April 19, 2001
| April 19, 2001
In this age of modern electronics and technophilia, anyone can pick up a hand-held and make a movie. However, this phenomenon increases possibility of an indirect relationship between the numbers of films out there and their level of quality. Thus, the more people who decide to pick up camcorders, the more likely that what they are filming is crap.
This was not the case for first-time British filmmaker Marc Singer when he lugged some camera equipment into the caverns of the Amtrak tunnels in New York to shoot a film about the small shanty population of squatters that lived there. All odds were against him, with little experience and a crew made up of the homeless people on which his documentary was based. Still and all, Singer’s
Dark Days is one of most artistic, stimulating, and important modern documentaries that I have had the pleasure of viewing.
Daze: Why did you decide to make a film about the people living in the tunnel?
Singer: I wanted to make the film because I wanted to get them out of the tunnel. At the same time, they [the people living in the tunnel] would be the entire film crew and that way they’d help themselves get out.
D: Why did you choose to shoot in black and white?
Singer: A friend of mine asked, “Well, what are you gonna shoot on?” And I said, “I have no idea.” And he said, “Well, if you shoot on color and you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to fuck it all up. It’s gonna come out green, or it’s going to come out red.” And I said, “Ahhh.” He said, “If you shoot black and white, you can still fuck it up, but it will still look pretty cool.” So we shot in black and white. In hindsight, it was fantastic. It really worked because it really, I mean the tunnels were black and white.
D: The filmmaker’s presence is never alluded to in the film. Why?
Singer: It wasn’t a film about me. I didn’t say I’m going to make a film about myself filming. I hate when some people do that. I mean, some people do it quite well and get away with it. But, it’s not about you, it’s about who you’re filming.
We are an independent, student newspaper. Help keep us reporting with a tax-deductible donation to the Cornell Daily Sun Alumni Association, a non-profit dedicated to aiding The Sun.
April 20, 2001
Students can still get some shut-eye in the Straight, for now. The Willard Straight Hall Space Committee presented their final report before the Student Assembly (S.A.) yesterday, and the S.A. vote was nearly unanimous against the recommendations. Assembly members questioned committee chair Kim Yeoh, associate dean of students for administration, and member Esther Tang ’04, new student representative, about plans to alter space usage in the Straight. Yeoh explained that the report was meant to solicit feedback. “The report itself is not … set in stone,” she said. The report recommends “changing the Browsing Library into a Social/Activity Lounge, using the current Game Room as a Student Organization Resource Center, moving most of the DOS [Office of the Dean of Students] staff to the fifth floor, moving DOS student groups to the second floor, and creating storage space for student groups in the theater backstage.” John Ford, then the dean of students, charged Yeoh last fall with forming a committee to make recommendations on solving the problem of inadequate staff office space in WSH, as changes in DOS units have yielded thirteen new or expanded staff positions. New Student Representative P.K. Agarwalla ’04 said that many constituents have voiced their opposition to using the library as a game and social space, saying they prefer to use the quiet space to sleep. “A lot of students go around here sleep deprived,” Agarwalla said. “The browsing library is the only place that’s open all the time so people can do that.” Yeoh replied that the Music Room and International Lounge would remain as quiet spaces, while the Browsing Library’s central location would provide socializing space beyond the WSH lobby. “One of the things I’ve heard we’re really lacking is a place to hang out,” she said. “[The Browsing Library is] really in the center of the busiest floor of the student union.” Agarwalla asked if the committee had considered moving the Browsing Library to the upstairs Game Room space, thereby switching the location of the two rooms. “Were not just trying to move the Game Room,” Yeoh said, explaining the committee’s effort to create varied types of space and offer different services. Minority Representative and Vice President of International Operations Tom Mendez ’03 asked how many student jobs would be lost to the renovations. “Probably not very many, if any,” said Linda Reynolds, WSH Manager of Building Services. “It may just mean that [some] positions would be a little bit different,” including changes to job responsibilities or working locations, she said. Lisa McNamara ’03, student personnel coordinator, spoke to the S.A. on behalf of WSH student employees, asking for a student employee to be included on the committee. At least ten members of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity attended the meeting to protest the reallocation of their space. The student organizations were asked how they use their office space on