Rich Memorial Building | Photo by Luyao Zou

Rich Memorial Building | Photo by Luyao Zou

By Annie McGrew
Staff Writer

The new Media Studies major officially launched Monday night with a speech from Henry Jenkins, a media scholar from the University of Southern California.

The new Media Studies major, part of the Film and Media Studies department, is an addition to the already-existing Media Studies minor that was launched in 2010.

Senior Lecturer and Media Studies Major and Minor Advisor Amy Aidman wrote in an email to the Wheel that when the minor was launched in 2010, she and her colleagues believed that a major would likely be a next step, depending on student interest.

“The [Media Studies] minor has been popular with students and … the vast changes going on in media in recent years make this an area worthy of extensive study,” Aidman wrote.

The new major provides an interdisciplinary experience focused on old and new media and brings together courses taught by professors from across campus addressing a range of topics in media arts and studies. For example, Media Studies will be partnering with the Goizueta Business School in their concentration in Film and Media Management, which gives students a knowledge of and skill set to enter the entertainment industry.

Given the dynamic and influential nature of the media environment today, Aidman believes this major is a vital addition to the department.

“The ways in which we communicate using media have profound implications for societies, politics, culture, art and economics,” Aidman wrote. “Students are immersed in media, and it is important for all of us to bring a critical eye to media texts, technologies and uses to help us manage the flow of information and stories we encounter on a daily basis.”

According to College senior Brittney Walker, Media Studies is a much-needed program mainly because of the ubiquitous presence of media in our everyday lives but also because, “it is a program that ultimately connects the ‘respected’ disciplines.”

Walker noted that Media Studies incorporates business, including marketing, communication and advertisement classes; law, including classes on the ethics of what is visually acceptable and what is not; and even a medical side. Some classes within the curriculum include an ethnographic context in which health proves to be an important theme, such as the media’s coverage of Ebola, according to Walker.

“To not have a program to facilitate [discussion and development of media] at a top university is ridiculous,” Walker wrote in an email to the Wheel.

Aidman wrote that both the Film Studies and Media Studies majors are geared toward developing media literacy and the ability to think critically about the ways in which images, sounds and technologies create ideas.

According to Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies of Media Studies Daniel Reynolds, the Media Studies major differs from the Film Studies major in that Media Studies is “a bit of a communications studies paradigm,” citing that the new major has more of a social scientific approach while Film Studies takes more of a humanities approach. He also said that the new major looks at media beyond film, taking an increasingly cross media approach.

College junior Kelsie Smith, who wanted to study journalism, was never able to declare the major when the University announced the closing of the Journalism Program in 2012, during her freshman year. Because of its cancellation, she decided to major in English and a minor in Media Studies. With the official launch of the Media Studies major, she is now double majoring in English/Creative Writing and Media Studies.

Smith wrote in an email to the Wheel that her Media Studies courses have inspired her to pursue a career in media.

“After learning about the relation- ship between media and society/culture, I want to have a hand in crafting the influential messages that media conveys to society,” Smith wrote. “And I hope to impact that message in a positive way.”

Smith wrote that in retrospect, she thinks it’s better that she’s majoring in Media Studies than Journalism because media is constantly changing and “digital media is becoming the future for media.”

Monday’s kickoff event, a lecture by Jenkins titled “Could This Be What Democracy Looks Like?: Participatory Politics, Transmedia Mobilization and The Civic Imagination,” delved into many of the stated themes for the Media Studies major. Jenkins spoke about the role of media and social media activism, and how they contribute to a more participatory culture in a democratic society. He encouraged the audience to think about mobilizing social media politically in the future.

According to Aidman, almost 200 people came to hear Jenkins’ talk on Monday night.

Reynolds felt that Jenkins gave a very progressive lecture.

“He was talking about a few movements in social media … but always with the kind of eye toward with how we can learn lessons from these and how we can think about mobilizing social media politically in the future,” Reynolds said. “Hopefully [this event] is kind of exemplary of one of the directions that the major is going to be able to take scholarship and public events on campus.”

By Annie McGrew, Staff Writer


By Ashley Marcus

The Emory University Goizueta Business School partnered with the Coca-Cola Company to host last weekend’s Coca-Cola Hackathon, which featured winning ideas geared towards changing the way that users interact with their music. One hundred and fifty students and professionals of various technical skill levels and areas of interest gathered from multiple universities from across the country to engage in and collaborate on computer programming tasks.

The winning team walked away with the opportunity to present his or her “hack,” or collaborative software projects, to Coca-Cola and their partners, and up to $15,000 in prizes. Hackers were able to enter as individuals or on teams, and each participant or team was required to showcase at least two partner application programming interfaces (API). With just six weeks to plan and execute the three-day event, the organizers successfully put together a program consisting of keynote speeches, API talks with Spotify, Music Dealers and Misfit, presentations and API demos.

Participants responded to the event with enthusiasm, saying that it benefitted the entire Emory community. Hackathon participant and College sophomore Benjamin Bolte commented, “The culture [at Emory] is very much focused on pre-professionalism … but there’s a lot of stuff that Emory students can do here that doesn’t get represented. [Events] like this really help to create that culture.”

It’s no secret that when someone thinks of computer science, Georgia Tech pops into the mind before Emory University. Even on Emory’s campus, the computer science program is overshadowed by Emory’s well-known pre-med and business programs. The Hackathon gives students an opportunity to highlight computer science skills and entrepreneurship.

