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Volume CXLII, No. 16

Two deans allegedly forced out amid changes

Since 1866, Daily Since 1891

Roots, Flaming Lips to headline Spring Weekend



communication. “We weren’t doing as good a job as we should have done, in terms of communicating with the student body,” she said. Dunbar followed Damiano and led the discussion, clarifying Banner’s various policies and fielding questions from students. She stressed that faculty members have the ability to override nearly any course restriction, such

Hip-hop group T The Roots and indie rockers T The Flaming Lips will headline the two Spring Weekend concerts this year, the Brown Concert Agency will announce today. The Roots are scheduled to open the weekend on Thursday, Apr. 19, and the Flaming Lips are slated to perform on Saturday, Apr. 21. Several opening groups have also been signed, including Soulive, Yo La Tengo and Stardeath and White Dwarfs. “We were really interested in bringing in groups that students wanted,” said BCA co-chair Joe Posner ’07, adding that both The Roots and the Flaming Lips ranked high in student polls conducted by the agency. Posner credited BCA’s new agent, Jack Reich, for the agency’s ability to sign this year’s big-name headliners. Praised for their genre-bending sound, The Roots have earned critical acclaim since bursting onto the hip-hop scene in the mid1990s. The Philadelphia-based group is notorious for their politically charged lyrics and high-energy live performances. Their ninth album “Game Theory” received glowing reviews after its release last year and was nominated for a Best Rap Album Grammy award. The Roots previously played at Spring Weekend in 2002. Balancing the line-up is the t Flaming Lips, an experimental rock group. Characterized by their psychedelic style, the group has been performing together since 1983, when they played their first gig at an Oklahoma City transvestite club. Two decades and 12 albums later, the Flaming Lips have become one of the most celebrated names in indie rock. Students may remember the Flaming Lips best for their 2002 album “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” which included the hit song

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Contradicting the public version of events presented by Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron, several sources told The Herald that two senior University officials were forced out of their posts as executive associate deans of the College. Bergeron announced in an email Saturday that she will restructure her office, responding in part to the departure of the two deans, who will leave their posts at the end of the academic year. But Bergeron’s letter doesn’t accurately reflect the circumstances of the deans’ departures, those sources say. According to those sources, Executive Associate Dean of the College Perry Ashley was fired from his post in late 2006 as part of the restructuring. The sources requested anonymity to avoid harming their relationships with the two deans and the University, and they all had either direct conversations with the two deans or indirect knowledge of the situation. Two of those sources said Executive Associate Dean of the College continued on page 4

Christopher Bennett / Herald EmPOWER placed an installation on the Main Green yesterday featuring pictures of Brown students favoring University adoption of climate neutrality.

Smith Swim Center closed again over roof fears BY DEBBIE LEHMANN SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The University closed the Smith Swim Center yesterday for the second time in two months over concerns about the integrity of the building’s roof. The center will remain closed until further notice while the building’s original architect, Daniel Tully, completes an analysis of the roof’s structural integrity, according to a University news release.

The University will “take the necessary steps” once it receives his report, said Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, interim vice president for campus life and student services. The 34-year-old facility, which contains a pool and six squash courts, was closed for four weeks in December and January to install temporary support beams in the roof. Inspectors found structural problems in the roof in November, but the center did not close until Dec. 20, when engineers and Tully

confirmed that the roof had “structural asymmetry.” Because the closure occurred over winter break, it did not significantly affect the 14 athletic teams that use the center, Carey said. Tully, who patented the hyperbolic paraboloid structure of the facility, has been further analyzing the structure of the roof since the Swim Center reopened on Jan. 17. He told University officials Tuescontinued on page 7

Open forum on Banner features debate, few students BY CHAZ FIRESTONE SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The Undergraduate Council of Students last night held the first of its two scheduled forums on Banner, but the presentations by Associate Provost Nancy Dunbar and University Registrar Michael Pesta were made to a small audience of about 15 students. The forums were hosted following widespread student criticism of Banner, a project that will unify

computer databases of 11 campus offices and implement online course registration this April. In the last few weeks, students sent emails to University officials, wrote letters to The Herald and joined the Facebook group “Brown Against Banner,” reaching out to administrators in an attempt to have their voices heard. But few attended the forum Tuesday night, and some of the students present were there in their official capacity as representatives

of UCS. “It’s unfortunate that not a lot of people showed up,” said Alexandra Hellquist ’08, creator of the “Brown Against Banner” Facebook group, which gained over 700 members in the span of one weekend. “It was a great forum.” UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs Chair Sara Damiano ’08 opened the event by conceding that UCS could have been more informative earlier, but she said that the forum was designed to improve

Community council addresses climate neutrality BY TARYN MARTINEZ STAFF WRITER

The Brown University Community Council yesterday urged the Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee to develop both a statement of goals regarding climate neutrality and a plan to implement those goals. The motion, passed unanimously by the council, contained an amendment requiring that the statement and the plan be presented before the start of the next fiscal year. It came after a presentation on climate neutrality by student environmental group emPOWER. “I’m at a loss for words, really,



at how this has developed and how much support we’ve found here,” said emPOWER member Zindzi McCormick ’09. “It’s very exciting news. Now the real excitement is going to come in, to make sure that this becomes a real commitment and not just a statement.” In their presentation, emPOWER organizers Jonathan Magaziner ’07, Aden Van Noppen ’09 and McCormick discussed the importance of Brown committing to climate neutrality and the ways the University could achieve that goal. “Brown must balance … the recommendations of the energy and environmental committee with immediate action,” McCormick said in

PROF ON HUNGER STRIKE An MIT professor has undertaken a hunger strike in order to combat what he says is racism in the university’s tenure decision


her speech. “Brown must go climateneutral, and we must go climate-neutral now,” she said. Magaziner outlined emPOWER’s suggestions for reducing emissions, including the purchase of renewable energy credits, investment in replanting and protecting forests and making improvements to local public housing to make it more energyefficient and offset the University’s own energy usage. The purchase of RECs “invests money in new sources of clean energy,” while forest restoration adds to (carbon dioxide) absorption and offcampus upgrades represent a way of continued on page 7 FACULTY HAPPY TOO Known for its happy student body, a new study reveals that Brown’s junior faculty is also among the happiest in the nation

Christopher Bennett / Herald Members of the student group emPOWER made a presentation on climate neutrality at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brown University Community Council.


195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island

LOSING MY RELIGION Natalie Smolenski ’07 thinks the West needs to look back at its own religious roots to understand the current Islamic world


W. SQUASH STOPS BIG RED The women’s squash team slammed Cornell by a score of 7-2 to secure its spot in the Howe Cup this weekend

News tips:





WBF | Matt Vascellaro



wintry mix 15 / 9

partly cloudy / wind 33 / 28





LUNCH — Beef and Broccoli Szechwan, Sticky Rice with Edamame Beams, Polynesian Ratatouille, Spinach Strudel with Cheese Cream Sauce

LUNCH — Vegetarian Squash Bisque, Turkey and Wild Rice Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, Pizza Rustica, Fresh Sliced Carrots

DINNER — Macaroni and Cheese with Avocado and Tomato, Pork Chops with Seasoned Crumbs, Baked Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Chives, Peppers Stir Fry, African Honey Bread

DINNER — Roasted Honey and Chili Chicken, Egg Foo Young, Sticky Rice, Green Peas, Vegetables in Honey Ginger Sauce, Vegetarian Squash Bisque, Turkey and Wild Rice Soup, African Honey Bread



How to Get Down | Nate Saunders


Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. Deo | Daniel Perez

12 Pictures | Wesley Allsbrook

CR ACROSS 1 Canal conveyance 8 Cheer 15 Gaunt 16 Slip back, as into illness 17 “__ Love”: 1965 #1 hit 19 Break up the romance 20 Dangle a carrot in front of 21 Sheet music abbr. 24 Org. 27 Slippery swimmer 28 Remove, as a magazine page 31 “__ Valentine”: “Babes in Arms” song 34 Gold oak leaf wearer 35 Author Nin 36 “__ Roses”: 1963 hit 41 Cliff nest 42 City in southern France 44 “__ Kiss”: “Bye Bye Birdie” song 47 Speak to 49 Actress Martin or Grey 50 Layer to be concerned about 52 Jaguar model 53 “Goodness gracious!” 56 Metalhammering site 59 “__ Heart”: 1965 Sinatra hit 65 A vamp may bat one 66 Report 67 Abilities 68 Campsite shelters DOWN 1 Highway sign 2 Most populous Canadian prov. 3 Vietnam’s __ Dinh Diem 4 Short copy? 5 Ken of “thirtysomething” 6 Two-seated carriage


