The Stanford Daily 11.12.09

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Just how dependent are students on their e-mail?

Oh Coach Harbaugh, why do we love you so? A fan answers.
Mostly Sunny 62 41 Mostly Sunny 63 42

The Stanford Daily
THURSDAY November 12, 2009

An Independent Publication

Volume 236 Issue 40


Jay de la Torre resigns vice presidency
Co-Chief of Staff Andy Parker to assume position
By THE DAILY NEWS STAFF Jay de la Torre ‘10 has resigned from his position as ASSU vice president, effective Wednesday night. De la Torre resigned at the ASSU’s joint legislative meeting of the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Speaking to The Daily after the meeting, ASSU President David Gobaud ‘08, M.S.‘10 praised de la Torre’s work. “Jay has made a significant contribution to the executive team and will be greatly missed,”Gobaud said.“His work has made Stanford better, and it’s very unfortunate that this has happened.” De la Torre declined to comment on the resignation for the time being, both at the meeting and in speaking with The Daily, but said he will provide a statement to The Daily today. Gobaud is seeking to appoint cur-

Hennessy, Gobaud talk funds
Gov’t unites at joint legislative meeting

At an ASSU joint legislative meeting last night, the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council (GSC) came together to hear from University President John Hennessy and ASSU President David Gobaud ‘08, M.S. ‘10. Hennessy and Gobaud spoke about a number of campus issues and concerns, and the GSC met after the joint session. President Hennessy Hennessy touched on a number of campus topics in his address to the meeting, but began by outlining cuts that were made to the University’s budget. He emphasized that he remains firmly committed to not cutting undergraduate financial aid, but noted that additional funds will be necessary to support financial aid. “We have to look for gifts to rebuild endowment losses and expendable gifts to patch it up,” Hennessy said. Hennessy added later that there might be a possibility of not being able to sustain the financial aid plan in the event of another financial downturn. But he remains optimistic,

ALEX YU/Staff Photographer

Please see DE LA TORRE, page 3

Jay de la Torre (far right) resigned last night as ASSU vice president at a joint legislative meeting of the Undergraduate Senate and the GSC. President John Hennessy and ASSU President David Gobaud discussed University budget cuts, financial aid and Gobaud’s initiatives for the upcoming year.

Please see MEETING, page 3



Fair Use attorneys withdraw from case

Stanford Fair Use Project attorneys representing Shepard Fairey, the artist who designed the iconic “HOPE” campaign portrait of President Barack Obama, have been granted permission to withdraw from Fairey’s copyright lawsuit against the Associated Press (AP). Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York delivered his ruling Tuesday morning, a day after the AP filed papers asking him to deny the request.

Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Stanford Fair Use Project and the head of Fairey’s former legal team, declined to comment directly on the case, but confirmed the details of Hellerstein’s ruling in favor of the team’s withdrawal as counsel. The AP claimed that Fairey’s former attorneys had “unique knowledge” of Fairey’s transgression, and further argued that “having new counsel start fresh nine months into the case after extensive discovery has already occurred would cause additional prejudice and undue delay to the AP.” Fairey has been embroiled in a legal battle

with the AP since February, when he filed a declaratory judgment against the news agency as a preemptive response to allegations of copyright infringement. In March, the AP responded with a countersuit, seeking damages for Fairey’s unlicensed use of a photograph taken by Mannie Garcia. Fairey’s admission in mid-October that he had lied in court about which image he used as a design reference led to reports that his attorneys had immediately withdrawn from the case — a claim that prompted them to release a

Students cope with Gunn High suicides
Gunn graduates at Stanford reach out to each other for comfort
BECKY WRIGHT/ The Stanford Daily

Please see FAIR USE, page 3

By KATHLEEN CHAYKOWSKI There is an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but it is another feat to part with one. The recent deaths of four Gunn high school students who took their lives on the Caltrain tracks have left a community in need of healing. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, and the cluster of deaths by suicide has left many confused and in search of an answer. For Gunn High School and the surrounding Palo Alto area, the deaths, which all occurred between May and October, represent much more that startling statistics. “The whole feeling of the school is completely different when somebody has committed suicide,” said Alix Farhat ‘13, a Gunn graduate. “It’s a completely different sensation. You walk onto campus and you know something’s different.” Several professionals from the community, including a Gunn guidance counselor and a Palo Alto Schools psychologist, declined to comment for this article. The Daily spoke to four Stanford freshmen who graduated from Gunn this spring — Farhat, Maya Talbott ‘13, Monica Alcazar ‘13 and Nate Levine ‘13 — to learn more about how they and their community are struggling to make sense of the deaths. “I think people are just in a state of shock,” Levine explained. “It will be a while before it sinks in. Then there will be questions.” In response to the incidents, Gunn ramped up efforts to reach out to its students by making counseling services more available. Teachers told their classes that they were there for their students, and counseling actively sought to identify students who might be particularly affected. In some cases, students were given opportunities for quiet reflection in the Green room, the school’s outdoor amphitheater. After the second death, a Gunn parent came and played cello for a group of students comforting each other in the quad. Talbott said Gunn has responded to the challenge in a variety of methods. “They were really trying hard to network with the student body,” Talbott said. “They’ve definite-


Thomsen on school board
Director of the Stanford IRiSS wins Sequoia District position

Tuesday of last week, Chris Thomsen ‘77, director of the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), was elected to the school board of the Sequoia Union High School District. Since graduating in 1977, Thomsen served as the business manager of the Alumni Association, ran Stanford Sierra Camp for 10 years and, in 1995, was given the opportunity by now-Provost John Etchemendy to run the President’s Commission on Technology, Teaching and Learning, where he researched the relationship between technology and the core mission of the University. Thomsen briefly left Stanford in 2000 to head a biotech startup, before returning in 2004 to do a study for the Humanities & Sciences Dean’s Office — from which IRiSS emerged. A week after his election, Thomsen sat down for an interview with The Daily. He touched on a variety of issues currently facing the nation’s public school system, his support for charter schools, his background in education and the goals he hopes to accomplish as a school board member.
Courtesy of Chris Thomsen

Probably the most important, I think, is that this is a time of great change and big challenges, particularly in California, but also nationally, for our public school system. Funding issues are really dire for the school districts in our state. And yet, it also seems like a time for great opportunity. Every day, you read the paper about different innovations, new schools popping up, attention to pedagogical concern and how schools should be organized. It’s a lead priority for the president [Obama], which is really exciting. Just last week, for example, he used the anniversary of his election to focus on educational issues. He’s got a lot on his plate, but I think this is awfully important. So, this is a time of great opportunity because the needs are great and things are changing quickly. In addition, we’re engaged in high schools — my wife and I have two boys of high school age, so we see their experiences up close, and I think it’s fundamentally important. My career has been spent in education, so it’s the most important thing for me personally. TSD: How will your work at Stanford influence your role as a school board member? CT:Indirectly, in many ways. IRiSS focuses on providing an empirical foundation, data upon which policy can be developed and promulgated. One of our centers, the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, wants to re-think the poverty index. Much like that, there’s a huge trend in public education toward collecting data

Stanford’s director of the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Chris Thomsen ‘77, was elected to the Sequoia Union High School District school board last week.

The Stanford Daily (TSD): Why did you decide to run for the school board? Chris Thomsen (CT): A lot of things.

Please see THOMSEN, page 6

Please see GUNN, page 6


Features/2 • Opinions/4 • Sports/5 • Classifieds/7

Recycle Me

2 N Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Stanford Daily



one are the days when the computer’s automated chime of “You’ve got mail!” elicited excitement. It seems that on Cardinal territory, one no longer receives just the occasional piece of meaningful mail. Rather, Tiphanie Gammon ‘13 describes how each time she checks her e-mail — a task she completes every few hours — a flurry of new messages has appeared. E-mail has taken on a major role in college life, and Stanford’s no exception. Students and professors now practically live logged onto their e-mail accounts, using the technology in a variety of ways. “I use e-mail for everything — to schedule appointments, to catch up with people, to advertise for groups and so on,” said Woubzena Jifar ‘10. However, it’s not a surprise that e-mail has grown so popular. E-mail allows people to communicate at all times of the day, advertise more extensively and keep in touch with people all around the world. “I do think it’s very effective,” said Per Enge, professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “I can contact my colleagues around the world. We can complete communication, even if they’re not available immediately.” Being a member of several mailing lists has become an integral part of the Stanford experience. Through these lists, students can connect to multiple communities who share their interests, from fellow dorm residents to members of a sorority. “The mailing list I’m in that has a whole range of things is the Diaspora,” Jifar said. “There tends to be a lot of relevant information. I enjoy being on it and being in the loop about what’s going on in the community.” At the same time, students can also receive seemingly random or irrelevant e-mails through these lists, from political opinions to off-campus event invitations.And while mailing lists have the capacity to become a forum for long but open conversation and debate, sometimes the “Reply All” button can be abused.

“When it comes to drama, a mailing list can be just as bad or worse than high school,” Gammon said. “This weekend, there was pretty much a flame war on the Diaspora mailing list.” The “flame war” that Gammon refers to was an extensive list discussion that arose from comments about an article sent to the list by one student. A whirlwind of responses and opinions — some angry — followed. E-mail use has grown so rampant that going a day without e-mail might require a bit of time to catch up on missed information. And a week without e-mail? Unheard of. “If I don’t check e-mail for a whole day, it takes forever to get through it all,” Gammon said. Since she receives so many e-mails, Gammon has become accustomed to checking her inbox every morning. In a typical morning upon waking, she receives anywhere from 5 to 30 emails. Throughout the day, she continues to check her e-mail in two to three hour intervals. Each time, she receives 10 to 20 new messages. By the end of the day, she has received at least 70 e-mails. “And this is only . . . my Stanford account,” Gammon said. “A lot of people send the same thing out to the same list, so I get the same e-mail like five times.” Enge said a Stanford professor receives around the same amount. He explained his e-mail routine. “I’ll read my e-mails at breakfast — I get about 15,” he says.“And then I’ll read them midday. I get about another 15. And then late in the afternoon, I get around another 15. In total, I get more than 50 e-mails a day.” So has e-mail use on the Stanford campus evolved so much that it’s grossly overused? Are students and professors simply receiving too many e-mails? “I think that e-mails are grossly overused but necessary,” Jifar said. “We have to use e-mail to contact professors, we have to use e-mail to advertise. It’s overused, but effective and entirely necessary.” Jifar, Enge and Gammon all share one common characteristic — all of them scan their e-mails for important announcements. If they believe a message is irrelevant to them, they delete it instantly. “I usually read the first line,” Jifar explained. “If the first

line isn’t pertinent to me, then I usually don’t check it.” Thus, list spamming has become something of an art. On the Diaspora mailing list, for example, Justin Key ‘09 is known to send several e-mails per day to get people to vote for him in a contest to become the new Good Mood Blogger at In an e-mail to the Daily, Key explained the method to his e-mail madness and the various techniques that he uses to grab people’s attention. “If I sent the same e-mail with the same title every day, I think that I would not get so many people’s attention,” Key wrote. “You have to keep it fresh, engaging. And if I were to bombard the lists with e-mails, people would get annoyed and just start ignoring me altogether.” Key claims to use humor as his main technique. “I never like when people have deceiving titles where the subject line is ‘Obama to be impeached!’ and then inside, ‘SIKE! But come to our dance marathon!’ or something like that,” Key wrote. “But I know that the method is somewhat effective.” Key explained that his main technique for grabbing readers’ attention is to try to make e-mail subject lines that are entertaining and enticing to the receiver. “I’m a fan of catchy titles,” Key added. “Also, having something different every time makes people begin to look forward to what you can come up with next.” Key’s attempts in campaigning through e-mail have been effective, he said. “I made the top 20,” Key wrote. “I don’t think I would have if it weren’t for e-mail.” Contact Brianna Pang at

