The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, S eptember 3, 2008
Volume CXLIII, No. 62
Since 1866, Daily Since 1891
Larger enrollment fuels undergrad housing crunch By Emmy Liss Senior Staff Writer
During Orientation, William Trinh ’12 found his hallway, but there were only five other first-years there. For the time being, Trinh is living in King House and assigned to a Perkins unit, thanks to a housing crunch caused by high enrollment. With more first-years living on campus than ever before, the Office of Residential Life is struggling to find space to accommodate them. But according to Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life, the strain is only temporary. With some freshmen now assigned to upperclass housing and lounges, older students are being placed in triples in kitchens and lounges more than in the past. As a result, almost all hallway lounges and common spaces have been turned into bedrooms, Bova said. Keeney Quadrangle has three study lounges left, while three rooms in Vartan Gregorian Quadrangle and two in Wriston Quadrangle have been made from kitchens and lounges, Bova wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. The housing strain may not last, though. Bova said that every year, about 30 to 40 students either do not come to campus at all or leave shortly after arriving. These students — whom he calls “melt-aways” — inflate the number of people with housing assignments, at least early on. “It creates such turmoil in the
Min Wu / Herald
Terrence Ma ‘12 and Daniel Schneider ‘12 meet with their Meiklejohn adviser, Valerie Sherry ‘09.
‘Uncertain year’ yields surplus freshmen By Gaurie Tilak Senior Staff Writer
Thanks to an unusually unpredictable admissions environment, the Brown family is just a bit larger this year. Brown enrolled 1,537 students in the class of 2012 — 52 more students than the expected enrollment of 1,485 — making the freshman class approximately 3 percent larger than the Office of Admission expected. There was also an increase in the number of transfer students enrolling at Brown. About 120 transfers were admitted this year, compared to about 85 last year. “This was probably the most
uncertain year that I can recall,” said Dean of Admission James Miller ’73. The Office of Admission anticipated fewer admitted students would choose to matriculate at Brown this year because of changes in other schools’ policies, including revamped financial aid programs at peer institutions and Harvard and Princeton’s termination of their early admission programs. The two schools admitted more students off their wait lists, drawing students away from the college they originally chose. Brown accordingly admitted about 120 more freshmen to the class of 2012 than they admitted to the class of 2011, Miller said.
Loury to deliver keynote speech at Convocation By Juliana Friend Contributing Writer
Today at noon on the Main Green, President Ruth Simmons will officially launch the University’s 245th academic year at the Opening Convocation ceremony. Following a long-standing Brown tradition, new students and faculty will gather on College Street and walk through the Van Wickle Gates, which are opened only at the opening and closing of each academic year. Simmons will preside over the ceremony and introduce the Convocation speaker, Professor of Economics and social critic Glenn Loury, to the 2,186 incoming undergraduate, graduate, medical and transfer students. In the past, Simmons has given words of inspiration about how best to take advantage of a Brown education. Loury will deliver the keynote address, entitled “Is He ‘One of Us’? Reflections on Identity and Authenticity.” Holding a Ph.D in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Loury taught at Harvard and Northwestern universities before
becoming a professor of economics as well as the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences at Brown. Loury has published on topics ranging from game theory to income inequality. In 2005, Loury received the John von Neumann Award from the Rajk László College of the Budapest University of Economic Science and Public Administration. In addition to his work in microeconomics, Loury has published over 200 essays on racial inequality and social policy, and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Among those addressed by Simmons and Loury will be the undergraduate Class of 2012, selected for admission at the record-low admissions rate of 13.7 percent. Brown’s newest undergraduates hail from 49 states and 51 countries. Composed of 737 men and 817 women, the class of 2012 also includes 13 students who will be the first to matriculate in the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, in its first year. To ease scheduling on the first day of classes, classes will be suspended during the hour of Convocation.
Welcome to College hill Despite housing issues, firstyears find excitement in campus life and orientation activities
But the yield rate remained similar to past years, and about 55 percent of admitted students chose to enroll, giving the new class of freshmen 52 more students than expected. First-years have not seemed to notice the larger class size. “I don’t feel crowded in the least,” said Alysha Aziz ’12, adding that she doesn’t think the larger class is a problem. Jyotsna Mullur ’12 said the only time she noticed the large class size was when the first-year class had a program together. Miller said a number of factors continued on page 4
Min Wu/ Herald
Hefty cardboard boxes won’t stop this student from getting ready for the school year.
first week every year,” Bova said. “We house everyone until the dust settles.” This year, the overflow in the dorms is exacerbated by the influx of more first-years than expected. The class of 2012 has 1,537 students, compared to last year’s freshman class of 1,484. Though all first years have housing, some have been placed in non-traditional dorm settings, such as lounges, kitchens and upperclass housing. Six first-years are living in King House but are included in a Perkins continued on page 4
Gustav floods roads, cancels classes in La. By Joanna Wohlmuth Senior Staff Writer
As a new school year and the familiar hum of campus life on College Hill begin, students in southern Louisiana — including Brown alums starting their graduate studies — had their first week of classes quickly cut off by the arrival of Hurricane Gustav. Joshua Teitelbaum ’08 started law school at Tulane University in New Orleans on Monday, Aug. 25. By Aug. 28, he was on a plane back to his home in New York. “Originally a lot of us were going to try to wait it out,” Teitelbaum said. “When they first were closing the school ... a lot of the locals said, ‘Why don’t you just wait and see?’” But by Friday that didn’t seem like a good idea, he said. “Stores started to run out of things and were closing without notice.” Tulane and more than half-adozen other schools in Louisiana, including Xavier University of Louisiana and Southern UniversityNew Orleans, suspended classes towards the end of last week to allow students to prepare to evacuate, according to U.S. News and World
GETTING P.O.’ed The Post Office’s impossible locks — merely a symbol of our own displacement?
Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
Hurricane Gustav forced Sobong In and Neang Pum, and others, to wait out the pounding rain and winds. Report. A mandatory evacuation order was then issued by the city instructing all residents of New Orleans to evacuate by noon on Saturday. “A lot of people were nervous because they didn’t know when the evacuation would get ordered,” Teitelbaum said. “They want to stay as long as they can but they don’t want to get stuck.” Prior to the storm’s landfall on Monday, forecasters predicted that it would remain at least a Category 3 hurricane. By the time it reached
TWTP GETS AN NC Jake Heimark ’10 thinks that Brunonians should work as a whole to build community
195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island
the Gulf Coast it was a Category 2 hurricane and four hours later dropped to Category 1. By Tuesday the storm again dropped to a tropical depression as it continued inland. “A lot of students started to panic and worry about what to do, especially those of us that are from far away and/or don’t know anyone in nearby states,” wrote Sandra Valenciano ’08, a first-year graduate student at Tulane studying for a continued on page 4
High Notes Ben Singer ‘09 questions our concept of ‘natural’ athleticism and fairness
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008
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Menu Sharpe Refectory
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Lunch — Vegetarian Eggplant Moussaka, Middle East Bar, Buffalo Chicken Wings with Bleu Cheese Dressing
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Dinner — Chicken with Raisins and Olives, Vegetable Stuffed Peppers, Coconut Crusted Tilapia
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After solving, rearrange the circled letters to spell the name of this puzzle’s honoree. ACROSS 1 Trick billiards shot 6 Macbeth, for one 10 Garage event 14 “Stand and Deliver” actor Edward James __ 15 Small bite to eat 16 Which, in Vichy 17 King of Hollywood 19 __ Mountains: Europe/Asia border range 20 Party giver 21 Violinist’s stroke 22 Swiss river 23 Daughter of Zeus 25 Cut down 27 King of the Wild Frontier 34 Trade name abbr. 37 Non-Hawaiian, in Hawaii 38 Hollywood statuette 39 Place to make a wish 41 Suffers from 42 King of talk shows 43 King of rock ’n’ roll 45 Choose 46 Sound of disapproval and a boy king 47 “Cats” poet 48 ’50s bomb tryout 51 Concorde, notably: Abbr. 52 King of Swing 55 Fabi of auto racing 56 Algonquian language 60 Cabo’s peninsula 63 Like coffee sans cream 67 Autos 68 College grad 69 King of the links 71 Make cookies 72 Place for an earring 73 Send to the statehouse 74 Fed. power dept. 75 The “E” in EMT: Abbr.
