Volume IV, Issue 1
Dear Reader, That time has come – volume three as a magazine of The Gavel is now out. If you’ve missed any of the other issues, please check them out online. Both issues are available through Issuu (links can be found on the website – www.bcgavel.com). If you haven’t already done so, please take a look at the website for exclusive online content. I would like to use this opportunity, our final printed magazine issue of the year, to thank the seniors for all of their hard work. I have truly enjoyed getting to know all of you over the past few years. To Yanira, for being The Gavel mom and watching out for all of us. Thanks for catching our mistakes both in print and in the real world. To Cal, for being so creative and never being afraid to push the boundaries for new content. Thanks for making the Features section the place to be. To Maggie, for sharing your talents and your house with us for official Gavel functions. Thanks for instilling your own passions in your section and colleagues. To Sofia, for your artistic sensibilities and photography skills. Thank you for paying attention to the finer details. To Kaylin, for totally revolutionizing the way that The Gavel looks. Thanks for restyling our layout.
Editoral Board Mason LendE ROB ROSSI OLIVIA SIMONE Jasmine Uduma Meidema Sanchez GEENA DEROSE Cal Greene III Allison Riccato Maggie Lawrence JENNA LACONTE JILLIAN TIMKO Kenny St. John Jonathan Dame FRANK RIZZO Yanira Revan Marion Halftermeyer Sofia Martinez KAYLIN WALKER
Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Print Manager News Editor Assoc. News Editor Assoc. News Editor Features Editor Assoc. Features Editor Culture Editor Assoc. Culture Editor Assoc. Culture Editor Opinions Editor Assoc. Opinions Editor Assoc. Opinions Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Photo Editor Design Director
Meghana Kuthyar Video Manager LAUREN REVER Ass’t Video Manager Katie Yao Ass’t Video Manager
Business and Operations
Christian Fiedler Aruem Shin Taylor McEldowney DAPHNE WANG GABBY MYASKOVSKAYA KIAH STERLING
Finance Director Marketing Director Marketing Director Advertising Director Ass’t Advertising Director Ass’t Advertising Director
Remember to read the May issue, available exclusively through The Gavel website!
Mason S. Lende Editor-in-Chief
the GAVEL / April 2012
A p r i l Table of Contents The Gavel / April 2012 / Volume IV, Issue 3
News 04 4
Ravi found guilty on all counts The career of the future: presidential impersonation
6 State University campuses 8 California freeze future enrollment 10 Rise in violence: anti-Muslim actions
Features 12 12 CJR business solutions
control: misconceptions regarding 14 Birth contraception
16 Gasson 17 Overheard at BC 18 The best beers of Spring 20 Health Blog: Running routes for Spring
Editorials 22 22 Moving spring concert to earlier time will not stop binge drinking
23 Debate on guns needs to be in the spotlight www.bcgavel.com
Opinions 24 24 Keep Facebook passwords away from employers
25 Reﬂections on the massacre in Afghanistan 26 The lunacy of Santorum’s war on porn 28 Maher’s donation to Obama’s superpac 29 Justice Kennedy may have a point on Obamacare
30 MPAA ratings system requires major reform Limbaugh: ignorance of socia l 32 Rush conservatism 33 The distractions ofFinals Week
Culture 34 34 Pinterest
35 Blog of the month: Booooooom! 36 Take Back the Night 37 Vegetariansim at BC 38 Pop Culture Preview 40 Netﬂix: Sarah Palin’s Alaska 41 NFL Draft Preview in Boston: how to enjoy the 42 Springtime city as the weather gets warmer 3
INSIDE: Presidential Impersonation / California State University freezes upcoming enrollment / Rise in violence
April 2012 By Geena De Rose / Assoc. News Editor
Ravi found guilty on all counts The latest development in the case of Dharun Ravi finds the former Rutgers University student guilty on 15 charges and facing a maximum of 10 years in prison. Ravi is responsible for spying on and tweeting about his fellow freshman roommate, Tyler Clementi, and Clementi’s intimate encounters with an older man. Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge a few days later. Although it has been almost two years since Clementi’s suicide, Ravi’s trial
“I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant 2010 part to his life.” -Dharun Ravi
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just began on Feb. 15, 2012. His trial, held in Middlesex County Courthouse in New Jersey, is the final step to justice in the long ordeal. The other complicit student, Molly Wei, accepted a plea deal on May 6, 2011. She was sentenced 300 hours of community service and in order to avoid jail time promised to cooperate throughout Ravi’s trial. Ravi , on the other hand, has denied several plea bargains. On April 20, 2011, he was indicted on charges of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tam-
Three days before beginning his freshman year at Rutgers University, Tyler Clementi comes out to his family.
Clementi jumps off of the George Washington Bridge. Ravi texts Clementi a long apology, but Clementi is already gone.
September 21 After being asked to stay out of their room that night, Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, goes to a friend’s room. Ravi and his friend, Molly Wei, watch a few seconds of Clementi embracing an older man from Ravi’s webcam. Ravi tweets disparagingly about what they’ve seen. the GAVEL / April 2012
Check out the Tyler Clementi Foundation at: www.thetylerclementifoundation.org pering, and evidence tampering. Despite these serious charges, Ravi turned down a plea bargain for a 3-5 year sentence in October 2011. Ravi also refused a second bargain in December which would have cost him only 600 hours of community service. Ravi is now being faced with a 15 count conviction he did not expect and a possible 10 years jail sentence. The most controversial charge against Ravi is bias intimidation. Bias intimidation loosely translates to New Jersey’s hate crime law and is a tricky statute to indict. “Under the bias intimidation statute, Dharun Ravi could have been convicted if he purposefully caused Tyler Clementi to feel intimidated because of his sexual orientation,” Jessica Henry, a law professor at Montclair State University said in a segment on NPR. The jury needed to find sufficient insight into Ravi’s personal biases and specific intent to find him guilty of the charge. Ravi does not believe that his actions were a decisive factor in Clementi’s decision to end his life. “After all this time and reading his conversations and how and what he was doing before, I really
don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now,” he said in a 20/20 interview on March 23. Clementi’s parents are at peace with the guilty verdict Ravi faces. “Our family believes that the jury reached the correct verdict. They reached their decision based on the facts shown by evidence,” Clementi’s father said in a written statement. Clementi’s mother added, “We have learned that LGBT teens, especially, suffer pain, embarrassment and ridicule which is made worse by improper use of electronic media.” The family has set up a foundation in order to promote acceptance and understanding of interpersonal differences and curb such abuses of technology. This case has incited much discussion as people across the country have been weighing in on the verdict. In the aftermath of the event, many were quick to publicly excoriate Ravi. For example, Andrea Peyser of the NY Post has called Ravi “a serial gay basher and insufferable jerk—and, very likely, a closet case” who must pay for making “Clementi’s short
Ravi is indicted on charges of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tampering, and evidence tampering.
Ravi turns down plea bargain for 3-5 year sentence.
life into a peep-show spectacle.” However, there are others who place the blame elsewhere. Eric Marcus, board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention wrote in a Star Ledger column, “We’ve turned Tyler Clementi into a two-dimensional symbol of anti-gay bullying and Dharun Ravi into a scapegoat… we’ve laid blame for a tragic act none of us fully understands on the head of a foolish, immature young man.” Dan Savage, an openly gay sex columnist, was quick to recognize that there are larger societal factors at play in Clementi’s suicide. In October 2010, he said, “We have to recognize that there were others involved in destroying Tyler Clementi. And we need to start calling the efort to in all the blame on Ravi and Wei exactly what it is: a coverup.” Although the verdict has caused much controversy, Clementi’s family can at least take solace in the fact that their son’s tragic death has proved powerful in bringing recognition to critical issues facing LGBT youth. Ravi’s sentencing is set for May 21.
Ravi’s trial begins in New Brunswick, NJ. He faces up to 10 years in prison and deportation.
2012 May 6
Wei accepts plea deal requiring 300 hours of community service and agrees to cooperate throughout Ravi’s trial.
Ravi rejects second plea bargain of only 600 hours at community service.
Photo courtesy of whitehouse.gov/Kimberley Hewitt
The Career of the Future: Presidential Impersonation By Meidema Sanchez / Assoc. News Editor After we graduate, many of us ambitious Boston College students envision ourselves working jobs that are lucrative, impressive and even kind of serious. Why kind of serious, you ask? Well, quite frankly, this is because the less fun the job the more lucrative and impressive it tends to be. You probably already know, these typical job expectations that are shared among many Boston College students, and presumably among most college students in general, are all strongly interlocked: without one of the three, you have none of the three— at least according to societal standards. This leaves a very limited selection of careers available to college students striving to achieve the “success” that their steep tuitions pay. They can either become doctors, lawyers, businessmen/ businesswomen, political figures, world leaders, developers of the world’s first “Hunger Games”… you get the point. However, this may all be changing, as a little-known profession is becoming a much more prominent career choice among Americans throughout the coun-
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try. This hot, up-and-coming career, is (drumroll please)—the job of a presidential impersonator. Tim Watters, presidential impersonator extraordinaire, is a flawless example of how lucrative the career of a presidential impersonator can become. According to the biography included on his website Watters began his professional life as a real estate agent in Florida, a career that can be quite profitable depending on the condition of the economy. However, as Watters continued through life as real estate agent, he was constantly confronted by people who remarked how similar he looked to the U.S. president at the time, Bill Clinton. Watters recalls, “Not a day would go by when someone wouldn’t come up to me and ask if I’m Bill Clinton, or tell me how much I look like the president.” While Watters initially found these comments to be amusing, they would eventually serve as the inspiration that caused him to pursue a career as a Bill Clinton impersonator. Currently, he plays the role of Bill Clinton, or “Mr. President,”
on a full time basis for television, film and special events. More intriguingly, he has grossed more than $1 million in a single year, and has already purchased six boats and two beach houses. Before you jump out of your seat and quit your job to pursue a career as a presidential impersonator, you need to cautiously remind yourself of one piece of reality-bearing wisdom: just as every politician cannot be Bill Clinton, so too every presidential impersonator cannot be Tim Watters. “There’s A-list talent, and there’s Dlist talent,” explains Janna Joos to Slate magazine, an agent who currently represents more than 2,000 celebrity impersonators. “You can tell the difference instantly.” Ron Butler, an Obama impersonator, is a vocal advocate for both the impressiveness and seriousness of the presidential impersonator profession. “I see this as a chance to grow as a dramatic actor,” says Butler to Slate magazine, who prepares for each Obama show by affixing fake tufts of hair to his
the GAVEL / April 2012
Did you know... Well- known Obama impersonator, Reggie Brown, was kicked off the stage at a Republican Leadership Conference for his one-liners that spared no one, Republican or Democrat. President of the RLC and CEO, Charlie Davis, made the decision to pull him offstage.