Student Grief and Bereavement Workshop


5:30 PM - 7 PM — Vaden Health Center, 2nd Floor Education Room


rofessors, it has been said, are the worst-dressed middle-class occupational group in North America.” So starts Erik Jensen’s column, titled “A Call for Professional Attire,” published last year in “Inside Higher Ed,” an online publication covering college and university issues. In the article, Jensen, professor of sociology at the University of Idaho, goes on to propose a “Uniform Uniform Code,” a treaty meant to uphold guidelines for proper academic attire across American college campuses. But do professors actually dress that badly? And does it even matter? Teaching fellows in the philosophy department come to class in jeans and a hoodie with a big red “S” in the middle. Some younger female teachers dress suggestively in kneelength skirts and tight T-shirts. Prof. Shafiq Shamel in the comparative literature department, on the other hand, doesn’t come to class unless he’s in a full suit. “[Dressing up] lends some level of seriousness to what I do,” Shamel said. “This is not a weekend. I am not on vacation.” Shamel can be seen strolling up and down the corridors of Piggott Hall in one of three suits that he pairs with shirts of “darker color or lighter color, gray or black or brown” that go well with his suits. But Shamel didn’t always dress this way. “I didn’t have to really pay attention to what I wore,” he said, remembering his days as a graduate student. “Ninety percent of the time that I was a graduate student, I had my Birkenstocks on. Most of the months we have here are warm, so I had shorts and a T-shirt.” Even though Shamel did teach courses as a graduate student, his mindset regarding his personal dress code changed with the completion of his doctorate degree. “Only after I finished my Ph.D. did I realize I wanted to make that transition,” he said. Shamel threw his Birkenstocks out and opted for clothing that commanded more respect. So was Shamel’s switch from sandals to suits his sacrifice for modern academia? Not exactly.

“I actually enjoy [dressing up],” he says. Shamel is not alone in this feeling. Stanford’s Oral Communication Program, which offers courses and workshops on speech communication, has observed this particular positive effect of formal attire. Riah Forbes ‘10, an Oral Communication tutor, works with students to improve their public speaking skills. “I tend to recommend that they just dress a little nicer than they would normally . . . a little bit nicer typically because it makes you more confident,” Forbes said. Clothing comes up as an issue more often when students prepare for job interviews, because when time is more limited, Forbes says, “everything counts.” But a semester-long course isn’t the same as a

approachable, nor does it affect how I interact with them,” he said. “But I appreciate professors who dress appropriately,” Valdez added. The academic attire of Dean Bravman and President Hennessy, two good examples, says Valdez, “shows how seriously they take their positions.” He acknowledged, though, that he is probably in the minority in assigning value to the way professors dress. Prof. Tobias Wolff goes for an air of familiarity with his students, regularly taking swigs from a flask with unknown contents in front of his entire IHUM “Journeys” class, one student said. But other professors like to maintain a more traditional professor-student relationship. “I have been told that I’m a minority and that the way you dress will affect students’ perception of your teaching ability,” said a Hispanic lecturer who wished to remain anonymous. She said she doesn’t have a variety of nice clothes, but those she has, she tries to match well to set a profesStanford sional wardrobe tone. She told the story of an African-American teacher who always used to wear a suit because of students’ perceptions. “He felt that students would respect him more [if he dressed formally] and see him through a different lens,” she said. BECKY WRIGHT/ Different departments also The Stanford Daily assign different values to wardrobe choices. Forbes talked about “department norms,” which she believes significantly contribute to the varying degree of formality in different professors’ apparel. “Econ professors are not ‘dressed up’ but 20-minute interview. It seems that the value of a professor’s personal dress code declines once ‘nicely dressed,’” Forbes said. “Some of them the first impression has been made. And that’s wear jeans but not a lot. PoliSci is more formal. My PoliSci professors were always really well fine with many students. “Formal attire makes a person a little less dressed.” Faculty in the Math and Computer Science approachable,” said Angelica Acosta ‘13. “My introsem professor wears really casual attire, but departments, however, don’t dress in suits. As if this distinction was obvious, Forbes added: “You he’s really interesting.” Jose Valdez ‘10, however, doesn’t think that a know — they’re dressing in jeans and T-shirts.” laid-back style necessarily connotes approachability. “I don’t think it makes them more Contact Jacob Jolis


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Artists’ Reception - Cara Erskine: “Battle of the Sexes”
6 PM - 8 PM — The Clayman Institute - Serra House 589 Capistrano Way Stanford, CA 94305

NACC Dinner Speaker: Erika Chase and Dr. Teresa Lafromboise on Opportunities in Native American Studies
6 PM — Native American Cultural Center

Reflections: Looking Back and Preparing for What’s to Come
12 PM - 1 PM — Asian American Activities Center

Israel 101 with Prof. Steve Zipperstein
6 PM - 8 PM — Career Development Center 1st Floor Conference Room

AISF Pam Hanithcak Lectures Series: Noa Lincoln on Sustainable Agriculture and Ecological Management in Hawai’i
12 PM — Native American Cultural Center

“Red Gold” - Award Winning Documentary Film
6 PM - 8 PM — Y2E2 “Social Entry Lobby” outside of Coupa Cafe

Pre-Holiday Sale at the Museum Bookshop
12 PM - 1 PM — The Bookshop at Cantor Arts Center

From Their Studios: Artist’s Lecture with Joel Leivick
7 PM - 8 PM— Cantor Arts Center

The Exonerated
7 PM - 9 PM— Nitery Theater, Old Union

Holiday Stress Relief
12 PM - 1 PM — Oak West Lounge, Tresidder

Regenerative Medicine@Stanford Seminar
12 PM - 1 PM — Munzer Auditorium, Beckman Center

Open Writer’s Circle Poetry/Spoken Word Workshop
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM— Harmony House

Hanitchak Lecture Series: Noa Kekuewa Lincoln
12 PM - 1 PM — Native American Cultural Center, Clubhouse Ground Floor, 524 Lasuen Mall

Interpreting Prokofiev with Joseph Horowitz & Alexander Toradze
7:30 PM— Campbell Recital Hall - Braun Music Center

SCN Presents: Middle Eastern Film Series
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM — Building 200, Room 303

Bankruptcy, Guns, or Campaigns: Explaining Armed Organizations’ Post-War Trajectories
3:30 PM - 5 PM — Encina Hall 2nd Floor East Conference Room, 616 Serra St., Stanford, CA 94305

Tesseract: A Life of Eadweard Muybridge in 8 Stages
8PM — Pigott Theater, Memorial Hall

Symbolic Systems Forum: Byron Reeves
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM — 380-380C

CCRMA Fall Concert 2009 - A Cagian MusicCircus
8 PM - 9:30 PM— The Knoll (CCRMA) 660 Lomita Court Stanford, CA 95305

“A Revolution in Political Economy: Party Politics and the Revolution of 1688-89 in England”a lecture by Steve Pincus, Professor of History, Yale University
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM— Lane History Corner, Room 307

SCN Presents: Andrew and Theo
8PM - 10 PM— CoHo

Stanford Shakespeare Company Fall Showcase
8PM - 9:15 PM— White Plaza Stage
For a free posting of your organization’s event, contact VP of Sales Mary Liz McCurdy at

“The Path of Desire: Tantric Saints in Indian Buddhism.”
5:15 PM - 6:45 PM — Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center.

The Stanford Daily

Thursday, November 12, 2009 N 3

Lab invents mind reading system
Machine reads electric signals, aids communication for paralyzed
By IVY NGUYEN The Neural Prosthetic Systems (NPS) Laboratory at Stanford has developed a system that enables users to type 15 words a minute using their minds. Though this communication prosthesis technology is still in its trial stages, researchers behind the system hope to one day use it to aid severely paralyzed patients in communication. Communication prosthesis works by reading electrical signals in the brain associated with movement, interpreting those neural signals with statistics and mathematical algorithms on custom-designed chips. The computer signals then tap out a message on a keyboard. This method bypasses injured spinal cords and can one day enable paralyzed patients to guide a computer cursor, move a prosthetic arm or even stimulate the muscles themselves. “We take sensory information into the brain, the brain does some processing, and then it is shipped onto the motor output stages,” said electrical engineering Prof. Krishna Shenoy in a presentation available on Stanford University’s YouTube channel. Shenoy leads the lab that conducts this research. “If that last link is broken, we might build effectively a bypass,” he continued. The neural signals are read using a 4 mm x 4 mm silicon-based electrode array surgically implanted into the premotor or motor cortex — areas of the brain that control movement — that is comprised of 100 1-mm long electrodes that penetrate only the outermost layer of the brain, called the cerebral cortex. Each electrode allows the communication prosthesis system to read the neural signal coming from the tip of the electrode, similar to what a neurosurgeon does when he probes surrounding areas of a brain tumor before removing it. “Take those neural signals out, and if you’re looking at a keyboard, we can predict in real time, very rapidly — in fact, beat your own single finger typing speed — exactly the letters you would like to type and hit,” Shenoy explained. While the research in communication prosthesis is promising, many questions still need to be resolved before it can improve the system. One such question is how to interpret the signals recorded in the brain. Though some research teams argue that the signals relate directly to muscle contractions, others believe that

BECKY WRIGHT/ The Stanford Daily

ALEX YU/Staff Photographer

Biological sciences and neuroscience Prof. Robert Sapolsky, who previously studied colonies of baboons in the Serengeti, discussed the stress response. His work was recently featured in National Geographic.


