Long Island drivers suffering from pothole plague

Another brutal winter, another trail of roadway destruction left behind. This past winter in particular left Long Island’s roadways obliterated by cracks and potholes and Long Island residents desperate for repairs.

Five months into the year and Long Island is still fighting a plague of potholes. Due to budget restraints, budget cuts and time constraints, elected officials are having a hard time fixing these broken roads, leaving Long Island drivers, and their vehicles, to pay the ultimate price.

Potholes form when water seeps into roadway cracks and freezes, expanding the roadways with it, and then thaws, leaving behind a gaping hole where the frozen water once was.

PC: Emily Benson
PC: Emily Benson

According to a study by the Law Office of Michael Pines in San Diego, potholes are rated number 19 of the top 25 causes of car accidents. Potholes are also detrimental to any vehicle, and can put enormous strain on your tires, wheels, and suspension. A direct hit of a pothole can result in a loss of tire pressure/ tire air, and usually requires attention and immediate replacement.

According to analysis by TRIP, traffic on New York State’s highways increased 21 percent between 1990 and 201. In 2012 alone, around 213,000 vehicles used the Long Island Expressway daily between Exit 37 and the New York City line. With such an increasing presence on their roadways, Long Island’s roads are taking on even more wear and tear. Neglect of these increasing numbers will only lead to worse consequences for drivers and their vehicles.

Kenneth Schwier, service manager at Stony Brook’s Village Automotive Center repair shop, said that because each vehicle is unique, the range of damage that could happen to one’s car or truck varies from person to person.

Largely due to the large amounts of snow and ice from this past winter, Schwier says a higher number of cars than usual are coming in this year with problems caused by potholes or cracked roads. Schwier says there is a good chance that any damage done will be costly.

“We just had one vehicle come in from road problems and that was around $1,000,” said Schwier. “Officials are slow to fill in the potholes so they just sit there.”

However, elected officials are trying to battle these excessive potholes just as much as residents, but are losing due to lack of funding.

PC: Emily Benson
PC: Emily Benson

Glenn Jorgensen, Smithtown’s superintendent of highways, said that their budget has been getting slashed more and more each year. The amount got so low that Jorgensen had to request additional funding at the last board meeting, but even that won’t be enough to fix the roads that need the most help.

“Years ago we use to get $500,000, but the town board controller cut it down to about $265,000. This year they gave me $150,000 and I went through that pretty fast obviously and I had to request another $100,000,” said Jorgensen.

Each year, the Smithtown highway department lays out a road program listing all the major roadways that need to either be paved, micro sealed or completely reconstructed. The 2015 road program  has hopes of repairing roads in Smithtown, Kings Park, Commack, Saint James, Nesconset, San Remo, Hauppauge and Fort Salonga.

PC: Emily Benson
PC: Emily Benson

While patching and repaving these roads is important, experts say that the best thing that can be done for damaged roads is to prevent things from getting worse.

Former NYC Transportation Commissioner, Lucius T. Riccio, said neglect, not winter, is the primary cause of potholes in an interview with Newsday.

“There are many roads that get through the winter without potholes. That’s because they’ve been resurfaced on the proper replacement cycle and maintained,” said Riccio. “Preventive medicine is the best medicine for people, and preventive maintenance is the best medicine for roads.”

Stony Brook University officials say that they are taking prevention into serious consideration with their plans to repair campus roads.

Terence Harrington, Stony Brook University’s Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Services, said he has been surveying the campus roads and noting areas that need patching.

“To prepare for next winter we are continuously inspecting our roads and walkways for any major issues and repairing them before the issue becomes larger,” said Harrington.

PC: Emily Benson
PC: Emily Benson

For Long Island drivers, it does not matter how the roads get fixed just as long as they do.

“It’s definitely a safety hazard because you don’t want to damage your car but at the same time you have to be mindful of other drivers,” said Domnick  Raymond, a freshman psychology major at Stony Brook University. “I understand that there is a lot of congestion on these roads. I wish they would work on them more so safety could be better and it’d be a more enjoyable ride.”

New York and medical marijuana

New York has become the 23rd state to open its doors to medical marijuana. Back in July of 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a limited medical marijuana bill. Supporters in New York are frustrated with the bill’s restrictions and how long it is taking to go into effect.

Kate Hintz is a supporter of medical marijuana. She has a petition on Change.org to pass the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act.

