M O N D AY JAN. 31, 2005 Vol. 126, No. 45
Sunny 40° / 26° w w w. s t u d l i f e . c o m
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
WU dropout sentenced to 540 years Collins convicted of rape and armed robbery By Caroline Wekselbaum Staff Reporter Former Washington University student and football star Bobby Collins, Jr. was sentenced to 540 years in prison Friday, after being convicted on 20 felony charges last month, including forcible rape and armed robbery. On the morning of March 17, 2002, between 4 and 5 a.m., Collins broke into the home of a St. Louis woman he did not know. He proceeded to tie her up at gunpoint, then violently beat and sexually assaulted her for 30-90 minutes.
Collins was arrested for this attack in August of 2003 in St. Louis, after DNA samples Collins gave during an investigation for a separate robbery he committed matched those taken from the victim. In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Circuit Judge Margaret Neill, who presided over the trial, called the attack “the most heinous that I have seen during my 12 years on the bench… Heinous crimes deserve harsh punishment.” Collins was attending Washington University at the time of the crime. He was enrolled in University College from the spring of 2001 through the spring of 2002, when he was suspended for academic reasons. The dean of University College, Robert Wiltenberg, was unavailable for comment Friday, although Uni-
versity College Registrar Maria Hunter said Friday that she had “no information” regarding Collins. While pursuing a psychology degree at night as a 27-year-old non-traditional student, Collins worked for his uncle as a plumber during the day and played football and baseball for the Bears. It was his football prowess for which he was most known. As a tailback for the Bears during the 2001 season, Collins broke the rookie rushing record by rushing 1,015 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. His exceptional performance on the football ﬁeld earned him the University Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year. With his unusually busy schedule
See COLLINS, page 2
THE DANCE THAT BINDS
Ever driven a motorbike that’s three inches off the ground? Enter the world of pocket bikes in Scene.
STUDENT LIFE ARCHIVES
Eliminate your loans–by volunteering?
By Laura Geggel Staff Reporter
Thinking of studying abroad? Have you considered going to Georgia? Diego Chojkier did, and he discusses his unique study abroad experience in Scene.
PAGE 6 It was an up-anddown weekend for the women’s basketball team. It started with a strong victory over No. 7 Brandeis, but it ended with a tought loss at NYU.
PAGE 2 An alum writes in and recalls the good old days of “flexible flexes” in Forum. Plus, private high school alum Hunter Haas says there is no conspiracy for those from private schools to take over the world.
PAGE 3 INDEX News Sports Forum Scene
1-2 3 4 5-6
DAVID BRODY | STUDENT LIFE
A dance sequence chronicling the struggle of slaves in American history opened this year’s Black Anthology. A play, “The Ties That Bind,” followed, showing the modern challenges of a black family.
New ofﬁce opens to aid undergraduate research By David Tabor Contributing Editor Washington University’s College of Arts and Sciences has announced the formation of a new ofﬁce to promote undergraduate research projects. The Ofﬁce of Undergraduate Research will help place students in research positions as well as promote their ﬁndings and award scholarships. Among the goals being pursued by the Ofﬁce of Undergraduate Research (OUR) are an online journal of students’ writing, a research symposium and an online searchable database of research opportunities. Associate Dean Henry Biggs, director of the new ofﬁce, explained that OUR was created to address the difﬁculties that students were having ﬁnding research positions. “There was deﬁnitely a need perceived by pretty much every department that people had research opportunities, but they were hidden away on each department’s Web site,” said Biggs. He explained that a centralized listing of positions would be a great aid in matching students to positions, removing obstacles that keep willing students from vacant openEMILY TOBIAS | STUDENT LIFE ings. “I deﬁnitely think it’s a wonderful re- Students like junior Sara DuBois will now be able to apply for source, and since I’ll be looking for a research research funding in any discipline. position in the future, I plan on using it,” said sophomore Alejandro Akrouh, a biochemistry major and pre-medical student, about the online Biggs noted. database. The searchable online database is currently availAkrouh said that he enjoyed the Summer Schol- able at http://ur.wustl.edu and lists 190 available ars Program in Biology and Biomedical Research, in research opportunities. Biggs explained that the which he worked in a genetics lab in the University database is in its early stages and is being expanded Medical School, but has not found a particularly ap- frequently. He said that he hopes it will become a pealing research position since. robust resource within a six-month timeframe. “I know people who are in work study positions Plans are underway to provide the OUR with they’re not completely happy with, and an online di- ofﬁce space in Prince Hall. The staff expects to be rectory with searchable criteria could certainly help moved into their new ofﬁce in Prince 221 by March them ﬁnd more desirable positions,” said Akrouh. 1, Biggs said. While laboratory work, both through the University as well as off campus, tends to be common OUR launches with three major initiatives in the natural sciences, Biggs explained that he felt In an e-mail sent Friday, the College of Arts and that other disciplines would ﬁ nd ample opportunity Sciences Ofﬁce announced the creation of the OUR to contribute. The online database plans to list re- and invited undergraduates to apply to have their search positions across a variety of disciplines, and work considered for three of its new initiatives: the programs that promote students’ work—such as the Undergraduate Research Digest, the Undergraduate online journal—will be accepting submissions from Research Symposium and a series of research schola variety of ﬁelds. Analytical writing done for a hu- arships to be awarded this spring. manities class would be at home in an OUR journal,
Five years ago, Carlos Fearn graduated from Washington University with a diploma and a large debt accrued from student loans. Memories of this financial hardship prompted him to create Student Loan Eliminators, a nonprofit organization that plans to help students across the country decrease or terminate their debt before they even graduate. By volunteering for local charities and non-profit groups, students enrolled in Fearn’s program can repay their debts by doing projects like volunteering at soup kitchens and spending time with the elderly. “People want to get something [more] out of their volunteer efforts,” Fearn said. “This way nonprofits and charities can benefit too.” Students interested in the program must visit Fearn’s Web site, www.nostudentdebt.org, fill out an application and pay a $10 fee. Fearn says admission to the program will be selective and not all applicants will get in on their first application. “We will score the applications accordingly,” Fearn said, “[but] the determinate will be the essay questions.” Student Loan Eliminators will re-assess each application monthly for a year so that students will not have to apply more than once. Once chosen, the program will match the participant with a nonprofit that best fits the volunteer’s abilities and interests. “The time frame [for volunteering] will be determinant on the actual amount of your grant. Each individual will be done differently.” Fearn said. Students can earn up to $5,000 toward eliminating their debt. After volunteering the hours they agreed upon, the students, with confirmation from their charity, will contact Student Loan Eliminators to receive their grants. Fearn hopes to support close to 30,000 participants and contribute at least $50 million every year. “It will be set up on a first come first serve basis,” he said, “It’s