Sapolsky discusses stress research
By MILING YAN Robert Sapolsky is no stranger to stress, having spent his career examining its effects on entities ranging from single neurons to colonies of baboons in the Serengeti. The biological sciences and neuroscience professor shared some of his insights on stress and its consequences in an hour-long lecture as part of the monthly Stanford Breakfast Briefings. In his talk, Sapolsky explained how the stress response is a biological mechanism intended to address any threat to ideal equilibrium conditions, or homeostasis. A stressor triggers the secretion of a suite of hormones, notably adrenaline, resulting in a whole cascade of physiological changes: increased heart rate, rapid breathing and heightened senses, to name a few. In the wild, 99 percent of stress responses never exceed three minutes, after which Sapolsky said, “either it’s over with or you’re over with.” In humans, the response is often mounted in anticipation of an assault on homeostasis rather than an actual perturbation. “We’re having these anticipatory psychological stressors, [and] we turn on the exact same stress response as every other beast out there, and we use it for all the wrong reasons,” said Sapolsky. “If you do it chronically, you’re going to get sick, because that’s not what the stress response evolved for.” In the Westernized lifestyle, many of the leading causes of death such as heart disease or adult onset diabetes are stress-associated diseases. The immunosuppressive properties of prolonged stress are now being examined in the burgeoning field of psychoneuroimmunology. As for the classic stress-related illness of peptic ulcers, now shown to be caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, stress remains culpable. Only 10 percent of individuals harboring H. pylori have ulcers, likely a result of the stress response suspending early ulcer repair. More surprising were the manifestations of chronic, traumatic stress on children, resulting in a rare condition known as stress dwarfism. Although no nutritional deficiencies are present, growth is temporarily stunted until the stressor is removed. Sapolsky suggests that there is increasing evidence of more widespread stress dwarfism, particularly among children in areas of civil strife. The phenomenon may have been mildly present among Japanese-American children in World War II internment camps. Sapolsky, who spoke Wednesday morning, has garnered numerous accolades, including the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Award.” Recently, his work was profiled for the National Geographic documentary “Stress: Portrait of a Killer.” Sapolsky’s own lab on campus has been studying how chronic stress damages the neurons in the hippocampus, an area in the brain responsible for learning and memory. Their results are frightening: the damage appears akin to effects of chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. So how does one effectively cope with stress, mitigating any long-term damage? Experiments conducted as early as the 1930s by endocrinologist Hans Selye attempted to address this question by continually shocking rats in empty cages and examining subsequent ulcer formation. Rats given hobbies (wood-gnawing), predictive information (a blinking red light) or a sense of control (disconnected lever), were ulcer free. Additionally, in the presence of another friendly rat, the shocked animal also developed no ulcers. “Friends are good for your health big time,” Sapolsky said. “Social isolation is a huge health risk factor for every primate out there, including us.” The objective of Sapolsky’s presentation, like others in the Stanford Breakfast Series, is to impart useful management and leadership skills. The audience was comprised of upper-level executives and Stanford affiliated professionals, and totaled approximately 230. “I think it’s not only useful for your job, it’s useful for living,” said Lori Pirri, a SLAC employee, of Sapolsky’s presentation. “I definitely plan on revisiting the taped presentation,” said Ron Boring MBA ‘78. Contact Miling Yan at

these signals are more abstract parameters that outline the direction of the reach of the velocity of the movement. “Until that controversy is resolved, we’re fairly sure we’re not doing the best job we can in interpreting neurological signals,” said Research Associate Mark Churchland. Human Applications Most of the trials with invasive communication prostheses have been performed on rhesus monkeys, with only a small number of tests using human subjects. In the studies performed on human subjects, patients were able to perform tasks such as move a cursor on a computer screen to open an e-mail, play a computer game and drive a wheelchair up to 20 feet. “These things are real, and they do work, but they’re very experimental,” Churchland said. “None of these patients got any real benefits.” No patients were able to use their prosthesis without the supervision of a doctor and the research team, especially because they needed to be connected via cable to a computer. Still, the researchers of the NPS Lab express hope that the technology can one day aid severely disabled individuals. “Other patients suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and so forth are not even able to blink their eyes to communicate,” Shenoy explained. “We aim to try to help provide new treatment options for these most severely disabled patients with it also being in mind that we could help less disabled people — still severely disabled, perhaps with an arm amputa-

tion, but less so.” “It’s great we’re doing devices from a basic science perspective, but it would be really nice to translate that into a clinical benefit for patients,” said fellow researcher and computer science graduate student Vikash Gilja. Worth the Wait If the system becomes more robust, it may also benefit less severely disabled individuals. Mechanical engineering graduate student Angelo Szychowski, who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy that leaves him unable to type, said this system has potential features that the voice detection system he uses currently lacks. “The problem the voice detection system I use is it has poor recognition,” Szychowski said. “My biggest frustration has been with doing math. Voice detection does not do that well, so I have difficulties doing my p-sets as a result.” Though Szychowski is not completely paralyzed like the patients the research team had in mind, he understands the importance of having the ability to communicate. “I know I would not be going to Stanford right now if I weren’t able to interact with my computer and type out my assignments and talk to people,” Szychowski said.“It’s a huge limitation to someone if they don’t have that ability. Even imperfect technology that only offers 15 words per minute would still be a huge benefit for someone who could not communicate at all.” Contact Ivy Nguyen at

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rent Co-Chief of Staff Andy Parker ‘11 to vice president, pending legislative confirmation, and asked both the GSC and Senate to confirm him quickly. “Given his current position, he will be able to assume the role of vice president and quickly get up to speed,” Gobaud said. Parker cited his own preparedness for the position. “I think it’s going to be a challenge to replace Jay because he’s been a tremendous leader,” Parker said, “but I think that, given my work on the team [and] the fact that I’ve been working closely with Jay and David, I’ll be able to easily transition to the role. “I’ll bring my own leadership style and personality to the job, but the agenda will remain the same,” he added. Gobaud aims to appoint Farah Abuzeid ‘10 as a replacement co-chief of staff if Parker is approved, which would also require legislative confirmation. “Farah is incredibly qualified and has experience leading teams and

Continued from front page
and said scaling down undergraduate financial aid is a “last resort.” After explaining his commitment to undergraduate financial aid, Hennessy moved to graduate and international financial aid. “We have no ambition to replace federal funding for graduate financial aid,” the president said.“Our goal is to boost the funding in particular areas where it’s hard to get federal funding, like in interdisciplinary research. We have to stabilize the University funding in areas where we do not receive aid.” When asked about international financial aid, Hennessy said plans to move to need-blind admission in five years are likely no longer feasible. “We had hoped to make more progress on undergraduate financial aid because of the financial crisis,” Hennessy said. “I wish that were not the case, but it’s likely to be the case. We are asking our international alums for help on the international financial aid.” When the issue of graduate financial aid was raised, Hennessy said undergraduate aid is much easier to raise, for complicated reasons. On a more optimistic note, Hennessy explained that endowment performance is not yet at its worst period. “The worst was in the 1970s, when the endowment over the 10-year period lost money compared to inflation,“ Hennessy said. “Our 10-year period return is probably still six points over inflation. Hopefully, the economy won’t turn so that we have a long-term downturn.”

During a Q&A period, Hennessy also weighed in on the potential of graduating law and Ph.D. students to find employment. Hennessy acknowledged that structural transitions in the economy could eventually force smaller class sizes in graduate schools, but he said the meaning of a Stanford degree will remain unchanged. “Overproduction of Ph.D.s and professionals are not from Stanford, Berkeley, MIT or Yales of the world,” Hennessy said. Gobaud After Hennessy made his remarks, Gobaud outlined three projects that he has planned for the year: a sustainability effort, a campaign to stop sexual assault and relationship abuse, and student involvement in policy and advocacy. Gobaud said Stanford is likely to play a key role in developing new technologies for sustainability. He added that the ASSU is working on a spring Sustainability Symposium that will be a student, administration and faculty partnership. “We’re going to highlight the global challenges and use Stanford as a case study how we can address sustainability,” Gobaud said. “We plan to focus on academic teaching and research, infrastructure and operations, and community engagement.” On his campaign to stop sexual assault and relationship abuse, Gobaud said,“We do think it’s a problem on campus, but it’s not just a Stanford problem. It’s not an easy thing to talk about.” Because of this, Gobaud plans to work on a massive education campaign around the issue. Gobaud said he wants to spread the campaign around the country to create an antisexual assault and relationship abuse movement, similar to the anti-drunk

driving campaign of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other student groups. Gobaud closed his segment with an emphasis on creating ties between the student body, student government and issues beyond the campus. “We want to get the ASSU and students more involved in advocacy and policy making at the local, state and national levels,” he said. GSC Meeting Immediately after the joint legislative meeting, as non-GSC members left the room, the GSC moved to deal with additional funding requests. The GSC approved $468 for the Hindi Film Dance Team, for food and snacks for their friends and family event as well as upcoming workshops. Fielding a request for the Materials Science Research Society (MSRS), GSC members were skeptical of the amount of money requested, but approvals from other members outweighed the concerns. One concern included an overestimation of the number of attendees to events. Another was that materials science, given its interdisciplinary nature, may already be well-represented by several departments. The GSC eventually approved $3,600 for outreach and events for the MSRS. The meeting concluded with the approval and confirmation of two constitutional council members and two new sustainability co-chairs. Matthew Willmott ‘11 and Tommy Tobin ‘10 were confirmed as additions to the constitutional council, while Sonali Chopra ‘11 and Leslie Cachola ‘11 were confirmed as sustainability cochairs. Contact Brianna Pang at

managing projects,” Gobaud said. “I have no doubt in her ability to quickly get up to speed.” Unlike Parker, Abuzeid currently does not hold a position in student government, a potential source of contention in upcoming Senate and GSC debate. GSC Secretary Crystal Yin spoke with regret about de la Torre’s departure. “I feel like it’s a big loss to the leadership team,” she said. “I have seen him working very well with the ASSU and the GSC. I feel sorry.” Second-year biochemistry graduate student Krystel St. Julien also had praise for de la Torre. “I could see on the looks on everyone’s faces — he was really important to a lot of people in the room,” St. Julien said. “It’s sad that he had to resign.” In his resignation letter, addressed to the Senate and the GSC, de la Torre offered “thanks for the honor of working with all of you thus far.” He closed by stating, “Best of luck to you all, and I hope you continue to do well in your duties serving the Stanford student body.” The Daily will have continued coverage of the resignation in tomorrow’s issue. Eric Messinger, Elizabeth Titus and Brianna Pang contributed to this

John Jay O’Connor III ‘51, J.D.‘53 dies at 79 of Alzheimer’s
By THE DAILY NEWS STAFF John Jay O’Connor III ‘51, J.D. ‘53, the husband of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor ‘50, J.D. ‘52, died yesterday at the age of 79. O’Connor suffered from Alzheimer’s and passed away as a result of complications from the disease. According to media reports, O’Connor died in Phoenix, Ariz., at an assisted living facility. In 2005, Sandra Day O’Connor retired in order to spend more time with him in Arizona as his disease worsened. The O’Connors both attended Stanford Law School and served as editors at the Stanford Law Review. John Jay O’Connor earned his law degree one year after Sandra Day O’Connor earned hers, and the two were married in 1952. O’Connor had been living with Alzheimer’s for nearly two decades.

