The University News A Student Voice of Saint Louis University Since 1921 www.unewsonline.com
Vol. LXXXIX No. 23
Photos spark 3 resignations
New housing system leaves upperclassmen with slimmer pickings By KAT PATKE Editor-in-Chief
This year’s housing assignment switch from a generally seniority-based system to one catering to the new sophomore residency requirement called for a change in the Department of Housing and Residence Life’s protocol and procedures. “It was territory we hadn’t really been in in previous years,” Director of Housing and Res. Life Alvin Sturdivant said. Under the new process, there is a separate system for incoming sophomores, since they are guaranteed housing, and then another system for incoming juniors and seniors. Priority was taken within the context of the students’ particular group, based on average GPA and credit hours. “From that perspective, going back to the requirement that exists for freshmen and sophomores, it made sense that we would have a separate system that would give us the ability to house all those current freshmen, soon-to-be sophomores, and would establish a priority for those juniors and seniors in accordance to all other juniors and seniors,” Sturdivant said. From there, Sturdivant said one of the most impor-
tant steps prior to housing appointments was to ensure that there were enough spots on campus for incoming sophomores, which was determined based on the number of incoming sophomores who signed up for housing. Although The Village is considered premium housing, Sturdivant said that, in order to have enough room on campus for upperclassmen, it was necessary to open up spots for incoming sophomores there, and in other apartment complexes as well. Space was also opened up in Griesedieck, Clemens and Walsh in order to leave more apartment options open for later appointments. Sturdivant said he could absolutely understand why some upperclassmen students were frustrated with the way things turned out, and encouraged them to get in contact with him or others in Housing and Res. Life to try to sort out their issues as best as possible. However, when it came to the housing process, he said he had to work within the parameters of the situation he was in. “I was working within … the reality that I have to house all freshmen and I have to house all sophomores,” he See “Housing” on Page 3
Number of spaces set aside for incoming sophomores before housing appointments: Fusz: 112 Marguerite: 56 Grand Forest: 65 Marchetti Towers East: 170
Marchetti Towers West: 170 Village: 158 Reinert: 68 Griesedieck: 151
Number of students on a waiting list: 168 Number of spaces on campus*: 3,541 *Excludes the Flats
Source: Housing and Residence Life
Flats Housing Scholarship Resolution: All SLU students living in the Flats will receive a $1,000 discount to their housing fee. All SLU students living in the Flats with a housing scholarship will also receive a $1,000 grant from SLU. Source: Student Financial Services
By KELLEY DUNN News Editor
Noah Berman / Associate Photo Editor
Junior Heather Hellmuth asks a student to sign a petition and write messages to the administration about their experiences with this year’s housing process.
Some students caught off guard by new policy By KRISTEN MIANO Associate News Editor
When sophomore Erin Vallosio and three of her friends went to their housing appointment, she had hoped to sign up for a quad in the Student Village. After living in DeMattias Hall, she was looking forward to moving into the apartments that had been traditionally inhabited largely by upperclassmen. What she encountered, however, was disappointment. “It was the last day of housing appointments, and all that was left was the Flats and some singles in The Village,” Vallosio said. “We decided to move off campus instead.” Vallosio’s story is not the only one of its kind. In the wake of the recent housing assignment process, a number of upperclassmen are upset over the situation in which they find themselves.
This year, Saint Louis University adopted a new policy. It is now mandatory for all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus. Dean of Students Scott Smith stated in a March 31 Student Government Association Housing Committee meeting that this is because studies have shown that students who live on campus for their first two years of college are more likely to stay at the school for all four years. Keeping sophomores on campus will help to boost SLU’s retention rates. Because they will be required to stay on campus next year, current freshmen were given first pick of housing over sophomores and juniors. As a result, there is a significant increase in the number of sophomores living in the on-campus housing that has been traditionally inhabited See “Issues” on Page 2
SLU Law alum sets sights on U.S. House By SEAN WORLEY Associate News Editor
On Monday April 5, Saint Louis University alumnus Ed Martin spent time at the Library Annex with a group composed mostly of supporters—supporters of Martin’s campaign for his fall 2010 election into the United States Congress. Martin is a 1998 SLU Law School graduate, where he studied health care ethics and health law. Now, Martin, who has never run for public office before, is working with current SLU students to raise awareness of his campaign. “We wanted to have an event that would reach out to the SLU community,” Student Government Association Vice President for Student Affairs Mandy Mason said. The event was David Gregory’s idea; Gregory, a current law student, started working with Martin after meeting him at a separate fundraising event.
When asked why he is helping spread Martin’s name around campus, Gregory spoke of Martin’s affiliations with the University. “He’s got strong moral ties to SLU,” Gregory said. Gregory also expressed that Martin has a lot of SLU students who reside in his district. “He absolutely loves the St. Louis area,” Mason said. Martin’s apparent love for the St. Louis area can be traced back to his academic years at SLU. “I was mostly involved with the Law School,” Martin said. “I worked with some of the pro-life groups, and immediately after law school I went to work for the St. Louis Archdiocese.” Along with the Archdiocese, Martin worked alongside many other SLU students at the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry. It was there that Martin used his knowledge of the legal system to help those living in the area. Martin’s involvement with
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Catholicism did not stop stateside. In 1997, Martin spent a month working in Vatican City after being appointed by Pope John Paul II. Martin attributes his interest in politics to his desire to help people and society in
general. This is reflected in Martin’s campaign style. “Our campaign embodies a sort of old fashioned connection to where the people are,” Martin said. See “Martin” on Page 2
SLU alum Ed Martin meets with the late Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.
Three student leaders stepped down from their positions this week as result of two photographs. Taken in spring 2008 and posted in July 2009, they’ve begun to be circulated around Saint Louis University’s campus over the last few days. The photographs feature two members of Student Government Association— Financial Vice President Robert Moehle and Parks College Senator Ben Orr. One photograph shows Orr holding a noose, while the other shows Moehle smiling and holding a sign that says “Only for use on white people,” next to Orr who is holding the noose. The photo was taken by senior Ryan Giacomino, who is also The University News photo editor. The photograph has been deleted from Facebook, and all involved have resigned from their respective positions of student leadership. Dean of Students Scott Smith said that he could not talk about specifics regarding the school’s actions about the event, but that the University is following its procedures and the code of conduct. Smith said that, including the initial email he received about the photograph, he had heard from about eight students and possibly two faculty members who were concerned. SGA President Michael Harriss addressed the situation during open forum of Wednesday’s SGA meeting, reading prepared statements. “I can only hope that this situation causes us all to reflect on the unintended consequences of our actions and the hurt they can cause to other members of our community,” he said. “I understand that individuals are still hurting and that actions continue to occur that cause even more hurt, and for that I offer all the apologies I can muster, but we must continue to march ahead.” Harriss said that he asked for Moehle and Orr’s resigna-
tions, then the resignations were offered. “We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world,” Harriss said. “We cannot stop every incident from occurring, but we will respond and react to every situation that does occur.” Moehle’s prepared statement said that, at the time the photos were taken, “we were being immature and thought our joking was harmless.” “I am truly sorry for the impact on my fellow students and the Association. This is an important learning experience for me, and I hope perhaps for other members of our community as well,” Moehle said. Orr’s statement echoed similar sentiments, apologizing for his actions. “I know that what I did was wrong, regardless of the context, and I apologize,” Orr said. Moehle and Orr were both unable to attend the SGA meeting, due to a previously scheduled academic conference in Kansas. Giacomino did not wish to comment on the situation. First-year law student Bryan Weaver expressed his concerns about the situation. “At the Town Hall, [Harriss] asked us to forgive. … How do we forgive when people keep doing things to us?” Weaver asked. Weaver said that he felt the statements that were read were “insincere.” “When a criminal gets caught, they’re always sincere. … They weren’t sorry when they were doing it,” he said. “This is a structural problem at this school. … Today we only have a few black professors.” Harriss said that SGA is trying to address the institutional issues at SLU. “No one in this room denies that there are institutional issues that we need to work on,” he said. “In this situation, we have acted. … They have thereby resigned. … The organization itself is saying that this is unacceptable.” See “Photos” on Page 3
First black governor to speak, on April 12 Medical problems caused the cancellation of original speakers By JONATHAN ERNST News Editor
Due to medical issues with one of the prior scheduled speakers, the Great Issues Committee’s last speaker of the year has changed. L. Douglas Wilder, the first African-American to be elected as a United States governor, is now scheduled to speak on April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Busch Student Center Wool Ballrooms. “He was available and we made our commitment to diversity and dialogue; he is someone who can continue that dialogue,” Great Issues Committee Chair Steve Della Camera said. The former football coaches Herman Boone and Bill Yoast were the original speakers scheduled for April 12. Boone recently suffered an injury that resulted in several broken bones, and was unable
to travel for the speech. “We didn’t want to break up the two by having Yoast speak alone, so we decided to bring in Wilder,” Della Camera said. In 1990, Wilder was sworn in as the 66th governor of Virginia, a state once known for its confederate status. “Wilder has a very unique story,” Della Camera said. “Becoming governor, he overcame a lot of challenges, and I think students can learn from his experiences.” This will be GIC’s last event of the year and Della Camera’s last event as chair. “It has been an amazing last couple of years, and I think we have really brought in some awesome speakers,” Della Camera said. “I think this last event will complement the work that we have done.” Additional reporting by Kelley Dunn.
