Archive for October, 2006

Men’s Soccer upsets NYU, defeats Brandeis 3-0

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Andrei Berman
Lionel Sobehart

Believe the hype, folks. The Washington University men’s soccer team is for real. The Bears kept their league championship and NCAA tournament hopes alive over the weekend with a pair of huge league victories, including a thrilling double-overtime win Sunday against league-leading and 20th-ranked NYU on Francis Field.

The Red and Green thoroughly dominated Brandeis 3-0 on Friday before a cold but rowdy home crowd. Playing with a palpable intensity, the businesslike Bears got off to a hot start en route to an easy win.

“We got outplayed for 90 minutes. Wash. U. is very good. They’re probably the best team we’ve played all year,” said Brandeis Coach Mike Coven. “They play very attractive soccer.”

Sophomore Ben Ryugo scored an early goal in the 26th minute on an incredible shot from 40 yards out. Junior Elie Zenner added another first half goal in the 31st minute off of a beautiful centering pass from sophomore Eric Hill. The score was Zenner’s team-leading sixth goal of the season. Freshman John Hengel added the team’s third and final goal in the 72nd minute on a shot from 20 yards out.

Zenner, the team co-captain, lavished praise on the rookie goal-scorer. “He’s really asserted himself this year. He gets better every game. He never loses the ball. He’s a really smart player,” he said.

“We need to play every game like it is a playoff game. We were able to do this against Brandeis and were successful,” said Hengel.

Freshman John Smelcer and sophomore Ryan Kruse once again combined for a shutout win. This was Smelcer’s seventh shutout of the season and Kruse’s fourth.

The team played Friday’s game without junior co-captain Onyi Okoroafor. Okoroafor sat out the game with an injury sustained in Wash. U.’s tie with the University of Rochester two weeks ago.

Sunday’s match-up against the league-leading Violets of New York University proved to be an exciting one from the start. A defensive struggle from the get-go, NYU outshot the Bears by a two-to-one margin, 14-7. But Smelcer proved tough in goal once again, repeatedly denying NYU, which entered the game undefeated in league play.

After a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation play, the teams entered the first of what would be two overtime sessions. Neither team could muster the game-winner in the first overtime frame, though were it not for a tremendous save by Smelcer, NYU would have walked off of Francis Field with a win.

In the second overtime, Ryugo – known for his powerful throw-ins – launched a throw-in from about 30 yards out on the right sideline. An NYU defender, trying frantically to clear the ball out of his team’s zone, after it hit the turf right in front of the NYU goalkeeper, mistakenly tipped it into his own goal, giving the Bears the upset victory in unthinkable fashion.

“It was a huge win. We’ve had a lot of bad luck at home this year. So it was nice to have some luck to go the other way. It was huge in terms of solidifying our case for an at large bid [to the NCAA tournament],” said Zenner.

With the win, Wash. U. set up a crucial season finale against the University of Chicago next Saturday at Francis Field. The Bears enter the season’s final weekend entrenched in a multi-team battle for the league title, and automatic NCAA tournament bid. Should Wash. U. win, NYU lose to Brandeis and Case Western lose or tie to Rochester, the Bears would take the UAA title outright. If NYU were to salvage even a tie, however, Wash. U’s postseason predicament would be entirely in the hands of the NCAA selection committee. Still, Zenner is confident that a Wash. U. win next weekend – regardless of all other league outcomes – would get the Bears in the big dance.

“I think we’ll get one if we finish second. I think if we win, it’s still fairly likely that we get a bid. I don’t think a tie would suffice. A win would put us in a very strong position. Our overall goal is to get to the NCAA’s any way we can.”

But Zenner and the rest of the once-inexperienced Bears roster is not ruling out the possibility of taking the league title outright, a possibility which would have been a pipedream just weeks ago.

“Anything can happen in this conference. So we’re definitely still going for the title.”

– Additional reporting by Trisha Wolf

Women’s Soccer wins UAA, earns NCAA berth

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Arden Farhi
Lionel Sobehart

After getting off to a 2-2 start in their first four games, it seemed doubtful that the Bears’ women’s soccer team would make a run at the playoffs. Thirteen games later, doubt no more. The Bears are going to the postseason.

