Daily Herald the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 2 | Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891
New program gives full ride and more By Kate Monks Senior Staf f Writer
Alex Bell / Herald
Providence mayoral candidate Chris Young was arrested at a panel on health care reform in November.
On Dec. 1, 11 members of the class of 2014 received more than the big envelope. These students received not only early admission to Brown but a full scholarship, thanks to Brown’s participation for the first time in QuestBridge, a non-profit program that seeks to match high-achieving, low-income high school students with top colleges and provide them with full, four-year scholarships. QuestBridge provides scholar-
ships through a program called National College Match. High school seniors who apply to the program and are selected as finalists are then eligible for full or mostly full scholarships to 27 partner universities, pending their admission to the schools, according to the program’s Web site. Students rank their eight preferred schools on the application and then must attend the highest school on their list that admits them. Washington and Lee University and Brown are the two newest continued on page 4
DPS banned Young after Nov. forum RISD students try artistic approach to Haiti relief By Alex Bell Senior Staf f Writer
On Christmas Eve, Providence mayoral candidate Chris Young opened a letter from Brown Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Mark Porter. Just a week before his arraignment on charges of disorderly conduct stemming from November’s health care forum in Andrews Hall, the Democratic candidate learned he was also banned from entering Brown’s campus. Young, a Narragansett man who drew the attention of television crews earlier this year with
his vocal disruption of October’s rally against “Fall Weekend” on the Main Green, used “threatening, disruptive, and loud language” at November’s health care forum when he refused to relinquish the microphone during the questionand-answer session, according to a Providence Police report. Young also threw a video at Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., one of the panelists, according to the report. Young said the video was “Maafa 21,” which features graphic scenes of abortions. A video Young’s girlfriend took of the incident shows Kennedy nodding at him, accepting
his request to see the pro-life video, Young said. “He wanted the video,” Young told The Herald. “The Brown security Nazi came to try to take it away from him, but he wanted it.” Young also said the mainstream media has greatly sensationalized the incident, which he said his video shows to be relatively calm. He cited one Providence Journal article stating that police “scrambled to intercept him” when he approached Kennedy, which Young said was not what his video continued on page 2
President Ruth Simmons has been named to the Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, an advisory board that will oversee the direction and administration of the museum as it prepares to open in 2015, the museum announced Monday. “In serving on the committee I join a number of Americans who have demonstrated a commitment to uncovering this history and making it available to the wider public among others,” Simmons wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. The museum, which was established in 2003, will be the 19th museum affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. According to the museum’s Web site, its collection will focus on both historical scholarship
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The curriculum at the Rhode Island School of Design lacks instruction in emergency medicine and search and rescue techniques, but creative RISD students are still finding ways to get involved with disaster relief in Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake. The administration has tried to coordinate these student efforts and has also worked to support a RISD student working in Haiti during the earthquake.
“The way in which people support (fundraising efforts) is from a much more artistic standpoint” than at other schools, RISD freshman Andreas Nicholas said. Instead of conventional charity events, RISD students are planning a 12-hour drawing marathon, a satirical musical and a silent art auction. The proceeds of all of the events will go to organizations already established in Haiti, such as Partners in Health, the American Red Cross and Doccontinued on page 5
Shopping a different Engine 9
Simmons named to Smithsonian council By Anne Speyer Ar ts & Culture Editor
By Sarah Forman Contributing Writer
By Hannah Moser Features Editor
and art. Exhibitions will explore the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement and the period of Reconstruction, among other important aspects of African-American history and culture. “This is, like other museums in the Smithsonian system, a national museum that will provide a venue for the representation of African American history,” Simmons wrote. “In that sense, my involvement with the creation of the museum is in keeping with my past work directing and building Afro-American Studies at Princeton and chairing the visiting committee for Afro-American Studies at Harvard.” “Many of us on the Council took notice of Ruth Simmons long before Time magazine … named her ‘America’s Best College President,’ ” continued on page 3
It’s hard to interview someone who won’t hold still. On Monday, while the rain poured and the wind rendered umbrellas useless, sirens blared around College Hill as Providence Ladder Co. 8 and Engine Co. 9 responded to 10 calls, most of which were brought on by the deluge.
FEATURE Stationed on Brook and Williams streets, these crews mobilize for alarms at fraternity parties, Brown students’ burnt Nick Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald toast and their 3 a.m. false alarms. Engine 9 pulls out of its Brook Street station, from which it covers Brown, They cover the University, RISD RISD and Fox Point. and Fox Point and may respond to calls as far north as Pawtucket portion of their calls are related to pipes and even calls to aid homeand as far south as Cranston. The fires. Companies 8 and 9 respond less citizens. name “fire department” is mis- to 2,500 calls a year, including water continued on page 4 leading — only a relatively small and electrical emergencies, broken
Thrifty on thayer Businesses on Thayer maintain a positive outlook despite slower sales.
sports in brief Updates on the swimming and diving, skiing, squash and wrestling teams.
keep swine in line David Sheffield ’11 advocates for influenza vaccinations.
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Alum wins award for children’s book By Liz Kelley Contributing writer
It was only one small step for Neil Armstrong, but man’s first landing on the moon has turned into an award-winning book by Brian Floca ’91. Floca won the Sibert Honor Award from the Association for Librar y Ser vice to Children, a division of the American Librar y Association, for “Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11,” a play-byplay account of the first lunar landing that Floca wrote and illustrated. Floca said there were three main inspirations for his book: “Man on the Moon,” written by Andrew Chaikin ’78; the movie “For All Mankind,” which contains unedited footage of the Apollo 11 mission; and his “residual childhood interest for space and astronauts.” Floca, whose book “Lightship” was a 2008 Sibert Honor Book, said he spent many years working on a draft for the book before finalizing the concept. “It took a few bad versions until I came up with the final product,” he said. When Floca finally did settle on an idea, he sold his proposal
Courtesy of University Archives
Brian Floca ’91
to an editor and then worked for eight straight months to produce the book. Floca said the environment at Brown helped drive him to create this book. “Something in the air at Brown compelled me,” he said. “It’s a place where faculty and friends always encourage you to do your best.” As a Brown student, Floca was a cartoonist for The Herald, where he learned “to make good (visual) combinations,” he said.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. World Wide Web: http://www.browndailyherald.com. Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2010 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
“Something in the air at Brown compelled me.” — Brian Floca ’91 on the motivation to write his award-winning book
Right to free speech ‘repressed,’ Young says continued from page 1 showed. Despite warnings from forum officials to curtail his remarks and give others a chance to speak, Young “continued to be disruptive for approximately 30 or more seconds,” according to the police report, at which point the forum’s moderator, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Edward Wing, asked the police to remove Young. The report said Young resisted officers’ attempts to “gently escort him” from the forum, instead sitting down on the floor while continuing to yell. Young said his video of the incident shows that his legs were in fact pulled out from below him by police. Brown and Providence police forces then arrested and removed Young forcibly from the forum in handcuffs. Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn said that though “the free and
open exchange of ideas” is a “core value of the University,” Young was infringing on those same “rights of others to participate in this public, open forum.” Young said in an interview that his right to free speech had been “repressed.” The notice not to trespass that he received on Christmas Eve was dated Dec. 4 and prohibits him from entering “the campus of Brown University” and “any Brown University building and property owned or leased by Brown University.” “They have restricted my ability to go on federal highways, public roads, and on any properties that — I have no idea what properties they own or lease,” the Providence mayoral candidate said. “I am literally afraid of entering the city of Providence because of this letter.” “How do you campaign in a city you can’t enter?” Young said. Quinn said Young is not prohibited from traveling on public streets.
