November 9, 2011
Volume 63 | Issue 8
THE PACE PRESS SERVING PACE UNIVERSITY’S MANHATTAN CAMPUS SINCE 1948
University Flex Dollars program leaves students hungry New meal plan has potential but lacks needed local merchants
Occupy Wall Street Week 7 Update PATRICK DEHAHN Staff Writer
NAZARY NEBELUK Circulation Manager The University’s Flex Dollars program officially began last week. Flex Dollars is meant to be meal plan funds set aside in a student’s account to be used at off campus eateries. The closest thing to an official announcement about the usage of Flex Dollars came on Oct. 19 on the University’s blog, The Pace Pulse. The idea for such a program has long been thrown around but was not seriously considered until last year when the University’s Café 101, Spotlight Cafe and Pace Yourself Kiosk were shut down for several health code violations. Other NYC universities such as NYU and Columbia already have similar programs, like NYU’s Campus Cash and Columbia’s Flex Points. Both programs encompass a wide range of local merchants as well as big corporations such as McDonalds. The University hopes to expand the Flex Dollars program so it is as widely accepted in the Financial District neighborhood as other campus programs are in their respective areas. The dedication to the program however, can be best described as obligatory. While the Flex Dollars program never announced a release date, every student had $25 put aside from their meal plan at the beginning of the year without an explanation.
While students who ran out of their regular meal plan money could dip into their Flex Dollar account, they weren’t told exactly what this money was for or why it might be best to save it. From there, students were left in the dark with rumors being circulated that Chipotle would soon accept the Flex Dollars. The University seems keen to remind the student body that the program is coming, but it is slowly being implemented. It was revealed on The Pulse that the funds had been moved and that a total of five merchants had been recruited for the program, three near the PLV Campus and two near the NYC Campus—Chipotle and Hot Clay Oven. The Pulse also mentioned that Auxiliary Services would be looking into allocating more funds into the program for upcoming semesters and that those wishing to add more money to their current Flex Dollar balance can do so via check, cash or credit card. The Pace Press tried contacting Auxiliary Services Director Birchcham Wilkins via email but he did not respond in time before this story went to print. The program seems like a good direction for the University but students feel its sluggish pace may make it a running joke and not an actual feasible alternative for students. When The Pace Press spoke with the workers at Chipotle, it was revealed that they were aware of the program but had yet to get the machinery for transactions. Some employees at Hot Clay Oven were confused about the program, but those who had heard of it said that the machine they had wasn’t connected to servers yet.
“I thought the program was a good start but wasn’t thoroughly fleshed out. There was a lot of confusion of what Flex Dollars were initially and even after you find out how you can use them, there are only two places in an area where there’s a countless amount of eateries,” senior Joseph Cipolla said. “I have heard of Flex Dollars. As far [sic] I know, the Flex Dollars were ‘separated’ from our meal plan so that we could have the ‘privilege’ of spending that amount outside of the campus. However, I have yet to hear which eateries around campus accept the Flex Dollars. Also the Flex Dollars is probably only good to buy two decent meals since food around us is beyond expensive for the average college student...” senior Elizabeth Valle said. Previous examples of student input, including selecting a new food vendor for the cafeteria, were not very transparent and many have felt their voice hadn’t been heard. Overall, the Flex Dollars program looks like a positive step by the University to address several complaints of the student body, including the quality of cafeteria food and the restrictive nature of the mandatory meal plans. Despite the initial action being taken at the beginning of the semester, the program still has no tangible use two months later. Many students are also left in the dark about not only its uses, but the way their meal plan money is being used. Other schools have rolled out similar programs to great success and there is no reason that if the Administration steps up, the University can’t have this program work well.
After an Oct. 15 global call to action that included millions of protesters participating worldwide, Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has rapidly evolved. The layout of Zuccotti Park has changed throughout the time of the OWS protesters stay, after almost being evicted by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties, owner of Zuccotti Park, on Oct. 14 in an effort to clean the park. The cleaning was postponed by Brookfield Properties and protestors adjusted their camps to allow for an easier clean up and pedestrian flow throughout the park. “We had a ton of people come that day [Oct. 14] when they wanted us to leave so they could clean the park and the support has been great overall since then,” OWS protester Kanaska Carter said, who has been at Zuccotti Park since Sept. 18. The nor’easter that hit the Northeast on Oct. 28 and 29 also impacted the layout of Zuccotti Park as it is now full of tents and tarps covering stations. The NYPD has enforced NYC and Brookfield Properties’ rules of not allowing tents in the park. One notable encounter between protesters and the NYPD regarding tents included Reverend Jesse Jackson locking arms with the protesters to defend a medical tent. It is unclear of the future for the tent situation in the park. The NYPD also confiscated many generators, which stopped protesters from producing electrical heat and charging electronic items. This upcoming winter may bring challenges to the movement. Queens College student Su Wang, who has volunteered at OWS part-time since Sept. 17, believes that an upcoming OWS challenge is, “winter, because obviously, it’s cold.” Wang states that there will still be support, but not necessarily in the big numbers and in the physical form. People will donate food, clothes, sleeping bags and tents but not come and march in the cold. “I know there will still be people coming to participate; who knows who’s
OWS continued on PAGE 4
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November 9, 2011
Crashstat.org helps pedestrians and cyclists avoid NYC’s deadliest intersections JOANNA GONZALEZ Staff Writer Crashstat.org, a website that caters to NYC’s five boroughs, provides information on which intersections were the most dangerous and life threatening for pedestrians and cyclists from 1995 to 2009. According to the website’s statistics, Manhattan holds the highest number of fatal and seriously injured accidents as a whole to pedestrians and cyclists alike. The intersection of Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue in Brooklyn is considered the deadliest intersection in NYC. Until 2009, it had seen a total of six fatalities and 155 car accidents that left 154 people injured. The second deadliest intersection is in Manhattan at 42nd St. and 8th Ave. Due to the velocity of cars on the Eastern Parkway intersection, the amount of deaths calculated at this specific location is as plausible as other local points throughout the city’s heavily trafficked areas. Both people and cars see less fatalities, but overall more accidents
since the vehicles are moving slower than usual. Although those two intersections are the highest standing according to the number of deaths, Park Avenue and East 33rd St. has had the highest number of crashes as of 2009, totaling 175 car accidents and one fatality. The Lower East Side is considered the highest targeted area for collisions in all of the five boroughs when focusing on cyclist accidents. Bowery and East Houston’s crossing is deemed to be the most dangerous for cyclists, with 40 crashes and 41 injuries. Delancey Street and Essex Street along with Allen Street and 1st Ave. are the second and third most hazardous intersections in this particular area with 36 and 34 crashes and 36 and 35 injuries respectively. While some students find it resourceful that cyclists have become part of an ecofriendly movement by eliminating the use of cars, one student believes that these New Yorkers are a threat to themselves and others who use taxis as a means of transportation. “Cyclists pose a danger to themselves
and others when riding in the city’s most heavily congested neighborhoods; it’s particularly frightening sitting in a cab and a rider is trying to peddle between the taxi and a parked car,” senior Alla Chulak said. “Contrary to popular belief, researchers find that when the number of bicyclists on the road goes up, the raw number of bicyclists hit by cars actually goes down: there is safety in numbers,” according to Crashstat.org. “Although it seems that not many people ride bikes anymore, nowadays there are still those who do and being aware of major accident sites can be extremely helpful for them,” sophomore Betty Dip said. Looking at the complete data for every borough, Queen’s Roosevelt Avenue and 114th St., Staten Island’s New Dorp Lane and Hylan Boulevard, the Bronx’s Webster Avenue and East Fordham Road and Brooklyn’s Flushing Avenue and Broadway are found to be the most threatening intersections for bicyclists. For pedestrians, Queen’s Union Street and Northern Boulevard, Manhattan’s Park Avenue and 33rd St. and Brooklyn’s Utica
Avenue and Eastern Parkway are believed to be the riskiest crossings while the Bronx and Staten Island’s cyclist intersection remains the same for pedestrians. “I think that they should try to create more bike paths in the city to protect cyclists and prevent accidents,” senior Aisha Nansikombi said. There is also data calculating different areas that effect different types of age groups such as children and senior citizens. Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn has the most child accidents out of any of the five boroughs. Manhattan’s 1st Ave. & East 57th St. is the intersection where senior citizens were injured the most. The website may not necessarily prevent cars from speeding or causing accidents, these days a lot can also be contributed to pedestrians not paying enough attention while crossing the road.
