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SAE president found dead “This week, the university and Greek community lost one of its own, a tragedy that is any chapter’s biggest nightmare.”

MONDAY April 23, 2012 Volume 97, Issue 108 W W W.T H E D A I LYA Z T E C . C O M twitter: thedailyaztec




Corey Polant, IFC Scholarship Chair

Barzanji was found unresponsive in the Phi Kappa Theta house.|DUSTIN MICHELSON, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Elisse Miller staff writer San Diego State tragically lost an important member of its community last Friday. At 8:30 a.m. on April 20, Barzeen Barzanji, president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, passed away. SDSU Police responded to a 911 call from a student who found Barzanji unconscious in a bed in the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity house. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was performed the following day, however the cause of death will not be released until a full

toxicology report is performed. No foul play is suspected at this point. The 20-year-old Santee resident was a junior majoring in criminal justice. “This week, the university and Greek community lost one of its own, a tragedy that is any chapter’s biggest nightmare,” Scholarship Chair for SDSU’s Interfraternity Council Corey Polant said. “This is a time for all Greeks to pay their respects to Barzeen’s family and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, as I cannot imagine how painful this may be to them.” In a statement to the SDSU community, SDSU President Elliot Hirshman offered his condolences by saying, “We are deeply saddened by the news of

the death of one of our students this morning. SDSU Police are investigating the circumstances. Any loss of life in our community is tragic and I encourage each of you to support each other during this difficult time.” As described by SDSU IFC’s Facebook page, Barzanji was “the type of guy who would literally give you the shirt off his back,” “Barzeen was an excellent student, often bringing insightful questions to the table,” and “Barzeen has left a legacy which will not be forgotten.” “We offer our prayers and thoughts for the family and friends of the young man who passed away this morning,” the spokesman for Phi Kappa Theta, Kevin Lampe, said. “Phi Kappa Theta is working closely with SDSU administration and police during the investigation.”

Students have honored Barzanji by posting meaningful sentiments and memories on his Facebook page. A candlelit vigil was organized Friday night for friends to come together as one family and pay their respects. “To be at the candlelit vigil was something I never thought I would have to experience as a college student,” Polant said. “In the wake of this tragedy, to see such unity and support within the Greek community represents what we’re really about. No matter what letters you wear on your jacket, we are one, and a loss to one chapter is a loss to all of us.” Students affected by this loss are encouraged to seek free counseling offered through SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services at 619-5945220. A memorial fund for Barzanji has been set up through Wells Fargo with more information at


The Dalai Lama ended his two-day San Diego visit at SDSU.


Cyclist killed on Montezuma Road Last Wednesday at 3:52 p.m., an SUV driver struck 63-year-old bicyclist Charles Raymond Gilbreth on the 4500 block of Montezuma Road. According to the County of San Diego’s press release, Gilbreth was thrown off his bicycle into the grass. Although Advanced Cardiac Life Support was started when the paramedics arrived after a 911 call was placed, it was too late.


unmoved and unwilling to take action to address this deadly problem,” Ollinger said. San Diego State student Melanie Martinez said the San Diego Police Department could work to improve the safety on Montezuma Road. “Many drivers speed not realizing it is a university area where people are always walking or bicycling,” Martinez said. “It would be helpful to have officers watch the streets during the day.” SDPD is investigating the accident to determine the cause of the collision. For inquiries or information about the case, contact the SDPD.

SPORTS SDSU battled UCSD in the 11th-annual battle for the Harper Cup.

Dalai Lama talks compassion, self VOTE

Kevin Smead assistant news editor His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama concluded his two-day tour of San Diego on Thursday morning at San Diego State’s Viejas Arena. Speaking to a soldout crowd, the Dalai Lama touched on many different topics, focusing mainly on universal compassion in an increasingly changing world.

