HEATIN’ UP The South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, is sure to bring some fire this spring SCENE page 5
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NEWS CAPITOL AMBITION AU grad student to run in congressional primary page 4
EDITORIAL PHI SIG KAP SPEAKS PSK brothers comment on IFC judgment and AU greek life page 3
SG pursues student McDowell discount for Metro pipe bursts, By NICOLE GLASS Eagle Staff Writer The AU Student Government hopes to provide a Metro discount for AU students by creating SmarTrip-compatible AU IDs to get data on student ridership that will ultimately lead to a discount, according to SG President Andy MacCracken. MacCracken also said a D.C.wide student discount will not be implemented because of the varying distances that students travel depending on the school they attend. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority made a few student Metro discount proposals last year, but none of these turned into discounts because there is no accurate data on AU student ridership, according to MacCracken. “Metro thinks students ride the Metro more regularly than they actually do,” he said. “These inflated numbers make them predict higher costs to cover.” The SG has been working on getting a student discount for years, but MacCracken thinks the process is slow because the WMATA has more pressing issues to deal with. SmarTrip-compatible AU IDs
will give the WMATA the data on student ridership needed to estimate the cost of the discount, according to MacCracken. One of the WMATA’s proposals is to charge students $296 for a semester’s worth of usage, but that would only be worth it for students who go downtown and back in rush hour every weekday, MacCracken said. “I’d venture to say 95 percent of us don’t do that, which means the cost is inflated,” MacCracken said. “If we can properly show that our ridership is lower, that $296 would drop quickly.” Even if the WMATA can estimate how often students use public transportation, they cannot predict how far students are traveling. In D.C., the distance a student travels on the Metro determines the price of their trip. All D.C. colleges are in different locations and have students travel at different distances, a blanket program for all schools cannot be created, MacCracken said. If a student discount is established, it would probably be subsidized by AU or the D.C. government, according to MacCracken. “If I had enough money, I would
subsidize it myself,” he said. “So if you have a really rich uncle who really likes helping students travel, let me know.” Liron Bruck, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, grew up in Israel where students get a discount on public transportation. It is especially important for students who have unpaid internships to get a transportation discount, since they should not be paying as much to go to work, she said. “Almost every country in the world has a discount in transportation for students,” she said. “Students use the Metro a lot as a way to go to their unpaid internships.” Kirsten Neus, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, said SmarTrip-compatible AU IDs would be convenient for students who do not have money but have EagleBucks. “It would be convenient for students to be able to use their AU IDs as a SmarTrip if they could use their EagleBucks to swipe into the Metro,” she said. “But it would be even better if there was a discount too.” You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
floods rooms By JULIA RYAN
Eagle Staff Writer A pipe burst on the sixth floor of McDowell Hall around 2 p.m. yesterday, causing all rooms ending in 19 and 21 to receive varying degrees of damage, according to residents of McDowell Hall. Residents of the sixth floor of McDowell reported the leak at 1:20 p.m., according to Chris Moody, the executive director of Housing and Dining Programs. Residence staff and Facilities Management staff immediately
“It sounded like rain was hitting the window, then water was pouring down the sides of my wall.” – Lauren Linhard McDowell Hall resident
LET’S GET LOST The Scene tries to find the right path to the finale of “LOST”
responded to the situation and assessed the damage. The staff of Facilities Management then turned off the water supply to the affected heating units and pipes. Water had also leaked down to rooms on the third, fourth and fifth floors. Aramark staff members ar-
SPORTS AU men clinch Patriot League Tournament home game page 8 MARISA KENDALL / THE EAGLE
Women’s basketball claims share of Patriot League regular season title page 8
HI 49° LO 29° Mostly sunny and breezy TUESDAY HI 43° n LO 31°
WEDNESDAY HI 38° 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: email@example.com Classifieds: firstname.lastname@example.org
rived on the scene and began drying up the wet carpets. Lauren Linhard, a junior in the School of Communication and a contributing writer for The Eagle, was in her room on the sixth floor when the hot-water pipe burst. “It sounded like rain was hitting the window, then water was pouring down the sides of my wall and a few of my ceiling tiles fell,” Linhard said. Linhard’s roommate, Rachel Goldy, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, went down to the front desk and notified the resident assistant on duty, who then notified Leonard Hall Resident Director Julie Eller and the Facilities Management staff. Goldy was pleased with the quick response time and open communication from Housing and Dining. “People from Housing and Dining and the residence staff have been checking up on me and my roommate and helping us move our furniture,” Goldy said. Matt Wolkoff, a sophomore in CAS, lives in a room on the third floor of McDowell that was affected by water damage from the pipe burst. Wolkoff was sitting in his room when water suddenly started rushing from the ceiling tiles down his wall and his window. “What started out as a steady drip of water soon became a downpour,” Wolkoff said. Wolkoff ’s carpet sustained damage and one of his posters was ruined. n
see FLOOD on page 2
Phi Sigma Kappa does not appeal its IFC sanctions
A SLAM DUNK
MARCH 1, 2010 VOLUME 84 n ISSUE 38
DAMAGES — The epicenter of the earthquake in Chile on Saturday was 200 miles south of Santiago, where some AU students are studying. Each student in AU’s program there have been accounted for and are safe. The earthquake had an 8.8-magnitude.
Chile earthquake shakes AU students abroad; all safe By MARISA KENDALL Eagle Staff Writer SANTIAGO, Chile — At first I thought it was just the loud music of the club, or that I had possibly had too much to drink. My second thought was that the vibrating dance floor was some sort of cool Chilean special effect. Within a few seconds however, the shaking picked up and it was obvious that something was wrong. The dance floor was pitching up and down and people started screaming and clutching their friends for dear life. I grabbed onto the edge of the bar just to keep from falling over. After about a minute, the shaking stopped and everyone rushed down the stairs and out of the club. The street outside was complete chaos, with people screaming and running in all directions. I was separated from my friends, so I started pushing my way through the crowd trying to find them. At one point, I tripped over someone’s foot and had to be helped up by a couple of Chileans. Then I heard someone calling my name and looked over to see
Nacha, my host sister, and Roman, her boyfriend. They grabbed my hands, obviously more worried about my safety than I had been. “Hubo un terremoto,” Roman said. Translation: there was an earthquake. As Nacha drove us back to her house, we passed a few buildings that seemed to be sagging slightly into the piles of rubble at their bases. A crash scene on one area of the highway was blocked off with several ambulances that surrounded a twisted and destroyed car. The rest of my host family was waiting up for us when we got home, somewhere around 4 or 4:30 a.m. Power across the city had gone out, so we sat drinking juice around the kitchen table in the glow of a flashlight. Laughing, my host father told us how the cat had screamed when the ground started shaking and that his first reaction had been to grab the plasma TV and make sure it didn’t break. I did not realize until I saw news coverage the next morning just how bad the earthquake had been. Santiago, where I am staying, is about 200 miles from the quake’s epicenter in Southern Chile. Dam-
age in the city was nothing compared to the images from further south I saw shown all day on every TV station. All the students on AU’s Santiago study abroad program have been accounted for, according to an e-mail Study Abroad Adviser Brita Doyle sent to students and parents of students in the program. While there was not extensive damage to Santiago, there were still several fatalities in the city. While it sounds bad to say, however, when everything started shaking at around 3:30 a.m., I was more confused and kind of excited than scared. It did not occur to me until later that I should have been scared. Nacha and Roman even made fun of me later for being so relaxed about the whole thing. After reading all the news, however, I realize now the AU students here are all very lucky nothing happened to us or even to any of our houses. Not everyone was so lucky, and those in Southern Chile need all the help they can get. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
Prez agrees punishment is fair, fitting By SARAH RUDNICK Eagle Staff Writer AU fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa has decided not to appeal the sanctions the Inter-Fraternity Council has levied on it, according to IFC Public Relations Chair Adam Tager. The fraternity decided not to appeal the judgment because it admitted to the charges and therefore accepted the sanctions, PSK President Mike Kaufman said. The fraternity had seven business days after the trial to appeal the decision, The Eagle previously reported. “We chose not to appeal because we felt they were fair given the seriousness of our charges,” he said. Kaufman said he believes other social organizations — not just PSK — will be inadvertently affected by the events surrounding the fraternity and the IFC. “We cannot comment directly on the operations of other greek organizations on campus, we do believe that all social organizations at AU will face new challenges in light of the increased involvement that the Office of Greek Life and the IFC are taking in the recruitment process,” Kaufman said.
The sanctions consist of a one-year social probation, no open or closed recruitment for the fall of 2010, chapter participation in AU Campus Beautification Day with an additional five hours per member through AU’s Community Service Office and funding and planning a professional speaker on responsible drinking for the spring of 2011, The Eagle previously reported. The sanctions were effective immediately upon the fraternity’s positive acknowledgment of them, according to Kaufman. Michael R. Radlick, AU fraternity Delta Chi’s president, said he thinks the sanctions will have a large impact on PSK’s prosperity. “The members of Delta Chi understand the intricacies on both sides of the issue, and we respect the decision made by the IFC,” Radlick said. “However, as the president of a fraternity who has had size problems in the past, I also know that the rush restriction placed on [PSK] for the coming fall could be very detrimental to their success.” PSK has not felt rebuked by the greek life collective as a result of the events, according to Kaufman. “[PSK] in general feels a great deal of support from the greek community at American University that we continue to be a proud part of,” Kaufman said. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 1, 2010
Activist discusses Israeli blockade of Gaza
KELSEY DICKEY / THE EAGLE
OFF THE MAP — Palestinian rights activist Ralph Loeffler speaks about his work with Viva Palestina, a group based in the United Kingdom that delivers supplies and humanitarian aid to Gaza.
