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The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

Review: 'Dead Space 2' delivers

MATTHEW ELWELL
Staff Writer

After playing “Dead Space 2,” I was reminded rather quickly that this game is not for the faint of heart. “Dead Space 2” will definitely satisfy those looking for a bloody good time.
For those not familiar with the games, “Dead Space 2” is a sequel to the 2008 survival horror game “Dead Space,” which gathered a solid audience soon after its release.

The original “Dead Space,” developed by Visceral Games, takes place in the year 2508 and follows the story of a man named Isaac Clarke. Isaac is an engineer for the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC), a crew assigned to investigate the USG “Ishimura,” a ship which has gone into a communication blackout. The ship was “cracking” a planet known as Aegis VII, and an artifact named the “Marker” was recovered. The “Marker” is later found to be of alien intelligence, and is the source of the crisis on the Ishimura.

After arriving, the crew quickly realizes that something has killed everyone on board, and Isaac must find who or what is responsible.  Without giving away too much of the original story, nothing goes as planned and Isaac must find a way to escape the ship. “Dead Space 2”continues Isaac’s story after the Ishimura incident.

Three years have passed since Isaac’s encounter with the Ishimura and he is not doing so well. He is now located on a metropolis called the “Sprawl,” which is stationed on Titan, a moon in the orbit of Saturn. Isaac is asked about the Ishimura attack, but has no recollection of the incident. Isaac spends the game trying to find a way to both escape the Sprawl, and to find out what has happened over the past three years.

The story for the most part is very good, with extra secrets and Easter eggs hidden that fans of the original game will love. Isaac, who talks in the new game instead of being a silent hero, is a much more engaging character because of his voice. This is where “Dead Space 2” succeeds over the original. Character development is much more noticeable here, and it shows throughout.

The problem with the story is not really the story itself, but the way it is told. As Isaac, you are basically ordered around and told what to do and where to go. The game is linear in that respect because you don’t have any freedom as the player. The game follows one story, and that could serve as a turn-off to some gamers who like the freedom to do what they want. But for fans of the original “Dead Space,” it shouldn’t be a problem.

As far as gameplay, “Dead Space 2” is as solid as ever. The same mechanics are still intact. The killing of Necromorphs, which can only be achieved by cutting or shooting off their limbs, is known as “strategic dismemberment” as in the original Dead Space. The sequel brings back favorite weapons such as the Plasma Cutter and the Ripper, along with an arsenal of new weaponry. More favorites, such as the Stasis and Kinesis modules are also included, which give the player the ability to slow enemies down and turn ordinary object into projectiles. Both have received upgrades however, with Stasis now recharging over time and Kinesis can be used to toss enemy limbs at other enemies (which is extremely satisfying). Both are welcomed additions and have helped evolve the Dead Space gameplay.

New villains are also featured in the game. Enemies such as the “Puker,” which as you might guess, pukes on you, and an enemy called the “Pack” which has 10 to 15 infected young children running straight at you.

Players can also loot in this game, which is now done by stomping or shooting an enemy corpse. Looting gives the player many objects such as healing kits or ammo. It also gives the player “credits,” which they can use at stores located around the Sprawl. Power Nodes are also back in “Dead Space 2,” and these nodes are used to upgrade both your weapons and your suit abilities, such as your oxygen levels and your health. Nodes seem to be much more plentiful in “Dead Space 2,” and can be found in various locations throughout the game. Even though the gameplay will feel a little too familiar to “Dead Space” experts, it still is a blast to play.

Visually, “Dead Space 2” looks nearly the same as the original game. Playing in full 1080p, textures look a tad smoother, but you will still see some rough edges in the more unnoticeable objects in the game such as bottles or walls that are far away. The frame rate will sometimes suffer in the moments when many Necromorphs are on screen at once towards the end of the game, but none of these make the game unplayable.

Sound design is also great once again, with a fantastic score orchestrated by Jason Graves. The atmosphere created by Visceral Games is top notch and gives us that creepy feeling that we all love to hate.

