Photo by Lauren Su
Photo by Andrew Cavell Photo by Lauren Su
Photo by Andrew Cavell
WCWM Fest 2012
Photo by Andrew Cavell
lauren su, dsj photo editor
From April 5th to April 7th of 2012, William and Maryâ€™s student run radio station, WCWM, hosted its second annual WCWM Fest, a multiday music festival that aims to bring live music to the William and Mary student body and the rest of Williamsburg. This year, along with headliners The Mountain Goats and TheWalkmen, we saw an eclectic mix of rising independent group and on-campus talent. In collaboration with various organizations such as the Student Assembly and the William and Mary Global Film Festival, WCWM Fest provided us with high-quality music and great entertainment. We can only hope that this festival gets bigger and better in the years to come.
The DoG Street Journal May 2012
The DoG Street Journal
(w h o weare)
E D I T O R I A L STAFF Editors in Chief Ryan Buckland Max Cunningham Managing Editor Althea Lyness News Editor Molly Michie Style Editor Christine Shen Sports Editor Jeffrey Knox Opinions Editor Sean Sweeney Photo Editor Lauren Su Web Editor Erin Black Layout Assistants Morgan Barker Katelin Hill Emily Nalker Lindsey Neimo
The DSJ is a monthy student magazine and online multi-media outlet which strives to provide an entertaining, thought-provoking and interactive resource for the William and Mary community.
William and Mary Alumni Performing at WCWM Festival as band Tough Luck. Photo Andrew Cavell
The DoG Street Journal The College of William & Mary Campus Center Basement Office 12B Williamsburg, Virginia 23185 757.221.7851 email@example.com
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may 2012>>>www.dogstreetjournal.com>>>volume 9 issue 8
(what’sinside) In every issue................................... >Editorial: WWED, What Would the Educated Do?
News .......................................... >Learning to Listen: The At-Risk Program
Style........................................... >Get those Spring Fashions!
Opinions....................................... >The Student Assembly: Who Cares and Who Should Care?
Sports .......................................... >The Past and the Future: Looking into the Crystal Ball at Tribe Sports
The Responsibility of the Educated In the mid-afternoon on a beautiful day in April I was walking past Crim Dell Amphitheater on my way to McStreet Hall. I was on my way to Earth Structure and Dynamics Lab, a geology course that focuses on the deep, slow churn of the various forces driving plate tectonics. I was lost thinking about a project we were going to discuss, in which we used geological and chemical data to reconstruct the earth history of a particular region. A man pacing the top stair of the Crim Dell Amphitheater popped my bubble with a yell. “I challenge you, William and Mary students,” he was saying, loudly and confidently, “to show me a single shred of evidence, one shred of evidence…” He wanted to draw out the tension. “One shred of evidence that evolution is real.” I laughed out loud. I originally guessed that he’d be more like the campus evangelists I’d seen in the past, decrying the alcohol-pot-fornication sin group. At least those discussions are a little more fair, in the sense that there are valid arguments for certain individuals to, say, cut back on their drinking. The case against evolution was a new one for me, though. Let’s be real, some scientists think species evolution should be considered a natural law. I could have easily printed out over 500 pages of scientific evidence supporting the most basic concept of “evolution” within 20 minutes of seeing this guy. Alas I did not; I was running late for Earth Structure and Dynamics Lab, where we later spoke about rocks chemically dated to billions of years in age. If I had, however, garnered the hundreds of pages of evidence supporting species evolution that any William and Mary student could probably have found as quickly, I can only think that my effort would have been in vain. I suspect that any evidence I did show him would, in his eyes, be somehow flawed. This man equated biblical narrative with scientific evidence; the writings of a few authors with countless hours of intensive research. I believe strongly that there is a place for the spiritual in this world. But it is not the only thing that’s believable. To suggest that the theory of evolution is anything less than acceptable is to ignore the hard research and accomplishments of thousands of dedicated scientists. To an extent, I can see why an academic professional, or any well-informed individual, would be insulted by this man. But the question is still there: what do we do? Does it even matter what this guy thinks? What difference does the evangelist’s complete disregard for science make to anyone but him? Here at the DSJ, we’ll leave that for you to decide. But we’d like to leave you with this thought: The College’s students are leaving soon to go out into the world. We have an obligation, as the educated ones, to interject knowledge into our societies. This isn’t changing what other people believe, only changing what they know. People will have their opinions, that much is constant, but human interaction, people, will only become more aware of this gigantic world in which we live if we share the gift of education however we can.
april 30 – may 9 who: students what: exams when: 9am, 2pm, 7pm where: classroms across campus why: finish the semester strong
may 10 who: students, faculty and staff what: summer break when: all day, erryday where: all around the world why: to rest up for next fall
may 11 – may 13 who: seniors and their loved ones what: commencement when: Friday, Saturday and Sunday where: all around campus, William and Mary Hall
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Less than Pleased:
Freshman React to the new Meal Plan requirement »
jessica edington, dsj staff reporter
While in recent weeks, the dining halls have put forth a little extra effort to accommodate and impress the surge of visitors that springtime brings to the College, the general attitude of students regarding campus dining is often mixed. Most freshmen accept without protest the meal plan requirement that obliges them to share nearly all of their meals with Dining Services the whole year round, holding onto the possibility of abandoning the meal plan in their future years. However, a recent e-mail from Student Affairs reminded this year’s freshman class that going without a meal plan is not a luxury that they will have if they plan to live on campus in the following years. Starting with the Class of 2015, the College is enacting a meal plan requirement for all students housed on campus. Though this decision was officially made before this year’s freshmen enrolled, this electronic reminder was the first notification of the new requirement for many students. The sudden and largely unpublicized nature of the announcement has sparked an uproar among the Class of 2015, many of whom are incredibly displeased with the new requirement. Students cite various reasons for their opposition, including the price, the alleged poor quality of the food, the limited options for people with dietary restrictions, the inconvenience of a traditional meal structure to busy students, and the absence of less comprehensive block meal plans. “I am not a fan of this new requirement. I believe that if any improvements are being made, they should go to directly benefit the class of 2015 in the form of better food and more dining options,” Skyler Paltell (’15) said. “I had not planned on purchasing a meal plan, since they are so expensive and the food quality is so low. Now I have no choice.” With support from her fellow classmates, Paltell acted on her displeasure and petitioned for the reconsideration of the new requirement. Though she was told that it was non-negotiable, President Taylor Reveley asked her to compile a list of top five changes she and other students would like to see in dining, as the additional money from the meal plans is intended to go towards improving the dining experience of
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all students on campus. “I would like to see Dining improve the quality and quantity of the food,” stated Paltell. “I would like to see more options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. I would like healthier food... I want restaurant quality food — after all, we are paying the same price for PB&J, an apple, and a cookie as we are for a Chipotle burrito and chips.” Also dissatisfied with the new requirement, Lizzy Cross (’15) claims that she sees no purpose in purchasing a large meal plan for herself, and that it will only create an additional burden to the already high cost of her education. “I think that the change to the meal plan was, frankly, inconsiderate. As an out-ofstate student, I spend $50,000 a year to come here. I can barely afford it as it is, without this requirement that I pay $4,000 more dollars for a meal plan that I will rarely use. What are they going to gain with that much more money that they can’t already get with the $200,000 I’m going to pay them by the time I graduate?” Cross proposes a few amendments to the new requirement, echoing the sentiment of offering less restrictive options. “They need to include a Block Meal Plan option for the sophomores… preferably Block 50, as that is the least expensive option and best reflects my usage of the Dining Halls,” Cross suggested. “The fact is, no matter how good the food is, or how many changes they make, I’m not going to eat on
campus any more than I already do. The organizations that I’m involved in provide me with many, many meals, and my daily schedule usually doesn’t permit me time for a large sit-down meal for breakfast. Therefore, there’s nothing I want them to do with my money except give it back to me.” As a freshman who was aware of the requirement upon entering the College, Chelsea White (’15) also agrees that regardless of other factors concerning dining, the most beneficial change to the new policy would be to include smaller meal plan options. “I knew coming in as a freshmen that they were passing the decision and that I would have to have a meal plan all four years if I chose to live on campus. What wasn’t clear was that I wouldn’t be able to choose which I would purchase and that it would be decided for me,” White said. “I have no problem with having a meal plan but a block plan makes much more sense because with the expensive meal plans I am going to pay for many meals worth of food that I won’t eat, along with paying for the groceries I will eat.” Regarding the promised improvements in the quality and selection of the food, White is skeptical. “I have a feeling not much is going to change with the food despite all the extra money, so I would rather them allow us to choose which we purchase, even down to the block plans.”
