Students give massages to raise teen suicide


Students give massages to raise teen suicide
the independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878
VOL. 133, NO. 54
From college romance to real life
What happens to relationships in the
real world? You have to figure out how
to make a life together.
University joins
Students give massages to
national dialogue over
raise teen suicide awareness
but fall hundreds short of goal student loan concerns
Students form a massage chain on Francis Field in an unsuccessful attempt to break a world record. The event, organized by Senior Michael Weiss, was intended to raise awareness for the Jason Foundation and the plight of teen suicide.
On Tuesday night, 306 students and a few adults formed a
massage chain with the hope of
reclaiming a world record while
also raising awareness about teen
Though the record-breaking
target of 2000 people stayed out
of reach, former pastor Clark
Flatt, the president of the Jason
Foundation, said would have
been happy to see his message
reach just one person.
The Jason Foundation Inc.
(JFI) was started by Flatt after
he came home in 1997 to find
that his 16-year-old son Jason
had committed suicide. The
foundation aims to educate
people about teen suicide so
people can recognize the signs if
their friends or family members
become suicidal and intervene
before it’s too late.
Each attendee was asked
to donate at least $1 to JFI.
Michael Weiss, the senior who
organized the event, estimated a
fundraising total of $500.
Flatt thanked the crowd of
300 and asked them to spread
awareness about teen suicide
to their own friends and family
“This is awesome,” he said of
the event. “This is something I
know Jason is looking down on
and is proud of.”
In spite of not approaching the
world record, Weiss was pleased
with the turnout.
“The only reason I wanted to
make the record was to have a
more memorable effect for the
foundation and its mission to
raise awareness,” Weiss said.
“Even though not thousands of
His slow jam on “Late Night
with Jimmy Fallon” brought in
two million viewers and was just
one stop on President Barack
Obama’s ongoing campaign to
pressure Congress to pass legislation to freeze the interest rate on
subsidized student loans.
The president, who spoke
at the University of Colorado
Boulder on Wednesday after
visiting the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and the
University of Iowa earlier in the
week, said failure to maintain the
current 3.4 percent interest rate
would have ramifications for millions of students.
Some students have expressed
concern over the possibility of
rising interest rates, but according to Bill Witbrodt, director
of Student Financial Services,
Washington University students
will largely be insulated from the
impacts of potential interest rate
changes, based on the fact that
the University has taken many
steps to minimize the number of
loans that students take out.
The interest rate on Federal
Stafford Loans used to be 6.8
percent before Democrats in
Congress cut it to 3.4 percent
in 2007. If Congress chooses
not to intervene, that legislation
will expire in July, and rates will
return to 6.8 percent.
Between his stops in Chapel
Hill and Boulder, Obama took
a conference call with college
reporters to communicate the
importance of Congress maintaining the lower interest rate.
“If Congress doesn’t act...
interest rates on Stafford loans,
on student loans from the federal government, will double.
Nearly 7.5 million students will
end up owing more on their loan
payments, and that would be,
obviously, a tremendous blow,”
Obama said.
He discussed his and the first
working to pay off student debt
before suggesting that students
join forces to urge Congress to
act—urging them to take to social
media to make their case. The
hashtag he advertised, #dontdoublemyrate, has appeared more
than a thousand times over the
past few days, according to
Students on campus said that
rising interest rates are definitely
a concern, even for students
who may not be involved in the
national discussion.
“I think they’re probably like
me in the sense that they don’t
know a lot of the specifics, but
I definitely think that the idea
of student loans, especially for
upperclassmen, is definitely
on their minds as far as knowing that they’re going to have to
pay it back at some point. Even
underclassmen, it’s definitely
something to worry about just
because this is a really expensive
Anthropology department axes
New W.I.L.D. alcohol
policy advances changes public health minor, adds scientific
and cross-cultural approach
started a decade ago
While general inebriation may
be a tradition as old as the event
itself, adjustments to the alcohol
policy at the wildly popular Walk
In Lay Down concerts held in
the Brookings Quadrangle each
semester have been happening for
In 2003, Washington University’s
administration took the final
steps to ban kegs from the events,
following through on what
was a controversial four-year
plan to limit how much alcohol
that could be brought into the
Now W.I.L.D. is undergoing the most recent change to its
alcohol policy: banning alcohol
from the outside, including the
six-packs of the past, and permitting students of age to get three
free drinks inside the Quad. Kegs
of Bud Light will be provided by
Bob’s Liquor, the company used
by Campus Programming Council
for Happy Hours.
The beer is courtesy of Team
31’s fundraising and has been
ordered to provide about 1,500
people with three drinks. There
will be eight people serving beer
in one corner of the quad, which
Team 31 hopes will keep traffic
from getting congested.
Administrators and Team 31
members hope that the new policy will help emphasize the show
aspect of W.I.L.D. and possibly
cut back on alcohol consumption
to make W.I.L.D. a safer event.
“In terms of alcohol consumption itself, we’ll see if the
policies make a difference,” Mike
Saxvik, coordinator for the Office
of Student Involvement and
Leadership, said. “There’s definitely things that will not happen
as a result: the 6 o’clock rush for
beer. The cutoff was always a dangerous time because people were
running and trying to gallivant
across campus to a point where we
saw a lot of injuries because people
were running and already intoxicated or just not paying attention
they’d get injured.”
“There’s also a lot of confrontations that took place between
students who would try to bring in
beer after 6.”
In the past few years, six-packs
could be brought into the Quad any
time before 6 p.m. but not after.
“Compared to where it was in
the ’90s, I think the overall safety
of event has gotten better. It still
remains a high-risk event by any
standard,” Saxvik said.
Saxvik said that looking back
on those times, it’s important to
remember that higher education
institutions have only changed
their stances on alcohol relatively
“W.I.L.D. was well known for
students getting together, bringing in couches, rolling kegs in,”
Beginning next year, students
will have the option to enroll in
a new anthropology track that
emphasizes a global approach to
health. The public health minor
will no longer be offered for
matriculating students.
The new track, global health
and environment, will examine the notion of human health
in different environmental and
from public health, which is
more focused on programmatic
approaches to wellness.
“We feel that this will be a
deep, comprehensive and rich
major,” T.R. Kidder, anthropology department chair, said.
“Pre-health is a very soughtafter field at this school, and the
global health and environment
track focuses on health and healing but from a more globalized,
cross-cultural perspective.”
The creation of the track was
spurred by the demand of many
students in public health and
medical anthropology classes.
Students were more interested in
the cross-cultural, scientific and
humanistic approaches to health,
rather than on career paths in
medicine or public health.
“The global health and environment track will provide
students with a broader cultural
perspective than just the public
health minor would,” Kidder
The new major track will
require students fulfill 34 credits as opposed to the traditional
28. Students currently declared
as anthropology majors do not
have to adhere to these new
criteria unless they decide to
switch to this track. Similarly,
students currently declared as
public health minors won’t experience any changes if they do not
switch to the global health and
environment minor track.
“The program is moving
away from a technical skill set
and emphasizing a more global
approach,” Bradley Stoner, associate professor of sociocultural
anthropology, said. “A lot of us
in the department were teaching
classes that revolved around this
concept, so it made a lot of sense
to join them under one larger
Stoner, who administers the
public health minor, said that in
the past the minor was administered through the anthropology
department but required courses
in other departments as well.
The required classes for the
global health and environment
track all exist in the anthropology department, solving this
“It definitely sounds really
interesting,” sophomore Rosie
Shanley, a public health minor,
said. “I wanted to minor in public health because I’m interested
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in a global perspective on healthcare, but I didn’t want to be a
doctor, and if it had been offered
for me as a minor when I was a
freshman, I probably would’ve
taken it.”
The department does stress
that the global health and
environment track is not a standalone major and would require
prerequisite classes within the
Additionally, there will be no
changes made to the Medicine
and Society Program.
The new track was first
presented to a focus group,
comprising of students within
fields of anthropology and public health, and then voted on in
the College of Arts & Sciences.
An email was sent to all anthropology majors and minors and
public health minors explaining the new track, with a list of
requirements for the major and
a FAQ.
“Some students might prefer a public health degree, but
this major will be able to fulfill many of their interests and
will still grant them the ability
to later work in such a field,”
Kidder said. “The anthropology
department has a superb faculty to address this new track,
and it really seems like one that
will be suitable to students who
want to go into a wide variety of
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Dept. of Music Concert – Opera Scenes
560 Music Center, Ballroom Theater, 8 p.m.
The semester-end program by the
Washington University Opera Program will
take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.
Directed by Tim Ocel, lecturer in music, the
performance is free and open to the public.
Women’s Society Lecture Series – Adele
Starbird Lecture.
Graham Chapel, 11 a.m.