By MITCH ELLMAUER and ANGELA SMITH Eagle Contributing Writers In the Middle East, contentious regional politics can prevent hu-
manitarian aid from being delivered to those who need it most, according to Palestinian rights activist Ralph Loeffler. Loeffler spoke about his experiences in delivering humanitar-
ian aid to the Gaza Strip Feb. 25 in the Anderson Conference Room, hosted by the AU chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Loeffler participated in two humanitarian aid convoys organized
Alcohol violations exceed other student offenses at AU By MITCH ELLMAUER Eagle Contributing Writer AU students are caught violating alcohol rules more than any other on-campus conduct policy, according to Director of Residence Life Rick Treter. Alcohol is the primary cause of health and safety violations at AU, and it exceeds all other violations tracked by the Office of Campus Life, Treter said. Even with AU’s no-tolerance alcohol ban in the residence halls, the number of alcohol-related health incidents has “definitely increased,” according to Michael McNair, chief of the Department of Public Safety. Over three-quarters of AU’s on-campus student population has violated university alcohol regulations, The Eagle previously reported. In 2008, there were 244 “Judicial Referrals” for alcohol violations on the Main Campus and 37 on the Tenley Campus. A total of 281 violations occurred in the residence halls, according to the 2009 Annual Security Report. Last year, there were also 38 transports. McNair estimated that the number of transports may have doubled in 2009. AU usually notifies parents after a student’s second violation of alcohol restrictions or when a student’s violation of the university’s alcohol or drug policies is judged by the dean of students
to be egregious,” according to the 2009 Annual Security Report. But this level of abuse is not unique to AU, according to Treter. “AU’s alcohol issues are pretty much on average with other schools in the area,” he said. Schools in the D.C. area have tightened restrictions in recent
“AU’s alcohol issues are pretty much on average with other schools in the area.” – Rick Treter years to combat alcohol abuse on their campuses. Georgetown University limits on-campus parties to one keg and requires that at least one host be over 21, according to the university’s student newspaper The Hoya. George Washington University and The Catholic University of America send a notification to a student’s parents after every alcohol violation, according to The Washington Post. At one time, AU permitted oncampus alcohol consumption. In
1983, the Tavern dispensed the largest amount of beer out of any D.C. drinking establishment, The Eagle has previously reported. However, the university banned alcohol on campus in 1984 after a freshman died falling from the roof of the Letts study lounge. AU regulations now prohibit alcohol at all on-campus events unless authorized by the president, the provost or a vice president. The number of deaths from an alcohol-related injury increased by nine percent among college students from 1998 to 2001, according to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. D.C. recently ranked 37th “drunkest” city by Men’s Health magazine. Cities ranked in the survey were ranked based on death rates from alcoholic liver disease, the frequency of binge drinking and the number of alcohol-related car accidents, the number of DUI arrests and the severity of DUI penalties, according to the magazine. D.C. raised its legal drinking age to 21 in 1986 and the D.C. City Council decriminalized underage drinking in 2004, according to the Post.
by Viva Palestina, a United Kingdom-based charity that delivers humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007. Loeffler called the situation catastrophic and equated Gaza to an open-air prison. Loeffler criticized Egypt for trying to prevent convoys from entering Gaza. Viva Palestina’s United States convoy was supposed to travel from Alexandria, Egypt, through the Rafah Crossing, a major entryway into Gaza. The Egyptian government delayed the convoy for two weeks and only allowed seven vehicles out of Alexandria. Viva Palestina was only allowed into Gaza for 24 hours, according to Loeffler. Viva Palestina’s third convoy began Dec. 6, 2009. Loeffler and other activists joined the convoy in Istanbul. Loeffler praised the support of the Turkish government. “[Turkey] showed a changing in the tide of support for Palestine,” Loeffler said. “That’s a very encouraging thing.” The Turkish government’s Humanitarian Relief Fund added 150 vehicles to the convoy. The convoy then left Istanbul for Amman, Jordan. Enthusiastic crowds met them when they drove through towns in Turkey. The activists were often provided with
from FLOOD on page 1
He was disappointed with the staff response to the incident, he said. “I was unsatisfied with how they handled it but not surprised,” Wolkoff said. “I didn’t hear about [the pipe burst] until someone else on my floor told me. They also weren’t as thorough as they could have been with cleaning
free meals and lodging, according to Loeffler. “The enthusiasm of the people was amazing,” Loeffler said. The Syrian government provided the convoy members with accommodations in a five-star hotel, and then donated 47 tons of medical supplies to aid the convoy, according to Loeffler. The Syrian government eased their border crossing restrictions for the convoy. “If you’re an American trying to get into Syria, it’s very difficult ... but we didn’t even have to get out of the vehicle [at the Syrian border],” Loeffler said. In Jordan, “the welcome was not quite as warm,” he said. The convoy was stopped by police in Amman. “They were trying to give us a hard time, but believe me, we gave them a real hard time,” Loeffler said about the blockades the convoy faced in Jordan. The convoy planned to travel from Jordan to Egypt, but it had to turn away from the Egyptian border when the government threatened to take the activists’ passports away from them. The convoy returned to Syria and was ferried to El-Arish, Egypt by a Turkish ship, according to Loeffler. In El-Arish, police tried to stop the convoy by blocking off entrances to the port. Tensions be-
tween police and the convoy culminated in a riot. Several people were injured, including a South African activist who was hit in the head with a rock thrown by a police officer, Loeffler said. The convoy was allowed to enter Gaza only after Turkey negotiated its release from El-Arish, and they stayed there providing aid for several days. Loeffler also spoke about environmental damage in the Gaza Strip. “The real problem with Gaza is overpopulation,” Loeffler said. Gaza’s population of 1.5 million people has overtaxed the coastal aquifers that supply all of Gaza’s freshwater. Polluted drinking water has caused high levels of methemoglobinemia, or “Blue Baby Syndrome,” a blood disorder in children, according to Loeffler. The environmental situation has worsened since the start of the blockade. “Everything is exacerbated by the blockade ... you can’t get equipment in,” Loeffler said. Palestinians are unable to clean up the rubble created by Israeli air strikes, new construction has been halted and the unemployment rate in Gaza is about 70 to 90 percent, according to Loeffler.
the floor. They were only in here cleaning for about five minutes.” All but one of the residents affected were in their rooms at the time of the pipe burst, according to Moody. Residents have reported damage to ceiling tiles, room carpets and one mattress, which has already been replaced. Moody said Facilities Management staff is still in the process of assessing the damage and making
decisions about repairs. Last Tuesday morning an unidentified person tampered with the sprinklers on the Anderson 5 North bridge, causing a flood, The Eagle previously reported. Numerous rooms sustained water damage when the sprinklers were activated.
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Panel: American Forum: “The Climate Change Generation” 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. WHERE: Mary Graydon Center 1 INFO: Matthew Nisbet, a professor in the School of Communication, Juliet Eilperin, a national environmental reporter for The Washington Post and Kate Sheppard, an energy and environmental politics reporter for Mother Jones, discuss climate change as an issue for today’s youth. CONTACT: For more information, call Sarah Cumbie at 202-885-2666.
Dr. Seuss Day 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. WHERE: MGC 247 INFO: A volunteer will read to children from D.C. public schools. CONTACT: For more information, call Donald Curtis at 202-8857378.
Saving Dying Languages 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. WHERE: MGC 245 INFO: Every other week, one of the world’s 7,000 languages disappears. This symposium includes a screening and discussion of the film “The Linguists,” a film that documents languages on the verge of disappearance. CONTACT: For more information, call 202-885-6194.
Speaker: Norma Cruz, Director of Survivors Foundation 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Ward Circle 1 INFO: Norma Cruz, the director of the Survivors Foundation in Guatemala City, will address violence against women in Guatemala, impunity for perpetrators of crime and action needed to ensure women’s right to live. CONTACT: For more information, call 202-885-6194.
Democracy in Cameroon 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. WHERE: Butler Board Room INFO: The international conference on democracy in Cameroon examines the current state of affairs in the country 50 years after it was granted independence. CONTACT: For more information, call 202-885-2457.
Art Auction 6:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. WHERE: Katzen AU Museum INFO: Art auction with proceeds benefiting the Washington Project for the Arts’ programs and exhibitions. CONTACT: Call the Washington Project for the Arts at 202-2347103 for more information or visit http://www.wpadc.org/auction/ auction.html to RSVP.
Megabytes Café Now Introducing….!!
Falafel sandwich Comes With: Tzatziki Sauce, Onion, Tomato, Parsley
Next to Chevy Chase Bank (In the Tunnel)
MARCH 1, 2010
JOE WENNER n Editorial Page Editor EdPage@TheEagleOnline.com
JEN CALANTONE n Editor in Chief Editor@TheEagleOnline.com
AU involvement: Time to expand personal interests KALEIDOSCOPE
PARVEZ KHAN Last week instead of being productive, I was circulating through my iTunes, reminiscing about the first time I had heard each particular song. I clicked through some Michael Jackson, Eminem, Jay-Z, a female soprano voice with a haunting flute playing in the background and an entire repertoire of Metallica. Although I pride my taste as being “cultured,” it’s not as if I consider myself a music connoisseur compared to the average listener. In fact, I’d guess that most of us can appreciate various forms of music, perhaps with tendencies towards one or two genres. Well, if that’s the case, let me ask a question: when was the last time you and I translated this appreciation for various forms of music to people? I don’t mean liking different types of people, whatever lens you define “different” through. Rather, I mean appreciating those different things people like to appreciate — getting to know what makes that strange dude in your dorm tick; or why the girl you see walking to Kay Spiritual Life Center on Sunday mornings while most everyone else is asleep is so adamant in her devotion. I’m talking about appreciating and truly understanding religious traditions, cultural phenomena, holidays, ethnic food, etc. You know that standard closer in those event announcements in the Today@AU e-mail, “all are welcome?” Why not put that to the test? What’s the worst that could happen from a little selfculturing? Afraid you might not fit in with the rest of the students at the weekly Buddhist chanting because you haven’t yet purchased your Dalai Lama-esque tan robe? No worries, they won’t laugh at you. This university was founded by two Methodist bishops who intentionally did not push their
own agenda onto their enrolled student body. Instead they embraced a different philosophy, inviting all to learn at a private, internationally-minded center of higher education and research in the nation’s capital. How ecumenical! However, the Methodists do have a club that meets regularly in Kay, and they invite all to attend. Their slogan: “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.” Sounds pretty accepting to me, and they feed you pizza, too. Or we can all get out there and experience this great city. Nothing needs to be mentioned of D.C.’s political heartbeat, and you know that we have landmarks on just about every corner of every block. But how about actually testifying to our cultural heartbeat? Those Smithsonian museums, Busboys and Poets, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Chinatown, all the other (not as) great universities, our vast underground of nightlife. How are you going to fit all this in over four years? Movies are screened on campus all the time by various groups — for free! Sometimes these are “chill movies,” i.e. Hollywood blockbusters, and other times independent films with an underlying moral. Besides learning something new, this is usually a great time for socialization around a specific topic. Especially with the indies that center around a social justice theme, these screenings can call us to action and, perhaps not as visibly, get us to know one another. So don’t fret about having to see the same people and discuss the same subject matters at AU — we have lots of people to get to know and lots of opportunities to get involved. Out of our thousands of students and 220 clubs, there is surely something for everyone on campus to become more cultured. Don’t be afraid to go out and explore. Parvez Khan is a graduate student in the School of Public Affairs and the religion and international affairs columnist for The Eagle. You can reach him at edpage@ theeagleonline.com.
