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05/15/09 - The Stanford Daily [PDF]

05/15/09 - The Stanford Daily [PDF]

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Postseason play kicks off Friday for the No.8 Cardinal,beginning with a showdown againstPortland State.Nevada and Cal Poly round outthe four-team regional in Palo Alto.Stanford (44-9,13-8 Pacific-10 Conference)capped its season with three consecutive roadlosses,and plummeted from first to fourth in thePac-10 standings.The Cardinal,ranked as highas No.2 nationally this season,received an eightseed,guaranteeing that a super regional wouldbe played at Smith Family Stadium,should theyadvance beyond their regional.With four teams striving to make Palo Altoa stepping-stone to Oklahoma City,Stanfordhead coach John Rittman acknowledged thebenefit of playing at home.“We are excited to host,he said.“We havekids who have experience and don’t need tostay in a hotel.”The Cardinal is 27-1 on its home turf,withthe lone loss in Palo Alto coming to UCLA atthe outset of Pac-10 play.Stanford also went 10innings with Cal Poly on March 21,besting theMustangs,2-1,behind a 19-strikeout effort fromsenior ace Missy Penna.Stanford’s first task will be to dismantle Port-land State (29-24,15-5 Pacific Coast SoftballConference),a team which leads the lifetime se-ries against the Cardinal,7-6,but is just 1-6 sincemoving to the Division-I level.Seniors Jackie Heide and Janna Rae Slaytonflank an explosive offense,as the tandem com-bined for 19 home runs during the regular sea-son and 71 RBI.In the circle,the Vikings can choose fromany of five prominent arms.Sophomore Nic-hole Latham headlines the bunch.She owns a16-11 record and boasts a 2.63 earned-run aver-age.Cal Poly (39-10,18-3 Big West) and Nevada(39-17,15-5 Western Athletic Conference)round out the regional.They will lock horns toopen play in Palo Alto this afternoon.The Mustangs toppled Nevada 1-0 in a pre-vious meeting this year.Winner of the Big WestConference championship,senior Melissa Puradoes it all for Cal Poly.The shortstop hit .379 thisseason,including nine doubles.Sophomore Anna Cahn went 27-5 this sea-son,after starting off the year 4-3.Both Mustanglosses at the hands of the Cardinal were credit-ed to Cahn.Junior Helen Pena has proved thematch for Cahn,with an overall record of 11-5and an ERA under two.“We’ve seen their ace twice,they’ve seen ourace twice,”Rittman said of the contest’s familiarfeel.“It should be a good match-up.”The Wolfpack boasts an impressive .390team on-base percentage,with five hittersabove the .300 mark at the plate.To date,Neva-da has posted 53 home runs and 55 stolen bases,with production up and down the order.Rittman praised the explosive bats of Neva-da,but looked to his pitching to make the differ-ence.“It’s nice to have a very good pitcher,”hesaid.“They have speed and kids who can hit forpower,but it’s a challenge for us.”Junior Katie Holverson is the likely bet topitch,with a 1.68 ERA over 238 innings this sea-son.Holverson went 8-0 in WAC play last year,following up her sophomore season in stellarfashion.She garnered 27 wins and took just ninelosses this year.The Cardinal will rely on Penna to keep theball within Smith Family Stadium against theWolfpack.Penna,who was the last Pac-10 pitch-er to surrender a home run this year,coughs uponly 0.38 home runs per seven innings,provid-ing a counter to Nevada’s offensive strength.Junior Alissa Haber teamed up with rookieAshley Hansen in the first two spots of Stan-ford’s order throughout the year.The two com-bined for 154 hits and 40 doubles during the reg-ular season.Haber leads the team in stolenbases with 18 and has reached base in half of hertrips to the plate.The postseason action kicks off for the Car-dinal today at 1 p.m.as Stanford opens playagainst Portland State.Live video and audio canbe seen online at GoStanford.com.