The event began with a traditional Native American song and dance performed by Soaring Eagles, a local cultural organization. After a brief Spanish guitar performance, the main event began. SDSU President Elliot Hirshman took the stage first to express his gratitude toward His Holiness for visiting San Diego. “Despite the many changes in our modern world, many fundamental questions remain the same … My fer-

“Throughout his teachings, (he) encourages all of us to strive for a better future, with peace and compassion for others.” Jerry Sanders, Mayor of San Diego



staff writer

The reasons why the SUV collided with Gilbreth are unknown and pending investigation. According to Bike San Diego writer Sam Ollinger’s blog, one witness claimed the SUV driver became impatient and used the bike lane to go around the bus in front of him. Gilbreth was a Caucasian male who resided with his wife in San Diego. Ollinger said five years ago, KPBS’ Morning Edition Anchor, Tom Fudge , was struck in the same location. Luckily, he survived. “It strikes me as unbelievably callous that the leaders in the city are


Alejandra Paz



RuPaul doesn’t claim to solve world peace ... by making his queens dress as dogs for his ... “Bitch Ball.” He simply promises big smiles. B A C K PA G E

The Dalai Lama bows before a sold-out crowd of nearly 12,000. | COURTESY OF TIM MANTOANI

vent hope is that we all gain a measure of insight from his remarks,” Hirshman said. Following Hirshman’s opening remarks, Mayor Jerry Sanders presented His Holiness with the key to the

city, noting the importance of the visit. “Throughout his teachings, His Holiness encourages all of us to strive for a better future, with peace and compassion for others. I’m glad with

see Dalai Lama on page 2





AZTEC Monday, April 23, 2012


Dalai Lama: His Holiness spoke on a variety of topics, focusing on compassion. Continued from page 1 this visit to the University of San Diego, University of California, San Diego and now SDSU, His Holiness can see our city’s dedication to knowledge and enlightenment, and improving the world beyond our borders,” Sanders said.

is a kind of civic responsibility,” Jobs said. “The Dalai Lama’s lessons for us are personal, and they’re political … The Dalai Lama is a rare figure in our time; a religious leader who includes, rather than excludes, who wishes to expand freedom, rather than contract it.” Once the Dalai Lama took the

“When I say brothers and sisters, I truly believe we are the same ... mentally, emotionally, physically, we are the same.” His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the late Steve Jobs and prominent philanthropist, briefly discussed the Dalai Lama’s importance as both a religious and political figure. “Attention to our spiritual well-being

stage, he spoke about topics ranging from compassion and respect toward others to the tough challenges that all humanity faces today. In the beginning of the lecture, His Holiness addressed the crowd as

“brothers and sisters,” and clarified by saying, “When I say brothers and sisters, I truly believe we are the same human beings … mentally, emotionally, physically, we are the same.” Keeping with the theme of the San Diego visits, “Compassion Without Borders,” he discussed the idea of attachment. “Compassion without attachment … is infinite. It is unbiased. That is compassion without borders.” Though about 12,000 people attended the event, the arena remained silent during the lecture, save for several outbursts of laughter because of His Holiness’ unexpected sense of humor. During the question and answer session after the lecture, the first question posed was, “I am just one person. How can I make a difference?” His Holiness quickly responded, “I am also just one person.” After the lecture and Q-and-A session, the Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden, the Dalai Lama’s personal peace emissary and coordinator of the three events, was presented with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of all three universities. “Our very purpose in participating in this event was to create a unique dialogue on science, ethics and

With aid from a translator, the Dalai Lama answered several questions. |

peace,” Lama Tenzin said. “San Diego is the perfect place for innovative dialogue on compassion.” Finally, SDSU’s Associate Vice President for Financial Operations Scott Burns discussed the event’s finances. Burns made it clear neither His Holiness nor the universities financially profited from this event in any way. Burns explained how all funds would be reconciled after the event, and all excess funds would be donated to local and international


charitable organizations. In providing exact figures, Burns said the event had totaled $574, 000 in ticket sales, with an expenditure total of $527,000. Those who did not attend or view the live stream will be given another chance to see the event. It will be made available on the SDSU homepage and will air on KPBS-TV at 8 p.m. May 3. The other two events from Wednesday at USD and UCSD will air on UCSD-TV on May 21 at 8 p.m., and May 28 at 8 p.m., respectively.

