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Commencement Speaker?

Ballroom Blitz

GIve us a Clinton or Malcolm Gladwell. The editorial board thinks it's time we got a good speaker

The Ballroom Dance Association hosts a magical masquerade

PIPE DREAM Friday, December 7, 2012 | Binghamton University | | Vol. LXXXII, Issue 24

Political groups engage in war of words

Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor

Eric Mauser, a first-year graduate student studying financial accounting, left, and David Blair, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences, speak about topics such as Libya, Syria and other foreign affairs in an annual debate hosted by College Democrats and College Republicans.

took part. Each democrat was paired with a republican to tackle two questions related to their topic. The debate was moderated by The College Democrats and Milton Chester, the assistant dean College Republicans clashed in a of students. Despite the election fierce battle of words during their season being over, more than 50 annual debate Thursday night. students attended. The debate was split into three They first discussed how active main parts: domestic, foreign government should be in people’s and economic policy. Three lives. Nick Fondacaro, a debater representatives from each group for the College Republicans, said it

is the federal government’s job not to restrict what people do. “The government is meant to just protect your life, liberty, property or pursuit of happiness from outside influences,” said Fondacaro, a senior majoring in political science. “We allow people to control what they do with their lives, and we want you to be able to do what you like.” Jon Mermelstein, a debater for the College Democrats, compared

government’s role in people’s lives to the way he offered Foncacaro a tissue before to the debate. “While conservatives may say, ‘Well, I have my tissue and he should have seen that coming,’ the liberal says, ‘Maybe I won’t have the tissue next time,’” said Mermelstein, a freshman majoring in history. “And it is better off for society to have a culture where we want to help each other and where we want everyone to be able to

blow their nose.” The foreign affairs portion questioned if intervention in Syria should parallel intervention in Libya. David Blair represented the College Democrats on foreign policy, and argued that it must be different. “The two situations are fundamentally different, and if you get involved in two fundamentally different situations, it’s only logical to say that their outcomes

will be fundamentally different,” said Blair, a senior majoring in mathematics. The concluding segment focused on how to improve the economy and decrease the deficit. Darin Mihalik, president of the College Republicans, debated that government programs should be managed in a way that prevents unnecessary spending.

BU ups ante in race for Ph.D. students Binghamton University is coupling an increase in doctoral student funding with the faculty hiring surge spread over the next five years with the influx of money from SUNY 2020 in an effort to increase the school’s reputation and quality. A research fellowship established this semester by Donald Nieman, provost and vice president of academic affairs, will fund summer research fellowships for roughly 50 doctoral students each year, providing a one-time $4,000 bump to their stipends, which

range from $14,000 to $16,000 per year. The fellowship will be for research the students will conduct the summer after their first year and will be used to incentivize offers to students from the school. “You are offering someone a package. You are saying, If you come here you will be a part of this Ph.D. program, you will work with this doctoral adviser, and you will have a graduate assistantship that will pay you this much money, and on top of this, you will have a summer fellowship,” Nieman said. “Then, the student decides, well, yeah, I want to come to Binghamton. And so they would

receive this fellowship during the summer after their first year in the program.” He hopes the funding will allow BU to compete with toptier schools with their offers. “This program won’t make us have the highest stipend levels by any imagination, but it will help lower the gap between Binghamton and other top schools,” he said. The internships will be distributed among the departments based on the size and needs of the department, according to Nieman. Some departments, such as psychology, anthropology and chemistry, will receive more

than others, such as creative writing. “The departments would determine who the best applicants are for the program, because they know their applicant pool better than I do, and they know the students who have offers from other universities, and I want them to be able to decide which students really deserve these awards,” Nieman said. If the program is successful, Nieman said he will consider expanding it. But for the time being, he intends to wait and see.

Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor

Students enter a raffle at the Bookworms’ Harry Potter-themed night. Clubs including Tastebuds, Binghamton Paranormal Association, KnitWits and Origami Club participated in the event on Thursday in Old University Union room 120.

Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions (IDEAS) for Binghamton started a petition last week to bolster student support for their initiative to ban the sale and distribution of plastic water bottles on campus. According to IDEAS President Devon Gingrich, the petition is part of Take Back the Tap — a nationwide campaign headed by Food and Water Watch, a national nongovernmental

organization. “We started this campaign as a way to bring back this essential human resource into the public hands of the students,” said Gingrich, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies. Gingrich said that although Binghamton University has made strides to be a “green” campus, which has yielded significant changes, there is still room for improvement. She said BU could gain a lot of respect by banning bottled water from its campus, solidifying its role as an environmentally conscious university.

“We could be among the first campuses nationwide to accomplish such an impressive feat and I would love to see our university at the forefront of sustainable solutions for our future,” Gingrich said. According to Sara Alpert, a member of IDEAS and a senior majoring in psychology, the group has 244 signatures on their petition, but they want 500 signatures by the start of the spring semester. IDEAS members plan to give the petition to University President Harvey Stenger to

— Peter Knuepfer Director, Environmental Studies

Wizards, witches and muggles alike had a magical time enjoying holiday festivities at the Yule Ball in the University Union on Thursday night. Roughly 120 people attended the Harry Potter-themed party, hosted by the Binghamton University Bookworms Club. People were encouraged to come in proper wizard attire, and although nobody wore their dress robes, several people wore fake round glasses, drawn-on lightning boltshaped scars, temporary tattoos and Hogwarts House apparel. John William’s iconic “Harry Potter” theme music set the tone as guests entered, and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft

and Wizardry crest was displayed around the room. “I just love Harry Potter, I want to join every event that’s related to it,” said Jialan Lin, a junior studying psychology. “I’ve been reading the books since I was seven.” The decorations, which included Sirius Black wanted posters and “Weasley is Our King” signs, appealed to fans of both the books and movies, bringing in references from Hogwarts to Diagon Alley. Several other student organizations on campus volunteered to support Bookworms’ event. KnitWits, the University’s knitting club, sold handmade tote

Masked students dance the night away

Clad in sequined masks and ballroom shoes, nattily dressed students danced the night away in the Undergrounds Coffeehouse Thursday night. The Masquerade Ball started with some informal twirling as couples took to the floor to dance to remixes of Katy Perry and Coldplay with waltzy rhythms and merengue beats. Gradually, more people trickled in and joined. Ballroom Dance Club Director Kristina Madrazo stopped the music periodically to teach some dance moves to over two dozen couples whirling around the Undergrounds dance floor. Students in attendance learned some basic salsa moves, the triple step found in swing dancing, the “hammerlock” and a terrifying dip called “the death drop” that led to loss of many masquerade masks and a few unfortunate girls being literally swept off their feet. “I learned salsa and a spin and a dip, I think it’s definitely something I can replicate again,” said Joshua Schaeffer, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, though he added that he wasn’t so sure about using them Downtown this weekend. The dance, hosted by the Ballroom Dance Association, doubled as both a fundraiser and an end-of-semester party. “Every semester we put on an end of the semester event for our club members that normally come every single week on Thursdays and learn new dances and support our association and so we like to give back to them,” said Jessica Spanier, program coordinator and marketing director for the Ballroom Dance Association and a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law. “We like to just have a good time, de-stress a little.” Students appreciated the opportunity to unwind and destress while cutting a rug with the ballroom dancers. “I’m gonna get up and learn a few dances, just for fun,” said Alyssa Costanzo,

a junior majoring in psychology. “Especially during a stressful finals week, it’s fun to get your mind off it and come out and dance.” Binghamton’s Ballroom Dance Team has performed with Orchesis at a variety of multicultural events on campus, as well as attending competitions this semester in Ithaca, New York City, and at the National Collegiate Ballroom Dance Championships in Columbus, Ohio, where they placed sixth overall. “We managed to actually get sixth, which was actually a really big surprise that we could place,” said Michael Jennings, a member of the competition team and a freshman majoring in physics. Jennings’ surprise may be due to the fact that Binghamton’s student-run dance team is at a disadvantage compared to other teams they compete against. “We don’t have a coach like the other teams, but we still place really high in all the competitions we go to, so we’re really proud of that,” Madrazo said. “ We teach ourselves, and we go to workshops with some of the professionals, but most teams have a coach and we still do really well.” Gilead Gamliel and Rachel Ginzburg, his dance partner of two years, who made it to the semi-finals in All Latin Dance in Ohio, danced in one of the many performances by dance team members that punctuated the event throughout the night. Gamliel and Ginzburg, both Jewish, ironically chose to perform their routine to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas,” which they will also be performing at Frost Fest. According to Gamliel, people have a lot of misconceptions about ballroom dance. “It’s not just straight up waltz, tango Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor kind of stuff,” said Gamliel, a junior Helar Aricaya, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, and Bobbie-Angela Wong, a freshman majoring majoring in English. “It’s all of the fun, in biochemistry, dance at the Ballroom Dance Association’s Winter Masquerade Ball in the sexy kind of upbeat stuff that people don’t Undergrounds Coffeehouse Thursday night. think it is.” Ryan Delgado, who performed with dance. you’re willing to try and be open to new Tiffany Villaluna, his dance partner of “It’s a lot easier than people make it things,” said Delgado, a senior majoring in four years, agreed that a lot people have out to be, but my honest opinion is that biochemistry. a limited understanding about ballroom everyone is capable of dancing as long as

Panel talks grad school programs The Jewish Graduate Student Network, a subgroup of Hillel at Binghamton University, brought panelists Thursday to present the options for graduate school programs at BU. Panelist Jonathan Ganzarski, a graduate student studying marketing with an emphasis in business analytics, said he was enticed by BU’s graduate school for positive financial reasons. “What really was the big push was paying undergraduate price while getting your master’s degree,” Ganzarski said. Stephanie Berkowitz, a panelist and a graduate student studying science education, applauded the hands-on community experience of her program. “The great thing about the school here is there is a large emphasis in classes on real-world applications and real work like getting into the schools and teaching the students,” Berkowitz said. “Being able to apply that experience to my classes is great.” A student in the audience asked the panelists about what social scene they occupy as graduate students. “If you went to JT’s as an undergrad, you will probably end up at Dillingers as a graduate student,” Ganzarski said. Ganzarski pointed out even in a graduate school you still meet new people who are either new or returning students at Binghamton. “You are with people that just graduated college, they are very much still riding that undergraduate wave,” Ganzarski said. “My program is really unique. You are working with people that are in their 40’s and 50’s with kids and families.” Panelist Jessie Winkler, a graduate student studying mathematics adolescence education, said she thought the panel was well received by the students.

“I think it was a nice connection between the graduate community here and the undergraduate community,” Winkler said. “They seemed isolated and this brought them together.” Lauren Wasserman, president of the Jewish Graduate Student Network and a graduate student studying public administration, started the group this semester and organized and sat on the panel. She pointed out the aspect of time management still playing a crucial role even in the transition to the graduate school program. “Your time at graduate school is what you make it,” Wasserman said. “It is a lot harder to find time to be social when you are in graduate school and have a lot more responsibilities academically and a lot more pressure for you to do well.” Wasserman said BU professors’ active engagement is one attractive feature of the graduate program. “I found that my program is so community oriented,” Wasserman said. “Binghamton is such a great place to do it because all of my professors care so much about helping people. I have never met more people so passionate about bringing a better life to community members that I have at this school.” Wasserman said the Jewish Graduate Student Network aims to communicate better with undergraduate students involved in Hillel. “We were working under the umbrella of the Hillel at Binghamton,” Wasserman said. “We hoped this was a way we can be helpful and connect with them.” Steven Bedlik, executive vice president of Hillel at Binghamton and a junior majoring in accounting said the panel encouraged him to look into graduate school at BU. “By seeing this event I am inspired to stay here maybe for a fifth year to do my masters in accounting,” Bedlik said.

