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vanderbilthustler WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2014


VOL. 126, ISS. 8

IMPACT 2014:




Olympia Snowe, Colin Powell and Barney Frank have been announced as the speakers for 2014’s IMPACT Symposium. In honor of the event’s 50th anniversary, this year’s lineup will examine the country’s progress on civil rights issues from the 1960s while exploring how far the country has yet to progress on current rights and responsibilties SEE PAGE 3 OPINION


Students need to step up prevention efforts

Escamilla issues first veto

The editorial board speaks out about students’ failure to match the administration’s attempts to halt sexual violence PAGE 6

The VSG president recently vetoed a bill passed in November concerning OUR Vanderbilt



Scene and Heard Fashion Show

Vanderbilt’s public relations society brings fashion show to campus to highlight Nasvhille designers and new spring trends





campus VANDER


Yale chaplain to deliver Vanderbilt Divinity Bogitsh lecture


Yale University Chaplain Sharon M.K. Kugler will discuss committed interfaith work in a multi-faith world for the 2014 Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh Memorial Lecture Feb. 27 at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Kugler’s talk, “When We Do Not Know What We Do Not Know: Religiously Literate Leadership in an Multi-Faith World,” will be at 4:10 p.m. in Room 122 of the Divinity School. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be a conversation about the look, feel, edges and promise of committed interfaith work within the broader context of ministerial vocational settings. Kugler is the first woman, first lay person, and first Catholic to hold the position of university chaplain at Yale. “Sharon Kugler’s dynamic ministry has led the Yale community with vision and compassion,” said Emilie M. Townes, dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. “She provides a comforting presence in times of death and loss as well as forging a multi-religious ministry — all with an eye for the emotional and spiritual well-being of the Yale campus. She models the best of what campus ministry must be in higher education.” Kugler’s early career was devoted to social service ministry. She was founding director of AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Baltimore’s first residential program for adults living in the last stages of HIV/AIDS. She has served as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and the Association of College and University Religious Affairs. —From a Vanderbilt University press release

vanderbilthustler STAFF


QUOTE OF THE DAY “The way we went about looking at this year is that we wanted a theme that wasn’t just a great impact topic for any year, but something that was also reflecting the fact that this is the 50th anniversary...” ANNA WATT, VANDERBILT SPEAKER’S COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR

VSG president issues first veto Bill was call-to-action directed at administration regarding OUR Vanderbilt By CHELSEA MIHELICH Senior news reporter --------------------

In Isaac Escamilla’s first, and potentially last, presidential veto, a VSG resolution supporting OUR Vanderbilt’s efforts to achieve a living wage for dining workers has disappeared from the annals of this student government administration. Still, VSG Senator Evan Werner, the author of the dining workers’ bill, said the fight to create legislation on the topic “is certainly not over.” The resolution, passed in November 2013, was to function as a studentsanctioned call to action for Vanderbilt administrators. Specifically, the bill asks that Vanderbilt’s administration make an effort to address some of the concerns brought to their attention by OUR Vanderbilt (Organized and United for Respect at Vanderbilt). Many of these concerns have to do with the unemployment of dining workers during the summer months. In addition, the bill proposed that a representative from VSG be present on a “newly established committee for unemployment” that was reportedly proposed in the most recent workers’ union contract. Following passage of the bill, Escamilla said “mutual concern” over the accuracy of many of the bill’s items led him to meet with Vanderbilt administrators Laura Nairon, director of Business Services, and Camp Howard, director of Dining Services. The mention of this “committee for unemployment,” was one of the factual inaccuracies that led to Escamilla’s decision to veto. Nairon said in response to this aspect of the resolution, “I can find no reference to such a committee in the (union) contract.” Ben Eagles, a representative from OUR Vanderbilt, responded in a statement to The Hustler, “The committee has not yet met in 2014, but in the last union contract negotiations, Vanderbilt agreed to form a committee of dining workers and administration to work on this issue and the committee has met multiple times. “I feel sure that Isaac is acting as a surrogate spokesperson for Vanderbilt administration and/or specifically Campus Dining.”




Vanderbilt Student Government President Isaac Escamilla speaks to new students during the Founder’s Walk ceremony in August 2013. Other facts that were at issue in the vetoed bill, according to Escamilla, pertained to the living wage standard in Tennessee and the efficacy of a summer employment fair for dining workers set up by the university. “I think we always come into (Senate) sessions with the assumption that senators have done their homework,” Escamilla explained. “And because you have the backing of two of the most vocal senators at the time, Evan Werner and Tanner Owen, people sort of trusted their judgment.” Discussion of the inaccuracies above, and others addressed by Nairon and Howard, Escamilla said, came about because “I think the administrators at the time (were) unaware of this being an issue for the senators or a certain group of students and them really reaching out to me and asking, ‘Can we just discuss this?’” “From their perspective, they just want to be kept in the conversation,” Escamilla said of the administration. The VSG president also called them “the core partnership” of his organization. In addition to the possible inaccuracies of the bill, ones Werner called “subjective,” Nairon and Howard expressed concerns



to Escamilla regarding the way in which Vanderbilt administrators were solicited for information during the drafting of the bill. Escamilla explained that of concern was Werner’s apparent misleading of Vanderbilt administrators concerning the purpose of his inquiries and his role in student government. Escamilla called Werner’s efforts “duplicitous.” “There’s really no fear of symbolically what this bill was saying. Why I vetoed it was an issue of, this is not how we conduct ourselves as an organization,” he said. Werner insisted: “That’s not true. I did not tell them I was working on a resolution … I did say that I was a VSG senator.” Regardless, Werner said, many administrators, including Howard, “dodged every question.” According to Werner, the majority of the information in the bill came from Eagles and OUR Vanderbilt. In addition, Werner said: “I would like to also make a promise to Vanderbilt, VSG and the Hustler that when I return from abroad I will be taking on this issue once.” Escamilla expressed that, in the future, he is “not opposed to someone pursuing this (issue).”