Continued from front page
statement clarifying their position. “We have not withdrawn as counsel for Shepard Fairey, and none of his other lawyers have, either,” the statement read. “We have expressed our intention to do so at the appropriate time.” The statement went on to stress that the decision had nothing to do with the “underlying merits” of the case. However, papers subsequently filed by Fairey’s former legal team on Oct. 29 cited Fairey’s deception as a contributing factor in the decision to request substitution of counsel. “Mr. Fairey was apparently mistaken about the photograph he used when his original complaint for

declaratory relief was filed on February 9, 2009,” the motion read. “After the original complaint was filed, Mr. Fairey realized his mistake. Instead of acknowledging that mistake, Mr. Fairey attempted to delete the electronic files he had used in creating the illustration at issue. He also created, and delivered to present counsel for production, new documents to make it appear as though he had used the Clooney Photograph as his reference.” The motion went on to recount the events following Fairey’s admission of wrongdoing.According to the papers, Fairey’s former counsel moved to amend the Plaintiff’s pleadings on Oct. 16 with respect to Fairey’s new position. On Oct. 20, the AP moved to amend its own pleadings and to add a new party to the case, One Three Two, Inc. d/b/a Obey Clothing — an apparel company featuring Fairey’s designs.

“Given the events set forth above, present counsel have concluded that it is no longer prudent or feasible for present counsel to represent Plaintiffs in this matter, because these events present a potential for conflicts of interest between counsel and client,” the motion read. Calling the AP’s grounds for opposing withdrawal “unpersuasive,” the statement assured the court that “present counsel will work diligently with substitute counsel to assist in their transition into the case.” Under Hellerstein’s ruling, law firm Jones Day and Harvard law Profs. William W. Fisher III and John Palfrey have effectively replaced Durie Tangri, LLP and Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society as present counsel. Contact Aimee Miles at pandorah@

4 N Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Stanford Daily

Established 1892

The Stanford Daily
Managing Editors Kamil Dada Deputy Editor Eric Messinger Managing Editor of News Zach Zimmerman Managing Editor of Sports Emma Trotter Managing Editor of Features Annika Heinle Managing Editor of Intermission Michael Liu Managing Editor of Photography Andrew Valencia Editorial Board Chair Zachary Warma Columns Editor Jane LePham Head Copy Editor Becca del Monte Head Graphics Editor Wyndam Makowsky Multimedia Editor

Incorporated 1973
Tonight’s Desk Editors Christine McFadden News Editor Zoe Leavitt Sports Editor Amy Julia Harris Features Editor Alex Yu Photo Editor Stephanie Weber Copy Editor Becky Wright Graphics Editor

Campus information needs to be centralized
pportunities abound here at Stanford. Students are inundated with e-mails regarding everything ranging from events and internship opportunities, to fellowship applications and classes being offered in the coming quarter. Navigating the volume of flyers that cover campus and the e-mails that fill our inboxes in order to find what is meaningful is a challenge all are faced with. Unfortunately, the discussion of how information is disseminated through the student population is rarely entertained. Finding ourselves situated in the heart of the Silicon Valley, a deep understanding of the power of access to information surrounds us. However, on campus we face not explicit barriers to access, but a disorganized array of information channels that leaves many students unaware of enriching and potentially lifechanging resources. The mission of Google — the archetypal Valley company — is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.Asking merely if all information regarding campus resources is easily accessible to students — and the resounding “no” that question must be answered with — begins to frame the state of affairs regarding information on campus. Students search principally for academic, extra-curricular and professional resources and events on campus. Many events are advertised through peer e-mails and, to a lesser degree, paper flyers and word of mouth. We on the Editorial Board believe it is quite unfortunate that student’s knowledge of events, internships and fellowships stems largely from how much e-mail spam they expose themselves to. Students new to campus are the most observable examples of the inability many have in finding their bearings in our environment of disparate information. Too often, searches for jobs, programming or support begin and end with similarly unconnected peers. Pockets of information — ranging from myGroups and Resource 25, to the Web sites of the Undergraduate Advising and Research and Haas Center — begin to organize and make available sought-after data. A calendar of events open to the public and Coursework are illustrations of University attempts to share information. Substantially more powerful endeavors include the ASSU Events Calendar and CourseRank. Though the aforementioned sites, along with overzealous e-mail campaigns and intentional Facebooking, can be powerful and beneficial, the Editorial Board challenges our peers to conceive alternate models of sharing knowledge. Changing outcomes through increased opportunity — through models or tools that would demand less student initiative in order to more readily access relevant information — should be the aspiration. One potential model for a tool that could enhance awareness of campus opportunities would be a Bloomberg software-type model. This business software aggregates countless news source streams,along with real-time market tracking and company- and executive-specific data. A Web site or tool built for campus could gather and organize date from e-flyers and published calendars, as well as content from campus publications and departments. Student group and resource center streams could be made available, along with a searchable tool for fellowships and other scarcelyknown niche grants.Though difficult to engage and align, matching students who have received a grant or been a part of a program with that specific grant’s or program’s information would be greatly beneficial. Though a difficult undertaking, the student and administrative knowledge-sharing that would occur, even in preliminary discussions of such a venture, would go a long way toward helping students understand all that is available to us on campus. Many university and student resources strive to help students develop themselves and build skills to be able to contribute to our campus and broader society. Through more powerful and effective forms of information distribution and communication, we believe these goals can be met more consistently and significantly.

Board of Directors Devin Banerjee President and Editor in Chief Jason Shen Chief Operating Officer Mary Liz McCurdy Vice President of Advertising Kamil Dada Glenn Frankel Ted Glasser Michael Londgren Wyndam Makowsky Bob Michitarian

Contacting The Daily: Section editors can be reached at (650) 723-2555 from 3 to 10 p.m. The Advertising Department can be reached at (650) 721-5803, and the Classified Advertising Department can be reached at (650) 721-5801 during normal business hours.


Healthcare:A Religious View I
n the wake of President Obama’s speech on healthcare, the raucous town hall meetings of August and the sausage-factory that is the Senate Finance Committee, we hear almost nothing about those who are suffering without access to health insurance or are denied care even when they have insurance.The current debate is about more than healthcare reform; it is a debate over what kind of future we want our country to have.As people of faith and Christian ministers, we believe that this is an issue of justice and morality,about which we in the religious community, and all people of good will, must not remain silent. THE SYMPTOMS: In the weathiest country in the history of the world, 46 million of our citizens do not have access to health insurance. And for nearly 45,000 every year,that’s a deadly reality. One of the 45,000 was Laura, a 49year-old nurse in Minneapolis. She had been laid off and did not have access to health insurance when she began to have health problems of her own: increased heart-rate and trouble breathing. She feared the cost of a doctor or hospital visit until, finally, her family prevailed upon her to go to the hospital.She was relieved when they informed her that her condition was caused by a hyperthyroid condition and easily treatable. But she had waited too long to seek treatment. Tragically, she succumbed to a blood infection within 18 hours of arriving at the hospital. In 2007 (the latest year for which statistics are available), 62 percent of all bankruptcies were caused by medical costs. Three-quarters of those people were middle class and had health insurance! Our healthcare system is pushing people into bankruptcy and poverty. Many people cannot get health insurance because they have a “pre-existing condition,” which means they will cost the insurance company too much money. A pre-existing condition can be almost anything the insurance company deems, such as pregnancy or, in one case, a 4-month-old baby that was not covered because he was in the 98th percentile of weight and size; in other words, too healthy. Recission: when a healthcare insurance company drops a patient because the patient is costing them too much money. If a patient is costing the company money, the company can search the patient’s medical history for an ex-

Unsigned editorials in the space above represent the views of The Stanford Daily's editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Daily staff. The editorial board is comprised of six Stanford students, led by a chair. Any signed columns and contributions are the views of their respective writers and do not necessarily represent the views of the entire editorial board. To contact the editorial board for an issue to be considered, or to submit an op-ed, please email


Emily Hulme

Utopias and a Transformative Aetiology of Quantum Gravity


pril probably is the cruelest month,but November is certainly the most tiring. After all,it starts with a hangover from Halloween and features a holiday meal designed to put you to sleep. As the weather slowly cools and fallen leaves litter paths,the once vibrant dream that HIS113: Contemporary Issues in the Political Economy of Belarus might become something more than an unwelcome chore collapses under the weight of inordinate expectations. In September, Vollhardt and Schore’s Organic Chemistry: 5th Ed. seems potentially interesting, but once you’ve bought into its premise that your value as a human being is dependent on your ability to memorize its contents, it is a cruel master. The bookstore sells many good things, but happiness is not found on its shelves, pre-packaged and only requiring some at-home assembly. Between following elections filled with apathetic candidates and preparing for my quadrennial Winter Olympics Ice Luge-a-thon, I feel a certain kinship with the weary souls haunting the warehouse of human misery known as Meyer Library. The mythological Cumaean Sibyl, who asked for eternal life but forgot to make it eternal youth, I think, is their leader — a voice without form, melting away into the din of the centuries. I humbly posit an elegant solution to this ordeal. Remember when in high school you told everyone you were so “over” it? And, between figuring out who was going with whom to prom and how to tactfully brag about getting into Stanford, you would dream about college and how you would go to spoken word performances and speak some rare and beautiful tongue with your multicultural group of friends and debate the ideas of Rousseau with your well-versed and caring professor? Well, after making dutiful observations for a few years, I have a conclusion: no one does this, chiefly because you still only have 24 hours in a day. The obvious fix is to add more hours to the day so you can accomplish all these things, and even get enough sleep for your liver to recover. The first route to this promised land of 30hour days, thought I, was via that nifty theory of relativity. Unfortunately, it requires speeds at something like 99 percent of the speed of light to change the passage of time perceptibly, and since CERN keeps getting shut down by some intrigue involving secret societies, Renaissance paintings and bad acting,it might

The obvious fix is to add more hours to the day F LECHAS Y P EDRADAS so you can accomplish Suiza, Blackberries and all these things...

