NYU’s Daily Student Newspaper
washington square news Vol. 41, No. 56
tuesday, september 10, 2013
Mascot team hunting for next Bobcat By Jeff Kopp
darya soroko for wsn
Auditions to be the next mascot will start with an informational meeting on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Coles Sports Center. Those who are interested in continuing the audition process will advance to the next round of auditions — time and date to be determined as scheduling permits. At this stage, contestants will prepare and perform a 90-second skit, using only body language and props — no speaking. The idea behind this is to see how well students can nonverbally convey ideas, especially under pressure. “If you can do it outside the suit, you can do it inside the suit,” said a Gallatin senior and Bobcat co-captain, who, along with the other co-captain, must remain anonymous due to a confidentiality agreement that is part of their contract with the university. “You don’t have to be the most outgoing or the best dancer, you just have to care,” the cocaptain continued. “We want people who, once
Students explored Coles Sports Center at the university’s annual fall Club Fest yesterday afternoon.
Frisson Theatre Company embraces chaos in ‘Tango’ By Sarah Nichols
The lights come up on a stage full of chaos and disorder. This lack of organization is consistent in every facet of “Tango,” Frisson Theatre Company’s inaugural production, including the set design, costumes, makeup and characterization, until the third act, when everything changes. “Tango,” written in 1965 by Polish playwright Sławomir Mrožek, is the story of a broken family’s home. The play’s protagonist, Arthur, is a university student who cannot find a sense of direction to navigate the world around him. However, since every other character is without a sense of discipline, the arduous task of being in control is thrust upon Arthur. Alex Tissiere, a current NYU student who is finishing his senior year at the Tisch School of the Arts, plays Arthur. “It’s nice to be playing a character very close to where I’m at in my life,” Tissiere said.“But also parts of who I used to be and parts of who I am now.” “Something that I do want my audience to walk away with is, what is the responsibility of our generation in society today?” NYU graduate Lauren Aldeman said. “If we want
to change things, what is action versus just talking about it?” The message of “Tango” is meant to be easily relatable to a modern generation. “Even though the play was written for 1960s Poland, it has a lot of themes that are relevant to today,” Aldeman said. Both Tissiere and Aldeman are looking to empower their audience to take action. “I think people should [become impassioned] about changing something, and want to go out after they see something and do something about it,” Tissiere said. Frisson Theatre Company has plans for future works in progress, including a radio show and collaborations with playwrights over new works. “Our mission is to create and curate theatrical experiences that are made up of frissons, in order to wake people out of the monotonous mundane of just going through your daily life, and bring them to heightened realities,” Aldeman said. “Tango” runs until Sept. 14, and can be seen at the Robert Moss Theater at 440 Studios, located at 440 Lafayette St. Sarah Nichols is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
bobcat continued on PG. 3
Classy Icelandic cuisine adds to unique New York menu By Chandler West
Skal, a new Icelandic restaurant on the Lower East Side, aims to bring high-end Icelandic cuisine to a cozy neighborhood setting. The space at 37 Canal St., on the corner of Ludlow Street, once housed French restaurant Les Enfants Terribles. The change of direction came about after three new partners bought out one of the two original co-owners. Ever since, the space has undergone an
The boudin blanc is one of many tasty dishes to be shared at Skal.
extensive renovation until reopening on Aug. 16. Today, pale blue walls, mismatched plates, fresh flowers in mason jars and scattered candles come together to form an eclectic yet homey space. Skal offers an array of affordable dishes heavily influenced by Icelandic cuisine. Guests are encouraged to order multiple dishes and pass them around the table. “The food is meant to be shared,” manager Nicole Pelosi said. “Groups can order together so that everyone is able to try a little of each dish.” While the menu only consists of 12 dishes, the kitchen pays heavy attention to detail. In particular, the heirloom carrots with burnt honey and sunflowers ($12) and duck wings with red seaweed and mussels ($14) are mouthwatering. “My favorite thing I tried was broccoli with green garlic and anchovies ($11),” LSP sophomore Patricia Antonakos said after dinner. “The portions are small, but if you’re sharing it’s not a problem,” Antonakos said. “You fill up by tasting everything on the table.” Specialty cocktails like Hjalmar ($13),
skal continued on PG. 5
Washington Square news | tuesday, september 10, 2013 | nyunews.com
on the side staff Playlist
Compiled by the
Top Tweets & Comments
Washington Square News Editor-in-Chief Jonathon Dornbush Managing Editor
Web Managing Editor
By Jake Folsom Desirae Samantha @dseiraesamantha
With nippy fall nights upon us, summer is definitely slipping away. WSN recommends relishing the last warm nights of the year in the most elegant way possible — Yacht Rock. Grab your friends, feather your hair and hit the deck — these chestnuts will fill your heart with nostalgia for a time you never lived through. Whether you’re into more artsy fare (“Cry”) or the cheesy stuff (“Rosanna”), this mix offers a breezy escape. Smooth sailing ahead.