During a live videoconference on Thursday, Binghamton University alumnus Albert “Skip” Rizzo, class of 1991, discussed his experience as an undergraduate at BU, as well as the direction of his career path in clinical psychology. Rizzo, a research assistant professor at the University of Southern California, runs a research group for affiliated laboratories that works to apply virtual reality and multimedia technology to psychological functioning. He works in various labs that address psychological, cognitive and motor issues. One lab in particular uses Microsoft Kinect, by which patients’ 3D movements are tracked and then translated into a character in a game. Rizzo said that the technology turns boring, repetitive activities of physical and cognitive rehabilitation into a game in which patients use their bodies to interact. “We keep people motivated, and they do stuff more regularly and more consistently,” Rizzo said. Another lab that Rizzo described as on the “far reaches of the frontier” involves building artificially intelligent virtual humans. Rizzo said that the research he did as an undergraduate student at BU instilled him with an appreciation for science and an understanding of the value of being a scientist. Rizzo praised BU for both its appeal and opportunities. “Binghamton still has some kind of sick charm that I really like,” he said. “There’s a quiet beauty to Binghamton.” After graduation, Rizzo landed his first-choice internship at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System, a position that allowed him to work in brain injury rehabilitation and led to an interaction with a patient that spurred the idea for his research. Rizzo found one of his patients, a 20-year-old male with a frontal lobe injury that made him easily distracted and less motivated, hunched under a tree, deeply engaged in a Gameboy. “Here was a kid you couldn’t motivate for more than 20 minutes on any one type of a rehab task, but here he was glued to this thing, engaged in it … and he was a Tetris warlord,” Rizzo said. “That was when the light bulb when off, and I started thinking, maybe clinical practice can be enhanced by leveraging new technologies.” That Christmas, Rizzo received a Nintendo NES system paired with the game “Sim City.” He brought the game in for his patients and quickly found that they loved it. Rizzo’s interest in the then-new technology was furthered by an NPR report on designing kitchens virtually and a conference he attended called “Virtual Reality and Persons with Disability.” “Between seeing that kid with the Gameboy, getting that Nintendo, hearing that NPR report and my boss showing me a conference about virtual reality and disabilities … those were all things you could never plan,” Rizzo said. Macsood Khalilullah, a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering, attended the conference in hopes of discussing with Rizzo the relation of his own major to Rizzo’s line of work. “When I heard about this, I came down to see how it related, and if he knew of any transparency between health systems engineering and the virtual reality he’s doing,” Khalilullah said. In his last remarks, Rizzo encouraged students to pursue their interests with passion. “It’s up to you to escape what’s very comfortable,” he said. “You’ve got to be engaged. You’ve got to look around. Be curious about the world. If you’re afraid to do something, that’s the thing you should probably do.”


Pipe Line Cuomo names Stenger REDC co-chair Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday appointed Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger as co-chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), making the announcement during a stop at the Greater Binghamton Airport. Stenger, who has served on the REDC since January, replaces Cornell University President David Skorton in the role, and will serve with co-chair Tom Tranter, president and CEO of Corning Enterprises.

Cadet quits West Point over religious culture A cadet who quit West Point less than six months before graduation said he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayers and religious activities and disrespects nonreligious cadets. Blake Page announced his decision to quit the U.S. Military Academy this week in an online post. The 24-year-old told The Associated Press that a determination this semester that he could not become an officer due to clinical depression played a role in his public protest against what he calls the unconstitutional prevalence of religion in the military. Page criticized a culture where cadets stand silently for prayers, where nonreligious cadets were jokingly called “heathens” by instructors at basic training and where one officer told him he’d never be a leader until he filled the hole in his heart. Penn State sorority not punished for racist photo Penn State president Rodney Erickson admonished students who wore costumes and held offensive signs in photographs circulated on the Internet, but said in a campus-wide letter Thursday that the school won’t pursue disciplinary action. The letter didn’t specifically reference the photos or name the Chi Omega sorority, which has apologized. Erickson said it became clear in recent days that some students “celebrated Halloween in costumes that offended others.” One sign in the photo of sorority sisters says “will mow lawn for weed + beer.” Two women holding signs are wearing fake mustaches. Others in the photo wore sombreros. Erickson said he was disappointed and dismayed, but hoped that lessons would be learned from the case. AAUP questions Yale’s collaboration with Singaporer The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued an open letter to the Yale University community Tuesday expressing growing concern about the character and impact of the university’s collaboration with the Singaporean government in establishing Yale-National University of Singapore College. The letter questioned the possibility of true academic freedom in an authoritarian country, the specific measures that Yale will take to protect the freedom of faculty, staff,and students, and the lack of transparency that has characterized the planning process. It recommended that the Yale Corporation release documents and agreements related to the plan to establish the Yale-National University of Singapore campus and establish genuinely open forums in which plans can be reviewed, discussed and modified as necessary. University at Buffalo to demolish nuclear research reactor The University at Buffalo said it will demolish its inactive nuclear research reactor. The Buffalo Materials Research Center on the university’s south campus hasn’t been in operation since 1994. UB said the radioactive fuel was removed in 2005 and the university’s gotten the go-ahead for demolition from state and federal authorities. Plans call for the building to be demolished and water tanks and contaminated soil underneath it removed. The project is expected to wrap up in 2014. The reactor was built in 1961 and was mainly used for isotope production and materials testing.

Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor

Binghamton University’s Opera Workshop will perform the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel, set to music by Engelbert Humperdinck, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 9 in the Anderson Center’s Chamber Hall.

Police Watch Hitting a sour note WEDNESDAY, NOV. 28, 2:15 p.m. — A 17-year-old female student reported to University police that she had lost a clarinet in Hillside Community’s Hempstead Hall, said Investigator Patrick Reilly of Binghamton’s New York State University Police. The student said she was with a friend there and had left it in the building. When she went back to look for it, she found it missing. There are no witnesses, and the case is still under investigation. 8-6-7-5-3-0-9 FRIDAY, NOV. 30, 8:29 p.m. — A 20-year-old female student reported to University police that someone put her phone number on the Internet, Reilly said. The victim was getting random texts and calls for an hour before she reported the matter. The officers looked into it and were able to find the source of the Internet post, a 24-year-old male student. They contacted the suspect and told him to take the number down. The case was sent to University Judicial. Kids, stop leaving stuff unattended SATURDAY, DEC. 1, 4:33 p.m. — A 22-year-old male student

reported to University police that he had several items stolen from the West Gym, Reilly said. The victim was playing racquetball and left his belongings outside the court. When he finished playing he found that his iPhone, wallet and some cash that had been in his jeans were missing. There were no witnesses, and the case is still under investigation. See previous headline SATURDAY, DEC. 1, 10:13 p.m. — Officers on patrol were called to Hinman Dining Hall after a 26-year-old female worker said she had something stolen from the building’s changing area, Reilly said. The victim had a prescription drug bottle in a bag in the room, but when she returned she saw that the bottle was gone. There are no witnesses, and since the area is used by all the other workers, there are also no suspects. The case is still under investigation.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

— President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Dec. 8, 1941 Obama to request $50 billion in Sandy relief President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for about $50 billion in additional emergency aid for states hit by Superstorm Sandy, Democrats on Capitol Hill said Wednesday. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that the administration is still working on a request for a supplemental spending bill to provide the aid and expects to send it to Congress this week. The price tag is expected to be anywhere between $45 billion and $55 billion. Donovan urged Congress to take action in “the next few weeks” on the administration’s upcoming request. — President Barack Obama on Dec. 7, 2011

Corrections/Clarifications An article in the Dec. 4, 2012 edition of Pipe Dream about the Binghamton Poetry Project failed to identify all of the funding sources of the program. The Binghamton University English department, the Broome County Arts Council

United Cultural Fund, The Stephen David Ross University and Community Projects Fund, the Binghamton University Foundation and the Harpur College Dean’s Office all support the project financially.

A Release article in the Dec. 4, 2012 edition of Pipe Dream about Soundspeak’s newest EP incorrectly identified the name of the work. It is “In Waking,” not “The Waking.”

A photo caption in the Dec. 4, 2012 edition of Pipe Dream accompanying an article about a poetry program incorrectly identified the reader in the photo. He is Festus Ngaruka, not Joe Montalbo.

Groups rally for labor rights Student groups and representatives from human rights campaigns held a discussion Thursday to protest unfair labor conditions and practices by major corporate companies. Members of the Experimental Media Organization (EMO), the Graduate Student Employees Union, the Ain’t I a Woman? campaign and Students Organizing Against Reynolds spoke about practices by companies like Dominoes, Reynolds’ Aluminum, and Wal-Mart. Panelists encouraged students to boycott products by these companies and to attend a rally against Wal-Mart this Saturday at the Vestal Wal-Mart. “We organized this event to make clear to students why they have a vested interest in labor rights both as students and human beings in general,” said Julia Soares, a junior majoring in psychology. “Students are about to join the work force and it is a work force that has consistently devalued workers.” Soares, a member of EMO, said the boycott was in response to Wal-Mart’s decision to continue selling Reynolds’ products, which

panelists said employed sweatshop conditions. “Over the summer there had been a letter sent to WalMart about removing Reynolds products from their shelves,” Soares said. “We figured enough time has passed, they’ve officially ignored the letter, there needs to be retaliation for ignoring the request to remove Reynolds products from their shelves.” Kai Wen Yang, an event organizer and a graduate student studying sociology, said the rally should not be the sole focus of the discussion. “It’s not just one event that will happen on one day and then disappear, nobody will follow up,” Yang said. “We want to use that as a beginning and as a platform to reach students, undergraduate students, faculty, adjunct faculty.” Several immigrant workers also attended the event to speak about the unfair work conditions they endured. “It’s a kind of inspiration seeing immigrant workers standing up for their rights,” Yang said. “Their struggles for workers’ rights inspired me to struggle for workers’ rights too. I think that students nowadays are facing as the immigrant workers here today, the issues that they face in the factories are also the issues

that they face upon graduation or before graduation. For example, mandatory overtime and unemployment.” Samantha Fox, a graduate student studying sociology, said working conditions could also be a problem for students. “I’m an adjunct, but I was a TA and as a TA, it’s a situation where you don’t know if you’re gonna work 50 hours in a week or 10, and usually it’s not 10,” Fox said. “I came because this is an event that is supporting labor issues in the community as well as linking those issues with labor issues we as grad students face and that undergrads are going to face when they enter the labor market.” Panelists said the solution for the widespread mistreatment of workers has to be realistic. “I realize that especially for undergrads, it’s difficult to boycott these large corporations, they kind of permeate our society,” Fox said. “The buses go there, I realize that this could create some problems for students. I think students just being aware and letting their voices be heard, and showing support at rallies like the one that’s going to be on Saturday is just as important if not more important than boycotting.”

“How successful the program is will determine whether we will decide to expand it,” Nieman said. “For right now, we think it is a pretty significant investment in the quality of Ph.D. programs in Binghamton. The best students who get into Ph.D. programs

get stipends, and that is the money they have to live in while they are doctoral students, and it is not much money to live on for a year. People looking for various programs are on one level thinking if I go here I can live with this stipend, and I won’t have to take out loans or the loans I do take won’t have to be as much.” He noted that better

doctoral students may improve undergraduate education as well. “This is important because Ph.D. students who come here participate in teaching activities, so it is especially important to the quality of our undergraduate programs,” Nieman said.

