VOL.6, ISSUE 1
Pleasure Mixing business with
I Can Has Interview? The LOLcats guy speaks.
tells you what to do
THE WEEKLY MEMO Summer is always an excellent period for critical mulling, a hiatus from the cacophony of campus during which to take stock of what works and what’s simply run its course. The humidity seems like it’s here to stay for a bit, but you could say it’s a new season of the Weekly, literally and figuratively. We couldn’t get enough of spring assistant Weekly editor Emmy Blotnick’s witticisms and pop culture prowess in the newsroom, so we’ve got her on board as our first-ever columnist this quarter. She’ll be lending some context (and comedic value, I suspect) to our gamut of cover stories. Which brings me to another new addition: Week by Weekly, our whittled-down what to do from next door (the Block’s new Robert Motherwell exhibit) to deliciously nefarious mayhem downtown at this year’s Oktoberfest. We surely won’t be skimping on any debauchery this year, but our debut of Post-Grad Pursuit chronicles the trajectories of former Wildcats as they stake claim — and sometimes stumble — in that nebulous realm of the real world. Last but certainly not least, our superb cover story this week by Sara Peck explores the repercussions and ethical qualms of relationships on the job in the faux real worlds of internships many of us occupy for summers or quarters of our college lives.
SURVEY AT STARBUCKS
Between shooting the rather raunchy cover shot and editing the cover story this week, we’ve found ourselves thinking about sex on the job. We ran around Norris asking 100 NU students one simple question: Would you ever sleep with your boss? “God knows I would try” came from one male student, and another admitted that although she wouldn’t date her boss, she’s already dating her subordinate. But the majority of students decided the responsible thing to do would be to look outside the office dating pool. Best of luck in the post-grad real world, NU, and let us know if you get fired for indecent exposure.
Would you ever sleep with your boss? 41 ! ah F ’ye
59 No way.
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Evanston for K through college Imagine having breakfast with your mom every morning before class. Imagine going to the Keg in 10th grade. Dozens of Evanston natives apply every year to the University right in their own backyard: Northwestern. But seeing her family isn’t enough to keep She is the ‘Evanston Girl.’ When other children dressed up as superheroes and princesses Brannigan home; she spends most of her time for Halloween, Maura Brannigan wore a North- on campus. “It’s a part of the college experiwestern cheerleader get-up. She enjoyed child- ence. So much of it is living in a dorm and havhood bike rides around the Lakefill with her ing a roommate, to have that independence,” father, and she knows the one secluded spot at Brannigan says. “I offered to stay at home to help my parents financially but they said ‘absoLighthouse Beach most students miss. “I love Evanston. I’ve been here my whole lutely not.’” Rachel Ryskin, a Weinberg senior and Evanlife,” says Brannigan, a Weinberg sophomore. “This is a really big part of my NU experience.” ston native, has lived at home all four years. On Brannigan is one of a handful of Evanston na- top of the free laundry and eliminated food extives who end up staying in town for college. Ev- penses, Ryskin’s father is a professor at Northwestern, which provides ery year, Northwesther with a hefty disern receives about count. As the daughter 40 to 50 applications of a full-time employee, from ETHS students, I offered to stay at she can receive between and of the 43 received home to help my par40 and 90 percent off last year, eight stuher tuition, dependdents are enrolled in ents financially, but they ing on the length of her the freshman class, said ‘absolutely not’. dad’s employment. says Pat Vaughan “It was clear that if I Tremmel, associate got into Northwestern I director of media reMaura Brannigan, Weinberg sophomore was going to Northwestlations at NU. ern,” Ryskin says. But While she’s in the same city for school, Brannigan found her ex- she has not let living at home deter her from perience at NU is almost completely removed having a normal college experience. She spends from the Evanston she knew growing up. For most of her time on campus, in the library or example Kafein was a favorite high school hang- visiting friends. Like most students, she tried (and ultimately rejected) dorm food, and made out, but she never goes with college friends. “I have two Evanstons,” Brannigan says. friends early on by hanging out in the dorms. “It would have been hard if my only way to “Home Evanston and Northwestern Evanston. It’s a combination of going to different places meet people was through classes,” Ryskin says. “I couldn’t imagine what that would have been with different people. It’s a different mindset.” Of course, when those two worlds collide, like.” Ryskin says she hopes to stay in Evanston and there are some obvious advantages. “My mom does my laundry, so that’s wonder- attend graduate school at NU, and Brannigan also ful,” says Brannigan, who lives in her sorority plans to enroll at a graduate school in the area. “There is a reason why people come to school house but grew up in a house near Century Theatres. “Sometimes there is nothing better than here and stay here,” Brannigan says. “Evanston spending the night in your own bed or seeing has so much to offer. I’m unbelievably happy here.” your brother.”
