Archive for September, 2007

Upcoming Home Games

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Trisha Wolf

Football vs. Rhodes, 1 p.m.
Men’s Soccer v. Carnegie Mellon, 7 p.m.

Women’s Soccer vs. Carnegie Mellon,
12 p.m.

Bears with nine games down, nine to go

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Trisha Wolf
Scott Bressler

Wednesday began with 14 undefeated teams in Division III women’s soccer. It ended with 13.

Washington University’s 5th-ranked squad garnered its ninth victory of the season Wednesday night, beating cross-town rival Webster University 3-0 to drop the Gorloks to 8-1 on the season. More impressively, the Bears have now won 23 straight regular season games, with their last loss coming over a year ago.

Playing like the second half team it has been all year, the Bears failed to find the net in the first stanza. Despite dominating play and outshooting Webster 15-1, nothing went the Bears’ way. Webster’s sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Kozeny recorded seven saves in the half, though Wash. U. did its part to ease her job with several shots going right to her.

Junior defender Shirey Lane made some the half’s best plays, running the ball nearly the length of the field in the 31st minute before a single Webster player challenged her and cutting off another player two minutes later, preventing a possible one-on-one situation at the Red and Green goal.

“It takes a while for us to get going,” said Head Coach Wendy Dillinger of her team’s first half performance. “We play with more urgency in the second [half].”

As had been the situation in five of their earlier games this season, the second half began scoreless. With their perfect record on the line, the Bears stepped up their play. Sophomore forward Caryn Rosoff scored the eventual game winner in the 56th minute after Kozeny deflected Lane’s shot to Rosoff’s foot.

“We make it not to get scored on or lose at home,” said Lane.

“It becomes a mental game when the score is 0-0 at the half,” added Rosoff. “We stepped it up.”

Webster fought hard, and freshman Megan Neiderschulte almost tied up the game, taking a point-blank shot in the 81st minute. Senior keeper Carrie Sear was there for the impressive save.

The tide of the game completely turned in the 83rd minute. Webster was whistled for the foul. Sophomore defender Libby Held took the kick from just beyond midfield. At the goal, Rosoff headed the ball into the net, giving the Bears an insurance goal.

“She not only anchors our defense but starts our offense with her foot,” said Dillinger of Held’s impressive leg.

With that goal, Webster’s team began to break down. Using only 15 players over the course of the game compared with Wash. U.’s 24, the fresher legs won the battle. Less than five minutes later, sophomore midfielder Becca Heymann headed in another goal on a cross from senior Marin McCarthy.

Neiderschulte gave it one last shot on a breakaway, but back goalie Amanda Boe made the save, giving the Bears their sixth shut-out of the year.

“Scoring two goals in the last minute says a lot,” said Lane. “We don’t quit.”

With this win, the team’s thoughts turn to UAA conference play. This portion of the season begins Sunday when the Bears face Carnegie Mellon at noon on Francis Field.

“We were both undefeated and someone does [go] home with a loss,” said Held, referring to how this game prepares them for UAA play. “We can get out all of the kinks.”

Romance 101

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Nicolle Neulist

Everyone knows it is a good idea to talk to someone about sex before having sex with that person. You need to make sure you are on the same page about what you both want to get out of it and about whether you see it as a casual act or an act of commitment. But before having this discussion, there are several things you need to think about on your own.

Since the right time to have sex with someone hinges a lot on each person’s own sexual attitudes and experiences, you need to make sure that you know yours well before trying to make a decision that involves somebody else.

First, consider the emotions that sex has brought up within you in the past. Has it made you feel more connected to the person that you slept with, or has it felt like one more fun thing to do without any real emotional effect? If sex does intensify your emotional connection with a person, then you need to assess whether you are confident that your partner is ready to deal with your strengthened feelings, and also whether he is planning to stay in the relationship for the foreseeable future. If your gut instinct tells you that you may become emotionally attached, you are probably not ready to have non-committed sex with him. This is less of a concern if sex does not appreciably intensify your feelings for someone else, but you need to remember to touch upon that issue with your partner, and make sure that you will not be awakening deep emotions that you are not ready, willing or able to deal with.

