THE TUFTS DAILY
Mostly Sunny 84/66
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010
VOLUME LX, NUMBER 2
Where You Read It First Est. 1980
INTERVIEW | JOANNE BERGER-SWEENEY
New arts and sciences dean hopes to synergize research, teaching, diversity BY
Daily Editorial Board
Former Wellesley College Associate Dean Joanne Berger-Sweeney is, starting this fall, taking up the position of dean of arts and sciences at Tufts, the university announced in July. Berger-Sweeney — a Wellesley College faculty member since 1991 — takes over from Robert Sternberg , who announced in December his intention not to seek a second term once his five-year tenure ended on June 30. Provost and Senior Vice President Jamshed Bharucha convened a search committee, which selected BergerSweeney as the final candidate. The new dean is also an accomplished professor of neuroscience, specializing in the areas of learning and memory and neurological disorders. Berger-Sweeney assumed her duties as dean at the end of August and the Daily sat down with her in her office to discuss her new appointment. Matt Repka: What’s the transition been like this summer? Joanne Berger-Sweeney: …Two days after it was announced publicly that I would be taking this position, I had to think almost immediately about filling new positions [due to resignations]. The transition was about one day. [Laughs] MR: As we go into the academic year,
what are your expectations? Are you looking forward to it? JBS: I’m absolutely looking forward to it. I’m so excited to be here at Tufts, and what I’m most looking forward to is getting to know the people here on campus. That’s something that I couldn’t possibly know, regardless of how many institutions I’ve been a part of before. Tufts, and Tufts people, are going to be new and interesting and exciting. And there are lots of them. [Laughs]. MR: …What attracted you to make the move from Wellesley to Tufts? JBS: ...I think that I’ve discovered that life cycles happen about every six to seven years, at least for academicians … I had been in the associate dean position for six years at Wellesley and it just felt that it was time for something new and something different … When I got a call [from a recruiting firm] about Tufts, I had to stop and think about it because I’d been at Wellesley for 19 years, and one doesn’t easily leave an institution I’d been associated with for that long. Probably some of the things that appealed to me about Tufts were the quality of the education … and its incredible reputation for providing really a highquality experience for undergraduates. In addition, it has graduate programs, and I thought expanding into that new area and being a part of a university that
EMILY EISENBERG/TUFTS DAILY
Students waited in long lines last year to obtain tickets to Fall Ball.
OCL hopes to speed up Fall Ball ticket distribution process BY
Daily Editorial Board
Tickets for Friday’s Fall Ball event are available beginning today, with slight changes to the ticket distribution process that organizers hope will make for a less frustrating experience for students. Long lines for tickets at the Mayer Campus Center information booth marked last year’s event, the first Fall Ball to be ticketed and have a cap on attendance. Concerns voiced by students have prompted the Office for Campus Life (OCL) to make changes to the previous system, in particular to keep students waiting in line more informed about
see DEAN, page 2
New student IDs boast more features, added technology BY JENNY
ticket availability. In all, 2500 tickets are available for Fall Ball, OCL Director Joe Golia said. Tickets are available from 12 noon to 2 p.m. today and tomorrow, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday and on Friday from 10:30 a.m. until all tickets have been distributed. Potential attendees who are waiting to collect tickets will receive slips of paper to confirm that they are one of the first 600 students in line, 10 minutes before the box office opens for each distribution time slot. “Students who don’t get that [slip of paper] know that they most likely won’t get into that see TICKETS, page 2
Tufts professor to lead university in Armenia
Daily Editorial Board
Daily Editorial Board
This year’s freshmen will not be the only ones holding brand new identification cards this fall as all students have been required to pick up free replacement cards featuring multiple enhancements. The new IDs, which students have to collect by Friday, have emergency phone numbers printed on the back of the card, eliminate the outmoded secondary magnetic stripe and continue the practice — first started last year — of having separate student ID and JumboCash numbers. Perhaps most noticeably, the new IDs’ internal chip facilitates access to dorms, eliminating the need for the previously used fob technology. The improved IDs are largely the result of a Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate initiative to increase the accessibility of public safety services. “It’s just one small step, but it will create greater responsiveness in reaching emergency services,” Senator Edward Chao, a senior who spearheaded the initiative, said. Chao first approached Tufts University Police Department in
MEREDITH KLEIN/TUFTS DAILY
Students now use IDs in place of fobs to gain access to dorms. 2008 with a request to enhance the ID cards by adding emergency contact numbers to them, according to Louis Galvez III, administrative service coordinator for the Department of Public & Environmental Safety. “The idea was to put safety information on the back of the
ID so that it was easily accessible to students,” Galvez said. “We’ve been looking into it, but up until recently, we couldn’t find it in our budget to do that.” Aside from including emergensee CARDS, page 2
Professor of Mathematics Bruce Boghosian, former chair of the Department of Mathematics, will leave Tufts this September to become the president of the American University of Armenia (AUA). Boghosian’s ties to Armenia and AUA are long-standing. He initially became acquainted with the university through colleagues who had worked there and visited the school while in Armenia, Boghosian told the Daily in an e-mail. Several years ago, Boghosian was elected to serve as a foreign member of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. In an e-mail to the Daily, Boghosian praised AUA. “Each time I’ve been [in Armenia], I’ve visited the American University of Armenia, and I met faculty there, I met students, and I was impressed with the school and with the dedication of all of the faculty and administrators of the school,” Boghosian said. Boghosian said he does not
know when he will return to Tufts. “[The position] is a bit openended — I’m taking an extended leave of absence from Tufts, so it will be at least a few years,” Boghosian said. In a nationwide search, Boghosian beat out a sizeable field of candidates for the position. “I would estimate there were no less than 30 candidates, filtered down to around 10 for interviews with the committee,” Edward Avedisian, a member of the subcommittee, told the Daily. The selection committee itself was composed of representatives from the University of California system and members of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, an American nonprofit. Both have a strong affiliation with the university. Carol Aslanian, a member of the AUA board of trustees, said the traits the subcommittee members looked for in candidates included the ability to adapt the university to reflect see BOGHOSIAN, page 2
Editor’s Note: The Daily will publish every other day for the first two weeks of the fall semester.
Inside this issue
Fewer students have been deported due to their status as illegal immigrants.
Cable TV networks beat out broadcast stations in producing quality summer entertainment.
see FEATURES, page 3
see ARTS, page 5
News Features Arts & Living Editorial | Letters
1 3 5 8
Op-Ed Comics Sports
9 10 Back
THE TUFTS DAILY
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Professor works to expand American University of Armenia’s oﬀerings BOGHOSIAN continued from page 1
MEREDITH KLEIN/TUFTS DAILY
Joanne Berger-Sweeney is the new dean of arts and sciences.