She also said the restriction will continue “until the Department of Public Safety deems that the individual is no longer a threat to the safety and security of the campus.” According to Quinn, if the University were to host an event for candidates for public office, he would be allowed to enter the campus. If he had other business on campus as a mayoral candidate, he could contact DPS, and they would evaluate his request to be on campus. Young said Brown’s restriction was motivated by political reasons due to his outspoken stances on taxation of universities, armament of police and President Simmons’ seat on the Goldman Sachs board of directors. In the meantime, Young has pleaded not guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct. At his trial in three weeks, Young will be defended by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based pro-life law center. Young said he plans to appeal the case if found guilty.
Ken Miller ’70 P’02: skeptical, inquiring By Miriam Furst Contributing Writer
Professor of Biology Ken Miller ’70 P’02 was elected this month to join the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, largely because of his defense of Darwin’s evolution theory against claims of creationism. Founded in 1976, the committee applies science and the scientific method to debunk pseudoscientific claims, Miller said. The committee, which publishes the magazine Skeptical Inquirer, was founded in response to burgeoning interest in the paranormal throughout the 1970s. According to Miller, the committee works to invalidate theories such as extrasensory perception, psychic powers, the presence of space aliens, mysticism and other theories about the supernatural.
The letter the group sent to Miller inviting him to become a fellow of the committee read, “Members of the committee have long been impressed with your commitment to science, rational inquiry, and public education.” Miller has published two well-known books about evolution, and co-authored a biology textbook that, according to Miller, 30 to 40 percent of U.S. high schools use. “I have watched (Miller’s) career with admiration,” said Kendrick Frazier, the editor of Skeptical Inquirer. “He has been an effective proponent of good science and the teaching of evolution and an equally extraordinarily effective opponent of bad science and efforts to introduce creationism into the classroom and the public arena.” Miller said he was extremely pleased to be chosen as one of the
committee’s 16 fellows. Although his position does not have any outlined responsibilities, Miller said it is a huge honor and he sees himself becoming involved in the committee’s conferences and the production of newsletters and articles. According to Miller, the most public way he has promoted evolution was by testifying in the 2005 federal court case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which helped prevent the Dover school board from presenting intelligent design theory as a scientific alternative to evolution after 11 parents sued the Dover school board. Miller said he thinks he was chosen to be the lead witness because of his “long history of debating, successfully, scientific creation to critics of evolution.” In his testimony, Miller said he not only “defined to the court what science is and what goes into a biology curriculum and textbook,” but also anticipated what the defendants would say and then stated why their argument was wrong. Massimo Pigliucci, another defender of evolution who shares similar interests with Miller and has connections to Brown, was also named to the committee. Now chair of the department of philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College, Pigliucci did post-doctoral work in Ecology and Evolutionat Brown. “It has been exciting to fight next to Ken in this never-ending battle against nonsense and superstition,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.
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higher ed news roundup by heeyoung min senior staff writer
Warrantless dorm search ruled legal A Massachusetts appeals court found that police officers’ warrantless search of a Boston College dorm room was legal, Inside Higher Ed reported on Dec. 28. The decision reversed a lower court’s dismissal of indictments against two undergraduates at the school on charges of psilocybin mushroom and marijuana possession with intent to distribute, and trafficking in cocaine, according to the publication. In 2007, a trial court ruled that the initial search of the two students’ dormitory, which turned up large amounts of cocaine and marijuana, was unlawful, the Boston Globe reported. But the appeals court ruled that the warrantless search was legal because it was prompted by reports that there were weapons in the students’ dorm. Possession of weapons, while legal under state and federal law, violate the college’s policy, according to Inside Higher Ed. The appeals court also found that the Boston College police officers had sought a written consent form to search the dorm, to which the students conceded, the Globe reported. The students argued that they didn’t know they had a choice in signing the waiver, but the court ruled that “the defendants were college students whose age and level of education equipped them to understand what was being asked of them and that they had an option to refuse,” Inside Higher Ed reported.
Professors’ group calls laptop searches ‘invasive’ Professors who travel abroad risk having the contents of their laptops seized, searched or held by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, drawing ire from a group of academics. Since early 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has enforced “a new and invasive policy” giving customs agents the authority to investigate laptops and other electronic materials “without any suspicion of wrongdoing by the traveler,” according to a press release from the American Association of University Professors. The AAUP, in collaboration with civil liberties organizations, has continually pursued the issue since last May, the release stated. Customs agents’ authority to investigate private data without reasonable individualized suspicion could have detrimental consequences for professors who frequently travel abroad for research and teaching purposes, the release stated. “AAUP members conduct innumerable types of research, collaborate with counterparts abroad, and privately practice medicine, law, and psychiatry,” AAUP General Secretary Gary Rhoades wrote in a March 2009 letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “Adequate protection for privacy and confidentiality are therefore matters of serious professional concern for our members.”
Julia Kim / Herald file photo
Youth at Hasbro Children’s Hospital will soon receive a new trove of video games, DVDs and other electronics, thanks to a recent donation from over $20,000 from the Brown chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.
Brothers give to kids’ hospital By Ashley Aydin Contributing Writer
The Brown chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity donated more than $20,000 for pediatric cancer treatment and care, Hasbro Children’s Hospital announced earlier this month. The Beta Rho chapter has raised just over $38,000 in the past two years as part of its ongoing campaign, “Creating an Environment for a Cure.” Devin Cohen ’09, a member of the fraternity, started the campaign in 2008 and worked to bring attention to current patients, who are “often left behind in the not-for-profit world,” Jeremy Ader ’12, the campaign’s current director, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. The recent donation by the fraternity will be used to provide young patients with electronics such as video games, DVDs and computers to make their treatment more com-
fortable, Ader wrote. “With the almost $21,000 raised last spring, we were able to completely fill the Pediatric Oncology Center’s wish-list which included a Wii fun center, video games, movies and a fish tank, which will fit right with the Center’s underwater theme,” Ader wrote. In addition to the video games, films and fish tank, Alpha Epsilon Pi was also able to purchase equipment for patients including a DynaVox tool that allows patients who are not able to speak to communicate with their doctors and Snoezelen lighting to relax infants and young children. Susan Roux, chief development officer of the hospital, wrote in an e-mail that some funds were also set aside to allow the nurse manager to purchase new, colorful IV poles. The fraternity raised the money through silent auctions and raffles, with help from stores throughout
Providence. The fraternity also raised money privately with the help of family and friends, Ader wrote. “Our fraternity is absolutely thrilled to watch firsthand as the impact of Environment for a Cure spreads beyond the waiting room into the exam rooms,” he wrote. The fraternity places a strong emphasis on the value of community, “a value that reaches far beyond the walls of Marcy House,” he wrote. For this year’s campaign, Alpha Epsilon Pi hopes to involve other chapters of the fraternity while continuing its local chapter’s fundraising. “We hope that the brothers will continue to bring awareness of the hospital to their families, friends and community and continue to raise these important funds that provide a lasting impact on children and their families in their time of greatest need,” Roux wrote.
