Archive for January, 2003

The Gold Standard

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Matt Goldberg

This is the most boring time of the year.

Face it sports fans, the time between the Super Bowl and March Madness, otherwise known as the diminutive month of February, is the dullest, dreariest and ugliest period on the sport calendar.

No bowl games to watch. No NFL referees to bash. No baseball games to attend.

Sure, a trifecta of All-Star games is played, but they are nonetheless meaningless.

Like I really care if the Eastern Conference, even if this is Michael Jordan’s last game on the big stage, can somehow play less defense than the Western Conference.

I’m sure my eyes will be glued to the TV when the AFC and the NFC clash in a classic touch football showdown.

I just go bonkers when the best from the NHL, in whatever format they are using this year, duke it out in a contest of which goaltender has decided to take the night off.

I hate to break it to the executives of ABC and TNT, but I don’t care about these games… they are pointless!

I know February features more than dumb exhibitions, but the Arena Football League and the Daytona 500 are not my cup of tea. I refuse to watch a football game where the final score is 65-63. I also cannot tolerate stock cars going around a stupid track for hours, just waiting to see who does not crash.

However, this “dark period” of American sports does feature some worthwhile events that I might make an effort to check-out.

Entertaining NBA games do happen once in a blue moon. With the emergence of Yao Ming, and the disintegration of the Lakers, the NBA can provide “must-see” match-ups (see Feb. 18th, Yao vs. Shaq – Round 2). Unfortunately, most of the time, February NBA games have the intensity of a slow walk in the park. The playoffs are still months away, and teams are just trying to rest up for the home stretch.

Elsewhere, the NHL offers many gripping fights that make awesome SportsCenter highlights, but to me, the games are exceedingly boring. Who wants to watch a small puck go back and forth?

College basketball is the only solace. The matchups are exciting, especially when ESPN begins their annual Duke-a-thon. The rivalries are real, and the games actually matter. Plus, Dick Vitale, as annoying as he is, is guaranteed to keep you awake.

Closer to home, WU basketball is quite entertaining. Both the men and women are still undefeated… even a recreational sports fan can get into the spirit.

The PGA tour does have some glamour events in February. The Pebble Beach Pro-Am is always worth a look, for no other reason than to see famous celebrities stink up the golf course. The Buick Invitational is worth a couple of hours because it takes place at Torrey Pines (a course I have played). However, both of these events will take on less significance this year because Tiger Woods is unlikely to play as he’s still recovering from a bum knee.

So what is a sports fan like me to do? Compile statistics and charts for rotisserie baseball? Curl up with a sports classic and remember great moments from years past? Play Madden 2003 on Play Station 2?

When I lived in a climate warmer than Siberia (i.e. San Diego) the answer was simple: I played golf. Every weekend, about the time an NFL or MLB game should be on, I would hit the links and bask in the warm southern California sunshine.

Not anymore.

Now my only option is to hit the books, read a couple assignments ahead, and do extra credit projects to pad a couple of grades. I also might find an internship for the summer.

February is my semi-hiatus from sports, but I’ll still watch SportsCenter. It is my chance to rejuvenate my sports soul. It is my opportunity to regroup for another 11 months of solid sports excitement.

Only 59 days until MLB opening day!

Women dominate Invitational

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Lisa Goldstein
Pam Buzzetta

Senior Victor Acevedo was so exhausted at last weekend’s Washington University Invitational that he paid little attention to the meet being his last ever at Millstone pool.

Instead, the only thing he could think about was what he would eat for dinner: veal or tacos.

“It was sad that it was our last home meet,” Acevedo said. “But at the same time you’re so tired that you’re like, ‘I don’t care, get me out of here. I just want to go eat and sleep.'”

Despite the swimmers’ fatigue from training so intensely for the UAA Championships, which is being held February 12-15, the women still captured first place out of six teams with 1,095 points, while the men took second out of seven teams with 799.50 points.

The swimmers expected their tiredness to result in slower times than usual. However, the women still had numerous first place finishes, including those of freshmen Allie Boettger in the 100 (1:08.47) and 200 breaststroke (2:29.68), Tracey Hendrickson in the 200 IM (2:13.46) and 100 butterfly (1:00.53) and Jennifer Scott in the 200m (2:00.14) and the 500 freestyle (5:16. 78).

“Everybody that got in the water swam really good races, even if the times weren’t that spectacular,” Boettger said. “I think the tough training that we put in just helped us to finish those hard races.”

In addition, sophomores Su Wang and Sarah Goldberg captured first place in the 200 butterfly (2:21.24) and 1650 freestyle (18:40.37), respectively. WU also won the 200-medley relay (1:53.81), 400-freestyle relay (3:42.55) and the 800-freestyle relay (8:04.44).