Contact Chris Fitzgerald at chrishfitz@ gmail.com.
Softball to host Regional; opens against Vikings
News/2 •Features/3 •Opinions/4 • Sports/5 •Classifieds/6
Recycle Me
 AGUSTINRAMIREZ/ The Stanford DailyMASARUOKA/The Stanford Daily
Stanford heads south for critical series vs. Trojans
The Stanford baseball team will look tocontinue its current hot streak as it headsto Southern California this weekend,get-ting set to square off against conferencerival USC in a three-game series.The roadtrip is the last of the year for the Cardinal,which has only six games within the Pacif-ic-10 Conference left in the season.The Cardinal (27-21,10-11 Pac-10),isplaying a Trojan team with an identicalconference record (24-25 overall),andshould be in for a good match-up thisweekend.Both teams have a similar ap-proach to the game and have put up verycomparable statistics in all categories thisyear,with Stanford compiling slightly bet-ter offensive numbers,while struggling just a bit more with pitching.Stanfordhead coach Mark Marquess respectsUSC’s talent,and knows his team will be infor an evenly matched and hard-fought se-ries.“I think we’re definitely very similarteams,”he said.“I mean,talent-wise,ourstatistics are almost identical.And withthem playing at home,where they’re pret-ty comfortable,it’s really going to comedown to the little things,and to solid pitch-ing,as it often does in close conferencematch-ups.”If recent history between the two teamshas any predictive power,though,thisweekend’s series will be more of a slugfestthan the statistics suggest.When the Tro- jans visited Sunken Diamond last year,then-No.5 Stanford took two out of threegames from USC,including a 26-5 pound-ing.It has been the closer,grind-it-out sortof games that Stanford has been seeinglately,though.The Cardinal just barelysnuck away with its last two wins,narrow-ly edging past San Jose State by a score of 6-5 in 13 innings and staging a thrillingfour-run,ninth-inning comeback againstPacific on Wednesday night.In both con-tests,the game-winning hit came off thebat of sophomore right-fielder Kellen Ki-ilsgaard,who thinks his team’s recent late-inning heroics might give them a mentaladvantage this weekend.“Those are always fun games to win,and it definitely builds confidence andgives a sense of momentum,he said.But Stanford’s current hot streak hasbeen building a bit longer than their lasttwo games.The Cardinal has won fourstraight and seven of its last nine,and has-n’t dropped two games in a single seriessince being swept by conference-leadingArizona State nearly a month ago.The Trojans,meanwhile,have beenstruggling mightily of late.USC has lost
Extensive coverage of all the theatre andmusical events on campus this week and next
FRIDAY Volume 235
May 15,2009Issue 59
 The Stanford Daily
 An Independent Publication
Students take time off before launchingundergraduate careers
 The Stanford Daily
t’s a time of year that Stanford softball has expe-rienced before,but has never failed to leave theCardinal players with a sour taste in theirmouths.It’s postseason time.Maddy Coon and Missy Penna have been throughthis before.This is not the first time they have preparedfor regionals.In fact,as the team’s only two seniors,thiswill be the pair’s fourth and final postseason playing forStanford.Each of the previous three seasons has left Coonand Penna knocking on the door of the Women’s Col-lege World Seriesbut the team has always fallenshort.A year ago,the Cardinal advanced through theAmherst,Mass.Regional but then fell to Texas A&M inthe College Station,Tex.Super Regional.This is a new year,however.The Cardinal roster hasbeen boosted by a group of talented freshmen,whileother underclassmen have stepped up and had big sea-sons.Coon recognizes that this is not the same Cardinalteam that has bowed out before Oklahoma City thepast four years.“This team is something special,”she said.“We haveall the tools to make a run,and we have a confidencewe’ve never had before.”Despite the team-wide success,the main cog in theCardinal’s winning ways has been Penna.The right-
