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Daily Herald the Brown

vol. cxliv, no. 107 | Monday, November 16, 2009 | Serving the community daily since 1891

4 arrested at sorority party By Alexandra Ulmer Senior Staff Writer

Jesse Morgan / Herald

Jimmy Develin ’10 and Buddy Farnham ’10 made big plays to lead Brown past Dartmouth on Saturday. The Bears rushed the field after the 14-7 overtime win at Brown Stadium.

Football gets OT win in last home game By Dan Alexander Senior Staff Writer

For co-captain Jimmy Develin ’10, Saturday’s game was a fitting end to four years in Brown Stadium. Dartmouth, trailing 14-7 in overtime, dropped back on fourth-and-one.

Develin, a defensive end, rushed into the backfield — unblocked — and sacked the quarterback. The entire Brown team rushed onto the field in celebration. “I couldn’t imagine it any better,” Develin said. “I mean, Senior Day, last game, just going out like that,

making a play, it’s just — it’s everything I dreamed for at Brown.” Develin wasn’t the only senior who went out on a high note. On Buddy Farnham’s ’10 last play on home turf, the standout continued on page 3

Whitehouse: Time not on Congress’ side for change By Alicia Dang Staf f Writer


Time is running out when it comes to reforming health care and passing legislation to curb damage to the environment, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told a crowd of about 100 in Salomon 101 Friday. The talk was the second of a two-part series organized by the Brown Democrats. One of the biggest challenges facing health care reform is a filibuster by Senate Republicans, Whitehouse said. By demanding 300 amendments to the bill, each of which requires a vote, Republicans are burning the floor time remaining “to get things done,” he added. Whitehouse noted a “new and different level of vitriol” directed at President Obama since he was elected, which he said negatively affects the policies he tries to bring forward. “What it boils down to is the petty procedural obstruction in one institution,” Whitehouse said. “It’s important for us to call the Republicans out on that.” The main objectives of the public option, Whitehouse explained, are to establish an electronic health record system, create a national integrated platform to foster transparency and to pay doctors and hospitals for re-

News.....1-3 Arts..........4 Sports......5 Editorial.....6 Opinion......7 Today..........8

Four men who were “harassing” Department of Public Safety officers outside a party in Alumnae Hall were arrested Saturday night by Providence police officers for disorderly conduct, according to Lt. John Ryan, commander of PPD Dist. 9. A student who attended the Delta Sigma Theta party, called “Scandalous,” said the arrests followed fights that escalated among partygoers on the dance floor. “Some people got into an argument outside and started harassing the Brown police, so they called the Providence police,” Ryan said, adding that he did not know if the four people arrested were Brown students. A poster for the event informed partygoers they would need “R.I. college I.D.” to be admitted, and non-students were instructed to contact the sorority in advance of the party. Evangeline McDonald ’13, who attended the party, said two fights initially erupted between attendees in Alumnae Hall, and DPS officers entered the venue to apprehend them.

Shortly after the second scuffle was quelled, “there was a kind of powder in the air and everybody started coughing,” said McDonald, who added that she did not know the source or identity of the powder. Soon afterwards, McDonald said, she “saw blood on a kid’s shirt.” “It had several blood splashes — you could see handprints on the shirt,” she said. But the commotion made it difficult for McDonald to discern what else occurred. The powder appeared about 15 minutes after the first fight began, McDonald said, and partygoers dispersed quickly. “The whole thing escalated and went down really quickly,” she said. Ryan, speaking away from his station without access to the official report of the incident, said he could not confirm details of the surrounding incidents. Delta Sigma Theta Chapter President Dami Olatunji ’11 said there was “rowdiness” at the party, but declined to elaborate. “There are different perspectives,” she said. “We’re still looking at the facts. We’re trying to handle the situation internally.”

Taking (pole) dance to another level By Emily Kirkland Staff Writer

sults, not for procedures. “The only way we turn this health care mess around is to change the business model for health care insurance,” Whitehouse said. A public option needs to be competitive with the private plans and “responsive to each state’s circumstances,” he added. “One thing to promise is that the public option will have no effect whatsoever on the deficit,” he said. Along with health care reform, climate change must be addressed for the sake of the country’s fiscal future as well as its “ability to take care of the people,” Whitehouse said. He discussed the major consequences that climate change will have, such as the intoxication of the atmosphere and the loss of natural habitats. “We are in the stage where the evidence (regarding climate change) is blindingly clear,” Whitehouse said. To move bills that address climate change through Congress, the economic ramifications must be clear, he said. Lawmakers should be able to “assure any of our people that economic consequences (of such bills) will be beneficial rather continued on page 2

For three years, the Brown Poler Bears — the Ivy League’s first pole dancing club — have been practicing moves like “The Fireman” and “The Martini” on two poles in the Art House lounge in Harkness House. But this weekend, the club gave other students a chance to participate for the first time, offering hour-long workshops on Saturday afternoon.

The Poler Bears charged $5 for the workshops, hoping to raise money to cover the costs of their new pole. Members of the group, which

FEATURE meets twice a week, teach themselves from pole dancing videos posted on YouTube. They’re not afraid to showcase their skills, either — they perform regularly at Art House parties and two or three

times a year at venues like Production Workshop. “It’s a great conversation starter,” said Julianne Fenn ’11, the club’s president. Last year, the Poler Bears were in danger of extinction — there were only six members. But this year, 30 people arrived to audition, and now the club boasts 16 performers, including two men. The club’s continued on page 2

Gandhi explains a confluence of ideas By Sydney Ember Senior Staff Writer

“The non-violence of King and Gandhi had a strong element of courtesy and forgiveness,” Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, told a packed Salomon 101 Sunday. The former member of India’s Upper House of Parliament, current president of Initiatives of Change International and renowned author and biographer examined his grandfather’s view on non-violence and the influence those views had on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s approach to civil disobedience. “With Gandhi as with King, non-violence was a fight for equality — it was the opposite of meek

Nick Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald

Rajmohan Gandhi praised Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

surrender,” Gandhi said. “Violence was not merely cruel, it was folly as well.” The concept of non-violence dates back to Henry David Thoreau and Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi said, both of whom significantly

shaped his grandfather’s ideas about civil disobedience and passive resistance. Though his grandfather initially was a “proponent of violence,” Gandhi said the continued on page 3

Arts, 4

Sports, 5

Opinions, 7

Love it or... Small-town charm comes to Stuart Theater with “Leavittsburg, Ohio”

Big East, BiG Problem W. basketball falls to crosstown rival Providence College, 83-50

pressing matters The media can affect key political outcomes, says Kate Fritzsche ’10

195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island

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C ampus N EWS

Monday, November 16, 2009

“Friends ask me, ‘Do you give lap dances?’” — Britney Katz ’12, member of the Poler Bears

Poler bears offer more than just sex appeal continued from page 1

Claire Huang / Herald

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., spoke about the need for health-care reform and speedy action on climate change.