Just the Facts... Starting with the class of 2015, all undergraduate students living in campus housing will be required to buy a meal plan. The choices differ for each social class, as outlined below: Freshmen Residential Meal Plan Selections (default Gold 19 if no plan selected) -Freedom (unlimited meals + $125 Dining Dollars) -Gold 19 (19 meals per week + $150 Dining Dollars per semester) -Gold 14 (14 meals per week + $175 Dining Dollars per semester) Sophomores (default Tribe 10 if no plan selected) -all of the above -Tribe 10 (10 meals per week + $300 Dining Dollars per semester) Juniors and Seniors (default Block 50 if no plan selected) -all of the above -Block 125 (125 meals per semester + $250 Dining Dollars) -Block 100 (100 meals per semester + $275 Dining Dollars) -Block 50 (50 meals per semester + $275 Dining Dollars)
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At Risk: Friends in College »
katelin hill, dsj staff reporter
Office of Health Education and the Counseling Center release new interactive suicide prevention module
This past semester, students have been invited to participate in At Risk: Friends in College. Three weeks in so far, roughly 400 students have completed the online module which helps college students identify specific symptoms and signs of psychological distress. In the course, students engage in simulated conversations with student avatars, role-playing in a highly interactive environment. The goal is for students to learn various methods of approaching fellow students in distress, and motivating them to seek help – topics that are not exactly easy or comfortable to discuss. According to graduate student Justin Jackson, who works with the Office of Health Education, “We believe this program has a promising and obvious beneficial future here at William and Mary. Currently, the College is exploring whether the At Risk training should be part of a voluntary/supplemental activity to increase
mental health awareness for all incoming students.” The program currently is on a voluntary basis and responses are kept confidential. It takes about 30 minutes and can be completed in multiple sittings.
A Need for Awareness
Suicides on campus have increased in number in recent years. Although there is no institution which keeps records on college suicides by university, William and Mary has been battling a suicide “reputation” for years. Prior to 2010, there were 11 suicides over a span of 41 years at the College. There had not been a suicide at the College in the five years prior to 2010. According to Jackson, the College, especially the Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office, is well aware of the importance to “raise mental health awareness, reduce the stigma associated T H E D S J - may 2 0 1 2
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with mental illness, and participate in various activities or events that help create a more collaborative, unified, and supportive learning environment.” “When students are given resources, such as At Risk: Friends in College, to help them become more prepared to identify, approach and motivate students in distress, we are making great strides to achieve this goal,” Jackson said. “This program is just one step in a long line of actions that the College has taken, is taking, and will continue to take to raise mental health awareness and prevent college student suicide.” The training, according to Jackson, is one step in the College’s risk reduction plan. Other parts of the plan, he said, include the possibility of purchasing the Faculty training for all Faculty and Staff on campus, distribution of already made wallet cards for Faculty and Staff regarding suicide warning signs (for which a student version is coming soon), as well as “collaborating with the Student Assembly, HOPE, and the Counseling Center to debunk Counseling Center myths, promote referrals, and increase student’s confidence in seeking help when appropriate.”
Making a Difference
Jackson has been interested in mental health advocacy since he was an undergraduate, when he helped to co-found and lead a student-run mental health advocacy organization called Active Minds. Now a graduate student, he said he is committed to the College’s efforts to provide a more supportive and balanced learning environment for students by raising mental health awareness. “Therefore,” he said, “helping the Office of Health Education with this project matched my passion of community en-
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The module asks students to choose who they think is the most at risk considering a variety of factors. gagement and social awareness regarding mental health. Jackson has had an extensive role in the office’s efforts researching, pilot testing, purchasing, and implementing the module. The Office of Health Education and Counseling Center have been researching the effectiveness of the program for over a year. After a successful similar training for faculty was promoted last spring and summer, staff members at the College began researching other products by the module’s developer, Kognito Interactive, Inc., designed to train students and faculty/staff to become more aware of signs and symptoms of psychological distress. “When I started as a Graduate Assistant to the Office of Health Education in the Fall, I was asked to conduct more research about the efficacy and feasibility of implementing the student-version program,” Jackson said. “Since September, I participated in a free-trial of the study, gave feedback to my supervisors, and then made frequent dialogue contact with Kognito. Over the course of the next few months, Kognito was generous enough to give our office additional trials to pilot test the program. We gave these trials to a group of health educators, administrators, counseling center staff, and a select group of Health Outreach Peer Educators.” After overwhelming positive feedback, the College decided to buy the program. In Jackson’s research, Kognito’s product was the only one that included interactive, simulating conversations in which the user can manually choose which response to pose to a friend.
“The training incorporates a cuttingedge counseling style called Motivational Interviewing (MI),” Jackson said. “MI has been shown to be effective in approaching individuals in a non-confrontational, non-judgmental, and empathetic manner. As users who have taken the training may have noticed, you receive several ‘tips’ along the way to help guide you through the conversation. The ‘tips’ are based on motivational interviewing techniques to enhance a productive and collaborative discussion surrounding sensitive topics.” The College has plans to promote the program’s implementation with Orientation Aides, and make it available for all Resident Assistants. The College purchased a license for the program through March 1, 2013. To complete At Risk: Friends in College, go to www.wm.edu/tribechoices and click on the “At Risk: Friends in College” link on the left hand side.
The Students Have Spoken: How does At Risk: Friends in College Rate?
Almost students completed the program on a voluntary basis in the first three weeks of its launch.
85% of students reported their ability to recognize
a fellow student in distress as HIGH or VERY HIGH.
91% of students said that as a result of taking the course, they are LIKELY or VERY LIKELY to refer a fellow student in psychological distress to the counseling center
93% would recommend this course to a friend 96% rated this course as GOOD, VERY GOOD, or EXCELLENT
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William and Mary’s New Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences: A Discussion with Kate Conley
Photo by Stephen Salpukas
ryan buckland, dsj co-editor in chief
The DoG Street Journal: Where are you from? Dean Kate Conley: I was born in Washington, D.C. when my parents were living in Arlington, Virginia. Since my father worked for the Foreign Service, I mostly grew up abroad until I came back to the United States to finish high school and go to college. DSJ: What were some of your favorite or most memorable locations? KC: I lived in Brazil, where I went to nursery school; the former Yugoslavia, where I went to a local kindergarten in Croatia and first and second grade in an international school in Serbia; followed by Belgium, where I attended local schools in French; Washington, D.C., where I went to a bilingual private school; and Portugal,
where I went to an American high school; and Zaire, now the Congo, when I was in college. I remember Lisbon, Portugal best because I was the most independent there and I loved it. DSJ: Coming from such an international background, how do you like Williamsburg thus far? KC: I am enchanted with Williamsburg’s combination of old and new buildings and neighborhoods and the vivid sense of history as alive. DSJ: How would you describe yourself as an undergraduate? KC: I was an idealist as an undergraduate. I majored in English with a concentration in medieval studies and was involved in music groups and the poetry magazine.