confirmed NEW STUDENT WEEK MATH Is it just us, or is the freshman class looking tame? Year after year, the sirens of cop cars and ambulances run up and down Sheridan Road and Sherman Avenue during Wilcat Welcome week hauling freshmen (and other overlyambiious imbibers) toward nurses and banana bags. And of course, those sirens sounded again this year, but only four students were taken to the ER during the first week of school for drug or alcohol-related issues (three freshies and one soph), the lowest number since 2005 when only two students overdid it. The highest number in recent years was 2008, with six hospitalizations: three freshmen, two sophomores and a token senior, plus two juniors who camped out in the first-aid tent at the football game. In 2007, five frosh ended up in the hospital, but not a single sophomore, junior or senior; in 2006 five students went. For this year’s numbers, The Weekly editors have to congratulate NU’s newbies for knowing how to party safely. (Who wants to drag the roomie they met yesterday to the ER?) Remember, kids: moderation. PLEX = LONELY HEARTS’ CLUB Yes, you heard right. Fifty freshmen are in Plex. And all of them are in singles. Without roommates. And dispersed throughout the building. (Couldn’t they have all been in the same wing, at least?) Housing won’t disclose how many of them actually asked to live alone — and let’s be honest, NU is not quite that antisocial — but
for most frosh, Plex is looking more like a dungeon than a home away from home. One freshman girl put up a sign in her window advertising her loneliness to passersby in the hopes that someone else flying solo will take her up on her offer for friendship. And while most transfer students were lucky enough to miss out on the maze of Plex prison cells, the Bobb basement is packed with NU newbies. Transfers, take solace in “strength in numbers” — even in the basement a mob can be effective. ROLL OUT THE PURPLE CARPET The procession of famous kids began last year, with the son of none other than Peter Gallagher of “The O.C.” fame. (You remember Josh Schwartz’s pre-Gossip Girl warm-up series that blew through plot points faster than the wind up your coat in February?) The saga continues this year, as the offspring of actor Tom Hanks as well as the son of Meredith Vieira of “Today Show” fame joined the NU undergraduate ranks. And with tales of a Jonas brother strolling through Norris this summer and Disney princess Selena Gomez mentioning her interest in attending, it looks like the starstudded kiddie parade may continue in coming years. Though a University spokesperson declined to comment on the status of Wildcat starlets present or future saying they “respect people’s privacy”, these red carpet Wildcats probably shouldn’t expect the same consideration from the NU student body, especially given the, well, fanatic buzz on campus of late. The amateur paparazzi are already forming lines at Wolf Camera. WEEKLY EDITORS
Ben Huh: LOLgrad From Medill to the wildly successful world of online failing
It’s 2009 and this is college, so it’s safe to say you’ve giggled some precious time away on the hugely popular Web sites I Can Has Cheezburger, Failblog, GraphJam and others. Behind the scenes, they’re owned operated by a company called Pet Holdings, Inc., and its founder and CEO, Ben Huh, is an NU alum. The Medill grad responsible for 170 million page views and a cultural phenomenon chatted with The Weekly about LOLcats, life and finding success by the reverse-mullet principle: party in the front, business in the back. EMMY BLOTNICK
[a Weinberg freshman]
Finally on campus! Mom helped me unpack as I lugged all of my crap into the dorm. Roommate is cool and seems easy to live with. Awkwardly met people on my floor. Went to PA group meeting and sat on Lakefill. Headed to off campus party and played “Top Gun,” met cute boys. Drunkenly stumbled into dorm room at 3. I love college.
Woke up at 7, decided to work off the alcohol with a run. Met PA group for breakfast, attended the Dean’s Convocation. Lane Fenrich is awesome! Ate lunch, took a nap and met up with the girls in my hall. Dinner at Sargent, pregame in the dorm, then headed offcampus to party. Snuck into a frat. So much easier to make friends while wasted.
Woke up hungover, found bra in fridge, went for another run. Attended Majors Fair and tried to steal a rock from the Earth Sciences booth. Learned how to work CAESAR with PA group. Ridiculous. Lunch at Sargeant, nap, EV1 run, dinner, pregame in dorm. Got stuck in the construction site trying to get to a party, hopped fence. Wore cute boots, got blisters everywhere.
Woken up by 8 a.m. phone call, mom and sister coming to say goodbye. Still drunk, I show them around NU. Late class registration = minor meltdown in the library in front of Fenrich. Went to a sports team’s party, stupidly avoided hooking up with a cute athlete. Mistake. Stumbled back to dorm after too many games of flip cup with lots of frat boys.
