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vol. cxlvi, no.



the Brown

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Since 1891
Frank said, referring to its record on human rights. When Frank argued in Congress for the repeal of Dont Ask, Dont Tell, he cited Israels policy of allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military as an example. Despite being always under attack, he added, Israel is one of the most democratic centers in the world. Six months ago, if you were an Arab in the Middle East and you were critical of the government, you were safest doing that in Israel, he said, acknowledging that the situation may have changed in wake of the so-called Arab Spring. Frank characterized the concontinued on page 4
By Morgan Johnson seNior staff writer

Frank urges support for Pension bill Israel in quest for peace promises end to shortfalls
By shefali luThra seNior staff writer

Tom Sullivan / Herald

Rep. Barney Frank lauded Israel as a democratic center of the Middle East.

The United States must support Israels right to exist in order to establish peace in the Middle East, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. told a crowded Salomon 101 last night. Frank, who spoke at the Middle East Talks event co-sponsored by the Brown Democrats and Brown Students for Israel, said support for Israel is crucial in creating a two-state peace between Israel and Palestine. But that support should not be unconditional, he said. It comes with the right to critique policy something he said should be in place between all allied nations. Israel is a country the United States should align itself with,

Rosters for Bears Lair replenishes machines presidential committees revealed

By erin kilduff CoNtributiNg writer By Tony Bakshi News editor

Chancellor Thomas Tisch 76 announced the 29 members of the two committees responsible for overseeing the search for a new president yesterday in an email to the Brown community. Fifteen members of the Corporation join Tisch on the Presidential Selection Committee, which he is chairing. The Campus Advisory Committee has 13 members and will be chaired by Chung-I Tan, professor of physics. Three undergraduates, a graduate student and a student at Alpert Medical School represent the student body on the advisory committee. Six professors and one representative each from Computing and Information Services and Campus Life and Student Services also sit on the committee. The members of the advisory committee were assigned through a combined effort of six University committees, including the Undergraduate Council of Students, the Faculty Executive Committee and the Staff Advisory Committee. Tan said the advisory committee will aim to get the broadest possible input from the community, though specific plans have not yet continued on page 4

Following the installation of 10 new exercise machines over the past week, the Bears Lair is once again filled to capacity with students working off magic bars and spicies with. When 10 outdated machines were removed from the gym earlier this semester, students expressed frustration that the remaining machines were not sufficient to

accommodate their needs, causing disrupted exercise schedules and leading some to abandon the gym altogether. But seven new machines installed Friday and three installed yesterday restored the space to its original capacity. Matthew Tsimikas, assistant director of athletics and physical education, wrote in an email to The Herald that five treadmills, three elliptical machines and two exercise bikes, all 2011 models, were installed to replace outdated

equipment. The Bears Lair is part of the Department of Athletics satellite fitness system. Originally, the satellite fitness centers were intended as temporary workout spaces in the residential halls following students demands for a place to exercise, said Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services. But the popularity of the continued on page 2

State and municipal employees will see dramatic changes to their pensions in 2012 if the General Assembly adopts a proposal outlined in a joint address Tuesday. The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act, proposed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee 75 P14 and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, would impose a system-wide freeze on cost-of-living adjustments for all public employees and change the state-run system to a new hybrid pension plan. If enacted, the bill would ensure that pension system shortfalls never again spike to an unaffordable level, Raimondo said. The bill would immediately reduce the states unfunded liability by $3 billion and increase the percentage of the states pension obligations that are funded from 48 to 60 percent. Cost-of-living adjustments would be restored for all public employees once the system is 80 percent funded, the minimum funding level for a healthy pension system. If the system drops below 80 percent funded, the adcontinued on page 2

Fighting Providence fog, stars shine in historic lens

By sofia casTello y Tickell staff writer

Youre looking at the past, said one visitor at Ladd Observatory last Tuesday night, staring up at the cerulean blue telescope that has inhabited the main observation room since 1891.

The visitor meant that light reaching earth from great distances could have been emitted by a star that no longer exists, but the statement could easily be reinterpreted at this historic site. A multitude of eyes have peered through the 15-foot telescope in the past 120 years, including those of H.P. Lovecraft who had his own key to the observatory local teachers, stu-

dents and professors. Firemen periodically park their bright red engines at the intersection of Hope and Doyle streets and come in to take a peek at the night sky. The telescope can track one object a galaxy, for example for months at a time through the use of a carefully calibrated, hand-wound mechanical clock drive that moves to counter slight shifts in the earths movements. From this room, it is possible to see the shadows of the moons of Jupiter cross its surface and watch stars brighten and dim as they pulsate and eclipse each other, said David Targan 78, associate dean of the College for science education. Excepting light bulbs, exit signs and alarms, the building continued on page 3
Sofia Castello y Tickell / Herald

The telescope is one of the principal draws for visitors to the Ladd Observatory.



news........................2 Feature..................3 editorial...............6 opinions................7


dear chafee need aid?