On March 24, U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen. and Don Young along with U.S. Senators Rand Paul, Kirstin Gellibrand and Cory Booker introduced the CARERS Act, which would prevent the federal government from controlling or interfering with the state medical marijuana laws.

Hintz wants this bill to pass for her daughter, Morgan. Morgan is four-years-old and suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent and dangerous seizures.

The medications prescribed to Morgan have not only been ineffective, but have also given her terrible side effects. Doctors have suggested the use of cannabidiol oil, a form of medical marijuana.

Hints wrote a letter on change.org urging more people to co-sponsor the bill.

“Congress is lagging far behind the American people on this issue and it’s going to take all of our voices to change the status quo,” Gellibrand wrote in response to the letter.

Hintz is just one of many families who have a loved one suffering from ailments like this.

CNN has been reporting about medical marijuana a lot lately. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent, wrote a piece last month about how it is “time for a medical marijuana revolution.”

Marijuana at the federal level is still considered a schedule I drug, which is defined a drug with no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse.

“Marijuana, it doesn’t kill people, you can’t overdose on it. However, it has been scheduled as a class one drug for whatever reason,” Matt Elmes, a PhD student at Stony Brook University who conducted a study on marijuana said. “In recent years it has been a lot easier to study it and it seems to be easier and easier, so I think there will be a lot more studies coming out on the effects and benefits and how we can use this drug.”

Many medical marijuana advocated are unhappy with the restrictions that were put on the bill in order for Cuomo to pass it.

“It is the compassionate care act, but many people now refer to it as the Cuomo care act,” Brian Batrowny, a member of the New York Cannabis Alliance, said. “He refused to sign it [the bill] until there were several provisions made.”

The most notable provisions that Governor Cuomo made were that he eliminated ailments that were initially on the bill to receive medical marijuana as a form of treatment and to use medical cannabis it needs to be extracted into an oil form‑not smoked and not an edible.

Here’s what the medical marijuana law does say: A patient who has been certified by a doctor to use medical marijuana will register with the New York State Department of Health and receive a patient I.D. card. Specially approved organization can dispense the medical marijuana to these patients—under the Department of Health’s supervision.

In order to receive this treatment, one must have what the state defines as a “serious condition.” Some of these include, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and managing epilepsy.

One of the major issues for advocates now is the bill is taking a long time to come into effect.

Hintz spoke at a press conference at the end of April with her daughter about how mothers who have children with epilepsy often obtain medical cannabis illegally, which makes them technically criminals.

“How much longer do you want to delay,” she asked Cuomo.

New York’s medical marijuana program is set to begin next year.

In a press release on April 28, from Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried he addresses this issue. The release talked about how the bill came 298 days after Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law.

“To date, not one patient has received medical marijuana, and at least three children who might have benefitted from this well-known form of medical marijuana, have died since the bill was passed,” the press release reads.

Since July, advocates have been pressuring the Cuomo Administration to create an interim emergency access program for those who are suffering and may not be able to wait the amount of time that the Governor needs to get the medical marijuana program up and running.

Representatives like Gottfried and all behind the CARERS Act, have been doing that they can in the mean time to help.

“The failure of the Cuomo Administration to act in the face of the suffering of the terminally and critically ill and the deaths of at least three young children is unconscionable,” Julie Netherland, PhD, deputy state director at the Drug Policy Alliance, said.





A look behind Brookfest

Brookfest is one of the most anticipated events of Stony Brook’s year. The annual concert held in the spring features two to three musical acts performing for the stressed out students needing a break from finals and summer planning. Every year, the artists are announced months beforehand to garner attention on social media. When the concert comes around, students pack the chosen concert venue and sing along to the rock or rap act chosen by Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government. Something equally traditional about Brookfest is the backlash from students. The selection of artists for Brookfest has vocal approval, but also a vocal minority of those disapproving of the artists selected. Some claim it’s because of a lack of a certain genre (mostly rock), others say it’s because of a lack of relevant artists. Regardless, these unhappy students can be heard around campus and on social media.

For this year’s Brookfest, which featured the likes of rapper B.o.B., alternative rockers twenty one pilots, and emo-rock stalwarts Panic! At The Disco, the student voice was given the chance to be a bit more present in the decision. Months before the artists were announced, the Stony Brook Undergraduate Student Government sent out a Google Form containing a list of possible artists for the show.

