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M O N D AY MAR. 21, 2005 Vol. 126, No. 61

Cloudy 52° / 39° w w w. s t u d l i f e . c o m



Taco Bell gets the boot Bon Appétit seeks replacement food franchise in response to student survey


By David Tabor Contributing Editor

“Fontbonne”: For most Wash U students, the name of the school across the street means little. Scene writer Sarah Klein sets out to change that.

PAGE 8 Sports recaps the men’s swimming team’s recordsetting eight-place finish at the NCAA championships.

Bon Appétit, Washington University’s food service provider, is currently seeking a replacement for the Taco Bell franchise in Mallinckrodt Center’s Food Court. Although Taco Bell will remain in its current location for the upcoming school year, Bon Appétit plans to have a new food provider for the fall of 2006. The move was made in response to the results of an e-mail survey conducted by Student Union last month to determine dining preferences among University undergraduates. The survey indicated that 44.9 percent of respondents preferred that Bon Appétit not renew its contract with Taco Bell. Also of note to administrators was the 39.8 percent of students who indicated that they “don’t mind” Taco Bell, but would prefer a different franchise in the Food Court. A Chinese food franchise ranked as the most preferred potential replacement for Taco Bell, a fact that Bon Appétit is taking into consideration. “Based on the results of the survey, it is apparent that students want change,” said Student Union Food Committee Chair Jeff Zove, a sophomore, who worked with Bon Appétit administrators to analyze the results of the survey. Taco Bell’s five-year lease in its Food Court space expired this year but the results of the survey became available too late to replace Taco Bell immediately. Rather than renew

Taco Bell’s contract for another five years, Bon Appétit extended Taco Bell’s contract for one year, during which Bon Appétit will negotiate with potential replacement companies. The Taco Bell franchise has been the target of protests over its business practices, both at the national level and on the University campus. Several years ago, a group of Florida tomato pickers formed a political protest group called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), calling on Taco Bell to pay more for the tomatoes it purchases. The CIW contends that the low price of tomatoes has kept Florida farm-workers in poverty. The CIW had called for a nationwide boycott of Taco Bell, but dropped the action last week when Taco Bell agreed to voluntarily increase the price it pays for tomatoes. On the University campus, the Student Worker Alliance (SWA) has supported the CIW locally and advocated laborers’ rights issues. SWA had been at the center of “Boot the Bell” efforts, a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of the Immokalee workers’ wage issue. The survey of dining preferences indicated that while some students are concerned with the Immokalee workers’ situation, Bon Appétit decided the number was not large enough to

Students involved in the Student Worker Alliance (SWA) organization on campus have called their campaign to “Boot the Bell” a victory, despite a relatively low number of students expressing concern about the plight of workers affiliated with the company. According to SWA member Janine Brito, she was not surprised by the low number of students taking concern with Taco Bell’s relationship with tomato pickers, who formed a political protest group called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW called on Taco

See TACO BELL, page 2

See RESPONSE, page 2

By Erin Harkless Contributing Editor

Relay for Life tops $224,531 All-night event features celebrity auctions and speakers


By Mandy Silver


Contributing Reporter

Why must gay people “come out,” while individuals into bondage do not feel the same pressure to reveal their sexual preference? Is this a reflection of a “cultural flaw”? Jeremy Weissman examines the issue in Forum.



Above: Dozens of tents littered Francis Field during Relay For Life on Saturday night. Participants stayed awake and active from 6:00 p.m. Saturday until 6:00 a.m. Sunday to raise money for cancer research. Left: Senior Amy Shearer “kicks cancer’s ash” at Relay for Life on Saturday night. DAVID BRODY | STUDENT LIFE

From 6 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday, members of the Washington University and St. Louis communities jogged, walked and ran around the Francis Field track in support of the University’s third annual Relay for Life. This year’s Relay for Life raised over $224,531 and included 1,600 participants within 153 teams. The night was filled with fun activities and food, but it was also a reflection and dedication to survivorship, honoring those who have battled cancer and raising money for future cancer research and education. The success of this year’s Relay for Life surpassed the expectations of the committee members. Junior Alyse Rothrock, Relay for Life public relations chair, said that they set a lofty fundraising goal to compete with the University of Georgia, the first university relay. University of Georgia pulled in $240,000 in fundraising. “The money that Wash U raised was remarkable,” said Rothrock. “We wanted to try to catch up with the University of

Contributing Reporter

WEATHER FORECAST Tuesday High: 48º | Low: 36º Rain

Wednesday High: 48º | Low: 38º Chance of showers

Thursday High: 59º | Low: 43º Chance of showers

INDEX 1-2 3 4-5 7-8

Georgia’s 2004 fundraising and we came close. Considering that they are a much bigger school, I feel like the entire event was such a success. It was amazing how everyone came together and how many people stayed the entire night.” Congress of the South 40 (CS40) joined forces with Relay for Life and organized both silent and live auctions. A variety of gifts sent by celebrities, obtained through CS40’s letter writing campaign, were sold to the highest bidders. Items sold included a signed Guster CD, photos of Jackie Chan from “Tuxedo” and a signed poster of Britney Spears, sold for a bid of $32. Junior Edison Hong, chair of the CS40 Culture Committee, announced each of the 15 items up for bid in the live auction. Edison aimed for comedy in announcing the items. Fellow auctioneer Matt White also said he enjoyed calling off the sundry items to an audience of eager bidders but he noted several challenges. “It was ... difficult to decide where to start the bidding for each of the items,” White said. “I wish we had saved the Britney Spears poster until the end because people kept coming up to me after with bids, asking if it had been sold.” Richard Catz, a cancer survivor and University alumni, bought a Wheel of Fortune package for $60 at the live auction. He

See RELAY, page 2

Apex journal Symphony strike over; ArtSci showcases Council schedules new outings ArtSci talent By Caroline Wekselbaum

News Sports Forum Scene

SWA considers Taco Bell removal a victory

By Helen Rhee Staff Reporter Arts & Sciences Student Council has found a new way to shine the spotlight on student success by creating Apex, an interdisciplinary journal of undergraduate scholarship. Published this month, Apex is the first student-run undergraduate journal created and sponsored by the Arts & Sciences Student Council (ArtSci Council) and College of Arts & Sciences. Apex’s first edition included essays, research work and other creative works by undergraduate students within the college. The aim of the journal is to “to promote intellectual and cultural awareness on campus,” said junior Aaron Mertz, president of ArtSci Council. For the first volume, editors received 94 submissions that encompassed subjects from biology to music. Published pieces included fiction, poetry, original musical composition, independent science research findings, photography, essays written by students studying abroad and

See APEX, page 2


Time magazine called the silence “deafening” and Washington University students were “disappointed.” But, after two months on strike, musicians from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra have returned to work. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in February that the strike, which commenced in the beginning of January due to contractual disagreements, was illegal because the musicians’ lawyer, Leonard Leibowitz, failed to file legal notices with the federal mediator’s office at least 30 days prior to the end of the musicians’ contract, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This forced the musicians and Symphony management back to the negotiating tables. A new three and a half year contract was finally agreed upon, in which musicians would be paid $74,000 in the first year, with approximately $1,000 raises each

One Brookings Drive #1039 #42 Women’s Building St. Louis, MO 63130

year. In addition, a signing bonus of $2500 was added, along with a bonus of $4,000 for remaining at the symphony through the life of the contract, unless a musician retires. Other changes in the new contract added health benefits and new work rules. “The contract that both sides agreed to is a contract that both protects their artistic [license] … and our fiscal responsibility,” said Symphony spokesman Jeff Trammel. “We’ve had a great deal of positive things in the last year or two, and were hoping to build on that.” The end of the strike also means that ArtSci Council, the school council for the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, can integrate trips to the symphony once again. “We’re relieved [that the strike is over],” said junior James Wang, acting vice president and treasurer of ArtSci Council. “This is the focus of some of our major programming, so we’re very happy it’s back on track.” However, the salary of musicians in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Newsroom: (314) 935-5995 Advertising: (314) 935-6713 Fax: (314) 935-5938

(SLSO) is still lower than other top orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which pays $100,000 per year to its musicians, according to Time magazine.

