The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, N ovember 12, 2008
Volume CXLIII, No. 111
Since 1866, Daily Since 1891
Two years later, slavery and justice response lags By Sam Byker Staf f Writer
Meara Sharma / Herald
A large crowd of students support the Real Food initiative at the BUCC meeting, holding up signs and eating local apples.
Real Food, governance discussed at BUCC By Melissa Shube Senior Staf f Writer
Nearly 70 students attended the Brown University Community Council meeting Tuesday afternoon to support Real Food, an initiative students said they hope will increase Brown’s investment in “healthy, local, fair, environmentally sound and humane” food. Chancel-
lor Thomas Tisch ’76 also spoke, addressing the Corporation’s receptiveness to student input on University governance. Real Food is comprised of members from four student groups — the Sustainable Food Initiative, Student Labor Alliance, Students for a Democratic Society and emPOWER. The group presented to the BUCC in the hopes that the
council would endorse the movement and issue a recommendation of support to the University Resources Committee, which recommends Brown’s annual budget. The URC would provide the necessary funding for the group to “purchase more local food and sustainable food,” Natalie Jablonski continued on page 4
Prof. resigns suddenly as center director By Michael Skocpol News Editor
The director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies resigned abruptly from his post Monday. James Green, an associate professor of history credited with raising the center’s profile
significantly since taking its helm in 2005, did not indicate a reason for the sudden departure. David Lindstrom, associate dean of the graduate school and a former director of CLACS, has assumed Green’s responsibilities on an interim basis. Faculty and administrators said yesterday they
hope to find a permanent replacement by January. Dean of the Faculty Rajiv Vohra P’07 and Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 will select a new director from within the University after consulting with affiliated faculty. continued on page 4
THE HERALD POLL
With Sex Power God approaching this weekend, many students’ thoughts might turn to sex — but they still are not having much of it. Eighty percent of undergraduates said they had one or no sexual partners, according to a recent Herald poll. About 37 percent of respondents reported one sexual partner and another 44.1 percent said they have not had sex this semester. Only 4.9 percent of respondents said they have had three or more partners so far this semester. Brown students’ sex lives are roughly comparable to college students nationwide. The spring 2007 American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment indicated that 74 percent of college students have had one partner or less over the last year —
Smoke on this Students support Massachusetts’ initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession
Off-campus apps are online, but no need to scramble By Emmy Liss Senior Staff Writer
Applications for off-campus housing went live on the Office of Residential Life’s Web site at 8:30 a.m., but students don’t have to hurry to get online this year. Instead, any rising senior who applies by Dec. 15 is guaranteed permission, and juniors will have the same odds of receiving permission as in past years, regardless of how early they apply, according to Natalie Basil, associate director of
though the Herald poll only asked about a period of approximately seven weeks. Students were generally surprised by these results. Many students said they expected the average student to have around two sexual partners. “Either my friends are lying or something’s wrong,” said Emre Ersolmaz ’12, adding that he had the impression most students were “quite (sexually) active.” Upon reflection, Ersolmaz said he attributed the disparity between perception and reality to Brown’s reputation. “Because we have a liberal student body, we’re expected to be more sexually active.” But, he added, perhaps that does not translate into high rates of sexual activity because “people are aware of the fact that we are here to study.” Robin Davis ’10 said she was “shocked” by the results because continued on page 9
continued on page 6
residential life. This year’s process is largely the same as it has been in past years for rising seniors but has changed completely for juniors in response to student frustration and proposals from Residential Council, Basil said. In past years, the process was first-come, first-serve. For rising seniors, this factor was somewhat irrelevant — though it was never official, seniors who applied before continued on page 4
da y o f r emem b r a n ce
Students getting busy less often than their peers think By Sara Sunshine Senior Staff Writer
After a wide-ranging and controversial three-year effort, a University committee released a report in 2006 detailing Brown’s historical relationship to the slave trade. The group, the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, proposed a number of ways the University could hold itself accountable and make amends for what the committee dubbed “Brown’s part in grievous crimes.” In the wake of almost universal praise for the committee’s undertaking, both on campus and around the country, the University announced a number of broad and ambitious commitments in response to the report’s recommendations, including a “major research and teaching initiative” on slavery and justice (which quickly took the form of a proposed
academic center), a permanent slave trade memorial on or near campus and a planned $10 million endowment to fund educational initiatives in Providence public schools. But more than two years later, few of those commitments have been fully implemented, and many are still years away from producing tangible results. The piecemeal approach the University has taken toward implementing the report’s recommendations, officials’ failure to consolidate oversight of the broad effort and the vacillation of several committees tasked with decision-making have led to slower progress. Conversations with faculty and administrators involved in various stages of the endeavor — many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity — paint a picture of an effort
Meara Sharma / Herald
Members of the community gather on the Main Green to honor those who served the country in times of war.
Special kitchens Students face unique challenges in keeping kosher and halal dining traditions
Get students involved Jeremy Feigenbaum ’11 thinks the University should cancel classes for Election Day
195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island
Equestrian ranks first A loss to UConn still leaves the equestrian team in first place in their league
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T oday Page 2
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
We a t h e r TODAY
Vagina Dentata | Soojean Kim TOMORROW
rain 51 / 46
sunny 49 / 33
Menu Sharpe Refectory
Verney-Woolley Dining Hall
Lunch — Buffalo Chicken Wings with Bleu Cheese Dressing, Couscous Croquettes with Cider Pepper Sauce
Lunch — Chicken Fajitas, Vegan Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Succotash, Cream Cheese Brownies
Dinner — Coconut Crusted Tilapia, Vegetable Stuffed Peppers, Vegan Rice Pilaf
Dinner — Cilantro Chicken, Mexican Cornbread Casserole, Beets in Orange Sauce, Stir Fry Pork Lo Mein
Brown Meets RISD | Jeremy Kuhn
Sudoku Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Enigma Twist | Dustin Foley
Alien Weather Forecast | Stephen Lichenstein and Adam Wagner
Puzzles by Pappocom RELEASE DATE– Wednesday,©November 12, 2008
Los Angeles Times Puzzle C r o sDaily s w oCrossword rd Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS 1 “The Audacity of Hope” author 6 Duffer’s dream 9 “Against the Wind” rocker 14 Persona non grata 15 Crew leader, for short 16 Like some vbs. 17 “I’ll have a grande decaf triple vanilla 2% __, please” 18 Upper limit 19 Epitome of hardness 20 Quarterback’s thought on third down and 10? 23 Gloomy Pooh pal 24 Playing a fourth NHL period, say 25 As yet unscheduled, briefly 28 Battery prefix with “cell” 30 “Seinfeld” stumbler 32 Something to doff 35 Quarterback’s encouragement to his backup? 38 15-Across heeders 40 Craggy peak 41 Shepard in space 42 Quarterback’s query about his starting offensive team? 47 Long. counterpart 48 Tranquilize 49 Baby’s first pic? 51 Lyric poem 52 [Sigh] 55 Fertile Crescent waterway 59 Quarterback’s question to blitzing defenders? 62 Anarchy 64 Singer’s asset 65 “Giant” actor 66 Marx with a horn 67 Pub choice 68 Jetson canine 69 City on the Ruhr
70 Morning layer 71 Dealing boxes
33 Reacted to a massage 34 Tariff-escalating conflicts 36 Earthlink rival 37 Actor Kristofferson 39 VP from Md. 43 Decides not to go 44 Liquefy 45 “Don’t look at me!”
46 Inscrutable types 50 Beastly 53 Chasing no one 54 Black Panthers co-founder 56 Total 57 Grenoble’s river 58 Chases away 60 Clinton’s birthplace 61 Cold one 62 Friend of Fidel 63 Possesses
DOWN 1 Stan’s partner 2 Bluesy Memphis street 3 With great insight 4 “Though this be madness, yet there is ___ in’t”: “Hamlet” 5 Floor decor 6 Pinnacle ANSWER TO PREVIOUS 7 Raccoon cousin 8 Red gas letters 9 Rat Pack leader 10 Periods of note 11 Flour producer 12 Elongated swimmer 13 QB protectors 21 Florida’s __ Beach 22 Elbow 26 Lebanon’s __ Valley 27 “We __ on the same page” 29 Trial fig. 31 “Just as I thought!” 32 “Explain your reasoning” email@example.com
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H igher E d Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Mass. ballot initiative makes pot possession a civil offense By Emma Berry Contributing Writer
A wide array of pundits has been referring to the recent election as “historic” because, for the first time, an AfricanAmerican was elected president. But for Jeff Morris, a sophomore at Suffolk University in Boston, the election was historic for a different reason. Morris, who started a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws at Suffolk this semester, is celebrating the passage of Massachusetts Ballot Question 2, which decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, making it a civil offense instead of a criminal one. “The next day I got to school, everyone was just really excited,” Morris said. “I heard more about Question 2 than about Barack Obama winning.” Under the new law, people caught with one ounce or less of marijuana in Massachusetts must forfeit the drug and pay a $100 fine. Those under the age of 18 must also complete a drug awareness program, and are subject to fines of up to $1,000 if they do not complete the program within a year. Under the current law, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor that can carry up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Under the new law, which is expected to take effect in January, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is considered possession with an intent to distribute, and is still a crime. The bill, which passed by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, received wide support among college students but was opposed by a broad coalition of Massachusetts lawmakers and police. Although the law has yet to be submitted to the state legislature for review — where it could still be amended or repealed — one district attorney has already said he will drop all pending simple possession marijuana cases. Thomas Nolan, associate professor of criminal justice at Boston University and a 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, said he believed decriminalization is “the right course.” Nolan, who appeared in a television ad supporting Question 2, said that while he does not “condone marijuana use,” he believes it should not be a criminal offense. Nolan said 7,500 new criminal records are created each year in Massachusetts for those charged with marijuana possession and that those records can have serious consequences, particularly for students receiving financial aid or looking for employment. Students with criminal marijuana offenses on their record could be denied federal financial aid, Nolan said. Critics of decriminalization point to the fact that Massachusetts state law already requires judges to seal the records of first-time marijuana possession offenders after six months if they do not commit another criminal offense. However, said Nolan, these records are not expunged. He said that, from a police perspective, a sealed record gives the impression that a person has “something to hide.” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley joined with all 11 of Massachusetts’s district attorneys to oppose the bill, citing public safety concerns. In an Oct. 31 press release, Coakley said the “decriminalization of
marijuana will send a message to children and young adults that it is okay to use and abuse illegal substances.” Massachusetts students, however, were less convinced that the law would have a significant impact on campus communities. “I haven’t seen any opposition (to Question 2) at all, really,” said Jonathan Sussman, co-president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Brandeis University. “I’ve pretty much seen support across the board for it. Even my Republican friends and a few professors.” Sussman said the small and “relatively young” SSDP chapter at Brandeis was not heavily involved in supporting the passage of Question 2. Last year, he said, they collected some signatures for petitions in support of the bill and signed up new voters. “We didn’t encounter much direct opposition,” he said, “but we did encounter a lot of apathy.” Sussman said he did not expect the new law itself to affect Brandeis students in a major way. But in response to what he calls an “arbitrary” history of enforcing substance use policies at Brandeis, his group is drafting a resolution that would “officially declare drugs the lowest priority” for campus law enforcement. He said they plan to have a proposal before the Brandeis Student Union Senate by next week. Sussman said that with the recent passage of Question 2, “people are becoming more aware that drug policy reform is something we can do in college.” Morris, the leader of the NORML chapter at Suffolk, said that the Saturday before the election his group held a small demonstration in the Boston Commons in support of Question 2. He said passers-by expressed little opposition to the bill. Morris said that although students were surprised by the passage of the bill, he did not expect the law to change the extent of marijuana use in the state. “I think it’s just going to be a relax for responsible marijuana users,” he said. “A nice breath of air, like a nice sigh.” Lester Grinspoon, associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of several books on positive uses of marijuana, said he was “delighted” that Question 2 had passed. Grinspoon said he believes marijuana’s medical uses will bring about its legalization during the lifetime of today’s college student, and that Question 2 is a step in that direction. “People are going to have an experience seeing a friend or loved one using this substance and not going wacky,” making them more comfortable about supporting legalization, Grinspoon said. Although he supported Question 2, Grinspoon said he believed marijuana should be totally decriminalized and regulated in much the same manner that alcohol is. “People have to use it responsibly,” said Grinspoon. “You don’t drink and drive, you don’t smoke and drive.” Question 2 must still be approved by the Massachusetts state legislature, which has 30 days to change or even prevent it from going into effect. Morris said his group is writing letters to political officials and plans to hold more small rallies to ensure the measure becomes law. “The fight isn’t over yet,” he said.