Simmons to advise on museum council continued from page 1 said the museum’s founding director Lonnie Bunch in a statement. “Throughout her career, Ruth Simmons has shown the highest level of commitment and visionary leadership.” The museum is currently in a “pre-building phase,” which involves the development and assembly of
its collections, according to a press release from the Smithsonian Institution. The council will advise on the many aspects of this phase, and members will serve until the museum’s opening. Bunch wrote that Simmons’ “firm belief that education can transform lives” will be “crucial to the success of this museum.” Former First Lady Laura Bush
and Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel are also among the “leaders from business, academia and the arts” who make up the 22-person council, according to the Smithsonian’s press release. Simmons also wrote that her time on the council “will involve a number of programs and individuals at Brown, including the John Nicholas Brown Center.”
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“It’s a good place. They just don’t know how to cook.” — Capt. Russ McDonald of Providence Fire Dept., on Brown
Fire crews are ‘like a family’ continued from page 1 With smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, “fires don’t get the head start they used to,” said Capt. Russ McDonald of Engine Co. 9. “Most of the job has turned to EMS.” McDonald has been part of the Providence Fire Department for 30 years, spending the last six on Brook St. Originally from Providence, he taught kindergarten and coached hockey and football, but when it looked like his job would be cut, he turned to his father’s profession — firefighting. “Every time I go out the door, it’s something different. … You have to react to what’s going on,” McDonald said. Like all applicants, McDonald had to pass a general knowledge test and a physical agility test. Once applicants pass this stage, they receive EMT training and six months of fire “boot camp,” which includes training with a company. Next, they spend a year on “probation” doing what McDonald called “low-man-onthe-totem-pole jobs.”
Companies 8 and 9 are two of the city’s 23 engine and ladder companies. The crews operate in eightday cycles made up of two 10-hour days, two 14-hour nights and four days off. An engine is assigned four people a shift and generally runs with three. The officer — for example, McDonald — rides shotgun and is the first to check out the area and alarm box. The “chauffeur” drives and runs the pump, and the “pipe man” in the back seat is responsible for the hose. The ground floor of the station is home to the trucks and gear, but upstairs the crews have a kitchen and dormitories. The station’s fire poles haven’t gone the way of the Dalmatian — two poles lead down from the second floor so the crews can leave the station as quickly as 30 seconds after a call, McDonald said. Members of the group take turns cooking and chip in for amenities at the station, such as phone and TV. “It’s like a family,” McDonald said. Antonio Ramos, who has been stationed on Brook St. since 1993,
recalls being asked during his application process whether he had a problem waiting around for something to happen. “We do a lot of cleaning,” he said. The crews also spend much of their downtime on training, including first aid and hazardous materials. A DVD on cyanide poisoning was on the agenda for Monday evening. They train regularly to stay familiar with all the equipment that goes with them on each call. Though there are parts of the job Ramos wouldn’t wish on anyone, overall, “it’s a great job,” he said. “I always knew to be a 9-to-5 guy was not for me.” Ramos is the “roof guy” on Ladder 8. The ladder can reach 110 feet, or about seven stories, depending on the angle. The truck is loaded down with equipment from the obvious (rolls and rolls of hose) to the innovative (an air pack equipped with a motion sensor that emits a screech if the wearer stops moving). According to Brown Director of Environmental Health and Safety Stephen Morin, the companies made 138 runs to campus in 2009, five of
Nick Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald
The trucks at Engine Co. 9 have made fewer trips to campus in recent years.
which were classified as fires. These were generally small and caused by activities like cooking or smoking indoors. Morin said the number of runs was down from the early ’90s,
when as many as 350 runs were recorded in a single year. “The kids are good here,” McDonald said. “It’s a good place. They just don’t know how to cook.”
Eleven receive full scholarships through new program continued from page 1 additions to the program, joining a roster of schools that includes Yale, Princeton and Columbia. Not all finalists in the program are “matched” to a partner college in the early round of admission, meaning that not every finalist is offered admission and a full scholarship at one of their top choice schools. Last academic year, about 11 percent of finalists — or 260 stu-
dents — were admitted with a full scholarship from QuestBridge in the early round, according to the program’s Web site. Some finalists who were deferred in the early application cycle could then be offered admission and financial aid packages from their schools along with other regular decision applicants, but they would not receive a QuestBridge scholarship. Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 said Brown decided to become
a partner in the program after the “uniformly positive” experiences of other peer institutions. He said QuestBridge was “very effective at finding students who might not be in our applicant pool.” Miller said he is “very impressed with the range of students QuestBridge attracts,” describing the QuestBridge students admitted to Brown as “very, very talented.” Najma Yakob ’14, of South Senior High School in Minneapolis, was one of the 11 students selected to receive the scholarship. She wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that her reaction to receiving the scholarship was “half-complete amazement and half-complete disbelief.”
Without the program, “I probably would have gone to a state school here, simply because of the financial constraints,” she wrote. Steven Arroyo ’14, of Stuyvesant High School in New York, will also be coming to campus next year with a QuestBridge scholarship. He wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that the QuestBridge application itself was an advantage in the admissions process. “It was tailored to allow applicants to explain more intimately their family life, what they’d overcome to achieve success, and things of that nature,” he wrote. “It was a chance to actually show all aspects of my character to the admissions officers.”
The benefits of the scholarship are more than just monetary. The program offers leadership retreats annually for college students, and alums of the program are available for mentoring and career connections, according to its Web site. The program also encourages alums to give back in the future when they have the ability to assist other lowincome students through the college application process and the job search. “QuestBridge is a fantastic opportunity and the fact that it has done this for me will never escape my memory. They have single-handedly defined my life for me,” Yakob wrote. “This isn’t just a small thing. They’re changing lives here.”