7 Museum exhibitor 8 “We __ not alone” 9 Quill, once 10 Surveyor’s map 11 Like Chester of “Gunsmoke” 12 Tarzan and others 13 Annual court or course event 14 With dexterity 18 Cleveland __, O. 21 Dol. dispenser 22 Crack a book 23 Hindu noble 25 Prefix with potent 26 Teal relative 29 Like Buckingham Palace 30 By land __ 32 Diabolical type 33 Carrier renamed in 1997 35 Wonder 37 In the neighborhood of 38 Irish name prefix 39 “Land of Enchantment”: Abbr. 40 It may be cluttered

43 Akron-toWheeling dir. 44 6-2 or 7-6 unit, e.g. 45 Japanese city with the world’s largest train station (in floor area) 46 Tooth covering 47 Heat to remove stress from, as glass 48 Gizmo

51 Lifeboat mover 54 Editor’s mark 55 Adult cygnet 57 Peruvian of old 58 Rhône départment capital 60 FDR’s successor 61 Requests to speak up 62 Inning ender 63 One, to Juan 64 ACLU interests

Jellyfish, Jellyfish | Adam Hunter Peck


Homefries | Yifan Luo


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Mary-Catherine Lader, Vice President Ally Ouh, Treasurer Mandeep Gill, Secretary By Matthew Lees (c)2007 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown demic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail World Wide Web: Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2007 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.




Yale sees drop in apps MIT prof on hunger strike after tenure rejection BY DEVIN GOULD CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The number of applicants for Yale’s class of 2011 decreased by 9.7 percent from the previous year. The Yale Daily News reported that the total number of applicants decreased from last year’s record 21,101 applicants to 19,060 this year. The drop occurs during a year when Brown’s number of applicants reached an all-time high of 18,951, a 3.8 percent increase from last year’s class. “I think that it’s an aberration,” said Dean of Admissions James Miller ’73 of the decline in applicants at Yale. “I don’t think it’s indicative of any decline in the quality or appeal of Yale.” Miller attributed the continuing growth at Brown and other Ivy League institutions to the “baby boomlet,” referring to the children of baby boomers who are now reaching college age. Other colleges in the Ivy League have also reported increases in applicants. Columbia saw a 7.3 percent increase in its applicants, bringing its applicants to 21,303. Cornell’s 30,191 applicants was 7.5 percent above the previous year’s figures, and the University of Pennsylvania had about a 10 percent increase in its applicants, to approximately 22,500. Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth have not yet released their figures. Though the drop in applicants is noticeable compared to last year, it will allegedly have little effect on Yale’s selectivity. The Yale Daily News reported that Yale President Richard Levin expects to admit 1,150 students through regular decision. This figure, in addi-

tion to the 709 accepted early, will lead to an overall acceptance rate of around 9.8 percent. Larry Momo, director of college counseling at Trinity School in New York and a former admission officer at Columbia, agreed that Yale’s drop in applicants was insignificant in the long run. “I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Momo said. “Yale is likely to be drawing its freshman class from a sufficiently strong and deep and talented pool, so they’re going to get a great class.” Some people, including President Levin, associated the recent drop in applicants with Yale’s record-low selectivity rate last year. Students at the school agree. “I think it has to do with the fact that the admission numbers were incredibly low last year,” said Lizzi Ackerman, a freshman at Yale. “Some people would rather apply to other great schools like Columbia or Brown where they think they have a better chance of getting in.” One critic attributed the drop in applications to the controversy surrounding former Yale student Rahmatullah Hashemi. A former diplomat for the Taliban, Hashemi took classes at Yale in the Nondegree Students Program from 2005 to 2006. John Fund of Wall Street Journal blamed both Yale’s admission of Hashemi, as well as a purportedly insufficient explanation of the admission, for the recent drop. Elizabeth Rodrick, a freshman at Yale, agreed with the theory. “I kind of feel that (the Hashemi controversy) would make a difference for people who are genuinely interested in Yale and informed in their college decision-making,” she said.


For over a week, James Sherley, an associate professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been on a hunger strike to protest the racism he believes played a role in the university’s decision to deny him tenure. Sherley, who is black, told The Herald he wants people to understand that he is not on a hunger strike simply because he wants tenure. “Why would anybody go on hunger strike for tenure — such a small cause?” Sherley said. “I think the main message I want to get out is that the racism in tenure promotion at universities is symptomatic of racism in this country, which is a real human tragedy.” Sherley, who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 254 pounds according to the Boston Herald, said there are currently no tenured mi-

nority faculty members in the biological sciences at MIT. His objective is to get the university to admit that his race was a clear factor in his department chair’s decision not to advance his tenure case. “I am willing to go to the bitter end. I have no plans to stop this hunger strike until something is done about racism at MIT,” Sherley said. MIT officials adamantly deny that race was a factor in their decision to deny Sherley tenure, noting that the process is extremely rigorous and that fewer than half of junior faculty members are promoted to tenured positions. Sherley’s hunger strike also lacks the support of some other members of his department. Twenty biological engineering faculty members issued a statement Feb. 5 that said, “We state with certainty and a clear conscience that race did not play any role in the decision that resulted in Prof. Sherley’s ten-

ure case not being taken forward. … We believe in our hearts that, as in all tenure cases in our depar tment, it was a fair and honest Courtesy of process ex- MIT’s James Sherley ecuted at the utmost level of integrity and ethics. It is our collective view that Prof. Sherley was treated fairly.” The associate director of MIT’s biological engineering division, Peter Dedon, who is a professor of toxicology and biological engineering, said he considers himself a close personal friend of Sherley and his wife. For four years, he and Sherley co-taught a class, which he said was “one of the most encontinued on page 6

Students lose special privileges in UVa bid for equality BY MARIELLE SEGARRA CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Until last month, University of Virginia students with high school Advanced Placement credit got first pick in course registration. But now, those students will no longer receive special status in choosing courses, school officials announced last month. The university also modified its course registration policies in other areas, including special treatment for students in its honors program. The university’s decision to level the playing field for students without AP credit comes from a noted “high correlation between wealth, location and AP credits,” said junior Kathryn Serra, co-chair of the aca-

demic affairs committee of UVa’s student council. Many students with AP and International Baccalaureate credit come from wealthy backgrounds and are given more course opportunities in high school than their lessprivileged peers, Serra added. The school’s public status required a more “egalitarian” system of course registration, she said. Thanks to the changes, which will be implemented starting with next year’s class, students in UVa’s honors program, known as Echols Scholars, will no longer have the same special privileges in course registration they once had, wrote Richard Handler, director of the Echols Scholars Program and associate dean for academic programs

in the College of Arts and Sciences, in an e-mail to The Herald. Currently, students in the Echols program register before everyone else, often shutting older students and concentrators out of classes they need to graduate, Serra said. Now honors students will register only before non-honors students in their grade level. Serra said the change creates a fairer system while maintaining the “important incentive” for prospective students. “I personally think the system is real unfair as of now,” said freshman Aaron Bloch, an Echols Scholar. “I register before my fourth-year (residential adviser).” Though the changes will not afcontinued on page 6