Lebovitz 14 gives R.i. governor policy pointers students discuss need-aware policy
Campus News, 8 OpiNiONs, 7

t o d ay


arts and medicine join forces to engage community

Campus News, 5

63 / 59

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2 Campus news
TODAY 4:30 P.m. Law School Application Workshop, List Art Center 120 8:30 P.m. Buxton Jazz Jam, Buxton House Lounge 4 P.m. Chinas Economic Rise, Salomon 001 OCTObER 19 TOmORROW 12 P.m. Peace Corps Information Session, CareerLAB Library OCTObER 20

the Brown Daily herald wednesday, october 19, 2011

SHARPE REFECTORY Polynesian Chicken Wings, Stir Fried Rice, Steamed Pea Pods, Beef Vegetable Soup VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH Italian Sausage and Peppers Sandwich, Vegetable Strudel, Peas, Lemon Cookies

DINNER Sustainable Baked and Breaded Pollock, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Dal Cali with Yogurt and Flat Bread Chopped Sirloin with Mushroom Sauce, Pastito, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic
Evan Thomas / Herald


After a shortage of exercise equipment earlier this semester, the Bears Lair is now at full capacity with 10 new machines.

New gym equipment whirs into action

continued from page 1 gyms inspired the University to grant them permanent status. This proved to be a problem, as the gyms were made possible by an alumni donation 12 years ago. We had a gift to get them started, Klawunn said, But we didnt have a budget for ongoing maintenance. The University instituted a plan to find new funds from gift donations this past summer, Klawunn said. Though the athletics department removed machines deemed outdated or unsafe at the beginning of the semester, it failed to replace these machines until last Friday. Student response to the new machines has been overwhelmingly positive, though many expressed dismay at the former state of the gym. I used to wait in line just for the treadmill. Now that we have four, I dont have to anymore, said Christian Talavera 12. He said he felt it was important for the University to have working machines because students are on a tight schedule and typically allow and allot a certain time for the gym. After abandoning the Bears Lair and starting her own exercise routine earlier this fall, Sinead Crotty 14 said she would consider returning to the gym now that there are new machines.


Bill may change pension plans

continued from page 1 justments would again be frozen. Cost-of-living adjustments will not continue to exist in their current form if the bill passes. Instead, they will be tied to the state pension systems yearly investment returns. State pension recipients could receive up to a 4 percent cost-of-living increase on the first $35,000 of their pension depending on the returns 1 percent more than the current maximum allowed increase. If returns dip below 5.5 percent, though, retirees will not receive cost-of-living adjustment payments. Chafee compared the proposed hybrid plan with current federal employee pensions, which he said he supported when he was a U.S. senator. Hybrid plans combine a reduced defined contribution payment, a defined benefit account similar to a 401(k) and regular Social Security payments. All state employees, teachers and municipal employees excluding police and fire departments will be enrolled in the plan. It would accommodate some teachers and local employees that cannot collect Social Security under the current system by requiring larger employer contributions. Individual municipal pension systems are an alarming aspect of the states problem, Chafee said. We cant have true pension reform if these are ignored. There are currently municipalities in Rhode Island with pension systems so underfunded they could require state intervention. If you think Central Falls was an isolated case, reconsider, Chafee said. Chafee and Raimondo clashed over the bills treatment of locally administered plans, forcing negotiations between the two leaders Monday night. Raimondo expressed concern that collectivebargaining agreements could create legal barriers to implementing the bill and supported a more lenient treatment of local plans. The Chafee-Raimondo bill would establish an independent review targeting municipalities with systems that are less than 60 percent funded, just below what the federal government identifies as critical. Twenty communities in the state currently fit this description. We all know there are municipal pensions in crisis, Chafee said. As captain of the ship, I clearly see these icebergs ahead.


the Brown 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I.

Matthew Burrows, Treasurer Isha Gulati, Secretary

Ben Schreckinger, President Sydney Ember, Vice President

The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for each member of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Subscription prices: $280 one year daily, $140 one semester daily. Copyright 2011 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

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the Brown Daily herald wednesday, october 19, 2011

Feature 3
is open to the public every Tuesday when the weather is clear. The staff aims to coordinate events once a month that are less weather-dependent, such as last weeks talk by Ian DellAntonio, associate professor of physics. They will be open on the upcoming Halloween Monday for a costumed celebration where all are welcome, Umbricht said. Visitors stayed over half an hour after DellAntonios talk had concluded, climbing on ladders and peeking through the telescope despite the dome being closed due to cloudy skies. Though they could not have seen much farther than the ceiling, the amateur astronomers demonstrated their innate fascination with the universe through a persistent barrage of questions, all of which were fielded with expertise by the staff. We are made of elements that were formed inside of stars, Targan said. We are now at a point where a piece of the universe you and me can reflect upon itself and make predictions and have an understanding of what is going on. No matter what happens down here, what happened at the office that day or in school, he said, You can go out there and get the big perspective. Its a big universe out there. Were part of it, but theres a lot more to it than us.

