The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, N ovember 28, 2007
Volume CXLII, No. 116
Public health program gets $10m boost
Religious insensitivity greets alum in med school interview
lax LAPS FOr A CAUSE
By Michael Bechek Senior Staff Writer
By Michael Skocpol Senior Staf f Writer
The National Institute on Aging has awarded a team of Brown researchers over $10 million to study longterm care for the elderly nationwide, a windfall of rare magnitude for the University’s burgeoning public health program. The team, headed by Vincent Mor, professor of medical science and chair of the Department of Community Health, will compile a national database of information on nursing home practices and longterm care policies and conduct four studies using the information over the next five years. Using the information they compile, researchers will study what factors influence when the elderly are hospitalized, how hospice care is administered for terminally ill nursing home residents, how physicians operate in nursing homes and the causes and effects of racial segregation in nursing home populations. The research team — a multidisciplinar y group organized by faculty in the University’s Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research — will integrate data from a range of existing and original sources, including Medicare billing records, basic information that nursing homes are required by law to collect, a survey of state policies and a questionnaire that will be administered to a representative sample of over 2,000 nursing homes nationwide. Beyond the research funded by the grant, members of the team said, the database should provide a wellspring of information that could spawn a great deal of future continued on page 6
Since 1866, Daily Since 1891
Rahul Keerthi / Herald The men’s lacrosse team began a 36-hour run-a-thon yesterday to support the Innocence Project, with which former Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann ’09 is involved. See Sports, Page 12
Echoing allegations she made in a letter that has circulated via e-mail around campus in recent weeks, Qadira Abdul-Ali ’06 told The Herald Monday that she was asked inappropriate questions about her Muslim faith when interviewing for admission at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, including whether she had been “radicalized.” A letter of complaint Abdul-Ali sent by e-mail earlier this month to Allen Spiegel, the top dean at Einstein, a Bronx, N.Y., medical school associated with Yeshiva University, was sent to the Brown Muslim Students’ Association e-mail list. According to Abdul-Ali, her interviewer, Milton Gumbs, a dean at Einstein, interspersed questions and comments about her Muslim faith throughout the interview that revealed “insensitivity and overt ignorance.” In the letter she wrote to Spiegel, she said she had been subjected to “more than thirty-minutes of offensive and biting commentary on Islam.” “This is the last thing you expect to come up against,” Abdul-Ali said Monday.
U. lobbies Congress as Higher Ed. Act reauthorization goes to House By Debbie Lehmann Senior Staff Writer
As a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act heads to the floor of the House of Representatives, Brown officials are actively lobbying Congress to ensure the bill’s provisions — such as policies on financial aid and accreditation — are aligned with the University’s interests. A renewal of the legislation, passed earlier this month by the
House Education and Labor Committee, would tighten accreditation policies and seek to curb rising tuition costs by creating a “higher education price index.” The Senate also passed a reauthorization of the act in August. Both bills would require universities to disclose “preferred lender” lists and ban some of the inducements lenders give to colleges. The bills would also create a number of new grant programs, and the House bill would target illegal file sharing on
college campuses. Though higher education institutions like Brown might welcome the increased Pell Grant funding that could be part of the reauthorization, universities are concerned about the House bill’s potential changes to accreditation policies, said Director of Government Relations and Community Affairs Tim Leshan. The House bill had previously continued on page 6
Returned from Myanmar, Pinheiro speaks on campus BY LILY SZAJNBERG Contributing Writer
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has just returned from a five-day fact-finding mission in Myanmar, but before addressing the United Nations, he presented the latest analysis of the ongoing crisis in his talk, “Burma Report: The Facts on the Ground” last night at the Joukowsky Forum. In his first public appearance since returning from the nation now in thick of a “Saffron Revolution,” the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar and Cogut visiting professor at Brown’s Center for Latin American Studies urged Brown students and faculty to stay engaged in the current conflict.
Forbidden entry to Myanmar since 2003, when the country underwent a change in leadership, Pinheiro was granted the rare opportunity of investigating the deaths and detentions imposed by the militar y government’s, or junta’s, violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in recent months. Pinheiro, who was appointed to his U.N. position in 2001 and has lectured at Brown periodically since 1997, will present a report on his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Dec. 11. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian country of roughly 50 million people and has been under various forms
Kori Schulman / Herald
The first such comment from Gumbs, Abdul-Ali said, came after a discussion of her time abroad in Cairo, when the interviewer asked her if she had “become radicalized” as a result of the experience. “I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ ” AbdulAli told The Herald. Feeling that she should maintain her composure, she said, she was prepared to overlook the comment. “I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt,” she said. But that was not the last of the continued on page 4
Obama leads presidential hopefuls among Brown students BY Christian Martell Staf f Writer
As the primary season for the 2008 presidential election approaches, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Hillar y Clinton, D-N.Y., the two Democratic frontrunners, are engaged in a tight race in some states as they pursue their party’s nomination. But a Herald poll conducted earlier this month paints a different picture on Brown’s campus. The Herald poll showed Obama as the clear favorite among undergraduates, with 37.5 percent of students saying they think he would make the best president, compared to 18.4 percent of students who said they back Clinton. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina came in third, with 5.6 percent, and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas led among Republican candidates, with 3.1 percent of students saying they think he would make the best president. The poll was conducted from Nov. 5 through Nov. 7 and has a 3.9 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. A total of 621 Brown undergraduates completed the poll, which was administered as a written questionnaire to students in the University Post Office at Faunce House and in the Sciences Library.
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro discussed his fact-finding mission to Myanmar for the U.N. last night.
continued on page 4
CLinton and Climate The Clinton Climate Initiative is supporting colleges and universities seeking to improve energy use.
Courtesy of Qadira Abdul-Ali
Qadira Abdul-Ali ’06
TAEKWON DOES After a successful season, Brown’s taekwondo team hopes to continue their strong record at nationals.
195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island
UNHOLY HOLIDAYS? Sean Quigley ’10 argues that, rather than a religious celebration, Christmas is a series of artificial rituals.
continued on page 6
M. Soccer playoffs The men’s soccer team plays host to Old Dominion in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
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T oday Page 2
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
But Seriously | Charlie Custer and Stephen Barlow
We a t h e r Today
T O M O RR O W
sunny 44 / 31
rain 51 / 31
Verney-Woolley Dining Hall
Lunch — Sweet and Sour Tofu, Meatball Grinder, Polynesian Chicken Wings, Stir Fried Rice, Vegetable Egg Rolls with Duck Sauce, Molasses Cookies
Lunch — Italian Sausage and Peppers Sandwich, Vegetable Strudel, Peas, Chocolate Frosted Eclairs
Dinner — Thai Basil Tempeh Stir Fry, Spicy Chinese Cabbage, Coconut Ginger Rice, Steamed Vegetable Melange, Oatmeal Bread, Lime Jello
Aibohphobia | Roxanne Palmer
Dinner — Swiss Steak, Vegan Ratatouille, Mashed Butternut Squash with Honey, Egg Drop and Chicken Soup, Mashed Red Potatoes with Garlic, Whipped Cream Peach Cake
Nightmarishly Elastic | Adam Robbins
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Octopus on Hallucinogens | Toni Liu and Stephanie Le
RELEASE DATE– Wednesday,©November 28, 2007 Puzzles by Pappocom
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
C r o ssw o r d
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis ACROSS 1 Recede 4 “Look, Juan!” 8 Felt 14 Red Corvette, for some 16 Hit that rolls to the wall, maybe 17 Big bash 18 Spanish fleet 19 Perfect 20 “Beetle Bailey” dog 22 Maj.’s superior 23 Avian home 24 “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” protagonist 27 “... or __!” 29 Approvals 30 Bard’s “frequently” 33 Abbr. that shortens text 35 Scintilla 38 It’s important to make a good one 43 Munich Mrs. 44 Explorer Hernando de __ 45 Call’s counterpart 46 Nuisances 50 Frozen dessert chain 52 Beelzebub 55 Near or Far follower 59 Jack of “Barney Miller” 60 1985 U.S. Open winner Mandlikova 61 Whoop it up 62 Confined, with “up” 64 Place to fix this puzzle’s theme words? 67 Chalet, e.g. 68 Catch up with 69 Spoke harshly 70 Scurry 71 Crumpets partner DOWN 1 Astronomer Hubble 2 Groom mate 3 “Seinfeld” character Elaine
4 LI x L 5 Here, to Henri 6 Managed 7 Local lingo 8 Liberty Island attraction 9 Boots and bobbles 10 Game involving mathematical strategy 11 Interplanetary transport 12 __ Industries, one-time maker of slot cars 13 Passed out 15 Colorful quartz 21 Your, of yore 24 __ Spumante 25 Office manager’s purchase 26 Forms morning moisture 28 Rent 30 Under way, as racehorses 31 Cone bearer 32 They might be hidden under rugs 34 Old records 36 Chit
37 Explosive stuff 39 Takes to court 40 Univ. recruiting group 41 Emulate Dürer 42 Type of story 47 One may be cooked up 48 Swapped 49 __ Andreas Fault 51 Matzoh’s lack 52 Sesame Street grouch
53 Bath sponge 54 Small drum 56 Enlightened Buddhist 57 Feed, as a furnace 58 Assertive personality 61 Ceremonial heap 63 Baby food 65 Egg cells 66 Hanukkah’s mo.
