Republican presidential candidate frontrunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will visit the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Tuesday in an event titled “A Better America Begins Tonight,” according to the Exeter Patch. The event will mark Romney’s first return to the state since winning the primary in January. Meanwhile, the campaign to re-elect U.S. President Barack Obama is also hosting events in the state, including a speech by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Exeter, N.H. earlier this month. The latest poll conducted by the College’s Rockefeller Center indicates that Romney has a slight lead over Obama in New Hampshire, with 43.9 percent in favor of Romney and 42.4 percent in favor of Obama.
Yale University freshman Zachary Brunt died while working in a physics lab on Wednesday in what autopsy results suggest was a suicide, the Yale Daily News reported. The autopsy listed “asphyxia due to exclusion of oxygen” as the official cause of death, according to the Daily News. Friends of Brunt said that he had grown increasingly anxious during the past several weeks as he devoted time to projects associated with the Yale Drop Team, which was scheduled to travel to NASA’s headquarters in Houston for a zero-gravity experiment the following day, the Daily News reported. On Thursday, high school classmates from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. gathered around a flagpole dressed in neon clothing as an homage to Brunt, who frequently dressed in bright colors, according to the Daily News. Brunt’s father issued a plea to a gathering of Yale students at a candlelight vigil on Thursday, imploring them not to “let this happen again,” the Daily News reported.
Rev. Bradley Schaeffer resigned as a trustee of Boston College on Thursday following criticism regarding his inaction while he supervised Chicago-based Jesuit priest Donald McGuire, who allegedly molested a number of children over a 40-year period, The Boston Globe reported. Several complaints were filed against McGuire during Schaeffer’s time as a regional leader of the Jesuit Church in the 1990s, but McGuire persisted with his work in the Jesuit community. Many at Boston College had asked for Schaeffer’s removal via articles in the college’s newspaper and formal appeals made to the college’s president, according to The Globe. In a statement announcing his resignation before his tenure was slated to end in June, Schaeffer said he did not want to “harm” the institution or pose a “distraction,” The Globe reported.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a slight edge over U.S. President Barack Obama in New Hampshire, according to the fifth annual New Hampshire State of the State Poll released by the Rockefeller Center on Wednesday.
Of the 403 respondents to the poll, 43.9 percent said they would vote for Romney in a head-to-head matchup between the two candidates, while 42.4 percent indicated that they would vote for Obama and 13.7 percent were undecided. The results of the poll have a margin of error of 4.9 percent, according to a Rockefeller Center press release.
“The presidential race is a tight one, and we remain a battleground state,” Ronald Shaiko, Rockefeller Center associate director and the survey’s director, said.
Romney’s lead over Obama has decreased since 2011, when poll results indicated a 47 percent to 39 percent edge for Romney.
Obama’s approval rating in New Hampshire increased approximately 3 percent since the 2011 poll, from 36.4 percent to 39.2 percent. His disapproval rating also increased during the same period, moving from 46.8 percent to 48.1 percent.
The proportion of respondents expressing support for same-sex marriage increased by roughly 14 percent since last year, rising from 41.5 percent to 55.1 percent. In what was an ongoing saga in New Hampshire politics, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a bill on March 21 that would have repealed the state’s same-sex marriage law, a result that surprised many legislators given the Republican domination of the House.
The number of survey respondents who identified with each political party “matched closely” with that of the New Hampshire population, Shaiko said.
Roughly 33.7 percent of survey respondents identified themselves as Republicans, while 27.2 percent identified as Democrats and 38.1 percent said they were undeclared. Approximately 30 percent of New Hampshire’s registered voters are Republicans, 29 percent are Democrats and 41 percent are undeclared, according a report released by ABC News in January.
“It’s interesting because New Hampshire has so many moderate and undeclared voters,” public policy professor Benjamin Cole said. “The campaign is going to have surprising and meaningful competition.”
The poll also indicated that voters are more optimistic about the national economy since last year, with the percentage of respondents who rated the economy excellent, good or fair increasing from 38.6 percent to 53.9 percent.
Respondents who thought favorably of the economy tended to support Obama, while those who regarded the economy as poor generally expressed support for Romney.
“The economy really is a driver to voter preferences in the presidential contest,” Shaiko said.
At the state level, the poll indicated a 65.4 percent approval rating for Gov. John Lynch, D-N.H., which marks a 6 percent increase from last year.
The approval rating of the New Hampshire legislature dropped by roughly two points since 2011, however, from 24 percent to 21.9 percent.