“Everyone was so worn out after the meet that we were just glad it was over,” senior Laurel Jacobson said. “We honestly didn’t have our best meet of the year because we’re pretty broken down… this meet wasn’t really about winning, it’s more like getting through it.”

On the opposite end of the pool, the divers were busy winning events as well, as junior Paloma Garner won the one-meter diving and sophomore Julie Heidbreder took first in three-meter diving. Though there were only two other women divers at the meet (from DePauw and Lindenwood Universities), Garner attested that the competition was fierce.

“This is probably the most competitive meet that we’ve had,” Garner said. “For the guys and the girls, the quality of diving was a lot better at this meet, just because of the schools that were there.

Senior Ryan Braun continued his dominance on the boards with a first place finish in the one-meter diving. In addition to Braun, freshman Michael Slavik won the 200 freestyle (1:46.59) and freshman Eric Triebe grabbed first place in the 200 breaststroke (2:14.33). The men also took first in the 200-medley relay (1:37.40) with the teamof Slavik, Triebe, and seniors Jon Vigdorchik and Matt Johnson.

“We had good time, even though we were pretty tired, which is a good sign because that means that even though you’re broken down you still challenge yourself and it gives you confidence for conference finals,” Acevedo said.

As for the conference championships, both the men and women expect to surpass their fourth place finishes from last year. They would also like to qualify individuals for the relays for the NCAA Championships, in the hope of placing in the top ten at nationals.

“We all set goals at the beginning of the year,” Boettger said. “The [women’s] goal was to place top two at conference, and have five relays make ‘A’ [national] qualifying times. Now, I feel confident we can do that.”

As senior Rachel Feldman pointed out, the team must concentrate on the conference championships before it can start thinking seriously about nationals.

“We have to worry about ‘conference’ first or we won’t get to nationals… we want relays to get fast enough times to go to nationals.”

While WU has not faced any of its conference foes this season, the swimmers have been keeping tabs on their competition, and, at least on paper, the outlook for the conference championships looks bright.

“I don’t know how many other [teammates] do this,” Triebe said, “but I get bored after practice and I go online and compare their times to ours, and I think it’s looking pretty good.

With the two most important competitions of the season still to come, it’s easy to understand why the seniors weren’t necessarily teary-eyed at their last home meet of the season.

“There’s still a lot of unfinished business in the pool that thinking about it being my last meet wasn’t on my mind,” said senior Joel Ristuccia. “I can’t even start thinking about the end [of my collegiate swimming career] because there’s so much to done.”

Red alert… Bears still perfect at 16-0

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Lesley McCullough
Pam Buzzetta

The wins just keep piling up for the Washington University women’s basketball team.

Last weekend, the Bears hosted fellow University Athletic Association conference members including No. 10 University of Rochester (13-1, 3-1 UAA) and Carnegie Mellon University (10-6, 2-3 UAA), defeating both at the Field House. With two home victories, the Bears extended their undefeated win streak to 16-0, and also recorded their 25th consecutive UAA conference win, their 47th consecutive regular season game, and their 72nd consecutive regular season victory at home.

Although they won 70-61, Friday evening proved to be the tougher of the two games for the Bears.

The Rochester Yellowjackets came into St. Louis with not only the No. 10 ranking in Division III women’s basketball, but their own perfect record on the season. However, after forty minutes of basketball had been played, the Bears were victorious.

In front of a crowd of 1,747 fans, WU came out strong defensively in the first-half, holding the Yellowjackets to 28 percent shooting from the field. After a 15-6 run late in the first half, the Bears held a commanding 40-26 lead at halftime.

“Good teams make runs at you,” head coach Nancy Fahey said. “Rochester was undefeated, and when you are playing a team that hasn’t lost, they aren’t going to roll over, and we didn’t expect them to.”

Coming out of halftime, Rochester cut the lead to five, 49-44, but that is the closest the Yellowjackets would come to ending WU’s unbeaten streak.

“I think it was key that we didn’t panic,” Fahey said. “When it got to within five in the second half, we didn’t lose our composure. It’s a game of runs, and we made a run back at them.”

“Our shots weren’t falling in the second half, but we kept shooting and we prevailed,” freshman guard Kelly Manning said.

Coach Fahey pointed out the importance of learning not only from losses but also from wins, such as this one against Rochester.

“Sometimes when you are having success, you kind of forget to make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s,” she said. “Rochester challenged us in areas and brought some things to light that we knew we needed to work on before Sunday’s game.”

“The Rochester game was a fun win at home, but it pointed out new areas we needed to focus on such as rebounding, specifically pulling down more offensive rebounds in order to score more second chance points,” sophomore guard Leslie Berger said.

Their hard work after the game paid off, as the Bears defeated Carnegie Mellon on Sunday afternoon 74-53. While there were only a handful of fans (about 250) in attendance, compared to that of Friday, WU still played with similar intensity.

