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Center: Nisarah Lewis, FCLC'15. (Gerry Goodstein/Fordham Theatre Program)

By LOULOU CHRYSSIDES
Asst. Arts & Culture Co-Editor
Published: April 8, 2015

In a generation of temporary trends and ever-changing technology, Greek mythology has managed to remain relevant throughout the world. More so, actors portraying these Ancient Greek roles still find its history very rich and relatable today. From April 8-10, and again from April 16-18, actors will tell the classic Ancient Greek myth, “Agamemnon”  by Aeschylus in Pope Auditorium at Fordham Lincoln Center at 8 p.m.

The story of Agamemnon has become one of the most enduring tales stemming from Ancient Greek mythology. In the play “Agamemnon,” the aforementioned character returns home from the Trojan War. At the same time, his wife, Clytemnestra, is planning to murder Agamemnon; she believes that Agamemnon murdered their daughter, Iphigeneia, as well as had an affair with his cousin, Aegisthus, who is plotting to take Agamemnon’s throne once he dies.

For actors Zachary Hodges, FCLC ’15, and Nisarah Lewis, FCLC ’15, the challenge of playing these intense characters has been fulfilling. Hodges refers to his part in the production as “unique.”  He plays two roles: a watchman on the roof who awaits the sign that Agamemnon and his troops have captured the city of Troy, as well as Aegisthus, Clytemnestra’s long-term lover who wants Agamemnon dead in order to take what he feels is his right to be king.

(Gerry Goodstein/Fordham Theatre Program)
Daniel Duran, FCLC’17. (Gerry Goodstein/Fordham Theatre Program)

Hodges said, “Because of ancient feuds, Thyestes and Aegisthus have been exiled from their rightful place in the throne of the kingdom. Now that Agamemnon has been sent away in war, now is the perfect time for my character to come back and rightfully claim what was ours to begin with.”

“[This play] exists in a completely different realm than something that is contemporary or casual…these plays were originally performed for the Gods, so everything is on an ultra-heightened plan. It was and is an offering for another level of being than just the audience. So, finding ways to approach this story with that kind of sense and that kind of gravitas while also making it applicable and relevant to our modern audiences has been something that we’ve been working with,”  Hodges said.

Lewis, who plays Clytemnestra, credited the cultural, as well as generational differences between the era in which the play took place and now as one of the biggest challenges.

“Tackling the language as far as knowing the world we are in.  In the beginning process of our rehearsals we spent a lot of time going through the script, line by line, and just knowing who are these references.  [For example] Who is Heracles, or, who is Thyestes? We spent a lot of time doing that, and it was great.  It took a lot of time, but it served as a really great foundation for keeping us engaged in the play,” Lewis said.

“Something that I think is really fascinating about the play is that any of the characters can be rightly justified, and it just depends on what side of history you’re looking from.  I guess that’s with any great story of history, but really, every character in their own right is justified in their actions.  There are different teams of thought that exist in this play, which is really cool,” Hodges said.

Fordham Theatre program closes the curtain on “A Season of Imagining Post-War” with this classic Greek masterpiece, “Agamemnon” by Aeschylus.

New Yorkers attend the Brooklyn Flea Market. (Photo Courtesy of Pedro Cambra via Flickr)

 

By KAYLA OGLE
Contributing Writer
Published: March 13, 2015

WEEKEND OF MARCH 14-15| 2015 

The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: spring! Though this weekend is Spring Break, and many may be going to warmer climates, are you wondering what you can do if you’re staying in NY? Fordham Friday Finds is here to help give you a few ideas to embrace this warm weather!

 

Get Some Spring Shopping Done: Springtime is one of the best times to go to Flea Markets to do some shopping, and The Brooklyn Flea Market is a great place to do that. The Fort Greene Market doesn’t officially open until April, but it will be open this Saturday, March 14, at 10 a.m. With over 150 vendors, there’s something for everyone at the market.

Located on 176 Lafayette Ave., take the A or C train to get there.