“When we tested out some issues that have been before the state legislature, we found significant opposition to some of the issues they’ve taken up this year,” Shaiko said.
The poll also showed that respondents demonstrated limited name recognition for the 2012 New Hampshire gubernatorial candidates. While Republican Ovide Lamontagne had the most support with 12 percent of respondents’ votes, 78 percent of poll participants said they were unsure for whom to vote in the election.
Among social policy issues, most respondents said they opposed guns on college campuses, opposed the refusal of contraceptive coverage in insurance plans and supported a ban on cell phones while driving.
Approximately 40 percent of participants favored voting eligibility for college students in New Hampshire, while 38 percent were in opposition and 22 percent expressed uncertainty.
Demographics of poll participants revealed that approximately 52 percent of respondents were male and 48 percent were female. Respondents were also evenly split geographically, with about 50 percent in both the first and second Congressional districts.
Over 60 percent of poll participants graduated from college, indicating that the sample was more highly educated than the general New Hampshire population. Respondents represented a variety of age groups, with 29 percent falling between the ages of 18 and 49, 33 percent between 50 and 64 and 28 percent 65 or older.
Cole, who served as the faculty supervisor during the polling process, said finding a representative sample of the voter population in terms of age was a “challenge.”
The registered voter list used in the poll did not include voter cell phone numbers, limiting respondents to a mostly “systemically older population that uses landlines,” Cole said. “Our data tends to be skewed demographically.”
Students who participated in the polling conducted telephone surveys April 2-5, contacting individuals on a registered voter list, according to the Rockefeller Center press release.
Students enrolled in Cole’s Statistical Analysis for Public Policy course and government professor Deborah Brooks’s Polling the Public in Politics and Business course were required to participate in the process, Cole and Brooks said.
Following the polling’s completion, Michael Altamirano ’13 and Christopher Whitehead ’12 entered the data into an Excel spreadsheet and used STATA, a statistical software package, to analyze the results.
“The work boiled down to spending enough time using STATA to provide evidence for or against certain political expectations people might have, as well as comparing this year’s results from previous years to show how opinion is trending,” Altamirano said in an email to The Dartmouth.
Altamirano and Whitehead then wrote the report detailing the results of the poll under the direction of Shaiko, according to Whitehead.
The most interesting portions of the poll included the relatively high increase in support for same-sex marriage and “uncertainty” regarding the upcoming New Hampshire gubernatorial elections, Whitehead said.
“It was a pretty cool thing that Rocky does,” Whitehead said. “It was fun to be on the front line of determining what voter attitudes are.”
While past incarnations of Earth Week have called on students to carry around bags of trash and compost and dance in flair to the sounds of environmental music, this year’s event which included efforts to reduce usage of plastic bottles, the screening of an environmental documentary and a showcase of local foods was designed to make a small but lasting change in students’ lifestyles, according to EcoRep Ari Koeppel ’15.
Earth Week began last Monday with the kickoff of the “I’d Tap That” campaign, which asked students to sign a pledge to give up bottled water for the duration of Spring term. As part of the campaign for which the Sustainability Office EcoReps began planning in the winter Collis Cafe offered discounted Camelbak water bottles in lieu of bottled water.
The EcoReps, a group of freshman interns, organized the campaign to reduce the use of plastic from bottled water and to publicize the efforts of the various environmental groups on campus, according to EcoRep Lorenzo Carlisle ’15. They also hosted a screening of the documentary “Tapped” (2009), which addresses the effects of bottled water consumption on the environment.
“I’m hoping to make people appreciate the resources they already have,” Carlisle said. “Forty percent of bottled water is identical to tap water.”
Koeppel said that the campaign aimed to have 1,000 students take the pledge to avoid bottled water.
“We’re making it visual to all of campus that people are trying to make change,” Koeppel said. “It’s such an easy change to make.”
A wide range of individuals, businesses and campus groups were involved in the week’s events, according to Koeppel.
On Tuesday, local author and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams held a reading of her new book, “When Women Were Birds.” Williams, an environmental studies professor, lauded the “I’d Tap That” campaign and the College’s environmental studies program, saying that they are “part of the reason [she] loves Dartmouth.”
The second annual Sustainability and Social Justice dinner was held the following day, bringing together a panel of student and faculty speakers and over 150 attendees. The event was catered by Maple Hill Farm, which provided a vegetarian and locally grown meal.
