Archive for April, 2005

Sports scores and highlights

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Justin Davidson and Harry Kang
Dan Daranciang

Men’s Tennis

Last Meets: Wash U. 1, Kalamazoo College 5 and Wash U. 4, Coe College 1

Team Notes: Three Bears were named to the All-University Athletic Association team. Juniors William McMahan, Eric Borden and Zack Fayne made the team. Also, freshman Charlie Howard was named the UAA Tennis Athlete of the Week.

Next Meet: The Bears finished the regular season with a record of 13-5.

National Ranking: 17

Women’s Tennis

Last Meet: Wash U. 9, Principia College 0

Team Notes: Six Bears were named to the All-University Athletic Association team. Senior Kacie Cook made the first team in singles. She has a combined singles and doubles record of 120-74 in her career at the University. Senior Sara Kabakoff, sophomore Erin Fleming, senior Erica Greenberg and senior Becky Rovner were also named to the team. Head coach Lynn Imergoot was awarded Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

Next Meet: The Bears will get ready to participate in the NCAA Championships on May 7th and 8th.

National Ranking: 16

Track and Field

Last Meet: Both the women’s squad and the men’s squad finished 3rd at North Central Quad.

Team Notes: On the women’s side, freshman Megan Wille finished third in the 400-meter dash. Junior Laura Ehret and freshman Lisa Sudmeier finished first and second, respectively, in the 800-meter run. On the men’s side, sophomore Ryan Lester finished third in the 800-meter run. Junior Brennan Bonner finished second in the 1500-meter run.

Next Meet: Wash U. is set to host UAA Outdoor Championships on April 23rd and 24th.


Last Game: Wash U. 16, Eureka College 0

Team Notes: Senior Dan Rieck hit his team-leading tenth home run of the season. The Bears amassed 16 runs on 21 hits. Sophomore pitcher Brent Buffa improved his season record to 9-1 by throwing a complete game four-hit shutout. He also struck out 11 batters.

Did You Know: The Bears are just two wins away from tying their single season record of 30 wins.

Next Game: The Bears are scheduled to play against Illinois College on May 1st at 1 p.m.

No. 1 softball can’t be beat

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Scott Kaufman-Ross
Dan Daranciang

With just one game left to play in the regular season, the Washington University softball team heads into the postseason red hot. After another four wins this week, the Bears extended their winning streak to an incredible 26 games, which is the 11th-longest winning streak in Division III history. Their overall record of 43-1 is tops in the nation and the Bears will conclude the regular season as the No. 1 ranked team. The team is just five wins shy of the Division III wins record or 48, held by The College of New Jersey in 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1995.

On Sunday, Apr. 24, the squad edged out Wartburg College (23-8) in a 3-2, 7-6 sweep in Waverly, Iowa. The two games were some of the closest the Bears have seen all season. Heading into the final inning, the Bears were looking at their second loss of the year until senior Jackie Burgdorf hit a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the seventh to give the Bears a 3-2 come-from-behind win. The home run for Burgdorf was the first of her career.

In the second game, the University didn’t go easy after the nail-biter in the first game. The squad pounded out 13 hits and held off a late rally from Wartburg to post a 7-6 victory. Junior Amanda Roberts went 3-for-3 on the day, knocking in two RBI and adding three runs scored in the effort.

Following the sweep of Wartburg, the team took on Webster University (26-10) on Wednesday, Apr. 27 in its last home stint of the regular season. Coming off their WU record 24-game winning streak, the Lady Bears decided to put on a hitting performance for the home crowd. During the double-header, the team knocked out six home runs; the University had 12 hits, including two home runs, in the 7-1 win in game one. They followed that up with four home runs in a 9-1 win in five innings in the nightcap.

The Bears will begin postseason play in the next two weeks. Softball playoffs have two rounds: Regionals and Nationals. Due to the incredible success of the squad this season, Regionals may take place at home at Francis Field. However, due to the incredible strength of their region, teams may shift regions, so plans have yet to be finalized. The winner of each regional competition advances to Nationals for the right to be crowned Division III National Champions.

Regardless of where or who they will be playing, the Bears are headed into the playoffs full speed ahead. The team has already demolished their previous record for wins in a season, and are showing no signs of slowing down. The Bears boast two starting pitching aces who are both fresh off fantastic seasons. Senior Victoria Ramsey, who recently became the Bears all-time winningest pitcher, heads into Friday’s finale with a 14-0 record and 0.53 ERA. Sophomore standout Laurel Sagartz, the UAA Player of the Year, topped the 20-win mark this week, bringing her season record to 21-1, with an ERA of just 0.72.

