Archive for August, 2002

Men’s soccer loaded up for successful season

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Renee Hires
Alyssa Gregory

As smart as the players on the men’s soccer team are, there are many questions that they still cannot answer. They do not know who their new leading scorers will be, how effectively their defense can shut down the best of the University Athletic Association, or whether or not they will earn a shot at the national title.

Nevertheless, what the team does know is that the upcoming season seems promising.

Head coach Joe Clarke said, “We think every time that we take the field that we are capable of beating the team we’re playing, no matter who the team is in college soccer, not just Division III. That’s how we feel about our team, so we have real high hopes on how the year will go.”

The signs that this season could carry unprecedented success for the Bears have been adding up for years. By 1987 the men’s soccer program had posted three national runner-up finishes. In 1998, Clarke brought in his first recruiting class, including last season’s point leader, Casey Lien, and starter Matt Katke. By 1999, the men had claimed their sixth UAA conference title. Clarke’s recruits then became instrumental in attracting the next class of athletes, the current junior class and driving force behind this season’s team.

With the experienced goal keeper Giles Bissonnette, who posted seven shutouts last season, and dependable forward Mark Gister, who scored a pair of game winners, Clarke does not want to underestimate his small senior class.

“When the junior class became freshmen, they kind of grabbed a hold of the soccer team and said we’re going to work really hard at this. They’ve kind of set the tone each year for the classes that have followed them,” said Clarke.

From among this motivational junior class have emerged such standouts as team captain James Ward, midfielder and assist-master Steve Bujarski, and the forward with a fancy finish, Scott Siebers. Junior Mike Torres, having returned from injury, will have the help of other dominating defenders like sophomores Matt Twardowsky and Jeff LaBoskey. The freshman class can look to contribute as well.

Clarke said, “We’ve got a good freshman class. They are going to have to work hard to get playing time because the classes in front of them are so good, but there will be several freshmen who get plenty of playing time over the course of the year, and I want them to play like they are not freshmen.”

In fact, every player on the team has the potential to impact the program.

“We have a really deep bench,” Bujarski assured.

Clarke said he has found “more good players and more competition for positions than has ever existed here before.”

Bujarski’s only expectation of the newcomers is that they will push him and the other Bears harder to maintain their positions. However, if it comes to him sharing more playing time, he will still be happy to see his younger teammates contribute and gain experience this year.

Training over the summer is yet another marker of what should be a productive season.

Bujarski said, “We tried to improve our speed and strength. We just played a lot,” and many upperclassmen stayed in St. Louis to play, training together during the sweltering summer months. “I think we’re very prepared for [this] stage. We’ve only had seven real practices and already we’re very organized. And our team concepts… everyone seems to know them,” he said.

Clarke spoke of the team’s “excellent” preparation, “incredible, absolutely amazing” team attitude, “great leadership,” hard work ethic and extreme fitness level. The team’s talent, motivation and preparation are all signs marking what should become the squad’s road to achieving their goals. Though the men have every reason to predict a 20th consecutive winning season, they will not be satisfied on that alone.

“We all have really high expectations for this year actually,” Bujarksi said. “It’s definitely a goal of ours to win the UAA every year,” said Ward. Luckily, “I think our chances this year are better than in the past years I’ve been here,” he said.

Ward explained, “If we don’t win the UAA, the chances of going to the NCAA tournament are very slim because there are only about five at large bids for about 300 teams that are left.” In other words, “to be guaranteed to get into the tournament you have to win your league,” he said.

Ward would like to see the team return to the NCAA tournament and feels confident that his team could perform well there. However, Ward can well remember a shutout defeat at Rochester and a close 2-3 loss to Chicago, both on the road, costing them the chance for a post-season last fall. The captain has set his sights on leveling the score this season. Thus, Ward anticipates intense rematches with two conference foes and a battle against Carnegie Mellon as well.

Though Gister, Siebers, Bujarski, Ward and others, such as sophomore Allen Gleckner, have made substantial scoring contributions in the past, anything can happen offensively this year.

“It’s hard to tell at this point in the season who will emerge into a role like that,” said Ward.

The key offensively will be seeking clever ways to set up scoring opportunities.

“Offense takes a little bit more creativity,” Clarke said. “Being able to develop the ability to combine as a team and pass the ball in a creative way to get through organized defenses takes a lot more time to develop than it does to get a team to defend like that.”

He explained, “We have some players who are athletic in the attack but…for instance, if Marshall Faulk was our forward, the running back for the Rams, he would probably physically have an edge over everyone he plays. We could put the ball up there to him, he’d outrun everybody, muscle them off the ball, and go get a shot off. We have some good strong players, but nobody like that who is just going to give us goals from nothing. That’s where the chemistry will come in…and where our team defense can initiate and create scoring chances by forcing turnovers close to the other teams goals.”

