Archive for July, 2005

Everything you ever needed to know about Washington University athletics

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Justin Davidson


Washington University has a long and rich history that has established itself as a pioneer in the field of Division III athletics. In 1890, Washington University first started its men’s athletic program, which functioned independently of any conference affiliation.

It wasn’t until 1946 that the University enacted a policy which, at that time, was completely unheard of in the world of collegiate athletics. Prior to World War II, male student-athletes received specialized financial assistance for their participation in intercollegiate athletics. It was during this time that Chancellor Arthur Holly Compton adopted a policy whereby no athletes would receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships or grants based solely on athletic ability.

Chancellor Compton stated, “The same admissions and grading standards would apply to all students, whether athletically talented or not. No subsidies, financial inducements or support, or scholarships would be awarded on the basis of athletic ability alone. Students with athletic ability compete for scholarships on the same basis as other students.”

Despite the considerable publicity that this new policy encountered in the face of alumni opposition, much skepticism as reported by the press, and a less than enthusiastic student body, the University set the precedent that no athlete may receive scholarships based on athletic ability; this would eventually become the basis of all school membership in Division III athletics of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Since the mid-1970’s the Bears have competed as a member of the NCAA Division III. Washington University became a founding member of the University Athletic Association (UAA) in June 1986 when it joined eight other leading independent research universities (Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Emory Univesity, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, University of Rochester and Washington University) to compete in intercollegiate athletics at the varsity level for men and women. Brandeis University was accepted to the Association in Fall 1987 and has been an active member since. Johns Hopkins left the UAA after the 2000-’01 season.

As for women, the earliest documented women’s varsity team played in 1909. The yearbook indicated that due to the lack of competitors on the college level this team competed against various high school teams. The women’s athletic program at Washington University has taken many forms since, but has always had a solid place in the lives of its female students. With the construction of Wilson Pool in 1921, swimming became a part of the athletic regimen.

By 1950, women’s athletics had become such a vital part of campus life that 70 percent of the female students were members. However, for an unknown reason, the women’s intercollegiate athletic program was disbanded following the 1955 season and didn’t return for 20 years. In 1975 intercollegiate athletic programming was revived with the re-introduction of swimming, tennis, and volleyball varsity teams for women. In 1977 track was added on the varsity level and basketball began in club form. In 1979, women’s varsity athletics were granted access to the “Cage,” the Training Room, and the Field House. By 1980, all coaches for women’s sports were employed full time by Washington University. Throughout its history, the women’s athletic program offered the female student the opportunity to participate on different competitive levels ranging from club to intramural to varsity.


The eight current UAA schools compete in a single round-robin format for football, men’s and women’s soccer, and a double round-robin format men’s and women’s basketball. For all other sports, the schools schedule league tournaments or championships at one of the eight UAA campuses.

One of the most unusual aspects of the UAA, however, is the geographic location of the nine institutions. To reach the Bears’ farthest opponent, Brandeis University, the team must travel 1,141 miles from St. Louis to reach them, and the closest opponent, University of Chicago, is 289 miles away. With these distances, the UAA is the most expansive athletic league in NCAA Division III.

In explaining why the UAA was created with institutions hailing from such varying locales, Harry Kisker, then dean of student affairs and a chief organizer of the association, said, “Internal factors include such concerns as providing a consistent and challenging level of competition for both men and women in intercollegiate play, visibility of athletics programs among active students, alumni and the general public, issues of morale and institutional identity, and desire for association with institutions of similar, high quality.”

Bear Sports Today

Washington University boasts one of the greatest and most successful athletic programs in all of Division III sports today. Contenders for national championships year after year in various sports, the University has displayed its prowess both as an excellent institution of higher learning and one with a diverse and talented athletic ability.

Easily the team with the greatest success has been the women’s volleyball team. Along with a Division III-record eight national championships and 17 of 18 University Athletic Association championships (including 16 straight titles), the squad boasts an all-time record of 64-11 in NCAA Tournament play. The Bears’ 64 wins rank as the second most in D-III history (Juniata College, 68) and their .853 winning percentage is tops in the NCAA Tournament record book. WU is also 30-2 at home in postseason play.

In all, the Bears have received 13 UAA Player of the Year awards and 12 UAA Staff of the Year awards while producing a 206-3 (.986) record in 18 years of conference play. Washington University has also tallied nine American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Player of the Year awards, 89 AVCA All-America mentions, 64 all-Central and all-South Region honors and 93 all-UAA citations.

However, the women’s softball team is making a run at the volleyball team’s glory. In just six seasons as a varsity program, the Washington University softball team has had a number of successes. Head coach Cindy Zelinsky, who just retired following the 2005 season, posted a 178-68 (.724) overall record, made four NCAA Tournament appearances, and won three University Athletic Association (UAA) championships in her six years with the Bears.

The breakout year for the Lady Bears came in 2003 when the squad finished with a 30-9 record and their first All-American was named in sophomore Liz Swary. The Bears improved in 2004, finishing with an outstanding 35-5 record and winning its second UAA championship in school history. WU made its third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and placed third in the Midwest Regional. But the true highlight of their campaign came just last season when the team posted a 47-3 final record. Heading into postseason play, the Bears were the no. 1 ranked team in the nation, but lost in the Midwest Regional final, slipping to #7 in the national rankings.

