Seth Rogen can’t escape himself in the brutally violent Observe and Report DIVERSIONS | PAGE 6
THE DIAMONDBACK THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009
99TH YEAR | ISSUE NO. 122
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND’S INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER
State drops health care provider Candidates More than 1,000 university employees must find new plan by May 1 BY MARISSA LANG Senior staff writer
More than 1,000 university employees will have to scramble to find a new health insurance provider by May 1 after the state decided to drop a long-standing insurance provider earlier this
month. Although Kaiser Permanente has insured state and university employees for decades, the state will no longer offer that health insurance option as of June 30, a move university officials said will heavily impact two vulnerable groups: retirees, who may have
difficulty navigating the insurance process, and graduate students, who may have difficulty affording new insurance. Knowing university and state employees will have less than two weeks to change providers — the open enrollment period will be from April 20 to May 1 — the uni-
versity’s Office of Human Resources will host a health insurance fair in the Stamp Student Union on April 22. “Dealing with health insurance issues is very difficult,” Graduate Student Government Director of
Please See HMO, Page 3
Council doubts ability of two SGA hopefuls to get student elected
BY BRADY HOLT Senior staff writer
Despite pledges by two SGA presidential candidates to help elect a strong “pro-student” candidates to the College Park City Council this fall, doing so would require jumping several difficult — and political — hurdles. Besides historically low student turnout for council elections, a student candidate would also have to be 21 or older — a rule that only one of the presidential candidates was aware of —and overcome the reluctance of longtime city residents to support a student. In addition, current city council members said student representation wouldn’t be a positive thing because students are largely uninformed about and undedicated to city politics and policy. But two Student Government Association
Lacrosse team adjusts to new stadiums as Byrd undergoes construction BY MICHAEL KATZ Staff writer
It will be nearly the same scene as always when the Terrapin men’s lacrosse team steps out onto the field Saturday against archrival Johns Hopkins. The same screaming fans, media hype and tournament implications will all be present. Really, the only difference will be the purple seats. That’s because the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse has moved off the campus for the first time in 83 official regular season matchups. This year, in an event sponsored by Inside Lacrosse, the No. 13 Terps (6-4, 2-1 ACC) host No. 9 Johns Hopkins at M&T Bank Stadium — home of the Baltimore Ravens. The match is part of an Inside Lacrosse-sponsored Smartlink Day of Rivals, which pits the Terps against the Blue Jays at 2 p.m., after an Army-Navy match at 11:30 a.m. It will be the second time the Terps have played in the football arena this season, after a Feb. 28 win against Duke in the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic, also sponsored by Inside Lacrosse. “This week, [the fans] will be split a little
Please See LACROSSE, Page 8
Student Power Party finances understated in initial report Revised report shows group spent an additional $400 BY DERBY COX Staff writer
A revised campaign finance report released late Tuesday night by the Student Power Party show the party spent about $400 more on its SGA campaign than was previously reported. The party raised $1,187.52 and spent $1,040.29, mainly on T-shirts and printed materials, according to the new report. The discrepancy between the reports was due to an accounting error in the first report, Student Power Party Campaign Manager Bob Hayes wrote in an e-mail. On that report, physical donations such as
Please See FINANCE, Page 2
aim to seat student on city council
Please See COUNCIL, Page 3
SGA Speaker and pro tempore Jenna Aidikoff tells the legislature why the group needed to take a stand on the university's contract with Russell Athletic. VINCE SALAMONE/THE DIAMONDBACK
The Terps have made Ludwig Field (top) their home this season as a result of Byrd Stadium (middle) construction on Tyser Tower (bottom). JACLYN BOROWSKI/THE DIAMONDBACK
Commenting on a crisis Political scientist lectures on Israeli-Palestinian conflict BY JACK HARLOW For The Diamondback
Controversial political scientist Norman Finkelstein spoke last night in Tydings Hall on the decades-long conflict between Palestine and Israel and the potential peace between the two. The political scientist is known for his extensive research on the Palestinian-Israeli territorial struggle, as well as for his harsh criticism of several pro-Israeli books and DePaul University’s refusal to grant him tenure in 2007. Finkelstein spoke to a crowded lecture hall in Tydings in an event that was a continuation of last month’s Palestinian Awareness Week, student organizers said. A news release on the Muslim Student Associations’ website says organizers tried to change the date of the event because of Passover, but Finkelstein could not reschedule. Despite the perception of an “intergalactic conflict,” Finkelstein said the Palestinian-Is-
SGA urges university to drop Russell Athletic deal BY DERBY COX Staff writer
Finkelstein said, but linked Israel’s refusal to sign the “twostate solution” in recent years as the reason a settlement hasn’t
Student leaders condemned the university’s contract with Russell Athletic amid rising concerns from universities around the country that the apparel company has mistreated workers in Central America. A Passover-depleted Student Government Association legislature unanimously passed the bill at an SGA meeting last night as about 20 members of Feminism Without Borders and the Student Power Party applauded from the gallery. After the vote, Feminism Without Borders members said they hoped the legislation would help to convince University Director of Trademark Licensing Joe Ebaugh that the student body is against the contract. Complaints about the company stem from the closure of a plant in Honduras where workers unionized in 2007. Company officials said they were forced to shut down the
Please See FINKELSTEIN, Page 2
Please See RUSSELL, Page 3
Hundreds of students gather in Tydings Hall last night to hear a lecture by controversial political scientist Norman Finkelstein. JAMES B. HALE/THE DIAMONDBACK
raeli conflict might not be as complicated as it may seem. “The conflict between Israel and Palestine is the most susceptible to resolution in the world today, that’s a fact,” NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 OPINION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
FEATURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 CLASSIFIED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
DIVERSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . .6 SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
THE DIAMONDBACK | NEWS | THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009