The Women’s Society of Washington
University presents “Journey of an American
Actress” by Ellie Kemper, actress, comedienne
and writer best known for her supporting
role in NBC’s “The Office.” The event is free
and open to the public.
Performing Arts Dept. – “As You Like It”
Edison Theatre, 8 p.m.
Come see this Shakespeare play directed by
Annamaria Pileggi, senior lecturer in drama.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for faculty
and staff, and $10 for children, students and
“The changes this year
were motivated not by a
wish for a safer alcohol
Spring W.I.L.D. 2012
Brookings Quadrangle, 5:30-10 p.m.
The Spring W.I.L.D. 2012 will feature Fitz
and The Tantrums with the Dum Dum Girls
opening. The Second Stage at the Village
Green opens at 2:30 p.m. The Quad opens at
5:30. Students get in free with their student
IDs, and guest tickets are available for $30.
Tickets are on sale at the Edison Box Office.
policy, but by an attempt to
Election 2012: Perspectives Across the Aisle
Simon Hall, Room 109, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
A morning discussion with former
Democratic Congressman Richard A. “Dick”
Gephardt and former Republican Senator
Christopher S. “Kit” Bond. The two former
legislators will discuss the 2012 presidential
and congressional elections. Those interested
in attending are required to RSVP at www. by April 13.
Questions must be submitted beforehand by
clicking “Contact the Host” on the right side
of the RSVP page. The event is hosted by the
Gephardt Institute for Public Service
WUIR Conference on Migration and
Laboratory Sciences 201 and 300, 1-5 p.m.
The Washington University International
Review will be hosting its first undergraduate
research conference. The Keynote Address
will be given by Lok Siu, author of “Memories
of a Future Home: Diasporic Citizenship of
Chinese in Panama,” in Laboratory Sciences
300. The conference panel, “Reframing
Internment: Japanese Peruvians and the
State(s) of Exception,” and other research
will occur in Laboratory Sciences 201.
get students more involved
with the musical acts.”
- Casey Hochberg, co-chair
people came, thousands of people definitely learned about the foundation and
suicide awareness [through the publicity
of the event].”
The event was initially Weiss’ idea.
Weiss and his teammates on the
Washington University football team have
been involved with JFI since their coach,
Larry Kindbom, started working with it
nearly three years ago.
Weiss decided to raise money for JFI
by trying to bring the world record for
longest human massage chain back to
Washington University, after Wash. U.’s
world record was broken by a group in
In 2010, the graduating class was
awarded the record for assembling a chain
of 710 people, including the chancellor, to
celebrate one final achievement as a class.
“I decided it could be a good event
to raise awareness for the foundation,”
Weiss said. “The…message that it draws
is apropos to the message that the Jason
Foundation tries to promote to people: be
there for one another and lend a hand.”
The people who did come to the event
wanted to show support for the cause and
their team.
“It’s a good foundation and cause, and
we thought the whole team should come
out and support it,” freshman Patrick
Cantwell, a member of the football team,
Others came because their own lives
have been touched by suicide.
“I think it’s a really good organization.
I’ve had a couple of friends who have
been suicidal or committed suicide, and I
thought I’d show support,” Alexis Kirton,
a freshman, said.
Suicide is the third leading cause of
death among people aged 10 to 24, and
the second for college-age people. Four
out of five suicidal teens display signs of
being suicidal, making suicide a preventable cause of death.
“I think depression and teen suicide
are really relevant issues, especially at a
college campus,” senior Cassie Rowland
said. “I thought it was important to do
what I could about awareness and supporting my fellow students.”
of Team 31, on new alcohol
policy for W.I.L.D.
April 22
Lost or Stolen Item— At Village East,
a student reported that a camera left
unattended in a common area was missing
when he or she returned for it at 11:39 a.m.
The estimated time of crime in between
11 a.m. on Saturday to 4 a.m. on Sunday.
Disposition: pending.
Assault— At Fraternity Row, a student
reported an altercation between herself and
a female Saint Louis University student at
11:25 p.m. Disposition: cleared by arrest.
April 23
Property Damage—On Monday at 4:56
p.m. in Eliot Hall, the drywall in the hallway
outside of the housekeeping offices was
damaged. The damage appears to be caused
by punching the wall. Disposition: pending.
Senior Michael Weiss poses with Clark Flatt, president of the Jason Foundation. Weiss organized a
massage chain event to raise awareness for the Foundation’s mission to combat teen suicide.
Pre-2000: More or less a free-for-all with kegs allowed in Brookings Quad.
1999: University administrators enter into discussions with the Team 31 executive board about
scaling back alcohol consumption. A plan to phase out kegs slowly is agreed upon and implemented.
2003: The last W.I.L.D. with kegs—only nine are registered.
2004: First keg-free W.I.L.D. Six-packs of beers are still permitted.
2005: Administration and Team 31 consider banning six-packs
and handing out beer inside the Quad, but action is not taken.
2012: No outside beverages of any kind are allowed in, but
each student of age can get up to three beers inside the Quad.
Saxvik said. “There were no safety
precautions put in place, nothing
addressing that.”
The changes this year were
motivated not by a wish for a safer
alcohol policy, but by an attempt
to get students more involved with
musical acts, according to Team 31
co-chair Casey Hochberg.
“The alcohol policy change
came as a result of splitting
W.I.L.D. x between two stages to
feature performances where the
students will be,” Hochberg said,
noting that Second Stage will be on
the North Side at 3 p.m. this year.
With W.I.L.D. pushed back to
5:30 p.m. in the Quad, bringing in
six beers would mean students had
more beers than hours at W.I.L.D.
Team 31 and the administration
brokered the deal of 3 beers per
person of age.
“We’re not incentivizing students to drink more, and we
don’t believe that students 21-plus
are going to be the ones to binge
drink, so we’re providing beer free
of charge to keep with the festival vibe we’re working toward,”
Hochberg said.
Hochberg said that the policy will be evaluated after this
W.I.L.D. and that Team 31 is open
to criticism or suggestions.
other people mentioned it; I just
wasn’t aware of the context. But
yeah, I think people are upset
about it.”
Recent political dialogue aside,
Witbrodt said he and his colleagues at SFS have not found
students overly worried about
possible interest rate changes.
“We hear very little concern
raised by students and their
parents about the student loan
rates,” he said. “[But] I’m sure
that they are considering the
rates and perhaps looking at
He noted that one major reason the dialogue has stayed clear
of campus is the University’s
dedication to providing scholarships in lieu of loans.
“There are schools like proprietary school, vocational school,
where students are financing
their whole educations with
loans, and in that situation there
could be a lot of pushback and
concern; but at an environment
like Washington University,
where we’re constantly trying
to minimize student loans that
students take out, I don’t think
it’s going to be as big an issue,”
Witbrodt said.
In response to Obama’s call
for schools to expand work-study
Washington University already
has more than enough opportunities for students who wish to
work on campus.
“Even students who aren’t eligible to receive jobs that have
federal work study funding don’t
have a problem finding a parttime job on our campus,” he said.
“There are more jobs than there
are students to fill them.”
university, and for a good number of people at Wash. U., they
couldn’t have come here if they
didn’t get a student loan. So it’s
definitely an issue that I think
is important,” senior Jacqui
Germain said.
“I definitely think that’s significant,” junior Lesley Olson
agreed. “[With] people that I
know that have loans, I’d say it’s
a pretty big deal. I remember that
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Potential issues with new W.I.L.D.
alcohol policy deserve scrutiny
his semester, Team
31 productions
announced a change
to its alcohol policy
for W.I.L.D. In past years,
students ages 21 or older with
identification could bring in
six beers to the Brookings
Quadrangle. Now, these same
students cannot bring their own
alcohol to the event but will
instead receive a wristband for
three complimentary beers,
half the amount of alcohol
they were allowed just months
Binge drinking the day of
W.I.L.D. is an oftentimes
dangerous “tradition” on the
Wash. U. campus, and this
rule will not solve that problem
by merely offering less beer to
students of age. Many students
under the age of 21 want to be
intoxicated during the concert
and those who can’t drink at
W.I.L.D. often drink to their
limits—or beyond—before
arriving on the Quad. The one
group of students who may
not have felt the pressure to
drink large amounts of alcohol
quickly were those of legal
drinking age who knew they
could continue to drink on the
quad, at their own pace.
A policy that restricts the
amount 21-year-olds may drink
on the Quad can hardly be
expected to make them drink
more responsibly, especially
if students anticipate the line
for beer being anything like
the line for pizza. The new
policy may ultimately increase
consumption among these
students before the concert. A
rule change alone cannot alter
long-standing attitudes about
drinking and W.I.L.D., so the
policy may be creating a bigger
binge drinking problem instead
of preventing one.
