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Contracted workers at AU p. 4





4 History of subcontracted workers 6 Second professor sues for tenure

7 THE SCENE 7 SUB director talks entertainment 10 A multicultural theatre mission


12 #BlackLivesMatter 13 Staff Ed: Diversity as a campus conversation


15 Club hockey rebuilds and reloads 16 Inside AU wrestling

Correction: In the October, 18th edition of The Eagle, the center spread incorectly printed the prices for margaritas at Guapo’s. The Eagle regrets this error.



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The Eagle, a student-run newspaper at American University, serves the community by reporting news involving the campus community and surrounding areas. The Eagle strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes firmly in its First Amendment rights.

POLICIES The Eagle has a commitment to accuracy and clarity and will print corrections or clarifications. To report a mistake, call the Editorin-Chief at (202) 885 -1402 or email All submissions become the property of The Eagle. Unsigned letters will not be published. The Eagle reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length and clairty. Letters and columns may be published in print or online. Letters and columns are the opinion of the writer and not the Editorial Board.





Students of color frustrated with campus climate Students say racist social media posts and posters on campus have created a culture of exclusion by Riddhi Sarkar News Assistant

Multicultural student groups are calling for more inclusion at AU after a rash of anonymous social media posts and posters targeting minorities have appeared on and around campus. Yik Yak is a smartphone application that allows smartphone users to make posts anonymously and view posts made by those within close proximity to them. Racist posts on the platform prompted University forums last year and inspired an Undergraduate Senate discussion about race, the Eagle previously reported. In recent months, users have continued to write discriminatory comments in the the app around campus. Kiersten Gillette-Pierce, a Class of 2016 senator and Marketing and PR Coordinator for the Black Student Alliance, said she was unsurprised by racist remarks over Yik Yak and has faced racism at AU since she set foot on campus freshman year. She also said the administration is not doing nearly enough to help students of color on campus. “Right now, we are talking at each other. It could be that maybe we don’t know the avenues to talk, or that the administration doesn’t care,” she said. “Stop ignoring us and make some tangible changes. Stop pushing diversity and not pushing retention.” In her role as SG Senator, Gillette-Pierce wrote a bill requiring all members of Student Government to undergo cultural and racial sensitivity training, and the bill passed unanimously in the Undergraduate Senate in October. She said her next steps, working with The Darkening, are to mandate the training for all clubs and organizations and eventually the whole campus by 2017. In an interview with The Eagle, University President Neil Kerwin said racist comments on Yik Yak stunned him, and that the University should have done more to address the posts last academic year. “I think universities, of all places have the deepest responsibility to confront these issues and deal with them, because if universities can’t get it right, I’m not a hundred percent sure who can,” Kerwin said. “For as long as I have this job, I am going to do everything I can to keep this on the front page. We talk the talk a lot about diversity on this campus, we express a deep commitment on it. Where we need to do much better is on inclusion.” Devontae Torriente, vice president of BSA, said most racism he experiences on campus is subtle and also said that the environment for minorities is lacking. “AU likes to pretend it’s a very inclusive community, and they have taken steps in other areas to make it inclusive,” Torriente said. “I feel that AU is very exclusive in the sense that it doesn’t do all that it can to make sure that students of color feel welcome and safe on this campus, so I definitely at times feel like an outsider.” Torriente, a senator for the class of 2018 and a committee chair in student movement

The Darkening, said he has witnessed subtle microaggressions from students and professors in the classroom. He also mentioned more blatant bigotry, especially through the Yik Yak posts resurfaced in recent weeks. “When it comes to things like race and culture sensitivity, we’re just not there yet,” Torriente said. Roquel Crutcher, the president of AU’s NAACP chapter, has been working to reinstate a campus chapter since last summer, she said. The group was reinstalled Oct. 23. Crutcher said she wanted to bring a chapter back because she felt more space was needed for people of color on campus. The NAACP was last on campus in 2009. “Right now, we are organizing, we are taking

educate the whole population about racial and cultural differences because some students come from communities that do not have diversity and hence face a culture shock when they arrive. “You cannot have an international school and not teach students about other cultures, both on the domestic and international front,” she said. Islamophobic posters appear on campus Aman Abdelhamid, president of the Muslim Student Association and a sophomore in the School of International Service, said she also sees a lack of campus awareness and education about race. She was not completely caught off guard when Islamophobic posters

“ Right now, we are talking at each other. It could

be that maybe we don’t know the avenues to talk, or that the administration doesn’t care. Stop ignoring us and make some tangible changes. Stop pushing diversity and not pushing retention.

- Kiersten Gillette-Pierce, SG senator

concerns from students, listening to them, figuring out what we can do, what our main goals will be and how to achieve them, and we want to be very strategic about everything,” she said. Kerwin said reinstating AU’s chapter of the NAACP is a positive development, and also complemented the work of groups like the Darkening and BSA. Fanta Aw, the assistant vice president of Campus Life, said she believes in a more multi-faceted approach to combatting bigotry than a mandatory course for all students. Aw also said around 700 faculty members have voluntarily undergone unconscious bias training this semester. In addition, the University’s general education program is under review and future changes may include work related to race and multiculturalism, Kerwin said, though he cannot state how curriculum may change. Kerwin has began meeting with groups of students on campus and will speak with alumni, faculty and staff about racial climate. At the end of the semester, Kerwin plans to send out a letter to the community summarizing what he has learned through his conversations. However, Torriente and Gillette-Pierce said multiculturalism on campus requires more than dialogue. “Discussion is great, but at a certain point, action needs to be taken,” Torriente said. “I think that just having these dialogues can be therapeutic for a lot of people, but it doesn’t really address the grievances of those students. I think we need to focus on training and educating the student body and not just talking about the issues.” Gillette-Pierce said the school needs to

were spotted on campus in early November, she said. “I don’t think I really was surprised. I’ve seen and I’ve heard of Islamophobic comments in classes and in the area, so I wasn’t surprised, but so disappointed. We pride ourselves on being a liberal campus,” Abdelhamid said. “We come here thinking AU is a progressive campus, and we still feel unsafe.” The posters were likely not posted by a member of the AU community, according to a statement from the school. Devki Gami, president of the South Asian

Student Association, said students need to work together to create a more inclusive campus. “At the end of the day, students’ perspectives need to change,” Gami said. “We need to talk about how we can make our own students feel inclusive, and if you have a certain group on campus making racist comments, we have to work on changing their perspective. We need to look at ourselves, we need to look at our friends, and see what can we do on the student level.” Gami encourages all students to attend SASA events and said experiencing other cultures helps create more awareness and acceptance of cultures other than their own. “When you go to an event, and when you feel a part of the event, there is a change within you. This is the kind of exposure that leads to understanding,” Gami said. “You don’t have to be South Asian to be an active member of SASA. We love having anyone even slightly interested to come to our events. We have a very strong, passionate group, and we want to share South Asian culture with everyone else. We are there for our community but also for the larger AU.” Alex Garcia, president of the Latino and American Student Organization, said having a more diverse faculty may help create a more comfortable environment for minority students. “One important step would be hiring more professors of color,” Garcia said. “If students have those leaders to look up to they will have a more welcoming climate as opposed to having a predominantly white faculty.” Garcia also said the situation cannot improve if blame for campus racism is put on the administration or one group of students.“If we just unite as minorities, but without isolating ourselves from the rest of the campus, we can make this climate better,” he said.

AU President Neil Kerwin sat down with The Eagle to discuss issues of race on campus. Kerwin published an op-ed in the paper on Nov. 4, pledging to hold discussions on inclusion. JILLIAN O’DONOHOE / THE EAGLE




An Eagle investigation shows a history of mixed signals between dining contractors, workers and workers’ unions. Now, many workers have passed retirement age and don’t have enough money to support themselves.