Post-charges, Phi Sig reaffirms AU commitment VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE JOE ROTONDI AND GARRETT ASTA As the oldest Greek organization on campus, Phi Sigma Kappa has deeply ingrained itself into the AU and Washington, D.C., communities. We have built a dedicated and enthusiastic alumni club having initiated nearly 1,100 brothers, and contributed in more ways to the school that hosts us than is possible to name in this short space. The business of being a fraternity in 2010 is not an easy one, with the challenges of an ever-changing school policy and general negative stereotypes of fraternities. Couple that with the dedication we have to maintaining our traditions. These all exist in somewhat of a conflict. We understand, however, that these challenges are faced by all greek organizations, not just Phi Sig. As of last week we acknowledged several mistakes made by our chapter with honesty and professionalism. It is important to note that despite our full cooperation throughout this process there are still several obstacles to properly handling violations such as ours, which occur more often across all of greek life than the university would like to admit. Given that the new greek life coordinator has been brought in on a platform of reforming AU’s greek system, it is even more important we have a fair system that the greek organizations understand and respect. Some of our charges, specifically violations of the cumbersome rules regarding rush were caused by nothing more than ignorance on our part to extensive new policies from the greek offices. And while we may feel that the university’s extending interest in what greek organizations do off of campus is intrusive, we understand the responsibility that we have as an active social organization at AU. We further look forward to becoming more conscientious about
the IFC, which we admittedly have not always been in the past. But it is things like ratifying a new constitution while barely understanding what pragmatically implementing it involves, or being discrete with information that should be confidential, that hinders the proper governance of greek life at AU. When private information, such as rumored details of our charges, show up in this newspaper before they are officially presented to the charged organization, it undermines the operation of this supposedly self-governing body. This breach of trust was both unprofessional and clearly meant to hurt our ongoing recruitment efforts. So if the Office of Campus Life wants to raise its level of influence on things like the rush process, then it should deal just as seriously with what it might see as the minutiae. After addressing the charges brought forth by IFC through the Judicial Board, we have already begun to make progress on following through with our sanctions. These include participating as an organization in AU’s Campus Beautification Day, and scheduling a lecture on responsibility and alcohol, which will be open to all Greek Life. Additionally, we have a previously planned philanthropic Wing Bowl benefiting Dreams for Kids on March 18 with thousands of dollars in committed donations. Our relationships with the school and other fraternities are things we have always respected, and after these recent events we will work to grow even stronger. One of the most important things we will take away from this is the seriousness of our place as a well-established fraternity at AU. Joe Rotondi and Garrett Asta are both brothers in the AU chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. The views expressed here are their own. Responses can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy of MCT CAMPUS
This Metro trip: Courtesy of AU? With negotiations for a city-wide student Metro discount at a standstill, the university has the opportunity to salvage the effort. The time has come for an AU-sponsored discount. Let’s examine the typical transportation costs of the working AU student. Laden with an unpaid internship — we’ll say in Farrugut North — and working three days a week, the logical transportation method of choice would be the Metro. The benefits are clear: convenient locations, the sustainability of public transportation. But most importantly, it’s cheap. Or so we thought. At this frequency, our AU intern would rack up more than $260 over an academic year solely for work-related travel. It’s significant price tags like this that have fueled the effort to push the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to adopt a D.C.-wide student Metro discount. Former SG President Seth Cutter
LETTER TO THE EDITOR AU Student urges support of Conflict Minerals Trade Act Almost everywhere you look on campus, you can find someone glued to his or her cell phone. Our society has become so incredibly infatuated with technology, and yet we are so completely unaware of the fact that we are all directly contributing to one of the deadliest conflicts in the world. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a bloody conflict is fueled in significant part by the multi-million dollar trade in minerals, specifically tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which are all key materials in electronic devices. Countless armed militias across the D.R.C. are in constant war with one another for greater control and access to these minerals and force people from their homes to gain more land. Thus our cell phones, computers and MP3 players are causing millions of brutal murders,
the EAGLE American University’s Independent Student Voice MISSION The Eagle, a student-run newspaper at the American University, serves the student readership by reporting news involving the campus community and surrounding areas. The Eagle strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes firmly in its First Amendment Rights. SUBMISSION AND EDITORIAL POLICIES • Send letters and guest columns to: Editorial Page Editor, The Eagle, 252 Mary Graydon Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20016 or email@example.com. Letters and guest columns must be received by 7 p.m. on the Thursday before the Monday publication, should be typed and must include the writer's name, year, school and telephone number. • All submissions become the property of The Eagle. Unsigned letters will not be published. The Eagle reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length and clarity. Letters will be limited to 300 words. • The Staff Editorial represents the majority of the Editorial Board, which is composed of the Editor in Chief, the managing editors for content, a representative from the Campus News, Metro News and National News desks and at
spent countless hours of time attempting to produce fruitful negotiations with officials. Unfortunately, these talks have produced little results and seemed to have stalled for good. But hope remains. Now, AU should step up to fill the gap left by WMATA by providing a university-subsidized Metro discount. The likelihood of a citywide discount, while certainly the more convenient and desired alternative, has faded into the implausible. Metro has been overwhelmed by controversy after controversy: multiple crashes, budget crises, raised fares, administrative resignations — to name a few problems. With all of these distractions, the cries within WMATA in favor of a student discount have dimmed to a
faint murmur. But while this door has been slammed shut, a different window has begun to slowly edge open. Through the adroit maneuvers and skilled leadership of current SG President Andy MacCracken, AU and Metro have partnered to test SmarTrip compatible AU ID cards. While the program is still in the experimental stages, it hopes to provide AU ridership numbers necessary to formulate the beginnings of a proposal for an AU-specific student discount. AU’s administration should take the initiative and pursue this idea to the fullest extent. A university-sponsored student Metro discount would be an undisputed net positive for AU. The administration has made clear its desire to de-
violent rapes, mutilations and unspeakable crimes against the people of the Congo. In the last year alone, 900,000 Congolese were forced from their homes, and hundreds of thousands of women and girls were raped. These armed groups are committing a feminicide; our ignorance and indifference results in the greatest crime of all-the impunity of these monsters. Yet, we continue to exploit the Congolese people for their resources to satisfy our needs for the latest iPhone or video game system. I am currently interning at the Enough! Project in Washington, D.C., an NGO who has worked tirelessly for the past four years to raise the profile of this issue and bring about change, but there is only so much we can do without help. We need the support of consumers to help put an end to these atrocities. We, as consumers, need to tell these electronic companies that we are not okay with their role in this violence. I’ve been writing a letter every day to the top electronics companies, urging them to take
a stand but it takes more than one voice to make a difference. As voting constituents, we can also tell our senators and representatives to support the Conflict Minerals Trade Act. If passed in to law, the CMTA would give consumers the choice to purchase conflict-free products. The usage and production of which will destroy the fuel that propagates these crimes against humanity. For the sake of the Congo and human rights everywhere, we cannot continue to allow our cell phones, computers and MP3 players to be stained by the blood if the innocent Congolese people.
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In “AU’s Image Awareness Week redefines beauty,” in the Feb. 25 edition of The Eagle, the article only reflected the Wellness Center as the organizer of Body Image Awareness Week. Women’s Initiative, Eagle Nights and Delta Gamma also helped organize the week. The Eagle regrets the error.
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crease the number of cars students bring to campus. What better way to incentivize this than by making Metro less expensive? By subsidizing Metro travel and minimizing student cars, AU would improve community relations, simplify the lives of students and move closer to its goal of increased sustainability in one simple move. Some may scoff at this idea as an unrealistic endeavor. To be sure, it would not be an inexpensive undertaking. Nevertheless, the advantages cultivated from this investment would more than warrant the cost. Those of us with unpaid internships like the sound of that.
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MARCH 1, 2010
Mr. Gall goes to Washington? By MEG FOWLER Eagle Staff Writer
KELSEY DICKEY / THE EAGLE
LUCK O’ THE IRISH — Murphy’s Law Restaurant has enjoyed strong business since it came to the Tenleytown neighborhood in December 2009, according to co-owner Mark Sullivan. The Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the area advocated more development in a 2008 report.
Irish bar adds culture to Tenleytown By SARAH PARNASS Eagle Staff Writer Murphy’s Law Irish Restaurant opened the day after Christmas and has drawn students and professionals alike, despite this winter’s snow. Located on Wisconsin Avenue between Chesapeake and Brandywine Streets, patrons choose from a variety of dishes in addition to the traditional Irish fair and the 11 beers on tap. The menu offers Irish staples such as shepherd’s pie and fish and chips as well as “crispy calamari” and grilled cheese for the “wee ones.” Co-owner Mark Sullivan estimated 20 to 25 percent of business at Murphy’s Law comes from college students. Murphy’s Law offers Tuesday night specials that vary week to week. Sullivan said that tended to be a popular time for AU students to come in. Sullivan said he and his partner brought the Irish restaurant to Tenleytown after conversations with people in the neighborhood led them to believe that there was nothing like it there. “The neighborhood has a wonderful eclectic mix of opportunities from all sorts of different cuisines, which is awesome,” Sullivan said. “I think people really enjoy that, but at the same time, they did want a place where they could just go get a burger or fish and chips or shepherd’s pie and watch a game.” Murphy’s Law is located within the boundaries of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E, according to a strategic report on the area that the
commission released in 2008. The report said the retail area in Tenleytown felt “disjointed” but that its proximity to the Metro, to offices with a “strong daytime population” and to AU gave Tenleytown the potential to grow and expand its market. The report suggested the addition of “a neighborhood Italian bistro, an Irish bar and grill or similar independent food service operations” as a recommendation for the future of the community. Valentine Joseph, a visiting student in the master’s program for the College of Arts and Sciences, said she would like to see some expansion of business in Tenleytown as long as it did not include big chain stores. “It would be great to have more boutiques, kind of make it more like ... U Street, those places where there’s a lot of stuff going on, especially for young people,” Joseph said. Several reviews of Murphy’s Law from the Web site yelp.com stressed the friendliness and efficiency of the staff. “What I was taught 20 years ago was you hire personality, you train skills,” Sullivan said. “But you can’t do it the other way around.” On Friday afternoon, Sullivan was not behind a desk, crunching numbers or making phone calls. Instead, he was behind the bar, serving drinks. Sullivan said that happens pretty often. “It’s the funnest part of my job,” Sullivan said. You can reach this staff writer at sparnass@theeagleonline. com.
