Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 11:12 a.m.

Epsilon Sigma Alpha raises $2,500 for St. Jude

by hrogers

Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a community service sorority, hosted its annual Gobblefest fundraiser on Thursday, raising more than $2,500.

Students ate Thanksgiving food in a relay race where 33 team competed to finish their plates first. Proceeds benefit the sorority’s national partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Video by Georgie Lawson and Nick Andricola

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Students Caroline Multerer, left, Hannah Friedman, second from left, Matt Medeiros, second from right, and Michelle Desien act in a comical scene in the adaptation of the well-known movie "10 Things I Hate About You." Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

Students Caroline Multerer, left, Hannah Friedman, second from left, Matt Medeiros, second from right, and Michelle Desien act in a comical scene in the adaptation of the well-known movie “10 Things I Hate About You.” Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Liz Provencher.

At the Mount Vernon Campus’ Blackbox Theatre, members of 14th Grade Players channeled 1990s high school stereotypes to put on a laugh-out-loud rendition of “10 Things I Hate About You.”

The show, originally a 1999 film starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, is a modern take on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and was also turned into a television series in 2009. The director, senior Meg Stevenson, is a fan of both adaptations.

“I actually proposed ‘10 Things.’” Stevenson said. “At that point I had a very basic script but then did about five drafts over the summer.”

The story takes place at Padua High School, where the main character, Kat Stratford, is a student. Described by classmates as a “bitter, self-righteous hag,” Kat is the opposite of her younger sister, Bianca, a pretty and popular girl with many suitors. When their father won’t let Bianca date until Kat dates first (knowing this is unlikely because of Kat’s antisocial attitude), Bianca and her friends plot to set Kat up with the school’s “bad boy” Patrick Verona, who is rumored to have served time in jail and dated a Spice Girl.

Caroline Multerer, left, as Chastity and Hannah Friedman as Bianca Stratford have a sassy moment in the "10 Things I Hate About You" play. Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

Caroline Multerer, left, as Chastity and Hannah Friedman as Bianca Stratford have a sassy moment in the “10 Things I Hate About You” play. Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

Though there are challenges when it comes to reproducing a cult classic, Stevenson knew the audience would compare the play to the movie so she didn’t stray too far from the original plot. Stevenson’s script kept all of the classics, from Valley girl Bianca’s quip about her Prada backpack to high school guidance counselor Ms. Perky’s erotic novel.

However, Stevenson updated the play with a few minor changes, like more dialogue from Kat about feminism, to make the story more relevant to present day.

“The movie has these feminist undertones in it and I really tried to bring them up to the 2015 level,” she said.

Michelle Desien, a junior who played Kat, said that the abrasive character made for a challenging role.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get in that mindset because she’s just so mean,” she said. “But it’s kind of refreshing to be able to just be mean. You can never do that in real life.”

After the show ended, I left this blast from the past still smiling about butterfly clips and quirky love stories. If nothing else, go see ’10 Things I Hate About You’ for some backup dancing by Jon Weigell as Cameron James and Jeremy Neff as Michael Eckman.

Jon Weigell, left, Jeremy Neff, center, and Tommy Martin act as three of the main male characters in the play adapted from the popular 1999 movie. Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

Jon Weigell, left, Jeremy Neff, center, and Tommy Martin act as three of the main male characters in the play adapted from the popular 1999 movie. Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

“10 Things I Hate About You” is playing Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Blackbox Theatre on the Mount Vernon Campus. Tickets are $5.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter John Glasfeld.

Midterms are over, so it’s time to treat yourself with a relaxing weekend full of films, beer, tunes and some of the best photography that D.C. has to offer.

Open to the public from Friday to Sunday, the Alexandria Film Festival showcases the cream of the filmmaking crop. Come in at any time of day to see a plethora of short films from local, national and international independent filmmakers. There’s also plenty of time to meet and chat with the directors themselves.

Beatly Central Library. 5005 Duke St, Alexandria, Va. from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and AMC Hoffman Theater. 206 Swamp Fox Rd, Alexandria, Va. from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Assuming that you’re at least 21, the D.C. Beer festival is this weekend’s real hotspot. This Saturday only, Nationals Park is home to dozens of independent and unique craft breweries. For $40 per person, come for the beer and stay for the food trucks, lawn games and disc jockey sets.

1500 S Capitol St. SE from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you’re in the mood for more than brews , then you can head over to the Lincoln Theater to hear a classic rocker, The Pretenders’ guitarist and singer Chrissie Hynde. After listening through her latest solo album “Stockholm,” don’t miss the chance to let Hynde’s music wash over you, letting her break and then rebuild your heart after every song.

