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No jump in crime since MetroLink expansion

Student research influences French politics BY STEVE HARDY CONTRIBUTING REPORTER


Passengers wait to board an arriving train at the Skinker Metrolink station last week. The Metrolink runs from the Skinker and Big Bend stations on campus, taking students to suburbs like Clayton, Brentwood and Shrewsbury. BY PUNEET KOLLIPARA SENIOR STAFF REPORTER Despite the fact that last fall’s opening of the Metro extensions seemingly exposed the Washington University campus to the potential for an increase in crime, reported crimes have actually fallen over the past year. According to Don Strom, chief of the Washington University Police Department (WUPD), the number of reported on-campus crimes was higher in the period from Aug. 1, 2005 to Aug. 1, 2006 than in the period after the MetroLink extensions opened, Aug. 1, 2006 to Aug. 1 of this year. “So there is nothing that we can really point to and say there’s been an increase in crime as a result of the presence of the MetroLink,” said Strom. Strom said that roughly

255 crimes, mostly larcenies, occurred between Aug. 2005 and Aug. 2006. Roughly 177 crimes, again mostly larcenies, occurred between Aug. 2006 and Aug. 2007. However, Strom noted that these numbers are only “rough estimates” and have not been fi nalized yet. The MetroLink stations adjacent to the Danforth Campus link the campus to St. Louis and its suburbs, including Clayton, Richmond Heights, Shrewsbury, University City and Brentwood. In addition, the red, yellow and green lines are now fully serviced by Metro, making them a part of the St. Louis public transportation system. Strom attributed much of the decrease in campus crime to students exercising good safety tips. In particular, he stressed the importance of students not leaving their belongings unattended to pre-

vent larcenies, which Strom referred to “crimes of opportunity.” While on-campus crime has dropped, another issue is crime in and around the Metrolink stations. Most students, including Pierre Boncy, a freshman from Chicago, which is famous for its ‘L’ train system, said they felt safe at the stations and riding the trains. “I’d say that St. Louis MetroLink is probably ten times safer and ten times cleaner [than the ‘L’], so I feel pretty comfortable in the train,” said Boncy. Strom pointed out several safety features that St. Louis Metro has implemented. The MetroLink stations have security officials on patrol at all hours of operation, emergency telephones, passenger assistance buttons on the platforms and closed-circuit television cameras.

Some students, however, remain concerned about safety in and around Metro stations, especially senior Erin Beck, a frequent MetroLink user. “There is generally not a lot of security around, and if there is, they tend to come out of the station frequently,” said Beck. “They need to have additional security at night.” Sophomore Sechin Jain said he feels “perfectly safe” riding the MetroLink during the day but less comfortable at night time. “If I’m alone and at night by myself then it’s a little weird. And there are not security guards or anything a lot of the time,” said Jain. Beck recalled a time when a man pursued her while she was in a MetroLink station. “Fortunately other people were around so it did not per-

See METROLINK, page 2

The French national government is now referring to research senior Shannon Petry presented to them last year on the relationship between regions and the government in France. “I looked to see how representatives were chosen for the Committee of Regions, a forum for different areas of France to communicate with the EU, and how they were using their power,” said Petry. Last year, she interned with the European Union in Paris. Petry said that the research plan she presented to the French national government “called for ways to improve the relationship between the regions and the national government, including appointing representatives from within the government who would be responsible as go-betweens for the regions and the national government.” Washington University’s Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Program (UHF) has sponsored Petry’s research. The aim of the UHF is to give motivated students a chance to do research which they might not otherwise have a chance to pursue. Keya Kraft, the TA for the weekly UHF seminar, said that the fellows typically spend a semester studying abroad for their project and receive a $3000 stipend so they can devote more energy to their research. When these students return, they share their fi ndings with the other four or five fellows and work to publish their fi ndings. “The students are really good at challenging each other’s assumptions,” said Kraft. “Of course, if you’ve got an anthropologist taking a specific approach, a historian in the class might counter ‘well, you’re not taking into consideration all these other issues.’ I think the students really benefit from this work-shopping.” Some students, like Petry, choose to extrapolate on their fi ndings. She has expanded her scope to study all 27-member states of the EU by examining what is known as the “EuroBarometer,” a bi-annual survey that aims to discern

how content Europeans are with the EU. Specifically, Petry studies what she calls, “the questionorder effect,” or the effect of the order of questions on the outcome of a survey. More importantly, Petry uses this information from recent surveys to see what particular actions of the EU elicit higher overall contentment with the Union among Europeans. “I think that when the survey precedes questions about the overall impression of the EU with questions about culture, which the EU is good about preserving and protecting, the responses will be much more favorable than if the same question is preceded by one about immigration, which is a very hot-button issue in many countries right now,” she said. Petry also noted that, if people’s opinions about the EU can be changed dramatically through this suggestive power of question order, then perhaps they do not strongly identify with it. She contrasts the relationship with party identification in the U.S., where question order is unlikely to change someone’s support of their political party. Petry seems particularly interested in seeing which regions support the EU more steadfastly. While she hasn’t found conclusive data to suggest that one region is especially anti-EU, she intimates that some regions with historical confl ict with the national government, such as Catalonia in Spain, might identify more with the EU as a higher governing body. Petry is interested in watching these areas to see if they begin to shift from working with the national government to going straight to the EU, giving them more autonomy. Right now, Petry is working on narrowing her focus within all of this data so she can write her honors thesis. She is also looking to cognitive psychology to help explain the science behind the question order effect. Perhaps some day, the Wash. U. student who affected French national politics will help steer the entire continent.

Kemper art museum selects new curators BY JESSICA KATZENSTEIN CONTRIBUTING REPORTER The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum recently appointed two new curators. Lutz Koepnick, currently a professor of German and film and media studies at Washington University, accepted an additional position of curator of new media in July. Meredith Malone was promoted from curatorial fellow to assistant curator at about the same time. Sabine Eckmann, director and chief curator at the museum, who was responsible for Koepnick’s appointment, said it made official what he

had already been doing for four years. “I thought it would be necessary to formalize his activities and his work for the museum,” she said. Koepnick, who will retain his full teaching position at Wash. U, said his new position as curator feeds back into his own research interests. “It allows me to pursue certain questions that I would pursue in my academic work more theoretically. At the museum, I can do it in a more tangible dimension,” he said. Koepnick says he will try to build links from the museum to the School of Arts & Sciences, as well as from the

A volleyball fan’s tabula rasa Gary Palmerson uses a whiteboard to cheer the Bears and terrify their opponents at every home game. Sports, Page 8

art school to Arts & Sciences. He says he will work with students on media issues and translate those issues into exhibits. His history with the museum includes curating for the Ellen Cohen exhibit, a smaller photo exhibit in 2003. Last year, he also started co-curating an ongoing series called Screen Arts and New Media Aesthetics; that project will continue for several years. “I have strong interests in how technology informs changes, structures and the way we experience the world, and how that often translates into certain kinds of artistic productions,” he said. “The

questions in my own academic interests very much lie in that field.” Malone had also been involved with the museum in the past in the position of curatorial fellow. “I was very impressed by [Malone’s] scholarship and her activities for the museum,” said Eckmann. “She did a terrific job [as fellow].” Malone grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, majored in art history at George Washington University and went to the University of Pennsylvania for graduate school. She moved to St. Louis about a year ago for her job. “This is what I’ve wanted