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Andrew Gall is tired of repetitive talking points, tired of unequal justice for special interest groups and tired of status quo politics. So, on Friday, Feb. 19, the AU graduate student filed his paperwork to run in September’s Congressional primary for Maryland’s fifth district against Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the Democratic Majority leader of the House of Representatives. Gall is in his second year of earning a Master’s of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs, and he also works part-time as a graduate assistant. At 27 years old, Gall will run for Congress at the same age at which Aaron Schock, R-Ill., of the 18th district in central Illinois took the oath of office and became the youngest current member of the House of Representatives in 2009. Gall’s opponent, Hoyer, who has held office in the House since 1981, is 70-years-old and serves as the House majority leader. Gall said that the idea that he could run for public office has been building for a few months, but when a friend who was 32 years old passed away from a heart attack in the summer of 2009, he was spurred to action. “It just sort of got me thinking
about what I wanted to do with my life and sort of not putting off things I can do today,” Gall said. The chances of postponing his campaign until after he gets his degree is very slim, he added. “Why not now? There is this palpable frustration with how the system works,” Gall said. “As the youngest member of Congress, I would have a unique platform ... [I] will, as the youngest member of Congress, have the ability to speak out and be heard in ways that [I] wouldn’t if [I were] an average member of Congress.” Gall first experienced campaigning when he volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. The experience taught him the importance of civic engagement, he said. “All types of people from middle-schoolers through senior citizens [were] helping out and volunteering,” Gall said. “Seeing democracy at work ... definitely had an impact on my decision to run.” Gall’s campaign strategy will heavily involve the use of social media, he said. His campaign strategy will involve “the same sort of community organizing that we did on the Obama campaign, so knocking on doors, calling people, making use of social media,” Gall said. Gall posted a Facebook fanpage for his campaign on Feb. 25. A few hours later, he already had
over 50 fans, he said. As of press time, there were 114 members in the group. Gall said he has already recruited several volunteers for his campaign. “As far as staff goes, I won’t have the resources that a lot of more traditional campaigns have. I will have to rely on 100 percent student staff,” he said. Tim Trautman, an undergraduate sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, worked with Gall on the Obama campaign and immediately agreed to be a volunteer when Gall approached him about his congressional campaign. “[Gall is] a really great guy and a wonderful leader,” Trautman said. “His dedication to his degree in public policy at AU really shows his character.” Trautman supports Gall’s emphasis on separating money from politics. “It’s one of the things I’m concerned about, and it’s something each and every one of use should be concerned about,” Trautman said. “The people with the greatest amount of money shouldn’t be the people influencing politics the most. It should be everybody … that’s what America is all about.” In particular, Gall wants to oust Hoyer because he voted for the Iraq war and receives money from special interest groups, Gall said.
“I don’t see someone who voted for the Iraq war ... and who raises more money from lobbyists than any other Congressman as somebody who represents to me big-D Democratic values,” Gall said. It will be difficult running against Hoyer because he has more money than anyone else in Congress, Gall said. “The reality is, no matter how much I raise, I’m still going to have less than Rep. Hoyer,” Gall said. Gall put up a profile on Act Blue, a Web site for online fundraising for Democrats, and he is going to raise as much as he can from Internet donations, he said. “I think I’m going to have to rely more on volunteers, be a little more creative, and maybe even get a little bit lucky,” Gall said. “If you’re willing to work hard, and if you’re honest and earnest with people, you can overcome a lot.” Gall said he knows that the campaign will be difficult — especially since there is still homework to worry about. “It’s definitely going to be a challenge,” he said. “Between ... working part-time, going to school full-time, a full-time campaign, throw in a social life and sleeping — there are just not enough hours in the day.” You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AARON BERKOVICH / THE EAGLE
BROTHERS GRIM — Larry McDonald, who worked for the ill-fated Lehman Brothers investment bank, speaks at a KPU event about the company’s bankruptcy filing in September 2008. McDonald blamed the Board of Directors for the company’s inability to withstand the economic crisis and their subsequent downfall.
Former Lehman Bros. VP explains failure By HOWIE PERLMAN Eagle Staff Writer A former vice president of Lehman Brothers said the inadequacy of the financial services firm’s Board of Directors to handle contemporary economic conditions was a significant factor in the firm’s downfall. Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy filing in September 2008 was the largest in U.S. history, according to MarketWatch’s Web site, and furthered the subprime mortgage crisis and the global economic downturn. “The theater was on fire,” Larry McDonald said at the Feb. 24 Kennedy Political Union event. “And our CEO, Richard Fuld, was ordering more popcorn.” The subprime mortgage crisis began August 2007, according to an International Monetary Fund report. It involved a substantial number of banks losing significant amounts of money because they issued an abnormally high number of high-risk mortgage loans to borrowers in the United States. The Board of Directors helped Lehman Brothers become an enabler of the subprime mortgage crisis, ac-
cording to McDonald. They were not sufficiently familiar with the implications and consequences of certain recently created methods of issuing and exchanging loans, especially mortgage
Lehman Brothers’ total assets in 2007
Lehman Brothers’ total debt in 2007
loans, he said. The board decided to concentrate most of the firm’s assets on commercial real estate, despite the urgings of employees within Lehman Brothers as early as 2004, to reduce the firm’s presence in the market for subprime mortgages, McDonald said. Lawrence B. Lindsey, who chaired the National Economic Council from 2001 to 2002 and was later hired by Lehman Brothers to analyze its activities, warned the Board in late 2006 of
growing concerns regarding so-called “NINJA” mortgages. NINJA is an acronym for subprime mortgages being lent to people who had “no income, no job, no assets,” according to McDonald. Lehman Brothers’ rapid growth in the assets it was managing further hampered its ability to operate properly, McDonald said. The firm had total assets of $42 billion and $36 billion in debt at the end of fiscal year 1998. It had total assets of $691 billion and debt of $669 billion at the end of fiscal year 2007, according to the firm’s balance sheets filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. McDonald said he feels financial services firms of Lehman Brothers’ size should be considered as too big to properly succeed rather than “too big to fail.” “They’re too big to be managed,” McDonald said in an exclusive interview with The Eagle before the KPU event. “Bank of America, today, is like a snake that has swallowed 5,000 rats ... I don’t care how smart you are, I don’t care if you put 10 analysts on Bank of America, I’m telling you right now, you cannot judge the risks on that balance sheet.”
Bank of America had $2.2 trillion in assets at the end of fiscal year 2009 with $2.0 trillion in debt, according to a balance sheet filed with the SEC on Feb. 26. Alessandra Conti, a sophomore in the School of Communication, said she appreciated McDonald’s efforts to educate the public about the state of Lehman Brothers before it filed for bankruptcy. “In spite of all this corruption, there are people who are willing to take a step back and look at the situation and be able to expose it,” Conti said. “In order to make change, you have to acknowledge what happened in the past.” McDonald is touring the country to promote greater financial responsibility. His book, “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers,” provides further analysis and recommendations. The next KPU event will be held this Wednesday, March 3 in MGC 45, and will feature Dunya Mikhail, an Iraqi poet and former literary editor for The Baghdad Observer. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
AU endowment increases 33 percent, largest jump in single year By STEFANIE DAZIO Eagle Staff Writer AU’s endowment increased by 33 percent last year, a rebound from a 20.7 percent decline between 2008 and 2009, according to Doug Kudravetz, associate vice president of finance and assistant treasurer. The increase represents the largest growth the fund has ever seen in a single year, according to Kudravetz. The endowment was worth $370 million as of Dec. 31, 2009 — up from $279 million the year before. Kudravetz estimated the endowment was
$372 million at the end of January. The increase in AU’s endowment was one of the largest in over 200 endowments tracked by Cambridge Associates, a company that produces financial reviews. Prior to this increase, the endowment decreased 20.7 percent during the 2009 fiscal year from $393 million in 2008, according to an annual study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute. The overall average return investment for 863 institutions of higher education across the United States and
Canada in the 2009 fiscal year fell 18.7 percent from the previous year, marking 2009 as the worst year for university endowments in the history of the study, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. “These results illustrate the extreme difficulties colleges and universities faced at the height of the global economic crisis,” NACUBO president and chief executive officer John Walda said in a press release. The endowment is a compilation of funds received from a donor with the restriction that the original donation will never be spent, according to
Kudravetz. The interest earned on the original donation is then spent according to stipulations set by the donor. Kudravetz credits AU’s rebound to an unchanging asset allocation policy. Assets are invested in sectors including large-capital firms, international equities, fixed income, hedge funds, cash, real estate, real assets, emerging market equities and smallcapital equities. “The real intent of this is to have a broad diversification of your investments, so if there is a downturn in a particular sector, you’re not affected as much,” he said. “You don’t want all of
your investments invested in one sector, because if there’s a problem in that sector, you’re in trouble.” Kudravetz said that because AU does not depend on the endowment to support the university’s base operating budget — the endowment only consists of one percent of the operating budget — it was able to weather the financial crisis fairly well. “In times when the endowment declines—and the endowment income declines—you’re in a tough position if you’re relying heavily on the endowment for your operating budget,” Kudravetz said. “We’ve resisted that over
the years.” Other D.C. schools like Georgetown University and George Washington University have larger endowments than AU. Kudravetz attributes this to their longer histories and more donations. Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya, reported the school’s endowment was $958 million as of the end of last November. GWU’s endowment stood at $1.01 billion at the end of June 2009, according to its Web site. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 1, 2010
THE EAGLE'S ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION
NICOLE PULLEY / THE EAGLE
SONG AND DANCE — Spanish dance took over GWU’s Lisner Auditorium this past week at the Flamenco Festival. Originated in southern Spain, flamenco has been gaining in popularity world-wide. Performers such as Israel Galván showed D.C. their own take on flamenco dancing.
Courtesy of SKYHIGH PHOTOGRAPHY
SOUTHERN COMFORT — Austin, Texas, is soon to play host to South by Southwest, the annual music, art and multimedia festival that brings flocks of fans out in droves. The nine-day event will take place in the city’s venues, bars and theaters rather than only one isolated location, like most festivals, making the pervasiveness of SXSW truly unique.