Inside The University News »
This SLU junior spends his freetime preparing for the worst.
The ed-board thinks it’s time the housing scholarship went the way of the dodo.
Ohmigod, you guys: “Legally Blonde” returns to The Fox Theatre this weekend.
Learn about SLU’s very own Fencing Club.
The University News
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Let Us Introduce You
SLU student leads Campus Emergency Response Team, has passion for weather
Issues: Students upset by process Continued from Page 1
Ryan Giacomino / Photo Editor
Junior Mark Zinn spends his spare time learning how to take care of others. He is shown here with some of his CERT tools—his fire extinguishers and Tupac the safety dummy. By MIKE HOGAN Contributor
In light of the recent devastation in Haiti and Chile, many people have become concerned with learning how to deal with disaster. But here at Saint Louis University, junior Mark Zinn has been taking steps to prepare for the very real threat of emergencies for over a year. Zinn, president of the Campus Emergency Response Team helps train students, faculty and staff in emergency preparedness. Once trained, members are ready to address any emergencies that may arise on campus, possibly even acting as the first responders. Zinn’s interest in emergency preparedness dates back before the creation of CERT. His grandfather was the fire marshal for Webster Groves, and Zinn himself served as a Kirkwood police explorer. However, Zinn’s said his experiences as a police explorer showed him that he “didn’t want to be a police officer.” His adviser on the force was shot and killed in the Kirkwood City Hall shootings of February 2008; Zinn said the loss was difficult for him. Zinn’s interest in emergen-
cy preparedness remained undiminished, though. During his freshman year, Sam Simon, former director of public safety for St. Louis, was hired as the Administrator of Safety and Emergency Preparedness at SLU. “At that time, when [Simon] got hired, we really got serious about e-prep at SLU,” Zinn said. Upon hearing of Simon’s hiring, Zinn contacted him and had a two-hour meeting discussing the possibility of an emergency response team at SLU. In Januar y 2008, Zinn joined SLU’s Emergency Preparedness Committee. Together with Simon and Connie Tillman, the emergency preparedness coordinator at SLU, Zinn founded CERT. The first CERT class graduated from training in the spring of 2009, and the student organization was officially chartered last November. Today, Zinn can be seen conducting CERT training around campus, most noticeably during the lesson on how to use a fire extinguisher. After lighting fires in a 4-by-3 foot burn pit, Zinn directs trainees in extinguishing the roaring flames.
Zinn serves on Missouri’s Higher Education Subcommittee for the Homeland Security Advisory Council with Simon. Zinn said that the council wants to “start using SLU’s CERT program as a model for the state.” Zinn also has a passion for weather and meteorology; he traveled to Ft. Myers, Fl., to observe Tropical Storm Fay in 2008. Winds in Storm Fay were clocked at 73 mph, just one short of the 74 mph required for a storm to be classified as a Category 1 hurricane. In addition to his love of weather, Zinn works as a freelance PA announcer, announcing at women’s soccer games at SLU. Zinn says he loves broadcast and local media, and that he would love to own a blazer with the CBS Sports logo. Currently, though, Zinn has his hands full with CERT. But despite its focus on the possibility of disaster, Zinn maintains that the program isn’t depressing at all; it brings together all types of people. “The best part is, it’s fun,” Zinn said. “It’s really inspiring to see so many disciplines come together.”
by upperclassmen, including The Village and Marchetti Towers. Meanwhile, during housing sign ups, students were told they would lose their housing scholarships if they lived in the Flats, though a temporary solution has since been reached for that (see the article “New housing system leaves upperclassmen with slimmer pickings” on Page 1). “I know freshmen and sophomores need to live on campus,” sophomore Molly Gould said. “But they shouldn’t get first priority. It’s not fair.” Gould’s housing situation is very similar to Vallosio’s. She, too, along with three friends, attended her housing appointment only to find that there was nothing left but the Flats. “So we’re moving off campus,” Gould said, since according to then-current policies, she would’ve lost her housing scholarship anyway.
Since then, Gould said that if she had known that the University and the Flats management had fixed the problem with the housing scholarship transfer, she would never have moved off campus. In addition, though school runs for 10 months of the year, students are required to take out a 12-month lease in order to live in the Flats, therefore paying for two months that some may not need. “I think that the upperclassmen weren’t as informed as they should have been,” senior Mike Putnam said. “There wasn’t enough transparency.” Putnam is the creator of a Facebook group detailing the missteps of the administration in regards to the housing process; he is one of 400+ members who seemed to feel that the route taken by Housing and Res. Life was faulty. “[Housing and Res. Life] is telling the upperclassmen that they will be accommodated for,” Putnam said. “But they weren’t.” Other upperclassmen feel
the same. Senior Megan Lovato, a former member of SGA, said she’s been aware of the problems in housing for some time and is surprised Housing and Res. Life has not done more to ensure that the process would go smoothly. “I just didn’t want to mess with housing this time,” Lovato said. “I’m just moving home next semester.” Other students thought that communication between Housing and Res. Life and the student body could have been better. “I wish I had known more going into it about the changes they made,” Vallosio said. “I wish they had been more open with the facts.” SGA Housing and Res. Affairs Chair David T. Black agreed that communication about the housing process could have been better. “Communication was big. We didn’t have enough space for what we wanted to do. And that the scholarship didn’t apply in the Flats could have been better communicated.”
Martin: SLU alum campaigns for Congress Continued from Page 1
He has accomplished this by conducting multiple smallscale meetings all across the city in order to connect with all his constituents. Martin also recognizes this characteristic in SLU. “SLU has a lot of non-con-
ventional students, and that really contributes to a real connection to the community.” While Martin will be busy campaigning for his election later this year, he wanted to show a message to students. “I think the most important thing for anyone is to
get involved,” Martin said. “Between the Internet and other social media, there are many ways for [students] to be involved.” Martin expressed that getting involved early allows for the start to an idea of what [a student] believes in and wants to fight for.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The University News
Group to raise suicide awareness By NIHARIKA GOPARAJU Staff Writer
In order to raise student awareness about the stigma surrounding mental health issues, Saint Louis University senior Amanda Textor founded the organization Active Minds. At the clocktower on Friday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Active Minds will hold one of its most important events: “Send Violence Packing.” “Send Violence Packing” is a traveling memorial that
is held through the national organization of Active Minds, which recently received a $50,000 grant from Pepsi. Active Minds is using the money to dedicate a memorial to everyone affected by suicide. This memorial will include 1,100 backpacks; each backpack represents a student who commits suicide. Active Minds’ national organization is stopping at 10 of 251 local chapters of the organization, and SLU is among those chapters. Some of the backpacks have stories written on
them, but students can also add personal stories on the backpacks by making a small donation. “Along with the display of backpacks with the stories of suicide, we will have various booths set up where we will hand out stress balls, and, most importantly, resourceful information on how to achieve good mental health,” Textor said. Textor believes that knowledge and professional help can help alleviate many mental health problems that otherwise are ignored.
Photos: Student leaders resign Continued from Page 1
Freshman Monica Frazier proposed guidelines that she wanted SGA and the conduct board to consider, which included the possibility of the students not walking at graduation. “SLU was created on certain ideologies that prove contradicting to the fundamental Jesuit and Christian principles by said students’ actions,” she said. “Let’s not disregard this issue and address it accordingly.” Black Student Alliance Senator Myiah Johnson said that she reached out to Orr and Moehle after she found out about the photos. “I was utterly disgusted. … However, I don’t think they should have had to resign,” she said. “I’m not condoning this at all. … My respect level dropped for them completely. … At the same time, we have to understand, as people, that
people make mistakes.” Commuter Senator JP Johnson said in a prepared statement that he was “highly disappointed, offended and disgusted” that Orr and Moehle were “forced to resign from their posts.” “This appears to be more of a witch-hunt for trouble than it does a serious matter that needed the administration’s involvement and two resignations,” he said. As a result, Johnson said that he is resigning from his position in Senate. Vice President for Student Development Kent Porterfield said that he was “pretty deeply disappointed” when he found out about the situation. “We were pretty clear that, in light of the photos, it was difficult to conceive of how [Moehle and Orr] could continue to serve in their positions,” Porterfield said. Cross Cultural Center Program Coordinator Kenjus
Watson had similar feelings, saying that he did not know the students personally, but that “any time [he hears] of something that could disturb the goal [of the CCC], it’s disconcerting.” Still, he said he wanted to wait and hear all the objective facts behind the photos. Harriss said that, despite Moehle’s absence, annual funding is still on for next week’s Senate meeting. Financial Vice Presidentelect Tim Janczewski will likely fill in Moehle’s position. Janczewski worked on the Finance Committee all year and is already involved in the current planning process. Additional reporting by Kat Patke. Editor’s Note: Though one of the students implicated in this issue is a member of The University News editorial board, every effort has been made to ensure fairness and balance in this story.
SLU’s spring’s sprung
Noah Berman/Associate Photo Editor
Warmer weather welcomes vibrant, verdant visitors.
