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THEN THERE WERE TWO CONCHORDS CRASH Terps QB competition down Flight of the Conchords may be funny on to just Steffy and Turner HBO, but not so much in album format SPORTS | PAGE 10

DIVERSIONS | PAGE 8

THE DIAMONDBACK TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008

THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND’S INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER

98TH YEAR | ISSUE NO. 126

Cigarette sparked Commons fire Univ. Senate Water damage costs may approach $25,000, officials estimate BY BEN WORSLEY Staff writer

Despite claims that Friday morning’s fire in South Campus Commons 1 started from an elevator malfunction, offi-

cials have now confirmed the fire was caused by a cigarette. But four days after the fire, students are voicing their concerns regarding not only the aftermath of the incident, but also the lack of notification

from management. Prince George’s County Fire Department Spokesman Mark Brady originally speculated that an elevator motor overheated and caused the fire. However, he confirmed

last night this was not the case. “Smoke gathered in the lobby near an elevator,” Brady said, leading him to believe

Please See FIRE, Page 3

approves two new majors Arab, Persian studies programs cater to government demand BY KYLE GOON Staff writer

T N I A L P M O C E S I O N Students, permanent residents clash over noise

Senators say document still needs work on key issues before May 8 meeting, vote BY KEVIN ROBILLARD Senior staff writer

With a little more than two weeks to finish ironing out the wrinkles in the strategic plan, University Senators rapped the university’s revised document yesterday, opening new angles of critique and restating old complaints. While many senators said the plan was an improvement from the first draft, faculty senators said the plan threatens tenure, lacks sufficient focus on diversity, ignores the university’s struggling library system and is moving too quickly to revamp CORE. The strategic plan is intended to guide the univer-

Tomorrow’s Weather:

Washington Quad project won’t be finished until late June, officials say BY CARRIE WELLS

Staff writer

Staff writer

The eight tenants of 4805 College Ave. love living in an off-campus house, which they use to host weekend barbecues, Wiffle ball tournaments and the occasional latenight party. Their neighbors, however, aren’t as excited. The university’s housing crisis forced the tenants of 4805 to move from traditional, on-campus student housing to a block of mostly permanent residents. At the same time, College Park City Council members are aiming to crack down on noise violators, which leaves students living in traditionally non-student neighborhoods stuck between a rock and a quiet place.

Students living on South Campus have dreamed of walking only a few steps out their front door before they could sunbathe, barbecue and play volleyball this spring. But instead, they are still being woken up by jackhammers and forced to take detours to class. Officials from the Department of Resident Life and Residential Facilities now say construction on the Washington Quad — the area bounded by six buildings, including Baltimore, Prince George’s

PHOTOS BY JACYLYN BOROWSKI-THE DIAMONDBACK

Please See NOISE, Page 2

Please See QUAD, Page 2

Graduate students gather to relax at the ‘Grad Pub’ in the Alumni Center BY KELLIE WOODHOUSE Staff writer

Timothy Hackman, a library employee, drew a standing ovation from his fellow senators after lamenting the lack of funding for the university’s library system. He said a dozen library staff members left the university in the past year, and

Please See PLAN, Page 3

Please See PUB, Page 3

Graduate students flood the ‘Grad Pub’ at the Alumni Center.

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Classified . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

LIBRARIES

and Frederick Halls — won’t be complete until late June. Students living in those halls, who were originally told construction would end last November and then became earlier this semester, say they are irked they won’t be able to enjoy the quad as planned. “It sucks that I lived here all year and suffered through it and now I can’t use it,” said sophomore letters and sciences major Katelyn Poss, who said construction would often shake her entire dorm. “It’s just frustrating.” Andrew Van Der Stuyf, one

Your TA, after office hours Buried underneath stacks of books the size of War and Peace, knots of convoluted problem sets and theorems about why E, in fact, does not equal mc2, lies the dilapidated social life of your TA. That is, unless it’s Friday. Fridays, graduate students guzzle cheap booze and pig out on free wings — compliments of the Graduate Student Government — in the name of cutting it loose and taking a break from their rigorous academic schedules. Laura Moore, the 38-year-old GSG president, said “Grad Pub” was created five years ago to “make it easy for grad students to take it easy and relax.” Moore said the GSG is committed to improving graduate students’ social lives, which seem to disappear as they

sity through the next 10 years and aims to make the school “world-class.” It includes ambitious initiatives to overhaul the university’s general education program and to emphasize international programs, as well as specific targets for fundraising, research and recruitment.

Please See MAJORS, Page 3

Students bemoan construction delays

BY BRADY HOLT

Residents of 4805 College Ave. explain the events surrounding their many noise violations.

Univ. Senate criticizes revised strategic plan

The University Senate yesterday unanimously approved two new majors and minors in Arabic studies and Persian studies, a move professors and administrators say will address a long-neglected area of academic study and also satisfy a government demand for talent. The Persian major is one of only a handful in the entire country, joining such institutions as UCLA and the University of Texas at Austin. Program Director Ahmad KarimiHakkak expects the program

to draw in students from the Washington area, home to the third-largest Iranian diaspora in the United States, he said. The new programs are major additions to the university’s academic offerings. Four years ago, Persian studies didn’t exist, and there was no dedicated funding or faculty for the few Arabic courses offered. The vote yesterday all but ensures Persian and Arabic will have a permanent place in the languages, literatures and cultures school. “The second generation of Iranian-Americans in this area

JAMES B. HALE–THE DIAMONDBACK

Cloudy/70s

Index:

Diversions . . . . . . . . .8 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . .10

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THE DIAMONDBACK | TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008

Page 2

TODAY

@M

ARYLAND

GIRL WALKING THROUGH THE CAMPUS:

OUTSIDE LEONARDTOWN: “Wanna be a good friend and pick my wedgie?” OVERHEARD BY ANONYMOUS

Tell us what you overheard at www.diamondbackonline.com/interact BRIEFS

State seeks to reduce crab harvest ANNAPOLIS – Maryland is putting forth bushel limits, but no size limit, as it seeks to reduce this year’s female crab harvest by a third. State fishery regulators suggested the bushel limits Monday but said they have abandoned plans to limit watermen to keeping females only smaller than 6.5 inches. The size limit was strongly disliked by watermen, who complained it would force them to stop work and cull through their crab pots to pick out the largest females. Maryland also plans to end the female harvest Oct. 22 and put females off-limits completely for recreational crabbers. The harvest limits are proposed as scientists warn the hallmark seafood of the Chesapeake Bay is being overharvested and is in danger of serious decline if its numbers aren’t restored. Maryland last year notched its lowest crab harvest since 1945. Fishery managers say just under half the crabs should be caught each year, but in recent years, watermen on the Chesapeake have been taking about 60 percent of the total crabs in the estuary.

County questions local teen who threatened to kill acquaintance, himself RIVERDALE – The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s office says a Parkdale High School student is being questioned after he threatened to kill an acquaintance and himself. Authorities were called to the school in Riverdale around noon Monday and found the teen at the rear of the school. Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Mario Ellis says no weapon was found on the teen and officers searched a wooded area behind the school for a weapon. He says the teen was taken into custody and taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

Ethics group won’t act on complaint against comptroller by state senator ANNAPOLIS – The State Ethics Commission has decided not to take any action on a complaint by a state senator, who criticized the manner in which Comptroller Peter Franchot offered to release names and salaries of state employees. Sen. James DeGrange (D-Anne Arundel) called Feb. 28 for an investigation after Franchot released the names and salaries of 4,678 state employees to a newspaper that requested them. “The commission dedicated considerable staff time in conducting a review of this matter,” wrote Robert Hahn, executive director of the State Ethics Commission. “Based on the information obtained, the commission determined not to take any further action on this matter at this time.”

– Compiled from wire reports

7- 9 p.m., Prince George’s Room, Stamp Student Union

WEDNESDAY | SCENE + HEARD

Free Earth Day Concert Lonely Are the Brave, Back to Save the Universe, The New Retro and The Rez perform, 7- 10 p.m., Baltimore Room, Stamp Student Union

THURSDAY | BEST of the BLOGS

FRIDAY | Q + A

Quad set back by cold weather, drainage

OVERHEARD

OVERHEARD BY ANONYMOUS

Vid/Terp Awards Ceremony

The public policy school’s Tuesday Forum will feature Sarah Staszak, 12:15 - 1:30 p.m., Van Munching, 1113

TUESDAY | OVERHEARD

MONDAY | NEWSMAKERS

“I just got my STD test back and I'm clean! I even put the test results on the fridge for everyone to see.”