Strong team chemistry and solid defense are incredible assets for the Bears this season.

Clarke said, “Our greatest strength is our chemistry. The team seems to have a lot of trust in each other that they are all going after it together. Not so much based on what they’re individually going to get out of it but what they are going to do together as a team, whatever it takes.”

Ward feels a team bond on and off the field. He said, “If you look at the way guys interact off the field, most of the guys are really good friends with each other and live with each other, which definitely builds team chemistry. In terms of on the field you can just tell that we have a sense of each other.”

Having deep junior and sophomore classes that have seen significant playing time together has added the team’s reading each other well on the field, said Bujarski. An improved ability to maintain possession of the ball is another of the team’s advantages.

“We’re making the other team chase after us,” said Bujarksi. “That’s our main concept, keeping the ball. If we have the ball they have to try to work hard to get it from us.” Also, “When we keep the ball, we work around the back, we switch the field we’re able to switch the point of attack really fast so we open up spaces, get gaps and isolate players. That’s where our attack comes from most of the time.”

Clarke likes the speed at which his offense operates, but Ward still thinks the team can play quicker. “The quicker we play, the easier it will be for us to hold the ball and do well in games. And we just need to think a little quicker and react to how the other team is going to play quicker,” Ward said. Thankfully “In the few games we’ve had we’ve improved tremendously,” he added.

The team has already played three scrimmages, in which they gave up only one goal total. “That’s always encouraging,” Bujarski said. In fact, Bujarski has been very pleased with team’s defense so far. He said, “On defense, we work hard together as an entire team. Because of the way we play, everyone has a responsibility, so everyone needs to work hard to fulfill his responsibility.”

Thus, “The key to defense is unselfishness,” said Clarke. It means “that you are willing to work hard and in a disciplined way to prevent the other team from getting in positions to score goals, and it means every single layer doing it. If we do that our defense will be great, and all indications are that we will be able to do that.”

Clarke cannot help thinking that student attendance could also push the team towards greatness. The program would love to return to the days when contention for the national title is the norm. “It would be great to return to that. But for us to do that, the students would have to come see us play before,” said Clarke.

Clarke said with both laughter and honesty, “Right now our average attendance is based on how many girlfriends we have and how many parents happen to be visiting.”

While attendance figures may be uncertain, one thing we can be certain of is Clarke’s promise: “We have a team that is going to be really fun to watch.”

MLB strike grips WU community

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Matt Goldberg
Alyssa Gregory

This is not happening. Not again.not now! Yet, as of Thursday, less than 24 hours away from the August 30th strike date set by the players, there is little chance that baseball, long held up as America’s national pastime, can avoid its ninth work stoppage since 1972.

As a die hard baseball fan who has followed his team through thick and thin (and believe me the San Diego Padres have had some mighty bad years and 2002 is no exception) it pains me to no end that baseball is willing to throw away everything-everything-because the owners and players cannot agree how to divvy up billions of dollars.

I realize that there is much animosity between the two sides as a result of years of backstabbing. The players see every negotiation as payback for the years that they were grossly underpaid by owners who treated them like dirt and traded them like cards.

On the other hand, the owners view every bargaining session as a chance to return baseball to the “good old days,” when salaries were low and profits were high. They both need to wake up and smell the coffee (they may need some coffee come Thursday night when they are trying to find a solution). The public simply will not tolerate another strike.

Youngsters once enthralled by the likes of Ken Griffey, Jr. and Frank Thomas are increasingly going gaga over the likes of Tony Hawk and Jeremy McGrath. Middle-class Americans, reeling from the recent recession, are tuning out Major League Baseball in favor of more cost effective entertainment. A strike, no matter how long it keeps players on the sidelines, will be the undoing of baseball.

Right about now I want to knock some sense into Donald Fehr and Bud Selig.

I want to sit them down and make them understand that they represent the best game ever invented. Furthermore, since they are ambassadors to the game, they have a responsibility to the fans and to the country to see that baseball continues to play strike-free.

The facts remain the same, mostly unchanged since the last strike in 1994 that the owners want limits on salaries and the players want the freedom to earn what the market will bare. While there are other issues that have soured negotiations, ranging from contraction to steroids, it is clear that in order to avert sure disaster, the sides need to bridge their immense monetary differences. In short, they need to agree on a revenue sharing and luxury tax proposal that would restore competitive balance to baseball while allowing modest growth in player salaries.