hen the Cardinal baseball teamtakes the field against USC in LosAngeles this weekend,facing a trioof what are essentially must-wingames,it will be placing a sizable partof its postseason hopes on a pair of unlikely arms.Freshman starters Jordan Pries and Brett Mooney-ham have earned the mantles of Friday and Saturdaystarter,respectively,and if Stanford is to succeed in itsquest to return to the postseason this year,both willneed to throw some of their best games down thestretch.It’s a challenge that is all the more dauntingconsidering that last year they were pitching againsthigh-schoolers.According to Mooneyham,that’s a difference thathas had a significant impact on the way he’s had to goabout his job on the mound.“The hitters are,obviously,better throughout thelineup,he said.“In high school,you’ve only got one,two,three,four maybe five and then after that,it’s notmuch.In college 1-9 it’s fairly solid.So you’ve kind ogot to just come with everything.Fastball,curveball,change,just mix ‘em up,try and throw as many strikesas you can and keep them off balance.”For Pries,on the other hand,the challenge was moreone of adopting a different mental focus.In highschool,the Alameda-native was essentially called uponto pitch every day.Now,he needs to sharpen his focusbetween starts to be ready for when his turn in the ro-tation comes again.“Here it’s just been so differentyou’re pitchingonce a week,”Pries said.“You really have to learn toharness that focus and that aggression and not losefocus in the fifth or sixth.We play five games a week;those other four games you’ve got to find a way tobring some intensity to them and filter that into yourouting.”
Smith Family Stadium 3 P.M.
The Cardinal earned an eighth seed for theNCAA Championships and will take on the Vikings inthe opening round at home. Next up, depending uponthe outcome of Friday’s games, Stanford will face either Nevada or Cal Poly. Stanford has been led by senior ace Missy Penna this season. Penna has racked up animpressive 31-6 record on the season with 323 strike-outs in 256.1 innings pitched. Offensively, the Cardinalhas been led by junior Alissa Haber, who is batting .439with a .722 slugging percentage.
(24-25, 10-11 Pac-10)
Los Angeles 6:30 P.M.
KZSU 90.1 FM, (kzsu.stanford.edu)
5/19Sunken Diamond
RADIO:KZSU 90.1 FM(kzsu.stanford.edu)
Mostly Sunny 
Please see
,page 5Please see
,page 5Please see
,page 5
Nice & Sunny 
To those familiar with the lineitems of John Hennessy’s CVfrom co-founder of MIPSTechnologies to board member of Cisco Systems and Googleit maycome as no surprise that Stanford’s10th president also co-chairs theNational Research Council’sCommittee on Science,Security andProsperity.The committee,which Hennessyco-chairs with Brent Scowcroft,for-mer National Security Advisor toPresidents Gerald Ford and GeorgeH.W.Bush,urged President Obamaearlier this year to revamp exportand visa controls that it considers tobe ineffective and,in many cases,detrimental to the prosperity of thenation.The committee’s recommenda-tions came in the form of a Januaryreport titled “Beyond ‘FortressAmerica’:National SecurityControls on Science and Technologyin a Globalized World.”“The national security controlsthat regulate access to and export of science and technology are broken,”begins the report.“As currentlystructured,many of these controlsundermine our national and home-land security and stifle Americanengagement in the global economyand science and technology.”In an interview with The Daily,Hennessy said visa and export con-trols as they currently stand are out-dated remnants of the Cold War era,when weapons technology was tight-ly protected for the sake of wartimenational security.“What’s happened in export con-trol is that it has not had a global,complete look at the whole area in along time,”Hennessy said.