Whitehouse: Investigation into torture practices to return ‘constitutional order’ continued from page 1 than harmful.” The long-term effects of legislation that makes companies pay for the harmful waste they release, for instance, will improve quality of life, he said. Students’ questions for Whitehouse ranged from health care reform and climate change to the current investigation of “interrogation techniques” conducted under the Bush administration. One question focused on a bill aimed at preventing employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Whitehouse said he has “reas-

suring feelings” that things will be put “back in constitutional order” with the investigation on torture. “I don’t think Obama will veto it,” he said. Rather, “it’s a matter of getting to it,” because priorities of floor space at the moment are “getting health care fixed” and “getting the economy going,” he said. Students said they were satisfied with what they learned from Whitehouse’s speech. Austen Mack-Crane ’13 said he enjoyed hearing the “perspective of a politician.” “It’s nice to see the realities of decision-making even though it’s not always a sunny outlook,” he added.

members, few of whom had previous experience in pole dancing, all learn together, Fenn said. “I’ve never met an actual pole dancer,” she said. “We thought about a strip club road trip last year, but none of us have a car.” While the Poler Bears have survived without experience, poles are an indispensable element of their routine. “You can’t really practice without a pole,” said Brittany Katz ’12, a Poler Bear. Purchasing and maintaining the poles has been a constant struggle. The first was purchased by club founder Alexandra Hellquist ’08, who installed a pole in her off-campus house after learning how to pole dance from online videos. Soon after, she got permission from the president of Art House to move the pole to the program house’s lounge and the Poler Bears were born. “We’d just play around on it,” said Fenn, who has been a Poler Bear since the group’s founding. Hellquist wrote a proposal for a $500 grant to purchase a second pole, Fenn said. But when she graduated, she took one of the poles with her, and the remaining dancers had to pool their funds to buy another. But that pole broke earlier this year. “This isn’t supposed to happen,” Katz said, “but the metal just split.” The Poler Bears ordered another online and hope to have raised enough this weekend to cover their costs. At the workshops, Fenn, Katz and other Poler Bears taught basic moves such as “backspin” to popular songs,

including Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” Participants also practiced dancing with ladders, chairs, platforms and even a Swiffer. The name “Poler Bears” helped to draw in participants. “I thought it was really witty and clever,” said Ebony Enabulele ’13, who attended one of the Saturday workshops. Fenn said the name had been Hellquist’s from the start. “She was really into puns,” Fenn said. The group’s members said it was sometimes hard to explain exactly what the Poler Bears entailed, especially to their parents. “My mom is minimally aware” of what the group does, Katz said, adding that her dad had no idea she was in the group. Fenn said her parents were fine with the idea of her pole dancing, but she added she would never invite them to a show. “My parents think it’s just another quirky thing I’m doing at college, like rock climbing!” said Kat Reardon ’12, another Poler Bear. Many Poler Bears said their friends, on the other hand, don’t pass up the chance to tease them. “Friends ask me, ‘Do you give lap dances?’” Katz said. Katz and Reardon said paying with dollar bills takes on a whole new significance for members of the club. “People go, ‘Oh, is that from Poler Bears?’” Reardon said. But lewd comments and unwanted advances from men are rare, Fenn said. Even dancing at off-campus parties, she said, was “much less sketchy than anticipated.” Fenn said the audience at performances usually consists of the dancers’ friends and people with an interest

in dance. The group’s dances aren’t always overtly sexual. “It depends on the person,” Katz said. “Mine are silly.” Emily Winterrowd ’12 said hers were “graceful.” “It’s not just grinding,” Fenn said, adding that each dancer tries to incorporate athletic, acrobatic moves into their routines, such as spinning around the pole with one leg hooked over it or sliding down the pole upside down before finishing in a handstand. “You don’t realize how difficult it really is,” Reardon said. But the Poler Bears do more than perform at parties. Last year, they did a carefully choreographed show in Salomon with theme music and a plot. “It was set in fairyland,” Fenn said. Katz played Cinderella, she said, and Reardon said she was Little Red Riding Hood, dressed in a gingham costume made of vinyl. Of course, pole dancing is never entirely innocent. Fenn sometimes dances in lingerie from Victoria’s Secret. “My dance was kind of slutty,” Fenn said of her role in the show. “Then again, I was playing a stripper.” Because of the demands of different moves, performers in costume must have bare shoulders and almost entirely bare thighs. “You have to grip with your inner thigh,” Katz explained. “It’s fun to be sexy,” Reardon pointed out. “Ever yone wants that avenue.” But the Poler Bears said they pole danced for other reasons, too. “I do it because it’s an amazing workout,” Katz said.


Daily Herald the Brown

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The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for each members of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail World Wide Web: Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2009 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 16, 2009


C ampus N EWS Scholar: Gandhi, King believed in non-violence, not submission continued from page 1 famous Indian leader’s experience as a student in England, coupled with a series of events in which he experienced physical violence when he moved to South Africa in his early twenties, made him realize the power of non-violent forms of protest. “The temperature of violence left Gandhi’s system,” he said. “A fight to uphold the equal wealth of all human souls, whether the body encasing the soul was white-, black- or yellowskinned would be a spiritual as well as a political exercise.” Gandhi came to Brown as part of the University’s Year of India celebration, which includes a series of lectures, conferences and other events to promote a better understanding of Indian culture. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor and author of the biography “Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire,” also headed the Indian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission held in Geneva in 1990. Though King was influenced by Gandhi’s message of love and truth, Gandhi’s grandson said King encountered different circumstances in promoting his ideas. “There was an obvious but critical difference between Gandhi’s India and King’s America,” he said. “Indians were a great majority fighting a small if powerful and well-armed minority of British rulers. American blacks were a defenseless minority with living memories of slavery in a predominantly white society.” Despite this difference, Gandhi said the two leaders shared the belief that non-violence had an element of “toughness” that detracted from any connotations of passivity. Both leaders shied away from softer characterizations of their views, emphasizing the strength embodied in civil disobedience rather than the more negative aspect of

non-violent submission, Gandhi said. “There had to be a better way of fighting — a way of non-violence,” he said. “Gandhi also revealed a wish to claim the moral high-ground.” Though terrorist attacks by extremist groups have riddled the South Asian region that includes India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Gandhi said his grandfather’s legacy continues to have a worldwide impact. “Not all the sad experience of conflict in all the countries, not all the efforts that we make to make ourselves high and others low, can destroy either the necessity or the beauty of Gandhi’s 1908 vision,” he said. But he urged the audience to consider the plight of many members of South Asian minority groups, especially in light of the Fort Hood shooting that occurred in Texas earlier this month. “Every single day, many more Pakistanis have passed, died from extremist attacks, and they too have loved ones,” he said. “But their death is unrecognized.” In a question-and-answer session following the lecture, Gandhi addressed the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and the effectiveness of non-violent protests against oppressive regimes. One questioner asked how Guantanamo Bay detainees ought to be treated, to which Gandhi replied, “with tremendous seriousness.” “I think he kind of avoided some of the questions,” said Julieta Cardenas ’13. “I wanted him to give his own opinions.” Despite his hope that cultural divides can be bridged, Gandhi stressed the importance of maintaining his grandfather’s — and that of his predecessors — messages of peace. “For their sakes,” Gandhi said, “let them continue to stir all honest persons everywhere.”