Editor: News: Calendar:

See SYMPHONY, page 2

Please Recycle


News Editor / Liz Neukirch /

TACO BELL n FROM PAGE 1 merit removing Taco Bell based on that issue. The 15.9 percent of students who indicated that they do not eat at Taco Bell because of the Immokalee workers’ situation represented a “significant factor,” according to Zove, although “not large enough to justify getting rid of Taco Bell.” Zove explained that Bon Appétit administrators were more concerned by the significant number of students who indicated that they simply do not like the food at Taco Bell—29.5 percent of students indicated that preference when asked to select which statements represented their feelings from a list. Although the survey was conducted while the nationwide boycott of Taco Bell was underway, the recent end of that action is unlikely to change Taco Bell’s fate, explained Zove. The survey’s results suggested that the Immokalee workers’ protests were a secondary issue; the number of students indicating that they did not like the food concerned Bon Appétit administrators more. If a suitable replacement franchise is found and contract negotiations are successful, the final step in the vetting process would be to put the issue to a vote of students. Another survey, in the same style as the recent one, would likely be conducted, said Zove.

MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005

RELAY n FROM PAGE 1 was excited to contribute to the fundraising efforts. “The Wheel of Fortune package was a cool thing that you can’t get very often,” Catz said. “I know that my money is going to a great cause because five years ago I was self-diagnosed with prostate cancer.” Like Catz, many Relay for Life participants had been personally affected by cancer. Senior Janine Brito spoke openly about her ex-

perience with Hodgkin’s disease at Relay for Life. Several hours before giving her speech Brito, a stand-up comedienne, said she was nervous because of the serious and very personal nature of her story. She also recognized the importance of both speaking at and participating in Relay for Life. “I’m nervous about my speech because it’s extremely personal, and I want to make sure I keep my composure and sufficiently honor


those I’m running for,” Brito said. “I chose to speak because when you’re going through treatment it’s important for you to see the outpouring of love and support. It reinstates a lot of faith in humanity, because even strangers are there for you.”

the WUrld

to pay more for tomatoes it purchases, maintaining that the low prices keep workers in poverty. “These results reflect a common apathy on campus,” Brito said. “As an Compiled by David Tabor activist I find that attitude disappointing.” Brito still noted that hopefully students will be more knowledgeable as a result of SWA’s campaign, prompting them to consider the types of companies they patronize and to make sure that these firms treat their workers fairly. Sophomore SWA member Joe Thomas expressed similar concerns, but he was still willing to call the campaign a success and say that SWA had an influence on student opinions on this issue. “We’re willing to claim this as a victory,” Thomas said. “It can be difficult to motivate students on campus about broader issues but we think that our campaign made a difference.” Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School, CIW called for a nationwide boycott of Taco Bell, but the boycott was will present a lecture entitled “African Americans and the called off last week after Taco Bell agreed to increase the prices it pays Problem of Patriotism” as one of Washington University for tomatoes. School of Law’s Distinguished Visiting Scholars. The lecBrito said that the end of the boycott is a wonderful conclusion to ture will be held this Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Bryan a campaign that has been going on for around five years. Cave Moot Courtroom in Anheuser-Busch Hall. “It’s rare to have victories in labor movements, and this is a big A prolific author on issues of racial relations and legal victory nationally,” Brito said. “We’re very proud of CIW and everyconcerns, Kennedy has attended Princeton University, Oxone who’s been involved.” ford University and Yale Law School and has clerked for For the “Boot the Bell” campaign, SWA planned a forum in Ursa’s Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. At Harvard, he editorials. fireside to discuss the plight of the workers. The Taco Bell truth tour teaches courses on freedom of expression, racial relations Mertz and junior James Wang, the acting vice president and treaalso appeared on campus during the campaign. and contracts. surer of ArtSci Council, co-founded and edited the journal’s first issue. They came up with the idea last summer, when they realized that the College of Arts & Sciences lacked the interdisciplinary journals that many other major research universities have. “A lot of other Ivy League schools have their own journals,” said Wang. “We felt that Washington University was missing that outlet.” Mertz and Wang, with the help of Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences James McLeod, pushed forward with the idea. McLeod praised their efforts and cited the importance of distributing and sharing ideas with others. “One of the things that is important in a university like ours, particularly in a university that is interested in research, is to put your ideas, questions and findings in writing and to have others read them, view them and challenge them,” said McLeod. “That is part of the discourse of an intellectual community. Whenever I can, I try to support that goal. That is why I think it’s a good idea.” ArtSci Council advertised the journal to students as a way for them to share and promote their academic work under the setting of a formal and professional academic journal. “We thought a tangible embodiment of those interests would help students find new interest and also allow students to see the works of their peers,” said Mertz. Apex received funding for the project from the College of Arts & Sciences and Student Union. ArtSci Council had originally planned to distribute the journal before finals in December, but they decided to extend the deadline into winter break to allow students more time to submit their work after finishing finals. Wang and Mertz were both proud of the final outcome of the journal. “I was thrilled with how it turned out—both with the content and with the binding itself,” said Mertz. “I think it’s a very professionallooking journal.” Students who submitted and got selected for the journal were also ecstatic about the opportunity to share their work with others. Sophomore Jill Savla, a biochemistry major, submitted her research findings, entitled “Molecular Mechanisms of Cooperative Oxygen ok, so my subs really aren't gourmet and Established in Charleston, IL we're not french either. my subs just taste Binding in Human Hemoglobin.” For Savla, who had already puba little better, that's all! I wanted to in 1983 to add to students GPA lished her essay in another journal, Apex provided an outlet to share call it jimmy john's tasty sandwiches, but and general dating ability. her work specifically with the University community. my mom told me to stick with gourmet. She thinks whatever I do is gourmet, but “There are so many people who are achieving things outside the i don't think either of us knows what it classroom,” said Savla. “The journal is a great way to share that with means. so let's stick with tasty! everyone.” Sophomore Sejal Vaywala agreed, citing Apex as a good way to find out about the work of fellow students. “I think it’s really good idea to have a journal that incorporates all fields of study,” said Vaywala. “It is important for students to show their research to other peers and for them to read about it.” While some students said they had no knowledge of the journal’s publication, they seemed enthusiastic about the idea of promoting My club sandwiches have twice the meat and cheese, try it All of my tasty sub sandwiches are a full 8 inches of student research on campus. on my fresh baked thick sliced 7 grain bread or my famous homemade French bread, fresh veggies and the finest homemade french bread! meats & cheese I can buy! And if it matters to you, “I definitely would have read it if I had known about it,” said Arts we slice everything fresh everyday in this store, right & Sciences sophomore Kristen Schepker. “I really did not know about here where you can see it. (No mystery meat here!) the journal.” Mertz and Wang are currently preparing the second edition of the A full 1/4 pound of real applewood smoked ham, provolone ® cheese, lettuce, tomato, & real mayo! (A real stack) journal. They plan to publish two journals per year, in the fall and Real applewood smoked ham and provolone cheese Any Sub minus the veggies and sauce spring. The upcoming spring edition will be distributed at the end of ® garnished with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. (Awesome!) April and may include several excerpts from senior theses. Student slim 1 Ham & cheese Roast beef, ham, provolone, Dijon mustard, lettuce, ® submissions for the issue are due this Friday. slim 2 Roast Beef