If you have never had sex before, it would serve you best to approach sex as if it would strengthen your emotional connection to your partner. There is absolutely no way to tell whether sex is emotional or purely physical for you until you try it. Making sure you are in an emotionally close and supportive relationship the first time you have sex will give you the chance to figure out your reaction in the safest possible environment and avoid the risk of feeling emotionally attached to someone who was only seeking pure physical pleasure.

Another consideration to make involves your beliefs about sexual activity. Whether the beliefs stem from religion, morals, ethics or any other source important to you, beliefs often have a strong role in shaping sexual attitudes. Ask yourself what your beliefs about sexual activity are and ask yourself why your beliefs are the way they are. If your beliefs include a complete ban on sexual activity in your situation (for example, you are considering having sex with your girlfriend or boyfriend, yet you have beliefs that prohibit non-marital sex), ask yourself why you believe that sex is incorrect in your situation. Ask yourself if that reasoning makes sense to you. Ask yourself why you are thinking about sexual activity now, even though your beliefs advise otherwise.

Maybe you will realize that you are thinking about sex merely because your hormones are running wild. Or is it possible that your true beliefs about sex are different from what you thought they were or what you grew up with? There is no right or wrong response to these questions as long as you reach your answer through honest thought and self-evaluation.

Another inquiry to make before deciding to have sex is whether you are able to maturely face the potential consequences. Think about whether you feel comfortable talking to your potential sex partner about her sexual history. Think about whether you feel comfortable going to a doctor and getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Think about whether you feel comfortable getting birth control or condoms and using them to protect yourself. If you are not comfortable doing all of these things, then it is probably best to wait to consider sex until you are comfortable. If you are planning on engaging in sex acts that could result in pregnancy, think about what you would do if you got pregnant or made your partner pregnant. Thoughtfully considering potential problems and coming to reasoned opinions beforehand will be far easier and more pleasant than answering them in haste when you are caught in the heat of the moment, or if you later find yourself staring pregnancy or disease in the face.

It almost seems strange to think so extensively on your own about sex, a thing that is often fun, spontaneous and shared with someone else. Yet, it is very important to do so. Your reactions to sex will be different from anyone else’s reactions. Whether you are considering sex in a committed situation or a casual one, you’ll be a lot happier if you sort out your own feelings about sex before you have to take anyone else’s opinions into account. It will save you some stress and also may save you from getting talked into an uncomfortable situation.

Health Beat

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Brooke Genkin

Doctors and nutritionists alike enforce the idea that getting enough vitamins and minerals is extremely important for optimal health. However, what they often don’t emphasize enough is the importance of getting these nutrients from actual food. When taken in pill format, the vitamins are usually less effective due to poor absorption rates in the body. Yet, it is still pretty simple to overdose on vitamins when they are taken in the pill form. In fact, overdose is the primary concern about oral supplements-and one that has been nearly disregarded in our “health-conscious” society. Ingesting too many vitamins can be extremely dangerous for one’s health. Below, I have outlined some of the major vitamin supplements, their uses and their dangers.

The most popular vitamin of all has to be Vitamin C. For years, Vitamin C has been touted for its disease-fighting abilities and anti-oxidant properties. Health-aware Wash. U. students have been known to pop Vitamin C supplements like Emergen-C or Airborne into their water bottles, especially around finals time when it seems like everyone is getting sick. Loyalists of these products beware-supplements like Airborne usually contain about 2,000mg of Vitamin C, which is well over the recommended 60mg your body should get in a day.

While Vitamin C is water-soluble and it won’t cause long-term damage, it turns out that consuming 2,000mg a day can actually cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps and headache. Vitamin C normally functions as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals that damage cells, but if too much is taken in too frequently, it can act as a pro-oxidant and cause cellular damage. Daily mega-doses of Vitamin C may also create a Vitamin C dependency that will have rebounding deficiency signs like bleeding gums, wounds that take a long time to heal and skin problems.

