Archive for May, 2007

Softball takes second in national championships

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Anna Dinndorf

After surging through the end of the regular season and most of the NCAA Division III Tournament, the Washington University softball team fell to Linfield College to take second place overall in the national championship. The Bears finished out their season with a record of 35-7 and their second place finish in the national tournament is the best in program history.

The Bears gained an at-large bid to the Midwest Regional tournament after finishing the regular season with a record of 28-5 and winning their last 18 games. They posted victories over Webster University (1-0), Luther College (5-0), University of St. Thomas (4-1) and Wartburg College (2-0) to take first place in the regional and advance to the College World Series.
Wash. U. cruised to an easy victory in the first round of the tournament, beating 23-ranked Plattsburgh College 8-0 in five innings. Freshman Megan Fieser led the team’s offense, going 3-for-3 with a home run and six RBI in the game.

Facing the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the second round was more of a challenge. The game remained scoreless until the bottom eighth inning, when senior Jamie Kressel hit a walk-off home run to advance the Bears to the third round of the double-elimination tournament. Senior ace Laurel Sagartz pitched the complete game shutout, allowing three hits and striking out 11.

The Bears faced number two-ranked Linfield College in the third round and won 6-3 to advance to the national championship for the first time in program history. The championship game soon became a rematch of the two teams, as Linfield defeated Eau Claire to win the loser’s bracket in the double-elimination tournament format. This time around, Linfield came out on top with a 1-0 victory in extras to force a championship rematch and ending the Bears’ win streak at 25 games.

Tuesday’s rematch fared no better for Wash. U., as Linfield, the best hitting team in Division III, knocked Sagartz out of the game after two innings and beat the Bears 10-2 to win the national title.

Sagartz, one of Division III’s most dominant pitchers, finished the season with a record of 26-3. She holds the school record in all seven pitching categories and ranks third in Division III in career shutouts (46), fourth in earned run average (0.73), seventh in strikeouts (863), and tenth in wins (84). She was also named to the 2007 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-America team, gaining first-team honors for the third season in a row. Freshman designated hitter Carter Malouf was also named to the All-America team, earning second-team honors.

Senior athletes say goodbye to Wash. U.

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Trisha Wolf
Scott Bressler

Natalie Badowski has garnered All-American honors in the 1,600m relay and been named an Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine twice. She will make her fourth NCAA appearance later this month.

Two-year team captain and defensive specialist Amy Bommarito ranks in the top ten on Wash. U.’s career digs list and was named to the all-UAA first team this past season. After appearing in three national championships, she hopes to one day go into sports management.

Midfielder Talia Bucci has made the all-UAA first team three out of her four years here. She is currently ranked ninth on the Wash. U. career assists list and has been named to the all central region teams twice. She will begin law school in the fall.

Erin Fleming ends her Wash. U. tennis career at number three on the all-time wins list and qualified for the NCAA tournament as junior. After graduation, she will be working as a programmer in Boston while contemplating medical school.

Midfielder MeghanMarie Fowler-Finn was selected to the all-UAA first team each of her four years here and was named an Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine three times. During her senior season, she was named UAA Player of the Year, Player of the Year and first team All-American by the NSCAA.

Two-time UAA cross-country champion and four time first team selection Beth Herndon has also been named All-American twice, tying the Wash. U. record for highest individual finish in the NCAA championships, coming in fifth this fall. Next year, as a graduate student at Penn St., she plans on continuing to run track.

After transferring from Emory as a sophomore, second baseman David Kramer helped to lead his new school to their first ever outright conference championship by defeating his old one. The two time all-UAA first team selection will play baseball professionally in the new Israel Baseball League following graduation.

One of the most prolific hitters in Wash. U. softball history, Jamie Kressel has batted .455 on her senior season. A three-time all-UAA first team selection, she will be attending the University of Central Florida in the fall pursuing a Masters in sports management and an MBA.

Two-time All-American in the weight throw Delaina Martin has been named UAA Outstanding Performer three times and was Rookie of the Year as freshman. Before heading to Texas as part of Teach for America, she will compete in her final NCAA Championships meet later this month.

After transferring from Carthage College before his junior season, Nick Nikitas made a solid impact on the men’s basketball team, starting every game as a senior. After graduation, he begins work as an analyst at LaSalle Bank in Chicago.

Rebecca Parker averaged a double-double in her senior season on the women’s basketball team, leading it to the national championship game. She holds the record for single season rebounds and is third on the career list. After graduation, she will be working as a white water rafting guide in Montana and on organic farms in Ecuador.

Pitcher Laurel Sagartz has been named UAA Player of the Year four times and All-American three. In addition to five perfect games, her 0.67 career ERA is the third best in Division III history. The softball ace has also played varsity volleyball for two years.

Andy Shields has been a lethal combination on the diamond, ranked in the top ten in both batting average and career wins as a pitcher. Batting .434 on his senior season, he has been named to the all-UAA first team three times and the all-region team twice.