Music fest heats up Southwest By KATRINA CASINO Eagle Staff Writer As an East Coast kid raised in New York, there was little I ever thought I’d envy about being from the Southwest. Sure, they have great Tex-Mex and it never gets too cold, but what’s all that compared to the busy, condensed, booming center of culture that is Manhattan, right? Wrong, apparently. The Southwest has a lot more to offer than tacos and warm weather — it’s a center for outdoor music festivals, most notably the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. Despite all the indie coolness of New York spots like the Williamsburg Hall of Music and the Bowery Ballroom, there’s something about the Northeast that just isn’t conducive to music festivals. Bamboozle lands in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., for two days every year, but getting jostled around in a Hellogoodbye mosh pit gets tiring quickly. Austin, however, is the perfect location for a festival like SXSW. As Texas’s cultural center, the city is littered with
venues, party spots and streets just waiting to be lined with hipster kids for the annual music, film and interactive event. What sets SXSW apart from other music festivals — besides the film and interactive components, which precede the five-day music event — is the fact that there is no one location dotted with stages; instead SXSW is a city-wide affair that centers its events around the downtown Austin Convention Center and takes over the whole city. So for any of you lucky enough to somehow be excused from classes from March 12-21, here’s your guide to SXSW 2010. For the rest of us stranded music fans, here’s the chance to live vicariously through our Southwest counterparts. When it comes to venues, Stubb’s is Austin’s jam. Kicking off the first night of music and uniting the coasts are New York City’s the Walkmen and Austin’s own locals, Spoon. Formed in 1993 in the golden era of alternative rock, the four-piece Walkmen have released seven albums, their most recent being “Transference,” released in January. “Written in Reverse,” Spoon’s latest single is a piano-laden bar-rock song with
a tinge of old-school swagger offsetting lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s bluesy vocals. They’re kicking off their nationwide tour at Stubb’s, so anyone bummed about missing them in Austin can catch up with them on the East Coast. Hitting the Encore Patio the Saturday of SXSW are San Francisco rockers Sleepy Sun. Before hitting the road with Arctic Monkeys, the boys are stopping by Austin to deliver their vintage brand of psychedelic rock to SXSW-ers. Fans may look forward to a performance of their nine-minute epic “Sandstorm Woman,” which rolls over listeners in a slow-motion haze of guitar licks and harmonica solos. Anyone looking to venture out of the genre of alternative rock can look forward to Los Angeles boy-girl folk duo She & Him. Comprised of folk guitar legend M. Ward and Hollywood darling Zooey Deschanel (don’t let the singerslash-actress label throw you off ), She & Him bring a chemistry and charm not common to the jaded world of indie music. The two combine the sounds of rock and pop through the eras, even including throwback covers like a slide-guitar
rendition of The Beatles’ “I Should Have Known Better.” She & Him are playing the Auditorium Shores Stage on Saturday, March 20. Capitalizing on the trendy Austin scene are several music publications, including “Under the Radar,” who is throwing an all-ages party at Emo’s East Annex. Their latest addition to the lineup is Norwegian golden boy Sondre Lerche, who recently released his latest album “Heartbeat Radio.” Lerche’s dainty vocals float effortlessly over intricately laced melodies, making him a perfect choice for an after party event. And he looks pretty adorable in striped sweaters, meaning he’ll fit right in to Emo’s sceney vibe. SXSW lands in Austin on March 12 and leaves March 21. With any luck, maybe next year’s event will line up with spring break, allowing for a potential temporary mass migration to the Southwest. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
SAEED ADYANI / OVERATURE FILMS
CRAZY TRAIN — Director Breck Eisner’s new thriller, ”The Crazies,” refuses to give in to the audience’s desire for cheap entertainment, leaving out nudity and needless humor for character development and fear. The film centers on a sheriff while his small town’s residents start becoming gruesome murderers.
‘Crazies’ offers more than cheap thrill By BRYAN KOENIG Eagle Staff Writer
Audiences know exactly what is going to happen before they set foot in the theater and “The Crazies” plans for it. The film wastes no time setting the scene and commencing the mayhem. But it is a slow-moving mayhem that knows when to jump, when to edge in dreadful anticipation and even when to settle into a quiet moment that manages to build suspense for what isn’t going horribly wrong.
Timothy Olyphant is spot on as David Dutton, a small-time sheriff with a big time problem. Alongside wife Judy (Rahda Mitchell), he is just as baffled as the audience while the residents of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, — population: 2,000 — slowly descend into murderous psychopaths, one grisly death after another. It’s a story of survival and simple fears turned into horrifying realities where the neighbors you’ve known your entire life suddenly try to impale you with a pitchfork or burn you alive and you have no idea why. Compound that fear with a military force descending on your town in full body armor with guns and gas masks, and the film is ripe for digging into our deepest fears. “The Crazies” sees no need to get bogged down in fan service; it features
no nudity or needless humor. Not to say that the film doesn’t have its funny moments, but they are not extraneous. Instead, they are seamlessly woven into the plot in a dark laughter-against-themadness fashion. “The Crazies” also manages to avoid over-explaining itself, instead having a quick and effective, if cursory, exposition. Even the gore stays mild for much of the first half, preferring genuine fear to grotesque displays of latex and corn syrup. This is not to say that the film doesn’t have its fair share of gruesome moments, but all are very effective without being overdone. As pure, fright inducing horror, “The Crazies” is pulse pounding and fairly scary but never terrifying. Instead of abject nightmares, it prefers tension and thrills (although the film does
manage some excellent and innovative kills including a car wash that will keep you cleaning your car in the driveway for a very long time). Director Breck Eisner has remade George A. Romero’s original horror with thrills, momentum and a few decent chills. We understand and empathize with these characters and share their dread as the people around them start to go crazy. Enjoyable and approachable to general audiences (albeit probably dissatisfying to hardcore horror fans), “The Crazies” is a solid thrill that will leave your heart beating fast and your head completely free of nightmares — mostly. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flamenco storms U.S. dance stage By NICOLE PULLEY Eagle Contributing Writer The stage goes black. Royal blue light shines from the ceiling down onto three chairs placed at center stage. One by one, the seats are filled and a Spanish guitar begins to play. A singer joins the acoustics, singing with deep, powerful emotions that fill the theater and the ears of the audience. Then, the light shining on the third chair becomes brighter as a dancer springs to life and joins the other two performers to complete the trio. With his grand movements and facial expressions, it is a mesmerizing and accurate demonstration of Spanish flamenco. The flamenco dance originated in southern Spain — Andalucía, to be exact — and has deep roots within the Spanish culture and history. Often referred to as el baile del gitano (the gypsy’s dance), the Spanish developed the dance and song by expressing their thoughts and emotions about life. Flamenco is composed of three pieces: cante (the song), baile (the dance) and toque (the music). The singing is often centered on social problems the gypsies faced when living in caves in Spain, as well as love and complicated relationships. The guitar helps to set the mood with the tempo, progression and repetition of chords. The dancing mirrors the emotion of the singing, often telling a story through body language. When all three are meshed together, an exciting and energetic performance is sure to be had. It is not uncommon for those new to the flamenco scene to be taken aback upon seeing a performance for the first time. The elaborate costumes, fast-paced footwork and high-volume acoustics all make for a dramatic performance, taking the visual arts to a whole different level. Traditional flamenco involves a group of three to five musicians with instruments including the guitar, tambourine, bass and even violin. There is normally one singer, although the musicians will also voice their enthusiasm for the performance. There can be as few as one dancer or an entire troupe of performers who take turns showing off their skills and creating a story through their interactions with the others. While flamenco is a traditional Spanish dance, it is growing quickly in popularity all over the world (a flamenco craze is even taking root in Japan) and becoming incorporated into many Latin American cultures. A new wave of flamenco is evolving as artists are adding a fresh spin on the dance to express their style of performing. Such events as flamenco festivals allow artists to share their unique style and bring awareness to the transforming art. The Flamenco Festival in Washington, D.C., celebrates the art of flamenco through some of Spain’s leading performers. This year, the Lisner Auditorium at the George Washington University hosted the 10th annual festival. The festival began on Feb. 9 with a performance by a group of accomplished flamenco dancers. Artists included Pastora Galván from Sevilla, María Pagés from Sevilla, Rocío Molina from Málaga and Israel Galván from Sevilla. Each of the performances was unique, bringing something original that illustrated multiple aspects of flamenco. Israel Galván was the final performer of the festival and certainly put on an incredible show. An excellent example of new wave flamenco, Galván is famous for his rapid footwork, followed by stillness and slow movements. The stage comes to life with the sounds of the guitar and singer, David and Alfredo Lagos, who each incorporated their own solo pieces into the dance. Galván grew up in a family immersed in the flamenco culture. With a mother and father who both dance, and the latter directing a dance academy in Spain, Galván became a professional dancer at the age of 18. “There is never a day when I am not dancing,” he said after the performance. Galván seems to have created his own niche, which can be best described as non-conforming, replacing the cliché flamenco patterns with long steps across the stage, intricate hand formations and a presence that captivated the audience during the entire hour and a half. The encore included an unexpected “cambio del rol,” through which the singer played the guitar, Galván sang and the guitarist stamped around the stage clapping his hands — an entertaining finale for sure. Bringing more awareness to the growth of flamenco nations where Spanish is a common language, such as the United States, is important to the success of flamenco and allows other cultures to evolve artistically. For upcoming events at the Lisner Auditorium, visit www.lisner.org. For further information on local D.C. flamenco events, visit www.dcflamenco.com. You can reach this writer at email@example.com.
MARCH 1, 2010
the scene 6
â€˜LOSTâ€™sâ€™ claimed candidates create more questions WEEKLY BOOB TUBE
Photo by ANDY WILLSHER
LONDON CALLING â€” Indie rockers The Clientele brought their own brand of British shoegaze over to this side of the pond on Tuesday night. The group performed their latest album, â€œBonfires on the Heath,â€? with instrumentation and vocals that rivaled the original record.