Angela Radulescu / Columbia Daily Spectator
Students from Columbia and Barnard show their excitement in Times Square during CNN’s election night watch party.
Around the Ivies, celebrations of election By Lauren Fedor Contributing Writer
Last Tuesday night, Brown’s campus exploded in jubilant, spontaneous celebration. Students poured onto the Main Green and lit up the sky with fireworks, cheering Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain. The impromptu festivities ultimately descended on the State House in downtown Providence. Yet College Hill was not the only university community rejoicing last week. As Brown students chanted, “Yes, we can!” on the steps of Faunce House, similar spur-of-the moment parties were taking place at its peer institutions. Across the Ivy League, hordes of students — and in some cases, faculty — stormed the streets of their own neighborhoods, relishing in the historic win by the 47-year-old senator from Illinois. At Columbia, students savored the selection of one of their own as the nation’s leader. The first Columbia College graduate to be elected president, Obama attended the New York City school in the early 1980s after transferring in his junior year from Occidental College. Obama graduated with a B.A. in 1983; he studied political science with a specialization in international relations. On Tuesday night, Columbia students rushed the streets, breaking out in song, dance and allaround unadulterated enthusiasm. The celebrating crowds became so massive that police unexpectedly decided to shut down Broadway to accommodate the festivities, the Columbia Spectator reported. Caitlin Burke, a freshman at Columbia, was in her dorm room when the news media projected Obama would win. She said she did not know he had won until
people started screaming on the street below. “Within moments, hundreds of students had swarmed Broadway. Everyone was rejoicing and some were even crying,” as they marched toward Harlem, she said. “Even the security guards were ecstatic.” Derek Nelson, another firstyear at Columbia and a member of the College Democrats, was “squeezed” into a 15-passenger van on the New Jersey Turnpike when he first heard of Obama’s achievement. The Democrats had been campaigning in Virginia that day and were returning to New York when the announcement was made. They were so enthused that the van “nearly careened off the road,” Nelson said. When the group arrived on Columbia’s campus, the festivities were already well underway, and the Democrats “wept along with the rest of the mob that had flooded Morningside and Harlem.” While Obama’s alma mater and the Ivy League in general are regularly categorized as liberal-leaning institutions, Obama’s student support extended far beyond a few schools in the Northeast. Nationally, 66 percent of college-aged voters cast their ballots for Obama, the New York Times reported last week, while 31 percent supported McCain. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reported last week that 3.4 million more people ages 18-29 voted this year than in the last presidential election in 2004. Among supporters in that age group were students from the University of Pennsylvania, who formed their own impulsive march toward Philadelphia’s City Hall. They carried signs bearing the president-elect’s name and waved
American flags, screaming with such elation that it was difficult for students not to notice the celebration. Students from nearby Drexel University joined the demonstration, and “traffic was at an absolute standstill,” according to Penn freshman Darina Shtrakhman, as Philadelphia residents got out of their cars to dance in the streets with the marchers. “It felt so cool to be part of such a big movement!” At Cornell, in the decidedly less urban area of Ithaca, N.Y., students likewise set off firecrackers and ran into the streets. Conga drumming broke out on the campus’s Commons, and students breakdanced and sang in delight, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. Kevin Giroux, a freshman, described the night as “wild” and “exciting.” As he and his friends gathered around a television to watch Obama’s acceptance speech, they heard crowds of people running outside. Brown isn’t the only place where people celebrate political victories with nudity: Giroux said some of the students outside were streaking amid the excitement. Even in the rural neighborhood of Hanover, N.H. — in a swing state whose loyalties remained questionable for much of the campaign — Dartmouth students joined in the post-election excitement. Obama, who lost New Hampshire during the primary season to Hillary Clinton, ended up securing the state’s electoral votes with 54 percent of the popular vote. Hundreds of Dartmouth students extemporaneously congregated outside of the house of President James Wright. They chanted “Speech, speech!” until Wright emerged from the house, where he told the students, “This is your century.”
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Off-campus housing permission changed Prof. unexpectedly resigns as center’s director Off-campus continued from page 1
Dec. 15 always received off-campus permission. For juniors, the priority permission process complicated forming groups to live with. Students wanted to sign leases together, but some were approved while others were waitlisted. This year, juniors will apply as groups, through a process similar to the housing lottery. A group ranging in size from one to 12 students will select a “group owner” to fill out the online application, and subsequently, each member of the group will receive an e-mail from ResLife. After reading through the informational slideshow about living off-campus, the other members of the group will confirm their slots. On Dec. 15, all groups of juniors will be randomly assigned a selection number, regardless of group size or application date. After seniors have received off-campus permission, ResLife will move to the list of juniors. Any juniors remaining on the list will be waitlisted in order of their selection number, and any juniors who apply after the deadline will be added to the list in order of application date. Seniors who apply after Dec. 15 will also be placed on a waitlist in the order in which they apply, but seniors on the waitlist will be offered permission before juniors, regardless of application date. Basil said juniors should remember that off-campus permission is “a senior process,” first and foremost. ResLife grants permission to a targeted 1,000 students annually — a number that will remain the same for this year. Historically, they cannot hit that target with seniors alone, and as a result, about 20 percent of the slots go to juniors. However, this is not a guarantee, she said. The changes in the system were implemented largely to make the process simpler for juniors who choose the of f-campus route. ResCouncil hopes to “facilitate ju-
niors going off campus and going off campus together,” said James Reed ’09, chair of ResCouncil. Reed said historically the process has been much more difficult for juniors because the system is seniority-based. Tucker Wetmore ’10, who is living off campus this year, called the changes “brilliant.” His group applied to live offcampus late, and they were not all granted permission at the same time. Luckily, he said, they all ultimately did receive permission, but “we might have had some of the kids in our group living in the dorms” and “random people” subletting the rest of the house. The new policy “will prevent people from getting left out and potentially ruining the experience,” he said. But Wetmore said he did not agree with the transition away from a first-come first-serve policy. He said he knows rising juniors who have already found housing and made agreements with landlords, but with the changed policy, “there’s a random chance that even though they’ve been proactive on all fronts they won’t get permission.” Another change for rising juniors is that they will not have to reapply for permission the following year, as long as there are no breaks in their housing. Seniors will still apply as individuals and receive permission as their applications are processed. If a senior opts to apply with a group of juniors, the senior gives up automatic permission. Including a senior in a junior group “will not impact the group’s outcome,” Basil said. The only other change to the process — for both juniors and seniors — is the acceptance of offcampus permission. In past years, students were e-mailed upon receiving permission and had to respond within 72 hours in order to live offcampus. “Just given the fact that Brown students are very busy, it tends to be something that wasn’t always
For Rising Seniors: • All students who submit offcampus applications before Dec. 15 will be granted permission. • Students who submit their applications after Dec. 15 will be placed on a waitlist on a first-come, first-serve basis. For Rising Juniors: • Students apply as a group of 1 to 12 students, and are randomly assigned a selection number on Dec. 15. Permission will be given in order of selection number, as space permits. • Leftover juniors, as well as juniors who apply after Dec. 15, will be placed on a waitlist. done in a timely manner,” Reed said. The acceptance of the offer will now be considered automatic, one of the provisions ResCouncil suggested to ResLife. “If people are filling out the application, they’re going to want it,” Reed said, referring to off-campus housing. Basil said the application is going online later than originally anticipated because ResLife wanted to ensure the system was clear and easily accessible. There are a number of steps and a large amount of information, but she said they tried to break it down as much as possible, especially for rising juniors. She said she hopes students will like this process better and not have to face the perennial dilemmas associated with signing a group lease. Reed said ResCouncil is happy with the changes. “We just feel like it will make the process much easier (and) more of a friendly process both for juniors and seniors,” he said.
More local food needed, says Real Food continued from page 1 ’10, a member of Real Food, told The Herald. Citing rising food costs, food insecurity and energy expenditure, the group emphasized the need for Brown to “become a leader in supporting an ethical and sustainable food system” in its presentation to the council. “We’d like to see food here at Brown manifest our ethical values,” Jablonski said in the presentation. Brown became one of the first universities to buy local food when Brown Dining Services created its local food purchasing program, Community Harvest, in 2002.The University has since fallen behind its peers in terms of “real food,” Jonathan Leibovic ’12, also a member of the group, said in the presentation. Yale is spending 40 percent of its food budget on “real foods,” and Princeton is spending 60 percent, he said. Though Real Food has been
working closely with Dining Services, it has yet to gain official institutional support. The group has three goals, which it hopes to implement with the URC’s funding: to increase purchases of real food by 20 percent over the next five years, to create a team of eight paid student employees to work closely with Dining Ser vices to research and organize the sustainable food purchases and to create a University-wide “food systems working group.” The group would bring faculty, staff, facilities and students together to discuss actions the University should take in order to assess its impact on the food system, Jablonski said. Leibovic said the initiative addressed two important challenges: “climate change and social justice.” Students sat on the floor at the meeting, holding signs that read “I am for real” and eating the apples Real Food left outside the door and also next to each committee member’s place-card. Real Food also
collected 1,300 student signatures supporting their initiative. President Ruth Simmons said she would like to have Real Foods back to the BUCC to discuss it further. Tisch, the chancellor, also spoke about recent student calls for greater representation and transparency from the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. Tisch added that the Corporation was “seeking input from a variety of places,” and entertained suggestions for an open meeting, or a forum for discussion between the Corporation and interested members of the Brown community. He added, however that the Corporation had to be careful not to “become a representative body.” Tisch also said he only learned recently that the Corporation’s minutes had to be sealed for 50 years — an issue seized upon by SDS in its protests over the group’s transparency — and promised to look into the matter.
