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The Brown Daily Herald T hursday, A pril 17, 2008

Volume CXLIII, No. 53

Since 1866, Daily Since 1891

U. to shuttle students to parking lot two miles out New lot has 250 student spots for $600 each By Melissa Shube Staff Writer

Starting next semester, the University will provide parking at Providence Piers to replace the current on-campus student parking spots, which will no longer be available to students. The lot at Providence Piers is located between 170 and 180 Allens Avenue, and is two miles from Faunce House.

An off-campus lot How you’ll get there: • Between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., take safeRIDE Brown Med/ Downcity. • Between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m., take safeRIDE onCall. • Between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., take a special onCall shuttle. It will be accessible by the safeRIDE Brown Med/Downcity shuttle during the day and by safeRIDE onCall in the evening, said Elizabeth Gentry, director of business and financial services. When safeRIDE isn’t running, between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., a special on-call shuttle will take students to and from the parking lot. The lot is also on RIPTA bus route number three. The lot is well-lit and fenced, Gentry said, and an officer or security guard will be on site at all times. There are 250 parking spots designated for Brown students, with each spot costing $600 to rent for the year.

Gentry said that more than 250 students have cars, but many choose to park elsewhere. “Many more kids than that have cars here, but they find ways — renting garages or parking spaces in the neighborhood. They find alternative ways to have their vehicles close to campus,” she said. The inconvenience of waiting for a shuttle may lead additional students to search for private parking spaces. “I’m actually looking for off-campus parking,” said Chris Mitchell ’09. “It’s more expensive, but I’m willing to pay the extra to not have to deal with the shuttle.” Mitchell said he felt the remaining on-campus spots should go to students and not faculty, stating that it would be easier to shuttle faculty to and from Providence Piers. “The teachers are here during the day and we live here,” he said. “They are going to need the shuttle much less than we would,” Mitchell said. Gentry said solving the lack of space for parking is difficult, but the University is trying to provide options for students with alternative forms of transportation, such as RIPTA and the Zipcar rental service. “The whole transportation on College Hill is a challenging thing to manage,” Gentry said. “We’re looking at every option that we can to do things and to provide services, and also to push the demand for alternative modes of transportation.” Gentry said these should also help reduce the University’s carbon footprint. Mackenzie Staffier ’08 noted that some people need cars to drive to and from their jobs or go home. She called the off-campus parking unfortunate but said it was probably the best way to deal with the lack of space.

Meara Sharma / Herald

The Latino performing arts group Mezcla performs an Afro-Brazilian dance for prospective students at the Third World Welcome.

Third World Welcome hosts about 130 students for another day on the hill By Sophia Li Senior Staff Writer

As hundreds of admitted students finished their visits to campus, some of their potential classmates remained for another day on College Hill. About 130 prospective students registered to spend an extra night at Brown for the Third World Welcome, a two-day program sponsored by the Office of Admission that follows A Day on College Hill. “TWW is designed to be a program that complements ADOCH,” said Angela Romans, associate director of admission and director of minority recruitment. “We also want to have a slightly smaller and more intimate program

(than ADOCH),” she added. Savannah Greene decided to stay on College Hill to take advantage of the size of TWW. “I wanted to talk to a lot of the other prefrosh in a smaller situation,” said the prospective firstyear from Pasadena, Calif., who will be visiting Stanford University next week. Attendance at TWW is slightly down from last year’s total of about 140 students, since this year did not include early admits. TWW gives prospective first years the chance to interact with other admitted students of color, said Marco Martinez ’08, one of the three minority recruitment interns with the Office of Admission who coordinated the program. TWW

also allows prospective students who self-identify as students of color to see what social and academic opportunities are available to them at Brown, he added. Martinez has been working since the end of winter break with the Bruin Club and his fellow interns, Natasha Go ’10 and Danielle Dunlap ’10, to organize the program. Last night’s events included dinner with faculty, admissions officers and students, a cultural show and an ice cream social. The cultural show, emceed by Martinez and Graham Browne ’08, featured performances from student groups, including Mezcla, Brown Lion Dance, Divine continued on page 6

Economic woes felt by job hunters

An activist and author: This provost has a past

By Alex Seitz-Wald Contributing Writer

The office of Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 offers a perfect view of student protests on the Main Green. But Kertzer doesn’t just watch from inside — he knows what it’s like

By Connie Zheng Contributing Writer

Binayak Mishra ’08 was discouraged about job hunting at first. Citigroup denied him a job, noting that they were hiring fewer employees. At a career fair, JP Morgan’s recruiters told him they weren’t looking to hire. “It seemed like it was harder this year to get a job,” Mishra said. “I feel like at first Brown didn’t come across as strong because we tended to not have specific, marketable skills. But we do well on personality, and it seems like everyone did OK in the end.” Don’t worry: Mishra will start a job soon with Credit Suisse. But his

FEATURE

Connie Zheng / Herald

continued on page 4

PostFemme fatales, film festivals and Spring Fever — fo’ free www.browndailyherald.com

Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 relaxes in his office in University Hall.

5

CAMPUS NEWS

Fooling faculty Math professor’s April Fools’ admissions prank tricks some geniuses

11

OPINIONS

to raise his voice on behalf of the little guy and once spent the night in military barracks with the late American writer Norman Mailer after being arrested for protesting the Vietnam War at the Pentagon during the mid-1960s, when he was a student at Brown. Now, acting as the chief academic officer of the University — and second-in-command to President Ruth Simmons — Kertzer doesn’t occupy his time solely with adminis-

mccain and movies Lindsey Meyers ’09 believes voters go conservative at both the ballot box and the ticket box

195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island

trative duties. He is also a professor of anthropology and Italian studies and a historian whose books have been translated into over a dozen languages. His latest book, “Amalia’s Tale,” published in March, reflects a theme common in his other work — David standing up to the institutional Goliath — as it retells the court battle of an illiterate Italian wetnurse who sued Bologna’s medical establishment for its negligence in the 1800s. From Providence to Bologna “Amalia’s Tale” follows a peasant woman, Amalia Bagnacavalli, as she and her ambitious attorney, Augusto Barbieri, sue a hospital-run institution whose unsafe practices of handling babies caused Bagnacavalli to contract syphilis. Kertzer’s book, continued on page 4

tomorrow’s weather It’s going to be cloudy — just like your employment prospects

Cloudy, 69 / 49 News tips: herald@browndailyherald.com


T oday Page 2

Thursday, April 17, 2008

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

Menu

But Seriously | Charlie Custer and Stephen Barlow

Sharpe Refectory

Verney-Woolley Dining Hall

Lunch — Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauce, Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini Yianchi Pumpkin Bars

Lunch — Gourmet Roast Turkey Sandwich, Tofu Raviolis with Sauce, Chocolate Flake Cookies

Dinner — Chicken in the Rough, Vegetarian Tamale Pie, Red Potatoes with Chive Sauce

Dinner — Spice Rubbed Pork Chops, Gnocchi ala Sorrentina, Corn, Chocolate Vanilla Pudding Cake

Nightmarishly Elastic | Adam Robbins

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

Vagina Dentata | Soojean Kim

© Puzzles by Pappocom

RELEASE DATE– Thursday, April 17, 2008

Los Angeles Times Crossword Puzzle C r o sDaily swo rd

Gus vs. Them | Zachary McCune and Evan Penn

Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

ACROSS 1 Turning meas. 4 Barley bristle 7 Consequence of arguing with an ump, perhaps 14 Some is bottled in Cannes 15 “If I Ruled the World” rapper 16 Unlike Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” 17 “Married ... With Children” dad 19 Snoozes 20 *Where she blows? 22 Tax-free govt. bond 23 Stradivari’s teacher 24 *Kitchen appliance 28 Music biz corruption 30 Postal creed word 31 Stuff 32 RadioShack’s __80 computer 33 Lambeau Field immortal 35 Gives the boot 36 Briefly, one is aptly placed in the grid in the answer to each starred clue 38 Like a 1-2-3 inning 41 Downed 42 N.C. State’s conference 45 Time to beware 46 Med. research agcy. 47 Harsh-plus 49 *Reuters and others 52 Centric opening 53 Wilson of “Wedding Crashers” 54 *Lawn starters 56 Thoroughly enjoyed 59 Pub brand with a red triangle logo 60 City NNE of Seattle 61 It may be added to impress 62 Emeritus: Abbr. 63 Presidential veto time window

64 Wielded the baton 65 Menu general

35 *Downtrodden 46 Ticket number, 36 *Censor’s target maybe 37 Benchwarmer 48 Salt Lake City 38 “Collages” team DOWN novelist 50 “If I __ Carpenter” 1 Adjust once more 39 Ben Jonson 51 Sally Field 2 California wrote one to Emmy-winning observatory site himself role 3 Token transports 40 Like a fixed rug 55 Icicle site 4 *Lead singer in 42 Deep down 56 On easy street the band Heart 43 Blow-out 57 Hail, to Caesar 5 Dry riverbed merchandise? 58 Skid row woe 6 “Bye Bye Bye” 44 Approximately boy band 7 Cups opening? ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE: 8 Captivate 9 Be bratty 10 *“SlaughterhouseFive” author 11 Star-studded Manhattan eatery 12 Short flight 13 Places for RNs 18 “For __ us ...” 21 Dropped anchor? 25 Like the Vikings 26 Corrode 27 They have Xings 29 Vegas machine with the best odds? 34 “I should have been __ of ragged claws”: Eliot 04/17/08