Noah Berman/Associate Photo Editor
Marchetti Towers West and other apartment complexes on campus will welcome more sophomores as a result of new housing requirement.
Housing: New requirements shake up process Continued from Page 1
said. “What that may eventually mean for us as an institution is we may need to be thinking about what we do with our juniors and seniors in terms of housing.” Particularly since incoming classes are growing, as more freshmen and sophomores are living at SLU, fewer on-campus spots will be available to upperclassmen. Sturdivant said that at this time, he wasn’t aware of any plans to build a new residence hall. When asked if incoming sophomores would be able to squat in their apartments for several years, Sturdivant said the squatting policy was undergoing review, and may or may not turn out to be feasible depending on the numbers of students trying to squat. Another issue within all of this is the fact that, according to Assistant Director for Student Financial Services Tim Hercules, 35 percent of students at SLU have a $2,000 on-campus housing scholarship. Some upperclassmen with later appointments felt that they were being forced into the Flats, which does not allow students to use their housing scholarships because the building is managed, not owned, by SLU. Sturdivant said he disagreed with the term “forced” into the Flats. “Not being satisfied with options that are available does not equate to being forced. Does it feel like that? Yes, I don’t dispute that,” he said. “But we’re not making any student that does not want to live there, live there. … Not liking those options doesn’t alleviate the fact that this is a choice.” As for next year, Hercules has confirmed that students living in the Flats with housing scholarships will receive an equivalent amount of financial aid through other means, just not specifically as the housing scholarship. Through an arrangement with the owners of the Flats, a $1,000 discount will be taken out for all SLU students living in the Flats next year. SLU will also award a $1,000 grant to students living in the Flats who would’ve had a housing scholarship. At this point, this is planned to be effective only for the 20102011 academic year, though
Hercules said that could change. Other upperclassmen who signed up to live in a residence hall such as Fusz or Marguerite have been contacted and made aware of this offer, so if the new Flats funding option makes it available to them, they’ll be able to switch to the Flats, Sturdivant said. For years, some students have chosen to forego their housing scholarship and live off campus anyway. However, as the number of students living on campus increases but the number of spots stays the same, housing is only guaranteed for freshmen and sophomores, Sturdivant said. The scholarship was created in the 2005-06 school year to provide an incentive for students to live on campus, since there were empty spaces. However, according to Sturdivant, this has not been an issue for some time, and in fact, has tilted the other way instead, and as a result, he said SLU may need to be looking at the housing scholarship and whether it remains a logical tool in the future. Currently, the University plans to continue offering scholarships split into academic (tuition) and housing portions, though it’s something that is reviewed each year, Hercules said. Vice President for Student Development Kent Porterfield also said that SLU planned to look into the issue and whether it still made sense in today’s context. As far as sophomore residency is concerned, Porterfield said the policy will remain in place, as he believes that “students living in on-campus housing allows for more contact with the students and we are able to address any issues.” Some students who spoke at a March 29 Student Government Association Residence Affairs Committee Meeting said they had been unaware that the Flats came with a 12-month housing contract and that their scholarship did not apply. Sturdivant said that part of SLU’s agreement with the Flats was that they would occupy it 12 months of the year, and that students in the Flats who don’t need housing in the summer would have the option to sublease their apartment. Sturdivant maintained that these issues with the Flats
were communicated to students. Housing and Res. Life first announced the Flats in a student-wide email in December, and then confirmed the deal in an email on Jan. 27, which also confirmed that housing scholarships would not be applicable and 12-month contracts were part of the deal. Students unhappy with their housing situation can still sign up for the reassignment list, which does not make any guarantees, but with a little patience, has a fairly high success rate in years past because of cancellations, Sturdivant said. He also said that students with concerns were welcome to contact him. “I don’t want to minimize what anyone’s feeling; I do empathize, and I’m willing to sit down and talk to or exchange emails with students and parents,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I think there has to be some attention given to what our current reality is, and our current reality is we do have a residency requirement.” Porterfield also echoed the fact that he could understand why some students were frustrated with the outcome, but pointed out that regardless of the situation, that was always bound to happen. “There [are] some changes that we can make but there’s no way, at least that I can perceive, to make everyone happy with an arrangement,” he said. Rumors were also brought up at the SGA Committee meeting that Griesedieck and Reinert rooms will be converted to increase occupancy. “Fifteen or 16” rooms in Griesedieck (including Walsh and Clemens) will be converted to triples, Sturdivant said, but only those that are larger than the rest and technically already suited for triple occupancy, though they’ve only been doubles up until now. Reinert occupancy is not changing, Sturdivant said. As for next year’s housing process, Sturdivant said it’s far too early to say if anything will be changed after issues some students had with it this year, but he said they are certainly open to feedback and will continue to work with SGA on it. Additional reporting by Sean Worley.
4 Thursday April 8, 2010
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Letters to the editor SLU should aid pregnant and parenting students Recently, Student Government Association passed a resolution to recommend to Saint Louis University to support pregnant and parenting students, specifically through the resources of on campus child care. The resolution was put for th by Students for Life, who established the Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance Fund in 2008. In talking with the seven recipients of the assistance fund and many other pregnant and parenting students on campus, it became evident that not only did these students need financial assistance but they also lacked valuable time with their child and were often forced to put their child in child care that was safe, but lacking the developmental advantages of professional care. As a senior who has worked extensively with pregnant and parenting students for the last three years in conjunction with Students for Life, I am extremely proud of my student government for recognizing this critical need on our campus. I have heard countless stories of student parents who have run out of options and feel that they are no longer a part of the SLU community. Just imagine doing all that you do on a daily basis and add to it working a full-time job, feeding a baby, shopping for diapers and finding just a few minutes to bond with your small child before you start your studying for the night. Just thinking about it makes my mind spin. On-campus child care would not only allow these parenting students to send their child to safe, quality and affordable child care, but it also would allow them to see their child between classes. Our motto is “men and women for others” and on March 17 by standing with Students for Life, SGA showed the University how crucial it is to support our fellow students who all too often feel forgotten and excluded from the SLU experience because they are parenting. --Caitlin Boyce, senior, College of Education and Public Service
Comments from the website Student musician worth seeing in performance I have had the pleasure of seeing Jennie Zelenak perform, and I think she will gain fame from her musical talent. Her original compositions are excellent, and I highly recommend seeing her when she performs live. --Rivermont
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I can only hope that this situation causes us all to reflect on the unintended consequences of our actions and the hurt they can cause to other members of our community
Editorials are opinion pieces written by the Editorial Board of The University News. The unsigned editorials printed in this space represent the opinion of The University News. Commentaries and Letters to the Editor represent the opinions of the signed authors but do not necessarily represent the opinions of The University News.
New housing reality calls for change in perspective, housing scholarships The theme song to “The Jefferson’s” alludes to a natural progression in life. People graduate college and live in undesirable but cheap apartments. As their career progresses and bank account expands over the years, they can eventually afford to “move on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky.” Such is life. At SLU, though, this progression for some students now works backwards. Freshmen start out in their regular dorms. But then, as sophomores, in order to fulfill the sophomore residency requirement, they get first pick at the available, premium apartments in the Village, Grand Forest and Marchetti Towers. Then they become juniors and seniors, and there’s a legitimate chance some could be downgraded to Fusz or Marguerite if they want to live on campus. Upperclassmen ending up in dormitories by default was one unfortunate consequence of making sure that incoming sophomores, who have a new residency requirement to fulfill, had enough spaces on campus. While we like the idea of the sophomore residency requirement, though it seems like it would be more effective if sophomores were together in the same residence halls rather than scattered in different apartments and dorm rooms across campus. But in the process of switching from a seniority system to this new system, next year’s upperclassmen got the very short end of this transition period stick, with little consolation, save the reassignment list. Some of this is a matter of changing our collective perspective on this process. Prior to this year, the system we used meant that generally speaking, seniors and many juniors got to live in their first housing picks. That’s how it’s been for as long as all the current students have been here, and it’s come to be what we automatically expect. No wonder the outcome of next year’s housing assignments caught some of us off guard. But future generations of SLU probably won’t be able to imagine a time when nearly all juniors and seniors didn’t automatically live off campus. That’s all well and good, hypothetically, with one slight issue—the fact that for some, a $2,000 housing scholarship hangs in the balance.
So we propose an ultimatum: Either the sophomore residency requirement needs to go, or the housing scholarship needs to go. Right now, it does not seem that SLU is fully equipped to handle both simultaneously, especially if plans are to increase the size of incoming classes yet not build a new dormitory in the near future. We get it—building a brand new building on campus is no small feat, both in terms of scale and finances, and this is not exactly the most robust economic period in recent years. Numerically speaking, perhaps SLU could continue to maintain both systems. Hypothetically, once sophomores are settled in their positions, perhaps scholarship holders would then pick from the leftovers, and perhaps there would technically still be enough beds to hold them. But just because one can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean one should. The fact that SLU worked with the owners of the Flats to arrange for an equivalent amount of money to be made available for students who would be losing their housing scholarship is commendable, and encouraging, since it shows a lot of effort on behalf of the students by the University. But that is, currently, a one-year thing and merely a Band-aid on a larger problem. So if we’re keeping the residency requirement, then reallocate housing scholarship money to cover tuition instead. Don’t punish the housing scholarship recipients by leaving them to live in a less-than-desirable housing set-up their junior or senior year when they’re essentially being held hostage by their $2,000 scholarship. Calling it a “choice” just because incoming upperclassmen aren’t being threatened with hot pokers if they don’t sign up for one of the last remaining dorm rooms in Marguerite is just playing semantics. Seniority may be gone from the official housing sign-ups for all intents and purposes, but we stand by the concept. By the time students reach their final year, they should be able to choose where they live, not simply end up with a communal bathroom and lofted beds because that was their only option that allowed them to keep the $2,000 they earned.