New ambassaor Aztecs discuss lecture pres named Open forum explores and processes Dalai Lama’s Thursday talk

Newly elected sophomore excited to take leadership role Tara Millspaugh staff writer Samantha Siros, a public administration sophomore, was elected as the 2012-2013 San Diego State ambassador president. Siros is one of the youngest ambassador presidents to be elected. Siros admires many qualities of current president Rachel Bailey’s leadership on campus. According to Siros, one aspect she would like to continue implementing from Bailey’s presidency is the building of relationships between student organizations and ambassadors.

Besides acting as a liaison between the entire campus community and the ambassadors, Siros has many other responsibilities as president. She will receive all event requests and make sure the ambassadors arrive on location, act professionally and provide the services requested. She is also responsible for all 50-60 general members, whose performance reflects Siros’ leadership. One of the largest responsibilities Siros has to handle is the new student orientation that takes place every summer. She will be working closely with the Office of New Student and Parent Programs to facilitate the orientation and ensure it runs smoothly. Siros expressed gratitude toward her current and past ambassador leaders. They have constantly encouraged her to reach her full potential within the organization.

One of the largest responsibilities Siros has to handle is the new student orientation that takes place every summer. She will ... ensure it runs smoothly. “I hope to continue getting to know what other students do for this school, so we, as ambassadors, can better represent the school as a whole,” Siros said. She said the more ambassadors know about organizations on campus, the more opportunities ambassadors can offer to new students interested in attending SDSU.

Siros is excited to take on this position. “At the beginning I know it will be a lot to take in and a lot to learn, but it will be a great learning process,” Siros said. At the end-ofthe-year ambassador banquet, Siros will take the oath as the new president and on May 5 her responsibilities will fully begin.

Like being in the know? Write for The Daily Aztec News section! Cover campus, community and other events. Apply today and be a part of the news! T H E


A Z T E C .C O M

Alejandra Paz staff writer On Thursday after His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke, students, faculty and staff came together for an open discussion at Agape House. Associate professor of philosophy, Dr. Steve Barbone, said he expected there would be much discussion after seeing and hearing the Dalai Lama. He expected to have questions and hoped others at the event would have answers. “He was saying much, much more and I didn’t expect to hear, learn, be open and that would be a good path,” Barbone said. Questions about the event, truth, honesty and humanity were a few of the many points discussed. Campus pastor, Rev. Darin Johnson, responded to the question about paying money to see the Dalai Lama, even

though he has been working toward peace for years. Johnson said anyone can watch videos of the Dalai Lama speaking, but he was not solely paying to see him. “The reason why I paid for four tickets was so I could be in that room with other people who shared this value of compassion,” Rev. Johnson said. “To me, it was an act of faith or trust in humanity.” What does that truth mean and how can all humanity come to an understanding? In regard to what the Dalai Lama discussed, this was one of the questions that guided the forum. San Diego State student Ammar Najjar said the Dalai Lama often used the word “truth” followed by the word “honesty.” He said defining truth as being honest is a good way of living. “Not all of us have control of whether knowing the metaphysical truth, like the idea that corresponds to reality. Sometimes that evades us,” Najjar said. “But we know ourselves and when we are being honest or not being honest.” The open discussion debated reason, thoughts and intellect as well.

“I think he also challenged reason on its own when he talked about how intellect with negative emotions could be used for violence as opposed to intellect with compassion,” Johnson said. Barbone jokingly said he does not think he will be figuring out the square root of pi when he is dying to explain affection. “The thing that you want is affection. You don’t care if you are famous or rich. And affection comes from the verb affect, to change,” Barbone said. “The mother who is comforting her baby is not intellectualizing about it.” SDSU student Andrew Sabat said the Dalai Lama affected everyone forever during the open discussion. “This does have an impact on us for the rest of our lives, whether we’re conscious of it or not. It does change the way that we think and how we interact with people,” Sabat said. Both Philosophy Club and Agape House Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry sponsored the event and the Department of Classics and Humanities supported the event.

