Archive | January, 2009

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Advising At Marquette: Does Marquette fulfill promise to give students individualized advising attention?

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Katelyn Ferral

Bringing up academic advising during standard small talk among Marquette students is sure to bring about a series of broad, but equally fervent responses. Academic situations vary from student to student, but academic advising at Marquette and its effectiveness in preparing students for graduation is often described as either a nightmare or a godsend.

ADVISING’S TWO WAY STREET FOR STUDENTS

While students who enter Marquette as first semester freshman are assigned a departmental major adviser, transfer students follow a somewhat different advising track. Meghan Dolan, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences transferred to Marquette from the University of Arizona at the beginning of her sophomore year. She said advising was a factor in her decision to transfer.

“I didn’t have an adviser at the University of Arizona,” Dolan said. “I didn’t know who to go to with questions about required courses and what ones would go with my major. I didn’t know who to talk to, and just had a general lack of direction.”

Dolan said after being accepted into Marquette, she received an e-mail from the Advising Department at the College of Arts and Sciences over the summer and then was able to then meet with an academic adviser to map out the courses she needed before she registered for classes.

“I met with my adviser before school even started and we talked a lot, which was really nice. She set up sheets and helped me map out my gen eds and everything I needed to do to graduate on time, and how I could get classes to double count for requirements, because I behind on credits,” said Dolan. “She’s been super helpful.”
Dolan met with her adviser twice more throughout her first semester, and said her adviser made herself very available to discuss any questions and concerns.
“She was really good about making sure I was adjusting and fitting in and making friends, making sure I was in the right classes.”

After her first year at Marquette, Dolan was assigned a major-specific adviser to meet with every semester before registration.

“I have a specific academic adviser now, but she’s relatively new and I’ve always wondered, do they really know what I need other than what’s a good major-related course for me to take?”

As positive as Dolan’s advising experience as been, College of Communication junior Joe Gacioch hasn’t been as fortunate, his advising experience at Marquette has been, in his words, “below average to say the least.”

Gacioch entered Marquette as a broadcast and electronic communication major, and was initially assigned a faculty member in that department as an adviser. Gacioch switched to Public Relations, subsequently changing advisers.

“She was either in her first or second year at MU, so she was unclear as to what classes I had to take to fulfill core, college and major requirements. As such, I basically had to figure out my requirements on my own,” Gacioch said.

Gacioch explains that although he is required to meet with his adviser, he usually has his classes already picked out.
“I was in Johnston Hall, not just her office, for eight minutes for my last advising session,” Gacioch said.

In addition to his poor experience, Gacioch said many of his friends have also had “below average experiences with their advisers.”
“I think that many students are unsatisfied with the advising system, as a whole, because of the lack of required sessions.”

MARQUETTE’S ADVISING STRUCTURE AND PHILOSOPHY

Each college at Marquette individually organizes and assigns advisers to students who have declared a major, but the Advising Center in the College of Arts and Sciences has a distinctively comprehensive program for Arts and Sciences students, transfer students and students who have an undecided major.

According to their Web site, the Advising Center utilizes full-time professional advisers who are available to assist students with “choosing a major, utilizing study skills techniques, determining career goals, selecting and scheduling courses and preparing for professional school.”

The Advising Center promises that their advisers will know students well and meet individually until a major is declared and other questions regarding courses, majors and careers are answered.

Brenna Vogel, who is an Academic Adviser at the Advising Center for College of Arts and Sciences takes that promise seriously. As a full-time pre-major adviser, Vogel works with 150 students on a one on one basis. Vogel typically meets with freshman, sophomores and transfer students from other universities or colleges within Marquette until they are paired with a faculty adviser in their area of study in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I really get to know the students that I serve,” Vogel said. “I aim to see each student three times a semester, more if he/she wants. If a student is on academic probation, I meet with him/her weekly to make sure that we are working together to achieve academic success.”

Vogel also assists students with study abroad plans, summer school options and to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college, holds workshops on time management, organizes the College Majors Fair and does curriculum presentations during Orientation and Preview.