Middle hitter Whitney Smith has been named All-American twice in volleyball. Known as a ferocious blocker, she currently stands at fifth on the Wash. U. career list. Next year, she will be working as a research assistant while applying to medical school.

Defensive lineman Drew Wethington’s 3.0 tackles for loss per game in his senior season led all of Division III. For his efforts, he was named to Don Hansen’s Football Gazette All-American third team and the UAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

What is your best memory of Wash. U. spors?

David Kramer: My best memory as a Wash. U. athlete was beating Emory my sophomore year in Florida. I was cut by Emory my freshman year so the game meant a lot to me. I scored 2 of our 5 runs in the game and we ended up winning 5-4.

Rebecca Parker: Getting to the final four after losing our first two games.

Jamie Kressel: Being able to make such amazing friends over the years. During the season and even in the off season we spend a lot of time together and really get to know one another.

Delaina Martin: The indoor conference meet this year. The meet literally came down to the last event.

Andy Shields: Helping the baseball program to back-to back-to back 30 win seasons, two (hopefully three) NCAA tournament bids and consuming more Wendy’s products than a human being ever should.

What has been your greatest athletic accomplishment here?

MeghanMarie Fowler-Finn: As a team, definitely this year. The entire season we played so well together. As an individual, I always come back to an overtime goal I had sophomore year. It was just such an awesome feeling to score an overtime goal.

Talia Bucci: Freshman year, we overachieved. We made the play-offs and won a game in the play-offs, which we weren’t supposed to do.

Amy Bommarito: Winning the national championships and going to two other national championships was pretty great; going to the very end and knowing that you did at least the best that you could. Individually, being a defender, you don’t get a lot of recognition, but when an attacker gets a great kill and they look back at you and say you started that with a great pass, you are definitely a part of it.

How have you changed as a player?

Beth Herndon: I enjoy running a lot more for running now than I did at the beginning. I used to be more competitive about it, but now I just enjoy running for running’s sake and being with the team.

DK: Most people do not realize how mentally draining each baseball game can be, and as a player a lot of mistakes are made because players get too upset over one play and they mentally carry that mistake with them to the next at bat or ground ball they get. Over the three years I have played here I have become very good at not worrying about my mistakes. This has helped me compete to the best of my ability every game.

AB: I became more of a leader as a player. I also just became more confident in my ability, not cocky or anything, just having the mentality that you can go out there and no one can stop you.

Whitney Smith: For the first time, I was part of a team where everyone genuinely cared about everyone else, was in it for the love of the sport and not anything else. Being very competitive increased my confidence as a player and taught me how to play while giving everything for the other girls.

Laurel Sagartz: It does change the feeling of the team because everyone wants to be there and is choosing to be there. It’s a very competitive school athletically and you will be challenged as a player. You are working alongside people who are as competitive as you, who are as smart as you, who want to win as much as you and it really works well here because everyone puts that will and that drive into it.

How has playing a sport here impacted your four years?

MMFF: For most athletes, it is the defining experience as a student at Wash. U. You have an entire team that is automatically your closest friends and a support group that is going through the same thing you are. You spend so much at it that it is a huge part of your life on campus.

Natalie Badowski: It just makes you a much more well-rounded person and takes your mind off school. It adds another dimension to yourself. I’ve gotten to meet so many people I would not have otherwise met.

AS: Baseball gives you an opportunity to step away from everything that bothers you about this school. Whether it be parking, rises in tuition payments or the tragic losses of the Philly stand and Taco Bell in Mallinkrodt, playing a sport lets you relax and forget about these things for a few hours every day.

Erin Fleming: Playing tennis has pretty much been my Wash. U. experience. All of my time and energy has gone into tennis or academics. I’ve made a lot of friends. It’s helped me to balance my time and stay organized.

DK: Baseball is my college experience at Wash. U,; baseball was the reason I transferred

here. Practicing everyday may seem time consuming for some but to me it’s like I am back in middle school where the best part of everyday was recess. Every time I set foot on the field its like I am at recess.

TB: It makes me not so scared for the future because I can handle going to Wash. U. full time and playing a sport. Next year, I’m going to law school and everyone keeps telling me how much work it is going to be, but I keep telling myself that I’ll have 40 extra hours a week and can handle anything they throw at me.

How will having played a sport in college help you in the future?

Drew Wethington: First, sports in general just helps bring out that competitive spirit in people that everyone just doesn’t have. I think college sports at the D-III level have helped me integrate the competitive nature that I have on the field into other aspects of my life. The juggling of sports and academics, along with job searches and internships, has made me realize that this mindset can be utilized as I enter the next phase of my life.

AS: There really is no substitute for true competitive nature. If you have the knack to compete and do your best in everything you do, you’re going to be successful in any situation.

JK: I think it’s definitely helped my time management skills. It taught me how to focus during my free time to get my work done. It’s also allowed me to learn how to work in a group well and get along with all different types of people.

LS: You learn to rely on people more. I definitely have learned from softball you have to rely on other people and can’t just rely on yourself. You learn to interact with people you wouldn’t necessarily be best friends with every day. That makes a difference in the real world.

