Archive for January, 2002

Top 5 Sports Moments of the Weekend

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Sal Taliercio

1) It’s becoming the norm, but it’s still fun to say it. WU men’s and women’s basketball win two, again, to stay undefeated in the UAA.

2) Marshall Faulk, Aeneas Williams and Grant Wistrom are the heroes as the Rams take the sqawk out of the Eagles by a score of 29-24. Up next – the Super Bowl XXVI.

3) Jennifer Capriatti saves four match points en route to a thrilling 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 victory in the finals of the Austrailian Open against Swiss Miss, Martina Hingis.

4) Latrell Sprewell’s 48 points trump Glen Robinson’s 38 as the New York Knicks hold off the Milwaukee Bucks in double OT.

5) Kids across the nation laugh, run and jump as temps rise to summer-like conditions.

Goldberg gets you there:

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Sal Taliercio

By Matt Goldberg
Dejection? Annoyance? Aggressiveness? All are major symptoms of the ticket disorder, a disease that affects millions of couch potatoes nationwide. Some claim sports in the 21st century are just too expensive. Some claim the view is better at home. And some claim it is just impossible to get tickets. These are all excuses. Cop-outs.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to be just another sorry loser sitting at home while your favorite team drives for victory. Trust me, you can get tickets.
Buying tickets to sporting events is simple. The catch is understanding when to buy them, where to buy them, and what kind to buy. I’ll admit the procurement of those little pieces of paper that gain one entrance to sporting events is not as easy as it used to be.
Get Those Fingers Warmed Up
No longer does the studious sports fan need to stand in line or try to dial through endless busy signals. Over the last couple of years the sporting industry has computerized most ticketing systems, making them easier to use and diversifying the options teams have for selling tickets.
Some teams like the Cardinals have brought their ticketing operations in house-so they can pocket the infamous shipping and handling charges-which has resulted in horrible server problems. Other teams like the Rams and Blues have stuck with ticketing leader Ticketmaster, which has its own ticketing issues. Still others like the San Francisco Giants and the Salt Lake City Olympics have posted their ticket sales with newcomer
Despite some security and server problems, the best way to buy tickets is over the Internet. Sure, servers may lock you out of sales, and too many times sites tell the would- be ticket buyer that “we cannot process your order at this time, try again later.” Yet, it is still the wisest road to avoiding the couch potato state. In my experience, I’ve only missed getting tickets twice-both on Ticketmaster.
Not that I hold a grudge against Ticketmaster, but they have some problems the sports fan needs to be aware of. Ticketmaster will only ship to the billing address no matter what address is indicated on the order. Also, Ticketmaster only allows five minutes between the time it brings up your seats and the time it puts them back in the pool. So enter your information quickly, and if you plan to buy tickets on multiple occasions, set up an account to save you time and tickets.
Knowledge, Readiness and Execution
So how do you know when and where tickets go on sale? Well, the sports fan needs to stay very well informed. The best way to find out when tickets go on sale is to surf team websites, which almost without exception, provide detailed information on when and where (i.e. which web site) the tickets will go on sale. A word of warning to all of you partying fools out there: most teams start ticket sales early in the morning.
Once you know the time and location of the ticket sale, you need to do additional research as far as which games you want to go to and where you want to sit. If you want to buy tickets for St. Louis sporting events you need to act early because the Cardinals, Rams, and Blues sell very well. But you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to buy your way out of a vegetative state.
The cheapest tickets will be for baseball games, and unless you plan to see a very select group of teams (i.e. the Mariners, Giants or Indians), baseball tickets are also the most readily available. In St. Louis, the best deal for Cardinals seats is the bleachers, which run 10 bucks a pop and afford a Redbird fan a great view at the right price. The Rams and Blues are a little bit more pricey and a lot harder to get because they play fewer games and have many season ticket holders. Yet, you can still get out to a Blues or Rams game for about 35 dollars during the regular season.
Postseason Pressure
All three major sports teams in St. Louis made the playoffs last year, so playoff tickets can be a major concern. As one would expect playoff tickets are more expensive, but not entirely out of reach. They run about 50 bucks a pop for the Rams and Blues and they range between 20 and 100 for the Cardinals (depending on the round and the seat type). Playoff tickets are also harder to get and unless you log on right at the time the tickets go on sale forget about going (the Rams playoff tickets sold out in 3 minutes!).
So what happens if you are shut out but still want to go to the game? Well, you can still go for the right price. Sites like Ebay and both have tickets for every event, but they are out of most people’s price range (they were asking $250 a pop for Rams playoff tickets). Yet Ebay is worth a look because there might be some idiot seller out there who is willing to sell tickets for face value.
Since I’ve been in St. Louis I have gone to Cardinal playoff games, Rams playoff games, and Blues games-all acquired over the Internet. Now admittedly I am somewhat of a sports fanatic, and I budget my money accordingly, but anyone can score tickets. All you have to do is research when the tickets go on sale and then log on and click buy. So get off your couches and go buy some Cardinals tickets, they are already on sale!

