PS: I Luv U

Flirting via texting on your cell has become de rigueur in college today

By Raffi Williams

Saturday night for college students is filled with dancing, drinking and flirting. Unlike the dancing and the drinking, the flirting continues after the night is over, as it has for decades. This generation of college students, however, has changed the game. No awkward pick up lines, no waiting for the girl to pick up the phone: this generation flirts by texting via their cell phones.
“The risk is less,” said Haverford College senior Oleksa Gerlak. “I do not have to immediately have to say something I can take my time to write a response.”
Gerlak who — by his own accounts — text flirts with at least one girl a week, is not alone is seeing the benefits of text flirting. Bryn Mawr junior Steph Schorsch agrees with Gerlak, “You are more in contteen-texting-500-21rol with text flirting.”
Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College both have become more technologically advance institutions in recent decades. The students have also become more technologically savvy. One of the advantages to living in a technologically advanced society is the speed of communication. Cell phones give unprecedented access to people. Everyone is a button away, no matter where they physically are located.
Businessmen use this quick access to people to do business, parents use it to check in on children and college students use it to flirt.

Serious business

Gerlak predicts that for him about half the girls he flirt texts with he kisses or does more. This is not flirting just for fun, each word is carefully selected and meaning pored over. “I put more focus on the individual words of a [text flirt] message than I do most words in papers in write for class,” said Haverford senior J.P. Cashiola.
Haverford senior Robert Breckinridge unabashedly admits to seeking out friends advice when text flirting. “When flirting with a girl over the phone or in person, you can’t turn to your friend and ask how should I respond to that, but when texting you can.”
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Facebook Politics

Social media sites have become a new venue for political activism

By Julie Mazziotta

Forget politicians encouraging you to vote on social networks, now you can hear it from people you know much better. Your friends.
On Nov. 2, the day of the 2010 mid-term elections, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare provided applications for users to easily declare to their friends or followers that they voted, according to Computer World Daily.
Facebook placed a large toolbar on the homepages of every user in the United States over 18 with an “I Voted” button. The toolbar showed the total of Facebook users who clicked the button, along with your Facebook “friends” who pledged that they too voted by absentee ballot or at their polling place. The toolbar also linked users to a separate page on Facebook, where they could look up their polling place, and check back later in the day for live coverage of the results with ABC. i-voted
Twitter made #ivoted an official hashtag, a way of tracking popular topics on Twitter, that day, and also added #votereport for Twitterers to report back on their experiences voting, MSNBC reported.
Foursquare, a service that allows users to “check in with their friends and update their location,” according to their website, added a program similar to Facebook’s, with additional information about the person’s gender, the time they voted, and their polling place, according to an article on Tech President.

‘I Voted’ toolbar

Facebook first debuted the “I Voted” toolbar in the 2008 presidential elections, with 5.4 million people clicking “Yes.” This year, that number increased to over 12 million people according to Tech President, although there are now 500 million Facebook users, compared to 100 million in 2008.
Matt Kerbel, a political science professor at Villanova University spoke to students at Bryn Mawr College Nov. 11, on a panel titled, “New Media in the 2010 Election: What the Hell Just Happened Here?” Kerbel doubted the legitimacy of the Facebook toolbar, saying, “The internet give you new ways to talk to your friends, and to convince them to vote,” he said. “Checking a little box on Facebook; there may be a little social bias in play and you want similarly-minded friends to check yes.”
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International Arrivals

More and more Bryn Mawr students are coming from overseas

By Amanda Kennedy

To enter Madhavika Bajoria’s room in the Rhoads North dorm at Bryn Mawr College, one must first walk through elephants-and parrots and fish, too.
These vibrant mobiles from her native country of India hang from the ceiling, a combination of jangling beads and embroidered animals in bright pinks, yellows and blues flecked with gold yarn. Bajoria, 20, a sophomore, got them last year at home in Calcutta over winter break to brighten her room during a bleak winter.
“I really need color,” she said.
Bajoria is used to “pleasant” winters in India that feel more like fall, she said. She especially misses home when the rain falls in Bryn Mawr because the showers remind her of the monsoons in India.
Bajoria has had to adjust to many other aspects of life at an American college: classes held in English, American food at the dining halls and being thousands of miles away from family, to name a few. But the lure of studying at a liberal arts college in the United States, where young women gain insight on independence and intellect, helped her to hop on a plane and never look back.
Bajoria is one of a growing faction of international students who choose to study at Bryn Mawr each year. In fact, the number of international students attending Bryn Mawr during the 2010-11 school year is the largest in history, with 18.9 percent of the student body from 62 countries represented, up from 17.4 percent last year.
Bryn Mawr is part of a national rise in bringing more international students to college campuses-the Chronicle of Higher Education reported in July that foreign enrollment increased by 2 percent in American colleges and universities to 586,000 students for fall 2009.jackie-kim-use-this
Each year the freshman class at Bryn Mawr includes more international students. While class size has remained the same-around 370 students-the percentage has risen, from 20 percent international for the Class of 2012 to 21 percent international for the Class of 2013, “the most international yet,” Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe proclaimed in 2009 at convocation. The Class of 2014, however, trumped all previous years with 27 percent of entering freshmen coming from overseas.
The sudden increase in enrollment in the past two to three years is thanks to Bryn Mawr’s ability to provide financial aid to international students, as well as the development of the global economy, said Jenny Rickard, Chief Enrollment and Communications Officer.