Many participants see this event not only as a chance to win prize money and to network with prolific computer software companies, but also as a chance to learn from and connect with other students who share interests and skills.

“My favorite part of hackathons, from the perspective of an organizer, is getting to meet awesome people who are willing to give up a weekend to see what amazing things two days, their creativity, passion and a severe lack of sleep can produce,” the event’s equally sleep-deprived organizer Toby Gosselin said.

Companies used the Hackathon as an opportunity to “put companies like Spotify in touch with the next generation of developers,” Director of Developer Platforms at Spotify Paul Lamere said. From looking to adopt students’ ideas to awarding students the funds to develop their own programs, participating companies certainly benefited from the Coca-Cola Hackathon.

In listening to each developer’s presentations, companies gain a better understanding of what this generation is currently looking for in new applications and gadgets. Most of the participants presented hacks revolving around music, fitness and sustainability.

At the end of the weekend, the participants presented their innovative ideas to the judges. Judges evaluated the 20 hacks on the following criteria: innovation, problem solving, scalability and other merit.

Justin Kim, Jennifer Ren, Summer Wu and Joan Shang, the winning team, created a platform that they call “Heartbeat,” which gives customers the ability to customize a playlist to match the tempo of their workout and boost physical potential. They were awarded $10,000 worth of prizes, including PS4s, Parrot AR Drones and $7,000 in Amazon credit.

A group of local professionals took second place with their platform, “Tru Chainz,” which streams the lyrics and gives music analysis of the current song. The judges awarded the group with GoPro Hero 4S, Sol Republic Gear and $2,500 in Amazon credit.

Emory alum Hyo Yul Byun (‘15C) won third prize for his creation of music services that allow the users to switch tracks based on time series data from any source such as weather and sine wave.

One particular team of Emory hackers, including Fei Gao, Ben Chang, Lara Lu and Tony Wang, gained particular recognition from Spotify with its creation of a program that targets “hipsters.”

The program compares playlists and connects the social group with little known songs that it predicts that they would enjoy. Spotify awarded the team a Spotify Premium Package, a speak system, and membership to the Atlanta Tech Village, an entrepreneurial technology community located in Buckhead.

When asked to reflect on his experience working with Coca-Cola, Gosselin commented, “It is very rewarding to see something you’ve put so much time and effort in actually happen and succeed.” Despite the short amount of time that the organizers and participants had to plan, they did succeed and far surpass their own expectations — coming away from this weekend with fresh ideas and intensified passion.

— By Ashley Marcus, Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of Alistair on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Alistair on Flickr

In June, College sophomore Michelle Heker was packing her suitcase to return home from her extended Birthright trip to Israel when she was informed of news she never thought she would hear — Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, the three Israeli teens who had been kidnapped and were missing for weeks, were found dead.

“The whole Birthright trip, [the subject of the missing teens] was coming up over and over again,” Heker said. “Everyone had hope. In Israel, everyone is family, and if your son is taken, you will do anything to get them back.”

Heker said that while this was a traumatic and emotional experience, it allowed her to see the hope and unity that exists among Israelis. It has even motivated Heker to return to Israel and she plans to study abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem through Emory during the spring semester of 2015.

Heker is planning on participating in a program at Hebrew University called “Thrive,” which was set up to help students immerse themselves in the Israeli culture and learn about Judaism. One weekend of this program is dedicated to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), where students will spend time with soldiers.

“There are 24 hours straight that you do everything that an Israeli soldier would do for basic training,” Heker said. “I’m really excited to spend a weekend with so many different types of IDF solders to get a broad understanding of what it is like. I want to experience the type of training that every soldier has to go through.”

Heker said that the people she met during her last trip to Israel have motivated her to return.

“I felt connected to Israel not just because of Judaism, but because of the people that I met, how welcoming everyone was and how the community is there,” Heker said. “The day the three soldiers were kidnapped, people all over Israel went to memorials singing and crying together.”

The kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens added to a complex conflict escalation between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Israel, believing that Hamas was behind the kidnapping, subsequently began an explosives bombardment campaign in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in July, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 people, most of whom were located in Gaza. Israel further launched a mission to stop Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. Since the start of the operatio, more than 1,000 rockets have been launched at Israel.

This recent conflict has had far-reaching global implications. At Emory, the conflict has affected many students’ study abroad plans and experiences. Emory’s Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA) cancelled the pre-term Ulpan session in Tel Aviv, Israel, in which students study intensive Hebrew for seven weeks during July and August. After completing the Ulpan program, students begin the regular academic term at Tel Aviv University where they enroll in one Hebrew language course and four elective courses of their choice. Students are also automatically enrolled in “History and Memory in the Holy Land,” a one-credit hour course involving lectures, site visits and dinners.

“This part of the program [Ulpan] was cancelled due to the situation on the ground in Israel at the time,” CIPA Director Kristi Hubbard wrote in an email to the Wheel. “This decision was made by the Provost’s office after careful consideration.”

The students who planned on enrolling in the Ulpan session prior to their fall semester were offered alternate options, such as returning to Emory, participating in another study abroad program or waiting to see if the fall program would continue to be offered.

College junior Sarah Zisser is one of three students who elected to stay in Israel and enroll in the Ulpan course even though she would not be receiving credit.

“I actually arrived in Israel the first week of June, which is right before any escalation had begun,” Zisser said. “I had already been here for two weeks when the three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped, and things basically took off from there. At no point did I consider leaving Israel.”