a national program. One of the things that we definitely want to do is make sure that each campus will get a minimum of one person.” The program is largely financed by other nonprofits, donations and the registration fee. In the process, Fearn hopes to assist other non-profits and charities. “We want to work with a lot of the smaller [places], not large ones like the Red Cross,” he said. Fearn himself is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Before he graduated in 2000 with majors in economics and marketing, Fearn had already started his own eBay-like Web site through which he matched vendors with small businesses and created “Storage for Less,” a storage company for students’ belongings over the summer months. “I’ve been doing my own business even before I left Washington University,” Fearn said. Of his new venture, Fearn noted, “A lot of people volunteer already and a lot of them know they have student loans.” Although Fearn sees Student Loan Eliminators as a chance for students to volunteer their debt away, junior Hiroki Motokubota is worried that students would be volunteering for the wrong reasons. Motokubota currently spends four hours each week as a volunteer with the Pediatrics Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program, or PEMRAP, at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
See RESEARCH, page 2
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Lady Bears split weekend series; upend Brandeis 70-40, fall to NYU 63-55 The 11th ranked Washington University women’s basketball team took its ﬁve-game winning streak to Waltham, Mass., on Friday night to take on seventh-ranked Brandeis University (14-2). With the 70-40 victory over Brandeis, the Bears moved up in the University Athletic Association (UAA) standings, earning a tie for ﬁ rst place along with University of Chicago and New York University. After starting the game off strong with a 21-5 lead, there was no turning back for the Lady Bears. At the half, the Bears led 3217. The game was deﬁ ned by clutch offensive scoring from seniors Kelly Manning and Hallie Hutchens. It was a career night for Manning as she knocked down six three-pointers in the game, a career best. Manning also contributed nine rebounds, three blocks, and a steal to the Bear effort. Hutchens also came through in the clutch as she scored 17 points in the victory. It was an uplifting win against Brandeis, but before the Bears could celebrate too much, they had to travel to New York to face the 10th ranked NYU Violets (16-2) on Sunday. It was an important game for both teams since the winner would take sole possession of ﬁ rst place in the UAA standings. In a game that featured 13 lead changes, it was NYU that put together the ﬁ nal big run to earn the win 63-55. The Bears were forced to ﬁeld an eight-woman team, leaving only three bench players to come into the game when necessary. Despite this disadvantage, the team held a 43-42 advantage with 11:32 remaining in the game but was unable to score for the next eight minutes, giving the Violets an 11-point edge. The Bears couldn’t hold them off and NYU left with the win. Junior Danielle Beehler led the Bears in three categories, including points (14), rebounds (7) and assists (3). The Bears (15-3, 52 UAA) will have the chance for vengeance as they return to the court on Friday, Feb. 4, to take on NYU once again. Game time is set for 6 p.m. in the WU Fieldhouse.
UAA STANDINGS Conference
LAST GAMES: Wash U 70, Brandeis 40; Wash U 55, NYU 63 TEAM NOTES: Senior guard Kelly Manning scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds to upset the seventh-ranked Brandeis squad on the road. All of Manning’s points came from beyond the arc as she nailed six treys in the contest. At NYU, however, the Bears lost a tough game that featured 13 lead changes. In the battle for the University Athletic Association (UAA) crown, NYU put on a late run to upend the Bears’ chances at the title. Junior Danielle Beehler paced the Bears with 14 points. DID YOU KNOW: Before the NYU game, the Bears, NYU and the University of Chicago were tied for first place in UAA.
NYU Brandeis Wash U Chicago Case Western Emory Rochester Carnegie Melon
Overall L PCT.
NEXT GAME: Wash U hosts New York University, Fri., Feb. 4 @ 6 p.m. NATIONAL RANKING: No. 11
SWIMMING & DIVING LAST MEET: The women’s squad finished in first place (of seven teams) at WU Invitational at Millstone Pool, and the men’s squad finished third.
ships on Feb. 10-12. The Bears are coming off a solid showing at the WU Invitational at Millstone Pool, in which the men’s squad finished third and the women’s squad finished first.
TEAM NOTES: The Bears are currently enjoying a three-week layoff as they regroup and prepare for the University Athletic Association (UAA) Champion-
NEXT MEET: UAA Championships on Feb. 10-12 in PAM BUZZETTA | STUDENT LIFE Chicago, Ill. A WU swimmer races to the finish.
MEN’S BASKETBALL LAST GAMES: Wash U 93, Brandeis 62; Wash U 88, NYU 68 TEAM NOTES: Against NYU, senior Anthony Hollins put up 14 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes of play. Junior guard Scott Stone went nine out of 10 from the free throw line as he chipped in 12 points. The Bears went on a 17-0 run in the first half to blow the game wide open. Against Brandeis, Hollins led the way with 21 points and senior guard Rob Keller contributed 19. DID YOU KNOW: Wash U is looking for its 1,001st win in its next game against Brandeis. NEXT GAME: Wash U hosts New York University, Fri., Feb. 4 @ 8 p.m. NATIONAL RANKING: Unranked
PAM BUZZETTA | STUDENT LIFE
MONDAY | JANUARY 31,2005
The Lady Bears huddle up before a game.
UAA STANDINGS Conference Rochester Carnegie Mellon Wash U Brandeis Emory Chicago NYU Case Western
Overall L PCT.
Nine new members to be added to University’s Sports Hall of Fame Washington University Athletics and the W Club, the University’s athletic support organization, have announced the 2004 inductions into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame. The 11th class to be inducted highlights the hard work and dedication of seven student athletes, one coach, and one administrator. The student athletes include: Charlie Borsheim (basketball), Amy Fisher (basketball), Stan Gardner (football), Nancy Pearce Jeffett (tennis), Mitch Margo (baseball), Anne Kruer (volleyball) and Chris Scaglione (soccer). Former coach for the men’s soccer team, Joe Carenza Jr., and former administrative assistant Josephine Simpson will also be recognized. To be eligible for induction, student athletes must have graduated from the University at least ﬁve years ago and must have competed for a varsity sport. Administrators and coaches must have been involved in University athletes at least ten years ago to be considered for Hall of Fame status. The nine new Hall of Famers will be recognized at a ceremony on Fri., Feb. 18 and will be announced later that day at halftime of the women’s basketball game against Carnegie Mellon University.
the WUrld ON THE SPOT
CAMPUS BRIEFS “Fun czar” hired at Harvard Harvard University, in an attempt to promote campus social activities, has hired an administrator to work directly with students to plan social events. Dubbed the “fun czar” by a campus newspaper, Zac Corker is a recent Harvard graduate himself. While an undergraduate student, Corker launched www.hahvahdparties.com to promote area partying and developed a reputation as a schemer. Corker will now serve as a student liaison for planning social events through administrative channels.
Bone marrow registry drive to be held this week Washington University students will hold four bone marrow registry drives this week to test potential donors. Donors have their blood drawn by a ﬁ nger prick for testing and would then be entered into a registry that matches them to recipients. Drives will be held today and tomorrow from 4-9 p.m. in Friedman Lounge in Wohl Center; Wednesday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Lopata Gallery; and on Wednesday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the University Medical School’s McDonnell Sciences Building, rooms 261 and 265. More information can be found at http://restech.wustl.edu/~wumr.