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36 Uncooperative 58 Traffic tie-up chipmunk cause 40 Circus performer 59 Helpers: Abbr. DOWN with a whip 60 Pig in the movies 1 Chocolate44 Eye trouble 61 King of comedy flavored coffee 49 Great __ 62 Feint 2 Give out by share Mountains: 64 Tapestry 3 Hard tennis shot Appalachian machine 4 Arranged by size, range 65 Lane who sang say 50 __ Mahal with Xavier 5 Alas. native 53 Barnyard sound Cugat 6 Flip out 54 Oscar winner 66 “Good buddy” 7 Baseball great Ty Kidman 70 “The Beverly 8 Norwegian 57 Curses Hillbillies” dad capital 9 “Tommy” band ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE: 10 Objects to, chicken-style 11 Saintly radiance 12 King of Shakespeare 13 Model Macpherson 18 Tropical fruit tree 24 Slangy denial 26 Earth Day sci. 28 “__ and a bottle of rum!” 29 Rhythmically keep time with 30 Took ten 31 Tan shades 32 Fruit-filled treats 33 Romantic rendezvous 34 Uncool sort 35 Ball VIP 1/21/08 firstname.lastname@example.org
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C ampus N ews Wednesday, September 3, 2008
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r i e f
Health grant to send students abroad
Kim Perley / Herald
Freshmen play capture the flag on Lincoln Field as part of this week’s Orientation activities.
Despite crunch, first-years appreciate first days By Simon Van Zuylen-Wood Senior Staff Writer
Greg Bergeron ’12 is one of a handful of freshmen who live in King House, placed there because more first-years enrolled than were expected this year. Bergeron said he appreciates his huge room in the building, which houses a co-ed literary fraternity. But King House doesn’t afford many social opportunities for freshmen, he said. Despite the housing crunch, Bergeron and other first years seemed too involved with a packed Orientation to dwell long on their living situations. Orientation activities bridge Brown’s week-long gap between summer and school, but also herd young freshmen together, which this year is no easy task: There are more freshmen this year than last, some of whom are housed on the outer reaches of campus. This year’s orientation schedule was filled with parent-oriented lectures, mandatory lectures for freshmen about sex, alcohol and diversity and nighttime social activities. Adviser meetings, a discussion about required summer reading and Ruth Simmons’s welcome speech were also on the docket. A healthy dose of parents could be spotted among the bright-eyed first-years, taking time in between
box lifting and teary good byes to attend a few lectures themselves. On Sunday parents were invited to forums on financial planning and on “Saying Goodbye.” Malachy Morris ’12 said he was especially pleased with the open feel of the Brown community. Citing the mandatory freshman lecture on diversity, Morris said he was “glad people got to talk about it, stay aware of it.” The Perkins resident said he, in part, owes his social life so far to the friendliness of “random people.” “I come from the D.C. area, and you can’t just walk around and say hi to people,” Morris said. “It’s that Brown environment.” Jennie Mazzucco ’12 said “The Real Buzz,” a lecture about campus drinking, was “funny, dynamic and engaging.” Sara Faught ’12 said she was surprised that the programs weren’t repetitive and that the days had been “packed with a lot of activity.” She added that aside from Brown-organized social events, freshmen could be spotted at parties held at the houses of various athletic teams. After their first taste of Brown, a prevailing sentiment among freshmen centered on a different kind of acceptance. Bergeron said he was particularly impressed with the lack of “snobbery” and uniformity among his
peers. “I almost went to Harvard, but here there’s a (wider) variety of people,” Bergeron said, adding that everybody seemed accepting and down to earth. Morris, who said he grew up in a “very strict environment,” was still uncomfortable with the options Brown offers but thought the shopping period was a good introduction to the spirit of academics and of his new college in general. “I’m a little afraid — it’s so open — but it’s a good way to start at Brown,” Morris said.
About $400,000 in new grant money will fund travel awards and a revamped educational program for Brown students interested in global public health, the University announced Tuesday. The grant, from the John E. Fogarty International Center — the global health arm of the National Institutes of Health — will provide $126,000 a year for each of the next three years. Most of this money will go toward sending Brown underMin Wu / Herald graduates, medical students and Roger Glass, director of the Fogarty InMaster’s in Public Health students ternational Center around the world on public health projects, said Susan Cu-Uvin, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and one of the principal investigators of the project. The project also includes plans for a new seminar this spring that would prepare students for such experiences, said Stephen McGarvey, professor of community health and the other principal investigator. It would be designed as a sequel to intermediate public health course PHP 1070: “The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries,” he said. The public health initiative will most likely require some additional financial support from the University, Cu-Uvin said. She expects students will have the opportunity to apply for travel grants this spring — meaning the new money could support students abroad as early as next summer. The project will hopefully create a “one-stop shopping” option for those doing work in global public health, she added. Many local officials were on hand at Maddock Alumni Center to celebrate the grant and the 40th anniversary of the Fogarty Center, which is named for the longtime Rhode Island congressman who died in 1967. Sen. Jack Reed, D.-R.I., Mayor David Cicilline ’83 and Lieutenant Gov. Elizabeth Roberts ’78 were joined by several members of the Fogarty family and Roger Glass, the director of the center. The Fogarty Center, which has an annual budget of $68 million, has given $7 million to Brown researchers over the last 10 years. — Michael Bechek, with additional reporting by George Miller
Early admission changes affect U.â€™s matriculation continued from page 1 are involved in predicting class size, including historical trends and geography, since students who live farther away are less likely to accept Brownâ€™s offer of admission, Miller said. But new factors made predicting the yield rate this year more difficult. A group of about 20 colleges and universities, including Brown, introduced new financial aid initiatives this year. Miller cited the availability of the new financial aid opportunities as a factor complicating the officeâ€™s ability to predict enrollment yield because they were unsure how applicants would respond to the new financial aid offers. The decisions by Harvard and Princeton to end early admission also made predicting Brownâ€™s yield difficult. Miller said the University expected that other universities would admit students from their wait lists, decreasing the number of students enrolled at Brown. Harvard accepted more than 200 students off of its wait list, and Princeton took 86. Brown accepted about 50 off its waitlist, Miller said â€” similar to the number accepted last year. Miller said that predicting yield is never exact. Regardless, the predictions for the previous three years were relatively accurate. He said that there have not been any plans made regarding admissions decisions for next year. Last year, the yield rate for accepted first-years was 55.6 percent because 2,669 freshmen were admitted to the class of 2011 and 1,484 were enrolled as of April 2008, according to the Office of Institutional Research. Previous years had similar yield rates,
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
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with between 56 and 58 percent of admitted students enrolling. The Office of the Registrar did not expect any problems during class registration. Registrar Michael Pesta said he contacted Computing and Information Services ahead of time to make sure the server can handle the load as first-years register for class late Tuesday afternoon. â€œThe difference between 1,500 students and 1,550 students is not enough for the server to have any performance problems,â€? he said. Last fall, 38 first-year seminars were offered. This year, there are 49 available, according to Pesta. He said it was too early to determine if the number of classes and firstyear seminars is sufficient to meet demand. The larger class size has not negatively affected first-year advising, Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. She said advising groups have remained the same size and that additional faculty advisors were recruited over the summer. The number of Meiklejohn peer advisors was already higher this year than in past years, meaning there were enough advisors for the incoming class. Orientation has not suffered either from the larger incoming class, according to Jordan Chesin â€™09, cochair of the Orientation Welcoming Committee. â€œSo far Orientation has been running very smoothly,â€? he wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. â€œWe have a smaller committee than we have had in the past, but I think this yearâ€™s volunteers have such great enthusiasm and commitment that it more than makes up for that fact.â€?