PART OF THE STATISTICS? Visit Crashstat.org to report an accident or read additional city statistics.
Professor Darren Hayes speaks about Google and Apple product predictions LEEANN MOREAU Contributor Google has recently released its newest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, stating that it would not only improve the way Android phones work, but also to improve the efficiency of Android tablets. The Android operating system currently accounts for 48 percent of global market share, dominating the world of smartphones. After the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and the plummet in stocks from 96 percent to 67 percent, Apple, is struggling with the competition. University Information Technology Professor Darren Hayes stated that the impact of Jobs’ death on Apple stocks was, “Not as big as people might have anticipated because there was a succession plan in there. There was already a change in leadership and it wasn’t as devastating to the company as people once feared.” The engaging breakthrough coming from Google which plans to combine its Honeycomb tablet software with the Gingerbread’s smartphone software to create an operating system that works universally through tablets and smart phones alike, seems to have a more crippling affect on Apple. Some of the more promising features with the Ice Cream Sandwich system include easier access to multitasking with apps, a high-tech camera accompanied with a photo editor, universal search bar, a new keyboard and several other effects. When Prof. Hayes was asked if
he considered the Android to be one of the top holiday selling gifts he said, “I haven’t really gotten to see it yet, but I don’t think that it’ll be out in time for the holiday season. I think both of them will be hot commodities. I think that what was unusual was that Androids were being shipped more than the iPads. Google’s had the Lion’s share of the market in terms of smartphones and Apple has done well but hasn’t been able to compete as well. In terms of tablets there’s been a big shift in the market recently because the tablet has improved so much,” Prof. Hayes said. Prof. Hayes also mentioned that instead of the iPad or Google’s Android, if it does come out in time for the holidays, he thought that, “A big seller this holiday season is the new Kindle…cheaper tablets do well in this economy.” Google is getting a hold of the innovations and new technologies of Apple, who come out with new products such as the iPhone and the iPad, and after using the core ideology behind the product, create a better one through improved software. When asked about this in regards to Google’s newest purchase Prof. Hayes said, “Google announced that they’re going to acquire Motorola Mobility, they hold an amazing array of patents in the mobile device market, including 4G LTE and so many hand set manufacturers rely on these Motorola patterns. So it’s going to give Google a tremendous boost in the hand-held market. It’s going to make them an even stronger player.”
November 9, 2011
President Obama announces outline for new student debt relief plan ERICK MANCEBO Staff Writer President Barack Obama announced plans to overhaul the way college graduates repay federal loan debt to the government on Oct. 26. Still in its early stages, the plan calls for a reduction in monthly payments as well as for the consolidation of different types of loans, lowering their interest rates. The plan could potentially affect nearly six million borrowers, rather than costing taxpayers more, will instead save money. Obama’s plan reduces the maximum repayment on student loans from 15 percent of discretionary income annually to 10 percent according to Lohud.com. This reduction in payment was slated to go into effect in 2014 as part of his health care reform, but is being fasttracked by the president in light of new, less than promising statistics on college graduate loan debt. According to The Huffington Post, “The College Board said…that the average in-state tuition and fees at fouryear public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or about 8 percent, compared with a year ago.” Increased tuition across the board spells trouble for students attempting to get into U.S. colleges or renew financial aid packages for upcoming years. Students who have already graduated college continue to face hardship due to their loans. “Total outstanding student debt has passed $1 trillion, more than the nation’s credit card debt, and average indebtedness for students is [still]
rising,” according to Huffingtonpost. com. The President’s plan also outlined shortening the time-span after which loan debt is forgiven. Currently, after 25 years of repaying loans, the remaining balance is forgiven. If his plan is executed, the remaining balance will be forgiven after only 20 years.
independently and feels short-changed by the University. “For what the college gives us, it’s too little. For what they’re offering us in the end, I’m paying for more than I get. [For example], they should pay for our transportation…The shuttle [from the St. George Residence Hall] isn’t enough because it barely runs,” Lucherini said.
I believe that college is like the dirtiest business I know. They can ask [for] as much money [as they want] and people will pay for it because they believe that without a college education you can’t really get a job. -Ottillie Gigourtakis, Freshman
However, a report from ABC News emphasizes the need for immediate, more time-conscious action. While studying data from the graduating class of 2010, ABC News found that of the students who took out federal loans, the average amount owed upon graduation was $250,250. The findings are troubling because they signal a five percent increase from the average debt of the class of 2009. “Any sort of change makes a difference, if it’s less money I’d clearly rather pay less money,” freshman Joey Lucherini said. Like many University students, Lucherini is paying for his education
“I believe that college is like the dirtiest business I know. They can ask [for] as much money [as they want] and people will pay for it because they believe that without a college education you can’t really get a good job. Like now it’s not just high school, you have to get a degree, you have to go to graduate school, you know, it’s a whole process,” freshman Ottie Gigourtakis said, who believes that the problem is nation-wide. Lucherini said that addressing the problem of over-priced colleges is important, but appreciates the president’s attempts to aid graduates. “I’m paying for school myself, so I, clearly being a non-working teen would love lower
rates,” Lucherini said. Right-wing presidential candidates have criticized Obama’s plan however, with Michele Bachmann telling The Boston Globe, “The individual needs to repay and be responsible for repaying their student loan debt.” Apparently mistaken about the actual costs of the plan, she continued by saying, “There is a morality in keeping our financial promises, and I don’t think we should push that off onto the taxpayer.” White House officials told Huffingtonpost.com that the plan would not cost money because when formerly private government-backed loans are consolidated, the government no longer has to pay a subsidy to private lenders on the Federal Family Education Loan Program loans. Obama’s plan also drew criticism from others who see his attempts at reform as a thinly veiled political move to garner the votes of millions of college students and graduates who want to see reform pass. “I think it’s gonna be a big impact on votes...It’ll definitely impact people’s votes and mine. If I knew it would stay because he’s the next president, I would definitely vote for him,” Lucherini said. Gigourtakis also believes the plan will benefit Obama’s re-election campaign. “I think it will affect his votes because it affects like a lot of young people who are beginning to vote. You know, 18 [is] the age of voting [and] where you go into college.”