For the men of the football gridiron, the 1990’s marked the winningest decade in team history (66-35) since the inception of the program in 1890-one in which the Bears posted the second-highest winning percentage among four-year football playing schools in Missouri. Over that 10-year stretch, the Bears won 65-percent of their games-including 64-percent over the last five years (32-18)-produced 14 All-Americans, won five University Athletic Association titles, had seven players named UAA Player of the Year (three offense, four defense) and boasted four Academic All-Americans and 12 all-district choices. Last season the Bears finished the season, following a tough schedule, with a 6-4 final record, but posting a 3-0 mark in UAA mark.

Each and every team boasts its own uniqueness and quality of play that you will not find at many other Division III institutions. The women’s soccer, men’s tennis, men’s and women’s cross country and indoor track, women’s basketball, and men’s swimming are of particular promise in the upcoming year. All have come off of winning and successful seasons, and should prove to impress their WU faithful in the next year.

Information gathered and compiled via

You’re not in Kansas anymore

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Justin Davidson
Dan Daranciang

Transforming into a whole new sports fan

I’m a Yankees fan-always have been and always will. Until I actually came to Wash. U. two years ago, which boasts an 88% out-of-state population, my knowledge of Yankee hatred was basically limited to Mets fans and from what I heard on SportsCenter. Then I was given a strong dose of reality when I learned that Yankee hate ran deeper than I could ever imagine, in part because of the immense amount of diversity and number of people coming into WU from all corners of the United States.

It hit me like an oncoming train the moment Aaron Boone hit the game-winning home run in game seven of the 2003 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. Following Boone’s blast, I remember literally jumping out of my seat and screaming at the top of my lungs with exhilaration, looking for someone to slap hands with and share my excitement. There were none. Not one person out of at least a dozen in the room was jumping and shouting with joy like me.

I was then smacked with the harsh reality that I was no longer in Yankee country anymore. I was among Brewers, Orioles, Angels, Dodgers and, of course, Cardinals fans. While finding a friendly hand to slap was never a problem for me growing up, here the best I could get was nothing more than a “lucky swing” comment and a mass exodus to the door.

Where I am going with this story? Though it may seem that I’m trying to rub it into everyone’s face that the Yankees beat the Sox, that’s not what I’m getting at. My point is simple: here you are, a group of over a thousand freshmen moving into this new school where the majority of the students you will meet and befriend will come from states as far away as possible from your own, and all will have their own sport team preferences and biases. It’s to be expected, regardless of whether you’re from New York or Milwaukee or Chicago, but one thing that you will come to find through meeting these people you once thought of as your arch-rivals is your ability to appreciate other people’s sports preferences, as much as you might disagree with them.

Though I may hate to admit it, I admire Red Sox fans for their dedication to their team the past 87 years. And while I still hate the Red Sox with the fire of a thousand suns come playoff time, I have become good friends with many-a-Red Sock fan even though it was something I could never see myself doing before coming to WU.

Keep an open mind. Feel free to argue as much as you want with a fan of your rival team, but in the end, just remember that being a student at Washington University gives you so much more, not only because you are given the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, but because here more than anywhere else you have the chance to meet sports fans from all over the world.

You will find in a short amount of time that you have been transformed into a completely different kind of sports fan. You will no longer be the biased and uncultured sports buffoon you once were, but will now be able to call yourself not only an elitist in the world of academia (hey, you got into WU, didn’t you?), but also an elitist in the sports world because you’ll be able to tolerate those awful Red Sox fans that you once despised more than anything.

The Spirit of St. Louis

Another dose of reality that you will come to embrace rather quickly will be that St. Louis will be the second home for many of you for the next four years. That means that you must automatically become a St. Louis fan, whether it’s for the Cardinals, Rams, or Blues (since hockey’s back now!). In my opinion, unless you’re a Chicago Cubs fan (rivals to the Cards in the NL Central, who then have a legit reason to hate the Cards), you should be a fan of the St. Louis teams, even if they’re only your second-favorite teams.

I’m not saying that you should overlook your loyalties to your home city’s team, which should always come first and foremost. As the residents of a new city that offers an excellent range of sporting venues that few other cities can compete with, though, you should open up a place in your fandom for a city that has three top-tier professional teams, as well as a great lineup of amateur and semi-pro teams.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got one heck of a baseball team and a football squad that can hold its own. Hockey’s going to be back next season, so look for the Blues to make quite a showing.

For those who may not be aware, this is the last season that our beloved Cardinals will call Busch Stadium their home; following the season the team will move into a new ballpark right next to the current Busch Stadium. This may be your last chance to visit the great Busch Stadium, so I suggest trying to make a trip downtown to the stadium (I-64/40E to Stadium exit) before the end of the season. You won’t want to miss it.

Now that you should all be avid St. Louis sports fans, here are a couple pointers about everything you will need to know to be a great St. Louis sports fan, courtesy, in part, of Leslie Gibson McCarthy of The Sporting News. Heed these words of wisdom well:

What to wear and what to say when in a St. Louis stadium:

-Pack primary colors. Red for Busch Stadium, blue for Savvis Center and the Edward Jones Dome, and gold to accent all three.

-Applaud such things as a batter advancing a runner to third base with a ground ball to the right side. St. Louis sports fans think they’re among the most knowledgeable in the country, and you’ll fit right in.