WE WANT YOU Story ideas? News tips? E-mail them to The Diamondback at email@example.com
NEWSMAKERS BRIEFS State license compromise called unlikely ANNAPOLIS – The president of the Maryland Senate says he doesn’t see much opportunity for compromise as lawmakers consider whether to allow illegal immigrants to be issued driver’s licenses. Both the House of Delegates and the Senate have voted to stop issuing licenses to illegal immigrants this year. The House, however, wants to allow illegal immigrants who already have state identification to renew their licenses and receive a distinct card that could not be used to board planes or enter federal buildings. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Wednesday he doesn’t see a compromise emerging, and either he or Speaker of the House Michael Busch will have to “turn the votes” in their chambers. Washington suing people, firms for scamming churches WASHINGTON – The city’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against several companies that allegedly defrauded up to 50 AfricanAmerican churches in Washington, D.C, Maryland and other states. Attorney General Peter Nickles says Television Broadcasting Online Inc., Urban Interfaith Network Inc., of Temple Hills, Md., Michael Morris and Willie Perkins offered free computer equipment to Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas and California churches. However, Nickles said the scam, which included several leasing companies, required churches to unknowingly make long-term lease payments totaling more than $50,000. Prosecutors say the equipment is only worth a few thousand dollars and frequently malfunctioned. — Compiled from wire reports
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Organizers: Finkelstein Student Power Party’s brings unique viewpoint spending still trails other three groups
FINKELSTEIN, from Page 1 been reached. “We should be doing everything we can to work toward a peaceful resolution.” Finkelstein reflected on events in Gaza from Dec. 27 last year to Jan. 18, when Israel bombed Gaza, killing 1,450 Palestinians. Finkelstein said 83 percent of those casualties were civilians — but there are conflicting reports on that number, including from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights — and said the bombing can’t be called a war where two sides fire at each other, but a massacre, with one side firing and the other being fired upon. He also talked about the idea of “deterrence capacity” as the cause for Israel embarking on the “massacre” in Gaza. He said Israel attacked Gaza because the Palestinians are not as afraid as they used to be or should be and they needed to reassert the “fear of us.” Finkelstein, 55, the son of two Holocaust survivors, received his master’s degree in political science in 1980 and, eight years later, his doctorate in political studies from Princeton University. He is the author of five books, including A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-Up of American Zionism, which is scheduled to be published later this year. Finkelstein has experienced significant criticism throughout his career for his negative comments on Israel. His book, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, claims Israel has sought to benefit monetarily from the Holocaust and has been labeled
FINANCE, from Page 1
Political scientist Norman Finkelstein spoke to a crowded lecture hall last night. JAMES B. HALE/THE DIAMONDBACK
by opponents as “trash” and a quick appeal to anti-Semites. But students who attended the lecture, which was sponsored by a number of student groups including the MSA, the Organization of Arab Students, Muslim Women of Maryland and Community Roots, said they found the event enlightening and came away with a different outlook on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Reem Dughly, a senior biology and Spanish major and a member of the Muslim Women at Maryland, said she knew Finkelstein was provocative in some ways, but admitted it was interesting to gain such a unique perspective. “I really enjoyed that he provided a good historical context,” Dughly said. “He gave a full history of the conflict and brought us into how that affects us today.” Ridwanur Rahman, a senior criminology and criminal justice major and MSA president, agreed with Dughly and said the event was important in educat-
ing the public on the Palestinian side of the story. “One thing I really appreciate is that he brought in facts and statistics into the speech,” Rahman said. And Abdul Saboor Khan, a senior genetics and cell biology major and vice president of the Muslim Students Association, said she was impressed by how Finkelstein emphasized the humanitarian issue in his speech. “Finkelstein’s main goal is to show the struggle of the common man, whether Palestinian or Israeli, and the troubles they face,” Khan said. firstname.lastname@example.org
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pizza or printing materials were listed only as credits and not as debits, Hayes wrote. As a result, $300 in printing costs were not counted as an expense on the first report. Hayes also said a lack of continuity in the party’s candidate for vice president of financial affairs — the party’s first choice was ruled ineligible — complicated the party’s record keeping. ONE Party presidential candidate Steve Glickman said he thought there was “some strategy behind giving a lower number” in the first report, but Hayes said the error was not intentional. “I would say that’s not strategy, that’s poor accounting practices,” added Student Power Party presidential candidate Malcolm Harris. Harris said he stood by his criticisms of the other campaigns when he chastised them yesterday for their spending and for taking sizable donations from the presidential candidates’ families. “[Their spending] shows they think they can buy the
“I would say that’s not strategy, that’s poor accounting practices.” MALCOLM HARRIS STUDENT POWER PARTY SGA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
election,” Harris said yesterday. But Unite UMD presidential candidate Nick Mongelluzzo said he didn’t think the difference in spending between the parties was large to begin with and that the Student Power Party’s $650 in spending originally reported “exaggerated” what difference there was. Even with the new figure, the Student Power Party still spent the least on the campaign, according to the reports. The CONNECT Party spent $3,989.51 on its campaign, the most of the four parties. The ONE Party spent $3,656.54, and Unite UMD came in third with $2,684.69 spent on the campaign. email@example.com
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THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009 | NEWS | THE DIAMONDBACK
Black Engineers Society honored with University failed to national award, submarine excursion individually notify BY ADELE HAMPTON Staff writer
