Archive for February, 2002

Top Five Sports Moments of the Weekend

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Jeff Kahntroff

1. Gold medal for Canada in men’s ice hockey as the Canadians defeat the Americans 5-2 in the championship game on Sunday. The win ends a 50-year drought in men’s hockey for Canada.

2. New Jersey Nets come back from 23-point deficit to shock Charlotte Hornets, 95-93.

3. Two top Division I teams squeak by as No. 2 Maryland beats Wake Forest 90-89 and No. 1 Kansas edges Nebraska 88-87.

4. Former NASCAR rookie of the year Matt Kenseth wins Sunday’s Subway 400 at Rockingham, North Carolina breaking a personal 60 race winless streak.

5. WU basketball teams finish UAA play with unblemished records. Next up: NCAA tourney.

NBA Beat: Wheeling and dealing

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Jeff Kahntroff

Pacers and Bulls: Big Trade # 1

Just when it seemed that Jalen Rose couldn’t be any less happy being constrained by a team that did not let him show off his scoring talent, he was sent to Chicago. He admitted that he was disappointed to be sent from the Pacers (not that successful in their own right) to the cellar-dwelling Bulls.

Yet three or four games later the results look surprising. Who turned out the winner? It seems like the Bulls. The Pacers needed a center, but acquired Brad Miller. He put up some decent numbers with the Bulls, but when surrounded with some good players it doesn’t seem like he will do any better than Jeff Foster. They also acquired two Rons: Artest and Mercer. They can both score, but they fire up too many bad shots.

On a team that already has to feed shots to Reggie and Jermaine, it seems like there won’t be enough to go around. The Bulls also threw in Kevin Ollie. So, while this trade adds a little depth to the Pacers, it appears that not only did it not add any explosive talent, but it might hurt their chemistry when the players start fighting over shots.

The Bulls on the other hand acquired quality rather than quantity. Jalen Rose is a legit scorer and all-around player. Travis Best definitely deserves to be a starting point guard in the NBA. Also, getting rid of a few players will let Chandler and Curry get some practice before next season. Also it opens up the possibility for Marcus Fizer to shine, and he will.

The final judgment won’t come for a while, but maybe Jalen has finally found some love in Chi-town.

Mavs and Nuggets: Big Trade # 2

Nick Van Exel’s whining finally came to a halt. But for how long? He says that he does not care about playing time and he is just happy to be on a winning team. It’s tough to buy. He is going from being the Nuggets leading scorer and assist man to being the Mavs’ best player off the bench.

The trade seems to be an act of desperation on the part of both teams. The Nuggets, who aren’t going anywhere soon, acquired a washed-up point guard in Tim Hardaway, a power forward with an 18-mil-a-year contract in Juwan Howard, a soon to be anonymous Donnell Harvey, and (most likely) a late first-round draft pick.

The Mavs, on the other hand, acquired Van Exel when they already have Steve Nash. Besides the fact that Van Exel is known to complain, any team with an established point that acquires a second all-star caliber trigger-man can expect controversy.

They also acquired Raef Lafrentz when they were looking for a big man. He is 6’11 and big on defense, rejecting a couple shots per game, but he won’t be found anywhere near the hoop on offense. He will be hanging out on the wing firing threes. Avery Johnson is a decent backup point guard, and Tariq Abdul-Wahad is cap-filler.

It seems like the only logical reason for this trade was because the GMs wanted to make a splash.

The Good Guy Goes Wrong

Remember Jayson Williams? Not only did he always hustle, he was the good guy. He volunteered around the community and was always getting recognized for his selfless activities. So, what happens when one of the good guys in the NBA is facing manslaughter charges?

It is definitely disappointing. While one expects the Shawn Kemps and Derrick Colemans to run afoul of the law, one does not expect Mr. Community to be facing the music. Even though Jayson Williams is no longer an active player, the charges he will face are a sad note for the NBA. In a year filled with predominately positive news and developments (young superstars Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and the dominant veteran Michael Jordan), one of the good guys loses his halo. Even if it was just an accident, redemption will be hard to find for Jayson Williams.