Controversial sex education program causes concern among NYC parents
DOE introduces new mandatory sex-ed curriculum to middle school and high school students AMANDA BAKER Contributor Dennis Walcott, Chancellor of NYC’s Department of Education (DOE), is implementing a new sex education curriculum in the second part of the 2011-2012 school year for middle school and high school students as of Aug. 2011. The new sex education mandates has some parents of students upset due to the changes in the previous curriculum, as the new one is going to include the topics of bestiality, porn and phone sex. The new curriculum is supposed to teach children everything they need to know about sex and contraception. However, parents in the NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition feel that teaching students how to protect themselves and exposing them to topics too advanced for their age are two different things. The NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition demands that parents should have the right to choose what kind of sex education their children receive. Some parents are not comfortable with their children learning these things in a classroom setting because they would prefer to teach these subjects to their children on their own. Although the parents agree that children should receive sexual education in order for them to learn the consequences of sex and how to prevent it, they don’t believe that the level of education mandated in the new curriculum by the DOE is appropriate for 11 and 12-year-olds. The most important aspect of sex education should be providing students with medically correct information. There is a possibility that giving them this information too early could be detrimental to their decisions. However, not giving them the information before they start
making sexual decisions could cause bad decision making or result in negative consequences. “Legislatures across the nation spend millions upon millions of dollars to combat sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy, highlighting the importance of sexual education. However, this particular curriculum being forced on children by the New York City Department of Education contains material that is both explicit and graphic…We are calling on the city to offer an alternative program, which is more focused on abstinence, while teaching the potential dangers and consequences of engaging in sexual activity. Parents should have a choice as to what level, and in which time frame, their children learn about sex,” New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis stated at a press conference that promoted an alternative sex education curriculum. There is a version of the curriculum for middle school students and a version for high school students. Students in middle schools participate in the Middle School HealthSmart Curriculum while the high school students receive the High School HealthSmart with Reducing the Risk curriculum. For parents who feel this is still too much for their kids to be exposed to, there is the choice of opting out of the Reducing the Risk curriculum. “We now live in a society in which the media is defining and teaching children about sex before educators and parents can. The media is not only heteronormative but a misrepresentation that the majority of minors engage in sexual activity. 11 or 12 is not at all too young, in fact, it may even be too late to introduce sex in a healthy, professional, and realistic way,” sophomore Nancy Albino, who is on the Peer Health Exchange Leadership Council, said. “People need to understand that this is a matter of
plannedparenthood.org public health and providing teenagers with knowledge that they will use for the rest of their lives. This is not an attempt to diminish values or morals, it is empowering children to make informed decisions,” junior Daniella Eras, Co-Coordinator for the Peer Health Exchange, said. Whether parents are aware or not, their children are being exposed to information beyond their control. Depending on their values and beliefs, parents feel differently about the type of information their children are receiving from school. By January, all middle and high school students will be learning this curriculum in their classrooms.
November 9, 2011
High Line gets $20 million donation to complete third installment of the park NAZARY NEBELUK Circulation Manager The High Line, an elevated park on NYC’s West side, got a $20 million donation from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation on Oct. 26 to help complete the third part of the park’s construction and set up an endowment for its maintenance. The donation is the largest private donation to a NYC public park, beating a previous donation made to Central Park in the ’90s. The High Line is one of NYC’s newest public parks, with the first part of construction having been finished in 2009. The park reuses an old stretch of abandoned elevated subway rail to form an aerial walkway for city residents and visitors. The rail was scheduled for demolition back in the ’90s. However, the non-profit Friends of the High Line, the group in charge of maintenance of the park, petitioned for this project instead. The project initially seemed like a pipe dream in 2005 but that was when the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation first stepped forward to assist them. The High Line’s popularity and success has inspired other projects in several cities, with Chicago and St. Louis researching similar options of their own. Since its opening, the park has grown rapidly in popularity and has even become a destination for many out of town visitors. The park currently runs from Gansevoort Street to 30th St. along 10th Ave. The third part of the park from the donation will help fund the rest of the track across
Iwan Baan | thehighline.org to 12th Ave., up to 34th St. and then back down to 10th Ave., allowing visitors an unprecedented view of the Hudson River. In a press release, Friends of the High Line said, “With this pledge, the Diller –von Furstenberg family has donated a total of $35 million to the High Line, demonstrating their visionary leadership in saving the once-abandoned elevated freight rail line from demolition and transforming
OWS movement continues despite arrests and cold weather continued from PAGE 1 going to be here,” Wang said. Occupy Oakland has also been in the news recently because of city police attempting to evict the occupiers in Oakland, Calif. on Oct. 25. During this eviction, Iraq War marine veteran Scott Olsen was shot with a rubber bullet and injured by the Oakland Police. Olsen was rushed to the hospital and found out that his skull was fractured. NYC’s OWS decided to donate $20,000 to Occupy Oakland in support and performed a solidarity walk to City Hall on Oct. 26. The NYPD attempted to get protesters to stay on the sidewalk as they ran in the streets, with taxicabs and vehicles honking their horns in support. After circling City Hall twice, the walk broke off into groups with one headed to the West Village up 6th Ave., another group headed to Union Square and the last group went back to Zuccotti Park to wait for the rest of the protesters resulting in 10 arrests. Occupy Oakland launched a citywide general strike on Nov. 2. Over 10,000 protesters took the Bay Bridge in Oakland from the inner city to the Port of Oakland. Protesters stood and blocked each gate as they occupied the port. The Port of Oakland partially reopened on Nov. 3.. The 78 NYC protesters who were arrested for nonviolent offenses at the Union Square march earlier in September attended an arraignment on Nov 3. All except 14 showed up as 53 declared that they wanted to continue to trial and nine complied with their charges being dismissed after six months if they aren’t arrested again. The remaining two protesters were charged with
it into a public park to be enjoyed by all New Yorkers for generations to come.” Senior Elizabeth Valle said, “When it comes to this, I have mixed feelings. A part of me loves the fact that it will be expanded and it will be something that millions of people can share. I love parks and the outdoors. I feel as though parks are a great place to go to enjoy a nice day instead of being inside but at the same time
I feel like that money can be donated to more urgent causes like the food bank and other foundations that could really use the help.” NYC seems receptive of the park with public support being almost universal for the High Line. The future completion of the park will help the city and add beauty to the area.
