Archive for August, 2003

Runners march to season opener

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Pankaj Chhabra
Bernell Dorrough

Coming off a wildly successful 2002 campaign, head coach Jeff Stiles looks to lead the Washington University cross country team to even greater heights in 2003.

Stiles, in just his second season at the University, has already proven that he can lead the Bears for years to come. His first test of the new season will come on Aug. 29, when the Bears host the Washington University Early Bird Meet. The competition will take place at Priory High School.

As the first meet looms, both the men’s and women’s squads are intent on getting off to a strong start. To that end, the runners have been doing what they do best: running.

“As a team, our goals are just to come together and prove that we have good runners,” said sophomore Andrea Moreland. “I like how the team has pulled together so far, and I think our pre-season running has shown that.”

The women will look to improve on last November’s fourth place finish in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, the best finish in the University’s history. Their magical season also included a Midwest Regional championship and a University Athletic Association title.

With most of their top runners returning, the women are poised to make another record-breaking run. The Bears also boast seven newcomers, increasing their chances of returning to the nation’s elite.

“Our team is pretty young, which is a good thing, because we can grow together and keep the program strong,” Moreland said. “We all have that ‘team-first’ attitude that you have to have to reach the top.”

Meanwhile, the men’s team has six newcomers looking to make an immediate impact. The Bears won three consecutive UAA titles from 1999-2001, but were set back last season, finishing in third place. The team also placed ninth at the Midwest Regionals.

The bright spot for the men was the strong performance of Matt Hoelle, who returns for his senior season.

The leader of the Bears’ ground attack remains an important cog for a team looking to rebound from a sub-par campaign. Last season, he was the only member of the men’s team to compete in the National Championships.

Receiving trio primed for productive season in 2003

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Aaron Wolfson
Bernell Dorrough

The football team will have to find a new quarterback this year, but at least the Bears can count on one thing: the guys that the new field general will be throwing to are rock solid.

After last year’s freshman sensation, Nathan Szep, transferred to Ohio State, Matt Alley emerged as the first-string signal caller. Alley is a senior, but only started one game last year, and an early-season confidence boost could help him immensely. Making his job much easier will be his wide receivers, including a top-notch threesome that all contribute to the team in different ways.

Blake Westra is the senior leader. Last year Westra caught 23 passes for 277 yards and made the all-University Athletic Association (UAA) second team. But according to head coach Larry Kindbom, on-field production is not the most important attribute that Westra brings to the Bears.

“The biggest thing I expect from Westra is leadership,” Kindbom said. “He’s a guy who can step forward on the field as a player and off the field as a person. He has to live the philosophy of the program and be a role model for the younger players.”

“Blake has had an outstanding fall and shown a great work ethic; he’s a big play receiver who has stepped up as a leader and accepted the challenge of a new level.”

Brad Duesing is the pure athlete. At 6’3″ and 195 pounds, the sophomore is a big physical presence at the line of scrimmage. He’s a strong and powerful receiver that presents unique problems for cornerbacks that smaller players do not. Duesing exploited these gifts to the tune of 69 receptions and 1,073 yards last year, both school records.

“Duesing is a great matchup for us against defenses,” Kindbom said. “He has good hands, and he’s also a very smart football player. Brad does a lot of things that you just can’t coach. He’s just a really good football player who hustles, learns the system, and gets better every day.”

As an added bonus, Duesing was recently named to the pre-season All-American team for Division-III, along with defensive back John Woock.

“That doesn’t really mean anything other than some recognition,” Kindbom said. “We care more about how Brad plays day-to-day. I’m not really surprised by it, because he really earns it on the field, although there aren’t a lot of sophomores who are in that position.”

Jeff Buening is the team star. He grabbed 39 passes for 396 yards last year, but, like Westra, his contributions go beyond the numbers.

“Jeff is a guy that seems to make everyone play better when he’s in there,” Kindbom said. “That’s why he’s known as a team star. He’s also got good talent, and he leaves the field better every day.”

Kindbom has not seen much of Buening’s abilities thus far during the fall because the receiver has been out for most of pre-season practice. He’s taking things day by day and is not expected to miss any games during the season.

Behind Alley, Kindbom has moved Adam Meranda back to quarterback from the defensive side of the ball. In addition, Zach Norman, Nick Henry and Pat McCarthy have impressed in drills. Despite the vast array of inexperienced quarterbacks, Kindbom is not concerned about creating a good rapport with the receivers.