Zisser finished the seven week Ulpan pre-term in mid-September and will begin her semester at Tel Aviv University in October. She said that being in Israel during the conflict has not negatively impacted her experience, but actually enhanced it.

“I strongly feel that there is no more of an inspiring and educational time to be in a country like this than the present,” Zisser said. “When a lone soldier, someone from abroad who volunteers to serve in the Israeli army, from Los Angeles was killed in Gaza in the first week of the ground operation, 30,000 people went to his funeral.”

Zisser was told that there was no guarantee that the semester portion of the program, beginning in October, would continue. She has still not received confirmation that she will receive any academic credit for her study abroad experience.

As of now, the fall program in Israel is scheduled to run while CIPA will work to ensure the safety of Emory students studying abroad.

“CIPA takes the safety of our students abroad seriously,” CIPA Study Abroad Advisor Tye Tavaras said. “We consistently monitor situations both in consultation with relevant offices here at Emory as well as with our local partners in other countries.”

CIPA monitors information from the U.S. State Department, International SOS (a medical and travel security services company), on-site contacts and colleagues in the field of international education.

CIPA also consults with Dean of Emory College Robin Forman, Vice Provost for International Affairs Philip Wainwright, Provost of Academic Affairs Claire E. Sterk and the Emory General Counsel when deciding whether to alter or cancel any part of a study abroad program.

“The health and safety of our students is our top priority,” said Hubbard.

Before the start of her semester at Tel Aviv University, Zisser is embarking on a one-month vacation for the Jewish holidays where she will be traveling around Europe.

“I’ve been here for just over three months, and I have just over three months to go. I have had a truly amazing experience so far,” she said.

–By Lindsey Sheppard, Contributing Writer


In case you missed the recent frenzy of news trucks crowding Woodruff Circle, Emory University Hospital has been treating two American health care workers who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia. Kudos if you snagged a selfie with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


Thinking about skipping class the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? Now you don’t have to. The Emory calendar now declares that Wednesday off for College and Oxford students (the Business School will follow suit but have not made an official announcement), which means a five-day weekend for the holiday.


If you couldn’t get enough of Pasta John’s infectious attitude and impromptu singing, be sure to stop by his new storefront in Cox Hall. The made-to-order pasta will satisfy the appetites of vegetarians and carnivores alike.


The second floor of Woodruff Library is now more mobile friendly. Over the summer, the space was renovated to include more electrical outlets to accommodate for personal laptops, as well as wheely tables and chairs to make it easier to study in groups. MARBL is also undergoing renovations this year. Since it’s now on the 7th floor, you won’t be able to get to the 10th floor for manuscripts, archives, rare books and a beautiful view of Atlanta.


Check out the brand new mail center in the bottom floor of the DUC, which features a streamlined pickup process and the elimination of mailboxes in favor of mail folders sorted by last name.


Raoul Hall is the newest addition to Emory’s luxury real estate for freshmen (also known as the freshman housing master plan). The residence hall will be home to more than 330 freshmen, resident advisors and sophomore advisors.


In addition to the newly-built Raoul Hall, Eagle Row got a facelift. Whether you’re zooming to Zaya’s or running the row, thanks to this summer’s repaving, it’ll be smooth sailing.


On July 15, Erika Hayes James became the new dean of the Goizueta Business School. She is also the first black woman to lead a top-25 business school.


Brush up on your Greek alphabet! Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) has moved into the old Sigma Nu house, Chi Phi has moved into the old Pike house and Xi Kappa is living in the old Chi Phi house.


This fall marks the opening of the new Candler Theology Library, a beautiful new building with large windows, classrooms and over 610,000 volumes.

— By Harmeet Kaur, Multimedia Editor, and Stephen Fowler, Asst. News Editor


Dooley, Lord of Misrule, first appeared on the Emory scene in an essay in the school’s literary journal The Emory Phoenix. He began his tenure as Emory’s resident skeleton hanging in a biology classroom, giving him plenty of time to observe the strange and foolish ways of Emory students that he discussed in his essay “Reflections of the Skeleton.” But this was all a ruse, as a 1909 issue of Phoenix featured “Dooley’s Letter—By Way of Introduction,” which contended that the author of “Reflections” was an imposter and that the author of the “Letter” was the genuine Lord Dooley. For the next 30 years, Dooley contributed to campus publications, but it was in 1941 that he made his first appearance on campus at the school’s first dance. Since then, Dooley has remained to wreck a little playful havoc, most notably during Dooley’s Week, when the mischievous Lord patrols campus with his guard and releases classes. Dooley reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. — Rhett Henry, Editorials Editor


Powerful, playful and at times a little sassy, Swoop is the much-beloved face of the Emory Eagles. But this was not always the case. Once upon a time, Emory’s athletic teams had no nickname. In the distant past, our sports teams had been unofficially called, at one time or another, the Hillbillies, the Gentlemen and even the Teasippers, but by 1960, we were just Emory. The Wheel’s Sports Editor at the time, an intrepid young man named David Kross, decided that this situation just would not do and on Oct. 27, 1960, he unilaterally declared from the bully pulpit of the Sports section that Emory’s sports teams would henceforth and forever more (unless people disagreed) be called the Eagles. The name stuck.

