<t DAILY TROJ AN
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 200^
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GET CLOSER TO GOD (OR MUSICAL NIRVANA) WITH THE HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR, WHICH WILL PERFORM TONIGHT AT 8 AT BOVARD m AUDITORIUM ^
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New gaming institute aims to support interdisciplinary research.
NEWS, PAGE 13
1. Harvard College 294
2. University of Florida 254
3. University of Texas at Austin 250
4. Washington University in St. Louis 241
5. USC 206
LIFESTYLE, PAGE 6
STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SINCE 1912 | VOL. 160, NO 27 | WWW.DAILYTROJAN.COM
National Merit Scholar
Scholarships offered to merit scholars influence their decision to come to USC.
By AARON BERRY
USC ranks fifth in thc nation in attracting National Merit Scholars, according to data from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation annual report. The university enrolled 206 of the scholarship awardees into the freshman class this fall.
All merit scholar finalists who designate USC as their first choice are offered National Merit Finalist Presidential Scholarships, which are half-tuition scholarships. Though admissions officials say they do not actively recruit merit finalists, some students said the financial incentive was the golden ticket in choosing to attend USC
“VVe don’t put an over-emphasis on National Merit Scholars because of (the test's) narrow criteria," said Timothy Brunold, director of undergraduate admission and associ-
ate dean of admission, while noting that such an achievement is “one of many indicators to be considered” with applicants for admission.
Merit scholarship candidates score in the top percentiles for their state on the Preliminary SAT/Na-tional Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in their junior year of high school. To be considered, students must file a scholarship application that includes an essay, high school grade transcript and letter of recommendation.
“National Merit Scholars are certainly regarded as academically talented and there is lots of competition to attract these students,” said Elaine Detweiler, vice president of public information at the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Though USC Admissions officers do not actively recruit merit scholars, they have found steadily increasing success attracting such students to the university, with 16 more merit scholars in the freshman class this year than last year, and more than 40 additional stu-
I see MERIT, page 7 |
2006 TOP MERIT SCHOLAR ENROLLMENT
Joshua Sy I Daily Trojan
Black Queerstory | Sisters of Sakia member Seyi Alaba and founder Tara Lake clap in recognition of gay, black leaders in the community at a presentation and panel discussion at Ground Zero.
Students recognize black gay leaders
BSA and LGBT co-sponsor event as part of black history event Thursday.
By ELIZABETH GELI
Black and queer activists existed as far back as the late 1800s and several were openly gay during the Harlem Renaissance Tara Lake said during her presentation at the “Black Queerstory" event yesterday.
A standing-room-only crowd learned about the history of black lesbian and gay activists last night in the Black Student Assembly and Gay, Lesbian. Bisexual, Transgender Assembly’s joint program.
Lake, co-founder of Sisters of Sakia, gave the presentation, highlighting famous black gay and lesbian historical figures, such as poet Langston Hughes, author Alice Walker and musician Me'Shell Ndege'Ocello.
"African-American identity, like all identities, is complex and multifaceted," Lake said. “You do a disservice to anyone by omitting the lives of African-Americans who lived phenomenal lives and
happened to be gay or lesbian.” Founded in 2006, SOS is named for Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old black lesbian who was killed when walking home with her girlfriend in
2003. The organization addresses the needs of young queer women of African decent.
“This is the type of violent homophobia that is becoming more prevalent in the African-American community,” Lake said. “Mainstream LGBT organizations arc often white-male focused — these girls are a triple minority, and young people are often overlooked in society."
Lake spoke about the challenges of being queer and black
“Our story reminds us that we are both black or African descended and queer — one does not negate the other," Lake said. 'Our history helps us to dismantle dual oppression attempted by our adversaries.'
A professor of African-Ameri-can studies at Los Angeles Valley College, Lake said she was inspired to start SOS when one of her students came to her after experiencing a homophobic incident “These identities don’t conflict It is possible to be an African-
American artist or activist as a gay or lesbian,” Lake said. “If wrc see that this occurs in history we can better place in context the problems of today.”
Vincent Vigil, director of the LGBT Resource Center, worked with BSA to put on the event “I just hope that students will start to think outside the box,' Vigil said. “Not all LGBT people are white; there are ethnic minorities in our own community and manv of them have been leaders “ Vigil hopes to raise awareness in the LGBT community about minorities.
“It's important for people from these minority communities to come out," Vigil said “There's research that shows when you're black and gay you experience racism from the gay community and homophobia from the black community "
The event is one of the first of its kind for USC. and Vigil hopes to continue LGBT Black History Month programs in future years “(This event is) about remembering the past, honoring the present and thinking about the future." Vigil said
I see EVENT page 11
source: National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Tick tock »
The procession of technology - from sundials to BlackBerrys - dictates the evolution cf language, writes columnist Shazia Haq
OPINIONS, PAGE 4
Ryan Phillippe plays an up-and-coming FBI agent trying to catch a high-level traitor (Chris Cooper) by posing as his protege in Billy Ray’s new based-on-
truth spy thriller.