Maximize your TV time Cadenza has gone through this fall’s TV line-up with a fine tooth comb so that you don’t waste any valuable tube time. Cadenza, Page 6

to do for a long time,” she said. Koepnick’s new responsibilities and activities as curator include putting shows together, helping the Kemper build its video collection, participating in monthly curator meetings, bringing artists and scholars to campus and helping to build critical discourse on art. He also hopes to build and participate in a series of workshops and discussions on new media art. “My workload is very challenging but also very productive,” he said. Malone said the museum

See KEMPER, page 2

INSIDE: Forum.................4 Cadenza.....................6 S p o r ts....................... 8 Classifieds.......................9 S u d o k u ................... 9


Meredith Malone



Senior News Editor / Sam Guzik /



University prides itself on studentcentered alcohol, health policy

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In the past decade, numerous colleges across the nation have actively stepped up the effort to address and control binge drinking on campus. A recent article in the New York Times pointed out that many universities have added a parental notiďŹ cation policy in an attempt to curb heavy drinking. Washington University is no exception to the trend among colleges in developing a greater awareness of the drinking issue. Unlike other universities, Wash. U. does not have a policy requiring that a student’s parents be notiďŹ ed if a student is receiving treatment for drinking. But, in comparison to other universities, administrators strongly believe that the policies practiced at the University have certain outstanding qualities because the focus is placed on the individual needs of students. “We take more time to treat each case individually,â€? said Jill Stratton, associate dean of students at Residential Life. “We use more resources, more energy, but it’s more effective.â€? Stratton has worked at the University for 15 years. Her prior experience at other colleges gives her the advantage of comparison. She remembers that policies would often come in what she calls “the 900-page manual,â€? which she stresses is not the circumstance here. Assistant Director of Student Health Services Betsy Foy, a certiďŹ ed health education specialist, agreed with Stratton.

General Manager: Andrew O’Dell Advertising Manager: Sara Judd Copyright 2007 Washington University Student Media, Inc. (WUSMI). Student Life is the financially and editorially independent, student-run newspaper serving the Washington University community. First copy of each publication is free; all additional copies are 50 cents. Subscriptions may be purchased for $80.00 by calling (314) 935-6713. Student Life is a publication of WUSMI and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of the Washington University administration, faculty or students. All Student Life articles, photos and graphics are the property of WUSMI and may not be reproduced or published without the express written consent of the General Manager. Pictures and graphics printed in Student Life are available for purchase; e-mail for more information. Student Life reserves the right to edit all submissions for style, grammar, length and accuracy. The intent of submissions will not be altered. Student Life reserves the right not to publish all submissions. If you’d like to place an ad, please contact the Advertising Department at (314) 935-6713. If you wish to report an error or request a clarification, e-mail



Students who become involved in severe cases of alcohol abuse are often referred to Foy by the Judicial Administrator or by Residential Life for a special alcohol program. Although Foy’s initial alcohol program begins the same way for each student referred to her, the actual counseling process varies depending on each student’s case. According to Foy, she considers if the event was a onetime incident or part of a pattern of similar behavior when she determines how to address the situation. A former undergraduate, who asked to be referred to as Jake, was referred to Foy his freshman year. Jake’s binge drinking experience one night resulted in his hospitalization. “It was absolutely terrible and I knew I didn’t want to repeat it,â€? he said. Jake’s time with Foy was brief. It was a one-time occurrence. He said that while the alcohol program was nothing new, it may still be beneďŹ cial for students who make only one-time offenses. As part of its mentality that one size does not ďŹ t all, the university will require that students complete a variety of different tasks. Some students may be asked to complete online education activities on a weekly basis, while others are encouraged to join support groups. A Moderation Management (MM) group was established last year for students who wish to reduce the amount they drink. Foy describes MM, which meets every Tuesday, as an on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous, offering the same privacy and anonymity all free of charge.


The Washington University staff finds their case-by-case alcohol policy very effective in helping students get through their college years. In other cases, some students are mandated by the administration to consume no alcohol at all. “This is not a lot, but maybe three or four students a year,â€? said Foy. These students would be offered a different counseling method due to the difďŹ culties that would often come with the demand for students who frequently abuse alcohol. Stratton sees the health services available on campus as a strong sign of a policy that comes from a caring community. “No one is behind closed doors,â€? she said. “Our policy encourages our students to get help.â€?

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their surroundings, and if they see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable that they move to a populated area and alert police.� When using the MetroBus at night, students can request the driver to stop closer to their destination than the designated bus stops, provided that the destination is on the bus’s route.

a Metro security ofďŹ cial or by using an emergency phone. Strom also warned against ashing cash or expensive belongings, and he also stressed the importance of awareness while walking. “We suggest you don’t walk alone and that you’re very conscious of what’s around you,â€? said Strom. “We want people to be well aware of

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has an ambitious schedule for this year. “We want to keep up the momentum and interact with students more,� said Malone. “There’s a huge student population at the museum. We gear a lot of programming to the University.� Eckmann agreed, adding, “New people always bring new, stimulating ideas. We always try to involve students. We’ll continue to do

that on all levels.� The museum is planning an exhibition with artist Thaddeus Strode in February. They will do studio visits with art school students but would like to get more students involved. “It should be pretty popular,� Malone said. “His pictures are a kind of crazy mix of comic-book aesthetics, Day-Glo colors, a kind of Zen philosophy and California culture.�

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focus on holistic health.â€? It was not always like this, though. When Stratton ďŹ rst began working for the University in 1993, she remembered the policy being very lax. It was a time when administrations still maintained the idea of a “dry campus,â€? which she now calls an oxymoron. Stratton believes that every college campus must grapple with the issue of alcohol whether the administration wishes to think realistically or not. Instead of denying the reality of the issue, it is much more effective to accept it and do something about it. “If you boil it down, that’s what can make things change,â€? she said.


METROLINK v FROM PAGE 1 sist to be a problem,� said Beck. “But it could have been a dangerous situation.� Strom recommended several other safety tips for students riding the MetroLink system. He said that when waiting for trains or buses to arrive, students should stay around other people. Students can report any suspicious packages or behavior to

Stratton has called parents in the past when she felt that a student put himself or others in danger. “We are very conscientious in how we approach that though,â€? she said. She believes fully in working with the families of students to help them. “We are your partners,â€? she said. “We are here to serve a partnership to help your student succeed here.â€? In her 15 years at the University, Stratton reports having seen very positive changes in the alcohol and health policy. “It really reects how we teach students about health in general,â€? she said, referring to the health center, its excellent services, and health promotions. “I see a progression of

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Senior News Editor / Sam Guzik /



Drug-resistant gene spreads to Midwest gene, BlaKPC, in the New York City area in 2001 and it was not thought to have spread from there. Until now, only a handful of cases outside the United States, including France, China and South America have been reported. For six months, ending Jan. 2007, researchers tested patients for the gene, finding it in four out of 243 samples from 223 patients with bloodstream-based bacterial infections. “The research says that this is no more confined to the east coast than to anywhere else,” said Marschall. “This gene, in a matter of six years, has spread to other places.” Drug resistant bacteria are a serious concern, because there are limited means to treat the infection they cause. Studies have found mortality rates up to 50 percent in patients with the resistant bacteria. “As of now there are no casecontrolled studies which allow

for a risk factor or profile,” said Marschall. “It probably affects people who are more exposed to the healthcare system, but that’s just an educated guess. It would be interesting to do such a risk factor analysis to determine which patients do get or already have these bacteria.” The main problem is that the most effective detection method is very expensive and labor-intensive. Researchers are currently working on more economical ways of testing for the gene. While the presence of BlaKPC does not mean all treatment options are exhausted, early detection can lead to more successful treatment and containment. The study was presented last week at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago. Other University researchers working on the project were Robert Tibbetts, William Dunne, Victoria Fraser and David Warren.