“And byglobal,I mean looking at it from theperspective of the academy,indus-try,as well as national security con-cerns.”For this reason,“regulation haspiled on top of regulation on top of regulation,according to theUniversity President,and of these,deemed export control remains alarge hindrance to university-leveldevelopment.Deemed export regu-lation is a set of rules limiting accessto technology for foreign nationalswhile in the U.S.“So,for example,somebody fromChina or Iran may not be able to useelectronics or work on next-genera-tion technologies,”Hennessy said.And following the attacks onSeptember 11,the list of controlsquickly lengthened.“The concerns became quitebroad because they became thingslike access to fundamental bio-science technologies that could,inthe wrong hands,be used to buildbio-warfare,”Hennessy said.“So,that became a real concern in theacademy.”At the same time,however,industry and military professionalsbecame concerned about tighteningregulations in both visa and exportcontrols.“Our visa controls have made itmore difficult or less attractive fortalented foreign professionals tocome and learn what is great aboutthis country,or to stay and help growthe American economy,”the reportstates.“Our export controls retardboth the United States and its alliesfrom sharing access to military tech-nology,and handicap Americanbusiness from competing globally.”Hennessy echoed these concerns,but emphasized the need for bold,direct action to avoid the stagnantnature of Washington politics.“Like a lot of things in govern-ment,if it’s never forced to cleanitself up or ‘sunset’ itself,the list [of regulation] just gets longer andlonger and longer,he said.Hennessy noted that part of thedifficulty in inciting change is thefact that export and visa controls arenot housed in any single sector of the government.“Which is why we’ve tried tofocus on a Presidential Directive asthe key way to solve the problem,because otherwise you have to getState,Defense and Commerce to allact in concert,he said.“And that’sextremely difficult.Speaking specifically toStanford’s role in national research,the President noted that theUniversity does not conduct anyclassified research,nor does itaccept funds for classified research.But Hennessy said there remains agray line when it comes to “sensi-tive-but-unclassified research”thatcomes from the government,whichStanford resists.“We felt that the dangers of thatto the University and the opennessin research that we espouse was areally dangerous bank,he said.“So,we’ve tried to push away from thatand say that’s something the govern-ment can use when it wants to con-trol information,but that we should-n’t find ourselves in a situationwhere there are broad attempts tocontrol information that’s unclassi-fied.”Hennessy said some institutionsbelieve it is in the national interestthat they accept money for suchresearch,but that most leading insti-tutions would view the “necessarycompromises”as unacceptable.The Committee on Science,Security and Prosperity is currentlyin the process of reviewing theinflux of recommendations thathave followed the report’s publica-tion.But Co-Chair Hennessy,whilerecognizing that there exists a set of individuals in government who areconcerned about the issues the com-mittee has raised,also recognizesthat President Obama has higherpriorities.“Put these issues against thebiggest economic crisis in 80 years,amessy war,a situation inAfghanistanwhile this is animportant problem and it’s a nag-ging problem and a building prob-lem,it’s hard to say that it’s about tocause everything to collapse in thesame way that,let’s say,if Afghanistan or Pakistan completelyfails,Hennessy said.The committee’s 100-pagereport,which includes specific rec-ommendations for the President,can be accessed on The NationalAcademies Press Web site atwww.nap.edu.
Contact Devin Banerjee at devin11@stanford.edu.