“I pulled him off the stage,” Davis acknowledged afterward, “I just thought he had gone too far.” otherwise bald head. “Besides, it can be very lucrative.” In fact, within the world of celebrity impersonation, presidential impersonation is considered to be a highly specialized and sophisticated field. The most distinguished presidential impersonators make appearances at conventions, corporate meetings, and the like. Does anyone recall when presidential impersonator Steve Bridges accompanied President George W. Bush as he addressed attendees at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner in 2006? Furthermore, within the broad
world of celebrity impersonation, presidential impersonators are considered to have better talent than other impersonators. This is because impersonating the president is a really challenging task when compared to impersonating other familiar figures—you’d be amazed how far a Marilyn impersonator can go with a blonde wig and a push-up bra. Presidents are different mainly because their voices and manners of speech are universally familiar. As Ron Butler explained to Slate, “Everybody knows exactly how Obama looks and acts. I have to study his complete physicality.”
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore
All in all, while presidential impersonation has perhaps become a commendable career choice for college students throughout the United States, it has yet to become an easy one. It involves a lot of skill, observation and devotion. It also requires the impersonator to maintain some level of physical resemblance to the person whom he is impersonating. However, if you are a person who has been told that you look like a president, or a presidential candidate, and are confident in your impersonating abilities, drop out of school immediately and call an agent. Maybe doing the latter first would be best…
California State University campuses
Most Populus Cal State University Campuses 1) Fullerton: 36,156
Photo courtesy of Arnold C.
2) Northridge: 32,607
enrollment By Itzel Ayala Gavel Media Staff
The 2008 recession has hit students especially hard. Thousands of students this year will be graduating and entering the job market during one of the worst recovering economic recessions in years. But if graduating college into a tough economy was going to be difficult, graduating from California high schools just got grim. It’s not news that California’s economy has been suffering over the past several years. In 2009, California hit its highest unemployment rate in over 70
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years at 12 percent. As a result of a crippling budget deficit, California state government cut spending in various important areas, starting with healthcare and education. California schools were already ranked 47 in the nation, so cutting school budgets didn’t sit well with the people. California has the 8th largest economy in the world and is the most densely populated state in the country. What happens in California does not stay in California, but instead affects
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
3) Long Beach: 31,802
Photo courtesy of Buchanan-Hewit
the GAVEL / April 2012
California State University is one of the public state university systems in California. Cal State has 23 campuses throughout the state with a total combined population of 400,000 students and 47,000 faculty and staff. To the left are the 6 Cal State campuses with the highest number of currently enrolled undergraduates.
4) San Diego: 26,796
Photo courtesy of Daderot
5) Sacramento: 24,701
Photo courtesy of Devin Cook
6) Pomona: 22,273
Photo courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona Engineer
hundreds of thousands of people. The California State Universities represent the largest public institutions in California. They are much more affordable for students and provide a economical alternative to a private institution or going out-of-state. After the economic melt down in 2008, thousands of students flooded the Cal State Universities hoping to attain a college degree without digging themselves into a giant debt hole that they would almost triple in payments of interest. Already Cal State Universities have enrolled more students than they can handle. Classes are full and even getting enrolled in classes is thought to be lucky, let alone a class of first choice. The threat to freeze enrollment comes as a response to $750 million cuts in funding. A proposed tax initiative will be placed on the November ballot, and, if that does not pass, an addition $200 million will be cut. If the tax proposal does fail, then most of the 23 Cal State Universities will not be accepting any new students while a few will only be accepting a few hundred transfer students from community colleges for the 2013 Spring semester. The eight campuses that will accept students are Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fullerton, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Bernardino, and Sonoma. These campuses are the ones with the largest pool of applicants. This potential acceptance freeze will affect hundreds of thousands of students graduating high school. Enrollment for the fall semester of 2013 is dependent on the new tax proposal and even if there is any admittance, it will be extremely limited and will make applying to Cal State Universities exponentially more stressful since it will be more selective than ever. Now if students don’t get in, they lose more than their safety school. For
students who can’t afford to go out of state or private institutions, this enrollment freeze could be costing them their college degree, and they will be left in one of the worst economies with only a high school diploma. The estimated 20,000 to 25,000 eligible students who will be turned away in the fall semester of 2013 will be left to either take student loans if necessary to go out of state or to a pri-
California schools were already ranked 47 in the nation, so cutting school budgets didn’t sit well. vate institution. If they decide not to enroll in college, and it seems many students will be left with no other choice, they will be left to apply for the following year, competing against not only the other 25,000 eligible students who were not accepted, but a whole new pool of eligible applicants. The Cal State system has already been increasing tuition over the past six years. This fall, the annual cost for a Cal State undergraduate education will rise to “$5,970, not including housing, campus-based fees, books and other costs that can top more than $25,000” according to the Los Angeles Times. While this may not seem like a lot to a BC student paying upwards of 50k a year, a small increase in tuition could mean dropping out of college for students who can’t afford tuition hikes. If Cal State Universities are the only economically feasible schools, then tuition increases and enrollment freezes will most definitely have a lasting impact on the student population. 9
Rise in Violence Recent American Anti-Muslim Actions: Isolated or Trending?
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In the past few weeks, American anti-Muslim sentiments have escalated both domestically and internationally. Headlined by the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims in New York and New Jersey, Koran burnings in Afghanistan, and Staff Sergeant Robert Bales’ alleged murder of seventeen Afghan civilians, anti-Muslim efforts have begun to capture the attention of people across the world. While varying opinions on the different matters at hand exist, there is one universal theme to be explored: are these efforts against Muslims isolated incidents lacking public support, or do Americans support the actions law enforcement has taken against the Muslim community at large? Since the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the NYPD was secretly monitoring the daily lives of Muslims in New York and New Jersey. Some of the surveillance even included Muslims working with the FBI to combat terrorism in the tri-state area. While the constitutionality of the actions against the Muslim community is currently being debated, the United States is trying to find a way to mend the newly-fractured relationship between the government and citizens who feel their rights have been violated. Widespread criticism of the NYPD has come from all arenas, ranging from citizen action groups to government agencies and officials. The Justice Department is reviewing the case and fielding complaints about the system implemented by the NYPD. The FBI has been particularly vocal, claiming that the fallout from the NYPD’s actions has made it more difficult for them to gather
By Emyr Remy / Gavel Media Staff the GAVEL / April 2012
counter terrorism intelligence. Muslim surveillance has proven to be popular despite questions of its legality, however. In a poll commissioned by Quinnipiac University, 58 percent of people said police act appropriately in how they deal with Muslims, 63 percent of people approve of the way the NYPD performed their job, and 82 percent of people say the NYPD has been effective in combating terrorism. Despite questions of constitutionality and discrimination, evidence suggests that many support the surveillance of Muslims by the NYPD to counteract terrorism. Protests and riots have erupted in Afghanistan in response to U.S. soldiers’ alleged accidental burning of the Koran, the central religious text of Islam. 48 copies of the religious text were burned after the boxes they were contained in were mistakenly identified as garbage to be sent to an incinerator. The texts were removed because they were used to communicate extremist ideas between prisoners at the detention center at Bagram Airfield, where the burnings took place. Protests and riots have been widespread in the aftermath of the events at Bagram Airfield, and protesters have voiced their displeasure with America, President Obama, and Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan. Protesters have shouted things like “Death to America”, “Death to Obama”, and “Death to Karzai”. During the protests, over twenty people were killed, including four American soldiers, two of which were killed by a member of the Afghan National Security Forces. President Obama has personally apologized for the disrespectful treatment of the Koran, and his sentiments were shared by John R. Allen, commander of United States forces
in Afghanistan. These apologies have been subject to criticism domestically, as some believe that because the burnings were a mistake, no apology was necessary. Others considered the apologies necessary in order to maintain friendly relations with Afghan government and civilians. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales’ alleged murder of seventeen Afghan civilians, including thirteen women and children, is perhaps the most violent example of action targeted against the Muslim community. While the details are still being investigated and verified, most believe Bales acted alone despite various accounts stating that there up to twenty different soldiers involved. The actions of Sergeant Bales have dramatically increased tensions between the United States and Afghanis in America, especially after the NYPD’s surveillance efforts and Koran burnings by American Armed Forces. The United States and Afghanistan debated where Robert Bales would be tried, with the United States ultimately securing Bales
and trying him in America according to the appropriate military laws. Bales has been charged with various crimes, the most serious being seventeen counts of murder. The death penalty is reported to be an option, but is an unlikely outcome since it requires a presidential signature for authorization. Bales is currently being held at a correctional facility in Kansas while he awaits trial. Muslim affairs have been strained mainly due to the three successive events of NYPD surveillance, Koran burnings, and Robert Bales’ alleged killings of 17 civilians. Despite very isolated support for some of the events in question, widespread public outcry against these actions provides overwhelming evidence that anti-Muslim efforts are more of a blip than a trend in American society. Nevertheless, relations between Americans and Muslims have been stressed further than they have been since the September 11 attacks. If the evidence is correct, hostility should subside; but until then, American officials must be sure to treat Muslims with respect. 11
CJR Business Solutions Website created by CJR Business Solutions
BC Students create a business that bridges the gap between web and application developers and business managers By Itzel Ayala
Gavel Media Staff While most college students are trying to find internships to bulk up their resumes for the post-graduation job search, the BC students at CJR Business Solutions have gone one step further and created their own company.