The Politics of Judicial Retrenchment

QUAD from Page 1 of the project managers from Residential Facilities, said work on the main part of the quad is mostly complete but that it can’t be opened for student use because the recently planted grass has to take root. However, Van Der Stuyf said they plan on opening up the walkways through the center of the quad in the next couple of weeks. The delays to the project have not increased the estimated $3 million dollar price tag, he added. Cindy Felice, the associate director of Resident Life in charge of South Campus, said the project was originally delayed due to unforeseen problems with drainage. Cold winter weather also kept workers from being able to pour concrete, further setting back construction. “The students have been incredibly patient,” Felice said. “I only wish we had been able to open it up sooner for them to be able to use.” The next step in the project is demolition and reconstruction of the area between Baltimore, Calvert and Prince George’s Halls and leading to Commons 1 and 2. Besides waiting for the grass to take root, the quad is also waiting on more tables, benches and grills. There JAMES B. HALE–THE DIAMONDBACK will be a formal ribbon-cutting in The Washington Quad remains immersed with construction as students find out the area won’t open until the summer. the fall when students return. of blown,” Baek said. “But I’m going she couldn’t use the quad. “I think we’re frustrated because that.” “It’s a pain to go around, and Jason Baek, a freshman business to be living here again next year, so they said they would be finished by there was a jackhammer that woke late fall and then early spring,” said and Japanese major, said the con- it’s not too bad of a wait.” Jennifer Yaguez, a junior dietetics us up several Saturday mornings,” Bobby Hoffmaster, a junior educa- struction wasn’t too much of an tion major who lives in Baltimore inconvenience but that he was dis- major who lives in Washington Hall, she said. “It’s the inconvenience Hall. “I think people just want an appointed he won’t be able to use said students had been kept well- and the noise” that bother her most. informed of the project’s progress area to hang out and throw a foot- the quad this semester. “That’s not good news. I am kind through e-mail but was still peeved cwellsdbk@gmail.com ball around, and we don’t have

Students say noise complaints unfairly target them NOISE from Page 1 Most of 4805’s current tenants became the first to rent out the house in 2006, after it had been owned by families and even a group of nuns in the past. Residents on the block soon realized their neighborhood would be forever changed by their new and younger neighbors — and all the loud music and drunken parties they bring with them. And that, the 4805 tenants said, is when their troubles began. “We’re surrounded by residents, so they automatically hated us,” said senior physical education major Clif Frailey. He said one of his new neighbors came over to lecture the group as soon as she saw them, saying, “I hope you guys are never going to be loud, because I’m going to have my eye on you.” The tenants’ problems started with warnings from the city based on complaints from neighbors. Then those warnings escalated into official noise violations, at which point the tenants racked up a total of $3,000 in fines. The students have not been fined in more than a year but continue to receive complaints for what District 3 Councilwoman Stephanie Stullich still considers loud parties. The housemates now try to confine their parties to a soundproofed basement, they said, and they post a lookout at the front door both for people who might congregate on the lawn — the biggest noise problem, the residents said — and for the “little white cars” driven by the city’s code enforcement division. Frailey accused his neighbors of

being too willing to phone in complaints, calling the city over daytime backyard activities such as barbecues and Wiffle ball but never complaining about louder noises such as the trains that pass several times each night about a block away. “Don’t tell me you can’t sleep through a party if you can’t hear the train blowing its horn,” senior physiology and neurobiology major Warren Spitz said. Stullich, who recently has tried to push through legislation that would crack down on noise violators, said it’s easier to deal with “normal noise” like traffic or the train, which passes quickly, and she agrees there would be fewer complaints if students had not moved in among permanent residents. “That kind of situation is going to lead to more complaints,” she said. “I think older people would like the students to have more housing alternatives that are not in their neighborhoods. The university really hasn’t responded to the housing shortage by doing what’s necessary.” “Our neighborhoods are serving as the dorms,” Mayor Stephen Brayman complained at a recent city council meeting. Stullich, who lives on Dartmouth Avenue in a house she said is “within earshot” of 4805, said it’s not that the residents have a problem with students living near them, it’s that they don’t want irresponsible college behavior on their streets. “People should be able to have fun without getting wasted,” she said. “When the drinking involves kind of continual yelling and counting at the

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top of their lungs, it’s not very healthy behavior, but it’s also just very disruptive if you live within earshot. There’s quite a few people in the neighborhood who are unhappy with this house.” But students said it’s too easy to make enough noise to get fined. The city’s noise caps of 65 decibels during the day and 55 at night — normal conversation is about 60 decibels — are low enough that nearly anything is a violation, leaves whether they receive a citation to the discretion of the city, they said. “It’s pretty much random,” senior economics major Eric Klein said. If they see the code enforcement officer before he or she leaves, the residents said they try and chase after the car and beg for mercy, which sometimes prevents a possible fine. But even then, as senior communication major Matt Cerce put it, “I think it’s what side of the bed they got up on.” The residents also allege that city code enforcers look harder for problems at student homes than those of permanent residents, but Stullich disagreed. “You follow your ears, and you find where [noise] is coming from,” she said. College Park Code Enforcement Manager Jeannie Ripley deferred questions to Public Services Director Bob Ryan, who did not respond to requests for comment. Student leaders have criticized Stullich’s plan — which would allow the city to levy double fines of $1,000 for any repeat noise violations within 12 months instead of the current six

— saying that her proposed changes don’t take into account high student turnover rates in rental properties. A resident who moves into a home with a previous noise violation could be slapped with the higher fine, they said. But she maintains something must be done to address her constituents’ complaints about excessive noise. “What’s the alternative? What can we do? I would rather not fine people. I would rather just ask nicely and have things changed,” Stullich said. “And I do want to acknowledge that I think [the residents of 4805] are making an effort to change, but it’s taken a lot of effort from the city.” Although the residents of 4805 were critical of Stullich’s plan, they were stumped on a possible alternative for striking the right balance between what they saw as the students’ right to have fun and the residents’ right to peace and quiet. “I’m sure we are a nuisance to them. They have to get up in the morning to go to work,” senior kinesiology major Rob Fitzgerald said. However, the 4805 residents suggested that in a college town, students may have a stronger claim to their preferred way of life than the permanent residents do to theirs. “I mean, we’re on College Avenue in College Park,” Frailey said. “We try not to throw too many parties, but it’s a part of the college experience. We’re going to go on living this lifestyle. I want to play Wiffle ball everyday, and I’m going to continue to do that.” holtdbk@gmail.com


TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008 | THE DIAMONDBACK

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Plan’s sticking points tenure, diversity

PALM PILOT

PLAN from Page 1 that the libraries at the university trail behind those of our peer institutions in journal subscriptions and other areas. Provost Nariman Farvardin, who chairs the committee charged with crafting the strategic plan, said he recognized the library’s struggles but said increasing its resources means they’d have to be taken away from other areas of the university. “I want volunteers in this room to tell us where these resources should be taken from,” he said. He attributed the library’s struggles to the rising costs of collections and other library materials.

CORE

ADAM FRIED–THE DIAMONDBACK

Sophomore psychology major Farah Karim has her palms read by Karen Carbone on Monday afternoon at SEE's Mango Monday in Stamp Student Union. Karim said Carbone, who works in the Washington area, was very accurate in her assessments. "I was really surprised," Karim said. "How could she have known some of those things?"

A second standing ovation was given to Maynard Mack, an English professor who said the new draft of the plan’s approach to general education was still unacceptable. The strategic plan proposes forming an interdisciplinary program that examines contemporary issues, which would replace the current general education program that is divided into categories such as English, math, science and other single disciplines. “There is at work here either ignorance of the goals of general, liberal education or a covert plan to solve the problems that have plagued and weakened our current underfunded CORE program by, in effect, declaring almost every course a general education course,” Mack said. “Efficient, but not intellectually honest.” Several members of the committee that crafted the new general education proposal showed up to defend their plan. “We believe students will be better prepared for the 21st century if their learning is interdisciplinary,” criminology professor Sally Simpson said. She said the plan incorporates “liberal tra-

dition while giving [students] the 21st century skills they need.” Mack said the new program was being crafted with “inexplicable haste,” but Farvardin disagreed and said faculty continued to misunderstand the plan.

TENURE Tenure proved to be another sticking point in the strategic plan talks. Elise Miller-Hooks, a civil engineering professor, said she couldn’t support the plan in its current form because the revised plan would effectively eliminate tenure. The newest version of the strategic plan states that tenured faculty’s salaries can be reduced if a professor fails to live up to goals established after an unfavorable performance review. Miller-Hooks said she feared professors could have their pay significantly reduced after disputes with their supervisors or for other non-academic reasons. Farvardin said the university’s tenure policy is not centralized right now and needed to be revamped.