by Katherine Saltzman and Cuneyt Dil Christine Hamlett-Williams has been a subcontracted dining employee at AU for 34 years. Currently a cashier and a union shop steward, she sits most days behind the register at the mini P.O.D. Market in Mary Graydon Center. At 67, Hamlett-Williams wants to retire, but like other longtime dining employees, meager pension benefits over three decades have deprived her of this option. Hamlett-Williams said she can’t afford to live on Social Security benefits. Her current pension fund, she said, amounts to about $13,000 before taxes. An Eagle investigation has found at least six longtime subcontracted employees in similar situations. A 76-year-old dining worker with AU since 1966 had $8,000 in a pension fund when she withdrew some of it five years ago. “I got bills to pay,” that worker said, who hopes to retire in two years. “But I feel like if I’m able, why not keep on working?” With AU’s dining and housekeeping services, contractors come and go, but workers often stay. New contracts with new companies may mean different benefits for those workers. Since the 1980s, the University has had three different dining contractors, with the longest serving being Marriott Corporation from 1981 to 2001. (After a merger in 1998, the company was known as Sodexho-Marriott for the remainder of its time at AU.) During the Marriott years, workers and workers’ rights activists allege some dining employees stopped receiving full pension benefits. At least 13 current food service workers have been employed since the Marriott era. Unlike Hamlett-Williams, some longtime workers don’t even know how much money is in their pension funds. A 77-year-old dining employee who started working in 1973 doesn’t know how much is in her pension fund. “I can’t retire,” she said. “I gotta be doing something.” Another dining worker at the school since 1981, who also asked to not

be named, wasn’t sure how much was in her pension fund. Workers attribute the lack of information to limited communication from their current union, Unite Here Local 23, and to the dining contractors that have shuffled in and out as their employers. In the 1980s under Marriott, workers were represented by Local 32 and later, by Unite Here Local 25. In 2009, Local 25 redefined its oversight and Unite Here Local 23 was established, the chapter that currently represents AU dining workers. “The only problem with the union is that they talk to some workers more than they talk to other workers,” said Julian Bloom, a junior and president of AU Student Worker Alliance. “That is an issue, because some workers don’t necessarily know the status of their retirement fund or whether they are considered full time or part time and how to pay union dues accordingly, so there are some issues of communication.” Vincent Harkins, assistant vice president of facilities management for the Office of Finance and Treasurer wrote in an email that his office “would not share contract documents as those are proprietary and would not be fair to share unless the contractor themselves would share with others.” Representatives of Unite Here Local 23 declined to comment for the article. Director of Auxiliary Services Charles Smith also said that the University did not have copies of archival contracts. In a statement to The Eagle, he said, “We value the work of the food service employees every day and their contribution to the AU community. Please keep in mind these are employees of Aramark, and they are represented by a local food service workers’ union. The benefits they receive are determined by a collective bargaining agreement which AU does not participate in.” “What strikes my emotions is that when the professor [McCabe] found out about our pensions, he knew what was going on and he said it should have never happened. The University should have looked out to us, the workers,” Hamlett-Williams said. During contract negotiations in 1990

between Marriott and Local 32, the union that represented dining workers at the time, employees voiced concerns over their lack of benefits and hoped a new deal would improve the situation. “Right now, we don’t have any retirement benefits,” Beverly White, a then-30-year dining employee, told The Eagle in a September 1990 article. “Hopefully, we can get some with the new contract.” That new contract, however, still lacked retirement benefits. According to a copy of the contract signed in January 1991 between Marriott and Local 32, the document never mentions the word “retirement” or “pension.” Students filter in and out of P.O.D. during the lunch hour blitz on Friday, Oct. 30, buying their meals du jour, usually chips and a sandwich. On the job, Hamlett-Williams looks past the negatives. Many students know her by name, ask her about life and remember to say “thank you.” She’s quick to remind students to get their money’s worth. “You’re paying for it,” she tells a student who forgets he can grab a bag of chips along with his sandwich and drink for one meal swipe. To her right lay two open mini-bibles on the table, worn and coffee stained, that she reads in her off time. At 33, Hamlett-Williams needed a job. When she began working under contractor Marriott in 1981, officials told her she would get benefits comparable to University employees, she said, including aid such as free or reduced tuition, pension fund contributions and health care. She recalled that her first paychecks came from the University directly, despite the fact that a subcontractor was in place. But since the late 1980s, workers have not received tuition benefits, and many did not begin receiving pension benefits until 2001, when Bon Appetit took over dining services from Marriott-Sodexho. Several longtime employees who can’t afford to retire said Marriott treated them well on the surface. For Christmas, workers were often gifted hams, turkeys, shrimp, or steak and pies. If employees had worked for 25 years, Marriott provided them with gift cards

to stay in a hotel for a three-day weekend. “Marriott was the best,” said one of the workers who wished to be anonymous. Hamlett-Williams agrees that the gifts were nice but said she wished the company offered better financial support as well. “That was nice,” Hamlett-Williams said of the Christmas gifts, “but they didn’t give us benefits to help us today.” Without taking a close look at her job contract when she was hired — details of which are fuzzy to her, over 30 years later — “I just took what they said,” Hamlett-Williams said. “I believed in my heart if I worked for the University, that I would be treated right.” Aramark contributes $1.05 for each employee who works 20 or more hours per week, not exceeding 40 hours, to the Local 23 Employers’ Benefit Fund and Pension Fund, according to a copy of the latest contract. Student activist Carlos Vera, who founded the Exploited Wonk campaign last year advocating for Aramark workers’ rights, said he doesn’t think it’s Aramark’s responsibility to make up for the pension money that Marriott never gave. He thinks AU will eventually pay for those workers’ retirement. “It’s ultimately [up to] the University,” Vera said, “this was happening under [their] nose.” He also wants the University to offer contracted workers education benefits — like the ability for workers and their relatives to take classes for free or with reduced costs. When asked if there are any plans for the University to reimburse workers who did not receive pensions, the Auxiliary Services director, Charles Smith, replied in an email, “I have no specific information regarding this question.” Concern over workers’ benefits exploded on campus following the arrest of former professor Jim McCabe on Oct. 14. Images of police escorting McCabe out of the Terrace Dining Room, where he was handing out fliers advocating for dining workers, spread on social media and were briefly taped across campus walls. “My phone blew up,” recalls Vera, who was in California when he heard McCabe was arrested. Vera said he received a lot of social

A timeline of contracting at AU:



theEAGLE DECEMBER 4, 2015 media attention campaigning for workers’ rights last semester, yet it never became a huge news story. “In some ways [the arrest] helped spread our message.” McCabe’s arrest drew attention to the issue from leaders around campus and from student advocacy groups. Student Worker Alliance members said meeting attendance swelled. Candidates for Undergraduate Senate released advocacy plans addressing the issue. The Faculty Senate is also currently examining McCabe’s claims after professor Mary Gray presented a letter at their Nov. 4 meeting with signatures from 40 professors. Three weeks after McCabe’s arrest, Aramark restored work hours to 40 hours per week for dining hall workers after cuts earlier in the semester. Student leaders met with AU Director of Dining Ken Chadwick behind closed doors shortly after the announcement. Undergraduate Senator Will Mascaro, who attended the meeting, said Chadwick told students the activism gave him leverage to ask his bosses to restore the workers’ hours. “Chadwick is an ally,” Mascaro said. “I think he is in a difficult position. He works for a multibillion-dollar company that is likely trying to cut costs wherever possible. But I think he also recognizes that there is an issue with the way workers are treated, and he is trying to work with students to address our concerns.” Chadwick declined to be interviewed for this story. Hamlett-Williams wants the University to meet with workers like her who have worked decades but can’t afford to retire. “Instead of having [McCabe] locked up, ask us, ‘What are you asking for?’” HamlettWilliams said. “Don’t let this next generation end up in the same shoes we’re in. It’s time to make a change.” Under the Ronald Reagan Administration in the 1980s, labor force and union representation underwent significant transformation, a trend that visibly touched AU. In the 1980s, universities across the U.S., including AU, began contracting services such as housekeeping and dining in efforts to improve efficiency and cut costs. In a statement to the University community in 1983 about a switch to cleaning contractors, the administration wrote: “Why does one go to contract cleaning? First, it gives guaranteed level of cleaning throughout an institution or business. Second, its costs less. By using a contract cleaning firm, we will be saving more than $250,000 annually — that’s $5,000 per week.” In October 1981, AU started contracting with Marriott to oversee all dining services.

Instead of having [McCabe] locked up, ask us, ‘What are you asking for? Don’t let this next generation end up in the same shoes we’re in. It’s time to make a change.

The University had previously contracted with smaller companies which oversaw parts of dining services. In exchange for total control of all food services on campus, Marriott promised million-dollar renovations and offered flexible meal plans that were cheaper than the previous contractor’s, The Eagle reported that year. Former AU Vice President for Business and Fiscal Affairs, Jack McKinley, said that when Marriott agreed to spend a million dollars on renovations, the company blocked out any other food service provider that might have worked with the University. “Yes it is a monopoly,” McKinley told The Eagle in 1981. “If I spent a million dollars on renovations, I’d want some guarantee I’d be the only kid on the block.” Shortly following the dining services switch to Marriott, AU also began subcontracting housekeeping services. Unlike in dining services, the University had no history of outsourcing the hiring and management of housekeeping workers. The decision to subcontract housekeeping services built tension between workers and contractors. In December 1982, two days after Christmas, 92 housekeeping employees were fired during the transition to the new contractor, Unified Services. Students and professors protested the firing in front of the home of former University President Richard Berendzen and held teach-ins about workers’ rights. “We wanted to ensure that staff on campus had their rights protected,” School of International Service professor Abdul Said said in an interview. Said was involved in the teach-ins and has worked at AU since 1957. The dining service worker who has been at AU since 1981 remembers participating in the protests on campus when the housekeeping workers were fired. Following continued protests and negotiations with Local 25, the Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union that oversaw housekeeping workers then, Unified Services agreed to rehire most of the workers on Feb. 25, 1983. Of the 92 workers who were fired, 56 returned to AU, but under a very different contract than they had as direct University employees. The 56 workers returned to a full year of severance benefits, including former wages, health and life insurance, pension programs and tuition benefits. This agreement existed for a year. Then, Unified Services reverted back to a standard wage contract, with payment of $4 an hour. The one benefit that continued for workers under Unified was tuition waivers. Donald Triezenberg, the former vice president for development and planning, told The Eagle in 1983 that tuition remission or waivers were not a problem during negotiations with the workers’ union. “We had no problem with that,” Triezenberg said. “Education, after all, is our business.” Contracting issues continued, but spread beyond housekeeping. In 1986, relations between Marriott and union dining service workers also grew strained. Following the firing of two employees in February 1986, unionized dining employees became concerned that Marriott management was attempting to eliminate union workers and replace them with non-union employees, The Eagle reported. In March 1986, the two workers were rehired by Marriott. When Marriott began in 1981, the University created University Student Services, Inc., a legal entity owned by the school. The formation of USSI was required because Marriott’s corporate structure did not allow it