NB: It helps you to learn how to lead, how to be a good example, a role model. It helps you to learn how to deal with emotional ups and downs

WS: Sports really teaches you how to fail and how to come back from it. Being invested in something so closely brings out the true character. It gives me the confidence that no matter what I face in the real world, I will be able to bounce back.

Nick Nikitas: I feel the characteristics and values that sports teach you-hard work, leadership, teamwork-are things that will help me in all aspects of life.

What has Wash. U. meant to you?

NB: I come from a family where no one has graduated college, so it has meant a lot in terms of developing me as a person. I’m happy I’ve been able to spend four years here.

WS: Wash. U. has enabled me to see sides of myself I didn’t know were there or weren’t as developed through a broad range of experiences. The connections with the people I have made here are more varied than what I could make at home.

TB: Everyone in my family goes to Notre Dame, so Wash. U. was an opportunity for me to break out, to have a place that was just mine and to have my own experience. It allowed me to realize I can do things on my own.

What will you miss the most?

EF: My teammates and coach.

BH: I will absolutely miss having a team to run with. It is just really enjoyable to have a group of people that you get to see every day, that you get to hang out with, that you get to run with.

DW: It’s the people who make the experience. Football itself will be deeply missed, but my teammates are what I’ll remember and miss the most.

RP: I’ll miss the feeling of being on a team and finding a way to express myself competitively.

DM: The people on the team, it’s great when you’re around people with the same goals and drive as you. It’s fun.

What advice would you leave for underclassmen?

LS: As long as you put all of yourself into what you do, you will have no regrets. You can always catch up on sleep later.

EF: Do what you love. Be passionate about something.

BH: Learn to really enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t just do something because you’re good at it. Set goals for yourself and push yourself.

AB: Cherish your time here. Look at the big picture of life, don’t stress out too much.

MMFF: You only get out of things what you put into them.

JK: Enjoy your time and do what you can-you may not be perfect but as long as you give your all that’s all you can ask of yourself.

RP: I would say just soak it all in. Don’t let a moment go by without thinking about how amazing not only sports in college but college in general is. It really is the most carefree, amazing time of your life. Live it up.

NN: Go watch the team next year.

Summertime separation

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Nicolle Neulist

Summer break is almost here. Many of you will be faced with a serious question-do you attempt to sustain a long-distance relationship with the person you’ve been dating here, or do you break things off for the summer?

Many people in their late teens and early twenties have a hard and fast rule against long-distance relationships. They decide that no matter how good the relationship is, no matter how much fun they are having with the other person, the distance is insurmountable.

Still, young or old, a hard and fast rule against is an inadvisable outlook-for the same reasons that you ought to avoid almost any hard and fast rule about relationships.

It is perfectly valid to have a preference…to prefer not to be in a long-distance relationship, for example. It is valid to take such preferences seriously. But, you owe it to yourself, as well as your partner, to evaluate your rules and preferences with a thoughtful eye. To end a relationship for no other reason than having decided at some point in the past that you have an inflexible rule against long-distance relationships-without giving specific consideration to the circumstances of your relationship and your lover- gives the relationship you are in right now inadequate consideration and, ultimately, short shrift.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, a long-distance relationship can be one of the most frustrating experiences in life. Instead of being able to see your significant other every day or two, you may be lucky to see them for a weekend or two per month. Things like instant messages, cellular phones and internet voice and video chat make it a little easier to stay in touch frequently on a student budget, but none of those things are a particularly good substitute for real, physical contact.

On the other hand, that real physical contact could be all the more fun when it has been awhile since you and your significant other have seen each other. It becomes impossible to take the fun and the pleasure you share with each other for granted if you only see each other infrequently over the summer. If you and your on-campus lover share a strong connection before the summer begins, that connection may very likely thrive on the excitement and anticipation of being reunited later in the summer, after that long absence.

Of course, the sparks may also fizzle if you are separated from your significant other, since it becomes impossible to act on your desire with any real immediacy. You could move to a new locale for the summer, or stay here without your significant other, and find that you are attracted to someone else you see far more frequently.

With summer vacation comes a tough deadline for any of you who are currently in a relationship. How do you know if your spark will survive a few months of long-distance love or if it’s a better idea to break things off before the summer begins?

Consider your own relationship history-how have you dealt with long periods of separation in the past? If previous long-distance relationships you have had have stayed good after periods of separation, that may weigh in favor of trying it again.

If you have been tempted to stray when separated from previous lovers, you may prefer to break things off. Consider your significant other’s history as well-ask them questions! Find out if they have been in a long-distance relationship before, or how they have dealt with periods of separation in the past. If you talk candidly about your experiences with long-distance relationships, and your expectations for this summer, it will be far easier to come to a decision that both of you will understand and agree to.

Relationships are inherently fluid and uncertain; you can never perfectly predict how the summer will go. Still, you will have to decide whether it is best to proceed long-distance for the summer, go on hiatus or break up for good-and you will have to base this on the best information you have about yourself, your significant other and your relationship goals.