-Wearing Cubs attire is strictly forbidden, and doing so will result in death or mauling by angry fans.

The gospel according to St. Louis sports fans:

These doctrines (right or wrong) are held dear by St. Louisans:

-Whitey Herzog is once, forever, and always a baseball genius.

-Brett Hull never should have been allowed to leave as a free agent.

-There’ll never be another shortstop like Ozzie Smith, and Albert Pujols is more god than man.

-The Blues’ season isn’t a success unless they make the playoffs.

-We need a basketball team more than Lindsay Lohan needs to eat a sandwich.

Things you should never say in St. Louis (and why):

-“These umpires are good, but whatever happened to Don Denkinger? He was my favorite.” St. Louis fans are still testy about Denkinger’s call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.

-“I think Judge Edward Houston has handed down some kick-ass verdicts in his day.” Blues fans still think they were robbed in the summer of 1991 when the judge awarded Scott Stevens to the New Jersey Devils as compensation for St. Louis’ signing of Brendan Shanahan.

-“Georgia Frontiere sure is a funky owner, but I miss Bill Bidwill.” Virtually no one in St. Louis misses Bidwill, who took the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals to Arizona after the 1987 season and left the city scrambling for a pro football franchise.

-“I hate soccer.” You might, but don’t say it out loud. While fans passionately follow the Cards, Blues, and Rams, their kids are playing soccer just as they played it when they were young.

-“It doesn’t matter if the Cards lose, just as long as Big Mac hits a home run.” That’s the perception among out-of-towners looking to knock St. Louis fans. The perception is wrong. (Comment outdated, but it still rings true.)

Pronunciation guide:

-Missouri (miz-ZUR-ee). Some folks say Miz-zur-rah- but those people don’t live in St. Louis and most likely voted for President Bush.

So you think you’re a baller?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Justin Davidson

For those of you interested in sports, being active, or just finding an outlet to make a bunch of new friends while having a great time, club or intramural sports may be the way to go. From sports as physically demanding as ultimate Frisbee, flag football, and basketball to more leisurely ones such as billiards and bowling, to the more outlandish “sports” like arm wrestling and euchre (yes, euchre, the classic card game), there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.

If you’re the more serious athlete hankering for some competition and want to be actively involved playing in your favorite sport, club sports might be a good fit for you. Or for those of you who just enjoy playing sports with your friends and floormates in a less competitive game or for those who don’t have the time to put into playing on a club team, IM might be the best option.

Whichever you want to do, getting involved in club or IM sports is pretty easy. For those with the craving for club action, be sure to attend the Student Activities Fair on Wed., September 7th to sign up with club teams. Most teams don’t have tryouts, so as long as you are willing to be a dedicated member of the team and attend practices, being a part of the club team of your choice is well within your grasp.

Some of the most popular club teams include the men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee teams, men’s and women’s soccer teams, and the tennis teams, though there are more options for club sports than just those sports. Club athletes can expect to have practices two to three times a week for a few hours each practice, and have the opportunity to compete in games and tournaments against other schools from around the country.

Getting involved with IM sports will be one of the easiest things you will encounter during your time at WU. All you have to do to get a team together is go to the Athletic Complex, located near Big Bend Boulevard and Snow Way Drive, just past Fraternity Row, and pick up an entry form at the IM office on the second floor. Get some of your friends to sign up, and you’re set. Return the entry form to the IM office before the season starts with emergency health cards for each player, and you and your friends will be on the field playing another team once a week for the chance at winning the highly coveted IM Champion T-shirts.

If you want to get your floor together for a team, talk to your RA. He or she will most likely be more than happy to organize a team. For most sports there are both men’s and women’s teams, as well as co-ed teams that you can participate in. There’s really no better activity to do with your entire floor than getting together Saturday afternoon and playing a fun game of flag football, softball, basketball, or whatever sport strikes your fancy.

For a list of all IM and Club sports, visit the IM Web site,

Welcome to Division III sports

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Justin Davidson

Picture this. It’s Friday night and thousands of fans in a packed stadium have donned face and body paint of their school colors. Emotions are running high and the student section is louder than a riot. There’re two seconds left in the game, and you’re down by one point with your best shooter, a projected top 10 NBA draft pick, coming up to the line for two free throws. This is it-do or die, win or lose.

As your star prepares for his shot the crowd goes silent; not a sound could be heard. The ESPN commentators are looking on eager to scream out with excitement. First shot. Swish. The crowd goes wild, but just as quickly as the uproar begins, it ends just as suddenly. Second shot. It’s up, hits the back of the rim. One bounce. Two bounces. Not a heart is beating. It’s in! Within seconds the 10,000 plus fans storm the court and amidst the sea school colors tears of excitement are being shed and screams of joy can be heard.

Now what color is that face paint that you picture? Is it Tarheel Blue? Syracuse Orange? Maybe Duke Blue and White? Or perhaps it’s the Red and White of the Arizona Wildcats? Whatever the color is, chances are it’s not the Red and Green of your Washington University Bears.

Welcome to Division III sports. You won’t see thousands of fans storming the Washington University Field House any time soon. Nor will you see your starting point guard drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. And there’s no chance in hell that you’ll see more fans at the basketball game than at your weekly Beirut tournament-that’s for sure.