DSJ: What led you to go into academia? KC: I met a professor at a reception and our conversation about her work and my interests led her to encourage me to consider graduate work in French. As a beginning PhD student I also taught beginning French and the combination of teaching and research won me over quickly. I loved being a graduate student and teacher and have found my career to be even more rewarding. DSJ: How would you advise students who are considering academia as well as other career prospects? KC: Do what you love and if you haven’t yet figured out what that is, keep your options open. One way students keep their options open is to try law school, T H E D S J - may 2 0 1 2
» NE W S for example. Others prefer to spend a year doing service in the Peace Corps or City Year or Teach for America. One of my students spent a year traveling and taking jobs in different places, which led her to want to study medicine, after having majored in French. For those who are drawn to higher education I would advise making sure that the work is something the student wants to do; a mentor or advisor is the best person with whom to discuss this question. It’s important to remember that the humanities teach logical thinking and writing, creative problem solving, an ability to write and a knowledge of history. These are desirable skills in any profession. An ability to write and to speak languages other than English are useful in law, banking, government, and business just as the ability to think through problems that challenge artists enhances the ability to solve problems innovatively more generally. DSJ: What made you want to become an administrator? KC: I was inspired by the Dean of Faculty who invited me to join her team six years ago at Dartmouth and by the opportunity to work with my faculty colleagues in new ways.
DSJ: Why William and Mary? KC: William and Mary attracted me because of its record of excellence and dedication to academic pursuits combined with an ethic of service. I was immediately won over by the students, faculty, and administrative leaders I met here. DSJ: What differences and difficulties do you perceive coming from Dartmouth, a private institution, to William and Mary, a public institution? How do you think that will impact your transition? KC: The main difference I perceive has to do with resources. All universities and colleges have had to cope with uncertain economic times but the burden has been heaviest for public institutions. Dartmouth and William and Mary as private and public institutions serve different populations, they have different mandates, but at the same time, they have a lot in common in their focus on a high quality education by a talented faculty invested in research and teaching. DSJ: What are your first priorities once you get here? Do you have any ideas/broad policy changes or untapped sources that you think may contribute to a comprehensive solution to the resource gap?
KC: My first priority is to get to know my new colleagues and the institution as well as I can as quickly as possible and then to see how I can best contribute to William and Mary’s dedication to the liberal arts. Clearly I will need to devote time to resources and as a result to fund raising as part of the talented team at William and Mary that is already dedicated to this necessary objective. DSJ: How would you describe your role as the Dean of Arts and Sciences to students who are unfamiliar with the position? KC: As Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences I will work closely with faculty on maintaining the College’s high standards for research and teaching and I will work to foster and support creative ideas. I will also keep in touch with student interests and concerns. I will be particularly involved in the on-going curricular review and in faculty governance on the work of supporting the faculty. DSJ: What would you like students to know about you? KC: I would like students to know that I am interested in them—in their aspirations and dreams and in their efforts to fulfill their potential to find their place in the world.
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences falls under the Provost, over seeing the tenure budget amd development of the Facutly. Among those ot included here are the Vice Provost and Associate Provost positions.
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Honor Council Review Committee proposes changes to Honor Code »
david barnisin, dsj staff reporter
In our February issue, we interviewed the chair of the Honor Council Review Committee, Professor Clay Clemens, about the proposed changes to the Honor Council. After much deliberation, a report was released detailing the mission of the Committee as well as the proposed changes they wish to enact. The 32-page document is extensive and outlines the types of infractions handled by the Honor Council as well as what enforcements would go along with it. There are proposed changes to the following areas: infractions and what counts as an infraction, enforcement processes, sanctions, appeals, administration and amendments. According to the HCRC report, the mission of the Council is to answer the question, “Does the current Code offer the best possible system for helping ensure a climate of integrity on campus?” The first of these categories was infractions. The main issue was how to define an infraction, specifically whether the Honor Council would still review academic infractions. The proposed changes included the effort to codify “the effort to gain an unfair advantage, even if unsuccessful, [as] an infraction.” For infractions regarding lying, cheating and stealing, the Code would only apply to the academic realm and anything outside academics would be in the jurisdiction of the Student Conduct Council. Also, discussion took place on ways for faculty to preemptively stop such infractions from happening in order to make enforcement of the Honor Code run more smoothly. Next were proposed changes to the enforcement process. One proposition involves resolving less serious allegations outside of Council hearings and keeping it between the faculty member and student. Such resolutions could involve grade sanctioning or academic probation. However, it was stressed that all infractions must still be reported regardless of severity. To speed up the hearing process, it was proposed that students who admit guilt would go straight to a sanction hearing. Other points regarded rights of protection for intellectual work, the
rights of the accused, and clarifying between trivial and clear evidence. For the appealing process, it was proposed that sanctions should be chosen according to the infraction’s severity. Regarding extraordinary circumstances, there was a greater emphasis on what would warrant stricter or lesser sanctions (i.e. death of a loved one, etc.). Also discussed was defining rights and grounds for appeal to avoid errors that might affect the outcome of a particular case. All of these points are to ensure that each student receives the chance to plead his or her case and get an objective hearing when facing such allegations. Regarding the actual outcome of a case, the HCRC proposed making outcomes more public (while protecting the identities of the accused) in order to clarify what counts as an infraction and how to avoid similar circumstances. Another proposition involved allowing the Student Senate more authority to ratify Honor Code changes instead of the current practice of submitting changes for a referendum. This would make ratifying the code more efficient while preserving student involvement. Other ways efficient changes
might include creating a standing Honor System Advisory Committee to provide oversight and approve any amendment changes with the president’s consent. The proposals are designed to make sure the Honor Code remains engaging to students and relevant to campus needs. All these propositions must be approved first, and the HCRC is asking for student feedback. The webpage, where the summary and the full report are located, contains a form for suggestions where students can give their opinions on the changes and submit propositions of their own. The idea is to ensure the Honor Code serves the students to the best of its abilities while protecting intellectual property. With these possible changes the Honor Code will evolve another step and keep the College a place that values integrity and protects the rights of its student body. For more information visit the Honor Council’s webpage at: http:// www.wm.edu/about/administration/ senioradmin/studentaffairs/students/ honor_review/index.php. T H E D S J - may 2 0 1 2
Keep Your Cap On! Commencement 2012
Photo by Stephen Salpukas »
heather mccormic, dsj staff reporter
With Commencement excitement right around the corner, seniors can barely stand the wait to ring the Wren bell on the last day of classes (and to finish that last final). At this time of year, campus has events left and right for the latest class of alumni, such as the Senior Prom, the Candlelight Ceremony and Commencement. Aside from the wonderful campus traditions, what is new this year? To start off, this year’s Commencement speaker is Jim Lehrer, the former host of PBS NewsHour and the moderator of many presidential debates. Lehrer has not spoken at any prior College events, so having him as the keynote speaker is a campus first. In addition, two distinguished alumni, Jonathan Jarvis (’75) and Carolyn ‘Biddy’ Martin (’73) will receive honorary degrees from the College at Commencement. Jarvis, a biology major while at the College, was recently nominated and installed as the 18th director of the National Park Service by President Obama. Martin received a B.A. in English literature from the College and continued on to Middlebury College’s German literature
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master’s program at Johannes Gutenberg University. She earned her Ph.D. from UWMadison and later became the 19th president of Amherst College in Massachusetts. Traditional campus events during the weekend of graduation include a Service of Celebration, the picnic lunch, the Alumni Induction Ceremony, the W&M Choir Concert, the Candlelight Ceremony and the Walk Across Campus. These events are a time for students and their families to reflect on their college experience. Cynthia Chadwell (’12) said that her favorite campus tradition for graduating seniors is the Candlelight Ceremony. Graduates don their caps and gowns and gather the night before Commencement at the Wren building. This event is one of the most picturesque ceremonies of William and Mary’s Commencement exercises. The students of the class of 2012 are reunited in the place where their collegiate journey began during Freshman Orientation four years earlier. “The ceremony ties things together, and makes this class one single unified body,” Chadwell said.
When reflecting on her experiences at the College, Britaney Coleman (’12) said something she values about our campus is the evidence that each graduating class impacts the campus community in one way or another. “I’ve left so many marks on this campus—I’m so happy,” said Coleman. Over the past four years, she has been featured in multiple campus publications and cast in many theatre department productions. She also was part of the I AM WM 2012 video shown at the Day for Admitted Students. “But really, I am most proud of my Marketplace picture. That thing will be there for a while.” Class of 2012, you will be missed. Cherish all of the fond memories from your undergraduate years, and know that your legacy lives on here at the College. From your Senior Class gift to the traditions you took part in as undergraduates (Convocation, Yule Log, Charter Day, the works), know that as you have grown, you have helped our community grow as well. Best of luck in the future (not that you’ll need it)! Tribe Pride!