NYPD ticket fixing scandal breaks throughout city JOANNA GONZALEZ Staff Writer On Oct. 28, 16 NYPD officers have been arrested and were arraigned for allegedly dismissing and fixing tickets for over a span of three years. All 16 police officers pleaded not guilty and were released on bail. The investigation started when a police officer was suspected of being involved with an drug dealer in the Bronx, which led to wire tapping and the discovery of other police officers involved in an assortment of unscrupulous services, the biggest being ticket fraud. Numerous citations that had been overlooked were typically for family members and friends of certain police officers. According to Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, $2 million was lost in NYC due to the ticket fixing. The three methods for abolishing the violation, according to Huffingtonpost.com, were having them “voided by a ranking official, a copy is ripped up before it reaches court or the officer doesn’t appear on the day of the summons.” Although a majority of the police officers being prosecuted are from Bronx precincts, the misconduct happened in other boroughs as well. Senior Rye Rin, who worked in her father’s auto shop in Queens stated, “At the auto shop I worked
in, people always talked about having their close friends or family who worked or had connections with the NYPD [who] helped get their ticket records erased.” While some see it as fair game individually, there is a battle between what is considered just and unjust for those who do not have any connections with law enforcement. “On a personal level, I would definitely want my ticket to be dismissed. On a national level though, it’s just not right,” freshman Danny Izquierdo said. It’s natural to hope for one’s ticket to be nullified. In an overall stance, the process affects plenty and almost reverses and contradicts one of the sole duties an officer’s obliged to fulfill as an officer distributing tickets. “I think it is really unfair to do this, cause [sic] the NYPD should definitely treat all people equally. If I parked my car at the wrong place and the wrong time I would pay for the ticket, it is my responsibility to pay for my own mistakes,” graduate student Congcong Li said. Aside from the citations, for a long time there has been the infamous Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) card, which has assisted and favored many civilians in parking and speeding violations. These special service cards are handed out by officers to friends and families. There are only a hand-few
of them, which in many cases has veered officers away from certain illegal violations and carrying out their responsibilities. Since PBA cards are already dismissing and favoring many civilians, for police officers to take further matters into their own hands toward citizens who do not bear these cards is somewhat disruptive and unfair to other officers in the force. “I don’t think dismissing tickets are fair, but it happens. It is no secret that the NYPD is corrupt and I think that it should be corrected immediately, despite those cards they give out,” sophomore Alexandra Newton said. “Taking care of your family, taking care of your friends, is not a crime…To take a courtesy and turn it into a crime is wrong,” Patrick Lynch, President of the Law Enforcement Union, stated to a Gannett press release. Last fall, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly enforced the department to rectify the computer system that tracks down distributed tickets. The system will detect and prohibit officers from practicing such methods used to interfere with quotas according to The Anchorage Daily News. Taking advantage of authority power is not unheard of, but with the recent events, the NYPD may be put under close watch.
November 9, 2011
OPINION AND EDITORIALS
THE PACE PRESS
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ADAM WELLS | CONTRIBUTOR
Conan O’Brien returns to New York Comedian and “Late-Night” extraordinaire Conan O’Brien made his long overdue trip back to NYC last week. It has only been two years since Conan left the city, but it felt longer to me. He was doing a week of shows down at the Beacon Theatre. I, a long time Coco fan, thought why on earth did he ever leave this city? Now I know the obvious answer to the question, its Jay Leno’s fault. However, this place was tailor-made for Conan and it was evident with the way he was on-stage at the famed theater that he never wanted to leave. I missed the good old days when he would go around town and have these sometimes stomach hurting segments. Whether it was finding an apartment for his writer on staff or attempting to become a bartender, a bike messenger, or an ice cream truck driver, Conan created these hilarious moments that made fans alike say, “This is what I want to see.” But now that he’s in California, he does not have that at his disposal. What exciting thing could he possibly do on the TBS lot? It’s not like he can walk right out of his studio and find something interesting to do to make the fans laugh out loud at his quirky manner. Conan should have never left this city and the fans know it as well. The first show on Halloween night, when Andy Richter introduced him to the crowd, they gave him a standing ovation lasting about four minutes and it was evident that Conan felt like he was back where he belonged. And he made no secret
that he loved the city back with his sketch called “Building Battle,” pinning the Empire State Building against some obscure building in California, who is usually dressed as a midget, and the Empire State Building always winning. He also brought back his humorous segments about him going around town and exploring the city like the good old times, and the return of famed characters including the Masturbating Bear and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. And how can Conan top that? Well, by having a same-sex marriage performed on stage for his co-worker of course. No one could have pulled that off; not Leno, not Letterman, not even the likeable guy Jimmy Fallon could have performed a wedding on his show quite like Conan. I hope that one day he will come back to New York and this time stay until he decides to not walk out on stage and do his string dance. And after watching the last show at the famous Beacon Theatre, I cannot help but to wonder if Conan will ever return to his old ways. Sure, you could try to better yourself and try new things, but California does not know how to play to the quirky, intelligent humor that the Harvard grad possesses. No matter where Conan goes I will be a fan and to see him gracing the stage in at the Beacon Theatre brings back memories of when he used the city as his playground and we were spectators there for the ride.
ON CAMPUS EVENTS W E D N E S D A Y NOV 9
T H U R S D A Y NOV 10
Black Maybe Documentary Premiere Sponsored by Black Student Union Student Union 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Desire Sponsored by Psi Chi Lecture Hall North 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
M O N D A Y NOV 14 International Food, Culture & Music Festival Sponsored by International Programs and Services Student Union 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Living with HIV / AIDS Sponsored by Sigma Iota Alpha Lecture Hall North 8 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Fotini Sachpatzidis News Editor Stephanie Hansen Arts Editor Craig Held Features Editor Kate Hamzik Copy Editor Leucepe Martinez Advertising Manager Brian Rentas Web Editor Nazary Nebeluk Circulation Manager Michael Oricchio Faculty Consultant
STAFF Sarah Aires Abby Beatson Olivia Beteta Patrick deHahn Betty Fermin Joanna Gonzalez Mona Khaldi Erick Mancebo Anthony Mastroianni Nicole Morales Damien Morgan Julia Yeung
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November 9, 2011
Senegalese musician activist Baaba Maal brings Schimmel Center to its feet
pace.edu MONA KHALDI Staff Writer Senegalese singer, artist and activist Baaba Maal performed at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts on Oct. 24, taking audiences back to his country to experience its lively and abundant culture. “Tales from the Sahel,” began with Maal singing traditional Senegalese music with his calling voice and a guitar. The picking of the strings was unsyncopated and he did not hold his voice back. While listening to his music one could picture the sort of place he came from, laid back, traditional, rural and one that has a long history. After his first song, an interview with questions about where he was from, how he grew up, when he began making music and what the purpose of his music is were asked. Maal explained that he grew up in the very
small town of Podor, Senegal. He remembered his father wanting him to be a lawyer or doctor and not supporting his musical ambitions. After college, Maal secretly began attending a conservatory. He began getting his music played on the radio, making sure that no one ever revealed his identity. He remembered one day when he was walking down the street and hearing his voice coming from the speakers. The experience was strange for him as he had never heard his own voice before. Later on when he was back in his village, he was out in the courtyard with his father when his song came on the radio. His father was praying but stopped and listened for a few minutes. He looked at him in silence and finally asked, “Baaba, is that you?” When Maal replied that it was, he got his father’s blessing and so Maal promised to always think hard before he writes a song and to make
it meaningful. At the show, Maal sang songs praising the hard work of women and of the African continent, about how rich and full of life it is. He sang about the history and used traditional tunes as well. Maal is known as a griot, also known as a storyteller, and has the role of preserving history. They memorize songs and stories and are essential to saving and continuing Senegalese culture. As part of his performance, Maal was joined by a percussionist from the UK and a drummer from the Congo. People began to get up, dance and not a single person remained in their seat. “I thought it was pretty educational in the beginning. I like his music it was different, it pretty different from what we have here,” junior Talisha Scism said. “It was definitely different from anything I heard, and definitely not boring,” junior Chanel Ashley said.
Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard performs at Schimmel Center
pace.edu NICOLE MORALES Staff Writer The University hosted the Grammy Award winning Terence Blanchard Quintet at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts on Nov. 5. The New Orleans native brought his impressively intricate compositions to the Big Apple, playing both old and new material. His equally impressive supporting band consisted of Fabian Almazan on piano, Kendrick Scott on drums, Brice Winston on tenor saxophone and 19-year-old Juilliard School student Joshua Crumbly on bass. The concert originally advertised that the Quintet would be performing their 2007 album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), an album focused around the devastation of Hurricane Katrina which won a Grammy award. However, after performing three songs Blanchard made it clear that they were not solely performing songs from that album as that record is “about a hundred years old” and that they were just “going to have fun with it.” One song which they did play from the album was “In Time of Need,” which features very little of Blanchard’s trumpet and consists mostly of Winston’s
saxophone wailing in frustration of the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Winston has lived in New Orleans for 17 years and was deeply effected by the hurricane. The piece, featuring his wailing saxophone, frantic drums, bass and piano expressed those sentiments. After the first three songs, Blanchard took time to thank the audience for supporting him. He made small talk with the crowd, showing a comical side, a change from the serious demeanor he retains while performing. As he introduced his band, cheers and whistles erupted for Crumbly, to which Blanchard reacted with a playful surprised expression followed with “Where’s Spike?” referencing the iconic New York director Spike Lee, who Blanchard has collaborated on many film scores. A Tale of God’s Will was originally used in Lee’s 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts that focused on the post-Katrina devastation along the Gulf Coast. Blanchard and his family were featured in the documentary as well, speaking firsthand about the devastations they experienced. The documentary score was not Blanchard’s first collaboration with Lee in which
he composed pieces based on emotions surrounding U.S. tragedies. Lee’s 2002 film The 25th Hour about a drug lord struggling with life, regret and redemption features a score by Blanchard including the hauntingly beautiful “Ground Zero.” These scores have proven, if not already clear, that Blanchard is indeed the master at his craft. One looks at Blanchard during a performance and sees a man deep in thought and emotion as he awaits his cue. He feels the music with his heart and it’s apparent as he silently mouths out sounds mimicking the percussion. To watch Blanchard’s quintet is to witness true musical talent at its finest. One of the last songs performed “Winding Roads,” featured on the Quintet’s latest album Changes, was one Blanchard seemed to deeply admire. He said the album’s central theme was the changes people had to deal with post-Katrina. The album strays from traditional jazz record in that it features the spoken word of Dr. Cornel West and vocals by singer Bilal. The spoken word segments play out over intricate jazz compositions featuring complicated trumpet-piano duets. Dr. West is a popular activist whose lectures usually focus on civil rights and anti-war activism.
Blanchard even allowed for Havana, Cuba native Almazan to shine on a piano solo entitled “H.U.G.S” which will be featured on his debut album set to be released this month. The show was truly an extraordinary experience, one which reminds people that there are still brilliantly creative minds to be discovered. Blanchard’s impressive Quintet are all stars in their own right, but together they compliment and balance each other. It is impossible for just one member of the Quintet to outshine the rest, as they all are given their moments to shine and be heard. Blanchard’s warm New Orleans jazz was certainly welcomed in New York as he received a standing ovation after his closing piece. He gives hope that music hasn’t succumbed to its worst in recent years as seen through his young bandmates. Blanchard’s young band is inspirational in that they have a developed taste for sophisticated jazz in the modern world. Perhaps, Blanchard’s Quintet might even inspire today’s generation to appreciate that jazz although classic, is still relevant.
November 9, 2011
Conan O’Brien fans show their Team Coco spirit at Time Warner Center exhibit KATE HAMZIK Copy Editor Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien made his triumphant return to NYC to film his TBS show “Conan” from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 at the Beacon Theatre. As part of his return, he was honored with a fan art gallery on the second floor of the Time Warner Center from Oct. 24 to Nov. 3. The New York Museum of Conan Art (NY COCO MOCA) featured not only art by O’Brien’s fans, but also an audio tour with commentary by O’Brien and his sidekick Andy Richter for select pieces that fans could listen to as they walked around the gallery. Like any art gallery, the NY COCO MOCA featured sections for its artwork such as Post SelfDeconstructivism, Really Real Surrealism, Classical Narcissism and Neo-Impressionistic Expressionism. Exhibits also included the interactive Conan Loveseat that was built and designed by artist Deeplocal. Fans could sit on the orange couch and get their picture taken while it wrapped it robotic arms around people and talked to them. Another exhibit featured was the Conan Pencilism exhibit which is a life size sculpture of O’Brien created with only colored pencils and zip ties by artist Federico Uribe. Overall, the gallery showed very impressive artwork from O’Brien’s dedicated fans. If you missed the exhibit at the Time Warner Center, all the artwork is available online at Teamcoco.com/moca.
all photos by Kate Hamzik | The Pace Press “Kid Conan-Jeggings”
Jaimie Trampus “An Epic Painting of Epic Proportions”
“A Wordy Host”
Federico Uribe Sculpture made of colored pencils and zip-ties.
November 9, 2011
Psychoanalyst shows potential as a writer for detective genre with debut novel ANTHONY MASTROIANNI Staff Writer Lacanian psychoanalyst Bruce Fink recently penned his first work of fiction, “The Adventures of Inspector Canal.” Inspector Canal is a former French secret service member with a background in psychoanalysis. Having traded his life in the “city of lights” for semi-retirement in the “city that doesn’t sleep,” Canal often finds his wit and knowledge of everything under the sun at the service of New York’s finest. “The Adventures of Inspector Canal” doubles as both a detective novel and a fictional journal of a psychiatrist. Overall, it is not a bad read for anyone who might be a fan of the detective genre, however, the anonymous excerpt on the back cover that reads, “move over Sherlock Holmes,” could make any fan of the genre scoff. Fink divides the book into three different stories of Inspector Canal. The first story, “The Case of the Lost Object,” does not exactly set the mood of the other adventures as well as it could have. The first story was likely Fink’s first piece of fiction starring all-star detective Quesjac Canal. It doesn’t read the same way a detective novel would, or any good literature for that matter. There is a serious plot set forth within the first chapter, but Fink fails to move it forward. It more or less acts as a rather snobby reflection of Fink’s knowledge of fine wines and upper crest matters, that would alienate most readers expecting something of a Sam Spade style detective story. Half of every page is in italics, as Inspector Canal speaks in French to native English speakers and explains the meaning only a portion of the time. Being a thinking man himself, it seems a tad bit absurd that Fink can’t make that connection that he writes his own characters to feel uncomfortable and inadequate with Canal’s constant use
tower.com of French and not expect his readers to feel the same way. Canal even throws in some usage of other languages, yet a true sleuth of a reader may even catch Fink misspelling a word or two in Italian. On top of over doing it, Fink hinges on the border boasting how smart he is, Fink writes “The
Case of the Lost Object” in true Fink form. It is more or less a 90 page conversation about Mozart, Einstein and psychoanalyzing childhood complexes, which is very interesting. The following two stories of Inspector Canal’s adventures are far more intriguing. “The Case of the Pirated Formula” and “The Case of the Liquidity Squeeze” are both plot driven and have potential to characterize Fink as a writer instead of a psychoanalyst. “The Case of the Pirated Formula” has the type of suspense that one expects from a true detective novel. Canal is sure to continue helping his cliental overcome personal problems, but it is done in a tasteful manner. When police inspector Olivetti is in a bind, he comes to Canal to help get to the bottom of a counterfeiting conspiracy involving the Chinese, booze and the livelihood of European monks. Canal, of course implements his own style of detective work that New York police officers are apparently incapable of, and sets forth on a tale of more relatable subjects like alcohol and lust. “The Case of the Liquidity Squeeze” picks up where “The Case of the Pirated Formula” left off. Inspector Canal is once again approached by the NYPD to help solve a mystery. This time, he finds himself in the middle of New York’s biggest political scandal of all time. The mayor is involved as are all of his juicy little secrets. Fink does an ever better job in this story staying relevant to modern events revolving around hard economic times while seamlessly crossing back and forth between the plot and his psychoanalysis of each character. It is a testament to his growth as a writer since “The Case of the Lost Object.” Overall, “The Adventures of Inspector Canal” makes for a good read, especially for anyone of the “noir” or detective genres, but Sherlock Holmes need not look over his shoulder just yet.