The Bears started the game by connecting on five of their first six shots and took a commanding 23-9 lead with about ten minutes to play in the first half. With a 19-point, 44-25, lead at the half, the Bears showed no signs of letting up. The second half was much of the same as WU began with a 15-6 run to take their largest lead, 59-33, with 13 minutes to play.

Manning led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Seniors Jen Rudis and Laura Crowley each added 12 points, while sophomore Hallie Hutchens contributed 11 points. Key factors in the win over Carnegie Mellon included WU out-rebounding their opponent 39-20 and the Bears shoot a season-high 84 percent from the free-throw line.

The Bears return to action this weekend to wrap up their four game homestand when they host fellow UAA conference teams Brandeis University (9-6, 2-3 UAA) and perennial rival New York University (13-3, 3-2 UAA).

“We just recognize that there is no letting up this year in the UAA,” Fahey said. “It is extremely competitive and important to come ready to play both Friday and Sunday.”

Tonight at 6p.m., the Bears will look to have a solid effort against Brandeis. Although WU leads the series 27-1 overall, Berger noted that the Bears are not looking past their opponent.

“Brandeis has really good players,” she said. “We will have to wear them down, and having a deep bench will hopefully help us accomplish that.”

As for NYU, the Bears will play them Sunday afternoon at home, then again next Friday at NYU in back-to-back meetings. WU will focus on shutting down the Violets two leading scorers, senior guard Lauren D’Ambrosio and Junior Cassandra Wiggins.

“Not having played against NYU before, I have only heard they play tough, but just like any other team we are excited to compete and are preparing for a good game,” Manning said.

Men outlast No. 6 Rochester 74-71 in overtime, cruise by Carnegie Mellon 79-59

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Joe Ciolli

Washington University’s home game last week against Rochester had all the makings of a classic match-up.

The No. 1 team in Division III faced a hungry sixth-ranked squad that had just lost its first game of the season. If that wasn’t enough, the bleachers were packed to maximum capacity as shirtless, painted fans relentlessly heckled opposing players.

And the players did not disappoint.

Both teams were quick out of the gate, and intensity grew thicker with every ensuing possession. The crowd was nearly silenced at the end of regulation as Rochester launched a potential game-winning shot that rimmed out.

In overtime, the Bears pulled ahead and were able to hold on for a 74-71 victory to preserve their perfect season.

“We knew that if we got a stop at the end of regulation that we would win in overtime,” senior forward Joel Parrott said.

“We have experience,” senior guard Matt Tabash said. “We’ve been in situations like that before, and we never panicked.”

Parrott and Tabash scored 12 and 13 points respectively, while fellow seniors Chris Jeffries and Jarriot Rook scored 18 and 17 points. Overall, the starters shouldered most of the scoring load against an experienced Rochester team that returned all five starters from last season.

Although the Bears picked up an emotionally charged victory against a top national foe, they were still not completely satisfied with the result.

“In the first half we were a little flat,” said Parrott. “We weren’t running our offense, our running game.”

However, after a few halftime adjustments the Bears were able to pick up the running game and pour in fast-break points. By taking the game one possession at a time, the Bears were able to gradually chip away at Rochester’s lead and make a push in the game’s final minutes.

Two days later, the Bears faced another conference foe, Carnegie Mellon. They lacked the glossy record of a Rochester, but the Bears were prepared nonetheless.

“We try to prepare the same way for every game,” said Tabash. “Everyone’s gearing up for the number one team.”

Jeffries led the team in scoring for the 13th time this season as he scored 24 points. He added seven rebounds en-route to a WU school-record 19th consecutive conference victory.

Despite out-rebounding Carnegie Mellon, the Bears still see room for improvement in that department.

In Friday’s game, Rochester grabbed 48 boards to WU’s 34 and also outscored the Bears 21-7 on second-chance points. The Bears know that if they are going to advance deep into the national tournament, they must get more physical in the paint.

In between rebounding drills in practice this week, the Bears also worked on free throws. After shooting 67 percent from the line against Rochester and 69 percent against Carnegie Mellon, the players are looking to fix the problem before it comes back to haunt them.

Despite the close game against Rochester, the Bears are still beating opponents by an average of 20.2 points per game, which is impressive given the fact that they are five games into their conference schedule.

“We’ve had our close games,” said Parrott. “When we blow a team out, it’s when our defense is intense. If we pull it together and play strong defensively come tournament time, I have the feeling we’ll win in the end.”

Coming up this weekend are conference match-ups at home with Brandeis on Friday night and New York University on Sunday afternoon.

The race for admissions

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Aaron Seligman

President Bush last week asked the Justice Department to submit an amicus (friend-of-court) brief urging the Supreme Court to rule against the University of Michigan’s policy of using race as a major admission factor. Under the current policy, racial minority students receive 20 extra points on a 150 point scale. Bush believes that only a race-blind policy will be fair to all students.