Just make sure to do both yourself and your lover a favor and don’t base the decision entirely on preconceived notions and boilerplate rules that have nothing to do with the intricacies of your relationship and your significant other. Your relationship is unique and deserves to be evaluated as such.

Fifth-year students make the most of Wash. U.’s resources

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Felicia Baskin

When the members of Ryan Stowe’s freshman floor graduate on May 18, many of them might not be ready to say goodbye to Wash. U. Stowe, however, won’t even have to do so.

Stowe might be a senior, but that doesn’t mean his college experience is over. He is one of a growing number of students who have chosen to enroll in one of the University’s 3-2 programs. After five years at Wash. U., students in the 3-2 programs exit with both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

When Stowe graduates, his degrees will be a Master’s in Business and a MS in biomedical engineering. The program has allowed him to build upon his undergraduate education and look towards the future.

“I heard that BME and business were pretty big complements, and a lot of BME majors end up in business or running their own businesses,” said Stowe. “So I thought they’d do well together.”

Fifth-year BSMBA candidate Moshe Barach is also pursuing an undergraduate degree in the engineering school and a master’s in the business school. Barach saw the 3-2 program as a way to pursue additional academic interests.

“After my second year of [undergrad] I knew I didn’t want to be an engineer,” said Barach. “I liked the coursework [but] I knew I wanted to go into business.”

BSMBA students take the same courses as normal graduate students and spread them out over the same time period of two years. All BSMBA candidates must spend fall of their senior year taking MBA-specific courses. They then mix and match classes over their remaining three semesters to fulfill the requirements of both degrees. Despite the blending of classes, however, 3-2 students are given definitive titles.

“In terms of administration, you’re a fourth year and still considered undergrad and then you’re a fifth year and a grad [student],” said Barach.

Though Barach has heard stories about younger graduate students facing difficulties from older students, he has never personally experienced any sort of age discrimination. In fact, Barach has served as vice president of his MBA class as well as a member of the graduate business school’s ethics and honor board.

“I think it says something that [older students] would have enough respect in someone who is so much younger than them,” said Barach. “Maybe I just won two votes to one vote, but I’ve never run into a situation here [where] people say, ‘how can you do this [when] you’re so young and inexperienced?'”

There are only a handful of 3-2 students graduating this year. Next year’s class is larger though, and it is probable that the number of participants will continue to increase as the business school strengthens its focus on program.

“The program is being expanded really quickly,” said Barach. “They’ve made a big push in the last two years in hiring big name professors, and administrators and [are] really trying to push the advantages of having a business school connected to undergraduate program. I think that’s a [main] reason why they are putting emphasis on [the 3-2 program].”

Wash. U. has students completing 3-2 programs in a variety of ways. One of Stowe’s roommates, for example, is simultaneously pursuing an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree in engineering. There are some students, however, who design their own plans for an extended stay at Washington University.

Junior Somalee Banerjee decided to create a course plan that would allow her to earn two undergraduate degrees in five years. Banerjee’s majors, painting and biology, require enough classes to make an extra year worthwhile. Unlike BSMBA students, however, Banerjee is not in a specific Wash. U. dual-degree program.

“I’m planning for five years, but I’m trying to do four and a half. The extra time makes it more feasible,” she said.

Banerjee is managing by taking 20 to 21 credits per semester. “I know other people who did [dual-degree programs] in four years, but I didn’t want to spend my summers in school.”

The planned extra semesters here have actually provided time that otherwise wouldn’t exist to devote to other activities. Banerjee finds time to do research at the medical school, intern for a painting professor, teach children at the Botanical Gardens, volunteer at the Children’s Hospital and serve as president of Art School Council.

Simply put, she said, “I decided to do five years to not miss out.”

Unlike Stowe and Barach, however, Banerjee has found that her academic interests do not often overlap. Indeed, contrary to the complementary nature of most 3-2 programs, Banerjee does not wish to combine the two studies.

“Crossover between my majors almost never happens,” she said. “I’ve always decided [it] was just going to be the two at the same time.”

The lack of overlap has in fact created a slight conflict in past years, due especially to the time-consuming nature of biology and chemistry labs and of painting studios. Banerjee sometimes found she had to prioritize her time and choose to do the work for one degree over the other.

“I had to sacrifice [spending time on] art to study for tests and other times I would spend more of my time painting,” she said.

Despite this problem, Banerjee has found an appreciation for focusing on two widely different subjects, and Wash. U. made that experience possible.

“Before I came to Wash. U., I didn’t know if I wanted to be an artist.coming here I realized this is feasible-I can do art and biology part time,” she said. “Wash. U. allows me to do both.”

In Banerjee’s case, the opportunity to double-major drew her to Wash. U. For many other students, the University’s programs for continued study right after graduation are especially appealing. The business school also attracts students who wish to pursue their MBA immediately after completing four years of undergraduate study rather than taking a couple of years off for a job.