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SYMPHONY n FROM PAGE 1 “No one ever wins in a strike situation,” said Trammel. “Both sides have agreed that there’s going to be … a healing process. We’re going to take steps to go about getting back to business and starting that process again.” The difficult struggle to arrive at this agreement has made the end of the work stoppage bittersweet. On the one hand, musicians are back at work, but on the other hand, many relationships within the Symphony are strained. One musician told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she is uncertain about how she feels regarding the outcome. “It’s hard, because I do still feel upset. I also realize that we’re going to have to start rebuilding, and do a lot of rebuilding. It’s going to take awhile. And it’s going to take time to fully see the long-term effects [of the strike and of the contract],” she said. Originally planned during the strike, an unprecedented concert comprised of about 30 musicians from 14 other symphonies proceeded as the strike ended and provided a much-needed boost to the recuperating Symphony. The visiting musicians decided to come to perform in St. Louis at their own expense because they wanted to show support for the striking musicians, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. About 1,300 people attended the concert, which took place in a local church. According to many who attended, the experience was very moving. “It was one of the most thrilling concerts I’ve ever played … because of the type of event it was, and the feeling of commitment and passion between the audience and the orchestra,” Franklin Cohen, the head clarinet for the Cleveland Orchestra told the St. Louis PostDispatch. Many, including the musicians, management, patrons and Washington University students, are glad the strike has finally come to an end, even if the future of the Symphony is not yet clear. “I think it was a real loss during these last few months,” said junior Aaron Mertz, president of ArtSci Council. “I’m glad for the St. Louis community that its premiere ensemble is performing and contributing to the arts in the city once again.” ArtSci Council has already scheduled outings to the symphony for April 2 and April 30. For information about tickets, students can e-mail the ArtSci Council at

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Sports Editor / Mary Bruce /

MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005


WOMEN’S TENNIS LAST MEET: The Bears defeated Cornell College by the score of 8-1. TEAM NOTES: The Bears nearly swept Cornell College by winning all six singles matches and two out of the three doubles matches. With the exception of the one doubles loss, the Bears refused to drop a single set to Cornell College. NEXT MEET: The Bears will host Lindenwood University on Wed., March 23 at 4:00 p.m. NATIONAL RANKING: No. 16



Men’s swimming places 8th at NCAA Championships; best in program history A week after the Washington University women’s swimming and diving team placed seventh at the NCAA Championships, their male counterparts fi nished eighth this past weekend in the men’s NCAA Championships. The three-day event from March 17-19 at Hope College, in Holland, Mich., was host to 56 Division III teams from across the nation. The Bears’ 172 total team points and eighth place fi nish was the best in its program history, despite the domination by the NCAA champions, Kenyon College. Kenyon’s 556.5 total team points blew out all competition; Emory University, the second place fi nisher, walked away with 404.5 total team points. The win for Kenyon was its 26th straight NCAA Championship, dating back to 1979. The Bears’ coaching staff was extremely pleased with the team’s performance over the weekend. “With just six guys competing, we performed outstanding,” said Brian Hindman, the assistant swimming coach. “We swam exceptionally well and swam as a cohesive group. We showed that Wash U could make a dent in the scoreboard at the national level.” Despite the fierce competition, the Bears squad, composed of six swimmers who qualified for the Championships, held their own and walked away with a number of solid fi nishes. Junior Michael Slavik highlighted the Bears’ performances, placing third in the 100-yard freestyle. In the preliminaries, he clocked a 45.92 and improved his time to 45.80 seconds in the fi nal to fall short of fi rst place by less than half a second from the fi rst place fi nisher. In the same event, junior Eric Triebe took eighth place despite setting the school record with a time of 45.69 in the prelims. In the 400-free relay championship fi nal on day three, Slavik, along with teammates juniors Alex Antilla, Cory Zim-

LAST GAMES: Wash U sweeps Milwaukee School of Engineering 13-1, 17-3

merman and Triebe, posted a time of 3:05.95 to place fi fth in the prelims, while fi nishing sixth overall with a time of 3: 05.24 in the fi nal. During the three-day event, all six Bears who competed combined to register 22 All-America citations. Slavik and Triebe led the Bear effort, garnering seven awards each. Slavik garnered fi rstteam honors in six events, including the 800-free relay (second place), 100 and 200 freestyles (third), 50 free (fourth), 200-free relay (fourth) and 400-free relay (sixth). Triebe earned fi rstteam honors in the 800-free relay (second), 200-free relay (fourth), 400-free relay (sixth) and 100 freestyle (eighth). The men’s season came to a triumphant close and their hard work all season long BEARSPORTS.WUSTL.EDU was well worth it. “We’re very proud of the Junior Michael Slavik helped the guys,” said Hindman. “They men’s swimming team finish in fi nished the highest we’ve eighth place at the NCAA Chamever fi nished and after work- pionships this weekend. Slavik ing their butts off all year, it’s garnered All-America first-team a big payoff. They all really honors in six events, including deserved it.”

-Justin Davidson the 100-yard free, in which he

took third place.


LAST GAMES: Wash U 4, Central College 3; Wash U 2, Clarke 0

TEAM UPDATE: Sophomore Andy Shields went three-for-four with two runs scored in the first game. Shields also pitched a complete game win, allowing just one earned run on two hits. The Bears amassed a total of 13 hits in the first game. Junior Jim Haley went three-for-five with a team-high seven RBIs. Junior Brent Marlis had a pinch-hit three-RBI triple. OLIVER HULLAND | STUDENT LIFE

Senior pitcher Jason Ortwerth fires a curveball in Saturday’s 11-3 victory against the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Ortwerth allowed three hits and no earned runs in six innings.


DID YOU KNOW: The Bears have now won seven straight games. PAM BUZZETTA | STUDENT LIFE

NEXT GAME: The Bears host Greenville College on Mon., March 21 at 2:00 pm.



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TEAM NOTES: Freshman Laura D’Andrea hit a walk-off home run to dead center field in the bottom of the seventh inning to upend 12th ranked Central College in dramatic fashion. Sophomore Laurel Sagartz allowed just one hit in her first four innings against Central College. Against Clarke, senior Victoria Ramsey allowed just one hit and struck out eight en route to her sixth victory of the year.

Junior Amanda Roberts scores the first run of the Bears’ game DID YOU KNOW: The Bears have opened the against Central College. season with 16 consecutive wins for the second straight season.

LAST MEET: The Bears narrowly beat out Graceland University by a score of 4-3.

