The Daily Cardinal Ed Board calls for increased UW Athletic Board power OPINION
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Athletic Board should vote on all coach hires, report says By Ryan Hebel The Daily Cardinal
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District 5 County Board seat winner Analiese Eicher celebrates at the Red Gym after receiving the results of her election Tuesday night, when she defeated former Madison Area Technical College student Michael Johnson by a count of 161-100.
Eicher wins Dane County Board of Supervisors student district By Grace Urban The Daily Cardinal
UW-Madison student Analiese Eicher won the District 5 Dane County Board of Supervisors seat over opponent Michael Johnson Tuesday with 161 votes to his 100. District 5 is comprised predominantly of students, and Eicher said her main goal on the board would be ensuring adequate communication between her and her constituents. “My first priority is to reopen [communication] and I guess just make sure students know they have a representative on the county board and that that
person is approachable and available,” she said. Eicher, a member of College Democrats of Wisconsin, said she also hopes to focus on issues important to students, such as the environment. Johnson, who is a member of Madison’s Affirmative Action Commission and a former student at Madison Area Technical College, focused his campaign on housing issues in the county with the intention of restarting Dane County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. He said he plans to stay involved in local politics and hopes to help in the Madison
City Council elections next year. “I’ve definitely made a lot of friends since I’ve gotten here,” he said. “I’ll definitely still be involved.” “My first priority is to reopen [communication] and... make sure students know they have a representative on the county board.” Analiese Eicher county board member District 5
The election had a low turnout, something Johnson expect-
ed. However, both young candidates felt their campaigns had gone well. “A couple dozen people on Facebook changed their profile picture to my campaign logo, and I was very happy to see people so energetic,” Johnson said. Eicher said she tried to focus her campaign not just on students, but also the community. “I’ve been working really hard and I’ve gotten a wonderful, very positive response,” she said. “I’m really committed to this and I want to do the best job possible for all UW students as their representative on the county board.”
Brothers Bar and Grill drops lawsuit against UW Board of Regents, accepts $2.1 million buyout By Grace Urban The Daily Cardinal
The owners of Brothers Bar and Grill have agreed to drop their lawsuit against the UW Board of Regents, ending a lengthy legal battle just one day before their scheduled trial. According to UW System spokesperson David Giroux, property owners Marc and Eric Fortney have agreed to accept the university’s offer of $2.1 million to purchase the property. “We went into this process saying we wanted to acquire the property at a fair price, a price that was good for the property owners and one that protected
taxpayers and students,” Giroux said. “We’ve always argued $2.1 million is a fair price.”
“We’ve always argued $2.1 million is a fair price.”
David Giroux spokesperson UW System
The Fortneys sued the UW Board of Regents after the UW System voted to use its power of eminent domain to displace
Brothers in an effort to make way for a new School of Music building. The Fortney’s lawsuit had argued the Regents did not have the right to condemn Brothers until it demonstrated the condemnation was in “public interest.” The lawsuit also called on the university to secure more funding for the new music school and offer them more money to relocate. A state lawmaker had recently introduced a bill after hearing about the lawsuit to limit the UW System’s eminent domain authority by suggesting it be subject to the review of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. However, Giroux said the UW
System had been more than reasonable with its offer, which the Fortneys had tentatively accepted before. “We’ll live up to our obligations; we’ll pay the property owners what we offered them and we’ll abide by the law and we will pay them a reasonable amount for relocation,” Giroux said. “That is what we are required to do under the law, and we will do it.” The university must pay within the next 30 days. The Fortneys could not be reached for comment. However, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, they plan to focus their efforts on finding a new location for their business, which they plan to build near campus.
The UW-Madison Athletic Board should be voting on all coach hiring decisions, according to a new report commissioned by the Faculty Senate. The report, written by seven UW faculty members, concluded that the Board was “largely in compliance” with Faculty Policies & Procedures and “actively involved in the governance of the Athletic Department.” However, the report recommended the Athletic Board make three changes, including clarifying its hiring oversight policies. “[Hiring] was typically being done by a subcommittee and then reported to the Board, but not always voted on by the whole Board,” Murray Clayton, chair of the ad hoc committee that created the report, said. “We thought that was a place where the full Board has to be engaged.” The suggested language would give the Board explicit approval power. Clayton said an internal review by the Athletic Board regarding its oversight role sparked a call for the Faculty Senate to perform an outside examination last spring. According to UW History professor Jeremi Suri, who served on the Athletic Board from 2005’08, much of the debate focused on the internal review’s assertion that the Board was merely consulted by the chancellor “as a courtesy” on hiring decisions. According to Faculty Policies & Procedures, however, one of the Board’s functions is “participating actively in the search-and-screen process for head coaches and senior administrators … and approving the employment contracts of such persons.” UW Political Science Professor Donald Downs, said the recommendations made important improvements to last spring’s internal review. “Without the university there would be no athletic program,” Downs said. “We just wanted to maintain the potential of the Athletic Board and faculty of having ultimate oversight.” According to former Athletic Board Chair Dave McDonald, the new report’s recommendations are appropriate precautions, not responses to insufficient Athletic Board oversight. “Since this [hiring] procedure first began in 1934, I can’t think of any time that a Board has actively moved to contradict a hiring recommendation by the department,” McDonald said. athletic board page 3
“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
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tHURSDAY: rainy hi 55º / lo 33º
ieting is really hard when your favorite thing in life is food. Ask Oprah... or Kirstie Alley. I doubt two people have ridden the Fight Fat roller coaster harder or more frequently than those two. After millions of dollars worth of endorsements, supplements, personal trainers and gym equipment, they still haven’t figured out any secrets to longlasting weight loss. But I have. Two words: Wisdom teeth. I promise, it’s that simple. No exercise, no diet (well, technically it is a diet of sorts, but it’s not really hard to get used to because of the excruciating pain). I’ve put off getting my wisdom teeth yanked for the last three years because a) I’m not a masochist; b) dry sockets sound like automotive parts, not something I want going on in my mouth; c) oral surgery isn’t cheap and I couldn’t find any dentist who would trade me surgery for good karma.