With wins over conference opponents Brandeis University and New York University, the seventh-ranked Bears (15-2, UAA 6-0) took home the UAA title and locked up an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Sunday’s double overtime win over NYU was the team’s 13th in a row, which broke the previous school record for consecutive victories.

In cold and windy conditions on Friday night, the Bears came out hot against Brandeis. Just nine minutes into the game, freshman Libby Held crossed a corner kick to the middle of the box. The ball was deflected to junior Marin McCarthy, who blasted it to the back of the cage to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. The goal would prove to be the game-winner.

Wash. U. outshot Brandeis 7-2 in the first period and 16-3 for the game.

Minutes into the second half, senior MeghanMarie Fowler-Finn got busy. From 35 yards out, Fowler-Finn struck a low line drive that skipped on the soggy turf and beat Brandeis goalkeeper Betsey Medow to the nearside post.

But she wouldn’t stop there. After Fowler-Finn came off the field for a quick breather midway through the second half, head coach Wendy Dillinger subbed her back into the game.

Just after the substitution, Fowler-Finn took a free kick from the near sideline that appeared to be a pass to the far side. But thanks to a stiff eastward wind, the ball found the upper corner of the goal to give Fowler-Finn her second tally of the match and put the Bears up 3-0.

“I was trying to cross it and the wind helped it go in,” said Fowler-Finn, whose two goals were her eighth and ninth of the season.

It was a balmy 70 degrees for Sunday’s game versus NYU, but the Bears started cold. In the first period, WU only put one shot on goal.

NYU’s Lola Coker nearly put the Violets ahead in the 22nd minute. Her free kick from 25 yards out rattled off the crossbar and was cleared away. Coker’s shot, however, would be the last one NYU (6-9-1, UAA 0-6) would get for the rest of the game, including the two overtime sessions.

Dillinger wasn’t pleased with her team’s effort in the first half. “The most insulting thing is getting outworked and we were getting outworked and outplayed [in the first half]. We started slow and took some things for granted.”

In the second half, the Bears came out with palpable intensity, winning many of the loose balls they had lost in the first period and holding the ball on their side of the field for most of the 45-minute period. But they couldn’t find the net.

Fowler-Finn had a chance to bury NYU in the 78th minute, but her left-footed shot from point-blank range was tipped over the crossbar by NYU goalie Rebekah Kramer.

Kramer made eight saves for the Violets in her first career start.

Tied 0-0, the game went into overtime. WU managed three shots in the first overtime session, but again failed to score.

Four minutes into the second overtime – the Bears’ winning streak and playoff hopes in question – Fowler-Finn answered. She took a dribble to her right and fired a prayer of a shot from 30 yards out. Kramer could hardly react as the ball sailed out of her reach and into the far side corner of the net.

The score ignited a boisterous celebration for the newly-crowned UAA champions. The Bears’ bench streamed on to the field, surrounding the senior captain.

“That was the kind of goal that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” said an exuberant Fowler-Finn after the game.

Junior Carrie Sear earned both wins in goal. In six conference games, Sear has allowed just one goal. With Sunday’s victory, her goals-against average dropped to .27.

Sear credits her defense for keeping teams off the scoreboard. “It’s a combination of the defense playing well and knowing where each other are going to be. We have a lot of defensive chemistry.”

A win or a tie against NYU would have given WU a postseason berth. The Red and Green play the University of Chicago next Saturday at home. The game could determine whether the Bears host an NCAA regional game in two weeks.

“It’s good to have a game like [NYU] going into the tournament,” said Fowler-Finn. “Next week is all about pride.”

Volleyball moves to 28-1

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Carrie Jarka

The second-ranked Bears took four games this past weekend at the Titan Invitational, their last regular season tournament. Extending their winning streak to 20 games, the Bears volleyball team moved to 28-1 on the season.

A balanced offense and defense gave the Bears the win over University of Wisconsin-Stout on Friday. Junior Emilie Walk tallied six kills in the first game, which the Bears won 30-19. Dropping the second game 17-30, the Bears rallied to take games three and four (30-23, 30-16).