NEXT GAME: The Bears are slated to participate in the 5th Annual Midwest Regional Invitational from March 25-26.

NEXT GAME: The Bears will participate in the Jack Swartz Invitational at Bannockburn, Ill., from April 1-2.



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Forum Editor / Roman Goldstein /

FORUM There is something immensely satisfying about great struggles coming to an end. In 1781, the Battle of Yorktown effectively ended the Revolutionary War, securing our independence. In 1945, the Allies achieved victory in the war against the murderous, tyrannical regimes of Germany and Japan. In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, marking the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Today at noon, another struggle comes to an end: I (along with many other history majors) will have handed in the fi nal copy of my senior honors thesis in history. True, it may not have been an “epic” struggle in the conventional sense, but it did require plenty of “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” (Okay, maybe the blood part is a bit of an exaggeration, although I do seem to remember getting a paper cut.) Since this is the time when a lot of juniors

Justin Ward

MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Write a letter to the editor or Campus Box 1039 Submit an opinion column or Campus Box 1039

Thesis Day

will be thinking about whether or not they want to write an honors thesis, I thought that I might use my column to dispense some words of wisdom. Deciding to write an honors thesis has consequences that are not to be taken lightly. First of all, an honors thesis is a lot of work. Depending on your major, your thesis will be different lengths. Some of my friends studying foreign languages have written theses of about 50 pages. An economics major I know has a thesis of only 25 pages, 15 of which are appendices. My history thesis is about 115 pages. But the length of the thesis is deceptive: papers in the social or natural sciences will invariably be shorter than papers in the humanities, but they are all labor-intensive. Writing a thesis quite clearly has an opportunity cost. Different departments award different numbers of credit-hours for thesis work, but the bottom line is the same: you will be able to take fewer other classes, and will have to devote a substantial amount of your free time to research. Also, an honors thesis doesn’t make a good topic for conversation. My thesis is a comparative study in intellectual history on German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder and the

Scottish Enlightenment. And since most people haven’t heard of either, it’s not much of an icebreaker. That being said, there are quite a few benefits. The most obvious is graduating with Latin honors (cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude)—it makes a nice little blurb on your résumé. There are GPA requirements for each level (those recommended by the Arts & Sciences Committee are 3.5, 3.65 and 3.8 respectively), but GPA is not enough: you need to fulfi ll your department’s honors requirements (usually a thesis). Graduating with honors, however, is not the only benefit. Writing a thesis will force you to learn about your topic and about yourself. Before I began, I knew hardly anything about Scottish intellectuals like David Hume or Adam Smith, had never heard of Friedrich Hayek’s idea of spontaneous order, and had never read Herder’s masterwork, the “Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Humankind.” Now, I have. More importantly, I learned how to deal with a lengthy project. A thesis is more than four or five lengthy essays strung together; everything has to fit together and support a central argument. Researching and writing such a paper

takes daily effort and tremendous self-motivation. In order to get it done, I had to constantly fi nd new ways of pushing myself. The very best part, though, is the feeling of satisfaction at meeting all the challenges involved. I am proud of what I have accomplished (even if mine isn’t the best thesis ever written). I am also proud of the other students I know who have poured their hearts and souls into their theses. I am especially humbled by my fellow history thesis writers. Because I was writing in intellectual history, I had the luxury of relying on published sources. Many of my colleagues spent a tremendous amount of time traveling to archives and poring over documents. To them goes the real acclaim. I realize that today is not the due date for most theses (deadlines vary greatly by department). But for me, it is Thesis Day, a day to celebrate my own achievements and to salute the achievements of others. If you have a friend, daughter or son who wrote a thesis, you might want to give her or him a pat on the back. We deserve it. Justin is a senior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at


By Amanda Mount Op-Ed Submission


Why use JewStar when you have the Facebook? Inclusiveness is a good thing, remember.


Next year, it will take 13 minutes to get from Mallinckrodt to Greenway. No longer will students fear for their safety walking through residential St. Louis neighborhoods.


They were interesting for a day; now they’re just annoying.


It’ll be the best basketball that will ever be played here, as well as the closest the players will ever get to a real center of higher education.


Kids having lower life expectancy than their parents has one upside: it eases Social Security’s burden. - Compiled by Student Life staff

Editor in Chief Associate Editor Senior News Editor Senior Forum Editor Senior Cadenza Editor Senior Scene Editor Senior Sports Editor

Jonathan Greenberger Cory Schneider Liz Neukirch Roman Goldstein Matt Simonton Sarah Ulrey Mary Bruce

OPINION COLUMN (OP-ED): A bylined essay of between 500 and 650 words that reflects only the opinion of the author. It should include the name, class, position (if applicable), major (if applicable), and phone number of the author. E-mail to submit.


LETTER: A piece of writing under 300 words in length, directed to the Student Life Forum editors, that may or may not respond directly to content printed previously in Student Life. It should include the name, class, position (if applicable), and phone number of the author. E-mail to submit.


STAFF EDITORIAL: An opinion that reflects the consensus of the editorial board. It is written by the Forum editors.


FORUM FLASHBACK: A summary of an article previously published in Forum, followed by an analysis or update to the opinion.

Don’t forget poor students




Not all Washington University students consider themselves to be “children” as Justin Ward and many of both his and my friends do. Many students on this campus are largely or completely independent from their parents, financially and even emotionally. Many students on this campus pay their own bills and struggle to live on student loans and low wages from part-time jobs. Some students even support their own children while attending classes, working and still participating in extracurricular activities. Why is this ignored here? Why, when someone like Erika Simmons points out that perhaps the University’s financial aid policy is inadequate for poor students, does a Student Life news article about her not only ignore the larger issue of low-income students at Wash U, but also describe her as being different than other students here, with her dark hair and lipstick? Why must she be labeled as different? Currently, Yale University students are striking against financial aid policies that they feel are unfair to students who can’t afford the $40,000 a year price tag. Harvard University doesn’t ask parents who make less than $40,000 per year to contribute financially to their children’s education. Wellesley College offers summer stipends to students who otherwise couldn’t afford to take an unpaid internship. I can’t even begin to imagine any of that happening here. Does our student body and administration believe that low-income students deserve fewer opportunities than those who can pay? If so, perhaps we need to question why that is. Students among us struggling to pay tuition bills and living expenses must work in the summers and during the school year, compromising the time available for academic work and extracurricular activities as well as limiting internship choices.

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We graduate with astronomical debt, limiting our graduate school and career choices. Yet low-income students contribute to Washington University and to the American tax base. Many of us are dedicated to our work, not only in the classroom, but also in things like the Social Justice Center, the Campus Y and Peer Advising. We work hard, and when we graduate, we become productive, tax-generating members of society. On the other hand, if we, as a student body, feel that Washington University students are not struggling financially, why aren’t we doing more to question why only the relatively wealthy have access to a Washington University education? Why aren’t we protesting that Wash U isn’t welcoming working and lower-middle class students? For that matter, why aren’t we angry about the clear inequalities in our nation’s education system from preschool onward? Are we simply apathetic, unquestioningly accepting that we are the lucky and the blessed? If so, perhaps that needs to change. Educate yourself. That’s ostensibly what you came to college for. Learn about financial aid policies and the Bush administration’s plans to eliminate Perkins Loans in favor of a small increase in Pell Grants. Question why Washington University is one of the few elite schools in the U.S. that isn’t officially need-blind when making admissions decisions. More than that, question the educational inequalities that make the products of suburban and private schools better prepared for a rigorous college curriculum. If you’re up for it, question yourself. Wonder if perhaps you do think that students whose parents didn’t make as much money as yours aren’t really entitled to a Washington University education. Ask why you believe that, and talk to someone who feels differently. It’s a start.