Water Bottle Facts show him the strong student backing to ban water bottles. “This will give us just the start of the support we need to carry out our initiatives,” Alpert said. “Our first major goal is to set up a situation at our University that will allow for the reduction of water bottles.” About 70 percent of bottled water is not inspected by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and about 40 percent of bottled water is taken from municipal sources, making it essentially no different from drinking from the tap, according to Gingrich. Gingrich also said that only one in five bottles are recycled, meaning the majority contribute to about 1.5 million tons of plastic each year and about 30 million bottles a day that end up in landfills or oceans. In addition to raising awareness, Gingrich said that IDEAS hopes to make drinking tap water as accessible and easy as possible for students. “We also want to add filling stations to main student areas like the Lecture Hall, Library and Union,” Gingrich said. “If these stations are widely available, we hope that students will have less of a reason to buy a bottle of water when a free source is easily available.” Gingrich said she believes it is wrong for worldwide corporations to privatize municipal water sources. “This is taking water away from these local communities, exploiting their resources, and in many cases around the world, denying people access




to water,” Gingrich said. “This is the driving force of our campaign to take back the tap.” She said she realizes students are busy and that buying disposable water bottles is convenient, but by making a small change, students can make a huge impact. “I really do believe that this campaign is extremely important to our University as a whole,” Gingrich said. “This is a change that Binghamton can make that will distinguish it from other universities, and demonstrate its ability to not only care for the environment, but for the future of our planet

and its citizens.” Peter Knuepfer, director of the environmental studies department, said he supports the principle that the Take Back the Tap petition represents. “Bottled water is, quite simply, a waste of resources and an extraordinary waste of money for the consumer,” Knuepfer wrote in an email. “Thus, getting rid of bottled water from vending machines, etc., is sensible for both the pocketbook and the environment.”

Wizard fanatics celebrate holidays bags, scarves, hats and key chains for Gryffindors and Slytherins alike. Olivia Han, the president of KnitWits and a junior majoring in computer science, said KnitWits also made the magic wands at the Sorting Table, where the Sorting Hat placed them in one of the four Hogwarts Houses. The Binghamton Paranormal Association held a divination class, where they read tea leaves, and Tastebuds, a campus culinary organization, served treats from the Hogwarts Express and Honeydukes, like Butterbeer, pumpkin pasties, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, and licorice wands, not to mention Dumbledore’s favorite lemon drops. Bookworms also set up their own activity tables, providing ingredients for people to make their own potions and quizzing guests about Harry Potter book trivia. Around 8 p.m., people split into groups for a large-scale trivia game based on the series. The first place team won a copy of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and second and third places won Barnes and Noble gift bags. After trivia, the a cappella group “No Strings Attached” sang about “Hoggy Warty Hogwarts” while performing the Hogwarts School Song. Shelly Rose, a graduate student studying biomedical anthropology, came with her husband and young son. “We’re both fans,” she said. “My son’s favorite part is the wand.”

The Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing recently received a large grant from the federal government. The grant, which was given to the school by the Division of Nursing, a part of the Health Resources and Services Administration, is worth a total of $757,000. It will be used to support nurse practitioner students in Decker being prepared for primary care. “And that’s the majority of our master’s students at this point in time,” said Joyce Ferrario, dean of the Decker School of Nursing. “It provides a stipend and tuition so that they can come full-time if they

want to. They don’t have to work — most of our students work as nurses — with this money they are able to quit their job or work much less often, so they can get done faster. If they’re coming parttime we can also fund them with this money, and that takes burdens off of families.” Thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act passed last year, more people will need family doctors and insurance to pay for it, she said. Nurse practitioners are able to do many of the same jobs as doctors, such as prescribing narcotics and making diagnoses. “We don’t have, in this country, enough primary care doctors,” Ferrario explained. “Nurse practitioners have demonstrated over the years that they can do as good a job as a physician in

primary care.” The grant money is distributed to graduate students based on their academic standing. However, a majority of students are receiving some sort of aid. “Most of our students in the graduate program who ask for money get something,” Ferrario said. “They can either be a TA or we’ve got scholarship money that we can support them with. I think we got to about 30 students with the money this year.” Although Binghamton University has never gone without some sort of traineeship money from the government, the amount has never been this large. Binghamton University may have received the grant in part because many Decker grad students go on to work in

rural areas around the region, particularly in underserved areas, according to Ferrario. However, for some students, the grant came too late. “It was hard when the grant came in because it didn’t come in until after school started. We had a lot of students that were kind of waiting for this. Some of them couldn’t wait and dropped out,” Ferrario said. “The graduate school had to match a little bit of money, about $25,000, and the dean of the graduate school very graciously allowed us to use that money even before the grant came in. We were able to take that and kind of divvy it out among the people who were waiting for money. It carried many of them over to when the grant came in.”

Two Binghamton University students who conducted research through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Program recently had their findings published in scientific papers. According to Elizabeth Button, program coordinator for the HHMI at Binghamton, the program provides a yearlong interdisciplinary research experience focused on problems and questions related to the life sciences. “The goal of this HHMI funded program is to attract and prepare undergraduate students, especially those groups underrepresented in their disciplines for future careers in the biomedical and life sciences by involving them in interdisciplinary research across STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

disciplines,” Button wrote in an email. Button said the program puts students in teams that represent two or more areas of study, “One relating to the life sciences and another relating to the physical sciences, mathematics, computer science or engineering.” Alumnus Joshua Rosenkranz, class of 2012, who majored in computer science and was one of the two BU students whose work was published, conducted research involving the biology and computer science departments. He used data from the Gilboa Fossil Forest, an area in New York state that is believed by scientists to be the world’s oldest forest. “My primary goal was to construct a panoramic image that would display all minute details accurately of the Gilboa Site,” Rosenkranz wrote in an email. Rosenkranz said he was attracted to the prospect of

expanding his knowledge of graphics and image processing and to get more hands-on experience. “When I was notified of the program, I was currently doing research under Professor Lijun Yin,” Rosenkranz wrote. “He suggested I apply for the program so that I could expand my knowledge of the graphics and image processing fields and also gain more experience while working on an interesting problem … I have always had a fascination with image manipulation and feature detection and I thought this project would serve as a great fit with my interests [they are recreating images of the fossils using computer programs].” Button said students in the HHMI program work full-time over the summer on their projects, attending weekly meetings to give presentations or discuss special topics like research possibilities, résumé writing and research

careers. “At the end of the summer the students present their work at a poster session open to the public,” Button wrote. “The students continue their research throughout the academic year culminating with another poster session at the end of April. There are monthly meetings during the academic year where students give presentations about their progress and discuss special topics.” Rosenkranz said he gained valuable experience from his participation in the HHMI program. “The HHMI program was a good way to further expose me to research and was a great experience for me,” he said. “Not only did it allow me to delve into interesting problems, but it also gave me the chance to see how the knowledge I gained in class could be applied to real world problems.”

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Dems, Repubs face off “At this time in the American economy we need to reform these social programs so they don’t grow out of control and so that we can cut down on spending,” said Mihalik, a sophomore majoring in physics. Other issues discussed in the debate included the Affordable Healthcare Act, austerity and army spending. Both organizations considered the debate a success. “It turned out really well, there were lots of jokes, and all of the debaters did really well.” said Ryan Madden, vice president of the College Democrats and a senior majoring in political science. “We originally planned the debate for before the election, but Sandy happened and we had to move it. Still, we got a really nice turnout.” Mihalik said the event showed a lasting interest in politics on campus. “I think it went well,” he said. “We got a really big turnout compared to what we expected. It shows that people are really getting into politics.” But Derrick Conyers, a junior double-majoring in political science and philosophy, politics and law, said the College Democrats’ performance was lackluster. “It was clear that the College Republicans won this debate,” Conyers said. “They came out way stronger and seemed more confident. What I found strange was the fact that the war-mongering the Republicans presented was never called out by the Democrats, and I thought they really dropped the ball on that one.”

RELEASE DATE– Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

ACROSS 1 Overactors 5 In pieces 10 Forget about 14 Object of worship 15 Ladies’ man 16 Costa __ 17 Centennial State rock? 20 Pilot’s announcement, briefly 21 Frontier bases 22 Wolverine State fire starter? 26 It’ll never fly 27 Bud’s buddy 28 Wetland 29 One in a “Flying” circus act 32 __ generis: unique 35 Peach State wide open spaces? 39 Sixth sense 40 Baggage claim item 42 Firm way to stand 45 Guy 46 Without precedent 47 Cotton State sculpture? 51 Italian veal dish 53 Pah preceder 54 Cornhusker State Town Car? 59 Quaint “Holy moly!” 60 John of England 61 Bay of Pigs locale 62 Disney dog 63 Catches one’s breath 64 To be, in old Rome DOWN 1 Juice drink with a hyphenated name 2 Big fuss 3 Minute particles 4 One of the deadly sins 5 Coach Parseghian 6 Pea’s place

49 Watery trenches 38 When many go 7 O’Neill’s “__ for under to lunch the Misbegotten” drawbridges 41 Dolly, the clone, 8 Blunt rejection 50 Italian lawn game was one 9 Play the piccolo 51 Like Ogden 42 Derivatives of it 10 Synthetic fabric Nash’s lama, in a are used in 11 “A living faith will poem sunscreen last in the __ of 52 Big name in 43 Privilege loser, the blackest video games often storm”: Gandhi 55 Place to park 44 Bring down on 12 “Rhyme Pays” 56 Connections the gridiron rapper 57 Barbell abbr. 47 Equally yucky 13 Old salts 58 Rob Roy’s refusal 18 Bitter complainer 48 “Mercy me!” 19 Words before ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE: smoke or flames 22 Copy cats? 23 Reflection 24 Bell hit with a padded hammer 25 Auto with a four-ring logo 30 Cut off, as branches 31 Remote batteries 32 [error left as is] 33 Like a 12-0 verdict 34 Basketball Hall of Famer Dan 36 Mountain lion 37 Neeson of “Taken” 03/24/09

By Dan Naddor (c)2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


David Katz/Staff Photographer

Emily Mancini | Release We often associate coffee with big corporate names like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Sodexo. But let me ask you this: Can you compare Olive Garden’s fare to that of a real Italian restaurant? The same logic applies for coffee. Laveggio Roasteria is an artisan roaster and espresso bar owned and operated by Mary Ann Magazzi-Young and her husband Coe E. Young. The Roasteria is nestled on 101 Court Street,

within view of the Broome County Court Building. What makes Laveggio so unique is that all of its coffee is roasted on site, by hand, using a custom drum roaster. A viewing window in the back of the shop allows you to view the entire roasting process. Young, Laveggio’s Roast Master, mans the machine, meticulously monitoring the making of each individual roast. “I use my senses and experience to manage the process, not computerized controls. Unfortunately, a lot of coffee

companies use computerized controls in the roasting process nowadays,” Young said. “You wouldn’t want a computer cooking your steak at a fancy restaurant, right? We have the same kind of mentality here. That’s why we make each roast in the traditional artisan style, no computers.” The story behind Laveggio’s creation is something of a love story and a success story wrapped into one. “I was a corporate technician before Laveggio,” Young said. “I was working in big cities,

travelling 200 days out of the year. And, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was really unhappy. I was a miserable guy. Sure, the corporate life looks good on paper, but I wasn’t doing what I loved. Then I met my wife, Mary Ann. She was a free spirit, she had her own art gallery at the time. She pointed out how miserable the corporate life was making me. So we tried something different. And that’s how we got here.” By ‘here’ he means creating a successful small business out of almost nothing.