Historic observatory continues to draw visitors

continued from page 1 was never modernized, making it one of few observatories still existing in its original condition. Many like it began to operate on electricity in the 1930s, while others have fallen into disrepair and a few remain in private hands. It was one of the last observatories to be built in an urban area, before light pollution and smog became obstacles to late-night viewing. Its proximity to Providence was necessary for the role it once fulfilled as a time-keeping station for Rhode Island. Ultimately, we are calibrating our clocks to the rotation of the earth, which we calculate by observing individual stars, said Targan. The observatory was once in charge of such calculations. It transmitted pulses along telegraph wires every hour to City Hall so residents could set their clocks, and to the Jewelry District, where clocks were repaired. Michael Umbricht, observatory curator and science history buff, has been working at Ladd for about six years. A sleek ponytail streaked with gray falls down the back of his worn leather jacket. A long earring dangles from one ear. He takes hold of a crank in the main observation room, and the wooden black dome creaks and groans as the roof spins above us. The observatory is run manually, thanks to a system of pulleys and counterweights, and sections of the roof can be lifted to afford a better view when the night is clear. Umbricht led visitors into a second observation room recently restored by a grant from the state. The effect was akin to walking back two centuries. The scent of cedar filled the air and archaic equipment dotted the room: several small telescopes, a grandfather clock, an instrument resembling a polygraph and a large roll of paper with scribbling inked needles to measure the position of stars. The team is working hard to restore the observatory authentically even the paint on the walls matches the original 19th century colors. While the observatory is no longer used for research a modern telescope on top of Barus and Holley has taken over that niche it continues to serve an educational purpose. The observatory receives about 3,000 visitors a year, Targan said. Students in University astronomy classes visit once or twice a semester, and local Providence teachers can attend special overnight workshops to learn about the stars. Scholars of scientific history consider the observatory to be a prime field trip, Targan said it

Sofia Castello y Tickell / Herald

Michael umbricht (foreground) has educated observatory visitors for six years.

4 Campus news
By nic cavell CoNtributiNg writer

the Brown Daily herald wednesday, october 19, 2011

Initiative connects classrooms to the community

Every three weeks at the Swearer Center for Public Service, 22 professors across 17 disciplines collide behind closed doors to discuss exciting new directions in education at Brown. Food justice is discussed with sandwiches in hand, education finds common ground with engineering and the medieval studies program forms an unlikely pair with prison-based teaching. Each of the professors has been awarded funding through the Engaged Scholars Initiative to take their work into the community. Now in its third year, the initiative has sponsored many communitybased courses at Brown. Maureen Sigler, lecturer in education and director of history and social studies education, has deepened the connection between Brown and Central Falls High School through a servicelearning component in her restructured course, EDUC 1010: The Craft of Teaching. The class as it was originally designed is more of a purely intellectual exercise, Sigler said, a broad brushstroke to introduce students to what they should be thinking when they enter the classroom as teachers. But through the lens of service learning, a select group of the class about 20 of 100 this year has the chance for a deeper experience in applying and contextualizing academic rigor, she said. In her class, students first complete readings including education scholar Melissa Rodericks work assessing the challenges on the road to college for students in Chicago Public Schools. Through an asset walk in Central Falls, the group of students contextualize the community by counting its benefits as opposed to the challenges it faces. And then, based on what the community has identified as its need, students apply strategies for college advising using what they read in Roderick. The process is ongoing. After the first year, Sigler determined the service learning component could do even more for a deep impact, not just a broad impact. She and her students reached out to Central Falls students parents and families, taking them to Free Application for Federal Student Aid info meetings and college fairs to raise students awareness of their options. Soon, their work began to speak for itself. The program now has its own dedicated space and administrator in Central Falls High School. Many of the ideas funded by the initiative were around long before it began. Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies Phil Brown received support for his Community Environmental College run through the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island from the initiative. But he has been sending students to work with the league for years. The Community Environmental College is a summer program for Providence-area high school students that offers courses in environmental justice, food justice and leadership, media and the arts. It transforms Phils research into work for the community, said Keally Cieslik 13, who previously taught courses at the college. Cieslik outlined a curriculum that took students to places like Alvarez High School, which is situated on contaminated land. She described the students outrage when they learned of industrial meat processing techniques. The (environmental college) is an umbrella for subprojects, Cieslik said, adding that courses were student-driven and ended with a final project. Theyve done river cleanup, someone made a film about food justice, she recounted. There was even a project with a veggie-biodiesel-fueled school bus. As a Brown student, Cieslik entered the community uncomfortable as a teacher, she said. Many students do not need to be told about injustice by an outsider, she said. In that way, the summer courses became a co-learning experience, and what Cieslik took away as a student was insight into what its like in Providence as a high school youth. Being uncomfortable might just be part of a community-based course, Sigler said. In addition to the asset walk, she makes her students eat meals and spend time in the Central Falls community. At the beginning of her course, students spend four weeks reacting critically to their own autobiographies, she said. Students grapple with questions such as can a privileged, white Brown Student work in an under-resourced high school? and what things does that student take with him or her? These questions and their answers are the essence of what Sigler called the service learning components ability to add intellectual teeth to a course. For some students, a community component ignites the fire, she said. Priya Gaur 13 might be one of those students. She began her involvement in another community-based course, ENVS 0110: Humans, Nature, and the Environment: Addressing Environmental Change in the 21st Century taught by Kathryn DeMaster, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies. She then kept it up through work with the Community Environmental College and Environmental Justice League. She is also a teaching assistant for the class this semester. The problems in the community are long-term, Gaur said. They require long-term activism and involvement. Youre dealing with structural inequalities, she said, highlighting an example of food injustice. In some areas of Rhode Island, there is less access to healthy foods. Olneyville has no Whole Foods. College Hill has two. Community work is in the very charter of a university whose mission is to do public good, said Associate Professor of History Amy Remensnyder, another Engaged Scholar. Her work takes place in the Adult Correctional Institute in Rhode Island, where she brings knowledge of medieval Iberia to discussions with inmates about the coexistence of diverse religions. Back in the boardroom, Sigler and Chris Bull 79 MS86 PhD06, senior lecturer in the School of Engineering, are discussing the overlap of their students experiences, identifying cross-disciplinary approaches to education. All the professors enter the fray, positing ways to better fit community needs. Everything about Engaged Scholars is organic, said Roger Nozaki, director of the Swearer Center and associate dean of the College. Everything is also longterm projects like Siglers and Browns have been running for three years and show no sign of stopping. Instead, they continue to adjust ratchet, as Nozaki said to community needs.