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November 9, 2011
Swedish rock band The Sounds headlines Webster Hall on U.S. tour KIM BUI Editor-in-Chief
Swedish rockers The Sounds headlined a show at Webster Hall on Oct. 4, performing to a crowd of die-hard fans. The Limousines, an indietronica group from the San Francisco Bay area, were ready and waiting as the venue filled. With fog, strobe lights and a megaphone, the set served as a mini dance party to start the night. Frontman Eric Victorino’s “in your face” stage presence with the audience; diving into the crowd, popping a confetti balloon and even taking someone’s camera and taking pictures from onstage, broke the awkward “we’re the opening band, listen to us” phase. Instrumentalist Giovanni Giusti was featured on keyboards and drums, with his hands turning into a blur as he pounded on drums for certain songs. Their nonstop sound and electronic feel were pure energy. Kids at the Bar, a DJ duo from Oklahoma City, spun between sets. Chad “Rad” Raunborg and Matt Buckley switched between originals and remixes, which were all well received. The DJs’ sounds were infectious and always had the crowd wanting more, ready for the next set. Natalia Kills, appearing in an eccentric but clean, well-tailored outfit took to the stage with a Lady Gaga-Janelle Monáe aura and sense. The English singersongwriter began her set with “Break You Hard,” from her first album, Perfectionist. She also snuck a few covers into
her set between songs, like La Roux’s “Bulletproof” and Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You.” The song “Free,” originally featuring the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am, seemed a little too bubble-gum pop, with lyrics like “I’m free/ I just spent all my money/ But I rocked that like it don’t cost a thing… Gotta stretch that dollar bill/ Stretch that dollar.” Despite the money and shopping, “Acid Annie,” took more of a rock and grunge turn, while “Kill My Boyfriend,” was filled with revenge that only a girl could conjure for an ex-boyfriend. Her sound is a mix between pop choruses that get you hooked on singing and a rock live sound to get you dancing. As The Sounds slowly appeared on stage, singer Maja Ivarsson walked to the front in a dress, leather jacket and cigarette in hand, in a frontwoman rock style only she could emulate. The crowd multiplied by the time they began their performance. The Swedish indie rock band has been around for a few years now, and they have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Their sound has evolved over the years, from more rough and punk into dance, new wave and rock. Between their four albums, one can see and hear their transition in writing and sound. They band wasted no time jumping into their set, which ended up being almost an hour, but not long enough for some fans. The set list varied between all of their albums, Living in America, Dying To Say This To You, Crossing The Rubicon and their most recent album Something To Die For.
Action thriller reminiscent of Bond and Bourne is sure to please all audiences DAMIEN MORGAN Staff Writer Truly a non-stop action thriller, The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch will captivate any audience. Nerio Winch (Miki Manojlovic), a billionaire financier and head of the W Group, is suddenly found dead in Hong Kong with his fortune up for grabs. His second in command Ann (Kristin Scott Thomas) is left with the responsibility of looking for Winch’s unknown adopted son Largo (Tomer Sisley). While on the hunt for the adopted son, Largo himself is also on a hunt for his true identity and destiny. Largo soon learns, through the autopsy, that his father did not die of natural causes but indeed by the hands of a murderer. To catch the killer he must use the special training and knowledge that was secretly given to him throughout his childhood by his unforgiving and ingenious late father. When searching for the killer, the W Group is also in danger of being bought out by their rival company. The W Group finds themselves fighting off legal battles and turning points in hopes that the true heir to the company will bring back the bonds that hold the key to Nerio and the company’s fortune. Easily compared to the any James Bond or Jason Bourne movies, The Heir Apparent goes beyond any natural thriller film. With drug traffickers, assassins, corporate raiders and double-dealing insiders, this movie will not only push a person to the edge of their seat but give them a new outlook on how movies should be made. It even displays many romantic and heartfelt moments that will give anyone a deeper feeling and understanding for the main characters. Also during many scenes, a beautiful Italian language is spoken, with subtitles, that artistically and ingeniously keep the audience glued to the screen to see what happens next. With mostly unknown actors, each one of the characters roles was displayed perfectly. The actors gave everyone a dynamic performance with no flaws whatsoever, with a presentation that can exceed most of the mainstream performers. This movie may not be able to be seen at any conventional movie theater, but will be playing at the Cinema Village on Nov. 18. Also during that time, iTunes and Amazon will nationally release their versions of the film for everyone to enjoy. If anyone still cannot wait for this corporate thriller to come out, there are multiple trailers on the internet to suffice anyone’s desire.
Songs from Something To Die For that night included the electronic and synthesizer infused singles like “Better Off Dead,” “Something To Die For” and “Dance With The Devil.” The creepy low notes of keyboards and synthesizers with Ivarsson’s high but power hitting vocals are what made “Yeah Yeah Yeah” a great performance as well. Throwbacks such as “Seven Days A Week” and “Living In America” were performed like anthems with the crowd finishing every last line. Other fan favorite songs included “No One Sleeps While I’m Awake,” “Song With A Mission,” “Ego,” “Night After Night” and “Painted By Numbers.” The Pace Press sat down with The Sounds’ drummer Fredrik Blond to talk about the band’s latest album and tour. When asked about the writing of Something To Die For, Blond said, “We wanted kind of a dark, cold sound that reflected the way we felt sitting in our studio…it’s different but it’s still The Sounds, to me. We wrote and recorded it in the fall, which kind of makes it feel, for us…like, fall in Sweden is kind of depressing. It’s really dark, it’s cold, gloomy, windy, rainy and whatnot, and whenever fall comes, I think we usually all get really into music and just sitting in the studio for hours and hours and try new stuff. “This time we wanted to try something new, so we focused a little bit more on the electronic elements of the songs, which came out really good. We’re really happy with it. That doesn’t necessarily have to
be the case with the next album. We’ll see what we do next time. But, with what we tried this time, we feel really good about it,” Blond said. With years of touring and albums, The Sounds have molded themselves to making music that someone will always love, no matter what the scene is. “I don’t feel like we’re done or anything like that,” Bond said. “Were going to keep doing what we do, as long as everybody thinks its fun, you know? As long as we feel that we get something out of it, playing songs together and making music, I think we’re going to keep doing it.” The Sounds are currently completing their North American tour until late November, with potential plans for working on new songs in the studio after. When asked about a next album Blond said, “I think [the] next album is probably going to be a bit of a reaction against this album. Like I said, this album featured a lot of keyboards and maybe not so many guitars. Maybe [the] next album will be a lot more guitars, maybe more piano and maybe more acoustic guitars. We’ll see what happens. It’s probably not going to sound like this one; we like to change it up.”