The world is flat

“That I would attribute to the world is flat,” she said. “With the economy changing, now more students of those who don’t need financial aid or those who aren’t needing as much financial aid as before [can come to Bryn Mawr] just because of the economies in other countries have grown. It’s a situation we hadn’t seen before.”
Because of the large influx of international students in such a short period of time, Growth and Structure of Cities professor Gary McDonogh and other faculty members on the Diversity Council would like to gain more knowledge about the make-up of the student body.
“What I think has struck some of us is, that this is a serious change that demands some discussion,” he said. “It’s not to say that incoming students have caused problems. It’s more significant that it is a conscious shift.”
The Diversity Council is considering hiring people to work with the deans’ office to run focus groups and compile questionnaires for the student body to complete. Responses of international students would be compared to responses of domestic students to gauge how international students are fairing with the rest of the student body.

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Comfortable with Cardio

At this rate, the weight-lifting equipment at Bryn Mawr’s new gym will last 100 years

By Sarah Fischer

If you walk into Bryn Mawr College’s brand new Bern Schwartz Gymnasium, you’ll notice half of the equipment isn’t being used.
It isn’t because this equipment is dirty or old – it’s state-of-the-art and new. And it isn’t because this equipment difficult to use – the instructions are clearly stated alongside of each machine.
The answer is easy: This is weight-lifting equipment and at this all-women’s college hardly anyone lifts weights.
As Bryn Mawr College students pile into the Schwartz Gym at peak hours, typically from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., almost every cardio machine is filled. All eight treadmills, twelve ellipticals, four arc trainers (elliptical-like machines with more motion range), two upright bikes, two normal bikes, and two horizontal bikes are occupied with women huffing and puffing the calories away.
The weight-lifting machines are bare and vacant. The free weights remain unused and in order.
All fourteen machines, including arm extension, overhead press, arm curl, leg press, and hip abduction/adduction, simply aren’t used much at all by the school’s gym-goers. It’s not unique to Bryn Mawr. Studies show that women prefer cardio and generally avoid weight lifting.dumbells-use-this
Stacy Adams, Bryn Mawr College’s assistant Athletics Director, acknowledges that women would rather use cardio machines than pump iron. Yet she still advocated for more “selectorized equipment” when she helped design the gym layout.
“Selectorized equipment is another name for weight-lifting machines. As Adams, 33, explained “it’s a series of exercises you can do: to hop on the machine, do the exercise, and then be done without having to know a lot about how to do it.”

So far, no luck

“It’s an easier way to work out,” she said. She hoped that Bryn Mawr students would follow suit and actually work out on them. So far, no luck.
The Bern Schwartz Gymnasium opened mid-September after $7.5 million renovation that would “give student a better-equipped, more inviting contemporary fitness center,” said a Bryn Mawr newsletter article.
The gymnasium boasts high-end equipment that is catered to a woman’s body in motion range and weight distribution. The dumb bells in the main weight-lifting area range from 2.5 to 12.5 pounds, while the maximum weight on the weight-lifting machine is 390 pounds on the leg press and 230 pounds on arm exercises.
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The Defining Moment

For Ryan Henrici, his mother’s illness defined his goals

By Dana Eiselen

For one Conestoga High School senior, his defining educational experience did not happen at school, but closer to home. When Ryan Henrici’s mom, Carol, was struck with a mystery illness, he decided to pursue a career in science and medicine.
Ryan Henrici’s mother, Carol, was known in her Chester Count town of Chesterbrook as the modern day Wonder Mom. She managed a household of three children, a husband and cat with boundless energy.
“Every day before school she would ask the children if they needed anything pressed,” said Lucy Quigley, a family friend. “The house was spotless and she never missed one of the kids’ [athletic] games.”
In second grade, Ryan came home to find his mother passed out on the couch. The family called 9-1-1. Mrs. Henrici spent the next six months in the hospital, undiagnosed. While playing the waiting game, Ryan’s father, Mike, began managing Mrs. Henrici’s health care, and Mrs. Henrici’s parents moved in to help take care of the family.

