The women’s and men’s tennis teams will begin pre-season play over the next two weekends, hosting the USTA/ITA South Regional Championships.

The women’s team will host the tournament from Sept. 19-21, while the men’s team will host the following weekend, from Sept. 26-28. Both teams will battle against respective opponents in the South ITA Region among the Small College Division III bracket.

The women’s team had a stellar season this past spring, winning the NCAA Division III National Championship. Not only did they clinch a championship title, but they also set the program record for most wins with 28 total.

In addition, Head Coach Amy Bryant was selected as the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year by CaptainU, a network of high school and college players and coaches. But the squad only looks to continue their success as they enter the 2014-2015 season.

“We are approaching this season just like any other,” Bryant said. “The championship was amazing, but we are looking ahead and it is a brand new year.”

While a National Championship win is a valid test of athletic performance and motivation to win, there is always room for progress.

“We are going to focus on doubles, as usual, and make sure we are playing a good aggressive style doubles with strong communication and energy between the pairs,” Bryant said.

The upcoming Regional Championship is an individual tournament, which can often result in players of the same team matching up against one another.

“Playing against your teammates and friends always creates a unique mental challenge,” Bryant said. “Some players handle that better than others.”

The men’s team also had a successful season last year, extending game play into the post-season. During this time, juniors Eric Halpern and Alex Ruderman battled their way in the NCAA Division III Men’s Singles Championships. Ruderman came up short in his opening match in the championships, but Halpern continued onto the quarter final round.

Nevertheless, the men’s team remains determined as they enter this season.

“We lost last year in the quarter finals of the National Championships so we are looking forward to working hard and winning this year,” Andrew Lo said. “There are a lot of good seniors and incoming freshman on the team so there is a lot of talent.”

The men’s team has been gearing up for the season, but with the Regional Championships coming up in two weeks, the Eagles have been preparing for this tournament in particular.

“We are all looking forward to it,” Lo said. “We have been working hard and it will show our coaches and the team as a whole, where we stand right now.”

Overall, the tennis program at Emory has proved to be successful for many years. The women’s team has won a combined four National Championship titles over the last 10 years. The men’s team has won four titles in the same window of time. Both teams continue to aspire towards additional championship titles as they enter the 2014-2015 season..

— By Zoe Elfenbein

Last week, for the first time in over two decades, Emory University fell out of the top 20 in the venerable U.S. News and World Report (USNAWR) rankings.  Although the drop from 20 to 21 is superficially trivial, it is of great symbolic significance given that many students, parents, academicians and college administrators rely on the “top 20” as a rough benchmark for university quality.  But does the drop in the rankings really matter?

In one respect, the answer is “Probably not.” Objectively, the fall-off from 20 to 21 is minor and is plausibly attributable to measurement error and slight shifts in the USNAWR criteria each year.  What’s more, Emory may well be back in the top 20 next year or soon thereafter.  Moreover, as scores of critics have pointed out, the USNAWR rankings are hardly infallible.

They reflect a debatable formula that itself reflects an arcane composite of dubious metrics.  Plus, what’s to complain about? After all, we at Emory are blessed with a lovely campus in a thriving city, a talented student body, many gifted researchers and teachers, bountiful resources and a distinctive mix of a liberal arts and research atmosphere.

Yet, in other ways, the rankings drop is indeed a big deal. Much as the Emory administration is loath to admit it, these rankings impart a sobering reality: Emory is a good university, but not a great one.  To be sure, many interesting and exciting things happen here. But compared with the Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech or the University of Chicago, cutting-edge discoveries and breakthroughs at Emory tend to be few and far between.  Furthermore, like it or not, rankings create reality at least as much as they reflect it.  If our rankings continue to stagnate or drop, Emory will find it increasingly difficult to attract the same cadre of high-caliber students and faculty that it has become accustomed to attracting. Incidentally, the USNAWRrankings are hardly alone in raising a red flag concerning Emory’s reputation. Recently, while waiting for a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, I watched a brief video welcoming visitors to Atlanta. As the narrator, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, boasted of Atlanta’s “world class universities,” footage of Georgia Tech and Morehouse flashed on the screen. Emory was nowhere to be seen.  Imagine a comparable video of the Boston area neglecting to feature Harvard or MIT, or of St. Louis neglecting to feature Washington University.  It would be inconceivable.

The administration is quick to point that the drop from 20 to 21 is of no great import.  As is its wont, Emory has valiantly attempted to put the best possible “spin” on the new while turning a blind eye to its implications.  As I write this column, the Emory website proudly displays a story trumping the headline, ”U.S. News Ranks Emory among top national universities” while neglecting to inform visitors of our disappearance from the top 20.

Still, the crucial question is not why Emory fell one slot this year. Instead, the question is why Emory has gone essentially nowhere – except slightly down – in the rankings over the past 25 years while several of our peers, such as Duke and Vanderbilt, have increased in the rankings.  When I first joined the Emory faculty in 1994, our university was ranked 17th in USNAWR.  It was a time of enormous excitement and anticipation, and there was widespread talk of Emory being “poised for greatness.” Twenty years later, many Emory faculty members are pessimistic that the words “Emory” and “greatness” will ever appear in the same sentence. Why?

