NYU’s Daily Student Newspaper
WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS Vol. 41, No. 83
MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013
Demolition restraint ends for 5Pointz, fate still unknown By NICOLE BROWN and KEVIN BURNS
As aerosol artists continue their fight to stop the demolition of 5Pointz, the graffiti mecca and art center in Long Island City, Queens, the 10day restraining order on the owners of the 5Pointz property and developers G&M Realty ends today, Oct. 28. Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall approved the developers’ $400 million plan in early October to build two apartment buildings on the site. Since then, Jonathan Cohen, 5Pointz curator, and 16 other artists filed a lawsuit against the preparation for the construction project. The artists won the restraining order that prevented the developers from continuing demolition preparation but also forbid any painting. The artists hoped to use the
time to prove that demolishing the building violates the Visual Rights Act of 1990 and to gain an injunction against G&M Realty. However, 5Pointz would not comment on the lawsuit or what they plan to do after the restraining order is lifted. Jarek Szeny, a Pennsylvania resident and artist who has been visiting Queens to paint on the building for the past five years, said he visited the site last weekend but was not allowed to paint. Szeny said destroying the cultural landmark would be detrimental to the neighborhood and it is the only reason he frequents Queens. “That’s the only [attraction] you have in Queens,” Szeny said. “What else do you have?” Gallatin sophomore Catherine Schmitz, who has been researching 5Pointz for a
5POINTZ continued on PG. 3
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Pumpkin Fest attendance, activities expand People attending New York City’s annual Pumpkin Fest carve pumpkins to celebrate Halloween. Festival attendees enjoyed the sunshine and the festivities in Central Park on Saturday, Oct. 27.
STORY ON PAGE 3
COURTESY OF TAPMEDIA
Freshman develops photography app NYU-Poly freshman John Meyer, who heads an app development company called TapMedia, has created an app to capture photos at the perfect time. STORY on PG. 5
Weekend Wrap-up Find out how NYU’s fencing, volleyball, and swimming and diving teams fared in their events this past weekend. STORY on PG. 4
FELIPE DE LA HOZ FOR WSN
NYU Nursing tops rankings for income According to a new ranking by a student finance site, NYU College of Nursing science and nursing graduates’ incomes rank highest in the nation. STORY on PG. 3
Opinion: Rape prevention efforts should focus on aggressors
Columnist Christina Coleburn argues that victims should not be the main targets of prevention campaigns. STORY on PG. 7
Backstage Theatre Co. channels WSP past By UTPALA MENON
Greenwich Village in the early 20th century, a time when it was known as Little Bohemia, was a community where the streets rattled with jazz and poets. The Washington Square Players, one of the earliest Greenwich Village theater companies, was fostered in this atmosphere in 1914. NYU’s Backstage Theatre Company, an all-square comedy theater club, is now bringing back the Washington Square Players with adaptations of four of the group’s early performances, including “The Clod,” “Eugenically Speaking,” “Overtones” and “Helena’s Husband.” They are scheduled to be performed on Nov. 1 and 2 as part of the Player’s 10th volume of the Drama League Series of Plays for “The Washington Square Plays.” Tisch juniors Claire Zajdel, Bridget Greaney and Margaret Saunders founded Backstage during their freshman year. “I met two girls at an audition, and we all felt that the cast was small, and there should be a way for everyone to get involved,” Zajdel said.
“We now have people from every school, including Stern and CAS.” The troupe, comprised of five directors and 18 actors, has already performed plays by famous playwrights, such as Anton Chekov and Molière. Both adaptations were presented at the end of the fall 2012 semester, and Backstage performed “Alice in Wonderland,” during the spring 2013 semester. Tisch graduate student Gala Radinovic frequently performs in Backstage’s performances. when talking about Backstage, Radinovic said she had expressed an enthusiasm for acting and a deep-rooted sense of belonging to the club. “I love how Backstage manages to take classics, and yet put such love into them, that the productions themselves turn ... into comedy, which even the most modern day person can enjoy,” Radinovic said. Tisch junior Katherine Burns, an actress in “Overtones,” describes the performance. “It’s about two women who are having banal conversation, but the subtext of the scene is very different. The sub-
text [of the conversation] is spoken out loud by two different characters. So it’s cool to do a piece with that,” Burns said. “It makes our job a lot easier.” In addition to performing shows on a regular basis, the club also meets for acting workshops. These workshops often consist of comic impromptu theater games with role playing, from playing characters who make pig noises to crying, hysterical teens. “The workshops at Backstage are extremely fun and safe for one to play and develop as an actor,” Ra-
BACKSTAGE cont’d on PG. 5
Backstage Theatre Company, an allsquare comedy theater club at NYU, performs various productions.
WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS | MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013 | NYUNEWS.COM
ON THE SIDE
COMPILED BY THE
Editor-in-Chief JONATHON DORNBUSH
JAKE FOLSOM There’s one witch on everyone’s minds this Halloween thanks to “American Horror Story.” But it’s not Gabourey Sidibe’s Queenie or Jessica Lange’s Fiona — it’s Stevie Nicks. One of the highlights of this season is the deconstruction of “Rhiannon’s” lyrics by Lily Rabe’s character — her implication that Nicks is secretly a witch has put a new spin on a timeless classic. This Hallow’s Eve, blame it on your “Wild Heart” by spinning classics such as “Talk to Me,” “Edge of Seventeen,” “Gypsy” or “Leather and Lace.”
JORDAN MELENDREZ Web Managing Editor
HANQING CHEN Creative Director
LYANNE NATIVIDAD Blog Editor
‘COSTUME QUEST’ JONATHON DORNBUSH
‘HALLOWEENTOWN’ JEREMY GROSSMAN When people think of their favorite Halloween film made by Disney, their answer is usually “Hocus Pocus.” But nostalgic kids of the ’90s shouldn’t overlook “Halloweentown” and its sequel, “Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge” — two seasonal classics about a teen girl who discovers she and her eccentric grandmother are witches. There’s nothing particularly horrifying about either film, but they both hold up as fun, entertaining staples of Halloween. Just ignore the third and fourth films, which have none of the campy spirit of the first two.
WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS
Released on the Apple App Store this month, “Costume Quest” serves as the ideal game to put players in the Halloween mood. Taking on the role of one of a pair of fraternal twins who recently moved into a new neighborhood, players go out to trickor-treat on Halloween night when a monster kidnaps one of the twins. By using different costumes to acquire new powers, players fight in turn-based battles against monsters during the course of one long All Hallows’ Eve. The combat is enjoyable enough, but it’s the game’s visual charm and written wit that will win over most players, thanks to the creative team over at Double Fine Studios.
‘MONSTER HOUSE’ JORDAN MELENDREZ
If you are not a fan of horror films, then “Monster House” provides the perfect cartoon Halloween film. The story centers around two boys who realize the house across the street is a living monster. Co-written by Dan Harmon, the creator of the show “Community,” the screenplay is fantastic and entertaining, and you will find yourself laughing out loud at some of Chowder’s lines. While the plot is nothing groundbreaking, “Monster House” will remind you of your younger Halloween years. Enjoy DJ (Mitchel Musso), Chowder (Sam Lerner) and Jenny (Spencer Locke) as they venture into the house and discover the truth behind its foreboding exterior.
Special Issues Director
news EMILY BELL, NICOLE BROWN,
MICHAEL DOMANICO 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
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 copy THOMAS DEVLIN social SYMONE WILLIAMS
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RAQUEL WOODRUFF deputy opinion editors
EDWARD RADZIVILOVSKIY, PETER KEFFER
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HANQING CHEN Halloween may be one of the final days of the year when you can still comfortably enjoy ice cream before the weather gets too cold. With it comes its own unique, underappreciated seasonal flavor. Enjoy Halloween-themed entertainment while snacking on pumpkin-flavored ice cream from Trader Joe’s.
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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.