“I love what I do and I love my students. Advising is extremely rewarding and truly gives me a chance to get to know students on a personal level. My goal is to embody “cura personalis,” care for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.”

MAJOR ADVISER PERSPECTIVE

College of Communication Associate professor, Dr. Ana Garner has been a faculty adviser for 16 years, and said faculty are expected to become familiar with the requirements of the major, college and university when advising students.

“The College of Communication has always held information sessions as things changed. Since faculty oversee requirements and course content they are usually familiar with changes that occur. The information sessions help fill in the gaps.”

Garner said College of Communication faculty undergoes supplemental training as academic requirements change and said balancing an advisee load is a part of being a faculty member just as much as teaching and researching.

“It is part of the ebb and flow of academic life, thus advising demands change as we move through the academic year in the same way the other work does.”
In his role as chair of the political science department, Dr. Lawrence LeBlanc, who has been advising and teaching at Marquette for 40 years, is responsible for assigning and meeting with all students who declare a major in political science.

“Yes, I would consider myself accountable to the College for the efficiency of the advising program in Political Science,” LeBlanc said. Students can either choose or be assigned an adviser after meeting with LeBlanc. He said, “the ability for students to choose their adviser is important.”

“I make every effort to be sure that students have advisers they will be comfortable working with,” LeBlanc said. “Advising is very important, but not all students see it as very important. Some want help not only with course selection but with working out, or at least thinking about, career plans and options. Others do not and are very self-reliant in making decisions on such matters.”

LeBlanc, who received the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Advising Award in 2006, said he was given no training on advising when he first came to Marquette.

“From time to time I went to advising workshops, particularly when I served as a Freshman Adviser in the College of Arts and Sciences. I do not require that the faculty undergo special training.”

Despite the lack of a formal training program, LeBlanc said the faculty in his department consult among themselves and share knowledge and insight on advising.
“Our objective is to provide first-rate advising to students, and I would say that we almost invariably achieve that.”

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YES – Israel’s response to Hamas is appropriate

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Austin Wozniak

There is a tendency to condemn Israeli military action as being disproportionate to the attacks it has suffered. Images of helicopters destroying buildings with rockets and tanks leveling barriers hastily erected by stone throwing Palestinians have been seared into the minds of many thanks to the omnipresence of CNN and the 24 hour news networks. The decision in 1948 to create the state of Israel has had one of the longest running effects on world peace in recorded history, and it has been a history filled with wrong doings by both sides. The Palestinians under Hamas have adopted a hard line approach, refusing to accept anything less than a restoration of the status quo prior to the existence of Israel. Israel has refused to abandon settlements to create a continuous Palestinian state in the West Bank, in spite of intense international pressure to do so, and has responded very heavy-handedly to past attacks and threats. Israel’s neighbors have launched surprise attacks and wars of aggression in the past, and many states have sworn to see Israel pushed into the sea. Palestinian’s remain an impoverished people with no homeland and little hope. The result is an extraordinary level of mistrust and mutual hatred that has contributed to more than 60 years of unrest.

However, the Hamas government in Gaza has repeatedly attacked Israel’s defenseless civilians using long range rockets supplied by foreign powers, deliberately attempting to kill or maim non-combatants. Whatever the differences between the two peoples, there is no condoning such actions and Israel is well within its right to remove a known terrorist organization from power when both its words and deeds indicate it is opposed to the continuing existence of Israel. Israel has gone to great lengths to avoid innocent Palestinian casualties, in spite of the deliberate attacks on Israeli innocents. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article which cited an example of Israel giving advance warning a known bomb manufacturing site was going to be bombed, allowing ample time for it to be cleared. Instead of evacuating, Hamas ordered women and babies inside the structure in the hopes of achieving a public relations victory. In light of this information, Israel opted not to bomb the structure. The bottom line is that Hamas has begun this conflict by attacking Israelis, and has expressed no interest in coexisting, therefore they can hardly complain when Israelis protect themselves. The use of Israel’s military is perfectly proportionate – it is not their fault that Hamas lacks helicopter gunships. It is also a proportionate response to remove a terrorist organization from power when they express no desire for peace.