Classic Deo | Daniel Perez

xwordeditor@aol.com

Classic How To Get Down | Nate Saunders

T he B rown D aily H erald By Dan Naddor (c)2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

04/17/08

If you do one thing on College Hill today... Join the Chattertock’s “Sexy Time” spring concert featuring Badmaash Salomon 101 from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m

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M etro Thursday, April 17, 2008

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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

R.I. politics fire up state’s blogosphere Local blogs fill big role in small state By Sara Sunshine Staf f Writer

On April 1, Pat Crowley — a writer for the progressive blog Rhode Island’s Future — posted an entry saying he had accepted a new job offer and would be leaving the Providence area. Within hours, Crowley said, he received a flurry of e-mails from his readers and even a call from the Providence Journal. Crowley was playing an April Fools’ joke, but here in the nation’s smallest state, political blogs are taken ver y seriously. And these once-alternative forums are now stirring up discourse — and controversy — while bringing a fresh perspective to local politics that bloggers say is lost in mainstream media. Because Rhode Island has only one major newspaper, the Providence Journal, there is a bigger gap in the news market to be filled than in other states, said Justin Katz, the creator and administrator of the conservative

blog Anchor Rising. As a result, some in Rhode Island are frustrated with the “lack of rigor” in print and television media and want “alternatives to right-wing talk shows,” said Rep. David Segal, D-Dist. 2, who contributes to R.I. Future and the liberal Providence Daily Dose. Blogs are quickly becoming that alternative, Katz said. They allow readers and contributors to engage in “a relatively rapid discussion in a thoughtful text-based medium” in a way traditional news sources cannot, he added. The state’s small size also allows bloggers greater influence on local events, said Matt Jerzyk ’99, founder and editor of R.I. Future. But the smallness of the Ocean State can also cause bloggers to lose their objectivity, Katz said, because the social and political networks in the state are tightly woven. “It feels like you start to get pulled into this family,” he said. “Chances are that if you’re blogging about a political figure, they’re going to read that,” Crowley said.

The Rise of Blogging According to a 2006 Pew Internet sur vey, 57 million American adults read blogs. But it is unclear what power this alternative media form actually wields. “Blogs are ver y rarely going to have a direct ef fect on elections,” said Henr y Farrell, assistant professor of political science at George Washington University, who specializes in the relationship between politics and the internet. Rather, he said, the more impor tant influence of blogs comes when they break a stor y the mainstream media then picks up — such as the recent focus on Barack Obama’s comments about small-town America, which were first recorded on the Huffington Post blog. In a recent speech at a San Francisco fund-raiser, Obama characterized middle-class small-town Americans as “bitter” because of economic hardships they’ve suffered. In Rhode Island, many blogs garner attention by covering local politics. Originally receiving 30 to 40 hits a day, R.I. Future continued on page 6

After smoke shop scuffle, tribe wants new trial By Brian Mastroianni Senior Staf f Writer

July 14, 2003 was not a normal day for the members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe, the only federally recognized Native American tribe in Rhode Island. On that day, state police troopers issued a search warrant on a smoke shop operating out of a trailer on the tribe’s Charlestown reser vation. The tribe was not charging the state’s cigarette tax, prompting the police to seek sales records. When some tribal members, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, retaliated, a scuf fle broke out, resulting in the arrest of eight members of the tribe. “Adding to the emotions of this case was the ugliness of that day. It was all captured on ... cameras with the images played over and over,” said Michael Healey a spokesman for Attorney General Patrick L ynch. After much deliberation, and controversy sur rounding the conduct of both the troopers and tribal members during the raid, a Rhode Island Superior Court jur y reached a verdict on the 16 proposed misdemeanor counts on April 4. Thomas was found guilty of assault, Tribal Councilman Hiawatha Brown was found guilty of assault as well as disorderly conduct, and Councilman Randy Noka was found guilty of disorderly conduct, according to an April 5 Providence Journal article. The maximum sentence for a normal assault charge is either a one-year prison term, a $1,000 fine or both, according to the article. “Our store had only been open for two-and-a-half days. Everyone was surprised by the raid. We were always able to resolve any problems that may have come up in the past,” Thomas said. “We thought it was unnecessar y for

the state police to come in like march of the wooden soldiers.” Controversy has long surrounded the raid itself, reflecting nationwide confusion as to how states handle Native American tax-free tribal businesses. The Supreme Court and state courts have ruled that states are able to collect taxes on cigarette sales to “non-Indians, and to members of other tribes,” according to a Dec. 30, 2003 New York Times article. For Thomas, the raid was just another example of hardships faced by Native Americans at the hands of the government. “The state has never really been forthright with us and honest, we do what we feel we have a right to do; I guess we aren’t always used to trust,” Thomas said. The tribe plans to appeal. Thomas said that because roughly 70 percent of the state’s charges were dropped, a positive outcome from the appeal is not unrealistic. On May 5, there will be a motion for a new trial. “Although the trial is over, the case isn’t over. ... This will be a standard, post-trial motion — it’s a chance for both sides to argue for new verdicts,” Healey said. “If the judge denies the motion for a new trial, then the court will determine what the right sentencing is on that day.” “We have been getting a lot of suppor t as well as e-mails from those who don’t suppor t us. Maybe this has all had a positive effect, maybe this has gotten people to be curious about our tribe,” Thomas said. Some of the attention may also have resulted from the media’s focus on the trial. “People read papers, and the paper prints what the paper prints, sometimes there are misrepresentations,” he added. Both sides faced criticism dur-

Herald eyesight exam.

ing the trial. “One of the criticisms made against us consistently is that we were trying to make an example of (the Narragansetts). We reject that idea,” Healey said. “True justice isn’t about winning cases and getting maximum sentences. It is about the process of presenting the case to the jur y and letting the jury make its mind up,” he added. The month-long trial was a particularly emotional one, Healey said. “Ever y case is emotional, but what differentiates the smoke shop case is that it involved truly visceral reactions over a long period of time.” Though a dif ficult time for Thomas and the Narragansetts, the tribe will remain unified, Thomas said. “I will do whatever is necessar y for my tribe. The ultimate goal of the power structure is to get you to give up spirit and assimilate you. I have to stand up and be strong and represent my tribe.”

Group wants demolition only as a last-ditch effort By Zunaira Choudhary Contributing Writer

A group assessing Providence’s policies on the preser vation of its historic buildings has finalized a course of action to thwart the demolition of historical but poorly maintained structures, according to an April 4 press release from the mayor’s office. The Mayor’s Working Group on Historic Preser vation was formed after the controversial demolition of the Providence Fruit and Produce Warehouse Co. building late last year, according to an April 10 Providence Journal article. Though city of ficials had to order the demolition of the historic structure after deeming it unsafe, some blamed the owners for failing to take better care of the notable building, according to the article. Established by Mayor David Cicilline ’83 at the end of Januar y, the working group met biweekly starting in mid-Februar y, according to the Department of Planning and Development Web site. A draft of the Demolition Delay Policy provides guidelines to deal with the proposed demolition of any historic building. If a building is not labeled as dangerous, a local review board will evaluate the situation with no further involvement from building officials, according to the draft. When a building is deemed to be unsafe but not in “imminent danger of collapse,” the review board will assemble as soon as possible while building of ficials instruct the owner to make the structure safe. Lastly, when a building is both unsafe and likely to collapse, an emergency committee will decide the fate of the structure and a demolition will be ordered if the committee concludes that the building cannot be rescued. The mayor signed a second executive order approving the Demolition Delay Policy on March 31, and the working group is set to submit a final report of their evaluations to the mayor on Tuesday, according to the group’s Web site. The group also addressed “demolition-by-neglect,” defined by

the executive order as a situation when a historic building has disintegrated into “disrepair” as a result of the actions of the owners. A document titled “Demolition-by-neglect policy for historic structures,” provided on the working group’s Web site outlines the strategy for these cases: After compiling a list of historic structures that are at risk of demolition-by-neglect, city officials will determine the steps needed to rectify the dangerous conditions and prevent the buildings from further decline. Additionally, since the responsibility of making the structure safe will lie with the owner, legal action may be taken in case the response is not satisfactor y, according to the policy. The executive order charged the group with three tasks: creating a policy to delay the demolition of historic buildings, addressing the problem of demolition-by-neglect and identifying other buildings which should be, but are not currently designated as protected, said Robert Azar, director of current planning in the department of planning and development and staff member of the working group. The group was assigned to establish “how city officials act,” and ensure that the procedure allows for “good communication” between departments, Azar said. In addition, there was “serious concern” about the demolition-byneglect dilemma and the mayor wanted to “proactively deal with the situation,” Azar said. As far as cataloguing structures that are not currently on the National Register of Historic Places, the group will “evaluate historical significance based on documentation,” and the process will take several months, he added. When asked about buildings that may have been undeser vedly demolished, Azar said that there were three cases last year in which “preservationists questioned whether the buildings had to be given permission for emergency demolition without going through the required review process.” The three structures in question were the Providence Fruit and continued on page 6


