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HERE’S GRAMMY Beyoncé’s single ladies follow her lead in taking over the awards scene this year. SCENE page 5

American University's independent student voice since 1925


JANUARY 28, 2010 VOLUME 84 n ISSUE 31


NEWS MASS MAIL Honors director updates students about changes to program, housing page 4


NO PRIDE IN ISLAM Columnist laments a lack of positive figures amongst fellow Muslims page 3

SCENE PAGE ART Extra-illustration adds color to the pages of Shakespeare page 6

Library installs new security cameras By JULIA RYAN and MEGHAN SWEENEY Eagle Staff Writer and Eagle Contributing Writer Over winter break, new security cameras were installed in Bender Library to cut down on thefts and ensure students’ safety, according to University Librarian Bill Mayer. The 42 new security cameras were strategically installed in high traffic areas in Bender Library such as the library entrance, some main floor areas, stairwell entrances and some corners. The cameras can also be relocated if necessary. Mayer said he hopes to have the security camera system in full operation by March 1. The cameras will help the library staff keep track of many different parts of the library at once, he said. “The cameras can be used to review incidents in high traffic areas for faster incident review and resolution, and they are intended to provide a visible deterrent to crime,” Mayer said. Web site wins third award By JULIA RYAN

SPORTS PINNING IT DOWN Wrestling continues on the winning track page 8

MISSED BY MANY Some of the best rivalries in sports are missed by many fans page 8


A string of thefts occurred in Bender Library during the 20082009 school year. Over 34 laptops were stolen with three theft instances in just one week, The Eagle previously reported. The installation of security cameras was made possible with help from Public Safety, which oversees the cameras, according to Mayer. Public Safety was given a grant from the Department of Homeland Security last fall to increase security in Bender Library. Despite some student concerns about the government having access to the video from the cameras, they have no need to worry, Mayer said. The Department of Homeland Security is the financer of the security cameras but will be unable to view or obtain any tapes produced in Bender Library, according to Mayer. Only authorized library and Public Safety personnel will be able to view security tapes, Mayer said. The security tapes will be recorded onto digital hard drives and kept for 30 days. Public Safe-

Eagle Staff Writer AU has become the first institution of higher education to win the Web Marketing Association’s “Best Web site in the Industry” Award for Education. The university received the award in recognition of its recently redesigned Web site unveiled in March 2009. The Web Marketing Associations’ Web Awards were started in 1997 and are given out annually to recognize the achievements of companies with top Web sites in over 95 categories, according to AU’s Senior Director of University Communications Camille Lepre. The Web Award judges combed through and analyzed every section of AU’s Web site and were impressed with its revamped features, she said. AU got high marks in every one of the categories that were judged for the award, including design, innovation, content, technology and ease of use, according to Lepre. Teresa Flannery, the executive director of University Communications and Marketing, hopes that the award will bring more positive attention to the Web site and will get people interested in the site’s upcoming

additions, like a more detailed news section and blogs in many different sections of the Web site. “It’s an impressive recommendation,” Flannery said. “It acknowledges all the hard work we put into the Web site and encourages people to keep an eye on the developments we have planned for the Web site in the future.” Last year’s winner of the “Best Web site in the Industry” Award for Education was the “Start a Chain Reaction” Web page of Tribal DDB Worldwide, an advertising company. Previous winners of the Best Education Web site Award include National Geographic’s “Discover Antarctica” Web site, which won in 2006, and Disney Online’s “Hot Shot Business” Web site, which won in 2003 and 2005, according to the Web Marketing Association’s Web site. Since its launch last March, AU’s homepage has also won the “Best Overall Web site” award from and the “Best Homepage” award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, according to Lepre. You can reach this staff writer at

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ty officers may view the tapes in the event of an incident in the library. Mayer said that student privacy would be a top priority in the operation of the library security cameras. “[The cameras] are not in restrooms, offices or meeting rooms,” Mayer said. “The cameras are not able to view what you are reading, typing or viewing onscreen or on your personal devices.” Some AU students had mixed feelings about the new security cameras. Natalie Pappas, a graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she welcomes the security cameras as long as they are a deterrent to library crime. “It’s hard to do your work when you’re worried about getting your stuff stolen if you choose to leave your seat,” Pappas said, “This is a public place and sometimes you have to give [your privacy] up to ensure that you will be kept safe.” Clara Ekerdt, a senior in the n

see LIBRARY on page 2

Cooking up better AUneighbor relationships By CHRISTOPHER COTTRELL Eagle Staff Writer Sarah Ackerman, a graduate student in AU’s health promotion program, said when she gets sick, it is her mother’s matzo ball soup that makes her stomach rumble. “I once tried to make it in the dorms in a crock pot,” she said. “It was a disaster.” Luckily for students like Ackerman — whose cravings for good, home-cooked meals are not quite satisfied by on-campus cuisine — AU’s Community and Local Government Relations office is sponsoring a new initiative to get students over to local community members’ homes for dinner. “We thought a nice way [for people to meet] would be for students and neighbors to get together over a meal,” said Community and Local Government Relations Director Penny Pagano. “I mean, I always have a good time at dinner and I thought other people would too.” Pagano, an AU alumna, spearheaded the program aiming to connect students with their neighbors, many of whom graduated from AU. She hopes the program will stimulate and improve the university’s relations

with nearby communities, offering students a way to make potentially relevant connections for future careers. There are hundreds of AU alumni in the immediate neighborhoods and thousands more in the D.C. metropolitan area, as well as faculty and staff, Pagano said. “In addition to a nice meal, it’s a nice way to learn more about the neighborhood ... and to maybe make some new friends,” she said. “Students are away from home, they’re away from their families, and so neighbors can offer a lot of support.” Pagano also mentioned including faculty members in the dinners and theming them around a particular subject, like journalism or economics and inviting students of those specific disciplines. But food, she said, was the crux of the whole initiative. Ackerman, for example, remembers living in student housing as an undergrad at Kent State University in Ohio and quickly getting tired of campus food. “So I could see where [the program] would be beneficial,” she said. Aviv Halpern, a first-year transfer student in the School

of Public Affairs, said he would give the program a try and would bring friends if allowed. “Maybe I’d be a little sketched out at first, but I think I’d be interested,” he said. “It’d be an experience.” A California native, Halpern said he misses Mexican food the most. “Guapo’s is good, but it just doesn’t compare,” he said. Pagano is currently in the process of setting up the first meal, and while news of the program is spreading primarily through word of mouth, she has received a response from one interested student after posting an ad in Today@AU earlier this year. The community response has also been positive, Pagano said. She has heard from several local neighbors and one AU staff member living in the area. Pagano plans to host students at her home as well. For questions about the program, students should e-mail her at or call 202-885-2167. “And let us know if you have any allergies,” she added, smiling. You can reach this staff writer at

Despite 41,000 voices, Prez. remains silent on D.C. vote

Getting cloudier (and colder) later in the day FRIDAY


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Eagle Staff Writer

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the EAGLE 252 Mary Graydon Center 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016 Newsroom: 202-885-1402 Advertising: 202-885-1414, x3 Fax: 202-885-1428 E-mail: Classifieds:


BIG BENDER IS WATCHING — Over 42 new security cameras were installed in Bender Library over winter break. The cameras will be monitoring high traffic areas of the library to increase visibility and cut down on laptop thefts.


YET ANOTHER WATCH PARTY — AU students gathered in the Tavern Wednesday night to watch President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address. Obama discussed the economy, health care and foreign policy but failed to mention D.C. voting rights despite entreaties from local residents.

President Barack Obama did not address District voting rights in his State of the Union address Wednesday night, despite petitions to address this issue from residents of D.C., including AU students and faculty and members of the organization DC Vote. For the past two weeks, DC Vote compiled 41,000 signatures asking Obama to support the D.C. democracy movement and delivered them to the White House. The petition requested that Obama include a prewritten statement in his first annual address.

DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization devoted to obtaining full Congressional representation for the district, according to its mission statement. Instead, Obama chose to speak on the broad issues of health care, foreign policy and the economy. Those are issues that he should discuss in the State of the Union, according to Curtis Gans, the director for the Center for the Study of the American Electorate in the School of Public Affairs. Gans also organized marches advocating home rule in D.C. in the 1960s. Robert Lehrman, School of Communication professor who teaches the courses Public Speaking and

Speechwriting, was a speechwriter in the White House for Al Gore during his vice presidency. While he did not write a State of the Union, he said that he did write a reaction speech to one. “When you do all these big speeches at the White House ... everybody is begging to include their pet project, their pet phrase,” Lehrman said. The Executive Director of DC Vote Illir Zherka said the petition was important to DC Vote’s cause for two reasons. “One, most Americans don’t know that [the voting rights] problem exists, so we need the president n

see STATE OF THE UNION on page 4


JANUARY 28, 2010

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Concert - “1964: The Tribute” 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Birchmere Music Hall, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria, Va. METRO: There is not a Metro Station within walking distance to The Birchmere. The best stop to use is Pentagon City (not Pentagon), as it is approximately 5 miles from the club, and there are always plenty of cabs available. INFO: This popular Beatles tribute band captures the essence of the Fab Four in the time before Yoko, the Yogi and questionable facial hair, when the Liverpudlians simply wrote some of the greatest songs of all time. COST: $35 CONTACT: For more information, visit, or call 703-549-7500.

Author Event - Kathy Orton 7 p.m. WHERE: Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave N.W. METRO: L1 or L2 bus from Van Ness (red line) INFO: Orton, a sports writer at The Washington Post, discusses and signs her new book, “Outside the Limelight: Basketball in the Ivy League.” COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-364-1919.

Zoo - Tai Shan Farewell Celebration 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. WHERE: National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W. METRO: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan (red line) INFO: Wish the giant panda a fond farewell before he heads to China. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, visit TaiShan/default.cfm.

Food - Bethesda Chevy Chase Restaurant Week Jan. 25-31, hours depend on restaurant WHERE: Woodmont Avenue between Elm Street and Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, Md. METRO: Friendship Heights or Bethesda (red line) INFO: Participating restaurants will offer fixed price two-course lunch and/or three-course dinner. COST: $12 or $15 for lunch, $25 or $30 for dinner. CONTACT: For more information and a list of participating restaurants, visit, or call 301-215-6660.