There are a number of other
potential consequences of the
University providing beer to
students as well. Although
the ReDD Flag enforcement
policy regarding alcohol does
acknowledge that drinking
under the age of 21 is common,
it also forces students to assume
the potential consequences of
obtaining and drinking alcohol
illegally. Most of us, though,
know at least a handful of our
fellow Wash. U. students who
have fake IDs. It isn’t hard to
imagine that with hundreds of
students queuing up to receive
wristbands for free beer, some
may be getting through with
fakes. Consequently, these
people will be illegally receiving
beer—on University property, approved by University
officials. While one could
say that the University may
already be allowing this
through Thursday afternoon
Happy Hours, there is a clear
difference between the school
supplying underage students
with alcohol on a calm weekday afternoon and doing the
same at a Friday night event
that necessitates an EST tent
by the entrance. Although the
University may punish minors
for owning alcohol, it may
be supplying them with it on
Friday evening.
Many students may simply
be upset because they are
allowed less beer on the quad,
but these arguments should not
be what makes the University
or Team 31 reconsider the
policy in favor of the previous one. The likelihood of
increased binge drinking and
University-sponsored underage
consumption should at least be
raising some eyebrows looking
into Friday’s event, though we
will, of course, have several
months after Spring W.I.L.D.
to look into refining the policy
for the fall. And if it does
ultimately make traditional
problems related to alcohol
consumption worse, it should
certainly be re-amended.
Critics of Arizona Bible law
wholly miss the point
he Arizona State Senate recently
approved a bill that would allow
public schools to offer an elective
class teaching the Bible’s role in
Western culture and its influence as a literary work. Critics have been quick to pounce
on the bill, claiming that enacting it would
equate to forcing religious indoctrination
upon public school students. However, a
lot of these critics are simply looking for a
reason to bash Christianity, because many
of their attacks are unfounded. If taught in
an appropriate manner by well-informed
teachers, the class created by the Arizona
Bible law would be able to educate students
about an important part of Western history
without infringing upon religious freedoms.
The class outlined in the Arizona bill is
not about preaching the Bible as a religious
text—it is about teaching about the history
of the Bible as a cultural and literary force
and how it helped shape modern history.
Regardless of your religious affiliation,
developing an understanding of the influence of the Bible could help any student
better understand political and cultural
history in the Western world. From its use
by Constantine the Great to help reunify
the Roman Empire to its depiction in
Renaissance art to its role in the spread of
the printing press, the Bible as a historical
object has had an enormous impact on our
history. If taught by an informed, nonbiased teacher, this class could actually be
very beneficial in helping students analyze
the complex history of Western culture.
Another very important element of the
bill that critics need to consider is the fact
that this class will only ever be offered as an
elective. Many reporters and talk show hosts
are quick to jump on the bandwagon and
make claims of religious persecution and
religion being forced on children in schools;
however, the class will not be forced on anyone because it is an elective and therefore
no students will ever have to take the class
against their will. I understand that even
an elective class should not ever attempt to
indoctrinate students with any particular
belief system. However, this elective should
be looked at no differently than an elective
on comparative politics or Chinese culture
or European history. The Arizona Bible
class would serve the same purpose as any
of these other electives: attempting to give
students a greater understanding of global
culture by analyzing a particular area that
has had a major influence on the world we
live in today.
Parents and political critics are understandably paranoid about schools trying
to indoctrinate their children with certain
beliefs. Some conservatives fear schools
teaching kids about homosexuality while
some liberals fear schools teaching kids
about religion. These are valid concerns
in some cases where schools are forcing
beliefs on students. However, when a school
attempts to present controversial material
in a neutral environment in order to let
students form their own opinions and critics
attack them for it, it discourages the schools
from ever trying to teach their students
about cultural diversity at all.
Will Wilder is a freshman in Arts & Sciences.
Write to Will Wilder at WILL.WILDER@
Where a liberal arts education fails
hat is presently
chapping my
derriere revolves
around the notion
that professional success, or merely
gainful employment, hinges on the
acquisition of a college degree, and
that degree has somehow, as if by
divine intervention, qualified us to
perform a specialized occupation.
Not only is this counterfactual, but
also, it perpetuates an apocryphal
standard, that knowledge workers are somehow more valuable
than craftsmen, and that the values
pertaining to the craftsman don’t
pertain to the intellectual elite.
The craftsman is something
of an endangered species in our
society. Free-market capitalism has
exported his talent overseas, and
consumerism has reduced his necessity by marketing disposability as a
virtue. Intellectuals often overlook
the inherent values that a technical
education provides. As anyone who
exhibits expertise in a tradecraft
knows, in order to truly learn, you
have to get your hands dirty. The
true character of the American
craftsman should be resurrected in
the college undergraduate.
A liberal arts degree furnishes
us with an abundance of theoretical instruction. We become proud
members of the intelligentsia, a
secret society of useless generalists
who know a little about a lot. The
prevailing educational trends favor
knowledge as opposed to efficacy,
a grave error that subjugates us to
a complete lack of relevant skills as
they pertain to job performance. As
a result, the vast majority of liberal
arts majors will leave here with an
incomplete education. At $42,500
per year – not including parking
tickets –­­ it might be suggested that
our degree is but another example
of western consumerism, selling
us something we don’t need by
hoodwinking us into believing it has
a value beyond what it truly does.
Prior to returning to college, I spent
several years recruiting and hiring
within the realm of business management. Experience taught me that
recent college graduates were about
as valuable as hookers wearing
chastity belts. The best indicators for
success included both knowledge
and skills. A college degree only
implied the latter, and even that was
often wishful thinking.
So, what is the true value of a
bachelor’s degree? Well, I’m going
to be downright un-effing-stoppable
at Wednesday night trivia. I’ll have
a working knowledge of both glassblowing and 17th century Europe,
and I’ve already incorporated
elements of operant conditioning
and positive reinforcement to teach
my roommate to put the toilet seat
down. What I don’t have anywhere
in my repertoire is job training.
Should my next adventure after
graduate school lead to significant
economic prosperity, I would aim
to pay it forward, return to my alma
mater, and finance the construction of a new school. It would be
named the Brian Van Pelt School
of Things that Actually Matter in
Real Life. It would be a tech school
specializing in the applied practice
of all of the majors offered by the
University. It would require us to
get our hands dirty, and practice
what our professors preach. There
is no sound, logical reason why we
should wait for graduate school or
professional employment to begin
an applied training practicum (like
I said, liberal arts.) The University
should teach us to be craftsmen of
our fields as opposed to jacks-of-notrades. It is only with the addition of
the applied practice of specific skills
to the existing knowledge-based
curriculum that a liberal arts degree
will be a complete package.
Rather than wait patiently for
the magnetic poles of the universities’ educational model to right
themselves (which would be akin to
awaiting the rapture), I recommend
taking advantage of the optional
assets, which are presently available. We don’t go to Williams or
Amherst; we attend a university
whose merit is constructed upon
one of the top research institutions
in the world. Engage yourself in
undergraduate research. Do an
internship over the summer. Join a
club related to your major or (God
forbid) get a part-time job at one
of our laboratories. These opportunities may not be required as a
condition for graduation, but they
are far more valuable than intro to
yoga and underwater basket weaving. Whatever you do, don’t think
for one second that you’re going
to be more entitled or prepared for
the work force than a non-college
graduate with technical experience.
You aren’t.
Brian Van Pelt is a student at University College. Write to Brian Van Pelt at
[email protected].
Monsanto CEO should not receive a Wash. U. honorary degree
ast week, Washington
University announced it
will award retired chair
and CEO of Monsanto,
Richard Mahoney, an honorary
degree at the upcoming graduation
ceremony. While Monsanto has
strong financial ties to the University,
they are complex and controversial. Monsanto is an international
agricultural biotechnology company
that is most famous for monopolizing the herbicide and genetically
engineered seed markets. Along with
several other companies, Monsanto
is responsible for the disaster that has
come of our global agricultural system. If Wash. U. awards honorary
degrees to “distinguished men and
women who have made outstanding contributions to their fields,”
then the University has incorrectly
selected Mahoney as a recipient.
When Richard Mahoney worked
at Monsanto, he helped transform it
into the biotechnology patent factory
that it has become today. Monsanto
is not improving agriculture; it is
a company that manipulates life,
endangers our environment and
bankrupts farmers while claiming that it improves the lives of the
starving people of Third World
countries. Ask a Bt cotton farmer in
India why he is abandoning his farm
and he will tell you that the pesticide
treadmill that Monsanto put him
on failed him. I want to be clear
Richard Mahoney is not a bad person. However, Wash. U. should not
award such a prestigious honor to
someone responsible for a company
that seeks to profit off the destruction of our agricultural system.