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“Everything is so scattered.” — RISD freshman Andreas Nicholas, on Haiti relief
RISD rallies to support Haiti New fellowship for continued from page 1 tors Without Borders. RISD Dining Ser vices organized a “Cakes for Quakes” drive, selling decorated cupcakes to raise money, and will tr y to sell its products at some of the studentorganized events. The Residence Life Office held one of the most profitable events at RISD thus far, a Haitian food sale that earned $1,000 in 40 minutes. A Web site set up for the RISD community to send money to Partners in Health has raised $2,970 as of Wednesday afternoon. Few students have elected to directly assist rescue efforts in Haiti. “Our skill sets aren’t valuable to go down there right yet,” said Natalie Hogan, the program director for student life. Still, some students, like RISD senior Lisa Butler — who studies Haitian Creole at Brown and visited the struggling nation twice prior to the quake through the Haiti Charity Hope Foundation — hope to provide more direct support. Butler said she would like to go back to Haiti as early as this April. Another student group, Alternative Spring Break, had planned to visit Haiti over spring break, but has had to defer the trip, said Don Morton, the director of student life. Third-year student Nathalie Jolivert was in Haiti when the earthquake struck. According to Morton, Jolivert is safe and currently in Florida, while her mother is being treated for foot injuries she sustained during the quake. The architecture major’s father died during the earthquake, but she hopes to return to College Hill this weekend, said Jolivert’s roommate, senior Christina DeOrchis. During a few panicked days, neither the RISD student body nor administration knew if Jolivert was safe, Morton said. The Office of Multicultural Affairs finally located her through a Facebook post. “They reacted ver y well and very fast,” said DeOrchis, who only found out that Jolivert was alive two days after the earthquake. She said a lot of students — not just those friendly with Jolivert — have joined the effort to aid Haiti. “I know who Nathalie’s close friends are, and they’re involved, but there are a lot more people who are helping,” she said. Butler, who does not know Jolivert personally, said she did not decide to participate in Haitian relief efforts simply because a RISD student was there. Instead, she thinks that even without a personal connection to Haiti, most students would have helped. “I’ve been surprised by how much people want to help,” she said. “It’s seemed like people really want to be committed for the long haul.” The RISD student body showed a strong interest in working to assist Haiti, Hogan said. “I’ve seen a lot of students who I’ve never
seen before come into (the Office of Student Life) to get involved,” she said. While Nicholas appreciates the efforts that both students and administrators have made to help Haiti, he said that more should be done. “I wish there was more studentto-student, student-to-administration collaboration,” he said. “Everything is so scattered.” Nicholas said he has found it difficult to work with other students to organize events, even though the Office of Student Life is trying to coordinate students’ efforts. The office put together a Web site and a blog for students to use to collaborate, and it also provides funding and structure to student initiatives. Right now, administrators are trying to rework existing events to become fundraisers for Haiti. For example, “RISD: The Musical” was already scheduled to run on Feb. 26 and 27. The Office of Student Life decided to give it funding to cover set design and other costs, so that all the proceeds from tickets to the satirical show would go toward Haiti relief ef-
forts. The Office of Student Life continues to try to bring students, administration and faculty together through the new Web sites it has created, Morton said, preparing for the end of RISD’s winter session in mid-February, when the full student body will return to campus. Both Morton and Hogan said they hope to include Brown students in future fundraising efforts. While the Office of Student Life is working to control on-campus activities at RISD to support Haiti, several RISD alumni have also started independent fundraising efforts. Studio Number One, led by creative director Shepard Fairey, a 1992 graduate and graphic artist, is selling T-shirts for $15. According to its Web site, the shirt’s full retail cost will go to UNICEF. The studio also donated artwork to a Music For Relief album that will fund Haiti disaster relief. Aaron Per r y-Zucker, who graduated from RISD in 2009, has started an Internet forum to collect graphic designs to raise money for Haiti and promote awareness of the disaster.
new media at Watson By Nicole Boucher Staf f Writer
A new fellowship opportunity offered by the Watson Institute for International Studies will push Brown undergraduates to use innovative media tools to raise awareness about significant international issues. To be eligible for the AT&T New Media Fellows Program, students must plan to pursue a project “that addresses a critical need in society” using new media, according to the fellowship criteria description. Based on their proposals, up to 10 students will be chosen to receive the funding, said Geoffrey Kirkman ’91, deputy director of the Watson Institute. The fellowships will be funded as part of a $145,000 grant from AT&T awarded to the Watson Institute to support Watson’s Global Conversation Web site, which aims to use podcasts and other new media to raise awareness about social
issues such as poverty and global conflict, according to the press release. Using new media to document student projects can contribute to the University’s internationalization efforts, Kirkman said. “Audio and video are powerful tools to capture people’s attention,” he said. The fellowships ser ve as one component of the larger Global Conversation project — students chosen to receive a fellowship will post their films, podcasts or other media on the Web site. Kirkman said the AT&T grant also includes provisions for research assistantships, which will engage faculty in the project, as well. Students have “already been using (new media) to document important experiences,” Kirkman said, and this new effort will formalize the process. “I am hopeful this grant can spur more activity.” “I’m convinced that Brown could be one of the real leaders in what students and faculty do with new media,” Kirkman said.
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“Are you ready to fight to take back your state?” — Erik Wallin, Republican nominee for attorney general Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Page 6
RIPTA dreams big for revamped transit by Max Godnick Senior Staf f Writer
Hilary Rosenthal / Herald
Thayer Street storefronts face vacancies — and upcoming openings.
Thayer stores squeaking by By Claire Peracchio Senior Staf f Writer
Thanks to a prime location on College Hill, most Thayer Street businesses are getting by even in tough economic times. With the new additions of Better Burger Company and potentially Verizon Wireless, current businesses are holding their own in a difficult economy. Despite a nationwide recession, it is a “healthy climate right now” for businesses on Thayer, said Amintha Cinotti, deputy director of the Provi-
dence Department of Planning and Development. Though most businesses noticed a decrease in sales when Brown students left for winter break, many are hoping that the students’ return will offer a boost. There has been a “drop since we came in November,” said Kamal Nouhaili, owner of the new Thayer St. Pizza, formerly Xtreme Pizza and Wings. Now is a time to “hold on to what you have,” said Marcelino Lozano, an employee at Bagel Gourmet Ole, adding that while business was com-
paratively slow over the holiday, sales have still been adequate. For Spectrum India — long a Thayer Street staple — this has been “the most challenging recession of all,” said owner Jagdish Sachdev. Diminished purchasing power and reduced foot traffic from students caused erratic sales earlier this year, jeopardizing Spectrum’s continued operation. But a betterthan-expected holiday season has allowed the store to pull through continued on page 7
The Metropolitan Providence Transit Enhancement Study — a joint project conducted by the Rhode Island Public Transportation Agency and Mayor David Cicilline’s ’83 office — was released Dec. 10. The study, which recommends future strategies for Providence public transport, represents the culmination of a four-year city initiative to improve public transportation. It outlines 10 broad categories of transit recommendations, including plans to introduce a viable streetcar system to Providence, renovating Kennedy Plaza, creating new transit hubs, initiating a Rapid Bus Ser vice and providing additional bus ser vices. “The recommendations generally fall under one of two categories: meeting current demands and making enhancements for the future or expanding the system and expanding what we normally do,” said Amy Pettine, special projects manager in RIPTA’s planning department. “Sometimes people see RIPTA as a struggling agency. ... Why should they support an agency that they think is struggling?” she said. The study aims to answer
questions for these skeptics. “For those who were worried about where RIPTA was headed, it’s given them a detailed outline of where we want to go,” she said. Many of the study’s recommendations aim to have direct consequences for the Brown community. “We want to make more of a transit infrastructure presence at the top of the (bus) tunnel,” Pettine said. “We want to make it look and feel more like a transit hub.” This could include construction of a shelter where the tunnel opens onto Thayer Street. “We are looking to have a streetcar starter line in the city that would be anchored on one end by Rhode Island Hospital and on the other end by Brown,” Pettine said. The streetcars will connect “meds to eds,” she said, creating a direct connection between the Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital. University administrators have been suppor tive of the transportation authority’s plans for the new streetcar system recommended in the study, The Herald reported in October. The streetcar recommendation is currently undergoing an alternative development and encontinued on page 7
Federal funds to aid R.I. bikeway By Brigitta Greene Metro Editor
Segment by segment, shrub by shrub, the Blackstone River Bikeway is coming together. Rhode Island will receive $575,000 in federal funding for landscaping along the bikeway, according to a Jan. 21 press release from the office of Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. Construction first began in the early ’90s, said Charles St. Martin, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. There are currently about 10 miles of bikeway open in the Ocean State, but the completed route will
span about 48 miles from Worcester, Mass., to India Point Park in Providence, he said. The federal funds for landscaping will be used along a section of the bikeway that connects Lincoln to Woonsocket — a stretch of about two miles — St. Martin said. “Over the last ten years or so, we have made a significant investment in bikeways across Rhode Island,” he said. “It’s been an evolution, but we definitely feel it’s moving along.” Brown Cycling Team member Chris Cohen ’12 said local paths are above average. “In terms of dedicated multi-use trails, Rhode Island has — for its
size — probably one of the best systems in the country,” Cohen said. He said the cycling team makes active use of bike trails across the state, adding that though the Blackstone River Bikeway is difficult to access from Brown, it is a beautiful and well-frequented trail. Bikeways have the advantage of shielding cyclists from car traffic and road obstructions, he said, adding that “drivers in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts aren’t the politest in the world.” Current price estimates for landscaping along the designated twomile stretch fall below the allocated $575,000, and surplus funds could be used to work on other sections of the route, St. Martin said. “We are very appreciative of the efforts of our congressional delegation,” he said, though he said the funding did not come as a surprise to the state. “The Blackstone River was a major transportation artery long before Route 95. This bike path will help preser ve the historic and scenic beauty of the area, while bringing more families to enjoy the valley’s attributes, thereby boosting the local economy,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., in the press release. “It will also help ease traffic congestion and serve as a vital link between communities.”