Lunch at Rollin’ to Go with friend, dragged him to buy books at Beck’s. Alcohol Essential NU at 2:30, day party at 4:20. Went to Rock the Beach with girls from my floor. Stole whole pizzas and headed to the dorm. Back out for another party, accidentally stumbled into a Christian group meeting. Awkward. More drinking and back to the dorm at 4.
Woke up at 11, went to church and had Chewy bar for breakfast and lunch. Final Essential NU, took brief naps and got lost in my dorm trying to do laundry. Later hit up an offcampus party with some girls, drunk dialed my sister and friends from home numerous times. Drunken confessions with freshmen girls of how homesick we really are. Alcohol is flowing.
Late for President’s Convocation, met new people. Trekked into Evanston with friend and got lost looking for the Urban Outfitters sale. Cleaned room and took quick nap. Pregamed heavily, off to The Keg, got in with shitty ID. Hooray corruption! Danced with cute boys and had too much tequila. Kisses on the dance floor? Maybe. Can’t wait for next Monday.
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What goes down when NU students interning in the corporate world end up in situations that fall outside the job description The situation had reached a stalemate, leaving only two options in his mind: compromise, or wait it out. They would only be living together for two months while both of them were interning fulltime, he reasoned, so it would be prudent to shut up and wait for August to come to a close rather than be confrontational. “Because there was an expiration date, it made it easier to deal with,” he says of his troubling living situation. The problem was that the pair was more than just roommates with some issues; they were co-workers as well as lovers, tenuously straddling the divide between romantic co-habitation and silent conflict. In-office relationships, even those unwarranted and unwelcome, have become increasingly common despite the widespread reiteration and retooling of dat-
ing and sexual harassment policies in the corporate world. Love, it seems, the kind in your heart or the kind in your pants, comes with consequences. Relationships, even when wrapped in business casual attire, are never as carefree as they seem – especially when entangled in university policies. Dan (name has been changed), a fifthyear senior, spent the past summer living in Virginia with his girlfriend slash co-worker while he worked at a NASA research center designing sound-resistant insulation for airplanes. He had first met her in wintertime, when he took a quarter off to intern at the same facility in lieu of McCormick’s Co-op Program he had originally planned on. After quitting Co-op, Dan found a paid internship at NASA and decided to create his own Co-op program. At the intern orientation, he met her. She was a student from the University of Florida, a fellow intern who was also living with a family in the area, which made rendezvous pretty difficult as their
relationship bloomed. Dan asked her to dinner, and eventually they were spending nights and eating lunches together. “I’m really horrible at long-distance communication,” Dan confesses. “I hate the phone.” So, the pair separated when spring rolled around, only to reunite in the summer when Dan returned to NASA without a couch to crash on. He asked her to live with him. “I flew down there with no expectations,” he says. “But after a while, we started to get back into the swing of things and it was great.”
encounters. Co-op goers also do not pay tuition to NU or receive credit (it is called “administrative credit,” Oloroso explains), which also exonerates NU from responsibility on the job site. Through the Co-op program, the University routinely refuses to sign certain agreements that ask the University to take responsibility for any physical, financial or other damages incurred by a student while interning, which means any bad behavior on the job is out of the University’s hands.
The problem was, they had to keep it a secret.
“We can’t be there to police the student’s behavior,” says Oloroso, who has worked with co-op programs since the 1980s.
But the reason wasn’t Northwestern. Six hundred of McCormick’s co-op students take classes before their jobs begin, the rules of which don’t cover in-office relationships or sexual behavior, says Helen Olosoro, assistant dean of the program. Because the students are paid for their work they are not at the mercy of NU, but of their employer’s own codes and policies regarding dating and sexual
Medill, by contrast, is one of NU’s schools that does enforce dating rules on its Journalism Residency internship program, possibly as a response to some after-hours relations between students and higher-ups. Lacey (name has been changed), a 2009 Medill graduate, dated a fellow reporter at her JR site for nearly a year with the green light from the entire newsroom who she says found
Back to school is an exciting time of year for both student and non-student Evanston residents. Northwestern students bring excitement and energy to the City that is missed when you are gone. But please remember that some of that excitement and energy is at times disturbing to the non-student residents that live near campus. Please be good neighbors. Remember to dispose of your garbage in proper receptacles and to keep noise – inside houses and on the street – at a minimum, particularly at night when your neighbors may be sleeping. You all help make Evanston a fun, vibrant community… together we will continue to make Evanston an attractive, livable community for all. For more information on City of Evanston ordinances related to noise, garbage, and other nuisances, please visit www.cityofevanston.org or contact 847-866-2927. This message has been paid for by the Illinois Association of REALTORS ® in conjunction with the North Shore - Barrington Association of REALTORS ®. A copy of our report is (or will be) available for purchase from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Springfield, Ill.