Division III sports: Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it

Let’s face it-Division III sports teams, even your own school’s team, don’t hold a candle to your favorite NCAA sports team you go crazy for during March Madness. But that’s not to say that rooting for your Washington University Bears and attending games like you did for your high school football team should automatically be counted out because they’re Division III. Though the level of play isn’t up to par with future NBA players, and the biggest rivalry you’ll see in the Bears’ conference, the University Athletic Association (UAA) (a.k.a. “The Smart School Conference”) is probably with Emory University or Brandeis University, there are some unique features of Division III play that you won’t get anywhere else.

First, all D-III athletes must be students before athletes. No varsity athlete can have an athletic scholarship and, at least at Washington University, all athletes must first be accepted to the school through the same process and requirements that all other students go through. So what you see from our athletes proudly wearing the Red and Green is first and foremost a group of people who actually attend class, something you won’t see from the likes of top NBA draft picks. In Division III, if a player’s GPA drops below a minimum requirement, s/he is suspended from athletic activities until they can bring their GPA back, regardless of who the player is.

The ironic thing about that policy, of course, is that for the overwhelming majority of these student-athletes at WU, keeping their GPA up is never a problem. The average GPA of all the varsity athletes was significantly higher than the average GPA of the rest of the student body last year. It seems like these talented people have the Superman-esque powers to balance a year-round athletic career with the demanding rigors of Wash. U. academia.

Being a varsity athlete is no walk in the park. A typical day can involve waking up at 5 or 6 a.m. to lift weights and train for a couple of hours, followed by five hours of organic chemistry lab, grabbing a quick bite to eat before a biology exam, then heading straight to a grueling afternoon practice. After that is a break for dinner, then it’s straight to the library for a couple hours of well-managed and focused studying. Next up: bedtime.

You have to really admire what a varsity athlete goes through during the year-their social life during the season is basically reduced to nothing. Every day is an arduous battle just to get through it all, and yet, if you ask just about any athlete, not one of them would give it up for anything. Though many fans might not seem to give a hoot, every athlete here bleeds Red and Green through and through.

Bear sports: “These guys ain’t too f-ing bad!”

So here’s a group of Division III athletes who do better than most WU students in the classroom while also taking on the full responsibilities of a varsity athlete-clearly the Bears have too much going on to win games, right?

Wrong. Year after year we have teams competing for national championships and winning conference titles, and we have players pitching no-hitters and winning spots on All-American teams. Believe it or not, Washington University athletics is actually very successful across the board. When you have your volleyball team winning the National Championship what seems to be every year, or your softball team being the No. 1 ranked team in the nation before falling to the defending national champion in the Regional Finals, or when just about every other WU team wins the UAA Conference Title every year, it proves that not only are these excellent students, but gifted athletes as well.

Division III athletics may not be the most glamorous thing in the world, but they can definitely be something that will surprise you if you give them a chance. And even if you’re not that much into Bear sports, going to home games and events are a great way to get free food. Red Alert is a student group that works to attract fans to go to home games by giving them all the free Dominos pizza they can eat. Add that to the potential prizes that can be won through raffles, and you just might have a great reason to show up.

Despite its relative smallness, Wash. U. athletics can be very exciting and worthwhile, and you would be doing a disservice to both you and our Bear athletes who put so much into representing the Red and Green by missing out.

Calling all card sharks: The on-campus poker game

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Justin Davidson
Dan Daranciang

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article contains a correction and is different from the version that ran in print. In the print edition, Cary Adickman was incorrectly listed as the administrator of the AOL Instant Messenger screen name WUPoker. Adickman is completely unaffiliated with the WUPoker service. The online edition of this article reflects this correction

It’s no secret that poker is the coolest thing since sliced bread, and everyone is trying to get in on a piece of the action, WU students included. Yes, a frenzy of students are putting their $40,000 tuition to good use by protesting the age-old practice of sleep and staying up until the wee hours of the night with hopes of hitting the big one.

For all you poker addicts out there, it’s never hard to find a good game of poker to join in on. Those pretty seminar rooms in Danforth, Eliot, and Forsyth buildings-you know, the ones that cost ridiculous amounts of money so that we can study and get a Top 10 education-are being put to great use as the favorite meeting places for poker enthusiasts from all over the South 40. Whether it’s a weekend night or hours before a big psychology test, there always seems to be a game going on.

Attractive to many students are the fundraising and charity poker tournaments held by student groups. Whether the Campus Democrats, Alpha Epsilon Pi, or another student group is hosting a semi-annual poker tournament, the turnout is always good, and the winners always walk away with a good amount of money. (Which will go right to the tutors, since they haven’t opened their Macroeconomics textbooks all year.) These tournaments are on the rise and we should see a steady increase in the number of large-scale organized tournaments on campus in the coming year.

Technology is also being used to promote poker playing. The AIM screename WUPoker allows people to post ring games and tournaments so people know where to go and how much to buy in for. For those eager to find a new table to play at or meet new people, you can just about always find at least five or six games going on each week, if not more.

Taking the obsession even further, the Facebook group “WU Poker Enthusiasts” boasts 143 members currently, and stands as an outlet for poker players near and far to join together to post games, discuss strategy, and basically do anything else involving poker.