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Thursday, January 28, 2010
“We can shift the power in this state.” — Republican gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille
Businesses get creative to attract students Ground paved for new transit upgrades continued from page 6
continued from page 6 vironmental review process. This yearlong process will be followed by a pursuit of funding for engineering, operations and construction costs, Pettine said. The study cost about $500,000 to conduct, about 20 percent of which came from the city, said Matt Stark, Cicilline’s director of policy and legislative af fairs. It follows on the heels of the Transit 2020 study, which concluded almost three years ago. Transit 2020 “laid the foundation upon which a working group ultimately came together to make more concrete recommendations,” Stark said. He said the study was a collaborative process despite the sometimes-disparate goals of RIPTA and city officials. The cost of implementing all the study’s recommendations is estimated at $146 million, with $127 million coming from capital costs and $19 million from annual operating costs, Pettine said. Stark said he recognized the difficulties in gaining approval for such expensive projects. “It’s obviously a difficult state climate to talk about allocating dollars for state expenses and we have to take a lot of local responsibility in operational costs,” he said. “Our challenges are based in making the case that this should be a proud investment for the greater metro area.” Officials from the transportation authority testified to the House Committee on Oversight and Separation of Powers last month, according to a Dec. 15 article in the Providence Journal. Reactions to the proposals were “mixed” and many House members were critical of the steep costs, according to the Journal. The committee’s leadership did not respond to The Herald’s requests for comment. Despite the skepticism, Cicilline continues to push the plan for ward, Pettine said. Cicilline created a new Transit 2020 Action Group, which “will be responsible for actually implementing this plan,” Pettine said. The action group is being run by a number of community leaders, including Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior advisor to President Ruth Simmons. The city and RIPTA are currently looking for funding for the remaining unfunded elements of the plan. “We are in the process of making a case that transit is indeed worth placing an investment in,” Stark said. Some elements of the plan, such as the Rapid Bus routes, have already received funding and will be implemented soon, Pettine said.
the recession, he said. For many businesses, a difficult economy offers incentives to work harder to attract customers. Providence Byblos recently revamped its menu and its interior decor. Byblos wants to “start the new year with a new menu,” said owner Marina Kallab. The changes are intended to attract customers to visit the hookah lounge during the day, a unique offering that makes Byblos “very popular” with students, Kallab said. The recession challenges business to maintain high-quality service, said Ray Hugh, owner of Shanghai and Shark Sushi. Hugh attributes the decrease in customers to the economic slowdown and said that while the “numbers aren’t where they were,” he is confident that an attention to detail will allow his businesses to persevere despite adverse economic conditions. Kabob and Curry has experi-
enced a drop in revenue of between 5 and 10 percent, said manager Jai Amba. The restaurant now offers more discounts, particularly for students, in an attempt to maintain a steady stream of customers and to stave off competition from neighboring restaurants that opened on Thayer this fall, Amba said. An increase in discounts on merchandise has cut into retailers’ profit margin, said Ed Bishop ’54 P’86 P’91, a local real estate agent. Urban Outfitters and City Sports are suffering as a result, and progress on a replacement for Roba Dolce has stalled due to zoning issues regarding seating for the prospective businesses vying for the spot, he said. A parking task force in which Bishop participated cited insufficient parking on Thayer as an issue for businesses and offered metering many of Thayer’s side streets in order to force a two-hour turnover as a possible solution.
Hilary Rosenthal / Herald
Thayer Street businesses perservere in a difficult economy.
GOP candidates ‘ready to fight’ in upcoming elections by Claire Peracchio Senior Staf f Writer
Tuesday night, state Republicans skipped Gov. Donald Carcieri’s ’65 State of the State address, opting instead to host contenders for statewide elections at Holy Rosary Band Society Hall on Providence’s East Side. The night’s main attraction was GOP gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille, Carcieri’s communications director and one of the writers of the State of the State address. Robitaille gave a short speech that touched on his priorities.
“Small businesses are the engine of job creation,” Robitaille said in his remarks. He suggested that federal stimulus funds be spent not on infrastructure but rather on aiding small businesses. “What we need isn’t sidewalks, but more businesses on Main Street,” Robitaille said. Energized by Republican Scott Brown’s recent win in the special Massachusetts senatorial election, Robitaille offered hope for Republicans in the state. “If what happened in Massachusetts can be replicated in Rhode Island … then we can shift the
power in this state,” he said. Other candidates who spoke at the forum were Michael Gardiner, Mark Zaccaria, John Loughlin and Erik Wallin. Zaccaria, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, touted his experience in small business, which has shaped his support for fiscal responsibility. For Gardiner, also a contender for the 2nd Congressional seat, improving affordability in health care should be a top priority for Republicans. “Republicans need to be selling direct benefits to everyone,”
Gardiner said of his objective to provide cheaper insurance. Loughlin, the opponent to Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy in the 1st Congressional District, said his “number-one focus is to grow jobs for the economy” and advocated tax credits to promote growth. Wallin, the Republican nominee for attorney general, emphasized his commitment to combating corruption and violent crime. “Are you ready to fight to take back your state?” Wallin asked. The crowd answered with a resounding “yes.”