1215 U St. at 6:30pm.

You can end the weekend with some calm and contemplative photography. FotoweekDC, the District’s annual festival to showcase photography is back. With exhibits scattered at venues across the District, from the Newseum to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, you can view images that capture human emotion, history and culture. Entry to festival events is $6.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Moderator John Donvan, left, introduces Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education at the debate on Monday night. Olivia Anderson |  Hatchet Photographer

Moderator John Donvan, left, introduces Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education at the debate on Monday night. Olivia Anderson | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Daniella Olonilua.

If there was a pill that could make everyone smarter and more focused, how many people would take it?

This question was the subject of debate among experts at the Jack Morton Auditorium Monday night. Moderated by ABC News correspondent John Donvan, the panel weighed the medical and moral risks, as well as the benefits, of college students using drugs like Adderall, without a prescription, to help them study.

Duke University law professor Nita Farahany said college students should be allowed to use “smart drugs,” which are often used to treat attention-deficit disorder, narcolepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Colleges should empower students to make their own choices about how they will change their brains,” Farahany said. “There is a common saying in education that we should teach students how to think, not what to think.

University of Pennsylvania neurology professor Anjan Chatterjee debunked the myths surrounding the side effects of taking smart drugs, such as addiction and cardiovascular problems.

“The use of these kinds of stimulants medications did not confer any adverse cardiovascular risks as compared to the non-user population,” Chatterjee said.

On the other end of the argument, Eric Racine, a neurology and bioethics professor at McGill University, and Nicole Vincent, a philosophy, law and neuroscience professor at Georgia State University, argued against the use of the drugs.

Racine questioned whether it was moral to take drugs without a prescription. He added that using smart drugs is not a genuine way to achieve self-worth.

Vincent said that too much emphasis is placed on the medical side effects of taking smart drugs without enough focus is on the social side effects. She said that if there was equal access to the drug, then “all the things that we really value are going to be jeopardized.” Instead of spending time with friends and family, Vincent said that people would prioritize academic success. She added that this would create competitive behavior that would harm, not benefit, society.

Prior to the debate, members of the audience could vote whether they supported, opposed or had no opinion about the use of smart drugs. The debate winner would be whoever saw the largest change in the votes. While 27 percent of voters supported the motion and 44 percent opposed it during the pre-vote, the final vote revealed that nearly 60 percent supported it.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 12:56 p.m.

‘Eat mor chikin’ in the District

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Regina Park.

You don’t have to wait in line at food trucks for sweet tea and waffle fries.

The District got its very own taste of Southern comfort food on Wednesday with a new Chick-fil-A storefront located at the D.C. USA shopping center on 3100 14th St.

The Atlanta-based fried chicken fast food chain kicked off their expansion with a “First 100″ promotion on Tuesday, which gave the first 100 people in line outside the restaurant one free meal per week for a year. The giveaway were strict, limited only to chicken-lovers with an eligible District zipcode who remained in their spots until the restaurant’s grand opening.

The Columbia Heights branch is the District’s second – the first is located within a Catholic University food court. Neighborhood magazine Forrest Hills Connection also reported that a third location is underway on 4422 Connecticut Ave.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Aishvarya Kavi.

In the spirit of Halloween, hundreds gathered in Georgetown near the steps from the 1973 film, “The Exorcist” on Friday – and thankfully no one reenacted Father Karras’ infamous plunge.

Instead, they came to see the well-known staircase in Georgetown officially join D.C.’s list of landmarks in a ceremony that included the film’s director, William Friedkin, screenwriter William Peter Blatty and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“This monument will be seen by thousands, tens of thousands, and eventually, perhaps more, that will come through here, that will associate the film that we made with this beautiful and historic community,” Friedkin said. “I’m really proud of that and grateful.”

Both Friedkin and his former colleague and long-time friend Blatty, who wrote the movie’s screenplay as well as the novel “The Exorcist” that served as the inspiration of the film, spent the afternoon autographing memorabilia before speaking and being honored at the commemoration ceremony.

Foggy Bototm’s Council member Jack Evans also revealed a resolution during the ceremony that designated Oct. 30 as Exorcist Day in D.C.

During the signings, crowds formed a line that wound down Prospect Street past the Exorcist House, some dressed like the film’s characters.

Other attendees, like John Blazer, a former photography student in D.C., were extras in the film, returning to see the creators of a movie they never knew would become the cultural icon it is today.

“I think I ended up on the cutting room floor,” Blazer, 66, said. “I was studying photography at the time, so I took a lot of pictures of the actors and the directors and the cameramen and the crew. It was fascinating experience.”

While signing posters, DVDs and even an iPad, Friedkin rattled off a list of his favorite horror films including Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and a lesser known Japanese film, “Onibaba” by Kaneto Shinto.

“In time, the Rockies will crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they’re only made of clay. But these steps are here to stay,” Friedkin said.

Bowser, who opened the commemoration, spoke about her efforts to put D.C. “on the map” as a film town, a process she began with the creation of the new Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment in D.C.