The answer is self-evident to all of those who have followed Emory closely over the past few decades: Emory has not invested sufficiently in academic excellence.  Despite the fact that Emory’s endowment has rebounded and its capital campaign has been strikingly successful, the hiring of new faculty members in the College has slowed to a virtual trickle. Partly as a consequence, the Emory faculty-to-student ratio has climbed from seven to one to eight to one. Fueling the problem, the university has invested much more heavily in Emory HealthCare than in the College, meaning that the hiring of outstanding college faculty has taken a back seat. In addition, for five years in a row, the average college faculty raise pool has been a measly one percent or less, affording department chairs scant leeway to differentially reward faculty members for hard work and scholarly excellence. Not surprisingly, many of our best and brightest faculty members have descended into a state of learned helplessness, apathy and resentment.

To be clear, the fault cannot be laid at the feet of Dean Robin Forman, who appreciates the problem but can only do so much given the limited financial hand he has been dealt.  Instead, as the saying goes, to get the bottom of the problem, we must get to the top of it.

The source of the problem lies squarely with the Emory higher administration, especially President James Wagner, who certainly has Emory’s best interests at heart, and the Board of Trustees. They have been good stewards of Emory’s finances, but it is less clear that they have been good stewards of Emory’s scholarly future.  In many ways, our steady decline in the USNAWR rankings can be viewed as a referendum on their policies. Specifically, the President and Board of Trustees have neglected to grasp the two greatest impediments to Emory’s excellence: complacency and risk aversion.

Emory’s complacency has been apparent in an absence of urgency on the part of the higher administration. Although Emory has an admirable strategic plan for faculty growth, it will be difficult to sustain without a tangible financial commitment. The same sense of self-satisfaction is evident among the Board of Trustees.  When current Chair of the Board of Trustees John Morgan took over last year as the new Chair of this board, he stated that “Emory doesn’t need to ‘change’ who we are to move into the future…Who we are is exactly who we should be.”

This attitude is short-sighted. To take merely one example, the Emory College faculty is remarkably top-heavy.  To some extent, this is a nation-wide problem, but it is especially acute here. In my own department of Psychology, out of 32 tenure-track faculty members, only two are assistant professors.  The substantial majority of our faculty members are in their 60s and 70s and will be retiring within the next decade. This trend, which is mirrored in numerous Emory college departments, is a recipe for disaster. The impending deluge of lost faculty slots, which will almost surely occur unless Emory invests massively in future faculty hires, will inevitably diminish its intellectual atmosphere, scholarly quality and reputation.

Emory’s second great enemy, risk-aversion, is the bedfellow of complacency. Over the past several decades, the Board of Trustees has been economically conservative, consistently declining to take courageous steps to boost the university’s scholarly excellence. Compare Emory ostrich-like approach to its impending retirements with that of Cornell University, which several years ago launched a massive multi-million dollar initiative to replace the faculty members anticipated to retire over the coming decade.

Of course, some Emory faculty members might see all of this as irrelevant. They may be content to teach at a high-quality and comfortable university that largely rests on its laurels and that does not expect more of them. Even so, the Emory student body should care. If Emory does not act decisively to reverse the continued stagnation and potential decline in its rankings, the value of an Emory degree may ultimately be downgraded, and along with it, the quality of our faculty and student body.

When faculty members have asked Emory administrators to explain its lack of investment in current and future faculty excellence, the latter have almost always replied with complicated – and at times convoluted – financial explanations that few of us can understand.  Enough of that.  Emory is an institution of higher learning, not a corporation. It is high time for the Emory administration and Board of Trustees to display bold leadership and to stop expecting its students and faculty to remain content with the status quo.  The Emory community deserves better.

— By Scott O. Lilienfeld, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology

Former President Jimmy Carter spoke to the Class of 2018 Wednesday night during the annual Carter Town Hall. Carter was asked a number of questions from students that were handwritten or taken from Twitter using the hashtag #AskCTH. Hagar Elsayed / Photo Editor.

Former President Jimmy Carter spoke to the Class of 2018 Wednesday night during the annual Carter Town Hall. Carter was asked a number of questions from students that were handwritten or taken from Twitter using the hashtag #AskCTH. Hagar Elsayed / Photo Editor.

Former United States President and Emory University Distinguished Professor Jimmy Carter hosted his 33rd annual Carter Town Hall Wednesday night.

Questions ranged from current affairs, which included his views on the Ebola crisis and on the threat of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East, to more personal questions such as his favorite ice cream flavor.

The event, which took place at the Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC), gave students the opportunity to ask the former U.S. president, who is now 89, questions via paper submissions and Twitter, which he vowed to answer honestly.

Several students asked about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. When asked what he would change about his past, Carter responded that he would have sent nine helicopters rather than the original eight he sent to Tehran on the rescue mission of the hostages.

He explained this was because three of the original fleet could not make the journey — one had crashed.