“Our goals were the same as they have been all year – focus on doing the little things better,” said junior Haleigh Spencer. “What is going to take us to the next level is perfecting those little things like better blocking, better ball control, and smarter hits.”

Walk ended the match with 13 kills and eight blocks. Senior Whitney Smith added 11 kills and eight blocks while Spencer collected 11 kills, eight digs, and four blocks. Sophomore Audra Janak delivered 21 assists, five service aces and 10 digs. On the defense, senior libero Amy Bommarito tallied 18 digs and sophomore Alli Alberts added 11.

“That is what is so great about our team,” said Spencer. “It isn’t just one person doing all the work. It’s everyone out there. We are such a balanced team, offensively and defensively, that the opposing team can’t focus on one person.”

The host Titans from Illinois Wesleyan would not go down easily. Dropping the first game (28-30), the Bears rallied behind sophomore Nikki Morrison and Spencer, taking the next three frames and the match (30-26, 30-25, 30-26). Morrison ended the match with 15 kills and seven blocks while Spencer added 13 kills and 11 digs. Both Walk and Smith added 10 digs. Freshman setter Vicki Blood finished with 22 assists and 12 digs.

Saturday’s first game against Monmouth College proved no contest for the Red and Green, as the Bears won easily in three games (30-12, 30-15, 30-17). Finishing with a team hitting percentage of .579, the offense was led by Spencer’s 11 kills while Smith added eight and junior Kathy Leeper added seven. Spencer also added 13 digs to her offensive output.

The final match of the weekend was against No. 6 Carthage College. Taking the first set 30-22, the Bears rallied to win the second set 32-30. As Carthage seemed poised to take the third set, the Bears weathered through three match points to win 35-33.

Freshman Erin Albers tallied six kills in the third game and finished with eight in the match. Spencer again led the Bears with 15 kills and digs. Morrison added 13 kills while Smith added 12. Defensively, Bommarito collected 21 digs while Alberts added 10.

Wash. U. will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. this weekend for the UAA Championships. They will face Case Western Reserve University, the University of Rochester, and Carnegie Mellon University in the first round. The Bears are looking to reclaim the title from Emory who snapped WU’s 16-year win streak last season. The title will guarantee a spot in the NCAA tournament.

“We are expecting to win the conference, but we know it won’t be without hard work,” said Spencer. “Our conference is one of the best volleyball conferences in Division III. We don’t expect it to be a cakewalk. We know what we need to focus on and what we need to get better at in order to win conference. That will be our focus this week.”

The Fast and the Frivolous

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Andrei Berman
Lionel Sobehart

On Saturday, soap box teams took to the track in search of a winning ride through Forest Park. The rides were a bit crazy-ranging from Superman to the Pope-mobile, from a cell phone on wheels to giant Vans shoe-and the track a bit dangerous, but the competitors were enthusiastic and ready to race.

World Champions

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Andrei Berman
David Brody

St. Louis was at its best Friday night.

Dozens of Washington University students joined thousands of celebratory St. Louisans in the streets of the Arch City just moments after the hometown Cardinals won their 10th World Championship on Friday evening.

The pervasive exuberance which filled the streets of downtown St. Louis was noticeably devoid of violence and destructive behavior, characteristics which have plagued some cities after championship victories.

Fans young and old, black and white, and rich and poor exchanged hugs and high-fives, blared car horns and danced in the streets and at surrounding bars until deep in the St. Louis night.

Jack Rosencrans, a freshman from Greenwich, Conn., hopped on the first available Metro train with a number of friends and headed downtown for the victory celebration. Though a Mets fan, Rosencrans characterized the Cardinals’ win as “amazing.”

“We’re in St. Louis and now we get to celebrate with a city that loves its baseball team,” he said.

Within minutes of the victory, Cardinal Nation had begun to purchase official championship memorabilia and special collector’s editions of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Many fans took pictures in front of the new Busch Stadium’s Stan Musial statue. One man stood on the flatbed of a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck holding a sign with the words “If you rebuild it, they will come,” a reference to the title coming in the inaugural season of the new Busch.

