Reducing Employment: Degrees Add Advantage

By Jeffrey McKenzie

In August, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. Unemployment among the 20-24 age group stands at 14.6 percent. Furthermore, there are an increasing number of graduates that are unable to find full-time jobs in their field, instead having to take jobs which pay less and make no use of their skills.

Americans with college degrees are faring better in the depressed economy than those with high school degrees: 8.8 percent unemployment for those with a high school education versus 4.1 percent unemployment for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This further demonstrates the value of having the financial resources to pursue a college education.

Although some politicians are calling for cuts in education spending and federal grant funding, this will harm new graduates who will be unable to afford degrees and will face difficulties finding employment. To counter this, the U.S. should stop cutbacks in education and consider implementing policies that increase the affordability of college.
During a speech to students at Otterbein University, Mitt Romney said, “Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents.” This advice is inconsistent with the reality most students face. Most students do not have parents with tens of thousands of dollars in disposable income to spend on a student’s education or jumpstart a student’s business or career. On a basic level, this reflects his disconnect with those who struggle to pay for their education.

While he suggests that they “get the education,” Romney does not explain how to do this. Tuition has skyrocketed across the country partly due to federal and state cuts in financial aid. Romney endorses Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would cut federal aid further and leave approximately a million students without federal grants.

Students therefore have to “get the education” by incurring lots of debt and graduate into an economy where jobs are scarce. What they need most is a better job market. Romney’s plan would cut taxes on corporations and the rich and cut spending on public services and welfare.

There are examples of this policy in practice. Conservatives used to praise Ireland’s economic policy. When the worldwide economic crisis began, further praise went to Ireland for cutting its spending, which many believed would lead it to a quick recovery.

Instead, a third of Irish graduates are unable to find jobs compared to half that in the U.S., according to the Department of Labor. In order to avoid that outcome, the U.S. should halt cutbacks at the state and local level which slash education budgets.

Although this approach will cost more money, it will provide the U.S. with a stable future tax base and improve graduate unemployment.

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Cullen Building Still in Progress

Since beginning renovations in the Roy and Lillie Cullen Building last year, a new central A.C. system and n ew bathrooms and windows have been installed. Photo by Kelsey Baker

By Hannah Steen

Part of the ongoing renovation process both inside and outside the Cullen building was completed in August. Now that the second and attic floors of the building are finished, the professionals who work there have moved back in.

“[We] needed the renovations because of the outside windows, air conditioning, and electrical issues,” Bob Mathis, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services, said. According to Mathis, the attic is now housing several brand-new air conditioning units that filter and clean the outside air and provide it to the entire building centrally. “[This] is a much more efficient and centralized system than before,” Mathis said.
Along with the A.C. system, new bathrooms have been added to the second floor and the elevator has been widened to comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

The elevator also now has access to all four floors of the building.“The bathrooms and the elevator were changed because of ADA code,” Mathis said. “There were only bathrooms on the first floor and in the stairwells previously, so we needed to comply with those rules and make the bathrooms easier to access.”
The outdoor windows were also replaced in accordance with the Texas Historical Commission to create a more energy-efficient environment. The University Relations Department was moved to one floor in the building to create a closer working environment for the team.“The relocation prepared [the department] for coming back because they were all in one building on one floor and they had to share some things,” Mathis said.

The next phase of the renovations is to create classrooms on the third floor as well as a learning commons where students can go to study or work on group projects.The projected commons will have a flat screen able to hook up to a laptop, a small kitchenette, and chairs and tables throughout the area. This phase will be put into effect once the next financial package is approved and complete.

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King Encourages Pirates to Dream Big

By Steven Jones

Before graduating Southwestern University in 1993, W. Joseph “Joey” King devised a project for analyzing people’s facial expressions while they interacted with computers. His project, funded by a variety of supporters, became the springboard for his career. needs better transition about how/why he started the fund here if info available

For over a decade, the King Creativity Fund has enabled students to pursue their own creative projects. This year’s proposals for the King Creativity Fund are due two weeks from today.