Contact Matt at [email protected]

Bears dismiss challenges to remain atop UAA

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Sal Taliercio

The Washington University women’s basketball team, fresh off home court poundings of New York University and Bradeis University, were in position this weekend to polish off UAA competition and further solidify their number one ranking.
The challenge? Beat the hungry University of Rochester Yellowjackets on Friday night and take down the feisty Tartans of Carnegie Mellon on Sunday. Check one and check two.
The Bears led off the men’s/women’s doubleheader on Friday. However, UR turned out to be good competition for WU, a team used to walking all over opponents. The first half looked familiar as the Bears brought their usual game, dropping in 45% of their shots and hitting 5 of 10 three pointers. The defense was in fine form as well, holding the Yellowjackets to just 29% percent shooting.
In the second half, WU outscored the Jackets 28-23 but struggled a bit, only shooting 30% from the field. The defense picked up the slack, allowing Rochester a paltry 19 shot attempts in the entire half. The Bears forced 26 turnovers while only turning it over 17 times themselves, and out-rebounded UR 42-34.
Forward Hallie Hutchens and shooting guard Laura Crowley led the scoring efforts with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Overall, the scoring was a team effort, with nine different players getting on the board.
Forward Jennifer Rudis and center Suzy Digby covered the boards, gathering in 7 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Of the Bears’ 42 rebounds, 19 came on the offensive glass, keeping the ball in the Bears’ court and giving them multiple scoring opportunities on every trip down court. Meanwhile, UR rarely received second chances and was forced to hit its shots when given a chance.
“We knew had to keep playing tough, we had to be ready in case they used their three point shooters to get back in the game,” said junior forward Meg Sullivan.
Rochester decided to forego the three point route, attempting only six trifectas in the entire game. But without an outside game, the Yellowjackets’ strategy of pounding the ball inside on the Bears encountered little success.
“They [Rochester] had just beaten Case Western and we knew they were very competitive,” said Digby. “To keep the top spot we needed to win. We also play them upcoming weekend and need to be confident when we go there. This gave us the opportunity to know their players better for this weekend’s game.”
The Bears went also went on to win this past Sunday, giving Carnegie Mellon a 71-44 pasting to move to 18-0, an incredible mark that has come to be expected of the team every season by its loyal fans. With nine minutes left in the first half WU held a 27-2 advantage (yes, 27-2). Suffice it to say that the Bears rolled from there.
These rousing victories should give Bears enough confidence to keep yet another perfect season alive when traveling into the frozen depths of northern New York state.
The women have seven contests left on the schedule, all seven games versus UAA opponents. Their next matchup is this Friday night against the same Carnegie Mellon team, this time facing off in Pittsburgh, where a Tartans victory might help ease the pain of the bitter Steelers’ defeat.