SportsThursday The Brown Daily Herald
Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Page 8
QB coach took job at Princeton
s p o rt s i n b r i e f
Swimming and Diving
By Dan Alexander Spor ts Editor
Quarterbacks Coach James Perry ’00 will be on the opposing sideline when the football team travels to Princeton next season. He accepted a position as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator and began his new job Jan. 7. “I am hugely excited to be part of the Princeton football program,” Perr y said in a Jan. 7 Princeton press release. Under Perr y’s coaching last season, Brown quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero ’11 led the Ivy League in completions, attempts, passing percentage, yards and touchdowns despite having never played a varsity down before the season-opener. “I have nothing but good things to say about him,” Brown Head Coach Phil Estes said of Perr y. “The things that he did for us and our quarterback were tremendous. And it’s hard for me to have him go.” “But there’s just too big of an opportunity,” Estes continued. “He probably doubled or tripled his pay going to Princeton as a coordinator. It’s a no-brainer. It’s a step up.” Estes said he will take over Perr y’s responsibility and act as the lone quarterback coach next season. Perr y told Estes of his move Dec. 30, according to Estes. Perr y had inter viewed last month to be the head coach of the Tigers, a position which opened up after former Head Coach Roger Hughes was fired in November following 10 seasons at Princeton, according to Brown Athletic Director Michael Goldberger. But Perr y did not get the head coaching job, which instead went to Princeton alum and former Cincinnati Bengals assistant coach Bob Surace. Now, Perr y will work under Surace. “We are so excited to have
The men’s team headed into winter break looking to prepare for the upcoming Ivy Championships in March, said Head Coach Peter Brown. Though the team finished the break with a 0-3 record, Brown noted that the meets were tighter than what the scores indicated. The Bears came up six points short when swimming against the Penn Quakers in North Miami, Fla., 143-137, and the Harvard Crimson narrowly defeated Brown, 127-116. “We did great in those meets, and we are going to use them as stepping stones towards the Ivy Championships,” Brown said. The women’s swimming and diving team jumps back in the pool on Friday after coming back from a tough winter break with a 0-3 record, Brown said. All three meets proved challenging for the team — the Bears lost by the biggest margin of the season to Boston University, were out-swum in many events by only a few milliseconds against Penn and came up short in gold medals against the Harvard Crimson. Overall, Brown said, the team is heading in the right direction, and he hopes the squad will be in its competitive groove by the time the Ivy Championships roll around. — Sahar Shahamatdar
Courtesy of University Archives
James Perry ’00 in his quarterback days. He took a new coaching position this month at Princeton.
James Perr y as the offensive coordinator at Princeton,” Surace said in the press release. “He is not only one of the elite players ever in our league, but he has distinguished himself well as a coach. We went through a tremendous number of quality candidates, but James stood out as somebody with the passion and values I was looking for.” As a player, Perr y set nearly ever y major Ivy League passing record, was named Ivy League Player of the Year and helped lead the Bears to the 1999 Ivy League Championship. At Princeton, Perry will inherit an offense that finished at the bottom of the Ivy League in scoring last season and a team that ended tied for fourth in the league with
a 4-6, 3-4 record. Estes said that although many assistant coaches have left his staff in his 12-year tenure as Brown’s head coach, none has ever left for another school in the Ivy League. Perr y is “a Brown grad. He’s a Brown Bear, and he’ll continue to be a Brown Bear,” Estes said. “But at the same time, he’s the enemy now.” Estes said his team “won’t miss a beat” despite Perr y’s departure. Goldberger echoed Estes. “I think the world of Coach Estes,” he said. “And one of the great things that he’s been able to do is keep his staff together and really bring in a first-rate staff. … It’s a great opportunity for James, but we’ll be fine.”
After a series of crashes, the skiing team fell from first to fourth place in the ECSC MacConnell Division standings this past weekend. On Saturday, Krista Consiglio ’11 came in third place in slalom with a time of 1:28.45. As a team, the Bears came in fourth place in slalom. But on Sunday — though Kia Mosenthal ’12 came in first place in giant slalom with a mark of 1:07.01 — three other skiers crashed and could not complete the race, leaving the Bears in ninth place overall in giant slalom. “In the big scheme of things,” said Head Coach Michael LeBlanc, this past weekend “is not that meaningful, since the top five advance to the postseason.” “We’re one of the strongest teams in the division,” he added. — Ashley McDonnell
Squash The 13th-ranked men’s squash team had high hopes going into the 2010 season. However, a very difficult schedule has gotten the best of the Bears early in the season. The Bears opened the season with tough losses against Ivy League rivals Harvard, Princeton, Cornell and Penn, all of whom are ranked in the top 10 nationally. The highlight of the young season was an 8-1 victory over Amherst on Jan. 19. The team is optimistic for the rest of the season, said Evan Besser ’11. The Bears’ next home match is Feb. 6, when they take on No. 2 Yale at 12:30 p.m. and No. 20 George Washington at 4:30 p.m. — Jesse Frank
Wrestling The wrestling team kicked off its dual meet season on Jan. 8 against Rutgers. Since then, the Bears have competed in seven additional dual meets during winter break and finished with a 2-6 record in duals. The Bears traveled to New Jersey a week after New Year’s to compete against Rutgers and Franklin and Marshall College. Rutgers was in control the entire dual, handing the Bears a lopsided 35-8 loss. But the Bears bounced right back by beating Franklin and Marshall, 46-4. The Bears carried the momentum to the next day and defeated Hofstra, 18-17. The following weekend, the Bears faced off against four tough opponents — Utah Valley, Air Force, Oklahoma and Northwestern. Despite their efforts, they could not pull any upsets and dropped all four duals. In the last dual of winter break, the Bears traveled to Pennsylvania to compete against Bucknell and lost a close dual, 28-13. The Bears will host their first dual meet of the season this Saturday at noon at the Pizzitola Center.
— Han Cui
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Thursday, January 28, 2010
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Women’s hockey squad slips, slides By Andrew Braca Assistant Sports Editor
After starting January strong with a win and a tie against non-conference opponents, the women’s hockey team totaled just two goals in four straight ECAC Hockey losses to fall to 2-14-4 overall and 0-11-3 in conference play. Facing Vermont, Laurie Jolin ’13 scored on a power play, Sasha Van Muyen ’10 added an empty-net goal and Katie Jamieson ’13 made 34 saves to blank their former ECAC rival on Jan. 3. Seven days later, the Bears staged a back-and-forth battle with Boston University. After Jacquie Pierri ’12 opened the scoring early in the second period with the first goal of her career, the Terriers scored three straight goals in the middle of the frame. Bruno responded with a goal late in the second by Van Muyen and tallies
by Katelyn Landry ’12, Paige Pyett ’12 and Nicole Brown ’10 in the first five minutes of the third. BU erased the deficit with two late goals and — when neither team could score in overtime — the game ended knotted at 5-5. Brown suffered a 2-0 loss to Rensselaer on Jan. 15, as the Engineers broke through to notch the only goals of the game in a 50-second span midway through the second period. The following afternoon, the Bears were blindsided by perennial ECAC doormat Union College in a 3-0 loss. For the second time this season, Brown could not solve Union goalie Alana Marcinko, who stopped all 47 shots she faced to match the shutout she posted in a scoreless tie in November. The Dutchwomen captured just their second win in their seven seasons in the ECAC and their first since 2004. Against St. Lawrence, Jamieson’s
44 saves were not enough to avert a 3-2 loss on Friday. Alena Polenska ’13 gave the Bears an early lead, but the Saints evened the score late in the first period and took a commanding 3-1 lead five minutes into the middle frame. Erin Connors ’10 cut the deficit in half late in the second, but Brown could not draw any closer. On Saturday, the Bears played No. 3 Clarkson tough, holding the ECAC leaders to just a 38-28 advantage in shots, but came up short in a 3-0 loss. The Golden Knights scored less than three minutes into the game and added two third-period goals, while the Bears were again unable to find the back of the net. Bruno will play two games against Yale (7-11-3, 5-8-1) this weekend, traveling to New Haven for a Saturday game before hosting the Bulldogs on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Meehan Auditorium.