“I think that Southwestern has an abundance of 19 year-olds with really new ideas and true vision,” King said. “That is what the Fund is designed to support.”

Any number of projects can be approved, depending on the number of submissions and the budgets of each respective project. The program centers on enabling students to work with ideas and tools they wouldn’t have otherwise as they pursue their own interests. Grants range in size from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

A board comprised of previous King Scholars, faculty and an administrative advisor awards multiple grants to Southwestern students every year. Among other things, the selection committee considers the feasibility of the project, the merits of the students proposing it and the proposal itself.

Proposals must be submitted as Word documents via email to garciaal@southwestern.edu, complete with a sponsor’s electronic signature, by 5:00 p.m. on October 12. King Scholars will be notified shortly after submissions close.

Projects funded in the past include a comedic media conglomerate (“Laughingstock Productions,” 2000-2001), a study of executive function and Autism during the 2005-2006 academic year and a steel pan ensemble in 2009-2010.

Students who are awarded funding may complete their projects on or off campus, but must present a report on their works to the committee and present the project at the annual King Creativity Award program and banquet. Materials are available through the King Creativity Fund link on the Southwestern University website.

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Volleyball Adds to Winning Record

Junior Meredith Rollins Leaps for a hit in conference tournament hosted by the Pirates last weekend.

By John Stickels

The Lady Pirates volleyball team will be playing St. Edward’s University next Wednesday. Although it is a non-conference game, a win against the Hilltoppers is critical to maintaining the team’s momentum.

The Bucs are going in to their next game with a 3-0 win against Howard Payne last Tuesday.

“I’m really excited about our win against HPU. We played them about two weeks ago and between then and now we can already see differences in our own game and ways in which we’ve improved,” junior co-captain Allison Stubbs said.

The team won against Dallas and Centenary last Saturday with scores of 3-1 and 3-0 respectively. Last Friday the won against Austin College 3-1. The wins from their tournament last weekend and last Tuesday gives the ladies a 3-0 record in conference and an overall record of 12-4.

“Our goal all season has been to be playing our best ball in November, so to see the steady improvements in our team between matches has been really motivating,” Stubbs said.

Co-captain Rachel Thibodeau credits her team’s success to hard work.

“We have a very competitive gym,” Thibodeau says. “We’ve had some great practices, and it’s helped show how important hard work is.”

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Stuco Rent-A-Car

Throughout this academic year, Student Congress has been working to provide better public transit options for students through a new ad-hoc committee, the Public Transit Initiative. The most recent plan of action is the “WeCar” Plan from Enterprise, a program that would bring ride share to campus for student use.

The program would fulfill one of the year long goals of Student Congress for providing a safe means of off-campus transportation to students. Colin Berr, a member of the Transportation Committee in Student Congress, has worked closely with fellow committee members and Jerry Brody to complete this project.

“I’m proud of the Public Transit Initiative and working with Student Congress and Jerry Brody on this project,” Berr said. “[The program is] a great deal…[and] a tremendous asset for the Southwestern community.”

Berr highlighted that students could reserve these rental cars via an online system for eight dollars an hour (nine on weekends) to do anything from running errands around town or taking a trip to Austin. The price would not change with an increased amount of passengers, so the hourly rate could be split between multiple parties.

Participation in the program would require a valid driver’s license as well as a $35 membership deposit with Enterprise. However, the deposit would count towards a rental credit for the student.

“The deposit helps to create a commitment,” said Berr.

The available rental cars would be midsize sedans, mixing elements of safety with affordable and effective gas mileage.

Student Congress President Brady Kent was pointed out the potential benefits of this program.

“The benefits include reducing the demand for parking on campus, as some students may choose to not bring cars, and the ability for students who don’t own cars to get off campus easily, among others,” Kent said.

Berr added that alleviating parking problems and reducing cars on campus would also help make Southwestern more environmentally friendly.

Berr indicated that the program would start with only one car, predicting the coming of several subsequent cars after the preliminary one.