“The people are more civil, easier to deal with, more acceptable of outsiders,” said Dan Dwyer, 31, a licensed vendor of official championship merchandise, who hails from Franklin, Massachusetts, noting how much better behaved the Cardinal fans were than those of his native Boston Red Sox when they celebrated a World Series title two years ago.

Mike Farmer, 51, a lifelong Cardinals fan from Springfield, Illinois sat on a bench just blocks from the stadium with his 21 year-old son Nick, a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee who had come to town to join his father for Game 5. Smiling, the pair spoke reflectively on what the win meant to them.

“This World Series means to me the most because I got to share it with my son. This is super special. We love the Cardinals. We love St.Louis. This is a dream come true,” said Mike. “It’s well worth skipping school,” added Nick, as the pair shared a laugh.

Hy Safran, a Detroit native who now lives in Israel and graduated from Columbia University in the spring, came to St. Louis for the World Series and stayed with a friend who is a law student at WashU. He came to America for the playoffs and witnessed every Tigers game in the postseason, both home and away.

He described the Cardinal fans as “hospitable, inviting, warm. Throughout, people have been real supportive. It’s been a great environment,” said Safran who added that when he was watching the Tigers play the Yankees in New York, the fans there poured beer on him.

“I’ve really been blown away. From the World Series, I’ll remember the errors committed by our pitchers and I’ll remember the fans of St. Louis,” he said as a Cardinal fan came over to shake his hand in a conciliatory gesture.

The significance of the victory on the morale of the sometimes denigrated and divided city was not lost on many of the post-game partiers.

Jospeh McKinney, a day removed from his 32nd birthday and a lifelong resident of the city’s South Side put the win in its broader socioeconomic perspective. “We all celebrating. This brings the community together, the city together, the state together. We celebrating big.”

Jim Murphy, a city police officer of 15 years and St. Louis native, said that short of people “doing things really destructive or being an unbelievable nuisance,” fans would be permitted to celebrate.

And celebrate they did. The atmosphere became rowdier as the night progressed, but few incidents were reported and the area in front of Busch Stadium had mostly thinned out by 2:30 in the morning.

Just beyond Mike Shannon’s restaurant at about 12:30, fans danced in the streets to the music of Nelly and other hip-hop artists. Standing just next to a rap-blaring, bouncing GMC sport utility vehicle was a 13-year old who gave only the name Dexter. Perhaps Dexter best summed up the feelings of the thousands in St.Louis and beyond who were celebrating the Red Bird’s tenth title.

“This is tight. Everybody love the ‘Lou, boy.”

-Additional reporting by Brad Nelson

Study finds FDA wastes $50 billion a year

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Josh Goebel

A recent study done by professors from Washington University and Georgetown University estimated that the FDA is losing 50 billion dollars a year due to wasteful manufacturing processes. This large-scale examination evaluated data from pharmaceutical manufacturers, observing several aspects of production.

“This study was part of a two part research program,” said Jackson Nickerson, professor in the Olin School of Business. “The first part was working with the FDA to investigate how they regulate manufacturing facilities and provide recommendations. For the second part we worked with 19 manufacturers and 42 facilities to understand and identify ways in which they could manage to lower the cost.”

When investigating the different manufacturing locations, they observed several key metrics that strongly correlated with efficiency. These included yield, cycle time, and deviation.

Each metric was closely examined, both to collect data and find ways to develop more effective procedures. However, as Jeffrey Macher, assistant professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University acknowledged, this is an extremely complicated subject.

“It is certainly more work for a manufacturing facility to rectify problems when there are interdependencies between and among contributing elements,” said Macher.

From analyzing the data, the study revealed that manufacturers that use information technology to monitor processes of production were more efficient. The study also found that the more effective companies granted greater decision-making power to lower-level employees.

Nickerson said that another issue is the FDA’s harsh penalties. Manufacturers, weary of regulators’ steep fines, shy away from innovation.

“We have recommended that the FDA use a risk-based approach to identify when facilities should be inspected and how intensively they should be inspected. This would change incentives,” said Nickerson.