Contact Sal at [email protected]

Seniors swim final strokes at WU invite

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Nick Bhatnagar

On Friday and Saturday, the Washington University swimming and diving team showed that a nerdy-nine school can give any Division II school a run for its money.
The Washington University Invitational always attracts a field full of top-notch competition, and this year was no different. The Bears, despite losing to higher ranked opponents, proved that they too are a top-notch program. Both the men and women notched second-place finishes. University of Nebraska-Omaha topped the women by the score of 985 to 867, and the men were outswam by University of Missouri-Rolla by the count of 1,125.5 to 720.
The Washington University Invitational always proves to be a unique and rewarding experience for all who participate.
” There is a lot of racing in a short period of time, which is incredibly exciting, but also incredibly draining,” said men’s senior co-captain and middle-distance ace Nathan Gosse.
General consensus for both teams is that Nebraska-Omaha, Missouri-Rolla and DePauw are the class of the meet. However, the Bears seem to be closing the gap.
“University of Nebraska-Omaha is always tough because they are division II and also DePauw because we beat them at the dual meet this season, but lost the invitational at their place,” said women’s senior co-captain Lindsey Wilkinson.
” Rolla is always a team that has been tough to beat,” said Gosse. “As a freshman we swam at their place. When we walked into their pool it was a very intimidating feeling. It felt like they took first, second and third in everything. However, when we swam this weekend, they dominated the meet but we were competitive with them at every phase. It shows how we have grown as a program.”
Head coach Brad Shively has emphasized swimming against tough competition year in and year out even though it may have take a toll on the team’s overall record. The men currently stand at 3-4 with the women at 4-2. However, in swimming team records are not always a reliable indicator of team strength.
“Swimming is not a sport like basketball,” said Shively. “In basketball you are judges based on your record, if you had a record of 3-14 you would probably not be seeded very strongly or have a chance to go to national tournaments. Swimming is not like that at all; every meet is just preparation. It’s just practice for when you are most prepared to be timed for conference championship or national championship meets.”
” In many ways, this team is the best team that I have coached since I have been here in terms of attitude, work ethic and talent.”
A lot of the success of the team this year comes from leadership provided by the seniors on the squad, whose last home meet was this weekend’s invitational. Their positive attitudes have served as examples to younger players and their enthusiasm has never decreased despite the frequent lack of individual glory.
” As a team we were are successful. Anytime we swam with anyone we were competitive and that is amazing. We don’t get paid for swimming, we just do it for fun.” said Wilkinson, who holds four individual school records.
With their collegiate careers winding down, the seniors have left their mark on a WU program that appears to be in good hands. With swimming having served as a defining part of their lifestyle for four years, many seniors do see the conference meet and nationals as a last hurrah of sorts.
” I don’t think I will be swimming professionally in the future. I will do it to stay in shape,” said Wilkinson.
Gosse echoed these sentiments.
” I plan to pursue a long break from swimming in the future, but I still plan to make a swimming a lifetime recreational activity,” he said.
Whatever the future plans of the seniors on the squad there is one thing that we can predict. Watch for plenty of Bears, and plenty of seniors, to qualify for nationals in the very near future.

Contact Nick at [email protected]

NBA Beat

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Eric Silverstein

Smith given second chance:

Former high school standout Leon Smith, who was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1999, re-entered the NBA last week with the Atlanta Hawks. Smith never registered a minute in the NBA, despite being a late-first-round pick. The 6’11 250 pound power forward was thrown out of his first practice as a Maverick due to an argument with coach Don Nelson, and followed that up with a suicide attempt in which he tried to swallow two hundred aspirins after a fight with his girlfriend. Smith eventually ended up in a psychiatric ward, where he remained for a month.
The Hawks, who have been dealt a laundry list of injuries which include season-ending setbacks to Emmanuel Davis and Chris Crawford, had nothing to lose with the signing. Smith was given a ten-day contract, at the end of which general manager Pete Babcock would re-evaluate his status with the team. Averaging 18.0 points and 15.8 rebounds in the CBA, Smith was a perfect signing for the talent starved Hawks. If, and this is a big if, Smith can get his act together and concentrate on the game, he will be able to help Atlanta. His 7-7 wingspan and solid vertical only begin to describe his exceptional physical prowess.