When a student asked what it was like to meet the hostages, Carter responded that upon his meeting the released hostages, it was “like a reunion, a love affair,” and he said he felt relieved that they did not blame him.

Students also asked about the 2012 film Argo, which is about the Iran rescue operation. Carter said it was “about 90 percent wrong” because it was dramatized and gave credit for the rescue to the CIA, whereas in reality he felt the true heroes were the Canadians.

When asked about whether he agrees with current U.S. policy toward ISIL in the Middle East, Carter said: “I think in general, we’re doing the right thing.”

He stated that he supports the decision to send limited U.S. aerial support of ground troops. Carter also suspects that the wealthiest Arab governments are secretly giving aid to support ISIL.

Regarding the role of the U.S. in the Ebola crisis, Carter commended the Carter Center’s efforts to address the situation. To date, he said, 156 psychiatric nurses have been trained to treat Ebola. Of these nurses, three have contracted Ebola and one has passed away. Carter expressed hope that the situation will be remedied soon and stated, “the world is just waking up now to the crisis.”

One student asked Carter how he would have responded to Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson were he U.S. president today. Carter said he felt current President Barack Obama’s actions were appropriate and agreed that he, too, would offer condolences to
Brown’s family and hope for justice.

“There’s no role of the President in a situation like that,” Carter said.

Carter also gave advice to first-year students by quoting his high school teacher: “We must accommodate to changing times, but cling to principles that never change.”

Carter advised students to have compassion for one another, deliver justice, advocate peace and share their talents with the wider community.

Carter stated that his favorite part of Emory was the diversity of the student body. He said that he respects the freedom of speech at Emory and enjoys working with foreign students. He also commended the way in which Emory students strive for excellence in every aspect.

“I am part of Emory’s family, and I am grateful to be here,” Carter said.

Carter, who is well known for his humanitarian work with organizations such as the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity, spoke of his work as a philanthropist. Carter is now in his 31st year of traveling to build homes for impoverished families with Habitat for Humanity. Carter said that from his work with the organization, he learned that “those people we look down upon … they’re just as intelligent as I am.”

Carter also spoke of his personal experiences of segregation in Georgia. He recalled that he grew up in a neighborhood where his family was the only white family. He recounted that his African American friends had let him walk through a gate first because their mothers had told them to do so, since he was white and they had to defer to him.

Carter also delved into his personal life. He said that his favorite flavor of ice cream is mango and recalled that he met his wife on a blind date one night while on a vacation from military school.

He recounted that when his mother asked about the date, he told her: “she’s the one I’m going to marry.” However, he said former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s initial answer was no.

The final question was for Carter to describe the U.S. in one word. Carter chose “searching.” He explained that, as one of the world’s superpowers, the U.S. is constantly searching for the essence of what it means to be great. He said his personal vision of greatness is that people across the world will look to Washington in times of need, such as in times of conflict. He said he hopes that people will look to the U.S. as “a champion of peace.”

For College freshman Matthew Shehata, the most enjoyable part of the Town Hall was Carter’s descriptions of segregation in the South.
“What he said about racism made it personal. Normally, we see him politically, but not as a person,” Shehata said.

Other students also said they enjoyed the personal aspect of the Town Hall. “I liked the story about how he met his wife because it was really cute,” College freshman Aneesha Chowdhary said. “It was meant to be.”

College freshman Anna Bing said she felt Carter gave admirably honest answers. “I felt he eloquently addressed topics, especially when it was difficult, without being politically incorrect,” Bing said. “It’s hard to know, but I felt he was being genuine.”

However, other students said they were slightly disappointed.

“I’m disappointed our year lacked controversy in their questions,” College freshman Cameron Frostbaum said. He expressed regret that his questions regarding the Palestinian Islamic organization Hamas in the Middle East were not answered. “[I was] surprised none of these types of questions were asked.”

Carter has been a distinguished professor at Emory since 1982. The Carter Town Hall has been an annual event for first-years for 33 years.

—By Emily Lim, Contributing Writer

President Barack Obama met with Emory Healthcare staff who worked on the treatment of Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital. Photo Courtesy of Emory University

President Barack Obama met with Emory Healthcare staff who worked on the treatment of Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital. Photo Courtesy of Emory University. 

While visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuesday, President Barack Obama privately met with the doctors, nurses and staff involved in the Ebola treatment at Emory, according to Emory infectious disease physician Dr. Colleen Kraft.

Kraft and 15 fellow Emory Healthcare staff met with Obama privately for around 15 minutes. During the meeting, Obama thanked the group and asked for their advice about the best way to approach the Ebola crisis, just before he addressed an audience at the CDC where he described the United States’ plan for how to deal with the Ebola outbreaks.

In addition to discussing research that has been completed, Kraft and the rest of the Emory Healthcare team discussed goals and strategies for Obama’s plan to stop the Ebola outbreak.

“I had a chance to thank them for their extraordinary efforts in helping to provide care for the first Americans who recently contracted the disease in Africa,” Obama said in a statement following the conclusion of his visit.