The findings of this study are only one facet of a broader picture of how regulation affects everyone. “How we choose to regulate our society can impact the public good. If we can find ways to improve regulations of manufacturing, the world would be better off. We need smart people to come in, examine these problems and work to fix them,” said Nickerson.

The researchers intend to delve further into interpreting the data and formulating specific recommendations past what the study outlined.

“Right now, Professor Nickerson and I are moving toward analysis and writing mode with the data that we do have,” said Macher.

The researchers will send their completed study to Washington to bring about better ways of regulating pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Professor’s writing aims to reshape view of American Muslims

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Sam Guzik

When Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz returned from a visit to Iran last May, she was shocked by the disparity between the country she knew and the media’s representation of it.

Frustrated by what she perceived as the popular media’s skewed perspective, Keshavarz, chair of the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, began to write a series entitled “Windows on Iran.”

Five months and 10 issues later, Keshavarz is still writing. The series is now e-mailed directly to over 300 readers and posted on the online magazine The American Muslim, where it is read by countless others.

“People are reading it in Lebanon, in Iran, and in [many] places in Europe,” said Keshavarz. “It wasn’t a response to people’s hostility.People have been so open to learning through these ‘Windows.'”

The “Windows” series makes an effort to fill the void left by the popular media and make accurate information available. Keshavarz’s writing offers important perspective as reports of growing tension on college campuses become more common.

“I’ve talked to Muslims who feel like they are being watched,” said Orvin Kimbrough, the executive director of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis. “We ought to be careful about lumping all Muslims into one specific category.”

With the escalating crisis in the Middle East and the inflammatory remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI, American Muslims remain conflicted between their faith and their fear of being labeled as terrorists. Tensions mounted in mid-September as four Muslim charities were raided and shut down in Westfield, Mo., as well as the home of a Muslim professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

According to freshman and Muslim Adam Eltorai, this rhetoric has made it more important to ensure that non-Muslims understand that fanatics and terrorists do not represent the average Muslim.

Junior Tasmeem Ahmad, president of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), said that the University’s open, academic atmosphere counters the insular trends felt on some other campuses.

“I have never felt scared, I’ve never felt like I needed extra protection,” said Ahmad.

“I doubt very much that those pictures of hostility, of division, apply to all campuses,” added Professor Pamela Barmash, director of the program in Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies.

Nevertheless, the University has taken steps to ensure that Muslims remain safe on campus.

Don Strom, University Chief of Police, recently contacted Ahmad to maintain positive relations with the Muslim community and to investigate the sentiment of Muslim students on campus regarding safety.

Keshavarz’s efforts to present a comprehensive picture are parallel with her department’s efforts toward creating a dialogue of pluralism. The University is unique among American schools in that it offers an integrated program of Jewish and Islamic studies.

“There is an atmosphere of openness on this campus, not [one] of debate where you try to vanquish the other side,” said Barmash.

By working together in an integrated department, faculty and students benefit from the additional depth provided by personal relationships.

Ahmad explained that the willingness of students to question authority and learn for themselves has created an openness that nurtures understanding and tolerance.

Over 400 students – many of them non-Muslims – attended the annual Fast-a-thon, which was held during Ramadan, the Muslim month of prayer and fasting. Additionally, there has been strong attendance at MSA programs that bring in Islamic scholars to explain the beliefs of Islam.

“We try to show what real Islam is, starting on the college campus,” said Eltorai.

Students win at soap box derby

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Marla Friedman
Lionel Sobehart

With only two hours left to hand in the application for the Red Bull Soap Box Race, the members of Team Brain Fart quickly decided on the theme of a gigantic muscled man on wheels.

It was this buff idea that won them the People’s Choice Award at the race in Forest Park on Saturday.

The race is an annual event sponsored by Red Bull, yet this was the first time it took place in the United States. Forty-one teams, each with five people, raced to be first across the finish line with their non-motorized cars. One member of each team “drove” the car and the other four pushed it to help generate momentum.