IMPACT theme harkens back to event’s early years Symposium to address progression on traditional Civil Rights and advent of new issues that fall under that banner By ANDRÉ ROUILLARD Editor-in-chief --------------------

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Congressman Barney Frank, and former Senator Olympia Snowe have been announced as the speakers for this year’s IMPACT Symposium. The symposium, to be held March 17-19, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. The theme for this year’s event is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Defining Civil Rights and Responsibilities.” According to Speaker’s Committee co-chair Anna Watt, the planning committee “wanted to be looking not only at how have we progressed on the issues that constituted civil rights during the ’60s, but also at issues that now fall under that banner today but weren’t necessarily part of the conversation in the ’60s.” “The way we went about looking at this year is that we wanted a theme that wasn’t just a great IMPACT topic for any year, but something that was also reflecting the fact that this is the 50th anniversary and reflecting what IMPACT

was originally about,” Watt said. The backdrop of this year’s event will feature an oversized American flag in homage to the backdrop of the symposium’s early years. Speaker’s Committee co-chair Patrick McGee also expounded on the event’s theme. “IMPACT was started during this time of civil rights, and those were the big issues of the day,” he said. “Thinking about that and reflecting on that … you can’t have rights without responsibilities — they go hand in hand. And we wanted to broaden the conversation to, ‘What do we as Americans deserve as our rights?’ but also ‘What are we responsible for ensuring that others have?’” Frank, who will appear on Monday night, served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013, when he chose not to pursue reelection. Frank is most notable for cosponsoring the Dodd-Frank Act and for serving as the first openly gay member of Congress, having come out publically in 1987. “Congressman Frank being the first openly gay House member will be an incredible person to touch on how the

gay rights movement is shaping civil rights today,” Watt said. The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law in 2010, is commonly considered the most comprehensive set of financial reforms since the Great Depression. The act, passed as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, aimed to streamline the financial regulatory process while simultaneously strengthening rules protecting consumers from abusive financial practices. Snowe, who will appear on Tuesday night, served as a U.S. senator for Maine from 1995 to 2010, when she also chose not to seek reelection. Snowe became known during her tenure for her moderate stance on issues relative to her Republican colleagues, especially into the 21st century on issues such as abortion and gay rights. She was one of only eight republican senators to vote for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in 2010. “I think that her moderate views position her well to talk about the idea of responsibility and the idea of making individual decisions about what responsibilities we face and the fact that everything isn’t filtered through a partisan lens,” Watt said. — Continued on PAGE 4


The large American flag backdrop can be seen behind Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1967 IMPACT event.





— Continued from PAGE 3 Powell, speaking on Wednesday night, served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, the first African American to serve in that role. Powell has also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the Gulf War, and as a four-star general in the United States Army, a rank he attained in 1989. The rank of four-star general is the highest rank in the Army that can be achieved during peacetime. Powell, a Republican, has been in the public spotlight after leaving the Cabinet for his willingness to support liberal causes and for his endorsement of Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. “Colin Powell of course was our na-

tion’s top diplomat and general and oversaw the United States’ role and responsibilities as a global superpower, but he also grew up during a time where the U.S. was struggling with the civil rights issues that IMPACT was founded upon discussing,” McGee said. Tickets for IMPACT go on on sale today at the Sarratt Box Office. Tickets are free for Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff (who can receive up to two), $5 for non-Vanderbilt students and $10 for general admission. Between Feb. 26 and March 3, only Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff will be able to purchase tickets for Colin Powell’s event on Wednesday night.

IMPACT TICKET INFORMATION Where: Saratt Box Office VU student, faculty and staff price: Free Non-VU students: $5 General Admission: $10 Tiered ticket release: Between Feb. 26 and March 3, only Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff will be able to purchase tickets for Colin Powell’s speech. After March 3, tickets will be available to the general public.

Nourish International selling coolers for charity Profits from pre-finished coolers to go toward Guatemalan charity teaching indigenous children Spanish By COLLIER BOWLING


News reporter --------------------

Anyone planning on going to formal this spring might want to take note of Nourish International’s primary fundraiser for the year. Vanderbilt’s chapter of the nonprofit is selling pre-sanded and primed coolers through March 22 to raise money for Mayan Families, a Guatemalan organization providing opportunities to local poor, indigenous people through education. Nourish International, which has chapters on campuses throughout the country, engages students through “business ventures”— student-run enterprises that net a profit — in order to provide funds to support sustainable service projects abroad. At Vanderbilt, the organization’s roughly 25 members are split into teams of five that are responsible for running and planning their own business ventures. The service projects supported by Vanderbilt’s Nourish International chapter are selected on an annual basis, but all share the common theme of working to fight poverty. Currently, the organization is raising funds to support Mayan Families. “(Mayan Families) sponsors young students in Guatemala’s population,” explained Sara Salisbury, a senior student and copresident of Vanderbilt’s Nourish International chapter. “There is a problem with them speaking indigenous languages in schools where Spanish is the primary language. Mayan Families helps address these issues through preschool programs … and afterschool programs for older children in English and Spanish, along with activities in general, to supplement the education that is already going on.” In addition to raising money for the organization, five Vanderbilt students will work with Mayan Families this summer in Guatemala. While Nourish International does not pay for the students’ expenses, the organization

Nourish International is looking for two to three additional students to go to Guatemala for six weeks this summer to work with Mayan Families. Nourish has meetings every other Wednesday in Buttrick 304 at 8 p.m. Students who are interested can email either or



From left to right, Lizzy Belair, Allie Wisialowski and Morgan Porpora sell Gigi’s cupcakes as part of a fundraiser for Nourish International in December 2012. assists the students in developing a plan they will implement for Mayan Families in Guatemala. Mayan Families is not the first nonprofit that Vanderbilt’s chapter of Nourish International has sponsored since it came to campus in 2011. Each year, the members go through a research stage and decide which cause and organization they want to support. Last year, Nourish International raised money for Asociacion CREAR, a program that provides supplemental education to rural youth in Costa Rica. “We (Salisbury and co-president Lizzy Belair) both went on our very first project last summer to Samara Beach, Costa Rica,” Salisbury said. “We just had the best time

being in a beautiful surf town in Costa Rica and working with children in the afterschool program and renovating a health clinic that got devastated in the earthquake there. You work so hard during the year on these ventures and you raise all this money, and it was so powerful to go firsthand and experience all what the money is going towards and the impact it made in these peoples’ lives and the relationships we formed through that.” “This semester, we have a team that wants to do t-shirts, another team who wants to do ‘restaurant night’ with a certain percentage of sales going to Nourish and another wants to do a bar night,” Belair said. “The whole method behind Nourish is that students lead their own business ventures on campus.” The

The coolers are now for sale on and they can be ordered until March 22. The coolers will be delivered by the last weekend in March and cost $55 with delivery. cooler sale will, however, be the organization’s primary fundraiser. Belair and Salisbury added that joining Nourish International provides participants with opportunities to meet new people and have a hands-on role in helping an organization. Additionally, they said that the organization provides experience in working for a nonprofit towards a powerful purpose. “The mission of Nourish it is a really powerful and inspiring mission,” Salisbury said. “Nourish nationally likes to think of itself as a student movement spreading chapters all across the country every year… (and) with Nourish you get experience in running business ventures and events on campus.”