Vitamin B6, a water-soluble vitamin often taken under the presumption that it is a panacea, can also be dangerous when taken in excess. Vitamin B6 has been advertised as an “energy booster” and overall “mood-enhancer” and is often used to relieve headaches or lessen symptoms of depression. Nonetheless, taking more than 250mg a day can cause irreversible nerve damage.

Another common supplement is zinc, particularly popular among young males. Zinc is often sold in “men’s health and wellness” packets, stamped with the claim that it can improve sexual prowess and strengthen immunity. Unfortunately, much like the other vitamins, zinc can actually impair immunity and lower good cholesterol when too much is taken.

While water-soluble vitamins may be harmful, fat-soluble Vitamins like A and E are even more of a concern. This is because fat-soluble vitamins are not excreted like water-soluble vitamins but are in fact stored in the liver. Overdosing on Vitamin A, which is often taken to improve the appearance of skin, can lead to headaches, hair loss, dry skin and bone and joint aches. Vitamin E is normally taken as a supplement to reduce the risk of heart disease, but when taken in surplus, it has similar effects on the body as Vitamin C and can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea.

So how much is too much, and how can we avoid overdoing it? My recommendation would be to steer clear of vitamin supplements with the exception of one multi-vitamin a day. No matter what you overhear or read online, it is rare that anyone needs extra Vitamin C, B6, zinc, A or E. If you think you should be taking more of any of these vitamins or are considering tampering with your dietary supplements, make sure to consult your physician. And remember: too much of a good thing can in fact become a very, very bad thing.

Brooke Genkin is a junior in the college of Arts & Sciences majoring in Anthropology with a concentration in Public Health studies. Information for her column is provided by experts at the Habif Health and Wellness Center and other sources.

Wash. U. engineers: speed, rock, sock & roll

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Shayna Makaron
Courtesy of Lee Cordova

It’s been said that there’s something a little quirky about every Wash. U. student. Some of us love to salsa dance. Others prefer to don medieval attire and battle on the swamp. A select number of students-to put it simply-build cool things.

In recent years, the most publicized example of Wash. U. students’ engineering handiwork has probably been the computer-controlled light display dance floor used for Vertigo, EnCouncil’s annual dance party. The floor debuted at EnCouncil’s 2005 function, but since then its technology has proven to be a bit clanky and cumbersome. A group of engineering students have taken on the project of Vertigo Dance Floor 2.0 in hopes of updating the floor’s technology.

Senior Greg Galloway, president of Wash. U.’s chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, noted that there have been several difficulties in getting the project rolling, such as a lack of know-how and the limited free time of project participants. Still, after preliminary testing and the choice of new materials, the project should soon be on its way. New ideas include a high-density plastic that will be strong, clear and possibly waterproof to the point that it could be put under a pool. Also, fresher sensor technology will allow for such activities as human pong, human Tetris and a floor that lights up as people walk on it.

Once it is finished, the Vertigo Dance Floor 2.0 will hopefully go on to be used at Vertigo, Dance Marathon and other community events. Galloway proposed that working on the Vertigo Dance Floor is an experience that could benefit any engineering student, regardless of specialty.

“It melds different schools of thought,” said Galloway. “Mechanical, electrical, computer engineering-there’s a lot of things involved. So it helps you learn a lot about not only your specific major but [also] how it relates to the other majors in the engineering school.”

Working with EnCouncil is certainly a great way for students to get involved in unique endeavors. Junior Lee Cordova, biomedical engineering major, has done several projects with EnCouncil in the past. Although the 8-foot duct tape beaver that he worked on for EnWeek 2006 was a tough act to follow, he considers his current project-life-sized “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” robots-to be one of the greatest tasks he’s taken on while at Wash. U.

Cordova is working with fellow juniors Sam Wight and Matt Watkins to recreate a sturdier version of the oversized toys they created for the Thurtene carnival last year. After excessive rocking and socking, it turned out that the rope and PVC plastic that comprised the innards of the robots were just not cutting it.

“The whole carnival was very stressful for the three of us because we were constantly [the robots] and taking them apart,” said Cordova. “We had to tell the kids [our booth] was shut down for a couple hours because we had to cut another groove for the head joint or replace some of the rope.”