LOCAL Blunt silent on stem cells in State address
DAVID BRODY | STUDENT LIFE
In his Wednesday night State of the State address Governor Matt Blunt vowed to protect unborn children, but avoided taking a stand on stem cell research. Some political analysts suggest that the issue could be a difﬁcult one for the Blunt administration, with different parts of his constituency pulling him in different directions. Blunt, a Republican, has been urged by pro-life activists to oppose stem cell research on moral grounds, while some pro-business lobbyists support the research as an avenue to economic development. Anti-stem cell lawmakers in the legislature have pushed for a ban on the research and think they may soon have a majority in both houses.
Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers braved the cold to play dodgeball on the Swamp yesterday. The dodgeball tournament was a Rush event hosted by TKE.
COLLINS n FROM PAGE 1
and excellence on the football ﬁeld, Collins was Kindbom could not be reached for comment respected as a model for everyone. about Collins’ sentencing. “People say, ‘You can’t get a Washington UniverDespite these accolades bestowed upon him by sity Degree. You can’t work full-time, play football the University community, Collins had a criminal and go to school,’” said head football Coach Larry past dating back before his time at the University. —Briefs compiled by David Tabor Kindbom in an Collins spent about three years in a Denver prison interview in The on a crack cocaine distribution conviction, although Record on Dec. this sentence was half of what is usually suggested 2001, before Col- by federal sentencing guidelines because Collins "Closest Campus Drugstore" The Undergraduate Research Digest will collect work lins’ arrest. “All of became a cooperating witness, or informant, for for publication on the OUR website, with future publicaus have that drive the FBI. Corner of Forest Park Pkwy and Big Bend tion in print to be considered. The deadline for applicainside, but most of In addition to his 540-year sentence, Collins fac7010 Pershing Ave • (314) 727-4854 tions is Feb. 4. us don’t get there. es several counts in a separate robbery case dating The Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held Bobby Collins is one from July 2002 and charges of robbery and sexual between March 21 and 23 and will provide students the of a few, and I think assault in a Denver case after his DNA allegedly chance to deliver brief presentations on the material they that really speaks matched a sample taken in that case. have compiled. Posters and visual presentations will also to his maturity and email@example.com be considered for inclusion. perseverance.” The three-day symposium will be divided into one day Serving Wash U Students, Faculty & Health Service of presentations in each of three ﬁelds: the humanities, for Over 45 Years the social sciences and the natural sciences. Applications for the Undergraduate Research Sympo• Most National Insurance Accepted sium will be accepted until Feb. 14. The OUR will also award a series of scholarships this • Delivery Available spring, ranging from $300 to $3,000. Applicants will have • Student Discount on Prescriptions “It’s good that they [Student disagreed and said the program their proposal reviewed by a departmental committee, • 1-Day Film Developing Loan Eliminators] evaluate the sounded like a good solution to and students conducting work in any academic ﬁeld are debt first, but it still kind of student debt. invited to apply. • Soda, Snacks, Beer & Wine sounds like a job,” Motokubota “If it’s something like once The deadline for scholarship applications is Feb. 25, • Cosmetics said. “It’s like a scholarship for a week, I would have time for and students will be notiﬁed if they are accepted by March volunteering. That’s cool because it,” he said. “It would be nice if 11. it increases volunteering, but the students would still be involved Applications for all of the aforementioned opportuniOpen Mon-Fri: 9am-9pm motivation is different.” with volunteering [even] after ties can be found at http://ur.wustl.edu. Sat: 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-4pm Sophomore Mark Bartholomew the program is done.”
RESEARCH n FROM PAGE 1
DEBT n FROM PAGE 1
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MONDAY | JANUARY 31, 2005
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Tuition troubles brewing in Germany
hen I was in Tübingen, a banner used to hang down the front of the Hegelbau, the building where I had my weekly history seminar. It had a grim message for the student body: “The bomb is ticking. Protect yourselves!” Next to the words was a little spherical bomb, like the kind you see in old cartoons, with a lit fuse and the words “tuition fees” written on it. It’s hard for us to believe, but German students aren’t used to the idea of having to pay for their education. In the spirit of egalitarianism of the ‘60s, tuition was abolished at German universities (all of which are publicly funded). But the universities have fallen on hard times. They are terribly under-funded, which means that seminars are too big and departments have to scrimp everywhere they can: one of my history professors told the class to help out on the electric bills by turning off the lights when we didn’t need them! In the mid-90s, political pressure started building to make students bear part of the ﬁ nancial burden. Small changes were made. All students had to pay a very modest semester fee (in Tübingen in 2004, this was 57 Euros or $75). Students who overstayed their welcome (by taking too long to ﬁ nish their degrees) began paying a more substantial fee. And recently, the pressure has built to force true “tuition fees” on everyone, especially in more conservative German states like
Baden-Württemberg, where Tübingen is located. The proponents of tuition fees scored a major victory last Wednesday. The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe struck down a federal law banning the fees: education, and therefore fees, is primarily the responsibility of the states, not the federal government. Several states are already moving to put in place new fees of around 500 euros ($650). Some other states, fearing a ﬂood of students, have discussed raising fees only for out-of-state students. Think about that: some German university systems are struggling to keep students out. That’s because they aren’t rationing education by price and aren’t good at choosing students. Admissions procedures are extremely complex, especially since German universities do not provide a liberal arts education; students choose their major at the beginning. Certain majors have a “numerus clausus,” a minimum GPA required for acceptance, or other special requirements; some majors admit anyone qualiﬁed who shows up. Compare that to here: American universities compete for the most qualiﬁed students, and students compete for the best universities. That’s because of several factors: a competitive mix of private and public institutions, high tuition and a thorough application process. In a very real sense, American students can act like consumers, applying to multiple schools and picking the program that is best for them. That provides a steady impetus for schools to improve themselves and meet student needs. At Washington University, we students often say that the administration cares more about our ranking in U.S. News & World Report and impressing pre-freshmen than taking care of the students who are actually here. Nobody really fully
believes the joke, but there is some truth in it: because universities are competitive, they have to reach out to potential customers. And that ensures that students are faced with a variety of programs and degree paths that help them achieve their life goals. By contrast, Germany’s universities are almost entirely geared towards training academics, leaving lower institutions of higher education to provide more practical training. Advocates of tuition fees hope that they will lead to an environment in which universities treat students as customers, rather than a captive audience. Also, students will begin thinking more like consumers, trying to enter the most desirable programs and get the most bang for their buck. One German economist has estimated that tuition will have to rise to 2,500 euros per semester to achieve this goal. But being a customer means more than just paying money: it means competition among producers. German universities are all ﬁ nanced by state governments, and so it is easy to think of them all as being part of the same machine. If German universities want to become the best in the world once again, they must increasingly think of each other as competitors. Admissions procedures should become more than a way to weed out students from a pool that is too large: they should try to identify the best students and encourage them to come to a particular university. Nevertheless, tuition hikes are a step in the right direction. Before students hit the streets in protest, they should think if they might be shooting themselves in the foot. Justin is a senior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
Boot the Bell By Jacob Gerber Op-ed submission
n 2003, David C. Novak, CEO, President, and Chairman for Yum! Brands Inc., which owns fast food establishments Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, A&W Restaurant, Long John Silvers, and KFC, made over $3 million. However, the people—and they are people—who pick the tomatoes that go in his Taco Bell chalupas are paid $.0136 per pound of tomatoes that they pick. You read that correctly: a penny and another fraction is what they get for every pound. This results in a compensation rate of about $50 for two tons of picked tomatoes, which is what they pick in an average work day. Fifty dollars over an eight hour work day comes out to $6.25 an hour, above the minimum wage of $5.15. The problem with this logic is that these people don’t work eight hours a day. They wake up at 4:30 so that they catch buses out to the ﬁelds by 5:30. They won’t be back before 5:30 p.m.; this is no nine to ﬁve job. Their real hourly pay is closer to $4.50 than minimum wage. Their bosses get away with this by editing the time cards to be in line with their earnings rather than their hours. There is little political will to combat this and other abuses because most of the workers are not naturalized.