Amid news of a declining newspa-per industry and a changing era of  journalism,Ellen Weiss,senior vicepresident for news at National PublicRadio (NPR),stressed the impor-tance of journalistic flexibility in anevolving model of news media lastnight at Kresge Auditorium.Entitled “Worst of Times,Best of Times:NPR in the 21st Century,”thelecture was sponsored by the John S.Knight Fellowships program.According to James Bettinger,thedirector of the John S.KnightFellowships program,the annual lec-ture series was established to createawareness and facilitate discussionon current journalism issues.“The idea is to bring in outstand-ing authorities on journalism to talkabout journalism issues for Stanfordand to the Peninsula community,”Bettinger said.Weiss’ lecture addressed thechanging nature of broadcast jour-nalism and the need for a new busi-ness model in an age of economicrecession and declining newspapersubscription.She argued that in themiddle of a journalistic revolution,the current challenges facing thenews media today provide opportu-nities for creativity and entrepre-neurship in the media industry.“It is an interesting time to liveinside a major journalism institutionthat is still succeeding in its tradition-al formand yet also trying toembrace and adapt to the new worldorder,she said.Weiss went on to stress the impor-tance of flexibility as journalistsadapt to a changing business model.“The structural model,the busi-ness model is shot,”she said.“Thesustained downturn of the economy,with the attendant fall in advertisingincome,exacerbates the dilemma.”Weiss,who currently holds NPR’stop news management position,oversees 18 domestic and 18 foreignnews bureaus in addition to morethan 50 hours of news programmingeach week.With this experience,she outlineda plan on how NPR will adapt to achanging age of journalism.Herpoints included cross-training NPR journalists to be proficient in differ-ent forms of media,filling the grow-ing gap in local news coverage,capi-talizing on the new relationshipbetween media and audience,priori-tizing content and stressing theimportance of innovation.“Communication is totally differ-ent now,and I think the opportuni-ties to make us better journalists areenormous,Weiss said.“The peopleare reviewing and writing about ourwork much more easily,immediatelyand much more publicly than everbefore.”Weiss also said that like manyother news sources,NPR is facingfinancial hardships.Even after cut-ting 10 percent of its staff inDecember,it is still considering morebenefit cuts in light of the currenteconomic situation.Yet,Weiss was optimistic for thefuture of her medium.According toher,more people are listening toNPR than ever.“More Americans listen to public
Friday,May 15,2009
 The Stanford Daily
Weiss hopes for bettertimes in industry
 ARNAV MOUDGILL/The Stanford Daily
Ellen Weiss, senior VP for news atNPR, spoke at Kresge Auditoriumabout the changing strategies innews media. The talk was part of anannual lecture series hosted by theKnight Fellowships program.
Univ. President co-chairs committee on nat’l security
Hennessy urges Obama to revise controls
Bravman updates Faculty Senate on recovery plan
Financial realities once again dominatedthis week’s Faculty Senate meeting,where allears were turned to Vice Provost forUndergraduate Education John Bravman foran update on the recovery of his office.“I think we all understand that we’re in aperiod of financial crisis,”Bravman began.But the tone of the Vice Provost’s reportwas clear:optimism.Referencing the creation of hundreds of small courses,the upcoming launch of theStanford Arts Intensive and a small expansionof the Bing Overseas Studies Program(BOSP),Bravman cited the recent 30,400applicants as an indication of “infinitedemand”for the University.“That’s how we think about it,”he said.Still,after a cut of approximately 15 to 20percent in the University’s general funds budg-et and a reduction in endowment incomebetween approximately 20 and 30 percent,some 1,000 of Stanford’s funds are “underwa-ter”that is,their current market valuesremain below their historic dollar values.Theseunderwater funds now pose the largest threatto the Office of the Vice Provost forUndergraduate Education (VPUE),accordingto Bravman.“We have built up reserves for a rainy day,”he said,“but we have not built up reserves foruniversal Armageddon.”Along with $8 million of the VPUE’s fundsthat have already gone out the window,Bravman has also implemented a majorrestructuring of his office,compacting nineunits into four:Undergraduate Advising andResearch (UAR);Stanford IntroductoryStudies (SIS),where most layoffs haveoccurred;Bing Overseas Studies Program(BOSP);and Center for Teaching and Learning(CTL),which has lost its administrative sup-port but will be propped up by the VPUEoffice.
