SCORSESE SCORES The revered director has earned a reputation of excellence that rubs off on his casts. SCENE page 5
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the EAGLE WWW.THEEAGLEONLINE.COM
NEWS JOINING UP More students opt to join Peace Corps after college. AU a top feeder school. page 4
Contract issues, snow delay Ball By CHARLIE SZOLD Eagle Staff Writer
CONGRESS AND YOU According to Alex Priest, Congress’ communication skills need a stimulus
Contract negotiations between the Student Government and the Post Office Pavilion were on-track and the Founders’ Day Ball would have occurred on time, had D.C. not been hit by two record snowfalls last week, according to SG Vice President Alex Prescott. Director of the Founders’ Day Ball Jacque Martin, who is responsible for planning the event, said that she could not say for certain whether the Ball would have occurred on time, but believes that both she and Prescott had done everything possible to ensure the Ball’s occurrence. Friday, Feb. 5 was the final deadline to lock up the Post Of-
fice Pavilion as the site of the Ball. When the snowstorm shut down the federal government as well as AU, the deadline was missed. “When it snowed, the pavilion closed,” Martin said. “Management offices closed with the federal government; Student Activities offices closed when the school closed. We had to wait till the next Friday to decide officially to postpone it.” The Ball will be rescheduled, though the exact date is still to be determined. Nirvana Habash, an undergraduate senator with previous experience in event planning for the SG, said she supports both Prescott’s and Martin’s explanation. “It wasn’t anything they lied about,” she said. “It was, hon-
estly, the snowstorm. Moreover the [pavilion] did not respond to them as often as they tried to talk to them.” Planning events is a longer, more difficult process than many understand, Martin said. She said she has been working with the Post Office Pavilion since last semester to determine the details of the contract. Martin submitted the contract to the venue in mid-January. “We were told two weeks tops for this review process,” she said. “Our timeline was what we thought was good for what we were doing.” Furthermore, many catering halls will not sign contracts far in advance because their prices or policies may change in that time. n
see FOUNDERS’ on page 7
AARON BERKOVICH / THE EAGLE
DECISION TIME — Luke Earls (left) and Jonas Varnum (right), both members of Delta Tau Delta, exit the Inter-Fraternity Council Judicial Committee hearing for Phi Sigma Kappa. The fate of PSK was determined during the meeting, but results will not be released until later this week.
Phi Sig Kap fate decided, not yet public
SCENE DC9 NIGHTLIFE A gem of the U Street corridor lets bands get up close and personal page 5
By SARAH RUDNICK Eagle Staff Writer
SPORTS EVOLUTION AU highlights women in sports with special event at Phil Bender page 8
ENDING THE SLIDE Wrestling ends three game slide with victory over Old Dominion page 8
HI 41° LO 26° Partly sunny with a moderate wind FRIDAY HI 42° n LO 26°
SATURDAY HI 43° n LO 26°
the EAGLE 252 Mary Graydon Center 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016 Newsroom: 202-885-1402 Advertising: 202-885-1414, x3 Fax: 202-885-1428 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds: email@example.com
FEBRUARY 18, 2010 VOLUME 84 n ISSUE 35
PHILLIP OCHS / THE EAGLE
‘WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR’ — For the first time in four years, a Student Government president defeated AU President Neil Kerwin in the annual basketball shootout. “I’m devastated,” Kerwin said. MacCracken defeated Kerwin by making seven baskets in 60 seconds. Kerwin only scored six.
SG prez dunks Kerwin By MEG FOWLER Eagle Staff Writer In the fifth annual “Shootout: Battle of the Presidents,” Student Government President Andy MacCracken became the first SG President to beat AU President Cornelius Kerwin. During halftime of the AU’s home game against the Army Black Knights Wednesday night, MacCracken made seven shots in 60 seconds, barely holding out against Kerwin’s six baskets. “I’m devastated,” Kerwin said. “Andy really picked up in the middle [of the shoot-out]. I actually made my last four shots, and Andy at that point
wasn’t making any.” Kerwin said that if he had had five more seconds, the outcome would have been different. “Next year, [the contest] is going to be 65 seconds,” Kerwin said. The win was exciting but intimidating for MacCracken, he said. “I didn’t know how good he is ... He’s really good, and of course he’s never lost, so it was a little stressful,” MacCracken said. MacCracken also worried about the tens of thousands of dollars he asked Kerwin to donate to the recently approved SG Clean Energy Revolving Fund.
“I don’t know how that’s going to turn out now,” he said. Despite the nerves, MacCracken said it felt good to win. “This one’s for the students. We finally brought it back,” MacCracken said. But Kerwin is ready to play again next year, he said. “We’re going to keep doing it every year,” Kerwin said. “Until they elect a member of the basketball team as Student Government president.” You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Inter-Fraternity Council’s Judicial Committee deliberated over AU fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa’s pending charges Wednesday night but their decision is yet to be released to the public. PSK was informed of the decision shortly after the hearing, according to Adam Tager, IFC public relations chair. Upon inquiry, the IFC members on the committee would not comment on the issue. Coordinator of Greek Life Curtis Burrill said he thought it would be unethical to release the hearing’s results to The Eagle before the fraternity. The PSK brothers who testified were cooperative throughout the hearing, IFC President Seth Gilroy said. The IFC released the following statement to The Eagle: “[T]he Judicial Board has reached a decision in the matter of the charges brought against Phi Sigma Kappa,” it said. “At this time,
Phi Sigma Kappa is being notified. The specifics regarding the situation are not being released yet, pending notification to the Brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa and all those directly effected [sic]... As soon as the Phi Sigma Kappa is notified, the IFC will make the decision public.” The hearing was delayed by approximately two weeks due to D.C.’s recent historical snowstorms. PSK was charged with distributing alcohol during a recruitment event, holding an alternative event during another fraternity’s rush time, holding and distributing alcohol at a recruitment event not recognized by the university, breaching social function guidelines, posting unauthorized flyers and for conduct “unbecoming a fraternal organization,” The Eagle previously reported. If convicted, PSK had the potential to lose its pledge class. Check online for developments. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
EagleBucks fraud occurs, not very common By STEFANIE DAZIO Eagle Staff Writer Out of the more than one million EagleBucks transactions that occur in a year, Housing and Dining Programs typically receives 10 to 20 reports of merchant misuse, according to Executive Director Chris Moody. There have been seven merchantrelated incidents reported to Housing and Dining since August, and three cases of student-to-student fraud in the past two years, Moody said. However, one particular incident occurred Tuesday at the Domino’s on Wisconsin Avenue that is not included in these numbers. The store accidentally charged $60 to a student who never actually ordered any food when someone else had fraudulently used another EagleBucks account, according to Domino’s Manager Ray Amit. The deliveryman forgot to ask for the AU ID, he said. “It’s our fault; we take the blame,” Amit said. This is the second incident in the past six months, since Amit be-
came the manager. Assistant Manager Steve Henry said he believes the drivers rarely check for identification. “I’m pretty sure most of the times, they don’t,” he said. Most merchant incidents occur because of human error, Moody said. Most problems include duplicate charges, where two swipes are registered as payment rather than just one and delayed transactions, which occur when the Internet connection is offline. Any merchants who are found to violate the Merchant Service Agreement, a private contract between individual merchants and AU, receive a letter of warning or have the agreement terminated, Moody said. Undercover test purchases are also made to ensure that a merchant is complying with the agreement. Student-to-student fraud, however, carries Student Conduct as well as legal implications, according to Moody. Two of the three incidents in the past two years were related to a room-
mate or friend stealing the AU ID card from another student and using it to make fraudulent charges, Moody said. Class of 2012 Senator Seth Rosenstein is sponsoring a Student Government bill to reduce such fraudulent activity with EagleBucks accounts, after his own account was similarly compromised last semester. “There’s been a problem on campus — it doesn’t affect many students, but it does affect some - where students’ EagleBucks accounts are being used to call in takeout orders for delivery to campus and their accounts are being used to fund the orders,” he said. “And often times, students have no idea that their accounts are being used until it’s too late.” Rosenstein’s account was charged with $147 worth of purchases to Domino’s and Satay Club. Housing and Dining eventually refunded all of the fraudulently used EagleBucks. The bill unanimously passed the Committee of Campus Life and Programming, of which Rosenstein is chairman, went to the Undergraduate Senate and was sent back to committee
for changes, according to Rosenstein. The bill currently requires delivery-people to confirm the student’s ID number upon arrival, something Moody said is already in place. According to the Merchant Service Agreement, the “merchant will verify by visual inspection that the person in possession of the EagleBucks Card is the person pictured in the photo on that photo ID card prior to accepting an EagleBucks Card payment for the delivery of goods and services.” Rosenstein said this rarely occurs to him. “I know for sure that very few times when I order for delivery do they ever check my ID,” he said. “I can think of once in the past year.” The bill also requires restaurants to keep records of the telephone number and residence location for each EagleBucks order for 90 days, as “a way to backtrack every order and figure out where the fraud is coming from,” Rosenstein said. The Merchant Service Agreement already requires merchants to keep
payment slips for no less than 365 days from the transaction date. The payment slip contains the AU ID number and transaction cost, Moody said. “Each merchant’s ordering system is different, so we would have to work with each merchant individually when their current agreement is reviewed for renewal to determine the feasibility of also keeping the telephone and residence hall for 90 days.” Domino’s keeps the receipt, signature, ID number, telephone number and residence hall for every EagleBucks-funded order forever, Amit said. “You can go back five years and still find out,” he said. The records are never erased. For Tuesday’s alleged theft, Amit said the telephone number is on record. The perpetrator should be easily identified “if his phone number is not a stolen phone.” The last section of the bill requires the creation of a committee of university officials and students n
see EAGLEBUCKS on page 6
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
FRI 19 THU 27
Club - Prince vs. Madonna vs. Michael Jackson Dance Party 9 p.m. WHERE: 9:30 Club, 815 V Street N.W. METRO: U Street/Cardozo (green and yellow lines) INFO: A night featuring music by the Purple One, the Material Girl and the Thrillermaker, mixed by DJ Dredd. COST: $15 CONTACT: For more information, call 202-397-7328.
Comedy - Mark Russell 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. N.W. METRO: Metro Center (red, orange and blue lines) INFO: The pianist of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Capitol” continues to take jabs at politicians. COST: $41 - $57 CONTACT: For more information, call 202-347-4833.
Event - African American Pioneers in Aviation 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. WHERE: National Air and Space Museum, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. METRO: L’Enfant Plaza (green and yellow lines/blue and orange lines) INFO: Area Tuskegee Airmen relive their experiences as a World War II fighter group. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-633-1000.
Holiday - Chinese Lunar New Year Parade and Celebration 1 - 5 p.m. WHERE: Sixth and H Streets N.W. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown (red, yellow and green lines) INFO: Mark the beginning of the Year of the Tiger in Chinatown with traditional music, dances, the 2 p.m. parade and the lighting of a five-story firecracker at 3:45 p.m. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-508-5438.
Photography - Polar Obsessions Through March 10 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Saturday. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday. WHERE: National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. N.W. METRO: Farragut North (red line) INFO: Polar bears, penguins and seals star in this photography exhibit by Paul Nicklen. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-857-7588.
Concert - Black Eyed Peas 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Verizon Center, 601 F St. N.W. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown (red, yellow and green lines) INFO: Fergie, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap gotta feeling this will be a good show. COST: $49.50 - $92.50 CONTACT: For more information, call 202-397-7328.
To Chris, the Zete Pledge: You’re cute. I like your hipster sweater.
Tuesday. Do you not need sleep? Are you mutants?! AHHHH AU!!!!! Regards, Concerned Resident
EAGLE RANTS *@#!3*%!
