Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Use your voice!

February 21, 2009

Over the weekend, CM Life will accept letters to the editor regarding University President Michael Rao’s decision to accept the presidency of Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday. We would like to hear your reaction to his leaving and what he has meant to you and to the university, in your opinion. Just be sure to keep it clean, and leave your contact information so we can get a hold of you in case we need anything.

Address all letters to, and keep them at 400 words or less, if at all possible.

Also, be sure to follow CM Life on Twitter for instantaneous updates on not only Michael Rao, but for every breaking news story.

Thank you!


-Brian Manzullo
Online Editor


NEWS UPDATE: Rao accepts presidency of VCU, leaves June 30

February 21, 2009

By: Jackie Smith

Updated at 8:50 p.m. First post at 7 p.m.

University President Michael Rao has been named the new president of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Rao, Central Michigan University’s 12th president, will take office as VCU’s fifth president on July 1, succeeding 69-year-old Eugene Trani, who is retiring to teach as a professor at VCU.

The VCU Board of Visitors made the announcement after a closed meeting tonight to finalize his contract, which includes an annual compensation package totaling $615,000.

Rao’s VCU approved salary is $488,500, of which $176,113 is paid by state funds and $312,387, according to a VCU release.

His total package includes $66,500 in deferred compensation, a $60,000 housing allowance and use of a car.

Rao will receive a signing bonus of $275,000 and will be required to repay $200,000 if he leaves VCU within five years.

“He did share with me that he’s had offers in the past,” said former CMU Trustee John Kulhavi. “But at that conjucture he expressed interest in staying at CMU.”

Kulhavi said he isn’t surprised Rao would take a new position because the average tenure for a CMU president is eight years, whereas Rao’s has held the reins for nine.

“In that industry or that field, you have to keep moving up or your not going to have those opportunities,” Kulhavi said.

Rao, 42, has served as CMU’s president since 2000. Before that, he was the chancellor of Montana State University-Northern, and president of Mission College in Santa Clara, California.

VCU is the state’s largest state-affiliated university with two campuses in Richmond, the capital of Virginia, and has an enrollment of more than 32,000 students. The school has a heavy emphasis on medical programs.

“I believe it’s a great move for Mike and his family,” said Sid Smith, the former board of trustees chairman and vice chair of the search committee that brought Rao to CMU.

“But, they’re a very good friend of ours, so we hate to lose him,” he said.

Through a university listserv, Rao sent an e-mail to all CMU students, faculty and staff at 7:04 p.m. today.

He encouraged the CMU Board of Trustees and faculty, staff, students and alumni to “keep their perspective on your greatness and keep an eye toward the long-term future of the university.”

“There cannot be any slippage of plans for achieving the significant goals that will continue to shape this great institution,” Rao wrote.

Rao is currently under a recently renewed contract at CMU. The Board of Trustees increased Rao’s annual salary by 3 percent in December, from $293,550 to $302,357.

His contract was extended through 2016 on Jan. 1.

Under his current contract, Rao’s retention bonuses increase each year by 10 percent, starting at $100,000 in 2009, and his retirement and compensation packages increase from $46,000 to $49,000 and from $15,500 to $16,500, respectively.

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Gail Torreano said Rao will leave with “significant accomplishments” and “a great deal of positive momentum” when he departs from the university.

“We sincerely thank President Rao for his dedicated service, forward-thinking vision and extraordinary commitment to student success,” Torreano said in a press release.

Torreano and the Board of Trustees plan to engage in a “thoughtful and comprehensive” executive search in the coming weeks.

“As we face unprecedented challenges in higher education and the State of Michigan, it is imperative the Board of Trustees hires an experienced leader who is well-suited to continue our positive momentum during this critical period,” Torreano said.


A career administrator
A timeline of Michael Rao’s administrative positions

1992 to 1994: Dean of Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif.
1994 to 1998: President of Mission College.
1998 to 2000: Chancellor of Montana State University- Northern.
2000 to Present: President of Central Michigan University.
July 1, 2009: Will become fifth president of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Check for updates as the story develops.

NEWS UPDATE: Rao may take job in Virginia

February 20, 2009

University President Michael Rao could have a new job by 7 p.m. today.

The Board of Visitors at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond will have a special meeting tonight to decide between finalists for their new university president, one of which is Rao.

“All we can say at this point, of course, is that President Rao is a finalist for president at Virginia Commonwealth University,” said Director of Media Relations Steve Smith.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting this afternoon that Rao is in Virginia today to accept the presidency on VCU’s campus.

Smith said he doesn’t know when Rao first took interest in the job, but that the news quickly developed over the last couple of days.

