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FINDING ‘LOST’ The confusion of the island begins to make sense as ‘Lost’ returns for its final season. SCENE page 5

American University's independent student voice since 1925


JANUARY 14, 2010 VOLUME 84 n ISSUE 28


HAPPY MLK DAY: The Eagle will not publish on Monday. Normal publication will resume on Thursday, Jan. 21.


Administration mulls Super Loop changes

CLASS PREVIEW AU students rank classes, professors on the new Web site CourseRank page 4


By CHARLIE SZOLD Eagle Staff Writer


Q AND A — Executive Director of Housing and Dining Programs Chris Moody addresses an audience of sophomores and juniors Wednesday night to answer questions about their housing options for the fall.

THE END FOR REID? With problems mounting, it’s time for Sen. Reid to get his act together page 3


Housing crunch to alter dorm life By TAMAR HALLERMAN and ETHAN KLAPPER Eagle Staff Writers

RED HEAD NBC’s failing ratings leave Conan O’Brien in the dark behind Jay Leno page 5

SPORTS FALLING SHORT Men’s basketball falls to Lehigh to drop PL opener page 8

UNDEFEATED Women’s basketball moves to 2-0 in Patriot League play

The inventory of university housing and how it is allotted will drastically change this fall in response to the expanding demand for on-campus housing. In an e-mail to on-campus residents Jan. 4, Executive Director of Housing and Dining Programs Chris Moody outlined the extensive list of changes aimed at alleviating a housing shortage on campus. “AU is retaining continuing students and enrolling first year and transfer students with greater success than ever before,” he wrote in the e-mail. “We are also retaining more students in the residence halls as a result of their satisfaction with the experience. However, the university’s current housing inventory is not sufficient to keep pace with this rapidly increasing demand.” Even with the changes, an estimated 340 to 350 people who request university housing will not receive it, according to Moody. He expressed the need for sev-

eral short-term changes while the university plans to build more housing. Some of the impetus for the change comes from a study last year by Brailsford & Dunlavey, a facilities planning firm which suggested improvements for AU’s housing options as part of the campus facilities master plan. The firm projected that AU will eventually need 1,000 additional apartmentstyle bed spaces. Upperclassmen moved to Centennial, Nebraska Halls Among the short-term changes, rising juniors and seniors seeking to live on campus will be required to enter a housing lottery for 400 available spots on campus and in the Berkshire apartments. Residence halls traditionally preferred by upperclassmen, such as Centennial and Nebraska, will be fully or partially made exclusive to juniors and seniors. However, upperclassmen will no longer be able to live in Letts, Anderson, Leonard or McDowell Halls, with a few exceptions — including single rooms


see HOUSING on page 4


see SHUTTLE on page 2

Winter break brought snow, missing pants By MEG FOWLER Eagle Staff Writer Violent ‘snowpocalypse’ The D.C. and Mid-Atlantic region received a snowfall that began the Friday after AU’s last exams let out and continued through the following day. The storm, dubbed the “snow-

pocalypse” by some, left anywhere from 16.4 to 23 inches of accumulation in different areas, providing enough snow for hundreds to participate in a snowball fight on the corner of 14th and U Streets N.W. on Dec. 19, according to The Washington Post. However, a different weapon was added to the armory of water n

see WHAT YOU MISSED on page 2

First half propels women to victory By TYLER TOMEA Eagle Contributing Writer

page 8

The AU women’s basketball team used a strong defensive effort and sizzling three-point shooting to defeat the Bucknell Bison 6351 on Wednesday night at Bender Arena. AU jumped out to an 11-4 lead to begin the game behind two


HI 45° LO 28°

Women’s Basketball AU: Bucknell:


63 51

Washington, D.C.

HI 50° n LO 31°

SATURDAY HI 48° n LO 31°

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: Classifieds:

and spaces for certain Housing and Dining student staff members. Priority in the lottery will be given to students able to fill the suite or apartment for which they are applying. Those who can sign an 11 1/2 month lease for Nebraska will also be given preference. Additionally, 24 small double rooms scattered throughout Centennial, Hughes, Leonard and McDowell are set to be converted to singles in order to accommodate increased demand for private rooms, Moody said. Upperclassmen will also be given priority for those spaces. In order to help ease the transition for students who do not receive on-campus housing, Housing and Dining will allocate more resources dedicated to helping them find off-campus housing. Housing and Dining is creating a new position to deal exclusively with off-campus issues. In early February, the department is holding a fair to help students find off-campus housing. Housing and Dining also plans on

The AU administration and the Student Government are working on changes to the Super Loop shuttle route in an effort to better serve AU students, according to Assistant Director of Facilities Management Mark Feist. These changes are still in the preliminary stages, but Facilities Management is close to finalizing its route recommendations, according to Feist. After AU changed shuttle routes early last semester, some students and SG President Andy MacCracken, expressed concerns about the Super Loop’s route. The route, which runs from 8 p.m. until midnight on weekdays and weekends, takes students returning from Tenleytown to the Washington College of Law before main campus, leading some students to get off at the Katzen Arts Center.

After studying trends of ridership and listening to complaints from the student body, Facilities Management began working on changes to the Super Loop that would be more convenient for students. MacCracken also met with Facilities Management to give direct student input to the new route. “[Facilities Management] is looking to provide resources for more direct main campus to Metro service,” Feist said. “These reactions and changes are based off student feedback.” The WCL student government has still not met with Facilities Management to discuss the proposed changes, according to Feist. More information on the specifics of the revised shuttle route should become available in a few weeks. MacCracken said that he’s been working on getting the shuttle


FIGHTING TO THE RIM — Liz Leer drives the lane in AU’s 63-51 victory over the Bison. With the win AU improves to 2-0 in the conference.

three-pointers by Michelle Kirk and one by Ebony Edwards. Kirk finished with three first-half triples and the Eagles shot 6-9 from beyond the arc in the opening half. “I think it was just a lot of people finding the open player and everyone making the open shots,” Kirk said. Forcing 15 Bison turnovers in the first half, the Eagles were able to extend their advantage to 26-11 with just under eight minutes to go in the half. The tough defense created offensive opportunities for the Eagles, as they registered 16 points

courtesy of several Bucknell miscues. “We thought we had an opportunity to create some steals and turn those into points,” said AU Head Coach Matt Corkery. “We really did that well and you create those opportunities because of high energy.” Heading into the locker room, the Eagles held a commanding 4021 lead. Kirk led all players with 13 first-half points, while Edwards and Liz Leer chipped in six apiece. Raven Harris spearheaded the defensive effort with three steals. The Bison showed signs of life to start the second half behind the strong shooting of Rachel Voss, who finished the game with 13 points. The Eagles’ 40-21 halftime lead was cut to 49-37 with 9:10 remaining. A Bucknell layup and jump shot sandwiched between a Kirk threepointer and free throw kept the AU advantage at 12 with 5:25 to play. Another Kirk three-pointer, her fifth of the night, coupled with a Leer layup extended the Eagles’ lead to 58-41 and squashed any chance of a Bucknell comeback. Although Bucknell outscored AU 30-23 in the second half, the Eagles’ dominating first half performance was too much to overcome. Corkery, though, was not pleased with his team’s second-half play.

“Bucknell showed a great amount of energy,” Corkery said. “We shortchanged ourselves by not playing that hard for a full 40 minutes.” Kirk agreed with Corkery’s second-half assessment. “There was a lack of energy, especially on the defensive end,” Kirk said. “They were getting open threes and we didn’t really defend them that well.” Kirk finished with 20 points to lead all scorers. Leer registered 12 points, while Harris added 10 along with five assists for AU. The Eagles shot 50 percent from beyond the arc and 35 percent from the field for the game. Joyce Novacek led Bucknell with 14 points and eight rebounds. Despite shooting 50 percent from the field, 28 turnovers made it nearly impossible for the Bison to come away victorious. Next up for the AU women is a trip to Hamilton, N.Y. to take on the Colgate Raiders who are 6-10 on the year and 1-1 in conference play. The Eagles next home game will be next Wednesday against the Army Black Knights. With the win, the Eagles improve to 2-0 in Patriot League play and 9-7 overall. The loss dropped the Bison to 0-2 in the PL and 4-11 on the season. You can reach this writer at


JANUARY 14, 2010

news 2


FRI 15 THU 27

SAT 16

SUN 17

MON 18


Meet the crew of the latest Space Shuttle mission 10:30-11:30 a.m. WHERE: National Air and Space Museum, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue N.W. METRO: Smithsonian (orange and blue lines) INFO: Mike Foreman, Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik and Barry Wilmore will show a movie on their mission to the International Space Station and will answer questions. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-633-1000.

Discussion: The Obama Administration, One Year Later 12 p.m. WHERE: Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St N.W. METRO: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo (yellow and green lines) INFO: Katrina Vanden-Huevel, editor of “The Nation,” leads a group discussion on Obama’s progress in his first year as president and on the role of the average American in what Obama does over the next three years. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-787-5277.

Exhibit: “Herb Block: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium” 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily WHERE: Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. METRO: Capitol South (orange and blue lines) INFO: The Library of Congress showcases the work of Herb Block, a political cartoonist who covered 13 presidential administrations for The Washington Post, from Hoover to George W. Bush. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-707-5000.

Henry V Open Rehearsal 2:30 - 4 p.m. WHERE: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Harman Hall, 610 F St. N.W. METRO: Gallery Pl/Chinatown (red, yellow and green lines) INFO: The public is invited to sit in on rehearsals for Shakespeare’s classic play about a tyrannical English king. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-547-1122.