‘It was really scary…’

Doctor consultations and hospital visits became routine. “At first it was really scary seeing her on a ventilator, but then I saw the doctors and nurses trying to help her, doing everything they could,” said Ryan.
The unpredictable course of the disease propelled an interest in medicine for Ryan and his sister. “When she got sick, that’s when Meaghan applied to medical school, and I thought maybe this is something I should do.” Ryan’s older sister, Meaghan, is now a second-year medical student at Drexel University.
Ryan has completed all of the Advanced Placement science and math courses his high school offers. The school helped tailor his needs by creating a multi-variable calculus class; he is also working one-on-one with a teacher to learn the basics of organic chemistry.wheelchair-use-this1
“Together, we work through a college organic chemistry textbook. The course is really by my design. I go at a relaxed pace, but by the end of the year I am planning to perform some experiements in the lab most don’t do until college.”
It is ten years since Mrs. Henrici first passed out, and Ryan is constantly reminded about the importance of medicine.
“Being put in this whole medicine situation, put on one side of it, across from the doctors, changed my perspective,” said Ryan. He thinks it’s “all about compassion.” “They’re healing patients physically, but they’re also emotionally healing the family.”
Mrs. Henrici lost the ability to walk and speak. She was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but was re-diagnosed five years ago with Neuromyelitis optica, a rare syndrome of the central nervous system that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. The original misdiagnosis was a substantial setback for recieveing effective treatment in the early stages of her disease. Continue reading

Bekki Schwartz Is On the Run

How a Haverford College sophomore became a triathlete

By Hannah Turner

What began as a casual joke has, over the past three months, become a way of life for Haverford College sophomore Bekki Schwartz. Now, in addition to musician, sister, and friend, Schwartz can add triathlete to her resumé.
Schwartz decided that she needed to take her fitness more seriously over the summer. She began running daily, and “was feeling really good about myself and about my body, because I knew I was doing the right thing for it,” she said. Until this August though, Schwartz “would not have self-identified as an athlete…Not at all.”
When she told some friends about her new fitness kick, one facetiously suggested that she train for a triathlon. “But then,” Schwartz said, “we looked it up on Wikipedia and realized that this was something I could definitely do, and something that would fill a void in my life.”
This void, she explained, was two-pronged. First and foremost, she said, was the fact that she still had no specific goal to keep her motivated. The second, more general, issue was that “I’d kind of settled into a niche on campus…It had been a long time since I’d done something totally outside of my comfort zone…It was time for me to do something totally different, and to prove to myself that I could do it,” Schwartz said.

Getting a trainer

Schwartz first used the internet to implement her plan. She found several free triathlon training plans for beginners, picked one, and intended just to follow it. She realized quickly though that Google couldn’t provide her with the advice and feedback crucial to a successful training program. Schwartz decided that she needed a coach, and asked for funding as a birthday gift from her parents.woman_runner_250_450x350
Again Google came in handy as Schwartz looked for triathlon trainers in the area. She called several and in a “purely fiscal decision” found Mary Sundy Kelley. Armed with a new trainer and plans to compete in a specific race (The Bassman Distance Sprint Triathlon in Tuckerton, N.J.), Schwartz began her seven-week training program.
Schwartz’s schedule included six workouts per week, with one off day. These workouts included one long bike, run, and swim each week. The other training days were comprised of interval workouts, combining varying intensity levels in one of the events with a short session of one of the others. By the end of her seven weeks, Schwartz’s workouts exceeded the duration of those in the actual race.
By the time race day arrived, Schwartz felt physically prepared. She had noticed the changes in her fitness over the past two months, and was proud to put her new strength to the test. Continue reading

Karen Tidmarsh’s New Role

The former Bryn Mawr dean is back to devise a program of academic support for students

By Amanda Kennedy

Karen Tidmarsh thinks her new office at Bryn Mawr College is too quiet.
The silence is unfamiliar to her. When she was Dean of the College, the hustle and bustle of Taylor Hall was a part of daily life. Now, Tidmarsh, 61, of Haverford, is prepared for a new position the college has created for her-Director of Academic Enhancement Programs.
Tidmarsh is in the process of making her office her own. A bare wooden bookshelf covers an entire wall behind her. The only bright spot in the room is Tidmarsh’s raspberry-hued sweater, which she pulls snugly to her neck. Boxes with her name printed in blocky black letters cram the few windowsills she has in her room in Canaday, remnants from her previous office in Taylor Hall.
Tidmarsh has filled many roles during her time at Bryn Mawr-student, dean, associate director of admissions, and English professor. Now, as Director of Academic Enhancement Programs, she plans to focus on improving the availability of academic support for students. Other universities have such academic support systems in place, and Tidmarsh has been trying to determine what will work best at Bryn Mawr.
tidmarsh-use-thisTidmarsh realizes that some students have an easier time adapting to college than others. “If they’re good at it and figure it out quickly-great,” she said. “And if not they almost have to fall on their face before they can begin to be successful. And some of them are never as successful as they deserve to be because they don’t have the study skills that a place like this demands.”
She feels that Bryn Mawr has not been successful in reaching out to students who need academic support, especially international students and minority students.