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

Job-hunting seniors feeling Kertzer ’69 arrested — in 1967, that is the shaky economy’s sting continued from page 1

continued from page 1 initial experience is not unique. For this year’s job hunters, a slumping economy coping with the subprime mortgage crisis and the ensuing credit crunch is making a stressful journey even more hectic. Labor economist Rachel Friedberg, senior lecturer in economics, said seniors looking for jobs are most exposed to corporate cutbacks. “When firms cut back, they usually start by limiting new hires instead of laying people off,” she said. And while hiring cutbacks may have already begun, it “looks like they’re going to get worse” in the future, she added. In Rhode Island, the unemployment rate has reached 5.7 percent, its highest number in more than a decade. And, according to a survey released yesterday of more than 3,100 recruiters by employment Web site CareerBuilder.com, 58 percent of employers want to hire recent college graduates. That figure stood at 79 percent a year ago . Emily Polivy ’08 said she is in a class of 20 incoming analysts to Oppenheimer Funds, down from 35 last year. Speaking with friends and classmates, she said she has seen more competition for fewer openings in the financial services industry. Paul Mithun ’08 and Rafael Rincon ’08, who are both working for consulting firms next year, each said they faced more competition than students had in the past. Consulting and financial services firms have similar applicant pools, they said, so with a decrease in financial sector jobs available, there were more people applying for consulting positions. On the other end of the hiring process is Bethany Gerstein ’07, who works in Google’s human resources department. While she would not speak on behalf of the company, she said — based on her own experiences and those of her friends — it was “unquestionably harder to find a job this year.” She also estimated that when she was at Brown, about three-quarters of her friends had jobs by spring break. Though the Career Development Center could not provide statistics on how many students have accepted jobs, most seniors interviewed by The Herald said they do not know what they are doing next year. Elizabeth Inglese ’08 said she is taking a year off before starting graduate school and that she would have found a job if she had thought there were more opportunities available. But Brown students may be in a better position than many other graduating seniors. If hiring goes down and the job market becomes more

competitive, students from Brown and other prestigious schools will fare better than others, Friedberg said. Brown’s many and well-employed alumni are also an asset that other job hunters don’t have. “In a tough economy, expect to be working much more closely with alumni,” said Barbara Peoples, the CDC’s senior associate director. So far, the CDC has not seen any significant change in employers’ recruiting, Peoples said. The CDC had its “strongest recruiting in five years,” in terms of the number of firms that came to campus, the number of interviews conducted and student participation rates, she said. Beverly Erhrich, CDC’s associate director, said students she’s spoken with who are conducting their own job searches aren’t experiencing “anything unusual or different,” either. But it’s unclear whether the CDC’s recruitment numbers represent last year’s economy or the current one. Employers registered for this year’s recruitment program last May, Peoples said, so this year’s large recruiting effort may not accurately reflect those firms’ current hiring. “We anticipate we may see something next year,” Peoples said. “It’s going to be interesting how (the economic slump) affects the college market.” Not all students reported problems. Gerstein, of Google, said the technology industry is “pretty booming, especially for engineers.” For non-profit organizations, it’s a mixed bag. Nathan Wyeth ’08, who served on the board of directors of the Sierra Club, said “baseline funding for a lot of nonprofits drops during a recession” as small donors cut back on contributions to conserve more essential purchases. But nonprofits pursuing political agendas operate based on the political schedule, Wyeth said, so they may actually be “ramping up hires” in preparation for November’s presidential election. Wyeth said clean energy and clean technology firms are doing well. They are driven by government policy and venture capital, Wyeth said, not consumer spending. Nat Manning ’08 agreed, saying there is “plenty of work in green consulting,” and that “new companies seem to be sprouting up” despite a feeble economy. So what should jobless seniors do in the face of a lackluster job market? “Don’t change career plans based on this year’s economy,” Friedberg said. “Continue to look for what you want to be doing in five years. Try to ride it out.” “It’s not about you,” she said. “It’s about the economy.”

which draws from hundreds of documents in Bologna’s historical archives, traces Bagnacavalli’s path from her impoverished mountain village to the foundling home where she picks up an infected baby to breastfeed for money, then to the Bolognese courts and ultimately to the Italian Supreme Court. Kertzer and his wife, Susan Kertzer ’70, have lived in Italy and still travel there frequently. Kertzer

Herald File Photo

Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 at a meeting on ROTC on Feb. 11, 1969.

discovered Bagnacavalli’s story 15 years ago, when he was writing “Sacrificed for Honor,” a book detailing European politics of reproductive control over the past few centuries. Though he majored in anthropology at Brown and received his Ph.D. in anthropology at Brandeis University in 1974, Kertzer’s books focus on Italian history. Lining the shelves of the provost’s spacious office in University Hall are the international editions — he can’t read the Japanese ones — of his books ranging from subjects such as the Vatican’s treatment of Jews to the Italian Communist Party. Kertzer, who speaks fluent Italian and French, did not begin studying Italian history until graduate school, when he lived in the country for a year. Before becoming a historian, he was primarily an activist. From bourgeois to radical Hailing from what he calls a “bourgeois” background in Westchester County, N.Y., Kertzer immersed himself in activism while at Brown. By the time he graduated in 1969, he was the acting president, secretary and university affairs chairman of the Campus Action Council, a student anti-war group, and the editor of “Confrontation,” the “Journal of Radical

Thought” he founded in October 1967. His yearbook photo shows him as a clean-cut, if not entirely clean-shaven, young man. His dark hair is cropped but not slicked back like many of his peers on the same page. “The transformation came from our generation,” says Kertzer, when discussing activism at Brown today and when he was a student. “The groups here were more devoted to civil rights, more politically engaged outside the University. ... I don’t think it’s the same at all. In the late 1960s, there was much more political activism.” Still, he says student activism today provides “vibrance on campus” — provided that it does not turn “sanctimonious, holier-thanthou.” In the late 1960s — a time when Pembroke College still existed and, Kertzer recalls, female students could not leave their dorms after 9 p.m. — the CAC thrived as it organized protests against military personnel and the ROTC. One of Ker tzer’s strongest memories of this period, however, was the time he was arrested at the Pentagon. On October 21, 1967, Kertzer, along with at least 14 other students from Brown and Pembroke, was arrested for “disobeying the orders of a U.S. Government Marshall,” according to an Oct. 23, 1967 Herald article. More Brown students were arrested than those of any other college, the same article reported. Approximately 200 Brown students marched on the Pentagon that day. Kertzer and his friend Robert Cohen Jr. ’68, also a former CAC student leader and a Herald reporter, blocked militar y traffic with other protesters before police picked them up and carted them to a military barracks south of Washington, the two of them recall. There, Cohen recalls, was where they met Mailer, dressed in a threepiece suit. Kertzer and Cohen first saw Mailer when he broke up an argument between various anti-war factions of the arrested protestors. Later, Cohen says, they walked over to Mailer and told him that they were taking an American literature class with R.V. Kessel, a Brown professor who had also published various books. “Oh, I know R.V.!” Kertzer recalls Mailer saying. Because Cohen and Kertzer had been arrested, Mailer wrote a note on their behalf: “Dear R.V., please excuse David and

Bob for being late for class. —Uncle Norm. P.S. Wish you was here!*!” Kessel kept the original note, but Cohen made photocopies for himself and for Kertzer. Cohen donated his copy to the John Hay Library, while Kertzer keeps his in his office, decorated with a red frame and a photograph of Mailer. The students were released with five-day suspended sentences and $25 fines, according to The Herald. “It was the best company I ever kept,” says Kertzer with a laugh. This was not the only time that Kertzer would be arrested for protesting. During one summer while at graduate school, Kertzer was arrested with a group of female welfare recipients who had demanded clothing for their children from the welfare office. Kertzer recalls that he was not even allowed into court for his own trial because he was not wearing a suit and tie. A return to Brown Now, as provost, Kertzer’s typical day of work begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. He attends meeting after meeting, has appointments with various deans and members of the faculty and takes half an hour to eat, he says. Every once in a while, he has time for a vacation in Maine and to research his next book — currently, he’s writing about Mussolini. When asked if he would protest now, given the opportunity, Kertzer replies that there is “a tendency, a time in life to protest. ... I think I can have impact in other ways.” Unlike most provosts at other universities, Kertzer says, he had not done much administrative work before stepping into his position in 2006. He compares the transition from professor to administrator to “walking into someone else’s life.” Smiling, he says, “It does seem kind of funny ... the cardboard way I viewed the administration” when he was in college. “There were two absolute standout students (in the CAC),” Cohen says. “(Kertzer) was one of them. He was very smart, very committed, (he had) excellent values, no question. ... David still has the values he had then.” Cohen, now a labor lawyer in West Virginia, understands that Kertzer’s responsibilities have changed. “He’s a provost of a world-class university. You can’t go out in that situation (and) carry a picket sign.” With a pause, he adds, “He’s not on Wall Street, for God’s sake!”