But because the law refuses to meet its responsibility, we consumers must correct the wrong we see. In response to the unacceptable treatment of workers, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers came into existence to improve the quality of their lives. The Coalition has celebrated great successes in the past, including ending the practice of beating workers and uncovering slave labor rings. Now the coalition is pressing Taco Bell to pay growers enough money so that they can pay the workers one more penny per pound of tomatoes. This is a signiﬁcant amount from the workers’ perspective; it would nearly double their pay. It would bring them up to a living wage, around $90 a day. When you consider this from a business perspective, it seems like nearly doubling some expense would be too great a ﬁscal burden to bear. But when that percentage is so small and insigniﬁcant to begin with, doubling it makes little difference to the corporation. Last year, in an effort to end the CIW’s nationally coordinated assault, Mr. Novak sent the Coalition a check for about $110,000 that Yum said would cover the one penny increase per pound the workers were requesting. Of course, the CIW had no means to distribute the money properly, so they sent it back and fought on for the wage increase.
But this act provides helpful information. Knowing how valuable the increase would be to the workers, we must wonder how important it is to the company. They reported global proﬁts of $1.059 billion. That $110,000 would be just .01% of those proﬁts. That small a change in proﬁts could never affect the company in any appreciable manner. It wouldn’t change their economic outlook or the company’s image in the corporate world. They would never lose a share sale because that money was spent. Cut Novak’s annual pay by 3.6 percent. Or cut Yum’s top executives’ pay by just a single percent. That is enough to pay for decent food, shelter and basic healthcare for CIW workers. The beneﬁts seem to drastically outweigh the costs considering how much business they are losing. More than 20 Taco Bell restaurants have been closed by the efforts of this coalition, and they only seem to be accelerating. Certainly, the proﬁts from those 20 installments could cover the raise for the workers. What about the next 20 places the Coalition closes? This is not going to work out well for Mr. Novak unless he decides to cooperate. It may be the only way he can get his hands on that next million. Whether or not Taco Bell stays on the Washington University campus will be determined very soon because their
Flexible ﬂexes dents more of an option of when to eat and when not to, without having to worry about losing 30 bucks from their meal plan at midnight on Saturday. Maybe it’s time for Dining Services to remember what worked, and get away from what doesn’t. -Brian Lewis Class of 2002
Biological consistency Dear Editor: Re: “All men are created equal...?” [Jan. 28, 2005]. I agree with Brian Schroeder that it is not a bad thing to say that humans are different. I think that it is undeniable that there are biological differences between the sexes. No one should be offended by this statement. We are different and it is impossible to treat everyone with exact fairness, although we should try to be the least unfair. However, in this pursuit we should at least be consistent. Studies show that woman
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By Hunter Haas Op-ed submission
earn less than men for the same job. Some people say this is because of biological differences in that women may become pregnant and have to leave their job for a certain amount of time. Most people would call this discrimination and just because women have a biological difference they should not be subjected to lower wages. Yet, when a woman is pregnant, she wants the choice to decide to abort the baby or to carry it to term. The father is not given a chance to decide because the woman has a biological difference; it is her body, so she alone has the right to choose. I wonder how many people would call this discrimination. The point is we are all different and these differences lead to certain consequences. Whether it is that men learn science differently than women or that women give birth while men watch. When considering how you feel about your biological persuasion, at least be consistent. -Brandon Gustafson Class of 2005
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supports. Jacob is a sophomore in Arts & Sciences and a member of SWA. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I studied my way in
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Dear Editor: I read with great enthusiasm your suggestion of returning ﬂexes to the Washington University dining plan [“Center Court: a worthwhile tradition,” Jan. 26, 2005]. Of course, I was also a bit disappointed that some students oppose the idea [“Flexes: a failed idea,” Jan. 28, 2005]. Then I realized that they simply don’t remember the best days of ﬂexes. There was a time when ﬂexes did not expire from week to week; they would be added to a student’s meal plan on Sunday mornings, yes, but they didn’t always disappear into the ether on Saturday nights. Of course, this was in the dark ages of 1998 through 2001, so it is no surprise that this idea seems strange to current students. If Center Court is to be repopulated, then Dining Services is going to have to return to a system that worked just ﬁne, from a time when the room was often too packed to ﬁnd a table for three or more. Rolling over ﬂexes from one week to the next made the all-you-can-eat Center Court both attractive and easily affordable, as well as gave stu-
contract is almost up. A committee from the Student Union will survey the desires of the student body and report the results to the Director of Operations at Bon Appétit, Steve Hoffner. Hoffner has made it very clear that he has no concern for the Immokalee workers and will only act in response to the will of the students. The Student Worker Alliance is hopeful that the student body will reject Taco Bell and the shameful labor practices it
y name is Hunter Haas, and I am a private school survivor. I was amazed at the ignorance of the article, “Buying your way into Wash U” [Jan. 26, 2005] and slightly surprised by some of the allegations that it includes. I went to the same private school for 13 years. My school was not along the eastern coastline of the U.S. but in beautiful Cleveland, the heart of the Midwest. I spent 13 years working hard in order to get into a school like Washington University, and I guarantee that my school name alone did not get me in here. I had never heard of grade inﬂation before I started applying for schools, and I will once again guarantee that my grades were not all A’s and I was never simply given good grades just for showing up or paying tuition. I ﬁnd it offensive that I am being told that, just because I went to a private school, I do not deserve my place here as much as Dinndorf does. I worked hard every day, studying as much or more than my friends at public schools, took the same SAT’s and was involved in similar sports and clubs. As a member of both the Student Admissions Committee and the Campus Interview Team I know for a fact that the University takes pride in selecting its students based on more than grades alone. A 4.0 is not a guaranteed ticket anywhere anymore. Interviews, extracuriculars, recommendations and SAT scores, as well as several other criteria, factor into the admissions decision. When it comes down to it, I feel as though I may have had to work slightly harder than some to get in here because I came from a private