Along with Bowser and Evans, Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia spoke at the event. Blatty, a graduate of Georgetown, said that he still thinks of the university as home.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Crystel Sylvester.

Batman is the hero that D.C. needs – at least when it comes to Halloween costumes.

Google’s “Frightgeist” tool, which allows users to search for costume trends based on location, revealed that the masked superhero’s uniform is the most popular get-up in the District.

D.C. trends also mirrored trends across the country – in New York, Batman grabbed the No. 5 spot , while “Superhero” was the number one costume choice (and third in the District).

D.C.’s top five most-common costumes also included “Star Wars” characters, “Suicide Squad” and comic book character Harley Quinn and pirates.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporters Regina Park and Lauren Gomez.

Halloween is a three-day affair, so after you’ve gotten your fill of free candy from the embassies, take your costume, grab your $3 “boorito” from Chipotle and head to one of these spooky events.

Scream City
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
2400 East Capitol St.

Want a real haunted house experience without the bunny ears and fake cobwebs? Try Scream City by Steelhead Productions, an experience so intense that it won television network A&E’s “Haunted House Design and Build Competition” in 2014.

The “Nationally Recognized Haunt” experience has returned for its 15th year with two new attractions. The “Slaughter Factory” offers you the chance to meet the crazed owner of a slaughter house while the “Exorcism Estate” lets you wander around an abandoned Victorian mansion where a wealthy District family disappeared on Halloween night. A 40-minute walk through these back-to-back haunted houses is sure to give even the toughest horror fans a scare.

Scream City will be open every Friday and Saturday night from Oct. 2 to Nov. 1. Tickets range from $30 to $40, depending on the date and time.

Night of the Living Zoo
Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW

See the spooky side of the National Zoo on the night before Halloween at the Night of the Living Zoo. Attendees of the adult-only Smithsonian National Zoo event will experience some of the Zoo’s 1,800 animals after-hours, along with live music, performance artists and food and beverages supplied by some of DC’s best local food trucks and breweries.

If you find yourself wandering the Zoo during the event, expect to run into live music from Black Masala and DJ Squirrel, and performances by fire twirlers, stilt walkers, and illusionists from the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow. Farther into the zoo, participate in a “Spooky Halloween Display” competition or costume contests to win prizes.

The event is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

Nightmare on M Street
Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Various bars

After you’ve gone door-to-door to collect candy, it’s time to go door-to-door at your favorite bars like Sign of the Whale or The Exchange.

The 17th annual Nightmare on M Street is back with 26 participating venues spanning three District neighborhoods – Dupont Circle, the U Street corridor and Gallery Place – so carousers are bound to hit old favorites and discover new ones in the process.

Some bars have also added costume competitions and drink specials, including $3 Coors Lights and $5 Kraken Rum or Three Olives Vodka.

U Hell Halloween Party
Oct. 31 at 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
1115 U St NW
Free for 21+ before 11pm, $15 for 18-20 through advanced tickets only

An all-night dance party is sure to bring out the best Halloween costumes, so hit up U Street Music Hall’s annual U Hell event from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Spinning beats will be the discjockey duo Gents & Jawns, two club music mavens who have performed with Diplo, Dillon Francis, Nadastrom and Caspa. If you’re a regular at the concert hall, make sure to put extra effort into your Halloween get-up – costume contest winners will earn free admission to the venue for a year.

The event is free for anyone 21 and older if you arrive before 11 p.m. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 20 can buy $15 at least an hour in advance to attend.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

A D.C. tradition, the 17th Street High Heel Race takes place every year on the Tuesday before Halloween. The Dupont Circle area welcomed thousands of spectators to cheer on about 100 drag queens donning Halloween costumes and high heels.

We joined the race on Tuesday to see LGBT supporters share the Halloween spirit:

Creative Halloween costumes stole the show at this year’s High Heel Race in Dupont Circle. Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

The 17th Street High Heel Race brings Halloween and LGBT advocacy into one public event. Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

The drag queen participants often wear extravagant outfits and high heels, part of the race’s tradition. Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer


Crowds filled the streets of Dupont Circle for the 17th Street High Heel Race on Tuesday night. Naishi Jhaveri | Hatchet Photographer


The race includes around 100 drag queens who make their way down 17th Street in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 6:43 p.m.

Kappa Sigma hosts Shave Away Cancer event

by hrogers

Kappa Sigma hosted its fourth-annual Shave Away Cancer event this past weekend to support pediatric cancer research.

Members shaved their heads to show support for cancer survivors and victims.

Ben Rigby was one of the brothers who decided to shave his head.

“Cancer is something that’s touched almost everybody’s lives, and we just think there’s a bolder step that we can take,” Rigby said.

Kappa Sigma member and Shave Away Cancer Director, Spencer Perry, said the chapter hopes to raise $60,000 by the end of the week for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.


Video by Luca Silveira and Nam Tran

  • Permalink
  • Comments