Archive for July, 2002

Welcome to the greatest sports city in the U.S.

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Vikas Kotagal
Annabelle de St. Maurice

Sports are as important to the St. Louis community as any other enterprise that the city can boast. Our beer, our prominent rappers, and the sports teams that we love serve as our ambassadors to the rest of the country. Knowing this, a native St. Louisian, such as myself, can confidently declare our city to be the best sports city in the nation.

Our teams and their fans bind the hopes of the city together in a way that few other towns can begin to understand. You can tell this much just by standing outside of Busch Stadium before a Cardinals game and watching people, old and young, stream in to be a part of the Cardinals family. These fans hope to get a glimpse of their local heroes, who have proudly donned the Cardinals jersey for over 100 years.

Sports are as much of a part of our city’s culture as Beale Street is to Memphis or pervasive smog is to Los Angeles. Some say that this is the case because there is really not much else to do in town, but major attractions such as the Botanical Gardens and the annual Hot Air Balloon race refute this claim resoundingly. The fact of the matter is that St. Louis residents haven’t always had great sports teams to rally around.

During countless long summers and fruitless winters, we have learned to savor each and every precious victory our teams can come by. Rather than expecting home runs, we learned the value of a sacrifice fly. It is only recently that our years of dedication have begun to pay off. That said, today, St. Louis is definitely the place to be if you love sports.

The Rams, the Blues and the Cardinals are championship quality franchises in each of their respective sports. Their facilities, too, are among the finest in the country. The three major stadiums in St. Louis draw millions of people downtown every year and bring life to the city. The Savvis Center, The Edward Jones Dome, and Busch Stadium have all been built or renovated in the last 10 years and all feature comfortable, close-to-the-action seating.

Compared to sports cities like New York, Miami or Denver, ticket prices are cheap, and expensive parking charges can be avoided by using the Metrolink, which stops at all three of these locations. Aside from where they play, St. Louis sports teams are led by active and interested owners who, first and foremost, are dedicated fans, and who have a track record of doing what it takes to win.

Over the last 3 years, the Rams have been the most dominant team in the National Football League. The daring offensive philosophy of head coach Mike Martz, coupled with the talent of Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Issac Bruce and others have turned them into one of the most exciting teams to watch in NFL history. Defensive coordinator Lovie Smith put together a defense that ranked third in the NFL last year. The Rams finished 16-3 in the 2001-2002 season, making their second Super Bowl appearance in the last three years. With professional football emerging outright as America’s favorite pastime, could there be a better place to be a fan than in St. Louis?

The Blues have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL since owner Bill Laurie took them over in 1999. Their talented roster includes All-Stars Pavol Demitra and Chris Pronger, along with other well-known players including Al MacInnis, Keith Tkachuk and Scott Mellanby.

In the 2000-2001 season, the Blues finished with the best home winning percentage in the NHL and took home the President’s Trophy for best overall record in the league. This past year, they were eliminated by eventual champion Detroit but nevertheless were able to continue their streak of consecutive playoff appearances, which, at 23, is the longest playoff streak in all of professional sports. With a healthy Chris Pronger back and the team’s nucleus intact, Blues fans can feel good about the upcoming season.

Despite the success of our NHL and NFL franchises, the Cardinals still remain the crown jewel of St. Louis. Baseball in this city dates back to 1876 and the Grand Avenue Ballpark. Since 1926, the Cardinals have won nine World Series, second only to the New York Yankees. More recently, in 1995, the Busch family sold the team to Fred Hanser, William DeWitt, Jr. and Andrew Baur, a group of dedicated fans who have gone to great lengths to see that the Cardinals are competitive for the World Series year in and year out.

Our current team is one of the most complete and well-rounded in all of baseball and is predicted to make the playoffs for the third straight year. From Stan Musial to Bob Gibson to Ozzie Smith to Mark McGwire, the Cardinals have established a tradition of excellence that St. Louis residents have long taken pride in.

This summer has been particularly tragic for the Cardinals and their fans due to the deaths of longtime broadcaster Jack Buck and pitcher Darryl Kile. The support the community has shown for its team and organization has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Out-of-towners should know that they are witnessing a season that will ultimately go down as one of the most unforgettable and poignant in Cardinals’ history.