On contracting worker relations: the case of Tijuana Saunders


Over the summer, well-liked dining worker Tijuana Edwards died in her home at 59. She had been a cashier for seven years at the front of the Terrace Dining Hall, pictured above, swiping students in and out of the dining hall. While emails are often sent out after direct staff memembers and administrators die, there was no death notice from the University for Tijuana, . University administrators said they were not aware of the death until students brought it to their attention. The day after The Eagle reported on the lack of a notice, Assistant Vice President of Housing and Dining Services Chris Moody sent an email to all students with a Fall 2015 meal plan recognizing Saunders as a tenured member of the AU community and beloved employee. to hire unionized workers directly, according to Vice Provost for Academic Administration Violeta Ettle. In order to become AU’s dining contractor, Marriott had to allow the union to remain in existence at AU. Betty Miles, then a shop steward and union representative told The Eagle in 1986, “We are the only Marriott location that has a union.” Workers at this time had a separate pension plan and health insurance plan managed by the union. They did not get tuition remission, according to Ettle. “One of the requirements to be hired was to join the union,” one worker said. One longtime worker recalled that during the Marriott years, a representative from USSI under Marriott would come and talk with workers about changes or updates in contract. When the Marriott contract ended, she said she no longer saw those employees and does not know the details of her current contract. In the early 2000s, former University President Benjamin Ladner called for a new faculty committee to explore working conditions for contracted workers. The group, called the Living Wage Project Team, was chaired by John Willoughby, a professor of economics in College of Arts and Sciences. The final report, issued in February 2002, recommended implementing living wage salaries, as well as comparable healthcare, pension, education and tuition benefits. The report found that employees with low hourly wages were unable to afford health care premiums or were entirely without insurance. If the University implemented employment benefits comparable to what

faculty members had, the group found contracted workers would receive 5 percent of the minimum wage they earn to a pension fund, along with adjustments to healthcare, which the University would contribute $180 per worker at minimum wage. The Board of Trustees rejected the full report, according to Willoughby. The board enacted an across-the-board $11-an-hour wage, lower than the LWPT’s suggestion of $12.58, and reinstated health benefits for contract workers in November 2002, according to an Eagle report from the time. The change did not include retirement benefits. “There have been periodic controversies of worker conditions,” Willoughby said. “The issues are not really new if you have been here for a while.” Though the issues may not be new, some workers who were hired at the beginning of the Marriott era, including HamlettWilliams, face the final phase of their lives knowing that all the years of controversy have left them without financial security. “My time is limited. I know I can’t do another 35 years, or probably not five years more,” Hamlett-Williams said. “I am going to work as long as I can, but health issues and other issues is going to be too much. But I would like to see a change and support the younger people who given it their all.” At her station at P.O.D. Market, HamlettWilliams’ Bible was open to page in Corinthians. As she read, a line jumped out: “We live by what we believe, not by what we can see.” “I am going by faith, not by circumstance,” she said.

DENIED: by Megan Yoder Contributor

A former professor denied tenure by AU is the second faculty member since 2013 to sue the University for breach of contract and discrimination. Loubna Skalli-Hanna filed a complaint against the University in September claiming AU discriminated against her when she was denied tenure for her School of International Service position in April 2014. She was 51 at the time of her application for tenure. Skalli-Hanna’s suit, which comes two years after former School of Communication professor Maria Ivancin filed a similar lawsuit against AU, has reignited allegations of age discrimination by some University administration. “This is not about the bitterness of being denied tenure. That is too banal of a story,” said Skalli-Hanna, who left for Morocco to conduct work for her second Fulbright award in early November. “This is the story of a person who has invested 12 years of her life and career in a university she believes in.” A statement sent to the Eagle by AU Director of Public Relations Kelly Alexander refuted Skalli-Hanna’s claims of discrimination. “Individuals not unlike Dr. Skalli-Hanna have done very well in the promotion and tenure application process at American University, rendering it inconceivable that she was denied promotion and tenure for an unlawful reason,” the statement said. “As disappointed as she may be with the University’s denial of her application, and as much as she may disagree with it, no laws were broken. The University looks forward to presenting all the facts in a court of law.” Representatives of the Office of the Provost, including Provost Scott Bass, and representatives of the School of International Service declined to make any additional statements for this article. Both Skalli-Hanna’s and Ivancin’s complaints, filed by the same attorney, cite comments allegedly made by Bass in 2013 to a faculty committee. According to the complaints, Bass said, “We don’t want to bring in old people who are just going to sit around and do nothing.” The two complaints also reference an incident where the Provost allegedly attempted to convince an unnamed dean to limit the tenure of a faculty member

Why Fulbright scholar and former professor Loubna Skalli-Hanna left AU over the age of 60. Though the dean refused, Bass suggested that as provost, he had previously limited tenure of older faculty. Ivancin’s case is in depositions, she told the Eagle, but she said the University has not been forthcoming with information regarding her denial of tenure. “I’m hoping their responses to direct questions in the depositions will shed some light on this,” Ivancin said. Contract Issues Skalli-Hanna, who studies gender, communication and youth in the Middle East and North Africa, also said AU violated her contract. Skalli-Hanna’s case partly rests on the assertion that a tenure-track professor who successfully fulfills the rules in the faculty manual, which includes detailed guidelines for tenure application, is entitled to receive tenure. Professors go through a six-year pre-tenure period before the provost issues an ultimate decision, according to the manual. “In SIS, we teach our students good governance, we teach them about checks and balances, we teach them about the consequences of the concentration of power in the hands of one person, we teach them all of these things, but when it is time for me to demonstrate that it’s happening on a campus known for being progressive, the leaders and administrators at the highest level completely ignore me,” Skalli-Hanna said. Skalli-Hanna began teaching at AU in 2003 and became a tenure-track assistant professor in 2008. Her complaint claims she excelled at every step of the tenure review process as outlined by the manual. Yet, Bass rejected Skalli-Hanna’s bid for tenure in April 2014, effectively firing her after a one-year grace period in which professors can continue to work at AU. The University gave her a salary raise during her final year of employment. Published work In his letter denying her tenure, the Provost said Skalli-Hanna had not published enough literature at the time of review and that the book chapters and articles she had authored did not have sufficient “impact,” according to the complaint. The faculty manual identifies “teaching,” “scholarship” and “service” as the three main criteria in the evaluation of a tenure candidate.

At the time of review, Skalli-Hanna wrote two books with a third under contract, co-authored a fourth book and three book chapters; and had written seven published journal articles, five book chapters and five encyclopedia entries. “No one ever warned me that I was not doing what I was supposed to do until I got a letter from the provost saying that I had not met the requirements for tenure,” Skalli-Hanna said. “Everything he said made absolutely no sense.” The suit also claims “all levels of review concluded that Dr. Skalli’s multiple books and article publications met and exceeded the standards for tenurable scholarship under the criteria set forth in the Faculty Manual and the SIS Guidelines.” In his denial of Skalli-Hanna’s tenure, the provost also said she had not published enough work in journals that were highly rated for being cited by other scholars. Skalli-Hanna said the provost did not take the interdisciplinary nature of her research into account in his decision. Work that spans several fields is not usually published in highly-rated journals, and Skalli-Hanna provided adequate explanation of why she chose to publish in those journals, she said. Other reviewers noted instances where other scholars invited SkalliHanna to edit anthologies of work, which “demonstrated her reputation as a scholar,” according to the complaint. She had also published additional articles and book chapters after submitting her application for tenure. “No academic basis” Skalli-Hanna said the only factors that caused Bass, who declined to comment for this article, to deny her request were her age and gender. “Because there was no academic basis for denying me tenure, I could see that my age did not fit the profile the provost was supporting,” she said. Skalli-Hanna appealed Bass’s decision to the Committee on Faculty Grievances in July 2014. One of the tasks of the committee is to ensure professors are treated fairly and to make determinations on complaints by faculty members. In November 2014, the committee issued a report that acknowledged procedural violations but said the committee “lacked the authority” to investigate age or gender discrimination claims. The case was sent to President Neil

