Archive for August, 2004

Bears gear up for title defense

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Joe Ciolli
Margaret Bauer

The Washington University volleyball team, a longtime national power, has become accustomed to entering each season with high expectations. Fresh off a national championship-winning campaign and an off-season decorated with numerous individual accolades, however, the Bears may have outdone themselves this time.

But they certainly don’t think so.

The ultimate goal for reigning Division III National Coach of the Year Rich Luenemann’s squad remains the same this year: bring home the national title. But if the Bears are to repeat as champions, they’ll have to do so without the stellar play of All-American departed seniors Katie Quinn and Amy Brand. Both players played in nearly every one of their team’s 144 games last season, combining for a total of 744 kills and 312 blocks.

“Certainly there will be a bull’s-eye on our backs, but that’s okay,” said Luenemann. “We accept that. Although we’ve lost four starters from last year’s team, we’re exceptionally optimistic.”

As the Bears prepare to add to their Division III-record eight national titles, they will look to several players for considerable leadership. Perhaps the most important piece of the squad’s championship puzzle is senior outside hitter Colleen Winter. The Bears’ only first-team All-American last season and a strong contender for this year’s National Player of the Year Award, Winter tallied a team-high 448 kills in 2003 and ranked second for the Bears in digs with 567.

“Colleen is the most complete player I’ve ever coached,” said Luenemann.ÿ”She’s talented in every facet of the game…passing in serve receive, defense, attacking serving. She’s definitely a prime candidate for National Player-of-the-Year honors.ÿI can’t anticipate any player in Division III volleyball being more important to their team than Colleen is to the Bears.”

Other major contributors from last year that are returning for the 2004 season include junior All-American setter Kara Liefer, her fellow classmate Nicole Hodgman, and sophomore Amy Bommarito. Liefer enters this season following a breakout year that saw her rack up 1,629 assists and several weekly conference awards. With potential to make some serious noise on the national level, Liefer will undoubtedly give opponents something to worry about.

“Kara’s evolution as a premier setter was one of the major reasons we won the title last year,” said Luenemann. “She’s the most dynamic setter in Division III, and she’s only going to get better.ÿKara’s only been setting for two years, as she was a hitter in high school.ÿShe runs the offense, and her ability to get the ball to the right hitter in the right situation is paramount.”

On the other hand, Hodgman and Bommarito both excelled as defensive specialists last year. Hodgman played in most of the Bears’ games and led the team with 606 digs, while Bommarito added 312 of her own.

As they pursue their second consecutive national title, the Bears will once again have to reckon with their traditionally difficult University Athletic Association (UAA) schedule. The biggest in-conference challenge that the team will face should be New York University (NYU), who finished as national runner-ups in 2003 and are ranked second in the preseason poll. NYU boasts the talents of junior setter Katya Khmelnitskaya, who beat out several Bears for the UAA’s most valuable player honors last season. Although Coach Luenemann’s squad handled NYU last season, defeating the Violets on three separate occasions while only dropping a single game in the process, the Bears should tread carefully with a team that returns several key players.

Emory University is another conference foe that could potentially pose a threat to the Bears’ attempt at another undefeated UAA campaign. Ranked sixth in the preseason national poll, Emory is primed to make a championship run of their own.

The Bears kick off their title defense on Sept. 3 with a home match against Bethel University in the opening round of the Washington University Classic. With only Wartburg ranked in the preseason Top 25 poll (15th), this tournament should prove to be a good warm-up for the Bears as they prepare for later non-conference matches against more highly ranked opponents. Upcoming match-ups include third-ranked Juniata College, who handed the Bears one of their three losses last season, and eighth-ranked Wittenberg University.

“It probably wasn’t the wisest decision to begin the season with so many highly ranked foes, as we’re rather inexperienced,” said Luenemann. “However, we’re committed to facing the toughest teams we can. We’ll find out very quickly how good we really are.”

So with their sights set high for this upcoming season, the Bears certainly hold all of the tools necessary for an NCAA championship run. Whether they can use their veteran leadership and talent to the fullest extent remains to be seen, but come next weekend the Bears should have the look of a national contender.