The CMU Board of Trustees increased Rao’s annual salary by 3 percent in December, from $293,550 to $302,357.

As of Jan. 1, Rao’s contract was extended through 2016.

Smith said he does not yet know how Rao’s candidacy will conflict with his current CMU contract.

“He has to get the job first,” Smith said. “We don’t know what their vote is going to be.”

Under his current contract, Rao’s retention bonuses increase each year by 10 percent, starting at $100,000 in 2009, and his retirement and compensation packages increase from $46,000 to $49,000 and from $15,500 to $16,500, respectively.

If approved by the VCU Board of Visitors this evening, Rao will succeed Eugene P. Trani as president. Trani has said he will step down June 30 because of health reasons.

VCU is the state’s largest state-affiliated university with two campuses in Richmond, the capital of Virginia, and has an enrollment of more than 32,000 students. The school has a heavy emphasis on medical programs.

Check for updates.

We’ve moved!

August 31, 2008


Do it, or you’ll make the kitten cry.


Capes, X-ray Vision and Masks…On the Catwalk Baby on the Catwalk

April 29, 2008

Superhero inspired garb is splashing the pages of Vogue and Nylon, a tribute to an exhibition starting May 7 through September 1 at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The somewhat uber geek chic trend has inspired everything from capes and cuffs to t-shirts.

I don’t truly think people will start running around campus in latex body suits or creating alter-egos (that we know of) but there is an easy way to incorporate some of this new trend into your wardrobe. Start by looking for some major Wonderwoman cuffs (most likely one, you don’t want to over do it), or sport some sexy shiny black leggings ala Catwoman (not the Halle Berry version).

Check out some of the fashion pics inspired by super powers. 


Drag Queens Invaded My Closet

April 15, 2008

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the drag show hosted by the Office of Gay and Lesbian Programs. Not ever going to a drag show, it was probably one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve had. The emcee Sabin was the highlight of the show with her raunchy language and audience interaction.

But of course I have to make this about the fashion which was everything I expected and then some. Flashy one pieces and rear riding dresses accessorized with master bling…tres chic!

It did give me some inspiration for my own wardrobe. Not to say you will see me coming to class in a spandex leotard and corset (although not far from what I see at the bar sometimes), but I do believe we need to take more chances when it comes to what’s in out closet. Maybe instead of just wearing a monotonous sweater, dress it up with a flashy piece of jewelry or wear a pair of funky tights under a dull dress.

I also believe women can learn a lot from drag queens. Sometimes we focus to much on our flaws and forget to flaunt our assets (disclaimer: do not show up to class in bar clothes). Be proud you have freedom of fashion! Peace all~Ashley Barlow

We Heart You!

April 14, 2008

It is now time to shake the dust out of those pretty little frocks you wore all last spring…finally! Yet, it still seems a little chilly to go totally bare legged. Thankfully fanciful tights are all the rage this season. 

While looking for the perfect patterned tights to spruce up my wardrobe, I came across a great sight called We Love Colors. Anything you need from fishnets to knee highs can be found here in all their 45 colors. If you are looking for something fresh to peek from your ordinary dress hem, look no further than this site. 

Typically I am pathetically loyal to American Apparel but lately my wallet thinks otherwise. At We Love Colors, everything is from $14 to $16! 

Enjoy and happy spring!


Forgetting Sarah Marshall

April 14, 2008

I forgot to post this when it first got published, but the movie doesn’t come out in its wide release till this Friday, so it is still timely.

Review of the Judd Apatow-produced, Jonah Hill-infested Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Expect more geeky rantings throughout the week, as per usual, *snap* just like that.

I can’t help that I’m custom made,

Brad Canze, the CM Life Movie Dude

Film: HUGE news

April 1, 2008

A friend at a popular film news site has given me this story, which other sites haven’t started picking up yet.

A source close to the production has leaked information about Martin Scorsese’s next movie, after his currently filming “Shutter Island.”

His next announced project was a biopic of Theodore Roosevelt, but the word is he was so excited about this new project that he’s pushing the Roosevelt movie back a year.

Martin Scorsese will be directing Crash Bandicoot: The Movie.

Scorsese insists that this is not a video game cash-in, and he is intent to delve into the fertile dramatic potential of the Crash Bandicoot series.

The film will be an intense, suspenseful character piece, focusing on the nature of duality between Crash and his arch-nemesis, Neo Cortex.

Scorsese is tapping George Clooney to play the titular hero, and is intending to do as much of the visual effect work practically as possible, meaning that Clooney will act on-set, in a bandicoot suit.