C ampus n ews Thursday, April 17, 2008

‘Merit-blind admissions’ fool math profs. on April 1 By Max Mankin And Anne Simons Senior Staff Writer and Contributing Writer

How would you feel if you discovered that 20 percent of your class was admitted to Brown entirely at random? That’s exactly what Richard Schwartz, professor of mathematics, wanted to see on April Fools’ Day when he played a prank on the Department of Mathematics. After a day of brainstorming, conferring with his wife and writing a bit, Schwartz sent an e-mail to the

FEATURE entire math department, in which he explained that though most Brown students had straight A’s in high school, their grades fluctuated once they arrived at college. The solution? “All the applications will be put into a hat and the first 200 new admits to Brown will be drawn at random.” The e-mail started out slowly. Schwartz told the recipients that an “Admissions Advisory Committee,” which supposedly studied correlations between admissions practices and student performance at Brown, had a novel recommendation for the admissions office. “I tried to convince them that I was on the admissions advisory committee and asked for feedback,” he said. “The idea was to try to make it build up.” The e-mail featured the results of a fictitious study conducted by the committee, which confirmed that there appeared to be no difference between the college grades of “academic elites” ­— students admitted with multiple 5s on Advanced Placement tests, high grades and awards ­— and the college grades of students admitted for non-academic reasons. “When we compared these students side by side, we hardly found any difference at all!” he wrote. “It is perhaps better to say that the excellent high school grades of our students did not translate into similar grades at Brown,” he continued in the e-mail. “Overall, there seems to be little correlation at all between what we see on the student applications and what we see once the students are here. It seems that the applications are so carefully padded and polished that we can’t tell the good from the bad.” Schwartz was thorough. He even suggested that the Brown committee wasn’t the first to notice the discrepancy — other Ivies had conducted similar studies and found similar results. Harvard, he wrote, had been experimenting with a “really unsettling idea — a kind of ‘random admission policy,’” over the last two years, admitting three percent of its incoming freshman class completely at random. The random pool was “subject to a certain minimum level of perceived quality. This is to say that they randomly gave some ‘decent but not great seeming’ applicants a chance, but obviously did not take people with prison records,” Schwartz wrote in the e-mail. He claimed that Harvard’s pilot program was, surprisingly, a success, and would be increasing its random admittance percentage from three to six percent. Princeton would admit 10 percent at random, and Columbia would follow suit. Schwartz fabricated a positive quote from a Princeton administra-

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tor: “‘In the absence of any other good criterion, it seems fair to give the benevolent hand of chance a greater role in guiding the future of higher education,’” the fake administrator said, adding that the new policy was criticized by the press as “merit-blind admissions.” This convincing build-up formed the groundwork for the punch line. Brown was moving to a “20 percent random admission’s policy by 2011” and “both President Simmons and Provost Kertzer have enthusiastically (and publicly) embraced this recommended new policy.” Finally, Schwartz solicited feedback and added a link to his Web site. Of course, the page said “Happy April Fools’ Day.” But instead of a laugh and a pat on the back, a surprised Schwartz received many reply e-mails with comments, started a day-long email thread, and discovered that most of the math department does not click links for more information. “Somehow it did seem within the realm of the kind of crazy things that you hear,” said Professor of Mathematics Jeffrey Brock, one of the many professors initially fooled by Schwartz’s e-mail. Brock attributed the heated responses Schwartz received to a tendency among mathematicians to rely heavily on statistics and traditional admissions practices. “I think that mathematicians are slightly more prone to think that the more conservative approaches to looking at scores would be preferable,” Brock said, adding that there was “lamentation” expressed that traditional admissions practices were falling by the wayside. Brock, who was rejected from Brown as an undergraduate, said his history with the University may have contributed to his gullibility. “I suppose my reaction on some level was ‘OK, well yeah, maybe I would have gotten in if they were randomly choosing,’” he said. Professor of Mathematics Thomas Goodwillie was also fooled, but wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that what he found most embarrassing about falling for the prank is that the use of big names like Harvard and Princeton made him give the idea more serious consideration. “I like to believe that I am more of a think-for-yourself person than that,” he wrote. Schwartz said most of the responses he received were the expected “that’s a terrible idea,” but some of the responses were surprising. Some approved of the idea, but thought that 20 percent was excessive, Schwartz said. “One guy wrote back and said he thought it was a really good idea.” He added that he and a colleague had a conversation about how difficult graduate school admissions are. “You look at these applications and you think, ‘I have a stack of 100 geniuses,’” so the process is basically random because you can’t make a wrong choice. Schwartz said he started thinking about April Fools’ jokes when he read an article on a plane about practical jokes. “It’s a joke but I sort of feel like there’s some truth to it,” Schwartz said. “I think that’s why it fooled people.” Brock said Schwartz is known in the department as a joker. “He has a very wry sense of humor,” Brock said. “We thought about making a special department officer of ‘Jester,’ and appointing Rich to a five-year term.”

B rotherhood , E q uality and love

Courtesy of Brian Gaston

Samantha Ressler ’09, Mark Brown ’09 and Lauren Neal ’11 perform in “...and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi,” directed by Patricia Ybarra and running in Leeds Theatre today through Sunday.

Thanks for reading.


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

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TWW gives CHNA president thinks city should set stronger policy extra day on College Hill continued from page 3

continued from page 1 Rhythm and Badmaash. Events continue today with opportunities for prospective students to attend classes and open office hours with professors and have lunch with students of color at Brown. Accepted students who selfidentified as Asian American, Latino, African American, Native American, biracial or multiracial on their application received an invitation to TWW with their acceptance letters, Romans said. International students have attended in the past, Martinez said. Greene said she received an invitation to TWW with her acceptance letter to Brown. She said she decided to come so she could meet more people and hear about the experience of attending Brown as a minority student. “The people are amazing,” Greene said, adding that she was struck by the students’ enthusiasm. Andriana Salazar agreed. “I felt the instant energy from all the students,” said the prospective first-year from Lockhart, Texas. “I wanted to come check it out and experience all the diversity Brown has to offer,” said Lubin Juarez from Laredo, Texas. Juarez, who was accepted to the Program in Liberal Medical Education, has already decided to attend Brown.

Produce Warehouse Co. building, the Old Public Safety Complex and the Pardon Clarke House at 155 Chestnut St., Azar said. Preser vationists were unconvinced that the conditions of these structures were so dangerous that the normal evaluation procedure “didn’t have time to unfold,” he said. Further complicating matters, a judge decided last week that the historic Grove Street School be partially demolished even though

the building’s demolition was started illegally, according to an April 11 Providence Journal article. In the contentious case, the judge fined the owners and ruled “a writ of mandamus,” essentially ordering the building official to grant the permit for demolition, thus speeding the process, according to the article. Providence has been permitting demolitions “seemingly in violation of the city’s own ordinances,” said Edward Sanderson, executive director of the Rhode Island historical preser vation and heritage

commission, which classifies buildings and structures as historic and develops programs to preser ve these sites. The working group is “the mayor’s attempt to bring violators under some regulation,” he added. The working group was helpful in identifying some historical properties in the city that are “now essentially protected from demolition,” said William Touret, president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association, who attended all of the group’s meetings.

Touret said that, in his understanding, this effort was the first part of a long-term process to protect historic structures. However, CHNA preferred that the city articulate a policy making “any demolition applied to a historic building to be least necessar y” and that “all reasonable avenues be pursued” prior to a demolition, Touret said. The discretion of the Department of Planning and Development was a concern, Touret said, calling it “too broad and not subject to checks and balances.”