Program to build career networks
CareerLAB launched a new intensive program to facilitate interaction between Brown students and alums Monday. The three-day pilot January Career Laboratory will begin Jan. 19 and will feature panels on different career fields, networking sessions and skill workshops. A joint initiative by CareerLAB, the dean of the College and the Corporation, the program will provide students with an outstanding opportunity to increase their networks, build on skills important for starting and advancing a career and learn about different career fields from alumni, said Andrew Simmons, director of CareerLAB. The Office of Alumni Relations will try to recruit alums from a wide variety of career fields and with different levels of experience, said Lauren kolodny 08, the Corporations young alumni trustee, who first conceived of the idea and brought it to the Center for Campus Life. Though Brown used to host a similar alumni career week during the semester, kolodny said January CareerLAB will give students an opportunity to think really deeply about their careers outside of the demands of class and extracurricular activities, she said. It also gives alums the opportunity to come back to campus and engage with the community. Students of all years and concentrations are invited to apply beginning Oct. 24. CareerLAB will choose 150 students to participate based on their interests, Simmons said. Participating students will be allowed to move in to the dormitories early and will pay a fee of $130 to cover meals, housing and program events. Simmons said the fee only partially covers the perstudent cost of the program CareerLAB and the Office of the Dean of the College will provide the remaining funds. Students unable to pay the fee can apply for financial aid. Details of the program, including faculty and staff participation, are still being worked out, Simmons said. A preliminary schedule is on the CareerLAB website. It is a way of giving (students) exposure to things outside of academics, Simmons said. We think we have a very good program. aparna Bansal

Rep. Frank has high praise for Israel

continued from page 1 flict between Israel and Hamas as an existential dispute, one that must be resolved before peace can materialize. Specifically, he said, Hamas must recognize Israels right to exist as a Jewish state something he said it has not yet been willing to do. You cannot negotiate with people who want you dead, he said. But Frank also criticized some of Israels policies, specifically Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which he said do more harm than good. He also said the current governing coalition in Israel leans too far to the right for his comfort. While questioning Israels governing coalition, Frank praised Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his support of human rights and civil liberties. Three government leaders in my lifetime have spoken positively about gay rights in the House of Representatives, he said. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu. Though Frank said people should look critically at specific positions Israel has taken, he said those critiques are a far cry from questioning its right to exist. He compared the situation to his opposition to the Iraq War, which does not indicate that he questions the United States right to exist. Franks half-hour talk was followed by an hour-long question-and-answer session. Frank addressed questions about Jerusalems role in the dispute, saying Hamas, and not Jerusalem, is the principal obstacle to peace. Frank also addressed the question of Gaza, saying Israel should withdraw from the land, but that he understands the countrys right to self-defense when people next door are trying to destroy you.