Christopher Walken is currently in talks to play Neo Cortex, and whispers are going around that Jodie Foster may appear as  Coco Bandicoot.

You heard it here first,

Brad Canze, the CM Life Movie Dude



March 31, 2008

Note: I’ve been watching wrestling since I was three. I’ve been trying to find an excuse to use my power as News Editor at CM Life to make people read what I think about it. Here goes.

JBL vs. Finlay: We were late and I missed this match. I’m going to borrow the tape and watch it, but JBL won, which is alright I guess because both guys are pretty cool. I hope they stretch this feud out and keep Hornswoggle out of the picture. These two big old guys can fight.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Every year part of me wants to say this is the match of the night and part of me wants to say it’s the worst match of the night. You don’t get any storyline, no one sells leg, back, or shoulder injuries, and half the moves don’t look like they’re supposed to. Frankly, at some points I was too worried about the wrestlers to care much about what was going on in the ring. CM Punk took a standing Green Bay Plunge onto a ladder that made a cracking sound that made me cringe. Shelton Benjamin also took a sick bump, flipping over the top rope and landing on a wooden ladder that cracked in half. Every year, we get a lot from Money in the Bank in a short period of time (under 20 minutes) and every year come the end I think “couldn’t you have been more climactic than that?” This year, the end came when Jericho somehow (it was never explained how) got his leg caught in the ladder while him and CM Punk were climbing one end each, leaving Jericho hanging upside down and letting Punk grab the briefcase. I love CM Punk and I hope he takes the Money in the Bank opportunity and moves to Raw or Smackdown, he has quite frankly done all he can on ECW. I think he’d be a great fit on Smackdown, with its younger viewership where his straight edge lifestyle could serve as a kind of role model for kids. At least showing them that not everyone who abstains from drugs and alcohol is a total square.  ***

Batista vs Umaga: Maybe I went into this match with unrealistic expectations, but while I was excited about the process of these two quick, powerful big men fighting each other in what was sure to be a brutal match, it ended up being mostly forgettable. Umaga dominated the match, but Batista came out of nowhere and hit a Batista Bomb. I’m using the term loosely, because Batista actually fell over while he was delivering it. You wonder why the guy gets injured so much, it’s because of stupid botches like this one. He finished the move and it still looked cool, but a little sloppy. The worst part is you could visibly see not only during the match but in the replay when Batista fell over doing the move, he started laughing. I like Batista, I saw him outside of Wrestlemania 23, I was like three feet away from him and told him good luck on his match with Undertaker and he said “thank you” but have some professionalism, man. Of course, if I botched the finish at the biggest event of the year, I’d probably laugh too. * 1/2*

Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero This match was pointless. Kane chokeslammed Chavo and the fans cheered, but that’s about it. This is to wrestling what Robot Chicken is to television. You get a laugh, but nothing of substance. No one really benefits and Chavo Guerrero looks like a weak champion, which makes the guy he beat for the title (CM Punk) look even more weak, etc. etc. Chavo’s entire reign has been a joke and a disgrace to his wrestling ability and his family name. He’s only won two matches clean, both against talented guys who WWE has chosen to bring to jobber status. My friend Katie loves Kane, but he’s boring in the ring. I swear if they have Kane vs Big Daddy V for the ECW world title I’m going to write a whole other blog just complaining about that alone. 1/4*

Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels Sure the result of this match was a foregone conclusion (naturally Flair is going to lose and retire at Wrestlemania), but for a half hour, my sense of reality was suspended and I thought maybe, just maybe, Flair could pull it off. That’s what wrestling’s all about. Michaels botched two different moonsaults and hit his knee twice, once going through the Raw announce table knee first. I’m not sure how much of it was planned, but you can’t fake either of those falls. Flair worked over Michaels’ legs for a while and cinched in the figure 4 with Michaels breaking it twice. Michaels was playing the tortured man the entire match, he wanted to win, but didn’t want to make Flair retire, kind of like when he didn’t want to accept the match a month ago. At one point he purposely hesitated during Sweet Chin Music allowing Flair to hook in the figure 4 instead. Michaels hit not one but two sweet chin musics out of nowhere that actually hit Flair in the chin like the name implies. Flair kicked out of the first, and the two fought for a bit, but once Michaels hit the sweet chin music out of nowhere a second time, he started warming up for one more. As Flair was coming to his feet, you saw tears well up in Shawn’s eyes as he said “I’m sorry, I love you” before hitting it and getting the pin. Immediately afterwards he embraced Flair, kissing him before leaving uneventfully to allow Flair the grand exit. Flair is in tears. Michaels is in tears. Flair’s family is in tears. A real class act. The match should have been about ten minutes longer. Also note that these guys chopped each other harder than I’ve ever heard chops during the match. ****1/2*