ONLINE For tour dates, please visit: the-sounds.com
November 9, 2011
BlackBerry makes a “Bold” move with touchscreen IVONNA THOMPSON Managing Editor For those BlackBerry users who have suffered from the Internet access outages and glitches that have made them utter the phrase, “I’m going to switch to the iPhone or an Android,” there is hope. BlackBerry has introduced the new BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphone. While maintaining the traditional BlackBerry look, the Bold is now touchscreen. However, the keyboard remains the main control panel in case potential users are worried that the touchscreen will backfire. The touchscreen never stalls and responds to the sense of touch as instantly as if a user would press down on the keyboard. The touchscreen, keyboard and trackpad sensitivity can be managed contingent on the user’s preference. The Bold is the thinnest BlackBerry released, measuring 10.5 millimeters in depth. The exterior is surrounded by a stainless steel ban and has ports for headphones and a USB along with volume control and a free option button that can be customized and assigned to a certain task. The lock button is conveniently located at the top of the Bold. It still has the LED light for notifications such as text messages, voicemails, social media and of course, if your battery is about to die. Other external features include a track pad that gives easy access to applications, text messaging, bluetooth, phone calls, music and more. It even has a “frequent menu” in which users can instantly go to their favorite features and applications. The battery life lasts for approximately a day and a half when it’s first used and charges in a timely fashion for about under a half hour after the battery has been
completely drained. The charger is detachable and from the dual prong plug and it can also be used as a USB cord to update software and charge the phone from a user’s laptop or desktop computer. The security on the Bold is a feature that provides vast options of protection, which include the Firewall, Security Wipe to eliminate files or data, along with encryptions and password lock features to maintain WiFi safety. The Bold also comes with a YouTube app in which users are able to view videos without having to wait until they get to a desktop or laptop computer. It runs a slow bandwidth because the Bold uses a 3G network, but other than that the video comes in relatively clear on audio. The usual Facebook, FourSquare and Twitter social networking apps run relatively well and give immediate notifications. Users have the option of changing the settings if they do not want them instantly. The Bold’s system memory can hold up to 768 MB of RAM. The onboard memory holds up to 8 GB. Once a SIM card is installed it can hold up to 32 GB of memory which means that users can take lots of photos, record plenty of videos and save important projects. The camera has a 5.0 megapixel flash and supports JPEG files. The video camera has features that can record and support MPEG4 and WMV video files. The audio support system includes mp3 and WMA. For users who love to blast music or use speakerphone for calls, the Bold’s speakers project clearly and can maintain a loud volume for them to enjoy. It also comes with the standard GPS along with an Orientation Sensor and a Digital Compass in case users get lost and need to find their ways to their destinations. GPS can also help track lost or stolen phones.
The traditional BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is still on the Bold and can be synced with the BlackBerry Playbook, which is BlackBerry’s tablet. Reception capabilities are contingent on your cell phone carrier, but it should hold a good foundation to prevent phone calls from dropping. The Bold is available for cell phone carriers including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.
November 9, 2011
header by pace.edu
Government program seeks to spread Chinese culture around campus ANTHONY MASTROIANNI Staff Writer The Confucius Institute is a program established in May 2009 to promote the history and vast culture of China that has branches in colleges all over the world. The University’s branch is one of the most integral to the organization due to its proximity to the financial world headquarters. Much like France’s Alliance Française and Germany’s Goethe-Institut, the Institute is fully funded by the Chinese government. However, the unique aspect of the Confucius Institute is that they are all run inside of universities. The original Institute was founded in South Korea in 2004 and has expanded to 94 countries. The University made for a suitable location for the Confucius Institute on account of its reputation as one of the finest schools for business. With China’s ever growing position in the world economy, the Chinese government in accordance with university standards has a fantastic opportunity to verse the future businessmen and women in the Chinese culture, as it looks like China will long be a global power and possibly the next lingua franca. The Pace Press had a chance to speak with Dr. Sherman Raskin, the Director of the University Press, Chair of the Department of Publishing, and Confucius Institute board member, about the program and what its future holds. The Pace Press (TPP): Can you give us a better understanding of what exactly the Confucius Institute is? Dr. Sherman Raskin: The Confucius Institute is an institute that supports sharing between cultures—China and the United States. It is a great way for faculty and students to learn more about the culture of China, the history of China and for China to get to know more about us. There are now Confucius Institutes all over the country, all over the world for that matter. It is an Institute that is only two-years-old, but there are now faculty that are developing courses here that will be offered here at
Pace, such as literature, poetry and criminal justice. The Institute also teaches Mandarin and brings culture of China, Chinese opera and so forth to the States.
we have professors from Nanjing Normal University scheduled to come here Nov. 22 both on the New York and Pleasantville campuses.
TPP: How did you get involved with the Confucius Institute? Dr. Raskin: I am lucky to be involved with it, to be on the board and help with it where I can. There are many Confucius Institutes in the country, but Pace is unique in that it is not only sponsored by the Chinese government, but by one of the largest publishing conglomerates of China—Phoenix Publishing Media Group. The Phoenix Publishing Media Group does $1 billion worth of business in publishing in China, which is the largest publishing conglomerate in the country. I got involved with the Institute because they were involved with the publishing program in which I am the director of.
TPP: Is the Confucius Institute at Pace exclusive to Pace students and faculty? Dr. Raskin: Anyone can come and take Mandarin classes, or whatever it is they are interested in. For example, with the world the way it is right now, with what is going on economically, we encourage businessmen and businesswomen to come and take Mandarin classes. We want older people who are interested in travel or the culture itself to take classes. We want our young students here to take classes, because who knows, down the road there might very well be internships and more great opportunities for students involved with the Confucius Institute. China itself has so much potential, making this a wonderful opportunity for people in America to get involved with its culture.
TPP: Is the Institute strictly Confucius oriented? Dr. Raskin: It certainly could be Confucius oriented. We do lectures on Confucius and there are a lot of Confucius ideals in the Institute, but it is centered in general Chinese culture. TPP: Are these programs available for college credit? Dr. Raskin: As of now you cannot get credit for these courses, however anyone can take them. For example, my wife and I would love to take the courses in Mandarin over the summer, because we were in China quite a bit for business, lecturing at colleges and universities over there. These are not for credit, however the courses they are developing by the six wonderful professors that went over and visited China this summer are developing course that I believe will be available for credit. TPP: What can be expected of the Institute in the upcoming year? Dr. Raskin: Over this last summer we worked very closely with Chinese universities in developing classes for our university. Chinese professors will even be coming here to teach and give lectures and demonstrations. In fact,
Chinese Cultural Seminar November 21 & 22, 2011 A number of visiting scholars from Nanjing Normal University, our Chinese partner school in Jiangsu Province will be coming to both the Pace Pleasantville and New York City campuses to give a Chinese cultural seminar. The scholars, experts in their chosen fields, will speak on a number of topics concerning Chinese culture, art, and history. Included in the seminar will be the following lectures: Paintings of Chinese Beauties; The Way of “Zhong,” Traditional Confucian Philosophical Methodology and Its Contemporary Relevance; and The Cultural Diversity of Contemporary Chinese Muslims, Issues of Chinese Ethnicity. The seminar will be held on the Pace Pleasantville campus on Monday, November 21, from 4-6 PM in the Gottesman Room in the Kessel Student Center and on the New York City campus on Tuesday, November 22, from 4-6 PM in the Multipurpose Room at 1 Pace Plaza. We look forward to seeing you at this unique and exciting event.