The truce demanded by much of the international community is simply a means of restoring a status quo that has seen terrorists rise to power and attack Israelis, and therefore would honestly not be in the best interests of Israel. If any lasting peace accord is to be reached, it must be accompanied by a firm commitment from an international body of peacekeepers to prevent any attacks by Hamas against Israeli citizens, and it must come with a mandate to use force if necessary. Similarly, it must carry the promise of sanctions should Israel launch aggressive actions against the duly elected government of the Palestinian people. Unless Israel can be guaranteed of its safety, it retains the right, and indeed the obligation, to defend itself against all enemies – no other country would accept anything less, and neither should Israel. Until such time as a serious and credible cease fire agreement is proposed with guaranteed international backing, Israel is right to continue pursuing Hamas in Gaza by any conventional means necessary, so long as it takes reasonable precautions to mitigate damage and civilian casualties.

The Palestinian people must accept the existence of Israel if there is to be a lasting peace. In the long run, a two state solution is really the only viable alternative to the status quo and a shot at real peace in the region. There are many details to be worked out among both sides and it will require concessions by both parties, however the continuation of a senseless, decades old conflict is in neither side’s interests. The past 60 years has seen the promise of complete generations lost and squandered by senseless violence. In a day and age in which people are more interconnected than ever before, it is a real human tragedy that senseless conflict that will ultimately achieve very little should continue, and it is feasible to envision a Palestinian and Israeli state, with a neutral Jerusalem creating a viable, peaceful solution. Until such time as both sides are willing to recognize one another’s legitimacy and cease the attacks on Israeli civilians, it is right to support Israel’s proportioned response to protect itself.

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NO – Israel’s response to Hamas is not appropriate

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Jason Ardanowski

Hamas and Israel have, at the time of this writing, stopped shooting at each other. This praiseworthy outcome cannot disguise Israel’s brutal, ham-fisted, and unsustainable conduct of its war in the Gaza Strip. Israel responded to pinpricks with a bulldozer when prudence dictated a calmer policy.

In the context of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 under former prime minister Ariel Sharon – a wise decision – the recent war made no sense. Either a reoccupation of Gaza in the name of mutual safety for both Palestinians and Israelis, or limited military maneuvers intended to interdict Hamas’s crude rocketry, would have a justification in the court of humane international opinion.

Regrettably, Israel chose, out of pique, a third option – an open-ended mission to hurt the residents of the Gaza Strip and make them collectively regret choosing a Hamas government in the summer of 2007. Israel’s conduct, quite simply, is beyond the pale of civilized statecraft.

The facts speak for themselves: Israeli troops have killed in excess of 1,000 non-combatant civilians in Gaza, including 30 children in a United-Nations-run school in a refugee camp and five people dead when Israeli forces shelled Gaza City’s main fruits-and-vegetables market. Norwegian medical aid teams estimate that 40 percent of the people killed thus far are women and children. All this, for the loss of four lives from Hamas rocketry in Israeli territory and less than a dozen deaths among Israeli soldiers.

We at Marquette are part of a Jesuit community; thus, part of our obligation is upholding the longstanding Christian tradition of just war scholarship. Jus in bello, or, translated, just conduct during war, maintains that any military action must weigh the potential security gains against the harm troops will inflict on civilians. Protecting an insignificant proportion of Israeli citizens does not justify cutting off electricity, food, water, and basic sanitation in the Gaza Strip.

As The Economist editorialized on January 3, “The Palestinians it [Israel] is bombing today will be its neighbors forever.” Israel has not wiped out Hamas, whose chief leaders in Gaza are rumored to be hiding under an overstretched hospital, and it cannot hope to depopulate or deport the people of Gaza in large numbers. Its military invasion has perpetuated the sad cycle of charge, counter-charge, exaggerations, and accusations that has seized Israeli-Palestinian relations since 1948. Invading Gaza is straying far from the road to a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land.