D A I LY A Z T E C Monday, April 23, 2012



Shortstop Hayley Miles broke the SDSU single-season record for runs and extra-base hits in 2012. | PETER KLUCH, SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Freshman Steven Pallares celebrates a walk-off win. |

The Aztecs are trailing TCU in the MW standings. |



SDSU’s Justeen Maeva is hitting .308 this season. |





AZTEC Monday, April 23, 2012



Ashley, Thomas set pace Adriana Bush contributor The San Diego State women’s track and field team ran fast, jumped high and threw far this past weekend at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays and Beach Invitational. On Friday and Saturday SDSU competed in both the Mt. SAC Relays, located at the Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. San Antonio College and the Beach Invitational located in Cerritos. “Overall, we had a lot of personal records, a few school records and a couple regional qualifying times and several season bests,” head coach Shelia Burrell said. At the Mt. SAC Relays late Friday night, senior Whitney Ashley threw her

career best in discus with a throw of 183 feet and 1 inch. According to Ashley, this puts her at fifth in the country for discus. “Shot put is my favorite event so I’m always excited to do that, but it just so happens that I’m actually doing better in the discus,” Ashley said. Sophomore Shanieka Thomas hit the second-best triple jump mark in the U.S. on Saturday. “She (Thomas) had an excellent meet,” Burrell said. “This is probably going to place her in the top five in the country.” At the Beach Invitational, freshman Jasmine Burrell threw the discus a distance of 177 feet and 3 inches, which was a personal record. Last Saturday, April 14, the Aztecs competed in the ASU-LSU-SDSU TriMeet in Tempe, Ariz.

At the Tri-Meet, Thomas won the triple jump, Ashley finished second in the discus throw and shot put, junior Josefine Koskinene finished second in the 1,500-meter run, freshman Maya Carter finished second in the 400 meter hurdles and sophomore Holly Waseloff finished third in the pole vault. “We performed OK at the Tri-Meet, it wasn’t great,” Ashley said. “It was another meet to take in and build on and learn from.” Next stop for the Aztecs will be the UCSD Invitational in La Jolla, April 27-28. “We are a small team right now with some real quality athletes,” Burrell said. “I’m impressed with this group of girls because for being such a small team we compete with some real top-level programs that have more people than we do.”


UPCOMING SOFTBALL SCHEDULE April 25 vs. Cal State Fullerton 6 p.m. May 2 at Cal State Fullerton 6 p.m. May 4 vs. Boise State 6 p.m. May 5 vs. Boise State 1 p.m. May 6 vs. Boise State 1 p.m. May 10 at UNLV 6 p.m. May 11 at UNLV 5 p.m. May 12 at UNLV at 1 p.m.


Aztecs defeat Tritons to claim Harper Cup The win was the Aztecs’ 11th straight Harper Cup victory. Laura Barrick staff writer This past Friday, the No. 9-ranked San Diego State water polo team concluded its regular season schedule battling

for the Harper Cup against the UC San Diego Tritons. With both teams displaying exceptional defense, the first goal wasn’t scored until almost five minutes into the first quarter. Although UCSD was the first to score, senior two-meter defender Leanne Ford responded with a goal 13 seconds later to tie it up. The game remained close as the Tritons added an additional goal in the second quarter to give them-

Pezzolla was named Co-MVP of the Harper Cup in SDSU’s 10-5 win Friday. | FILE PHOTO


UPCOMING BASEBALL SCHEDULE April 27, 28, 29 at Air Force May 1 vs. UC Irvine May 4,5,6 vs. UNLV May 11, 12, 13 at Texas May 15 vs. Loyola Marymount May 18, 19, 20 at TCU May 24, 25 Mountain West Conference Tournament

selves a 2-1 lead. This clearly wasn’t acceptable for the Aztecs, as they responded by scoring the next five goals. Junior utility Amber Pezzolla and senior utility Meaghan Poland were dominant in the second quarter, with two goals apiece, while junior utility Alex Ford contributed a goal at the end of the quarter. The score was 6-2 at halftime and from there on out it was difficult for UCSD to make a comeback.

The Tritons looked promising in the third quarter, as they outscored SDSU 2-0. Despite UCSD’s efforts, the Aztecs put all thoughts of a comeback to rest in the final quarter. Senior driver Alana Burgess opened the ---with the first goal. The Tritons responded with a goal, but this would be the last goal they scored for the remainder of the game. Pezzolla, Ford and junior driver Emily Whalen scored the next three to

put the game away. This victory improved SDSU’s overall record to 21-9, while UCSD’s fell to 19-13. Senior goalkeeper Kelly Campoli had an excellent game with 13 saves. Pezzolla was honored as Co-MVP of the Harper Cup with UCSD’S Sarah Lizotte. This upcoming week will consist of hours of training and prepping for the MSPF Championship this weekend at Stanford.