Night Bowling - Disco Style 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. Mondays WHERE: Strike, 5353 Westbard Ave, Bethesda, Md. METRO: Friendship Heights (red line), then take the T2 Bus toward Rockville. INFO: It’s all-you-can-bowl at Strike on Mondays. Beer specials, DJs and glow-in-the-dark bowling are the highlights of this weekly event. COST: $18 CONTACT: For more information, call 301-652-0955.

Exhibit - Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s 4th Annual Photo Show 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. WHERE: 545 Seventh St. S.E. METRO: Eastern Market (blue and orange lines) INFO: CHAW kicks off its season with its annual display of photography. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call 202-547-6839.



This week ... a special edition of the quick take giving a cursory and insufficient look at AU’s new campus plan.


Kambale Musavuli, a Congolese native, spoke Tuesday as a representative of The Friends of Congo. He emphasized raising awareness about the suffering of Congolese women. The Peace and Empowerment Project hosted the talk.


BLOTTER JAN. 19 The Department of Public Safety responded to a fire alarm in the Kay Spiritual Center basement and discovered a smell of burnt popcorn. No other signs of smoke or fire were detected. A student reported his wallet missing from his room in Hughes Hall, which he may have left unsecured at various times. One student observed another student throwing at least two apples at a front door outside Leonard Hall. The suspect advised DPS he was aiming for a trashcan. There was no damage. A wallet was taken from a purse located behind a desk in an unsecured office inside Clark Hall. The victim left the room periodically. Fraudulent charges were made on bankcards taken with the wallet. The Career Center received two calls from individuals not affiliated with AU attempting to apply for an airline job. The callers stated the information came from Craigslist and that there was a $35 application fee. Contact information included a P.O. Box in Washington D.C. (not on campus) but listed a campus phone number. A bicycle seat and handle bars with braking system were taken from a secured bicycle. JAN. 20 An unattended laptop was taken from inside Bender Library. The laptop had been secured via security cable. The cable was still attached to a table. A small portion of the computer’s plastic case was still attached to the cable. The laptop contained personal information. An employee in Kogod Business School received mail containing a newspaper clipping of her wedding announcement. The announcement contained her job title and place of employment. Included with the clipping was a note containing un-

usual material. The employee’s husband found information on the Internet about a male seen in D.C. distributing notes with similar materials. The information described the male as a schizophrenic. JAN. 21 An individual was harassing residents in Anderson Hall. He is also suspected in a drug violation in Anderson Hall. An employee discovered graffiti on a stall in Bender Library’s third floor women’s bathroom. Aramark was contacted. Graffiti was discovered on the inside of a table leg in the terrace level of Bender Library. Aramark was contacted. An individual walked up to the Reserves Desk in Bender Library, whispered an obscenity and tossed three books on the desk in an aggressive manner. The books slid across the desk and landed on the floor. JAN. 22 DPS and a resident assistant went to a room inside Anderson after receiving a report of a suspected drug violation. No marijuana was located in the room. DPS and an RA responded to a report at 4 a.m. of a student who was upset inside Anderson. According to a contractor, he placed his vehicle in “park” outside the Watkins building and exited the vehicle to report for work. The vehicle placed itself in “drive.” The vehicle drifted down a hill, over a curb in front of the Watkins Building, hit a handicap sign, and came to rest in front of the Watkins Building. Both airbags were deployed. The contractor indicated he was not in the vehicle during the collision and sustained no injuries. A wallet was taken from the Terrace Dining Room. Three credit cards were taken from a secured locker in the Sports Center. A student’s parent contacted DPS to report their son is uncomfortable living with his roommate in Centennial Hall. Housing and Dining is handling the incident.

DPS responded to a report of a trashcan fire near the Eagle’s Nest and extinguished it with a fire extinguisher. The reporting person indicated unidentified students advised her of the fire. JAN. 23 DPS responded to a report of a stuck elevator inside the Katzen Arts Center. Upon arrival, the elevator doors were found ajar, and no one was inside. Facilities Management was contacted. Contact was made with the reporting person. The reporting person said he and two other students were able to open the doors and exit the elevator. No injuries were reported. The elevator was placed out of service.

AU is in a bind. Already the university is 500 beds behind demand for campus housing. Count the number of students who would choose to live on campus, albeit in nicer, apartmentstyle dorms, and that number rises to over 1,000 beds. With this decade’s campus plan expiring in August 2011, the administration is in the process of thinking through exactly what needs to be done to satisfy students, faculty and staff, with as little annoyance as possible to our residential neighbors. Tuesday night at AU’s monthly “Campus Plan Community Task Force,” the university presented its vision for the future and then began gently convincing neighbors they actually want more construction, followed by more students, cars, trash, fraternity brothers, drunken rowdiness, etc., etc. Goal/fervent desire #1: Build accommodations for 1,000 extra beds, an underground parking lot, a “signature” (think new SIS) building, campus offices and an alumni center all in Nebraska Avenue Parking lot. “Folks are used to looking at a parking lot,” said Jorge Abud, assistant vice president of Facilities and Admin Services. “What’s a more accommodating view?” he asked. Apparently, the parking lot.

If two guys from SAMMY are in a car, who is driving? The Cops. Why do we have spy cameras in our library? Is that a Patriot Act thing? Did you hear that Housing and Dining ran well one day last week? Chris Moody called in sick.

JAN. 24 A resident assistant reported a sick student in McDowell Hall drank alcohol, including five shots of alcohol, off campus at a “Sammy Party.” The student was vomiting. The sick person was coherent and able to walk without support. He refused medical attention.

Papers were torn and/or removed from a display board in Anderson. Three parked vehicles in the Sports Center Garage were sprayed with a fire extinguisher. One vehicle had red paint on the rear bumper, which appeared to come from a fire extinguisher. JAN. 25 Facilities Management reported letters missing from a sign on Woods Gate. The D.C. Fire Department transported a sick student to a hospital from Ward Circle Building.

In slightly more amusing news ... AU’s School of Communication made an appearance on the hit blog “Cake Wrecks.” The blog, which showcases “professional cakes [gone] horribly wrong,” featured an entry from SOC where a cake thanking alumni mentors went off-track. The cake read “’Thank you Alumni Mentors.’” Note the single quotes inside the double quotes. Cake Wrecks found it amusing that SOC “thanked” those “mentors,” as opposed to, you know, thanking them un-ironically. What have they done for me lately? Tuesday, Colleges Against Cancer kicked off their semester with a “birthday celebration.” Participants who visited four tables with information about Relay for Life and then registered on site were given free Georgetown cupcakes. The event pulled in close to 200 students, according to Megan N. Yarbrough, president of AU’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer. Next Sunday Relay will be hosting a Relay edition of “Extreme Home Makeover.” Swing by the Letts Sky Lounge at 7:30 p.m. for some free pizza. To RSVP, visit If you want to make it into the quick take next week, e-mail me with your clubs past or future activities at -CHARLIE SZOLD

EAGLE RANTS *@#!3*%!

DPS responded to a room in Anderson for a reported drug violation. A resident director turned over a suspicious substance. It tested positive for marijuana.

DPS was on a special detail at a sorority party in Mary Graydon Center and observed a visitor being assaulted. DPS and contract special event security officers cleared the Tavern area of all visitors. No further incidents occurred. The victim refused medical attention. The assaulter left the area prior to being identified.

“I’m stunned,” an angry resident said. “I’m bordering on angry. I did not expect this.” The housing is objectionable, some said. Parking is already horrible, others chimed in. Does taking 900 spaces off line really make sense? neighbors asked. “You’re coming into our neighborhood!” an angry resident told Abud. A balding gentleman with a little mustache cupped his ears, straining to hear AU’s answer. “This is our neighborhood too, we’ve been here a long time,” Abud said. The campus plan, which is in no way in its final stages, is a process of give and take. Abud presented AU’s “wish list,” and now neighbors will wish as much of it away as possible. AU must come to an agreement with the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission before the plan is approved. Without the approval, there is little the university can do to expand. “It kind of feels like we’re in your way,” a distinguished looking neighbor commented. A woman with short white hair and a red shawl whispered to her neighbor, “[the university] is creeping.” Through it all, Abud smiled and kindly answered neighbors’ questions. “We view it different,” he responded to one comment, smiling politely the whole time. The Constitution of the United States of America was debated, written and ratified within two years. This just may take a bit longer.

What’s the difference between Chris Moody and George W. Bush? One is a hapless administrator who totally destroyed a working system. The other was President of the United States. For all you AU haters out there, I have a message for all of you. AU is a wonderful university. There are so many opportunities for students. No other school in D.C. or the nation for


that matter provides opportunities for current LIT-100 students to hold senior positions in the school newspaper. EDITOR’S NOTE: This was pretty funny. Whatever happened to the editor’s comments in the Eagle Rants section? I kinda miss the hilarious commentary. It reminds me of the stupid yet entertaining comments made by my five year old bro. EDITOR’S NOTE: This was kinda offensive. To the guy who gave me a once-over in the arboretum: we should do it again sometime; I felt like we really had something there. Biddies, biddies, everywhere... but not a drop to drink.

To the cute new girl that works at Subway: I hope to see you again real soon! CharlieWTF? Where was the Take? How can I get through my day without the take? I mean really Charlie, WTF? EDITOR’S NOTE: You have no idea how much this rant means to me. Look to your left (for print readers) Enough hating on greek life in the Eagle Rants! And in general ... I don’t know how a school that prides itself on being liberal and open-minded can be so judgmental. So stop glaring at me when I ‘m wearing letters ... get to know me. You’d be surprised. More of your Rants online!

from LIBRARY on page 1

School of International Service, said she is doubtful that the security cameras will cut down on crime in the library. “Thefts are most likely not going to occur in high-traffic areas like the library entrance,” Ekerdt said. “It really depends on where they install the cameras.” Despite the increased security of the cameras, students should continue to be mindful of their belongings while in the library, Mayer said. “We’d like to encourage community members to also take personal responsibility for their safety — please do not leave your valuables, including laptops, backpacks, handbags, etc., unattended, and be sure to contact Public Safety if you observe any suspicious activity,” Mayer said. You can reach these writers at

Megabytes Café Now Introducing….!!

