February 25, 2004
Lack of Pep in Hockey Team's Play
| February 25, 2004
I’m not surprised the men’s hockey team lost at Union last Saturday, and that’s in no way a reflection on the team’s ability. I love the guys, and I’ve seen them play just about every game except for the Colgate series; believe me, they’ve got some talent. But last Saturday, something just wasn’t right. Maybe it was the way they had beaten RPI the night before, maybe it was that KFC parfait I’d just had for dinner, but something didn’t sit right with me.
I knew it the moment I stepped into the rink. The atmosphere was dampened, there weren’t as many Cornell fans, and time seemed to slow. It’s kind of like those dramatic movies, where time stands still for that really important life-changing scene, you know
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February 26, 2004
Meet Gayraud Townsend ’05 and Michael Taylor ’05, two Cornell juniors who take the term “town-gown” to the next level. On Jan. 1, Townsend and Taylor took an oath of office to serve the city of Ithaca on the Common Council, marking the first time that two Cornell students were sworn in to serve concurrent terms for the city’s government. Elected to represent the fourth ward, which includes Collegetown and most of West Campus, the two join eight other city-elected officials on the council. Both Washington, D.C. natives, Taylor and Townsend and grew up near each other, going to high school within minutes of one another, but did not actually meet until their freshman year at Cornell. They became close friends and each found ways to become actively involved in campus life. After joining Sigma Pi Fraternity, Taylor was elected to serve as the Interfraternity Council’s (IFC) vice president of University and community relations. Regular meetings with the Collegetown Neighborhood Council and his subsequent service on the Fourth Ward Democratic Council led Taylor to consider vying for a council seat last spring. Taylor currently serves on the Governance Committee and the Community Service Committee. “The Governance Committee has oversight of the City Attorney’s office and is where new ordinances and local laws as well as revisions to the city charter happen,” he explained. “The Community Services Committee is the committee that exists to address the needs of the community in terms of what city services they need and how they need them.” Townsend’s political activity began on campus, most notably last year, when he founded Students for Students, a campus party, largely accredited with attracting the high voter turn-out last spring. While the party was quite effective in generating student activity, Townsend failed to land the vacant student-elected trustee position on the Board of Trustees. Despite his disappointment, Townsend ran for and was elected student president of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). He is also a member of the Student Assembly Finance Commission and the president of the Minority ILR Student Organization (MILRSO). However, it was Taylor who pushed Townsend to consider running for Common Council, and finally, during the mid-summer, Townsend committed himself to pursuing the four-year term. One of the youngest African-American elected officials in history, Townsend serves on the City Administration Committee and the Planning Committee. Since being inaugurated, the two say that the biggest adjustment they’ve had to make is simply being busier. “You have to be organized,” said Townsend. “No more sleeping in until 12. You’ve got to do your email thing. You’ve got to be responsive. You need to set an example for others.” Electronic organizers, daily planners and finely-tuned methods of communication help them divvy their days. As Common Council members and students, they also have the unique — and often daunting — task of being icons for both the student body and the city of Ithaca. Aware and proud that they are city representatives, both claim that they approach college decision-making with much more care. “I thought that my social life would suffer [as a result of being on Common Council],” said Townsend. “These days, I just watch myself more.” During their first few weeks as alderpeople, Taylor and Townsend have been challenged with the task of representing both student and residential interests, specifically by addressing current and proposed noise ordinance policies. Because residential complaints regarding reckless party habits have been so passionate, and because the proposed ordinance has been charged with unfairly targeting students as culprits, Townsend and Taylor have heeded and responded to vehement opinions on either side of the issue. “You can’t satisfy everyone,” Townsend said. “So you just need to be consistent.” In addition to resolving the noise debate, Taylor and Townsend have many more goals for their terms. Both