Site re-launch prompts student participation
How many editors does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but first he has to rewire the entire building.
By ETHAN KLAPPER
Want to hear another journalism joke? “The AU Examiner!”
Eagle Staff Writer Anyone in the AU community can now contribute their own content to american.edu’s AUpedia feature, after the site re-launched last month with a small facelift. Billed as an insider’s guide to the university, the AUpedia is similar to Wikipedia. Anyone with access to the my.american.edu portal can create and edit content, said Bernard Schulz, special assistant to the vice president of Campus Life and a member of AU’s Web Steering Committee. The AUpedia launched with the redesigned AU Web site last March, but was not open to the entire AU community until last month, Schulz said. The redesign included slight changes to the main landing page as well as the introduction of individual student profile pages for all AU students, he said. “We’ve got a re-launched tool that can serve as a great resource, not only for the university community but for individuals looking to come to AU,” Schulz said. The profile page feature is a great way for students to promote themselves, Schulz said. Articles in the AUpedia range from “Precautions to take when planning your classes and registering” to “Transferring to AU.” All of AU’s schools have a page, as do many clubs and departments. A total of 229 articles had been written for AUpedia as of press time. Some students contributed to AUpedia during its initial rollout phase as testers or as part of an oncampus job, according to Schulz. “We wanted to be able to pro-
vide some content — so it was not completely empty,” he said. Maggi LeDuc, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, is one of AUpedia’s top contributors and is prominently featured throughout the Web site. She has worked on nearly 50 articles as part of her job at the university’s enrollment marketing department. “Obviously AUpedia is a lot like Wikipedia,” she said. “I think it’s just so much easier to use. It gives you a much shorter, kind of real-person definition of whatever you are looking for.” As a member of the women’s rugby team, LeDuc said she wrote many sports articles. Writing an article was simple, she said. “I would first go to the club sport’s Web site,” she said. “I just tried to synthesize and summarize [what the clubs had written] into one or two paragraphs.” AU does not censor content but will remove entries deemed inappropriate. Threats and advertisements for businesses are among the types of inappropriate content, Schulz said. “If there’s an entry that someone finds offensive, there is a mechanism to go to that particular entry [and report it],” he said. University Communications and Marketing and the steering committee make content decisions, Schulz said. More interactive features for the Web site are planned, such as a blog solution that will be piloted in the next few months. “I would suggest to stay tuned,” he said. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
local hospital. FEB 12 DPS and Housing and Dining checked on a student in Leonard Hall after his mother contacted DPS and expressed concern for his welfare.
Resident assistants reported a damaged exit sign and ceiling tiles on the second floor of Anderson Hall. Ceiling tiles were also damaged on the terrace level near a north stairwell. The RA’s were advised to contact Aramark and to initiate a 2-FIX request.
The front entrance of the roof of Butler Pavilion buckled under the weight of snow. No injuries were reported. Facilities Management was on the scene.
DPS discovered vandalism in the Mary Graydon Center while conducting a routine patrol.
The Department of Public Safety responded to a report of an activated smoke detector in a lounge on the fifth floor of Letts Hall. Reportedly, two students were cooking eggs when the smoke detector sounded. One student called DPS to advise them there was no fire. No smoke or fire was present upon DPS arrival. DPS responded to a report of a sick student in McDowell Hall. The student signed a medical refusal form. The D.C. Fire Department transported a sick student from Hughes Hall to a local hospital. DCFD transported an injured student from the lobby of Letts Hall to a local hospital. FEB 11
DPS responded to Anderson for a report of a student who was injured on the Letts-Anderson quad. The student signed a medical refusal form and was transported to a local hospital via cab.
A hat was taken from the MGC Information Desk during a party being held in the Tavern. DPS and DCFD responded to a report of a sick person on a shuttle bus. The individual signed a medical refusal form. An RA in Letts reported detecting an odor of marijuana emanating from a room. Upon entering the room, the RA saw a bong. Four suspects admitted to smoking marijuana. One suspected denied smoking marijuana. One suspect initially claimed a different identity using an International Identity Card. One suspect produced a joint and small bags with suspected marijuana residue. A Resident Director gave the items to DPS. The joint tested positive for marijuana. Housing and Dining will be filing Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services charges.
DCFD transported a sick student from Letts Hall to a local hospital.
DCFD transported a sick person to a
DPS responded to a fire alarm on the
Eagle Rants are taking over the WORLD! Can Z-Burger please deliver?
Why is an Eagle headline like a Scud missile? Both are offensive and inaccurate. Hey kid, don’t show up to a meeting late and then proceed to interrupt every five seconds. Thanks I’ve seen you, but never met you. But I’d like to! You’ll know it’s me by the way I smile at you next time I see you
During snowpocalypse I cried when I had no food and the card reader was disabled in the vending machines.
When I dip. You dip. We dip. Prolific words. I’m bad at keeping secrets. Eagle Rants probably a bad outlet for me.
Working at the Phoneathon has taught me just one thing so far: The Eagle is a poorly written piece of crap. I now choose to stare at a blank screen over reading the garbage this “news paper” spews out. EDITOR’S NOTE: First ... that’s offensive. Second ... if you say that again I’m going to call your supervisor and tell her that all you guys do is read Eagle Rants. You are a poorly written piece of crap. Also, learn how to spell your employer’s name right.
Rants. Rants. Rants. Rants. Rants. Rants. Rants. Rants. Rants. (shots shots shots shots)
Tom Schad: The most insightful sports columnist since Tony Kornheiser. Though Jeffy Jones may stick an Eagle’s head in his dorm bed.
terrace of Anderson Hall. No smoke or fire was detected. The alarm was reset. While responding to a fire alarm in Anderson, DPS found an intoxicated student in his bed. Upon being awakened, the student was incoherent. The student stated he had six or seven shots of rum at an off-campus location beginning around midnight. DCFD transported the student to a local hospital. DPS discovered graffiti on an interior of a door frame in the first floor restroom of Capital Hall. Aramark was contacted to have it removed. In the campus book store, a book store employee yelled at an individual heading towards a rear entrance with merchandise in his hand. The employee tried to grab the merchandise from the individual. The individual immediately dropped the items on the floor and ran from the store. Attempts to locate him were unsuccessful. A shuttle bus driver reported finding two spent .357 shell casings as he exited his vehicle parked in front of DPS. A check of the area revealed no other rounds. An RD reported confiscating some possible drugs and drug paraphernalia in Letts. DPS took custody of the other confiscated items. The leafy substance tested positive for marijuana. Housing and Dining will be filing SCCRS charges. FEB 15 Aramark staff reported graffiti in the men’s and women’s third-floor restrooms of MGC. A smoke detector on the terrace level of MGC activated a fire alarm. No smoke
Walking from the Berks to Campus means either risking being run over in Mass. Ave rush hour traffic or wading waist deep in the unplowed sections of the sidewalk. Someone’s going to be hurt or worse... Single and loving it.
Can we get ice cream in the vending machines somehow? -Hungry
I seriously hope that AU students have more meaningful lives. The postponement of the Founders’ Day Ball has created a rift between young naive student “politicians” and wannabe Cub Scout politicians. As of this rant, there are 61 comments about the event. Don’t you all have better things to discuss or have more meaningful things in your life?
Why do those stupid ledges have to be on the Anderson Computing Complex desks?!!? Who else bangs their shin 20 times every time you work in there?? OW!
I wonder if Jeff Jones reads the Eagle Rants ... Or better yet saw that article blaming him for everything wrong. But just to add to that, this is only his second “losing” season in 10 years. Cut the man some slack.
and having my snow fall into my boots walking in snow that hasn’t even been touched. Thanks so much.
Can we add Wednesdays to the list of acceptable days to drink? Pretty girl working at info desk in MGC. Lets hang out sometime. Just shout whenever, and I’ll be there.
When v day doesn’t mean valentines day to you.. but reminds you that you’re a virgin.. Something needs to be done asap. I wish the canopy had fallen into TDR so they could get our dining hall out of the basement ... wishful thinking.
My laundry has been ready and waiting for the past three days. F-you Hughes 6 laundry room for not accepting our eagle bucks! Seriously, roommates, stop talking about the Olympics as if you’re experts! You have no clue what you’re talking about and it makes it absolutely painful to watch them with you. WTF AU SHUTTLE?! I was late to my class and missed a quiz because you were slow. If school is running so should you, it’s never been this bad before. If you’re going to be slow, then at least notify us so we can walk to campus in the street, because sidewalks are still not shoveled. People making out in the Tavern is NOT OK!!!!!!! NOT OK You may not know this, but I consider myself to be a one man wolf pack...... I was having a really bad few days, then I ran into you :) Snowburgers made it all worth it
Dear Guapos, If you’re wondering what happened to that sack full of avocados Saturday night.. I may know where to find them... Dear Lounge people, Get the Fuck out the lounge! WHY are you AlWaYs In ThErE?!?!? Do you not have a dorm room? It’s not cool to play video games at 3:30 a.m. on a
or fire was detected. Reportedly, Facilities Management was working on the smoke detection system and the alarm sounded in error. DCFD transported a sick student from MGC to a local hospital. Metropolitan Police Department transported a sick student from Anderson to a local hospital. A bus driver reported a suspect boarded his bus at the Katzen Garage Shuttle Stop and became hostile and very demanding. The suspect wanted the driver to turn the heat up on the bus. The driver replied the heat was not working well. The suspect said she would smack the hell out of him. The driver contacted DPS. DPS asked the suspect to exit the bus and spoke with the suspect’s supervisor. DPS issued the suspect a barring notice which banned her from using AU shuttle services. A student believes his bank cards were taken while he was at Jacob’s Fitness Center. Later, fraudulent charges began appearing on his bank statements. MPD was contacted. FEB 16 While conducting a room inspection in Leonard, an RA discovered a glass pipe which appeared to contain traces of marijuana. The pipe was located on the desk of the first suspect. The second suspect was present when DPS arrived and claimed the pipe did not belong to him. DPS tested the pipe for marijuana. The results were positive. DPS took custody of the pipe. Housing and Dining will be filing SCCRS charges. A student reported fraudulent charges make on his EagleBucks card off-campus. An investigation continues.
People should go to the girls games more - they kicked a** against Colgate Saturday!!! D.C. really? I was pretty shocked that it’s MONDAY and there are still mountains of snow, ice, and slush everywhere, and AU for opening school on Friday, I almost died having to walk in the street to class, dodging black ice,
”sNOw Pants Day” was a huge success for all good-looking people. Does this mean it wasn’t a good day for you Charlie? EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks random mean guy! I am extremely pissed I didn’t know the date of the Founders Day Ball until it was postponed because of the snow - the ONE event that brings this campus together is always ridiculously unorganized! Come ON SG!! Yes we care about CERF and a good education, but is it really that hard to plan a freaking dance?? And can you keep us informed? Thanks. With the new submission box, I can effortlessly reference other Eagle rants without switching between browser tabs. I’m surprised by the innovative thinking, Eagle. Friday commute: neighborhood side streets & sidewalks of were better plowed than Massachusetts Avenue. Multiple insurmountable walls of ice & snow on the side of Massachusetts Avenue? Yes, let me hop over this smaller barricade of snow into oncoming morning rush hour traffic so I can get to school. Want to honk at me with your car because I’m walking on the road since there are no available sidewalks? Let me curse at you childishly and through a snowball. Going to arrest me ‘cause you’re an undercover cop? Cool, hope you enjoy the power trip, pig.