CJR Business Solutions began two and a half years ago when CSOM student Christopher Rusyniak started the company. As President of CJR he says, â€œCJR Business Solutions specializes in cuttingedge custom software that maximizes
the efficiency of your information flow and expands its potential. By doing this we add value to a product or service.â€? Essentially, CJR works with other new companies in launching their websites and managing technical details.
the GAVEL / April 2012
They are in charge of creating a clean and professional web design for those companies that may not have any experience with web design and are just starting out A&S student Patrick Allen, Vice President of CJR, says, “Our mission is to content developers with entrepreneurs who have good ideas. There are many budding entrepreneurs who have great ideas but lack the programing knowledge to implement them. Similarly, there are a lot of talented developers who do not have the operational business knowledge. So instead of co-founders with an innovative idea trying to find a development team, we come in and handle all the programming so that’s one less thing they have to worry about. We save businesses time an money and enable managers to focus on marketing, operations and other key business issues.” Allen explains the company’s expansion stating, “We changed our focus to marketing to start-up companies. We take a new idea and find the development talent to build a full website, or the first version of their project.” It’s incredibly expensive and time consuming to start a company, especially if it fails to be successful. Allen explains how CJR works to keep costs low saying, “We build a minimum viable product. So instead of investing your life savings in this huge product that you don’t know will work, you want to invest a portion of that and test the idea. You’re testing if people actually want to use it.” This allows companies to have a trial run experiment of their product at a low cost. They can see if their business idea even has a market before they invest a lot of money in a project that might not work. Why invest in a business venture when there is no demand for the product? After two and a half years of work, CJR is no out-of-the-dorm company. They’ve expanded their own company and now have seven people on their team, including a summer intern.
But CJR doesn’t just work with small companies. Allen says of their growth, “We take this experience from working with start-up companies and can apply it to bigger companies. Everyone wants to be a start up company because of that incredible growth they get that first year. We can go to bigger companies and sort of test their ideas.”
“We specialize in putting your business on the internet. We create great looking sites, show you how to leverage social media, and build custom applications so you can scale your business,” -Patrick Allen
button on their page and that is not the right way to go about that. We try to integrate social strategy. It’s about working with companies.” Social networking isn’t for everyone. CJR has an eclectic group of clients and has worked with everyone from bars in Boston to various organizations and even political candidates. CJR goes case by case deciding how to use social networking for each client. For example, they wouldn’t put a Facebook button on a law firm website because chances are no one wants to “like” a law firm website. But, people might follow them on Twitter if they are looking for job updates from the said law firm. With this in mind, CJR looks at each client individually to decide how to make it social. Ultimately, CJR’s unique niche in today’s competitive market has allowed it to expand. Success in the current economy demands that new firms be tapped into the technological world and CJR eases the transition into that world. When the business sector didn’t offer these students an opportunity, they created their own.
But why would a firm want to hire a college student? It’s easy. Current young adults grew up using the technology that employees of an older generation now need to use. “Having computers for most of our lives puts our generation at an advantage. We can use all the technological tools available to us, while more experienced business workers are not as technologically savvy as they need to be in order to make their company grow.” CJR ‘s website also puts a large emphasis on social networking as a company tool. Allen clarifies, “A lot of companies want to be social and what that means to them is putting a Facebook
Bi r t h Con tr o l Misconceptions regarding contraception
Photos courtesy of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (left)/courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (right) By Alison Ricciato Associate Features Editor
Recently, much media attention has been drawn to the issue of birth control. Advertisers pulled out of Rush Limbaugh’s show after he insulted a young graduate student who uses a birth control pill by calling her a “slut.” House Bill 2625
was rejected by the Arizona Senate on March 28 but was promptly revived, which would allow insurance companies to decline birth control coverage on the basis of religious beliefs. With the issue of women’s contraception dominating the politi-
cal landscape, now is a good time to clear up many misconceptions about it: namely, its uses beyond that as a contraceptive. In what might be a shocking statistic, roughly one-third of all birth control prescriptions issued to
the GAVEL / April 2012
young women are for non-contraceptive benefits. That is, one-third of birth control users are using it for a variety of purposes that have nothing to do with pregnancy prevention. These prescriptions are often used as a way to control other hormone-related issues. Many young women take the pill to regulate their periods, which can be irregular or painful due to factors ranging from stress to excessive exercise, which many college athletes find to be a problem. Another group of women with this difficulty are those who have undergone chemotherapy for cancer treatments. The pill eases pain due to damage in their ovaries caused by radiation. Birth control replaces the hormone estrogen, which is reduced or absent in their bodies. The pill is also a solution to the medical condition known as endo-
metriosis, an issue in the lining of the uterus, which causes debilitating pain during a young woman’s menstrual cycle. Certain prescriptions can prevent or lighten periods and alleviate this discomfort. Additionally, when other prescription medicines fail to improve skin problems, birth control can regulate hormonal irregularities, which are the underlying cause of acne. Teenagers can take it to clear up their skin and regulate hormonal imbalances. Another benefit is that the pill generally means lighter periods, and thus women have less danger of iron-deficiency anemia. Birth control, which replaces estrogen, also helps bones, which is quite advantageous when so many women have problems with bone density. In fact, many postmenopausal women use the pill as a hormone replacement or to pre-
vent osteoporosis and heart disease. Birth control is proven to lower the chances of endometrial cancer (cancer in the uterus) and ovarian cancer. Aside from a woman’s choice to use birth control as a contraceptive, there are many medical benefits that may prompt a woman to take the pill. Using birth control does not automatically mean you are very sexually active and need pregnancy protection—a woman might take it for any of the reasons mentioned above. No one has the right to assume anything about a woman’s personal life, especially when a large portion of birth control users is not even taking it for contraceptive purposes. Women are using it to lead healthier and more comfortable lives. If Rush Limbaugh considers the pursuit of a pain-free life to be promiscuous, then he could call just about anybody a slut.
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Perfect Fall Day
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Stuff BC Likes:
Muploading Pics of Gasson From left to right, Photo by Miguel Londono (middle top) Collace Greene III et al. By Cal Greene III, Features Editor Students at Boston College are more privileged than students at other schools. This comes as no surprise to most BC students. It is evidenced by the multitude of high-end foreign cars that fill the parking garage every parents’ weekend, the fact that most students’ wardrobes are straight out of a Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, or J. Crew catolog, and the amount of time each student puts into making sure they look like they just came from a lovely afternoon at their private country club. Yes this school is pretentious but let’s face it: we love it. Camera phones have done more for society than get people fired after wild office parties. They have created a new way to brag to their friends on Facebook. Back in the day students had to just tell their high school friends about the beauty of BC or have them come for a visit. But now the mupload has streamlined that process and allowed students to boast and
gather “likes” from other BC students. BC is a giant bubble. Students do not have to deal with or even come in contact with most real world problems, like: serious crimes, running into bad neighborhoods, hunger, actual problems. If eighty percent of students did not participate in some sort of community service most would just assume that the rest of Boston and the United States is worry free. One of the best things about BC is the unique Gothic Revival style architecture that dominates the campus. Bapst Library has been named the most beautiful college library in America and Devlin Hall was named the “most beautiful building in Boston” in 1926. Long story short BC students go to a beautiful school, in one of the wealthiest towns in New England, in one of the most iconic major U.S. cities and they love to show it off. Captions posted on facebook such as, “Gasson looking completely
BA [Bad ass] all lit up. Bet you can see this baby all the way downtown” and “Actually a perfect fall day on The Heights” capture the spirit of pride that students want to convey to their Facebook peers and fellow students. The trend of students muploading pictures of Gasson is not constrained to eloquently displaying PDA for BC. Muploads of Gasson when it’s snowing are another popular way to tell the world that the weather sucks but Gasson still looks amazing. Muploads of Gasson will be popular until it stops gleaming in the purpling-orange sunset. Next time it is a sunny day walking back from class, take some time and instagram a pic of Gasson Hall. It is hard not to sometimes. Students at BC love the finer things in life and more importantly letting the world know about it. Which is why muploads of Gasson will always be something BC students like.
the GAVEL / April 2012
Gasson lit up like a boss
Overheard @BC Overheard conversation between inebriated girl and House of Blues security: Girl (to everyone): Oh my God this is the worst night of my life! I want my money back! Guy in line: What happened? Girl: You have to be 21 to get in! Security: Uh no. That’s false. Girl: F@#! all of you! Barstool sucks.
12 inches of snow last night, and I still have class
Overheard at the House of Blues: Guy 1: Dude this is a total sausagefest. The ratio is like 10 to 1. Guy 2: I know man, I’d actually be scared to be a chick right now. Overheard in the Quad: Guy: Dude my stepdad dropped acid once...he says he still sees the Virgin Mary walking down the street sometimes. Overheard in Fulton Hall: Girl 1: Oh I’m in CSOM because I want to run my dad’s business. Girl 2: Oh what’s he do? Girl 1: He’s an umm...he does like tax-y things and math. Girl 2: An accountant? Girl 1: OMG yes! I’m gonna be an accountant!
Overheard in the Mods: Guy: Partying with the 99% sucks. Overheard conversation between two underage girls: Girl 1: I asked my mom to buy us alcohol. Girl 2: What’d she say? Girl 1: No. I was like, “Mom, we can’t find any for tonight.” Then she proceeded to tell me about the time she got arrested when she was pregnant with me. Overheard conversation in Mac… Girl in line: My Lululemons are giving me are giving me a muffin top. Plex time! www.bcgavel.com
The Best Beers of Spring
Magic Hat Vinyl Seasonal: Magic Hat has always had a great reputation for making quality beers and is a cult favorite of many students at BC who are tired of Natty. This is a very pungent beer and the smell of the hops explodes from the bottle the second the cap is broken. It has a dark color for a spring beer and a heavy bitter hops flavor to it that came as a surprise. It was a stronger tasting beer than anticipated, but it was still good. This is a beer you have to be in the mood for and it is very filling, so I would not suggest buying a 12-pack to funnel.