the relationship “endearing and sweet; they liked us together.” She met him (a 30-year-old divorcee) in typical journalistic fashion, covering early election polling. “I knew he liked me when he let me have my own byline on a story we were working on together,” Lacey says, laughing. “That’s how journalists flirt.” Though she’d stepped out with a few other reporters in the first two months of her internship, Lacey combed the publication’s dating policy and personally confronted her editors about the budding relationship. They were more than supportive, she says, nor was she breaking any written rules. “I obviously took my professional life very seriously, and I wouldn’t have thought about it if he was my editor or if it had to be a secret.” So, they kept their laundry aired (even on Facebook) for the last month of her internship and slightly less than a year after. Shortly after Lacey returned to campus, Medill sent out an email sternly informing students that dating and other relations while on JR were strictly prohibited. “I got really nervous,” she says. “I thought that (former program coordinator) Mark LaMet might think less of me or that I’d get in trouble for it, even though my editors totally supported it.” Lacey says the relationship didn’t affect her professionally whatsoever. “If anything, it helped me because my editors knew me more,” she says. “I can’t see why Medill would have a policy against it unless there’s a clear conflict of interest, like the person is your supervisor. It didn’t complicate work for me at all.” Lacey currently freelances for the newspaper where her tryst blossomed, the only occupational setback being that her ex still works there. Lacey doesn’t regret the affair; she’d do it again, and thinks that it happens more than Medill – or employers – would like to think. “I hear of it happening fairly regularly,” she says. “I mean, you’re all by yourself and you’re working 40-plus hours a week; it’s all you have.” But for others, attention, sex or companionship are wholly unsolicited. For Diana (name has been changed), a Northwestern senior who interned at a production company in Los Angeles for the summer. Working in an office of mostly young males, Diana started to attract the unwanted yet “not really creepy” affections of one of her bosses. He was around 28 years old, a Conan O’Brien type, single (or so she thought). It wasn’t the stuff of made-for-TV movies—ass-grabbing at the water cooler or steamy cubicle confrontations. Instead he invited her to parties at his house, since she was new to L.A. He Facebookchatted with her, constantly reiterating “let me take you out,” though she constantly declined. One day, when they were out shooting on Hollywood Boulevard, a young woman came up to him. He introduced her to the crew by name only, though she later “said something to the effect of ‘when we first started dating,’” she says. Diana was shocked—though she didn’t feel seriously wounded by his behavior, he certainly wasn’t acting like a single guy. About two weeks before her internship ended, he had stopped talking to her completely — online, after work or in the office. He was also in a Facebook relationship with the woman from the shoot. A study conducted by the global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., found 35 percent of companies have no formal policy on in-office relationships and “relations,” if you catch the drift. These are murky waters for an inexperienced, often temporary employee such as an intern, who may be ignorant to or confused by office
Photos by Ray Whitehouse
dating taboo. Some companies openly discourage dating, just not in print. Dating is allowed about half of the time, though employers might restrict bosssubordinate humping to prevent “extra benefits” on the job. Others seem to turn a blind eye if you keep your mouth and legs shut while working, though 28 percent of those polled in the survey said they got busy on company grounds such as the conference room, the boss’s office, the bathroom, an elevator and a supply closet. But even the old pros aren’t on their best cubicle behavior – a CareerBuilder survey found 47 percent of polled workers had been involved with a co-worker, hinting maybe no policy is the best policy. As the summer wore on, tensions arose between Dan and his girlfriend, though they worked in different areas of the center that employed thousands of people and 150 interns. Lunches were often eaten together, and after worked Dan says he struggled to find personal time. “At the end of the day, I had no interest in hanging out with her. I just felt like, ‘I’ve seen you all day long, can’t I just do my own thing?’” Dan suspects she resented
the secrecy she had made mandatory in their relationship. “It was an odd, secret relationship. When we were home, I got confused and she got frustrated. I didn’t know what she wanted, but I think she wanted me to show physical affection when we were out, but I didn’t because we agreed that people wouldn’t know.” However, he maintains that he’d do it again, despite the trials and messy ending. Image coach Anna Wildermuth, author of Change One Thing, says shacking up with any co-worker, even with the boss’s (or school’s) green light, is dangerous and unprofessional. “Even if there’s no policy, it’s the unwritten policy,” she explains, adding that the vast majority of the firms she has worked with do have strict guidelines banning co-worker canoodling. “Everybody is an adult, but I don’t recommend it. I’ve worked with some clients who have had really bad experiences that have hurt their careers.” Even if there isn’t a bad fallout or a policy violation, it simply gives the wrong impression about your priorities, Wildermuth says. “It looks like you’re more interested in dating than in working for the company.”