Berger-Sweeney wants to be accessible to the Tufts community DEAN continued from page 1
had many different graduate schools and programs was an exciting addition. MR: What are the challenges of a larger school like Tufts as compared to Wellesley? JBS: One of the biggest challenges is to get to know the people well and understand the problems. With more people, there are … more challenges. It’s getting to understand the institution when there are multiple levels. A smaller institution can be a lot flatter, with less hierarchy … The biggest challenge is trying to understand it well enough to make good, strategic decisions. MR: Is there something that you think is important that people know about you? JBS: …[First] is my commitment to excellence in teaching and research and the idea that there is no excellence without diversity. Sometimes people try to pit excellence against diversity and I think that they are so intertwined. Teaching and research should absolutely be intertwined … How do you integrate these and make sure that they’re synergistic? And I feel the same way about diversity. You cannot have excellence without diversity. A second big idea is that we’re trying to create the best training for the next generation of global citizens, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The third issue, or big idea, is accessibility and affordability of education. MR: In his announcement, [the provost] made a specific reference to your “commitment to critical issues such as needblind admissions and increased financial aid.” What are your goals on these issues? JBS: It’s hard to give specific goals because I don’t feel I understand the institution well enough [yet], but I know that [University President Lawrence Bacow] stated that need-blind admissions was one of his primary goals … Fundamentally, I think that college education is very, very expensive — the rate of increase of university tuitions has outpaced inflation … It’s hard to imagine that we can continue on that trajectory ... We have to understand as institutions how to do what we do better,
in a more cost-effective fashion… MR: Your predecessor, Robert Sternberg, had a background in psychology, and yours is in neuroscience. How does that background in the sciences affect your perspective — what does that bring to the job? JBS: ...I think that coming from a scientific background, I’m used to, and I like seeing, data. I really like to see the data that might influence [decisions] … I like taking all of these things and then trying to integrate them and come up with a big picture. In some ways, my background as a scientist brings an analysis of problems that’s databased. MR: In a broader sense, how do you view your role at the university? How does that affect what you hope to accomplish? JBS: I think to make good decisions, it’s important to hear a number of viewpoints and to make sure that communication in this office is open and two-way … I want to make sure that I’m stopping, listening carefully to what people have to say and making sure that communications are as open and decisions as transparent as possible. MR: Is that level of transparency still possible or easy in a larger school environment? JBS: Easy may be different from doable. It may be more difficult but we can hold that as a goal, to be as transparent as possible given situations. MR: What is your favorite color and why? JBS: I love blue — the office is blue, I’m wearing blue today. I think blue is kind of a calming color … There’s something about blue that’s perhaps a bit calming that can help people take a breath. MR: Is there anything that you think it would be helpful for people to know? JBS: I do hope to get out and know the different constituencies on campus, so people within the school will be hearing about various opportunities to come meet me, and I’m going to try and go out to events. One of my big goals this year is to get to know Tufts people a lot better … particularly, students should feel welcome if they see me walking on the Quad, to stop and say hello.
the dynamic social and economic climate within Armenia. “We looked to someone who was not tied to the past but could look for and use information that would help him and his colleagues move the institution well into the next decade with the types of programs and services that the Republic of Armenia needs,” Aslanian told the Daily. At Tufts, Boghosian brought numerous changes to the mathematics department as chair, Professor of Mathematics Boris Hasselblatt said. Hasselblatt praised Boghosian for his work. “He really has exerted innovative and forceful leadership and has taken a more proactive role in seeing where the department should be going, beginning to think about the future rather more prominently than the present,” Hasselblatt said. Hasselblatt has succeeded Boghosian as the new department chair. With Boghosian as chair, the department implemented an external departmental review, which allowed members of peer institutions to evaluate and examine the department, allowing for faculty members to get feedback and suggestions for improvement. “[The review was] tremendously helpful for the department [and] a healthy exercise to do every decade.” Hasselblatt said. He added that he plans to continue the tradition every ten years. “[I hope to] align [AUA’s] offerings and its activities with the needs of the Armenian government,” Boghosian said
of his tenure as president. He emphasized the need for highly trained professionals in a variety of fields including medicine, law and business. Many AUA graduates work within industries crucial to the country’s development, such as government, technological companies and banking, AUA Vice President of Development and Government Relations Bruce Janigian told the Daily. “The university has basically facilitated Armenia’s emergence as a global partner in the world,” he added. Janigian said the impact of the university extends outside of the borders of Armenia, allowing students of neighboring countries to receive an Americanaccredited education without coming to the United States. “We’re bringing students in from a wide swath of geography beyond Armenia. It’s going to be an educational institution that will be having an impact on a much broader region,” Janigian said. Boghosian’s goals as university president include the expansion of AUA’s offerings to grant more types of degrees. At the moment, the university confers only masters’ degrees. “The university is contemplating the idea of adding undergraduate programs, and it will take some time to figure out whether we ought to add a Ph.D. program,” Boghosian said. Boghosian also said he would like to expand the geographical diversity of the AUA student body. “We have some, but we’d like to attract even more students from the Middle East and Asia in general,” Boghosian said.
Improvements made to speed up Fall Ball ticket distribution process TICKETS continued from page 1
time slot,” Programming Board Co-chair Adam Fischer, a senior, said. Fischer said the change is being implemented to prevent students from being left empty-handed after a fruitless wait. “[OCL is] ensuring that students are aware that if they’re toward the end of the line, or past a certain point, they most likely won’t be getting a ticket,” he said. “Last year, students would line up and when the time slot began, the line would start moving, but students really had no gauge of whether or not they’d be getting tickets. It was very frustrating for many of my friends who spent a lot of time and had absolutely no idea whether or not they’d be getting tickets.” The new system is also designed to discourage students from cutting the line, according to Tufts Community Union President Sam Wallis, a senior. Golia agreed with this assessment. “One of the biggest problems last year was students cutting the line at the last minute,” he said. “A lot of students came in and complained about that.” Like last year, the time slots have been spread out throughout the week to allow students with different schedules to have a chance to obtain tickets.
“They’re staggered in such a way that basically every student should be able to get tickets because obviously students have class at different times,” Fischer said. He also added that other changes are being implemented to hasten ticket collection. Staffing levels will be increased, with three people working at the Information Booth to distribute tickets instead of last year’s one person. Additionally, ticket distributors will also be swiping students’ identification cards instead of physically highlighting names on a list. Fischer said that OCL was responsive to complaints about last year’s system. “They recognize this because it’s something that they want to try to fix,” he said. Golia is confident that all these changes will significantly improve students’ ticket collection experience. “I think it will move the process along a lot quicker,” he said. Despite the inconvenience of making Fall Ball ticketed, Wallis said that the high demand for tickets last year showed students’ continued enthusiasm for the event. “We really liked seeing people get excited for it,” Wallis said. “It was like a Duke basketball game, it gets people into it, and that’s a really cool thing.”
New ID cards replace fob system entirely for gaining entry to dorms CARDS continued from page 1
cy contact numbers, the new IDs institute separate student ID and JumboCash numbers for juniors and seniors who still have a single number for both purposes, bringing Tufts in compliance with a 2008 Massachusetts law aimed at combating identity theft. Under the law, financial data, such as credit card numbers, must be kept separate from personal information. Since JumboCash numbers are linked to storedvalue accounts, they are classified like credit cards under the law and must be kept distinct from student ID numbers. The Department of Public Safety last fall issued incoming freshmen with IDs that had a
separate number for JumboCash accounts. Students from other classes carrying the older IDs, however, were not required to replace them — until now. Galvez noted that complying with the new law was the main motivator for implementing changes to the IDs. “We realized how important it is to protect the card as you would a credit card,” he said. TCU President Sam Wallis, a senior, agreed. “The separation of ID numbers from JumboCash was very important so that the different information could not be linked together,” Wallis said. The new ID cards also feature a new built-in technology enabling access to the dorms, making obsolete the use of fobs. This has long been a goal for both Senate and
the Department of Public Safety, according to Wallis and Galvez. “The technology we’re using is more advanced than the old JumboFob,” Galvez said. “The chip is more advanced, so it’s also more secure. These are the most technologically advanced cards on the market.” Galvez said that moving to a built-in fob system would enable students to more easily access campus buildings — such as common areas in dorms. “This is going to help Public Safety, students, areas of the university that call us to give remote access [and] students not living off campus,” Galvez said. “It’s an attempt to make the university more accessible to students.” Despite the cards being more
technologically advanced, the cost of replacing a lost or broken ID remains $20. Galvez said the Department of Public Safety also plans to expand the use of the IDs, taking advantage of the new technology enabling them to be scanned via a simple tap instead of requiring a swipe. “We’ll be looking at using this technology at various locations around campus, not just in dorms,” Galvez said. In implementing these changes, one of the obstacles encountered was that the older IDs did not have the requisite space on the back to add numbers to it because of the presence of a secondary, thinner magnetic stripe, according to Chao. Director of Dining and Business Services Patti Klos explained that
this smaller stripe was mainly used at campus vending machines. “Tufts was actually one of the first schools to introduce cards for use at laundry and vending machines about 15 to 18 years ago, so over the course of time, we began migrating to the more advanced wide stripe and that also would free up some space on the card,” Klos said. Senate coordinated with Klos to research the possibility of eliminating the second stripe in order to make room for the emergency numbers, Chao said. “We were looking to validate the fact that we weren’t using and didn’t need the top stripe,” Chao said. “After talking with Patti Klos, we got that information and it was decided to get rid of that stripe.”