This time around we decided to sample spring seasonal beers. The five that made the cut this time were: Shock Top Raspberry Wheat, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Magic Hat Vinyl Seasonal, Sam Adams Alpine Spring, and Chimay Triple. As always the beers were all highly rated and are from breweries that have very good products. Participating this time was Cal Greene III, Features Editor, Maggie Lawrence, Culture Editor, Robert Rossi, Managing Editor and Christian Feidler, Finance Director.
We based our comparison for the beers based on four criteria: clarity and colour, smell, taste and complexity, and mouth-feel, then we gave it an overall score, 1 being poor and 5 being the best. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA: This beer is one of the more famous varieties of the Dogfish Head family and arguably the beer that put the company on the micro-brewing map. The bottle version shipped up here is not far off from the draft and it was smooth, with a slight sour taste. For those not used to IPAs it can seem extremely bitter, but we all agreed that this beer had everything. At 8.9 percent ACV it was strong. It was smooth. It burst with flavor. Hands down the best beer, though at $11.99 per four-pack, I would suggest leaving it for a special occasion.
the GAVEL / April 2012
All Photos by Cal Greene III/Gavel Media
Shock Top Raspberry Wheat: Once you crack the cap on this one the pungent raspberry aroma fills the air. This beer has a medium amber color with a slight reddish tint to it, indicative of the flavoring. It is fairly cloudy like the original Shock Top and has a similar head when poured. Once it hits your tongue you experience a light tingling sensation. It is a little on the sweeter side, which of course Maggie loved, but it may be a little too â€œgirlyâ€? for the average bro. It is a great chilling beer for to drink while watching some solid college basketball or for whenever you want to show others that you have more class than Chet Hammerton.
Sam Adams Alpine Spring: We obviously had high expectations for Sam Adams. With the exception of the Cherry Wheat, we are all big fans and enjoy the variety of brews they have been offering recently. We were especially enthralled by the release of the new seasonal brew Alpine Spring this year. It was everything we expected from a spring beer. It had light fruity and flowery flavors combined with semi-bitter hoppy tastes. It is a clear medium amber color, which is indicative of a lager, but the flavor this beer packs is unlike any other spring seasonal. It is a great beer for any occasion and well worth the 10 bucks per six-pack.
Chimay Belgian Tripel: This one is definitely one of the more sophisticated beers we have tried in the beer review. The good folks at the Publick House in Washington Square suggested this one. It was great! It has a smooth taste and was not bitter, but at the same time packed a lot of flavor. No single flavor was overpowering, but each complemented each other. It had a light hoppy flavor with subtle undertones of fruitiness. A great beer, though since it is rather expensive, and is only available in 750ml bottles, it is best left for a classier occasion.
Take note: all persons who participated in the review are of legal drinking age. Please remember to drink responsibly.
Health Blog: Running Routes for Spring The long run: 9.1mi
The BC 5K: 3.2 mi
This one is reserved for the more experienced runners. The hills on Lake Street and Beacon Street are challenging. Your surroundings will change rapidly.You will see everything from the newly aquired Brighton Campus to the Charles River, BU and Colliage Corner. Overall, a fun run to do though it is tough, and dynamic enough to keep you from getting bored.
If you only have about a half-hour for a quick workout this one is the best bet. It is If you only have about a half-hour a thefor official BC 5K quick workout this one is the best bet.but It modiroute, is the official BC 5K route, but modified to and fied to start start and end at the Plex. In this end short at5K the Plex. In you get dramatic hills, a flat straightaway this short 5K you along the Reservoir, and good changes inhills, a get steep scenery. flat straightaway along the Reservoir, and good hanges in scenery.
the GAVEL All Photos by Cal Greene III/Gavel Media / April 2012
If the 5K is too short and you want a more suburban feel, then running into Newton Center is perfect. It is relatively quick and the houses along the way are beautiful! Keep in mind, that this route is significantly hillier than you would expect.
Here is an easy way to incentivize running. A quick run to Starbucks will burn calories and let you enjoy your calorie-filled coffee beverage guilt-free! You can drink it on your walk back along the Reservoir on a sunny day. Itâ€™s a win-win!
A great opportunity for freshmen out on Newton looking to get in shape! If you have to come to Main Campus anyway, why not use it as an opportunity to squeeze in a quick jog instead of waiting for the bus. www.bcgavel.com
Newton Center run: 3.9 mi
The guilt-free mocha frappuccino: 1.25 mi
The Newton kid 2.3 mi
Moving Spring Concert to earlier time
will NOT stop binge drinking
Binge drinking is a problem that plagues many college campuses throughout the country. Due to the draconian and puritanical drinking laws of this country, college kids who are not yet twenty-one drink underground, and are more likely to consume unsafe amounts of liquor in a short amount of time. Granted, BC does deserve some well-earned praise in their efforts to combat binge drinking. The “Stay in Your Green Zone” campaign is a good first step because it does not discourage the consumption of alcohol. Rather, it encourages students to have fun in a safe manner and drink responsibly. 22
The “Stay in Your Green Zone” campaign is a good first step. The decision, however, to move the Spring Concert to an earlier start time will be ineffective in combating binge drinking. In fact, with the drinking culture that BC has to begin with, pre-gaming will occur even earlier to accommodate the 4:30 PM
time when the doors open to Conte Forum. After the concert, there will be more time in the night to continue to drink. The day of the concert has the potential to turn into an all-day drinking affair akin to a St. Patrick’s Day, or Marathon Monday. The start time for the concert cannot be changed now. But in the future BC should schedule the concerts for a later start time, while at the same time promoting the “Stay in Your Green Zone” campaign. There is no way to prevent college students from drinking, but BC can foster an atmosphere of responsibility and safety.
the GAVEL / April 2012
Debate on guns needs to be brought back into the national spotlight
As a result of all the media coverage surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin, many are viewing the tragedy from the perspective of racism. However, one angle that has not been explored is the issue of gun control. We are not presuming innocence or guilt in the case. That is for a court of law to decide. However, George Zimmerman was carrying a 9mm semi-automatic handgun that fateful night, despite the fact that he has numerous charges on his criminal record, from resisting arrest with violence and battery on a police officer, to domestic violence. How was Zimmerman even allowed to be in possession of a gun in the first place with his violent past? Gun control is a controversial issue that no one is willing to touch. Especially in an election year, bringing up gun control, or gun rights, is unwise. This may be due to the fact that the National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful interest groups in the country. In addition, there are many people that are single-issue voters, meaning that they cast their vote solely based on a particular candidateâ€™s actual or perceived stance on guns. Regardless, this stifles meaningwww.bcgavel.com
ful debate about a crucial issue. Politicians are afraid to speak their mind on guns, fearing that it will alienate voters. Similarly, the media has been increasingly silent, only reporting on it when there is a Supreme Court decision over local handgun bans. The last gun control issue that truly reached the national consciousness was Congressâ€™s decision in 2004 to allow a 10-year ban on assault weapons to expire. Ever since then, the nation has seemingly put the debte on guns in the rear view mirror. However, the gun debate should be in the spotlight. Several tragedies, such as the Amish school shooting in 2006, the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, the attempted assassination of former Representative Gabby Giffords last year, and now, the death of Trayvon Martin, have done little to spur meaningful reform to make sure such incidents never happen again. Whether one is pro-gun control, or pro-gun rights, both sides see the need for further background checks on prospective gun owners, and further enforcement of existing laws. We should never be afraid, however, to express our viewpoints, or prevent others from expressing their own. The national discussion on guns is still relevant and necessary. 23
INSIDE: MPAA ratings system need to be reformed / Finals: Get over it / The constitutionality of Obamacare / Bill Maher: Superpac controversy / Rush Limbaugh and social conservatism ignorance
Keep Facebook passwords away from employers
By Frank Rizzo Assoc. Opinions Editor
House Republicans voted to block a measure that would have prevented employers from asking applicants and current staffers to submit their Facebook passwords. Representative Ed Perlmutter introduced the proposal as part of a bill to reform the Federal Communications Commission. The measure comes in light of reports of prospective employers requiring applicants to submit their usernames and passwords so that the employers can access their Facebook accounts to see what the applicants have posted online. On March 23, Facebook posted a blog on the issue saying, “If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends. We have worked really hard at Facebook to give you the tools to control who sees your information.” Despite this, the job market has seen significant attempts by employers to require Facebook login information as a part of the application process. In Virginia, candidates for state trooper positions are required to sign on to their Facebook accounts or any other social media they use during the interview process.
Corinne Geller, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, said, “You sign a waiver, then there’s a laptop and you go to these sites and your interviewer reviews your information. It’s a virtual character check as much as the rest of the process is a physical background check.” The fundamental problem here seems to be a lack of recognition of how the culture of privacy has changed, what that change means for society, and how society chooses to define it. The extent to which people share information about themselves with other people is drastically different from 20 years ago. We live in a world where everyday almost 700 million people log on to Facebook to share and exchange social information. Speaking as a 20-year old college student of the millennial generation, I know of few people my age that does not have a Facebook page. It is the new norm of socialization, a forum where friends can crack jokes at each other, plan events, share music, post random thoughts, and share their status updates. Facebook has worked hard to ensure that its users are able to maintain a concrete sense of privacy, one that enables them to pick and choose what is visible to whom. According to research from Nielsen’s
“The Social Media Report,” American Internet users now devote more time to Facebook than any other website, spending a total of 53.5 billion minutes per month on the world’s largest social networking site. Facebook is like a second home for its users. It is where they virtually hang out with friends and family. In a certain sense, requiring employees to submit login information so that an employer can peruse 5-6 years of social interaction is akin to having an employer sit on a night together with your friends. The argument here would be that Facebook is not a mandatory site, so the decision to post information cannot be claimed as “personal.” The Republicans decision to block this measure is dangerous for the sanctity of civil liberty. If we accept the fact that the mediums through which society socializes and exchanges information are constantly changing, then we must be willing to ensure a base level of privacy across those mediums. Any attempt to require employees to submit Facebook login information fails to recognize this reality.