It is easy to cheer Israel from afar and much harder to support its policies up close. We must not be deceived by the Palestinians’ corrupt and criminal leadership. Zimbabweans do not deserve to be judged for the sins of Robert Mugabe. In regions lacking our democratic heritage and traditions, it is all too common to choose slimy leaders who turn bad at the polls. Palestinians no more deserve to die at the point of Israeli bayonets than Zimbabweans deserve to die of cholera. Never mind the cause, fashionable as it may be to say Hamas started it. Responsible international relations transcend petty “he said, she said” gamesmanship.

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Cut big oil some slack

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Nick Preston

You’re all probably wondering how someone can say such a rash thing, how anybody short of the devil himself could come to the defense of such a great evil as Big Oil. So let me start out by saying that by and large I am not a fan of oil companies. Their money too often finds its way into the pockets of too many politicians who are only too gracious to return the favor at seemingly any cost. Moreover, this country is entirely too dependant upon oil as a source of energy. Oil is one great big basket into which we have placed all our energetic eggs.

Having said that, looking back at the events of the past year, I feel inclined to come to the aid of big oil. 2008 saw oil at its highest price ever of $147.30 a barrel, with the average American shelling $4.11 for a gallon of gas this past July. Many accused oil companies of price gouging and demanded that greedy oil execs testify in congress to explain the soaring prices. Certainly people had a right to be angry (I have to admit that I was one of them), but the end of 2008 proved that we should have directed our anger not at oil, but instead on global speculation.

Prices dropped at the end of 2008 because the global economy tanked and demand for oil dropped. The fact that oil plunged to less than $40.00 a barrel provides vindication for oil companies, and proves that global demand and speculation rather than greedy oil tycoons drove oil prices to their record heights.

Even more importantly, oil companies are doing well what most other companies are not in the present economic climate: still employing Americans and paying taxes. Exxon Mobil, for instance, directly employs 30,000 Americans while employing thousands more through its subsidiaries and at its retail sites. With almost daily news of companies laying off thousands of employees, 30,000 secure American jobs is nothing at which to scoff. As far as taxes go, Exxon Mobil paid almost $30 Billion dollars in net income taxes to the U.S. government in 2007 alone. This number does not include the billions more the corporation shelled out for sales based taxes and other duties.

Exxon Mobil, along with other American owned oil and gas companies such as BP, Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron and others employ thousands of Americans and continue to pay billions of dollars in taxes in the current tough economic climate. Yes, these companies garnered huge profits as gas prices skyrocketed, but profit is taxable and is ultimately used to create more jobs through capital investment and business expansion. There is a bad side to big oil, but there is certainly a good side as well in what it does provide for the U.S. economy. For this, at least, it should not be faulted.

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The misfortune of celebrity lives

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Robert Christensen

At the end of November MTV launched their documentary on Britney Spears entitled “Britney: For the Record.” Aired a few weeks before the release of her newest CD “Circus” the documentary was an attempt by Britney Spears to set the record straight, as well as clean up her image. While many of you may ask why I would watch such a show, (a question I asked myself many times throughout the course of the hour), but I was actually glad I did. Not only was I entertained by her many ridiculous quotes, including her explanation of why she shaved her head when she stated; “people shave their heads every day.” But I also got a better understanding of Britney herself. I honestly feel bad for her.

Britney Spears began her performance career when she was eight years old and received a spot on the New Mickey Mouse Club when she was 11 years old. For many people this would be a dream come true, but they also fail to see the consequences of becoming so rich and famous at such a young age. Britney has not had the opportunity to attend a university like you and I, she is uneducated and is surrounded by many people who are trying to get rich from her fame. While I am certainly not a psychologist, it doesn’t take a genius to see the effect this has had on her. More is expected of her than you and I, while she has had double the pressure put on her.