Clientele hit mark at Black Cat By EMILY LAGG Eagle Contributing Writer Last Tuesday, Sup Pop-signed band Vetiver co-headlined Black Cat with the reverb-obsessed Londoners, The Clientele. Both bands have an affinity for mellow songs and lyrics that err on the side of poetic. This generally isnâ€™t a foolproof recipe for a rocking live show, but both bands were able to pull it off with a gentle, shoegazing grace. Vetiver hit the stage first. Lead singer Andy Cabic sported a porkpie hat and requisite folky beard. The band launched into a set of warm and innocuous indie-folk tunes, slowly induc-
ing swaying amid the still-accumulating crowd. This is the sort of stuff that creeps its way into soundtracks and coffee commercials â€” mild and vaguely lovely. While songs like â€œMore of Thisâ€? have a jaunty, rockabilly-sounding twangish kick, this was the mellowest of mellow stuff; it seemed to mumble on inoffensively in the background of Urban Outfitters nationwide. The Clientele came on stage quickly after Vetiver wrapped up their set with an instrumental, bringing keyboards and a violin with them. The bandâ€™s latest release, â€œBonfires on the Heath,â€? came out last October and contains more of the same dreamy,
lilting, string-laced pop the band first became recognized for in 2000 when they released â€œSuburban Light.â€? The lush texture of the Clienteleâ€™s music translated well with album-like accuracy. Songs from the bandâ€™s past and present like â€œSince K Got Over Meâ€? and â€œI Know Iâ€™ll See Your Faceâ€? rolled smoothly into one another, punctuated only by lead singer Alasdair MacLeanâ€™s very dry and brief quips. At one point he asking a very enthusiastic audience member if his mother knew he was out, later urging that he should probably call her as she might be worried. Mel Drosey attended key-
boards and violin, both of which figure largely into the Clienteleâ€™s music, making poppy, Everly Brothers-esque arrangements in songs like â€œMy Own Face Inside the Treesâ€? sound dense and dream-like. The beer-drinking crowd mostly had the same dopey looks of contentment on their faces, rocking back and forth, some singing along tamely. A scream-till-youâ€™re-hoarse, ballsto-the-wall show this was not, but the Clientele left the crowd reverb-drenched and wooed. You can reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this weekâ€™s episode of â€œLOST,â€? â€œThe Lighthouse,â€? we met a miniShepherd, Jackâ€™s son, David. David stays with Jack while Davidâ€™s mother is out of town, but the two have trouble communicating. We see commonalities in the relationships between Jack and his father and Jack and his son. Luckily, Jack is neither a lush nor a prick, and he overcomes the communication barrier when he shows up to his sonâ€™s piano audition only to meet Mr. â€œToo-Cool for Englishâ€? Dogan and his tiny, prodigy son. â€œTheyâ€™re too young for that much pressure,â€? Mr. Too-Cool says of the boys. What do you know about pressure? You get to prance around your hidden temple, ordering John Lennon and your jungle slaves to do stuff for you, like drown Sayid. I kind of hope that Mr. Too-Cool meets a bad end; heâ€™s just not as cool as the original cast. Thankfully, Evil Locke is headed his way and will most likely kill him with some smoke monster action. Back on the beach, Claire fixes up Jinâ€™s leg and then sinks an axe into the chest of that fake Lawrence Fishbourne guy. Clearly sheâ€™s crazy! As if that ratty wig wasnâ€™t already a sign. One more thing, sheâ€™s been hanging out with Evil Locke, and she keeps this crazy animal skull in a rather new-looking bassinet, pretending itâ€™s her baby! Iâ€™m not sure I want to see any more of Claireâ€™s story, but she does say â€œone thing thatâ€™ll kill you around here is infection,â€? alluding to others that have died. She did, however, have a scar where Mr. Too-Cool branded her. Doesnâ€™t that mean sheâ€™s not â€œclaimedâ€? if she still burns like a mortal? Although the episode was very Jack-centered, Hurley had a few good moments. He referenced Star Wars, comparing Jacob to Obi-Wan
Kenobi, and then proclaimed, â€œI just lied to a Samuraiâ€? in reference to Mr. Too-Cool. Hurley took Jack to a lighthouse that no one had ever noticed before, expecting to find Jacob. Instead, they found some kind of clock that when shifted to a specific degree corresponding with a survivorâ€™s name, shows an image in a mirror from that personâ€™s life. In the mirror, we saw glimpses of Sun and Jinâ€™s wedding, the church where Sawyerâ€™s parents had their funeral and the house in which Jack grew up. Itâ€™s interesting to think about who the next â€œprotectorâ€? will be. It canâ€™t be someone who has been â€œclaimed,â€? so that rules out Sayid, Locke and Claire. The remaining candidates would be Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sun or Jin. This last episode led us to believe it might be Jack, because Jacob is always so interested in him. That would be too obvious and Jack would never give his life to the island. Man, Locke wouldâ€™ve been perfect; too bad heâ€™s dead. So the protector will either be someone unexpected, like Rose or Bernard, or something out of character would happen. I could see J.J. having Jack and Kate settle on the island, making a super handsome family. A hundred bucks says the last scene of the series will be some happy people frolicking on the beach â€” after all, thatâ€™s how he ended â€œAlias.â€? Producer Damon Lindelof has said of the series finale, â€œWe do feel like the worst ending that we could possibly provide everyone who has invested this amount of time and energy into watching the show is the safe ending. You know, the ending that is basically like, â€˜Whatâ€™s going to be the most appealing to the most number of people?â€™â€? No doubt the producers will leave us with a good taste in our mouths, however, donâ€™t count on all of your questions being answered. The finale of â€œLOSTâ€? is bound to be a tropical blend of mystery, death and satisfaction, or else you wouldnâ€™t be lost. You can reach this columnist at email@example.com.
Photos by ANNABEL MEHRAN
SAINT ANNIE â€” Indie pop musician Annie Clark â€” better known as her stage name, St. Vincent â€” gave D.C. audiences the boost they needed on Wednesday night. Despite the Districtâ€™s reputation for lackluster audiences, St. Vincent sung the praises of the 9:30 clubâ€™s crowd and rewarded them with a singular performance. The singer added quality and depth to songs off her latest album, â€œActor,â€? which was made using GarageBand.
St. Vincent brings audience appreciation back to District By ANTHONY KAKOYANNIS Eagle Contributing Writer Washington, D.C., is often criticized for its lackluster music scene. Several writers and artists have said it possesses the same rigid lack of originality that the cityâ€™s politics exhibit. Maybe itâ€™s only a small step in shedding this reputation, but Annie Clark of St. Vincent redeemed the Capitalâ€™s music listeners last Wednesday, when she played an awing show at 9:30 club and repeatedly praised D.C. and its residents for providing her with some of her fullest and most enthusiastic shows in her past. Her audience seemed aware of the significance of this praise and responded by delivering her another ardent reception. Such a response was not very difficult for the D.C. crowd. The band and its technical assists made masterful use of light, sound and time to effect an atmosphere that forced itself onto everyone in the room. This became evident from the opening song, â€œThe Strangers,â€? where lowlights lit Clark with alternating red, green and white light. The effect did not go unnoticed
â€” first, because it was perfectly in rhythm with the tempo of the song, and second because it completely changed Annieâ€™s appearance relative to her background. Even having heard â€œThe Strangersâ€? a hundred times, the audience immediately became aware they werenâ€™t listening to a CD anymore; this was truly a piece of performance art. Once the show took off with â€œThe Strangers,â€? â€œSave Me from What I Wantâ€? and â€œBlack Rainbow,â€? St. Vincent turned up the bass and engulfed the stage with reverb. The band performed creative renditions of some of their lesser-known songs by slowing down the tempo, changing the octave or emphasizing different instruments. If listeners didnâ€™t realize there was a flute and violin part in almost all of St. Vincentâ€™s songs, they did after this show. Clark frequently allowed her supporting band members to take over the melody, her elegant voice working with, not over, instruments, giving Wednesdayâ€™s show a more diverse and experimental feel than her recorded tracks. For the more attentive listeners, even more
effects were noticed. For example, the violin part in â€œThe Bed,â€? alternated between live violin and a prerecorded violin track. The transition between the two was seamless, and the artful subtlety of the technique added depth to St. Vincentâ€™s performance. The most impressive part of Clarkâ€™s individual performance was her interaction with the crowd. She talked about several empty shows she played while touring â€œActorâ€? and riled the club by contrasting them with D.C.â€™s reliably big turnout. After recalling a hilarious story that she â€œshouldnâ€™t be tellingâ€? about an S&M club she nearly played in Ohio, she playfully joked, â€œHow many lawyers are in the crowd? ... They can protect us if that gets us.â€? Although audience members were not always responsive to her humor, Clark felt the obvious warmth of the interaction and continued to engage her fans throughout the show. This was especially true after the crowd cheered the band back onstage for an encore. After everyone was positioned behind her, Clark introduced her supporting cast to the audience and
thanked her technical staff. It seems odd that such a ritual should take place at the end of a show, but Clark seemed to want to reward her audience for their loyalty and excitement and the resulting intimacy was uncommonly apparent. The encore, in fact, deserves its own mention. St. Vincent returned to the stage for two songs: first for a solo performance of â€œParis is Burningâ€? by Clark, and then for a fanciful rendition of â€œYour Lips Are Redâ€? by the whole band. Of the two, â€œYour Lips Are Redâ€? was clearly the most powerful. The song â€” which normally is a little under five minutes â€” stretched to almost 15 minutes in this performance. For more than half of that time, Clark was kneeling on the ground in front of the microphone stand with her chest pressed up against her knees and her forehead nearly touching the ground. Meanwhile, a spectacle of light awed the crowd. Two sets of oscillating white lights and three stationary strobe lights gradually elevated their focus from the floor of the stage to directly in the face of the crowd, perfectly building with the melody until Clark stood up for
a powerful climax that isnâ€™t present in the recorded version of the song. The audience response, more than at any other point in the show, reflected joy and awe as much as appreciation. The style of their encore reflected St. Vincentâ€™s attitude toward the whole performance. To turn a satisfactory show into a truly memo-
rable one, St. Vincent extended, personalized and beautified every aspect of their performance. Washington D.C., so often marginalized in conversations about music and art, certainly appreciated the favor. You can reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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MARCH 1, 2010
KUSHAN DOSHI n Business Manager 202.885.3593
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HIT AND RUN — Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan’s newest film, “Cop Out,” reuses old movie formulas for disappointing results. Kevin Smith — director of such cult classics as “Clerks” and “Dogma” — directed the film written by brothers Robb and Mark Cullen. Willis and Morgan play parts typical to the roles they have filled in the past, with Morgan starring as a bumbling buffoon and Willis as a cold and seasoned action star.