The robots’ mechanics can be broken down and understood even by those of us who didn’t get into this prestigious University for our knowledge of physics. In fact, after a stint at 2008’s Thurtene carnival, the new robots will be used in a children’s engineering exhibit at the St. Louis Science Center. The basic idea behind the machines is that you move a bar back and forth in order to control the pulley systems. In turn, these systems control the robotic arms. When you pull back on the cords, the robots’ arms extend to punch. In true Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em fashion, the head is spring-loaded when the chest plates are hit.

While the three talented engineers spent around 30 to 50 hours on the original project, it is estimated that the repairs (which include using metal cable, copper tubing for joints and structuring more accurate dimensions) should only take around 15 to 20 hours. Cordova explained that his Wash. U. education nicely complements the intense mechanical thought that went into creating the robots. Wight and Watkins were both used to working with forces and torques as a result of their fields of study, but Cordova especially had some luck in the time of his classes and his creation.

“It is interesting because at the time I was taking the sophomore biomechanics class,” said Cordova. “I was learning about how forces act with arms and here I was, basically building an artificial arm.”

Senior Eric Jensen has found a similar synergy between his schoolwork and his extracurricular endeavors. As president of the Formula SAE Racing Team, Jensen leads a team of Wash. U. students in constructing and racing custom-built cars-cars that are so well-crafted they can go faster than a Corvette. He cites his Wash. U. education as an important resource for his work.

“As you progress [through] your years of schooling here, you find that it’s easier and easier to apply the things you learn in the classroom to practical, tactile knowledge,” said Jensen. “I’ll start designing something on the computer and then I can use the things I’ve learned math- and science-wise to analyze that part on the computer and then do everything by hand.”

Junior Matt Schweiker, the team’s suspension design specialist, agrees that merging his classroom studies with his outside interests has been a great experience.

“[It’s] one of the most attractive aspects of the Formula Race Team,” said Schweiker.

The FSAE team is currently working on revamping the cars they used in last year’s competitions so that they can be used for new member training or hybrid competitions. Jensen and Schweiker work with a group of highly talented students. The team’s main contributors include experts in alternative fuel research, engines and pedals, among others. With more than twenty members rounding out the team, FSAE participants hope to soon turn out a car every year rather than every two years like it has been in the past.

FSAE team members participate in competitions in May and August, but work on the cars spans a much wider time frame. Despite time management issues and learning curve effects for the underclassmen, the team has experienced constant improvement. Schweiker noted that for many team members it seems that there is a sort of natural affinity for this kind of project.

“I think all of us have background experience with cars, or Legos, or some kind of erector set,” said Schweiker. “It all just kind of carried over into something a little more technical and high-powered.”

Stepping Out

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Brooke Schachner and Eric Bierman
Eric Bierman

Pomme Caf‚ and Wine Bar
Rating: 4.5/5
44 North Central Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105

For fine dining in St. Louis, look no further than Pomme in downtown Clayton. The small bistro boasts an ever-changing, taste-bud-tempting menu and an extensive wine list. But at almost $60 a person, Pomme is most likely reserved for dinner with parents or important dates.

Lucky for cheap (yet discerning) college students like us, last year Pomme owner/chef Bryan Carr opened the more affordable Pomme Caf‚ and Wine Bar just two doors down from the original restaurant.

The caf‚’s ambiance could not be better: small, dimly lit and very warm, it boasts an exposed brick wall and a very large chalkboard that lists the day’s specials.

There is also a patio outside for daytime meals and warm nights. On the side of the restaurant, a beautiful bar invites patrons to sample a vast array of wines. Needless to say, the vibe is decidedly more European than Midwestern.

You truly can’t tell the difference between the original Pomme and the more wallet-friendly caf‚ version. Well, that is, until the check arrives.

After we chose our table, we were given a drink list and our menus. In addition to wines by the glass, carafe and bottle, you can order wine by the 3 oz. glass, which permits you to sample a variety of offerings.

In addition to the various alcoholic beverages, the caf‚ offers teas, coffees, smoothies and juices.

The menu is relatively simple, with a selection of sandwiches, one dish with chicken, one with steak, and pastas.