TIEN TIEN/TUFTS DAILY
Illegal immigrants who are students may no longer need to hide from the Department of Homeland Security.
Government goes easy on illegal-immigrant students BY
Daily Editorial Board
Illegal immigration has been a hotbutton issue in the United States of late, and equally loud voices from opposing camps seem to have brought lawmakers to a standstill on immigration reform. Those awaiting change in support of illegal immigrants, however, may recently have seen it circumvent Congress and seep into courts informally. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the overall rate of illegal immigration deportation has increased since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. There is, however, one demographic to which the White House has extended a merciful
hand: students. Though the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not enacted any official changes to immigration policies, it has, on a case-by-case basis, been opting to suspend or cancel the deportation and detention of illegal immigrants who are students, the New York Times reported in an article published Aug. 8. Some Republicans believe the administration should not be hand-picking which illegal immigrants should be deported, as leniency could potentially weaken overall enforcement against illegal immigration. Others commend the DHS and await Congress’s passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors
(DREAM) Act, which would enable more than 700,000 illegal immigrants — aged 12 through 35 — to obtain Conditional Permanent Residency of six years, leading to Legal Permanent Residency and later U.S. citizenship. University President Lawrence Bacow is among the supporters of granting legal status to illegal student immigrants and signed a public letter on April 14 in support of the DREAM act that was given to Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Director of Public Relations Kim Thurler, explaining Bacow’s rationale for supporting the DREAM Act, said that students are often not to blame for their situation. “Such students are often in this coun-
try illegally through no fault of their own,” Thurler said. “They deserve an opportunity to gain legal status through education or public service.” The DREAM Act would not pardon all illegal students; only those who entered the United States before the age of 16, have been present in the country for at least five consecutive years prior to the act’s enactment, demonstrate good moral character and graduated from high school would qualify under the act. To maintain Conditional Permanent Residency, applicants would have to commit to a minimum of two years of higher education or enlist and serve in one of the branches of the U.S. Military within six years. see IMMIGRATION, page 4
The growing campaign for single-sex education BY SARAH
Daily Editorial Board
It does not take more than one talk about the birds and the bees to confirm that girls and boys are, in fact, different. In kindergarten, this materialized as dolls versus action figures and in middle school as makeup versus spiked hair. But should the segregation imposed on the playground and shopping mall persist in the classroom? Dr. Leonard Sax, founder and executive director of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE), says yes. A psychologist and family physician, Sax is one of the leading figures involved in the growing movement that supports single-sex education in public schools. All parents, he believes, should be able to decide whether to send their children to coed or single-sex institutions — a decision currently only available to wealthy families who can afford private school tuition. Why segregate? According to the NASSPE, separating males from females in the classroom actually breaks down gender stereotypes, allowing both males and females to feel freer to pursue their
individual academic interests. Evidence from Sax’s studies shows that girls in single-sex classrooms are more likely to pursue supposedly male-dominated subjects such as math, science and information technology, whereas boys are more likely to pursue areas stereotyped as feminine, such as art, music, drama and foreign language. While supporters of the movement promote single-sex education as a means of narrowing the gender gap in the United States, others feel segregation would do the opposite — or, at best, do nothing at all. Tufts Professor of Education Kathleen Weiler believes that the arguments for a move toward single-sex education are ungrounded. “The assertion that males and females learn differently is controversial to say the least,” Weiler said. “I am not at all convinced that there is any significant biological difference in the way men and women think, so separating boys and girls or men and women in different classrooms makes no sense to me based on this argument.” The NASSPE, however, argues that male and female styles of learning may differ
inherently due to dissimilar brain development patterns. With males and females in separate classrooms, teachers would be able to embrace teaching styles that may
“I am not at all convinced that there is any significant biological difference in the way men and women think, so separating boys and girls or men and women in different classrooms makes no sense to me based on this argument.” Katherine Weiler Tufts Professor of Education
benefit one gender without sacrificing the needs of the other — male classrooms would be more fluid and interactive, allowing students to move around the
room while learning; female classrooms would call for a more quiet and focused study, according to the group. Weiler said that while males and females often approach the classroom differently, their attitudes are likely the results of differing social and cultural experiences — and not of gender-based learning styles. “Social processes of gendering and powerful constructs of masculinity and femininity are clearly operative in our lives,” Weiler said. “This may well mean that those gendered as male or female may have different conceptions of themselves and may meet different expectations from other students and teachers in schools and colleges. When you consider that sexism and racism are still very much operative, individual students may experience the classroom very differently.” Moreover, Weiler thinks classroom segregating can neither ensure that students reach their full educational potential nor dissolve cultural gender divides. “I think the way to address [a gender gap] is to set high standards of respect for all students on the part of teachers and professors and to bring the topic of gender to open discussion,” she said. see SINGLE-SEX, page 4
THE TUFTS DAILY
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tufts maintains policy of non-discrimination based on immigration status IMMIGRATION continued from page 3
Still, Thurler stressed the importance of advocating for real policy change — and not just circumvention of existing laws. “The most effective way to change a policy one disagrees with is to develop and advocate for a better policy,” she said. “Public officials may have a range of views on any subject but they are open to the voices of their constituents. It is important that Congress and the Obama administration hear from many people on the subject of the DREAM Act. One
person or institution can make a difference by attracting others who will support the bill.” For some students and administrators, the campaign for the DREAM Act has been a cooperative effort. Sophomore Suzanne Lis, a member of the Somerville Movement of Dreamers, played an active role in bringing the DREAM Act’s lack of support to the Tufts administration’s attention; in response, the university used its resources to promote the legislation on a wider scale. “I had a very positive experience with Bacow’s support for
the DREAM Act,” Lis said. “My contact with Public Relations and their subsequent support with media was consistent, efficient and transparent. DREAM Act awareness is spreading at this crucial and exciting time, and more public support only amplifies that.” Although Tufts does not have a formal policy regarding illegal immigrants, immigration status is not a criterion considered in the application process, Thurler said. This policy of non-discrimination against students with illegal status is in line with Tufts’ commitment to diversity and specialization in
the area of international relations, according to Thurler. “One of Tufts’ strengths is the diversity of its community,” she said. “We are fortunate to attract students from around the world. They strengthen the quality of a Tufts education for the entire community. All applicants for admission must meet the same academic requirements in order to be accepted to Tufts.” Sophomore Alexandra Geada applauded the university for disregarding applicants’ immigration status. “It should not matter if you’re an illegal immigrant if you’ve
been living in the States your entire life and you want to build and assure your future through education,” she said. The Obama administration’s recent leniency toward illegal student immigrants, Lis said, is a recognition that many students in the United States illegally came to the US as children, have learned to regard it as their country and will invest in its workforce, communities and future. “There is no need for their deportations; on the contrary, there is a need for their continued presence and talent here,” she said.
Campaign for single-sex education, backed by research, grows in visibility SINGLE-SEX continued from page 3
Christopher Ott, communications manager of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, agreed there are methods more effective than gender segregation in improving education. “We know that the proponents of single-sex education have the best of intentions, but there’s an alternative that we know works,” Ott told the Daily. “What we know works is small classes, highly trained teachers and involved parents. There’s no secret to providing a good education.” Ott criticized the move toward single-sex education, citing that not enough research has been done to prove the system’s efficacy and that resources could be better spent on projects that have been proven to yield benefits. “We think it’s important to take a good look at whether this is important. Segregating
students into separate male and female classes is going to cost more … and now [is] a time when resources for education are so scarce in so many places,” he said. Ott also brought up the importance of preparing children to coexist with the opposite sex outside of the classroom. “Real-world interaction happens all the time outside of school,” he said. “To deprive people of that in school may not be a good idea.” Tufts senior Sarah Tavares, who attended a private, singlesex middle school, agreed with Ott’s concerns about social preparedness — which is one reason she transferred to a coeducational public high school. “I felt like I was missing out on a normal teenage social experience being at an all-girls school,” Tavares said. “Obviously everyone will be together in the real world so to keep girls and guys apart … would just make them socially unprepared for life.”