Tuesday, September 18

Thursday, September 20

10:19 p.m. ROBBERY-GREENWAY WALK-Two black male suspects attempted to rob student off campus at Greenway and University Dr. Suspects ran when they spotted a University City Officer on routine patrol. Suspects were later apprehended. Disposition: Cleared by arrest.

8:54 a.m. AUTO ACCIDENTFOREST PARK PARKWAY-Accident between a vehicle and a university forklift. Incident occurred in University City’s venue. Disposition: Cleared.

secured with a cable lock device that had been cut. The projector was valued at around $1800. Disposition: Pending

BY JOSH HANTZ NEWS EDITOR A team of Washington University researchers has found a gene in bacteria taken from Midwestern patients that lets bacteria resist the affects of a certain type of antibiotics. It was recently thought that the gene only existed in bacteria from the East coast after a supposed outbreak in a hospital several years ago. “What was seen is that there was clonality—the bacteria were highly similar,” said Clinical Fellow Jonas Marschall, who specializes in infectious diseases. “By transmission several other patients got infected. It’s difficult to determine when it started.” The gene allows bacteria to fight off betalactans–antibiotics similar to penicillins–and carbapenems, a newer last-resort treatment for gram-negative infections like E. coli. A group of researchers in North Carolina first detected the


Wednesday, September 19 9:12 p.m. BURGLARY-CONSTRUCTION SITE-Report of suspicious subject seen taking items from construction area. Officer observed subject walking from inside the construction site with two five-gallon buckets in his hands. These buckets were found to contain approximately sixty pounds of copper fittings. Disposition: Cleared by arrest.

10:06 a.m. INVESTIGATION ONLY-UNIVERSITY CENTER COMPLEX-Subject arrested previously reported being on campus on Tuesday night 9/18. Subject was issued a Trespassing summons. Investigation into additional thefts. Disposition: Pending Friday, September 21 9:06 a.m. BURGLARY-EARTH & PLANETARY SCIENCE-Earth and Planetary Sciences reported a projector stolen between 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19 and 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 20. The projector was sitting on a table and was

11:16 a.m. LARCENY-UNIVERSITY CENTER COMPLEXCopper wiring stolen from construction site on 09-17-07. Disposition: Pending 12 p.m. FOUND PROPERTYPOLICE DEPARTMENT-Wallet found and turned in to the police department. Owner, who didn’t realize the wallet was missing, responded to the department. Possible credit card missing from the wallet. Disposition: Pending verification 1:51 p.m. FRAUD-WOMENS BUILDING-Reportee found that someone had charged 1.00 to ITunes on 9-17-07, using the Corporate credit card issued to the Student Union. Disposition: Pending

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Senior Forum Editor / Nathan Everly /




Our daily Forum editors: Monday: Christian Sherden

To ensure that we have time to fully evaluate your submissions, guest columns should be e-mailed to the next issue’s editor or forwarded to by no later than 5 p.m. two days before publication. Late pieces will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We welcome your submissions and thank you for your consideration.


Assessing the Jena Six controversy O

n Sept. 20, thousands of demonstrators descended upon the small town of Jena, La. to protest inequalities in the criminal justice system. Among those in attendance were Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. At issue during the protest was a sequence of events which occurred in Jena over the previous year. In particular, demonstrators have been upset over sentencing disparities in a pair of racially charged incidents: Three white students at Jena High School received light punishments after hanging nooses on a tree on the high school campus; six black students at Jena High School received relatively harsh punishments after assaulting a white student. Unfortunately, the events surrounding the Jena Six spectacle have led to much confusion over what actually happened. We have done our best to provide an informative, though not exhaustive, summary of the events leading up to the current state of affairs. Much of it is based on the reporting of the Jena Times newspaper, which has done much to extract the truth from such a complex and heated situation. On Aug. 30, 2006, a routine assembly was called at Jena High School to discuss new school policies as well as to answer any student questions. During the question-and-answer part of the assembly, one black student jokingly asked whether black students were allowed

to sit under a tree located at the center of the school campus. The assistant principal reportedly responded, “Don’t even go there. You know you can sit anywhere you want.” The next day, school officials discovered that two hangman’s nooses were hanging from the tree located at the center of campus. After further investigation, it was discovered that three white students were responsible for the incident. The principal of Jena High School ordered the students to be removed from school and recommended to the school board that they be expelled. At a school hearing to determine whether the students should be expelled, the expulsion committee determined the incident was a prank and that there were no racial motives behind the students’ actions. The three white students’ sentences were subsequently reduced to spending a month in an alternative school followed by a two week in-school suspension. An external criminal investigation, which began several days after the students’ sentences were reduced, found that the incident did not fall under federal hate crime legislation. A separate investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office reached a similar conclusion. Nonetheless, many black citizens of Jena, La. felt that the students’ punishments were excessively light. On Sept. 5, 2006, several black parents organized a rally at the L&A Missionary

Baptist Church to discuss how to respond to the noose incident. Local media covered this event, and subsequent news reports described the incident as racially-motivated. The next day, two separate fights between white and black students broke out at Jena High School. Shortly after that, the high school shut down in response to a report that a student had brought a gun to school, but no weapons were ever found. Over the following two months, no major disruptions occurred at Jena High School. However, during the night of Nov. 30, 2006, multiple fires were started at the high school. The resulting blaze completely destroyed one building. Over the next few days, several fights between white and black residents of Jena broke out, prompting law enforcement officials to acknowledge for the first time that “racial tensions” existed. On Dec. 4, 2006, a group of black students at Jena High School jumped a white student during a lunch period and beat him unconscious. The white student was treated for his injuries at the emergency room and released later that day. Six black students were arrested on charges of second-degree battery. However, the district attorney responsible for trying the case decided to strengthen the charges to include conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. Since this attack,

Wednesday: Jill Strominger Friday: Tess Croner

there have been no further racial incidents at Jena High School. On June 26, 2007, Mychal Bell, the first of the “Jena Six” involved in the Dec. 4 attack to go on trial, was convicted of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery. All jury members at the trial were white, yet it should be noted that no black citizens answered their jury summons, even though several were called. A judge later threw out the conspiracy to commit aggravated seconddegree battery conviction after a series of motions by Bell’s attorneys. As it stands now, Mychal Bell’s case is currently going through the appeals process. The charges against several of the other Jena Six members have also been reduced. Yet this is all far from over, and it remains to be seen what will happen to the Jena Six. It is also unclear what will happen to the state of race relations in Jena, La. Regardless, we encourage everyone to pay attention to what happens in the coming months. We would also like to see more of a campuswide discussion over the implications stemming from the Jena Six incident. This is an issue in which the African and African-American Studies department could play an extremely beneficial role. Regardless, whether we like it or not, Jena has become a battleground for the future of race relations in the United States.


