EC alum/UFC fighter speaks about career

UFC 199 will be held in the United Center on July 23. There will be two main events that night, as both the middle weight and flyweight championship will be on the line. However, the fight Elmhurst residents should be most excited for is the bout between Ricardo Lamas and Max Holloway. Lamas, the number four ranked featherweight according to UFC.com, is a alumni of Elmhurst College. A two time CCIW all conference wrestler, Lamas returns to his hometown and takes on Holloway, number three ranked fighter according to UFC.com, in a fight that is sure to put the victor in title contention.

“I think a victory over Halloway puts me right back in the mix after the winner of Aldo/Edgar unifies the belt with McGregor,” Lamas said in an email interview.

It’s been a long road for Lamas. Lamas had a decorated career while at Elmhurst, he graduated Elmhurst College in 2005 with a degree in Exercise Science. During his time at EC he won over 100 matches in wrestling and earned All-America honors.

“I can honestly say that without my time at Elmhurst College I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.

“I am truly grateful for my time spent there and can say that going to Elmhurst College was one of the best choices I’ve made in my life,” he adds.

After he graduated Lamas decided to add to his illustrious wrestling background and become a mixed martial artist.

He started off strong winning his region in the ISCF (International Sport Combat federation) and then joining WEC (World Extreme CageFighting) where he went 4-2 with one knockout. In 2010 the UFC and WEC merged, Lamas has continued his success in the UFC and he credits his success back to his Elmhurst roots.

Lamas attributed his success to his coaches at EC, Steve Marianetti, Alex Pons, and John Jung. “Without them and their mentoring, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Lamas.

It’s been a long successful journey for Lamas and on July 23 he will look to add another victory to his record.

EC Sports roundup

On May 7, the Elmhurst men’s baseball team finished their season with a doubleheader split against North Park University. The Bluejays took the first game with a score of 13-8 and an 11-5 loss in the nightcap. Elmhurst finished the season with a 21-19 record and a 9-12 finish in CCIW Championship play.  

Men’s Baseball

 

Game One: Elmhurst 13, North Park 8

Off to a slow start, Elmhurst rallied in the fifth inning by placing 10 batters on the plate, scoring five runs, and taking a 5-4 lead in the game. Senior Chris Eberhart scored with a RBI double.

Junior Brandon Kressner had a run scoring double, which made the score 4-2. Junior Ben Havel grounded out and drove in a run to push the score to 4-3 while junior A.J. Compton’s RBI double tied the game. After a fielding error on North Park, sophomore Austin MacMillan scored and put the Bluejays in the lead with a score of 5-4.

The Bluejays had a strong inning in the eighth by scoring six straight runs with eight at bats that put eight Bluejays on base. With two walks and a hit batter, the bases were loaded when sophomore Reagan McReynolds singled to cut a North Park lead to 7-6. Kressner scored on a bases loaded walk and tied the game at 7-7. Havel hit a two-run double that put the Bluejays in front while MacMillan and Compton added RBI singles. Eberhart drew a bases loaded walk to force a run. An error on North Park allowed the Bluejays to score the final run.

McReynolds lead the Bluejays at the plate, finishing 3-5 with two runs and one run driven in. MacMillan, Havel, and Compton each had two hits. Havel drove in three runs and MacMillan and Compton drove in two runs a piece.

At the mound, Havel worked 5.2 innings while allowing 11 hits and 7 runs, walked four and fanned four, which led to a no-decision. Senior Ben Modesitt picked up the win in the relief position. He allowed three hits, one run, walked two, and struck out two.

Game Two-North Park 11, Elmhurst 5

North Park outscored Elmhurst in the final innings to win the second game with a score of 9-2.

North Park took a quick lead in the opening innings. Elmhurst scored two runs in the fourth.

Eberhart drove in Compton with a double to cut a North Park lead. Freshman Matt Wilson scored on a wild pitch to tie the score at 2-2.

North Park scored five runs in the sixth inning to take a 7-2 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bluejays scored three runs to end the game with a final score of 11-5.

Kressner led Elmhurst at the plate, finishing 3-4 and an RBI. Eberhart had two hits in the loss for the Bluejays.

On the mound, senior Ryan Millan took the loss while working 5.2 innings. He allowed 12 hits, seven runs, walked two, and struck out two.

 

Women’s Track and Field

 

On May 7, the women’s track and filed team finished in eighth place at the CCIW Championships at Augustana College. The lady Bluejays were unable to score a point in the team standings. With 222 points, Illinois Wesleyan won the championship and took the team title.

Junior Kaila Konecki finished in 19th place in the 5,000 meters with a time of 20:30.35 and was the top finisher for the Bluejays. Hannah Davis competed in four events for the Bluejays. She placed 29th in the 200 meters with a time of 32.25 and 22nd in the 400 meters with a time of 1:10.21. She also placed 21st in the 800 meters with a time of 2:45.18 and 19th in the discus.

Completing the team placement was freshman Zakisha Hudson, who placed 20th in the 200 meters in 28.21 seconds and 21st in the 100 meters with a time of 13.66 seconds. Junior Liesel Metz finished 26th in the 1,500 meters with a time of 5:50.82.

 

Men’s Lacrosse

 

The men’s lacrosse team’s season ended in a crushing 11-10 loss to Carthage College on May 4. Trailing in the fourth quarter, freshman Mac Harden and senior Mal Euson each scored goals, with an assist by senior Tyler Daily, and pulled the Bluejays within one point to tie the game.

After a Carthage penalty, junior Matt Westhaver scored the goal that would tie the game at 10-10. With 2:12 on the clock, Carthage regained possession and scored the winning goal, which sent Carthage to the CCIW Championship.

In the first half, Carthage led 3-1 after 15 minutes. Harden pulled Elmhurst within one and Dailey scored his 15th goal of the season. With five seconds remaining in the half, sophomore Dan Curley scored an additional goal.

During the second half, with a score of 9-4, Carthage took a commanding lead. Daily and freshman David Fracassa each scored a goal and brought the Bluejays within three. Late in the half, Harden scored his second goal of the game and with three unanswered goals, the Bluejays tied the game. In the end, Carthage scored the winning goal to move to the CCIW Championships.

Offensively, Harden led the Bluejays with a hat trick and Dailey scored two goals and an assist.

Junior Nick Bonastia had 13 saves in the net. Elmhurst was 33 and Carthage was 34 for shots on goal.

The Bluejays finished their 2016 season 6-11 and 2-3 in CCIW championship play.

