Freshman is DOTS’ 3 millionth rider, wins year’s worth of textbooks

It was a scene out of a Publishers Clearing House commercial at the bus stop in front of Stamp Student Union yesterday afternoon.

For those of you who haven’t seen a PCH commercial, they usually involve the PCH Prize Patrol driving a van up to houses in an undisclosed neighborhood and surprising a lucky person with an obscenely large check and balloons, while Lizzie McGuire’s favorite songs play in the background.

Replace “Prize Patrol” with “DOTS staff,” “driving a van” with “walking” and “house” with “Shuttle-UM bus,” and you have the Department of Transportation Services’ 3 millionth rider celebration, complete with background music.

Freshman psychology major Demi Kleeman was on her way to her Wednesday poetry class when the bus she was riding rolled up to the curb outside Stamp, where 25 DOTS staff members had been waiting for more than an hour for the Shuttle-UM rider meter to hit 3 million.

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Is It Friday Yet?: I <3 Bacon

Everyone should be familiar with the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

If you aren’t, then you were obviously living under a rock for the better part of your teen years. It is said any actor can be professionally linked back to the Footloose heartthrob in six degrees or less. I’ve even seen the game branch out by linking us, mere commoners, to Mr. Kyra Sedgwick.

However, for me, six degrees from Bacon goes much deeper than interpersonal relationships. As the new director for the campus radio station, I sat in on the philanthropy class Bacon spoke to April 18 about his nonprofit ways.

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Students and the City: Help out a fellow Terp

Zach Lederer

Amid finals, papers, projects and stress galore, there is perhaps no better time to take a step back and reflect on what really matters — such as helping out your fellow Terps.

By now, everyone knows about Zach Lederer, the freshman who made headlines earlier this year for his fight against cancer. This Sunday, the first annual Zaching Against Cancer 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament will take place at the Armory starting at 10 a.m. The registration cost for each team is $21, with all proceeds going to cancer patients in the area through the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

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Campus Complainer: SGA candidates really need a moon bounce

Just a thought, guys.

Ah, election season. One of my favorite times of year. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and mud is being slung through the air. We’re not talking the presidental election, people, it’s time for Student Government Association elections.

Why do I love them? Well (this is going to floor you), I actually hate them. I can’t stand the endless bombardment from candidates during the election cycle. The fliers, the emails, pitches during class — all of it.

I don’t care about your inconsequential platform you’re running on. I’d guess that neither does 70 percent of the student population. So, please stop shoving your platform down my throat. In fact, I’d rather you put an actual wooden platform through a woodchipper and sprinkle the wood chips on my tuna sandwiches (and I love my tuna sandwiches) than have to listen to a candidate drone on about how they’re going to increase the number of Inuits at our school.

Diversity as a platform? Really? It’s important in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re trying to get students to vote, that’s a surefire way to put them to sleep and to spread the apathy. You want to pull people out to vote and get your point across? Two words: moon bounce.

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Keeping up with the Kandidates: So what’s next?

I said it last week, I know. Romney vs. Obama will probably contain the most smear of any two smear campaigns ever. Talking heads have been saying it, personal acquaintances agree: It will hit the fan in coming months.

Step back for a second, though, and examine reality.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are two human beings. They both have parents, they are both a certain age and one day they will both die. They are no different than you and me.

As with all humans they come from different walks of life, both, in their own particular way, are minorities. The president is half black and the challenger practices Mormonism.

Both have different backgrounds. Obama’s father was a Kenyan scholar who died young; Romney’s father was a presidential kandidate in a Republican primary.

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Is It Friday Yet?: The great caffeine crash of 2012

Remember that scene in George of the Jungle when George experiences coffee for the first time, eating coffee grounds straight by the handful? Well I just had one of the moments.

It’s a Monday night and I have an exam in the morning. Not to mention I also have two online quizzes and a writing sample due. I must also defeat Voldemort all by midnight.

Solution? Java, java, java, java, java, java!

I sip my first cup and sit down to my pile of demands. I crack my first book and suddenly feel a kick of adrenaline. I then sip my second, third and fourth cups — I have caught my second wind!

I soar through all my work, cramming for the exam, answering quizzes and jotting down written words. I am then physically able to cast the Patronus spell. (I was too weak before.)

I am on a roll. I fly through the pages with fire shooting from my pen and fingertips — cue the Rocky theme song.

I finish. All my work is done. Yes, I have even slayed Voldemort at the point of my caffeinated wand. So what do I do now?

I check Facebook, and it is a ghost town. Tumbleweeds roll across my news feed. Too bad Will Smith isn’t here to sing “Wild Wild West”. I think when there isn’t even anyone to talk to on Facebook, it’s time to go to sleep.

I lie down and fight to keep my eyes closed. My eyelids are arguing with me as if they are shades on a window. You remember the old one-sheet paper shades — no matter how hard you try to pull them down, they always spring back up? I guess this is how Edward Cullen feels, lacking the need to sleep.

I continue to lie awake thinking about what I can do with my jittered time. Then a light bulb goes on in my already illuminated mind, “I think I’ll go write a blog post about being up on coffee at 4 a.m.”

Is it Friday yet? Maybe this caffeine will wear off by then.

— Liz Lane is a junior journalism major and student blogger for The Diamondback

Campus Complainer: Bunker down for graduation

Hop into my bunker, seniors. The doomsday countdown has begun. This week puts us at four weeks left of classes and when we hit the weekend, we’ll be exactly one month away from graduation. I’ve already started stocking up on cans of beans, bottles of water and boxes of .45-caliber ammo.

Wait, what’s that? Life doesn’t end after graduation? When you step off stage, you don’t plummet into a pit of doom and despair? That’s a relief.

However, with my time at Maryland winding down, I’m going to have to trudge through a few obstacles. Obstacles that might prevent me from walking across the stage at graduation. Seniors, if you encounter these problems, handle them with care as they might lead to your untimely demise.

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