CAMPUS BRIEF HOUSING BY THE NUMBERS Five hundred forty-five rising juniors and seniors applied for 469 spots in next week’s housing lottery, fewer than originally projected, according to Executive Director of Housing and Dining Programs Chris Moody. Originally, only 400 spots were part of the lottery but 69 extra spots were added as rooms for resident assistants, since prospective resident assistants were instructed to participate in the lottery, Moody said. As of Tuesday, 76 students will not be assigned a space through the process, though others might drop out later in the process, Moody said. His department originally projected that 267 students would apply for the lottery and not receive a space. “I think that students who were considering moving off campus just made a commitment earlier to go ahead and look off campus,” he said. “I think that post-process we’ll do a survey to learn what made the final decision of people not to apply.” Within the 545 who applied for the lottery, 160 indicated a non-binding interest in an 11 1/2 month lease at the Berkshire Apartments or Nebraska Hall, Moody said. A total of 1,331 rising sophomores re-applied to live on-campus next year, he said. Lottery priority numbers were e-mailed Wednesday, Moody said. The lottery begins next Tuesday when students wishing to live in the Berks for 11 1/2 months will select their spaces. —ETHAN KLAPPER
Megabytes Café Now Introducing….!!
Falafel sandwich Comes With: Tzatziki Sauce, Onion, Tomato, Parsley
Next to Chevy Chase Bank (In the Tunnel)
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
JOE WENNER n Editorial Page Editor EdPage@TheEagleOnline.com
JEN CALANTONE n Editor in Chief Editor@TheEagleOnline.com
Why is campus culture tribalist? ON THE OTHER HAND
ALEX KNEPPER The contemporary university is defined by its culture, not its curriculum. It is a conscious, deliberate effort to drain students of meaning, self-confidence and intellectual discernment. The classical ethos demands of students a transcendence of base instinct into the realm of moral judgment. Community, nationhood and notions of value, in this vision, are based upon ideas. This great tradition stood for the emergence from barbarism, the liberation of man from his animal passions and urges and the order of a structured world. The new ethos, exemplified by relativism, uproots morality and replaces it with identity. In its quest to free men from the duties of moral judgment, the academy has reverted to its sole alternative: tribalism. What does it mean when the student of international affairs is more likely to encounter Edward Said’s Orientalism than Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution In France, or when the future educator reads Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed rather than Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics? As the classical tradition fades, something needs to take its place. If moral judgment is out, something else must be in. But there is no third way between open inquiry and natural instinct. Debase that great tradition, and there is nothing left. Our institutions remain, but our virtues do not. And with that, we get a distinctly modern tribalism. The postmodern ethos looks a lot like the primitive one. The contemporary student has no idea what to do with the materials he is handed. He quickly comes face-toface with cultural relativism, postmodernism, feminism, and myriad other radical causes — in which time he is bombarded with claims about the depravity of the Western tradition. But being completely ignorant of it, he has no context in which to analyze claims against it.
Is traditional Western culture bad? Students say that it is, due to the immense pressure from the university establishment, but the truth is that they generally have no idea whether it is or not. They are ignorant, not malicious. With no background in the great tradition, they have empty minds, and so are drawn to the first passionate cause they encounter, glad that there’s something to live for. The radicals, being manifestly the most passionate, are thus in control of campus culture. Alas, those who do not think cannot escape the siren song of tribalism. Because I am gay, I cannot speak out against a proposed Women’s Resource Center without being accused by feminists of betraying “my people.” Whoever are “my people?” “My people,” insofar as they actually exist, are those who subscribe to the same virtues as I do; those who aspire to excellence. But the product of relativism cannot begin to understand the notion that “my people” might not share my minority identity. He cannot conceive of communities based upon moral judgments because he does not believe in communities based upon moral judgments. When the campus activist decries Pat Robertson for judging gay men based upon their sexual desires, he is not condemning him for the motives of his judgment —he is condemning him for the fact that he is judging. The point is not that he is incorrect, but that he is daring to inquire. The product of classical virtue and intellectual inquiry can safely and rationally rebut Robertson; the relativist descends into emotional hysteria and knows only how to chant against “hate,” “discrimination” and other incoherent buzzwords. There are only two real alternatives presenting each new generation: constructive, rational virtue—and primitive identity tribalism. The latter’s campus incarnation, in its attempts to live without using reason, is a parasite feeding off of the gains of the first— but it’s a parasite that kills the host. All men who value the rational mind must unequivocally condemn these modern-day tribalists morally. Alex Knepper is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and a classical liberal columnist for The Eagle. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Communication and Congress 101 UNSOLICITED ADVICE
ALEX PRIEST Congress is in trouble. And it’s not just Democrats, either. In fact, the 2010 midterms are the least of Congress’ problems. They’re in trouble as an institution of democracy. As the largest and arguably most important elected body of the U.S. government, they’re suffering a communications crisis of epic proportions. Really, it’s even more than a crisis. They’re on the brink of a communications catastrophe. The cause is simply public perception. Believe it or not, the 111th Congress has already accomplished larger, more significant legislative victories than almost any other Congress in history. But the public perceives them as a failure, because they haven’t communicated it well. Let’s see, they kicked off the year by granting equal pay for equal work. Then they expanded health insurance for millions of needy children. They’ve also protected about two million acres of American wilderness, expanded national service programs like AmeriCorps, broadened power to enforce financial fraud, protected credit card consumers, regulated tobacco, created the successful Cash for Clunkers program and granted emergency aid to Haiti. Oh, and they rescued the U.S. economy by passing one of the most comprehensive and successful spending bills in history. So, why does everyone still hate them? Their polling numbers are literally at rock bottom. Only a meager 18 percent of the country approves of their work, while 78 percent disapprove. Here’s some advice: Dear Congress, This isn’t going to be some minor fix. You’re not just “in a rut.” You won’t be able to weasel your way out of this one, and regardless of the outcome of this November’s election, these problems won’t just go away. I think you need to do three
things. First, make President Barack Obama’s “question time” with Republicans a regular event. Make it law. Or make a resolution. Either way, make it happen. Often. See, question time didn’t just allow Obama to score points (although he certainly schooled House Republicans). It allowed for an open, unobstructed, rational and civil debate between our president and our legislators. This communication needs to happen more often. Transparency builds trust. Question time is transparent. Thus, question time builds trust. See the connection here? Second, campaign on your own accomplishments, not someone else’s. Look at the stimulus bill. Numerous Republican members of Congress are out bragging about the new infrastructure and jobs that “they” have created, then coming back to D.C. and railing against the very stimulus bill that created those opportunities— and that they voted against. For that matter, campaign on your own accomplishments and not on other’s supposed “failures.” Badmouthing your opponents doesn’t make you look good; it makes you look petty. And that’s part of what’s keeping Congress painted in such a negative light. Finally — and this is a real revelation, folks — learn to communicate. Whether it’s staffers, your press team, or all you Congressmen yourselves, you’re doing an absurdly bad job at talking to us, the people you represent. Send us letters. Get online. Explain, objectively, what bills are about (and if you don’t know, get someone who works for you to do it). Never, ever use ghost tweeters or ghost bloggers. Does all that sound hard? It’s not. You’ve got it easy, while millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills. Work harder. Do better. Communicate. Alex Priest is a junior in the School of Communication and Kogod School of Business and a liberal columnist for The Eagle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy of MCT CAMPUS
The search for Founders’ Day
The postponement of Founders’ Day Ball has caused much controversy. While officials have offered their reasons, there are still questions to be asked and lessons to be learned. This weekend, the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue will remain dark and empty. The lights will be dimmed, the walls will not be vibrating from subwoofers and party-goers will not attempt to stretch the capacity of the 1,800person venue–like any other night it is not rented out. However, had the best-laid plans of the AU SG not gone astray, AU students would have swarmed the Pavilion this Saturday for one of the most universally popular events. As it is, this year’s Founders’ Day Ball remains indefinitely postponed. SG Vice President Alex Prescott and event planner Jacque Martin — both organizers in charge of the ball — have directed blame toward the unusually large amount of snow that was dumped on D.C. last week. Others insist that culpability lies solely in SG incompetence. With such controversy surrounding the postponement, it is important to separate just
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Supporters of D.C. bag tax respond to Ian Hosking, Nicholas O’Connell I’m sure the libertarians among us will pardon me if I don’t feel as angry as them to pay five cents for a plastic bag. I tried to discern some sense of logic in Ian Hosking’s column, “Protesting D.C. government, one bag at a time,” but I could find none. It is beyond absurd to assert that this has anything to do with “special interests corrupting city affairs.” And don’t even get me started on the assertions of Nicholas O’Connell, who, in a previous letter to the editor on Feb. 15, assailed this minor tax as “a fundamental violation of our liberty.” Excuse me while I bang my head against a very large rock.
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how much responsibility can be attributed to weather and how much fault lies in official negligence. To be sure, Snowmageddon was a destructive, inconvenient mess. According to Prescott, contracts had been set for signatures from Old Post Pavilion officials on Feb. 4. However, there was no response from the venue that day, and within hours, schools and other offices had closed due to snow. No official, no matter how adept at planning, could have completely eluded this winter-induced paralysis. Both Prescott and Martin deserve some understanding for what seems to be a bizarre and uncontrollable occurrence. That being said, significant questions remain. Why were contracts not ready for signatures until three weeks before the event? Prescott and Martin insist that venues and caterers will not sign contracts until the entire event looks like it is certain to come together, hence the
delay of the process until February. Because no one on The Eagle staff has extensive experience in D.C. event planning, we must give Prescott and Martin the benefit of the doubt. Still, if someone with equivocal knowledge comes forward attesting to the contrary, additional explanations will be needed. Even assuming the extensive length of contract negotiations and accepting the horrendous weather, it seems that much of this hassle could have been avoided if a venue with less intangibles were chosen. Hypothetically, had SG officials selected the Katzen Arts Center, or another venue with AU contacts, Founders’ Day Ball would still be on for this Saturday. Moreover, The Eagle reported previously that last year’s venue of the Mellon Auditorium — while ultimately successful — induced multiple logistical and planning hassles, prompting many students to call for a less extravagant location.
If you don’t like the bag tax, bring a bag with you! Use your jacket pockets! Do something! But don’t pretend this is an attack on our civil liberties. I’ll agree there are taxes in the world worth protesting, but surely not this. I return to O’Connell’s letter, where he made this absurd claim: “It would be hard for the most ruthless Corporatist to design a more flagrantly regressive tax.” I cannot help but laugh every time I read this sentence. Apparently modern political thought entails umbrage at even the most benign of causes. It would be hard for the most radical libertarian to design a more flagrantly obsessive letter. At long last, have you no sense of sanity?
Some may be adamant that a Founders’ Day Ball at Katzen would be a less ornate event. And perhaps they would be right. But regardless, the seemingly annual dilemmas the SG faces concerning the dance — not to mention this year’s cancellation — would likely be alleviated. As with any cancellation or postponement, it is understandable for students to become upset with their representatives as a cursory reaction. Concerning the prestige affiliated with Founders’ Day, Prescott and Martin should be especially receptive and sympathetic to student anxiety. At the same time, the AU community must reciprocate this openness when Prescott and Martin offer further explanations before the Senate this Sunday. Still, SG needs to transcend this controversy to recognize the ultimate desire of the AU community: Someway, somehow, we want a Founders’ Day Ball.
LET US HAVE IT. Send us your letters to the editor via the means below.