Most Co-op students, Oloroso says, are presented with a job offer at the end of their internship. However, a relationship on the job might blacklist a student from other opportunities, Wildermuth warns, because employers talk more than students like to think. “You never know what might end up in an interview,” she says. “However you put it, dating in a company is dangerous, and the results are 50/50. Today, especially with the economy the way it is, the competition is high, so why risk your career for a fling?” Diana escaped the situation unscathed, since she had several supervisors above her suitor. But after the summer, the wheels started churning about the possible consequences of the situation. “I just started thinking that if he was my immediate boss, I might not have gotten a good reference,” she says. “I ended on good terms with the main bosses, but I could have gotten a bad recommendation because he hit on me and I wasn’t interested.”
CULTURE BLOTTER We’re often warned of the danger of dating coworkers in this week’s cover story about office romance, but I don’t find the office to be a particularly sexy place. It’s where we find ourselves in the disorienting crossroads where your body twitches from gallons of free coffee while your mind descends deep into a pit of dryer fuzz. It’s where EMMY BLOTNICK the invisible bouncer says good posture and sunlight aren’t on the list. It’s where we pass the day leashed to our computers by headphones, not even hearing our own farts. (If you fart in an office where everyone is wearing headphones, does it make a sound? Stay tuned for next week’s cover story.) So what about the dangers that lurk beyond the workplace? At school, we’re hardwired to admire the professionally accomplished, and it doesn’t take an office for that admiration to get jumbled with romantic feelings. Take my friend, for instance. Let’s not use her real name; rather, we’ll call her Unicorn, because that’s the name of the cafe I’m in right now. Unicorn’s story begins in a dive bar in rural Vermont, where she’s made the Big Ten connection with an older guy. And what a connection it is, as they quickly get into a conversation about magazines. He’s worked for many and, what do you know, she’s a voracious reader. They chat their way through his resume over drinks, and he mentions the now defunct but once excellent Jane magazine. “I was telling him about my favorite article ever,” she said. Here I should mention that Unicorn and I have been friends for a long time, and some four years ago, we fell hard for a Jane article titled “There’s No Such Thing As TMI.” My summary is hazy, but it was about how calling “too much information” on someone imposes a shame-inducing boundary on the conversation and discourages people from opening up to one another. We’re pretty graphic oversharers by nature, so this article came as a delightful affirmation. So the guy in the bar responds, “I wrote that!” To meet the former senior editor at a bar in rural Vermont seemed amazingly coincidental. As she told the story, I had to interject: “You met Josh Lyon?!” “Oh. Well, no,” she responded. “His name was Tony Bologna.” (Again, name has obviously been changed.) “Wait, no. That’s… not…him…” I trailed off. “And I went home with him,” Unicorn responded. My brain burned with consternation. I mashed my face into a cup of applesauce I’d been eating without a spoon just to silence myself. Yes, it seems awfully appealing when an older, sort of mysterious intellectual presents you with an opportunity to break away from collegiate tedium, but how can you predict when someone’s going to pull the old “I wrote that” on you? And that brings me to my conclusion: fact-checkers should be the new wingmen.
Post-Grad Pursuit ‘07 alum juggles corporate expectation and hip-hop dreams
The new age Clark Kent doesn’t scribble quotes in his reporter’s pad, he advises companies on how to increase efficiency. Rather than a cape, his accessories include a microphone and a pair of barber shears. Modern-day Superman Andrew Davis Jr., a SESP 2007 graduate, leaves his corporate day job with strategy consulting firm Revere Group each day to pursue a hip-hop career as his alter ego “Dre-Dub” at night. Oh yeah, you can also schedule a haircut with him.
COURTESY OF ANDREW DAVIS JR.
Davis has music on his mind when he thinks a few years ahead. “When I’m doing music, I’m not working, I’m living life. And the thing that keeps me going is that one day it’s all going to pay off. Right now from where I am I’m just looking for that step inside the door.”
“Initially I wasn’t going to shoot for a corporate job. I wanted to really focus on music,” he says. But bills are bills, so Davis opted for a job that would offer the time and financial stability to pursue his music career.
Davis actively pursued music as an undergrad and started the Hustle Group along with three friends his senior year. “By the time I was a senior I had already put out two mixtapes and I had distributed 600 to 800 of each of them,” he says. “It was easy to get it started because among the four of us we knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew what I was doing.”
Despite his eagerness to pursue his music interests, Davis is less willing to talk about being “Dre-Dub” with his corporate coworkers, mostly out of concern for his job security. “There is this huge culture gap between the hip-hop and the corporate world. How many corporate VP’s blast hiphop on their way to work?” In addition to music and consulting, Davis works by appointment in a barbershop, which offers him another platform from which to promote his music. Recently, he also started hosting a weekend radio show on WYAM Jamm Chicago.
