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Volume 81, Issue XIX

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BEARS IN YOUR BACKYARD The decline of natural habitats has wildlife moving closer to residential areas See Story on Page 3 INSIDE THE NEW PALTZ ORACLE • Gas Drilling Causes Water Worries........Pg 6 • Graduates Giving Back.............................Pg 6 • Village Discusses Noise Law....................Pg 7 • Instructor Evaluations Examined............Pg 8



Crispell Hall first to undergo infrastructure construction in Spring 2011 semester Story on Page 5

The New Paltz Oracle

University Police Blotter

Disclaimer: This is only a partial listing. For all incidents, please visit the University Police Department. Location: BH Female student reported that she has received harassing phone calls from her former boyfriend, a nonstudent. Victim advised to contact phone company and change her number. Victim also stated she will sign a criminal complaint if subject comes to New Paltz.

established 1938


Julie Mansmann MANAGING EDITOR _________________

James Leggate NEWS EDITOR


Zan Strumfeld


Pete Thompson SPORTS EDITOR _________________


Alec Horowitz


Jon Aiello

CARTOONIST _________________

Maxim Alter Sunya Bhutta Pamela Vivanco Andrew Wyrich COPY EDITORS _________________

Elizabeth Damiano BUSINESS MANAGER _________________

Patrick Martz Kathryn Smith DISTRIBUTION MANAGERS

Andrew Carden, Emily Canty, Kaitlyn Day, Sarah Fine, Elexis Goldberg, Ryan Patrick Hanrahan, Emily Herendeen, Sarah Hurd, Michelle S. Kramisen, Emily Kurland, Chelsea LaDue, Becky Longley, Jessica Mingoia, Jesse Ordansky, Jessica Ostrow, James Petrich, Casey Quinlan, Danielle Quitoni, Michelle Ravit, Regina Rivers, Shawn Rubenfeld, Jordan Siwek, Alex Silverberg, Sam Speer, Alison Stevens, Emily Sussell, Ashley Thompson, Chris Thurston, Nekaiya Trotman, Jennifer Von Willer, Harris Wichard, Kelly Young



In Issue XVIII, the article “Spring Break, South American Style” Costa Rica was indentified as a South American country. In actuality, it is in Central America. We apologizefor the error.

Incident: DMV Suspension Date: 04/11/10 Location: Rt. 32 Male non-student arrested for a suspended driver’s license and an expired vehicle registration. Incident: Harassment Date: 04/12/10

About The New Paltz Oracle The New Paltz Oracle is the official student newspaper of SUNY New Paltz. Our circulation is 3,000. The New Paltz Oracle is sponsored by the Student Association and partially funded by the student activity fee. The New Paltz Oracle is located in the Student Union, room 417. Deadline for all submissions is 5 p.m. on Fridays in The New Paltz Oracle office and by e-mail at All advertisements must be turned in by 5 p.m. on Fridays, unless otherwise specified by the business manager. Community announcements are published gratuitously, but are subject to restriction due to space limitations. There is no guarantee of publication. Contents of this paper cannot be reproduced without the written permission of the editorin-chief. The New Paltz Oracle is published weekly throughout the Fall and Spring semesters on Thursday. It is available in all residence halls and academic buildings, in the New Paltz community and online at For more information, call 845-2573030. The fax line is 845-257-3031. The New Paltz Oracle holds assignment meetings every Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Student Union, room 418. Articles, photographs and illustrations are assigned to the pool of staff and contributors.

Incident: Trespassing Date: 04/13/10 Location: CSB Professor reported the camera on his computer recorded a male in his office after hours going through his desk. Male subject identified as a custodian who stated he was looking for a magnifying glass. Matter referred to human resources.

Volume 81 Issue XIX

Incident: Drugs Date: 04/13/10 Location: Rt. 299/ Millrock Rd. Male student arrested for unlawful possesion of marijuana, windshield/glass tint and muffler exhaust system violation. Incident: Criminal Mischief Date: 04/13/10 Location: CH RD reported that perpetrators unknown made graffiti with a red marker on the southwest side entrace door of CH SUNY New Paltz University Police Department Emergencies: 845-257-2222

Five Day Forecast Friday, April 16


News............................................... 3 - 8 Community Calendar........................... 9 Editorial.............................................. 10 Columns............................................. 11 Pamela Vivanco........................11 Pete Thompson........................11 The Gunk................................ 1B - 12B The Deep End....................................12B Sports.......................................... 13 - 16

Showers High: 50 Low: 45 Saturday, April 17

Showers High: 52 Low: 42 Sunday, April 18

Don’t Be Shy! Visit us online at

oracle. Everyone is entitled to take one free copy of The New Paltz Oracle. If you need additional copies, please contact the editor-in-chief at x3030 or at

Cloudy High: 56 Low: 42 Monday, April 19

Partly Cloudy High: 60 Low: 46 Tuesday, April 20

Partly Cloudy High: 63 Low: 47

The New Paltz Oracle


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Close Encounters of the Fur Kind


Black bears have been expanding their range throughout New York over the past two decades and can be found in a variety of developed areas. New Paltz residents should be aware. By Maxim Alter Copy Editor |

Hold onto your picnic baskets: state environmental agencies warn that bears could be in close contact with Hudson Valley residents this spring. According to the official Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Web site, more New Yorkers are encountering wild species than ever before. Because of the growth of our population, many animal species, including bears, are living in close proximity to humans. Wildlife Biologist Matthew Merchant said there are approximately 2,500 to 3,000 bears in the Catskill area during the spring. The month of June is also breeding season for bears, which Merchant said causes them to move around more frequently and show up in neighborhoods. Merchant said that in 2009, there were 387 bear complaints within Region 3, which covers Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties. He said the five-year average for Region 3 complaints is approximately 325 per year. “The fluctuation we believe is due to environmental factors like natural food resources,” he said. “When those food sources and water sources are scarce, bears become more common in areas around people.” According to the DEC Web site, black bears have been expanding their range throughout New York over the past two decades and can be found in a variety of developed areas. The Region 3 office, located at 21 South Putt Corners Rd. in New Paltz, N.Y., is tasked with managing this as well as 200,000

acres of state land, forests and wildlife. Merchant said about 80 percent of bear complaints are the result of bears getting into household or restaurant dumpsters and bird feeders in residential settings. However, in some rare instances, Merchant said the state receives reports of bears that have entered a person’s home or have killed small animals. Brittany LaChausse, a fifth-year metals major who previously lived in Gardiner, N.Y., has seen bears going through her trash in the morning and during evening hours. “I was surprised because I didn’t know it was like that here,” she said. If ever in an encounter with a bear, Merchant said it is important to not crowd or threaten it. However, if the bear does not leave, he said it is important to be assertive. “You can get a stick or use your backpack or even just raise your hands and try to look big,” Merchant said. “Hopefully that will keep it from coming closer or maybe chase it off… If those things don’t work, you should slowly back away. Running isn’t a good idea, though, because that can initiate a chase response.” Another thing Merchant said he does not recommend is “playing dead.” “If they’re attacking, [playing dead] doesn’t sway them,” he said. “They feed on carcasses and things like that all the time anyway, and it just wouldn’t fool them or really stop them.” Merchant said, when hiking, it is important that people go in groups and make noise as they travel. By doing this, bears are not taken by surprise and will be less likely to approach you. If they do attack, though, Merchant said the best chance of survival is to hit the bear in the face, preferably on its nose

Thursday, April 15, 2010

or eyes. Merchant said it is also important that hikers and campers do not have food, toothpaste, toiletries or anything that might give off an odor inside of their tent. Instead, Merchant said campers should use a “bear bag” or “bear canister,” which are made for backpackers to put foodstuffs in and are sealed. First-year undeclared student Josh Kusaywa said he had a “frightening” encounter with a bear while camping in Lake George, N.Y. “I was sleeping and I heard a growling noise and saw a shadowy figure. When my eyes adjusted, I realized it was a bear,” he said. “I was terrified.” In the summer, Merchant said bears generally dwell in areas with berry patches, and it is essential that hikers do not feed them because when bears learn to obtain food from humans, they can become bold and aggressive. “Don’t get too close or throw any food to them,” Merchant said. “They’ll get used to that pretty quickly and start to associate people with food. That would definitely be a negative thing.” According to the DEC Web site, many negative situations with bears can be avoided through simple changes in human behavior and safety measures. Because bears are an important and natural component of New York’s ecosystem, the DEC Web site said it is crucial that while we protect our property and ourselves, “we help maintain and protect the bear population.” “If you give [bears] space, that’s all they need,” Merchant said. “They don’t want any encounters with people. They would just as soon get away from you as fast as they can.”

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News Briefs

The New Paltz Oracle

Budget Reviewed by Senate

National Police in South Carolina say an argument between two motel guests ended when one of the men was hit in the head with a snake. Rock Hill police say the victim told officers that he argued Tuesday night with 29-year-old Tony Smith over loud music coming from Smith’s room. The dispute appeared to be over, but the man told police Smith walked up to him several hours later with a 4-foot python and hit him in the face with the snake’s head. ***** The U.S. military is testing high-tech dirigibles in the skies over Utah that are designed to detect cruise missiles and other near-ground threats. A 242-foot-long balloon-known as an aerostat-was launched Wednesday morning about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City. Dugway Proving Ground Spokeswoman Paula Nicholson said it was pulled down a few hours later. The dirigibles are outfitted with radar and communications systems to provide long-range surveillance targeting threats from aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles. Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon Co. was awarded a $1.4 billion contract from the Army in 2007 to design, build and test the aerostats. ***** Airport officials say a lockdown at a Tampa International Airport terminal was caused by a police dog training exercise. An e-mail from TIA Spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan said a training tool the canine team was using was unaccounted for in the Airside C terminal. Officials closed the terminal while a thorough search was conducted. They eventually found the training tool, but did not say what it was.

World Briefs, pg. 5


John Mingione said it was not fair that the winner of the Battle of the Bands had no New Paltz students and wants change next year. By Pamela Vivanco Copy Editor |

At the latest meeting of the 49th student senate, members of the body reviewed the budget that was recently organized by the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) during BFC weekend. During BFC weekend, which began on April 9, committee members allocated money to on-campus clubs and organizations after analyzing and discussing line item budget request forms provided by each group. The forms, which were due on March 25, contain an organization’s budget requests for the next term. Vice President for Finance Yasmin El Jamal said that all organizations will receive notifications about the budget as well as the opportunity to appeal before the legislative body. After looking over the budget, many senators raised concerns about the money that was allocated to different clubs and organizations. Sen. Ruben Sanchez discussed his concern with the amount of money that Student Association (SA) Productions was receiving. Initially, SA Productions requested $150,000 from BFC, but were given $80,000. Sen. Sanchez argued that an $80,000 budget is still high, despite the fact that SA Productions is trying to get larger and more popular acts and bands for students. According to Sen. Sanchez, SA Productions has been a group of controversy amongst the senate for the past four years. “At one point $50,000 was considered lot and now we’re giving them $80,000 and it’s only going to progress from here,” he said. Even though the senate was given the opportunity to review the budget, their job is not

to overturn the decisions made by the BFC said Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson. “The senate’s job is to review the BFC’s decisions, review appeals and make decisions based on those appeals to come up with a balanced budget at the end,” said Patterson. “It’s not to overturn the BFC, it’s to review their decision to make sure that they were ethical decisions,” he said. The legislative body will be listening to appeals within the next couple of weeks and vote on budgets for organizations who are dissatisfied. Organizations will be given the opportunity to clarify what they did not include in the line item budget sheet and answer questions so the senators can make a thoughtful and accurately processed decision about the budget. Before the senate’s review of BFC, former student senator John Mingione stood before the legislative body with a suggestion regarding next year’s Battle of the Bands. According to Mingione, the SUNY New Paltz Battle of the Bands winners for this year had no affiliation with the SUNY New Paltz campus. Although it was not part of the competition’s guidelines to be a student in SUNY New Paltz, Mingione said “If SA Productions is going to call this event ‘SUNY New Paltz Battle of the Bands,’ I only think it would be fair for at least one member of the band to attend the college or reside in New Paltz.” Mingione also said that the winning band, Meek and the Marksmen, are great friends with Kaitlin Wagner (who put the show together) and Victoria DiStefano, who was one of the judges of the battle. Mingione gave credit to the winning band by calling them “very talented,” but ul-

Thursday, April 15, 2010

timately suggested that next year, the judging should be completely unbiased to avoid suspicion or any speculation. “With the Battle of the Bands, we are giving students a major opportunity to play with a famous and renowned band and I feel it’s unfair to give that opportunity to strictly non-New Paltz students,” said Mingione. “I encourage a better, more fitting Battle of the Bands for next year.” Most of senate clapped and displayed agreement with his suggestion at the end of his speech. In her report, SA President Stephanie Samuel announced that the tickets for the senior ball will go on sale next week, costing $10 for students and $20 for non-New Paltz students. Executive Vice President Abe Uchitelle announced that he presented the gender-neutral declaration to the SUNY New Paltz president’s cabinet and “it sounds like they are seriously going to look into this.” According to Uchitelle, upcoming on-campus construction jobs do include converting single stalled bathrooms to gender-neutral status or designation. Vice President for Academics and Governance Brenna Fearey announced that the academic calendar was discussed in last week’s faculty meeting, but not many students attended. She said “it was a really good debate and a lot of people brought of excellent points.” She encourages all who have opinions about the academic calendar to attend the discussion on May 13 at 10 a.m. in Lecture Center 102. Council of Organizations Chair Hana Akimoto announced that elections for the council will be held next Monday, April 19. The next general meeting of the student senate will be held on Tuesday, April 20.