cuse to drop coverage. It is alleged that Blue Cross gave higher performance ratings to workers who recinded the policies of patients that were costing them too much. Denial of coverage is a common practice among insurance companies. One study of health insurance companies in California found that the percentage of denied claims for some companies has risen to almost 40 percent! Some of these denials push people into bankruptcy. They push others into the grave. In 2007, CIGNA denied the request of 17year-old Nataline Sarkisyan for a liver transplant. Her parents and friends spent weeks appealing and eventually protesting the decision at the company headquarters.An overwhelming public outcry and support for Nataline caused the company to reverse its decision and approve her request. But the decision came too late. Nataline died while waiting for her (approved) operation. THE PATHOGEN: Our healthcare system is sick, compromised by the profit motive. Making a profit off of other people’s illness or misfortune is wrong and it should be abolished. As public for-profit companies, insurance company’s profits are supposed to increase quarter over quarter, year over year. This can only be achieved looking for ways to simultaneously raise premiums and deny claims. The result is that over the last several years, premiums have outpaced inflation and wages,with denied claims for some companies, as noted earlier, rising to almost 40 percent. These are people’s lives we’re talking about. THE DRAIN:Why is there always enough for warfare but never enough for healthcare? Although spending for just the war in Iraq will surpass the $1 trillion mark in the next fiscal year, this doesn’t account for the collateral costs to our nation, estimated to be an additional $2 trillion. Nor does this even begin to account for the cost to Iraqis for their destroyed country and loss of life! The money spent on war passes congress with little or no debate on the efficacy of these policies or the burden these fiscal decisions will place on future generations. And yet, when it comes to possible expenditures on healthcare that can save the lives of 865 people who die every week, 3,750 every

month or 45,000 every year, suddenly our congress men and women are concerned about the deficit! Why do we allow enormous sums of money to be used to decimate the land and lives of millions, while we will not allocate what is needed to provide for the health of our citizens? This should outrage all people of conscience, provoking confession and repentance. The unabashed pursuit of such folly reveals a great deal about the state of our civilization. THE REMEDY: There are two humanizing teachings that are part of almost every faith tradition: “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Neither of these teachings is simply quaint folklore; they are the substance of what it means to live in community,showing us how to sustain our humanity even in the midst of chaos. Without them, our communities, cities, countries and world disintegrate into thuggery and gang warfare where might makes right. With them, we are given a vision of a global community based in mutual love, respect and responsibility. Healthcare reform is not just a debate about reform,but about what kind of future we want for our our sisters and brothers, our children and grandchildren. Will it be a dystopic future where fewer and fewer people of means squabble and fight over fewer and fewer resources? The anti-reform protestors aren’t just protesting healthcare reform; they are protesting the vision of our common future, our sense of community and care for one another,our interconnectedness. Fear and misinformation feed the paranoia and xenophobia that lie just beneath the surface of our society, which has produced such violence as racism, sexism, classism and even genocide. This is not the first time that we who are on the threshold of change have been challenged to choose carefully.We read in Torah,“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) Make your voice heard by calling your congressional representatives. The choice is ours. May we choose wisely. The Rev.Geoff Browning,United Campus Christian Ministry — The Rev. Greg Schaefer, Episcopal Lutheran Campus Ministry —

Patrick Kozey
on a list.That’s what I learned this weekend.As long as we treat them that way, as long as we float through life,only looking around to document it for Facebook and our friends, we will have lived nothing. So, put down the damned Blackberry. Do that, and maybe you’ll notice — well — anything. I promise it’ll be worth your time. Patrick Kozey is aware that he sounds, again, like a douche. Tell him he’s wrong (or not) at

Canadians, eh?

be a lengthy wait before scientists can develop the necessary equipment. I have been told, though, that my plan is in the queue for consideration, and will be looked at as soon as they have finished developing a weapon for a truly casualty-free war: catfishes outfitted with lasers to cripple the enemy’s supply chain (banks, generators, Starbucks, etc.) You heard it first here. In light of this, I crunched the numbers and realized you can’t really buy 24 hours and get one free. However, you can take out an hour on loan and pay a fee of less than three minutes during each hour the rest of the day.Three minutes! Check your Facebook less often and quit waiting for your coffee to cool before you drink it, and there’s your three minutes. Or don’t make awkward eye contact with your ex on the way to class. Or just cut the line at Pluto’s. I can guarantee you won’t miss these things when you have, at the end of the day, a freshly minted hour to spend doing whatever you like. Take a nap. Read The New York Times Style section and learn about a world in which people who actually keep those collectors cups that come filled with a liter of soda at amusement parks don’t exist. Finally install that Berlitz program and, if you want to be really cheeky, use it for the next two weeks during your bonus hour. Life, indeed, is better with a spare hour to spend how you fancy, even during the dreadful ides of November. One can put things in perspective. Once, I was angstily lamenting how complicated my life was.The solution,my illustrious friend said, was to “simplicate” it. Emily won’t stop believin’.Hold on to the feelin’ at


finally did it. I have finally been to a country that is neither the U.S. nor Spain. I recognize that this probably doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but I assure you, dear reader, it is. If you ask my friends, they’ll definitely grant me a certain air of worldliness (read: pretension). Until last Friday, sad to say, that was all just a front. But now? Now I have been to Switzerland. I went on this Swiss sojourn with my roommate, a guy from our program, and a girl from down the hall, with their goal being a jump from a plane with parachute in tow (i.e. skydiving), and mine being a change of scenery. Though I did not gain a stamp in my passport, I gained a bit more insight into what it is we Americans seem to do while we study in foreign countries. First, a brief aside about the country I visited:Switzerland is beautiful,cold and expensive — not unlike a fancy prostitute. Also like a classy call girl, the country is multilingual. The French in Geneva meant we tried to order food from a man in a bar who,it turns out, was not our waiter, but rather a fellow client who enjoyed screwing with us. In Interlaken, their very own kind of German provided us with some choice signage, like the one reading “Einfahrt” in large letters. Sadly we didn’t visit the Italian-inclined part of the country, so we missed a chance to hit the ignorance trifecta by striking out for the third time on the “communicating with the locals” front. Ladies of the evening also enjoy the finer things, and the Swiss seem no different, what with the ubiquity of watches,knives and chocolate. They also host a great deal of shady bank dealings and corresponding goofy paper money that manages to make the Euro’s carnival color scheme look classy. All that said,it was a beautiful place.The wa-

terfront on Lake Geneva and the old city as the light left it,the mountains of Interlaken and the winding journey up to them between that city’s two lakes — both were the sorts of vistas that return some luster to the word “awesome.”All of it spectacular, and all of it missed. My traveling companions (minus my roommate, bless his non-smart-phone-corrupted soul) probably didn’t notice most of those sights, because if they took a look up form the screens of their Blackberries, it was only long enough to snap a picture before turning back to the world of BBMs and Facebook statuses. When the weather didn’t cooperate and the skydiving got called off,they did spend some of those obnoxiously colorful Swiss francs on paragliding. It didn’t seem to leave them very content. The girl on the trip was more concerned with what she’d tell her friends on Facebook now that her status (“Skydiving in Interlaken, jealous?”) was wrong? Tough call, I know.Even though we repeatedly told her that saying, “the weather was bad, we couldn’t do it,” was a remarkably valid excuse, the “problem” kept coming up. Blackberries are like hand tumors — malignant growths that, if not cut out at the source, will suck up all the attention the user has to give. Later that night, we met some real live Canadians in our hostel. The group, five or six girls studying in Amsterdam, had come down to see the country, and they invited us out to a bar later that night.We went,and I learned that Canadians say “eh?” instead of “right?” and “pardon me?” instead of “what?” Really — they do. You could ask the Blackberry duo about them,and the night in general,but I don’t know what kind of answer you’d get. The girl spent the time we were out, surprise, surprise, checking her phone. Countries are not boxes to be checked off

Dear Daily Editor, We here at the Gaieties writers’ room hear Professor Palumbo-Liu’s palpable excitement in support of next year’s possible title, “Terrorize Cal,” with its terribly clever wordplay. However, we regret to inform the professor that we must decline his suggestion. Sure, all of us would love to see shows tearing into edgy subject matter and shedding light on the ills of society through the humanity of humor. But there are certain very clear lines that humor cannot cross. These lines include aquatic natural disasters, Patrick Swayze, the Native American community, harm to kittens, puppies, turtles or bunnies, and, per the professor’s suggestion, September 11th. So, while I’m sure Professor Palumbo-Liu is dying to watch “Hurricane Caltrina,” understand it’s probably not going to happen. In the future, we ask that he please try to be a bit more sensitive toward the community of Politically Correct Complainers With Too Much Time On Their Hands (PCCWTMTOTH). See you at the show! Unabashedly,
NICK DEWILDE ’10 Gaieties Writer

The Stanford Daily

Thursday, November 12, 2009 N 5


Dishing the Rock

Undefeated women start NCAA tournament as first seed

A Literary Education for Sports
went to my first ever book signing last week. Before you jump to the conclusion that I am a voracious and cultured reader, please take the author into account. Bill Simmons, ESPN’s famous funny-guy columnist, was making his rounds on a nationwide tour promoting his new, Bibleesque book on basketball.Also known as “The Sports Guy,” Simmons has essentially become the Hannah Montana of the 18-45 year-old male demographic. Fellow editor Wyndam Makowsky and I made the journey into San Francisco without any idea of what to expect. The signing was on a Thursday night and the city seemed as alive as Larry Johnson’s career in Kansas City. Although it is impossible to deny Simmons’ popularity, we assumed that Borders wouldn’t be too crowded. After all,there was no way there could be that many other sports nerds who would attend something as embarrassing as a book signing. The event was scheduled to begin at seven, but we decided to “beat the crowd” and made it through the doors at six. To be honest, I planned to walk in to find Bill at a large conference table, drinking coffee and exchanging pleasantries with a group of college kids (i.e. myself and Wyndam). However, Borders provided me with one hell of an unexpected sight. I’ve seen pictures of Spock groupies at Star Trek conventions. They have nothing on Bill Simmons fans. An hour before a book signing was set to commence,there were hundreds of guys sitting awkwardly close together on the floor of the King Street Borders. It looked remarkably similar to a preschool class during story time, except many of these preschoolers were wearing ties. A female usher quickly instructed Wyndam and I to go purchase the book before lining up to receive our wristbands.Uh oh.There were literally nine or ten different colors of wristbands,with each respective color signifying a place in the inevitably long line. We repped turquoise and were thrilled to see that we were in the third group of 50 or so fans. Staffers also debriefed the crowd with instructions for how to interact with Bill. They gave us a small sheet with a few bullet points, including the

11/8 vs. CAL Irvine W 4-1


GARNER KROPP/The Stanford Daily

Seniors will be honored before the last game in the regular season this Saturday, when No. 17 Stanford will strive for second place in the Pac-10 and try to increase its NCAA chances.