For now, U. needs kitchens as bedrooms continued from page 1 unit. Trinh said though it is not far, it is still inconvenient for participating in unit activities. The first-years in King House have all been placed on a â€œretraction list,â€? Bova said, which means they will be moved as soon as there are openings elsewhere. However, they will not be moved until all six can be placed, and all roommates will stay together. Also on the retraction list are freshmen living in conver ted Keeney lounges. On the other side of campus, four freshmen are living in New Pembroke #2, normally an allupperclassmen building. The two doubles are included in New Pembroke #3â€™s unit. Bova said that no first-years are living in triples or quads. With the exception of first-years in singles who have special housing needs, all freshmen are in doubles. The larger number of freshmen has also affected upperclassmen who were on the summer wait list for housing. Of the approximately 250 students on the wait list, many were still able to secure highly cov-
eted living situations, like Barbour Hall rooms, Grad Center suites and Wriston singles, Bova said. About 50 students were placed in triples in large rooms, converted lounges and kitchens across campus. Colette DeJong â€™11, who entered the housing lottery in a group of six with a poor number, was forced onto the wait list. She was placed in a converted kitchen in the basement of West Andrews Hall with two other girls. â€œIt was a lot worse than I expected,â€? she said. â€œIt looked like a hospital with three beds crammed in.â€? Right before DeJong moved back to campus, she heard through word-of-mouth about someone in Marcy House who was living in a double but had no roommate. After a day on campus, DeJong was able to switch into the Marcy room, which she said is a big improvement. Other students are still unsure about their living arrangements for the coming year. In April, Kelly Mallahan â€™11 and Margaret Watson â€™11 entered the housing lottery together but were also forced onto the summer wait
list. The last week in August, they received an e-mail with a room assignment in Keeney and the name of a third roommate. The third girl, a varsity athlete, was able to find placement closer to the OMAC in a Pembroke single and called Mallahan and Watson to let them know. Two days after Mallahan and Watson moved into their Keeney room, their Community Assistant let them know a different person would be moving in with them. Mallahan and Watson have been unable to contact their mystery roommate, and she has yet to move in. â€œI understand that they placed a third person in our room. Itâ€™s huge,â€? Mallahan said, â€œbut Iâ€™m just upset (ResLife) didnâ€™t communicate with us.â€? Bova said the first few weeks of school are always the most tumultuous for housing. As he becomes aware of the â€œmelt-aways,â€? everyone on the retraction list will be relocated. As students settle into their dorms across campus, many of the sophomores in converted-lounge triples will be offered new placement as well, he said.
Gustav slows down alums, La. colleges continued from page 1 masterâ€™s in public health, in a message to The Herald. If students were unable to make their own evacuation plans, Tulane provided a bus to take them to a shelter at Jackson State University in Mississippi. The majority of students were able to find their
own accommodation with friends in neighboring states, according to Teitelbaum. Valenciano and two of her friends were able to drive to a classmateâ€™s parentâ€™s hunting camp in Port Gibson, Miss. â€œWe all packed in case of a worst case scenario. ... We tried to bring as much as we could fit in my car in case we couldnâ€™t return to the city,â€? Valenciano wrote. The drive â€” which Valenciano said normally takes three-and-a-half hours â€” took six hours. Teitelbaum took a flight to New York. â€œWhen I left the airport was kind of crazy,â€? he said. â€œAll the parking lots were full so a bunch of us made our own parking spots.â€? Schools north of New Orleans were also affected by the hurricane. Though there was no mandatory evacuation, Baton Rouge Ââ€” about 80 miles northwest of New Orleans â€” was hit even harder by Hurricane Gustav than it had been by Hurricane Katrina, according to Lindsay Key, a Baton-Rouge native who, now a senior, had just started her freshman year at Louisiana State University when Katrina hit. Key and her roommates decided not to evacuate when Gustav hit Monday because their families live nearby. Before Gustav had arrived and Baton Rouge was under a hurricane warning, the power still worked in Keyâ€™s house at school. â€œWe were watching the Weather Channel and we knew it was going to be bad,â€? she said. â€œWe hunkered down in the hallway, away from the windows,â€? Key said, adding that electricity went out around noon on Monday. On her radio, Key heard that the winds outside were up to 90
miles per hour. After the storm had passed â€” and broken a window in one of the houseâ€™s bedrooms â€” Key and her roommates drove to her parentsâ€™ house. â€œRight now a lot of stores are closed or donâ€™t have power. ... A lot of roads are blocked from trees, so I doubt I could even get to campus,â€? Key said. Classes at LSU are currently scheduled to resume Thursday, but that date may change as damage is assessed. The mayor of New Orleans has announced that residents will most likely be allowed to return on Thursday. Tulane had originally planned to start classes Thursday but then postponed them until Monday. Tulaneâ€™s Emergency Notice Web site announced Tuesday morning that there was no major damage or flooding on either of their campuses in New Orleans. Xavier also plans to resume classes on Monday, according to a campus advisory released on the schoolâ€™s Web site. â€œThe possibility of another Hurricane Katrina was stressful, especially given that the three year anniversary was this past Friday and it still appears to be a fresh wound among locals,â€? Valenciano wrote. Valenciano said she may go back to school on Friday morning. â€œI think (Tulane) did a great job of preparing students. They made sure that we had an evacuation plan, had the emergency Web site up to date, sent us e-mails, sent us text messages,â€? Valenciano wrote. â€œOne of my professors even called me to ask me what my evacuation plans were.â€?