So there you have it-Washington University is a haven for poker players. But before you jump right in, take heed: WU poker players are no dummies. Students here have won $10,000 tournaments, grossed over $50,000 in the span of one school year, and could probably make a nice living playing poker for the rest of their lives. So for all you beginners out there, look before you leap. Remember, for every big winner you hear about, there’s a big loser.

Sex, lies, and lucky charms: dating advice for freshmen

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Rachel Brockway

After my editor asked me to contribute to this edition of Student Life, I had to try to remember what it was like coming to college. As the weekly Wash. U. relationship columnist, I often find myself dealing with-and consequently writing about-frat boys, sex and dating…subjects I will embrace within this column.

But let’s start at the beginning. You, incoming freshman, are either single and looking for hookups or a relationship, or you are like I was: in a “very serious,” long-term relationship. I would like to address you monogamous fools first.

Leaving for college, I kissed my high school sweetie with rapture and vowed to stay ever-so-faithful at Washington University. I had dated this smooth football player for three years and thought I was oh-so-in-love. I broke up with him three days later.

Once this breakup inevitably happens to you, (and yes, dear, it will) you will have several options in front of you:

1. Find a replacement boyfriend to ease your pain and possibly take your mind completely off of Perfect Joe from home. In my case, the RB (replacement boyfriend) was the cause of the big breakup. Great deal for me, but not so great for high school boyfriend.

2. Hook up with other college kids like there is no tomorrow, a route often preferred and carried out by deprived yet eager young men.

3. Have a sizeable mourning period and become known as “that freshman who cannot stop crying and eating chocolate,” a tactic usually embraced by the poor dumpee.

4. Get over the high school sweetheart at a “healthy” pace, make new friends at a “healthy” rate, and date again when the time “seems right…” Okay, so as far as I’m concerned, this one is an urban legend made up by good-hearted parents who don’t like the idea of options one through three.

Again, I’m sorry if telling you that your high school relationship won’t last fills you with horror and rage. A good friend of mine came traipsing into college swearing that she and her beloved would last through anything and were definitely going to get married. To the surprise of all of our friends they lasted… for one month.

I’m not saying that Wash. U.’s selection of men and women is so vast that high school relationships carried into college seem bleak in comparison. But do you really think that, after living with thousands of intelligent, fun and exciting young men and women you will really be able to resist the temptation? Or want to resist the temptation? The answer is no. College is way too unique and exciting to call good old Joe (who is probably getting plenty of ass at whatever institution he’s chosen, or at least thinking about it) twelve times a day just to say “I love you.”

Before I give you free reign to run around enjoying yourself (and everyone around you), I want to warn you about a couple options that may pop up and look like great ideas, but might not be in the long haul.

Say you meet a wonderful girl named Katie. She’s everything you ever wanted: so sexy, so fun, so smart. Amazingly, she lives on your floor, just two doors down from you. Imagine you can either hook up with her (if she’ll let you), or date her (if she wants to).

But stop right there for just a moment. Dating or hooking up with floormates is a very tricky thing. What if it gets awkward? What if you break up? What if Katie is an awful kisser but she keeps pining after you? Think about these things before you take the dive.

The RB I dated lived a few doors away. Luckily, we didn’t break up until the summer. Unluckily, we were so into being with each other we didn’t meet many other people. Learn from my mistake: DO NOT cling to a new relationship-whether it be a boyfriend or a roommate-for the sole purpose of comfort or safety. Take risks; have fun. You are only a freshman once.

My last topic is sex. Sex sex sex. Please, please do not lose your virginity on a one-night stand while drunk. Please. Although it might be alluring for you young men, in the long run it’s not how you want to lose it. Even my macho, sometimes bordering-on-chauvinistic male friends who lost their virginity this way regret it. My advice is to wait until you-at the very least-have a meaningful relationship before you give it up. Then feel free to have all the porn-style sex you want and actually enjoy it!

College is not about partying, or sex, or staying up all night. It’s about relationships, learning, and being comfortable with who you are. Embrace your individuality and be independent. As Saint Francis said, “be who you are and be that well.” You will inevitably have some great experiences, some weird experiences, and some funny as all hell experiences. And if you happen to have great sex with someone you care about, then I am so jealous!

Campus Spotlight: Arts & Sciences Summer Weekends

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Kristin McGrath
Dan Daranciang

ArtSci Summer Weekends, which allow incoming freshmen to register early while spending two days on campus, also help Wash. U.’s newest recruits develop skills essential to their academic life here. These skills include navigating the cluster system, using campus resources and planning for a major.

This summer, thanks to karaoke competitions at Ursa’s, the class of 2009 became well schooled in another skill vital to the college experience: belting out songs and performing impromptu choreography for the amusement of people they’d just met.

“I had to draw upon my early ’90s roots,” Eric Fleischaker said of his passionate performance of an Ace of Base hit during a June ArtSci Weekend. “I was raised on such classics as ‘The Sign.'”

While Fleischaker took the stage, his audience cheered him on from Ursa’s velvety armchairs as they mingled with their soon-to-be classmates.

“This weekend is one big icebreaker,” said Tyler Rhodes. “You get to have a weekend at college…When you visit the campus and go on the tour, you see what the school wants to portray, whereas when you’re here with the other students, you see what it’s actually about.”