Exhibit: “Investigating Where We Live” 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily WHERE: National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W. METRO: Judiciary Square (red line) INFO: This exhibit showcases the artwork of local middle and high school students from Columbia Heights, Shaw and the U Street corridor who were asked to express their feelings about their neighborhoods. COST: $5 CONTACT: For more information, call 202-272-2448.

Author Event: John Heilemann and Mark Halperin 7 p.m. WHERE: Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W. METRO: L1 or L2 bus from Van Ness (red line) INFO: Heilemann, a national political correspondent for “New York” magazine, and Halperin, a senior political correspondent for “Time,” team up to tell their stories of covering the 2008 presidential campaign and discuss their new book “Game Change.” COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-364-1919.


from WHAT YOU MISSED on page 1

and ice at the U Street skirmish when off-duty D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Detective Mike Baylor pulled a gun on the crowd after they hit his car with snowballs, according to an MPD press release. A number of video clips and images of the incident were posted on YouTube and handed in to the MPD. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the officer should not have reacted in the way he did, according to a statement released on Dec. 21. “I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate,” Lanier said. “We have taken swift action by placing him on noncontact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.” While around two feet of snow fell that weekend, the storm did not break the D.C. record for snow accumulation. The average monthly snowfall in D.C. for December is 3.1 inches, and the biggest snowstorm on record for the city occurred in January 1922, when 28 inches of snow fell in the District, according to the National Weather Service. Gay Marriage Bill passes D.C. govt. A bill allowing same-sex couples to marry passed the D.C. council and was signed into law over break. The City Council passed the bill by a vote of 11 to two on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Mayor Adrian Fenty signed it on Friday, Dec. 18. The bill is now in a Congressional review period, which allows Congress 30 in-session days to reject any act passed by the D.C. government. Upon the expiration of the 30 days, the bill automatically becomes a law. Prospects for

passage are good, despite some rumblings in Congress about possible attempts to veto the bill. Subpoenaed colleges Members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted to subpoena 19 colleges and universities, all within a 100-mile radius of D.C., to investigate whether some institutions’ admissions practices are discriminatory against women. AU was not on the list of schools called to testify, but Howard University, Catholic University and Georgetown University were subpoenaed. Since the 1980s, women have earned a higher total number and percentage of bachelor’s and master’s degrees than men, according to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Web site. During the 10-year period from 1995-1996 to 2005-2006, the number of bachelor’s degrees earned by women increased from 642,000 to 855,000 — a 33 percent increase, the Web site said. Mayoral race heats up A millionaire real estate tycoon who had been mulling a possible campaign for D.C. mayor begged out of the competition, leaving Mayor Adrian Fenty with one less obstacle to re-election. R. Donahue Peebles, CEO of the largest African-American real estate development company in the country, announced Jan. 5 that he would not challenge the incumbent mayor — for now. Peebles supporter Ron Magnus said he believes Peebles will still eventually enter, according to the Post. “Because of his family, he’s not going to announce now — the operative word is ‘now,’” Magnus told

the Post. Meanwhile, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray has not decided whether or not he will challenge Fenty. A loss would likely mean that the 67-year-old Gray would be out of politics for good, according to the Post. ‘Pantsless Day’ on the Metro The day before classes started for AU’s spring semester was the day of the No Pants Metro Ride 2010, an annual occasion organized by the prank group called the D.C. Defenestrators. A group met on the corner of 7th Street and Maryland Street S.W. at L’Enfant Plaza with pants intact. They then descended into the Metro system and proceeded to remove their pants while on the train with regular riders, according to the description on the Facebook page for the event. The Facebook event Web site and the Yelp event Web site gave the same instructions to its confirmed attendees. “Act completely casual or unknowing that your pants are missing,” they said. “The best part about this mission is the reaction of people hearing that someone could casually ‘forget’ their pants or not be greatly bothered by their disappearance.” Bruce Witzenburg, one of the organizers, told the Post that there was not a particular reason for the disrobing event. “We’re just trying to put smiles on people’s faces,” Witzenberg said. While many AU students were in town on the day of this event, it has not be confirmed whether any participated in this year’s pantsless Metro ride. You can reach this staff writer at

EAGLE RANTS *@#!3*%! Zeppelin-dorms would solve the housing crisis; it worked in Up.

I’m not gonna lie. TDR was bangin’ today.

What’s the difference between Jen Calantone and Jeff Jones? One is a wonderful mentor, helper and guide who helps to bring out the best of the people on the team, the other is the coach of the AU Basketball team.

My schedule is fucked up. Like, I’m-not-in-any-of-the-right-classes-and-my-advisor-doesn’t-evengive-a-shit fucked up. I just got an email from the GLBTA center, They’re inviting everyone to a “Gay Bash.” Don’t they realize that back home in Missouri a Gay Bash involves physical violence?

The Eagle’s sports page went up in the rankings! It’s now #8 instead of #9. Of course that’s because the Washington Times cut their sport page ...

When the Rants stopped, I started to send suggestions to the AU Library. In that time the library has improved 222 percent. No Eagle = Better Campus. Crazy huh?

Courtesy of MCT CAMPUS

Jeff Jones: Overrated or just overpaid?

I feel silly doing this, but to the boy who came in to the Housing & Dining office at the same time as me to change your meal plan - you were awfully cute ... I wanna rock right now! Like, seriously, right now. To wannabe hipsters: listening to Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus isn’t ironic, it’s LAME. They suck and your indie cred is shot to hell in my eyes. Damn you Miley! I can’t stop listening to Party In the USA. F_ck.

Shuttles take another direction n

from SHUTTLE on page 1

route changed since town hall-style meetings on the routes last October. “I’m excited about the incoming changes,” he said. “I’m sure students will like the new direct route, especially as we move into the coldest month of the year.” Further changes to shuttle service could involve moving to a fixed schedule, according to MacCracken. “I’ve been advocating for a set

schedule, so we can take the guesswork out of when to head to the shuttle,” he said. The argument against a fixed schedule is the variation in traffic patterns could make it difficult to adhere to the set times, according to MacCracken. “That shouldn’t be an issue after 9 p.m., though, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the outcome of that conversation will be,” he said.

Members of the AU community can reach either Alef Worku or Mark Feist, of Facilities Management to discuss changes to the shuttle route at or mfeist@ respectively. You can reach this staff writer at

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JANUARY 14, 2010

JOE WENNER n Editorial Page Editor

JEN CALANTONE n Editor in Chief

The rise of liberal homophobia ON THE OTHER HAND

ALEX KNEPPER What happens when prejudice doesn’t die but merely changes its form? The burgeoning cliché amongst the younger, ostensibly pro-gay set is that we’re just waiting on the crotchety old homophobes to die off. The upcoming generation supports equality for gays, we’re told. At last, gays and lesbians will be liberated as these citizens change the policies of the government. Forgive me for crashing the party, but I’m one of those who doesn’t view the federal government’s acceptance of my sexuality as the end-game. If we’re really taking the same route as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s did — that is, through the state and through the courts, rather than through the culture — then I’d like to channel William F. Buckley, stand athwart history, and yell, “stop!” The dirty little secret of the Civil Rights Movement is that the lives of actual individuals were swept under the rug. While the policy of the state is that blacks have equality before the law at every level — that is, abstractly, we are integrated — we are more segregated than ever as a culture. Whites and blacks live in different neighborhoods, attend different schools, watch different television stations and vote for different political candidates. Overt racism is virtually dead, but in its place, we have the patronizing “look-at-my-black-friend” phenomenon. Already, this is manifesting itself in how straight people interact with gay people. We get gay characters on television, but they’re Gay Characters, not characters who are gay. We get “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” - your friendly neighborhood homosexual who wants to redesign your house and give you a makeover. We get young women who learn that we’re gay

and exclaim, “I’ve always wanted a gay friend! Can we go shopping together?” At last, liberation! This disgusting phenomenon, which I call liberal homophobia, is a symptom, not a cause. An article in the Eagle last semester covered the National Equality March by remarking excitedly about a “new civil rights movement.” The reader could gather that it was an exciting opportunity for young people to get involved, to get down on the ground with the oppressed. Not a problem, right? Not so fast. These “enlightened” youth emphatically do not view gay people as individuals who have been unfairly singled out for their sexual orientation. Rather, they view them as people who must be honored for their group membership. There is a monumental difference. Once we start viewing people in terms of their group identity, we inevitably descend into tribalism. When I penned a column last year decrying the university’s new Women’s Resource Center, several campus feminist leaders lambasted me for “betraying” the feminist community, which had done so much for “my people.” Apparently, these “people” are those who are similarly attracted to the same sex. This attitude is appalling, but hardly surprising: these women had been trained by the culture to view people as members of identity groups, rather than as individuals, with their complexities, personal interests and singularities. In the final analysis, identity politics is hoisted by its own petard. Instead of liberating minorities, it ensnares them in a cage built with the same steel used to construct the walls keeping them from the mainstream. The gay man is reduced to his sexuality, the black man to his race. That is the new face of liberation. Boy, am I excited for this new generation. Alex Knepper is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and a classical liberal columnist for The Eagle. You can reach him at