When he leaves Wash. U. this year, Barach will be moving to Chicago to work in a financial consulting firm. Stowe hopes to combine his undergraduate and graduate experiences and work in the business side of a biotech firm. Stowe and Barach both mentioned that one of the BSMBA program’s most attractive assets is that students can enter business graduate school without spending time in the work force. Such a trait means that students can jump right into their interest in business without having to spend some time away from school. Unfortunately, however, this aspect of the program can make students’ lives a little more difficult after graduation. Even though the MBA program includes a class specifically tailored to helping students plan for the years ahead, BSMBA students read slightly differently as job candidates than typical grad students.

“When I get a job as a MBA, everyone else in my class [will have had] work experience whereas I don’t really have the same kind of work experience,” said Stowe. “I’ve only had summer jobs.”

Indeed, Barach did run into some complications this year as he searched for jobs. He wasn’t able to even apply for some of the jobs he was interested in because he had more schooling experience than an undergrad but didn’t have the same kind of work experience as other MBAs.

“You get caught in a little bit of a trap because a lot of the jobs you apply for don’t even talk to you because they don’t want to pay a MBA salary,” said Barach. “But then a lot of the jobs that are looking for MBAs want to see people with three to five years work experience.The Career Center does a lot for MBAs but they haven’t gotten a handle yet on how to deal with people like us.”

Still, both BSMBA candidates agreed that the advantages of the program make it worthwhile and both recommend 3-2 programs to younger undergraduates. Students apply in their junior year of undergrad, but requirements differ depending on the graduate-level interest the student wishes to pursue. Logistically, the transition from undergraduate to graduate school for 3-2 participants is a little simpler than it is for most other students.

“I don’t have to worry about getting into another grad school or moving,” said Stowe. “It’s just kind of easier to do everything at once.”

Doing everything at once means having a fresher memory of background courses. Yet, it also means spending a year on campus after your freshman floormates and many of your closest friends have continued on to other places and pursuits.

Banerjee knows several other students studying for more than four years in the art and engineering schools. There is still, however, a desire to remain connected with her fellow undergrads.

“I’m taking at least an extra semester, but I’m trying to walk with my graduating class,” she said.

Barach’s two best friends happen to be a year younger, but he has still found the fifth-year experience to be noticeably different from his years as an undergrad.

“You start looking a lot more at Wash. U. as a school and a lot less as a life,” said Barach. “You have your life and then Wash. U. is just your school. You can’t just show up at Whispers and know half the people in becomes more about just going to class.”

Both BSMBA candidates have noticed a distinction between the graduate and undergraduate social scenes. For starters, Barach and Stowe mentioned that graduate students visit more expensive bars. Barach added that, in general, graduate students also seem to visit bars more often than many undergrads.

“I think a lot of undergraduates don’t realize that a lot of business is done over drinks,” said Barach. “It’s kind of that culture that [the MBA students] bring back to school.”

Stowe has found the best of both worlds by hanging out with friends from both of his degree programs. A good number of his undergraduate friends come from the Ultimate Frisbee team, but he has also found close friends in the MBA program. Though he usually goes out with fellow undergrads, from time to time he will head to places like the Central West End with graduate students.

The business school engages students in a comprehensive orientation program and networking events to promote a social atmosphere. As Barach pointed out, saying goodbye to a bunch of undergraduate friends is not abnormal-it’s just that the BSMBA students don’t move anywhere.

“You’re making a decision that will impact the rest of your life,” said Barach. “And odds are if you were to graduate you probably wouldn’t be with the rest of your friends [anyway].”

-Additional reporting by Indu Chandrasekhar

Beat the heat, take a dip: Pools in St. Louis

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Lana Goldsmith
Scott Bressler

Are you going to be spending the summer is St. Louis, enduring the muggy, Midwestern heat? If so, then you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of indoor and outdoor pools in the area that are open to cater to your summer delights.

If you’re staying on campus, the closest and most accessible pool is the Millbrook pool in the courtyard outside of these University apartments. The Millbrook pool is open May 1 through Labor Day which doesn’t leave much time for swimming during the school year, so enjoy it while you can.

None of the public pools within the city of St. Louis charge for admission. There are three outdoor pools that will open on June 11 and close on August 19. These are Chambers Pool located in Chambers Park; Fairground Pool, located in Fairground Park; and lastly, Marquette Pool at the Marquette Center. There are five indoor pools in the city that are open year round: Cherokee Pool, Tandy Pool, 12th and Park Pool, West End Pool and the Wohl Pool in the Wohl Center (sorry, not on the South 40) at 1515 North Kingshighway. Wohl Pool also offers water aerobics and adult swims.

If you’re looking for something a little more than just a large pool of water, there are several other locations that offer amenities like lap pools, diving boards and waterslides. The North County Recreation Complex at Veterans Memorial Park boasts an outdoor Olympic-sized pool with a 3-meter high diving board and kiddie pool. On the patio, you will find a concession stand and eating area. Admission for adults is a reasonable $4. The Complex also hosts an indoor ice skating rink, tennis courts and a fishing pond.