The Daily Northwestern -HSS c(UPUKLWLUKLUVPJLZPUJL c,]HUZ[VU0SS EDITOR IN CHIEF | Emily Glazer MANAGING EDITORS | Elise Foley, Matt Spector __________ CAMPUS EDITOR | Corinne Lestch DEPUTY EDITOR | Christina Salter ASSISTANT EDITORS | Lauren Kelleher, Rebecca Olles, Andrew Scoggin CITY EDITOR | Ben Geier DEPUTY EDITOR| Nathalie Tadena ASSISTANT EDITORS | Ali Elkin, Nicole Hong, Chris Kirk, Amanda Leuvano SPORTS & GAMEDAY EDITOR | Matt Forman DEPUTY EDITOR | Brian Chappatta ASSISTANT EDITORS | Hunter Atkins, Brian Regan, Christine Todd _______________ FORUM EDITOR | Stephanie Wang
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DESIGN EDITORS | EB Blass, Trevor Seela DEPUTY EDITOR | Ellen Reynolds ASSISTANT EDITOR | Ellen Reynolds DESIGNERS | Jim An, Sarah Cooper, Mina Shankar _______ MULTIMEDIA PRODUCERS Steven Berger, Trevor Seela _______ THE WEEKLY EDITOR | Alexandra Ilyashov MANAGING EDITOR | Karina Martinez-Karter ASSISTANT EDITORS | Olya Leptoukh, Tara Kalmanson ART DIRECTOR | Paulina Lopez ASSISTANT DESIGNER | Jaimie Vaillancourt
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Week by Weekly We’ve sifted through every gala and gallery opening, festival and free event, sample sale and soiree to prepare a weekly schedule worthy of even the most culturally discerning. Drawing from Chicago, Evanston and our very own NU, the weekly gives you seven days of first-rate diversion.
WEDNESDAY Metromix Best Bartender Bash
Looking to spice up your 6-9PM average night out? Come District Bar to District Bar and watch 170 W. Ontario St. the Final Four of 2009’s TUESDAY River North Best Bartender Bash compete for the title of Best Bartender. The Robert Motherwell greatest thing about it? You can sample complimentary shots! And you thought 10AM-5PM Ever beer pong was the only way to bring a Block Museum wonder competitive spirit into drinking... what that nice building next to Norris is? It’s Northwestern’s very own art museum, featuring an ever-changing array of visual programming for students and the Chicago World Music Festival greater North Shore. Starting Sept. 25, Block launches an exhibit that showEvery year for a full week, 6-9PM cases Robert Motherwell, a member Chicago kicks the collective Chicago Cultural of the school of abstract art that cultural ass of every other U.S. included such greats as Jackson Center city. Palestinian hip hop? Turkish Pollock and Mark military bands? Bulgarian gypsy jazz? All here, right now. We’re Rothko.
on the tail end of Chicago’s World Music Festival, now in its 11th installment. This year, 57 artists from all over the world are performing at venues across the city, lending ethnic credibility to the heart of the Evanston Art Center Second City Midwest. But don’t expect to see a familiar lineup. “Most of these artists Exhibitions you’ve never heard of, and that’s the whole point,” says Allie Silver, coorThe com- 8PM Though 10AM-6PM dinator for the festival and 2009 graduate of Northwestern. “We want to pany that 1616 N. Wells St Evanmake it a festival of discovery, and when these groups get bigger, they’ll produced Old Town 2603 Sheridan Rd #3 ston have a home in Chicago.” Northwestern’s own WNUR has been exclucomediis known for its conservatism sively spreading the sounds of the entire festival throughout Chicago: ans such as Steve Carrell and Tina (birthplace of Prohibition, anyone?), Fey presents “The Best of Second with Silver as producer, the radio show Continental Drift broadcasts it has quite the collection of artCity.” What better way to pregame three bands every day. The week climaxes in a free farewell tonight. ists. On Sept. 25, the Evanston Art The Keg than with a laughter-filled “One World Under One Roof” will feature nine groups rocking Center closes two exhibits: “Ghostly excursion? Tickets are only $16, but different stages in the Chicago Cultural Center. WNUR will Echoes” showcases photography on group discounts are available for broadcast live with artist interviews, so even if the backthe subject of our changing society, groups of 16 or more – perfect for to-NU blues keep you in Evanston, you can still get the pack-roaming tendencies of all while “Inspirations” features the cultured. you freshmen out there. work of registered Art Center
Harry Potter: The Exhibition The much-hyped 3:30PM-8PM Harry Potter exhibit, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr running since April Hyde Park 30th, closes this Sunday. Don’t miss your last chance to see the world of your favorite teenage wizards come to life. With more than 200 authentic artifacts from the multi-million dollar film franchise, this is nothing to wave your wand at.
students ranging from the digital arts to ceramics to jewelry.