Confucius Institute Educates Students and Teachers »
christine shen, dsj style editor
The William and Mary Confucius Institute conducted its official opening ceremony on April 16, featuring a wide variety of Chinese cultural performances such as traditional Chinese dancers, musicians and martial arts performers, many of whom are William and Mary students. According to their new website, the Confucius Institute is a “collaborative educational and service partnership” between William and Mary, Beijing Normal University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban). Although the Confucius Institute is new to the College, there are over 300 offices around the world. The WMCI is the second location at a public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the other located at George Mason University. The institute strives to promote Chinese language and culture through a number of special guest lectures and cultural events. As part of this semester’s Chinese Culture events, held in anticipation of the its grand opening, the WMCI has hosted numerous events, including a Chinese Culture Parade on February 18and a Chinese Dance Gala at Kimball Theatre on March 28. On April 17, the Institute also featured a Faculty Form on Confucian Classics, which included William and Mary Professors T.J. Cheng, Eric Han, Yanfang Tang, Emily Wilcox, Tomoko Connolly and Xin Wu, as well as scholars from BNU. Student interest in learning Chinese is at all time high right now. “We received a grant from Hanban for this Institute that provides us with resources, allowing us to provide more Chinese language and cultural classes,” said Professor Yanfang Tang, Director of the WMCI and the Chinese Language and Culture Program in the Department of Modern Languages. “Secondly, we can offer paid scholarships for students to go to China. This year we were able to offer eight of [these scholarships] because of [this grant].” “At the opening ceremony, the Director of Hanban said that the support for the Confucius Institute will not change for the next ten
years; that’s quite a bit of foreseeable future. So I’m confident that we’ll continue to receive support and we will try to be self-sufficient in the future as well,” Tang said. This means that additional Chinese culture classes will be a sustained effort by the Confucius Institute. Students can also expect more faculty lectures and cultural events from the Institute. “We hope that we can run regular activities like the dance gala and the parade for students that are interested in Chinese culture. For the Chinese department, we had the Speech Contest [on March 31],” Professor Lei Ma, the Deputy Director of the WMCI, said. In addition, the Confucius Institute will also serve as a center for Chinese language proficiency tests, such as the HSK, YCT, and BCT tests. Students will be able to take the tests here on campus instead of traveling to other centers, such as the one at George Mason University. The Confucius Institute also works with Hanban to educate Chinese language teachers. “Hanban has a teacher program here with a scholarship to invite scholars and teachers to go to China to receive training. In the near future, we’d like to run the teacher training program in the local area,” Ma said. The WMCI is planning on working with the Williamsburg community to promote K-12 Chinese language education. “We’re talking with the Williamsburg Chinese school right now. They have many teachers but the program is not very satisfactory, so that would be probably be our starting point – to train the teachers in a professional way to help them do a better job,” Ma said. “In the future I hope [the WMCI] is not only an institute that works closely with William and Mary but also an institute that is open to the general public,” Ma said. For more information about the Confucius Institute, visit the website at http://www.wm.edu/sites/confuciusinstitute/. The current office is located at the Rowe House at 314 Jamestown Road.
Student Insight with Tyler Brent (’14), Intern at the Confucius Institute Tyler Brent has worked this semester at the Rowe House, the current office for the WMCI, as an intern. “I started about two months ago. They asked me to work there because I’m in the Chinese department and I’m really interested in Chinese language and culture. It’s really cool because it’s a bilingual working environment so I get to practice the Chinese I’m learning,” he said. “I’m there five days a week now and I work ten hours a week. I work in the front office and man the Facebook and Twitter accounts,” Brent said. “So I try to get students involved through social media. I also help promote the events to the William and Mary campus.”
Brent, who has previously studied in China for ten months, talked about the difficulties of learning Chinese at the College, learning Chinese in China, and speaking with native Chinese speakers at his new job. “Because I’m working with the head of the Chinese department and Chinese professors, I have to be respectful and say the right thing because I don’t want to disrespect them.” “Sometimes in the office they’ll ask me to do something in Chinese. I’ll think about it and I want to say that I’m right and I know what they’re saying, but then I don’t want to do the wrong thing. They know I hesitate so then they say it in English. For me
[a goal is] to become more confident in my language abilities and understand Chinese language and culture more in-depth, since speaking in the office has more of a business aspect,” he said. Brent is proud of his job and thinks it will provide valuable experience for his future. “It’s really exciting because I can invite [Chinese representatives of Hanban] to the campus as a student and show them what their money is doing. I think I’d like to go into diplomacy or international relations – something with the Foreign Service, so it’s really cool that it’s a hands-on experience. I’m using the language I’m learning to speak with people coming right from China.” T H E D S J - M ay 2 0 1 2
From runway to wearable 3
christine shen, dsj style editor
Not the most fashionable person on campus? Like runway trends but can’t pull them off? Here are a few key pieces that can amp up your style, with options to mix it up while still looking put-together. 1. Floral Print
These prints are not your Grandma’s florals! We’re talking big, bold and beautiful. Runway: Often seen on a statement dress. (shown: Oscar de la Renta) Fashionista: If you’re feeling up to the challenge, don a floral romper. To break up the print, add a cropped jacket over the look. (shown: Kimchi Blue Romper) Everyday: Try either a statement shirt or skirt to make your outfit pop. (shown: Mission Floral Print Shirt) 2. Circle Skirts Last year’s maxi skirt with a bit more sophistication: cinched waists and a variety of lengths. Runway: Tons of length and flowy fabric in this bright red make a bold statement. (shown: Lanvin) Fashionista: For those on the fun-size scale, try a neon hi-lo skirt so you don’t get lost in all that fabric. (shown: high-low chiffon skirt) Everyday: If you aren’t ready for the long length, try a more wearable length mini skirt. Aim for interesting colors or patterns and thin cotton materials. Pair with a simple top. (shown: Naven Circle Skirt) 3. Pastel Pants Easter egg shades add a bit of fun and update familiar garments. Runway: An all pastel blazer and shorts outfit on the runway. (shown: Jill Stuart) Fashionista: To avoid looking like a cupcake, try a pair of pastel skinnies. (shown: colored skinny jeans) Everyday: For a more understated look, get shorts in a light blue or baby pink. (shown: peach shorts)
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A SK A
TWAMP Answers to the questions you’re dying to ask
Dear TWAMP, I saw a Facebook meme yesterday of a koala bear saying: “People at other schools don’t stampede to get into the library?” Finals are approaching, and I fully expect that TWAMPs like yourself will be out in full force; indeed my friends are already planning their study schedules for finals. My problem is that, in all honesty, I don’t care about finals, my grades, or really school at all. I’ve tried to fit in with my friends by acting stressed out and going to the library for inordinate amounts of time and doing nothing, but “faking it” is becoming harder and harder. Is it time to show my true colors and be truly apathetic, or is it worth it to wear the proverbial mask? Sincerely, Don’t Care in Dupont Dear Don’t Care in Dupont, People always say things like “it’s hard to choose a college when you’re in high school because you don’t know what you want.” That’s fair. But I have no idea how you managed to miss the mark so badly here. What’s done is done and let’s be real, if you start acting “apathetic” I’m going to judge you for it. So will everyone else. You’ll be an outsider, at least for the first ten days of May. If you’re
So, I have had a crush on someone for the past year. They live in my dorm, and I see them all over the place. We both started flirting over text messages kind of inadvertently before spring break. We planned to hang out after spring break, but the plans fell through and we’ve not been able to hang out since. I have tried to initiate plans, but Crush either is slow to respond by text or doesn’t respond at all. It’s mainly a platonic thing, and I don’t want any relationship. Can you help me? Sincerely, Hanging by a Text Thread
cool with these things, I say go for it, man, let it all hang out. Otherwise, use your head. Of course there are obvious benefits to being a kind of outsider. Who knows why you care as little as you do? It could be pure laziness or it could be a kind of insight that no one else seems to have. Nonetheless, not studying for finals might give you a little bit of perspective. You might realize things like “getting drunk and passing out in the bushes in front of Tyler the night before my final exam wasn’t the only difference between getting a B- and B in Orgo,” and that it might be worth it to do things like that more often. Or you might realize just the opposite, but hey, in the end we’re realizing things. What I’m saying is that you’ve just got to live. As our good friend D.H. Lawrence says, “Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically…We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.” Sincerely, TWAMP
Dear Hanging by a Text Thread, My best advice to you in this situation would be to keep the options open with your crush, but also to not put too much into your platonic feelings for them. I think it is healthy to want to explore a potential hook-up. It’s college, right? Totally acceptable behavior in my book. But I think there is a line that you have to draw where you maintain some kind of conversation, but don’t hang on waiting for the next text from your crush. Don’t completely write them off though, or cut them off. You don’t want to go to extremes. Just play around a little bit with your texts to them and see if they bite. If they don’t so be it. The point is to make sure you do you, really. It’s finals time, have fun and don’t unnecessarily stress over something that doesn’t boost your GPA. (I have to say that—I am a TWAMP, after all.) Sincerely, TWAMP
Dear TWAMP, I have a relationship problem. I wonder if you’ll be able to give advice, since you’re so TWAMPY, but I imagine that since it’s a relationship problem here in the context of W&M, you’ll be able to help.