Vagina Dentata | Soojean Kim
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
Classic Deo | Daniel Perez
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C ampus W atch Wednesday, November 28, 2007
With Clinton’s help, colleges go carbon-neutral By Stefanie Angstadt Staff Writer
The Clinton Climate Initiative will now help support the colleges and universities around the country in their efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions on campus — part of the only sectorwide effort to set a long-term goal of achieving climate neutrality. Former President Bill Clinton launched the partnership with the signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment Nov. 7 during his keynote at the U.S. Green Building Council’s International Conference and Expo, the world’s largest gathering dedicated to green building. The partnership is one of several announced at the conference by the former president that aims to retrofit public and private buildings nationwide. Ira Magaziner ’69 P’06 P’07 P’10 played an instrumental role in bridging the partnership between the ACUPCC signatories and the CCI, along with son Jon ’07, who now works for the CCI, and Nathan Wyeth ’08, who interned there this summer. The ACUPCC was drafted in June 2007 by a group of college presidents who recognized the role that higher education plays in global efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change, and to encourage schools to set concrete, short and long term goals for achieving climate neutrality on their campuses. Second Nature and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education — nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping colleges and universities expand their sustainability efforts — along with ecoAmerica, an environmental non-profit that specializes in consumer research and marketing, have been helping to coordinate and support the efforts of the commitment’s signatories through networking tools and online resources. Yet, to amass the upfront capital necessary to perform equipment retrofits and improve energy efficiency on campus, colleges and universities have had to tap into their endowments or request loans. “Many schools have been interested,” said Andrea Webster, membership coordinator at AASHE, “but they just didn’t know how exactly to do it.” By arranging $1 billion in funding from five financial institutions, the CCI aims to make it easier for the 427 signatories of the ACUPCC to coordinate and customize funding mechanisms that work for them. While financial allocations will still be made on an individual basis, the CCI is helping to connect educational institutions with financial ones by creating a network pool that schools can tap into. “Part of the initiative is to help schools figure out how to do it themselves,” said Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature. Participating colleges and universities will first submit assessments of their campuses’ carbon reduction strategies along with requests for project proposals to the partnering financial institutions, according to Tim Sweet, director of energy and computing management at Syracuse University, one of the schools participating in the consortium. A company will then agree to the contract if it identifies the right opportunity at the school. “It’s a way to keep our options open,” Sweet said. Syracuse will submit its request
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on Friday. According to Sweet, the school would like to be able to award a contract by March of 2008. “It’s a proven strategy that several schools are already using,” Cortese said. “What the CCI partnership with the ACUPCC is doing is trying to expand on that strategy.” Clinton’s initiative has also secured energy savings guarantees from eight leading energy services companies and discounts from over 25 manufacturers of energy efficient products, according to a Nov. 16 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The result is a consortium of key players in the energy, financial and higher education sectors across which resources can be easily traded and information can readily be shared. “It’s been hard to pull the packages together,” said Lee Bodner, executive director of ecoAmerica, adding, “schools may be reluctant to take on large scale projects. CCI will help schools take on these projects, and help customize the retrofits.” Cortese said he does not expect there to be any significant limitations on the number of schools that can participate in the network because “the magnitude of the challenge is great, the amount of funding is significant and the amount of savings to be had is considerable,” he said. To participate in the consortium arranged by the former president, the school must be a signatory of the ACUPCC. Brown, whose current climate commitment is to reduce greenhouse gases to 15 percent below its 1990 level by 2020, has not signed the commitment. “If you take it literally, complete climate neutrality is a very serious commitment where the only way to do it is to buy carbon offsets, and that may not be the best allocation of resources at Brown right now,” said to Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Elizabeth Huidekoper. “Brown is trying to assess whether that’s best for them.”
“The commitment to complete neutrality is a concern of many schools,” Cortese said. “Some people think that achieving climate neutrality is too difficult, and they don’t want to make a commitment they can’t achieve.” Associate Professor of Environmental Science Steven Hamburg voiced another reason why Brown has not signed the commitment. “Talk is cheap,” he said. “We don’t feel the need to make a written statement because it’s more important for our actions to speak louder than our words.” Jon Magaziner, who was a key player in bridging the partnership, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that Brown may also be hesitant to strive for climate neutrality “given the many examples of organizations that have used carbon offsets instead of, rather than in addition to, undertaking energy conservation measures within their institutions in their efforts to go climate neutral,” Yet both Cortese and Bodner expressed hopes that Brown will sign the commitment in the near future. “Signing on to this thing would be a great demonstration to the surrounding community of Brown’s commitment,” Cortese said, adding, “it would be a natural thing for Brown to do because it has been such a leader in this field.” The commitment requires that schools develop comprehensive short-term and long-term plans to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprints. In addition, they must choose to act on two of a list of seven tangible initiatives suggested by AASHE to reduce greenhouse gasses. One of the initiatives suggests that schools establish a policy that all new campus construction meets the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver standard. Other initiatives are less financially demanding, such as continued on page 8
Princeton begins $1.75b fundraising campaign By Max Mankin Staff Writer
Earlier this month, Princeton University launched a $1.75-billion, five-year fundraising drive called “Aspire: A Plan for Princeton.” The campaign, which is the largest in Princeton’s history, focuses on increasing the university’s involvement with the “changing” world by “responding to the challenges of our time,” according to the campaign’s Web site. The campaign’s priorities include “strengthening the core Princeton experience, providing unrestricted funds through the Annual Giving program and raising funds to enhance the university’s capacities in the critical areas of engineering and the environment, the creative and performing arts, neuroscience and national and global citizenship,” according to the Web site. “Princeton aspires to make the world a better place through the power of the mind and the imagination, the insights and discoveries of its faculty and the contributions of its alumni in their careers and communities,” Princeton President Shirley Tilghman said in an official university press release. “If we want to open the doors of opportunity even wider and continue to provide the best possible learning environment for our students and faculty, we must constantly be moving for ward. Through this campaign, we’re encouraging all Princetonians to help shape the future of the University by providing the resources necessary to meet its highest priorities.” Robert Murley, a Princeton trustee and chairman of investment banking for the Americas at Credit Suisse, and Nancy Peretsman, a Princeton trustee and managing director of the investment bank-
ing firm Allen & Company, will serve as the campaign’s co-chairs. Murley and Peretsman will head a 30-person executive committee to coordinate the campaign. “There are areas, even areas of great strength, where Princeton must make strategic investments to stay on the cutting edge,” Murley said in a statement. “Quality is expensive, and Princeton’s stellar faculty, outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs, and commitment to teaching and research on the frontiers of human knowledge require significant resources.” Princeton officials have set a $250 million goal for the university’s Annual Giving fund, which directly supports Princeton’s operating budget, $325 million for research in engineering, energy, and the environment, $325 million for exploration of the arts, $300 million for neuroscience, genomics and theoretical physics, $300 million for national and global citizenship and $250 million to improve financial aid, teaching and residential life. A quiet phase of the campaign, which commenced in July 2005, has already raised $611 million, about a third of the campaign’s goals. “In this campaign, we are aspiring to respond to the challenges of our time, and make Princeton an even better place for teaching and learning,” Peretsman said in the statement. “This is our responsibility to the generations that came before us and the generations who will follow.” “The theme of this campaign is encapsulated in a single word — ‘aspire,’ ” Tilghman told the Daily Princetonian. “Princeton has always aspired to be better than it is.” The campaign goal is slightly continued on page 4
Grad alleges discriminatory treatment in med school interview continued from page 1 off-color commentary, Abdul-Ali said, and Gumbs “began throwing out a number of other inapt comments.” In her letter, Abdul-Ali describes other statements made by Gumbs during the interview. Of Ramadan, the monthlong holiday during which observant Muslims fast during the day, Abdul-Ali wrote that Gumbs said, “You Muslims are a bunch of hypocrites,” because those observing the fast customarily break their fast at sundown and eat a light meal before sunrise. According to Abdul-Ali’s letter, Gumbs added, “That’s easy. I do that sometimes myself. I drink coffee in the morning and nothing else until three or four in the afternoon.” Abdul-Ali also wrote that Gumbs repeatedly asked, “What do you do wrong?” with the intent, she claimed, of finding “discrediting or disparaging” information about her religious practices. Additionally, Abdul-Ali wrote, when she discussed her brothers with Gumbs, he asked whether the brothers were practicing Muslims or “regular guys.” In an e-mailed statement, Noreen Kerrigan, assistant dean for admissions at Einstein, wrote that the school was “sorry and surprised” to receive Abdul-Ali’s letter complaining about the interview and that the school had invited Abdul-Ali to return for a second interview at her convenience if she desired. Kerrigan added that Gumbs was “saddened” by Abdul-Ali’s reaction and that he had “only the highest respect for her personal history and beliefs.” An e-mail sent to Gumbs Sunday was not returned. Abdul-Ali, despite the disrespect she felt during the interview, said she maintained her composure throughout the interview. She hid her feelings so well that, in an e-mail sent to her in reply to her complaint, Kerrigan wrote that Abdul-Ali had been pleasant after the interview and that nothing had appeared to be wrong. “He had interspersed the comments,” Abdul-Ali said of Gumbs, explaining that the random and intermittent nature of Gumbs’ commentary did not lead her to lash out in anger, “so it wasn’t just a constant flow of rants and rage.” Abdul-Ali, who is black, said she had been additionally outraged at her treatment from Gumbs because he serves as the associate dean for the Office of Diversity Enhancement at Einstein, a position he has held, according to Kerrigan, since 1989. “The irony would not have been lost on even the most obtuse,” AbdulAli wrote in her letter to Spiegel. Kerrigan wrote in her e-mail that Gumbs, who is also black, and the medical director of one of Einstein’s
affiliated hospitals, was “a deeply committed and strong advocate for increasing the numbers of minorities in the health professions.” Indeed, according to Abdul-Ali, she was told that she and other students of color present would interview with Gumbs because he valued being able to interview students of color himself. Abdul-Ali, who has been living in Washington, D.C., and working as a research assistant in an asthma clinic, said she already has at least one acceptance in hand from the other schools she is applying to. Her plan, she said, is not to make noise about her experience beyond what she has already done. “I’m just going to let it go,” she said. “I’m at the beginning of my career. I’m sure this is a fight I’m going to be fighting the rest of my life, being a person of color, being a woman, being a Muslim.” “I don’t want to make a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be at this point,” she added, saying that it would be a bad strategy to make a name for herself in the medical community based on this experience and thus gain a reputation as a troublemaker. “I know how medicine works,” she said. Her plan, she said, is to put her interview with Gumbs behind her and simply work hard so that she can one day have the power to change what is wrong with the medical community. “I’m 23 years old — I know I’m not going to change the mind of this man,” she said, “no matter how many e-mails and letters of complaint I write.” “At the end of the day, you do have to choose your battles,” she added. Noor Najeeb ’09, a member of the Muslim Students’ Association, said Abdul-Ali’s story has been a topic of discussion since she forwarded Abdul-Ali’s letter to the BMSA listserv after reading it in a Facebook note Abdul-Ali posted. “There has been talk, among Muslims and non-Muslims,” she said. “At the same time,” she added, “no one’s really sure what to do about it. At the very least we can sympathize with her.” Abdul-Ali said a personal reply from Gumbs was promised to her in an e-mail she received from Kerrigan and that though she has not received one yet, she was going to allow “a little more time.” In the meantime, she said, she is focused on her future in medicine. “It’s going to be a reality, it’s just a matter of where,” she said. As for Einstein, Abdul-Ali said, “No medical school in the world is worth putting yourself through that type of treatment.”
Princeton launches $1.75b capital campaign: ‘Aspire’ continued from page 3 higher than the Boldly Brown campaign, which seeks to raise $1.4 billion. The Brown campaign had raised $1.1 billion as of Oct. 22. Princeton also seeks to raise more money than Dartmouth College, whose current campaign, the Dartmouth Experience, aims to raise $1.3 billion by 2009. The goals are considerably
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
smaller than those of comparable campaigns at other Ivy League and peer institutions. Cornell University is currently in the middle of a $4 billion campaign entitled “Far above ... the Campaign for Cornell” that seeks to reach its goal by December 2011, Stanford University is attempting to raise $4.3 billion by December 2011 through the Stanford Challenge and Yale University is in the middle of a $3 billion campaign.