“We wanted to get a general sense of what the Stony Brook community wanted to see in their concerts, because we knew that in the past we’ve always gotten reports that students…didn’t get their voice heard,” says Danny Chung, the Vice President of Communications and Public Relations for Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government. Chung claims the Google Form was used to create a poll that would be “a good reference to give [USG] a sense of what [the students] might want.”

According to Chung, this year featured a more diverse line-up of performers but leaned on the presence of rock than rap. Previous concerts have featured rappers like Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West in the headlining spot. While that may please the large number of rap fans on Stony Brook’s campus, it leaves others feel left out and their voices unheard.

According to Kenneth Myers, USG’s Vice President of Student Life, polls were posted on social media in the past that focused on genres and “usually, EDM [electronic dance music] and rap is usually the thing that comes out on top…but because that’s usually the most voted thing the people who want rock music never really get that option. Not until this year.”

Myers explained that the USG is normally time constricted when it comes to selecting the artist. Myers claims that the booking process started in January, noting that it is difficult to plan Brookfest at Lavalle Stadium, where the past two concerts have taken place, due to scheduling and high costs. Myers also mentioned how USG bylaws used to prevent any early planning of fall and spring events. This year, Myers rewrote the bylaws so all fall and spring events can be planned in the summer, allowing more time for potential artists to be fished out.

For those who missed out on the Google Form sent out this year, Chung points out that there has been a way for students to voice their picks for Brookfest artists; attending meetings held by the Student Activities Board. The SAB work with the USG to find the most popular artists in popular music genres on campus, and they take student opinion into account when it comes time to vote for artists to choose from. If students were unhappy with the choices for Brookfest, Chung recommends making their presence known more next time.

When the amount of votes from the Google Form were tallied, Chung said that “about, I believe, 1500 students that filled it out, and that’s only, what, 10% or the undergraduate students” submitted votes for artists that they wanted at Brookfest. Even with the Google Form as a step forward, Chuns believes that the work is never done when it comes to informing students.

“We just try to give [the students] more information to be transparent about what the procedure was and, maybe in the future if they’re going to be here for another year, how they can really participate and make sure that they can influence the decision that’s going to be made.”

Rest easy, Stony Brook students because the USG is listening. Next time, just try to be a little louder.

Stony Brook is no exception to mental illness

By Janelle Clausen and Stephen Infantolino

Stony Brook University has been described as affordable, communal, diverse and exceptional, just to name a few. It is considered in the top one percent of universities around the world, ranked number 88 by US News and World Report and roughly 90 percent of its graduates get jobs after graduation.

However, Stony Brook has a less prestigious title, and that is the 11th unhappiest school in the nation among 379 top schools, according to the 2015 edition of the Princeton Review.

And it is certainly not immune to mental illness that plagues other college campuses.

A 2012 survey by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors showed that 95 percent of college counseling center directors said the “amount of students with significant psychological problems is a growing problem.” SBU was a part of this survey.

But just how many students suffer? Last year, the Statesman reported that 1700 students came to CAPS for help last year, double what it was in 2004. It is open to students from 8:30am to 5pm on most weekdays. It’s unclear, however, how many students CAPS has served this year due to confidentiality.

Meanwhile, 52 percent of people in a 2007 ACHA survey at Stony Brook University “reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function at least once in the past school year.” More than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition, according to the American College Health Association.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) declined to comment for this story, but some students had plenty to say.

“A lot of people don’t talk about it, and I know there is a lot of depression on campus, and I know it’s really hard to find something that relaxes you because you’re so caught up in your studies and you’re so caught up in what you’re doing,” said Emily Markowitz, 22, a marine science major. “It’s really hard for people to get out of that and remove themselves.”

“They have this really negative ball around them and that travels and that’s contagious,” Markowitz added.

Alex Bouraad, an 18-year old bio-pre med major and fellow trained in recognizing depression symptoms, said that Stony Brook has some- but not enough- resources for people with depression.

“I feel like Stony Brook lacks a lot of the support people with depression need,” Bouraad said. “There are options like going to CAPS, or going to CPO or seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, but it’s not as readily available as it should be.”

Stony Brook acknowledges that mental health and suicide are a growing issue. Events like “Part of the Pack,” a suicide awareness and prevention program ran by the residence halls, had representatives from CAPS present. Programs like “Let’s Talk”, an extension of CAPS, also try to close the distance, allowing some students in Tabler Quad and West Apartments to talk to someone without journeying far in the evening when CAPS is closed.