Student’s app takes off on Android Simplified Words With Friends-style game has more than 5,000 downloads By CHARLOTTE GILL Senior news reporter --------------------


Senior Hakeem Hasan may be an electrical engineering major, but that doesn’t stop him from trying his hand at programming. Hasan recently developed a mobile application called MoWo, a game that resembles a simplified version of Zynga’s Words with Friends. MoWo players build words to earn points in either the timed, free play or multiplayer mode. “(MoWo) has a more minimalistic approach and a single player mode, but you can also play online against your Facebook friends or random players,” Hasan explained in an email to The Hustler. “I had the idea for a word game app since December 2012 but didn’t

actually start working on it ‘till a year later,” he said. “Because of my lack of experience both with designing and programming games, a word game is easy relative to more complex games such as shooters, sports games, racing games, etc.” MoWo has now reached more than 5,000 downloads, with 3,000 active people playing online against each other. Currently, MoWo is only available on Android phones and accessed online on the Google Play Store, but Hasan plans to teach himself how to customize an iOS version for iPhone users. While Hasan has only taken one formal programming class at Vanderbilt, a summer internship with energy provider Southern Company enabled him to learn more programming

languages, honing his skills for the hobby he took up in 2011. “Anything else I’ve learned on my own time,” he said. Hasan has accepted a job for Southern Company in Birmingham, Ala., after graduation but doesn’t think that will be the end of his programming days. “Right now I consider it a hobby, but I could see myself opening an app studio if I got some investors,” he said. For other students considering programming, Hasan offered some encouraging advice. “Coding can get frustrating for new coders and veterans alike, but pushing through those problems makes the overall experience that much more enjoyable,” he said. “So enjoy what you code, and never give up doing so.”


Far left: A screenshot from MoWo, the mobile game app designed by Vanderbilt senior Hakeem Hasan. Above: Hasan, an electrical engineering major, views programming as a hobby and plans to work at Southern Company after graduation.





QUOTE OF THE DAY “It’s time to stop dismissing people — the girls and guys who naturally look ‘bitchy’ or ‘perpetually pissed-off’ — for something that most of us have very little control over.


EDITORIAL: Meeting them halfway RANT Students’ indifference to administration hinders positive change THE

Something got you peeved? Irked? Honked off? The Rant is your place to anonymously vent your spleen on any issue you want. To get your rant on, visit the Opinion page. Check out this week’s Rant on our Twitter account @InsideVandy.

It’s kind of late (for Vandy anyway), but sometimes reading social media posts when it’s just past recruitment season (“Hey, welcome to blah blah blah! Love you x” etc.) is kind of hurtful. Not everyone can afford to go Greek, you know. I know you appreciate belonging to one, but frankly, you don’t need to.

THE HUSTLER EDITORIAL BOARD is composed of the top five editors of The Hustler and the director of InsideVandy. These editors present the majority view of The Hustler staff.

I don’t know what marketing professor assigned all these damn surveys but s/ he should know s/he is the most hated person on campus right now. Re: “Trading Spaces” (Feb. 19) — I read “pretentious prats” and saw red. I believe this mentality by folks outside the university is SO OLD AND JEALOUS (e.g.: “I hate Vandy kids” bumper stickers). As a “prat” paying for school at Vandy with student loans and 2 jobs, I’d still rather be here than at a racially uniform and culturally-lacking institution. #BlessTheirHearts Did DKE get a new sound system? My towers suite was shaking Friday night from all the noise. DKE, your music sucks worse than you. Facebook back-stalking isn’t half as entertaining as it is annoying. We didn’t want to see your braces then and we don’t want to see them now. Dear KD girl who pushes beeping buttons on the treadmill in the Estrogym for 30 minutes: What the fuck are you doing?















n covering the issue of sexual violence on this campus in the wake of tragedy, the Editorial Board has noticed a trend: We have a lot of questions for the administration. As we reported on the recent student forums on this issue, it seems that students repeatedly asked the administration, “What are you doing to prevent sexual violence on campus?” Similarly, we have spent much of our time covering the issue by asking the administration the same question. Whether or not its answer — which typically includes the Green Dot program and the new expansion of Project SAFE — is the right one is beyond the scope of the present argument. Regardless, the administration at least has a defined strategy for how it plans to better combat sexual violence at Vanderbilt. But the administration is only half, and arguably the lesser half, of the equation when it comes to preventing sexual violence. At the end of the day, it is not university officials sexually assaulting students in their dorm rooms — it is fellow students. The burden to eliminate this problem at our school therefore falls most heavily on us. And so the question becomes, “What are we students doing to prevent sexual violence on our campus?” Right now, considering that 14 forcible sex offenses were reported at Vanderbilt in 2012, a number likely low due to underreporting, the answer appears to be, “Not enough.” We ask the administration to implement programs and policies that will make our campus a safe space, but then we neglect to meet them halfway and hold up our side of the bargain. We roll our eyes and complain about having to complete VU PETSA, the online video

module designed to educate members of the Vanderbilt community about sexual violence. We laugh at Green Dot, the bystander intervention program pushed by the university this year after this summer’s incident. In short, through our attitudes, we undermine efforts designed to prepare us to prevent sexual violence, which isn’t very conducive to fixing the problem. Even if you don’t become the campus’ biggest Green Dot activist, programs working to end sexual violence on campus should not elicit disparaging remarks and gestures. The problem with our attitudes toward sexual violence, however, cuts deeper than this. It is twofold: On the one hand, people use sexual conquests to feel validated; on the other, bystander intervention is often seen as uncool. “Did you fuck her?” is a frequently heard question from friends the morning after a night out, especially if a guy brings a girl back home. No one should ever feel like they will be judged for answering “no” to this question. If you ever feel uncool for saying you didn’t have sex with someone, that is a problem. If you like having sex, that’s great; have sex. But when you allow the need for validation in the eyes of others to drive your sexual activity, it can lead to bad decisions — like failing to obtain effective consent. For instance, Black Monday — the day after Panhellenic bid day — is a popular night for guys to go out because, speaking bluntly, they know a lot of girls will be out partying. And if you are hitting on a drunk girl at the bar and feel pressured to take her home because that’s what your friends will expect, you might be less likely to get effective consent in the gray area of “We were both a little drunk.” When the need to validate your position among your friends trumps the need for consent, rights are violated.

The Vanderbilt Hustler Opinion page aims to stimulate discussion in the Vanderbilt community. In that spirit, columnists, guest columnists and authors of letters to the editor are expected to provide logical argument to back their views. Unreasonable arguments, arguments in bad faith or arguments in vain between columnists have no place in The Hustler and will not be published. The Hustler welcomes reader viewpoints and offers three methods of expression: letters to the editor, guest columns and feedback on The views expressed in lead editorials reflect the majority of opinion among The Hustler’s editorial board and are not necessarily representative of any individual member. Letters must be submitted either in person by the author to the Hustler office or via email to Letters via email should come from a Vanderbilt email address where the identity of the sender is clear. With rare exception, all letters must be received by 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The editor reserves the right to edit and condense submissions for length as well as clarity.