It ain’t over, Sen. Reid UNSOLICITED ADVICE

ALEX PRIEST Thanks for taking the time to read my first column. Every other week on this page you’ll read my unsolicited advice to those who I believe - need it the most. They may not think they need it. They may not want it. And they might even be a little pissed that a college student would think himself precocious enough to write something like this. But here I am, and I’m going to tell it like I see it. Dear Sen. Harry Reid: Students, you might think you know where this is going already. If you’ve followed politics at all lately you know that Mr. Reid has gotten himself in some boiling water over a few choice words he used in reference to President Obama during the 2008 campaign (namely, “lightskinned” and “negro dialect”). Amidst calls for him to retire, a never-ending battle for health care reform and abysmal polling in Nevada, it’s beginning to look like Reid is being shown the door. I beg to differ. Sen. Reid, this isn’t over yet. You can still bring this campaign back from the grave. But you need to make some changes. First, fire your campaign manager, Brandon Hall. Apprenticestyle, if you will. A quick look at his campaign experience, and I think it’s easy to see he’s not the best person for the job. After running an unsuccessful campaign for a special election House seat in 2006, he ran the campaign for Mark Begich in Alaska against former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. “But Begich won the race!” you

might protest. Of course. But he won by only the slimmest of margins — less than 4,000 votes — and let’s not forget he was running against a convicted felon. Experienced? Accomplished? Not even. And the way he’s run your campaign so far proves it. Find someone new. Second on your to-do list should be to get aggressive with your public relations tactics. You’re being bombarded with bad press. As if the scandals, tearjerking polling statistics and problems on the hill weren’t enough, now The Washington Post is even saying you and your son Rory — running for Governor of Nevada — are a burden to each other. Don’t believe it, work together with Rory to fight back hard. This is a Nevada election. Get local. Get aggressive and don’t let the press dictate your strategy. Last but by no means least, get online. With it being 2010 and all, your social media presence is laughable. On Facebook you have only 3,374 fans. And your staff doesn’t even try to pretend it’s you updating. They even refer to you in the third person. Twitter is almost as bad. Only 5,508 followers, updates that look like headlines ripped out of a press release and zero interaction with your constituency. Don’t forget, it’s not just fundraising that will win you this election. You have to reach out and connect with your voters. Services like Twitter and Facebook provide an awesome opportunity to do just that. Good luck, Sen. Reid. You’ll need it. 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

Making housing work

Courtesy of MCT CAMPUS

To meet increased on-campus housing demand, AU Housing and Dining Programs have implemented needed changes. Yet so far, the execution of plans hasn’t been quite perfect. When it comes to university housing, it seems rising upperclassmen have pulled the short straw. In order to cope with the drastic shortage of on-campus housing, AU Housing and Dining Programs has decided to institute an exhaustive list of changes including limiting beds available to rising juniors and seniors to a randomly assigned 400. By the time these are fully implemented, Letts Hall will be a freshman-only dorm, Hughes will the designated honors hall and housing on campus reserved for upperclassmen will be a rare find. Despite the angst this development has and will continue to cause, The Eagle recognizes these changes are ultimately necessary — irritating, but needed nonetheless. These short-term alterations must

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Reassessing anti-market morals Regarding Mikhail Romanov’s letter to the editor in the Dec. 3 issue of The Eagle: While Romanov’s rebuttal is at times moving, I am rather astonished at the logic he has presented in his attack on capitalism. Evictions and foreclosures hunger, even - have proven to be widely devastating consequences of the recession. I am equally angered by these outcomes. Like a student who must regretfully

be made if AU is to expand to accommodate the increased demand for housing. Moreover, it is important to realize that these changes reflect not only a physical expansion, but also a beneficial expansion of the reputation of our school. More housing is needed because more students want to attend and remain at AU. In order to sustain this progress, new students should be accommodated. At this stage, it seems that Housing and Dining Director Chris Moody has put forth a comprehensive and well-conceived plan to carry the school over until an additional housing complex can be constructed. Still, the perplexed and - at times — angry reactions from students are understandable. Much of this pushback stems

from Housing and Dining’s blunt delivery of the news. In a tactless manner that AU students have come to expect from school officials, the university community was alerted of the change by a brief e-mail less than two weeks before the beginning of the spring semester. With the housing deadline of Feb. 1 quickly approaching, students now must quickly alter their housing plans, lest they join the nearly 350 upperclassmen expected to be excluded from on-campus housing. Clearly, an earlier or more long-term notice could have led to an easier transition. It is true that Housing and Dining led several focus groups to assure that students were consulted in the change. Yet, these too left something to be desired. Despite being the

most affected demographic, upperclassmen were not specifically targeted to be included. And while the numerous planned information sessions will certainly assuage student concerns, the fact that they occur ex post facto leaves a sour taste in the mouths of many. In the end, the success of this effort leans on Housing and Dining’s genuine ear for student input. We implore Moody and the administration to sincerely listen to and address student concerns by adjusting the proposed plans as needed. To be sure: These changes are needed. These changes are appropriate. But mistakes made in the development and release of the plan must be acknowledged and avoided if it is to be accomplished.

cope with the consequences of caffeine overdose and all-nighters, our country is likely coping with the consequences of many overdoses and injections of credit by Federal Reserve and government loaning policies since 2001. It seems that the dreams of politicians to make ‘failure not an option’ within the past decade have only thrust us into an emotional panic in which the obvious solution is to increase government intervention in our so called “free market.” But we can all understand - a student who is not allowed to “crash” after so much artificial caffeine stimulation can only go so long before more seri-

ous medical consequences ensue. The more we pretend that our economy can continue to be artificially propped up, the more we delay a more serious and tragic financial crisis. But beyond policy discussions on the recession, Romanov’s query launches a moral attack on capitalism. Calling it “brutality,” his natural assumption is that we the workers have been violently oppressed by greedy businessmen. Indeed, who knew that repression of workers and customers was a sound business tactic? Who knew that respect for the right to life, liberty and property amounts to a murderous

philosophy? It is easy to throw around accusations and generalize hatred to certain ideas, yet I cannot help but ask this speaker if the scores of millions of innocent, faceless lives mercilessly tortured and buried in history in numerous states not limited to the former USSR, China, Cambodia and North Korea, all for the sake of fraternal equality and triumphant workers’ power, was not a more appropriate depiction of “brutality”? Irena Schneider President, AU Students for Liberty CAS/SIS

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JANUARY 14, 2010

news 4

AU housing faces major changes n

THE PROPOSED CHANGES: • Roper Hall is set to open in August 2010 and exclusively house University College students. • Clark Hall will open its doors in October 2010 to de-triple almost 70 freshmen. • The leases for the 100 apartments in the Berks will be maintained for upperclassmen and transfer students. • 24 single rooms will be created from small doubles. Rising juniors and seniors will be entered in a lottery for 400 available spaces. • Space in Nebraska or the Berks that is not leased for 11 1/2 months will be available for upperclassmen under the current two-semester lease. • Singles, Nebraska and some Centennial suites will be reserved for upperclassmen. • An off-campus housing coordinator position will be created within Housing and Dining. • More resources will be devoted to helping students find off-campus housing. • Letts Hall will house freshmen only and become home to many sections of UC. • The fourth and fifth floors of Hughes are set to become Honors only in the fall of 2010, with the remaining two floors converting to honors the following year. • The Honors Program offices will be moved from the Hurst Building to the first floor of Hughes.

from HOUSING on page 1

maintaining the existing online listings of available off-campus housing. Honors moves to Hughes Honors housing will be gradually moved to Hughes Hall, which currently houses two floors of honors students. The building will be exclusively for honors students by the fall of 2011. The Honors Program offices will also move from the Hurst Building to Hughes. Students displaced from Hughes’ fourth and fifth floors will receive priority to select space on Hughes’ second and third floors if they would like to remain in the building next year. “I think it’s better to have honors more integrated, because you have a choice between South side and North side,” said Jeremy Cohen, a sophomore in the School of International Service and a student in the honors program. “Sticking all honors kids on North side perpetuates a stereotype about honors kids and North side.” Students’ input In his letter to the campus community, Moody said he met with student leaders to help brainstorm solutions to the housing shortage. Student Government President Andy MacCracken and Residence Hall Association President Courtney Klamar were both directly consulted about these changes in a handful of confidential meetings in the fall. Klamar said the method “[did] not incorporate the most student feedback possible, but it was definitely an effort to get student feedback.” In a message board post to

members of the Facebook group “Loyal Opposition to American University’s New Stance on Student Housing,” MacCracken responded to student concerns. “I don’t defend or represent [Housing and Dining’s] decision, but only wish to help more people understand the effort that went behind [the recent changes],” he wrote. “I will do all I can to make this process as inclusive and helpful for any upperclassmen wishing to return to AU housing or who want to go find off-campus housing.” Housing and Dining also held focus groups last September, in which 120 students participated, according to Moody. Resident assistants, other SG and RHA leaders, first-year students, international and transfer students who had requested housing all participated in the discussion. Upperclassmen were not included as a group, because at the time, the current plan was in its infancy, Moody said. Additionally, Vice President of Campus Life Gail Hanson distributed a survey to all undergraduate and graduate students in September, asking about living preferences, amenities and price points for future housing options. Moody said that the information available to him suggested that the problem would get worse in coming years. Several town hall-style meetings are scheduled throughout the month of January for students to express their questions and concerns. A meeting for rising juniors and seniors will be held today, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in Letts Formal Lounge.