Both Kent and Berr predict the likely initiation of this program to be in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

“I’m not going to guarantee anything until the contract is signed since it’s still under review,” Kent said, “but if it all works out we would start up in August.”

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2012 google play

On March 6, Android users turned on their smart phones and discovered that a blue and red triangle had replaced the little green robot for the App Store.

Google has re-branded Android Market as Google Play, rolling in a new icon and merging all content under one service. Music and eBooks, each formerly separated under Google Music and the Google eBookstore can now be all found under Google Play.

Milly Arcovedo, a senior majoring in both French and Spanish, uses an Android phone.

“The name changed the idea of what the applications provide. Having ‘play’ in the word appeals to a more youthful crowd,” Arcovedo said.  “‘Market’ sounded more professional but also more of a setting of commerce and trade.”

The name puts more of an emphasis on an inclusive market, with apps, books, music, and movies all available in one place. For other countries outside of the U.S., Google Play offers a more limited selection, but the company does have plans to launch movies and books to them over time.

A significant addition is the new website, which allows people to access Google Play not only from their Android device, but also from their computers. A quick link can be found on the black bar hovering at the top of all Google pages. All the apps and content bought can be accessed either way, due to the free cloud syncing technology between devices.

Android user and student Jascha Jimenez noted that this change allowed Android to compete with Apple.

“It is a smart move,” Jimenez said. “Google Play gives Android users something that is similar to the iTunes store that I can access on my computer.”

The content itself has not changed, only the presentation and the format of the market place. Android users will not lose any of their previous purchases; it will simply be shifted under Google Play. All Android accounts are untouched, with the only difference being the app name change.

Other changes include a tab that allows users to see a list of every single application bought on that account, even after deleting it. Reviews can also now be sorted by phone, making it easier to filter out issues that do not affect your phone.

Some students seem rather indifferent about the changes made by Google.

“I don’t mind that it is different,” Jimenez said. “It surprised me at first but now I think it is just interesting. It has more choices available now too which is cool.”

All in all, Google Play emphasizes a more open market with a greater range of applications to buy and the opportunity to access them even without an Android device.

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Operation Achievement All-Campus Day

By Arianna Haradon

On April 11, Southwestern’s Operation Achievement hosted “All-Campus Day”, which brought a large group of middle school students to the university.

“Operation Achievement is a mentoring program that partners local middle school students with Southwestern students for a tutoring kind of experience and also a chance to get involved on campus,” staff supervisor and Southwestern student Melissa Nelson said.

Georgetown middle school students that are part of the Operation Achievement program visited campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

“All-Campus Day is… where we bring all of the students that are involved in our program to campus and they just kind of get to shadow a student… they go to a class in the morning, have lunch in the Commons and go on a tour in the afternoon. It is a really cool experience for them to be involved on campus and learn more of what it’s like to be a college student,” Nelson said.

Operation Achievement is an important program that educates both Southwestern and local middle school students.  Esmeralda Palacios, a seventh grader from Tippit Middle School, joined Operation Achievement because her sister had been involved two years before and recommended the program.
“[Operation Achievement] helps me [because] the mentors help me do my homework,” Palacios said.
First year Andree White is Palacios’ Operation Achievement mentor.
“I’m considering going into education later on, so its been a good involvement with the middle school age group, in interacting and understanding where they are and what they are doing. I really enjoy spending time with Esmeralda every Tuesday,” White said.
Southwestern students that want to get involved with Operation Achievement next year can contact Director of Operation Achievement Joni Ragle or find information about the program on Southwestern’s website.
“I love this program. It helps give a lot of students who may not have the opportunity a chance to learn what a college experience is like and what higher level education can really do for your life, [like] how you can get awesome jobs [because of higher education]. It’s a really great experience,” Nelson said.

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Shack-A-Thon

By Arianna Haradon

Shack-A-Thon is an annual event held by Southwestern’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This year’s event will be on April 13 and 14 on the Mall. Although there is a small entry fee, all proceeds go to Williamson County Habitat for Humanity.