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continued from page 1 Green notified CLACS faculty and the University of his decision by e-mail Friday. He did not resign his faculty position. Vohra said he was in the dark as to why the successful director, who was reappointed to a second three-year term in June, had quit. Green declined to comment on his motivations Tuesday, as did other CLACS faculty members. The center has added faculty, expanded programs and broadened its scope since 2005, when Green took over as director. In 2006, it earned a prestigious Title VI grant from the Department of Education, a milestone of recognition for area studies programs. CLACS faculty contacted yesterday said the center took significant strides forward under his leadership. In a statement e-mailed to The Herald, Green said he has “enjoyed” his time at the center and that the Title VI grant he helped secure “allowed us to expand and enrich significantly Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown.” “As new faculty members take up the leadership of the Center, I am confident they will continue to build on the ways in which I have personally been able to contribute to the success of the Center,” he wrote. In a conversation Tuesday, Green declined to elaborate on the reasons for his decision or its unusual abruptness, but said he had no plans to resign from the faculty. “I love teaching,” he said. “I’m looking forward to teaching my classes in the spring.” “I’m sure the University will continue all the projects I’ve initiated” at the center, he said, adding, “I’ve been very proud of what I’ve achieved.” Vohra said Green “mentioned no reasons” for his surprise resignation. “I assumed that if this is a decision he’s made, we will have to respect his decision,” Vohra said. While both Green and Lindstrom stressed that the three years Green has served are a standard tenure for leadership of a center like CLACS, Vohra noted that when Green was reappointed for another three years
in June, he did so intending to serve the full term. Green confirmed his prior intentions to remain long-term on Tuesday. “He had done a very good job,” Vohra said. “I was very happy to ask him to continue.” Lindstrom, who previously ser ved as CLACS director from 2001 to 2004, said he was surprised to learn of Green’s departure, and would be taking on the responsibilities as director on top of a full administrative and teaching workload. The added responsibility “means my long days are now even longer,” Lindstrom said, but he and Green said that the center’s programs for this semester have already been planned and that the surprise turnover should not threaten its ability to function in the short term. “While the departure of Professor Green is very sudden, centers experience changes in leadership all the time,” Lindstrom said. Lindstrom said he plans to serve through the end of the semester, by which time he expects a permanent replacement to be found. He does not believe the abruptness of Green’s resignation will hinder his successors’ ability to build on the center’s recent growth, he added. Vohra did not commit to a timeline for replacing Green but said he hoped a permanent director could be found by next semester. It is unusual for a post like Green’s to be vacated in the middle of an academic year, Vohra said, much less a semester, which might make it challenging to find a faculty member willing to take on the added responsibilities mid-year. “I was sorry to see Professor Green step down as director as I thought he has been doing an excellent job,” Kertzer wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “I think he did great things for the center,” Associate Professor of History Douglas Cope said, calling Green “an extremely energetic leader” and noting that he “made great strides” in expanding the center’s Caribbean focus. “He really helped to put (CLACS) on the map,” said Cope, the center’s concentration adviser. “The challenge now will be to sustain the progress.”
U.S. House will move to give cash to ailing auto industry By Lori Montgomery and Michael Abramowitz Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The House will convene next week to vote on a plan to provide emergency cash to the nation’s battered automobile industry, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday, but a federal bailout for Detroit faces an uphill battle in the Senate and an uncertain fate at the White House. In a written statement, Pelosi, DCalif., said that the failure of one of the car companies “would have a devastating impact on our economy” and that Congress must “provide emergency and limited financial assistance” by adding the industry to the Treasury Department’s $700 billion economic rescue program, which was designed to stabilize the U.S. banking system. Pelosi did not spell out details of the proposal but designated House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., a key architect of the Treasury program, to
work with lawmakers in both chambers to craft the measure. Congressional Democrats — and Michigan Republicans — are pressing to carve $25 billion out of the Treasury program as a bridge loan to help the car companies survive an economic crisis that analysts say has pushed the industry to the brink of collapse. The cash would come with the same restrictions placed on other participants in the Treasury program, Pelosi said, including limits on executive compensation, a ban on golden parachutes, and other “taxpayer protections to ensure that any companies that benefit from this assistance — and not the taxpayers — bear the full burden of repaying any costs that are incurred.” The move would greatly expand the reach of the government into the private sector and could touch off a mad scramble in other industries to claim a piece of the Treasury’s bailout continued on page 9
C ampus N ews Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A whole different set of dining dilemmas Kashrut tradition based in Torah By Connie Zheng Staf f Writer
Sara Glick ’10 has a kitchen that could make any mother proud. Color-coded dishes sit neatly in the cupboard, instead of being piled haphazardly in the sink, separated into green, white and purple. Six sponges, each one dif-
FEATURE ferent in shape or color, ring the spotless sink, and duct tape labels assign specific duties (dairy, meat) to each shelf of the cupboard. Yet Glick isn’t just neat for neatness’ sake. She owns so many dishes — and organizes them — out of religious choice. She and her three suitemates obser ve kashrut, the Jewish dietar y laws decreed by the Torah. The laws of kashrut are manifold, developed through rabbinical teachings, with some millenniaold and others only centuries-old. But they can be boiled down into several main rules. The Torah stipulates that Jews must only eat meat coming from animals that both chew their cud and have cloven hooves, which includes cows but excludes pigs. Birds of prey are not kosher, nor are fish without both fins and scales. Animals must be slaughtered with an unserrated blade — resulting in a painless and instant death — and their blood must be drained away, their meat soaked and salted. Meat and dair y products cannot be ser ved at the same meal, prepared or stored together. Only cheeses prepared with rabbinical super vision and without animal enzymes involved (which most cheeses are, by a process called rennet) are allowed for consumption. These rules become even stricter during Passover. “The kosher laws are designed for you to be thoughtful of where your food comes from,” said Megan Nesbitt, executive director of Hillel. “You separate milk and meat, separate life and death.” Practicing Jews span a wide spectrum of kashrut observance. Many are secular, following no dietary laws, while some refuse to eat at any non-kosher eatery. Others fall somewhere in the middle, allowing themselves to eat vegetarian dishes at non-kosher restaurants and eating kosher meat at home or at cer tified kosher establishments. ‘Compromise’ kitchen “What we have here is a compromise between the four of us,” said Glick’s roommate, Rebecca Theise ’10. “Some things are Jewish law, and some are just (family) tradition.” The four keep meat and cheese in the same refrigerator but mark their meat pans with red dots. They buy cheeses from anywhere, she said, but they use rectangular sponges for meat dishes and blue ones for dair y. Green and white dishes are for dair y, while purple are for meat. Upon moving into their Barbour Hall suite, she said, they turned the stovetops and oven on in a cleansing process because “we would never assume that the people living before us kept kosher.”
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Because the four are completely off meal plan, they each spend about $120 to $150 a month on food, Glick said. Theise is accustomed to having kosher food nearby, having come from an area of New York City with a large Jewish population. She said having a private kitchen so she could go off meal plan was appealing. Glick, however, found that being off meal plan made it more difficult to obser ve kashrut. In her first two years at Brown, she ate mostly vegetarian meals at the Sharpe Refectory, consuming meat only during Friday Shabbat dinners at Hillel. Because Glick does not eat exclusively at kosher eateries — “We don’t have kosher restaurants where I’m from,” said the Chicago native — vegetarian dishes at Thayer Street restaurants or the Ratty sufficed, and paper plates for meat and dair y foods at Hillel eliminated the problem of separating dishes. Now, she said, the necessity of separating meat and dair y dishes causes occasional confusion. If she wants to make pasta, Glick said, she can only use a meat pot or a milk pot. Because there is no “neutral” pot in their kitchen, the final dish must reflect the choice of cookware as long as it remains in the refrigerator. “We keep mixing things up accidentally,” Glick said. Nesbitt agreed that keeping kosher is more difficult in Providence than it is in places with more concentrated Jewish populations. “In New York, for instance, this is a lot easier because people have more choices,” Nesbitt said. There are no kosher restaurants in Providence, according to Nesbitt, though Theise said there is a kosher butcher on Hope Street. Brown, however, has not overlooked the needs of its kashrutobser ving community. While Hillel serves dinner on Friday nights, Brown also offers an alternative meal plan. Providence’s only kosher eatery Five doors down from the Ratty’s main entrance is a room to which just 28 students have access. Although it serves everyday items such as tuna wraps, lasagna and pumpkin pie, it requires a special key to enter, available only to students who have committed themselves to a different dietar y path. Ben Abiri ’10 has been on the kosher and halal meal plan since his freshman year. Halal food, prescribed by Muslim dietar y laws, overlaps heavily with kashrut. Unable to eat on Thayer because “nothing there is certified kosher,” Abiri, a native New Yorker, found a marked difference in the ease with which he could obser ve kashrut in Providence. “At almost any hour of the night, within 20 minutes, I could get any kind of kosher food,” said Abiri, who hails from Long Island. “Hamburger, pizza, kebab, falafel. In my town alone, there are four, five kosher restaurants. It’s all supply and demand.” Priced at $4,298 a year for 20 meals a week, the kosher meal plan is Brown’s response to demand. Brown has a Jewish population of approximately 1,350 stu-
Laws of Kashrut In order to be kosher: • Fish must have fins and scales • Birds must not be birds of prey • Mammals must both chew their cud and have cloven hoofs • Meat and dairy products must not be eaten together • Food must be prepared during the week and not on the Sabbath • Animals must be slaughtered humanely by a trained shochet dents, said Nesbitt. She estimated about 25 percent of these students obser ve kashrut. The kosher meal plan has elicited mixed reviews, though many students agreed the new production manager, Rose Forrest, has improved it. Yet it is not a cure-all. Because the kosher meal plan is only ser ved out of the “kosher closet,” as Theise dubs it, kashrutobserving students must fend for themselves once the Ratty closes at 7:30 p.m. Once, Abiri said, when he waited in the salad line at Jo’s, he had to ask the staffer to open a new bag of lettuce to avoid accidentally eating something nonkosher. Abiri, who lives in Minden Hall, does not have the luxur y of having his own kitchen. “What can I make here?” he said. “I have an illicit toaster, and even that is not enough. I can’t make an omelet. ... I had kosher frozen pizza, and that was, like, such a great occasion, you know?” “The simpler things are, the more likely they are to be kosher,” Abiri said. “Stick with Jo’s lettuce and dressing, and you’re good. Eat a can of tuna, cr y yourself to sleep after wards.” Still, Abiri said there are ways to overcome the problem of being unable to eat the late-night burgers or quesadillas at Jo’s. “It’s good to have a wellstocked pantr y,” Abiri said. “Peanut butter, canned tuna ... it’s a combination of being creative and stocking up on food.” In spite of his main gripe with the kosher meal plan, however, Abiri said he is “happy” with it. He also said that, given the small kashrut-obser ving population at Brown, the University does an “exceptional” job. He said he was particularly impressed after visiting a friend at a fellow Ivy League institution. “The Ratty rips Harvard a new one,” Abiri said.