DIVERSITY Along with defending various parts of his plan, Farvardin touted the plan’s emphasis on diversity during his presentation. But at least some faculty disagreed with the assertion that the plan adequately addresses the diversity issue. “On diversity, the committee should have its grade raised from an F to a C,” said Claire Moses, a women’s studies professor. While the plan emphasized diversity in population, she said, it ignored diverse forms of research such as women’s studies and the new U.S. Latina/o studies program. The strategic plan can be viewed at sp07.umd.edu. A town hall meeting about the plan will be held Wednesday. robillarddbk@gmail.com

Students annoyed at Pub provides respite from academic life frequent evacuations PUB from Page 1

FIRE from Page 1 the elevator sparked the fire. “Upon further investigation, it was determined that it was caused by a cigarette.” Alan Sactor, assistant director with the University Fire Marshal, said “carelessly discarded smoking materials” caused Friday’s fire. Sactor explained that someone was smoking a cigarette and possibly flicked it near combustible materials. Sactor said although the incident occurred near an elevator, the fire itself “had nothing to do with an elevator.” Dave Hawley, associate director for the university’s South Campus Commons and Courtyards, added that the fire started in the rooftop elevator lobby. Hawley said officials don’t know who was smoking the cigarette. Only employees are allowed on the rooftop, but Hawley said students have gotten onto it in the past. For that reason, he said, the situation is still under investigation. “The fire and smoke damage was minimal,” Hawley said, explaining the fire started directly under a sprinkler and was extinguished quickly. He said the most extensive damage was actually caused by water from the sprinkler system. Hawley estimated the damages to cost between $20,000 and $25,000, explaining water went down the elevator shafts and damaged electrical equipment in the elevator systems. On Sunday, Brady speculated damages would cost $10,000, but yesterday he increased his estimate to $25,000. Matt Snider, a junior animal and avian sciences major, said he was preparing for an interview when he was forced to evacuate his room in Commons 1 that morning. He said by the time residents were allowed into the building, he did not

have enough time to get back in his room. Ultimately, he was forced to go to his interview unprepared Snider added that, although management has been “pretty snappy” in repairing the building, the staff is often slow in notifying residents as to the reasons for the multiple evacuations that have occurred at Commons 1 this semester. Sarah Akkoush, a senior cell biology and molecular genetics major, said she has heard varying stories regarding the start of Friday’s fire and still feels unsure about its cause. “I feel like they’re not telling us the whole story, which isn’t fair,” she said. The South Campus Common’s website stated the building was evacuated Friday morning because of “a small fire caused by a cigarette.” The statement on the site goes on to say the fire “caused minimal damage.” Residents who live in apartments affected by the water damage were also given letters by management assuring them that the maintenance staff was cleaning up and repairing the building. Turbo dryers could be seen in the hallways where water damage was at its worst, and residents said dehumidifiers were used in some of their rooms to prevent further damage. However, students added the large, noisy dehumidifiers, as well as the presence of maintenance staff in their rooms, added insult to injury. Senior marketing major Laura Dimon who lives with Akkoush, agreed that the aftermath of the fire is still a major setback for students living near the areas of the building affected by water damage. “That, along with the lack of answers, has been a consistent inconvenience,” Dimon said. worsleydbk@gmail.com

get further into their studies. “Do I have a social life? Hah! I’m going to give that a resounding, ‘No,’” physics graduate student Jeremy Clark, 24, said casually as he took another sip of his beer. He and 12 other graduate students from the physics department crowded around a table with a drink in their hands and a look of relief on their faces. Clark and his friends said they spend about 25 hours each week on homework and another few hours preparing for the upper-level physics classes they help teach. But Friday evening, Clark said, is a time to let loose. “We usually make a night out of it,” said Clark, speaking of his physics friends. “We get slammed on cheap drinks, go out to dinner and then go party.” So do graduate students in the classics department. Brendan Magee, 26, and Jenn Rothman, 23, are both classics graduate students who claim they worry about running into their undergraduate students when they go out. But at Friday Grad Pub, there are no excuses to stay in and no risk of awkward encounters with undergrads — a relief to all the teaching assistants at the pub. “We deserve a reward on Fridays,” Rothman said, dismayed that opportunities for an active night life have significantly slimmed as she’s gotten older. “There were fewer responsibilities [as an undergrad]; it was a different kind of atmosphere. If your friends were going out, you’d go out with them. Now it’s like, ‘It’s 11, hmm, I think I’ll go to bed.’” Many claim the responsibilities of graduate school

JAMES B. HALE–THE DIAMONDBACK

Graduate students flood the Maryland Club pub at the Alumni Center. have ushered them into adulthood. “I think we still have the time [to party], but priorities shift,” said urban studies and planning graduate student Mike Lancaster, 29. “We realized, well, s---, we need to get our act together and make a meaningful difference.” But some graduate students live their academic life to the extreme. Scott Heerman, a history graduate student who graduated from college last year, said he chooses not to frequent the Grad Pubs or, for that matter, most social activities. “Most of my friends are sitting on my desk here,” Heerman said, pointing to a stack of books in the corner of his desk, located in the upper floor of Francis Scott Key Hall. Heerman claims he is too busy to waste time at

night clubs and bars. Heerman is not alone. Many graduate students who are older, married and maybe even parents point to their age and responsibilities when explaining their early bedtimes. Still, others refuse to settle into the sometimes lonely life of academia. Physics graduate student Kyle Gustafson is married but still makes it out to the Grad Pub about once a month. Gustafson acknowledges that while he still has a desire for an active social life and close friendships, his marriage takes priority when he’s pressed for time and busy with school. “I don’t think my desire to socialize changes because I am married, but my ability to socialize is less,” Gustafson said. “I think it’s because I have time commitments with

Faculty say new majors put university ahead of curve MAJORS from Page 1 are coming of age and going to universities,” Karimi-Hakkak said. “Now, we are going to actively recruit and make sure that every student who may have an interest at least hears about these majors and minors.” The university has offered Arabic courses for many years and Persian classes for the last four years, but mostly at introductory and intermediate levels. Madeline Zilfi, a professor who specializes in Ottoman history, said she was on five different committees over a span of 20 years that pushed for more advanced Arabic classes. Their efforts were largely ignored by the administration, who Zilfi said suffered from “a lack of vision.”

“Arabic is one of the most widely used and spoken languages in the world. It’s a [United Nations] language, and our nation is deeply involved in Middle Eastern policy,” Zilfi said. “I consider it a badge of shame that it’s taken this long to get this program developed. We’re supposed to be on the cutting edge.” Charles E. Butterworth, a professor emeritus who specializes in medieval Arabic and Islamic political philosophy, said he advocated Arabic classes when he first came to the university in 1969. “They ignored it then, because they didn’t understand the importance of the language,” he said. “Why did it take until 2004 to create a program?” The answer may be that government demand for people with knowl-

edge of Arabic and Farsi has skyrocketed since Sept. 11, 2001, an observation several faculty members made. Alaa Elgibali, the Arabic program director, compared the spiked interest in the languages to the popularity of Russian classes during the Cold War. “It’s not surprising,” Elgibali said. “You expect major events to affect which languages people are interested in.” The federal government already funds a two-year graduate program in Arabic and Farsi hosted by the university called the National Persian Flagship Program. Students spend one year studying at the university and one year abroad, according to the program’s website. Students are then obligated to serve in a government agency for at least a year.

Students such as Mark Jubar, a junior government and politics major with a minor in terrorism studies, realize federal agencies are eager to hire graduates who are fluent in Middle Eastern languages. “It’s a language that’s relevant to modern events and relevant to the war,” he said. “Hopefully, I can get some kind of government job that uses Arabic.” Not all students are interested in the new language programs purely for job prospects. Allison White, a junior Spanish and Russian double major, was attracted by their unusual style and connections to a culture that few Americans understand. “It really is a beautiful language. It’s very literary — there’s a lot of ways you can approach it and things you can find in it,” White said. “And

my life, and I have a desire to be with her. And I think it’s more important that I spend time on my marriage, although my friendships are important.” Grad Pub ends at 7 p.m., which makes it easy for attendees to get back to their families or go out and party, whichever fits their lifestyle. Materials science graduate student Susan BuckhoutWhite, 27, is married and busy but said she makes sure she leaves time to be social. “I feel the stress of publishing articles, presenting at conferences and the teaching I’m doing,” Buckhout-White said. “There’s a lot put on grad students, and yes, it’s difficult to socialize. But if you make it a priority, it’s not a problem.” woodhousedbk@gmail.com

politically it helps you understand the situation in Iran today. Looking at Iran is not a black-and-white issue.” Michael Long, director of the university’s language programs, first proposed a Persian studies center when he was hired in 2003. Now, the program is thriving with a $3 million donation from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by Pierre Omidyar, the creator of eBay, dedicated to the preservation and education of Persian culture. Long believes the university is ahead of the game in this instance and the Persian studies major will see more demand as U.S.-Iranian relations become more important in foreign policy. “We’ll be a leader in the country in Persian,” Long said. “I already back our program against any other.” goondbk@gmail.com


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THE DIAMONDBACK | TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008