Bush has also proposed his own “race-blind” plan for admissions: allowing the top 10 percent of every high school graduating class to be admitted to the state university. He claims that since this plan only looks at academic performance, it gives all students an equal chance of being admitted. This would remove questions about the SAT biases, as well as legacy/donor status influencing admissions officers. However, the implications of this plan would do far more damage to our entire educational system, from kindergarten through college and beyond, than any race-based policy could ever do.

One of Bush’s main attacks on affirmative action is that it results in a quota system, where students are taken simply based on numbers and not on academic qualifications. However, forcing state schools to accept the top 10 percent of a graduating class is no different. If anything, it actually encourages students to stay at failing schools-which flies in the face of what Bush has hoped to do through school vouchers. The plan would encourage segregation: at an economically stratified high school like mine, the top 10 percent was all white, while the school was over 50 percent students of color; those non-white students would have had a better chance of getting into college had they gone to a school with no white students. This again has the opposite effect Bush says he wants, which is, supposedly, more diversity at schools. It is no surprise that in a state with many de facto segregated schools like Texas, the plan did increase minority enrollment in college. However, this does nothing to ensure that the students are academically qualified.

Another reason the students may not be qualified is that the plan completely discourages students to challenge themselves in school. I believe there is already too much of an emphasis on grades, and Bush’s plan gives students zero incentive to take any challenging classes. Students will be too concerned about padding their GPAs to increase their class rank, and will stay clear of really pushing their limits-something I believe colleges should desire from their applicants.

The worst consequence of the Bush plan is that it completely disregards all parts of the college application. SAT scores, difficulty of classes taken, extracurricular activities, interviews, essays, and teacher recommendations all become completely trivial. For example, a student who had no friends, was a total jerk to his teachers and peers and lettered in Nintendo-but got mostly A’s-would automatically get into a state school over a student who was president of his class, did great community service, took really hard classes, was a great athlete, but had a few more B’s. And this plan is supposed to give everyone a fair chance at admission?

While yes, numerically speaking, the Bush plan does create equality (if you agree with the idea of “separate but equal”), it would leave colleges intellectually bankrupt. It will yield a group of students who have no character and who are totally consumed by something that makes no difference in the real world: grades. In applying for any real job, candidates must be screened, have their references checked, and go through an interview. Likewise, we cannot have a purely numeric system or college admission, regardless of race. Affirmative action opens the door for all hard-working students, because it involves reviewing other parts of an application. We cannot reduce four years of someone’s life to a number, nor should we try to.

The importance of action

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Daniel Lilienthal

This is a column that has to be written. It has to be written in response to a challenge given by the professor who teaches Introduction to Human Evolution. For years, Professor Richard Smith’s final lecture has developed a reputation as a must-attend event. His is widely viewed as a must-take class. The reason I need to write this column is to highlight the importance of his final messages, “If you don’t try to create change, nobody else will” and “The only place real change will begin is at the university level.”

What are WU students doing to create change? After observing our activities during the last presidential election, Smith could only say, “Not a damn thing!” With passion and fervor, Smith told a crowded lecture hall how the future of our environment looks bleak, and if WU students don’t get fired up about this issue now, we only leave behind a larger problem for our children to fight.

The first step to achieve change, as Smith said, is to “truly believe in something, and eventually you will become angry.” I know there are hundreds of students who, after attending Professor Smith’s final lecture, were inspired to change the things in their own lives that made them angry. Unfortunately, inspiration without action is as worthless as the countless Student Life columns criticizing student apathy, crying for protests, and insulting opponents. We still form our opinions from “The Daily Show,” we would still rather play Beirut than protest, and your opponents still hate you.

The process of writing, however, showed me something. First of all, writing is a long and difficult process. Secondly, I was wishful in thinking I could magically change the priorities of the masses without first changing my own. In addition, I don’t know the extent of people’s backgrounds, and am therefore not in a position to criticize life choices others make. All I can do is write, do, and say; people may follow, people may not.

So how have I changed? Firstly, I was once bitter about many WU issues; but I became so bitter about being bitter, that I decided apathy was fine by me. Secondly, I began trying to live life following a quote by Lance Armstrong, winner of the last four Tour de France races. “Before cancer I was always worrying about what I was going to be doing five or six years down the road. That’s bull–. It’s a terrible way to live. When I was the sickest, I just decided, ‘I’m never going to waste another today thinking about tomorrow. This is it. Today is all I have.'”

To do this, I have taken a careful look about what I want to do with my life. I spend less time being concerned about school, and have spent more time doing non-required reading. I switched out of the business school and get to take West African dance classes instead. I have abandoned the pursuit of three grueling years of law school for an exciting career teaching children in outdoor education. I drink and play darts at Blue Hill on Tuesday nights. I have abandoned instant messenger so I could spend more time hearing people’s voices. I have made the 30-second walks to stay in touch with old friends. I also learned how to cook lasagna, pot roast and Jell-o pies, and life has continued to be better every day since.