Young team looks to build upon last year’s success

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Allison Wieczorek
Margaret Bauer

The Wash. U. soccer women had incredible success last year, becoming University Athletic Association champions for only the second time in the University’s history. They finished last season with a 14-3-3 record but have the talent and potential to win all 18 games scheduled this year. The 16 returning players and the 12 newest additions to the team are working hard and feeling well prepared for the exciting season ahead of them.

Everyone has high hopes and expectations for the season. Last year, they made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Still, senior captain Stephanie Ackerman said, “We very high expectations and we’re confident that we’ll go further in the tournament than we did last year.”

Last year’s leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Meghan Marie Fowler-Finn, said confidently that the goal is “to win a national championship.”

Ackerman added, “We’re going to surprise a lot of people this year.”

The team’s performance on the field will be enhanced by their unity and spirit. “The freshmen girls get along really well and there’s a lot of us,” said freshman midfielder Kim O’Keefe. “So that will really add to our team chemistry.”

According to the upperclassmen, the freshmen already fit in perfectly. As Ackerman noted, “The freshmen are doing a great job. They stepped up right when they got here and they’re really holding their own.”

The girls also get along well off the field and are genuinely supportive of one another. “The upperclassmen have been incredibly accepting and helpful,” said O’Keefe.

“We spend a lot of time together and we’re all really close friends; that will add a lot to our chemistry on the field,” added Fowler-Finn. “Even though we lost last year’s five seniors, our seniors this year are very good leaders and players and should take over the leadership positions very well.”

The team’s goals, talent, and chemistry will hopefully earn them the conference and tournament success they deserve. There are some teams, however, that will put up a fight. “University of Chicago was the [conference] runner-up last year and they’re ranked ahead of us this year,” said Fowler-Finn. “But we still expect to beat them like we did last year.”

“All of our conference games are big games,” added Ackerman. “Emory is a big rival, and DePauw and Ohio-Wesleyan will be big games.”

Ackerman, Fowler-Finn, and O’Keefe all agreed that Wheaton College will be the most challenging non-conference team to play. O’Keefe said, “They’re a really big and physical team, but we’re going to be watching some tapes and learning their moves. Last year, we lost to them 5-0 in the first game and just 1-0 in the second game. So we’re improving, and we will definitely beat them this year.”

Wheaton College is actually their first opponent, but unfortunately the game is away. So keep your fingers crossed on Sept. 3 for women’s soccer, and come support them at their first home game on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. against Webster University.

Strong senior class has Bears optimistic

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Allison Wieczorek
Margaret Bauer

Off to a great start, the Washington University men’s soccer team spent three hours on Wednesday in the pouring rain expecting a scrimmage that never came. This season, they also suffer the great loss of last year’s outstanding senior class. The team hopes that this will not significantly impact their success this season. The players still have a strong sense of unity and a strong sense of athleticism.

Junior midfielder/defender John Horky said, “We lost a couple of key seniors so there are some spots to fill. But we have a big senior class this year so we should be okay.”

“Everyone’s a little concerned about the loss,” added sophomore goalkeeper Matt Fenn, “But the seniors this year have really stepped up and are doing a great job filling their leadership roles. The juniors are also playing really well. So I don’t think it’s going to be such a big problem. We also have some really talented freshmen.”

Even though their core group of leaders from last year is gone, the team chemistry remains strong. “We care a lot about each other.” Fenn said. “I mean we still want to win, but we really like each other as people. We have a lot of team unity and we hang out a lot off the field. The freshmen are especially close. They’re together all the time and that helps a lot.”

Horky added, “We have a really big freshmen class, which is great, and a lot of talent. I think there are at least two or three of them that will make a big impact on the team.”

Fenn said the other two goalies, both seniors, are “ridiculously good,” and he expects to see a lot of scoring by junior forward Rob Weeks and senior midfielder Allen Gleckner. As Horky noted, though, “We need to get more aggressive in the attack and score some more goals because we lost a lot of good offense.” He added that head coach Joe Clarke “has been working very hard on getting us to score more and improve our attack.”

Clarke has also been scheduling a lot of team and individual meetings. “The meetings with the coach have been really good and really helpful,” commented Horky.

Of course, Wednesday night’s pre-season game cancellation was a big disappointment for the coaching staff and team alike. Horky said, “We wanted a game, and the team we were supposed to play would have been good competition. I think the team is just very anxious to get some pre-season games in so we’re ready when conference games begin.”