Plan met by tepid student support Student reaction to the proposed housing changes has been widespread, taking place both online and across campus. Hours after Chris Moody, executive director of Housing and Dining Programs, sent an e-mail announcing the changes to the housing policy, Daniel Lincoln, a sophomore in the School of International Service, created the Facebook group “Loyal Opposition to American University’s New Stance on Student Housing.” Lincoln said he is upset that he cannot return to the fifth floor of Hughes next year because of its conversion into an honors floor. “I understand that the university really does have to make some interim changes before they start going on with the future of the campus plan,” Lincoln said. “We just seem to be caught in the middle of the changes.” Both Moody and Vice President of Campus Life Gail Hanson said they have been reading the Facebook group, and Hanson said that some good ideas have been floated there. “There are all kind of voices in there, and they make some contribution to the dialogue,” she said. As of Wednesday night, the group had 528 members. Moody said the reaction so far from the student body has been both predictable and surprising. “We knew it would be difficult news for students to receive,” he said. “What has been surprising, I think, is the number of parents who felt that [their students] had been guaranteed housing. We’ve heard from parents. There was no guarantee for four years of housing for any of the folks on campus. Moody said he has been explaining the situation to people with concerns. “I’m certainly empathetic with students or parents who had gotten a message at some point throughout their recruitment process, but I try to reinforce that there was no guarantee for any of the students who are affected by this housing change,” Moody said. In the meantime, students can express their comments and concerns at several information sessions throughout the month of January. The first session, for rising juniors and seniors, was held Wednesday night in Hughes, where many students expressed negative feelings about the changes. Both Moody and Hanson attended Wednesday’s meeting. Aviva Cohen, a sophomore in SIS, said she was upset with the plan to make Letts, Clark and Roper freshmen-only dorms. “Some of my best friends on my floor last year were upperclassmen,” she said. “The only reason they’re segregating is to limit our options.” Lisa Sprowls, also a sophomore in SIS, agreed. “There’s nobody to show the ropes of the school,” she said. -ETHAN KLAPPER AND TAMAR HALLERMAN

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D.C. marriage bill passes, faces federal review By ASHLEY DEJEAN Eagle Contributing Writer Opponents of gay marriage in D.C. are fighting to add a referendum to the 2010 ballot that would put the marriage rights of gay citizens up to a popular vote. These opponents have taken necessary steps with the Board of Elections and Ethics to request an initiative on the ballot. They have taken the board to trial in the Superior Court twice since June 2009 for refusing to allow the voters’ referendum. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed

the bill late December, which officially allowed same-sex couples to get married in the District. Congress currently has a 30day review in which they can block the bill. This review period ends at the beginning of next week, and it seems as though the bill will stand unchallenged by Congress according to Canyon Bosler, a sophomore in the School of International Service, who volunteers at DC for Marriage and DC Clergy United for Marriage. “In the history of District home rule, it’s been uncommon for Congress to intervene,” Bo-

sler said. “Primarily they have only changed our laws through budgetary means through cutting services.” Currently, 39 Republicans in Congress have signed an amicus brief supporting the referendum, but they lack the support to turn it into legislation, according to The Washington Post. While it is unlikely Congress will change anything at the moment, a future GOP-dominated Congress might, according to SIS sophomore and Vice President of the AU College Republicans Josh Jacobs. Congress has the consti-

tutional right of home rule and could force D.C. to a referendum in the future. “When the GOP does take back the Congress, the backing of many, many Democrats would probably make an overturning of the status very easy to do,” Jacobs said. The current case in the Superior Court regarding the proposed referendum will not likely stray from the ruling by the Board of Elections and Ethics, according to sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and Director of AU Democrats for LGBT Rights

Maggie Campbell. “Although the decision is still pending, I believe the D.C. Superior Court will choose to uphold the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics’ decision,” Campbell said. “The board confirmed twice that marriage equality in the district is protected under the 1977 Human Rights Act.” Bo Hammond, CAS junior and President of the AU College Democrats, said Congress should not have this constitutional power over D.C. since the district has no representation. “Congress should let D.C. de-

cide it’s own fate until D.C. is represented in Congress,” Hammond said. Campbell thinks that whatever happens in the District will set a precedent for other areas in the country looking to legalize gay marriage, she said. “The nation is watching D.C.; the marriage equality decision here will serve as an example for other states that are on the verge of legalizing marriage for samesex couples,” Campbell said. You can reach this writer at

Operatic alumna aims for crown Site links AU course catalog, student opinions

By SARAH PARNASS Eagle Staff Writer

A former AU Eagle hopes to soar above the competition in the 2010 Miss America Pageant. Jen Corey, a graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2009, won the title of Miss District of Columbia in July, qualifying her for the national pageant. Corey said her voice professor and musician-in-residence Linda Allison encouraged her to audition for the Miss District of Columbia Pageant during her sophomore year. “I actually had never known anybody who had ever done a pageant before,” Corey said. “I just went on a whim. I didn’t really think anything was going to happen with it.” That year, judges named Corey second runner-up for the title. In 2008, Corey reached first runner-up, before winning the contest in 2009. For the Miss America Pageant, scheduled for Jan. 30 in Las Vegas, Corey will use her operatic abilities to woo the judges as part of the talent portion of the competition. As an AU student, Corey studied vocal performance and criminal justice. She appeared as a featured soprano soloist with the AU Symphony Orchestra after winning the 2008-2009 AU Concerto and Aria Competition. For the Miss America Pageant, each contestant was required to raise $500 for the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children’s hospitals. This year, Corey said she raised close to $11,500, placing her second among all contestants. That, in addition to the funds she accumulated for the charity during her time in

the state competitions, brings her total to just under $20,000 raised in three years, she said. As a contestant, Corey said she also had to select a cause that she found important on which to run her campaign. Corey entitled her platform “Let’s Talk Trash.” The platform, stemming from a family history in the waste management industry, promotes recycling. To demonstrate one way of going green, Corey teamed up with DC Goodwill for a unique stunt. Corey and the DC Goodwill fashionista, Gillian Kirkpatrick, were filmed during their attempt to outfit Corey’s new apartment almost entirely in purchases from the nonprofit outlet. The Miss District of Columbia Web site also sports a photograph of Corey in full regalia — evergreen evening gown, sparkling tiara, Miss District of Columbia sash and strappy heels — posing between two monstrously large recycling trucks. “Green is the new black,” and “Recycling can be sexy!” the captions proclaim. Junior in the School of International Science and friend of Corey, John Schuler, said he was not surprised to see Corey in the running for Miss America 2010. “[Corey] is just an amazingly talented and impressive person, not to mention beautiful,” Schuler said. “She is very smart, very driven and just a great person overall. If anyone deserves to be in a pageant like Miss America, it’s Jen.” Schuler said Corey’s operatic performance, dedication to her charity and environmentallyfriendly platform will set her apart from the competition. Since winning the Miss District of Columbia competition, Corey has appeared at such events as the Gala Hispanic Theatre Benefit and the U.S. Marine

By TAMAR HALLERMAN Eagle Staff Writer


CAPITOL JEWEL — Jen Corey, a 2009 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, will compete in the Miss America Pageant Jan. 30. Corps Healthy Kids Run. Corey said her preparations for the pageant began just after she won the Miss District of Columbia title. “Since I was crowned, I’ve been working on mock interviews at least once a week,” Corey said. She also said she physically works out with a trainer twice a day and will be living with her trainer in the week before she leaves for the competition to

avoid being “distracted by other things going on.” Corey and her supporters were given a proper send off last night at the Institute of World Politics on 16th Street. You can reach this staff writer at sparnass@theeagleonline. com.

A new academic planning site combining AU’s course catalog and student input will aid users in selecting future courses, according to Student Government President Andy MacCracken. CourseRank combines the student evaluations of teaching found on the AU portal and, MacCracken said. “CourseRank really makes a more standardized and formal way to share your views on what the classes are,” he said. “You have incentive for accurately saying what your grade was on there and rating what your experience was because you can also use all that information as an academic planning tool.” Upon first logging in, students are prompted to rate three classes they have previously taken via a five-star system. Users can write an assessment of a professor or a class and share their final grade.

They can also search for classes they are interested in taking to see what other students thought of the class and professor. A schedule and planner are also available on the site. MacCracken said he was first approached by the site’s creators early last fall. He ultimately decided to participate because it is more AU-specific than other options and free to the university, he said. MacCracken is currently working with the University Registrar for possible integration. He also said SG officials are aiming to get all class syllabi online for prospective students to see. The brainchild of three Stanford University students, the site has now expanded to 18 other universities. George Washington University is the only other Washington D.C.-area university to subscribe to the site. You can reach this staff writer at thallerman@theeagleonline. com.

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JANUARY 14, 2010




THE GLEE OF NEW TV — The end of the holiday season brings us the best gift of all: the return of new episodes of our favorite television series. J.J. Abrams brings fans of ‘Lost’ back to sanity after five seasons of complete confusion and enthrallment with the final season. Those who hopped on the ‘Glee’ train this past fall also have reason to smile, as the show returns in April and has recently been extended for a second season. For now though, all eyes are on Conan O’Brien as he decides to which timeslot and channel he’ll lend his comedic talent.