Costumed participants bring custom bikes to the Brooklyn Bike Kill on Saturday, Oct. 26.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN TAN
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NYU Nursing grads top ranking for income By GRAHAM RAPIER
Nursing and science students graduating from the NYU College of Nursing earn the most in the nation according to a new ranking by student finance website NerdScholar. The blog’s Top 10 Nursing and Science Schools with the Highest Salaries ranking states that graduatesfrom the nursing school earn $70,236 annually after graduation, higher than the average $51,816 of 40 public and private schools the website analyzed from self-reported data. Nursing school dean Eileen Sullivan-Marx said the faculty and researchers aim to offer an education that will provide students with the practical experience and critical thinking skills needed to succeed post-graduation. “A priority for the College of Nursing is to have our graduates compete for the best positions available, and we have been very successful with this,” SullivanMarx said. “We know that our graduates are very competitive in the job market, because a key indicator is that their salaries are commensurate with top pay.” Other schools ranked within the top five included the University of Pennsylvania, which is ranked as the one of best nursing schools in the country. Carnegie Mellon’s Mellon College of Science ranked second with a salary of $60,720 — a nearly $10,000 difference with NYU — even though it does not have a specific nursing program and instead trains students in an interdisciplinary program. According to the article, nursing jobs are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of
Labor and Statistics has projected that the nursing field will see steady job growth in the coming years. “The sector is growing every year due to an aging population,” said Laura Pereyra, who wrote the article for NerdScholar. “[Students] should consider the amount they’re investing and the return that they will get on that investment.” Melanie Streich, a sophomore in the nursing school, said NYU’s rankings guided her decision process. “The placement rate and promise of a high salary for nursing students gave NYU an edge over the other colleges I was looking at,” Streich said. “[I] didn’t necessarily know that NYU nursing students made the most money, [but I] knew that the alumni were doing financially well afterward ... It’s a good feeling to know that I will have a nice salary and job waiting for me if I continue to do well academically.” The school has a history of being at the forefront of research and technology. According to NerdScholar, the nursing school began considering nursing as a science in the 1960s, which helped develop its reputation as a prominent college. The National Institutes of Health has ranked it fifth in research funding nationwide. “We are also lucky to have some of the best technology to practice on during our simulation labs,” Streich said. “[The college has] five SimMan 3Gs that act almost identically to humans. They produce lung, heart and bowel sounds, and can even respond to medication that is administered to them.” Graham Rapier is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
FELIPE DE LA HOZ FOR WSN
An NYU School of Nursing student takes a patient’s blood pressure during a clinical session.
Central Park Pumpkin Fest features more attractions, increased attendance By KAVISH HARJAI
Zombies, Frankenstein’s monsters, superheroes and many other characters attended this year’s annual Pumpkin Fest in Central Park. The sun was out on Saturday, Oct. 26, and attendees enjoyed live entertainment and various activities in celebration of Halloween. “NYC Parks Recreation Commission and NYC Parks Special Events have been working long and hard to bring this great day to the community,” Veronica White, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation commissioner, said in her address at the event. “They made everything happen, including the weather. They planned that really well, didn’t they?” Phil Abramson, director of media relations, said Pumpkin Fest was intended to combine various Halloween festivities, including a pumpkin patch and carving. Entertainment included a brief comedy show by the master of ceremonies, Beetleguy, followed by live music. The haunted house drew the longest line. It included five different rooms representing each of the five New York City boroughs if they were infested with zombies. An addition to this year’s festivities was the first PUP-kin Zone and Doggie Costume Contest. Presented by pet food manufacturer Iams, this event included a prize for the best-dressed dog, free-play area,
People attending Pumpkin Fest wear costumes and enjoy live music. agility course and a dog spa. NYU’s chapter of the Zeta Psi fraternity volunteered at the festival with the Parks Commission. “We are here organizing events,” CAS freshman and Zeta Psi member Imran Akarbaly said. “We were told that there was going to be around 40,000 people here, so we are here decorating pumpkins, and we have a bunch of people working at the haunted house.” Samantha Sugarman, 30, and Sarah Fuller, 30, both attended with their newborn children. Both said there was a lot more going on this year. “From last year to this year, there are a lot more people,” Fuller said. “Last year it was cold and two days
before the storm [Hurricane Sandy] was coming.” Many other people at the festival said they noticed the increase in attendees, including Yanise Cabrera, 23, who said the lines were longer for the attractions compared to previous years. “I came the year before last, and the event has just gotten much bigger,” Cabrera said. “They sell this maple cotton candy, and we try to get it every year.” “Halloween in New York is crazy,” Cabrera said. “There are a ton of ... special Halloween events.” Kavish Harjai is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5POINTZ continued from PG. 1
Queens residents, local artists discuss impact of 5Pointz, possible demolishment
class, explained that the owners of the building have the final say in the demolition. “For a while, [the artists] tried to get it landmarked so the owner couldn’t touch the property and he would essentially be bought out,” Schmitz said. “But the problem is that once you landmark something, you can’t change it. So in the process of protecting it, you would also be killing 5Pointz.” Schmitz said change is part of the purpose of 5Pointz, as artists are always painting over work from previous artists. According to a Queen’s Courier
article, the developers said the construction will bring more than 1,000 jobs to Long Island City and increase affordable housing units from 75 to 210. However, some members of the community emphasized the negative impacts of demolition. Jackson Heights residents Paula and Jim Noone donated their black, early ’90s Oldsmobile Cutlass to 5Pointz as a symbol of protest against the developers. Cohen painted the car with 5Pointz’s emblem to advertise the location’s fight for survival. “It’s a subversive art form that
has been wiped from the streets,” Jim Noone said. “Where better to have a museum for street art than on the street?” But Szeny said losing 5Pointz could result in an increase in vandalism, as 5Pointz is the only place people can legally paint graffiti. “We don’t want [to be] known as vandalists,” Szeny said. We just want to be known as artists.” Additional reporting by Mimi McCann. Nicole Brown is a news editor. Kevin Burns is a deputy news editor. Email them at email@example.com.