Bravman noted that the major impingementhas been on his staff16 layoffs,five hires forrevised roles and the loss of nine positions dueto attrition have meant an 18 percent reductionin the VPUE’s non-lecturing staff.Furtherreductions have hit advising,which slashed the$750-per-year honoraria for its advisors andresulted in the loss of its HPAC (head peer aca-demic coordinator) and peer advising pro-grams,as well as the Sophomore Seminars andSophomore College programs,which will face“continued reductions on the order of 15 to 20percent.The latter two programs,Bravmansaid,are where students will feel the pain.But Stephen Stedman,a senior fellow at theFreeman Spogli Institute for InternationalStudies and a former Resident Fellow of Larkin House,probed Bravman on the elimi-nation of the HPAC program.The vice provostresponded bluntly.“We received evidence that HPACs weregiving poor advice,he said.“The life experi-ence of a 19-year-old is not optimized to offeradvice to an 18-year-old.”Bravman instead touted this year’s newAcademic Director (AD) program,whichplaces a professional or faculty member in eachresidential cluster that houses freshmen.“We’ve seen,anecdotally—I can’t provethis to you—that ADs offer a great experi-ence for students,”he said.“Knowing that stu-dents will always seek advice,we should bepaying professionals.”
The Future of VPUE
Looking to the future of VPUE programs,Bravman assessed BOSP,SIS and advising.Onoverseas studies,he noted that a large portionof funding still streams from the President’sfunds,and the program is “extremely vulnera-ble”to swings in the strength of the dollar.Atthe same time,presidential funds will largelyfund the new program in Cape Town,SouthAfrica.With SIS,the Vice Provost admittedthat although PWR and IHUM run at verylean levels,they still cost $10 million per year.“I think we have to look at the costs of theseprograms,he admitted.“We need to move onthis sooner,rather than later.The VPUE office will also launch a newStanford Arts Intensive for 2009,which will begift funded for three years.And on advising,Bravman remains opti-mistic that the benefits of the AD program willoutweigh its cost.
University Fundraising
Martin Shell,vice president of the Office of Development,followed Bravman with a reporton University fundraising.Shell reported that$108 million of the Stanford Challenge goal of $200 million has been raised for scholarships.“For the past four years,we have raisedmore money than any peer institution in high-er education,he said.Still,for fiscal year 2009,the University con-tinues to see a slowdown in cash gifts and newcommitments.“I think most people felt like the worldstopped somewhere around January 5,”Shellsaid.“Conversations have elongated;donorsare slower to make commitments,asking formore time to pledge.”Bravman will address the Faculty Senatewith a follow-up report in November,and,if asked,Shell will return in the fall for an updateon year-to-date fundraising.
Contact Devin Banerjee at devin11@stanford.edu.
NPR VP stressesnews flexibility 
Please see
,page 6
e’ve all seen thosepictures of PrinceWilliam of Englandbending over a toi-let,cleaning it with atoothbrush in rural Chile.He was onhis
 gap year 
a phenomenon thathas gained significant popularity andis a common trend nowadays.Nonetheless,most of us camestraight to Stanford from highschool.True,we may hail from allover the globe,but most of us prob-ably haven’t taken a year off totravel the world,work as an aspir-ing actor in Los Angeles,or experi-ence those “life-changing”experi-ences.But some Stanford students didforgo the Farm for a year to explorethe world and find themselves priorto coming to college.“I’m from the suburbs north of Chicago,said Quinn Slack ‘12.“Ihaven’t traveled much at allthroughout my life so by the time Iwas finishing high school,I was sickof high school classes.I knew evenbefore I applied to college that Iwanted to take a gap year.”Slack spent six months of his gapyear traveling through China.Hethen came back to the states afterhaving spent the money he’d savedup for the trip and moved out toPalo Alto to get some work experi-ence.Slack worked at a Web start-up for about five months beforeresuming his travels and finallyentering his first year at Stanford.Aside from the desire toexplore,Slack had another reasonfor taking a gap year:taking pres-sure off the college applicationprocess.