Also included in the game is a multiplayer component that pits humans against Necromorphs. As a player, you will either fight as a Necromorph or a human, each with an objective, but neither is very engaging or fun. You have the ability to level up and earn upgrades and new weapons, but you won’t get very far because of the bore factor. The multiplayer aspect could have been something very cool and different, but in the end fails to really deliver.

The creators of “Dead Space 2” have turned up the violence big time, with horrific death sequences and chilling, bloody firefights that will make you turn your head away at some points. The game is rated “M” for mature audiences, and with good reason.

Clocking in at just above seven hours to complete, the story is told well enough to make the player want to find out what has happened, and Isaac is a much more player-friendly character.

While the game doesn’t make any major changes to both the gameplay and the visuals, it still looks and plays very well. “Dead Space 2” is a fun ride through a great, ever-expanding universe that gamers can enjoy.

MTV program shows too much 'skin'

RACHEL YECCO
Senior Editor

The MTV show “Skins,” based on the U.K. program by the same name, follows the fictional secret lives of high school kids. According to the show’s MTV website, “ ‘Skins’ is an emotional mosh-pit that slams through the insanity of teenage years.” Though teenage years are generally nothing more than an awkward encounter with peer pressure and social defiance, the image this new MTV series advertises is not one of the average American teenage life, but a lifestyle revolving around sex, drugs, and alcohol.

In the most recent episode, aired Jan. 31, viewers follow Chris (Jesse Carere), a male enhancement pill-popper whose mother abandoned him. Chris deals with the abandonment by popping more pills, throwing a party and flirting with his high school psychology teacher, Tina.

Those feelings of loss are where the realistic portion of the show ends. Later in the episode, Chris gets locked out of his house, naked, by a homeless man and decides the most logical thing to do next would, of course, be to break into Tina’s car and ask if he can stay with her. Because it’s the world of  “Skins,” Tina accepts.

But it’s not the male enhancement pills, or Chris’s storyline, that has viewers up in arms, but rather the vulgar language, unnecessary nudity and glamorization of substance abuse and sex, which can be persuasive to the show’s 1.2 million viewers under the age of 18, said Examiner.com.

“Skins” also fits the definition of child pornography, which is “the visual depiction of minor children under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts, such as sexual intercourse, masturbation, or oral sex.” The show’s youngest actress, Eleanor Zichy, is only 16 years old, and four other actors are 17. With themes like sex and masturbation of minors, “Skins” could be considered the first airing of child pornography on cable television.
Characters Stanley, played by Daniel Flaherty, and Cadie, played by Britne Oldford, are both underage on and off the set. In “Skins,” they pretend to have sex with each other to fit in with their group of friends.

According to the Huffington Post, “The show is littered with sexually suggestive poses and half-exposed breasts.”

One scene from episode three shows Michelle, played by Rachel Thevenard, asking quiet and shy Stanley what he thinks of her “tits,” utilizing word choice not preferred by the parents of the show’s young audience.

Underage drinking is also a major player is the show’s controversy. When Chris realizes his mother is gone, he spends all the small amount of money she left for him on a lavish party.

Since this takes place during high school, all characters are under the age of 21. Off the set only one actor, Ron Mustafaa, who plays Abbud, is over the legal drinking age. At this party, all the characters are holding onto some alcoholic beverage. Cadie walks into the party with a bottle of vodka, countless others with cans of beer.

Though the episode airs on Mondays at 10 p.m., it can be viewed 24/7 on MTV’s website, where viewers can also watch streaming video diaries of the main characters, and unseen footage.

The partial difference between watching “Skins” online versus on television is that the website requires a date of birth verification that the viewer is over the age of 18.

Black Swan: a bourree straight to our psyche

MELISSA KRENEK
Contributor

With his highly anticipated “Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky proves that using predictable plots and clichés in a stylized equation can create a unique masterpiece. The frequently-used theme of good vs. evil is made fresh against the backdrop of tightly pulled buns and perfect plies.