However, rather than being detrimental to the success of the restaurant, the uncomplicated menu adds to the establishment’s charm. All the ingredients are top notch and the plates are as tasty as they are classic.

Sides include a hummus plate, marinated olives and house-made potato chips, which were some of the best we had ever eaten. In addition to the chips, we started off our meal with a salad and vinaigrette dressing that was light and succulent.

For the main course, we had a pasta dish and a chicken dish. The pasta was served in a pesto sauce with fresh Parmesan and roasted red peppers. It was cooked perfectly and seasoned just as well. We would have preferred if the plate had come with some bread, but overall the dish was excellent. Also, the portion was very large for an entr‚e that only cost 11 dollars.

The chicken dish was delicious, too. It was served with mixed vegetables, potatoes and mushrooms, all cooked in a sauce that complemented the mushrooms perfectly. While this dish’s serving size was not as large as the pasta’s, it was so well-prepared that we would definitely recommend it to anyone planning to go to Pomme Caf‚ in the future.

We didn’t sample any of the sandwiches, but we did notice that Pomme Caf‚ offers a variety that spans from a simple grilled cheese to a hot dog to a more “refined” turkey and avocado.

Also on the menu are two tartines, which are open-faced sandwiches. These included apple with brie and prosciutto with roasted pepper. Dishes like the tartines show the range of the Pomme Caf‚ menu and showcase its ability to put a distinctive touch on even the most generic of dishes.

Pomme Caf‚ and Wine Bar is an excellent addition to Clayton’s restaurant scene and it holds its own on North Central Avenue, a street that boasts some of the city’s best eateries.

The friendly and helpful staff makes the restaurant all the more appealing. Our waiter checked on us several times, and a number of others came to the table to ensure that we had the best possible dining experience.

We whole-heartedly give Pomme Caf‚ our seal of approval.


Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Josh Hantz

Friday, September 28

Campus-wide Career Fair
Put on your best suit and visit the campus-wide career fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Athletic Complex. Sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers, the fair is open to all majors looking for jobs and internships.

Local Laughs: CPC Comedy Night
The Washington University Campus Programming Council hosts a Night of Comedy in Graham Chapel from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. featuring the hilarious stylings of Eric Andre, Michelle Buteau, Dan Adhoot and Jo Koy. The four comedians have performed together several times before at various locations. The event is free with a University ID.

Saturday, September 29

Moon Festival: Just as Wild
For anyone looking for an alternative to W.I.L.D., the Chinese Students Association along with several other groups is hosting the annual Moon Festival on the Swamp from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will have food, performances and much more.

Sunday, September 30

The Downtown Dutchtown Blues & BunFest at Meramec Street and Virginia Avenue from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. promises a full day of great hamburgers and other grilled goods. Five taste tickets go for $10.

Flicks at the Fox
The Fox Theatre goes retro with showings of the 1925 silent version of “The Phantom of the Opera” at 1 p.m., “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” at 3 p.m., and “Chicago” at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 per show, and parking is free.

Cornerstone receives $100,000 NSF grant

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | David Song

The Center for Advanced Learning at Washington University, also known as Cornerstone, recently received a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant will go toward research that will aid disability resources in helping University students participate in the Peer-Led Team Learning program (PLTL).

“It is a grant that we were awarded to provide additional support to students enrolled in PLTL who have attention deficit disorders and learning disorders,” explained Christine Street, assistant director of disability resources at Cornerstone, who developed the grant. “It was an outgrowth with what we see in our office and it was just appropriate to meet the needs of the student population.”

Cornerstone offers PLTL sessions for large lecture-based classes, including calculus, chemistry and physics classes. During these sessions, students meet in small groups to collectively solve problems of the kind they will later see on tests. Sessions are led by an undergraduate student who has already completed and performed well in the course.

According to Street, there are 300 students registered with Cornerstone’s disability resources office. About 80 percent of those students have attention deficit disorders, learning disorders or both.

“We will be giving the peer leaders additional information and training to meet the needs of the students,” said Street. “We are also employing a learning specialist, David Parker, who will be instrumental in implementing all aspects of the grant.”