Unfortunately, this spring break was my last as a not-real adult, so I was left with no choice. I’ll be honest. The idea of getting four massive teeth ripped out of my mouth wasn’t thrilling, and I was more than freaked about the whole thing. I’ve never had so much as a cavity, so I had absolutely no idea what range of dental pain I was about to be in, and I didn’t really want to find out. But my doctor was really nice and promised to give me some meds afterwards that would make the whole thing worthwhile. That, however, did not stop me from crying the entire time and demanding three extra shots of local anesthesia. And while it seemed like an appropriate comment at the time, I also probably shouldn’t have told the dental hygienist that she was the spawn of Satan as she packed my swollen face full of gauze. After the surgery, just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, I was blindsided by the most beautiful gift I’ve ever been given. Somewhere in the mess of instructions regarding antibiotics and proper care for the new holes in my mouth, my oral surgeon said the words “weight” and “loss” in
the same sentence. I couldn’t actually ask him to repeat what he had said— due to the mountains of gauze and crippling pain—but he must have seen my eyes light up like a kid at Christmas because he repeated very carefully: “Some patients lose up to five pounds in the two weeks during their recovery due to modified, mostly liquid diets.” Then he started mumbling nonsense about it being normal and gaining it all back, but I couldn’t have cared less. All I knew at that moment was for at least two weeks I wasn’t going to be able to fill my face with food 24/7—a condition I have that prevents me from ever successfully completing any diet lasting more than two or three hours. By the time this column prints I’ll be a full week into my recovery, but as of now, I’m on day five and I’ve lost three pounds. Things look promising. Sure, I can’t eat anything more substantial than Jello without grimacing in pain, but isn’t pain beauty? Or something like that...? I’m not an unrealistic person. I know that this is just a temporary fix for a problem that can only solved by eliminating beer and cheese from the face of the Earth, but I’m obviously
going to embrace this little godsend while I can. Over the next two weeks I’m going to conduct all of my bathing suit and summer clothes shopping. By doing so, I can not only assure that my roommate will be seethingly jealous, I also won’t have to try to conceal my sobs from the fitting room. Additionally, I’m going to renew my drivers license and not feel guilty about not adjusting the weight to reflect the weight I’ve gained since my junior year of high school. I figure, if it’s within a 20 pound range, it’s not really a lie, and on my wisdom teeth diet, it won’t be that big of a stretch. Sort of... Depending on how svelte I become post-wisdom teeth removal, I might just try out for “America’s Next Top Model” or sign up for “Girls Gone Wild,” whichever one is more popular with skinny, classy girls these days. Make sure you keep a close eye out though, without all my wisdom weight, it’s getting hard to recognize me. If you want to be the person to crush Jillian’s dreams and remind her that losing five pounds won’t produce any life changing results, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best in fake news delivered in briefs for your reading pleasure Record Turnout Helps Elect Todd Stringer UW Student Body President 11 Votes To 8 Todd Stringer defeated Sarah London 11 votes to 8 in what is being touted as the closest Student Body President vote in UWMadison history. The election was already being called one of the most fiercely competitive in school history, as London and Stringer traded insults over the weekend in a desperate attempt to sway undecided voters. London often referred to Stringer as a “lazy, pizza-faced loser” during her various campaign speeches this week, Stringer’s camp fired back, calling London “a manipulative whore who clearly can’t bake,” no doubt a dig at the fact that London baked cookies for six of the
eventual 19 voters who participated in the election. Stringer’s camp believes this was a blatant attempt at bribery, while London claims the cookies were made early Saturday morning for “friends” who were coming over that night to re-watch the six “Star Wars” installments in one sitting. Despite the hateful campaign rhetoric, election organizers think there is much to be happy about, including the impressive voter turnout. “There are nearly 29,000 undergraduate students eligible to vote for a candidate they feel most represents their beliefs and values, so to get 19 people to come out and vote, well, its pretty incredible,” said 31-year-old election organizer Debby Bryant. This year marked the highest
voter turnout in UW-Madison election history, easily beating last year’s record, when a whopping 14 voters went to the polls. While being interviewed for this article, Todd Stringer told me that he did not take anything that London said about him during the campaign seriously. “I don’t take [Sarah] calling me a loser personally, and I would like to think she doesn’t take the fact that I was calling her ‘an STD-ridden slut who fucks anything with more than one leg’ personally either. In the end, we both say what we say because we are just so passionate about our policies, graduate school resumes and most importantly, this university. The rhetoric, it’s all just politics baby, it’s the game were in,” Stringer said. After the votes were tallied,
London gave a concession speech where she applauded the campaign of Stringer, while also taking time to thank her supporters. “First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who came out to vote for me: Julie, Monica, Sarah K., Steven, Sarah M., Lee, Terrence and especially Fred. And to Mr. Stringer I say congratulations, I hope the victory can fill that void in your heart and help you forget that your dirty campaign tactics have ensured you have absolutely no friends.” When Stringer was asked how he would be celebrating his victory Saturday night, he said he would keep it “low key.” After repeatedly being asked to elaborate, Stringer stated that he would be celebrating by watching “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” by himself. —Phil Vesselinovitch
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Gov. Doyle’s approval rating drops to 34 percent, an all-time low By Steven Rosenbaum The Daily Cardinal
Gov. Jim Doyle’s approval rating is at an all-time low according to a new poll released Tuesday. The survey, conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert’s College, showed 34 percent of Wisconsin residents approve of Doyle’s job performance. The number is down 11 percentage points from 2009 and is the lowest rating of his tenure in office. The survey also found that 50 percent of Wisconsin residents disapprove of Doyle. Doyle is in his second term as governor and will not run for reelection in the upcoming gubernatorial race. UW-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin said declining approval for lame-duck officials is typical. “With him out of the race, Doyle is not pumping out positive news stories about himself as he would be if he were running for re-election. The news coverage on the governor’s race is being driven by the three main candidates and none of [them] … have any particular reason to speak up for Doyle,” Franklin said. The survey also reported a 32 percent approval rating for the Democrat-controlled state Legislature. Additionally, GOP gubernatorial candidates Mark Neumann and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker have comfortable leads on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate. Barrett campaign spokesper-
son Phil Walzak said the campaign is not concerned with the current figures. “With election day seven months away, it’s hard to say what any poll can tell us about what will happen on Nov. 2, but we do know that Tom Barrett has the record and the message that’s going to resonate with voters and that’s going to carry him to victory,” Walzak said.