Jena Six incident proves public opinion still matters


hate crimes are committed veryone has a difevery day. Yet, like political ferent opinion opposition to other longabout the students term atrocities, the diswho have now been cussion about racism has labeled the “Jena Six,” but faded from public debate. I at least everyone has some don’t know whether we, as a opinion. At least something has really gotten Americans country, have become bored of talking about to speak their discrimination and minds about how decided that because the country is bethe problem is diffiing run. cult to tackle it isn’t By now, pretty worth discussing at much everyone all, or if we someknows some verhow wanted it to go sion of the comaway so badly that plicated story. Six we pretended it did. black students Jill Strominger Whether or not beat up their we believe the “Jena white classmate Six” deserve the and were charged consequences they now with attempted murder. face, we can be grateful Many people believe these that Americans still care charges are excessive and about something enough that they aren’t compato protest and make their rable to charges against the opinions known. white students. People in After decades of fightJena have now told reporting for change in the U.S., it ers that they believe there have been many times when sometimes seems that it’s impossible to fix anything. blacks and whites have It seems that in general, had unequal charges made the public is apathetic and against them. Jena is not resigned to a less than unique in this way. ideal existence. Hate crimes It’s 2007, over 50 years occur literally every day since Brown v. Board of in our country without Education, and racism is no causing scandals or even longer politically correct. crossing the consciousness But, just because racism of the public. It’s grown to isn’t PC anymore doesn’t be “the way things are.” mean it’s not a fact of evThe interest in the Jena eryday life. Six is refreshing. Though In 1990, the governeveryone has her own opinment enacted the “Hate ion on whether or not it is Crime Statistics Act,” which a race issue, at least people required the FBI to accuare debating it, and though mulate statistics on crimes opinions are mixed on what across the country that justice would actually look “manifest prejudice based like in this case, people are on race, religion, sexual demanding that justice be orientation or ethnicity.” served. Their voices are beData released by the FBI ing heard. on the year 2004 showed If the Jena Six incident that there were 7,489 hate crimes nationally. Of these is able to prove anything to crimes 51.3% were motieveryone unanimously, it vated by a racial bias. Other should be that the Ameribiases that led to crimes can people still have a voice included biases against and a role to play in this depeople’s religion, sexual mocracy. We can still make orientation, ethnicity or a difference in this country disability. if we speak our opinions. The statistics on hate We should do it more often. crimes show that even though the United States Jill is a junior in Arts & is a country that pretends Sciences and a Forum editor. racism is a phenomenon of She can be reached via ethe past, the reality is that mail at


StudLife violates Greek rush rules Dear Editor: I would just like to say that Josh Hantz’s piece that appeared in the most recent Student Life, “Pi Beta Phi dealing with sanctions,” was completely inappropriate. Not only does it violate Greek Life’s terms of rush, it is also the most blatantly disrespectful piece I have ever seen printed in this newspaper. Issues such as these are internal and should be left to the organization to handle. I happen to be a member of the Missouri Beta chapter of Pi Beta Phi, and I am personally offended

at the publishing of this piece. This article’s value is purely for drama’s sake and by no means can it be written off as an attempt to shed light on a serious issue or help a struggling organization. I plan to further contact the person responsible for this article. I am truly disappointed with Student Life, as I have felt in the past that it was a sound and respectable Wash. U. institution. - Hannah Rosenfeld Class of 2010

See LETTERS, page 5




Student Life welcomes letters to the editor and op-ed submissions from readers.

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Senior Forum Editor / Nathan Everly /




Confessions of a former pre-med BY MACKENZIE LEONARD OP-ED SUBMISSION


s October draws near and you rejoice over the return to Schnucks of the “good” apple cider, and the fact that fall break is a mere three weeks away, you’ll probably also fi nd yourself approaching that dreaded time of year where the exams begin to appear and the papers seem to spontaneously multiply. Maybe you’re one of the 80 percent of Wash. U. freshmen who entered the University as a pre-med, embracing the stereotypes and challenges that come with the term. Maybe, as a sophomore taking Organic Chemistry, you’ve become intimately familiar with the rules for assigning chirality to a molecule and have discovered that pre-med is not as inherently fascinating as you once thought. Maybe you’re just dreading the 6 p.m. procession to main campus for the fi rst Gen.

Chem. or Orgo exam and the way that people will discuss the difficult questions in the Mallinckrodt wrap line for three days after the test. I’ve been there, and I’d like to offer a little perspective from the other side of the fence. As a freshman, I was in every way the classic Wash. U. pre-med: I dedicated my weekends to prepping for chemistry, calculus or bio exams, logged more hours in Olin than I care to recount and clamored to know the mean and standard deviation after every one of my exams in order to gauge my performance. But sophomore year, I strayed a bit from the natural science path and enrolled in the Introduction to Psychology course, mainly because I wanted a fun, interesting class that was vastly different from the others I was taking. For me, psychology was love at fi rst sight. For the fi rst time in my life, I actually looked forward to doing my readings

each night and always managed to stay ahead on them. I clung to every word in lecture, mesmerized by the fact that people had committed their lives to something as captivating as the study of why people act and think the way that they do. I was so interested in the material that I found myself injecting ideas I’d learned in psychology into conversations with friends over CPK or coffee at Kayak’s. After two more Introduction to Psychology lectures, I knew that I’d found my passion, something that could bring me joy and give me a reason to wake up and go to work twenty years from now. The tough part was allowing myself to make that change. I’d dreamed of being a doctor since I was a little girl—despite having no understanding of what the pre-med curriculum entailed or the necessity of a passion for science in becoming a physician—because I’d wanted to commit my life to helping people. All

of my advisors, professors and friends had always known me as a pre-med, and, though none of us like to admit it, there’s an identity that comes with the term in which we take a certain pride. Though

“My challenge to those of you who aren’t certain that you’ve found your academic home is this: take a risk. ” my parents had always told me I needed to do whatever would bring me joy, I initially couldn’t fathom the idea of admitting to them that I’d altered my path. In the summer following sophomore year, after a semester of mono, 18 credit hours of natural science courses and more stress than I knew what to do with, I realized that I could no longer deny where my

heart was and feign a passion for science that I didn’t possess. I became a psychology major and spent the summer taking Developmental Psychology and Health Psychology, and it was, by far, the greatest summer of my life. I felt, for the fi rst time in my college career, that I’d discovered where I wanted to go with my life and had given myself permission to go there with all my heart. Friends and family have commented on how much happier I’ve seemed since changing my path, and I know it’s because I feel the inner peace that comes with knowing I’m working towards a career in something that I love and something that will allow me to contribute to society in a tangible way. My challenge to those of you who aren’t certain that you’ve found your academic home is this: take a risk. Sign up for a course that looks interesting, even if it doesn’t fit neatly into the major that

you’re considering. If you love it, take another course in the same area. College is about discovering who you are and watching that person change and develop over four years; part of fi nding yourself is discovering that thing that will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step for the rest of your life. Don’t be afraid to change your mind, your major or your plans for the future. I came in knowing that my passion was helping people, and I’ll leave knowing that there are more ways of doing so than I ever thought possible. As a wise advisor of mine once stated, college is about fi nding your home and that home has permutations. I wish all of you the best of luck in fi nding your passion and in summoning the courage to go after it with your whole heart. Mackenzie is a junior in Arts & Sciences. She can be reached via e-mail at