Visiting prof. speaks after Myanmar visit continued from page 1 of military rule since 1962 when General Ne Win staged a coup that toppled the civilian government. Though Myanmar has an extensive histor y of human rights violations, it took the spotlight on the international stage this August when the junta’s overnight hike in fuel prices led to a new series of street protests. As Buddhist monks, who are widely revered throughout the countr y, joined the protests, tensions between the dissenters and the government elevated. In September, tensions erupted in bloodshed, capturing the international community’s attention as violent images taken by cell phone cameras were circulated almost instantly via the Internet and broadcast in global media outlets. Since then, international organizations and citizens worldwide have kept a close watch on the social and political climate in Myanmar. But the Burmese government, which pulled the plug on communicative technologies after the September uprisings, has not been eager to share its goings-on with the world. Still, extensive media coverage coupled with consistent pressure from the United Nations continued to expose and underscore atrocities occurring in the country. In October, when the UN Human Rights Council drafted a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the country had little choice but to take action. Pinheiro received an invitation from the government on Oct. 23 to visit Myanmar in November. Pinheiro’s trip was intended to “see the state of implementations of the provisions of the UNHRC’s resolution.” Pinheiro, however, can disclose little information before he officially presents his findings in December. Last night, Pinheiro said, “I am
still receiving information about other detentions, and am hoping by the 11th I will have more accurate estimates.” In spite of his mandated silence on certain findings, Pinheiro was clear that he did not return emptyhanded. “The trip was very useful because I visited with all the officials I asked to see,” Pinheiro told The Herald in an interview. “The government shared with me most of the information I wanted.” According to recent press coverage, the Burmese government provided Pinheiro with autopsies of the people killed in the September protests. Pinheiro said he plans to release his own estimates of the number of deaths and detentions in his official report after he has sorted through the junta’s records. Pinheiro also had the opportunity to visit Yangon’s notorious Insein prison. Despite the government’s invitation and surprising cooperation, Pinheiro’s access to the political prisoners was limited and surveillance of his actions was high. He was denied access to democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained Nobel Peace Prize winner who has spent 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest in Yangon. “I would like to highlight that this was not a full-fledged fact-finding mission,” Pinheiro announced to a packed house. “I was there for only five days with three assistants and not full access. I think it is very important to know the limitations of the visit.” Pinheiro said the format of his visit was an unusual one that he would not have accepted under normal circumstances. “It was very much organized by the government,” he told The Herald. “I accepted to go because this is a very delicate moment and I didn’t want to lose this opportunity,” Pinheiro added.
Though Myanmar’s place in the international spotlight may fade, its human rights violations will not. There remain over 1,600 political prisoners, including 38 elected members of parliament, and reports of killings of both civilians and monks continue to surface. The Red Cross’ operations in Myanmar were shut down by the regime last year. “The government informed me that 3,000 people have been released, which means 3,000 have been detained,” Pinheiro said of the current situation. “Even if waves of repression don’t continue, there is still a lot of fear in the air.” “I think (Pinheiro’s report) has the potential to create a renewed energy about Burma within the UN,” said Patrick Cook-Deegan ’08, the Northeast regional coordinator for the U.S. Campaign for Burma. Though interest in Myanmar is high on Brown’s campus ��� demonstrated by nearly 300 students’ participation in a “red day” protest organized by the U.S. Campaign for Burma in late September — Pinheiro said the continuance of international support is imperative. “What is important is that students and the faculty continue to be concerned about the country and what is happening there, because the people who are marching peacefully, they are asking for values that the Brown community also values,” Pinheiro told The Herald. Pinheiro closed his lecture remarking, “My fear is that all of these marches will be forgotten and we will have missed an opportunity.” “I think that the world owes them in commitment so that the focus on the country continues. The international community doesn’t give priority to this situation and real change needs commitment. It is really important to voice that and for Brown to be connected to what is going on.”
Q&A: Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, visiting professor of Latin American Studies Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, visiting professor of Latin American studies, first came to Brown in 1997, when Thomas Skidmore, then director of the Center for Latin American Studies, invited him to lecture. Pinheiro returned several times to teach and is now a visiting professor at the center. His involvement with Myanmar began in 2000 with his appointment as special rapporteur on human rights for the United Nations Human Rights Council. The last time you visited was in 2003. How was this visit different? It was different because the format of the visit was very different. This visit was very much organized by the government. It was useful because I visited with all the officials I asked to see. For four years they didn’t invite me, so I wasn’t allowed to go because the special rapporteurs must be invited. There are 60 countries that do open invitations, which means that special rapporteurs can arrange a visit anytime they wish. They just contact minister of foreign affairs to organize a visit. In the case of Myanmar, I have to be invited. ... It’s important to note that just because I
haven’t visited doesn’t mean I haven’t presented reports. I visit other surrounding countries and meet with human rights officials and activists to get information. ... Although (presenting reports) is my main duty, between one report and the other, besides the visit to the region, I am always in contact with the member states of the security council and Human Rights Council. Why do you think they were open to your visit this year? I don’t know. I cannot understand their mind. What I presume is that there was a lot of attention by the Human Rights Council, the United Nations and the international media, and they thought it would be useful to have this relation with the rapporteur. It is interesting news for them, which is why they cooperate with me. I welcomed the invitation. How would you describe the current political and social climate in Myanmar? I was mostly going from one meeting to another. I cannot speak about the climate in society because I was barely in the streets — I was being transported from one place to another. I was meet-
ing with officials, prisoners and some monks. I was only there for five days, not because I didn’t want to stay more but because the government offered me five days. You have said you can’t disclose much information until the report is released, but can you talk about your interviews with the prisoners and monks? It was useful in understanding conditions there. I will elaborate on that in my report that I am issuing on December 11 in Geneva. ... The report will be on the Web, the Human Rights Council Web site. How did the Myanmar government’s shutdown of communicative technology in late September impact your work? The access to Internet was reestablished, but during the crisis the access was curtailed. The impact was great precisely because of the Internet, and mobiles with cameras and other technologies like that. You have an instantaneous vision of what is going on. This caused a great impact, and I think the government decided they needed to limit this. — Lily Szajnberg
C ampus n ews Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
In India, at Wal-Mart and in Providence, Taekwondo takes wins in students pursue sustainability projects stride, looks to Nationals By Sophia Li Staff Writer
As “going green” increasingly captures the public’s attention, Brown students are finding their own ways to contribute, on and off College Hill. These on- and off-campus experiences come together in ENVS 2010: “Special Topics in Environmental Studies,” a seminar required of all first-year environmental studies graduate students. The seminar’s topic changes every year, and this semester’s focus is carbon neutrality. The nine students in the class were divided into three groups, each working with a different client to address issues related to climate change. One group is working on carbon assessment for the city of Providence, while another is thinking of ways for the Ecological Society of America to be more ecologically friendly when holding conferences. The third group is working with a pallet manufacturer. “It’s an unbelievable amount of waste,” said Nat Manning ’08, who is in the group working with a manufacturer of pallets, which are structures used to ship goods. “(We’re) figuring out how that industry can just literally be greener.” Manning said pallets require more wood than any other product, except paper. Manning, the only undergraduate in the course this semester, is concurrently pursuing a B.A. in religious studies and an M.A. in environmental studies. Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Steven Hamburg, who teaches the course, said he encourages his students to understand the theoretical basis of their work while acknowledging the constraints of the real world. “It’s a blend of the two that will effect real change,” Hamburg said. “We often get sidetracked with the theoretical, with what people should do instead of what we expect them to be able to do. When we merge those two, we come up with some really effective solutions.” Beyond the course, Hamburg has encouraged student engagement off College Hill by helping them find jobs after graduation. Hamburg has advised WalMart on energy efficiency, and he connected Noam Ross ’06 and Josh Apte ’04 with the retail giant, which hired the two recent graduates to work toward making their operations more environmentally friendly. Apte, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in energy and resources at the University of California, Berkeley, worked with Wal-Mart to increase sales of compact fluorescent light bulbs.
By Seth Motel Contributing Writer
Courtesy of Brown.edu
Professor Hamburg supervises students in ENVS 2010: “Special Topics in Environmental Studies.”
“Wal-Mart sells about a quarter of all the lights in the U.S.,” Apte said. “And a compact fluorescent light bulb uses about two-thirds less energy.” Apte said Wal-Mart was very receptive to suggestions about how to improve the reputation and quality of compact fluorescent light bulbs. He called the project “an unqualified success” with a “huge national and global impact.” For Apte, this post-graduation experience was well-matched with his academic interests. “I did my undergraduate thesis on opportunities for saving energy in buildings in the U.S.,” he said, “so this fit in perfectly.” Brown students can also pursue their environmental interests by working with the Watson International Scholars of the Environment Program, which brings leaders in the environmental field from around the world to Brown for a semester. The scholars come from developing countries, bringing with them diverse backgrounds. “They have experiences that I have no way of talking about,” said Hamburg, the program’s director. Christina Tang ’09 traveled to Kerala, India, last summer to work with N. Anil Kumar, a 2007 Watson International Scholar of the Environment. Her research, which was funded by the Luce Undergraduate Environmental Fellows Program, was about the quality of drinking water available to the inhabitants of a village in the area. “The water that we use to water our lawn and wash our cars is a thousand times better than the water they drink every day,” Tang said. “Because we’re privileged to receive an education, I want to use that education to pull that gap together.” After interviewing villagers about the sources of water they use, analyzing the levels of contamination in the various sources
available to them and performing an economic analysis of the situation, Tang concluded that building a rainwater harvesting unit would save villagers money in the long run. “I went back to the village to present my findings to the community,” Tang said. She and her colleagues at the Mahatma Gandhi University have been trying to persuade the local government to act on the results of her study. “My long-term goal ... from this project is the installation of a rainwater harvesting unit in the village so people will have a clean and reliable source of water,” Tang said. Tang’s interdisciplinary interest in economic development and environmental science is not unusual in the Department of Environmental Studies. “What’s amazing about the concept of the environmental studies is right in the name. The world is our environment,” Manning said. “While it seems like a pinpointed concentration, you can study science, policy or economics.”