“This building was a rundown frat house when we bought it,” Young said. “The floors were damaged, the ceiling was in really bad shape. We did a lot of work to fix things up.” Laveggio has a clean, open, friendly atmosphere, with several wooden tables set up around the shop meant for sitting with friends and enjoying the coffee. The Roasteria does not offer Wi-Fi connection, mostly for business reasons. “We can’t have people coming in and buying the cheapest thing on the menu and sitting here for eight hours,” Young said. “Plus we want them to focus on the coffee, that’s really the whole reason behind this place, is to fully experience the coffee.” The couple has over nine years of experience in handcrafting and serving specialty coffee and espresso drinks, so they’re extremely knowledgeable about what they serve. That passion, knowledge and dedication are certainly reflected in Laveggio’s coffee. “A lot of the coffee you normally get is either intentionally burnt or made on unclean equipment,” he explained. “When you massproduce coffee, you can’t monitor the conditions in the drum very well, and that’s why you get such a bitter taste. Our goal here at Laveggio is to make you coffee that really tastes like nature intended, and that’s why we pay such close attention to every detail during the roasting process.” Indeed, when it comes to details Laveggio doesn’t mess around. “I record every single roast I’ve ever made in my logs, the conditions, everything,” Young said. “Then I make sure to taste

each batch to make sure it’s up to standard before we serve it to you.” Laveggio also has strict freshness standards, with no coffee being sold outside a sevenday window. Young also maintains a wordpress blog titled “From the Roasting Room,” in which he posts regular updates, coffee lists and pictures of what’s going on behind the scenes at Laveggio. Laveggio has a wide selection of coffee and espresso blends that come from all over the world. In addition, they only roast specialty coffee that has been ethically sourced, which means that the coffee farmers are paid a premium for the quality of their product. The premium not only insures the quality of the product, but also helps the farmers and their families pay for living expenses. Since its opening in 2007, Laveggio has grown in popularity so much that Young is planning to invest in another roasting machine. Although Laveggio is very active in supporting the local community, especially the arts and theater, its quality coffee seems to do most of the networking. “Most of our new customers heard of us through word of mouth from other customers,” MagazziYoung said. Lars T., a grad student from Denver, Colo., was more than pleased with Laveggio’s selection. “This is a gem, Bing people, and as a new grad student in town I am deeply appreciative that Laveggio is brewing and roasting nearby,” he said. “Please support them.” Laveggio Roasteria stands firmly as the best place in Binghamton to experience coffee the way it was meant to be.

Coffeehouse in the woods Kathryn Shafsky | Release Last Friday night, the College-in-the-Woods Dining Hall transformed completely into a quaint quasi-coffeehouse with a calming atmosphere for the annual Woods Jam. The lights placed around the staircase banister provided a level of ambiance, and the tables were carefully rearranged to face the stage. The usually drab Sodexo-run dining hall was surprisingly inviting, and handdrawn coffee cups adorned the backdrop of the stage. An array of fancy desserts and coffee was provided to attendees, giving them the full coffeehouse experience. “I think it went really well. A lot of effort went into decorating and getting the food together,” said Elizabeth Smyth, academic vice president of the CIW Area Council and a junior doublemajoring in psychology and human development. Woods Jam didn’t just serve Binghamton University singer-songwriters; It was also a welcomed opportunity

for bands and musicians of varying genres. DJ-singer duos impressed the crowd, and bands hooked up their amps and brought out their portable drum kits, providing a full taste of what musicians in College-inthe-Woods have to offer. “I love hearing what all the different bands bring to the table and what they contribute to the music culture [on campus],” said Jennifer Carpenito, secretary of the CIW Area Council. The CIW Area Council worked hard to bring the College-inthe-Woods community together. As Woods Jam is one of CIW’s biggest events of the year, the council tried to set the tone for what the rest of this year’s events would look like. “It was a lot of fun organizing the event. [The CIW Area Council] all worked together and took on different responsibilities,” said Carpenito, a junior double-majoring in psychology and English. “It gave us the opportunity to interact with other people in CIW in order to get a show together.” Julie Quinn, a junior

majoring in history, made her Woods Jam debut this year. Quinn has been playing guitar and singing since the fifth grade and was excited to have an opportunity to play in an open mic setting at Binghamton. “It was an opportunity to play somewhere that wouldn’t be too crowded,” Quinn said. “At first I was a little nervous, but then it was fun.” Quinn wowed the crowd with an acoustic cover of Pearl Jam and some of her own material. She described her music as a grunge-folk hybrid and even provided the audience with some laughs by cracking a few jokes and covering “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” at the end of her set. “I like to be silly,” said Quinn, commenting on her performance style. As the night progressed, the dining-hall-turned-café flooded with people hoping to catch a glimpse of some of CIW’s most talented residents. Sean Sherwood, resident director of Oneida and Onondaga who is a musician himself, was

Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor

enthusiastic about this year’s performances. “I am very excited about this year’s lineup,” Sherwood said. “We have a lot of talent in College-in-the-Woods, and it is awesome that they have an opportunity to display it.” Keren Orr, an undeclared

freshman, was excited to attend her first Woods Jam. “It seemed like a really chill event, and I wanted to see what the students of Binghamton could do,” Orr said. “I thought it was really cute how they made the dining hall look like a café.” Now that Woods Jam is over,

students are patiently awaiting their next opportunity to see residents perform again. “I can’t wait for Woodstock,” Orr said. “I hope I get a chance to see even more great performances.”

Holy crap, Puppies Gabriella Ginsberg | Release Do you believe … in yogurt? Binghamton has waited far too long for a selfserve frozen yogurt store, and someone above was listening. Oh happy day, sweet salvation has arrived in the form of Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt, nestled in the Town Square Mall. Sweet Frog, a nationwide chain, was founded on the principles of wholesome ingredients, fivestar service and Christianity; F.R.O.G. actually stands for Fully Rely On God! But despite the company’s origins, a religious presence is barely noticeable, save the proverbs printed faintly on the cups and some of their merchandise. Price done by weight, toppings and number of times you’ve gone to confession.

jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor

Domenic Armienti, a senior majoring in history, gets licked by one of the many dogs in College-in-the-Woods’ Mohawk Hall’s Great Room on Thursday night. The event, organized by the Dean of Students Office, brought therapy dogs to campus as part of “De-Stress December.”

Darian Lusk | Release Editor Mohawk Hall’s Great Room went to the dogs Thursday evening when the Dean of Students Office presented “Puppy Playtime!” as a part of their “De-Stress December” events. Hundreds of students were in attendance, as well as three (or seven, depending on who you ask) puppies. Aside from the disproportionate dog-to-person ratio, students welcomed the study break and the chance to make some new furry friends. Meagan Schuster, a junior double-majoring in English and psychology and a student worker

in the Dean of Students Office, has been planning the event for weeks and was pleased with the turnout. “We want to make it an annual thing,” Schuster said. “It seems like people loved the event. We’re really happy with the turnout.” While the event was a success by numbers, students had trouble actually getting some puppy time. Take Adam Sebag, concert chair of the Student Association Programming Board and a junior majoring in biology, who left the event bewildered and still stressed. “I haven’t even seen a puppy,” Sebag said. Students thought that the event

Rachel Powers| Release Hinman Production Company combines the elements of love, drugs and war in its semester musical, “Hair,” with book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Gait MacDermot, directed by Samantha Mooney and Dana Vernetti. The musical premiered at 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6th, with additional performances at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7th and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. “Hair” tells the story of a “tribe” of friends fighting against government ideals during the Vietnam War. Together, they struggle to avoid the draft and the expectations of their conservative parents, instead seeking to spread the peace movement. This is not the first time the Hinman Production Company has performed “Hair” in the Hinman Commons. In the last 30 years, “Hair” has been elected the semester musical multiple times, with performances in ’92 and ’02 prior to this semester’s production. HPC alumnus Mark Solkoff even plans to make the trip to Binghamton for the show. “We can’t wait to breathe the air in the Commons once again!” Solkoff

was more like an overcrowded, underwhelming petting zoo. Lines longer than Ellis Island, and fewer dogs than Michael Vick’s basement. “I guess they said they didn’t expect this many people,” said Izzy Friedman, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience. “They shouldn’t have advertised in B-Line then.” It was a ratio of stress-inducing proportions, especially for an event aimed at doing the exact opposite. “It was more stress-inducing trying to touch the puppies,” said Pedro Cordova, a senior majoring in economics. However, the event was deemed

said. Sean Marrin, a senior doublemajoring in math and psychics, plays free-spirited Berger. Marrin thinks “Hair” is one of the most experimental shows to ever make it to Broadway, warranting most of its success from how people identified with the message of the show. “I auditioned because I wanted both the experience of sharing the joy of the show with audience and my cast as well as developing an understanding of the show and its importance as a period piece,” Marrin said. Samantha Mooney, a co-director and a junior majoring in chemistry, found that “Hair” was different than other shows she has worked on with HPC because this is such an experimental production. “This show was an extremely collaborative process, which required creative input from every single person involved,” Mooney said. “Many times actors suggested ideas that the directors loved, and were then incorporated into the show. I believe that everyone’s talents were fully utilized, which made this such a unique, wonderful experience.” Dana Vernetti, a co-director and a sophomore majoring in political

successful by the few who were able to make a meaningful connection with the cuddly pups. Every dog has its day and according to Morgan Appel, these puppies were a huge success and could be featured more often. “This is beyond what we could have imagined,” Appel said. “This has to be in the Mandela Room every semester.” The brave little puppies gallantly wagged their tails and snuggled with students despite the stressful atmosphere. We’re excited to see the event come back next semester, just hopefully with more puppies.

science, elaborated on the talents and strengths of the cast members who helped so significantly with the production’s formation. “They truly have become their own ‘tribe’ and embraced everything the show stands for,” Vernetti said. “This is one of the biggest ensemble musicals there is, as there is rarely a time where the full cast isn’t on stage, which means everyone is interacting and working together all the time. It’s exhausting, and yet their energy level is always through the roof.” Gregory Smaldone, a junior doublemajoring in history and accounting, stars as Claude, the leader of the tribe. He thinks students will enjoy “Hair” because it is a very unique musical in that it is more about sending a message than about telling a story. “It preaches the virtues of peace, loving people for who they are, and exploring the creative dose of life and of your mind,” Smaldone said. “It is also a strong condemnation of the Vietnam war and of the draft system in general, which at the time was a very radical position to take.” This is certainly a musical that will not only entertain viewers throughout the entire performance, but will also be a production from which they can

Xin Ke, an undeclared freshman, praised Sweet Frog for its prices and quality. “It’s not too expensive, compared to other frozen yogurt places,” Ke said. “It’s pretty reasonable.” Sweet Frog changes its

flavors fairly often, but it always has the staples, like mango, chocolate and original (sin). Standout special flavors include pumpkin pie and strawberry lemonade; richer flavors like pumpkin are great with toppings like chocolatecovered raisins and Nutella, while fruity flavors are better with fresh toppings such as strawberries and blueberries, and manna. The best thing about Sweet Frog’s special flavors is that they somehow taste exactly like what they’re imitating. “My favorite flavor is pumpkin pie, because it actually tastes like pie. So it’s good,” Ke said. Thanksgiving has come and gone, but pie lives on at Sweet Frog, as does the soul of Christ. The toppings bar is the crowning glory, where everything from mini Reese’s cups to bite-sized brownies exist solely to bring you joy. Don’t kid yourself —Sweet Frog boasts about some of its lower-calorie options, but we’re not here for the health factor. We’re here because you can combine New York cheesecake, espresso, cookies and cream and strawberry flavors in one cup, topped off with sour gummy worms, Nilla wafers and marshmallow sauce. The next time you make the trek to Walmart, stop in for some yogurt no matter the weather, because Sweet Frog is delicious in rain or shine. Don’t forget to ask for a frequent buyer card at the register — 10 stamps earns you a free yogurt with toppings. And while you’re in the store, you can text a number for a chance to win a free yogurt; one in 10 wins. And remember, it’s guilt-free. Sort of!

Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor

take something with them after the curtain call concludes. There are moments of love, moments of intense drug trips and moments of clarity for the young tribe members who come to realizations about the government and what it means to be a leader. These elements make it impossible to miss this production, which promises to be a rewarding experience. Performances are in the Hinman Commons. Tickets are $5 and are sold at the door.

Show Information Location: Hinman Commons Price: 5 Dollars at the door When: December 6th 9 P.M. December 7th 8 P.M. December 8th 2 P.M. & P.M.

