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Beach Boy: Brian Wilson’s
impact on SoCal’s image is
recognized by the city. PAGE 5
Court Date: USC cornerback
Shareece Wright pleads not guilty in
arraignment. PAGE 12
Daily Trojan
USC students might gripe over the in-
convenience caused by the Exposition
Light Rail Transit Line, but not being able
to make a left turn on Figueroa Street
pales in comparison to the frustration felt
by some South Los Angeles residents who
think “environmental racism” is what’s
keeping their voices from being heard.
Some community members said the
rail line, which will run along Exposition
Boulevard when it is completed in 2010,
will have permanent negative effects on
the community.
Their concerns hinge on a city decision
to place the rail at street level in high-
traffic areas near local schools, where stu-
dents cross hundreds of times each day.
One of the most vocal groups opposing
the train is the Citizens’ Campaign to Fix
the Expo Rail Line, a coalition of local res-
idents, administrators, teachers and stu-
dents. They said the line will run too close
to some neighborhood schools and want
a four-mile stretch of the track, between
Figueroa Street and La Brea Avenue built
The rail line has 38 crossings, and 36
have been approved by the California
Public Utilities Commission. But it is
these final two which are causing the con-
troversy. Community members said plans
call for a 225-ton train to run at 55 mph
as close as 10 feet from the Dorsey High
School’s property line. They’re also wor-
ried that the tracks will be crossed by stu-
dents more than 1,000 times per day.
Community members say the train
will run 50 feet from seven neighbor-
hood schools including Foshay Learning
Center, which is accessed or attended by
For community, light rail is no blessing
Residents say the new train will pass
dangerously close to local schools.
| see RAIL, page 3 |
Daily Trojan
After an 11-year hiatus from The Row, the Kappa
Alpha fraternity is coming back for an encore in an at-
tempt to reshape its image.
Kappa Alpha Order is in the process of re-establishing
a chapter at USC and will soon join the Interfraternity
The 143-year-old fraternity had been at USC since
1926, but it was disbanded on the orders of the fraterni-
ty’s national headquarters after a series of disciplinary
infractions in the mid-1990s.
Jesse Lyons, Kappa Alpha’s director of chapter devel-
opment at USC, said the plug had to be pulled not be-
cause of a specific event but a buildup of problems at
the house.
“It was a multi-year decline marked by discipline
troubles and violations of risk management,” he said.
“It was a lack of being a fraternity and more of being a
social club.”
Kappa Alpha has 130 undergraduate chapters across
the country. According to the fraternity, there are
more than 1,000 USC alumni who were members of the
Lyons said the gap between the closing and re-estab-
lishment of the chapter was necessary in order for the
house to reshape its image.
“Sometimes a clean break is needed,” he said. “This
way, we get new people who don’t have ties to what hap-
pened before.”
Ray Carlos, assistant director at USC’s Office for
Fraternity and Sorority Leadership, said the disband-
ing and revival of fraternities and sororities is common
with Greek organizations.
“It’s been so long that whatever culture Kappa Alpha
had that forced them to leave before, it’s gone now,” he
said. “You take a break and come back fresh with new
As of now, Kappa Alpha doesn’t have any members
and didn’t host IFC rush, since its charter process is not
After 11 years,
Kappa Alpha
returns to USC
Fraternity rechartered, hopes to return by spring,
have residence near Row by fall 2009.
| see FRAT, page 2 |
Daily Trojan
On Sept. 17, the day set aside for
Americans to look back and appre-
ciate the Constitution, USC students
and faculty engaged in a discussion
regarding the constitutionality of
one of the most heavily debated is-
sues today: same-sex marriage.
“The political science depart-
ment was called upon to host a lec-
ture on a Constitution-related issue,”
said Arthur Auerbach, lecturer in
political science and organizer of the
event. “The Supreme Court has been
pretty active lately, and the [same-
sex marriage] issue is very current.
... It has both a judiciary perspec-
tive and an electoral perspective. We
want people to be aware of the issue
and what’s involved.”
The date was initially called
Citizenship Day, until Sen. Robert
Byrd (D-W.Va.) added an amendment
to a bill passed by Congress in
2004 creating Constitution Day.