Two senior deans allegedly forced out amid changes continued from page 1 Jonathan Waage was also forced out of his position in University Hall. Bergeron’s e-mail to students did not detail the cause of the departures. But she wrote that the turnover “required a rethinking of the structure of duties in my office; and so in October we invited two consultants to campus to offer their professional perspective.” Bergeron also sent a similar e-mail to the faculty. When asked in an interview Monday whether Ashley is leaving the Office of the Dean of the College because he was forced out or fired, Bergeron told The Herald, “Dean Ashley was not fired.” She said Waage, a professor of biology, is leaving the deans of the College’s office because of a scheduled sabbatical before returning to full-time teaching and research. Both Ashley and Waage declined to comment for this article. The plans for reorganizing the office were recommended by two outside consultants, Princeton Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel and Stanford Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education John Bravman. None of their specific recommendations are public, and it is unclear whether their work is connected to Ashley and Waage’s departures. The dean of the College’s office is currently searching to fill three new positions — a deputy dean of the College, a dean for diversity programs and an associate dean for curriculum. Based on job listings in the Chronicle for Higher Education, the University is looking externally to fill at least two of those positions. Waage has been a member of the faculty for 34 years and an adviser to the dean of the College for five. He sits on the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards planning committee and has served on the College Curriculum Council and various faculty committees. Ashley, who has been at Brown for 29 years, has served as the primary pre-law adviser for undergraduates and the coordinator of the Resumed Undergraduate Education and Brown-Tougaloo exchange programs. He is leaving “to pursue other opportunities at Brown next year and beyond,” Bergeron wrote in her e-mail. What those opportunities might be is not yet clear, and a student who has spoken about Ashley’s departure with professors said if Ashley, who is 59 years old, is not given a post suitable for someone with his long term of service and reputation in the University community, the faculty may protest. Ashley and Waage are the latest in a series of deans to leave the University. Others deans who have left recently include Assistant Dean of the College Sheilah Coleman and

associate deans of the College Armando Bengochea and Joyce Foster MA’92 PhD’97, both of whom left before Bergeron became dean. The turnover calls into question whether the dean of the College’s office has the institutional memory and experience to undertake the reorganization Bergeron has said she wants. “In any institution, the history of that institution is very important,” said Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Sheila Blumstein, a former dean of the College and interim provost and president. “Any new administration has to balance a couple of things. What is the institution? What is its culture? How have things been done before?” “At the same time, the person might be interested in making changes. Because it was done in the past, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done differently,” Blumstein said. “I think its essential to weigh those two together. How one enhances programs can build off the strengths of the past. Trying to make change without respecting or understanding that past can lend itself to either reinventing the wheel or causing disruptions that aren’t necessary or using your resources in ways that aren’t the best possible way. So it’s a balance.” Bergeron, who has been at Brown three years and dean of the College for eight months, said re-examining structure is part of taking over a new position. “It’s a natural thing when there’s a change of leadership to look at things, to see what is being done well and what could be done better,” she said. “In this case it was also required because, even before I arrived, there had been some departures.” “The question is, are you going to fill those positions with the same version of what’s left behind?” she said. Bergeron also pointed out that Executive Associate Dean of the College Robert Shaw and Associate Dean of the College David Targan, who will both remain in her office, have been at the University for 20 years and 18 years, respectively. “We don’t operate in a vacuum, so we can look to others within University Hall,” Bergeron said. “We’re going to miss Jonathan and Perry, and there’s no question about the incredible dedication they brought. But even without their memory, there are others in the office and in University Hall — including many support staff — who have the long view.” Bergeron’s long view involves seeing that each dean in her office is focused on a set of related tasks. “Individual deans do many different things, so one of the changes involved reshaping the individual portfolios so that each dean is responsible for one main program,”

she said. For example, Associate Dean of the College Carolyn Denard is responsible for the UTRA program but also oversees independent study projects and transfer advising, among other things. The reorganization will have her focusing specifically on undergraduate research next year, Bergeron said. The restructuring will also give the dean of the College’s office a more active role in advising in the concentrations, Bergeron added. “Traditionally, we’ve focused a lot on the first two years, and then when students declare their concentration, our work with them becomes very much more about academic standing and those kinds of issues,” she said. “But we haven’t really been thinking about how we can reach into departments and help them where they need it.” Bergeron said her office may help expand departmental undergraduate groups and train concentration advisers, as well as make sure a dean is assigned specifically to junior- and senior-year activities. The more centralized structure will also affect post-baccalaureate advising, which will likely have one office devoted to pre-medical, prelaw and fellowship advising, she said. “We’re … thinking creatively about expanding the ways that we do this sort of advising. … A lot of creative thinking going on, I’ll say.” Despite the centralization of some programs in the dean of the College’s office, Brown’s “centers” — the Third World Center, the Swearer Center for Public Service and the Career Development Center — will remain in place as a “cohort” within the structure. Bergeron said the changes are a result of not only the consultants’ recommendations but also input from faculty and students. “When you’re new in the job, the first three months, all you hear is what needs to be fixed, and so you listen,” she said. “I would say I had meetings with the chairs of different departments at different times in the fall, and I have had individual conversations with different people.” Bergeron said though the particulars are still being worked out, the new structure will allow for a clearer focus on advising, the needs of international students and undergraduate research. “Change is always hard, but we have a real advantage because these changes aren’t happening so fast. We started the process in October, and these changes will go into effect in July,” Bergeron said. “We’re still thinking about fine-tuning this structure going forward, and there’s still a lot of conversation going on. So, it’s an incredible opportunity to think about how we’re doing this work together.”

Spring Weekend line-up includes Roots, Flaming Lips continued from page 1 “Do You Realize?” Their latest album, titled “At War With the Mystics,” garnered two Grammy wins last Sunday, including one for best rock instrumental performance. According to Posner, the Lips’ Spring Weekend concert will be their only show in the Northeast in 2007. The Brown Concert Agency has also secured several other bands to open for Spring Weekend’s main acts. Soulive, a funkinfused band that has opened for such acts as Dave Matthews Band,

The Rolling Stones and Common will be opening for tthe Roots at the Thursday concert. Veteran indie rockers Yo La Tengo will take the stage at the Saturday concert, returning to Brown after their 1998 Spring Weekend performance. The band found popular success with their 11th album — last year’s “I Am Not Afraid of You and Will Beat Your Ass” — which the Brown Concert Agency called in a press release “a sundry blend of styles, traveling from their trademark fiercely-shredded guitar epics to Memphis soul, chamber pop, and back.”

Stardeath and White Dwarfs, another Oklahoma band, will also open for the Flaming Lips at the Saturday concert. According to the BCA’s press release, concert tickets will go on sale Feb. 22 in Faunce House. They will be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be sold exclusively to Brown students for the first week. Individual show prices for Brown and RISD students will be $12 for Thursday and $15 for Saturday. In order to entice students to buy their tickets early, the agency plans to offer a two-show deal during the first week of sales.









Biotech startups combine, collaborate to bring new DNA mapping technology to market Two small biotech startups sparked by faculty research at Brown — NABsys Inc. and GeneSpectrum — have merged and will develop a new method for sequencing human genomes. GeneSpectrum was aquired by NABsys in December. The new process, known as hybridization-assisted nanopore sequencing, is expected to greatly reduce the cost of mapping human DNA, which could eventually help researchers understand the link between aberrant genes and disease. “The grand goal is to sequence every human being that lives today and will be born in the future,” said Xinsheng Sean Ling, associate professor of physics and co-founder of NABsys. By sequencing an individual’s DNA, Ling said, scientists may one day be able to tailor personalized treatments for diseases with strong genetic components like cancer or heart disease. Mapping human genes is expensive. The Human Genome Project, which successfully mapped the entire human genome, cost about $3 billion and took 13 years to complete, according to the project’s Web site. “The cost of sequencing a person’s genome right now is about $10 million and takes 10 years,” Ling said. The new process could reduce that cost to about $1,000, according to the University’s research Web site. “It’s a major drive in many laboratories across the world to bring the cost down,” Ling said, making the industry extremely competitive. The merger formally joins Ling’s research with the work of another Brown faculty member, Associate Research Professor of Chemistry John Oliver, with whom Ling was already collaborating. The University holds an exclusive license on the research Ling conducts for NABsys. Patents for biotech innovations that spawn from university laboratories have been profitable for many academic institutions. Ling also hopes that the techniques developed in his current research could later be used to study molecular biology. Such applications, he says, could eventually lead to “a better understanding of basic biology processes, such as evolution.” — Alex Roehrkasse

Web site to offer tax help for students College students may find it easier to file taxes this Apr. 17. A new Web site,, provides software that helps guide college students through the process of filing their tax returns. Gail Perry, the site’s creator and a tax accountant in Ann Arbor, Mich., said she was inspired to create the site by her college-age daughters and their friends. “At some point, students have to take charge of their own taxes,” she said, adding that her software gives students a chance to act without help from their parents while still offering them the help of an accountant. The site offers customer service, and clients can contact Perry if they have a question. The service could prove to be a boon to students like Siu Chung Chan ’09. He said he has never filed his own taxes but has “heard that it’s really tedious.” The software, which costs users $9.95 for the federal taxes version and $4.95 for the state taxes version, helps students with data entry and instructs them on how to answer each question. Perry said she expects most of her customers to be college students filing taxes from their part-time or summer jobs. Though most college students do not make enough money to be required to submit tax returns, many have had taxes withheld and are eligible for a refund, she said. — Julia Zweig