Gabby Tilevitz | Release Matching pajama sets are a staple of holiday gift guides, yet where do they fit into a Binghamton student’s wardrobe? The correlation between pajamas and holiday gift guides may stem from the idea that the holidays are a time when people tend to have off from work and school, and are therefore more prone to staying in. So why not buy your loved one something cute and comfortable to lounge around in? Pajamas are a form of selfexpression, printed with your favorite childhood cartoon characters. But in college, where laziness is an epidemic and “getting ready for bed” turns into passing out from exhaustion (or inebriation), the necessity of owning something solely for sleeping becomes minimized. Johanna Jordan, a junior majoring in human development, remarked that pajamas as a set are very insignificant to her. “My mom definitely bought me a set last year,” Jordan said. “I was excited about the comfy pants and quickly forgot about the matching top.” Dane Banks, a junior majoring in English, also confirmed that while she does like pajama sets, the matching factor quickly loses its novelty. “I think they’re adorable,” Banks said. “But after I wear the matching set once, I generally incorporate them into the rest

of my pajama wardrobe and end up mixing and matching.” In a Pipe Dream survey, only 5 of the 100 respondents claimed to wear matching pajamas to sleep, while 62 said they wear a ratty t-shirt and a variation of bottoms, including sweatpants, shorts or underwear and 36 reported wearing either underwear or nothing. 76 students admitted to receiving pajamas as a holiday gift, while only 24 said they had asked for them. This year, websites like and Bloomingdales. com continue to include matching pajama sets in their holiday gift guides, whereas and Urbanoutfitters. com, more alternative apparel sites that cater more to collegeage students, do not include pajama sets or any form of sleepwear in their gift guides. However, underwear is featured as a gift for both women and men on both sites. and Urbanoutfitters. com have gotten the memo that less is more in the bedroom for college students. But perhaps pajamas are not being marketed to college students because they are an unnecessary expense in a world in which you are constantly hoping that by the end of the night your clothes will end up on the floor. Also, with the appropriation of loungewear into the public sphere, there is no boundary between sleepwear and loungewear, and thus the two categories merge for the 18 to 24-year-old bracket.

Daniel O'Connor/Staff Photographer

What do you sleep in?

T-Shirt and Sweats

Have you seen people off campus wear matching pajama sets? 62



Matching Sets





29 0-10


Just Underwear

Age range of off campus matching set wearers



40-60 60+





Cameron Wade | Release With the release of the Wii U on Nov. 18, the eighth generation of home consoles has begun. And while the new Nintendo console’s release has brought excitement and wonder for the next generation of consoles (two screens?!), it’s also brought nostalgia for the generation we’re leaving behind. With that in mind, here are the five games you need to play on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or the Wii. “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” (2009) — PS3 The word “cinematic” gets tossed around a lot when talking about video games, but no game better epitomizes that term than “Uncharted 2.” Nathan Drake (think Indiana Jones for the 21st century) is a treasure hunter swept up into a deadly race with a war criminal when he discovers a trail of clues leading to an ancient mythical power. Drake and his companions






are better realized than most Hollywood characters. The voice acting, motion capture work and character animations are unmatched in the gaming industry. The game is perfectly paced, switching between coverbased third-person shooting, a healthy dose of puzzle solving and “Tomb Raider”like platforming. “Uncharted 2” is the ultimate edge-of-yourseat action movie condensed into one of the most thrilling single-player adventure games.








“Half-Life 2” is one of the most renowned shooters in gaming, and for good reason. The combat is smooth and exciting, and the weapons are clever and some of the most fun to use in any game. “Portal” is set inside a scientific testing facility run by the endlessly entertaining homicidal AI, GLaDOS. Players are equipped with only one weapon: a gun that shoots portals. What goes in one portal comes out the other, and vice versa. “Portal” is a short but fun romp of genuinely funny “The Orange Box” (2007) — writing and ingenious puzzles. Xbox 360 & PS3 With three of the greatest firstOne of the greatest person shooters in gaming compilations in gaming history, history packaged together, “The “The Orange Box” comes with Orange Box” is a necessity. the legendary first-person “Super Mario Galaxy 2” shooter “Half-Life 2,” its two (2010) — Wii expansions, the online shooter “Team Fortress 2” and the The lone Wii title on breakout hit “Portal.” “Team this list comes courtesy of Fortress 2” on consoles doesn’t gaming’s biggest mascot. get the same updates that its Mario’s second 3D title on the PC counterpart gets, but it’s Wii demonstrates Nintendo’s still a fun, fast-paced shooter boundless creativity. Each with its own quirky art style world in the game brings with and a dedicated online fan base. it a new gameplay mechanic,

item or power-up. A drill to burrow through to the opposite side of a planet, a power-up that creates clouds underneath Mario for him to land on and planets with alternating gravities are just a few of the mechanics that appear during the game. The aesthetics are gorgeous and make Mario’s unique universe fit together seamlessly. The controls are perfect, the culmination of over 15 years of refinement. This game isn’t just the best platformer on the Wii, it might be the greatest platformer ever made.

of “Red Dead Redemption” is its best yet. The world feels alive, filled with colorful characters, gorgeous scenery and numerous missions and quests to undertake. John Marston is also one of the most nuanced protagonists in any game. He is a man of virtue and manners, but his past and his skill with a gun force him into a world of moral gray areas. A compelling journey from beginning to end, “Red Dead Redemption” stands as the reigning king of the open-world genre.

“Red Dead Redemption” (2010) — Xbox 360 & PS3

“BioShock” is the mustplay game of this console generation, a perfect blend of story, environment, atmosphere, character, voice acting and gameplay. Set in 1960, the player enters an underwater city called Rapture. After a devastating civil war, the people have become dependent on gene modifications called “plasmids.” Plasmids allow them to have myriad abilities

“Red Dead Redemption” is the best open-world game of this generation. Set in the waning days of the Wild West, the game features John Marston, a former outlaw forced by the government to track down his old partners and bring them to justice. Rockstar’s world-building skills are unmatched, and the world

“BioShock” (2007) — Xbox 360 & PS3

like telekinesis and controlling fire with a snap of their fingers. “BioShock” is a first-person shooter in which players wield guns and plasmids against the insane, violent citizens as they traverse the ruined city. What makes the narrative of “BioShock” the best in gaming is that the story is so deeply tied to the gameplay. The final narrative twist is one of the best in any medium, bar none. “BioShock” is so rich in its themes, ideas, characters and narrative that it would take a book to properly give each one its due. How all these different elements tie directly into the gameplay and mission structure of “BioShock” is what makes it truly incredible. At the moment, the Wii U might not have any bona fide classics on it, so get caught up on these must-play games. There are bound to be more soon.

Jacob Shamsian | Assistant Release Editor Yoram Kaniuk is one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers, but only a few of his 32 books have been translated into English. His latest book, “1948,” is published as part of the New York Review of Books Lit series “devoted to publishing contemporary books of literary merit from around the world.” In doing so, NYRB Lit has brought one of the most insightful and beautifully written war memoirs of recent years into the English-speaking world. “1948” recounts Kaniuk’s experience in the Palmach, a ragtag underground Jewish army that became an essential group in Israel’s war for independence. His storytelling, translated by Anthony Berris, is powerful, deep and unexpected. The elapsed time between the events of the war and his writing of the memoir have not diminished Kaniuk’s story, but have made him a rare and valuable thinker. Kaniuk is now 82, and wrote this book with 64 years of retrospect (he lied about his age and was 17 when he joined the army). Like “The Things They Carried,” the classic Vietnam War memoir by Tim O’Brien, “1948” is fictionalized, time having flawed Kaniuk’s memory. “I’m not sure what I actually remember since I do not rely on memory, it is sly and does not possess a one and only truth … A lie that comes from seeking truth can be more genuine than truth itself,” he writes. “You think, and a moment later you remember only what you want to.” At many points, Kaniuk tells us that a friend from the war, when recounting a battle or other experience, remembered certain details differently than he does. But just because the book may not capture the entire

reality of events doesn’t mean it doesn’t capture the truth. Kaniuk’s writing is honest and thoughtful. Like in other great war memoirs, such as “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “Jarhead,” Kaniuk depicts confrontations with mortality — from the death of friends to losing a leg — with profound, raw terror. Also like those books, as well as Tim O’Brien’s, he recognizes the limitations of language in the discussion of war in its overwhelming terror. Kaniuk understands the existential crisis of the soldier, a simple figure in a large and complex war willed into existence by politically powerful men who rarely fight.

While Kaniuk often considers ideas behind the founding of a Jewish state in the Middle East, his opinions are refreshingly original, even pessimistic. “[Smart] we were not,” he writes. “Smart people don’t go off to die by choice when they’re seventeen, eighteen, or even twenty years old. Smart people prefer actual countries over dreamed ones. Smart people don’t try to establish new countries in [heat] waves in a country full of native Arabs, and surrounded by Arab countries that view them as malevolent foreigners.” He calls it “crazy” to “fight

a suicidal war for someone you don’t know and for something about which you haven’t the faintest idea.” Yet although he describes Israel as a state established “for the dead who would not live in it,” Kaniuk lives in Israel and writes in Hebrew. His conflicted view of Israel’s foundation fuels much of the energy and pain of the novel. According to him, the idea was to found a state that would protect refugees of the Holocaust, but upon the state’s foundation the idea became quite different. A regular nonfiction book might overuse dates and names, but this memoir’s discussion of ideas of nationality makes the book more accessible to people less familiar with Israeli history or Middle Eastern politics. Besides, Kaniuk believes the war was worthwhile in the wake of the Holocaust. Describing the state of Israel after his service, he acknowledged that although the 1948 war was terrible for him, the survivors of the Holocaust were “a thousand times stronger” than any Israeli, and that what happened in Israel was “a children’s story” compared to what happened in Europe. One of the great pleasures of reading the book is Kaniuk’s muscular and versatile narrative voice. He blends narrative voices and spouts unexpected — often funny — descriptions of places and people. He describes in passing his uncle, who owned a photography shop in Tel Aviv, and who “for twenty years had been photographing idiots who wanted to look handsome against a backdrop of paper jungles he’d hang behind them, but who for his soul had for twenty years photographed the sunsets on the same beach and at the same hour and not one of those photographs was preserved.” Kaniuk often talks about which events were too painful to write about, which is why he put off writing the book for years. The result,

Book Review: Dear Life Jacob Shamsian | Assistant Release Editor

not fully understand another character’s emotional state, leading the first character to do something to hurt the second, thus creating discord. This strategy taps into a universal element of human nature: our inability to understand another human as we understand ourselves. Everyone has been a victim of that great rift, whether or not

At the age of 81, Alice Munro is regularly heralded as one of the best short story writers of our time. Critics often place her stories in the canon of the form alongside Anton Chekhov’s and O. Henry’s. Her 14th original collection, “Dear Life: Stories,” features some of her most beautiful prose, but doesn’t always achieve the emotional rawness of her best work. The short story, unlike the novel, is marked by its mission to create complete settings, characters and plots in a few dozen pages instead of a few hundred. All of the stories in Munro’s new collection are set on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, where she lives. She realizes her characters with economy by forcing them to confront the great issues of life: regret, death, happiness, security, etc. One recurring technique we realize it. she employs is having one Munro paints her settings character misunderstand or with beautiful specificity and

technical excellence. The opening paragraph of the title story, “Dear Life,” for example, contains the following description: “Marking the end of town were two bridges over the Maitland River: one narrow iron bridge, where cars sometimes got into trouble over which ones should pull off and wait for the other, and a wooden walkway which occasionally had a plank missing, so that you could look right down into the bright, hurrying water. I liked that, but somebody always came and replaced the plank eventually.” Herein likes the strange problem with many of Munro’s stories in her new collection: The settings are so detailed, so richly written, that they often overwhelm our interest in the characters. Dialogue is used so sparingly and internal recollection so frequently that the resulting effect is often an unintentional atmospheric piece. Such stories may be skillfully and illuminatingly written, but can make for a drudging read.