I am the most official unofficial NYU student there could possibly be.
Alec Foster @Alectivism
Found the frattiest NYU track jacket that is literally from 1960. Never taking this off.
Salil Tripathi @saliltripathi
Trapped in elevator at kaufman center NYU. Have pressed emergency. No help yet. 15 minutes. Someone help. Not a joke. @nyu
PHOTO BY jonathan tan
amy zhang Special Issues Director
news kevin burns, neela qadir,
billy richling books/theater dylan jarrett film alex greenberger entertainment isabel jones music jake folsom the highlighter blog valerie nelson features Marina Zheng beauty & style Ariana DiValentino dining Daniel Yeom sports Chris Marcotrigiano multimedia rachel kaplan, joon lee video alex linzmeier
opinion page opinion editor
raquel woodruff deputy opinion editors
Edward Radzivilovskiy, peter keffer
advertising business manager
ellen mcqueen photos via flickr.com, wikipedia.org
"They sure did a swell job monitoring ridership over the last two weekends' construction projects; they had so few shuttle buses, the next train would arrive before passengers from the previous train had boarded buses and riders boarding shuttles between stops never had a chance to get on." — Ian MacAllen on “L subway line to receive more trains, MTA says”
"Christina Coleburn is unquestionably correct in her assertions. Politicians who use the memory of Dr. King in an effort to springboard their political advantage should be called out for the obvious. Close to home, the most egregious of them has to be Eliot Spitzer who in private uses the N-word and "schwartzas" while in public pays for expensive TV commercials featuring himself with minorities. — Juju Wang on “Politicization of Martin Luther King Jr. detracts from legacy”
Allan Andre writes poetry on the spot in Union Square Park on his typewriter.
news Emily Bell, Nicole Brown, Michael Domanico investigative Kayana jean-Philippe arts jeremy grossman features JonathAn Keshishoglou sports francisco navas multimedia jonathan tan copy casey dalrymple social media Gentry Brown senior editors veronica carchedi, tony chau, dan hinton, michelle lim, stefan melnyk, sam rullo, wicy wang
"I'm really proud of your mustache, by the way" - NYU student to NYU student
Erin Rose O’Brien @er0b
“Love Takes Time” — Orleans “Rosanna” — Toto “Dreadlock Holiday” — 10cc “Biggest Part of Me” — Ambrosia “Kiss on My List” — Hall & Oates “Dance with Me” — Orleans “Africa” — Toto “This Time I’m in It For Love” — Player “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” — England Dan & John Ford Coley “I’m Not in Love” — 10cc “Just Remember I Love You” — Firefall “Baby Come Back” — Player “How Long” — Ace “Cry” — Creme & Godley “Still the One” — Orleans
"Thank you for telling SOME of truth about this CORRUPT Thug of person. She has betrayed the people of NYC for 12 years. ENOUGH!" — sheilam22 on “Christine Quinn blinded by self-interest”
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KALEEL MUNROE University and alumni coordinator
ariana divalentino, ethan jacobs, Sam Wander
advising DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
NANCI HEALY EDITORs-AT-LARGE
Jaewon Kang, Amanda Randone, Emily Yang
About WSN: Washington Square News (ISSN 15499389) is the student newspaper of New York University. WSN is published Monday through Thursday during NYU’s academic year, except for university holidays, vacations and exam periods. Corrections: WSN is committed to accurate reporting. When we make errors, we do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. If you believe we have erred, contact managing editor Jordan Melendrez at email@example.com or at 212.998.4302.