TIEN TIEN/TUFTS DAILY
The NASSPE argues that single-sex education could dissolve gender divides.
Arts & Living
Cable TV outshines broadcast networks with its summer 2010 programming BY
Daily Editorial Board
With the temperature dropping and a new school year starting, it can only mean that summer is coming to an end — and with it, the summer television season. The warmer months are traditionally times when TV viewers are looking for lighter fare, and cable channels step up to the plate while broadcast networks offer mostly cheapto-produce reality programs. This summer was no exception, but like any TV season, there were some notable hits and misses — and the Daily has the rundown: Hits: USA has always been a reliable network for delivering entertaining summer programming, and this year proved that their “Characters Welcome” slogan is no fluke. Freshman series “Covert Affairs,” starring Piper Perabo as a rookie spy for the CIA, drew big ratings from the start and has only continued to improve. Creatively, the show is a bit lazy and clichéd, especially with its serialized elements, but the charm of the cast bolsters even the silliest plot and has helped secure an early second season renewal. Returning series “Burn Notice,”
“Royal Pains,” “White Collar” and “Psych” also found success this summer. Although their numbers are down a bit from last year, with “Psych” especially starting to show its age, the strong lineup of light, character-driven procedurals earned USA a top spot in the summer ratings race. Among other returning series, HBO’s “True Blood” grew in viewership from last summer and is the first major hit for the pay cable network since the “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” era. Fellow critical favorite, AMC’s “Mad Men,” fresh off its third consecutive Emmy win for Outstanding Drama Series, also posted ratings gains over last season and is currently mining the rich creative material of Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) post-divorce life. On the other side of the coin, “Jersey Shore,” MTV’s smash hit from last winter, returned with more than five million viewers following The Situation, Snooki and the rest of the crew to Miami Beach. Several new series also made their mark on the summer TV landscape. ABC Family’s soapy guilty pleasure “Pretty Little Liars” set ratings records for the network, and critics have lauded “Huge” for its honest look at teens with weight issues.
‘The Good Guys’ struggled in the ratings this summer, but it still kept its spot on Fox’s fall schedule. TNT had two hits with newcomers “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Memphis Beat,” with the former consistently ranking as one of the week’s mostwatched programs. FX’s “Louie,” a fascinating blend of stand-up and vignettes from comedian Louis
C.K., has already been renewed for a second season. Misses: Not every show can be a winner, even during the summer when ratings expectations are lower. This was especially true with the broadcast networks’ scripted
Poignancy marries quirky charm in Boston production of ‘Spelling Bee’ BY
Daily Editorial Board
Boston is not a city to miss a beat. In fair Beantown, one can find live music, the latest in the art scene, cutting edge movie festivals
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Written by William Finn Directed by Stephen Terrell At the Lyric Stage Company through Oct. 2 Tickets $29 to $56 and wonderful live theater. There was once a time when Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” was in vogue but nowadays, it is clever, quirky, hilarious and touching pieces, like Boston native William Finn’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” that the country has fallen in love with. “Spelling Bee” is an unorthodox show about unorthodox characters. Running like a real spelling bee with a cast of quirky misfits (and a few audience members who must not know what they are getting into by volunteering to join the bee), the show is a vehicle to address real issues that children have to struggle with every day and contains tonguein-cheek humor about the awkwardness of elementary school. After spectacularly successful off-Broadway and Broadway runs culminating in two Tony awards, it only makes sense that this gem of a show should be widely produced throughout the country. The Lyric Stage Company picks up the mantle in Boston and, for the most part, the veteran company does an admirable job with the piece. The small cast is cohesive and vocally strong, singing through Finn’s fun and pleasing harmonies handily. Several recent Emerson musical theater graduates join the small cast, lending it the kind of fresh-faced energy that fits so well with these naïve characters — although unfortunately, their greenness is felt at times. Occasional overacting combines with some awkward stag-
ing to make this production feel slightly more amateur than what audiences may be used to at the Lyric. Director and Choreographer Stephen Terrell did manage to keep the production engaging and funny and was able to transpose a show set up to mimic a school auditorium to the Lyric’s wonderfully intimate three-quarter thrust stage. Unfortunately, the production suffered from periodically slow pacing, which can be deadly for a comedy. Yet the small cast’s members always seemed deeply attuned to one another and were able to rally after a flubbed line or slightly dragging song, so the integrity of the show was hardly ever compromised. The four audience volunteers who spell along with the actors were delightfully manipulated. During William Barfée’s (a bespectacled, neurotic know-it-all played hilariously convincingly by Daniel Vito Siefring) solo explaining his method of spelling with his “magic foot,” the volunteers were tossed and whirled across the stage, all while taking subtle clues about when to start and stop sporting jazz hands behind the vocalist. It is the kind of thing that participants so clearly enjoy that the
audience cannot help but have a good time just watching. Lisa Yuen, who originated the role of Marcy Park in the original Broadway and off-Broadway cast of “Spelling Bee,” reprises the effortlessly over-achieving transfer student in the Lyric’s production. Clearly comfortable in the role, Yuen is one of the standouts in the cast. Other strong actors include recent graduates Lexie Fennell Frare as the politically active and lisping Logainne Shwartzandgrubinierre (so-called after the last names of her two fathers) and Michael J. Borges as homeschooled Leaf Coneybear. Because all of the characters stay on stage until they are eliminated, staying comically in character is an important task for the actors, and Terrell’s bits — such as Borges’s knitting in between spellings — keeps the performance continually entertaining and quirky. “Spelling Bee” is a delightful blend of comic and touching, addressing issues from devastating neglect to adjusting to the embarrassing distractions of puberty. Lyric’s production may not be perfect, but it stays true to the message and tone of the show and is well worth watching.
offerings, which almost universally failed. The networks often get criticized for scheduling nothing but mindless reality fare during the offseason, so they drew attention to see SUMMER TV, page 6
Pop princess coasts on the strength of ‘California Gurls’ BY
The success of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” released last month, is undeniable. The first week the album was out,
Teenage Dream Katy Perry Capitol Records it sold 192,000 copies and debuted at number one on the Billboard chart. Its smash summer hit “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, played constantly on radios everywhere for the duration of the summer and continues to air frequently. Perry’s follow-up single, “Teenage Dream,” has been picking up steam in the last few weeks. The manner in which Perry has managed to combine her quirky attitude with sex appeal is unique in the music business today. Born to two pastors and raised in a deeply religious family, she released her first Christian pop album in 2001 to no fanfare. After a secular reinvention, her 2008 album, “One Of The Boys,” rocketed her to stardom with the cheeky smash hit “I Kissed a Girl.” Perry’s persona truly makes her unique. She plays the role of a traditional pop diva, oozing gratuitous amounts of sexuality with her skimpy outfits, but something about her is different. Seemingly constructed as almost an ironic or satirical take on divas that have come before her, Perry puts out a vibe of playfulness that shows that she doesn’t take everything as seriously as her Britney-esque predecessors. Her sexuality is something that she exploits. The whipped-cream scene in the video for “California Gurls,” for example, is certainly tongue-in-cheek (and tongue-in-other-things). She uses
COURTESY MARK S. HOWARD
The cast of ‘Spelling Bee’ takes the concept of drawing together for a performance very seriously.