University Union WB03 4400 Vestal Parkway E. Binghamton, N.Y. 13902 607-777-2515 607-777-2600

Daniel S. Weintraub

Jules Forrest

James Galloway

Empty Podium

Susan Lamb Christina Pullano Geoffrey Wilson Ezra Shapiro

Darian Lusk

Jacob Shamsian

Megan Brockett

But it’s our crowning achievement, our imagined raison d’etre — climbing that stage, getting that diploma, tossing our graduation caps in the air. It’s what gets us through those all-nighters at the Glenn G. Bartle Library, the waves of work that submerge us semester after semester. But we’re missing one crucial part of this most important of events: a commencement speaker. That’s not to say we don’t have one at all — though, for this winter’s commencement, we appear to literally not have one — but to say that our speakers have been, at best, lackluster. The biggest name we’ve had in recent years is Billy Baldwin. Now, as much as we love him in such classics as “The Squid and the Whale,” “The Craigslist Killer” TV movie and “His Brother’s Shadow” (get it?), he’s not exactly someone people will flock to see. Neither is one of last year’s commencement speakers, the guy who wrote the “Trust the Midas Touch” jingle. Really, it shouldn’t be too much to ask of Binghamton. We deserve a good speaker. Not Will Ferrell or Kurt Vonnegut or anything — though Malcolm Gladwell would be awesome —

but someone who thinks that public education in New York is important and who is important to students here. How about Governor Cuomo, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, author Judy Blume or hey, one of the Clintons? Plus, WE’RE IN NEW YORK! There’s no shortage of names, from notable authors to public figures (ahem, Clintons), who should care about the crown jewel of the New York state education system. Binghamton University is a school to be proud of. We’re proud of going to it; why aren’t the representatives of this state proud of it, too? We’re not just a “Public Ivy” or the best school in the SUNY system. We are, to quote the Times, “one of the most prestigious public institutions in the Northeast.” Maybe it’s lack of initiative on the school’s part; maybe it’s simply that mayors and senators have better things to do. But really, if the latter’s the case, they’re misplacing their priorities. From the low cost to the employability of its graduates, particularly those from the business school, there are many parts of this school worth

drawing attention to. Instead, we’re sequestered into a geographical and public isolation, left out of politicians’ speeches and tours. This school is on its way up. With campus renovations and climbing rankings, Binghamton should by all means be a highly respected public university. But crucial to academic prestige is self-recognition. We need to recognize that we’re great, and capitalize on that by inviting real people to give commencement speeches here. While some would perhaps laugh off the offer, surely it can’t be impossible to land one — just one — great speaker (cough cough, Clintons). That’s all it takes: If we’re seen as a school worthy of one good speaker, more will follow. As ultimately unimportant as commencement may be — yes, it’s the image you hold in your head prior to graduation, but what is it more than a tediously long process and a chance for your parents to kvell over you? — it is symbolic nonetheless. It is symbolic to the students, and it is symbolic to outsiders, too: potential students, professors and benefactors. Above all, it’s a step, if a small one, toward making us into the school we should be.

Ari Kramer Erik Bacharach

Michael Manzi

Paige Nazinitsky

Zachary Feldman Rebecca Forney

Jonathan Heisler

Nia Pellone Eric King

Miriam Geiger

Kaitlin Busser

Tina Ritter

Daniel O'Connor

Fiscal cliff looms, but GOP's head in the sand Not one month after Election Day, the rank and file of the Republican Party and GOP leadership, after having suffered stunning losses in the Senate and failing to win back the White House despite a prolonged period of national unemployment, have once again resorted to obstructionist tactics moving into the new year.

After campaigning early, openly and often before the November elections, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have so far remained committed to their pledge to raise marginal tax rates on the top two percent income earners as part of a comprehensive deficit reduction package in preparation for the next fiscal year. Doing so would raise top tax rates on individuals who make over $200,000 and couples making over $250,000 back to their Clinton-era levels, where they were originally 36 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively, slightly higher than their current levels of 33 percent and 35 percent The White House’s lead negotiator, during the booming 1990s before the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Bush tax cuts. met with party leaders from both sides of the aisle last Thursday, looking for an agreement to prevent the automatic federal spending cuts and across-the-board tax hikes created by the bi-partisan congressional “Supercommittee” last year as part of their plan to reduce the federal deficit. With less than a month before the nation falls over the so-called “fiscal cliff” Washington imposed on itself and the entire country last year, Republicans continue to remain intransigent in the face of bipartisan negotiations.

The Democrats have already committed themselves, foolishly in the eyes of many liberals after victory at the polls, to cutting social spending on popular programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — as much as $250 billion — while Republicans have not committed to raising one dime in new tax revenue. And it shows. Poll after poll has consistently shown solid support in public opinion for higher taxes on the wealthy as a way to reduce the deficit and fund government programs. Yet Republicans continue to hold firm to Grover Norquist’s “no new taxes” pledge. Republicans honor their purity pledge at their own peril. A Washington Post-Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday shows a margin of 53-27 percent in citing Republicans over Obama as the party to blame should the country go over the fiscal cliff. Another CNN/ORC International poll published last week recorded that 45 percent of voters would blame congressional Republicans, compared to 34 percent who would hold Obama responsible. In spite of the fact that most Americans today pay fewer taxes than they did in 1980, Republicans remain committed to the false notion that

even marginally higher tax rates on the wealthy will sink the economy. Since 2000, federal revenues from national taxation of individual and corporate income collected only 9.2 percent of America’s gross domestic product, the lowest level for any decade since the post-war period. The Great Recession and additional income and payroll tax cuts have only further reduced revenues to 7.6 percent of economic output in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. As income inequality increases and health care costs continue to match the spiral upwards of a graying population, expensive new medical technology and costly end-of-life treatment, taxes will necessarily have to go up, barring absolutely savage cuts in vital social services and antipoverty programs. This coming year marks the 100th anniversary of the federal income tax and, despite the howls of protest emanating from right-wing media, Amendment XVI is here to stay. If the Republicans want to be, too, they will have to come to terms with that. — Taylor Arluck is a senior double-majoring in economics and philosophy, politics and law.

Derek Parry

Zachary Kirschner

Zachary Hindin Kimberly Bower

The "F-word" isn't all that bad Here are eight words that make me cringe, particularly when they emerge from the mouth of a college student with two X chromosomes:

all connotations of the dreaded phrase. 2) You forget the struggles yet to be won in the United States — If you’re worried about coming off as too socially conscious, don’t worry, feminism is compatible with the selfish and apathetic lifestyle our generation so adores. To be an activist feminist in the United States is to act in your own selfinterest. As it stands right “I don’t consider myself to now, our male peers will earn be a feminist.” 27 cents more on the dollar We’re all entitled to for the same exact work. Over our opinions, but there’s a a lifetime, that is a significant difference between being gap in income. outspoken and just being plain ignorant. It is completely deplorable to hold this position as a woman pursuing an education at a public university. Here are the repercussions of such a phrase. 1) You carelessly remand the centuries’ long work on the part of women’s rights activists — I was always told not to assume because it makes an ass out of you and me, but it seems that female nonfeminists don’t believe in their own right to vote, hold public office or even attend this university. These fundamental rights were the result of hardThat’s right, the mouth fought battles by activists, breather in your group project who were jailed and ostracized will earn more money than you every step of the way. simply because he’s packing To say you are not a feminist heat, not on the basis of his is to devalue all of their efforts. abilities or work ethic. There Feel free to drop out of college is a movement to change this and your chosen field of study. income inequality through the Make sure to stop taking Lily Ledbetter Act, a federal your birth control, as that law regulating equal pay for was a creation made possible equal work. Unfortunately, by feminist advocacy. When Congress continues to prevent you find the right boy for the passage of this legislation. you, take comfort in the fact Widespread utterance of that if your point of view was this dreaded phrase isn’t still acceptable, you’d be his helping the case that our property and have no right to representatives should even take your own wages. These are bother waking up from the

Dark Ages. 3) You cast aside our sisters in the third world like disposable sanitary napkins — From our lofty positions of privilege, it seems as if the battle for equality is for the most part won. To be blunt, it is easy to hold this point of view when no one is throwing battery acid into your eyes as you walk to class. Women are not treated with respect in the world at large. Education for women is not a priority. Domestic abuse and rape are not punished. Sexual freedom is a pipe dream, as even sexual pleasure is destroyed through female circumcision. The injustices committed against women outside of the United States are too gruesome to ignore. We must not forget that these are injustices against the human race as a whole, as the world is deprived of productive citizens lost to repression. Perhaps I’ve been too harsh. Maybe the reason for the utterance of this dreaded phrase is less the fault of the supposedly “non-feminist” college student and more the result of the negative slant and stereotypes associated with the word itself. The image of a bra-burning, man-hating woman comes to mind, but we must step back and realize the basic nature of the word: a belief that men and women are equal and should be treated as such. To quote Hillary Clinton, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Surely it is not too radical to assert that in a democracy such as ours, human rights are valued and so too should the feminist cause. — Molly McGrath is a sophomore majoring in political science.

The last weeks of an academic semester can be extremely stressful. We worry about deadlines for projects, about studying for final exams, about changes in our social life and about the expectations of parents and friends. From personal experience I know that these worries can lead to a cycle of sleeplessness, anxiety, self-doubt and a long list of equally negative emotions.

rinks. It doesn’t matter how you move, it only matters that you do move, and that you try to move without stopping for at least 45 minutes. You’ll find, as I do, that after about 10 minutes of moving you won’t be worrying about your paper, project or test; instead, you will be feeling your breathing get heavier, your back start to sweat, your legs start to hurt. It’s not really pain, just recognition that your body is now in charge of your brain, and the test, paper or project is not as important. And when you finish, you’ll find that you’ll be able to concentrate better and sleep longer and sounder at night. When classes began in I can’t take your exams, I September, I invited students can’t write your papers, I can’t to run with me in the morning. finish your projects, but I can give you one tip to help you get from today to the end of your semester. Bundle up, find a friend and take a walk. Walk fast or slow. Walk up and down the stairs of a tall building. If you have some good running shoes, make it a run. Or, if you want to exercise inside, play pickup basketball or volleyball. Go for a swim. Or even go skating at one of the local ice

So far, I’ve had about 40 of you join me. Not all at once, although I did have about 15 on one day. I’m still running every weekday morning, and you’re welcome to join me. I stop outside Mountainview Dining Hall (Appalachian) at 7 a.m. to meet those who want to join in. When we finish (after climbing the path to Hillside), we feel tired but refreshed, and know that we’ve accomplished one important task of our day. Whether you join me or not, please, please, take 45 minutes every day to exercise. I strongly believe that sustained physical movement helps relieve stress, reduce worries and build self-confidence. You will look forward to it. In fact, the biggest worry you’ll have once you get started is finding 45 minutes to work out each day. But once you find them, you’ll never want to lose them. I know how important those 45 minutes are to me each day. Good luck on the end of your semester. I wish you the best. — Harvey Stenger is the president of Binghamton University.

Letter to the editor To the editor: The latest edition of Binghamton University Magazine features an article entitled “The Oilman’s Paradox,” which discusses 1978 alumnus and natural gas driller Matt Telfer’s role in funding a faculty position in the geology department over the next three years. While a successful alumnus giving back to his alma mater may seem admirable, a closer look reveals that this is not an act of university pride but rather an attempt by a fracking CEO to “train students to think.” As many students have come to know, Binghamton University is in the heart of the Marcellus Shale region of New York. Gas companies have fought for three years to start the process of fracking here. Through public outcry about disturbing public health revelations, though, New Yorkers have been successful in preventing fracking. The status of fracking is still in limbo in New York. It is therefore in gas company CEOs’ interest to persuade Binghamton University students to ignore the flammable and toxic tap water, groundwater contamination and huge social and infrastructure costs associated with fracking.