JUSTIN LANIER FOR WSN
People take photos of the graffiti art displayed on 5 Pointz in Queens.
WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS | MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013 | NYUNEWS.COM
EDITED BY FRANCISCO NAVAS SPORTS@NYUNEWS.COM
WEEKEND WRAP-UP By CHRIS MARCOTRIGIANO The women’s swimming and diving team placed well at the Quad Meet in Rochester, N.Y. this weekend. The team beat two of its three opponents by crushing Brandeis University 311-3 and cruising to a 219-151 victory against Rochester University. The Violets only loss was against Canisius College, whom they lost to by a narrow margin — 189.5176.5. Canisius is a Division I program. Tisch junior Emily Doerner won the 100-meter backstroke with an impressive time of 1:00.31.
The men’s swimming and diving team also competed in Rochester this past weekend with similar results. The Violets beat Brandeis by a score of 302-54 and Rochester, 237-130.5. Canisius College edged them by a score of 194-176. CAS junior Jerry Crowley had a banner performance, winning the 50- and 100-meter freestyles as well as the 100-meter butterfly. He was also a part of the winning 400-meter medley relay team, which also consisted of CAS senior Charlie Wu, CAS junior Matt Kendall and Tisch freshman Max Phillips.
Women’s volleyball had a mixed performance at the Kean Tri-Meet in Union, New Jersey this past Saturday, Oct. 26. The Violets lost in an evenly played match against Richard Stockton College in four sets (25-21, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23). The team lost the match despite having a 59-58 advantage in kills. Senior CAS captain and outside hitter Alexandria Mao had 13 digs in the match to go along with 16 kills. The team bounced back against the host school, Kean University beating them in straight sets by scores of 25-16,
25-20 and 25-19. Sophomore LS setter Emily Moore dished out 29 assists and registered nine digs in the match. Mao said she was frustrated with the loss against Richard Stockton. “We didn’t execute plays as well as we had been earlier this season, and it cost us the game,” Mao said. “This next week of practice will definitely be focused on pushing ourselves to play at a higher level and raising our expectations of ourselves.” The team will play in the New York State Challenge, hosted by the Rochester Institute of
Technology, starting this Friday, Nov. 1. Women’s fencing kicked off their season on Saturday in an open competition at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. Each player competed with their respective weapon in individual matches against other players. There was no team scoring. Woman’s fencing will play their first team match on Nov. 7 against Drew University at home. Chris Marcotrigiano is a deputy sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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P O T
Off-Broadway venues for student budgets By KHALEELAH LOGAN
While many college students hope to cross “see a Broadway show” off their bucket lists, those who want to a low-cost and low-stress New York City theater experience can find many Off-Broadway venues. For a theater to be classified as Off-Broadway, it has to seat a minimum of 99 and a maximum of 499 people, and must be located outside of the Broadway theater district.
1 St. Luke’s Theatre Previously known as St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, St. Luke’s Theatre is a popular venue for OffBroadway enthusiasts. Ticket prices vary per show, but standard admission is approximately $40. Known as the “home of the big hits,” St. Luke’s is located on 308 W. 46th St. and seats 174 people. Some of their biggest shows include “My Big Gay Italian Funeral,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Unbroken Circle.”