see PERRY, page 6
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ARTS & LIVING
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Overproduction bogs down collection of would-be hits PERRY continued from page 5
her body on her own zany terms. Unfortunately, savvy sex appeal won’t be enough for Perry. There is a real absence of quality on many of the tracks on “Teenage Dream.” In contrast to her usual playful tone, overproduction and whiny vocals drag down the overall quality of the album. It seems as though Perry put less effort into every track that wasn’t “California Gurls.” “Peacock,” in particular, is a mystery. The chorus — “I want to see your peacock-cockcock” — is an example of the basic nature of the song. The subtext can barely be called innuendo at all; it’s basically just text. This diction would be fine given the sexual nature of Perry’s celebrity persona, but the overproduced quality of “Peacock” and complete flatness of its lyrics land the song below par. The verses only exist to feed into the chorus and offer no value on their own. The song “Hummingbird Heartbeat” has a similar issue. The sentiment of the song is similar to that of the title track — and both themes seem to be lifted straight out of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” (1984). When Perry croons, “You give me hummingbird heartbeat / spread my wings and make me fly / the taste of your honey is so sweet,” the overwrought synthesizers and crunchy electric guitars drag the song down. The album is buoyed, however, by its excellent lead sin-
gle. “California Gurls” is a masterpiece of summertime pop that uses its sparse synthesized track to full effect. Though the melody is childish and monotonous at worst, it does its job as a sing-along track for a generation. Perry’s sexuality is used to great effect here, as she and her West Coast brood promise to “melt your Popsicle.” Furthermore, the Candy Land-
inspired video has set the tone for Perry’s modified Bettie Page aesthetic and explicit brand of sexual coquettishness. Overall, the album does deliver on its promises. The lyrics are catchy and the beats are pulsating, as one should expect from Perry. But in the end, “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls” are the album’s saving graces — and the rest just seem like fillers.
USA scored another frothy hit this summer with ‘Covert Affairs.’
Broadcast networks oﬀered mostly unsuccessful series SUMMER TV continued from page 5
Never underestimate the violent capacities of a celebrity in a sequined pink leotard brandishing expensive performing equipment.
themselves at the end of the spring by promising a summer full of new scripted series. The commitment to scripted content is a good one, but unfortunately it doesn’t mean a lot when none of it is high quality. Although ABC was barely able to put down police procedural “Rookie Blue” in the hit column, it wasn’t as lucky with “The Gates” and “Scoundrels.” Despite an impressive cast, “Scoundrels” was an immediate flop, and “The Gates” failed to find an audience even with its appealing vampiresmeets-“Desperate Housewives” concept. NBC and CBS also stumbled with low-budget, no-name dramas “Persons Unknown” and “The Bridge,” respectively, which seemed to go off the air as soon as they began. Fox avoided any major catastrophes, but made a risky move in scheduling quirky freshman cop show “The Good Guys” for both a summer run and a slot on Fridays in the fall. The action-comedy from “Burn Notice” creator Matt Nix,
starring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, never really grabbed audiences, but it currently retains its spot on the fall schedule. On the cable side, Bravo’s “Top Chef,” usually a solid and welcome summer reality offering, had its weakest season to date. Not only was it lacking flavor in its contestants and Washington, D.C.-based challenges, but it also lost roughly 20 percent of its audience from the previous summer. AMC’s conspiracy drama “Rubicon” also struggled, despite its network pedigree (in addition to “Mad Men,” AMC airs critical darling “Breaking Bad” as well). The show has demonstrated strong creative potential, but is hovering at dangerous ratings levels, leaving the possibility of a second season up in the air. Cable seemed to be the big winner this summer, in terms of both new and returning shows. With the fall TV season just around the corner, the broadcast networks should be happy to get the spotlight back, even though they’ll certainly have their share of hits and misses once again.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
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THE TUFTS DAILY BENJAMIN D. GITTLESON Editor-in-Chief
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
EDITORIAL | LETTERS
Keep talented students in the United States Those who follow politics may feel like they spend most of their time waiting for the nation’s laws to catch up to the morals on which they were raised. When so much seems stagnant, small changes in policy often feel like big steps toward closing the chasm between what is and what should be. Nowhere is this clearer than in the issue of immigration reform, where promises to fix a broken system are made every election cycle and then rarely kept. Democrats and Republicans alike have watched, often with differing reactions, as trends in immigration enforcement have changed since President Barack Obama came into office. Now, two years later, a clear direction has emerged. While the deportation of illegal immigrants has increased by about five percent from 2008 to 2009, deportation of illegal immigrants with no criminal records has dropped by 24 percent. Officials have explained this shift with the simple reasoning that they must prioritize dealing with undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. With 142,526 illegal immigrants who have been convicted
of a crime sent back to their home country in just the last 10 months, it is no wonder the authorities are not prioritizing the deportation cases of illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes or who have been in the United States since childhood. University President Lawrence Bacow earlier this year came out strongly in public support of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, discussing it with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.). The DREAM Act would allow undocumented immigrant students who have been in the United States since they were children to remain in the country and attend college or serve in the military. Bacow wisely noted that individuals who enter the country illegally as children come with their parents, without any choice in the matter. While the DREAM Act has not passed, it is nice to know that the government has found both a moral backbone and some common sense and is using them to pull Americans’ attitudes toward illegal immigration issues in the right direction. This recent trend comes as a great relief
because it is a sign of positive progress toward more sophisticated immigration enforcement. Some members of Congress have protested that we should not weaken enforcement against illegal immigration. Some, such as Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), have complained that Obama is encouraging selective law enforcement. But sitting in a gray zone on this issue goes further to safeguarding the ideals on which our country was founded than would throwing out this policy. Lawmakers should instead focus on putting our laws clearly in sync with the Obama administration’s progressive directives. Opponents of allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the United States argue that these immigrants take away jobs from tax-paying citizens. But their argument does not hold water with regard to the children of illegal immigrants who are pursuing college degrees, determined and prepared to work for our country. With the Obama’s administration’s admirable policy shift, national policies have taken the lead in upholding the values of our country and doing the right thing.
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Buying local: Worthy trend to follow BY LUCY BERRY The Flor-Ala
As an observant young reporter, I have ears that are consistently in tune with the conversations of my peers and instructors. One topic of conversation that seems to arise more times than not is the need for a Starbucks in Florence, [Ala.]. Some people are simply baffled about the absence of one in our town, as if the cookie-cutter corporate chain is a staple to every community in the U.S. Despite the fact that there are locally owned and reputable coffee shops within walking distance of campus, many people ignore the fact and are outspokenly angry about it. For those students, the possibility of having a Starbucks may soon become a reality, as [the University of North Alabama] recently signed a contract with the corporation in hopes of putting it in the new student center in the coming years. I do not support this anticipated new
EDITORIAL POLICY Editorials that appear on this page are written by the editorialists, and individual editors are not necessarily responsible for, or in agreement with, the policies and editorials of The Tufts Daily. The content of letters, advertisements, signed columns, cartoons and graphics does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Tufts Daily editorial board.
addition to our campus. Why would students, in a struggling economy, willingly choose to give money to distant executives and not to the perfectly great [mom-andpop] shops down the street? The dilemma doesn’t just affect coffee shops. Local businesses everywhere are suffering the repercussions of the economic crisis as more and more “for rent” signs appear in store windows. When will people start thinking more proactively about their local economy rather than dumping their hard-earned cash into mega-stores where almost no profits re-enter the community? I am one of the thriftiest, moneysavvy college students out there, so I understand the allure of finding the cheapest prices on common goods. I am also guilty of giving money to corporate businesses, but the change which I hope to make doesn’t require that I or others completely reconfigure [our] spending habits all at once.