The university’s Black Engineers Society is trying to build an intergenerational pipeline. Aiming to draw more young minorities into the math and science fields, the group works with local programs, hoping to show the community a different kind of engineer. In recognition of their efforts in this area, the university’s chapter was named the National Society of Black Engineers’ distinguished chapter of the year at their annual convention in Las Vegas and will receive a variety of prizes, including an allexpense-paid trip to San Diego, Calif., for a ride aboard a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, members said. But regardless of the prizes, the group’s members said it’s the opportunities for outreach to students at local high schools and middle schools that drove them to be a part of the group — and what sets them apart. “We’re going along with the [engineering school Dean Darryll Pines’] mission of more minorities in this field,” said society member and senior mechanical engineering major Bryan Henderson. “I’m really excited for the younger generation.” The relationships formed between society members and high school students are ones that last for years, one of the
main reasons why their community programs have such a big impact, Henderson said. “We’ve been able to make a bigger impact, and that sets us apart from different societies,” he said. “In the same way someone reached out to them, someone reached out to me. The pipeline is amazing. We’re not just a bunch of students. We operate like a business.” While the society is a collegiate group, substantial focus is put on younger students. Through programs such as the Pre-College Initiative and working with the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering, the Black Engineers Society works with Prince George’s County Schools to spark minority youth interest in the engineering fields and in attending college. The group invites students to come to the campus during shadow days and last year’s Engineering Day, where they learn about the different opportunities available to them, igniting an interest in the engineering fields. “It’s geared toward getting young kids and minorities interested,” chapter president and senior mechanical engineering major Sidney Ngochi said. “The parents get into it, too. The parents know what engineering is when we’re done.” Beyond helping the next generation of engineering stu-
employees on HMO
HMO, from Page 1
The Black Engineers Society poses after winning the National Distinguished Chapter of the Year Award in Las Vegas. COURTESY OF BLACK ENGINEERS SOCIETY
SIDNEY NGOCHI BLACK ENGINEERS SOCIETY PRESIDENT
dents, the society also looks to encourage the current one by working closely with both university departments and its corporate sponsors for funding and support. Companies such as Cisco, Boeing, the National Security Agency and Google provide not only a financial backbone to the group, but an educational one, as well.
The group’s members also provide valuable support to one another. “We are like a family,” Ngochi said. “Because in engineering, you can’t go solo.” But the group is not limited to minority engineering majors, Henderson said. Student members come from a variety of cultural and academic backgrounds such as computer science, math and psychology. With its work in the community and in the classroom, the group is looking to change the public’s definition of an engineer — not limited by race, gender or economic standing, Henderson said. “We’re really trying to make engineering sexy,” he said. firstname.lastname@example.org
Student campaigns fizzled in past elections COUNCIL, from Page 1 presidential candidates — the Student Power Party’s Malcolm Harris and Unite UMD’s Nick Mongelluzzo — said getting prostudent representation on the council was critical and that they could both find informed students to run and increase student turnout in the elections. “Students make up such a large percentage of the city,” said Harris, a former opinion columnist for The Diamondback. “We need to make sure the city is representing the students.” But despite their emphasis on city issues, neither candidate said they were familiar with any current city council actions that they would perceive as anti-student, nor could they name any student issues in which they felt the council was falling short. The lack of knowledge, council members said, is why there is no real groundswell to get students elected to the council or to change the minimum age to 18. Lowering the age minimum for council candidates to 18 would mean the “incompetent people could be elected more easily, because the people who’d vote for them are uninformed,” District 2 Councilman Bob Catlin said. “That would be a disaster.”
Students are neither familiar with city issues nor invested in College Park for the long-term, Catlin said. He added that a 20-year-old could potentially have enough understanding of College Park, but that it probably wouldn’t be worth changing city code just to include more possible student candidates. “I’ve never seen a place where students have made a difference,” Catlin said. District 4 Councilwoman Mary Cook said she was more amenable to the idea of student candidates for the city council, but added that past experience made her doubt such candidates would emerge. “I would just think that whoever it would be, no matter what their age, they have to have some knowledge of the workings of the city — that’s what concerned me, not their age,” she said. “If I saw a lot of interest from 18-year-olds I’d say, ‘Yeah, lower the age.’ But I haven’t seen a lot of 18-year-olds or even 21-year-olds interested in running for council.” Cook easily defeated student candidate Nick Aragon when she was elected to the council in a special election in January 2007, and no students ran that fall in the regular elections. In 2007, Aragon told The Dia-
mondback he thought no student could ever get enough support from the city’s permanent residents to win a council position, despite the number of students in College Park. “You just cannot shake the word ‘student,’” Aragon said. “If ‘student’ is in front of the name, that’s it. [Residents] just won’t vote for you.” District 1 Councilman Jonathan Molinatto is a part-time graduate student at the university, but lives in a district with a low student population and never ran as a student candidate. And while the SGA does have a city council liaison who attends meetings and provides a student voice, the liaison isn’t allowed to vote. Mongelluzzo, for his part, said although he would prefer a student member, he would also be happy with “pro-student” permanent residents being elected. “There are politically active residents here who are not necessarily on council yet,” Mongelluzzo said. “By talking to them, you cannot necessarily encourage them, but let them know we’re going to support them.” Harris disagreed, saying that a non-student — even one sympathetic to students — could not sufficiently represent student inter-