However, Cornerstone’s plans to address learning disabilities in PLTL are still being implemented. Part of the grant money will go toward giving the PLTL leaders additional training and instruction.

“We’re in the process of finalizing our literature review and curriculum.and were just awarded the grant so we haven’t started with the peer leaders yet,” said Street. “We will be training the peer leaders on issues of attention disorders and learning disorders, and how students can be intelligent-and in fact brilliant-yet still have problems with time management and organization. We will also be training the peer leaders with strategies and instruction, and that is how to help students improve executive function skills.”

Hiten Patel, a junior who leads a PLTL group for General Chemistry, explained his thoughts about the PLTL system and its current method of teaching students with disabilities. Patel suggested that, in most cases, PLTL could be useful to students.

“The general experience with PLTL has been completely positive,” said Patel. “I was in PLTL before I became a leader, and the group dynamics are helpful. For chemistry, physics and math it works very well, but not with some other subjects. I feel that it’d be really compatible with the grant as well.”

However, Patel also noted that in order to aid students who have, for example, attention deficit disorder, PLTL would have to see some changes.

“Along the lines PLTL is set up now, it would take a bit of work to be adapted,” said Patel. “It works really well now, but it’s going to take adjustment because the point of PLTL is to go beyond the simple material in classes, and puts more emphasis on the group. I feel like the training now would have to be refined-I’m pretty sure you couldn’t use the same system right now.”

On the direction of the NSF-funded research on PLTL, Street hoped that other universities would be able to benefit from the information obtained.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of our students and we hope that what we learn from this project is to see how students are served at Wash. U. and other elite institutions across the country,” said Street.

For University students without learning disabilities, PLTL remains a generally useful resource for students-especially freshmen-who may find the content of some of their classes challenging.

Lana Hompluem, a freshman who attends PLTL sessions for General Chemistry and Calculus II, recently took her first calculus exam.

“I did well on it because of PLTL, because it’s a smaller group in which you get specialized attention, and you get to practice doing problems,” said Hompluem. “The problems are usually more difficult than the ones in the book or WebWork, and it’s good to be exposed to them.”

Students add to Burns documentary

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | John Scott

Today’s college students, and most Americans, have never experienced anything approaching World War II. Now, with the help of some Washington University students, a Ken Burns documentary featuring stories from those who experienced World War II could provide valuable insight into how all Americans were impacted by the war.

The documentary, titled “The War,” is currently airing on PBS. The documentary focuses on how the war affected four American towns. As part of the documentary, Burns asked people to submit stories about their World War II experiences. Burns, a three-time Emmy award-winning documentary producer, is most famous for his Emmy award-winning “The Civil War.”

The response was much greater than anticipated. According to Barbara Liebmann, administrative assistant at the Center for the Humanities, the University was contacted by St. Louis Public Television, KETC, to see if students would be interested in helping with the project and examining accounts.

“People were sending in so much information that they needed help from the students to sort out what would be actual experiences,” said Liebmann.

The History department and the Program in Film and Media Studies both had students interested in examining the submissions. By examining these submissions, the students are helping preserve the record of a critical time in American and world history.

Senior Traci Horner, one of the students working on the project, said that the concept of the project is very interesting because it collects personal histories before they are lost forever.

“The idea I think that Ken Burns had was he heard some statistic that so many World War II veterans are dying every day, and that statistic inspired him, so he started [the project] and everyone realized that it’s important to get these people’s voices and get their stories recorded in some form or another,” said Horner.

Horner, a history major, said that she was contacted by the History department about an internship associated with “The War.” She is working with KETC to sort through the submitted documents.

“We’re getting letters, books, interviews and oral histories that people have written down and are sending in. It’s basically all types of media,” said Horner.

Horner has gone through various types of documents ranging from a memoir to a pamphlet, both written by people who lived during the war. According to Horner, recorded phone conversations and television interviews are also included in the collection of primary documents.

All of the documents that Horner deals with are from people with some sort of connection to the St. Louis area. According to Horner, St. Louis has received a third of all submissions.