From left to right, Rhode Island’s blogosphere thriving continued from page 3 began to get around a million visits a month due to their coverage of the 2006 Senate race between Sheldon Whitehouse and Lincoln Chafee ’75. Segal said he also sees blogging as a good way to “communicate with (his) constituents.” Even readers who are not normally interested in politics can find it a more “accessible” subject online, Segal said. The Daily Dose is written in a casual, witty style, and it covers a mix of art, music and culture in addition to politics, which attracts a “broader crosssection of people,” Segal said. Partisan Bickering Moves to the Internet Where there’s politics, dis-

agreement often follows, and Rhode Island’s political blogs are no exception. Blogs across Rhode Island’s political spectrum often crossreference each other, providing links to a particular assertion they would like to dispute, a practice that Katz said was part of the blogging “etiquette.” Jerzyk said he founded R.I. Future for Rhode Island’s Democratic population, but added that because the site now allows readers to vote on which stories they would like to see, the blog’s progressive tone is a response to what readers want. “If a hundred liber tarians jumped on the site and star ted posting liber tarian stuf f, that’s what we’d be reading,” Jerzyk said. He also said the site is open to ever yone and draws many con-

ser vative commentators. Katz said, as a conser vative, he “absolutely” feels outnumbered in Rhode Island, a position which has both its perks and drawbacks. On one hand, Katz said, “it is a lot easier to be the top conservative blogger in Rhode Island” and get national attention. But, he added, the potential local audience is smaller, which can make getting advertising difficult. “I made a joke when I started Anchor Rising that my goal would be to have every conservative blogger (in Rhode Island). Now that we’re up to six, I think we’re pretty close,” Katz said. Though Ari Savitzky ’06, a former Herald Opinions Editor and a writer for the Daily Dose and R.I. Future, said that he feels there are “no blog rivalries,” tempers flared

when some bloggers were asked about their counterpar ts from across the aisle. “Anchor Rising is so right-wing that they’re borderline fascist,” said Crowley, who contributes to R.I. Future. “I think they’re jealous about the level of content and the attention that we get.” In response to Crowley’s comment to The Herald, Katz posted an entr y on Anchor Rising decr ying Crowley’s characterization of the blog, to which several commenters offered their support. “What a shame the Rhode Island Left has allowed that guy such a visible place in the local public discourse,” Katz wrote. Crowley is “more of a rhetorician than an intellectual,” Katz told The Herald. “And not a ver y good one at that.”

Got a news tip? Let us know. herald@browndailyherald.com


Thursday, April 17, 2008

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Court’s ruling deals blow to death penalty By David Savage Los Angeles T imes

WASHINGTON — A national drive to halt the death penalty met defeat at the Supreme Court on Wednesday when the justices ruled that lethal injections, if properly administered, are a “humane” means of executing a condemned prisoner. By a surprisingly large 7-2 margin, the court rejected a constitutional attack on the main method of carrying out the death penalty across America. Its ruling cleared the way for executions to resume after a seven-month delay. Since October, of ficials and judges in several states have put executions on hold while awaiting the outcome of the Kentucky case decided Wednesday. The court’s opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. confirmed there is strong support for the death penalty among the justices and an unwillingness to tolerate endless delay. “We begin with the principle ... that capital punishment is constitutional. It necessarily follows that there must be a means of carrying it out,” Roberts wrote. “Some risk of pain is inherent in any method of execution -- no matter how humane -- if only from the prospect of error in following the required

procedure.” Roberts said the court would not allow a theoretical risk that a future execution would be botched to stand in the way of carrying out the death penalty. He also set a high bar for future challenges to carrying out the death penalty. To win a halt to an execution, defense lawyers must show there is a “substantial risk” that the condemned prisoner will suffer “severe pain,” the chief justice said. And they have yet to show such evidence, he said. “A state with a lethal injection protocol substantially similar to the protocol we upheld today would not create a risk that meets this standard,” he said. Agreeing with Roberts, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. added a note to say the court should not allow “litigation gridlock” to “produce a de facto ban on capital punishment.” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy also agreed with Roberts. Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia said they would go further and reject all challenges to an execution method unless it is “deliberately designed to inflict pain.” Despite the lopsided outcome, a deep split remains on capital punishment. Death penalty cases that come before the Supreme Court

often are decided by a 5-4 vote. Justice John Paul Stevens, who will be 88 years old on Sunday, said his three decades on the court have convinced him that the death penalty should be ended. He said he now agreed with the late Justice Byron White, who once described capital punishment as “the pointless and needless extinction of life with only marginal contributions” to society. Nonetheless, Stevens voted with Roberts to reject the challenge to lethal injections, since there was no evidence that Kentucky’s approach is badly flawed. Justice Stephen G. Breyer agreed for much the same reason. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter stood alone in dissent. They said they would maintain the hold on executions because Kentucky “lacks the basic safeguards” to ensure the inmate dies a painless death. “I would not dispose of this case so swiftly given the character of the risk,” Ginsburg said. Since the 1970s, all of the 36 states that carry out the death penalty have abandoned electrocutions or the gas chamber and switched to lethal chemicals. Most rely on a three-chemical cocktail that includes an anesthetic, a paralyzing drug and a heart-stopping chemical. In 2005, a British medical journal, the Lancet, raised an alarming prospect. It said dying inmates may experience searing pain from the heart-stopping chemical while they lay paralyzed on the gurney if prison officials fail to give the proper dose of sodium thiopental, the anesthetic. Defense lawyers and death penalty opponents seized on this study and cited it as a reason to stop executions throughout the nation. Their lawsuits revealed that state officials had not studied the effectiveness of the three-chemical cocktail, but relied on the fact that other states had adopted this approach. They also showed doctors and others with medical training were not on duty during executions to make sure the drugs were injected properly. Because of ethical concerns, most physicians will not participate in an execution.

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W. water polo headed for divisional championship continued from page 12 behind were Alexis Blaxberg ’08 and Wohlmuth, who each scored three. The Lady Knights’ poor ballhandling skills allowed the Bears to take an early lead, and their weak-conditioned play permitted Bruno to remain on top and coast through the game. Up 9-1 after two quarters, the Bears scored eight more in the second half to seal the game at 17-5. The Bears’ record climbed to 10-13, 4-2 CWPA North, while Queens College sank to 2-14, 2-5 CWPA North. Brown continued its game-packed week on Tuesday, beating Harvard 11-2 for the tenth consecutive time in its last “home” game of the season as well as its senior night. The Bears honored Blaxberg, Emily Schwartz ’08 and Roxanne Palmer ’08. Despite a slow offensive start to the game, the Bears held on in front of the net. “We knew that defensively ... we were going to be able to stop them offensively,” said Head Coach Felix Mercado. “We were just prepared. Our girls took their defensive assignments and executed them to near perfection.” The Bears scored only two goals in each of the first two quarters, but they were able to maintain a lead by holding the Crimson scoreless until only 3:30 remained in the third quarter. “In the beginning we were getting good opportunities but we weren’t capitalizing,” Mercado said. “I have to give Harvard credit: They were

doing a good job containing us in the beginning.” But Harvard turned the ball over a total of 14 times and couldn’t match Brown’s rising offensive intensity in the second half. “We were clicking but we weren’t scoring. I had patience,” Mercado said. “Eventually we just exploded.” The Bears scored four goals in the third period and three goals in the fourth, compared to a lone Crimson goal late in the game. A standout on offense was Blaxberg, who Mercado said played “out of her mind.” She scored a game-high four goals along with six steals and four ejections drawn, both game-highs. “I’ve waited four years for my senior game,” Blaxberg said. “Even though they’re not the greatest team, we always go into that game excited because of the Brown-Harvard rivalry. We don’t want to beat them, we want to kill them.” Brown’s record rose to 11-13, 5-2 CWPA North, while Harvard dropped to 10-10. 3-4 CWPA North. The Bears head to Utica, N.Y. as the No. 2 seed for the Northern Division Championship this weekend. They will face No. 3 Connecticut College and No. 6 Utica College in round-robin play on Saturday, and they may have one more chance to beat Hartwick in the championship on Sunday. Hartwick is the only team that has beaten Brown this season in league play. Brown has beaten both of its upcoming Saturday opponents already this season.

Rochelson ’09: Don’t let early mishaps get you down continued from page 12 The 22-year-old Cincinnati starting pitcher throws a 96-mph fastball with late movement that has baffled hitters so far. Cueto made his Major League debut with a seven-inning, 10-strikeout, no-walk performance. The only other rookie to hurl 10 K’s in his first game was Daisuke Matsuzaka, and we know he wasn’t really a rookie. After three starts, Cueto boasts an impressive 3.72 ERA and a mind-boggling 24:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Can he keep it up? The short answer: no. The long answer: it’s as likely as Gabe Kapler hitting those 58 home runs. Johnny Cueto is a flyball pitcher — 0.75 groundball-to-flyball ratio in 2008 — pitching in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. Sluggers love this park, as its dimensions inflate home runs by 28 percent. Cueto will soon start giving up homers and potentially earn a demotion back to the Minors. Cueto the Conquerer: MIRAGE. The Giants winning some games

The San Francisco Giants have somewhat surpassed preseason expectations so far. They have won six out of 15 games, and they lead the Majors in stolen bases and K’s. They’re not even in last place, hanging onto a slim lead over the Rockies in the NL West. This is as good as the Giants are going to get — this San Francisco team is about as talented as the triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. The rotation has some studs, like strikeout machine Tim Lincecum and 23-year-old Matt Cain, but this team would be terrible even if it had five Walter Johnsons. The offense is simply a joke. The aging, punchless lineup is led by Rich Aurilia, Randy Winn and Aaron Rowand — no pitchers are afraid of this team. The Giants are likely to lose over 100 games this year and continue to figure out how to survive in the postBonds era. The Giants succeeding, at all: MIRAGE.