“Taking a gap year definitelymade the college applicationprocess a lot less stressful,”Slackconfessed.“I knew that if I didn’tget in,I could apply again the nextyear.I got in the first time,though,and I just deferred my admission.For a lot of my friends that did takegap years,though,part of the rea-son was because they probablywouldn’t have been able to get intothe college of their choice withoutsome more experience under theirbelt.”Harley Adams ‘12 took a gapyear for a completely contrary rea-son.He graduated from high schoolin New York City a year early anddecided to take some time off towork as an actor in Los Angeles.“I had filled up my schedulethroughout high school so at the endof high school they told me I couldeither take community college class-es or graduate,”Adams said.“Idecided to graduate.So when I was17 years old,I moved out to L.A.and lived on my own.”Harley applied to Stanford hislast year but withdrew his applica-tion once he decided to take a gapyear.He applied again after spend-ing two years in L.A.and wasaccepted.I wanted to livesomewhere else,experience otherthings before I went to college,”Adams said.“Part of it was tryingout the life of an actor.I couldn’t dothat just coming to Stanford.”While many Stanford studentsmay consider the merits of taking agap year,most actually decideagainst it.Students offered similarreasonsconcerns of age differ-ences and academic continuityfor not taking the leap.“The reason I didn’t [take a gapyear] was that I did not want to be ayear older coming into the freshmanexperience,”said Chris Riklin ‘11,aninternational student from London.“Compared to the U.K.where it isthe norm to have differently agedpeople during the first year,Ithought I would feel different toStanford freshmen if I had taken agap year.Secondly,U.K.universitiesare only three-year programs,sotaking that extra year is not as muchof a big deal.”Anton Zietsman ‘12 provideda similar perspective.“I plan on taking a gap yearafter college,before law school orwhatever it is I decide to do,”hesaid.“It’s weirder to be an oldercollege freshman than it is to bean older graduate student.”Zietsman also said that hedidn’t want to disrupt the conti-nuity in his academics.“What you learn in high schoolis more relevant to what you learn incollege compared to the relevanceyou learn in college and your firstyear of graduate school,”Zietsmansaid.For some students,taking a gapyear is not even an option.MaleSingaporean students,for example,must serve two years of mandatorymilitary service after high school.“A good portion of Singaporeanstudents will be 20 or 21 when theyenter as freshmen in college,saidAndrew Chou ‘12.“It’s not uncom-mon.”Chou,who is a dual Canadian-Taiwanese citizen and graduate of St.Paul’s boarding school in NewEngland,also seriously consideredtaking a gap year.However,hedecided against it largely for finan-cial reasons.“My parents are covering my col-lege degree and they’ve evenoffered to cover some of my gradu-ate studies,”Chou said.“I feel likesince my parents are being so gener-ous,I shouldn’t be spending anytime off.For me,it took so muchwork and was so much trouble get-ting to come to the U.S.for universi-ty that it didn’t make sense to throwit all away for a year to do otherthings.”Chou noted thatcall it a gener-alization—very few Asian studentstake gap years when compared totheir Western counterparts.“I’ve noticed that for Asian kids,if they take a gap year,it’s not becausethey want itit’s usually becausethey have to,Chou said.“From per-sonal experience,I know that Chineseculture perceives taking a year off tobe really irresponsible,both fiscallyand academically,because for that oneyear you have to live off your parents,and you’re putting your educationthe most important thing to themoff for some personal time.Gap yearsare considered very selfish in Asianculture.”Even without cultural pressure,sometimes other universities may notlike the idea of a gap year,thoughStanford is highly receptive to theidea.Jenna Nicholas ‘11,who graduatedfrom St.Paul’s in London,said thatthough it may appear that English stu-dents appear to take gap years moreoften,Oxford and Cambridge don’tlike it.“They shun the idea of studentstaking a gap yearthey just careabout your brain,”she said.“They
 The Stanford Daily
Friday,May 15,2009
Undergrads defer the Farm for a year to explore, travel