Search committee to solicit communitys help

continued from page 1 been made. He said his committee will speak with members of the community involved in past searches for high-level University administrators and seek their advice. We are starting relatively early, so I think we will have time to examine everything carefully and move forward promptly, Tan said. The Corporation hired Spencer Stuart, an executive recruiting firm, to assist in the search process, according to Tischs email.

the Brown Daily herald wednesday, october 19, 2011

Campus news 5
Chester Crabson | Tess Carroll

Granoff Center, Med Ed expand outreach

By sona MkrTTchian CoNtributiNg writer

The University is looking to integrate community programs with the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts and the Medical Education Building, according to the most recent update to the Plan for Academic Enrichment, President Ruth Simmons blueprint for academic improvement. The Granoff Center has already established a relationship with the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts the center will serve as the venue for the screening of student films next month. The University is also in talks with the Providence Public School District about developing collaborative programs, though a timeline for the partnership has not yet been established. The Granoff center has the potential to offer space in which alternative cultural expression could occur in ways that is not possible in the public schools because of limitations of space and resources, wrote Earnest Cox, administrator of fine arts and advanced academics for the Providence Public

School District, in an email to The Herald. The new Med Ed Building downtown also presents an opportunity for community outreach, wrote Marisa Quinn, vice president of public affairs and University relations, in an email to The Herald. We recognize the opportunities to engage even more with the community and with the schools through (the building), she wrote. The new facility simply underscores our presence in Providence. The University has already opened the Granoff Center to the Providence community for movie nights, tours and local artists exhibitions, Quinn wrote. We like to say we are a home for creative thinkers, said Chira DelSesto, assistant director of the Creative Arts Council. What we want to do is invite like-minded people to come in and learn and try something new, she said. Its important for us not to be insular. Brown has articulated a desire to be a place for free exchange of ideas, Cox said. What better way to encourage this exchange than by opening your space to the community at large?.

Cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman

Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez

6 editorial
For-profits and veterans
Recent Senate Education Committee hearings examined the burgeoning for-profit college industry, which derives much of its revenue from federal funds while delivering questionable results. One of the worrying practices the hearings highlighted is the aggressive recruitment of veterans by for-profits. Service members complain that recruiters provide misleading information about the costs and benefits of programs, saying, for example, that a degree will undoubtedly bolster a veterans job prospects when, in fact, many employers are skeptical of these degrees. The Department of Veterans Affairs discovered that a host of websites that ostensibly inform military veterans how to best use their education benefits are in fact run by marketing firms hired by for-profit colleges to extol the virtues of high-priced online or evening courses. In one particularly outrageous incident, a recruiter from for-profit Ashford University got veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries to sign up for classes which they had little chance of successfully completing. The industrys aggressiveness is paying off. Eight major for-profits brought in roughly $1 billion from veterans benefits last year. Current policy incentivizes for-profit colleges often unscrupulous pursuit of veterans. Federal law caps the share of total revenue forprofits can get from government money at 90 percent. But veterans benefits do not count toward this total. As a result, for each veteran enrolled, the schools receive guaranteed government money and are able to sign up nine more students paying exclusively with federal education funds. This arrangement violates the laws intent, which according to one of the drafters was to ensure that for-profit colleges offered an education good enough that some students were willing to pay for it. Congress should mandate that any form of government money count toward the 90 percent cap. Congress and the executive branch should also strengthen oversight of for-profit colleges to ensure taxpayers are getting a return on investments in student aid. Not only is there strong evidence that the benefits of for-profit college education are illusory, but taxpayers may be overpaying for even these second-rate programs. Some of the biggest for-profits offer online courses to service members at up to five times the cost community colleges charge for classes taught at military bases. And the Senate committee found that at some forprofits, less than 50 percent of revenue goes toward actually teaching students a substantial portion supports marketing while the rest is pocketed as profit. Meanwhile, the Veterans Administration, which oversees tuition assistance for former service members, relies heavily on reporting from state agencies, which in turn frequently rely on information cherry-picked by the schools themselves an approach, the Government Accountability Office notes, that undermines the independence of the review. We do not suggest these changes out of reactionary disavowal of the for-profit college model. Indeed, the context of military personnel underscores the opportunities for-profits have to change higher education in a meaningful way. Online programs offer our service men and women educational opportunities that did not exist until recently. Yet the law must demand more accountability from forprofits in the interest of fairness to veterans who use their services and taxpayers who fund them. editorials are written by The heralds editorial page board. Send comments to

the Brown Daily herald wednesday, october 19, 2011


by sam rosenfeld

As captain of the ship, I clearly see these icebergs ahead.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee 75 P14
see peNsioNs on page 1.


Due to an editing error, a Sept. 29 Herald article (Masturbator provokes anxiety on John Street, Sept. 29) cited Avery Housers 12.5 description of the masturbator as having a mop of black hair. In fact, Houser was describing a black shirt the masturbator was wearing on his head. An article in Mondays Herald (Masturbator spotted at Brook and Angell, Oct. 16) restated the misinformation. The Herald regrets the errors.