Card reader ripped off, several students stolen from The following summary includes all major incidents reported to the Department of Public Safety between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6. It does not include general service and alarm calls. The Providence Police Department also responds to incidents occurring
CRIME LOG off campus. DPS does not divulge information on open cases that are currently under investigation by the department, the PPD or the Office of Student Life. DPS maintains a daily log of all shift activity and general service calls which can be viewed during business hours at its headquarters, located at 75 Charlesfield St. Friday, Oct. 31 1:15 p.m. A student in Champlin Hall reported that he left his room at 10 a.m. to take a shower. When he returned to his room at 10:30 a.m., he noticed that his laptop computer was unplugged and missing from the top of his desk. During the time of the theft he reported that his roommate was sleeping in the room. Nothing else was reported missing. Saturday, Nov. 1 2:46 a.m. A student in Olney House reported that while at a party she had left her purse in a hallway and unknown person(s) took her purse with her camera, wallet, debit card and checkbook. 3:53 p.m. A student in Olney House reported that he had been at a function. He stated that he had put his wallet, cell phone and room key inside a Spiderman mask. He then put the mask on the floor be-
hind a trash can in the lounge. When he returned for the mask and his property, they were gone. He also reported that his debit card had been used at various retail establishments. He reported that he has cancelled his cards. There are no suspects at this time. 7:01 p.m. A complainant in the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center reported that his gym bag was stolen. He left his bag on the south end of the basketball court unattended, while he played basketball. Sunday, Nov. 2 12:59 a.m. A Gate employee and Brown student stated that she passed through the back room and noticed her pocketbook was missing from the place she normally leaves it. 4:40 p.m. A student in Harkness House reported that a game console, controller and games were taken from a lounge sometime between Oct. 27 at 10:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 3 4 p.m. A student in Marcy House reported that he locked his mountain bike with a lock and chain to a railing in the hallway. He first noticed the bike missing on Oct. 29, but checked to see if a friend had taken it or if Facilities removed it. Tuesday, Nov. 4 3:11 a.m. While on patrol an officer observed the card reader on the northeast door of Poland House had been knocked off the wall. Facilities Management was notified. There are no suspects at this time.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Delays, confusion mar efforts to respond to slavery and justice report continued from page 1 hindered by bureaucratic delays and a lack of drive on the part of the administration. Efforts toward establishing a center to study slavery and justice appear to be moving forward, but key questions about such a center’s structure and focus remain unresolved, and no major source of funding has yet emerged for what promises to be an expensive project. A 10-member commission tasked with developing ideas for a memorial has met several times, but University officials suggest that it has yet to make any concrete decisions, and its final report may simply be a blueprint for further study. After almost two years, the endowment for public education has raised less than one-fifth of its goal, and no money has actually been distributed to schools so far. The problem, many of those inter viewed said, is not one of bad faith or lack of political will on the part of the administration. President Ruth Simmons and Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 made clear in inter views that they remain committed to enacting all of the major initiatives the University promised. Professor of Africana Studies James Campbell, who chaired the original steering committee, said he was not overly concerned with the pace of progress. “Universities proceed slowly,” he said. “Have some of these processes taken longer than one might have expected or hoped? I suppose that’s true, but that’s in the nature of universities.” But other faculty members who sat on the original steering committee said parts of the effort have moved significantly more slowly than they had envisioned, and some said they were growing frustrated with the lack of progress. In the University’s response to the 17-member committee’s recommendations, which were released four months after their report was published, Simmons laid out a blueprint for action — rejecting some recommendations, reshaping others and expanding a few. Twenty-one months after Simmons’ response, some of the University’s promised initiatives have moved far faster than others. The Urban Education Fellows program welcomed its inaugural class in June. Ten students — seven in the Masters of Arts in Teaching program and three in Urban Education Policy — will graduate this May, said Professor of Education Kenneth Wong, the department chair. After three years of service in local public schools and education non-profits, the University will waive graduates’ tuition loans. The Brown-Tougaloo partnership has also been strengthened. The alliance between Brown and the historically black Mississippi college has been around since 1964, but the extent of both schools’ commitment has wavered over time, said Valerie Wilson, associate dean of the graduate school and director of the Brown-Tougaloo partnership. “Much like the phoenix, it bursts into flames, dies and gets resurrected,” Wilson said. “So we’re in a resurrection phase.” In response to recommendations last year by the newly formed Brown-Tougaloo Advisory Council, Simmons agreed to fund two projects out of her discretionary fund
to help the partnership. Brown gave $25,000 to fund Tougaloo’s own Fall 2009 conference on slaver y and justice, focusing on slavery in the South from a historically black college’s perspective, and committed $50,000 toward the construction of an interactive “smart classroom” at Tougaloo, which will have advanced video-conferencing features compatible with similar classrooms on Brown’s campus. Though progress has been made on all of the University’s slaveryand-justice commitments, three of the most important appear to be moving far behind schedule. Key questions remain unresolved for each, and even the people involved in implementing them are unable to give a timeline as to when they may be in place. Slow progress, big plans Plans for a center to study issues of slavery and justice remain unclear. Kertzer appointed a 10-member faculty committee in April 2007 that was tasked with writing a report on the “shape, cost and scope” of the “major research and teaching initiative” the University had promised in its response. Kertzer asked for the report to be submitted in fall 2007 and promised an external review of its recommendations. The committee met monthly for two semesters, and quickly settled on a new academic center as its goal, said Professor of Economics Glenn Loury, the committee’s chair. However, its final report — submitted a semester late, in March of this year — failed to discuss the cost of such a center at all, and a professor familiar with the effort said it did not address several important questions, such as whether the center should have a physical home or whether it should offer an undergraduate concentration. “My understanding is they had great difficulty reaching consensus” on basic issues of the center’s focus, Simmons said, adding that, given those disagreements, “they did a good enough job.” Since the committee submitted its report to the Academic Priorities Committee, Kertzer and several faculty members involved with the effort said, the initiative has passed partly into the hands of Department of Histor y Chair Kenneth Sacks and Department of Africana Studies Chair Barrymore Bogues. The two are currently planning a major lecture series for next semester, which will bring several high-profile speakers to campus to lecture on topics related to slavery and justice. Two faculty members confirmed that one speaker will be David Blight, director of Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. Blight and at least two other speakers will give what Kertzer described as “free consultation” to the APC and the history and Africana studies departments on the form such a center might take. The asyet unnamed speakers will likely be candidates to be the center’s director, the two professors said. Plans for the center are “perhaps rolling out rather deliberately, not as rapidly as we might have hoped initially,” Kertzer said. “But this way we feel we’re going to end up with something that’s really going to be a nationally visible, major center.” Simmons said the eventual director will be able to answer lingering questions about the center, adding that “we almost have to wait for those people to be in place.” A faculty member involved with the lecture series planning
expressed frustration that the timeframe for making such decisions was unclear. And though Simmons said a donor will fund next semester’s lecture series, none has stepped up to fund the center itself, a project that will doubtless cost millions. In July of last year, Simmons, along with Gov. Donald Carcieri ’65 and Mayor David Cicilline ’83, appointed a 10-member commission to study the possibility of a slave trade memorial. The group, composed of representatives from Brown, government and the community, was tasked with recommending possible sites and monuments for a memorial commemorating the legacy of slavery in Rhode Island. Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, said the group has met several times since its inception and is now “moving toward a report.” But Brenda Allen, associate provost and director of institutional diversity — who works with the commission and also served on the original steering committee — said the report will likely be a blueprint for further study rather than a set of clear recommendations for the siting or composition of a memorial. “No one on the commission was charged with actually coming up with the idea, but really we’ve been concerned about what a process for that idea should look like, and how to get more people involved in that,” Allen said.A professor on the original steering committee who spoke on condition of anonymity said he believed that the commission’s infrequent meetings and lack of an appointed chairperson hindered its effectiveness. “The commission could have functioned differently,” Simmons said. “I misread how much the commission itself would think that it had to go and investigate things. I thought they’d take the slavery and justice report and they would say, ‘OK, now let’s think about what we would recommend to the city and the state and the campus.’ That was naive. They wanted to do their own work … and I respect that. So yes, it’s taken longer. Maybe we could’ve foreseen that.” The Herald attempted to contact each member of the commission. Of the seven who were reached, all either did not respond or declined to be interviewed. The Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence, a major initiative to create a permanent endowment for Providence public schools, has made ver y little demonstrable progress since it was first announced. The University said at the time that it might take several years to raise the full $10 million promised for the endowment. Now, according to Simmons, it has about $1.65 million from four donors, but no grants to schools have yet been made. Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar ’87 MA’90, a member of the Corporation’s board of trustees who sits on the committee overseeing the fund, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that it wanted to learn more about schools’ needs before awarding grants. To that end, she wrote, the committee has met regularly in Providence over the past year to discuss the challenges facing Providence schools and meet with members of teachers’ unions, the school board, and city and state administrators. A lack of oversight One reason that these efforts have not yielded more progress
Kori Schulman / Herald File Photo (above), Courtesy of Brown.edu (below)
Professor of Africana Studies James Campbell, above, and Professor of Economics Glenn Loury, below, have both been involved in the University’s response to its 2006 report on its ties to slavery.
may be that administrators have disregarded one commitment they made in the University’s response to the report: oversight. The original steering committee asked that a new group be appointed to monitor implementation of its recommendations. Simmons chose not to do so, saying that the Brown University Community Council could be used instead. In her response to the committee’s report, she mentioned creating “a suitable body to continue monitoring progress on recommendations,” and added that the University would “commit to the ongoing evaluation of these efforts by engaging an outside consultant.” University of ficials said that neither of those things has happened. The BUCC has never discussed any aspect of the implementation effort, according to the council’s posted minutes. Both Quinn and Kertzer expressed surprise upon hearing that it had even been referenced in the University response. Quinn and Simmons both said that up until now it would have been premature to discuss the effort with the council but that next semester might be a good time to do so. Quinn also said that the University had never intended to hire a consultant before implementation of the commitments made in the University response was mostly finished. The president said that since she keeps tabs on the progress of each initiative, a committee or other body to oversee the effort would simply result in more bureaucratic red tape. However, three professors told The Herald they were disappointed with the lack of broad oversight. One member of the original committee suggested that Simmons should designate an administrator to oversee the various initiatives, or turn them over to the provost. Simmons disagreed. “We were in fact pushing the committee working on the center,” she said. “We were nagging them constantly to get things done, and to do it more quickly. The fact that they couldn’t do it — it’s just very typical of the kind of process that we use.” Of the initiatives that have been successful to date, two have benefited from leaders with unambiguous responsibility for the project and clear connections to existing University programs. “I always think ahead,” said Wong, the education department chair, of the Urban Education Fellows. “So when the slaver y and justice recommendations were approved by the Corporation, right away I started a conversation.”