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The New Paltz Oracle

Crispell Closing for Construction By Pamela Vivanco Copy Editor |

Residential Life and Facilities Management proposed a plan to upgrade infrastructure for all five Hasbrouck residence halls (Crispell, Deyo, LeFevre, Dubois, Bevier) and Crispell will be the first to be renovated next spring. The construction will consist of upgrading outdated infrastructural elements (heating, plumbing, electrical power, lighting, telecommunications, etc.), removing the remaining asbestos containing material and installing a sprinkler system throughout the facility for life and safety concerns said Director of Facilities Design & Construction John McEnrue. “Because of these upgrades, and as an added benefit, we will be providing all new surfaces including new ceilings many walls complete with fresh paint on all and new flooring throughout,” he said. “The facility will be vastly improved.” In addition, a hipped roof will replace the flat roof that can be problematic said McEnrue. “A hipped roof will decrease maintenance, provide protection of infrastructural elements to the facility (because they are placed under the roof, as opposed to being exposed to the elements on a flat roof), and improve the overall aesthetics of the facility,” said McEnrue. According to McEnrue, the renovations are important for safety and service maintenance. Construction is scheduled to last for seven months, from the end of December through July. Students living in Crispell will be relocated to other halls on campus during the December break. Second-year undeclared student Angela Devivo said she is concerned that the renova-

News Briefs World Discount clothing retailer Primark will stop selling padded bikini bras for children following criticism in a tabloid newspaper. The retailer acted after The Sun newspaper put a story criticizing the product on its front page Wednesday.


Starting next December, Crispell will be the first residence hall to be renovated. tion could be an inconvenience. “They take like 8,000 years to renovate. How many years has Old Main been under construction?” she said. “I don’t think they’re going to relocate everybody successfully but I guess renovations have to happen eventually.” McEnrue said that SUNY New Paltz generally experiences a drop of approximately 200 students living in all its residential halls every spring semester. “200 also happens to be the approximate population of Crispell Hall, so this population drop will allow us to absorb students into other campus residential halls that were previously living in Crispell Hall in the fall semester,” he said.

McEnrue also said that relocation is “unfortunately the only option,” but also the spring semester is the most convenient time. Beginning the construction during the spring semester also gives contractors the opportunity to continue the construction throughout the summertime. “The amount of work that needs to be done is extensive so we will need every month between January 2011 and August 2011 to perform the renovation,” McEnrue said. Deyo Hall will be the next hall to go under construction. The other residential halls will follow, one at a time, in the following years and will receive many of the same improvements as Crispell.

Council Approaching Change By Andrew Wyrich Copy Editor |

The Constitution and Rules Committee has recently drafted legislation that could change the current structure of the Council of Organizations for years to come. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Governance Brenna Fearey said that they aim to create a “house delegates” committee that is compiled of the council chair, the house delegates and a senator liaison. The committee will be responsible for allocating office space, reviewing and approving charters, a bi-weekly report to senate, suggesting legislation to senate, holding two office hours a week and meeting with their appropriate houses and chair discussions during council meetings. According to Council Chair Hana Akimoto, while the changes are not drastic, they will emphasize house structure and will make it easier for each of the current six houses to be given equal representation at Council Round Table. The new legislation will give each of the current six houses, which consist of Academic, Advocacy, Athletics, Media, Performing, and Cultural, a leader to represent them. By appointing each house a leader, Akimoto hopes that it will make it easier for her to talk about “council business” by having the leaders of each house meet, rather than Akimoto having to talk to everyone separately.

Both Akimoto and Fearey said the new legislation will be helpful to the current structure. “As I’ve said in the past, Council of Orgs is a difficult animal,” Feary said. “It is ever changing with circulating faces but the thing is that it is a forum for very important information to be passed along to all the clubs and orgs… If they are given an active role and opportunity to participate, mistakes that are made when senate passes a bylaw that hinders a club or anything along those lines we can stop it with foresight rather than hindsight.” Elections for the leaders of each house will be done through the houses, allowing each of them to have equal representation, which has been an issue in the current Council according to Akimoto. “We are hoping to empower the council and give the students who are required to attend opportunities for leadership and a voice in governance.” Fearey said The legislation could be passed whenever Fearey brings it to the student senate, which she hopes to do before the semester ends. However, she wants to have a finished constitution and bylaws before doing so. “These changes will hopefully give these club and organization members more opportunity to be an active voice and part of Student Association and the decisions that are made which can and will impact them” Fearey said.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In a statement, Primark said it has noted concern about the product and would immediately cease selling it. The company said the product was offered only in its U.K. stores, and that it would donate any past profits from the product line to a children’s charity. ***** The Dutch Defense Ministry said a military transport plane has picked up 10 suspected Somali pirates arrested at sea and is flying them to the Netherlands to await transfer to Germany. The pirates were arrested April 5 by Dutch special forces marines who slid down ropes from a helicopter to recapture the seized German container ship MV Taipan. The pirates hijacked the ship earlier in the day about 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Somalia. ***** Britain is holding its first U.S.-styled televised political debates-and bookies are taking bets on who will sweat or stumble first. The three showdowns begin Thursday, adding even more suspense to the country’s most unpredictable election in decades. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the Labour Party, Conservative leader David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats will take audience questions on issues such as crime and health care. The following debates on April 22 and April 29 will focus on foreign policy issues and the economy, the most significant of all issues in the May 6 election.

Compiled from the AP Newswire

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The New Paltz Oracle

Fracking Causes Concern By James Leggate News Editor |

Gas companies want to drill in the Marcellus Shale, a geological region extending from southern New York through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio, which is the second largest natural gas field in the world. Some residents of the Hudson Valley and New York City are concerned that the process of extracting the gas could pollute the water supply. The complaints center on the hydraulic fracturing process used to force the gas out of the ground, commonly referred to as hydrofracking, because other areas with natural gas drilling have experienced sudden raises in the levels of benzene and other hazardous chemicals. Proponents say that the risks are minimal, while the benefits are enormous. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Marcellus Shale contains between 168 and 516 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which would be enough to supply all of the United States’ natural gas needs for several years. The Marcellus Shale region includes most of Ulster County. Hydro-fracking works by pumping a mixture of water, sand and various chemical additives into fractures underground where the gas is located. The pressure forces the gas up a pipe where it is collected by the drilling company. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 20 to 30 percent of the fluid used for hydro-fracking is collected at the surface. The rest is lost, flowing away underground, where it can leak into aquifers used for the water supply. The DEC requires all drillers to properly dispose of their waste water, but state regulations have been ignored by gas companies elsewhere. The EPA announced last month that they would be holding a nationwide study of the

safety of hydro-fracking. Congressman Maurice Hinchey recently introduced the FRAC ACT, which would put gas drilling back under the regulatory control of the EPA. New Paltz NYPIRG Project Coordinator Ariana Basco said she does not believe hydro-fracking is safe. “It’s definitely bad for the environment,” Basco said. “It’s not good to be stuffing the ground with chemicals. I feel like it doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.” Most of the gas companies have not released the ingredients of their fracking fluids, saying that the mixture constitutes a trade secret. 10 states have required drillers to disclose the chemicals in the mixture, including Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the fluid contains hydrochloric acid, dazomet and other hazardous components. According to Energy in Depth, a lobby organization of energy companies, the toxic materials make up too small a portion of the mixture to harm humans. Chris Tucker, a spokesman for Energy in Depth, said that drilling in the Marcellus Shale would have far-reaching economic benefits. “We’re talking about a clean-burning energy resource that can quite literally put hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to work, and generate several billion dollars in annual revenue,” Tucker said. Others say money could be better invested in renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind. Kevin Bone is the editor of the book “Water-Works: The Architecture and Engineering of the New York City Water Supply.” “If the extraction process [of natural gas] is factored into this and one considers the risk to water, the damage to landscape, the industrialization of rural environments, the


The Marcellus Shale is the second-largest natural gas pocket in the world. pollution that goes along with the production of these facilities and the billions of dollars that will be invested in making this natural gas happen,” Bone said, “then this energy money might be better used elsewhere.” Because the New York City watershed is within the Marcellus Shale region, some are concerned that waste water from hydrofracking could pollute the city’s water supply. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection released a statement last

December saying that hydro-fracking could not be done safely within the watershed. “It’s a very complex process that involves a lot of chemicals and if there’s even a 1 percent chance of an accident, then there’s a danger to the water supply,” Bone said. “And a 1 percent chance may sound like a very slim chance of an accident but think of, for example, air travel. If we tolerated a 1 percent chance of an accident, it would be a disaster.”

Seniors Giving Back to New Paltz Library By Zan Strumfeld A&E Editor |

The senior class of 2010 has started the Senior Gift Project this April, giving all proceeds to the Textbook Collection in the Sojourner Truth Library (STL). Beginning in 2008, the Senior Gift Project’s first purchase was a bench in honor of that year’s senior class. The following year the class donated funds to the Certificates of Thanks to the scholarship funds. With the brand new Textbook Collection at STL, the senior class believes that the most appropriate gift this year would be to assist to that growing foundation. Since students are currently finding it more and more difficult to buy textbooks with rising prices, the Textbook Collection is a beneficial step for helping students loan out textbooks for a short period of time at the library. “Graduating seniors have the opportunity to give back to SUNY New Paltz, a place that has given them so

much, in the form of $5 Gift Certificates of Thanks,” said Victoria Nichols, a fourth-year anthropology major who works in the Development Office on campus. “These Gift Certificates of Thanks honor professors, parents, mentors or peers who supported or inspired our classmates here at SUNY New Paltz. The Gift Certificate of Thanks will be mailed to the honoree and also acknowledged in the May 2010 commencement program.” These Certificates of Thanks can be purchased by graduating seniors at the Campus Bookstore, Haggerty Administration Building room 501 or through Hawk Dollars at the ID/Meal Plan Office. They can also be bought online at “We are anticipating that we could raise up to $4,000,” said Nichols. The senior class will be staying in contact with the library and the Textbook Collection in order to know what textbooks they plan on purchasing for the upcoming school year. They also plan to put labels in the textbooks

Thursday, April 15, 2010

that are purchased with the gift campaign’s proceeds in order to acknowledge the senior class of 2010 for their help. “As a graduating senior myself, I believe that the senior class gift is a wonderful way to give back to SUNY New Paltz,” said Avital Cohen, a fourth-year organizational communication major. “It is a win-win situation. Graduating students have an option to thank those who were influential to their college experience while simultaneously leaving a legacy.” “In our opinion there is no better way to show our gratitude to the SUNY New Paltz community then to give back in the form of textbooks, which are essential in the educational development of each and every student,” said Nichols. “We believe that this project only adds to the generous spirit that already exists here. The program allows for a venue of appreciation not only between personally connected individuals but also between the graduating class and the college community as a whole.”

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The New Paltz Oracle

Noise Law Debate Continues By Pierce Lydon Editor-in-Chief |

The Village Board meeting on April 14 found New Paltz students clamoring for attention at the prospect of the passage of the recently proposed New Paltz Noise Law. The law has caused a stir particularly in the student community, with many feeling that their rights are being infringed upon. To combat the legislation, Village Board Trustee Brian Kimbiz urged students to attend the Village Board meeting to make their opinions known. “You do not need to be an expert on the proposal, well versed on the law, or even a comfortable public speaker. You just need to express to the board how you feel on this subject. The public comment portion of a Village Board meeting is an avenue for you to voice any concerns you may have to the Board,” he wrote in a Facebook note addressed to members of the “Say NO to the New Paltz Noise Ordinance” group. And they listened. Village Hall was packed and the overwhelming majority of constituents were students. Citizens discussed the pending Village Budget and an upcoming grant opportunity that could lead to an improvement before public comment on the Noise Law began. Any person who wished to speak was relegated three minutes by the Board to say their piece. Cross discussion was not allowed and the Village Board members were not to respond to any of the comments made. One of the first people to speak was Rick Birmingham, a former audio engi-


Village Hall was filled with students discussing the noise law Wednesday night. neer with experience mixing over 2000 concerts, who called the proposed decibel levels in the legislation “ridiculous and unattainable.” He brought a decibel meter to the meeting and told the Board that even their relatively quiet announcements to the audience came in at 54 dB. Many students presented a sentiment of fear about the vague nature of the enforcement laws put forward in the original draft, the severity of the fines associated with violations and verbiage that seemed to target college culture in New Paltz. “Being loud is not criminal,” said fourth-year media management major

George Selby. But a draft of an enforcement amendment that is available on the Village of New Paltz Web site more clearly outlines the enforcement process. It breaks down infractions into minor and major categories. First time offenders would be given warnings and fines would not be issued until a second violation. Fines in the amendment were lower than the initial draft coming in at the $50-$300 range rather than $250-$1000. “Enforcement of the existing noise law has been subject to much criticism by tenants and home owners, in that as the

law is written, it is too vague and enforcement, consequently, is not consistent,” said Mayor Terry Dungan in an e-mail regarding the enforcement amendment. “Concerns have also been raised that the existing law is draconian, in that it immediately and without consideration for mitigating circumstances, imposes heavy fines, which are not appropriate for all circumstances.” Many older community members expressed a desire to inform students about how they felt living in a college town “I think common respect and not bring parties outside is important,” said New Paltz resident Karen Soble. “The issue is the volume and the duration not who you are.” Other residents echoed similar sentiments. “The noise is too much. It’s too loud and goes on for too long,” said Robert Brushforth, another New Paltz resident. But some students brought solutions to the Board including student representation on future community task forces and community service hours instead of fines. Ultimately though, whether they were for or against the legislation, both sides agreed that this was an issue of respect and tolerance throughout the entire community. “It is not possible to legislate consideration and good will. At the end of the day, as in any relationship, good relations between neighbors depend on a mutual, respectful determination to get along well,” said Dungan. “In those instances where neighbors are unwilling or unable to establish a workable relationship, a well written law can serve as a baseline for peaceful coexistence.”