The St. Vincent water park has a more extensive “water playground” for the kid in you. Like the pool at North County, this one also has a lap swim area and a large patio deck with a concession stand. If you will be babysitting this summer, the St. Vincent water park may be a desirable place for both you and the kids you are watching.

For an up-scale splash visit the Aquatic Center at the Center of Clayton. This indoor center features no less than a pool, a lap area, a lazy river, two waterslides, a vortex, water-dumping buckets and a hot tub. There are also water walking classes and diving scuba lessons available. The aquatic center is open every weekday.

All of these pools are only a short distance away from campus and some are easily accessible from Metrolink stops. Enjoy your day by the pool and let your cares float away-just don’t forget your sunscreen.

Also, for more fun in the sun, and a little cash in your wallet, some pools are hiring lifeguards. Check out Saint Louis County Parks at (314) 615-8938 for more information.

Summer in the city: Have fun in the sun

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Erin Fults

Staying in St. Louis this summer? Scene has everything you need to keep busy on those hot summer days.

Afternoon delight: Pack a picnic for the park

Grab a basket, a blanket and some buddies (or that special someone) for afternoon dining at the park. Head over to the Arch or spread out in Forest Park, but watch out for ants.

Plain and simple
Pack a basket that harkens back to snack time in kindergarten.
– Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
– Animal crackers
– Apples
– String cheese
– Potato chips
– Carrot sticks
– Lemonade

Fourth of July
Invite everyone out for an American barbeque. Don’t forget the sparklers.
– Watermelon
– Blueberries
– Apple pie
– Hot dogs and burgers
– Corn on the cob
– Cole slaw
– Baked beans
– Beer

Southern lovin’
Take your taste buds down to Dixie with some soul food.
– Fried chicken
– Corn bread
– Peaches
– Pecan pie
– Sweet tea
– Mint juleps

New York deli
Slow down for more than a New York minute to eat with foods fresh from the Big Apple. After all, Forest Park is bigger than Central Park.
– Bagels and lox
– Corned beef on rye
– Matzo ball soup
– Kosher dill pickles
– Cheesecake
– Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda

Mediterranean cruise cuisine
Forest Park is no Agean isle, but enjoy an afternoon of Mediterranean cuisine by packing some of these tasty treats in your picnic basket:
– Pitas and hummus
– Olives
– Bread and olive oil for dipping
– Greek salad (feta cheese)
– Couscous
– Figs and dates
– Roasted lamb (Try the Gyro House just off the Loop.)

High tea
Make it a proper afternoon out on the grass. Pack a croquet set for additional enjoyment.
– Cucumber sandwiches
– Crumpets
– Scones
– Croissants
– Fruit salad
– Hot tea (or iced if you can’t take the heat)

Sweet treats
Why save the best for last? Satisfy your sweet tooth with dessert first.
– Chocolate-dipped strawberries
– Cookies
– Chocolate truffles
– Brownies
– Wine

Suspect arrested in February sexual assault case

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Erin Fults
Courtesy of Clayton Police Department

Clayton Police Department and the Washington University Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in the sexual assault of a Washington University student, which occurred February 12, 2007. The suspect is identified as 24 year-old William Harris. Bond is set at $150,000.

Harris has been in custody since March 5, 2007 for violation of his parole in an unrelated crime that occurred in University City in 2003. He became the prime suspect in the sexual assault case after further investigations by both Clayton Police Department and WUPD.

Warrants were issued today against Harris for burglary in the First Degree, three counts of forcible sodomy, forcible rape, robbery in the Second Degree, kidnapping and sexual misconduct in the Second Degree. The latter, however, is not in relation to the student assault and is an incident of indecent exposure occurring January 2007.

Captain Steve Grenier of Clayton Police was unable to comment on the specifics of the case and evidence but stated that information gathered from a detailed investigation of the crime scene led to this arrest.

Grenier reports no knowledge of whether the suspect knew the victim.

“At this time we would classify this as an isolated incident,” said Grenier.

William Harris lived in U. City at the time and is a former employee of the Subway on campus. He was not employed at Subway at the time of the incident, although Grenier was unable to provide details as to the date of his termination.

At this point, Grenier believes the attack was random.

Washington University Police Department Chief Don Strom was also at the press conference announcing the suspect and thinks it is likely that Harris tailgated, or followed another student, into the Myers residence hall.

Strom also reported great cooperation with the survivor and with an additional witness, who is also a Wash. U. student.

“[The survivor] is doing great. She is an incredible inspiration to the investigators who worked on this case and she’s been an incredible asset in this case,” said Strom.

Strom expects further campus security measures, which were discussed during the campus security forums following the attack, to be in place for the start of the fall semester.

“Hopefully [students] can rest assured and draw from this that the system was able to work and we were able to identify the suspect. The community helped a lot,” said Strom.