Unfortunately, Britney’s story is not unique, particularly in Hollywood. Over break I picked up a book entitled The Hollywood Book of Death by Robert Parish. This incredibly interesting book gave short synopses of the lives and deaths of over 100 different Hollywood stars; one of the most notable being that of Judy Garland.
Judy Garland was a phenomenal actress whose amazing vocals were heard in movies such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Meet me in St. Louis.” While being incredibly talented she battled with self-doubt throughout her entire life. These doubts were compounded by film executives who told her she was both overweight and unattractive. Taking drugs to control her weight and increase her productivity, Judy endured a decades-long struggle with addiction. She was also plagued by financial instability, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, and her first four of five marriages ended in divorce. After many suicide attempts she eventually died of an accidental drug overdose. At her funeral “Wizard of Oz” co-star Ray Bolger commented, “She just plain wore out.”

Too often we are enthralled by the lives of celebrities similar to Britney Spears such as Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland or even former Marquette student Chris Farley who party hard and die young. We remember their self-destruction and on some level are even impressed by it, but we fail to see their incredible unhappiness and their cries for help.

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Obama’s administration will have radical agenda

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Adam Ryback

About 75 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised the American people a New Deal. He took advantage of the nation’s disgust for the Hoover administration and its handling of the Great Depression to bring about the most radical reform this nation has ever seen. The landslide which took place in the 1932 election was an authorization from the American people for Roosevelt to do whatever needed to be done to rescue our country from the Depression. President Barack Obama enters office under many of the same conditions: an unpopular president, a failing economy and a mandate for change.

Barack Obama will have the ability to get all of his legislation passed without any reasonable resistance from Congress, the same way Roosevelt was able to do whatever he wanted during his first hundred days. Obama can be as radical or as moderate as he chooses.

The Obama administration seems as if it will continue Bush’s policy of bailing out our nation’s major corporations. However, the amount of money given to the corporations and the number of corporations being bailed out will greatly increase. We also know that Obama plans to immediately implement an economic stimulus plan. During the next four years, Obama will be sending plenty of stimulus checks to American households.

Moreover, if the time was ever ripe for our country to finally give into socialized medicine, it is now. Just as Medicare and Medicaid were an expansion of Social Security, so will Medicare and Medicaid be expanded into a universal health care system, where all Americans can be confident that the government which destroyed our currency and funded the Taliban during the Carter and Reagan administrations can now monitor brain surgeries.

What’s worse is that Obama is poised to stick a dagger in the heart of the pro-life movement. With legislation such as the Freedom of Choice Act, abortion will have the stamp of approval by the federal government. Abortion will be made as accessible as humanly possible, demonstrated by the fact that Obama has shown support for infanticide.

President Obama is more than capable of being the most radical president ever. He will expand socialism so far that voters in Venezuela will think Chavez is ripping them off. More importantly, his unequivocal support for abortion will destroy any hope which pro-life conservatives have of restoring our nation’s respect for human life.

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Inaugural cover-up: Nepotism take-down

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Carl Mueller

This recent inauguration of our 44th President Barack Obama represented an historic moment for America. Not only does Obama represent hope and American freedoms as president, an unbelievably large amount of people actually watched the inauguration. Very few people have ever cared enough to watch what can usually be considered a C-SPAN-only quality telecast. This year the President stumbling through his Oath of Office held the nation’s attention better than wardrobe malfunctions at the Super Bowl. While some may believe that this may be the rekindling of hope, American government regaining Americans’ trust, or the re-establishment of dignity in America’s highest office, it is obvious that behind the scenes forces used the inaugural ceremony to try to move along a standing battle against one of America’s most hallowed and cherished establishments: nepotism.

Three notable casualties took place during the ceremony as Senators Kennedy and Byrd were mysteriously transported away from the inaugural luncheon and former Vice President Cheney was confined to a wheel chair before the Secret Service forced him into the back of a black Cadillac. These seemingly legitimate occurrences may have been explained away in the press, but considering the context of removing the last remaining Bush in office from a position of power and suddenly “Change we can believe in” takes on a more ominous tone. The Bush family and the Kennedys have long represented the standard of American nepotism, and it seems that now these patriarchies of privilege are being plagued with possible peril. These old guards and their associates, like Cheney, Byrd and almost every Kennedy that hasn’t died yet, are now seemingly under constant attack. In seemingly unrelated events, Caroline Kennedy was slighted for the New York Senate seat vacated by Clinton, creating a greater opportunity for turnover. No obvious old power replacement for Obama is forthcoming after Oprah shirked the possibility of taking over for the junior Illinois seat, in a state already reeling from an assault on old-boy politics as traditional gubernatorial bribery practices have come under assault.