Does our administration believe that low-income students deserve fewer opportunities?

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Amanda is a senior in Arts & Sciences. She can be reached via e-mail at

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Forum Editor / Roman Goldstein /

MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005



“Coming Out” culture is a cultural flaw By Jeremy Weissman Op-Ed Submission I am writing this article in response to the campus dialogue about the Alternative Lifestyle Association and the GLBTQA community. I agree that both people fond of the same sex and people fond of BDSM share the similarity that their sexual practices are considered unusual, scary and even evil by our modern cultural standards. Both groups are forced into the closet about their sexuality because of the negative mainstream perceptions. But there is one big difference. Gay people often feel a more urgent need to “come out” about their non-mainstream sexuality while BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) people do not feel the same pressure or at least not nearly to the same extent. This difference is a result of two things. One, it is easier to hide from the world what you do in the bedroom than it is to hide the sex of your romantic partner. However, the greater reason that gay people feel the need to “come out” is because they are so culturally ostracized, whether it be through the common use of “gay” as a derogatory term or the homophobic culture of Will and Grace. Really, it is hard to be anything (gay, straight, bi, black, white, Asian, Latino, etc.), if the people around you commonly, though often unintentionally, put you down for who you are. One then feels he/she has to “come out” just to potentially stop the abuse. It would be strange if you called home and went, “Mom, I have to tell you something. I like my genitals tortured.” Most people would see their S&M lifestyles as their own business: something they don’t have to share. There is no reason that anyone should feel they have to confess their personal life to anyone so there shouldn’t be a cultural pressure to “come out.” However, there most certainly is that pressure. Our nosy, gossipy, abusive culture, creates that pressure. Gays are so commonly ostracized for being who they are in America today, that one has to spill his/her personal business just to maintain some


Only gays live with such an enormous pressure to confess. dignity in the face of the mindless crowds. Everyone has every right to reveal whatever they want about themselves, but only gays live with such an enormous pressure to confess. Many Americans, and even Washington University students, would prefer that gay people be forced to wear pink triangles and perhaps deported. Many others may not have feelings this extreme, but are made uncomfortable enough by gays, that they wouldn’t really do much to stop persecution. It’s not very different from the witch hunting that

went on in early America where hysterics were seen as evil demons. Many people see gay people as evil demons and would love to burn them as well. Why do you think the common gay bashing term is “faggot?” Of course, the irony is, and most psych majors should know this, that the more homophobic you are (this includes innocently calling this or that thing “gay”) the more homosexual tendencies you have (many experiments have validated this). It is not a contradiction at all to be afraid of oneself or to even despise oneself. Really, most people probably have more homosexual desires than they realize or admit to. Our categories of gay, straight and bi have lost their meaning. If your friend who has only hooked up with men and had more male sexual partners than fingers and toes and then suddenly hooks up with a female, is he then bi? Maybe everyone is really

bisexual and just doesn’t know if he/she has capacities to enjoy the same sex because that behavior or even thoughts about that behavior are so discouraged these days. College, in particular, should be a place where open thought and behaviors are encouraged. Far too many students help make our ignorant culture the reality it is today. There are parallels between the casual black bashing of pre-sixties America and how we see black people today and how people in the future will see our casual homophobic culture of today. One day, many current students and countless other Americans will be seen for what they are: bigots. Do you want to be part of today’s bigotry? If not, open your mind. Jeremy is a senior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at jlweissm@artsci.wu

A ‘culture of life’ with no right to live and no right to die Many people don’t live as long as Terri Schiavo has been dying. For the last 15 years, Schiavo has been in what doctors call a persistent vegetative state. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, patients in such a state have lost higher brain functions, though breathing and circulation remain intact, and their eyes may even open in response to external stimuli. Schiavo is braindead, though her heart beats on. If she’s alive, it’s only because of some misguided definition of “life” that strictly refers to the existence metabolic processes; the only reason she’s not “dead” yet is because Republican politicians in Florida and Washington change or try to change the law at every turn to keep her on life-support, as they did this past weekend. A Florida judge made a factual determination that Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and that she’d indicated she wouldn’t want to be left in such a state. He then ordered doctors to remove Schiavo’s feeding

Roman Goldstein

tube, and appellate courts affirmed his ruling. But Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called for and used a law specifically crafted (it was even called “Terri’s Law”) to make an end-run around the courts. Various courts, from Florida trial courts to the Florida Supreme Court to federal courts, have ruled 20 times against Schiavo’s parents, who want to keep Terri alive. That’s not even counting the number of times appellate courts declined to review lower courts’ judgments. On the eve of Schiavo’s release, congressional conservatives decided to prolong this painful battle. Congress invited the Schiavos to testify before Congress, granting them federal witness protection. That means that anybody who does anything to impede the Schiavos’ testimony breaks federal law. For complying with a Florida judge’s order, and for respecting Terri’s wishes, Schiavo’s doctors could face criminal penalties. Congress also wants to give federal courts jurisdiction over Schiavo’s case. That’s like Congress telling the judiciary, “We didn’t like your decisions, so we’re going to legislate that another judge handle this case.” The Florida judge handling the case for

the last several years thankfully decided enough was enough. Ordering the life supported ended, he is letting Schiavo die with whatever shred of her dignity remains. Let’s hope Republican lawmakers keep whatever shred of respect they have for the rule of law intact. I’m all for saving life wherever possible, but Schiavo is beyond hope. Her cerebral cortex, the part of her brain that controls conscious thinking, is literally gone. Terri Schiavo, the person, is dead. Keeping her organs alive isn’t keeping her alive. And even if she is alive by some perverted definition, the courts have found clear and convincing evidence that she would not want to live this way. Schiavo’s condition, as determined by her doctors and the court’s own independent doctor, is hopeless. By refusing to pull the plug, conservatives aren’t supporting her right to life, they’re infringing on her right to die. It’s galling that our Congress is willing to go into extended session to keep a heart beating, but didn’t think of doing the same to fix Social Security, protect Medicaid, fund medical research, balance the budget and deal with other pressing issues. Schiavo’s case, coupled with party-line Republican stances on abortion and social

It only applies to the unborn and the already dead.

welfare programs, reveals the contradictions in their so-called “pro-life” platform. While pro-lifers fight for fetal rights and nutrition for the already dead, those who are unquestionably alive and suffering are ignored. Roughly a fifth of infants in the world today don’t get the cheap vaccines that would prevent debilitating or even deadly illnesses, like polio and measles, claims UNICEF. The medical journal Lancet estimated that causes 27,397 preventable deaths per day. The World Health Organization found that fully a third of humanity was malnourished in 2000. Inexplicably, pro-lifers haven’t been on the forefront of efforts to vaccinate all children or end world hunger. Rather, they’re concerned about the nutrition of one braindead Florida woman. Seemingly, Schiavo has more of a right to life than the two billion malnourished people worldwide. The “culture of life” that President Bush and other pro-lifers embrace, ironically, is limited to the unborn and the already dead. As the bumper sticker quips: Vote Democrat, because life doesn’t end at birth. Roman is a senior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at