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“There had to be a better way of fighting — a way of non-violence.” — Rajmohan Gandhi, on his grandfather’s legacy

Q&A with Rajmohan Gandhi Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, sat down with The Herald before his lecture Sunday to discuss his grandfather’s legacy and his views on East-West relations. The Herald: Both of your grandfathers were ver y prominent freedom fighters in the Indian independence movement. How have you been influenced by their thinking? Rajmohan Gandhi: Gandhi’s life from my childhood impacted me. I was aware how Indian people loved him and of course, the final phase of his life when he was assassinated. So that had the profoundest impact on me as I grew up, and I understood, among other things, that if you believe in certain things deeply, then sometimes you pay for your beliefs with your life. So that was a sobering and yet moving and in some ways inspiring impact. During your research for your latest book, did you find anything interesting or surprising about Mahatma Gandhi’s life? Not in the sense of new facts, but new perspectives, new insights, new understandings — yes, a good deal. One of them was his family relationship with his wife and his sons — a very important part of his life. I understood that much better as a result of this research. How have you seen the relationship between the United States and India evolve, where does it stand now and where do you think it should go? I think the feature of our modern world is the U.S.-India relationship, the two largest democracies in the world. And a growing relationship, with a real understanding, real friendship and a great stake in each other — so many people of Indian origin now live

here, work here. So it’s unthinkable for people in India to imagine some kind of conflict between India and the United States. But then, what these two very large countries, one extremely powerful, the other also potentially quite powerful, what these two countries will together do for human kind is a great question. This year, Brown is promoting a better understanding of India through our Year of India. Why do you think this is important today? Well, for better or for worse, the one billion-plus Indian population is going to impact the world. Remember, too, that the median age in India is quite small. In the years to come, active, energetic, educated Indians will be quite a factor in the world, so their thinking is important to all corners of the planet, and therefore, for young Americans, who I imagine will have a leading role in the future of the world. Later this month, the Prime Minister of India is visiting the White House. What do you expect from the visit? The election of Barack Obama was quite an exciting thing for Indians. We didn’t expect that all of America would vote for an African American. So likewise, although it’s not fully realized in the United States, the Indian Prime Minister is a Sikh. So in India also, the fact that we have a Sikh Prime Minister is a very noteworthy event. So that will result in some very interesting exchange I think. This is an extremely important session. You’ve spoken a lot about bridging cultural divides, especially between the Western culture and the Islamic culture. Do you see hope for bridging this divide, and how we can help bridge this divide?

There is need for stereotypes to be resisted and replaced with a more realistic picture on both sides of this divide. I would urge Americans not to fall into the trap of thinking some countries are impossible, and hopeless cases, failed societies, failed states. Those are completely incorrect readings of the situation. There is hope in all those places, and there are just some very real wonderful human beings there who need our understanding. Do you see the U.S. playing any sort of role in promoting peace between Pakistan and India? Yes, very much so. I know that people in that part of the world, in India and Pakistan don’t necessarily want others to tell us how to sort out our disputes. That said, I would say that if Americans can form really good relationships with Pakistanis, individual Americans with individual Pakistanis, likewise individual Americans strengthen their relations with individual Indians, that will help the Americans become a natural bridge. If Gandhi were still alive today, what do you think he would think about the way our world is right now? Two things would trouble him. One is the worship of money more and more and more. And the other is the revenge, counter-revenge, bomb, counter-bomb, nuclear bomb arms race. So these two things would disturb him profoundly. He would not be shocked by them because he knew human nature, and people do react like this, so he would want the world to see the stupidity of greed let loose, unleashed. Greed, on the one hand, and this unthinking revenge and counter-revenge, when actually all of us have so much in common. — Sydney Ember

Brown seniors star in Senior Day OT win at Brown Stadium continued from page 1 wide receiver scored the winning touchdown. With the Bears’ offense facing a third-and-three in overtime, quarterback Kyle NewaDartmouth 7 14 Brown hall-Caballero ’11 dropped back in the pocket. Farnham ran a flag route, and Dartmouth’s safety stayed to the inside, allowing him to break to the sideline a step ahead of the defensive back. Newhall-Caballero hit Farnham for the touchdown, giving the Bears a 14-7 lead in overtime. “The game came down to a Buddy Farnham touchdown in overtime and a Jimmy Develin stop on fourth down,” said Brown Head Coach Phil Estes. “What a way to end your careers at home. Pretty damn good for two — not just great seniors — but two of probably the best that I’ve

ever coached.” On a sloppy day with rainy skies, the Bears’ defense kept the Big Green offense stuck in the mud for most of the game. Other than a lone screen pass that went 77 yards for a touchdown, Dartmouth gained only 144 yards and no additional points on the day. Brown’s defense was anchored by its four senior linemen. Defensive end Brian Neff ’10 led the Bears with six tackles, including three tacklesfor-loss. The Big Green managed only 60 rushing yards on 32 carries. Dartmouth quarterback Greg Patton, who had 243 rushing yards last week in his first varsity game, was held to just 35 yards on 19 carries. The Big Green’s offense spent most of the day in a wildcat formation, with Patton under center. Last week against Cornell, Dartmouth ran out of a two-quarterback system,

with Patton rushing and Conner Kempe passing. Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens said he didn’t plan to use Patton as much as he did on Saturday, but given the low-scoring game and the wet field conditions, he decided to keep the rushing quarterback in the game. In addition to his rushing,

SPORTS Patton was 7-of-10 passing for 145 yards and one touchdown. Kempe had only one pass in the first half but got more snaps in the third quarter. Patton took a hard hit and needed some time to recover, prompting Teevens to put in Kempe, the coach said. Brown’s quarterback NewhallCaballero was off target early in the game, completing just one pass in seven attempts for a seven yard gain in the first quarter.