 

See The Influence Behind “Mad Men”: Are you one of the people that’s upset about “Mad Men” airing it’s last season? Starting this Saturday at the Museum of Moving Pictures you can see Don Draper’s office, costumes and more from the show. And free with museum admission, you can also see “‘Mad Men’s’ Film Influences” at the end of the exhibit. The final season won’t be so upsetting with an ending like this one.

$9 with a valid ID, museum located at 36-01 35 Ave. Astoria, NY 11106. Can take the NQR or the B or D.

 

Celebrate St. Paddy’s A Little Early:Next Tuesday is St. Paddy’s Day, a day for corned beef and whiskey. Go to one of the infamous Irish Pubs in NYC, An Béal Bocht, which in Gaelic means “the poor mouth.” This small pub in the Bronx might be a bit of a trek, but traditional Irish food and beer for cheap prices, it’s worth the subway fare. For more Irish restaurants a little closer to your neighborhood, check out Time Out New York’s article.

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/bars/the-best-irish-pubs?cid=TOL|DD|EM|||2015-03-11T19:53:34

 

Veggies Galore: Ever thought about going vegetarian? Well, experience different vegetarian food from NY vendors at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival this weekend! Saturday passes are all sold out, but for $30 on Sunday you can experience all the fresh vegetables that you can enjoy. Start out spring on a healthy foot!

Located at The Metropolitan Pavilion 125 W. 18th St. From 11 a.m. til 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets: https://2015nycvegfoodfest.chirrpy.com/

 

Dumplings on Dumplings: Let’s face it: we’re college students, so we’re pretty broke. Cheap options for good, delicious food is always something that we have to be on the lookout for. Look no further than Vanessa’s Dumpling House. With 3 locations throughout the city, you have your choice of different convenient locations. With almost every single item on the menu being below $10, this is about as cheap as it can get.

For locations, go to http://vanessas.com/
The cold that some thought would never end seems to have come to an end. So whether you’re staying in the city for Spring Break or going to some exotic location this break, stay safe and have fun!

Matthew Gelbart, chair of the department of art history & music, looks forward to new music initiative. (Michelle QuinnThe Observer)

By SRI STEWART
Contributing Writer
Published: March 11, 2015

Beginning last fall, the sound coming from a musician’s strings only got richer at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). Thanks to a recently formed partnership between Fordham and the Rockley Family Foundation, Fordham’s music department received a violin, a cello and new pianos. In return for these instruments, Fordham will host an instrument sale to the general public in McMahon Hall from March 19-21.   

Fordham’s partnership with the Rockley Family Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that promotes musical education, began when the foundation got in touch with Daniel Ott, assistant professor of the music department, who is now on leave for a faculty fellowship. 

According to Rev. Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC,  the foundation had to go through the legal office, Provost office and the administrator’s council to receive the green light to sign the agreement. 

“[In the agreement] the Rockley Family Foundation would provide free pianos to the institution; in return we would host a sale of musical instruments for three days at which the instruments they had given us would be sold and replaced with new pianos for next year,” Grimes said. In addition, the foundation “outright gifts” other instruments; this was how Fordham’s music department received the cello and violin for the chamber orchestra.

While the sale will go on to profit the Rockley Family Foundation, Fordham’s music department will also gain some benefits as well. Grimes explained that, depending on how much the sale makes, the foundation will gift additional instruments and possible scholarship money to Fordham’s music students. The sound quality of the instruments would be an improvement for students, which in return equips them with better quality resources to further their musical education.

For the sale, Frank & Camilles, a well-known instrument dealer from the New York metropolitan area, will be stocking the instruments. The instruments, ranging from everything to pianos and guitars, are fairly new and tuned, with most of them being less than a year old. Prices of each of the instruments will vary, depending on the instrument’s brand and size.

Although some students noticed a change in instruments, they also agreed that the quality of instruments could still be improved in the music department. Andrew Abbensett, FCLC ’16, a music major, said the instruments may be better, but the quality still needs to be improved. “The piano in [Lowenstein] 523 is always out of tune; but when it’s tuned, it’s great,” Abbensett said. 

According to Christina Vilar, FCLC ’17,  the quality of instruments still needs more work, but she says there has been improvement. “I think as a department on the whole, we’re really growing. I noticed an improvement,” she said. 