I realize that at 21 years, I have a wide variety of issues that I am encountering in life, including educational, social, and personal. We all have things in our lives we would like to change. I began by speaking with professors, family, friends, WU health services, and mostly myself. I realized I had become too complacent with my life, and too proud of things I hadn’t accomplished.

My writing this column is only one mountain that I hope to climb in life. I will no longer be content with where I am, because there are too many places I want to be. Finally, I want to thank Professor Smith, for doing more than teaching me the cranial capacity of an Australophithecus robustus, but teaching me the greatest lesson of all. The time to do something is now!

Think local for this year’s alderman election

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Allison Barrett

The sappy part: St. Louis isn’t just a place to be for four years; this is a place where we live. This is our home. We work here, eat here, play here, and are entertained here. This is as much our city as it is to those who have lived in it for decades.

The important part: Why don’t we care about local politics? Why don’t we care about the Clayton aldermen who enact our parking legislation, our zoning laws, our sales and property taxes? Why don’t we care what they decide about the Metrolink expansion or the new buildings we’re constructing?

We should.

Unfortunately, many of us get caught in the “bubble” of Washington University, an ironic cultural phenomenon in which a wealth of diversity is thrown into a student body that then refuses to leave the two-mile radius surrounding the school. (Show of hands: how many of you could locate Ladue or Arnold on a map?)

While some of us might have this bubble-centric viewpoint, the university-like us, its students-has a responsibility to the community. The school, with its own governmental affairs department, regularly confronts legislators on a local level, from St. Louis, University City and Clayton, and also on state and national levels.

Clayton is as much a part of the university as the Bunny (albeit, Clayton is a lot prettier). The City of Clayton determines our zoning and parking regulations and our sales and property taxes. Clayton provides law enforcement, emergency care, and fire protection. Clayton salts the roads when it snows. Clayton decides where the Metrolink will be built in a few years. Clayton provides opportunities for students to work, shop, and eat. Clayton says where we can build new buildings, how the new buildings ought to look, and where we can park our cars. We and our parents spend millions of dollars in Clayton.

We ought to care what Clayton says, and we ought to have a voice in what they do.

For those living in Clayton’s Ward 1-bound by Forsyth, Skinker, Clayton Road, and Big Bend-there is an opportunity in April to make an impact on all of the issues that affect us.

On April 8, residents will elect their Ward 1 Alderman. With this election, students have the opportunity to make a monumental change in local politics. Consider this: last spring, only about 400 citizens voted in the Ward 1 elections. The population of the South Forty, which lies within Ward 1, is approximately 3,000. Hundreds more students live in the Demun neighborhood, also a part of Ward 1. If WU students choose to vote, and choose to support a candidate, a landslide victory would be a simple achievement and would provide us with an amazing asset: somebody who cares about the school and heavily considers the impact of new legislation, as well as enforcement of current ordinances and laws, on the university and its residents-us.

We now have a candidate who will listen to us and represent our thoughts and ideas. His name is John Porter. His wife, Sarah Russell, is an associate dean of Arts and Sciences, and his son Jonathan lived on the South Forty before graduating from WU in 1999. In recent memory, Porter is the first candidate to express an interest in representing all of the residents of Ward 1 (including WU students).

Last year, Porter was defeated in the Aldermanic election by a group of anti-WU residents who supported a candidate who ran on one issue: that Porter has a conflict of interest. Bev Wagner stated that because Porter’s wife is a WU dean, he would not be fair in voting or representing the “true” residents of Clayton. The conflict-of-interest issue was not ethically or legally true, but common sense, logic, and Porter’s voting record on other boards during the past 15 years did not stop his opponent or supporters from saying it was.

For the next few years, we will be here during the November and April elections, national and local. We should register to vote now that we have a reason to.

The deadline to register for the April elections is March 12, five weeks away. You can pick up a voter registration ballot at the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles, Clayton Bureau (32 North Central Ave. in Clayton), or at the Office of Student Activities.

Telephone plan will benefit students

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Brian Eufinger

After reading last Friday’s editorial (“Telephone service should not be mandatory”), I was disappointed. My frustrations stem from treatment of this issue above others, and the fact that only the economic aspect of the plan was covered.

The editors of Student Life chose to write a negative editorial about a $100 “increase” in room fees, for a policy that will have positive, tangible effects for all. Imagine my confusion at the lack of an editorial denouncing the $1,400 tuition increase, whose positive impact is murky at best. Furthermore, if we want to look solely at economics, the case can still be made that the new telephone plan is financially sound.

The vast majority of the staff editorial dealt with economic issues, and in doing so ignored the social positives of the new plan.