athletic board from page 1 However, Suri said Board members had little input in hiring decisions while he was a member, particularly in the 2005 decision to hire football coach Bret Bielema. Suri said such decisions contributed to his decision to resign. Suri added that while he applauded the new report’s recommendations, he disliked its provision that the Athletic Department could announce its chosen coaching hires publicly before Board approval, even though the Board would still
Chancellor Martin selects Go Big Read book By Alex DiTullio
“With him out of the race, Doyle is not pumping out positive news stories about himself as if he were running for re-election.” Charles Franklin political science professor UW Madison
According to Franklin, recent state budget policies have harmed the image of state Democrats. “There simply hasn’t been much positive, happy things coming out of the Capitol for a couple of years at least now, and I think that Democratic control necessarily has damaged their image in the state,” Franklin said. Franklin also said the national political atmosphere has harmed state Democrats. “The history of midterm elections is that whichever party is in the White House tends to suffer in the midterm election … and at the moment, we are seeing probably the low point for Democrats in the country right now,” Franklin said.
Wisconsin pays out record $1.86 billion in returns to taxpayers for 2009 Wisconsin paid out $1.86 billion, a record high paid for tax refunds, to tax filers during the 2009 taxing period. According to analysis from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, tax refunds have grown every year since 2001 despite fluctuations in Wisconsin’s economy. Todd Berry, WISTAX president, said the report is a “good news-bad news situation.” “For taxpayers who like the forced savings and windfall that refunds represent, these findings might be good news,” he said in
Lorenzo zemella/cardinal file photo
Students gathered at the Kohl Center to hear this year’s Go Big Read Book author Michael Pollan speak in 2009. Next year’s book contains relevant themes on campus such as research ethics.
a statement. “For those who view them as problematic, refund totals approaching $2 billion represent a substantial short-term, interestfree loan from taxpayers to state government.” The report shows over 80 percent of the returns averaged around $750. According to the report, the increase in refunds is a result of changes in individual employment, a 1999 law that established income tax indexing, and the “relative health of state finances over the past 15 years.” maintain its vote. “That puts enormous pressure on members of the board. It creates a fait accompli, which I think is inappropriate,” Suri said. “We need to make sure we’re hiring people who are appropriate representatives of the institution.” Clayton said that provision in the report was only meant to protect the Board’s vote in the case of press leaks and other rare circumstances. The Faculty Senate will discuss the report at its April 12 meeting. Athletic Board chair Walter Dickey declined to comment before the meeting.
The Daily Cardinal
UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin selected “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot Tuesday to be the featured book for next year’s Go Big Read program. Martin said Skloot’s book is a good choice for the program because of the intellectual and personal issues it addresses. The book describes the scientific studies conducted on Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman who died from cervical cancer in 1951. Cancerous tissue was taken as a sample without her knowledge or consent before her death. The book addresses many important issues including medical ethics, poverty, racism and
scientific progress. The book is about the scientific impact Lacks’ cells had on medical advancements, which included vaccines for polio, treatments for leukemia, other drug developments and increased knowledge about cancer. Lacks’ family had no knowledge and was given no monetary compensation until 20 years after her death. Sarah McDaniel, coordinator for the Library and Information Literacy Instruction Program, said the book will spark discussions about relevant issues. “We hope it will generate a lot of interesting discussions about research and ethics on campus,” McDaniel said. McDaniel said the book’s national popularity and campus
relevance will appeal to campus members. “It relates to the cell research strengths on campus along with ethics and some touchy issues that people can relate to.” Sarah McDaniel coordinator Library and Information Literacy Instruction Program
“A lot of people are excited about this book. It has been featured on CBS and the author has been featured on NPR,” McDaniel said. “It relates to the cell research strengths on campus along with ethics and some touchy issues that people can relate to.”
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
view Cardinal View editorials represent The Daily Cardinal’s organizational opinion. Each editorial is crafted independent of news coverage.