-- Student Government Association President Michael Harriss
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and who handed out buttons and created Facebook campaigns to spread the message. After all, students are largely affected by the public transportation infrastructure; many do not have cars, at least not in this city, and others are hurt by high gas prices. So aside from our obsession with reality television and texting while driving, we students managed to do some good. We stood up and spoke out about an issue that greatly affected our lives, and in doing so, along with the rest of the community, we managed to pass an integral piece of legislation and give a boost to a transportation system that greatly needed it.
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All that was left was the Flats and some singles in The Village...We decided to move off campus instead.
--Sophomore Erin Vallosio
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Posted below are the results from the last issue’s web poll on The University News’ website. Be sure to check our website this week for our next exciting poll: If you could create a new major, what would it be? www.unewsonline.com
What did you give up for Lent?
15 percent: My habit of TiVoing episodes of Roseanne 28 percent: George W. Bush decided not to pursue Reagan’s Star Wars 19 percent: military plan after seeing Del Taco’s Mystery Attack of the Clones. Meat burrito
Students help to pass Proposition A For once, we won. On April 6, residents of St. Louis County cast their ballots in favor of public transit, voting for a halfcent sales tax increase in order to provide necessar y funding for area metro ser vices. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this will go to generate $75 million in a year to bring back ser vices that were cut after a similar measure failed in 2008, as well as to increase bus transit, which goes far more places than the light rail system. Students, both at Saint Louis University and Washington University, carried out much of the advocacy for this issue; they were mainly the ones who organized the City Tracks Soundtracks music festival,
See Page 7.
33 percent: The23 Boston Tea percent: Party was followed by the Tickling the little-known Philadelphia CofBillken every fee Rave. time I walk past.
33 percent: Thomas Jefferson was42not only a Deist but also a percent: My pride wizard!
percent of the vote
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The Editorial Board of The University News recognizes Avis Meyer, Ph.D., as the newspaper’s faculty mentor.
Thursday, April 8 2010
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Bodies should be things of wonder, not anxiety Bodies are continually in flux. Look around at the people in your classes. Some of them are suffering from allergies due to the Commentary arrival of spring blossoms. A few may be tanner than they were last week, either due to outdoor weekend escapades or tanning beds in preparation for summer. Sheri McCord Several may have shrunk, several may have expanded. Muscles might be more apparent and defined. They may also ache with soreness. A softness may cover a previously angular jaw line. Faces may be more pallid or rosy than last week. Bodies change. It’s a fact, and there isn’t much we can do about it. When I see individuals struggling, huffing and puffing even to buy groceries, I do feel pity. I admit it. But it is pity in the sense of sorrow, not as we sometimes use the word to connote looking down on someone’s situation. I feel compassion and pain. Pregnant bodies change daily. I do not know this firsthand, but from following the transformation of friends’ bodies. They begin to stretch, expand and even move in ways unfamiliar to the body before it held a child. Skin, the most malleable of organs, extends, changes color and becomes more or less dry. The sacrum aches when sitting too long, the stomach is fickle in the first trimester (or more), sleep becomes difficult, and nerves are on edge with anxiety and excitement. Some bodies have bolts and pins holding together bones. Bodies have artificial hips and knees. Animal’s valves or parts can keep bodies alive. Other people’s organs keep bodies living. As these bodies heal and accept the foreign objects that give them mobility or life; they transform. The healing process itself is transformative. Individuals tattoo, pierce, brand, insert ridges and horns, split their tongues and more to modify the way they look. Christmas before last, my mother-in-law bought me a new chef’s
knife. While chopping vegetables for homemade veggie pizza, I lost control of the keenly sharpened knife. How I lost control, I have no idea. I am clumsy. And because I never wear shoes in the house, I was in my stocking feet. What ensued was a moment when the knife twisted and somersaulted in the air like an aerial performer, finally nailing the landing on my right little toe. Because of my black socks, I could not see a wound, but I felt my toe sting as the knife blade hit it. “I’m fine. I’m okay,” I said to my husband after my initial shout, which I’m guessing sounded like a cross
between a macaw and a coyote. When I pulled back my sock, I saw my little toe hanging by a few sinewy threads. We turned off the oven and went to Urgent Care, where an obese doctor with a fondness for jokes about the War of 1812 sewed my toe together. The moral of this story is not to avoid chopping vegetables, but that, in an instant, my body was altered. Since then, I have watched the wound heal, the scar tighten and become faint. Over a recent vacation, I gained weight. Unlike in past years, I did not begin to diet immediately. I did
begin my regular eating and exercise routine. Too often I think we observe the fluctuations in bodies as something foreign. The “normal” body does not exist. Sure, some bodies could lose weight to be healthier. Some could gain weight to be healthier. When the body changes, whether from age, illness, eating or exercise, I think a curious observance of it—not as something foreign, but as something amazing— could lead us all to better health. Sheri McCord is a faculty member in the Women’s Studies department.
Reality show targets food choices of obese Americans The latest personality to conquer primetime television is a 30-something, crazy-haired British chef armed with a head of lettuce. Commentary His name is Jamie Oliver, and he is on a mission to change the way we eat. Well, it’s about time someone tried. We’ve all seen the staggering research Madeline Roth and statistics that point to the lamentable truth that kids today are on track to die at a younger age than their parents because of rampant childhood obesity. Perhaps no one is more ticked off about this than Oliver, a world-renowned chef whose credits include revamping the British school lunch program. Now, he wants to accomplish a similar feat in America. His quest is documented on the groundbreaking new show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” Oliver chose to kick off his project in the hotbed of American obesity: the West Virginia town of Huntington, which was recently singled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the unhealthiest city in the United States. When Oliver goes to inspect the menu at one of the local elementary schools, he encounters a rude awakening. Pizza for breakfast! Pink milk! Chicken nuggets! It’s a chef’s
worst nightmare, and, as if that weren’t sad enough for Oliver, the people of Huntington don’t exactly welcome him to their town with open arms. He is scorned in the local newspaper and loathed by the town’s radio DJ, who tells Oliver, “We don’t want to sit around and eat lettuce all day. Who made you king?” The unwelcome reception
prompts Oliver to weep in front of the camera, blubbering that no one understands him. Okay, so it is still reality television, which means it does necessitate drama, but, when confronting a crisis such as obesity, maybe drama is all that will truly work to get people to listen. In a striking demonstration at the elementary school, Oliver has
a dump truck unload the equivalent of one year’s worth of fat that is consumed by the school’s students. The horrified reactions of the teachers, students and parents prove that the sickening but effective demonstration undoubtedly struck a chord. Oliver’s mission is certainly one worth paying attention to. This guy knows what he is doing and he knows how to do it. He starts his “revolution” in schools because he understands that, just like it is easier to learn a foreign language at a younger age, so too is it more likely that younger people will be more able to change their eating habits for life. It is never too late to change these habits and it has also perhaps never been easier. Students at Saint Louis University, for example, recently witnessed an influx of nutritional value when Chartwells introduced new plans to revamp its menus to include some healthier options. These improvements ought to be taken advantage of by every student to prove that our generation really can live long, healthy lives. Is “Food Revolution” the wake-up call Americans need to bury their fryers (which literally happens on the show; Oliver buries a family’s fryer in their backyard) and learn to whip up a salad? It’s hard to say, but, if the television ratings are any indication, people are at least getting the message. Hopefully, that message will translate into change. Madeline Roth is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences.
College is about more than grades, majors, and future plans As graduation looms about a month away, I am often asked, “What are you going to do after you graduate?” As of right now, the Commentary answer is still up in the air. I had one inter view already and I have four more before April is over. So it’s too soon to tell. I am a double major in interAllison Reilly national studies and political science and prior to senior year, I was always asked, “What do you want to do with that?” Journalism has been my most recent answer and the nice thing about journalism is that one does not need a journalism degree in order to do it. But I’ve always found the idea of “doing something with your
major” something that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. As Randall Hansen, the Career Doctor for Quintessential Careers said, “The degree is the most impor tant element here, not your major or minor.” Though Hansen may not be the most credible source, I’ve always felt that making the most out of college is the important part, not the field of study, especially since a majority of graduates end up working in a job that is unrelated to their major. I don’t see this as a sign that college students are studying the wrong things, I see it as a golden ticket to study whatever it is we want to study. For example, my father earned a business administration degree from the University of New Hampshire. Throughout high school, he encouraged me to study business in college as well, saying that I couldn’t go wrong with it.