Josh Feldman SOC, 2013
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FEBRUARY 18, 2010
news 4 PEACE CORPS SPECIAL
PEACE CORPS SPECIAL
Corps offers refuge to some recent grads
AU sends 51 to Peace Corps; GW ranks ahead
By ALEX GORDON
Eagle Staff Writer
Eagle Contributing Writer In one hour, Julie Wojtulewicz folds 80 black ribbed tank tops, rings up 15 customers and listens to an average of three complaints in her parttime retail job. About six months from now, Wojtulewicz’s place of employment will change drastically from a mall in Northern Virginia to a small rural South American classroom where she will teach English as a Peace Corps volunteer. Wojtulewicz, a 2009 graduate of the School of International Service, will join the increasing number of Peace Corps volunteers entering the field today. There was an 18 percent increase in applications from fiscal year 2008 to 2009, according to a Peace Corps news release. This number represents the largest amount of applications since the agency began electronically recording applications in 1998. Leah Moriarty, an employed graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences, is trading her business casual attire and downtown D.C. office for a position in Senegal as a Peace Corps volunteer. Moriarty will be working as a preventative health educator in a small village where she may not have electricity or the Internet. “I just read a book about a woman who did preventative health care in
Côte d’Ivoire with the Peace Corps and had to deliver a baby,” Moriarty said. “That could be me.” Both Josh Field, a press representative for the Peace Corps, and Robert Pastor, professor at AU in SIS and former Peace Corps volunteer, point to President Barack Obama as a contributor to the increase in Peace Corps applications. “Many young people were moved by the energy and eloquence of Barack Obama,” Pastor said. “Even more, there is a feeling of a new connection with the world derived from September 11 or catastrophes like Haiti. Young people want to get involved and prevent some of these problems.” Pastor sits among hundreds of books piled up along the windowsills and bookshelves in his office at AU. Framed pictures of himself with influential leaders line the white walls — a tribute to his successful career as a leading policy maker. Pastor is far from Malaysia, where he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer starting in 1970, but he still thinks of the country and its people often. When he needs to make policy decisions, thinking of the farmers in Malaysia helps him picture what U.S. foreign policy should be like. “I have been at the highest level of policy making but felt that I had a bigger impact as a volunteer,” said Pastor, who also served as a senior
adviser to Jimmy Carter’s mission to restore a constitutional government in Haiti. While in Malaysia, Pastor formulated a 10-year development plan for farmers in a small town. He insists that his experience in the Peace Corps fueled his later career. “Within six years of leaving the Peace Corps I was flying on Air Force One to Latin America,” he said. Field said he could not point to a specific reason why the number of applications increased. “Based on my experience, when someone makes a commitment for 27 months, it’s not just based on one thing,” Field said. He also pointed to the benefits that the Peace Corps provides as a motivator to applicants. “People realize they live in a global economy and getting experience is important and offers tangible benefits for people who serve,” Field said. Some of these benefits include school loan deferment, advantages in federal employment and transition assistance into careers after the volunteer experience, according to Field. The Peace Corps was also named one of the best places to launch a career by the magazine Business Week. “I absolutely think the Peace Corps will give me a leg up,” Wojtulewicz said. “When applying for jobs, people who have been in the Peace Corps get preferential treatment.”
A common urge to travel abroad and to help those in need influenced Wojtulewicz’s and Moriarty’s decisions to apply to the Peace Corps as well. “I wanted to go abroad and the Peace Corps is the best way to do that,” Wojtulewicz said. “Even if I help only two kids it will be worth it. I would love to see the children light up when I walk into the room.” Leading an Alternative Spring break to Bolivia sparked Moriarty’s interest to participate in what she calls “issue related traveling”. “I get really antsy if I’m in the U.S. for too long,” Moriarty said. “The Peace Corps is a great opportunity and adventure.” Pastor remains encouraged by applicants such as Wojtulewicz and Moriarty, he said. “The Peace Corps is one of the best vehicles for having a real effect,” Pastor said. “I am excited that students turn to it.” For Wojtulewicz, her flight to South America could not come soon enough. “I work two part-time jobs,” she said. “I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this. I’m miserable with my life now, and I’m hoping the Peace Corps will fix that.” You can reach this writer at news@ theeagleonline.com.
Students ‘bank’ on snow By NICOLE GLASS Eagle Staff Writer While last week’s blizzard kept many students indoors, it also provided money-making and saving opportunities, like shoveling driveways for AU’s neighbors and discounts at Z-Burger. Z-Burger sold hamburgers for $1 during the twin storms if customers mentioned the word “snow” during their purchase. Students who asked for a “snow burger” or said “it’s snowing outside” were given the discounted burger. Lauren Heinz, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, lives close to Z-Burger and went there with her friends during the blizzard to take advantage of its $1 burger deal, she said. “We decided to get the $1 snow
burgers — it was cheap,” she said. “Originally, they charged me full price, and I was like, ‘Oh, isn’t there a dollar burger promotion going on?’ And they were like, ‘yeah, but you have to mention the snow.’ So I asked for a snow burger.” Some students braved the cold to shovel snowy driveways for money. Phil O’Neill, a senior in the School of International Service, shoveled the driveways of women who live near him, he said. He shoveled three driveways for $50 each, making a total of $150, but he said he also shoveled some for free — including the driveway of his landlord. “I have a lot of old ladies that live in my neighborhood, and one lady ratted me out, saying there’s a young and able man in the base-
ment,” O’Neil said. “I got all these phone calls — ‘Can you shovel me out? Can you shovel my car out?’” During the blizzard, Safeway in Tenleytown apparently left one of its doors unlocked, according to The Washington Post. Hungry customers took advantage of the mistake, emptying the store’s shelves. Some left cash equivalent to their loot on the counter as they left the store. The grocery store had already been emptied of most foods before the blizzard struck, but customers took whatever remained in the store, the Post said. When word got out about the unlocked store, police came to the scene and blocked the entrance until a manager came and locked it, according to the Post. “The lot had been plowed, the lights were on, the [public address] system was operating,
Student flies to Haiti for humanitarian work By SARAH PARNASS Eagle Staff Writer One AU student put his wilderness and rescue skills to work both in D.C. and in Haiti this winter. Junior in the School of International Service Ari Katz returned from more than a week on assignment from the Haitian Embassy just in time for D.C.’s record snowfall. Katz’s mission in Haiti was to prepare the way for future aid including the delivery of water purification systems and the installation of medical teams, according to his father Robert Katz. Back in the United States, Katz volunteered as a fireman for the Seat Pleasant Fire Station in Prince George’s County during the so-called “Snowmageddon” this month, though he generally volunteers in Burtonsville, Md., The firefighters in Seat Pleasant are often called to emergencies in D.C. because of the station’s proximity to the city, Katz said. Just weeks before the snow hit, Katz traveled to Haiti to fulfill his urge to feel more connected with the crisis, he said. After being denied transportation multiple times, Katz finally found an unusual lift: actor John Travolta piloted Katz and a group of doctors intending to help victims in the ailing country in his private jet, Katz said. Katz experienced something like culture shock upon first landing in the island nation, he said. Crumbling houses and the walking wounded lined the streets of Port-au-Prince, according to Katz. Katz spent 10 days in Haiti assessing locations and hospitals for American
doctors who expressed an interest in coming to help in the future, he said. Katz described several incidents in which he attempted to speak with doctors and administrators inside hospitals and was forced to walk outside before they would speak to him. “I couldn’t figure out why they were sitting outside in the sun when they could be inside,” Katz said. “Apparently they were traumatized by the earthquake, psychologically, and they’re afraid to be in buildings now.” In both rural villages and the city, Katz saw examples of this, he said, though he was not certain how pervasive it was overall. Where Katz was staying, there was no electricity and even the roads that once connected the city were in ruins, he said. Yet when asked to compare D.C.’s recent snowy disaster to his experience in Haiti, Katz stopped to think. “Well, it was a lot warmer in Haiti,” Katz said. After his whirlwind week in Haiti, Katz said he hoped to catch up on some sleep. Even with the first flakes of snow, Katz held onto his hope for rest, but he said he also began to feel eager in anticipation of the activity to come. “I was tired from Haiti, and I didn’t really catch up on my sleep after that,” Katz said. “But I got [to the fire station], and I was excited to go to work.” During his first call of the day, Katz and the other rescue workers attempted to remove a man in cardiac arrest from his house in the chaos of a worried family, only to find that the ambulance meant to transport the patient was stuck in the snow, Katz said.
“After that it was just a string of calls nonstop for almost a day straight, digging out ambulances [and] fire trucks,” he said. He and the other firefighters were up for 24 to 36 hours after Feb. 5, Katz said. For the last four years, Katz has volunteered for various fire departments in Maryland. He started out as part of the Emergency Medical Services team in Montgomery County while in high school. He hoped that experience would strengthen his chances of getting into medical school one day, he said. “I didn’t really join to help people at first, to be frank,” Katz said. From there, Katz completed six months of training at the fire academy “throwing ladders, getting yelled at” and learning obedience, Katz said. After countless nights of riding in fire trucks and ambulances and feeling that “adrenaline rush,” Katz’s attitude towards his work has changed. He said his maturity now allows him to see the value in helping others. Katz said his father supported his decision to go to Haiti from the beginning, but his mother and grandmother were very reluctant about letting him go. “They were upset and they were crying and it was really sad,” Katz said. “I felt really guilty about going down and leaving them like that, but I knew I can’t let them stop me from doing what I have to do.” You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
but there was no one working in there,” a shopper told the Post. “It felt like a movie set.” Safeway’s manager declined to comment about the issue for The Eagle. The AU shuttle stopped running for several days, causing some students to stay inside for the duration of the blizzard. Morgan Gress, a sophomore in the School of Communication, stayed indoors during the blizzard and saved money by eating only the food she already had. “I saved money by staying on campus and using the resources I had,” she said. “For example, I ended up making dinner from the food I had in my room, rather than ordering out.” You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
By MEG FOWLER
AU sent 51 graduates to participate in the Peace Corps last year, the second-highest number of volunteers from all mid-sized universities, according to the Peace Corps. The George Washington University ranked just above AU in the same category for sending 53 volunteers last year. Except for a three-person decrease from 2004 to 2005, the number of AU graduates who have gone to the Peace Corps has steadily increased since 2003, which was the first year the Peace Corps tracked this data. John Charles, a career adviser for students in the School of International Service, formerly worked for the Peace Corps as a placement officer and subsequently as a desk officer for the Europe, Mediterranean and Asia regions, he said. The increase in AU students’ participation in the organization in recent years can be attributed to a variety of reasons, Charles said. “Being in Washington, D.C., has become a stronger draw in recent years for many students,” he said. This could mean that when more students were attracted to the Washington area in recent years, they were drawn to AU, he said. Another reason is that AU students have goals that are in line with what they expect to do in the Peace Corps. “Students are committed to making important contributions to the world, so I think it’s a natural fit for many of them to go into Peace Corps,” Charles said. “I really do believe there is a connection between what AU values and what Peace Corps service represents.” Another reason for an increase in Peace Corps involvement could involve the economy in two ways, Charles said. “In one way because it is harder to get jobs, so some people who may not have considered Peace Corps will consider it now,” he said. The second way is that students with private loans need to start paying them back too soon after college and cannot defer their loans for Peace Corps service. “I’ve known a few students who would have loved to do Peace Corps, but because they could not afford to pay their loans back without a regular job, they decided not to pursue the Peace Corps,” Charles said. Students also often want to en-
ter the workforce right away in order to start getting paid, according to Charles. But many advantages for a career search remain in volunteering for the Peace Corps, he said. For jobs in the State Department, language skills — which are taught in the Peace Corps — are very important, according to Charles. In addition, organizations that are of interest to SIS students whom he advised such as the United States Agency for International Development, Development Alternatives Inc. and the International Resource Group require at least two years of experience in the developing world, he said. Scott O’Beirne is a current AU junior in SIS who went to the Peace Corps after attending Full Sail University, before enrolling at AU. He said having the Peace Corps on his résumé helped him get into AU and that the Peace Corps helps its volunteers get into graduate school. “They’ll help you find recommendations, they’ll help you get your application in,” O’Beirne said. “The Peace Corps has so many connections from former volunteers ... It’s definitely very good for you.” O’Beirne went to Kenya during his Peace Corps experience and said that there are many things about the Peace Corps experience that makes volunteers grow as people. “[You have to] take everything you learned in college, even if you’re an international development major and throw it out the window ... stuff them down in your pocket, and don’t take them out,” O’Beirne said. “I didn’t let my beliefs and ideologies get in the way of the work I was trying to do.” Because volunteers tend to live in extreme environments, they will become very cynical, feeling they had accomplished nothing, if they let certain ideas get in the way of their work in the Peace Corps, he said. While his background of getting into the Peace Corps was different than most, O’Beirne said that once in a while at AU, he runs across students in all of his classes that he thinks would make particularly good Peace Corps volunteers. “AU students are very smart ... but there’s a certain personality that I could look at and think they could make a good Peace Corps volunteer.” O’Beirne said. “But, really, anyone could be a Peace Corps volunteer.” You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
THE EAGLE'S ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION
Photo by BEN RITTER
DOUBLE EXIT — DC9 hosts a number of small and upcoming bands such as Exit Clov (pictured). The U Street venue offers a bar-like atmosphere with the benefits of a live-music venue, creating a space unique to the downtown D.C. area. Because of its obscurity and hidden location, DC9 can maintain the exclusivity of a high-end bar and popular draw for a number of late partiers and rambunctious musicians.