Let’s get cooking


Good god. ashington UniverBut with kitchens at hand, sity dorms on the people would be inspired to South 40 ought to healthily substitute the inconvehave more kitchens. nience of the Den’s five to nine I’m telling you right now. o’clock rush by making their You might not use the kitchen own food. Cooking for you do have and yourself, even simple you might not things like pasta or a even know how vegetable stir-fry, has a to, but darn it, lot of benefits. you would if there First, you know were some more what you’re getting. kitchens around. Though Bear’s Den has Between Hitzemost of its nutrition man, Hurd and facts listed on the Web Myers dormitoDennis Sweeney site, most people aren’t ries there is one going to go check it out kitchen. That on the Internet before means two-thirds they order that quesadilla and of residents have to leave their its 337 calories from fat. Secdorms if they even want to ond, you get it when you want throw some spaghetti and it, on your own terms. You don’t sauce on the stove for dinner. have to wait in a line and you For Rutledge, Dauten and Shancan make things that taste a deling, it’s the same deal. In the lot better than Bear’s Den stuff. old freshman dorms, Umrath, Rubelmann, Lee and Beaumont, there is only one kitchen for each entire dorm. The new dorms have taken a step in the right direction—most of them have a kitchen for each floor. But these kitchens are by no means extensive. If we consider how much cooking currently goes on, it might seem that kitchens would be a huge waste of money. Not the case. Cooking doesn’t go on because kitchens are in obscure little corners, far away from peoples’ rooms—not because people wouldn’t do it if they were given a legitimate chance. I know Wash. U. students care about health. Why else would my suitemate Mitch notice that the dessert tray is the only one that never has to get refilled at free food funcAnd third of all, by cooking for tions? Why else would students yourself, you sell out just a little actually refuse free donuts bit less to the man. You become under the underpass on their that much more of a legitimate way to class? But often people adult and you get the pride of end up going into shock at the making your own meal instead enormous lines in Bear’s Den of relying on an outside source and end up getting a half-andto do it for you. half or something equally fast The idea of having more and terrible for you and thereby kitchens includes a challenge negating all efforts toward a for the students and for the healthy lifestyle. A half-andUniversity. Wash. U. has to be half—half chicken fingers and willing to let a little revenue fall half fries—has 89 percent of out of the Bon Appétit business your daily saturated fat in it.

“Though Bear’s Den has most of its nutrition facts listed on the Web site, most people aren’t going to go check it out on the Internet before they order that quesadilla and its 337 calories from fat. ”


for the good of the students—in large part by not forcing freshmen to get meal plans, the smallest of which cannot be used entirely by some. And for the students, it means they have to consider cooking for themselves a viable option and

(oh god!) do it. More kitchen availability on the 40 would provide a perfect alternative to Bear’s Den and Center Court and it would help students become more selfconfident and independent. It might be quite hard to change



his past Monday was officially declared “Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children.” The holiday, a collaboration effort between Schnucks Markets and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), is an effort to encourage family meals in the hopes of keeping kids off the street and out of trouble. When I fi rst saw the advertisement, I must admit that I smirked a little. Why do we need to use family dinners as a marketing and social development tool? I then had a sharp awakening: communal meals are no longer the norm (floor dinners don’t count), and this fact represents a recent and significant change in American society. It is also a trend that we, as an upcoming generation of parents and families (hello, reality check), have the power to reverse.

When it comes to solving the problem of youth substance abuse, family dinners are certainly not the only tool required. However, the term “family values” is a concept that I think has unnecessarily and unfortunately taken on a pejorative connotation. “Family values” are typically interpreted as ambiguous moral guidelines championed in politics by the religious and conservative members of society. Redefi ned, however, family values have the potential to be one of the few issues over which all parties can unite. I would argue that a strong family unit is one of the most important sociological groupings in a developed society. Families that spend time together foster community and positive relationships. Children who are accountable to their parents are less likely to be secretly involved in gangs, drug and alcohol abuse and bullying. Attention and care foster positive relationships that ex-

tend beyond the family unit to impact society as a whole, by setting an example and building character. I realize that every family may be different; they all have different components and do not by any means consist of the nuclear family or even of direct family members. Family can be defi ned in a number of ways. And I am not proposing that Congress instill a family dining law. Families can certainly be close without eating dinner together on a regular basis. I am simply drawing attention to our current culture’s failure to acknowledge the family as a legitimate means of developing communities. Being a historian, I must, of course, examine the issue from a past perspective. A large portion of 20th century media (especially that directed at women) revolves around the family. Yet, again, we run across stigmatized images of women in heels preparing a perfect dinner for their spouse

and children. In today’s world, family dinners can be easily prepared by the whole family, or by the nearest take-out restaurant. Another family event is television. Modern-day primetime dramas are certainly no match for “Leave it to Beaver,” but even major “family” channels such as Disney and ABC Family have refurbished their programming to target the teeny-bopper market. Removing the stigma from family values would be a major step both politically and culturally. However, a new society can bring new defi nitions to years of negative perceptions. I do not expect that many of us will be able to fly home for family dinner on Monday, but make up for it tonight by sitting down and grabbing a meal with your roommates. Who knows? It never hurts to form habits early. Tricia is a junior in Arts & Sciences. She can be reached via e-mail at

the dorms that already exist, I realize. So, we should focus on the dorms of the future: freshman dorms should have at least one well-built, functional kitchen on each floor, and the suites for sophomores and juniors should each have a

kitchen in them. I’ll inaugurate them. We can have ravioli. Dennis is a senior in Arts & Sciences and a Forum editor. He can be reached via e-mail at

LETTERS v FROM PAGE 4 Petraeus cartoon not funny Dear Editor: I am writing in response to the political cartoon that was printed in your Sept. 12th edition. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, it portrayed General Petraeus as a grim reaper. My understanding of political cartoons is that they are supposed to be thought-provoking, mildly funny and at least partially true—this one was none of the above. Instead, it was a cheap, unoriginal attack that seemed to be making the point that General Petraeus enjoys killing people, and that this is the goal of the surge strategy in Iraq. It is one thing to disagree with the General’s strategy or the war in general; it is quite another to vehemently attack the character of one of America’s most decorated and

respected military men. General Petraeus has dedicated his life to defending your right to print such inane material, and for that he deserves your respect. I also want to make it clear that I do not question your right to print the cartoon; what I do question is your discretion as a newspaper. I am aware that the cartoon is intended to be a joke, but let me reiterate: it’s not funny. And quite frankly, it’s pathetic. Is that really the best you could come up with? At least’s ad in the New York Times had a clever rhyme. Next time you decide to print a cartoon attacking someone else in the Bush administration, at least give it some effort. I’d really appreciate having something more substantive to criticize. -Charis Fischer Class of 2007 Vice President of College Republicans


Senior Cadenza Editor / Brian Stitt /




n. a technically brilliant, sometimes improvised solo passage toward the close of a concerto, an exceptionally brilliant part of an artistic work

arts & entertainment

Awesome shows you need to watch and the crap you should give up



s the next TV season approaches, you’re most likely getting excited for the return of some of your favorite shows and anticipating the slew of new, over-hyped programs, half of which will most likely get cancelled within the first month. I’m about to propose to you an idea that might just turn your TV viewing habits upside down: There are amazing shows in their second or third season that you’ve probably never even considered watching. Need time to fit in some new shows? Well, there are a few you should drop, because let’s face it, some of TV’s biggest franchises are getting stale. You die-hard fans may not want to hear it, but I think it’s time you let go because when these shows really start to suck, it’ll hurt even more. Here we have put together some material on what’s awesome and what’s crap.