Snowstorm forecast for Providence today Providence can expect two to four inches of snow to accumulate by midday today, the National Weather Service reported last night. The service has put a winter weather advisory in effect for the city until midnight tonight. The snow was expected to begin after midnight last night, with the heaviest snowfall — one to two inches an hour — occurring early this morning. The snow should give way to sleet and freezing rain this morning, reports said. Mixed precipitation is expected to continue throughout the day, with some brief snow flurries potentially returning before the storm ends tonight. If the storm lives up to predictions, Providence will see the first significant snowfall of what to date has been a tame winter, but it is unlikely that Rhode Islanders will long remember a Valentine’s Day Blizzard of 2007. Most notably, the legendary Blizzard of 1978 ravaged the Northeast in early February of that year, dropping over two feet of snow on Providence. That storm led President Jimmy Carter to declare Rhode Island a disaster area, canceled four days of classes at the University and forced The Herald to stop publication for two days. Today’s storm has already hit Chicago and other parts of the Midwest and was expected to affect areas of the northeast from Washington, D.C., to Boston last night and today. — Michael Skocpol

Local Food Forum kicks off ‘delicious revolution’ BY HELEN MOU CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Over 200 farmers, chefs, restaurant-owners, students and local food enthusiasts gathered Tuesday in Andrews Dining Hall for the third annual R.I. Local Food Forum to build a stronger network of relationships between farmers and food distributors. Noah Fulmer ’05, executive director of Farm Fresh R.I., welcomed guests to “this delicious revolution.” “We can see the world we want to live in, and it’s not so far off … and it’s all around us in this room. These are the faces of a healthier, tastier food system,” Fulmer said. Rhode Island has 900 active farms cultivating 61,000 acres of land, said keynote speaker Saul Kaplan, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. ““The thing I’m most impressed about is just how creative and innovative our farmers are,” Kaplan said. “Our farmers don’t wait for the market to come to them. They go to the market.” Kaplan emphasized Rhode Island’s need for more “horizontal collaboration … our biggest advantage is our (small) size.” Moving forward, said Kaplan, it will be essential to maintain Rhode Island’s “quality of place,” business climate and innovation. Six representatives from local Whole Foods Markets also attended the forum. A Whole Foods location in Providence is considering reserving an entire aisle for local

Tai Ho Shin / Herald

Craig Dolphin, a winemaker from Sakonnet Vineyards, arranges a table at the third annual Local Food Forum.

products, according to one of the representatives. Nina Hewitt, marketing specialist at the Whole Foods on Waterman Street, said it was helpful to hear the concerns of the farmers and inspiring to see attendees brainstorming “creative ways to fill in the gap” between the fields and the dinner table. There was “really good conversation between lots of different parties with the same goal,” said Karen Franczyk, store team leader at the Whole Foods on Waterman Street. “It’s amazing. I never knew until a couple years ago that you could grow peaches in Rhode Island … I always thought it was Georgia.” Though most Whole Foods stores are enthusiastic about buying local products, attendees said, many local farmers are hesitant about selling their produce to retailers because they often can make more money by selling directly to customers at farmers’ markets.

Currently, Whole Foods stores in the Providence area carry vegetables from Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton, R.I. Skip Paul, owner of Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton, was the first to stand after Kaplan’s speech and call for a central farmers market to be created in the green space that the rerouting of Interstate 195 may soon free up in the Jewelry District and Downcity. There is so much energy for action in Rhode Island, but somehow it always “hits a glass ceiling,” Paul said. A panel of speakers shared their innovative achievements and best farming and restaurant practices, moderated by Peter Rossi and Steve Henderson, the associate director and food service supervisor, respectively, of Brown Dining Services. Will Sheridan, the first speaker, continued on page 7

U.’s junior faculty satisfaction ranks highly in study BY MATTHEW VARLEY CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Recent studies suggest College Hill is not just among the happiest places in the world of higher education for students, but for junior faculty too. Months after the Princeton Review called Brown home to America’s “happiest students,” the Harvard-based Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education gave the University its highest ranking in a study of the nation’s top colleges and universities for junior faculty members. Brown was named “exemplary” in four out of seven categories in the study, placing it among the top six of 42 participating U.S. colleges and universities. The study was based on a survey administered to nearly 5,000 untenured faculty members — typically assistant professors — across the country. The survey included questions about the tenure process, quality of work, policies and practices, campus climate and collegiality, compensation and the balance between work and home life. Using multiple choice and free-response format, the COACHE survey “tried to cover the full range of the kinds of issues untenured faculty face,” said Associate Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Doherty, who served as the primary liaison between the University and COACHE. “It was pretty carefully designed.” Brown participated in the study to “see how we compare with our peers, get some information about how we’re doing and see where we

need to improve,” Doherty said. The University was rated as “exemplary” in the categories of tenure clarity, nature of work, collegiality and overall satisfaction. Though Brown’s performance was as high as any other participating institution, the COACHE study highlighted several areas in which the University could do better — it was not named a leader in the categories of work and family balance and policy effectiveness. Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Marinos Pourgouris, who joined the Brown faculty in July 2005, said he considered the results of the survey a fairly accurate reflection of his experience at Brown. While acknowledging “great support from colleagues” in the Department of Comparative Literature and “exceptional” students in Brown classrooms, Pourgouris said the difficulty of balancing work and home life is “a very personal issue for each faculty member” and a challenge for many young academics. In an effort to establish oneself in a given field, Pourgouris said, “expectations are not necessarily placed on you by the school but by the field in general.” In starting a career as a professor, “work and family is one of the most difficult things to balance,” and “it would be interesting to see why other schools scored highly” in the work and family category, he said. After receiving the results of the COACHE study, Dean of the Faculty Rajiv Vohra P’07 conducted an open meeting with junior facul-

ty to discuss the issues and solicit feedback. A series of meetings is planned this semester for junior faculty to voice concerns, receive information about policy issues and interact with colleagues across academic disciplines. Though Doherty acknowledged that “the COACHE data would suggest a high level of happiness” among Brown junior faculty, she said the University will not “rest on its laurels” in the aftermath of its positive performance. “I don’t think that what we should take away from this is that everyone is happy. Though generally, in relation to our peers, things look pretty good. … That’s not to say that there may not be areas we can improve or individuals whose experience may not be as good as others — and we should look for ways to address that as well. We can always be doing more to enhance the professional development of untenured faculty.” Other schools that achieved exemplary status in four categories of the survey were Auburn, Ohio State and Stanford universities, the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign and Davidson College. No school was named a leader in five or more categories. If these institutions can “sustain an earned reputation as a great place for junior faculty to work, they will enjoy a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining the next generation of faculty,” said Richard Chait, a professor of higher education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-director of COACHE, in a press release.




UVa students Move over Yanks, Red Sox joining ranks of Evil Empire lose course privileges continued from page 12

continued from page 3 fect current students, Bloch said, many Echols scholars who were considering Ivy League schools chose to attend Uva because of such privileges and see priority registration as an important factor in applicants’ decisions. But freshman Maria Fini had a different take on the situation. She said she earned AP and IB credits in high school coming from a lowincome area of northern Virginia. “I feel like most of the kids who don’t have credits just didn’t step up to the plate in high school,” she said. “I consider my area pretty diverse … but everyone who went to my school had the opportunity to take these courses.” Since she is an engineering major, her course credits from high school, which are mainly in the humanities, are “doing nothing except letting me sign up early,” Fini said. “I feel like them taking away our ability to sign up early is basically taking away our only reward.” “There is a certain resentment” toward students in the Echols program, Bloch said. “It’s sort of alienating,” since the Echols scholars live together and are given special advisers and more personal attention.

him up. Anderson instantly became Boston’s best power hitting prospect. How did he fall so far? Money. No one felt they could fit Anderson into their budget except the Sox, who have shelled out $13 million dollars in the last two drafts combined, second only to the Cubs $13.1. The Yankees similarly picked up a first round talent in Dillon Betances, who fell to the ninth round due to “signability” (read: too costly) concerns. It doesn’t stop there. This past summer the Yankees outbid the entire league to land the top international free agent, giving 16-year old Jesus Montero $1.6 million to sign. Meanwhile, the

Sox landed seven international free agents of their own, including two of the top four prospects for a combined $1.2 million. If you don’t think this is significant, then consider players like Chien-Ming Wang, Alfonso Soriano, and Robinson Cano. All those players were once international free agents that the Yankees outbid the field to get. This is good news if you live in the Northeast, but if you don’t, make room for another team that you love to hate. Ignore my sentiments ... and the empire has already won.