Contact Jeff at [email protected]

Sports Briefs

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Taylor Upchurch

The men’s and women’s track and field teams both finished third at the DePauw University/SCAC Invitational this past weekend, the final tune-up before the UAA Indoor Championships at Brandeis University.

The men finished the meet with 81 points, behind only DePauw and Wittenberg. Turning in strong performances for the Bears were 800 meter runner Travis Deutman, and 3000 meter athletes Matt Hoelle and Justin Mikecz, who both broke the track record but finished second and third respectively in the race.

The WU women’s contingent tallied 97 points, a number which placed them third in a field of seven teams. Sprinter Amanda Klingler turned in fine performances for the Bears in the 55 and 200 meter dashes, and Andrea Newberry and Emily Lahowetz both set new track records. Newberry ran away from the competition in the 3000 meter run with a time of 10:40.98, while Lahowetz set the track on fire in the 5000 meter run with a time of 18:14.90.

Additionally, Elizabeth Stoll turned in a NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the women’s long jump with a leap of 1.68 meters.

Next weekend’s meet represents the culmination of the indoor season. For those who have qualified, the NCAA Division III National Championships will be held in Ada, Ohio, the subsequent weekend.

Because I can

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Taylor Upchurch
Web Master

I never thought I’d be writing anything about hockey unless it involved NHL ’94 for the Sega Genesis, which is my current all-consuming addiction in life, and actually way too fun to resemble actual hockey so it doesn’t count.

The single best thing about Olympic hockey is its resemblance to NHL ’94. The players are as fast, the passes connect (or are cleanly intercepted) most of the time, and a game with twenty-minute periods really takes an hour to play. (You can’t check people into the boards after a whistle with impunity in the Olympics yet, though. Maybe in 2006.)

The USA-Canada gold medal game, which I am watching right now, is like a litany of NHL ’94’s best players: Roenick, Lemieux, Leetch, Fleury, MacInnis, Nieuwendyk, Sakic, Yzerman, Chelios, Housley, Hull, Modano, Lindros, Suter, Shanahan. All are at still at the top of their games in 2002, just like eight years ago, which is amazing. (The players not yet in the league in ’94 who are on TV right now-Mike York, Martin Brodeur, Chris Pronger and Jerome Iginla, to name a few-are all wonderful players, but I don’t know them like I know the veterans. Ya know?)

Right now, I am thinking several things (uncommon for me):

 Gary Thorne is just the man to be calling these games. He has one of the all-time great broadcasting voices, perfect because the tension in his voice matches the tension in the game at any given moment. This is much rarer than it sounds, but it’s great because I know exactly when to stop typing and look at the TV. Plus, every hour Thorne spends calling hockey games is an hour he’s not calling baseball games, and Thorne on baseball is like Kevin Harlan on golf. Not pretty.

 Second period right now, and USA just killed a two-man advantage thanks to some vintage Mike Richter acrobatics. The following sports could benefit by employing the concept of man advantage somehow: table tennis, volleyball, football and badminton. Dodge ball already uses it to great effect, but baseball would get out of hand pretty quickly.

John Leclair just tied the game. One of those goals that has always made me hate hockey, where everyone’s flailing about in the crease and no TV viewer knows what happened until arms go up in celebration. It’s bad for that reason, and it’s bad because it makes hockey feel like a crapshoot of tips, bounces and rebounds.

 Canada goes up 3-2 before I can even finish typing the last comment. I am a bit of a slow typist-slow thinker, really-but this is ridiculous.

 Chris Chelios and Joe Girardi should get together sometime and compare DNA. Joe Sakic could get in on this too.

– Intermission now. Talking heads in ties are dissecting Mario Lemieux’s open-net shank with some Matrix-style special effects. Props to that movie, by the way, that I can use its name to describe special effects and everybody will know what I’m talking about.