Ellis Rochelson ’09 wants to give Joba Chamberlain a big hug — he’s such a trooper


Thursday, April 17, 2008

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

Three swimmers hope for Beijing ’08, via Nebraska continued from page 12 think about it a little in high school, but I was just joking around with my friends.” Kelly, on the other hand, had two goals at the beginning of the season: make the NCAA Swimming Championships and the Olympic trials. Though none of these elite swimmers made the cut for the NCAA championships — a meet Kelly says is faster than the Olympic trials because of international influence — they are representing Brown at the Olympic trials. Only two swimmers from each event at the national trials will make it to the Olympics. Without a single 50-meter pool in the area to swim in — let alone such a pool on campus — the men’s swimming team planned to have a different kind of season. Prior to qualifying, Kelly and several others had not competed in a 50-meter pool this year. “The week before the meet, I was talking to my coaches for techniques” specific to 50-meter pools, Kelly said. “Every little thing counts, from the entry to the first stroke.” During the Tuesday morning practices, “we had the place to ourselves,” Alexander said. “We had the space to push each other without people being in the way and slowing us down in our individual workouts.” Ricketts said he enjoyed the morning workouts because they drew the teammates together. “It was fun, those practices — I would not have made it through half of them without my teammates.” The U.S. Olympic trials will likely yield some of the fastest times in the world from some of the best swimmers. Of an average of 100 swimmers in each event, only two will go on to the Olympics. Kelly said his goal is to make the top 16, where he would probably swim in the same heat with Michael Phelps, winner of six gold

medals at the 2004 Olympics. Kelly said he’s excited to be on the pool deck seeing swimming greats compete, but he also hopes to do well. “If Michael Phelps is right next to me, I would be psyched up, not psyched out,” Kelly said. Ricketts could be swimming against Phelps as well. When asked about the potential of the matchup, he said, “Michael Phelps should be excited to be swimming with me. I don’t like to think about how good the swimmers I’m swimming against are. I’m there too — I’m just as good.” Each swimmer is competing outside the collegiate realm and will consequently have to pay for his own trips and competitions. Although they are technically competing as individuals, they are still wearing their Brown swim caps and sporting their Brown gear. Assistant Coach Craig Nisgor recruited at the Canadian Trials, so he was also able to watch and support Alexander through the process. “Whenever you have Brown attire on, it helps out (the recruiting),” Nigsor said. Alexander said he hopes recruiting in Canada improves over the next couple of years for the program. This year’s team is one of the most nationally competitive in the history of the Brown program. The program has grown from 13 swimmers in 2004, according to Volosin, to 21 this year, 15 of whom competed in Maryland for a spot at the Olympic trials. Kelly said he found motivation in an unlikely source over the summer — while running on a treadmill. “While I ran, I watched some television,” Kelly said. “A frequent advertisement of the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Michael Phelps kept me going. It was plastered on my mind for the rest of the summer and on into training with my teammates.”

After losing doubleheader, baseball defeats UConn continued from page 12 pitches and a dropped third strike that allowed the batter to reach base and a run to score. At the end of the sixth, the Bears held a commanding 12-4 lead. In the top of the seventh, the Huskies cut into the lead. With runners on first and second and one out, Papenhause made his second error of the game when a ground ball skipped by him, allowing a run to score. Later in the play, left fielder Brian Kelaher ’08 made a wild throw in to third base, allowing another run. The next hitter laced an RBI double to left field, making the score 12-7. Peter Moskal ’08 came on in relief and, with great command of his breaking pitches, got two consecutive strikeouts to

hold the lead. In the eighth inning, with runners at the corners, a wild throw back to the pitcher from catcher Matt Colantonio ’11 gave UConn another run, but Punal’s two-run double in the bottom of the inning provided some insurance runs for Bruno. Tri-captain Rob Hallberg ’08 came in to pitch the ninth, giving up a two-run homer but nothing more, securing a 14-10 win for Brown. Brown will resume Ivy League competition with a four-game series at Harvard this weekend, but unfortunately, they will have to play without tri-captain left fielder Ryan Murphy ’08, who will likely miss the remainder of his senior season because of a stress fracture in his foot.

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E ditorial & L etters Page 10

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Staf f Editorial

A little help here The stormy economy may be starting to rain on college students’ parade. Today, we reported that graduating seniors sense the job market is getting tight. A new survey of more than 3,100 recruiters shows that feeling is fairly accurate: Fifty-eight percent of employers are looking to hire recent college grads, down from 79 percent a year ago. At the same time, the state’s unemployment rate has hit its highest level in more than a decade, and students nationwide are dealing with mounting credit card debt. This sort of news makes us nervous, but we’re still optimistic. The Career Development Center says last year was its most successful for recruiting in five years, based on metrics like the number of firms that visited Brown, the number of interviews conducted and student participation rates. And, as one labor economist pointed out, even in a shrinking job market, we’re fortunate enough to be some of the most competitive students around. But what steps can the University take to help its graduating scholars more easily start on a career? As we argued at the beginning of the semester, the University should begin modifying the BRUnet Web site, which connects students seeking employment and alums providing it. That the new Web site restricts access to alumni information and encourages students to send form letters is not a wise use of one of Brown’s most fantastic resources, its dedicated alums. Second, the University should allocate more resources toward graduate and professional school advising. It’s still beyond us why the dean of the College consolidated pre-law and pre-med advising in the first place. But if we can infer that the job market may push more people into applying to professional and graduate schools, then the University should move quickly to expand the related advising resources, which are inadequate for a college our size, anyway. Many academic departments provide helpful career advice, including application deadlines and tips on job hunting. The University should increase financial support for departments giving concentrators extra help finding jobs. Third, the Career Development Center can better use technology to communicate with students. While the Registrar and ResLife seem to understand that a clear, easy-to-use Web site can be a resource for students, CDC’s home page is a mess of links that aren’t helpful and of databases with different usernames and passwords we can never remember. For confused students starting a job search, a Web site that tells them where to start, rather than providing them a puzzling mass of links, would be most helpful. In addition, while we appreciate CDC’s e-mail updates, more than a few hours advance notice on upcoming events would make it easier for us to actually attend. Our last bit of job-hunting advice is for students, and very much for ourselves. We shouldn’t stress, apply for graduate study that doesn’t interest us or change career plans based on the latest economic forecast. Plenty of students still find great employment in plenty of fields. But a little bit of help from the University would leave us more time to spend on the academic and creative pursuits that should matter most.

T he B rown D aily H erald Editors-in-Chief Simmi Aujla Ross Frazier editorial Arts & Culture Editor Robin Steele Andrea Savdie Asst. Arts & Culture Editor Debbie Lehmann Higher Ed Editor Chaz Firestone Features Editor Olivia Hoffman Asst. Features Editor Rachel Arndt Metro Editor Scott Lowenstein Metro Editor Michael Bechek News Editor Isabel Gottlieb News Editor Franklin Kanin News Editor Michael Skocpol News Editor Karla Bertrand Opinions Editor James Shapiro Opinions Editor Whitney Clark Sports Editor Amy Ehrhart Sports Editor Jason Harris Sports Editor Benjy Asher Asst. Sports Editor Andrew Braca Asst. Sports Editor Megan McCahill Asst. Sports Editor production Steve DeLucia Production & Design Editor Chaz Kelsh Asst. Design Editor Catherine Cullen Copy Desk Chief Adam Robbins Graphics Editor

Senior Editors Taylor Barnes Chris Gang Stu Woo Business Darren Ball General Manager Mandeep Gill General Manager Susan Dansereau Office Manager Alex Hughes Sales Manager Lily Tran Sales Manager Emilie Aries Public Relations Director Jon Spector Accounting Director Claire Kiely National Account Manager Ellen DaSilva University Account Manager Philip Maynard Recruiter Account Manager Katelyn Koh Credit Manager Ingrid Pangandoyon Technology Director photo Meara Sharma Min Wu Ashley Hess

Photo Editor Photo Editor Sports Photo Editor

A L exander sayer gard - murray

L e tt e r s Banner advocacy created the prerequisite fiasco To the Editor: I’m glad that Tyler Rosenbaum ’11 has discovered that Banner will enforce prerequisites (“Banner went too far,” April 16). Although this may be news to freshmen, us upperclassmen knew about it a year ago. Maybe if Tyler and others (including upperclassmen) had realized that anti-Banner sentiment had nothing to do with online registration, they would have been on the bandwagon before it was too late. Instead, they’ve stayed silent until they were actually hurt by prerequisite enforcement, computer-controlled course caps, and other curricular changes made under the guise of technological change without any student

input. The recent arguments against prerequisite enforcement are precisely the same as the ones made a year ago, when relatively few students outside of the Undergraduate Council of Students bothered to join in the conversation . Perhaps if someone like former UCS President John Gillis ’07 had been elected this year, positive change may have come about — instead, personal agendas have been pushed and the genuine concerns of the student body have taken the back burner. Matt Gelfand ’08 April 16

Emily Dickinson was shy— But you shouldn’t be—

post- magazine Matt Hill Rajiv Jayadevan Sonia Kim Allison Zimmer Colleen Brogan Arthur Matuszewski Kimberly Stickels

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O pinions Thursday, April 17, 2008

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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