Strike Tom Trudeau ’09 down, and your training will be complete!

MIT professor goes on hunger strike continued from page 3 joyable teaching experiences I’ve had.” Dedon said he has been pained by Sherley’s hunger strike, but he said as a reviewer of the case he has “a professional obligation not to let my personal feelings or emotions cloud my professional judgment.” Dedon said he believes Sherley’s tenure decision was fair and

called Sherley’s hunger strike “wildly irrational.” “I am going to work my hardest for a healthy outcome. We can’t have tragedy,” he said. If MIT does not acknowledge Sherley’s claims of racism, he said he will not stop his hunger strike. “I am willing to die over this. My family will be better off if something is done about this than just having dad around,” he said.


Forum kicks off ‘delicious revolution’ continued from page 5 owns the five-acre, certified-organic East West Farm in Charlestown, which he calls a “one-man operation both by necessity and preference.” Sheridan advised other farmers to look “for marketing channels that require the least effort and maximize the return.” Terrence Maul, a chef at the Up River Cafe in Westerly, has longstanding relationships with several local organic farms, including East West, that also practice sustainable farming. For Maul, the local food issue is a matter of ethics. “If I’m going to do the right thing, I might as well go the whole way,” he said. Maul said he has eliminated canola and hydrogenated oils from the Up River Cafe’s menu and strives to work with whatever food is available locally. Even if customers are unfamiliar with the produce, Maul said, “If I pair it with some-

thing people are comfortable with, I can teach people what great, fresh vegetables taste like.” John Sousa of Buntz Farm advised fellow farmers to create a visible identity for their product. “Brand recognition is very important,” he said, as he unveiled his “Buntz Garlic” logo to the guests. Catherine Mardosa and Matt Tracy, the owners of Red Planet Vegetables, taught guests about the importance of using local compost — from neighbors and even the University’s dining halls — to build up soil fertility. Alex Payson ’03.5 of Blue State Coffee, soon to open at 300 Thayer St., said their goal is to “source everything locally.” Farm Fresh R.I. Outreach Director Jessica Gordon said the forum was a success. The number of guests at the forum increased three-fold since last year’s forum, when about 60 people attended, she said.

Few attend UCS Banner forum continued from page 1 as enrollment limits, prerequisites or priority to seniors and concentrators. “The most challenging problem that has been raised is how to serve individual interests while maintaining community values,” Dunbar said. “We feel that we are on the right path to doing both.” Students responded with a flurry of questions, some highly critical and some charged with personal concern. One student expressed strong negative feelings about Banner’s course announcement system, burying his face in his hands when told that the paper Course Announcement Bulletin would be eliminated. Another student, Nick Leiserson ’09, gave a heartfelt statement about the New Curriculum, which he felt was in jeopardy. “When people ask me what I like about Brown, I love telling them I can go to a course without taking prerequisites and without pre-registering, stick with it and have a chance to get in,” he said. “If that’s going to change, I think it will lessen student appreciation of Brown’s course registration system.” But Dunbar and Pesta were adamant that the spirit of the New Curriculum would remain intact. “We’re not out to screw the students,” Pesta said. “We want to protect them and give them useful information.” Students also expressed concern about prerequisites and the heightened responsibility on professors to spot students who might be excep-



tions to the requirements. Leiserson said prerequisites shouldn’t be necessary if a student is willing to commit to a class. “By allowing you to take any course S/NC and only needing 30 credits to graduate when you’re expected to take 32 classes, Brown is telling its students to challenge themselves,” Leiserson said. “If a student feels he or she can take on a class — even without prerequisites — that should be allowed.” But Daniel Leventhal ’07, a computer science concentrator and one of the creators of Mocha, an alternative to the Brown Online Course Announcement, disagreed. “There’s nothing more frustrating than being in a high-level course and listening to the professor review material that students should have known from the prereqs,” he said. “They’re not always a bad thing.” Leventhal expressed some of his own concerns, specifically with Banner’s user interface and the system’s compatibility with Mocha. “I think the way students interact with Banner is extremely important,” he said. “And right now, it’s crippling.” Leventhal also said he won’t know if Mocha will work after Banner launches until he sees the way information will be presented. Those who attended said the forum was a useful experience that addressed many of their concerns. But with so few attending — despite two campus wide e-mails from UCS and notification on the Facebook group’s home page — last night’s forum may have done little to ease overall student concern.

Energy the focus of BUCC meeting continued from page 1 “thinking globally and acting locally,” Magaziner said. “Brown can invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere. We can help other areas reduce their effect,” he added. “It would allow us to go climate-neutral immediately.” Van Noppen talked about climate neutrality in general, detailing the efforts of other groups and institutions on the issue. “Ultimately, this has to be something Brown wants,” she said. EmPOWER organizers were adamant that a commitment to climate neutrality should not divert money from other projects that may be recommended by the EEAC. “New money could be raised for a fund that supports climate neutrality,” Magaziner said. “This should not be seen as competing

… but as complementary with their efforts.” The emPOWER presentation received a standing ovation from the audience. “I feel like we couldn’t have come out of this meeting with a better result,” Van Noppen said after the meeting. “The EEAC is a committee that really supports this overall. Now that it’s clear that the University will be doing this in addition to on-site reductions. I think the committee will be very supportive.” “I think the presenters did an amazing job on showing the council that the support extends beyond student activists, to the student body, to staff, to members of the administration,” said emPOWER member Emily McAteer ’07. Another presentation to the BUCC, by Energy Manager Chris Powell, put forth various initiatives on energy and the environment,

such as “major system upgrades” to the University’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and improvements to campus lighting. He also proposed diversifying the University’s sources of energy, including the possibility of wind or solar plants on Brown’s property, such as wind power stations in Bristol and solar panels on the roof of the GeoChemistry Building “It’s the (EEAC’s) role to decide which areas are the ones we’ll bring forward to the University,” Powell said. Powell said Brown’s total greenhouse gas “footprint” is 82,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which works out to 10.1 metric tons of emissions per student each year. Of those, 46,000 metric tons are from the on-site burning of fossil fuels, and 36,000 metric tons are from the indirect burning of fossil fuels for electricity.

Swim center closed as safety concerns continue continued from page 1 day that he was not sure how the roof would perform under additional stress, such as snow. A snowstorm was forecast to hit Providence today. Carey said the Athletics Department is working to find alternate locations for teams to practice, and it hopes to have more concrete plans

within the next few days. “It’s certainly an inconvenience,” Carey said. “But I think people understand that the safety of the students and community members who use the facility is our highest priority.” Carey said he thinks people will “adapt accordingly.” Stephanie Laing ’10, a member of the women’s water polo team,

said the team plans to practice in other pools in the area. Laing said her coaches are trying to find pools nearby for practice during the week, and she said the team might practice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on weekends. Laing said the closure of the center was inconvenient, but she said the team is approaching it “with a positive attitude.”




Wrestling falls to Harvard, BU, handles Franklin and Marshall continued from page 12 opponents,” Amato said. “Confidence definitely plays a big part in the matches.” Later that afternoon against Franklin and Marshall, the team emerged with better results. The Bears dominated the dual from the outset, winning the first five matches. Einfrank and Schell won their second matches of the day with a 4-2 decision and a 15-4 major decision, respectively. Then Savino picked up a win on a 5-2 score, Tracy defeated his opponent with a 10-2 major decision at 149 and Lenny Marandino ’09 won by technical fall at 157 pounds. With a commanding lead of 19-4 heading into the final match, Chris Musser ’10 pushed the match out of reach with a 10-3 decision at 174 pounds to give Bruno a 22-4 advantage. Franklin and Marshall forfeited the 184-pound match. Savino was pleased by the team’s ability to record a commanding victory despite wrestling with its entire senior class on the injured list. “The juniors on the team, Schell, (Levon Mock ’08) and I try our best to lead the team,” Savino said.” After the commanding victory over the Diplomats, the Bears struggled against Boston University. At 125 pounds, Einfrank wrestled BU’s Abbie Rush and took the match to overtime. Rush earned one more point for riding time and took the first match. Schell then lost 3-2 at 133 pounds, and the Bears fell short

at 141 and 149 as well. Tom Fazio ’09 won the team’s first points in the battle at 157 pounds when he pinned his opponent 10 seconds before the end of the match, and Matt Gevelinger ’09 won his first match of the day at 184 with a major decision of 14-6. The most exciting match was at the heavyweight class between Zdrada and Orey Hall. Hall was leading 3-2 until the very end of the match, when the referee gave a point to Zdrada on account of Hall’s stalling. In overtime, Zdrada quickly took his opponent down. His 5-3 win concluded the dual and gave the Bears a more respectable 12 points. Amato said Brown wrestled hard but suffered from an inability to capitalize on close matches. “We need to win those matches to win the duals,” he said. Bruno will host its final home duals this weekend. Wagner College and Columbia visit the Pizzitola Center on Friday, then Cornell and Delaware State University on Saturday. These four duals will be the last duals before the EIWA Championships in March. Columbia and Cornell will be stiff competition for the Bears. They hold the two best records in the league — Cornell is undefeated in the Ivy play, and Columbia only has one loss in the conference. Savino said he cares less about the results and more about how the wrestlers wrestle on the mat. “Even if we are against a strong team, we want to give everything we have on the mat and put up a good fight,” Savino said.