However, that is easier than it sounds. The owners are far from united on how much revenue to share. Big market teams like the Yankees and Mariners are not necessarily opposed to the current salary structure and are advocating a lower luxury tax and revenue sharing levels. On the other hand, small market teams like the Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates are lobbying for greater revenue sharing and a more penal luxury tax. This friction between the owners makes avoiding a strike all the more necessary, because the hard-line owners will ensure a long and most likely painful work-stoppage by blocking any attempts at compromise.

Nevertheless, progress has been made. Unlike 1994 when players and owners could not even agree conceptually on a way to reign in salaries, this time they both recognize the need for reforms. In recent weeks, the players have even accepted revenue sharing and the luxury tax in principle. Furthermore, the players have accepted steroid testing and an international draft, two things that were nonnegotiable a few short months ago. Yet, as the strike date is upon us, there is no deal.

At this point I am just disgusted and alienated. The game that I grew up with is self-destructing. I don’t think I can handle it. No way. No how. For as long as I can remember, September and October signaled the time to go baseball crazy.

So now all I can do is pray, something I never do. I have to pray that this doomsday article that I have just written is a bunch of bull on Friday. I am just afraid that it is most likely the prophetic truth as our national pastime is dethroned.


Revenue sharing – a plan to force owners to share more of their revenues collectively. Both sides accept increased revenue sharing but are still bickering over the exact percentage

Luxury tax – a tax to penalize teams that spend over a certain limit. The two sides have agreed upon it in principle but disagree greatly on how to implement it

Steroid testing – a proposal to test players for performance enhancing anabolic steroids. A confidential testing program that would test all players in 2004 has been accepted by the two sides

International draft – a proposition to take all international players and put them into one centralized draft. The players have agreed to an international draft

Contraction – the concept of eliminating two or more teams to restore competitive balance to MLB. To this point the players have refused any contraction proposal

Sal’s NFC preview

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Sal Taliercio

With all the uncertainty surrounding that other sport, with the bat and glove, why not turn to what has suddenly become America’s new national What other sport demands the attention that a full Sunday and Monday of the NFL entails? In the first of a two-part preview, we’re going breakdown the National Football Conference.

What else can I say but Rams, Rams, does look as if one team will push over the rest of the conference and become the new “America’s Team” but it is still worth taking a look at the other fifteen teams and how they will fare (in order of predicted finish).

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles look to expand on last year’s overly successful season by dominating another less than impressive division. Donovan McNabb is in his prime, and should make a case for league MVP. Accomplished wide-out Antonio Freeman also should add to an already potent offense.

Washington Redskins – The Redskins will be the most unpredictable team this season. A first-year coach in Steve Spurrier, and an unproven QB usually spell disaster, but Spurrier’s inflated ego should turn a few heads. With few touted receivers don’t be surprised if the Redskins again fall flat on their face.

New York Giants – “Big Blue” should hear big boos from the Meadowlands faithful. Just two years removed from Super Bowl stardom, the Giants face the possibility of the cellar in the NFC East. Only wins against a young Dallas squad will keep the “Jints” from disgrace.

Cowboys – After last year’s season-long struggle, the Cowboys look to be on the upslope in the rebuilding phase. Last year’s quarterback of the week system will be replaced by a more predictable, yet insufficient offense (giving the ball to Emmit Smith).

NFC North

Green Bay Packers – Brett Favre’s new target, Terry Glenn, will make quite an impact in the long game this season for the Packers, if they can get him on the field. Glenn’s antics will not be tolerated as long as Favre is in town. Look for another successful season and playoff birth, winning at least 5 out of their 6 division games against the Bears, Lions, and Vikings.

Chicago Bears – Look for this team to win three, nay seven fewer games than last season. The Mike Brown magic will be absent in Champaign-Urbana (their temporary home this year), and so will the victories. Even if the Bears somehow make the playoffs, another early exit is a certainty.

Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings will fall into that unpredictable mixed bag next to the Redskins. With Culpepper and Moss, the talent is there for high octane victories and enormous point totals.yet defense and rookie coach Mike Tice remain question marks.

Detroit Lions – This sorry bunch should fare at least a bit better than last year, with the talent picked up in the draft, yet a playoff berth is a long way down the road. The most exciting thing the Lions’ fans will experience this season is the opening of their new stadium, Ford Field.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs’ biggest superstar wears a headset and scowls incessantly (head coach John Gruden). Keyshawn Johnson needs to be utilized for this team to live up to expectations. Unfortunately, most of the focus will be on the impending quarterback controversy between Rob and Brad Johnson. Johnson and Johnson will offer their mediocre best, game for game, until a decision is finally made.

Atlanta Falcons – Look for second year QB Michael Vick to step into the spotlight this season, but not much else. The defense really needs to hold up; last year’s 24 ppg average must be pared to under 20 if the Falcons want to make a run at a playoff spot.