While I understand the benefits of
biotechnology and genetic manipulation such as the production of
modern medicine and biodegradable
plastics, Monsanto is a for-profit
business that goes beyond playing
the role of God. Monsanto generates profits by acquiring intellectual
property patents for the genes that
they produce for agricultural seeds.
However, when you patent the genes
of a plant or any other living organism, you are patenting life itself.
Genetic engineers have no control
of their product once it has left their
hands, and the genes manipulated
in plants are in a sense alive, often
affecting the plant in unintended
Monsanto is also the leading
producer of Roundup herbicide.
Obviously, this liberally-sprayed
pesticide is toxic to humans,
animals and the environment,
and by producing Roundup and
Roundup Ready crops, Monsanto
encourages destructive agriculture
practices. This company is further infamous for their aggressive
lobbying techniques that have put
countless innocent farmers out
of business. Farmers who grow
Monsanto crops sign a technology
agreement that obligates them to
never save their seed, ensuring that
Staff editorials reflect the consensus of
our editorial board. The editorial board
operates independently of our newsroom
and includes members of the senior staff
and forum section editors.
Editor-in-chief: Michael Tabb
Managing editors: Hannah Lustman,
Sahil Patel & Davis Sargeant
Senior sports editor: Kurt Rohrbeck
Senior scene editor: Alana Hauser
Senior cadenza editor: Georgie Morvis
Senior forum editor: Natalie Villalon
Forum editors: Matthew Curtis &
Scott Haber
they purchase Monsanto seeds every
year. Invariably, seeds containing
Monsanto’s genes may blow into
another farmer’s field either from
wind dispersal or from casualties of shipping seeds. Frequently,
Monsanto investigators will illegally
trespass onto land owned by farmers
who are not planting Monsanto
seed, find a Monsanto seed and sue
the farmer for illegally using their
product, even if the farmer never
planted Monsanto seed.
Our university is heavily connected to Monsanto, and their
funding negatively transforms the
way that Wash. U. teaches and
conducts research. It is dangerous
to mix education with corporations, and in the end, our university
is being used by Monsanto. No
longer is our biological research
about gaining knowledge, but when
Monsanto funds a study, they have
the ultimate say in the outcome.
If they do not find the results of a
study favorable to generating profits
for the company, they can immediately eliminate funding and prevent
any results from being published.
Like other departments at Wash. U.,
research should not be controlled or
manipulated by a for-profit company
because education is not a for-profit
If we want an unbiased education free from corporate control,
then we need to cut the ties that
our university has to multinational mega-corporations. We
certainly should not be recognizing
their CEOs for the “outstanding
contributions” they make to the
destruction of our environment,
health and global agricultural
system. Monsanto has far too much
control of our university and our
education, and it is wrong for Wash.
U. to give such a distinguished honor
to Richard Mahoney.
Amanda Wolff is a senior in Arts &
Sciences. Write to Amanda Wolff at
[email protected].
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the editor and op-ed
submissions from our
readers. Submissions
may be sent to letters@ and must
include the writer’s name,
class and phone number
for verification. Letters
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was reached prior to July
1, 2005.
should be no longer than
350 words in length, and
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longer op-eds of up to
750 words. We reserve
the right to print any
submission as a letter or
‘Diablo III’ beta
The first “Diablo” game was
published in 1996 and the second
in 2000, when I was eight. Seeing
as my dear mother did not want
my young, innocent mind to be
tarnished by the M-rated game,
I regretfully never played either
of these storied installments.
However, the promise of an open
beta this past weekend was the
perfect opportunity to try my hand
at “Diablo III,” one of the most
eagerly anticipated games of the
past few years since its announcement in 2008. Unfortunately, like
with “Duke Nukem,” long waits
can produce lofty, impossible-tomeet expectations. While the beta
leaves much to be desired, much of
this may be because it’s not a full
game. Nonetheless, this preview
has shown that “Diablo III” should
be massively popular, if not perfect.
One of the most striking features
of the game was the powerful
and well-composed sound. Some
touches are subtle: opening a
wrought iron gate sounds far different from opening a wooden door.
The attacks all have decent effect
sounds, and even the game’s menu
music is strikingly melodious. This
helps make the atmosphere of New
Tristram—a ruined town on the
verge of being taken over by reanimated skeletons—more immersive.
The entire beta took place at night,
which added to the archetypical
zombie theme, though it is also
indicative of an unfortunate lack
of variety in level design. This is
not to say that the levels are all
monotonous: Many are varied, but
after running through a cathedral
for an hour, everything begins to
look the same.
“Diablo” builds on a fairly
strong atmosphere by successfully
intertwining lore into play. Instead
of forcing the player to read a
lengthy parchment in illegible
writing, the game has it read as
the player advances. I ended up
paying more attention to the back
story than I usually would have
because of this. Similarly, there are
few cut scenes, so the story can be
explained unobtrusively. Kormac,
who follows you through the
depths of the dungeon, periodically adds in some of his own story
while wandering. He has some
interesting things to say but has
the unfortunate tendency to repeat
some lines of dialogue.
More hardcore role-playing
game fans will be disappointed by
the game’s leveling system, which
gives no direction as to how a
character is progressing. This does
allow for those unfamiliar with
the series, such as myself, to enter
uninhibited, but may leave everyone asking for more challenge by
the end of the game. Enemy design
could also have been far more creative. I faced a variety of creatures,
but I was left with three choices:
In defense of: Hating
‘The Wanted’
The Wanted
for fans of
David Guetta, Katy Perry
singles to download
“Chasing the Sun,” “GladYou Came”
Just in case you thought one BritishIrish boy band wasn’t enough, meet The
Wanted. Formed around the same time as
One Direction and also hailing from the
U.K., The Wanted try to emulate the other
group’s stateside success with an imaginatively named debut U.S. release, “The
Wanted,” out this week.
The album is actually a medley of
songs chosen from their two U.K.-released
albums and several new songs written specifically for U.S. audiences. This
means most are suitably catchy and radio
ready. The first single, “Glad You Came,”
already covered by the hit TV show
“Glee,” has a chorus that you won’t be
able to stop singing (ever) and should be
a big summer dance hit. “All Time Low,”
the single that rocketed The Wanted to
popularity in the U.K., showcases the
members’ voices over epic violin-backed
verses and an explosive ending. In fact,
the best songs on the album are the most
upbeat tunes which would feel most at
home on the dance floor; see “Chasing the
Sun” or “Lightning.”
Inevitably, comparisons must be made
to One Direction, the boy band whipping up a tween frenzy here in the U.S.
The Wanted’s members are older, and
it shows in the tone of their music. The
album leans more toward electro than
bubbly pop, and there are less impossibly
infectious hooks present. The production seems pretty generic, causing a lot of
songs, especially the slower ones, to sound
exactly the same—it takes a couple of
listens to distinguish a lot of the songs. It
seems that by trying to appeal to an older
audience, The Wanted have lost some of
the classic cheesy boy band charm, but
this may have been what the band was
going for. Listeners will have to judge for
themselves if they are wanted.
Surely you’ve seen them. Someone
posts a link from the popular website
someone else’s Facebook wall. It’s a
seemingly universal action with a clever
GIF, or animated photo, attached to it.
For example, “WHEN YOURE THE
WHOS DRUNK” and a GIF of Jemaine
from “Flight of the Conchords” dancing. This led to a website exclusively for
seemingly universal Wash. U. actions:
This is really getting out of hand.
I joined the Tumblr community my senior
year of high school, about two years ago.
What showed up on my dash during those
golden days were pretty pictures, inspirational
and relatable quotes for my teenage angst, and
personal ramblings from a select few friends
who didn’t have any other outlet. I found
out about—and was able to help—friends
with major depression and anxiety disorders.
Tumblr was a place where the weird kids had
Five fictional bands we
want to play W.I.L.D.
You might not like the W.I.L.D.
headliners this year. You might
have dreamed that The Shins were
coming. We’re sorry if that prank
disappointed you—but why not
dream a little bigger? We’re thinking bands that could never play
W.I.L.D. because they don’t exist in
reality. Here are our five picks for
the best fictional bands that Team
31 should book next year.
Drive Shaft
This Manchester-based band
from the hit television show
“Lost,” would be the perfect
fit for W.I.L.D.. They had one
good song (like Mike Posner)
and they’ve made a few commercials (like Edward Sharpe and
the Magnetic Zeroes). The band
members—brothers Charlie and
Liam Pace, guitarist Roderick,
and an unnamed drummer—are
hard-partying rockers and would
probably go twice as hard as that
kid from your freshman floor that
passed out in Subway at noon. The
band’s real claim to fame, though,
is that Charlie was a passenger on
flight Oceanic 815. No word on
whether or not Daniel Faraday
will be joining them on piano. I
hope that “You All Everybody”
get on board the Drive Shaft train.