The Cardinal hosts Cal for regular season’s final game
By TOM TAYLOR On Saturday, the Stanford men’s soccer team plays its final game of the regular season at home against Cal. The Pac-10 title might have already gone to UCLA, but this will still be a very Big Game. After an eight-year streak in the NCAAs, Cal’s hopes of making it to nine are now hanging by a thread.The Bears (8-8-1,Pac-10 2-6-1) have had a tough time in the conference this year,as the fortunes of the team that seemed in great form in September have changed drastically. In stark comparison, the Cardinal (10-42, Pac-10 4-3-2) has converted its strong start into a continually great run and could very well secure second spot with a win this weekend. Now ranked No.17,the Card also looks like a strong contender for the NCAA’s, as the team hopes to end a six-season absence in the tournament. The last time Stanford made it into the postseason tournament was in 2002, when the team reached the final game before dropping it to UCLA.The current squad holds little memory of that success. “I’m glad it all came together my last year,” said senior Evan Morgan, the longest serving member of the team, whose career here has been delayed twice by injury. Though Berkeley has dropped out of the top 25 rankings, the Bears may still have a chance. But to keep these hopes alive, the Bears must defeat Stanford on Saturday. “I think they have to go at it with the idea that there’s still a chance,”said head coach Bret Simon.“It might be a slim chance,but I’m sure they’re looking at it like there’s still a chance.” Though the Cardinal might feel like it has to keep one eye on events next week, it also

11/1 vs. WASHINGTON T 0-0

UP NEXT CAL (8-8-1, Pac-10 2-6-1)
Laird Q. Cagan Stadium 7 P .M.

GAME NOTES: Stanford hosts the Bears on Saturday for senior night and their last game of the regular season. A victory would bring the Cardinal to second place in the Pac-10 and improve its NCAA standing.

Last weekend, the Stanford women’s soccer team completed a perfect regular season, the first ever in program history. If the team can continue its perfection for six more games, it will record another milestone — the school’s first ever national championship. The Cardinal begins its postseason quest tonight as it hosts Northern Arizona at Cagan Stadium. The Lumberjacks finished in a tie for third in the Big Sky conference, but won the Big Sky tournament title to claim an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. NAU has only played two common opponents with Stanford, and they didn’t fare particularly well against either, drawing against Pac-10 bottom feeder Arizona 2-2 and losing 4-0 to Arizona State. Still, Stanford head coach Paul Ratcliffe claims that these facts will have no effect on the Card’s mindset. “It’s all in the day,” Ratcliffe said.“It’s a later part in the season now for them, as it is for us, so we need to come to play and get after them.” If the Cardinal gets by NAU, its second round match would be on Saturday afternoon against the winner of BYU-UC-Santa Barbara. A match against UCSB would be a rematch from the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, when the Gauchos hung close with Stanford before losing 2-0, courtesy of goals by Christen Press and Allison Falk. However, BYU will be the favorites to go through.The Cougars were ranked No. 20 in the final regular season poll, and have a record of 17-3-2 on the year. The Mountain West regular season champions also have a good record against Pac-10 teams, beating both Oregon State (2-1, 2 OTs) and Arizona (1-0) on the year. Yet as it proved by running the table in conference, Stanford is no ordinary Pac-10 team. It is difficult to speculate further into the tournament, but the later rounds could throw up

UP NEXT NAU (10-8-2)
11/12 Laird Q. Cagan Stadium 7 P .M.
GAME NOTES: Undefeated Stanford takes on Northern Arizona in their first game of the NCAA tournament. Stanford, who holds the No. 1 seed, hosts the tournament this year. Last weekend, the Card achieved its first-ever perfect regular season in program history.

some enticing matchups. In the Sweet Sixteen, Stanford could possibly face conference rival USC or local rival Santa Clara,the fourth seed in the region. The two-seed in the region — and therefore a possible Elite 8 opponent for the Card — is Boston College, a team from the very competitive ACC that went an impressive 15-32. Looking ahead toward the College Cup, which will take place in College Station, Texas this year, many predict that Stanford will be facing either UCLA (another 1-seed) or Portland (two-seed) in the national semi-finals.The other side of the bracket features Florida State and defending national champions North Carolina, who round out the No. 1 seeds, along with last year’s runner-up, Notre Dame, a two-seed in Florida State’s region. It was the Irish who knocked the Cardinal out of last year’s tournament, eking out a 1-0 victory in the semifinals despite Stanford dominating for large stretches of the match. This year, however, the Card will enter as pre-tournament favorites, having earned the number one overall seed. Still, Ratcliffe sees no added pressure from being the No. 1 seed and being undefeated, apart

Please see WSOCCER, page 6

knows it must take this season one game at a time. Until the final teams are chosen and the draw announced on Monday, nothing is certain, and even those that feel confident of a spot should be cautious of where they might get seeded. A total of 48 teams will be selected,and the top 16 of those given byes into the second round. Those in the first round will either get drawn to host a game,or will be sent out on the road. “There is a very good chance we’ll get in, but we can’t guarantee that,” said Simon,“ . . . so there’s still a lot to play for.” “We don’t even know if we’re playing on Thursday, on Sunday or at all,” he added. A win on Saturday might be vital for both sides.The game could seal the fate of the losing team,adding even more spice to this contest,if that’s possible. Though the last five games between these two teams might have been settled by 1-0 score-lines,this belies both the attacking and aggressive style of the two squads and the intense rivalry felt by both fans and players alike. “Everybody comes out very passionate and fired up,so it usually takes a while for the

CHRIS SEEWALD/The Stanford Daily

Please see ZIMMERMAN, page 6

Please see MSOCCER, page 7

Stanford women achieved their first ever undefeated regular season with their victory over UC-Irvine last weekend. Now, as No. 1 seed, they host No. 4 seed NAU in the first NCAA tournament game.


11/8 vs. UC Irvine W 12-5


Diving into tricky Trojan waters
By CLAUDIA LOPEZ Bright, sunny skies and a riveting water polo game are in store for this upcoming Saturday, when No. 1 USC men’s water polo hosts No. 3 Stanford on November 14th at the McDonald’s Swim Stadium in Los Angeles. Stanford had a fantastic weekend, returning to The Farm with two more wins under its belt. On November 7th, the Cardinal achieved an 11-6 victory against No. 8 Long Beach State. Stanford started the game with terrific play on both sides of the ball and ended the first period with a 3-2 lead. Senior driver Draco Wigo had a total of five scores, providing the Cardinal with the upper hand. Senior goalkeeper Jimmie Sandman had a total of seven impressive saves. However, the Cardinal did not stop there: Sophomore driver Ryan Kent, freshman driver Travis Noll, freshman driver Paul Rudolph, junior driver Alex Pullido, junior utility Jeffrey Schwimer and sophomore utility Peter Sefton each netted a shot of their own, contributing to the outstanding Stanford win, 11-6. On Sunday, Stanford continued its winning streak, earning another victory against No. 7 UC-Irvine. In the first three periods, the Cardinal outscored the Anteaters in a 12-5 victory.

UP NEXT USC (20-1, 6-0 MPSF)
11/14 Los Angeles, Calif. 11 A.M.
During the match, senior 2-m Ryan McCarthy smashed three scores into the net; sophomore driver Jacob Smith added an impressive three goals; Wigo and

Running to Regionals, beyond
BY ANARGHYA VARDHANA and JULIA BROWNELL The Stanford cross country teams are off to Eugene, Ore. for the NCAA West Regional Championships on Saturday. For the women,this meet is an important step in qualifying for nationals. After placing fourth in the Pac-10 Championships, the Cardinal women will once more face the teams that beat them at Pac-10’s: Washington, Oregon and Arizona State. However, this time, the women hope to paint a different picture,having regained some of their top runners. “This weekend we have a great opportunity to compete with the best in the country and qualify for nationals,” said freshman Kathy Kroeger. After very successful early season performances, Kroeger had to sit out at the Pac-10’s due to injury, along with teammate senior Kate Niehaus. On an individual level, Kroeger hopes to contribute greatly to the team at NCAA West Regionals and help the team place in the top three. Unfortunately, the entire season has been riddled with injuries for the women, preventing the team from fully displaying their excellence on the course. For the upcoming NCAA West Regionals, however, the whole team is back in action and looking forward to the opportunity to show the other teams their total capability. “I think we are going to ‘shock the world,’ as my coach puts it,” said junior Alex Gits.“We have some incredible girls coming back for the meet, and some equally amazing stars toeing the line yet again.” With the promise of returning runners, and those recovered from injuries, the Cardinal looks to exercise some vengeance on the other teams out on the course. “Our team is looking forward to putting forth a strong showing this Saturday,” Niehaus said. “While we have been a little less than lucky on the injury front, we are not letting this compromise our goals for the season.”

Please see MPOLO, page 6

W. FH seeks first tournament win

The No. 14 Stanford women’s field hockey team (17-4, 5-1 NorPac) has been enjoying its most successful season in school history, breaking one record after another with every win. Now, as the Cardinal travels to Princeton for the first round of the NCAA tournament, it is looking to set another precedent — its first tournament win in program history. Although this is Stanford’s ninth appearance, the Cardinal has a 0-8 all-time record in the NCAA tournament. Stanford received a spot in the bracket when it defeated Boston University in a play-in game on Tuesday in a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory. In a complete effort from both the offense and defense, the Cardinal bested the Terriers in the seventh minute of overtime when sophomore Stephanie Byrne scored the game-winning goal. Junior Xanthe Travlos and senior Rachel Mozenter also recorded goals for the Cardinal. Sophomore goalkeeper Alessandra Moss shined for

Stanford. Although the Cardinal was outshot in the first half, Moss held the Terrier offense to only one goal in the first thirty-five minutes. Her five saves on the match included two key stops during the overtime period. This win marks the fifth straight overtime victory for the Cardinal, a streak that dates back to 2008. The last overtime victory came back in September, when the then-unranked Cardinal upset No. 17 Iowa in Iowa City, a win that propelled Stanford into the national rankings for the rest of the season. The Cardinal is now matched up against No.4 Princeton in the first round. On the other side of the bracket awaits the winner of No.8 Syracuse and No.9 Boston College. The Tigers are not an unfamiliar foe for Stanford.The last time these two teams met was last year, when host Princeton defeated Stanford 8-2 in an NCAA play-in game. The Tigers are ranked No. 4 in the tournament, matching their No. 4 ranking in the national poll and RPI. Receiving an automatic bid into the tournament as champions of the Ivy League, the Tigers are making their fourteenth appearance in the NCAA tournament. But the Cardinal should not be intimidated by the Tiger’s resume, as Stanford is having its best season in school history. The Cardinal has a program best 17 wins.

RALPH NGUYEN/The Stanford Daily

No. 14 Stanford, who recently defeated BU to earn a spot in the NCAA bracket, travels to Princeton in hopes of achieving its first tournament win in program history.
The team recently defended its third consecutive NorPac title, and currently boasts the fourth best offense in the nation. This is the Cardinal’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2007, in which Stanford suffered a loss in the first round to North Carolina. Stanford takes on Princeton on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. PST. Contact Alissa Haber at

Please see XCOUNTRY, page 7

6 N Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Stanford Daily


Continued from page 5
polite request to avoid asking Simmons to sign your body parts.A sportswriter who has rules for interaction? Tight. I’d be lying if I said that we both hadn’t somewhat planned what we were going to do and/or say when we saw Bill. I was busy deciding which quip about the Magic beating the Celtics — Simmons is an obnoxiously huge Boston sports fan — I would dish out. Wyndam, in his dire attempt to be cute and stand out, decided to wear his Yankees shirt. The Yankees had just won — sorry, purchased — the World Series. Wyndam stood out, all right — along with the 255 other funny guys in A-Rod jerseys. The wait in line wasn’t terribly long. We had time to discuss things that we believed could get us escorted off by security. One unanimous winner was presenting Simmons with a tube of lipstick and asking him to passionately leave the print of his lips on the inner cover of the book.Ok,yeah,the wait in

JONATHAN YORK/Staff Photographer

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh comes to the Farm with an illustrious football resume under his sweatshirt and baseball hat. He has taken a struggling football team and turned them around, providing Cardinal fans with many victories, both easy and improbable, as well as a team they can be proud of this year.