Get ‘Lost’ in 2010’s old, new favorites By CAITLIN E. MOORE Eagle Staff Writer There’s something about the winter that tends to bring out the lazy in all of us. The bitter, cold wind makes sitting in front of a TV in your warm room that much more appealing (especially while wearing the Snuggie that you got for the holidays and wear to your roommates’s chagrin). The Scene is here to help you skip past all the reruns and find the new (and mostly returning) shows that are filling the spring schedule. Life Unexpected According to its commercials, the CW’s new show “Life Unexpected” is “heralded as ‘“Juno”-meets-

“Gilmore Girls.”’ Whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen. However, the premise seems unique enough. The show is about a young girl, Lux, who is under foster care and seeking to be emancipated. She soon finds that her biological parents are more interesting than she first thought. In an unusual decision by a judge, Lux is denied emancipation and ordered to live with her reunited family. Hijinx and emotional turmoil will undoubtedly ensue, and — if the “Juno” references are any indication — a lot of trendy slang and references that no one in our generation actually uses will be plentiful. American Idol Say what you will about the

cheesiness or actual validity of the program, but we’re all at least semi-interested in “American Idol.” Whether or not you can remember who won season five (Taylor Hicks) or have every magazine cover that Adam Lambert has ever graced, even the best of us tend to get sucked into, at the very least, the terrible singers in the audition rounds (William Hung, anyone?). This season of “Idol” promises to be epic with Ellen Degeneres as one of the new judges and Simon Cowell’s recent announcement that this will be his last season with the show. Lost Hate it or love it, “Lost” is one of the most interesting and popu-

lar shows to hit primetime airwaves in the last decade (much to NBC president Jeff Zucker’s surprise, as he passed on the show idea). Its viewers are devoted, sticking with the show through ridiculous plot twists, flashbacks and supernatural creatures, hoping for some kind of redemption. The hour-long series recap followed by a two-hour premiere for the sixth and final season will no doubt reel in a monumental audience, but one can only imagine how much attention the actual finale of the series will attract. (There was even a petition for President Obama to move one of his State of the Union addresses so it didn’t interfere with the return episode.)

CONE ZONE — Thanks to a dwindling audience across the board, NBC has been forced into a number of tough decisions for their late-night lineup. Unfortunately, the consistently hilarious Conan O’Brien is poised to get the shortest straw when it comes to handing out time slots.

Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien released a statement Tuesday saying that he would not host “The Tonight Show” during a 12:05 a.m. timeslot behind Jay Leno. It is funny how the only person with some sense in the NBC late night shuffle is the one getting the boot. O’Brien is no stranger to NBC executives looming over his show. The latest quagmire between him and the network is certainly not his first. When he started on “Late Night,” the show was constantly under the threat of cancellation. With time, O’Brien established a style that was absurdist yet accessible. “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” ran for 16 years and looked like the perfect warm-up to the biggest gig post-primetime, “The Tonight Show.” Now that O’Brien has become a star, his decision not to host any show on NBC called “The Tonight Show” that airs at any other time other than 11:35 p.m. is both the smart choice and his only choice.

24 Like “Lost,” the first episode of “24’s” eighth season will debut with a two-hour premiere on Jan. 17. Like “Glee,” fans will be rabid with anticipation, as their revered

By YOHANA DESTA Eagle Staff Writer

Late night disappointment at NBC Eagle Staff Writer

Though the beloved FOX newbie won’t return until April for the second half of its first season, most self-proclaimed “gleeks” will be counting down until its debut. The show’s success — on both the TV and the Billboard charts — is undeniable. Though there are at least three months until the show returns to primetime, viewers can rest easy — “Glee” just got picked up for a second season.

show will finally be returning to the television screen after a long, eight-month hiatus. Viewers are likely more than ready to accept Jack Bauer back into their schedules, despite how long it’s been since they’ve seen him last. Anything with Conan O’Brien The man is a comedic genius and should gain a fellowship of viewers whatever channel and time slot he ends up occupying. Viva Conando. You can reach this staff writer at

New year brings new music to District venues




Many O’Brien fans are quick to blame Leno for the current mess at NBC, but that is just unfair. Leno clearly left his post at 11:35 before he actually intended. It is certainly not Leno’s fault that NBC thought he should move aside, and, in a later decision, have a 10 p.m. show five nights a week. NBC is responsible. Leno’s ratings sagged too much to keep affiliates happy, and in turn, hurt O’Brien’s lead-in (which would have been boosted with a highly-rated drama in the 10 p.m. slot). The call by NBC to move Leno back to 11:35 means that if O’Brien had decided to stay, it would be a huge slap in the face. To move a half-hour back would be a demotion — a sign of failure on O’Brien’s part that would be unfair, but very real. The likely scenario now is that Leno will return to his old stomping ground and continue his old schtick of headlines and “JayWalking.” In all likelihood, Leno will get NBC back on top in the late night ratings. Now there is the inevitable question of where O’Brien should move. There have been rumors

that he will head to FOX where O’Brien would be able to compete directly with Leno and Letterman. This makes the most sense because the network is without a weeknight late night talk show host and he would likely have more freedom to do what he wants than if he stayed with NBC. The problem with this is that FOX has a bad track record with late night hosts like Joan Rivers and Chevy Chase. Neither of them, however, have had the experience that O’Brien brings to the table. The other option that has been floating around is that O’Brien can make the move to cable. For comedy fans, the idea that there could be a two-hour block of “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and then O’Brien would make for comedy nirvana. Unfortunately, cable seems to be an incredibly unlikely destination since the pay and audience would be significantly less than a spot on a major network. Wherever O’Brien lands, he will hopefully get more respect than he received while he was a member of the NBC family. In his

statement announcing he would not host a 12:05 a.m. “Tonight Show,” O’Brien displayed not only his intelligence, but his class. Besides the damage it would do to his image, O’Brien displayed concern for Jimmy Fallon, the new host of “Late Night,” who would have had to start a half-hour later if O’Brien was to stay. This acknowledgement of Fallon and his program displays a respect that we have not seen from Leno. When all is said and done, the people who will look the worst are the people who deserve it: the NBC executives. Things will go back to how they were for a while until the redheaded giant finds a new home. Once O’Brien finds a place that accepts him for all his wackiness and absurdity, he will once again string-dance his way to the top of late night television. You can reach this staff writer at EDITOR’S NOTE: Team Conan.

While some musicians focus on both their music and personal appearance, alt-rock band “We Are Scientists” balance their serious music with hilarious personalities. Upon visiting their homepage, one will see advertising for “equine upholstery,” or simply, horse blankets. It’s such a contrast that you wonder what the hell these guys are all about. But one listen to any of their singles like “Chick Lit” or “After Hours” will have you hooked. Made up of vocalist and guitarist Keith Murray, bassist Christ Cain and drummer Michael Tapper, WAS combine angsty lyrics with a quintessential indie rock verve. The band are working on a third album, tapping Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows to join the team. The band are touring now, and you can catch them at the Black Cat on Jan. 21. And while the music will be both serious and sarcastic, the band are sure to provide some witty banter in between songs. If you’re serious about going, heed the advice that the group provides on their Web site: “A fairly strict rock show: belts and some form of orthodontics (braces, retainer, etc) required.” If WAS is still too ambiguous for you, how about a band that’s self-explanatory? This is where the Screaming Females come in. If you don’t like females screaming, then this is not the band for you. But banish thoughts of a typical screamo band a la Hawthorne Heights or Underoath that make you want to swath yourself in black and wear heavy chains; think more along the lines of the punky screams of the

Strokes, accompanied by psychedelic pop rock and shredding guitar solos. Comprised of Marissa Paternoster on vocals and guitar, Jarrett Dougherty on drums and King Mike on bass, the Screaming Females are the gnarliest punk rock band to come out of New Brunswick, N.J. Paternoster is almost a onewoman show, filling venues with the sound of her wailing guitar solos and perfectly pitched howls. She can throw down and slam harder than many male guitarists of today, and her screams define the sound of the band. With a retro feel and heart-racing guitar solos, the Screaming Females are a mustsee for any self-respecting rock ’n’ roll aficionado. They’ll be performing at the Black Cat on Feb. 7. But if scientists and screaming females don’t quite hit the spot, how about a techno band headed by a flaming redhead with androgynous flair? La Roux are a two-piece band fresh out of Brixton, England, consisting of lead singer Elly Jackson and co-writer and co-producer Ben Langmaid. With a chart-topping song under their belt, La Roux are the new hip synth-pop duo, garnering just as much press for their futuristic sound as their colorful and playful image. With “Bulletproof ” and “In for the Kill” filling airwaves everywhere from clubs to radio stations to TV commercials, La Roux’s infectious blend of dance and electronica is instantly recognizable and catchy. Jackson’s vocals are clear and ridiculously high, soaring above the mélange of techno rhythms. With their debut album already n

see NEW YEAR on page 6


JANUARY 14, 2010

the scene 6

Elvis graces National Portrait Gallery By OLIVIA STITILIS Eagle Staff Writer Second semester has arrived, and with it the winter chill we love to complain about so much. Gone is the hope of a rare 60degree fall day and here to stay are winter coats, rosy cheeks and never-ending comments about the cold weather as we wait for the shuttle to appear. Though the cold forces everyone inside, instead of fighting it, why not take advantage of some bitter weekend afternoons and spend them inside the warmth of some of the District’s best museums? A new year brings new and exciting exhibits pleasing everyone from the classic art lover to the more quirky photography enthusiast. Also, in case you were too bogged down with finals in December, January provides the perfect opportunity to see some of the past year’s best exhibits for the last time. Whether old or new exhibits, there’s no excuse not to spend a chilly Saturday at the many museums Washington, D.C. has to offer. Here are just a few of your (free) options. Though the National Portrait Gallery might seem an unlikely choice to house such a hip exhibit featuring a pop culture icon, think again, as starting Jan. 8 (and through Aug. 22) the museum will be displaying “One Life: Echoes of Elvis” to honor the 75th anniversary of the King. According to the National Portrait Gallery’s Web site, “to this day, both the historical Elvis Presley and the fantasy-based vision of Elvis are the subject of poetry, literature, music, film and the visual arts.” The exhibit will showcase im-