School of Business Gives Awards

By Pete Thompson

Sports Editor |

The SUNY New Paltz School of Business recently named the 2010 recipients of its annual awards for exceptional service and teaching. The honorees include Dr. Chih-Yang Tsai for the Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Davina Vora for the Distinguished Teaching Award and Danielle Semenchuk for the Staff Service Award. The awards, created in 2008, were established as a means of rewarding faculty and staff members who show extraordinary performance in their given area. While one was created for the staff member who makes the biggest difference in the students’ lives, two have been allotted for

teachers. “We expect all faculty members to be good teachers and make a significant difference in the education of the students,” said School of Business Dean Hadi Salavitabar. Subsequently, one professor is awarded for exceptional service to the department, while the other is for going over and above the normal teaching abilities and methods. Vora, recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, employs simulation, group exercises and new technologies – such as clickers – into her international business classes, putting her students in interactive situations rather than reading a chapter in a textbook. Salavitabar said Vora’s

effective performance makes her one of the school’s best faculty members. “I was surprised because I’m fairly new,” Vora, who’s been at SUNY New Paltz since the fall ’07 semester, said on receiving the reward, “but happy that students and faculty are appreciative of my teaching methods, which are really untraditional.” On the other end of the spectrum, Tsai – currently in his 17th year at the college – is being recognized for his excellent service. An associate dean and advisor for the Student Organization for Business Ethics and Research (SOBER), Tsai is also responsible for bringing speakers such as former Gov. Eliot Spitzer to campus. “I do my best to be forward

Thursday, April 15, 2010

thinking and very focused on our mission,” he said of his lessons and methods, “and empathetic when dealing with people, especially students.” Finally, although not a professor, Director of Business Projects Danielle Semenchuk still has a direct impact on students’ education. Aside from the Hall of Fame event, Semenchuk organizes the student debates and Business Plan Contest, among other things. “It’s great,” Semenchuk, who’s been a staff member for three years, said of the honor. “It’s also important hearing it from the students and alumni.” She is also a part of the dean’s student advisory board, which is comprised of a group of students

who inform Salavitabar on how to make the school better. “She’s the one who really assists me in making a difference for the students,” Salavitabar said. The recipients will be honored alongside exceptional students at the School of Business’s Annual Award Ceremony in the Coykendall Science Building on May 7. A plaque of the honorees will be on display in Van Den Berg Hall for a year, until next year’s recipients are rewarded. The plaques will then be placed in each member’s respective office, but their name will remain on the wall where it was. The school also provides the recipients with additional funding for professional development activities, such as training and conferences.

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The New Paltz Oracle

A Closer Look at SEIs

By Sarah Calandra Fine

Staff Writer |

Each semester, Mary Anne Landolina of the college’s Office of Institutional Research purchases $300 worth of pencils, compiles about 2,000 packets and 20,000 pieces of paper and begins the process of alerting the faculty at SUNY New Paltz that the twice-ayear faculty evaluation is beginning. These packets contain the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) forms on which students complete a numerical, computerized evaluation of their instructors’ performance with an optional comment area on the back. Every full- and part-time faculty member has the option of having the survey completed by students. The forms are then returned in a sealed envelope and administrators work through the data to figure out cumulative statistics on the performance of each instructor at the university as well as individual departments. The data is used as one of the key measures in the reappointment of instructors, the granting of tenure or permanent appointment, and in the doling out of merit raises. “All the research results show that the SEIs can tell us a lot about teaching effectiveness,” said Provost and Academic Vice President Donald Christian. “They’re something we pay close attention to.” Instructors are not required to participate in SEIs. However, reappointment, tenure and merit are not possible without any participation. An investigation made by the fall 2009 muckraking journalism class discovered that many students do not understand the purpose of SEIs and that some instructors questioned their use as an effective tool. Former SUNY New Paltz Provost David K. Lavallee, who is now an administrator at SUNY’s central administration in Albany, said that the current SEIs are not the best measure of evaluating a professor. “It is the only standard way for students to have any input. However, they can be improved,” he said. One problem Lavallee addressed related to the questions themselves. “Questions aren’t as clear as they could be. Students are not sure how to interpret the answers,” said Lavallee. Gerald Benjamin, Associate Vice President for Regional Engagement, called students “extraordinarily generous” in how they rate professors. He joked that a faculty member would have to be “drunk, slobbering, half naked” to get a very bad evaluation. He agreed that it is only one tool, but called it important, and said “if you weren’t a good teacher, nothing else matters.” The Academic Affairs Committee at New Paltz is looking at ways to clarify questions and make the SEIs a better tool. Lavallee said that one solution they are looking into involves separating the questions that would be used for teaching and those that would be used for tenure and salary decisions.

Some students said they don’t understand the importance of the SEIs, and have no idea what their teacher evaluations are being used for. “I don’t really take the SEIs seriously,” said fourth-year organizational communication major Jon Capetta. “If I really don’t like a teacher, I’ll use the SEI to say that. I guess if I feel extreme either way about a teacher, then I take it seriously.” Some administrators, such as Provost and Academic Vice President Christian, said that the SEIs should be only one part of a larger evaluation. Instructors are also judged on their research, their administrative service and their advising of students. And instructors are sometimes observed in class. “I think it’s unfortunate that some people may think about their being one single magic number we can use,” Christian said. “In faculty work, teaching and learning are far more complex than that. And so we need to develop a composite picture using a log of different measures of teaching effectiveness.” Richard Kelder has been at the college for 27 years and is currently the representative of United University Professions, which represents faculty. Teaching, he said, is “a multi-dimensional endeavor” which takes “more than one instrument” to judge. He added that he fears the SEI can “limit risk-taking” by instructors since they might worry about getting bad evaluations. Hadi Salavitabar, dean of the Business School, was the chair of the task force on the original committee which consulted 30 different universities across the country to get information and create the SEI form used today. “If you look at the SEI now, what does it say on the top of it? Does it say ‘form B?’ Does anyone ask where ‘form A is?’” asked Salavitabar. Salavitabar said the SEI form used to be one tool in a larger system of evaluation. Salavitabar and his committee compiled a packet of materials to evaluate teachers similar to what colleges across the country use. The packet consisted of the current SEI form used today, form B, as well as a form A and other sections including a self-evaluation and a peer evaluation. Currently, the only results of the SEIs available online are the results for the entire college. The results for individual professors are not available. There has been discussion about administering the SEIs online but nothing has been said specifically about regularly making the results public. Some other universities are now starting to do this, although no area colleges have moved in this direction. Additional reporting by Emily Atkin, Emily Herendeen, Ben Horney, Pierce Lydon, Emily MacBrien, Dana Morris, Devon Pope, Jaime Prisco, Casey Quinlan, George Selby, Sam Speer, Allison Summers, Allison Thompson, Christopher Valdez, Anthony Vecchariello and Marcy Velte.


Some say that SEIs alone are not sufficient for measuring the quality of an instructor.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pg 8New Paltz Oracle The

The New Paltz Oracle Pg 9

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS Chabad @ New Paltz Presents Shabbat 118! April 16 7:19 p.m. at SUNY New Paltz Honors Center in College Hall There is a candle lighting at 7:19 p.m. followed by services at 7:45 p.m. and dinner at 8:30 p.m. Bring a friend. Bring 10 friends! Share in the celebration of life as we welcome the Shabbat Queen. Sixth Annual Symposium on Energy: The Energy Highway April 16 8 a.m. at the The Links at Erie Village “Efficient, Secure, Reliable and Environmentally Sensitive Transmission and Distribution of Electricity” will feature Dr. Rhea Jezer, chair at “The Links at Erie Village.” The fee is $40. For more information and to register, go to www. “Transilluminations” Opening Reception April 17 6 p.m. at the M Gallery in Catskill “Transilluminations” is a show of photographic images printed on various media including backlit transparencies, metal and traditional paper. Woodstock photographer Jonas Caufield will display his subjects - transvestites, drag queens and androgynous alternative fashionistas – in an intimate setting along Main Street, Catskill. Caufield, photographing under his pseudonym Jack Flack, captured these images from underground clubs, nightlife events and nightlife personalities from New York, London and the Hudson Valley. “Transilluminations” will focus on the concept of gender identity and sexuality in dress. The subjects and the illuminated images themselves will shine light on the observer and our concept of non traditional self expression in relation to gender roles. Relay for Life April 17 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. at SUNY New Paltz American Cancer Society’s fundraiser for cancer research, prevention and pa-

tient services. For more information, visit “We the People: A Forum to Defend Democracy” April 18 4 p.m. at Lecture Center Rm. 100 A forum to inspire and mobilize citizens to counter the recent Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. FEC) that overturned a century of law and which now allows unlimited corporate contributions towards influencing our elections. The Honorable Maurice Hinchey (NY CD22) will give the keynote. His talk will focus on the need for publicly financed elections to restore voters as the center of the electoral process. The panel of experts will include: Margery F. Baker, vice president of People for the American Way, John Bonifaz, director of Free Speech for People and Legal Director of Voter Action (Free Speech for People is a consortium of public service organizations including Public Citizen, Center for Corporate Policy, Voter Action, and more), Joan Mandle, PhD, executive director of Democracy Matters. The event is free. Sponsored by the Hudson Valley Progressive Coalition, Ulster County MoveOn Council, SUNY New Paltz, Democracy Matters and the Ulster County Democratic Committee. For more information, please contact Barbara Upton: “Economic Crisis: the Hit Men Strike Home, What Next and How to Deal with It.” April 22 7 p.m. at the SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center, Room 100 John Perkins, New York Times Bestselling Author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire, will be speaking at SUNY New Paltz, April 22 at 7 p.m. in Lecture Hall 100. He will discuss how our current economic crisis offers an opportunity for transformation and describes ways each of us can employ our individual passions and skills to prosper. Admission is free. If you are a person with a disability who will require accommodations, please contact Zach Dreyfuss at

14th Annual New Paltz Clean Sweep April 24 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Clean Sweep is a great way to help make the community sparkle by giving it a fresh spring cleaning. Have fun and join area business owners, residents, local politicians, community organizations, and schools to tidy up the parks, sidewalks and streets of New Paltz. There are two ways to sign up for this event: individually or with a group. You must sign up no later than Friday, April 16! To sign up individually, please email Erica Wagner at with your name, e-mail, phone number and class year. To sign up with a group, please e-mail Erica Wagner at with your name, e-mail, phone number, class year and the name of your group. The Little Rebellion Launch Party April 29 7 p.m. at SUNY New Paltz College Terrace Join the staff of The Little Rebellion as they celebrate the launch of their Web site, Food and drink will be served. “Celebration of Writing” April 30 3 to 5 p.m. at SUNY New Paltz “Celebration of Writing” will be held on April 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. Students are asked to submit writing samples and read an excerpt of their writing at the event. Awards are given for the best writing in each category. We encourage submissions from students in all disciplines, including science, technology, social science, art, history, education or other disciplines where writing provides a necessary analysis tool. We welcome critical reviews of arts and cultural activity, social and political analyses, news stories, book reviews and science reports. Of course, we welcome creative fiction, drama and verse. Additional information and the 2010 COW application can be found at WritingBoard/#events.

To submit an announcement, write down the name of the club/event, date, time and location. Then e-mail it to All submissions are due by Sunday at 5 p.m. Submissions are printed at the discretion of the editor-in-chief.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

OASIS OASIS is a student-staffed counseling and crisis intervention center and telephone hotline. OASIS volunteers are trained and supervised by the Psychological Counseling Center to respond to anonymous telephone calls and walk-in requests for support, information and referral. Peer crisis intervention is provided in college-related areas such as academic stress, loneliness, sexual orientation, suicide, drug and alcohol-related problems, relationship and family conflicts. OASIS, located in the Deyo Hall basement, room G13C, is open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. while classes are in session, and the extension is x4945.