First of all, the online directory and Ternion aren’t very accurate. The first thing you think of on move-in day when you return to St. Louis is not “I better go on WebSTAC and change my info so it’s right in Ternion.” Indeed, Ternion would have you believe that hundreds of students have the same voicemail, one that starts with “We’re sorry, the number you dialed…”

By having built-in, activated phone lines, Ternion can always be accurate with zero student effort. Advisors, faculty, and RAs would no longer have trouble contacting their students and residents. As an RA, I have had to personally relay a message from an academic advisor to one of my residents due to lack of a 314 number. It’s not unreasonable to ask that students have a 314 phone number, maybe even one that will be answered during “peak” hours.

A variety of campus entities, such as WUPD, EST, and RAs, will benefit from this plan. Someone who dials 5-5555 into their cell phone won’t get very far. With the universal system, when someone calls WUPD for help, the extension in their room allows the police to instantly know where that person is, as opposed to a cell phone. Additionally, RAs can meaningfully use the Meridian Mail system again to leave messages for all of their residents, instead of sending e-mails that are quickly deleted.

Before talking economics, let’s note the obvious fact that WU’s current telephone policy is an aberration. What other school doesn’t bundle the telephone line with your room? As it stands now, our status quo is everybody else’s exception to the rule.

One of the main points made in the staff editorial is that those who currently have only a cell phone will pay more under the new plan. However, the opposite argument can also be made. Unfortunately, a rising number of people have solely a long-distance area code cell phone, and it is unrealistic (and rude) to expect faculty to spend money out of their budgets to contact students who could very well be 50 feet away. In the end, those calls will add costs to departmental budgets, a cost that will be kindly reflected in our tuition bills each year.

The staff editorial noted that Telephone Services should have “[made] their service more attractive…[by] lowering the long distance rate.” It stated that, at “8.5 cents,” long distance is expensive. This would be an entirely valid point, had Telephone Services not already done just that. The long-distance fee has been 5 cents per minute all year.

Many freshmen only have cell phones. This is not because they hate land lines; it is because when you compare $30.50 for a land line or $35 for a cell phone, it’s a no-brainer. How many freshmen parents would have sprung for the cell phone if a land line was $100 a year, or about $12.50 a month? How many students were compelled by the need to call students who have only a long-distance area code cell phone?

From a purely mathematical standpoint, the plan is cheaper. Without going into detailed calculations, a person with their own land line will now save 60 percent; people sharing a line in doubles save about 20 percent; even four people who split one line with extensions in a Wheeler suite save a little bit.

Perhaps the strongest economic argument for the new plan is that the telephone will be included in the “cost of attendance” at WU. Students who are on financial aid are helped by the new plan. Right now, students on financial aid are paying for phone lines out of pocket. The new plan will allow FAFSA formulas and financial aid packages to accurately reflect the cost of a phone line that over half the student body still incurs every year, and provide more aid as a result.

Searching for female orgasms

Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Alex Fak

“Only like eight girls in the history of the world have had an orgasm,” one editor on this paper said recently; there could be more, he added, but he’s been too busy with other things.

It’s not really that bad. But a major study done in 1999 did find that about one in seven sexually active women couldn’t climax or, for that matter, even get aroused enough during sex to enjoy it. Another one in five did not itch for sex at all (ironically, some oral contraceptives decrease libido). A smaller number consistently felt pain during intercourse.

Pain is more predominant among women of college age, but it is also the easiest problem to solve. Most girls will have some pain for the first time, because of a tight hymen (a fold of tissue partly blocking the opening of vagina); once they are broken in, the pain typically goes away. If it continues, says Melissa Ruwitch, a health and wellness coordinator, it’s usually because they didn’t use enough lubrication-“and that is something that’s easily solved,” she adds.

It is the absence of orgasm that puzzles doctors. Dr. Rachel Pauls, chief resident in gynecology and obstetrics at Barnes-Jewish, said that there is little clinical information on this condition. It appears to affect younger women more. If a woman is readily aroused (and most college-age girls have no problem with that), and if she feels no pain, then the lack of orgasm will be something “that’s very difficult to treat.”

Guys have received much of the blame for this. They don’t spend enough time on foreplay, many women complain; they go in like a tow truck, and they don’t know a woman’s body. But neither do many women, Pauls said. One important question doctors ask is whether the patient ever had an orgasm before. “Did she ever have an orgasm by self-stimulation? If you’ve never had an orgasm, you’re not going to know what it’s like and you’re not going to know how to get it.” Ruwitch, too, said that “learning how their bodies work is a pretty important part” in reaching a climax.