Based on their confidence in each individual player and the team as a whole, this team will be ready, not only for conference games, but for the tournament. They have a lot of history and impressive statistics behind them.

Men’s soccer has done a lot for University athletics in general. They have played in more NCAA tournaments than any other varsity program here has. They also have six UAA titles and haven’t had a losing season in 21 years. Their 10-5-4 record last season should be easy to beat this year.

“We should win conference and make the tournament,” said Horky. “From there, we’ll just go as far as possible.”

Fenn added, “If we play together and to our maximum potential, I think we can beat any D-III team. Winning the NCAA tournament isn’t easy, but we definitely have a chance, and we should definitely win our conference. We have one of the toughest conferences in the division, but we can do it.”

The team’s first home game is on Sept. 1st at 7 p.m. against Principia College, and they could use your support.

Arbiter Elegantiarum

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Kristin McGrath

Dear AE,

I’ve been packing and shopping for weeks in preparation for coming to school in the fall. When I go to the mall, I am lost amid a swirl of style I just don’t understand. Help! What are the dos and don’ts of fall fashion?

-Fashion-Challenged Pre-Frosh

My Darling FCPF:

Navigating the intricacies of trends can sometimes be as perplexing as tracking Madonna/Esther’s latest religious slant. Fear not, though, because I am constantly ruminating on what I like, and especially what I don’t like, about what fashion troubled co-eds are wearing.

First, let’s discuss what I don’t like, because, frankly, that’s what I enjoy. Let’s talk about those damn poofy skirts all the girliest (and, chillingly, non-girliest) of lasses are wearing. I mean, is it a lampshade? Is it granny’s lacey antique? Is it a cheap piece of crap? Hmm. Here’s a hint: they’re not flattering on anyone! Look thunder thighs, throw them out, get a life.

Next on the hit list, let’s think, reluctantly, on those Ugg boots and jean skirts. Sisters, come on! In what parallel universe is the combination of polar preventative and cowboy (un)chic actually plausible? It’s ugly, neigh, fugly. Go to Schnuck’s, buy some gasoline and matches, and have a bonfire. It’s warm… you won’t need sheepskin-lined footwear.

Moving on, let’s not ignore the male species. Are you kidding with those sweatbands sported on wrist and forehead? And what of the “Jewfro” you allow to sprout on your head? You do want to find a little lady to settle down with, don’t you? And those who defy gravity by wearing your collars up-honestly, what in the hell are you doing? Is it cool? Did I miss the memo? Is there some frat boy manual that someone forgot to give me? Fill me in, because I have to know!

Alas, there are just so many more faux pas. The overabundance of Longchamp and Herve bags in the festive colors are atrocious. The fact that people still think it’s okay to buy Kate Spades is also mind-blowing. The wearing of Juicy suits when it is 98 degrees outside. You are wearing something made out of towel material, fools! And lose the Tiffany bracelets and necklaces, already. You know it’s time to be free of your accoutrements when Target is vending knock-offs. Seriously, folks.

And as for the things that I do like, well looks like there simply isn’t enough space. I’m sure you’re heartbroken, or at least somewhat devoid of self-esteem. So go forth FCPF and dress wisely, or else I will hunt you down and give you a makeover. Which might not be a bad idea.

-Cory Schneider

Juxtaposed: On Finding Love

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Kristin McGrath

Monica O’Malley:

The time has come to hit the books, hopefully hit the hay, and maybe even to hit it. And yes, I mean “hit it” in that oh-so-cool subtle rapper way. I’m smooth like that.

But whether you are looking for a little lovin,’ or even actual love, the search is far from simple. But it does get easier with each year of college. No, wait, it doesn’t. Sorry.

Why such a pessimistic attitude? Because it’s the truth. But don’t worry. The optimism returns. I am here to offer my small piece of wisdom to you: stop looking for love…or whatever it is that you’d like.

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, the following fact holds true. If you want to pick someone up, don’t live your life wanting to pick someone up.

Men and women alike can smell neediness and desperation, even in the smallest degree. For women it’s a kind of sixth sense, right up there with the ability to know when a cute baby or cute shoes walk into a room.

For men, well…I never presumed to understand men. But they can smell it, too. That I know.

But please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not suggesting playing hard to get. I don’t suggest you should never make the first move.