Best places to watch the game in Elmhurst

With the sports seasons in full swing and finals around the corner, nothing feels better than kicking back with a nice cool beer and watching the game with some friends. However, the looming question —the question you ask your girlfriend whenever you’re trying to find a place to eat— where should you go? Here are some of the places to watch sports in Elmhurst and some reasons why.

Fitz’s Spare Keys:

119 N York St.

This is the bar you want to go to if the game isn’t the only thing on your mind. Locals and college students alike can be found here and there is no shortage of things to do.

While they offer many different specials such as half-priced craft beer on Wednesdays and 50 cent wing nights on Thursdays, their viewing for games is modest.

One can sit at the bar or the high tables by the window to watch and hit the pool table during halftime. An oldie but goldie.

 

Pints: 112 S York Rd.

While this bar doesn’t offer as many things to do as Fitz’s, it’s more of a place where you can focus on two things and two things only: your date and your game.

You can’t really beat 17 HD TVs for viewing games, lots of brews on tap, and even more bottles available; it’s like sports heaven.

It looks like a typical line-like bar,   but offers perfect viewing at almost every seat.

 

Elmhurst College Roost/Dorms

Sometimes, the best places to watch the game are the familiar ones. Every day, students can be found here watching the games and cheering along.

You can get the Roost food or just bring Chipotle or Buffalo Wild Wings to the couches for a chill time.

Beware though, someone with the courage might ask you to change the channel.

However, at least no one has to drag your potentially drunk butt home.

Leicester City: heart over money

Playing in the top division in England, Leicester City is one win away from creating history. After their 1-1 tie with Manchester United on Sun, May 1, the title is still within their reach. Leicester City was not the same team last season that it was this season. Last season they were setting all of the wrong records.

They set the record for the 2014-15 season for the longest streak without a win, which lasted 13 matches. They looked dead set to be relegated by the end of the season.

This season, many fans who are not supporters of Leicester want them to go on to win the league title. This Cinderella story means much more to the world of soccer than just a small team winning the EPL.

Freshman and Midfielder on the EC men’s soccer team, Keegan Thompson, explained his enthusiasm to support this small team.

“It’s very impressive and I’m cheering for them! It’s amazing to see how a team who was almost relegated the year before… become the most enjoy[able] team to watch from a soccer standpoint,” Thompson said. “With the likes of Mahrez,Vardy, and Kante pulling the strings of the beautiful Leicester side.”

Former manager Nigel Pearson sparked a run of seven wins in their last nine matches. This ensured their safety for at least one more season in the Premier League. What happened next would come to shock many fans.

“So, after not only getting Leicester promoted but pulling off the most miraculous escape in PL (Premier League) history, Pearson is sacked. Those who run football never cease to amaze with their stupidity,” stated Gary Lineker, former England player and pundit.

Leicester City would go on to hire Claudio Ranieri to replace Pearson. This was another twist for Leicester that many did not see coming. Ranieri was pegged to be one of the first three managers to be sacked this season with Leicester favorites to go down.

This is far from what has happened this season. Ranieri and his men would go on to have the most successful campaign in club history. Striker Jamie Vardy set a new Premier League record of scoring in eleven straight matches for Leicester City.

Vardy started his career at Stockbridge Park Steeles FC in 2007. This is not a recognized as a professional league. Vardy is the embodiment of determination and perseverance.

Through his career Vardy shows that anyone can make it to the top if they work hard enough. This shows that even student athletes playing at a Division III school like Elmhurst can achieve their dreams.

The record was previously held by Ruud Van Nistelrooy with a record of ten matches. Van Nistelrooy, via Twitter, didn’t seem too torn up about it.

“Well done @Vardy7! You’re number one now and you deserve it,” he wrote on Nov. 28, 2015.

Others have expressed their happiness that this small team has made it so big.

“I think it’s time we start giving credit to the players who aren’t the Jamie Vardys or Mahrez, or Kantes even,” said Robbie Mustoe of NBC about the team in a radio interview on Mar. 23.

Mustoe was one of the pundits at the beginning of the season who originally wrote off Leicester City but it is evident that his feelings have changed.

“I totally don’t mind being wrong about this [Leicester City being relegated],” he said in the same interview.

In a world where money is thought to mean everything; with a budget worth 15 million pounds, Leicester City are showing that hearts wins titles... not money.

EC Sports Roundup

Women’s Track & Field

On Apr. 23, the Elmhurst women’s track and field team participated in the Concordia University-Chicago Cougar Invitational. The lady Bluejays placed 17th in a field of 18 teams.

Junior Kaila Konecki placed second in the 5,000 meters with a time of 20:07.18. Konecki scored all eight points for the Bluejays. Freshman Zakisha Hudson placed 35th in the 200 meters with a time of 28.65 seconds.

Freshmen Katie Wilkie and Lili Herrera competed in the discus and shotput events. In the shotput, Wilkie placed 26th with a throw of 28-1.75. Herrera tossed for 21-10. In the discus, Wilkie placed 17th (106-3) and Herrera placed 31st (58.11).

 

Men’s Golf

On Saturday, Apr. 30, the Elmhurst men’s golf team placed fourth in the CCIW Championships with a score of 1,196. This was their best finish since the 2007 season.

On the first day of the tournament, Elmhurst shot a 297 - 297 for the double round on Thursday and a 297 on Friday in a single round.

Despite the cold and rain on Saturday, Elmhurst shot a 308 to close the tournament and place fourth with a total score of 1,196.

Junior Kyle Brenkman finished in fifth place and was the top finisher for the Blujays.

On Thursday, Brenkman shot a 72-73 in the double round and then an even-par 72 on Friday. In the final round, he shot a 77 to total 294 for the tournament, which was six-over-par for the Championship.

With an eighth place finish, senior Sean Lenchner finished two strokes behind Brenkman with a score of 296. Lenchner also shot identical scores of 73 in the double round of Thursday’s play. He matched a score of 75 on both Friday and Saturday.

Junior Wyatt Stickney tied for 13th place with a total score of 301. Stickney shot a repeated score of 74 on Thursday, followed by a 76 on Friday and a 77 on Saturday.

Freshman Curtis Geiger placed 23rd overall with a score of 308. He posted scores of 78-77 on Thursday, 74 on Friday, and a 79 on Saturday in the final round.

Rounding out the final standings, senior Jeremy Yoder shot a 83-74 on Thursday, a 77 on Friday, and an 81 on Saturday to finish with a total of 315 and 26th place.

The Bluejays finished in the top four of CCIW Championship play and took home a fourth place finish.