“[Shack-A-Thon is] a homelessness awareness event in which students, clubs, and organizations are encouraged to pull together teams of five to ten people and build a shack out of ‘found materials’ such as cardboard and duct tape,” Habitat for Humanity Public Relations Chair Sarah Kinney said.
The event starts at noon on Friday. At that time participants are allowed to start building their shack.
“Each team is given a 10 by 10 foot plot on which to build their shack… at least one member of each team has to live or occupy their shack for the entire night,” Kinney said.
While sleeping in a “shack” for a night may not sound like a great time for all students, Shack-A-Thon is also a contest.
“Teams are competing against one and another for prizes, such as most structurally sound shack and most creative. Students are encouraged to come up with really cool themes or designs for their shack. Teams had a lot of fun last year staying up all throughout the night playing board games and card games with each other and combating the wind to keep some of their shacks from blowing over,” Kinney said.
Shack-A-Thon gives students the ability to be as creative as possible.
“Last year APO created a Hobbit hole shack. It was so cute and creative. That was the coolest one,” Kinney said.

In addition to being fun, the event is for a good cause.

“Habitat for Humanity is a great organization,” Kinney said. “They are not an organization that puts a band-aid over a problem. They give [underprivileged families] a place to stay for their future.”

Kinney also discussed the importance of addressing this issue in the local community.

“Homelessness is an issue in the Georgetown and [Williamson County] area. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for people who would otherwise not be able to afford a house or even an apartment,” Kinney said.

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Choir to Perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah

By Lauren Fellers

Students can spend this weekend enjoying the arts at a show put on by their peers. On April 14 the Southwestern Chorale will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s celebrated oratorio Elijah with the San Gabriel Choir.

The show will take place in the Alma Thomas Theater at 7 p.m., and students may attend free of charge provided they bring their SU ID. Any non-students wishing to attend will have to pay a $20 entrance fee. Tickets do not need to be purchased in advance.

Dr. Kenny Sheppard, Professor of Music and the conductor of the university Chorale, has been rehearsing with students throughout the year and is enthusiastic about the upcoming performance.

“[Elijah] is one of Mendelssohn’s greatest works, and we are all thrilled to be performing it. The audience may recognize such favorites as “He watching over Israel,” “If with all your hearts,” and “Lift thine eyes,” Dr. Sheppard said.

The performance is particularly important to senior Ethan Lane-Miller, who will be performing for his last time before graduation.

“We’ve been rehearsing for literally the entire semester. It’s a pretty big deal and I fully expect the final performance to be amazing, ” Lane-Miller said.

This production of Elijah is, at its heart, a collaborative performance: in addition to the San Gabriel Choir, the Chorale will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Among those members of Southwestern who will be performing solos are Professor of Music Dr. Bruce Cain, in the role of Elijah, and students Katie De La Vega, Melanie Bonevac, Keeley Hooker, Allie Bryan, Anne Fenley, Melissa Krueger, Joe Kraft, and Cris Luna.

Lane-Mille anticipates that the effort invested in organizing Elijah will pay off in full.

“The sheer amount of work and energy that the Chorale and Dr. Sheppard have put into
preparing this is astounding, and I really hope it shows in our performance,” Lane-Miller said.

 

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SU Natives Powwow

By Joana Moreno

This weekend is a full of exciting things to explore. On Saturday, April 14th, from 11AM to 9PM   SU Native will be hosting its 8th Annual

Pow-Wow in the Robertson Center

A typical pow-wow is social gathering that consists of dancing, drumming and singing as well as a Head Staff that leads the dancers. This year’s head staff consists of a Head Man, Head Lady, Head Gourd, MC, and Arena Director. Southwestern’s pow-wow is different though.

“Most Pow-wows are competition-based, where dancers are graded on their skills and earn monetary prizes for the highest rankings. We choose to host a non-competition Powwow because we want to foster the social aspect underlying the Pow-wow gathering instead of encouraging competition” said Samantha Sada and Marina Staber, leaders of SU Native. This year’s pow-wow also comes with extra uniqueness from the previous as it will include a storyteller during the daytime and a Native American band during the later hours of the event.