What to watch for the week: MONDAY 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. 9 p.m.

How I Met Your Mother (CBS) The Big Bang Theory (CBS) Heroes (NBC) Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) and Dexter (Showtime) on the internet

TUESDAY 7 p.m. 8 p.m. 9 p.m.

Beauty and the Geek (CW) Reaper (CW) Damages (FX)

WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. 8 p.m. 9 p.m.

Pushing Daisies (ABC) Gossip Girl (CW) Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)



How I Met Your Mother

30 Rock

One Little-Sitcom-That-Could is CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother,” which airs Monday nights at 7 p.m. The show follows protagonist Ted Mosby, played by relative newcomer Josh Radnor, as he tells his two children the story of how he met their mother. Essentially, the whole series is a flashback, accompanied with occasional narrations from the one and only Bob Saget, who plays the voice of future Ted. Like any good sitcom, Ted spends his time in New York City engaging in zany hijinks with his best friends, newly married couple Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan), ex-girlfriend Robin Scherbatsky and best friend Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). The cast is an interesting and talented mix but Neil Patrick Harris steals the show. Personally, I can’t say how glad I am that Doogie Howser MD has found another vehicle for himself in a chauvinistic, self-absorbed character that doesn’t mind beating a bunch of elementary school children at laser tag. The way the writers play with chronology is refreshing and the dialogue is littered with popular culture references. The dispensable characters run as thick as they did on Seinfeld.

The creation of the genius Tina Fey recently won an Emmy for Best Comedy Series. Tina Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for a sketch comedy show (which is, of course, a total stretch) who needs to deal with an overbearing and pretentious boss, Alec Baldwin, and the unbelievably unstable star of the fictional show Tracy Jordan, played by the unbelievably unstable alcohol-detecting-anklet-wearing Tracy Morgan. As any fan of “Mean Girls” or Weekend Update would expect, her writing is sharp and often topical, and the stories venture far outside of her studio. Even the most offensive concepts are made hysterical, such as Tracy Jordan’s fear that the “Black Crusaders” are out to get him. As he eloquently explains, “The Black Crusaders are a secret group of powerful Black Americans. Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey are the chief majors, but Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and Gordon from Sesame Street, they’re members, too, and they meet four times a year in the skull of the Statue of Liberty. You can read about that on the Interweb.” With a great combination of witty one-liners, outrageous plots and the driest of dead-pans from Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” is Tina Fey at her best, and there’s nothing better you could be watching at 7:30 on Thursday.

Awesome: Pushing Daisies There’s been a lot of good buzz about this show. If early reviews are to be trusted, this could be a major hit. Ned is a man with a special gift: he can bring the dead back to life by touching them. However, if he touches them a second time, they die again and cannot be revived ever again. Ned exploits his talent by working in a morgue and solving crimes for reward money. What better way to solve a murder than to just ask the victim, right? But what happens when he revives an ex-flame whom he can never touch again is what will have us setting our DVR. We haven’t seen anything like this before, and it seems to have the potential to be hysterically funny and very intriguing for weeks to come. “Pushing Daisies” premieres on ABC, Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.

Awesome: Reaper Imagine this scenario…You’re 20 years old and your parents have never expected anything from you. They are incredibly tough on your little brother but you always get to slide by. On your 21st birthday, a man shows up to tell you that your parents sold your soul to the devil before you were born and that’s why they’ve never pushed you to succeed. Seriously. Well, this is the premise for “Reaper.” Sam must use supernatural tools like a dustbuster to go capture souls escaped from hell. Sounds a bit out there, but the pilot was written and directed by the king of the slackers, Kevin Smith, so maybe this one will score some “Dogma”-like laughs. Check it out early because the premise may polarize the public until the CW cans it.

Awesome: Gossip Girl

THURSDAY 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9 p.m.

My Name is Earl (NBC) 30 Rock (NBC) The Office (NBC) Scrubs (NBC) Big Shots (ABC)


Don’t watch TV


Don’t watch TV

SUNDAY 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m.

Online Nation (CW) The Simpsons (Fox) King of the Hill (Fox) America’s Next Top Model encore (CW)

The CW promises that “Gossip Girl” will be the next big hit of the season. But don’t CW shows often fail? Do you remember “The Mountain” or “The Bedford Diaries?” No? I’m not surprised; neither made it through an entire season. What these two particular failed attempts have in common is actor Penn Badgley, probably the biggest name actor in the “Gossip Girl.” This new show does come with a built in audience because of the success of the “Gossip Girl” novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, the twelfth of which releases on Oct. 2. While true fans of the books may be disappointed by a few of the casting decisions and many of the changes made to storylines, the teenage girl inside us all will watch fervently the friction between Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen. While the show may be trashy to the tilt and overstuffed with drama, every girl likes living the lives of this trendy Upper-East Siders vicariously. “The O.C.” was huge in its fi rst season as an original property, so we’ll probably be seeing this show for at least the rest of the season.

Crap: Cavemen What executive went in to a meeting and pitched this show? It’s hardly even believable that a network would pick it up. I don’t think I’ve ever been less excited about a TV show than I am about “Cavemen.” The Geico cavemen are cute for 15 to 30 seconds, if at all, but no one can stomach 22 minutes of these guys, can they? At least the actors are wearing all that make-up because otherwise none of them would ever work again after being involved in this mess. I doubt ABC will even make it through the 13 episodes they have ordered before scrapping the series. If you’re still interested, “Cavemen” airs Tuesdays on ABC at 7 p.m, starting Oct. 2. Make sure you watch the show on Oct. 2 though, because there’s no guarantee it will make it to a second week.

Crap: Grey’s Anatomy That’s right, all of you pre-med students, “sensitive” guys and girls that are going to get up in arms over this, but “Grey’s Anatomy” is flat-lining. It’s a simple fact that for every reason you can give me why “Grey’s Anatomy” is a good show I can give you two that explain why it blows. Keep in mind; this is all coming from a former fan. Seasons 1 and 2 were amazing, and season 3 even had its moments, but the web of relationships and engagements strangled the show. The show used to have interesting medical cases mixed together with the personal drama, but now it’s just a bunch of sad doctors in a hospital. The hospital isn’t even necessary anymore to support the story. Not to mention, with a main character as annoying as Meredith Grey, this season will be a bad one. Katherine Heigl’s portrayal of Izzie is one of the only things left on the show worth watching, but it’s not worth being subjected to the awful surprises the show has to offer. Like none of us saw it coming that Dr. Yang and Dr. Burke weren’t going to get married, and honestly, even mentioning Dr. Grey’s near death experience comes with an automatically implied “WTF?!” Honestly, the show has covered so much ground so quickly it has nowhere else to go. My advice? Hunker down with a big bar of chocolate to deal with the withdrawal, and instead of watching “Grey’s Anatomy” watch “Love Actually,” “Sleepless in Seattle” or “Princess Diaries,” because those are actually of decent quality, and you won’t end up depressed at the end. If you don’t want to listen to me, that’s fi ne, keep on watching. Just know that two seasons from now when Dr. Yang gives birth to an alien baby, I’ll be waiting here with my “I Told You So” dance—and it’s a doozy.