The TWAMP is not a qualified advice columnist. Please do not interpret this advice as you would a professional’s. The DSJ is not responsible for any consequences incurred from adhering to the TWAMP’s wisdom. Looking for answers? Send your questions to the DSJ TWAMP at firstname.lastname@example.org THE
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A Random Assortment Of The Five Best Things
Give yourself little rewards
A lot of people say that you should reward yourself after a really difficult test or paper. However, you should also reward yourself for getting through that chapter of notes or finishing the first five pages of your term paper with something like candy or an episode of your favorite 30-minute show. This way, you constantly have motivation instead of building up pressure and stress.
Get your blood moving! If you want an adrenaline rush, walk through the third floor of Swem with flip-flops on. The feeling you get when you see the glaring eyes of judgmental TWAMPs at work will definitely wake you up and motivate you to work harder. If you want a real workout, the Rec Center will be offering free classes during finals, which could be a great way to preview a healthier lifestyle. Go with friends so that you can support each other.
Take a more extended break five best ways to de-stress and focus during finals »
ryan buckland, dsj co-editor in chief
After being holed up in Swem for hours of reading over notes and breathing institutional air, you should go outside for at least five or ten minutes to enjoy the sun. One of Dr. Oz’s tips to a happier life is to get your “sunshine vitamin”. I’ve found that going outside for a few minutes to chat with friends or my parents on the phone makes me feel loads better.
five best william and mary memes »
memes by josh cohen
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Going and going only works for the Energizer bunny, not you. Manage your time so that you can take a night off to relax. Do some random, productive things like clean your room or have a cooked meal (a Red Bull and pop-tart doesn’t count). Pop in a movie and take some time for you. Invite friends if you’d like, but it’s nice to fully remove yourself from school or other things that might remind you of work. Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself – you’ll perform better for it.
You’re not perfect
Honestly, it’s ok to not get an A in that class. Surprisingly, the earth will continue to rotate and you’ll continue to exist. Is the difference between an A and a B+ really worth the sacrifice of your health? You are worth more than your GPA. Studies show that consistent levels of anxiety and stress actually shorten your life. What’s the point of that extra bit of “success” if you aren’t around to enjoy it?
five best eco-friendly ways to stay cool this summer »
christine shen, dsj style editor
Change your outdoor exercise routine
Take your daily run in the early morning and evening, which are the coolest times of the day. If you can’t change the time, lower the length or exertion level as much as possible. To compensate, do indoor exercises at home that require little equipment so that you don’t have to go to the gym. For example, you could jump rope and do burpees to increase your stamina and still get in that cardio at home.
Wear loose-fitting, natural fabrics
Best Of BONUS:
Q&A with Josh Cohen (‘14) Founder of the W&M Memes Facebook page » christine shen, dsj style editor DSJ: What inspired you to create the W&M Memes page? Josh Cohen: Really, it was just to amuse my girlfriend. I had seen other schools’ meme pages pop up in my Facebook feed, like [Virginia] Tech and UVA. I looked to see if our school had one yet and it didn’t, so I just made one.
DSJ: Why did you choose Facebook as opposed to other social media sites? JC: I don’t have a Twitter or Google+ account. And I think
These will keep you cooler than synthetics. Basic cotton tees and shorts will do, but you can also try linen, ramie or silk.
Facebook is the best place to get noticed. I don’t think as many people would have followed the page if I had created it on, say, Google+.
Instead of taking multiple showers... or going to the pool, use a misting fan or
DSJ: Were you surprised by the student response? JC: A little. The page got off to a slow start, but it has
spray bottle to cool off. You’ll use a lot less water and you can easily store it in your fridge for a cold blast of relief every now and then.
Avoid using the stove
You can eat lighter and healthier meals, including fruits and vegetables. The best part? You don’t waste energy! Using a stove not only uses electricity, but the excess heat can also lower the effectiveness of your indoor air conditioning. Also remember to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water but don’t go overboard. Avoid alcohol and coffee, which will only dehydrate you.
Put your suntan lotion in the fridge
What better incentive to keep slathering it on? Not only will it provide instant relief from the heat, but it will also protect you
doubled in popularity this month.
DSJ: What’s your favorite meme so far? JC: My favorite is the one where the koala with the face
goes “people at other schools don’t stampede to get into the library?” I like it because it’s unique to our school.
DSJ: There was a post in our school’s subreddit on Reddit.com that said, “I’m so proud our school doesn’t have a FB memes page”. Later, there was a post that said, “Spoke too soon”. What do you have to say in response to that? JC: To each their own. I’m not really doing it for other people’s enjoyment, just to amuse myself and my girlfriend. Some people like it and some may not.