athletic board must maintain oversight An ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate stated in a recently released report that the university’s Athletic Board is largely in compliance with Faculty Policies and Procedures regarding its role in oversight of the Athletic Department. What’s disappointing is the report does not go far enough in addressing the underlying problems that have been evident on the Board in regards to real control over the most important decisions the department deals with. The report states that the Board has been successful in its tasks of overseeing and implementing academic standards for student athletes. The Board’s efforts on diversity and nondiscrimination also deserve notice for showing the Board is involved in issues that directly affect student athletes, according to the report. However, the report accurately points out that the Board has been lackluster in regards to major decisions such as the hiring of head coaches and senior department administrators. The full Board rarely voted on decisions regarding such hires and is essentially bypassed by the Athletic Department with little forewarning, notably in the hiring of now head football coach Bret Bielema in 2005. In that instance former Athletic Board Chair Bruce Jones was only made aware of the decision by the Athletic Department after the fact. The report recommends the Board adopt a policy of making such hiring decisions voted on by the full committee before being passed to the Chancellor. The report makes clear that such decisions are under the purview of the Board and not solely up to the Athletic Department, despite supposed claims made by some Board members for speed and discretion
in such decisions. However, the report illogically states that the Athletic Department can make public announcements of hires before the full Board votes, presenting members with the difﬁcult position of potentially voting against a candidate that had already received an endorsement from the department. Such a situation illustrates the key problem with the Board: some members feel it is only advisory to the department and that the Athletic Director should have discretion to make such decisions with or without Board approval. This undercuts the report’s conclusion that the Board is not a “rubber stamp,” a valid criticism voiced by former Board member Jeremi Suri, who resigned in 2008 after stating the Board was being bypassed by the department. We acknowledge that the Athletic Department, exclusively funded by private donations and other outside revenue sources, deserves more independence than other entities on campus. But the only way it is able to function is because it is tied to the university and the over 800 student athletes that participate in sports. Although the report recommends increased communication between the department and the Board, the real issue is whether university athletics acknowledges the Board’s authority in key decisions. We strongly call on the Athletic Board to adopt the recommendations regarding hiring decisions and to reject the milquetoast suggestion such decisions can be announced to the press before a vote takes place. Anything less than rigorous, objective oversight of the Athletic Department jeopardizes not only the board’s legitimacy, but its essential role of protecting the welfare of student athletes.
Students can still make a charitable difference MARK BENNETT opinion columnist
e live in a time where it seems like every day is surrounded by constant crisis. There is war and famine across the globe, world-wide epidemics and populations that do not even have access to clean water. There are earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Turkey, as well as tsunamis in the paciﬁc, and even volcanic eruptions in Iceland. In our own country, the Northeast is grappling with ﬂoods not seen in comparative proportions for 100 years, our economy, like so many others around the world, continues to sit in a recession and more businesses close every day, forcing our national unemployment rate near 10 percent.
Although we oftentimes feel in need of charity ourselves, we can still help to quell the crises of our campus, our city and our world.
As many individuals and families struggle to provide their own basic necessities, social programs are running out of support and money. As university students already up to our necks in rising tuition and living costs, most of us have little disposable incomes. With many looking towards a future laden with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, we have no capacity for charity in the form of money. However, that does not leave us helpless. Although we oftentimes feel in need of charity ourselves, we can still help to quell the crises of our campus, our city, and our world. One of the easiest ways to make
a direct and immediate impact on another’s life is through donating blood. The need for blood is constant, whether for patients at the UW Hospital or those clinging to life in natural disaster torn countries such as Haiti. The American Red Cross estimates nearly 40 percent of the entire United States population is eligible to give blood but only about eight percent do so. The opportunity to donate blood is an opportunity to become an instant hero. Just a pint of blood, one donation, can save up to three lives. If donating is not an option for you, or if you are apprehensive to the idea, there are always blood drives across campus in constant need of volunteers. In addition to these drives, there are also permanent donation centers run by the American Red Cross in and around campus. The Youngblood Campus Donation Center, located on West Gilman Street in the Wisconsin Lutheran Student Center is open every Thursday and Friday, while the Red Cross also operates a donation center on Sheboygan Avenue just two miles west of the UW Hospital. Meanwhile, The Morgridge Center for Public Service, located on the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the Red Gym on Langdon Street, serves as another resource for students looking to give their time. Founded in 1996, The Morgridge Center matches students on campus with various community volunteer opportunities.
The opportunity to donate blood is an opportunity to become an instant hero.
Within the Morgridge Center, “Badger Volunteers” works with dozens of local nonproﬁts and matches these organizations with
UW student teams. Additionally, “Schools of Hope” places UW students in classrooms around the city of Madison as tutors for minority, disadvantaged and struggling students. Both of these opportunities are semester long commitments, and free transportation is available for student volunteers. The Morgridge Center also organizes events throughout the year for various one time service events on and off campus.
We discovered that giving even the smallest amount quickly adds up across such a large campus community.
Time and time again, UW students have shown that they are genuinely kind and generous people. An effort across campus to collect monetary donations following the January Haiti earthquake proved that UW students are willing to give to those in need. We discovered that giving even the smallest amount quickly adds up across such a large campus community. But we have other gifts and talents to share as well—whether it be donating blood to the sick, giving our time to struggling students, spending an entire spring break traveling to other cities to help strangers or volunteering with various student groups, fraternities and sororities. Every day is a new story of another world disaster, or more troubling statistics. But with each new day comes an opportunity to make a difference. And while we too have our daily struggles, it is all too easy to find ways to give back. Mark Bennett is a freshman intending to major in journalism. We welcome all feedback. Please send responses to email@example.com.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Textbook committee essential to reducing textbook costs In the Daily Cardinal article, “Textbook Committee Superfluous,” the editorial board argued that the creation of a shared governance committee that would focus on textbook cost would ultimately not greatly benefit students. Let’s start with a little background: The price of a new book rose from $36.48 in 2002 to $57.15 in 2010. That is an increase of about 63.8 percent in eight years alone. From a survey conducted by the Academic Affairs committee last semester over half of the students on this campus pay more than $600 per year on textbooks and over 95 percent think book costs are too high. On top of all this, how many times at the beginning of each semester do you hear, or even say, “I can’t believe I had to pay
so much on textbooks!” We have chosen to create a sustained shared governance committee that focuses on textbook costs because we realize that textbook costs will continue to rise. These skyrocketing textbook costs and the introduction of new forms of textbooks, such as electronic books, also signal that the market is becoming more complex. As the textbook market changes and as book prices rise, the University of Wisconsin campus community needs to be able to respond to these changes in a timely and effective manner. This committee would accomplish that. We tried to tackle this issue, one problem at a time, but found that without support from faculty and academic staff this was a
lofty project. Also, we wanted to create a long-term campus solution to these problems. In other words, since the market is changing so rapidly, the efforts we make to target a specific issue might be irrelevant in a few years. Also, this committee ensures that even if Academic Affairs, or other major student groups on campus, decide not to target textbook costs, there would be students on campus who were. We realized that this is not just a student issue when our survey revealed that nearly half of all students on campus have refrained from buying a book at one time or another because it was too expensive. If I were a professor and half of my students couldn’t afford the book for the class I think that would seriously affect how I could teach.