D A I LY A Z T E C Monday, April 23, 2012




Anna Faris discusses filming ‘The Dictator’

Anna Faris co-stars with Sacha Baron Cohen, who made an in-character appearance at the Oscars, in “The Dictator.” | MCT

Every time I take a role ... I start worrying about ... my mom and what she’s going to think because she’s pretty conservative. Anna Faris, co-star in “The Dictator” Anna Faris altered her routine to portray a vegan farmer. | COURTESY OF MELINDA SUE GORDON

Andrew Younger senior staff writer Actress Anna Faris received her first big break in the gross-out horror spoof “Scary Movie” franchise, while subsequent roles in “Lost in Translation” and “Brokeback Mountain” received widespread critical acclaim. In her latest film, “The Dictator,” Faris plays an ultra-liberal vegan grocery store owner who inadvertently rescues a Saddam Hussein-esque tyrant, played by Sacha Baron Cohen of “Borat” fame. Faris spoke to The Daily Aztec about disappointing her conservative mother, handling on-set verbal abuse and why she couldn’t wear tank tops during filming.

The Daily Aztec: Sacha Baron Cohen is known for being a controversial figure. Did you have any reservations about taking a role in “The Dictator”? Anna Faris: I feel like I’ve been a part of so many offensive comedies that I’m a little numb to it. I don’t think I ever really get offended, but every time I take a role, the first thing I start worrying about is my mom and what she’s going to think because she’s pretty conservative. And she always wants me to play like Amelia Earhart or something. She sort of crosses my mind. Oh, is this the kind of thing that I have to tell her to avoid or not? And then I guess it didn’t occur to me at the time, but Sacha, one day during shooting, he mentioned that he had like some fatwas against him.

And I would say, “Wait, what?” There’s all these like jihadists that are really upset with him for “Borat” and “Bruno.” They’re somehow going to take revenge. And then it occurred to me, this could potentially be a kind of a dangerous project to be a part of. But anyway, so far, I’m still here. DA: Sacha Baron Cohen stated that he adapted a novel written by Saddam Hussein for this film. Did you have to read it to prepare for your role? AF: No, I didn’t. I don’t even know if that’s really accurate. Maybe it is. I didn’t ask that. I play a young woman in Brooklyn, who runs a vegan, organic co-op grocery store. She’s very political and passionate, very liberal, as you can imagine. So I just

think that we just sort of share a lot of views in general. But no, anyway, point being no research. DA: Was there a lot of improvisation on set or was it tight and to the script? AF: No, it was very, very loose. It took a little bit of a learning curve for me. It was unlike pretty much any filming process I had ever gone through before. And you really didn’t know where the scene was going to go. We had a script and we would do the scripted version a couple of times. And then, the writers and Sacha would collaborate. And then, next thing you know, you would be headed in a completely different direction. So it forced you to really stay on your toes, which was hard, but also,


sort of an exciting challenge for an actor. I mean, in a scene like where he was sort of supposed to be charmed by me, he would suddenly be threatening to kill me, or calling me a lesbian hobbit, or you know, grabbing me on the back of my head. As an actor you’re like, “All right, got to be game.” It was improv, but it was like improv class in a sense that you just sort of roll with the punches, literally. DA: What was the strangest thing the role made you do? AF: Wow, man, so many. For “The Dictator,” I had to grow up my armpit hair, which was a new experience for me. And I was very naive about it. They asked me if I would do it, because they said they could glue some hair on me. And I was like, “No, no, no, I’ll totally do it. I don’t care,” and sort of thinking that maybe it would grow in kind of thin and wispy, and maybe even kind of cute. And that was not the case. It was dark and thick. And it defined my whole summer. I was like: no tank tops, no swimsuits, couldn’t hail a cab. At a party, I would always, if I’d had a drink or two, lift my shirt and show off my armpit hair. And it made people gag. It was amazing.