Teams from all over the nation participated in the event, but Team Brain Fart beat the competition, including the University team Pope Mobile, comprised of sophomores. From the day the team members sent in their application, they were aiming to win the People’s Choice Award.

“We didn’t build a car thinking we would win based on speed. We wanted to bring an outrageous design to the event,” said team captain and University senior Matt Jones.

The team owed some of its success to its sponsors, as Red Bull did not provide any money for construction. After striking out in their first week of soliciting backers, Jones and teammates Bob Rowe, Arthur George Bauman III, Fahr Juneja and Roger Rowe, all seniors, eventually found people willing to help.

“Bob Rowe, the driver of our car, had worked at an engineering firm last year, and his boss said they would sponsor us,” said Jones. “Another engineering firm bought all the metal for our frame through one of its suppliers.”

The team assumed that the metal for the frame would be the most expensive. However, they later discovered that the material for the muscle-man would cost more. Luckily, they received some last-minute help.

“Two days before the race we found out that Student Union was going to sponsor us, too, which was a big help because we didn’t realize how much money we were going to need,” said Jones.

The money went toward spray insulation foam, which sprays on as a liquid and then expands and hardens. The foam served as the carving material for the muscle-man’s body.

Jones said that he was not entirely surprised that they won because the crowd really enjoyed the design of their car.

“I think our design was completely ridiculous, and people responded well to it. People would walk by and just start laughing right away, which is when I realized that we had pulled off the visual joke.”

The team garnered a lot of support for the race, especially since it was Parents Weekend at the University. Many of Jones’ friends came with their parents, and his own family came in from out of town.

Junior Jessica Miller was one of the many students who attended the event with her family.

“It was a great activity for Parents Weekend. I went with my parents and my siblings, who are 18 and ten years old, and everybody had a lot of fun.”

Miller especially enjoyed the race between the two teams from the University, the Pope Mobile and Team Brain Fart.

“It was fun just to watch it and know that it was Wash. U. students racing; it was nice to support the school.”

The Pope Mobile team did not win any awards, but did win the highest composite score from the judges, who rated the teams on showmanship and how well the cars completed the race. Jason Anderson, one member of the Pope Mobile team, was pleased with his team’s soap box.

“We did better than we thought we would because we were worried the car wouldn’t make it down the ramp. We didn’t go into it with any expectations and just wanted to do our best.”

Anderson feels that Team Brain Fart definitely deserved to win the People’s Choice Award.

“They had a really interesting design; it was definitely outrageous and embodied the spirit that Red Bull wanted.”

The teams made a whole weekend out of the event, as Red Bull provided hotel rooms for the participants and sponsored an after party for them.

“The hotel was wonderful,” said Bob Rowe, the driver of Team Brain Fart’s car. “We lucked out to have the Cardinals win the World Series and have a free hotel a block away from the stadium.”

The team received a Red Bull trophy for their efforts, and is still awaiting another prize that has yet to be revealed.

ABS celebrates 40th anniversary with week of events

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Scott Friedman

The Association of Black Students hosts their annual Black Arts & Sciences Festival next week to celebrate their 40th anniversary. With a theme of “Self Determination: Where Do We Begin?” the event’s typical emphasis on musicians or artists takes a back seat to an appreciation of the legacy of the group’s legacy.

The Association of Black Students (ABS) has activities planned throughout the week, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.

“Black Arts & Sciences Festival (BASF) is a reflection of ABS’s rich legacy and impact on the Wash. U. community. BASF gives us the opportunity to present our talents and passions as a cohesive [group] working to enrich both the black and Wash. U. communities,” said sophomore Laura Hawkes, programming chair for ABS.

For 40 years ABS has held a place on campus, and the BASF week has occurred since the 1970s. In 1967, a group of black students, including alumnus Robert Johnson, marched to Brookings Hall and held a nine day sit-in to demand their rights. Threatening to blow up the University’s one and only computer, they received their rights. The event symbolizes “a transition from the past to the present,” said sophomore Sarah Johnson, publicity chair for ABS.

“This year, our 40th anniversary is so important to us, because of the rich history that has brought us to today. People risked everything that they had, more than their grades, just to get rights for the coming generations,” said Johnson.