 

Men’s Baseball

The Elmhurst men’s baseball team opened a three-game series on Friday, Apr. 29 against No.14 ranked North Central College with a 5-1 win. The scheduled doubleheader for Saturday, was postponed until Sunday, May 1.

Pitcher Mike Rostine allowed only eight hits for the game and tossed a complete game. During the third inning, the Bluejays took advantage of two throwing errors by North Central.

Evan Berliner led off the inning with a single and sophomore Reagan McReynolds followed with a bunt single, which was tossed over the bag and allowed Berliner to reach third base.

With lack of coverage at home base by North Central, Berliner rounded third and scored the game at 1-1.

McReynolds stole second and moved to third on a North Central ‘sthrowing error. An RBI single by junior Ben Havel put the Bluejays in the lead with a score of 2-1.

McReynolds led off the fifth inning with an infield single and stole second on the third error of the game for North Central. McReynolds scored on Havel’s second RBI single of the game.

The Bluejays continued to take advantage of North Central mistakes. After a fielding error, Elmhurst scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning.

Freshman Matt Wilson with a single moved freshman Trey Compton to third. Christian Ott’s infield single allowed Compton to score and give Elmhurst the lead at 4-1. McReynolds helped win the game with a RBI, which finalized the score at 5-1.

Elmhurst finished the contest with 12 hits, in which Havel and McReynolds combined for seven and three of the four RBI’s in the win.

McReynolds finished 4-of-4 from the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Havel finished 3-of-4 with two RBIs.

Rostine is now 5-1 on the mound. He had eight hits, walked one in nine innings, and fanned three.

Political result of Panama Papers

The release of the Panama Papers, a series of over 11.5 million confidential documents uncovering the involvement of the world’s wealthy in tax evasion via unlisted offshore account, has induced global backlash for those named in the documents. While reporting has not yet fully commenced and more names are scheduled to be released in early May, a handful of Americans with close ties to political establishments have already been named. This comes in the middle of an election year and in a cycle where issues such as tax evasion and income inequality have been discussed at large, putting those specific debates back into the spotlight and leaving presidential candidates, most notably, Hillary Clinton, to defend their varying positions on the issues, and in the former Secretary of State’s case, even her innocence.

The names of two of Clinton’s associates, one an individual Georgian billionaire and the other the largest bank in Russia, were released in the Panama Papers, effectively linking her to what is now being called the largest document leak in history. Both entities have had longtime connections with Clinton, influencing her politics through lobbying efforts as part of what The Federalist calls her “crony deals”. And while Clinton herself has not been named in the documents as of yet, the connections have been enough to raise a few eyebrows in Washington. But even more than bringing another potential Clinton scandal to light, I think they underscore a core component of Clinton’s campaign and her political leanings, which seem to largely favor the wealthiest of Americans. This further highlights the irony behind the public appearance she is trying so hard to avoid.

Clinton’s direct involvement with the global elite, especially in terms of political influence, is now undeniable due to the Panama Papers. Her connections with wealthy executives has previously been discussed, and I am far from claiming that they are wrong in and of themselves, but it can now be deduced through these connections that her political career is built on the very simple ideology that money is power, which is a mantra her campaign has exhausted various efforts to distance itself from. This is espcially true when faced with the anti-corporation sentiments of her rival Sanders’ campaign. Clinton’s association with these political “big dogs” (by virtue of the size of their wallets) constructs the very image she is trying to fight — the image of a power-hungry politician with a fickle mentality catering to whosoever pays the best.

Already facing attacks from Sanders over her display of bias towards groups like Wall Street executives, Clinton’s stance on the financial atmosphere of the United States is now also under heavy denunciation as she has made calls for income equality and fair distribution of wealth, but is evidently a member of an exclusive alliance of which the other members are the world’s richest individuals. The information in the Panama Papers supports the notion that her allies are not at all demographically similar to those affected by the issues she is advocating for, thus undermining her positions on such issues altogether. Now, a few weeks away from the second release of information from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Clinton is battling not only her potential naming as a key player in the illegal activity in Panama, but also the image of a disillusioned politician spewing whatever will earn her votes while attempting to keep her shady backroom dealings secret. Whichever way the new wave of information leads, one thing is true: the Panama Papers have given weight to some of the accusations the Sanders camp has thrown Clinton’s way. In order to gain back the political clout it cost her, she must now actively make a show of demonstrating where her loyalties lie in an attempt to challenge that condemning rhetoric and convince unimpressed Democrats that she is not an establishment candidate that can be bought. And who said politics wasn’t eventful?

#FatLife

Thighs pressed together, wobbling in time with each step. Stomach, slightly spilling over the brim of my elastic waistband, sways in time with every movement. Wobble. Sway. Wobble. Sway.I press my fingertips into my sides like I might excavate the underlying rib cage, hidden behind a layer of firm dough. I am reminded that I once cared so deeply about those bones, wishing they would surface for just a moment. That I could for a second be something other than “fat”. Although I still associate those descriptions with my body, I do not feel disgust. After years of dwelling in this body I thought I was a changed person — an empowered fat woman — until a homework assignment brought that into question. This week in my Social Psychology course I took an Implicit Association Test from researchers at Harvard University. It measures the way we associate positive and negative aspects to different groups. I chose a measure regarding body type, confident that my fat self (with my beautiful fat girlfriend) would exhibit no bias. The results? A moderate implicit preference for thin over fat. My self-empowered, fat-positive identity ran the risk of crumbling. I was initially shocked. Upon reflection, this devastation was replaced with understanding. Before I ever read a fat-positive zine or watched an inspiring fat spoken word poet, I was just a fat person living in a world not built for my body. I can vividly picture moments when society essentially taught me subconscious self-hate. In grade school I can recall an activity where peers traced each other’s bodies onto a vertical sheet of paper. The inside of the body was then filled with self-affirmations. Aside from the creepy crime-scene imagery, it was a solid self-esteem booster. Unfortunately, I was wider than the paper. I can still feel my face becoming molten lava, billowing down my throat and resting somewhere in the pit of my stomach as I awkwardly rose from the ground in horror. I spent the rest of the day in the nurse’s office. In high school I joined the women’s wrestling team, which required a physical. “You really should do something about this weight,” the physician murmured. Again, this was for entrance into a sport. You know, the kind with exercise. Instead of supporting me, she threatened to not let me join because of my weight and then claimed I was “lucky” for not having any “obesity related symptoms”. My first relationship was a shit show (whose isn’t?) but the post break-up text saying, “You have a nice face, it would look even better if you lost some weight,” was a true cherry on top. I went on to kiss girls who avoided my fattest parts, disassociating wiggling arms and round stomach from the person they found attractive. These minute details of my life are compounded by countless other related instances. They compose a larger narrative about the general experience of fat people in America, particularly fat women. For example, I’ve watched the ugly beast of an eating disorder claw at the fabric of my closest friends’ hearts while I held up a weapon of resilience to the attack. I would be lying if I said I was a strong warrior. I was never brave in my journey to fat-acceptance, but rather persistent. I’ve spent hours digesting as much body positive content as I can. I’ve sought the support of other fat women who understand these experiences. And I’ve spent hours looking at myself in the mirror, analyzing my body through a renewed lens. I still have times when the implicit bias is, in fact, quite explicit. I still struggle with who I am and what I look like, but I am not ashamed to say so. Before I could reach empowerment, I had to learn what it even means to be fat. Not by analyzing BMI, but by evaluating the emotional experiences that comprise a fat journey. I had to soak in the reality of these thighs, these arms, and this stomach. I had to look in the eyes of those judging me — including myself in the mirror — and understand that their judgements are not personal or even valid. I don’t need society’s acceptance — I am fat and I love myself, no matter what.