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the Brown Daily herald wednesday, october 19, 2011

opinions 7
A letter to Gov. Chafee 75
state a political powder keg of a policy, but you also exerted an impressive display of executive power by essentially circumventing the entire legislature. So when you woke up to an article in the Providence Journal that ominously declared Tuition policy fallout, there was no need to worry. As Im sure you know, politicians are incredibly protective of their territory. Look closely at the article half of the legislators featured on the front page either support your policy or are whining about the Maybe even drop a reference to Texas in the document. After all, Rick Perry is undeniably conservative. The policy doesnt start until the next school year, so you wont see the final copy on your desk until two and a half years from now. At that point, youll be in an election year and will be glad to remind voters about your policy accomplishments. But the best part about the timing of this education decision is that the looming pension problem is in fact a shield to sponse bias. With large swaths of Assembly members not responding, Statistics 101 declares the nefarious tendrils of personal interest may be at work for such negative results. The higher ideals the in-state tuition plan strives for shouldnt be underestimated or under-appreciated. Its just plain fair seeing as Im pretty sure those children of illegal immigrants had no choice about their parents immigration status. But as President Obama learned a couple of years ago with health care reform, higher ideals dont jive with modern day political realities. I dont doubt your political acumen, Governor outflanking Frank Caprios left in last years gubernatorial election was a genius political move that would probably bring Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, to tears but a grounding of the ideological in the cynical may help put you and your advisers at ease. Or you could just catch that masturbator on Browns campus. Talk about headline bait: Police and Chafee 75 force premature end to masturbators spree. I doubt youd have to answer an education question in that presser. Sincerely, Chip Lebovitz Chip Lebovitz 14 would love to advise any other interested or uninterested Rhode Island politician. He can be reached at

opinions Columnist
Dear Gov. Chafee 75 P14, Who says the political system is broken? While Washington is caviling in points of order, partisan mudslinging and the 9-9-9 plan, you have had quite an impressively busy two weeks. But despite the fact that youve come up with an education agenda, youre still bottoms up in your poll numbers and have an entire pension battle to wage. So Im here with a pair of pom-poms and a bit of political foresight to bring some good cheer back to the Statehouse. For those not paying attention, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education voted Sept. 26 to allow the children of illegal immigrants to attend public colleges at in-state rates. To put it lightly, the issue of tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants is kind of a hot topic scalding hot, like a cup of hot chocolate that can burn your tongue in a nasty way if you dont pay it too much attention. For example, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perrys fall or should I say plummet from the top of the primary field to fourth was partly caused by his support for a similar program in Texas. Your political opponents are understandably incensed. Not only did you in-

Legislators trying to focus on overturning your education agenda will find themselves drowned out by all the other politicians who want to proclaim that they will stop at nothing to protect our retirement.
fact that they didnt get a piece of the action. Holding grudges in politics is ill-advised if not completely jejune, so Id predict theyll cool off in a bit. But you do have to pass pension reform in the near future and are probably loath to anger your potential allies, so why not throw the General Assembly a bone? Declare that youre creating a panel of legislators to observe and report on the first year of the in-state tuition programs results. Be sure to note in the charter of the panel that a key function of the group is to compare the Rhode Island program to those in the other 12 states with similar arrangements. hide your education agenda behind. The personal interest factor of pension reform and its subsequent impact on retirements is headline gold and will fill newspapers for weeks. One relatively constant rule in politics is that retirement takes highest priority. Legislators trying to focus on overturning your education agenda will find themselves drowned out by all the other politicians who want to proclaim that they will stop at nothing to protect our retirement. I want to reassure you that your policy will persevere. Heres a worst case scenario: If another reporter asks you about the Journal poll, just call the paper out in its re-

How shall we live?

opinions Columnist
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, The Herald published a political cartoon by Loren Fulton 12 that echoed a sentiment often perceptible in the mainstream media. The subject of the artists satiric drawing was the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the gist of it suggested that the rallying cries of these protesters span from the extreme left, who categorically rebuke capitalism, to the most watered-down liberals, who express an unfocused and callow dissatisfaction with society. Having extensively participated in the ongoing Occupy Providence and Occupy College Hill movements over the past couple of weeks, I want to acknowledge and respond to the reasonable skepticism the author of the cartoon expressed, but I must qualify what follows. I do not write this as a representative of the views of others in the Occupy movement. Rather, this is meant to be a defense of my personal participation in the Occupation, couched in my own experience and philosophical commitments. As I understand it, the Occupy movement is deeply committed to democratic ideals in the strongest sense. There is no formal leadership hierarchy. Each participant is entitled to speak her mind on any issue in front of the General Assembly, and every proposal must be ratified by at least a simple majority, though some assemblies require 90 percent of the vote. So, it is a little unfair to expect a uniform message from a community that takes such pains to respect each individuals right to express her own ideas. In fact, a moments reflection will show the repetition of a single creed would be a poor strategic play on the part of the Occupy movement. If the Occupiers did release some grand solution for the socioeconomic problems they decry, it would only serve the ends of the establishment media, who gripe about the ambiguity of the movements message presumably because it prevents the pundits from pigeonholing the protesters into ready-made ideological boxes. tween capitalism and democracy in at least two ways. First, a natural side-effect of capitalist societies is hierarchical class structure we might even say a caste system. Democratic institutions of course pride themselves on the horizontality of their decision-making procedures. Second, capital is only responsible for generating more of itself the CEO only answers to her shareholders whereas democratic leadership is accountable to the interests of the citizenry. There are many of us at Brown that actively take part in some sort of community or political activism. My hope is that the Oclem may be daunting, we should not let our fear of failure prevent us from attempting to solve it. The general direction that I hope the Occupy movement seriously considers is experimental, local self-governance. It takes little to see that any global economy with a chance for long-term stability must be based mostly on local production and distribution. Additionally, local socioeconomic structures have the benefit of creating a communitybased politics, potentially in which each participant is on equal footing and mentally invested in the welfare of his own future. Part of the mission of this ongoing Occupy movement, as I see it, is to bring together visionaries who seek to reinvigorate the project of the 1960s counter-culture creating a democratic, grassroots alternative to capitalism. As I have mentioned, this undertaking is arduous, but worthwhile. I hope that we have learned a few things from previous struggles and can start thinking more rigorously about local, self-sustaining communities. Establishing the primacy of local governing bodies would allow us, on one hand, to create a myriad of novel cultural and social infrastructures that can learn from and teach one another. And on the other hand, it allows us to sustain long-term strategies that undermine the dominant economic paradigm which has proven destructive for countless lives. At any rate, history is happening before your eyes, and I strongly urge each of you to become a catalyst rather than remain a part of the passive inertia. Jared Moffat 13 is a philosophy concentrator from Jackson, Miss. He can be contacted at