Excitement of the clitoris is touted as the key to orgasm, but it won’t help if the woman’s psychology doesn’t cooperate. “Younger women might not feel comfortable enough in a relationship to criticize their partner,” Pauls said, “or they might not expect to have an orgasm if they haven’t had an orgasm before.” There is also a misconception about age. One sexually active WU senior says she has never had an orgasm, even through masturbation-but she isn’t too worried. Eventually, she believes, she’s bound to; her age is keeping it at bay. But Pauls disagrees, saying that there is no medical reason why a woman shouldn’t have an orgasm in her late teens and early twenties.

Men’s medicine

A real problem with a group of symptoms known collectively as “female sexual dysfunction” is that no one is studying them very hard. The one major inquiry into their prevalence has only come out four years ago, and it excluded girls living in college dorms. The dysfunctions “[aren’t] something that a lot of people seem to know about, even a lot of gynecologists,” said Pauls, who is giving a talk on the subject on Feb. 12 at Barnes-Jewish.

Meanwhile, some of those who do study these symptoms have been sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, which have an interest in exposing a disease and promoting a cure. When the study mentioned above ran in the Journal of American Medical Association, the journal omitted the standard financial disclosure footnote, which would have shown that two of the three co-authors had ties to Pfizer Inc. (of Viagra fame) and other drug makers (JAMA eventually printed a correction, but not until seven issues later). And 18 of the 19 scientists who got together in 1998 to expand the definition of “female sexual dysfunction” to include sex enjoyment problems have had financial relations with drug companies.

This raises skepticism, especially among psychologists. Some see a “medicalization campaign” by drug companies trying to make a disease out of something that is influenced by complex personal and social causes at least as much as by physical ones. Dr. Pauls, for one, said that while all these factors do play a role, sexual dysfunction is a medical condition. “Male sexual dysfunction is fully recognized as physiological,” she said. “With women, we’ve been told, ‘It’s all in your head, honey.'”

One result is that women lack specific medications to increase libido or arouse them sexually. “The majority of treatments being used on women are some of the treatments that have been tried on men,” Pauls said. “Now they are trying to generalize them to women.”

WU girls will be happy to learn this fact: female college graduates are only half as likely to experience sexual pain, low sexual desire, or problems achieving orgasm as are women without high school diplomas. This is only an association; but Pauls suggested that women with more education may be more aggressive about making sure that their needs are satisfied. Our promiscuous editor can’t take all the credit.


Friday, January 31st, 2003 | Katie Byard

Eliot Hall will be missed

To the editor:

Your front-page article in the Jan. 26, 2003, issue had a picture with a caption that basically said that Eliot was a building to dread. As it would turn out, Eliot is a great place to live and play, and that caption was insensitive to myself and the people who like the dorm. For you, perhaps Eliot is just something to get rid of; but for others, including readers of your paper, Eliot will be missed. So on that note, please just realize that your front page worthy opinions are like unnecessary barbs to some. Thank you.

Rob Collins
School of Art
Class of 2005

Editorial made generalizations, petty accusations

To the editor:

I was highly incensed upon reading the Jan. 26 staff editorial criticizing WU’s recent decision to include telephone services within tuition. I found it impossible to overlook the generalizations, petty accusations, and flaws in reasoning on the part of the editors in condemning the university’s decision. Particularly, I find claims that the low number of students voting on the matter renders the decision invalid to be ridiculous-WU students are fairly notorious for neglecting voting and activism, as recent editorials have noted, and even expecting most students to vote in the general Student Union elections is a bit much at times. A 10 percent response rate is admittedly low, but typical of the WU student body.
As for whether the vote was adequately publicized, what does the university need to do-get on loudspeakers and shout, “Vote today!” from the rooftops? Pepper the campus with flyers? Students are daily inundated with demands for attention from well-meaning (and some not-so-well-meaning) student groups, professors, and other sources. Many students simply cannot find time to meet all the demands placed upon them, much less do what a piece of paper tells them to do. However, students must seek shelter and find time to eat, and thus dorm stairways and the walls of Wohl Center are the place to advertise. Student Union advertised its telephone service initiative in those places, where the majority of students were most likely to take notice.
To me, the current method of payment for telephone bills is inefficient and rather a hassle. I was ecstatic when I heard about the chance to vote on the issue and change the current system. However, I am certain that dozens of other students who saw information about the initiative paid little attention to it, simply because any advertisement for the vote was just another piece of paper on the wall. It is very easy to ignore all the pretty colored pieces of paper after a while, to become jaded and disinterested. It takes a lot of effort to discern between legitimate offers and others, especially when that means taking the time to peer between those ever-exciting fraternity party flyers.
Taking into account the difficulties involved in reaching students, much less persuading them to effect a change, I believe it is perfectly acceptable that the conscientious few who took time to vote are the ones that make our decisions, especially if the majority is too lazy to actually express an opinion. I congratulate those who proposed the change in WU’s telephone billing system, as well as those who bothered to vote on the initiative.