Willis, Morgan repeat Smith’s latest movie past roles in new film ‘cops out’ on comedy By YOHANA DESTA Eagle Staff Writer Thoughts of comedian Tracy Morgan bring to mind outrageous yelling, sloppy antics and a lot of bare belly shirt-raising. And that’s not just his schtick — it’s who the man is in real life. Tracy Morgan is one of those comedians that never really needs to get into character because he already is one. In a way, it’s what makes him unforgettable as a comedian. And lately, Morgan seems to be doing quite well for himself. This year he stars in the police comedy “Cop Out” alongside Hollywood heavyweight Bruce Willis. Morgan’s career started off slowly with random appearances in small films and movies. For a while, he landed a recurring role on Martin Lawrence’s comedic sitcom, “Martin,” which gave him a chance to really get a foot in the industry. Aside from that, Morgan was still an up-and-coming stand-up comic, performing regularly for comedy clubs in Harlem. It was not until he auditioned for “Saturday Night Live” in 1996 that he really became famous. For the next 10 years, Morgan was a part of television’s most famous sketch comedy show. Playing characters like Uncle Jemima (which is exactly what you think it would be), Dominican Lou and African Andy, Morgan got laughs for his outrageously rude and over-the-top characterizations. These
days, Morgan perfects his exaggerated character on the hilarious creation of Tina Fey, “30 Rock,” as a comedian named Tracy Jordan. Morgan currently stars in “Cop Out” as Paul Hodges, the bumbling partner to seasoned NYPD cop Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis). Once a rare baseball card is stolen, pandemonium ensues and Willis and Morgan’s characters go on a chase to find it. Also in the film is longtime actor Michelle Trachtenberg, playing Ava, Monroe’s daughter. Seasoned comedian Seann William Scott plays Dave, another cop that adds to the bumbling brand of comedy the film is sure to provide. While this is not the first time Willis has played a cop (the “Die Hard” trilogy, “Sin City”), it’s one of the first times he’s acted in an obvious comedic parody film. Willis has a natural comedic sensibility, often adding a smirking and sarcastic quality to his characters. Aside from his early brawn, it’s that certain quality that has made Willis one of Hollywood’s most famous leading men. Willis’ films have grossed billions of dollars worldwide. The “Die Hard” trilogy itself has grossed over a billion dollars and made Willis famous worldwide. But before he became a blockbuster megastar, Willis held a number of jobs. He started off as a security guard, putting his soon-to-be-famous muscle to good use. After that, there was a period where he was a private investigator (which he later played in “The Last Boy Scout”) before he even-
tually went back to being a bartender in New York City. It was not until he started acting in off-Broadway plays that he actually got picked up to be in a television series —the infamous “Moonlighting,” where he acted opposite Cybil Shepherd. What followed were the first and second “Die Hard” films, solidifying Willis’ status as a hard core actor and action hero. Willis’ next major role was in 1994’s “Pulp Fiction,” arguably one of Quentin Tarantino’s best films. Willis played Butch Coolidge, and though it was not a major role, it was critical to the film and earned him accolades for his serious acting chops, since many of his other films had been flops until that point. But you can’t talk about Bruce Willis’ career without mentioning 1999’s “The Sixth Sense.” The M. Night Shyamalan thriller was nominated for six Oscars, had a creepy and shocking plot and spawned the now-overused saying, “I see dead people.” Willis played Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a psychologist who deals with the supernatural problems of a troubled little boy. The film is a thriller at its finest and forever made Willis a Hollywood icon. With the release of “Cop Out,” Willis and Morgan are now joined together to make an unlikely but comedic duo, and it’ll be interesting to see what the two bring to the table. The film is currently out in theaters. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.
By BEN SCHWARTZ Eagle Contributing Writer COP OUT
When one hears that Kevin Smith, the director of “Clerks,” “Mallrats” and “Dogma,” is coming out with another movie, it’s hard not to brim with excitement. Until you remember that this is also the man who directed “Clerks II” and “Jersey Girl.” That’s when it’s hard not to get nervous. Kevin Smith’s new movie, “Cop Out,” starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, is more in the vein of those last two miserable, unfunny train wrecks than of his earlier opuses. Even the title is a bad joke. Early reviews said that it’s just like every other cop movie ever made, except worse. This perfectly pithy assessment renders the rest of this reviews redundant. For a few minutes at the beginning, you can feel your initial optimism returning. The movie opens with the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” pulsing through the speakers. No song puts you more in the mood to watch a Kevin Smith movie. Like Smith, the song has a non-traditional sense of New York cool: brash, dirty, original and deliberately ugly. It’s
the feel you get from people who grew up in the shadow of something glamorous and beautiful and who are never bored, because they can always fall back on their own mischievousness. The movie opens with Paul Hodges (a zany, off-the-wall Tracy Morgan) interrogating a prisoner, watched by his partner (a stoic, yet inwardly emotional Bruce Willis) Jimmy Monroe. You can suspect from the first few minutes that you’ll be watching the same joke replayed for almost two hours: Tracy Morgan does something that people expect from Tracy Morgan, and Bruce Willis does something people expect from Bruce Willis. Watching them interact might seem funny to you now, but wait until you’re 45 minutes into “Cop Out” and you’ve been listening to Morgan’s absurd drivel and watching Willis’ knowing sneer for about as long as you can take and begin to realize that the popcorn has run out — and you’ve still got an hour left. It won’t be so funny anymore. The typecasting extends beyond just Willis and Morgan. Seann William Scott and Susie Essman also appear in bit roles that might be funny if it was a different movie, playing basically every character they’ve ever played, and doing about as good a job as you would expect. But humor isn’t just a question of picking a few good
pieces out of other movies and TV shows and throwing them together. It requires story and direction, two elements this movie seems to have forgotten. There is allegedly some sort of plot involving Mexican drug gangs, but the characters are so bad and the accents so thick that it’s not even worth going into. The same adage applies: they’re like all the other Mexican gangbangers you’ve seen in a movie, but worse — painfully worse. While it’s painful to bash a genuinely good director like Smith, there are two mitigating factors that should make you feel less guilty. The first is that Smith did not write “Cop Out,” so with a few stretches of wishful thinking it can be banished from the Kevin Smith canon. The second is that Woody Allen made “Curse of the Jade Scorpion” and “Hollywood Ending;” in fact, he made them back-to-back, which is to say, even geniuses have their Hindenburgs. If you’re a Smith fan, just grit your teeth and force a smile through the seemingly unending 107 minutes of “Cop Out.” Or, better yet, just skip this one and wait for “Red State,” Smith’s new project that he’s actually writing and will likely be much more hilarious. You can reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Egyptian mummy remains unravel truth behind tomb CROSS-CULTURAL DISPATCH
CAIRO, EGYPT By WILLIAM F. ZEMAN Eagle Columnist In his memoir “The Big Rewind,” film and television critic Nathan Rabin said that during his stay in a mental institution, he amused himself with a peculiar pastime: “Some folks collect stamps ... I collect bitter ironies,” Rabin wrote. “So I had to savor the moment when the [nurse] staring daggers at me bitterly groused to a coworker, ‘I just don’t see why everyone thinks “The
Simpsons” is so great. What’s so funny about a father who strangles his son?’ ... here she was conveying bottomless concern for an imaginary cartoon boy while betraying nothing but contempt for the squirming bundle of humanity sobbing softly six feet away.” Last week, I experienced my own bitter irony. At a press conference of Zahi Hawass, Director-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, I saw a man drop a video camera on a mummy case while scrambling to film another seemingly more important mummy. In Egyptology’s Holy of Holies — the Cairo Museum’s grand lobby — I scrambled over an ancient statue of Amenhotep III, attempting to avoid being hit by a boom mic. (The God-King, incidentally, was brushed by a collapsing lamp. He’s survived worse.) We had gathered for the unveiling of Hawass’ latest exploit: DNA extraction from Tutankhamun’s corpse in an attempt to learn more
about his lineage. I attended as The Daily News Egypt’s clueless intern. Hawass’ press conference didn’t reveal much about the boy king’s death. The news agencies following the event trumpeted some variation of “Malaria Killed King Tut,” but Hawass had argued this theme well before testing results. The test did reveal Tutankhamun to be sickly, likely a product of incestuous parents , but true Egyptologists have assumed this for years. (Tomb relics depict Tutankhamun seated on a throne, holding a bow. Only the sickliest kings shoot bows without standing.) The DNA tests’ actual substance — who Tutankhamun’s mother was, his relationship with the priest Ay succeeding him — are not yet developed. This didn’t stop the media. The first clue was the press release shoved into my hand by a Discovery Channel Representative, announcing the times of the new special on Zahi Hawass’ latest “amazing discovery.” Discovery had collaborated with the
Supreme Council to make this special and, gosh-darn-it, they planned to make sure every media outlet knew how amazing this three-hour special of lab coat-clad men measuring DNA test tubes actually was. “Sir?” the woman asked me. “Does your paper need anything else?” “No, I think we’re fine,” I said, flipping through the many-paged press release. The woman offered to send me pictures, though her smile disappeared once I handed her a scribbled e-mail address rather than a pristine business card. I sat next to an Associated Press reporter, took dutiful notes, and, when the conference ended, looked on as everyone surged towards the podium. “What’s going on?” I said. “Everyone’s rushing the podium for coffin footage,” he responded, rushing towards the junket, pulling an audio recorder from his khaki pocket.
I followed, pen and paper pressed against my chest. In the crowd’s midst stood Hawass, standing proudly over the corpse of Tutankhamun’s mother (maybe), preening for the cameras. Zahi Hawass inspires extreme emotions. Some love him, claiming his tenure as the Supreme Council’s director-general has single-handedly revitalized Egypt’s economy. My roommate, for instance, is still happy to recount how he managed to shake the good doctor’s hand. Others are less kind, claiming Hawass is a charlatan whose actions have harmed far more artifacts than they’ve preserved. The man also tends to exaggerate, referring to Valley of the King storerooms as pharaonic mothers’ long-lost tombs. However, everyone agrees Hawass has never met a camera he did not like. Today, Hawass was in good form, posing in adventurous and thoughtful stances, undisturbed by the chaos around him. After 15 minutes, he wandered off. I assumed
the conference had ended. It hadn’t. Hawass simply wanted to retrieve his hat — one modeled, of course, after Indiana Jones. He resumed posing, cameras resumed flashing and I walked away. As I left, I saw a boy attempting to view a senet set, the ancient precursor to backgammon. It was difficult, as the cases throughout the lobby had been haphazardly shoved into corners to make room for the multitude of TV cameras. I continued on, leaving the boy struggling to climb over the chaos to view this antique board game. Reporters rushed past me, anxious to file before the next hour. In the lobby’s corner, a custodian dusted the light’s broken shards off King Amenhotep III, his stone face unmoved by the chaos we had just witnessed. You can reach this columnist at email@example.com.