ests because they would not understand them the same way a student could. Regardless, getting a pro-student councilmember elected would likely require a drastic increase in student turnout. In the past, SGA attempts have failed to compel more students to vote. For the fall 2007 city elections, the SGA registered more than 1,000 students, but fewer than 50 showed up to vote — and one of those students who voted in a close District 2 race told The Diamondback in November 2007 that he chose the top names from an alphabetical list of candidates. Mongelluzzo said his experience with voter registration campaigns would help with turnout. Harris said he would also consider lobbying the council to change its candidate policy — some other college towns, including College Station, Texas, and State College, Pa., only require that their council candidates be registered voters. But Catlin maintained the city should not try to accommodate younger student candidates. “Tell them to get older. That’s what they do for drinking,” Catlin said. “If you’re interested in the city, then you should stay.” email@example.com
Operations Roberto Munster said. “More than half of the graduate student population is married, and a lot of graduate student assistants have families to think about.” University Human Resources Director Dale Anderson said the state decided to cut the Kaiser Permanente HMO — a health insurance option that provided subscribers with guaranteed health coverage across the board on the basis of a prepaid contract — because the state upped its requirements of health insurance companies this year, and Kaiser was unable to comply with new state mandates. No state or Kaiser representatives were available to comment. “The state has added requirements for coverage,” Anderson said. “From a content standpoint, the state’s new requirements are going to bring in more comprehensive coverage, but right now we don’t have any idea what the rates are going to be.” Munster noted that cost is often of great importance to many graduate student assistants, and expressed concern over the possibility of increased rates for similar service. History professor and University Senate Chair Ken Holum added that discontinuing an HMO is more serious than most other types of insurance providers because HMO plans are all-inclusive. “The issue is you get your doctors through your HMO,” Holum said. “Suddenly, your HMO is not there and you’ve lost your doctor; you have to go shopping.” But more upsetting than the sudden termination of the state’s relationship with Kaiser Permanente is the lack of communication from the state, university employees said. Apart from a line on the state’s Department of Budget and Management’s website noting the change, university employees said they have not received any official notifications from the state, citing informal notices university administrators sent within the last week as their only source of information. “This was decided by a state board without informing anyone
and without any public discussion,” Holum said. “Nobody I know has received any individual notification about this yet,” added Marvin Breslow, a retired history professor who used Kaiser Permanente. The university’s health insurance fair, which will be held later in April, will also allow the university to maintain “a listing of all the people who are involved and make sure they do exercise their opportunity to change health insurance providers,” Anderson said. But Breslow said retirees impacted by the switch pose an entirely different problem, as many of them are out of touch with the inner workings of the university. Many have had the same insurance provider for years, and may not be able to attend the health insurance fair. “Some of us have been with Kaiser for over 40 years, and have all of our doctors — cardiologists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, etc. — through this HMO,” Breslow said. “I’m going semi-hysterical over this. I don’t know how to do these insurance things anymore because I haven’t had to do it in 40-something years.” Anderson said university human resources officials will be on-call during the open source period to assist employees and address concerns about new state options. “It’s complicated, but there are a lot of options that are going to be offered,” Anderson said. “We hope there will be adequate choices to meet the needs of faculty, staff and graduate student assistants. It just won’t be Kaiser.” Holum said in the future, university leaders should take matters into their own hands and look into preventing similar surprises from springing up on university employees by increasing communication and transparency. “This is an unfortunate and difficult occurrence that more than 1,000 employees now have to face,” Holum said. “We need to see how we can avoid having something like this happen in the future.” firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTH INSURANCE TIMELINE More than 1,000 university employees will have less than two weeks to find a new health insurance plan after the state decided to discontinue offering Kaiser Permanente insurance to its workers. n April 20: Open enrollment period for health insurance companies begins. n April 22: University sponsors a health insurance fair in the Stamp Student Union for employees who need to change their plans. n May 1: Last day state employees can change health insurance providers. n June 30: Kaiser Permanente’s state contract expires. All state subscribers will no longer be covered under the HMO.
Feminism Without Borders says SGA bill indicates greater student support
Eat IN-itiative reduces takeout, but may not reach project goal
RUSSELL, from Page 1
Dining Services, RHA to sponsor raffle as incentive
Russell Athletic because of the company’s labor pracplant because of an economic tices, according to the legisladownturn, and the Fair Labor tion. Two of them — the UniAssociation, of which the uni- versity of Michigan and the versity is a member, found University of North Carolina there were economic reasons — are among the university’s peer institutions. to close the factory. Feminism WithBut the Worker out Borders has Rights Consorlong attempted to tium, of which bring attention to the university is the issue, includalso a member, ing staging a found violations protest in front of of workers’ rights the Main Adminat company istration building plants in Honlast week. Produras. testers ran “Over a twoaround McKeldin year period, RusMall chanting in sell managers defense of unions carried out a before jumping campaign of through a large retaliation and JOSEF PARKER banner designed intimidation in MEMBER OF FEMINISM WITHOUT to represent the order to stop BORDERS Russell Athletic workers at two of the company’s Honduran fac- contract. Activists tried to tories from exercising their deliver a public records right to organize and bargain request to university Presicollectively,” according to a dent Dan Mote, but they were locked out of the building. report on the WRC’s website. Student Power Party neighFeminism Without Borders President Mary Yanik said boring commuter legislator reports “indicate [the clo- candidate Josef Parker and sure] is solely because of the Feminism Without Borders unionizing efforts. ... The member Liz Ciavolino said economy we think is just an they hoped the SGA bill would demonstrate to the excuse.” Twenty-five universities administration that the stuhave already cut ties with dent body supports ending the
“We’re trying to show Ebaugh that there are a lot of students who want to cut the contract.”