We recognize the concern that this committee would not favor student interests because of student representation equal to that of both faculty and academic staff. But that is really just a critique of the entire shared governance system. There are literally dozens of shared governance committees on campus that provide student input to almost any issue regarding campus life that you can think of. These concerns posed by the editorial board also assumes that there is some group on campus who favors increasing textbook costs or who favors positions that would hurt students. While this view might be true of publishers, there is no real antagonist on campus. Faculty, academic staff and students are all concerned with
the quality of higher education. At the end of the day, if you can’t afford a book for a class, your education is harmed. And, if your professor or instructor can’t teach you because of the books they assigned, then they are not providing the highest quality of education possible. So while professor, instructor and student interests might not perfectly align, we all have the same goals in mind for this university: to provide the best possible higher education for as many students as possible and this committee is the best way to synchronize this common interest. —Jonah Zinn Chair Academic Affairs Committee-ASM
arts Judging merit of egocentrism in ‘Greenberg’ dailycardinal.com/arts
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Schmuck-fueled ﬁlm scores, shows reality DAN SULLIVAN sullivan’s travels
I PHOTO COURTESY FOCUS FEATURES
Although discomfort and dislikable characters that are difﬁcult to relate to rule ‘Greenberg,’ the compelling performance by lead Ben Stiller is tough to dispute.
Selﬁshness stays dissatisfying By Mark Riechers THE DAILY CARDINAL
The main characters of “Greenberg” seem to be desperately repeating the same brief moment of their lives that they’re afraid to let go of—those glorious post-college years when you have your whole life ahead of you. But instead of getting a nosebleed or disappearing Marty McFly-style as they keep traveling backwards to relive and try to ﬁx the past, they just seem hollow and empty. The ﬁlm begins as we meet the Greenberg family, frantically preparing for an important business trip and vacation in Vietnam as their assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig, “Baghead”) attempts to get them on their way. She doesn’t have to watch the dog because Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), brother to her employer, will be staying at the house to recuperate from his recent release from a mental institution. Once the family has left, Roger (who goes simply by Greenberg) strikes up a casual romantic relationship with the young assistant out of what seems like loneliness, and the pair gravitate around each other, unwilling to realize how much they need each other. Florence is in her mid-twenties and hooks up with guys casually, unenthusiastic about getting too serious with anyone. Gerwig brings an aloofness to her character that dances between endearing and obnoxious, but like all the characters in “Greenberg,” it doesn’t seem like the audience is meant to completely love or even trust her. Some of her scenes are so emotional, yet she seems so distant from what’s going on that the juxtaposition can make us miss momentarily that we’re supposed to feel sad for her, or angry. The end performance is so natural
and yet whiny, so authentic and yet pretentious it strikes a singularity point that fuses the best and worst of mumblecore performances into a single character. Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”) gets a shoutout as Florence’s best friend, the only person who seems willing to tell her that getting involved with a jerk like Greenberg is a bad idea. Her quips about him being a crazy old man are priceless, and remind us that despite Greenberg’s attitude, he is in fact a middle-aged man. If Gerwig makes a simple character complex in the performance, Ben Stiller crystallizes a complex character into a simple essence—he is an irredeemable asshole. He refuses to acknowledge that his life got off the rails in his twenties (when he botched up a major recording contract for his band), and perpetuates in a state of suspended animation where he’s still a cool, carefree 20-something, not a fading middle-aged man-child. He instead insists that he is “doing nothing” on purpose, and acts bewildered that anyone would do anything differently. He lashes out at friends and family who remind him in any way that his life has passed him by—kids, new marriages, concerns of adulthood—and he buries himself in a prickly coating of bitterness and self-centered antics that keep him isolated from the truth of what people around him think. The delivery on their romance is small, and too many will likely ﬁnd the characters unsatisfying—Greenberg is a ﬂat character in denial that he wants or needs anyone— but the ﬁlm is decently acted, and Noah Baumbach succeeds in creating a cast of miserable, unlikeable people.