The group presented their Black Manifesto to the University in 1968. Washington University, the Manifesto stated, needed a black studies program, increased enrollment and financial aid for black students, an employment aid promotional policy regarding black people and general awareness and sensitivity of the administration, staff and faculty. ABS also demanded meeting facilities for their group and University research inclusive of black people.

The group’s efforts paid off in 1969 when Robert Williams began the University’s first black studies program.

The idea of this year’s theme, besides recognizing the efforts of those founding alumni, comes from the speech title of the Nov. 1 Assembly Series speaker, feminist bell hooks.

Hooks’ work emphasizes a need for healing the negative effects class, gender and race have on individuals and society.

Other highlights of the week include a movie night and discussion on Oct. 31. “The Hurricane” is a 1999 film about the story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, played by Denzel Washington. According to the movie’s Web site, Carter was a 1960s boxer whose dreams of winning the middleweight boxing title were hopeless after an accusation and subsequent jailing for the murders of three white men. His 20 year fight for justice becomes central to the film.

Two days later, on Nov. 2, sophomore Aaron Hutcherson, ABS political affairs chair, said he plans to have a program concerning the Black Manifesto, one of the founding documents of ABS. Further, he wants to address how there are still some demands, such as increased enrollment for black students, that have not yet been met.

The week culminates with the annual Supreme Reign Semi-Formal in Holmes Lounge on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Students can purchase tickets for $15 in Wohl Center.

All students, regardless of race, are welcome and encouraged to attend any of these events. ABS President, senior Olufolajimi “Jimi” Ige, said one of ABS’ goals for the year is to remind students that ABS is a resource for everybody. “Even on our Executive Board, we don’t have all black students. Whether you’re part of ABS or any cultural group, you should see it as the beginning of your social group,” said Ige.

Ige said he wants students to realize ABS is not exclusive and has opportunities for all students.”I had a phone call from a white female the other day, and she said coming to the [ABS General Body meeting] was eye-opening,” said Ige.

He added that she gained a new perspective after being the minority in the room, rather than the majority. The cultural fabric of the nation and Washington University has changed greatly in the last 40 years, said Hutcherson.

“Aptly naming this year’s theme as ‘self determination’ shows that although 40 years have passed since Robert Johnson and his classmates were able to achieve some of their goals, the process is not over. Black people, people as a whole actually, continue to define themselves and find their place in a college community,” said Johnson.

For more information on the week’s events, visit

Seeking spook: Eerie abodes in St. Louis

Monday, October 30th, 2006 | Scott Fabricant
Scott Fabricant

January Tunnel may be spooky at night, but if you want to find real haunted places, you’re going to need to get out into the city. St. Louis is famous for some of its haunted spots and is considered one of the most haunted cities in America. You may have already heard that The Exorcism was inspired by a St. Louis case, but there are more paranormal fables to be found here. Scared yet?

Lemp Mansion

Before Anheuser-Busch, there was Lemp. The richest brewing family in St. Louis became victims to an infamous series of violent suicides. First came the mysterious death of Fredrick Lemp, the son of company owner William Lemp. Three years later, William shot himself in the head and William Jr. took over the company. When Prohibition was ratified, the company was destroyed, and William Jr.’s sister, Elsa, committed suicide. Two years later, William Jr. killed himself, leaving his brother, Charles, who lived alone in the Lemp Mansion for many years until he too ended his life with a bullet.

With all the family members dead, the mansion was turned into a boarding house. But the residents began to hear things – ghostly knocks and footsteps in the night. The mansion was eventually sold and turned into a restaurant, but the hauntings continue to this day.

Tony Valentine, an employee at the restaurant for many years, has seen his share of strange happenings.

“I’ve heard pianos played, dogs start barking and candles light themselves, with no one else around. Seven or eight years ago, I saw a man in a suit walking around in one of the bedrooms. I walked in after him and he was gone.”

The Lemp Mansion is proud of its reputation as a famous haunted house. Other locations suffer more privately.