Sophomore slugger Jamie Kressel has been making headlines of her own. With two home runs in Wednesday’s 9-1 win over Webster University, Kressel topped double-digits in home runs and leads the team with 11 round-trippers. Senior Liz Swary has produced a successful farewell campaign, batting .445 with 7 HR and a staggering 51 RBI.

Also wrapping up exceptional seasons at the plate are freshman Amy Vukovich and junior Monica Hanono. Vukovich leads the team with an outstanding .461 batting average and an on base percentage of .527, while Hanono finished with a .424 batting average to go along with 3 HR and 31 RBI.

Head Coach Cindy Zelinski has pushed the girls hard all season, producing very apparent results. In her fifth year at the University, Coach Zelinsky pushed the girls to perform at the best of their ability and stressed the importance of teamwork and team unity. The unorthodox pre-game rituals of the team demonstrate the type of bond the girls have formed, which has translated into victories on the field and a promising postseason.

Students survive the “sophomore slump”

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Elizabeth Lewis

By the time new freshmen set foot on campus, they have already been warned of the challenges of moving away from home, meeting new people and starting life in a different environment. But seldom do students hear about the challenges of the transition from freshman to sophomore. The push to declare a major, find an internship and decide whether or not to apply to study abroad can lead second year students to fall into “the sophomore slump.”

“Sometimes, sophomores can feel a bit ignored compared to the freshmen,” said Karin Levin-Coburn, vice chancellor for students and the author of “Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years.” Levin-Coburn continued, “There is an expectation that sophomores should know how things work.”

In her book, Levin-Coburn addresses this secondary transition and the confusion that can sometimes ensue. One of the staff counselors in Counseling and Health Services, Sarah Shia, said such confusion can arise when sophomores start thinking about the many choices that lie ahead.

“Sophomore year is a time when people make changes in ideas of what they would like to major in,” said Shia. “This time can interfere with a person’s identity. Prior to this time, things have been laid out. This is the first time that [he/she] has had to make a major decision.”

Sophomore Ashley Smith attested that the “sophomore slump” does exist, due in part to the increasing importance of the choices students make.

“The initial excitement [of college] is gone, and you are trying to find your way through coursework and majors.”

The “sophomore slump” does not necessarily have to be bad, according to Levin-Coburn. She said it can serve as a learning experience and has many hidden positives.

“The ‘sophomore slump’ is a period of certainty and uncertainty, and it is a time of growth,” said Levin-Coburn. “The slump can be compared to a shellfish that has lost its shell in order to grow, but it is vulnerable in between.”

Smith said she had been dreading her sophomore year because she heard other people badmouthing it. But according to her, “sophomore year has been a learning experience. [You] are not quite an upperclassman, but you have a level of responsibility. Freshmen look up to you.”

For students nervous about becoming sophomores, Levin-Coburn said there are ways to survive. She recommends that students make use of the resources that are available.

“Actively choose to talk to professors, engage with advisors and use the counseling services. Use the advantage of being a sophomore. You know what is around,” she said.

Shia, in her meetings with students, also recommends that people take advantage of what Counseling and Health Services has to offer. She says that experiencing the “sophomore slump” is “normal.”

“People should definitely use the resources at hand. You need to deal with the problem and know if you are overextending yourself,” she said.

The problem may not be an inevitability, as some sophomores do not experience the slump at all. Sophomore Joe Thomas said he never felt lost during his second year.

“I do not feel neglected,” Thomas said. “There is not as much hand-holding, but the school still bends over backwards for all of its undergraduates.”

“Sophomore slump” survivor Smith concurred, and said that overcoming the transition is not a difficult thing to do. She told new sophomores to “be encouraged. Sophomore year is not as bad as people make it out to be. You can make it through.”

Secrecy surrounds “You Make Wash U” signs

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Troy Rumans

Students who attended the first annual You Make Wash U ceremony on Wednesday evening came away disappointed when the people behind the campaign didn’t reveal themselves.

The You Make Wash U ceremony represents the beginning of an initiative to change the daily life of the campus in fundamental ways. This particular event was the culmination of preceding weeks, during which enigmatic “I Make Wash U ___” signs cropped up throughout the campus. The attendees at the event ranged from students who applied via the website listed on the signs, notable members of the University student body and Bon Appetit employees.