New Orleans Saints – If the Saints can keep their fans’ beer bottles off the field, and the helmets securely fastened on their player’s heads, an above .500 season and a playoff birth are possible. The defense was pitiful last season and must mimic the Rams defensive metamorphosis of a year ago to stay a contender.

Carolina Panthers – This team should be exciting to watch. New head coach John Fox brings in a New York attitude to a team with little to none. Julius Peppers will have a major role, even though he is a still a greenhorn. It will take luck for this team to win more than 5 games but 1-15 will be a distant memory.

NFC West

St. Louis Rams – Little needs to be said about the world-class Rams. The “Greatest show on turf” should roll to another division crown on the moxy of superstars Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner and Isaac Bruce. Look for 14 wins, an MVP, and a Super Bowl championship out of the gateway to the West.

San Francisco 49ers – The Niners proved that the glory days are back last season with an impressive 12-4 record. With so many juggernauts in the NFC last season the Niners did not even receive a home playoff game, ultimately leading to their demise. But Garcia and company will win 10+ and roll to another wild card berth, hoping for better luck this year.

Seattle Seahawks – The Hawks will win games this season, provided Trent Dilfer is taking the snaps. In Vinny Testaverde-like fashion, the QB everyone wants to get rid of somehow prevails on game-day even if the scoring is not as fluid as the Rams. RB Shaun Alexander is a fantasy stud, and will complement whoever is quarterbacking quite nicely.

Arizona Cardinals – One of the few perennial losers in the NFL, the Cardinals stand little to no chance in the NFC West. Four losses to St. Louis and the 49ers is more than just a possibility, it’s a virtual certainty. However, WR David Boston muscling over safeties should still provide enough reason for Phoenix fans to hold interest in something other than the D’backs.

WU Volleyball: national title contender

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Krystin Kopen

Washington University’s women’s volleyball coach Rich Luenemann believes that this year’s squad could be one of the top teams in the history of Washington University volleyball, and nobody is doubting him for a second.

“I feel very comfortable in saying that everyone in the program thinks we’re very capable of winning the national title of 2002,” said Luenemann.

The squad possesses all the ingredients necessary for a successful season, or according to Luenemann, five important ones.

Talent is one of the most important factors. Luenemann believes the 2002 season will be one of the most memorable seasons.

“I think this is a very talented team. Our starting six are all very capable players,” said Luenemann.

The Bears also posses outstanding depth. Luenemann can go as deep as three or four players at each position with the exception of the setter’s position.

“[Our depth] makes for very spirited practices,” said Luenemann. Because of the team’s depth, competition on both sides of the net in practice is very equal, allowing the starting team to sharpen their skills.

Experience will play a key role as well. While the team has only one senior, all six starters are returning from last season’s match against Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III quarterfinals.

Another factor is leadership.

“The older players in the program are excellent leaders and role models,” said Luenemann. “They just exude class.”

Perhaps the most important ingredient of the 2002 team is chemistry.

“The team chemistry is absolutely extraordinary,” said Luenemann. “Kind of like the musketeers, one for all and all for’s a very positive, very supportive, very enthusiastic environment.”

The team’s opening match is this Friday, August 30th at 10:00 a.m. in Colorado Springs.

“This is going to be a challenging tournament. We are playing some very good teams,” said Luenemann.

The Bears will also be facing their nemesis, Central College of Iowa, in their second match Friday night. The Bears beat Central last year at the regional championships and stopped their string of three consecutive national titles.

Saturday morning the women will play Whitworth College, one of the premier west coast volleyball teams, followed immediately by a match against Colorado College.

“[The tournament] will be a good opener for the women. One of the nice things about the trip is that while it is based upon the competitive aspects of going out there, it is also an opportunity for the team to bond, to enjoy some time together, and to enhance the chemistry,” said Luenemann.

The rest of the season will be an extremely challenging one for the Bears, as Lunemann predicts that the Bears have the toughest Division III schedule in America.

The team is committed to three weekends for University of the Athletic Association play, the conference in which three of its teams advanced to post-season play last year.

Additionally, WU will be in for some tough challenges in the various tournaments they play throughout the year.

The women play at the Wittenberg tournament later in the season. Additionally, the Simpson Tournament offers the WU Bears the chance to go after Wisconsin-Whitewater and make amends for last years heartbreaking loss.

“Win or lose, [the women] are going to represent the university very well, not only in the way that they play, but in the way they conduct themselves,” said Luenemann. ” They are A1, number 1, top drawer ladies.”