July 4, 1986 was not only the 210th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence — it was also Swoop’s birthday. Ever since then, he has been representing Emory both on and off the court/field. In addition to leading the cheering section at Emory sporting events, Swoop is also active in the Atlanta community, helping charities raise money for a plethora of good causes. In his spare time, Swoop enjoys listening to the music of the Eagles and watching old basketball games on ESPN Classic, especially those involving Larry Bird. – Bennett Ostdiek, Editor-at-Large.

Dooley’s Week

Dooley’s Week is the biggest spirit week on campus. There’s free food, free concerts, free shirts – plus, there’s that whole thing where Dooley walks around Emory and lets students out of class if their professors can’t answer an obscure question about Emory’s history. There also have been some great acts brought
onto Emory’s campus. Last year, Chance The Rapper was the performer and, two years ago, it was Kendrick Lamar. There’s also Dooley’s Ball, which is more of an electronic, glow-stick scene but equally exciting and well-attended. If you’re not one for big crowds and loud noises, there are other (calmer) events like trivia for students. This week is one of your few weeks that have concentrated celebrations of Emory pride, so take advantage of it — and
make sure you fight tooth-and-nail for a free Dooley’s Week shirt.

Homecoming Week

Most schools base their Homecoming Week around a football game, but Emory and SPC (Student Programming Council) have made sure “Swoop’s Week” will be an oasis from students’ studies and alums’ day-to-day lives at gridiron-less Emory.
Homecoming promises something for everyone, from those looking to reunite with old friends, to former student athletes, to scholars, to music buffs. Students will begin celebrating when they take a break from class with their weekly walk through Wonderful Wednesday on Sept. 17. The next day, the Candler School of Theology will host a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist and historian Dr. Garry Wills on the “Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture.” The Laney Graduate School will offer a “Conversation with the Deans” on hot topics. Oxford College will also hold its Alumni Awards Banquet. On Friday, award ceremonies and class reunions will take place, along with the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s “The Journey to Leadership” Class. Saturday will be Spirit Day, beginning with a Residence Hall Reunion and fraternity and sorority open houses. At 1 p.m., the Women’s Soccer team, which made the Division III Tournament last season, will take on Berry College at the WoodPEC. The Homecoming Parade will take place at 12:30 p.m., ending at 2:00 for the Homecoming Ball on McDonough Field, featuring performances by Cash Cash and Sugar Ray. – Zak Hudak, Sports Editor

Other Campus Traditions

Emory’s best-known tradition is our unofficial mascot, Dooley, Lord of Misrule, and the week of spring semester that we dedicate to his antics and fun-loving spirit. His face (or, rather, his cranium) appears on all manner of Emory swag and there will, undoubtedly, be a number of students lucky enough to have him dismiss their classes. But Emory is a university that loves its traditions – these are a few more that make the rest of the school year more exciting:

Wonderful Wednesday: There was a time, early in Emory’s history, when Wednesdays were dedicated to rest and relaxation, not class and consternation. Although we have to go to class, Emory strives to maintain this spirit of fun by putting on a street fair in Asbury Circle every Wednesday afternoon.
Sophomore Pinning: Among other reasons, Emory is unique because students are considered alumni after two consecutive semesters. Why? Back in the day – before you needed a college degree to run a company – Robert Woodruff left Emory after just two semesters to run the Coca-Cola Company. The Student Alumni Association (SAA) remembers this quirk by bestowing alumni pins on rising sophomores in a lovely pinning ceremony.
Coke Toast: In another nod to Emory’s long history with the Coca-Cola Company, every first-year student and every graduating senior participates in a “coke toast” to commemorate the commencement and conclusion of their Emory careers. Drink up! – Nick Bradley, Associate Editor

Emory Sports

In such a college-sports crazed state, it’s easy to overlook Emory Athletics for the lack of any Division I teams (or any sort of football team) to speak of. What the University lacks in big-name sports and tailgate scenes, however, it makes up for by essentially being the best athletic school in Division III. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not a big one — just last year, the Eagles won five conference titles and finished in the top 15 nationally in nine sports, including a pair of national titles in women’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis. Emory clocked in at sixth in the Director’s Cup standings, which measure athletic success across the board, and Emory Athletics Director Tim Downes was named the Division III Athletic Director of the Year.

A bit of background: each of Emory’s 18 varsity sports play in the University Athletic Association (UAA for short), an eight-team league consisting of other D-III academic and athletic powerhouses like Washington University in St. Louis and New York University. They’ve won a combined 17 national titles, a staggering number that will likely increase once the 2014-15 seasons are in the books. – Ryan Smith, Associate Editor


The Sophomore Slump. It’s the sinking feeling you obtain when you realize midway through the semester that the entire year may not live up to the same expectations you had freshman year.

The biggest thing you can do to avoid the wretched Sophomore Slump is to not let yourself start the Pity Party. Instead of getting upset that you aren’t getting the grades you wanted, work through it and change your routines to better match your tough classes. If you start to feel overloaded, maybe you don’t take that extra sixth class next semester. In the end, sophomore year is about living life to the fullest, solidifying your friendships, advocating for change and making tough decisions.

Go out of your way to sit in your professor’s office hours and make an impact. You’ll be grateful that you did at the end of your college years when you get great recommendations and lasting relationships with your professors.

Advocate for all the causes you believe in. Sophomore year is the year to discover what you’re passionate about and to solidify what you truly believe in. Make an impact on campus, because outside of college, who knows when you’ll get the chance to do so again?