In addition to Horner and the other students from the University, students from St. Louis University are also helping with the project, and there are people working all over the country to examine the documents. Horner said that her aunt is working on the same project in Houston, Texas.

“Everyone has their story and it’s really special to the individual people and they want to be heard. Everything is being collected and sent to the Missouri Historical Society after we deal with it, so it’s still going to be on record,” said Horner.

According to Horner, some of the documents include personal letters written to people serving during the war. She said that it was unexpected that people would be willing to share such personal accounts.

“That’s a really personal thing that someone is willing to share,” said Horner. “It’s been a shock to the people who work there. They didn’t expect so many people to want to talk about it. I’ve read a story from a person from Greece who watched his village get burned when he was ten.”

Horner said that she had not been interested specifically in World War II history, nor had she done much with it personally before this project.

“I’ve kind of shied away from it because I felt it was a topic that everyone covered, but now I’m realizing why everyone covers it,” she said.

Horner said that it is important to listen to the stories because others can relate to them.

“It’s really cool to hear these people’s stories because they were our age when these events happened. I feel like we can relate to it and it’s cool to have this intergenerational connection,” she said.

“We were talking today about the magnitude of World War II and it was such a group effort on such a large scale that it is hard to conceptualize. The closest thing I can think of is when September 11th happened. Everyone has a story of where they were.”

Hosts of ’08 Presidential debates to be announced

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Mark Dudley

By the end of next month, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) will announce the four host institutions for the 2008 Presidential Debates. Washington University, which hosted debates in 1992, 2000 and 2004, is one of nineteen institutions in contention.

“We have expressed great enthusiasm for hosting a presidential debate,” said Rob Wild, assistant to the Chancellor. “It is a great honor to be in the running for such an important national event.”

The Commission, a bipartisan organization charged with selecting the host locations for presidential debates, has selected the University four times since 1992-more than any other institution. The 1996 debate, which was awarded to the University, was later cancelled.

Two main factors-logistical feasibility and host integration-influenced the Commission’s decision. Issues of logistical feasibility necessitate established telecommunications centers, access to major transportation hubs and sufficient space to hold the event.

This summer, members of the Commission came to the University to inspect whether or not the University can fulfill these requirements.

“We put our best foot forward to accommodate every request of the Commission,” said Wild.

The proposed debate site, the Athletic Complex, has many systems in place to host such an event. Phone lines and telecommunications wiring are permanently installed into the center, as well as plans for converting the gymnasium into a fully functioning debate hall. The Athletic Complex has hosted previous debates at the University.

In addition, recent campus improvements, such as the construction of new buildings and parking facilities and the incorporation of MetroLink have greatly increased the accessibility of the University.

“We are hopeful that these improvements will be a great addition to our campus infrastructure,” said Wild.

Should the University be selected, student life will change during the time around the debate-media, political figures, protestors, supporters and curious spectators from all over the world will be present on campus. Wild, however, remains optimistic about this effect.

“A challenge will be [to adjust] this impact, but the feeling is that the benefits to the students, as well as the faculty, outweigh the short-term costs of the event,” he said.

These benefits will offer a real-life educational experience to students, faculty and staff.

“Hosting a presidential debate would give the students a first-hand look at what encompasses an election campaign,” said Melanie Springer, assistant professor of political science and an expert on American voting behavior. “Having the debate is a way to make us all feel closer to a national moment.”

In addition to simply bringing the election to the University, the debates will help students gain a wider perspective on the political process as a whole.

“Young people are all too often disenfranchised by national politics,” said junior Adam Schneider. “This [will be] our chance to let the nation know that we at Washington University are enthused by political debate.”

For now, the CPD’s decision remains a waiting game. Yet many continue to wonder whether the University has provided incentives towards favorable selection.

In a statement to the public, the CPD insists that its selection process “looks strictly into the production of the event,” emphasizing that “it’s not like the Olympics.”

Olympics or not, hosting a debate would mean big things at the University for students like sophomore William Osberghaus.

“The opportunity to attend a presidential debate on campus would be one of the highlights of my undergraduate career,” said Osberghaus. “If the University is selected, I plan to alter my study abroad plans so I can be on campus next fall.”