their application forms, Yeoh said. Also, a search found that many, although not all, organizations were using their office space for storage. For that reason, the committee included storage cubbies for student organizations in the backstage of WSH theater as part of their recommendations. Some student groups expressed concern that moving all staff offices to the fifth floor and Dean of Students groups to the second floor would separate the groups from their advisors. “I really think it would be detrimental,” said Rebecca Walker ’02, president of the Panhellenic Council, adding that contact is important in fostering student-staff relationships. Catherine Holmes, associate dean of students, said that by moving all staff to the fifth floor, the proposal aimed to ease students’ access to the staff they need. “Maybe the greater good is something that has to be considered,” Holmes told the S.A. The Assembly voted on whether or not to support the committee’s report in its current form, and Tang, a member of the committee, was the only student to vote in favor of the recommendations. “We really need to know what it is you’re voting down,” Yeoh said, requesting further S.A. input. The Assembly then approved an appropriations request for $2,000 for the Slope Fest Planning Committee’s music costs, after debating the merit of the expense. “This is the best appropriation ever,” said Frankie Lind ’01, College of Human Ecology representative. Slope Fest will cost approximately $75,000 this year, $23,000 of which is provided from the Student Activity Fee. The Planning Committee still has to raise $40,000. “Between now and May ?” asked New Student Representative Michael Sellman ’04. “Good luck,” he added. The request passed 15 to 3. The Assembly then debated a resolution regarding charter changes to the S.A. Appropriations Committee. Michael Brown ’02, undesignated at-large representative, proposed an amendment similar to one he advocated at last week’s meeting, aimed at decreasing S.A. influence on the committee. Kira Moriah ’03, College of Arts and Sciences representative and vice president of finance, defended the resolution’s addition of one more S.A member to the Appropriations Committee. “There are reasons that we did this. People who were on this committee last year were frustrated and they begged me to change the ratios,” Moriah said. “The S.A. can never out-vote the community members, as long as the community members show up,” she added. Brown’s amendment to change the number of community representatives from six to eight failed. The resolution then passed 11 to five, with one abstention. In the last order of business, the Assembly began debating R. 49, “resolution to remove abortion coverage from the student health plan.” The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) covers some termination of pregnancy procedures, and is funded by the University’s general revenue fund, which is financed primarily through tuition and research grants, according to the resolution. “Tuition the undergraduates pay is funding SHIP,” stated Mike Kalogiannis ’01, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences representative. “We just want to know on our conscience that we’re not subsidizing other people’s abortions,” said Schloss, explaining that many grad students will receive free SHIP coverage next year, and those who disagree with SHIP abortion coverage might not be able to afford a different insurance policy. The Assembly will continue debate on the resolution next week. Lindsay Patross ’02 was affirmed in her office of undesignated at-large representative during the meeting. She replaces James Lamb Jr. ’03 on the S.A. International Student Liaison Derrick Zandpour ’02 announced that the Ivy Council had elected Brown as their president for 2001-2002 during a meeting last weekend. The S.A. will hold its internal elections for the 2001-2002 Assembly next Tuesday. The members-elect have already attended two organizational meetings to learn about their role as representatives.Archived article by Heather Schroeder
April 20, 2001
Few people look forward to the day after slope day, but that might begin to change if three students have their way. Liquid Productions, a company run by students Alex Sondej ’01, Alex Miranda ’03 and Irfaan “Eef” Lalani ’03 which produces parties at fraternities and bars, plans to expand the year-end celebration to Saturday with a party at the Sigma Pi fraternity. The event, which will be co-sponsored by Hype Energy Drinks, Warp Power Mints and MTV Cribs, will take place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Liquid Productions is known for sponsoring Sweet Saturdays dance parties each week from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m at Bibi Maizoon’s. Others are more familiar with Liquid Productions’ parties at fraternities, such as Creation or Expose. The three students started Liquid Productions in the fall of 2000. The beginnings of the company started when the three were helping Miranda move into his room. As he was unpacking some of his posters from clubs, he expressed his desire to start a company that would offer an alternative to the fraternity party scene. “I started Liquid Productions because I missed Miami. I wanted a