–Georgie Morvis
Garth and Kat
If there are any technical difficulties like at Mike Posner, the
singing duo of Garth and Kat
(Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig)
would certainly handle it better
than he did. They’re constantly
improvising their lyrics to hilarious
results in their guest appearances
on “Saturday Night Live.” Garth
and Kat always come with a
click rapidly, click rapidly and use a
skill, or actually think about when
and how to attack. I only used this
last option once: when fighting the
The “Diablo III” beta left me
wanting much more, but that may
be the point. There’s a good deal of
potential for the game, as long as
the servers don’t crash (which they
did repeatedly over the weekend).
As such, I regretfully did not have
enough time to try out the matchmaking or auction house features,
neither of which has attracted
much positive feedback. “Diablo
III” should be a good game, but
it is unlikely to become Blizzard
Entertainment’s crown jewel.
seasonal theme, and what could
put students in a better mood than
an almost-summer-themed set?
Perhaps little-seen third member
Jan Pockabook (Coldplay’s Chris
Martin) will join them on backing vocals, or Seth Meyers (who
was here just last year) will be
disgruntled about their style. Garth
and Kat would definitely make
W.I.L.D. a fun time, and imagine
a little improvised ditty about
vomiting college students. Picture
perfect. –Georgie Morvis
There are no two ways about it:
“Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century”
was one of the best Disney
Channel Original Movies made.
Zenon lived on a space station and
loved the band Microbe and its lead
singer Protozoa. Here’s the thing,
if Microbe can put on an awesome concert on a space station,
it’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll
be entertaining wherever they
perform—even Brookings Quad. I
mean, how can you not enjoy their
hit “Supernova Girl (Zoom, Zoom,
Zoom)”? Protozoa sure knows
how to engage the audience. Plus,
the band’s outfits are zany enough
(fitting with the whole futuristic
space theme of the movie) to work
for W.I.L.D.. Lyrics that are easily
stuck in your head along with a
catchy beat and a healthy dose of
nostalgia would make for the ideal
W.I.L.D. performance. –Jennifer
Mouse Rat
Spring W.I.L.D. headliners have
had some pretty crazy (wild, even)
names these past years: Fitz and
the Tantrums, Edward Sharpe
and the Magnetic Zeroes, George
Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars.
But one band could outdo them all.
Currently called Mouse Rat, this
band from NBC comedy “Parks
and Recreation” has been known
as Scarecrow Boat, Andy and the
D-Bags, Department of Homeland
Obscurity, Radwagon, Just the
Tip, and Nothing Rhymes With
Orange. That’s just a few of the
24 names they’ve had. Reel Big
Fish who? Musically, Mouse Rat
sounds like a hilarious version of
Nickelback that writes lyrics so
awful they’re amazing, rather than
lyrics that qualify them as the worst
band in the world. A band named
Fiveskin is just what we Wash. U.
kids need to wash the taste of Mike
Posner from our mouths. –Georgie
Dr. Funke’s 100 Percent Natural
Good-Time Family Band Solution
The folksy and inspired musical
stylings of the cowbell, tambourine
and autoharp-playing group from
“Arrested Development” would
be perfect for W.I.L.D. The band
members may have gone their
separate ways since the height
of their success in the mid ’90s,
but Brookings Quad would be
an ideal place for them to stage
their revival; it would likely be
their biggest venue yet, but they’re
clearly ready to make the leap—
with soulful, nuanced lyrics and
shows that scream of forced child
performances. For the countless
inebriated students who start to feel
homesick before hitting the ground,
the band would be able to bring an
uncommon dose of family-friendly
cheer. And if we crossed our
fingers, they might even be willing
to bring some Teamocil—the oldschool psychiatric drug that gives
a sense of joy before dampening
sex drive and shutting down the
pituitary. Just what students need
before finals begin. –Michael Tabb
an outlet and where everyone was collaborative and supportive in creative works and
personal struggles. Now? Only trolls. Trolls
everywhere. The Tumblr that I know and love
is gone.
The issues I have specifically with
that a) some of them apply only to a very
specific set of Wash. U. students and b) some
of them are a bit racist (A Mexican shower?
Really?). While I’m sure these weren’t meant
to be malicious, the posters need to be aware
that Wash. U. is a diverse community.
“But, Kara,” everyone says, “If you don’t
want to see these posts, don’t follow them.”
But they’re everywhere. Some Tumblrs
have great posts but will occasionally reblog
something really asinine (myself sometimes
included). Outside of this realm, however,
you still have Twitter and Facebook. You can’t
escape! The once-safe haven of Tumblr has
been infiltrated by simpletons. And Facebook is
completely dominated by the reposting of links.
Given, I’m not completely against
Some of them are true and pretty funny. Extra
meal points? Of course you go to Ibby’s. The
collection of GIFs posted is pretty fantastic,
and I’m waiting for the Coldplay squirrel to
make an appearance. But the students need
to tone it down. Maybe only post one a day,
rather than twenty. There is such a thing as too
much of a good thing.
The problem is, there are a lot less
opportunities for a chef in Michigan
than in L.A., forcing Tom to take a
job at a sandwich shop and accept a
role as a glorified house spouse. Plus,
let’s face it: Michigan is cold. Despite
his best intentions, Tom starts to
directed by
resent the move, and his unhappiness
Nicholas Stoller
starts to put more and more strain on
and starring
the couple’s relationship as the wedJason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt ding is put off indefinitely.
“The Five-Year Engagement” is
first and foremost a comedy, and
there are plenty of silly hijinks to
keep it light. At one point Violet
and her sister Suzie (Alison Brie of
I’m a senior. There are only a few
“Community”) are trying to have a
weeks left until graduation, and I’m
serious conversation about marriage
still having trouble wrapping my head in front of Suzie’s kids, so they do
around that fact. I’m a senior, and the the whole thing in voices as Elmo
life I’ve built for myself here at Wash. and the Cookie Monster. It’s genuU. is rapidly drawing to a close.
inely hilarious. But at the heart of the
The thing about college is that
movie are some serious issues. How
everyone you meet is in basically at
much is it appropriate to sacrifice
same stage in life. So relationships are one’s career for love, or vice versa?
easy. All you have to do is meet some- How sure do you have to be that a
one you’re mutually attracted to, and relationship will last before you agree
spend time with that person. Then
to get married? Are there times when
you graduate, and it gets harder. “The loving someone just isn’t enough?
Five-Year Engagement” is about what
Jason Segel takes on a familhappens to relationships out there in
iar role as a woobie—just like in
the real world. It’s not enough to love “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” you
each other; you have to figure out a
want to give him a big hug and tell
way to make a life together.
him everything will be okay. Emily
In the movie, Jason Segel plays
Blunt is charmingly British. And
Tom, an L.A. chef who proposes to
if the movie doesn’t quite come
his girlfriend Violet (Emily Blunt).
up with any satisfactory answers
They start planning the wedding, but to questions about love and life,
then Violet doesn’t get the job at UC
well, it’s a comedy and it doesn’t
Berkeley she was hoping for, instead
have to. For anyone graduating in a
being offered a two-year position at
few weeks and trying to figure out
the University of Michigan. Tom
how to carry a relationship over
agrees to relocate with her, and they
into the real world, “The Five-Year
put off the wedding until they get
Engagement” is probably worth a
‘The Five-Year
“The Five-Year Engagement,“ starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt,
and Alison Brie, premieres nationwide on April 27.
Golf trio eyes big things at NCAA Championships
Move over, LeBron, Wade and Bosh. The second-ranked
Washington University women’s golf team has a Big Three of
its own ready to do some damage in the postseason. The trio of
junior Hannah Buck, sophomore Andi Hibbert and freshman
Olivia Lugar has led the Red and Green to a historic season in
which the team set records by shooting below 300 as a group
three times, including a three-over par 291 at the Millikin
University Fall Classic in September. The Bears won four of
five tournaments in their fall season but fell off that pace in the
spring. However, Wash. U. closed out its regular season with
its second win of the spring season in the University of IllinoisSpringfield Spring Shootout last weekend and looks to carry over
that momentum into the NCAA Division III championships, to
be held May 8-11 in Angola, Ind. Buck, Hibbert and Lugar sat
down with Student Life to talk about the challenges coming in a
couple weeks among other things.
Student Life: How are you all feeling going into nationals?
It was a pretty strong fall, and maybe spring hasn’t gone as well,
but you closed out with a win, and that has to feel good.
Hannah Buck: That was definitely the way we wanted to end
Andi Hibbert: It is nice to have some momentum going into
HB: It has been a rough spring for us, but I think we are kind
of pulling it together at just the right time.
SL: The weather has been pretty poor in a couple tournaments where the team has struggled a bit. Anything you all can
do about that?
