WEDNESDAY NOV. 10, 2004 Vol. 126, No. 30
Warmer 67° / 48° w w w. s t u d l i f e . c o m
THE END IS NEAR . . .
DAYS UNTIL THANKSGIVING DAYS UNTIL FINALS END
STUDENT LIFE T H E I N D E P E N D E N T N E W S PA P E R O F WA S H I N G T O N U N I V E R S I T Y I N S T. L O U I S S I N C E 1 8 7 8
Student contracts TB n
Health ofﬁcials downplay risk to other students
By Rachel Steitfeld Contributing Editor
It was a good weekend for the women’s soccer team, which shut out the University of Chicago over the weekend to clinch a tie for the UAA championship.
PAGE 9 It’s time for the Greek community to move forward, says the staff editorial. Other writers also weigh in on Greek developments in Forum.
All students living in Hitzeman Residence Hall have been advised to undergo testing for tuberculosis (TB) after a Washington University student fell ill with the disease. Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) informed the individuals through email Monday that they might have come in contact with the sick student, a Hitzeman resident who is expected to recover fully from treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis at an area hospital. Director of SHCS Dr. Alan Glass could not reveal the name of the student for reasons of confidentiality, nor did he know how the student had been infected. The patient is an international student from Southeast Asia. SHCS, in conjunction with the St. Louis County Board of Health, is looking into how the student might have caught the disease. “The likelihood of anybody being exposed in this situation is very, very small; the likelihood that even an exposed person would develop active tuberculosis is even smaller; and there is medication available to treat both exposure and active tuberculosis,” said Glass. Glass said the people most at risk of contracting the disease are those who had repeated contact with the student, or who had lived with the student. “In reality, even the face-to-face contact would probably have been on a repeated basis, so if you happen to be in the same room with this person or, say, pass them in Mallinckrodt or have some sort of more casual kind of contact, your risk of contracting the illness would be very, very, very, very low,” said Glass. The airborne disease is transmitted when a TB-infected individual coughs or sneezes, releasing bacteria into the air. Other people may breathe in the bacteria, which could then attack the lungs. Healthy individuals’ bodies can generally suppress the disease. A suitemate of the infected student
said he seemed “totally fine” during a recent hospital visit. “He’s in good spirits. He’s fine. He’s not sick at all,” said the suitemate. He said he was not very worried about having been exposed to TB. “I hadn’t really seen him that much at all [before he was diagnosed] because he was super-busy studying all night,” the suitemate said. “When I visited him in the hospital I wore a face protection mask.” Sophomore Emily Hawkins said she felt a little panicky when she heard about the TB scare. She took her TB skin test yesterday morning. “I was actually really freaked out because the [infected] guy lives next door to me,” said Hawkins. “I’m pretty freaked out so there’s nothing really I can do at this point. I don’t think there’s really anything I can do. Either I got it from him before he left or I didn’t.” Some students said the TB scare had not spurred widespread alarm. “I know stuff about TB,” said sophomore Saurabh Anand, a Hitzeman resident who knows the sick student. “I knew that if he was infectious, he’d be coughing and hacking. He wasn’t—he looked fine.” Anand, an international student from India, said he had already been vaccinated against TB, but that SHCS told him he needed a chest x-ray to make sure he was in the clear. Glass said that after consulting with the Board of Health and the University’s School of Medicine, SHCS had decided to do preliminary testing only on those individuals who lived in Hitzeman with the infected student. Then, based on those test results, SHCS will decide whether or not to widen the scope of the TB testing. Glass said he did not expect any students to test positive for the disease. “Even though it’s a situation that you have to deal with, you do have the luxury of going about it in a logical, well-thought-out way,” said Glass.