The amendment mandates that all
schools that receive federal funding
to hold some sort of lesson regarding
the Constitution.
USC made its contribution with
a lecture by David Cruz, a professor
at the Gould School of Law, who dis-
cussed the consequences of voting
for and against the ban on same-sex
There was an obvious emphasis on
Proposition 8, which would place a
constitutional ban on same-sex mar-
riage in California and overrule the
May 15 Supreme Court of California
decision that struck down the previ-
ous ban.
“[This is the] first time voters are
asking to take a court-granted right
away from a group of people,” Cruz
But Thomas Woods, Jr., co-author
of “Who Killed the Constitution?
The Fate of American Liberty From
World War I to George W. Bush,” dis-
agreed, and said the Constitution’s
text vindicates the ban.
“There is nothing in the feder-
al Constitution that would prohib-
it a state from [instituting a ban on
same-sex marriage],” Thomas said
in an interview. “The states … rati-
fied the Constitution, they are the
principles. … Almost everything is in
their hands.”
Cruz discussed the differences
between an amendment and a re-
vision, which, he said “changes the
On Constitution day, a talk on gay marriage
Students gather to debate the
merits of Proposition 8, which
would ban gay marriage.
| see PROP 8, page 3 |
Jonathan Wong | Daily Trojan
Derailed · Students cross the street near Foshay Learning Center, next to construction on the new Expo Line. Some commu-
nity leaders said the line will run too close to two local schools, where students cross hundreds of times each day.
Gary Fung | Daily Trojan
David Cruz
Alexandra Tapley | Daily Trojan
Dance · Members of the Iota Beta and Alpha Kappa Alpha performed
dances in McCarthy Quad for National Panhellenic Council’s annual
yard show.
Stepping up their game
S E P T E MB E R 1 8 , 2 0 0 8 ▪

3,400 students on a daily basis.
“The grade-crossings adjacent
to these schools will expose their
students to serious risk at least
twice a day, every school day for
the next 50 to 75 years,” said USC
professor of civil and environmen-
tal engineering Naj Meshkati, who
testified on behalf of the communi-
ty at a hearing about the Expo Line
last week.
Though rail lines in wealthier
areas such as USC and Culver City
have negotiated deals to have un-
derground or elevated crossings,
South L.A. residents believe the di-
verse makeup of their region has
caused the city to largely ignore
their views during the train’s plan-
“The MTA bows to communities
they think are too powerful,” said
Damien Goodmon, the leader of
the Citizens’ Campaign. “And the
way our country works, the areas
that can provide the least amount
of defense against larger compa-
nies tend to be poor or majority
minority areas. ... This is an issue
of environmental justice and rac-
Mike Ureña was president of
the North Area Neighborhood
Development Council when the
light rail was first proposed. Ureña
and the council supported the line
at first, when plans had it running
east of the I-110 freeway. The line’s
contractor and USC then worked
out a deal to move the line without
keeping the community’s interests
in mind, he said.
“They both got what they want-
ed,” Ureña said. “[The contractor]
spent extra money in areas where
only white people live. We want it
safer where it goes by the schools.
That’s our right. That’s why people
are pissed off.”
But Bing Cherrie, USC’s associ-
ate vice president of planning, said
USC wasn’t involved in the rail-
road’s relocation from Hill Street
to Flower Street.
“It was more the guidance of
the MTA,” he said. “They felt they
wouldn’t be serving a large popu-
lation on Hill Street. ... USC’s posi-
tion has been to try and represent
what’s in the best interest of the
Community leaders aren’t the
only ones worried about the train’s
safety. In a May 2007 study, Gloria
J. Jeff, then-general manager of
the Los Angeles Department of
Transportation deemed walking
routes near USC “not safe for pe-
destrians” on special event days.
Samantha Bricker, the chief
operating officer for the Expo
Construction Authority, which is
constructing the line, said the line
is safe.
“We are in the business of build-
ing a safe, efficient transportation
system,” she said.