W. squash secures spot at Howe Cup continued from page 12 tremely close in ability. I think we will get another shot at Cornell, and we have as good a chance as any of the teams at winning the division.” The Hoen Cup is the name of the second tier division, which Brown has qualified for with its 29 record. The men’s team will have one more chance to pick up some momentum in its last match of the regular season Thursday at home against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The women’s team was also more successful against Cornell than it was against Yale. Schellenberg’s continued her success as she won easily in three games. Tri-captain Erin Andrews ’07 and Charlotte Steel ’09 survived brutal five-game matches, with Steel overcoming a 2-1 deficit. Steel’s biggest strength was her ability to adjust to an op-

ponent with an unconventional lob serve, according to LeGassick. As the match progressed, Steel proved resilient, figuring out her opponent’s serve and even hitting a winner off the serve in the deciding fi fth game. Megan Cerullo ’08 also built upon her play from the previous day, winning in three games. Zarah Rahman ’07, Minoo Fadaifard ’08 and Lew all swept their opponents at the 6-7-8 spots. “Cornell had the home court advantage,” Lew said. “It was the last home match of their season, and a sizable crowd was there to support them. Our team did a very good job of staying focused and keeping up our intensity of play.” The victory over Cornell landed the Bears in the first division of the Howe Cup, where they will meet the No. 1 team in the country, Princeton, on Friday night at Yale.

Athletes garner awards over weekend tract attention for her shot-stopping skills. She earned ECACHL Goaltender of the Week for the second time in less than a month. The honor came Monday, following last week’s wins against the University of Connecticut, Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In those three starts, Stock recorded over 180 minutes of play in boosting her season record to 9-7-2. In all, Stock blocked 70 of 72 shots during last week’s play for a save percentage of .972 and a goals-against average of .66. Her impressive performances included a shutout of the Dutchwomen and stopping 30 of 31 shots by the Red Hawks. Stock has started 18 of the 27 games Brown has played so far this season, and boasts a .913 save percentage with a 2.59 goals-against average on the year. Stock was previously named

the ECACHL Goaltender of the Week on Jan. 22. — Erin Frauenhofer Johnson ’10 honored after first career start Christina Johnson ’10 excelled in her first career start for the women’s basketball team on Saturday and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for her performance. Johnson ruled the court for 38 minutes, scoring a careerhigh 16 points as Brown picked up its second Ivy League victory with a defeat of Columbia 57-54. The first-year guard’s stats included four rebounds and three steals. Her numbers were well above her averages of 4.7 points and 2.0 rebounds for the season. Against the Lions, Johnson also shot 8-of-14 from the field, bringing her season percentage to .42. — Erin Frauenhofer






An ode to childlike delight Last night was probably an exciting evening for Providence schoolchildren. Today promised to bring local elementary schoolers either a shoebox full of Valentine’s cards or a snow day. But for Brown students, the chance of snow and the prospect of Valentine’s Day elicit slightly more complex reactions than simple joy. Hardened New Englanders may consider the winter incomplete without a significant snowfall and will be glad it has finally arrived. And Hawaiian first-years and students from below the Mason-Dixon line always eagerly await their first winter wonderland. But most students will react to the snow by contemplating their footwear, wondering whether they have makeshift snow gear and groaning about the extra time and hassle getting to class this morning is likely to require. It’s harder to get excited about lots of snowflakes when the words “snow day” hold no promise of canceled classes or the freedom to frolic in the fresh powder. Thinking back on those wintry nights many of us spent in front of the television, staying up past midnight to see whether we could sleep in late the next morning, we realize our excitement may not have been as much about missing class as about the promise of a special day with no plans and no purpose other than sledding. Given the inevitability of college exams and papers whether or not we have a lecture, canceled classes aren’t as appealing as they once were. Still, the excitement of a break from our daily schedule remains. Our daily routines are unlikely to be affected by a few inches of white slush, and the traces of a “blizzard” could well be gone before we have time to pack away our books, borrow some Ratty trays — um, we mean non-Ratty trays — and go sledding. But this year, if the blizzard does happen, snow will fall on a day we hope holds surprises other than frozen precipitation… Given the rare coincidence of a much hyped weather event set to happen on one of the most hyped days of the year, we’re having trouble containing our excitement. But whatever their feelings about Valentine’s Day, blizzards or this year’s potential Valentine’s Day Blizzard, we hope students can get excited about either the region’s first major snowfall this year or something else later tonight. Of course, Valentine’s Day brings a retinue of cliche emotions — anticipation, adoration, anxiety, anger at the world, et cetera. For President Ruth Simmons, thanks to some anonymous and enterprising fans, the day should bring a profound appreciation for her adoring fanbase and her place among higher education peers as a president with unparalleled admirers. (Did they ever do that for you at Smith?) But the homemade heart for Ruth on University Hall demonstrates what a day like today is all about. Even though we’re supposedly sophisticated, world-weary college students, we treasure days when it’s okay to be filled with childish excitement, whether it’s over a special someone or just a blanket of fresh snow.

T HE B ROWN D AILY H ERALD Editors-in-Chief Eric Beck Mary-Catherine Lader

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LETTERS Adams ’07 misunderstands racism To the Editor: In his recent column (“Hollywood-sanctioned racism perpetuates prejudice,” Feb. 7), Jesse Adams ’07 represents all forms of racial stereotypes as equally damaging forms of racial oppression. This common fallacy sidesteps the reality that racism in America is deeply institutionalized in favor of white people, and that those who deny this system are often whites who don’t recognize the invisible privileges they benefit from. White stereotypes simply lack the power stemming from deeply ingrained historical racism to be threatening in a way that actually oppresses or damages white people. I am not claiming that these stereotypes are harmless or should continue; certainly we should strive for a society in which everyone is identified as an individual, not as a stereotype of any race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class or religion. But to ask “how would we feel if the racial positions were switched” suggests that all races suffer equally from stereotypes. There exists no system of anti-white oppression which could make this statement true. Additionally, though Adams states that Mel Gibson’s and Michael Richards’ racist outbursts “surely

cannot be excused,” his suggestion that such comments can be “put into context” does attempt to excuse such behavior by distinguishing it from the content in “Dreamgirls,” which alone “deserves to be judged as [entirely deliberate].” Richards’ racist tirade cannot be understood because of his Seinfeld character, as Adams suggests, and Gibson’s comment about the Jews was not a product of “extenuating circumstances.” Their remarks were hateful and deliberate, even if they didn’t plan to express them with the preparation required by staging a movie. Rage and intoxication alone do not turn anti-racist individuals into racists. Equating “Dreamgirls” with these comments – claiming, even, that the stereotypes in the movie may be somehow worse than hate speech targeting historically marginalized groups – demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of how institutionalized racism functions, as well as who suffers (and benefits) from it.