The Old Courthouse

Across from the picturesque Gateway Arch lies another beautiful building, the old courthouse. As it has not been in use since 1930, it has been turned into a museum. But some claim the museum is haunted. A few security guards have reported flickering lights, slamming doors and otherworldly screams. Allegedly, these noises were so frightening that the police were called in to investigate, but the courthouse was empty. Could the lost souls of notorious criminals be haunting the site where they were condemned?

“No,” said Richard Ferrerman of the National Park Service. “People think this was a criminal court, where executions were performed. But this was a civil courthouse. I’ve never heard any ghosts, only bad jokes.”

A cover-up? Only they know for sure.

Jefferson Barracks

Another St. Louis historic spot rumored to be haunted is Jefferson Barracks, which lies south of bustling downtown. Formerly used as an army barracks and training area, it was decommissioned after World War II and turned into a park. When it was active, both Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee spent time there. A Veteran’s Hospital also existed on the site. With the barracks’ connection to war, it’s no surprise a number of ghost stories have sprouted up around it.

One story involves a Halloween party at the hospital. A man in a Civil War costume sat alone in the corner. A guest came over and asked him if he were enjoying himself, to which the man mumbled, “I like it good.” The reveler began to walk away, but turned back around. The man in the Civil War costume was gone. When he asked the host about the man, the host replied that no one was wearing a Civil War costume that night.

Another famous story involves soldiers at their guard post near the gunpowder magazine. The guards would occasionally be confronted by another sentry, a ghostly apparition with a bleeding bullet hole in his head. Allegedly killed by a raiding party decades earlier, he continues to patrol the magazine against any intruders, including the live soldiers.

These are only some of the stories about Jefferson Barracks, but is there any substance to the rumors? Glenda Stocklon, a long time volunteer at the park, doubts it. “I’ve been here all hours of day and night, and never seen or heard a thing. I’ve been working here for 15 years,” said Stocklon.

She believes the existence of ghosts may be possible, but some of the rumors are flat out false. According to Stocklon, the haunted gatehouse from the sentry story doesn’t even exist.

Hitchhiker Annie

On the edge of the city are two cemeteries, existing side by side: Bellefontaine and Calvary. Many famous people are buried there, but the real haunting takes place on the road that separates them. Calvary Drive is a spooky road, with tall gravestones flanking you on both sides. Some nights, just after sunset, a mysterious young woman in a white dress appears on the road. She flags down a passing motorist and asks to be taken down the street. As the driver passes the entrance to Bellefontaine, the girl simply disappears. Others say the woman walks onto the road, causing drivers to swerve to avoid hitting her. But when they look to see if the woman is alright, there is no trace she was ever there.

Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from this story – don’t pick up hitchhikers.

“I wouldn’t pick up a hitchhiker anyway, but I’d be even less likely to having heard this story,” said senior Nathan Watters, a St. Louis native.

The House on Plant Avenue

A small private residence, this haunted house’s exact location is kept secret by its current owners, and for very good reason. The ghost of rich businessman Henry Gehm still lurks in the house, looking for the gold he stashed there before his death. After Gehm’s death, the house was owned by the Furry family. At night, ghosts plagued Mrs. Furry, banging on her bed and windows and shaking her in her sleep. Footsteps echoed all around the house, especially in the attic. Is it Gehm, looking for his gold? He may not be alone. The child of Mrs. Furry gave her mother quite a fright one morning when she asked, “Who is the lady in black who comes in my room at night?”

Not surprisingly, the Furrys moved out, and the Walsh family moved in. More ghostly figures moved in with them. The attic door would mysteriously open and close; typewriters and light switches operated themselves; empty rooms became a disheveled mess. The Walsh family also moved out. The current residents still experience mysterious and frightening phenomena, but they embrace their haunted house.

Not everyone would have the guts to stay.

“I would probably not buy a house rumored to be haunted,” said Watters. “I wouldn’t want to take that chance.”

This is only a sample of what ghostly mysteries surround this old city on the Mississippi; there are far too many to fit on this page. Maybe you know of others here, or in your own hometown. Just remember, if you buy an old house, you may not be the only residents living in there.

Well, you might be the only ones living.