Support the team, scorn the rival By Jared Joiner Op-Ed Submission It seems that staff reporter Allie Wieczorek, in her article “Betting with your heart: devotion or just plain dumb?” [Wednesday, March 16] forgot one of the most important parts of being a fan during this month of intense pride and prejudice for basketball teams: betting against your team’s rivals. Even though I disagree with most of her other points—namely, anything that praises Duke—I must agree with her that any true fan’s “first move is to cement [their team’s mascot] in all the way to the championship.” Except of course, this year, when the University of Maryland Terrapins have earned themselves a bid to the NIT (the National Invitational Tournament, a.k.a. the “Not In Tournament”). For those of you who, like me, are unfamiliar with the NIT, it is NCAA basketball’s equivalent of purgatory. If is any index of a topic’s popularity, the “2005

NIT” link is buried 23 spots from the top, right above the “2004-2005 Men’s Basketball Preview.” Few know that this bastion of prestige is the oldest tournament in college basketball, dating back to 1938. In fact, in 1970, Marquette University turned down an NCAA tournament bid to play in the NIT. So how did the contemporary sports fan come to regard the NIT as something shameful? The answer lies in how the teams for the NCAA Tournament are selected. Because every conference gets an automatic bid, some good teams end up with the short end of the stick. For example, the opening round of this year’s “Big Dance” featured the Mid Continent Conference’s (MCC) Oakland University’s (13-17) getting crushed by the Atlantic Coast Conference’s UNC. Meanwhile, in the twilight zone that is the NIT, the legit Terps get to play Oral

Roberts, which lost to Oakland in the MCC championship. I’m still in agony because my team got swept 0 -3 by Clemson this season, and the whole series of unfortunate events raises an incredibly compelling argument. Herein lies the paradox of March Madness: if not getting a bid to the tournament is only predicated on the fact that you got swept by a mediocre program, how can anyone justify Duke’s number-one seed after they were torched by the Terps, an allegedly mediocre program, twice? Anyway, it’s taken this travesty of a tournament selection for me to really see how much loyalty and dedication accompany being a fan. Being a fan is more than automatically choosing your team to win a national title against bookies’ odds, Kantian rationality, and plain old common sense. Fandom depends on something much deeper: what you do when your team doesn’t make the

Fandom depends on what you do when your team doesn’t make the tournament.

tournament. For me, and the approximately 97.3 percent of America that hates Duke, being a fan is just that: hating your rival. Although I couldn’t attend either of our victory riots in College Park this year, I can pick Duke to make a dramatically satisfying exit from the tournament at the hands of a Maryland-caliber team. This, my friends, is what being a fan is all about. Personally, this year’s championship is as insignificant as every Duke player’s NBA career. It boils down to this: as long as Coach K boards a plane to St. Louis with nosebleed-section tickets to the Edward Jones Dome, I win. And if, by some small chance, the basketball gods do favor Duke to win the NCAA tournament, I will salvage some small satisfaction in Maryland’s regular-season thrashing of Duke and our 2005 NIT championship. Jared is a senior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at jnjoiner@artsci.wus


MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005


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Your Horoscope for Monday, March 21, 2005 By Linda C. Black, Tribune Media Services Today’s Birthday (03-21-05). True love could sneak up and catch you by surprise. Running away won’t prevent this from happening. It might be part of the process. This is bigger than both of you. 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 a 7. Conditions have changed enormously in your favor. It’s not all by chance, it’s also because you love to seize the day. This is a juicy one. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today is a 6. Domestic chores rise to top priority. Don’t despair, you have the resources to solve the problem. Finding them, now there’s your challenge. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Today is an 8. By now you should feel much better, almost relieved to have made it through. A bit of a celebration with friends is quite appropriate.

Cancer (June 22-July 22) Today is a 7. The work you do for the next few days should pay pretty well. This is good, because it’s not easy. Tough it out, and push past your old limits. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Today is an 8. The Sun’s transit through Aries, beginning just about now, is your very best travel time all year. That’s a clue, and permission to go. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Today is a 5. The next several weeks are good for getting your finances in order. There may be a bit of stress in the air, but that’s motivational. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Today is a 7. Another’s sharp tone may be uncomfortable at first, but don’t dismay. If you’re in danger, get out of there. If you’re not, well then, relax. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Today is an 8. For the next several weeks there’ll be more work than anyone expected. Never fear, you’ll be stronger and more efficient when this

phase is done. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Today is an 8. The next few weeks are excellent for romance, games and children. The next two days are excellent for travel, too. Get going! Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Today is a 6. There’s money available for home improvements or even real estate. You feel more secure when you’re in your own place, with a couple of nice rentals. Check it out.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Today is a 7. A strong partner is invaluable now. Make sure he or she knows how much you appreciate the assistance. Give gold stars to a good friend, too. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Today is a 7. There’s an opportunity coming for more work, and a whole lot more pay. You’ll get about four weeks to finish it up. Get on it like a big dog.

Scene Editor / Sarah Ulrey /

MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005






By Kristin McGrath Scene Staff Writer

You know you’re in for a good party when you are handed two 15-inch wooden sticks and told to take off your shoes right after paying the cover charge. The fi nale of South Asian Awareness week, Friday’s Raas / Garbathon at the Athletic Complex raised money for tsunami relief efforts and showed students how to get down Gujarati style with traditional Indian dances. “What we’re doing is sort of like Dance Marathon,” said junior Satyam Khanna, social awareness chair for Ashoka. “All the money from our $5 cover charge goes to an organization called Asha, which is a tsunami relief organization.” Despite waning media coverage, the disastrous effects of the tsunami still call for continuous support, Khanna said. “The relief needs to last 10 or 20 years and isn’t going to end a few months after the disaster,” said Khanna. “A lot of the relief efforts have died down, but it’s something I hope that [Ashoka] can continue for at least the next few years. We’d like to include tsunami relief as part of the Diwali show. It’s something Ashoka is continually trying to push, and we hope to motivate other organizations to do the same.” Out on the dance floor, things were getting started. Both traditional dances of the Indian state of Gajarat, Raas and Garba are also favorites in Ashoka’s yearly Diwali show. “We normally do the dances for Indian festivals, said sophomore Amish Desai, Ashoka’s philanthropy chair. “And we have a centerpiece in the middle that’s usually a god or an idol, to symbolize [the dances’] celebration and devotion towards God. But this [event] doesn’t have any real religious aspect. Instead of a religious centerpiece, we have candles in the middle in remembrance of the tsunami victims.” This candle-lit memorial was the center of the dance floor. Dancers whirled around, performing the rhythmic, fluid moves that make Garba so fun to watch. The dance is harder

than it looks. A circular dance with as many as 12 repeated steps, Garba requires both coordination and energy. This is no problem for seasoned pros who could have danced all night if not for the AC’s reservation restrictions. “We couldn’t get this place until past 11, which is terrible because you usually do Garba until late, until 1 or 2 a.m.,” said Desai. “We’re modeling (this event) after the University of Illinois. I got the idea from them. They did it from 9-6 a.m., so that’s what we’re reaching for. I would like this to turn into an annual thing.” Add wooden sticks (called dandiyas) to the dance, and you’ve got Raas, which involves a circular rotation of partners. Each dancer then strikes the dandyias of his/her respective partner to the rhythm of the music. Sophomore Sheetal Joshipura, vice president of Ashoka, mastered the dandiyas at Indian weddings. “Indian weddings have so much energy,” said Joshipura. “As the night goes on, the music gets faster and faster. Everyone’s dead tired and sweating, but you don’t stop dancing.” One skill that often eludes beginners and experienced dancers alike is the twirling of the dandiya. Fortunately, junior Nikunj Patel was there to help the dandiya-impaired. “If you like dancing, this is a fun way to spend the night,” said Patel while helping some newcomers improve their technique. “And it’s a great way to meet girls.” As 11 p.m. approached, the dancers were still going strong. “We knew this event was going to be hitor-miss from the beginning because it’s our fi rst year,” said sophomore Shiv Kumar, copresident of Ashoka. “But everyone is having a great time. I can’t see anyone who’s not smiling. This is something different that you don’t get to do every night: learning some dances, learning about a different culture and having some fun.”