RETURN OF THE KING — If you’ve got the time to visit the District’s museums and galleries, you can stumble across some great exhibits, such as the National Portrait Gallery’s “One Life: Echoes of Elvis,” a collection that follows the life and fame of Elvis Presley. Galleries such as the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street offer deeper works, such as the images of store mannequins in Africa taken by Washington, D.C. photographer Frank Hallam Day. ages of Elvis’ life ranging from his earliest years to moments late in his career. The images are done by an array of artists including Andy Warhol, Red Grooms and Ralph Wolfe Cowan. This is an ideal option for the art lover who wants something a bit different

than the classic Matisse or Van Gogh. For more information, visit the museum’s Web site at www. For a more thought-provoking outing, head to the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street, currently featuring images by local D.C.

photographer Frank Hallam Day. According to a Washington Post article, “his nine large-scale color photos depict store mannequins he’s discovered on his extensive travels in black Africa. Almost every mannequin he ever saw there was white.”

seeing the eccentric outfits Jackson is sure to wear. But if even La Roux seems too tame and bubbly, then turn your attention to electro rapper Amanda Blank. She’s kitschy, flashy and she raps about anything and everything. The Phildelphia-based artist was a member of performance-art group Sweatheart, and has collaborated with alt-rapper Spank Rock, Ghostface Killah, M.I.A. and Santigold before even-

tually going solo. She came out with her first album, “I Love You,” in August 2009. The album’s first single “Might Like You Better” is a straightforward and dirty rap all about sex. While this shows Blank’s wild side, she also tones it down with the sad and honest “A Love Song.” The song is simple, focusing on the honest lyrics that possess a story-like quality about them. But Blank’s style is all about

the danceable hip-hop tunes and pumping electronic synths. She’s sure to bring out the beast in all her audiences. If you want to get raunchy and sweaty, Amanda Blank is coming to Rock N Roll Hotel on Jan. 30.


You can reach this staff writer at

Scene assignment meetings, Thursdays 5 p.m., MGC 252

from NEW YEAR on page 5

platinum in the UK, La Roux are embarking on a worldwide tour, titled “The Gold Tour.” With their music videos playing constantly on MTV, La Roux are set to take over the United States. They’ll be taking the stage on Feb. 2 at the 9:30 club. With an epic dance floor, the concert is sure to be a wild party, electrifying the audience. Even if electronica isn’t your thing, just go for the sake of

are still in windows. The exhibit will be open through Jan. 16. For more information, visit the gallery’s Web site at Day’s work is also currently being featured in the State Museum of Berlin and the Baltimore Museum of Art. His other photo collections include American waterscapes, ship wrecks and panoramics of Berlin. For a more contemporary visual experience, head to Arlington, Va., where “Image/Project” is on display at the Arlington Arts Center. Though at first the exhibit may seem rather simplistic, as the images are not of especially unusual subjects, it is just the opposite. Instead of focusing on the subject, the exhibit strives to display the range of the camera, the different mediums it can capture and the effects that a camera can elicit. According to the Arlington Art Center’s Web site, “the show reflects the ways in which contemporary artists tend to approach photography and video.” Many of the artists presented here view the camera as either a means for documenting or presenting cross-disciplinary projects, or as a tool for inquiry into the way we perceive and live in the world.” The exhibit features 17 projects by 19 different photographers and videographers. “Image/Project” runs through Saturday, Jan. 16. For more information about the display or the Arlington Arts Center in general, visit www.arlingtonartscenter. org.

Especially noteworthy about the mannequins, and the exhibit as a whole, is how African shopkeepers let the mannequins show wear, alluding how beauty is far from a perfect white canvas. Many of the mannequins display very obvious wear and tear, yet

You can reach this staff writer at

BARRY LAW is... faculty focused on you Professor Patrick E. Tolan, Jr., founder and faculty advisor to Barry Law’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, encourages his students to serve the community. “One of the most fundamental skills we, as professors, can provide our future attorneys is compassion. This is a skill that cannot easily be taught in the classroom, but is quickly developed as they help those who are less fortunate.”

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JANUARY 14, 2010

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CLASSIFIEDS LOOKING FOR A CAREGIVER Warm, loving family looking for after-school care for 6 year old girl in exchange for a private, comfortable apartment complete with bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom and private entrance in the family’s home. Prefer a grad student (education major a plus) who could start work around 3 pm and finish by 7 pm or earlier most evenings. Duties would include transportation to and from after school activities (car provided during work hours), preparing basic meals for the child, and providing a stimulating environment for a growing mind. The home is located in the Palisades, near Sibley hospital, on the D6 bus line. Contact:

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Love of music transforms AU radio waves DJ TALES

CLAUDIA NUÑEZ Being a disc jockey for WVAU is like a box of assorted chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get, and I mean this in a million ways. Anyone who loves music has no reason not to visit and click on “Listen Live” right now — or at least until you finish reading this. It doesn’t matter if you listen to indie music (what is indie music anyway?), musicians with symbols in their names (like Ke$ha or 3OH!3), trance/downtempo, rap or even communist Latin music from the ‘60s. There is a show for you. For instance, if you like music with poppin’ beats AND female vocals (like La Roux, Uh Huh Her, The Gossip, Dragonette) you might like my show, “¡Conquistadoring with Claudia Nunez!” from midnight to 2 a.m. on Wednesdays. If you haven’t heard of our college radio station before, WVAU is a student-run, onlinestreamed radio station that caters to the many different genres of music that students of American University listen to. Each show is two hours long; some have themes, some give you advice in between songs and some just play awesome music. We even have DJs who play vinyl and mix their shows in real time. And if listeners are lucky, DJs sometimes bring in musicians for live sessions. And anyone who wants to see the musical magic happen can come to MGC 256 and wave at the DJ awkwardly through the window! Anything is possible when it comes to WVAU. Listeners never know what new music the DJ might introduce or what amazing bands are going to come to WVAU-sponsored Capitol Punishment shows in the Kay Spiri-

tual Center. Open mic nights every month in Battelle play host to everyone from solo singer/ songwriters to performers who will blow your face away with amazing covers of popular ‘90s R&B. The lovely e-board of WVAU wants all us DJs to expand our knowledge of music, and so they give us musical candy. The library of WVAU is so vast that it includes everything from period music from the Smithsonian to Lady Sovereign to the entire Beatles discography (the re-mastered one, of course) to current Brit sensation Adele. Every week the rack of CDs in rotation (each DJ plays about 10 songs from the rack during their show) changes, and the music is always diverse and never lacks luster. So even if you hate female artists, and therefore wouldn’t listen to my themed show, you still have at least 10 tracks of new music from record labels that will be played. I can say that being a DJ at WVAU has opened up my musical perspectives like no other. Although this will only be my second semester DJing, I can tell you that it has been my favorite extracurricular activity since coming to AU (tied with writing for The Scene, of course). I’ve always considered myself well-rounded when it comes to music, but more often than not, if I stop by the station and listen to someone’s show I won’t recognize what my fellow DJs play on their shows. These songs are amazing, and I leave learning about another artist making awesome music. Everyone at the station always has a new album or band to rave about, or a story about the band they just saw play at the 9:30 club. Let me put it this way: no one is forced to have a radio show. Each DJ has a show because he or she truly has a passion and love for music. More importantly, however, he or she wants to share this amazing music with you. You can reach this columnist at


‘ARRY POTTAH! — Harry, Ron and Hermione all return this year for the next film in the venerable ‘Harry Potter’ series. The big releases of this year all feature returning characters from past beloved series, including Woody and Buzz of Toy Story, Tony Stark of the Marvel universe and a grown-up Alice in Wonderland.

Past film heroes save 2010 By MICHAEL W. RICHARDSON Eagle Staff Writer We here at the Eagle are optimists. Sure, we have a cynical streak, but every year we’re just hoping that it’s going to be the best year ever — at least for the entertainment that will keep us distracted enough from our own lives. So in that spirit, here are a few of the films we’re most looking forward to losing ourselves in over the new year. Scott Pilgrim Versus the World The acting juggernaut that is Michael Cera will further expand his ever-elastic ability to transform into a role with yet another mumbling, bumbling teenager on the front lines of the long, unwinnable fight against awkwardness. Luckily for Cera, this may be the role that fits his sensibilities best. The comic series by Bryan Lee O’Malley follows the misadventures of the titular Scott Pilgrim, who, in order to win the heart of his new crush, must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends (including a video game duel with a warlock and a battle to the death with a robot built by a pair of identical twins). The movie plans to combine the entire series into one epic struggle against this Legion of Doom for the Millennial set, hopefully with all of the indie rock and videogame references that made the comic an instant cult classic. Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton’s movies have often relied on their visuals over their substance. For every genuinely emotional film like “Edward Scissorhands,” there’s a sterile dud like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to balance it out. The new “Al-

ice in Wonderland” may well be the latter, but its promised visuals may be enough to carry along a bizarre story. Set more than a decade after the events of “Through the Looking Glass,” a college-age Alice now has to defeat the minions of the tyrannical Red Queen. The film features a great cast — including Burton’s typical muses Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter — who might just be able to breath fresh life into these classic children’s characters. And we can almost guarantee it will look fantastic.

line. Featuring John Cusack, Craig Robinson of “The Office” and Rob Heubel of “The Daily Show with John Stewart,” the main characters step into a hot tub for some relaxation and are sent far back into the past to a less civilized time — 1986. Supplementing such an admittedly stupid idea with a shamelessly crude script and some genuinely talented comic actors might just make this movie more than a head-scratching title.