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W orld & n ation Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Attack on New York sites referenced in scientist’s notes By Josh Meyer Los Angeles T imes
WASHINGTON — A U.S.-educated female Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of links to al-Qaida captured in Afghanistan in July was carr ying handwritten notes referring to a “mass casualty attack’` on famous locations in New York such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, according to a federal indictment authorities made public Tuesday. The notes found in the possession of Aafia Siddiqui, 36, also listed other U.S. locations, including Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge and Plum Island, the indictment handed up by a federal grand jur y in the Southern Eastern District of New York, or Manhattan, said. Siddiqui, a mother of three who lived in the United States from 1991 to 2002, also allegedly had in her possession notes that referred to the construction of “dirty bombs,’` along with chemical and biological weapons. The legal filing also said Siddiqui possessed a computer thumb drive that contained correspondence referring to attacks by certain cells. And it charged that other documents on the thumb drive discussed recruitment and training. One FBI official said there was no evidence of a credible threat of a terrorist attack in anything taken from Siddiqui. Nevertheless, the disclosures ratcheted up the growing mystery surrounding Siddiqui, a diminutive mother of three whom some U.S. authorities have described as one of al-Qaida’s most wanted suspects, and one of the few women to be included in the terror network’s inner circle. In 2004, for instance, Siddiqui was identified by top FBI and Justice Department officials as an “alQaida operative and facilitator who posed a clear and present danger to America.’` Later, authorities linked Siddiqui to Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and said she married his nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi, who is now in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, along with Mohammed on charges of helping finance the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Some U.S. officials have alleged that Siddiqui, who has a biology degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Boston, is connected to al-Qaida’s weapons of mass destruction program. But on Tuesday, no one from the Justice Depar tment or FBI would comment on the case, or whether they believed Siddiqui was involved in some kind of plot to launch an attack on U.S. soil. Justice Depar tment of ficials say Siddiqui was detained in Afghanistan on July 18 while acting suspiciously outside a provincial governor’s palace in the company of a young boy that they later identified as her 11-year-old son Ahmed. Siddiqui was then taken to a police holding area, where she grabbed an unsecured M-4 military rifle and opened fire on a small group of U.S. soldiers, translators and FBI agents who had come to
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question her, according to the indictment and an earlier criminal complaint. One of the soldiers returned fire and injured Siddiqui, who was hospitalized and later flown from Afghanistan to New York to face criminal charges. Last month, looking gaunt and frail, she appeared in court and was ordered held without bail on charges of attempted murder of U.S. officers and employees and related assault charges. Prosecutors also alleged that Siddiqui yelled “Allah akbar!’` and stated her intent to kill Americans before opening fire. Tuesday’s indictment contained similar charges, and authorities said Siddiqui faces life in prison if convicted on all of the charges. She is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court on Thursday. On Tuesday, one of Siddiqui’s defense lawyers scoffed at the indictment’s claims that a 90-pound woman tried to take on and kill U.S. authorities, or that she was involved in a terrorist plot. “I think it’s interesting that they make all these allegations about the dirty bombs and other items she supposedly had, but they haven’t charged her with anything relating to terrorism,” said Elaine Whitfield Sharp. “I would urge people to consider her as innocent unless the government proves other wise.” Sharp also said that in recent conversations with her client, Siddiqui said that she has been held incommunicado and in custody over the past five years, not working in league with al-Qaida. “She is a mother of three who has been through several years of detention, whose interrogators were Americans, who endured treatment fairly characterized as horrendous,” Sharp said.
This Ramadan, an easier time for Iraqis By Caesar Ahmed and Ned Parker Los Angeles Times
BAGHDAD — Car bombings and killings have cast a shadow on Ramadan here since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. But now, with a decline in the bloodshed, ordinary Iraqis are hoping Islam’s holiest month will be reminiscent of calmer times. This year, people are looking forward to more relaxed nights with family and friends. A total of 430 Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police nationwide were killed last month, compared with 1,860 during the same period last year. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset in Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The faithful mark the period when the Prophet Mohammed is said to have received the first revelation of the Quran by asking forgiveness for their sins, performing good deeds and helping
the poor. The holiday began Monday for the country’s Sunni Arabs and Tuesday for the Shiite majority, based on when each sect’s senior clerics received reports of the sighting of the crescent moon. “This Ramadan, we have confidence in our government,” said Akram Nouri, a political science professor at Baghdad University. “We feel they are capable of managing any riot that may occur. There are many changes. The displaced are returning to their homes.” Qassim Mohamed, who owns a clothing shop in Baghdad’s Karada district, said that, although he was happy with the drop in violence, he still wished for a steady supply of electricity, because blackouts and reliance on generators in the unbearable heat made it difficult to fast. “Of course this makes Ramadan even harder for us,” he said. “We want better services and, most importantly, electricity.” Muqdad Hammed, 23, said he
would never have thought of going out last year during Ramadan. Now, he is eager for the nightly breaking of the fast. “We hang around in alleyways as late as 1 a.m. playing the traditional games,” he said. In Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of Shaab, Ali Mohammad, 24, said that, despite high food prices, he wanted to take his family out to celebrate in parks and restaurants. “There will be no bloody explosions and killing. I’m optimistic that Ramadan will be full of prosperity and peace for all,” Mohammed said. “Nothing bothers me in Ramadan; just the heat.” A palpable desire for better governance and improved services was voiced in quieter parts of the country, including the Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf. “Traveling to the capital was a problem a year ago, but not anymore,” said Dr. Ahmed Jaafar, reflecting on attacks that once targeted Shiites heading to Najaf.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
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Google enters Web browser market with speed and sheen By David Colker and Michelle Maltais Los Angeles T imes
Google’s much-anticipated new Web browser, Chrome, arrived Tuesday like a shiny new sports car: It’s streamlined, has some great new features and is very, very fast. Chrome, the most talked-about new tech product since the iPhone, became available shortly before noon as a free download — for Windows only — in what is officially called a beta test version. But after a short test drive, it promises to be a worthy contender for alpha browser. Not that it won’t take some getting used to. Unlike the familiar Internet Explorer and Firefox, which put functions such as print and save at the top, Chrome goes for a minimalist look, with controls hidden under the hood. Its overall color scheme — afterLabor Day white with sky-blue trim -— is a bit harsh on the eyes. Not ever ything worked right out of the showroom. Oddly, several Google applications, such as Gmail, didn’t function when we took the beta version out for a spin. And although the company said it was working on Mac and Linux versions, no release dates were given. But Chrome’s shortcomings and unfulfilled promises can be forgiven for one basic reason: This baby flies. Even on a pedestrian Dell laptop, most pages popped up almost before the finger left the mouse. If Explorer and Firefox are the Toyotas of browsers, Chrome is the sporty Mini Cooper. Downloading the Chrome beta is painless, and users’ bookmarks, passwords and browsing history get automatically incorporated into Chrome, ready for use. Among the Chrome features: • The standard home page is all about you. It includes links to the sites you visit the most and recently
added bookmarks. • At start-up, you’re given the chance to pick up where you left off -- not just on the last page you visited but also on all the screens you had up when you shut down. Even better, you can tell Chrome exactly which pages you want it to open every time you launch the program. This is especially handy for folks who regularly monitor numerous pages. • The address bar at the top of the page doubles as the Google search field. For example, you could type www.latimes.com in the space to go directly to the site or type “Los Angeles Times” for a search. It’s a nice, streamlining touch, like the radio controls on the steering wheel. • Functions such as print and save are hidden under a small pulldown window, thus giving the browser a cleaner look and more room for content. If you don’t like using the pull-down window, those functions can be reached with a right-click on the mouse. • Like tinted windows, Chrome allows for privacy while cruising the Web. In its incognito mode, sites are kept off the browsing history list. • If you don’t want to go to the same designated home page every time you start up, you can create several of them as shortcuts that live on your desktop. Click on one, and the browser opens up and takes you there. All in all, a nice array of features. But what’s likely to make Explorer and Firefox especially nervous is Chrome’s exceptional speed, which could leave the older browsers in rush-hour gridlock as it zooms on by. Even problems can be amusing to discover. An error page that cropped up in browsing resulted in this message: “Aw, Snap! Something went wrong while displaying this webpage. To continue, press Reload.” Who could resist?