Higher education was built on the principle of academic freedom. This is a principle which I hope our university will uphold. To have a gas company executive fund an academic position at Binghamton University would directly conflict with this ideal. Binghamton is an area of crucial importance for gas companies, and the opinions of students could easily sway the decision to frack one way or the other. A similarly funded “Shale Gas Research Institute” at the University at Buffalo was shut down only several weeks ago due to the “cloud of uncertainty” created over its work, according to the State University Board of Trustees president. In order for this university to maintain its role as a place of academic freedom and objective thinking, we must resist privately funded teaching positions serving only as a mouthpiece for the natural gas industry and remain a university that has real science and the public interest as its core values. Sara Alpert Binghamton University Senior NYPIRG Intern

Holiday spirit is great, but let's not wear its welcome out Although I’m one of the most cynical people out there, my hard exterior melts upon the arrival of the holiday season. On the drive back up to Binghamton from Thanksgiving break, I flipped through my car’s shoddy radio as I cruised down the expressway to find Christmas tunes for the ride.

There’s something wonderful about scouting out all the decorated houses as I go from place to place over break. As for my house, I’m ecstatic to get home and put out my light-up Christmas moose (which I demanded my parents get in lieu of the standard reindeer) because I know my Grinch of a mom hasn’t put it out yet. Nevertheless, it’s that time of year and, engaging in the giving and openhearted spirits of the season, I’d like to

admit something: I’m a conservative. No, no, no. Not a political, or even fiscal, conservative. You see, I’m a Holiday Conservative. I’m sure by this point you’re confused, so allow me to explain. When I was a young boy, Thanksgiving was a momentous day. It would begin early in the morning when, after a bowl of cereal, I’d cuddle up on the couch with a blanket or two and my Game Boy Color so I could watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’d find joy in seeing the parade evolve every year as newer characters more recognizable to me flew high above the streets alongside revered classics. But there was one thing that never changed: Santa’s appearance at the end in his gigantic sleigh acting as a transition into the holiday season. Forced to then shower and get dressed, I then had to endure a long car-ride to some family member’s house so I could take my place at the kids’ table and enjoy copious amounts of food while gossiping with my cousins about what we wanted for Christmas. Time goes on, though, and just

like war, pop culture and the people we know, the holidays have changed. Instead of giving Santa the respect and patience he deserves, holiday hype has been coming earlier and earlier.

I was appalled this year when, the day after Halloween, Walmart replaced their plethora of costumes with toys in preparation for Christmas, and decorations flooded their outdoor section. Holidaythemed advertisements were in full force, trying to convince me to buy jewelry, new cars and face wash. It was like everyone had skipped over an entire month and Thanksgiving was forgotten. For many people, it was.

Thanksgiving was overshadowed by its neighboring younger “holidays” (if you can even call them that) like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the new Small Business Saturday — so much so that those retail workers who actually got the chance to take part in a familial feast had it cut short by extended sale hours. I’m afraid that, if things continue to go on this way, Christmas in July will actually become Christmas in July. It’s not hard to guess why this is happening. It can’t be the season of giving if people aren’t also buying, and Christmas sells. Why wouldn’t marketers do anything in their power to strengthen and lengthen the impulse in us to buy when the holidays come about? Now, I’m sure a number of you can’t help but think that I’m a Scrooge trying to rain on a parade of cheer, but I assure you I’m nothing of the sort. I’m not saying we have to keep the Christ in Christmas (I know I sure don’t) or anything of that sort, but the road that we’re on is a dangerous one. As educated consumers, don’t we want to try to avoid such mindless

consumerism and, as lovers of the season, don’t we want it to keep its pride instead of becoming a fat cashcow for corporations? That’s why, even though I’m the progressive I am, I’m starting the Holiday Conservative movement! We’ll shun holiday commercials that air before their time. We’ll keep our decorations in the basement until Thanksgiving night. We’ll have the patience to keep our holiday music silent until “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” blasts during Santa’s first appearance. And we’ll take our damn time stuffing our faces full of turkey knowing full and well we can find all the sales we need sitting on our butts in front of a computer screen instead of camping out in the freezing cold. So, though the time is ripe for caroling, falling snow and bright lights, keep these things in mind when next year rolls around and take the time to enjoy the current holiday season as you cram for finals. — Zach Stanco is a senior doublemajoring in philosophy and English.

We’ve hit Week 14 of Pipe Dream Picks, and the sports editing corps needs an epic collapse by the guest. In case you don’t know how this works by now, every week Pipe Dream sports editors and one guest will attempt to correctly predict the outcome of four upcoming NFL games of their choice, selecting one prediction as a LOCK. Getting the LOCK correct earns you three points, while getting it wrong costs you one. Pushing the LOCK neutralizes the pick. The other three games are worth one point each, with a half-point for a push, and there is no penalty for wrong guesses on these. After a four-point week, the guest holds a 14.5 point lead over second-place Megan. Ari used a sweep of last week’s picks to pass Erik, who sits in last place with 15 points. Interested in making an appearance as the guest picker? Submit your picks to sports@

Pipe Dream Picks Guest Megan Ari Erik

37.5 23 15.5 15

25-12-3 19-14-2 18-21-1 16-23


Megan Brockett’s Picks


Ari Kramer's Picks

LOCK: Atlanta (-3.5) over CAROLINA I can’t figure out why Carolina isn’t getting more points in this game, but I’ll take it.

LOCK: Houston (+3.5) over NEW ENGLAND Will this not be a shootout decided by three points? TAMPA BAY (-7.5) over Philadelphia Bryce Brown will fumble three times and rush for 47 yards in this one.

Baltimore (+2.5) over WASHINGTON The Ravens punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win this Sunday, and Washington should have trouble trying to stop them.

INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5) over Tennessee Just because I won with the same spread against Tennessee last week.

NY Jets (-2.5) over JACKSONVILLE The Jets need Jesus. Luckily for them, they’ve got the next best thing on their bench. Fractured ribs or not, the man can still pray.

Chicago (-3) over MINNESOTA I hate taking road favorites, but I haven’t thought much of Minnesota all year.

NY GIANTS (-5) over New Orleans I need one home team pick, why not the Giants?

LOCK: CLEVELAND (-6.5) over Kansas City KC has no QB. Plus, Cleveland’s D has been pretty good this year.

LOCK: Kansas City (+6.5) over CLEVELAND Too late to jump ship now. Despite their recent play, I still have faith in the Browns’ ineptitude.

WASHINGTON (-2.5) over Baltimore Hail to the Redskins! Hail Victory! Also, no R. Lewis for the Ravens.

NY Jets (-2.5) over JACKSONVILLE When Greg McElroy replaces Mark Sanchez during the third quarter again, the Jets should find a way to eke out a multiple point win.

TAMPA BAY (-7.5) over Philadelphia Two words: DOUG MARTIN!!!!!!

SEATTLE (-10.5) over Arizona It’s a big spread, but whoever ends up playing quarterback for Arizona on Sunday couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

CINCINNATI (-3) over Dallas Cincy needs to win, and in order for the ‘Skins to make it, Dallas needs to lose.

INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5) over Tennessee The Colts have been the surprise of the NFL this year and should have no problem with the 4-8 Titans.


Nate Bolles


Erik Bacharach's Picks

Gr aduate School of Business By now it’s probable that the supply of Red Bull and psychostimulants that you’d been hoarding to aid your Week 14 prep is near complete exhaustion. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed at this point.

The fantasy football postseason is officially under way after last night’s game in Oakland, implying that for at least one more Sunday you’ll be forced to politely decline an invitation to any establishment without a guarantee of Internet access and Joe Buck’s voice hollow-heartedly emanating from the television speakers. The playoffs are a time for management execution. You can’t afford to be whimsical when setting your lineup. You can’t afford to miss out on any helpful information leading up to game day. The stakes are too high. It’s imperative that you stay on top of things over these next few weeks, assuming that you advance beyond this weekend. Still, you should try to take a moment now and then to bask in the well-deserved languor following 13 weeks of wellmanaged imaginary football, ultimately rewarded with playoff contention. You’ve earned it. As for the presidential level of stress your body’s been victimized by ever since you figured out who you’d be matching up with this week, there are a few methods of mitigation. For instance, it’s possible that there will be free massages offered on

campus over the next few weeks to relieve built-up tension. Never miss out on an opportunity for a free massage. If you remember to tell the masseuse that you selected Maurice Jones-Drew in the first round, you may be eligible for the hour-long session of hot stones, shiatsu and acupuncture. Personally, I would suggest scream therapy to alleviate MJD frustration. I think it’s been working for me, though I can’t be fully certain. The stretch from Week 14 to Week 16 breeds faux football legends and drives those repudiated by the fantasy football gods to a winter of dejection. The jaundice of defeat never completely subsides until the following football season galvanizes hope once again. The trick is to keep coming back. Eventually you’ll have secured several months of bragging privileges that will allow you to subject your buddies to unrelenting, incessant taunting. During the weeks of playoff matchups, there are few opportunities to gain from waiver wire fodder. The only acquisitions to be made aside from emergency replacements for injured players are at the kicker and defensive scoring positions. The relative value of kickers in fantasy football is generally determined by frequency of opportunity as opposed to pure skill. Lawrence Tynes has been a workhorse this year thanks to the Giants’ ineptitude in the red zone. A hard-nosed opposing red zone defense coupled with a struggling red zone offense will usually lead to a higher incidence of field goal attempts. Much like the kicking

category, the relative success of a team’s defense in terms of fantasy points depends mainly on matchup circumstances. For instance, the Philadelphia Eagles have had the most success offensively when running the ball up to this point in their catastrophic 2012 campaign. Their passing attack has been below average. This Sunday, the Eagles will be on the road against a Tampa Bay team ranked first in the NFL in rushing defense (be advised,

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RECRUITING Club sports never get any love in this section. Therefore, I feel that it is my duty to report that the only competitive men’s volleyball team on campus, our men’s club team, took first

place at SUNY Cortland’s home tournament this past Sunday. The Bearcats competed with three other schools, facing off against Syracuse University, St. Thomas Aquinas College and SUNY Cortland in a tournament that lasted well over five hours. Every player excelled in his role, as the Bearcats swept St. Thomas Aquinas College, Cortland’s A-team and Binghamton’s own B-team during the tournament’s qualifying round. Binghamton ended the first round with a 6-2 record, enough to earn the team a first-round bye in the playoff bracket. Jimmy Boyle, a junior on Cortland’s club team, was awed by the Bearcats’ performance. “They were really solid in passing,” Boyle said. “And their hitting just got stronger as they went along.” After dismantling Syracuse in the second round of the playoffs, Binghamton faced off against SUNY Cortland’s A-team in the finals. Endurance was key in this match; both teams had played 11 games of volleyball throughout the day. In the end, the Bearcats

persevered and pulled away to win the final match, 25-18. Co-president Benjamin Shassol had nothing but praise for the club’s play, and was especially impressed with the team’s performance during the playoffs. “I am very proud of our guys, especially our upperclassmen, that stuck with us, and the freshmen and sophomores that keep this club going strong,” Shassol said. “We played amazing, completely breaking down Syracuse and Cortland … I’m looking forward to future wins as our club continues to grow.” By the end of the day, the Bearcats had played 12 games of volleyball, ending with a record of 10-2. Co-president Matt Nizich was thrilled with the team’s play as well. Now in his second semester as co-president, Nizich has watched as the team has steadily improved throughout the last few months. “We’re finally coming together as a club and playing a really competitive brand of volleyball,” Nizich said. “We faced some good EIVA opponents today and came out on top, and I think that’s a good sign for us going into conference play next semester.” EIVA, short for Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, is an association that organizes and encourages intercollegiate volleyball competition throughout the east coast. Next semester, Binghamton aims to enter both its A- and B-teams into the

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EIVA club conference, with the goal of sending as many players as possible to the 2013 NCVF Collegiate Club Championships in Dallas, Texas.