the GAVEL / April 2012
Reflections on the
massacre in Afghanistan By Sam Post Gavel Media Contributor So what to say about Sgt. Robert Bales --what can I possibly say; or what matter will my say be? Do we blame him -- or is it his circumstance? He is the murderer of sixteen indefensible people -- nine were children. He was indeed a soldier -- and a soldier weathered; the military writes that he was drinking prior to his killings. There is much blame to be awarded. It seems in our nation, and in our coverage of the murders, our focus has been in the motion of understanding the -- why -- of the thing. At four tours of duty -- yes -- I can much imagine that the psyche becomes perverted. I would find it hard to think that roundthe-clock defense and killing and soldiering would not weigh on the soul - make it something else than it is. This fallout business about soldiers and alcohol is silly. I completely support soldiersâ€™ drinking just because of that. Their lives are terrible. They sacrifice their bodies and souls and sanities for the causes that our onhighs deem particular. Soldiers should get a break. We (the students) drink on www.bcgavel.com
the weekends just because. Soldiers that are so used to living in a constant combat environment-- to the extent that those things are norm -- yes, they should get some relief. The first thing Noah does after the flood is plant a vineyard and get drunk till he blacks-out; soldiers are in the same conditions, and then have to too concern themselves with surviving. The last point that I will make with my remaining words is this: our soldiers should get a break. I do not doubt that most are changed much after combat and service, but at least they get to come back to homes and families -and to some measure of support. The same cannot be said of the people living through war-zones. That same norm of gun and bullet for soldier is the one lived by those peoples (for our purposes, Afghanis). It was written in the New York Times of how this set of wars was multigenerational: how soldiers may have entered combat at 20 years old, and are now approaching 30 and raising new soldiers on their reminiscent combats. Equal, those folks living in war zones have been the succumbers of time. Babies born (and died);
I donâ€™t doubt that most are changed much after combat and service. grandparents and parents buried. People were wed; families were raised and grown. Those routines of living all accommodated combat. And now, more are heaped under the ground in their final resting place. Think now of that town that has to accommodate the burial of 16 people; and especially of those children -- the promise of their unknowns, of what families and children would have been theirs, and theirs to hold. I honestly do not know whether or not I have any relevant input. All I can really say is that it is sad that a whole village has lost its children, and it is sad that a family has lost a father and a husband.
By Paul Baboc Gavel Media Staff
The lunacy of Santorumâ€™s
WAR ON 26
the GAVEL / April 2012
“Pornography is toxic. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking. The Obama administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws.” With this, Santorum vowed to wage a so-called “war on pornography” if he is elected president. Perhaps Santorum’s words might come across as enlightened to his target audience, which is composed chiefly of a preponderance of rather religious-minded, traditional individuals. I doubt Evangelical Protestants would descry his effort, and a good number of Catholics would advocate for its application as ardently as liberals would argue against it. There are noble elements to the idea; few would argue that pornography is uplifting, righteous or innately liberating, and arguing these things would take prodigious powers of intellect. Naturally, this is because America was and largely remains an essentially Christian nation founded on Biblical principles. Since pornography, according to the logic of the Santorum-minded, is the acme of anti-individualism in that it subverts the natural worth of those choosing to engage in sexual practices which are readily visible and downloadable to millions of people. It is, by nature, anti-American. But there are flaws in Santorum’s plan to wage war on porn. First of all, he calls pornography ‘a pandemic,’ which is ludicrous and perhaps slightly comical given the ramifications of the word. I can hardly imagine in exactly what ways pornography is a pandemic. If pornography were really a pandemic, then each individual user would pass on his or her disease to every-
one around him or her. As an individual and self-willed act, there is no fear of it ‘spreading’ like a pandemic. To be frank, I doubt that the statistics for the amount of individuals that have seen pornographic material at some point in their lives are any higher today than they were 50 years ago, during the monopolized reign of “Playboy”. This brings me to the next
The man who watches pornography doesn’t become a misogynist by watching it any more than a woman that watches pornography becomes against the male gender. point he makes, which is that pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. Perhaps Santorum is not of the most brilliant variety, since anyone with any real grasp of things would be able to tell you that truly devoted spouses will not watch porn if thir spouse does not want them to. What is Santorum trying to say? That religious, devoted husbands will be so manipulated by the porn industry that they’d risk their marriages and positive family dynamics for the sake of some videos of Sasha Grey on pornhub? Objection: If they are, that is their own fault, not the porn industry’s. Pornography is only toxic to marriages and relationships in
which a party consents to indulge in it without the knowledge of the other, in which case there must already be something rotten in the relationship. Each individual user chooses to watch porn on their own accord. In a world where pornography didn’t exist at all, individuals would most likely resort to other sexual activities, such as cheating on their partners. In any case, the point is that human nature is human nature, and Santorum is wrong to say that pornography is the cause for whatever distressing circumstances we have put ourselves into. It is because of human nature that pornography has arisen, and its market is so prodigious precisely because we will it to be. Santorum’s other points are ludicrous as well. Is pornography really a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking? Rape statistics have been going down over time in the United States. There were almost 103,000 rapes in the US in 1990. In 2010, there were less than 85,000. Incidentally, the Internet only became a massphenomenon in the mid-1990s, and that’s also when the viewership of online pornography would have skyrocketed. Santorum fails on this count. As for misogyny, well, the man who watches pornography doesn’t become a misogynist by watching it any more than a woman that watches pornography becomes against the male gender. Lastly, Santorum’s attack on Obama’s implied refusal to diminish the impact of porn on our culture is plain malicious slander. As if that was the most important thing on Obama’s agenda to begin with. Not only is pornography threatening the preservation of our culture, according to Santorum, but the Democratic Party has actively “turned a
blind eye” with the obvious implication that our civilization will soon collapse upon itself. It is plainly ludicrous and displays nothing, at least in my personal opinion, but ignorance and political frustration. Will Santorum’s plan become a reality? No, unless more Medievalminded figureheads spring up from the loins of excessive conservatism to resurrect righteousness. Is pornography likely to die anytime soon on account of these plans? No, unless human nature were to take a drastic turn and become angelic. It is plain that Santorum is speaking foolishly
when he declaims all these things. He is, in effect, turning a blind eye to the reality of things, which is that the pornographic industry in America is simply too deeply ingrained in our culture to be done away with. Though regrettable by our comfortable standards, the truth is that it provides thousands of individuals with a way out of awful family lives and offers a better alternative to the sexually uninhibited than rape and adultery. But the problem is deeper. If Santorum thinks that we should get rid of porn because it’s so horrible and evil, then what else
will he want us to get rid of? Will he want movies that currently get pg-13 ratings to move up to pg-18? Or maybe he’ll want to cut all sex scenes from all movies produced in the United States. And eventually he might even reinstitute Old Testament laws and have adulterers as well as sexually promiscuous individuals stoned. Who really knows what’s going on inside his head.
By Natalie Roy Gavel Media Staff
Photo courtesey of latimes.com
Is his big donation to Obama’s Superpac a big mistake?
This past month, stand-up comedian and host of HBO’s Realtime, Bill Maher, made headlines across the web for his $1 million donation to President Obama’s SuperPAC, Priorities USA Action. Maher, a known liberal and a controversial figure in the world of politics, took to the Huffington Post to defend his contribution, writing, “…I was trying to make the point that if I could do it, a lot of other people could do it a lot more easily than me.” He has publicly stated multiple times publicly that his donation was an act of protest against the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, a decision that in a nutshell allows corporations to donate unlimited amounts of funds to political campaigns. However, if he really wanted to draw attention to the issue, there are much less hypocritical ways to do so. It is no secret that Maher is not a fan of large campaign donations. He has used the term “Sugar Daddy” to describe Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire who has already contributed several million dollars to Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. While it
is unlikely that Maher will make any additional contributions to the Priorities USA SuperPAC, it looks to me like a case of the pot calling the kettle black. At the very least, if he is going to make donations, he should not be poking fun at anyone who is doing the same thing. At the end of the day, the larger issue remains that Maher has been extremely vocal about his opposition to Citizens United in the past. Yet he’s taking advantage of it just like his accused Republican opponents. In the same Huffington Post article, Maher wrote, “There’s a reason that of the 16 billionaires that have contributed to super PACs this year, 14 have given to Republicans. It is generally the party of the rich.” So now in addition to protesting, he is admittedly trying to level the playing field? Surely going into an election without as large of a treasure chest as your opponent is challenging. But I think that facing that difficulty head-on would make any candidate stand out. The less money you have, the more you will do to stretch every dollar and make every bit count.
There is something to be said for a candidate that has sufficiently fewer funds than his or her opponent and makes it work. I am unsure of whether or not Maher’s donation helps or hurts the President’s reelection campaign. Certainly, Obama opposes the Citizens United ruling, but it would be hard to call out any Republican in a debate for accepting SuperPAC money when he’s doing the same thing. Not only will Maher’s donation provide more fuel for conservatives to spit fire at Obama, but it could also disenfranchise Democrats and Independents who oppose Citizens United. In either case, the President could lose votes. Frankly, I do not think you can protest SuperPACs by donating to a SuperPAC. And you certainly cannot say that you only did it to counteract the same evils being committed by the other side. Two wrongs do not make a right, and in this case, might not even further your cause. I agree with Bill Maher on a lot of things, and I will still watch Realtime every Friday night, but I am not a big fan of this decision.
the GAVEL / April 2012
Justice Kennedy may have a point on Obamacare By Mike Natalie Gavel Media Staff As the Obama administration’s health care law hangs in the balance, the Supreme Court is currently re-evaluating its role in American society: justices conservative and liberal are less than eager to increase the political character of the court, and this figures heavily into their recent arguments. Everybody seems to feel that the decision should be made based on constitutionality and not party lines; however, in practice, the lawyers arguing for the benefit of the Court are using constitutional arguments to support their previously held opinions on the bill. Historically, several debates over constitutionality have been resolved based on the Court’s interpretation of the Commerce Clause—which gives Congress the right to legislate over commerce, and use of the Elastic or “necessary and proper” clause, specifically designed to give Congress “wiggle room” when dealing with the multitude of situations that could not have reasonably been foreseen by the Founding Fathers. Different courts “stretch” the elastic clause to different degrees. The Roberts Court seems committed, at least in this instance, to a more conservative interpretation of these powers. Yet, in this case, interpretation of these two aspects of Congressional power may not be sufficient to settle the case: the extent of the Supreme Court’s own power is
currently being questioned alongside the age-old problem of Congressional limitations. The problem exists in two different dimensions: whether or not the currently problematic “core” of Obamacare—its requirement that all Americans have health insurance—is constitutional, and whether or not the Supreme Court can edit Congress; that’s to say, simply remove the unconstitutional portions of the bill. Much of the discussion, especially recent discussion, has been predicated on the assumption that the central requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional. I do not claim to be an expert, but their progression to such a debate suggests to me the Court’s quiet consensus that, yes; the Court finds certain aspects of the bill unconstitutional. According to the New York Times, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had claimed the “more conservative approach,” i.e. the approach more clearly within the bounds of judicial authority, is to “salvage” what is constitutional in the bill rather than destroy everything. Her colleagues Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Justice Scalia feel “salvage” is impractical and an overreach of boundaries in its own right. Kennedy argues that changing one aspect of the bill changes its fundamental meaning, that the intent of Congress, the Federal government’s premier legislators, upon signing the bill is of paramount importance and that to change the bill is to presume too much about Congressional intent. Justice Scalia feels the Supreme Court, a nine person judicial body, is just not cut out to review the entire bill.