We are in the midst of a Golden Age in St. Louis sports. All of our organizations are talented, well financed, and well coached. No unavoidable salary cap fiascos loom in the future, and the Blues, Rams, and Cardinals all have a solid talent base of young players. As fans, we can look forward to successful teams for a long time to come. And since we truly are the best sports city in the country, our teams can rest confident that, win or lose, they have the support of this town and its loyal fans

ML Beat

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Matt Goldberg

After historic home run races, memorable pennant chases, and classic World Series finishes, fans should be filling up ballparks across the country, right? Wrong!

Instead, the idiots who run baseball, (i.e. Bud Selig and friends) and the out-of-touch, millionaire, bad-boy players they employ have forced even diehard fans toward the exit this summer due to a series of events that have sullied baseball’s already less than stellar reputation.

Recall that, the day after Luis Gonzalez led the Arizona Diamondbacks to victory in one of the most riveting World Series of all time, Bud announced that baseball was in such bad shape that two teams would have to be contracted before Opening Day 2002.

A debacle ensued, as Congress and the courts got involved and, ultimately, contraction was blocked. Now the two teams that barely survived the winter, namely the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos, both have winning records and are legitimate contenders for post season play – if there is a post season.

As if threats of contraction did not tarnish this baseball season enough, in late May, a duo of former baseball greats, Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco, both alleged that upwards of 50 percent of major leaguers were using steroids to increase performance.

While these claims are probably exaggerated, the mere fact that a sizable proportion of players are using steroids is a travesty. Now, any player who puts up superstar stats (i.e Sosa or Bonds) will be peppered with the speculation of steroid use (look no further than SI columnist Rick Reily’s poignant column on Sammy Sosa last month). In a game where records are everything, such doubt about their credibility or validity is unacceptable.

While these two issues have dominated the headlines, another far more ominous problem looms over the game: another work stoppage. Will they ever learn!

These labor shenanigans only serve to alienate the public. People turn to baseball to escape real world concerns and problems (like the phenomenon after September 11th), but strikes drive a fed-up public away quicker than a high fastball from Randy Johnson.

There are real issues on both sides: the owners need some guarantees that salaries will not continue to inflate at the rate they have over the last 20 years, and the players need some guarantees that the current salary structure will not be radically altered.

However, these can (and I stress CAN) be worked out. For the most part, the owners have hoisted most of the problems on themselves through mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility (e.g. the Rangers spending $252 million on Alex Rodriguez).

With these negative headlines, one would think that the All-Star game could give baseball a respite – a boost – from the incessant negative press it has received over the last six months.

For ten and a half innings, sports fans were treated to a delightful exhibition of the national pastime, chalk full of dynamite plays (like Torii Hunter’s catch to rob Barry Bonds of a home run) and titanic blasts (like Barry Bonds’ home run off of the second deck). Yet, in the midst of one of the more exciting All-Star games in history, Bud Selig had to mess it up by calling the game a tie since the managers had used up all the players.

A baseball game never ends in a tie, and certainly not an All-Star game. While the owners and players might not care about the outcome, the fans do. I’m from the old school on this one: unless it gets dark (as occurred in the Dodger-Brave game in 1920 which was called after 26 innings due to darkness), then it should have gone on.

The fact that there is no time limit is the beauty of baseball. What Bud Selig did diminished the very foundations of the game. Bring in a position player to pitch. Throw underhand. I don’t care. Just attempt to finish the game!

Assuming the game had to be called, which it did not, the pow-wow during the middle of the 11th and the lame announcement of the decision to the fans was about the worst move I have ever seen. Why announce that the game is going to be called before it is an issue?

These three black eyes that baseball has endured since last year’s World Series are not healing; they are growing. No longer does the average American see Major League baseball as worthwhile. Instead, all they see is labor unrest and utter stupidity.

It’s as if the pennant races don’t matter: nobody cares that the Red Sox and Yankees are going to battle down until the last day of the season. No one notices that the Cardinals are leading the division, or that Lance Berkman has a shot at the Triple Crown.

All anyone sees is greed, and as much as it pains me, I have to agree. The sport I love is going up in smoke. All I can do is pray that the “powers that be” prevent armageddon.

There’s only one thing I can say after looking at the sad shape that baseball is in. “Go Rams!”

WU 2002-2003 Sports Preview

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Nick Sreshta

Men’s Basketball
Fun Fact: The Bears have captured the UAA conference crown six times in the last 15 years and own a 159-48 all-time UAA record (.768 winning percentage).