Falafel sandwich Comes With: Tzatziki Sauce, Onion, Tomato, Parsley

Next to Chevy Chase Bank (In the Tunnel)


JANUARY 28, 2010

JOE WENNER n Editorial Page Editor

JEN CALANTONE n Editor in Chief

A Muslim without pride KALEIDOSCOPE

PARVEZ KHAN In the last few years, I’ve been forced to accept what I consider to be a stark and harsh reality: Muslims around the world, my fellow adherents of the beautiful religion of Islam, are lamentably falling short in our duties. The caliber of person that gave the modern era the fundamental knowledge of the Roman and Medieval epochs is suddenly difficult to find. Now, the image of a Muslim conjures up expressions akin to strange, backwards, crazy and different. Now, I honestly don’t walk around the AU campus feeling all that different, and I imagine the Muslim lady who covers doesn’t feel she is in a hostile environment either; but these are exceptional times. Out there lies a world of much less acceptance. Let me offer a snapshot of that world as seen from a Muslim lens. In 2007, I crossed through nearly all of Pakistan. I was shocked at the rapid increase of the narrow-minded Salafi ideology — essentially fundamentalist Islam following literal interpretations of the Quran — running through the country. In every mosque I visited, both urban and rural, women were never allowed to pray. A new kind of distrust and cynicism had emerged in the people. While they were generally more religious than I had remembered, they were also unsure of their religious identities, digesting radical ideas and venomous hate without question. At home, I have always felt that Muslims living in the United States are professionally top-heavy - that we are more likely to be doctors, lawyers and educators than service workers. Indeed, the 2007 Pew Research Center report on Muslim Americans found us to be “middle class and mostly mainstream.” Any extremists were from overseas, we American Muslims thought, not from our communities. However, a number of recent

events have disillusioned me: the five young men from the D.C.-area who traveled to Pakistan allegedly to join Al-Qaeda; the producer of “Bridges TV,” a television media effort at interfaith understanding and mainstream integration, who decapitated his wife after years of physically abusing her and a prominent traditional scholar in Michigan denouncing each and every Muslim organization operating in the United States as infiltrated with Salafi and Wahhabi doctrine. To be sure, such shameful acts and accusations are painful to experience. Yet the chance that these accusations are found to be true makes me gasp in horror. Have we lost our way? What happened to the Muslims around the world? What happened to the likes of Al-Razi and Ibn Sina, pioneers in medicine during the Medieval days when Europe was lost in darkness? Why can’t we replicate the successes of Al-Mawardi in political science, Al-Haitham in physics, Al-Tabari in pharmacology, Jaber ibn Haiyan in chemistry and Ibn Khaldun in history? Calculus and algebra would not exist if not for the Muslims of old (sorry all you math-haters out there). It seems that for every major success we Muslims enjoy, like Muhammad Yunus winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 and Pakistan electing a female prime minister in 1988, an exponential amount of “minor” failures accompany it. Unfortunately, the Muslims of new have not been able to accomplish what our religious predecessors did. We are not accepted in much of the world as upholders of the mainstream or leaders of the future. It remains our duty to call ourselves to account and integrate into society productively and without prejudice. We have many challenges as an international community, but as other communities faced with similar trials have learned, with challenge comes great opportunity. Parevez 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@

From the top: AUTO is being improved VIEWS FROM THE OUTSIDE

ANDY MacCRACKEN In December, I sat down with former Student Government (then called the Student Confederation) president, Neal Sharma, to swap stories. Over the decade that separates our tenures, a lot has changed at AU - much of it for better. The Student Health Center has improved; AU is becoming a more culturally inclusive campus, and the library has become much more than a place that stores books. One thing that seems to have not changed, however, is the AUTO program. Ten years ago, AUTO had problems with reliability. Ten years ago, AUTO was strained to meet the demand of usage. There is very little different today, except for maybe a much heavier demand on the program, as more organizations rely on AUTO for practices, meetings and competitions. For too long, AUTO hasn’t been serving students to its potential. We are working to fix that. Unfortunately so much needs fixing that we have had to, as The Eagle put it, hit the pause button. When the program starts coming back on line on Monday, I am sure you will see the difference. Here are the areas we have identified to improve and how we are going to do it. Write a policy manual: AUTO has been driving without directions for some time. That has created an inherent lack of continuity in management and procedures every time a new person takes over the program. With set procedures, students should experience less confusion as they use the program,

because, frankly, we’ll know exactly how to run the program. Even better, the AUTO commissioner another 10 years from now will have the same policies to guide them through the program. The policies have already been drafted and sent out for university approval. Improve responsiveness: It’s 11 p.m.; you are returning your key, but the key box isn’t working. Who do you call? When I was personally overseeing the program in September, I gave out my cell number, and we’re going to continue that idea with an AUTO phone. We used to have an AUTO worker on-call 24/7, but that fell through somewhere along the way. We will be bringing that back so you will always have help. You have also asked for a more personalized certification process, which we have already started implementing. Replace and repair faulty equipment: Like I said above, the key box doesn’t work sometimes. At the moment, in fact, it does not work at all. We are working with the company who makes the software to improve the service. All of our vans are also sitting with vehicle maintenance waiting for repairs to make sure your driving experience is stress-free. And for those of you worried about directions, we have purchased three GPS systems that will be available to rent. Safety: Students and administrators have brought concerns about safe driving. We are creating a new billing structure that will provide financial incentives for safe drivers. Andy MacCracken is the President of AU Student Government and a guest columnist for this issue of The Eagle. You can reach him at

Courtesy of MCT CAMPUS

Studying without Big Brother

With the placement of cameras throughout Bender Library, officials hope to reduce the outrageous number of thefts. Yet they must pledge not to abuse this extra surveillance. In a logical response to a string of thefts experienced last year, Bender Library has installed 42 cameras to serve as a method of deterring and catching future larceny attempts. To be sure, the purchase of these cameras — while debatable — is far from uncalled for. Although stealing is regrettably unpreventable, the number of library thefts that occurred last year could not be excused as trivial. In the 20082009 school year, 34 laptops were stolen from AU students within the building. Imagine if this amount of crime were met with no response. Studying in the library would have become a near impossibility, as students became too preoccupied with guarding their belongings to actually write

papers. Moreover, the installation of these cameras cannot be categorized as administrative waste — AU did not even pay for them. By qualifying for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, Bender Library was fully covered for the expenses. Discouraging and potentially preventing theft at no cost? Sounds like a win-win. Certainly, the potential for abuse of this extra surveillance exists. Many students have voiced concerns that cameras could be utilized for an Orwellian purpose: checking on what books students are reading or what sites are being looked at on the Internet. Admittedly, the involvement of the Department of Homeland Security — nomi-

nally or otherwise — only adds to these concerns, and The Eagle believes the library officials need to address why this project qualified for this department’s grant. Still, University Librarian Bill Mayer and fellow Bender Library employees have shown no predisposition to threaten AU students’ right to privacy. Indeed, it is in large part because of this that The Eagle can comfortably favor the installation of these cameras. Nevertheless, it is still imperative to stress the importance that this vital freedom remains protected and unabridged in the future. Even though this new surveillance system decreases the likelihood of future theft, AU students should not use it as an excuse to disregard per-

sonal responsibility. No matter how many cameras are installed in Bender Library, only students themselves can completely ensure the safety of their belongings. If laptops continue to be abandoned in the library by their owners — even if it is mere minutes at a time — thefts will continue to occur. Clearly, the new cameras in the library are a net positive. Last year’s thefts needed to be appropriately responded to and these measures do not overreach their mandate. Concerns about student privacy are well founded, but future prospects look promising. Big Brother does not watch Bender Library, and if officials continue to demonstrate restraint and responsibility, he still won’t.

Strengthening ties, one dinner at a time AU has instituted a new outreach initiative to improve student-community relations. Students should not hesitate to take advantage of this program. Many students might be surprised to hear of AU’s new student-community outreach program: a home-cooked dinner hosted at the house of a community member. While there has been little talk of the program among AU affiliates on school grounds, AU’s January newsletter to the community described the idea to the potential hosts. Basically, community members interested in hosting an

AU student respond via e-mail or telephone to the Community and Local Government Relations Director, Penny Pagano. Meanwhile, students who have heard of the program and are interested in the dinner do the same. Pagano then makes the necessary connections and helps facilitate a date and time. This is solid community building on AU’s part. Admittedly, with approximately 3,500

students living in the heart of Northwest D.C.’s idyllic suburbia, there is potential for friction between neighborhood members and campus affiliates. This program provides an ample stage for students to present themselves positively and really establish quality rapport with potential friends and mentors. Social attitudes change virally, so showing hosts a talented and constructive student body

might very well facilitate broadreaching campus growth and improvement. For the student, beyond the obvious nutritional benefits of home cooking, the networking advantages stand to be substantial. Students would be smart to capitalize on the chance to meet and socialize with established and up-and-coming professionals living around AU. This is a great opportunity: DO IT!