The Bears kept a balanced attack throughout the game, and — after a scoreless first half — the offense found more of a rhythm in the second. Running back Spiro Theodhosi ’12 scored the Bears’ lone touchdown in regulation with 5:05 left in the third quarter, capping a 17-play drive of short runs and passes. “Kyle played better in the second half,” Estes said. “It was a little bit drier in the second half. The rain wasn’t coming down nearly as hard, and we tried to make sure that we had dry balls in there. So I thought he threw a better ball in the second half.” The Bears had a chance to win it in regulation, but Drew Plichta’s ’10 field goal attempt from 33 yards was blocked with just five seconds remaining, and the game went into overtime. Dartmouth won the coin toss and

elected to play defense first. It took just three plays for Brown to score in overtime. Newhall-Caballero first hit Bobby Sewall ’10 — who finished with four catches for 37 yards — and then found Farnham in the end zone. Estes said he wasn’t going to leave the game up to one of his kickers. Plichta is 0-6 on field goals in his career. Brown’s other kicker, Patrick Rooney ’11, is a converted wide receiver that kicked in high school. “We knew we had to get it in the end zone and score seven because we couldn’t let it come down to a field goal,” Estes said. The Bears got seven, and the Big Green couldn’t match it. After Kempe completed a nine-yard pass, Patton went under center for Dartmouth on a fourth-and-one. Patton dropped back and Develin dropped him, ending the game.

Arts & Culture The Brown Daily Herald

City meets country in lovable ‘Leavittsburg’ By Kristina Fazzalaro Staff Writer

It’s Friday night at Leavittsburg’s small-town watering hole, Connie’s. The local yokels are out in full force, celebrating the end of yet another laborious work week. Enter into this scene Jake (Michael Williams ’10). He’s the quintessential boy from the big city come to steal away the resident golden girl, Jane (Jaime Rosenstein ’10). The Ohio boys obviously don’t take kindly to this intruder, pushing and prodding him with insults big and small. “Love it or LEAVEittsburg, Ohio!” one jibes. Brownbrokers’ newest production, “Leavittsburg, Ohio,” written by Nate Sloan ’09, is sure to put a smile on any midterm-drained Brown student’s face, providing a rare opportunity to kick back and listen to some show tunes brimming with the propulsive energy of Stephen Sondheim and the tonal richness of Aaron Copland. “Leavittsburg” tells the story of Jane’s first trip home to the great state of Ohio from her New York City Ivy League school for spring break with her boyfriend Jake. Awaiting the young couple’s arrival are Jane’s salt-of-the-earth father Frank (Michael Wharton ’12), her teenage brother Ben (Ned Risely ’12), her exboyfriend Corey (Dennis Kozee ’12) and just about every other townsperson in Leavittsburg, young and old. They are a proud group, devoted to one another in that familial way that only comes from living in a small town, and they are more than ready to send Jake back to his prep school friends and keep Jane home where she belongs. Jane herself is in quite the quandary, torn between the opportunities New York has to offer and the comfort of home. She’s also wor-

ried about her father and brother who, with Jane at school on the East Coast, are home alone for the first time since her mother’s recent death. The musical is fun and entertaining, even if the thematic territory of choosing home versus choosing a different life has been pretty overworked. The show is kept moving by an excellently chosen cast portraying relatable and realistic characters to the beats of lively music. The script itself is well-written, with some sidesplitting one-liners and wonderfully created characters whose personalities shine on the stage. Rosenstein’s Jane is sweet and charming, with a killer voice to boot. As Jake, Williams is both hilarious and endearing, inspiring the audience to root for this sarcastically witty prepster, despite the fact that he can’t drive yet and he’s “20…1…ish” (his birthday is just a day away). Rosenstein shines throughout the entire production, giving a strong performance from the first notes of her opening number to the last bars of the finale. And she’s not all sugary sweet either — Jane isn’t going to be that heroine who sits and waits for the men-folk to make up their minds. She’s a strong-willed young woman being portrayed by a strong actress. Williams starts out slow, but that has more to do with his character’s relative absence from the first act. Once he punches out Jane’s relentless ex during the first act’s finale, though, there’s no stopping him. Jane’s father and brother both give strong performances. Wharton’s Frank is fixed in his convictions — Jake will definitely be sleeping on the couch in the living room — but he does everything with his family in mind. His firm but soft-spoken delivery is perfect and not over-thetop, as easily could have happened to

such a character. Likewise, Ben may be Jane’s annoying little brother, but he is anything but annoying to audience members, who will remember his performance in the song “Akron” as adorably amusing. The best part about “Leavittsburg” is that the quality of the leads isn’t lost in the rest of the company. Each character gives a memorable performance. From the lovable dreamer Ms. Brighton (Allison Schneider ’10) to the sassy bartender Connie (Madeleine Heil ’13), each person has a moment to shine. The bittersweet relationship between Jane’s friend Evie (Beth Berger ’10) and her husband, Todd (Gerrit Thurston ’13), who has just returned from combat in Iraq, pulls at the audience’s heartstrings. The Pastor’s (Jarrett Key ’13) lively standout number “The Book of Jake” gets the viewer’s blood pumping. The set is also well-executed in its simplistic malleability. By wheeling the family’s staircase across stage, the set is transformed and ready to tell another part of the stor y. When it’s front and center, we’re in the airport; to the left, we’re in Jane’s house; to the side, we’re up in the attic. The stairs themselves play an important role in the musical. They represent the need to climb past one’s fears and prejudices. Everyone has stereotypes — Jake can’t imagine Jane wanting to live in a town like Leavittsburg, while the townspeople can’t help asking whether Jane has seen a drive-by yet, because that happens all the time in the big city. Jane has to see past both of these barriers before she can make up her mind. “Leavittsburg, Ohio” is a fun dramedy, drawing audiences in with stellar acting, upbeat music and a witty script. Even if the show’s themes have been seen before, “Leavittsburg” breathes new life into them, taking the audience on a journey that’s both poignant and enjoyable. “Leavittsburg, Ohio” continues Nov. 19 through 22 in Stuart Theatre, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with a matinee Sunday at 2 p.m.

Monday, November 16, 2009 | Page 4

Yeasayer and Javelin inspire dance-happy audience By Anne Speyer Senior Staf f Writer

After an energizing opening performance by the electrofunkinspired Javelin, psychedelic indie rock band Yeasayer played an infectious set Friday for the dance-happy audience in the RISD Auditorium for the Brown Concert Agency’s Fall Concert. Students from Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design packed the 520-seat auditorium. Despite the stadium seating, Javelin’s opening song brought audience members down into the first five rows, where an enthusiastic dance party spilled out into the aisles. BCA administrative chair, Alex Spoto ’11, said the concert went “really well.” The fall concert was previously held in Alumnae Hall, but Spoto said he was pleased with the move to the RISD Auditorium, citing Alumnae’s poor acoustics. “The sound in that room was a million times better than Alumnae, or even Sayles, so I think it was a pretty ideal spot,” he said. The auditorium was transformed by a jungle of white globe lights that flashed different colors throughout the two performances. The lights were supplied by Yeasayer, whose concerts often feature a light show, Spoto said. Javelin’s Tom Van Buskirk ’04 and George Langford, dressed in matching green T-shirts, were visibly enjoying themselves, jumping up and down and chatting casually to audience members. Their hour-long set featured upbeat songs that seemed inspired by ever ything from the kitschy rhythm of a 1980s aerobics video to the nurser y melody “Frere Jacques,” which they sampled over a pounding electronic beat.