As Dick Vitale would say, “It was awesome, baby!” How else can you describe the best season in team history, a season that saw the Bears roll off 21 consecutive wins on their way to a 25-2 record? Although the team was tripped up in the Sweet Sixteen by DePauw University 90-87, that does not diminish its accomplishments. The Bears added a sixth University Athletic Association title by going 14-0 in conference, and coach Mark Edwards was named Division III coach of the year.

Outlook for this year: Excellent. All five starters return (Jariott Rook, Dustin Tylka, Matt Tabash, Joel Parrott and Chris Jefferies), so there is every reason to expect similar dominance in the UAA – and another championship run.

Player to Watch: Chris Jefferies
He was first team all-UAA and all-Midwest region while scoring 16.9 points a game and pulling down 8.3 rebounds.

Women’s Basketball
Fun Fact: The women’s average margin of victory this year in compiling a perfect 25-0 record was 24.1 points.

Okay, so they didn’t win their fifth consecutive National Championship and instead got ousted in their first game of the tournament by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the eventual champions. Yet that cannot diminish an undefeated regular season campaign (25-0) and a fifth consecutive UAA title.

Outlook for this year:
How can you bet against them? You can’t. Despite the fact that head coach Nancy Fahey loses two seniors, Robin Lahargoue and Kristi Eller, three starters return (Meg Sullivan, Laura Crowley, and Jennifer Rudis). There is no reason to think that a more experienced squad will not deliver another championship banner to the Hilltop.

Player to watch: Jennifer Rudis
There was no obvious pick, but Rudis gets the nod. She averaged 9.9 points a game while crashing the boards for 8.1 rebounds a contest.

Fun Fact: An eight-game winning streak in March and April propelled the Bears to a #22 ranking nationally.

Washington University baseball is back in a big way! The Bears had their best season ever, posting a 30-10 record, and a 4-2 mark in the conference. The Bears finished the year strong with four straight wins over Illinois College, Principia and Webster.

Outlook for this year:
Next year’s outlook is slightly uncertain. Losing key starters like McBride, Glover, and Crume will undoubtedly hurt the Bears. On the other hand, top young hurlers Adam Cowley and Matt Knepper return. Expect somewhat of an offensive drop-off, but another winning season should be in the cards.

Player to watch: Damien Janet
Janet was among the pitching staff’s leaders in wins, innings pitched and ERA last season, and he will have to shoulder a large part of the pitching load again for the Bears to have another successful season.

Fun Fact: The Bears outscored the opposition, averaging 22.6 points per game while opponents scored 12.6 points per game.

The 8-2 record the Bears posted does not even begin to tell the story of a season that could have been much worse. With a plethora of key injuries in the first game of the season against Westminster, things were not looking good. But sophomore running back Bobby Collins, Jr., led the Bears to an inspired season of football culminating in the Bears’ second UAA title in three years. Although the Bears were snubbed by the playoff selection committee, that does not diminish the courageous effort they put in this year in the face of so many injuries.

Outlook for this year:
Very good. While the Bears will lose starting quarterback Brian Tatom, almost all the key players will be around. Collins, Jr., returns with star kicker Jonathan Feig, who led the team in points scored, and linebacker Brandon Roberts, who led the team in tackles.

Player to watch: Bobby Collins, Jr.
He carried the team, averaging 101.5 rushing yards a game while slamming into the endzone for seven TDs.

Fun Fact: Freshman Victoria Ramsey lead the pitching staff in 2002 with a sparkling record of 11-4.

The Bears garnered a 24-19 record in 2002, going 4-4 in the UAA. Not bad considering this is only the third year for varsity softball at WU. Softball also made a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. While at the Tourney, they collected their first NCAA Tournament victory with a 4-1 win over Illinois Wesleyan University in the first round.

Outlook for this year: There is no reason to think that the softball team will not continue to improve. They lose only one player, Emily Vambaketes, from the program, while the rest of the team returns to form a solid nucleus for years to come.

Player to watch: Elizabeth Swary
The freshman infielder lead the way for the Bears, finishing with 6 HRs, 35 RBIs and a .386 average.

Men’s Tennis
Fun Fact: Overall, the men’s team is 91-42 in single matches for this year.

This past season, the Bears posted a 12-6 record while ending the season ranked third in the central region and ninth in the nation. Under first-year head coach Roger Follmer, WU posted victories over No. 5 Trinity and No. 25 Southwest Baptist in the regular season and No. 16 DePauw in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears ended their season with a loss at No. 7 Kalamazoo in the second round.