The Occupy movement rightly resists a uniform narrative. But I want now to present my own response to the urgent questions whats wrong, and what do we do about it?
The Occupy movement rightly resists a uniform narrative. But I want now to present my own response to the urgent questions whats wrong, and what do we do about it? At the cost of oversimplification, the most succinct way I can frame the problem is as follows: We live in a global society that first obeys the logic of capitalism and dictates markets, and then secondarily if at all attempts to implement democratic structures on top of that economic edifice. That is to say, if the will of capital conflicts with the will of the people, usually money talks. The end goal, then, is to reverse the order first democracy, then, if at all, capitalism. We can notice a fundamental tension becupy movement becomes a space where our various organizations can stand in solidarity where your struggles are mine, and mine yours. The movement might serve as both a vehicle for communication among our already established groups as well as a space for coordination of actions aimed at systemic problems that in one way or another affect all of us. Many problems in our society have common roots, so it makes a lot of sense to work together. The very difficult problem is envisioning an economy that is not driven by growth that is to say, the consumption of Earths natural resources and can allow democratic structures to flourish. But, though this prob-

Daily Herald
the Brown
By hak riM kiM CoNtributiNg writer

wednesday, october 19, 2011

Bears pick up steam with convincing wins over Rams, Lakers

The mens water polo team dominated Fordham and Mercyhurst last Saturday at Harvard, winning 18-7 and 12-6, respectively. Center Svetozar Stefanovic 13 led the way in both games. He tallied seven goals, six steals and two assists against Fordham and managed six goals, five ejections drawn, a steal and a save in the Mercyhurst game. The Bears started off strong against Fordham, mounting an offensive onslaught to gain a 5-1 lead after the first quarter. Bruno shut out the Rams in the second quarter and doubled its lead to 10-1. After the half, the Bears kept up their strong offensive play, tacking on another eight goals. Goalkeeper Walker Shockley 14 made 10 saves to secure the 18-7 win. We focused on the game, practiced all week and came out and played it as well as we can, Captain Toby Espinosa 12 said. We played an amazing team game. Stefanovic said the team fed off the energy of the many Brown fans that showed up to the game rare since the team does not have a home competition facility. After a few hours of rest, the team dueled Mercyhurst, battling the Lakers to a 5-5 tie entering halftime. But the Bears found their rhythm after the pause, ceding only one additional goal to the Lakers and scoring seven of their own to come away with a 12-6 victory. Espinosa said Andrew Brown 15, who made seven blocks in goal, saved the team against Mercyhurst. I think we limited our mistakes and played good, active team defense, which allowed us to win both games with relative ease, said Cyrus Mojdehi 12. After the dominating wins, team members said they are now focused on the games coming up, particularly the bouts at the Santa Clara Invitational. We have some momentum from this weekend that I think will fuel us towards multiple victories out West, said Dean Serure 13.

Emily Gilbert / Herald

Cyrus Mojdehi 12, who scored three goals in the two matches, helped the Bears win two matches this weekend.