The 3/50 project, created in 2009 and popularized by a blog post, proposes that if half of the employed population spent $50 every month at local businesses, it would produce more than $42.6 million in revenue. With every $100 spent, $68 returns to the community. The project reports that at a national chain, only $43 of the same amount spent returns home. Investing in this frame of mind doesn’t mean that one must swear off buying from corporate businesses altogether, as certain items are only available through larger chains or the Internet. The project does, however, force people to think more about maintaining a happy medium with where they spend their money. While buying local may seem like a trendy or hip thing to do, just as the idea of being more environmentally friendly has its own stigma, it may be one of the wisest decisions we can make as community members in saving our local economy.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
One of our heroes: Steve Grossman BY SETH RAU Welcome to the crazy world of Massachusetts politics, where every election cycle produces its own heroes. The Tufts Democrats would like to introduce you to one of our heroes, Democratic candidate for state treasurer Steve Grossman. Over his life, Steve Grossman has displayed the necessary experience and leadership we need during these tough economic times. After graduating from Princeton University and Harvard Business School and completing his military service, Steve became the president of his family’s small business, Grossman Marketing Group. Under Steve’s leadership, the company has grown eightfold and remains a small business that represents the best of American values. Steve values and invests in his workers by supporting paid-leave legislation both here in Massachusetts and nationwide. I hope to have a boss as kind and fair as Steve when I graduate from Tufts. While Steve has never been publicly elected before, he is no stranger to active citizenship. In fact, he was a founding board member of Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, where he helped commission public policy research that would help grow the middle class. Steve has always been someone who cares deeply about all levels of our community and has worked on many scholarship programs to enable more Boston-area students to complete high school and attend college. He has also been incredibly active in the Boston Jewish community as the chair of the board of trustees at Brandeis University, a former campaign chair of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and a leader in the fight to help free Soviet Jews back in the ’80s. Steve has also been incredibly dedicated to the growth of the Democratic Party over his career. Here in Massachusetts, he was elected party chairperson in 1991. Coming in after the rough elections of 1990, Steve led the party to reclaim many of the lost House and Senate seats in 1992, and he was a key fund-raiser for President Bill Clinton in the presidential election that same year. In 1997, Steve was
COURTESY STEVE GROSSMAN
appointed chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. During his two-year term, Democrats managed to gain seats in the House without losing any seats in the Senate despite scandals in the White House. As a result of this impressive and complete background, Steve is clearly a leader who is committed to social justice and giving a voice to the unheard. In my opinion, these values fit in remarkably well here at Tufts. But Steve’s connections on the Hill go a little further than that. His wife is Professor Barbara Wallace Grossman, the former chair of the Department of Drama and Dance. Anyone who has ever interacted with Barbara knows that she is an amazing leader who has been inspiring Jumbo actors and actresses for the last 19 years. Despite his very busy schedule, Steve
always makes time to be on campus for Barbara’s shows. We are extremely honored to welcome Steve Grossman back to Tufts for the Tufts Democrats Kickoff event at 9 p.m. tonight in Braker 001. It is very rare for a student group to hold a kickoff before the student activities fair, but this is not a normal situation. Steve’s primary against another Steve, Boston City Councilor-at-Large Steve Murphy (D), is coming up next Tues., Sept. 14. Therefore, we are very fortunate that Steve Grossman is going to spend time with us so close to his election. To make this event even more enticing, we are incorporating a key element of Steve’s campaign: ice cream. Since March, Steve has been going around the Commonwealth visiting different local
creameries to find the best scoop in Massachusetts. While I doubt Steve will reveal his favorite ice cream parlor, who is really losing when we are all enjoying ice cream? Therefore, we are going to be scooping out free ice cream from Colleen’s in Medford, where Steve launched his Ice Cream Tour. We’ll have one of Steve’s favorite flavors, mocha chip, in addition to other classic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and cookie dough. So I invite you to meet one of our heroes, Steve Grossman, tonight at 9 p.m. in Braker 001. There will be plenty of ice cream for everyone! Seth Rau is a junior majoring in International Relations and political science. He is also the president of the Tufts Democrats.
OFF THE HILL | UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
Planned Quran burning day incites hatred BY
MARIAH NAJMUDDIN The Oklahoma Daily
By now, I’m sure almost everyone knows about the controversy surrounding the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero, but how many people know about the “International Burn a Koran Day” that will take place Sept. 11? It is within our [First Amendment] rights to express when, how and what we believe. However, it’s mindboggling to see that the bigotry of yesteryear still plagues our society and our views. From Japanese prison camps during the ’40s to Jim Crow laws of the ’60s to the Quran burning that will take place in
just a few days — we can see that America is still as narrowminded as it was when our grandparents were children. If a group of Muslims were to publicly plan to burn Bibles, it would be blasphemy and surely a sign of underground terrorism. The media would be spending hours covering the story. But this little church in Gainesville, Fla., is getting nothing short of a pat on the back and open support. They haven’t received any angry media coverage in defense of Islamic communities, nor have they received any backlash from other Christian organizations. Instead, they have received more than 7,000 fans on Facebook and a book
preaching the evils of Islam. Let me remind you, freedom of and from religion are also provided in our First Amendment. It’s ridiculous that we have heard next to nothing about this Quran burning. Just last year, the nation was in an uproar over the University of Texas in San Antonio’s campaign, “Smut for Smut,” a program where one could exchange religious texts for porn. The media won’t eat up Quran burning because bashing Islam has become socially acceptable. According to an August 10 CBS poll, 45 percent of Americans said they have an “unfavorable” view toward Muslims. And according to an Aug. 19 TIME
poll, 62 percent of Americans said they don’t personally know someone who is Muslim. It’s easy to target someone and something we don’t know a thing about. In fact, Muslims make up less than 2 percent of our population. We are afraid of something we are completely oblivious to. But this goes beyond religion no matter what faith you belong to. Not only has anti-Islamic sentiment spread since 2001, but also stereotyping has become a commonality among all faiths. More and more Christians are viewed as intolerant and unloving, Muslims as radical and violent and Mormons as cultic and creepy.
Yes, it was Islamic extremists that attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, but let us not forget the Mormon compound in Texas that held 400 children prisoner or the more than 200 abortion clinics that have been bombed by different Protestant organizations. I’m not trying to undermine the significance of Islamic extremism, and I’m not saying we should ridicule Quran burners, but before we strike the match, we should be a little more open-minded to the people we’re affecting, not just the people who have affected us. There is ignorance among us all, some more than others, but we shouldn’t let the foolish acts of few define the character of many.
LET THE CAMPUS KNOW WHAT MATTERS TO YOU. The Op-Ed section of the Daily, an open forum for campus editorial commentary, is printed Monday through Thursday. Submissions are welcome from all members of the Tufts community. We accept opinion articles on any aspect of campus life, as well as articles on national or international news. Opinion pieces should be between 600 and 1,200 words and exclusive to the Daily. Please send submissions, with your phone number, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to e-mail us with any questions. OP-ED POLICY The Op-Ed Op-ed section of the Tufts Daily, an open forum for campus editorial commentary, is printed Monday through Thursday. Op-Ed Op-ed welcomes submissions from all members of the Tufts community. Opinion articles on campus, national and international issues should be 600 to 1,200 words in length. All material is subject to editorial discretion, and is not guaranteed to appear in The Tufts Daily. All material should be submitted by no later than 1 p.m. on the day prior to the desired day of publication. Material must be submitted via e-mail (email@example.com) attached in .doc or .docx format. Questions and concerns should be directed to the Op-Ed Op-ed editors. The opinions expressed in the Op-ed Op-Ed section do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Tufts Daily itself.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
MARRIED TO THE SEA
THAT SCRAMBLED WORD GAME
Unscramble these four Jumbles, one letter to each square, to form four ordinary words.
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SUDOKU Level: Physics for Humanists
KOHOED Now arrange the circled letters to form the surprise answer, as suggested by the above cartoon.
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LATE NIGHT AT THE DAILY Wednesday’s Solution
Carter: “It read like a herd of rampaging bulls.” Phil: “Yeah, good — that’s exactly what I was going for.”