Early Season Surprises:
Aside from the expected stars who grace the courts of the NBA, there are other lesser-known players who are putting out solid seasons.
Steve Nash is a major reason why the Mavericks are winning without Michael Finley. Nash is putting up 19.3 points and 7.9 assists per game, far above his career averages of 10.3 and 5 respectively. His aggressive penetration and ball movement is a signature of the Mavericks’ offense, and there is no reason why Nash will not be dropping 30 a night come playoff time.
Up a few states there’s a man named Wally, who is having an all-star campaign after two stellar seasons in Minnesota. With Terrell Brandon on the bench and the Timberwolves needing a complement to Kevin Garnett, Szczerbiak has delivered, averaging 19.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Finally, let’s not forget about the Nets man in the middle, Todd MacCulloch. Although his season averages of 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks are not indicative of what Shaq can do on the court, MacCulloch is answering the critics.

Better Left off the Box Score:
So there are those who have not had trouble lighting it up this year, and then there are the players who haven’t been able to find the rim at all. Granted, Anthony Mason’s seasons have fluctuated year by year, but Mase is having trouble putting anything up in 2002. Averaging 8.2 points and 8.1 boards a game, he is being steadily overshadowed by players other than the Big Three. Michael Redd and Joel Przybilla have been solid contributors in Mason’s absence.
David Robinson’s game has steadily digressed in recent years, and apparently it will continue to for a while longer. Robinson’s 66% free throw line percentage and 11.1 points per game, are not going to cut it this year if the Spurs are going to take the next step in beating the Lakers.
Finally, there’s Brian Grant, who can take at least some of the blame for the Heat’s early season struggles. Grant’s five-point drop in his scoring average has hurt the Heat dearly. Yet, it is his lost inside presence which will help Miami think lottery come next month.

Studlife Top 5:

1.) Lakers – Still two-time defending champions, with or without Shaq
2.) Kings – Christie remains one of the most underrated players in the league
3.) Nets – Balanced offense a product of Kidd’s unselfishness
4.) Timberwolves – Szczerbiak showing he can do more besides attract women
5.) Mavericks – Nowitzki’s new hairdo the only thing going wrong in Dallas

Studlife Bottom 5:
25.) Nuggets – Showing heart in close games, Van Exel worthy of All-Star bid
26.) Hawks – Snapped six-game losing streak but still wondering if Ratliff will every return
27.) Grizzlies – J-dub angered that teammates don’t know offensive plays
28.) Warriors – Talented youth is not translating into wins in the Bay Area
29.) Bulls – Shot enough bricks vs. MJ’s Wizards to build new Soldier Field

Contact Eric at [email protected]

Because I Can

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Taylor Upchurch

Education aside, my pilgrimage to St. Louis was an excuse to be in a big sports town, but it took until Sunday’s Rams-Eagles game for me to really go out there, get out into the city, and enjoy it.
Actually, getting out into the city just means down the street to the Pageant, where the TV party is free-but the alcohol is far from it. Still, my roommate and I got to feel, at least for a day, like we were in a sports town, and not at some closed-off university.
So, idea-challenged columnist that I am, I figured that I’d document it.