Human bio program Students debate need-aware admission may lose degree option
By eli okun CoNtributiNg writer By Meia geddes CoNtributiNg writer

Proposed revisions to the human biology concentration program will eliminate the bachelor of science degree and alter the bachelor of arts degree, if approved. Though the changes were posted on the Division of Biology and Medicine website as early as this summer, the College Curriculum Council has not yet scheduled a time for their review. Marjorie Thompson, associate dean of biological sciences, sent an email Aug. 4 to an undergraduate biology listserv about the changes, which will affect the classes of 2014 onward. Elimination of the bachelor of science program will be official very soon and should be regarded as such, wrote Thompson in an Aug. 11 email to a human biology concentrator obtained by The Herald. Thompson declined to comment for this story. The number of human biology bachelor of science concentrators increased from five in 2004-05 to 44 in 2009-10, according to the 200910 Annual Report of Biological Undergraduate Affairs. Last year, 37 students received a bachelor of arts degree in human biology. The bachelor of arts program for classes graduating before 2014 requires students to select from one of four themes: human health and disease; race and gender; brain and behavior and ecosystems; and evolution and the environment. The proposed program stipulates the unifying theme of human health and disease, but allows students to define a subfocus with an adviser. Catherine Nam 13, a human biology concentrator in the bachelor of arts program, said she has not received a lot of information regarding

the changes to the program. Its a bit odd seeing that human bio is such an interdisciplinary concentration, Nam said. One of the strengths of the program is that it has such diversity within the discipline. The program draws people with various interests, and the previous option of bachelor of science or arts allowed students more choice depending on their focal point, she said. Denny Kim 14, a student in the Program in Liberal Medical Education, said he was surprised and confused by the change. He said he was interested in taking upper-level biology courses, but did not really have an incentive to take them without the recognition that the ScB major gives. Anthony Urena 12, a human biology bachelor of arts concentrator, also said he would like to see the University keep the science degree. Brown is the place where you should have the freedom to craft your own education, and its sort of counterintuitive for them to limit that, Urena said. Urena first considered the bachelor of science degree when considering medical school, he said. The degree, which includes requirements for medical school, also allows for some freedom in course selection, Urena said. By sophomore year, he realized he was more interested in the sociological aspects of medicine than in attending medical school, he said. Urena said he believed a lot of students end up switching to the arts degree for similar reasons. The arts degree incorporates more of a humanities aspect (and) ... still has the rigor of an ScB in human bio, Kim said. But it says something if you graduated with an ScB degree in human bio.

Nick Petersdorf 12.5 is happy to be in a long-term relationship with Brown, but he wants to spread the love. Transfer and international applicants eager to come to College Hill have a passion for the University, but need-aware admissions policies prevent the connection from moving beyond the state of lust, Petersdorf argued in a debate about the issue hosted by the Janus Political Union last night in SmithBuonanno 106. Though the University has needblind admissions for first-year applicants, the process for transfer and international students is needaware, which remains a contentious topic on campus. Petersdorf, a transfer student, argued that the process should be need-blind in all cases, while Zoe Hoffman 13, who also transferred to Brown, argued against making the change. The debate quickly opened up into a freeform conversation with the small but intimate 11-member audience. Most schools do not offer needblind admissions Brown is one of dozens that extend the policy to first-year U.S. applicants. Just six universities in the country, including four Ivy League schools, offer need-blind admissions to all students. Hoffman, a features editor for post- magazine, framed her opposition to the policy in terms of priorities. After Haakim Nainar 14, a member of the audience, asked how Hoffman would feel about the issue if the University had suffi-

cient funds, she responded that she would support need-blind admissions for all in an ideal world. At this point its just a budget concern, I think, in light of other choices the University makes, she said. We have to recognize that Brown, no matter how much we try to deny it, is a business. Petersdorf argued that the potential contributions of a more socioeconomically diverse student body would justify the added expense. Only accepting those who can pay homogenizes the transfer and international student community, he said. As the conversation bounced between audience members and debaters, arguments remained grounded in issues of prioritization. According to Anish Sarma 12, executive director of the Janus Forum and moderator of the debate, the tenor of the debate was unusually devoid of ideology. There was enough common ground that we were able to have a conversation about what trade-offs we were willing to make as a community, and thats not often the direction a debate takes, Sarma, a former Herald contributing writer, told The Herald after the debate. There are often disagreements about the principle itself, so I thought that was interesting and different. Alina Kung 12 noted that an in-depth look into how application numbers changed after the need-blind policy was instituted at the University for first-year U.S. students in 2002 would be an important piece of evidence. If from a justice and fairness perspective, our normative argument is that we

need to make the Brown experience accessible, then a surge in first-year applications in the past would justify a change in current policy, she said. Some students also voiced concerns that a change in policy without additional funding would force the University to reduce its transfer population, which Petersdorf described as renowned for its size and ease of transition. According to Daniel Hoff 12, director of the Janus Political Union, the inspiration for the debate came from recognition that the issue could use heightened awareness and a more structured forum for discussion. There really hasnt been too much discourse on this issue the past couple of years, Hoff said. Janus sees itself as the facilitator of debates that are either ongoing and havent had a real outlet or topics that have yet to be discussed. The debate Tuesday night informed, but did not necessarily transform, the opinions of the attendees, the majority of whom supported a shift to completely needblind admissions in an informal straw poll Sarma conducted before the debate. Fundamentally, my opinion stayed the same, but it shed some new light in terms of pure statistics, Kung said, adding that she was heartened to learn from Nainar that the Brown International Scholars Program offers eight scholarships to underprivileged international students. I find (the scholars program) really inspiring, she said, but it also might speak to how the University is failing to address it.