DC9 draws in bands as life of afterparty By KATRINA CASINO Eagle Staff Writer After living here long enough, one may think that D.C. is a jaded city. From packs of business-suited men rushing through McPherson Square to business-suited students stressing about their internship on Capitol Hill, the District can begin to feel a little formal. Even options for music seem limited — unless you go looking. Everyone knows that if you’re looking for music, you head to Chinatown’s Verizon Center for huge acts and U Street for those big-butnot-too-big artists who want to give audiences an intimate experience in a larger venue. Don’t be fooled though — U Street has more to offer than just the regulars like Black Cat and the 9:30 club. Tucked away
on Ninth and U Streets, eclipsed by the behemoth Nelly’s Sports Bar, sits DC9, a spot waiting to be discovered. Part restaurant, part bar and, most importantly, part music venue, DC9 is a two-level space that caters to the 18-to-21+ crowd, beckoning them with loud music, smaller bands and the occasional dance party. The downstairs of DC9 is the perfect staging ground for acts to come. The narrow space features a long bar and several booths and tables, where the bass from upstairs can be heard pumping through the walls and roof. Crashing glass is a common sound from behind the bar. This may be cacophonous to some, but to lovers of the music and bar scene, shouting over a plate of buffalo wings is the perfect way to
begin an evening of music. Behind the curtain at the back of the first floor is the entrance to where the real music happens. There are booths and a bar upstairs as well, but the main attraction is the stage. Only a foot or so off the ground and taking up at least a quarter of the room, the stage brings the bands so close to the audience that band members can reach out and touch fans just an arm’s length away. The low level of the stage sometimes makes it hard to see for latecomers, but at DC9, it’s not about physically seeing the band, it’s about the vibe pulsating through the room. The crowd usually masses there to find something new. And besides, the venue has large-screen projectors for anyone who insists on seeing images of the performers set right next to the performers them-
selves. More than just a venue for concerts, DC9 is also a popular afterparty spot for music kids pouring out of the 9:30 club just down the street. Disc jockeys spin tracks from the stage and invite attendees to join them — if they’re not already dancing on the tables. And once in a while — a very lucky once in a while — bands playing at the 9:30 will stop by after the show to party with their fans. DC9 may not be the best place to see one’s favorite bands, but it certainly is one of the best local places to discover new ones. Among the bands slated to hit the tiny stage are Exit Clov on Feb. 25 and Astronautalis on March 6. Exit Clov aren’t necessarily new to the music scene, and they’re not strangers to D.C., either. In fact, the
new-wave, indie-pop group hails from the District itself. The fivepiece band composed of twin sisters Emily and Susan Hsu (vocals, keyboard, guitar and violin), Aaron Leeder (guitar), Brett Niederman (bass) and John Thayer (drums) opened at the Black Cat last fall to an audience that barely filled the huge space. This month, though, they’re hitting DC9 for a show that promises to pack the venue and give a performance inspired by D.C. Their MySpace says it all: “We write songs inspired by the madness of our city. Tunes of resistance, ennui and societal idiocy — music for 21st century kids.” Astronautalis — also known as Andy Bothwell — comes to D.C. from the West Coast; Seattle, Wash., to be exact. A quirky though lowkey act, Astronautalis combines
dazed shoegaze rock with hip-hop, indie and electronica to produce the perfect background to his low and monotone but surprisingly compelling voice. Weaving gripping narratives through all his songs, listeners will find themselves entranced by his hypnotizing beats. Although he toured Europe with Tegan and Sara in late 2009, Astronautalis will be better paired at DC9 with rapper P.O.S. Tickets are rarely sold out, and entrance is cheap at the door. If you’re anxious to check it out, you can find information and buy tickets at their Web site, www.dcnine. com. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
Body image week improves ‘Let’s Move’ message WHOLISTIC HEALTH
Photo by ANDREW COOPER
Photo by ANDREW COOPER
ONE FOR THE BOOKS — Director Martin Scorsese has a history of making superstars out of the actors he casts in his films. His latest film, “Shutter Island,” stars one of those actors — Leonardo DiCaprio, whom Scorsese brought back to fame after his post-”Titantic” hiatus with a role in “Taxi Cab.”
Scorsese films create A-list talent By YOHANA DESTA Eagle Staff Writer Martin Scorsese is not just a man. He is a visionary, a hardened dreamer and a legend. Beyond that, his name is a brand associated with films that are award-winning, gritty and epic. Standing at 5 foot 3, the director, producer and writer has worked in the entertainment business for over 50 years. After conquering nearly every genre of film from quintessential gangster films (“Goodfellas,” “The Departed”) to biopics (“The Aviator”) to comedies (“After Hours,” “King of Comedy”) and music documentaries about the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, Scorsese is constantly reinventing himself. This time he’s doing so with the dramatic thriller “Shutter Island.” The Italian director is no stranger to thrillers, but “Shutter Island” is a whole new take on Scorsese’s old formula: it’s his first psychological
thriller. While he usually goes for gangster pieces about Italian mob members and disturbed characters, “Shutter Island” takes the thriller to another level. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams, the film takes place in 1954 at Boston’s Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. DiCaprio plays the main character, U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels, who sets the story in motion when he is assigned to find a patient who has gone missing from the psychiatric hospital. After investigating the case further, Daniels begins uncovering secrets that reveal the twisted nature of the hospital workers. Michelle Williams plays Dolores Chanal, Daniel’s wife, while Ruffalo plays a fellow U.S. Marshall and Kingsley plays Dr. John Cawley, the chief physician at Shutter Island. Haunting visuals aid in the creepiness factor, making this film a mustsee for self-respecting cinephiles. And it’s bound to be a quality film, simply because it’s a Scorsese film.
Originally slated to premiere in October, Scorsese fans have been itching for months to see the thriller. The fact that it’s now coming out to positive reviews makes it one of the most anticipated films to come out in 2010, making Scorsese fans bitter that it missed the prime time to get Oscar nominations. It’s also another chance for Scorsese’s ingénue, DiCaprio, to shine in another leading role. Anyone connected with Scorsese automatically gets critical acclaim. Take for instance Robert De Niro — the actor was just a scrappy young man from New York before his first film with Scorsese, the volatile “Mean Streets,” in 1973. The pairing obviously proved to be a good one, as they worked on their next film together, the gritty drama “Taxi Driver.” The film got DeNiro his second Oscar nomination and earned Scorsese a reputation as a serious director worthy of attention. Since then, the duo have made countless films together and both are consid-
ered some of the best at their craft. Films like “Goodfellas,” “Cape Fear” and “Raging Bull” have earned both countless accolades and solidified their status as cinematic legends. Aside from De Niro, Daniel Day Lewis is another of Scorsese’s favorites, having worked with him on “Gangs Of New York” and “The Age of Innocence.” The films earned Lewis another Oscar nomination. But you can’t talk about Scorsese’s muses without mentioning DiCaprio. The actor was nothing more than a cute-faced child actor on the cover of teenybopper magazines before his smash feature film “Titanic.” After all the accolades and fame that came with it, DiCaprio retreated from the limelight, taking a break from acting. Five years later, DiCaprio starred in Scorsese’s film “Gangs of New York,” shooting him up to the A-list and sending his career in a serious direction. What followed was an Oscar nomination for n
see SCORSESE on page 6
KELLY BARRETT We use the words “health” and “weight” too often in this country as if they are one and the same. But what happens when we come to rely too much on weight as the be-all-end-all of health matters, and, more specifically, how dangerous is an overemphasis on weight to our overall health and ability to form a healthy body image? According to President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, it all started a while back when extra soda and snacks threw their daughters Sasha and Malia “out of balance.” According to their doctor, who took a gander at their charts indicating escalating body mass indices, the girls were on their way to obesity, and changes needed to be made pronto. After all, overweight First Daughters would most certainly reflect poorly on a mother who had made it her mission to fight childhood obesity. The Obama’s made small changes, including cutting out soda and juices and incorporating more
fruits and vegetables, and soon the girls were presumably “back in balance.” Since then, Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has garnered extensive attention in the media and the blogosphere, with talk ranging from what exactly is in Sasha and Malia’s school lunches to critiques of the Obamas’ parenting. The world has investigated the motivations behind their decision to effectively make their daughters the poster children for the “Let’s Move” campaign, as well as the implications for them having done so. In light of AU’s upcoming Body Image Awareness Week, which I will speak about later, I thought I would weigh in on this issue. I think it is important to note that the Obamas’ parenting shouldn’t be held to super high standards — they are just normal parents and, like our own, they can and will make mistakes along the way. What’s important is that their actions have only the best intentions. That being said, it is pretty obvious where my opinion lies, and it is this: an 8- or 11-year-old girl should not have been cast into the public eye on a topic so touchy in our society. What is most troubling is that the First Family’s actions are in fact so every day in America n
see HEALTH on page 6
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
the scene 6
Oscars miss the mark on nominations THROUGH THE LENS
DONNY T. SHELDON
JOHN LOK / MCT CAMPUS
BRIGHT NEW YEAR — The week-long Chinese New Year celebration is making its mark on the District. Celebrations are planned for various areas all over the city, including a parade in Chinatown on Sunday, festivities at the Montgomery County Public Libraries and museum exhibits.