2 p.m. – We hit the Pageant just as the doors open. Crowd is modest but steadily growing, an hour and a half before kickoff. Giant TV is showing the Patriots-Steelers.
The first things I notice about the setup: attendance is free, and the crowd is very diverse. I noticed a similar thing last Wednesday when the Lakers played the Clippers. The TNT announcers pointed out that Clippers tickets are significantly cheaper, so significantly more minorities go to the games. Of course, not far down the road is the day when the young, dashing Clips become so popular that only Lakers fans will be able to afford the games. Probably the same way with this Pageant TV party thing; this is its first year, and it’s fun, which has me doubting whether it will be free in the future.
2:10 – First basket of buffalo wings arrives.
2:11 – My notes aren’t clear here; someone spilled buffalo wing sauce all over them.
3:05 – Drew Bledsoe, showing amazing touch for someone who just came off the bench for the first time in months, hits Troy Brown on a rainbow that just eludes the Steeler secondary by this much. Announcer Phil Simms waxes junior high on the play: “That was so sweet it’s unbelievable!”
3:10 – Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercial, starring Donovan McNabb and his mother. Chorus of raucous boos.
3:27 – Channel switches for the kickoff of the real game.
3:28 – McNabb fumbles, Good Guys recover. Place goes wild.
We also get our first shot of Rams coach Mike Martz on the sidelines. He looks like he’s wearing makeup. If that’s true, then God help us all, we’re only a Carrot Top movie away from the apocalypse.
3:40 – It’s immediately clear that Marshall Faulk is the crowd favorite. A ten-yard Faulk run generates much more applause, and girlish screams, than a 20-yard Isaac Bruce catch.
3:57 – This crowd is pretty darn intelligent, football-wise. I can tell this because they appear quite shaken at the injury of Orlando Pace, which means they realize how important he is to the Rams. Less enlightened football fans would have just shrugged at the sight of an enormous lineman on the ground.
On the other hand, intelligent football fans can be ruthless: cheers also abound for injuries to Philly defenders Corey Simon and Damon Moore.
4:21 – Eagles score. Place goes silent except for one guy in the balcony, a Philly fan. Eyes turn, but I see no violence.
4:33 – Lesson on crowd dynamics: when things are going badly, one person can speak for the entire group. In this case, McNabb completes yet another pass for yet another first down, and the crowd is silent except for one drunk woman right behind me, who yells “Dammit!” at a volume such that I can safely say it’s representative of everyone else in attendance. Philly leads at the half, 17-13, which is a sign that we need to drink more.
5:00 – Halftime show consists of R. Kelly and some nationalistic sludge of a song. Even the dancers look like they think it sucks. I recall that my only trip to a Rams game (the Monday nighter against Tampa Bay in Week 11) had a superior halftime show to this: frisbee dogs.
5:10 – Second half starts. Guy in front of us is already passed out. What a great game!
5:23 – We’re drunk enough by this point to agree, without discussion, that Garth Brooks and Dr. Pepper just might constitute the soul of America.
5:48 – Group of twentysomethings in front of us are also drunk. How can I tell they’re drunk? They’re dancing to the Mazda “Zoom Zoom Zoom” commercial.
6:28 – This is the watershed moment: fourth and seven, Philly with the ball, couple minutes left, within striking distance. Rams blitz, Eagles pick it up, and at that moment things look bad; I can just see McNabb taking off for a 15-yard scramble with the blitzing linebackers out of the way. But instead he sits back in the pocket and throws it into the hands of Aeneas Williams. Game over. Rams win. Collective “wohoo!” from the crowd.
6:31 – Fox Instant Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl? Answers come back thirty seconds later: Rams 71 percent, Patriots 29 percent. Crowd approves.
My roommate and I decide that the Pageant was probably the best possible way to experience a big Rams game after actually being in attendance. And I decided that doing it again this weekend for the Super Bowl is in order. And that it probably would be best to keep it on the hush-hush, lest the line for buffalo wings be even longer next time.
So forget everything you just read.