university’s relationship with the company. “We’re trying to show Ebaugh that there are a lot of students who want to cut the contract,” said Parker, who is also a member of Feminism Without Borders. The only controversy on the bill within the SGA was procedural. The vote was originally supposed to take place at the group’s meeting next week, but Freshman Legislator Sehar Sabir, who agreed to sponsor the legislation on behalf of Feminism Without Borders, motioned to vote on the bill last night to show the SGA’s support before members of Feminism Without Borders meet with Ebaugh next Tuesday. Denton Legislator Andrew Steinberg opposed the move because he said ignoring the rules would limit input from students and other legislators, many of whom were absent to observe Passover. “This isn’t about the merits of the bill, this is just about the legislative process,” Steinberg said, to groans from the gallery. The legislature approved Sabir’s motion 10-4 before passing the bill. email@example.com
BY DANA CETRONE Staff writer
New statistics show Dining Services’ Eat IN-itiative has so far been successful in reducing takeout container use, officials said, but the department still may not reach its overall goal for this semester. The goal of the initiative is to decrease takeout container use from 66 containers per dining plan last semester to 56 this semester, about a 15 percent drop. However, container usage is only down three containers per plan through March, said Dining Services spokesman Bart Hipple. For March, the average containers per student with a dining plan decreased from 19.34 containers to 17.77 containers. The initiative is aimed at reducing waste as a part of the university-wide push for environmental sustainability. Dining Services has also introduced new takeout containers made from Bagasse instead of plastic foam as part of the department’s sustainability efforts. “We want to make everyone more aware about increasing sustainability,” said Sam
Lengyel, chair of the Resident Hall Association’s Dining Services advisory board. “We’ve been telling orientation advisers to point it out to incoming students.” As an added incentive for students to use takeout containers less, Dining Services and the RHA are introducing a raffle to reward students who eat in the dining halls. During the week of April 20, every student with a dining plan who uses a tray and plates instead of a Bagasse takeout container for lunch and dinner will be automatically entered into the raffle, Hipple said. At the end of the week, Dining Services will hold a drawing for 162 prizes, including Terrapin Express shopping sprees, coupons for late-night parties at the dining halls and stacks of free refill coupons for dining hall beverages. About $2,500 in prizes will be offered, Hipple said. “Usage [of the containers] is better than it was last year,” Hipple said. “We want to reward students and encourage better usage next year.” The initiative, which began last fall, generally uses posters in the dining and dorms and signs on tables to
both remind students to eat at the dining halls and discourage the usage of takeout containers. Beyond the environmental effects, Dining Services director Colleen Wright-Riva thinks getting more students to eat in the dining halls could foster more camaraderie between them. “I want more people to eat in because it increases the sense of community,” WrightRiva said. Sophomore letters and sciences major Michelle Miranda said she might eat in more during the raffle, but takeout containers are more convenient overall. “I like to take it back to my dorm, or sometimes [the servers] just give it to me,” Miranda said. “Sometimes it’s more convenient because food fits in better; it falls off of the plates.” Sophomore pre-veterinary major Vanly Nguyen held a similar attitude, but was not as inclined to end her takeout usage because of the raffle. “I get takeout all the time because I like to come back to my room and eat while I do other things,” Nguyen said. firstname.lastname@example.org
THE DIAMONDBACK | THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009
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EDITOR IN CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR
More leadership, less money
Drawing the line: Free speech, church and state
n the last week, the CONNECT and ONE parties have spent more money vying campus issue and mobilizing students. While other parties distributed chocolate outfor control of the Student Government Association than in-state students spent side of the dining halls, the Student Power Party was organizing a news conference. Regardless of which candidate wins the presidency, they will be asked to voice on tuition this semester. The two groups reported spending $3,989.51 and $3,656.54 respectively in preliminary campaign finance data released Tuesday their opinion on issues and engage students. There’s no reason the campaign perinight, with Unite UMD and the Student Power Party trailing behind at $2,684.69 and od can’t serve as a trial run. ONE Party presidential candidate and student senator Steve Glickman was the only candidate to attend a University Senate meeting $1,040.29, respectively. Monday where the university’s arbitrary and capricious grading While all four amounts are less than has been spent in previous policy and a commencement prayer came before a vote, and he years — when the tab sometimes ran as high as $7,000 — they still didn’t testify or give any comment on the two issues — when he point to a need for the SGA to impose a more stringent cap on just very well should have. And we can’t be sure whether the other how much can be spent on T-shirts, lollipops and sidewalk chalk. The SGA candidates candidates were too busy putting posters up around the campus, Politicking is an expensive business, there’s no question about that. But as the SGA election season comes to a close, the organiza- should spend less money knocking on student doors or otherwise campaigning to go to the tion is in a prime position to reevaluate whether the high costs close and more time proving meeting, but the fact that two student-impacting issues were discussed and they weren’t there to either observe or chime in out certain candidates and if they send the wrong message about their leadership. shows a missed opportunity for these candidates to demonstrate what the organization stands for. their leadership, not just talk about it. In yesterday’s story, “Finance data reveals disparities,” Unite While Mongelluzzo, Glickman, the Student Power Party’s Malcolm Harris and UMD presidential candidate Nick Mongelluzzo claimed the Student Power Party didn’t need to spend much money on their campaign because the group got free coverage CONNECT Party’s Wanika Fisher have spoken extensively about their commitment from the porn screening debacle. Mongelluzzo raises a valid point, but not for the rea- to standing up for students, they could have showed it on Monday — and no one did. The candidates should put their mouth where their money is. son he likely intended. The Student Power Party earned media coverage by raising a
Editorial Cartoon: Mike O’Brien
Protests: Keep organizing, just show more skin
niversity bans prayer at commencement, shows porn that evening,” is how engineering professor Arthur Johnson, a university senator, predicted Tuesday’s headlines in The Diamondback would read. On Monday afternoon, the University Senate voted to remove the two-minute invocation at our commencement ceremony, a decision fully supported by the student senators. That night, the Student Power Party sponsored a screening of the now-infamous Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge (a hardcore pornographic film, if you haven’t heard yet) despite threats from the state legislature. As Johnson predicted, both issues made headlines, though the porn was the more popular topic. What didn’t receive as much attention was that a new (much more studentfriendly) policy on capricious and arbitrary grading was sent back to committee (translation: it was rejected and has virtually no hope of being resurrected while any of us are still here), or the Col-