HAVEN HAVEN of OASIS is the student-staffed hotline and walk-in center, supervised by the Psychological Counseling Center. HAVEN volunteers provide support, information and referral for students who have been the target of rape, attempted rape or any unwanted sexual experience. HAVEN is located in the Deyo Hall basement, room G13c and is open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. while classes are in session, and the extension is x4930. Call or stop in when classes are in session. The 24-hour HAVEN beeper is 845-455-6093.

Campus Escort Call x3338 for an escort from anywhere on campus to anywhere on campus. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night. Not a taxi service — for safety, not for the lazy!

Safe Rider Need a ride home from the bars? We provide FREE rides home or back to campus please give me a call at 845-834-2213.

Facilities Management Having facilities related issues? Please call x3301.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Gunk

Story on Page 7B

Andy Warhol’s Personal Passions


The New Paltz Oracle


By Pierce Lydon Editor-in-Chief |

Replacing the voice boxes of various GI Joe and Barbie dolls, apologizing on behalf of large chemical companies for 20-year-old gas leak disasters on international television and claiming that McDonald’s is introducing a line of burgers made from recycled feces are just a few of the pranks the Yes Men have pulled in order to create a larger awareness of important issues. On April 14, Yes Men member Andy Bichlbaum visited SUNY New Paltz to inspire the student community to do the same. Bichlbaum began his presentation with a video of a news report that aired on BBC World in 2004. It was the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal gas leak disaster and the Yes Men had finagled their way on the air to take full responsibility for the tragedy as representatives of Dow Chemical after creating a bogus Dow Ethics Web site. The report aired on live TV and Dow’s stock prices were automatically affected. Bichlbaum believes this is a very telling sign. “You let the stock market decide what’s right and it will punish companies for doing what’s right and reward them for doing what’s wrong,” he said. Bichlbaum explained the Yes Men’s unique brand of activism to the students in attendance who filled nearly half of Lecture Center room 100. Students were eager to pick his brain.

Students expressed concern about the legality of these types of pranks after being shown a video where the Yes Men held a fake press conference as the United States Chamber of Commerce that has led to a lawsuit for the duo. “We’re probably breaking laws,” he said, “but we don’t know.” Bichlbaum chronicled the activities of other activists he admired and showed students that through the Yes Men’s methods, change is possible. He introduced the crowd to the Yes Lab that lists most of the Yes Men’s secrets to their type of activism. “Yeah there might be risks but a. it’s super important and b. it’s fun,” he said. “…There’s nothing special about it. Anyone can do it.” Some of the Yes Men’s upcoming work includes using the Yes Lab, a Web site, to build new teams to carry out certain projects. Although Bichlbaum couldn’t speak in detail about them, he mentioned they would be focused on the areas of racial justice, mountaintop removal and “an east Asian nation.” But the presentation offered no more insight into the activities of the Yes Men than their documentary film parlty due to the fact that it broke out into a heated discussion between students and a lone Village Board member about the proposed local noise law. Sounds like a job for the Yes Men.


Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men paid a visit to the university to discuss his past pranks.

Job Fair Brings Hope to Students

By Barbara Martin

Contributing Writer |

A student must ask himself if he is working for money, experience, or both. Thus, one can continue their college education, with some money in their pocket, until career permanence begins. This is one of the main purpose’s for the Networking Fair for Jobs and Internships which New Paltz held this past Tuesday in the Lecture Center lobbies. Students dressed nicely despite the 90 degree weather and went from table to table trying to make an impression. For most students, it was their first time attending a job fair, or at least their first one at New Paltz. Quite a few representatives, including the Employment Coordinator at Mohonk Mountain House, Shawn Clark, made a point in relaying their relationship with the school and how New Paltz students have continued to be beneficial to them. Most of the businesses had no major requirement or discrimination based on age. The main characteristics that businesses were looking for included background knowledge of the company, acceptable attire and a team player attitude. “I’ve never had too hard a time finding a job,” said Kim Flood, fourth-year sociology major, who had never been to the job fair before. She recently was laid off from her part-time job at a day care center. “The center has been losing kids and they had to make cutback on

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the part-time workers.” Looking around at all the different tables, it seemed that the problem wasn’t so much finding a job, but rather keeping a job through the cutbacks that many companies have been forced to make. For a college student, who will accept minimum wage, options are available. Internships, paid internships, full time and part time positions were all available opportunities. Since New Paltz is a liberal arts school, the jobs being offered are more oriented towards the public sector. They are exploratory jobs which provide opportunity for networking and job experience over anything else. Jamie Meinsen, a second-year anthropology major, was working at a warehouse up until a few weeks ago. “At first they starting cutting hours, and then they tried to put me ‘off the books,’ so I left.” She is now doing work study as a student assistant at the library. The campus provides opportunities of employment to students so that they don’t have to compete with other prospective employees in the job market, until they have completed their college education. Students are able to learn basic skills such as organization skills, leadership skills and time management, but the seemingly overall concern in maintaining one of these jobs is the short term money it will offer.


The New Paltz Oracle


By Jon Aiello

Cartoonist |

There is something strangely alluring about a free-styling panda, as anyone at Jam Asia 2010 will tell you. The show, which has been a proud tradition at New Paltz for over a decade, strives to raise awareness of Asian cultures as well as showcase some of the hidden talent on campus. The acts this year included several dance numbers, fashion shows, and performances of the musical and martial arts, and were organized according to the show’s central theme of seasons. There were many returning performers from previous years, as well as appearances by Jam Asia alums Samantha Huang, Michael “Paz” Pascua, and Linda Nguyen, whose work on the show in the past has helped shape Jam Asia into the exciting event we enjoy today. Jam Asia 2010 was kicked off by the above-mentioned dancing panda, who had been making appearances around campus in anticipation of the event. After a brief introduction by the copresidents Mariam Haris, a third-year international relations major, and Winnie Ouyang, a third-year math major, the audience was placed introduced to host Steve Ollennu. Ollennu’s energetic introductions and bottomless supply of Jam Asia swag kept everyone glued to their seats from beginning to end, intermission included. The instrumental and singing performances were a nice mix of traditional music and modern ballads. Anny Peng delivered a moving performance with her song “Ding Dang (Why Do You Lie?).” Also noteworthy was the otherworldly piano piece “Swapnum (Dream)” performed by David Samuel, a fourth-year biology major. There was a wide range of fashion shows this year, again nodding to traditional roots as well as exploring several Asian sub-cultures. A Traditional Night showed us some breathtaking traditional fashions from all over Asia and the Pacific coast, made possible with the help of the Chinese Student Association (CSA) and the Southeast Asian Cultural Association (SACA). In addition to the Anime club’s Cosplay performance were two shows looking at Japan’s counter-culture fashion scene. Audience members were also introduced to the unique vision of “Jam Asia Couture,” by Carmen Siu, a second-year visual arts major, which investigates origami, chopsticks and ramen as a fashion statement. The main event of the Jam Asia show has al-

ways been the impressive dance numbers put on by clubs and students, and this year didn’t disappoint. The dazzling costumes and hypnotic movements of the Indian dancers is a main event in itself, and on that count Chandermukhi dance by Sushma Kasinathan, a third-year biology major, and the “Nachle New Paltz!” Team’s debut number outdid every Jam Asia to date. Keeping up the pedigree were several K-pop dance teams, whose tight choreography and slick presentation could compete with today’s hottest music videos. The energy that came through in each of the acts this year is a testament to the time and effort put in by every Jam Asia participant. Each year the Jam Asia club spends months organizing the show, practicing choreography, designing art and promotional materials and recruiting new talent wherever they can find it. The weekly meetings are a poor representation of the time spent on the show, with many Jam Asia members working through their spare time in the weeks before the main event. “It’s really exciting to see this just explosive end result after all the work we put in.” said Vice President Angela Tso, a third-year double-major in accounting and finance. “It’s like a miracle in the end. Like the miracle of birth. And it’s been a hard labor,” said Co-President Mariam Haris. When asked what the hardest part of the show is, Tso replied: “The hardest part is organizing people… just, hundreds of people!” The Jam Asia team does have to manage the extra staff, DJs, video crews, as well as their own students. They also receive performers and funding from a number of groups on campus. This year, Jam Asia was benefited by cooperation from the CSA, Muslim Student Association, Asian Student Association, SACA, and the Anime club. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use more help. “We want everyone who feels like joining to come next year. Students definitely, but clubs too!” Mariam said. The Jam Asia team wants to emphasize that everyone who wants to help out is welcome, regardless of race or ethnic background. Jam Asia is all about celebrating culture and having a good time. So think about signing up at the next Jam Asia meeting which are Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

“It’s really exciting to see this just explosive end result after all the work we put in.” -Angela Tso


Jam Asia has been held at New Paltz for over a decade.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The New Paltz Oracle

Maui Waui Might Be Legal in Cali


As pointed out by CNN columnist Ruben Navarrette, California has long been thought of as “a bellwether, a state that produces soc cial trends and political m movements that spread throughout the count try.” It has been chart acterized as a state that does things its own way, and is often ahead of o most states on issues of o social change. In 1996, California n was the second state to legalize medicinal marim juana after its j citizens passed Proposition 215 with 56 percent of the vote, according to medicalmILLUSTRATIONS BY JON AIELLO And that was when the economy was good. Today, California is a hot mess. America’s most populous state, California is $26.3 billion in the red. After failing to reach budget solutions over the summer, the state government has been issuing IOUs in place of wages it owes Californians. It continues to cut services for its citizens, laying off thousands of workers and resulting in an unemployment rate of 12 percent. Down on its luck and deep in debt, California voters could decide to make the Golden State green. And I don’t mean eco-friendly. That’s right. This November, the state will vote on an initiative to legalize marijuana. The initiative, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, would make California the first state in America to do so. If the measure passes and succeeds to bring in the revenue many proponents argue it will, California could find itself once again in its role as a national leader. Given the fiscal climate America is currently in, it’s not a farfetched idea for other states to follow California’s path. “What happens in California has consequences,” said Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor at SUNY New Paltz. “It pro-

duces national leaders, it produced President Reagan, it produces policy innovations sometimes. I wouldn’t say it leads all the time, but it’s always consequential.” Benjamin said that sometimes populist movements take hold in states where initiatives can be voted on. These movements can often carry to other states or even to the national level. Other times, it has the opposite effect. “Often what happens when you get a practice in one state or in one place that offends sensibilities or values in another place is that people try to preempt it,” he said. When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, an avalanche of states quickly placed bans on it. And those bans have put serious roadblocks in front of those who seek to legalize same-sex marriage. Although a number of states have legalized gay marriage since, one of the major hurdles for proponents today is to overturn the remaining bans. However, some states might choose to stay neutral in order to see how things play out in California. “What states do is they often act as the laboratory for social experimentation within America,” said Charis Orzechowski, a fourthyear double-major in political science and Asian studies. “A state will often try out a

controversial policy and then depending on whether or not it works, otherr tates may or may not take states up that initiative and use itt for their own. Sometimes imes it ends up

translating ranslating to the national ional level such as . . . civil rights ights for different races. Sometimes it doesn’t; sometimes it stays as a state experiment.” It is too early to say whether New York will follow California. But if California does in fact legalize marijuana this year, it could increase the Empire State’s chances. Some, however, are doubtful. We do not have a referendum system and lawmakers tend to avoid the subject if they aren’t vehemently opposed to it. “I feel that New York State is more of its own leader,” said Orzechowski. “If New York State was going to come up with a plan to ease up on marijuana somehow, I bet it would come up with its own plan.”