Don't lose yourself

When a friend gets caught up in a sticky situation — that is, she gets an abusive, controlling, manipulative boyfriend which causes complex problems in your friendship — how do you know when or if you should walk away to take care of yourself or continue with them through thick and thin?

If I have learned anything about being friends with someone going through a tough situation, it is that there is a fine line between the notion that you must be there for them no matter what and you must also give in to self-care.

In the past, anytime I mentioned to her that she could do better and should try her best to do without this person she would agree with me, even asking me for the advice to begin with, but then never taking it. I have realized this is because she has lost love for herself.

She no longer values herself. She does not see herself as someone worthy of respect, affection, or love. She puts up with the situation she is in because she thinks that it must be better than loneliness, and this is wrong on so many levels. This is where self-care comes in,

Please understand I am not saying that this applies to everyone who is in an abusive relationship, as everyone’s experiences are different. I am well aware there are victims of abuse who do not leave because that could potentially put their lives in danger and I am not trying to generalize. If you take care of yourself in every aspect, then everything else will fall into place. 

You will find you do not need another person to fill any kind of void in your heart, nor do you need to depend on anyone for your happiness. You are the only person who can make you happy. No one else can dictate that for you.

People in these kinds of situations need a support system. They need friends to listen to them, to talk to them, to simply be there for them when they need it. I think that is a human right.

But I also think it is important to know when you should step back because you are not being treated how you should.   

For example, you tell this friend that you believe she deserves more for herself, that she could do better, etc. As a result, she lashes out at you, gets nasty, and gives you attitude, saying that it is her life and she will do as she pleases.

She may be an adult, but that does not mean she is doing what is in her best interest. That being said, you are not her mother, either, which is why this fine line between supporting your friends in tough situations and taking care of your own mental health is so sketchy and confusing. And I still do not fully have the answer.

It can be exhausting trying to help this friend and watch her continue to make decisions she admits are bad for her. It is also tiring to have someone else being put above you in a messed up sort of ranking where the boyfriend always comes first.

It is okay to want better for someone and it is okay to tell them this. But I think it is also acceptable to know when you aren’t being treated fairly and to back off a bit and let that person figure their life out.       

I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer except to do what it best for yourself if you feel you aren’t being treated right, and to be there for your friends when they admit they’ve done wrong.

Job search blues

I’ve come to a point in my life where I need to get everything together. I plan to graduate in less than two months and finally get jettisoned out into the real world.

Unfortunately, this becomes difficult when the most important thing in starting my adult life, a job, is plagued by entry-level scam jobs.    These are the jobs that boast community, growth, and use fancy words to try to confuse you. This has become a huge problem for college students who just want to start their careers.

I’m talking about companies that exploit college students, whether it be their talent or their sheer need for quick work.

After two months of valiant online job hunting, I’ve had the misfortune of finding positions that are advertised as one thing and end up being something entirely different.

I recently interviewed for a PR position that gave the impression I could brand a company and help promote their image.

However, when I went into the interview, it became about how I could be proppeled into management with my own hand-picked team within two years.

There was less discussion of my credentials and more of just the “growth” I was expected to see at my time with the company.

The problem is, this is how they get you. They show you what is offered, that you can make this much money in this little time … It’s that simple! (Almost said like an infomercial). But it’s almost never the case.

Throughout the entire interview I just wanted to say: “Slow down there, folks. I haven’t even accepted the position.”

When they FINALLY got around to telling me what I would be doing, it was nothing like the description I was originally given.

I believed I had mistakingly applied for the wrong position, though I checked later and this wasn’t the case.

There was no clear indicator as to what I would be doing day to day, which was a blatant red flag.

Thankfully, I didn’t continue in their interviewing process because it just seemed too fishy for me. After looking into the company more online, I found reviews from multiple users (both current and past employees) who had explained the job I was applying for was a clear bait-and-switch.

Rather than PR, it became about sales strategies, namely cold-calling and door-to-door.

Even though it is the time of year to really be looking for a way to jumpstart your career, pay attention. Don’t just apply to a bunch of places and take the first offer you get. Really think about the companies you are applying to and research them fully.

Your work is valuable, as is your time. Don’t let others take advantage of that.