Chinatown brightens D.C. By OLIVIA STITILIS Eagle Staff Writer Mid-February may not naturally lend to thoughts of dragons, parades or firecrackers, but it’s time to broaden your horizons as the District celebrates Chinese New Year. The 2010 Chinese New Year, which according to the Chinese Zodiac is the year 4708 and Year of the Tiger, began Feb. 14 and the celebration usually lasts for 15 days. Chinese New Year (also known as “Lunar New Year” in the lunisolar Chinese calendar) is considered to be the most significant of traditional Chinese holidays. Washington, D.C., is certainly taking part in the celebration of the Year of the Tiger. Most noteworthy is the Chinese New Year festival sponsored by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), Chinatown Revitalization Council (CRC) and Chinatown Chamber of Com-
merce. “The festival includes folk dances, musical bands from various genres, local high schools, cultural exhibition and a parade,” according to the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce’s Web site. The festival will kick off with the Chinese New Year parade on Feb. 21 in Chinatown. A large parade is a staple of the Chinese New Year celebrations, no matter what the location. Parades are typically packed with the color red, which is believed to fight off evil spirits. The D.C. parade will run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is sure to draw a large crowd. According to the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce’s Web site, the event usually draws about 30,000 viewers to the streets. The parade is sure to be quite the spectacle, especially around 3:45 p.m. when a five-story high firecracker will be lit. There will also be continuous traditional dancing, such as the lion and
dragon dances, as well as plenty of kung fu and other cultural activities according to the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce’s Web site. Though the Chinatown parade is likely the grandest of celebrations, there are many other festivals and special events in honor of Chinese New Year around the District. Montgomery County Public Libraries are hosting numerous Chinese New Year related events and programs through Feb. 21. For complete details, visit www.montgomerycountymd. gov/library. Another option is the National Geographic Museum’s exhibit “Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor.” Though the exhibit is not in direct correlation to the Chinese New Year, it is definitely worth investigating for those interested in past and present China. The Terra Cotta Warriors are considered to be the eighth wonder of the world, according to Susan Norton, director of the
National Geographic Museum. “The Terra Cotta Warriors are one of China’s great treasures that can travel,” Norton said. “It’s the next best thing to traveling to China. For those who have seen the warriors in China, this exhibit gives you the added experience of standing next to them, eyeto-eye. From this vantage point you can appreciate their amazing detail and the great challenge of restoring them.” Amanda Osborn, a sophomore in the School of International Service, has celebrated this event with her family for numerous years. “I’ve always celebrated Chinese New Year with my family,” Osborn said. “My favorite thing about Chinese New Year is how it brings families together. There’s good food, family togetherness, tradition, culture and of course, lai see, which are red packets with money inside.” You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Body image trumps weight n
from HEALTH on page 5
that they seemingly began paying attention to their family’s eating habits only when a number on the scale told them to. There is so much more to health than weight and healthy eating isn’t something that should be minded only when weight problems are on the horizon. Growing up, my mother, who has really never been overweight a day in her life, was constantly on some diet or another. I remember her mixing her Medifast concoctions for breakfast when I was probably 5 years old (I didn’t think it was fair she got a chocolate shake and I had to eat oatmeal, though little did I know how awful it actually tasted). Dieting was a very normal part of our household. My family always ate dinner together, but as everyone’s schedules, preferences and diets got more diverse, food became a source of conflict. My parents never put my sister and me, who in our childhood days would have been deemed “chubby” by the Obamas’ standards, on any diets per se. However, it
was hard for me to face all of that coupled with the diet talk in the media and not develop erratic relationships with food and obsessions with weight. And at times, just like President Obama, all of us were guilty of making comments to one another about each other’s weight — sometimes out of jest, sometimes out of concern for one another’s health. But small changes in weight aren’t the best or only indicators of changes in health. I think it is great that Michelle Obama is practicing her efforts to change childhood eating habits within her own family. But the focus should be less on weight and more on returning a healthy relationship with our food, which will open up the door to a healthier body image. This healthier body image will, in turn, perpetuate that healthy relationship with food and solidify it for later in life. Already body-conscious pre-teens shouldn’t be made to feel even more self-conscious and fearful that what they are eating will make them fat. The best way to ensure that
we collectively cultivate healthier body images and relationships with food is by getting the conversation started. On Sunday, a group of AU organizations, including the Office of Campus Life, Office of Dean of Students, Student Health Center and Wellness Center, will begin a week of activities focused on raising awareness for body image-related problems and solutions. The week will kick off with a 3.6-mile walk beginning on the quad at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The $10 registration fee will go directly to the Gail R. Schoenbach Foundation for Recovery and Elimination of Eating Disorders (F.R.E.E.D. Foundation), a non-profit organization that assists patients in funding the cost of eating disorder treatment, something insurance often does not cover. Body Image Awareness Week is AU’s response to National Eating Disorder Week that’s hosted in many different colleges throughout the country. AU wants to instead include everyone who has negative feelings about his or her body and uses dieting to
deal with it instead of forming healthy eating patterns and embracing him or herself, regardless of weight and appearance. None of us can know what is going on inside the minds of the Obama children, or any children who have had their weight and eating habits put under the microscope by someone they care about. Perhaps this whole thing is setting them up for a future of hyper-vigilance about their weight, or perhaps it will leave them stronger and more confident later on when they enter adulthood. If they are anything like me, they will experience the first of these and then the second. In my next column, I’ll continue this discussion on the “Let’s Move” campaign and talk about how Michelle Obama can use it and her power as First Lady to help us get at the real food problems we have in this country. You can reach this columnist at email@example.com.
Director thrills with ‘Shutter’ n
from SCORSESE on page 5
his role in “The Aviator” and a slew of film opportunities. DiCaprio became Hollywood’s golden boy once again, but not just for his gorgeous face. His life changed completely and the re-
lease of “Shutter Island” will only add to his reputation as a serious and talented actor. His next film role is playing Theodore Roosevelt, directed by none other than Mr. Scorsese. Scorsese is going in a new
direction for the next couple of years. He’ll be directing a slew of biopics about subjects including George Harrison, Frank Sinatra and Elia Kazan. “Shutter Island” may be the director’s last thriller for a while, so make your way
over to theaters when it comes out Feb. 19. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sen. seeks to prevent false transactions n
from EAGLEBUCKS on page 1
to explore further safeguards to secure EagleBucks accounts from fraudulent activity. It was this last clause that brought the bill back to committee, for some senators “did not see the purpose behind that,” Rosenstein said.
However, a committee like this already exits in the form of the Dining Services Project Team, Moody said. The team is a representative group of students, faculty and staff who give feedback on issues related to dining services and EagleBucks. The bill may be amended in the next Senate session Sunday, Rosenstein said. Changes most likely to
be made will encourage Housing and Dining Programs to require merchants to keep telephone numbers and residence halls. Housing and Dining welcomes feedback but does not think the bill will change anything related to merchant misuse, Moody said. “I understand the rationale for the bill, but there will likely con-
tinue to be this many reports in future years given that human error is a potential factor [from either the cashier or delivery person] when ordering delivery services from offcampus,” he said. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
Apart from Maggie Gyllenhaal’s bizarre Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Crazy Heart,” critics and entertainment industry experts deemed the 2010 Oscar nominations a rather unsurprising affair. Although the Academy expanded its Best Picture race from five to 10 films, countless performances still missed the ballot. Four in particular rendered 2009 the exceptional year for film that it was. Best Actor — Michael Stuhlbarg, “A Serious Man” The Best Actor race was perhaps the most predictable category of the year, and with big name Academy favorites like Jeff Bridges, George Clooney and Morgan Freeman in the mix, Stuhlbarg’s comedic yet tragic interpretation of straight-laced college mathematics professor Larry Gopnik’s existential crisis sadly fell off the radar. His wife leaves him, his kids hate him, a student is blackmailing him and his brother is freeloading off him and living on his couch. All in all, Gopnik’s life sucks, but from start to finish, Stuhlbarg carries this bizarre, vaguely surrealistic film on his shoulders. As he loses more and more control over everyone and everything around him, Stuhlbarg’s performance reaches unforeseen emotional rafters. Best Actress — Kristen Stewart, “Adventureland” These days, Kristen Stewart’s name has become synonymous with softcore vampire pornography, showing up to MTV award shows blazed out of one’s mind and numb, almost catatonic facial expressions. In Greg Mottola’s sweetly nostalgic 1980s summertime romance “Adventureland,” Stewart co-starred as Em, a doe-eyed, mysterious townie and delivered a performance as alluring and haunting as the after-hours affair she engaged in during the film. Stew-
art brought subtle grace to Em, whose troubled emotional baggage is as heavy as a summer night’s humidity. Self-loathing and borderline masochistic, Em is the archetypal kind of character that begs to be overacted with plate smashing and melodramatic screaming. Instead, Stewart lets her saucer eyes do the talking and the emotional effect is deafening. Let’s just hope Ms. Stewart starts directing those saucer eyes toward more scripts like “Adventureland” and away from anything involving sex with supernatural creatures. Best Supporting Actor — Zach Galifianakis, “The Hangover” As the delightfully offbeat Alan (who’s not allowed to be within two hundred feet of a school or a Chuck E. Cheese), Zach Galifianakis delivers the comedic performance of the year. Although “The Hangover” suffered from several contrived plot devices, Galifianakis’ performance managed to make me consistently laugh as hard as I do whenever Werner Herzog talks about animal existentialism. Half perverted creep, a dash of otherworldly alien and part man-child, Alan is something of an anomaly in screwball comedy: thoroughly original. I want to be a part of his wolf pack. Best Supporting Actress — Julianne Moore, “A Single Man” As boozed-up, English divorcee Charley, an unemployed woman of wealth withering away in the hills of Los Angeles amid the Cuban Missile Crisis, Moore turns the melodrama-ometer up to histrionic proportions. The performance unfolds in two explosive scenes with interspersed, almost painting-like images of Charley in the afternoon, already on her third gin and tonic while she cakes layers upon layers of mascara for no one but the mirror. Fashion guru and first time director Tom Ford presents Charley’s morose, mansion-lounging life in isolating grandeur and Moore floods the quiet, marble halls with the raw vulnerability of an exposed nerve. You can reach this columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
KUSHAN DOSHI n Business Manager 202.885.3593
New efforts, great promise
and the songs begin to blend into one another, losing their immediacy from the onset. Despite its softer approach to metal, the album overall is still worth a listen if you’re looking for something less imposing as most modern metal bands. There are moments of ominous brilliance contained in the tracks, and anyone able to look past the general monotony, you will find a solid effort. -STEPHAN CHO
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Black Math Horseman “Wyllt” Teepee Records WYLLT
Sounds like: a gender-swapped Black Sabbath
MAGGIE LOGAN / THE EAGLE
AN ALBUM COVER — Usually a venue for music lovers to get up and personal with the bands they love, Black Cat hosted a Valentine’s Day event without hearts and chocolate, the D.C. Record Fair. For a $2 entrance fee, visitors could find any albums to suit their taste.