“Black Swan” tells the story of aspiring dancer Nina (Natalie Portman), who wins the role of Swan Queen in her company’s rendition of “Swan Lake.” She is the perfect choice for the white swan, delicate and precise, yet she must find her inner dark side to portray the black swan. This throws Nina into a panic, because not only must she battle herself to find her dark side, she must also fight off the threat of replacement by the mysterious and sensual Lily (Mila Kunis). The freefall of her psyche is made beautiful through Aronofsky’s gritty camera shots and Tchaikovsky’s fluid, yet terrifying numbers.

Aronofsky’s up-close and personal filming caused every scene to be extremely unsettling; in fact many scenes in “Black Swan” were almost unbearable to watch. He makes an elegant apartment eerie, a ballet studio seem haunted, and a beautiful ballerina terrifying. He transforms an overbearing stage mom (Barbara Hersey) into a witch, and an extremely touchy ballet director (Vincent Cassel) into a creepy Casanova.

Mila Kunis’s character, meant to ooze sexuality, was more frightening than sexy. “Black Swan” proves that Aronofsky can make human interaction both awkward and horrifying.
One of Aronofsky’s trademark techniques, known as “hip-hop montage,” portrays Nina’s journey toward evil. This is a series of sped up scenes usually paired with a techno beat and drug use, which he also uses in his cult classic “Requiem for a Dream.” Nina always dresses in white and Lily in black, a blatant but artistic way to remind the audience of their roles. During the club scene, Lily offers Nina a dressier black top to wear. While Nina initially covers it up, once on ecstasy she uncovers it, exposing her “dark” side. The drugs act as a catalyst for this dangerous metamorphosis, and the dance floor is the host. The transformation is made physical through a raunchy hallucination between the two girls (a scene best left to the imagination for now). It isn’t until one of the final scenes that she fully becomes the black swan.

Though many symbols worked well in this piece, some were both overkill and unrealistic in the intense world of ballet. Black wings symbolize evil, first shown on a statue at the celebration party for Nina. The statue grabbed her attention and foreshadowed her dissent to evil for the audience. Or the gothic tattoo of wings found on Lily’s back, which restated her obvious role as the black swan. The image of the music box ballerina broken in half foreshadows the expected psychotic break of Portman’s character while creating a beautiful image of something that was once whole but now fractured.

To most gore fans, seeing blood and guts is both amusing and beautiful. These fans might be surprised by a newfound desire to look away from the intense images Aronofsky creates.

To the untrained eye, ballet is stepping at different speeds and flailing arms around, though the physical wear it puts on the ballerinas is never seen. By using cracked toenails and aggressive nail clipping, Aronofsky makes his audience cringe and shield for cover. The most intense scene depicts a paranoid Portman ripping her cuticle skin past her knuckle, an unrealistic stretch that forced viewers out of their seats.

Making life imitate art is not uncommon; being able to make it fresh is much harder. “Black Swan” begins with Nina dreaming about being the Swan Queen and experiencing her tragic story. Viewers were able to predict the traumatic downfall of Nina’s character; yet still it’s surprising when it begins to unravel.

Sometimes the blues is just a passing bird

JOHN SAAVEDRA JR.
Columnist

I. Thesis Statement
December 2010 (until further notice).
I’ll write to you now and I’ll try to be as honest as possible:
I’m in search of a soul.

What’s been happening to me is that I’ve been sitting down a couple times a week trying to think of the best way to relate this to you. I am unable to find the right words. More so, I find myself unwilling to use words as a type of treatment.

I’ve tried keeping a journal before, but that type of thing is wrong unless you’re willing to be honest with yourself every single day of your life. I was hoping maybe I could talk to you instead. Human interaction is the most intimate thing there is on this planet. Mostly, I want to talk about being human.

When I started this, I decided that the only logical thing to do was get drunk.
Sometimes the most illogical thing is the best thing when it comes to writing.
Sometimes the wrong thing is all that keeps you from shooting yourself in the head. To recognize that you’re doing something wrong reminds you that you’re still a moral creature. You still have a soul to save. And I think that’s all anyone is searching for.
So that night I went out searching for my soul and got terribly drunk…

II. Brief Encounters With Inebriated Men
I’m a firm believer that what you’re looking for is out there.

“Don’t hit me, man. I love you, man.”