St. Alphonso’s Oktoberfest 11AM-10PM You don’t have to go to Munich to experi3000 N Lincoln Ave ence your dose of beer, South Lakeview bands and brats this year. Started by German immigrants in 1882, St. Alphonso’s Annual Oktoberfest is a perfect example of Chicago’s diverse culture. So grab your lederhosen and head over to South Lakeview to get a taste of Germany’s finest. Oktoberfest also runs Friday and Sunday. Mandy Oaklander
TO D F N EL RE U IV E C ER A Y M PU S
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MAN ON THE BEAT
Shane SINGH, Wildcat Welcome Student Coordinator Every year Northwestern welcomes a new set of fresh-faced students to its campus and kicks off the year with Wildcat Welcome, a week-long orientation program filled with events and activities to acclimate the freshman class. But who exactly plans everything? Six students comprise the Wildcat Welcome board of directors, and they coordinate everything from AlcoholEdu to guest speakers. Medill senior Shane Singh has been on the board for the past two years. He talks rollercoasters, dinosaurs and what he thinks of the freshmen class. How long does it take to plan Wildcat Welcome? The six (on the board of directors) are hired near Thanksgiving and our contract ends at the end of October. So I don’t think a lot of people actually know how much time we put into this. But it goes in shifts. The longest process is hiring all of the peer coordinators and peer advisers. This year we had about 550 applications for 220 peer advisor spots (and) we got about 60 peer coordinator applications for 30 spots. We personally interview everyone, and Spring Quarter is when we train. We do have a professional staff that does some of the big jobs and budgeting. Did your freshman experience play into your decisions? I did not like my freshman year at all in the beginning. I had a hard time finding my niche and didn’t nail down my good friends until the end of Fall Quarter, so I think that played into it a lot, having a rough time socially was hard. I just wanted to try and give everyone a great experience coming in. What big changes were made? We had March through the Arch this year. Also, last year we had Fling at the Field (dance party at the Field Museum) and this year instead we went to Six Flags and shut down the entire park for NU freshmen. It was amazing. It was just a better bonding experience. I think a threehour dance party can’t compare to talking in line and running around a park. It was a tradition to have Fling at the Field and this year the new class went to Six Flags instead. Which is better, rollercoasters or dinosaurs? I’m going have to say rollercoasters, because you can be seated next to someone you don’t like
Photo by Ray Whitehouse Medill senior Shane Singh ushers a group of new students into Pick-Staiger Concert Hall during Wildcat Welcome
or whatever and you’re able to scream your head off, but if you’re dancing next to them, next to dinosaurs, you would come off as crazy. Rollercoasters by far. What’s your most memorable moment from the week? At the park, when we got the go ahead to go on the rollercoasters, that first ride was full of freshman and they just start chanting “GO U NU!” and that was really cool. It’s so much about getting students pumped about being here. What about problems with new students drinking? That really wasn’t a problem. Six Flags worked so well because generally kids aren’t going to drink and ride rollercoasters. About 2,000 people attended and there’s about 2,200 in the freshman class altogether. It was crazy. Before anyone gets on the bus we check for those things, see if they have alcohol or if they’re drunk, and have them step aside and deal with them, but this year there was not one person who could not get on the bus. What’s one word you would use to describe the freshman class? Spirited. Definitely. When the new president spoke, they introduced him and said, let’s give a big Wildcat welcome and they started the NU growl. Completely on their own. I have never seen that happen. So yeah, they’re enthusiastic. SAMANTHA LEAL
THE BROW critical reviews on the week’s new releases Low Brow SEAN KINGSTON Tomorrow
You know those drunken nights of self-loathing BK gorgefests? After a brew too many and a feast of fillers, you feel slightly satisfied, but more than slightly bloated - that’s the gist of Tomorrow. There isn’t a single inspired lyric on the 19-year-old’s second album (where his rhyming dictionary seems only to suggest “diamond ring” and “pretty little thing” as possible partners), but you didn’t come to Kingston for freshly plucked words from the verbal fruit tree any more than you came to The Keg in hopes of using toilet paper. You chose him to find a “Fire Burning” to which you can grind. Try “My Girlfriend” or “Mista DJ”… there’s little difference. If you feel guilty after gorging on the album’s junk-food tracks, “Face Drop” will comfort (“Sayin’ that I look better if I was thinner/Don’t you know you shoulda love me for my inner.”) But if it’s serious music you crave, cut Sean Kingston from your diet. MANDY OAKLANDER
OVERHEARD AT NU
And she called me and was like, ‘I just made out with Tom Hanks’s son!’ - Sheridan Road, outside of Kellogg
WHY WE LIKE