THE DIAMONDBACK

Opinion RACHEL HARE Embrace global warming

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oday is Earth Day, and in the true spirit of the environment, let’s take a moment to discuss global warming. First of all, let me say I am a huge fan of the Earth, and when it comes to the environment, I’m all for doing whatever is best to keep our planet thriving. I must ask all those tree-hugging zealots handing out go-green paraphernalia today: What’s the big deal about global warming? If you ask me, global warming seems like a win-win situation: good for the Earth and good for mankind. The truth is, warming might actually produce a better climate than the one we have right now. I think it’s high time we all jumped off the green, ethanol-powered bandwagon and got back into our carbon-emitting, gas-guzzling vehicles to really save the environment. “We have to stop worrying and embrace global warming,” said Stephen Colbert in an episode of his show, The Colbert Report. Never were there truer words spoken. It seems global warming has been given a bad rep by so-called environmentalists, who love to spew half-truths about the negative effects of climate change. Wake up and smell the burning roses, people. Rising temperatures on our planet might just be the best thing since sliced bread. First of all, the heat would keep families together. Like many grandparents, mine don’t particularly enjoy the cold weather, and they usually spend at least three of the coldest Maryland months vacationing in Florida. Perfect solution: global warming. Hotter temperatures would make home states more attractive to grandparents looking to follow the sun, and loved ones could stay together. Snowbirds would have no excuse to fly without any snow. Sorry, Gramps, but if global warming goes as planned, no O’s spring training games next year. Grandparents aren’t the only ones who would benefit from a longer, potentially year-round summer season. In fact, everyone could use more warm weather. No more icy commutes to work on sub-zero mornings. Barbecued ribs instead of turkey at Christmas. No need to struggle with messy sunless tanners in winter; we all could be California girls. And if sea levels rise as much as expected, we could all have a beach house someday. Surfing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, boating, grilling — sound like paradise? Do us all a favor, and buy a Hummer. Of course, global warming will not be all fun and games — mostly, but not all. There will also be responsibilities that come with the world’s biggest beach party. One of those responsibilities: ending world hunger. Yes, with global warming, it will be possible. Climate change is expected to lengthen the growing season, allowing farmers to produce more crops every year, meaning a surplus of food. That surplus could feed the hungry. So the next time you down a can of Pepsi and you’re ready to recycle it to supposedly save the planet from climate change, think for a moment. Do you really want to contribute to world hunger? That’s right — send it to a landfill. Of course, there will always be cynics and doubters. These people will try to degrade climate change as a terrible thing for people, animals, plants, glaciers, the atmosphere, the ozone, the arctic, Florida, freshwater, saltwater, ice, air, endangered species, weather patterns, storm systems and, most of all, the future. But, surely, humans could adapt to this. We invented air conditioners, didn’t we? “How hard can it be to make your jeans into cut-offs?” Colbert asked. Really, it’s time to stop worrying and start wasting. There’s a (very, very) bright future here. It’s easy to get involved, and there are many things that everyone can do everyday to help contribute to this wonderful warming trend. Drive an extra block in your SUV. Never carpool. Turn on your air conditioner. Turn on unnecessary lights. Plug in unnecessary appliances. And, of course, never recycle. But perhaps the easiest thing for Americans to do to contribute is nothing. According to Colbert, “when it comes to global warming,” we should “stop panicking and continue to do nothing.” It has never been easier to help our planet.

Rachel Hare is a sophomore French and journalism major. She can be reached at rhare1@umd.edu.

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Staff Editorial

Lindsay Wilcox

“Your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong. Even though they say it’s OK in the Bible.” ~Homer Simpson

Ignore Skirt Day

Go all in on slots

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t is once again a time of fiscal crisis in Annapolis, tive to compare this issue to that of smoking. Cigarettes and the state government has once again turned are an undeniably destructive vice. There is unequivocal to the dark side; it is considering the legalization evidence to prove prolonged smoking causes bodily of slot machines to raise revenues. The new harm. It is absolutely impossible to smoke a cigarette debate is over a popular referendum on the desir- without any knowledge of the dangers involved. Yet cigarettes remain perfectly legal. Maryland levies ability of slots. If adopted, the estimate is slot machines would bring in $550 million in the first year. A portion of a $2 tax on every pack sold. The government brings in vast amounts of revenue on the misery this would be set aside for the Higher of smokers, and smokers comply willEducation Investment Fund and ingly. Slot machines should function would, thus, directly benefit the unithe same way. If people want to feed versity. It would be a step toward Despite the obvious quarters into a machine in vain and achieving the permanent and steady funding source this page has consis- problems associated with there are others who want to provide tently argued for. gambling, legalized slot this service, it should be legal, especially when there is no direct harm to The slot machine measure is a nomachines would be a any party involved. brainer for the university; it will If the state can distribute the undoubtedly help the entire Univerboon for the university. penalty from such activity in a way sity System of Maryland. But that does not mean we can ignore the larger debate. The comp- that does some good, then all the better. We learned troller of Maryland, Peter Franchot, is one of the most from Prohibition in the 1920s that government always vocal opponents to legalizing slots. He cites “the crime, fails when it takes a position rigidly based on moral the corruption, the broken families, the welfare [and] objection. The human propensity for vice is as strong a the gambling addiction that flows from this vice” as rea- force as any. The best we can hope for is a tolerable accommodation, like the one that has been achieved sons to oppose slot machines. Gambling is undeniably a vice and also a potential with smoking. Government should legalize slots but addiction. However, the suggestion that slot machines vigorously police the illegal activities associated with would lead to a societal collapse is simply hyperbole. them, and the government should progressively use the Gambling will always hold an attraction for large seg- revenue from slots to ensure its future in securing ments of society. Nevada figured this out a long time ago, higher education funding. The only ones who lose out as did Atlantic City, not to mention many Native Ameri- are the helpless slot jockeys, but in life, not everyone can reservations around the country. It would be instruc- can be a winner.

Our View

Editorial Cartoon: Mike O’Brien

Letters to the Editor Lighten up, women In yesterday’s letter to the editor by Kristin Wagenmann, “Misogyny in The Diamondback,” not only did Wagenmann completely miss the point of Johnny Mathias’s article, she also unknowingly perpetuated horrible stereotypes by showing off her apparent lack of a sense of humor. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a feminist through and through, but reading about a guy wanting me to show off my legs certainly did not offend me. (Then again, I have hot legs.) But what is actually important is her letter elicited comments such as “I knew there would be an overwhelming fiery response from militant feminists with AK-47s and not enough Midol,” as posted on The Diamondback Online. Comments such as the gem stating feminists should just get a “dick stuck” in them are “misogynistic and sexist,” whereas Mathias’ were just playful and humorous. I am not saying any of these comments are justified, but all Mathias did was try to make a joke, and if we can’t laugh off comments such as “Skirt Day,” we open ourselves up to much bigger attacks. I have no doubt there is a problem with the system, but Wagenmann has directed her anger toward the wrong target, and attacks like that can actually hurt the feminist cause, not help it. My big issue with Wagenmann’s emotional and illogical response (talk about perpetuating negative female stereotypes) is her comment that because of this article she would never vote for Mathias. I would like to suggest perhaps this is one of the biggest problems we face today — people making shotgun decisions on important issues. If we looked into facts and the issues instead of taking sound clips as platforms, perhaps we would do a better job at picking candidates for public office. AMII FOLLMER SENIOR PSYCHOLOGY

Overboard on hazing I wouldn’t say I’m for hazing, but all this talk about the horrors of hazing is getting a little ridiculous. The university’s position is

legitimate: No university officials want to be tied to this kind of press, lest the quality of applicants or (perhaps even worse) funding are diminished, but what I don’t understand are the students on the campus who are up in arms over the issue. We’re all on our way to being adults. Most of us have bills; we have jobs; we have responsibility. We have the power of judgment, and we can decide who we want as friends. If your “friends” ask you to do something that makes you uncomfortable and they aren’t willing to be your friends otherwise, then perhaps you should find some other friends. It’s that simple. I’ll be the first to admit I have no firsthand knowledge of the Greek system and I’ve certainly never been hazed, but I do believe in personal responsibility, and as long as this school isn’t requiring anyone to join a fraternity or sorority, I have no problem with the practice. That’s not to say any kind of behavior can be condoned. As with every rule, there are some things just too egregious to ignore. The example of Delta Tau Delta, which includes activities that clearly and seriously cause harm, certainly cannot be excused. But the question remains: What about the kinds of hazing that are less destructive? Need we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Hazing does have value as a form of bonding, providing a common collective experience. I’m not advocating for all groups to adopt hazing as an initiation practice. I am saying, provided it does not cause serious harm, we should allow college students to choose for themselves whether or not they want to join organizations that practice hazing. Removing hazing completely takes away personal choice in the same way prohibition made alcohol illegal to everyone because of the potential moral and physical consequences of its abuse. The bottom line is people in college are sentient and autonomous and should be able to make decisions regarding their own welfare. Removing any form of hazing is a heavy restriction that suffocates the decision-making ability of students growing into adults. KAITLYN MURPHY SOPHOMORE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY

Air Your Views guest columns to between 550 and 700 words. The Diamondback welcomes your comSubmission of a letter or guest column conments. Address your letters or guest columns stitutes an exclusive, worldwide, transferable to the Opinion Desk at opinion@dbk.umd.edu. license to The Diamondback of the copyright All letters and guest columns must be in the material in any media. The Diamondsigned. Include your full name, year, major back retains the right to edit submissions for and day- and night-time phone numbers. content and length. Please limit letters to 300 words. Please limit 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.