Outlook for this year: Seniors Patrick Doyle, Chad Brand and Mike Feldman all graduated, but Brian Alvo remains along with a core nucleus of young players. Look for the Bears to make another NCAA tournament next year.

Player to watch: Brian Alvo
How can you argue with a number one ranking? Brian Alvo has established himself as the strongest player at WU.

Women’s Tennis
Fun Fact: Coach Lynn Imergoot has led WU to a winning record in each of her 25 years of coaching.

The women’s tennis team capped a successful year, finishing number ten in the nation, the highest-ever ranking the team has achieved. The team’s biggest stars were Kat Copiozo and Rathi Mani who were the second ranked team nationally in doubles. Players like Jenny Stein and Kacie Cook also had strong years, both finishing in the top ten regionally. The Bears definitely lived up to their high expectations from the beginning of the year.

Outlook for this year: The Bears will lose only two seniors and otherwise, the core of awesome youngsters such as Greenberg, Kacie Cook and Jennifer Stein will be intact.

Player to watch:Laura Greenberg
Greenberg went an impressive 28-2 last year in singles play, leading the women’s team to an overall singles winning percentage of .819.

Fun Fact: The Bears had 16.27 kills per game in 2001-2002.

Another year, another impressive season for the Bears as they went 32-6 on their way to their 13th UAA title. While they lost to Wisconsin – Whitewater in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, the season was a coming out party for some quality young players.

Outlook for this year: Everybody returns, so expect a national championship quality team that is capable of winning it all. Rotello and company can only get better.

Player to watch: Rebecca Rotello
Rotello, a junior, compiled 1,465 sets, 281 digs, and 243 kills to lead the way for the Bears.

The hottest ticket in town

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Nick Sreshta

Welcome to Washington University, possibly the only school in the nation whose intramural sports are more popular than its varsity sports.

Alright, maybe I was stretching it a little with that last comment, but think about it this way: I’m guessing that 90 percent of the people who read this paper are not going to be playing on a varsity sports team. I’m also guessing that 75 percent of you have some physical ability, or at least an inkling to play something. I’m also going to go out on a limb here and say that 0 percent (that’s none) of you will have heard about our varsity teams’ feats before you set foot in St. Louis. (I did just take probability and statistics last year? trust my estimates.)

Therefore, IM sports are a pretty big deal, and there will be many reasons why you guys will want to get involved throughout this year.

First of all, there’s no better way to create a relationship with your freshman floor. Sure, you can toss around all the ice-breakers you want while you eat your complementary Ted Drewes frozen custard (which, by the way, is nowhere near as good as the stuff you get at the actual restaurant?especially since it is a frozen rock when they give it to you). But, imagine yourself on the football field or the basketball court, coming together as a team and winning that one elusive prize.

Which brings me to my second reason?ahh yes, the prize. You’re already wondering what it is, and I know when I reveal its identity you’ll all be let down. Have I built it up enough yet? Ok, it’s a t-shirt.

I’ll stop now, so you can throw this paper away?.still reading?

Yes, a t-shirt, and you will soon realize just how coveted these t-shirts are. People have slaved all four of their years here ? disregarding classes, competing in every possible sport from tennis to team trivia ? to try and get their hands on one of these babies.

Every t-shirt is the same, no matter what sport you conquer. Thus, whether you just won the grueling flag football league or the finesse badminton tournament, the shirt will be the same. Nobody will know what sport you won, and bingo, you’re a winner for life.

If these reasons are not compelling enough, let the sports speak for themselves. For team competition, there will be sports such as flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, sports trivia, and bowling. Individual sports include tennis, golf, swimming, badminton, track and field, and billiards. Don’t worry folks ? if sports such as arm wrestling and table tennis suit your fancy, we’ve got them as well.

In addition to these leagues, there are several individual, one-day-only competitions, including a basketball 3-point shootout, a free throw shooting contest, a field goal kicking contest, and a home run derby.

Maybe you’re starting to realize why IMs are so popular? its all about options, people.

Also, you will find that most sports have leagues for men only, women only, or co-ed teams. For those who like to “play” with the opposite sex (excuse the pun, you dirty, dirty kids), be prepared for special rules (for example, in co-ed basketball, no guys are allowed in the paint).

Additionally, within these leagues there will be many different divisions, breaking up teams by skill-level (the A league, B league, and open league). A seasoned IM veteran, however, knows that sometimes the lines between these distinctions can become blurry.