Personally, I have fairly strong liberal leanings. I will spare you my feelings on Obamacare overall, as you can probably guess them. I will confess, however, that in spite of my own personal desires, Justice Kennedy’s line of reasoning makes more sense to me than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s. I do not feel it is for the Supreme Court to pick and choose. As important as health care is, our definition of the Supreme Court’s power may well matter more in the long run. You may be thinking that I have got the cart before the horse; that I am presuming much about the future when we have a serious issue at hand here in the present. That I am overly preoccupied with an abstract notion of “balance” between the branches of government, meanwhile Americans across the nation suffer from our flawed system of healthcare. These things have occurred to me, but consider: Congress can readily raise this issue again. They could put the bill back together minus the parts ruled unconstitutional themselves, and pass the law again. I realize that given frequent shifts in the composition of Congress, this is not very likely; however, the fact remains, they can try again. The Supreme Court, however, cannot “try again” as readily. They review existing cases as an appellate court, meaning they have only limited opportunity to reassess their decisions, even those related to the extent of their own authority. In this way, this discussion of judicial authority which has so preoccupied the Supreme Court over the past few days may well be more important than the issue of healthcare.
reform By Kenny St. John, Opinions Editor A new documentary is out in a movie theater near you. It is called “Bully,” and it follows how bullying affects the lives of five teenagers across the country. Early reviews praise “Bully” as a powerful film and an educational tool that delivers an anti-bullying message that young people can benefit from. Numerous anti-bullying advocacy groups such as PACER’s National Bullying Pre30
vention Center, the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Autism Speaks have also shown support of the film. However, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave “Bully” an “R” rating before its release, which means that no one under 17 can see the documentary without an adult. The MPAA’s justification of the rating is that the profanity colloquially known as the
F-word is uttered six times throughout the documentary, which is above the threshold of the two uses of the Fword that is required for an “R” rating. Ironically, “Bully” is specifically geared towards the under-17 demographic and the “R” rating severely hurts the dissemination of the anti-bullying message to the crowd that would benefit from it the most. An online petition call-
the GAVEL / April 2012
ing for the MPAA to rate the film PG-13 has collected over 300,000 signatures. Unfortunately, the MPAA did not reverse its decision. As a result, the Weinstein Company, the documentary’s distributor, has decided to release the movie in its unrated version.
the celebrated film critic, has blasted the fact that the system sees sex in a movie as more inappropriate, and therefore more worthy of an “R” rating, than the depiction of gruesome violence. Ebert is also critical of the MPAA for looking at trivial parts of a movie.
piction of homosexuality more harshly than heterosexuality, and two members of the clergy are on the board. I am not saying that the MPAA needs to be abolished. It is essentially a trade guild in which members have a constitutional right to assemble and
“Bully” is specifically geared towards the under-17 demographic and the “R” rating severely hurts the dissemination of the anti-bullying message to the crowd that would benefit from it the most.
However, this allows theater chains the freedom to set their own rules. Cinemark has decided not to show “Bully” while Regal Cinemas and AMC are treating the film as an “R” rated flick. This is just one example of the enormous pull that the MPAA, a private entity, has on the movie industry. If a movie theater chain decides not to follow the MPAA ratings system, the MPAA, which is comprised of the six big Hollywood studios, do not release films to that particular chain. This essentially coerces movie theater chains to comply if they want to do business. However, at least in theory, the MPAA ratings are a voluntary system, and do not have any federal, state or local jurisdiction. This is not the only instance where the MPAA has come under fire for its ratings system. It has been criticized for having inconsistent standards in handing out its ratings. Roger Ebert, www.bcgavel.com
In the case of “Bully,” the use of the Fword in conversation suggests an “R” rating more than the overall theme and subject matter of the movie itself. Other critics argue that the big Hollywood studios, which are members of the MPAA, are given more lenient treatment in the ratings system compared to independents. In addition, the MPAA will not reveal any information as to why ratings decisions were made. In 2006, an independent documentary, “This Film is Not Yet Rated”which investigated the MPAA ratings system, was released. Ironically, the film was given an “NC-17” rating by the MPAA for depicting a scene that showed how a film, in fact, can garner an “NC17” rating. The documentary brought to light several startling discoveries about the inner workings of the MPAA, including the fact that ratings board members have no children or children over 18. In addition, they treat the de-
organize for a collective interest. However, the MPAA needs to reform its ratings system. By having a stranglehold on the movie industry, the MPAA coerces movie theater owners to comply and enforce the ratings system if they want to continue to be in business. This practice is effectively tantamount to censorship and takes freedom of choice away from parents and children alike. For instance, when I was 15, my friend and I were turned away from seeing “Hitman,” an “R” rated film, even after my friend’s mom came into the theater and expressly gave her permission for us to see the film. The MPAA needs to stop acting like a parent. The ratings should be mere guidelines that are unenforced by any public or private entity. Parents should make the ultimate decision over whether or not their child should see a certain film. 31
By Jon Dame , Assoc. Opinions Editor Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
In March radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke, a thirdyear law student at Georgetown University, as a “slut” for testifying before Congress about the burdensome cost of contraception. In the two days following this comment, Limbaugh proceeded to call American taxpayers “pimps” for paying for her contraception coverage, and urged Fluke to upload videos of all her sexual interactions. Naturally, these comments did not go unaddressed—over the last three weeks, there has been a significant public outcry about and condemnation of Limbaugh’s offensive and sexist remarks. This incident occurred in the aftermath of weeks of political debate over contraception and insurance coverage. President Obama initially announced that all employers—even religiously affiliated non-profits like churches and schools— would be required to provide insurance plans that offered contraception coverage with no co-pays under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican Party, of course, nearly had a stroke at the thought of women receiving the healthcare they deserve—and on top of that being able to have safe sex—and thus decided to frame the issue as one of religious freedom. Unfortunately, this framing resonated with many Americans and the Obama administration decided to make an exception for those religiously affiliated institutions. Now, if an employer has a moral objection to giving women healthcare access equal to men, they can opt out of providing contraception, making the insurance
company they contract with responsible for reaching out to women and offering them the coverage they need. One might think this exception would have settled the religious issue, but the problem is that women will still be receiving their healthcare and still get to have sex—so Republicans are still up in arms. The profundity and relevance of Limbaugh’s comments lie in their explicit expression of the conservative ideology truly driving Republican attempts to restrict contraception access; contraception represents the key to unlocking female sexual agency. For years, Republicans have been attacking a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and they have now capitalized on the politicization of birth control to approach the issue from another angle. Latent in their ideology is the desire to ensure that women continue to conform to traditional norms of femininity under the guise of patriarchy—the ability to reject motherhood, but embrace sexuality threatens that directive. The use of the term “slut” conveys this point so unambiguously that it made most Republicans reluctant to stand with Limbaugh. “Slut” continues to be used as a means of sexually disempowering women by scandalizing female sexual expression—Limbaugh would have never referred to a male law student lamenting over the cost of Viagra or condoms a “slut” because male sexual potency is celebrated as an essential site of male domination vis-à-vis female subordination. The most ironic part of this whole
debate over contraception is that access to contraception and sex education are the only two factors important in predicating rates of abortion. The legality of abortion has almost no correlation to the number of abortions performed in any given year in any given country. Studies have show that countries where abortion is extremely restricted or completely illegal like Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Peru actually have more than
Latent in their ideology is the desire to ensure that women continue to conform to traditional norms of femininity. twice as many abortions per year than the United States where abortion is legal and safe. Additionally, European countries like Finland, Germany and the Netherlands have been shown to have half as many abortions as the United States— the difference in abortion rates lies in the accessibility of contraception. So if Republicans are so determined to reduce the amount of abortions then why do they continue to oppose the use of contraception? Well, Rush Limbaugh said it best—it’s because women are “sluts.”