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o all girls: You are beautiful. You are not gorgeous because of your hot body or sexy clothes. You are so lovely because you are the crown of creation. To all guys: Help us realize our dignity as women by being real men. We know we’re not blameless, but you can show strength by living up to the challenge of showing all women that they are loved — and by ignoring the alleged Skirt Day. We are all human beings, not just human bodies. When we’re inching toward middle age and the minis start to look ridiculous, shouldn’t we be assured that love will remain? Those are sweet sentiments, I know, but words are worthless compared to actions. It’s spring. The sun has returned, the cherry blossoms are at their prime, and the girls’ clothes are getting smaller. With warm weather comes the return of super-skimpy clothing. Here at the university, where we’re all trying to learn something, eventually get degrees and have some fun along the way, we’d like to think we’re building a respectful culture. Maybe the women are even finding empowerment, The Vagina Monologues notwithstanding. But when a girl can’t take more than two steps without pausing to pull down her skirt and cover a little more leg, that doesn’t signal power. It signals defeat. We live in the aftermath of the sexual revolution. Our mothers fought long and hard for the right to wear the micro-minis their moms wouldn’t let them leave the house in. They felt free, but that freedom has been twisted back on our generation. The new oppression makes young women, especially on college campuses, feel compelled to wear immodest clothing. The new feminism emphasizes the innate, dignified and unique roles of men and women. It is more interested in a cute skirt from Old Navy than a feathered thong from Victoria’s Secret, bought to peek over low-rise jeans accidentallyon-purpose. The detractors against modesty remain, and they don’t even realize they’re complicit. “It’s what’s in the stores,” says my own mother about my 16-year-old sister’s tight tank tops. “That doesn’t mean you have to buy it,” I think, “and if you keep buying it, they’ll keep making it.” Don’t think guys play no part in the new oppression. If a guy turns his head as you walk by because you’re not wearing enough clothes, then it’s his fault, too. But if he told you that your modest clothes made you look pretty, wouldn’t that be infinitely better? Guys, who would you rather date: the girl who respects herself — and you — enough to cover up or the girl who doesn’t care and won’t care even when your friends start to check her out? Don’t encourage the wild girls. Show the mild girls that you respect them, you want to protect them and you still desire them. I have to admit that my own modesty kick is a recent development. I remember the way my exboyfriend and male classmates looked at me in miniskirts and lowcut tops. The only reason I felt good was because I knew they were looking at me instead of the other girls, so they had to pay attention to my thoughts and words ... when they looked up. Men are inherently visual. Women know this; that’s why the girl is bothering to pull down her skirt instead of moving right along and blaming the men for their lack of self-control. She knows that the spring breeze shouldn’t be hitting that part of her thigh. She doesn’t want to dress that way, but what else can she do? Rebel! It’s as simple as putting on a T-shirt under that tank or buying a longer shirt for those jeans. You don’t have to ignore your heart when it reminds you that you’re more than a bunch of body parts. You have more to offer than skin. If you don’t want to be treated like an object, don’t give the world a clear view of the objects you want it to look beyond. Grab some leggings for that mini; the ’80s are in right now. No one’s saying you have to grow your hair into long pigtails and find dress patterns from Little House on the Prairie. Try some modesty on for size. You might be surprised at how beautiful you become.

Lindsay Wilcox is a senior English major. She can be reached at lwilcox@umd.edu.


THE DIAMONDBACK | OPINION | TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008

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Best of the week “We’ve got to get them to manage the game better ... there needs to be a lot of improvement.” - Football coach Ralph Friedgen analyzing his team’s performance in a spring scrimmage. From the April 21 Diamondback

Lee Fang and Scottie Siu

Excluded from the plan

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s Asian-American students at this university, we are deeply concerned about the proposed version of the Strategic Plan. The current draft does not clearly outline the current state of diversity, nor does it recommend any specific plans on how to improve or expand minority recruitment and retention to create a more representative student body. Though the Strategic Plan vaguely mentions diversity as a “value” and “strength” of the university, we believe diversity must be further emphasized as an integral component to build a truly inclusive curriculum and educational environment. The 2000 Strategic Plan directly addressed the status of minority students and faculty, while proactively recommending many specific steps to ensure people of color are embraced by the university community. Many benchmarks outlined eight years ago have been met, but much remains to be done. If the Strategic Plan being debated now fails to even set a criterion for improvement, then how can we expect positive change? The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to provide a framework for helping our university become more competitive with our peer institutions, and we share that goal. But our school cannot rise in academic excellence unless the curriculum includes strong programs and departments dedicated to the study of race, gender, sexual orientation and other issues of diversity and identity. Diversity is not limited to the demographic composition of the student body; it extends beyond mere physical representation. To cultivate a diverse student body on the campus, it is essential to encourage a dialogue through lectures and coursework, encompassing a wide array of ideologies and perspectives. These classes challenge students to grapple with the complexities of race and other social justice issues and contribute to a more lively and intellectual discussion on our campus. The current draft largely ignores these research topics and completely disregards Asian-American studies, thus leading us to believe the future of such programs remains dubious. Michigan, Berkeley and many other top public universities have established well respected Asian-American studies programs and view them as critical elements that help to develop diversity of opinion. If we are to emulate the success of these institutions, we cannot exclude Asian-American studies from our future development. The existing Asian-American studies program is highly popular, and classes are chronically oversubscribed. In addition to a broader commitment to building our emergent ethnic studies programs, we would like to see a proposal in the Strategic Plan to expand AsianAmerican studies into an academic major. Asian Americans comprise nearly 14 percent of the undergraduate student body, and Asian-American alumni have donated more than $20 million in the past five years. Despite these contributions and our sustained presence, the current draft dedicates nothing to the distinct cultural needs of Asian-American students. At a minimum, the university should provide a reserved space for cultural activities and conduct more assessment surveys to improve counseling services. Now, more than ever, the Strategic Plan matters. If our university’s budget is cut, fledging ethnic studies programs are highly vulnerable to being eliminated or de-funded if they are not priorities within the Strategic Plan. Furthermore, ethnic studies programs such as AsianAmerican studies do not bring in massive grants from corporations and the government. So, from a pragmatic point of view, the science and engineering departments hold a privileged position when the university must make tough budget decisions. We urge every student, faculty member and alumnus to contact Provost Nariman Farvardin to ask him to change the Strategic Plan and ensure diversity is included in the language as more than simply rhetoric. The current draft will be finalized this week, so the future of the university will depend on the input you make in the next few days. Lee Fang is a senior government and politics major. Scottie Siu is a senior business major and is president of Pi Delta Psi. They can be reached at lhfang@gmail.com and scottie.k.siu@gmail.com.

“If Dan Mote high fived me, I’d be a little awkwarded out.”

“I started choking, and I couldn’t do anything about it.”

- Sophomore Nicholas Bishop, on the possibility of meeting President Mote on National High-Five Day. From the April 17 Diamondback

- Junior Brian “Eatin’” Keaton after placing fifth in an eating contest at the College Nationals. From the April 21 Diamondback

To Dan and Mardy M

r. Leydorf and Mr. Shualy, I’m sure it’s tough losing the SGA election. I can share in your misery — two years ago, I lost the election for CMPS legislator. Actually, I can’t share in your misery, because I only ran because a friend asked me to, I didn’t campaign and I was quite happy to lose. Regardless, I hope you can find some cheering up in this column. First of all, my sincerest congratulations! This is the first of my four years here in which I was not annoyed with excessive campaign T-shirts or sidewalk chalk. This campaign season, I didn’t have to turn down a single quarter-sheet flyer in front of the student union! I’d also like to thank you for not acting like complete babies, as some people did two years ago. Fines flew from the SGA election board when campaign workers were deliberately ruining each other’s chalkings (“Candidates take up mudslinging,” April 6, 2006). Others complained of bribes from faculty to students. However, I definitely approved of some of the shenanigans that year. Joke party candidate “Cosmo” Weiss posted flyers portraying Emma Simson as an alcoholic, Kip Edwards “as being a Facebook stalker and [Jahantab] Siddiqui as being a bed-wetting strip club regular.” Kip Edwards’ response? “I almost encourage it. Sometimes candidates take the elections too seriously.” This brings me to my next point. Sure, the voter turnout was the lowest since 1999. But there was no joke party this year, as both

DANIEL MARCIN The Cow Nipple and The Bureau sat on the sidelines. Honestly, reading articles about the campaign was just boring when there was no possibility of seeing a line about Andy LoPresto’s antics. You’ll have to excuse us all for not taking interest when all three candidates ran the same twopronged campaign: I am the most qualified to represent students on the campus, and I am the most qualified to represent students in Annapolis. It was basically the equivalent of a primary race between Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel. Why bother voting when everybody seems the same? On a related note, Sachs and Shualy each received more votes than Dodd and Gravel did in the entire state. And Mr. Leydorf, while every Democratic candidate outdid you, you did muster more votes than Republican Tom Tancredo. So congratulations, you outdid a senator, a congressman and a former senator, and they were playing on much larger fields. If that doesn’t make you feel any better, look at the intelligence of the electorate that turned you

both down. More than 90 percent of them said a “Good Samaritan” policy would make them more likely to call for help in case of an emergency. Think that over for a second. When looking at a friend on the floor in a potentially lifethreatening situation, a majority of them would not have the good sense to call for an ambulance. You should be glad they didn’t think you were a good choice for president. Additionally, 35 percent of them didn’t want to pony up $3.50 extra for free print copies of The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today all over the campus. These same people pay $4 for a single beer at Bentley’s. Just in case you’re still not convinced, consider these pluses. This is the last column some idiot at The Diamondback will ever write about you. No ridiculous picture of you with two people hugging you on each side ran on the front page (it happened to Simson and Sachs). You’ll have all sorts of free time with which you can do things that are actually fun. You never have to have an awkward lunch with university President Dan Mote. You won’t have to deal with politicians. Nobody will call you at all hours of the night asking for “comments.” You’ll never have to deal with a bald guy wearing a bow tie. And finally, SGA meetings are Wednesday nights. Hard Times Cafe wing nights are Wednesday nights. Which would you rather go to? Daniel Marcin is a senior economics and math major. He can be reached at dmarcin@umd.edu.