Olivia Lugar: It is hard to work with 30-mile-per-hour winds.
AH: Especially when you’ve got a little tiny ball like that.
HB: I don’t think any other team really killed it out there. I
feel like last spring, the weather was miserable. I feel like it rained
every tournament. We kind of got used to it. This spring we
haven’t had to really deal with it yet.
SL: So it’s just one of those things where you get there and see
what it’s like and just make the best of it?
OL: Yeah, but the mentality is that everyone else has to play
in it, too.
HB: Right, so you just have to go out and try to keep your
motivation high; sometimes it’s pretty disheartening. It certainly
isn’t fun. I don’t like to do it, but practicing in the rain is something you have to do occasionally.
SL: So what happens at nationals? You all are there for a
week, so there must be something fun other than golf.
OL: Last year was a lot better since they stayed at a resort.
HB: It’s different this year. We were in this all-inclusive resort
the last two years, and it was the best.
AH: Now we are in northeastern Indiana, like five minutes
from Michigan.
HB: At least with the weather, we could get anything.
OL: It is also in the middle of nowhere, so we will see how
it goes.
AH: Usually we study for finals.
HB: Yeah, we sometimes take finals there. Sunday afternoon
there is a walkthrough round, so you just get to walk the course,
and you can’t have clubs with you. Monday you actually have a
real practice round. And then we play Tuesday through Friday.
SL: With nationals, you’re on the same course for four days—
is that an advantage? What do they do to try and mess with you?
How do you overcome it?
HB: They switch the pins up each day, and the pin location
tends to get harder every day. I just go out and think like each
day is a new day. I think the hardest part is on the fourth day
when you are like, “I’ve already played this hole three times, and
I haven’t played it well three times.”...I try [with] every hole to
play like it’s the first time I’ve played it. I try to forget what I did
the previous days.
AH: I usually try to think about the course, especially if we’ve
played it before. Today on the range we were talking about specific holes, so I’ll try and almost visualize the holes —like what
type of shot I want to hit—and I’ll have that mentality for every
single round. I’m not trying to reflect on the previous shots that
I hit every round.
Sophomore Andi Hibbert sinks a putt on Hole 18 at Gateway National Golf Club during the first round of the Washington University
Invitational on March 31. Hibbert, junior Hannah Buck and freshman Olivia Lugar will lead the second-ranked Wash. U. women’s golf
team to the NCAA Championships, to be held May 8-11 in Angola, Ind.
HB: And the conditions are different for every single round,
every day. It really just depends on how the wind is and where
the pin is.
SL: So in the last poll from March, you guys stole three votes
away from No. 1 Methodist University, the 24-time champions
with a record of 14 back-to-back seasons. That has to feel good.
How do you handle those expectations going in?
AH: It is definitely a confidence booster that, at least statistically speaking, we are beating Methodist, per person per round.
They are obviously a strong team—you can’t win 14 consecutive
national championships without doing so. I think they’re a little
nervous though. I think we actually may have an upper hand.
HB: We definitely have them scared, certainly, so that’s nice.
SL: On another note, do you all have any fun team traditions?
AH: Subway!
HB: Pre-round Subway.
AH: Pre-round Subway at every single tournament. Without
SL: Does that help at all?
AH: It’s just part of the routine. We have to do it.
SL: It seems like golf takes a lot of consistency and repetition,
so would some tradition like that help at all?
HB: We are joking around, of course.
AH: But it is definitely a tradition! I think the most important part, though, is warming up before a round. I know we
each have our own methodology to how we go about it. I know
O-bear [Olivia] likes to go putt first, where I feel like the rest of
the team likes to hit first, but it just depends.
SL: Golf also seems like an individual game, so how do you
all emphasize the team aspect of the sport?
OL: Being a freshman, it was actually a pretty easy transition.
I kind of came out of nowhere. I didn’t tell them I was coming
until a week before the deadline, but it ended up being a really
smooth transition because we spend so much time together
during the week and over tournaments that you can’t help but
become really good friends.
HB & AH (simultaneously): Aw!
OL: We always try and boost each other’s confidence before
the round. We have little pow-wows, do our “Yeah, Bear” cheer.
AH: Hannah has a great pow-wow speech.
HB: Oh stop.
OL: It is individual on the course, but it is also really important to be confident, and I think being part of a team really helps
HB: I think it is really easy, when there are a bunch of good
players on a team, to get overly competitive, and I am glad that
we never got to that point. I think we are all really happy for
each other when we do well, and it really doesn’t matter how
we each play.
AH: We all enjoy each other’s successes.
HB: It is nice to know that one of us is always going to play
well. Last weekend when I knew I was not, it was really good to
say, “OK, someone is going to pick up my slack.”
AH: It definitely is an interesting dynamic, though, since golf
is traditionally an individual sport. But I think it is something I
have appreciated the most about collegiate golf, being able to
play in a team atmosphere.
SL: What sort of things help with that team atmosphere?
AH: Subway!
HB: Practice, staying in the hotels, things like that. We spend
most weekends of the school year together.
SL: On the course, you are obviously not in the same group
as someone on your own team. What are your individual
approaches to a specific hole? Is it different per person, or do you
all try to do the same thing?
OL: I think it is very individualized because we do all have
very different games and a lot of different experiences. I have to
focus on every shot at a time; maybe that is a common theme. At
the same time, I have different swing thoughts going on.
AH: Sometimes after rounds we will share what we did on
different holes, but for the most part, it’s pretty individual.
SL: Tell me about your fans a little bit. Do you all hear from
random people who say, like, “Great round this weekend” or
OL: I wore this sweatshirt that says “Washington University
Women’s Golf,” and one of the guys at the DUC asked me, “We
have a golf team here?”
AH: I feel like that is more common than anything else.
HB: Really? I don’t get that.
SL: Even I have gotten that before when I tell people I write
about the golf team for StudLife.
AH: Obviously, all of my friends know how I’m performing,
but in terms of total strangers, either a) they don’t know we have
a women’s golf team or b) they have no idea how well we can
SL: So what do you all think we can do to amp up that campus presence and get you all some more fans?
HB: Win nationals.
OL: Yeah I would like to see one of those banners over
—“Women’s Golf: Team National Champions.”
HB: That’s our plan right now. I mean why not? We did kind
of come out of nowhere this year. But I think we have a lot of
drive and determination to win nationals. We can taste it. We
know that we can accomplish that.
Spot an error?
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Burlesque Bingo
at The Fountain on Locust
Exploring the effects
of ‘Slacktivism”
You get out of your classes for the day, return to your room,
lie down on the bed with your Macbook and get on Facebook.
Scrolling down the screen a bit, a video on your newsfeed
catches your eye. After three minutes and fifteen seconds of
learning about the newest social controversy, you like the video,
repost it to your status, and continue perusing the Internet.
This process refers to the recent trend of “slacktivism,”
a combination of slacker and activism, termed by Sarah
Kendzior, a graduate student working in Washington
University’s anthropology department. According to Kendzior,
social media has allowed people to interact with each other and
participate in social dialogues in an increasingly direct way.
“You would see a bumper sticker on a car, but you wouldn’t
necessarily talk to the person in the car to find out why they
support that cause,” Kendzior explained. “But now you can.
That is the key difference.”
According to Kendzior’s recently published article in
Qatar-based news site Al Jazeera, “slacktivism, often used as a
pejorative code word for digital activism, is not a philosophy—
it is a process, varying not only within the cause but within the
supporter.” The most salient example of this newly minted
term is the recent attention the Kony 2012 campaign received.
Directed by Jason Russell, the founder of the non-profit
organization, Invisible Children Inc., “Kony 2012” attempts
to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, the leader of Uganda’s
guerilla group, Lord’s Resistance Army. He is also the
International Criminal Court’s most wanted criminal because
of his killing and abduction of more than 1 million African
First published on YouTube on March 5, this 30-minute
video was viewed by more than 50 million people within five
days. More than a month later, the video has received more
than 88 million views on YouTube, 17 million views on Vimeo
and more than 90,000 followers on Facebook. While Kony
2012 has been deemed one of the most viral videos of all time,
its real-world contributions have been somewhat unclear.
“Realistically, there is little you and I can do. It is unfortunate, but it is just the reality of it,” Kendzior said. “People feel
frustrated. They want to help, so they look for ways to help,
and then there is this video saying, ‘Here it is. You like it. You
share it.’ It satisfies people’s urgency, but we should be more
creative in how to use the Internet to engage with people in
these regions instead of engaging with them by speaking for
As social media’s prevalence increases each day, people tend
to judge others based on their liked pages, videos and links.