W orld & n ation Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
McCain campaign questions media’s coverage of Palin By Howard Kurtz Washington Post
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sen. John McCain’s top campaign strategist accused the news media Tuesday of being “on a mission to destroy” Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by displaying “a level of viciousness and scurrilousness” in pursuing questions about her personal life. In an extraordinar y and emotional interview, Steve Schmidt said his campaign feels “under siege” by wave after wave of news inquiries that have questioned whether Palin is really the mother of a 4-monthold baby, whether her amniotic fluid had been tested and whether she would submit to a DNA test to establish the child’s parentage. Arguing that the media queries are being fueled by “ever y r umor and smear” posted on left-wing Web sites, Schmidt said mainstream journalists are giving “closer scrutiny” to McCain’s little-known running mate than to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. The McCain camp has been unusually aggressive in pushing back against the media, and it seems to hope to persuade journalists to back off in their scrutiny of Palin. Obama campaign of ficials have complained to news organizations that their man has been subjected to considerably more investigative reporting than McCain has, but they have done so in more low-key fashion. By contrast, Schmidt spoke on the record in denouncing as “an absolute work of fiction” a New York Times account of the process by which the McCain campaign vetted Palin. He also charged that Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman was predicting that the governor
might have to step down as McCain’s vice presidential choice. Fineman said that he has “never, ever said that,” and that he has pointed out positive aspects of Palin’s candidacy. “They decided a long time ago that they were going to work the refs,” he said. Elisabeth Bumiller, the lead author of the Times report, said she is “completely confident about the stor y.” As for the campaign’s criticism, she said: “This is what they do. It’s part of their operation. McCain also canceled a scheduled appearance with CNN’s Larry King on Tuesday in retaliation for an interview a day earlier in which prime-time host Campbell Brown repeatedly pressed campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds to provide one example of a decision that Palin had made as commander of the Alaska National Guard. “The interview was totally fair,” Brown said. “I was tr ying to get an answer. I was persistent, but I was respectful. That’s my job. Experience is a legitimate issue when John McCain raises it about Obama, and it’s also legitimate for us to raise it about Palin.” Schmidt, a former spokesman for President Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, talked openly about his frustrations in an inter view with The Washington Post. He said the McCain camp is in the middle of the worst media “feeding frenzy” he has ever seen. The fact that unsubstantiated allegations appear on the Internet “is not a license for smearing” Palin, he said. “The campaign has been inundated by hundreds and hundreds of calls from some of the most respected reporters and continued on page 11
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Eight men arrested for Mexican drug tunnel By Richard Marosi Los Angeles T imes
SAN DIEGO — Mexican authorities have arrested eight men after discovering a sophisticated tunnel, believed to be designed to ferry drugs, that nearly reached into U.S. territory. Baja California state preventive police said Tuesday they were acting on a tip when they raided a Mexicali home Monday afternoon and found some of the suspects hard at work in the passage that stretched more than a football field in length. The tunnel’s destination appeared to be a residential neighborhood across the border in Calexico. The tunnel, which had not crossed into U.S. territory, appeared to be well-financed and expertly constructed. It had a rail and cart system, ventilation, lighting and an electric lift to transport items up and down the shaft, authorities said. “What they had constructed was ver y sophisticated,” said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whose agents inspected the tunnel. Numerous drug tunnels have been discovered over the years in the Mexicali-Calexico area, where some cross-border neighborhoods lie only a stone’s throw from each
Coach keeps vball team focused continued from page 16 its new assistant coach, Scott Blanchard. This will be the second time Blanchard coaches the Bears. The first was a short stint as the assistant coach from 1995 to 1996, when the Bears won the Ivy League Championship. Meyers believes Blanchard’s return will push the team further in the right direction. “We are glad to have a male coach,” Meyers said. “One of our problems last year was that we were too nice as a team. (Blanchard) keeps us a lot more focused.” The team looks to kick off a much more successful season with the Georgetown Classic next Friday and Saturday in Washington, D.C.
other. The tunnel discovered on Monday started in a neatly-kept fenced home near downtown Mexicali. The suspects apparently were caught off guard. Mexican authorities said they do not know who was behind the tunnel. Such passages, which can cost more than a million dollars to build, are typically financed by powerful drug smuggling operations. The suspects told authorities that a man would visit the house monthly to pay the work crew, but that he hid his identity with a ski mask, according to Agustin Perez, the spokesman for Baja California’s secretary of public security.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
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McCain campaign feels ‘under seige’ on Palin continued from page 7 news organizations. Many reporters have called the campaign and have apologized for asking the questions and said, ‘Our editors are making us do this and I am ashamed.’” The intensity of media inquiries hit a new level after an anonymous blogger on the liberal Web site Daily Kos last weekend charged that McCain’s running mate is actually the grandmother of Trig Palin, the 4-month-old baby born with Down syndrome, and that the real mother is her daughter, 17-year-old Bristol Palin. That led to mainstream media inquiries, which prompted the McCain camp to disclose in a statement Monday that Bristol is five months pregnant and plans to have the baby and marr y the teenage father. Markos Moulitsas, the site’s founder, said that he did not know the contributor’s identity but thought that the admittedly “weird” pregnancy questions were a legitimate line of inquir y that he should not suppress. Some journalists, Schmidt said, have demanded to see Trig’s birth certificate, or have asked when Palin went into labor and whether her contractions increased or decreased as she traveled from Texas to an Alaskan hospital in her home town of Wasilla. Others, he said, have asked whether Palin’s eldest son, Track, who serves in the Army and is deploying to Iraq, is a drug addict. “Categorically false,” Schmidt said, adding: “This is crazy.” News organizations routinely ask questions about allegations in an attempt to determine their veracity, and Schmidt did not contend that they were publishing or broadcasting false information about Palin and her family. But he said more media questions were being asked about Palin’s pregnant daughter than about Obama’s real estate deal with fundraiser Tony Rezko, who recently was convicted on corruption charges. Obama has called that transaction a “boneheaded mistake.” Bloggers on the left and right increasingly drive media coverage by turning up the volume on questions until they are difficult to ignore. Sometimes they are right,