Racism Doesn’t Rock in New Paltz UNIVERSITY GEARS UP FOR THE ROCK AGAINST RACISM EVENT By Maxim Alter Copy Editor|

On Saturday, April 17, the New Paltz Students for Sensible Drug Policy and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (SSDP/NORML) will be hosting the 11th annual Rock Against Racism, a music festival and political rally located on the Old Main Quad. On the official Myspace page, Rock Against Racism is described as a free community event geared toward cultivating communal unity, as well as raising awareness about the failure and racial disparities of the war on drugs and its impact on our society and future. New Paltz NORML was founded in 1994 in response to student opposition of SUNY New Paltz’s expulsion policy, known as the “No Second Chance Policy,” which mandated the immediate expulsion of students caught with drugs on campus. The chapter’s founding members were also opposed to society’s laws prohibiting marijuana, and aimed at changing the policy on a broader level. Before SSDP was added to the organization’s title in 2001, NORML began organizing battle of the bands competitions, concerts and fundraisers in order to raise enough mon-

ey to hold Rock Against Racism and spread their message. According to current New Paltz SSDP/ NORML chapter President George Selby, the event was titled Rock Against Racism because the war on drugs isn’t a war against white people, “but mostly Hispanic and African American males.” “It wouldn’t make sense for us to put on an event against the drug war and have it be something that’s not really an issue of the drug war,” Selby said… “Our music acts, our speakers and all the acts that we pay to get, we make sure that they have a very clear message against the drug war and a clear message encouraging ethnic diversity and political fairness among everyone.” At this year’s event, the headliner guest will be hip-hop artist KRS-One, who Selby and SSDP/NORML Co-President Marc Pottak said is a politically conscious musician who is outspoken against the drug war and reflects their message. “He advocates change within the African American community and outside the African American community,” Selby said. “Everyone likes KRS-One, so we really think that he’ll bring the whole community together.” The event will feature a keynote speech from political activist Reverend Kenny

Glasgow, who is the brother of Al Sharpton and has served time in prison for drug charges. Because of this, Selby said Glasgow “embodies the message of Rock Against Racism.” There will also be a performance by African percussionist and beat-poet Tony Vacca, who Selby said is similar to KRS-One in that he is also very politically and socially conscience. “He goes back and forth between America and Senegal and does concerts over there and really raises awareness about African music,” Selby said. Other scheduled activities during the event include Bushido Garvey and Black August, as well as speeches from Albany Baptist Minister Reverend Larry Ellis, Radio Rahim and New Paltz NORML and event founder Rob Robinson. During past events, Pottak said the number of attendees has ranged from 500 to 800 people and have included performances by M1, Bassnectar, Band of Brothers and Immortal Technique. In order to pay for these guests, SSDP/NORML use the money allotted to them through the Budget and Finance Committee, which ultimately decides how much they can spend and who can attend. “It fluctuates a little bit up and down,” Selby said. “Last year we didn’t have that

Thursday, April 15, 2010

much and we sort of suffered for it. We didn’t really have a mainstream act. This year they gave us a little bit more so we got a really mainstream act and it really helped a lot.” In order to get more involved in Rock Against Racism’s cause, Pottak said he recommends joining SSDP/NORML or any other groups on campus that are racially conscious, as well as learning about the issue in the school curriculum. “Whether you go to Latino Week or join the Black Student Union or the African Student Union, there are many clubs on campus that deal with [the issue], Pottak said. “Also, just classes on it like Race and Racism in U.S. History… it’s a thing that people can become involved in really easily.” By going to this event, Selby said he hopes students and community members can become more educated on racial issues and the war on drugs, which he said is “just as bad as any genocide or severe injustice that has impaired a group of people.” “It’s modern slavery,” Selby said. “We want to end it. We want the whole campus to come together and acknowledge it and hear our speakers… and get people thinking about it and not thinking about the drug war as an ‘Oh ha ha those guys like drugs,’ but a serious issue which is killing a lot of people.”


The New Paltz Oracle


By Justin McCarthy Features Editor |

High Times, a magazine published for those who embrace the cannabis culture, ranked SUNY New Paltz as the number seven counterculture college in 2006. Although this ranking may have appropriately characterized an attitude about marijuana that is often very evident in New Paltz, the college still stands firm in its drug policies and does not in any way condone the use of marijuana. Students who are caught possessing, smoking or selling marijuana on campus are arrested, and once their arrests are notified to the school, a judicial process within the university must be followed. However, getting caught off-campus does not necessarily exempt a student from having to proceed with the campus judicial process, said Linda Eaton, dean of students and chief of judicial affairs. “Our student judicial handbook says that we can take action against a student for things that happen off campus,” said Eaton. “The rule of thumb for us is that if there are incidents where there are concerns about issues of safety and security or that behavior off campus is detrimental on campus.”

According to Eaton, a student who has been caught with marijuana or any other illegal substance will be “charged” for his or her violation. The charge, which identifies the violation of campus policy, is clearly stated in paperwork which the student receives. This is known as a “specification of charges” and also includes a “range of sanctions” that inform the student of the possible implications of their charge, ranging from the best to worst-case outcomes. Once the paperwork has been issued, an appointment is scheduled where a student meets with Eaton or Associate Dean of Students Robin Cohen-La Valle to discuss the charges. At that meeting, the student must affirm or negate the charge. “If they affirm the charge, it goes into what we would call an ‘administrative hearing’ and they would have the opportunity to tell their side of the story to myself or Ms. Cohen right there on the spot,” said Eaton. “And then we would tell them what their sanction is and we also follow up in writing.” If a student negates the charge, the case “automatically goes to a campus hearing.” At a campus hearing, the student can bring witnesses and can make his case as to why he is not “responsible.” The words

guilty and innocent are not used in campus judicial hearings, Eaton explained, because the process is not a legal one. The terms “responsible” and “not responsible” are used instead. “It’s different than a court of law. We are not a court of law,” said Eaton. “The hearing committee only has to establish ‘Is it more likely than not that this occurred?’ Once all the evidence is presented at a hearing, if there is not enough evidence to support someone being found responsible, then they have to find him not responsible. It does happen.” The police officer involved in the case would appear at the campus hearing, but the result is determined by a committee that is comprised of one staff member, one faculty member and one student. According to Eaton, of the seven hearings the committee has heard in the past two semesters—which included cases dealing with marijuana, non-compliance, physical abuse and academic integrity— it determined that a student in one of the cases was not responsible. If the committee does find the student responsible, it must recommend a sanction which is presented to Eaton. Eaton then has to write the student a letter specifically outlining the sanction and why the student was found responsible. The sanctions are not always agreed upon by all members of the committee. Sometimes, the student representative does not agree with the faculty and staff committee members. “Student involvement on the judicial board is to ensure that there is a student voice present,” said Caitlin Ryan, a fourthyear Black studies major and student representative on the committee. “A lot of the time what happens is that the student voice can often get outvoted.” Ryan has been present for two committee hearings. In one hearing, she differed in opinion on the charge. In both hearings, she was the dissenting vote on the sanction. “You have to listen to the facts, of course,” Ryan said. “But then when dealing with the sanctions, you can try and be more understanding of students’ experiences.” Ryan, like many other students, takes issue with the one-strike rule the campus has on marijuana and other drugs. Students are often given a second chance after being caught with marijuana and are given a year of disciplinary probation and a one-time mandatory educational program. The parents of students under 21 are also notified. A second violation is an automatic expulsion. “I understand the desire to not have hard drugs on campus and I also understand the desire to not have marijuana on campus because it’s illegal,” Ryan said. “But I think the sanctions that the school delivers are much harsher than what would actually happen in a court of law.” Campus hearings are not solely for the purpose of punishing students, Eaton in-

Thursday, April 15, 2010

sisted. They are sometimes used for student versus student cases and any student entering a committee hearing can be provided with a student advocate who will support them. According to the Annual Security Report for SUNY New Paltz, there were 65 Drug Law Arrests and 44 Drug Law Violations Referred for Disciplinary Action in 2008. While Drug Law Violations Referred for Disciplinary Action have remained relatively consistent since 2006, Drug Law Arrests have increased yearly from 27 in 2006 to 65 in 2008. Chief of the University Police Raymond Bryant, however, doesn’t feel that this is a strong indicator of an increasing. He said that he encourages individuals to properly and legally take a stand on issues they have problems with in terms of campus policies or state and federal laws, but he reminds them that until laws or policies are changed, they must still be followed. “If they’re successful in changing the drug laws and policies, so be it,” said Bryant. “There are certain laws that I don’t like as a person either, but until they get changed, I have to follow them.”

What Happens When You Get Busted? 1. Arrest 2. SUNY New Paltz is notified. 3. Specification of charges 4. Appointment with Dean of Students. 5. Student must negate or affirm charge. 6. If charge is affirmed, a sanction is issued. If charge is negated, committee hearing is scheduled. 7. Judicial hearing committee listens to case and decides whether student is responsible or not responsible. 8. If responsible, student is issued sanction.


The New Paltz Oracle

Enhance Your 4/20 Experience A DAY OF FUN, FOOD AND FREE SPIRITS

Stoners around the world have always wondered what their favorite and almighty number actually means and where it comes from. But look no further! The 4/20 mystery is finally solved! While rumors have swirled about a police code and Hitler’s birthday being the true origin of the term 4/20, the generally accepted theory was put forth by Steven Hager, the editor of High Times, in the magazine in 1998. Hager told the story of a group of San Rafael High School kids who called themselves the Waldos. The Waldos gave Hager evidence to show they had created the term 420, which is now a celebrated number by marijuana smokers around the world. According to Hager, the Waldos were given a “treasure map” by a friend, which led to a large quantity of marijuana being grown on Point Reyes Peninsula. The Waldo’s decided to meet up and snatch some bud from this patch, and decided to meet up at exactly 4:20 p.m. After this, the Waldo’s began using the term “4/20” as a synonym for pot, and became popular in the Grateful Dead community and became the term we all love. So there you have it, the true story for why you celebrate on April 20th of every year. -By Andrew Wyrich, Copy Editor

d n A w, no

A Word

From The Police

If you do an illegal activity, don’t be surprised if you’re arrested. I’m a strong believer in individualism. Individuals who believe that laws or policies are unfair or want them changed, they have all the right in the world to go through the proper procedures to get them changed. What they have to realize is that until those laws or policies are changed, it’s still unlawful. -Chief of University Police, Ray Bryant

Weeding Out the Competition By Pete Thompson, Sports Editor

“Weed!,” pits up to four players against each other in a ganja growing deathmatch. Players draw and play a card for every turn, trying to get a garden full of greens. This requires each of your five “slots” to be filled with a plant card. Each of these cards has a designated number from one to six. Once each of a player’s five slots is stocked with one of these, the points—or plants— are tallied and he is rewarded with that number of points. Before the game begins, everyone agrees upon the number to reach in order to win the game. A six is highly sought after, making the player in possession of it susceptible to a number of shenanigans. Obstacles arise because there are a number of cards to prevent you from becoming the cannabis king. These range from weeds (not marijuana) that require plant killer for removal to hippies who smoke your lowest plant card to cop cars that take a turn to be discarded. If all else fails and the sole Potzilla card is in your hand, you can always unleash the fire-breathing, bong-wielding dragon upon another player, destroying all cards in his garden. Once you get into it, you can create a number of strategies to aid you on your mission of becoming an illegal substance growing superpower. With intelligence and anticipation required, this game isn’t for the lazy stoner.

Music to Maximize Your Buzz By Zan Strumfeld, Arts & Entertainment

Choosing the greatest albums to listen to on 4/20 is next to impossible. It all depends on the mood you’re in. Consider these scenarios: If you’re driving up a mountain, listen to Fleet Foxes’ self-titled album. If you need a good album to have sex to, check out The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s 1959 release of Time Out. If you really want to laugh, try some G. Love (& the Special Sauce) or Flight of the Conchords. If you really just have to bust a move, of course I’ll recommend of Montreal, probably Satanic Panic in the Attic or the newest release, Skeletal Lamping. Want to impress your friends? Show them Easy Street All Stars’ Dubb Side of the Moon or Lonely Hearts Dub Band, renditions of the classics with a reggae groove. Need to chill out alone but don’t necessarily want to off yourself? Don’t try Radiohead or Elliott Smith. Some of Iron & Wine’s The Creek Drank the Cradle may not be that bad, but for some more light-hearted sounds, Jackson 5 will never, ever let you down.

The Double Down:

Munchie of the Future? By James Leggate, News Editor

Atkins Dieters rejoice! KFC’s new Double Down sandwich contains no bread (except on the fried chicken)! Perhaps in a few months we’ll start seeing commercials featuring people who trimmed inches off their waists by eating these for lunch every day. But seriously, ever since its invention in the 1600s, the sandwich has been stuck between two pieces of bread. KFC’s Double Down aims to be the harbinger of a new paradigm shift toward foods stuck between other exotic foods. Hopefully it won’t be. Despite its radical design, the Double Down was a letdown. The chicken was too hot and greasy to hold comfortably and, quite frankly, the two pieces of chicken are too thick to comfortably bite through. The cheese arrived un-melted, despite the finger-burning temperature of the chicken. As soon as the cheese within the sandwich melted, the outer parts of the slices, still lukewarm, fell off. The bacon and sauce were OK, but nothing special. The Double Down is not the herald of a new age of food because it does not feel good to have inside your body. Its unusual design may have some limited late-night appeal to the drunk and stoned, but it just doesn’t sit well in a sober stomach. I really wanted this sandwich to rule, but it doesn’t. This sandwich does not rule. In fact, it makes me sad. The Double Down makes me sad because I think it may be the end of a generation of absurd fast food and American excess. The economy is in shambles. Obama is president. We have public health care (kind of). The far right, which used to be all about ridiculously fattening sandwiches, is now getting increasingly militarized. Larry the Cable Guy hasn’t had a gold album since 2005. Gluttony just isn’t cool anymore. I don’t expect this sandwich to last long. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GAWNO.COM, MINDINVERSION.WORDPRESS.COM, SHOPHEADLINES.COM AND JAMES PETRICH

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The New Paltz Oracle

Andy Warhol’s Art Comes to New Paltz


Andy Warhol is renowned for his ability to turn pop culture into art, but the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (SDMA) exhibition “Andy Warhol: Private and Public in 151 Photographs” shows an alternative side to his work. The photographs, which went on display Friday, April 9, are Polaroid and gelatin silver prints taken by Warhol from 1972 to 1986. SDMA was one of the 180 institutions that received photos as a gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. There were 28,500 photographs distributed amongst the different institutions and 151 were given to SUNY New Paltz. The concept for the exhibition was a collaborative effort by students in the Warhol photographic legacy project course taught by art history Professor Reva Wolf and the museum studies class taught by Curator Brian Wallace from spring 2009. The students researched the photographs and discovered an interconnection between Warhol’s private and public life, leading to the concept of the exhibition. Their essays were published in the exhibition catalogue. Wolf said she was attracted to the idea because it avoided the stereotypical cartoonish interpretations of Warhol’s art which focuses on his love of commerce and celebrity. Curator Brian Wallace said Warhol had passions and experienced love and losses like the rest of us. “We think of Warhol as this impassive façade pop art figure. He was one of the artists who created the genre or style of pop art,” he said. “No one knows what he meant to do with these photos, but they reveal his personal side and give clues to what seems less personal.” The quote, “I told them that I didn’t believe in art, that I believed in photography” from “The Andy Warhol Diaries” is displayed on the wall of the exhibition. The pictures show a more vulnerable side to Warhol. There are several pictures of Jon Gould whom Warhol was obsessed with and tirelessly pursued with grand romantic gestures. The photo of Gould with the Balto Statue in Central Park has a very intimate and affectionate feel to it. Warhol’s endearment of Gould is evident in the numerous photographs displayed of him, but it is unknown if they were ever more than companions. There is portraiture of various friends of Warhol or unidentified people in profile snap shots with sequencing subtle facial changes. A group of photographs taken of Dina Merrill were unique. Warhol does not only focus on her face but gravitates toward her torso and the flowery material on her dress in a series of shots.