He had me by the neck and told me to shut up, that he just wanted to go home and have sex with his girlfriend (all the rage, these days).

“I’m sorry I ruined your night,” I told him. He was holding me up against the wall because I kept falling over onto the carpet, the couch, the fridge, the guy’s girlfriend. The whole time I asked where my girlfriend was. Of course, I didn’t have one.

“John, shut up,” he replied.

So my soul wasn’t in that cheap $13 bottle of chardonnay. Can’t blame a guy for trying. I’m kinda fortunate, actually. Chardonnay sure makes your soul taste like shit.

III. Relationships
The perfect girlfriend: Is a beautiful blonde with green eyes and cheeks that get redder according to her alcohol intake. She has a few memorable catch phrases I repeat over and over to her friends; and she does this thing that doesn’t entirely make sense where she interlocks both of her little toes when she’s lying down. When people ask me what I like about her, I dodge the question because I know I’ll say the same clichéd thing about her looks and personality. I want my adoration to seem genuine, something worth mentioning when we’re older: the reason why my descriptions involve alcohol and strange joints. I haven’t shared too many memorable moments with her. There’s this one time where she’s drunk and kisses me on the neck, slurring, “I’ve missed you.” That doesn’t count does it? When she’s sober she hugs me like I have the plague and I can barely reach her on the phone. This girl is as much my girlfriend as Woody Allen is a Nazi sympathizer.

The break up:
She will dump me during a showing of “Annie Hall” because she thinks it makes sense or something (she does things like that) and I’ll be left with a bunch of f--- you’s on my mind and a tub full of popcorn. Maybe I should’ve asked for more butter…

Shit:
Well, the thing is that I took her to dinner and to the movies a couple times and every time I paid and I’m never gonna get the money back because there are no tax returns for dating.
That said, I don’t regret any of it. You gain only what you take from any given experience. In this case, you learn honesty.

She turns to me and says, “You deserve a lot more than I can offer you. I know this is lame, but it’s true. It’s not you, it’s me.” You don’t get honesty from summer tomfoolery — I tried that.

Even if some of the things she said weren’t true, you were true to yourself. The cold hard truth is always better than one night in Paris … and we all know how that DVD turned out for those involved.

IV. People
Bull----:
Is when you write something down on a piece of paper and expect someone to praise you. When you write something down on a piece of paper and don’t want anyone to read it.
When you write something down on a piece of paper and don’t want to face the consequences. When you write something down on a piece of paper and want to make more of it than it’s worth. When you write something down on a piece of paper to escape truths, judgments, comments, looks, alcohol, cigarettes, piercings, injustice, unhappiness. When you write something down on a piece of paper in an attempt to not live your life. Like this piece.

V. One time back home,
my mother used to put a leash on me when we were going out. I was a crazy kid and I’m sure I could out run her. So it was this blue Velcro strap that went around my wrist and she held the other end.

One time, it saved me from running into a street and getting hit by a car. Instead, my head bounced on the pavement as she pulled me back to her. There must have been a ball on the other side of the street.

We went for walks sometimes, but we only ever got a block or two away from the house because I stopped her every time.

Back then there were mango trees and avocado trees and a vineyard and chickens and ducks and horses and these angry dogs and men slaughtering pigs. There was an uncle and an aunt and a father and a mother and some cousins, but I will tell you about them later.
What I want you to know is that I stopped my mother after every step and pointed them all out. We never got very far on our walks.

One time a lady asked my mother why she was walking me like a dog. She didn’t take kindly to the comment …

VI. Rebellion Off Madison
January 2011 (a few phone calls later).
Sometimes you just have to call it a day.

The suitcase is where you left it. Pull it out of the closet and toss it on the bed. It’s a little worn from all the times you’ve used it. All the packing and unpacking. As for me, I never bother to unpack completely. I like to move around. One place makes me nervous.
Leave the frame on the bedside table.

Don’t take it. If her face doesn’t stick out in your memory, if you can’t remember the awkward interlocking of fingers that defined a month’s worth of smiles, then what was any of it for? Leave it there. No use in hauling the extra weight around.