 Jeremy Roenick is disappointing me deeply. In NHL ’94 he is the closest thing to a god. Everyone he checks falls down, and every one-timer he fires finds the back of the net. This is the first time I’ve ever seen him play live, and he looks depressingly human.

 A word on mismatches and upsets. In basketball, the overmatched team usually wins with three-pointers and zone defense. In football, a speedy scatback and some trick plays and crafty blitzes can level the field. We’re seeing the hockey version of it here: while Canada methodically works the puck inward and is finding strong opportunities, the US is relying on dump-and-chase and shooting from a long way out, hoping Brodeur will allow an easy rebound. That and a kickass goalie, which Richter certainly is right now. But this is clearly a mismatch.

 With Thorne in the booth, Bill McCreary officiating and crappy techno-pop blasting for ten seconds at a time during the dead spots, this feels a lot like an NHL game. But anyone converted to hockey by these games who follows the players back to the professional game will be sorely disappointed by the phlegmed-up, unnecessarily violent style they find. Unless they change their rules to suit the Olympic style (highly unlikely), the NHL has made a huge mistake in letting its prize commodities showcase their talents in a more attractive format.

 Canadian Steve Yzerman draws a penalty with about six minutes to go. The way it’s been going, this feels like the Americans’ last chance. An offsides, a couple puck-handling mistakes and two good solid shots later, the power play passes, and the game pretty much feels over even before Yzerman comes out of the box and immediately scores the game-clinching goal. Cameras show Mr. Canada, Wayne Gretzky, in the stands, pumping his fists. Capable lip-readers catch a clear “Fuckin’ eh!” Later, Sakic scorches Richter just for kicks to make it a 5-2 final.

Hockey’s distinctly Canadian personality comes across in the accents: the players, the coaches, the commentators. It makes them sound un-athletic, but maybe that’s just the Southern boy in me talking. This was clearly their sport from the get-go; even the prism of heavily America-centric coverage (courtesy of NBC) couldn’t obscure the fact that one country would truly appreciate the gold medal more than the other-in terms of celebratory parties, not just headlines the following day. Good for them.

Contact Taylor at [email protected]

IM Spotlight: Men’s A- League Basketball

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Liz Neal

With the dominance of the varsity basketball squads lately, the Field House has not been a site for nail-bitingly close games and buzzer beaters, but that changed this Saturday as IM basketball took over the gym.

Plot F crushed the playoff hopes of X Factor with a last-second three-pointer by sophomore Mike Decker this Saturday in the A League tournament with a score of 35-36.

Decker, who had ten points for the contest plus seven mighty rebounds, seemed humble after his moment of greatness.

“Jonathan Moxon is only one man. I just have to thank God! I don’t know what felt better, the buzzer beater or third place with a DQ for wearing a jock strap in the 50 free IM swim meet.”

“It was devastating at first,” said sophomore Victor Ebong, a member of the disappointed X Factor, “but after awhile I looked back and said, hey, we didn’t play up to our max so we kinda gave the game up to them.”

The battle of the unknown variables was a clash of geometric proportions. The different playing styles of the teams were apparent even in the pre-game warm-ups with X Factor executing lay up drills with precision, while Plot F took a more relaxed approach, gathering around the basket to shoot around. Each letter had its own strategy going into the game as well.

“We saw right away that we had ten guys and they had six so if we could get them tired and make a run in the second half, then we’d be in good shape,” said sophomore Dave Lucey of X Factor on his team’s strength in numbers. “And that strategy almost worked.”

“We wanted to press, ” adds Ebong. “We thought that we could run man-to-man press and wear them out early since they only had six people.”

“The Plot F ballers came with a focused strategy today,” said Decker. “We just wanted to come out and win, play our hardest, you know, sweat off a night of fun. ”

For the first half, Plot F’s laid-back style appeared to be working. The Plot F “ballers'” improvised offense was more successful, with X Factor having trouble connecting, despite several second chance opportunities. Plot F padded their lead with a three from Matt Alley and another from Brad Dobble, along with the inside presence of Decker. However, X Factor refused to be dominated and came back with three trifectas and solid free throw shooting. As the half ended, Plot F was up 25-19.