Part of the ongoing trial in the rape case from this summer involves an allegation that a defendant recorded part of the assault and then shared those images with friends. The fact that anyone would ever think it’s impressive to show off a video of themselves sexually assaulting another person is simply unacceptable. This harkens back to the larger cultural trend in which sexually imposing your will on another person validates you in the eyes of others. While this might be an extreme example, it happened here, at Vanderbilt — nine months ago. This is a culture that we as students need to work to change. The second problem with our attitudes toward sexual assault revolves around bystander intervention. Right now, checking in on your guy friend before he leaves the party with a random girl to make sure he’s not crossing the line would earn you some heavy judgment. The same condemnation applies to a girl making sure her friend is in a place to make smart decisions before she leaves with a new guy. This shouldn’t be the case. If we see a situation that looks suspicious, it is our responsibility as fellow students to make sure that everything is okay — that’s what “bystander intervention” means. We shouldn’t get mad at our friends when they check in with us; we should respect that they are doing their part to stop sexual violence on campus. Sexual violence is not an easy issue to address, and we as an Editorial Board are not claiming to have the magic bullet to fix the problem. However, in the increased dialogue about sexual violence we’ve seen this year, relatively little has been said about the students’ role in preventing these crimes. Ultimately, we feel it is our responsibility as students to step up to the plate and hold each other accountable.

Lengthy letters that focus on an issue affecting students may be considered for a guest column at the editor’s discretion. All submissions become the property of The Hustler and must conform to the legal standards of Vanderbilt Student Communications, of which The Hustler is a division. The Vanderbilt Hustler (ISSN 0042-2517), the student newspaper of Vanderbilt University, is published every Wednesday during the academic year except during exam periods and vacations. The paper is not printed during summer break. The Vanderbilt Hustler allocates one issue of the newspaper to each student and is available at various points on campus for free. Additional copies are $.50 each. The Vanderbilt Hustler is a division of Vanderbilt Student Communications, Inc. Copyright © 2014 Vanderbilt Student Communications.




What ‘modified approach’?

Euphemisms should not be used to hide the horror of sexual assault


DAVID SHUCK is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Science and a member of the Vanderbilt debate team. He can be reached at david.j.shuck@

n his Feb. 21 column “Focusing the blurred lines,” Tyler Bishop admits that his argument is simple. He finds the Vanderbilt student body, “in general,” tired of and averse to “negative” efforts against sexual violence on campus. Because these efforts have made listeners immune to the message survivors and advocates try to relay, they must be supplemented by “positive” rhetoric which emphasizes what good decisions look like. This argument’s simplicity, however, is not a virtue. I am sure Tyler Bishop had good intentions in his writing; however, I also know what is said of the road to hell. Bishop does not speak generally for students when he “realize(s) that people, generally speaking, had grown tired of hearing and reading about sexual violence on campus.” Surely this is not the opinion of survivors of sexual assault, nor any aware female student, nor the majority of decent humans on campus deeply concerned about the omnipresent risk of sexual violence. Rather, this indifference is more representative of a select minority, many of whom likely never even listened in the first place. When Bishop discovers that “The major efforts against sexual violence … are all rooted in negativity,” what is he actually saying? For Bishop, negative rhetoric is an encompassing term for any communication meant to confront an idle listener with the gruesome realities of sexual assault and rape. His euphemisms “negative rhetoric” and “negativity” imply pessimism and hopelessness, inspire discomfort, are used as obvious contrasts to the “positivity” and grossly misrepresent real-world efforts of sexual violence education and prevention. There is a vast difference between his question — “To put it simply, how can we change if the only thing that we collectively see is a cloud of

negativity?” — and the euphemism-free question: How can we change when we are not forced to recognize and remember the terrifying realities of sexual violence, the role we have in perpetuating it and the things we can do to stop it? Advocates should speak about “good decisions” instead, Bishop argues, because “in general,” people “don’t like to be constantly reminded of the troubles around them … (and) especially don’t want to continuously hear about problems that might not be of central importance to them.” Sexual violence at Vanderbilt, however, is not akin to everyday troubles, nor is it acceptable that it not be centrally important to anyone on our campus. This assumption is exactly what those engaged in the struggle against sexual assault are trying to change by ensuring that the horrors of sexual violence become centrally important to people. After casting unwarranted shadows of doubt on any method meant to address rape for what it is, Bishop finds that although “Sexual violence is naturally not a positive issue to address … bridging the gap starts with emphasizing what good decisions look like.” With this move, Bishop suggests praising potential aggressors for not committing sexual violence instead of communicating the trauma of survivors and the monstrosities of rape to students to ward off future aggression. Solidarity with and justice for survivors are substituted in favor of admiration for would-be rapists. We do not praise the would-be murderer who lowers his knife at the last moment, nor the thief whose conscience kicks in in front of the open safe. I would never be praised for not tripping an elderly person when I could have, and why should I ever expect to be? It is not laudable whatsoever to have the

ability to rape and to decide not to; it is what a decent human is expected to do. I can hardly imagine what could trivialize sexual violence more than deciding to play the game of the aggressor — Bishop’s approach entirely sidesteps the atrocities of assault, and all its positivity amounts to is patting the backs of those who have the power to sexually assault but don’t. Those who merely behave how lawful humans are expected to behave should never be made out to be heroes. Focusing on the “good decisions” made by those in power silences sexual violence survivors. Instead of being able to speak out about the chilling truths of sexual assault, Bishop’s message to survivors and advocates is to speak on their aggressor’s terms. Major efforts against sexual assault are campaigns against the most heinous crimes humans commit; they should never be said to be “negative” outlooks on what could be framed with a smile. The problem is not with what these campaigns do to fight the loathsome truth of sexual violence but with how they are represented — using reprehensible euphemisms and ignoring the abhorrent realities of rape are both turning away from the issue and do more to stifle remedy than any sort of activism ever could. I suspect more are sick of the issue being glossed over than are tired of hearing it — solutions come in advocating for advocacy, not devaluing it, and progress comes in increasing the presence of anti-rape activism, not covering it up. If anything, Vanderbilt needs more efforts against sexual violence, not fewer, and this campus must be overwhelmed with conversation/discussion so no one can ignore this terror or get away with saying rape is not of central importance to them. That would be something praiseworthy.