Vilar noted that in Ott’s composition class last semester, she needed a piano in order to compose her work; by this time, a new piano was in place. Although the new piano still had some problems, she found it much easier to compose with its new sound. 

“Before the switch in the new pianos, it was really hard to get the sound that I wanted in the old ones, but now there’s a big improvement in the sound and the quality … People are definitely noticing the music department is picking up speed,” Vilar said. 

According to Matthew Gelbart, associate professor and chair of the department of art history and music, the partnership with the foundation will help the music department move forward. 

Gelbart said,  “This will give us a better idea of what kinds of pianos are reliable … We were offered to get pianos and hope for success to go forward and anticipate how to have them kept up and in tune.” 

Grimes has pondered how to improve the music department in an effective way that is also inexpensive. He believes the Rockley Family Foundation was the right choice, especially since he received positive reports from other colleges that have worked with the foundation and found success. He said, “We are always looking for ways to improve but at the same not to raise your tuition.” 

IT assured College Council that it has systems in place to cope with the increased logins. (Michelle Quinn/The Observer)

By CONNOR MANNION
Assistant News Co-Editor
Published: February 26, 2015

On Thursday, Feb. 12, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) College Council met to discuss multiple topics, including the approved motion for simultaneous registration between FCLC and Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH). Registration will tentatively begin for both campuses on March 23, the day classes resume following spring break, according to Rev. Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC.

Robert Moniot, associate dean of FCLC, said “IT has prepared for the possibility of 2400 simultaneous logins … the main issue has been, according to IT, that students are logging in multiple times on different computers and laptops.”

Grimes acknowledged the difficulty of having students comply with being asked to not register early. “We asked students not to register for classes [at Rose Hill] when they weren’t allowed to, but they went and registered anyway.”

Gwenyth Jackaway, associate chair of the communication and media studies program at FCLC, raised a concern among her faculty “that academic advising would be taking place during midterms … this seems like it would be really stressful.” Grimes agreed, and while “midterms have not been officially rescheduled, you can ‘play it by ear’ and use discretion in scheduling exams,” he said. “But grades are necessary for advising purposes.”

For rising seniors, registration dates have been split into two days. Seniors with 83 or more credits will be able to register on March 23, while seniors with 60 or more credits may register the following day. These dates and credits are subject to change.

Other topics included a poor response rate for the electronic Summary of the Students’ Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQs). “For some of the more popular majors, the response rate is hovering around 50 percent, which is nothing to champion,” Grimes said.

“Past SEEQs results are available online for students, however I’m not sure where,” Grimes continued.

Jackaway agreed, she said “I wasn’t even aware they are available online for students to look at.”

Past SEEQs results are available online, through the MyFiles feature of my.fordham.edu. However, there has not been any recent attempt to publicize this, as there has been in the past.

Leighton Magoon, FCLC ’17 and treasurer of United Student Government (USG), asked “Maybe professors or the administration could email us a link to past SEEQs … it probably be a little better than RateMyProfessor if it’s publicized enough.”

The final major order of business was a proposal from Dean Grimes on the future of First Year Experience (FYE) and how it may be restructured completely in the next few years.

“The idea would be that Eloquentia Perfecta I [EP1] would be separated entirely from freshman academic advising … and that freshman advising itself would become a one credit class.”

FYE’s restructuring comes from the introduction of McKeon Residence Hall to FCLC. “McKeon was designed to solve the problems of resident students hiding in the ‘fortress’ of McMahon,” Grimes said. “As a result, the integration of freshman commuters and residents is not a much of a problem anymore, and [FYE] is designed to fix an issue that isn’t really there, because of McKeon.”

IT assured College Council that it has systems in place to cope with the increased logins. (Michelle Quinn/The Observer)

By JENNY MCNARY
Layout Editor
Published: February 26, 2015

On Thursday, Feb. 12, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) College Council announced that all Fordham undergraduates will be registering simultaneously for fall 2015, which tentatively begin on March 23. The last time both campuses registered was for Fall 2014, when the My.Fordham site crashed. 