Freshmen Amar Desai led X Factor with eight first-half points and two rebounds, and sophomore Josh Singe added five points, three rebounds and one assist. Alley led Plot F with seven points and one rebound while Dobble and Decker each added five points and two rebounds.

During the halftime break, X Factor focused on implementing its strategy to use its large roster, while Plot F focused on, uh, resting up.

“I went to the bathroom at halftime so I felt completely rejuvenated,” said Decker.

“There wasn’t exactly one vocal leader,” said Ebong about X Factor’s halftime pep talk. “Everybody knew their role and how poorly we were playing so we just started tightening things up.”

X Factor stepped up the tempo in the second half, and it seemed as though their strategy would work out. The team made frequent substitutions and began to connect on more shots. X Factor came with in one with six minutes left in the half with a score of 28-29, thanks to an offensive charge led by Desai. From then on it was a tough back-and-forth battle.

“The strategy worked during the second half, I think,” said Ebong. “They came out to a big league but they only scored a few points the second half compared to what they were doing in the first half.”

Despite the disadvantage in numbers, Plot F stayed in the game and held on. The score was tied with 20 seconds left when X Factor got the ball. With a jumper by Desai, X Factor pulled ahead by two and with only a few seconds left, they thought they had a game.

“We thought the game was over after that shot,” said Lucey. “Our team was waiting for the buzzer which never came. The shot the guy hit was perfect, Amar played perfect defense on him and obviously in that situation we couldn’t foul. It was the worst-case scenario because they got the ball to a decent shot at the end of the game and it was a chilling thing for everybody on our team.”

With three seconds left, the ball was inbounded and passed to Decker, who stepped up to the line, fired over Desai and sank a three as the clock ran out. Plot F celebrated and X Factor shook their heads in disbelief.

“I thought it was a total miss,” said Ebong. “It was online, but I didn’t think it was going to make it. It was pretty unbelievable.”

X Factor is saddened by the loss but is already planning for next year.

“Josh is going abroad, but other than that, everybody else will be with X Factor again and we’ll have David Gable back from injury,” said Lucey.

“We’re coming back,” said Ebong. “Most of our guys are going to come back so we’re looking forward to next season. We think we can do much better.”

Plot F now prepares for the next round of the tournament. They are confident that their hard-fought victory means good things for the future.

“We just kind of show up and want to win,” said Decker. “We still take it seriously. We like to have fun, but we don’t have practice or anything like that. If we win we win and if we lose, oh well, but winning’s preferred. The rest of the tournament is ours. I think we set a precedent today with the buzzer-beater and it’s smooth sailing from now on.”

Contact Liz at [email protected]

Plot F vs. X Factor
Plot F Key for the game: It’s all about rejuvanation.
X Factor Key for the game: Using the depth of their bench to their advantage.
At the Half: Plot F had the lead 25-19 thanks to success on the offensive end.
The game was over when: Mike Decker hit a buzzer beater from downtown to give Plot F the final advantage over X Factor.

Men edge out Chicago on the road for the first time in four years, thanks to a last second layup by Matt Tabash in overtime

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Nick Bhatnagar
Anthony Jacuzzi

The NBA wishes all of its games were as exciting as the thrillers between Washington University and the University of Chicago.

On Saturday, the WU men’s basketball team tried to do something it had never able to do in the past, win 24 basketball games in a season and go undefeated in University Athletic Association play. However, the Maroons were the last team to accomplish this feat, and wanted nothing more than to kill the dreams of a 24-win season for the Washington University fans.

The game was a seesawing nail-biter, played at a slower pace than typical for WU. Nevertheless, in overtime junior point guard Matt Tabash hit a lay-up with 2.6 seconds to play to lift the Bears to a 64-62 win.

Chris Jeffries and Barry Bryant led the way for WU with 15 points apiece and were joined in double figures by Jarriot Rook with 12 and Tabash with 11.