Questioning the merits of meritocracy BY MATT PREWITT Opinions Columnist We never question whether meritocracy is a good thing. Its desirableness is practically embedded in the word itself, because the idea of valuing merit connotes a high-minded dismissal of unfair biasing factors (i.e. race, sex and class). Meritocracy gains many adherents due to its lack of bias. Furthermore, it turns out to be an excellent foil to Marxism on account of its class-blindness. It is probably the most potent concept in the arsenal of capitalist ideologues. However, meritocracy comes bundled with its own set of values and assumptions that are not entirely palatable, and it is time we reassessed our wholesale embrace of the system. In particular, we collectively misunderstand one of meritocracy’s properties: we assume that it prioritizes the interests of individuals, when in fact it does the opposite. Our confusion arises from the fact that meritocracy allows skilled people from underprivileged backgrounds to succeed. This single attribute does not represent the essence of meritocracy, and it misleads us into myopically focusing on meritocracy’s upside. Fundamentally, meritocracy is about valuing organizations over individuals. It is about ensuring that the organization’s interests take precedence over the interests of its members. In perfect meritocracies, institutions like corporations and universities define “merit” as whatever is most useful to them, and then impose social hierarchies on individuals based on the degree to which they express these traits — irrespective of race, sex and class. The last part is great, but I’m not so sure about the rest of it. After all, what makes us happy? How would

a perfectly happy society be organized? I’ve always thought our levels of satisfaction with our positions in social hierarchies are one of the primary inputs to happiness. This certainly isn’t a radical notion — Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman writes extensively about the psychological importance of relative, rather than absolute wealth. An illustration: I suspect I’d be happier if I and all my friends drove Hyundais than if I drove a Lexus and all my friends drove Bentleys. In other words, our hierarchical positions are more relevant to our psychological happiness than absolute material efficiency. We are social apes, primarily concerned with our power struggles.

of hierarchies lead to tremendous psychological tension. Furthermore, there are illegitimate reasons why meritocracy has become a widespread ideal. Nearly everyone stands to gain from publicly espousing meritocratic perspectives. Underprivileged people often argue that meritocracy is good, because if we had more of it, they would probably be better off. Rich and powerful people frequently argue that meritocracy is good with the not-so-subtle implication that it explains their success. Both arguments are feeble, self-interested half-truths. Because people don’t want to be accused of corruptness or ineptitude, they only rarely question

A purely meritocratic society would be a deranged place where individuals were the instruments of institutions. Being satisfied with our positions in social hierarchies makes us happier than money alone ever can. Meritocracy is merely one way of establishing these hierarchies. Of course, no matter how hierarchies emerge, some people will end up on top and others on the bottom. The problem with meritocratic hierarchies is that they determine who ends up on top not based on what’s best for human beings, but rather on what’s best for institutions. Therefore, people end up subordinate if they don’t have the skills valued by the corporation or university, and people who aren’t necessarily suited for alpha positions are thrust into them if it behooves the larger institution. As anyone who has ever had a job can tell you, institutional impositions

whether that elusive perfect meritocracy would actually be desirable. Meritocracy is admittedly better than outright corruption or kleptocracy. But it isn’t the happiest way to organize ourselves. Many people reading this column are probably wondering if I can propose an alternative. My answer is that meritocracy will always have its place, but I can give examples of nonmeritocratic schemes that might ignite further conversation. First, consider a company where the presidency rotates every year among the partners. These partners are liberated from hierarchical resentment, because they know their boss only has that position because it’s his turn. While it might behoove the company to per-

manently install the most capable leader, those gains might be offset by the gamesmanship engendered by a cutthroat environment. And in any case, it is impossible to choose the most capable person from a group with any scientific certainty. Affirmative action is another great example of this principle: limited compromises in meritocratic schemes often yield positive externalities in the form of social cohesion. Before it collapsed in a heap of moral ruin, Enron periodically fired the bottom-performing 10% of its employees. What’s more meritocratic than that? The McKinsey Quarterly praised this innovative practice, known internally as “rank and yank,” as one of the explanations for Enron’s success (It was actually based on a system that McKinsey invented, and implemented at Enron by their illustrious former partner, Jeffrey Skilling). After Enron imploded, it became clear that the entire organization was riddled with accounting fraud and bad business deals initiated by employees who had booked phony profits in order to save their jobs. I’m simply attempting to add another dimension to my argument by illustrating that radical meritocracy can backfire even from a strategic, top-down organizational perspective — human dignity be damned. While meritocracy is often useful, we need to understand its shortcomings before we implement it throughout our society. No single ideology of human organization — meritocracy, autocracy, plutocracy or democracy — will be our salvation. They are all too extreme. A purely meritocratic society would be a deranged place where individuals are the instruments of institutions. Human interests should always come first.

Matt Prewitt ’08 mythologizes his own intelligence and then uses it as a weapon. Jeff Skilling taught him that trick.

McCain’s Hollywood advantage BY LINDSEY MEYERS Opinions Columnist The conventional wisdom among many Brits is that the Democrats have a virtual lock on the 2008 U.S. presidential election. How can it be otherwise, they ask, when Republican policies have led to an unpopular war and the possibility of a disastrous recession? However, as the American Revolutionary War attests, Brits have a long and distinguished record of misunderstanding Americans, exceeded only by Americans’ inability to understand themselves. This helps to explain why Brits and Americans alike are baffled by John McCain’s continued strength in the polls. Some pundits on both sides of the Atlantic seek to make sense of this anomaly by referencing demographics. Others point to the internecine conflict between Obama and Clinton. Still others parse poll numbers the way ancient seers predicted the future by studying the flight patterns of birds. However, too many fail to consider that most Republicans and many independents support McCain because he exemplifies their vision of traditional American values more completely than Clinton or Obama. While voters do not always agree with McCain’s policies, they generally regard him as a plainspoken American hero. This impression creates a sharp contrast: Where Clinton pretends to have dodged a sniper attack, McCain actually faced enemy fire. And where some voters associate Obama with his former pastor’s anti-Americanism, McCain remained loyal to America even when

he was tortured as a POW in Vietnam. Although a recent poll shows that 81 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, there are different rubrics for gauging the political mood of the country, especially for those who believe that cultural trends have significant political implications. If Americans vote at the ballot box, they also express their political preferences at the

bombed at the box office. Consider “Rendition” with Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, “In the Valley of Elah” with Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Thereon or “Lions for Lambs” with Tom Cruise, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. These box office flops led Jon Stewart to quip at the Oscars that “Withdrawing the Iraq movies would only embolden the audience. We cannot let the audience win.” By contrast, recent movies with distinct-

If Americans vote at the ballot box, they also express their political preferences at the box office. And recent cinematic trends suggest that conservatism is not as moribund as some hope and others fear. box office. And recent cinematic trends suggest that conservatism is not as moribund as some hope and others fear. An intriguing case in point is the inability of Hollywood to translate the unpopularity of the war into domestic box office success. Major studios have produced movies highly critical of Bush’s war on terror with some of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. However, ever y one of these movies

ly conservative messages have been huge hits. Judd Apatow’s recent films are a case in point. “Knocked Up,” and “Superbad,” earned a combined domestic gross in excess of $270,000,000. With their drug use, drinking and gross humor, these movies might seem like unlikely platforms for traditional values. However, no less an authoritative source than Seth Rogen, star of “Knocked Up” and co-writer of “Super-

bad,” said, “We make extremely right-wing movies with extremely filthy dialogue.” The thematic content of these movies supports Rogen’s point. Each movie is a traditional morality tale, a poignantly humorous work where characters come of age by overcoming modern temptations and embracing conservative principles. “Superbad” is the story of two geeky boys about to graduate high school who spend a night quixotically searching for liquor and meaningless sex, only to find that they do not need the former or desire the latter. “Knocked Up” also unabashedly celebrates traditional mores. Rogen plays a stoner and a slacker who impregnates a young career woman during a night of drunken sex. However, the young woman decides to have her child even though an unplanned pregnancy might jeopardize her budding career as a television reporter. Equally as telling, Rogen’s character redeems his feckless life by committing himself to his partner and their child. The result is a movie that is as expressly pro-monogamy as it is implicitly anti-abortion. Apatow’s ability to translate social conservatism into box office success should be an object lesson for Democrats and Republicans alike. If voter dissatisfaction with the Republican handling of the war and the economy is an irresistible force, social conservatism may be an immovable object. As a result, no presidential candidate will be able to decisively win or effectively govern without operating within the framework of traditional social values.