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JANUARY 28, 2010

news 4

Expert fears dismal future for Haiti By STEFANIE DAZIO Eagle Staff Writer Dr. Robert Pastor is no stranger to earthquakes. He is a survivor of the 1985 Mexico City quake that registered an 8.0 on the Richter scale and has been caught in many others. “It’s a frightening moment,” said the School of International Service professor. “The first time I was in an earthquake, I had no idea what was going on, because it’s so disorienting. It seems like the whole world is moving except you and so your first reaction is ‘there’s something wrong with me.’ But after you’ve done one, you know immediately when it’s happening again.” But even after witnessing concrete sidewalks ‘undulating’ like ocean waves, Pastor is still shocked by the damage of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, a 7.0 on the Richter scale. “To be honest with you, this is the most devastating I’ve seen,” he said. For Pastor, a former Caribbean adviser to President Jimmy Carter, the earthquake is only the most recent in a series of problems for Haiti. Pastor holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in public administration from Harvard University. He did his undergraduate studies at Lafayette College. In 1994, former President Bill

Clinton nominated Pastor to be U.S. Ambassador to Panama, but former Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., prevented a vote on his nomination by the full Senate. From 2002 to 2007, Pastor was AU’s vice president of international affairs. In that position, he created the Abroad at AU program. In 2002, Pastor founded AU’s Center for North American Studies and Center for Democracy and Election Management. He was director of both centers from 2002 to 2007 and has been co-director since then. “The trouble with Haiti is that you don’t even know where to start,” he said. “There is no infrastructure, practically no education, terrible diseases, malnutrition, every problem in the world exists in Haiti, only it’s magnified. And then, on top of all of that, you have this earthquake.” Pastor was a senior adviser in 1994 to Carter, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., when the group traveled to Haiti on behalf of Bill Clinton to persuade the military to relinquish its command back to former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The mission was ultimately successful and constitutional government was restored. “It’s a country that’s extremely poor, overpopulated, without an effective government and it’s had


HELP FOR HAITI — School of International Service Professor Robert Pastor served as a senior adviser during former President Jimmy Carter’s 1994 trip to Haiti. Pastor says that unlike most countries he has worked to develop, Haiti remains the most difficult to help. a very long, sad history,” he said. “Most of that history has been characterized by man-made disasters. Only last year and this year saw the arrival of natural disasters — hurricanes and now the earthquake.” Pastor said he believes the cur-

rent Haitian government is not equipped to deal with this natural disaster and its “catastrophic” devastation, saying the country is near medieval. “I have long believed that the U.N. should establish a trusteeship over Haiti and govern it for

Honors moves to Hughes By JULIA RYAN Eagle Staff Writer The University Honors Program is facing significant changes to its offices and on-campus housing next year as Housing and Dining moves much of the Honors program to Hughes Hall for the 2010-2011 school year. The honors office had been in communication with Housing and Dining while deciding what would happen to their offices and housing, according to an e-mail from University Honors Program director Michael Mass to the Honors Community. But Housing and Dining’s choice to make the housing announcement on Jan. 4 when school was not in session prevented him from getting feedback and suggestions from the broader honors community. In the e-mail, Mass said he would have liked to have had the opportunity to consult with the Student Honors Board and other members of the honors community before the Jan. 4 housing announcement. Starting next academic year, the University Honors Center will be moved from its current location

on the second floor of Hurst to the first floor of Hughes Hall. Honors housing will be expanded to Hughes’ fourth and fifth floors, in addition to Hughes’ sixth and seventh floors that honors students already occupy. Honors students will also continue to have the option to live on the third floors of Anderson Hall or Centennial Hall, and the Anderson Honors Lounge will still be the center for South side Honors activities. There are also plans to eventually convert Hughes’ second and third floors to honors housing as well. Mass said he stands by Housing and Dining’s decision, but he wanted to make sure the honors community was aware of the changes brought by the housing announcement, he said in an email to The Eagle. “The purpose of [my e-mail to the Honors students] was to be sure that our honors community understood the changes and were reminded that their comments and questions were always welcome,” Mass said. Sam Hagedorn, the Student Honors Board communications director, said he was at first taken aback by the housing announce-

ment. “To be honest, I was concerned when I received the e-mail from Housing and Dining that said honors would be moving to Hughes,” Hagedorn said, “It was a complete surprise, and that’s not been my normal experience with the honors program.” Hagedorn said he is glad that Mass sent the e-mail to explain the changes to the honors program’s offices and housing. “Dr. Mass’ e-mail answered a lot of the questions raised by the Housing and Dining e-mail,” he said. “It appears that honors [housing] is going to begin moving to Hughes next year, but the process isn’t going to happen overnight.” Student Honors Board President Mike Roche said he is satisfied with how Mass handled the honors students’ concerns about South side housing. Roche stands by the decisions regarding the move of Honors housing and offices, he said. “Mass has been in contact with Housing and Dining regarding this policy and has actually helped to limit the changes we can expect next academic year,” Roche said, “This is in line with the stance [the Student Honors Board] would

AhealthyU encourages faculty to get moving By SARAH PARNASS Eagle Staff Writer Students might catch more glimpses of professors in sneakers and gym shorts this spring, thanks to the new incentives of the Office of Human Resources’ health and wellness program. As colleges across the nation are encouraging faculty and staff to stay in shape, HR recently reinvigorated its program, AHealthyU. During the first half of the spring semester, AHealthyU began offering several new activities that revolve around physical activity, according to Health Promotion Manager Amy Farr. “Our goal is really to provide a variety of programs to AU faculty and staff to really help them find a balance between work and life and [to] help [making] healthy lifestyle choices a little bit easier,” Farr said. These programs include a lunch series called Brown Bag Workshops, Weight Watchers and a competition tracking their exercising progress, Farr said. HR will also offer seated massages, costing $1 per minute, to relieve tension and give out financial rewards for completing an online health assessment. The issues of eating right and exercise have become popular in the metro area. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., introduced a bill concerning healthy living on Jan. 13 encouraging the Centers for Disease Control to limit obesity through public and professional education on the topic. Elsewhere in D.C., Georgetown University and George Washington

University also have health and wellness programs for their faculty and staff. At Georgetown, the program called GUWellness started in 2007 and incorporates stress management, exercise and programs to help smokers quit, according to the school’s faculty and staff newspaper, Blue & Gray. GW’s program, Colonial Community, encourages faculty and staff to participate in such programs as the U.S. President’s Council on Physical Fitness Challenge and Weight Watchers at Work, according to the school’s Web site. But the incentives for the Weight Watchers meetings GW held in October differed from those offered under AHealthyU. Faculty and staff who participate in the program at AU are required to go to fewer sessions. Also, participants receive a $65 rebate if they attend at least 10 of the 12 meetings. One Weight Watchers session at AU would cost a staff member about $1.50 less than at GW. Some might find programs involving weight loss and other health statistics to be overstepping privacy boundaries, according to a December article from the Chronicle for Higher Education. AU did not intend these activities and incentives to seem intrusive. Instead, they hoped to encourage those on campus to take control of their health, according to Farr. Gay Young, director of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Program and a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, liked the idea of rewarding employees for making healthy

choices, but she worried that a health and wellness program might lead to negative consequences for those who could not afford to eat right. “I think you have to realize that in reality being healthy, eating well, getting enough exercise and rest does mean that you have a certain level of resources, of material resources, frankly,” Young said. “Fast food is cheap.” AHealthyU got off the ground in 2008 with the hiring of Farr, according to CAS School of Education, Teaching and Health Professor Anastasia Snelling, who supervises Farr and sits on the Benefits Committee. Before AU discovered Farr, plans for the program had begun in accordance with the last step of the 2001 “15-Point Plan,” Snelling said. However, AHealthyU was not mentioned in a 2006 progress report on the plan. AHealthyU is “inclusive,” Farr said. She did not think anyone had been turned away in the past, but her goal was to see the program expand its audience in the future, she said. Farr hopes to also be able to expand HR’s services to spouses or same-sex partners of university employees, she said. “It’s nice when you can not only just affect the people here at work, but then when we can start to impact the family, then we know that the likelihood of changing a particular health behavior is going to be much greater,” Farr said. You can reach this staff writer at

have taken, had we been given the opportunity.” Executive Director of Housing and Dining Programs Chris Moody said the lack of communication between the Student Honors Board and Housing and Dining was not an issue of permission, but one of timing. Housing and Dining got final approval for the housing plan on Dec. 4, but they did not want to send out the announcement during finals week. Announcing these changes during winter break gave students time to consult with their parents and to make their housing plans in the month and a half before the room selection process begins. Moody said he plans to keep an open line of communication between Housing and Dining and AU student organizations throughout the housing changes. “We intend to continue working with the Residence Hall Association and the Honors program on the implementation and evaluation of the housing strategy,” Moody said. You can reach this staff writer at

about 20 years,” he said. “But the problem with that idea is that Haitians are very proud and nationalistic, and that won’t work unless they want to cooperate. I think we need a new pact between the Haitian people, government and the international community to reno-

vate and reform Haiti so that it can move into the 21st century.” Pastor said Haiti is a series of contradictions, citing successful Haitian immigrants around the world. “The people are very engaging; they have a lot of charm, a lot of enthusiasm, though they are very uneducated,” he said. “Yet they can’t ever make that country work, and the paradox, which is so difficult to explain, is why Haitians do so well when they emigrate to other countries, including the United States, but do so poorly in Haiti.” Although this crisis represents an opportunity to do just that, Pastor said he is not sure if it is possible to plan for a new Haiti. “It’s a huge, huge task,” Pastor said. “I don’t know whether the international community has adequate funding to keep everybody alive while they completely rebuild the city. I think it will involve huge amounts of funding.” Just as Pastor is not sure if the rebuilding will be successful, he does not consider his own work in the country to be either. “Unlike almost any other country I’ve worked in, I’ve not felt that I made much progress in Haiti,” Pastor said. Why is that? “I wish I knew.” You can reach this staff writer at

Voting rights not touched by SOTU n

from STATE OF THE UNION on page 1

to educate Americans about it,” Zherka said before the speech. “And two, the Congress needs some pressure from the president on D.C. voting rights and on D.C. democracy as a whole. They really need to hear from him that it is important.” DC Vote conducted an online competition in which fans of the Facebook page or visitors to the Web site could submit language to be voted on for the statement being sent to Obama. A number of AU students and faculty members are involved with D.C. voting issues, and some students participated in DC Vote and this specific project. Zach Bernstein, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, said he has lived in D.C. his whole life and is registered to vote as a citizen of the district. Bernstein submitted an entry for the DC Vote contest, he said in an e-mail. While this entry did not make the final cut for statements voted on by DC Vote supporters, Bernstein sent it in because “despite what critics say about this being somehow unconstitutional, I truly believe it’s what the Founders would want - one man, one vote, no matter where they live,” he

said in the e-mail. Another native Washingtonian at AU, Professor Jason Fabrikant, teaches politics courses for the Washington Semester program and is currently developing an online course for the summer entitled, “Taxation without Representation? D.C. and Voting Rights,” he said in a phone interview. Whether to allocate full federal representation to D.C. residents is a question that should be studied and debated, and the petition to Obama was worth the effort, Fabrikant said. “It’s a very healthy thing to do ... I think that’s part of the democratic process to voice opinions, have petitions,” he said. While Obama did not include D.C. voting rights in his State of the Union address, Gans hoped he would address it sometime in the future, he said. “At some point he may be willing to risk some political capital by trying to persuade [congressmen] to vote for [a bill on D.C. representation]. I don’t think he’s going to do it any time soon,” Gans said. “I’m hoping at some point he will pursue it.” You can reach this staff writer at

JANUARY 28, 2010


Social lows mirrored in horror genre FICTION DICTION




I’MMA LET YOU FINISH — This year’s Grammy Awards nominations have been dominated by Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, who scored 10 and eight nominations respectively. Despite very different styles, the two have emerged as rivals of sorts as their albums compete for similar award recognition.