My father is currently an educational assistant at an elementar y school. He majored in business, the most common major in the United States, according to the Princeton Review. He did an internship or two and was a member of UNH’s Alpha Phi Omega chapter. It’s not as if my father just took classes. Yet his job duties include playground super vision and afterschool tutoring. His degree didn’t do him wrong, but I wouldn’t say it has done him ‘right’ either. As a Newsweek web exclusive said today, “while studying the humanities has become unfashionable and seemingly impractical, the liberal arts also teaches students to think big thoughts— big enough to see beyond specific college majors and adapt to the broader job market.” One’s college experience is not entirely about a major or even grades. It’s more about activities
outside of the classroom: student groups, jobs, internships, research experience—and athletics. These are the things that teach students the skills sought in the job market. I can honestly and adamantly attribute my five inter views this month to what I did outside the classroom, and not in it. In May, I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science. I can say almost definitively that I will not have a career in politics and that I won’t be doing diplomacy anytime soon. And I will absolutely not attend law school. Yes, I will fall into the majority who will work in a field unrelated to my majors. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Allison Reilly is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Corn syrup dominates the economy Thomas English Muffins, Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and Wish-Bone Classic Cesar. These three items, besides sharing residence in Commentary my refrigerator, share an overwhelming and dishear tening connection. Each features High Fructose Corn Syrup as the primary sweetener, and thus, key Jacqueline Fuqua ingredient. Today, the reality is that seemingly any food not grown from the ground or picked from the vine is infused with HFCS. A harsher reality, however, is how dominant corn syrup’s lack of nutritional value has been in sculpting the media’s coverage. But our attention shouldn’t be clouded by corn syrup’s effects on our bodies, but rather centered on its effects upon our pockets. The federal government’s agricultural subsidies allocated for corn production, coupled with astronomically high sugar tariffs, have generated an unparalleled hemorrhaging of both government and consumer money. To preface, the United States federal government subsidizes agricultural production much like it does other industries and products. Our program for farming subsidies, however, is unique for two reasons. The money siphoned toward American “farms” is both untouchable by even the most visionary politicians desiring fiscal responsibility and is widely unobserved by the American public. While the criminality of farm subsidies have been well concealed since their emergence 70 years ago, there’s no hiding America’s prodigious corn surplus. While many see this surplus and think nothing of it, a concerned citizenry must dig deeper. The farm lobby’s greatest victory was convincing the population, media analysts and even national legislators that agricultural subsidies were not only good, but also an inextricable component of the federal budget. Clearly the farm lobby understood the mechanics of the self-fulfilling prophecy, considering dependence on agricultural subsidies is precisely what we have today. Federal money was initially intended to substitute a farmer’s income when a decent crop could not be harvested. Counter intuitively, though, the U.S. continues its payments to farmers, even during our heartland’s most productive seasons. Thus, the catch is that every time we increase payment to cornproducing farmers, corn prices fall, meaning even more money must be apportioned to ensure the lifestyle and income to which American farmers have become accustomed. In fact, between 1995 and 2004 alone, the U.S. Federal Government paid out nearly $42 billion to our coveted corn producers. The government’s unremitting spending on agricultural production is permitted and encouraged by a cocktail of politicians and political perspectives. Similarly, figureheads on both the left and the right have publicly declared agricultural subsidies vestigial, but yet, they remain. As the old adage goes, “the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.” Sadly, politicians since the 1970’s, alongside a growing percentage of our population, have attempted to rouse Congress from its corn-induced, subsidy craze. The problem has been clearly stated, and now it’s time to let the recovery begin. With the billions we have invested, we have amassed an unfathomable surplus, which finally blows the whistle on inefficient agricultural spending. However, the surplus spotlights a greater issue: How can we consume all that we produce? Enter High Fructose Corn Syrup and America’s war on sugar. Not surprisingly, cane sugar has swiftly faded into the background within our food industry. Having been deemed uneconomical, cane sugar was dethroned by a government supported, heavily subsidized, domestically-made commodity of which we can all be proud—HFCS. As it happens, the U.S. federal government has become so committed to ensuring our market favors HFCS, it has steadily implemented tariffs on cane sugar that are now twice as great as those for any other nation. The American Heritage Foundation even estimated that the average American family spends an additional $320 per year on groceries due to such taxes. Food for thought (pun intended): This figure implies that nationally, Americans spend a whopping $24 billion a year in order to use merely a fraction of the corn our subsidies have generated. There is an estimated greater than 25 percent chance that the next food you eat contains HFCS. So it’s true— corn syrup is everywhere, and for as long as our unbridled consumption continues, it’s a phenomenon we ourselves have unknowingly created. Jacqueline Fuqua is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences.
6 Thursday April 8, 2010
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Entrepreneur turns rejection into profit By WILL HOLSTON Arts Editor
If you’ve ever asked someone for his or her phone number, only to hear The Rejection Hotline when you finally call, you can blame Jeff Goldblatt. Created in 2001, The Rejection Hotline is a prerecorded voicemail line that gives the caller a message that opens with this greeting: “This is not the person you are trying to call … The person who gave you this rejection hotline number did not want you to have their real number.” The hotline receives millions of calls every year. “We did 40 million calls in 2007 … 69 million calls last year,” Goldblatt said. The initial idea, however, was a much more humble concept. “I would love to say that I started it as a business idea, but, really, I just started it as a joke to make my friends laugh,” Goldblatt said. The idea for The Rejection
Hotline first came about when Goldblatt and his friends witnessed a failed pick-up at a bar. “We saw a scene develop in front of us when an older, not so attractive, overweight drunk guy who kind of resembled a cross between Peter Griffin from “Family Guy” and George Costanza from “Seinfeld” was hitting on a blonde girl,” he said. “She basically told him off in front of the entire bar … That just led us to say she should have given him a fake number … It kind of just took off from there.” Once the hotline was set up, word of mouth quickly spread. “It kind of just spread as word of mouth, virally … It just kept growing from there,” Goldblatt said. Once a website was set up, Goldblatt realized the potential of the idea to spread. “Eventually, we put up the website and we got emails from all over,” he said. “We kept expanding.”
Goldblatt’s initial idea has transformed into a company named Humor Hotlines, with more than 100 new humorous phone numbers that are unrelated to the initial rejection hotline, including a psychiatric hotline and a ‘how to keep an idiot entertained’ hotline. True to the company’s synthesis, however, word of mouth continues to be a driving force behind its expansion. “We’ve got over 100 different new hotlines,” Goldblatt said. “I’d say about 20 of those have gone viral and passed on … We don’t spend any money to promote the numbers … We just watch it take off.” One good example of how fans have spread the word about Humor Hotlines occurred when someone used Twitter to prank people with the ‘how to keep an idiot entertained’ hotline. “A guy tweeted that Best Buy was giving away gift cards to the first 500 people to call that number,” Goldblatt said. “It got retweeted 3,000
times in about a three hour period.” A major in journalism and creative writing at Emory University, Goldblatt served as CEO of the company until about four years ago when he realized he needed help. “I made the best decision of my entrepreneurial career, and I fired myself as CEO of my company and hired someone a little more experienced,” he said. “I had dubbed myself America’s worst entrepreneur because we were receiving millions of calls, and we weren’t receiving any money.” Currently, each hotline’s message ends with an automated advertisement in order to bring profits to the company. Goldblatt is happy with the decision to keep the ad at the end of the message. “It was very important for me that we not over-commercialize things or put the ads at the beginning,” he said. The official website for Humor Hotlines is www. humorhotlines.com.
Jeff Goldblatt created The Rejection Hotline in 2001.
St. Louis goes to the blondes ity show’s aim was to replace the original Broadway Elle Woods, Laura Bell Bundy, Elle Woods is back at The with a rookie actress. The Fabulous Fox Theatre this contestants were presented April for six performances of with the opportunities to audi“Legally Blonde the Musical.” tion for the biggest casting St. Louis is the first city to companies in New York. book a return engagement of “That just doesn’t happen,” the hit show. Hansen said. Even after a year and half But, like most realof being on tour, cast mem- ity shows, nothing happened ber Rhiannon Hansen cannot without drama. wait to be back on the Fox’s “It’s really hard to live with stage. With eight shows a people who you are competweek and no days off, the ing with. Rooting for these “Legally Blonde” cast works people- hoping they did good, hard to keep the show fresh but that you did better… it and energetic. They live out was a torn friendship,” she of suitcases and eat out for said. every meal. Hansen went on to win “Everything starts to taste third place in the show, earnthe same,” Hansen said. ing her the spot on the tour, But this young performer where she plays Margot looks at the positive aspects (Elle’s ditzy sorority sister) of her career. She loves being and understudies Elle. in people’s hometowns and “I’m very goofy and I like learning about the local res- to be silly, so I love playing taurants and attractions. Margot,” Hansen said. “I’m so lucky I get to have Students especially should these experiences, and I’m be excited for the energetic paid to get to have them,” she musical to arrive. said. “It’s a story for the col Hansen first began her lege-aged,” Hansen said. “You career in Logan, Utah, as know these people; you can a cast member in her high relate to these experiences. school musical, “Bye Bye There is something for everyBirdie.” She had been danc- one: men, women, young girls ing and singing since the age and young boys.” of four, but it was a dance In Salt Lake City, Hansen injury that led her to quit her promised a reluctant group of high school drill team and fraternity brothers a round of audition for the musical. drinks if they saw the show After high school, Hansen and didn’t like it. moved to Los Angeles to “And they loved it! So I attend the American Musical didn’t have to buy drinks,” and Dramatics Academy. she said. Graduating in December of “Legally Blonde” is playing 2007, Hansen did not have from April 8-11. to endure the long period of Student rush tickets are time waiting on tables in New only $25 for the orchestra York, as many aspiring actors rear corners and lower baldo. She auditioned and was cony seats. The offer is only selected for the MTV reality valid at The Fox Theatre box show “The Search for Elle office, two hours prior to the Woods,” after her brunette performance. Students must roommate gave her the audi- present a valid student ID, tion information, saying, “I’m and there is a two ticket limit not blonde. Why don’t you do per ID. this?” For more information, visit Airing in 2008, the real- www.fabulousfox.com.