The Friendly Confines

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Daniel Peterson

Once upon a rainy childhood, nestled somewhere along the pine tree-lined streets of Slidell, LA, a four-year-old kid discovered the magical wonders of WGN.

That four-year-old kid just so happened to be me.

If you were privileged enough to have cable television growing up, or if you were smart enough to figure out how to steal cable while living on the South Forty (I am by no means condoning stealing from a school that can only raise 1.4 billion dollars in capital over just a handful of years), then you know that WGN carries pretty much all the Chicago Cubs’ baseball games.

Like many other unemployed four-year-olds, I found myself at home in front of the television set for the better part of most of my afternoons. Those rainy, humid days were when I became infatuated with, was romanced by and ultimately espoused to Wrigley Field.

If you’ve never seen the place, you really should. If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend it. It’s the second-oldest ballpark still in existence in the United States (or Canada) today. Built in 1914, Wrigley has always been rich in tradition.

Ivy on the unforgiving brick outfield walls, old-school, no rules bleachers, the largest manual scoreboard in existence, and a real-life organist – these are characteristics often imitated but rarely duplicated in today’s ballparks.

One of Wrigley’s finest charms is its quaint neighborhood setting and the integral role that it plays in the local community, earning it the moniker, “The Friendly Confines.” The stadium is so entwined with the surrounding homes, in fact, that there was nary a night game played at Wrigley until 1988. Apparently, the great fear was that the bright stadium lights would shine into people’s homes and apartments and they would not be able to get their beauty sleep.

This was perfect for me as a kid of course – thanks to my completely unfair, parentally-imposed 8:00 p.m. bedtime, I would have missed all of the night games anyway! It seemed like this team and this beautiful stadium were made just for me. We were like two symbiotic organisms, learning and gaining from each other at all times. There was just one small problem.

This team stinks.

Often referred to as the ‘Lovable Losers,’ the Cubbies have set a major league record for futility. They have not been to the World Series since 1945, and they have not won the darn thing since 1908. We didn’t even know about “World Wars” in 1908! The worst part is that their only competition for this dubious recognition comes from the Boston Red Sox; they have suffered under the curse of the Bambino and failed to win the Series every year since 1918.

It was during these formative years of my childhood, listening to the familiar nasal tones of Steve Stone and the seemingly drunken ramblings of Haray Caray that I learned a valuable lesson, and that knowledge has stuck with me to this day.

When you’re used to being let down in life, you don’t expect so much from the world. When things do go right, though, they seem even sweeter.

One of the days in my life that definitely went right was April 30, 2000. Thanks in part to an Amtrak promotion called 1-2-Free, I was able to attain a train ticket to Chicago for free as the third person traveling in a group of three friends. While in Chicago, I went to a Cubs game, and Wrigley Field was everything I expected.

We thought that paying an extra buck or two for first-tier seats by the field would be well worth the added expense, but take it from me, you don’t want to be in Chicago and in the shade on a windy day – I don’t care if it is the middle of spring.

While the rowdies out in the bleachers and the sun bathers in the upper deck enjoyed the game, we shivered out a nine-inning disaster in the very back of the lower-level, well under the shade-inducing overhang that seemed to create a wind tunnel effect for most of the game.

The game was supposed to be Kerry Wood’s triumphant return and a pitching match up with The Big Unit, Randy Johnson, but it ended up being neither. In the meantime, I did take a full roll of film and spent about 30 bucks on memorabilia crap – normal touristy stuff.

After the game, as I was leaving that historic stadium, slowly being pushed along through narrow walkways packed to the brim with Cubs fans (a human connection seldom felt in the sterile, extra-wide concourses of today’s luxury-laden downtown playpens), I dodged out of the mob for a quick trip into the restroom.

The restrooms at Wrigley were clearly designed before the days of the auto-flush, auto-hand dry, auto-faucet, automated-bathroom-experience, and in fact, the restrooms were nothing more than a series of identical, semi-circular, galvanized metal troughs with no separations between them.

Just before relieving myself from the five-dollar souvenir soda I drank, I looked over in time to see the man next to me washing his hands in the trough. So I guess the Cubbies taught me another life lesson that day.

Look before you leak.

Support Spectrum

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Lucy Biederman

With classes starting this week, everybody on campus was probably nervous about something or other. Luckily, Washington University has resources coming out of its ears. Students concerned about eating right can see the campus nutritionist. Roommates worrying about whether they’ll get along can go to their RAs. Freshmen struggling to navigate their way from class to class can consult the campus maps, or any passerby.

But WU undergraduates who are homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered, or who are questioning their sexuality and seeking support, aren’t so fortunate.