This year, Fordham’s Information Technology (IT) team is more confident that it can handle the increase of student logins. “There are going to be two different places for you to log on to register. Two different places will reduce this bottleneck,” Elizabeth Cornell, IT communications specialist, said. 

Other precautions were taken in order to ensure that the site will not crash this time around. “They have in fact hired an outside firm that does load testing for systems, they simulate the demand on the servers from the sorts of things that would happen during registration,” Robert Moniot, associate dean of FCLC, stated. “They came up with a number for how many simultaneous actions that the server could handle.” This testing will ensure that the servers will be able to handle the increased number of students this year registering at the same time. 

Last year, the number of students was accounted for, but IT did not anticipate that students would be logging in on multiple devices. Students logged onto multiple devices so when one of their devices, “did not give them a quick response they would go to the other one,” according to Moniot. “By doing this, they basically tripled the numbers of requests … IT wasn’t prepared for triple the load.” IT has now accommodated the system to handle this many students, but Moniot urges students not to log in to more than one device. “You have to understand that by doing that you are adding to the load on the system and increasing the odds that it will break down for registration.” 

This procedure will be a great improvement to last year’s spur of the moment decision to have some of the deans register students through their own banner that did not crash along with the students. This was started by Rev. Vincent DeCola, S.J., who was then dean of freshmen but is now the dean of Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC). Other deans were soon to help once the students were lined down the hall. 

To accommodate the increase of students registering at the same time, “there is going to be a breakdown of credits,” Moniot explained. The deans have not yet decided on an official number of the credit separation, but there will be two groups of students for each class grouping of credits that will registering on two different days. 

IT and Moniot are confident that no problems will occur. If any problems do occur, IT “will be watching closely for problems so we can respond quickly if anything goes wrong, however we don’t anticipate any problems,” Cornell assured.

The official procedure for a site crash during registration has still not been agreed upon. If there is a serious system failure, Moniot wants to cancel registration for the day and have registration postponed for that particular class until the next day. Moniot stated, “Then Fordham IT will get on the job and get it fix[ed], so that they will be ready to open up the gates for the next day.”

Simultaneous registration is helping bring the two campuses together, which has been a goal of the University since its restructuring. “We were all told one university, two campuses, one department …” Gwyneth Jackaway, associate chair of the communication and media studies program at FCLC said, “so it seems that our registration policies should reflect that vision.” When people apply to Fordham University, they are told that they will be able to apply to classes at both campuses. Simultaneous registration will allow an equality between the campuses for courses.

There are mixed feelings about this form of registration as students are skeptical of whether or not IT can pull through. “There’s really no point for simultaneous registration considering how it turned out last year,” Brianna Rivera, FCLC ’17. “They should know that it is just going to be another headache for them,” she said. Other students have more confidence in Fordham IT. “I think that if Fordham is prepared to handle simultaneous registration, I have confidence in their ability to handle it,” Jonathan Olmez, FCLC ’17, said. “I just hope what happened last year doesn’t happen again.” Both Olmez and Rivera had to wait in line at the deans office last year, and are wary about Fordham IT pulling through.

“Last time they tried this the computer system crashed so everyone is going to be holding their breath, and see if that doesn’t happen this time,” Jackaway said. 

Moniot urges students to check their email as registration tentatively begins March 23. 

Take time for power naps! They’ll keep you healthy and energized. (Paula Madero/The Observer)

By MARTIN NUNEZ-BONILLA
Staff Writer
Published: February 26, 2015

At Fordham and other colleges around the United States, students aren’t sleeping enough. According to a study conducted by Brown University, 73 percent of the college students surveyed admitted to having trouble with sleep. On average, according to the University of Georgia health center, college students get six hours of sleep, which is less than the Center For Disease Control and Prevention recommended seven to eight hours. Schools like New York University and the University of Georgia highlight lack of sleep as an issue that needs to be talked about, and have whole pages dedicated to the education of students in regards to developing better sleeping habits, as well how sleep affects the student.