“We started early, we engaged all the key parties on campus ... and then moved it to the operational phase,” he said. Valerie Wilson, of the BrownTougaloo Advisor y Council, said there is “a long-standing partnership that’s already established” between the colleges. “There’s just been this wonderful coincidence in time when an advisory council had already been constituted with this specific interest,” she said. “The things that somebody can simply decide to do and mandate just get done quickly,” Simmons said. “Anything that involves committees and structures and consensus-building and so forth takes longer.” But as time passes and the steering committee’s original effort grows more distant, existing impetus toward advancing the wide-ranging slaver y and justice endeavor may be lost. “We agreed with the committee at the time that it would be a mistake if we shelved the report and simply went off and did things,” Simmons said. The implementation effort “was a way of engaging people in the subject.” “I’m a person who likes to get things done,” she said. “And so fundamentally I won’t be satisfied until the full $10 million is in for the fund, I won’t be satisfied until we have the commission work finalized, I won’t be satisfied until the center issues are resolved. But I think there’s a lot of reason to be pleased about what has happened thus far.” “It is probably opportune for us to revisit what we had down there as plans to do, and take stock,” Kertzer said. “It is easy to lose sight — there’s such a wealth of things going on every day, and then new things like this economic situation get on top of that — and so given just how ambitious this was, it’s probably inevitable that some things will move more quickly than others. But it is true that we have to be sure that nothing falls between the cracks.”
W ORLD & n ATION Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Obama team moves to keep distance from lobbyists By Michael Shear Washington Post
Alana Semuels / Los Angeles Times
Crowds gathered outside the Los Angeles Times building to buy Obama-themed memorabilia in the days following the election.
Entrepreneurs capitalize on Obama’s win By Alana Semuels Los Angeles T imes
LOS ANGELES — Much as Barack Obama has kindled unprecedented interest in presidential politics, so too has he prompted a flood of merchandise, collectibles, television deals and book contracts. Presidents always have inspired such capitalism. But marketing experts say the historic nature of this election and the strong brand that the campaign cultivated have sparked incredible demand for all things Obama. “It’s the biggest thing for publishing since Harry Potter,” said Dermot McEvoy, a senior editor at Publishers Weekly, an industry trade journal. The effects of Obamamania are trickling down. Vendors have taken to the streets and the Internet to sell Obama-themed T-shirts, buttons, bobblehead dolls, coffee mugs, wine bottles, magnets, greeting cards, neon signs, mobile phones and framed art prints. Despite worries about the economy, consumers are snapping them up. “This is phenomenal — I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” said Edward Robert El, 64, a street vendor in downtown Los Angeles. He sold more than 3,000 buttons with photos of Obama and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was selling the buttons, which cost him 80 cents apiece, for $3 on Friday outside the Los Angeles Times building, where crowds were lined up seeking copies of the Nov. 5 edition. The Times is one of many newspapers nationwide that sold through its usual press run and is selling commemorative copies. At least nine books about the president-elect and the 2008 campaign are coming out in the next few months, McEvoy said, including “The Obama Menu: Dinners with Barack Obama” and “Deciding the Next Decider: The 2008 Presidential Race in Rhyme.” Some journalists covering the campaign have struck deals for books about Obama, including
Newsweek magazine White House correspondent Richard Wolffe and Time magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin, and more are expected. PublicAffairs, a New York publishing house that focuses on political books, will release “A Long Time Coming: The Historic, Combative, Expensive and Inspiring 2008 Election and the Victory of Barack Obama,” by Evan Thomas and the staff of Newsweek, and reprint a paperback version of a book co-written by Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s new chief of staff. “People are interested in Obama and his victory in a distinctly unusual way,” PublicAffairs founder Peter Osnos said. The TV business is getting in on it. Two days after the election, HBO announced that it had acquired an untitled documentary about Obama’s campaign that was produced by actor Edward Norton’s production company, Class 5 Films. There are undoubtedly more video compilations of Obama’s campaign events and speeches to come, said Peter Sealey, professor of marketing at Claremont Graduate University. CafePress.com, which creates and sells T-shirts and other merchandise designed by its users, offers 2.8 million different Obamarelated items, including “That One Won” T-shirts and “Dream Realized” tote bags. That’s almost three times as many products as were created for Obama’s opponent, Republican John McCain, said Amy Maniatis, vice president of marketing for San Mateo, Calif.-based CafePress. “This is the biggest Nov. 5 we’ve ever seen in our company’s history,” she said. “Obama really captured folks’ imagination from the very beginning.” Jennifer Funderburk, who makes her living selling items on CafePress, pulled in $30,000 from Obama- and election-related gear in June around the Democratic National Convention. The day af-
ter the election, the Tampa, Fla., entrepreneur processed 96 orders for “Yes We Did!” shirts and other Obama-related products. She said the high demand was in “stark contrast” to that for John Kerry items in 2004. From a street vendor, Los Angeles city employee Judy Forbes Williams bought an “Obama ‘08” hat for her daughter and a T-shirt adorned with the faces of Obama and King. “We want to say we were alive in ‘08,” she said. Obama collectibles might not be as valuable as some are hoping, said Neil Machander, past president of the American Political Items Collectors. Members of his association will be looking for buttons and shirts from the campaign, not things made afterward, and they won’t pay a lot for Obama items if there is a surplus. Campaign items for John F. Kennedy, for instance, sell for only a few dollars because so many were made. Still, Obama souvenirs do have some added cachet. “He’s the first minority president — it’s not just the usual humdrum election,” Machander said. Obama gear is selling faster than Kwantavis Beavers expected. He and his uncle, who usually sells shirts outside Lakers games, bought, wholesale, a few hundred Obama T-shirts and hats and started selling them in Los Angeles. The men thought they might make a few hundred bucks, but Beavers said they made $1,500 on Friday alone, and brisk sales continued through the weekend. Obama’s election made the nation’s highest office a little easier to merchandise, said George Whalin, president of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Retail Management Consultants. Obama is a “unique entity among a group of pretty boring white men,” he said, which makes the president-elect a unique product to sell — even to people who don’t much feel like spending. “Any time you create buzz and excitement, it doesn’t matter what the economy does,” Whalin said.
WASHINGTON — Barack Obama campaigned as an anti-Washington candidate, and the leader of his presidential transition team made it clear that the president-elect would seek to build on that theme over the next two months. His transition chief, John Podesta, announced a set of broad regulations Tuesday that ban federal lobbyists from participating in Obama’s transition, saying the move is designed to ensure “that the undue influence of Washington lobbyists and the revolving door of Washington ceases to exist.” The transition team will not allow lobbyists to work in the subject areas in which they have previously lobbied, Podesta said. And if someone becomes a lobbyist after working on the transition, they will be prohibited from lobbying the administration for 12 months on matters on which they worked. “I’ve heard the other complaint, which is we’re leaving all these experts on the side. ... We’re leaving all the people who know everything out in the cold,” Podesta said. “And so be it.” He said a similar ban was likely to be in effect for the actual administration, including an extension of the lobbyist ban to two years. Podesta also made clear that Obama intends to remain largely absent from the nation’s capital over the next 70 days, part of a conscious effort to maintain a low profile during the final weeks of the Bush administration despite intense media interest in his every move. Obama plans to announce decisions about his Cabinet secretaries from Chicago rather than inside the Beltway, Podesta indicated, and will remain there this weekend as leaders from around the world arrive in Washington for an economic summit hosted by President Bush. “The president-elect will not be meeting with the leaders who are coming to Washington. He will be in Chicago,” Podesta told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “And he will not be having any meetings with any of the leaders who are coming to the G-20, in Chicago or in any other place.” In his first briefing, Podesta made it clear that Obama will be mostly out of sight during the presidential transition. But his staff is quickly establishing a presence in the nation’s capital in advance of his Jan. 20 inauguration. Obama’s transition team will employ roughly 450 people, divided between offices in downtown Washington and a federal building in Chicago, at a cost of about $12 million, less than half of which will be underwritten by taxpayers. The rest will be raised privately, Podesta said, but without the help of Washington lobbyists, corporations or political action committees. The use of funds from such entities to underwrite presidential transitions has been routine since the Reagan years. But Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said private fundraising for White House transitions can raise serious ethical concerns if handled poorly by an incoming administration. “This is exactly the sort of vehicle that is ripe for abuse and undermines the public’s confidence on decisions
being made about both policy and personnel,” Fitton said. Podesta said that the transition team would not only limit individual contributions to $5,000, but that it would disclose the names of all donors at the end of every month. “So you’ll see our contributions ... to the transition prior to the inauguration, yes,” Podesta said. Obama is also assembling “agency review teams” to take over the Washington office buildings that house federal agencies. Their mandate, Podesta said, will be to gather information that Obama and his eventual Cabinet secretaries can use during confirmation hearings and to formulate policy once in office. Members of the review teams will be announced by the end of the week, and their names will be posted on Obama’s transition Web site, change.gov, as they are given security clearances to begin their work. Obama moved rapidly last week to name his chief of staff, plucking Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel from Congress less than two days after winning election. No other major personnel or Cabinet announcements are expected until next week, at the earliest. But aides said Obama still intends to move more quickly than most of his predecessors, with several top Cabinet posts filled quickly, perhaps by the end of the month. The first Cabinet announcements are widely anticipated to include the secretaries of the Treasury and defense. Podesta said no president other than George H.W. Bush had announced a Cabinet choice before December. And he said prior presidents have seen a maximum of 24 members of their Cabinet and subCabinet officials confirmed by the end of March, a number he called “simply inadequate” for a country that is facing major economic and foreign policy challenges. “This is a process that will require the cooperation of both parties in Congress, and we hope and expect to receive that,” Podesta said. “The country’s experiencing two wars. We have ongoing threat from al-Qaida. We’ve got a financial crisis that we need to cope with, and we’ve got to get the economy moving again. So, we intend to move with all due speed, and we hope that the Senate will, as well.” Podesta refused to speculate about people Obama might pick for key positions. Asked about Obama’s view of Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, who is the focus of intense speculation about whether he will remain in his post under Obama, Podesta said only that Obama “has great respect for Secretary Gates, but beyond that I think that, you know, he intends to engage, as I suggested, across the board with the agencies.” He also declined to say which Bush-era executive orders Obama plans to overturn once he takes office. “When we have announcements about specific executive orders, we’ll make those,” he said. Obama’s relatively low profile is striking in part because of the candidate-centered campaign he ran, using the force of his own personality to win over voters. The financial crisis heightened expectations that continued on page 9
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Analysts: GM teetering on the brink of bankruptcy By Kendra Marr and Sholnn Freeman Washington Post
WASHINGTON — As General Motors burns through cash, edging its way toward possible financial collapse, a growing number of analysts have said bankruptcy might be inevitable. GM insists such a move is out of the question, and as the debate roils, people on both sides point to two past scenarios for lessons. One is a story of success. Several major U.S. airlines have operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy provisions. United Airlines has been through it. US Air ways and Continental Airlines filed twice. Both Delta Air Lines and Nor thwest Airlines, which are in the process of combining operations, emerged from bankruptcy court protection last year. Labor contracts were renegotiated, and everyone, from pilots to baggage handlers, took pay cuts. Yet through it all, travelers continued to book tickets to fly. But another was a disaster. Daewoo Motor — South Korea’s equivalent of Chrysler — could not stay afloat during the Asian financial crisis. In 2000, burdened by $16 billion in debt, it filed for bankruptcy. About 7,000 workers lost their jobs, and many suppliers buckled. Daewoo was sold off in pieces to other automakers, including GM. Because GM’s purchase did not include Daewoo’s U.S. distribution network, many dealers lost their franchises. Its global brand all but disappeared. GM said it is trying to stave off such a fate. The automaker’s plight is one reason why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. said the House would convene next week to vote on a plan to rush $25 billion in loans to the ailing industry. Without a loan, GM is in danger of running out of cash. It is going through $2.3 billion a month, up from $1 billion a month earlier this year. The automaker is taking a variety of steps to conser ve cash — including scaling back production, cutting jobs and benefits, putting divisions up for sale. It still expects to have barely the minimum amount of money necessary to operate its business through the end of the year. Next year looks even bleaker. GM is lobbying for enough money to tide it over until 2010, when it shifts the multi-billion dollar annual cost of retiree health benefits to an independent trust as part of an agreement with its labor unions. In the meantime, it is exploring all options to prevent a bankruptcy filing. “We’re convinced that the con-
sequences of bankruptcy would be dire and extend far beyond General Motors, and therefore, we are going to take every action we possibly can to avoid it,” GM chairman and chief executive G. Richard Wagoner Jr. told investors Friday after he reported that GM burned through $6.9 billion in the third quarter. A GM bankruptcy would reverberate through the U.S. economy, GM supporters contend. One in 10 American jobs is related to auto manufacturing. Automakers are the biggest buyers of U.S.-manufactured steel, aluminum, iron, copper, plastics, rubber and electronics. Tens of thousands of suppliers and dealers depend on the automakers. Bankruptcy could push suppliers into bankruptcy as well, hurting other automakers who depend on them for similar parts. A failure at GM, which represents about half of the U.S. auto industry, could eliminate 2.5 million jobs and $125 billion in personal income in the first year, according to a report published last week by the Center for Automotive Research. In three years, the government’s tax loss could total more than $108.1 billion. “On a strictly cash basis, it’s less expensive to keep industr y moving than have it shut down,” said Dave Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. A bankruptcy filing could scare off buyers worried about who would honor warranties and supply parts when repairs are needed. Earlier this year, a CNW Marketing Research survey of new car buyers found that 80 percent would avoid an bankrupt automaker. In a market full of alternatives, there is little allegiance to Detroit’s automakers, said Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore. Others, however, argue that bankruptcy would not be nearly as traumatic as Detroit insists. Under the protection of bankruptcy, GM could trim health and pension benefits, whose costs have been dragging down Motor City’s cost competitiveness vs. foreign automakers. The process would allow GM to shrink its network of dealerships, overriding state laws that would other wise make such a reduction an expensive headache. GM could then take steps to retool plants and slash unprofitable brands. If all these terms could be arranged ahead of time, in a so-called pre-packaged bankruptcy, GM would be able to soldier on without skipping a beat, said analysts.