Crap: Moonlight Mick St. John may be a private investigator, but he’s got a bit of an advantage over your average PI. He’s immortal and can suck peoples’ blood. Yes, this is a vampire show and yes it’s about good vampires versus evil vampires. Sorry, “Underworld” fans, no werewolves. This premise is reminiscent of “Angel”: a vampire as a detective solving supernatural crimes. While “Angel” dealt with all kinds of supernatural woes, it seems that Mick is stuck solving a wave of murders plaguing Los Angeles. I don’t see this show lasting very long without something major shaking up, and seeing as how the name has already been changed twice I’m figuring all the shaking’s been done. First episode airs Friday, Sept. 28 on CBS at 8 p.m.

Crap: Scrubs Looking to save an extra half hour on Thursday? Then stop watching “Scrubs.” The show jumped the shark long ago and has been dragging along like a bloody stump ever since. But you may say, “Why would I stop watching now; it’s the last season?” We’ll remedy these thoughts with a little exercise. Think back to one of your other favorite sitcoms, such as “Friends” or “Seinfeld.” Now think of your favorite episodes. Odds are, those favorite episodes didn’t occur in the last season. There will be three memorable episodes this season, the premiere, the sweeps week “special” episode, and the fi nale; you can skip every other one. The quirkiness of the Ally McBeal-esque fantasies has worn off and even my favorite character, Dr. Cox, just can’t rip into JD like he used to. The show has committed several crimes that are known to kill series, including pregnancy, babies and marriage. And frankly the most interesting character, the Janitor, is the one we know the least about. Can anyone say spin-off? Let’s just hope it’s more successful than “Joey” and when watching TV on Thrusday, I think TLC would agree with me when I say, “No Scrubs.”

Senior Cadenza Editor / Brian Stitt /




Halo 3 runs circles around the competition BY CRAIG OSTRIN CADENZA REPORTER


Halo 3 fans eagerly await the midnight release of the game at Game Crazy in the Loop.


BY CHRISTINA WILSON CADENZA REPORTER Upon first hearing “In Our Bedroom After the War,” I was halted by the intense wave of melodic keyboard and mesmerizing synths. This is the Stars’ fourth studio album, and though it is not as emotionally captivating as their 2005 album, Set Yourself on Fire, these more mellow tunes still conjure a rare depth of genuine feeling. Stars is sometimes considered a spin-off of the group Broken Social Scene, because three of the five current Stars are also a part of BSS. The similarities cannot be ignored, especially in the use of bass which is a key sound for both bands. “In Our Bedroom After the War” highlights many of Star’s familiar signatures, particularly the harmonization of lead singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell. “Midnight Coward” best showcases their duet skills and is reminiscent of the incredible song “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” from 2005. The blending of the two voices is done effortlessly and without bias although Millan’s airy voice shines in songs like “My Favorite Book” and “Window Bird.”

“Take Me to the Riot” catches the year instantly. It is upbeat, catchy and fun. It’s a quintessential pop song with hit potential. Heavy instrumentals, including bass, drums and keyboard, create a fast pace, giving the vocals an extra dimension. Underneath the glossy surface, a sense of melancholy can be heard, which is woven into lyrics concerning an intricate relationship. Campbell and Millan envelop the melody in confused passion when singing, “Come closer, you’ll see me/ The face that is used to telling lies /…/ You despise me and I love you/ It’s not much, but its just enough to keep.” Songs like “Bitches in Tokyo” have an offbeat awareness, which has kept the Stars out of the mainstream. Eloquent lyrics enable Millan’s

Highs and lows ‘In the Valley of Elah’

soft voice to evoke longing when she sings, “But you still crumble at my name/…/ Well I can take it/ Because I want you back.” The use of a staccato beat in the verses followed by an intense guitar during the chorus heightens the pain of the narrative. The album focuses on the bedroom much more than war, but when dealing with Stars, I’d take that emphasis any day. “In Our Bedroom After the War” does not experiment as much as their previous record, but the slow-down permits an easy flow of the predominate motifs of hope, longing, confusion, dramatic lyrics and lively, compelling instrumentation. This Montreal band’s bittersweet, truthful take on love makes it more than an attraction; once hooked, it becomes a fascination. Stars In Our Bedroom After the War Rating: ★★★★✩ Tracks to download: “Take Me to the Riot,” “Midnight Coward,” “Bitches in Tokyo” For fans of: New Order, The Smiths, Broken Social Scene

A Man’s Place WITH

Freshman Evan Carey said he wasn’t even much of a Halo fan until he tried the beta. Now, he’s excited to play Halo 3, and even decided to buy it at midnight on Sep. 25. Freshman Taylor Crane was disappointed by the event at Game Crazy. “In New York, there were thousands of people camping out for Halo 2,” he said. “It was much more casual for Halo 3.” On the plus side, Crane noted, he was able to purchase his game more easily and get home faster. With Halo 3, Bungie promises that gamers will “finish the fight” in a new single-player campaign that will end the Halo saga. In addition to building on Halo 2, Bungie has added several unique features in Halo 3, such as online, cooperative play for up to four players, the ability to save and watch films of previous gameplay sessions and the “Forge” multiplayer map editor. When asked, Crane said he was most excited for Halo 3’s new online capabilities, especially the ability to completely change maps, and then play and share them with friends. If you want a taste of Halo 3, be sure to check out the Microsoft-hosted Halo 3 launch party at Lopata Hall tonight, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.


Stars: ‘In Our Bedroom After the War’


Most college students probably don’t need an introduction to Halo and its superhuman star, the Master Chief. The first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, revolutionized first-person shooters on the Xbox. Its sequel, Halo 2, thrust gamers onto an online battlefield, making it quick and easy to play with friends, no matter where they are. The series, which is developed by Bungie Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, has achieved enormous popularity and immense commercial success. Halo 2’s $125 million opening shattered records. It even eclipsed the biggest Hollywood opening at the time, “Spider-Man,” which took in a “mere” $114 million on its first day. Bungie and Microsoft are expecting to top Halo 2’s sales with the third and final episode in the Halo saga, which launched in the early hours of yesterday morning. They probably won’t be disappointed, as Halo 3 surpassed 1 million preorders in early August, already setting records before it had even been released. Most major retailers in North America hosted a Halo

3 midnight launch event. One such event took place at Game Crazy on the Loop. The store had taken 600 pre-orders and was expecting around 130-150 people to show up at or after midnight. If you’re among the few who hadn’t heard of Halo before, there’s a good chance you’ve been unwittingly exposed to the series in the past few months. It’s been hard to avoid Microsoft’s marketing onslaught. While gaming fans have probably been anticipating Halo 3 since they first played through Halo 2, the mainstream ad campaign only began in early December 2006, when the 60-second “Starry Night” commercial aired during “Monday Night Football” on ESPN. From there, the marketing for Halo 3 has only gotten bigger and bigger. By now, it’s not uncommon to see Master Chief’s helmeted face plastered on anything from Mountain Dew to NASCAR racecars. Earlier this year, Bungie hosted a public beta test, where hundreds of thousands of fans got the chance to play an early and limited version of Halo 3’s online multiplayer. While Bungie certainly got useful results from the public beta, it also served as an excellent marketing device for the game.