Glancing upwards Keep sight of your dreams as you pursue your life goals POULUMI BANERJEE is a freshman in the College of Arts and Science and director of technology for Vanderbilt Student Government. She can be reached at poulumi.banerjee@vanderbilt. edu.



very day, I watch as most of the students around campus, including myself, walk to class with their heads down, focused intently on the concrete paths laid before us. And hopefully, at the end of these seemingly endless paths, lies a gratifying future. But perhaps, it would be beneficial for us to glance upwards every once in a while to put our dreams in perspective. The summer of my sophomore year of high school, I became friends with a girl at one of our grueling summer tennis practices. We became close over the next few weeks, and I was impressed to find that she balanced her duties as senior class president, a rigorous workload for classes, hours of volunteering and being a tennis and soccer star in a seemingly effortless manner. She told me about her future goals and aspirations, the most pre-eminent of which was her lifelong dream to move to a third world country to be a health care director in one of the many impoverished clinics. As I asked her about the program, I watched as her eyes lit up and her usually serene disposition morphed into a mix of excitement and optimistic expectation. However, at summer’s end she told me with despondent eyes that she had decided not to work at the program, instead opting for a job working hours behind a desk and computer screen. I don’t think she would have ever suspected that her decision had such a profound effect on me. I spent many sleepless nights contemplating her decision and wondering what held her back from just leaving


Perhaps, it would be beneficial for us to glance upwards every once in a while to put our dreams in perspective.


her life in our hometown and pursuing her dream. I also wondered what keeps people in general from putting all external expectations away and just following what they truly want in life. Perhaps she wanted to secure herself first, or maybe she thought she would ultimately find time to fulfill her dreams in the future. I find many of my Vanderbilt peers to be some of the most determined people I’ve met. We have ambitious and dynamic plans for our futures, and trying to fulfill our own expectations in such an intense environment can leave us questioning where we actually want to go in life and whether our dreams could be misplaced. And we constantly mollify the fear that we’re not living our dreams by justifying it — by telling ourselves that we’ll find time to fulfill our unconventional dreams when we’re more mature and established. But in the long run, I would like to think that, looking back, we would take more pride in how we lived our life if we took risks and lived in a way that was more unconven-

tional. Rather than just filling course requirements and sticking to the same interests and habits, it would be more interesting for us to put aside our fears of not fulfilling our expectations and instead, taking on lifelong dreams and new adventures. So maybe once in a while, a glance up could potentially help us understand our dreams and what we really want out of life. From a practical perspective, I understand the need for people to ground their high-flying ambitions in hard work and perseverance. It is extremely important to recognize that while we may have a vision for what we would like to accomplish in the future, it takes a lot of planning and dedication to climb those mountains and reach those new heights. So I urge you to continue shaping your futures to help you maximize your potential. However, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts and go places you have never gone before, whether it’s that club or study abroad program that caught your eye, or that audition that you were about to skip out on. While these experiences may be challenging and make us vulnerable to our weaknesses, they will also help us to see ourselves clearly and grow the most as people. Sometimes, it is better to look within us before we look down, in order to understand what we truly want the most. So next time I’m strolling around campus, I’ll keep my eyes locked on the new grounds I have yet to meet and walk across. But maybe once in awhile, I can spare a glance upwards.






Game THIS Baseball This Friday, the baseball team begins its three-day series against Stanford. When the team last faced Stanford in 2012, the Cardinal swept the series. Come to see if Vanderbilt can put up a better fight at 4 p.m. at Hawkins Field.


Scene and Heard Fashion Show brings spring trends from local Nashville designers Nashville cityscapes lit up the walls of the Student Life Center last Sunday night, as the Vanderbilt Public Relations Society held its annual Scene and Heard Fashion Show. From the relaxed, all-American tees of Render to the bright and playful dresses of Muse, this year’s Scene and Heard Fashion Show highlighted spring trends from a variety of Nashville boutiques. The event was hosted by Cyrene Tankard, one of the stars in Bravo TV’s “Thicker than Water.” The show also featured entertainment from Scott Revey, a local singer-songwriter and Vanderbilt graduate student. All proceeds from the event benefitted Dress for Success, a charity dedicated to promoting the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing them with professional clothing for interviews and jobs. By Maggie Knox, life reporter PHOTOS BY BOSLEY JARRETT / THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER


Pastel Colorblocking

Blush pinks and pale greens have been seen on runways of designers such as Miu Miu and Giorgio Armani this season, but these icy shades aren’t limited to high fashion. Local boutique Fringe & Lace featured pale hues in their sheer tanks, tailored shorts and maxi dresses this weekend, making this trend easily accessible in Nashville.


Statement Pieces

Much like the trends featured on the runways of Stella McCartney and Alberta Ferretti, neon-colored dresses and over-the-top patterns were featured by a number of boutiques. Pick up a patterned maxi from Blush Boutique this season or a neon blazer from Couture for a Cause. Couture for a Cause is a nonprofit consignment boutique focused on maintaining the quality of pieces donated.


Pleated Skirts

Pleated skirts are another trend that’s been spotted on spring runways this year. Designers from Calvin Klein to Alexander McQueen have featured the micro-fold in their designs this year. Both Muse and Blush Boutique included pleated skirts and jumpsuits in their runway shows Sunday night. This leather one manges to bring edge to a flirty look.


Graphic Tees

If over-the-top floral prints aren’t your friend, channel your inner rock star with leather leggings from Render and a casual tee from DCXV. Render focuses on design for a 24-hour lifestyle and uses eco-friendly, fair-trade materials. DCXV is known for its “I Believe in Nashville” graphic tees. Its casual look has been seen on various celebrities, like members of the Lumineers.




‘Gym Class Weirdos’: Saying what we’re all thinking By EMMETT MCKINNEY Life reporter --------------------

At a university with hundreds of student organizations and a wide variety of interests, some people at Vanderbilt seem very, very different from one another. However, regardless of what our experiences may have been, we are all somewhat products of our high schools. Spoken Word highlighted this angst-filled rite of passage with its 2014 showcase, “Gym Class Weirdos,” on Friday and Saturday. “There are certain themes we can all relate to from that. Whether it’s your first big crush, or applying to college, there’s a bit of nostalgia with it,” said Spoken Word senior Malcolm Friend, noting the appeal of this year’s subject. Watch just a poem or two of “Gym Class Weirdos,” though, and you’ll remember there is more than “a bit” of nostalgia that accompanies the teenage years. Off the bat, the opening piece identifies four high school stereotypes: a science nerd, a teacher’s pet, a gamer and a band geek (portrayed with no shortage of sexual innuendo). Later poems likewise tell of the heartbreak of loving someone, and having them love you back — sometimes. The advantage of such relatable themes is that you don’t have to be a poetry aficionado to appreciate the artistic value of Spoken