“Javelin was a little surprise hit,” said Manvir Singh ’12. Even though the audience seemed to enjoy Javelin’s highenergy per formance — even Green Horn Management security officers were bobbing their heads by the last song — many were primarily there to see Yeasayer. BCA Booking Chair James Hinton ’10 said the fall concert traditionally features a lesserknown band like Javelin in addition to a “big-name band.” “We really like to bring upand-coming bands for people to get excited about,” he said. Hinton said Yeasayer has often ranked highly in BCA polls of which bands students would like to see at Brown. “In terms of their sound, they have enough in common with those popular, indie Brooklyn bands, but they’re distinct. They’ve done a good job of coming up with some new sounds,” Spoto said. “It’s catchy, it’s fun.” Yeasayer took the stage with barely a pause after Javelin’s per formance and immediately launched into their first song. Remaining solemn-faced for the majority of their set, the band members seemed serious about playing seriously good music. Chris Keating, Yeasayer’s lead singer and a RISD alum, told the audience he used to sleep through art histor y lectures in the same auditorium. “It’s really surreal, because no one who goes here now knows any of my friends. I feel like there are ghosts sitting up there in the back,” he said. “But you guys are the new friends!” Audience members joined the band on stage during the popular “2080,” a song about the future and the importance of appreciating each moment. By the end of the set, so many students were dancing on stage that it was impossible to tell band members from the audience as the globe lights flashed wildly in time with the song. “I loved Yeasayer,” Louis Medina ’12 said. “I’ve known them for two years and loved them for two years. I’ve been waiting to see this band for a long time.” Both Spoto and Hinton said they were happy to share the concer t with RISD students, who accounted for nearly 20 percent of the audience. “I think people are interested in meeting students from down the Hill and vice versa,” Hinton said. “We bridged the gap, or at least we started to.” Spoto said he hoped to involve RISD-based bands in future BCA productions. “I think involving the RISD community, both musicians and people who come out to see the shows, gives us more diversity,” he said. “It’s a really fun experience.”

SportsMonday The Brown Daily Herald

s p o rt s i n b r i e f

M. hoops splits road-game series The men’s basketball team split two road games, beating St. Francis College, 68-64, on Friday before falling to Virginia Tech, 69-55, on Sunday in the opening game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic. On Friday, the Bears traveled to Brooklyn, N.Y., to take on St. Francis in the season opener for both teams. Four Bears scored in double figures, led by reserve Jean-Herbert Harris ’12, who tallied a career-high 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field. Matt Mullery ’10 scored 16 and tied his own school record with six blocked shots en route to setting another Brownrecord 121 career blocks, surpassing Alai Nuualiitia’s ’03 119. Adrian Williams ’11 tallied 14 points and Peter Sullivan ’11 added 12. The Terriers scored eight straight points to break open a 17-17 tie midway through the first half, but Brown closed to 32-30 at halftime on a lay-up by Mullery. St. Francis took a 47-41 lead with 13:07 left, but the Bears battled all the way back, taking the lead for good at 57-55 with 5:44 left on a layup by Matt Sullivan ’13, Peter Sullivan’s brother, and holding on for a 68-64 win. But the Bears did not fare as well on Sunday in Blacksburg, Va., falling to Virginia Tech, 69-55. The Bears never led in a tough test against their ACC foe. After the Hokies raced out to a 34-23 halftime lead, layups by Andrew McCarthy ’13 cut the deficit to 45-40 with 11:37 left and 51-45 with 8:39 remaining. But the Hokies went on a 12-4 run to close out the game. Brown committed 17 turnovers that Virginia Tech turned into 21 points. McCarthy led Bruno with 14 points, followed by Mullery with 13 and Matt Sullivan with 11. Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney led all scorers with 21 points. The Bears will host intrastate rival University of Rhode Island Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in their opener at the Pizzitola Center. The Philly Classic will continue for Brown with a game at St. John’s on Friday before the Bears travel to the Palestra in Philadelphia to take on the University of the Sciences Nov. 27 and Siena Nov. 28. — Sports Staff Reports

Monday, November 16, 2009 | Page 5

W. basketball suffers big loss to Friars By Tony Bakshi Sports Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team fell to a tough Big East opponent in its season opener, Providence 83 losing 83-50 50 Brown to the Providence Friars on Friday night. The Bears came out playing solid basketball in the early minutes, and they stuck with the Friars in front of the home crowd at the Pizzitola Center. Hannah Passafuime ’12 sunk an early trey to give the Bears a 3-2 lead, and two free throws by Christina Johnson ’10 gave the squad a 7-4 lead a few minutes later. But the tide turned soon after, helped in part by the Friars’ suffocating full-court press. Brown began having problems bringing the ball up the court, and a steal by Providence guard Brittany Dorsey led to Providence’s first lead of the game, 8-7. Minutes later, Dorsey struck again with a beautiful sequence of a steal, crossover dribble and layup. The move led to an eruption of cheers from the traveling Friar fans and gave her squad a 14-9 lead. Providence’s lead grew from that point on, as Brown continued turning the ball over and giving the Friars extra scoring opportunities. Ten first-half turnovers from Brown players led to 14 points for the Friars. After a timeout midway through the first half, Bruno came out with its own version of a press, hoping to slow down Providence’s offense. But the Friars maneuvered around it, and a three-point shot by Tiffany

Jesse Morgan / Herald

Courtney Lee holds off the Friars’ defense in Friday’s game, in which fullcourt press led to the Bears’ downfall.

Hurd widened the difference to 2312 and silenced the Brown crowd hoping for a turnover. The first half ended with the Bears down 16 points, 43-27, after a missed jumper at the buzzer by Aileen Daniels ’12. They would not get any closer in the second half, as the Friars continued their strong shooting to pull away from the Bears. The Friars shot a fantastic 48 percent (32-67) from the field for the game, compared to Brown’s 32 percent (16-50). Johnson led the Bears with 10 points and seven rebounds and Passafuime added nine points. MiKhida Hankins led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Symone Roberts

with 16. The Bears continue their season-opening homestand with two games this week, facing American University on Wednesday afternoon and Central Connecticut State on Saturday night. Sheila Dixon ’13, who scored seven points in her first collegiate basketball match, was not fazed by the game’s outcome, instead looking forward to the games ahead. “It’s tough when our shots aren’t falling not to get frustrated, but bouncing back is the biggest feat,” she said. “Our ability to stay in the game, no matter what the outcome is something (Head Coach Jean Marie Burr) emphasized.”