The Wellness Room still needsto reach out to more students inorder to completely fulfill its mis-sion of increasing student wellbe-ing,said both the room’s staff andstudents who have used the room’sresources.The new room opened on Feb.26,and bases its philosophy onproactively promoting mental,physical and spiritual health oncampus.This approach is what dif-ferentiates the room from othercampus mental health facilities,saidMary Liz McCurdy ‘09,a WellnessRoom coordinator.The room was “allocated one-time funds of $5,000 to start up andpilot the room,said Chris Griffithin an email.Griffith,the associatevice provost for Student Affairs,said that her office and the ASSU jointly fund the Wellness Room.As most of the funds were dedi-cated to set-up,McCurdy hopes theroom will be sustainable in thefuture,in spite of budget cuts.“We’re not CAPS [Counselingand Psychological Services],or theBridge or Vaden,she said.“We’renot treating,but proactively dealingwith student wellbeing.”McCurdy,along with fellowCoordinator Annie Alpers ‘09 andsome 20 volunteer “wellnessguideswork to make the room aplace that promotes stress relief and relaxation.But many famously over-sub-scribed Stanford students simply donot have time to come to theWellness Room and engage inrelaxation activities.“I’m pretty busy during the day,and I don’t really have time torelax,and when I do have time torelax,I sleep,said Erik Donhowe‘10.Others have already learnedhow to deal with their stress in pro-ductive ways.“Although I think it could be agood resource,I don’t know whatmy incentive would be to go there,”explained Ramya Parameswaran‘10.“When I’m stressed,I alreadyhave routine ways of dealing withit.”Most students are less informedthan Parameswaran,and do noteven know about the WellnessRoom’s mission,much less the cen-ter at all.“I’ve heard it mentioned before,but I don’t actually know what itis,”said Lydia Santos ‘12.“Its pur-pose is to promote wellness,Iguess.”The wellness guides understandthis dilemma.“I think another reason peoplemight not come in is because theydon’t understand what we think ourpurpose is,”said Jesse Palmer ‘11,awellness guide.“I think it’s possiblethat people think we’re like:‘Oh,you need help getting well,’ insteadof seeing the difference betweenmaking people happy and helpingpeople with problems.McCurdy explained this prob-lem as inherent in any startuporganization.“We just opened the room,andthere’s a lot of things that need tobe done still,she said.Since opening,the room hasoften been deserted,aside from thewellness guides.The scheduledoperating hours are not always fol-lowed,and the room may be lockedduring open hours.Furthermore,some guides do not come to theirshifts,according to Wellness GuideNicole Aguirre ‘12.The current Wellness Roomdecor,complete with colorful rugs,flowers and stuffed animals,maynot be the most attractive either,according to students.Brian O’Connor ‘12,who hasattended some Wellness Roomactivities,noted that it feels like a“pretty feminine”place that maykeep male students out.Others were just confused by thedecorations,which are reminiscentof the stress-free atmosphere of grade school.“The first time I walked by,Ithought it was a daycare center forstaff’s kids,said Kwame Agyei-Owusu ‘10.However,progress has beenmade,according to Wellness Roomstaff.“A lot more people are startingto hear about it and come in a lotmore,”Aguirre said.“Up until the last few weeks,wedidn’t have any solid program-ming,”Palmer added.“We’ve start-ed to have a lot more scheduledevents,and just having things thatpeople know about that they can dowhen they come in.”The staff has worked to create adiverse programming that manykinds of student might enjoy.Fridayafternoons are “crafternoons,andopen hours on weekend nights pro-vide an alternative to frat parties.The Wellness Room also offersmeditation workshops,art classesand massage therapy lessons.“It’s kind of on an individualbasis in terms of what people getout of it,”Palmer said.“It’s for find-ing ways to relax and enjoy life,even if you only come in for 15 min-utes just to get away.Maybe youfind some way,if it’s having a con-versation with someone or if it’spainting,to just enjoy life.
Contact Dana Sherne at desherne@stanford.edu.
 Students misunderstand purpose, are uninformed about Wellness Room
Wellness Room fails to attract
Students mind the gap
CRISBAUTISTA/The Stanford Daily
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