Kerwin, who directed the committee to investigate the allegations of age discrimination. In a report issued in March 2015, the committee found that a third of candidates age 50 and above were denied tenure, while 9.1 percent of candidates younger than 30 were denied tenure. In another report presented to the Faculty Senate in its September 2015 meeting, the committee said it had found a “suggestive pattern” of discrimination against older female candidates, though it was not granted complete access to all files on tenure decisions. “The pattern of positive evaluations except at the last level [of review] raises concerns ... If the recognized guidelines are not adhered to, then tenure decisions appear to be arbitrary, and can only harm AU’s reputation among prestigious reviewers at other universities and among academics at large,” the report said. According to Faculty Senate Chair Larry Engel, the Senate’s busy schedule postponed the report until the fall meeting. Nothing in the reports suggests they were triggered specifically by Ivancin or Skalli-Hanna’s lawsuits — specifics of cases handled by the Committee on Faculty Grievances are kept confidential from himself and other members of the Senate, he said. In the Faculty Senate’s September meeting, Engel said the group should wait for the outcome of one of the cases before addressing the concerns of tenure-granting discrimination, since an investigation is already under way. SkalliHanna and Ivancin argue the University is using the lawsuit as an excuse to advise the Faculty Senate against investigating the issue, but Engel rejects these claims. “The University did not pressure anybody,” he said. “I as chair made a factual statement about the situation … and that it was my belief that the legal system was, at the moment, the proper place to let these issues get resolved.” Skalli-Hanna said she has had a lot of support from faculty who are worried by the implications of the provost’s alleged actions and have supported her through the process. “This is about accountability on a campus that teaches justice,” she said.

Photo illustration by CLAIRE HOLMBERG / THE EAGLE





Behind the scenes of SUB with Tam Sackman by Zach Ewell and Trent Burns

As the bands KANEHOLLER and Abhi//Dijon took the stage of Bender Arena on Oct. 22, the sounds of drums and guitars filled the venue. But a chorus of loud boos also accompanied the music. Student Union Board Director Tam Sackman, who now leads the group that has hosted artists such as Grouplove, Chance the Rapper and Karmin, put in nearly 20 hours of work weekly to bring nationally acclaimed hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd to campus. She said she hoped the concert would create a night of great on-campus entertainment to students. The boos for opening acts KANEHOLLER and Abhi// Dijon, however, left her with a feeling of disappointment and frustration. “I thought that the crowd would be a little more patient and grateful considering we brought them a big artist to campus for free and allowed them to bring their friends,” Sackman said. “But I also acknowledge my own fault in that situation in that I scheduled too much time before the headliner.” On top of her SUB commitment, Sackman balances a full course load, an internship with National Geographic and an entertainment journalism position at Brightest Young Things. Her position with SUB, which may appear simple to those attending a concert, involves eight hours of work each week and sometimes requires over 20 hours to organize events such as concerts and comedy shows. Sackman said the Rae Sremmurd show was a wake-up call, realizing her main job was to organize great on-campus events and not just bring acts she thought were great artists, “which is more WVAU’s job,” she said. In recent years, WVAU has brought in artists like The Antlers and Mac Demarco

for the more alternative AU crowd. “We try to focus on smaller, more up and coming artists,” WVAU Promotions Director Dani Rosen said. “It definitely has that community feel we strive for at WVAU. It’s a lot of people who really love and root for the same artists enjoying music together.” Although AU is located in a less urban setting of upper Northwest D.C., Sackman said she strives to bring worthwhile acts to campus. Previous SUB shows have included legends such as Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991) and Nirvana (1993). With next semester’s shows already in the works, Sackman said SUB knows the best way to reach a wider student audience is to keep bringing diverse performers to campus. “I’m trying to represent as many students as possible,” Sackman said. “And that means more shows. I’ve got a comedy show in the works for the beginning of next semester, a rock show for the end and possibly something small in between.” In an effort to attract a larger audience to SUB shows, Sackman created a general interest survey that polls students on their music tastes. “We put out a survey about what kind of genres people are interested in seeing, and take that into consideration,” she said. “Within those genres, we work with our agent to come up with a series of artists in our price range. Then we bring it to the board, and we discuss who will have the best turnout.” The surveys consistently show a strong preference for hip-hop and rap, according to Sackman. But she recognizes the wide range of musical interests on campus. This year’s events have included Electronic Dance group The White Panda, hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd and The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams, which SUB co-sponsored with Student

Government’s Kennedy Political Union. According to Sackman, mixing up the entertainment offerings on campus has brought a more diverse student crowd to SUB shows. But a more diverse crowd can mean a smaller turnout, especially when the events move away from ever-popular hip-hop and rap acts. “With White Panda, for example, the people who were excited about that were interested in that artist or EDM as a whole,” Sackman said. SUB anticipated a smaller turnout for The White Panda and hosted the event in the Tavern instead of Bender Arena, yet the crowds exceeded the venue’s capacity, and some latecomers were turned away at the door. In wake of the turnaways, some students expressed complaints, but Sackman noted that coordinating concerts on campus presents challenges. “In both Tavern and Bender, fire codes

make capacity a lot less than it looks like the room can actually fit,” Sackman said. “Even when half of the room is full, that’s actually the max amount of people we can let in.” Despite the boos at the Rae Sremmurd show and the obstacles she faces in her current job, Sackman hopes to build a music culture on campus that meets the desires of as many students as possible. “I know rap and hip-hop are big at basically any college campus, and in the past we’ve done two hip-hop shows each year just because they’re the biggest guaranteed crowd pleasers,” Sackman said. “But in doing so, we’re forgetting about people who just aren’t into that music. My plan for this year was to have a show in all of the major genres, and I decided to do four or five smaller shows.”


Winter Survival Guide


he excitement of the holidays and the new year help ward off the bleakness and cold, but sometimes there isn’t a good way to shake the winter funk. Winter may be biting at our heels, but here

are some fun ideas to get the most out of the holidays, help you combat the cold and explore Washington, D.C.



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Culture, color and Caleen Jennings on theatre

Why can’t a black mother and white father have two Asian-American children?

by Freddy Rodriguez Managing Editor for The Scene Black stereotypes filled the pages of the script 27-year-old Caleen Jennings read as she auditioned for her biggest theatre role yet. Growing up, she dreamed of performing on stage and thought the job would launch her acting career. But there was one problem: she was Shakespeare, and the casting director wanted “urban.” The year was 1976, the height of the Blaxploitation era, and the acting world associated black women with inner city stereotypes. Jennings wasn’t “black enough” for the role, the play’s casting director told her at New York City’s Public Theatre. She had just graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in theatre and was well-traveled, different from what the director sought for the role. “I don’t know if my feelings were hurt because I didn’t get the role or if my feelings were hurt because they told me I wasn’t black enough, but I think it was a combination of both,” Jennings said. Now, in her 27th year as an AU professor in the Department of Performing Arts, the 65-year-old has a tough time remembering the play’s name for which she auditioned for 40 years ago. She said she remained driven toward her goals as an actress, even after the rejection. To pay rent in New York City, Jennings took a job as a copywriter on Madison Avenue, a position she held for six years until her husband encouraged her to branch out and create her own plays. “My husband asked me why I didn’t write my own plays,’” Jennings said. “And I said, ‘You don’t understand theatre: actors act, writers write, directors direct.’ And he said, ‘Well, musicians compose.’” A year later, this conversation coupled with a newborn child, propelled Jennings’ playwriting career, which she said she fell in love with after her first play, “Rainy Season,” was staged in 1980. She entered the playwriting profession at a time when directors such as Joseph Papp started casting people of color in Shakespeare and other non-traditional roles. Jennings said she faced continuous adversity as an actress attempting to find her place in a post-Civil Rights Movement society in New York City. Her parents, activists during the Civil Rights era, knew Malcolm X in the

midst of state-sponsored segregation. She also lived through two coups in Nigeria and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. These experiences prompted her to create openings for students of color in theatre, opportunities she wished she could have tackled while pigeonholed as a young actress. “I’ve always been in environments in which people talked about politics, in which there were people from different countries,” Jennings said. “I’m always looking at what happens when we create a ‘they’ and how can we remind ourselves that everybody has a


threaten the genuinity of the performance, according to Jennings. Jennings’ inclusive version of “Our Town” received positive feedback, she said. “It took the audience maybe like a minute to say, ‘Oh,’” Jennings said. “And then they got caught up in their story, totally got caught up in their story. It takes a minute, but the magic of theatre is that you believe.” The theatre world has seen an increase in color-blind plays where casting directors ignore ethnicity when choosing actors. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton”

Growing up, she dreamed of performing on stage and thought this job would launch her acting career. But there was one problem: she was Shakespeare, and the casting director wanted “urban.”