About twenty people convened at around 8:00 p.m. in Holmes Lounge with one thing in common: total bewilderment. Before them stood a bountiful collection of food (none of it kosher for Passover, much to the chagrin of many), but little else. Not one person knew exactly why they were invited to attend, or who had organized the whole affair.

Eventually, the ceremony itself began. The assembled body waited with anticipation to see who would step up to the podium. A familiar yet surprising face greeted them as Richard Poe, Bon App‚tit employee and a regular sight at the Whispers caf‚, came to the front to begin the presentation.

“In recent years, I have become a good friend of a person, who wishes to remain nameless,” began Poe. “He asked that I present the awards.”

The finalists, chosen from the online applicant pool, were recognized for how they felt they affected the community of the University. Ideas ranged from the quirky “I make Wash U spunky” and “I make Wash U better looking than U of Chicago” to the more sober and poignant “I make Wash U nothing.”

When asked, many of those present said they had decided to apply and attend the ceremony out of curiosity.

“Coming into the night, I wasn’t really sure, but…some of the things said, they really made me think about why I’m here,” said senior Barry Cynamon. “One of the reasons I applied was because I didn’t know what it was.”

The air of the congregation was one of optimism as well. After the ceremony had ended, Poe noted this ceremony was only the first of many campus activities to come. He thought that this initial event was very well received by students, especially upon seeing the incredibly positive atmosphere at the close of the ceremony.

“It was a good idea…it’s a way to get your opinion [about the University] out,” said Poe. “It keeps things on a more positive note like this, it gets students interested in what’s going on.”

Sophomore Gina Anderson echoed the sentiments of those present.

“It’s really funny… I’m not even sure why I applied,” said Anderson.

The people behind the initiative have yet to reveal themselves, and their future plans still seem shrouded from the public. After the presentation of awards, the ceremony abruptly ended. Poe remained mum over who exactly started the program, and what would happen next.

The evening ended with all in attendance even more perplexed than when it began, yet with an invigorated attitude towards the student community of the University, and how they each fit into the tapestry of this micro culture.

Inventors put ideas on parade

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | John Hewitt
Dan Daranciang

Yesterday, the Skandalaris Entrepreneurship Program at the Olin School of Business launched “Idea Bounce,” a new opportunity that facilitates the sharing of creative and innovative ideas between members of the Washington University community. The project, which consists of a Web site and events, invites prospective entrepreneurs to bounce their business ideas off of one another.

The Web site debuted last week, and the Skandalaris Center hosted its first event on April 28 in May Auditorium.

“How do great ideas become reality? We wanted to provide a resource that would help people make connections,” said Chris Dornfeld, the entrepreneurship collaboration director at the Skandalaris Center.

The first event had a total of 13 presenters with 14 ideas. The ideas presented ran the gamut from ‘Better for you Beef’ (beef mixed with tofu) and the ‘Pup Tub’ (a self-contained dog-washing apparatus) to ‘Washington University Press’ (a book press for the university). Each presenter was given two minutes to “bounce” an idea to the audience and a panel of five judges, which included community partners such as venture capital firms, incubators and other local entrepreneurs.

Senior Brandon Heller, collaborating with fellow senior Ari Roisman, presented “Engineering Innovation for the Disabled Workforce.” Brandon said that their proposal is to make productivity-enhancing devices for the disabled.

“We came up with the idea in hopes of keeping jobs in the United States as opposed to outsourcing,” Heller said. “We propose to do this by making the disabled more able to perform simple jobs.”

Of the ideas presented, five entrepreneurs will win $100 prizes and dinner with the judges of the contest. The winners will be selected by a set of three standards: the quality or value of the idea, the creativity of the idea and the quality of the presentation.

Although not everyone wins the competition, junior Aarin Yu explained that Idea Bounce’s objective is to provide a forum for members of the Washington University community to share innovative ideas and learn how to start a business or patent an invention.

“Idea Bounce is a stepping stone to helping you accomplish your goals,” Yu said. “Although everyone doesn’t win, they still learn through the workshops, get exposure and form networks. If you can think of an idea, we can find a way to help you. is open to anyone in the St. Louis area and entering the competition is free of cost. The interface is similar to that of a blog, but posting is open to the public. Contestants have posted 20 ideas on the website thus far. Prospective entrepreneurs post descriptions of their ideas along with what they need to make them into a reality.

-With additional reporting by News staff

Gupta promoted to B-school dean

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Brad Nelson
Courtesy of

The Olin School of Business plucked one of its own to take the school’s top post, naming Mahendra R. Gupta, a senior associate dean, as the new business school dean. The University announced his appointment yesterday.