As part of the culmination of the first annual South Asian Awareness Week, students performed Raas and Garba dances at the Athletic Complex on Friday.

The Boathouse at Forest Park STEPPING OUT

By Seth Dubner and Matt Reed Little darling, it’s been a cold, lonely winter. The sun was setting over the St. Louis skyline, and, as the rays glistened across Forest Park’s Post-Dispatch lake, we sat enjoying the warmth emanating from the large stone wood-burning fireplace. As the vernal equinox approaches, the Boathouse at Forest Park beckons St. Louis’ inner soul which yearns for spring time. Here comes the sun. When winter ends, the locals begin to visit this lake, which is Forest Park’s largest and most hallowed body of water. Since the foundation of the park in 1876, boating has been a popular pastime. Even today, it’s common to see paddleboats aimlessly navigating the lake as you drink a pint with your

contemporaries on the bank. St. Louis’ own Schlafly’s Brewery provides an exclusive custom ale perfected for sipping on the dock of the Boathouse. The Boathouse Ale can only be enjoyed by patrons of Forest Park’s Boathouse, and is a taste not to be missed. The fact that the city’s now famous microbrewery created one of its finest tasting beers to only be served at this restaurant exemplifies its utter prowess. The food at the Boathouse is as pleasant as the ambiance. Many items on the menu add gourmet variations to traditional meals. The Salmon BLT, for instance, adds a Pacific divergence to the ordinary sandwich with grilled salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato and basil mayonnaise on grilled sourdough


bread. The Boathouse’s version of the BLT is the perfect sandwich to enjoy next to the lake, as it evokes the high seas. Another dish that proves to be a delightfully creative gourmet innovation to one of the most basic childhood favorites is the Baked Boathouse Macaroni and Cheese. It consists of macaroni tossed in creamy aged cheddar cheese sauce with ale and is then topped with crumbled gorgonzola and applewood-smoked bacon. The crisp layer of baked cheese crust over the creaminess which lies beneath this cheesy exoskeleton creates a fascinating contrast in texture. For a heartier meal, try the Flank Steak Rarebit Sandwich, an interesting preparation of a traditional Welsh dish. The Boathouse serves the grilled flank steak on garlic toast and garnished with fried onion straws and dark ale rarebit sauce. Although the toast quickly becomes saturated with the mixture of juices and zingy sauce, the slightly soggy texture never becomes a nuisance. The Boathouse also provides a variety of salads and gourmet pizzas to go with the creative entrée options. The chefs fashion something for everyone, and you’ll quickly find your favorite. If you need a break from the dreary St. Louis winter, escape to the harborage of the Boathouse’s lake, and you will immediately feel as though you’ve left the city. From the moment you approach the restaurant, you’ll notice that the parking lot is reminiscent of a loading dock, complete with turnaround driveway and changing rooms for those who plan to tread Forest Park’s waters. The Boathouse boasts arguably the most picturesque view in Forest Park and is one of the relaxing springtime getaways in St. Louis.

Arbiter Elegantiarum n. a person who prescribes, rules on, or is a recognized authority on matters of social behavior and taste By Cory Schneider There was a time in my existence, a darker time that is, when I once knew the pain that many Washington University students know. The exquisite torture, the existential angst, the residential horror of the housing process at Washington University. Slice it anyway you like—a sophomore dorm (or junior or even senior for the unlucky few who pretend that that’s what they wanted), Village-like housing (ah, how housing concepts have failed), or Millbrook (does anyone really want to live in a dungeon with seven other people, honestly?)—countless students fight bitterly for the chance to live one atop another with the nagging insecurity of a “cleaning person” coming in to swipe their computers and valuables. I’ll admit, friends, it took me a good two years to realize the error of my ways. Perhaps it was the seductive allure of Bear’s Den pasta, with its spices, cut up chicken fingers and sprinkled cheese—in other words, the massive amount of calories made me immobile and, thus, incapable of finding more preferable accommodations. Perhaps it was the relative comfort of knowing I didn’t need to go far and that I could depend on East Coast Express to return most, if not all, of my belongings to be reassembled in my next room. Whatever kept me from moving offcampus, I can tell you, straight from the lap of luxury, I was a fool. A damn fool. Folks, moving southeast of the South 40 may have been the smartest thing I did while at school. Perchance a few helpful phrases will clue you into as to why: valet car service, 24-hour doorman and room service. No, I haven’t moved to the Ritz Carlton or Chase Park Plaza (I only wish, but my parents nixed those notions), but I’d like to think that I’m living just as large (or maybe less so, being away from that Bear’s Den pasta). What do you have in ResLife housing? Internet shortages, forced phone lines, sterile white walls, furniture stolen from the institution that originally inspired those walls? I have Steve, the friendly concierge (who claims lineage with a wealthy Florida family—he might consider said institution) who runs to the elevator to open it when I have only my winter coat in my hand. Every time you can hear the loud, pulsing music of your not-soaffable neighbor, remember this: You’re only as fabulous as your abode.

My hometown

By Sarah Ulrey

Senior Scene Editor

Why do you use the name David? David is my Jewish name and I’ve always gone by it. Alejandro is just the birth name my parents gave me. I used to go by Alex when I was little.

Was that when you lived in Mexico City? Yes. I was born in Mexico City, and I lived there until I was eight years old. Then I lived in Texas for a year until my family moved to Miami. Where did you live in Texas? A little city called Laredo. What part of Miami do you call home? Do you live in South Beach? I live in the southern suburbs, but Miami is a driving city, so everything is a drive away. You can go to the beach or the clubs in half an hour. Is your community Spanish speaking? I live in a more American neighborhood. At home we speak a mix of English and Spanish and also Spanglish, which is a language of its own. What is a good Spanglish sentence? I think one of the big things about Spanglish is that you take a word in English and you put it into a Spanish conjugation because you can’t think of the Spanish word. Sometimes it is the other way around. For example, I would say ‘Voy a salir runiando,’ which means, ‘I want to go running.’

Your father was from Russia. Did he ever teach you Russian? No, he’s forgotten all the languages he used to know when he was little.