If you like someone you should go talk to them. Hell, just smile at them!

But don’t depend on them to make your life everything you want it to be. You must first find a certain sense of happiness and resolution in your single-ness before you try to find it in couple-dom.

You want someone to drool at the thought of being with you? Then make sure you think yourself drool worthy. Only then can you live your life without looking for love like a sailor looks for icebergs, with constant vigilance.

Joshua Trein:

Now that school has begun, both love and the West Nile virus are in the air, and it is time for Joshua to do what he does best: provide advice of questionable merit for a problem he wasn’t asked to solve.

You’re no doubt thinking-what does one have to do to get a date around here? To be quite honest, I have no idea. To give you some idea of how off my perception of dating is, I fully expected to have some luck with the ladies in the organic chemistry course I took over the summer.

If you can’t stumble onto love in a semi-advanced science course, I lamented, where can you find it?

And then it hit me (not as hard as the young woman in my orgo class after I made an unfortunately misunderstood remark about multi-step syntheses, but hard nonetheless): there’s a damn good reason many go dateless here, myself included.

We don’t talk to anyone.

For all the complaining I did my sophomore year about being single, I never once took the initiative to do the unthinkable and *gasp* talk to a young woman. I let my excuses overtake my resolve at every possible turn.

Is this what I want out of my 20s? Wishing I had more self-confidence with which to meet lovers? Talking to a stranger is no doubt difficult, but over-intellectualizing it belies a simple truth: there is no such thing as self-confidence when it comes to dating!

Those who have successfully convinced themselves that meeting new people isn’t scary are merely experts at self-deception. After all, what is a racing heart or a shaky hand but a direct indication that every time we begin to fall in love we have no idea what the hell we’re doing? I don’t have many answers, but I know that I have a much better chance of finding someone when I’m an active part of life than when I’m alone, wondering where the world went. So, to all the young women in my Eukaryotic Genomes lecture, consider this fair warning. See you all next week.

Club Feature: Leadership Through Service

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Kristin McGrath

Though classes were more than a week away, students participating in Wash U’s Leadership Through Service pre-orientation program already had a full load. After eating breakfast at an hour most college students try to avoid, they ventured off campus into St. Louis, another thing many students avoid.

“I think this set of students see things in St. Louis that their peers will never see,” said Stephanie Kurtzman, advisor to LTS. “They get to talk about things facing the people in this region and do, by some standards, more community service than some people will do.”

Three days offered a wide sampling of what the world outside the Wash U Bubble has to offer. Students visited plant nurseries, food banks and shelters. They took an inner city tour that included Clinton-Peabody Public Housing Projects, which stuck out in the mind of freshman Kevin Sullivan after his first day of LTS.

“Our first day was a lot different than I thought it would be,” Sullivan said, before hurrying off to the next activity. “I thought we’d mainly be doing service projects but we also ended up on this tour. It was a pretty eye opening experience for lots of people.”

The next day found the LTS crew at Faith House, a home for abused and neglected children. For freshman Amber Barkly, it was a chance to learn some baby talk.

“These kids were at a stage where they can’t talk, but they make sounds, so you have to guess what they mean,” said Barkly. “That was really fun. We read Dr. Suess and then they all wanted to be airplanes so I swung them around.”

Even without the kids around, there were plenty of fun and games. Participants soon shared a bond known only by those subjected to moderately embarrassing team-building activities.

“We’ve had a chance to get to know each other and play some ice-breaking games, which is a good thing, because we’re all incoming freshmen,” said Dan Tilden, who found himself an impromptu spokesman for the “Dreidl Extreme” during one game.

LTS has become a tradition sustained by past participants who keep coming back for more. Gillian Fairchild, a coordinator, got a head start on her own freshman year through LTS two years ago.

“Before LTS, I didn’t really have any experience at Wash U,” said Fairchild, just before the arrival of the new recruits. “But I met a great group of friends that I’m still really close to and [LTS] just helped me find myself and where I wanted to go at college.”

Fairchild’s co-coordinator, junior Rajeev Jahagirdar, remembers playing checkers with residents of a nursing home, which, just two years later, closed due to lack of funding.

“You’re at Wash U to get an education, but through service you see and learn about what’s bigger than you,” said Jahagirdar. “I think LTS shows that you can use that education as a tool to change the community.”