Despite crowd support, m. hockey falls to Colgate, Cornell By Dan Alexander Senior Staff Writer

Before the men’s hockey season started, Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94 said he wanted his players to experience 5 Colgate Meehan Au3 Brown ditorium like it was when 6 Cornell he played for 0 Brown the Bears. He wanted them to see the Brown band in the stands and to be surrounded by 2,000-person crowds. Most importantly, he wanted them to win. This weekend, Whittet got everything he wanted — except wins. “Obviously we’re disappointed with the outcome,” said tri-captain Aaron Volpatti ’10. But Meehan “was awesome. It was just an overall good atmosphere.” The arena filled with 2,357 people Saturday night to see the Bears take on No. 3 Cornell. But the Big Red left Providence with a 6-0 win. The night before, Colgate got ahead 5-0 but dropped to 5-3 by the game’s end. Volpatti knows the Bears need to win if they want to keep Meehan full. “You’re going to get more fans the more you win,” he said. “That’s

just how it is.” Colgate 5, Brown 3 Colgate got goals from five different players before Brown got one on Friday night. Tri-captain Jordan Pietrus ’10 found the net twice for the Bears in the third period. But Brown couldn’t come back late, and the game ended 5-3. The Raiders came into the game on a three-game winning streak, having swept their opening weekend of ECAC Hockey, putting them in a tie for first in the league. Colgate gained an early shot advantage, but the score remained even early in the first period. Disappointed with his team’s intensity, Whittet called a timeout 7:51 into the game. It didn’t work. On the faceoff immediately after the timeout, Colgate’s Jeremy Price got the puck to Jason Williams, who one-timed it past Mike Clemente ’12 for the game’s first goal. “It was a stupid timeout,” Whittet said. “It was my fault. I called it because I was pissed off at how the guys were playing, quite honestly. But looking back at it, I probably should have called it when it was in our offensive zone versus the defensive zone.” Only 1:20 after the first goal, Colgate’s Brian Day ripped a wrist shot

from the right faceoff circle and beat Clemente again. Brown spent 5:48 of the second period on the penalty kill and couldn’t generate any goals. But the Bears still managed to outshoot the Raiders, 13-9, in the middle frame. In the locker room between the second and third period, Colgate Head Coach Don Vaughan told his team that their two-goal advantage wasn’t secure. His players responded. In the opening 3:09 of the third period, the Raiders scored three goals, stretching their lead to 5-0. After the first two goals, Whittet pulled goalie Clemente, who finished with 20 saves, in favor of Dan Rosen ’10. On the first shot he faced all season, Rosen let the puck past through his five-hole. But the Bears clawed their way back into contention, beginning with a goal by Pietrus 5:40 into the final period. In the next four minutes, Brown netted another two goals, narrowing its deficit to 5-3. “You play 60 minutes. You can’t quit,” said Pietrus, who had two of the Bears’ third-period goals. Whittet pulled Rosen, who finished with ten saves, in favor of an extra attacker with 1:09 left in the game. Brown possessed the puck in

Colgate’s zone for the remainder of the game, but goalie Charles Long turned away shot after shot, bringing his total saves to 29. No. 3 Cornell 6, Brown 0 Cornell came into its game against Brown after dropping a 4-2 game the night before to Yale, which is ranked 12th in the USCHO poll. The Big Red gained back its confidence in Providence. “We were disappointed with the way we played” at Yale, said Cornell Head Coach Mike Schafer. “Our players tonight came ready to play.” Blake Gallagher led the Big Red with two goals and four others contributed one. But the biggest star for Cornell was goalie Ben Scrivens, who had 28 saves in a shutout. “I thought their goalie played tremendous,” Whittet said. “We had opportunities.” Like the previous night, the game’s goal scoring was done in streaks. But this time, none of them were Brown’s. Cornell netted two goals within 13 seconds of each other in the first period and another three within 2:08 in the final frame. “We played a solid game, just had some mental breakdowns on everyone’s part, myself included,” Clemente said. “Teams like Cornell,

they score whenever you make a small mistake. That’s why they’re so good.” The Big Red got its first goal 11:59 after the puck dropped, when Gallagher received a cross-ice feed at the post and one-timed the puck behind Clemente. Before the loudspeaker announced the goal, Cornell got its second, extending its lead to 2-0 12:12 into the game. The Bears played evenly with the Big Red in the second period, but Scrivens’s goaltending kept the Bears off of the scoreboard. Gallagher scored on a power play 1:56 into the final frame, extending Cornell’s lead to 3-0. Cornell entered the game having scored on 39 percent of its power plays. But Brown’s penalty kill gave up only one goal on five power plays. “Our penalty kill was awesome,” Clemente said. “I mean, they had one goal and it was on an odd-man rush.” In the last two and a half minutes of the game, the Big Red scored three goals, extending its lead to 6-0. The Bears return to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night when they travel across town to play Providence College in the Mayor’s Cup.

Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald

Page 6 | Monday, November 16, 2009

l e t t e r to t h e e d i to r

PLME program decision makes sense To the Editor: There has been a lot of fuss lately about the decision to start implementing a new applying-out policy in the Program in Liberal Medical Education immediately rather than waiting five years for a new batch of students to matriculate into the Med School. I’m a senior in the PLME program, so this new policy doesn’t affect me personally. But I still think it’s misleading for students to claim that this is extremely unfair or, as Simon Liebling ’12 phrased it, a “dangerous precedent for these administrative bait-and-switches” (“WTF, PLME?” Nov. 12). The PLME program certainly never tried to “bait” applicants by advertising the ability to keep Alpert as a safety school. Those who applied to the PLME program with the specific intention of getting a stress-free chance to apply to Harvard or Yale Medical

Schools were at best seriously misjudging the program’s purpose or, at worst, trying to have their cake and eat it too. The Med School and the PLME program have enough benefits in their own right that the “apply out” card shouldn’t need to be a selling point. I sympathize with those who have had to take CHEM 0360: “Organic Chemistry” (if it’s any consolation, I did, too) or pay for MCAT classes like other pre-med students. But those who are so reluctant about Alpert Medical School really shouldn’t have applied in the first place. The PLME program was clearly intended to be an eight-year continuum and unfortunately, when you don’t use a product as directed, the warranty is void.