This power vacuum cannot be explained easily, but can be explained theoretically. These groups so long entrenched in power are not actually being forced out, but duping the public into thinking so in an attempt to escape from harsher consequences when the truth is learned. As the world tries to recover from a global economic crisis, world leaders are losing elections all over, but on purpose. Iceland already forced their Prime Minister, Geir Haarde out of power, but he will not feel any real wrath. In fact if the people of Iceland knew that he was retiring to Portugal with his hush up money from the G-8 to cover up the greatest embezzlement scandal of all time the repercussions would be greater than simply losing office. This is why Bush “stayed the course” in all aspects despite such opposition and historically low approval ratings. It was all part of a plot; an insidious plot so that all of the families in the spotlight, the old guard, could retire on greater fortunes than they already had.

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7-0: Marquette no longer small in the Big East

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Brian Henry

7-0… Really digest that for a moment.Jumpin’ Jesuits… WE’RE 7-0!!!

That’s about the reaction from almost every Marquette fan as they wake up today. If you haven’t checked out the newest Big East standings, you cannot help but smile when you look to the top of the 16 team list. 1. No. 8/8 Marquette 18-2 (7-0).

To put it plainly, this is awesome. But be wary Marquette Basketball fans, because in this conference, being the hunted is something new for this program. The history speaks for itself. The Golden Eagles have had at least two losses through five games in their first three seasons in the conference. Now they sit unblemished on top of an absurdly talented heap of good teams.

For the last three years, this program’s starts were not going to make opposing teams and fans sweat over the upcoming Marquette game on their schedule. A 7-0 start though… A win on the road against a ranked team… I do not care who you did it against, everyone is looking up at you.Everyone. The only problem now is they’ll be gunning for you too.

If Buzz Williams and his players wake up today and notice a strange itch developing on their backs, it might be the big red bullseye that grew overnight. And with every victory that bullseye will get bigger. Monday nights thriller against Notre Dame put the rest of the conference on alert. They have the attention of the so called “big boys” now, and they can certainly expect a rough go against them.This team isn’t sneaking up on anyone for the rest of the year.

Hey, you all wanted this. Now it’s time to put up or shut up. Saturday will bring will bring another talented Big East team to the Bradley Center that is desperate for a win. Georgetown cannot afford to lose this game. Expect the kitchen sink and then some on Saturday.

If this group gets to 8-0… 9-0… dare I say even 10-0 in conference play… with only four players scoring the basketball, Buzz Williams should get the Nobel Prize. Talk about getting the most out of your players. You could write a book on the things that this team lacks. And you could write another about overcoming adversity.

Understand this people… UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE DO YOU DOMINATE IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYING NO ONE TALLER THAN 6-FOOT-6. That doesn’t happen. Normally when coaches go to a lineup like that, it’s out of desperation, not confidence. This team plays cool, calm and collected when they’re six or seven inches shorter than the tallest guy on the floor.

I’ve always used one main criterion to determine a great team from a good one: Even when you don’t play well, you are still able to find ways to win games. In the past three seasons, if the Golden Eagles didn’t show up at the start of a game, they were dead in the water. Let the Providence game show that this trend is ending. Let Monday’s Notre Dame game show that this team has a killer instinct to match.

You can’t quite put your finger on it, but something is going on with this team. They just know how to make the extra pass. They just know how to come up with HUGE defensive stops. And the just have this innate quality to score more points than the other team.

They’re termites, all twelve of them. Even our big guys are termites (compared to what our expectation of what a “big guy” should look like). But like termites, they swarm you and they never go away. Just when you think you’ve driven them off, they’re in your face destroying your will to fight back. They demoralize you to the point where you shake your head and ask yourself what the heck happened?