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Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald
Page 10 | Thursday, January 28, 2010
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Career move In a recent national survey of college freshmen, 56.5 percent said that future job prospects were a “very important” factor in deciding which school to attend. According to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, which conducts the survey annually, this figure represents the highest rate since 1985. While we believe that many students choose Brown for other reasons — especially its open curriculum and reputation for happy students — we do wonder how economic pressures are affecting Brown students’ choices once they are enrolled. Indeed, members of the class of 2012 will declare their concentrations this semester amid rising unemployment and a severe economic crisis. Choosing between concentrations is already difficult, as students must think carefully about their academic interests, remaining time at Brown and goals after graduation. In an ideal world students could simply choose to concentrate in the subjects about which they feel most passionate. But given the economic climate and the cost of a Brown education, it would be irresponsible to suggest that students disregard thoughts of life after Brown when making this important decision. To ensure that students choosing concentrations can act on informed deliberation and not mere anxiety, we hope all departments will take extra efforts in the coming months to educate students about the career paths available to concentrators. For subjects like computer science and economics, a range of options is relatively well defined. But for other areas, especially in the humanities, potential concentrators may want a little help answering that inevitable question: What do you plan to do with your degree? The English department has set an excellent example. It recently surveyed alumni concentrators
from the classes of 1999 to 2007 about how their degree has affected their careers and then posted all the responses online. We commend this effort both for giving students access to a vast array of informative testimonials and for focusing on recent alumni who are most familiar with how a Brown degree is perceived today. The Career Development Center’s Web site has a page devoted to “Careers & Concentrations,” but it only contains a paragraph of general advice. While the CDC is right to note that a liberal arts education prepares students for a vast array of careers, it should develop this part of its Web page and offer more specific information about individual concentrations. The CDC’s Web site also directs students to BRUnet, a powerful networking tool that allows students to search alumni by a number of criteria, including concentration. However, departments like Africana Studies and Theatre Arts are underrepresented in the database. We hope the CDC and the Alumni Association will increase their efforts to add additional alumni information, and we encourage students to use this valuable resource. When seeking reassurance, students are frequently told that a liberal arts education at Brown is ultimately an education in thinking critically and creatively — skills that will serve students well in whichever field they choose later on. Indeed, in many cases the connection between one’s concentration and career options may be overstated. Nonetheless, in the midst of a severe recession, the University can do more to help ease students’ concerns. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Opinions The Brown Daily Herald
Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Page 11
Don’t hesitate to vaccinate! DAVID SHEFFIELD Opinions Columnist
The second wave of novel H1N1 influenza — the swine flu — is over, and the number of new cases continues to decrease. However, this does not mean that the virus is finished. The 1918 flu swept the world in three waves: first in the spring and summer of 1918, then in the fall, and finally a third wave the following spring. Luckily, this strain of H1N1 is nowhere near as deadly as the one from 1918. Nonetheless, the virus still poses a danger, as does the seasonal flu. Seasonal influenza kills more Americans each year than any other vaccine-preventable illness, but those deaths are mostly among the elderly, the very young and the sick — people whose immune systems cannot fight off the virus. To the young and the healthy, college students in particular, the virus is not too bad. Maybe you’ll get a fever, a headache or some soreness, but nothing serious. H1N1 isn’t too bad either. It does disproportionately affect younger people more than the seasonal flu, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccination for anyone under the age of 25, but it still has killed about 10,000 people in the United States since April. Seasonal flu kills over three times
that number each year. Last semester, a friend told me that he wasn’t going to get a flu shot because he doubted he would catch it. The same reasoning seems to work for most people. A recent CDC survey of H1N1 vaccination rates showed that only 28 percent of their target population (those most at risk from the virus, including people under 25) has been vaccinated and only 20 percent of the general population. Low vaccination rates are not just a problem for those who decide not to be vaccinated. Not everyone who would want to get vaccinated
such as diptheria and pertussis, something called herd immunity kicked in. When herd immunity occurs, the virus finds itself surrounded by a desert of immunized bodies and has nowhere to spread. It cannot find anyone to infect. This protects the people whose bodies could not have fought the infection, as well as everyone else. Our rates for influenza vaccination are far below this threshold. This is how humans wiped smallpox off the face of the globe. We vaccinated and vaccinated until the virus was isolated. This is also how our species is trying to wipe out diseases
If so many people choose to forgo vaccination, they put everyone else at greater risk. can. Vaccines ultimately rely on your immune system to fight off the virus so those with compromised immune systems (e.g. new-born babies and people with immune diseases) are not helped by them. Even those who chose to get vaccinated are not guaranteed that it prepares their immune systems adequately. Everyone is better off not encountering the virus at all. But if so many people choose to forgo vaccination, they put everyone else at greater risk. When between 75 percent and 95 percent of the population was vaccinated for diseases
like polio and measles. But there is a growing problem of organized movements that campaign against vaccination. The anti-vaccination movement focuses on trying to link vaccines to autism. Members claim that vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps and rubella and ingredients like thimerosal, a preservative in some vaccines, cause autism. The evidence says otherwise. Study after study has shown no link between vaccines and autism. Though there is no evidence that thimerosal can cause autism, it was still removed from
childhood vaccines to allay any fears. A decade later, autism rates have not been affected and vaccination rates have. The movement bills itself as promoting safety, but it is really promoting disease and death. Due to a decrease in vaccination, cases of measles are on the rise after endemic measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. Similar problems are occurring around the world with diseases like whooping cough and polio. If you have any concerns over the safety of vaccines, talk to a doctor and look at what medical organizations like the CDC have to say. Do not trust the claims of the anti-vaccination movement or even the claims of an opinions columnist. Look at the evidence and talk with actual doctors. You are much more likely to die of any of these diseases than to get a serious side effect from their vaccines. If you don’t want to get vaccinated because you do not think you will get sick, fine. Get vaccinated to protect those to whom you might spread the virus — people who do not have as robust an immune system as yours. Your grandparents, infants and the sick all benefit if you do your part to stop the spread of these diseases. This is the real reason you should follow the CDC guidelines. Even if you do get a sore arm, it will be worth it.