“There is one thing that no matter who we are or where we’re from remains the same,” Jasmine Kumalah ’12, a food intern in the Sustainability Office, said in her speech. “All of us are sustained by the Earth.”
Attendees at each table were asked to provide ideas which were noted and presented to the Sustainability Office for programs that could further promote sustainability and social justice on campus.
“What I think is wonderful about this dinner is it brings people together from across campus,” Kelly McGlinchey ’12, the Sustainable Dartmouth intern, said. “It applies to every community you could think of.”
Prospective students of the Class of 2016 were also drawn into the week’s events as part of Dimensions of Dartmouth, which took place Thursday through Saturday. The students were introduced to the College’s environmental programs at the “Sustainability @Now” event, as well as a Real Foods Dinner at the Class of 1953 Commons on Thursday evening, hosted by the Sustainability Office’s food interns.
Local businesses set up tables in the entrance to ’53 Commons, distributing samples of their products to highlight Dartmouth Dining Services’ efforts to obtain locally grown foods and to promote “an interdisciplinary notion of what sustainability is,” Kumalah said.
By implementing this combination of new and traditional events and drawing hundreds of sponsors and participants, the Sustainability Office hopes students will “learn to carry the messages beyond Earth Week,” sustainability fellow Jenna Musco ’11 said.
Flyers detailing an unidentified student’s experiences pledging an unnamed fraternity were slid under students’ doors in the Choates residence hall cluster early Saturday morning. The two-page document, titled “Dartmouth Fraternity Pledge Notes, Fall 2009,” states that it was found at a computer terminal by a freshman in the fall of 2009.
The names of the flyer’s author, his Greek organization and his fellow pledges are redacted. The document consists mostly of short paragraphs describing the author’s pledge term experience and making fun of members of his own pledge class.
“Pledge term has been pretty fun up until now,” the author wrote. “We’ve all fallen into a pretty good rhythm and know what to expect weekly from other fellow pledges.”
The document goes on to describe the “countless bootings” the pledges have “endured,” describing the behavior of various pledges over the previous week in lewd language.
The paper references house-specific events such as “SuperTails” and a performance by the “Terribelles,” as well as certain pledge activities such as growing mustaches and carrying “dented lunch boxes.” The descriptions are consistent with pledge term practices at Alpha Delta fraternity.
AD president Tim Connor ’13 said he did not know the circumstances surrounding the letter’s creation and distribution but is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether the document was written by an AD member.
The document also included derogatory comments about Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity and Epsilson Kappa Theta sorority.
“I would just like to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of AD in regards to what was allegedly written,” Connor said. “The things written on that paper were disgusting to me and to the rest of the brotherhood. I am doing my best to find out more about the issue internally and would love to cooperate when more information is available.”
The author self-identifies as Asian and a “non-er,” or non-varsity athlete.
EKT president Carla Galarza ’13 said that the notes were offensive not to specific organizations but to women on campus as a whole.
“We do not take personal offense to any of the comments contained in the Pledge Notes,'” Galarza said in a statement to The Dartmouth. “They are simply blind and ignorant repetitions of poisonous stereotypes spread around campus through websites such as Bored at Baker. These stereotypes, as those who are connected with our house are well aware, are not based in the reality of our sisterhood. We do, however, take offense to the views of women this document portrays.”
The document attacks women on campus and reduces them to “sexual objects,” Galarza said.
“We all know that a Dartmouth woman is much more than that,” she said.
Residents of the Choates interviewed by The Dartmouth said that they received the flyer in their rooms on Saturday morning.
Noah Smith ’15 said he witnessed a female who appeared to be a student distributing the flyers to individual dorm rooms at approximately 4 a.m.
“I came back, and I saw a girl wandering on my wing,” Smith said. “She was just slipping papers under all the doors.”
Jesse Steinmetz ’15 said the three-year delay between the notes’ supposed discovery and their publication last week damages their credibility.
“It kind of did seem fake, but at the same time, it was a very distinct voice,” Steinmetz said.
Steinmetz said that the flyer’s clear references to names and pledge practices indicated that the author wanted students to identify the described house.
Sam Golini ’15 said he was confused by the intent of the flyer.
“I read the first paragraph, and I couldn’t tell what it was talking about,” he said. “I think it mentioned something about Tri-Kap. I figured it was just dumb. I didn’t understand the point.”
Golini said he was not aware of any discussion about the flyers among his fellow residents in the Choates.
Panhellenic Council president Sarah Wildes ’13 said that Panhell will publish an official response early this week.