ZLATIC lege of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ walkout, an event that probably many more people participated in than the porn screening. A reporter from a local television station jokingly suggested that if the BSOS walkout wanted more attention, the organizers should have stripped — the public wants to hear about sex, not funding inequity. Well, I don’t know if that’s the kind of attention the walkout participants wanted, but I think they could have at least made a few bucks for their cause. What really struck me as the events of the last two weeks unfolded is that finally, after four years at the university, I’m getting to be a part of the kind of history that my mom experienced when she
studied at the University of California, Berkeley, in ’72. At home, every time I complain about a policy or problem on the campus, I get the same response: “We wouldn’t have let them get away with that.” Then, inevitably, I hear one of a number of examples of protests, sitins or walkouts organized during her years there. Most recently, I heard a story about a multi-day sit-in when the library administrators decided to close an hour early. I can’t help wondering, why haven’t we been able to get organized like that? Why do we just assume that there’s nothing we can do, or that protests are only for communists and tree-huggers? I think part of it is the lack of public attention for these kinds of demonstrations. I mean, how many times have you walked past McKeldin Mall when it’s full of flags and wondered, “Dead babies or dead soldiers?” The fact is that you and everyone else who walked by just didn’t care. And who can blame you? Whatever your stance is on the issues, there’s really nothing you can do about either dead ba-
bies or dead soldiers. And even if you could, a bunch of flags on the mall wouldn’t change your mind. But just because that kind of protest seems boring and pointless doesn’t mean that getting organized and making ourselves heard can’t still be effective the way it was way back when (by the way, my mom’s friends won, and the libraries stayed open). The difference is that way back when, they didn’t quit until they got what they wanted. The problem is that if we stop now, things go back to the way they were before, and no one cares what students have to say. So, as usual, here’s my advice: Keep protesting, keep organizing, keep walking out of class (well, maybe don’t do that last part too often if you want to pass). But this time, strip while you’re doing it and you might get some more attention. Lida Zlatic is a senior art history and classics major and a member of the University Senate. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Cherry Blossom Festival: Lots of walking, not a lot of trees
eally? This is it? A bunch of pink trees around a tidal basin? This is what I waited in line to get a Metro ticket for; braved crowded trains for; and endured a 45-minute trip for? I’m not impressed. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a much ballyhooed conglomerate of events that signifies the oncoming of spring. And though Washington puts on a festive air with parades, runs for charity and other related events, let’s face it: Those pink trees are pretty overrated. Now don’t get me wrong — there are a number of activities that the city holds aside from the actual viewing of the trees. Promotions such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, fireworks and cultural festivals are unique and enjoyable
avenues for tourists and locals to enjoy what Washington has to offer. Although not big on parades, I personally enjoyed volunteering for the parade on Constitution Avenue — which included performances by former participants on American Idol and Miss America — and attending the cultural festival afterward, which showcased many Japanese traditions. But come on; we’re talking about a bunch of pink trees. For those of you who smartly passed on a trip from College Park to the nation’s capital this weekend (on what some were calling the “peak day of blooming”), here is what you unfortunately missed. Twenty-minute lines just to get a Metro pass if you did not have a SmarTrip card. A 45-minute trip in packed trains and with crying babies.
LANIYONU Crowded Metro centers and walking lanes, and seas of people everywhere. Yet here’s what really got me, and what I found laughable at best: I had forgotten just how few trees actually surround the tidal basin. The way this event is described, it’s as if somewhere hidden near the Washington Monument, there is a huge forest of pink cherry blossom trees that everyone from the world comes to witness in beautiful bloom. That’s not what I saw, though. (For the record, the flow-
ers weren’t even that pink; they were more like a pasty, slightly blushed white — what a rip-off.) Maybe it was just this year or maybe I went on the wrong day, but for someone who genuinely appreciated viewing the trees for their aesthetic beauty and presence on the tidal basin in past years, I was left with distaste for what the festival and the trees themselves had to offer this time around. To quote a friend, “If I knew it was going to be this much work to see a bunch of pink trees, I would have just looked outside my neighbor’s yard; he’s got plenty of them.” Ope Laniyonu is a junior international business and marketing major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
POLICY: The signed letters, columns and cartoon represent only the opinions of the authors. The staff editorial represents the opinion of The Diamondback’s editorial board and is the responsibility of the editor in chief.
LACIE RICHARDS In Marjorie Clemens’ guest column yesterday, “Prayer is speech too,” she expresses disagreement with the student senators who voted to ban prayer at the university’s campus-wide commencement ceremony and cites freedom of speech as a basis for that argument. Unfortunately, the issue isn’t as cut-anddry as a violation of freedom of speech. When we are discussing prayer and religion, we must remember that it falls under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and that there is a separation of church and state. This amendment has been applied to the states, and as a staterun institution, the university is bound by that rule. I would argue that the university-sponsored prayer at the ceremony would be a violation of the Establishment Clause and would be an impermissible government establishment of religion. According to the First Amendment, a government cannot sanction any one religion over another, and cannot favor religion over non-religion. In effect, that is what allowing one prayer at the graduation ceremony would do — it favors one religion’s type of prayer over another religion’s, and it favors religion over non-religion. This is all a matter of outlook — we must remember what the purpose of the First Amendment was and is. It ensures that the government’s power reaches actions only, and not opinions. It is not under the realm of university power for u n i v e r s i t y administrators to sanction religion. This ensures that all people are able to believe what they want to without the u n i v e r s i t y LACIE intruding on RICHARDSON individual con- GRADUATE STUDENT science. Clemens states that she hopes the university’s fight for freedom of speech is “a reflection of our true desire to have free expression of beliefs for all people in our school and community.” That is exactly what this is all about: The university cannot support one person’s expression of beliefs over another person’s. In the article that brought this topic to light on April 7, engineering professor and University Senator Arthur Johnson said, “The implication of this policy is that the university is anti-religion.” I disagree. Instead, the message that this sends is that the university wants everyone to be free to hold their own beliefs. That is the beauty of living in a free society.
“This is exactly what this is all about: The university cannot support one person’s expression of beliefs over another person’s.”
Lacie Richards is a graduate student. She can be reached at email@example.com.