Regardless of what the records are between Washington University and Chicago, the game between these two teams is always competitive. In fact, every year the game against Chicago is highly anticipated by players and fans alike.

“The game between us and Chicago is like any other rivalry; we play Chicago tough regardless of the records,” said Jeffries.

“We’re two teams that match up well, not the fact that we are similar players but because we play opposite styles,” said Tabash. “They are more of a half-court team, they pound it inside a lot while we are more of a fast break team.”

Home court has always been a major advantage in this match-up, as is indicated by the fact that the Bears have not beaten Chicago on their home court since the 1995-96 season. However to help out the men, many WU fans decided to go on a road trip to Chicago to give the Bears the necessary support needed to beat Chicago at their place.

“The atmosphere was great; a lot of people were there as far as family and fans who drove up,” said Tabash.

“When the game started I did not pay attention to the crowd, but it was nice seeing families and a couple of regulars who come to each game cheering for us,” said Jeffries.

It is tough to pinpoint where the strength in Chicago’s game lies. Though they are a well-rounded team, they do rely heavily on one or two players to do all their scoring.

“They have a lot of size and good shooters, especially on the free throw line,” said Jeffries.

“They have an outstanding player Derrick Reich, the whole game revolves around him, limit his damage and you should be in good shape,” said Tabash.

Washington University did a good job shutting down the inside game of Chicago and forcing Chicago to become a one-dimensional jump shooting team. As a result the Bears had a 26-16 edge in points in the paint, which was the difference in the game.

“The coach employs a good plan, he brings the weak side player in to double team the ball handler inside and force mistakes,” said Tabash.

However in the first half, Chicago took the opportunities the Bears gave them making several clutch three-pointers while limiting the Bears to 37.5% shooting from the field. The result was that Chicago took a 33-29 halftime lead into the locker room. As a result the Bears made several halftime adjustments.

“We had to limit their looks from outside the arc because they had a lot of good shooters who were making their three point shots,” said Tabash.

As a result of this adjustment, Chicago who had shot 6 of 12 from behind the three-point line in the first half, made only one of their next seven three-point shots in the second half.

The game remained close, but WU was able to jump out to an early lead in the overtime session and withstand a late Chicago surge. Then, after Reich missed two free throws, Tabash worked his magic in the waning moments.

“It was a designed play for Jarriot Rook and me. They didn’t cover me so I had an open lane to the basket.” said Tabash.

With that win Washington University got its 24th win and became the second team in UAA history to go undefeated in league play. That was just another distinction won from Chicago, who had previously gone undefeated in league play in the 1999-2000 season.

Having accomplished their regular season ambitions, the Bears now shift their gaze to the NCAA Tournament. After earning a bye in the first round, WU will host a second round game on Saturday, March 2.

Contact Nick at [email protected]

Bears set to tango as NCAA tournament gets underway

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Lesley McCullough
Anthony Jacuzzi

Despite traveling north to the Windy City this past weekend to take on the Maroons of the University of Chicago on Saturday evening at the Harvey Crown Field House, the Washington University women’s basketball team felt right at home. About half the crowd consisted of WU fans, including the pep band, the cheerleaders, fellow teammates on the JV team, parents, other random students, and even Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Jim McLeod.

“It felt like a home game, we really appreciated all the support from the fans,” said junior forward Jen Rudis. “When the crowd is really into it and on your side, it makes a huge difference.”

The Bears entered the game undefeated, and after 40 minutes of play had comfortably secured a perfect 25-0 record for the regular season, and the third undefeated season in school history.

In fact, the Bears did so in their usual manner: they struggled to find their game in the first half, only to crush their opponent in the second. WU shot a dismal 32 percent for the game and still managed to hand the Maroons a twenty-point defeat, 70-50.

This victory was the 20th consecutive University Athletic Association win and 36th consecutive win overall (both date back to last season’s loss to the Violets of NYU).