Editorial: Journalism program could help Elmhurst College's success

Cartoon by Taylor Lutz Student journalism is often times a thankless pursuit. It includes long hours of researching and reporting, as well as highly uncomfortable interviews with people who talk too fast for note taking. All the while we juggle a full class load, work schedules, and our barely existent social lives. We keep writing, photographing, drawing, and editing because it’s what we are passionate about. Here at The Leader, we love pursuing the truth and reporting on the issues our community needs to know about. Unfortunately, passion alone doesn’t bring in numbers or sustain reliability in a student newspaper. If the College wants to support our success and cultivate a standard of effective journalism, they need to create a journalism program. This would allow for a more rigorous study of the craft we are already exceeding in. The addition of broadcast journalism would further open up avenues for students seeking a career in the field. Incorporating multimedia elements into the program would arguably propel the College into a competitive option for prospective journalists. The Leader is the number one ranked newspaper in Illinois for schools of our size, which means we are the logical choice for serious journalists seeking the best-fit college. That is, until they open up the department brochure and can’t find a single mention of journalism. It’s nonsensical, really, to have such an apparent need unmet. We were given our larger office and have been recognized for our accolades, yet we aren’t taken seriously enough to merit a program. Rather than an entire new department, journalism could at least be offered as an area of focus for English majors. This would require the College to hire more journalism professors and offer additional courses curtailed to the profession. It would offer the opportunity for more writers to join the staff of The Leader as part of their career development, rather than an extracurricular that many talented writers may overlook. Beyond touting The Leader, the College could benefit from the program’s freshness. It has the possibility of forging into new territory with multimedia components at the forefront. WRSE could act as a resource for integrating audio streaming and live reporting into the program. Additionally, TVs around campus could be utilized for video reporting. mtvU might have been an interesting idea at the inception, but it has effectively erased WRSE from the campus. Returning to the previous model, where WRSE could be played throughout the Frick Center would draw in students who want to invest their time in broadcast journalism. Those TVs could become EC specific, rather than from an outside source. The talent is right here, we don’t need a sell-out reality TV channel to create media for us. And again, to overlook the admissions draw would be a terrible mistake. The landscape of journalism is constantly evolving and EC could create a true 21st century approach in the field. Marketing the program as a gateway to various up-and-coming multimedia jobs is bound to garner attention. With the aforementioned resources available to students, it has the potential to truly propel students into exciting careers. The Leader’s success is not contingent on a journalism program, but the college’s might be. Give students an academic medium to pursue their passions; it’s bound to be good news.

Making strides in All Gender Housing at EC

Photo by Mia Harman // Students in the Queer Straight Alliance at EC debate the pros and cons of all the All Gender Housing that was implemented this current semester.  

Dating back to 2015, QSA and other students at Elmhurst College have been pushing for gender inclusive housing for transgender and non-binary residential students.

This year, the college has begun to make strides in all gender housing by creating a process for students to apply and be housed according to the gender that they identify as.

“Elmhurst College and the Office of Residence Life are committed to providing comfortable, welcoming, and safe housing options to all students,” said Christine Smith, associate dean of students and director of Residence Life. “All Gender Housing (AGH) is a policy that allows two or more students to share a multiple occupancy suite or apartment regardless of the students’ sex or gender.”

According to members of QSA, a plan was proposed by the group and SGA to the EC administration to have one single floor that was entirely gender inclusive, creating a safe space for these students.

QSA had sent multiple emails to the administration in order to schedule a meeting to discuss the new housing plan, but after the meeting was scheduled no issues were resolved leaving these students without the answers they needed, according to the group.

Students currently going through the application process for the 2016 fall semester have explained that the application is in drastic need of improvement.

“Essentially you had to get four people together within this short timeline and you couldn’t just say that you wanted to be in a gender inclusive room, you had to find three other people,” stated an EC Freshman, who did not want to be named. “First of all, finding three other people, that’s hard enough. You know, it’s hard enough to find one other person, let alone three.”

“Following the Mar. 14 Room Selection Announcement email, several students paired up very quickly on the assignment system and began submitting the AGH,” Smith said in an email interview. “As Room Selection lottery times neared, we received a request from a member of QSA to provide more opportunities for students to identify potential AGH roommates and extend the AGH Agreement deadline. We honored both requests.”

Even after going through this process, if a roommate were to leave regardless of whether or not the decision had been finalized, the administration would return the gender inclusive room to a single gender room based on the majority birth sex rather than gender identity, according to QSA.

 

Currently, QSA is pushing for a gender inclusive community where all non-binary and trans students would have a safe place to call home.

This community would have gender inclusive bathrooms, dorm rooms, and living spaces.

Resident Life’s argument against a gender inclusive floor is that there might be a larger safety concern having all students grouped together, despite the opinion of members on QSA, according to EC Senior and QSA member, Ash Beverage.

Before this current housing plan all gender inclusive housing arrangements were handled on a case-by-case basis, and there was no guarantee that they would have a safe place to call home, says QSA members.

If a student’s case was seen through, they would most likely be housed alone, leaving these individuals easily targeted by threats considering the process was not confidential, according to members of QSA.

However, unaware to QSA and SGA, the administration had implemented gender inclusive housing pods spread out amongst three separate buildings on campus, including Dinkmeyer Hall, West Hall, and the Prospect and Elm Park Apartments.

QSA argues that the idea of having all the gender inclusive rooms spread out on campus creates a major safety concern for these students.

“Your neighbors could be anyone, and that’s not exactly a good thing,” said Beverage.

Freshman Taylor Dorband also argues that the situation is further worsened by the potential mishandling of the arragnments by the administration.

“There are residential advisors that don’t know how to deal with situations like this,” she said.

The concerns the administration has for the sake of the safety of the students is understood, but they would prefer the students be part of a traditional housing system, according to Smith.

“While the students would be “self-segregating” with a single floor, they would have a loving, welcoming community that would build them up rather than tear them down,” said Beverage. “If you’re surrounded by a community of people who support you, and you have a roommate who understands your situation, and you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to use the bathroom, and you don’t have to worry about what the person next to you is going to think about you, then you’re going to feel better.”

Al-Ghazali lecture creates turmoil

Mustafa Abu Sway spoke to Elmhurst College at the Al-Ghazali lecture that took place in the Frick Center on April 15 that was met with criticism by Dexter Van Zile, a writer from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA). Abu Sway’s lecture focused on the many philosophical teachings of Al-Ghazali.

He prompted to the community that the intellectual voice that Islam provides is recognized and the numerous of teachings that Islam provides that promote peace-appropriate for the lecture titled “Spirituality in an Age of Violence- Al-Ghazali’s relevance today.”

Mustafa Abu Sway is dean of the College of Islamic Studies at Al-Quds University, and the Imam Al-Ghazali Chair at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.

“The essential message of Islam is truly the message of peace, but in order for us to solve the many conclcts that exist we cannot do it alone,” he said.

Van Zile, however, felt the need for the EC community to not just be wary of Abu Sway as a speaker but also to use the lecture as an opportunity to challenge him on many of the views and associations he’s had in the past.

“To put it as diplomatically as possible, the man who will be speaking on your campus next month has misinformed Western listeners about the status of non-Muslims in Muslim-majority environments and has egregiously downplayed the hateful rhetoric emanating from Al Aqsa Mosque, which he helps oversee,” he wrote in an email to the Leader on Mar. 17. “He has also obscured the hostility exhibited toward Jews in the Koran.

Zile explained that when he heard of Abu Sway’s schedule appearance at EC, based on the familiarity he has with the work of Abu Sway, he ought to inform the community of his views.

“Abu Sway has been an important player and figure and for a while interfaith dialogue hasn’t been robust,” he said. “I feel there was an obligation that the community knows who they are inviting.”