nyunews.com | tuesday, september 10, 2013 | Washington Square news
bobcat continued from PG. 1
Selective Bobcat mascot auditions seek energetic, spirited students to represent NYU
they are in the suit, they are the Bobcat.” The Bobcat’s primary responsibility is to keep the crowd energized at basketball games, but also to make other on-campus appearances like Weekend on the Square. “The bigger the better … Your body language speaks for itself,” said the other Bobcat co-captain, a CAS junior. “Go bold or go home.” The Bobcats are a small, select group — last year, seven people auditioned and four were selected to be the Bobcat. The mascot is an official varsity sport, and they receive the exclusive perks that come with that status, including outfits, bags, travel and other all-paid expenses. The Bobcat team goes on several trips, such as a five-day trip to a mascot camp in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the team works on perfecting technique, performing skits and collaborating with other characters from other universities around the country. At the mascot camp last year, the Bobcat won Most Improved Character. They also go to a national competition in Florida with the cheer and dance teams, where the most qualified member of the team performs a 90-second skit with high-tech lighting and large props in front of a crowd of cheerleaders. They collaborate with the cheer and dance teams to make an appearance in their routine because incorporating the mascot guarantees extra points in the competition. The Bobcat team is virtually student-run, with one-hour practices once a week in Coles’ fencing salle. Tisch sophomore Andie Salgado expressed interest in auditioning for the team.
“I want to be the Bobcat because I think the school lacks spirit,” Salgado said. “I’d love to just put on the suit and randomly walk around campus. Having been on an athletic team myself and competing, I have seen how essential a mascot can be in forming a community.” “Honestly, I just can’t think of something funnier than telling my grandchildren I wore a costume in college,” she said. For all prospective Bobcats, the Gallatin co-captain had some reassuring advice to calm nerves. “Even if you’re not the greatest dancer or most outgoing person, if you know how to work Twitter and you’re funny and you’re witty, we want that.” she said. “We want [the] Bobcat to be the best he can possibly be in every medium. We want people who care about the mascot. If you really [care], then we will take you.” Jeff Kopp is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
file photo by jonathan tan/wsn
The Bobcat perks up the crowd at events.
leading candidates Joe Lhota
48% Bill de Blasio
2 24% John Catsimatidis
GMA pep rally lacked NYU attendance By Nicole Brown
Despite a low turnout at the NYU pep rally on Good Morning America yesterday morning, the students there were happy to show their school spirit. Three NYU students, dressed in purple, stood in line behind the fence outside the GMA set in hopes to get on camera and wave to their families. Tisch graduate student Taylor McCausland said she came to the rally because she wanted to make the best of her limited time at NYU. “I’m trying to get the best bang for my buck at NYU,” Mccausland said. “I figured being involved and doing stuff like this would be great.” GMA is airing features this week about the universities that the anchors attended. NYU spokesman Philip Lentz said a producer from GMA reached out to NYU to ask if they could organize a pep rally because they had hoped to have them each morning this week to accompany the features. NYU advertised the pep rally in the NYU Minute email and made a flyer, but Lentz said the timing of the rally made it difficult to get students to attend. “Obviously it was a tough week,
the mayoral race
William Thompson, Jr.
There are seven candidates in the mayoral Democratic primary, three candidates in the Republican primary and one independent candidate. If the winning candidate earns at least 40 percent of the votes, there is no runoff. According to various polls of registered voters, Christine Quinn held the lead for the majority of the summer, but has now fallen into third place. Bill de Blasio has held the lead since August 22. NYU Republicans are endorsing John Catsimatidis and NYU Democrats did not endorse a candidate.
data taken from Quinnipiac polls released Sept. 3 and sept. 9
The New York City Council is responsible for passing the city’s budget, approving zoning changes and overseeing city agencies. District 1 (Washington Square Park) Democratic incumbent and Chair of the Committee on Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Margaret Chin is running against Democratic District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar. Chin voted to approve the controversial NYU 2031 expansion plan. District 2 (Union Square) East Village Pastor Richard Del Rio is running against incumbent City Council member and Chair of the Committee on Public Housing Rosie Mendez. Both Mendez and Del Rio oppose NYU’s expansion. Green Party candidate Miles Budde is running unopposed.