Kraft said that she was “thrilled” about Obama’s visit and that he was very informed and clear about the topic at hand and what needed to be done.

During the visit, Obama announced that the U.S. will send additional health care workers, care kits, materials to build field hospitals and more than 3000 troops to West Africa to help fight the disease, according to CNN.

Emory University Hospital became the first hospital in the U.S. to treat Ebola patients last month with the arrival of Dr. Kent Brantly on Aug. 2 and Nancy Writebol on Aug. 5. The hospital is currently treating a third patient, also under Kraft’s watch.

“Treating the Ebola patients was like any other patient: it’s my job,” Kraft said. The difference, she added, is that these patients came with a lot of scrutiny from all over the world.

Kraft explained that she feels overwhelmed and that her and the other physicians and nurses have been working extremely hard, often 100 hours a week.

According to Kraft, Emory Healthcare now has a much better understanding of the Ebola virus following the outbreak and she believes many of those affected by the virus are dying unnecessarily.

It is important that we let the affected communities know about the effects of the virus, Kraft said, as it is only detectable with lab tests, which are unavailable in many affected communities.

According to Kraft, by taking in the American patients, Emory personalized the issue and has directed global attention to the outbreak in West Africa.

Emory received its first patient four months after the outbreak began.

Without Emory’s efforts to fight Ebola, the world’s efforts to the virus would not be where they are today, Kraft said.

During his address at the conclusion of his visit, Obama stated that there is little chance of contracting Ebola in the U.S.. He also discussed new programs the U.S. has enacted to reduce risk of transmission, including educating flight attendants and pilots, equipping labs across the country with quick tests and making sure that hospitals are trained and prepared to deal with an Ebola case should another arise.

Obama also listed four goals that he and his administration have put in place to fight the Ebola outbreak.

He stated that the first and most direct goal is to control the outbreak. The second is to address the “ripple effects” of economies and communities to prevent further disaster, the third is to “coordinate a broader global response” and the fourth and final goal is to build up a public health system in resource-poor countries to prevent future outbreaks similar to the current Ebola outbreak.

— By Naomi Maisel, Senior Staff Writer

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On Tuesday, Sept. 9, College freshmen Jake Grant and Andreas Katehis decided to bring together their talents and pull a prank on their friend.

While Katehis was counting the hours to the end of his birthday, Grant sat in dismay as he contemplated the struggles of a freshman with tons of homework.

Their peak of boredom that night led them to prank their friend by printing flyers of a Goat Herding Club with their friend’s contact details on them. But their way of adorning the campus with these flyers was not a conventional one.

“We were dressed up in suits and [Katehis] rolled me out on a desk chair around campus,” Grant said. “I also wore a borrowed helmet from my friend that said ‘Make good choices.’”

The prank went even further as the two printed about 60 flyers, “because after 60, my printer ran out of ink,” Katehis said.

That night, the current co-presidents found many students who joined in to laugh at their prank. The next morning, Katehis proceeded to print another 100 flyers to bring the joke to a larger scale. The two walked around campus and covered ground from Few and Evans to White Hall.

They soon started receiving calls and emails from various Emory students. Some contributed to the prank, and some were genuinely interested.

“We found people who thought: if this is a prank, it’s hilarious; but if this is real, then I want to do it.” Grant said. “So yes, we started off as a joke, but now we’re trying to make it real.”

Currently, Katehis and Grant are in conversations with real goat herders and hope to invite one to speak and educate the members of the club. Moreover, the two also found farms closer to campus, and next, they aim to progress with a few club field trips. But before bringing all these plans to reality, they realize that they need to get permission from the Emory student government to be an official club on campus.

Katehis and Grant strongly believe that a significant amount of education can be acquired from outside the classroom and they’re interested in being able to provide a learning experience to students in a novel way.

Grant said he empathized with all other Emory students who were stressing about their workload, since he was also sapped the day the club was conceived.

He trusts that the group will be an outlet for others to “chill out” while also learning something new. Katehis also believes that the group would be “great” to have a good time and also a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, both of which the two have had the chance to partake in since the prank began. More so, the club has no application process so anyone is welcome to join.

Katehis and Grant were so overwhelmed by the community response that they felt compelled to make a Facebook page. After a week, 5,061 individuals have viewed the page and about 724 individuals have interacted with it.

When these two freshmen informed their families of what had occurred three weeks into their college life, they said their parents were slightly concerned, but for the most part, laughed along with them. Grant’s family owns a horse farm, and it also has a small number of goats. When Grant proposed this venture to his father, the latter just said “no.” However, as the conversation continued, Grant’s father contributed a few ideas to take the endeavor further.

Grant and Katehis are two lively boys who are trying to transform a joke into an endeavor. The club hopes to have biweekly meetings but, for now, the Goat Herding Club is holding their first information session this Sunday at 4 p.m. in White Hall.

—By Sumera Dang

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President Barack Obama will thank the Emory Healthcare team today during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) next door to Emory, according to an all-Emory Healthcare (EHC) email from EHC President and CEO John Fox.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed earlier this week in a press conference that Obama will take a moment today to “thank the scientists, doctors and health care workers who are helping those affected by [Ebola] at home and around the world.”