place were I could go that had the newest club music in hip hop and trance, and no beer all over the place to stink it up or slip while dancing,” Miranda said. Miranda is not new to the productions industry. In high school, Miranda started Mystik Realmz in Miami with seven of his closest friends. As a high school production, they rented out Miami clubs and promoted their parties in high schools throughout Miami. “It’s basically the same concept, but Miami was one huge city to promote in. I learned all of my promoting skills in Miami and brought them here in an attempt to start a club scene at Cornell,” Miranda said. The entrepreneurial trio created the company’s name from one of the parties that was thrown in Miami called Liquid. After that, everything else fell into place. Creation, their first party, was held at their fraternity house, Sigma Pi, in mid-October. “It was a complete success,” Lalani said. “There were over 1,000 people there.” Many have praised Liquid Productions for producing parties that bring a different element to Cornell. So far their parties at fraternities have been completely dry, thus shifting the focus from alcohol to dancing. “I think it truly is an innovative scene. It transforms the old frat party with beer covered floors and sketchy frat guys into a club scene atmosphere complete with DJs who play a variety of dance, trance, and hip hop that extends into the wee hours of the night, long after the regular frat parties have been broken up by the police or run out of beer,” said Silvia Odorcic ’03, a promoter for Liquid Productions. In the beginning, there were some doubts about the success of trying to bring a big-city club atmosphere to Ithaca. “Liquid Productions has been very successful in changing the social scene at Cornell. They took a chance in bringing the big-city club scene to a college campus, and it worked,” Abby Campbell ’03 said. “A lot of people said that I was crazy, that Ithaca is no place for a club scene,” Miranda said. “I have to admit that I was shaky at first to put down money for something that might bomb, but that first party proved that there is a lot of support for the club scene. It’s just going to take time to change from the old ways.” Lalani, Miranda and Sondej took a chance and now successfully run Liquid Productions with the support of Al Myrie ’01, their head security guard, and a promotions crew of about 40 students. The promotions team is responsible for publicizing the event through e-mails, word of mouth and flyers. Although the promotions team does not get paid, they do receive free admission to all of the events. Next year Liquid Productions will expand to include Liquid Catering, a catering company that will rival Big Red Catering. “There is currently a catering monopoly on campus; someone needs to change that,” Lalani said. “Competition opens up changes,” Sondej added. “With competition everything can improve, including quality of service and prices.” Sondej said that so far there has been a positive reception on campus to the news of their expansion. Already fraternities and other organizations have contacted them about using Liquid Catering in the future. Sondej said that Liquid Catering will be in full operation in the fall and will contact Greek organizations to cover any questions about their new services. Liquid Catering will also feature a signature drink, Liquid Hype, which will be a mix of vodka and Hype energy drink. Although they will be expanding into the alcoholic scene on campus, Liquid Productions will still throw non-alcoholic parties in order to continue to cater to the dry demand on campus. “I fear if they obtain their drinking license, they may revert back to the old frat party scene that so many of Cornell students are sick of,” Odorcic said. “However, if they retain their crowd pleasing DJs and develop strong theme parties, hopefully the can come up with a drinking frat party/sophisticated city club scene hybrid that will please those of us that want to dance to good music, as well as those of us who can’t seem to get our groove on unless we have downed a couple of beers.” Sondej said that he hopes Liquid Productions will set the standard for future parties at Cornell. “We would like to keep raising the bar. Soon there will be better DJs, some real big names coming out of New York City and other areas,” Sondej said. “The scene is building and it’s going to keep getting bigger and bigger.” Even though running Liquid Productions requires a lot of work, Lalani, Miranda and Sondej say that they do not run into any problems with their classwork. “Usually Liquid Productions fits in with our schedules. When we work, we really work,” Sondej said. “We get a lot done, we divvy up all of the work.” Although co-founder Sondej will graduate this year, he will stay at Cornell to study for his masters degree in health administration. This will give the group another two years together. Even though they are not certain what direction Liquid Productions will take after they graduate, they can foresee selling the company or training other people to take over after they graduate. As for their personal futures, Lalani said, “Eventually we would like to own clubs in big cities.”Archived article by Katherine Klein