The PUC is scheduled to make
a decision in November as to how
the Farmdale Avenue and Harvard
Boulevard crossings should be
Ureña said he and other council
members were originally under the
impression that the train would be
like a two-car trolley reaching a
peak speed of 35 mph.
“But it’s not,” he said. “It’s gonna
go faster than hell.”
Goodmon said the MTA can
“get away with these projects”
when communities act too late or
are disorganized when it comes to
uniting behind the cause.
To Ureña, the needs and wants
of the South L.A. community are
“All we’re saying is we want to
entrench,” he said. “We’re talk-
ing about real basic safety issues.
The more you look at it, [the more
it] shows that there’s so much in-
equality in our country still be-
tween people who live in a fan-
cy neighborhood and people who
don’t and how their politicians be-
have and support them.”
RAIL | Line’s new route runs near schools
| continued from page 1 |
underlying principles on which the
Constitution rests.”
Proposition 8 might be considered
a revision, he said, since it changes
the meaning of equal protection by
“depriving a social minority rights
by vote of the minority of the elec-
Cruz argued that if the ban is
deemed a revision after being passed,
it could be rendered void because it
was not born in the state legislature,
as required by the state constitution.
But regardless of party or stance,
participating in the democratic pro-
cess is essential, he said.
“Be engaged,” Cruz said. “What
California does on Nov. 4 will have
huge repercussions on same-sex cou-
ples throughout the state. Democracy
depends on participation. Voting is
how we make our voices heard.”
Brendan Barth, a junior majoring
in political science, came to the lec-
ture undecided on the issue of same-
sex marriage.
“To be honest, I’m here with an
open mind. I’m interested in both
sides,” he said before the lecture be-
Afterward, Barth said he had
made a decision.
“The issue is complex and has
been hard-fought for a long time.
It comes down to equal protection
under the law,” he said. “And I’m
definitely going to vote against Prop
8, and I’m definitely going to keep my
eye out for the amendment-revision
While the USC College Democrats
have decided to vote against Prop
8, USC College Republicans chair-
man Ben Myers felt that there are too
many opinions among the group’s
members to reach a consensus on
this issue.
“Though it is my personal opin-
ion that we should have a ban on gay
marriage, we haven’t reached a group
decision,” Myers said. “There’s a lot of
variety [in opinion].”
Myers, who calls the same-sex
marriage lobbying “a full-on assault
on traditional American values,”
feels that if same-sex marriage is al-
lowed, then polygamy should be le-
galized as well. He called anything
otherwise “discrimination against
“I think that Ellen DeGeneres is
having a victory lap a little too ear-
ly on this one,” said Myers, who pre-
dicted that “voters will give us the
constitutional ban.”
Many USC students are active in
the gay rights movement through-
out campus, including the Lesbian
Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource
Center, members of which can be
seen around Tommy Trojan, fliers in
hand. The organization was not able
to be reached for comment.
PROP 8 | Author makes
case for gay marriage ban
| continued from page 1 |
Jonathan Wong | Daily Trojan
Walk · Some community members say the light rail running along
Exposition Boulevard would disrupt local schools and learning centers.
“There is nothing in the federal Constitution that
would prohibit a state from [instituting a ban on
same-sex marriage]. The states … ratified the
Constitution, they are the principles. … Almost
everything is in their hands.”
· · ·
constitutional scholar



NOw · OC1O8ER 19
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at the Music Center, Downtown L.A.
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and tragedy whl|e hl|arlous|y
revvlng up to a||-out Farce."
Charles McNulty, |os /ngeles T|nes
WEEKEND BRUNCH 10am to 2Pm • HAPPY HOUR 2pm to 6pm
5 MINUTES FROM USC • stop for lunch before the game
WE L C O ME . . . B A C K T O S C H O O L T R O J A N S
free tasting • FREE winery tours • Restaurant • Gift SHop
Each year, the El Rodeo Yearbook, USC’s award-winning
record of history and tradition at USC, features a Graduates
section with portraits of students who are receiving degrees
(as undergraduates or graduates). Portraits are taken in the
Student Union free of charge during the fall semester only.
Reserve your spot in USC history!
Sittings are taking place
Sep. 22 through Oct. 10 only!