Spectrum Alliance, WU’s GLBTQA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans- gendered, Questioning, Allies) social/ political/support group, currently has no executive board. No one has stepped up to be president, vice president, treasurer, secretary or public relations director. At last week’s freshman-only Spectrum meeting, an erstwhile officer said encouraging words about this community’s open, respectful attitude towards gay people. But he lamented Spectrum’s lack of leadership. After the meeting, Spectrum’s advisor privately admitted that if the group didn’t find a president by the Activities Fair on September 4, there would be no Spectrum this year.

Meanwhile, gay freshmen-some who are just coming out, some who are nervously attending WU after being rejected from schools with reputations for large, accepting GLBTQ communities like Brown and Yale, and some who have never came out – find themselves, at this crucial point in their lives, lacking an essential resource.

The mere thought of an ostensibly liberal institution of 6,000 undergraduates with no gay student group should be enough to humiliate all of us into action. This is a country so ugly that it refuses to allow upstanding, well off, compassionate homosexual couples to adopt children for fear they’ll pass homosexuality on to them. It also denies gays the civil liberty to marry whomever they want. Colleges and universities should be havens for gay people, until the rest of our country is ready to understand what should be completely elementary-that we are all equal.

Given this presidential administration’s penchant for limiting civil liberties, the apathy evident in our willingness to watch Spectrum die is especially disrespectful and irresponsible. The fight for gay rights should be everyone’s fight, because when some peoples’ rights are limited, everybody suffers. By not jumping to the rescue of Spectrum, our community loses an opportunity to raise its collective consciousness, to stand at the forefront of a national movement for justice, and to make this school as good and welcoming and well reputed as it can be.

Together they stand

Spectrum’s problem is WU’s problem, and WU contains the solution.

The fraternities and sororities should offer their leadership and organization skills to Spectrum. Having a Spectrum exec board member from a fraternity would dispel the myth of heterosexism on frat row and revive Spectrum’s administration.

Exec board members of ABS and ALAS should lend their advice to the group. ABS and ALAS are two successful and influential groups that have sociopolitical goals in common with Spectrum. But unlike the group, they have a treasure trove of experience in helping engender respect and awareness of minorities on campus.

And everyone in the WU community who cares about human rights, civil liberties, fairness, support and compassion in our community should attend the first Spectrum Alliance meeting, Wednesday, September 4th at 8p.m. in McMillan Caf‚. Once we’re all there, we can work together to fix our problem.

Nepal’s war on terror

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Scott Stone

Nepal, a small country sandwiched between India and Tibet and probably best known for Mount Everest and the birthplace of Buddha, doesn’t have a day like September 11 to reflect on its own experiences with terrorism.

But the Maoist guerillas that have been attacking army outposts and raiding villages have left just as indelible an impression on the lives of the Nepali people as last year’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., have here in the United States.

I worked in Nepal this summer for a human rights organization. Coming back, one of the most striking differences for me has been each country’s distinct approach to terrorism.

First, let me say a little bit about Nepal’s experience with terrorism. In 1996, a radical offshoot of the Communist Party took to the hills. Since then, its members, who call themselves Maoists, have been attacking government and military installations. They have demanded greater wealth sharing, sweeping land reform, and an end to the present political structure.

Within the past year, the Maoist attacks have increased in frequency and intensity. They now have bigger and better weapons. In addition to army installations, they’ve attacked municipal water supplies, post offices, and airports. They’ve assassinated school principals and kidnapped teachers. There are stories of them taking villagers hostage-some of them children-and using them as human shields in fire fights with army troops.

Them and us

In response, the government imposed a State of Emergency. It suspended most civil liberties, established military checkpoints throughout the country, and granted the army broad powers to do, in effect, whatever it needed (or wanted) to do.

A real fear exists among many Nepalis. They are afraid they could be plucked off the streets, then detained indefinitely without formal charges ever being brought. And an even larger fear exists when, driving through the city at night, one gets stopped by a pack of soldiers, checking for identification and weapons and toting machine guns.

Granting the F.B.I. broader wire tapping authority suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.

In the United States, Americans rallied around their leaders after the attacks. Nepalis talk of their government and many shake their heads, disparaging its corruption. When the first State of Emergency expired, the ruling party split over whether to re-impose it. As a result, the prime minister dissolved his own parliament in a controversial move that was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court. Nepal faces new elections this fall despite parts of the country being in Maoist hands.

There is a chance their democracy may not survive this crisis.

In the United States, one of the common themes in the days after September 11th was the importance of returning to normal life. To show the terrorists who’s in charge-that was the refrain.

In Nepal, with the State of Emergency and with daily accounts of battles trickling in, life can’t return to normal. Nepal doesn’t have a September 11th because terrorism didn’t strike just once. It happens every day.