And yet, it can still feel like nobody is there to help.

“Sometimes I guess it can be very lonely and quiet,” said Elizabeth Lyton, 21, a senior majoring in health science. “So most people do feel like there are no other students to reach out to.”

“It has more to due with the stress levels,” she added.

But there are options on campus, according to Cathrine Duffy, associate dean of student support on campus. Student Support, she said, works as a “network of other departments” and does a lot of “behind the scenes” work like validating documentation and reaching out to professors in the event of a hospitalization or a death in the family.

“We do this in a way so that students don’t have to repeat their story six different times because that can be traumatizing for them,” Duffy said.

Duffy also pointed out that there are other resources like CAPS, Financial Aid, Disability Support Services and the Academic Success and Tutoring Center that they could refer students to. She noted that when students feel secure academically, they feel happier.

There are also times where students just need to blow off steam, be it at Earthstock, Roth Regatta, Strawberry Fest, community events or clubs on campus.

“College is hard. We recognize that, so we do a lot,” Duffy said. “A lot of student activities, weekend life programming, a lot of the residential hall programming, campus recreation center- the reason these places program so actively is to give students a healthy outlet.”

Undergraduate Student Government’s latest budget shows that clubs receive over one million dollars in funding and the student activities board alone gets over $600,000.

“At this point there’s more than 400 clubs and organizations, so get involved, find something,” Duffy said. “If there’s not a club for you, work with student activities to create something.”

Jacqueline Lennon, 22, is one of many students who recognize that Stony Brook has groups and resources available. But at the end of the day, she said, the university can’t please everybody.

“So I know there is groups and stuff like that,” she said. “But you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. There is only so much you can do.”

Data Journalism Changing the News

What is data journalism?

According to analytics for fun, data journalism is journalism done with data. Pretty simple right?

To help explain this more, Simon Rogers, the date editor at Twitter, broke dow the key aspects with data journalism. To define it, he suggests that data journalism is about three things: telling stories with numbers, finding the best way to tell the story, and the techniques with which you tell the story.

Examples are the best way to have data journalism explained, and one of the best examples out there is the full text visualization of the Iraq war logs.

AP, the media site that started the visual, said they wanted to go a step further, by designing a visualization based on the the richest part of each report: the free text summary. The problem was that AP then had to somehow visualize thousands of written documents of data points.

PC: Screen shot
PC: Screen shot  

Above is a picture of the 11,616 SIGACT (“significant action”) reports from December 2006. Each dot is report is a dot.

Screenshot 2015-04-21 23.41.08 Screenshot 2015-04-21 23.42.05

AP quoted making putting the data together in order to help their audience understand the information better than if it was just numbers on a page.

“Visualization is metaphor. Certain details are thrown away, other are emphasized. The algorithms used to produce the visualization have their own sensitivities and blind spots. Without understanding these, a viewer will make false inferences.”

Because data journalism is so hard to define and so broad in the definition it already has, data journalism doesn’t have to stop at charts like these. Data journalism could be a moving charts, re-adjusting pictures, anything that helps get the point of numbers across in a way that isn’t just with numbers.

Semester of Social Media

Social Media. What is it good for?

I mean other than posting some killer selfies on Instagram or venting about sleeping through your first class on Twitter. What benefits does it offer?

When I was a senior in high school, I took a journalism class and he forced everybody in the class to make a Twitter.

“You don’t have to use it,” he said.  “But I encourage you all to learn how to use Twitter, because you will use it so much in this profession.”

I looked at him and thought of only two things: Bull. Shit.

And naturally, I was wrong.

And then after hearing again at the start of this semester of the wonders of Twitter, I thought to myself, okay, I need to get out there more. So I spent most of my time this semester trying to expand my presence on Twitter.

Over the semester I have gained some followers to my Twitter account. *Cough cough* shameless Twitter account plug *cough cough* It was not all at once, but I found that gaining followers was focused around one main thing: being present.

If I tweeted 8 times a day, I might gain a follower or two. If I tweeted once or not all, I got squat. I also found that Tweeting many times a day over several days lead to even more followers. But this is almost common sense: the more I tweet the more my name is out there the more people might read my stuff and like it and then BAM they follow you. Okay no it is not that simple, but it something along those lines I am sure.