Goodbyes … don’t bother with them. Some things are better left unsaid. I’m not saying make enemies with the person, although a few days worth of hatred is part of the healing process.

What I mean is don’t make it harder for yourself than it already is. You’ve gone through enough.

Leave the keys on the table. Don’t pretend to forget something. Take the goddamn books that belong to you, empty your sock drawer, and take your razors. Don’t come back for lunch.

If she invites you over for some coffee when you least expect it, don’t bother. She’s going to expect you to knock even though you have the keys to the apartment. Make sure that when you walk out the door you’re taking your strength of will with you.

Let go. You do these things to grow. When you were growing up you let go of your parents’ bed, your bottle, your diaper, your crib, your blanket, your toys, your virginity, your parents … Now you’re in a bit deeper.

VII. Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird
January 2011 (in a series of good days).

1) I got home at eight in the morning on my birthday.
I didn’t have trouble climbing the stairs to my bedroom. I didn’t have to grasp on both sides of the wall to keep myself up in the darkness.

I didn’t push my lamp off my bedside table. I did nothing illegal that night. I did not partake in a roundtable discussion on sex.

No one showed me how hard it is to roll a joint. I sat inside my head and waited. When it was finally time, I knew something special had happened.

2) I watched it snow for the fourth time this winter. I didn’t bring boots again, so when the snow turned to ice I had to venture out in my sneakers.

If you know anything about it, a walk of glory is about as rewarding as a cigarette and a bowl of Cap’n Crunch, which were also a part of the first snow of the semester.

Under my every crunch of snow and every almost-slip the peace crawled up my legs and warmed the twenty degrees out of me. A simple walk can do it.

You’ve got a soul. You just have to find the right thing to warm it.

3) Every time I look up at the necklace hanging in my room I think about how lucky I am to be here.

I hereby declare this a good day.

Alternative Winter Break: The Dominican Republic

FDU students and faculty visited the Dominican Republic over winter break.

MAE MORALES
Contributor

As a past student member and student leader with the ever-changing Alternative Break groups here at FDU, each trip has left a different impression and experience for me to remember. This year’s Winter Break brought a few FDU students and myself to sunny and warm city of La Romana, Dominican Republic, a definite change from the wintry weather the team left behind.

The organization that we worked with, Hogar Del Nino, operates a donation-based school for families who cannot afford the private schools around the area. Some children are infants when they come to the school, and are allowed to stay until they are 18 years old.
The Friday we arrived, the team was brought to an event called Café de la Leche, where the contributors would bring powdered milk and formula to be used in the “Sala Cuna,” or the Crib Room, at the Hogar Del Nino.

Monday was our first day visiting the school, but there were no students because of the national holiday, and we had to wait until Tuesday to meet everyone. The team took a tour of the classrooms as well as the Sala Cuna, which houses about 200 cribs (they are not filled every day). The next task of the day was to assemble the new play set for the park before the children returned to school.

The volunteers took us to the Sala Cuna to help the nannies feed the babies, where ages ranged from seven months to two years. There were enough children for us to give bottles of milk for the babies and rice and soup for the older infants.

“In the ever-changing equation of life, children are the only constant. Innocence, curiosity, joy ... their faces tell all,” team member Justin Brinkerhoff said.

While some team members stayed behind to spend time with the younger children, a few visited the children in pre-school and kindergarten. It was difficult at first trying to communicate with the younger kids, but some team members found a way, regardless of the differences in language. For four days, we were able to enjoy the company of the energetic children playing in the park, and even played a game of volleyball against the eighth-graders on our final day with the students.

What the Alternative Break Group would like for FDU students to gain from these trips is to not only create a memory, but also a reminder of simple necessities that we take for granted every day. The Alternative Breaks also give students opportunities to learn outside of the classroom and meet new people

We hope to continue this tradition and allow more students to be members of the Alternative Break family.

Alternative Winter Break: Costa Rica

FDU sophomore Dan Palmer clears debris with a new friend in Manzanillo, Costa Rica.