would like to see major improvements Collegetown’s aesthetic, its infrastructure, and in the businesses and services available. According to Townsend, one of the most fascinating parts of his job is applying the ILR curriculum to city-related work. “I study Human Resources every day at school, but [in serving on the council] I listen to actual collective bargaining every day,” he said. Taylor is impressed with Ithaca’s unique culture of community involvement. “Ithaca has a history of good citizen participation and activism,” he said. “From what I have seen of other city governments, this is very unique.” While they enjoy serving the city and admire their colleagues on the Common Council, Taylor and Townsend are grateful for each other’s company. “Having Mike on the committee is so much of a relief,” Townsend said. “If I didn’t have Gayraud on the committee with me it wouldn’t be nearly as fun,” Taylor added. Regardless of their official city badges, their coveted parking spots in the Commons, and the marriages that they can (and have) officiated, Taylor and Townsend are still students. Taylor continues to be active in his fraternity, on IFC and with the S.A., while Townsend maintains his commitments to the S.A., ILR and MILRSO. Commenting on the relative impact of the new position on his life, Townsend joked, “I am in a great place, but I am still dateless.” Archived article by Ellen Miller
February 26, 2004
For The Walkmen, bows and arrows best represents the instrument and ammunition of human expression. We’re constantly aiming our emotions and thoughts, launching our deepest, most personal sentiments into the air, and hoping they land on target, carrying all the power with which we released them. Each time our aim and mark are different, as are our means and message. No matter the trueness of our arrow or the integrity of our bow, sometimes we can never hit where we want. In this sense, our misses become just as important as our hits. With the title and thrust of their sophomore album, The Walkmen construe the agony of their all misses — the broken relationships, lost dreams, and personal failings — into a musical statement that hits its share of marks. On Bows and Arrows, The Walkmen distill the essence of the reverberating, antique piano lines and seemingly haphazardly struck guitar that characterized their debut, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone. With an eye for concision, the band focuses on reining in their dynamics — hitting the lowest low and alternately, the highest high. As a result, Bows and Arrows presents a tighter, explosive sound, with dirges full of gently paced pining and all-out rock assaults incited by overwhelming fury. While some fans might miss the sprawling echoes and relatively fast-pace of The Walkmen’s first release, they should be satisfied by the band’s newfound restraint. The band proves they can walk slowly and beautifully in addition to running at breakneck speeds. “The Rat” presents The Walkmen’s first rock blitzkrieg. It begins with the mounting tension of the disharmony between the organ drone and violently-strummed guitar. This ambiance is severed by drumstick-destroying fills and Hamilton Leithauser’s belting vocals. The song is a torrent of frustrated pain set off by loneliness and the unhealed, raw wound of a dead relationship. By the end, we feel much like Hamilton, shut outside, “pounding on the door.” The song is a vivid and bitter narrative that asks you to relive the hurt all over again. Oddly, the appeal of the agony is so strong the track begs to be repeated. “Little House of Savages” and “Thinking Of a Dream I Had” reach similar levels of energy and anguish, rounding out the fist-throwing rock edge of Bows. Along with the rockers, the album provides a striking number of quieter numbers that serve as a release from the aforementioned tracks, but maintain the intensity. “138th Street” clearly takes the pace down from a song like “The Rat,” but nonetheless delivers a similar message of regret. 138th, just above the location of The Walkmen’s studio on 133rd and Broadway, laments those people “figuring it out,” getting a house, a job, a wife, and losing their edge, things the band has probably thought about themselves. The idea of lost opportunity is the crux of the song captured in the forlorn and sparse guitar riffs, the unsettlingly soft drum-pounding, and Hamilton’s wavering, paced vocals. Similarly, “Hang on, Siobhan,” “New Year’s Eve,” and “Bows and Arrows” glide along, dwelling in the beauty of all that’s gone wrong and a glimmer of what might go right. Bows and Arrows demonstrates how well The Walkmen have honed their group dynamic. Maybe it’s just that they’ve gotten more experience under the belt, or maybe they’ve tried to hit their mark so many times they finally found the means to do it. Archived article by Andrew Gilman