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Winds of Change:
A Reflection for May
max cunningham, dsj co-editor in chief
As this magazine went to print, the Washington Nationals were 12-4, good enough for first place in baseball’s National League Eastern Division. Their superstar pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, was 2-0 with 1.08 earned run average (ERA), among the best in the game. Elsewhere in the league, pundits on ESPN speculated that Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers could win the coveted Most Valuable Player award at the end of the season. Here in April, a casual observer might think that baseball’s playoff picture, a short five months away, is shaping up. Americans love the fast start. Just about every year since I began following baseball at age eight I’ve been excited to see the Baltimore Orioles climb to the top of the American League Eastern Division, and convinced myself that they were bound to something great. In more recent years, I’ve thought that the latent talent within the Washington Nationals will finally pay off. Every year I’m wrong. I can almost guarantee that two weeks out, when this magazine begins to be distributed to the hands of William and Mary students in the first few days of May, that the Washington Nationals will have begun the first of many downward slides yet to be experienced during the season. Stephen Strasburg’s unworldly fastball will slow down to human levels, and his terrifyingly low ERA will be on the rise. Matt Kemp will sink into the ranks of dozens of other potential MVP candidates, and the playoff picture will fog into muddled ambiguity. It amazes me how consistently America’s vast throngs of avid baseball fans fall into the trap of generalizing too small a sample size. To some degree, I think the modern media is to blame: any self-respecting sports journalist should have the wisdom to limit predictions of a league MVP until at least 10 percent of the season’s 162 games have been played. Or maybe as whole, baseball fans still have trouble appreciating the relatively vast time scale on which our beloved sport functions. I think more of it has to do with our own
nature, that of wanting to see life continue exactly as it seems to be. At no point in my life have I considered my situation anything other than permanent. By now I’m 21, and the fact that I do this kind of thing so innately is telling. Take, for instance, my undergraduate career. In the moment, I can’t help but think that my sleeping in a dorm, writing for the DSJ, and wasting cool spring nights on the dew of the Sunken Gardens will extend infinitely into the space-time continuum. I’ve been asked by a number of people this year what I’ll be doing when I graduate in the spring. As it is, I’m only a junior that looks like a senior, so the question is less than pressing. Yet, this year is the first time that I’ve had to come to terms with the mortality of college life. Of course there have been instances in the last several years when Williamsburg, VA has been close to the last place on Earth I’d like to be. Those feelings usually subside relatively quickly into the warm comfort that surrounds this this beautiful institution. Comfort. William and Mary is more than that, but I’ve grown comfortable with where I stand and the expectations that await me here. What lies beyond is strange and uncomfortable; how does it even work? We have to deal with exactly this kind of issue more than we’d like to all the time: change is most certainly a constant in this life. When the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles slide down the standings this year, it will be painful to watch, as it will be when Stephen Strasburg’s ERA steps over the 2.00 mark, and Matt Kemp’s batting average moves closer and closer to that of everyone else in the leauge. Still, we turn to baseball year after year, each time choosing what’s comfortable to believe, knowing deep down that, really, who knows how the season will end? What makes baseball, and anything else, so great is the subconscious realization that in the end, we really don’t know how things are going to work. I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as a thrill, although it may seem that way sometimes. Rather, I think that as people we also have a great comfort in change. We
feel comfortable with things that we know will evolve in some way, morph beyond our expectations. Yes, things can always change in a bad way, but if change is always there, so are more positive possibilities. My personal favorite example of change, as far as the baseball world is concerned, involves a pitcher, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants. Tim is fittingly off to a bad start this year (his ERA is eight times that of Stephen Strasburg’s), but a similar thing happened in 2010. In August of that year, the Giants were out of the playoff picture; Tim lost five out of the five games he pitched that month. Then, magically, the baseball winds began to change. Tim suddenly won five games in September, and pushed his team on a remarkable playoff chase that landed them in the World Series. I remember watching the Giants record the final outs of the championship game, Tim on the mound. I logged onto Facebook and, in a rare status update, posted one word: “happiness.” Whether we like it or not, we are a people of change. And although we try to ignore it, it is sometimes the changes in our lives that move us most deeply. This May, the class of 2012 will graduate. It will undoubtedly be intimidating, exciting, terrifying, and exhilarating all at the same time. But among all these things, it is also a change, and it is change that make us. Max Cunningham is the DSJ Co-Editor in Chief. His views do not necessarily represent those of the entire staff. THE DSJ -
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The Dysfunction of the Student Assembly
An insider’s look at the successes and failures of the SA »
ryan buckland, dsj co-editor in chief
Who should care about the Student Assembly? Why does it matter? From an outsider’s perspective, it seems that the only people who care about the Student Assembly are the people who are in the Student Assembly. Any time I talk to my friends about different things the SA is doing, they have no idea how the SA functions or what it does. People recognize Kaveh or Molly’s names, but they don’t actually know the SA. A lot of people perceive the SA as a way for someone with political or government aspirations to pad their resume. Most people in the SA are not like that and actually want to do things that would improve the quality of students’ experiences during their four years here. I was one of those people. I never was involved in the student government in high school. In fact, I don’t think we even had a student government. Nevertheless, when I came to the College in the fall of ’09 as a freshman and an SA outsider, I saw that the SA was one of those organizations that seemed to function as a community of friends all working together as one. Unfortunately, I spent freshman year uninvolved on campus and buried in schoolwork like so many incoming freshman do. However, I made a resolution to get more involved the following year, and get involved I did. The following year, I became the Executive Editor of the DoG Street Journal and the Undersecretary for Disability Services in the Department of Health and Safety, part of the executive branch of the Student Assembly. I came into my SA position in its inaugural year and was eager to improve the campus for students and visitors with disabilities. I am a CODA, or child of deaf adults, providing me with a unique perspective and an eye for inequality. In the SA, there are two cultures: the Senate and the Executive. My first year,
Photo by Lauren Su
I heard through meetings and word of mouth that there were strong personalities in the Senate that had reputations for being difficult to deal with. Although most of my work was with the school administration, I found that other members of the execu-
For the “R-Word” Day bill, some senators argued that the word “retard” was unimportant and did not affect students at all. tive staff had difficulties performing their responsibilities. In fact, then-Secretary of Health and Safety Jessee Vassold ended up resigning in the fall of 2010 because of a number of issues with certain senators and the general state of the relationship between the Senate and the Executive. One of the undersecretaries, Bailey Woolfstead, took over for Jessee for the rest of the year. As an undersecretary, I did not have direct contact with the Senate and kept working
with different administrators. That all changed this year, when I applied and was appointed as Secretary of Health and Safety under Kaveh and Molly. Under the new administration, the Department of Health and Safety was consolidated into four undersecretaries. As Secretary, I was responsible for recurring activities and new initiatives in my department. This year, my department subsidized vaccines for over 400 students and STI testing for many others. In addition to those recurring activities, we participated in disability awareness week with “R-Word” Day, garnering over 200 petition signatures. At the end of the year, my undersecretary for sexual health, along with Health Outreach Peer Educators, pulled off a fantastic Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Honestly, both the “R-Word” Day and Sexual Assault Awareness Week initiatives were a struggle. Both required bills to be submitted to the Senate, and both the “RWord” Day and Sexual Assault Awareness Week initiatives were a struggle. Both reTHE DSJ -
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quired bills to be submitted to the Senate, and both times my department was faced with contention to a point where the initiatives were nearly unsuccessful. For the “R-Word” Day bill, some senators argued that the word “retard” was unimportant and did not affect students at all. Both bills meant to finance the activities did not get passed on their initial submission, with little instruction on how to improve them and make them passable. Eventually, the “R-Word” Day bill was passed, but the Sexual Assault Awareness Week bill required a lot more work. The entire week was sponsored through both private donations and HOPE. The bill only asked for reimbursement for the t-shirts, totaling about $1300. The bill was tabled, as the Senate did not look favorably upon bills that funded t-shirts. As it was one of the last sessions, I had to show up and discuss the bill and defend it. I went to the Senate meeting and got my hand slapped. Eventually the bill was passed, with half of the funds coming from the Senate and half from the Executive account.
Who would think that any initiatives that improve the health and safety of students would be so difficult to get funded? The point is that I felt that parts of the organization were working against me. Who would think that any initiatives that improve the health and safety of students would be so difficult to get funded? The organization that I once thought worked so well, I found to be dysfunctional.
The thing is that the Student Assembly does so many things that directly affect the student body. Along with different health initiatives, the Student Assembly funds almost every single organization on campus, and helps a number of students go to conferences to present their research every semester. There is so much that the SA already does, and there is so much that the SA is capable of. The incoming administration is already politically posturing, talking about a new Student Assembly that will actually get things accomplished. I think that the new staff will be able to accomplish so much, and build on what we’ve been working on for the past two years. My hope is that the incoming administration realizes this fact, and takes this precious time at the beginning of their tenure to better unify the Senate and Executive to create a more functional organization. It is the students’ assembly, and students need to get involved. Students pay almost $100 every year into the SA account out of their tuition and fees, and we all need to become more active in how we feel those funds should be spent. The SA already does a great job with annual events and initiatives, but we, as students need to take responsibility for our own money. I would encourage every student to get more involved. Senate meetings are open to the public and the student assembly maintains a website at www.wmstudentassembly.com. Ryan Buckland is the Co-Editor in Chief for the DSJ. His views do not necessarily represent those of the entire staff.
SA Election Results Student Assembly President & Vice President: Curt Mills & Melanie Levine
Class of 2015 President: Amanda Whitehurst Vice President of Advocacy: Carlton Smith Treasurer: Joseph Soultanis Vice President of Social Affairs: Aaron Murphy Senators: Colin Danly Kendall Lorenzen Jimmy Zhang Drew Wilke
Class of 2014 President: John Bracaglia Vice President of Advocacy: Philip Lavely Treasurer: Khaki LaRiviere Senators: Chandler Crenshaw Danielle Waltrip Peter Lifson
Photo by Lauren Su/DSJ.