Extremely good teams will be playing in both the best divisions (A) and the worst divisions (B)?the latter will be those players who really (really) want that t-shirt. If you feel the need to compete against your fellow professors and TAs, join the open league (remember where your grades come from).

But there are also many unexpected detours that you may encounter on the road to IM glory. Don’t be discouraged when your games are canceled due to weather and then not made up. Also, don’t be mad when you have to forego your entry deposit because a few members of the team are too hungover on a Saturday morning to play. This is probably the biggest problem you will face, so just make sure everyone is responsible the night before the big game.

Hopefully, this article has you chomping at the bit, ready to break down the door of the IM office and sign up when school starts on August 28th. Just go to the top floor of the Athletic Complex, but be patient, and start training. As much fun as you’re going to have in the classroom (haha), you’ll double it on the field.

Division III sports: “For love of the game”

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Daniel Peterson
Annabelle de St. Maurice

Division III sports. Chances are that many of you reading this don’t really know what being a D3 school entails. Many of you that do know are probably turning up your noses right about now, dismissing such a small-scale sports operation as insignificant.

Yes, D3 means that we are a smaller school. Yes, D3 means that we don’t give out scholarships based purely on athletic merit. In other words, our players are more likely to be thinking about organic chemistry than their latest shoe endorsements.

In many ways, it’s a purer sport, a more beautiful game. The members of the teams are really student-athletes, in the truest sense of the word. Believe me – you will probably be in classes with several of them. They are not just here for a year or two to make the school some money by way of television contracts and then turn pro just when the fans start to warm up to them.

But don’t let all that fool you. There is still plenty of sports excitement at Washington University that is very competitive and – more importantly – very free. When talking about sports at WU, you’ve got to start at the top, and that’s definitely the basketball program.

Women’s basketball is legendary around here. Coach Nancy Fahey’s squad lost only two games between 1998 and 2001, winning four straight national championships. Along the way, it strung together a record 81 consecutive wins, bested only by John Wooden’s celebrated UCLA basketball teams of the 1970s.

Last year, it had an undefeated season but suffered a heartbreaking loss in its first game of the NCAA tournament. The squad should be strong again this year, as senior stars, such as Meg Sullivan and Jen Rudis, now have a wealth of experience to draw upon. The bench will also be as strong and as deep as ever. There are 10 or 12 players on the roster that could go for double digits every night. Look for lots of free giveaways and fun theme nights at their games, as well as a lopsided score in favor of the home team.

The men’s basketball team was just as impressive last season, going undefeated in conference play and losing only two games all season. WU’s own version of the “Fab Five” – Jarriot Rook, Dustin Tylka, Chris Jeffries, Matt Tabash and Joel Parrot – will all be seniors next year, and they all have at least two years of starting experience under their belts. The Bears should have no problems rolling through the conference again next season.

Football is also strong at WU. Coach Larry Kindbom’s boys went 8-2 last season, 4-0 in conference play. In a surprising snub, the Bears were not selected for a berth in post-season play, but that should only serve to further motivate them this year. Junior running back Bobby Collins, Jr. is an electrifying runner who should rack up all kinds of WU running records next year.

Volleyball is the fastest-paced sport you can catch at the WU Fieldhouse, and the team won’t disappoint you with its performance on the court either. The Bears reached the national quarterfinals last year while piling up a 32-6 record and its 13th conference title. Senior Rebecca Rotello is a crowd favorite and a multi-talented team leader who makes the Bears as good as anybody.

The WU baseball team is quite accomplished as well. The squad finished up its first 30-win season in school history this May and achieved national acclaim, climbing into the national top 25 around mid-season.

Kelly Field, the home of the baseball team, is truly a hidden gem on the South 40, nestled between Lien and Gregg residence halls, with a Camden Yards resemblance created by Gregg Hall, which stretches out beyond the right field wall. It’s a great place to go and catch a day game while getting some homework done on a beautiful spring afternoon.

To top it off, the guys are really funny to listen to, and, just by showing up, you’ll automatically be one of their closest fans. Check out a great team website at

Often overlooked in the frenzy of spring sports are the tennis teams. Both the men’s and women’s teams had strong showings at the NCAA tournaments this season and are riding three year streaks of appearances at nationals.