Obama team trying to distance itself from lobbying continued from page 7 he would move quickly to try and influence the country’s economic policies. The day before the election, Obama said in Jacksonville, Fla., that “tomorrow, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.” But once he was elected, Obama
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turned cautious. Friday, in his first news conference, the presidentelect made it clear that he would not presume anything until Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. Podesta reinforced that view at Tuesday’s news conference. “The president-elect will respect the fact that we have one president at a time,” he said. — Staff writer Matthew Mosk contributed to this report.
Students’ sex lives less busy than expected continued from page 1 “there’s a stereotype of the partying college student who gets drunk and goes to bed with (whoever they find) that night.” However, Davis added, many of her friends do not fit that stereotype. “I hang out with people from the Brown Christian Fellowship and the substance-free floor.” It is understandable that students might believe that their peers are having more sex than they actually are, since “people are more apt to talk about things they have done than haven’t,” said Davis. Students’ impressions about sex at Brown are probably also skewed by behavior they see at parties, said Matt Grimes ’10, even though that conduct is not standard. The Herald poll showed a significant drop-off between the amount of students who had one partner and those who had two. Grimes said he hypothesized that many more students had one partner than two because some students are in monogamous relationships. About 37 percent of undergraduates reported having one sexual partner so far this semester, compared to 6 percent who reported two partners. “It takes a long time to establish trust and respect with a partner,” said Allie Wollner ’10, a sex columnist for post-, The Herald’s weekly
arts and culture magazine. “There are not as many people who have found two long-term relationships (so far this semester).” Davis said she did not think the difference could be attributed entirely to monogamy, however, because “the dating scene at Brown isn’t very relationship-centered.” The poll also showed that sexual activity seems to increase with age. Sixty-one percent of first-years reported not having had a sexual partner yet this semester, compared to 36 percent of seniors. “It’s just a matter of time,” Davis said. “People meet people while they’re at Brown and get into serious relationships.” It is “pretty predictable” that first-years are less likely to have had sex, Wollner said. In addition to differences across years, the number of sexual partners varied between genders. Just under 39 percent of men have not had a sexual partner this semester, compared to 48.2 percent of women, according to the poll. “Given our American culture, (that gap) is not surprising,” Grimes said. Wollner also said that the poll results might be biased since responses depended on each student’s interpretation of sex. Such interpretations vary widely, Wollner said.
“Plenty of people fool around casually, but they might not consider that (sexual activity),” Wollner said. “It looks like, oh man, nobody’s getting any play at Brown.” But the reality on campus, Wollner said, is that “sex is a big topic here; people have dialogue about it a lot.” “We have SPG. That’s going to be like one giant orgy on Saturday night,” Wollner added. Regardless, the University’s approach to sexual education is healthy, Wollner said, in part due to the “very palpable presence” of organizations like FemSex, MSex, Health Ser vices, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, the Queer Alliance and others. “Some people are starting to think about sex differently,” Wollner said. “(They’re) realizing that it’s not black and white ... And the Brown community is committed to learning about sex, not just thoughtlessly having it.” The Herald poll was conducted Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 and has a 3.6 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. A total of 649 Brown undergraduates completed the poll, which was administered as a written questionnaire to students in the University Post Office at J. Walter Wilson, outside the Blue Room in Faunce House and in the Sciences Library.
House will vote on cash for auto industry continued from page 4 money. The Bush administration has rebuffed calls from Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., and President-elect Barack Obama, among others, to use the broad discretion Congress granted Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. to aid the car companies without further legislation. But the White House has not ruled out the possibility of signing a measure that would amend the Treasury program to include the auto industry specifically. “We’ll have to see what Speaker Pelosi is proposing,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Tuesday. “Right now, the ... program is being used consistent with the law and congressional intent. If Congress wants to change the law, we’ll see how they intend to do it.” A stumbling block may be the Senate, where Republicans control 49 seats until the new Congress is seated in January. Many Republican senators were attacked on the campaign trail by Democratic opponents for supporting the original Treasury bailout legislation last month and probably won’t be in the mood to expand the program to the car companies, Senate aides said. A USA Today/Gallup poll taken over the weekend found that helping the auto industry and other big firms ranks low on the public’s list of economic priorities, with just one in five of those surveyed saying such assistance is “critical” or “very important.” Reid seemed to acknowledge as much Tuesday. “Senate Democrats are committed to doing all we can to help the auto industry,” he said in a written statement. “But until next year, we still have the slimmest of majorities in the Senate; this will only get done if President Bush and Senate Republicans work with us in a bipartisan fashion.” The $25 billion would come on top of $25 billion in low-interest loans
Congress approved in September for the car companies to retool factories to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. And the United Auto Workers plans to press next year for an additional $15 billion in public funds to cover the first payment the three companies are due to make into a new independent entity that will fund retiree pensions and health benefits. Help for Detroit is just one piece of a broader economic agenda that could be addressed in the final session of Congress before Bush leaves the White House. Pelosi has called for approval of as much as $100 billion in new federal spending to stimulate economic activity and combat the most painful effects of a looming recession, a proposal opposed by the Bush administration. The White House wants passage of a long-stalled free-trade agreement with Colombia that would open the Central American nation to U.S. exports while rewarding President lvaro Uribe, a stalwart U.S. ally. But that pact has been opposed by labor leaders and key Democrats. All three topics were discussed Monday when Obama spoke with Bush during his first visit to the Oval Office. But the Obama transition leader John Podesta and the White House Tuesday rejected reports that the two men had discussed the possibility of a deal in which Bush would sign off on an economic stimulus package and help for the car companies if Democrats would approve free trade with Colombia. “The president did not suggest a quid pro quo” during his meeting with Obama, White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters traveling with Bush for a Veterans’ Day visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York. She acknowledged, however, that Bush spoke with Obama “about the merits of free trade.” During his first official briefing at Obama’s transition headquarters in Washington, Podesta echoed Perino’s
words. “While the topic of Colombia came up, there was no quid pro quo in the conversation,” Podesta said. “Those things just shouldn’t be linked,” Podesta insisted, adding that he had a conversation with Bush’s chief of staff on Monday during which there was “no linkage” between Colombia and an economic stimulus package. “We need to deal with the current crisis of our economy, and the Colombia Free Trade Agreement should be dealt with on its own merits.” Podesta said Obama’s discussion with Bush was “definitely not a negotiation,” but senior Obama aides said the Republican White House is continuing to push Congress to act on the Colombian trade issue as part of behind-the-scenes economic discussions. House Democrats, meanwhile, insisted that the trade agreement would not be approved. “It’s not going to be brought up. We’ve made that clear all along,” said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., a champion of the auto industry who chairs a House subcommittee on trade. The White House and Democrats are maneuvering in advance of next week’s meeting on Capitol Hill, which is known as a “lame-duck” session because it includes lawmakers who are retiring or were defeated in Tuesday’s election. The session offers Bush a final chance to enact a critical piece of his trade agenda and presents Democrats an opportunity to get a jump on addressing the economic crisis before Obama takes office in January — if the two sides are willing to compromise. For his part, Bush signaled his interest in the session after helicoptering Tuesday to the flight deck of the USS Intrepid, the aircraft carrier that is now a museum on the west side of Manhattan. As he recognized Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and other lawmakers in the crowd, Bush joked: “Looking forward to that lame-duck session, aren’t we?”
E ditorial & L etters Page 10
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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Staf f Editorial
Roots and symbols Now that the election is over, the historic implications of electing the country’s first black president have edged their way into discourse about the future of race relations in America. In an article this past weekend, New York Times’ reporter Michael Sokolove returned to his native hometown of Levittown, Pa., to reflect on the changed perceptions of Obama after he first reported on the town’s reaction to Obama’s message. During the primary, race was an issue for many voters in the town, with one voter admitting Obama’s race, even his name, complicated his decision to vote for him. Despite these racial barriers, Sokolove returned months later on Election Day to a town which overwhelmingly responded positively toward the possibility of an Obama presidency. He speculated if in the end voters chose out of “fear for their own economic survival. Self-interest trumped racism.” Whether out of self-interest or another reason, each individual’s decision to vote for Obama was unique. But agreements among scholars, pundits and students reflect a general awe of the historic nature of Obama’s victory. The historic nature of this election has been met with a certain degree of caution though. In a panel last week, Brown professors stressed that while historic, it does not represent an end to racial inequality in America. Professor of Africana Studies Tricia Rose PhD’93 reminded us that we should not simply settle for “symbolic equality.” As the symbolism of equality begins to fade perhaps we should consider the symbolism of a president with global roots in the U.S., Kenya and Indonesia. Though Obama’s identity is difficult to define, only rarely is he considered “multiracial.” Brown has already begun a discussion about Obama’s multiracial identity and its implications for future discourse; as a part of Multiracial Identity Week last month, panelist Kimberly McClain DaCosta, a professor of social studies at Harvard, noted that in contrast to the U.S., Obama was often seen as a “mixed-race” candidate in France. In his speech on race last March, Obama himself addressed his complicated roots: “I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. ... I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents ... in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.” The possibility of Obama’s story in this country reflects a new chapter in racial politics, but subsequent discourse should embrace the diversity of his identity, for perhaps it’s only then we will see the nation, as Obama hopes, no longer as a “black America and a white America” but moving toward a more “united” states of America, one that is ready to engage in the important discussions which we will encounter in the coming years.