I’d like to take this opportunity to profess my undying adoration for Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. As many of you remember, there once, from 2005-2006, was a coach by the name of Walt Harris. Coach Harris was a rigid disciplinarian who, in the words of the Associated Press, “clashed with some players,” and was fired after two short seasons in which the team went for a combined 6-17. So — and this is a gross understatement — Stanford and I welcomed the arrival of, well, any coach. Fortunately, any coach turned out to be Jim Harbaugh:the then-head coach of the University of San Diego, former Oakland Raiders offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach, and former Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers quarterback. At Division I-AA USD from 20042006, Harbaugh was 29-6 (.829), a record that included two 11-1 seasons and two Pioneer League conference titles. Nearly 20 years prior, Harbaugh had embarked on what would become an impressive NFL career. In 1987, the Chicago Bears drafted him in the first round. In 1990, Harbaugh was named starting quarterback,and led the Bears to their sixth NFC Central Championship in seven years. In the following season,Harbaugh’s Bears came in second in the NFC Central, while Harbaugh himself passed for a career-high 3,121 yards and rushed for a careerhigh 338 yards. In 1994, Harbaugh signed with the Indianapolis Colts. With Harbaugh at starting quarterback, the Colts improved from 4-12 to 8-8, placing them second in the AFC East but beyond the reach of a playoff game. The next

season, Harbaugh beat out Craig Erickson for the starting position, and it paid off: The Colts ended the season with a 9-7 record, landing them in the playoffs for the first time in eight years. After defeating the defending AFC champions, the San Diego Chargers, then the No. 1-seeded Kansas City Chiefs, the Colts fell to the No. 2-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers. Harbaugh, however, ended the season with a 100.7 passer rating, the NFL’s highest. Due to his contributions to the Indianapolis Colts’ program, Harbaugh was later inducted into their “Ring of Honor.” “Jim Harbaugh was a scrapper and never-say-die fighter who endeared himself to this city and franchise,” said Colts owner Jim Irsay at USCD. “He was a great ambassador of the horseshoe, on and off the field.” So we were excited about Jim Harbaugh. He had the toughness, smarts and competitive edge. And he won football games. The players felt it too. Last year, then-senior co-captain Alex Fletcher, who had played under former coaches Buddy Teevens and Walt Harris, reflected on his arrival. “Coach Harbaugh came in, and the first thing he gave us was hope,”Harris said. Then-senior Thaddeus Chase had similar sentiments.“The coaches came, and they changed everything. You push people in a different way,you give them goals, you tell them, you show them what they can accomplish, and you’ll change them for the better.” Beyond making players believe in their potential, Harbaugh shows it to them. He works hard, and works the team hard. He is always looking for ways to improve. “We’re not looking for pats on the back or compliments,” Harbaugh said at a press conference following the

Arizona State University win. “Tell us how we can improve,if you got an area that we can improve in, or a solution. Us seeing where we can improve and attacking that is our only focus and mentality.” He refused to call a bye week a bye week.“It’s an Improvement Week”. The enthusiasm lends itself well to Saturday nights, when Harbaugh’s competitiveness comes out in full force. He is a true competitor: He sees opportunities, and takes risks. Sometimes the play calls are questionable. Against Arizona, Stanford was up 3836 with 5:30 left on the clock, and at 4th and 1 on its own 8, Harbaugh opted for the pass to Chris Owusu in the endzone — not for Nate Whitaker and the easy field goal, not for Toby Gerhart and the first down. He wanted the touchdown. Owusu dropped the pass, Arizona got the ball on downs,the momentum and ultimately, the win. But it was also this rogue confidence, this Brett Favre-esque risk-taking, that secured the win over Oregon. Stanford was up 48-42 with just 0:15 to play, facing 4th and long just inside Ducks territory. To turn the ball over on downs would have been to give the fast-firing Ducks a shot at a touchdown, extra point and one-point win. Wake Forest again.Instead,Harbaugh sent out the Whitaker, who, despite missing a 44-yarder on the last possession, shot a 48-yarder straight through the outstretched yellow metal arms.A 52-41 win.A bowl berth. I will forever be enamored with Jim Harbaugh — his energy, enthusiasm, dedication, will, love of the game. I hope this profession doesn’t make things weird between us at press conferences. Contact Christina Nguyen at

line was way too long. When the turquoise brothers finally had their shot to hang out with their idol,Wyndam and I were unbelievably giddy.Bill told me the Magic would do well in the first 10 games and gave Wyndam a “Go Sox” in his signature. For the shockingly high level of celebrity status Simmons has attained over his career, it was surprising just how cool he actually was.Although we spent a combined 15 seconds with the guy, he shook our hands and appeared to be genuinely appreciative of our support. Here is a guy who writes humorous,free flowing sports columns in return for what is most likely a sevenfigure salary.He has garnered an enormous following of people who would give up their first-born child to be in his shoes. All this got me wondering:does Bill Simmons have the best job on the planet? In a short response:Yes. In my very limited experience in thinking about careers, Simmons’ occupation is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. It is every sports fan’s dream to be able to comically analyze not only the players on the field, but the people, places and events they encounter. I would, quite

frankly,do this for the mere amount of money that it would take for me to sustain a healthy life. But even more so, I can’t imagine a better feeling in the world than witnessing a diverse group of individuals connecting, joyfully, over pieces of writing that I created. What Simmons and the rest of our favorite writers do has an immeasurable positive impact. Sports writers are far too often criticized for their lack of meaningful contribution to the world. It’s a tough occupation to defend on that level, but it brings us right back to the age-old arguments regarding the benefits of sports. We watch, discuss and write about sports because they make us happy — it’s that simple. I honestly can’t imagine how my life would be without sports and quite frankly, I don’t want to. I for one am fully supportive of Bill Simmons and all other columnists that discuss sports with us for a living. Even if that places me in the same category as the Spock groupies. Zach Zimmerman already gave up his first-born child to see the Magic play in the NBA Finals. Find out what that got him at


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Rudolph each skipped in two scores; Noll and Pulido each snuck in a single goal, helping Stanford win its eighth game in a row, and giving fans confidence that this weekend the Cardinal will win its ninth straight game. This Saturday, Stanford will go head to head with No. 1 USC, who comes off a close win over No. 4 UCLA. USC trailed 6-5 going into the fourth quarter, but pulled ahead and defended its nearly flawless record. So far, USC is 20-1 overall and has an MPSF record of 6-0, almost mirroring Stanford’s record 19-1, 6-0 in MPSF. Last year, the Trojans stole the game from the Cardinal at the Avery Aquatic Center, making USC the NCAA champions with a 7-5 win. This year, Stanford hopes to smear the current Trojan winning streak and earn revenge in one fell swoop. “I would really like to beat them,” freshman driver Paul Rudolph said. “I think we just need to keep playing good defense.” If Stanford wins this match, they will have a perfect MPSF record thus far and be unstoppable. “I think that will give us some confidence going into the later part of the season and it will confirm the fact that we can beat any team in the nation,” said senior goalkeeper Jimmie Sandman. This year, the Cardinal’s main

goal seems not to be redemption from last year, but the loftier dream of becoming the best in the nation. “We want to be conference champions,” Sandman said. “We want to win out the season and the place where we start is winning against USC this Saturday.” In order to win this weekend, the Cardinal needs to make sure that the recent wins don’t make them overly confident. “We need to make sure we are stepping things up and are ready for a more intense battle,” Sandman said. USC’s J.W. Krumpholz earned a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. At 21 years old, he is the youngest member of the team. Yet this impressive resume does not seem to have the Cardinal men’s water polo team too worried. If the Cardinal can keep up the intense offense and impressive defense that it has demonstrated throughout its undefeated 6-0 MPSF sesason, Cardinal fans can expect a win this weekend. No. 1 USC presents a very difficult challenge for Stanford, but if the Cardinal returns to the Bay with another win, the team is sure it will only continue adding to the long line of victories. “We have a good shot at national title,” Sandman said. The men’s water polo game will be held at the McDonald’s Swim Stadium in Los Angeles at 11:00 a.m. Contact Claudia Lopez at cllopez@

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from the pressure that already exists in a playoff setting. “Whenever you get to the playoffs, you feel a little more pressure, because if you win, you go on, and if you lose you go home,” Ratcliffe said.“Every team that plays has that pressure. I don’t think there’s any added pressure for us, I think we just gotta play with confidence and get after it and try to keep our season going as long as we can.” If this year’s Cardinal can withstand the pressure, it certainly has more than enough talent to win the school’s first national title. And not only that, but as Ratlciffe always stresses, the talent is all coming together at the perfect time of the season. “I think the team is getting better and better with each game . . . I think we’re peaking at the right time,” he said. “Individual players are getting better, especially the freshmen, but all the players are getting better throughout the season. Given what this Stanford team has already accomplished, that’s a scary thought for the other 63 teams still playing. Tonight’s match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s match — also at Cagan Stadium — will kick off at 1 p.m. Contact Sam Svoboda at ssvoboda@