SLUTV broadcasts the voice of students
By KRISTIN MCGUIRE Staff Writer
Rhiannon Hansen stars as Elle’s sorority sister Margot on the tour of “Legally Blonde the Musical.” Hansen was a contestant on the MTV reality show that cast the role of Elle.
By CARLY DOENGES Senior Staff Writer
Of all the organizations on campus, SLU-TV might just be one of the most elusive. Tune in to Channel 22 and you’ll see programs running, but who’s responsible for making sure things run as they’re supposed to? That falls largely to SLU-TV President David Koeller, Executive Vice President Matt Wesselschmidt and Technical Director Steve Massey. These three, along with the help of the rest of the members of SLU-TV, coordinate everything that happens with the organization. They work closely with Residence Hall Association to bring you the monthly lineup of movies on Channel 22, and also are responsible for providing the Saint Louis University community with its weekly news, weather and coverage of Student Government Association meetings. In addition to the expected broadcasts, SLU-TV also has an original series called Updog, which is a live talk show that airs Wednesday nights from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. started by Massey and his roommates. “[We] showed up one day and turned on cameras,” he said. Updog started out by airing old sci-fi movies, but is now essentially an open forum for its hosts to talk about anything they please. Additionally, according to Koeller, the program “sometimes gets freebies to give out,” which means that Updog often features contests. “We’ll do things like whoever gets to the studio first gets a free shirt. It’s funny to see who shows up, because See “TV” on Page 8
Clash is no Titan, 3-D in film disappointing Capitalizing on the success of 2006’s surprise hit 300 and boasting a trailer that promised heavy metal and Chief Film Writer badasser y, c o m e s d i r e c tor Louis Leterrier’s ( T h e Incredible H u l k ) remake of the 1981 cult classic, LANDON BURRIS Clash of the Titans. Warner Brothers didn’t stop at giving the original Clash the 300 treatment. After the success of Avatar, the studio decided to experiment with a treatment that would render it, originally shot in 2-D format, into a 3-D film. This decision was made about two months before
the film was released, and many were interested to see if such a last-minute 3-D rush job would add to the film or detract from it. Unfortunately, for both 3-D exhibitors and those who forked over the extra money to see it in an additional dimension, the answer seems to be the latter. The 3-D adds barely any depth to the film, and, at times, one notices the 2-D behind the 3-D. There are no stunning visuals or sequences that impress in 3-D, and this is, without question, the laziest 3-D film to be released since the format has been reintroduced. One would likely be more impressed by a Clash of the Titans-themed View-Master. Clash of the Titans is the stor y of Perseus (played by Sam Worthington from Avatar), a demigod who
is the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson, Taken) and a mortal woman who is on a mission to save the princess of Argos, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos, Defiance), from becoming a sacrifice to Hades (Ralph Fiennes, The Reader) in a war between the gods and mankind. Along the way, Perseus encounters giant scorpions, Medusa and, of course, the infamous Kraken; he also has to deal with being both a man and a god. Throughout Perseus’ lifetime, the beautiful and immortal Io (Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace), who serves as both a guardian and love interest for the demigod, keeps a close eye on him. Anyone who has seen the original Clash of the Titans knows that the spirit of the 1981 film was its camp, the cheesy and satisfying clay-
mation effects (courtesy of special effects master Ray Harryhausen), and general fantasy and whimsy. Sadly, much of what made the original so much fun has been sucked out of the new Clash, which is more intent on being a serious action film but never quite achieves any of its goals. This Clash’s biggest fault is that it is mostly a boring film. There are certainly some parts of high octane action- the scenes with the giant scorpions and the fight in Medusa’s lair come to mind- but the action isn’t consistent enough to keep audiences captivated. Often, there is a decent amount of camp, but this is mostly a result of the film trying to take itself Warner Bros. Pictures
See “Titans” on Page 8
Ralph Fiennes is Hades in the 3-D Clash of the Titans.
The University News
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Student musicians to take over Billiken Club By WILL HOLSTON Arts Editor
On April 15, The Billiken Club is hosting an Open Mic Night from 8 to 10 p.m., featuring a number of student bands and solo acts. “Right now, it’s just very informal,” Saint Louis University junior and Billiken Club committee member Hunter Hostettler said. “It’s more been people I’ve heard who’ve
expressed interest in it.” Though the acts haven’t been completely set, Hostettler has a pretty good idea of the kind of acts people can expect to hear. “Right now I’d have to say that, of the people I’ve heard, I guess it’s more acoustically based,” he said. “I heard some people want to do ukulele things. I’ve even heard people express interest in doing poetry stuff … I feel the majority of it is going to
be guitar based.” Any acts interested in participating can either pre-register at thebillikenclub@gmail. com or sign up on the day of the show. The event is free and open to the public. The Billiken Club is located on the ground floor of The Busch Student Center in Salsarita’s. For more information about The Billiken Club, visit www.thebillikenclub.wordpress.com.
Music fest entertains on Wednesdays By ASHLEY JONES Associate Arts Editor Sony Pictures Classics
Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup are fellow inmates in the French prison drama A Prophet.
French award winner is a must-see film Last year’s cinematic crop must be breathing a sigh of relief. Had Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet Arts Editor come out last year, it would have been heads and shoulders above the rest. A nominee WILL HOLSTON for Best Foreign Language Film and sweeping the César Awards in France, A Prophet is finally making its way to release in St. Louis. Audiard, an auteur whose small but impressive filmography demonstrates a definite affinity for damaged young men and the criminal underbelly of French society, is at the peak of his craft in A Prophet, his follow-up to 2004’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped. The film tells the story of Malik—played remarkably well by newcomer Tahar Rahim—a young Arab man who is sent to a French prison for six years and, through his association with a Corsican mafia group
within the prison, rises up through the criminal world. Kevin Maher of The London Times called the film, “as epic as The Godfather,” and it isn’t hard to see why. Though comparing any film to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather— widely considered one of the best films ever made—is a foolhardy task, Audiard’s skill in taking us through Malik’s emotional and psychological journey from petty criminal to mafia kingpin is similar to the journey taken by Michael Corleone’s transformation from civilian life to the head of a criminal family in Coppola’s film. What’s most impressive, then, is how epic in scope the film feels despite playing out the majority of its action inside prison walls, and it’s to Audiard’s credit that he manages to bring a freshness and intensity to the proceedings. One scene in particular, in which Malik is forced to carry out a violent act by the head of the Corsican gang (played with blinding fervor by Niels Arestrup), is one of the most intense celluloid moments in quite some time. A lot of credit must also go
to Rahim. Putting the weight of a film on the shoulders of a relative newcomer must have been daunting, but Rahim is more than up to the task, handling the character’s progression from scrappy and wideeyed street kid to smooth career criminal with ease. Though The Beat That My Heart Skipped might seem eerily similar in subject matter in its depiction of a young French man working in the criminal sphere, the trajectory of Malik in A Prophet couldn’t be more different. Whereas the main character—played by Romain Duris—in the 2004 film is struggling to get out of the underworld, Malik (an illiterate undesirable in French society when he enters prison) finds power and respect as he rises through the mafia. Audiard is offering a critique of modern French society, questioning why society drives people like Malik to go to such means. In the end, he seems to be saying that Malik’s trajectory was not created by his stint in the prison system, but by the ineffective society that put him there.
TV: Students run station Continued from Page 7
sometimes they’re coherent and sometimes they’re not,” Massey said. What many SLU students may not realize, though, is that SLU-TV is also an outlet for content created by anyone within the SLU community. “We try to put out programs that students create. They just have to want to make something, come to the studio, and we’ll show them how to work everything,” Koeller said. Student groups can also advertise on SLU-TV, simply by sending in a video or PowerPoint for their organization. As for the SLU-TV stu-
dio, it’s a tech lover’s dream. Computers, lights, cameras and soundboards are all linked together, allowing the broadcasts to occur without a hitch. “What makes Updog really unique is that there’s no one behind the camera,” Wesselschmidt said. Everyone you see onscreen is involved with the behindthe-scenes aspects as well, which helps tie everything together. While the studio may be easy to pass by, tucked off the main hall of the Busch Student Center’s first floor, a lot of time and effort is being put in by the members of SLU-TV. Visit slutv.slu.edu for more information.