t didn’t take long for 2010 to yield its ﬁrst great ﬁlm: “Greenberg,” the sixth feature by writer/director Noah Baumbach, is an awesome achievement on many levels. The movie isn’t a must-see due to its prickly tenderness or its stealthy hilariousness; rather, it would work in even without those commendable qualities. “Greenberg” marks a signiﬁcant step in Baumbach’s development as an artist and in the history of a cinematic tradition whose central ﬁgure is the absolute schmuck. If viewers ﬁnd Ben Stiller’s Roger Greenberg to be an insufferable jerk, it’s because the character manages to tiptoe over the line of civility ever so slightly, just enough to make himself maddening, pathetic and thoroughly relatable. Greenberg-types have always been crucial ﬁxtures in Baumbach’s oeuvre. Let there be no doubt that “oeuvre” is truly the best word to use when discussing his ﬁlmography: Now 40 years old, Baumbach has created four ﬁlms—“Kicking and Screaming” (1995), “The Squid and the Whale” (2005), “Margot at the Wedding” (2007) and now “Greenberg”—that play off of and build upon each other wonderfully. If there is indeed such a thing as an auteur, surely Baumbach is one. He’s the contemporary bard of the overly cultured misanthrope, the walking wounded with a sense of bourgeois entitlement. “It’d be utterly unbearable if it weren’t so honest” could be said of practically all his work to date. His characters resemble Woody Allen’s unemployed aesthetes and New Yorker contributors if they suddenly went off their meds and cut ties with their shrinks. Theirs is a rage so repressed by literary aspirations and Xanax prescriptions that every gesture they make suggests self-absorption and self-loathing. “Greenberg”’s self-consciously trite slogan, “hurt people hurt people,” is barely the tip of the iceberg. Everybody knows or has known folks who’d ﬁt right in with personas like Jeff Daniels’ irredeemable teacher from “Squid” or Jennifer Jason Leigh’s happy-go-lucky fuck-up from “Margot.” Baumbach’s ﬁlms might not be universal in their appeal, but for the crowd to whom they speak, they’re terriﬁc therapy. Nowhere else in American cinema does one ﬁnd such a satisfying combination of acidic
comedy and authentic catharsis. The concluding scene of “Greenberg” could transform even the bitterest cynic into a sentimental softy, if only for a single humanizing instant. “Greenberg” is also Baumbach’s most visually striking effort, which is curious given how the pictorial dimensions of works like “Squid” and “Margot” have commonly been ignored by critics in favor of the stories those ﬁlms tell. But nothing in those ﬁlms comes close to the beauty of the morning-after portrait of Greta Gerwig’s Florence Marr—silently sitting bedside after a random hook-up, naked and struggling to think of something, anything—or the loving close-ups of her face in proﬁle as she negotiates suburban L.A. trafﬁc. Florence wavers between being an open book and a blonde question mark, ﬂip-ﬂopping between psychological accessibility and total withdrawal. The gratingly insecure Greenberg begs to be analyzed by others, but Florence often slides comfortably into the position of the inﬁnitely unreadable Other. Many have singled out Gerwig’s performance as the highlight of “Greenberg,” but her function as a piece in the movie’s many remarkable compositions is as compelling as her contributions to its countless cringe-and-grin-inducing sequences. Far from just being uncomfortable, her sex scenes with Roger are a picture of carnal honesty: to ﬁnd them awkward is to ﬁnd reality awkward as well. Unlike Nicole Kidman’s eponymous bitch in “Margot” or Laura Linney’s wellmeaning mother in “Squid,” Florence seems incapable of thinking of anyhing nasty to say; she manifests a youthful saintliness that’s greatly enhanced by “Greenberg”’s gorgeous images. If anything, these images recall the loving gaze present in the later work of Philippe Garrel. Indeed, Baumbach’s ﬁlms more closely resemble the work of French masters like Garrel, Maurice Pialat (in his unwillingness to ignore the existence of empathetic assholes) and Jean Eustache (whose 1973 scream-intoa-pillow “The Mother and the Whore” is a key point of reference in “Squid”) than of meshugganah maestros like Allen or Larry David. To call this an intriguing cocktail of inﬂuences and afﬁnities would be an understatement. Baumbach’s ﬁlms aren’t designed to reconcile the quirks and contradictions they illustrate, which, as with the aforementioned Wood-man, is perhaps his greatest strength as a ﬁlmmaker. Whether he’s an underground man or an ivory tower intellectual is beside the point: he has consistently hit the mark, and it’s a damn hard mark to hit.
Hardcore fashion: The vikings wore primitive tube socks made from peat moss and sheeps’ bladders. dailycardinal.com/comics
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Dealing With April Showers
By Caitlin Kirihara firstname.lastname@example.org
© Puzzles by Pappocom
By Celia Donnelly email@example.com
The Graph Giraffe Classic
By Yosef Lerner firstname.lastname@example.org
By Patrick Remington email@example.com
Solution, tips and computer program available at www.sudoku.com.
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Today’s Crossword Puzzle
First in Twenty
By Angel Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer key available at www.dailycardinal.com HAPPY PAPPY? ACROSS 1 Beauty, brawn or brains, e.g. 6 Some young Scots 10 Aesop’s laggard 14 Land near water 15 Mine passage 16 Bible book between Joel and Obadiah 17 Miscellany 19 Signals silently 20 They raise a lot of dough 21 Have some dinner 22 Common arthroscopy site 23 Hem and ___ 25 Multi-sided shape 27 “The Dating Game” contestant 32 Light shuteye 33 Drachma successor 34 Castle’s perimeter defense 36 Plot-hatching group 40 Nile reptile, informally 41 Leaﬂike ﬂower part 43 Ustinov’s “Quo Vadis” role 44 Dead, as an engine 46 Dreadful, as consequences 47 Avid 48 Follow a pattern, in a way
50 Source of tomorrow’s lunch, perhaps 52 Like some magazine subscriptions 56 Veteran seafarer 57 Greek restaurant aperitif 58 1999 Frank McCourt memoir 60 Diplomat 65 Of grand proportions 66 Chicken Little’s friend 68 Pull-down item 69 Sign of a ﬂu onset 70 Get away from 71 Dates regularly 72 Letterhead feature, often 73 Lilies with bell-shaped ﬂowers DOWN 1 Like a recently used ﬁreplace 2 Something sold in half sizes 3 Carbonated quencher 4 Work units 5 Acquire bicuspids 6 Philosopher ___ Tzu 7 Performs basic arithmetic 8 Find, as facts 9 Squish or squash, in a way 10 Monkey business 11 In the midst of 12 Roping venue
13 German industrial city in the Ruhr Valley 18 Longest book of the Bible 24 Sought the love of 26 Switzerland’s ___ Leman 27 Call’s companion 28 Mystical emanation 29 Corn, for one 30 Magical phrase 31 Part of REM 35 Fortuneteller’s cards 37 BBC nickname (with “the”) 38 Length times width 39 “___ time no see” 42 What you will 45 Leaves in hot water? 49 “Where” attachment 51 Feels one’s way 52 Romantic recitations 53 Indian money 54 Internet-based periodical 55 World Cup legend Maradona 59 Like a bug in a rug? 61 “Party of Five” actress Campbell 62 It can hold things up 63 Backtracking computer command 64 Soapmaking solutions 67 One way to start a phyte?