right to a place and has a right to a voice.’” Prioritizing multiculturalism over tradition Jennings has casted a Vietnamese-American student as villainous Richard III, directed hip-hop versions of Shakespeare and even presided over a racially diverse production of “Our Town.” Her casting for “Our Town” in 2006 marks one of her most unique experiences as a theatre professional, she said. The original play follows two white families in New Hampshire during the early 1900s. When hiring actors for the family roles, Jennings said she did not allow race to limit her selection: a mother was black, her husband was white and their two kids were Asian-American. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating based on race and gender, among other traits. According to a 2006 brief from the University of California Chicano Research Center, when a production uses race as a prerequisite for a role, the director violates Title VII. However, casting directors often argue that following this provision in the acting profession will


debuted earlier this year and tells the story of Alexander Hamilton using hip-hop and a diverse cast. Miranda and Javier Munoz, who are both of Puerto Rican descent, play Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington is played by Christopher Jackson, a black actor. The musical received positive reviews from the New York Times, with theatre critic Ben Brantley telling people to “mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets” for the show. Jennings said on the night she attended the play, she saw a diverse cast in adition to a diverse audience. “The night my husband and I went, Busta Rhymes and Joe Biden were in the audience,” Jennings said. “Any play that can attract Busta Rhymes and Joe Biden is phenomenal.” Whether it be her love for Miranda’s new musical or a hip-hop rendition of “Much Ado About Nothing,” Jennings sees hip-hop as a force for world change. The genre spread through the United States, without regard to race or ethnicity, acting as an inspiration for original “hip-hoppers” who are now in their 30s and 40s, Jennings said. She believes hiphop culture will not only revolutionize the acting community, but may also help combat

modern racism. “I have a friend who’s a hip-hop artist,” Jennings said. “She is black and Cuban and Malaysian, and she says, ‘I have traveled all over the world. I have experienced discrimination, but I have never experienced discrimination in a hip-hop community.’” Making adaptations in life Jennings now teaches courses at AU on history, performing and playwriting, but plans to retire in approximately three years. In the meantime, she continues to write plays and is currently working on a project on the intersection between Shakespeare and police. When she left acting for playwriting, she altered her life on a mission to change the theatre community. Since she began writing plays, Jennings has produced numerous shows with diverse characters; she has owned a children’s theatre company called Black Kids in Theatre, which aimed to help black children learn acting techniques; she trained on-air television personnel in Nigeria; and she helped form The Welders, a playwrights’ collective that supports playwrights who may feel discouraged by the theatre industry’s bureaucratic structure. She may have never encountered these opportunities if the casting director 40 years ago hadn’t rejected her for not being “black enough.” “There are no detours in life,” Jennings said. “You work away, you live your life, you try to find as much joy in each day as you can and then suddenly you look up at 65, and you look back, and you say, ‘I’ve had a good life.’”




Buy a burger, meet Chef Geoff. Chef Geoff’s, a local restaurant chain known for its happy hour and juicy burgers, offers several dozen menu items each day. For Chef Geoff Tracy, nothing compares to pizza or a turkey burger. “I’m an old dude with a declining metabolism, so I can’t eat carbohydrates like I used to,” Tracy said in an email. “But in a perfect world, I’d eat my chicken sausage and rapini pizza every fricking day. I’m also very in love with our turkey burger with Brie cheese right now.” Tracy, a chef, restaurateur and Washingtonian with an unorthodox path to success, remained undecided about his career even after he graduated from Georgetown University in 1995. He biked across the country in an effort to discover his passions but returned still seeking the perfect job. Looking for guidance as well as a job, Tracy connected with Tom Meyer, a mentor and former employer. Meyer served as the president of Clyde’s Restaurant Group, a private company that, as of 2015, owns and operates 14 restaurants in the D.C. area. Tracy offered to buy him lunch in exchange for advice, and Meyer proceeded to convince him to attend culinary school. The rest, Tracy said, is history. Tracy currently owns four American eateries in the D.C. area, Lia’s, Chef Geoff’s, Chef Geoff’s Downtown and Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner. He is married to CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell, and is a father to three children who he enjoys cooking for at home. “I love cooking anything for anyone who is appreciative,” Tracy said. “Currently my kids appreciate BBQ ribs so I enjoy making spareribs on the grill at home for them.” As a young kid, Tracy made popcorn from scratch everyday after school with his mom. This experience inspired his truffle oil infused popcorn, a unique menu item available at his restaurants. Tracy also bussed tables when he was younger and was attracted to the fast-paced environment of the restaurant industry. His true calling includes cooking and serving food for the large crowds that fill his restaurants, a business he has been involved in since 2000. “Making customers happy instills happiness in me,” Tracy said. “I’d rather have the problems of someone running their own business than someone pushing papers in an office all day.” by Jack Davis

Chow down: A meaty talk with Wagshal’s butcher Pamela Ginsberg broke her first slab of beef when she was 7 years old. Today, she has transformed her childhood activity into a full-time career as a primary butcher at the popular local market, Wagshal’s. “Coming to Wagshal’s is my big reward coming from a predominantly man’s job,” Ginsberg said. “I’m doing exactly what God wanted me to do on this green earth.” As a successful woman in a male dominated business, Ginsberg can be found fearlessly slicing up almost anything at Wagshal’s Market on New Mexico Avenue. Known as “Pam The Butcher” by locals, Ginsberg said she has built a connection with her customers, serving everyone from grandchildren to their mothers and grandmothers. “[Families] follow me,” she said. “I sincerely have a gift for this; anything food. I see things differently than other people do.” Ginsberg grew up around the butchery business, alongside her father who worked as a butcher in Eastern Market. Her two brothers became butchers for a time, as well as her brother in law. Ginsberg’s father passed away suddenly when she was 14 years old. She then joined her brotherin-law’s business at Eastern Market, Union Meat Company, where she worked until she was 18. Since then, Ginsberg has seen and done it all. She worked as a caterer, opened her own business and even served drinks at a bar for some time. Her interest in Wagshal’s began after she found a newspaper advertisement for a market manager position and, after reading the job description, she knew the job would be a perfect fit. She now runs the meat and seafood departments at the New Mexico location, and she praises the company’s commitment to serving high-quality meats. She said the animals are fed a strict diet, raised humanely and are slaughtered in the most painless way. “We have created custom meat you won’t find anyplace else,” Ginsberg said. “We understand the animal; where muscles connect and tissues disconnect. “ Ginsberg demonstrates exceptional enthusiasm for her job and will continue to be an icon at the local market, serving meat to locals with the same vigor she showed as a child. aweg@theeagleonline by Arielle Weg


David Chang and Christina Tosi bring Milk Bar to City Center by Sharon Kim Contributing Writer Remember the excitement and whimsical feeling from your childhood when dessert came to the table? David Chang and Christina Tosi of the Momofuku Restaurant Group bring that feeling of joy back to customers with their Milk Bar and Momofuku restaurant in CityCenterDC. Milk Bar, which originally started as a sister bakery to the Momofuku restaurant, has expanded to seven locations. Tosi, the creative genius behind the desserts, has built the store into a brand with a cult following. Tosi has appeared on Fox’s popular cooking competition show, “Masterchef,” as a permanent judge. One of Milk Bar’s most famous items, Crack Pie, includes a chewy crust made of rolled oats, brown sugar and eggs for a consistency similar to a granola bar. The gooey filling contains molasses, brown sugar and heavy cream to create a thick, golden caramel that melts in your mouth. Fans of Milk Bar can purchase cookbooks and baking products, such as corn powder and cornflake chocolate chip cookie mix, to

recreate their favorite desserts at home. While Milk Bar offers traditional treats, the treat shop also sells a tasty combination of breakfast and dessert in the form of Cereal Milk Ice Cream. The name evokes the experience of drinking the sweet, corn flake flavored milk left at the bottom of a bowl. The ice cream captures the delicious flavor of the cereal, but for those looking for a thicker consistency, Milk Bar also produces a Cereal Milk milkshake. And, if you don’t want a cereal milkshake or ice cream, you can also buy cereal milk, available to purchase for $5. Other items available at the new bakery include the Bagel Bomb, Compost Cookie and the Thanksgiving Croissant. These original items, only offered at Milk Bar, will please those wanting to relive childhood moments of consuming sugary foods and drinks. Despite the eatery’s long line, Milk Bar’s delectable menu items will continue to draw visitors young and old craving the sweet tastes of ice cream, chocolate and melt-inyour-mouth pastries.