See TB, page 2
PAGE 6 INDEX News Forum Classifieds Crossword Sports
1 6 8 8 9
How an untreated case of tuberculosis develops:
1. Airborne TB bacteria (bacilli) are inhaled into lungs’ small tubes
TB bacteria particles (bacilli)
4. If the body’s immune system weakens, bacilli can escape from the tubercle
2. Macrophages, a kind of defensive cell, attack the particles, killing or surrounding them
3. Other immune cells surround particles
5. Weakened immune system can’t neutralize the bacilli. They multiply and penetrate blood vessels, spreading disease throughout the body
in hard lumps called tubercles, making bacilli harmless
TB enters blood vessel
Protecting yourself How it's spread • TB is spread through the air, so there is no need to worry about contracting it by shaking someone's hand, sitting on a toilet seat, or sharing dishes or utensils with an infected person • TB is most likely to spread in a closed space within a building that has little ventilation, so opening windows or turning on a fan are good preventative measures
• When one person with the bacteria sneezes or coughs, it can be spread to people nearby • The bacteria can settle anywhere in the body; only TB in the lungs can be passed on • TB is usually passed from an infected person to relatives, friends, roommates, and co-workers
Symptoms of Tuberculosis • Bad cough that lasts more than 2 weeks • Pain in the chest • Coughing up blood • Weakness or fatigue • Sweating at night
• Weight loss • No appetite • Chills • Fever SOURCES: KRT Campus, CDC
Sewage leaks in WUPD investigating Bear’s Den alleged sexual assault Ofﬁcials say sewage is from kitchen, not bathrooms n
PAGES 6 - 7
Disappointment over the results of the election is understandable, says Molly Antos in Forum . . . but name calling isn’t. Yet there was plenty of exactly that last week, Antos claims.
How TB attacks the lungs
DAVID HARTSTEIN | STUDENT LIFE
Part of Bear’s Den was closed last Wednesday after another sewage leak caused flooding. Wohl has been closed three times in three months for sewage leaks. By Sarah Kliff News Editor Sewage leaks in Wohl Student Center on the South 40 have forced Bear’s Den to shut down three times during the semester. The cause of the sewage leaks in the kitchen is currently unknown and under investigation by Washington University ofﬁcials. The most recent incident occurred last Wednesday at 3 a.m. when the sewage system began to back up. The leakage forced Bear’s Den to shut down until midday. The other sewage incidents, both within the ﬁrst two weeks of the semester, had similar results. Steven Hoffner, vice chancellor for students at the University, cited the age of lines and high volume of waste they handle each day as possible causes for the recent leaks. The sewage lines in Wohl are approximately 50 years old and were originally built
for a much smaller student population. “When Wohl was originally built there were 400 students living on the South 40,” said Hoffner. “Now there are 3,000. We’re looking into whether or not the plumbing needs to be replaced.” The University ran video lines through the leaky pipes in attempt to ﬁnd the source of the problems in September but has yet to receive the results of the tests. The delay, according to Hoffner, is due to the many different people and third-party contractors involved in diagnosing the problem. Hoffner emphasized that there are no health concerns raised by the leaks and that there has not been any human waste in the sewage leaks. The sewage is from the kitchen, not the bathrooms.
See SEWAGE, page 3 One Brookings Drive #1039 #42 Women’s Building St. Louis, MO 63130
By Liz Neukirch Senior News Editor A male Washington University student allegedly sexually assaulted a female student from a local university while she was visiting his dorm room in Umrath last Thursday. “I would classify this as an alleged acquaintance sexual assault,” said University Chief of Police Don Strom. While Strom declined to comment on where speciﬁcally the student goes to school, he said she has been “identiﬁed as another student from a university in the St. Louis area.” University police are investigating the situation and are currently in the process of interviewing any third par-
ties who may have information about the incident. “We’ve conducted a detailed interview with the victim…We have spoken with the individual she identiﬁed as being the suspect in the case,” said Strom. “We are compiling interviews with other individuals and reviewing the physical evidence we have on the case.” Strom declined to comment on any speciﬁcs of the incident. Once University police have ﬁ nished interviews and compiled information on the case, they will be “submitting the materials to the prosecuting attorney’s ofﬁce,” Strom said. The steps
See ASSAULT, page 3
New college rankings downgrade WashU n WU ranked 62nd in U.S. and 109th worldwide, studies say By Dan Daranciang Staff Reporter In two recently released studies employing new methodology, Washington University placed significantly lower than its current 11th-place U.S. News and World Report ranking. These significantly varied findings once again call into question the reliability of college rankings at large. Last week the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), a U.K.based group, published a ranking of the top 200 universities worldwide. They placed the University at 109th. Harvard, the University of California–Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and
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Oxford University were the top five schools. Out of a total possible score of 1,000 across five categories, the University received 150.3. The THES rankings relied on 1,300 peer reviews by academic faculty. Other factors were the number of research citations a university received in a given time period and current staffing levels. A separate study done by Harvard, Boston University (BU) and the University of Pennsylvania (U Penn) – which evaluated only U.S. schools on the eventual college selections of accepted applicants–placed the University at 62nd. Harvard was again first, followed by Yale, Stanford, Caltech
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See RANKINGS, page 4