Freshman year might feel like it’s about fitting in, but sophomore year is about being unique, embracing yourself, making an impact and creating lasting relationships. Don’t squander it by feeling sorry for yourself; instead, embrace the multitude of opportunities Emory has to offer.

— By Ashley Bianco, Features Editor



Hey, juniors! You’re halfway done with college. It may seem like you just got here, but you’ll be graduating before you know it.

Junior year can be a scary time, but it’s also exciting. Many juniors have transformational experiences while studying abroad. You (hopefully) have gotten some introductory classes out of the way and now have the opportunity to take classes that truly interest you. Student clubs and organizations often look to their upperclassmen participants to fill leadership roles. Also, since juniors are no longer required to live on campus and may bring cars to school, this is the time to get out and explore more of Atlanta.

This year is brimming with opportunities, but with the “real-world” lurking in the not-too-far distance, it’s also time to get serious. Here are a few tips to help make your junior year a success:

Take classes that interest you. Even if they’re outside your major. If you can’t spare the credit hours, try to branch out within your major by enrolling in classes outside of your concentration.

Continue to make new friends. It’s easy to settle into a friend group and stop meeting new people. However, studying abroad can leave many friend groups split up for a semester or even a year. Whether you’re abroad or at Emory, don’t be afraid to branch out.

Prioritize. We’ve all been there — it’s the first week of freshman year, and everyone is looking to find their place to fit in on campus. Naturally, you sign up for 50 clubs. Junior year is the time to figure out which ones are truly important to you. Better yet, pursue a leadership role that you find meaningful.

Plan ahead. Start thinking early about senior year and beyond. Do you want to graduate early? Is there a job or internship you are particularly interested in? The sooner you start preparing for these types of things, the better.

— By Elizabeth Howell, Managing Editor



I’m 20 years old, it’s August and I’m absolutely terrified.

It didn’t hit me until midsummer that I was going to be a senior. Three years in University really does go by quicker than you’d think. All of this pressure — from my parents, brother, extended family, friends — is kind of getting to me. I have ideas, goals and plans. I have started applications, and I have finished applications, but I can’t see my future right now.

But I’m happy. I’m happy and full of fear.

That’s just it: the fear of not really knowing where you’re going to end up, the fear of failing and disappointing all of those who bet on you, the fear of realizing that every- thing you worked for got you to the other side of where you wanted to be.

But I love the fear because it motivates me. The fear keeps me staring at my ceiling, thinking and thinking all night. The fear allows me to separate what’s real and what’s bullshit, because this is rational fear, and it keeps me alert.

I thrive on the fear because if I don’t succeed, at least I know that I tried, and that sentiment is enough to make me try again.

Life’s a gamble; life’s a risk. Life’s full of opportunity costs and the unknown, of beautiful people and horrendous people. Sometimes, it sucks, and you will fall flat on your face. You can plan and plan, have plan A, B, C, etc. and work your ass off to ensure at least one of these plans happen, but sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s just a part of the game.

College has and will continue to be a embracement of this fear. So for all the rising seniors: let’s play cards.

— By Priyanka Krishnamurthy, Editor in Chief

Best “First Year” Event: SONGFEST

Let’s be honest: it’s a little irritating when your way-too-energetic SA drags you out of your room (multiple times) to practice dance moves in a parking lot. But at some point between tripping over your hallmates and learning more lyrical variations to “Beat It” than you ever knew could exist, it stops being a burden and actually starts being fun. I won’t pretend to know how running around frantically in front of thousands of newly-indoctrinated Emory students does the trick, but it does. And you’ll find yourself returning to the WoodPEC every year after to cheer on your former place of residence.

Best Arts Event: BEST IN SHOW

This might be kind of a cop-out, but Best in Show never fails to impress. I’m 90 percent sure it was created as a way to prove to parents that we really do more than study in this place, but there’s no better way to see all the awesome things your fellow Emoryians are getting up to in one shot. Take a seat on McDonough and enjoy the amazingness of the a cappella groups, student-run dance teams and any other performing group you can think of. Best in Show usually takes place during the first few weeks of school, so it’s a great chance to see all the arts groups in action before auditions.

Best overall event: DRAG SHOW

Yes, it’s true: I cried during the 2011 drag show. (They couldn’t stop the beat!) This annual event is a great way to check out a variety of on-campus clubs, from the OMPS office to EmRock to the rugby team, and most importantly — to check them out lip-syncing and grooving to any rockin’ song they choose. And it’s for a good cause: all proceeds benefit Day League, formerly known as the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. It’s an amazing occasion when the whole campus comes together to celebrate diversity and LGBTQ pride, show our support for one another and sing and dance along the way.

— By Emelia Fredlick, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Best during-the-day dining: HIGHLAND BAKERY

When the Einstein’s by the B-school closed down, chaos ensued. What could possibly replace the beloved bagel/coffee locale? Well, as it turns out, Highland Bakery certainly could. It’s perfect for grabbing a coffee and muffin for the road; it’s perfect for sitting with a traditional southern breakfast and finishing up your homework before class; it’s perfect for grabbing a fresh salad or sandwich and enjoying lunch with a friend. The rest of Emory is equally as excited about the bakery, so the lines tend to be long, but fear not — they move surprisingly fast.

Best study spot: THE BIO LIBS

Best place to study on campus: “The Bio Libs” aka the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. During finals time, the Woodruff Library is anything but conducive to studying. If you’re lucky enough to even find a seat, the collective panic creates waaay too much tension, and it’s impossible to actually focus your attention on, like, a textbook (I actually had security come yell at a study room one time for being too loud).