We Want You! The opinion page is looking for new staff columnists for the fall 2008 semester. Columnists must be able to write persuasively on local issues and are responsible for submitting a column once every two weeks for publication. In order to apply, please send two columns of 700 words in length to our recruitment email address dbk.opinion@gmail.com We are also searching for new opin-

ion editors. Editors work three shifts per week and are responsible for writing the staff editorials, recruiting columnists and interviewing members of the campus community. Applicants must have an interest in learning about and interpreting issues relevant to the university and to students. In order to apply for an editing position, please email Editor in Chief-Elect Steven Overly at overlydbk@gmail.com.

at issue How do you feel about the possibility of Maryland legalizing slots to fund higher education?

“ “ “ “ “ “ It’s a good way to generate new revenue, especially with the loan crisis.”

Monique L. Robinson Sophomore Communication

Sean Heller Junior Mathematics

It’s confusing because Ehrlich wanted to put them in for a while and O’Malley was opposed, but now O’Malley wants them.”

Legalizing slots would jeopardize our lottery deal with Delaware, so the measure wouldn’t be very effective.”

Shruti Rastogi Sophomore Journalism

Encouraging It may provide gambling to raise more money in funds for higher the short term, education seems but in the long wrong to me.” term, it may cost the state more than it’s getting because Kaitlyn Shulman Chris Prather Chris Gnau of bankrupt Sophomore Freshman Freshman gambling Government and politics Aerospace engineering Civil engineering addicts.”

I’d accept it because it would make higher education affordable for more people.”

Jonathan S. Miller

Why stop-loss shouldn’t be used in Iraq

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he government has largely admitted the original reason (justification) for intervention in Iraq — nuclear weapons were being developed in the state — was faulty or based upon false or faulty intelligence. If true, this would have been a legitimate national security concern, however poor or mistaken the means used to address it might have been. But after finding no evidence for nuclear weapon development in Iraq, the government under President George W. Bush immediately switched to moral arguments — getting rid of an evil dictator, establishing democracy in Iraq, etc. — to justify its continued intervention in Iraq. Why, then, didn’t the courts at this point begin to rule in favor of servicemen in Iraq who objected to having their originally agreed-upon terms of service extended against their will? Even though government officials had admitted the national security reasons for the original intervention were no longer valid, the courts continued to deny these servicemen, who wanted to leave Iraq or the service itself, their fundamental rights. Surely when the draft was abolished and Congress passed the original legislation allowing for stoploss, which allowed the military to keep people in the service past their original terms of enlistment, they didn’t allow it for any old reason. It had to be for genuine national security crises. What crisis was there when the government itself had admitted there was none? None, other than one delivered by engaging in some twisted and perverse logic that could make anything a crisis. But the courts continued to rule against these servicemen and, in doing so, were implying these soldiers had no rights. The government could use them for any purpose whatsoever, not just for purposes of legitimate national defense. They had forfeited their rights when they joined the military and, in theory, could now be kept indefinitely. But does the law say that? It does not. But even if it did, that law would have been clearly unconstitutional. The courts were seriously amiss in defending these soldiers’ constitutional rights. If these rulings are allowed to stand, a new class of citizens (Or shall we say non-citizens?) will have been established by the courts in the United States, without any rights whatsoever, except maybe to vote. The Defense Department will have found those robot soldiers it has been looking for. When the president stated that we were fighting in Iraq to establish democracy and not to get rid of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, he forfeited the right to continue the war with unwilling personnel. He still could continue the war, but only with volunteers for that specific mission. I am not saying that Bush’s and Vice President Dick Cheney’s original decision to intervene in Iraq, on the grounds that Hussein was developing nuclear weapons, wasn’t also fraudulent. It was. But when they finally admitted it, or at least admitted they had been mistaken about the weapons, that should have ended it, right then and there (as I doubt Bush could have found sufficient numbers of volunteers to continue the war). But it didn’t, and the real question is: Why? The answer and blame for this extends far beyond just Bush and Cheney and their administration or the military. Once you get the unwilling participants out of Iraq, or any other location on the globe that is non-strategic (defining the term “strategic” in the narrowest sense of the word, meaning essential to the military safety of the U.S.), there are two questions you ask about those who remain in Iraq: Are their goals moral? And do their methods and plans indicate a reasonable possibility of achieving those goals? But these are questions you don’t ask until all the unwilling participants are out of there. Whether Barack Obama or the Democrats will follow such a policy as this is open to question. In at least one speech Obama gave, he only spoke of pulling the troops out of Iraq gradually. This is Nixon talk. This is what Nixon was saying in 1968 about Vietnam, or at least what he was practicing in Vietnam from 1969 onward, until the end of his presidency in 1974.

Jonathan S. Miller is a geography graduate student. He can be reached at jsmiller@geog.umd.edu.


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TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008 | THE DIAMONDBACK

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Features HOROSCOPESTELLA WILDER

CROSSWORD

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afraid of — but it may take a little doing before you can come clean with an old friend. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Overindulgence is unbecoming, and you must do everything you can to control any impulses that might get you into hot water. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Someone you know may think it’s too late — and you know what he or she means. The truth is that you still have plenty of time to work with. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) — You may not fully understand your own mounting potential at this time. Get yourself out there and advertise yourself and your skills. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) — Don’t hide your feelings from anyone who displays a sincere interest in them. You’ll learn a lot simply by talking about it. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) — You’ll be responsible for see-

ing that others come through, so you’ll certainly want to be where you can see what is really going on around you. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Attachment is not to be taken lightly, and if you find yourself in a position with another that is not for you, you had better act fast. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) — Official policy may become an issue at the workplace, and you may find yourself standing on the outside looking in. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) — The prospects for you are good where love is concerned — even if it’s just a matter of restating your commitment to a familiar partner. ARIES (March 21-April 19) — You may come up against something of a challenge late in the day that appears more serious than it really is. Copyright 2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

© 2008 UNITED FEATURES SYNDICATE

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orn today, you are quite adept at solving all manner of problems, from the domestic and mundane to the highly scientific and specialized. Your natural intelligence and your instincts are sure to lead you down a path that requires of you nothing more, in the long run, than the willingness to set your sights on solutions that others simply cannot find. Your creative approach to things that are usually done by the book is a strength that can serve you well day after day. Your determination and tenacity are two of your greatest assets, and you’re not likely to turn away from a difficult endeavor simply because it puts you to the test; on the contrary, the more challenged you are by a task, the more you are likely to stick with it. Also born on this date are: Jack Nicholson, actor; Aaron Spelling, TV producer; Immanuel Kant, philosopher; Yehudi Menuhin, violinist. 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.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23 TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — You must do your best to hide your distress when someone in need puts you in an uncomfortable position. It’s time for you to be the adult. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — A change in plans may be unavoidable. Keep your feet on the ground, and pay attention to what others say and do at all times. CANCER (June 21-July 22) — A little nostalgia is nothing to be

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THE DIAMONDBACK | TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008

ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK:

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When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold Atmosphere

Elephant Shell Tokyo Police Club

Hideaway The Weepies

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LIVING

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MOVIES

REVIEW | FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS

REVIEW | ASHLEE SIMPSON

More bitter Conchords don’t fly high than sweet HBO folk duo’s brand of comedy doesn’t necessarily translate off the screen

Ashlee Simpson’s third album could have been tolerable, but she keeps it from success BY ROXANA HADADI Senior staff writer