Truly experiencing the independence that comes with attending college, however, would have to wait until the fall.

“Some of the rules are kind of ridiculous,” said Mary Ahmad, of the rules that ArtSci Weekend participants have to follow. Participants are not allowed inside dorms other than the one they are staying in, are not permitted to leave campus, and must wear their nametags at all times.

Still, Ahmad found the experience valuable overall.

“Meeting your advisor is the best part, definitely,” said Ahmad. “You get to meet them with your advising group, which is cool, because you know you’re going to see each other again in the fall.”

At a nearby table, junior Brian Ponton and sophomore Jon Chen, both R.A.s for the ArtSci Weekend program, were poring over a list of songs available for Chen’s karaoke performance. Although “sadly disappointed” that he had to settle for Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” instead of his favorite song, Vanessa Carlton’s “1,000 Miles,” Chen was glad to be part of yet another ArtSci Weekend.

“I’ve been part of [ArtSci Weekends] multiple times unofficially,” said Chen. “I keep coming back because I like to get the freshmen pumped up for the coming year.”

After completing his duties as an ArtSci Weekend R.A., Ponton will continue bonding with Wash. U. newcomers as a freshman floor R.A.

“I miss the freshman floor atmosphere,” said Ponton. “As an upperclassman you don’t get that. That’s one of the reasons I’m going to be a freshman floor R.A. this year. I want to foster that same sense of community I remember from my freshman floor.”

Pamela Talley got a taste of dorm life during her weekend stay in Danforth. Prior to the karaoke competition, she and her temporary floor mates threw a “hallway party.”

“The dorms are massive, a lot bigger than at some other schools I visited,” said Talley. “I could have a Pilates session and invite a whole bunch of people to join me. I wasn’t expecting the dorms to be that big. And they’re very clean, too, and just super nice.”

What Talley is most looking forward to about life at Wash. U., however, are the experiences that will take place outside her dorm room.

“[College] will be a chance to explore new sides of myself,” said Talley. “And that’s in terms of the extracurriculars that I get involved in, classes, and the diverse people I know I’m going to meet here. It’s also a chance to get away from home.”

Equally ready to throw herself into life at Wash U was Jen Green, who has known for years that she wants to study history and archeology.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Green. “Finally, a challenge!”

Roommates 101: how to deal

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Sarah Baicker

Undoubtedly, you’ve been awaiting it since the moment coming to Wash. U. became a reality. If you haven’t gotten it yet, it’s likely you’re the first one out to the mailbox every morning, fastidiously searching through each batch of mail with your fingers crossed, hoping that today’s the day.

But once you’ve received it, a whole new bunch of anticipations arises: will you guys be the best of friends? Will he cheer for the Cubs, too? Will she be from the city or the country? The east coast or the west coast? A blue state or a red state? Or will you guys just want to kill each other in a matter of days?

That’s right: the letter from ResLife that notifies you of your freshman year roommate, the person you’ll be coming home to every day for the next two semesters. The majority of us will have at least one roommate during our college careers, but-especially if you’ve had your own room growing up-getting used to sharing your space with someone is no walk through the park.

In retrospect, all the difficulties your roommate causes you will seem petty, and at the very least provide you with something to agonize about over beers with your friends. But that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy all the bickering when there’s still a semester and a half left until you can say goodbye to him for good.

There are, though, a few things to keep in mind once you’ve arrived in August and finally met the person whom you’ll soon know more about than you ever wished to know about anyone, ever.

First and foremost, “set realistic expectations,” advises Karen Coburn, assistant vice chancellor for students. “You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, [but] you do have to learn to live together, share your space and respect each other.”

It’s important to remember that you are also someone’s roommate. Think about how you’d like your roommate to treat you, and try to follow suit when dealing with him. If you’d appreciate it if he didn’t hit the snooze button 18 times every morning, he’d probably be grateful if you kept your pile of dirty underwear away from his desk. Coburn suggests making a list with your roommate early on including ground rules-times you’ll need to study, whether or not you’re willing to share clothes, listen to music while you work, etc.

“If you set a tone of open discussion right from the beginning, you’ll be better able to discuss other issues as they come up,” Coburn says.

It’s also important not to let yourself become a doormat, though. For those of you who have been taught to always be polite and accommodating, college is the time to forget everything you’ve ever learned (oh, the irony!). If there’s something your roommate does that’s just down right disrespectful, let her know! The bottom line is, don’t treat your roommate like your live-in servant, but don’t let her walk all over you, either.

“It’s important to compromise,” says Coburn.

Speaking of compromise, room set-up is a big one. As tempting as it might be to let mom and dad do all the heavy lifting and set up your room for you, don’t let them! Coburn recommends using room decorating as an ice-breaker with your new roomie. It’s a great get-to-know-you activity, and doing it together will avoid potential frustration later on.

Whether you have a significant other or your roomie does, the desire for alone time with that special someone can lead to strains on the roommate relationship-trust me, I’ve heard every horror story imaginable. There’s no easy fix to the boyfriend/girlfriend quandary, but if you’re the one with the active social life, please, please, please heed this little rule: if you and your special friend are planning anything “romantic” in your room, let your roommate know! I’ve seen some students get creative in their notification (read: hanging socks or underwear from the doorknob), but it doesn’t matter how you give them the heads up. Just be sure to do it, and everyone involved can avoid embarrassment.