Inter-Fraternity Council president Tim Brown ’13 and Tri-Kap president Paul Wagdalt ’13 did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Delta and Sigma Delta sororities won monetary prizes at Saturday’s Lorax Awards for their role in the Ecolympics competition, a week-long contest between 19 Greek and coed organizations aimed at increasing member participation in green initiatives and long-term sustainability awareness within the Greek system, according to Christina Whittaker ’12, one of three Green Greek interns who organized the event.
Green Greek interns, recently created positions within the Office of Sustainability, have worked with Greek leaders to establish a sustainability chair position in each Greek organization, according to Whittaker.
“As Green Greek interns, it’s our job to act as a liaison between the Office of Sustainability and the Greek system,” Whittaker said. “One way we were trying to do that was to find ways to get Greek houses involved in Earth Week events.”
During the course of the competition, fraternities and sororities received points when members attended the four public Earth Week events, including the “I’d Tap That” campaign pledge. They were also encouraged to submit long-term sustainability plans to be reviewed and graded by a committee of students and administrators.
Other individuals, campus groups and businesses received awards for sustainable practices at the event.
“The reason why we’re weighing the sustainability plan so much is that we’re trying to get some follow-through and have an impact beyond this week,” Green Greek intern Ginny Miller ’13 said.
AKA, which had the highest total percentage of active members who attended events, won the Ecolympian Award and the accompanying $1,000 prize.
KD won the Biggest Impact Green House, or “Greenest House” award, for the highest raw number of participants and a “good” sustainability plan, according to Whittaker. The house received $500 in cash and will also receive a gift via the Office of Residential Life to be valued at $500.
“I’m really excited about the dialogue that started,” Rachel Carter ’14, the sorority’s sustainability chair, said.
KD’s sustainability plan included suggestions to make fellow members more sustainable since the sorority does not have a physical plant.
Sigma Delt received the Green Spiritedness award which includes $100 toward a barbecue sponsored by Greek Letter Organizations and Societies for members’ spirit of participation and a strong sustainability plan.
“For the house, winning the award was a big step in the right direction because a lot of people said sustainability was not something they had thought about before,” Morgan Curtis ’14, Sigma Delt’s sustainability co-chair, said.
Each house’s varying characteristics, such as AKA’s three-person membership, made designing balanced competition standards difficult, according to Miller.
“It’s really taken on a case-by-case basis,” she said.
The Ecolympics competition was the Sustainability Office’s first campus-wide initiative aimed at raising participation among Greek organizations, according to Miller.
“The Greek system is a huge part of our campus, and I think that it can be utilized in a lot of ways to get people involved or aware of things they otherwise may not be,” Miller said.
In total, 13 organizations submitted sustainability plans. The Tabard and Phi Tau coed fraternities, Delta Delta Delta sorority, Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Alpha Delta fraternity all demonstrated high member participation rates, according to Whittaker.
Whittaker said more sororities submitted sustainability plans than fraternities, though the difference was negligible.
Sigma Delt is currently exploring visits to local farms to increase community involvement, as well as incorporating more kegs, rather than cans, for events, according to Curtis.
“We had Earth Week-themed meetings on Wednesday where you brought a reusable cup,” Curtis said.
AZD conducted a two-song challenge during the week, in which members were encouraged to take showers that lasted less than two songs’ length, according to Whittaker.
“It totally depends on the house, but a lot of it was finding creative ways to get your house involved in sustainability,” Whittaker said.
The “I’d Tap That” campaign, which encourages students to drink only tap water for the entirety of Spring term, received 302 signatures from affiliated students, according to Whittaker.
In the coming months, the Office of Sustainability hopes to hold more educational events, including presentations on ways to make Greek organizations more sustainable, according to Whittaker.
“The plan is our way of getting houses to think about sustainability or make their members engage in a more green lifestyle,” Miller said.
This year’s Dimensions of Dartmouth fell on an idyllic weekend characterized by students lounging on the Green and playing Frisbee on the lawn outside of Hitchcock residence hall. Over 530 prospective students attended the program, organized by the Admissions Office to offer an introduction to all facets of the Dartmouth community, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris.
Matriculation rates among students attending Dimensions tend to be particularly high, Laskaris said.
Nick Pritzker, a prospective student from Los Angeles, said he enjoyed the entire experience, which included a visit to economics professor Andrew Samwick’s Theory of Finance class.
“I went to several open houses and attended the hilarious presentation put on by the ’15s,” Pritzker said. “But what made me decide to come to Dartmouth was the sense of community that I felt all throughout the Dimensions weekend.”