Enter the solution: the Health Sciences Library. In the Bio building en route to the Woodruff dorms, you’ll find this lovely hidden gem of a study spot. There are big, comfy chairs. There’s historic-feeling architecture. There’s always a free table. Perhaps most importantly, there’s silence.

Best bathroom on campus: FIRST FLOOR CANDLER

Unless you’re a Classics major, you probably won’t be spending a whole lot of time on the ground floor of Candler. But that’s why the bathroom you’ll find there is so awesome. It’s a personal bathroom, in a super-silent and calming area, so you can do your business in peace. There’s never a line. It’s in a primarily faculty-used area, so it’s a little nicer. And it’s clean.

Best on-campus late-night dining: ZAYA AT DOOLEY’S DEN

There’s been a lot of over-the-summer buzz about the revamps coming to Cox this fall, but until we have definitive proof of their improvements, I’ll always be a Zaya girl. It’s open over fall break, when everything else is closed, and it’s great for when you’re looking for somewhere to use your Dooley Dollars. It’s open at one in the morning, when you’re lugging an over-served friend back to the dorms, and you’re both really craving some pancakes. It offers falafel, gyros and other traditional Greek fare, along with all the basic chicken tenders and burger options. Plus, where else on campus can you grab a pint of ice cream to go?

— By Emelia Fredlick, Arts & Entertainment Editor


Our beloved University is situated in a heavily residential, wealthy area known as Druid Hills. While Emory might have an Atlanta postal address, we’re actually outside the city limits of Atlanta in unincorporated DeKalb County — also known as the quasi-suburbs (seriously, Druid Hills was historically Atlanta’s second established suburb). While we live in a pretty quiet area, take advantage of Druid Hills’ gems.

Beautiful greenspaces, like the on-campus Lullwater Park and the forested Olmsted Linear Parks near Ponce de Leon Ave.
Award-winning dining, like the General Muir, a Jewish deli-style restaurant in the newly minted (and upscale) Emory Point, or Rise-N-Dine and Falafel King, every college student’s favorite hangout in Emory Village.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Seriously. Go. It’s cool.


O Decatur, the perfectly-planned city alternative to the urban planning nightmare that is Atlanta. Located a few miles east of Atlanta city limits, Decatur’s a neighborhood very close to Emory and was also a suburb that’s undergone heavy gentrification in the past decades. Now, it’s home to some of the best dining and drinking options in Atlanta.

Check out:
Victory Sandwich Bar. With $4 gourmet sandwiches and a cocktail menu to knock your socks off (see the famous Jack & Coke slushie), what other place could you take your late-night cravings?
Java Monkey. Along with Dancing Goats, Java Monkey represents the best coffee that Decatur has to offer (although the wi-fi could use some help). Stop by to get some reading done in a laid-back atmosphere — especially on Sunday nights, where some of the best slam-poetry in the city happens.
Decatur CD. Crotchety old men sell you an awesome collection of new and used CDs and records. Can’t beat that.
Most every other restaurant and bar. Chai Pani, Brick Store, Leon’s Full Service, Cakes & Ale — you really can’t go wrong when it comes to eating out in Decatur. Just check the menu before you go out if you’re looking to save money, since they be a bit pricey (see: gentrification).


The mini-version of the “big” Five Points in Downtown, Little Five is close to Emory — especially via Marta — and one of the weirdest, coolest neighborhoods in Atlanta. Booming with 1960s and 70s counterculture (if you look closely, you’ll still see some hippies), Little Five is brimming with locals and some of the best bars and food around. It’s strange and homey, and you may want to become a neighborhood regular.

The Best of Little Five:
BEER. The Porter Beer Bar has a menu with more beer than you could ever try, and Wrecking Bar Brewpub has some of Atlanta’s best beer — brewed in-house. Both have food to die for. If you’re looking for a grungier experience, try Star Bar (which has local music most nights) or Elmyr, everyone’s favorite Mexican dive bar with great food and cheap liquor. (Pro-tip: if you want more weird, dive bar excellence, check out East Atlanta Village).
COFFEE AND PIZZA. One of the oldest coffee shops in town, Aurora Coffee has great coffee, good music, and a nice patio. You can get all different types of iced and chocolatey stuff you want (even fresh coconuts), and if you’re hungry, just go next door to Savage Pizza.
MUSIC. Criminal Records is your go-to stop for records. They’ve got a huge selection of vinyl and CDs (and comics!), great recommendations, and they host a number of *free* in-store performance (Chvrches came a few months ago). For even more music, you can head over to Wax N’ Fax just next door.

By far one of Emory’s most popular neighborhoods for nightlife, VaHi (or “the Highlands”) has got a pub-crawl sort of charm, and it’s full of young professionals and new families. It’s very walkable and, like Druid Hills, it has a lot of old houses. Other than that, it’s kind of a peaceful, reliably decent area of town with a couple of good spots:

Blind Willie’s. It’s Atlanta’s best blues bar, and it’s a great alternative to EDM/sweat-filled clubs. Come for the drinks, stay for the always soulful live music.
Atlanta Cupcake Factory and Alon’s Bakery. The first offers gourmet cupcakes with flavors like Butterfinger and chocolate salted caramel, and Alon’s provides the best fresh breads and pies around.
The plethora of pretty good bars like Hand in Hand and Dark Horse Tavern, but Manuel’s Tavern is probably the best of the bunch, with a history of being a Georgia Democrat leader hangout and a local favorite.