Class of 2013 President: Morgan Dyson Vice President of Advocacy: Ryan McManus Vice President of Social Affairs: Lemondre Watson Senators: Ishan Bardhan Areyah Sapon Steve Lovern 18
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Poverty in Our Midst A Student’s Call to Action »
zack brown, dsj staff columnist
I spent the first Monday of my spring break in a Maryland soup kitchen. Let me explain. I had trained since October to understand the issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness through the Branch Out National program. In January, my co-site leader and I received our team, shared what we had been learning, and drove them up to Baltimore for the week. And there we were, tackling these allimportant issues in the biggest soup kitchen in Maryland. I was the bread server, and it was my job to offer pieces of bread to the incoming guests. I was excited, but also nervous. Although I had learned much about the issue of poverty, it still remained an abstract issue to me even once I was there. I had never met someone who didn’t have a home, and I had never seen the inside of a soup kitchen before. I knew the facts and the figures, but I hadn’t experienced it. I hadn’t felt it. I’m ashamed to admit it, but even then poverty was something unfortunate that happened to other people, not to me. I did not know what to expect once the doors opened. As we were preparing, John, an employee who had been helping our team, started telling us his story. He told us how he had struggled in the past with making ends meet, and how at times he had even found himself outside soup kitchens, waiting for a free meal. “That used to be me,” he said. “I used to be in those lines.” And then John told us something that put our experience
into perspective. He told us, “Everybody is just one step away from something, either good or bad.” At that moment I knew I had been wrong the whole time, and everything I thought I understood about poverty was thrown out the window. It wasn’t an “other people” issue anymore. Being poor could happen to anyone, even me. It could happen regardless of race, sex, or socioeconomic position. John’s words spoke to the potential for both good and bad in all of us. They painted the world not in black and white or us vs. them, but in shades of gray, a world in which we stand one step away from both material well-being and the lines outside that soup kitchen. I was floored, and my head was spinning as I stood waiting for the doors to open. Shortly after, the doors opened and the guests streamed in. There were individuals, families, couples, men, women, the old, and the young. Some were wearing the latest fashion in coats, while others’ garments had large holes. Many were using their cell phones, while others interacted with each other, often walking across “the floor” to sit next to or simply chat with another guest they knew. Everywhere I looked I saw smiles and laughs, handshakes and hugs, gratefulness and hope. As I walked around the crowd offering bread to each guest, John’s words echoed in my head, and I started seeing familiar faces all around me. The woman just sitting down at a table was my Mom. The teenager
across the room listening to his iPod was one of my best friends from William and Mary. The couple laughing and enjoying their meal were my aunt and uncle, and their young children flinging food at each other were my cousins from back home. All of a sudden my interactions and conversations became much more meaningful. I found myself intently listening to their stories, laughing at their jokes, and sharing in their dreams. As the day continued, I realized that I wasn’t talking to “homeless people” or “poor people” as I might have thought before. I was talking to people, maybe people without a home or people with financial disadvantages, but very much people, and no different from myself or anyone else I know. The week progressed and our team travelled across Baltimore city, working at different women’s shelters, homeless shelters and day care facilities each day. But I think we all took a little bit of what John said with us. After that first Monday, our whole team understood that we weren’t just helping strangers anymore. We were helping our friends, our colleagues, our classmates, our brothers, our sisters, our mothers and our fathers. We were helping people. And although they might not have known it, they were helping us be better, more understanding people as well. Looking back, was I surprised I learned what I did? No. But I still didn’t see it coming. Service trips are like that. You never know what you’ll see, who you’ll meet, and what you’ll find out about yourself and the world around you. To me, that is the very best part. To me, that is the whole reason I went on the trip. I know that my experience in helping to fight poverty is only beginning. And I know that it’s a long road ahead and that there’s still much to do. But I also know that I’m not alone. There are literally dozens of things that you can do to help every day. From donating old clothes and possessions to Goodwill, to working a shift at Campus Kitchens or another nearby soup kitchen, the opportunities are all there. Next time you see those without homes, or those without money or food, think of your friends, your colleagues, your classmates, your families, and remember what John told us that first Monday of spring break. We’re all just one step away from something great. Let’s get everyone there. Zach Brown is a staff columnist for the DSJ. His views do not necessarily represent those of the entire staff.
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Tribal Fever: Attendance lacking due to sickness? »
ashley chaney, dsj staff reporter
As a life-long athlete and sports fan, I choose to spend many of my weekends watching our William and Mary athletes compete in their various sports. Whether it’s soccer, lacrosse, basketball or tennis, there is one thing I’ve noticed at nearly every game: the mostly empty stands. Typically, small groups of family and W&M supporters are the only cheerleaders. When it comes to Tribe varsity sports, student attendance is severely lacking across the board. So this begs the question: why aren’t students supporting the Tribe? Excluding football games, students simply do not spend their free time watching varsity athletics. More often than not, pursuing some extracurricular activity, studying, or socializing, takes priority. However, many students do not realize that taking an hour or two out of their day to support their peers can be very valuable. Their support motivates teams and strengthens the William and Mary community. Our teams are desperate for fans, and even a small increase in student support could have a huge impact on our teams’ collective success. Any large sports university will attest to the impact a large fan base can make,
Student Poll: How many William and Mary athletics games did you attend throughout the 2011-2012 school year?
>15 4-8 1-4 0 and this idea is proven time and again at schools like Virginia Tech, Oregon, and Alabama. Without the fan support, those
William and Mary students and Tribal Fever members cheer on the men’s basketball team against VCU. The game registered the highest attendance all season long. All photos courtesy of Tribe Athletics.
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winning seasons have no meaning, for there is no one to appreciate and celebrate them. Athletes perform to represent their teams, and those teams in turn represent the universities, which are ultimately backed by fans, alumni, faculty, and students. Although attendance at Tribe sporting events is low, there is a small but dedicated fan base that can always be found at games. Many of these students are varsity athletes themselves, and they show up to support their fellow athletes. Other groups of students who regularly attend games include members of club sports teams and high school athletes that enjoy watching their sport (but typically don’t branch out to other sports). The real question is: what can the college do to increase attendance at games? One student said that she enjoyed watching football games because there was more school spirit displayed at these events than anywhere else on campus. This would suggest that increased attendance and more student support would draw in even more student fans by creating a positive atmo-
Plumeri Park, home of the Tribe baseball team. The Park borders Albert-Daly Field, home of the women’s lacrosse and both Tribe soccer teams. sphere to support the Tribe. On the other hand, many students, including some of our own varsity athletes, say they support certain sports because their recognition by the school is so low. Cat Baird ’14 says she supports the women’s basketball team for this reason, and others do the same for sports like lacrosse and tennis that don’t have a large fan base. There were a few common excuses from students who don’t regularly attend Tribe sporting events. One large issue is transportation to sports that are held offcampus. Students that don’t have cars don’t watch events like baseball, soccer and lacrosse because it is not as convenient as walking to Kaplan Arena. Secondly, students don’t support sports like tennis and gymnastics because they don’t know how
great our teams really are, and their events are not widely publicized. Finally, sports like field hockey suffer because students don’t understand the rules and don’t want to watch a sport they are unfamiliar with. These are all valid arguments, but I believe each can be addressed to increase attendance at sporting events across the board. First of all, students need to know they can take the trolley or bus to reach events that are held off-campus. Last year, I frequented the trolley to watch baseball, soccer, and lacrosse, and this transportation is both free and convenient. Students should also be better informed about events taking place on campus. We all know creating an event on Facebook is the most surefire way to increase attendance at any social event. So, the same should be done by our athletic department to increase awareness about their competitions, especially for those sports bringing in the smallest crowds. The Tribe’s fan group Tribal Fever does a good job of this in some cases, but all sports need to make their competition dates known to those who don’t actively seek out game time information on their own. On the same note, the successes of our Tribe athletes need to be celebrated, but to be celebrated they have to be communicated to the student body. For those who don’t frequent the Tribe Athletics website or Twitter account, campus-wide emails may be more successful at announcing team victories or individual ath-
Sophomore forward Kaitlyn Mathieu goes up for a shot against CAA foe Hofstra. The mostly empty stands can be seen in the background.