Be sure to check out a match of the nationally 18th-ranked singles player, Brian Alvo, or the seemingly invincible singles starlet, Lauren Greenberg. The tennis courts are located just east of the Athletic Complex.

I could go on and on about all the great sports stories here at WU, such as the softball team going 23-15 in just its third season of existence, junior Mindy Kuhl holding the D3 record for both the indoor and outdoor 1,500 meter runs, or Ryan Braun qualifying for nationals in diving; but it wouldn’t do justice to the program.

There simply is not a weak link in the sports scene at WU. Everywhere you turn, there’s a great group of student-athletes and a success story on the field.

The best part is, it couldn’t be easier for you to be an active participant. There are no long lines to wait in for tickets to the Homecoming game. There are no steep ticket prices – heck, there are hardly ticket prices at all. There are not likely to be any recruiting scandals or grade finagling.

Discovering WU sports is somewhat akin to discovering a great underground rock band. It’s surprising how many great events can be going on right under people’s noses, and yet they know nothing at all about them.

It’s like our own little secret around here.

And you’ve just been let in on it.

College is like ice cream

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Gabe Roth

After convocation, every freshman walks to the Quad with his or her parents to eat Ted Drewes ice cream. But it’s not real Ted Drewes. It comes in a small cup of either vanilla or chocolate which you can finish in two minutes, and it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s as hard as the real thing, but it’s not real Ted Drewes.

You can only get real Ted Drewes at the Ted Drewes store, which is off one of St. Louis’ 12 highways. (44? 55? 64? 40? I don’t know.) In the summers, the small shack that is St. Louis’ second most well-known landmark hums with the sounds of an army of 16 to 24-year-olds filling the orders of a mass of people pouring out onto the streets in front of the store.

At the real Ted Drewes, you get a “concrete” ? any of two dozen toppings blended with one of as many flavors of custard. What you get in the cup in the Quad may be good, but you don’t get the same thing as what you get in the store.

What you did in high school is like the Quad Ted Drewes. You had fun, you did some cool things, but assuming all goes well, your college experiences will outstrip and overshadow everything you did there.

Everyone at WU was editor of the yearbook, captain of the lacrosse team, and donated time to a soup kitchen. What you can do in college that separates yourself from your peers comes in many forms.

Think big.

College is about big ideas. At WU, we float around the world in hot air balloons. We teach dozens of children to read each year. We fight racism and sexism and every other ?ism you can think of. We build facades for the largest student-run carnival in the country. We sit in the Quad? even when there isn’t ice cream.

In many ways, ice cream is like college. It’s sweet and fun and gets you fat, but unlike college, it doesn’t usually take four years to finish.

Academic assistance is for everyone

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Luke Wells
Alyssa Gregory

As an incoming freshman, you will hopefully soon find out, as most have, that Washington University is an all-around amazing place. As this realization sinks in more and more and you fall in love with campus, friends, and class (at least you will enjoy your classes enough to show up on a consistent basis), you will begin to realize that, in order to stay in school, good grades are a must.

Or maybe, as a freshman, you are already planning for post-graduate education. Or perhaps it’s as simple as that you really would like to succeed in your first year in college.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to maximize your learning experience and earn a high GPA, you are in luck that you have resources available to you such as Student Educational Service (SES).

So what is SES, and why should you care? The official slogan of SES and its usefulness is as follows, “Student Educational Service offers departmentally endorsed curricular support, as well as co-curricular resources, to help students achieve success in academics.” Despite being informative, and also catchy, that doesn’t fully explain why you, as a freshman, should take advantage of the services offered by SES.

The number one reason you should stop by this year is that everyone can always do better, regardless of how high their grades are at the time or how stubborn they may be. An analogy that we use goes as follows: Tiger Woods, the most dominant current golfer and arguably the best of all time, has several coaches including ones for putting and swinging. “Why would he need a coach?” you may ask.

Well, the answer is that, although Tiger Woods is near the top of his game and is undoubtedly a better golfer than any coach he could ever have, he is also smart. He knows that he sometimes needs an independent and impartial person to help him identify an incremental adjustment that will take his game to the next level. These coaches, in effect, are Tiger’s “golf mentors.”

How does this apply to SES? We here at SES offer similar services; however, we specialize in “academic mentoring.” We can help every student (those at the top of their game and those who are not quite there) make the incremental improvements that can take them to the next level of success. All students should want to maximize their potential, and our services can be the tool that allows them to be the best students they can be.