Margaret J. Bauer
Arts and Sciences
Class of 2006

WU should not have snow days

To the editor:

This letter is in response to Jesse Krohn’s “Give students snow days.” Jesse points out several items in support of the enactment of a WU snow day policy. I too can remember the joys of childhood, especially when it didn’t include paying the $26,900 a year/$300 a day that my education costs in this university. Unfortunately, my childhood is long past, along with free education, and it’s time to grow up. Now, I believe the column was more nostalgia than an actual proposition. However, just in case people begin to agree with Jesse, I wish to point out that since we are paying our $300 per day, WU has no right to call off classes without an extremely important reason. I have taken many classes with students that had to commute on a daily basis, and I have never seen a teacher penalize a student unfairly because of traffic or weather conditions. I rather take my chances with the weather and know that WU is always there, than feel cheated out of my tuition just because the snow plows are late. Although I agree with Jesse in spirit, I cannot bring myself to support her position. I’ll have winter break to throw snow balls.

Paul de la Iglesia
School of Engineering
Class of 2003

Inaccuracies in article on Kohl

To the editor:

I was flattered that Student Life thought my impending retirement worth a front-page story. I was reluctant to agree to an interview since I was aware that journalists do not always get it right. (Student Life once attributed to me the sentiment that, as a socialist, I thought it was incumbent upon us to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua!) As a condition of being interviewed, Student Life agreed that I would see the text of the story before it went to press. I told them I knew I had no right to control what they printed, but that previewing the text would allow me to do a “fact check”. Unfortunately I did not see the article before it appeared. The result was (1) a trivial error-I have been at WU for 43 years, not 30, (2) an amusing error-noting my work in “magnetic residency”-this didn’t matter much since scientists would know that they meant “magnetic resonance” and non-scientists would not care, (3) an embarrassing over-statement of the difficulty of my pre-academic years. The only thing that bothered me was Student Life attributing to me the patronizing opinion that some WU students came from less than “stellar” backgrounds. My opinion is clearly stated in the next paragraph, taken from a written statement I supplied. Some students with talent and potential come to WU with low SAT scores and from high schools that do not offer many AP courses. They need help in playing catch-up. Dean James McLeod has done much to nurture such students. It has been my pleasure to have played a role in encouraging these talented students and a real thrill to witness their successes.

Daniel H. Kohl
Professor of Biology

Editor’s Note: As a policy, Student Life does not show anyone complete articles prior to publication.

Sports article was inaccurate

To the editor:

In the past, Student Life has featured articles about the swimming and diving team that included some false information, but the Jan. 21 article “Competitive Spirit” seemed to get more facts wrong than right. It began by reporting that the “team partook in only one competition”-a rib-eating contest-during our winter training trip. However, we did have a meet in Florida against the St. Bonaventure University men’s team. While the writer mentioned national qualifying scores by divers Julie Heidbreder and Ryan Braun, it neglected Paloma Garner’s 1-meter qualifying score of 252.38 in Saturday’s meet. The article also stated that the women’s team defeated Lindenhurst that day; we did indeed win, but the meet was against Lindenwood University from nearby St. Charles, Mo. That the 200 medley relay team of Boettger, Jacobson, Wang, and Ames “made an automatic national qualifying cut with a time of 1:57.00” is also incorrect as an automatic qualifying time in that event is 1:48.59. Although mention of our upcoming meet is appreciated, Drury University will not be attending our invitational this weekend. And finally, the picture of diver “Ryan Braun” was actually of Craig Goergen.
Next time Stud Life writes an article about the swimming and diving team, perhaps the facts should be checked before it is printed. So far this season, the swim team has set 10 new school records, defeated a Division I team, and made 21 national qualifying times yet one of the only true statements in the article was that Mike Slavik really did eat 45 ribs. At least the writer got the important stuff right…

Colette Smirniotis
Swim Team
Arts and Sciences
Class of 2003

Metrolink expansion has long history

To the editor:

I suggest you check your archives for another article from Student Life regarding the proposed CrossCounty Extension of MetroLink.
I don’t have the date of the previous article (year or two back) which credited the concern the university has for the electro magnetic field effect on the various science labs on campus. The article stated that the study the university commissioned to study the possible negative effects led the Bi-State Development to be quoted in the article as saying the tracts were moved to the north side of the Parkway from the south (as previously offered by the university) to mitigate the EMF on the lab data.
Also, the university hosted a meeting between the various neighborhoods in 1999 and (excuse the expression) ram-rodded the idea that the affected neighborhoods would be better served with the tracks being on the north side. The reasoning being that a bell would have to be rung each time the train crossed the surface street of Hoyt where cars would be turning into the campus across the tracks.
You see, there is a history that the community (of both WU and outside) need to reflect on to really understand the train that keeps moving around.

Pat Fitzgerald
Area Resident
Pershing Avenue