Whether these online profiles are accurate representations of
their account holders remains dubious. Kendzior proffered a
personal example of the ambiguity behind interpreting someone from his Facebook page or Twitter account. Kendzior
liked Uzbekistan’s activist group on Facebook because she passionate about it. However, she noticed something strange when
the group members invited her sister, who knew nothing about
Uzbekistan, to like the cause as well.
“We both liked the cause. So on the surface, maybe it looks
like we are both slacktivists or dedicated Uzbek activists. But,
in reality, one of them was [an activist], and the other one was
like ‘Oh, yeah sure. What the hell?’” Kendzior added. “You
really cannot tell by looking at the media what somebody’s
intention or motivation is.”
Although “Kony 2012” initially received millions of shares
and likes, controversy regarding the video’s director Jason
Russell, who recently appeared scantily clad and yelling in a
San Diego street, redirected followers’ attention. It appeared
that many of these slacktivists became more interested in
watching Russell embarrass himself in public rather than
increasing awareness of the notorious Ugandan leader. The
video of Jason Russell received higher view counts than the
Kony sequel, questioning people’s sincerity and loyalty to the
cause in the first place. After all, where did the millions of
impassioned likes and shares go? The video’s fleeting popularity attests to the rise of slacktivism.
“The movement has gone down to such a degree after the
initial burst of support that there might not really be a sustained
interest in this topic,” Kendzior said.
Junior Joshua Kim, one of the millions who watched the
Kony 2012 video, agreed with Kendzior’s ideas of slacktivism.
“While the movement [Kony 2012] showcased the widereaching influence of social media on millions of web users
around the world, it is still lacking in its capacity to substantially change people’s hearts or alter the course of history,” Kim
said. “But it is only human nature to be detached to something
that is happening across the sea. Regardless of what means
may be used in the future, it will be [near] impossible to achieve
humanitarian goals of the scale that ‘Kony 2012’ suggested.”
In contrast to the Kony 2012 phenomenon, the hype
surrounding Trayvon Martin reflects a more effective type
of “slacktivism.” The case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed
African-American 17-year-old who was shot by crime-watch
volunteer George Zimmerman, attracted national attention
and has triggered a heated debate about race and social injustice across the nation.
“For Travyon Martin, people wanted something very specific,” Kendzior said. “They wanted George Zimmerman to be
charged. That is something that was very unique to the people
involved and could feasibly happen. People have been trying to
catch Kony for a long time, and it is a very difficult thing, and
I am not sure that the increased awareness of what he is doing
will lead to his capture.”
While Kendzior is skeptical about the effectiveness of certain
types of “slacktivism,” she believes that social media can have
positive contributions.
“It could be that the Kony video can introduce people to the
cause,” Kendzior said. “Hopefully, people become more educated and read more about it. The more people who do know
about something, the likelier it is that someone will be creative
and come up with a solution or at least a new way to help and
understand the issue. When it’s successful, people stop calling it
‘slacktivsim.’ They start calling it activism.”
When I first walked into The Fountain on Locust, two
sites immediately stood out: a large spotlight with its beam
being manually swung across the dimly lit restaurant and
a woman in pasties grabbing her breasts as she walked
around the tables of whistling patrons—just another night
at Burlesque Bingo, a unique event that The Fountain hosts
every first Thursday of the month.
For those unfamiliar with the event, the breakdown is
fairly simple. After paying a participation fee of five dollars,
you are given a packet of bingo cards for the night. The host
of the evening then leads the crowd through a consistent
oscillation of bingo games and short segments of burlesque
dancing. The loud environment and lack of initial explanation may be confusing for some—it was for my group—but
you soon get the hang of it.
The host for that night was The Randy Dandies, a
group self-described on its website as a “motley crew of
actors, singers, dancers, comedians and circus folk working together to create interactive, dynamic shows for the St.
Louis community.” The dancers were certainly entertaining—I have one memorable image of the only male dancer,
Swifty Deeds, stripping down to a speedo with flames
attached to the front while the audience shouted, “Flaming
balls!” Each dancer had his or her own theme music and
costumes, with most involving a combination of feathers,
pasties and thongs.
And if this fun combination of burlesque dancing and
bingo isn’t enough already, then you will be delighted to
know that The Randy Dandies add their own little twists
to the game. For many of the number and letter combinations that are called out, there are certain responses that the
audience yells (e.g., B11 – “Legs to Heaven!”). Fortunately,
you are given a list of these responses at the beginning of
the game, but it was still humorous to watch the faces of my
group members while they simultaneously tried to figure
out what to say and mark their bingo cards.
What The Randy Dandies don’t tell you up front is
what you experience once you’ve won bingo. I’ll give you
a hint: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and don’t be
offended if you get hit with some crumpled up bingo cards
and friendly obscenities. The prizes are equally mysterious,
consisting of a bag of “goodies,” all centered on a particular theme. The last individual to win that night received a
gift bag labeled, “Even these types mate for life.” I’ll leave
you to judge that one.
As for the atmosphere, the carnivalesque costumes and
hand-painted Art Deco interior gave off a Moulin Rouge
vibe. There are also several secluded booths available along
the side of the restaurant, although they don’t offer much
of a view of the dancers on the front stage. To keep you
further entertained, there are plenty of unique drinks to
choose from on the menu. I was treated to the Thin Mint,
one of The Fountain’s signature ice-cream martinis, with
a delicious flavor combination of mint, Oreos and chocolate syrup. The names of the drinks alone are enough
to make you smile, such as the Social Lubricant and the
Hemmingway, both seasonal cocktails.
If nothing else, Burlesque Bingo is a tantalizing way to
spend a Thursday night. One piece of advice: Make a reservation in advance. The venue is pretty packed, and there is
a chance that you won’t be seated if you show up without
Bingo not your thing? Not a problem. At the end of the
night, the announcer told the crowd that The Fountain
would be introducing Burlesque Battleship every second
Thursday of the month. It may be interesting to see how
The Fountain on Locust is able to finagle this unusual
combination, but no doubt it will be successful if it follows
in the footsteps of its bingo predecessor.
Location: The Fountain on Locust, 3037 Locust St. Louis,
MO 63103
Time: The first Thursday of every month, 9:30-11:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 for the show, $5 for bingo cards
The Fountain on Locust hosts Burlesque Bingo every first Thursday of the month.
with Copy
Childhood Favorites
It’s not only our last week in the
Copy Kitchen, but it’s also our last
week of classes as undergraduate
students, which has us feeling a little
nostalgic for simpler times. Sure, it’s
great to be able to eat and appreciate sophisticated foods like kale,
parsnips and chorizo, but it’s hard to
avoid falling for childhood favorites
when times get tough, we get tired
or there just isn’t enough time to
So we decided this week’s menu
would revolve around the flavors
of yore: s’mores, peanut butter and
jelly, and popcorn (with some sprinkles thrown in for good measure).
Our first foray into kiddie cuisine
was a recipe for peanut butter and
jelly bars from Martha Stewart.
They looked a little sandy in the
photo, but we were convinced
they’d deliciously deliver the flavors
from our youth.
Well, we were wrong. Granted,
we made a bit of a mistake. Lauren
thought this recipe would be filled
with the most peanut-buttery goodness if we used a natural peanut
butter made of nothing but peanuts
because sugar and salt are in the
PB&J bar recipe anyway. Naively
believing any natural peanut butter
would do, we twisted open our first
jar of creamy unsalted Kettle Brand
Organic Peanut Butter (what we
happened to have on hand) and
could immediately tell our baking was headed in a bad direction.
But, hey, we weren’t about to take
a 1 a.m. trip to Schnucks, so we
barreled on ahead. In retrospect, we
think this recipe would be better if
made with a Jif or Skippy type of
peanut butter, given that we kept
having to mix in additional sugar
and salt in an attempt to make our
dough taste anything like the peanut
butter heaven we imagined it would
Our next tips (and we’re serious
about these): Use a bowl that fits
your electric mixer well and cover
the bowl with a towel while mixing.
If you choose to ignore these helpful
pieces of advice, be prepared for the
Peanut Butter Apocalypse of 2012
in your kitchen. But really. Even
after cleaning the kitchen twice, we
keep discovering new deposits of
dough. Our latest find? Dough on
the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling six feet
above where the dough was mixed.
Once Caro had completed the
arduous task of mixing, we were
faced with a new challenge: how
to move two-thirds of it into our
baking dish. Sounds easy enough,
but when you realize that the bowl
of dough weighs about the same
as Caro’s 1000-page accounting
textbook, it gets a little tricky. It
took both of us, one to hold the
This Party Popcorn makes a visual statement with a generous helping of of rainbow sprinkles.