letic achievements. If students knew that our teams were doing well, they might be more inclined to check out sporting events and see what all the hype is about. Lastly, educate yourselves! If you don’t know the rules of field hockey or lacrosse, do a quick Google search so you don’t feel confused while watching our girls play. Teams like these work just as hard as every other team on campus, and they deserve equal recognition by their peers. Getting students to fill up the seats may be a quixotic endeavor, but it is something that should definitely be pursued more thoroughly at William and Mary. Increased awareness and even simple incentives like basketball’s sixth man points could increase student turnout at games, and a small increase in attendance is all it would take to get the ball rolling and garner campus-wide support. So the next time you hear of a Tribe sporting event, I encourage you to go support your fellow students, whether it be to hang out with friends, to support a classmate, or just for the The William and Mary women’s soccer team won the CAA Championship. The squad is shown love of the game. here raising the trophy after their victory over VCU in the finals. T H E D S J - M AY 2 0 1 2
jeffrey knox, dsj sports editor
Today and Tomorrow
Two hundred years after the College’s chartering in 1693, an athletic program was founded at William and Mary. Since that time, athletics have contributed in various, far-reaching ways to the prosperity of the College. These contributions evolve with the times, but they have not tapered off by any means. Our athletics program and the teams that comprise it play a central role in building the William and Mary community and instilling Tribe Pride in community members. Athletic success is customarily reflected in the number of wins, losses or conference championships. At William and Mary, success comes in a different form, one that encompasses a wide criterion. Within the Department of Athletics and on the various varsity teams, these values are being harnessed to allow William and Mary athletics to prosper in the future. William and Mary is not, and never will be, an athletic powerhouse. This does not mean that Tribe athletes are somehow inferior or that their respective teams are resigned to mediocrity. There are plenty of skilled athletes and accomplished teams that deserve to be recognized as such. Even a few alumni have made waves in the professional ranks, such as Darren Sharper, Mike Leach, Adin Brown, Steve
Senior javelin thrower Brandon Héroux winds up during the Colonial Relays.
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Tribe Running Back Jonathan Grimes darts down the sideline on his way to a touchdown in William and Mary’s victory over UNH. All photos courtesy of Tribe Athletics. Christie and Derek Cox. While none are household names, per se, they have had successful careers and have made fans proud. Some current athletes are potential stars in the making, like football player Jonathan Grimes. Still, Tribe fans need to accept reality and measure success against our peers, meaning not ACC and SEC schools, but CAA and Ivy League schools. These schools have a similar athletic infrastructure and thus provide the best benchmark for comparison. To understand how the W&M Athletic Department operates and why our programs stand as they do, a pragmatic viewpoint should be employed to look at the various factors that shape our athletic program. First of all, William and Mary is a relatively small school compared to most athletic behemoths, at least in terms of student body size. This limits the amount of student, alumni and administrative support our athletes receive. For example, the undersized endowment supports the Department of Athletics by contributing about $2 million to the budget annually. The gaps that this funding shortage leaves must be filled by outside donations, ticket sales, and the intercollegiate athletics fee of about $1000, which is incorporated into tuition. Finally, the small size restricts the number of teams
that can exist as well as the roster size for some of the teams. William and Mary has been a strong academic school from its outset. Brandon Héroux, President of Tribe SAAC and a javelin thrower on the Track and Field Team, emphasized this point. “To say you are a student-athlete at W&M, you must fulfill your obligations both as a student and an athlete,” Héroux said. “There is no picking one or the other.” Although virtuous in the sense that the College nurtures well-rounded, articulate individuals, this fact can actually be a detriment to overall athletic success. High stress levels and scant practice time can negatively affect performance. Coaches of certain teams are often restricted to much smaller pools of possible recruits due to the high academic standards required for admission. As a public school, financing from the state is an uncontrollable element that plays a huge role in athletics. Due to decreased funding in recent years, the Department of Athletics has to make up about 50% of its budget each year, which amounts to around $9 million. Ticket sales make up only about 10-12% of that figure, while donations and endowment funds comprise the majority. Athletic Director Terry Driscoll cited finances as being the biggest challenge for
the department, as they seek to “retain the quality of our programs through financial contributions.” However, as the pool of available money continues to shrink, something will have to give eventually. Whether that results in fewer teams, fewer scholarships, lower salaries for coaches and employees, or inadequate facilities, it would be a shame to compromise on the quality of our athletics due to insufficient funding. Finally, the College has been working to get as much student involvement as possible. Mr. Driscoll related their strategy to fishing – you can throw out the bait, or incentives to bring more students in, but you’re never sure if you’ll get a bite. Promotion has increased in recent years, especially for the smaller, more unfamiliar teams. Magnets, schedule cards, Student Happenings announcements, occasional signs and social media are all promotional material that have been employed. Furthermore, teams try to create activities around sports events to provide entertainment for fans. Examples include halftime shows at basketball games, the pep band, cheerleaders and theme nights. Nevertheless, Driscoll recognized that success breeds interest, as does playing against familiar opponents. Kaplan Arena was packed in March 2010, as the men’s basketball team was closing out a monumental season. Games against in-state and conference rivals, such as Old Dominion, VCU, and Virginia, always generate increased attendance as well. Still, Driscoll pointed out that students are creating opportunities for their fellow student-athletes by attending games and showing support. “Most people underestimate how much we appreciate their support,” Héroux said. “But
all of us are extremely grateful for our fans!” By attending games and being engaged in athletics, every student can promote community building at William and Mary. Despite many of the aforementioned restraints to athletic growth and success that William and Mary faces, the program has achieved plenty since its establishment and has much to be proud of. To secure the future, there are a few essential elements that need to be capitalized on. Driscoll identified the academic quality as a constant and major attraction to potential recruits. Yet, in order to not compromise on competitiveness and winning, other factors within athletics must be properly tailored to fit the recipe for success. The main talking points for recruiting are the coaching staff, the availability of scholarships and the quality of facilities. Because all three rely on external financing, there is reason to be skeptical of the future. But as William and Mary has always William and Mary sophomore gymnast Larson done, we will make the most of what Lasek strikes a pose after a successful routine. is at our disposal. emplify this. The investments made to build Many of the coaches and associated staff members at William and Mary and maintain these facilities, among others, are truly passionate about their work and demonstrate the school’s deep commitment are fully committed to the success of their to its athletic programs. William and Mary also boasts a “camaraplayers. Some coaches are alumni, others have been at the College for decades, derie amongst all our athletes and teams,” and still others are young and enthusias- which Héroux identified as his best thing tic mentors looking to make their mark. about William and Mary athletics. IntangiThe Tribe is very fortunate to have such bles like this can be dealmakers. In the end, high-caliber coaches despite not offering it’s all about making a connection with the the most lucrative positions. Scholarships school, coaches and players. That sense of represent the main financial belonging to the Tribe family is something burden for the Department of that “you don’t necessarily get at some bigAthletics, and they are always ger programs,” Héroux said. in high demand for the limited This school year has not been a parfunds doled out each year. Some ticularly successful one for the Tribe. Poor sports, like swimming and div- performances from the football, basketball, ing, don’t offer scholarships to and lacrosse teams have overshadowed the anyone, while athletes in the successes of various programs, especially the premier sports – basketball, foot- 2011 CAA Championship-winning womball, and baseball – are the main en’s soccer team. Despite the down year, recipients. Scholarship money look for the Tribe to build a competitive is a powerful recruiting tool, streak in the coming years that will surprise but unfortunately William and many people. Athletic Director Driscoll preMary has never had the financial fers to measure William and Mary’s success leverage to bring in big name against its peers in the CAA and Virginia, recruits. In terms of facilities, not against the top NCAA teams. While Tribe athletes are very lucky. this may be perceived as uninspired and Many buildings and fields that shiftless, it is reality. Still, a tough year like house various teams are state- 2011-2012 is merely a bump in the road, and of-the-art. Plumeri Park (1999) it won’t impede the progress and ultimate William and Mary Athletics Director Terry Driscoll and Albert-Daly field (2004) ex- success of W&M athletics. has been at the helm of Tribe Athletics for 16 years. T H E D S J - M AY 2 0 1 2
Published on Apr 30, 2012