I am doggedly optimistic about Nepal’s future-as are many Nepalis. But my optimism, and maybe theirs as well, lacks foundation and confidence. Bereft of something as concrete as a one-year anniversary-to reflect on what happened and, maybe more importantly, what’s been done since then-assessments of Nepal’s past and future can’t compete with anxiety over its present. The threat of another attack leaves room for little else.

September 11 approaches, and I find I’m grateful that it’s possible to reflect on the past year and to project into tomorrow – whatever the insights it may bring. Better than to be lost amidst a terrible uncertainty about today.

Moving on from high school romances

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Jesse Krohn

“I’m going to college, you’re going to college. I’m still crazy about you, but let’s just cool it for the first semester and see how things go. We can just be friends, you know?”

The pre-college breakup. So unfortunately familiar to incoming college students, especially freshmen, who have to finally end things with a high school sweetheart or the girl next door. Or even with that cute guy from Chem class you never noticed until graduation and had eight really great dates with over the summer and just when things were getting good and settling in you had to leave for St. Louis while he stayed in Maryland.

Yeah, okay, that last one was kind of personal. But you get the idea. For many of us it’s our first real breakup, and it’s especially hard because oftentimes you don’t really want to break up, you just know you should.

Most people would agree that it’s best not to be tied down to a relationship at home when you go to college. You want the freedom to experience all aspects of college life, including dating, without feeling guilty. You want to be young and free and desirable (though that last part’s easier for some of us than for others, thank you very much).

Most of all, you don’t want to be miserable because you spend all your time missing the person you used to be with. all the time. Considering all this, “let’s just be friends” sounds pretty good.

But what exactly do we mean by “friends”? Do you really want to hear all about what your girlfriend has been up to with her Biology lab partner, or whether or not your boyfriend thinks the girl he passes every day on the way to Psychology class looks better than you do in a sundress? Theoretically, friends should be able to discuss all of this without feeling uncomfortable or, God forbid, jealous or insecure.

When you’re dating someone, you can talk about anything. It’s a shame that just because there’s a physical distance between you an important part of your life becomes suddenly “off limits”. This new awareness of having to censor yourself around someone you once shared everything with puts a distance between you far more real than geography.

More than anything, I want to stay close to my, well, “eight dates guy.” It’s not going to work if we avoid the topic that’s most on our minds-the other people we’re dating. (Not that I’m actually dating anyone else. What, you ask in disbelief? Has my door not been beaten down with offers from boys desperate to take me out for romantic picnics on the Quad?! If you talk to him, then yes, but otherwise…)

So I’ve decided to be honest. Sure, that first time when one of us asks haltingly, “So, are you seeing anyone?” is going to be awkward, but it has to be done.

We’re both mature adults, and I’ll be glad when we both find people at our respective schools that we can be close to and have fun with, and when we can share our feelings and experiences with one another without pettiness, insecurity or envy.

I just hope I find someone first.

Bring a journalism school to campus

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Brian Eufinger

Over the summer, I often talked with my friends back home about my job editing Bearings. They all had the same question: “How in the world did you, a political science major, beat out all of the journalism majors for the job?”

So I had to explain that WU has no journalism school, no journalism major, no communications department. Most of them were surprised that a “smart school” like WU didn’t offer these. We have many esoteric majors and minors-linguistics, PNP, American culture studies, and so on. Yet we lack this common and useful major. Starting a J-School at WU would benefit the students and the university alike.

One of the best bumper stickers I’ve ever seen is “If you really want to be a winner, go pick a fight with a 4 year-old.” With the current “rankings are God” mentality of our university, entering the relatively uncompetitive field of journalism would be extremely beneficial and fairly easy. Every university competes to have great programs for pre-med, business, and engineering, but year after year, journalism remains outside the foray, with universities such as University of Missouri-Columbia ranked in the top five. “If you do something, do it well.” With few universities concentrating their resources on journalism, we could become major competitors within a short period.

Is this really feasible? A journalism school requires few resources, compared to other disciplines. There are no expensive laboratories to build, it takes very little building space, and we already have solid faculty in the English department that could assist with the creation of the new department. Students would have more than enough co-op and internship opportunities, with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Riverfront Times, KMOX, and the numerous smaller papers just across the river in Illinois (not to mention the normal assortment of TV/radio stations in all major cities.) Finding and hiring the faculty would probably be the biggest hurdle.

So why should you, Joe Pre-Med, care if we have a journalism school? A J-School would help this campus in a variety of ways. All of the print publications on campus would be enhanced and new ones would be started, because journalism students would be eager to build up their portfolios. And it wouldn’t stop with the print media-J-Schools offer broadcast journalism as well. WUTV and KWUR would improve too, and students that became involved with them would have a place to go if they fell in love with what they were doing. Students training for careers in journalism would be able to devote much more time to producing the publications, radio shows, and TV shows. Overall, we would see better writing in the papers and more original programming from WUTV and KWUR.