Gupta will replace Dean Stuart Greenbaum, who is stepping down after 10 years in the role on July 1.

“I’m delighted that Mahendra has accepted the appointment as dean of the Olin School of Business,” Chancellor Mark Wrighton said in a statement. “His work as senior associate dean makes him a very knowledgeable successor for Stuart Greenbaum. I look forward to supporting his efforts as he continues strengthening Olin and its national and international programs.”

The announcement ends a nationwide search that began almost immediately after Greenbaum announced his departure in September. The University employed the executive headhunting firm of Korn/Ferry International to help in the search process, hoping lure a candidate in the mold of former President Bill Clinton or Jack Welch, the former chief executive officer of General Electric. The search committee eventually decided upon an internal candidate who they could quickly integrate into the position.

“If we had brought in somebody from the outside, it would take them almost a year to become intimately involved,” said Greenbaum. “The insider always has an advantage. The fact that he’ll be able to grapple with [all the challenges the school faces] is tremendous.”

Student Union President David Ader, an Olin student and a member of the search committee, agreed. “You want someone to come in and know what the position demands of them,” he said. “A prestigious name can’t necessarily do that.”

Greenbaum said that Gupta’s main challenges will be continuing faculty development and growth, expanding MBA and non-degree programs, adjusting to the increasing competition with other business programs and transforming the school’s career center into one of the best in the county. According to Greenbaum, Gupta is up for the challenge.

“He’s an inspired choice. He knows the school inside and out and is uniquely equipped,” he said.

Gupta, who has worked at Olin since 1990 and has served as senior associate dean for the last two years, is also the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management. He has also worked on development committees for many of the school’s degree programs.

“Mahendra represents the best of Olin in teaching, research, community service and preparing tomorrow’s business leaders,” said Anjan Thakor, a professor of finance and a member of the search committee for a new dean.

Gupta grew up in India and attended Bombay University for his undergraduate studies. He received his master’s degree in industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. After working in various managerial posts, he attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and in 1991 received his Ph.D. in finance.

In 1991, he placed first in the American Accounting Association’s competition for best doctoral dissertation in the field of managerial accounting. He has also been published in numerous leading academic journals, including The Accounting Review and The Journal of Management Research.

“I’m very pleased and honored to have an opportunity to lead the school,” Gupta said in a statement. “We have the potential to make Olin one of the premier global institutions for business education and research. We have world-class faculty, talented staff and a bright and vibrant student body. Indeed, our path to future success will be defined by key roles played by faculty, students, alumni and our loyal supporters in the business community.”

Where’s our pride?

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Emily Schlickman

It’s Saturday morning. All of the sudden, you feel an overwhelming urge to crack open your books. Astounded by this rare impulse, you decide to actually get some work done. As you walk over to the library, you begin to notice something you had never paid attention to before: the remnants of a Friday night carelessly strewn all over the South 40.

Last year Washington University took part in a recycling competition with 16 other universities. The 10-week competition ranked each university by the amount of recyclable material each student could produce. Miami University succeeded in securing the number one position with 58.28 lbs/person. Washington University placed last with 3.87 lbs/person – 15 times less than that of the leading schools.

Now, before we start pointing fingers, we must realize that certain variables probably don’t help the situation, such as poorly labeled disposal containers, St. Louis city restrictions on recycling and the lack of adequate instruction. Yet, these factors alone cannot account for this massive discrepancy. Other universities must face some of the same recycling roadblocks that we encounter, but they are capable of instituting successful programs. With this, we must wonder if these uncontrollable variables constitute just a deceptive layer of excuses under which the true problem lies. Are we – the students, the faculty, the staff – at least somewhat responsible?

We have all heard of the “Wash U. Bubble” where academia and partying take precedence over other priorities. At one point or another we all have fallen into this trap of only seeing narrow bands of importance in our college lives. But this does not give us the right to renege on our personal responsibilities that we once took pride in claiming. It seems as though once thrown into the college scene, many of us (myself included) become so wrapped up in our own desires and aspirations that we refuse to respond to issues that once compelled us.

Now, this troubling issue extends far beyond the realm of recycling programs. For example, many of us have lost touch with the rest of the world. Most of us grew up reading the newspaper and watching the news. We took pride in becoming informed of the events that shaped the environment around us. Yet now it seems as though our only concerns revolve around GPAs and the next place to get drunk.