Ashley and Maria vs. Beth Phoenix and Melina A match between four beautiful ladies (fine, three beautiful ladies and Ashley) usually wouldn’t bother me, but this match was just BAD. In Tina Fey 30 Rock style, I’ll start with a genuine compliment. Maria looked great. Her makeup, no matter how impractical for a wrestling match, made the gorgeous Maria look even hotter. Ashley looks horrible, of course, and Melina and Beth Phoenix actually look worse than their usual beautiful selves. The match itself had three high points. 1) Santino Marella comes to ringside with Melina and Beth Phoenix wearing a feather boa 2) The lights inexplicably go out for like 30 seconds and the clueless girls keep wrestling. Backup lights come on. 3) After the match, Maria got herself a sensual seduction (not to be confused with the ever-popular lifeline cover) by making out with Snoop Dogg. Seriously, Beth Phoenix and Melina are better wrestlers than some of the guys in WWE, why waste their time with Ashley, who will always be horrible, and Maria who’s still growing in the ring. 1/2*

John Cena vs. HHH vs. Randy Orton Fine, we get it, every year John Cena is going to have an entrance to honor the city wrestlemania is in. In Chicago, he did an Al Capone thing. In Detroit, he pretended to drive a stunt car. At the Orange Bowl, he had a marching band play his theme music out. It was actually pretty cool. Cena and HHH dominated the match and I was wondering which of the WWE’s golden boys they’d give the strap to, I was very pleasantly surprised when Orton walked away with the belt after a sweet finish. HHH hit Cena with the pedigree and covered him 1, 2, then Orton kicked HHH in the head and covered Cena for 3. Randy Orton is now the second bad guy to ever walk out of Wrestlemania as world champion. Good for him. The match worked to everyone’s strengths and was fast-paced and looked great. The ending made Orton look like a sneaky, conniving bad guy and made HHH’s pedigree look strong, as it kept Cena down for 5 seconds (at least). My guess is Orton loses it next month to HHH. Oh well, it was good to see him walk out as champ one more time. ***1/2*

The Big Show vs Floyd Mayweather The one thing WWE has been doing right with this feud is that from day one when Mayweather jumped into the ring and broke Big Show’s nose in real life while the commentators said nothing, this whole thing looked REAL. There wasn’t a good or bad guy, the lines between fact and reality were so effectively blurred that something in the back of my mind half expected this fight to be legit. While I’m sure it wasn’t, for the first 15 minutes it looked it. Floyd would punch and run away, punch and run. Both men played to their strengths, Floyd running and using his quickness and powerful punches while The Big Show kept trying to overpower Floyd, though he couldn’t catch him. Floyd hit a few good shots and looked in a sleeper while riding Show piggyback that actually made The Big Show’s face turn red. In keeping the match looking real, Floyd literally didn’t pull any punches and you could see red welts on Big Show’s body every time Floyd hit him. Big Show finally caught up to Floyd, stomping on his hand and standing on Mayweather while his posse tried to convince the refs he wasn’t allowed to, though it was no disqualification. Big Show took out a few members of Floyd’s posse and Floyd tried to run away, only for Show to catch up with him and drag him back to the ring. Floyd resorted to kicks, selling his injured hands from Big Show stomping on them. Finally, one of Floyd’s posse hit Big Show with a chair as he went to chokeslam Floyd. Though the move didn’t affect Big Show, it distracted him long enough for Floyd to grab the chair and hit Show with it like five times. Once show was on his knees, we had a replay of No Way Out. Floyd hit Big Show in the face and when he didn’t go down, he took the glove off his hand, took the brass knuckles off the necklace of his fallen posse member and popped Big Show a good one that knocked him down for ten, giving Floyd Mayweather the one. Good luck convincing the IBA to add that win to your record. 3*** (not bad considering Show has been out of the ring for over a year and it was Floyd’s first (and probably only) wrestling match.

Edge vs Undertaker I usually hate Edge, but I think he really proved he was a main event wrestler tonight, as much as I hate him. This match was great and full of storytelling. Instead of the usual Taker dominated match with Edge somehow escaping that I thought I would see, we had Edge dominating, reversing every one of Taker’s moves and hitting more than a few more. Edge reversed The Last Ride, The Tombstone, Old School, and The Chokeslam. The end came when Edge hit Undertaker with a video camera, Taker sat straight up and then got Edge to tap out to this triangle choke-like submission move. ****