Zile has placed both association and direct accusation on Abu Sway for the mistreatment of Christians and Jews in the Middle East attributing him as a Muslim supremacist.

Inamul Haq, adjunct professor in the religious studies department, who organized the event dismissed the email by Zile expressing that Abu Sway was qualified for the lecture.

“Al-Ghazili believed in supremacy of spirituality and we think his message is very relevant because of the increasing violent period. It would be good to look at messages of spirituality instead of politics,” he said. “He is well rounded that he has seen both worlds, an American and a Palestinian society. He brings an intellectual perspective from two worlds.”

Haq took an indifferent approach to Zile’s email that he received from him and felt that the email was unjustified and had took no consideration towards the email.

“There is an attempt by one to silence the other and everybody wants only their story to be heard and others to be discarded, that is the nature of conflict,” he said. “We feel the criticism was not justified, he is not a political leader.”

“We liked his understanding and depth of Al-Ghazali thought and that’s what he’s talking about,” he said. “He’s not talking about Palestine-Israeli conflict.”

When Zile was asked about the lack of response he received from the college he wasn’t upset that he didn’t get a response and was not expecting one.

“I just wanted to give people information that what this really was all about,” he said. “People need to know who EC invited and challenge him for what he’s said in the past.”

Kevin Prehn, a freshman student who read the emails, argued that he did not take the writer seriously and referred to other articles he wrote about Abu Sway that weren’t mentioned in the email.

“I was surprised that somebody believed the speaker was toxic and that they were using strong terms like ‘supremist’ to describe him,” he said. “My impression was that he was making a fair case against him, but the author’s possible christain bias made me take his arguments lightly.”

By the end of the lecture there was no backlash met to the speaker as Abu Swa’s lecture was described by almni attendee Naveed Ganjani focusing on “the normative significance and contemporary relevance of certain Qur’anic passages.”

Photo by David Campos-Contreras

Jeff Corwin speaks at EC

Emmy award winning television host, author biologist, and conservationist Jeff Corwin came to Elmhurst College for his lecture, April 14 in the Hammerschmidt Chapel, on his conservation efforts — touching on topics from the cause of extinctions in many species to the philosophy that led him to travel the world and encounter all different kinds of exotic animals first hand.

He focused on the factors that contribute to the extinction of many species which deals with human interference with the environment.

“We are the genesis of this extinction event. Unlike something like malaria which can cause extinction. Malaria doesn’t know what it is. We know what we do. Yet we aren’t willing to make the radical changes necessary to prevent the loss of our planet’s life.”

He explained the alarming rates at which species are going extinct as well the main factors that contribute to such a loss of life.

“We lose one species every 20 minutes to a half and hour. And it’s a great loss for our planet, we all pay the price for that,” Corwin explained. “What are the major components of extinction? First, would be habitat loss [and] second, climate change. Another is species exploitation. The fourth is environmental degradation and the fifth is human population growth.”

He likened the many contributing factors of extinction to a perfect storm and explained how these separate factors combine with each other to cause the loss of wildlife. Corwin also began his discussion on a very personal note, talking about the very moment when he knew the path his life would take.

“I looked at this stack of wood and I see something on top perfectly coiled like I’d never seen before, and I started to shake. It still happens to me whenever I see a snake. I was so excited I couldn’t even yell,” he said. “I looked at it and it looked at me, and instinctively I just reached out and grabbed onto it. And it instinctively reached back and grabbed onto me. So they pried the snake off my arm and my dad took it back out to the backyard. It was amazing. The moment I found that snake I knew that for the rest of my life I would be a naturalist.”

Some students who were in attendance at the lecture gave their thoughts on the state of wildlife in the world today and what should be done about the loss of so many species. Freshman Taylor Hannah spoke about her own impressions of Jeff Corwin as a speaker and gave her view on the issue of mass species loss.

“I’m optimistic, so I do believe that whichever animals that we’ve brought to brink of extinction we can bring back. Look at the situation with the bald eagle where it was on the brink of extinction, but now there’s more of them,” she said. “I feel like [Corwin] can give people hope with his speeches because a lot of people don’t know about this. Nobody is really educated on how many animals are dying.”

Taylor cited many laws that should be implemented as a possible remedy to the problem.

“We definitely need to have more laws. A lot of these people poach animals like elephants and tigers because there’s nobody out there taking these people to jail for doing it. And then some people do it just for sport, like we’ve been seeing on TV,” she said. “We just need more laws for animals. We have rights so they should too. ”

In his closing moments, Jeff Corwin echoed a similar message of optimism about the future of the planet if the proper steps are taken for conservation.

“There is hope, we can salvage things, we can make the changes we need because we know better. And more than just knowing better, ultimately if we don’t wise up and start behaving better with our planet, it’s not only us that will pay the price, it’s going be our children that are going pay the price,” said Corwin. “And I think that’s the ultimate sin because in the end this world we have today, we didn’t inherit it from our ancestors. We borrowed it from our children. ”

Professor discusses Bosnian genocide

prof Decorated Professor David Pettigrew visited Elmhurst College to give a lecture on the Bosnian genocide of 1995 and the existing struggle to achieve the proper recognition of the genocide that occurred.

Pettigrew, a professor of philosophy and holocaust and genocide studies at Southern Connecticut State University, spoke on the history of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia.

“As soon as Bosnia is recognized in the international community in March of 1992, in April they begin to violently remove any non-Serbs from that territory,” explained Pettigrew. “The Serbs began a strategy of genocidal aggression ranging from the murder and forcible displacement of innocent civilians in Visegrad to the torture and murder of civilians in Prijedor.”

After speaking on the history of violence that occurred in Bosnia, Pettigrew then discussed the ongoing issue surrounding the establishment of memorials to remember those that died in the conflict.

“In the wake of such heinous atrocities, it would seem that the survivors of this genocide should have the right to establish memorials of commemoration in order to mourn the victims,” he said. “In the years following the genocide however, survivors have actually been prohibited from installing memorials to the victims in a number of locations.”

Pettigrew spoke specifically about his experience with a memorial that was erected in memory of the genocide at Visegrad where activists clashed with the Bosnian authorities.

“The survivors installed a memorial, in the Straziste cemetery which is a private Muslim cemetery and it bore the inscription ‘In Memory of the Victims of the Visegrad Genocide,’” he said. “Immediately after the installation the authorities decided the memorial should be demolished. They didn’t like the fact that it said genocide. Because they deny the genocide.”