The Korean word “taekwondo” loosely translates to “the way of the hand and foot.” It is safe to say, then, that the Taekwondo Club “kicked off” its season well, dominating two recent tournaments. Brown competitors finished in first place at the Nov. 11 Richard An Invitational Tournament in Lowell, Mass. The men swept the medals in the poomse, or forms, category, and the women dominated in the sparring event. Club President Kevin Swong ’08 said that about 20 members, including many underclassmen, contributed to the strong showing. “This is one of the best-prepared freshman classes in general,” he said. “It’s a good sign of how martial arts is going in the Brown community.” Jackie Dwulet ’08 won a gold medal in sparring in the red belt division, and classmates Paul Jeng ’10 and Andrew Nelson, each brought home silvers in poomse. Nelson also won a gold in sparring for the green belt division. In addition to training from the group’s veterans, team members receive professional coaching from Master Sung Park ’95, who runs a local taekwondo center. Park works with the team a few times a week, including Friday nights, at the center’s dojang, a taekwondo gymnasium. Park sees the team’s recent performance as a sign that it could compete for medals in the national championships. “That was kind of one of the tournaments ... to get their feet wet a little bit,” he said. Brown has placed in the top three in its division for the past seven years at the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association Championships. This year’s event will take place at Stanford University in April. In October, Brown finished second in its six-team division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Taekwondo Tournament. Brown trailed
EJ Chung / Herald
Students practice Taekwondo in Leung Gallery.
only Harvard in Division II of the Ivy Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League. For the men, Michael Hoe ’08 placed first in Black Belt Forms, and Swong captured third place in Blue Belt Forms. On the women’s side at the MIT tournament, medal-winners were Eunice Chyung ’10, who placed third in Green Belt Forms, and the Women’s B-Team Sparring (Intermediate), which tied for third. That group consisted of Chyung, Dwulet and Lydia Sharlow ’09. Since taekwondo is not an NCAA sport, Brown’s club team receives funding from the Undergraduate Finance Board. It has about 60 active members — three students, including Hoe, help to instruct the team. Only about half a dozen of the 40 freshmen who come out for the team each year have prior experience with the sport, according to Swong, but newcomers have learned quickly in the past. One reason for the team’s consistent success is that the group trains members of all skill levels. “A lot of schools will focus on the black belts, whereas we are more balanced on who we instruct and who we give our attention to,” Swong said. The team will not compete in any more tournaments this semester, but it will continue to practice for the spring competitions. Hoe said the team’s next tournament likely will be at New York University in February.
Public health program receives $10 million NIA grant continued from page 1 research. Terrie “Fox” Wetle, associate dean of medicine for public health and public policy and a lead investigator on one of the studies the grant is funding, said the study “will provide the impetus for major improvements in the quality of care.” “Finding ways to both efficiently measure quality of care and then improve it is a central goal to our work,” she added. The grant is also a significant boon for the University. In a given year, the University is likely to receive about $40 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, of which the NIA is a part. Most of those grants do not substantially exceed $1 million, Wetle said. The University has expanded its public health efforts in recent years, centralizing them in new property at 121 South Main St. with the ultimate aim of creating a separate school of public health by 2010. Receiving a grant of such magnitude from the NIA will help the public health program continue to grow and attract researchers, and it also represents “recognition that the University has the capacity” to undertake such a complex project, Wetle said. “A $10 million grant is a big deal,” Wetle said. “It’s an act of trust. That’s a lot of money, even for the federal government.” “The University is, of course, happy about it because it brings in resources to the University,” she added. “But it also brings in ... recognition of the high quality of work that’s done in the program.” The grant the NIA awarded Mor’s team is a coveted “program project” grant, which assures funding for a major research effort comprised of multiple interrelated threads of inquir y. The NIA only awards two or three such grants annually, and the application process is rigorous, said John Haaga, deputy director of the NIA’s Behavioral and Social Research Program.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
To receive a “program project” grant, researchers must convince independent reviewers not just that their research will have a significant impact on public health, but also that they have the track record necessary to pull off such a complex undertaking, Haaga said. Brown’s proposal, which Mor’s team began working on three years ago, fit the bill, he said. Haaga said that in his experience such grants benefited universities in many ways. “It’s long-term, pretty stable funding,” Haaga said. “It should help in both building and keeping a really good team of people at Brown working on long-term care issues.” Program project grants often spur new ideas for research and may be renewed beyond the original five-year term, he added. When applying for further funding, such grants give researchers “a lot of experience to point to.” Research team member Andrew Foster, professor of economics and chair of the department, said the cross-disciplinary quality of the research team will lend strength to the study. He intends to contribute expertise by modeling labor market forces and economic theory to the project, helping its findings stand up to economic and not just public health scrutiny. Foster said the grant speaks to Brown’s reputation in the public health field and the quality of research that has already been done, and he agreed that it will likely spark more research — both on College Hill and elsewhere — in the future. This effort, he said, “will make Brown one of the key places that people look over the next four or five years” for research on longterm care. Foster credits Mor’s reputation and abilities in spearheading the effort with helping Brown land the grant, citing his “charisma” and “ability to talk to people in a lot of different fields.” Mor is out of the country this week and directed inquiries about the grant to other members of the research team.
Brown students support Dem. candidates continued from page 1 Miguel Blancarte ’09, a political science concentrator and Clinton supporter, said it was “no surprise that a Democrat leads The Herald’s poll, and it was also not surprising that Obama was the number-one choice for Brown students. His tactic of targeting college students seems to be very successful.” Jenna Silver ’10, a member of Students for Obama, said, “Rarely is there a day I can cross the Main Green without spotting at least one ‘Obama ’08’ button displayed prominently.” Silver said she believes the results of The Herald’s poll would be similar to those found on other campuses around the country. “Obama is receiving huge amounts of support from students throughout the nation,” she said. “When national polls are conducted, they can be misleading in their results because of the people they are polling. Students’ opinions are rarely properly assessed because they aren’t deemed ‘likely voters’ and because many don’t have landline (phones).” But Marc Frank ’09, president of the College Republicans, disputed the poll’s accuracy. “Brown is not a random sample of the population as a whole,” he said. “(The Herald poll) didn’t seem
like random sampling. It was bias right off the bat and should have read ‘not a scientific poll’ up on top just as CNN announces theirs on their Web site.” Frank, who said he plans to vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2008, said he felt the Republican voice on campus was muffled in the poll. “I don’t think (the poll) represents Republicans here at all,” he said. Under national guidelines, according to Frank, the Brown GOP chapter cannot endorse any particular candidate until after the primaries. But, Frank said, based on his conversations with group members, Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are the top picks. In The Herald’s poll, Romney ranked second among Republican candidates, with 2.7 percent of students saying they think he would make the best president. Giuliani came in third, with 1.8 percent, and McCain garnered only one percent of students’ vote for best presidential candidate. Blancarte said he thinks the poll results only reflected campus opinion, not that of the entire country. “I personally feel that Senator Clinton is currently viewed as the number one candidate. However, as the primaries get near, the spot for
the number one candidate within the Democratic Party will fluctuate greatly,” Blancarte said. Clinton has continually ranked first in most national opinion polls of Democratic voters. In a NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll conducted Nov. 1-5, she had the support of 47 percent of Democrats. The Herald poll found that 16.6 percent of the undergraduate student body had not yet chosen a candidate to support. “There are things about all of the candidates in the race that I really love and support, and things that I don’t find so endearing. Hopefully as the primaries approach, I will know who I support,” wrote Gabriel Kussin ’09, president of the Brown Democrats, in an e-mail to The Herald. The Brown Democrats, like their Republican counterpart, will not endorse a specific candidate until after the primaries. But, through student groups such as those supporting Obama and Clinton, students have been making weekly trips to New Hampshire to campaign for their candidates. “While I believe The Herald’s poll to be accurate, I think Brown students shouldn’t be afraid to stand up and support the candidate of their choice simply because they are polling in smaller numbers,” Kussin said.
U. lobbies Congress on higher ed bill continued from page 1 given universities room to set their own accreditation policies, but an amendment removed the provision, effectively creating standardized accreditation guidelines. The bill would also create a federal “accreditation ombudsman” to settle complaints. The Bush administration has sought to impose guidelines on a national level through accreditation organizations for several years, meeting fierce resistance from universities, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported on Nov. 23. National accreditation standards would likely not be specific enough to affect Brown’s New Curriculum, Leshan said. Still, he said the University is “really concerned” about
the amendment because it could “ultimately have an effect on how we measure educational value here at Brown.” But, Leshan added, the House Education and Labor Committee is “really ready to work with the higher education community” to change the bill’s language. A provision that would create a list of the 25 institutions with the highest levels of illegal downloading has also sparked concern among universities, Leshan said. The legislation would urge colleges to offer alternatives to illegal downloading and look into “technology-based deterrents,” as well as require universities to inform students annually of their copyright infringement policies. In addition, the bill would authorize grants for universities to create programs to curb illegal file sharing. Leshan said he is concerned that these provisions will make Brown “the police of illegal file sharing.” “We don’t condone it,” he said. “But we, like every service provider, don’t think it should be our job to regulate that.” Moreover, Leshan said, enforcing these rules and regulations would impose an additional financial burden on universities. Other parts of the House bill might also cause colleges to incur costs. Policies intended to increase transparency — such as disclosure of transfer-of-credit policies, arrangements with lenders and tuition increases — could be expensive. While transparency is important, Leshan said, “unfunded mandates” like these would force universities to bear the financial burden of increased reporting. To combat rising tuition, both the House and Senate bills would direct the departments of labor and education to develop a “higher education price index” and require the secretary of education to rank colleges based on tuition increases. Institutions with overly large tuition increases would be placed on a watch list and would have to report
factors contributing to the increase, as well as develop a plan to temper rising costs. The House bill would additionally award more Pell Grant aid to institutions with the smallest tuition increases and withhold federal administrative funds from states that cut funds from higher education. In another effort to decrease college costs, the U.S. Department of Education is conducting a study of the size and use of university endowments. In part, the study is investigating a theory that universities with large endowments do not use enough of their endowments to lower costs, Leshan said. Depending on how the study is conducted, he said, it could have “negative consequences for the way Brown spends its endowment.” As bipartisan concern centers on rising college tuition costs, Congressional testimony has sparked discussion about potentially requiring universities to spend a portion of their endowment on financial aid. Though neither bill incorporates such a policy, Leshan and Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Michael Chapman both expressed distaste for the proposal.Chapman said the idea reflects Congress’ “deep misunderstanding” about the nature of endowments and how their proceeds may be used. As the University’s in-house lobbyist, Leshan travels to the Capitol once a month to lobby officials and meet with the higher education interest consortium, the Association of American Universities. Though individual universities are probably more concerned about some provisions in the bill than others, he believes other Ivy League schools and research institutions share Brown’s concerns about the legislation. The House is expected to vote on its version of the reauthorization in December or January. The legislation will then head to conference, where the House and Senate will reconcile the bills’ differences.