The national media has begun to take notice. The student body is nearly in a frenzy. Alumni are holding their breath. And all the while Buzz Williams keeps his players focused on the next game ahead. Even with some irritated powerhouses looking up at one of the Big East’s newbies, it’s hard for fans to say they’ve never felt more confident.

Yeah, we might be termites, but we play like giants. Who knows, maybe we’re all witness to something special this season. You know, last time a Marquette team rattled off 10 straight wins in the middle of a season, they had a no name head coach, a bunch of players that had never won anything before, and an ability to frustrate teams into madness. They won a conference title and went to the Final Four.
Get on board everyone, because the bandwagon is about to fill up very quickly.

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A dialogue of acrobatics: Capoeira

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Monica Stout

Capoeira1

Acrobatics, dance moves, and call-response songs in Portuguese present an unlikely combination for a martial art, but the Brazilian sport of capoeira effortlessly unites all three. The result has convinced more than one Marquette student to join Capoeira Nagô, the student capoeira group on campus.

“I saw a bunch of people dancing really crazy [on the Central Mall],” said Jordan French, a sophomore in Exercise Science. “I actually thought it was a dance class, but then I found out that they fight. It was everything that I always wanted to do combined into one.”

The ginga forms the basic move in capoeira, off of which all the other moves are done. It is a basic step across, step back, step across, step back dance motion that is performed low to the ground to give power for the cartwheels, kicks and flips that form a lot of the other moves along with giving the martial artist the ability to move to the ground out of the way easily in a move called the esquiva, which means escape in Portuguese. Even these basic steps were enough to convince Sam Olukotun, a junior in Electrical and Computer Engineering that capoeira was for him.

“I stood up and I did one of those gingas, I tried doing a cartwheel; I was hooked since then.”
Olukotun has never performed martial arts before capoeira, but even those who have really enjoy it.

“I’ve been a martial artist for a while now, and I’m always interested in learning new techniques and styles. I think what kept me coming back to Capoeira is how much fun it is.  It’s very playful and high energy, which separates it from some of the more “serious” styles I’ve studied,” said Brian Debs, a senior in the College of Communication. Hannah Grade, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, did tae kwon do for six years before she started capoeira.

“What attracted me to Capoeira most was the atmosphere of it.  Everyone has fun and learns a lot… We sing, we dance, we play, we laugh and we fight.”
From beginners to experienced players, there is always something to do for everyone at each practice. Practice begins with Brazilian music, a basic warm-up and stretch, after which everyone lines up to do cartwheels and handstands down the length of the room. And if a student cannot do either of these, the instructor, Marc Adesso, a law student at Marquette, shows the student how to do a variation suitable for his or her current level.

All skill levels are encouraged to come. After the warm-up and line exercises, the beginners go off to the side to learn new moves and the more advanced students practice and learn new difficult moves. But no matter at what level the student is, practice is inevitably a good workout.

“It’s a very good place to exercise and learn how to do flips,” said Joseph Flask, a junior in Biomedical Sciences.
Adesso, who has been doing capoeira since 2001, agrees. “I like the high energy and boost it gives me.”

Practice culminates in the roda, a circle that the capoeira players form around two players actually practicing the moves they have learned on each other. All of the players get a chance to enter the roda and practice.

“It’s a dialogue of the moves,” said French.

The players in the circle sing call-response songs in Portuguese, clap and play the classic capoeira instruments: the berimbau, a bow that is strummed with a small stick, and the pandeiro, an instrument similar to a tambourine.

Marquette’s student group is part of greater Milwaukee’s Capoeira Nagô. Adesso teaches the classes in various locations throughout Milwaukee every day of the week, with two classes held on Marquette’s campus. The classes are open to anyone.

“I have had the opportunity to interact with many capoeiristas in Milwaukee, a number of whom don’t attend the university and come from all sorts of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds,” said Stephen Self, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The intense fun of capoeira not only is expressed in the acrobatic fighting moves, but also in the celebration of Brazilian culture and the chance to meet new people.