James Madison University (JMU) in Virginia has also hailed the rest of students as a priority; what did they do? They created the Nap Nook. The Nap Nook is a term coined by JMU in order to refer to a place on campus that has been created specifically for students to catch up on sleep. According to the JMU Nap Nook website, “ … the Nap Nook provides students a place to ‘recharge their batteries’ in a healthy manner. Along with walk-ins, students have the unique option to reserve a bean bag in advance for a forty minute nap.”  JMU has created the first ever “designated student napping center in a university setting.” Should Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) follow in JMU’s footsteps?

“Yes! It would be so helpful for commuters,” Jennifer Georges, FCLC ’17, said when asked about the idea of a Nap Nook at Fordham. Other students similarly responded with a resounding “Yes” when asked about the Nap Nook idea, but there are people at Fordham who disagree. “Nap nooks would not be useful at Fordham [Lincoln Center] … they would most likely not even be used for napping. Plus, they are really unsanitary and if anything, the school should invest in toilet seat covers.” Rachel Yan, FCLC ’18, said.

 “As a commuter student, I am often on campus all day, sometimes with a four or five-hour gap between classes. Residents have the opportunity to go back to their dorms and nap if they want, but commuters are stuck in the caf or one of the lounges. I think sometimes it would be helpful to have a place to take a quick nap, especially when I have a lot of time to kill and don’t have work to do,” Christina Napolitano, FCLC ’18, said. 

Paula Castillo, FCLC ’15, weighed in, “In my experience, I’ve had times where I was studying or doing an assignment but it was taking longer than I estimated therefore had to stay at school. Sometimes taking a nap in the tiny library chairs were a better option than taking the MTA home at midnight when all the lines are under construction and your commute takes twice as long as it regularly does. There are also moments when students have long breaks in between classes and a taking a nap wouldn’t hurt them.

By MEREDITH SUMMERS
Literary Co-Editor & Copy Editor
Published: February 11, 2015

Hello, my name is Meredith Summers and I have a Type A personality. There. I said it. I have been trying to pretend for my whole life that I’m Type B, but I just can’t hide it anymore.

Being a Type A person, I am all about maps. When I go somewhere I like to know exactly where I’m going and precisely how I am going to get there. For example, this past weekend I went to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn (yes, I’m also the type of person who goes sightseeing in cemeteries but that’s a discussion for another time).  Naturally, I did some research before I went and I was assured by the cemetery’s website that I would be able to find a map at any of the entrances.

Unfortunately, when I arrived, I could not find a map anywhere.  Additionally, I couldn’t find anyone to ask about finding a map. So of course I panicked. The cemetery is almost 450 acres–how was I supposed to find any of the graves of the cemetery’s famous residents without my trusty map? I contemplated just leaving but after the 45 minute subway ride I felt like I had to see something.

I started walking around (aimlessly) and noticed that from certain points in the cemetery there are great views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and perhaps most importantly, the Red Hook Ikea.  I walked around for a few hours and I never found any dead famous people, but I did learn something.

Yes, kids, the saccharine sweet moral to this story is that I learned that I don’t always need a map.  I missed out on the graves of some of the world’s greatest innovators, but I still had a good time just walking around and taking it all in.

In the next few months, I will graduate from Fordham and thereby end my formal education (at least for now) and have to find my own place to live.  I don’t know where I’m supposed to go or what I’m supposed to do and in that sense I am now without a map.  And maybe that isn’t a such bad thing after all.

By STAFF
Published: February 11, 2015

Seven Fordham faculty members have come together to demand that Fordham revoke CIA Director’s John Brennan’s honorary degree, which was conferred in 2012. It was unfortunate that the honor was bestowed upon him then; now, in light of the recent report on torture released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is downright unacceptable.

There’s a clear line between interrogation and torture. While the CIA’s job is to collect information in order protect the United States, waterboarding detainees to death or depriving them of sleep, food and clothing do nothing except pile on human rights violations for the U.S.

Regardless of how terrible criminals are and how heinous their deeds are, no one deserves to be tortured to death for information. By glorifying those involved in orchestrating extreme torture tactics, we are enabling this form of violence to continue.

We, as citizens of the United States, cannot stand for torture.