“I haven’t coached a position in many years, so it will take some time to sort through it,” Kindbom said. “But I think Alley has proven that he belongs; he’s our number one guy. I really never worried about the rapport between the new quarterbacks and the receivers. The challenge is not individually with passes; it’s how good the team can be.”

Regardless of how well the play is behind center, the Bears believe they can count on its talented group of wideouts to have a successful season and lead the offense to new heights.

“I’m having a lot of fun with these guys,” Kindbom said. “They’re energetic and they look at practice like a competition, which is what you really need. They’re making it a lot easier for me to coach and teach, and I love to see them create the picture when it’s all said and done. We’ll see how they do, but I’m fairly confident.”

Training keeps Bears fit

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Matt Goldberg

Star players are falling like flies in the National Football League this preseason. Michael Vick gone with a broken leg. Chad Pennington sidelined with a broken wrist. Jeremy Shockey out of action with a fractured rib. Kim Herring lost to a bum forearm. The list goes on and on and on. How does a team actually keep players on the field these days?

While the Washington University football team is a long way from the NFL, they still have insight as to how teams at all levels try to avoid injuries without sacrificing preparation. Washington University assistant football coach Pedro Arruza said, “Some guys get in trouble because they don’t condition over the summer the way they need to condition”

“It is apparent some of these guys work harder than others,” Arruza continued.

Indeed, the Bears, like thousands of football programs around the country, have an off-season workout program that attempts to ensure that players stay in game shape even in the heat of summer. University coaches set out detailed plans for players where ” every guy gets a book and everything is outlined in he-diet, running and lifting,” Arruza said. They also hold off-season programs to further ensure that their players are game-ready come the first weekend in September. As Arruza noted, “Attendance was tremendous at our off-season program.”

Conditioning alone cannot prevent injuries. Many are freak accidents. Some old injuries just never heal. Arruza said, “if a guy gets hurt during the season and then the problem is not taken care of in the off-season, and it kind of lingers into the following year,” said Aruzza. Then we see recurrent problems.”

Besides preparing off-season workout regimens, the coaching staff also has to be very careful during the preseason. They do not want to baby the team, but at the same time, they do not want to practice the team into the ground. “You’ve got to know when to back off the kids,” said Arruza. “Again, there is a fine line between pushing the kids and pushing too hard and we try to do a good job of that, making sure we are pushing the guys, but at the same time you don’t want to be overly cautious because obviously you go to push them and get better.”

While football teams always must be worried about injuries, Arruza still stresses repetition in practice. “My feeling is that we’ve got to get better and the only way you get better is by giving those guys work,” said Arruza

Without reps and snaps, starters get rusty and may lose touch with the intricacies of an offense or defense. Take the 2002 St. Louis Rams. “Last year [Rams coach Mike] Martz comes in, backs way off in camp and backs way off in the preseason and his starters hardly get any work,” said Arruza, “Then they come out and lose their first five games.”

This is proof that holding back your starters does not work and in the long run will handicap a team. “You can’t be overly cautious,” said Arruza. I know we are going to get a little banged up, but we got to go ahead and do this because that guy is not going to be ready to play for me. I’ve got to play my guys.”

20 Questions with Brad Duesing

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Jeff Novack
Bernell Dorrough

Sitting down with Brad Duesing, Student Life inquired about all the important issues in life: the Vikings, Nelly and Kobe Bryant.

Student Life: Rapper P. Diddy reportedly wanted to buy a stake in the New York Knicks. What other rappers would make good sports franchise owners?

Brad Duesing: What other rappers? Probably Jay-Z, maybe because he actually has enough money to afford a professional sports team. I don’t really think rappers know much about sports.

SL: We all learned about the “Randy Ratio,” where Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice planned to pass to star wide out Randy Moss about 40% of the time. Is there a “Duesing Denominator,” a plan to get you the ball a certain amount?

BD: I’d like to think so; I want to be able to make plays for the team. But I don’t think coach Kindbom says, “I think we need to have Brad touch the ball 20 times a game for us to win.” It’s more just the entire offense.

SL: So it’s thirty times, right?

BD: No, I don’t think so.