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school. Yes, several of my friends went to the Ivy League, and yes, many more of us were expected to do so. But it came time to apply, that meant applying against many more students from my school. Private schooling is not one large conspiracy to take over the world, but instead an alternate choice for some parents who feel that their children might receive a better education there or beneﬁt from smaller classes or specialized programs. Some students attend private schools for special programs that deal with learning disorders or for programs that cater to a particular realm of academia. I think that these students too work hard and just as equally deserve their chance at a school like ours, based on what they have accomplished, not where they have accomplished it. In addition, I ﬁnd it very naive to assume that all parents who choose to send their children to private schools don’t care about the kind of education their child receives, only that their ﬁnancial investment will guarantee a 4.0. I reiterate that I never had a 4.0, or even anything close, and still managed to get in and succeed here. The University is also a private institution; I wonder if Dinndorf is claiming that the grades we receive here are all inﬂated and therefore we don’t deserve those either. We should open our eyes to the people around us and look at them for who they are, not where they came from. Whether you came from a public high school or a private one, we all had to work very hard to get in here and must continue to work just as hard to succeed here. Hunter is a junior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
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4 STUDENT LIFE | CLASSIFIEDS
MONDAY | JANUARY 31, 2005
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BABYSITTER NEEDED FOR happy 3-year-old girl, M&W from 11:25am for 2- 4hrs. Must pick her up from preschool & walk her home, make lunch, play & nap. Both preschool & home are short walk from campus in Loop area. Add’l evening hrs avail. if desired. $10/hr. Call Eva Lundsager (WU faculty member) at 727-3974. BABYSITTER NEEDED. BABYSITTER needed for Saturday evenings to watch 5 and 3-year-old children at home in U City. Must have own car and prior sitting experience. Pays $10/hr. Would also consider 2 Saturdays a month. Please call Sarah, 727-7569 or 935 -8760 if interested. HOUSEHOLD ASSISTANT. ENERGETIC individual to assist WU professor and family with child-care, light cleaning, meal preparation and household organization / errands. Walking distance from WU, 15 -20hrs/wk. $10/ hr. Non-smoker, cell phone and car required. Call Anna at 314.749.5409. MAKE MONEY TAKING online surveys. Earn $10 $125 for surveys. Earn $25 - $250 for focus groups. Visit www.cash4students. com/mowu SUMMER JOB? MONEY driven college students needed to sell Pest Control services. $4,000 -$10,000/mo. Call Tyler @ 636 -299-7828.
3 BEDROOM 1.5 BATH APARTMENT. Half block from RED line shuttle. Many amenities! For more info www.homeandapartmentre ntals.com Tom 314.409.2733 BEAUTIFUL BRENTWOOD FOREST condo. 2 BR/updated kitchen and bath. Available immediately. Excellent for residents and grad students. Call Dave 314-393- 4072.
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EXAMKRACKERS MCAT BOOK set. All subjects, plus 3003 Chemistry, Orgo and Biology questions. Also included, Kaplan MCAT 45 review book. 374-2366. GET CHEAP TEXTBOOKS! Search 24 bookstores with 1 click! Compare new and used book pricing. Shipping and taxes automatically calculated. http://www.bookhq.com HP DESKJET 932C PRINTER $40. With two brand new ink cartridges (78 color and 45 black). 314- 479-5051. MICROWAVE FOR SALE. Sanyo EM-P414W. Fingertouch cook control panel. 1480W, 1.1 cu ft with 10” turntable. Only $20. 314-7814943. SIX FOOT FUTON for sale. Only four months old. Durable black steel frame with large black cushion. Only $150. Contact Kleinjo@olin.wustl.edu
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Your Horoscope for Monday, January 31, 2005 By Linda C. Black, Tribune Media Services Today’s Birthday (01-31-05). You may have to let go of something you’ve been holding onto. It’s nice, but it’s not as good as what you’ll get after you advance. To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging.
Aries (March 21-April 19) Today is an 8. Don’t be disrespectful, even if all your friends agree. And don’t pile onto a person who’s weak. That’s beneath your dignity. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today is a 5. Postpone an outing until the job is finished. Then use it to celebrate. Grant yourself a reward that means something special to you. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Today is a 10. Everything seems to be going your way, but try not to be impatient. There’s one thing you won’t be able to get yet, but you don’t have to give up on it. Persevere.
Cancer (June 22-July 22) Today is a 5. You do need to take someone else’s wishes into consideration, but once that’s done, a lovely compromise can be arranged. There’s plenty for all. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Today is an 8. It’s important to show you’re dependable now. Others, some of them very highly influential, want to lean on you. Stand firm, and the synergy works. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Today is a 5. Accept an opportunity to make some extra cash, but not if it’s going to wreck domestic plans already made. Better call and see if it’s OK for you to work overtime. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Today is an 8. As you explore possibilities and imagine consequences, you’ll discover which paths you want to take and which ones to avoid. This is good. Don’t hurry.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Today is a 5. Get things at home organized just the way you want. A combination of luxurious efficiency, subtle opulence and technical sophistication can be achieved. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Today is an 8. The trick now is to keep some of that newfound wealth safely in your pockets. Don’t blow it all on fun and games. Some, yes, but not all. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Today is a 5. Don’t be ashamed or frustrated if you’re feeling less confident than you’d like. This could actually work in your favor. Let others help you for a change.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Today is a 9. As you roll along with the flow, pay attention to where you’re going. You can steer around the barriers that pop up quite easily, if you’re watching.
Scene Editor /Sarah Ulrey / email@example.com
MONDAY | JANUARY 31, 2005
STUDENT LIFE | SCENE
KUNG FU : CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 Learning to relax is of utmost importance in Kung Fu. Neglecting to do so can have painful consequences. Case in point: freshman Mark Sorensen’s arm, which sports a large bruise. “These guys tell you to relax all the time, and sometimes I tend not to do that,” said Sorensen. “When you’re blocking punches with your forearm, that’s bone on bone. Being more relaxed can help to prevent [injury].” Along with relaxation, Kung Fu emphasizes two other principles—efﬁciency and centerline. That is, the most efﬁcient way to bring down an attacker and defend yourself is to focus on an imaginary line down the center of the body. Freshman Lawrence Wiseman demonstrated how these principles could be used to block punches. Using just two basic moves, he effortlessly deﬂected the punches (albeit weak ones) thrown at him by a certain newcomer. His skills are impressive but not deliberately so, in keeping with the modest environment the club hopes to create. “I honestly love the dynamic here,” said Wiseman. “People are friendly, and the focus is just on learning the art. It’s not about being ﬂashy or seeing who can be the most macho. In fact, [the club is] mostly girls.” For one of the club’s female members, sophomore Jessica Pryde, Kung Fu has become
an “obsession,” and one that has gotten her a little respect from her peers. “When I tell people that I do [Kung Fu], they immediately say, ‘Oh, I better not get on your bad side,’” Pryde said. Freshman Adria Blount has also beneﬁted from her involvement with the Kung Fu club. “I started out conﬁdent in my ability, because I’d taken Karate,” said Blount. “But now I can see how much I’ve progressed in my ability since coming here.” Although you might learn to do some damage to an attacker, don’t expect Kung Fu workouts to be like a Bruce Lee ﬁlm. “What you see in the movies is more appealing to the eye with a lot of ﬂashy kicks,” said Weingeist. “What we do here is more efﬁcient. It doesn’t look as ﬂashy, but it’s just as powerful. People come in expecting that they’re going to be all over the place, but it’s really a lot more simplistic than that.” One of the greatest beneﬁts of Kung Fu lies in its power to take down egos as well as human attackers, said Weingeist. “When people come here wanting to learn to beat people up, I’d say that’s a good attitude to come in with,” said Weingeist. “Because as they learn Kung Fu, they’ll lose that ego pretty quickly and then gain more conﬁdence in themselves.”