I also found that I got more favorites on things that we’re funny/ embarrassing. For example, the time I got a boot on my car because paying parking tickets are hard.

It was a struggle, but I got seven favorites and two retweets. Well wort the price of the tickets.

I tried to apply this kind of humor to tweets about the news, or event coverage I was doing. Anything journalistic, newsy or serious that I found most students would just scroll over on their timeline. Because lets face it, most college kids don’t read the New York Times everyday, but if you tweet their headlining with a funny caption, people might stop, laugh, and then be more inclined to read it.

I did this a little bit when I went to go see Ann Curry speak at Stony Brook a few weeks ago. I tried to make the tweets a little humorous so that students would want to follow my live coverage of the event and then, just maybe, become informed on things they didn’t know before. (disclaimer: there is cursing. I hope that’s okay for class.)

Stuff like this got me more favorites and retweets than if I wrote something without humor or without any spice.

Hopefully I will continue to grow in followers, spreading the words of journalism, and my own stupidity, one tweet at a time.

Journalist turned Twitter addict

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The pressure is always on to spend time on social media. Before this class, even with a professional account, I had no desire to.

Now I’m addicted.

Whenever I’m reading the New York Times, I think “woah, this would be a cool thing to share on Twitter.” I inspect Feedly.com and Google News for stuff that might be interesting. When actually on Twitter, scrolling my life away through an infinite dashboard, I think of what is worth reblogging.

Twitter has over 288 million active users- and I'm in the top half of them. Chart: Statista
Twitter has over 288 million active users- and I’m in the top half of them. Chart: Statista

I keep up because consistency is rewarding. Since I became more active, my follower count jumped by almost 60 and hops around 130. It signals to people, essentially, that you’re both interesting and actually alive. Dead accounts are boring. So despite Twitter having over 288 million active accounts, I’m in the top 44 million with my follower count.


Not too bad, right?

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.40.22 PMThat being said, I’ve worked on my engagement. I don’t just reblog or post articles, although I often do thanks to involvement on the Stony Brook Independent and boredom. Interesting article plus picture usually equals success for everyone, since engagement goes up nearly five times with a photo. But they always encouraged me.

I humanize myself more. I say good morning (creatively as possible) on the way to class and feature a dramatic picture. I comment on my own life in addition to current events. But I show that I’m not just a journalist and I’m not a machine- I’m a person, trying to make people laugh a little.

Two of the most prominent followers I gained while live tweeting #Oscars2015.
Two of the most prominent followers I gained while live tweeting #Oscars2015.

Live tweeting proved the power of engagement to me quite clearly too.  When I was live tweeting #Oscars2015, I gained two powerhouse followers: DJ Many, with over one million followers, and Daniel Goddard of The Young and the Restless fame. There were plenty of likes around too. The Stony Brook Independent also reblogged a lot of what I posted- it was almost as if I was an entertainment correspondent. Hashtagging that definitely helped.

I always have my phone. But, contrary to what the journalism school wants to believe, I also have a life (sort of). TweetDeck helps me maintain a presence whenever I’m busy. Usually my phone will buzz seconds later because my friend messages me thinking I’m actually online, but that’s a story for another day. She’s new on Twitter (yet has almost half my followers because she comments on big things).

So have I improved? I’d like to say yes. But is there more I can do without becoming partisan and annoying the Republican followers I somehow got by posting politics? We’ll see.

Not like I’m totally addicted yet or anything. 537 tweets is nothing!

A Driver’s License: The key to freedom

Growing up, all somebody wants to do is be older, have a driver’s license and go wherever they want. Stony Brook University junior Ria Hossain is almost there. She’s got her license, but the car is just out of reach at the moment.

During this podcast, she talks about her life growing up in New York City and how she has to rely on the Metro Transit Authority wherever she goes. It starts to become a pain, and her schedule starts to rely on theirs.

With a long school commute that could be easily cut at least in half and friends out on Long Island that are out of reach, a car is the only thing keeping her from the ultimate freedom of being able to go where she wants, when she wants.

SBU Taandava Works its Way to the Stage

By Diana Lopez and Stephen Infantolino

The SBU Taandava Club worked very hard to put on a show this past Saturday. The Indian Classical dance team, hosted its second performance of  the show called “Jana Seva” at the Wang Center Theater.