Stepping Out: Masticate This

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Seth Dubner and Matthew Reed
Kristen Chopra

Chinese Noodle Caf‚

One of the newest additions to the international flavor on the Loop, Chinese Noodle Caf‚ will surely fill your belly without emptying your wallet.

From the moment you step through the doors, the friendly staff and owners greet you with a smile and cater to your every need. Moderately priced authentic Chinese cuisine is served fresh and piping hot, whether dining in or carrying out.

The Combo Plate Specials, which include a heaping portion of fried rice and an egg roll with your main dish, provide enough food for late night munchies or lunch the next day. Of the House Specials, the General Tso’s Shrimp, which offers a unique spin on the more traditional General Tso’s Chicken, is particularly delicious.

Virtually nothing on the menu costs more than $10.00 Vibrant colors in the food and on the walls make the setting of this restaurant that opened in late December of 2003 “feel like a comfy home,” said owner Peggy Hou.

She continued to say that she only serves the freshest meat and vegetables and that she tends to super-size students’ portions.

Having only been opened for 3 months, Chinese Noodle Caf‚ was voted No. 5 for best menu items by the Riverfront Times. Chinese Noodle Caf‚ is located at 6138 Delmar in the Loop, east of the Pageant. For take-out orders, call 314-725-9889.

Thai Country Caf‚

Thai Country Caf‚ has been a staple of dining out in the Loop for years. Located at 6223 Delmar, this incredibly authentic Thai restaurant will make you feel like you are riding a tuk-tuk in Bangkok.

The dishes and atmosphere stimulate the senses with an authenticity that is unmatched by any other Thai restaurant in the St. Louis area. The portions will send you home with a very satisfied stomach.

Start off with the Thai Iced Tea for a smooth, sweet taste that is a signature component of this distinct menu.

The fried rice dishes are unlike any flavor that you will find from other Far Eastern cuisine. Try No. 16 or No. 19 for a fantastic fried rice feast. The Thai BBQ Chicken (No. 28) is a succulent, peanut flavored surprise.

When dining in, be prepared for a long wait if the dining room is crowded, which it often is. Make sure you curb your craving for this tantalizing Thai food on Tuesdays since this is the one day of the week when the restaurant is closed.

If you’re pressed for time, place an order over the phone, 314-862-0787, and in less than 30 minutes, your order will be ready.

New Beginnings: Incoming Freshmen Reflect on Their Arrival

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Rachel Streitfeld

Last night, Chancellor Wrighton addressed the members of the class of 2008 at the Freshman Convocation. Though this will be the last time that this entire group will be together, for the next few weeks these freshmen will all struggle with the many challenges associated with the beginning of their college career: new introductions, new classes, new conversations, new rooms. We asked a few of the freshmen in Student Life’s Freshman Press pre-orientation program to reflect on their new beginning.

Shannon Petry:
One thing I’ve learned this summer is that shopping for my dorm room is about as time-consuming as the actual college application process. I think my friends and I have spent more time comparing towel brands at Linens ‘N Things recently than we ever spent working on our Common App essays last fall! I’ve been so focused on the residential aspect of college that the last time I thought about my class schedule was probably when I counted the number of notebooks (college-ruled, of course) I needed to buy for this semester.

Now, as orientation looms, I’ve had enough of dorm shopping and I’m eager to get settled and start classes. But I’m most looking forward to finding my place at Wash U and beginning the time that a myriad of graduation cards promise will be the best four years of my life.

Allie Wieczorek:
This summer was probably one of the worst of my life. I loved my job, but every minute I wasn’t working I found myself bored to death. My friends were more or less impossible to be around, as they spent much of their time reminiscing about high school and getting nervous about college. I spent a lot of time alone because my other option was to sit around and let my friends take out their nerves and anxieties on me. Everyone was extra edgy and constantly butting heads. Up until I arrived on campus, I saw this as a bad thing.

But then I realized that this miserable summer couldn’t have prepared me better for school. Most people sacrificed their amazing friends and social lives for Wash U just a few days ago, but I took care of that a few months ago. So my apprehensions about school are few and far between. Because the biggest adjustment to make has already been made.