as when they questioned what CBS’s Dan Rather said were National Guard documents in a 2004 report on President Bush’s military service that led to his ouster as the network’s anchor. And sometimes they are wrong. Last year, the New Republic retracted a soldier’s dispatch on petty wartime cruelty in Iraq, and National Review Online acknowledged that two blog postings by a former Marine about militar y movements in Lebanon were misleading. Major newspapers, magazines and networks no longer play the same gatekeeper role in the digital age, as was evident during the eight-month period when the National Enquirer was charging former senator John Edwards with fathering an out-of-wedlock baby. Most national news outlets did not report the allegations until last month, when Edwards acknowledged an affair with a former campaign aide but denied being her child’s father. Still, traditional media outlets can amplify and legitimize such repor ts, which may be why the McCain campaign is fighting so hard to keep the Palin allegations confined to the Internet. Denouncing the news media for bias also plays well with many Republican voters. Palin has been unavailable to the media since she became McCain’s surprise choice Friday, adding to the difficulties for news organizations pursuing stories about her life and career. Campaign manager Rick Davis said it would be unrealistic for her to grant inter views as she prepares for “the most impor tant speech of her life,” her acceptance speech at the convention here. Schmidt said she will be made available for interviews after the convention, a similar timetable followed by Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. Perhaps the greatest concern to the McCain campaign is that the constant inquiries, amplified by cable television debates over whether a mother with a pregnant daughter and four other children can effectively function as vice president, will create a perception that her nomination is in trouble. “We are being bombarded by e-mails and phone calls from journalists asking when she will be dropping out of the race,” Schmidt said.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Curtain falls on a major rivalry’s famous theater continued from page 16 screen displays stylized paintings of the player, making even tabloid headliner Alex Rodriguez look like a classic old-time ballplayer. It’s impossible not to take notice of how much history is in the stadium. Above seemingly ever y entrance to the concourse on the lower deck is a black-and-white picture of one of the Yankees’ world championship teams. Everywhere fans turn, they’re reminded of the fact that the Yankees have won 26 world championships. People wear Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera jerseys, but just as many bear the numbers of old-time legends like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Yankee Stadium is place to see seven-year-old kids wearing the jerseys of players who played 70 years before they were born. The Yankees fans’ appreciation of tradition and history is one of the most impressive aspects of taking in a game at Yankee Stadium. While some might find the Yankees’ insistence upon the absence of players’ names on their uniforms pretentious or obnoxious, any sports fan has to be impressed by the fact that the in-game trivia contests often require fans to know the numbers of Yankee greats as old as Lou Gehrig or as recent as Bernie Williams; and it seems that the majority of the fans often know the correct answer. Even while being surrounded by these reminders of how historic Yankee Stadium is, it is readily apparent that times are changing for the Yankees. The House That Steinbrenner Built will never have the same sense of tradition as the
House That Ruth Built, no matter how hard Steinbrenner might try. After standing and singing “God Bless America” during the seventhinning stretch, fans now shake their beer bellies along to Kanye West in an attempt to get on the jumbo screen. Rather than being forced to overpay for a cup of Bud Light, many fans choose to down even more expensive microbrews. But the final tradition that seems to be fading is that of the Yankees always winning. For the first time in recent memory, the final regular-season game against the Red Sox lacked emotion, as the fans on Thursday didn’t seem to believe the Yankees could rally to make the playoffs. Jon Lester was chipping away at the winning tradition by retiring Yankee after Yankee. By the seventh inning it seemed a forgone conclusion that the Yankees would suffer the ultimate humiliation of being swept by the Red Sox in their final matchup at Yankee Stadium, and fans would have to settle for celebrating the shorter bathroom lines at the opening of the new Yankee Stadium rather than the American League or World Series title. And then the man with the classic old-school, oversized mustache entered the game and drilled a tworun homer into center field to tie the game. Not long after, he drove home the winning run to give the Yankees a thrilling 3-2 victor y in the bottom of the ninth. The crowd erupted, shouting along to “New York, New York.” Yankees fans had reason to hope that, like Giambi’s mustache, maybe the Yankees’ winning tradition may continue to grow at their new home.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Singer ’09: Defining ‘natural’ athleticism getting trickier continued from page 16 it is impossible to control for these advantages and create a truly equal playing field in sports, let alone most other aspects of the world. Even if it were possible, doing so might not be so ideal, as anyone who has read “Harrison Bergeron” is well aware. But what remains so odd is the acceptance and glorification of natural inequality and the total vilification of unnatural inequality. Some argue that the reason for this vilification is because of the damaging side effects of current performance enhancing drugs. If young people idolize Marion Jones, and use steroids to get better, they may be incurring irreversible damage to their bodies in the process. That’s a common reason. I don’t buy it. At least, not as the primary reason. If there were a form of steroids available without any side effects, would it be condoned and regulated in professional sports,
just like the LZR suit in swimming? Unlikely. Both are artificial, both enhance performance, and both would be available to everyone, maintaining the level playing field. But I think the reason such enhancements would never be condoned is because they intrinsically alter the way your body behaves for non-medicinal purposes. You can take off a swimsuit; you can’t take off your quadriceps. So, what may frighten people most about performance-enhancing drugs is that at some point they will no longer be able to tell the difference between what is natural and what is artificial. Perhaps there won’t even be a difference. And even a society in which the use of prescription drugs is increasingly widespread has limits for how much it is willing to tinker with its humanity.
Ben Singer ’09 does not condone or encourage taking off your quadriceps.
Olympian Willard ’06 breaks American record continued from page 16 started competing in during her junior year at Brown. She continued to compete for another year after Brown at the University of Michigan while attending graduate school. Her time of 9:27.59 at the Olympic trials broke the American record,
and her pink-dyed hair made her stand out even more in Beijing. The Ivy League record-holder and NCAA champion qualified in the third heat before setting another personal record with her time of 9:25.63, right behind fellow American Jennifer Barringer, whose 9:22.26 set the new American record.
E ditorial & L etters Page 14
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Staf f Editorial
Trying new combinations If ever y year is a new beginning, we at The Herald recognize that things never quite remain the same. We welcome the incoming class of first-years who will walk through the Van Wickle gates today but also acknowledge that for students in New Orleans, Gustav has forced them to delay their new beginnings and evacuate to safety before classes have even begun. The unpredictability of these events remind us that we never know quite what to expect with each upcoming year. While some of us are still getting settled on campus, we recognize that the Brown experience is one that differs from year to year with new challenges and new opportunities for growth. While first years may have butterflies during Orientation — saying bye to mom and dad and meeting the roommate — sophomores are a bit more comfortable with their surroundings. Juniors are heading abroad and seniors returning to live off campus for the first time. No matter what year you are, we feel that there is a common ground among all students moving in. Things change while old problems seem to remain. For one, we’re all P.O.’ed — frustrated with our campus mailboxes that require more twists and turns than we imagine vaults do in high-security banks. We’re not sure if moving our mail into shiny new silver boxes will distract us from the fact that housing is again an issue when we have more students and not enough rooms for them. While transitioning into a new community of people, some freshmen have been displaced from their unit during a key time of bonding while upperclassmen are still living in converted kitchens and lounges. While we hope that these situations are only temporar y, we recognize that these are all marks of the adjustments the University had to make to accommodate the unexpected. These first weeks at Brown are a time of displacement for all students. For the freshmen it’s moving from familiar surroundings to a new home. For returning students, it’s a time of re-familiarization with a campus we haven’t seen in a couple of months. Eventually, the uprooting of buildings and old pavement will make way for new ones. The mailboxes may only be new to upperclassmen, but the unfamiliarity we’ve experienced while opening them is a common denominator for us all. So as the Van Wickle gates open today, whether or not you are a freshman, we encourage you to tr y out some new combinations this year.
D an L aw L O R
T he B rown D aily H erald Editors-in-Chief Simmi Aujla Ross Frazier
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O pinions Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
How Obama Americanized liberalism ZACK BEAUCHAMP Opinions Columnist At this point, the media frenzy that currently surrounds John McCain’s surprise selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate and the Republican National Convention are obscuring Barack Obama’s convention speech, causing many to miss one of its central and extremely important elements. This particular aspect of the speech attests to an essential, but often overlooked, strength of his candidacy: his ability to make left-liberal politics palatable to Middle America. On August 28, Obama stridently and fullthroatedly defended left-wing policies, but did so on fundamentally libertarian grounds. The problem with Republican economic policy, for Obama, is not just the pain it causes, but also the freedom it takes away. This defense of left-wing policies marks a sharp break from the European-style leftism John Kerr y came to embody in 2004, and demonstrates a fundamentally correct insight of Obama and his advisors: To win as a left-liberal in the United States, you have to speak like the classic liberals whose ideas have so thoroughly dominated the American political landscape throughout the nation’s history. To explain why I thought this theme came through so strongly in Obama’s convention speech, I need to first explain the difference between “left” and “liberal,” two terms that are used identically in the United States but actually have quite different meanings. “Left” means what we most often refer to
as “liberal:” a view that generally supports more government intervention in the market, individual freedom on social issues like abortion and gay rights and a more multilateral and cooperative foreign policy. “Liberal,” by contrast, refers (in its most precise form) to a specific set of beliefs about the nature and role of government. Defined (very) briefly, liberals believe the primary purpose of government is to guarantee the liberty and freedom (but not necessarily welfare) of its citizens. Hence, one can be left without being liberal (e.g., Marxists), or liberal without being left (e.g., libertarians). The United States has been a liberal nation
in most senses, emphasize government’s responsibility to protect its citizens from harm over its responsibility to ensure their freedom in ways that make many American liberals uncomfortable. Right about now you’re probably wondering what this historical cum philosophical digression has to do with contemporary American politics. For starters, it partially explains why John Kerry lost to George Bush in 2004. Bush was successful in painting Kerry as an effete, out-of-touch “liberal” because his leftism was, well, not liberal enough to succeed in the United States. In Kerr y’s 2004 convention speech, he
Obama stridently and full-throatedly defended left-wing policies, but did so on fundamentally libertarian grounds. in this classic sense since its inception: John Locke, the first truly liberal political philosopher, is widely believed to have profoundly influenced Jefferson, Madison and the other Revolutionary luminaries, an influence that is palpable in the text of the Constitution (especially the Bill of Rights). Since then, the liberal belief that government exists to ensure that all are free to pursue their own ends has become, and I don’t think this is an exaggeration, the most widely accepted value in mainstream American politics. This belief contrasts sharply with Western European welfare states who, though liberal
paid lip service to traditional liberal values like hard work and freedom, but his most substantive description of what he believed American values to be made him sound like a European-style collectivist: “Whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for others and for our country.” For Kerry, we ought to be on the political left because we have a moral obligation to subordinate ourselves and our own interests to the collective good, a theme that doesn’t play at all well in the United States. He paid the electoral price.
Which brings me back to Obama, whose speech recognized Kerry’s political failures right off the bat. Obama’s defense of leftwing policies like universal health care and increased funding for public education is not centered on some nebulous concept of a public good, but rather on the impact that lack of access to basic resources has on the ability of Americans to freely pursue their own ends. For Obama, we are not meaningfully free when a lack of health care forces us to stay in bed sick rather than going out to work, or when a regressive tax system prevents children from low- and middle-income families from getting the tools necessary to compete with wealthy kids in the job market. Obama’s quintessentially left liberalism shines through brightest in his characterization of McCain’s economic plan: “Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps — even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.” In Obama’s world, the government helps its citizens not because its purpose is to ensure their well being, but because sometimes people face unfair obstacles that they simply can’t beat on their own. This liberal defense of the contemporary left is in one sense nothing new — political philosophers have been doing (espousing) it since at least the early 1970s. But Obama is the first 21st century Democrat to successfully translate this message from the academy to a national political stage. If John McCain misses this central part of the Obama campaign, and tries to run the same campaign Bush ran against Kerry in 2004, he’s in for a rude awakening — whichever of his several beds he wakes up in.
Zack Beauchamp ‘10 is a left-liberal, too.
TWTP fails its mission BY Jake Heimark Opinions Columnist When Brown welcomed the majority of the class of 2012 for Orientation, nearly an eighth of the class had arrived four days before to participate in the Third World Transition Program. Despite the Third World Center’s best efforts to publicize the event, many first years will not learn of the program until they begin unpacking boxes and carrying fridges up crowded staircases, only to notice that some of their classmates have already settled into the dorms. The current form of the Third World Transition Program does more harm than good for our community, and until the program is changed, it will continue to negatively impact race relations at Brown. The program goals listed on the Third World Center’s Web site are noble: to welcome new students to Brown, introduce the resources available to them and break down barriers in order to build understanding. But when such a small portion of the entering class is involved in the program, it is nearly impossible to have any real effect on breaking down those barriers. Brown was a white-only school for a long time and has institutional barriers that we must break down together. The report released in 2006 by the Slaver y and Justice Committee highlighted some of the changes we can make. But after talking to my classmates, I fear that few students actually read
the report. And I wonder if many students who did not attend TWTP dedicated any portion of their Orientation to thinking about the legacies of racism at Brown. The problem with TWTP is not the program itself, but the location of the event within the orientation timeline. Inevitably, allowing one group of students to arrive on campus before the rest has a negative impact on the community. One can make only so many new friends in the first week at Brown, and often
another from TWTP are more likely to sit together at lunch, shop classes together, and wave good morning in the hall. Those first few nights at Brown set the tone for the year, and the Third World Transition Program participants have already gone through that crucial stage with one another by the time most freshmen arrive. Some students who did not participate in TWTP, especially white students who feel as if they were not invited to participate, are
I reject the notion that learning of Brown’s legacy of racism and working actively to combat institutional barriers that divide us is a project for a select group of students. those initial groups of friends stick together for the remainder of the first year. When first years arrive on campus, they are infinitely more likely to bond with the other students on their floor who have never heard of the “Ratty,” can’t find Antonio’s without a map, and think the Fish Company is some sort of flounder processing facility. Likewise, students who already know one
immediately curious why some students of color appear to have had an unfair advantage in starting their career at Brown. By the time other students arrive on campus, TWTP participants have already created their own inside jokes, and the rest of the student body is left on the “outside.” If the real goal of TWTP is to break down the barriers that divide our society, then we
would all be better ser ved if the program were incorporated into the Orientation. All students should learn about Brown’s history of discrimination. When the issue of race is addressed on campus, it is often as the result of an incident, and the specifics of the case become more important than the underlying causes. We should make a concerted effort to address the issue of race so that it includes the entire student body. Everyone would benefit if elements of TWTP were included in the first year orientation. Some would suggest that students of color need a forum to discuss race among other students of color, but TWTP is not supposed to be such a forum. It is this alternate vision of TWTP that separates and divides us and this vision is entirely at odds with the goals of the program itself. The entire Third World Center suffers from the misperception that TWTP is a forum for such complaint. This misperception is not helped when students who attended the program refer to the day the rest of the students arrive on campus as “White Tuesday.” I reject the notion that learning of Brown’s legacy of racism and working actively to combat institutional barriers that divide us is a project for a select group of students. All Brunonians have the obligation to build a better community together. But by separating students before the first day of classes, TWTP starts the year off on the wrong foot.
Jake Heimark ‘10 was a participant in the 2006 Third World Transition Program.
S ports W ednesday Page 16
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Unnatural Limitations During the Beijing Olympics this past month, if you finished a race and didn’t break a record, you probably weren’t going home with a medal. Viewers grew so accustomed to seeing world records shattered that it practically became a formality. Admittedly, Ben Singer modern trainHigh Notes ing techniques and improved race gear (such as the LZR suit in swimming) make the comparisons of today’s record holders to those of yesterday difficult. The general perception is that these modern advances matter, but are acceptable because all athletes have equal access to them. As long as the playing field is level, it’s within the rules. On its surface this logic explains why athletes who use illegal performance enhancing substances, like Marion Jones, are looked upon poorly even in spite of record-breaking performances, while those such as Michael Phelps are unquestionably heralded as great performers. If you dope, you break the level playing field, and you break the rules. I don’t have a problem with this logic. I just think what’s considered a level playing field should be examined a little more closely. As far as I can tell, a truly level playing field is one where nobody starts off with any advantages over anyone else. Obviously, this is a ridiculous expectation because individuals will always have different physical and mental capacities. Some people will always be smarter than others; some will be faster runners than others. What I think we like to strive towards is a physically-level playing field where the only inequalities among athletes is how hard they train, how much they are able to push themselves given equal physical limitations. In essence, the one who works hardest and gives the most is the winner. Whether everybody thinks of that type of level playing field as their ideal or not doesn’t matter. In reality, Michael Phelps might be able to reach higher levels of performance than any other swimmer without trying as hard because he was born with a body more adept at maneuvering through water. In reality, Usain Bolt can blow away the competition in the 100-meter dash even when he doesn’t try for the last few seconds. The point is that people are not born with the same characteristics nor the same abilities. Why is it that we laud athletes who are genetically advantaged while we chastise those who try to gain the same advantages artificially? There’s nothing wrong with this reaction. You could make a great argument that sports are the celebration of individuality and that uneven genetic limitations are part of that glory. However, what you can’t ignore is that the current way we congratulate our athletes rewards their uneven genetic differences. In a modern culture that emphasizes the values of a meritocracy, it seems odd that athletics is an arena where we still cheer for the innately superior. I understand that continued on page 13
Brunonians impress at Olympics By Amy Ehrhart Spor ts Editor
The rigors of Brown can prepare its graduates for the highest stakes in the world, and those came on the water, track and gym floor for four Brown athletes who competed in this year’s Olympic games. Portia Johnson McGee ’01 competed in the women’s pair rowing event, taking seventh place. She and pairmate Anne Cummins missed the grand finals by one spot, but made up for it in the petite final, taking a three-second victor y to secure their placement. It was the first Olympics for US Rowing’s 2007 Female Athlete of the Year, who also helped Brown to two national championships while on College Hill. On the men’s side of the same race, Nikola Stojic ’93 represented his native countr y of Serbia in earning the same seventh-place finish with fellow countr yman Gorin Jagar. A current student helped the gymnastics team earn a silver medal in one of the most hyped team competitions of this year’s games. Losing by just 2.375 points to China, Alicia Sacramone ’10 competed in the vault, beam and floor exercise for the U.S. alongside eventual all-around gold medalist and teammate Nastia Liukin and the balance beam individual gold medalist Shawn Johnson. As the oldest team member, the 20-year-old Sacramone brought leadership to the team after helping it beat China at the World Championships earlier this year. She started the team competition off with a 15.675 on vault, earned a 15.100 on beam, and finished with a 14.125 in the floor exercise. Sacramone, who also competed in the individual vault finals, was the ’07 ECAC Rookie of the Year and Brown Freshman Athlete of the Year. She missed adding an Olympic bronze medal to her
A fine farewell to old Yankee Stadium By Megan McCahill Spor ts Editor
women’s 3000-meter steeplechase. She became the 10th-best runner in the world in an event she only
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played what was in all likelihood their final contest at the current Yankee Stadium on Thursday. Because the Red Sox had already convincingly won the first two in the three-game series, and with the Yankees needing a miraculous run to make the playoffs this year, the energy in the park was not nearly as intense as matchups between the rivals have been in the past. But the initially mellow atmosphere provided fans the perfect chance to sit back and soak up the sense of tradition that pervades nearly every inch of the ballpark. Fans entering the stadium are greeted by corridors older and narrower than those in newer stadiums, and where other stadiums often have hundreds of televisions broadcasting the game everywhere one turns, Yankee Stadium seems to have just a few scattered televisions. The easiest way to follow the game is to listen to the radio playby-play blasting from the multitude of old, oversized gray loudspeakers — appearing to be remnants from the 1920s to a first-time visitor. After walking under the arched entryways toward their seats, fans find the familiar sights of any ballpark: fresh-cut grass and a finely groomed diamond. Visiting fans used to a more modern stadium may be surprised by how massive the towering upper deck appears as it casts shadows down behind home plate. The overwhelming sense of histor y and tradition at the stadium is apparent in even the smallest details. Instead of showing a photograph of the Yankee at bat, the big
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Herald File Photo
Alicia Sacramone ’10 recently competed for the United States at the Beijing Olympics. She received a silver medal in the team competition.
collection of accolades by 0.025 points. After winning the Olympic trials, Anna Willard ’06 finished tenth in a new Olympic event: the
Volleyball team ready for more than just classes By Han Cui Assistant Spor ts Editor
Herald File Photo
Captain Natalie Meyers ’09 and the volleyball team are looking to improve upon its 2007 record.
For most, the first week of school means shopping for classes and settling back into school. But for the members of the volleyball team, it also means getting ready for the Georgetown Classic, their first competition, which takes place next weekend. The volleyball team did not have the successful season they were hoping for last year, finishing 7-17 overall and 5-9 in Ivy League play. But the team is hoping this year will be a different stor y. Head Coach Diane Short said she believes that with her returning veterans and new players, the team can achieve a “winning record before the Ivies.” “We’ve improved — that I know,” Short said. “We are in better shape, we have better ball control and we are cutting out a lot of unforced errors.” According to Shor t, Natalie Meyers ’09 — captain and one of the two seniors on the team — has risen as the leader. She voiced the
same kind of confidence about the team. “A lot of our hitters are a lot stronger,” Meyers said. “That was one area that we struggled in last year.” The Bears will look to show off their hitting skills against Ivy powerhouses Penn and Princeton on Oct. 17 and 18 at home and again on the road in their last two games on Nov. 14 and 15, where they hope to be playing for the league title. The new members of the team are also an integral part of making this team more competitive. Five girls joined the Brown squad this year. Among them, Annika Gliottone ’12 and Laurielle Hofer ’12 could see a lot of playing time in their respective positions. Gliottone will compete for the libero starting position with veteran Kim Bundick ’10. Hofer, a “big hitter” according to Meyers, will contend for the middle position. Besides the addition of new players, the team also welcomes continued on page 9