New World Stages The self-proclaimed “new face of Broadway,” New World Stages is located in the heart of the theater district on 340 W. 50th St. Featuring five stages, New World Stages offers a wide variety of shows. Tickets, depending on popularity, can start at $50. Some shows at New World Stages are “Avenue Q,” “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Murder for Two.”
Theatre 80 Once a nightclub with star-studded list of performers and then a movie theater, Theatre 80 has been a part of the development of the East Village for quite some time, and it is acclaimed for generating culture in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Theatre 80 is located at 80 St. Marks Place. Depending on the show, a standard ticket costs $25.
4 Theatre Row A collection of newly renovated historic theaters, owned by 42nd Street Corporation and known as Theatre Row, are scattered in and around Times Square. These theaters include the Acorn Theatre, the Beckett Theatre, the Clurman Theatre, the Kirk Theatre, the Lion Theatre and the Studio Theatre. Tickets are a bit more expensive, starting at $75, but they are still cheaper than most Broadway productions.
5 Playwrights Horizons A gem among Off-Broadway theaters, Playwrights Horizons is a writer-driven theater that was developed specifically to support American contemporary playwrights. The numerous award-winning productions demonstrate the theater’s commitment to the playwrights and its mission to keep the American playwright’s voice alive. Located at 416 W. 42nd St., it offers a wide array of discounts for both students and attendees younger than 30. A standard ticket fee for a student is $25, and some tickets costs as low as $5.
Khaleelah Logan is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com. ST. LUKE’S THEATER — VIA FACEBOOK.COM | NEW WORLD STAGES — VIA FACEBOOK.COM | PLAYWRIGHT HORIZONS — VIA WIKIPEDIA.ORG | THEATRE ROW — VIA FACEBOOK.COM | THEATER 80 — VIA FACEBOOK.COM
BACKSTAGE cont’d from PG. 1
Theater troupe performs Washington Square Players
dinovic said. “The variety of characters we came up with was fantastic, it makes my MTA commute from Brooklyn look boring in comparison.” While most performances are based on period classics, Backstage plans to include more variety in its shows versatility in its comic adaptation of classics. Future projects include some student-written plays tentatively scheduled for the first week of December. Backstage Theatre Company will perform “Washington Square Plays” Friday, Nov. 1 in the Palladium Multipurpose Room at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 in the Shorin Room, Kimmel 802 at 7:30 p.m. Disclaimer: Claire Zajdel is a former staff member for the Washington Square News. Utpala Menon is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYU-Poly freshman takes shot at photo app By HANNAH TREASURE
Just two weeks since its launch, NYU-Poly freshman John Meyer’s app Perfect Shot has received an overwhelming 50,000 downloads — and counting — on the App Store. Perfect Shot, a photography app, functions when the user is taking an iPhone photo, detecting both the eyes and mouths of people so the shutter only releases when all subjects are looking at the camera and smiling. Featured by Apple, the app has already reached a worldwide audience — it’s been downloaded by iPhone owners in over 17 different countries. Meyer is no amateur in the realm of app development. He began his venture into the technology field in 2008 as a freshman in high school. In the past, his company TapMedia has developed a flashlight app, which capitalizes on the iPhone’s flash function on the camera, and an app that integrates an underwater video screensaver with music and information about the species swimming across the screen. Frank Cicio, founder of iQ4 Corporation, has previously worked
with Meyer on developing apps. “Some entrepreneurs get lucky with a big hit, but some have a special gift,” Cicio said. “While John has a number of early successes, his best is yet to come.” Perfect Shot user Felix Chan, a Gallatin freshman, said the app could be useful for posed shots. “I mostly take random, funny pictures with friends, so I don’t know how much I’d actually use it. But it would be helpful for serious pictures,” he said. Not only is the app helpful for iPhone photographers, but it has also been praised by reviewers such as 9to5Mac for its aid to users who are blind, as the photographer does not need to see the subjects to ensure they are ready and in the shot. “I had never really considered how this app could be useful to people with disabilities,” Meyer said. “So now that it’s been brought to my attention, I’m working on furthering the app to where it will actually talk to you. The Perfect Shot app would then tell you basically what the screen looks like and when the camera is ready.” Now that Meyer is in New York City, he’s looking to expand be-
cause of his app-developing success. “It’s almost impossible not to find people here I want to work with,” Meyer said. “I’d love to build a team, composed ideally of NYU students.” With plans of adding partners to his new app projects as well as finding an office space, TapMedia will continue to grow. But in the end, Meyer said his main focus is centered on app users — the app is free with an in-app purchase to remove ads, so all iPhone users can access it. As Perfect Shot continues to evolve, Meyer is already planning
endeavors for future applications. His plans for a staring contest app are underway, as an app targeted toward children to compete against an automated phone. It would also serve as a staring contest platform for friends, with a set-up similar to FaceTime. “I just love the feeling of creating something that many people can enjoy,” Meyer said. “Something that hopefully can be useful to everyone.” Hannah Treasure is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.