Okay, if you want to go to Buckhead, just know that it’s pretty widely regarded as the most ritzy, pretentious area of town. It’s Atlanta’s financial district, and apparently Justin Bieber lives there now. That’s all I’m saying. A begrudging list of the few things that are “ok” or at least have some vestige of character in Buckhead:

Because You’re Fancy:
Prohibition. Once rated as one of Atlanta’s douchiest bars (not kidding), Prohibition is a speakeasy-style establishment where you technically have to give a password to get in. It’s trying to replicate the exclusivity (and elitism) of the 1920s with fancy cocktails and cigars. Ugh.
Anis Cafe & Bistro. Located in a cute house, it serves a blend of French and Mediterranean cuisine on a peaceful patio.


One of three city centers in Atlanta (between Downtown and Buckhead), Midtown has lots of tall buildings, 9-to-5 white-collar workers, and young people, often from the nearby Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

Go See:
Piedmont Park is one of the most iconic, beautiful parts of the city. Atlanta’s answer to Central Park (both were actually designed by the same person), Piedmont is huge and great for running, walking your dog, or just having a picnic and reading with a friend. Check out the nearby Midtown Art Cinema if you want to catch a flick afterward.
Flying Biscuit Cafe. It may not necessarily be the best breakfast in Atlanta, but you’ve got to go at least once. The original Flying Biscuit is in Candler Park (close to Emory), but the Midtown location has the best people-watching. Both have mouth- wateringly good biscuits and that sweet, sweet strawberry jam.
The culture. The High Museum, Atlanta’s biggest art museum with some good college nights, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are both located in Midtown’s Woodruff Art Center. Additionally, the Alliance Theatre and the Fox Theatre are nearby for stage performances. And if you like clubbing, Ponce’s MJQ offers the best Wednesday night out.


Atlanta’s Downtown is in the midst of change. While parts have been often vacant after work hours are over, the heart of the city is being swept with new life as affordable housing crops up and as Georgia State University, the city’s biggest university located in the “concrete campus” of Downtown, keeps growing.

Places to Go While You’re There:
The Mammal Gallery. It’s a new, community-oriented performance space that hosts some killer (and cheap) live shows, as well as open mic nights, game nights, and art-focused events that welcome all types of people.
Anatolia Café & Hookah Lounge. Into hookah? Not? Doesn’t matter — Anatolia has both great Mediterranean food and good drinks and hookah, and it’s usually filled with other college students from around Atlanta. Meet people!
Downtown’s surrounding neighborhoods. They’re not on this list but, every neighborhood in Atlanta has something to offer. Like bars? Edgewood Avenue is probably the bar district in the city. Into coffee? Check out Condesa Coffee off of Boulevard Drive. Love nature? The Southwest Atlanta Beltline makes you forget you’re in a city with its hiking trails and urban forest.

— By Sonam Vashi, Executive Editor

Photo by Jenna Kingsley College senior Christal Wang (left) and Georgia Institute of Technology sophomore Kush Patel (right) worked on   their app, PhotoSinc, Saturday night at the Emory Hackathon.

Photo by Jenna Kingsley
College senior Christal Wang (left) and Georgia Institute of Technology sophomore Kush Patel (right) worked on
their app, PhotoSinc, Saturday night at the Emory Hackathon.

It’s 11 p.m. in the Math and Science building’s biggest lecture hall. But instead of the silent, deserted place it is most Saturday nights, the room is alive with a quiet energy. Students working in hushed tones are scattered all about the giant space.

In the middle of the room, three young men type furiously on their keyboards, surrounded by a mountain of empty water bottles and Coke cans. In the front of the room, someone laughs as a fellow group member writes an equation on an already-crowded whiteboard. In the corner, a student bangs his hands on his laptop and consults his team with frustration.

“You see?” he says. “It works when I move my hand over the sensor. But on the monitor, it’s reverse! Did you see that?”

The focus, laughter and frustration all are directed at one event: Emory Hackathon 2014, a 32 hour competition to build an app, or hack, with a team and showcase the creation to win a multitude of prizes. This year’s hackathon was hosted throughout the Math and Science building from April 12 at 10 a.m. until April 13 at 5 p.m. The event was co-hosted by Microsoft, who offered over $5000 in prizes for skilled coders and beginners and boasted more than 200 in total attendance.

But what is a hackathon? And what is it that’s being hacked?

At events like Emory Hackathon, there’s no actual “hacking” in the mainstream sense of the word. The goal is never to hack into another account or get through the firewall of a government database. Rather, a hackathon is an event where computer programmers come together to work intensively on software products and programs. It’s a combination of the words “hack” and “marathon,” hence the need for computer prowess and coding stamina.

College hackathons started gaining popularity in the spring of 2009, when a hackathon at the University of Pennsylvania, PennApps, was born. Since then, hackathons have grown in quantity and attendance on campuses around the nation.

Many hackathons offer big prizes for the most innovative creations. PennApps has since grown to host over 2500 hackers and offer upwards of $30,000 in rewards. Emory Hackathon, only in its second year, cannot yet boast those types of numbers. But it is growing, and quickly.

Last year, Emory Hackathon was a small event with around 50 participants. This year, over 200 students participated. While some participants were Emory students, many came from neighboring schools like Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) or Georgia State University. Hackers came from five different states, and their education backgrounds ranged from high school to medical school.