Please recycle this Daily.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
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Tufts Department of Drama and Dance presents
THE ALCHEMIST By Ben Jonson Directed by Laurence Senelick
Auditions: Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, September 911
Callbacks: Saturday, September 11 All audition info and sign up times are posted on the callboard in the Balch Arena Theater lobby, Aidekman Arts Center. Questions? contact Balch Arena Theater Box Office at X7-3493.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
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JUMBO WANTS YOU TO JOIN THE TUFTS DAILY! Come to one of our General Interest Meetings: Wednesday, September 15 at 9 p.m. in Braker 001 or Friday, September 17 at 3:30 p.m. in Pearson 104 Potential writers, photographers, bloggers, graphic designers, copy editors and business managers welcome!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
MEET US AT THE
3-DAY MUSIC & OUTDOOR FESTIVAL SEPT 24-26, 2010 / LOON MNTN / LINCOLN NH The Gaslight Anthem Dr. Dog, !!! [Chk Chk Chk], Javelin, The Walkmen, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves, and more! Uniﬁed Bouldering Championships Pro Tour Finals UCI-Sanctioned Cyclocross Race Event schedule subject to change. Tickets can be purchased at noreaster.ems.com or in-store. MCT
The UConn Huskies suffered a bone-crushing 30-10 vs. Michigan this weekend, as part of a disappointing start to the season for the Big East.
Lack of recruits, coaches to blame for Big East’s struggles against other conferences INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL continued from page 16
continuing to be portrayed as one of the nation’s powerhouses. While many top schools would more likely face a high school team than play on the road on opening weekend, two Big East squads traveled all the way to
the West Coast this weekend and another two battled historic powerhouses on the road — a tough slate typical of teams from conferences like the WAC and MWC. Ultimately, it may take the Big East swallowing some of its big ego to save itself from disbanding.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
INSIDE U.S. OPEN
Andy Roddick disappoints amid poor American showing BY
Daily Editorial Board
Andy Roddick is an anomaly. More specifically, his men’s singles championship at the 2003 U.S. Open is an anomaly because, honestly, it’s never going to happen again. With Americans John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi having combined to win 16 U.S. Open titles since 1974, it’s clear that we’re not as bad on our home turf as the Brits are at Wimbledon: No British man has won there since Fred Perry in 1936 and Virginia Wade in ’77 was the last woman. But today, in a tennis world dominated by Europeans and South Americans, it doesn’t look like an American will win in Flushing Meadows any time soon. Roddick won the U.S. Open before Roger Federer had reached his prime (or was even close to his prime) and when Rafael Nadal was barely out of diapers. He won before his opponents had fully realized the glaring flaws in his game: a mediocre backhand, subpar return game and poor mid-point decisionmaking, qualities that make it extra difficult for the hard-serving Nebraskan to regularly break serve. Since the high point of Roddick’s career in 2003, the top players in the world have learned the simple truth about how to beat him: break his serve. This is not an easy task by any means -— Roddick’s mammoth serve has carried him to great success — but aces have yet to help win him another Grand Slam title. Granted, it gets him close: Since 2003, Roddick has appeared in one other U.S. Open final and three Wimbledon finals (he lost to Federer in all four), including one of the most phenomenal Grand Slam finals in recent memory when Federer ousted Roddick at Wimbledon 70-68 in the fifth set in 2009. But even as he pushed the greatest player of our generation to the brink, Roddick never broke Federer’s serve. Will Roddick ever triumph again? It’s unlikely. In this year’s Open, the No. 9 seed Roddick lost in the second round to an unseeded Janko
Tipsarevic. Roddick has played well this year but has by no means upped his lofty standards; he’s suffered losses in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, third round at the French Open and fourth round at Wimbledon. It’s safe to assume that the 28-year-old Roddick’s stock is swiftly dropping at this point, but who is the next American who will take the reins? Candidates include John Isner, who lost in the third round at the U.S. Open but can always take solace in being the winner of the longest professional tennis match ever played at this year’s Wimbledon, when he beat Nicolas Mahut in an 11-hour thriller. Despite his newfound fame as a result of the marathon match, Isner is probably not the best chance the Americans have at regaining the U.S. Open title. Like Roddick, Isner’s strongpoint is his powerful serve, which comes as a result of the ridiculous angles he can find with his 6-foot-9 frame. But like Roddick, Isner has inconsistent ground strokes. Sam Querrey, on the other hand, looks like the future of American tennis. At 22 years old, Querrey, who is currently sitting pretty in the fourth round of the U.S Open as the furthestprogressed American this year, has his entire career ahead of him. Earlier this year, Querrey lost in the first round of both the Australian and French Opens. But his youth is a blessing — if he can continue to harvest his game, he certainly has the potential to win at least one Slam in his career. After Querrey is 28-year-old Mardy Fish, who has been playing professionally since 2000 but has made it to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam only twice in 29 events. There are some promising stars on the horizon for men’s tennis in the States, but in the past 10 years, these stars have yet to shine in the way that their role models — guys like McEnroe and Connors — once did. Perhaps 18-year-old Ryan Harrison, who made it to the second round of this year’s U.S. Open in his first-ever appearance at a major, could someday take American tennis back to Grand Slam glory. Harrison reminds many tennis fans of a young Andy Roddick; after this week, however, maybe the budding star should find a new role model.
The 18th-seeded John Isner fell in the third round of the U.S. Open to 12-seed Mikhail Youzhny, joining the nine-seed Andy Roddick and 19-seed Mardy Fish as the seeded Americans to exit the tournament before the quarterfinals.
Boost in recruiting a potentially vital lifeline for men’s lacrosse program MEN’S LACROSSE continued from page 16
most important moments of the Jumbos’ season. Most notably, his work at the faceoff X in the NCAA championship game allowed the Jumbos to get out to a 7-1 lead. One of his most impressive spans of faceoff domination, though, came in the NESCAC championship game against Middlebury, in which he won 18 of 27 draws. Rhoads helped keep a strong, possessive Panthers offense in check long enough for the Jumbos to do their own damage on offense and narrowly win their first-ever NESCAC title. “Everyone knows about the attack, and they deserve all the attention they get,” Bialosky said. “Rhoads is a huge part of our team, as our run-and-gun style of offense really thrives when we can score and win face-offs to get our runs going.” Then there’s junior goalie Steve Foglietta. The most important position on the field was won by Foglietta after a few test runs early in the season with the starting position up for grabs. He had his ups and downs but came through with strong performances late in games, particularly against Cortland and Salisbury. Although the championshipwinning defense will be affected more significantly by the graduation of Eytan Saperstein (LA ’10), Evan Crosby (LA ’10), Darius BittleDockery (LA ’10) and defensive middies Zach Groen (LA ’10), Mike Droesch (E ’10) and Doug DiSesa (LA ’10), there is a strong core of close defensemen and defensive middies waiting to fill those positions. If the Jumbos can win the possession battle through Rhoads, if senior midfielder Matt Witko can
keep some of the offensive pressure off of the attack and if Bialosky can continue to move the ball from the defense to the offense in both settled and unsettled situations, then this team can potentially be stronger than ever. “Our entire team is important to our success,” Hessler said. “We have so much talent on our team that it really is never just an individual or a duo. They are very important players to our team success and were so last year as well. Their leadership will be very important for this upcoming season.” “We have so many weapons,” Molloy added. “If the defense focuses on the three of us [Molloy, Hessler, Kirwan], then it makes it easier for a Matt Witko or a Kevin McCormick to take over. Rhoads’ success at the faceoff X was one of the main reasons we had the success we had last year and he gives us that chance of being successful this upcoming season.” The case for the massive potential of the team in 2011 is extremely strong considering the growing number of victories tracked over recent seasons. In 2007, the Jumbos beat Middlebury for the first time in 40 years to clinch the first seed in the NESCAC tournament, but were unable to beat the Panthers in ’08 or ’09. This year, the Jumbos beat the Panthers three times: in the regular season, the NESCAC championship and the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. “Beating Middlebury was a huge confidence boost in the season because they were the only NESCAC team that our [current senior] class had not beaten,” Bialosky said. “After that, the NESCAC and NCAA playoff games were just taking it one game at a
JAMES CHOCA/TUFTS DAILY
The men’s lacrosse team hopes to successfully follow a banner year. time. We knew we were capable of beating them, so all we had to do was focus on our own team and make sure we were playing our best.” Daly’s winning philosophy, in addition, has not gone unnoticed by high school recruits. Every year, the recruiting class appears to be getting stronger, and last season’s success will only fuel that trend. This is the way dynasties are built. For example, when Middlebury won its first national championship in 2000, they were in the same position as Tufts is now: young and offensively dynamic. The Panthers went on to win back-to-back-toback titles. Salisbury has threepeated and gone back-to-back on two other occasions in its successful history that includes eight
national championships. From 2006 to 2009, Cortland made the NCAA finals, winning twice. In other words, history shows that these kinds of streaks aren’t uncommon. In fact, in the 31-year history of the NCAA Div. III tournament, there has never been a team to make it to the championship that hasn’t made it at least twice. With the exception of Roanoke (who made the finals in ’83 and ’92), every team to have played in the title game has played in or won the championship again within three years of its first appearance. Washington (Md.) College, with eight appearances in the final, is the only team besides Tufts to have only won one title. But to the current NCAA champs, stats aren’t nearly as important
as the work they’ve put in over the summer and will continue to do this fall in preparation for next spring. “These stats mean nothing to me,” Hessler said. “All those results have no influence on what we do or how we prepare for the season.” “Statistics are always entertaining, but nothing changes next season,” Molloy added. “We’re going to come in with the same exact goal we did last year, which is to win a national championship. We know that we’re going to have a target on our back and we’re going to get everyone’s best game but that just means we need to focus and work just a little bit harder.” Well, the secret’s out of the bag: Last year’s championship was unexpected. Next year’s won’t be.