How many did he know? He used to know Polish, Russian, German, Spanish and English. Did he learn all those in Russia? Yes, because his father was German and his mother was Polish. How did you end up being born in Mexico City? My grandparents were fleeing the Holocaust. They hopped countries and went from Germany to Poland to Russia to Cuba to Mexico. It was good that they left. Not everybody else made it from the family. Do you know a lot about your family heritage? I’ve sat down with my father a few times and tried to learn stuff because we’re pretty much the only branch left. There are other Szwarcsztejns that are distantly related, but of my grandparents’ immediate family, nobody else survived. Did you father tell you tales about his childhood experiences? He’s actually got a great story about when he lived in Russia. When he was little, he had heard of chocolate, but he’d never seen it before. All they had was potatoes and onions. He asked my grandmother for some chocolate and she told him it was too expensive. He kept asking, and eventually she saved up money and bought a

one-ounce Hershey bar on the black market. He went to show all his friends. He un-wrapped it and was holding it in his hands, and was about to put it in his mouth when one of the other kids ripped it out of his hand and ate it. What lesson did he learn from that? I don’t know that there is a lesson to be learned. But he was five years old and didn’t leave Russia until he was eight.

How does he feel about chocolate now? He loves it. He has a very big sweet tooth. You have a really cool family history with so many cultures combining to make you. Do you feel like that diversity gives you a different perspective on life? Definitely. I think that having been born out of the United States and being raised in a Hispanic sort of background is a very different way of life than the American way of life. While I’ve adopted most of the American values, a lot of things I retain from my Spanish heritage. Like what? For example, Spanish men have to be very chivalrous compared to American men. I was always taught that, and in my dating life I practice that. What types of practices? Opening doors? Beyond opening doors. You know, I’ll always pay for dinners and things. I would never borrow money from my girlfriend. There is the man’s place, without saying anything negative about the woman. But the man has his place and he’s got to retain that.

NAME Alejandro Szwarcztejn AGE 20 MAJOR Accounting and finance HOMETOWN Miami, Florida POPULATION 4 million


Scene Editor / Sarah Ulrey /

MONDAY | MARCH 21, 2005

SCENE I Spy...

Fontbonne! Ever looked across Wydown and wondered what our neighbors to the south are like? Sarah Klein takes you on a tour of the school that— fairly or not—has become the butt of many jokes on the Wash U campus.

Story by Sarah Klein | Photos by Emily Tobias hen we look around Wash U, we see streets and residences, Forest Park and Kayaks. Rarely do we see Fontbonne. Fontbonne, however, does exist, and despite popular myth, so do its students. Student Life decided that not enough was known about our neighboring school with a cross in the middle of its name: so we buried our snobbish tendencies to take a tour.


Fontbonne is small. There are about 2,600 students and half of these are master’s and graduates students, or what Fontbonne calls Options students. Options students study an accelerated business program at night. Fontbonne touts a 12:1 student to professor ratio and classes usually cap at 30 people. However, just because Wash U students tend to discount Fontbonne, it doesn’t mean they discount us. Students at Fontbonne, were friendly and talkative to us arrogant folk taking their tour, but were still happy to share their stereotypes about Wash U. To put it bluntly, some consider us to be rich, intellectual snobs. Katie Tucek, a freshman living in St. Joe freshman dorm, had two older brothers attend Wash U. “Both of my brothers are very smart and everything,” she says. “But they aren’t the average Wash U student because they aren’t rich.” Tucek felt the smarter-than-thou vibes while hanging with her brothers, but acknowledged that some Wash U students were exempt from her comments. “There are people who are smart and think they are smart,” she says. “The ones I’m talking about wouldn’t even come here [to visit].” One group of freshman girls came to a consensus about one difference between Wash U and Fontbonne. Freshman Lindsay Lewis says, “Wash U parties much more than Fontbonne, but they still manage to get good grades.” Mary Rott, tour guide, member of Fontbonne’s student government and editor of their newspaper, the Fontbanner, admits that Fontbonne students see themselves in a sort of competition with Wash U. Both have Division III teams, and although they are in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), competition between the two can be heated. “There is a little bit of a rivalry,” she says. “Because you are so much bigger, we usually concede defeat. But if we do win something, it’s a big deal.” Rott also says that Fontbonne students know that Wash U students think of Fontbonne as a ghost campus. “The one thing that everyone tells our students is that Wash U students don’t believe our students exist. [Some] students, especially the commuter students, are so in their own little worlds that they don’t even think of it.” However, Fontbonne would not be opposed to getting to know Wash U better she says. “The students I know that are the most involved would favor more collaboration,” says Rott. And Fontbonne does have things to share. The campus seems tiny in comparison to Wash U, but the buildings have the same sort of “old-time charm” as some of those from Wash U, and somehow they manage to squeeze a lot of what makes college college into Fontbonne’s small area. For instance, they have a bookstore, complete with course books and Fontbonne paraphernalia, which Wash U students have been known to purchase from time to time. There is a small field called “the Meadow” which somewhat resembles the Swamp, where students play washers and wiffle ball on nice days. There are several academic buildings, including a building called “Science” where you can probably guess what’s studied. Fontbonne also has a library, which, although not as comprehensive as Wash U’s, is not bad because they can borrow from many other places, including Wash U, other libraries in the St. Louis area and from MOBIUS libraries. Although Fontbonne has a large commuter population, they also sport

“I love Fontbonne,”

says freshman Bess Moynihan. “I rock

the Fontbizzle!”

Fontbonne by the numbers: Total number of students


a handful of dorms. The freshman dorm, St. Joe, is coed with single sex floors and large floor bathrooms. Other housing options are perched in the top floors of academic buildings. The Fine Arts Building, for example, has 12 student apartments on the third floor, a theatre on the second floor and an art studio and gallery on the first floor. More interesting than where they live and study, however, are the students themselves. Rott explained why Wash U students often think Fontbonne students don’t exist: most commute. According to Rott, 70 percent of Fontbonne’s student population commutes to school, and doesn’t often stay on campus. “It’s very difficult to get commuter students to come back to campus,” said Rott. However, she is part of a group that organizes fun student events and tries to encourage people to stick around. “We want them to have the college student experience,” she says, which is also the reason she moved back to Fontbonne after living off campus in an apartment. Since Fontbonne is a commuter school, it makes sense that most students are from the St. Louis area. However, there are a number of students from the rest of Missouri as well, and even a few international students, primarily from Taiwan. Fontbonne’s student body also reflects its history. It was founded by the sisters of St. Joseph and it was all female. Today it is coed, but 70 percent female and 50 percent Catholic. No one, however, is required to attend mass or take Catholicism oriented courses. Men and women can intermix in the dorms, and some dorms comprised of suites have men and women on the same floor. However, on single sex floors, they have visiting hours for the opposite sex from noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday and noon to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Alcohol, also a big issue at Wash U, is allowed in the upperclassmen dorms if it is in a closed container. But underage drinking is strictly prohibited, and according to Rott, underage students who are in the same room as people who are drinking can be put on social probation and eventually kicked off campus. When Fontbonne students do party they mostly go off campus, usually to Brentwood, where many upperclassmen live in apartments. Fontbonne may be small but their pride for their school is big. As freshman Bess Moynihan affectionately put it, “I love Fontbonne. I rock the Fontbizzle!”

Above: The architecture of Ryan Hall, an administrative building at Fontbonne, echoes that of many buildings at Wash U. Left: Denise Spencer and Andree Sanders, Options students studying business at Fontbonne, spend their Sunday working in the library on campus.


Number of majors offered


Number of master’s degree programs

03-21-05 full  

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