In his all-EHC email, Fox took a moment to congratulate the EHC team’s commitment and willingness to help patients in need.

“Over the past few weeks, our brand has been tested,” Fox wrote.

“While our decision to care for the American medical volunteers who contracted Ebola was made years ago as part of our Care Transformation Model, it was met with a mix of emotions — some fear, admiration, pride and respect. As we rode the public reaction waves, one thing was for certain: We do not waver on our mission to care for those in need.”

Fox wrote that even when EHC thought that their “time in the spotlight had reached a crescendo,” they now will be publicly acknowledged and thanked in person by the President.

Fox added that although only a limited group of EHC staff will be able to meet the President, the team involved with caring for the Ebola patients is “much larger than the group attending tomorrow’s visit.”

He noted that EHC will have more time to recognize the members of the team and “express our gratitude in the near future.”

Upon Obama’s arrival in Atlanta, he will also be briefed on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and a respiratory illness that has  recently been reported in several states throughout the Midwest, according to CBS News.

The president will continue his southeastern U.S. trip when he leaves Atlanta Tuesday night to head to Tampa, Florida, where he will meet with military leaders at the U.S. Central Command to discuss the state of the ISIS campaign, according to CBS News.

The last time the President was in the Atlanta area he delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College in 2013.

—By Dustin Slade, News Editor

After a summer of relentless pop hits and mindless power choruses, we’re all in need of some new music to get those hooks out of our heads. The slate of albums set for release this fall offers a greater depth of artists and more sophisticated sounds. From highly-anticipated indie debuts to veterans gone solo, this lineup offers something for everyone.

What’s even more exciting, however, is the many artists who are rumored to release sometime this fall, but have yet to announce a date. This trend of surprise releases and mysterious recordings has revitalized the industry, both financially and socially, adding excitement and spontaneity to artists’ marketing campaigns. Since Beyoncé’s self-titled surprise release at the end of 2013, several artists have followed in her footsteps. Just last week, U2 rattled the music industry when the band released its newest album at the Apple product launch event, offering it to half a billion iTunes users for free.

Here’s a preview of some of the most noteworthy albums scheduled for release through the end of 2014, followed by a list of artists rumored to release music this season.

Banks

Banks
Goddess
Now Available (Harvest)

With more buzz and critical acclaim than perhaps any other artist this summer, Banks is on top of the indie music world. Having just toured with R&B wunderkind The Weekend and set the blogosphere ablaze, her highly anticipated full-length debut Goddess arrives right on cue. Whether you’re a fan of Lana Del Rey or Frank Ocean (or neither), you should give this album a try. With her multiple festival appearances and trademark dark R&B sound, Banks is definitely an artist to watch.

KarenO

Karen O
Crush Songs
Now Available (Cult)

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman has proven time and time again that she’s an exceptional songwriter and a gifted vocalist. From her memorable high-energy performances with her band to her delicate Oscar-nominated soundtrack work for the movie “Her,” Karen O is as versatile as they come. But the real test comes with her first full-length album as a solo artist. Dating back to 2006, recordings like “Comes the Night” and “Day Go By” have a warm, homey feel. The rockers and film buffs are standing by, waiting to hear what she does next.

AltJ

Alt-J
This Is All Yours
Sept. 22 (Atlantic)

Following the release of the band’s debut An Awesome Wave, Alt-J have become an alt-pop sensation. Their unique, charming sound and complex songwriting has garnered buzz and propelled them onto the charts. The spotlight is certainly on the quartet-turned-trio (multi-instrumentalist Gwil Sainsbury left the project in early stages of recording) as we await the group’s sophomore effort. The diversity of the three singles already available confuse listeners as to what to expect from the album, other than certain variation. “Hunger of the Pine,” with its spooky quiet edge and Miley Cyrus sample, could not differ more from “Left Hand Free,” which takes on a nostalgic rock vibe. Either way, Alt-J are sure to split genres and continue to innovate.

JulianCasablancas

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz
Tyranny
Sept. 23 (Cult)

With his sophomore solo album, Julian Casablancas continues to bend genres, but this time incorporates a rebellious political message. In a recent press release, the Strokes frontman explains, “Most decisions seem to be made like ones of a medieval king: whatever makes profit while ignoring and repressing the truth about whatever suffering it may cause (like pop music, for that matter).” His statement makes sense of the title of his newest effort and demonstrates that we can expect something truly unique this time around. But Strokes fans, fear not: Casablancas expects to re-direct focus to the much-loved band in early 2015.

SBTRKT

SBTRKT
Wonder Where We Land
Sept. 23 (XL Recordings)

For his second full-length album, British electronic/dubstep artist Aaron Jerome said he recorded with guests in a “glorified garden shed.” The caliber of musical talent, however, makes up for the location. From Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend to ASAP Ferg, it’s evident that SBTRKT’s second effort will be dynamic and inspired. The album’s hypnotic and hard-driving “New Dorp. New York,” is available now, and SBTRKT just announced a North American tour.