University to award honorary degrees to six

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Sam Guzik

As graduating seniors are presented with their degrees at commencement, six other prominent figures will receive honorary degrees from Washington University. In addition to the doctor of humane letters degree awarded to commencement speaker Tim Russert, the University will award three doctor of science degrees, a doctor of journalism degree and a doctor of humanities degree.

Tim Russert is best known for his role as moderator of the program “Meet the Press” on NBC. Russet will be the only honorary degree recipient to address the graduating class and his selection was based on a number of criteria.

“That was a careful consideration with lots of candidates on a list and we took a person who we thought would be a well noted figure, who would have a sense of current issues facing new graduates, a person who would be well known, and a person with great accomplishments in the field that they work in,” said Chancellor Mark Wrighton in a meeting with Student Life earlier this year.

Another broadcast journalist, Paul Harvey of ABC radio, will be awarded a doctor of journalism degree. Harvey has previously been awarded five prestigious Marconi Radio Awards, been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and been given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Harvey has previously received an honorary degree in the humanities from the University.

Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman will receive an honorary degree in science for her work in mammalian developmental genetics and her advocacy for increasing the involvement of women in science.

“Like many women of my generation, when I entered science there were many fewer women in the field than today. Many of us had to overcome prejudice and stereotypes about what a scientist looks like,” said Tilghman. “We’ve been doing this in lots of different ways.”

Former medical school faculty member William Sly will also receive a doctor of science degree. Sly currently works at St. Louis University and specializes in research on inborn errors of metabolism.

The final doctor of science degree is to be awarded to David C. Farrell, the former chairman and chief executive officer of the May Department Stores. Since retiring, Farrell has been a prominent University donor, providing sizeable gifts to create a professorship and to build the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center on the medical campus.

“If you really want to help St. Louis, the best way to do so is by helping Washington University,” said Farrell. “It really has a global reach to do so.”

This year, a degree in the humanities will be awarded to Henry Givens Jr., the president of St. Louis’ Harris-Stowe State University. Givens is a St. Louis native and has overseen the growth of Harris-Stowe University from a one-degree teachers college to a state recognized university.

Honorary degree recipients are chosen by the board of trustees from a pool of nominees from the University community; the nomination process is completed near the start of April in the year preceding commencement and the board of trustees finalizes its decision at its quarterly meeting in March.

“Sometimes we have as many as sixty candidates and we usually have about five honorary degrees and a commencement speaker at the maximum,” said Secretary to the Board of Trustees Harriet Switzer at the Chancellor’s meeting.

In order to receive an honorary degree from the University, a recipient must attend commencement.

Tim Russert to speak at Commencement

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Elizabeth Lewis

Tim Russert’s speech for the 146th Commencement at Washington University, is entitled “A View From Washington.” This title is certainly fitting, considering that Russert serves as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News.

In addition, this year’s commencement speaker is the managing editor and moderator of Meet the Press (the longest-running show in television history), the anchor of The Tim Russert Show (a weekly interview program on CNBC), a political analyst for NBC Nightly News and Today and a contributing anchor for MSNBC.

Rob Wild, the assistant to the Chancellor, views Russert as an excellent choice to address this year’s graduating seniors.

“In addition to his numerous responsibilities with NBC, he has been involved in many of the significant historical and cultural events during the lifetimes of our graduates, including the three presidential debates hosted by Washington University,” said Wild. “We have received much positive reaction from students, parents and alums since his selection was announced.”

Russert has certainly had a widespread effect on the world of politics. The Washington Post has credited him with coining the term “red state” and “blue state” to denote the political leanings of states. Also, he is further credited with predicting that the election results would hinge on Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election between Al Gore and George Bush.

Before Russert joined NBC, he gained political knowledge through his position as counselor in the New York’s Governor’s office in Albany in 1993 and 1984, where he was able to observe the executive and legislative branches firsthand. He also served as special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977 to 1982.

In addition to his media duties, Russert’s foray into authoring books has also been extremely successful. Both of his books, entitled Big Russ and Me (2004) and Wisdom of Our Fathers (2006), were New York Times #1 best sellers.

His successful and varied career has garnered him several prestigious awards, including an Emmy for his coverage of President Reagan’s funeral, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism and an induction into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Because of all of these accomplishments, Russert fit the criteria that the Chancellor looks for in a commencement speaker.

“The process for selecting a Commencement speaker is something the Chancellor takes very seriously. It is important to find someone who can speak to a broad audience on a wide range of issues that our graduates will likely encounter as they enter their lives after Washington University,” said Wild. “We feel that Tim Russert is an outstanding selection to address the Class of 2007.”

Though Russert did not have name recognition with many seniors at first, he is now generally seen as a positive choice among students.

“I didn’t know much about Tim Russert before I heard that he would speak for commencement this year because I don’t watch news shows. I prefer to read the Times,” said senior Caroline Broome. “However, I’m glad he’s coming and I am looking forward to hearing him speak. I think one of a university’s roles is to encourage students to think about how we will fit into the world, how we can use the education we built up to have an influence on broader society. Speakers, especially high profile ones, are a good way to do draw students’ attention to social issues.”