Where: 1090 I St. NW Metro: Red Line, Metro Center






Millennials face a fading American Dream for retirement. Our prospects are not as bright. Median wages for the entire U.S. population have been largely stagnant over the last thirty years, and among those in the bottom 20% of the income scale, it has been especially tough. Millennials, specifically, struggle to get jobs out of college and we are forced to accept low wages that are difficult to survive on. I personally work 20 hours a week, and take six classes, but rent still

by Chase Cabot Eagle Columnist

Millennials are constantly berated with a stream of abuse from baby boomers. They insist we are lazy, self-obsessed and entitled. Meanwhile, they constantly talk about their own ingenuity and work ethic. Yet, many in their generation were able to easily secure a career right out of college and receive good pay and benefits


a bar to have fun and meet new people informally, businesses and advisors encourage millennials to sit down for coffee with professionals in the field to secure a job. It reduces human interaction down to a transactional basis. Work is consuming our entire lives. We live in the wealthiest country in the world, yet many are forced to work longer hours. Instead of utilizing technological advancement to lower workday obligations, capitalists are creating more

Those who try to keep a balance between work and their actual lives often see their career options limited by bosses who think they don’t have a work ethic.

takes up 60% of my income. But what is even worse is the time it takes to make ends meet. Our generation is expected to work longer hours for less pay and spend all of our free time networking, both in person and via social media. Instead of going to

limited by bosses who think they don’t have a work ethic. Cubicle jobs strangle our creative and social tendencies. Instead of spending our time writing, drawing or drinking beers with our friends, we spend it behind a desk. Even on our vacations, employees are expected to respond to emails and calls. That means even when we try to avoid work, we are still working. This is ridiculous and can only breed unrest. Not only does that mean the American Dream of working hard and succeeding is dead, but that we’ve resurrected a zombie version. An undead dream of getting ahead sucks the life out of everyone it touches, spreading its vile tentacles into every facet of our lives until there’s nothing left for ourselves. This means one thing: we are reaching the point where capitalists ask for everything but give nothing back. Our work culture is so obsessed with getting ahead that we’re forgetting why we exist in the first place. Perhaps there is no larger purpose to human existence, but even if there is, I don’t think most people would say it is working 24/7. Most of us like having a social life. Let’s reclaim our lives for ourselves. Chase Cabot is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.


busy work for everyone to do. Their profits increase, and we slowly go crazy behind our desks, a habit that many reject as limiting and suppressing to innovative thought. Those who try to keep a balance between work and their actual lives often see their career options

I don’t act like #BlackLivesMatter and I should

by Shelby Ostergaard Eagle Columnist Have you ever played that game with friends where you try to guess what you would be doing during historical time periods? Maybe you’re not quite dorky enough to find this as amusing as I do, but I play all the time. If we lived in the Elizabethan era, my best friend would have owned the classiest brothel in London. If we lived during World War II, my other friend would be working on the Manhattan

Project. If we lived on the frontier, I’d be a one-room school teacher. But we never play, “What would you be doing during the civil rights movement?” Well, we played once. With a group of friends, including an ex-boyfriend of mine. He said that he would have been a Freedom Rider, dropping out of school to head to Alabama with the protesters to march, march, march. It got very quiet after he said this. I told him, no, he wouldn’t. Because if he lived during the civil rights era, he would be doing exactly what he was doing then. Sitting in school and supporting from afar. Forty-two percent of black children are educated in schools in high-poverty areas, according to The Guardian. Forty seven percent of black students face unemployment if they drop out of high school, compared to 26 percent for white students. Black people make up 37 percent of the homeless population, despite being just 13.2% of the U.S. population. One in 13 eligible black voters faces voting bans because of felony convictions. That’s four times the rate of disenfranchised voters for every other racial group. Those are statistics from 2015. These are the inequalities that exist now. And there are protests going on, same as there were in the 1960s. Protests in

Ferguson, in Baltimore, at the University of Missouri. Which means that, and if you are like me, you have to come to terms with the fact that if you are not an AU student who is participating in this civil rights movement, you probably wouldn’t be a student who participated in the last civil rights movement. What is my point here? My point is that you should be doing more for this movement. And I should be doing more for this movement. But I’m not. Because I have a job, and another job, and classes, and friends, and a budget and a billion other things on my plate. So what does that mean? That means that supporting this movement from the sidelines, the way I am, the way a lot of students are, contributes to the problem. My words support #BlackLivesMatter. But my actions don’t. My actions say my job, my other job, my classes, my friends, my budget and everything else on my plate matter more than black lives. I really wish this column could be about me saying that I am going to become a #BlackLivesMatter activist tomorrow. But it’s not, because I know myself better than that. And I know that my support will remain in my words, and my actions will continue to be directed towards

paying my bills, learning my subjects and having fun with my friends. But the hard truth is I am part of the problem. And if you support #BlackLivesMatter without doing anything for #BlackLivesMatter, so are you. Because you too are saying other things matter more than black lives. If I think that, why do I think it’s okay for me to still say I probably won’t become an activist tomorrow? It’s the same reason that I don’t donate part of every paycheck to life saving charities, the same reason I don’t attend as many climate change rallies as I could. It’s because I have a rather vague feeling that all of these people can’t really be making sweeping changes. It’s because even though I don’t think it’s okay, I can comfortably ignore how not okay my actions actually are. So I am making myself uncomfortable with it. And I hope I’m making you uncomfortable too. Because I am part of the problem. And if your words support #BlackLivesMatter but your actions do not, so are you. Shelby Ostergaard is a senior in the School of Public Affairs. She blogs at




Staff Editorial: Racism on campus deserves a comprehensive response

Racism and prejudice at AU has gained increasing prominence in recent months. University administrators have been forced to respond to multiple waves of racist comments on the mobile app Yik Yak in the spring and fall in addition to the discovery of Islamophobic posters on campus Nov. 8. For his part, University President Neil Kerwin pledged in an Eagle op-ed to make “pursuit of a more inclusive University” a primary goal of his administration. Race is a complex issue. Racism at AU is institutional. As the protests and resignations at the University of Missouri indicate, our university is far from alone in dealing with this problem. Sometimes racism comes in straightforward and open forms like the Yik Yak comments, students using racial slurs in classes or residence halls or professors asking minority students to speak for their entire race during discussions in classes. But other times, racism takes a more subtle form through the underrepresentation of minorities in the student body and


the faculty and staff. The Admissions Department often boasts of rising student diversity in its advertising material, but African Americans only made up seven percent of Fall 2015 admits. The Editorial Board is worried that although they admit minority students, AU fails to place a priority on making them feel welcome on campus. We support the demands made by groups such as the Black Student Alliance to make racism and cultural sensitivity training mandatory for students, as it is for sexual assault prevention. Student Government introduced a bill to get members of SG trained. Eventually, this should be expanded to clubs and then all students. Unconscious bias training for faculty was introduced this fall. We believe this should also eventually become mandatory and include individual trainings for all minority groups. The University should redouble its commitment to hiring a more diverse faculty. Minority students should not feel like outsiders in their own classrooms

and more black, Latino, Asian and Indian professors would help fight that sentiment. While we welcome President Kerwin’s intervention on this topic, the Editorial Board wonders why University administration did not respond as forcefully to racism in March when the initial Yik Yak story broke, if not earlier. But above all, we need to self-examine and have an honest conversation about the current situation. This discussion must not be limited to formal settings like training sessions. Racism is embedded in the DNA of this country. We have all grown up in a society that is influenced by that reality. While open bigotry is obvious and easily condemnable, students self-segregating is more widespread and equally pernicious.

Some white students don’t communicate with people of color and therefore don’t understand their anxieties and concerns. Higher education is about bringing out truths, both inside and outside of the classroom. We need to dig deep and confront all of our own implicit biases and blind spots, no matter how ugly or uncomfortable this process may be. If we are only having a one-sided conversation, some people won’t listen and won’t change. Dismantling racism can only happen in part through honest reckoning and meaningful discussion. A multi-faceted solution is required for a problem that is so deep-seated. But all members of the AU community need to participate if we are to truly tackle racism. --E

Members of The Darkening marched in a rally on campus in December, 2014 PHOTO BY ALEJANDRO ALVAREZ / THE EAGLE

Aramark worker conditions and how you can help

By Martin Maldonado Guest Writer The recent arrest of activist and former professor James McCabe on Oct. 14 resulted in a strong response from the undergraduate student body. McCabe has spent many years pressing for better conditions for AU’s Aramark contracted workers. The arrest of McCabe points to a problematic dynamic within the school’s employment and contracting practices and its attempt to keep the problem away from public discussion. McCabe’s activities and subsequent arrest shine a light on the issue. As students, residents and customers of the school’s services, we should be working to improve transparency and accountability of such staffing practices. Aramark is a company with annual revenues of over $13 billion and net profits above $70 million. It has a history of negligence toward its employees and questionable social responsibility. The Daily Kos, a democratic blog founded by Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zúniga, reported in 2014 that “Aramark’s labor practices have been brought into question before, with scandals ranging from not paying employees for hours worked, to firing employees who dare point out unsanitary food conditions.” Similar practices are happening at AU, according to workers and student activists involved in the Student Worker Alliance and the Exploited Wonk initiative. The Student Worker Alliance reported in an email on Oct. 28 that negotiations

between workers and Aramark management regarding “increased hours and fair treatment” failed after weeks of discussions. While dining services workers are facing struggles with the management, custodial services are experiencing abuses as well, but from a different source. As vice president of advocacy for Anderson Hall, I have spoken to residents, student leaders, resident assistants, resident directors and employees whom have expressed concern about the student treatment of residential Aramark workers. In a conversation I had with Carlos Mark Vera, the leader of the Exploited Wonk initiative, we discussed the problem of

workers alike, and that students living in the residence halls are responsible for correcting them. The impact that these behaviors have on both the workers and the community at large include both hazards to public health and a lack of basic respect for other humans. They are in dire need of attention. Let us do our part to create a livable community. It is not solely the administration’s obligation improve its treatment of workers, it is the students’ as well. These issues have direct consequences on the employees’ workdays as extra work is added to the laborers’ load because of

The impact that these behaviors have on both the workers and the community at large include both hazards to public health and a lack of basic respect for other humans.

custodial workers dealing with misuse of facilities including toilets, showers and lounge kitchens. This includes correcting filthy and irresponsible student habits, whether they result from intoxication or not, like throwing up carelessly in bathrooms, negligence of property—like leaving cookware and silverware in lounges— or vandalizing several Anderson amenities. Max Zimmerman, president of Letts, Clark and Roper Halls, and Sam Rogers, president of Hughes Hall, have also concluded that hall behaviors are becoming hazardous for residents and

student irresponsibility. The negligence is morally troublesome as students are taking advantage of the fact that custodial workers are available to take care of their facilities for them. Let’s also start taking better care of our own health. Various residence halls have seen outbreaks of mononucleosis and strep throat. With flu season at our doorstep, we should be taking extra measures to avoid the transmission of disease through bodily fluids or pests. This means residents need to make a point of washing their hands and avoiding organic waste in dorm rooms.