Daniel Milstein:
For the past three years, I’ve been asked one question so often it makes “Hey Ya” seem new: “Where are you going to school next year?” For the first two years, I would always give the same, tired, “Oh, I’m still going to Packer, I’ll be a sophomore/junior,” which would garner the response, “Aren’t you like 20?” But last year, about a month before my 18th birthday, I started varying my answers. To people who live in my apartment building, I’d still say “Packer,” but to people whom I had met through various other endeavors, I would say, “I’m going to Colorado School of Mines!” or to people who only knew me from my politics, “I’ve decided to join the army.” Most people didn’t believe me, but I needed to break the routine.

But after I was accepted at Wash U I finally was able to truthfully answer the question, even though it came with the inevitable “Is that in Seattle or DC?” For me, that’s what college will be. Both an answer to the question, and now, an end to the question. Packing, preparing, that can all come later. But for now, I’ll lay back and see if I can turn on the radio and not hear Outkast.

Jennifer Serot:
A mountain of clutter fills all corners of my room. Where is everything exactly? I am not sure, but it is all there. I think. Everything from my new virus free laptop to my pleasantly smelling soaps, shampoos and conditioners is carefully arranged in a miniature suitcase and piled on my once neat wood floor. How long will it take to schlep all this junk to school? Who knows: Hours, days, months?

I have never looked fondly upon change and this is a change of gargantuan proportion. My new motto is out with the old and in the new. I fear that my suitemates will loathe my habits and I will find a nuisance in theirs. Time will tell. No sense in worrying about the small pieces of the larger puzzle. I will keep reminding myself that everyone is nervous to come to a new place. I hope I am not the only one filled with excitement, even though the excitement is outweighed by apprehension.

Outside the box: Dorm decoration on a budget

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Rachel Streitfeld
Margaret Bauer

Under $100
Decorator: Sarah Baicker

Decorating a dorm room on a $100 budget? Surely a difficult task for even the most resourceful and frugal student. Yes, it seems daunting, and yes, it will take much more work and creativity than decorating with $300 or $500, but it’s totally achievable. What follows are a handful of items that will add a cool and comfortable feel to your “home away from home,” that friends and roommates will envy, and that won’t make much of a dent into your savings.

Crucial to anyone’s dorm room is a way to incorporate photos of friends from back home. Sure, it’s easy and inexpensive to just tape a couple pictures to the walls, but why stop there? This year, I’m using a frame I found at Ikea, and it’s easily the coolest and most unique way to incorporate 21 photos I’ve ever come across. It’s like a cross between a film reel and a photo frame, called “Drops,” and it costs $9.99. Unfortunately, the closest Ikea to St. Louis is in Chicago, but-never fear!-it’s available on

Crayola makes “Window FX Washable Markers” that are great for doodling all over windows, mirrors, or other similar surfaces. For only $4, they’re not only a creative way to add personal flair to your living space, but they’re inexpensive, especially because they can be reused again and again.

Looking for a free and unique way to cover a wall? Try postcards! Many companies use free postcards as advertisements for their products. These postcards can usually be found in restaurants and shops in most cities, and often they’re really funny, clever, or at least cool to look at. Try covering an entire wall (or two or three) with a postcard mosaic. My best friend at BU did this her freshman year, and her room was easily the coolest I have ever seen.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that using Christmas lights in a dorm room is a far-from-unique idea, but I’m going to suggest it anyway. Christmas lights are cheap, especially now in the off-season, and can be found at Target for $5, or possibly less. They definitely add a certain feel to a room, and can create a very cool, very “party-ish” atmosphere when it’s dark.

If you ask me, one of the most important things to do when you’re living in a dorm room is cover the bleak, stark-white walls. Forgetting to do so can definitely leave your room feeling institution-like, and really, who wants that? Ideas like postcards and photos can only do this so much, and this is why I’m a fan of the tapestry. A tapestry, for those who don’t know, is like a big, flat sheet, usually with a cool pattern or colorful picture on it. The one I use is from Urban Outfitters’ sale section, and a variety of them can be found there for $15.99 on their Web site,

Another way to add color to your room is to put up curtains. You can get them for $15 at Target. This idea might seem insignificant, or even unimportant, on a $100 budget. But, to be honest, I’ve gotten more compliments on the inclusion of curtains in my room than on some of the other stuff I wish people had chosen to remark on; they really complete a room. For $5 more, you can get a plastic, expandable rod to hang them up.