Lucky 13 and counting for hoopsters

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Nick Sreshta

Entering this weekend’s Washington University men’s basketball games, we were looking forward to a pretty competitive match-up between two top-20 ranked rivals for Friday and a contest between the University Athletic Association conference leader and the team which sits in the conference cellar on Sunday.
Take your pick on which of the two wass supposed to be the more exciting game.
The Bears continued their best start in school history and extended their winning streak to 13 games by way of a 65-48 defeat of No. 20 Rochester on Friday and a 76-72 win on Sunday against Carnegie Mellon. Both games had the Bears gaining big leads early, with Sunday’s affair eventually becoming a little too close at the end.
“I think I was happy with our level of play,” said Mark Edwards, the reigning UAA coach of the year. “Friday night, our defense was excellent. We might of let up a little on Sunday, but we were able to stick with it and pull it out.”
Both contests saw stellar play from center Jarriot Rook. The 6′ 8″ junior posted 19 points and 5 blocks in the win against Rochester and followed that up with a 21-point, career-high 17 rebound, and three-block performance on Sunday.
Efforts such as these are a testament to why the fourth-ranked Bears are now 17-1 on the year and 7-0 in UAA conference games-the only undefeated team remaining after the win over Rochester.
Friday’s game was a showcase of the top two UAA teams in a rematch of sorts from a year ago when Rochester handed the men a loss to snap their streak of 15 wins in their first 16 games. The situation could not have been more familiar, with WU being 15-1 again this year. The game, however, would hold no resemblance to the past.
WU wasted little time in bee-keeping the yellow-jackets, as they jumped out to a 27-7 lead. Things got a little more interesting in the second half however, as Rochester came out with a 19-3 spurt to cut the lead to five at 41-36. The men, seeming to let Rochester hang around just for the sake of making it exciting, quickly regained control and coasted the rest of the way.
In addition to Rook’s performance, junior Chris Jeffries also had a strong game, finishing with 12 points and a career high 16 rebounds.
Sunday’s game was a series of ups and downs as the Bears would jump out to several big leads only to have Carnegie Mellon come back to make it close up until the final seconds. The Tartans came in with a dismal 1-4 UAA record (second-worst in the conference) and a 7-9 mark overall. With the big win on Friday, the men were indeed a candidate for the proverbial ‘letdown.’
“I wasn’t really worried about a letdown,” said Edwards. “I knew the kids would come out and play hard, but at the same time, as soon as we got a big lead it was kind of hard for us to keep our focus.”
While finishing opponents from the start may be a goal the men could improve upon, with each passing game this team has seemed to gain more of the “killer instinct” which is essentially vital to any championship team.
With a virtual rematch against these same teams on the road next weekend, the Bears will look to extend that mentality in order to establish themselves as the one and only powerhouse in the UAA conference. Riding a wave of momentum will be key in succeeding at the NCAA tournament this spring, and the men may be fortunate that they end their seasons with all UAA opponents. Five of the last eight games will be on the road.
The Bears got a reminder on Sunday, and know that they will pay the price of looking too far ahead or getting overconfident. You can almost hear them rehearsing those often-used sports clich‚s of “not counting the chickens before they hatch,” or “taking it one game at a time.” Remaining humble, however, is a definite mark of a winner.
“We’re not going to begin focusing on those future road games yet,” said Edwards. “Our expectations have been confirmed. Our goal is to win the conference, get into the NCAA tournament, and win the championship.”
As a result of their UAA domination, we may be witnessing a men’s team that is fast approaching the championship status of the women.
Indeed, it couldn’t be a better time to follow Washington University basketball.

Contact Nick at [email protected]

South Asia dialogue

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Iqbal Akhtar and Shehzad Siddiqui