Roundup Wrestling

Binghamton University confirmed on Dec. 4th that they have recruited six high school standouts for the 2013-14 season. The class includes a pair of top-100 wrestlers and two more multistate champions.

Men's Tennis Men’s tennis head coach Adam Cohen has signed lefty Doug Notaris, the No. 1 player at Wantagh High on Long Island, to a National Letter of Intent. Notaris, who was ranked No. 112 in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Boys 16s, will join the Bearcats in 2013-2014.

Men's Basketball In the nearer future, however, is the club’s last tournament of the fall semester. This Saturday, the team will host its annual home tournament in the University’s West Gym. With visitors coming from colleges across the Northeast, 10 teams are expected to compete throughout the day. Play is set to start at 9:30 a.m. Feel free to stop by at any time and support the most competitive men’s volleyball team on campus.

The men’s basketball team has added three more recruits set to join the Bearcats for the 2013-14 season. Head coach Tommy Dempsey’s latest recruiting class includes 6-foot-9-inch forward Nick Madray (Mississauga, Ontario), 6-foot-7inch forward Magnus Richards (Silver Springs, Md.) and 6-foot point guard Yosef Yacob (Chester, Pa.).

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In the next three days, the Binghamton University women’s basketball team will have two chances to end the drought that has left it winless through the season’s first eight games. The Bearcats (0-8) are set to head to University at Buffalo on Saturday before returning to the Events Center for a matchup against Niagara University on Monday night. Binghamton will enter Saturday’s contest looking to recover from its greatest missed opportunity of the season, a 58-56 loss to University of Nevada, Las Vegas at the ASU Classic on Sunday. The Bearcats held a seven-point lead with just under eight minutes remaining before allowing 10 consecutive points from UNLV. The game marked the third time the Bearcats have lost by fewer than five points this season. Despite this, BU owns a scoring margin of -14.0 — second worst in the America East Conference — after enduring a handful of blowouts. “[There’s been] a big focus on just getting better each game, and I think we’ve been making steps in the right direction,” Binghamton head coach Nicole Scholl said. “Players have been working hard in practice and have that continued motivation and [are] just trying to improve.” Buffalo (1-8), who is still winless at home after falling to St. Bonaventure University on Wednesday, 64-55, will come into the match riding a six-game losing streak.

Selected to finish sixth in the Mid-America Conference East Division preseason poll, the Bulls are averaging just over 57 points per game, compared to Binghamton’s 48.4 points per game, which ranks dead-last in the America East. The Bulls are led by a pair of freshmen in Rachel Gregory, averaging 11.5 points per game, and Mackenzie Loesing, averaging 8.4 points per contest.

— Nicole Scholl BU head coach

Like Buffalo, Binghamton has come to rely on its underclassmen thus far this season. After a two-game total of 25 points at the ASU Classic over the weekend, freshman forward Morgan Murphy ranks third on the Bearcats in scoring, behind sophomore forward Sherae Swinson and junior guard Jasbriel Swain, with just over seven points per contest. Swinson currently leads the Bearcats with just under 10 points per contest. After making just one start last season,

BU @ Buffalo

BU vs. Niagara

December 8

December 10

Alumni Arena 5 p.m.

Events Center 7 p.m.

Swinson is now averaging the third most minutes for the Bearcats, who lost their three leading scorers from last season to graduation. Scholl referred to Swinson as one of the leaders that has emerged on the team this year, along with Swain and senior forward Kara Elofson. “Sherae Swinson is another one who, now that she’s in that starting role and seeing a lot of time this year, I think has really blossomed and is ready to come into her own as one of our scorers,” Scholl said. On Monday, the Bearcats are scheduled to return home to face Niagara (3-3) after playing three straight road games. The Purple Eagles enter the weekend with back-to-back wins against Oakland University and Kent State University at home. Led by the scoring of sophomore guard Meghan McGuinness, Niagara is posting an average of 65 points per game. On Nov. 12, the Purple Eagles were edged out by St. Bonaventure at home, 51-49, for their first loss of the season. Binghamton, who faced the Bonnies on Nov. 10, was held to just 24 percent shooting in a 27-point season-opening trouncing against the Bonnies. Stretching back into last season, the Bearcats have now lost 13 of their last 14 games. Binghamton is the only America East team without a win so far this season, and with a loss to Buffalo on Saturday, the Bearcats would match their longest losing streak since the 2003-04 season. Scholl said she believes the team does feel some pressure to secure its first Jonathan Heisler/Photo Editor victory, but that it hasn’t been the main Sophomore forward Sherae Swinson leads BU in scoring with 9.9 points per game and has emerged focus so far. as a leader on a young Bearcats team. “It’s in the back of their minds,” she said. “But again our focus hasn’t been so much on the wins and losses as the improvements those type of things that you go through Monday’s game against Niagara is set for 7 that we’re making and just continuing with a younger team.” p.m. at the Events Center. to be smarter basketball players in game Tip-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled scenarios, you know, how to keep a lead and for 5 p.m. at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena.


NFL Week 14 Page 13

Friday, December 7, 2012

With conference play approaching and four nonconference games left to work out the kinks, the Binghamton University men’s basketball team will look to grab its first road win this Saturday when it travels to Rhode Island to take on Bryant University. The Bearcats (2-7) are coming off of a 77-65 home loss to Monmouth University in which 21 turnovers prevented BU from ever gaining control of the game. Two days earlier, Binghamton fell to Mount St. Mary’s University, 71-70, and was once again plagued by 21 turnovers in the contest. With the Mountaineers (3-3) scoring 28 points off turnovers and the Hawks (5-4) scoring 32, Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey said his team has struggled with ball control. “I think part of it is playing against two really good pressing teams our last two games,” he said. “Both teams, Mount St. Mary’s and Monnmouth, are really strong at forcing turnovers. Those games presented tough matchups for us because we turn the ball over a lot, they force a lot of turnovers so it was a tough matchup. But we’ve worked the last couple of days just on ballhandling and decision-making, so hopefully we’ll get [better] at

it as the season goes on.” Another consistency for Binghamton has been the play of freshman guard Jordan Reed. Reed, fresh off a 26-point and 10-rebound performance against Monmouth, was listed on’s weekly “Freshman of the Year” rankings written by blogger Jeff Borzello. The rookie has averaged 18.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season, both good for No. 1 in the America East Conference. His four doubledoubles also had him ranked eighth in the nation and first among guards, while his 10.3 rebounds per game had him at 19th in the nation and fourth among guards as of Monday afternoon. “I think some freshmen at times struggle with the adjustment to the next level, from an intensity standpoint, how hard you have to play defensively, how hard you have to go to get a rebound, how hard you have to cut to get open, those kinds of things,” Dempsey said. “I think a lot of freshmen struggle with that, but I think one thing that Jordan has done from day one here is he’s brought an incredible energy and an incredible will to win right into the program.” After winning back-toback games for the first time in nearly two years late last month, Binghamton has now dropped its last three games and

BU @ Bryant December 8 Chace Athletic Center 1p.m.

remains winless on the season in road games. But the common denominator in each of the last three losses has been the Bearcats’ resilience. Despite each result, BU has had its chances to win and has been right there in each game. The key is learning to finish. “I do think the fact that we’re able to compete every night right now, I think that’s helping our guys realize that if we can clean a couple of things up here and there, we should be able to close games and get [the] win,” Dempsey said. “I think when you’re picked last and you’re coming off a season where you only won one conference game, the first step in the building is to become competitive in your league and I think we’re heading toward that.” Bryant (4-3), meanwhile, just had a four-game winning streak snapped in a 64-62 home loss to Yale University. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore guard Dyami Starks and junior forward Alex Francis, who are averaging 17.3 and 15.9 points per game, respectively. Dempsey said Bryant has a good team and that the Bearcats will need to play very well to win on the road. Binghamton is 0-4 away from the Events Center. “We’re going to have to find ways to win some road games if we’re going to be competitive in our league,” Dempsey said. “It would be really nice to be able to get a road win before conference play starts, and we have a couple more opportunities to try and do that.” Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Chace Athletic Center.

Daniel O'Connor/Staff Photographer

Featured on’s weekly “Freshman of the Year” rankings on Tuesday, Jordan Reed tops the America East in points and rebounds per game and leads all guards nationwide in double-doubles.

Already a month into the new season, the Binghamton University wrestling team is struggling to live up to the preseason expectations that follow an excellent campaign and is still searching for its first win of the season. Head coach Matt Dernlan said his team hasn’t executed on the floor yet, though the potential exists.

“I know we have got a lot more than what we have been seeing right now,” Dernlan said. “When it comes to competition, it is not really an ability thing. It is more of an attitude matter. We need to get our effort and attitude where it needs to be at all times, and we have just fallen short at times so far.” However, Dernlan said he has seen enough positive signs lately, indicating to him that the Bearcats (0-6) would soon break into the win column.

“We have witnessed some great individual efforts from a collection of guys,” he said. “What we need to see is a consistent effort from 125 all the way up to heavyweight. We can’t just rely only on the guys that have been national champions or have been at that stage. We need to share the responsibility within the whole team. Right now I am mainly concerned about getting the right kind of attitude from each individual member of the team, and as soon as we get that

File Photo

Binghamton will have two chances to break into the win column this weekend when it faces off against Princeton and Boston University.

collective fight, we’ll get some wins.” Despite the team’s poor start to the season, two seniors, 149-pound Donnie Vinson and 197-pound Nate Schiedel, are enjoying great beginnings to their respective seasons. Both are unbeaten so far, with Vinson having notched 11 wins and Schiedel 10. As a result, Binghamton has two of its wrestlers in the top six in the nation for their weight classes for the first time in the program’s history, as Schiedel’s rank in the InterMat Poll got bumped up to sixth on Dec. 4. Vinson holds the No. 3 ranking in his weight class, behind senior Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State University and redshirt freshman Dylan Ness from University of Minnesota. The Bearcats have endured a challenging start to the season, facing four teams ranked in the top 25 — Lehigh University, Cornell University, University of Illinois and University of Oklahoma. The task does not get any easier for Binghamton, which is scheduled to take on Princeton University and Boston University this weekend. The Tigers (0-4), who are also struggling to find form so far this season, are looking to secure their first win as well. The meet against the Bearcats represents their first home meet of the season. On the other

hand, the Terriers’ meet against Binghamton will be their first dual meet of the season, after having participated in three tournaments, including the Binghamton Open. Dernlan said he expects both of this weekend’s opponents to push Binghamton all the way, and that the Bearcats will have to give their all to come away with the desired outcomes. “This is a tough sport,” Dernlan said. “The guys understand that — they have all been around for a long time. You have to enjoy being a part of the team and being in pressure situations. You got to work hard to perform up to the standards individually and collectively. So I don’t expect it to be easy this weekend. We just have to change our mentality, enjoy the fight and enjoy the intensity of these environments.” It was announced on Tuesday that the Bearcats will welcome a group of promising recruits

for the 2013-14 season. It was confirmed that the program has signed six high school standouts. The class includes a pair of top100 wrestlers and two more multistate champions. “They are the future of the program,” Dernlan said. “Collectively, they are a bunch of character kids. They are a positive addition to our program, our athletic department and our main institution. They are exactly what Binghamton wants out of their student athletes. Individually, they are six out of the top 10 kids in the state of New York. And our objective is to build a national championship team with New York kids. So we went out and got the best kids in the state of New York, and I am really excited about it.” The Bearcats are set to take on the Tigers at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Dillon Gym, before facing the Terriers at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Case Gym.

Wrestling @ Princeton

Wrestling @ Boston University

December 7 Dillion Gym 7 p.m.

December 9 Case Gym 1 p.m.

Pipe Dream Fall 2012 Issue 24  

Friday, December 7th

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