Bearing this in mind, Pettigrew then compared the Bosnian government’s policy toward memorials that commemorate the Serb soldiers that served during the time of the genocide.

“As in the case of Visegrad, the effort to remember the victims in Prijedor had been subject to discriminatory policy. While survivors had been prohibited, the Serbs had installed a memorial of their own,” he explained. “They have recast the narrative, creating a law permitting the memorials for prominent members of the military who perished between 1992 and 1995. The law allows for memorials commemorating the ‘War of Liberation.’ This points to a policy that not only denies the genocide but instead refers to it as a liberation.”

MSA takes home community service award

msa

Elmhurst College’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) took home an award for Outstanding Community Service at a Muslims for Humanity fundraiser banquet aimed at providing support for Syrian refugees on Sunday, April 10.

They received the award as a result of their continued involvement in a refugee assistance service project, called the National Refugee Project, alongside nonprofit organization ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Relief, a subgroup of the umbrella organization MAS-ICNA.

MSA President Biya Ahmed described the National Refugee Project, which is a weeklong nationwide movement for refugee support by MSA’s across the country, and explained her chapter’s involvement in the Project.

“We participated in a national MSA project called #NationalRefugeeProject started by the University of Kentucky MSA, in which the goal was to raise awareness and funds for the growing refugee crisis,” she said.

“We held a henna booth and sold shirts to raise funds that we donated to the ICNA Refugee Program, and had the director of the program, a former refugee herself, come speak to us about her story and what we can do to help.”

While MSA was recognized for the work they have already done contributing to this project, the members believe there is still “so much left to be done for the refugee cause,” according to Ahmed.

Because of this, Uroosa Nafasat, vice president of MSA, was both surprised and humbled when she found out they would be receiving an award for their work.

“Winning the award felt nice because it made me feel like the work our MSA did made an impact, but for me it was more of a reminder that we should continue to give back to the community, whether it be to refugee assistance or hunger prevention,” she said.

EC’s MSA has expressed its hopes to stay involved with more service projects both within and outside the EC campus community, which Ahmed believes is their job.

“I hope and pray that our MSA continues to bring about goodness both on and off our campus. If we're doing that then we've done our job, regardless of if there are awards involved,” she said.

Wrestlemania 32 fails to connect with avid fans

wrestle Wrestlemania 32 took place at AT&T stadium in Dallas, Texas on April 3 with WWE reporting an attendance record of 101,763, breaking not only its own attendance records, but numerous records in both attendance and revenue in the building. Wrestlemania is a yearly event that features a culmination of multiple wrestling feuds that get settled in nearly a dozen wrestling matches, oftentimes with numerous of the companies championships on the line. The draw of Wrestlemania, and professional wrestling itself has always been the suspension of disbelief that accompanies the atmosphere and feeling of watching larger than life characters take center stage. At wrestling’s perfection, it combines elements of storytelling, athleticism, and an in-ring psychology that can be one of the best displays of performance art. Wrestlemania 32 provides an interesting look of the state of WWE today, with an obvious irony attached to its success. The irony of Wrestlemania 32 is that for such a high attendance record, mainstream acceptance and interest has hit a period where it has reached a noticeable low. Coming back from Texas, I was often approached with questions such as “how was your wrestling thing,” or felt I was basically asked “How was that carnival show you went to see”. Wrestlemania 32, in its attempts to become the largest Wrestlemania and sell out AT&T stadium, focused more on making Wrestlemania an entertaining spectacle in order to appeal to a larger mainstream audience thereby sacrificing many elements of what makes wrestling great to the fans who recognize this. Based on the attendance records that was set it’s assumed thatfocuinsg on making Wrestlemania as more of a spectacle WWE worked, and as a show, can be rated as one of the best Wrestlemanias and not just the biggest. The crueler irony was a surprising disconnect WWE had with its viewers and what to provide them with, as the building was filled with the more passionate of wrestling fans, the type of fans who came to watch more than over-the-top violence and qualities that wrestling had at its peak of its popularity. Wrestlemania was met with scathing criticisms by the majority of people who reviewed the event, namely, wrestling journalists, sporting websites, and wrestling critics who have a notable voice in the industry. The mainstream media and audiences did not clamor over the appearance and victory of wrestling veteran Chris Jericho, the return of The Rock disposing easily of promising talent, a world title reign of another wrestling veteran Triple H, and the unnanounced appearnce of Shaquille O’ Neil in a battle royale. There was even backlash with the more violent matches that most in the industry praise such as the easy disposal of fan favorite Dean Ambrose by Brock Lesnar or Shane McMahon’s attempt at jumping off a 20 ft cage on The Undertaker (an attempt, because Undertaker rolled out of the way in the last second). Let it not be mistaken, though, that everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves. Wrestlemania 32 featured a seven man ladder match that paved a path for a rivalry that will captivate viewers in future years between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. The match also included it’s the victor of the match, Zack Ryder, providing fans with a happy underdog story. Audiences saw the Wrestlemania debut of “The Phenomenal One”, AJ Styles, an industry legend who wrestled all over the world. Styles made his WWE debut last January and made an impact that cemented his place on the Wrestlemania card with a quality match. The greatest upside to Wrestlemania 32 and, in professional wrestling in general, was the death of the term “divas” and the “divas championship” as a result of an almost yearlong effort in revolutionizing women’s wrestling. As a result the women’s match for the “WWE Women’s Championship” between Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte stole the show. It was this match that brought together everything that both a passionate wrestling fan and casual viewer can enjoy with the entrances of each wrestler being a spectacle that let everyone know that this match had larger stakes, arguably the best display of athleticism displayed that night, and an atmosphere and in-ring psychology that keeps viewers on the edge of their seat as the referee counts to three to signal a victory. Overall, however, Wrestlemania may have drawn a 100k attendance but this was done because of the explosion of interest by wrestling fans with a never before seen explosion of independent wrestling promotions, and the rise of wrestling show Lucha Underground. Wrestling the night after Wrestlemania was as popular as it was the night before making WWE’s efforts a wasted one, sacrificing the quality of what makes wrestling objectively good. Overall, Wrestlemania 32 is an enjoyable Wrestlemania to any casual fan or even someone who has never watched it, which is the underlying problem, it’s not going to be watched by a casual or uninterested fan. Wrestlemania 33 in the Citrus Bowl at Orlando, Florida next year on April 2, 2017 better be WWE’s new wakeup call if they still care about increasing its mainstream relevancy. For this to happen they will need to create a new formula for success as its old formula has become outdated.