Anderson Hall will soon be starting a hygiene campaign which will address these issues. R.D. Katie Fults is currently administering a flu-shot drive in coordination with the Student Health Center which is available to all AU students. Taking these steps is important for both residents as well as employees, who work in the same contagious environment as students. Let’s mitigate the problems together. Lastly, we should continue to support the activities of the Student Worker Alliance and the Exploited Wonk Initiative. These organizations are taking great measures in advocating for workers’ wages, hours and benefits. Find out more about their activities on their Facebook pages or their website, We should always keep in mind that advocating for the disadvantaged is not just about dialogue–it is about action. The conditions of our residence halls are of vital importance to the well being of both student residents and workers employed to care for the facilities. We should use this wave of activist sentiment as a driver to improve conditions that we have direct control over. Change starts at home, and we have the opportunity to improve the lives of workers here by simply learning to live in community. Martin Maldonado is a freshman at the School of Public Affairs. He is Vice President of Advocacy for Anderson Hall and serves on the leadership team for AU College Democrats.




Recruiting the next generation of Eagles


by Jennifer Reyes

Assistant Sports Editor

In the last two seasons, the AU men’s basketball has seen the graduation of three of the best players in team history: Tony Wroblicky, John Schoof and Darius “Pee-Wee” Gardner. At the end of this season, the Eagles will graduate senior guard Jesse Reed, a two-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year who has already recorded 1,000 points in his AU career. Head coach Mike Brennan faces the challenge of rebuilding his team every year, and this year, Brennan and his and his team of assistants have brought in several nationally-acclaimed recruits in an effort to continue the team’s success. Recruiting in a low-major (schools with less scholarship money and smaller arenas) basketball program creates a challenge for the AU coaches. AU, as a whole has a recruiting budget of $125,443 for all male sport teams, as of the 201415 season, while schools like Georgetown University have a budget of $460,058 for all male sports. Brennan also competes against other Patriot League schools for the same recruits. Two of the four freshman recruits on AU’s roster this season also received scholarship offers from another Patriot League school but choose the Eagles instead. In addition, Brennan also must recruit athletes willing to adjust to the Princeton offence, one of the most complicated systems in college basketball. He learned this particular offensive style while playing at Princeton under legendary coach Pete Carril, and he has successfully taught his athletes how to play under this style during his first two years at AU. Although none of the the season’s recruits have had previous experience with this system, they came to AU anyway to learn under Brennan. “The Princeton offense wasn’t a concern. I heard of Coach Brennan, he’s a great coach, so I knew that if I would be under his wing that eventually I would pick up everything,” freshman forward Lonnie Rivera said. Delante Jones, another freshman, said he entered AU undeterred by the Princeton offense and looks forward to playing the game in a different way. “I wouldn’t say I was worried about it [Princeton offense]. I definitely knew I would have to play a different way but even that you could still play the same

way just in the workings of the offense. Jones said it’s not really different, it’s not restricting, its just a different way of playing basketball. The Eagles’ freshman roster this year includes two three-star recruits James Washington and Jones and a pair of twostar recruits, Rivera and Andrija Matic according to online recruiting sources. Jones is the eighth best player in the state of Virginia according to ESPN. Kevin Brown, a guard who scored 1,000 points in his high school career, also joins the team as a walk-on. Four freshman recorded minutes in AU’s season-opener against Rhode Island, and Brennan said he will look towards his freshmen to contribute heavily this season. In previous years, Brennan has relied on a core set of players and rarely played his underclassmen, but this year, he said his lineup could change throughout the season. “I like our young guys, I like our transfers, so there’s going to be a lot of new faces on the court, and I’m excited about the season.” Brennan said during media day. Brennan took over the head coaching position in 2013, after former head coach Jeff Jones left AU for a coaching job at Old Dominion University. In his first year as head coach, Brennan retained most of the recruits already committed under Jones. His most notable contribution involved convincing Charlie Jones, guard from Manchester, Maryland, to join the team as a walk-on. Jones finished last season as a starter and earned a scholarship for the 2015-2016 season. In his second year, Brennan and his assistant coaches Scott Greenman, Matt Wolff and Nate Philippe recruited Alex Paquin, Gabe Brown, University of Connecticut transfer Leon Tolksdorf and George Washington University transfer Paris Maragkos. However, due to NCAA rules, Tolksdorf and Maragkos could not play last season. Paquin and Brown combined played 93 minutes off the bench last season. Paquin, who hails from Montreal, said Brennan and then-assistant coach Philippe came to watch him play club basketball before he committed to AU. “My second year of CEGEP [public post-secondary collegiate institution exclusive to Quebec] I started playing AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] ball, and then Coach Philippe heard about me. Then they came to see me with coach

Brennan, they came back [to my] home in Montreal and offered me [a scholarship].” Paquin said “I had some school in the U.S. and almost all the schools in Canada, but the reason I came here mostly was because of the academics.” The Patriot League prides itself on high academic standards, and last year, AU led the conference with the most number of academic honor roll honorees. Like many in the Patriot League, AU uses their strong academic standing, in addition they utilize Brennan’s coaching reputation and the city of D.C. to attract high caliber talent to the team. The Eagles, under Brennan, have made an NCAA Tournament appearance, won a Patriot League championship and reached two Patriot League tournament finals. Rivera, a freshman guard from Spring Valley, New York, said Brennan’s tradition of excellence as a coach drew him to the program and factored into his decision to commit to AU. “The coaching staff made the difference,” Rivera said. “Coach Wolff recruited me hard. Coach Brennan has great credentials, he’s only been coaching for about two years and he’s made it to the championship game twice.” In addition to Brennan’s history as a coach, Rivera also said that AU location in D.C. convinced him choose the school. DC ranks as one of the most lively metropolitan cities in the country, which helps AU stand out from many of its Patriot League contenders. “It’s in DC, you know the heart of the country, you know you have a lot to do out here. I love the coaching staff, they’re all really good people.” freshman guard James Washington said. “They want to see me be good, they want to see me be the best I can be.” Rivera said that he built a relationship with Wolff during the recruiting process, and Brennan credits his assistant coaching staff for helping him secure a strong freshmen class. Assistant coach duties often include phone calls, attending practices and scouting, while the head coach steps in to seal the deal, usually by visiting the athlete in person. For the Eagles, coach Greenman, Wolff, and Philippe (now departed for a head coaching job at University of Quebec at Montreal) have led most recruiting efforts. “During my recruitment I was traveling with the Puerto Rican national team and he [Wolff] was always keeping track of me, you know, watching my games throughout,” Rivera said. “[It] didn’t matter if it was three in the morning, he would watch the games and always call to check up on me. [He] kept in contact with my mom. [Wolff] showed a lot of love” An assistant coach must be diligent and committed in the recruiting process as relationships often take over a year to build before a player ultimately signs a letter of intent. “My recruitment experience was kind of slow going into my junior year, I had [interest from] probably just American, then it kinda picked up.” Washington said “Coach Scott [Greenman] contacted me right after [my] last tournament travel ball season junior year and had contact

with him from then until now.” Jones, a guard from Lynchburg, Virginia agreed that Greenman’s efforts and commitment in the recruiting process helped guide him to AU. “I’d seem him at least every month,” Jones said. While AU’s recruiting tactics helped draw top athletes to the team this year, Tolksdorf said Brennan’s coaching style proved to be the ultimate factor in his transfer to AU, and he looks forward to being a part of the program this year. “First of all I knew coach Brennan’s a great coach,” Tolksdorf said. “Just looking at last year [2013 Patriot League Championship] what they accomplished, they way they play, the way they approach every single game and they way they share the ball and the way they run their offense I think it [is] a system I could fit into pretty good.”