Rahul Banerjee ’10 MD ’14 Nov. 12

Letters, please!

t h e b r o w n d a i ly h e r a l d Editor-in-Chief Steve DeLucia

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editorial Arts & Culture Editor Ben Hyman Features Editor Sophia Li Metro Editor George Miller Metro Editor Joanna Wohlmuth News Editor Seth Motel News Editor Jenna Stark Sports Editor Andrew Braca Asst. Sports Editor Han Cui Asst. Sports Editor Alex Mazerov Asst. Sports Editor Katie Wood Graphics & Photos Chris Jesu Lee Graphics Editor Stephen Lichenstein Graphics Editor Photo Editor Kim Perley Max Monn Asst. Photo Editor Jesse Morgan Sports Photo Editor production Ayelet Brinn Copy Desk Chief Rachel Isaacs Copy Desk Chief Marlee Bruning Design Editor Jessica Calihan Design Editor Asst. Design Editor Anna Migliaccio Asst. Design Editor Julien Ouellet Neal Poole Web Editor Post- magazine Arthur Matuszewski Editor-in-Chief Kelly McKowen Editor-in-Chief

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Opinions Editor Opinions Editor

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Jessie Calihan, Gili Kliger, Leor Shtull-Leber, Designers Ayelet Brinn, Sarah Forman, Will Tomasko, Copy Editors Andrew Braca, Sydney Ember, Alexandra Ulmer, Night Editors Senior Staff Writers Dan Alexander, Mitra Anoushiravani, Ellen Cushing, Sydney Ember, Lauren Fedor, Nicole Friedman, Brigitta Greene, Sarah Husk, Brian Mastroianni, Hannah Moser, Ben Schreckinger, Anne Simons, Anne Speyer, Sara Sunshine, Alex Ulmer, Suzannah Weiss, Kyla Wilkes Staff Writers Shara Azad, Emma Berry, Alicia Chen, Zunaira Choudhary, Alicia Dang, Juliana Friend, Anish Gonchigar, Sarah Julian, Matt Klebanoff, Etienne Ma, Christian Martell, Heeyoung Min, Jyotsna Mullur, Lauren Pischel, Kevin Pratt, Leslie Primack, Luisa Robledo, Dana Teppert, Gaurie Tilak, Caitlin Trujillo, Monique Vernon, Senior Business Associates Max Barrows, Jackie Goldman, Margaret Watson, Ben Xiong Business Associates Stassia Chyzhykova, Marco deLeon, Katherine Galvin, Bonnie Kim, Cathy Li, Allen McGonagill, Liana Nisimova, Thanases Plestis, Corey Schwartz, William Schweitzer, Kenneth So, Evan Sumortin, Haydar Taygun, Webber Xu, Lyndse Yess Design Staff Gili Kliger, Jessica Kirschner, Nicholas Sinnott-Armstrong, Kate Wilson Photo Staff Qidong Chen, Janine Cheng, Alex DePaoli, Frederic Lu, Quinn Savit Copy Editors Jenny Bloom, Brendan Burke, Sara Chimene-Weiss, Miranda Forman, Sarah Forman, Casey Gaham, Anna Jouravleva, Geoffrey Kyi, Jordan Mainzer, Joe Milner, Claire Peracchio, Lindor Qunaj, Madeleine Rosenberg, William Tomasko

chris jesu lee

e d i to r i a l

Double-time Last week The Herald reported on a Princeton freshman who filed suit against the university in an attempt to receive extended time on her exams. We believe Princeton and other schools deser ve a tremendous amount of deference in choosing their own testing procedures. The alternative, having judges lift exam requirements on an ad hoc basis, would compromise academic freedom at institutions of higher learning. In the case at hand, Princeton has made efforts to accommodate the plaintiff’s needs by placing her in a less distracting environment during exams, limiting her exams to one per day and giving her short breaks ever y hour. Whether she also deser ves extra time is necessarily a subjective question, and one that judges are ill-equipped to decide. On our reading of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Princeton should win the case. According to the section of the ADA that deals with education, “Academic requirements that the recipient (university) can demonstrate are essential to the instruction being pursued by such student … will not be regarded as discriminator y.” The ability to climb a flight of stairs is not essential to the instructional value of any course, nor is the ability to read small type. Accordingly, universities should provide wheelchairaccessible facilities and large-print exams for students who need them. More generally, judges should continue to aggressively enforce antidiscrimination laws in an academic context when the obstacles in question have nothing to do with the instructional value of a course. These accommodations make it possible for ever y student to take the exam, but they do not make the exam any easier.

Extra time is more controversial, because time limits are an essential component of many exams. While some students who are learningdisabled read more slowly than others who are not, an extra hour may nonetheless provide an over whelming advantage. Some professors design their exams so well-prepared students have exactly enough time to complete them and not a minute more. And in quantitative classes, time limits force students to learn the most efficient problem-solving techniques. Universities and professors know better than judges whether timed exams are essential to instruction in a particular course. If the judge in the Princeton lawsuit rules that the plaintiff deser ves extra time, he will have to evaluate her learning disabilities in the context of her course lineup. He will also have to determine the appropriateness of extra time for ever y timed exam on her schedule. In addition, he will make intrusive academic judgments about the instructional value of deadlines in each course. We believe Princeton is in a much better position to make these assessments. Whatever the lawsuit’s outcome, Princeton and other colleges should make ever y effort to ensure that admitted students learn about the accommodations available for those with learning disabilities before the matriculation deadline. Doing so will avoid costly litigation and give students a better idea of which school is right for them. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to

C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.

Opinions The Brown Daily Herald

Monday, November 16, 2009 | Page 7

Good without God? A response.

ANISH MITRA Opinions Columnist After reading Michael Fitzpatrick’s column (“Good without God,” Nov. 10), I was a bit puzzled. I saw one of those “Go, Atheism!” banners while I was in the city a few weeks ago for interviews, and I never realized that people actually took them seriously. After all, if you saw a banner that said, “One million New Yorkers are good with God. Are you?,” how would you react? My column has little to do with proving the existence of God. As a matter of fact, if I could prove the existence of God with one column, I’d have to charge a fee. More importantly, my concerns lie with the irony, hypocrisy and oftentimes, peculiarity of the so called “atheism movement.” Ultimately, these flaws make me question exactly what these atheists are trying to accomplish. First off, how in the world are these atheism-promoting signs even helpful? Isn’t atheism supposed to be a personal conclusion that is logically derived? Further, by embracing a recruitment strategy and establishing a community, aren’t atheists bearing a striking resemblance to the organization they wish to discredit completely: the Church? Humans have continually promoted religion due to the spread-the-Gospel-of-God nature of religion itself. Thus, an atheist-missionary campaign

seems rather counterintuitive. If atheists are so disenchanted with the idea of organized religion, the methods and bureaucratic qualities of these religions and the “groupthink” mentality that often exists among members, why are they conducting themselves in the same way? By taking the route that officials of the Church have traditionally taken (aggressively chasing young recruits), atheism just seems like another belief system vying for whomever it can convince, as opposed to the enlightened, intellectual aura which it strives to exude. This leads me to discuss another issue:

Subsequently, I don’t waste my time writing columns, paying for advertising campaigns or actively “enlightening” my peers about my thoughts. According to Fitzpatrick, it seems as if atheism has three main components: “a dedication to science, freedom of thought and a firm trust in humanity.” Sadly, he goes on to claim that “religions are essentially groups of people united by common beliefs,” and additionally reveals how atheists, too, need to be involved in cohesive communities. By his own logic, are atheists not some sort of religious group? It seems as if truly

My column has little to do with proving the existence of God. As a matter of fact, if I could prove the existence of God with one column, I’d have to charge a fee. the militant behavior of atheists. Atheists do not believe in God. Yet, despite the fact that they have already arrived at an extremely valuable personal conclusion, many of them feel the additional, undying need to tell you about why they feel the way they do and why you should agree. I doubt Fitzpatrick can disagree with that. If something does not exist, why would anyone feel the need to militantly preach about the entity’s non-existence? I don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster or unicorns.