SL: What is your favorite end zone dance, if you have one?

BD: Last year we did the Tecmo Bowl High Five but we might have to change it up this year because we got flagged last year against Rochester and the coaches are kind of getting on us.

SL: Now for the people who don’t know, what is the Tecmo Bowl High Five?

BD: You just kind of do a running jump and give a high five in the air.

SL: We’ve recently made a lot of progress in the war on Iraq, capturing key Iraqi government officials including Chemical Ali. Better interrogation technique: Chinese water torture or forced showings of the Ben Affleck bomb “Gigli?”

BD: Probably water torture ’cause you can always just stare at J-Lo, which isn’t too bad.

SL: What do you enjoy doing outside of football?

BD: Pretty much just hanging out having a good time with my friends, watching college football.

SL: Nelly: with band aid or without?

BD: I don’t remember the last time I saw him without, so I am going to have to say with.

SL: Italian chocolate spread maker Nutella recently dropped Kobe Bryant as its celebrity spokesman. How will this move impact your chocolate spread purchasing decisions?

BD: I’m thinking it’s not going to affect it to much ’cause I have not seen a commercial with Kobe Bryant in Nutella.

SL: Favorite football videogame?

BD: NCAA College Football 2004

SL: What are the big games for your team this year?

BD: Big games? Trinity’s always a big game ’cause they are one of the best teams in the nation every year. And Chicago, who we’ll fight for the Founder’s Cup.

SL: What is your best accomplishment to date, besides being interviewed by Student Life?

BD: Probably receiving a pre-season All-American

SL: You, along with defensive back John Woock, have been named pre-season All-Americans. Is there a lot of pressure to live up to the billing?

BD: Yeah, because Coach looks for you to be a leader on and off the field, and it’s a big role stepping up, just coming in as a freshman and people not expecting too much.

SL: And are you also roommates with the QB?

BD: No, he transferred to Ohio State.

SL: Is it because of something you said?

BD: Football wasn’t as big as he thought it’d be here.

SL: So how is the team looking this year?

BD: We’re going to have a solid defense with Mel Bartoul up on the defensive line, Rick Schmidts at middle linebacker, and John Woock patrolling the secondary, so I think we should have a pretty solid defense this year. And the offense, we have a new quarterback coming in, Matt Alley, and we are really starting to click now after two-a-days and I think we should be all right once Simpson comes around.

SL: The political world has gotten a lot more interesting lately with the entrance of Arnold Schwartzenegger into the race for the governor of California. I’ve also heard that former “Different Strokes” star Gary Coleman has also entered the race. Would you like to use this opportunity to announce your candidacy? On what platform will you be running?

BD: No, I do not want to run for governor. I really have no clue why he’s running for governor. He kind of sounds slow when he talks. I don’t think he’d do a very good job.

SL: What if Arnold loses the governor’s race? Where does he go from there?

BD: Probably make another Terminator. Terminator, what, like 4 or 5?

SL: So back to the movies?

BD: Probably.

SL: So you’re saying he’ll be back?

BD: Yeah, he will be back.

Women look to ‘ignite’ scoring

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Renee Hires
file photo

No one usually earns praise for selfishness. However, women’s soccer head coach Wendy Dillinger proposes that her women, in order to succeed in soccer, “almost need to be selfish.”

“Forwards especially need to have the instinct that when they get the ball they go to the goal, go to goal, go to goal,” Dillinger said. “Right now, most of our players are not selfish. They do not have that mentality. They need to be more aggressive.”

Dillinger knows her squad excels in two essentials of soccer: possessing the ball and transitioning quickly. Additionally, she would like to see her players do whatever it takes to finish the opportunities they create in front of the opponent’s goal.

“We keep possession really well, but there is not always purpose to that,” Dillinger said. “What we are looking to develop is more of a sense of what we want to do once we get the ball.”

“We have some people who can shoot; they can create those opportunities,” she continued. “It’s just a matter of getting the ball in the goal. Instead of playing possession at midfield we need to play possession in the attacking third where we’re closer to the goal and have the opportunity to score.”

Any solid soccer team can hold possession of the ball, but only the truly great teams take full advantage of their opportunities.

“If you don’t capitalize on any of the 90 opportunities you create, you’re going to lose,” Dillinger said.