WU started the game with some offense, including two three-pointers by junior guard Laura Crowley to take an early 16-11 lead with thirteen and a half minutes to go in the first half. However the WU defense couldn’t shut down the Maroons entirely. Chicago shot well and kept the Bears from running away with the lead. WU was able to gain as much as a nine-point lead with about ten minutes to go, but held a tenuous five-point advantage at the half, 35-30.

According to a few Bears, in the locker room the coaches sounded a bit of a wake-up growl.

“[The coaches] told us to play smart and focus on the little things such as boxing out and moving the ball around,” said Crowley.

“We spent all week in practice working on ways to force them to have to change their offense and we didn’t execute that until the second half,” added Rudis.

Since WU continued to struggle in their shooting in the second half, nasty defense proved to be the key to the Bears’ victory. WU out-rebounded Chicago 44-31, led by freshman forward Hallie Hutchens who grabbed a team-high 11 boards.

At about the ten-minute mark, halfway through the second half, the lead grew to double-digits and steadily grew. Shortly thereafter, scattered WU fans convinced of a Bears victory began to chant, “Un-de-feated” until the clock ran out.

Crowley finished with 15 points by connecting on five trifectas in the game. Her season total of three-pointers made now stands at 71, breaking the previous school record of 67 set by Stacy Leeds in the 1993-94 season. Two other WU players also scored in double digits, Rudis adding 12 points and nine rebounds and Hutchens pouring in 13 off the bench.

Now that the regular season is history, the postseason begins immediately. Wednesday marks the beginning of first-round action. However, the Bears secured a bye in the first round of the playoffs as well as home-court advantage in the second round.

Next Saturday WU will face the winner of the match-up between Lake Forest and the nationally seventh-ranked team University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Sectional games will take place the following weekend of March 9 and the Final Four will take place on the campus of Ruse-Hulman in nearby Terre Haute, Indiana on March 15 and 16.

Rudis seemed unfazed about the Bears’ second-round opponent and preferred to focus on the task at hand.

“We have been in this position before and have been taught not to look too far ahead,” she said. “Our coaches will have both teams well scouted and we will be ready for either one.”

contact Lesley at [email protected]


Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Scott Rogers

The column entitled “Lies, Drugs, and the USA” in the February 22 issue of Student Life was not written by Iqbal Akhtar but by John Payne. The information about the author should have been “John Payne, 2005, undeclared, [email protected].”

Message to seniors

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Scott Rogers

If you are about to graduate, summer probably represents a lot of unknowns. There might be trips planned, the excitement of finishing college mixed with relief; but I venture uncertainty is the overriding feeling. What now? I cannot offer a relief from the uncertainty nor do I have a revelation that makes it all seem clear, however, I can offer the observations of one who was in your place not too long ago.

Those of you with jobs lined up can count your blessings, because much of your uncertainty has been alleviated. There will be many things that you do not like about your job, that comes with being at the bottom. Realize though, that it is because you lack that precious thing that cannot be taught: experience. The funny thing about experience is that it is not necessarily industry specific, especially straight out of college. A large part of the experience you gain after college is maturity. I know that your level of maturity now seems light years ahead of when you were a freshman, but trust me when I tell you that the learning curve is steepest in those few years after school.

For those of you who are thinking about graduate school, I have this emphatic plea: Don’t do it! At least, not yet. Take a year off, take several off, the one commodity you have a definite lock on is youth (i.e. time). Get a job, join the Peace Corps, write a screenplay, struggle a little; that experience will help you immensely when you return to grad school, if you do. You can always go back to graduate school, but you can never recapture those years right after college. In my experience, those who have paid their own bills are generally better students and more professional than their peers. So, take a chance and do something different because your options will be much more limited after graduate school.

Finally, there is what is perhaps the majority of you: no job and a thin plan. Welcome to life, the best part is about to begin. Trying to find a job is not going to be fun, there is no way around that. There is also a chance that your first job will suck. That comes with not being qualified for much. Since it has become a truism that your first job will not be in the profession that you will eventually pursue, I posit that it doesn’t matter what the job is, it is the experience that is important. That said, there are few things that you should look for in your first job.