How, exactly, does Ashlee Simpson have a career? What kind of amazing deal with the devil did she strike to remain popular after the Saturday Night Live fiasco of 2004, or after the Orange Bowl debacle of 2005, or the Marie Claire hypocrisy of 2006? She has somehow managed to remain on the scene longer than she ever deserved, but she certainly hasn’t developed any more musical talent — Bittersweet World is proof. Simpson experimented with an ’80s sound on sophomore album I Am Me, and that influence (guided by producers such as Timbaland and The Neptunes) stuck around for Bittersweet World, which includes a variety of ballads and pop-rock tracks. Too bad most of them fail. Simpson’s voice — sometimes nasal, often pushed past its very limited range — is inexcusably annoying on Bittersweet World and often deteriorates into a buzzing drone. Her songs seem to be self-affirmation of her own awesomeness (“I know I’m hot stuff,” she whines on “Hot Stuff”), an attack on haters (“I’ve just begun to find my way,” she proclaims on “What I’ve Become,” basically a musical middle finger to the paparazzi) or an experiment in just how emo she can be (“Don’t you see my black tears?” she asks on “Ragdoll”). There are no surprises here — just one formulaic track after another. The album begins with single “Outta My Head,” probably the only tolerable track on the entire album — but it’s basically a Gwen Stefani knock-off. Over a very punchy bass-line and keyboard riff, Simpson sings the disturbingly catchy hook and chorus: “All I ever hear is ay ya ya ya ya/ You’re talking way too much/ I can’t even hear me now/ All this

noise is messing with my head/ You’re in my head, get outta my head/ Outta my, outta my head.” On its own, the song is nothing special. But compared to the other tracks on this album, it’s utter gold. At least, it’s far better than the title track (which seems to have completely stolen its instrumentation from Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”) or “No Time for Tears,” which goes absolutely nowhere, has no memorable lyrics and is utterly forgettable. And what’s even more disappointing is some of these songs definitely show promise. “Boys” is a super cheeky slice of pop-rock, and it’s on the same level of sass as Madonna’s earlier work, especially with the amusing-but-trite lines, “Use your head, but not that one/ Onetrack mind, one-track mind, onetrack mind.” But Ashlee can’t seem to knock it out of the park. Her vocals fall flat, and the song is a pale shadow of what it could have been in the hands of better artists. Similarly ho-hum is “Never Dream Alone,” the album’s requisite ballad. The song’s strippeddown quality (vocals, piano, strings) is appealing, and even the lyrics aren’t that bad: “Fall asleep with my hand on your heart/ I won’t let it skip a beat.” However, the problem is again Simpson’s voice — her vocals sound stretched to their limit, even though the song doesn’t ask for anything too range intensive. Overall, Bittersweet World is an album hindered by the shortcomings of its creator. As a vocalist, Simpson just doesn’t have what it takes to make her songs shine. As a lyricist, she’s prone to clichés that belittle the messages she’s trying to send. On one of the album’s tracks, Simpson sings, “They say I get away with murder” — and with the subpar quality of Bittersweet World, she has.

COURTESY OF SUBPOP

Bret McKenzie, left, and Jemaine Clement compose Flight of the Conchords. Though their brand of comedy works well on their HBO show, new listeners may be confused by the songs on their debut album. BY RUDI GREENBERG Senior staff writer

You can sum up Flight of the Conchords with “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros,” based off of the band’s self-titled studio debut. After Bret McKenzie, a.k.a. the Rhymenoceros, raps, “I’m not just wild, I’m trained/ Domesticated/ I was raised by a rapper and a rhino that dated/ And subsequently procreated,” he introduces his partner, Jemaine Clement, the Hiphopopotamus. “They call me the hiphopopotamus/ My lyrics are bottomless,” Clement says. And then, there’s a pause. Clement clears his throat, and McKenzie returns to the mic as if nothing had happened. The joke there is obvious, but it’s the way FOTC, the folk comedy duo from New Zealand, pulls it off — with no hesitation and a total deadpan delivery — that makes the band what it is. They specialize in off-beat, subtle and awkward humor, often leaving you wondering if — and when — you’re supposed to laugh. Flight of the Conchords, the first full-length recording from the band, is a new reference for the duo for fans of the HBO series and, just maybe, for those who missed the buzz the first time. The album rounds up 14 FOTC staples — 13 of which appeared on the show and one that didn’t, the 16-second album closer, “Au Revoir” — into one neat package. The songs are spruced up a little here, due to the band recording in a studio and working with producer Mickey Petralia. By including only songs from the series (in

this sense, “Au Revoir” doesn’t count), the band put itself into a box. Fans of the show don’t get anything new from the album, instead getting re-worked, high-quality versions of some favorites from the series. But new listeners are treated to the songs in a new way, without proper context. And without that, several of FOTC’s songs miss the mark. For example, on the album, “Motha’uckas” doesn’t make as much sense without the proper prior knowledge. McKenzie starts rapping about a “motha ucka [who] won’t sell an apple to a Kiwi,” and then spits about the fruit. Fans of the show know the song stems from a confrontation McKenzie and Clement have with a fruit vendor (played by Human Giant’s Aziz Anzari) who won’t sell fruit to them because he thinks they’re Australian. By contrast, firsttime listeners probably wouldn’t have a clue. This is what makes the album such a tough one to judge. For fans, it’s nice to finally have recordings of some of the band’s best songs, but where is the new material? For people just turned on to the FOTC phenomenon, it’s a precarious situation — will the band be able to draw new fans on just the strength of these songs? Can they still make you laugh when you have no clue what you’re laughing at? Simply put, it’s really not clear. Some songs have little enough relation to plot that they work, others not so much. But one thing is certain: These songs are best heard, first, as part of the

show. You need to see Clement’s face when he can’t think of a lyric in “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros,” just like “Leggy Blonde” isn’t as funny without the accompanying visuals. The album forces you to dive into the songs without any warning — something the show eases you into. Without seeing McKenzie and Clement interact in their apartment or go to weekly band meetings with manager Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), the album is just a collection of ridiculous songs, some of which may not resonate as well as the band expects. That’s not to say there aren’t songs everyone can enjoy. “Business Time,” the only song to appear on both this and the band’s Distant Future EP, is arguably the band’s signature song, giving new meaning to the term “business socks.” “Bowie,” the band’s tribute (or a glorified parody, depending on how you look at it) to David Bowie is equally excellent. It’s ridiculous and funny and manages to rip on “Space Oddity,” “Ziggy Stardust” and “Let’s Dance” without seeming pretentious. Flight of the Conchords is great if you’re a fan; just don’t expect anything you haven’t seen or heard before. But for non-fans, go pick up the first season of Flight of the Conchords on DVD before you take a listen. After 12 episodes of the series, you’ll know whether or not you want this album in your collection. rudi.greenberg@gmail.com

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TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008 | SPORTS | THE DIAMONDBACK

9

QB still a concern for Terps QB, from Page 10 them so they can both get a shot,” Friedgen said. “We have to get better at the quarterback position.” Steffy is trying to remind the coaches why they chose him to be the starting quarterback over both Turner and Portis last spring. His play this spring has been rewarded as he split time with Turner on the first-team offensive unit for the scrimmage. Steffy was unafraid to take risks on deep passes and threw 16 completions for 240 yards. He also threw the only touchdown of the day and had more success scrambling than Turner, though five sacks limited him to just -6 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Turner looked rattled. He completed 11 passes for 102 yards, averaging more than five yards less per pass than Steffy. He also had less success on the run, losing 41 yards and being sacked eight times. He threw the only interception of the game. But Turner remains upbeat about his situation at quarterback. “The interception was a miscommunication between myself and the tight end,” Turner said. “But other than that, I felt I managed the offense well.” The third wheel, Portis, struggled to look either good or bad. After sitting out the past two seasons — 2006 after transferring from Florida and 2007 as a result of the honor code violation — Portis completed 3-of-4 attempts for 25 yards. But it appears his progress has fallen short of his counterparts’. “We have trouble getting the plays called with Josh,” Friedgen said. “That’s what he’s got to work on.” Turner and Steffy, then, will look to separate themselves during this last week of practice and the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday. And even as they try to separate themselves, both know there is room for improvement. “We’ve got to eliminate the little things,” Turner said. “I want to get my timing down better and just go out and play.” JAMES B. HALE–THE DIAMONDBACK

Quarterback Chris Turner took over for Jordan Steffy last season after Steffy went down with an injury. But Turner, above being sacked, has not been able to outplay Steffy this spring.

kyanchulisdbk@gmail.com

Phipps notched 10 saves in first half PHIPPS, from Page 10

ADAM FRIED–THE DIAMONDBACK

Sophomore goalie Brian Phipps kept the Quakers at bay with 17 saves Saturday. The only goal he allowed came when a Penn player knocked the ball out of Phipps’ stick and directly into the goal.

two starts to earn the nod from coach Dave Cottle in the second half, as well. Saturday, it was Phipps’ turn to dazzle his head coach. The sophomore made 10 first-half saves, including a diving stop to keep the Quakers from tying the score in the second quarter, to secure a 4-1 halftime lead for the Terps. “I think Brian Phipps really stood up and played a great game,” Cottle said. “He was definitely the player of the game, no question.” It was the kind of performance the Terps needed. The offense had been struggling, only netting four goals in each of the last two games, both losses. That would’ve been enough to win this one until freshman Mark White allowed three Quaker goals in a 1:13 span late –Dave Cottle in the game. MEN’S LACROSSE COACH Phipps said he was helped by the barrage of Quaker shots. Penn, which averaged 40 shots per game coming in, attempted 43 shots on Saturday. Many of the Quaker shots hit the dirt in front of Phipps and bounced over the net or skipped wide, but he said it kept him in rhythm. “The more shots you get, the more chances you get to get on fire and keep it going,” Phipps said. At this point, the Terps have two goalies who are playing well. Cottle said both of his net-minders continue to impress in practice. He may have a tough decision about who to start in Friday’s ACC tournament first-round game against Virginia, a team the Terps defeated at Byrd Stadium on March 29 behind an impressive performance from Carter. If form holds, it will be Carter starting. But the Terps have to be encouraged by Phipps’ performance on Saturday. He is. “It’s been a while since I played how well I’m capable of playing,” Phipps said. “It’s pretty good to do it going into the most meaningful part of the year.”