Weezer

Weezer
Everything Will Be Alright in the End
Oct. 7 (Republic)

Weezer’s newest single “Back to the Shack” off their ninth LP certainly has fans “rockin’ out like it’s ‘94,” and that’s exactly what listeners need. The band’s last effort Hurley (2010) was a commercial and critical disappointment, as many fans felt they lost their mojo. However, judging by the new single and snippets teased of other tracks, Everything Will Be Alright in the End may just be the rebirth of that ‘90s rock feel we have all been waiting for. In fact, the lyrics on these tracks even apologize for all of Weezer’s recent music and admit earnestly, “I thought I’d get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucks.” Ric Ocasek, who produced the Blue and Green albums, returns, and Everything Will Be Alright in the End marks Weezer’s first release with the band’s new label, Republic. All signs indicate change for the better.

TaylorSwift

Taylor Swift
1989
Oct. 27 (Big Machine/Republic)

With the release of Swift’s latest single and summer smash, “Shake It Off,” the country songstress has undoubtedly taken a turn toward full-blown 1980s-infused pop. Although not everyone is excited about this new direction, through interviews, press releases and even in her lyrics, Swift dismisses the haters and says she’ll continue just doing her thing. For those who don’t see it, this unique focus offers her limitless potential. She is free, at this point, to make the music she wants. I’m willing to bet that by the time 1989 is released, we will all be singing along … even the haters.

FlamingLips

The Flaming Lips
With a Little Help From My Fwends
Oct. 28 (Warner Bros.)

For those of you who don’t know, this psychedelic powerhouse announced over the summer that the band would release a track-by-track cover of The Beatles’ 1967 classic, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As if that’s not tantalizing enough, the album promises featured spots from MGMT, Miley Cyrus, Grace Potter, Phantogram, Dr. Dog and more. Enough said.

LilWayne

Lil Wayne
Tha Carter V
Oct. 28 (Young Money/Republic)

Believe it or not, Lil Wayne’s fifth and final installment of Tha Carter series, rumored to be his final album ever (yeah, right), was on my summer preview list. The album’s release date was not finalized, but now, fans rejoice per an announcement on SportsCenter confirming the album’s actual release date. Wayne spent the summer touring across 31 cities for the “Drake Vs. Lil Wayne” tour and released the hit single “Believe Me.” Other, perhaps intentional, track leaks like “Grindin” and “Krazy” tell us a few things about Weezy’s latest effort: it’ll obviously feature Young Money artists, Wayne will continue to talk smack and you never know if he’ll actually stick to the release date.

FooFighters2

Foo Fighters
Sonic Highways
Nov. 10 (Roswell/RCA)

“I really believe that the environment in which you write or record an album influences the musical result,” Dave Grohl said in the trailer for the HBO documentary series “Sonic Highways,” which chronicles the making of the band’s upcoming LP. This explains why the group decided to record each track of Sonic Highways in a different city, working with a different guest artist each time (including Zac Brown, Gary Clark, Jr. and Joe Walsh). The group promises that this record still carries their distinctive sound, but we can expect deeper meaning and a vast array of musical elements that collectively reach from the history of American music.

Tweedy

Tweedy
Sukierae
Sept. 16 (dBpm)

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy’s first solo project is not really a solo project. After setting aside his Wilco responsibilities following their last tour and release of The Whole Love (2011), Tweedy set out to record as a solo act. However, along the way, his son Spencer began playing drums and, naturally, began playing on his father’s tracks. The full album arrives this week, but many of the tracks, like the simple but beautiful “Wait For Love,” have already been made available online. The set list on their upcoming tour will include songs from Wilco and Jeff’s previous band Uncle Tupelo, in addition to songs off of Sukierae.

Rumored Releases from:

Kanye West

Alabama Shakes

Kendrick Lamar

Fleet Foxes

Nicki Minaj

Frank Ocean

Belle and Sebastian

—By Jason Charles

Cartoon Segregation

I grew up in a suburban Colorado neighborhood. I was very self-conscious of my identity, the way I looked, the food I ate and the God to whom I prayed. Most of the people I knew were either white or Latino. As much as I enjoyed learning about them and their cultures, I was excited when I had the opportunity to come to Emory University. Upon acceptance, I scoured the statistics compiled by The College Board and was floored to see the ratios between the races; the statistics were starkly different from those at my local University of Colorado, Boulder (CU Boulder). CU Boulder’s student demographic consists of only 5 percent Asians, 2 percent Black or African American and 4 percent international students. Compare that to Emory’s student demographics: 22 percent Asian, 9 percent Black or African American and 15 percent international students. The diversity factor at Emory is at least three to four times greater than at my state school. (Emory URL: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/emory-university; Boulder URL: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/university-of-colorado-at-boulder )  I came to Emory partially to see the diversity and to learn more about global cultures. I also saw it as a chance to interact with my fellow South Asians, whose numbers were few and far between in Colorado.