W orld & n ation THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Israel and Palestinians set 2008’s end for peace treaty
Republicans get ready for CNN-YouTube debate
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
By Johanna Neuman Los Angeles T imes
WASHINGTON — President Bush announced Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to a joint document that commits them to work toward a peace treaty before the end of next year. “We meet to lay the foundations for the establishment of a new nation, a democratic Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel in peace and security,” Bush said at a news conference in Annapolis, Md. Bush opened the conference by welcoming delegates from nearly 50 nations and organizations to the Maryland capital. The president stood at a lectern with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on his right and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on his left. After Bush read the joint statement signed by the two sides, Olmert and Abbas reached across the lectern and clasped hands in front of Bush, then took their seats. Calling on the Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace, Bush said, “Palestinians and Israelis each understand that helping the other to realize their aspirations is the key to realizing their own — and both require an
independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state.” The reason to establish a Palestinian state now, said Bush, after years of diplomacy of failure, is that “a battle is under way for the future of the Middle East -- and we must not cede victor y to the extremists.” With the Arab League and most Middle East countries in attendance, including Syria, Bush pointedly called for free elections in Lebanon “free from outside interference and intimidation.” The United States has warned Syria not to meddle in the elections. “We believe democracy brings peace,” Bush said. “Democracy in Lebanon is vital for peace in the Middle East.” Abbas, speaking after the president, said that, “The path of peace is the only choice.” He thanked the international community for its support and called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and to free political prisoners. “Our region stands at a crossroads,” Abbas said. “This opportunity might not be repeated.” Saying that public opinion in Palestinian and Israeli societies shows support for a peace process, he said Palestine needed an opportunity to develop its own security. “Peace is not impossible to
achieve if there is will,” Abbas said. Olmert agreed, saying that Israel was prepared to make “painful compromises” because “we want peace ... we demand an end to terror, to incitement and to hatred.” Saying Israel had empathy for the suffering of the Palestinians, he called on Muslims and Arabs to recognize the state of Israel. “The time has come to end the boycott,” he said to the assembled Arab nations. “It does not help you, and it hurts us.” Olmert also called for the release of Israel’s captured soldiers, saying he looked for ward to the return of Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza, and Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, who were abducted by Hezbollah on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border. “The time has come,” he said. “We are ready. ... Together we shall start. Together we shall arrive.” Then the two leaders shook hands and embraced. Bush said Annapolis was not envisioned as a place “to conclude an agreement.” “Rather,” he said, “it is to launch negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. For the rest of us, our job is to encourage the parties in this effort -- and to give them the support they need to succeed.”
By Tom Brune Newsday
WASHINGTON — Wednesday night’s unconventional CNN-YouTube debate presents a challenge for Republican presidential contenders, who must try to stand out yet avoid tripping on a videotaped question from a teddy bear or snowman. For two hours in a St. Petersburg, Fla., theater, the candidates will have to be nimble in responding to about 40 questions posed in video clips on a 25-foot screen that CNN journalists cull from nearly 5,000 submissions. But with just five weeks to the start of the primaries, the five toptier candidates also must make their marks to try to break out of the pack and can be expected to confront each other more than they have. Already in the past week, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney have been skirmishing over their records in public office, while John McCain and Fred Thompson have launched a series of attacks. Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee, a darkhorse candidate with a surprisingly strong showing in Iowa polls, began airing a provocative new ad in Iowa that boldly proclaims him a “Christian Leader.” “Faith doesn’t just influence me; it really defines me,” he says in the
ad. “I don’t have to wake up every day wondering, ‘What do I need to believe?’ ” The ad appears aimed directly at Romney, a Mormon who shifted his views to being anti-abortion before running for president but defends his switch as a principled decision. Also in the debate will be Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo. Against this backdrop, the candidates will have to answer questions that range from the serious to the silly. Romney and Giuliani drew the most questions — both with about 45 each — and Paul came in third with nearly 40, according to a search of the submitted clips on YouTube. Those clips include dozens of talking stuffed dogs, bears and other animals; animations of Lincoln, Nixon and Bush; as well as charts and pictures. The questions range from the national deficit, abortion and immigration to protecting pets and personal queries such as “What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?” The talking snowman from the Democratic debate is also present, telling Romney, who objected that taking his question is undignified, to just answer the question about global warming.
Google looks to curtail Child among the dead after U.S. soldiers open fire global dependence on coal By Jessica Guynn Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. has set perhaps its most ambitious goal yet by vowing to help end the world’s reliance on coal as an energy source. The company unveiled a plan Tuesday to cut coal consumption by developing cheaper, renewable alternatives. Executives said Google’s forprofit philanthropic subsidiary would spend “hundreds of millions” of dollars on the initiative, called RE(less than) C, mathematical symbols that spell out “renewable energy cheaper than coal.” The cost of running its electricitysucking data centers was one motivation. “It’s very hard to find options that aren’t coal-based or dirty technologies,” co-founder Sergey Brin said at a news conference. “We don’t feel good about being in that situation. ... We want to make investments happen so there will be alternatives for us.” The company’s data centers will become more energy intensive as Google pursues a plan to allow people to store their personal files on Google machines rather than on their personal computers, a move seen as a way to accelerate a shift to Web computing and step up competition with Microsoft Corp. Consumers would be able to access the files, such as documents or digital music, from different computers and mobile devices, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google has taken steps to be environmentally friendly. Its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters draws about 30 percent of its electricity from one of the country’s largest solar power installations. The company recently reduced by half the amount of energy its data centers use and helped start an industry group devoted to reducing
the power PCs devour. Google also is experimenting with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Brin and co-founder Larry Page haven’t been shy about their belief that they can harness technology to save money and the planet. Their conviction that climate change is responsible for poverty in developing countries reflects the influence of former Vice President Al Gore, a Google adviser who won a Nobel Prize for his efforts to warn about the threats of global warming. The anti-coal initiative won some applause from energy experts. They called the plan modest, considering the magnitude of what Google sees as a problem: Coal generates about half the country’s electricity. “It’s a very good, positive step in the right direction,” said Stuart Dalton of the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif. “But this is not the only answer.” Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute, praised Google for “focusing on the technologies that have the best shot at success” — among them solar and wind power. For their part, stock analysts questioned whether management could afford a diversion from its money-making tasks of organizing information and selling ads. “It’s a good thing that Google’s core business is performing so well because this seems like a project that goes pretty far afield,” said Jordan Rohan, an RBC Capital Markets analyst. On the other hand, Rohan said Tuesday’s announcement wasn’t surprising. “This is an example of Google being Google,” Rohan said. “That said, there is well over $200 billion of market cap riding on Google’s ability to continue to exceed estimates. I would hope the management team would stay focused.”
By Ned Parker Los Angeles Times
BAGHDAD, Iraq — A child was among at least five Iraqis killed when U.S. soldiers opened fire in two incidents in central Iraq during a span of 24 hours, while police said a suicide bomber posing as a shepherd killed as many as 13 people Tuesday outside a police station in eastern Diyala province. The shootings involved vehicles that the soldiers reportedly perceived as threatening. Three women and a man were killed while riding a mini-bus to work in the northeastern Baghdad neighborhood of Shaab, according to the Interior Ministry. Abu Ahmed, a 45-year-old bank employee injured in the shooting, said he and his colleagues were riding the mini-bus from their homes to work in the morning when the incident occurred. Abu Ahmed said he woke up in the hospital, not knowing what had happened. He had been knocked unconscious but not shot. A U.S. military spokesman said soldiers opened fire when the vehicle turned on to a road that had been closed to all traffic but family cars. The soldiers opened fire when “the driver failed to heed a warning shot.” The military said initial reports indicated that two Iraqis were killed and four wounded. The discrepancy between the death tolls cited by U.S. and Iraqi officials could not be immediately resolved. Separately, U.S. soldiers shot at a car speeding through a roadblock north of Baghdad on Monday during an offensive against al-Qaida in Iraq. One child and two men were killed in the incident near Baiji, north of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. “The ground force fired warn-
ing shots, but the driver attempted to speed through the roadblock. Perceiving hostile intent, the ground force engaged, killing both men,” the statement read. The child was found wounded in the back seat and rushed to a military medical station, where he died, according to the statement. “We regret that civilians are hurt or killed while coalition forces work diligently to rid this country of the terrorist networks that threaten the security of Iraq and our forces,” U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ed Buclatin said. In a separate incident, Iraq’s Interior Ministry reported that U.S. soldiers opened fire Tuesday evening near the Ibin Hayan bridge in Tobji in northwestern Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding six others. However, the U.S. military gave no immediate confirmation of the incident. The spate of shootings came after the U.S. and Iraqi governments signed a declaration of principles Monday committing them to reaching an agreement by the end of next year on America’s long-term security role in Iraq, including the status of U.S. forces. Iraqis regularly complain of cases in which U.S. troops accidentally have killed civilians during their operations. However, the U.S. military says it has cut the number of incidents in recent months as violence has dropped in Baghdad. In Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad, a suicide bomber dressed as a shepherd was herding sheep past the main police headquarters’ back entrance when he detonated his explosives. “He came closer and closer to the gate with his sheep,” Baqubah police Capt. Ali Jassem said. “Then he detonated himself by the visitors and the police.” Local police said the blast killed
13 people and wounded another 13. The Interior Ministry in Baghdad later lowered the death toll to seven, including four policemen, but it was unclear which toll was correct. Elsewhere, two U.S. soldiers were killed and two others wounded when an explosion ripped through a vehicle, the military said in a statement. At least 3,878 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since March 2003, according to the independent Web site icasualties.org, which tracks casualties in the conflict. Near Baqubah, a Shiite tribal sheik was killed when Sunni militants, suspected of belonging to alQaida in Iraq, attacked the village of Albu Aziz, police said. Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province, was under the control of alQaida in Iraq until June, when U.S. and Iraqi security forces reclaimed the city. However, sectarian violence still roils the province. At least five other Iraqis died in other attacks. In Washington, a senior Shiite Muslim leader in Iraq allied with both the United States and Iran, Sheik Abdelaziz Hakim, met with President Bush in the Oval Office on Tuesday, White House press secretary Dana Perino said. Their discussions centered on improvements in Iraqi security and changes in the country since the pair met in December. Separately, Shiite and Sunni clerics held a conference in the Shiite shrine city of Najaf to promote national unity and bridge the sectarian divide. The delegation met with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the senior Shiite cleric in Iraq, who urged the rival sects to find unity after the violence that rocked the country last year, conference attendees said. Times staff writers Wail Alhafith, Raheem Salman and Usama Redha contributed to this report.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Gupta ’08 finishes 69th at the NCAA Championships M. soccer continued from page 12 with the challenging parts.” Gupta placed sixth at this year’s Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, helping Brown to a third-place finish. “How the course varies changes your race strategy, and I think to a certain extent you roll with the punches,” Gupta said. “The more confidence you gain as a runner, the more confidence you gain in unfamiliar territory.” That confidence helped her finish 69th out of 252 of the best runners in the nation last week, putting her in the top third of an elite crowd. “It can feel a little daunting, competing with a ton of scholarship schools,” Gupta said. “It makes it that much more gratifying because you realize you’re devoting that much
more time while you’re at one of the top institutions in the country.” Gupta traveled a unique road to Brown before running her way into the record books. She lived on three different continents growing up, traveling with her family in her father’s chemical engineering business. Gupta was born in Texas, but her family moved to Southern California for two years when she was 7, then to England for another two years before living in Saudi Arabia for five years. Gupta attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut for high school. Throughout her travels, playing soccer and running gave her a “sense of stability and self outside of the moving,” she said. “Being part of teams that I could invest time in was definitely an outlet for me,” Gupta said. “I would’ve felt lost amid the chaos of moving.”