“Jon Gould,” 1983 Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in. Wolf said she was worried about the challenge of working with so many images. She thought in terms of thematic groupings which ultimately contributed to the cohesive appeal that guides viewers through the experience. Wolf and Wallace encourage those who view the exhibition to read through the catalogue with student research of the photographs. “Once you have all the information, then you have the opportunity to interpret it,” said Wallace. “People think that everyone should understand art but if you study art you’re going to get more out of it.” For insight on the intriguing life of a legend, visit the “Andy Warhol: Private and Public in 151 Photographs” exhibition. It will be on display at SDMA until July 25 and from Aug. 18 to Sept. 26.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gunk Front photo: Dina Merrill, 1976-1977 Polacolor Type 108, 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in. From left to right on bottom: Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1983 Polacolor ER, 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in. Untitled woman, 1982 Polacolor 2, 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in. Valentino and unidentified woman, 1975 Polacolor Type 108, 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in. Valentino, 1973 Polacolor Type 108, 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in. All Photos are Gifts of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program ©2010 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York



The New Paltz Oracle

By Maxim Alter

Copy Editor |

Season 6 Episode 12: “Everybody Loves Hugo” Countering the season two episode titled “Everybody Hates Hugo,” this newest hour of “Lost” proved once again how different the parallel reality can be, all the while, finally satisfying some much needed closure on a few mysteries – one even stretching back to the first season. If you can recall, when our survivors first entered the treacherous jungles of the island, there were those mysterious strange whispers surrounding them whenever trouble was near. After waiting six years, we finally know what they are, and it’s all thanks to Hurley and his keen ability to communicate with the dead. After a quick talk with our deceased friend Michael, Hurley is informed that the whispers actually belong to “the ones that can’t move on,” meaning, the souls on the island that have not been able to leave because of something they have done. In Michael’s case, it was murdering Libby and Ana Lucia. After finally revealing this secret, Michael apologizes to Hurley and is given the proper redemption. This will probably be the last we see of him. In the parallel reality, Libby visits Hurley in a restaurant while he is waiting for a no-show blind date. Just like in the regular reality, Libby is a patient of the mental hospital. However, because of his extreme luck, Hurley is not. This doesn’t explain, though, how Libby was able to leave the hospital and be amongst the flight 815 survivors in the second season. Perhaps we don’t actually need to

know this and are just supposed to assume that like Jin, Sun, Desmond and Penny – Hurley and Libby were always meant to be together. During their encounter, Libby tells Hurley she has been having visions of him on a beach where they are “together.” Just like Desmond and Charlie, Libby is aware of the existence of the other reality. Unfortunately for her, leaving in a van labeled with the title of a mental facility didn’t really help her case too much. Back in the normal reality, Ilana is on a mission to blow up the airplane, which Faux-Locke aka Flocke is attempting to escape on. But just like the unsuspecting Arzt, Ilana is randomly blown to smithereens when handling the dynamite improperly. I understand the concept that when the island no longer needs a character, it’s time for them to bite the bullet. However, it seemed like Ilana trained all her life just to blow herself up. I thought Jacob had a plan for Ilana. Like Ben states later in the episode, “Was the island really done with her?” I hope this isn’t the last we hear about Ilana because then I feel like her character would have been pointless. On the bright side, at least the writers are following up on their promise that people are going to start dying. It looks as though Ilana was their first victim. In the parallel reality, Desmond continues his mission to help the other passengers on flight 815 remember the other reality, starting with Hurley. After approaching Hurley in a Mr. Cluck’s Chicken, Desmond convinces him to believe in what

Libby had to say, which ultimately sends Hurley to the mental facility to ask Libby out on a date. After bribing the Doctor of the facility, Hurley and Libby are finally able to have that picnic on the beach they planned right before she died in season two. The best part is, right when Libby kisses him, visions from the other reality instantly begin jolting into Hurley’s mind. Once Desmond notices this from his parked car in the distance, he drives off to his next subject. Perhaps if Desmond is able to get all the survivors to see the other reality, something of epic proportions will happen. I’m hoping this has something to do with the finale. Back in the normal reality, Hurley rushes ahead of the others and blows up the Black Rock, which is what Michael instructed him to do. It was sad to see one of the best and most familiar set pieces go like that, but in a way, the writers are reminding us that the show is almost over. After the explosion, there is a pretty heated debate between Hurley and Richard, which results in the survivors splitting up into two groups. On one side: Hurley, Jack, Lapidus and Sun, on the other: Ben, Miles and Richard. What bothers me about this whole situation is the group has been split perfectly into the flight 815 survivors that Flocke needs in order to leave. Even worse, after some pretending that Jacob is telling him what to do, Hurley convinces his group to go find Flocke and speak to him. It’s almost as if something evil is giving Hurley directions. Hurley was seen opening a bag before all this bad decision-making went down. Maybe whatever was in that bag has some-

Thursday, April 15, 2010

thing to do with it. On the other side of the island, where Flocke has been waiting to learn about “the package,” Sayid finally arrives with Desmond, who is strangly calm and cool for a guy who’s been taken captive. After being untied by Flocke, the two take a walk to the well from season four. After realizing Desmond is not scared of him, Flocke angrily pushes him into the well. I think Desmond knows how to defeat Flocke, which is why he became so angry. Killing the Man in Black may have something to do with Desmond’s mission in the parallel reality. Speaking of the parallel reality, Desmond continues his quest to enlighten his fellow flight 815 passengers by parking in front of the school where the paralyzed Locke teaches. After Locke leaves the building and begins wheeling towards his vehicle, Desmond does the unexpected. In the final seconds of the episode, Desmond slams on the acceleration and runs over Locke in full speed. Is this some kind of parallel reality revenge? Maybe Desmond is trying to kill Locke because if he dies in the parallel reality he also dies in the island reality. With only four episodes left till the two-hour series finale, “Lost” is getting even crazier. And I am happy to say that the writers have done an excellent job thus far in answering even the most miniscule questions throughout the season while still keeping the plot moving forward. I hope in the final episodes we finally learn who Adam and Eve are, why Jack’s dead father was able to manipulate our survivors and if that freaking bird really said Hurley’s name.


The New Paltz Oracle


Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson deliver excellent performances, but still weren’t able to save director Louis Leterrier’s remake of “Clash of the Titans” from failure.


By Maxim Alter Copy Editor | With a pair of 3D glasses, a liter of Coke Zero and some extra buttery popcorn, I prepared myself for “Clash of the Titans,” a film that the majority of critics have been trashing for the past two weeks. Ever since the wheel was invented, critics have been jumping on the bandwagon to hate campy action films, which I believe, are to be judged for what they are: cheap fun. However, “Clash of the Titans” cost me $15 and was only marginally fun. Frankly, for every dollar I spend on an action movie, there should be 100 explosions, and “Clash” never quite hit the number I wanted. Directed by Louis Leterrier, “Clash of the Titans” was a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. Compared to the original, Leterrier’s version is filled with over-the-top and very polished special effects, as well as a glistening Liam Neeson as Zeus. With so much visual polish, it can be easy to ignore what the film lacks in its script. The plot revolves around Perseus, who is played by “Avatar’s” Sam Worthington. As the film opens, a baby Perseus is discovered floating in a coffin in the sea by a fisherman and his wife. Still alive, the newborn is adopted by the family and raised to be a strong, good-natured young man. As time goes on, Persueus’ adopted father becomes fed up and refuses praying to the Gods because of the foul treatment mankind have been receiving. As more mortals began to withdraw their prayers, a dark

cloud begins to form on Mount Olympus. As it turns out, Zeus and the rest of the Gods depend on the prayers of mortals in order to remain all-powerful. After this betrayal by the people he created, Zeus calls upon his brother Hades, played by Ralph Fiennes, to stir up some terror and scare mankind into submission. After causing some chaos, Hades makes a huge mistake in murdering Perseus’ family, thrusting him into a quest for revenge. What follows is a roller coaster ride of oneliners, six packs and a man-eating kraken, which if you squinted your eyes just right, looked exactly like Julia Roberts. The casting for the film was fantastic, particularly because I have been waiting a long time for a Fiennes and Neeson reunion. Sure, this is no “Schindler’s List,” but seeing the two men together again made me giddy like a schoolgirl. Both of their performances were excellent, despite what little they had to work with. Fiennes was also surprisingly terrifying in his Hades garb, even though during a majority of his screen time he was entirely CGI. As for Worthington, who has been all the rage these days, he kept the action moving and did what he was supposed to do: wear a mini skirt and swing a sword. Nothing spectacular came from his performance and I can honestly say that a dozen other young actors could have played the same role with ease. I have faith in Worthington, however, and I believe that if he steers his career away from action films, there might just be a real actor there.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just like in his previous film “Avatar,” Worthington is pulsating out of the silver screen and into my brain in 3D. However, unlike “Avatar,” the 3D seemed to be more of an afterthought rather than part of the filmmaking process. Nothing really stood out and blew me away. Even the kraken seemed underwhelming for its entire minute long cameo, which is especially sad because I was half expecting his roar to fog up my glasses. Since I am too young to really appreciate the original “Clash of the Titans,” much of this film reminded me of the stellar video game series “God of War,” and the potential awesomeness of a film adaptation. Besides inspiring great games, Greek mythology has a lot of potential to generate epic movies. “Clash of the Titans” failed this potential though, in that it didn’t include enough of the creatures and tales that make Greek mythology so interesting. For this reason, the only portion of the film I found myself completely immersed in was Perseus’ battle with Medusa. For approximately 10 minutes, I cared for each and every character, and found myself wanting to shout at the screen to warn each victim of Medusa’s deadly stare. If the film had contained more old school mythical battles and less man skirts, perhaps the 3D would have been worth all the money. I hate to say it, but I actually agree with the critics on this one. The only thing god-like in my viewing of “Clash of the Titans” was the size of my bladder, after drinking that entire liter of Coke Zero.


The New Paltz Oracle

Meet Meek and the Marksmen BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ WINNERS OPEN FOR GYM CLASS HEROES NEXT WEEK By Zan Strumfeld A&E Editor | This year’s Battle of the Bands took place out on Ole’ Main Quad on a beautiful Sunday, April 11. With an eight band line-up, the final group to take the stage, Meek and the Marksmen, won the competition. First place prize? Being the opening act for the Student Association Productions’ Gym Class Heroes concert on Wednesday, April 21.

Meek and the Marksmen:

Evan Uhlmann: Vocals/Guitar Will Vitale: Lead Guitar Dan Vernam: Bass Zach Seman: Keys/Synths Evan Garcia-Renart: Drums

The creation of the band began just over a year ago at Bard College, where all of the members attend school. As the main songwriter, Ulhmann got together with Vernam to show him some songs, and they formed a band with the remaining three members. They started playing shows at local bookstores around their university. All of the members, except Vitale, are music majors at Bard, so the beginning of Meek and the Marksmen turned into an academic project as


Meek and the Marksmen are Bard College students that created their band just over a year ago. well as a personal band. So how’d a Bard College band show up at New Paltz? “I knew Kaitlin (Battle of the Bands creator) from high school and knew some people in other bands from our high school in Long Island,” said Vernam. “We figured we’d take the trip down, not too far of a drive and have a good time.” Meek and the Marksmen have a “rock and roll danceysound; very danceable music,” said Vernam. “We kind of have a Beatles-esque-Rolling Stone-modern Wilco kind of twist to it.” Opening for Gym Class Heroes is a big thing for any

band, since they are well-known and famous. “When we heard that was the first place prize, we couldn’t miss up on that opportunity,” said Vernam. “We want to open up for a big band for a party at your school. We’ll bring friends. We played at The Chance last month with a few other bands from Bard so we really wanted to get first place.” Check out more information on Meek and the Marksmen at, or their EP, According to Red, on iTunes, which they plan to sell at the show.