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ly upped the advertisements for the different counseling . . . different kinds of hotlines, through announcements, through the Web site. It’s kind of community-wide . . . showing people resources that they can reach out to, because they can’t physically reach out to every student.” Gunn created memorials after the first two deaths, but decided against commemorating the third and fourth deaths in order to avoid glorifying or romanticizing the act of suicide. Talbott felt conflicted about Gunn’s lack of acknowledgment of the deaths. “I remember feeling really frustrated at graduation when we didn’t even have a moment of silence or anything,” Talbott said. “I mean, the second suicide was a week before she was going to graduate. It’s so frustrating because I’m the kind of person who wanted them to be recognized. It was a struggle for me to accept that that was the right thing to do.” Many of the students made their own gestures to recognize the senior who took her life about a week before graduation. “She did costume design; she was amazing,” Alcazar said. “She always carried around a safety pin or two. A lot of us made a faux tassel of safety pins. We wanted [her] to be there somehow.” Farhat thinks the problem of suicide can be partially attributed to society’s lack of understanding that mental illness is a prevalent and significant issue. “I never really believed in the whole depression thing,” Farhat said. “It was a hard thing for me to believe in. I just found different excuses for everything.” The Gunn tragedy has made the community more aware that mental health needs more attention. “I think suicide has become much more real to people now,” Talbott said. “I think it’s a stigma that people are trying to eliminate, that the school is trying to eliminate. “Suicide is making people realize

that depression is not rare,” Talbott added. Students say the deaths have affected their everyday perspectives and habits. “Whenever I approach a train track, subconsciously I’ll be looking down, and all of the sudden my body will get goose bumps or something,” Farhat said. “Something will go weird and I’ll look up and recognize that I’m next to train tracks. I know I don’t drive on the East Meadow Alma intersection anymore.” The recent deaths have demonstrated how difficult it can be to recognize when others desperately need help. “Maya [Talbott] and I really struggled with the idea that we’re walking around campus, looking around, and you don’t know who is thinking, ‘I don’t want to be here tomorrow,’” Farhat said. “Now, wherever I’m going, if I just see someone, I’ll give them a smile, because it’s true: a single smile can brighten someone’s day.” Levine expressed this concern with specific reference to the second death. “On the surface, there was no sign that she was at risk,” he said. “That’s troubling for a lot of reasons, if someone can be that internally damaged and not show it at all.” Although the community is without a definitive explanation for the suicides, students believe some of the pressure likely comes from academic expectations. “One of them occurred during APs [advanced placement exams],” Farhat said. “I don’t know if they just couldn’t take it anymore. Growing up here, it’s a stressful environment. You’re right next to Stanford. You’re in Silicon Valley.” The recent Gunn grads attested that healing is on its way in the Palo Alto area, but that it will be a gradual and complex process. “People seem to cope by reminding themselves of how much they liked that person and of the good qualities of that person,” Levine said. “You see a lot of memorials where people bring objects that the person made or gave to them, or a photo of them. It’s almost like by doing this they’re reminding themselves that this person still exists in

some form, somewhere. I think that’s the first stage that people are going through.” Many students have found writing to be a beneficial therapeutic outlet. “Writing is definitely a big help,” Alcazar said. “I wrote something at one of the spoken word writing workshops.” Alcazar added that she also wrote to the first student, who was her next-door neighbor, a week or two after he took his life. “I texted him a letter on my phone,” she said. “I’ve never written a letter to a deceased person, but writing the letter was very helpful to me in dealing with it.” On campus, the Stanford freshmen have been helping each other

cope with the deaths. “A group of four of us just had dinner here at Stern Hall,” Talbott said. “Instead of crying about it or being depressed about it, we ended up only talking about it after. It was really just a time to be together and reminisce and laugh and know how much we had in our lives. For me, it has been knowing the times to talk about it, knowing the times to be sad about it, and knowing when to move on with your life.” Many current Gunn students who were close to the victims have felt the need to take time off from school, according to Talbott. “[School] has been a reminder for them,” she said. “It’s a place where there are too many faces to meet, too many hugs to meet, too many and can look after the students and help them through, whereas the Summit model does that. The Summit model also uses differentiated instruction, so they’re quite attentive to the different learning styles that the students have. It’s important to say that many of these pieces are picked up and used in parts of the district, but Summit has brought them together in a really exciting way that effectively serves the students that are there. Summit also has a 97 percent graduation rate, which is measured by the number of students that enter freshman year, not just senior year. What I found on the campaign trail in talking to people, the most common message I picked up was that members of the district wanted to get beyond the fight and move to collaboration and a better relationship between the charter schools and the district. I’m very sympathetic to that, even though I did speak out for the Everest Charter and am a strong supporter of the work being done at Summit and Everest. I also hope that, as a board member, I can engender a good working relationship between the charter schools and the district. TSD: What are your budget priorities, and in terms of what you just talked about, bringing together all the information? CT:That’s how to organize all the

smiles to meet.” Talbott said high schools should approach the topic of teen depression in line with other diseases. “It’s a reality, like any other disease. I think that’s what schools really need to get across — that it’s like any other disease: a mental disease, or a physical disease . . . anything that affects the brain at all,” she said. “It should be treated like that.” The Gunn alums are also employing different positive strategies to help look out for their friends and be more aware of the emotional well-being of others. “I’m more careful with my friends,” Alcazar noted. “And when I ask them how they’re doing, I actually listen. It’s social convention, asking someone how they’re doing, information, and what I’d argue is that it’s hard to make the decisions you’re talking about, until you can see the data in ways that are going to help you with that. The other challenge with the district budget at this time is that most of it is in personnel costs — I think 84 or 85 percent of it is in salary and benefits. Most of it is union-based, and so negotiating union contracts [is] really important. TSD: Do you have any other goals for your time as a board member? CT:The key goals are boosting graduation rates, reducing drop-out rates and preparing more students for college. There is a debate about preparing students for college: Should it be the goal of every school district to prepare all students for college? And quite frankly, I think that’s what it should be. TSD: Do you ever feel that in trying to endorse this “every student goes college” policy, that some students fall through the cracks? For example, there might be more elite students, and because you’re trying to address a more general population, some students might not get the counseling that they need. CT:It’s a great question, and to me, it’s the key question here. What I’d argue is that if you don’t set that as a goal — you want as many people as possible to aspire for that — then

but not actually wanting to know. So I’ve become more careful about actually meaning what I say.” Farhat says she looks out for the classmates in her dorm, and she can often tell by someone’s body language if he or she is having a rough day. “Depression should not be a taboo subject,” Farhat said. “I think that it should be open to talk about.” Alcazar said the events have also led her to a new outlook. “I’ve started believing in happy endings,” she said. “I believe that there’s always a happy ending. And if it’s not happy, then it’s not yet the ending.” Contact Kathleen Chaykowski at you lose even more. But also in setting a goal, it puts pressure on us to make sure we have the resources to help everybody to reach their potential. You want to make sure that you’re a gateway rather than a gatekeeper. The role of the school district is to open up the opportunities and not to limit the opportunities, and I’m concerned about the limiting of opportunities. We should be aspiring for college education for everyone and commit resources to do our best to get people there. TSD: When will you be sworn in, and when is your first meeting as a board member? CT:Dec. 16 for both. For me, charters are agents of change. I worked for the Obama campaign, and I’m really excited about that, to see his commitment to education. The amount of money Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, is putting into education is larger than ever before, and yet they’re issuing some requirements to get the funding. The funding is in the tens of billions of dollars, but the amount gets smaller once you get down to the district level. The bigger impact is the changes they are requiring in conjunction with that, which I’m really excited about. Contact Jane LePham at jlepham@

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and making sure we make smart decisions based upon that data. I’m at the center of a center that focuses on the use of data to support smart policy decisions. TSD: Why have you spoken in such favor of Everest High School becoming chartered? And what criticism do you have for the district’s opposition against this charter? CT:Everest is basically a duplication of the model for Summit Prep — it’s patterned after Summit. One of our boys has been in Summit Prep, and I’ve seen extraordinary results from Summit. When you apply for a charter, essentially you’re describing what the educational program is going to be and how you’re going to build the school. The charter for Everest is based upon Summit, and Summit has been very successful. The other thing we see is that there’s demand within the district for more schools like Summit. The pieces of that include the benefits that small schools have, including very attentive counseling. One of the problems that I think our larger schools struggle with is the fact that there isn’t a teacher or a counselor who’s closely connected to the kids

The Stanford Daily

Thursday, November 12, 2009 N 7
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The results of this weekend will determine the teams that compete at the NCAA National Championships.“We’re excited to run tough this weekend and win a berth to nationals,” asserted Niehaus. According to the NCAA cross country handbook, the first two finishers in the meet automatically advance. The NCAA then selects 13 more teams based on performance throughout the season. Since they normally consider the 3rd and 4th place finishers at Regionals, it’s very important for the women’s team to have a better showing at this meet than at Pac-10’s to ensure that they qualify. For the No. 1 ranked men, however, the stakes are not so high. Just two weeks ago, the men won the Pac-10 championships against many of the other competitive teams who will run against them again this Saturday. Encouraged by their previous dominance, the team is treating the meet more like a practice 10K before the national meet on November 23rd in Terre Haute, Ind. “[Regional’s] is pretty much just a really good opportunity to prepare for nationals by running a 10K,” head coach Jason Dunn said. Since other Pac-10 competitors will make up a large portion of the

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MASARU OKA/Staff Photographer

Men’s and women’s cross country travel to the NCAA Regionals on Saturday. No. 1 men look forward to repeat victories, while victory is vital for the women’s hopes for Nationals.
field, there is no reason to believe the men won’t have an equally strong performance this weekend. It is essentially a foregone conclusion that the team will be heading to the national meet, and they look to be one of the top competitors for the title. The men’s team has not been

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struck by injuries yet this season, and this good fortune that has helped their standout performances at pre-nationals and Pac-10’s. However, Coach Dunn hinted that one runner may be sitting out from Regionals due to injuries. “One guy is a little banged up, we may not run him this weekend and wait for nationals,” Dunn said. However, the injury doesn’t look to be a problem for the team placing and heading to Indiana with the strength they’ve shown all season. “I don’t expect [us] to miss a beat,” Dunn said. “That’s the nice thing about depth. Any of these eight or nine guys can score.” The men have their eyes on a bigger prize than this weekend — the national title. Ranked number one in the nation, they look to have a strong chance to claim it. The Cardinal has not been shy about saying it’s been their goal all season. “We’re a very young team, and we all came here to try to win a national championship together. We want to get that started now,” sophomore and lead runner Chris Derrick said in an earlier interview this year. If they do indeed qualify at this meet, both men’s and women’s teams will head to Terra Haute, Ind. for the NCAA national championship meet on November 23rd. Contact Julia Brownell at and Anarghya Vardhana at

Continued from page 5
game to actually settle down,” Morgan said.“It’s gonna be hard fought.” “I wouldn’t expect that one team will run away with the game,” Simon said. “Both teams know each other very well, so I guess it’s not surprising that the games are tight . . . I hope it will be a skillful, fast-paced game that will be enjoyable for the crowd, enjoyable for the players, because that’s typically how our games are.” Saturday will also be senior day, marking perhaps the last home game for four members of the team: Michael Strickland, Evan Morgan, T.J. Novak and John Moore.

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“This group will be difficult to replace, they’ve had a big influence on the game by their talents, and more than anything by their leadership,” Simon said of the seniors. “They’re a very good group, very confident group, very hard working group and they set the tone for what we do, so there’ll be a big gap there to fill.” Before that happens, however — before the players go their separate ways and the team starts the long process of rebuilding in January — they still have some unfinished business. “We have the talent, and I think its ultimately kind of up to us to live up to our expectation of making it to the finals,” Morgan said, “but we definitely have enough talent and potential.” The road to that final game,the Col-

lege Cup, in Cary, N.C., will be a tough one. Maybe, just maybe, it will start with a win at Cagan Stadium this Saturday. Contact Tom Taylor at

8 N Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Stanford Daily

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Description: Print edition of The Stanford Daily, published Nov. 12, 2009