Colleges go carbon-neutral continued from page 3 encouraging students, faculty and staff to make better use of public transportation on campus and taking measures to reduce waste. Under the commitment, each school sets its own timeline for the projects. “Some of the smaller community colleges have already started with implementation, but the larger schools may take a few more years because they tend to be more bureaucratic,” Webster said. EmPOWER, the campus climateneutrality group, has been encouraging the University to sign the commitment because “the requirements of the commitment are things that Brown is already doing,” said Wyeth, who is a member of emPOWER. Last month, University officials announced a $350,000 commitment from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation to support student-led projects aiming to reduce carbon emissions in the Providence community. “I think the efficiency measures and renewable energy purchases Brown is making are great, and we’re excited about the program they’re undertaking to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions in the greater
providence area,” Wyeth said. “But, to be good leaders in higher education right now, we have to work with other schools, even if that just means demonstrating examples of what works well and what doesn’t.” Cortese stressed another reason why universities should sign the commitment: “Without setting the ultimate goal, you’re making it more difficult for yourself to stick to it because other priorities may creep in,” he said. In addition, he said, “the most credible science that is informing policymakers and the general public is coming from the education community, which is a large part of the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change. Thus, presidents taking a stand to become client neutral are taking a stand on the research that comes from their own institutions.” EcoAmerica’s Bodner voiced the importance of higher education’s ability to act as a model for the rest of society. “College campuses are important laboratories that marry the research and the practice of climate neutrality,” he said. “They show local business and the local community that it can be done and how to do it.”
She fondly remembers soccer practices in 115-degree heat in Saudi Arabia. “We were dying out there together ... and we collectively understood what we were fighting for,” Gupta said. “It gave me that will from an early age, and I don’t know if I would’ve found that will otherwise.” Her soccer career ended before her senior year when her passion for running took over. She ended up winning the New England Prep School Track Association’s cross country title along with indoor titles in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters. Gupta’s goal-oriented nature extends to the classroom. A pre-med double concentrator in history and human biology, Gupta has enjoyed the chance to experience both humanities and science classes. She will be staying another year at Brown to
finish her A.B./Sc.B. degree before taking a year off to apply to medical schools. Gupta hopes that the Bears will remember her for her improvements and consistency. “When they struggle, they can remember me and realize their own greatness, and it’s natural to go through ups and downs,” Gupta said. “Her improvements and progress are incredible. She has really stepped it up,” Lake wrote. “As a coach there is nothing more rewarding than this.” Gupta hopes to go back to Nationals during the upcoming indoor and outdoor track seasons. “We’re really heading into a new golden age for Brown cross country,” Gupta said. “I think there are a ton of top-100 and top-50 performances (at Nationals) to come.”
Singer ’09: Are head injuries worth six figures? continued from page 12 every sport, right? Yes. Except for soccer. Nobody has ever gotten injured playing soccer, yet it is the only sport with injury time. But whereas broken fingers, strained hamstrings and torn ACLs happen everywhere in sports, football has exclusive rights to one type of bodily damage: head injuries. In Major League Baseball, only two players have ever died from head injuries. B oth were hit by a pitch in the temple. In the United States last year, five football players died from on-field head injuries — and that number is down from previous years. Even though most players don’t die, plenty suffer severe concussions. Unlike damage to a limb, your head contains your brain. You’ve probably heard of it before — it’s that thing that helps you think and breath and live and stuff. Because your brain controls so many vital functions other than just motor skills, damaging your head can lead to chronic disabilities. In fact, so many football players
have blamed head trauma for their becoming severely disabled or depressed that a “concussion summit” was held last summer. During the summit, organizations representing former players and the National Football League worked toward creating policies to ensure greater precautions against head injuries. Now, you can still argue that despite all of that, football players have it just as easy as any professional athletes. After all, most of them go to work only 16 days a year and get paid to play a kid’s game. But more than any other athletes, football players risk debilitating physical injuries every time they step on the field. So if you were to offer me a million dollars to put on those pads and a helmet and square off against those 300-plus pound men, I might just scrunch my nose and shake my head.
Ben Singer ’09 wants his fouryear-old cousin to take his philosophy final.
playoff run starts tonight continued from page 12 defeated three top-10 teams — Santa Clara University, Harvard and Boston College, the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Bears, winners of nine straight matches, are trying to approach tonight’s match with the same attitude that helped them to such impressive regular season victories. “We are going to do the same thing that made us successful in the past,” said co-captain Matt Britner ’07.5. “It won’t be one guy, it will be a team effort.” Despite being named the Ivy League Player of the Year this week, Britner and the seven other Bears who received recognition from the Ivy League this week are much more focused on beating Old Dominion. “I am grateful for the recognition,” Britner said. “Our team hasn’t done well as individuals but as a team. ... We are just focusing on ODU.” The Monarchs will be a good test for Brown. ODU played a difficult regular-season schedule and hung with some of the premier teams in the nation this year. The Monarchs lost by one goal to the tournament’s secondseed Wake Forest University, fifth-seeded Ohio State University and 13th-seeded University of Maryland. They also lost 1-0 to Dartmouth, the only common opponent between Brown and ODU. Brown beat the Big Green 1-0. ODU enters the contest on a three-game win streak and has relied on strong defense for its success this season. “They defend exceptionally well,” said Brown Head Coach Mike Noonan. “Their strength is their goalkeeper, their two center backs and center midfielders.” ODU surrendered just 14 goals in the regular season and had 11 shutouts. In addition, the Monarchs are a good counterattack team. The offense is led by senior midfielder A.J. Kulp and junior midfielder Trevor Banks, who have 16 and 15 points, respectively. “They are very athletic,” Noonan said. “They are dangerous on the break and pressure you into mistakes.” Old Dominion also has playoff experience, having reached the second round of the NCAA tournament in each of the last six years. Brown has lost in the second round to the tournament’s No. 1 seed for the past two years. Beyond playing the intense style it has employed all season, there is one more factor Brown hopes will give it an edge. “Playing at home will help with a good crowd,” Britner said. “The energy brings a different atmosphere that you don’t have in regular-season games. It will just help us on the field as an extra man. When we put a team under pressure, the whole crowd gives off energy and the team feeds off it.” The first 500 students will be admitted to tonight’s game for free. The winner of the game will advance to face the victor of tonight’s No. 11 Virginia TechCalifornia matchup.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
5 wrestlers place at M. lacrosse runs for Innocence Project Keystone Classic meet continued from page 12
continued from page 12 never faced before. Mock again took control from the start with a takedown. But this time, he was much more aggressive with points and won with a major decision of 12-3 to seize the championship title. Besides Mock, four of Brown’s 23 total wrestlers also placed in the tournament. Sixth-seeded Tom Fazio ’09 finished fourth in the 157-pound weight class. Fazio also did not perform well in the first tournament, so he wanted “to win and definitely place in this tournament.” “I wanted to wrestle up to my potential,” Fazio said. Fazio started the tournament well, with a lopsided 10-1 win over Boston University’s Ben Mendelbrant. “I wrestled my style and controlled most of the match,” he said. Fazio then won his second-round match, against No. 3 seed Tommy Cunningham, before stumbling in the semifinal round. Facing No. 2 seed Rob Morrison, Fazio lost by a fall early in the second period of the match. After dropping into the consolation bracket, Fazio defeated his consolation semifinal round opponent with a narrow 2-0 decision, but could not do the same in the third-place match. Fazio lost the match 4-0 to end the tournament in fourth place. “This tournament was better than the first,” Fazio said. “I think my biggest problem is that I lose to
opponents who I could have beaten. Right now I’m watching the match videos and trying to correct (my technique),” he said. The three other Bears who placed were John Triggas ’09 at 133 pounds (sixth place), Branden Stearns ’09 at 197 pounds (third place) and Zach Zdrada ’09, the other heavyweight wrestler, who took fourth place. The team as a whole placed seventh out of 10, just two points behind sixth-place American University and 6.5 points behind fouth-place Rider University. The team was shooting for the top three, but one of its wrestlers who placed in the first tournament, Greg Einfrank ’10, at 125 pounds, was injured during the tournament and could not finish. Had Einfrank finished the tournament, the team could have moved up to at least fifth place. “We had five different people placing in this tournament than the last. If we can all put it together on the same day, we can be a really strong team,” Mock said. Since the conclusion of the Keystone Classic, the wrestlers have been preparing for their next competition. The team departs Thursday for the Las Vegas Invitational, which takes place this weekend. The team has already held an intra-team competition to decide the lineup for the invitational. Mock said Las Vegas is by far the most competitive tournament in the season schedule. “It’s a 32-man bracket and there will be some Big Ten and Big 12 teams there,” Mock said.
Sharnick ’08, a team captain who had a 2 a.m. shift this morning, said he doesn’t mind doing that for a good cause. “I think some people enjoy the late-night times,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. You get to promote a good cause, you get to see your friends out and you get to hang out with your teammates.” Some coaches, including Tiffany and Assistant Coach Errol Wilson, are also glad to be running shifts, even if it means braving the cold. “I’m dressed like a polar bear,” Wilson said with a smile as he paced around the Main Green yesterday evening. But several steps and short breaths later, he had another worr y: “I’m a little out of shape.” The team members, who started running at 7 a.m. yesterday, will take turns running until 7 p.m. tonight, when they will end the run-a-thon at the men’s soccer team’s NCAA tournament game at Stevenson Field. Each player or coach jogs around the Main Green one at a time, and each player is expected to run three 20-minute sessions. Players are also staffing a table next to Sayles Hall to hand
out information about the Innocence Project, though they will not be actively soliciting donations. Though it’s no coincidence the lacrosse team chose to support the Innocence Project upon Seligmann’s arrival at Brown, the team routinely does charity events during the fall, their sport’s offseason. Last year, the team also did a 36-hour run-a-thon — to raise money to build a school in Laos, Tiffany said — and last month, the team volunteered to staff tables at a half-marathon to support public school programs. Tiffany said he loves organizing charity events in the offseason. “It’s exciting — honestly, I get giddy over this,” Tif fany said. “I feel that it’s my role as a head coach of Brown lacrosse to build men through such outreach events.” The run-a-thon is especially timely, given the Innocence Project’s recent coverage in the media. The organization’s president was featured on 60 Minutes last week, and on Sunday, the New York Times ran a front-page investigative story on exonerated prisoners that featured the group. With his personal story, Seligmann would be a natural spokesman on campus for the Innocence
Project, even though the organization did not personally help him during the Duke case. But Seligmann was quick to deflect credit for organizing the event, saying that it was really his coaches who put in the grunt work to get the event together. “Just having gone through what I went through really opened my eyes to the injustices” of the court system, Seligmann said. “The Innocence Project right now is the most legitimate program trying to change the wrongs of the criminal system.” Seligmann became involved with the organization after being invited to its first banquet in April, shortly after he was declared innocent. At the banquet, he met other wrongly accused people, some of whom had spent years in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. “It was one of the most incredible experiences that I ever had,” Seligmann said. “Getting a chance to meet some of these people really puts a face on some of these issues. To see what these people went though is mind-boggling. Getting a chance to talk about what they went through and how the justice system treated them really inspired me to make a difference.”