Ironically, if the Bears can acquire this sense of selfishness, everyone will benefit. A lack of offensive hunger may be the one obstacle standing between the Bears and their goals of winning the University Athletic Assocation (UAA) title and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this season.

Dillinger sees in her players all the other elements necessary for the team to succeed this season.

“We have 31 players on the team and even though only eleven play at once, all 31 are going to contribute to our success'” Dillinger said. “We don’t have a weak link. Everyone on this squad helps us and has a great attitude, heart, drive, and commitment.”

Seniors Lindsay Farrer, Megan Drews and Brenda Harpole form a trio of team captains. Farrer, who is back from a broken foot last season, is a role model of work ethic, Drews provides essential leadership, and Harpole has been dubbed by Dillinger as “the heart and soul of our team.”

Bringing the group together is goalkeeper Charlotte Felber, whose acrobatic stops make her one of the top goalies in the UAA.

“I would say the number one contributor is Charlotte Felber, or ‘Lottie.’ She’s phenomenal. She kept us in a number of games last year. She is arguably the best keeper in the conference,”said Dillinger.

If these veterans were the only ones wearing the red and green, Dillinger would still have confidence in the team. However, she is happy to have seven new freshmen that have given the Bears a new dimension.

“They are very talented, very athletic,” Dillinger said. “All seven of them will see a significant amount of time. Two or three will probably end up starting for us right off the bat.”

Dillinger praised defender Megan Bowen, forward Sara Schroeder, midfielders Talia Bucci, Maila Labadie and Meghan Marie Fowler-Finn as future stars.

“Their style of play, expectations and work rates fit right in,” Dillinger said. “They definitely raised the level of intensity and athleticism as well. They bring kind of a new perspective in terms of what we were looking for. We needed to add a little bit more urgency in our attack and those players bring that.”

Last season, the team compiled a record of 10-5-3 and finished fourth in the UAA conference. Dillinger sees her team as a dark horse candidate for this year’s conference title.

“I think we are going to be the silent team that sneaks up on a lot of people this year,” she said.

Because of that confidence in the program and the aspirations of becoming contenders for a national championship, the Bears have deliberately scheduled tougher opponents this season.

Washington University will again face conference rivals Chicago and Emory, ranked No. 14 and No. 25, respectively, in the NCAA Pre-season Top 25. In 2002, the Bears lost to both teams by a one-goal margin that came within the last five minutes of each match. Also in the conference are No. 13 New York and No. 21 Rochester.

Three other top 25 teams will take on the Bears before the conference matches begin. No. 22 St. Thomas will challenge the Bears, but more importantly, Dillinger’s squad will battle No. 5 Wheaton and No. 10 DePauw this weekend in the first two games of the season.

“Obviously picking up Wheaton and DePauw was huge for us,” Dillinger said. “They are traditional national powerhouses.”

In order for the Bears to attain that lofty status, the freshmen will have to play selfish, offensive-minded soccer.

“We have the potential with the freshmen,” Dillinger said. “It’s just as matter of developing it.”

Veterans key to Elmhurst Invitational

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Joe Ciolli
Bernell Dorrough

Washington University volleyball coach Rich Luenemann has won over 700 matches in his career, and has taken his team deep into the NCAA National Championships in each of the last four seasons.

One would think that Luenemann has achieved enough to be able to put on a little swagger. However, as the coach will tell you himself, he and his squad see the upcoming season as business as usual.

Today the Bears travel to Elmhurst, IL to compete in the Elmhurst College Invitational, an eight-team competition that will pit the team against some of the region’s top teams.

In the first game, the team will face Hope College, which posted a 17-14 record for the 2002 season. Later the same day the Bears will be up against a tougher opponent, the 15th-ranked Knights of Wartburg College. Last season the Bears snapped Wartburg’s 30-game winning streak, so the Knights will undoubtedly be looking for revenge.

“We’ll face some strong teams this weekend,” said Luenemann. “Wartburg remains one of the top teams in the central region. Elmhurst isÿvery good, rated in the top 20 in the pre-season poll.ÿTheyÿhave a reputation of springing upsets early in the season.ÿThey’re very tough at home.ÿSimpson, Oshkosh, Illinois Wesleyan and Stevens Point are all also regarded as premier NCAA III squads.”

If the Bears can get around Wartburg, which is probably the best team they will face, they should be in good shape to take home first-place honors.