"Kate and Sam" is more than just a comedy

Imagine screaming at your best friend at the top of your lungs, hitting them, shooting them, and then going out to coffee the next morning, as if nothing happened.If this sounds fantastic to you, that’s because it happens only in the theater, the realm of the strange, wonderful, and unbelievable. The events described above all take place in the show “Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up,” which will be shown at the Mill Theater on April 21-24 and April 28-30. It will be the culmination of much hard work on the part of all involved: be they actors, directors, or stage hands. For many of those involved, work on the play began a couple of months ago when the actors auditioned for their roles. Each actor prepared two monologues—a comedic one and a dramatic one—for their audition, just as they would for a professional show. “Over the years, actors build up a repertoire of monologues to use in their auditions,” said Isabella Yanke, who plays Becky Park in the show. “These monologues give the director some idea of what each actor is capable of.” After the preliminary auditions, a few actors are called back for a second round of auditions in which they are asked to read a monologue from the play so the director can get an idea of which actors would be best for which role. He then chooses the lucky actors—four in this case—who will act in the play. Next, all the actors meet with the director for a read-through. “We basically just sat around a table and read the script so we had an idea of what the play was like and who the characters were,” said Yanke. “This particular play moved pretty fast through this stage for a school production. We had to be off-book by the third rehearsal, when we got back from spring break.” The rehearsals moved to the Mill Theater where the actors did some informal blocking. Props were chosen, and scenery was designed and built. This is where the stage-hands came in. “Kate and Sam is the first time I’ve ever been backstage for a play,” said Mary Margaret Tarsitano, the assistant stage manager. “During rehearsals, I had to help with props and scenery and prompt the actors if they forgot a line.” For the most part, Kate and Sam is your average play except for one thing—the fight scenes. For these scenes, the director hired Dave Gonzales, a fight choreographer, to work with the actors. “Fighting on stage is all about timing and positioning,” Yanke said. “The actors have to position themselves so the audience can’t see what’s going on, and each separate part has to be done in the right sequence at the right time. For example, there’s one scene where Karly Hannah (Kate) gets slapped by Danny (Bill). Danny pushes his hand towards her, she moves back, and Lukas (Sam) claps his hands for the slap noise.” The show also includes fake blood, some knives, and a prop gun. “I had never fired any gun, real or fake, before this show,” Yanked commented. “I was surprised at how hard it was for me to pull the trigger. I have to use both hands to do it.” For most of the show, these “weapons” will be backstage with Tarsitano. “We do this thing called ‘fight check’ where we check all the weapons before production to make sure nothing will happen to hurt the actors. They will stay by me during the performances until it’s time for them to go onstage.” Handling a gun, albeit a fake one, does not worry her. “I’m from the South, so I’m used to guns,” she laughed. The play has certainly developed from the beginning, where it was just four actors sitting around a table reading a script. However, many of those involved would say that the greatest development occurred in the actors’ portrayal of the characters. Hannah noted that her perception of Kate has changed since they started production. “It’s easy to play Kate as a ‘stuck’ character, someone who fits a particular mold or stereotype. I had to work to make Kate complex; she’s a bluffer, someone who puts up a brave front despite being terrified. This show may be a comedy, but it has real depth to it, a depth which needs to shine through our acting.”

"Hardcore Henry" is far from hardcore: 1/5 stars

hardcore “Hardcore Henry” marks the beginning of something of a filmmaking revolution. The film is presented entirely from a first-person perspective, making it one of the most technically impressive and innovative action films in years. After generating over $250,000 in Indiegogo hype money based on a sampling of what the film would offer in a 2013 music video (now viewed over 33 million times on YouTube), “Hardcore Henry” was poised to revolutionize the modern action flick… But didn’t. In fact, it failed miserably at revolutionizing anything. The film does succeed, however, in being a shockingly misogynistic and derivative snooze-fest. So how does a film with so much technical potential ruin its chances of becoming a cinematic hallmark of innovation? Let’s start from the beginning. The film opens and we are given our first look from the titular protagonist’s (Henry’s) perspective: A shot of a woman awakening him from cryogenically induced sleep and filling in all the gaps in his memory. The woman, we learn, is his wife, Estelle. She is a scientist who has been forced to work for a generic Saturday-morning-cartoon villain (Akan) in order to save him after a terrible accident. The whole process of which has left Henry with cyber-genetic enhancements and no memories of how he got there. However, before Henry and Estelle can get too comfortable, Akan and his soldiers burst in, kidnap Estelle, and leave Henry for dead. To save his wife, Henry teams up with an eccentric (and mysteriously unkillable) sidekick, Jimmy, who knows more about Henry’s past than he lets on. As all of this plays out, Henry kills more and more of Akan’s goons (a cornucopia of non-descript Russian grunts) in a series of visually stunning first-person action sequences. Like I mentioned before, the entire film is presented from Henry’s perspective. What we see is what Henry sees. A facet which is no doubt the most impressive and notable feature of the movie. Yet all of “Hardcore Henry”’s technical achievements are eclipsed by the generic, two-dimensional nature of its plot and characters. The story is what you would expect of any generic action movie: A hero has to save a damsel in distress from an evil villain. The situations are just so dull. Yes, they’re shown in a visually unique and interesting way, but the audience is never given any real reason to care about what happens to the characters. Speaking of characters, you’ve got your standard array of action movie tropes here. There’s the badass hero and his wacky sidekick Jimmy, played in a highlight performance by Sharlto Copley. They fight against the over-the-top villain Akan, played in a ho-hum turn from relative newcomer Danila Kozlovsky, to save the damsel in distress, played by rising star Haley Bennet. Most of the actors do a fine job, but given material this lifeless it’s hard to elevate performances past anything other than a living breathing trope. The damsel in distress trope is the main motivator in “Hardcore Henry” and keeps the plot moving. Without Estelle, Henry would have no reason to continue to chase Akan. However, Henry’s damsel-driven determination seems pretty standard and would not in itself ruin the film, but it is the other instances of blatant misogyny that elevate this film from being merely boring to outright disgusting. Countless examples of women being objectified can be seen throughout the film, as the first person camera locks on to any instances of roaming cleavage or naked breasts. I’m usually inclined to give filmmakers the benefit of the doubt, but every single woman in this film appears in a sexual context. As a result, “Hardcore Henry” is a display of innovative and technical filmmaking and not much else. The most disappointing thing about “Hardcore Henry” is the potential it had to be brilliant. What could have been a revolutionary benchmark of immersive filmmaking now more resembles a fifteen-year old’s monster-induced fever dream.