“Hackathons are the biggest thing to happen to CS (computer science) in a long time,” College senior and lead organizer for the event Tom Mou said.

Mou, along with many others from the Emory Robotics and Computer Engineering Club, dedicated many months to planning this year’s event. The team spent much of their time obtaining sponsors, planning logistics and even hosted coding workshops for beginners in preparation for the competition.

Mou stressed the importance of gaining sponsors for events like this on campus.

“80 percent of our budget doesn’t come from Emory,” he said. “That’s why we turn to sponsors.”

Microsoft co-sponsored the event, in addition to other companies like Google, United Way, Uber, Zipcar, Wolfram, MailChimp, Mandril, Twilio and many others. The hackathon was also sponsored in part by Emory’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Chemistry, Laney Graduate School, College Council and Robotics and Engineering Club.

Sponsors helped provide food, prizes and speakers at the event. The prizes ranged from a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet for each team member, $500 in cash and one year WolframAlpha Pro/Mathematica passes for the Grand Prize winner to Startup Chowdown tickets at Atlanta Tech Village for the best startup-friendly hack. The best novice team received a $250 team cash prize and 6 month Code School passes.

With prizes for novice teams and support available from experienced hackers, the event was open to all skill levels.

“It’s really all about learning,” Mou said. “We wanted to focus on that aspect, not the prizes. We’re doing this for the Atlanta community.”

The Atlanta community came out bright and early. Check-in started at 8:30 a.m., followed by a kickoff ceremony, tech talks and then lunch, which served as a meet and greet for the participants. Then, things got quiet and the hacking commenced.

Food kept many hackers going throughout the event. Participants ploughed through five meals, 12 pounds of ground coffee, 150 bottles of Starbucks iced coffee and, of course, pieces upon pieces of pizza.

“It’s not a hackathon without midnight pizza,” Mou laughed.

Just before the midnight pizza, work began getting more intense all over the Math and Science building. Each team, consisting of a maximum of four members, only had 32 hours to complete their hacks. While some Emory students decided to go back to their rooms for the night, many of the hackers worked into the early hours of the morning, taking turns napping in various designated sections in the building.

While teams were scattered across different rooms, the hub seemed to be room 208, the giant lecture hall. The room was quiet, but there seemed to be a charge to the air, like a sort of silent frenzy.

“It’s usually even crazier than this,” College senior Christal Wang said. “I think some people went back to their dorms.”

Wang was on a team with her brother, Christopher Wang, and her brother’s friend, Kush Patel, both sophomores at Georgia Tech. Christal and Patel, both novices, teamed up with Christopher, an experienced programmer, for the weekend.

“We’re just here to learn,” Christal said, shaking her head with a smile. “This is Christopher’s thing. This is what he does on the weekends.”

The trio’s app, named PhotoSinc, was a picture service that took photos from a phone, uploaded and tagged them on the cloud, and then sent them individually to the tagged person. Essentially, the app allows people to share photos but bypasses social media.

“It grew out of being more private,” Patel said. “Chris and I aren’t fans of public social media.”

Another team, consisting of Trevor Goodyear, Gene Chorba, William Wood and Gabriel Siewe, all CS majors from Georgia State University, created an app called Shelter, which provides a portal for homeless shelters to maintain databases of the homeless with pictures and information related to each individual.

Though they are both experienced coders, it was Goodyear and Siewe’s first hackathon.

“We tried to ask to be in the novice category,” Goodyear joked.

“They said no,” Chorba said with a grin.

It ended up only being fair; Shelter won three prizes at the event, including Second Place overall, the United Way Hack for the Homeless Prize for the best hack that addressed an issue regarding homelessness and Best Use of Twilio application programming interface (API).

The grand prize went to College senior Neil Sethi and his team members Angie Palm, Brendan Isham and Shivani Negi, all students at Georgia Tech. Their hack, called, was a sound sampling web application that allows users to act as a DJ on the go.

Third place went to Parachute, an app that delivers ice cream directly to the consumer by quadricopter. The creators, all Georgia Tech students, are now talking to King of Pops about the opportunity to deliver popsicles to customers by dropping them in tiny parachutes.

The high school team from Milton, Georgia took home the top new hacker prize.

All hacks were due at 3 p.m., when each team was given three minutes to demo their app to the judges. Then, judges deliberated and awarded prizes at the closing ceremony. Closing ceremony speakers included Protip Biswas, vice president of homelessness at United Way of Atlanta, Devin Rader, developer evangelist at Twilio and Brian Easter, CEO of Nebo Agency.

“Overall, the event was overwhelmingly successful,” Mou said. “We had people who knew nothing about coding make fully functional apps after learning basic platforms. The group of medical school students from Emory created a text-alert system that automatically alerts the authority in the event of a serious collision between bikes, motorcycles or cars. And yes, they knew nothing about coding before this.”

But learning wasn’t the only thing happening at the event; participants also made sure to make time to have some fun.

“Microsoft came out with a 3D printer for the first time and made stuff for people for free,” Mou said. “They also brought out 2 Xbox Ones.”

However, despite all of Hackathon’s success, Mou believes there is still room for improvement. He hopes that each year’s success will build upon the next. The only place to go, it seems, is up.

“We are already starting to work on next spring’s edition of the event, which will be much bigger,” he said. “More prizes, more participants, bigger venue.  And bringing in people from across the South to make it the biggest hackathon for the South by the South.”

— By Jenna Kingsley

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