Perhaps the most interesting storyline for the Bears as they prepare for their first games of the season is how they will cope with the loss of the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s reigning player of the year, Rebecca Rotello.

Luckily, the Bears have their other five starters returning, including senior co-captain Amy Brand, who led the Bears in both kills and blocks last season. Junior Colleen Winter, last year’s team leader in digs, is also expected to carry much of the load.

“We’re blessed to have 5 starters returning,” said Luenemann. “Their leadership skills and familiarity with our systems of playÿare incredibly important to our success.”

This weekend’s tournament will also be the first chance for the team’s four new freshman players to make an impression on Luenemann. In particular, newcomer setter Megan Delcourt will be thrust into an important role as the team tries to fill the gap left by Rotello’s departure. However, the depth of the Bears’ squad will keep the freshmen from getting in over their heads.

“With our experience we’re fortunate we don’t have to throw freshmen into toÿthe starting lineup,” said Luenemann. “Our systems of play are quite complex, and it’s tough for freshmen to assimilate to the nuances of the systems and then have to execute effectively. Yet, we hope we play well enough this weekend to allow everyone to see significant court time.”

Although the Bears have so many players returning, the team has undergone a number of changes, particularly on offense.

“We’ve tweaked the offense a bit from last season and added some new twists that are designed to free up our hitters in particular situations,” said Luenemann. “Our defensive system remains the same. We’ll experience a marked improvement in that phase of the game, as we become more comfortable with the system we run.ÿThat’s one area where our seniors will shine; they’re familiar with our concepts and how they flow together.”

After the tournament in Elmhurst this weekend, the Bears will enjoy a month-long stretch of matches at home as they host a series of invitationals, hoping to help Luenemann add another UAA and NCAA title to his list of accomplishments.

Campus improvements continue

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Erica Thompson
file photo

This year, construction on the Washington University campus will continue to affect students. There are many areas of construction, the most extensive of which is the preparation for a MetroLink station near campus. The library is also being renovated, as are some parking lots. Additionally, all of the older dorms will be torn down and replaced over the course of the next decade.

Sophomore Alex King said that construction will be more of a nuisance to students who drive to school than for freshman. He said the MetroLink construction around Forest Park Parkway is, “of course, an inconvenience,” but he is also “sure it’s great in the long run.”

“I think it’s great that they’re improving the campus,” said senior Lori Apfel. “I love the new dorms. It shows that they care about the school and how it looks.”

The long-term plan for construction on the South 40 includes rebuilding the dorms, building a new student center on campus, and relocating the Wohl Center. Todd Foley, Residential College Director for Phase III, explained the change.

“When they build the new student center on campus, they’re going to move Wohl further north,” he said.

The reasoning behind this is that the new location will create space for another residential college. This college will include Phase III, currently called “University Housing” while a more formal name is pending, and another new dorm, to be called Phase III B. The new Wohl Center will still include Bear’s Den, the Fitness Center, and mailboxes. These changes, however, are still at least 5 or 6 years down the road, according to Foley.

Perhaps the most noticeable change from last year is the absence of Eliot Residence Hall. The building was imploded earlier in the summer, with the construction of its replacement is already underway. The building, which will also be named Eliot, will be included with Nemerov in another new residential college. Chancellor Mark Wrighton and the Board of Trustees will be responsible for naming buildings and colleges.

Other highlights of construction include the renovation of Bear’s Den and the relocation of the Subway sandwich shop. Bear’s Den is still on the ground floor of Wohl Center, but the dining area has now been opened up and full-length windows have been added. The kitchen has also been revamped so that more options are offered for every meal. The Rat, formally the Rathskeller, is located near Mallinckrodt and has been changed from a student eatery to a new Subway. The administration approved the move from inside Mallinckrodt to a different location because of widespread student dissatisfaction with long lines and waits.

The work going on around campus should no longer be a problem for students now that classes have begun. The construction barriers around which students have been maneuvering will are gone.

Hoffner explained that the construction, which has been going on all summer, has progressed well.

“We’ve made incredible progress,” he said. “I don’t think there will be many inconveniences for new students. Most projects for this construction season are nearly complete.”

All of the projects are paid for by the University’s endowments and gifts to the University from alumni and friends. Hoffner explained that the renovations and developments on campus are to improve the quality of the institution.