Eagles on ice: AU club hockey seeks goals, players and a division title

by Shannon Scovel Editor-in-Chief

Every Thursday, Kaja Wold watches her classmates file out of her 10:40 p.m. block class. While they head home for bed, she picks up her large equipment bag and heads to Fort Dupont for an 11:00 p.m. hockey practice. Wold, a graduate student from Norway who just started playing hockey this year, quickly fell into step with the AU women’s club hockey team after emailing head coach Bryan Benenati over the summer. She said she showed up for the first practice with no equipment and no experience, but the coaches set her up with proper gear and helped her learn the game. She recently notched her first collegiate goal in a game against University of Indiana but said the referee retracted the goal after a questionable call. Wold’s teammates praise her work ethic and commend her for adapting to the sport so quickly. “She definitely works really hard,” College of Arts and Sciences graduate student Kaitlin Pericak said. “I think the one thing that is really tough is that hockey is so fast-paced that … you can get really confused and, like,

Photo Credit: Travis Nagy

caught up with offsides and where you need to be positioned.” Wold agrees that learning the new positions and rules of U.S. hockey adds an added challenge to the game, but her experience playing bandy, a similar sport, in Norway helped her adjust. She describes bandy as field hockey on ice but said she enjoys hockey because of the rink size and the increased interaction among players during the game. “The biggest difference compared to bandy, no matter what position I play, I’m much more involved because the rink is so much smaller, and everyone is so much more involved in the game than in bandy,” Wold said. Over half a dozen players attend practice each week, according to Wold, and Benenati said the athletes work well together, regardless of their varying levels of experience. “Our scoresheets often show freshman and juniors working with AU law students and even alum, with backgrounds in hockey varying from 12 years of experience to 12 months,” Benenati said. Both Wold and Pericak balance their commitments to the team with graduate work at AU, and Pericak said that club hockey provides her with the opportunity to stay competitive while still pursuing her research in sociology. “With Bryan, he’s really awesome about letting us [put] school first [and] other activities first, but we want to be serious about hockey and work really hard,” Pericak said. Wold agrees that the club hockey structure allows players to pursue other interest while also contributing to the team. “It’s very kind of up to you to how much you are able to put into it, although it is a team,” Wold said. “You should go to as much as possible, but some people have jobs so they can’t because our

practices are late at night. For the people who have a full time job and have to be up at 7 in the morning, it’s hard to get back and be all pumped up after practice at like 1 a.m.” While the late practices present a challenge for some players, junior Caitlyn Jasberg said she appreciates the support from her team’s rink at Fort Dupont because the late practice time allows the group to meet together and play for an affordable price. “They give us those really late practice times, but they could shut us out and not have those available, but they leave them open and they’re cheaper,” Jasberg said. Jasberg, along with junior Samantha Erne helped lead a fundraising effort to support the team, according to Benenati, and he credits them with the revival of AU’s hockey club. “While AU won the Spikes Cup in 2007 and marched in the Cherry Blossom parade as D.C.’s first, women’s hockey champs, we’ve since lost a lot of players and had trouble with finances,” Benenati said in an email. Through support from alumni and donations from fans across the country, the team has raised $2,440 and looks to grow its roster with the hopes of winning its division at the end of the season. AU competes at the Division II level, a category determined by the number of new players on the team. Benenati serves as the president of the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Club, the conference in which AU competes, and he has helped lead the organization since it started in 2002. Eleven additional teams have joined the DVCHC since

Benenati began, and a second division was added to accommodate the teams and help create evenly-matched games, according to the DVCHC website. On Nov. 14, the Eagles took the ice against the University of Maryland in College Park for the first local game of the season but fell to the Terps 7-0. Despite the loss, Benenati said he felt proud of his players for their heart and character on the ice, and he praised them for finishing the game without a single penalty. The University of Maryland plays at the Division I level, and Benenati said the challenge will prepare the Eagles for later games scheduled over the winter. Jill Carrie, a Georgetown graduate, assistant AU coach and vice president of the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference, said before the game that she encourages all students to consider playing ice hockey, even those who may have never touched a stick before. “You don’t have to have experience,” Carrie said. “We welcome all players.” In an effort to engage with the community and promote women’s hockey, the AU women’s team joined the University of Maryland club to volunteer at a “Learn to Skate” clinic in College Park, according to Erne. She said the event helped bond the two teams together while also generating interest in the sport in the local area. Many players, including Jasberg said they hope events like the clinic and travel trips will bring the team closer together and help the eagles progress toward their goal of conquering the division. “[I’m excited about] everyone bonding together so we start playing more as a team,” Jasberg said.



An inside look at the academic and athletic success of the AU wrestling program

by Vincent Salandro Managing Editor for Sports

The AU wrestling team rests on a tradition of academic and athletic excellence, an atmosphere aided by head coach Teague Moore over his past four years at American University. In Moore’s first year at AU in 20112012, the team finished with a 3.32 team GPA, the third highest GPA in Division I wrestling. The Eagles repeated this academic performance last season, earning third again with an average team GPA of 3.358. Moore prides himself on the academic success of his team and requires any athlete with less than a 3.25 to attend study hall hours in the library. In the 2011-2012 season, Moore coached five athletes on the NCAA All-Academic team, the highest of any single program in the nation. To earn recognition on the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic team, athletes must accumulate at least a 3.20 GPA, earn NCAA qualification and win at least 60 percent of their individual matches. In 2013-2014, American ranked ninth nationally in team GPA with a cumulative team GPA of 3.21. The team has ranked in the top thirty for the past four years with the program. Overall, the team team has had a top-ten team GPA in eight of the last nine seasons. AU has had five athletes recognized as All-Americans and six athletes named Academic All-Americans in Moore’s tenure at the university. “Coach Moore clearly understands that success in the classroom and success on the mat are not mutually exclusive, but rather, complementary of one another,” AU Athletic Director Billy Walker said. “He recruits student-athletes who are the fight ‘fit’ for our program, and then develops them both athletically and academically while they are here.” Recruiting athletes who believe in Moore’s system poses a challenge, he said, and AU’s status as a private institution with a high tuition in a non-wrestlingcrazed region makes the process even more difficult. However, Moore said AU’s culture and emphasis on academics attracts different athletes than traditional state schools, and those who embrace the academic and athletic standards set forth by the program experience more success. “You’ve got to understand what the institution is about, and then go out and seek the right guy,” Moore said. “I look for recruits that are going to hold their academic standards at the same level as their wrestling. We want guys who are going to be national champions and All-Americans, we also want to have the highest GPA in college wrestling.” Eleven seniors have graduated under Moore’s wrestling program since 2012, and each of them has found continued success in the workforce or on the mat. “When they get into the real world, I feel like these guys are going to have a big advantage over their counterparts when they go into a company,” Moore said. ‘I feel like what they’re committing to [the social and academic lifestyle], is going to

help them rise above the rest.” Keithen Cast, a 2014 graduate and medical student at Oklahoma State University said Moore’s program taught him the value of hard work, self-discipline and time management. “Wrestling under Teague changed my concept of what ‘working hard’ meant,” Cast said. “Now, when I look at the countless hours of studying and the insane workload of medical school, it doesn’t seem that bad. I’ve been on a much more difficult grind before.” Moore expects his future graduates to have similar success, and six wrestlers on the roster currently take graduate classes, including two transfers, Tyler Scotton and Mitchell Wightman. The graduate students also help the younger members of the roster learn the culture of the program and provide leadership and maturity for the current team, Moore said. “When they’re [freshmen] talking about how hard [their] classes are, you’ve got six guys that are doing grad work, so it keeps them in line,” Moore said. “It keeps them honest. And there’s that maturity factor that they can tell the younger guys to focus their time in this class on these things. When other coaches see our profile and see we have this many [six] guys doing grad work, a lot of them are blown away.” The 2014-2015 season marks the first time in Moore’s tenure at AU that he has a full roster of his recruits, athletes who have committed to his social and academic system fits into his physically demanding program. However, a roster full of athletes focused on academic success and social discipline has not compromised the expectations for the season. With redshirt senior David Terao and senior John Boyle nationally ranked in their weight classes, Moore anticipates the program will have its best season in his time at AU. “From top to bottom I feel like this is the first year we’ve [got a] really strong not only starting lineup, but we have some depth throughout the program now in [the] ten weight classes,” Moore said. “We’ve got guys throughout our lineup that are certainly capable of getting to the national championships and capable of being All-Americans.

Benjamin Krakower 2013 Cur r ently: Account Manager

Moore’s Graduates: Thomas Williams 2012 Cur r ently: Head Collegiate Wr estling Coach

Ganbayar Sanjaa 2012 Cur r ently: Collegiate Wr estling Coach

Blake Herrin 2014 Cur r ently: Higher Education Professional

Phillip Barreiro 2013 Cur r ently: Tr aining for Olympics

Kevin Tao 2013 Cur r ently: Assistant Collegiate Wr estling Coach

Thomas Barreiro 2013 Cur r ently: Tr aining for Olympics

Matt Mariacher 2012 Cur r ently: Applied Technology Teacher

Daniel Mitchell 2014 Cur r ently: Financial Analyst

Matthew Dorf 2013 Cur r ently: Broadcast Associate

Keithen Cast 2014 Cur r ently: Medical Student at Oklahoma State Univer sity Courtesy of AU Athletic Communication

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The Eagle Print Edition December 2015  

The Eagle Print Edition December 2015  

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