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FOOD
By Stacie Driebusch Abroad Column I traveled to London to study abroad this semester, but it took a weekend in Spain to ﬁnally realize how far I have come. My trip to Madrid was my ﬁrst outside of London, where I’m living in a ﬂat, studying business and taking tours with an adorable lady named Angie, who I’m convinced knows everything about the city. Just when I had ﬁnally mastered the London tube, I jetted to the continent with four friends to bask in the sun and eat tapas. My grandiose vision of a Spanish holiday was ﬂeeting. As soon as we stepped off the Metro in Plaza del Sol, one of my friends discovered that his wallet was stolen out of his front pocket. After consoling him about his loss of 150 euros and credit cards, I was relieved to ﬁnally crash in the hotel. Instead, my bubble, already punctured by my friend’s missing wallet, proceeded to dissolve around me. My nylon purse, which held all my valuables, was slashed across one side. Dumping its contents onto the bed, I scrambled to take inventory. Wallet, check. Passport, check. Camera, check. Nothing was gone. I was lucky, very lucky. My luck, however, was not consoling. One wallet gone and another lucky to be around. We were targeted because we were tourists, speciﬁcally American tourists. And American tourists are, of course, spoiled and naïve. I deﬁnitely was the spoiled American my ﬁrst few weeks in London. But what I complained about in London (the horrible weather, the worthless washing machines, the bad pub food, the high prices) is meaningless when compared to the greatest thing I take for granted, my safety. I had an incredible time in Madrid eating lunch in the Plaza Mayor, walking through the Prado, and dancing at Kapital, one of Madrid’s hottest clubs, but I never felt completely safe. With my hand always clutching my purse, my eyes scanning the crowd for possible pickpockets, I could not attain the carefree Spanish way of life. Many students study abroad to become more ﬂuent in a language. I took the easy route. I went to London, a place where I believed I would more easily acclimate due to a common language. This, however, was hardly the high road. I might have been more of an outsider in Spain, but that does not mean that I am a Londoner. I was helped with my luggage by a 10-year-old in Heathrow airport, and I’ve had people on the streets yell to prevent a speeding car from ﬂattening me. I still pull out my London street map and receive dirty looks from people when I walk down the right side of the sidewalk. Though I now live here, I am a tourist in London, too. I might say ‘toilet’ instead of bathroom, but I say it in a Chicago accent. I am branded with my scarlet A, and it stands for American, for better or for worse. Not that this is a bad thing. I may be a naïve American, but I’m becoming less so every day. I can’t prevent the inevitable shock and embarrassment that occurs when something unpredictable happens. But whether amusing or nearly devastating, these moments erode the innocent perceptions that I had of the people, places and most importantly, myself.
From the moment you step out of the car, it smells like Mexico. The arousing aromas of supple roasting meats and succulent grilled vegetables intoxicate the air with the welcoming smell of Mexican seasoning. This is El Maguey. You know a restaurant is good when the line of fanny-pack clad Midwesterners is protruding out the front door on a Tuesday evening. The slew of cars surrounding the restaurant immediately diverts your attention away from the barren parking lots which otherwise line the roadside in the area. We almost turned around to ask for directions as we passed by both Ted Drewes and the Catholic Supply Center of St. Louis, but El Maguey seemed to beckon to us with the glow of every Mexican beer sign in existence. El Maguey is not the kind of restaurant that messes around. Everyone that works there has a mustache. There are no vibrating coasters or even a hostess to call you when your table is ready. You sit down to eat in the order that you show up at the door. They get you in and out of the restaurant faster than the Mexican border control. There are no fancy decorations besides Corona and Dos Equis advertisements. El Maguey merely offers traditional Mexican cuisine at a very reasonable price. El Maguey is Spanish for agave, which is a plant that happens to be the main ingredient in a staple of the Mexican diet, Tequila. True to form, El Maguey offers a variety of margaritas to choose from. While you may only have three choices of ﬂavors (lime, strawberry and piña colada), your choice of size will undoubtedly determine the rest of your night. The sizes are 12 oz., 27 oz., and the mother of all margaritas, the 46 “El Maguey is not the kind of restaurant that messes around. Everyone that works there has a mustache.” oz. variety. If you have the cojones to tackle the beast that is the 46 oz. margarita, your Senior Seth Dubner isn’t messing around either as he enjoys a bite of fajita. pants are surely coming off later that night, one way or another. If you want to drink a fair amount without spending as much, you and your amigos can share a small or large pitcher of margaritas. Though simple, El Maguey knows how to make a great margarita. Like the interior décor and the margaritas, El Maguey’s food is unsophisticated culinary prowess. Each meal begins with a basket of thick chips which never break in the bowl of El Maguey’s famous spicy, homemade salsa. El Maguey veterans will usually accompany this appetizer with a bowl of their famous cheese dip. The cheese dip and salsa combo creates a ﬂavor ﬁesta in your mouth. When your chip count is getting low and you’re about to go all in, the waiter replenishes your table with a new basket of chips faster than you can say Tenochtitlán. There are dozens of combination plates to choose from and also a number of entrée specials on the menu, including burritos, fajitas and steaks. The fajitas come in a variety of ways and are served for one or for two people to share. We chose to taste the fajita, “El Maguey” which included chicken, steak, chorizo and shrimp, as well as grilled peppers and onions with a side dish of all the standard fajita ﬁx-ins. We ordered the plate for two, and when our waiter brought it to the table, we thought that one of the steaming hot platters could have easily ﬁlled us both. This was not the case. A second platter was soon to follow, and they were both as hot as a midsummer’s day in Guadalajara. The fajitas were so good that even after we had eaten enough to be full we still yearned for más tortillas. The food was overwhelmingly ﬁlling and, in true Mexican fashion, we felt the need to tip down our sombreros and take a peaceful nap after the satisfaction of a great Mexican meal. If El Maguey were a matador, we would have surely been the bull. Imagine yourself sitting in Puerto Vallarta, sipping on a cold Mexican beer after Victor brings you a complimentary shot of tequila and has been calling you and your friends, amigos, all afternoon. While everyone is an amigo at El Maguey, you’re actually sitting across the street from Jesus’ Walmart, undoubtedly in the heart of Middle America. If all the Mexican restaurants in St. Louis were put into a piñata, El Maguey would be the best prize that fell to the ground. Senior Alex Cornelius and your Stepping Out expert, senior Matt Reed, give the El Maguey margarita El Maguey (314-832-3632) is located at 7014 Chippewa St. a thumbs up. Titillating
BY SARAH ULREY
SENIOR SCENE EDITOR
Farming is a lot of hard work but it’s not too bad as long as things go the way they are supposed to and don’t break. Any horror stories of things gone wrong? Massive pig escapes, maybe? Pigs get out every once in awhile. But they usually don’t go too far away because they want to stay close to the food. What kind of chores did you have to do? In the winter we aren’t dealing with the crops so it is just getting up, feeding the pigs and making sure everything is working: that the automatic drinkers are working and that the pigs are alive. Do they die frequently? If a pig dies they get rid of him pretty quick. As in…they eat him? Yep. So you want to ﬁnd them quick.