the GAVEL / March 2012
By Jenna LaConte Gavel Media Editor Without question, colleges have mastered ending each semester on the most awkward note possible with the invention of finals. One day you are having the time of your life screaming at the top of your lungs as sweaty strangers struggle up Heartbreak Hill – or, if you’re brave, maybe you are among those panting marathon runners – and, the next thing you know, the hangover is replaced by an ominous panic over finals. In one fell swoop, the student body enters a campus-wide marathon in which instead of drunkenly cheering one another on we compete for library chairs and empty classrooms like complete savages. You know that cute girl you met off campus last week? She has given up on both showering and sleeping for the week, and by no means is she interested in talking to you. As for that pre-med guy you met in a mod and decided to marry to enjoy his future success, you may as well kiss that dream goodbye. He is fully committed to his Orgo textbook. Amidst all of this finals-induced stress, a pattern has emerged among BC students that needs to come to an end. As we spend hours on end typing up final papers or review guides, the constant screen time leads to a natural increase in time spent on Facebook. Somehow, instead of using Facebook as the instrument of procrastination, people have turned Facebook statuses into their personal diaries where they can bitch and moan about how stressed they are. Suddenly, our news feeds are drowning in complaints and woe-is-me’s over the experience that we are all going through at once. If you really think that your situation is any worse than the 9,000 other students in your position, it is time for www.bcgavel.com
a reality check. That’s right, Miss “15 straight hours in O’Neill and counting… get me out of hereeee.” And you, Mister “If guy loudly chomping his pen in Bapst doesn’t stop in the next three minutes I’m going to shove it down his throat.” Stop it. Stop it right now. I sign onto Facebook to avoid doing work only to find that you’re forcing your own stress upon all 846 of your Facebook friends? Talk about selfish. Let’s be real for a minute. Mark Zuckerberg would not have wanted it this way. He went to Harvard; he knows how stressful finals are. He was sued in his pursuit of creating a means of escape, and it is a slap in the face to use his gift for evil. Shape up, Boston College. When I log onto Facebook during finals, I don’t want to know how many pages you have left to write, I don’t want to know how many cups of coffee you’ve had today, and I sure as hell do not want to know
how many pages your study guide is especially if we have a class together and mine is shorter. I came here to find links to funny YouTube videos. I came here to stalk your old profile pictures from 2007. I came here to stop thinking about finals. Please do not take that from me. Whatever this week of hell has in store for you, it is fair to say that it will not be pretty. So, let us take a moment and think: how are you going to handle your stress? YouTube meditation videos are deeply underrated, and ritual burnings never hurt anyone (disclaimer: yes they have). You can go for a run, catch up on old episodes of your favorite TV shows, braid your hair, roll down a hill, etc. The possibilities are endless. There are plenty of ways to release stress during finals, so I beg you, please, whatever you do, do not use Facebook as your stress ball. Just buy a stress ball. It will work wonders. 33
INSIDE: Your next Netflix addiction (it involves Sarah Palin!) / Pop culture preview / Take Back the Night / Warm weather activity guide / Vegetarianism at BC / NFL Draft Preview
viewing pins either by category or sorted in order of recent popularity. Users resist comparing Pinterest to Tumblr, which functions more as a personal blog rather than a categorized collection of “pins.” That being said, Pinterest is a creative site for more serious users (rather than the Bored Browser type of websites like Stumbleupon) who are interested in exploring particular categories of things such as appetizer recipes for dinner parties or Bohemian interior designs. Users can build different boards for their own purposes, resulting in visually appealing pages filled with themed images taken from outside websites or other users’ boards. The majority of pinned images contain a link to their original websites as well as a list of other users who have “repinned” the same image. In effect, Pinterest is a creative bookmarking platform that allows its users to build
their own ideas with the help of others. So the next time your Principles of Economics class drags, there is no need to suffer any longer: look no further than the online pinboard that our fellow BC students love so much. One BC senior discusses the reason she frequents Pinterest: “I like Pinterest because it’s very visual. I like that it’s broken up into categories such as fashion and recipes. There are a bunch of ‘niche boards’ like DIY instructions, etc. I mostly use it for inspiration. It’s so simple to find engaging. The picture tells the stories,” said Zuha Quazi, A&S ‘12. Quazi enjoys the freedom to “pin” items that she likes from other users’ boards to her own. It is also useful for her to draw interior design inspiration for decorating her future apartment. A blogger herself, Quazi operates a fashion blog as a senior at BC--check her out at: http://couturecult.blogspot.com/
the GAVEL / April 2012
Photos courtesy of Pinterest
Have you ever been 30 minutes into your professor’s lecture, tired, bored and compulsively drawn to the laptop screens in front of you when you notice that the screens are not, in fact, lecture notes, but rather an array of graphic images of dresses, cakes, bedrooms and clever aphorisms? Pins, if you will, from a cyber pinboard? One word: Pinterest. Pinterest defines itself as a “virtual pinboard,” an online site where someone can post images that express something that he or she wants to share with others, or a source from which one can draw inspiration. On top of being a cyber zone of creativity, Pinterest acts as a form of social media by allowing users to log in through Facebook and “follow” their friends’ pinboards. Upon logging in, Pinterest users are instantly brought to a page covered in their friends’ recent pins, but they also have the option of
Blog of the Month: Boooooom! By Maggie Lawrence / culture editor
Art History for the Laptop Generation
“An art blog with a soft spot for hand-made work by unknown people.” Photo by Jesse John Hunniford
As the blogosphere expands exponentially, it’s helpful to distinguish between the brain-rotting streams of consciousness that clog the Internet and sites that might actually be useful and engaging. Whether you are new to the blog world or have your own Wordpress account already, Gavel Media has tracked down a site that might actually distract you from Facebook for a few minutes this spring. Jeff Hamada, an artist hailing from Vancouver, has created Booooooom, an art blog and online community that is constantly sharing creativity around the globe. Hamada posts new work from artists daily, and Booooooom has been growing rapidly, boasting over 3 millions pageviews per month. Hamada attributes the blog’s success to “good old fashioned word-of-mouth” and en-
Photos courtesy of Booooooom.com
courages readers to contact him with suggestions and ideas on his corner of the blog world. Like Pinterest, Booooooom can be a constant stream of inspiriation for just about anyone, but one of the most interesting aspects of the blog is the Project forum. Hamada sends out instructions for a reader collaboration that anyone is open to interpret artistically and submit their own take. A recent project called the Booooooom + Adobe Remake project called for photographers to submit a photo interpretation of a famous work of art. Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” can be modernized with a skateboardtoting subject and modern apparel, but the compelling sense of Americana Wood originally achieved is not lost in Jesse John Hunniford’s photo version.
The project was inspired by a photo contest by Adobe originally open to students in the U.K. The beauty of Booooooom is that Jeff is able to open the project to readers around the world through his blog. Hamada’s active Facebook page characterizes Booooooom as “an art blog with a soft spot for hand-made work by unknown people.” This creative outlet that unites people from around the world is also an important avenue for new artists to gain exposure and collaborate and combine their ideas. Booooooom is a piece of the blog world that promotes creativity and collective inspiration through design and art. A reinterpretation of the classics might be just what you need to change your perspective.
Take back the night By Jillian Timko / assoc. culture editor
Photo by Sofia Martinez, Photo Editor Take Back the Night constitutes an important part of BC’s C.A.R.E. (Concerned About Rape Education) Week, but it is also an internationally renowned event that takes the form of a rally and march to take direct action against rape and sexual violence. The movement is called Take Back the Night to protest the violence women are prone to experience while walking at night. Also known as Reclaim the Night, the first Take Back the Night was held in Belgium in March 1976 by the women taking part in the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women. The movement spread during the remainder of the year to other parts of Europe, where groups of women marched with candles in order to protest instances of violence against women. The Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media organized the first Take Back The Night march in the United States on November 4th, 1978 in San Francis36
co. The women marched through the red-light district of the city to protest the sexual subordination of women promoted by rape and pornography. The event is often deliberately women-only to demonstrate how women can unite against violence and fear. This policy has caused controversy, as some activists believe that Take Back The Night Events should not be segregated so that male allies and sexual assault survivors can show their support. The goal of these marches is to speak out against this violence and heighten community awareness to prevent future violence. Since its inception, the movement has broadened to include all types of violence against all persons, while still focusing on violence against women. This allows the movement to incorporate concerns about domestic and sexual abuse. Today, the movement takes the form of widely publicized events in major cities and on
college campuses. Take Back the Night is a crucial part of BC’s C.A.R.E. Week, held by the Women’s Resource Center. C.A.R.E. week aims to educate students about sexual and partner violence both on and off campus. Specifically, C.A.R.E. programs focus on educating the BC community about sexual assault and rape on college campuses, what consent is, ways to recognize and navigate unhealthy relationships, and how to help a friend who has experienced sexual assault.
the GAVEL / April 2012
Vegetarianism at BC
By Emily Akin / gavel media staff
Photo by Olivia Simone, Print Manager
When I left for college, I made the decision to become a vegetarian . It was mostly for health reasons, but it also seemed like a very “college” thing to do: go to college, save the world one cow’s life at a time. It was really just typical idealist 18-year-old nonsense, and I was up for the challenge of showing my meat-loving family that I could survive off tofu and veggies for four years. When I first got to BC, I essentially lived off of the Magic Carpet falafel sandwich at Mac. I then moved on to the Mediterranean Hummus Panini from Stuart, closely followed by the Apple Walnut Salad from the Rat and the Addie’s Veggie Burger. Then, I got bored. You can really only eat one sandwich so many times before the thought of eating it again makes you want to up-chuck your tofu. Unlike other colleges, BC has very little variety in their vegetarian meal plan options. I spoke with other vegetarians around campus, all of whom were surprised upon their arrival at BC that the school had so few vegetarian options. The school also needs to broaden its vegan options, because many vegetarians want to experiment with veganism but cannot achieve a balanced diet from the BC options. Sarah Peppe A&S ’15 said, “I mostly end up eating yogurt and salads and occasionally some of the tofu dishes served in Stuart, but those got old after the beginwww.bcgavel.com
ning of the year.” Peta2, the world’s largest youth animal rights group, recently held an open poll to online voters about which colleges in the nation provide the best vegetarian and vegan dining options. The number one school is the University of Indiana at Bloomington. Not a single college from Massachusetts made the top 10 list, and the only college from New England to make the list was Yale University. This is a surprising realization, especially since college is a time for experimentation in academic, social and dietary choices. According to a 2009-2010 Bon Appetit Management Company survey, over 12 percent of college students are self-described vegetarians across the country. Some schools have even taken very extreme stances on the vegetarian position. The Maharishi School of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, only serves vegetarian or vegan meal options, and Bastyr University in Washington State only includes one meat option on the daily menu. While I am by no means suggesting that such extreme measures be taken here at Boston College, the dining hall really needs to step up their vegetarian meal options if they want to keep on top of the student’s demands. The Loft at Addie’s is a great addition to the school’s dining halls, and for those of you who rarely venture upstairs in Lower, it provides
delicious organic cuisine from local, sustainable sources. This student-run cafeteria provides some of the most palatable vegetarian food on campus and attracts even non-vegetarians with its delicious flatbread pizzas and salads. However, Addie’s is one of the only places on campus to get decent vegetarian food; which is funny because on BC’s dining Vegetarian 101 web-page, the administrative dietician suggests that vegetarians at BC “Aim for variety...[and] try to enjoy many different foods rather than get stuck in a rut of the same two or three dishes.” It is ironic advice considering that there are only about two or three staple vegetarian options regularly offered at any of the dining halls. Another “yummy” option for vegetarians are the boxed, refrigerated tofu meals which closely resemble cardboard in both looks and taste. One of my meat-eating friends sampled my lovely “Soy-tien” packaged dinner and instantly gagged. Some meat-eating students are sympathetic to the plight of vegetarians on campus — others are not. When asked if they were serving veggie burgers, one disgruntled Stuart employee said, “Frickin’ vegetarians. Conform or die. Just eat a hamburger.” He was joking (hopefully), but overall BC dining services definitely needs to rethink the way it treats vegetarianism on campus. 37
Pop Culture Preview Mad Men Season 5 Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Divorcee Betty Draper faces an uncertain future on this season of AMC’s Mad Men.