I’ve focused a lot on walls in this list, but covering bleak walls is certainly not all that’s necessary to complete a look. So, returning once again to Ikea, I’m going to have to recommend the plethora of brightly colored, crazily patterned sheets and bedspreads they offer, for $19.99 each. I don’t even have a favorite; I like them all, and they’re all comfortable, too.

Another way to add personal and expense-free flavor to your living space is to use Microsoft Word (we all have it anyway) to make your own calendar. You can include pictures of friends, family, pets or just random photographs of anything you can think of. This is definitely much more fun and creative than going to K-Mart and picking up whatever calendar you find there.

So, we’ve come down to the final $25. I’m going to have to suggest the “No Boundaries” floor lamp from Walmart (I know, I know, but work with me-we’re on a tight budget here). It’s really cool, colorful, and provides the extra light that you’ll need, especially if you’re living in one of the new dorms with flickering, buzzing lights.

There you have it… a decorated dorm room for a total of $98.96! Good luck, and remember: putting together your room is supposed to be a great, creative way to express yourself. Have fun!

Under $300
Decorator: Adrienna Huffman

Your dorm room has just become your second home, and before the year really takes off, you might as well as make it a place of your own. Even with just $300, you can do plenty to clothe those naked walls, beautify functional storage containers, and mask the bright fluorescent lights.

Designing your room with a neutral color scheme will appeal to a mass of appetites and styles. Lately, stores are featuring more minimalist furniture and designs, some of which I’ve incorporated into this dorm room enhancement. So, I would call the decoration inspiration for this dorm a natural, Asian-minimalist approach.

To begin this transformation, Bed Bath and Beyond, in the same shopping complex as Target, sells beautiful wall tapestries that will cover any large wall since they run 72 inches wide by 108 inches long, for only $19.99. They come in all sorts of patterns and colors to suit an array of tastes and the tapestry alone will add a bohemian flavor to your dorm room while covering a wall, or even the ceiling, for less money than several posters.

Extra seating is a must, especially for friends and visitors, and Bed Bath and Beyond sells comfortable yet space efficient seating, called “Slinky Chairs,” moderately priced at $39.99. These too come in distinct colors, to match your bedding and tapestry.

Our next stop is Target, for a practical yet pleasing 5 by 8 foot jute area rug, made by Bali for $69.99. Its neutral color will suit the wall tapestry and chair, while giving a homey feel to the room.

Following our neutral theme, Target also sells an Asian themed floor lamp with a rice paper shade, for $29.99, that would harmonize perfectly with the jute rug and tapestry while brightening the room, so you won’t have to use the dingy overhead florescent lamps. In addition, some natural colored window shades, for $27.99, and a decorative window rod, for $19.99, complete the natural, earthy feel.

For storage, I recommend three rectangular dark brown wicker baskets, also at Target for $29.99 a piece, which will add plenty of extra, decorated storage space while complementing the other room accessories.

However, the lack of color in this room design could be dull and bland for some students. An easy solution is that all of the room decorations chosen come in an array of colors and patterns. So instead of the neutral colored jute rug, your tastes might be better suited to a patterned rug of distinct colors, or window shades that, instead of detracting attention from the eye, bring a viewer’s focus to the only natural light in the room.

And for a grand total of $298, your dorm room could look and feel like a home away from home, with just a trip down the red line and a two-stop shopping spree.

Under $500
Decorator: Kristin McGrath

The negative effects of stress are numerous and include lowered immunity, lowered concentration, and a lowered sex drive. So rejuvenate your ever dwindling sanity with a room full of cheerful colors and soothing d‚cor. Serenity now!

Replace the prison-cell-chic of your cold tile floor with the playful exuberance of a giant jigsaw puzzle! The colorful foam pieces, available for $14.99 at Target interlock to cover any floor.

Liven up the white cement void that is your ceiling with a groovy tapestry from Sunshine Daydream Imports on the Loop. For $19.99 you’ll have something fun to stare at while procrastinating.

Your bare room is like an empty canvas, so decorate it with colorful Gel Gems ($10.50 at Dry Ice in the Galleria). Available in assorted shapes, they adhere easily to your wall, ceiling, mirror, or roommate.

Studies say that watching fish in an aquarium eases stress. How appropriate, then, that a mini desktop fishtank from Petsmart ($19.99) fits right in next to your computer.