COURTESY OF TAPMEDIA
Perfect Shot recognizes subject’s smiles and eyes in photos.
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Pitt 5 Do a voiceover for, as a foreignlanguage film 8 Cube or sphere 13 Gave a hand 15 Cute ___ button 16 More than fat 17 ___ Hawkins Day 18 Places where only guys go 20 Food preparation cutting technique 22 And so on and so forth: Abbr. 23 Eisenhower, affectionately 24 Cleaning tool 27 School charges? 28 School basics 32 Thailand, formerly 33 Bronco great John
39 40 41 44 48 49 50
52 55 58 59 60
“Let’s go!” … or a hint for the ends of 20-, 28-, 41- and 52-Across Sneezing sound Regrets Look of infatuation Muslim leader 53-Down grad: Abbr. Ruckus Mexican dish sometimes described as “hot” Fancy dress affairs In the opposite order Gullet parts Dodge “Barbara ___” (Beach Boys hit) Waste carrier John who succeeded William Henry Harrison
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C L A M P
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2 Theater district 3 One who’s
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West fails to focus on slavery in other regions By HARRY BROWN
This month, the Walk Free Foundation published the first comprehensive report on modern slavery, the Global Slavery Index. The study, the first of its kind, gives an encyclopedic analysis of 162 countries, highlighting a depressing reality that 29.8 million people are enslaved around the world today. Many people falsely assume that slavery was eradicated long ago — however, slavery still exists and must be addressed. The study found that India has approximately half the world’s slave population, totaling over 14 million. Or to put it another way, over oneand-a-half times the size of the population of New York City. India has a long list of modern forms of slavery, including debt bondage, dubious socalled house workers, child trafficking, and forced marriage and prostitution. India has an entrenched problem with slavery, with much of it caused by social, ethnic and hereditary factors. India’s caste system is a primary source of the continuance of slavery in modern times. The lower castes of society, primarily the Dalit community, are most
at-risk. Also known as “the untouchables,” many of the Dalits are born into bonded servitude, the majority of whom are women and children. India’s government theoretically outlawed modern forms of slave labor in 1976 with the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, but since then has done little to stem the rise of modern slavery. Only since April 2013 has the criminal code made all forms of human trafficking in India a punishable offense. It is unclear whether anything will come of this amendment to the law, though. Much of the problem results from the poor implementation of government policy and the slow and haphazard administration of justice with a terribly inefficient and at times, corrupt legal system. India is still one of only eight countries out of 182 nations not to have ratified the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, which is
specifically designed for countries to commit to ensuring all forms of child labor, from debt bondage to using children in armed conflicts, never occur. Ratifying this convention would be a first step the Indian government should take at eradicating the scourge of slavery. For many years, the Western media has shied away from highlighting that slavery still exists in the world, preferring less resonating terms such as “forced labor” and “human trafficking” — terms that desensitize us to continued enslavement. It is a crime that remains underreported and even more rarely stopped. Nations purporting democratic ideals must stamp out slavery if they are to be viewed as actual democracies. Many of those at the top of the list for modern slavery are developing nations with whom the West is seeking to forge deep political and economic partnerships, including India and China. The UN and the West must face up harsh reality of modern slavery and put pressure on nations who still allow this practice to go unabated. Harry Brown is a staff columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rape prevention should target aggressors By CHRISTINA COLEBURN
Since the Kansas City Star exposed the horrifying details of the Maryville, Mo. rape case on Oct. 12, the public has scrambled to make sense of the chilling allegations. Daisy Coleman, who courageously chose to release her name, claims a 17-year-old high school senior raped her in January 2012 when she was a 14-year-old freshman. Despite her obvious intoxication and inability to verbalize coherently, the encounter was filmed without her permission. After the assault, the aggressor left Coleman outside her house in 22-degree weather with nothing but a shirt and sweatpants. In the wake of police investigations, the town rallied behind the alleged perpetrator and his politically prominent family, compelling Coleman and her mother to leave Maryville. Despite the countless lessons that can be extracted from this story, the public tends to predominantly focus on one — women should share the blame. In a recent Slate piece, columnist Emily Yoffe suggests that advising women to limit their alcohol intake serves as an excellent rape prevention strategy. At first glance,
