low prices are worth the trek.

Natalie Portman entranced audiences in “Black Swan,” bringing new attention to ballet. Experience artistic grace and beauty live at Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet. Popular performances include Romeo + Juliet and Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3. Student rush tickets are just $15 and you can purchase them the day of the performance at the box office. The theater is located on Columbus Ave. at 63rd Street.

Shopping in the city does not always need to burn a hole in your wallet. Many stores and services offer student discounts — some are just difficult to find. Use for student discounts specific to the NYU area. They are currently offering discounts for a variety of needs from haircuts to food. For those interested in more high-end shopping, Topshop, the famous British fast fashion brand, offers a 10 percent discount to students year round. Save money online or at their New York franchise located at 478 Broadway.

Mark Runyo/



via Flickr

5. Take your date out to the movies: Movie tickets in New York are unusually expensive, but they do not need to be. Ticket Central offers tickets with as much as a $5 discount, and some AMC theatres also offer a Student Day discount for $7.50 per ticket with a student ID. Check with the specific theater near you for details on their offers.

via Flickr

Avianne Tam is a contributing writer. Email her at


Washington Square news | Friday, february 10, 2012 |


edited by daniel hinton

National Signing Day prioritizes athletics over academics By Cole Riley

Last Wednesday, ESPN employed several networks, including ESPNU, ESPN2 and multiple live blogs on ESPN’s website to cover National Signing Day. Deemed a holiday in the sports world, it marks the first day high school senior athletes can sign a binding letter of intent with an NCAA affiliated school. Designed primarily for college football, the annual event exploits false promises made by athletic programs to student athletes. Across the country fame and publicity are promoted as probable out comes of pursuing a career in professional sports. However, the risk of rushing into long-term, life-altering decisions is ignored. Of course athletic accomplishment is great to experience personally or watch from afar. Sports provide a balance between competition and camaraderie for thousands of high school athletes across the nation. Athletic competition pro-

motes important basic values such as perseverance, leadership and collaboration. From little league baseball to college football, sports have and always will be an essential experience of adolescence. However, serious issues arise when athletics are prioritized over academics. For instance, 17- and 18-year-old athletic phenoms will hold press conferences while school is in session. In high school gyms across the nation, these athletes will choose a university athletic program in front of flashing cell phone cameras, video recorders and dozens of their student peers. As the glamour of professional sports becomes more accessible to a younger fan base, the illusion spreads. After watching a local hero or even an older brother sign with football powerhouses such as Lousiana State University, younger students may focus on athletics rather than academics. A career in sports becomes even more enticing when large and expensive schools award

full scholarships based on athletic performance, as long as the recipient maintains a minimum GPA — usually a 2.0. All too often the reality of college sports does not live up to the dream. After receiving praise from national media, scouting reports and internet blogs most high school players are stockpiled into inescapable depth charts at some of the nation’s most famous college football programs. As play time severely decreases, hopes for an NFL career are dashed, and plans for a new career must generate quickly. Even if they make the opening-day roster of an NFL team, football careers only last six years on average. Marcus Dupree’s story is a perfect example of how National Signing Day can negatively impact athletes. Dupree was a record-breaking running back who hailed from the small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi. At the end of his final high school football season, college programs from across the country tried to sway the NFL-

bound star to their school. The University of Oklahoma, Texas University, UCLA and Southern Mississippi University were the finalists. A back-and-forth affair resulted in Dupree signing with Oklahoma, which seemingly provided the best route to the NFL. Following a disappointing start to his sophomore season, Dupree transferred to Southern Mississippi and left again after only three months. Like thousands of high school students before him, Dupree succumbed to the pressures of Signing Day. He was rushed into a premature decision by false guarantees of wealth and fame in the NFL. That is the crux of Signing Day. Letters of intent become the perceived gateway between Friday night lights and the big stage. Touchdowns on the field replace good grades in the classroom. Cole Riley is a deputy sports editor. Email him at

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Washington Square News February 10, 2012

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