borough president Borough presidents have limited power, but can be strong advocates for their boroughs. The Manhattan Borough President has direct control of a portion of the city’s capital and budget. He or she also contributes to decisions regarding land use and oversees street repairs, housing codes and parks maintenance. The candidates in the democratic primary are Councilwoman Gale Brewer, Councilman Robert Jackson, Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and former Community Board Chairwoman Julie Menin. Former NYU adjunct professor and systems consultant for Chase Bank David Casavis is running unopposed for the Libertarian Party.
so that’s why we didn’t get as much of a turn out as we had hoped,” Lentz said. CAS senior Billie Gallagher said if she had known about the pep rally she would have attended and said NYU should have broadcasted it on social media. “Pretty much everyone I know ignores emails from NYU but definitely stays up to date with the NYU Facebook page and NYU-affiliated Facebook pages and Twitter accounts,” Gallagher said. “It sounds like NYU really missed out on an opportunity to not only increase school spirit but also to show the rest of the country how awesome NYU is.” While there were very few NYU students present, Tisch graduate student Anila Gill said she is glad she went and met a few new people. “Even if it wasn’t the big crowd we were expecting, it was still a good time,” Gill said. Lentz said any demonstration of school spirit is good for the university and the students and if GMA did this again, NYU would try to participe. Nicole Brown is a news editor. Additional reporting by Michael Domanico. Email them at email@example.com.
comptroller The New York City Comptroller gives financial advice to the mayor, the City Council and the public. He or she manages pension funds, audits city agencies, reviews city contracts and issues budget reports. The democratic primary candidates are former New York City governor Eliot Spitzer and current Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer. In a Quinnipiac poll released Sept. 9, Stringer narrowly led by 7 percentage points. John L. Burnett, a NYU alumnus who has worked in the financial services industry, is running unopposed for the Republican party, and environmental, peace and education activist Julia Willebrand is running unopposed for the Green Party.
public advocate The New York City Public Advocate represents city residents and protects their interests. They are able to introduce legislation but cannot vote on it. If the mayor cannot fulfill his or her duties, the public advocate assumes temporary responsibilities. The five candidates in the Democratic primary are NYU adjunct professor Catherine Guerriero, Councilwoman Letitia “Tish” James, former deputy public advocate Reshma Saujani, state senator Daniel Squadron and former cochair of NYU’s Association of Black Faculty Administrators and Staff Sidique Wai. James Lane is running on the Green Party ticket. Most recent polling data from June 2013 showed Tish James leading with 17 percent of voter support.
Washington Square news | tuesday, september 10, 2013 | nyunews.com
edited by jeremy grossman ARTS@nyunews.com
Arctic Monkeys’ ‘AM’ finds beauty beneath rejection By Alexandra Ethridge
There’s something compelling about an international rock star being infatuated with a crush. The sting of rejection and longing manifests itself on the Arctic Monkeys’ fifth studio album, “AM.” With influences ranging from Outkast to Black Sabbath, “AM” delivers some of the band’s most sophisticated and well-produced songs yet. As they did with 2011’s “Suck It And See,” the Arctic Monkeys recorded “AM” in Los Angeles. While the former was infused with sun-drenched nostalgia, the latter sounds like the result of staying in California for too long. The bright guitar riffs and verses about short skirts and shotguns are replaced with grizzled bass lines and inebriated phone calls. The album has been described as having a hip-hop feel in several interviews prior to its release, and the band has cited artists such as Aaliyah, Outkast and Black Sabbath as influences. The hip-hop elements
are more subtle than overt. “Snap Out of It” features a piano-infused melody that would impress Andre 3000, and “Arabella” is a smart blend of funky rhythm and harsh electric guitar. Keeping in line with the album’s central heavy-rock tone, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age makes an appearance on both “One for the Road” and “Knee Socks.” Bassist Nick O’Malley provides backing vocals on many tracks with a falsetto that flawlessly echoes lead singer and frontman Alex Turner’s sultry crooning without being overbearing. A standout lyricist, Turner is at his best when writing about the women he can’t get out of his mind. “AM” offers plenty of this. The verses on “Arabella” are some of his best, rife with astronomy metaphors — “Her lips are like the galaxy’s edge/And her kiss the color of a constellation.” In “Snap Out of It,” Turner begs a woman to not settle for anyone unless it’s for him, and on “Do I Wanna Know?” — a top contender for best track on the record — he describes