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Tommy Lee Jones, left, as Hank Deerfield and Victor Wolf as Pvt. Ortiez star in Warner Independent Pictures’ drama, “In the Valley of Elah.” BY CECILIA RAZAK MOVIE EDITOR “In the Valley of Elah,” if watched only for its surface plot, is an overlong crime procedural. And, if it weren’t for the rolling, undulating sorrow beneath Tommy Lee Jones’ eyes and in even the most dingy, through-dirtyglass frame, I’d tell you to stay home and watch three episodes of CSI. As it is, “Elah,” its title invoking the field in which David faced Goliath, is a fairly heavyhanded rumination on the effects of war on its most involved participants. Jones, with his deeply lined face, impenetrable gaze and permanently furrowed brow, is Hank Deerfield, the father of young soldier Mike, who has recently returned from Iraq, but disappears from his army base. Deerfield, a former MP, makes the two-day drive to investigate, and it’s not long before Mike’s body is found, slightly the worse for wear. Hank and Detective

Emily Sanders (a brunetted and dulled Charlize Theron) join together to track down whoever stabbed, dismembered and set fire to his errant son. As the film progresses, we learn more and more about the waywardness that had taken hold not just of Mike Deerfield, but of all the people who have seen war. This is director Paul Haggis’ follow up to “Crash,” and the clouded racism that slips from Hank’s mouth is more potent and roiling than any of the overzealous bigotry of that film. Haggis’ camera work is steady and reserved, and there’s a sense of dread and determination about the whole thing: sitting in the gray, washed-out landscapes of suburbia and waiting in parking lot after parking lot. The glass we peer through gets dingier and the outside world gets further over exposed; the sheets in Hank’s motel room, brought from home with corners initially precisely mitered, begin sliding slowly off the edge of

the bed until he is sleeping on a half-exposed mattress. But throughout, Jones’ gruff, immobile exterior remains immutable, determined to withstand the dread that encroaches on him. Guilt and regret pools, it seems, underneath his baggy, puffy eyes. His son was unreachable, he grows to realize, even before his death, and so too are all the others touched by this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. A soldier tells Hank, near the end of the movie, that he hated it in Iraq, but that the moment he was home, all he wanted was to go back. So many men in this film’s world, and in the real one, have looked desperately around, ready, it seems, to make the same statement. It’s the “All Quiet on the Western Front” of the war in Iraq, but instead of reaching for a butterfly, the soldiers reach for knives and bottles of Jim Beam. They can’t cope, Haggis is saying, and this is not just their problem.

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SPORTS Gary Palmerson: Whiteboard Warrior your card matches your shirt’ in reference to a red card handed to Paco Labrador, Head Coach of Wittenberg University. That is when trouble appeared in the form of the referee and coaches, as some guidelines do exist governing the conduct of fans. In general, using specific names in a negative light or launching specific attacks are against the general guidelines. Curse words are also prohibited. Then there are ardent fans of the opposing teams who might start yelling at Palmerson. At 6 feet 5 inches, Palmerson is not easily intimidated. “I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing so long as the refs don’t yell at me,” said Palmerson. There are other difficulties with being a volleyball fan. One of the problems with a fastpaced sport like volleyball is that by the time an appropriate thought is written down or a cheer is started, the moment could be over. In basketball, there are twenty-four seconds for the ball to travel across the court, whereas in volleyball, it is one-two-three and then the ball is over the net. At times, balls hurtle towards the stands closely followed by a diving player. Palmerson has never had a girl land on him or been hit by a ball, but whenever a ball does come close, he automatically pulls the board away to prevent a collision. Of course, there are benefits from watching an entertaining game. Palmerson has gotten a few free shirts and some free food but it is more about the actual game. “The girls definitely appreciate anybody who comes to their games,” said Palmerson. “They still thank me after three years.” Gary continued to relate a story about bumping into senior Haleigh Spencer in his freshman

BY JOHANN QUA HIANSEN SPORTS REPORTER Teams do not know what hits them whenever the Bears’ volleyball offensive and defensive machine goes into action. With rapid-fire kills, dazzling digs and swift sets, the Bears storm the court. This shock and awe is not just delivered by the players, but also by loyal fans like junior Gary Palmerson. A marketing major with a minor in Spanish, Palmerson, of Trenton, N.J., is a familiar sight at the front row of any home game with his whiteboard and marker. “It’s difficult for the players and coaches to keep a straight face when his creative juices are flowing,” said Head Coach Rich Luenemann. It all started on a regular Friday night. Gary had never attended a volleyball game before, as his high school did not have a team, but he heard that the Bears, with their storied eight national championships, were a great team. On a whim, he decided to check out the Field House. After watching the Bears play the game they love while having fun, Palmerson was hooked. He went back to another game and continued hanging out with two baseball players who were using their whiteboard to cheer on the Red and Green. “When I saw them do that, I really wanted to do that too,” said Palmerson. Those players graduated last year, so Palmerson took up the board this year. That whiteboard has carried many interesting messages and designs throughout the season. One of the regular messages is an ace of spades when a Bear gets an ace. In recent games, he’s proposed to senior Haleigh Spencer, wrote down ‘Don’t Hassle the Hoff’ in reference to freshman libero Ali Hoffman and ‘Paco


Junior Gary Palmerson holds his whiteboard, a sight that has become common at Bears’ home games.

year at The Cheesecake Factory, where she introduced him to his parents and was thankful for his support. Palmerson is currently dating Ali Crouch, a junior on the team. But he was supporting the team long before the relation-

ship began, and they have been friends since freshman year. “He doesn’t come to the games for me entirely, though I think he’d be on the sidelines even if I weren’t there,” said Crouch. “Mainly he is there to amuse our team and fans.”

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The team and fans do react, with the Bears breaking into smiles and sometimes laughter. “He really pumps us up,” said sophomore Laura Brazeal. Parents have come up to Palmerson afterwards to share their appreciation. Some of the youngest fans of the Wash. U. team like to sit right by him and watch as he works his magic. When he is not at volleyball games, Palmerson is an active member of Theta Xi fraternity. Here at Wash. U. he does not play any sport, but he ran track and field and played baseball throughout high school. He plans to attend the national championships at Illinois Wesleyan University if the Bears qualify. “It’s been fun, fulfilling and

gracious for the chance to support the team,” said Palmerson. One of his most memorable moments as a fan was when he dug a Haleigh Spencer spike during a pickup game. “It kind of hurt, but my happiness was way too big to feel the hurt,” he said. “When Gary graduates, I hope the white board stays and becomes a Bears volleyball tradition,” said Luenemann. “We’ll take a million fans like him any day.” The Bears’ next home game is on Oct. 26 at the Bears Classic, though they will be playing at the University of MissouriSt. Louis on Oct. 17. Whenever you go to a game, just look for a whiteboard, and you will see Gary Palmerson, super fan.




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Student Life | September 26, 2007