I am not trying to reprimand the Washington University community. Rather, I wish simply to expose a personal observation that has become more and more evident to me. So now we must pose this question to ourselves: Where did our pride go? Just because our atmosphere has changed doesn’t mean that our self-imposed duties can. In a recent survey, 97% of Wash U. students admitted that recycling could improve on campus. So, I beg of you, whether you are finishing up at the library and tossing your notes away, or cleaning up after a party and getting rid of a massive bag of beer cans – think twice about blindly lobbing them into the garbage.

Things I learned this week

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Brian Schroeder

This has been a pretty fun week, being the last week of classes and all. Despite the fact that I went out every night of the week, I’ve still made it to all my classes and managed to learn a few things in the process. I’ve decided to impart my wisdom upon you.

On Monday I learned that the best way to impress your professors in ArtSci is to wear a suit to your presentations. I took business Spanish this semester with one of my friends and our final presentation was on Monday. We both dressed up in suits and ties, something that we’ve gotten quite used to over here in the preschool, and the effect was quite dramatic. Even outside of class the effect was noticeable. I received compliments from all sorts of random people and I had more than my fair share of girls longingly gazing in my direction. Some of the looks probably had to do with the fact that very few people have ever seen someone with a red faux-hawk wear a Donna Karen suit as well as I do. Either way, wearing a suit convinces people that you are a lot more professional than you actually are. This point was well illustrated the following morning.

I had changed my shirt and tie to a more casual black dress shirt and no-tie look for $4 Martinis at Drunken Fish. It was there that I learned that you can make a great martini with sake and that a faux-hawk in a night club is an immediate invitation for conversation. I eventually passed out on Hiram’s couch, after hanging up my suit, of course, and woke up Tuesday morning with just enough time to get re-dressed and go to class. While sitting in the back of accounting class a friend of mine complimented me on how nice I looked. I was still kinda messed up after a night of pounding martinis so my response was “I know.” Lesson number four: never say that to a girl. If I hadn’t been sitting down I’m sure she would have kicked me in the junk.

Later on that evening I watched “Blade: Trinity” with some friends and managed to learn some great things from that movie. Most importantly, I learned that, to vampires, fat people taste like Cheetos. After going to Wal-Mart Wednesday afternoon I soon learned why. Approximately 99.9% of Wal-Wart shelf space is devoted to other worldly engineered foods that contain not a damn thing that people should consume on a regular basis, yet the fat people in the store were stocking up like the stuff was going out of style. Listen people, even if the tapioca pudding is marked “6 grams total carbs low fat no sugar added,” it’s still not okay to eat them by the dozen. Slow down and have an apple or something.

During lunch on Wednesday afternoon I learned that all the girls on campus really just want to go on dates with guys. I was talking with Slav’s girlfriend and her friends who, by the way, are totally sweet and super awesome, and we got on the subject of serious relationships in college. I told them that throughout my four years in college the longest relationship I had was the one morning I decided to actually walk a girl back to her dorm on the 40. I then told them that, while sleeping with random smelly pirate hookers was okay, I really missed going on dates with girls and doing things other than getting drunk and hooking up. The collective sigh that they emitted was only matched by the sigh that girls make when they see famous babies dressed up like flowers. They then proceeded to tell me that I’m the nicest guy ever and that it really made their day to hear me say that.

I personally don’t think that any girls on campus want to go on dates, or maybe it’s just that no girls want to go on dates with me, but either way if any cute girls out there want to go on a date with me before school is out just send me an e-mail. Anyway, I’m getting ready to head out to $1 beer/$1 sake at Modai (it’s Wednesday), so I’m gonna stop right here. Enjoy WILD and if you run into me keep in mind that I’ve probably checked out for the night and that it’s really Mr. Hyde that you’re witnessing.

The next step

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Zach Goodwin

With a trembling hand, Nietzsche declared God dead – and I, for one, agree with him. For Nietzsche, however, the realization was hardly a triumph: he envisioned the dissolution of the Western world, he shook with insecurity. Our world, according to Nietzsche, was recast as “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” In sum, man couldn’t continue without his myth, reason couldn’t maintain the State – and Nietzsche prepared for the unraveling. Cue fiery decline.

But the State has stood; and it was modernism, not nihilism that emerged from the rubble of the old myths. We’ve taken careful steps towards the secular and the foundations of society have remained intact. What are the consequences for the future of our religious institutions? Assuming the nonexistence of God – and this is a point I won’t attempt to defend – can we expect a reimagining of the church? Does it alter our values? Change the way we raise our children?