MELISSA HARTZ
Editor-in-Chief

On our last night in Manzanillo, Costa Rica, I was on my way back to the hotel when one of the locals waved me over.

“I hear you’re all leaving tomorrow,” he said. I nodded, though I hadn’t yet quite come to terms that our trip was coming to a close. The man smiled and put his hand on my shoulder. “We are all so grateful for what you do for this community. We are a small little town, and what you all do here to support us makes such a difference. Bless you.” Though hard work gives its own rewards, the validation and appreciation from one of the town’s residents is something that will touch me forever.

On Jan. 6, I was among 13 students and two faculty members from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham who arrived in Costa Rica for our Alternative Winter Break trip.  The central focus of our trip was community service: during our stay, we would work on a variety of beach projects and renovate the town’s only schoolhouse before the students returned from the winter holiday.

On our first day of service work, arriving at the school put everything in perspective. For children in kindergarten through eighth grade, a total of about 70 students, the little turquoise schoolhouse held three classrooms and a small kitchen. Desks and chairs were piled into corners, mildew stained the seafoam-colored walls, and the ocean had caused a year’s worth of rust to cake up on the wrought-iron windows.

We divided into two teams; one half would stay and work on the school while the other headed up to the beach, bringing in painted concrete cylinders and planting trees to protect the beach from cars. We were essentially given our assignments, and it was up to us to create teams and an efficient work system. In addition to making a difference within the town, we were also given the opportunity to hone our own leadership skills.

Sometimes as we worked, local children would come up to us, helping us plant trees or just sitting nearby and chatting. It was such a unique experience to not only make our mark on the community, but also to interact with the locals on such a casual level.

I went to Manzanillo so I could make an impact on the community. What I didn’t expect, however, was how much the little community on the southeast tip of Costa Rica would have on me.

While I came away from the trip with an incredible feeling of pride about our service projects, there is certainly something to be said about being completely immersed in another culture. Costa Rica, “the rich coast,” is certainly an appropriate name for this country. Everything is vibrant and fresh, from the scenery to the food to the people.
Because Fairleigh Dickinson University’s mission is to provide a global education, much of our core curriculum consists of the problem of “ethnocentricism” – when a person views the world only through the lens of his or her own culture. Understanding this concept helped us immeasurably when we found ourselves surrounded by a culture that was not our own, and some customs didn’t quite line up with the American way of life. I came back from the trip not only with a head full of braids, but also with a different outlook on the world.

During our first restaurant meal in Costa Rica, we were surprised to find out that service is much slower than back home, and a lunch out could last as long as two to three hours. Not long into the trip, however, once we had broken down some of our own cultural walls, we began to look forward to these stretches of time, a change to relax and catch up. After engaging in some of our best conversations during these long mealtimes, it’s made me rethink the American need to be constantly busy – maybe there really is something to be said for taking some time out of the day where the only agenda is to catch up with loved ones and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

Freshman Lauren Ruzicka washes dishes at Manzanillo's only school house.

In Manzanillo, a common response to “how are you” is pura vida, which means “the good life.” The phrase has been bouncing around in my head since our arrival. What exactly makes “the good life”? In Manzanillo, there are no iPads, a handful of television stations, and the solitary road into the town has only existed for 30 years, yet everyone is living pura vida. It made us all stop and rethink our values and how we measure personal success – maybe the secret to pura vida isn’t as complicated as we think.

Before going on the Alternative Winter Break trip, I found myself at the crossroad that many other college seniors face – the stresses of getting a “real” job, living arrangements, and coming to terms with the fact that a four-year chapter of my life will soon come to a close. While thinking about the future is certainly still a little intimidating, I feel that this helped me to find out what in this world is important to me. Knowing that the children of Manzanillo will go back to a beautiful school is made a little sweeter by finding myself along the way.

Professor of English Katie Singer applies a fresh coat of paint to the town bus stop.

Greek spring recruitment begins

JEFF STANSBURY
Staff Writer

As students finally get settled into their dorm rooms and class schedules, FDU’s 11 active Greek organizations prepare to choose and welcome their newest pledge classes.