the painful uncertainty of wondering whether someone returns your feelings — “Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts.” The album ends with “I Wanna Be Yours,” a sly answer to the two questions posed at the beginning of the track list (“Do I Wanna Know?” and “R U Mine?”). Here Turner names all the things he wants to be to a woman, including a vacuum cleaner, a Ford Cortina and “If you like your coffee hot/Let me be your coffee pot.” With such a strong opening and finish to the album, the songs that fill the space in between may seem weaker by comparison but would undoubtedly be standouts if not sandwiched between excellent tracks like “One For the Road” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” Overall, “AM” continues the band’s winning streak with innovative melodies, impressive vocals and Turner’s poetic verses. Their foray into hip-hop and R&B is too subtle to carry much weight on the
album, but its presence is still felt on various tracks. As fans delve deeper into Alex Turner’s mysterious mind with each new album, one can only wonder where his brooding creativity will lead to next. Alexandra Ethridge is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer, fall TV shows highlight female voices By Chris Saccaro
Earlier this summer, The Hollywood Reporter released their annual “Showrunner Emmy Roundtable” videos — a glimpse into the minds behind Emmy-nominated television shows. One abundantly clear observation was the lack of female showrunners. Between the Emmy-nominated dramas and comedies, there was only one female showrunner represented compared to the 11 males. This was a dismal look at female representation in television. While this has been a stronger summer than most in terms of exploring female viewpoints, only a select few shows are actually created by women. More often than not, shows about women are written by male writers, and offer a different perspective than if they were written by females. A good example of this is Lifetime’s “Devious Maids,” created by Marc Cherry. Cherry has created a name for himself by writing strong female characters as part of a larger ensemble, having previously helmed “Desperate Housewives.” “Maids,” which premiered this summer, shows the scandalous lives of the Latina maids who work for some of Beverly Hill’s wealthiest families. While Cherry does a great job writing nuanced roles for the mostly female cast, “Maids” still only offers a male’s perspective on how female characters would behave. But a few other female-driven and created shows have certainly made an impact this summer. Netflix’s new original series “Orange is the New Black” and ABC Family’s returning “Pretty Little Liars” are both executive produced by females, and have casts predominantly made up of women. Both shows are also based on books written by women, and therefore lend themselves to having a female showrunner. “Orange is the New Black,” however, was the most buzzed-about show of the summer for a reason. Adapted for television by “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan, “Orange” stands out for its incredibly refreshing and realistic female characterizations, as it follows a first-time felon as she traverses the world of a women’s prison. The show provides an original take on an oft-dramatized setting,which is due in large part to its use of flashbacks to shape our perception of the main and ancillary characters. This is especially true for the complex protagonist, as we are made to simultaneously hate and sympathize with her all at once. The supporting cast of female prisoners could have easily been written as stock characters, but instead they were carefully crafted with their own backstories and motivations. Ultimately, the shows of this past summer mark an important step forward in female representation on television, but there is still a lot of room for progress in terms of female voices and perspectives. This fall season could be promising, with shows such as ABC’s “Super Fun Night,” starring and co-created by Rebel Wilson, as well as ABC’s “Trophy Wife,” created by Sarah Haskins, who is a comedian known for her satire on gender stereotypes. It will be curious to see whether these shows make their mark on the fall season as “Orange is the New Black” did for summer. Chris Saccaro is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.