It’s possible that you and your roommate will hit it off right away and become best buds. Obviously, this would make your living situation much easier than expected, not to mention you’d have someone to eat dinner with and explore campus with you. But even so, Coburn stresses the importance of meeting other people, and forming bonds outside of the roommate relationship.

“Even if you and your roommate do become best friends, be sure to branch out and widen your circle,” she says.

If your living situation is absolutely intolerable, remember that switching into a new room is an option. ResLife wants your year to be an enjoyable one (and it should be), so if you dread returning to your room at the end of the day, speaking with an RA about your concerns is the first step. He or she can then point you in the right direction, whether that means having a mediated discussion with your roommate or moving across the South 40.

When you’ve received your roommate’s contact information, go ahead and begin the relationship ASAP. Make a quick and friendly call, and be sure to keep an open mind. Ask about their hobbies, their potential major, their family. Getting a feel for you soon-to-be-roomie will no doubt calm your nerves. And chances are, you’ll both survive freshman year.

Homework: lighten the load

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Sarah Klein

Okay. So. Homework. The tutoring tool of the teacher and the scourge of the student. And yes, it happens at Wash. U. A lot. And often in big chunks (read: lots of readings, major papers, and too many tests.)

I don’t mean to scare anyone, since I love Wash. U., but there’s really no getting away from the grind. At Wash. U. we all want the grade and the knowledge with the least amount of torture possible, so the only way to deal with homework is to work with it, not against it. It doesn’t have to be your enemy. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I am a seasoned veteran and semi-workaholic. Here are my suggestions:

For long term papers there are several ways to avoid the agony of working on them in the short term. First and foremost, pretend the paper is due a week before it actually is. It’s incredibly difficult to write a 10 to 20 page paper the night before it’s due. So if you write it the night before the pretend due date, there’s a little pressure taken off if you fall asleep on top of your computer at 5:00 a.m.

Along with the leeway, you will then have additional time to proofread and avoid stupid mistakes that make you seem like a complete ditz. Case in point: my friend in high school turned in a history paper that she had not proofread very carefully. In class, when the papers were handed back, as the pages touched her fingertips, she noticed lots of red circles. Turns out every time she had meant to write “opinion,” she had instead written “onion,” leaving our teacher quite bewildered until the second page.

For research papers, I know this has been said, but I’ll say it again: it’s really important to start your research early. I mean early-bird early, like it’s barely spring and the ground is still frozen and you’re digging for that worm with your sniffling beak. You want to avoid the embarrassment of calling your parents who have connections to a different university five days before your paper is due, whining that the school does not have the articles you need and you ordered them off MOBIUS or ILLIAD (inter-library loan systems), but they’re not due to come in for a week and a half and you are desperate. We are independent, semi-adults and we do not need this cruel and unusual type of humiliation.

Wash. U. has a great library (the name is Olin, by the way, and believe me, you’ll come to know it and love it), but despite its many wonders, it does not have materials on every topic, and if you’re going to order sources, you have to do it way ahead of time. You may find your articles two weeks before the paper is due, but that doesn’t mean anything unless the textual copies are in your hands or on your computer when it comes time to write the paper. Another alternative is to pick paper topics which can be fully researched at Wash. U., of which there are many.

As for readings, well, I’m going to take a chance at my professors’ rage here when I say you don’t have to do all of the readings. Even some professors admit that there is no way to complete all the readings they assign on their syllabi in addition to the work for your other classes. There’s just so much information in any given course that you must pick and choose what you learn. (Granted, you should try to learn what is going to be on the test.)

My advice is, especially for discussion classes, to at least skim through the readings enough to 1. learn a little something about the topic, and 2. be able to discuss something about them. You don’t have to eat the entire enchilada to know what it tastes like. If you have the time, by all means try to do all of them; for some courses the readings are fascinating and I actually wish I could read them all. But for those of us who enjoy sleeping, eating, and having a little fun once in a while, taste tests are much better than trying to wolf down five course meals.

For exams, all I have to say is that all-nighters are no fun-I can’t actually physically do them. Starting to study at least three days before, although it is often hard to make yourself do it, makes for a much less painful process, both before and during the test. Plus, you’ll probably get that A or B because you slept some on the material.

And remember to have FUN sometimes. It comes in handy when you reach those rare studying moments when you can’t help but ask, “Whyyyyyyyy?”

Our hometown

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Kristin McGrath and Sarah Baicker
Dan Daranciang

Q: What’s the weather like in St. Louis?

“In chronological order from early fall to early summer: hot and wet, warm and nice, cold and wet, really cold and dry, slightly warmer and wet, and then really, really nice, then hot and wet. Generally, it’s not too bad.”

-Sarah Klein, Scene Editor

“Imagine living in someone’s armpit, alongside other people, most of whom coincidentally also smell like armpits. And sometimes it rains.”

-Joshua Trein, Columnist

“The weather in St. Louis is crazy unpredictable. I don’t think I’ve ever used an umbrella so much in my entire life (of course, I do live in the desert). To be completely prepared, always travel with an umbrella, a jacket, or sweatshirt of some sort, tennis shoes, and layered clothing so you can adjust to whatever temperature it decides to be.”