Shutter Island

Coming on the heels of the surprising success of the first “Iron Man,” the sequel once again promises the same mixture of impeccable action and wry humor that helped inject new energy into the current resurgence of superhero movies. Alongside Robert Downey, Jr. as mega-rich inventor and industrialist Tony Stark, the sequel will feature Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson. And now that the world knows exactly who is behind that iron mask, it can be expected that the film will include a whole new layer of intrigue and suspense for its characters.

Martin Scorsese often falters when stepping away from his breadand-butter crime movies, but “Shutter Island” has a great pedigree. Based on the Dennis Lehane thriller of the same name, Scorsese’s first feature since winning his first Oscar pays homage to the horror films that helped hone his sensibilities. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the director’s most prominent talent, the film looks to be the most visual of Scorsese’s films since “Gangs of New York” but with a much smaller scope limited to a mysterious asylum that holds a terrible secret. Paramount delayed the release so they wouldn’t have to spend money promoting it for last year’s Oscar considerations, but the extra time might give the movie’s stylishness an extra bit of polish before it comes out. Hot Tub Time Machine With a name like that, what could go wrong? But unlike the films “Snakes on a Plane” or “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus,” the filmmakers behind “HTTM” are fully in on the joke, meaning that they will hopefully fall on the right side of the very fine genius/travesty

Iron Man 2

Toy Story 3 Since Pixar made the first “Toy Story” 15 years ago, they have been on an incredible streak. After releasing movie after movie to critical ravings and great popularity, they are again returning to the characters that established them as the best name in animation. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are both back to voice Buzz Lightyear and Woody in a tale that sends the toys to a daycare center where they must avoid being smashed to bits by careless toddlers. While more movies should realisti-

cally feature small children as unrepentant and destructive villains, Pixar will surely inject their most precious creation with more of the wit and pathos that has widened the appeal of their animation to every generation. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part I It’s the new and penultimate movie based on the last book of the Harry Potter series. It’s being helmed by David Yates, the same director who made the last two movies even better than the books they were based on. And it features all of the characters and actors you’ve grown to love over the last decade. Let’s face it: you probably already have your ticket. The Green Hornet While Iron Man 2 may be enough superhero for most audiences, there’s more than a few reasons to get excited for this often overlooked vigilante verde. First, it’s being directed by Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Be Kind Rewind”), meaning that it will likely have the same campy, DIY aesthetics perfectly suited to an old-time radio show turned television series. The ever-thinning Seth Rogen plays the hero, but watch out for Christopher Waltz as the villain hoping to create a confederacy of crime syndicates in order to consolidate power. Waltz’s performance as the villainous Hans Landa in last year’s “Inglourious Basterds” was equal parts outlandish and horrifying, so here’s hoping he can give us a repeat performance that might be just as memorable. You can reach this staff writer at

The Week in Fun: Know Your City THURS 14

FRI 15 THU 27

SAT 16

SUN 17

MON 18


Rent 8 p.m. WHERE: Church Street Theater, 1742 Church St. N.W. METRO: Dupont Circle (red line) INFO: The Church Street Theater stages Jonathan Larson’s popular rock musical about a group of musicians and artists struggling to survive in 1980s New York City. COST: $30 CONTACT: For more information, call the box office at 703-892-0202.

Exhibit: Clothing the Rebellious Soul-Revolution 1963-1973 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily WHERE: Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, 805 21st St. N.W. METRO: Foggy Bottom-GWU (orange and blue lines) INFO: This exhibit showcases the clothing and accessories worn by the free-spirited hippies of the 1960s and 1970s. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call the Gallery at 202-994-1525.

Music: Four Year Strong 6:30 p.m. WHERE: The Rock N Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. N.E. METRO: New York Ave/Florida Ave/ Gallaudet (red line) INFO: The pop punk band from Massachusetts performs with The Bled, Title Fight and This Time Next Year. COST: $14 CONTACT: For more information, call the Rock N Roll Hotel at 202388-7625.

Exhibit: Keeping History — Plains Indian Ledger Drawings 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily WHERE: National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. METRO: Federal Triangle (orange and blue lines) INFO: This exhibit displays 19th century drawings from the Native Americans living in the Northern and Southern Plains. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call the Smithsonian at 202-6331000.

Music: India Arie and the Let Freedom Ring Choir 6 p.m. WHERE: John F. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. N.W. METRO: Foggy Bottom-GWU (orange and blue lines) INFO: The Grammy-winning R&B vocalist leads the annual musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call the Kennedy Center at 202-4674600.

Open Mic Poetry 9 p.m. WHERE: Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. N.W. METRO: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo (yellow and green lines) INFO: Audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies and musicians from across the D.C. area. COST: $4 CONTACT: For more information, call Busboys and Poets at 202-3877638.




JANUARY 14, 2010

ANDREW TOMLINSON n Sports Editor 202.885.1404

FH seniors seek to keep their AU ties By KATE GREUBEL Eagle Contributing Writer As many students were glad to be done with their 8:30 a.m. classes at the end of last semester, six AU field hockey seniors reluctantly said goodbye to their 7 a.m. practices and pre-practice conditioning, letting go of a large part of their college experience. Athletes Anne-Meike De Wiljes, Savannah Graybill, Emily Stovicek, Alyssa Poorman, Carley Boyce and Rachel Carney recently completed their final field hockey season as AU students in November, winning the Patriot League Championship for the seventh consecutive year. The batch of seniors has received national and regional recognition for their play at AU. De Wiljes was named to the 2009 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America Second Team and was the 2008 and 2009 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. Stovicek was named to the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad for three consecutive seasons. Graybill was selected to the All-Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team in both 2008 and 2009, while Poorman received Patriot League Goalie of the Week honors multiple times throughout her career at AU. Of the six athletes, only De Wiljes, Poorman, Stovicek, and Boyce were recruited. Graybill looked at AU first for academic reasons, although the school’s field hockey team was a deciding factor in her attendance; Carney walkedon her freshman year. Many may think playing a Division I sport deprives a studentathlete of “the college experience.” Instead, field hockey provided the girls with the same friendship, support and development found in sororities and clubs. “Field Hockey taught me some incredible teamwork skills and I found some lifelong friends,” Stovicek said. “I also learned how to manage my time. I am bored for the first time in my life without field hockey.” Coaches Steve Jennings and Sarah Thorn Krombolz also enhanced the players’ four years at AU. “We are trying to win in the right way,” Carney said. “Our coaches don’t negatively punish us. They are trying to get the best out of us by being a really good support system for us.” Providing both a chance to unite as a team and escape campus, an early season trip was the highlight each year for each of the three seniors. The team’s 2007 trip to Chicago was their favorite because the team was strong and the players were given time to explore the city. In addition to winning all their games, the field the team played on bordered Lake Michigan. Although the girls will continue to see their former teammates

during their free time, Graybill said she thinks their relationship will inevitably change. “It’s going to be strange seeing them build for the next season. I am going to miss seeing the girls everyday on a regular basis,” Graybill said. The six seniors are not allowed to practice with the team in preparation for next year’s season but can compete against their former teammates — a scrimmage the seniors would like to see happen. “We are still a part of the team but not directly on it,” Boyce said. Looking back over their last season with their team, the seniors all have advice and hopes for the success of the program next year. “I want to find out if the team really believes they can reach their goals. Saying it and believing it are two different things,” Carney said. “I want to see them make it to the Elite Eight.” Keeping the tradition of winning the Patriot League Championship is also important to the seniors, as well as beating Maryland — a victory that will break a fouryear losing streak for AU. Building a bond that connects all players, seniors through freshmen, has been a new focus of the team and one that De Wiljes said will continue to set AU apart from their competition. “[Other teams] don’t have as much passion. They don’t look like they are having fun,” De Wiljes said. “I really don’t think they are a family like we are.” This semester, the girls are focusing on finishing out their college education and planning their next steps. Stovicek has accepted a job offer from an accounting firm in Maryland, while De Wiljes plans to attend graduate school in Amsterdam. Both Boyce, a health promotions major, and Poorman, an environmental studies major, hope to stay in the D.C.-area postgraduation. Carney will be returning to her home state of California and Graybill has not set plans but is looking forward to using her broadcast journalism major in the D.C. area. Many of the girls hope to have time for field hockey after college, be it coaching or playing in a recreational league. Pick-up leagues are rare in the United States, something the seniors would like to change, but De Wiljes will be able to join a club team in Amsterdam. Despite uncertain futures, the girls know that they will make their way to Jacobs Field as often as possible to cheer on their former teammates. “Our class is especially close with the junior class because they are the class that has been with us the longest,” Graybill said. “They have already been asking us to come back for games.” You can reach this writer at

Men’s basketball drops first Patriot League game By TOM SCHAD Eagle Contributing Writer Despite confidence-building wins at DePaul and Brown over the break, the AU men’s basketball team was

Men’s Basketball AU: Lehigh:

Washington, D.C.