“We think it’s important to continue to be competitive for the best students,” he said.

Home Plate gives students taste of home

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Rachel Phillips
Bernell Dorrough

“Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re on overload is to step back,” said Melanie Osborn, assistant director of orientation.

Three years ago, Osborn joined Risa Zwerling and Karen Coburn in founding “Home Plate,” a program designed to give students the opportunity to take her advice. Home Plate was created to give freshmen (though it is not limited to freshmen) the chance to spend time away from campus and be involved in a home-like atmosphere. During the school year, St. Louis families open their homes to two or three Washington University students for free home-cooked meals in a family environment.

“Being a freshman is a very hard job,” said Zwerling, wife of Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

Zwerling created the program when her oldest daughter struggled with homesickness at college. After being invited to her professor’s house for dinner one night, Zwerling said that her daughter began to enjoy college much more. Zwerling attributed the change to the home visit.

Zwerling believed that students who are away from home sometimes crave contact with a family, so she began to call some of her friends, particularly those with “empty nests.” After gaining student interest in the program, Osborn matched up the students and families, and the program took off. These days, Zwerling has 30-35 families, most of whom are friends of the Home Plate staff or faculty at the University, opening their homes to students.

Both the students and the families must fill out a general application involving information regarding topics such as allergies and religious preference, then send it to Osborn for review. After looking over the applications, Osborn phones the students and families, in order to gain a better understanding of their interests and expectations. Students interested in a certain field of study may be matched accordingly. For example, if a couple of students are studying Spanish, they can be placed in a Hispanic home (if there is one available) where they would be able to utilize their language skills and learn more about the culture.

After making these matches, Osborn helps the pairs to schedule the first dinner. The students and families are required to have at least three meals each year, and are responsible for scheduling after the first. The family provides transportation (unless the student has his/her own).

Although there are a few guidelines, most families go beyond the minimum requirements. The average number of visits is around two a semester, according to Osborn. For Assistant Director of Development in the School of Art and the School of Architecture Aly Abrams, hosting her three students has been a wonderful and enlightening experience.

“It’s been fabulous,” said Abrams. “We let [the students] participate as part of the family.”

Among other things, Abrams and her students have gone to movies, celebrated birthdays and went shopping at the bookstore. Abrams even took two students to a synagogue with her.

“It gives the students one more person to connect to if they have a problem and just want to talk,” said Coburn, assistant vice chancellor for students and dean of freshmen transition.

Senior Adrianne Casagrand became involved in the program at Osborn’s request. She said that the sense of connection is her favorite part of the program.

“I was nervous, but I couldn’t pass up a meal,” said Casagrand.

Casagrand started visiting her family her sophomore year when the program began, and she still continues to see them along with the two other students.

Coburn said that being with other students, together in a home, really makes a difference.

“Sign up and get together a couple of friends who want to do it with you-the sooner the better!” said Coburn.

Casagrand said that being with others enhanced the experience since she got to learn more about those two students as well as the family.

“Honestly, it gets better every time I go,” said Casagrand. “It’s a really good program, you have nothing to lose, and you get a free dinner!”

Greek Pre-O on backburner

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Michael Parks
Bernell Dorrough

During Pre-Orientation this year, a new program. the Wilderness Project was added to the list of programs, and an older was noticeably absent. Washington University’s three-year-old Greek Life pre-orientation program did not take place because the Board for Greek Life chose not to apply for a pre-orientation program spot.

Director for Greek Life Karen Johnes cited a scheduling conflict as the core rationale for the cancellation.

“The timing of the pre-orientation programs is such that they occur at the same time as our Greek leadership retreat,” said Johnes, “That means that our staff and a large part of our student leadership are not there at the pre-orientation program. We held the pre-orientation program last year at the same time as the Greek leadership retreat and it was somewhat of a disaster.”

Johnes said that it is imperative that the program be a success.

“Because this is a freshman’s first look at the University’s Greek life program, it is important that it goes exceptionally,” she said. “And we just couldn’t do that with the Greek leadership retreat occurring at the same time.”

Johnes also said the program has never been formalized.

“When this began it was kind of the brain-child of a student who was in Greek Life at the time,” said Johnes. “That was fine, but it never really found a home. It didn’t ever fall to any specific officer in the Fraternity Council or in the Panhellic organization to put together the pre-orientation program.”