Word. The themes of “Gym Class Weirdos” come together to craft a story of emotional transformation. “I feel like we’ve made a really coherent show,” Friend said. “You can really see a progression, down to the very last piece. It’s almost like the journey through high school itself.” Perhaps the show’s greatest strength, though, is its dynamism. Weaved into the expected stories of being shoved into lockers and sexual experimentation are poems that confront the audience with evidence that racial and gender discrimination are alive in America. The piece “American History” challenged the audience to consider the writers of history, particularly how the civil rights movement is often still taught to youth from the viewpoint of white historians. Similarly, “Scraped Knees” confronted the stigmas often attached to gender roles and being emotional in general, asserting that emotion should not (and does not) equal weakness. In light of the forums on campus discussing “rape culture,” the poem stood as a colorful reminder that speaking up for oneself is important. Likewise, each piece featured multiple voices and styles that kept the audience on its toes. But trying to include multiple perspectives is not always easy. Friend noted that group writing leads to compromise sometimes.


Senior Spike Logan performed in Spoken Word’s annual showcase in Sarratt Cinema over the weekend. The night’s prose centered around the high school experience and how it shapes the people we become. “When you’re writing a piece in a group, you start out trying to write what you want to write, but end up having to make some sacrifices,” Friend said. If the poets made any sacrifices at all, though, the audience would have never guessed it. The combination of such relevant subject matter, multiple voices and lyrical prowess gave “Gym Class Weirdos”

a distinct sense of authenticity. It’s artful, indeed, but by no means artificial: “Maybe a little added art for performance’s sake, but for the most part we’re sharing things that we’ve gone through. We’re sharing things that we actually feel,” Friend said.





The year of the horse brings high energy to ANYF By MICHELLE PHAN Life reporter --------------------

Companionship, discovery and high energy is what the year of the horse traditionally predicts in the Chinese zodiac. As students in colorful costumes took to the Langford Auditorium stage on Saturday, these characteristics were immediately brought to life. More than 200 students from organizations such as Masala-SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange), Vanderbilt Undergraduate Chinese Association, Middle Eastern Student Association and Asian-American Christian Fellowship came together in the annual Asian New Year Festival, presented by the Asian-American Student Association. The show featured performances from many different countries, ranging from traditional dances to hip-hop routines — Korean fan dancing, taiko drumming, belly dancing, martial arts, praise movement and Philippine Singkil and Tinikling were just a few. “We try to represent the Asian community at large, and we know that just showing performances from a few Asian countries doesn’t accomplish this goal,” said senior Miyuki Sekimitsu, AASA co-cultural vice president. “We even encourage students involved in ANYF to audition for individual acts and represent cultures that may not already be in our preset acts.” This year’s theme was inspired by the story of Sir Lancelot, with the emcees guiding the audience from act to act through a pun-filled medieval love story. “Our theme for the show had to center around the year of the horse,” said sophomore Justin Yeh, AASA cultural assistant. “It took us a while and we went through a few duds, but we settled for a Lancelot-and-King Arthur medieval theme

because we felt that it was a story that most of our audience would be somewhat familiar with, yet still give our emcees enough freedom to make it their own.” In addition to a different theme, the show was distinct from those in the past because of the elevated ambition, emotion and pride that showed through in each performance. “This year, a large number of acts held competitive auditions,” said senior Angela Luo, AASA president. “For example, over 100 dancers tried out for Chinese ribbon and fan dance; only 21 males and females were selected. As such, the dancers had an incredible sense of pride in their work, which was reflected in the quality of the acts this year.” This did not go unappreciated by the audience. During the Chinese ribbon and fan dance (choreographed by Luo), which represented a journey of life and loss, cheers abounded when one of the female performers ran up several male performers’ backs, leapt and was caught. And during the Sayaw sa Bangko act, a dance from the Philippines in which performers dance on narrow benches, one could feel the audience hold a collective breath as the dancers stacked the benches higher and higher, all the while moving nimbly up and down them. But even with the spectacular quality of this year’s show, the organizers of ANYF look to improve it further. “(We need) more stunts. Definitely more stunts,” Luo said. “In all seriousness, I want to boost our outreach and encourage non-AASA members to participate in the show. Dance is a universal language; you don’t have to be Asian to share a beautiful story through dance.” As the show wrapped up, a bittersweet feeling (heightened, of course, by the closing senior dance) encompassed the auditorium — because for many students involved, ANYF is a defining part of the undergraduate experience.


The Korean fan dance, known as Buchaechum, is one of the many traditional dances performed at Asian New Year Festival and is often performed as an act of celebration. This event wasn’t just one night of performances, but the culmination of a year of preparation and a picture of the passion Vanderbilt students have for heritage and diversity. — Sophie To contributed to this report.



Imagine Dragons rock Bridgestone


ust 16 months after playing in the Cannery Ballroom, Imagine Dragons brought their talents to Nashville again on a much larger stage: Bridgestone Arena. The band has enjoyed a spike in popularity after the release of its debut, double platinum studio album “Night Visions” in 2012. The Naked and Famous as well as Nico Vega opened for the band on Monday night. - Bosley Jarrett, photo editor







THE BIG STAT Number of turnovers the Vanderbilt men’s basketball team committed in its 57-54 loss against No. 1 Florida on Tuesday


New rivalry hits the court in Tennessee 2DRILL combine NFL report My mom says “orange, she bleeds and my MINUTE


Brothers Garry and Nicodemus Christopher, the Vanderbilt and Tennessee men’s basketball strength and conditioning coaches, meet for the second time on Saturday By ANTHONY LYNCH Sports writer --------------------

By ALLISON MAST Sports editor --------------------

Jordan Matthews (WR) The SEC’s all-time leader in career receptions and receiving yards surprised scouts with a 4.46-second 40-yard dash. Matthews was expected to complete the run around 4.5 to 4.6 seconds, and his improvement during the training period helps prove that he can be explosive on the field. He was also a top performer in the bench press category. Kenny Ladler (S) Ladler, who was named a first-team all-SEC defensive back at the end of the 2013 season, stumbled after his 40-yard dash and posted a time of 4.7 seconds. He finished second among safeties in the bench press with 24 reps. Andre Hal (CB) When Hal arrived at the Combine, his short arms and small hands bothered scouts. His lack of length could be a problem when he faces physical receivers in the NFL. However, Hal’s speed and leadership abilities should earn him recognition as the draft approaches. Wesley Johnson (OT) Johnson immediately impressed at the Combine with a 111-inch broad jump and a 7.4-second time in the three-cone drill. Although he could use a few more pounds to add power to his frame, he has potential and developmental value. Chris Boyd (WR) After he was dismissed from the football team for his involvement in the alleged rape of an unconscious student, Boyd prepared for the draft on his own. Therefore, his performance at pre-draft workouts will be the main determinant of when and if he is drafted. His 40-yard dash (4.73 seconds) was less than impressive, but his frame has attracted scouts.

dad says he’s all about black and gold.