Current Dartmouth students play an important role in introducing prospective students to the greater community, as well as various campus niches, Laskaris said.
“Many different members of the community wanted to reach out to prospective students and let them get to know the community in more intimate ways,” Laskaris said. “Some of these groups include First-Generation Student Network, Native Americans, African-Americans and Latinos who all reached out to introduce themselves and Dartmouth.”
All prospective students were encouraged to attend the Class of 2016 Official Introduction to Dartmouth, in which current freshmen performed in a show meant to excite prospective students about attending Dartmouth, according to Dimensions team member Felicia Wilkins ’15.
“I loved seeing their faces when we got up, that was the easily the best moment of the day,” Wilkins said.
This year’s program incorporated four new academic spotlights by different professors, including a presentation by film and media studies professor Mary Flanagan, “Can Games be Good for You?” The spotlight events aimed to showcase the College’s strengths as an institution, according to Laskaris.
The Admissions Office has also increased the amount of programming available for parents because more parents decided to visit Hanover during Dimensions this year, Laskaris said.
The Student Activities Fair ranked among the most popular events, giving current students an opportunity to showcase their clubs, sports, a cappella groups and dance troupes to prospective students.
“I loved getting to meet prospective students at the Decibelles booth,” Jadyn Petterson-Rae ’15 said. “It was really nice talking to singers, as they could be future members of our group next year.”
Prospective students were also welcome to attend classes and open house events for academic departments and the Office of Financial Aid on Thursday and Friday.
Callan George, a prospective student from Vermont, said one of the major factors in her decision to attend Dartmouth was the financial aid package offered by the College.
“Dartmouth was willing to give me money above and beyond every other school I got into,” George said. “I’m pretty sure I want to come to Dartmouth, but I came to Dimensions to make sure I was certain before I enrolled officially. I think my decision is pretty clear.”
Laskaris said that student interns and volunteers played “significant roles” in the planning and execution of this year’s Dimensions programming.
“Current students reach out to people for hosting, they are tour guides, they got the Big Green Bus to shuttle people,” Laskaris said. “Plus, student interns do a lot with communications and social media for prospective students.”
Other events included residence hall programs, a Thayer School of engineering open house, a performing arts showcase and GLOBAL Dartmouth, designed to introduce students to the international aspects of the College, according to Laskaris.
Provost Carol Folt, who will take over as interim College president on July 1, spoke on Saturday night, but College President Jim Yong Kim was unavailable to address prospective students due to the unpredictable nature of his schedule, Laskaris said. Attendance at Dimensions this year was unaffected by media attention focused on hazing allegations at College and Kim’s imminent departure for the World Bank, according to Laskaris, who said it would be difficult to replicate last year’s “all-time high” attendance.
“One of the most important things that we do is to be very honest and forthright about answering questions,” Laskaris said. “When you as a parent feel like you’re getting honest and genuine responses no matter what they are, you are able to make a well-rounded decision.”
Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been sentenced to a three-term probationary period in addition to “an extensive series of educational requirements” for hazing and alcohol violations, according to a campus-wide email sent to the Dartmouth community by Associate Dean of Campus Life April Thompson on Friday. The Organizational Adjudication Committee found SAE responsible for hazing new members and disorderly conduct in 2009 and serving alcohol to underage students in 2009 and 2011, according to the email.
In the email, Thompson said that SAE admitted to specific acts in 2009 that constitute hazing, including driving blindfolded students off campus and having pledges enter a “splash pool filled with food.” The OAC, a panel composed of students, faculty and staff, however, did not find substantial proof of more extreme violations.
“The OAC did not find a preponderance of evidence that SAE engaged in the most egregious of the allegations detailed in the report and did not find a preponderance of evidence that SAE hazed new members in 2011,” Thompson said in the email.
SAE has undergone “well-documented changes” after 2009 to eliminate all forms of hazing, according to SAE President Michael Fancher ’13.
The OAC keeps its deliberations about responsibility and appropriate sanctions confidential, Thompson said. Thompson and some students interviewed by The Dartmouth compared the SAE hearing to those of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and Alpha Delta fraternity during Fall term. All three hearings involved hazing-related allegations leveled against the fraternities that resulted in the OAC convening in full.
The hearings also prompted discussion regarding “the definition of hazing,” Thompson said in an interview with The Dartmouth, attributing the different outcomes of the hearings to unique hazing-related incidents and the role of previous disciplinary action in deciding the severity of a sentence.