Titans: Film is a failure ing gods, Zeus and Hades. Certainly cashing in sizeable paychecks, the two actors too seriously, or from the ham it up on the big screen film’s horrendous script. and try to overact each other Regardless, the action and as their respective characters unintentional laughs aren’t conflict. enough to save a film that is Neeson does his entire mostly bland and uninspired. role in his Aslan voice from Adding absolutely noth- the Chronicles of Narnia ing and giving a performance films, and Fiennes channels flatter than the film’s 3-D is his Voldemort performances Worthington, who has come from the Harry Potter series from nowhere to be a star after as the equally creepy and the 2009 hit films Terminator: sinister god of the underSalvation and, of course, world. Thankfully, the actors Avatar. Just like his previous can hide their embarrassefforts, Worthington brings ment behind the fuzzy CGI in nothing to his character and Mount Olympus and the thick seems to be going through beards that both gods don. the motions. One wonders if Clash of the Titans should Worthington has any real act- not be taken as anything more ing ability, or if he is simply than a harmless popcorn flick, cast in films because he is though it’s still somewhat of a in good shape, is somewhat letdown in that department. gritty looking and doesn’t The movie simply lacks the command as high of a sal- fun of the original, and the ary as more shoddy 3-D charismatic doesn’t help movie stars. its case. The answer The film’s seems obvilack of ous after a cohesive viewing of nar rative Clash. and lack Perhaps luster perthe most for mances cringemake it a worthy and mediocre laughable film that, aspect of at times, Clash is feels like Neeson and watching Warner Bros. Pictures Fiennes’s someone roles as Sam Worthington of Avatar plays play a video the duel- the main warrior in the film. game. Continued from Page 7
The Grand Center Committee and Billikens After Dark came together to bring students the Billiken Music Festival. The festival kicked off its first year on April 7 with the Southern Cross Band. Freshman Hannah Urban described the April 7 band as a “really nice mix of country and rock.” Despite the mild weather, the Billiken
Noah Berman/Associate Photo Editor
The Southern Cross Band performs.
Music Festival was not heavily attended. “It is a lot of fun. There aren’t many people though. I feel bad for the band,” sophomore Claire McInerney said. The festival will continue every Wednesday through the remainder of April. Like the April 7 installment, the rest will be held in the Busch Student Center Amphitheater. On each of these evenings, the festivities will begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be free popcorn, Fitz’s Rootbeer and Ski (Mountain Dew fused with a citrus flavor). In addition, Vito’s will be selling pizza and venues from Grand Center will be present. Junior and chairman for the festival Craig Stoecklin is the mastermind behind the festival. He is a fan of the Whitaker Music Festival that takes places each summer at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. It is from this festival that he got the inspiration for the Billiken Music Festival. “I wanted to bring something similar to [Saint Louis University]; a chance to enjoy the SLU community while relaxing with friends outside in the spring,” Stoecklin said. Stoecklin, who is also the Chairman for the Grand Center Committee at SLU, works with these venues. “I thought it would be ideal to create a music festival that has music that may be comparable to the style held at Grand Center Venues,” Stoecklin said. He explained that the committee took advice from these venues when deciding what bands to bring in. In the end they decided to bring in local, well-known bands to play at the festival. Treble Clef Palette will be performing on April 14, Elsinore on April 21 and Rhythm Watch Band on April 28. Stoecklin said that the festival would be low key. “It’s not about name recognition,” he said. Following the music, a movie will be shown three out of the four weeks. In case of bad weather, the festival will relocate to The Billiken Club on the ground floor of the Busch Student Center.
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9 Thursday April 8, 2010
The University News
Fencing is open for competition
Noah Berman / Associate Photo Editor
Fencing Club president and junior Tran Nguyen, left, squares off against sophomore Susanne Schmidt during practice. The Fencing Club meets every Thursday night at the Simon Recreation Center at 7:00.
Student club extends membership outside the University By NIHARIKA GOPARAJU Staff Writer
Saint Louis University has more than 100 organizations that appeal to a diverse student body and aim to enrich each individual’s experience at SLU. The Fencing Club is among these organizations, and it seeks to revitalize a student’s mind and body. “Fencing started at SLU way back in 1941 and closed down when the war started. It recently reopened in 1999 as a fencing society, and we became the wonderful theatrical people that you see on TV,” Fencing Club President Tran Nguyen said. Nguyen and a friend
opened up the group last year to be competitive and initially only had four members. “We recruit these fencers by word of mouth or by randomly asking people if they want to join, since not many people know about the sport. Also, since we [are not funded by Student Government Association], we allow our coach Bruce [Sikes] to bring in a certain amount of outside people, and they pay for his salary,” Nguyen said. “These people only practice with us, but they don’t get to compete for the SLU team.” Fencing Club has a core team made up of two SLU faculty members, three SLU alumni, seven SLU students
and three students from Washington University in St. Louis. During practice, Fencing Club does a variety of things, usually depending upon if a competition is coming up. “In the beginner class, we show them the fundamentals, such as blade work, and everyone starts off on the same slate. After this, if people stay, we then would develop each person individually,” Nguyen said. “Every person would have a different style and technique, different strong and weak points.” Outside of the beginner class, the club has a competitive team that competes at Northwestern University,
University of Missouri in Columbia and the St. Louis divisional and sectional. To train for competitions, Sikes advises students as they fence each other one on one. Usually, inexperienced fencers fence experienced ones; this way, a lot is learned from these matches. Fencing is a sport that has three major weapons: foil, sabre and épée. A foil is a light thrusting weapon, and is used to target the torso, the chest, the shoulders and the back. An épée is a heavy thrusting weapon, and the valid target area covers the entire body. A sabre is a light See “Fencing” on Page 10
Billiken attends basketball coaching seminar
Ryan Giacomino / Photo Editor
Senior Katie Paganelli was one of 78 women selected to attend the “So You Want to be a Coach” program in San Antonio, Tex., sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Assocation.
Senior Katie Paganelli says ���Yes” to “So You Want to be a Coach” program By ALLISON REILLY Senior Staff Writer
Senior Katie Paganelli has never had a better time sitting in a classroom than she did during Easter break. The communication major was one of 78 women selected from across the country to participate in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “So You Want
To Be A Coach” program. This program is designed to increase the number of women in coaching. “It was the best experience I’ve had thus far,” Paganelli said. “It makes me want to put the work in to be one of them.” “Them,” of course, refers to the variety of women coaches that spoke during the program in San Antonio.
The coaches spoke on a wide range of topics, from dealing with angry parents to the recruiting process and balancing between being a coach and being a mom. “I’m a big proponent for women coaching women,” head coach of SLU’s women’s basketball team, Shimmy Gray-Miller said. Miller was one of the speakers at this year’s event. “It’s important
for women to impact other women.” Gray-Miller has been coaching at SLU for five seasons, and Paganelli was the first of her girls to be selected for this program. “I’m very particular about who I send,” Gray-Miller said. “She has a gift for it. Coaching is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle.” The coaching lifestyle is not new for Paganelli. She’s been coaching younger girls on her own time for the past three years. “I’ve always loved kids and giving back,” Paganelli said. “People have given me so much in my years of playing.” One of these people is Amanda Kemezys, a fifthyear senior and teammate of Paganelli’s. “We’ve grown up together these past couple years,” Kemezys said. “[Paganelli] inspires other teammates and brings an intensity to the game.” Kemezys said that women like Paganelli are needed to coach because there is a need for “women who have played to assert themselves, too.” “[This program] prepares young ladies to step into their own,” Kemezys said. “Sports, in general, are male dominated.” Paganelli echoed this sentiment, saying that it’s a common misconception that “women don’t know as much.” “This creates awareness that there’s a lot of great coaches who are women,” she said. Paganelli finished her career as one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in Billiken history. She is tied for 10th on the Billikens’ all-time scoring list, and finished second in 3-point field goals, third in free-throw percentage, seventh in steals and tied for 10th in assists on the SLU career charts. “[Paganelli] stands out,” Gray-Miller said. “She’s what you want in a player and what you need in a coach.”