So, this editorial might not be a controversial, McKenzie-esque piece on some hot-button issue, but it highlights an important opportunity for the university. With colleges getting more competitive each year, it’s hard to find an untapped market to specialize in. By building a J-School, the Chancellor gets his rankings, frustrated StudLifers can major in journalism, and the students get a better campus media overall. And finally, St. Louis, the city of Joseph Pulitzer himself, would have a journalism school.

Off Broadway: campus dating

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Yoni Cohen

Senior guy pursues a junior girl. A dinner. A lunch. A trip to the zoo. A relationship? Of course not. Welcome (back) to Washington University! On and off campus, excuses abound. My recent favorite: “Why is she dating him anyway; he’s graduating next year?”

Did I miss something? Yes. We’ve now made seniors undesirable? Did you miss something? No. The above quotation is indeed not an individual’s excuse for remaining single. Rather, it is a common expression of disproval for an existing relationship. On our campus, everybody’s a critic.

Last fall, in a Student Life opinion entitled “The Dating Game,” I suggested several reasons for Washington University’s hookup culture: full schedules that limit students’ ability to commit to serious relationships, youthful exuberance that nonetheless compels us to at least infrequent action, and the convenient “I was drunk” defense that frees us of rebuke from the Frank Rich’s of our collegiate community.

Rich, nicknamed the “butcher of Broadway” was a famous theater critic for the New York Times. I’ll nickname our university equivalents the “spoilers in St. Louis” because they (I write “they” though, in truth, I too have on occasion participated in this harmful discourse) ruin all our fun. They question our interest in those we are attracted to while simultaneously ridiculing our potential suitors. They exude negative energy.

But we let them. On Broadway, it is the performers, not the audiences, who care most about what the critics have to say. On campus, it is the attached-that-could-be, not the general public, who care most about analysis that their significant other is too much of this or too much of that. Seemingly none of the actors in our drama realize they are not performing in front of thousands of onlookers. Nobody’s watching you and your prospective. Nobody minds if they are too tall, short, skinny or fat.

To reform our hookup culture-to establish dating as a custom, not a coincidence-we should not only stop judging others, we must cease tolerating others’ judgments of ourselves. We must no longer listen to our many detractors. Certainly, we should also “live for the moment” and “take risks” in our pursuit of the ever-elusive guy or girl. But more than these tried (and true) clich‚s, we as individuals must cease to be tirelessly conscious of community opinion. For when it comes to romance, WU students more often behave like middle school chums than like mature college buddies.

I came to this conclusion not through well-reasoned introspection. Few (myself excluded) are honest enough to admit we did not pursue a particular individual because of our friends’ criticisms. Rather, I arrived at this opinion by considering a related topic: public displays of affection.

Commonly perceived as disgusting and thus inconsiderate, public displays of affection are today more rare than they would be in a world in which they were generally welcomed. College living is unique because here, almost inherently, all relationships necessitate open warmth. Cramped living conditions, networks of mutual friends, and a largely segregated (from St. Louis, etc.) community make most personal actions public. The same community censure that encourages those in the “real world” to avoid an expression of emotion towards a girlfriend of boyfriend on campus compels us to steer clear of anything but the most perfect of potential suitors. We’re so afraid of disgusting others that we end up-as mostly single students-disgusting ourselves.

We all either have or could make time for a relationship. The large majority of us, including the naysayers, would like one under ideal conditions. We’re as ready, willing, able and attractive as we’ll ever be. If we just stopped listening to and criticizing others then we’d soon have a lot more real-life renditions of Romeo and Juliet. Off Broadway.

* * * * *

In Tuesday’s Student Life, Alex Fak blasted “campus politics” as ineffective, arguing that students who volunteer on political campaigns do little to serve their candidates. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both Governor Bob Holden and Senator Jean Carnahan were elected in the tightest of races, each winning by margins of less than two percent, or several thousand votes. Student involvement made the difference, on campus, in St. Louis, and in Missouri at large.

More troubling than Fak’s accusations are his implications. He suggests WU students should avoid working for candidates in the upcoming Novemeber elections. At a time when control of the Senate hangs in the balance, when Jean’s Carnahan’s re-election will mean the difference between a pro-choice and a pro-life Supreme Court, between environmental protection and big business-led environmental destruction, his perscription of disengagement is downright silly. As you consider your fall 2002 commitments, I strongly urge you to consider civic contributions to St. Louis. Our combined efforts will make a political difference.