For me, the absence of anything above is empowering – you are free from fate and what you make of this world is your own doing, your own responsibility. More importantly, for our purposes, it presents the opportunity to reopen the debate in logical terms about the way we want to live. We can be free ourselves from the superstitions of past cultures and instead be a part of actively, guiltlessly shaping our values. Free from the threat of judgment and liberated from past dogmas we can discuss and debate what the “great truths” of our time, our history will be.

Still, a godless world is not without its flaws: for me, the role of the church is difficult to let go. I spent my childhood in the arms of a comforting church and it’s something I regard as both valuable and formative. It was a place to grow up gently, a sense of grounding and security. But we can do better. We can recognize new realities and evolve away from the church – from religion entirely. Using perspective to our advantage we can take that which is advantageous and leave the undesirable. We can adapt the strong sense of community and fellowship that religion provides, without reproducing the reliance on mysticism. We can create an institution that imparts morality and educates our children without intellectual close-mindedness.

Religion has been outmoded and I propose “the Center” to take its place. My hypothetical “Center” – and I’ve been told there’s something like it somewhere in Chicago – would meld the indispensable qualities of the church with a progressive, modernist perspective. I imagine something like the following:

The Center would meet weekly – preferably somewhere geographically “central” to the community it serves. The sanctuary of the church would be replaced by the lecture hall of the Center. As an important feature of the Center would be its role in imparting basic – though democratically determined – moral values, the Center would be for children as much as adults. The Center would strive to present models for children to aspire to. Each lecture would begin with a colorful biography of great figures in world or American history. Themes and morals would be highlighted – though interpretation would be flexible. Next, the children of the congregation would be presented with an “ethical dilemma of the week” which they would “solve” in small groups during the adult-oriented section of the lecture. Additionally, in order to foster cultured young men and women – and to facilitate the sense of community – music would be a regular part of the lecture. From Chopin to Bob Dylan, each lecture would feature a musical performance or offer an opportunity for the congregation to sing together. Having been presented a useful biography, a light lecture, a constructive ethical dilemma and some music, the children would leave the lecture to discuss together in groups arranged by age.

With the children gone, the adult portion of the lecture would begin. Ideally, the lecture would be led by a different professor each week. The lectures would vary greatly from speaker to speaker: one might offer social criticism, another a review of a classic text; art history lectures and a review of recent progressions in the natural sciences would be equally common. The Center would aim to be a home for debates, book reviews, documentaries, politics – all things cultural. While the topics addressed would be wide-ranging, the mission of the Center would be simple: inform and engage the community in an attempt to refine our values.

Now to be sure, my Center is just a hypothetical, a fiction; still, with a little work we could remake our religious institutions and find an agreeable, secular alternative.

Library patrons: learn to share

Friday, April 29th, 2005 | Staff Editorial

Not long ago, there was a wall in the middle of campus. It showcased political graffiti and attempted to obscure the messy construction site behind it. Many moons later, a spaceship-esque building rose up in its stead, thus marking the birth of what Washington University students fondly refer to as “the library.”

You may have also noticed that along with this vastly improved, albeit architecturally atrocious haven of books, came a multitude of visitors outside of the student/staff/faculty body. In Whisper’s Caf‚, as you stand in line for three hours for a mocha, you may or may not notice the influx of strangers making copious use of our library facilities.

Although you may feel as though your private domain is being infringed upon, these friendly visitors from outside the bubble are actually a good thing. Barring sketchy pedophiles and old men searching for a place to masturbate, we should welcome community members into our library and allow them to use our facilities.

Although we should not allow people who do not contribute to the academics here to print endless amounts of meaningless dribble on our precious paper, there is no reason why we should keep our wide selection of books to ourselves.

A college library is a precious commodity for many communities, and Olin should be no different. Visitors should be allowed to use the reference items as long as they don’t take anything home with them.

We are lucky to attend a school that provides us with such a valuable resource for our studies. There is no reason to deny our surrounding community access to such a treasure. It is always a good idea to improve our school’s relationship with the outside world.

In that same vein, though, we have several requests for the guests of Olin: please do not take anything home with you that you didn’t bring in. Please don’t expose yourself in the B stacks. Please don’t spill that deliciously overpriced coffee on any of our books. Please don’t answer your cell phone or cackle loudly while in a “quiet zone.” Please sit on the floor if you have to stay awhile, because finding desk/chair space is tough, particularly during reading week. Thanks. It’s been nice doing business with you.