TPP: Are students in China in turn learning about American culture through the Confucius Institute? Dr. Raskin: We are very closely connected. All Institutes have to be connected with another university. In other words, Pace is connected to Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China. TPP: What is on the horizon for the Confucius Institute? Dr. Raskin: I really believe the Institute will continue to grow. There will be more lectures and events as well as demonstrations.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit the Confucius Institute, located on the 4th floor of 41 Park Row
5th Annual Winter Cultural Exchange Festival December 2-4, 2011 For the third year in a row the Confucius Institute will have the privilege of co-sponsoring the New York Chinese Opera Society’s (NYCOS) annual Winter Cultural Exchange Festival at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University. The festival will feature traditional and contemporary Peking-style operas. Last year’s festival featured such operas as the “The Fourth Son’s Filial Visit”, which centered around the tearful family reunion of a prince who has been living in exile for many years, and the “Story of Ruth,” an original operatic take on the Biblical story. The festival will also feature a ceremony to honor the winners of the NYCOS Essay Contest, co-sponsored by NYCOS, the Confucius Institute and the Center for East Asian Studies at Pace. The contest is on the subject of Chinese culture and history and is open to all Pace University students. For ticket information about this exciting event please e-mail NYCOS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-227-2920.
November 9, 2011
High fashion designers meet mass market audiences NICOLE MORALES Staff Writer It may come as no surprise in this recession that high fashion goods can now be found on the racks of mass market stores like Target and H&M. Where extremely exclusive and expensive creations from the likes of Versace and Missoni were once only found at select retailers and boutiques, designer diffusion lines are now commonplace merchandise for mainstream consumers. The idea behind designer diffusion and collaboration lines is that consumers pay a fraction of the price to own a piece of clothing from a designer, but created and mass produced with low priced material and labor. It would seem that in this recession, designer duds would be the last thing on people’s minds, but instead diffusion lines have grown in popularity. Most recently, Missoni for Target received tons of media attention causing fashionista frenzy at Target stores around the country. From East Harlem to West Hollywood, eager recessionistas camped out for anything Missoni, from bikes to trench coats. The line sold out within hours both in-store and online. With not even a promise of an encore, Missoni pieces were resold on EBay for ridiculous amounts, leaving fans that were unsuccessful in securing a Missoni for Target piece outraged. Similarly in Autumn 2004, Karl Lagerfeld’s collection for H&M debuted and sold out within three days, leaving both fans and Lagerfeld himself disappointed. Lagerfeld’s purpose in collaborating with the Swedish discount apparel store was to make his designs available to the masses for less, but H&M misused Lagerfeld’s designs with the intent of making them highly exclusive and thus more valuable by limiting quantity production. An outraged Lagerfeld accused H&M in British Vogue of, “…snobbery created by anti-snobbery.” It seems in the cases of Missoni and Lagerfeld that retail chain collaborators care not for the designer’s recession friendly intentions, but instead view it as an opportunity to keep their businesses thriving in the recession, perhaps to the discontent of designer collaborators. Consumers may not pay close attention to the inner workings of these collaborations, but nonetheless see it as an opportunity on their end. Sophomore Caitlin McNamara stated, “What’s great is that these [diffusion] lines don’t last forever, so it’s like you get to have a piece of fashion history.” While it may be true that the limited production of these coveted designer creations may be a part of fashion history, there is a flipside. Mass discount retail chain collaborations mean that in order to sell these luxury products for just a fraction of couture costs, the quality of the designs may in turn be far less than luxurious. Part of the lure of couture designs is not only the uniqueness of design, but also of quality. For example, the average wool coat with sewn on buttons may come loose with each fastening, however Marc Jacobs
thought ahead and integrated imposter button snap closures as not only a durable, but also a fashionable solution. Perhaps that is the reason why a buyer may opt to pay $1,200 for one of his wool coats instead of $100 for the average creation of a mass retailed brand. Given the significantly smaller budget for mass retail collaborations, designers may have to pick between luxurious leather for a jacket and a durable zipper to keep it all together instead of integrating both. The result is a leather jacket that falls apart at the seams and an extremely disappointed consumer. Although one risks such disaster for a diffusion piece, there is still something attractive about it. Senior Taedra Pedonti said, “…we live in a very materialistic society where consumer goods tend to make people feel good about themselves, so I definitely think that [diffusion lines are] a way for people with less money to spend to feel like they can still be involved in designer merchandise. But I definitely think the quality is not as good as their couture lines.” If consumers notice quality is lacking, perhaps it becomes a question of whether respect for those designers will begin to lack as well. Weeks after the debut of any given designer diffusion line at a mainstream retail chain, it’s unsurprising to see Vera Wang’s Kohl’s handbags ransacked and thrown on the carpeting, House of Holland for Pretty Polly tights strewn all over Urban Outfitters and Zac Posen for Target “Thriller” inspired leather jackets rumpled on plastic hangers barely intact. After witnessing such scenes as to make any fashionista go into cardiac arrest, the question is posed as to whether or not the integrity and respect of a designer’s line remains once diffused for the masses. While the mainstream masses may only get to experience designers like Luella and Anna Sui from their Target collections, the loyal customers of those designer boutiques may not embrace diffusion as wholeheartedly, as it seems to make their couture pieces less valuable because the designer’s creations are more attainable. With these couture-retail chain collaborations, designers risk a lot and many may not even realize it. Not only must they compromise quality and workmanship, but also the risk of losing control of their vision such as in the case of Lagerfeld with H&M. With Versace for H&M making its highly anticipated debut Nov. 17, it looks as if designer diffusion lines have hit their climactic peak. With the legendary fashion house joining the lengthy list of recession friendly designers; it’s certain that although at times bitter sweet, diffusion lines are definitely here to stay.
GET THE LOOK Versace for H&M will be available on Nov. 18 in select stores. For more information, visit: Hm.com/us/versace
Jacket, $129; Top, $49.95 Skirt, $69.95; Leggings, $29.95 Belt, $59.95 Necklace as bracelet, $24.95 Necklace as bracelet, $39.95
We live in a very materialistic society where consumer goods tend to make people feel good about themselves, so I definitely think that [diffusion lines are] a way for people with less money to spend to feel like they can still be involved in designer merchandise. -Taedra Pedonti, Senior
Shirt, $49.95 Pants, $69.95 Leather belt, $59.95 Leather shoes, $69.95 Bracelet, $34.95 photos from hm.com