There is currently no policy in place to address the timeliness of sentences in relation to the actual occurrence of violations, Thompson said. The OAC took the three-year time lapse between violations in 2009 and sentencing in 2012 into consideration, according to Thompson.
Fancher said that SAE members feel the sentence is “excessive,” especially in light of the changes to hazing policies that the current brothers implemented.
“I am worried that it sends the wrong message to campus that people who openly talk about the past will be prosecuted by the College,” Fancher said in an email to The Dartmouth.
Some students interviewed by The Dartmouth expressed confusion about the situation, given that the students potentially guilty of hazing violations in 2009 have already graduated, while those who were hazed in 2009 are present for the sentencing. The College’s decision to sanction SAE positively reflects on the way College handles hazing, according to Ari Hunter ’14.
“I thought it was accurate,” Hunter said. “Over Dimensions, parents were put at ease.”
Per the sanction, SAE must adopt a new member education plan approved by Greek Letter Organizations and Societies Director Wes Schaub, establish a new alcohol management plan and participate in “campus-wide educational programming,” according to the email. SAE has already begun to plan its own educational programming and has been working with faculty and administrators since February to start a campus-wide education initiative about initiation rituals, according to Fancher.
“The committee wants to support what they already started,” Thompson said.
She said that the OAC added more structure to the program and incorporated time frames, which bear punitive consequences if not achieved.
“Should SAE fail to meet these expectations within the time frames established, or if any further violations occur, SAE could be suspended or have its recognition revoked,” Thompson said.
Thompson said she recognized the diverse student opinions about the sentencing, and she emphasized that the College’s goal is to prevent violations.
Fancher said the sentence will not affect the fraternity’s ability to hold social events or participate in the rush process during Fall term.
After Dimensions weekend, ’16s might consider Dartmouth as magical as Hogwarts. For the rest of us, who find ourselves more jaded, we will look to Pottermore.com the previously exclusive, just-gone-public official fan site for Harry Potter.
Pottermore.com is the only Harry Potter website endorsed by J.K. Rowling. The site recommends that its members read along in the books as they progress through the website. Pottermore also offers new material from Rowling that details each chapter, visits to Diagon Alley, an official sorting test and the opportunity to brew potions and cast spells. Users can also create profiles to meet other members and compare experiences.
Developed by TH_NK and Sony, the website can be tedious and difficult to navigate . Users click through tons of useless information before actually getting to the Sorting Hat (be warned: it takes more than an hour to get to that point). In fact, the site is so complex that free online guides exist to help users navigate it.
Much like Dartmouth’s acceptance rate, the exclusivity of the website made it sound like paradise for any aspiring (wizarding) student. Now that it’s available to everyone, however, users find it to be yet another system of delayed gratification.
“The Lucky One,” based off the book by Nicholas Sparks, follows Logan Thibault, played by Zac Efron, a U.S. Marine sergeant who returns to the United States after his third tour of duty in Iraq. While in Iraq, he finds a photograph of a woman, which becomes his lucky charm. He finds out that the woman in the photograph is named Beth (Taylor Schilling) and that she lives in North Carolina, so he finds her. He begins working at the local kennel, run by Beth’s family. The circumstances eventually lead to a romance, but Beth’s past bad relationship experiences cause her to be hesitant, and a dark secret form her past threatens their future together. Dana Venerable
Directed by: Scott Hicks With: Efron, Schilling, Blythe DannerWritten by: Will Fetters (screenplay), Sparks (novel)101 minutesRated PG-13
“The Lucky One” has enough cliches to collapse on itself in a mushroom cloud made of smugness and unrealistically high expectations. You know what’s going to happen, and the characters couldn’t be more one-dimensional if they were on paper. Yet inexplicably, the film is quite enjoyable and funny at parts. Varun Bhuchar
If nothing else, “The Lucky One” is an entertaining film. Full of overly dramatic and predictably corny scenes, it also has touching moments. You’ll get your fill of running-after-the-love-of-your-life scenes, along with some beautiful nature shots. Not an artistic or intellectual masterpiece, “The Lucky One” still a fun film. Sarah Scully
The film lacks the sophistication and depth that made “The Notebook” such a tear-jerker. The only thing the film has going for it is the fact that the two leads are so good looking. The film’s portrayal of the South is stereotypical and vapid, and even more alarming is the lack of emotion shown by Efron. “The Lucky One” is aesthetically pretty but has little substance. Patrick Chen