HOMETOWN: ARLINGTON STATE: NEBRASKA POPULATION: 1,000 Name: AJ Dunklau
What is wrong with the name Andrew James? My parents thought it would be nice for me to be an AJ because I had a relative that went by AJ When I was younger I thought it was cool and different. Were you the only AJ in your town of 1,000 people? I’m probably the only person in town that goes by their initials.
Major: Finance and Marketing
How many people in town do you know? I would recognize the name or face of most of them. In a rural farming community there are a handful of last names that cover most of the town, Dunklau being one of them. How many Dunklaus live around town? I don’t know if I could say, there are lot of great aunts and great uncles. I hear that you live on a pig farm. Whatʼs the life of a pig farmer?
When you were younger did you ever think you would own the farm someday? My younger brother is going to college around there so he plans on taking over the farm. How long has it been in your family? We’ve been on the homestead about 90 years. Is Arlington big enough for stoplights? Any businesses? No stoplights. No businesses. Well, Dairy King. King? Not the brand name but Dairy King! It is open probably ﬁve months a year. We have two gas stations, because we are on a highway, and a locally owned supermarket. What are the big events? The big event in town every year is the county fair and the tractor pull. That’s the time when you see most of the people in the town.
What all goes on at the county fair? Well, there is the pig showing. I was actually the Round Robin Champion in Showmanship: the all-around of all the different animals. What other animals did you show? We just raise hogs, so I showed swine. I won the Hog Showmanship Competition. Then I was entered into the overall competition against the people who were showing lambs and the horses and the dairy cows and the beef cows. We each had to show all the other animals, and I won it my senior year and shocked all the country folks. But youʼre not a country folk? Well, I wasn’t as involved in it as a lot of people. I was more into sports and academics. I beat out my brother which was a shocker to him at least. Congratulations! Thanks. [laughter] I got a nice belt buckle that hasn’t seen the light of day. It’s pretty sweet. It’s got ‘champion’ written across it in big letters. Have you seen the movie Carrie? No, but I’ve seen Snatch though: “Beware of people who own pigs.” Is that true? No. I think pig farmers are well respected in the community. I wouldn’t mess with the pigs though. Are they dangerous? They are super inquisitive. They’ll go up and chew on anything they ﬁnd. When they talk in Snatch about the pigs eating the bodies: that would probably happen. You are ﬁne walking around in there. I wouldn’t lie down!
Scene Editor /Sarah Ulrey / firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY | JANUARY 31, 2005
STUDENT LIFE | SCENE
BY RACHEL COHEN Staff Reporter
any students looking to study abroad these days are nervous about how they will be perceived and treated as Americans. However, there are still countries that welcome Americans with open arms. One such nation is the Republic of Georgia. “On one of my ﬁrst few days, I went to a bar to try out Georgian beer,” said Diego Chojkier, a senior who participated in the Wash U study abroad program in Georgia last summer. “When we tried to pay our tab, there was this big argument, them in Georgian, us in English. We were pretty scared, and at the least, thought we were going to get ripped off.” Fearing the worst, Chojkier and his friends quickly found themselves pleasantly surprised with Georgian hospitality. “As they got out of their huddle, we realized that they were trying to piece together the few English syllables they knew to form ‘present,’” Chojkier said. “They realized we were Americans, and wanted to give us the beer for free. Similar stories happened with free cab rides, meals at restaurants, etc.” Wash U students, however, do not travel to Georgia merely for the hospitality. They go
to study Georgia—a country that is a natural experiment in the evolution of government in a rapidly changing society. Georgia, a former Soviet republic (not to be confused with the Peach State) is located north of Turkey between the Black and Caspian Seas. Since the fall of the USSR, Georgia has made steady progress towards the creation of a fair and democratic government. While Georgia has had its share of problems since it gained independence in 1991, its peaceful transition to democracy through the Rose Revolution of 2003 serves as a model to the world. “Studying about far off countries and abstract theories while sitting cozily at a desk in St. Louis is one thing; experiencing that far off country and seeing that abstract theory in operation is something completely else,” Chojkier explained. Professor James Wertsch, of the International and Area Studies program, leads the study abroad trip entitled Emerging Democracy and Civil Society. Wertsch took his ﬁrst Wash U students to Georgia last summer. This year, Wertsch plans to return to Georgia with 15 American students drawn from Wash U and other schools around the country, as well as a group of Georgian students. This program is open to any interested student, particularly
ones with interests in political science, history, international studies and anthropology. The Georgia program is unlike other study abroad opportunities in that it focuses on politics and society, rather than language and culture. Students take a seminar class for credit with Wertsch and other Wash U professors, in which they discuss the challenges inherent in building a democracy. They also participate in internships with various government and nongovernment organizations in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital city. Last year one student worked with the Georgian National Security Council, while others helped create their own NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) that is sponsoring a camp to teach English to national minority children in Georgia this summer. Through this combination of classroom and real-world experience, American students try to untangle the problems facing democracy in Georgia, and ﬁgure out what about the country has allowed it to achieve such success. As Georgia continues to build a democracy, it is attempting to strengthen its ties to Europe and the United States, though it continues to have some problems with its neighbor and former ruler, Russia. As Chojkier’s experience showed, and as Wertsch explained, Georgia is “one of the few places where you can go in the world today and
be popular just because you are American.” The United States currently has train and equip troops stationed in Georgia to help the Georgian army develop as a viable institution and protect the oil pipeline. In a show of mutual respect and alliance, Georgia recently increased its troop commitment in Iraq, continuing to aid the U.S.-led coalition despite the international controversy over the war. However, the changing situation in Georgia and the surrounding region has led to some security concerns. Though participants in the summer program do travel to many sites in Tbilisi and around the country, they steer clear of areas such as Abkhazia, a region that is an “unrecognized republic” after military conﬂicts in the early 1990s. Additionally, students must be careful of Georgia’s neighbor Chechnya, the region of Russia currently in rebellion. However, on the whole Georgia is safe and relatively stable. Students interested in applying for the Emerging Democracy and Civil Society Summer Program in Tbilisi, Georgia, can ﬁnd more information and application materials at http: //www.artsci.wustl.edu/~overseas/program_ descrips/georgia.html. The application deadline is currently Feb. 1, but can be extended, Wertsch said.