With this in mind, SES wishes you luck in your academic endeavors this coming year, and looks forward to seeing you at Cornerstone.

Getting involved

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Jill Carnaghi
Alyssa Gregory

In less than a month, you will be arriving at “Washington University in St. Louis.” Once you get here, most likely you will rarely refer to your alma mater by her full name, with the possible exceptions of family gatherings and travel to and from campus.

“Where do you go to school?”

“Oh, it’s not in Washington? Then, it’s in Washington, DC.”

During your four years here, I’m sure you will call the institution by many different names. However, my hope for you is that it quickly becomes your home and you come to view yourselves as critical members of the WU community. And the sooner, the better.

We need you to bring your personalities, experiences, backgrounds, interests, areas of expertise with you when you come in August. Each of you has a role in shaping the community and making it your own, while at the same time, contributing to the larger good. You are entering the university as a unique individual who has distinguished yourself among your peers while in high school or at another college or university.

Take the time during your first year to find your niche – in the classroom, the lab, a residential college, through community service and volunteer opportunities, within the Greek community, through any number of student organizations, in sports – recreational, intramural, or varsity. The opportunities are almost endless, but they also can appear overwhelming upon arrival.

We want to make your transition to WU as easy and seamless as possible. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of every program offered during Orientation. Some of you will be attending a pre-orientation program and will have a chance to meet some of your classmates at this time. For most, your first formal activity will be Convocation, where you as the Class of 2006 and your family members will get a sense of our intense focus on learning and the academic experience. Speakers will include the Chancellor, students, a faculty member, and a parent among others, plus some additional highlights that will be revealed to you that evening.

After the Orientation Program, you should have a good sense of community expectations and norms and your rights and responsibilities. From there, you will begin the adventure of buying the correct books; finding your way around campus and learning that more than one building may have the same or similar name; deciding upon where you want to study, eat, socialize, exercise; learning different faculty members’ expectations and course requirements; and making this place comfortable for you.

Three events you may want to check out include the following:

After the first week of classes, student groups will be sponsoring First Friday on August 30. It’s an event that offers a wide variety of entertainment and activities.

The following day, August 31, is Service First where all new students are invited to participate in a community service project that takes place in the St. Louis public schools. This is an opportunity to get to know members of your class, see what lies beyond our borders, and provide a helping hand to schools in your new community.

Also, visit the Activities Fair on September 4 in the Quad. Over 120 student groups typically register, and all will be recruiting you. Check it out, ask questions, and sign up for a group or two that sounds interesting.

Here at WU, students and student groups sponsor many events that contribute to the educational, cultural and social environment of the campus. Don’t let being “new” stop you. get invol-ved.

Communicating on campus: high-tech or high-touch?

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | M. Fredric Volkmann
Alyssa Gregory

How will new communication technologies like the Web, the latest PC’s, and the Internet impact your basic learning and interpersonal experiences in college? Perhaps not as much as you might think. The value of two-way communication has not changed for thousands of years, and it’s unlikely to vary in the future. What has changed are the tools of communication – the methods of conveying, processing, and storing information – and not necessarily the ideas and thoughts themselves. Nor has technology reduced our constant need to be in touch with one another.

People talking to people is how important decisions most often are accomplished and new ideas exchanged – not by deluging one another with more paper or more electronic messages. The battle is high-tech versus high-touch. As we become more reliant on the wonders of modern technology, we continue to prize one-on-one, face-to-face and small-group communications, which generally are the most effective ways to convey important messages and to make critical decisions. Small classes, lectures, and tutorials are almost always preferred over playbacks or recorded presentations. The now-pervasive use of cell phones shows how difficult it has become for us to be out of contact with one another.

We want to occupy the same space as another human being because we are driven by our need to use all six senses when dealing with consequential matters – listening, talking, seeing, smelling, touching, and even tasting. High technology still has major shortcomings in all these areas.

We see in three dimensions, while the computer screen is limited to only two. Our hearing is two-eared stereophonic, but the telephone is monaural. We don’t talk just with our vocal chords; we gesticulate, make facial expressions, and employ body language as part of sending and receiving messages. Our sense of taste allows us to dine together as we converse and establish relationships.

A handshake is pretty much the limit of how we employ our sense of touch in professional situations, but this symbolic act has powerful meaning between humans. The aroma of an after-shave or perfume says much more about us than technology can reveal. No computers yet can create, replicate, communicate, and integrate these uniquely human sensations that we experience hundreds of times every day.