nyunews.com | tuesday, september 10, 2013 | Washington Square news
edited by daniel yeom DINING@nyunews.com
Skal continued from PG. 1
Skal presents array of affordable Icelandic dishes, encourages family-style dining
made with Gosling’s rum, peppermint syrup, lemon juice and soda, and Gurka, ($13) with Nolet’s gin, cucumber juice, lime juice and pepper are among the most popular. Chef Ben Spiegel, who started in the restaurant business at the age of 15, has cooked in many high-end kitchens. With Skal, he aims to bring that kind of quality to a relaxed atmosphere. “Iceland is a very small island and a very cold one with limited resources,” Spiegel said. “They use a lot of what’s available — lamb, fish, shellfish. Simple flavors. The cuisine is
really born of necessity, and for that reason much of it is fermented, smoked or dried.” LSP sophomore Ann Schmidt enjoyed her dinner at Skal. “The food has a unique taste, and it fits within my budget,” Schmidt said. “It’s the kind of place I’d even take my friends from home to give them an idea of the wide range of offerings you can find in New York.” Chandler West is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archie brings classic lunch fare to St. Marks By Dana Reszutek
East Village’s newest joint, Archie & Sons, brings classic New York luncheonette fare back into the city’s dining scene. Located on the corner of Third Avenue and St. Marks Place, Archie & Sons has already developed a fan base, even after just three weeks of its opening. From classic American breakfast items to hearty homemade soups and signature salads, the luncheonette provides comfort food at a reasonable price. The space is simple, friendly and inviting. With cozy tables and counter seating inside, and a classic letter board sign outside, the restaurant oozes an inviting vibe for those looking for a great, classic lunch. “Everything we offer here is the original recipe, quality and homemade,” said Howie Cohen, the owner of Archie & Sons. “Even the soups are made in-house.” The signature salads offered take up the largest section of the menu. All salads, from the classic tuna salad to honey mustard chicken salad, are fresh and bursting with flavors. Diners can choose to have them on either a sandwich, a wrap or as a tossed salad ($8 to $12). But no matter how you choose to eat it, the salad itself will steal the show. Flavors of different varieties are distinct and strong due to the fresh ingredients. This freshness is Cohen’s main focus when
it comes to his dishes. The soups ($4 to $6) are fantastic as well. All classics, from chicken noodle to split pea, are soon to be a go-to purchase for many customers during the upcoming winter months. Spinach and egg soup, rich in vegetable flavor, is surely going to become a fan favorite at Archie & Sons. Cohen is content with the location of Archie & Sons. The proximity to a major university and various businesses is a big plus. “There’s a great amount of foot traffic here, and the area’s somewhat changing,” Cohen said. “It’s also a great location for students to stop by as well.” CAS sophomore Nicole Suliteanu enjoyed the stir fry veggies pita ($8). “Everything tastes so good and so fresh,” Suliteanu said. “And for the amount of food you get, the price is amazing.” Cohen could not choose a favorite dish. “Everything’s good here,” Cohen said. “That’s why it’s on the menu. We make simple, classic, food well.” Archie & Sons brings New Yorker back to the basics and puts classic American fare at the fingertips of all East Village residents. Archie & Sons is located at 23 Third Ave. Dana Reszutek is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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Washington Square news | tuesday, september 10, 2013 | nyunews.com
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nyunews.com | tuesday, september 10, 2013 | Washington Square news
edited by Raquel Woodruff firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech education ideal, but not possible for all By Mark Secada
In the past seven months, the U.S. employment rate of those between 20 and 24 rose from 60.6 percent to 65.5 percent. But in the entirety of the economic recovery, those numbers aren’t encouraging. They’re indicative of the economic stagnation of the Millennial generation. We’ve touched this number before. In July 2012, the same employment rate was 65 percent. Student loans made up twothirds of the $62 million increase in non-real estate household debt in the third quarter of 2012. The Millennials are crippled, and their prospects are dim. NYU graduates, however, are doing well for themselves. In a yearly survey released by the Wasserman Center for Career Development titled Life Beyond the Square, 92.5 percent of respondents of the graduating class of 2012 were either employed or enrolled in graduate or professional schools, with the most popular industries being Entertainment/Media (14.9 percent), Financial Services (11.1 percent), Education/Teaching (10.1 percent),
and Nursing (8.4 percent). How the rest of the Millennial generation is faring should give us pause — NYU graduates aren’t out of the woods yet. We ought to consider whether or not workers will be displaced by technological advancements. The release of the personal computer saw companies using them to automate menial labor. But computers are getting better at pattern recognition, a field where humans were expected to dominate. Google’s driverless cars are a prime example of this. One decade ago, economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane wrongly asserted that “computer cannot easily substitute for humans in [jobs like truck driving].” Today, the napsterization —
to use Jaron Lanier’s phrase — of truckers is becoming more likely. The possibility for other fields of work to be automated is a growing one. Law school students face the possibility that artificial intelligence programs provided by Blackstone Discovery will not only be more efficient but cheaper as well. The same is true for prospective doctors. Columbia University and the University of Maryland have recently adopted the IBM Watson supercomputer to carry out medical diagnoses. NYU graduates are not entering safe industries. When one considers the national landscape, the way in which technological advancements will interact with today’s labor is a concern. Trying to teach an entire nation how to program is not a viable solution, although it is a noble one. Learning computer programming will be a lot harder for a displaced grocer than it was for a displaced artisan learning how to operate a machine. Mark Secada is a contributing columnist. Email him at email@example.com.