Lily Shield ‘09 Feb. 7

Affordable medical marijuana is no joke To the Editor: Regarding your “Diamonds and coal” (Feb. 9) poking fun at medical marijuana patients, as privileged students we often joke about marijuana as our response to the nonsensical and draconian drug policies that are inconsistent with science and practice. Yet, I found your jest insensitive to the fact that hundreds of seriously ill patients in the state, half of them of very limited means, struggle to acquire their medicine. Rhonda, cited in your recent article (“Medical marijuana act up for review,” Feb. 6), is a patient I know personally and the fact that she can treat her MS without the fear of arrest is significant. If the state were in a position to regulate her marijuana, rather than the black market, her access to her medication would be

improved. Unfortunately, our federal government continues to make this an unlikely possibility. Maybe the coal should go to the federal government’s costly and destructive policies. It’s time we optimized health and stopped living under an archaic and ineffective system addicted to criminalization.

Trevor Stutz ‘07 Member, Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition Chair of the National Board of Directors, Students for Sensible Drug Policy Feb. 12

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Israel is a non-partisan issue BY ZACK BEAUCHAMP AND SARAH SHERMAN GUEST COLUMNISTS Two recent Herald opinion columns (“Democrats, Republicans and the Jews,” Feb. 1 by Benjamin Bright-Fishbein ’07 and “Policy towards Israel shouldn’t determine Jewish vote,” Feb. 5 by Karla Bertrand ’09) began from the premise that support for Israel is waning in the Democratic Party, leaving American Jews with a dilemma. Should they vote Democrat, which would be in tune with the liberal values traditionally held by the majority of American Jews and yet would constitute an abandonment of Israel, or vote Republican, supporting Israel but at the same time undercutting liberalism at home? We believe that this premise, however much it may correspond to preconceived notions of what “liberal” and “conservative” mean, is false. With the exception of certain Democrats and Republicans, support for Israel in both major parties is overwhelming, and the worst thing any individual who claims to be pro-Israel could do is to create partisanship where none existed. To confirm that America’s elected officials are overwhelmingly pro-Israel, one need merely turn to recent votes in the House of Representatives and the Senate. During this past summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah, the House passed a resolution condemning the attacks on Israel and citing Hezbollah as the source of ongoing violence by a margin of 410-8, and the Senate passed an equivalent resolution unanimously. The Senate also unanimously passed the

Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which prohibits aid to any Palestinian government run by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization (the House passed the Act by a margin of 397-21). These last facts are important, but not because the aim of this column is to demonize the Republicans; on the contrary, we wholeheartedly welcome support for Israel from either side of the aisle. However, articles like Bright’s have created a false dichotomy between a unanimously pro-Israel Republican Party and a Democratic organi-

lication labeling Democrats as uniformly anti-Israel), more and more Democratic voters will be alienated from pro-Israel positions, believing them to be “something right-wing Republicans believe.” Although this is not the case in the status quo (Nancy Pelosi, frequently cited as one of the most liberal members of Congress, said “Democrats have been steadfast in their support of Israel from its birth, in part because we recognize that to do so is in the national security interests of the United States. We stand with Israel now and we

Support for Israel in both major parties is overwhelming, and the worst thing any individual who claims to be pro-Israel could do is to create partisanship where none existed. zation beholden to anti-Israel extremists, which has the pernicious effect of turning Israel into a wedge issue rather than one of the few areas in which a bipartisan consensus still exists in Washington. If Bright’s argument becomes a Republican electoral tactic (which we are starting to see inklings of: the Republican Jewish Coalition ran an ad during the 2006 election in a Jewish pub-

stand with Israel forever”), popularizing the idea that supporting Israel is only something the right does would create a cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy. The more Democratic voters hear the idea that to be left, you have to be anti-Israel, the more they believe it; the more they believe it, and the more it conforms to reality, and the more it conforms to reality, the more likely the idea

is to spread. Before long, the Democratic Party would actually become the anti-Israel bogeyman Bright presents. We should not need to explain how perilous such a situation would be for Israel. The once “unbreakable bond” — another Pelosi quote — would be broken every time the Democrats took power. The most effective pro-Israel lobbying technique, having vocal and active supporters on every side, would no longer be viable. Every few years, Israel would lose funding and supplies essential to defending its borders. Such a situation, however, is not inevitable. In order to prevent politicizing (for lack of a more apt verb) the U.S.-Israeli alliance, pro-Israel advocates merely need to accept the positions offered by the mainstream of their respective parties, and make it clear to the fringes that support for Israel runs deep in both organizations — something which party leaders have not hesitated to do. After former president Jimmy Carter claimed that his new anti-Israel book represented the views of most Democrats, Pelosi and Howard Dean issued a press release saying that Carter was out of step with the party and does not remotely resemble the Democrats’ current views. Dan Burton, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Relations Committee, has stated that contrary to the belief of some in his party, both major parties are equally pro-Israel. Insinuating otherwise risks losing Israel one of the most reliable friends it has ever had, and a country as beleaguered as Israel needs every friend it can get.

Zack Beauchamp ’10 and Sarah Sherman ’09 are co-presidents of Brown Students for Israel.

Religious dialogue means remembering who we were NATALIE SMOLENSKI OPINIONS COLUMNIST Recently Newsweek International published an article called “Remodeling the Churches” (Feb. 13, 2007) which describes European governments and religious authorities selling off hundreds of unused churches to private owners, who often turn them into secular establishments like bars, restaurants and hotels. In several European countries, attendance at weekly services ranks in the single digits and, according to the Gallup International Millennium Survey, fewer than half of the continent’s residents feel that God is “very important” in their lives. The United States, long described as the most religious country at its level of development, similarly may not be as devout as its image indicates. The Barna Group, a Christian research organization that conducts extensive quantitative and qualitative surveys of religion in American culture, concluded in 2006, “[Americans’] faith is rarely the focal point of their life or a critical factor in their decision-making. … Few people take the time to evaluate their spiritual journey or to develop benchmarks or indicators of their spiritual health.” Though the positive and negative effects of religion in public life are continually debated in the West, in the day-to-day functioning of society organized religion has lost incalculable prominence since the Reformation. As the Newsweek article states, the decision to turn churches into commercial establishments is, in the end, “pragmatic.” It

seems that most Westerners simply do not find sustained institutional religious involvement beneficial. The widespread ambivalence towards religion can be explained foremost by the epistemological revolution dubbed “Modernity,” in which vast swaths of European intellectuals, followed by their societies, exalted the individual’s ability to reason and determine right from wrong. The Church was openly condemned on a number of issues and final-

scribe the experience of religious devotion in almost entirely devotional terms: “born again,” “let Christ into your heart,” “accept Christ as your personal lord and savior.” It is no surprise then, that as a system of “government,” Christianity falls notably short. Finally, without dependence on a Church hierarchy to define truth, the answer to the question “what should I do with my life?” must come through a secular and personal examination of one’s own priorities.

Secularist intellectual and social movements have divorced Christianity almost completely from its detailed systems of law and daily ritual to which the religion’s followers used to adhere. ly separated from truth-seeking intellectual inquiry by canonical philosophers. People realized they could lead easier lives by making “social contracts” with each other as opposed to with the Earthly representatives of an inscrutable God. Secularist intellectual and social movements have divorced Christianity almost completely from its detailed systems of law and daily ritual to which the religion’s followers used to adhere. Even contemporary Protestant evangelical revivalists de-

Not so in the vast majority of Muslim countries. Religion there is certainly considered a system of beliefs, but the Islamic term for faith, “imaan,” is rarely mentioned in the vast corpus of orthodox religious commentary. In fact, the Quran itself proclaims: ““The Bedouins say, ‘We believe.’ Say: ‘You do not believe’; rather say, ‘We surrender (to God).’” (49:14) Mainstream Islam emphasizes the fulfillment of religious duty and the avoidance of what is prohibited. The adherence to God is manifested through either action

or abstinence. This simple premise spurred the development of a highly intricate system of law and jurisprudence know as Shari’a, or “the Way,” in which scholars debated how individuals should structure even the minutest details their lives. Certainly, the level of sustained practice required to fulfill most of the consensus Shari’a requirements is difficult to maintain for the vast majority of Muslims, who practice the basics of their religion in ways that also allow them to lead fully developed professional and secular public-sphere lives. “Pragmatically,” lapsed Western Christians and their Muslim neighbors both strive for the same levels of meaning, security and fulfillment. A main difference between them, however, goes back to the very roots of meaning — of the knowledge of what is right and wrong and who should oversee the implementation of that knowledge. The Muslim epistemological framework — the centrality of the commandments of God to human endeavor — is actually quite similar to the old Christian view that Western societies have practically abandoned. For this reason, any intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue must necessarily address, and invoke, the West’s own memory of its Christian heritage. Westerners will have to remember what it means to treat Christianity as more than an object of study. In a society where criticism or marginalization of religion is common, especially among the intellectual elite, dialogue with the Muslim world will mean reawakening a sleeping part of our own collective consciousness.