JACLYN BOROWSKI–THE DIAMONDBACK

Sophomore Caitlyn McFadden and the Terps know the pressure is on with their top-seed status in the ACC.

Terps don’t care about path as much as destination

“Brian Phipps really stood up and played a great game. He was definitely the player of the game, no question.”

ACC, from Page 10

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“You don’t want to play any team,” senior midfielder Kelly Kasper said. “But obviously, you’re going to have to play someone. Avoiding Virginia or Duke or whoever is great, but any team is going to give us a run for our money. Everyone is going to come after us.” The Terps’ wariness of their ACC counterparts is warranted. Five of the six regularseason games between the top-four ACC teams — the Terps, Duke, North Carolina and Virginia — were close, decided by four goals or less. For coach Cathy Reese and the top-seeded Terps, the only sure thing is Thursday’s bye because of the competitive ACC. “All it means is there is no game on Thursday,” Reese said. “Its great ’cause it shows we have had some big wins this season, but it really doesn’t matter because all of the ACC teams are so tough; all that matters is who shows up to play that day. Any day anybody can win. For us, it’s about showing up to play and playing our game no matter who we play.” But the Terps are only concerned about winning the tournament, not the path. “It’s going to be great,” senior midfielder Dana Dobbie said. “We are going to have an extra day to focus on what we need to do when we get into that first round, but it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there.” If the Terps are to bring home their first ACC championship since 2003, which they won in Charlottesville, Va., they will have to take full advantage of their top seed. Given a second chance with the inside track to the ACC championship, this year’s team is hoping to get it right. “We put it behind us,” Dobbie said. “New team, new year, new season, and we are not going to make the same mistakes. We learned from it, and now we are ready to get over that hump.”


10

THE DIAMONDBACK | TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008

Nike/Inside Lacrosse Men’s Poll Top 10

Sports

School 1. Duke 2. Syracuse 3. Virginia 4. Georgetown 5. TERRAPINS

Record (13-1) (11-1) (11-2) (8-3) (8-4)

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School 6. Johns Hopkins 7. UMBC 8. Cornell 9. Ohio State 10. North Carolina

Back in his cage Brian Phipps put out his strongest performance of the season against Penn BY ERIC DETWEILER Senior staff writer

Brian Phipps could only watch helplessly as the lone goal he allowed in Saturday’s Terrapin men’s lacrosse game against Penn floated into the back of the net. The sophomore goalie had made a good play, coming out to snare a loose ball in traffic about six minutes into the game with the Terps holding a 2-0 lead. But Penn attackman Corey Winkoff checked Phipps’ stick, sending the ball hurtling back into the open goal. “It was really frustrating that the one goal I let up, I scored on myself,” Phipps said. “It really was my fault.” But Phipps made sure it was his lone miscue in the game. The reigning ACC Rookie of the Year, who had only started one of the previous

six halves for the Terps, took advantage of his opportunity to start against the Quakers and turned in his best performance of the year. Phipps made a career-high 17 saves to lead the Terps to a 9-4 win against Penn. He left with just more than four minutes remaining in the game and his team holding an eight-goal lead. “It felt pretty good,” Phipps said. “I’ve been seeing the ball all week pretty well. It feels good having people support me and show they still have confidence in me. It gave me confidence to play well today.” After Phipps and junior Jason Carter split time almost completely evenly through the Terps’ first eight games, Carter had played well enough in his last

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QB job now a 2-man battle Steffy, Turner distanced from Portis BY KATE YANCHULIS Staff writer

At the start of the spring football season, there were three players competing to be starting quarterback. But in the Terps’ full four-quarter scrimmage Saturday, it appeared the field had been narrowed to two. While junior Josh Portis, who was ineligible last season due to an academic honor code violation, had been expected to compete with returning starter Chris Turner and former starter Jordan Steffy, Portis threw just four passes. Turner, a junior, and senior Steffy have established themselves as the stars of the spring. Turner won his position atop the depth chart after leading the Terps for the last eight games of the 2007 season. He replaced Jordan Steffy, who went out with a concussion in the game against Rutgers and started second on the depth chart. But nothing was to be set in stone — coach Ralph Friedgen repeatedly declared an open competition for the position, a stance he maintains even as the spring season winds down. “We’re rotating both of

Please See PHIPPS, Page 9

PHOTOS BY ADAM FRIED–THE DIAMONDBACK

Sophomore goalie Brian Phipps (right and cutout) had only started one of the Terps’ previous six halves, but his performance against Penn earned praise from junior goalie Jason Carter (left), who did not play for the first time all season Saturday.

Please See QB, Page 9

Terps tackle tough midweek tests Old Dominion, Towson threaten baseball’s 13-game nonconference winning streak ing,” Palumbo said. “With good defense and timely hitting, things should play out our way.” Hopefully for the Terps, playing the way they’ve been playing will be enough to keep the streak alive.

BY AARON KRAUT Senior staff writer

JACLYN BOROWSKI–THE DIAMONDBACK

Sophomore midfielder Amanda Spinnenweber and the Terps ran through Virginia Tech 20-3 Saturday to earn the top seed in the ACC tournament.

Women’s lacrosse gets another shot Terps fell early in ACC tourney last year again earned the top seed and are looking for redemption. “Losing the ACCs last Saturday’s 20-3 drubbing of Virginia Tech has given year as the No. 1 seed was the Terrapin women’s really hard for us,” senior lacrosse team all they can attacker Katie Princiotto said. “We knew that we ask for — a second chance. could do it. This Last season, the year we have added Terps were the top motivation. This is seed in the ACC our year, and we are tournament. But going to go all out.” their run did not last The Terps have long. The Terps the luxury of a firstwere upset in their round bye, and the first tournament seeding will allow game by then-No. 6 the Terps to avoid Virginia. Despite the No. 4 Cavaliers leading throughout most of the game, –Katie Princiotto (12-3, 4-1 ACC), who the Terps fell victim SENIOR ATTACKER are hosting the tournament, and No. 12 to a 6-0 Cavalier run Duke (9-6, 3-2) until in the final 16:25. the final round. The Cavaliers elimiWhile top-seed status has nated the Terps en route to its privileges, the Terps also the ACC championship. With last year’s disap- have a target on their backs. pointment still on their minds, the Terps have once Please See ACC, Page 9 BY BRIAN KAPUR Staff writer

“This is our year, and we are going to go all out ”

The middle of the week has generally provided a safety net for the Terrapin baseball team this season. But despite a 13-game nonconference winning streak, that could all be in jeopardy this week when the Terps play two of their tougher out-ofconference foes. With tonight’s game against Old Dominion and tomorrow’s trip to Towson, a team that beat the Terps 11-6 on Feb. 26 in College Park, the Terps face a tougher midweek slate than usual. “Anytime you play programs like Towson and Old Dominion midweek, they’re always gonna be pretty tough games,” coach Terry Rupp said. “We’re going to have to play solid defense, because Old Dominion is a team that swings the bats well. You can’t give them any free opportunities.” The Monarchs were picked to win the CAA in the conference’s preseason poll, but the team has struggled to an 18-19 overall record. The Terps beat Old Dominion 5-2 in Norfolk, Va., on March 18 behind 5.1 strong innings from senior pitcher Brett Tidball. Still, the Monarchs are a danger to any team they face, even ACC squads. They beat No. 3 North Carolina 8-6 back in February. In the Terps’ three-game series against the Tar Heels, they won once but were outscored 35-6 for the weekend. “They’re definitely tough teams,” junior left fielder Gerry Spessard said of this week’s opponents. “Playing them back-to-back, especially with the second game at Tow-

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Terps vs. Old Dominion Where: Shipley Field When: Tonight, 7 p.m. Radio: WMUCsports.com

All-u-can eat kielbasa: $9.95 Tix to MD football game: $45 Portable satellite dish: $100

ADAM FRIED–THE DIAMONDBACK

Junior catcher Will Greenberg and the Terps have reeled off 13 straight nonconference wins, a streak Old Dominion would like to end tonight. son, is tough. Something always happens there, either bad weather or it seems like we aren’t in it mentally.” The Terps have revenge on their minds against Towson, but the team hasn’t won at the John B. Schuerholz Baseball Complex in either of the last two seasons. “They’re probably one of the biggest in-state rivals we have, and they’re always out to get us,” Spessard said. “We’re probably one of their biggest games of the season. We definitely want to beat them.”

Sophomore Ian Schwalenberg is slated to start tonight, as the Terps continue to patch together their midweek rotation. The Terps enter tonight’s game with the same mindset that worked last week, which was to take each game as it comes and worry about weekend ACC games later. Rupp said he hasn’t looked at the ACC standings or any headlines since last week, and senior shortstop Joe Palumbo echoed his view. “We just need to keep playing the way we’ve been play-

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