AIR YOUR VIEWS Address your letters or guest columns to the Opinion Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. All letters and guest columns must be signed. Include your full name, year, major and day- and nighttime phone numbers. Please limit letters to 300 words. Please limit guest columns to 600 words. Submission of a letter or guest column constitutes an exclusive, worldwide, transferable license to The Diamondback of the copyright in the material in any media. The Diamondback retains the right to edit submissions for content and length.
THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009 | THE DIAMONDBACK
Features HOROSCOPESTELLA WILDER
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orn today, you are never one to dive headlong into an unknown or unfamiliar situation. On the contrary, you will do everything you can to collect as much pertinent and upto-date information as possible so that when you do decide to move, it is in the right direction, armed with the right information, so that you can maximize your gains and minimize any possible risks. This is not to say that you live risk-free; rather, you do what you can to face risks well armed so that you can put up a good and valiant fight even when the odds are against you. You are cautious, but not timid; you can be adventurous, but not foolhardy.
You are always willing to accept the advice and counsel of others — especially when they have been in your shoes before, and their words of wisdom have been forged by experience. What you never accept is unsolicited advice from someone who is unfamiliar with your circumstances, surely. Also born on this date are Michael Learned, actress; Cynthia Nixon, actress; Dennis Quaid, actor; Hugh Hefner, Playboy publisher; Charles Baudelaire, poet; Paul Robeson, actor; Jean-Paul Belmondo, actor. To see what is in store for you tomorrow, find your birthday and read the corresponding paragraph. Let your birthday star be your daily guide.
D A T E S
FRIDAY, APRIL 10 ARIES (March 21-April 19) — You don’t want others to think that you don’t have what it takes, but you must use caution when entering an unfamiliar arena.
NDS OOH MGR S AGE N D OW A RAGE ENED DANS
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — You may be widely admired on the whole, but there are those
who may have nothing but criticism to offer. Have they a good reason?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) — You’re not usually one to underestimate your abilities or sell yourself short — but confidence may be in short supply, temporarily.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — You’re in the mood for an adventure of some kind, but you may not know exactly what kind — or where. Let fate take a hand — for now.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) — You’re not about to be intimidated by one who is all bark and no bite. Bide your time, then swing into action when the odds are with you.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Things in and around the home are about to change, at least for the time being. You’re going to have to make a few personal adjustments.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — You can afford to be a little more accommodating to those around you. Stubbornness isn’t going to get you far at this time.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — You may have trouble expressing yourself as fully as you might wish, but there are those who will take even the slightest hints.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) — Others could learn a thing or two from you, especially when it comes to generosity and doing right by others.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Now is no time to let someone else gain the advantage through underhanded means. Don’t let anyone walk over you; be ready to fight.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have a great many responsibilities that may demand immediate attention. You’ll have to put certain personal desires on hold.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) — You may misinterpret a message early in the day, and risk progress and accomplishment as a result. A friend steers you
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THE DIAMONDBACK | THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009
HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE
Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana.
“It quickly becomes clear Montana is less a work of art and more a bloated cash cow that must be beaten and squeezed until every last dollar is extracted. Nobody seems more aware of the downright Machiavellian cynicism involved in the whole affair than Cyrus herself. ” — Vaman Muppala RATING: 0 stars out of 5 For the full review, just click the Diversions link at: WWW.DIAMONDBACKONLINE.COM
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REVIEW | OBSERVE AND REPORT
Laughing at a sad man Observe and Report approaches darkness, only to shrug and giggle when the time comes to ante up BY ZACHARY HERRMANN Senior staff writer
Observe and Report, the second feature from writer/director Jody Hill (East Bound and Down), is almost worthy of praise, despite its gaping insufficiencies. As the second mall cop flick to grace the big screen in 2009, the film seems to be Paul Blart: Mall Cop’s antithesis. The (anti-)hero — aspiring police officer and head of mall security, Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen, Monsters vs. Aliens) — suffers from bipolar disorder and recurring, violent dreams of grandeur in which he is the mall’s savior. On the surface, at least, he has far more in common with Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle than Paul Blart. But, despite the heavily telegraphed sight and voiceover references to Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader’s masterpiece of loneliness, Barnhardt is hardly
“God’s lonely man.” He — and Hill, for that matter — does not seem to have a contemplative bone in his body. What Hill does have is ambition — he seeks to drive his main character and the entire film into a realm of darkness. That means drug use, borderline date rape, brutal violence and plenty of other things Hollywood prefers to keep out of its comedies. At times, Observe and Report teeters toward nihilism, which is damn near commendable for a film with a lot of financial potential. But every time Hill brings the audience to the brink, moments away from something horrific, he allows his characters to wink, as if to tell us not to worry — it’s all just a joke. Trouble is, there isn’t much to laugh about in Barnhardt’s life. When a sexual predator appears on his turf and goes after Barnhardt’s crush (Anna Farris, The House Bunny, doing her usual
bubbly blonde shtick), Barnhardt seizes the moment as an opportunity to finally prove his worth. From there, he goes head-tohead with the real police officer (Ray Liotta, Crossing Over) assigned to the case. Out of his cartoon band of misfits/co-workers, Dennis (Michael Peña, Lions for Lambs) emerges as something of a misguided guru, one of the keys to unleashing Barnhardt’s serious inner anger. At one point in the film, Dennis writes that he admires what Barnhardt stands for. In a conference call with The Diamondback, Hill addressed Barnhardt’s misplaced sense of heroism. “We praise him, certainly, in the movie, but how real is that praise, and what exactly are we praising?” Hill asked. “I hope that that’s kind of the question that the audience grapples with and talks about.” Hill’s question, though, raises