Doctors, guardians must share responsibilities By John Santucci III
The rights of minor hospital patients do not allow for the majority of children to have any autonomy as to their treatment. Rather, difficult decisions are left to either their parents or guardians, but allotting such stress to parents may not be in the child’s best interest. Recently, a 10-year-old Amish girl was admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. The doctors said continuing chemotherapy would have a high survival potential. The treatment was ordered and the parents initially consented. After two long years, treatment was stopped after her parents refused to allow it to continue. The parents reasoned that their daughter had become incredibly sick from the treatment and had lost her ability to function. In tandem, the girl begged to stop the treatment because of the pain it was causing. Her parents recoiled at the sight of their child in excruciating pain and decided to stop medical treatment, opting instead for herbal medicine. The doctors protested, and when a court ruled against them, they appealed. Their appeal was granted and the decision was reversed while temporary guardianship was granted to a nurse.
However, this ruling was only meant to be short-term while the first judge was asked to reconsider. After deliberation he sustained his original ruling and the child would not be forced back into chemotherapy and guardianship would remain with the parents. The internal stress and conflict caused by watching your child withering away is indescribable. As a future parent, I can only hope to never be put in such a situation. The parents’ motives are unquestionably pure, and yet treatment dictated by a parent’s love — rather than a doctor’s expertise — may be dangerous. Most doctors avoid caring for their family and close friends for this reason. The very nature of the medical field dictates that decisions are best made through a careful separation of sensitivity from from the necessary measures
required to best help a patient. To strip doctors of their ability to carry out what they think is the best treatment would be no different than tying a musician’s hands and asking him to play his instrument. It is unfair to impede upon doctors’ ability to complete the task they were both trained to do and, under the Hippocratic Oath, to perform. Yet there still must be a balance between the wishes of a parents, and that of the doctor. Therefore, what needs to be established is better dialogue between doctors and parents that allows for more informed decisions to be made. And in the tough instances if parents still refuse what doctors believe best, a hospital appeals committee should exist and be allowed to revoke the decision making process from the parents. This option should only be resorted to in the most extreme instances, similar to the aforementioned. Thus, decision making would be bestowed on those less emotionally involved and more medically informed and equipped to make the best decision. John Santucci III is a contributing columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cantor wrongly endangers food stamps
Food insecurity remains a critical issue for millions of Americans. Families in every county in America depend on food stamps for their basic survival. The recent misguided attack led by the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his Republican colleagues to slash the food stamp program, the last social safety net provided by the government, is a callous act against those who depend on it so dearly. An alarming 14.5 percent of Americans go hungry, up from 11 percent one decade ago. Food stamp participation varies with economic performance — the 2008 recession increased food stamp dependency by 70 percent. The increase is a rather unfortunate remnant of the recession that the United States is still clawing its way out of. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture paints an even more depressing picture. A growing number of Americans have become dependent on food stamps to achieve a basic level of sustenance. Even with food stamps, many families still go hungry. Only last year, 3.9 million households weren’t able to provide adequate nutrition for their children. Cutting assistance during pivotal developmental stages can have long-term health implications. According to a recent piece in the New York Times, 49 million Americans live in “food insecure” households, i.e., they are not getting enough to eat. This is a staggering statistic. But perhaps what is most staggering is the quasi-legal, corporate term “food insecure” — a phrase that calls for a serious rereading of “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell. Although Cantor is wrong in seeking to severely cut food stamp assistance, perhaps there is a larger discussion to be had about fiscal accountability. No one disagrees that there is an entitlement issue. However, cutting programs which are not just safety nets — another bureaucratic phrase — but lifelines for millions of people, is not the most prudent way of solving this systemic issue. Instead, Republicans and Democrats can address the issue of entitlements by working together to make sensible compromises on entitlement reform. With lagging unemployment and a stagnant job market, this is not the time to cut the food stamp program, a final resort for many Americans. There are more conscientious methods of tackling our growing spending and debt problems.
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