Taandava members gather in a circle before each show. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)
Taandava members gather in a circle before each show to share positive thoughts. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)

However, before the big night started, dancers went through a long day of preparation. This routine usually starts around eight hours prior to opening doors to the public.

Natalie Poona Phagu, founder of Taandava in her Senior year, applies makeup to Jaime Mangalathu, a freshman Biology major. Both dancers aspire to go to medical school after graduation. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)
Natalie Poona Phagu, a senior at Stony Brook University and founder of Taandava, applies makeup to Jaime Mangalathu, a freshman biology major. Both dancers aspire to go to medical school after graduation. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)
Natalie Poona Phagu, makes sure everyone's make up and jewelry is up to part. In this case, she is helping 20-year-old Steni Stephan, a junior Biology major. Heavy eye make up is a staple of the Indian typical attire. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)
Natalie Poona Phagu, makes sure everyone’s make up and jewelry are up to part. In this case, she helps 20-year-old Steni Stephan, a junior biology major. Heavy eye makeup is a staple of Indian performance attire. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)

Women are not the only ones who have to spend hours getting ready. In fact, men also wear heavy make up and jewerly for these performances.

Sharugash Kiruba, a 24-year-old Biochemistry major, helps apply eyeliner to Lars Folkerts, a 22-year-old Electrical Engineering major. Folkerts just began Bharatanatyam dancing this past year. Kiruba is wearing gloves to avoid getting red hand paint on Folkerts’ face. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
Sharugash Kiruba, a 24-year-old biochemistry major, helps apply eyeliner to Lars Folkerts, a 22-year-old electrical engineering major. Folkerts just began Bharatanatyam dancing this past year. Kiruba is wearing gloves to avoid getting red hand paint on Folkerts’ face. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)

Although quite heavy in application, makeup is not even close to being the loudest decoration on the dancers’ bodies. In fact, all members of Taandava use ankle bells while performing. These bells can be referred to as Salangai, Chilanka or Ghungroo depending on what part of India you are in.

Kripali Gautam, a sophmore majoring in sociology and minoring in biology, puts on her ankle bells. Guam, has been practicing classical Indian dancing for eight years now.
Kripali Gautam, a sophmore majoring in sociology and minoring in biology, puts on her ankle bells. Gautam, has been practicing classical Indian dancing for eight years now. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)

But dancers aren’t ready yet, they have yet to paint their hands and feet in red. This is believed to draw away negative vibes, and it also emphasizes movements on stage.

Dancers paint their feet red using Sharpies before going on stage. Photo credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
Dancers paint their feet red using Sharpies before going on stage. Photo credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)

A few retouches before going on stage…

20-year-old Tuhina Venkatayogi, a junior on the pre-physician's assistant track, retouches her lipstick. Venkatayogi is the current president of Taandava.
Tuhina Venkatayogi, a 20-year-old health sciences major on a pre-physician’s assistant track, retouches her lipstick. Venkatayogi is the current president of Taandava. Photo Credit: Diana Lopez (March 7, 2015.)

Taandava dancers are finally ready… For a run-through, that is.

Natalie Poona Phagu, practices her singing in order for the audio engineer to get her microphone levels correct. Phase has been dancing for 14 years now, and she began learning Bharatanatyam in 2002. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
Natalie Poona Phagu, practices her singing in order for the audio engineer to get her microphone levels correct. Phagu began learning Bharatanatyam in 2002. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
"Nataraja," a depiction of the hindu god Shiva, was displayed stage left, and has its very own spotlight throughout the performance. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
“Nataraja,” a depiction of the hindu god Shiva, was displayed stage left, and has its very own spotlight throughout the performance. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
Nikita Vozenilek, a 19-year-old sociology major, and Jamie Mangalathu, a freshman Biology major, preform on stage during a practice run of Jana Seva. Nikita has been studying Bharatanatyam for the past 12 years, and her birthday is this week. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)
Nikita Vozenilek, a 19-year-old sociology major, and Jamie Mangalathu, a freshman Biology major, preform on stage during a practice run of “Jana Seva.” Nikita has been studying Bharatanatyam for the past 12 years, and her birthday is this week. Photo Credit: Stephen Infantolino (March 7, 2015.)

It takes an entire day of preparation to put on a show like “Jana Seva.” Yet, for the members of Taandava, every hour spent in preparation is worth it, as they opened at 7p.m. to a full house.