Washington and the Bear
By Derek Sandberg email@example.com
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Badgers to host South Dakota State in home opener By Ryan Evans THE DAILY CARDINAL
The Wisconsin softball team (04 Big Ten, 8-20 overall) will play their ﬁrst home games of the season Wednesday in a doubleheader against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (9-22) at Goodman Diamond. The Badgers are coming off a tough weekend playing No. 2 Michigan in which they were shutout 15-0 and 8-0. After failing to score twice, the Badgers will be looking to increase their offensive output Wednesday. “Offensively, it’s [about] being
aggressive,” senior inﬁelder Katie Soderberg said. “I think that we were a little hesitant this weekend, and if we can jump on opponents earlier it will produce better results.” Head coach Chandelle Schulte emphasized the importance of run production, which has let the team down recently. “We need to get our offense back on track. Other than last weekend the offense has been producing well, and we need to be able to get back to that,” Schulte said. After the tough weekend Wisconsin had versus Michigan,
LORENZO ZEMELLA/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO
Katie Soderberg and the Wisconsin softball team will try to bounce back from a tough series in Michigan when they host South Dakota State.
there are certain aspects the Badgers are hoping to improve on and build upon over the rest of the season. Soderberg emphasized the need for better communication. “We have put a lot of focus on communication,” she said. “If we can improve our communication and be more aggressive we should be successful.” Schulte and senior pitcher Letty Olivarez emphasized the importance of basic fundamentals. “We have to take our opportunities to get outs,” Schulte said. “Right now we’re not taking those opportunities. If we can limit teams to what they earn, our success rate is going to go up.” “We’re focused on going out there and playing hard and getting back to the basics,” Olivarez said. “One of the main things has been to focus on ourselves, and what we can contribute personally. Hopefully we’ll each go out there and do our own things and come away with two wins.” With an 8-20 record coming into the games Wednesday, the Badgers will be looking to this series as a momentum builder for the rest of the season, and playing in front of the home fans for the ﬁrst time may be the spark they’re looking for. “I think this series is extremely important,” Olivarez said. “We’re starting at home, and now that we have a long home stand we should hopefully be able to get things back on track.” “Playing in front of the home crowd is always an advantage. When someone comes to our house we know we have
to play well,” said Soderberg. “This series is very important, especially coming off the two losses to Michigan, two pretty big losses, it’s important to sweep and turn our season around.” Schulte said the team should have better luck on their home ﬁeld, especially now that they have had time to recover from some early-
season injuries. “We’re all ﬁnally healthy again and that should certainly help give us momentum moving forward,” Schulte said. “There is something to be said about playing at home. We’re all excited to be back after a long time on the road, and it’s time for us to take back our ﬁeld.”
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Unfamiliar opponents await UW at Frozen Four
By Parker Gabriel and Ben Breiner THE DAILY CARDINAL
Wisconsin entered this year’s NCAA Tournament having played six of the 15 other teams in the hunt for a national title. As the Badgers get ready for the Frozen Four this weekend in Detroit, however, the three teams standing between them an a national championship are unfamiliar to Wisconsin. Here is a look at the other three teams that will face off at Ford Field Thursday. Rochester Institute of Technology Three-fourths of this year’s Frozen Four are college hockey bluebloods. Wisconsin, BC and Miami have history, two of the past four titles and a consistent presence on the postseason stage. And then there’s these guys. Hailing from a tech school with around 6,000 enrolled students, the RIT Tigers have only even been in Division I for five seasons (after making the leap from D-III). Their coaches can’t offer athletic scholarships, their roster is loaded with older, experienced Canadians and a Finn and this is their first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. For ﬁrst timers, however, they have more than held their own. The Tigers upset No. 1 seed Denver
2-1, holding down one of the better offenses in the country. The next night their offense came to life, tagging New Hampshire’s stellar goaltender Brian Foster with three goals in 90 seconds to blow open a 1-1 game. Their gameplan starts with a strong defense centered around senior goaltender Jared DeMichiel. The Connecticut native is fourth in the country with a goals against average under 2.00. The Tigers’ offense is balanced (seven player with double-digit goals, 14 with 10-plus assists) and gets production from its blueliners (111 points from the top four). Playing a team as good as Wisconsin will be a tall order, but, as their last two games have shown, they are up to the challenge. Miami (Ohio) In a single-elimination hockey tournament, goaltending often makes and breaks seasons. While most teams are fortunate to ﬁnd one reliable option between the pipes, the Miami RedHawks have the luxury of choosing between two bona ﬁde starters. One, sophomore Cody Reichard earned ﬁrst-team CCHA honors and a spot among the ten ﬁnalists for the Hobey Baker Award, posted ﬁve shutouts this season and compiled an 18-4-3 record on the season. The other, fellow sophomore Connor Knapp, kept pace, tallying four shutouts of his own en route to a 9-3-4 record. The dynamic play in net has
been a key to the RedHawks staying power at the top of the national rankings this year. Miami won the CCHA by 20 points and outscored its conference opponents 100-39 on the year. The RedHawks have been pushed in the tournament, though, claiming a thrilling double-overtime win against Michigan after sneaking past Alabama-Huntsville by one goal in the opening round. While a trio of 40-point scorers leads the offense, Badger fans will likely be most interested in freshman winger Reilly Smith. The younger brother of Wisconsin’s Brendan Smith has posted eight goals and 20 points while appearing in every game for Miami this season. Boston College Think about it: in the Northeast Regional Final the Eagles scored nine goals, forced Yale to go through all three goaltenders and somehow did not blow out their Ivy League foes. Yeah, it wasn’t easy to get back to the Frozen Four. Head coach Jerry York’s team will be looking to get to the title game for the fourth time in five seasons behind a prolific attack powered by their top unit, known as the production line. That trio of Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons, Joe Whitney also fills the top
DANNY MARCHEWKA/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO
The proliﬁc Wisconsin offense had issues against Vermont’s Rob Madore. They will take on another solid goaltender, RIT’s Jared DeMichiel, Thursday. three scoring spots for the team, with Atkinson tallying 27 goals. From 2006-2008 the Eagles played in every championship tilt, but it took until the third to ﬁnally get that elusive title, prevailing 4-1 against Notre Dame. It was the third title York has claimed and the second he brought back to Chestnut Hill. A key remaining piece of that
title team is junior goaltender John Muse, who has yet to equal his freshman forum. After missing the tournament altogether last year, Muse registered a 2.54 GAA this year while splitting time with freshman Parker Milner. The Eagles’ next test comes in Miami (Ohio), the tournament’s top seed. History, however, is on the side of Boston College, which knocked out the Red Hawks in each of their last three trips to the national tournament.