The fraternities at the Florham campus held their “Meet the Greeks” night on Feb. 1 in the Bottle Hill Room, while the sororities hosted theirs the following night in the Student Center mall.

The purpose of “Meet the Greeks,” as well as other independent Greek recruitment events, is for prospective members to question current members of the organizations in an attempt to gain an understanding of what each organization is about.

“Recruitment is an opportunity for students to find out more about Greek life,” said Sarah Azavedo, Director of Student Life.

While each fraternity normally hosts parties and other events for people who are “rushing” during the recruitment process, the sororities go through a more intricate process. The women of FDU’s four sororities use these events to determine which women will receive bids from their respective organizations.

“Men’s recruitment process is less structured than the women’s,” said Azavedo. “Each sorority will host three parties during the recruitment period, one on each of the two ‘rotation nights’ and one on the ‘free night.’ The ‘free night,’ Feb. 8, is essentially a make-up night for women who missed a party and need to attend one in order to meet the requirements. The women who are interested in joining a sorority must attend at least two parties from each organization in order to be eligible for a bid.”

On Feb. 10, the sororities will host an “invitation night.” Only women who have been invited by one of the four sororities are permitted to attend. Women who did not receive an invitation are still eligible to receive a bid. Though requirements and other events can be intimidating, junior and Phi Sigma Sigma sister Ashley Markovic encourages young women to come out and meet the sororities.

“Don’t be intimidated by going out. There are many fun experiences you can have by meeting different groups of people,” said Markovic.

Any current FDU student who is interested in joining any of the seven fraternities or four sororities must have completed at least 12 credits and hold a GPA of 2.35 or better in order to be eligible for recruitment.

The last day of recruitment for the sororities is on Feb. 11, when the women who received a paper bid can pick them up in the Campus Life office at noon.

Campus Life must be informed of all bid intentions, whether people will accept, decline or hold by 4 p.m. that day.

“We just encourage men and women to go out and find more about Greek organizations,” said Azavedo.

iPhone vs. iPhone: a buyer's dilemma

MEGAN HEINTZ
Staff Writer

They look identical. So why is it then that Verizon Wireless’s release of the iPhone is so anticipated?

The original AT&T iPhone was released in June 2007, selling 270,000 in its first weekend. Since then, the iPhone has grown into its fourth generation, and is known as a must-have technology and accessory for millions of Americans.

Four years later AT&T’s competitor, Verizon Wireless, is finally following suit after toying with the idea since 2008. For those who did not want to switch their cell-phone plan, now is the chance to have one of these popular gadgets.

With a Feb. 10 release date (pre-orders were accepted beginning Feb. 3) there will be a frenzy in stores throughout the country.

However, buyers be warned.

Unlike most Verizon phones that have 3G and 4G technologies, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam announced the Verizon Wireless iPhone will be using a CDMA network, which does not support simultaneous voice and data.

However, this phone has plenty of advantages. One of the major innovations is the five-user Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, a standard feature of Android phones. Until now, Apple had kept the iPhone only able to tether directly to one computer. Also, with AT&T known for its dropped calls and slow data speeds, iPhone on the Verizon network is expected to be even better. Yet, despite the controversy as to which is better, it all comes down to preference - and patience.

The Apple iPhone 5 will be released in July 2011. As for the rumored controversies between Apple and Verizon, there is no truth to them.

At the Big Red press conference in New York City, McAdam said, “Our relationship with Apple has developed over the last two years. In 2008 we started talking about bringing the iPhone to a CDMA network. We spent a year testing.” In addition, Verizon’s Dan Dee emphasized the robustness of the network in the same conference.

“We’re ready for this launch. Our iPhone 4 customers will get a terrific wireless experience.”

FDU pub offers new spring hours

MATTHEW HEINLE
Managing Editor

The Bottle Hill Pub at Fairleigh Dickinson University is changing its schedule for the Spring 2011 semester.

The pub, which was previously open to students on Tuesdays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., will now open its doors on Wednesdays, but will keep those same hours. Happy Hour will continue to take place on Thursdays, but from 5 to 9 p.m. instead of 4 to 7 p.m.