Ladies conquer Grammys Beyoncé, Swift rake in nominations By YOHANA DESTA Eagle Staff Writer There are few events in music that have as much impact as the Grammy Awards. From images of Michael Jackson with armfuls of golden statues to a nine-month pregnant M.I.A. rapping onstage, the Grammys are a point in pop culture where the most talented musicians gather together to look beautiful and honor those who have made the best in music that year. From the biggest names in pop to obscure folk musicians, the Grammys bring together artists of all genres under one roof. And this year, the Grammys belong to the ladies. Leading the pack with 10 nominations for her album “I Am ... Sa-

sha Fierce,” as well as for her songs “Halo” and “Single Ladies,” is the glamorous R&B icon, Beyoncé. Coming in second is country songstress Taylor Swift with eight nominations for her sophomore album “Fearless,” as well as nods for her singles “You Belong With Me” and “White Horse.” Rounding out the top three is avant-garde pop superstar Lady Gaga, with six nominations. Her debut album, “The Fame,” garnered two nominations while her singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” also grabbed four nods. This year, many of the men were tied. Kanye West, Maxwell and the Black Eyed Peas each got six nominations while Jay-Z received five. His nods were mostly for “Run This Town,” the smash collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West. Unsurprisingly, the biggest rock band of the year, Kings of Leon, garnered four nominations for their fourth studio album, “Only By the Night,” as well as their singles, “Sex On Fire” and “Use Somebody.” As far as artists that will definitely leave with gold, it’s likely that the boys from Nashville will get at least one. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and

Lady Gaga are also guaranteed to leave with one apiece, if not more. Also expected to grab at least one win are psychedelic pop duo, MGMT, whose music has been heard in everything from commercials to movies. They have two nominations: one for best new artist and one for their single “Kids” off their 2007 album “Oracular Spectacular.” As with every year, there are a few surprises in the nominations. Smooth ‘80s pop duo Hall & Oates have been nominated for best pop performance by a pop duo. Though they’ve won Grammys in the past, this may not be their year since they’re up against MGMT, The Fray, The Black Eyed Peas and Bon Jovi. Another surprise, albeit a pleasant one, is the nomination for “I’m On a Boat” by the comedy troupe, The Lonely Island. Even though there’s a category for comedy albums, their song was so good that they surpassed it to be in the “best rap/ sung collaboration” competition, up against rap heavyweights Jay-Z, Kanye West and T.I. Perhaps most surprising is Nickelback’s nomination in the hard rock category. The band everyone loves to hate is up

against rock vets AC/DC, Metallica, Alice In Chains and Linkin Park for best hard rock performance. The 52nd Grammys are pushing the envelope in many ways. In a move that surprises no one, there will be a huge Michael Jackson tribute performance. The King of Pop is going to be honored in a mega performance by Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood and Usher. It will feature a 3-D mini-movie for Jackson’s “Earth Song” that was initially created for his “This Is It” tour. Although he doesn’t hold the record for most Grammys (that’d be Sir George Solti with 38 total), he still has an impressive 13 and was undeniably one the world’s greatest entertainers. Whether you loved him or hated him, the performance is sure to be unforgettable with legends and current pop stars performing on one stage together. The Grammys air Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. on CBS, so settle in, grab some friends and get ready to watch music history be made. You can reach this staff writer at

I am not generally a horror fan in the Steven King, “Revenge of the Body Snatchers,” vampire sense. Those topics just simply do not appeal to me as a reader. On the other hand, absurdist horror has me obsessed. It is something about the absolutely, ridiculously grotesque that sets absurdist humor apart from my usual aversion to the genre. My latest read was the novel “John Dies at the End” by David Wong. This novel originated as a blog written weekly on Cracked. com, which picked up a cult-like following. With a lot of zeal from Internet fans, it was released for the general public to enjoy. The novel is about a town (never named, but located somewhere in the Midwest) where demons from hell are rising from the ground to communicate with and haunt people. The novel jumps back and forth between an interview between David Wong and a reporter, and the actual sequence of events. The reader’s emotions mirror emotions of the reporter, both skeptical of and amused by David’s story. Neither takes him very seriously, but at the same time both listen. The novel represents grotesque and absurd horror at its best: a very non-descript, non-heroic protagonist, an extremely convoluted and twisted plotline and so much blood and gore that in any visual form it would be overpowering. David Wong is the ultimate non-heroic protagonist. He works at a video shop and has no ambitions to do anything more in life. He is horrible in relationships and fails to create normal attachments to anyone. There are multiple instances where he has no qualms about leaving his best friend John, to the mercy of demons rising from hell. In fact, David Wong really has no

redeeming qualities at all. But, in a way, that makes him that much more relatable. He is an everyman — the modern day tragic hero, suffering in the unfair, working-class world of the Midwest. The imagery is wonderful, providing a visual for the reader that adequately depicts the strange creatures that terrorize David’s life. The creatures are completely absurd: small worms shaped like screws that drill into your flesh and multiply; a dog that can sense more than the average human being; and a Jamaican man addicted to a drug that makes you see creatures from hell, among other things. Most absurdist horror uses the characteristics of the genre to make a social parallel and insert commentary. In “John Dies at the End,” the parallels concern the idea of violence in today’s society. From video games to horror films, these media tap into our inner demons and make human society quake on the brink of chaos. This is the brilliance of the book. It highlights the worst parts of our society and our own humanity, taking our weaknesses and contorting them into the grotesque. When an author can bring a parallel from our world to such a horrific world as in “John,” you know that there is a problem. For anyone interested in absurdist horror authors, I would encourage readers to look into Chuck Palahniuk, the author of the ever-shocking “Fight Club.” He recently finished his selfclassified “horror” series, of which I regret to only have read one: “Lullaby.” Of course, it was wonderful, confusing as all hell and extremely entertaining. The audience for horror is very small, which is funny if you think about how quickly violence sells in the rest of the media world. Oh, well — when has anything involving horror ever made perfect sense? You can reach this columnist at

Crowd empties pockets for arts By SARAH ANNE HUGHES Eagle Contributing Writer


OPERA DIGS DEEP — The Washington National Opera Chorus performed a number of works at St. Ann’s Catholic Church as an effort to raise funds for the American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund, which helps members out financially should they need support.

It may have been a cloudy Sunday afternoon, but inside St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Tenleytown, music patrons and performers came together to brighten the lives of artists in need. The Washington National Opera Chorus performed a variety of works to raise money for the American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund, a service that offers financial assistance to any member in good standing and in need of help. “Many artists in the area are suffering as performance schedules are cut or entirely eliminated ... To address this current crisis and help our friends in need, we took action and organized the AGMA Relief Benefit Concert,” Maestro Steven Gathman, chorus master of the Washington National Opera, said in a press release. Though the AGMA Relief Benefit Concert had no admission charge, attendees were encouraged to donate money at the door. In an interview with The Eagle before the performance, WNO chorus member and AU voice teacher Jeffrey Tarr said he hoped that the concert would not just raise money, but also be able to show the amount of community support for the arts. “My greatest hope is for the entire auditorium of the church to be filled with people, whether

or not they’re able to financially give very much at all, but just to show support of this art,” Tarr said. “Just to see the support of the community saying, ‘Yes, we desire good music; we desire to support WNO Chorus and Washington Opera by attending this concert and enjoying this wonderful music’ ... And maybe convert a few people into loving opera in the meantime.” If the audience in the church represented community support, then the showing was encouraging. Among the faces in the crowd were a decent amount of young adults and children, a new generation of potential patrons. The first half of the program featured haunting Latin pieces and standard spirituals. The spirituals performed, including an upbeat Moses Hogan rendition of “Ezekiel Saw de Wheel,” had a warm, accessible feeling. Norman Luboff ’s arrangement of “Deep River” featured a beautiful solo by bassist Harvey Fort. The second half of the program featured crowd-pleasing opera numbers. The Chorus sounded the most in their element in this half, but especially on “Humming Chorus” from Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly.” Tenor Timothy Augustin dazzled the crowd with his performance of “Ah! Mes Amis!” from Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment.” The aria required the singer to hit nine high C’s, an extremely difficult task for any tenor. (Juan Diego Flórez famously

performed the aria at La Scala in Milan so well that the audience applause demanded a solo encore — the first since 1933. He repeated this distinction at the Metropolitan Opera.) Augustin sang each note with relative ease, pleasing the audience as seen by their thunderous applause and cheers of “Bravo!” AGMA Mid-Atlantic representative Eleni Kallas thanked the audience for attending and urged them to give to the relief fund. “No donation is too small. On the other hand, no donation is too large,” Kallas said. AGMA is a labor union run entirely by elected members. It’s similar to the Screen Actors Guild, except that members are allowed to take non-union jobs. Much like other unions, AGMA negotiates contracts with employers, ensures members receive a fair amount of money and protects their interests. Tarr, who received his master’s degree in music at the Peabody Conservatory, is a member of AGMA. He joined in 1999 as a requirement to perform with the Baltimore Opera Chorus. At the time, he didn’t fully understand the purpose of a union, but is now very thankful to be a part of it. “The union really protects the artists’ interests,” Tarr said. “It protects us professionally and our personal safety.” The Baltimore Opera Company’s bankruptcy and subsequent

closing has had a prominent effect on D.C.-area musicians, Tarr said. The company closed midseason, leaving many professional musicians without work for the next few months. “If you don’t get those contracts before fall, you won’t get them mid-season,” he said. “So these people were out of work and had to find other jobs to support themselves during that time and not really use their professional skills.” During a recession, the arts — a luxury — are the first things to be cut from people’s budgets, Tarr added. He said that there are three ways for opera companies to sustain: appeal to the audience, create new audience members and keep our old ones. “I think that this is a time when the government should really support the arts,” Tarr said. “I know that we can’t be like Germany, the opera companies are almost 50 percent funded by the government, but any government assistance to continue the arts while the economic downturn persists would be most helpful.” Until more help arrives, AGMA members will be looking out for one another as well. So will the community that appreciates what they create. Information about donating to the AGMA Relief Fund can be found at www.musicalartists. org. You can reach this writer at