MARCH 1, 2010
ANDREW TOMLINSON n Sports Editor 202.885.1404
Men clinch tournament home game By ELLIOT JEFFORDS Eagle Contributing Writer With a little help from Colgate University, the AU men’s basketball team secured the fourth seed in the Patriot League tournament with a 78-60 win over Lafayette College. Vlad Moldoveanu led all scorers with 26 points and gave AU the intensity it needed to win. He scored the Eagles’ first eight points of the game, and AU never looked back from there. “Tonight was big; I wanted to Men’s Basketball AU: Lafayette:
Washington, D.C. get out there and go play hard,” Moldoveanu said. Sixth man Steve Luptak entered the game and made an immediate impact, quickly hitting back-toback three pointers. His six points gave AU a double-digit lead they would never relinquish. Stephen Lumpkins and Moldoveanu took over the remainder of the game. They had a knack for finding each other all day. Whether in the paint or on the outside, both were able to create and execute solid plays throughout the game. Lumpkins sent Bender Arena in to a frenzy just before half time. With AU cruising, Lumpkins took the ball down low and slammed it home for two points, hitting another layup just over 30 seconds later. Moldoveanu hit one more big shot before the end of the half. As time expired Moldoveanu drained a three from the corner to give AU a 45-26 lead going into halftime. Coming out of the intermission, Lafayette stepped up their defensive intensity. AU continued to find scoring easy despite the Leopards’ improved defense. Lumpkins yet again exploited them down low, as he pushed the
lead to 21 with another dunk just 20 seconds into the second half. AU has not had many large leads this season, and they seemed uneasy in the new territory. With six and a half minutes left in the game Lafayette pushed the score to 65-54. “We haven’t been in that situation much this season, playing with a big lead,” AU Head Coach Jeff Jones said. “We just need to know to keep playing smart.” Lafayette took advantage of sloppy AU passes and ill-advised shots. A run of good outside shooting allowed them to close the gap to eleven, but Lafayette never got any closer. AU pulled it together down the stretch and pulled away as the final seconds ticked away. Lumpkins led all players with 12 rebounds, to go along with his 24 points for the only double-double of the game. With the win, the Eagles continue their run of never finishing below .500 in the Patriot League. The last time AU finished below .500 in conference play was in the 2000-01 season, when they finished 3-13 in the Colonial Athletic Association. “The sun was still going to come up tomorrow if we lost today, but to say today’s win was important and those streaks didn’t matter would be [a lie],” Jones said. AU will face rival Navy in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament, Wednesday in Bender Arena. The Eagles won both of their meetings this season. The last time the two teams met on Feb. 24, the game went into double overtime.
By ANDREW TOMLINSON Eagle Staff Writer
You can reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHILLIP OCHS / THE EAGLE
BRINGING IT HOME — Stephen Lumpkins nets a two-handed slam dunk in the Eagles 78-60 win on Saturday in Bender Arena.
Women’s b-ball ties for PL season title By TYLER TOMEA Eagle Contributing Writer Raven Harris poured in a career-high 21 points, and the AU women’s basketball team pulled away from Lafayette College in the second half to defeat the Leopards 68-47 Saturday in Easton, Pa. With the win, AU also gets a share of the Patriot League regular season title with Lehigh University. Harris went 4-5 from the field, but did most of her damage from the free throw line. She netted 12 of her 21 points from the foul line. Ebony Edwards and Lisa Strack chipped in 13 points apiece in the victory. LaKeisha Wright paced Lafayette with 15 points. “Our sophomore class stepped up big with Raven, Ebony and Lisa
all scoring in double figures,” AU Head Coach Matt Corkery told AU Athletics. With the score tied 8-8 five minutes into the game, the Leopards used a 7-0 run capped by a Melissa Downey three-pointer to take an early 15-8 lead. The Lafayette lead was 19-14 midway through the first half, after a layup from Leopards’ forward Elizabeth Virgin. After a Wright jumper put the Leopards ahead 25-20 with 2:55 remaining in the first half, the Eagles began to find their rhythm on offense. Harris scored five points, Edwards nailed a three-pointer and Strack made two free throws as the sophomores led a critical 10-4 AU run. The spurt gave the Eagles a 30-29 lead and wrapped up a competitive first half.
LAX grabs first win this year
A jumper by Lafayette guard Alicia Manning early in the second half knotted the game at 34 and marked the last time the two
Women’s Basketball AU: Lafayette:
Easton, Pa. teams would be tied. A triple from AU’s Michelle Kirk finished off an 11-2 AU run that saw the Eagles take a 45-36 lead with 10:21 remaining. Lafayette trailed by five with nine minutes to play before AU squashed any upset hopes. Over
the next four and a half minutes, the Eagles turned up the defensive intensity as the Leopards went 0-3 from the field and committed two turnovers. Over that same time period, AU scored seven straight points to take a comfortable 54-42 lead with 4:34 left. The final margin of victory was 21 points, as AU outscored Lafayette 38-18 in the second half. “We made some nice adjustments coming out of the half and picked up our defensive energy,” Corkery told AU Athletics. For the game, AU shot 42 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc. Lafayette shot 41 percent from the field and 28 percent from three, but attempted 22 less free throws than the Eagles. With the win, the Eagles finish the regular sea-
son at 20-8 overall and 13-1 in the Patriot League, giving AU their best conference record in program history. The loss drops Lafayette to 6-22 on the season and 4-10 in the league. Lehigh owns the first seed in the torment because it is higher in the ratings percentage index standings than AU. The Mountain Hawks own the tiebreaker and the Eagles will enter the Patriot League Tournament as the No. 2 seed. This sets up a first-round matchup with seventh-slotted Lafayette on Saturday, March 6, at the College of Holy Cross. The winner of the PL Tournament will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. You can reach this writer at email@example.com.
The AU women’s lacrosse team defeated Stony Brook University 14-10 on the road to earn their first win of the season. A strong second half propelled AU to the win. Not only did they out-shoot Stony Brook 18-10 in the second half, but they also out-scored them 11-3. AU’s Emily Stankiewicz and Lauren Schoenberger had hat tricks in the game, with all three of Stankiewicz’s goals coming in the second half. Stony Brook jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first period. AU was able to get on the board in the first half, but was outplayed. Stony Brook outshot them 11-8 and only had seven fouls in the first half, compared to AU’s 12. The game looked all but over nine minutes into the second half, as Stony Brook took a 10-5 lead. Back-to-back goals by AU’s Chiara Speziale, however, got AU back in the game. Her two goals started a 9-0 AU run to finish the last 20 minutes of the game. Three Eagles, including Samantha Marshall, Schoenberger and Stankiewicz each recorded four points on the day. Kaska Komosinski relieved starter Frankie Solomon in net after she had let in four goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. Komosinski would finish the match with seven saves, six goals against and the victory. Earlier in the week, AU had dropped their third straight match 12-11 in overtime against George Washington University. AU scored three goals in the final 10 minutes of the second half against GWU to send it to overtime. The Eagles controlled the play for much of OT, as they won one draw and had one shot. A free position shot from GWU with only nine seconds left led to the game-winning goal only five seconds later. Amanda Makoid, Lisa Schaaf, Maeve Koch and Speziale had two goals on the day. Makoid also totaled 10 shots in the game, more than twice as many as anyone else on the team. Despite starting the game in net, Komosinski replaced Solomon, who would eventually be credited with the overtime loss. With the victory over Stony Brook and the loss to GWU, AU moves to 1-3 on the season. There are only two games remaining before AU opens their conference schedule at home against Colgate University on March 13. AU’s next game will be their home opener against the University of Richmond. You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bode Miller completes comeback with strong Olympic showing SIDELINE SCHOLAR
MIKE DEFABO Team USA skiing maverick Bode Miller finished his final run in Vancouver in much the same way as he did the 2006 Olympics, throwing his hands up in defeat after missing a gate. His overall Olympic performance however, couldn’t be more different than it was in Turin, Italy. Back in 2006, Miller was supposed to be America’s golden boy. He arrived at the games brandishing two silver medals from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and as the defending world champion. Miller’s face and the expectations
were equally well known thanks to ubiquitous advertising campaigns and magazine covers. Like over-involved Little League parents, Uncle Sam demanded excellence: five medals, preferably all gold. The skier responded like a rebellious boy. Miller skied five uninspired races and came up emptyhanded in each one. By the end of the games the running joke had become, “how will Bode screw this one up?” Despite the joking, Americans scratched their heads and pointed their fingers, not always the index finger, at what was supposed to be our national icon. Everyone in the world was looking for an answer. Brainstorming turned into fire storming as the speculation about his performance spiraled out of control. Most notably, reports surfaced that Miller had been spotted out at bars prior
to races in Turin. By then everyone knew that he skied drunk. The often outspoken skier admitted—in a highly publicized 60 Minutes interview—that his escapades had sometimes interfered with competition. Bode Miller was like Bob Dylan on skis. Like the musician, he refused to be the poster boy, preferring to be the party boy instead. He blew off the media, hopping the out of bounds ropes and skiing alone to his RV in order to avoid the swarms of rabid reporters. Worst of all, he said he didn’t care about success or winning medals. Such a treasonous comment made him unworthy to wear the stars and stripes that he was supposed to be representing. Not only that though, he showed no remorse. Bode skied the way Bode wanted to ski. “Part of me didn’t even want to go to the Olympics in ‘06. Part of
me wanted to go because I knew the possibilities of going,” Bode wrote on his Universal Sports blog. “But part of me didn’t want to because I didn’t like where the whole thing was pointed. I didn’t like being the poster boy, and I didn’t like a lot of the stuff that was surrounding it.” Picking up the pieces—and the beer cans they tossed at their TV sets—Americans asked, “should we blame ourselves?” Maybe we had unrealistic expectations for the young star, as parents living vicariously through children sometimes do. Perhaps all those flash bulbs and spotlights burnt out budding Bode. By the conclusion of the 2006 games, the Olympic torch was extinguished and the general consensus was that Miller’s Olympic potential had too. Four years later in Vancouver, the hype and hope rested on another American skier, Lindsey Vonn,
and her ailing shin. Miller’s appearance on the hill was expected to be nothing more than an unpleasant reminder of what could have been four years earlier. Miller had a modicum of success after Turin, winning the 2008 World Cup overall title. But there was more disappointment too. Leading up to the Olympics, Miller had the worst season of his career in 2009. Not only that, but he had a couple of injuries as well as a knee surgery. With all of the problems, Miller was expected to leave the sport. Four years older, a little wiser and hopefully more responsible with a 2-year-old daughter at home, Miller returned to his prime. True to his unpredictable nature, the maverick Miller emerged to capture three medals, tying him for a United States record among Alpine skiers. He collected silver in the Su-
per-G, bronze in the downhill and Olympic gold in the combined. Miller rekindled the Olympic spirit and renewed the nation’s love affair with the misunderstood star. “The energy I felt during that race,” Miller wrote on his Universal Sports blog “that’s what the Olympics are about.” Let confetti flow, holler in the streets and slaughter the fatted calf. The prodigal son has returned and it’s time to celebrate. Congratulations Miller, you have completed the transformation from goat to hero. You now stand on top of the podium and in our hearts, as a decorated American Olympian. So go ahead Bode, you can now have a beer. You deserve one. You can reach this writer at email@example.com.
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