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Letters Editorial misunderstands researchers’ responsibilities To the Editor: As a Brown graduate student and research assistant I was troubled and disappointed by yesterday’s editorial (“Research responsibility,” Nov. 11). The editorial relied on statements from a single professor. There were no actual quotes, suggesting that the editorial was largely based on opinionated inference of what was actually said. While the editors state that they “are not questioning the ethics of taking funding from the military, since that debate is too large for this space,” the editorial seems to suggest that receiving funds from the Department of Defense is unethical. The fact that the piece begins by mentioning the $8.6 million in grants and other funds from the Department of Defense makes such bias plainly apparent. As an aside, it would be quite sad to see Brown’s overall research funding reduced as a consequence of decreased in defense funding. The suggestion that professors, researchers and undergraduate and graduate students do not consider the potential impact of their work is insulting. Most research is in fact motivated by the potential impact
it may have. Consider this: radiation cures cancer and can obliterate nations. Do you consider Colombia University any less of a venerable institution for its involvement with the Manhattan Project? Do we blame Marie Curie for the many innocent lives lost in Hiroshima? Any development in weapons technology can defend a nation, assassinate a leader or terrorize innocent people. Still, it is impossible to imagine how different the world would be today were it not for defense funded research. As researchers, our job is to research and innovate — to push forward the global body of knowledge. We are all very proud of our research. Our own ethics do not dictate how our research might be used. Academics must explore the unknown in the name of science. The truth which we may uncover is neither good nor bad but stands alone in purity. Scapegoating and finding “accountability” should never impede our search for truth or our desire to innovate. Matthew Gillette MS’07 GS Nov. 11
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Due to an editing error, the headline on a wire story in the print edition of Tuesday’s Herald (“State legislators move to block gay marriage,” Nov. 11) incorrectly stated that a group of California legislators had moved to block gay marriage. In fact, the legislators took action in support of gay marriage.
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O pinions Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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This ain’t the holocaust DAN DAVIDSON | Opinions Columnist As a Jewish American, my religious identity influences my political positions. Israel is not my only issue, nor is it at the top of my list. Candidates’ positions on Israel are extremely important to me, however, and I take them into account when casting votes. I am sure that many of my fellow Jews feel similarly, and I fully support a national debate on Israel policy. Groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) don’t always reflect my views, and in fact I often find myself strongly disagreeing with other American Jews when it comes to Israel. Still, I appreciate that many Jews from both sides of the aisle take it upon themselves each election season to get involved in the political process and try to further the strength of both America and Israel. Unfortunately, sometimes the effort to get out the Jewish vote for one candidate or the other crosses the line. Such was the case last week, when the Pennsylvania GOP sent out a mass e-mail warning that “Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4.” Well, I can’t disagree with that. But then things get ugly. The e-mail continues, “many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let’s not make a similar one this year!” In other words, you better vote for McCain if you want to avoid another Holocaust. The Pennsylvania GOP attempted to disown the email, but just a few days later a group called the Republican Jewish Coalition came out with a mailer that said, “History has shown that a naive and weak foreign policy has resulted in tragic outcomes for the Jewish people.” Comparisons to the Holocaust should be absolutely off limits in the American political scene. If you are a Jewish American, these two mailings should outrage you, regardless of whom you support politically. In fact, both parties have made preposterous Holocaust analogies. Four years ago, MoveOn.org posted a video online comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler. You don’t need to spend very much time on liberal or conservative blogs to find casual comparisons between politicians and Hitler, parties and National Socialism.
It’s all too easy in the partisan atmosphere of American politics to simply point to someone you disagree with and label them a Nazi. Americans should not tolerate this behavior. Many Americans have suffered during the Bush years. People have lost their jobs, their houses and, in some cases, their civil liberties. But to compare President Bush to Hitler, even casually, is absolutely out of line. The difficulties that Jewish Americans have endured over the past eight years pale in comparison to what our forbearers suffered during 1930s and 1940s. The insinuation that voting for Senators Obama or McCain would somehow lead to a second Holocaust is equally offensive. Any Jew who uses the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust for political ends shows tremendous disrespect for those who actually had to live through that awful time. The word “spoiled” isn’t nearly strong enough to characterize someone who suggests that an Obama or McCain presidency would bear any relevant similarity to the Holocaust. Sure we’re unhappy when our candidates lose, but let’s please keep politics in perspective. There are surely many Jews whose lives would be markedly worse under certain political conditions. But during our time in America, regardless of who has been in charge, we have never faced the horrors our relatives in Europe did during the 1930s and 1940s. If we really want to prevent a second Holocaust, it’s important that we don’t take the first lightly. Wantonly throwing around absurd comparisons to the Holocaust reveals a disturbing lack of seriousness. We must demand that our politicians leave the Holocaust out of any dirt they want to throw at their opponents. If they want to have a serious policy debate about Israel, they should do so without creating false analogies. We must also police ourselves. It’s tempting to exaggerate in order to prove a point, but Holocaust comparisons take things too far. Ridding the political arena of references to Hitler and the Nazis will not only remove a rhetorical crutch from desperate politicians, it will help preserve the gravity of the Holocaust. That should be at least as important to American Jews as whom is elected.
Dan Davidson ’11 hopes we’re actually entering this postpartisan era he’s been hearing about.
False alarm MATT AKS | Opinions Columnist Last week, Stanley Fish made a very compelling case for his conception of the purpose of college education. According to Fish, colleges and universities ought to do two things: first, “introduce students to bodies of knowledge and traditions of inquiry,” and second, “equip those same students with the analytical skills” they will need to research and evaluate issues for themselves. For Fish, professors who advocate a particular ideological viewpoint overstep their bounds. Attempts by professors to “fashion moral character” or “produce citizens of a certain temperament” might be motivated by good intentions. But in undertaking these other tasks, they jeopardize the integrity of those two things they really ought to be doing. In his lecture, Fish primarily criticized professors who threaten academic freedom and universities whose mission statements make grandiose claims about their purpose. I believe the overwhelming majority of Brown students would agree with Fish’s claims and criticisms. However, Fish should extend his criticism to one other group: those who whimsically or loosely accuse others of violating academic freedom or undermining academic integrity. If Fish is right, then those sorts of charges are among the most serious charges one can level against a university, its professors or its initiatives. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, I have seen charges of bias thrown around capriciously. For instance, The Herald editorial board leveled some wildly unfounded accusations against the Political Theory Project. The Project receives funding from groups with political agendas. But The Herald’s editorial assumed that the Project’s sources of funding would automatically incline the Project to promote a certain ideological viewpoint. Never mind the fact that the Project’s events usually include two speakers who present opposing answers to the same question. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I serve on the student wing of the Project as a Janus Fellow. Since The Herald could not present any concrete examples of the Project’s bias, they gave several hypothetical possibilities — the Project might look to influence the hiring of postdoctoral fellows, the setting of course syllabi or the
choice of speakers at events. Unfortunately, the editorial gave readers nothing more than a great example of the slippery slope fallacy. This is not the only instance of unfair allegations against the neutrality of academic programs at Brown. In a recent interview, the esteemed scholar of religion David Horowitz said, “There are only one or two conservatives on (Brown’s) entire faculty, which is a disgrace and it did not happen by accident.” Apparently, Horowitz had the time to poll all 679 Brown faculty members and determine their precise location on the political spectrum. Horowitz also seems to be quite sure that the political makeup of Brown’s faculty is the product of some concerted, diabolical scheme. I wonder how many Brown classes Horowitz has sat in on or how many course syllabi he has reviewed. This, of course, would be the only way to determine if liberal professors at Brown actually use the classroom to indoctrinate their students. And now, the Brown Spectator has introduced a new, regular column titled “Liberal Watch: The Monthly Update of the Idiotic Liberal.” Maybe the column will succeed in exposing some instances of academic or institutional bias on campus. But considering the characterization made in the title of the column, I am skeptical of its potential (and desire) to be constructive. The fact that Brown is a left-leaning campus is well established, and I am very open to the possibility that this fact manifests itself in harmful ways. But we need to move beyond harping on this fact and start more specific and precise conversations about what actually goes on. In his lecture, Fish presented a clear line by which we can determine if the University or its affiliates have overstepped their bounds. If we genuinely care about academic openness and toleration, and if we want to take Fish’s insights seriously, these kinds of cheap, generic and circumstantial accusations need to stop. I believe that most Brown students and professors are deeply committed to intellectual openness, and would welcome a substantive conversation about how Brown’s liberal climate actually affects academic life.
Matt Aks ’11 is the idiotic liberal.
In four years, Brown must do better BY JEREMY FEIGENBAUM Opinions Columnist The election is over. Hope triumphed over fear and division. A Democrat was elected to the White House. An African-American was elected to the White House. And you got really drunk on Tuesday night in celebration. But don’t you feel like you could have done more to be a part of this historic victory? Well, Brown University didn’t let you. As a member of the Brown Democrats, I harassed many of my friends — and almost as many strangers — days before the election, asking them to head up to New Hampshire or just down the hill to the local campaign headquarters. Time and time again I heard the same answer: “I would love to, but I am just too busy. There is no way I can help.” I believe that they were genuine. I could tell that these students truly wanted to be involved in a presidential campaign, but they felt that they could not afford to put their lives on hold. I understand. They should not have been forced to make that choice. We, as college students, had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get involved. I don’t say this because Obama was the candidate or because the issues we were facing were so important. There will be other inspiring candidates and other important problems facing our nation. Rather, in past elections we were not so politically aware, and in future ones we will (hopefully) have day jobs. This was our best chance to make calls and knock on doors for a presidential candidate. And Brown should have understood that. When I ran into a friend in the Ratty, I begged her to come help me make calls on Tuesday. I promised her that she would enjoy herself (and I really meant it), and that she would feel like she was doing something meaningful. I could tell she believed me, but that wasn’t enough. She was studying for a midterm she had to take the next day. I don’t know why a professor would force students to take a major test just one day after an election. Don’t they want their students to enjoy the rare opportunity to help out with a campaign? What college students do now will impact their civic engagement for the rest of their lives. Couldn’t that professor have scheduled the test for that Friday? You might think that the political science department would be different. But you would be mistaken. One of my afternoon classes, for example, is about the 2008 election cycle. The professor asked us to raise our hands if we planned on
This was our best chance to make calls and knock on doors for a presidential candidate. And Brown should have understood that. volunteering for a campaign. A surprisingly low number did so, and she said that she was disappointed. The following class, she announced that students would have the chance to submit an extra credit assignment in class on Tuesday, November 4th. Those who were absent, however, could not do so. She may have wanted us out campaigning, but she certainly gave us a good incentive not to do so. Professors may make a good scapegoat, but the University is ultimately to blame. After all, I know that professors want to make use of every valuable hour-and-a-half period that they are given. The problem runs deeper than that. Although the federal government refuses to make Election Day a national holiday (for no apparent reason), Brown does not have to follow suit. They should give us the day off. What is more important — producing students that feel engaged with the public sphere or producing students that have taken one extra period of organic chemistry? Brown can easily take this extra step, and it would go a long way toward helping students become involved. Sure, Ruth Simmons sent us an e-mail reminding us to vote. I’m glad she did, but that doesn’t suffice. Involvement is more than casting a vote (though that is still important!) I want all Brown graduates to be able to say that they had the opportunity to get involved in a presidential campaign, even if they didn’t take it. No one should have to think that they could have done more if only they had not had to attend that class or take that test the next day. I hope the Administration is listening. They have four years to get this right.