Over the past few months there has been an escalation of tensions in South Asia between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir. There are many factors contributing to this, but the U.S. War on Terrorism and the attack on the Indian Parliament have helped to exacerbate the situation between these new nuclear powers. This problem in South Asia has a direct impact on the efforts of Washington University students to encourage dialogue and understanding on the issue.
The partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 is one of the saddest events in human history. As this was the largest human migration in history, it brought about great suffering and loss of life, as people found themselves on the wrong side of the border. The ethnic and religious clashes left millions dead or homeless. The visual image of this time is beyond explanation, as dead bodies were piled on trains; women were mutilated and raped; and civilians were killed in cold blood by the millions. This transition of power, a legacy of the British, created human misery which is seared in the minds and hearts of those who experienced this horrible turmoil. Shortly after, the misappropriation of Kashmir had its impact of three subsequent wars between Pakistan and India. The legacy of partition and Kashmir, as well as extremist nationalism, has created the view that the conflict is between Islam and Hinduism, which has always been in South Asia. Any well informed person would be able to easily discount this myth; however, the lack of education and surplus of opportunistic politicians lead to such heinous acts as the destruction of the Babari Masjid in India or the Bombay riots of 2000.
The major problem between the peoples of India and Pakistan is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the religion, history, and politics of the other side. Politics in the South Asian context is integral to the life of even the common man. From the bazaars to the restaurants and the coffee shops, everyone talks about regional politics and it is a common daily discussion. For politics shapes not only how Indians and Pakistanis see themselves, but how they understand their history and their future.
But this is not just a regional problem for South Asia. It is a problem for the world. Now that both sides have nuclear capabilities, the possibility exists for a nuclear war. Unfortunately, both sides do not necessarily see nuclear arms as only a deterrent in the Balance of Terror theory. Presently, there are 1,000,000 soldiers on both sides of the border. This is the largest buildup of forces anywhere since WWII. Over one-fifth of the world’s population can be affected by a war in the region. And now it has become imperative for a solution, which only the U.S., as mediator, can provide.
It is this dialogue that I am advocating here at WU. The Pakistani students at WU have been advocating for a long time that there should be a dialogue and discussion of South Asian politics, as they relate to each side. However, the Indian student groups on campus have been reluctant, citing various reasons. My answer is this: inasmuch as the benefit exists for exposing students to the cultural richness of South Asia, one also does a disservice by not wanting to understand the very substantive and real life issues faced by Indians and Pakistanis alike. Culture in a vacuum is for those who are content with abstractions and the fantasy of ancient glories. Indians and Pakistani’s today are spending more time in front of the news because they are facing the biggest crisis since independence. They are not dancing to Bollywood remixes. It is time to start something…and maybe WU is the place for that. WUPSA’s goal is to inform about every aspect of Pakistani society, as today there is a greater need to be informed then ever before. It is a great disservice one does to his or herself, in not wanting to be exposed to new ideas, perceptions and viewpoints on what is by far the greatest threat to South Asian stability for the future. As students, we are here to learn and to experience and understand new ways of thinking, and to challenge our pre-conceived notions about others and ourselves.
I challenge all students, especially of South Asian descent, to get actively involved in helping to plan the upcoming Kashmir forum in April, hosted by the WU Pakistani Students Association. It is only by dialogue that we may be able to understand others and perhaps achieve a deeper understanding of ourselves.

A forgotten minority

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Steven Lau

“Where are you from?”
“St. Louis.”
“Yes, but where are you originally from?”

In “Diagnosing the Race Problem in America,” Seth Bloom asserts that “whites often experience similar emotions in their daily encounters with African Americans.” Bloom’s statement implies that part of the “race problem” originates from the fact that stereotypes persist. However, prejudice isn’t limited to the melanin-based categories of “reflects all” and “absorbs all.” Discussions concerning racial issues often fail to include red, brown, yellow, and other skin tones.
And, who could blame you for overlooking Asians? Unless you’re twelve years old, you would strain your back bending down to look me eye-to-eye. We’re a model minority. The only depictions of Asians in mainstream media are Bruce Lee and the occasional old guy who runs a laundromat. I will always have job security because producers, in the name of diversity, will need Asian extras (I’m looking forward to being that laundromat owner).
I don’t mean to claim that Asian people are not blameless in racial problems. People who eat lunch on Hilltop are understandably terrified to venture into “the Asian corner” deep within the heart of Mallinckrodt. Rude and bigoted exclamations such as “some black guy is gonna rape me” and “only white people do that crazy shit” come out of Asian mouths too. But, I’ve never asked a Caucasian where she is originally from. Heaven forbid I introduce a non-Chinese woman to my immigrant parents. Their reaction would probably begin with bludgeoning me using chopsticks. Not that I could get an Asian girlfriend anyways. I’m an impotent guy who can handle math, but lacks any form of eloquent vocabulary (I had to use a thesaurus to get “eloquent”). What chance do I have of attracting a subservient sexual goddess when I don’t even own a whip? The exotic Orient, though, is amazingly over-populated, and I may still stand a chance.
Raised in St. Louis, where black and white racial issues are the only existing ones because other minorities are not very visible, my concept of an Asian person was me. In high school (which at the time followed a desegregation program with St. Louis city), the only occasions where my skin tone became obviously apparent to me, concerned inquiries of my original country and the traditions of “my” culture. The issues were all black and white and, to me, the thin gray line was actually yellow. I naively expected racial barriers to be absent at WU, but an insult at an IM softball game last spring changed my mind. The confrontation did not become physical, and fortune must have been smiling upon the vocal racist, because everybody knows that all Asian people know kung fu.
Of course, it is unfair to expect world peace and universal acceptance of color. It is unreasonable for me to ask other people to view Asian people as anything other than the model minority, just as it would be unreasonable for me to suggest that blacks can be anything other than ghetto thugs, imply that Latinos can rise above housekeeping duties, propose that Jews are not frugal media moguls, indicate that Arabs are not Jihad-bent terrorists, or assume that whites are not affluent suburbanites. White, after all, is a color too.
On a final note, should you choose to compose an angry response, be sure to address it to the sophomore Steven Lau. Out of 1.3 billion Chinese, a freshman sharing my name found his way to the same institution. However, if you confuse us, I’ll understand. We do all look alike.