Upcoming Shows in the Area! Vassar College Entertainment Presents:

student association productions Presents:


gym class heroes


with meek and the marksmen

Wednesday, April 21


at 8 P.M.

at 7 P.M.

elting gym suny new paltz


Tickets are $10 for students $20 for non-students

Tickets are $35 @


Thursday, April 15, 2010



The New Paltz Oracle


MGMT Congratulations

Despite all the hype MGMT gained on their inital success, their 2008 debut of Oracular Spectacular was overwhelmingly mediocre and was really only suppported by key tracks like “Time to Pretend” and “Kids.” Yet with their sophomore release on April 13, 2010, Congratulations shows that the electric-pop-psychedelic duo have created an album that, as a whole, is a monumentally fulfilling piece of music. And, unlike Oracular, MGMT have decided to not release any song as a single, wanting their album to be viewed as a whole instead of separate. Pretty fucking cool. The album begins like a John Hughes’ (RIP) movie, with a very ‘80s feel in “It’s Working.” An interesting way to start off the album, to say the least, and clearly offering a brand new feel from Oracular. Regardless, the song is undoubtedly working, bringing an inviting feeling for the rest of the album, consciously pulling the listener into the tracks. Tracks like “Someone’s Missing” has a calm background piano with a pretty falsetto while “Flash Delirium” is more psych-rock that has an unnecessary amount of style changes throughout the entire four-minute song. Songs like these are a reminder of Oracular, but with a slightly more trippy appearance. Maybe the duo hopped up on a few more drugs for this one. “I Found A Whistle” makes you want

to strap on that hideously shoulder-padded pink dress and go to the high school dance where Simple Minds and Cindi Lauper play on vinyl. It’s slow, maybe a little too slow, and easy to press “next” for. But there’s a benefit to this – the 12-minute “Siberian Break” begins, which has an ever-interesting mix of what must be what MGMT has been listening to lately. It starts with an undoubtedly French-duo Air feeling for the first two minutes, then picking up with that time when The Beatles ventured to India. The thing is, you know the song is 12 minutes long, but you just keep thinking it’s about to end as you zone into it – and it gets you every time when it changes, with yet another five or so minutes remaining. The ballad reverts back to the ‘80s feel and then skips to a random interval of what unmistakably sounds like the part in “Kill Bill” where Lucy Lui’s parents die. It begins to fade out and then BAM, a drum kicks in and you’ve stepped into Belle and Sebastian’s The Life Pursuit. The multi-ballad’s final minute and a half has a very underwater, ever-psychedelic effect that finally fades out and fades away. It’s definitely one of the best tracks on the album, but after a few listens you may find yourself skipping around throughout the track rather than listening to its entirety.

“Brian Eno” an upbeat, kooky tune will have you chanting “Brian Eno,” even when you really don’t want to. “Lady Dada’s Nightmare,” a four-minute instrumental that is so reminiscent of Air’s The Virgin Suicides soundtrack, it’s ridiculous, has bits of slasher-flick sound effects and not enough Lady Gaga resemblance, except the fact that it’s pretty frightening. The album ends with “Congratulations,” completing the nine tracks with almost a “We did it!” feeling of relief; “But I’ve got someone to make reports/ That tell me how my money’s spent/ To book my stays and draw my blinds/ So I can’t see what’s really there/ And all I need’s a great big congratulations.” Is it safe to say congratulations to MGMT even though their congratulating themselves? Why yes, it can be said. So congratulations, MGMT, you’ve outdone yourselves by proving you actually do have something else to offer. It’s safe to say that MGMT has stepped out of the realm they initially stepped into, supplying a more cohesive, mature album that exceeded expectations. Oracular fans may not be as impressed by the lack of fun singles, but taking a closer look shows that the poppy tracks they initally fell for aren’t all MGMT is worth - they deserve credit for a spectacular album.

Making Music History The Web is abuzz with a tabloid report that “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson will portray the late Nirvana star Kurt Cobain in an upcoming biopic, and that Courtney Love wants Scarlett Johansson to play her -- but that’s news to Courtney Love’s manager. More news to follow when released.

:: During the soundcheck for the opening date of his music/comedy tour in Eugene, Oregon, Conan O’Brien whipped out a “Weird Al”-style redux of Radiohead’s smash “Creep.”

:: Death Cab for Cutie helped the Seattle Mariners kick off their home opener with a couple classic baseball tunes: John Fogerty’s “Centerfield” and the most melancholic “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” you’ve ever heard. The foursome wore customized Mariners gear and seemed to be having a decent time.



MGMT released their sophomore album, Congratulations, on April 13, 2010.

Post Scripts’s Top 10 Albums of the Week 1. The Album Leaf A Chorus of Storytellers 2. Max Richter - Memoryhouse (reissue) 3. Eluvium - Similes 4. Pelican - What We All Come to Need 5. Seven Saturdays - Seven Saturdays

6. Cougar - Patriot 7. Explosions in the Sky The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place 8. White Rainbow - New Clouds 9. Ratatat - Classics 10. The Appleseed Cast Low Level Owl, Vol. 1

List compiled by DJ Dear Ms. Leading. Her show is every Wednesday night from 8 to 10 p.m.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A spokesperson for Spike Jonze tells MTV that the visionary director “will be in Austin shooting a short film which is a collaboration with Arcade Fire.” Further details are scarce, but Arcade Fire are due to release a new album later this year.

:: Malcolm McLaren, the famed British rock provacateur and mastermind behind the Sex Pistols’ rise to stardom, died in New York on April 8 after losing a long battle with cancer. He was 64.

:: Dr. Dre and Jay-Z are collaborating on a song called (not Queen and David Bowie’s) “Under Pressure,” a single off the Dr.’s long-awaited record Detox.

All information derived from Rollingstone. com, and


The New Paltz Oracle

This Week in the Deep End:

Lauren Renner

NAME: Lauren Renner ART: Photography YEAR: Second-year MAJOR: Photo B.F.A INSPIRATION: Music and the work of other artists FAVORITE ARTIST: Salvador Dali DREAM: To do whatever it is that makes her happy


Thursday, April 15, 2010

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The New Paltz Oracle


The natural gas located in the Marcellus Shale, a large portion of which is located in New York, could be a potential boon for the energy needs of the United States. However, the dangers to the environment – in particular our water supply – far outweigh the benefits. The gas companies have refused to disclose what chemicals are in the fluid used for hydro-fracking, saying that they constitute trade secrets. There have been several cases in which toxic chemicals mysteriously began appearing in the water supply of areas with hydro-fracking. Without a public list of the ingredients of the fracking fluid, a connection cannot be proven when this happens. Currently, hydro-fracking is mostly unregulated because the Bush administration loosened safety standards. States are responsible for making sure the gas companies are acting appropriately, but most state environmental departments do not have enough workers to supervise all drilling. New York, for example, has only 17 Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) inspectors. There is no way they can regulate the huge area of New York that falls within the Marcellus Shale region. If the waste water from hydro-fracking were to leak into the water supply, the consequences would not only affect our water locally, but also New York City, which gets its water from a variety of sources between the Catskills and Delaware River. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection released a public letter last December stating that hydro-fracking poses “an unacceptable threat to the unfiltered, fresh water supply of nine million New Yorkers, and cannot safely be permitted within the New York City watershed.” Another problem with hydro-fracking is that the gas itself can leak through cracks in the cement casing surrounding the pipe. Once the gas escapes, it can travel underground into wells or basements, where it gathers until a spark sets it off, causing an explosion. Though some of the landowners who would allow gas companies to drill on their property stand to gain financially, they risk death – both their own and their neighbors. Proponents of gas drilling say that it is cleaner than coal. Gas may burn clean-


er than coal, but its overall effects are just as devastating to the environment. Luckily, there is hope. The EPA announced last month that they are undertaking a new nationwide study on the safety of hydro-fracking. Locally, we can help by spreading awareness of the dangers of hydro-fracking. Let your elected officals and the DEC know that you oppose it. Support Maurice Hinchey’s

FRAC Act, which would give the EPA authority over the industry. If the EPA regains regulatory power over the industry, they will better be able to make sure gas companies are acting safely and responsibly. Though the large amount of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale would be useful to our energy-hungry country, other options can be embraced. Wind, solar and

tidal energy can be used. Even landfills, the longtime visual example of environmental damage, may be a popular source of energy in the future thanks to gas-collecting plants and waste-to-energy incinerators that burn cleaner than ever before. Hydro-fracking, on the other hand, is the kind of old-fashioned messy industrial process that leads to Superfund sites.

Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz. Thursday, April 15, 2010

The New Paltz Oracle

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I Remembered Your Name! Pamela Vivanco Copy Editor It was here, in this beautifully orange painted room (The New Paltz Oracle office) that my friend Maxim triggered a memory of one of my all-time favorite childhood shows with one of my all-time favorite characters: “TAINA.” To me, Taina was not just some invent-

ed Nickelodeon tween queen. Taina was me. I was Taina. Like Taina, I was a Latina aspiring singer/actress living in Queens who spent a lot of time daydreaming about being famous. Middle school was my prime. I was in chorus and…that’s really it. So, maybe it wasn’t my prime. Maybe I never actually had a “prime time” in my singing/acting career, but who cares? That part of my life is over and I’m OK with that. I’ve come to fully accept that I will never be a famous singer/actress and I really have no interest in it but the point is that I DID in middle school. I identified with Taina. Taina was the reason I didn’t run away when my dad told me we were leaving my perfectly cozy apartment in Brooklyn and moving to Queens. It really was hard on my 11-year-old self, but when Nickelodeon introduced Taina and I realized that she, my all-time favorite person was from Queens,

it really made a difference. Queens was officially cool and I could say “I’m from Queens, like Taina.” I didn’t though. I realized that Taina and I were practically the same person though, when she opened her high school locker and guess who was all over it? That’s right! Jennifer Lopez and Selena, my middle school idols. The day after I remembered what an impact Taina had on my life (perhaps I am exagerrating), I went on YouTube and watched an episode. The episode was “Blue Mascara,” featuring 3LW. Remember them? ‘Playas they gon play and ballas they gon’ ball?’ Maybe you don’t and I don’t blame you. They were not a memorable group of singers. But, there was an episode where Shakira made an appearance. Take that Hannah Montana! It was a half an hour of complete nostalgia full of some laughs, but some disappointing moments too. Despite its silliness,

the show did include some potentially offensive stereotypical jokes. I only watched one episode, but I’m sure that if I kept watching, similar critiques would come along. Aside from that, I enjoyed the show. It really brought me back to the good ol’ days when I was an aspiring singer/actress (but not really) who wanted to see my name in lights. I just wanted to remind all of you past Nickelodeon kids of one of the best shows ever, “Taina.” Am I the only one who remembers her name? Pamela is a second-year journalism and sociology major from Queens, New York. This is her first semester as the news copy editor for The New Paltz Oracle. She hopes that one day all the hours she spends in The New Paltz Oracle office pay off and that she can open up a youth center in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where she grew up.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Pete Thompson Sports Editor I didn’t even want to write a column since I couldn’t think of anything to write about, but then a quote from an article I read on nytimes. com during my journalism class got me thinking. The article, “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning in Again,” discusses the positive effects of hallucinogens, a topic I found especially pertinent as 4/20 approaches. Pertaining specifically to psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” the quote, by Dr. Charles S. Grob went like this:

“Under the influence of hallucinogens, individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states before the time of their actual physical demise, and return with a new perspective and profound acceptance of the life constant: change.” Rather than a ranting, drug-addled psycho, Grob is a psychiatrist involved in psilocybin testing at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), using it as a means of easing anxiety for terminally ill patients. He calls it “existential medicine,” and believes it gives them a chance to overcome panic, fear and depression. Of course this isn’t the first time I’ve heard advocacy for the benefits of drugs, but it is definitely one of a different caliber. Rather than someone my age telling me about the enlightening experience they had while tripping or how dosing changed their life, these are actual doctors alluding to the fact that, under the right conditions, the substance can greatly impact your life, virtually altering your take on it altogether. What stood out most to me was the idea

of a “physical demise.” I find it intriguing that science suggests this offers a temporary escape from the material worries and trivial bullshit that so often plague our lives, preventing us from achieving true happiness. If a willing participant can come out of the experience with a world view aware of these faults, then why not at least understand it? The article says scientists have even found similarities between these experiences and revelations from history’s mystics and mages through neural imaging and behavioral studies. In no way am I saying that everyone should run rampant eating massive amounts of mushrooms, but I think it’s amazing that the terminally ill were granted some sort of solace from them. The fact that psilocybin fixed what counseling and antidepressants couldn’t shows that the future may hold positive things for society. I’m concerned more with universal understanding than use. Too many people are on opposite sides of the spectrum in regard to drugs – which are too often thought of in one collective group – and this harvests extreme negative feelings, rather than any form of

understanding. Some kind of happy medium must be reached for any positive outcome. In all honesty, I just found the actuality of this testing to be pretty fascinating. With such heavy taboo on drugs and their effects, I had no idea such a thing existed, especially at institutions such as Harvard, New York University and UCLA. Hearing such a statement is definitely interesting, and some might even say progressive. On a final, side note pertaining to my last column: be weary of where you adventure. In trying to make the most of this “physical demise,” you may just end up with a case of poison ivy that creeps uncomfortably close to your…

Pete is a second-year English major on his first semester as the sports editor for The New Paltz Oracle. While not sitting and taking three hours to write each article, he can be found convincing someone to accompany him on various adventures. Reading and writing are few of his favorite activities, but he’d rather just go with the flow.