-Erin Fults, Staff Reporter

Q: Do people really say “herre” and “therre” like Nelly and Chingy?

“Some do, but I’d say a lot of them are people from out of state who are trying too hard to sound like Nelly and Chingy.”

-Kristin McGrath, Scene Editor

“Some people say that. I get the feeling that it’s getting a little old, though.”

-Margaret Bauer, Editor in Chief

Q: What’s the underage nightlife like?

“As far as I know, the underage nightlife mainly consists of Wash. U. parties or activities that don’t necessarily involve drinking, like concerts.”

-Sarah Klein

“The underage nightlife is much like the over-age nightlife, in that either way you won’t remember how you ended up covered in your own vomit arguing with EST that, yes, you can damn well stop anytime you want.”

-Joshua Trein

Q: What are some places to avoid?

“You know when you see the sign that says, “Last Missouri Exit” fly by, and curse because you’re headed over the bridge to East St. Louis? Yeah. That’s where you don’t want to go.”

-Margaret Bauer

“Just keep driving down Delmar for a little bit and you’ll see…it’s pretty self-explanatory. My friend was looking for a place where she could take meditation classes, and when she found one on the Loop, she called them up. They told her it was probably not what she was looking for, because this particular place specialized in criminal rehabilitation.”

-Allie Wieczorec, Staff Reporter

Q: Where should I take my parents (and their wallets) while they’re in town?

“Go to Target, and get stocked up on all the stuff you could ever need for your room. Same goes for the new Trader Joe’s in Brentwood and Whole Foods. They’re a schlep to get to on the shuttle; much more accessible with the parents’ car and wallet.”

-Sarah Kliff, Senior News Editor

“Go on and find a restaurant that serves what you’re craving. There are tons of nice restaurants in St. Louis, and with this website you can read many menus and reviews, and often check out pics of the decor and food. The Clayton area, in particular, is a great place to go to eat.”

-Sarah Ulrey, Former Student Life Staff, Class of 2005

Q: What can I do for free?

“SLAM, the Zoo, anywhere in Forest Park, any number of art galleries, the Arch, the Museum at the Arch…”

-Oliver Hulland, Photo Editor

“Go people-watching on the Loop! It’s more fascinating than the Forest Park Zoo (which is also free, by the way).”

-Kristin McGrath

“Getting mugged is a favorite of mine, as long as you don’t carry anything of value. If that’s a little too exciting, you can always drive 64/40 during rush hour and laugh at the pathetically slow St. Louis drivers.”

-Aaron Seligman, Former Student Life Staff, Class of 2005

Q: Does St. Louis have a good concert scene?

“St. Louis doesn’t get as many concerts as larger cities, but two venues you should check out are the Creepy Crawl and the Gargoyle. The Creepy Crawl is easy to get to by MetroLink and typically hosts smaller indie rock concerts as well as some local music. The Gargoyle is right on campus, downstairs in Mallinckrodt, and brings really great bands to campus.”

-Sarah Kliff

“Since freshman year, I’ve seen Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Our Lady Peace, and Ben Kweller, among a number of others-you decide.”

-Sarah Baicker, Senior Scene Editor

Q: Does St. Louis feel like a big city?

“Depends on where you’re from. If you’re one of those annoying ‘I’m from THE city’ people, then no. But for the rest of us normal folks, it’s plenty big.”

-Aaron Seligman

“No. Someone once said, ‘It’s like New York, except without the culture.’ Or size. Or good food. Or…”

-David Brody, Senior Photo Editor

Q: What are some good places to go on a date?

“Taking someone to the Botanical Gardens for a little picnic is very romantic. You could do the same thing in Forest Park. Or you could paddle boat and lounge by the fountains at the foot of Art Hill. There are also some great wineries out west of the city on Highway 94. But you have to be 21, so just store that tip away for later or for when you have your fake.”

-Sarah Ulrey

“Moolah Temple, by Saint Louis University. It’s got all those traditional first date destinations (movie, bowling, and dinner) all in one building!”

-Kristin McGrath

Q: What makes the Midwest different from the coasts?

“People here don’t know what you mean when you say ‘The City.'”

-Oliver Hulland

“There is no ocean. For more information, contact someone in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department.”

-David Brody

“As you’ll soon realize, there’s a large Midwestern population that still refers to soda as ‘pop.'”

-Sarah Baicker

Q: What’s your favorite thing about St. Louis?

“Wash. U.! And the Loop. It’s really nice and very city-like. I love the musicians playing jazz in the streets.”

-Sarah Klein

“Driving down Wydown Boulevard in the spring or fall with the windows down. It’s absolutely beautiful.”

-Sarah Baicker

Q: What’s your least favorite thing about St. Louis?

“It’s 3-5 hours away from the next city, and it can get claustrophobic.”

-Oliver Hulland

“The Cardinals.”

-Allie Wieczorec

“People who say ‘Worshington’ instead of Washington.”

-Aaron Seligman

Q: What makes St. Louis unique?

“It’s called ‘Bread Co.,’ not Panera.”

-Kristin McGrath

“We’re not northern or southern, nor eastern or western. That might seem obvious, geographically speaking-but the culture really doesn’t adhere to a region, either. It’s one of the most liberal cities in Missouri, a state that votes ‘red.’ It’s composed of a lot of contradictions.”

-Margaret Bauer