“Business has been slow,” said the pub’s proprietor Sarah Azavedo. “I think it’s due to the fact that no underage students are allowed and no hard alcohol is being served.”

The decreased presence of the pub on campus can, in part, be attributed to these limitations. The current drinking age means that many students aren’t allowed to consume alcohol legally until at least their junior year. This law has forced the underage presence at Florham to look outside of the campus to satisfy their need for alcohol.

The presence of hard alcohol as a staple in the college party scene means that students have become accustomed to drinking and feeling it immediately. Moderation is not a concept often exercised, or even encouraged, in the colorful philosophies of today’s young partiers.

Instances of binge drinking, or consuming four or more drinks over the span of a few hours, have become prevalent among today’s American youth. A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 4 high school students and adults between the ages of 18 and 34 partake in binge drinking activity. Naturally, the pub incurs a certain type of responsibility being an establishment run under a college banner.

“We started [the pub] so you can responsibly drink and it is a social outlet,” said Azavedo. “It’s just another service for faculty and staff.”

Azavedo hopes the pub’s change in hours of operation will lighten the burden of competing with the bars in the surrounding area.

The shift in the times for Happy Hour encourages students to hang around a little longer and become acquainted with the bar they usually see through darkened windows on a consistent basis.

“I didn’t want to compete with the places in Morristown. Very few people go into Morristown on Wednesdays,” said Azavedo.

In addition to the new hours, the pub continues to host karaoke nights, as well as live performances from local bands. Playing during Thursday Happy Hours, the lineup includes New Dakota on Feb. 24, The Non-Domestiks on March 3, and a three-peat performance from Redwall on Feb. 17, March 31 and April 28.  The karaoke events will be held on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Feb. 9, March 9, April 13 and May 4.

The Bottle Hill Pub is doing its best to provide for students looking to avoid, or just take a break from, the whirlwind that serves as an appropriate metaphor for today’s college party scene.

The only thing to do now is sit back and wait to see how many of Fairleigh Dickinson’s students have added moderation to their vocabulary by junior year.

FDU kicks off Chinese New Year

ALEXIS CAMARENA
Entertainment Editor

The Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional holidays in Chinese culture. Lasting 15 days, the Chinese New Year is the longest of the holidays, beginning on the first day of the first month in the Chinese Lunisolar Calendar, a calendar that incorporates lunar events with solar events.

Despite taking place in winter, the Chinese New Year is also known as the “Spring Festival,” and is celebrated in Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and areas with high Chinese populations, such as Chinatown.

In the Gregorian calendar, the calendar we are most familiar with and the internationally-used calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year, somewhere between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20.

This year, the Year of the Rabbit, the Chinese New Year began on Feb. 3, and the Florham Programming Committee brought a celebration to campus in honor of the holiday.

Members of FPC are the creators behind much of the fun that is to be had on campus, such as the yearly Homecoming Pep Rally, Battle of the Bands  and newer events such the semi-formal Snowball, held this past January, and now, the Chinese New Year Celebration. Held on Feb. 2, the event was organized by FPC President Katie Ford and Michele Tonge.

“It sounded like a really good idea, and it’s not a very popular holiday, and we [FPC] are trying to bring new events to campus,” said Tonge.

The planning for the event began over winter break, and to Ford and Tonge’s pleasant surprise, the event was a huge success.

Over the course of two hours, about 200 students came through the Student Center to attend the event.

The celebration included water-coloring paper lanterns, writing Chinese calligraphy on picture frames, making other crafts and  eating Chinese food, such as chicken and broccoli, lo mein, dumplings, eggrolls and just about every flavor of fried rice.

In addition, two dancers were hired for entertainment, one of whom was dressed in an elaborate dragon headpiece.

“Originally, I thought people would just come for the food, but a lot of [people] stayed for the crafts, to watch the dancers, and to just hang out with their friends,” said Tonge.
Needless to say, the event was a huge success, and FPC plans to make this traditional holiday an FDU tradition.