If you went to see the Vanderbilt men’s basketball team play Tennessee in February, chances are you turned to your neighbor and said something along the lines of, “Wow, one of their coaches looks just like one of our coaches.” The resemblance was not coincidental: Garry Christopher and his brother Nicodemus are both strength and conditioning coaches for men’s college basketball teams that happen to be instate rivals. Only 11 months and about 180 miles separate Garry, the Vanderbilt coach, and Nicodemus, the Tennessee coach. “You name it, from day one we’ve been going at it head-to-head. Me being the big brother, he didn’t win too many of those battles,” Garry said with a laugh. Nicodemus didn’t win the first battle of this season either, with Garry’s Commodores edging the Volunteers 64-60 in Memorial Gymnasium on Feb. 5. “I told reporters before that, that date was circled for me from day one when I received this job,” said Christopher, who arrived in Nashville in 2013 after working a season at Purdue. “To have our family here for the game was very fun. My mom and dad and my sisters get a kick out of the sibling rivalry.” Five sisters, to be exact. The gender imbalance in the Christopher household served to strengthen the bond between the brothers. “With two guys and five sisters, we definitely had to stick together,” Christopher said. “We’ve been competitive from an early age and that’s motivated us, but at the same time we stuck together as a team.” Sticking together as a team is nothing new for Christopher, but it is certainly something the Commodores have had to do this season as their roster has been whittled down to just seven scholarship players. With such a thin roster, Christopher’s position as strength and conditioning coach has taken on an even greater importance. “It changes a little bit of the dynamic but it doesn’t change what I do,” he said. “Making sure our guys stay fresh and taking care of their bodies are things that come with the job naturally, but we’ve had to key in a little more on that this season.” Three Vanderbilt players play more than 33 minutes per game on average, and several players go all 40 minutes of a game with no rest. Yet despite the players’ limited


Strength and conditioning coach Garry Christopher looks on during Vanderbilt’s game against Florida on Feb. 25. This is Christopher’s first year on the Commodores’ staff. rest, Vanderbilt has remained impressively competitive in compiling a 15-12 record, including 7-8 in the SEC. While Christopher’s training has been undeniably valuable to the Commodores’ success, he is quick to deflect praise to the players. “I take no credit for it, I’m just a guy pushing them from behind,” he said. “It’s just a tribute to their hard work. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys for being such a resilient group, going out there every night playing with everything and leaving it out there on the floor.” While the Commodores’ lack of depth has

been an added challenge, Christopher has certainly enjoyed his first season at Vanderbilt. “It’s been a great transition,” he said. “Vanderbilt is a great university, and people here have just welcomed me with open arms.” Just 28 years old, Christopher did not expect to become a head strength and conditioning coach at a major Division I program so soon. “Honestly it’s been a blessing, and I’m humble just to be on the floor every night,” he said. Originally planning to study biology and then go to medical school, Christopher ended up getting his bachelor degree in health and human performance from Baylor and then received a Master’s degree in kinesiology from San Diego State. “I got to Baylor, and it dawned on me that I wanted to go to work everyday comfortable and to love what I do. And what better job than to wear sweats and a T-shirt every day?” Christopher said with a laugh. “On top of that, I get to impact young men’s lives in a positive way. That’s everything for me.” On March 1 the sibling rivalry will be renewed as Vanderbilt travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee. So, who will the rest of the Christophers be pulling for? “My mom says she bleeds orange, and my dad says he’s all about black and gold,” Christopher said with a smile. While the rematch will be an exciting family affair, Christopher’s top priority is sending his Commodores home with a victory. “They’re going to come with their ‘A’ game,” he said. “We have to be a step ahead, mentally as well as physically prepared.”




Pulling at our heart strings

Despite impressive defense, the Commodores were undone by turnovers and shoddy rebounding, coming up just short against No. 1 Florida By BEN WEINRIB Asst. sports editor --------------------

Kyle Fuller’s 3-point jumper fell short, as did Vanderbilt’s comeback bid, in the closing seconds of the Commodores’ 57-54 loss to No. 1 Florida on Tuesday night. Vanderbilt’s 21-12 run to end the game was too little too late. Despite being down as much as 12 points with less than 13 minutes to go in the game, Vanderbilt stormed back to make it a two-point game after Fuller made a pair of free throws with exactly a minute left on the clock. Vanderbilt’s defense played extremely well in the second half, holding the Gators to 36-percent shooting in the second half, and it nearly paid off in the final minute. They were able to hold Florida’s three leading scorers — Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier II — to 18 points, despite their 41.5-point average per game, but it was their fifth-leading

scorer who did the most damage. Reserve forward Dorian FinneySmith, who led the Gators (26-2, 15-0 SEC) with 19 points, hit the dagger 3-pointer with 33 seconds left for Florida to put them up five points. Finney-Smith, who was shooting 1-of-23 from beyond the arc in his last seven games. “We’re disappointed,” said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. “It’s a game we thought we had pretty close to where we needed them. We needed one stop and a possession, and we just weren’t quite able to get that one stop. “We did a good job, but that’s why they’re the No. 1 team in the country. They’ve got weapons. They throw it to the open guy, and he usually delivers. That’s why they’ve lost two games.” Vanderbilt (15-12, 7-8) kept it close with a Fuller layup, but even after Wilbekin missed a free throw with 10 seconds left, Fuller’s attempt to send the game to overtime clanked off the rim. The Commodores out-shot the Ga-

tors 48.8 percent to 40.4 percent for the game, but Florida took 11 more shots than Vanderbilt, largely because their full-court press led to 16 Commodore turnovers, Vanderbilt’s highest total in its last 11 games. Not only that, but rebounding was a major issue. Rod Odom didn’t grab a single rebound after playing the entire 40 minutes, Damian Jones was held to two defensive rebounds and Florida had a dominating offensive rebounding advantage, 13-4. “Sometimes I think rebounding on our team is somebody else’s responsibility,” Stallings said. Five different Commodores had at least eight points, and Odom led the team with 12. Dai-Jon Parker added 11 points and 6 rebounds as the Commodores fell to 8-17 all-time against top-ranked teams. “I’m proud of my guys,” Stallings said. “On a night where we look kind of ugly at times, we still had a chance to play in the game at the end. I give my guys credit for that.” BOSLEY JARRETT / THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER





3 UP By BEN WEINRIB Asst. sports editor --------------------

Kyle Smith’s bat The 6-foot-3 hulk went 5-for-5 on Friday and Saturday with an absurd 2.257 OPS, five runs and three RBIs. Smith won’t be mistaken as a strong defender, but he has likely earned time over freshmen Nolan Rogers and Ro Coleman. Wiseman back in the lineup After missing the first four games of the season when he re-injured his shoulder diving for a ball in practice, sophomore Rhett Wiseman got the nod at DH for all three games against UIC. The sophomore impressed, going 4-for-12 with three runs, three RBIs and two doubles. Once his shoulder heals, he should take over at one of the corner outfield positions. Swanson streaking Dansby Swanson, who’s led off for the Commodores the past four games, had a hit in the first seven games this year. Against UIC, he went 5-for-13 with three runs, two RBIs, a double, a walk and two steals. He’s now third on the team with a .310 batting average and leads the team with four steals.