JANUARY 28, 2010

the scene 6

Portman, Banksy light up film fest By OLIVIA STITILIS Eagle Staff Writer Though our attention may be momentarily devoted to discussing the recent Golden Globes or Screen Actors Guild awards, making predictions for next week’s season premiere of “Lost” or still mourning Conan O’Brien’s departure, let’s not forget what’s happening right now across the country in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The Sundance Film Festival has been warming up the snowy Utah slopes in its 32nd year of devotion to honoring and showcasing some of the newest and most promising American and foreign independent films. The festival began Jan. 21 and will continue through Jan. 31. Sundance draws a broad attendance ranging from much more than the average movie star. “As one of the premier film festivals in the world, the Sundance Film Festival annually attracts a diverse group of leaders from the worlds of art, entertainment, science, and technology and has become a global convergence for dialogue on art and culture — and art’s role as a catalyst for change,” according to a press release for Sundance. Sundance prides itself on being a unique film festival, as even directors sit in the audience, but also actors, writers and fans fill the adjacent seats. Audience members have the opportunity to do more than just sit next to directors; they can attend the many panel discussions Sundance offers. “Festival-goers can engage in dialogue with filmmakers and industry leaders, gain hands-on experience, or just share ideas,” the press release said. The exposure to stars and directors goes even beyond these panels. Every morning the Cinema Café provides the opportunity for actors to talk with

Photo by UNKNOWN

BANK ON IT — The 32nd Sundance festival promises to feature this year’s most prominent idependent films with hopes that a few hot picks will find mainstream success. Top contenders from years past have hit it big, including favorites like Little Miss Sunshine, Napoleon Dynamite and Reservoir Dogs. Sundance attendees in a more informal and personal setting. As portrayed on popular TV shows like “Entourage,” Sundance is often considered a hotbed for shining light on some of the best films that are have not yet reached the mainstream. Recent winners, all of which have received multitudes of press and praise stemming from the festival, include “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” “An Education,” “Paper Heart” and “The September Issue.”

There are usually around eight categories of awards given out at Sundance: dramatic and documentary film, world cinema, shorts, premieres, spectrum, Park City at midnight, new frontier and from the Sundance collection. Some categories are solely restricted to American films or specific genres while others are more unconventional, like showcases of experimental film. This year, Sundance announced a surprise: the world premiere of the

Grangerism redraws Shakespeare pages By SHAILYN TAVELLA Eagle Contributing Writer There has always been a close relationship between artists and audiences. Art reflects the audience’s emotions and reactions. The Folger Shakespeare Library analyzes this relationship further in its new exhibit, “Extending the Book: The Art of Extra-Illustration.” This exhibit displays readers’ interactions with various books by inserting their own illustrations, thereby creating their own art by extra-illustrating or grangerizing. Grangerizing started in the 1700s. The practice got its name from the popularity of adding pertinent pictures to James Granger’s “Biographical History of England” by unbinding the book and adding pages that have been inlaid with portraits or letters. The art of extra-illustrating is such a tedious task that many people would question its appeal. To the readers, on the other hand, grangerizing was not only a great pastime in an era before television or Internet, it was also a way to become connected to a book. Readers found Shakespeare particularly inviting to grangerize because of the historical references and cultural aspects in his works. It is only fitting that this exhibit is displayed in a library that pays homage to such a renowned playwright. What is unique about this exhibit is the setting in which it is displayed. The exhibition room is not filled with large glass displays, lining the walls or filling the space on the ground, but instead has builtin glass boxes that make it hard for the pieces themselves to stand out in the beauty of the room itself. The cases posed a problem for curators Stuart Sillars and Erin C. Blake. With so many examples of extra-illustration, choosing the books to display was contingent on the space and how well they portrayed the artistic and social importance of grangerized books. One display case has a unique setup in which one of the enormous books is placed perpendicular to the others in order to fit. Extra-illustration adds several pages to the books, making what would be an eight-volume collection of Shakespeare’s “Works” span over 42. The exhibit is viewed counter-clockwise and highlights the popular pastime of the 1700s. The exhibit is even equipped with an optional audio tour in which experts and curators explain some of the pieces via cell


first feature film by the famous graffiti artist Banksy, entitled “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self-induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience,” John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said in the press release. “The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real ... but in the end I didn’t care. I feel

bad I won’t be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film. I think I will shake everyone’s hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.” The film, which premiered at Sundance on Jan. 24, revolves around a French shopkeeper and an amateur filmmaker trying to find and film Banksy, who to this day remains anonymous. Instead, Banksy films their attempt to find him.

“It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable,” Banksy said in a press release. “And failed.” With films such as this, Sundance usually generates inordinate amounts of buzz even before the festival kicks off. Now that it is more than halfway through, critics and film-goers have plenty to talk about. Films you will be sure to hear more about as the year goes on include “Sympathy for Delicious,” “Hesher” and the documentary “Waiting for Superman.” “Sympathy for Delicious” is making waves not only for starring Mark Ruffalo, but also because it is Ruffalo’s debut as a director. The film follows the downhill spiral of a disc jockey and his journey discovering himself through faith healers. Fans of Ruffalo, who know him from starring in other films shown at Sundance, are anxious to see if the actor can deliver behind the screen as well. Also acclaimed for its lead, “Hesher,” starring Natalie Portman, looks to be a Sundance favorite. Rainn Wilson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt join Portman to portray a family’s unusual reaction (a shaman is included) to a tragedy. With such a well-known and loved cast, “Hesher” will certainly continue to be buzz-worthy beyond its run at Sundance. The always-anticipated documentary category will certainly deliver this year as well, with “Waiting for Superman” leading the way. “Superman” sheds light on the realities of the U.S. educational system, centering on the need for significant reform. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the film will likely rival the likes of “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Capitalism: A Love Story.” You can reach this staff writer at

The Week in Fun: Know Your City THURS 28

FRI 29 THU 27

SAT 30

David M. Walker book signing 7 p.m. WHERE: Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W. INFO: Former U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker offers a signing of his new book “Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.” COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call Politics and Prose at 202-364-1919.

Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead 9:45 p.m. WHERE: Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington, Va. METRO: Pentagon City (yellow and blue lines) INFO: For those mourning the loss of Air America Radio, come see co-founder Lizz Winstead eviscerate politics the same way she did when helping establish The Daily Show with John Stewart. COST: $22 CONTACT: For more information, visit

Upright Citizen Brigade 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. WHERE: Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. N.W. METRO: Gallery Place-Chinatown (red, yellow and green lines) INFO: The influential comedy company brings some of their most talented underground acts from New York and Los Angeles to downtown D.C. for a two-part performance. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, call the Kennedy Center at 202467-4600.

SUN 31



Washington Auto Show 10 a.m. WHERE: Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place N.W. METRO: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center (green and yellow lines) INFO: The last day of the Washington Auto Show promises new models and makes from the top auto companies, with lots of new toys to drool over. COST: $10 CONTACT: For more information, visit the Washington Auto Show’s Web site at

Images of Love 1 p.m. WHERE: National Gallery of Art, 401 Constitution Ave. N.W. METRO: Smithsonian (orange and blue lines) INFO: Join Corcoran Gallery of Art’s curator Eric Denker as he takes visitors on a guided tour perfectly themed for the upcoming holiday. Filled with romantic tales of art, there’s enough love for anyone on this tour at the National Gallery. COST: Free CONTACT: For more information, visit the National Gallery’s Web site at

Givers 9 p.m. WHERE: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. N.W. METRO: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo (yellow and green lines) INFO: Taking cues from bands like Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors, the Givers take African influences and apply them to their own brand of electronic pop. COST: $10 CONTACT: For more information, visit Black Cat’s Web site at


BOOK COVERS — Curators at the Folger Shakespeare Library have been working hard to gather an impressive collection of extra-illustrated Shakespeare works. The extra-illustration process results in printed words covered in other forms of art to create a multi-faceted story. phone. The experts and curators analyze the art of extra-illustrating, giving viewers an even more in-depth look. While most of the people who participated in the art of Grangerizing analyzed and admired the books they added illustrations to, grangerizing also added a social aspect of reading. The sheer sizes of the extra-illustrated books make it so people gathered around them in order to read. However, in order to obtain the most unique and interesting illustrations to add, they needed money and connections. Viewing these pieces of grangerized books not only allows the viewer to appreciate a tedious and popular craft, but also provides insight into the social and political world of the time. Extra-illustration progressed over time to the point where publishing houses provided their own

illustration packages that people could purchase to add to books, even labeling the scene and line they refer two. Over the centuries, grangerizing evolved into something similar to scrapbooks. People would insert playbills, ticket stubs or personal letters. Extra-illustration shows how an audience can get so inspired by a piece of art that they produce their own art on the pages. While the Folger Shakespeare Library’s exhibit “Extending the Book: The Art of Extra-Illustration” is not the most interactive or exciting exhibit in D.C., it is a beautiful collection that would be a great activity to partake in before waiting to see one of the gallery’s many productions of Shakespeare. You can reach this writer at



JANUARY 28, 2010


KUSHAN DOSHI n Business Manager 202.885.3593

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

This column is not about hipster culture PUMPIN’ IRONY

TEXTBOOKS Bought and sold, new & used, online buybacks. Buy, sell, rent at 260-399-6111 Español 212-380-1763, urdu/hindi/punjabi/ 713-429-4981, see site for other support lines.