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Don’t look now, but Marquette is streaking

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Joe Beres

After shutting down Notre Dame, Marquette is off to its best conference start ever and has just won their tenth game overall. With such a strong start it’s hard not wonder just how much damage they can inflict in the Big East this season. Let’s take a peek at Marquette’s upcoming games and see just how well off Marquette could be, come March.

Georgetown: Georgetown like Notre Dame has a talented team who has lately not lived up to their potential. Georgetown’s season is quickly spiraling out of control and the desperately need a win, but an away game against a team as hot as Marquette does not bode well for a reeling Georgetown. This will likely be a close game but look for Marquette to pull away late in the second half and net a 74-65 victory.

Depaul: It’s hard to look at a game against Depaul and not want to look further down the schedule, and that is exactly what Marquette cannot do. This is still an away game in the Big East; therefore a game that can be lost, with that being said the Golden Eagles should be able to run away with this game winning by at least 15 points.
South Florida: The Bulls are a hardworking but generally overmatched Big East team who have given a scare to a couple of the big boys in the conference and can do so to Marquette if they are not careful. South Florida should still be overwhelmed by the big four of Marquette, and despite a second road game the Golden Eagles should be able to manage a double digit victory in The Sun Dome.

Villanova: The Wildcats are always dangerous with Scottie Reynolds leading the squad and the ‘Cats will be starving for a win after a tough game against Syracuse. This is going to be an extremely tough game for a Marquette team that will be facing its third straight road game. This looks like it could be the first Big East loss for the undefeated Golden Eagles although the game should go down to the wire.

St. John’s and Seton Hall: These two home games against the lower echelon of the Big East will be a welcomed breather for Marquette after an extended road trip and a good tune-up for the marathon performance that will be their last five games. These games will not be sleepers but as of now these two teams combine for a 3-11 Big East record and should not be too much to handle.

Georgetown: Georgetown is as tough as team as any at home and will need every win possible to solidify a decent seed come March. This will be a game that the Hoyas are going to need more than the Golden Eagles, who despite looking to finish first in the Big East, may not have as much to play for as GU. This game has the potential to be the closest game Marquette will have played since their victory against NC State, but look for Georgetown to end up on top in the end with a 72-70 win.
Connecticut: Connecticut is among the elite in all of college basketball and they will be coming into Milwaukee looking to hold a probable Big East lead. Although everyone would love to see Marquette upset the visiting Huskies, Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien look to be too much for the Golden Eagles and will probably hand Marquette their first consecutive loss of the season with a 71-60 victory at the Bradley Center.

Louisville and Pittsburgh: These two road games are going to be without a doubt the hardest two games Marquette will play this season and both are going to take near perfect efforts from every player to pull off any upset. Both Louisville and Pittsburgh are playing amazing basketball and look untouchable in the Big East. Marquette should provide two great games but in the end this road trip does not look good for the Golden Eagles and will put Marquette at four losses in Big East play.

Syracuse: For the first time this season Marquette will be in heavy need of a win as they will be looking to pull out of a four game rut. This game looks to be the single most important game that Marquette will play in the regular season as it will more than likely determine whether Marquette or Syracuse will get the fourth spot in the regular season standings and granted a pass to the quarterfinals in the Big East tournament. Syracuse is a scary team with Eric Devendorf and Johnny Flynn, but as far as guard oriented teams goes, there is none better than McNeal, Matthews, and James working together and their veteran leadership will be the key to victory. If this game were not in the Bradley the result might be different but the final home game for these three seniors will likely be their greatest career victory as Marquette ends up with a convincing 85-72 victory over the Orangemen.

Marquette has a chance to do a lot of damage in the Big East, and as long as they keep playing the caliber ball they are playing right now, they could potentially see as high as a #3 seed in the NCAA tournament. From that point on it’s as good a guess as any where this team could go, but it does not seem to be too unrealistic to see this team possibly reaching the Elite Eight in March. The most important thing that Marquette must do right now is approach each upcoming game one at a time, because once teams start looking ahead in their Big East schedule, that’s when the unexpected losses start showing up.

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