The Rat is dead again, at the young age of 26

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 | Gabe Roth

The Umrathskeller, known to friends and well-wishers as “The Rat,” is dead this semester. The Rat was 26 years old.
Born in September 1975, the Rat had been the only bar on the Washington University campus. Located under Umrath Hall on main campus, the Rat was once a popular Thursday night party place for undergraduates; but no more. Raising the price of beer, using smaller beverage cups, and cracking down on the use of fake I.D.’s were all contributing factors to the death of the Rat.
Many people think Student Life killed the Rat last year. I do not know if the university giving the Rat flack for its supposed looseness was caused by the Student Life article or not. (I personally have nothing to do with that; I merely write articles every other week and do not sit on the editorial board or decide what news articles are to be written.)
“My friends couldn’t even go there for lunch the other day before the Activities’ Fair,” one senior said.
“No one goes there to hang out anymore,” sighed a disgruntled sophomore.
The sophomore seems to have taken a page out of a Yogi Berra quotation book: “Nobody goes there any more because it’s too crowded,” the Hall-of-Fame catcher once said. The long lines outside of the Rat in the early part of first semester, have deterred many from going there since. Why wait in line for thirty minutes in the cold to spend more money on less beer? That’s why we go to WU: we’re smart and realize that we have better things to do than stand and wait.
What made the Rat fun was the crowd of people, packed in so tight that you couldn’t move without running into a few pairs of black pants.
Don’t discount the future of the Rat-not yet. The Rat is a resilient creature; it has died many times before and will probably come alive once again.
For example, on Thursday night, March 26, 1998, agents from the Missouri Liquor Control Board entered the bar, packed with its once-regular Thursday night crowd, and cited four students with underage drinking and one with possession of a fake I.D.
All it would take to revitalize the Rat is one successful night: a night in which hundreds of people would be sure to attend. The only social organizations on campus that could produce that many people are fraternities and sororities. The Greeks should sponsor a Rat Night, and they should do it fast. Someone needs to save the bar before students realize they should open the books they bought in early January and read them.
It is fun to go to off-campus parties, but it is not fun to run from the University City police (uh, so I hear). The Rat is safer because it is on campus and has the potential to draw more people-who do not have to drive to get to a party (like WU students would walk all the way to Kingsbury in the cold)-than any other venue this side of Blueberry Hill.
Both last year, and first semester of this year, the bar was again packed with students who realized that Thursday night marks the beginning of the weekend in college. Unfortunately for upperclassmen, these things go in cycles. For now, the Rat is dead; but it may be back soon, especially if it becomes the Thursday night party.
So if don’t like the Rat this year, wait a while; it will be back. For many of us, though, it will be too late; we do not have that long to wait.