Once you sit in one of Target’s plush, form-fitting Dish Chairs, it’s virtually impossible to leave. For $28.00, you can make lots of new friends!

Revamp your window with a cascade of color. With the Beaded Curtain Rainbow from Dry Ice in the Galleria ($29.00), you can brighten up those gray venetian blinds.

Upgrade from the average beanbag chair to a velvety, foam-filled Poof Chair from Futon Express on the Loop. At $149.95, the chair is a small price to pay for having the most popular room on your floor.

Adorn your bed with Sand-filled Moshi Pillows available for just $9.99 at Linens ‘n Things. They come in cheerful colors and cute animal shapes, and, best of all, have the texture of a stress ball!

Your professors will make sure you spend lots of time sitting at your desk. Make this experience less physically damaging with a comfortable swivel office chair ($47.49 at Best Buy).

Tending a Zen Garden is said to clear the chaotic mind. A desktop Zen Garden for $19.99 from Bed Bath and Beyond includes sand, a rake, and stones. You provide the chaos.

Your dorm d‚cor reflects your personality. So add some flavor to your desk with something unique, like a funky lamp from Phoenix Rising on the Loop for $66.

Just because your bed looks like something you’d find at summer camp doesn’t mean it can’t be elegant. Dress it up with a flowing canopy from Linens ‘n Things for $39.99.

After transforming your room into a cozy sanctuary, counter the buzzing radiator and your neighbor’s midnight confessions with a Nature Sounds clock from Bed Bath and Beyond. For $24.99, you can fall asleep to birds chirping and wake up to cathedral bells.

University walks tightrope in staying neutral

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | Rachel Streitfeld

As Washington University gears up to host the presidential debate on October 8, students are taking the opportunity to champion their political beliefs by inviting politicians, analysts and even a popular indie band to campus. However, administrators must decide between activities that foster open dialogue between students and those that threaten the University’s neutral political stance-and they’re finding the line to be very thin.

In April, the University released a memorandum defining its stance on political activities on campus. Events must be open to everyone, and they cannot serve as fundraisers for a political candidate. Then the line blurs-an event cannot become a political rally, meaning that administrators are put in the position of predicting how an event will unfold.

“It’s just part of the game,” said Vice Chancellor for Students Jill Carnaghi. “But I think in a national election year, there’s way more interest in various individuals and groups coming to campus, and all kinds of student groups are interested in hosting.”

To maintain tax-exempt status, Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code “absolutely prohibits the University from participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign.”

“As a non-profit institution and a neutral institution, we cannot be seen as hosting events that are completely partisan in nature,” said Director of Governmental Relations Pamela Lokken.

In the past, students have chosen to host partisan events off campus in order to avoid the restriction. For instance, Carnaghi said that during the 2000 presidential campaign, some students met at Blueberry Hill to host a political meeting.

Carnaghi stressed that the University does invite and encourage all open dialogue on campus.

“What are the parameters and how do we allow as many options and possibilities as possible?” asked Carnaghi. “If it’s a nonpartisan group, it’s not a problem. We want as many individual groups as possible to be able to come to campus.”

An upcoming musical performance has recently come under scrutiny. The Gargoyle booked Yo La Tengo, an alternative band, to play in the basement of Mallinckrodt on October 4. But the performance is more than entertainment-the group is making a tour of swing states to support Democratic candidate John Kerry.

According to a description of the upcoming tour posted on the band’s Web site, the group’s “plan/hope is to have guest musicians, singers and comedians at all the shows…. In this relatively informal setting, [they] will offer [their] thoughts on the election (and trust [their] comedian friends to do so as well, only more entertainingly).”

As for the appropriateness of the concert, the jury is still out. Lokken said she would need more information to decide whether hosting the band on campus violated university policy.

“In my opinion (the performance) is not partisan. It’s a concert; it’s not a political rally,” said the Gargoyle Committee’s Adam Wood, a senior who books events for the group. “It will be treated by the Gargoyle Committee as a standard Gargoyle event. We pay artists, artists perform, people pay to see the artists.”

If election fever strikes campus with the force many expect, administrators say that Yo La Tengo’s visit may not be the only event to prompt further study. For student groups with questions about the policy, the guidelines are posted online at