Work with people you like. This is perhaps the most important advice I could give and one that should stick with you the rest of your life. Despite its self-evidence, it is often ignored. You are always going to have to deal with assholes in life, so don’t purposely surround yourself with them, if you can help it.

Find a job that is challenging. This will be hard because employers will not want to trust you with much since you lack experience. Nothing is more frustrating than finishing four years of an intensely intellectual experience and then moving on to a job where the most challenging task is alphabetizing a list. I know from experience. Don’t settle, but don’t think you are above certain jobs either.

Once you find that job, give it time, at least a year. Experience is something that accrues over time; every time you switch jobs, you leave a significant amount of that experience at the old place and have to start over. This is further reason to be a little picky about your first job in order that it is something that you can stick with. Don’t concentrate on the money, all you need right now is enough to eat with, pay the rent, pay loans, and have a beer now and then. That’s about all anyone’s going to be willing to pay you. Remember, experience is priceless. Finally, enjoy it. Nothing is so satisfying as finally being in control, for good or ill, of your own life.

Intolerance of Christians

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002 | Patrick McKenzie

Jonathan Stahler recently wrote on these pages that he was shocked that roughly 20% of Washington University RAs agree that homosexuality is a sin. I share his utter surprise and amazement. Quality control procedures must be slipping-a full twenty Christians managed to sneak past the vetting committee! This is scandalous. How can we expect believing Christians to do the job?

Pipe down Mr. Stahler, that is what you meant. Washington University RAs are supposed to be “liberal, tolerant, and intelligent,” unlike Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, or Christians. Well, tolerant to a point, at any rate. I’ll stipulate to you having the right to hold any views on homosexuality and Christianity you want, no matter how terribly grounded, poorly argued, or wrongheaded they may be. However, your head would be mounted on a pole outside of the Office of Residential Life had you been talking about Muslims in your last column. Don’t worry, though-your position and life are safe. Bigotry against Christians is the last acceptable prejudice.

Of course, bigotry is a notoriously vacuous charge, particularly when it is thrown around on a college campus. I think I have a strong case though. Lets do a little exercise, shall we? An editor wakes up on the wrong side of bed one morning and decides to take aim at the school’s Muslim community. I don’t know, maybe he has a deathwish, whatever-play along no matter how improbable it seems, ok? First, he lumps all Muslims in with Osama bin Laden. Claiming he never before really listened to “those kinds of people,” he then shares an anecdote about how he saw 20 burquas at an RA meeting over the winter. The editor can understand why someone, somewhere would want to wear a burqua-but not why WU would want them as an RA. Finally, after taking a few potshots at the Prophet, the editor goes on to demonstrate his boundless ignorance of theology while sharing a few of his sarcastic insights into the Koran. The editor then gets excoriated in the newspaper, declared persona non grata by Residential Life, and maybe even brought up in front of the judicial board on charges of harassment.

Of course, the rules of engagement are different when the targets are Christians. You’ll receive hearty pats on the back from friends, accolades about your writing ability, and the satisfaction of making Washington University a more tolerant place. Who knows, maybe a
GLBT thought course will spend a day praising your courage. Congratulations. Aside from this tongue-lashing, you’ll probably not suffer that much criticism.

Actually, you may get just a bit more. If there is any justice in the world, this column will run right beside a letter from a representative of the campus Muslim community. That letter will be polite but strident, and will take you to task for attacking their brothers in the campus Christian community. This letter will be written out of solidarity with the Christians, in gratitude for the ceaseless support the Christians showed when ignorant and bigoted people, much like yourself, were making indefensible claims about Islam.

I’m not a big fan of Jerry Falwell, the main reason being that every time he opens his mouth I get in trouble for it. I’ve got no sympathies for anyone who tries to turn a murder case into a political issue-on either side of the line. I don’t profess to know who will get thrown into a fiery pit. However, all disclaimers aside, there are still right and wrong things in this world, and homosexual acts are wrong. If you desire to debate that, fine, bring your arguments and I’ll bring mine.