AZTEC Monday, April 23, 2012


Expel CSUSM Koala pres for voting fraud Heather Mathis



ing readership and the questionable material within the paper. There is definitely something to be said about the abundance of unanswered questions within this slowly unfolding local drama. First of all, why is this gentleman (if we can even call him that) still a student? If someone was caught using keystroke devices on a school computer to access exam answers or faculty log-in information or perhaps even student records and grade logs, it’s safe to say they would no longer be attending the school — let alone be facing zero charges. And secondly, why is the bulk of this case just hitting the news in the third week of April when it happened in mid-March? In five weeks, a man was caught, arrested, released and charges were dropped before any local news station caught wind of the incident. CSUSM is a school of roughly 10,200 students, making 700 log-ins slightly less than 7 percent of the student body, and we all know there is never 100 percent voter turnout in such elections. The stolen log-in information had the potential to put a decent sized bump in Weaver’s poll results. If he hadn’t been caught before the balloting ended, he likely would have raised eyebrows afterward. According to an article in The CSUSM Pride student newspaper, Weaver was contacted but declined to make a statement and school officials would not comment on the future of his status as a student. The same article speculates about what may come next, stating that “Until Weaver is formally charged, it’s hard to gauge what sort of legal conse-


staff columnist



epresenting your fellow peers as the student body president is a pretty big set of shoes to fill. You need to be intelligent, assertive, respectable, powerful and … a cheater? Matthew Weaver, a California State University San Marcos student, editor of The Koala and Associated Students Inc. presidential candidate, was arrested on March 15 for allegedly stealing some 700 usernames and passwords to alter the results of the ASI election, which was to end the same day as his arrest. The March election was called off and rescheduled for the end of May, just before final exams. Weaver stole the log-in information with a device used to store keystrokes — much like those used at gas pumps to steal credit card information — which he allegedly attached to school computers days prior to the closing of the election. Campus officials were alerted of suspicious activity on school computers and found Weaver in the library with the device. The CSU system has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism and cheating in regards to exams and schoolwork, but after being arrested on a $50,000 bail for fraud, identity theft and unlawful access to a computer, Weaver posted bail and received no charges for his clearly illegal actions. Weaver, who is a junior at the university, has already received much criticism for being an editor of the underground student publication, The Koala, which promotes violence against women, obscene cartoons depicting sexual acts and pedophilia. The publication, which is issued monthly, has been dismantled as a student organization during the last year because of its unorthodox approaches to obtain-


quences he may face, but one legal expert said that the commission of this type (of) crime could lead to university punishment as well as a state trial.” The FBI – which is required to find violation of a federal law in order to maintain jurisdiction – is now looking into the case, but has not confirmed its investigating as of yet. When originally arrested, Weaver faced numerous counts of identity theft and fraud, but one FBI official

said it may have a federal case against Weaver. “We are looking into it,” FBI special agent Darrel Foxworth said. “I can’t say exactly what we are looking at, but given the facts and circumstances that have been reported to us, it appears there may be violations of federal laws.” Hopefully the rulemakers at the CSU offices will be investigated as well. Of all the wrongs there are to right, this one seems pretty damn obvious. As stated in his candidacy state-

ment on the ASI website, Weaver is an active member in many clubs, an organization chairman and a business owner. If Weaver does face charges, his career as a college student and all that he claims to have going for him will be done. I hope it was worth it, Weaver. HEATHER MATHIS IS A JOURNALISM JUNIOR.

Writing positions available at The Daily Aztec Listen, you who endeavors to constantly improve yourself: This job is for you. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have time to write. You’ve got too many units under your belt, a job or two and a social life. But we both know that’s never held you back before. This is your chance to be somebody. Challenge yourself. Develop your writing ability and get recognized for your work. Fill out an application at today. T H E


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D A I LY A Z T E C Monday, April 23, 2012




ARRESTED? DUI? THEFT? Call Attorney Bradley Corbett for all Misdemeanors and Felonies. (619) 800-4449. Student Discount.