The purpose of this is event to educate the Southwestern community in a fun way. “We host our Powwow to increase community knowledge about Native American traditions. In addition, we try to make our event entertaining and fun!” added the SU leaders.

The pow-wow was possible through funding by DEC, Community Chest, Fleming, and McMichael.

SU Native is very grateful to those who helped make this pow-wow possible. “We would like the thank everyone who has helped us organize this event. Without community support, our Powwow is not possible” Staber said.

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Kony 2012 Campaign: Effective Advocacy or Misguided Militarism

Advocacy

By Brooke Chatterton

Invisible Children, the makers of the Kony 2012 video, have a long history of using social media in order to bring an underexposed issue of their choice into light.  With such a viral video, many have begun to critique every aspect of and the organization that created it.  The Kony 2012 campaign, while not perfect, has exposed the barbarous action of Josef Kony to millions of active and impassioned people and been entirely consistent with the goals of Invisible Children.

The three goals of Invisible Children, as stated on their website are “ 1) Make the world aware of the LRA [Lord’s Resistance Army]. This includes making documentary films and touring them around the world so that they are seen for free by millions of people. 2) Channel energy from viewers of IC films into large-scale advocacy campaigns to stop the LRA and protect civilians. 3) Operate programs on the ground in LRA-affected areas that provide protection, rehabilitation and development assistance.”

With upwards of 84 million views on Youtube, they have certainly attracted an audience to their expose.  And people are not only viewing, they are taking it to heart and becoming active in the fight against a brutal man.  The Cover the Night that has been gaining support is evidence of that.  In addition the widespread prominence of the Kony 2012 campaign has helped finance not only media programs but programs on the ground in Africa.  It allows those that cannot go to Africa to help to contribute something back, even if it just a few dollars or kind thoughts.

Critics of the campaign have come for people concerned that the Kony 2012 video is oversimplifying the issue and raise doubts to use of the financial contributions generously given by those who have seen the video.

The campaign, due to the viral video, has gained vast amounts of funds.  The Invisible Children website explains that they try to spend about one third of the funds on each of their three goals.  They also maintain financial transparency, allowing contributors to make sure that they have a good idea how much money will be spent in media and how much in direct aid.

They also respond to the issue of oversimplification.  The video was intended to be an introduction into the plight of those touched by the LRA, not a comprehensive history.  In order to gain the widespread recognition of Josef Kony, it necessitated a simplification of a complex situation to a level that would be compatible with those unfamiliar to the situation.

It all boils down to this:  the Kony 2012 campaign has exposed a villainous man to millions of people who now feel the draw to action.  It targeted a young technologically savvy audience which gave the issue exposure bringing into light in the mainstream media.  By creating this video, Kony has become visible as the brute he is, and as such, it has limited his power.  In addition, the plight of those affected by LRS has gained attention, and aid, due to Kony 2012.

Misguided Militarism

By Kavita Singh

When Invisible Children’s thirty-minute film “KONY 2012” was first publicly screened in Lira Town of northern Uganda, the reaction was pure outrage. Many attendees had been victims of the crimes of Joseph Kony, and looked at the film as hurtful and insensitive for wanting to make the man who shattered their lives famous by putting his name on bracelets and t-shirts.

Many viewers stormed out entirely, and further screenings were halted. The messages of this film, while calling attention to the problem of Joseph Kony, try to fit a complex issue into a simple message and create more issues by doing so.

Jack McDonald of the Department of War Studies at King’s College in London points to the difficult and complex situation in central Africa as a cause for concern. He argues that since the LRA have left Uganda since 2006 and have shifted to the three nations of the Central African Republic (CAR), Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), any attempt to pressure him would likely cause movement from one nation to another.

The power politics of these regions, he argues, cannot simply be solved with one more nation exerting their force on the matter (or at least not without unintended consequences).

This doesn’t mean that there have been no previous attempts to capture Joseph Kony. Former LRA child soldier Anywar Ricky Richard points out that military operations launched by the government of Uganda have tried and failed since 1989.