E ditorial & L etters Page 10
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Staf f Editorial
Writers’ strike woes The rise of reality programming in recent years has left television enthusiasts a little concerned — and rightly so. Television writers in Los Angeles and New York have taken to the streets to demand a bigger slice of the pie — royalties, that is — reaped by studios expanding to new media markets. Say farewell to TV dinners and the traditional sitting-in-your-living-room model of television programming, because Web 2.0 has struck — or, if you prefer, poked — and it’s looking to stay. As Brown students — and journalists — we are naturally in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America. They were unfairly slapped by technology, globalization and interconnected markets. Thomas Friedman may have been right, but the giant media conglomerates could share some of their swag with the creative forces behind their successes. What types of media will constitute that pie in the future, we can only hypothesize — and if the RIAA has been any example, it’s uncertain just how easy it will be to collect revenue from future cyber media. The 12,000 strong Writers Guild of America seems to be winning the publicity war — by some polls, a majority of Americans are behind the writers, not the big studios. And morale on the picket lines seems to reflect that: There’s something jovial about picket signs like “They wrong, we write” and the Halloween-esque costume themes of picketers in southern California. And there was, of course, a “Daily Show” writer’s Nov. 11 “diary” published in the New York Times, titled, “Picketing but still punchy.” “I hand out brightly colored leaflets to real, engaged New Yorkers, like the tourist from Italy and another tourist, also from Italy,” she wrote. “I worry that these people are wasting precious vacation time that could be better spent not understanding bagels or a Broadway show.” Fewer words have ever rang so clear. Sure, some may say that we have better things to do with our time — read those first few chapters of Faulkner, memorize that Arabic vocabulary or finish those internship applications. But what are we to do when “The Colbert Report” — some students’ main news source after The Herald — is cut off? And wait — this strike means we might not learn how J.D. handles raising his new son in this season of “Scrubs?” How will the Dwight-Andy-Angela love triangle play out on “The Office?” TV Guide has been updating an online guide called, “How Long Before Your Shows Go Dark,” and it’s a brutal reminder of what’s to come. For now, there are zero episodes of “The Office” left, one episode of “Heroes” and, thankfully, only five remaining episodes of “Gossip Girl.” “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” are off the air. We may have to actually crack open the Economist. Or even our textbooks. Will this carry over to next season? Talks that were expected to resume this week have only led to a standstill. It’s been a long three weeks and counting, and a Dwight-free winter break may seem even longer and lonelier than usual.
T he B rown D aily H erald Editors-in-Chief Eric Beck Mary-Catherine Lader
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Letters Cohen ’74 thanks Almeida and his colleagues To the Editor: When I read the letter to the editor from Frank Almeida III, custodian for Metcalf Hall and 111 Brown St. (“Those who keep Brown running aren’t faceless robotrons,” Nov. 19), I was somewhat saddened. Almeida’s letter reawakened some old memories of my life at Brown. I lived at 99 Brown St., University housing in a small house that no longer exists, for two-and-a-half years. While there, I got to know the people who kept it clean for us quite well. One of them was a wonderful lady who had several of us over to her home on more
than one occasion. My friends at the time (including my wife, class of 1975) were quite fond of her. Another, sadly, died in his mid-40s, and his wake was the first I had ever attended. These people were very much a part of our overall Brown experience — and our growing-up experience. I would like Almeida to know there must be many students and alums who appreciate the support, commitment and friendship provided by him and his colleagues over the years. To you, Mr. Almeida, I say thank you. Reuben Cohen ‘74 Nov. 27
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C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.
O pinions Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
The most (wretched) time of the year SEAN QUIGLEY Opinions Columnist Once again, the Christmas holiday is upon us. Certainly Hanukkah is upon us as well, but as someone who was baptized and later confirmed as a Christian, I feel more qualified to write about the former. It is true that the early Christians built on pre-existing pagan traditions in order to present more easily the Christian message, but Christmas, ostensibly at least, is meant to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, whom Christians regard as the Messiah of the Old Testament. Metaphysically speaking, however, Jesus — in claiming to be both fully human and fully divine — represents much more than merely the Anointed One whom the Father sent. He represents the ultimate contradiction, the ultimate absurdity, the ultimate leap of faith. Believing that a man could simultaneously be God — indeed, that a man could be one of the three expressions of the all-encompassing Trinity, and thus be on par with the Father who sent him and the Spirit who followed him — is ludicrous, and thus merits our most sincere exploration. Alas, far too many Christians, particularly those of the older generations who were raised in a world more amenable to Christianity but who have since been lost in the maelstrom of militant, proselytizing secularism, mistake the form of Christian practice for the substance of Christian faith. Especially in a country such as the U.S., where Protestants preponderate, this inversion of the Reformation, through the reliance on a perverted orthopraxis (“correct practice”) instead of a true orthodoxy (“correct teaching”), raises serious concerns about where our priorities lie. Few who so religiously decorate their trees,
stuff their stockings, hang up their lights and “fulfill” their familial obligations by purchasing presents ever seem to grasp, or even attempt to grasp, the ultimate calling immanent in their faith. The Christ is absurd — and the true Christian should grapple with that, rather than view the celebration of the birth of humanity’s savior as a time to give and get, as a time to adhere to artificial ritual. So many things about the manner in which modern people celebrate Christmas are troubling, and the categorical failure to confront exactly why we celebrate Christmas is perhaps
If not because you have recognized your sinful nature and that grace has been bestowed upon you without your deserving it, then why is Christmas a time for joy? If not because you have been awed by God’s perpetual goodness, and if not because you therefore seek to be in union with Him, then why do you at Christmas draw close to those family members with whom He has lovingly provided you? Claiming that Christmas has utilitarian value for the non-Christian and secular alike, and that it can be celebrated without contemplating the paradoxical fusion of the immediate
The Christ is absurd — and the true Christian should grapple with that, rather than view the celebration of the birth of humanity’s savior as a time to give and get, as a time to adhere to artificial ritual. the most egregious — but that failure is only applicable to the person who would call himself a Christian. For the non-Christian or for the secular person who celebrates Christmas, I have choice words. Namely, what causes you to kowtow to “tradition” when the traditional message of Christianity seems to have no influence on how you live your life? If not because you desire to praise the mystery of the infinite incarnated into the finite, then why do you celebrate Christmas?
with the ultimate, is strikingly nonsensical and downright selfish. It is nonsensical because adhering to a form without understanding and accepting its substance — how it came to be — is essentially an attack on the form itself. One is at war with one’s own practices if one takes what is, derides and sweeps away that which created that which is, and then expects that which is still to exist conceptually. I tend to think that such practices are akin to certain tenets of radical libertarian belief —
some libertarians want to abolish government, rely solely on currency to determine how actions should be coordinated, but conveniently forget that thousands of years of human history and governmental experimentation have led to the very existence of currency. In other words, said libertarians want to have the form without the substance. Celebrating Christmas merely for its utilitarian value is also downright selfish. Does a person who approaches Christmas as such desire all of the worldly joys of the Christian who acknowledges the graces of God, without directing his thanks toward God, but rather to himself? Does he merely want to bask in some of the forms of Christianity, without having to advert, with intellectual and emotional rigor, to that which led to the forms? I do not know, but I wager that neither do those non-Christians and secular persons who participate like sheep in the December festivities. At the end of the day, I am not insane. Neither am I the Grinch, as a friend called me when I told him about my feelings on Christmas. As a cultural conservative, I understand that we are justifiably attached to many of our customs, even if our motivations may occasionally be unjustifiable. Yet I urge all of you to reconsider why it is that you wake up on Christmas morning and feel alive with spirit and comfort, love and joy. Perhaps calling Christmas “the most (wretched) time of the year” is too strong in the eyes of the person who cannot fully empathize with my critique. But, I sincerely hope that all of you will step back, consider what ultimate motivation led to the emergence of a Christmas holiday, and reform your practices according to your conclusion. At the very least, you may now be aware of your reasons. Sean Quigley ’10 frequently received coal for Christmas.