David Sheffield ’11 is a fully vaccinated math-physics concentrator from New Jersey. He can be contacted at david_ firstname.lastname@example.org
In defense of Ruth HUNTER FAST Opinions Columnist
Recently, University President Ruth Simmons’ positions on the respective boards of directors of Goldman Sachs and Texas Instruments have become causes celebres among Brown’s far left. In opinion articles and public demonstrations, President Simmons became the target of numerous accusations of corporate corruption and ethical wrongdoing. Indeed, her mere association with such firms invites criticism; Goldman Sachs’ business practices are reprehensible and Texas Instruments manufactures the TI-89 Titanium, the most economically coercive computing device ever conceived. Her detractors take glee in presupposing her guilt of conspicuously vague charges, then employing equally vague terms such as “corporate excess” or “corporate greed” — corporate anything, really — to add weight to these accusations in the absence of real evidence. For instance, Ruth Simmons has been accused of exploiting her role as President of Brown, and by extension exploiting her students, in order to advance her interests in the corporate sphere. In his Herald opinion column “Et tu, Ruth” (Dec. 3), Simon Liebling ’12 insists that Simmons obtained her directorships at Goldman Sachs and Texas Instruments only because of her position as Brown’s president. He asserts that her pay as Brown’s president should be determined by the other occupations that she holds, since she owes her professional career to the students of Brown. Many problems exist with this theory, but
one simple and very serious flaw is sufficient. Simmons became a director of Texas Instruments in 1999, and a director of Goldman Sachs in January 2000, while she became President of Brown University in July 2001. That’s right. If Liebling is to be believed, then Simmons’ presidency of Brown retroactively contributed to her ascendance to her directorships. Even in the world of finance, causality only operates in one direction; therefore, this accusation is completely without merit. Simmons’ detractors also decry her sixfigure salary and denounce her recent volun-
Simmons has received extensive criticism for her role as a member of the Compensation Committee of Goldman Sachs, which was responsible for doling out an estimated $21 billion in employee bonuses in 2009(5). In light of the current financial crisis, one can see why record-setting employee bonuses could be construed as a sign of “corporate excess.” However, this fails to place the size of Goldman Sachs’ bonus pool in any real context. These bonuses came at a time when Goldman Sachs posted record profits, and thus, the firm paid these bonuses not because of
By having Ruth Simmons on Goldman Sachs’ board of directors, Brown University benefits in that she is able to utilize the influence and information that she gains to manage Brown’s finances and raise capital for Brown more effectively. tary $64,000 pay cut as a shallow “PR move,” and in so doing, they miss the point entirely. Yes, $64,000 is a trifle compared to the $800 billion lost by the Brown endowment during the financial meltdown, but then again, so is Simmons’ entire salary. The pay cut, Simmons’ third in as many years, is intended as a statement that Brown’s administrators are willing to make sacrifices to ensure the University’s survival in the recession. In demonstrating that the administrators are looking out for the University’s interests, even at the expense of their own, they demonstrate to potential donors that Brown University is a safe investment. In addition to these accusations, President
some divorce from reality — as was the case with AIG’s bonuses — but rather as a reflection of the success of the firm. Indeed, this relationship between employee compensation and the firm’s profit is not just an intuitive correlation. It is part of Goldman Sachs’ official compensation policy, which states that “effective compensation practices should … align aggregate compensation for the firm with performance over the cycle.” In short, large profits for Goldman Sachs mean a large bonus pool for its employees. The Compensation Committee is doing nothing that is inconsistent with existing policy. Furthermore, the Compensation Committee paid the bonuses of the top thirty Goldman
Sachs executives entirely in company stock in order to provide a strong disincentive against the excessive risk-taking that precipitated the current financial crisis. As previously stated, Goldman Sachs’ business practices are reprehensible. Up to this point, this has been a defense solely of their compensation practices and Ruth Simmons’ role in their formation. Despite this, whether we like it or not, Goldman Sachs is an influential actor in the world of international finance. By having Ruth Simmons on Goldman Sachs’ board of directors, Brown University benefits in that she is able to utilize the influence and information that she gains to manage Brown’s finances and raise capital for Brown more effectively. Moreover, her directorial positions serve as a signal to potential donors that donations will be managed effectively and will not go to waste. To have President Simmons forgo these benefits would only harm the University’s interests — and ultimately those of its students — by curtailing Brown’s ability to raise capital, which would impede the University’s ability to render financial aid, pay its workers and fulfill its academic mission. Given that Brown benefits from Simmons’ role in the financial sphere, and that many of the charges leveled against her do not stand up even to a cursory analysis, there are several reasons why she will retain her spot on my T-shirt for at least a little while longer.
Hunter Fast ’12 is an economics and international relations concentrator from Bloomington, Ill. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Cabernet Voltaire| Abe Pressman
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis
ACROSS 1 Trip with much hardship 5 Ampule 9 Bikini blast, briefly 14 Prefix with port 15 FAQ responses, e.g. 16 Belittle 17 Send out 18 “Gosh darn it!” 19 Language that gives us “floe” 20 Music lessons for Bill Clinton? 23 Oscar-winning role for Forest 24 PC backup key 25 Corrosionresistant metal 29 Letter flourish 31 Sgt. Snorkel’s pooch 33 An A will usually raise it: Abbr. 34 Science opening? 36 Most congenial 39 Documentary about Chicago’s relationship with its team? 42 Event with a piñata 43 Stuffing stuff 44 “Exodus” hero 45 At the top of the heap 47 Roman __: thinly disguised fiction 51 Often scandalous book genre 54 Dawdle behind 56 Old name of Tokyo 57 More equitable of two civil case juries? 60 With alacrity 63 Ruminate 64 Prefix with dextrous 65 Its capital is Apia 66 Performing __ 67 Despicable 68 Almost boil 69 Political cartoonist Thomas 70 Israeli statesman Weizman DOWN 1 One of Luther’s 95 2 Like “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” in 2008
Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline
By Donna S. Levin
3 Alchemist’s creation 4 Hawk family bird 5 High-tech invader 6 Of one mind 7 Aptly named shaving lotion 8 Became unhinged 9 Capital on the Red River 10 Govt. security 11 Otologist’s concern 12 Org. dodged by draft dodgers 13 Driver’s starting point 21 Take down 22 Did a laundry chore 26 “__ a Kick Out of You”: Cole Porter 27 “__-daisy!” 28 Welcome spot 30 “What You Need” band 32 Carryalls 35 Lacking capacity 37 2002 movie with Manny the Mammoth 38 Newspaper concern, esp. lately
Wednesday’s Puzzle Solved
Hippomaniac | Mat Becker
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39 Bold Ruler, to Secretariat 40 Versailles eye 41 Schedules of problems to be dealt with 42 More than plump 46 Jenna of “Dharma & Greg” 48 Musical based on an 1862 novel, for short 49 Safe to put away
50 More artful 52 Henry Blake’s title on “M*A*S*H” 53 Good place to get? 55 “Give it __!” 58 Surrounding glow 59 Uninhibited party 60 The law, according to Mr. Bumble 61 Lobbying gp. 62 Org. for GPs