Is a repeat possible for the reigning Div. III national champs? BY
Daily Editorial Board
If the incoming freshman class was frustrated to have missed out on the spectacle of the men’s lacrosse team’s national championship last spring, it needn’t be worried. It’s not too hard to imagine that the men’s lacrosse NCAA Div. III championship last spring — the first NCAA team championship in Tufts history — might be the beginning of a dynasty. The Jumbos effectively dismantled historical powerhouse Salisbury (Md.) 9-6 in the title game in Baltimore on May 30. They edged Cortland (N.Y.) State in a 10-9 semifinal comeback victory that was probably even more impressive than the championship game itself. In a final four chock-full of some of the best programs in Div. III, few ever considered that Tufts could have pulled off what it did in its most impressive season ever — one that included, most notably, a 20-1 overall record, a NESCAC championship and a national championship. With the exception of the team, the coaching staff and maybe a few optimistic parents, nobody expected this. Wildly unexpected championships are usually synonymous with words like “luck” or “fluke,” but not with this team — they’re too talented to be called lucky. In fact, with the majority of the squad coming back in the spring, it seems that the Jumbos are still trending upward. The incoming freshmen are extremely strong and will hopefully infuse the returning players with continued enthusiasm and support on and off the field, as any great recruiting class would. “We’ve only had one captain’s practice so it’s really early, but we have a bunch of guys
JAMES CHOCA/TUFTS DAILY
Junior faceoff specialist Nick Rhoads was one of several key role players on the men’s lacrosse team last spring, paving the way for the offense’s success and keeping pressure off the defense. from great high school programs and we’re really excited about this incoming class,” senior attackman Ryan Molloy said. “I hope that our run to the national championship really put Tufts on the map and that the caliber of recruits will continue to improve,” senior longpole midfielder Alec Bialosky added. “[Head] coach Mike Daly
talks about leaving everything better than you found it, so hopefully we can do that with the program.” Returning to the team next year are Molloy, NESCAC Player of the Year senior D.J. Hessler and junior Sean Kirwan, one of the most prolific attacking threesomes in the nation. Every team they face knows the
damage they can do, plans a defense around them and inevitably still gets burned, which proves that great timing and field vision cannot be stopped when executed perfectly. Another key return is junior faceoff specialist Nick Rhoads, who came up huge in the see MEN’S LACROSSE, page 15
INSIDE NCAA FOOTBALL
Despite big ego, Big East falters on opening weekend BY
Daily Editorial Board
Two months ago, football fans around the country debated whether the Big East would disappear with the seemingly inevitable creation of the “superconferences.” But even if the Big East did survive in name, after only a week into the NCAA football season, the once-giant conference looks like a ghost of its former self. In total, the conference suffered four losses on an opening weekend full of games more often decided in the first quarter than in the fourth. The four defeats equaled those suffered by the ACC, Big 12 and Big 10 combined. Even the conference’s four victories, three of which came against Football Championship Subdivision teams, only generated more questions about the teams involved. The season got underway Thursday night, and immediately, Rutgers limped out of the gate. The offensive line was unable to dominate a clearly inferior Norfolk State side; the Scarlet Knights were lucky to go into the locker rooms at halftime with a 6-0 lead. Quarterback Tom Savage, once expected to lead the team to postseason glory, managed an anemic 148 yards passing, leaving fans wondering what the offense could do against an actual Division I defense. But no one in the conference looked as bad as No. 15 Pittsburgh did later that night. The Panthers this year had their highest pre-season ranking in school history and the inside track to a BCS bowl game as they traveled to Salt Lake City to take on the always dangerous Utah Utes. But Pittsburgh found itself on its
heels from the start and needed to rely on a series of miscues by Utah to erase an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit and send the game to overtime. Even then, the Panthers could not close out the game, as an interception thrown by sophomore quarterback Tino Sunseri on the first play of overtime sealed the team’s dismal fate. On Saturday, the Big East looked even less big. Louisville lost at home to cross-state rival Kentucky for the fourth straight year after falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter, while Connecticut and Cincinnati added to the wreckage with losses against non-conference foes Michigan and Fresno State. West Virginia, South Florida and Syracuse all managed victories, but none were too impressive. Even the Big East’s biggest winner last weekend — South Florida, which thumped Stony Brook 59-14 — ended the first quarter embarrassingly tied at 14 points apiece. So what wrong with the Big East? Since the departure of Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech in 2003, the conference has not returned to the national championship. This lack of prestige presents challenges to recruiters. The Big 10, led by Penn State, is encroaching on potential recruits from the east, while the ACC is coming up from the south. The conference has also been incapable of holding on to top coaches. Bobby Petrino’s leap to the NFL from Louisville in 2007 led to the collapse of that program, and now the departure of Brian Kelly has left Cincinnati in a similar situation. Perhaps the Big East needs to be revamped from the ground up and take on the form of a mid-major instead of
POWER RANKINGS With the fall season rapidly approaching, members of the student newspapers at NESCAC-member schools take a look across all five team sports within the season to determine which conference institution boasts the strongest overall program. In the preseason rankings, Williams starts the 2010-11 school year the way it ended the 2009-10 Director’s Cup: on top, ringing in at No. 1 in the inaugural weekly poll. Look for our next edition of the power rankings next week, shortly after the action kicks off this weekend. FOOTBALL
8. CONN. COLLEGE
The poll was devised as follows: Each voter ranked all NESCAC schools in each sport, and those scores were averaged to create a composite ranking for each sport. The composites were then averaged to determine each school’s overall ranking. Note that Hamilton does not compete in field hockey, men’s soccer or women’s soccer in the NESCAC, and Conn. College does not compete in football. This week’s list was determined by polling Amro El-Adle (Amherst Student), James Reedy & Seth Walder (Bowdoin Orient), Nick Woolf & Mike Flint (Conn. College Voice), Dave Meisel (Hamilton Spectator), Katie Seigner (Middlebury Campus), Ann Curtis and Emily Gittleman (Trinity Tripod), Alex Prewitt (Tufts Daily), Whit Chiles (Wesleyan Argus) and Meghan Kiesel (Williams Record). DESIGNED BY STEVEN SMITH/TUFTS DAILY
see INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, page 14