‘Winter broken’ BEN BERNSTEIN Campus Issues Columnist Blood and milkshakes. My sleepy Midwestern city offers me so little during Brown’s epically long winter break that last year I spent mine getting the wisdom teeth forcibly removed from my mouth while I slept. When I woke up I spent a week drinking Steak ’n Shake’s finest mixed with the blood from my mouth. That was the most productive thing I have done in my first two Brown winter breaks, and many of my friends here can’t claim to have done anything better. Sure, there is a Birthright trip to Israel one year for the Jews among us, and tropical family vacations for those with the resources, but Brown itself provides nothing substantive. We have two options: either seriously shorten the winter break while expanding the spring and summer breaks, or make a serious commitment to the January term. Sometimes logic takes a backseat to its evil cousin — craziness. According to a student representative, Brown is hesitant to fund and dole out credit for the January@Brown program until there is enough student interest. Arthur Matuszewski ’11, UCS representative and contributing planner for the next January@ Brown, explained the University’s reluctance: “Considering the support for the program now, they’re hesitant to gamble on it. They want to see the support to begin with.” Any sensible person would want to scream at the top of his lungs, “How can you gauge student interest
in taking courses for credit if you never even offer them?!” Apparently, when it comes to winter break, there are few sensible people, and they all have sore throats. Or maybe the administration just isn’t listening. Matuszewski, an associate editor for post-, The Herald’s arts and culture magazine, said that often when he makes suggestions the response is “We’ll take that into account,” but that he rarely hears anything back afterwards. So much for student
should fuel students to take classes, I think all Brown students have demonstrated some degree of learning love simply by attending this school. When the University is stingy with its credits and their defense is, “What? Don’t you love learning?” it feels not only patronizing, but frankly insulting. As Matuszewski said, “It feels like Brown Day Camp.” Instead of credit, the January@Brown program is leaning towards offering other practical
Any sensible person would want to scream at the top of his lungs, ‘How can you gauge student interest in taking courses for credit if you never even offer them?!’ representation. Even Brown administrators can’t really explain why we refuse to give credit for a January term. Robin Rose is the Associate Dean of Summer and Continuing Studies and has been at Brown for 26 years. “It’s a chicken-egg kind of thing,” said Rose, “But I guess it can be nice for some students to take courses without grades, take them for the love of learning.” While Dean Rose is right that “love of learning”
courses, like one in conflict resolution. In the future, they may offer a CHEM0330 review course for credit. This is at least a step in the right direction. Other good ideas might be certification in ESL teaching or EMS training that a student can use to get jobs over the summer. One place at Brown that is getting it right is the Swearer Center, which is offering a community service project in Providence over the
break that already has a higher enrollment than last year’s January@Brown. Participating in the program is UCS rep Matuszewski, who says there are 36 people signed up right now. He believes that the reason for the heightened interest is that if students are going to spend their time at Brown over break, they need a real incentive, and while community service doesn’t sound relaxing and rewarding to everyone, it is significantly more beneficial than any of the non-credit courses offered by January@Brown. So far I’ve been all about improving January@Brown, but there is a second option: shorten winter break. If the administration wants to be wusses about a January term, then they should consider starting second semester classes a week earlier and then adding a week onto the spring break. Brown’s spring semester, with its wind, snow, and gloom, demands a longer break than the week or so we are currently given. If Brown’s winter break is too long, then our spring break is shorter then my attention span. Brown’s winter break is broken. Dean Rose said that the only way the winter break would change is at the behest of the faculty, who probably would rather use the time for their own research projects. If Brown can provide a week during the spring or the summer to make up for the lost week over winter break, perhaps faculty could warm to the idea. Faculty, please help us fix our break.
Ben Bernstein ‘09 writes a regular column on campus issues. If there is an issue you would like to bring to his attention, e-mail email@example.com.
S ports W ednesday Page 12
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Headaches the M. soccer’s tourney run kicks off tonight norm for NFLers By Jason Harris Assistant Sports Editor
I was sitting on the couch watching football this past Turkey Day when my four-year-old cousin stumbled into the room. After tumbling onto the couch and staring at the screen for a while, she uttered the following Ben Singer words: High Notes “Why do they play? They r un and then” — she clapped her hands as a tackle was made on the screen — “they die.” Those are awfully philosophical thoughts coming from someone who still wears diapers, I thought. She should eat some more turkey. But instead, I decided I’d try to explain my thinking to her. “Well, they get a lot of money to play. And some of them enjoy it,” I said, looking at her to gauge her approval. She scrunched her nose and shook her head in that spastic way little kids do. “I don’t like it,” she said. I thought of trying to explain to her the value of money and how these guys on the field got a lot of enjoyment out of what they did. But I couldn’t. Maybe she had a point. What my wise little cousin either didn’t approve of or didn’t understand was why people would subject themselves to physical agony in exchange for money. It’s an interesting question. Think about it: If I asked you to put on a helmet and pads and run into a bunch of 300-plus pound men trying to slam you to the ground, you’d probably take a rain check. But if I told you to do the same thing — only this time I’d give you a couple million dollars to do it for an hour on live television in front of 50,000 people — you’d jump at the opportunity. Well, at least some of you would. It turns out that the median annual salary of a professional football player is about $720,000. Unless your agent’s last name is Boras, that’s a good chunk of cash. But now let’s compare that to, say, baseball or basketball. In Major League Baseball, the median annual salary is $1.025 million. In the National Basketball Association, it’s $2.75 million. Even hockey players make about $1 million a year on average, and you can’t even watch their games on standard cable. While the difference between making a boatload of money and making a larger boatload of money may seem trivial, consider what each sport’s participants are required to do. Baseball players have to throw, hit and catch a ball. Basketball players have to throw a ball, throw a ball at a higher angle and bounce a ball moronically on the ground while moving. (To their credit, dribbling is harder than it looks.) Football players have to throw a ball, run with a ball and inflict physical pain upon each other. In baseball and basketball, great defensive players are defined by how well they can catch the ball or block the opposing team’s shots. In football, great defensive players such as the New York Giants’ Lawrence Taylor are lauded for their ability to sack — read: pummel — the opposing quarterback. But Ben, players get injured in continued on page 8
With 15 wins and only one loss, the men’s soccer team built an impressive resume during the regular season. The Bears knocked off four teams in the NCAA tournament and won the Ivy League title with a perfect 7-0 league mark. But tonight Brown plays host to a second-round NCAA tournament game against Old Dominion University, and the Bears have one shot to advance to the quarterfinals. None of those impressive accolades will play a role tonight — but the type of play that helped accumulate those statistics will be a huge factor if the Bears are to advance past the second round for the first time since 2000. It is win or go home tonight when the Bears meet the Monarchs at 7 p.m. at Stevenson Field, but the team will not forget the progress it has made to this point. Despite the week-and-a-half layoff since Brown beat Columbia in double overtime to cap its regular season, Brown should be ready to take on the Monarchs (13-6-3). ODU will have its second opportunity in as many games to knock a Providence school from the tournament — the Monarchs defeated Providence College 1-0 on Saturday to advance to the second round. Brown has never faced Old Dominion, which won the Colonial Athletic Association
By Stu Woo Spor ts Editor
his second match with an injury default, and then defeated the tournament’s No. 5 seed Kenny Lester, also from Arizona State, 5-2 in the semifinals. “In both matches, I had the first takedowns,” Mock said. “After that, I was wrestling more defensively. I was a bit heavy on my feet — that’s something I need to work on.” In the championship match, Mock faced No. 2 seed Trey McLean of Penn whom he had
Just before 4 a.m. this morning, men’s lacrosse player Reade Seligmann ’09 planned to lace up his running shoes, throw on a brightyellow traffic jacket and run laps around the Main Green. Seligmann, the former Duke lacrosse suspect who was vindicated earlier this year, will be jogging for the Brown team’s fall charity project: a 36-hour run-a-thon to raise funds for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerating innocent prisoners through DNA testing. Seligmann pitched the idea of a lacrosse team charity event for the Innocence Project even before he committed to transferring to Brown this spring. Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90 liked the idea and organized the event this fall after team members approved, much to the delight of the New York Citybased organization. “It’s an extraordinary thing that (Seligmann) and the whole team are doing,” said Eric Ferrero, the Innocence Project’s communications director. “That’s money that will let us take additional clients and conduct additional DNA testing on behalf of our clients who are currently in prison fighting to prove their innocence.” In the spring of 2006, Seligmann and two Duke lacrosse teammates were charged with raping an exotic dancer at a team party. The three were declared innocent by the North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper earlier this year. Tiffany has asked each of the team’s 36 members to solicit 10 donations for the event, and he is optimistic the team can bring in $25,000, though he has not set a concrete goal. Team members and coaches have been ver y receptive to the idea — even if it means jogging laps around a dark, deserted and chilly quad in the wee hours. Brian
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Ashley Hess / Herald File Photo
Goalkeeper Paul Grandstand ’11 and the men’s soccer team host a second round NCAA tournament game against Old Dominion tonight at Stevenson Field at 7 p.m.
this year. “Everyone is excited and confident” from the success of the season, said co-captain Stephen Sawyer ’09. “We know we can get out there and beat anyone on any
given day.” On its path to the Ivy League Championship and the No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament, Brown continued on page 8
Bears wrestle their way to 7th at Keystone Classic BY Han Cui Sports Staff Writer
With results that echoed those at the wrestling team’s opening tournament at the Brockport-Oklahoma Gold Classic, five wrestlers placed individually in the team’s second tournament, the Keystone Classic, held Nov. 18 at the University of Pennsylvania. But the five wrestlers who placed at Keystone were different from those who placed in the first tournament. Leading the team was tri-captain Levon Mock
M. lax jogs to help innocent prisoners
’08, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, who eventually took the championship in the heavyweight class. Mock, who did not perform well in the first tournament, said it served as a wake-up call for him. Going into the tournament, Mock said, “I didn’t know what to expect. I was taking it one match at a time.” Mock, who didn’t know about his seeding until after his weigh-in, won his first match of the day at Keystone against Quinton Pruett of Arizona State University with a 4-0 decision. He advanced through
Gupta ’08 gobbles up competition en route to nationals by Amy Ehrhart Assistant Sports Editor
Dan Grossman ’71
Smita Gupta ’08 finished 69th at the NCAA Championships.
Smita Gupta ’08 is always in control. After growing up playing soccer, Gupta decided to give up scoring goals during her senior year of high school to run cross country for the first time. Then she committed to Brown — despite having scholarship offers for running at Boston University and Boston College — because of the choices the New Curriculum and Ivy athletics gave her. Two weeks ago, Gupta took charge at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships with a time of 20:54 in the 6,000-meter run. Her time earned her a bid to the NCAA Championships last Monday in Terre Haute, Ind. — Brown’s first bid since Angie Morey ’02 qualified in 2001. At the national meet, Gupta finished 69th — two spots higher than Morey finished — with a time of 21:20. “It would’ve been a shame walking away from cross country without (go-
ing to Nationals),” Gupta said. “I feel like I’ve grown enough as an athlete and dedicated more and more every year, so I was more aware of what it takes, and I was ready.” Gupta’s individual effort was impressive, but the rest of the women’s cross country team was just a narrow 11 points away from qualifying for Nationals as a team, taking fifth at Regionals. “Smita has spent several years now upping the ante — both mentally and physically,” wrote Director of Track and Field Craig Lake in an e-mail to The Herald. “This year she did more mileage than ever — around 70 miles per week. She is a great role model for the rest of the team in demonstrating that you can continually improve over time. ... It shows our team that they can achieve similarly.” Gupta credited Lake with much of her success. When Lake came to Brown as the new head coach prior to Gupta’s sophomore season, she brought with her a more individu-
alized training plan that gave workouts “more purpose,” according to Gupta. Gupta was also a part of Brown’s Ivy League Champion indoor 4x800 meter relay team her sophomore year, and she ran a sub-five minute mile in the same year. Last year, the team voted her MVP, and she finished 22nd at Regionals. This year, Gupta improved to seventh at Regionals on the Franklin Park course in Boston that she is all too familiar with. In 2005, she ran three and a half minutes slower on the same course. But after her finish at Regionals this year, it is clear she’s taken command of the route. “I think familiarity with a course makes a difference in knowing where the critical points are in the race. … It helps you not get bogged down with details,” Gupta said. “I’ve run the (5,000 meters) at Van Cortlandt Park so many times I’m so familiar continued on page 8