ASK AU: How do you define a hipster?

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KATRINA CASINO The first rule of Hipster Club is don’t talk about Hipster Club. Everyone knows how it goes: upon accusations of hipsterdom, any true hipster will put the brakes on his or her fixed-gear bike, look down through his or her perscriptionless plastic frame glasses and twirl his (or her?) ironic mustache and vehemently deny that such a thing is true. But I’m breaking the code of silence, and I’m admitting it. When called out on my ankle-choking torn-up skinny jeans, my paper-thin neon yellow shoes or my band-reference tattoos, I’ll say it loud and proud: I’m a hipster. A lot of us suffer from hipster shame — it’s true. But why? Who wouldn’t want to be classified as something with the word “hip?” Maybe it’s because a lot of hipster culture itself is based on denial. Here’s the main thing we have to admit: nothing of hipster style is original. Most trends are appropriated from counter- and

sub-cultures, yet we don’t give props where props are due. Other trends make us feel very seriously like we’re looking trendy, yet we insist that our all-year-’round Christmas sweaters are donned in complete scoffing irony. It’s a style full of contradictions — we want to look effortlessly glamorous and expensively trashy. So it’s time to come clean with it: hipster style is ridiculous. The other week, I went to visit a friend in Brooklyn, and she met me wearing a homemade print-screened Rosa Parks shirt that I could have sworn I saw on the shelves at Urban Outfitters. It’s all done in irony, sure, but we still do it, don’t we? And for what? Because we think — dare I say — we know in our heart of hipster hearts — that we have cool down to a science, and it practically is one. It’s a science of rebellion, appropriation and irony, and it keeps us looking — and feeling — super fly. Despite today’s association of “hipster” with demographics like young, white and moneyed, many of hipsterdom’s most basic trends stem from symbols of rebellion. The cycle of cool goes as such: an oppressed or underground group rebels against the mainstream, and the mainstream reacts not in fear, but by picking and choosing what can be reinterpreted

and re-marketed as trendy and edgy. What started as dissent from fashion becomes fashionable again, as rebellion is associated with cool. This simultaneously makes this descent from the mainstream innocuous by filtering it through the hipster trademark: irony. Skinny jeans, once the symbol of the 1970s punk underground, find themselves pre-faded and ripped in stores. The colorful bandannas that gay men once used to find each other wearing in crowded bars hang around the hippest of necks and wrists. It’s suddenly cool to wear that T-shirt with the wolves howling at the moon, even though you made fun of that guy who sported it in middle school. Don’t stop now, hipsters. You keep listening to that vintage vinyl player you found in your mom’s basement. Go on pretending you need those suspenders to keep your tightest pair of yellow pants on your hips. Just remember where all these things came from, because every time you add another pair to your collection of shiny metallic leggings, there’s an ‘80s dance movie begging for recognition. You can reach this columnist at

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SOLID GOLD — Formerly of The Hush Sound, Greta Salpeter has gathered her most talented musician friends from groups such as This Is Me Smiling to create Gold Motel. The band have a vintage, yet refreshing and original sound that emulates what one would hear while listening to a 1960s radio station.

With sample of bands, ‘Motel’ bring back ‘60s By MAGGIE HOLLANDER Eagle Staff Writer

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Stop by the Eagle Newspaper Office, located in Mary Graydon Center, to receive a complimentary pass for two to see


One pass per person. While supplies last. No purchase necessary. A recipient of tickets assumes any and all risks related to use of ticket, and accepts any restrictions required by ticket provider. Screen Gems and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of a prize. This film is rated PG-13.


Greta Salpeter wants to take the angst out of popular music. This prompts the question, what will people listen to now? Her answer: Gold Motel. Salpeter, singer and keyboardist for the indie pop/rock band The Hush Sound and daughter of an AU grad, is ready to take the world of music by storm with her new project, Gold Motel. The group is comprised of members from bands based in the Chicago area, in what Salpeter called in an interview with The Eagle “our own little super group.” Dan Duszynski, a member of This Is Me Smiling, joins Salpeter to play guitar and sing harmonies on both the Gold Motel EP and full-length album. Also from TIMS are bassist Matt Minx — otherwise known as “Minxy” — and drummer Adam Kaltenhauser. The second guitarist, Eric Hehr, was once a part of the Yearbooks. “All these bands to me kind of represented what was happening in the Chicago music scene that I really liked,” Salpeter said. “We’ve been lucky enough to kind of take the flavor from each of the bands.” After coming together to make one band, Gold Motel have created a sound resembling tunes of the ‘60s. One single off of their self-titled EP, “Perfect in My Mind,” embraces the inexplicable happiness occasionally found in life, and Salpeter’s unique voice is showcased in the best possible way. There’s a certain quality to Gold Motel that is very unlike any of her work with The Hush Sound. Gold Motel are funkier and bolder in their choice to be different from anything on the radio right now. The oldies vibe continues with “Make Me Stay,” which brings in more male backup vocals and giv-

ing more balance to the track. “The Cruel One” begins by focusing on Salpeter’s vocal ability and skills as a pianist, which are later accompanied by deliciously simple harmonies and backup instrumentation. All these sounds come together louder and stronger than ever by the end. “Who Will I Be Tonight?” slows down the EP, sounding like Regina Spektor at times, but the song doesn’t stand out as anything particularly special. The final song on the EP, “Don’t Send the Searchlights,” returns to the prior upbeat tone and leaves the listener with a proper goodbye, as Salpeter sings “Goodbye, goodnight.” The untamed nature of music left untouched by a record label hangs all over the self-titled EP, but it’s hard to imagine what it would sound like if Gold Motel were signed to a major label. The music — while relatively catchy — does not seem to be vying for the listeners undivided attention, rather it is a proud expression. Perhaps after years of struggling for The Hush Sound to gain more mainstream attention, Gold Motel are Salpeter’s rebellion after years of restraint. “I think a lot of the music that’s been written in the last few years is kind of melodramatic and angsty,” Salpeter said. “You know, a lot of the really popular music out there, to me, doesn’t have a lot of color or originality. I feel like we’re doing something that’s really fresh and hopeful and energetic, and we just love what we’re doing. It’s just so alive and so real. And I don’t get that from a ton of mainstream music that’s out there today.” But things are different the second time around. The Hush Sound’s success was “a happy accident,” Salpeter said. “Four of us just got together and wrote a record and had an e-mail in our account that said ‘Hi, it’s Pete

Wentz. Would you like to be signed to my record label?’” she said. “It happened very quickly and kind of unintentionally.” Now Salpeter is taking more control and doing things her way in the hopes of achieving the same success she and her bandmates were able to with The Hush Sound “I feel like I have more vision, and I’m playing with friends who I really admire musically,” Salpeter said. “It’s fun, it’s exciting — I like the idea of building something. That was one of the most exciting things about The Hush Sound ... building something from scratch and turning it into a really big project, and I’m hoping I can do that again.” With a successful EP and an album due out the first week in June, four nights opening for Butch Walker’s sold-out residence in Chicago, a string of headlining shows and more opening tour spots in the works, it’s hard to imagine The Hush Sound ever coming back together. Salpeter said she isn’t even sure if it will happen. “Literally, I don’t have an answer,” she said. “We’re planning to play maybe a few college shows next year, maybe do a few Midwest dates, but ... everyone is working towards their individual goals. But the door isn’t shut; it just really is an indefinite hiatus.” Although one great band may be potentially finished — or preferably on indefinite leave — out of it has come Gold Motel, as well as the projects other members of The Hush Sound have in the works. Bands come and go, but as long as Salpeter is making music, fans will listen. “It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s challenging and kind of scary in a really, really positive way.” You can reach this staff writer at



JANUARY 28, 2010

ANDREW TOMLINSON n Sports Editor 202.885.1404

Fighting a strange battle OUT OF BOUNDS

BEN LASKY When thinking of great sports rivalries, some people think of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, while others think of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. But there have been some great rivalries over the years that may not be as well known but deserve to be mentioned with the all-time greats.


A LEG UP — An AU wrestler gets a leg up on a Drexel University wrestler during a meet on Tuesday. AU defeated Drexel 40-6. Seven Eagles won their duals. The team’s next meet is tonight where they will be taking on Binghamton University on the road in New York.

Wrestling continues to win By MIKE DEFABO Eagle Contributing Writer The AU wrestling team is off to a record-setting season with four straight victories and four grapplers in the top 20. Junior Steve Fittery is ranked third in the nation by InterMat, a Web site focusing on NCAA wrestling news, and is 24-1 on the year. The 157-pounder won the Keystone Classic title and the Midlands Championships. Following December’s Midlands Championships, the 10 other winners at the competition honored Fittery with their votes for “Champion of Champions.” Fourth-ranked redshirt senior Mike Cannon has dominated the 184-pound weight division with a 17-1 record this season. His victories include a 9-0 major decision at the Keystone Classic to claim his fourth consecutive title. The twotime All-American holds a career record of 109-18 and is just one win shy of joining 2007 National Champion Josh Glenn for second place on AU’s all-time wins list. His lone defeat this season was an overtime loss in the Midlands Championships after an illegal hold in the third period extended the match. Senior Kyle Borshoff is on his way to a record-breaking season as well. With a 16-2 record, he is two victories short of matching Bret Ruth and Mark Snuffin for fifth place on the wins list. The

149-pounder placed seventh at the Midlands Championships. Jasen Borshoff, ranked 17th in the nation by InterMat, is 16-4 this season in the 149-pound division. The senior claimed his first Keystone Classic title with a 5-3 decision over second seed freshman Garret Frey of Princeton University. As a team, the Eagles placed second in November’s Keystone Classic in Philadelphia and sent eight athletes to the podium. Freshman Blake Herrin and redshirt senior Jordan Lipp earned second place, redshirt senior Mingo Grant and sophomore Thomas Williams took home third and redshirt freshman Tanner Shaffer finished sixth. At the Midlands Championships, the team finished eighth overall and placed three athletes on the podium in December. AU started their dual meet season following the Midlands Championships. They are 3-1-1 on the year, most recently defeating Drexel University 40-6 Tuesday night in Bender Arena. Seven Eagles won their matchups including: J. Borshoff, Williams, K. Borshoff, Fittery, redshirt freshman Phillip Barreiro, Cannon and freshman Daniel Mitchell. AU’s next meet is Thursday evening, when the team travels to New York to face Binghamton University. You can reach this writer at

Men vanquish Navy 69-59 Navy vs. AU at Washington, D.C. AU 69, Navy 59 Navy (9-12, 3-3) Chirs Harris 5-12 2-4 21 Jorda Sugars 5-12 1-4 11 Mark Veazey 2-2 0-0 8 Romeo Garcia 3-10 1-6 7 Greg Brown 2-7 0-4 4 Jeremy Wilson 0-2 0-0 2 Carlton Smith 0-0 0-0 0 T.J. Topercer 0-0 0-0 0 Ted Connolly 0-1 0-0 0.