We, as members of the Fordham community, cannot legitimize torture.

As a Jesuit institution, Fordham emphasizes cura personalis; a stance that promotes benevolence towards others and an effort towards the betterment of our community. And yes, our nation, continent, and planet are all forms of communities. But what if our own University fails to adhere to its own mission statement?

This is the risk we run if we allow such behavior to continue while we sit in silence. There is a point where the scrupulous turns into the unscrupulous, and oftentimes, there is no returning once that point is reached. True, these kinds of tactics are used in large part by the more barbaric and violent forms of humanity out in the world, but replicating such tactics to obtain the results we want is not how we display our moral superiority to the international community.

Fordham works so hard to instill a deep fire within the hearts of all its students to burn for social justice. How, then, can Fordham as an institution stand up and tell its students, “Go forth and set the world on fire,” when they are turning a blind eye on accepting, tolerating and legitimizing an injustice as severe as torture?

All being said, we do not support any practice on the part of the CIA that can be considered “torture,” and we most certainly stand in the camp of those that advocate for more humane forms of interrogation.

We ask that Fordham consider how Brennan’s honorary degree tarnishes the Jesuit tenets that Fordham teaches. We ask that Fordham lead by example.  We ask that Fordham stand against torture.

(Lucy Sutton/Observer Archives)

By: BEN MOORE
Online Editor
Published: February 9, 2015

The clouds have rolled in and taken over much of our digital lives by storm. From Google Drive to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, clouds are seemingly everywhere. Personally, I’m against the trend, as I find they’re really not all that intuitive or practical to use.

The concept of the cloud is difficult to explain partially because there are just so many things that technically fit that description. At a basic level, they are simply online storage solutions. However, some more comprehensive clouds can be used for aggregating raw data, as in the case of an online database. Still others can differ based on whether they are private or publicly accessible. For the purposes of most students though, the cloud is a way to store files and information online.

This broad definition is probably the most confusing aspect of clouds. To clear this up, the way a student uses the cloud needs to be differentiated from the way a data collection company uses it and vice versa. Call it online storage. Maybe call it a nebula. The name doesn’t matter as long as it’s different.

It really doesn’t make sense to group everything under the same category, simply because the basic technology is the same. This would be like referring to everything that uses electricity as an “electric”. Sure, this would tell you that it uses electricity. But that’s it. The name does very little to describe what the object actually does. By this logic, an “electric” could refer to anything from a toaster to a Tesla. This would undoubtedly cause widespread confusion. Also, good luck driving that toaster anywhere.

There is a problem with the reliability of clouds as well. I will admit that the concept seems convenient and relatively foolproof. Just log in to an account and everything is right there. And when this works, it’s great. Sharing documents on Dropbox, storing photo collections on Flickr and streaming music from Spotify are all solid applications of this technology.

Unfortunately, everything does not always go so smoothly.

Connection issues, compatibility problems and file size limitations can easily wreak havoc on any of these services. While there are workarounds for the most part, these all require a special kind of patience; a patience which I’m not sure many people have.

Also, when your clouds collide, things tend to get quite messy. It is a constant battle to keep everything separate from each other, and inevitably your accounts will become intertwined. Even if you only slip once, your information and data could sync to unwanted accounts. And we all know the problems that can cause.

In light of all these drawbacks, I advocate for the use of portable and physical storage, such as flash drives or external hard drives. There isn’t anything flashy or marketable about them, but they are more reliable and easier to manage.

I still use my flash drive for nearly everything. I don’t have to worry about signing in and out of my account each time I need a file. There’s no delay in transferring information either, and they are extremely portable as well. And barring some catastrophic event, it is highly unlikely for a flash drive to ever crash on me.

To me, clouds seem like progress for the sake of progress. While there is a need for cloud-like services at an enterprise and professional level, most people have very little reason to use them other than for online storage. For this reason, consumer-oriented online storage products should rebrand themselves as such to help clear the confusion.

In the meantime, go pick up a flash drive and enjoy not having to worry about clouds of any kind for awhile. Unless there’s bad weather. Definitely keep an eye out for that.