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AZTEC Monday, April 23, 2012




Long live the queens


magine a mix of “America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway” and a night out in Hillcrest. While there’s no doubt television these days has branched into completely new and unexplored territories, the Logo Network’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has sashayed it’s way into my heart and manifested itself as one giant, glittery obsession. Each season, 14 grown men dressed in women’s clothing enter a competition to be America’s next drag superstar. With phrases like “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines,” “May the best woman win!” and “Don’t f— it up” crooned by host and drag icon RuPaul, there’s nothing mainstream or anywhere near normal about this show. Right now, the show is nearing the end of its fourth season and, while it’s gearing up to announce its winner, I find myself more enamored than ever. Contestants from each season range from drag veterans who have been performing for more than 20 years to up-andcoming performers. Becoming a drag queen is much like becoming any other type of performer — having a memorable stage name is key. Names like Madonna, Prince and Bono have become synonymous with each performer’s routine. However, coming up with a drag name is a horse of a different color. We’ve all played the game in which we combine our first pet’s name and the name of the first street we lived on to create our Drag porn name, but this reality show has taken it to another level. With names like Ongina, Pandora Boxx, Mimi Imfurst, Madame LaQueer and Sharon Needles, these fierce queens take performance art to an entirely new extreme.

Haley Rafner staff columnist Aside from the obvious reasons this show sets itself apart from almost everything else on television, there are a few unmentioned details that may cause your jaw drop. One of the contestants’ most impressive qualities is their ability to perfect the female illusion. These men spend the majority of the one-hour television program out of drag. From commentary to quick mini-challenges in the workroom, they wear male street clothes until the last 20 minutes of the show. Though producers have never shown the steps involved to fully transform these men into gorgeous ladies (I’m sure the contestants would never agree to it anyway; a magician never reveals her secrets), we are offered glimpses: glue sticks to the eyebrows, tons of translucent powder and more glitter than I thought could possibly adhere to a person’s face. Watching the transformation from man to woman is sometimes shocking. There are a few contestants who manage to look prettier than biological women, and when that happens, I almost can’t even handle my life. With mini-challenges, main challenges and a final runway show, RuPaul tasks “his girls” with new and crazy ways to prove their worth as performers. However, the real test occurs during the last five minutes of each episode. RuPaul sends a queen home every week, and instead of utilizing an “American Idol”-esque call-in-and-vote-for-your-favorite selection process chock-full of Ryan Seacrest-like dramatics, RuPaul sim-

ply commands the bottom two queens to lip-sync for their lives. With the threat of being sent home hanging above their heads, final performances are usually heartwrenching and awe-inspiring, which ultimately begs the question: Why aren’t more real-life battles waged via lip-sync? These queens put on their best faces (literally) and lip-sync as if their lives depend on it. But ultimately, only one queen will hear RuPaul’s coveted “shanté, you stay” while the other will be told the dreaded “Sashay away.” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has inspired viewers throughout the world by recognizing drag culture and making it less taboo while addressing the issues affecting drag culture. However, its intention isn’t to tackle tremendous issues (other than my incessant need to buy NYX Cosmetics glitter cream eye shadow in bulk). RuPaul doesn’t claim to solve world peace or bring equality by making his queens dress as dogs for the first annual “Bitch Ball.” He simply promises big smiles and a personal need to inject every quirky bit of jargon these queens throw at each other into America’s daily dialogue. From “You better work” to calling out the Five Gs (“Good God, Get a Grip, Girl!”) whenever necessary, I find myself craving Monday nights like a bad habit. I live for these queens. I chase them around Hillcrest and West Hollywood and someday, maybe, I even hope to be one. But for now, I’ll have to relish in the fact that a handful of extremely gifted men are more feminine, more talented and more absolutely fabulous than I will ever be.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (4/23/12) It's all coming together. Your career moves forward with optimism. Get involved in group activities that benefit others. A new direction may develop around education, spirituality or travel. Your people guide you and bless you, so appreciate them. Go outside and play. To get the advantage, check the day's rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. ARIES (March 21 - April 19) - Today is a 7 Hit the books for the next two days. There's an ease around finances, and it feels good to get immersed in studies. Allow ideas to gel, and take notes. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) - Today is an 8 - You're entering a lucrative phase. Go over the numbers, and count your ducats. Put together a persuasive package, and make an enticing pitch. GEMINI (May 21 - June 21) - Today is a 7 You've got the confidence to tackle projects that once seemed intimidating. Travel is not advised today, and neither is impulsive action. Clean something. CANCER (June 22 - July 22) - Today is an 8 - Learning new skills leads to new friends. Don't worry about the money. Wait until later to proceed ... it's not a good time to travel yet. A quiet night at home relaxes. LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22) - Today is an 8 The next two days are great for a party; find an excuse to be sociable. Meetings and group activities go well. Let go of a scheme that lacks soul. Keep spending under control. VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) - Today is an 8 -