David Dziekanski, a sophomore who attended the program last year, commented on the experience.

“I don’t think it was a disaster,” said Dziekanski. “It’s just that other pre-orientation programs are more work based, while the Greek Life program was more of just meeting kids. There wasn’t really a work element to this.”

He said that the program, despite its kinks, is a good idea.

“I think that most freshmen just want to come up here and meet some kids,” said Dziekanski. “The program let you do just that before Orientation started. That’s what I wanted to do and I enjoyed it.”

Initially, the Greek Life pre-orientation program was intended to give incoming freshmen a sense of the five areas of Greek life: social, academic, service, brotherhood/sisterhood, and leadership. Each of these aspects of Greek life was addressed with a different activity in the pre-orientation program.

Social activities included going to a Cardinals game, while academic activities included roundtable discussions with professors. Like all of the University’s other pre-orientation programs, the Greek Life program stretched from Sunday to Wednesday before regular orientation began on Thursday.

Johnes said that although it is dead for now, the Greek Life pre-orientation program could reemerge sometime in the future.

“I think it would be essential that the Greek Life retreat take place at a different time,” she said. “And I think we would need to work on formalizing the way that the program is organized. I don’t necessarily want to compare it to Launch, but we need something more like that. Launch is more traditionalized and that seems to help it run more smoothly. But I could definitely see the pre-orientation program taking place again someday if we get those issues worked out.”

For now, however, freshmen looking to learn more about joining the 24 percent of students who are involved with fraternities and sororities will have to look elsewhere as they begin their first year. Information about the eleven national fraternities and six national sororities on campus can be obtained from the Office of Student Activities beneath the Women’s Building on main campus.

WU Web site receives face lift

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Cory Schneider
Bernell Dorrough

Upperclassmen accustomed to Washington University’s old beige and red Web site were in for a surprise when they plugged in their Ethernet cable. The University’s redesigned Web site has been in the works since the beginning of last semester, when possible designs were proposed to administrative committees and feedback was given on the submissions.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Network and Library Technology and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Mary Ellen Benson led the effort to redesign the University’s Web site.

According to University Webmaster Gail Wright, a desire to overhaul the Web site’s look drove primarily drove the changes this time around.

“We attempt to refresh the University Web site approximately every two years, which is typical for institutions like ours,” said Wright. “The changes this time were primarily aesthetic, with much of the content remaining the same organizationally. We have attempted to keep the links up-to-date and to make sure all the information is current but there shouldn’t be many navigational surprises. ÿThe old page was no longer compatible with newer browsers and we’re striving this time for universal compatibility over a flashier appearance.”

The previous update of the Web page took place in 2000. At the time, a committee formed by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton collected recommendations and consulted faculty and students in order to gauge their needs.

“[The last redesign] was such a massive overhaul of the way the information was presented,” said Benson.

While its appearance is the most obvious change to the website, some modifications have resulted in disappointed responses.

“The new campus directory search has become completely uninformative,” said sophomore Pam Bookbinder. “The old version gave a student’s phone number, their major and their year. Now you can only find out what a student’s email address is. I don’t see the difference between the campus directory search and Faces.”

Wright said that the changes to the campus directory are due in part to the change in the University’s e-mail system.

“Changes to the University Web site and the University directory were independent, yetÿcoincidental with respect to timing,” said Wright.ÿ”Changes to theÿdirectoryÿare a result of theÿ@wustl University e-mail address implementation.ÿ The @wustl technical team anticipates further changes andÿencouragesÿmembers of the University community to test the new directory and comment on what does and doesn’t work.”

A recent e-mail addressing concerns about the new email system advised that students can contact the school with any complaints that may have.

According to Wright, the impetus to change the Web site came not only to modify its appearance, but also to attract potential students.

“Of course, we hope our new Web site will attract potential and current students, faculty, staff, friends, and alumni,” said Wright.

Wright added that the University plans to keep an eye on how the changes are received by the Web site’s users.

“One of the most important changes we made this redesign was to put the search engine front and center on every page we create and edit,” she said. “We carefully analyze our Web site statistics and try to make the best decisions about what stays and what goes based on usage, or lack thereof. We have been working on this redesign for well over a year and will begin the process again soon.”