Even the 2008-2009 campaign of Operation Lightning Thunder, which combined the forces of Uganda, the DRC, South Sudan and even the technical support of the United States, not only failed to capture Kony but also spread the terror to the CAR where the LRA relocated.

Even more complex, the IC’s psychological tactic of metonymy (using a singular figure like Kony to represent a very large issue) has focused in to the point where the simple targeting of an individual becomes enough. McDonald warns that this tactic of Facebook-friendly simplicity is a dangerous way to run a nation’s foreign policy.

The main goal of Invisible Children has never been aid, and has always been, as co-creator of the film Jedidiah Jenkins states, advocacy and awareness. Jenkins argues that the IC films target a high school audience and are made to inspire, but such vast generalizations should not over-simplify such a complex issue, placing agency where it cannot exist.

Like many Africans who have commented on the matter, Richard believes that the horrific portrayals of Uganda in “KONY 2012” are a picture of the past, something that might have been seen in 2004 but certainly not today.

Instead of more guns on the issue, a paradigm shift is needed in how the West views Africa. The portrayal of clear good and evil reduces all Africans to passive victims waiting to be saved by, well, a bunch of t-shirt wearing college students.

TMS Ruge, co-founder of the organization Project Diaspora which works to have Africans drive their own development, exclaims in outrage that Africans want respect and business just like people in the West. Many of them want to forgive, forget and rebuild their lives. He also points out that there are more pressing issues than the LRA attacks, which have killed only 2400 central Africans in three years, compared with the 2838 Ugandans that die in road accidents every year.

While the hype may capture the hearts and minds of those of us in the West, many Ugandans cry for the West to treat them as business partners instead of donor recipients. Horrific events have taken place in most every community, but this film that portrays vestiges of the past refuses to acknowledge the progress as well as the pressing needs of today.



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Student Art Featured in Grant Exhibit at Korouva

By Adrianna Haradon
 

From March 25 to 28, Korouva Milkbar hosted the Interdisciplinary Craft as Art Project, an exhibit funded by the King Creativity Fund featuring the work of student and faculty artists. The exhibit was the brainchild of Emily Manning, Andja Budincich, and Mary Alyson Atkins. The opening of the exhibit culminated a semester long project emphasizing craft as an interdisciplinary medium of communication.

“The Interdisciplinary Craft as Art Project (ICAP) is a project… that wanted to explore interdisciplinary thinking,” student artist Andja Budincich said. “By displaying the pieces as art, even though they were made by traditional craft mediums, we sought to question what makes something art, and how do we define it.”

The location of the exhibit reinforced these themes.

“I think that the space in which the exhibit is being displayed is an important part of understanding the goal of the project as a whole,”  Budincich said. “Korouva is obviously not a gallery.  It’s kind of grungy, and was definitely a bit of a challenge to work with at first. But I think what makes it so perfect for this project is that since the art was of a subversive nature (because it was craft), it follows that the space shouldn’t be a traditional space for art.”

This type of project can provide an outlet for artists on campus to express personal and social issues they find important to the campus community.

“My piece was called Identity Jacket. I was inspired to create it because the issue of personal identity is one that I see as being especially relevant for college students,” Budincich said.

She went on to explain her ideas on the flexibility of identity.

“Identity is fluid, something that changes minute by minute as we interact with our environment. The identity I chose to present when I designed the image to embroider looks different than what I would design today to express identity, and both of these would be different from what I might design in two weeks, or two months, or two years.”

Another work included  a vase made by junior Kate Steinbach.

“My piece was inspired by Nietzsche’s essay ‘On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense,’” Steinbach said. “The primary way that humans communicate is through a series of metaphors which abstract reality into symbols, the primary example being language. I try to communicate  in my vase this through invoking three of the metaphors; the actual physical object, the drawing on it, and the written label.”

Other works were created by was featured included Emily Manning, Mary Alyson Atkins and Jordan Hutchinson, as well as faculty members Glenda Carl, Fumika Futamura and Sandi Nenga.

 

 

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