this suggestion seems benign. Then, despite Yoffe’s seemingly practical proposal, her rhetoric takes a treacherous turn. “I’ve told my daughter that it’s her responsibility to take steps to protect herself … if I had a son, I would tell him that it’s in his self-interest not to be the drunken frat boy who finds himself accused of raping a drunken classmate,” she writes. Herein lies the problem — rape has nothing to do with women’s drinking habits. The real issue is the double standard by which the public delivers messages to men and women. As a result, rape prevention efforts misguidedly target potential victims rather than aggressors, a communicative lapse that society must change. This is not to say women should disregard necessary precautions or pretend that predators do not exist. The world is un-
questionably dangerous, and women must protect themselves. Regardless, we cannot sustain a narrative that blames victims for drinking too much or wearing too little. We must emphasize that sexual assault is unacceptable and not simply because rape charges are not in men’s self-interest. The lessons that can be learned about the Maryville rape case extend far beyond the realm of drinking. Coleman was under the age of consent, filmed pornographically and easily could have died from the severe weather — all indications that the aggressor needs to be punished. Instead of concentrating on Coleman’s intoxication, Yoffe and her counterparts must start a dialogue about how the rapist should have taken responsibility for his illegal actions rather than remaining silent as his 14-year-old victim deteriorated from emotional distress. Society should no longer take the easy way out. Refusing to target aggressors not only negates the productivity of discussion, but also reflects complacency with demonizing victims. Christina Coleburn is a staff columnist. Email her at email@example.com.
Banksy’s art should not be considered illegal
Banksy, the pseudonymous street artist famous for his guerrilla art and political messages, has recently come under attack by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for breaking the law under allegations of vandalism. Bloomberg argues graffiti ruins people’s property and represents “decay and loss of control.” Bloomberg subscribes to the broken windows theory of crime, which was promulgated by former New York City police chief Bill Bratton. Bratton took a harsh stance against graffiti because he believed neighborhoods with rampant vandalism were more susceptible to other crimes. New York City law clearly prohibits graffiti — an act defined as the “defacement of property” — and even the “sale and display of aerosol cans.” This language implies that Banksy’s work, which often uses private property as its canvas, is indisputably illegal. Moreover, the NYPD Combating Graffiti pamphlet defines graffiti as having “the intent to damage such property.” One might claim that Banksy’s work is defacement and damaging strictly because it is the application of paint to a surface previously devoid of it. But such a claim is unfounded. Banksy’s work does not amount to the “defacement of property” distinctly because it does not depreciate the value of the property in question, nor does it have “the intent to damage” property. When one considers the aesthetic and political value associated with his art, as well as its substantial economic value, it can hardly be characterized as depreciating. Banksy’s work has been featured in famous museums and galleries around the world and often sells for millions of dollars. A significant moment worth remembering was when a NYPD public information officer told CNN that no vandalism complaints related to the artist have been submitted. Even if the law were to apply, the police still have a choice not to enforce it in this case. Thus far, Banksy’s art has been met with praise by local communities. Although Bloomberg has taken issue with Banksy’s work, New Yorkers have not. In fact, most city residents view the art in an opposite light — they’re captivated by it. To date, there have been no reported objections to Banksy’s cityscape takeover, making the contention over its legality seem unnecessary. If the community does not have an issue with Banksy’s art, then public officials should not fight it.
Email the WSN Editorial Board at firstname.lastname@example.org. EDITORIAL BOARD: Raquel Woodruff (Chair), Edward Radzivilovskiy (Co-chair), Peter Keffer (Co-chair), Harry Brown, Marcelo Cicconet, Christina Coleburn, Omar Etman, Nina Golshan, Nicki Sethi
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