Expect shakeups to starting ﬁve when Hughes, Bohannon leave SCOTT KELLOGG the cereal box
ow that Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils have cut down the nets, the 2009-’10 NCAA men’s basketball season has ﬁnally come to an end. As a Badger fan already looking ahead to the 2010-’11 campaign, one of my favorite parts of discussing Wisconsin basketball in the off-season is speculating next year’s starting lineup; who will replace the seniors from this season and how players may fare facing the potential of an expanded role. So here’s an early look at the potential starting lineup for UW for next season. Departing seniors Only senior guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon leave Wisconsin after this season, but unfortunately for UW, these were two impact players. Hughes started the year strong, particularly in the non-conference slate. Hughes provided Wisconsin with consistent scoring and solid defense playing the point. As the year progressed, Hughes became more inconsistent, and turned in some disappointing performances in important games. In UW’s only Big Ten Tournament contest Hughes shot 4-for-16 from the
ﬁeld, and didn’t even connect on a ﬁeld goal until there were two minutes remaining in the game. Then in Wisconsin’s second round NCAA Tournament game, Hughes shot an unimpressive 3-for8 from the ﬁeld, and turned the ball over six times. Besides forward Jon Leuer, Hughes may have been the Badgers’ best offensive weapon, but when Wisconsin needed stability from its senior in big-time games, Hughes came up short, concluding his career as a Badger in disconcerting fashion.
While replacing Hughes and Bohannon may not be easy, it sure won’t be impossible.
Bohannon provided Wisconsin with a long-range threat last season for Wisconsin, but could never quite achieve the status of an elite long-distance shooter, which was his reputation entering Wisconsin from high school. Bohannon never reached 40 percent from long range in his four season with Wisconsin, and often missed clutch 3-point attempts. He did, however, improve his ability to get to the basket as he gained experience and was still a dangerous shooter from behind the 3-point line.
I may be nitpicking with these two players. They both gave UW heavy minutes and experience, and were more than capable offensive players. But while replacing Hughes and Bohannon may not be easy, it sure won’t be impossible. Here’s what UW’s starting lineup should look like next season. Guard—Jordan Taylor Taylor will be the most experienced and talented guard in the starting lineup for next season. Taylor was inserted as a starter when Jon Leuer was injured, and head coach Bo Ryan couldn’t take Taylor out once Leuer came back, sticking with a three-guard lineup all year because of how well Taylor was playing. Taylor is a good ballhandler, can get to the basket and can also hit longer-range shots. He struggled with his mid-range jumpshot, but can be effective in that area at times. Taylor somewhat ﬁts the mold of Hughes as a shoot-ﬁrst point guard, but so far in his career Taylor has not looked to the basket as much as Hughes had. To be successful next season, the Badgers need Taylor to provide stability at the point guard position, remain a viable scoring option and also develop a knack for distributing the ball. Guard—Rob Wilson This is the most unproven starter for Wisconsin. With Ryan’s propensity to start upperclassmen
over freshmen, it’s a pretty safe bet Wilson will start next season. Wilson had his moments last season, such as when he came off the bench to score 13 big points in a comeback win against Michigan. But as a whole he was a marginal offensive player for Wisconsin, neither showing the ability to get to the rim nor shoot from long range. The Badgers will need Wilson to show improvement next season. He’ll be a role player, but he’ll need to at least give opposing defenses something to think about when he has the ball. Forward—Tim Jarmusz Last season Jarmusz began the year as a starter, but once Leuer fully returned from injury Ryan went with Taylor to remain in the starting lineup and relegated Jarmusz to the bench. Jarmusz should be back in the lineup next season. Badger fans were never happy with Jarmusz last year. His game is long-distance shooting from a set position, and he only did that marginally well. Jarmusz rarely made plays off the dribble or through the pass, and was also frequently picked by the opposition on defense. Next year Wisconsin needs Jarmusz to solidify his outside shooting and become quicker on defense to be an effective player. Forward—Keaton Nankivil Nankivil’s greatest problem last
season was consistency. He’s shown what he can do at times, like when he scored 25 on 9-of-14 shooting at Purdue last season. But other games he’s disappeared. When Nankivil has a poor performance, it’s not because he’s shooting a low percentage, it’s because he’s not taking enough looks at the basket. Nankivil will be called on for more scoring next season. Standing 6'8" and boasting impressive shooting range, Nankivil needs to be more assertive offensively next year. Forward—Jon Leuer Leuer improved the most of any Badger last season, despite missing extensive time because of an injury. Leuer showed he could carry the team on his back at times, such as against Michigan State at home and early against Cornell. Offensively he shot the ball well from all over the court, and scored consistently from the low- and highpost. Defensively he has the size and strength to guard the opposition’s most proliﬁc low-post threat. Fans should expect Leuer to become the centerpiece of the Wisconsin offense next season, and if he progresses even further as a player, it will be a prosperous year for the senior. Who do you think Wisconsin will start in the 2010-’11 season? Can they ﬁll the void left by Hughes and Bohannon? E-mail Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published on Apr 7, 2010