Jeremy Feigenbaum ’11 wants Brown students to knock on doors for Sarah Palin in 2012.
S ports W ednesday Page 12
Prescient picks: the 2008 MVPs Tomorrow, Major League Baseball will announce the winner of the American League Cy Young Award. The honor will obviously go to Cleveland’s Cliff Lee, who shocked baseball with a 2.54 ERA and a stunning 22-3 record. Ellis Rochelson Lee was head MLB At Bat and shoulders above the rest, and he deserves the Cy Young. When studying the MVP-landscape, however, one sees a muddier picture. Chipper Jones hit .364, but his Braves were a fourth-place disappointment. Miguel Cabrera led the AL in home runs (37), but his criticallyacclaimed Tigers finished last in their division. Who were truly the most valuable players in each league? Here are my predictions. American League MVP – Dustin Pedroia, second baseman, Boston Red Sox Pedroia’s not a slugger. He won’t shatter any records. Heck, the kid is only 5-foot-9. But as any Sox fan will tell you, Peddy carries a big stick. Last year’s Rookie of the Year suffered no sophomore slump, as he tied for the league lead in hits with 213. The 25 year old somehow slapped 17 home runs, led the league in doubles with 54, and stole 20 bases in 21 attempts. Most importantly, Pedroia was consistent. He hit over .300 in every month except for May, providing a steady presence in a rocky year for Boston. As the Sox dealt with Big Papi’s injuries, Manny’s apathy, and Captain Varitek’s arthritis, Pedroia quietly kept Boston’s head above water in the AL East. The MVP should not go to the greatest stat-collector, but to the most irreplaceable player on a team. Without Pedroia, the Red Sox would’ve watched October baseball from their living rooms. Honorable mentions: Carlos Quentin, LF, CWS (.288, 36 HR); Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS (.312, 29 HR, 115 RBI); Mike Mussina, SP, NYY (20-9, 3.37 ERA). National League MVP – Brad Lidge, closer, Philadelphia Phillies Gasp! Shock! Awe! A closer, winning the MVP? Oakland A’s closer Dennis Eckersley won the MVP in 1992 when he carried his team to first place, and “Lights Out” Lidge deserves the same respect. In 2008, Lidge was handed the ball in a save situation 41 times – he never failed. Striking out a stellar 12 batters per 9 innings, Lidge gave up only two home runs all season and closed out 25 nailbiters with a lead of only one run. As a Yankees fan I understand the value of an unflappable closer, and Lidge’s perfection carried the Phillies to a first-place finish in the NL East. Ryan Howard hit 48 home runs, Chase Utley drove in 104 RBIs, but Brad Lidge’s sharp slider was the most valuable asset in the National League. So yes, following Howard in 2006 and Jimmy Rollins in 2007, a Philly will win the NL MVP for the third year in a row. Honorable mentions: Albert Pujols, 1B, STL (.357, 37 HR); Ryan Braun, LF, MIL (.285, 37 HR); David Wright, 3B, NYM (.302, 33 HR, 124 RBI).
Ellis Rochelson ’09 is an MLB oracle.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Water polo wins two but loses the big one in champs By Anne Deggelman Senior Staff Writer
For the fourth year in a row, the No. 17 men’s water polo team took second place in the Northern Division Championship, falling to St. Francis in the championship game. Last weekend, the first-seeded Bears took down Connecticut College, 12-8, and MIT, 11-4, on Saturday to make it to Sunday’s championship game. In the end, though, second-seeded St. Francis toppled the Bears, 15-5. “Once again, always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” Assistant Coach John McBride said. “It was a very disappointing loss, but St. Francis played a great game. They came out and beat us, no excuses.” Despite missing key starter Hank Weintraub ’09 because of injury, Brown started off the weekend strong, taking a 6-1 lead over Connecticut College in the first eight minutes of play. The Camels were able to notch a few more goals in the remaining three quarters, but the Bears stayed ahead of them, scoring another six goals en route to the 12-8 victory. The win was a team effort for the Bears, with goals coming from seven different players, veterans and freshman alike. Nico Fort ’09, Mike Gartner ’09, Marcus Gartner ’12, Corey Schwartz ’11 and Robby Yass ’12 were among those to score, netting two goals each. Max Lubin ’12 played a solid game in goal, earning 11 saves over the four quarters. In their second game of the day, Bruno continued to dominate, drowning MIT by a score of 11-4. The game started off close as the Engineers held their ground, limiting the Bears to a slim two-goal lead at the half. But the third quarter showed a change in the tides as Brown took off on a five-goal scoring spree that proved to be too much for MIT to overcome. Gordon Hood ’11 led the Brown offense, scoring five of the Bears’ 11 goals, followed by Mike Gartner and captain Grant LeBeau ’09,
Ashley Hess / Herald File Photo
The men’s water polo team fell 15-5 to St. Francis on Sunday, but will have a chance at redemption in two weeks’ time.
who scored two goals apiece. Kent Holland ’10 led the team from the cage, tallying 10 saves in the game. This win earned Brown a spot in the championship game, to face off against St. Francis. Earlier this season Brown took down St. Francis, 9-8, marking St. Francis’ first loss in regular season league play in six years. This time, however, the Terriers were ready to fight back. “St. Francis didn’t play the same way that they had played when we had beaten them earlier in the year,” McBride said. “They’re a team that is going full speed in every game and if you don’t keep up, you won’t win.” The Terriers jumped up on the Bears at the start, taking an early 9-3 lead. In the second half Brown
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continued to generate opportunities but failed to convert them into goals. The Bears, down Weintraub, one of their key offensive players, drew 17 ejections throughout the game but were only able to score on two. Adding to its struggles, Brown’s missed shots on man-up offense led to counterattack goals by St. Francis. St. Francis continued to chip away at the Bears’ defense in the final minutes of the game, scoring four in the fourth quarter for the 15-5 victory. “We correct a few mistakes, we get Hank back, and it’s a different game,” said LeBeau. LeBeau led the scoring for Brown with three goals, while Mike Gartner added one goal and drew eight of the 17 ejections and Hood tossed in another goal for the Bears.
In the cage, Holland logged seven saves and two steals. “We had some defensive breakdowns,” said Schwartz. “But when we did things right we would score on them, when we followed our game plan we were in charge.” Up next, the Bears travel to Annapolis, Md., to the Naval Academy for the Eastern Championships. Seeded fourth, the men will take on fifth-seeded Johns Hopkins in their first game on Nov. 21. Their only chance at meeting St. Francis again is in the championship game. “We’re just going to work hard the next two weeks and see what happens,” McBride said. “This year is the best chance we’ve had at making the NCAA tournament since I’ve been at Brown. If our A-team shows up, then we’ll beat everybody.”
r i e f
Equestrian builds lead in league stand-
Brown alums honored with 2008
The equestrian team took second place at the University of Connecticut on Saturday, and their strong showing increased their lead in the league standings. With only one show left in the season, the Bears now lead second place URI by 17 points. Brown was led by Elizabeth Giliberti ’10, who has been outstanding for Brown all season. She got the Bears off to a great start by earning the blue ribbon in the first class of the Open Flat, and followed up later in the show with a second-place finish in Open Fences. In the process, Giliberti also increased her lead to six points in the prestigious Cacchione Cup standings, which decides the best rider in the country. While Giliberti’s performance was certainly a highlight for the Bears, she received plenty of help, as many of Bruno’s top riders contributed strong performances on Saturday. Brown had a crop of first place performances, as Allegra Aron ’11 took first place in the second class of the Open Flat and Elise Fishelson ’11 also added a blue ribbon in her class, and Emily Bourdeau ’10 finished on top of the final class in Intermediate Flat. The Bears’ freshmen also snatched their fair share of blue ribbons, as Cara Rosenbaum ’12, Kelsey MacMillan ’12 and Rebecca McGoldrick ’12 also earned first place finishes for the Bears in Walk Trot Canter, Walk Trot and Novice Fences, respectively. Also contributing for Brown was Dakota Gruener ’11, who took second place in both the second class of Intermediate Flat and in Intermediate Fences. The Bears finished the show just four points behind UConn, but increased their lead in the league standings by five points. The Bears will close out their fall season this Saturday at Wesleyan, and seem to be in great shape to finish in first place in the league standings.
The NCAA announced that Sarah Wu ’08 and Damon Huffman ’08 received the 2008 Sportsmanship Award for their outstanding athletic achievements as well as their constant sportsmanship and ethical conduct throughout their careers. Wu starred on the women’s crew all four years during her Brown career. During her rookie season, the Bears took third place at the NCAA Championships, and the following year improved to take second place at the NCAA’s. During Wu’s last two years, Brown won back-to-back NCAA Championships, with Wu as coxswain on the varsity eight during both competitions. For her exemplary performances in guiding the Bears, Wu was honored as a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-American in 2008, and was also named to the ESPN magazine’s Academic All-American At-Large Team. She can now add the NCAA 2008 Sportsmanship Award to that list of prestigious awards. Huffman started 92 games over his four years of playing point guard on the basketball team, and walked out the Van Wickle Gates as a top10 performer in several categories, including the 10th-leading scorer in Brown history. He also owns the Bears’ record for career three-pointers made, and is fifth on the list for all-time steals. As a freshman, Huffman made his presence felt immediately as he started 16 games and won the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award, which was only the second time Bruno had a rookie receive that honor. His sophomore season, he started in every single game and was one of Brown’s most consistent offensive threats. Huffman’s junior year showed his continued improvement, as he earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy honors and finished seventh in the Ivy League in scoring, and was also named the recipient of the Rusty Taylor ’71 Coaches Award for dedication and loyalty to the team. During his senior campaign, Huffman led the Bears to one of the best seasons in school history, as the team set a school record with 19 wins and finished second in the Ivy League. Huffman was again the model of consistency, as he started in every game and was named First Team All-Ivy.
— Megan McCahill
— Megan McCahill
The November 12, 2008 issue of the Brown Daily Herald