Music fans dig into records for music history By YOHANA DESTA Eagle Staff Writer While many people spent this Valentine’s Day receiving flowers from lovers, going on fancy dinner dates or lamenting their lack of love lives and stuffing themselves with chocolate, D.C.’s loyal music fans flocked to Black Cat for the D.C. Record Fair. Devoid of anything cutesy and not full of holiday cheer, over 30 record dealers came to the music venue to sell vinyl, posters, shirts and CDs. Music ranged from classic rock to jazz to alternative and the place was packed with people. For couples who love music, it was the perfect setting for a cheap and fun date, while others just found a fun way to spend the day. The event cost only $2 for entry and was open to people of all ages. This was reflected in the crowd of visitors, which ranged from college kids to older people looking to fill in their record collections. Jazz aficionados, metal fanatics and hipsters alike gathered to rifle through hundreds of records set up at different stations throughout Black Cat’s main stage floor. Whether it was the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” or a Run-DMC selftitled debut record (which nearly gave one kid a heart attack when he saw it, he was so pleased), it was certain that everyone left with a medley of records. Aside from sounds of people chatting and reading record titles aloud, the stage was also swallowed by an enormous deejay set that kept the music blaring from each of the speakers. Disc jockeys changed sets every hour and featured District natives like Ian MacKaye, Geologist of the band Animal Collective, Kid Congo Powers, Bluebrain, Eric Hilton of the band Thievery Corporation and Casper Bangs. Most sets focused on classics and ‘50s style pop rock, like the Ronettes, and obscure indie rock. The cheery music kept the mood light, even though the building was dark and devoid of windows, making it difficult to read the titles of the records. Though the price to get into the venue was extremely cheap,
record prices varied from seller to seller. Some bins of records were as cheap as one dollar, like vinyls of ‘80s arena rock band Loverboy. Many were reasonable, with Jimi Hendrix, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna records ranging from five dollars to $25. However, some records had full anthologies of a performer’s career, like rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson and folk rock icon Neil Young, which ranged from $100 to $400. Other records, like a Blues Collections record that contained Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and John Lee Hooker covered whole genres. Other musical finds included a Beatles record of the Fab Four singing only Bob Dylan songs. There was something for every kind of music fan, from random world music records to a classic Eurythmics collection. Heavy metal fans were satisfied with countless Kiss, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Misfits records, while classic rock fans found record after record of the Who, Rolling Stones and James Gang. Hip-hop took up a whole side of the floor with records from Run-DMC, Dr. Dre and Public Enemy. Aside from all the big name staples, it was fun to look at record covers for their artwork. Many people bought doubles of everything, in order to use one as a poster or some kind of decoration. Rarely does such an event bring together visitors of all age groups who share one common interest. Many of the older generations revisited the past, seeing some of the classic performers they listened to back in their heyday, while the younger people were just trying to get small pieces of music history. Whether an art lover in need of cool album covers and posters or a music fanatic looking for a rare new record, the D.C. Record Fair had everything you could possibly want. If you missed it this year, don’t fret — just visit local D.C. record stores, like Crooked Beat in Adams Morgan, to fill in the spaces in your vinyl collection until the next D.C. Record Fair. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The debut album “Wyllt” by Black Math Horseman is a progressive take on psychedelic hard rock that will at first seem nifty for fans and non-fans of the genre. The six tracks preserve that anachronistic, heavy metal sound of the late ‘80s with doom metal undertones and haunting vocals. But there is little to differentiate one song from the next and the album sadly falls flat with little replay value. It is almost as if the band tried so hard to blend the different genres it pays tribute to the fact that it couldn’t find a focal point. With a cursory inspection, tracks like “Tyrant” and “Torment of the Metals” have that droning, gospel-like quality of early Sabbath and abound with whammy, bar-heavy riffs. The voice of Sara Timms, cast from a distance with plenty of reverb, only bolsters the effect and makes the songs come full circle. But despite its classic prowess, the album fails to reach a worthy climax. The more upbeat tracks like “Deerslayer” and “Origin of Savagery” are too humdrum and lacking in technical diversity to be noteworthy. Timms’ voice lacks range, maintaining the same willo’-the-wisp pitch throughout the entire album. It gets tiring rather quickly,
from FOUNDERS’ on page 1
“You can only start so early,” she said. “Some venues will say, ‘Yes we’ll reserve the date but we’re not going to start processing this because what happens if we change our fees or change our ideas.’” Prescott and Martin would have attempted to procure backup venues, but it is considered unprofessional to attempt to sign contracts with other places, according to Prescott. “Venues have blacklists of organizations that they did not like working with in the past,” he said. “If our first venue says yes and we have to cancel on our second venue after putting in our application, it risks future relations with that venue.” Plans had been discussed to host the ball in Bender Arena or the Katzen Arts Center, according to Prescott. However, the snowstorm affected more than just the venue; it also prevented necessary shipments of flowers and gifts for the students, he said. “It’s not just one or the other,” he said. “If we had the venue OK’d and the snow still hit and postponed all the orders, we couldn’t have held it at the Post Office Pavilion anyway, because we would have had it in an empty room.” The postponement of the ball has led to criticism of Prescott. In a letter obtained by The Eagle, Josh Kaplan, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he was “furious” that his tuition dollars would pay Prescott’s salary. “You were elected to coordinate these events, which are some of the only traditions this University has,” the letter said. “I demand that you resign from your office, and I am publicly calling for either your resignation or for long, but necessary impeachment proceedings.” Prescott said he had received e-mails complaining that the Founders’ Day Ball is always held on the same day — a claim he says is not true. “It’s not,” he said. “A couple years ago ... it was the first weekend of February. Student Activities said it best — it would have been a logistical nightmare to try to put that all together after the offices opened again.” Prescott said he was glad students were getting involved in the SG and that he hopes students dissatisfied with his performance will go to the Undergraduate Senate meeting Sunday to voice their displeasure during public comment. Both Prescott and Habash have said that some of the controversy
Mighty Tiger “Western Theater” Paper Garden Records WESTERN THEATER
has a certain whimsical characteristic about it, with vocals done in chorus and a soothing rural tonality. At first, it seems so commonplace and generic, but it quickly grows on you — perhaps until you inadvertently find yourself humming along. This pattern holds true for other equally invigorating tracks like “The Most American Thing in America” and “33 1/3.” Some of the slower, schmaltzy songs like “Chibi Girl” and “Wide Awake” are hit-or-miss. They dedicate so much effort to preserving an almost dorky persona that it can come off as underplayed and downright lazy. In these instances, the chorus of vocals expresses less enthusiasm compared to some of the previous tracks. Switching between the two becomes almost jarring. Nonetheless, the band uses an idiosyncratic sense of variety that is praiseworthy in and of itself. This album is bold and optimistic, checkered with subtle nuances to make its own mark. While it may seem like any other band of its kind on the surface, it manages to be refreshingly stimulating. If nothing else, it makes for excellent traveling music. - SC
Sounds like: Sufjan Stevens meets Rogue Wave “Western Theater,” by the Seattle-based, indie-folk rock band Mighty Tiger, is an album you’re most likely to enjoy in the company of friends. It separates itself from scads of similar albums by adding an overall zest to its musicality, making it an absolutely charming first project. While it is shamelessly coy at parts, it’s also a lot of fun. “Rook to King” is the prototypical Mighty Tiger song: it sounds like it should be played during the montage of a cutesy, indie, romantic comedy flick as the protagonist discovers new love. Cuing into a sentimental acoustic guitar riff, it
Twin Tigers “Automatic” Old Flame Records AUTOMATIC
Sounds like: the hungover lovechild of The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand Indie rock band Twin Tigers’ latest EP “Automatic” almost eludes a proper review because of its presentation. On the whole, it sounds like a feckless rough draft of greater things to come, containing a seemingly intentional off-key pitch and an inability to find consistency. “Automatic” tries to achieve a hard-edged, party-like messiness to it, but instead plays straight into an overall production that is discordant and unpleasant to the ear. In fact, the only track that feels as if it was thoroughly spotchecked is “If,” a comparatively melodic piece that seems out of place in the playlist — it’s much more coherent and easy to understand. The song evokes a synthrock sensibility with its playfully infectious rhythm guitar and quotable, sing-along chorus. It progresses and relapses into a basic melody that is reminiscent of more recent Strokes. The other three songs have definite substance but lack punctuation, as if the band was at odds about how to find a suitable way from them to pan out. The track “Automatic” is an unappealing, unaware two-and-a-half-minute screech, and there is an evident inability to add variation where the song nearly reaches a high point. “Envy” and “Golden Daze” are glossier and sound smoother in terms of production, but the general structure is too jumbled and cacophonous to be enjoyable. Twin Tigers have yet to amass a substantial following, but “Automatic” is a good indication that there is a formative talent, even if it’s yet to be awakened and crafted. - SC
The Week in Fun: Know Your City THURS 18
FRI 19 THU 27
Bert Kreischer 8:30 p.m. WHERE: D.C. Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. N.W. METRO: Farragut North (red line) INFO: A master of self-deprecation, Kreischer made a splash with his last comedy release Comfortably Dumb. After a number of film cameos and a spot on Michael Ian Black’s reality show parody “Reality Strikes Back,” he returns to the stand-up stage. COST: $15 - $17 CONTACT: For more information, visit D.C. Improv’s Web site at www. dcimprov.com.
Monterey Jazz Festival Tour 8 p.m. WHERE: Strathmore Music Center, 5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md. METRO: Grosvenor-Strathmore (red line) INFO: Come celebrate the Strathmore Music Center’s fifth anniversary with a set from some famous performers (including Kurt Elling and Regina Carter) from the internationallyknown Monterey Jazz Festival. COST: $28 - $62 CONTACT: For more information, visit Strathmore’s Web site at www. strathmore.org.
Mission of Burma 9 p.m WHERE: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. N.W. METRO: U Street/African-American War Memorial/Cardozo (green and yellow lines) INFO: Post-punk icons Mission of Burma are touring in support of their 2009 album “The Sound The Speed The Light,” part of an amazing comeback for the band that help defined American art-rock in the ‘80s. COST: $15 CONTACT: For more information, call Black Cat at 202-667-7960.
The Editors 8 p.m. WHERE: 9:30 club, 815 V St. N.W. METRO: U Street/African-American War Memorial/Cardozo (green and yellow lines) INFO: Come see English imports The Editors, whose modern take on the birth of ‘70s indie music makes them a distinct voice in a sea of weepy singer-songwriters. COST: $20 CONTACT: For more information, visit the 9:30 club’s Web site at www.930.com.
Bullitt 8 p.m. WHERE: American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. N.W. METRO: Van Ness-UDC (red line) INFO: You can thank this Steve McQueen film for almost every thrilling car chase in modern cinema. Peter Yate’s classic film will be shown as part of a film series by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, so bring your driving gloves. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call American City Diner at 202244-1949.
The Road 9:50 p.m. WHERE: Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington, Va. METRO: Pentagon City (blue and yellow lines) INFO: John Hillcoat’s (“The Proposition”) adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s pitch black novel about the limits of humanity following a world-changing disaster is often as terrifying as the most skillfully crafted horror movies, so expect scares at this late showing. COST: $2 CONTACT: For more information, visit the Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse’s Web site at www.arlingtondrafthouse. com.
surrounding the Founders’ Day Ball cancellation is due to tensions in the SG between Prescott’s fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon and the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. “There’s always going to be a little tension [between competing fraternities],” Prescott said. “I’d like to think we leave that outside as soon we walk into the Senate.” Both fraternities denied allegations of tension existing between the fraternities. “Like SigEp, we have brothers who have been and who are involved in Student Government,” said Josh Cook, public relations chair for AEPi. “Any past SG events involving our members is just coincidence, not affronts to other SG members’ fraternities.”
President of SigEp, Daniel Saavedra, also denied any animosity. “There is absolutely no truth to rumors that a feud exists between our fraternity and AEPi,” he said. “We have always maintained a strong relationship with all members of the AU community and are dedicated to improving AU as a whole.” The postponement of the ball will be discussed Sunday during the next session of the Undergraduate Senate. Both Prescott and Martin are expected to testify at the meeting. Habash said the AU community will know the truth of who is behind the controversy based on who shows up at the Senate meeting.
“In order for it to be a really legitimate claim [that Prescott has mishandled the ball], I would really appreciate it if more students from a diverse body of organizations came out on Sunday,” she said. “I’ve never heard [AEPi and SigEp] ever talk about each other in a bad light, unless it’s in terms of Student Government.” You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
ANDREW TOMLINSON n Sports Editor 202.885.1404
Honoring women in sports By KATE GREUBEL Eagle Staff Writer
PHILLIP OCHS / EAGLE FILE PHOTO
GIVING HER ALL — AU’s Michelle Kirk drives the lane in a game earlier this season. Kirk was one of the many members of the AU athletic community that participated in National Girls and Women in Sports Day last Saturday. The event was intended to forward the awareness of women in the sports world.