Successful season, new recruits bring hope for next year The big gamble has paid off for Saint Louis University. Rick Majerus has resurrected basketball in Midtown. Boy, that was fast. Commentary In the last few months, the head c o a c h of the Billikens showed why he is Derrick Neuner revered throughout the United States as one of the best teachers of the game. Majerus – who completed year three of five in the Reconstruction Era – has put SLU in position to make its first NCAA appearance in over a decade, in a year when the Bills were anticipated to be fodder for Dayton and Xavier in the Atlantic 10 Conference. “We had a great year. We didn’t have a good year, we had a great year,” Majerus said in a year-end press conference. “I’m not just saying that, because I’ve had good years. For a team of freshmen and sophomores, and one of your guys doesn’t join you until January, for that team to finish a conclusive fourth in the A-10 and play so well, I thought it was a terrific year for the guys.” That sounds about right. Without the athleticism of a John Wall or the size of a Brian Zoubek, Majerus coached the “Billikids” to a 23-13 record in a league that, at several times during the season, had a RPI that bested almost every BCS conference in America. The Billikens also never played a single game with the entire roster eligible. If SLU can perform this well at a sub-par level, just imagine what a fully-loaded, fullyactive Billikens squad can accomplish. Now, let me be clear, this season had its faults. I understand that the transition from high school to Division 1 basketball can be brutal, but there were few excuses for the, at times, abysmal shooting displayed by the Bills. Did you watch the NCAA tournament? The great teams hit their open shots. It’s fundamental to the game. I could spend hours recounting the missed open shots. Shot selection wasn’t necessarily a problem, but at times I wondered if Kyle Cassity thought passes counted for points. Cassity is a phenomenal shooter, and he knows that he has to take more shots. Let’s hope he does. Also, as a request from me, can the team practice free-throw shooting? Nothing makes me more anxious than seeing our guys step to the line. Missed shots from the line were a big detriment to this team in several of our big losses. Last year, I gave them a pass. They will get no such luck in the 2010-11 season. Thanks, guys. The team also has to be in much better physical shape. Fatigue plagued this team
like the locusts did Ramses II. One great benefit of participating in the CBI this year was that the team was able to experience the physical pressures of playing deep into March. If Cody Ellis or Willie Reed want to play in the Final Four next year, they will need to show a true commitment to being physically ready to dominate from Halloween to Easter. Fitness is essential to SLU’s post-season success. But enough about the negatives. This season panned out to be the tipping point for the Billikens. The learning curve came early to the great benefit of Majerus and his staff. Cassity told me recently that Majerus’ defensive system is difficult to learn. Naturally, the guys are going to take a while to learn it and develop underneath it. But, Cassity added, “once you do, it’s a good system to be in.” I don’t pretend to know much about the way Majerus expects his athletes to play ball. At times, I bet the players aren’t even sure. But I do know this; the Billikens are a dominant defensive force and will continue to be next year, and the year after, and the year after. It’s the most dependable aspect of their game. If the Billikens can avoid the annual second half drought, and cut down on the mental mistakes, that there won’t be many teams SLU can’t stand up against. SLU will have its entire roster back in 2010-11, except for Jeff Reid who transferred due to lingering effects of his concussion, and none will be seniors. This means prolonged success and a chance for the team to fully develop together. Kwamain Mitchell averaged 15.9 points, and could be the best point guard in Missouri. Though he struggled with consistency, Reed showed flashes of brilliance under the basket, 12.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots and led the A-10 in shooting percentage at 58.7. Ellis will have a full year to participate in the fun. The bench is also much, much deeper. Brian Conklin settled nicely into his role off the bench, and the Billikens will look for added relief from Justin Jordan, Jon Smith and Cory Remekun. It became apparent to me that SLU was at a disadvantage because of lack of depth; they consistently were outscored from the bench. Look for that to change. Not to be overlooked, next year only three players will be new to the system. Majerus signed Mike McCall and Dwayne Evans out of Chicago and got a verbal commitment from 7-footer Rob Loe last week. The reinforcements are arriving in May. If you don’t believe that SLU is well on its way to national prominence, consider this: ESPN Senior Basketball Analyst Andy Katz already has the Billikens tagged as one of his three sleeper teams to break into the top-25 before the 2010-11 season even tips off.
The University News
Sports Shorts:Billiken Briefs Men’s basketball The Billikens surprise season came to an end after falling to Virginia Commonwealth University, 71-65, on March 31 in the finals of the College Basketball Invitational. VCU swept the final series, 2-0, to earn the title of 2010 CBI Champions. The Billikens final record stands at 23-13. The 23 wins are tied for fourth-most in program history. Sophomores Kwamain Mitchell and Kyle Cassity became the school’s first tandem since 1993-94 to have at least 100 assists each. Cassity led the team with 117 assists, while Mitchell collected 106. As a team, the Bills shattered the team record for blocked shots. The 169 blocks set by this year’s squad easily surpassed the mark of 142 by the 2006-2007 team. Sophomore Willie Reed set the individual record for blocked shots with 73. The Bills’ 18 wins at home this season also broke a
record. Head coach Rick Majerus received one vote for the Associated Press Coach of the Year Award. This was the 14th season that a Majerusled team earned at least 20 wins. Majerus has never had a losing season in his 22-year career. Baseball Baseball did battle with another ranked opponent on Wednesday, April 7 as the team traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. However, the No. 10 Razorbacks proved to be too much, posting a 32-8 victory over the Billikens. The loss brings the Bills overall record to 15-15. Freshman shortstop Mike Levine had three RBIs, while sophomore catcher Connor Gandossy had two hits and two RBIs. The team returns home for a three-game set against Temple beginning Friday,
April 9. The first game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Games two and three will be begin at 1 p.m. and noon, respectively. Softball The Billikens dropped both games of a double-header to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday, April 6. The first game witnessed the Billikens only manage one hit in a 3-0 losing effort. Sophomore Kelly Flanagan led off the fifth inning with a double to left center. She was the Billikens first baserunner at that point. A late-inning rally by the Panthers allowed them to surge past the Billikens, 6-4. A series of errors and unearned runs allowed the Panthers to erase a 4-1 Billiken lead in the nightcap. SLU starter Hanna Huebbe gave up eight hits and three walks for six runs, only one earned, while striking out seven in the loss --Bobby Schindler
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Loe’s addition is program-changer Rick Majerus received a very welcome phone call last week from 8,000 miles, or 17 hours if you choose, away. On the other end of the Commentary line was a 7-foot tall power forward who notified the Saint Louis University basketball head coach that he was Derrick Neuner prepared to meet him in St. Louis in May. Yes, Rob Loe wants to be a Billiken. Loe’s verbal commitment comes in addition to signed letters from Mike McCall and Dwayne Evans, both from Chicago. All I have to say is this: Let’s go dancing, boys. These three commitments are monumental in rounding out a team that was already being considered a formidable threat in the 2010-11 basketball season. Majerus has delivered on his promise to bring championship-caliber basketball to Chaifetz Arena
and has to be giddy with his latest get. Loe is a big deal for the Billikens, not just because of the level of game he is capable of, but also because of his size. Coming in at 235 lbs, the Auckland, New Zealand native was highly coveted by schools in the Big 12, Big East, SEC and ACC, including Colorado and Kentucky. Loe was recently named the starting center on the 2010 World Select team that will compete against the USA Junior National Select team at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, Ore., on April 10. According to ESPN.com’s National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi, “What’s most impressive is Loe’s skill set and versatility to play both inside and also on the perimeter. He can stretch the defense with his shooting ability and use his size and strength to be a force in the post.” That’s great news for the Billikens. SLU often lacked size and strength in the post. Willie Reed was often beat to the basket and Cody Ellis struggled to adjust to a defen-
sive presence on the inside. That’s not to mention that both were often out-muscled by junior or senior athletes who were well conditioned. Filling this hole is a crucial step in moving the Billikens closer to a game in Houston next March. Loe should also fit well in Majerus’ defensive schemes. From what I’ve seen, Loe plays well in a man-to-man set-up, reacts well to screens, and seems to dominate with a physical presence in the paint. Let’s not forget, though, that Loe is listed as a power forward for a reason; he’s comfortable away from the basket and will be putting up shots from around the perimeter. Oh, did I mention that he’s seven feet tall? I can’t wait to see how Loe will develop under Majerus. The last 7-footer from Down Under on a Majerus squad, Andrew Bogut, won the AP Player of the Year, the Naismith Award, and was a No.1 overall draft pick. It looks like he’s done it again. Boys, get your dancing shoes ready.
Ryan Giacomino / Photo Editor
Billikens struggle on the road Sophomore pitcher Jerry Mancuso and the Billikens are now 15-15 on the season. The Billikens suffered a 32-8 loss last night, April 7, at the University of Arkansas. The Razorbacks are the No. 10 team in the country and the fourth ranked opponent for the Billiikens this season.
Noah Berman / Associate Photo Editor
Fencing Club president and junior Tran Nguyen, left, takes a break with sophomore Susanne Schmidt during practice. The Fencing Club meets every Thursday night at the Simon Recreation Center.
Fencing: Club welcomes students, local residents Continued from Page 9
cutting and thrusting weapon, and that is used to target the saddle line, which runs from one hip to the other, and up. SLU Fencing Club’s weapons have rubber protective coverings or blunt ends. Each person also wears a conductive jacket, which is hooked into a machine that completes a circuit – this keeps track of whoever touches the other person, and scores it accordingly. The game is based on
a score system and can be played out in two ways: with a score system of first to 45, or an elimination system with first to five touches. Christopher Brunett, a member of SLU’s Fencing Club, thinks this club is a great idea. “I am a history minor, and I have a passion for classical warfare. I’ve always been interested to see how it would be like to actually fight with swords, so I just joined this semester and I love fencing,” Brunett said. “It is an excel-
lent workout, mentally and physically, and I am getting a sense of history.” To develop the team, access more facilities and recruit more people, Sikes has been working reach out to the students. “I love fencing since it brings every ingredient of what you want into a sport or physical activity. It’s extremely aerobic, yet it also requires mental discipline – it’s like physical chess,” Sikes said. “I just want the students to love it as much as I do.”
Thursday, April 8, 2010
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Thursday, April 8, 2010