Want to join The New Paltz Oracle? Come to our elections on Sunday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Student Union 417! For more information, contact the editor-in-chief at Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pg 12


The New Paltz Oracle

Hawks Players of the Week For the Week Ending April 18 Fourth-year Rose Dovi helped the Hawks to a 3-1 week. Dovi started the week off with a 6-for-8 performance in a sweep of Mount Saint Mary College. In game one, she hit two triples and one homerun with three runs and four RBI. She followed in game two by going 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, including her eighth triple of the year. For the week, she hit .467 (7-15) with six runs, one double, three triples, one homerun and seven RBI. She currently leads the team in triples (8), RBI (30) and slugging percentage (.866).

Fourth-year Clinton Boettcher helped lead the Hawks to a 3-2 week, including a split with nationally ranked No. 18 Plattsburgh State. Boettcher started the week off with a 3-for5, one run and two RBI performance in a 14-4 win over King’s College. He followed that performance with a 2-for-4, two runs and a career-high five RBI in a 12-2 win against Mount Saint Mary College. For the week, he had a batting average of .500 (12-24) with six runs, three doubles, one homerun and 16 RBI. He currently leads the team in homeruns (5), RBI (32) and his second with a average of .365.

Wellness and Recreation Events and Activities Outdoor Pursuit Trips

Group Fitness Schedule

Rock Climbing: Saturday, April 24 - Multi Pitch Cost: $25 Multi-pitch rock climbing trip to the Gunks, there is a 12 person max for this trip. This trip is intended to the intermediate and advanced climber. Registration will close on April 19.


Health Assessments Interested in a free Health Assessment? With our State of the Art Polar BodyAge™ System, our trainers can assess body fat, weight, body size, flexibility, strength, blood pressure, cardiovascular, heart rate, nutrition, stress, lifestyle, disease risks and more. If you are a student, faculty, staff, alumni, or retired faculty who is an Athletic & Wellness Center current member and would like to sign up, please fill out the Health Assessment form and return it to room 220 or in Elting Gym or sign up online.


12 p.m. Cycling with Corinna 3:30 p.m. Absolute Abs with Bianca 6:30 p.m. Vinyasa Yoga with Lana, Room 101 7:15 p.m. Dance Groove with Elisa 7:30 p.m. Cycling with Lauren N. 8:30 p.m. Belly Dance with Amy 4:30 p.m. BOSU Strength with Corinna 5:30 p.m. Zumba with Jen 6:00 p.m. Vinyasa Yoga with Lana, Room 101 7 p.m. Jujitsu with Lauren, Room 101 7:30 p.m.

Willpower & Grace with Saara, Cycling with Starr 8:30 p.m. Hip Hop Cardio with Danit Wednesday 7 a.m. Cycling with Corinna 5 p.m. Vinyasa Yoga with Lana, Room 101, Boot Camp with Bianca 6 p.m. Cycle Strength with Lauren Z. Belly Dance with Amy 7 p.m. Cycling with Stephanie Thursday 12 p.m. Cycling with Corinna 5 p.m. Vinyasa Yoga with Lana, Room 101, Zumba with Corinna 5:30 p.m. Cycling with Starr 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Willpower and Grace with Saara 7:30 p.m. Cycling with Jessica 8 p.m. Hip Hop Cardio with Danit 2 p.m. Dance Groove with Elisa 3 p.m. Willpower and Grace with Shelbie 3:30 p.m. Cycling with Starr 4 p.m. Vinyasa Yoga with Lana, Room 101 4 p.m. Boot Camp with Bianca

The intramural department is always looking for input to stay up to date with the latest trends sweeping the campus. If you have any ideas, questions or concerns, feel free to contact the Coordinator of Intramurals Joe Deck at

The New Paltz Oracle

Andrew Wyrich Copy Editor So, it’s been two weeks since the Mets started their season, and already my optimism is beginning to run thin. During Spring Training, I decided to dismiss the negative press and secretly hoped that my favorite team could surprise me. But just as I feared, the dreaded 2009 season and the depression that came along with it, seems to be far from over. I can recall the exact moment the optimism meter inside my head finally sputtered and hit empty – it was on Sunday when Johan Santana gave up a grand slam to Josh Willingham of the Washington Nationals in the first inning. Yes, my frazzled inner voice thought, THAT Santana. Santana, who is supposed to be the one sure thing the Mets have, the one person they know they can count on, and was supposed to be the beacon of hope for the Mets, let me down. Santana looked bland and devoid of any fire when he faced the Nationals, which has me very concerned. If Santana falters, or is anything different than his normal, dominant self, the Mets need to rely on the likes of John Maine and Mike Pelfrey to perform – which, lets face it, is not very encouraging. Maine’s performance on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies was especially disturbing. I had hoped that Maine would be able to regain his 2007 form and provide the Mets with number two starter numbers; however, the dreams are beginning to become dark realities. While I may be reacting a bit over the top, it is still worthy of some concern. If the Mets continue to falter, drastic changes could be in order. For one, I expect Jerry Manuel to be fired by Memorial Day, and either Bob Melvin or Wally Backman to replace him for the remainder of the season. Both Backman and Melvin were hired by the Mets this off-season, and part of me believes that it wasn’t purely for organizational reasons. I think both were hired as insurance if the Mets started the season like they are. As for the off-season, I


Pg 13

Two Weeks in, and I’m Already Depressed think the Mets will interview both Backman and Melvin along with my personal choice for the position, Bobby Valentine and former Indians manager Eric Wedge for the top job, and in the end they will make the wrong choice and hire someone not named Bobby Valentine. As for the trading deadline, I expect the Mets to entertain offers for Carlos Beltran, and could ship him to Boston for some pitching prospects – the Cubs are also a possibility. My radical side thinks the Mets should bring up the young kids and start over. But my practical side thinks a mix of prospects and veterans could make the Mets relevant again. For example, Ike Davis should be the Mets starting first basemen by June, if not sooner. The current crop of first basemen does not inspire much confidence. Mike Jacobs is horrific, and Daniel Murphy is starting to look more like Wally Pipp everyday. Davis has been continuing to hit the cover off the ball in AAA, and if he continues, he will force himself into the Mets starting lineup. Fernando Martinez, despite his struggles last year, is a top prospect, and could be starting in centerfield in 2011. Jennry Mejia should be taken out of the bullpen and placed in the rotation – to stay. The Mets don’t need to have a Joba Chamberlin problem like our navy and white neighbors have in the Bronx. If those players are mixed with players like David Wright, Jose Reyes, Jason Bay, Jeff Francouer and Santana, the Mets will have an interesting team. Consider this: a lineup in 2011 of Reyes, a second basemen, David Wright, Ike Davis, Bay, Francouer, Martinez, Josh Thole, and a starting rotation of Santana, a No. 2 starter, Jon Niese, Mejia, and someone like Dillon Gee, Mike Pelfrey or a free agent signing. This mix of young players with solid veterans could make the Mets and extremely dangerous team, and could make them relevant for years to come. Hopefully my dreary thoughts are not needed. Maybe the Mets will turn it around over the next few weeks and will fulfill the potential they have. But unfortunately, being a Mets fan, I know that they won’t, which means having a contingency plan is not a bad idea.

Check out next week’s column when Andrew analyzes who will replace Jerry Manual! Thursday, April 15, 2010


Pg 14 By Pete Thompson Sports Editor |


The New Paltz Oracle

SOAPBOX: After the votes were tallied and the new SUNY New Paltz hawk was named Hugo on April 8, I asked students what they thought of the results of the vote.

Audrey Brand

Bridget Grover

Adesogi James

Tine Regula


Theatre Tech


BFA in Sculpture

“I voted for Hugo, so I’m happy with it.”

“I like it because it’s kind of like ‘You go, Hawk.’”

“I don’t really like the name. It doesn’t sound like a young, energetic hawk. It’s more like an 85-year-old man on life support.”

“Hugo is definitely the funniest and most awkwardly charming.”

Weekly Sports Update By Andrew Wyrich Copy Editor |

Baseball April 14: Fourth-year Clinton Boettcher helped lead the Hawks to a 3-2 week, including a split with nationally ranked No. 18 Plattsburgh State. For the week, he had a batting average of .500 (12-24) with six runs, three doubles, one homerun and 16 RBI. He currently leads the team in homeruns (5), RBI (32) and his second with a average of .365, winning SUNYAC Player of the Week honors. April 11: The Hawks fell today to the Skidmore Thoroughbreds, 6-2. The Hawks fell to 14-8 overall. The Hawks got on the board in the eighth when Zach Homerda led the inning off with a double to center field and would later score on a wild pitch. April 10: The New Paltz Baseball team split a double-header with nationally ranked No.18 Plattsburgh State Cardinals. The Hawks won the first game 14-11 and fell in the second by the score of 15-9. The Hawks upped their record to 14-7 overall and 2-1 in the SUNYAC. Boettcher went 4-for-6 from the plate, including three runs and five RBI while blasting his fifth homerun of the year. Boettcher now leads the team in RBI with 32.

Softball April 10: The New Paltz Softball team earned a hard fought split this afternoon with the Red Dragons of Oneonta. The Red Dragons edged out the Hawks in game one, 3-2, but the Hawks scored three runs in the second and third innings of game two for a 6-4 victory. April 7: Rose Dovi went 6-for-8 for the Hawks in the doubleheader with seven RBI and six runs scored, including a homerun and three triples to help the Hawks to a two-game sweep of Mount Saint Mary College. The Hawks improved to 11-7 overall.

Women’s Lacrosse April 10: The New Paltz Women’s Lacrosse team fell to the Fredonia Blue Devils by a score of 15-6 Saturday afternoon. The Hawks fell to 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the SUNYAC. Second-year attacker Samantha DelGaudio led the Hawks in scoring with two goals. April 9: The New Paltz Women’s Lacrosse team fell to the Buffalo State Bengals 20-5. The Hawks fell to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the SUNYAC. Thirdyear Brittany Bennett and second-year Samantha DelGaudio both scored two goals a piece. Bennett also recorded two assists for the Hawks.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The New Paltz Oracle

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Currently holding a 13-9 overall and 3-3 conference record, the Hawks hope to achieve their goal of coming out on top in the SUNYAC Championship.

Hawks Hope for Strong Finish By Pete Thompson Sports Editor |

The Softball team opened its conference season on April 2, after returning from Fort Myers, Fla. where they competed in the Gene Cusis Classic, playing six days of double headers. With a current 13-9 overall and 3-3 conference record, the team is remaining optimistic and setting their sights for a higher spot in the rankings. Since the conference season’s start, the team has had a string of home-field double headers, culminating in the most recent against the Manhattanville Valianrs on April 14. The Hawks had a 7-0 shutout victory in first game, but lost the second, 2-3. “In Florida we got all the jitters out in the beginning,” said second-year third baseman and designated hitter Samantha Barra. Improving along the way, the team had a 5-1 record for the final three days. The trip offered quality time for the team to prepare and play with newly

recruited first-years Melissa Liotta and Gillian Davidoff, as well as third-year transfer Jillian Gallagher from Division I East Carolina University. The group also had to adjust to the leadership of new head coach Denise Marchese. “She has really worked hard with us and it has shown,” fourthyear outfielder Rose Dovi said of Marchese, who came from Division I Central Connecticut State. “We are a strong team this year and plan on going much farther than any of the previous years in the program.”

Although fourth-year outfielder Erin Fitzpatrick said Marchese “runs a thight ship with strict rules,” often involving 6 a.m. conditioning and nearly four hour training sessions, everything has a purpose and she always makes the team aware of the benefits she has in mind. “ H e r attention to detail and overall philosophy for the game is sure to revolutionize SUNY New Paltz softball. I’m jealous of all the underclassmen who will have more years with her leading our program,” Fitzpatrick said. Dovi, who was the SUNYAC player

“I’m extremely vocal on and off the field, and try to be an example as to why we all need to work hard”

— Erin Fitzpatrick

Thursday, April 15, 2010

of the week for March 22 and currently leads the conference with Gallagher in hitting, said one goal is to win the SUNYAC championship. Barra said another is to never get swept in a game. “I think we have a very good team that’s well put together and has good leadership,” Barra said. “We can only go up from here.” Along with Marchese, this leadership comes from Assistant Coach John Shupe, Pitching Coach Samantha Keltos and the team’s three fourth-year captains - Fitzpatrick, Melyssa Cilmi and Dale Cornelius. “As a team captain, I think my responsibility is primarily to keep the team united - 16 as one outlook,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m extremely vocal on and off the field, and try to be an example as to why we all need to work hard.” The Hawks will hit the field again in a double header at Plattsburgh on Friday, April 16 at 3 p.m. This will be the team’s first away game since the Gene Cusis Classic in Florida.




Softball team seeks to build on strong start to new season


Two weeks into the season, struggles continue for Mets

Column on Page 13


See Story on Page 15

The New Paltz Oracle, Volume 81, Issue XIX  

Volume 81, Issue XIX or The New Paltz Oracle. Printed April 15, 2010.

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