another question: Why should the audience think of Barnhardt as a hero, if not for the requirements of the plot? The issue with Observe and Report’s main character is that the film cannot find a way to reconcile his deep psychological impairment with his obligations to the male comedic lead. It’s something for which Rogen and Hill share the blame. Rogen’s genial stoner archetype clashes with Hill’s desire to mold Barnhardt into a takeoff on one of ’70s cinema’s most brooding, delusional characters. Much has been said already about how Hill is not really a part of the Judd Apatow family tree, and some of that Apatow-brand emotional realism is exactly what is missing from Observe and Report. The cursing, drunk and largely despicable supporting cast
Seth Rogen’s Ronnie Barnhardt is as disillusioned as he appears in writer/director Jody Hill’s Observe and Report. COURTESY OF MOVIEWEB
— Barnhardt’s mother (Celia Weston, The Invasion) and Dennis stick out the most — aren’t really worth our investment. Irony is the chief currency in Hill’s canon. When Barnhardt gets a gun put to his face by a hoodlum, Hill plays it for laughs. The gunwielding man is, in fact, one of Hill’s go-to guys, Danny McBride (East Bound and Down), who struggles with a Hispanic accent. So we learn the threat isn’t there at all. For a punchline, Hill wants us to either chuckle or cheer, as Barnhardt proceeds to either seriously injure or kill the gunmen and his friends, one-by-one in bone-shattering detail. The aes-
thetic is slightly deranged, to say the least. More than two decades ago, Roger Ebert tore into David Lynch’s Blue Velvet for not having the decency to back up its extremely graphic imagery with sincerity. Ebert largely missed the level of social critique in the film, but he was still on to something. If a filmmaker like Hill throws an incredibly unbalanced character like Barnhardt onto the screen, highly referential tongue-in-cheek just doesn’t cut it. Bickle said it best in Taxi Driver: “You call that bein’ hip? What world are you from?” email@example.com
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THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009 | THE DIAMONDBACK
THE DIAMONDBACK | THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009
The WNBA Draft
Check out Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver, two likely top-10 picks, in the WNBA Draft today on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. Also, men’s basketball recruit James Padgett will be participating in the Capital Classic today at American University.
Only one home game left for Terps this year LACROSSE, from Page 1 bit,” coach Dave Cottle said, referencing the Terp fan majority at the Duke game. True home games have been sparse this season, as the Terps are without their traditional residence. Continued renovation to Byrd Stadium necessitated a one-year move to Ludwig Field. But with the soccer stadium unable to accommodate the biggest of Terps’ home crowds, the timing was right to accept an invitation to participate in two marquee events. The result: just five games in College Park. And at times, there have been some bizarre moments. One oddity arrived March 21, when the Terps celebrated an early Senior Day against North Carolina. After the contest, Cottle couldn’t believe his team had played its last Saturday home game, and it wasn’t even April. Last year, the commemoration didn’t occur until May. “Yeah, that was a little different,” senior midfielder Dan Groot said. “Usually [on] Senior Day it’s a beautiful day, it’s like 75 out. It’s later in the season. To have it in March was little different.” The lack of home games has not had a financial impact on the program or the Athletics Department, however, according to Senior Associate Athletics Director Michael Lipitz. Even with so few home games, the Terps do not view the roadheavy schedule as an excuse. As Cottle pointed out early in the year, if you start letting outside factors become an issue, then there is something wrong inside. “When you lose, there’s a lot of different reasons for losing,” Cottle said. “When you win, it’s usually
“I don’t think it really matters to us where we play. Just come out with the mentality that we gotta win this one, and if it’s gonna be on a bigger stage, then that’s fine.” TRAVIS REED SOPHOMORE MIDFIELDER
Will Yeatman and the Terps will get their second chance to play in front of the purple seats of M&T Bank Stadium this Saturday against Johns Hopkins. In the first game, on Feb. 28, they beat Duke 11-8. ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK
the same thing: You play smart, you play tough and you execute. When you lose, you find all the different reasons why you lose. “From an outside perspective, it could be something that you use [as an excuse],” Cottle continued. “We’re just not gonna use it.” His players are on board. Maybe that’s because they haven’t thought about the lack of home games on a day-to-day basis. “Not really, actually,” attackman Travis Reed said. “I don’t think it really matters to us where we play. Just come out with the mentality that we gotta win this one, and if
it’s gonna be on a bigger stage, then that’s fine.” So far, the spotlight has suited the Terps well. In their fourth game of the season, the Terps beat the Blue Devils 11-8 in front of a recorded 17,119 fans at M&T Bank Stadium. They looked quite at home in their new digs. “I don’t know if it was the atmosphere or just the way we prepared for that game,” defender Max Schmidt said. “But I feel it was one of our most complete games, and I thought we played up to our potential somewhat, But it was definitely great playing in front of that many
fans. And we’re definitely looking forward to it again.” Many Terps echoed this sentiment. The Inside Lacrosse events are huge and provide a chance to showcase the team. Adding to the excitement is the ubiquitous presence of Marylanders on the roster, all eager to play on one of the state’s biggest stages. “Everybody likes playing out there in a stadium like that,” Reed said. “Being out there against Duke was a good experience for some of the younger guys, me included. Just being out there in front of that big of a crowd, just
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hearing the crowd noises and getting the feel for that atmosphere is helpful.” The Terps haven’t forgotten Byrd, but they seem more than willing to give up a few home games for the chance to play on such a grand stage. “Playing at a venue like M&T Bank Stadium, it’s better than a home game,” Groot said. “It gets you more excited — not that I wouldn’t be excited for a home game anyways, but just with all the fans and all the media around, it’s a good opportunity.” Cottle hopes it’s an opportunity the Terps can learn from. Tuesday, he hinted at another football stadium the Terps would like to visit: Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. for the Final Four. “[The players] like playing in big-time stadiums; they like playing in marquee events,” Cottle said. “And if we can continue to improve, it puts us in a position that ... playing on some large settings hopefully will help us as the season progresses.” email@example.com