Emily Dorfman, Katarina Lesandric, Aaron Weisman, James Wertsch, Sarah Weiss and Rachel Simon at the farewell banquet
picture source from http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/%7Eoverseas/georgiaprogram/index.htm
By Kristin McGrath Regular Features Editor
By Sarah Klein Staff reporter
Inner harmony, physical health and mental well-being are three things that many Wash U students have learned to live without. But for members of the Kung Fu Club, peace of mind really kicks ass. “Basically, [Kung Fu] is using relaxed energy in the most efﬁcient way to simultaneously attack and defend yourself,” explained senior David Weingeist, the club’s founder. “That’s the main difference between Kung Fu and some of the other martial arts.” The tranquility involved in Kung Fu becomes obvious when watching the group practice. The only sounds to be heard are the thuds from the nearby racquetball courts while the club members go through the ﬂuid yet intense motions of the Siu Nim Tau form of Ving Tsun Kung Fu. Some even some keep their eyes closed. “[Closing your eyes] increases sensitivity,” said freshman Cordula Simon. “You can feel what’s coming next. One of our main principles is relaxation, and being relaxed is what builds sensitivity.” Although diminutive and soft-spoken, Simon isn’t a girl you would want to mess with. She’s dabbled in various forms of martial arts. “I was always intrigued by Kung Fu,” said Simon. “It’s different than some of the more ﬂashy stuff, and it really is the most efﬁcient way to defend yourself. But the more I learn, it seems, the more I have left to learn.”
Remember PowerWheels by Fisher Price? Those cars you could actually sit in at age three and drive? Now an adult version exists, a motorcycle that fulﬁlls those childhood dreams of great speed at the same diminutive size. Pocket bikes, as they are generally called, are part of a fairly new trend that has already overtaken California and has reached Wash U via seniors Brian Berman and Alan Pruce. The bikes look like real motorcycles and can go as fast as 40 miles per hour, but are only 21 inches tall. They weigh around 40 pounds, yet they can hold up to 250 pounds. “It takes a secure man to ride a motorbike that’s only three inches off the ground,” said Pruce. The original pocket bikes were created and ridden in Japan. The sport spread to Europe, where the Italians developed the bikes into high caliber racing mini motorcycles. These bikes were not available to the public sector because of their high price: up to $4000. Now, there are cheaper knockoffs available from Chinese and other manufacturers, which only cost about $300. Pruce and Berman, who would like to be referred to as, “The Shmog Gang,” bought their pocket bikes off eBay. The bikes are not really for transportation—they are not even street legal. As Berman said so eloquently, the bikes are just “something fun to screw around with.” The allure of the pocket bike is that it has the biggest engine available without needing a license plate or other tags. Plus, they are just cool. And so are the riders. “The guys who ride motorcycles are the ones you want to date; guys who ride [pocket bikes] are the ones you want to take home,” said Berman. The bikes are not only for “secure men,” they are also quite popular with the younger sect, since one doesn’t need a drivers’ license. Berman said the bikes are popular among 14- and 15-year-olds, especially in the beach areas. “You don’t have to be a badass [to ride a pocket bike],” says Pruce. Pocket bikes are not meant for rough terrain. Even pavement can be a little dangerous. Berman warned that since the tiny bikes are fast, little potholes could send a rider ﬂying. The bikes also have to be handled like motorcycles, tilting on turns, which can be a little perilous since the rider is so close to the ground in the ﬁrst place.
“It takes a secure man to ride a motorbike that’s only
three inches off the ground” Freshmen Lawrence Wiseman and Cordula Simon block punches KRISTIN MCGRATH | STUDENT LIFE at a Kung Fu Club practice.
SEE KUNG FU, PAGE 5
Seniors Alan Pruce (left) and Brian Berman show off a pocket bike purchased on eBay. Courtesy Photo
n: a person who prescribes, rules on, or is a recognized authority on matters of social behavior and taste.
By Cory Schneider During this past ﬁnals week, which is when it usually happens anyway, my computer decided to break. Not in the “breathe and reboot” sense, but in the totally, completely, inexplicably gone retarded way that is only meant for people on Satan’s special list (conﬁrmation, at last!). This malfunction warranted the always disturbing journey to the Apple store, where you’re not only made to feel inadequate by overgrown high school dweebs in sleek black clothing toiling in an atmosphere that tries in vain to simulate a late-night lounge in South Beach, but also told that your overpriced computer is a prettily-packaged p.o.s.. A week later my computer was returned to me, cleaned of my hard drive and free of any sign that I had used it the past two-and-a-half years. In the Apple store, when “Joe” told me that a “hard drive wipe” was a slight, but distinct possibility, I laughed it off. How bad could it be, I wondered. What are the chances, I scoffed. God, I really am stupid. I grieved and I mourned. Gone were the 1200something songs I had legally acquired through means I won’t
divulge (I’ll see you soon Abba and Sinead!), the emails I had saved and intended to get to, the Madonna music videos I had downloaded and secretly danced to at night. What smarted the most, though, was the loss of the away messages I had amassed in my time with my iBook. I had always prided myself in my away messages, thinking, perhaps too loftily, that I was something of an Auto Response Artiste. I collected random quotes, amusing aphorisms, witty one-liners, and put them on display for the world to see. And yet, so many of you, my adoring public, were not privy to the fruits of my labor. So here, in memoriam, are a few of the best, the brightest, the deceased (a.k.a. what I could salvage from the annals of my mind). You might also note how fun it is to take quotes out of context. R.I.P. darlings! “Are Smurfs supposed to be anti-Semitic?” – A friend “I love your sweatshirt. Did you get it at a place or a thrift shop?” – One fool to another in Wohl “This is a low class store. Compared to where you’re from, this place is like the country. These people don’t know Dior, they don’t know Blahnik.” – Matthew, my favorite shoe salesman at Neiman Marcus “Trust your dreams...that’s how I ended up with my Gucci sunglasses.” – Me “Something in my room smells like cheese...do you think it’s my cancer? It kind of smells like aged Roquefort, so to counter
the smell, I am dancing around my room to Britney spraying that damn pear spray everywhere.” – Me “Honey, you know I love you more than my luggage. And you know my luggage is Louis Vuitton.” – Let’s be honest, I wish it was me. Confucii (kun-few-shy) n. 1. Dutch devils living under my bed with operatives stationed in Communist China and Bellefontaine, Ohio – Courtesy of the Abnormal Psychology Language Game And, for your reading pleasure (a month too late), my favorite New Year’s Resolutions: 1. I will stop putting more effort into my away messages than I do my school papers. That is bad, very bad. 2. I will ﬁnd a deeper spirituality. I will start with Lambuel. (Note: For the uninitiated, Lambuel is the lead of a cast of characters who promote Jesus in all his love!) 3. I will be one of MTV’s Rich Girls. 4. I will use the term “f.o.b.” more frequently. 5. I will incorporate Hate Scrabble into my life as often as possible. 6. I will start my papers before the morning of the day that they are due. I will work for my grades! 7. I will stop using Shift + F7 and I will learn the word. 8. I will stop insisting that the “reality” portrayed in Sex and the City is plausible and I will set my sights a little lower.