A changing student body

“I think we can certainly do better,” she said.
The make-up of the student body has changed dramatically since Tidmarsh first became a student in 1967. “When I was there, diversity was really black and white,” she said, and international students made up about five percent of the student body. Last year, they comprised nearly 19 percent. This year, Bryn Mawr welcomed its largest number of international students into its freshman class-more than 25 percent. As the campus becomes more diverse, Tidmarsh realizes that academic support programs are becoming increasingly necessary.
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Stacy Adams’ Fitness Mission

The new assistant athletic director wants to help Bryn Mawr students to get and stay fit

By Sarah Fischer

As visitors and students alike ooh and ah over the new renovations of the Schwartz Gymnasium at Bryn Mawr College, Stacy Adams sits in her office and smiles over the completed job — before getting back to work.

As the Assistant Athletic Director, Adams spends all her time in the clean, naturally lit gymnasium doing paperwork, teaching classes, or helping students train for their sports season.

Her office looks out onto cardio equipment and the women of Bryn Mawr College huffing and puffing with confidence. But these women can also peer into Adam’s workspace: bare and littered with papers. Behind her desk there is mini refrigerator with a jar of peanut butter and a bag of carrots sitting on top. No candy or Easy Mac in sight.

Adams is definitely a woman you would want on your side in a fight. Tall and built, her curly hair is usually tied behind her head in ponytail. Athletic clothes are her work attire.

She is what you would call a heavyweight. Pun intended.

Adams has coached at Drexel University, West Virginia University, University of Miami, and Villanova University, just to name a few. She has worked with six year-olds as well as NBA and NFL players.stacy-adams-use-this

Although Bryn Mawr College, a Division III, liberal arts, all-women’s college in the suburb of Philadelphia, is definitely a contrast from those larger schools, Adams says her position at Bryn Mawr is her favorite job so far.

Even though Adams does a considerate amount of administrative work such as designing the new gym layout and working game day operations, she enjoys her interactions with students and teams.

“[The students] have such different personalities. There are some characters,” she says with a smile, “but there are some really great people from all over the world”

And this is coming from a woman that used to train NBA and NFL stars.

‘Female friendly gym’

Adams herself came to Bryn Mawr with a very different college experience. Originally from upstate New York, Adams received a scholarship to West Virginia University (which enrolls an average of 29,000 students, opposed to Bryn Mawr’s 1,300) for soccer. She graduated from WVU in 1999 with a major in Sociology and a minor in Political Science.

At Bryn Mawr College, Adams has helped to construct “a state of the art facility to help women.” She says that the new Schwartz Gymnasium is a “female friendly gym” where women are “excited to come in and learn in things…the environment is such that it doesn’t feel intimidating.” Continue reading

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Haverford’s Andrew Bostick is the force behind the school’s new student-run garden.

By Carl Sigmond

“It’s really nice to get outside and to actually interact with the soil,” said Andrew Bostick, a junior at HaverfordCollege and one of the founders of its student-run garden.

Bostick, who is double majoring in English and Economics with a minor in French, is not the type of person you’d expect to be planting seeds in the middle of winter and harvesting fresh vegetables for a summer internship.

And yet, this tall, slim, 21-year-old from Bernardsville, N.J. has spent the past two summers gardening and researching the feasibility of sustainable agriculture.He has also spearheaded a successful effort to establish a student garden on Haverford’s campus.The garden is now entering its second season and there is talk of expansion.

Bostick said in an interview that he was never interested in sustainability or gardening before he came to Haverford.”I never really thought about environmentalism or anything like that,” he said.

Shortly after he arrived at Haverford, however, he read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” by Michael Pollen.”It strikes close to home,” Bostick said, referring to the book.”[Pollen] tells these stories about people eating meals at McDonald’s, something all of us do all the time.”

In the book, Pollen makes the case that the current way Americans eat and their reliance on fast food is unsustainable and is harming the environment.

Inspired by Pollen’s arguments, Bostick applied for a grant from HaverfordCollege‘s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC).He got the grant and with it he went to France the summer after his freshman year to study the differences between organic gardening and farming in France and the United States.

He said in an interview that while he was in France, he learned from one of his host families that “when we’re buying food that’s been shipped from all over, we need to think about the overall cost that goes into that.” Continue reading