Freshman year: 150 years, construction and Nicaraguans

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | Sarah Kliff
Student Life Archives

Washington University began its 150th year with the announcement that the University had risen in rank to hold a spot as the 9th best undergraduate program in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. This was the University’s first appearance in the top ten. The School of Engineering & Applied Science rose to 38th best in the nation, while the Olin School of Business held its spot at 14th in the rankings.

The Sesquicentennial Celebration, commemorating the University’s 150th anniversary, brought approximately 20,000 students, faculty and community members to campus for over 200 festive events. Chancellor “Magic Mark” Wrighton wowed students and younger children alike with his Magic Show and University alumnus Ted Drewes created a special “SesQuete”-flavored frozen custard to celebrate the event.

To many students’ dismay, they attended the University’s first keg-free WILD in the fall, watching Busta Rhymes perform. Live was the spring headliner.

An October strike at local grocery stores, including Schnucks, had some students protesting outside, while others crossed picket lines to get their groceries. Student Union provided new shuttle routes that took students to Straub’s for their shopping needs during the 25-day strike.

The Student Worker Alliance (SWA) formed in October in response to the deportation of 36 Nicaraguan grounds workers. While the return of the workers still remains uncertain, the SWA has widened its mission to pursue the implementation of a living wage on campus through events such as the “Boot the Bell” campaign against Taco Bell and a rally on the steps of Brookings Hall that brought in activists from throughout the St. Louis community.

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) welcomed new director Alan Glass after former Director Laurie Rietman announced plans to retire.

In November, Chancellor Wrighton announced that the University would host one of the presidential debates during fall 2004. The administration has already started preparing for the debate on Oct. 8, 2004, recruiting student volunteers and laying out plans for the debate on the basis of the University’s experience hosting debates in 1992 and 2000. The Oct. 8 Coalition, a student group created with the goal of shedding light on issues not being discussed in the debate, formed in reaction to the University’s selection as a debate host.

In local politics, two University faculty members announced that they would vie for the seat of former Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt. Jeff Smith, an adjunct professor in University College, and Mark Smith, associate dean of students in the School of Law, competed for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District.

Thomas Friedman drew a crowd that filled the University’s Athletic Complex for his speech about the war against Iraq as part of the Assembly Series

Students also had a chance to hear a voice from the political right when the Conservative Leadership Association (CLA) brought author Ann Coulter to campus for the Assembly Series. Earlier in the year the CLA also sponsored a lecture about the hypocrisy of society and the pitfalls of liberalism given by WWF wrestler Ultimate Warrior.

Construction on and off campus was an inconvenience to many students but yielded many developments. The renovated Olin Library, which was been three years in the making, opened its doors on May 7. Along with more obvious changes to the building’s outer surfaces, changes inside included a new 24-hour caf‚ and the Arc technology center.

As library construction drew to a close, the building of the $56.8 million-dollar Sam Fox Arts Center commenced. The Arts Center, located in the parking lot east of Brookings Hall, opened in the spring of 2006 and will serves as a center for fine arts at the University.

Residents of the Village and those living on Washington Avenue woke up daily to early morning construction on the MetroLink expansion. The project, completed in the fall of 2006, added MetroLink stops at Forsyth Avenue and Skinker Boulevard.

The University women’s volleyball team captured its eighth national championship this year. The women clinched the title in a 3-0 win over New York University, finishing out their season with a 28-game winning streak.

Tuition increases announced at the beginning of the spring semester brought the total cost of attending the University to over $40,000 per year. Undergraduate tuition rose $1,400 (4.9 percent) to $29,700 for the 2004-2005 school year. The cost of living in a double room in a new residence hall with a full meal plan will rise to $10,292, bringing the total cost of attending the University to $40,838.

Direct Connect, a hub-based student file-sharing program, was shut down this semester after the administration became aware of it. Its existence had been largely publicized by an article in the Riverfront Times. Students reacted to the administration’s action by forming an impromptu 4 a.m rally outside of Umrath Residence Hall. The Hatch, a student band, performed until University police intervened to stop its set. Letters regarding student file-sharing activity on Direct Connect and the possible consequences have yet to be distributed.

Revisions to the Ervin Scholar Program, which opened the traditionally African-American scholarship to students of all races, brought controversy to the University’s campus. Many current Ervin Scholars saw this change as an end to the community and support system that the program had traditionally provided. While the University decided to revise the program in response to pressure from the U.S. Department of Education, revisions have yet to be made to the Annika Rodriguez Scholarship program for Latin American students or the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship program for African-American graduate students.

The year also ended with controversy, with the surfacing of videotapes and photographs displaying questionable behavior at the Sigma Chi fraternity. The materials, which showed fraternity brothers and pledges dunking their heads in freezing water and throwing beer cans at each other during sexually-charged skits, were published in Student Life. The national Sigma Chi organization has suspended the University chapter for 45 days, although the University itself is still deciding what action it will take. University administrators have said they will consider Sigma Chi’s past misconduct in their final decision.