In high school, I felt affected by that notorious social hierarchy — the popular pretty girls and jock boys, the drama geeks, the studious kids, the druggies. I would have loved to get to know different people from these different social rings, but if I tried, more often than not, I was snuffed. But my teachers, whom I adored, relayed to me their wonderful accounts of college life. They told me I would have a good time, that I would meet people who shared common interests and backgrounds. I realize it’s not the same thing, but from their comments, I assumed that the social boundaries set in high school would dissipate in college: once I entered college, I thought I would not have to worry about popularity, prettiness, appearance and other superficial things that hinder us from actually getting to know each other.

When I finally arrived on Emory’s campus, I took every opportunity to meet different kinds of people. I struck up conversations with as many people as I could. To my surprise, I felt that some people weren’t responding quite so warmly. Their cooler responses reminded me of high school all over again. Over time, it did not take long for me to realize that students at Emory have their own social hierarchy — and it was worse than in high school because it appeared to reinforce racial divisions. I could perceive this to be nothing else but self-enforced segregation.

The “Emory bubble” is how many students describe their life here, and indeed, it is quite distinct from the real world. We’re relatively comfortable in our cute, little campus. Yet I’ve realized that not only do we live in an Emory bubble, but within itself, our Emory bubble appears to contain even more bubbles! When I go to the DUC, I see a few tables with people of multiple races. But only a few. I see more tables with only people of one race. As I walk through campus, I see groups of friends walking together — they are so often of the same race.

The Emory bubbles are not just between people of different races, but also between different cliques reminiscent of high school. Generally, it appears that people involved with Greek life keep to themselves. Furthermore, I even sense that there are even socioeconomic-based cliques. Thus, our students segregate themselves between races, socioeconomic classes and Greek life. For a reason I haven’t been able to pinpoint, these boundaries feel even harder to shake than in high school. In fact, I might even say that my predominantly white high school was more likely to embrace different cultures and people than my extraordinarily diverse college.

I realize how strong the word “segregation” is. It is heavy with racial connotations and striking reminders of our violent American history.  But segregation is what I see. I am not saying that it is wrong to spend time with people who are similar to ourselves. It is easy to get comfortable, but how will we develop into well-rounded individuals if we don’t expose ourselves to the unknown? Certainly, it is important that we learn more about our own histories and cultures. Nonetheless, we should also value other cultures and people.

My high school teachers also told me about the transformative conversations they had in college, which changed their minds and helped them develop more sophisticated opinions and realize new perspectives. We are lucky to be able to study in a school whose students are so global and representative of our entire world. Many people talk about their study abroad trips with great pride, and surely their experiences have been life-changing. But in a sense, our school has brought the opportunity to study abroad right here on campus. Our high numbers of international students and our diverse student demographic give us an opportunity to learn a bit about other cultures. Emory has numerous multicultural programs to encourage social mingling and the like. I must qualify that there are a great number of Emory students who overcome boundaries of race, Greek life and socioeconomic class. I commend these people and think we should do likewise.

You might say that Emory is not the only one with segregated cliques and communities. And yes, I can imagine that this same phenomenon occurs at many other universities. But we can choose to be better than that. Emory provides us with many opportunities to interact with one another in diverse environment. We can choose to be more worldly and open-minded students. We can choose to integrate ourselves to become a more whole, complete school.

The world is globalizing, with people all around the world participating in fields like business, education, science, sociality and more. Why are we holding ourselves back from progress? We should open up and engage in conversation with people who are different from us. It will enlighten us, broaden our perspectives and teach us new things, whether it is how to use chopsticks, how to cook a traditional Southern dinner or how to gracefully eat injera with a bowl of shiro.

-By Aarti Dureja

Music Midtown copy

Photo by Hayley Silverstein/Contributing Writer. College freshmen Greta Luna-Priego (LEFT) and Safiyah Bharwani (RIGHT) hold up their tickets in excitement as they look forward to experiencing their first Music Midtown.

While the weather may say otherwise, autumn is fast approaching, and Music Midtown is becoming the traditional headliner for the end of summer. Since Music Midtown’s revival in 2011, some of the best rock, alternative, rap and pop acts in the world have been coming to Atlanta to serenade festivalgoers at Piedmont Park.

While freshmen will miss out on the festival due to ignorance of its existence, and other students will say the tickets are too expensive (to that I can only say that it is cheaper than seeing all of the acts individually), those that are attending the festival are going to experience the best two days of music in Atlanta.

As an Atlanta native and a regular at Music Midtown, I believe that I am qualified to help you survive the festival from when the gates open on Sept. 19 at 4:00 p.m. to when you officially lose your voice at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday night when you watch Eminem or the Zac Brown Band take their final bow.

Stay Hydrated
This seems pretty obvious, but you will be miserable if you forget to drink water. You are allowed one factory-sealed bottle of water or one empty water bottle when you enter (Music Midtown isn’t falling for your water that somehow tastes and smells like vodka or tequila, so don’t even think about it). Drink two gallons (or 16 cups for those who can’t do the math) of water 24 hours before the festival, so you start the weekend hydrated. And, no, alcohol does not count as a hydrating liquid.