Sundays 9 PM EST on AMC
Don Draper’s engagement announcement to secretary Megan (Jessica Pare) marks the end of the Betty and Don saga, or does it?
Game of Thrones Sundays 9 PM EST on HBO
Emmy-nominated series Game of Thrones airs its highly-anticipated second season premiere April 1. Based on the medieval fantasy book series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ Game of Thrones chronicles the violent warfare between noble families for the Iron Throne. 38
the GAVEL / April 2012
COMING UP More details have been released about an album the Talking Heads legend and Clark are recording togther. A former member of the Polyphonic Spree who has had a great deal of solo success, St. Vincent is also featured on Andrew Bird’s recent release, Break it Yourself.
David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark You are in luck in case you missed the beachy, lo-fi sound Best Coast does so well, there’s more to come! To follow up their highly successful 2012 debut album Crazy For You, Bethany Consentino and Best Coast are set to release their sophomore album The Only Place on May 15.
Best Coast April marks the start of RHCP’s US tour. The band released their tenth studio album ‘I’m with You’ this past August. Prolific veterans on the American rock scene, RHCP’s tour is a highly anticpated return to the spotlight after 2006’s ‘Stadium Arcadium.’ www.bcgavel.com
Red Hot Chili Peppers 2012 Summer Tour 39
By Jenna LaConte / assoc. culture editor
What’s in Your Queue? Sarah Palin’s Alaska
Although a Netflix addiction can be detrimental to a college student’s ability to focus on schoolwork, not everything on the site turns your brain into complete mush. In fact, Netflix features a wide range of shows that run on TLC – that’s right, The Learning Channel. Sure, you probably should close your laptop and open that textbook, but this newest addition to your queue at least has some educational value to it — as much educational value, that is, of TLC’s other classics such as “Toddlers & Tiaras,” “My Strange Addiction” and “Jon & Kate Plus Eight.” Back in 2010, TLC presented America with the severely underrated program “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Although the series only ran for one season, Netflix has temporarily immortalized it by adding it to the list of shows that subscribers can watch instantly. “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” offers an inside look at the life of a true Alaskan maverick. Viewers get the opportunity to see beyond the flighty candidate that baffled millions throughout the 2008 presidential election and get to know the lipstick-wearing pitbull hockey mom that is Sarah Palin. The series opens with Sarah and her husband Todd enjoying their morning coffee on their back deck, which looks out onto a gorgeous Alaskan lake. They complain about their neighbor, who purposefully moved into the house next door in order to spy on their family for an expository piece. She and her husband adamantly condemn this man for his intrusive ways, calling his actions an invasion of privacy. Preach it, sister. You tell the TLC cameraman who is filming you on a day-to-day basis how gravely you
value your privacy. Sarah and Todd then take their daughter, Piper, on what they claim to be a typical Alaskan daytrip. In spite of the vast lake in their very own backyard, their own personal plane arrives to bring them to a favorable fishing location. Just seven minutes into the episode, you have already learned something: apparently, all Alaskans can afford personal planes, which Palin describes as “the local taxi for us here in Alaska,” for their leisurely daytrips. They jet off to another lake, where they take a small boat out to fish about five feet away from a pair of enormous, angry grizzly bears. Luckily, Piper is too absorbed in her angst over the lack of biting fish to react when the bears start to aggressively fight one another. Another gem of a scene takes place between Palin and her teenage daughter, Willow, who saunters into the kitchen and proceeds to blatantly ignore her mother as she asks for help around the house. Willow’s male friend, Andy, comes over, and things really start to heat up as Willow (semi-successfully) sneaks him upstairs to her bedroom in spite of Sarah’s declaration that the gate at the bottom of the stairs is not only for the baby but also to keep boys out of her daughter’s bedroom. Such vigilant parenting makes one question how Bristol ever got pregnant under such a watchful eye. Some mysteries will always remain unanswered, I guess. Once again, TLC has successfully provided America with an educational, worthwhile show that is truly eye opening with “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” All that’s left to do at this point is sit back and wait for their next hit series, “Rick Santorum’s La La Land.”
the GAVEL / April 2012
Preview What might be in store for Luke Kuechly By Robert Rossi / Managing Editor
The 2012 NFL Draft will take place from April 26-28 inside New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. While the nation focuses on theoretical franchise quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the seemingly locked-in top two picks, Boston College Superfans will devote their attention to one name and one name only: Luke Kuechly. During his time on the Heights, Kuechly enjoyed what was arguably the greatest career of any defensive player in Eagles history. The accomplishments are too long to list, but include leading the nation in tackles twice, becoming BC’s first unanimous All-American since 1998, and winning virtually every individual award for which he was eligible this past season. Nobody on campus is glad to see Kuechly go, but the possibility of seeing him follow in the footsteps of Matt Ryan and B.J Raji and emerging as an NFL star is a nice consolation. So, which team’s website should dedicated Superfans expect to visit for their Kuechly jersey order? Here are the most likely possibilities: 1. Philadelphia Eagles (15th pick) Virtually every mock draft you could find on BC’s pro day had Philadelphia taking Kuechly midway through the first round. They need an inside linebacker, and he is the best available. If your per-
sonal favorite team has absolutely no shot of landing Kuechly without trading for him (like my Patriots), the Eagles are probably the next best place you’d like to see him. Why? THEY’RE CALLED THE EAGLES. 2. Seattle Seahawks (12th pick) Todd McShay is a man that ESPN pays to project the NFL Draft virtually year-round. His success rate is very low, but apparently very few people are better at it than him. For what it’s worth, he sees Pete Carroll’s Seahawks snagging Kuechly at the 12-spot. BC grad Matt Hasselbeck almost won a Super Bowl with Seattle in February 2006, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Seahawks have some of the most ugly jerseys in the NFL. Please pass! 3. Kansas City Chiefs (11th pick) Mel Kiper Jr. is another man that ESPN pays to do the same exact thing as Todd McShay. He’s not any better at it, and he takes it out on McShay by talking
down to him like his annoying kid brother all throughout Draft Day. Anyway, he seems to think Kuechly will go here, but because he was absolutely convinced that Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen was going to be a top-five pick in 2010, I’m giving McShay’s opinion more weight (Clausen went 47th. Muahaha). 4. Carolina Panthers (9th pick) Carolina needs defense, and as anyone who watched a BC football game last year can tell you, Luke Kuechly is pretty damn good at defense. Still, as much fun as it would be to see him on the same team as Cam Newton (the only comparably dominant player in postTebow NCAA football), this is definitely a long shot. 5. New England Patriots (31st pick) Yeah, right. But in the words of Kevin Garnett, anything’s possible! Well, except this. The 2012 NFL Draft will begin on April 26 and will air on ESPN.
Photos Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Springtime in Boston: How to enjoy the city as the weather gets warmer
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the GAVEL / April 2012
Museum of Fine Arts
Student tickets are $20, but the price includes free guided tours, and you can enjoy the extensive collections of the museum and come back for free within ten days of your initial visit.
HarborWalk The HarborWalk is an public walkway along the Boston waterfront. You’ll pass by a changing array of parks, public art, seating areas, cafes and exhibition areas. Take an afternoon to enjoy what the waterfront has to offer.
Institute of Contemporary Art Enjoy $10 discounted student tickets, have lunch at the Water Café, and enjoy the fanatastic exhibitions and programs offered by the Institute of Contemporary Art. Best of all, it’s free for students on Thursdays!
Boston Public Garden and Swan Boat Rides As the United States’ first public botanical garden, the Boston Public Garden remains one of Boston’s most beautiful sites. Take a walk on a sunny afternoon, enjoy the flowers and go on a Swan Boat ride — it only costs $2.75!
Boston Harbor Islands National Park Twelve islands make up the Boston Harbor Island National Park, offering 1,600 acres for exploring. The Park offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, visiting historic sites, hiking, kayaking, picnicking, fishing,and camping.
Picnic on the Boston Common The Boston Common is beautiful in the spring. Grab sandwiches in the dining hall and a blanket from your dorm, then go enjoy a picnic on the common, get some sun, and people watch — all for free!
Top of the Hub for lunch Going to the Top of the Hub for dinner is an expense many college students are not willing to pay for. But the lunch menu is much more manageable, and the beautiful views of Boston from the restaurant on a sunny spring afternoon are worth it.
Duck Tour If you go to school in Boston, you have to experience a Boston Duck Tour before you graduate. Tickets sell out quickly so buy them in advance!
5 Fenway Park – Red Sox Game Red Sox Opening Day is April 14, so find cheap tickets on StubHub and go to a weekend game.
It might not be an outdoor activity, but what could be more fun on a warm spring afternoon than heading to a brewery with friends and enjoying complimentary beer tastings if you are 21 or older? Free on the weekdays and charging a small fee on the weekends, Harpoon Brewery offers tastings and tours for those interested in beer brewing (or those who just want free beer).
Charles River Canoe and Kayak
Rent canoes or kayaks for a tranquil and scenic trip down the Charles River. Rental rates start at $15 per person. Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons