The Brown Daily Herald T hursday, S eptember 18, 2008
Volume CXLIII, No. 73
Percentage of PLMEs in Med School declining
New BUDS pay scale no longer rewards extra hours
goure v i t c h on ir a q
By Isabel Gottlieb News Editor
When Dan Velazquez ’10 returned to campus this fall, he assumed his job as cart super visor with Brown University Dining Ser vices would be the same as always. But he was told before the semester star ted that the system used to determine his wage had changed. Starting next September, when his wages will fall under the new system, Velazquez said he will have a “noticeable pay cut” — to about $1.50 an hour less than he is making now. “They didn’t give us a warning,” Velazquez said. “We just found out about it then.” Under the old system, BUDS workers who put in eight hours a week received a 25-cent raise from the University minimum wage of $8.25 per hour at the end of each semester, plus a 5-cent raise for ever y 24 hours they worked beyond those eight hours each week. This semester, under the new system, students who have worked with BUDS for one or two semes-
By Sara Sunshine Senior Staff Writer
With lingering questions among University officials over the Program in Liberal Medical Education’s rigor, the proportion of PLME students in the Alpert Medical School is trending downwards. Enrollment numbers indicate that while the current firstyear Med School class is 68 percent PLME, as the Med School grows, that proportion could drop as much as 20 percentage points over the next four years. Since 2006, each incoming PLME class has been capped at about 50 students. The program had previously aimed to matriculate 60 to 65 students, said Associate Dean of Medicine Julianne Ip ’75 MD’78. The undergraduate class of 2008 had as many as 67 PLME students, according to an e-mail Ip sent to The Herald, and those students compose about 68 percent of the current Med School freshman class. However, there are only 51 PLME students in the undergrad class of 2012, which will graduate medical school in 2016. Meanwhile, because of a recent $100 million gift from the Warren Alpert Foundation, the Med School continues to expand. With a new medical building slated for completion in four years, the average Med School class size will probably rise from its current size of under 100 students to between 110 and 120 students, Associate Dean of Medicine Philip Gruppuso said. PLME students would then compose less than half of the Med School’s class of 2016.The gradual decline in enrolled students was not entirely unexpected, Ip said, as the Med School has been taking a new direction for several years. The enrollment statistics are approximate and do not account for factors like attrition or leave-taking, but they nonetheless indicate a downward trend in the proportion of PLMEs in the Med School. The decision to decrease the size of PLME may date back to a 2004 Corporation meeting, Gruppuso said, when it decided to enlarge the Med School and its resources. The Corporation decided at that time to try to raise the Med School’s profile. The changes that followed included establishing a standard route of admission for the Med School and reducing the size of the PLME class over time in order to give outside applicants greater access to the fouryear program, according to Gruppuso. Both of these modifications increased the number of people in the medical field connected to Brown, improving the school’s reputation as a medical institution rather than an extension of the undergraduate continued on page 4
Quinn Savit / Herald
Philip Gourevitch, editor of the Paris Review, discussed American soldiers in Iraq in the Watson Institute yesterday.
Wage changes for student workers Under the old system • Work eight hours per week: receive a 25-cent raise in next semester’s wages • Every 24 hours worked above that: 5-cent raise in next semester’s wages Under the new system: • Semester 1 - 2: $8.25/hour • Semester 3 - 4: $8.50/hour • Semester 5 - 6: $8.75/hour • Semester 7 - 8: $9.00 /hour ters make $8.25 per hour, with wages increasing by 50 cents for ever y two semesters they work with BUDS. There is an additional end-of-semester bonus of up to $50 available to student workers who never miss a shift or put in a certain number of shifts substituting for another student. The pay rate for super visors has also increased. Velazquez said he has been continued on page 4
Next class to apply using Common App Lagos: Climate by Zunaira Choudhary Staff Writer
When the class of 2013 steps onto campus next fall, they will do so as the first group of Brown students to be admitted using the Common Application. The University has joined the nearly 350 member colleges that currently accept the standardized application, leaving Columbia as the only Ivy League school that does not. Though the decision was not
overtly publicized, Dean of Admission James Miller ’73 told The Herald in April that Brown was “strongly considering” switching to the Common App and was close to a final decision. The standardized application will require a supplement that asks applicants to explain how they became interested in Brown and to list their top five “interests and abilities.” Applicants must also write about areas of study that interest them and describe an influential academic
experience. Miller said there was “nothing lost” in the transition to the new application, adding, “We’ve been able to incorporate everything from the old application into the new one.” The Office of Admission ultimately decided to make the switch when it examined the “enormous overlap” between the two applications, Miller said. Recognizing the difficulty of the college admission continued on page 4
S O W I N G t h e seeds of c h a nge
Eunice Hong / Herald
On Wednesday at the Farmers’ Market, the group “Real Food Now” flagged fruit and delivered it to campus life officials in order to encourage the University to adopt sustainable food practices.
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Sexual Assault New sexual assault response and prevention program coordinator is named
shoes and sweatshops Rachel Forman ’09 does not think your sneaker choice will change the world
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change is ‘most pressing issue’ by MattHEW Varley Higher Ed Editor
The international community must unite to address the threat of global warming, former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos told a full Joukowsky Forum at the Watson Institute for International Studies Wednesday night. “This is the most pressing issue for the survival of our planet,” Lagos said, and the first time the world has faced a problem that truly “recognizes no political frontiers.” Lagos, a professor-at-large at Watson, is a U.N. special envoy for climate change and president of the Club of Madrid, a confederation of 70 former heads of state. As president of the club, Lagos established Global Leadership for Climate Action, a partnership with the U.N. that has outlined recommendations to help limit the increase in Earth’s temperature to between 2 and 2.5 degrees by 2050. The Earth’s temperature, Lagos said, could rise by up to 4 degrees in the next century “if we keep business as usual.” “Nothing is going to happen to me because of my age,” Lagos said, “neither to you.” But he added that “mankind is going to suffer a lot” in future generations if the trend of global warming continues. continued on page 4
WOMEN’s VOLLEYBALL Defeating Providence College, women’s volleyball team wins part one of state championship
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Thursday, September 18, 2008
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We a t h e r TODAY
Vagina Dentata | Soojean Kim TOMORROW
partly cloudy 63 / 45
partly cloudy 71 / 44
Menu Sharpe Refectory
Verney-Woolley Dining Hall
Lunch — Vegan Tofu Ravioli with Sauce, Savory Spinach, Vegan Tofu Pups, Sweet Potato Fries
Lunch — Hot Roast Beef on French Bread, Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Summer Squash, Nacho Bar
Dinner — Vegetarian Gnocchi Ala Sorrentina, Mashed Sweet & White Potatoes, Stuffing, Sauteed Broccoli
Dinner — Chicken Tikka, Vegan Curry Vegetables, Coconut Rice, Zucchini, Carrot & Garlic Medley, Green Beans
Opus Hominis | Miguel Llorente
Sudoku Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Dunkel | Joe Larios
Enigma Twist | Dustin Foley
© Puzzles7, by2008 Pappocom RELEASE DATE– Thursday, February
Los Angeles Times Puzzle C r o sDaily s w oCrossword rd Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS 1 Folklore 6 Load in a basket 10 Unskilled laborer 14 Try not to meet 15 He played Emile in “South Pacific” 16 Concerning 17 Temple 20 Day sailer’s destination 21 Off-road transp. 22 He came after Jimmy 23 Spinning meas. 25 Bum 26 Temple 31 Word with life or love 35 Hosp. areas 36 Scottish property owner 37 More sensible 38 One that may be pregnant 40 Passing through 41 Lange of “The Howard Stern Show” 42 Seething 43 Like Frank Hardy, vis-à-vis Joe 45 Hunky-dory 46 Actress Ward 47 Temple 49 Stadium yells 51 N.Y. neighbor 52 Live, as a football 55 Co. with Keywords 57 Foreman portrayer on “House” 61 Temple 64 Kind of party 65 “In your dreams” 66 Lay-led company, once 67 Holiday tubers 68 German painter Holbein 69 Settles down
8 McCartney title 9 Dragster’s car 10 Pub with requests 11 One-named singer 12 Russian city east of Kiev 13 Socially inept type 18 Island nation once under New Zealand control 19 Hold up 24 Martinique volcano 25 Beginners with boards 26 Some residents of Navajo County, Arizona 27 “__ Ben Jonson”: literary epitaph 28 Popular drink order? 29 Journalism 101 concept 30 Question intensely 32 Ready to be drawn 33 Elementary sequence
34 Arduous journeys 37 Spoilage deterrent 39 Hollywood hopefuls 44 Élevé’s place 47 “Wanna bet?” 48 Medit. smoker 50 Relieved expression 52 Doubtful 53 Torvald’s wife, in “A Doll’s House”
54 Bristol baby carriage 55 Tennis score 56 Whacks 58 Knitting loop 59 Memorable dance 60 Reed of R.I. and Reid of Nev. 62 Thin-rail connector 63 NRC forerunner
Alien Weather Forecast | Stephen Lichenstein and Adam Wagner
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
Classic How To Get Down | Nate Saunders
DOWN 1 Half a fish 2 Surrealist Tanguy 3 Hard work 4 They don’t want to be seen 5 Star Wars letters 6 Cried 7 Sea of __, south By Mike Peluso of Ukraine (c)2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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M etro Thursday, September 18, 2008
Thayer property owners budget improvements By Nandini Jayakrishna Metro Editor
The Thayer Street District Management Authority — which seeks to improve and maintain the street — approved its $89,288 budget for the present fiscal year Wednesday morning, in a public hearing that failed to attract any attendees. Seated before rows of empty chairs, the DMA’s board of directors voted to adopt a budget that will spend $8,600 more than the authority’s current income. But board members said they will use earnings retained from past years to cover the gap. The authority seeks to use most of its budget to renovate and beautify the Thayer Street commercial district and to attract new businesses and investments to the area. In Januar y 2006, the Providence City Council approved the DMA, composed of a ninemember volunteer board of large property owners, city and University representatives. The authority is funded by landowners who are required to pay five percent of the assessed value of their proper ties to its budget. This year the University, which owns the Bookstore and various other properties on and around the street, contributed $20,000 to the DMA. The authority will pay $37,500 to a California-based consulting company, Urban Place Consulting Group, which the board hired last month to help manage its day-to-day activities. The firm, which also handles the Providence Downtown Improvement District, will coordinate graf fiti removal and sidewalk cleanup on Thayer Street, manage the authority’s budget and collect pending revenue from property owners, said John Luipold, the board’s secretar y and the University’s director of real estate. Dar rell Brown, the University’s director of state and community relations, who also ser ves on the board, said a lack of time and exper tise led the board members to hand over these duties to the firm. Luipold said he was unsure why no proper ty or business owners came to Wednesday morning’s hearing. He said notices had been posted on the Secretar y of
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State’s Web site and printed in the Providence Journal. Several business owners inter viewed by The Herald said they did not know anything about the meeting or the fact that the authority was adopting its budget. “I don’t think we’re that informed,” said Ann Dusseault, owner of Pie in the Sky, a novelty and gift shop. “The business owners are the people who are here ever yday. A landlord may be an absentee. I don’t even have a (DMA) number to call.” When told about the budget figure, Dusseault said, “I don’t know where all that money goes.” Other business owners shared Dusseault’s view. Cara Berman, whose family owns Shades Plus and Army/Navy Surplus, said she does not think the authority is doing much to improve the street’s appearance. “I’m here almost ever y day,” she said. “I don’t see anything.” In the summer of 2007, the DMA planted 30 new trees along the street, replaced sidewalks and completed the installation of new patterned crosswalks along the street, The Herald reported Oct. 18. Currently the board is looking to replace some of its members — including Director Kenneth Dulgarian — who recently resigned from their positions. Dulgarian, who owns several proper ties on Thayer and has been in the area for more than 30 years, said his hectic business schedule forced him to step down from his position. He said the authority will benefit from “new blood” but added that he will continue to help in any way he can.
. . . Ano t h er m a n ’ s t re a sure
Scott Lowenstein / Herald
Tom Deininger’s “Angelina Jolie,” which is made of discarded materials, is on display at the Wickenden Street gallery 5 Traverse.
Local seniors studying together at U. By Simon van Zuylen-Wood Senior Staf f Writer
Looking in on a healthy crowd and tables of food, a student walked into Josiah’s Wednesday afternoon, stopped and immediately turned on her heel and walked out. The 100-plus senior citizens she saw assembled inside weren’t the usual Jo’s crowd, but they were students. The event was the opening convocation of the University’s Life Long Learning program, which houses and administers classes, or “study groups,” designed for retirees seeking seminar-style education. Formerly known as the Brown Community for Learning in Retirement, the program offers weekly classes to older adults — many of them Brown alums — in a collaborative setting without lectures
and assignments. Ten student coordinators design curricula for the courses and steer discussions for the nearly 180 members. Brown faculty are uninvolved with the program. This semester, each of the 12 courses will be taught for 10 weeks, from early October to mid-December. Classes range from “Viva Vivaldi!” to “The Need for a Second Constitutional Convention” and from “Vikings to Scandinavians: Terrorists Transformed” to “What in the World is Going On.” At the convocation, Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 spoke to BCLIR members about Brown’s presence and expansion in Providence since 1770 and lauded them for their intellectual curiosity. “Brown and its campus should be designed to serve students and the larger public,” Kertzer said. “I think of you as Brown students.
You are the model for all our Brown students.” Despite Kertzer’s warm convocation sentiments, BCLIR and the University are not as closely affiliated as the speech would suggest. Brown runs Life Long Learning, which provides BCLIR with administrative support and classroom space for the 10 classes held on campus. The other two classes are held at off-campus locations at Johnson and Wales University and at the Rochambeau Public Library on Hope Street and are not funded by the University. Last spring, BCLIR members formally voted on whether to become completely independent of Brown. Fifty-four percent voted in favor of splitting off, short of the two-thirds majority needed under continued on page 6
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
U. now on Common App Pay scale will not reward more hours continued from page 1 process, he said the new procedure is simpler for potential applicants, especially those from “less sophisticated backgrounds.” Attracting more applicants was not a factor in the decision, Miller said, adding that the office was “not focused on applicant volume.” While the applicant pool traditionally grows for a school upon adopting the Common App, Miller said, the effect of the switch will be “hard to know in these uncertain economic times.” For the class of 2012, Brown received 20,633 applications and admitted 2,828 students, amounting to an admission rate of less than 14 percent, according to the admissions Web site. Miller said adopting the Common App after “243 years of our own application” was a step that required serious thought, especially since some viewed the previously unique application as a part of the “Brown identity.” He added, though, that there is no evidence to substantiate the idea that a specific type of application attracts a specific kind of student. “The vehicle is not the distinction,” he said. Sabrina Schoneberg, a senior at the Viewpoint School in Calabasas, Calif., said she found Brown’s switch to the Common App “very helpful” and said the standardized process “makes it a little easier to apply.” Most seniors applying
to colleges are using the Common App anyway, she said, and “would rather see a school’s application on it.” Milan Satcher ’10, however, said there was value in having a school-specific application and thus forcing applicants “to search (for the form) themselves.” The unique application was “more personal than the typical, standard” one, she said. Nic Mooney ’11 said he thought the previous application asked questions which were “already so open, I could use it for other (applications) anyway.” The switch to the Common App with a Brown supplement, he said, was a “positive change” which did not does not compromise the distinctiveness of applicants, but might “save people some hassle.” Along with regular applicants to the College, those applying to the Program in Liberal Medical Education and BrownRISD dual-degree program will also use the Common App. Separate supplements are still required for those programs. The application fee remains unchanged, and students can request a fee waiver directly from the organization’s Web site, commonapp.org. In addition, counselors and teachers now have the option to submit recommendations online, a development that potentially reduces the paperwork for applicants. Miller said that the new procedure makes it easier for the Office of Admission to track information.
continued from page 1 working with BUDS since he signed up during Orientation and doesn’t plan on stopping now. This year, he qualifies for a grandfather clause, under which workers can choose to stay with their old hourly wage for a year. But next year, he will be subject to the new system. Under the new system, a student who works the minimum of eight hours each week would earn the same wage hike as one who worked 20 hours each week. “Giving raises based on hours was not as relevant to the student population,” said Cindy Swain ’09, the BUDS general manager. The old structure rewarded students who put in many hours, Swain said, but not some “great workers” who put in fewer hours per week. “Rewarding in hours is rewarding quantity over quality,” Swain said. “Often they go hand in hand, but a lot of times they don’t.” But Swain said that financial considerations also played a big role in the switch.
The old pay structure was “unsustainable,” Swain said, because “it’s hard to predict how much you will pay out in student wages ever y year because you don’t know how much a student will work.” The goal for the new system, Swain added, was to “easily say, this is how much we will pay in student wages” at the beginning of the semester, not the end. Swain, whose position involves acting as a liaison between student workers and the professional Brown Dining Ser vices management, said she knew a year ago that the pay structure would have to be changed. Over the summer, she said she worked closely with Dining Ser vices administrators to design the new policy. But the switch still caught some student workers of fguard. “We came back and there were all these changes,” said Deborah Saint-Vil ’10, a car t super visor. “I wasn’t informed that they were discussing this.” Saint-Vil’s hourly working wage will drop 30 cents under the new system. But she said that because of the bonuses for subbing and the
higher rate she will receive for the hours she acts as a super visor, she chose to go with the new pay system and forgo her last year’s wage rate. Swain said the reaction among student workers, according to her obser vations, has “ranged from apathetic to understanding.” “No one has come to talk to me personally, and no one has quit because of the pay rate,” she added. Though the new pay structure does not of fer the same incentives to work more hours, BUDS workers inter viewed said they will not log fewer hours than before. “The fact that the old pay rate had that scaling based on how many hours you worked, it does disincentivize people from working as many hours as they might have,” Velazquez said. But “for workers who were just working for the sake of getting more hours in, they’ll still want to work more hours,” he added. Swain said the new system has not deterred students from taking shifts. “If (workers) want more money,” she said, “they’ll work more anyway.”
PLME rigor questioned by U. officials Lagos speaks on U.S. ‘responsibility’ for climate PLME proportions continued from page 1
PLME program, Gruppuso said. In the past, “if you went around to other universities and said you were from Brown, people would say, ‘Gee, I didn’t know Brown had a medical school,’” Gruppuso said. The Corporation’s desire to “promote (the Med School’s) visibility” was also shared by both University and Med School administrators, Gruppuso said. “The question of if PLME should continue was (first) raised” with the arrival of former Provost Robert Zimmer, he added. “The Med School doesn’t certify its students like other medical schools,” Gruppuso said. There is no requirement for PLME students to take the MCATs, attain a certain GPA or fulfill certain requirements — such as a complete year of organic chemistry — that are necessary for admission to other medical schools. Ip said this freedom is exactly what makes PLME so valuable. Students can “savor” the Brown undergraduate experience and there is “decreased stress and an emphasis on being a well-trained physician,” she added. “From the minute (former Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Eli) Adashi and Dean Gruppuso came aboard ... it was clear that there would be changes,” Ip said. Many of the tenets of PLME were called into question, she said, and “ ‘rigorous’
was a word that was thrown around a lot.” Ip added that she thought the changes were motivated by concerns over the Med School’s ranking among medical schools by Wing, Adashi and President Ruth Simmons. But improving the Med School’s reputation is not the only benefit of accepting more outside students, Gruppuso said. It “provided us with a chance to really diversify the student body,” he said, in a way PLME alone cannot, since almost all PLME students are about the same age and come from a similar undergrad experience. PLME students had mixed feelings about the class size gradually being reduced. Mike Bohl ’11, a PLME student, said he had heard rumors that the program was going to be abolished entirely, which worried him. But he said he thought a smaller program might make it easier to focus on advising each individual student, building a stronger PLME community. Emma Anselin ’11, also in PLME, said she appreciated the need for diversity at the Med School but wished students had been consulted more before adjusting the program. Making the decision without student input was “uncharacteristic of Brown,” Anselin added. Ip said she shared those concerns. “The faculty and students have always
expected to drop
• Since 2006, the number of PLMES in each class has stayed around 50, though it used to be around 65. • At the same time, the size of Med School classes is anticipated to grow from less than 100 to around 120. • PLMEs make up 68 percent of the Med School’s first-year class, though that number is expected to drop below 50 percent. had a phenomenally close relationship with the administration,” she said, and it would be a shame to see that connection erode. Ip said she had not been consulted, though she has worked with PLME since its inception in 1985. “I would have liked to been able to dispel some of the anti-PLME sentiment,” she added. Despite these concerns, Ip said she believes that the program is safe and will not face further reduction in size. The Med School has reached a “stability point,” Gruppuso said. He added that Brown will retain its unique status as the only medical school having an “eight-year continuum program of this type.”
continued from page 1 Beyond the ethical obligations to fight climate change, Lagos said it makes economic sense to tackle the problem before it escalates. “The cost of not doing (anything) is going to be much greater than the cost of doing something,” he said. Lagos offered several concrete suggestions for how nations could collaborate to reverse the trend of climate change. For example, he said countries could make commitments to preserve forests and thereby reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Other nations could turn national commitments about energy use into internationally accountable agreements, he said. Much of Lagos’ speech focused on how the world will address global warming after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. That agreement, an international treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions, was signed in 1997. Lagos said the U.S. — the only developed nation never to ratify the treaty — must play an active role in the future. Noting that accumulation of
greenhouses gases in the atmosphere over the past 120 years has caused temperatures to rise, Lagos said the U.S. bears some “historical responsibility” for the current crisis for having been a leader in the Industrial Revolution. He added that the U.S. emits more greenhouse gases per capita than any other nation — though China now produces more overall. The U.S., Lagos said, has the potential to provide “global leadership for climate action” in the future. Quoting former President Bill Clinton, a fellow member of the Club of Madrid, Lagos said America must show the world “the power of example, not the example of power.” But Lagos also acknowledged the complexities of fighting global warming on an international scale. For example, he said nations would have a hard time agreeing on how to split the estimated annual $50 billion cost of an effective international campaign against global warming. He added that new technologies developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy might not be widely shared among countries because of international copyright laws. Though his speech focused on the international challenge of global warming, Lagos also emphasized the role individuals would play in the fight against climate change. Specifically, he said there would be a blurring of “frontiers between suppliers and consumers of energy” as people produce more of their own energy through renewable resources such as wind and solar power. The stakes are high, Lagos said, and he told the audience that one thing is certain. “We are approaching a world,” he said, “that is going to be very different from the world we know today.”
C ampus n ews Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Health Services hires sexual assault staffer
r i e f
By Juliana Friend Staf f Writer
Herald File Photo
Responding to demand, RIPTA’s number 66 bus will stop on Thayer after downtown.
RIPTA adds morning Thayer service After frequent RIPTA riders — including many Brown faculty and staff — complained of overcrowded buses and long waits to get from Kennedy Plaza to Thayer Street, the transit authority has extended morning service on its number 66 inbound line to continue up College Hill. “It’s a good faith effort to accommodate the needs of our customers,” said Karen Mansel, director of marketing and communications for RIPTA. The line 66 bus that is scheduled to reach Kennedy Plaza by 8:06 a.m. each morning will continue on to Thayer Street and arrive by 8:15 a.m. Other buses on the line will not be affected. The 8:15 a.m. bus, marked “special,” began continuing up the hill Sept. 15. Mansel said RIPTA, which is in the midst of a budget crisis, will keep the line operating as long as it can afford to do so and as long as people make use of it. Though RIPTA is increasing special morning service up College Hill, it has recently announced plans to eliminate 20 percent of its service in lines across the state, affecting thousands of riders. “We don’t want to have to do service cuts,” Mansel said. Anjali Sridhar GS, assistant director of the Third World Center, said she travels up the hill about two to three times every week. “I know that Kennedy Plaza can be completely chaotic and I have sometimes had to wait for the next bus to get on,” she said. “So I think this extension is very useful.” About 200 faculty and 800 staff take advantage of the UPASS program every month, allowing members of the Brown community to ride RIPTA free of charge, said Elizabeth Gentry, assistant vice president of financial and administrative services. The University spends approximately $250,000 annually to support the UPASS program, Gentry said. — Christian Martell
Tarr wins NIH grant for innovative research Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Michael Tarr has been awarded one of the first of several new grants given by the National Institutes of Health for his innovative approach to answering a tough question: How do our eyes process information? The so-called “EUREKA” grant, which recognizes “Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration,” is one of 38 such awards worth a total of $42.2 million, according to a Sept. 3 NIH press release. Selected researchers will receive approximately $200,000 per year for up to four years. Tarr said he will use the grant money to look at “how the eye understands and interprets the world.” There is a good deal of knowledge about the beginning and end stages of how the brain processes visual data, he said, but not about the intermediate stages of that process. For example, how does the eye remember and recognize different objects? “The biggest problem,” Tarr said, “is (that) we have not learned a lot of concrete facts about high-level vision.” Tarr will use functional magnetic resonance imaging, a specialized kind of MRI scan, for his research. Unlike many fMRI studies, which involve recording responses and analyzing them later, Tarr will be able to assess them in real time. This real-time element “re-casts” the way research is usually done, he said. Last year, Tarr was one of five Brown professors to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. At least one undergraduate will assist Tarr in his upcoming research. Tarr is co-director of the Center for Vision Research, “a world class facility,” he said, that opened its doors in July. The center brings together 30 faculty members from 10 different academic departments to investigate how humans learn and process objects visually. — Paula Kaufman
Health Services has chosen Trisha Glover to fill the new position of sexual assault response and prevention program coordinator. The position was approved last year, partly in response to the efforts of the Sexual Assault Task Force, a group of students advocating for more support for victims of sexual assault. “This position is definitely an affirmation that we take the issue seriously,” said Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn. Glover, who hails from upstate New York, will ser ve as a point person for both response to and prevention of sexual assault, and will hopefully increase students’ awareness of the services on campus for those affected by the issue, Klawunn said. In addition to counseling survivors and friends of survivors, Glover will lead education programs for students. Glover, who arrived at Brown in August, will also advocate for sexual assault victims seeking
disciplinar y action against their perpetrators. “Now there is someone to make sure our resources are visible,” Klawunn said. Glover received her undergraduate degree in women’s studies and political science from SUNY Albany. She also has two master’s degrees: the first in women’s spirituality and the second in mental health counseling. Her studies in spirituality helped instill in her the compassion necessary to do sexual assault prevention and response, Glover said. “I come into this issue wanting to be accessible, empathetic and warm,” she said. “It’s who I am.” Glover also gained experience in the field as a rape crisis counselor in Lowell, Mass., where she counseled victims and coordinated a crisis hotline for three years. When Heather Bennett ’11, a member of the task force, first met Glover at an informal luncheon last year, she said she was struck by her approachable manner. Glover “seemed ver y willing to understand Brown students,” Bennett said.
For Marta daSilva ’09, who codirected “Hush,” a documentar y exploring the stigma of sexual assault victims, Glover’s presence on campus is a step forward in an ongoing effort to raise awareness about sexual assault at Brown. “It was kind of like waking up from a dream,” daSilva said of her return to campus this fall after a semester abroad. “Almost ever ything we were working for is coming true.” Two years after the Department of Public Safety reported zero sexual offences occurring in 2005, a statistic questioned by both the task force and Gail Cohee, director of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, many of the demands made by the task force have been addressed, daSilva said. The task force also lobbied the University to fund a sexual assault peer education program and a sexual assault resource center in the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center — both successfully. However, Bennett and daSilva said Brown’s resources for victims continued on page 6
Spelman ’85 offers tales of being a vet By Brian Mastroianni Senior Staf f Writer
Every morning, the first thought on Lucy Spelman’s ’85 mind is, “Are the animals OK?” For Spelman, regional veterinary manager of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, the wellbeing of wild and domestic animals is a crucial part of her daily life. Last night, Spelman spoke on her newly published book, “The Rhino With Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and Their Patients,” in Carmichael Auditorium. Spelman signed copies of the book following the lecture. A collection of essays written by various veterinarians recounting their strange and humorous encounters with their patients, the book offers readers the chance to understand exactly what veterinarians experience and how important their work is for animal health, Spelman told the audience. For Spelman, her journey in becoming a veterinarian started with her undergraduate experience at Brown. A biology concentrator, Spelman worked on an independent
study project with Professor of Biology Ken Miller ’70 P’02 where she studied cell membrane morphology. After graduating from Brown, Spelman went to veterinary school at the University of California, Davis, and residencies in Raleigh and Asheboro, N.C. Spelman said the chance to work with experienced veterinarians provided her with an environment in which she wasn’t afraid to ask difficult questions. “The value of residency training is in developing new kinds of questions on how to help your patients,” she said. Spelman earned her board certification from the American College of Zoological Medicine in 1994 –– an achievement she said allowed her to leave behind the academic aspects of veterinar y medicine. “It was a great chance for me to knit things together –– I got to move away from being in a purely academic realm,” Spelman said. Spelman began working as a practicing veterinarian for the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. for the next five years before ser ving as the director of
the Smithsonian National Zoo from 2001 until 2005. “I took that job because it tied back to that question of, ‘Are the animals OK?,’” Spelman told the audience. Monitoring the way in which other veterinarians were ensuring the health of the zoo’s animals was central to the position, she said. It was in this role that Spelman met Mohan, the Indian rhinoceros referenced in the title of her book. From 2005 to 2006, Spelman served as a consultant for the Discover y Channel. While she saw the position as a chance to educate television viewers about issues surrounding animals, Spelman said she feels that television is not the best medium to capture the realities of her field. “The raw challenge of taking care of animals is not well covered in television and other usual forms of media –– to me, writing is the best form,” Spelman said. In 2006, Spelman left the Discover y Channel for her current position as veterinary manager for continued on page 6
A different kind of senior: Locals form own classes continued from page 3 the group’s bylaws. This year, for the first time, BCLIR will charge a $25 membership fee in addition to the $140 price of each class, according to Barbara Findley, the group’s president. Findley said the membership fee would cover BCLIR’s new expenses that Brown would have covered in the past. Karen Sibley, dean of Summer and Continuing Studies, who helps oversee LLL, told The Herald that “Brown remains deeply embedded” in the program but not in matters of “social networking and interaction,” which will be BCLIR’s responsibility, adding that BCLIR was “better” at such extracurricular programming than Brown. Sibley said the split between the two was mutual. L ynne Harper, chair of the BCLIR curriculum committee, said Brown has “progressively distanced themselves from us except for providing classroom space.” Still, Findley said Brown plays a crucial role in keeping the program afloat. “Without their help at this point we don’t have any place to go,” Findley said. “Brown has so much control over what we do.” Findley said one of the reasons for Brown’s alleged phasing-out of the BCLIR program was that some Brown administrators and faculty weren’t aware or didn’t have respect for the program, which bore Brown’s name and was housed on its campus. “It was suggested (by Brown) that we keep a low profile,” Findley said. “We ran a science colloquium a few years ago. Somebody from physics or chemistr y would ask ‘who are you?’”
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Sibley acknowledged that senior academic leaders at Brown complained, “How can Brown be associated with something that has no Brown professors included?” “If you are going to offer something academically, and it’s going to be at Brown, you want to make sure it’s good,” Sibley added. Carol Crowley, who began taking classes in 2000 and has been a coordinator several times, said LLL has enhanced her life tremendously by providing a “second liberal education.” “I always wanted to study philosophy or American studies as an undergrad but I never had time,” said Crowley, who went to Mount Holyoke College. The program has allowed Crowley to “meet the kinds of people who might not be at the golf club, the country club.” “Plenty of people in their eighties are still developing intellectually,” she said. Harper, who said BCLIR was one of the most expensive LLL programs of its kind — most others cost around $50 — was not deterred by the costs. “We want to be here, we like the program ... the Brown library, the campus,” Harper said. “After a few years you make friends and go out to restaurants, concerts.” “What keeps them going is this organization,” she added. “One woman once gave a presentation Thursday and died Monday.” Bill Kulik, who has been enrolled in LLL since 1999, was drawn to the program not for its Brown reputation, but, like Crowley, to interact with people eager to continue learning for its own sake. “It’s much better to be older and learning for fun than to go to school and get a degree,” Kulik said.
P embroke F a mily
Justin Coleman / Herald
The Faculty Advising Fellow program sponsored the Pembroke Campus Talent Show last night at 95 Brown St.
Spelman ’85 speaks on working with animals continued from page 5 the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. By working on the project, Spelman takes on the legacy left by Dian Fossey, the founder of the program whose story was made famous by her memoir and the film that it inspired, “Gorillas in the Mist.” Spelman said that the greatest challenge facing the Rwandan mountain gorillas is the fact that their environment is surrounded by humans. “Gorilla and human health are connected. When I was traveling through Rwanda, I did not see one human child without a runny nose, or who was not crying –– it’s the same health concerns for the gorillas,” Spelman told the audience.
The veterinar y project even provides basic health care for the local workers who help take care of the gorillas. Spelman said that she and her colleagues have provided glasses for local workers with sight problems and screen the workers for infectious diseases. The population range for these gorillas only extends in two separate areas –– one in Rwanda and one covering Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is an estimated total populations of 750 gorillas. Spelman said that a danger facing these gorillas is the fact that three-quarters of the total mountain gorilla population has become accustomed and desensitized to their human neighbors. “In Rwanda there are roughly 600 people per square kilometer. That is a health risk to the mountain gorilla populations,” Spelman said. Dealing with such impoverished human populations is just as much a responsibility for the eight veterinarians working on the Rwanda project as is dealing with the health of the mountain gorillas. There are no health clinics for the human populations near the
gorillas and very minimal limited veterinary care for domestic animals, Spelman said. “The health habitat is low for humans, animals and for gorillas,” she said. While traps set by hunters are a common threat, Spelman said that human disease is proving a more prominent danger to the gorilla communities. Hepatitis, polio and tuberculosis are just a few of the diseases that affect the mountain gorilla population. For Spelman, being able to help animals is the realization of her childhood dream. “I wanted to be a vet from the time I was really young –– of course this desire didn’t really become a reality until I was an undergraduate in college,” she told The Herald. While she has received praise from peers for the book, Spelman told The Herald that she gets the greatest joy from hearing the reactions from average readers. “I’m not surprised (about its reception) — I know how powerful it is to work with animals and the joy that animals bring to others,” she said. “The reactions of the reader has taught me that a book has a life of its own, reading is the basis for giving knowledge.”
Health Services hires sexual assault counselor continued from page 5 as well as its reporting and prevention measures are still works in progress. The task force is considering advocating moving the resource center out of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center and into Faunce House in order to make it more accessible to students of all genders, Bennett said. Glover said she would like to improve the process of reporting sexual offenses. She plans to look for other anonymous reporting
methods — besides the sexual assault response line now in place — that would help sexual assault victims feel safe coming forward. In addition, Glover said she plans to work with DPS to reevaluate its methods of response to sexual assault. Glover said her ser vices are confidential and available to students of all genders. “I want people to know I’m a safe, confidential place to come for help,” Glover said. “It’s easier for someone to access resources if they know who I am.”
Thanks for reading.
W orld & n ation Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
New U.S. strike irritates Pakistanis Attack kills 16 outside U.S. embassy in Yemen By Pamela Constable and Shaiq Hussain Washington Post
KABUL, Afghanistan — A new reported U.S. missile strike inside Pakistan on Wednesday threatened to undermine American efforts to defuse a growing confrontation with Pakistan over aggressive U.S. military actions against Islamist extremists in the country’s turbulent northwest border region. The strike in the South Waziristan tribal area, which officials said killed six people, came as the United States’ top military officer pledged during a hastily arranged visit to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, that Washington would respectthat nation’s sovereignty. He did not specifically rule out further raids, however. According to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pakistani officials that he “appreciated the positive role Pakistan is playing in the war on terror” and “reiterated the U.S. commitment to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty” and to develop further bilateral cooperation on critical security issues. Pakistan and the United States have cooperated closely in fighting Islamist extremists since shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But Pakistan has been far more willing to hunt down alleged foreign al-Qaeda terrorists than to attack homegrown Islamist groups. The Pakistani militar y has long tacitly condoned strikes by U.S. Predator drones in the tribal region
— Wednesday’s attack appeared to be another of those operations — but the Pakistani public and many politicians are deeply against them at a time when the military’s influence in the country appears to have declined. Two weeks ago, the United States escalated its cross-border campaign by staging the first known ground attack inside Pakistan, a strike 20 miles over the border by helicopter-borne commandos. That caused a public furor and led the Pakistani military to protest as well. On Wednesday, even before word spread of the new U.S. strike, senior Pakistani militar y and civilian officials stressed that no further cross-border incursions by foreign forces would be tolerated, though they stopped short of repeating a military spokesman’s statement Tuesday that any future raids would be forcibly repelled. “The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan will be safeguarded at all costs,” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani told the Associated Press of Pakistan after meeting with Mullen. A military spokesman said Pakistan reserves the right to “retaliate for any aggression” to protect Pakistani lives and territory. Mullen met privately with both Gillani and Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani. The embassy described the talks as “extremely frank, positive and constructive.” There were no joint statements or public appearances afterward, and the Joint Chiefs chairman reportedly left Pakistan on Wednesday evening.
The contretemps highlighted the gulf between American and Pakistani priorities, though the two countries remain official allies in the war against international Islamist terrorism. U.S. military officials are frustrated by what they see as Pakistan’s reluctance to aggressively take on Taliban fighters operating from its soil and staging increasingly bold attacks in next-door Afghanistan. In recent months, the Americans have felt increasingly justified in unilaterally pursuing those targets, despite widespread opposition inside Pakistan. Pakistan, for its part, has been held back by domestic political and religious concerns, including alleged years of close relations between some extremist groups and government intelligence agencies and a growing anti-American sentiment in the Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people. Those feelings have intensified with a recent series of U.S. cross-border raids that have killed numerous civilians as well as fighters. “The outrage is spreading right through society,” Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author and expert on Islamic militancy, said by telephone Wednesday night from Lahore. “People are genuinely upset, and anti-Americanism is increasing, in the militar y most of all. This can make it much harder for the next U.S. president to deal with Pakistan.” On the other hand, Rashid said, Pakistan has shown “continued reluctance to deal with the Afghan continued on page 8
Hackers access Palin’s Yahoo e-mails By Michael D. Shear and Karl Vick Washington Post
WASHINGTON — A group of computer hackers said Wednesday that they accessed a Yahoo e-mail account of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, publishing some of her private communications to expose what appeared to be her use of a personal account for government business. The hackers posted what they said were personal photos, the contents of several messages, the subject lines of dozens of e-mails and Palin’s e-mail contact list on a site called Wikileaks.org. That site said it received the electronic files from a group identifying itself only as “Anonymous.” “At around midnight last night some members affiliated with the group gained access to governor Palin’s email account, `gov.palin@ yahoo.com’ and handed over the contents to the government sunshine site Wikileaks.org,” said a message on the site. Rick Davis, the campaign manager for Republican presidential nominee John McCain, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon condemning the incident. “This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law,” he said. “The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.”
The episode focuses attention on Palin’s use of her personal e-mail account as lawmakers in Alaska look into whether she fired the state’s public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, because he refused to take action against her brother-in-law, a state trooper at the time. Palin has been criticized in recent days for using a personal e-mail account to conduct state business. An Alaska activist has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking disclosure of e-mails from another Yahoo account Palin used, gov.sarah@ yahoo.com. That account appears to have been linked to the one that was hacked. Both accounts appear to have been deactivated. E-mails sent to them Wednesday were returned as undeliverable. Andree McLeod, who filed the FOIA request, said Wednesday evening that Palin should have known better than to conduct state business using an unsecured e-mail account. “If this woman is so careless as to conduct state business on a private e-mail account that has been hacked into, what in the world is she going to do when she has access to information that is vital to our national security interests?” she asked. McLeod’s Anchorage attorney, Donald Mitchell, said Palin declined to comply with a public records request in June to divulge 1,100 e-mails sent to and from her personal accounts, citing executive privilege. “There’s a reason the governor should be using her own official e-
mail channels, because of security and encryption,” the attorney said. “She’s running state business out of Yahoo?” McCain officials did not return calls and e-mails seeking further comment on the hacking and McLeod’s remarks. The images of the Yahoo inbox posted by hackers are stippled with the names of Palin aides using both official and private e-mail addresses. Among the e-mails released as part of the records request in June were several from Ivy Frye, an aide, asking a state official whether private e-mail accounts and messages sent to BlackBerry devices are immune to subpoena, then reporting the answer to the governor and her husband, Todd, who also uses a Yahoo e-mail address. One referenced “Draft letter to Governor Schwarzenegger / Container Tax” and another said “DPS Personnel and Budget Issues,” an apparent reference to the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Michael Allison, chief executive of the Internet Crimes Group, a private company specializing in Internet security, said the hackers may have accessed Palin’s account by using publicly available information to guess her password, or by using a small program called a trojan to capture her keystrokes. “I would hope the authorities would be all over this,” Allison said. “The only deterrent is that people know the certainty of being caught.”
By Shane Bauer and Borzou Daragahi Los Angeles T imes
SAN’A, Yemen — A well-coordinated attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital Wednesday morning left 16 people dead, but it ultimately was thwarted by security barriers and Yemeni soldiers, six of whom perished in a car-bomb explosion and an ensuing gun battle. No American personnel were reported hurt. The attackers failed to breach the well-guarded compound’s gates and get close to the building that houses U.S. officials. An obscure group called Islamic Jihad, unrelated to the Palestinian organization, claimed responsibility for the attack. U.S. officials said the attack appeared similar to those orchestrated by al-Qaida, although the attackers’ identities remained undetermined. The violence added to growing fears about instability in this impoverished and war-torn Arabian peninsula nation of 23 million, which is perched aside a critical sea route through which nearly 5 percent of the world’s crude oil passes every day. Thursday’s operation was the deadliest by Islamic militants on a U.S. target in Yemen since the 2000 attack by al-Qaida on the USS Cole in the port city of Aden. It was also one of the biggest and most elaborately organized attacks in the country this year, showing the continued resilience of al-Qaida in the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden even as the U.S.-allied government regularly arrests and kills militants. “This attack is a reminder that we are at war with extremists who will murder innocent people to achieve their ideological objectives,” President Bush said in an appearance at the White House with Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former U.S. commander in Iraq who is assuming command of all U.S. forces in the Middle East. State Department officials said the attack began when a car bomb went off near a guard post outside the main entrance to the heavily protected embassy. Frightened employees and visitors at the embassy lay down on the floor as the walls shook, said one U.S. citizen who asked that her name and the name of her organization remain unpublished for security reasons. “I was sitting with some people in a meeting and we heard this loud bomb and there was some smaller explosions,” the woman said in a telephone interview. “They said, ‘Get under your desks,’” she said, referring to embassy staff. “It was a little unnerving. Everybody was frightened at a certain point. Nobody knew what was going on.” Within minutes, armed attackers on foot appeared, dressed in military uniforms that obscured their identity. They fired on the first Yemeni security forces that arrived. A second vehicle appeared and tried to drive toward the main entrance. The attackers sought to break through the outer wall to the embassy, but they failed, officials said. Eyewitnesses told Arab-language television that at least 10 minutes of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenade explosions between the alleged at-
tackers and security forces followed the explosion. Footage on television showed a plume of fire and smoke rising from near the embassy. Yemeni soldiers riding olive-green pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns drove in and out of the blast site, which was cordoned off. Grey military helicopters hovered overhead, landing near the embassy. At the scene, a Yemeni soldier cried out after the fighting subsided: “What kind of animals did this?” he said. “Who could kill innocent people like this? These people aren’t Muslims.” Among the dead were at least six Yemeni soldiers, six of the attackers, three Yemeni civilians and an Indian national, Yemen’s official news agency Saba reported. Security forces clamped down on the capital’s major roadways, imposing checkpoints and searching cars in anticipation of further attacks. The attack occurred about 9:15 a.m. during the holy month of Ramadan, when shops and businesses remain closed until about 10 a.m. in San’a. The Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility for the attack several hours later. “We, the organization of Islamic Jihad in Yemen, declare our responsibility for the suicide attack on the American embassy in San’a,” read a statement from the group, according to news agencies. Sean McCormack, the chief U.S. State Department spokesman, said the attack bore “all the hallmarks” of an al-Qaida attack, because it involved multiple vehicles and attackers on foot who tried to gain entrance to the interior of the embassy. The government of President Ali Abdullah Salah has been struggling to maintain order while facing a renewed threat by extremists as well as sectarian war in the north and a separatist drive in the south. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael G. Vickers, who oversees special operations, visited Yemen last weekend to discuss security cooperation between Washington and San’a. Experts say al-Qaida has exploited the Salah government’s ineffectiveness. “Yemen is a place where al-Qaida can find refuge, because the government is weak and there are official elements that have connections to al-Qaida,” said Bernard Haykel, professor of Middle East studies at Princeton University. “There is also tremendous sympathy for al-Qaida among the people.” Haykel said the Yemeni government had tried to make a deal with Islamic extremists. “The understanding was that they wouldn’t do anything domestically,” he said in a telephone interview. “Clearly ... that’s broken down.” Yemeni security forces staged an August raid against suspected al-Qaida loyalists in the remote Hadramout district, killing five, including Hamza al-Kaaiti, who allegedly masterminded a March mortar attack on the U.S. embassy that killed one person and wounded a dozen students at a nearby school. “They promised in their statements following (the raid) that they would take revenge for that,” said Mohammad al-Qadhi, a freelance journalist in San’a.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
U.S. strikes FDA to release rules on genetic engineering of animals irks Pakistan government By David Brown Washington Post
continued from page 7 Taliban leaders on its soil, and the military has no cohesive strategy to deal with the terrorist threat.” There was no official U.S. confirmation of Wednesday’s strike by a drone aircraft, but Pakistani officials privately said that it had hit a compound near the town of Angor Adda in South Waziristan that was a known Taliban base. The officials said six Taliban members had been killed. The Sept. 3 commando raid was conducted in the same area. Fifteen to 20 people were reported killed in that operation, including some civilians. Public condemnation has been especially acute among tribal communities in the border region, which is not directly controlled by Pakistani authorities. For years, it has been a hotbed of violence, smuggling, and local and foreign Islamist extremists. On Wednesday, tribal elders in South Waziristan held a mass meeting in which they strongly condemned the strikes, asked the government to stop them and vowed to retaliate against any further foreign attacks. Ahmed Gul Wazir, a tribal elder, said by telephone from the area that the local populace believed the attacks were intended to drive a wedge between them and the government, force them to resort to violence and thus justify a major Pakistani military operation there.
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration will release Thursday long-awaited regulatory guidelines governing genetic engineering of animals for food, drugs or medical devices. While none of the provisions is likely to surprise the biotech industr y, their formal appearance after years of discussion is expected to energize a field whose commercial potential is huge but so far unrealized. The agency’s regulator y control of animals will be considerably stronger than its oversight of genetically engineered plants and microorganisms. The latter — or substances derived from them — already are on the market and, in some cases, have proved ver y controversial. The guidelines tell companies what the FDA wants to know about their work at virtually every stage of creating an engineered animal. For example, biotech firms will be asked to provide the molecular identity of snippets of DNA inserted in an animal’s genome, as well as where the genetic message lands and whether it descends unaltered through subsequent generations. The FDA also wants to be told how the genetic alterations may change an animal’s health, behavior and nutritional value. The companies also should inform the agency how they will keep track of animals, prevent them from mingling with their non-engineered cousins and dispose of them when they die.
Genetically engineered animals, salmon, pigs, cows and goats are all in development, are expected to have two main uses. Some will be food animals whose new genetic endowment makes them disease-resistant, faster-growing or more nutritious. Others will be genetically engineered to produce medically useful substances, such as hormones or antibodies, in their organs or body fluids. Pigs that are able to more easily absorb phosphorus, and therefore need less feed supplementation, are being developed in Ontario. Goats that produce spider silk in their milk are being made in Wyoming. Food that is produced from genetically engineered animals will not have to be labeled as such. However, if the genetic manipulation changes the nutritional content — for example, by increasing a beneficial form of fat — that must be declared on the label. The specific requests in the guidelines are not mandator y. However, biotech companies seeking FDA approval to commercialize genetically engineered animals must follow federal drug laws. The guidelines are meant to show how they can do that. The FDA has been providing the advice on an informal basis for about 10 years, said Eric Flamm, a policy adviser at the agency. The guidelines will be open for public comment for 60 days. “We are simply clarifying what we’ve always done, and will continue to do,” he said. There was general agreement that something in writing on the subject has been needed for a
while. “It is past due for the federal government to finally recognize that genetically engineered animals are on the horizon and need regulation and oversight,” said Gregor y Jaffe of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a lobbying organization in Washington. The action “will drive investor confidence,” said Barbara Glenn of the Biotechnology Industr y Organization. “They know that we will reach commercialization of a product.” At the moment, only about a dozen of the organization’s 1,200 member companies are developing genetically engineered animals, she said. But the new guidelines drew criticism from groups worried about possible environmental, ecological and physiological hazards of bioengineered animals. The experience of genetically modified plants is rife with examples of unintentional dissemination of the organisms, and their interbreeding with unmodified members of their species. “The first time that the public will learn about a genetically engineered animal will be the day it is approved,” said Margaret Mellon, of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “This requires that you completely trust the FDA to do this right, and I don’t think folks trust FDA that much.” Michael Hansen, a scientist with Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, said that “there is very little transparency without (the FDA) laying out all the data” for the public to see. He does not think that trans-
parency is assured. The FDA is laying claim to regulator y authority over what it calls “GE animals” through an unusual legal argument. The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines a drug as anything that alters the “structure or function” of a person or animal. Adding a gene to an animal through recombinant technology changes at least the animal’s structure and probably its function, as well. In the new guidelines, the FDA argues that “recombinant DNA constructs” inserted into animals are by definition drugs. However, because the DNA constructs are physically inseparable from the whole animals, the latter also fall under the agency’s regulator y control. “You can’t regulate the drug without regulating the animal,” said Flamm, the FDA policy adviser. “So, effectively, we are putting controls on the animal rather than on the little piece of DNA.” With this strategy, virtually no genetically engineered animal will escape FDA scrutiny during its development and testing. This is not true with plants. The FDA regulates genetically modified plants whose nutritional content is altered, in which case they become “food additives.” The Environmental Protection Agency regulates them when the new genetic endowments provide pesticide-like actions. While the animal-is-drug strategy will allow the FDA to regulate genetically engineered animals continued on page 13
W orld & n ation Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Against an AIG bailout yesterday, McCain now favors $85b deal By Noam N. Levey and Johanna Neuman Los Angeles T imes
LAKE ORION, Mich. — A day after he dismissed a federal bailout for American International Group Inc., Republican John McCain announced Wednesday that circumstances had forced him to shift his position and that he supported the proposed $85 billion rescue of the insurance giant. McCain, who in recent days has slammed what he called Wall Street greed and corruption for causing the latest downward spiral of the stock market, said he had to change his position on AIG to protect millions of Americans who could be hurt if the company was forced to seek bankruptcy protection. “The government was forced to commit $85 billion,” McCain said in a statement. “These actions stem from failed regulation, reckless management and a casino culture on Wall Street that has crippled one of the most important companies in America.” “The focus of any such action should be to protect the millions of Americans who hold insurance policies, retirement plans and other accounts with AIG,” he said. “We must not bail out the management and speculators who created this mess.” In a campaign stop in Elko, Nev., Democrat Barack Obama was also insistent that any federal action must not bail out the shareholders and management of AIG. He also said the week’s economic news was troubling, but he insisted that most people already knew the economy was in difficulty. Then Obama attacked McCain, emphasizing the themes Democrats have consistently put forward. “It’s been an interesting week for John McCain. It’s been really interesting to watch him respond to this economic news. His first reaction to this crisis on Monday was to stand up and repeat the line he’s said over and over and over again throughout this campaign -- quote -- `the fundamentals of our economy are strong,’ “ Obama said. “Now, his campaign must’ve realized that probably wasn’t a smart thing to say on the day of a financial
meltdown, so they sent him back out a few hours later to clean up his remarks,” Obama said. “But it sounds like he got a little carried away because yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he’s president, he’ll take on the — quote — `old boys network’ in Washington. I am not making this up. This is someone who’s been in Congress for 26 years, who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign, and now he tells us that he’s the one who will take on the old boy network. “The old boy network? In the McCain campaign, that’s called a staff meeting,” Obama said. Throughout the week, the economy has reasserted its role as the top issue in the campaign. The U.S. stock market has gyrated, losing more than 500 points on Monday, bouncing back by 140 points on Tuesday but falling sharply again Wednesday, down about 450 points on the close. Earlier this week, the government allowed Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. to go into bankruptcy, but extended $85 billion to rescue AIG. Recently, the government has saved the mortgage giants Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae from going under and put up nearly $30 billion to avert a financial default by Bear Stearns Cos. The growing federal role in trying to save the financial sector has come during a fiercely fought presidential election. Both candidates have called for regulatory reform to prevent further difficulties in the capital markets. Both have upped their populist rhetoric while insisting to voters that their opponent lacks the leadership to make substantial changes. But the financial tailspin represents a special problem for McCain, the candidate of the GOP, which generally favors open, unregulated markets and generally opposes federal loan guarantees and bailouts. On Tuesday, during a spate of interviews on early morning television, McCain opposed the idea of an AIG bailout. “We cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else,” McCain said on NBC’s “Today” show. But the campaign was forced to reconsider, said senior advisor Matt McDonald, who toured a General
Motors auto plant with McCain on Wednesday in Michigan. “He doesn’t like what happened, but his priority is working Americans who could be impacted,” McDonald said of McCain. “They’re the ones who have to be protected.” McCain visited the GM plant in Lake Orion, where 4,200 people and 600 robots work producing Chevrolet Malibus and the Pontiac G6. “We’re not going to leave the workers here in Michigan hung out to dry while we give billions in taxpayers’ dollars to Wall Street,” McCain insisted. “We’re going to take care of the workers, the workers. They are the ones who deserve our help. It’s time to get our auto industry back on its feet.” McCain got a polite reception from the workers. When he finished speaking and was leaving, some began to chant, “Obama -- ‘08!” It was
Economy got you down? The Herald’s still free.
not an overwhelming demonstration but certainly easy to hear in the cavernous assembly plant. During the tour, McCain and his wife, Cindy, greeted the workers with handshakes and occasional hugs. The McCains spent extra time with a man wearing an Iraq veteran cap and a T-shirt saying “Got freedom?” They spent less time with a woman who wore an Obama cap and a T-shirt that depicted Obama’s face on Mount Rushmore. Campaigning in Cleveland, McCain running mate Sarah Palin expressed disappointment that the federal government needed to inject tax money into yet another financial institution. Also, the Obama campaign released a two-minute ad on the economy. In the ad, taped Tuesday in Denver and to be aired nationally, Obama looks directly into the
camera and talks about his ideas for reforming the economy. He calls for a $1,000 tax break to the middle class “instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs.” He also pledges “real regulation that protects your investments and pensions,” energy independence, an end to the war in Iraq and a crackdown on lobbyists “once and for all so their backroom deal-making no longer drowns out the voices of the middle class and undermines our common interests as Americans.” McCain and Palin will attend their first joint town hall meeting Wednesday evening in Grand Rapids, the first time Palin will answer questions from voters. Obama on Wednesday campaigned in Las Vegas and Elko, Nev., while his running mate Joe Biden stumped in Wooster, Ohio.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Obama ads are more negative By Howard Kurtz Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Despite perceptions that Sen. John McCain has spent more time on the attack, Sen. Barack Obama aired more negative advertising last week than did the Arizona Republican, says a study released Wednesday. Seventy-seven percent of the Illinois Democrat’s commercials were negative during the week after the Republican National Convention, compared with 56 percent of the spots run by McCain. Ken Goldstein, who directed the study by the Wisconsin Adver tising Project, based at the University of Wisconsin, says the pattern was a reversal from earlier months, in which McCain’s advertising was consistently more negative than Obama’s. “It suggests that the Sarah Palin pick and the newfound aggressiveness by McCain got into Obama’s head a little bit,” Goldstein said. “He was under great pressure to show some spine, be aggressive, fire back.” The study found Obama limiting his television buys to 17 states and McCain airing spots in 15. For all the talk of an expanded electoral map, both campaigns are concentrating resources in traditional battlegrounds, with slightly more than half the total spent on adver tising going to Michigan,
Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. “Shockingly, this race is going to come down to swing voters in the same swing states that decided the last two elections,” Goldstein said. The study says the campaigns poured $15 million into the ad wars last week — they were virtually even in total spending — but the figures revealed an important distinction. Obama, who has rejected public financing in favor of private fundraising, paid for 97 percent of his spots. McCain, who is limited to an $84 million federal subsidy, financed 43 percent of his commercials, with the rest airing in conjunction with the Republican National Committee. These “hybrid” spots allow McCain to retain control while the party foots much of the bill. Obama was on the air in Virginia, Nor th Carolina, Indiana, Nor th Dakota and Montana, all states won by President Bush in the last two elections. Interest-group advertising was marginal at $187,000, although that is expected to ramp up in the coming weeks. Three pro-Obama groups aired commercials — the Ser vice Employees International Union, Defenders of Wildlife and Planned Parenthood — while one, Vets for Freedom, ran spots on McCain’s behalf.
W orld & n ation Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Good cop, but bad result By Richard Marosi Los Angeles Times
TECATE, Mexico — A drug-sniffing dog pulled the U.S. Border Patrol agent to a rusty cargo container in the storage yard just north of the Mexican border. Peeking inside, he saw stacks of bundled marijuana and a man with a gun tucked in his waistband. The officer and the man locked eyes for a moment before the smuggler scrambled down a hole and disappeared. By the time backup agents cast their flashlights into the opening, he was long gone, through a winding tunnel to Mexico. U.S. authorities called a trusted friend on the other side, Juan Jose Soriano. The deputy commander of the Tecate Police Department gathered the entire shift of 30 officers at the decrepit police headquarters on Avenida Benito Juarez. Soriano knew any of them might leak information to the tunnel’s gangster operators. So he took their cell phones and sent them away on a ruse about a car chase near the border. The veteran officer told only a few trusted aides about the tunnel. Later that day, the officers went into the U.S. and traversed the length of the passageway to an empty building, where they found computers, ledgers and other key evidence. For U.S. authorities, it was an encouraging example of cross-border cooperation in the drug war. For Mexico’s crime bosses, it was a police victory that could not go unpunished. That night last December, while Soriano slept with his wife and baby daughter, two heavily armed men broke into his house and shot him 45 times. The 35-year-old father of three young daughters died in his bedroom. He had lasted two days as the second-in-command of the department. The death of a police officer is generally greeted in Mexico with a knowing smirk. All too often, it is assumed the cop in question was playing for both sides in the raging drug war that has claimed at least 2,000 lives in Mexico this year. But all indications, from U.S. and Mexican sources, suggest that Soriano was among the good ones, poorly paid but somehow immune to the lure of big money and the threat of deadly firepower from Mexico’s violent drug gangs. Cooperation with U.S. law enforcement ranges from secretive intelligence sharing to high-profile raids
and arrests. It is aggressive police work that runs the risk of death for honest cops. An intense, soft-spoken man, Soriano struggled for years to clean up the troubled department. But his corruption-busting ways earned him only contempt from many cops. At the small shrine to fallen officers in the courtyard at police headquarters, Soriano’s image is conspicuously absent. “It’s a shame,” said Donald McDermott, a former Border Patrol assistant chief who worked with Soriano. “He was one of the good guys. ... His untimely demise was a blow to border enforcement on both sides of the border.” A city of 120,000 tucked in the rugged mountains 40 miles east of Tijuana, Tecate is best known for its tree-lined plaza and beer brewery. But its tranquil veneer masks its reputation as a hub of organized crime groups that use the surrounding area of boulder-strewn peaks and remote valleys as a launching pad for smuggling drugs and humans. The 200-member police department has long been suspected of functioning as an arm of the drug cartels, providing protection and ensuring that smuggling routes remain open along the 75 miles of border for which the department is responsible. Soriano stood apart: an aggressive, disciplined lawman who aspired to become police chief, according to law enforcement sources on both sides of the border. Unlike most Mexican cops, he had a degree in police science. And he spent three years working for Grupo Beta, a federal immigrant-safety force with whom he once saved 65 immigrants in a snowstorm. In 2003, Soriano took charge of Tecate’s SWAT-like special response team. In a break from past practices, he reached out to U.S. agencies for training opportunities and crossborder crime fighting. Soriano’s officers arrested border bandits, disrupted smuggling operations and went where cops hadn’t gone in years, say U.S. and Mexican sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation. Soriano was a go-to source for the U.S. Border Patrol and other agencies and was a regular at binational meetings, where he shared information with his U.S. counterparts. “He wanted to do things the right way,” said one Mexican law enforcement source. “But that was a problem for
Don Barleti / Los Angeles Times
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brandon Longaker stands on an outcropping overlooking Tecate, Mexico, which sits 40 miles east of Tijuana.
many people.” Police brass reassigned Soriano to a desk job in 2005. “They took away his wings. They weren’t ready for where he was going,” said one U.S. law enforcement source. Late last year, Tecate’s new mayor salvaged Soriano’s career, asking him to take the No. 2 job at the department. Law enforcement contacts across the border applauded the move and didn’t wait long to restore ties. This time, though, the stakes were higher. A well-concealed tunnel can generate tens of millions of dollars in drug profits for traffickers, who pay huge amounts of protection money to keep them open and threaten anyone who talks about their location. It was crucial to quickly find the opening of the tunnel discovered that December morning. U.S. authorities didn’t want the operators to have time to clear out the drugs and other evidence. Soriano took immediate action. After confiscating the cops’ cell phones, he and several trusted officers started searching for the tunnel in homes and businesses near the border. The search failed. Someone would have to traverse the length of the passageway to find the opening. Soriano volunteered seven officers. They crossed into the U.S. and descended into the tunnel while U.S. and Mexican authorities waited for them to surface in Mexico. About 45 minutes later, the Mexican team climbed up the 80-foot-deep shaft into a vacant two-story building a block south of the border. Soriano, alerted by a radio call
from his team, arrived at the building just ahead of the crush of reporters and other police. Mexican federal agents took over the crime scene. At about 2 a.m. the next morning, a convoy of vehicles drove down the deeply rutted road leading to Soriano’s modest house, which was decorated with a string of Christmas lights. Two men armed with AK-47s broke in. Soriano jumped out of bed, but the men stopped him before he could grab his weapons in the hallway. Soriano seemed to recognize his attackers and begged them not to shoot, a source said. But the men opened fire, the spray of bullets coming within inches of Soriano’s yearold daughter sleeping in the crib by his bed. Since Soriano’s death, relations between the Tecate Police Department and U.S. agencies have been almost nonexistent. The force doesn’t have a liaison officer, and the border lands are more lawless than ever, Mexican sources say. Soriano’s slaying sent a message to other cops who would dare cooperate with U.S. authorities. That was clear at Soriano’s funeral, where many cops seemed to be cel-
ebrating his death, said one person who attended. Some laughed, while others chatted loudly in gestures of disrespect. Mexican authorities suspect police were involved in the slaying, either as the triggermen or the lookouts for hit men. Nobody has been arrested in the case. Meanwhile, the tunnel investigation has stalled. There have been no arrests, and it is unknown who was behind the construction and financing of the passageway. On the day of the tunnel discovery, Soriano turned over a largely intact crime scene. But soon, dozens of soldiers, police, federal agents and reporters gathered to marvel at the sophisticated lighting and water pumping system. Other unidentified people seemed to linger for no apparent reason, said U.S. and Mexican sources. The computers and other evidence had vanished. Soriano once wrote on an employment evaluation that he wanted to be a police commander and lead a team of loyal, aggressive cops whom he would treat as friends. “I want to be surrounded by honest police who would never betray anyone.”
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Singer ’09: Moral hazards aren’t just at the local I-bank continued from page 16 revenue, usually because their teams are worse and draw slimmer crowds, don’t spiral into relative poverty. Yet for Brown, these policies have allowed him to shirk on investing in his team because he doesn’t have to worry about being outspent by other owners. He can rely on other teams’ revenue coming his way even if Paul Brown Stadium draws mediocre attendance. In fact, two-thirds of the Bengals’ value is derived from revenue sharing. The point here is that individuals with little regard for the well-being of others are hardly reigned in by policies that encourage mismanagement and don’t hold them accountable for their actions. Or as investopedia. com puts it, “Moral hazard can be somewhat reduced by the placing of responsibilities on both parties of a contract.” No better place can one look to find an example of this than in European football (soccer) leagues. Whereas the NFL tries to help promote parity through policies that reward teams that perform poorly, European soccer leagues promote competition through punishing the weaker clubs. All across Europe, whether it’s the English Premiership or Spanish La Liga, the bottom four or so teams in the standings are demoted to the league below. The caveat is that the top-four performing teams from the lower league are promoted. Having your team demoted can crush your franchise both
in terms of advertising opportunities (revenue-generating ability) and fan support. In turn, being promoted is a huge opportunity. As you can imagine, this generates huge incentives for owners of teams on the margin of being demoted or promoted to try and field the best team they can, because their wallets will feel the consequences. It’s a very capitalist system, not unlike the free-market, anti-regulation themes that have pervaded Wall Street. It feels oddly fitting that current UEFA Champions League champion Manchester United is primarily sponsored by AIG, with the company’s logo emblazoned on player uniforms. Not to mention that the team’s megastar Cristiano Ronaldo was bailed out by his team in the final after shanking a penalty kick. While the European soccer leagues’ structure is far from flawless, is does present potential solutions to some of our domestic moral hazards. Perhaps there’s some middle ground where free-market competition meets enough regulatory oversight to keep those making decisions accountable to their shareholders/fan bases. I guess what I’m saying is that pseudo-capitalist America with its socialist sports leagues and pseudo-socialist Europe with its capitalist sports leagues could learn a thing or two from each other.
Ben Singer ’09 can’t wait to see Cristiano Ronaldo wearing a jersey sponsored by “U.S. Government.”
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Volleyball takes down Providence, will face URI continued from page 16 game while Bruno ended the first game on a 15-5 run. “Even though they didn’t have their starters, we were still able to focus and win,” said Meyers, who handed out 31 assists to go along with five digs. Annika Gliottone ’12 dug up 11 balls in the libero spot. In the second and third games, the Bears built impressive leads and the Friars could not get above the 20-point mark. Brianna Williamson ’11 took care of business on the right side, blasting a team-leading 11 kills along with a .526 hitting percentage for the match. Middles Laurielle Hofer ’12 and Danielle Vaughan ’11 chipped in six and eight kills, respectively. The team also aced Providence six times, three coming from Williamson. “It felt a little more like a scrimmage,” Williamson said of the one-
sided game. “It’s good to learn that even when the pace of the game is slow, we can still play well.” “If we keep doing the things we’ve been doing, we’re going to have a very successful season,” Yess said. Thirteen Bears got on the floor to contribute to the victory, and the 4-1 team has already amassed half of the number of total wins they had last season. They’ll look to add to their winning tally with their first home matches this weekend when they host the Brown Invitational, opening up against Stony Brook on Friday night. “We’re hoping to win our own tournament. We haven’t won it while I’ve been here,” Meyers said. “We have a legit chance.” The Bears will finish off their quest for the unofficial state championship when they play Rhode Island at home Oct. 1.
FDA to release rules on genetic engineering animals continued from page 8 without getting further authority from Congress, the unintended effects of that strategy worry some consumer groups. While companies will have to provide detailed information about their work starting from the earliest stage, the FDA is forbidden by law from revealing that information to the media or the public. That is because much of the information is proprietar y, competitive and extremely valuable. The agencycannot even acknowledge that a company has a “new drug application” on file. Consequently, discussions that occur during the development of a genetically engineered animal about its safety and effectiveness will not include consumer or watch-
A good lie: m. golf grabs third place continued from page 16 again, placing sixth while shooting a 151. The rest of the Bears were right behind him, with Malloy placing 13th with his 153, Hoffman shooting a 154 and Amato turning in a 155. “It’s encouraging to see this after last year,” said Hughes, referring to the team’s disappointing eighth-place finish at Ivies. “I know they’re feeling good about themselves.” Bruno will be holding an open tr yout to possibly fill the void left by Kim, but the team will likely be playing with just four when it travels to Newport National Golf Club next week to participate in URI’s Adams Cup of Newport on Sept. 22 and 23. “It’s one of the biggest events besides the Ivy Championship,” Hughes said. “We’ve got to be on our Agame.”
dog groups. While the guidelines say that the FDA may ask a company to submit an environmental impact statement with its application for approval of a genetically engineered animal, the agency cannot reject a drug strictly on environmental grounds. Some groups are worried about the effects of unanticipated mixing of genetically engineered animals with others — for example, the escape of fast-growing salmon into the open ocean, where they could breed with wild species. “I don’t think what’s being announced will protect humans and the environment from all the potential risks that a genetically engineered animal may pose,” said Jaffe of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
E ditorial & L etters Page 14
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Staf f Editorial
Now, the hard part University officials should be relieved, right? The report of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education has been discussed at enormous length internally, drafted, distributed to and debated by the community and last week, released in its final form. And final means final — so the hard part of their jobs being over, it’s now just a matter of implementation. Doesn’t that sound reasonable? Well, actually, no. Beyond the advice you could expect to read here if you’ve been reading our editorials for a while (“Everyone should read the report!” or perhaps “Keep an open mind!”), today we want to ask something more: Don’t just read it, but keep an eye — nay, two — on how this report gets implemented over the coming months and years. The report is filled with valuable commentary on the foibles of the New Curriculum and advice on how to fine-tune it. For instance, it recommends that advising efforts be expanded and improved through, among other suggested changes, better targeting certain demographics and disciplines, revitalizing the Faculty Advising Fellows, fostering DUGs in all departments and implementing an e-portfolio system of each student’s concentration declaration goals and academic output. The educational structure is, thankfully, left intact — the changes here include more carefully articulating to students what a liberal education is and what each concentration aims to teach, expanding international and experiential learning opportunities, creating more innovative courses and improving methods of evaluation for and by faculty. We can’t fault the logic of these recommendations. They’re overwhelmingly sound, and even where we don’t personally relate to their reasoning — on the value of team-teaching, for instance, which seems like it would create gimmicky interdisciplinary courses — we feel at least reasonably confident in deferring to the task force’s “rich set of conversations” on the matter. But the report’s plan of action raises more concerns. Regarding the (allbut-nonexistent) writing requirement, the report is well-intentioned but mindnumbingly vague, noting the need for “a much more coherent approach” but deferring discussion to a later “complete review of Brown’s various writing programs and support services.” Of course, the task force had limited meeting time and the upcoming separate review means that the issue is unlikely to be tabled quietly. But this sort of recommendation is in itself worthless, and we urge students to continue to pay attention to the curricular review. It’s ongoing — and our attention to it must be sustained, too. The task force’s report accurately identifies many of the weaknesses of our curriculum, and it thoughtfully identifies first steps toward addressing them. Determining the specifics, and implementing them — the most important phase of the curricular review — is just beginning.
T he B rown D aily H erald Editors-in-Chief Simmi Aujla Ross Frazier
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L e tt e r s Column ‘based on a very selective history’ To the Editor: Much as I enjoyed reading Tyler Rosenbaum’s recent column on the Supreme Court (“The stakes in November,” Sept. 12), I couldn’t help but notice that his argument is based on a very selective history. Rosenbaum writes of a “holy war” against the Court by social conservatives from the Reagan administration to the present. That’s a catchy turn of phrase. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take into account who was actually appointed to the Supreme Court from 1981-90. Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. I’ll agree that Antonin Scalia fits Rosenbaum’s picture of overt conservative ideology (as does a failed Reagan pick, Robert Bork), but I would not agree that O’Connor or Kennedy could be fairly described as agents of far-right social con-
servatism. Bush 41 nominated Clarence Thomas and David Souter. While Thomas certainly fits Rosenbaum’s accusations, Souter does not — he is one of the most reliable liberals on the Court today. In a real “single-minded offensive” against “an excessively liberal court,” Reagan and Bush 41 would have selected only Scalias and Thomases. That would mean that, with Clinton’s two liberals and Bush 43’s two conservatives, we’d be facing a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court. We aren’t. Supreme Court nominees are one of many important election considerations. But before Rosenbaum makes such dire predictions, he should check his facts. Alyssa Ratledge ‘11 Sept. 17
Discarded bikes are clogging racks To the Editor: Bicyclists at Brown are being put into a squeeze by the University. This must end! The University has neglected to maintain its bike racks and storage rooms. As a result, some are constantly full of discarded or rusting frames. The rusted relics outside the Ratty have been there for over a year. Not only are these forgotten
frames an eyesore, they also make it difficult for active bikers to find parking places. Enough is enough — the University needs to step up, tag the old frames and cut off the ones that are old and unused.
Evan Lazer ’10 Sept. 17
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O pinions Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Economics beyond the political divide BY ANDY GARIN | Guest Columnist Does Barack Obama ignore economics? And does economics validate conservative ideology? Economic conservatives, including the man who writes your ECON 0110 textbook, think so. But they’re wrong. Greg Mankiw, author of the widely used textbook Principles of Economics, and other economic conservatives would have you believe that the disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over economic policy whittle down to the question of how national resources should be distributed. Mankiw endorsed this ideology in a recent post on his blog (“The Political Divide,” Aug 28) and hints at it in his (your) textbook. When resources are scarce, equity (maximizing equality of welfare between individuals) and efficiency (maximizing the total welfare of all individuals, even if welfare is unequally distributed) conflict. Republicans, these conservatives say, go with economics, which proves the market to be the best distribution mechanism. And Democrats defy economics to support equity for the worst-off through redistributive government programs at the cost of economic growth, which is not so much an economic policy as it is state-sanctioned charity. But that’s not what Democrats stand for. Rather, Democrats know what every economist knows (including Mankiw, despite his best efforts to hide it sometimes) — that resources can grow. And government programs often must play a starring role in economic growth. Economic growth frequently winds up being much more important than the efficient allocation of the market. An efficient economy with a set number of resources can still be much worse off than a less efficient economy that has more resources, thanks to faster growth. As Leonard Lardaro, professor of economics at the University of Rhode Island says, “Why worry about how full the glass is when you can get a bigger glass?” For years, talk of “supply-side” and “trickle-down” growth economics dominated the policy scene. In free markets, economic conservatives conjectured, individuals would make investments that would lead to growth — and then the fruits of that growth would trickle down the ladder to everyone else. However, it turned out that “supply-side” growth only really helps the few rich individuals making the investments. The goal of policy, however, is not to help a few individuals (wasn’t that the whole point of criticizing state-sanctioned charity?) while neglecting the rest of the nation. The end of economic policy is to better the condition of every citizen. Therefore, the target of policy needs to be broad-based growth, which directly benefits just about everyone. Broad-based growth, too, requires investment. However, the most important investments — basic research, human wellbeing and health (which increases productivity), human capital
(which increases productivity), transportation and environmental resources — are essentially public goods. Due to free-rider and tragedy of the commons problems, these fundamental investments are not provided by the market. In other words, certain investments key to broad-based economic growth require government programs and public funds. These programs might be more inefficient in the short run, but will lead to unrivaled outcomes in the long run. Conversely, short-term distributive efficiency can come at the cost of optimal growth. The stance of the Democrats, currently embodied in the Obama plan is not, despite what economic conservatives say, merely a push for greater equity at the cost of the benefits of the market. It is not state-sponsored charity. On the contrary, Obama’s economic policies are just that — economically minded policies. And these proposals are consistent with his rhetoric. They invest in the future, in growth. Obama will maintain big government programs and create some new ones. But these programs are economically minded and will likely foster broad-based growth unseen since the Clinton era. Under these programs, the government will be able to invest in numerous growth opportunities that have been disregarded over the past eight years. Education, health care, new company and job creation, transportation and tax incentives for new research are all important to major, sustainable growth and have been neglected by economic conservatives like Mankiw, who had the ear of the Bush Administration (and the Romney campaign). And how will Obama pay for it? How can he promise to cut taxes? If his policies promote growth, then, in the long term, they might just pay for themselves. Even if tax rates stay low, if people start making more money the tax base will widen and government revenue will actually increase. Above all, Obama stands for such programs not because he thinks the government should control what the market could otherwise control, but because the people of the United States have mandated that the government provide services which the market cannot. Such government programs are mass joint ventures, a case of free, democratic association — not oppressive economic constraints. So, while economic conservatives like Mankiw would have the economic policy debate wrongly framed to create (intentionally or not) the illusion that economics rests on their side, the real debate is more intricate — and what we know from economics supports Democratic proposals no less than it supports Republican ones. There are legitimate reasons to vote Republican in November. But “going with economics” is not one of them.
My friend recently introduced me to a wonderful blog called “Stuff White People Like.” After reading about girls with bangs, the Sunday New York Times and having black friends, I stumbled on the following gem in the essay on white people’s preference for New Balance sneakers. “A few years ago it came out that Nike (and other manufacturers) were producing their shoes in Asian sweatshops and then selling them for a very high profit margin. “White people were outraged, they generally prefer that children in developing nations first finish high school before working in shoe-producing sweatshops. Otherwise they might look foolish when their co-workers are talking about ‘Catcher in the Rye.’” It’s okay to laugh. There is humor in the passage’s blatant insensitivity to the plight of child laborers and also in its America-centric view (high school students in Thailand may prefer their own classics of teenage angst over “Catcher in the Rye”). Still, there is something else that makes this comment so absurd. The coercion and exploitation inherent in the employment of children are inexcusable. But let’s be honest. A child making shoes in a sweatshop probably doesn’t have access to good schooling. In some cases, the alternative to working in a sweatshop may be even more appalling. I would rather see children working in sweatshops than cleaning up toxic waste, engaging in prostitution or selling their organs. Maybe we could use the power of our purchasing dollars and demand that multinational corporations refrain from using child labor. I wonder, though, whether the children affected would actually be better off. The forces of inequality are great, and avoiding sneakers made by a company with less-than-ideal labor standards doesn’t solve the problem. The guy choosing New Balance over Nike doesn’t support child labor, but he also doesn’t help a child pay for school or buy medicine for a sick sibling. The righteous, New Balance-purchasing consumer is confusing two problems. One is poverty. The other is child labor.
Scrap NATO and the UN BORIS RYVKIN Opinions Columnist
Child labor is a result of poverty, but it doesn’t follow that ending child labor will somehow reduce poverty. Not buying Nike sneakers won’t grant children access to a better life and the opportunity to read some great American classics. It won’t change the history of colonialism and exploitation. It won’t change the poor institutions, endemic corruption and stifling inefficiency that plague so many developing economies. So what’s a bleeding-heart Brown student to do? I am not going to be presumptuous and offer any grand solutions to the problems of global poverty. There are lots of brilliant economists who have devoted their lives to this question and still haven’t figured it out. Yet with all the talk this election cycle about keeping American manufacturing jobs in America, I wonder how high the welfare of Asia’s poor children actually ranks on the average Brown student’s list of concerns. If poverty reduction is a cause for celebration, why do I hear my classmates bemoaning the loss of so many manufacturing jobs to China, whose development has accounted for a huge percentage of global poverty reduction in the past 30 years? A corporation-hating development studies student once asked our economic growth professor what should be done about labor exploitation in developing countries. His response: Send MORE jobs to the third world. As the demand for labor rises, wages should increase and conditions should improve. This isn’t a popular proposition. Sending jobs overseas is a politically explosive suggestion. Idealistic college students cringe at the thought of settling for the lesser of two evils. Still, the idea deserves some consideration. It’s reasonable for an American to buy New Balance shoes because he values the well-being of Americans who have manufacturing jobs over the pursuit of global equality. It’s also reasonable for him to not buy Nike shoes because he is against the exploitation of children. He should think again, however, if he believes his shoe purchasing decision well help solve the problems facing poor children around the world.
When war broke out between Georgia and Russia last summer, I observed the events with keen interest. I was a Russian immigrant, sitting in New York, trying to figure out how my neighbors at the United Nations and our partners in NATO were going to respond to the crisis. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton once quipped: “the Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” Indeed, what difference does the United Nations really make? It was founded principally to maintain international peace and security. For 40 years it was sidelined by the Cold War. Its few successes, such as the U.N. peacekeeping missions in Congo and Cyprus, are overshadowed by failures in Rwanda, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq, Indonesia, Somalia and many others. Its former secretarygeneral titled himself a “secular pope” while his replacement implied the genocide against black Africans in Darfur by Islamist militias was partially caused by global warming. The U.N. Human Rights Council hosts delegations from Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Iran. In its first year it passed twelve resolutions, targeting Israel in nine. The Security Council, the only U.N. body with any real ability to advocate force, was rendered impotent by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Former French President Jacques Chirac even went so far as to say the organization was “undermined” by that action. Yet more and more states continue to see the U.N., despite its failed record and stream of contradictions, as the only legitimate venue for deciding matters of war and peace. France, Germany, Russia, China and many others seem willing to outsource core elements of their foreign policies to this unaccountable organization. Why? The sad answer: to use the U.N. as a tool to check American power and weaken our options overseas. As demonstrated by the crisis in South Ossetia, the Russians are not hesitant to use force to protect their interests. Yet when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin talks about the U.N. as the arbiter of global security, what he really means is that the United States cannot play by its own rules and ought to be reigned in — evidenced by his remarks at the 2007 Munich Conference on Security Policy. A vivid demonstration of this outlook came during the run-up to the Iraq war. Chirac, who saw the European Union as a future counterweight to American power, was eager to use the U.N. as a showplace to stand up to Washington. That eagerness was shared by Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder who, like Chirac, also risked serious losses to military and commercial ties with Baghdad in the event of American invasion. They promised Saddam Hussein that any American war resolution at the Security Council would be dead on arrival and pushed instead for more negotiation and a new wave of weapons inspections. The Bush Administration deciphered the ploy. The invasion proceeded anyway. Hiding behind international mores and using the U.N. as a backdrop, the Europeans had attempted to simultaneously protect their interests and embarrass the United States by forcing it to back down. Their failure not only humiliated them, revealing Europe’s own weakness, but showed what a liability the U.N. is in advancing our foreign policy. The problem, however, does not end here. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization may be an even bigger burden than its counterpart in Manhattan. Why? Firstly, NATO was just as divided as the U.N. before Iraq. The United States acted with the support of an ad hoc coalition, leaving dissenting “allies” to mire in their own helplessness. Furthermore, NATO is a military alliance without a clear adversary. The Soviet threat has disappeared and no new power or constellation of powers dares or, frankly, intends to challenge the organization. Yet the biggest reason why it should be scrapped is that it has become a misused tool of American expansionism. I specifically refer to Washington’s use of NATO to isolate Russia; this has already produced one war, with several more potentially on the horizon, e.g. Ukraine. When a military alliance becomes merely a political tool used by one of its states to promote its interests at the expense of the majority of its members, it ought to disband. As long as NATO exists, American policymakers will have an incentive to repeat bad behavior. The United Nations and NATO, despite what many contend, are liabilities for the United States and its interests. Neither could prevent an independent American action in Iraq. The U.N. has been rocked by failed adventures and bureaucratic scandal. No longer serving its original purpose, it has become a stage used mainly to demonize and check American power. NATO is an alliance without a clear purpose. Its main use is as a tool to prevent “bad” countries from having influence in their regions, with “bad” defined in Washington. As such, it promotes recklessness and needless provocation, which led to lost lives on several continents. Irrelevant in the past and incapable of meeting today’s challenges to international peace and security, these two failed organizations must go!
Rachel Forman ’09 wears Aasics.
Boris Ryvkin ’09 has never applied for a U.N. internship.
Andy Garin ’09 believes in the trickle-up effect.
New Balance, old bias BY RACHEL FORMAN | Opinions Columnist
S ports T hursday Page 16
Thursday, September 18, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Volleyball takes out Providence, will face URI
Of wins and Wall Street If you’ve been alive this week, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of high-profile individuals making poor decisions have been bailed out by the U.S. government. But what you might not have realized is how much the CEO of AIG has in common with the owners of the NFL. Ben Singer A c t u a l l y, High Notes what the two have in common is a simple concept: moral hazard, which is, according to investopedia.com, “the risk that a party to a transaction has not entered into the contract in good faith, has provided misleading information about its assets, liabilities or credit capacity, or has an incentive to take unusual risks in a desperate attempt to earn a profit before the contract settles.” Simply put, it is when somebody’s incentives encourage them to screw over others for their personal gain. I’m not psychic. I can’t vouch for the CEO of AIG for why they mismanaged their insurance megagiant into near-bankruptcy. However, these individuals were given annual multi-million dollar salary bonuses for the additional profit they generated through risky gambles and operated under the assumption that if none of these risks panned out, the government would bail them out anyway. It’s like playing a highstakes game of roulette with house money, only the house bills taxpayers for your losses. This really isn’t too different from how Mike Brown operates as owner of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are the only team in the National Football League without a general manager. Coincidentally, under Brown’s tenure, they have posted a dismal 97-177 record, one of the all-time worst win-percentages in the NFL. Yet the Bengals still muster decent fan support, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve already sold-out Paul Brown Stadium for the 2008 season. As Cincinnati sportswriter Paul Daugherty wrote earlier this month, “In the socialist NFL, it is almost impossible to do what the Bengals have done for 17-plus seasons. It takes a willful arrogance and a willing fan base.” What Daugherty is getting at is the fact that Brown continues to be so stingy as to spend on such basic necessities as hiring a general manager because he knows that the fan base in Cincy will continue to fill the seats for a sub-mediocre product. Assuming Brown cares only about the profit he can make off the team, he has no reason to dip into his pockets to make the team better if the fans will pay up anyway. But it isn’t just the fans that bail Brown out. The “socialist NFL” Daugherty speaks of is a league that has two noteworthy policies in place to promote parity among teams: a hard salary cap equivalent for all teams and revenue-sharing policies. The salary cap was implemented to prevent larger market teams (New York) from outspending smaller market teams (St. Louis) to the point of competitive destruction. Revenue-sharing ensures that those teams that don’t produce as much continued on page 12
By Amy Ehrhart Sports Editor
Ashley Hess / Herald File Photo
After a successful weekend in Washington, D.C., the volleyball team came back home to demolish local foe Providence College on Tuesday night with a 25-10, 25-18, 25-18 sweep. “We were expecting to win,” said co-captain Natalie Meyers ’09. Bruno dominated on defense, holding the Friars to a .122 hitting percentage — improving their Ivy best mark — with four blocks and 43 total digs. The team displayed great control on offense as well, hitting a sizzling .655 in the first game and finishing the game at .396. “That was one of our team goals — to raise our hitting percentage from last year,” said co-captain Lyndse Yess ’09, who led the team on defense with 13 digs while putting down eight kills on 11 attempts for a team-leading .636 personal hitting percentage. Across the court from her, outside hitter Megan Toman ’11 also created havoc on the Friars’ half of the court, putting down nine kills at a .350 clip. Providence was playing without three of its senior starters because of suspensions, and Brown capitalized on the Friars’ lack of leadership, holding them to four kills in the first
After wins in Washington, D.C., the volleyball team defeated Providence College Tuesday night with a 25-10, 25-18, 25-18 sweep. It will take on the University of Rhode Island.
Men’s golf fights off injury with third place finish By Amy Ehrhart Spor ts Editor
Despite losing a player to a season-ending injury, the men’s golf team displayed great resilience in its first two tournaments of the season. After placing 14th at the Navy Fall Invitational on Friday and Saturday, the Bears rebounded to a third-place finish at the Rehoboth Beach Invitational on Monday, despite the disadvantage of being a man down. “We didn’t play ver y well (at Navy). It was a little concerning,” said Head Coach Mike Hughes. “We had some stumblings on the first holes. But we came back and (Rehoboth) was the best we’ve played since the Ivy Championship two years ago.” At the first day of the Navy Fall Invitational, John Giannuzzi ’10 led the Bears in 38th place with a four-over-par 75 after shooting a consistent 38-39. Michael Amato ’11 was right behind him at 77 after shooting a 35 on the back nine. Co-captains Chris Hoffman ’09 and Conor Malloy ’09 shot an 81 and an 85, respectively, while Donald Kim ’12 rounded out Brown’s scores with a 92. Giannuzzi, Hoffman and Malloy all improved their scores significantly on the second day of the Classic, shooting 73, 73 and 77 respectively. Hoffman showed the
greatest improvement, lowering his score by eight strokes from Friday to Saturday. Gianuzzi’s 148 was good for 18th, while the Bears finished 14th overall with a two-day tournament total of 627, after lowering their first day’s total by nine shots. “We were definitely shaking off some rust (at Navy), being the first tournament of the year,” Malloy said. “John played well in both tournaments ... and that second tournament was really good for the team because we got eight scores in the 70s, which was pretty impressive.” The Bears got back in action on Monday at the Rehoboth Beach Invitational for a one-day tournament hosted by the University of Delaware. They took third with a team score of 613 at the Kings Creek Country Club, while playing with just four scoring players after Kim was injured. Problems with the ner ves in his middle finger and thumb will have him out through at least this semester, Hughes said. Penn and George Washington came in first and second, respectively. “It was a tough, quirky golf course,” Malloy said. “It was a good accomplishment to finish third.” Gianuzzi led the Bears once continued on page 13
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Women’s soccer goalie Hogue ‘10 receives four national honors After being named the Ivy League Player of the Week and the MVP of the UConn Classic All-Tournament Team on Monday, women’s soccer tri-captain Brenna Hogue’s ‘10 stellar performance in the two games against No. 11 Penn State and No. 1 UCLA last weekend continued to earn the goalie national honors. The tri-captain has been named both Soccer America Women’s Team Player of the Week and Goalie of the Week. She was also named ECAC co-Defensive Player of the Week, in addition to being named to the SoccerBuzz Elite Team of the Week. These awards testify to the goalie’s outstanding display of defense this past weekend. The games were her first two shutout games of the season and her fifth and sixth shutouts of her career. Hogue stopped a career high 18 shots in the game against Penn State, which ranks third in the country for saves in a single game this year. In the next game, against No. 1 UCLA, Hogue stopped the country’s strongest offense as she recorded 12 saves and blanked the Bruins for the first time in 25 matches. The goalie now ranks first in the league with 47 saves and in saves per game nationally with 11.75. Hogue’s story becomes even more remarkable in light of her missing all last season because of a knee injury. Her strong comeback not only earned her individual honors but also contributed to the team’s improved overall ranking. The Bears are now ranked sixth in the Northeast Region by SoccerBuzz, No. 21 nationally in the Soccer Times poll and No. 22 in the Soccer America poll. — Han Cui
scorebo a rd
sc h edule
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17
FRIDAY, SEPT. 19
Field hockey: Brown 1, Northeastern 7
W. soccer at Minnesota, 7 p.m. W. volleyball vs. Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
Men’s soccer: Brown 0, Boston University 0
M. tennis Northeast Intercollegiate, all day in Providence