Lindsey Meyers ’09 follows the political dictum that the only movement is perpetual movement


S ports T hursday Page 12

Thursday, April 17, 2008

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

Olympic trials ahead for three swimmers By Katie Wood Sports Staff Writer

Every Tuesday morning last fall, before the rest of the campus even thought about waking up, three men were on their way to sneak in two hours of laps before classes in a nearby Seekonk pool. Because the swimming team did not have a home pool, Brian Kelly ’08, Dan Ricketts ’09 and Rich Alexander ’09 had to do workouts in a short amount of time with precision — developing an overall team focus that never left. That focus is now paying off, as four members of the team have qualified for the national Olympic trials. After qualifying for the Olympic trials at a meet in College Park, Md. on March 15 and 16, Kelly, Ricketts and Peter Volosin ’08 are headed to the United States Olympic Trials at the Quest Center in Omaha, Neb., June 29 to July 6. If they qualify, they’ll have the opportunity to represent Brown and their country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kelly will compete in the in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle, Ricketts in the 100-meter butterfly and the 100-meter free and Volosin in the 400-meter free at the trials. Alexander already swam in the Canadian trials during the first week of April, finishing 13th in the 100 fly and 20th in the 200 fly. He had made the final the previous three times at the Canadian National Championships. “All of these guys are competing at the highest level in their sport,” said Head Coach Peter Brown. “They deserve it. It’s a function of the hard work and commitment — training and competing at a high level. A lot of swimmers have the talent and not the commitment. These guys should be recognized for the dedication to the sport.” Volosin said that when he was a “little kid,” he dreamed of competing at the Olympic trials — and he did everything in his power to get there. Volosin spent this past summer training at an elite University of Florida program where he said the other swimmers pushed him to achieve his dream. But the Gators weren’t the only ones pushing Volosin; he credits his teammates and their positive attitudes throughout the season as major factors as well. “It’s an Olympic year, and I think everyone has upped their game,” Volosin said. “We’ve been training hard all year long and my group (of distance swimmers) has been pushing me the whole time. We have a better focus than ever before.” Ricketts came to Brown as a nonrecruited freshman but walked on to the team to become, in Alexander’s words, “the best swimmer on the team.” Unlike the other swimmers who qualified, Ricketts said the Olympic trials were not a long-standing goal. He said he enjoys the college swimming season more because it is more team-oriented. “If my teammates weren’t coming with me, it wouldn’t be as fun,” Ricketts said. “If they didn’t want to try to qualify (in Maryland), then I wouldn’t have gone either. I did continued on page 9

Baseball recovers from early setbacks By Benjy Asher Assistant Spor ts Editor

After a pair of low-scoring losses to Marist on Tuesday, the baseball team’s bats woke up on Wednesday in a win over UConn. Brown’s record now stands at 14-18 overall, 5-7 in the Ivy League. In the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Bears managed just seven hits in the seveninning game, and pitcher Mark Gormley ’11 allowed four runs in the bottom of the first inning to dig Bruno into an early hole. In the bottom of the sixth inning, a throwing error by Gormley and a fielding error by shortstop Matt Nuzzo ’09 prolonged the inning for Marist and resulted in another five runs for the Red Foxes, giving them a 9-1 lead. “We have to make at least one of those plays,” said Head Coach Marek Drabinski. “We lost because of our lack of clutch hitting, and our defense.” The Bears got three runs on the board in the top of the seventh, but the comeback effort fell short, and Marist took the opener 9-4. Nuzzo and designated hitter Conor Reardon ’08 led the offense, each picking up two hits and driving in a run. In the second game, the Red Foxes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, and added another three in the second, to build another 4-0 lead early in the game. In the top of the third, first baseman J.J. Eno ’08 hit a oneout double, and Reardon followed with a single to put men on first and third. Eno came home to score on Nuzzo’s RBI double, and right fielder Nick Punal ’10 hit a ground ball to the left side to drive in Reardon and cut Marist’s lead to 4-2. But that was all the offense Brown would produce, and the Bears came out on the losing end again, despite a solid start from Rob Wilcox ’10, who, after falling behind 4-0, allowed just one run over the next four innings. Nuzzo struggled again in the field, com-

MLB today: trends or mirages? Gabe Kapler is on pace for 58 home runs. The New York Yankees have scored the third-fewest runs in the American League. Prince Fielder has fewer home runs (none) than starting pitcher Matt Cain. We’re 15 games into the Major League season and already some inEllis Rochelson teresting trends MLB Exclusive have begun to develop. Or are they mirages?

Jacob Melrose / Herald File Photo

Nick Punal ’10 had two RBIs against Marist in the Bears’ Tuesday loss to Marist.

mitting his 11th and 12th errors of the season. “We have to get back to how we played at the beginning of the season, just having fun playing the game,” Nuzzo said. “Baseball is one of those games where you hit slumps ... and if you let it get to your mind, it will eat you up every day.” The Brown of fense broke out of that slump on Wednesday, when a nine-run sixth inning propelled the Bears to a 14-10 win. Starting pitcher Joe Rued ’09 got off to a rough start, loading the bases with one out in the top of the first. But Josh Feit ’11 came in and got a strikeout and a ground ball out to hold the Huskies scoreless. After struggling in his recent outings, Feit gave Brown a strong performance on Wednesday, allowing one earned run across three and two-thirds innings of work. In the bottom of the inning,

Reardon got the Bears on the board with a two-run homer to left field, his first home run of the season. The Huskies scored their first run of the game in the top of the third, on a throwing error by tricaptain third baseman Rob Papenhause ’09. They added another run later in the inning, to tie the game at two. In the top of the fifth, with Matt Kimball ’11 in to pitch, UConn took a 3-2 lead and threatened to add more, but centerfielder Steve Daniels ’09 gunned down a runner at home to end the inning. The Huskies increased their lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth, but in the bottom of the inning, the Bears took control of the game. Brown sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, an inning that included seven hits, two walks, a UConn error, two wild continued on page 9

The Yankees’ anemic offense In the final season in the House that Ruth Built, the Yankees are not reminding anyone of the Babe and his 1927 Bronx Bombers. Johnny Damon, the leadoff hitter and supposed offensive spark plug, is sitting on the Mendoza line with a .200 average. Second baseman Robby Cano is at .175 with only two walks. Jason Giambi, who is said to be in the best shape since his Oakland days, is hitting .094 (ugh). Over their first nine games, New York scored an average of 2.7 runs a game. The Yanks’ pitching is simply not consistent enough to carry the offense on its back all season. Can New York remember how to hit? The answer is a resounding yes. The Yanks’ bats have shown some life recently, scoring an average of six runs per game over their last three contests. Plus, April has always been the worst month for Damon and Cano — both hitters will shake off their classic early-season slumps. As the season continues, righty Phil Hughes discovers his confidence and Joba Chamberlain joins the rotation, this New York team will become more and more dangerous. The Punchless Yanks: MIRAGE. Johnny “Koufax” Cueto? Fans love guys like Johnny Cueto. continued on page 8

W. water polo ends season as No. 2 seed By Whitney Clark Spor ts Editor

DSPics.com

Alexis Blaxberg ’08 scored a gamehigh four goals, six steals and four ejections drawn in the Bears’ game against Harvard.

Coming off an 18-10 loss to No. 14 Hartwick on Saturday, the No. 20 women’s water polo team bounced back with two blowout wins, 17-5 against Queens College on Sunday and 11-2 against Harvard on Wednesday. In its unofficial home opener — at Wheaton College, since Brown currently lacks a home pool fit for competition — Bruno started strong against Hartwick, scoring the first goal just 33 seconds into the match. But the Hawks quickly responded with three of their own before Lauren Presant ’10 could bring it back to within one at 3-2 by the end of the quarter. Presant went on to score four more goals in the game to lead the team in scoring. Despite her offensive contribution, the Bears couldn’t keep up with Hartwick toward the end of the game. “Throughout the game the team played with offensive intensity and gave Hartwick a fight,” Presant

wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. The Hawks’ Kirsten Hudson also tallied five goals in the game. With an additional eight assists, Hudson tied the Hartwick record for helpers and points in a single game. Down by four, 8-4, at intermission, the Bears were still within reach of Hartwick, but after backand-forth scoring in the third, Brown remained down, 12-7, heading into the fourth quarter. “We weren’t converting our opportunities like we should have,” Herald Senior Staff Writer Joanna Wohlmuth ’11 wrote in an e-mail. “We let them counter us a lot, which was a huge problem because we don’t have as big a team, and so once we get tired, we run into problems.” In the last quarter Brown lost some of its steam. Presant scored 33 seconds into the frame and again with 2:55 remaining, but the latter only interrupted a five-goal run by Hartwick, which put the Hawks ahead 17-9. One more goal on each side in the last 30 seconds left the final score at 18-10. The Bears’ re-

cord fell to 9-13 overall, 3-2 in the CWPA Northern division, while the Hawks improved to 22-10, 7-0 CWPA North. Despite the team’s loss, this is the first time the Bears have scored 10 goals against Hartwick. Bruno gets another chance against the Hawks this weekend at the Northern Division Championships. With little time to rest and no time for Spring Weekend activities, the Bears faced Queens College the next day in New London, Conn. The competition was a good change for the Bears, who defeated the Lady Knights 17-5. “It’s always good to win, but we basically knew going into it that it was going to be a blowout,” Wohlmuth said. “Those kinds of games really aren’t fun because there is no competition. You just have to keep playing until the clock runs out and you can go home.” Nine different Bruno players scored, with Margeaux Berroth ’11 leading the pack with four. Close continued on page 8


Thursday, April 17, 2008