Being in the presence of other humans reveals information difficult to learn through today’s technology. Face-to-face experiences intensify credibility by answering such questions as: Did he/she manage good eye contact? Is that a firm handshake or a limp one? Did his/her demeanor suggest any interest in what I said?

We place high value on human interaction because we know that we are more likely to trust our own instincts when in the presence of others, rather than trusting the filtering effect of technology.

Perhaps the best evidence is right on our campuses where students attend classes every day to hear talented human beings give lectures, lead seminars, or conduct tutorials – yet we all know these could be accessed conveniently online, or on videotape, or with DVD’s.

This is why distance learning is likely never to have immense broad-based popularity with traditional-age students, any more than its predecessors – correspondence schools and “sunrise semester” educational TV programs – will replace human interactions with impersonal instruction.

If you still are not convinced, consider the decisions that students and their parents have to make when selecting a college. Most prefer to make up their minds after visiting their top college choices and after meeting personally with faculty and students. It’s not viewbooks, flashy videos, Web sites, or course catalogs that make the difference – it’s people.

We expect to be treated personally by our institutions, simply because we experienced personalized service as students throughout our K-12 schooling. We want classes with real, live professors. We participate in socialization activities that transform us from high school graduates into educated, independent adults. We do world-class research and scholarship alongside other undergraduate and graduate students, and some of us will have the privilege to work side by side with prominent faculty scholars and investigators. That has been the nature of university life long before the invention of the printing press or any of today’s new technologies.

What goes around comes around, and high-tech can serve low-tech communications. Today, the most successful retail business on the World Wide Web is, which, ironically, primarily sells low-tech books to people with high-tech skills.

Similarly, one of the most popular commands on your computer is “print.” Why? Because we still prefer a hard copy over an electronically stored record – not to mention the fact that we read long documents more easily on old-fashioned paper than on a computer screen.

Gutenberg’s revolutionary 15th century printing process did not re-invent face-to-face communication any more than today’s new technologies will.

Let’s not confuse tools like PC’s, the Web or the Internet with the core content of messages and the strategies that make them effective. In the world of educational communication, we must put the message before the medium – especially when we know that high-touch, personalized messages are our most powerful communications tools.

Make technology our servant, without becoming its slave. Use all the marvelous communications tools we now enjoy, but remember that what you’ll learn here in a high-touch environment will help you grapple with life’s challenges, with ageless truths, and with our civilization – with or without high-tech.

Taking advantage of campus resources

Saturday, July 20th, 2002 | Steve Hoffner
Alyssa Gregory

Washington University takes great pride in its educational programs, and campus support services play an important role in the university’s reputation as a world class institution.

In conjunction with Bon Appetit Management Company, WU Dining Services strives to provide students with healthy, nutritious, freshly prepared food and friendly service at 14 campus dining locations. Whether it be an “all you can eat” dinner in Center Court or a grab-and-go salad from Holmes Lounge, we think you will be pleasantly surprised about the choices that are available to you. Last year, students ranked WU’s dining services second best in the nation according to The Princeton Review, and we’re always looking for suggestions for improvement. If you would like to talk with us about your meal plan or about dining in general, visit our offices in Room 100 of Wohl Center.

Your safety and security are among our highest concerns, and I invite you to take advantage of the many educational programs offered by the WU Police Department. Campus police are on duty 24 hours a day, and they’re anxious to work with you to protect your property and to make suggestions for your personal safety when traveling on or around the campus. WU is a safe campus, but we’re not immune to crime, and students must share in the responsibility for their safety. Beginning this year, WUPD will also play a greater role in overseeing off-campus security in neighborhoods that have large student populations.

Among the services offered by our Parking and Transportation Department are free shuttle services offered 18 hours a day when classes are in session. Our shuttles can connect you with all parts of the Hilltop campus, as well as off-campus housing areas, the School of Medicine and West Campus facilities, and the Lewis Center and the University City Loop. We also provide free service to off-campus shopping areas that are popular with students, including local shopping centers and grocery stores.

Although freshmen are not permitted to have cars on campus, as you continue your studies in future years, you may wish to bring a car to campus at some point. Parking conditions are tight, and regulations are strictly enforced. If you find that you will be bringing a car or if friends will be visiting with a car, please stop by the parking office on the South 40 to become familiar with the rules.

We welcome you to campus and look forward to getting to know you and supporting your endeavors while you are with us!