AU (6-15, 3-3) Vlad Moldoveanu 10-13 3-6 37 Stephen Lumpkins 6-11 0-0 14 Simon McCormack 2-2 0-0 4 Nick Hendra 1-3 0-1 2 Daniel Munoz 0-0 0-0 1 Steve Luptak 1-5 0-0 2 Joe Hill 0-0 0-0 0 Riley Grafft 4-4 0-0 8 Matthew Wilson 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals 20-52 4-19 59.

T.O. vs. his QBs One of the best rivalries of the last 10 years has been Terrell Owens versus any quarterback that has thrown to him. Owens has played for four different teams and each time he has worn out his welcome. After being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles from the San Francisco 49ers in 2004, Owens implied in a Playboy article that his former quarterback in San Francisco was gay. This was the kind of thing that got him traded out of San Francisco in the first place. Owens’ relationship with Don-

ovan McNabb was like the relationship between Vinny and “The Situation‚“ from MTV’s Jersey Shore. They started off as close friends, then one got cocky and the relationship was just never the same. Owens’ first year in Philadelphia was a success. He had 1,200 receiving yards to go along with 14 touchdown catches. The team went to the Super Bowl but lost to the New England Patriots. Owens later blamed the loss on McNabb for choking at the end of the game. These statements and Owens’ anger about not having a new contract got him suspended by the team for the last four games of the next season. After Owens was released in 2006, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys and once again started off being buddy-buddy with his QB Tony Romo for the first two years of the relationship. Owens even ironically began to cry when a reporter talked badly about Romo after a playoff loss to the New York Giants in 2008. However, the next season, T.O. was up to his old tricks. About midway through the 2008 season, Owens became upset because Romo was giving the ball to his tight end Jason Witten too often and that was one complaint too much, as Ow-

ens was released at the end of the season. The people vs. the mascots The greatest rivalry in hockey is a no-brainer, and it is not Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. In 2003, the Calgary Flames were beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 at home. It seemed like just another game until Flames’ Mascot, Harvey, began mocking Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. All of a sudden MacTavish ripped the tongue out of Harvey’s mouth. This would go down as one of the most significant mascot attacks in the history of sports. Sadly for the fans, the rivalry would end there. MacTavish vs. Harvey is not quite as legendary as the assault committed by Randall Simon of the Pittsburgh Pirates. During a game against the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003, which was apparently a bad year for mascots, Simon attacked a person dressed in a sausage costume. The sausage race takes place every game after the sixth inning in Milwaukee. During this particular race, Simon stuck out his bat from the dugout as the sausages ran by and one of the sausages fell over. The person inside the suit suffered a scraped knee and Simon was taken away in handcuffs after the game. The

Paul O’Neill vs. water coolers The best sports rivalry that no one talks about has to be former New York Yankees right fielder Paul O’Neill vs. any water cooler in his vicinity. This heavyweight match-up took place only if O’Neill was called out on a close play and he slammed his helmet against the field right away. Following this warrior call, he would move into the dugout and prepare for his opponent. Once he stepped down the stairs and laid eyes on his combatant, it was on. None of the fights lasted long, since before anyone knew it, the dugout floor was flooded. These bouts could never be predicted, but if he was in a slump, this process took place game after game. There is more to sports rivalries than just Jack Nicklaus taking on Arnold Palmer. Some great rivalries are mistakenly overlooked. While they may not be some of the most important rivalries in sports, they certainly are fun to follow. You can reach this columnist at

Caps must keep stride in April CAPITAL SPOTLIGHT

ANDREW TOMLINSON With seven wins in a row after Tuesday’s victory over the New York Islanders, there is no question that the Washington Capitals are the hottest team in hockey, but are they peaking too early? Washington is first in the Eastern Conference. The Caps have the second best home record as well as the third best road record in the Conference. To top it off, they have scored 202 goals in the season — good enough for first in the league. All of this is great and by no means is there any reason to scrutinize the way the team is playing, but one has to worry about whether they can keep this up in the second half of the season. Because in reality, will this success matter once April rolls around? The simple answer is yes — and no. It is important in the sense

that all the points Washington has earned thus far will take some of the pressure off the team when it needs to rest towards the end of the season. The Caps may be an all-butsure lock for the playoffs, but at this rate, they could wear themselves out and lose in the first round. It will be for nothing. It seems so trivial to question winning and whether or not doing it too early in the season is a bad thing, but it has been a factor in almost every major sport. This year in football provides a good example. The Cincinnati Bengals started out the season as one of the hottest teams in football winning seven of their first 10 games. They snagged a playoff spot after sweeping their division on Nov. 15. Just two weeks later, the team went on to lose five of its last eight games, including a loss to the New York Jets in the first round of the playoffs. With no major injuries, the only logical explanation is that they simply ran out of gas. They hit their stride as a team after they beat the Steelers that Sunday in November, and they just failed to regain the same intensity the rest of the season. It’s not just in football; the NHL has seen it too. In fact, the league seems to have one team every year

who is unable to replicate their regular season success in the playoffs. The New Jersey Devils were last year’s team that peaked too early. After a spotty start to the season, the Devils rattled off eight straight wins, with the first coming on Jan. 13, 2009. They got on a roll and had few losses until the end of March. On March 22, 2009, after almost two months of solid hockey, they lost six straight and fizzled through the end of the season and in the first round of the postseason. There is no scientific proof to back up the claim that a team hitting its stride too early will amount to failure in the postseason, but it is something all teams should worry about. At this point, the Caps can help themselves gather momentum at the right time. Over an 82-game season, teams will always have peaks and valleys in the way they are playing. The key is controlling when the peaks and valleys occur. In Washington’s schedule for instance, there is a stretch in March where they have many games against the Southeast Division. Assuming they do not fall too far from first place, resting players here is not such a bad idea. The games will largely be meaningless,

and a less than 100 percent team should have no trouble dispatching of the Eastern Conference’s bottomfeeders. The rest comes with a caveat. The team must begin to gain momentum March 24 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. An embarrassing loss to their archrival could kill team morale. Instead, some good wins here would allow the Caps to feel good about their game as they finish the season with two games against the Boston Bruins, one against the Atlanta Thrashers and one against the Penguins. Playing well in these games is crucial because they are essentially dress rehearsals for the first round of the playoffs. If Washington can hit their stride going into the first round, they will be a tough team to beat. When the Caps have played confidently, few teams have been able to stop them. Just ask the Islanders who lost to them 7-2 on Tuesday. The team’s winning ways are nothing to scoff at, but they must remember that it is more important to win when it matters and that time is in the playoffs. You can reach this staff writer at

Henin on verge of retaking No. 1 SIDELINE SCHOLAR

ELLIOT JEFFORDS Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina and Serena Williams have all been ranked number one in the world at some point in their tennis careers, but their dominance is now threatened by Justine Henin’s decision to return to the sport. Prior to her retirement in 2007, Henin was ranked number one in the world and had won a major tournament every year since 2003, including the 2007 U.S. Open and three straight French Opens from 2005 to 2007. During that time, Henin struggled with several off-court issues. They included nagging knee injuries, a knee surgery following the

2007 US Open, a divorce from her husband that same year and a very public reconnection with her father and siblings in 2008. Henin made it clear when she retired that she had lost the drive to play tennis and was both emotionally as well as physically fatigued. She would go on to say that she had no intention to return to competitive tennis. “A new future is ahead, I won’t go back on this decision,” Henin said in May 2008. “I have experienced everything I could have. I have lived completely for tennis.” Rested and having rediscovered the passion she had lost, Henin decided to make a comeback in September 2009. “It’s going well, there’s a lot of pleasure on the court, and that’s the most important thing,” Henin said when she announced her comeback. When a player with her type of skill and passion is healthy and determined, no matter how much time off, she is going to be tough to beat.

After losing in the finals of the Brisbane International to Kim Clijsters, the Henin comeback looked to be on track. It all changed however, when Henin pulled out of Sydney’s Medibank International with knee troubles. After this new injury, it looked as if the comeback may be put on ice. Despite this setback, Henin remained in the field for the Australian Open. The tournament’s organizing committee welcomed her with open arms and awarded her an unranked wild card entry. For Henin, entering the tournament as an unseeded wild card meant one thing: her opponents were going to be very good and very tough to beat. Most did not expect her to be as successful as she has been, especially when the tournament is the first major of the year. Though not all of her matches have been easy, Henin has survived and is on her way into the semi-finals. Henin has defeated three-seeded opponents, including Elena De-

mentieva (5), Alisa Kleybanova (27), Nadia Petrova (19), and fellow countrywoman Yanina Wickmayer. As she plays more, she continues to look sharper and as if she is gaining more confidence. If Henin is able to defeat her next opponent, China’s Jie Zheng — who is also a tournament surprise — she will more than likely face current world number one, Serena Williams. Ironically enough, Williams is quite possibly the greatest benefactor of Henin’s retirement. No matter her final place, the 27-year-old Henin has a made a statement. She is back and ready to play. She is just as good as she was before she walked away from tennis. In the Australian Open she has made another statement entirely: not only is she back, but she wants her number one standing back. You can reach this columnist at


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The Eagle — Jan. 28, 2010  
The Eagle — Jan. 28, 2010  

Jan 28, 2010 of the eagle