A series of bite-sized mockumentary webisodes illuminates the truths and lovable insanity of a freshman dorm experience
LA ROUX La Roux
La Roux is some kind of futuristic sex robot and she is all over your dance floor. Songs like “In For The Kill” and “Bulletproof ” (both of which blew up in the U.K. but haven’t made it here for no good reason) will make you feel good about dancing even when you can’t hook up at the end of the night. Lead singer of the British duo, Elly Jackson, is the anti-Wavves with her flipped up haircut and slightly cold but intensely focused emotions, and you will feel like a Blade Runner when the synthesizers plop and ping and some generic lyrics kick in, which by now you don’t care about because the melody is so syrupy sweet. This album is a must-have for collegiate trendsetters. JEREMY GORDON
High Brow MONSTERS OF FOLK Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk is an indie music lover’s ultimate supergroup. A powerhouse of musicians, the band includes three singer-songwriterguitarists: Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), M.Ward and Jim James (My Morning Jacket), along with producer-instrumentalist Mike Mogis. The best part of their debut album is the collaboration in itself: M.O.F. doesn’t spotlight one musician—instead, it melds together all of their sounds and lyrics into a package of pure retro bliss. Sixteen tracks (five penned by each of the three songwriters, plus one live recording) might make for a long listen, but with songs this good it isn’t long enough. Highlights include “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)” where everyone has a verse, and “Goodway,” a good driving song with a catchy, raw feel. SAMANTHA LEAL
Early September is the ideal time to delve into a new TV show. It’s that weird lull between the end of summer internships and the return to Evanston when all your friends already have left for college. During the lull, I was flipping through Hulu. com and, at a friend’s suggestion, checked out an episode of “Dorm Life,” the ‘mockumentary’ web series created by former UCLA students that chronicles the ups and downs of the first year of dorm living. The tagline of the show is “This isn’t Real Life. This is Dorm Life.” It was almost absurdly easy to get addicted to Dorm Life. I admit that I watched both seasons of about 20 five-toten minute episodes in a span of 48 hours. Here’s why. The show’s premise is simple: take the freshman year of college, add the requisite archetypes — the straitlaced mama’s boy, the artsy space cadet, the übercompetitive RA — and throw in webcams and a filming style reminiscent of “The Office.” The result is a funny, bizarre, visceral and at times surprisingly poignant chronicle of freshman year. As a result of its webisode format, the series moves at a clip — the jokes are quick and witty and the plot thickens and becomes interesting pretty fast. It’s simple to get into “Dorm Life” without committing your entire life to a new TV series (although you’ll want to). You get cozy with this band of residents from 5-South because they’re just like your freshman year floor, just a little more extreme and absurd than you remember. Everyone’s antics aside, you find yourself
wanting perfect hipster girl Brittany Wilcox and everyman protagonist Mike Sanders to just hook up and get it over with already. You root for the anal retentive Danny B to work things out with mystery hot girl. You kind of want the hard-partying Shane Reilly to become floor president, even if it will break Steph Schwartzman’s school spiritfilled little heart. The series is marked by the major milestones of freshman year — studying for your midterm in a throwaway distro like ‘Earthquakes,’ taking a road trip during spring break and prepping for the year-end ‘dormal.’ What’s even better is how hardcore the cast is. They lived in character in a dorm at a Buddhist-founded university outside L.A., hanging out, living life and posting webcam videos to the site during their time there. For fans of “The Office,” even the characters’ knowing glances are familiar; the dorm lifers seem hyper-aware of the camera crew that has seemingly unfettered access to their lives. It’s an addictive combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar, a jumble of stuff you remember and things you probably tried to forget from your freshman experience. “Dorm Life,” in all its glory, might be a good guide for freshmen about what to do (or not do) their first year and how to learn to love the hodgepodge crew of kids who live around them. The series’ second season ended in July, but in a recent interview, cast members say they’re interested in keeping the show going for a third season. Here’s to their sophomore year.
DORM LIFE AT NU Number of residence halls on campus: 32 Students in housing: 2,150 freshmen and 1,500 sophomores Community Assistants employed: 100 Largest residence hall: Foster-Walker Complex, 627 students Smallest residence hall: 584 Lincoln, 21 students All-female residence: Hobart House All-male residence: Foster House Oldest residence hall in use: Chapin Hall, constructed in 1901 Most requested residences for the class of 2013: Allison, Bobb-McCulloch, Elder, 1835 Hinman, Sargent and Willard
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