BY NANCY BLACK, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES You'll have opportunities to take on a higher level of responsibility in your career and community. It could mean working late. Talk it over. LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) - Today is a 7 You're on a quest. Study to satisfy your curiosity. An older dream could be possible now. Business interferes with fun ... don't goof off yet. Rest after. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) - Today is a 7 Things are getting busy. There's no use complaining about it. Take one step at a time and plow forward. You'll be thankful when you're done. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) - Today is an 8 - New openings present themselves when you're willing to work with others. Focus on taking many little steps that carry you forward. Stay practical. Keep momentum. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) - Today is a 9 - The pace quickens. Don't let frantic activity make you lose touch with your creative side; you'll need it to solve a puzzle. Correct errors, and check another view. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) - Today is a 7 - Love is in the air and can be very distracting from financial goals. Decide what's more important and choose that. Inspiration abounds. Reschedule an appointment. PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20) - Today is a 6 Your self-improvement continues. Surprise even yourself when you complete your makeover. Don't let others push you around. Take care of your body, mind and spirit. ©2012, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.



Difficulty Level: 1 out of 4 Instructions: Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit

—Hayley Rafner is a media studies junior.


Solutions available online at ©2012, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.


A DANCE FOR THE DALAI LAMA Managing Editor Beth Elderkin captured this photo of the Soaring Eagles dance troupe performing traditional Native American dances before the Dalai Lama’s speech on Thursday.




PLEASE NOTE: The views expressed in the written works of this issue do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec. Letters to the editor can be sent to Story ideas can be sent to

ACROSS 1 Get really high 5 Overhaul 9 Archipelago unit 13 Six-sided shape 14 Captain’s “Hold it!” 16 Corrosive liquid 17 Gillette razor brand 18 Do a two-step, say 19 Broadway award 20 Providence native, for one 23 Spectacular failure 24 Nutritional fig. 25 Writer LeShan 28 Part of PST: Abbr. 29 Saintly glow 32 Marries in secret 34 Skipped the saddle 36 Cathedral niche 39 Hot brew 40 Wedding vows 41 Steered the skiff beachward 46 Tentacle 47 Petrol station name 48 Juan Carlos, to his subjects 51 RR terminus 52 Prime rib au __ 54 “From the halls of Montezuma” soldier 56 Crosby/Hope film 60 Visibly wowed 62 “Vacation” band, with “The” 63 Baseball stitching 64 Kate, to Petruchio, eventually 65 China’s Zhou __ 66 “__ la Douce” 67 Well-protected 68 Desires 69 Armchair quarterback’s channel


Solutions available online at DOWN 1 Eats, with “up” or “down” 2 Bat for a higher average than 3 Overseas 4 Curls up with a book 5 Commercial on AM or FM 6 Actresses Gabor and Longoria 7 Frontiersman Boone, familiarly 8 Hollywood award 9 “Musta been something __” 10 Scrabble sheet 11 Surprise 2012 New York Knick standout Jeremy __ 12 Joseph of ice cream fame

15 Painfully sensitive 21 Off-the-wall effect 22 Chip’s partner 26 Geometric art style 27 Raises a question 30 “Panic Room” actor Jared 31 More than chubby 33 Off-Broadway award 34 Fishing line holder 35 Sighs of relief 36 Barking sounds 37 One writing verse 38 Quit cold turkey 42 __ vu: familiar feeling 43 Plod

44 Diffusion of fluids, as through a membrane 45 Thunderous noise 48 Potato presses 49 Pitch a tent 50 Naval petty officer 53 Full of rocks 55 Riveter painted by Rockwell 57 Architectural Scurve 58 Eye lasciviously 59 Sound of suffering 60 “How cute!” sounds 61 Italian actress Scala


Volume 97, Issue 108