Natalie Smolenski ’07 knows there’s no such thing as a “secular” society.




W. squash takes one of two to secure Howe Cup berth BY JASON HARRIS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Jacob Melrose / Herald Kali Schellenberg ’10 won matches against Yale and Cornell this weekend. Schellenberg helped the Bears over the Big Red.

The men’s and women’s squash teams closed out their road schedules over the weekend, facing Yale on Saturday and Cornell on Sunday. The men’s team dropped both matches, losing 9-0 to Yale before falling to the Big Red, 5-4. The women’s team was overmatched against Yale’s strong squad, losing 8-1, but it bounced back against Cornell, winning 7-2. The women’s team improved its overall record to 5-7, and the men’s team dropped to 2-9 on the season. Both the men’s and women’s teams faced Yale squads ranked fourth in the nation. Brown failed to mount much resistance in either match. The men’s team failed to take a game in its match. Co-captain Patrick Haynes ’07 came closest at No. 5, falling 9-6 in his second game. The women’s team received its sole win from Kali Schellenberg ’10 at No. 9, who pulled out a victory

Wrestling falls to Harvard and BU, beats Franklin & Marshall BY HAN CUI CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Saturdays are a day of relaxation for the average college student, but that was far from reality for the wrestling team last weekend. The Bears first traveled to Cambridge to wrestle Harvard and Franklin and Marshall College in a dual meet. The team lost to Harvard 27-15 but bounced back to beat the Diplomats 28-10. Later that day, the team crossed the Charles River to face Boston University but fell to the Terriers 2212. The 1-2 weekend leaves Brown with a record of 3-6 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, and 3-11 overall. The Bears got an auspicious T start against Harvard, scoring the first 12 points of the dual. Greg Einfrank ’10 at 125 pounds and

Jeff Schell ’08 at 133 pounds both pinned their opponents after only spending a minute each on the mat. In the 141-pound weight class, Mark Savino ’08 wrestled the Crimson’s Max Meltzer, who came into the match ranked 16th nationally. After a hard-fought regulation, the two headed into overtime tied 4-4. In the second extra session, Meltzer scored a point for escaping from the down position and won with a 5-4 decision. Although Brown still held a 12-3 lead following Meltzer’s win, Savino’s loss sparked a prolonged winless streak. Harvard took the next six matches in a row, of which three more were won by wrestlers in the national rankings. During the losing streak, Bryan Tracy ’10 fell to the highestranked opponent in the dual when

he wrestled at 149 pounds against No. 6 J.P. O’Connor. “I knew he was really tough so I tried to keep the score close … but in the end, I felt like I wrestled his match and not mine,” Tracy said. Zach Zdrada ’09 was able to end the meet on a positive note in the heavyweight division, bringing home one more victory for the Bears with a 10-3 decision. Though Zdrada’s win halted the Crimson’s run of 27 straight points, it was too little, too late for the Bears. Head Coach Dave Amato said the team’s youth was a large factor in the loss. Eight of the Brown wrestlers were underclassmen, and none were seniors. “It’s hard for the young guys to wrestle against more experienced continued on page 8

Athletes garner awards M. hoops’ McAndrew ’08 honored again Guard Mark McAndrew ’08 of the men’s basketball team was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for the third time this season. Brown went 0-2 on the weekend but McAndrew was a force in games at Cornell and Columbia. On Friday, he scored 17 points and added 13 rebounds against the Big Red. He then poured in 26 points against Columbia the following evening. McAndrew is now the top scorer in Ivy play, averaging 20.4 points per league contest. His 5.0 boards per game are also good for 10th in the league in rebounding. — Peter Cipparone

credit / Herald Nicole Stock ’09 was named ECACHL Goaltender of the Week on Monday. She lead the Bears to wins over UConn, Union, and RPI and stopped 70 of the 72 shots she faced.

ECACHL bullish on w. icers’ Stock ’09 Nicole Stock ’09 of the women’s hockey team continues to atcontinued on page 9

in five games. “(Kali) did a great job of setting up the points by establishing length, attacking when she had the opportunity and moving her opponent around,” said co-captain Katie Lew ’07. Head Coach Stuart LeGassick added it was probably “Schellenberg’s best squash of the year.” Though both squads’ results were disappointing, the men’s and women’s teams were aware prior to the match that Yale would be a challenge. The Bulldogs’ women’s team won the national championship last year, and both the men’s and women’s teams are expected to challenge for a title this season. Both Bears squads bounced back and performed much better against Cornell the following day. Though the men’s team lost 5-4, it was “a great collegiate match” that could have gone either way, according to LeGassick. Many Bears played impressively. Haynes was efficient, defeating his opponent in three

games. North Whipple ’08 won in four games, with what LeGassick called “a flurry of drop shots that bamboozled his opponent.” Classmates Adam Greenberg ’10 and Alex Heitzmann ’10 outlasted their opponents in five games at No. 3 and No. 9 respectively. The other starting freshman, Patrick Davis ’10, lost in five games at No. 6 despite serving for the match at one point. “We had a very competitive match with Cornell,” said co-captain Dan Petrie ’07. “Although we lost 54, the team played well. Almost all of the matches went to the fourth and fi fth game.” Petrie said the team was putting the regular season behind it as it prepared for the postseason. “The (Cornell) loss was disappointing, but we’re looking forward to Nationals in two weeks,” he said. “The Hoen Cup is wide open this year, and all of the teams are excontinued on page 9

Move over Yanks, Red Sox joining ranks of Evil Empire Before I get to sports, there’s something I need to get off my chest. I know I am in the minority here, but why do people enjoy “24”? What is so special about another plot to kill the president, a nuclear bomb chase, a short Tom Trudeau T guy running Tru Story around, yelling into a cell phone for an hour while the computer nerd back at headquarters tries to hack into the mainframe, all in anticipation of a few brief moments of second-tier action? There is zero actual drama. While Jack was doing the standard, whichwire-to-cut crap with the frantic bomb expert who is tr ying to redeem herself telling him what to do, did anyone actually think for one moment that it would go off? This show sucks. It feels just like when “Anchorman” came out, and ever yone except me decided Will Ferrell as (once again) the idiot guy lacking in self-awareness, who inexplicably attracts a beautiful woman, is somehow genius comedy. This is supposed to be a sports column, so it’s time to get to some sports. We’re only days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, which means we’re also that much closer to opening day for my favorite sport in the world. For all you Will Ferrells out there, I’m talking about baseball. As a Yankees fan, I’m ver y much aware of the problem of parity in baseball. The economics of baseball make it extremely difficult, though not impossible, for small market teams to succeed. Unfortunately, however, parity is a thing of the past. Let me explain why the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will absolutely own baseball for as long as Boy Wonder (Theo

Epstein) and Cash Money (Brian Cashman) are at the helm. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, the Red Sox have joined the Yankees as one of the Evil Empires of Major League Baseball. As it stands, the Sox have a payroll of approximately $150 million, just $20 million less than the Yankees. To put that in perspective, the Florida Marlins had a payroll of less than $15 million in 2006. I imagine most Sox fans are pulling a Luke Skywalker after being told Darth Vadar is his father right now but it’s time to come out and admit the Red Sox have joined the Dark Side. With that being said, the reason these two teams will own baseball goes beyond the fact that they can afford more free agents. Indeed, not even these two powerhouses can buy a ring anymore. Not in today’s baseball: just ask Gil Meche and Barr y Zito. The Sox and the Yanks increased emphasis on their farm systems, which will make them even more dominant. For example, the Red Sox refused to part with a young relief pitcher with a 6.63 ERA named Craig Hansen to acquire Todd Helton and his lifetime .333 batting average, and the Yankees dealt Gar y Sheffield, Randy Johnson and Jaret Wright for prospects over the winter. Though patience with prospects has ser ved both franchises well of late, other teams can also focus on the farm system. What separates these two teams from the other 28 is that they are beginning to dominate the amateur draft the way they dominate free agent classes. Ever heard of Lars Anderson? Projected to go in the first round of the draft, Anderson slipped all the way to the 18th round, where the Sox picked continued on page 6

Wednesday, February 14, 2007  
Wednesday, February 14, 2007  

The February 14, 2007 issue of the Brown Daily Herald