free-thinking individuals with conclusions rooted in science would probably not need much assurance and hand-holding from others, regardless of whether or not they find themselves within the minority. After all, Republicans are a huge minority here at Brown. If I needed a large group of like-minded students to reassure me of my beliefs from time to time, I probably would have abandoned ship long ago. Atheists who claim to arrive at their conclusions through completely logical and

practical means should be the last organization that actually needs a support group or a community in order to help them digest their decision. My last point of contention with this growing militant atheist movement has to do with the binary between science and God. Fitzpatrick mentioned that atheists are dedicated to science. Although this statement is rather ambiguous, is this indicating that religious individuals are not? Isaac Newton and Galileo happened to be very strong Christians. Were they not also dedicated to science? From my general understanding, it seems as if both science and religion require sizable leaps of faith in order for the student to truly accept whatever it is that is being taught. Instead of separating them from each other, we should research both aggressively and hope to find ways in which both spheres can coexist. Once again, this column has nothing to do with why God exists and why atheists are wrong. As a matter of fact, my own religious beliefs are not too well-defined, and I know I have far more research to do on the matter before I can identify as anything. However, the clear contradictions, ironies and almost humorous peculiarities that exist within the modern day atheist movement certainly do not make me feel “good without God.”

Anish Mitra ’10 is an economics concentrator from Queens, NY. He can be reached at

Real news requires real analysis KATE FRITZSCHE Opinions Columnist The recent gay marriage battle in Maine is just one frustrating example of the disturbing trend of the media’s irresponsible coverage of political issues. In recent reports on political events and opinions, most news media sources in the United States have developed a dangerous habit of just repeating what speakers have said without researching the validity of their claims. This tendency is problematic because politicians can exaggerate facts, intentionally mislead voters or even lie to their listeners, and without responsible coverage in the news, people don’t know who’s telling the truth. In the same-sex marriage battle in Maine, a vote of yes on Question 1 meant a vote to repeal an earlier law, passed in the Maine State Legislature and signed into law by Democratic Governor John Baldacci on May 6, that permitted marriage between any two consenting adults. The question’s wording on the ballot included a statement that the law would not permit the state government to interfere with any religious group’s practice and definition of marriage. The law was strictly about the legal rights of marriage. The chairman of Stand for Marriage Maine, a group supporting the efforts to repeal the same-sex law, doubles as the director of public affairs for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. The chairman, Marc

Mutty, sent an e-mail to supporters in September entitled, “Should children be indoctrinated in Maine schools?” In the message, he claimed that if the law stood, Maine’s public schools would include “mandatory gay sex education” in their curricula. Mutty’s statement is blatantly false, but his lies were perpetuated in television and radio commercials, as well as in Catholic churches. Apparently, no one took the time to read the bill, which states nothing about education. No one read the state educational statutes, which do not require any form of

was motivation enough to vote yes. Unfortunately, Nemitz is a rare example of journalistic integrity. We have seen the media passively accept outright lies, especially this past summer. In August, Sarah Palin began a nasty rumor that proposed health care reform bills would create so-called “death panels” that would “decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether (an individual is) worthy of health care.” Her words were repeated over and over again across the media and around the country.

Without proper basic investigation by the press, misleading words can have serious consequences towards political outcomes. sex education in public schools, either. Except for Bill Nemitz, a columnist for the Portland Press Herald. In his Sept. 11 column, “Gay marriage critic’s e-mail fails the test,” he debunked all of Mutty’s claims about same-sex marriage being taught in schools through a simple reading of the law. As straightforward as it was to realize that Mutty’s claims would never become reality, the frequent advertisements and a 12-minute video shown in lieu of a homily in all Catholic churches in Maine in October as mandated by Bishop Richard Malone, seem to have scared a significant number of voters into thinking their children would be taught explicitly about “gay sex” in schools, which

Now, it’s important to note that news outlets all followed Palin’s words with responses from Democratic spokespeople attempting to set the record straight. The problem is that the media present the two sides as equally legitimate by not following up any of their quotations from speakers with an analysis of the content. If you read one article claiming, “The health care bill will set up death panels to determine when your family members stop being ‘worth’ paying for,” and another reading, “The health care bill will not set up death panels and instead will allow insurance coverage of appointments to discuss end-of-life issues between a patient and her doctor,” it is not im-

mediately obvious which view is more correct. But with even a basic reading of the proposed legislation, it is clear that no such organization as a “death panel” was ever suggested. Without proper basic investigation by the press, misleading words can have serious consequences toward political outcomes. It’s much harder to retroactively correct the public’s understanding of an issue than to initially report it correctly. Rumors spread rapidly on the Internet, and responsible reporting could reduce the number of those rumors that are completely false. Furthermore, Internet reporting can be inaccurate for many reasons. Many of the news sources online who claim to be credible are actually just opinionated bloggers, and there’s no particular reason we should take their thoughts seriously. Quotations from politicians are often taken out of context online, which is unfair to the speakers and can lead to the spread of misinformation. We should be hesitant to accept unqualified quotations or statements online or in other media forms. The American need for instant online information has damaged journalistic integrity by giving reporters the choice between a fast story and an accurate story. We should never be forced to accept unfounded claims without clarifying information just so that we can get them sooner. The consequences are far too dangerous.

Kate Fritzsche ’10 voted no on Question 1 in Maine. She can be reached at

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Today The Brown Daily Herald


Yeasayer, Javelin rock RISD auditorium

W. hoops falls to city rival Friars


to day

to m o r r o w

59 / 36

52 / 33

Monday, November 16, 2009

bears on ice

comics Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline


Birdfish | Matthew Weiss

c a l e n da r Today, November 16

tuesday, November 17

4 pm — David Rohde ’90: “The Rise Of The New Taliban,” List 120

4 pm — Brown University Community Council Meeting, Brown/RISD Hillel

8 pm — “The Play About The Baby,” T.F. Green Hall

6 PM — A Debate On Immigration Reform, Barus and Holley 166

Cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman

menu Sharpe Refectory

Verney-Woolley Dining Hall

Lunch — Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauces, Vegetarian Submarine Sandwich, Gyro Sandwich

Lunch — Bacon Ranch Chicken Sandwich, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Enchilada Bar

Dinner — Roast Beef Au Jus, Macaroni and Cheese, Sauteed Green Beans with Mushrooms

Dinner — Italian Meatballs with Pasta, Pizza Rustica, Italian Couscous

Fruitopia | Andy Kim


Hippomaniac | Mat Becker

STW |Jingtao Huang

Never miss a comic

Page 8

Monday, November 16, 2009  

The November 16, 2009 issue of the Brown Daily Herald

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