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Left: These Peanut Butter and Jelly bars bring the flavors of a lunchtime classic to a truly decadent treat. Right: Trust us, you won’t be able to stop at just one of these delightful Gooey Smore’s cookies.
bowl and the other to scoop into the
dish, to accomplish the task, but it
The Bonne Maman strawberry
preserves we used in place of the
called-for jelly were the best, most
fragrant part of the recipe, and we
nearly ate them straight out of the
measuring cup. After regaining our
senses, we smoothed the preserves
atop the dough and followed with a
third layer of crumbled dough and
haphazardly scattered peanut shrapnel. See, the recipe said to chop the
peanuts, but Lauren instead shoved
the required amount into a Ziploc
snack-size bag and began pulverizing/beating it with a wooden
meat-tenderizing mallet. The result?
After the second whack, the bag
burst open, and peanuts suddenly
covered every surface of the Copy
Kitchen, which will clearly be recovering from these Peanut Butter and
Jelly Bars for a while. Our advice?
Use a bag with extra room in it
when filled with the peanuts and
double-bag, or do as the recipe says
and just chop them with a knife.
These took forever to bake in the
oven, but after 45 minutes we had
a yummy-smelling lead brick on
our hands. The bars were indeed
extremely sandy and fell apart when
cut, but they did taste much better
than the dough did. In a word,
they’re best described as rich, with a
cup of butter and 2 1/2 cups of peanut butter in the dough. While Caro
thought they were a little too intense
and decided she’d rather stick with
the classic sandwich to satisfy her
PB&J cravings, Lauren was quite a
fan of the bars and declared that she
would try the recipe again with a
different brand of peanut butter.
After the trying times we endured
with the PB&J bars, it was time for
s’mores. The coolest new discovery
Caro has made in working through
her numerous food blog subscriptions is that the tiny marshmallows
that usually come in Swiss Miss
hot chocolate packets are now
sold in a jar as Jet-Puffed Mallow
Bits. They’re like Lucky Charms
without obstacles. The jar was
nearly demolished before we even
started baking. So, imagine our
delight when we found a s’mores
cookie recipe that incorporates these
crunchy little bites of happiness.
The recipe comes from Amanda
Green Bottoms of the blog Kevin &
Amanda and she calls them gooey
s’mores cookies. With an ingredient list that includes butter, brown
and white sugars, graham crackers,
chocolate chips and the aforementioned Mallow Bits, these babies
were destined to be a hit, and we
hoped they’d relieve some of the
discouragement we felt after our
peanut-butter-and-jelly adventures.
Boy, were we ever right. First
of all, they are scrumptious. They
taste just like s’mores, with the
added textural awesomeness of
chocolate chips and tiny crunchyon-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside
marshmallows. Lauren was at first
skeptical of the cinnamon grahams
Amanda calls for, preferring the
regular ones, but Caro insisted that
Amanda’s recipes are usually right
on the money and that we should
follow her advice. We did, and it
was a totally commendable decision—the slight hint of cinnamon
makes these unique enough to stand
out among all the s’mores-themed
desserts out there. Another reason
to love this recipe: The dough
comes together easily and is lovely
to work with. In other words, we
can confidently report that there is
no s’mores cookie dough on our
ceiling…and this is good. One last
thing to appreciate, at least in Caro’s
opinion, is how super delicious the
dough is. In fact, Caro might have
attempted to withhold some of the
dough from being baked just so she
could eat it by the raw, delectable
spoonful. Don’t tell Lauren, who is
an adamant believer that everything
is better once baked.
Anyhow, baked or unbaked,
these cookies were great, and both
Lauren and Caro would make and
eat them again without so much
as a whisper of complaint. The
only drawback is that, although the
recipe title claims the cookies are
gooey, we found them to be a bit
dry, though not dry enough for us
to stop eating them. Perhaps the
baking time in the recipe is a bit too
long—keep this in mind if you try
these cookies at home.
We saved the easiest recipe for
last, since we were hoping for an
treat after spending so much time
on the previous two recipes. This
treat came in the form of Party
Popcorn, which we found on the
blog She Wears Many Hats. It
seems as simple as can be: You pop
some plain popcorn of your choosing, melt some white chocolate,
drizzle it over the popcorn and
cover the whole concoction in adorable rainbow nonpareils. Let us tell
you what you may not anticipate
when you initially think this recipe
is the easiest way to create edible
happiness: 1. There appears to be
a two-second window between the
points at which white chocolate
is almost melted and burnt. It is
almost impossible to know when
this window is, so your chocolate is
likely to be either too thick to pour
or seized and unusable. 2. Even
in a perfectly melted state, white
chocolate is surprisingly thick.
Our “drizzle” looked more like
randomly dropped white chocolate
blobs over the popcorn. 3. Trying
to work these blobs throughout the
popcorn results in extremely messy
hands. Additionally, you have to
do this all quite quickly because
the sprinkles will fall to the bottom
of the bowl if the white chocolate
has dried and they have nothing to
stick to.
After executing this recipe to
the best of our ability, we can say
we were pleased at best, though
definitely not impressed, with the
results. The plain, unsalted popcorn
is predictably flavorless and functions really only as a vehicle for the
white chocolate, so why not just
eat a bar of white chocolate? For
Caro, the one winning aspect of this
recipe is the texture. “The combination of the fluffy popcorn, the
melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate
and the crunchy sprinkles are actually pretty addictive,” she says, and
she could not stop eating it for that
reason. Lauren, on the other hand,
took a bite and said, “It is actually painful to eat these sprinkles,”
suggesting she was less enthusiastic
than Caro about this one. Our final
word was that we would consider
eating this if it were placed in front
of us, but we wouldn’t bother to
make it again.
That’s all we have for you this
week. We hope this nostalgic journey conjured up some memories of
spending summer camp nights by
bonfires, convincing your parents to
buy you popcorn at the movies and
finding peanut butter sandwiches
neatly nestled in your childhood
lunchboxes. Farewell from the Copy
Kitchen, happy end of classes, and
good luck on finals!
topic: National
Spell the phrase in the grid above
Spell each
the phrase
it, writing
unique in
letter only
grid correct
above it,
solution will
each unique
the complete
phrase along a
only once.
The path
that correct
moves solution
and diagonally. Fill the grid from
spell the complete
square to square - revisiting letters as needed to
a path in order. Each letter
will appear only once in the spelling
that moves horizontally, vertically
and diagonally. Fill the grid from
square to square - revisiting letters
as needed to complete the spelling
path in order. Each letter
will appear
only once in the grid.
Pathem™ Puzzle Solution
© 2011 Thinking Machine, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2012 Thinking Machine, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Complete the grid so
each row, column and
3-by-3 box (in bold
borders) contains
every digit, 1 to 9. For
strategies on how to
solve Sudoku, visit
your AD here.
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis
1 Place to stand
around with a
4 Musical triad
9 Desert plants
14 Self-image
15 New staffer
16 Popular email
17 Field for 19- or
18 Florida Keys, e.g.
20 Master
22 “You’re on!”
23 The Beatles’ last
studio album
26 Slip-up on the set
31 Seeping
33 Best-selling
34 Co. that makes
36 Tyrolean refrain
38 Ambulance wail
39 Middle-earth
41 “Get out of my
43 Gumbo veggie
44 “24” superagent
46 Diamond surface
48 Fa-la link
49 “Sure, let’s do
51 Everest expert
53 The one in a onetwo, usually
55 Explore caves
58 Top Olympic
medals, in
60 Bandleader Kay
61 Elusive
connection, or the
elusive feature of
the ends of 18Across and 3and 28-Down
67 Give the heave-ho
68 Committee type
69 Lamp dwellers
70 Something to
71 Fort __, Indiana
72 Pilfer
73 New Orleans-toMiami dir.
1 What really matters
© 2012 The Mepham Group. Distributed by
Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.
By Michael Dewey
2 Come to terms
3 Injury-prone area
for pitchers
4 Cheaply made
5 Bathrobe
6 NBA’s Magic, on
7 Tackle Tolstoy, say
8 Cygnus
9 One-eyed
10 Sigh of pleasure
11 All the tea in China?
12 You, to Yves
13 + molecule, e.g.
19 Surrealist
21 Carnival setting
24 Bookstore sect.
25 Words before
“time” or “the line”
27 Buckeye’s home
28 Meat ingredient in
many stuffing
29 Año beginning
30 Kidney-related
32 Actress
Rowlands et al.
34 Big name in oil
35 Bowling score
sheet division
37 Highland waters
4/23 Puzzle Solved
(c)2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
40 Spanish muralist
José María
42 Blubber
45 Shout “Hallelujah!”
47 One who can do
a perfect Vulcan
50 Come by
52 Tissue box word
54 5-time A.L.
batting champ
56 Connection
57 Krispy __:
doughnut chain
59 Did in, as a
61 Animal’s gullet
62 Mont. neighbor
63 Just short
64 Holy Trinity
65 Pasta suffix
66 1-Across