JUMPING UP — Vlad Moldoveanu goes up for a layup in AU’s win over DePaul earlier in the season. Moldoveanu was a key reason why the score was so close in AU’s 78-67 loss to Lehigh on Sunday. He contributed 24 points and had 11 rebounds. Moldoveanu is a transfer from George Mason University and quickly became one of the team’s best players. AU’s team is nowhere near the team it was that made the NCAA tournament for the second straight year in 2009. They are 3-14 on the season and are 0-2 in conference play. They have lost four straight games.

ELLIOT JEFFORDS It may be one of the biggest clichés in all of sports, but defense does win championships, and for that reason neither the Indianapolis Colts nor the New Orleans Saints will win the Super Bowl this year. This old adage about defense was proved this past weekend as all four wild-card game winners (Jets, Ravens, Cardinals, Cowboys) won not because they could rack up endless numbers of touchdowns and field goals, but because they could play defense. In both AFC battles, both winners made use of shutdown defenses and strong running games to control the tempo and football. But of the two games, the Ravens win in Foxboro was much more impressive than the play of the Jets. However, Tom Brady did not have Wes Welker to throw to and that had a large impact on the New England passing game. Aside from that though, there is not much else to point to that would save New England from admitting they were dominated.

Baltimore allowed only 196 yards of total offense, while also racking up four turnovers. This is nothing new to Raven fans, as this is almost the same defense that carried the team to the AFC Championship game in 2009. The Jets too held a high-powered offense to little production. As with any impressive performance, it takes 11 players coming together to get the job done. In the Jets case, they have one player that makes the job of the other ten guys much easier. Darrelle Revis is such a presence at cornerback that Cincinnati’s star receiver Chad OchoCinco was held to two receptions for 28 yards on six targets. One of those receptions was when Revis was playing deep to prevent any big plays. What Revis’ presence does for the rest of the team is allow them to focus more on the integrate blitzes, knowing the opponent’s top wide receiver is always the job of one of the leagues top shut down corners. If someone needed any more proof that defense is key to playoff success they should look to the Cowboys and Cardinals. Both teams used timely turnovers to

unable to steal its first Patriot League game away from Lehigh as they fell to the Mountain Hawks 78-67 on Saturday evening. The Eagles dug themselves into an 18 point hole in the first half, shooting only 25 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. However, they came out of halftime and cut the Mountain Hawks’ lead to six with less than two minutes to play. Like many times this season, the effort proved to be too little too late. AU, now 3-13 on the season, was led by junior forward Vlad Moldoveanu, who finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds to give him his first doubledouble as an Eagle. Junior guard Nick Hendra also had a solid game with 13 points and six boards. For the Mountain Hawks, forward Zahir Carrington played a major role in the victory with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The game featured two teams moving in opposite directions. Lehigh came in with a five game winning streak, while the Eagles have lost four of their past five games. As the game progressed, there was little evidence that the trends would change. Lehigh opened the game with an 8-2 run on a series of easy layups allowed by sloppy defense. AU turnovers and missed free

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Steckel: A fourth-line surprise CAPITALS INSIDER

ANDREW TOMLINSON The world saw what he could do in the playoffs last year and after a slow start this season, Washington Capitals fourth line center David Steckel has finally started to settle into his game. During the team’s playoff run last year, Washington saw Steckel notch two assists in a pivotal Game 6 to force a Game 7 in the first round against the New York Rangers. Then, he scored three goals in the second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, including one in overtime to force a Game 7. Many thought the reason for his increased production was because he finally realized his size and how to use it to his advantage. With that in mind, his relatively

quiet first half of the season can be credited to the fact that he might have forgotten how to use his size on offense. His play is consistent with diving into the corners and digging out the puck, but Steckel rarely made guys move out of his way. After he scored his first goal in December, Steckel has begun to use his six-footfive-inch frame to push defenders out of the crease and the puck into the net. “I had the chances and they just weren’t going in,” Steckel said after the team’s home win over the New Jersey Devils. “[Head] Coach [Bruce Boudreau] has really helped me out, and coach has really helped me out. It wasn’t about scoring, it was about creating energy for the line.” Regardless of whether he is showing up on the points sheet, Steckel is always dominant in the faceoff circle. This season, he has won 62 percent of his faceoffs, good enough for second place in the NHL. It took more than two months, but Steckel finally scored his first goal of the year on Dec. 5, in an 8-2 rout of the Philadelphia Flyers. Since then, he has

Defense still prevails in NFL SIDELINE SCHOLAR

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throws allowed the Mountain Hawks’ lead to quickly balloon to double digits. It was one of the worst halves for AU all season. Only four Eagles managed to score, though Moldoveanu and sophomore Stephen Lumpkins carried the load and tallied eight points each. Lehigh dominated in almost every facet of the game, shot almost 60 percent from the floor and carried a decisive 40-22 lead into the break. Head Coach Jeff Jones was less than thrilled about his team’s first half performance. “It was a combination of Lehigh playing really, really good and us being incredibly soft and not competing,” Jones told the Allentown Morning Call. “For all intents and purposes, we already lost the game (after the first half). It was men against boys.” The Eagles were able to keep it close coming out of halftime. Hendra knocked down a pair of threes and Moldoveanu, Lumpkins and others turned nice passes into points in the paint. The Lehigh advantage hovered in the low teens until the junior from Romania stunned the Mountain Hawks with a huge three pointer. The basket shrunk the lead to seven points with seven minutes remaining. Unfortunately for the Eagles, their first half deficit was too much to overcome. The Lehigh trio of Dave Buchberger, Marquis Hall and CJ McCollum hit key jumpers and free throws to secure a Mountain Hawk victory down the stretch. The loss dropped AU to 3-13 on the season and 0-1 in conference play. Next up for AU is a Saturday showdown against Colgate University at Bender Arena, one of two AU games to be televised on CBS College Sports.

win each game. The Cardinals took advantage of an Aaron Rodgers fumble in overtime and returned it for a touchdown. Despite being a match-up between two offensive juggernauts it took only one play by the defense to end it. Dallas, on the other hand, caused fumbles throughout the game and capitalized with points off the turnovers to win its first playoff game in 14 years. However, much more impressive than the turnover ratio was the amount of pressure Dallas put on Philadelphia’s quarterbacks. For the game the Dallas defense racked up four sacks, four tackles for losses, nine passes deflected and nine quarterback hits. The teams who earned byes in the regular season have quite a week of preparation ahead to get ready for the defenses rolling into town. Despite their preparations and rest, both number one seeds will not make it to the Conference Championship games. The Colts will be facing the Ravens on Saturday inside the cozy confines of the RCA Dome. Peyton Manning will be out to prove coach Jim Caldwell’s choice

to bench him and other starters was the right thing to do, he will probably be fairly successful. However, the Colts defense will not be able to support any type of offensive effort. The Colts ranked in the bottom half of the league for total defense and bottom quarter in rush yards, something the Ravens are sure to do a lot. As for the Saints, they too have an offense lead by a hall-of-fame quarterback that has the ability to score at will. If they hope to win, they will need to do against the Kurt Warner farewell tour. The Saints defense rank in bottom ten of both yards allowed per game and passing yards per game. This weekend, the NFL will sort itself out to its final four teams. It is unclear who they will face, but look out for the Ravens and Cardinals to go on the road and upset the number one seeds. Not because of some lucky play or unstoppable offense, but because of their hard hitting defenses. You can reach this writer at

two goals, two assists and four points. He has also emerged as the focal point of a fourth line that has controlled the tempo of games. Steckel is flanked by veteran wingers Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley. They make up the team’s checking line and are often looked to when the team is slumping. “[The pucks] seem to be going in whether it is for me or my line-mates,” Steckel said. “We just want to make sure we are providing that spark for the team.” Despite the offensive mediocrity, the Caps have seen his potential and signed him to a three-year $3.3 million extension. While the Caps have a logjam at the center position, Steckel has the opportunity to move up to the third line with some of the more skilled players. Boudreau has recognized several times that, while he may lack the ability to show up on the score sheet, he does not lack the talent to help the team. “If you know [Steckel} when it is a big game he shows up,” Boudreau said. “He has done that his entire career even back to his time in the minors.” After the Capitals were embar-

rassed in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Devils in October, Boudreau chastised the team for pressing too hard when they were ahead. The Caps had jumped out to a 2-0 lead and ended up blowing it in the third. Boudreau said it was because the team didn’t know how to win 2-0 because they are trying to win 6-0. Steckel showed his intelligence when describing how that mentality changed. “I think we need to play smarter,” Steckel said. “We aren’t dumb guys but we were playing like we were.” Even at 27 years old, the former first round pick of the Los Angeles Kings has real promise and has the ability to flourish into a top player. The Caps signed him in free agency, and overtime he has shown he is worth every penny. His hockey smarts alone — not to mention his success in the faceoff circle — has made him a valuable part of the team. If he can get on an offensive roll and confident on the attack, Steckel could be a very dangerous player come playoff time. You can reach this staff writer at

WE AREN’T WAITING TABLES FOR YOUR TIPS But we’d certainly love to have them. If you’ve got news: (202) 885-1400

The Eagle — Jan. 14, 2010  

The Jan. 14, 2010 issue of The Eagle.