Amputee gets back to baseball Baseball remains a lifestyle for Illinois native Josh Ruchotzke after life-threatening surgery By CALLIE MEISEL Asst. sports editor --------------------

The vast majority of people get their tonsils removed simply because they would like to avoid strep throat. For a few people, however, getting their tonsils removed is a matter of life or death. Josh Ruchotzke, the Vanderbilt baseball team’s student manager, is one of the few people who had no choice but to get the operation. Ruchotzke grew up playing


Student manager Josh Ruchotzke participates in batting practice before the Feb. 25 game against WKU. a wide variety of sports, but his love for baseball had always been particularly strong. In fact, Ruchotzke loved the game

so much that he dreamed of playing Division I baseball and, hopefully, in the Major Leagues shortly after.

Sadly, Ruchotzke’s dream became unattainable in the second half of seventh grade when he was just 13 years old.

THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER ◆ WWW.INSIDEVANDY.COM What had originally seemed to be the flu took a turn for the worse when Ruchotzke developed a fever of 105 degrees and joint pain. “I definitely was nervous, but I didn’t really know what was going on or what to expect,” Ruchotzke said. In the Emergency Room, Ruchotzke was diagnosed with mononucleosis, but his mother thought his symptoms suggested he had something worse. She insisted that her son spend the night at the hospital for observation. That night, his organs began to fail. Ruchotzke was immediately transported to a different hospital, where the doctors put him into a medically induced coma for about two weeks. As Ruchotzke’s body went into septic shock, his doctors had to transport blood, oxygen and nutrients from his legs and hands to his organs to keep Ruchotzke alive. After taking him out of the medically induced coma, multiple doctors gave Ruchotzke and his mother various opinions about his diagnosis and possible recovery. Ruchotzke’s mother, in her search to learn more about her son’s condition, found the Denver

Center for Extremities at Risk online. Ruchotzke’s mother called the Center, and, shortly after talking to the doctors on the phone, Ruchotzke was airlifted to Denver for further treatment. There, doctors used hyperbaric oxygen chambers to increase the amount of oxygen going to Ruchotzke’s hands and legs in an attempt to regenerate growth. There were small signs of improvement initially, but the infection came back. The doctors thought the infection could still be in the dead tissue in his legs and hands, where doctors had originally taken nutrients, blood and oxygen to deliver to Ruchotzke’s organs. Subsequently, the doctors decided to amputate his legs and parts of his hands. Yet again, the infection came back. Still unsure of Ruchotzke’s exact infection, doctors began to question his family’s medical history. They discovered that around two years ago, Ruchotzke’s entire family had had strep throat except for Ruchotzke. Finally, doctors had the answer: Ruchotzke carried the Strep A infection, which had entered his blood stream, and he had

SPORTS passed the infection to his family members. The doctors immediately removed Ruchotzke’s tonsils and adenoids, which was a huge success. The hospital released Ruchotzke at the end of April, but he remained in Denver for rehab over the summer. Ruchotzke had to relearn several basic skills in addition to learning how to walk with prosthetics. His primary motivation for getting through rehab was his longing to play baseball again. “A lot of it was just like you learn to adapt pretty quickly. Everything is so different, but your body just naturally adjusts. You find new ways to do things. Overall, I had a great rehab team that was very supportive so it wasn’t as bad a process as people might imagine,” Ruchotzke said. In seemingly no time, Ruchotzke was back at home and ready to begin eighth grade in August. “Obviously I had times where I questioned, ‘Why me?’ But I wasn’t supposed to live, so I was just thankful to be alive,” Ruchotzke said. With the help of a prosthetic left hand, Ruchotzke was able to play baseball for his high school team. His work in rehab had more than just paid off. It had allowed him

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2014 to play the sport he loves, though not to the level he had originally hoped. “After the amputations, when I realized (my dream to play in the Major Leagues) wasn’t going to be possible anymore, I still wanted to do something with the college team wherever I went to school,” Ruchotzke said. Fortunately for him, Ruchotzke met Matt Holliday, the brother of the Vanderbilt baseball team’s assistant coach at the time, who put him in contact with coach Tim Corbin. The rest is history. Ruchotzke is currently the student manager for Vanderbilt’s baseball team, and he loves his position. “(Ruchotzke) is just like one of the guys. He does so much for us, whether it be setting up the field, catching for our pitchers, or catching for our infielders. He’s a positive kid and is always giving us positive reinforcement,” said pitcher Tyler Beede. Despite his disability, Ruchotzke’s dreams are still sky-high: He hopes to be the general manager for a Major League team in the future. For now, though, Ruchotzke is enjoying his freshman year at Vanderbilt with his teammates.


3 DOWN Earned runs Tyler Beede and Tyler Ferguson both gave up a single run in their combined 11 2/3 innings over the weekend. Sure, they struck out 18 batters during their two starts while giving up just four hits, but the Commodores gave up no earned runs in only four of their first seven games. Defensive lapses In the sixth inning of Saturday’s game, the defense ran into trouble when Swanson, Bryan Reynolds and John Norwood let an easy pop fly fall between them, Zander Wiel threw a pickoff attempt into the outfield, and Xavier Turner had a throwing error in three consecutive at-bats. Fortunately, Jared Miller was able to pitch his way out of the jam, and the defense was fairly strong for the rest of the series. Turner caught stealing Turner was caught stealing in both his attempts over the weekend, bringing him to just 2-for-5 on attempts this year. Although he was tied for second in the SEC with 22 steals last year, he is more of an instinctual runner who can get good jumps than a burner like former Commodore Tony Kemp.

Note: all statistics are as of Feb. 23






Answers to last week’s puzzle

Answers to last week’s puzzle

The Vanderbilt Hustler 02-26-14  

The Vanderbilt Hustler: student newspaper at Vanderbilt University.