Alcohol (21+ only)
You can buy drinks from vendors at the festival, just be prepared to spend too much money on a beer. If you are sneaky, you can try hiding a flask of your favorite beverage on your body, but don’t be obvious about it (no one has a flask-shaped tumor). Make sure you pace yourself in terms of drinking. You don’t want to be blackout drunk at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday for two reasons: you wasted your money on a festival you won’t remember, and your friends will hate you because they had to take care of you.

Dress Accordingly
Dress for the weather, and don’t be that person in a $300 outfit and high heels in the pouring rain and mud (you may look cute, but also really stupid). Be creative and fun with your outfit, just make sure it is comfortable, and you are okay if it gets ruined.

Plan Ahead
Pick out who you want to see before you go so you don’t miss your favorite acts. If you are going with a group of people, whoever the majority wants to see is the act that you go to (sorry, but this is America, and we are a democracy). You can be one of those people who stay at one stage the entire day in order to get the best spot for that one band you are obsessed with, but it is better to be towards the back singing your heart out with all of the bands you love than to spend the day waiting around and awkwardly singing along to songs you don’t know for that one hour you see your favorite act. Being the tech savvy generation that we are, Music Midtown has an official app that will make sure you don’t miss anything.

What to Bring
Remember: KISS (keep it simple, stupid). The essentials consist of: a water bottle, sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses you are okay with potentially losing or breaking, cash, a small bag to keep everything in, a blanket if you prefer to sit on the hill and just chill and your ticket.

Girls, even though you think you will touch up your makeup, you won’t. If you do wear makeup, make sure it is waterproof. Guys, actually bring a bag or a backpack even if you think it looks lame because you cannot fit everything in your pockets, and you will probably lose something if you try to.

The most important thing about Music Midtown is to have a good time, and if you fall asleep with your ears ringing and an exhausted smile on your face, you did just that.​

— By Hayley Silverstein

Photo by Steve Shan/Staff. Sophomore forward Jason Andrejchak reaches back before a powerful kick.  He had one shot on goal against Covenant and an assist that led to junior forward Sebastian Hardington's game-winning goal.  The Eagles remain undefeated after five games, with a 4-0-1 record.

Photo by Steve Shan/Staff. Sophomore forward Jason Andrejchak reaches back before a powerful kick. He had one shot on goal against Covenant and an assist that led to junior forward Sebastian Hardington’s game-winning goal. The Eagles remain undefeated after five games, with a 4-0-1 record.

 

Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Eagles fought back and forth with the Covenant College (Ga.) Scots throughout a double-overtime game, emerging victorious and maintaining their undefeated 2014 season.

Junior forward Sebastian Hardington scored a late double overtime goal to secure a 2-1 victory in the 106th minute of play.

The goal was made possible by sophomore forward Jason Andrejchak’s cross to senior forward Dylan Price who then set Hardington up with an opportunity to score.

After a strong defensive start by both teams and a scoreless first half, an assist from Covenant senior midfielder Danny Knight set senior forward Snoopy Davidson up to score the first goal of the game, and his second goal of the season, in the 53rd minute of play.

Emory senior Jeffrey Cochran’s long throw-in allowed junior defenseman and co-captain Matt Sherr to head the ball forward to freshman midfielder Jason McCartney, who was able to put the ball away with a light tap sealing the 1-1 tie with only 25 minutes remaining on the clock.

The Eagles finished the match with two strong, but scoreless, offensive plays.

During the 84th minute of match play, Andrejchak was able to take a shot on goal that rebounded off of the crossbar.

In the opening plays of the second overtime, Price came out sharp with a shot on goal that Covenant junior goalkeeper Daniel Kubin was able to tap just outside of the goalpost.

After an undeniable test of the team’s grit, Emory Head Coach Sonny Travis was proud.

“Awesome win, great team effort,” he said.

Covenant’s players were noticeably disappointed, but took the loss as a learning experience.

“It was a tough loss after a quality game but it was great to see the quality of Emory and get a feel of what a Top 25 team looks like.” Covenant senior midfielder and captain Hudson Brock said. “[Emory] capitalized on more chances than we did,”

Interestingly enough, one fan in attendance happened to be rooting for both teams. Thom Jacquet, Head Coach for 23 years at 2014 State Champion Greater Atlanta Christian School, coached a player from each team during their high school years. Covenant senior Danny Knight and Emory sophomore Max Gomas were teammates before playing on opposing teams.

Jacquet said he tries to go to at least one game that each of his now-college-level athletes play in, even once driving eight hours to Ohio State University.

“I was hoping for a draw. The shots were almost even and the teams were evenly contested.” he said. “Anyway, it was fun to watch both of my guys play.”

The Eagles return to action on Saturday, Sept. 13 to take on the Rhodes College (Tenn.) Lynx at Hendrix College’s (Ark.) Warrior Classic.

Sports Editor Zak Hudak contibuted reporting.

—By Jenny Nutovits

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