Let’s pull out the old VCR tapes and take a look at basketball 50 years ago. The shorts were a lot shorter, the socks were a lot longer and players, coaches and administrators were often male. Fast-forward to 2010 and the game is barely recognizable. Besides longer shorts and shorter socks, the presence and influence of women in sports is stronger now than ever. Whether on the court, coaching from the bench or behind a desk, there is a growing amount of equality, attention and opportunities available to women in athletics. AU Senior Woman Administrator Athena Argyropoulos credits Title IX, an amendment passed in 1972 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs, for giving women a voice in sports and for giving her a job. “The position of Senior Woman Administrator at Division I collegiate institutions was a created position to help manage the opportunities for women,” Argyropoulos said. The amendment also increased the number of scholarships available for women playing collegiate sports. This was done in order to maintain a balanced ratio of maleto-female athletes. Argyropoulos, an AU alumna, personally benefited from Title IX scholarships. “I was a student athlete and was literally on the cusp of Title IX,” Ar-
gyropoulos said. “I was given some opportunities that women before me weren’t given.” Women’s basketball Assistant Coach LaTonya Watson, who also profited from an athletic scholarship as a student-athlete, agreed that scholarships have played a large role in the growth of women’s sports. “I think the opportunities that are given to women in sports through scholarships today is a huge difference between sports in the past and sports now,” Watson said. “Scholarships give [women] the ability to use athletics as a vehicle to go to school.” People have also overcome false perceptions about women playing sports. It is a second change that Watson believes has advanced the presence of women in athletics. “I think people in the year 2010 realize and recognize that fitness is very, very good,” Watson said. “Parents are now thinking about the amenities [of sports], which include that they will end up with a more confident, strong-minded daughter who essentially has the world as her playground.” Encouraging parents, according to Argyropoulos, are the second factor that helped increase the number of female athletes. Junior Michelle Kirk is an example of an AU women’s basketball athlete who had supportive parents. “I think my parents really just pushed me at a younger age,” Kirk said. “Athletics have always been
just a huge part of my life.” As a way of inspiring young girls to play sports and generating excitement for AU’s women’s basketball team, Argyropoulos started National Girls and Women in Sports Day at AU nine years ago. This past Saturday, the university celebrated the event with a skills clinic led by AU student-athletes following the women’s basketball victory over Colgate University. “This is a celebration of women emerging in sports and getting the same kind of opportunities that were afforded [to] men years and women years ago,” Argyropoulos said. “And it is an opportunity for our kids to give back to the community, so it’s a win-win.” For Watson, the event exposed young girls to diverse sports, while bringing focus to breast cancer. “I think the attention and the focus being put on [breast cancer] is a great thing,” she said. “And to be able to do that at a women’s basketball game, that’s a great afternoon.” Unfortunately, the crowd at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day is rarely matched at other home games. Watson said she does not understand why the team’s fan base does not reflect the accomplishments of the team. “Not enough people recognize that our team is tied for first in the Patriot League right now,” Watson said. “I would love for people outside of the AU community to recognize the accomplishments of these young ladies because they are not just basketball players, they’re ex-
cellent students.” Argyropoulos said women’s sports generally have little national support. In order for interest to grow, the amount of media exposure given to women’s sports must increase, she said. “There has to be a buzz created in the grass roots and there have to be people who demand to see women’s sports on TV,” Argyropoulos said. “But there have to be packed houses that people can’t get in the doors to first.” According to Kirk, unequal publicity is keeping Bender Arena from sold out crowds each night. “If you look at coverage of men’s games versus women’s games, it’s not even close,” Kirk said. “The school has been trying to do better, but the overall awareness of our team is so low compared to the guys.” Women have the power to increase awareness and publicity for women’s sports, Argyropoulos said. “I think interest in women’s sports is going to continue to grow because [women] are covering sports,” Argyropoulos said. “Women need to promote women.” While setbacks and inequalities still exist in women’s sports, Argyropoulos says it is important to not overlook how far women have come. After all, it was only about 38 years ago when women were rarely on the court wearing those short shorts and long socks. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oakland Raiders owner continues to make mistakes SIDELINE SCHOLAR
BEN LASKY Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis seems to make nothing but bone-headed moves, this time he signed kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a four-year $16 million contract with $9 million guaranteed, the largest contract for a kicker in the NFL. Yes, Janikowski is the all-time leading scorer in Raiders history. That said, every year a former Pro Bowl kicker falls off the face of the earth and is never heard of again. Kickers are so unpredictable that investing so much money into
them is too high of a risk to take. This is in line with other moves by Davis in recent years. To start, the Raiders selected Janikowski in the first round of the 2000 draft, making him the first kicker ever taken in the first round. The move shocked everyone not named Al Davis. In 2007, the Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell, a quarterback from LSU with the first overall pick in the draft. Selecting him was not the poor decision, as he was the best quarterback on the board. The bad decision is continuing to play Russell even though it is clear that he is a first round bust. Yes, Russell was benched in 2009, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Raiders are planning on having Russell as their starting QB next season. Davis is choosing money over winning. Davis will make sure he plays because he is paying Russell $61
million. Even if Russell is the worst quarterback on the team, Davis has shown that he will play him. In last year’s draft, the Raiders took wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey from the University of Maryland with the seventh overall pick in the draft. The team skipped over Michael Crabtree, who many believed was the most talented wide receiver in the 2009 draft class. So why select Heyward-Bey? Well, if you have paid attention to Davis, you know he loves quarterbacks who can throw down the field and wide receivers who can beat cornerbacks. If you can run a 4.3 40-yard dash, you are Davis’ man, because in his world you can’t teach speed. Davis’ obsession with speedy receivers hurt the team this past season. In 11 games, Heyward-Bey caught nine passes for 124 yards and one touchdown. In San Fran-
cisco, Crabtree caught 48 passes for 625 yards and two touchdowns for the 49ers. Those numbers are after he missed all of training camp and the first four weeks of the regular season. Needless to say, Crabtree was not in football shape. He was not looking like Charles Barkley, but he was not ready to play football. Still, in just as many games as Heyward-Bey, Crabtree had a much better season. Obviously Heyward-Bey has time to prove he was worth the seventh overall pick, but right now it looks like another Raiders screw up. The worst part about the organization is that Davis used to be one of the best owners in sports. Since he took over the team in 1972, the Raiders have won three Super Bowls and five AFC Championships. That said, the team has certainly had its share of ups and
downs. Davis attempted to restore the glory of past decades when he hired Art Shell in 1990. Shell was named the Coach of the Year in 1990 when he led the Raiders to a 12-4 record and an AFC West division title. He was promptly fired in 1994 after the team finished with a 9-7 record. It did not take long for Davis to regret his decision to fire Shell. He lured the coach back to the team in 2006. In his first year, Shell led the team to a 2-14 record. It was the worst record in team history and he was fired after the season. Much like the Washington Redskins tried to do with the rehiring of former coach Joe Gibbs in 2004, the Raiders thought the Shell hiring would turn the team around. It, in fact, did not. To watch one of the most storied NFL franchises and its long
time owner become one of the laughing stocks of the league is sad. Al Davis has always been willing to spend money in order for his team to win, but so has Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins and they haven’t been much better. One of the many points that Michael M. Lewis made in his book “Moneyball,” about Oakland Athletics’ general manager and minority owner Billy Beane, is that it is not about how much money a team spends, but how the team spends that money. While Lewis’ book is about baseball, the same concept holds true in the NFL. In the Raiders case, spending $16 million on a kicker is not a good way to start on the path to winning. You can reach this columnist at email@example.com.
Wrestling drops third straight Former Eagle wins contest
By ANDREW TOMLINSON Eagle Staff Writer
AU’s wrestling team lost to No. 25 Old Dominion University 2015 to extend their losing streak to three in a row, despite victories by seniors Mike Cannon and Kyle Borshoff. Old Dominion got off to a quick lead with two victories. First, ODU’s James Nicholson, who is No. 7 in the nation, defeated AU senior Jasen Borshoff, who is No. 16 in the nation. The match was in the 125pound weight class and Nicholson won by a score of 4-3. The next ODU victory was a major decision in the 133-pound class. Justin LaValle was able to defeat AU’s Thomas Williams by a
score of 10-2. Old Dominion’s victory pushed them to a 7-0 lead. AU was able to pick up its first win of the night in the 141-pound weight class. Redshirt senior Jordan Lipp defeated Craig Wilson by a score of 6-5. While it was not a major victory, it put AU on the board and made the score 7-3. The Eagles were able to follow Lipp’s win with another victory in the 149-pound weight class. Nationally ranked No. 11 Kyle Borshoff extended his winning streak to 11 matches in a row and remains undefeated on the season. He recorded his fourth fall of the season with a victory over ODU’s Cam Watkins. It took just 3:59 seconds for Borshoff to win and he gave AU the lead 9-7. Old Dominion came storm-
ing back however, taking the next three matches. First Joey Sheridan defeated AU’s Sean McCarty 8-2 in the 157-pound weight class. Then No. 13 Chris Brown of ODU recorded a technical fall against AU’s Tanner Shaffer, with a final score of 21-6. Finally, Eric Decker of Old Dominion defeated AU’s Phillip Barreiro by a score of 4-2. The three-straight wins pushed ODU into the lead by a score of 17-9. Fortunately for the Eagles, the next match featured their star, and No. 4 in the nation, Mike Cannon. Cannon is undefeated in 2010 and he had 10 straight wins coming into the match. He got AU back in to the meet with a 9-3 victory over Joe Budi in the 184-pound weight class. Despite cutting ODU’s lead to
just five, the Eagles would split the next two matches to seal their fate. First national ranked No. 14 Jesse Strawn of Old Dominion defeated Kenneth Clessas 9-6. AU freshman Blake Herrin then defeated ODU’s Grant Chapman 7-3, but it was already too late for AU. The Eagles would get three points from the win and the final score would be 20-15. With their third straight loss, AU moved to 4-4 on the season in dual meets. There is one more regular season meet before the EIWA Championships. AU’s next match will be Feb. 20 at Bucknell University. You can reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men edge out Army 57-54 Army vs. AU at Washington, D.C. AU 57, Army 54
Army (13-12, 3-8) Tyrell Thompson 5-8 0-2 13 Cleveland Richard 4-15 2-7 11 Jeremy Hence 4-8 2-4 11 Josh Miller 2-5 0-0 4 Mitch McDonald 2-5 0-0 4 Marcus Nelson 1-4 0-0 3 Eric Zastoupil 1-1 0-0 3 Nathan Hedgecock 1-3 1-3 3 Chris Walker 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-51 5-16 54.
AU (8-18, 5-6) Vlad Moldoveanu 7-12 4-6 18 Joe Hill 4-10 4-10 12 Stephen Lumpkins 4-7 0-0 11 Nick Hendra 2-3 2-3 10 Simon McCormack 3-7 0-0 6 Steve Luptak 0-2 0-1 0 Daniel Munoz 0-2 0-1 0 Riley Grafft 0-0 0-0 0 Matthew Wilson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-44 10-21 57.
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By ANDREW TOMLINSON Eagle Staff Writer Former AU men’s basketball player Andre Ingram, who graduated in 2007, won the Three-Point Shooting contest Feb. 12 at the NBA D-League Dream Factory, the development league’s equivalent of an All-Star game. Ingram was the only player selected to represent his team, the Utah Flash, at the third annual Dream Factory. In his first appearance in the D-League competition, Ingram defeated the defending champion Blake Ahearn, of the Bakersfield Jam, by a score of 39-37. The former Eagle is considered one of the top three-point shooters in the league, according to NBA. com. The Web site said he is known as a three-point specialist and has always been a top long-range shooter. Despite his success beyond the arc, Ingram had never competed in a shooting contest since high school and as a result had never shot using a three-point rack.
“I was curious to see how I was going to adjust, because I hadn’t gotten a chance to practice with the racks,” Ingram told NBA.com. “You just come out here and shoot and keep your face up because that sixty seconds goes fast. The more shots you get up, the better chance you have, so that’s what I was focused on.” Ingram also a had lot of success behind the arc when he was at AU. He has 265 career three-pointers, good enough for third best in school history. He also ranks fifth on AU’s career points list with 1,655 points. The AU star was also named to four All-Patriot League teams and was named 2004 Patriot League Rookie of the Year. To go along with his scoring records, Ingram also ranks second all time in career starts with 117 and fourth in games play over a career with 118. The 6-foot-3-inch guard graduated from AU in 2007. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
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The Feb. 18, 2010 issue of The Eagle.