Daily Herald the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 50 | Friday, April 16, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891
Corp. fellow investigated for kickbacks By Alicia Chen Senior Staff Writer
The Quadrangle Group — a private investment firm co-founded by Steven Rattner ’74 P’09, a member of the Corporation’s board of fellows and a former Herald editor-in-chief — has reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo concerning a corruption investigation, the New York Times reported Thursday. Quadrangle was accused by the SEC and Cuomo of giving kickbacks to state pension fund advisers in return for investing with the group, according to a press release from Cuomo’s office. The group will pay $7 million to the state of New York and $5 million to the SEC, those offices reported. Rattner, who left Quadrangle last year to become President Obama’s “car czar,” was not included in the agreement and is still under investigation by the Attorney General’s office. In a press release, Quadrangle emphasized that it “neither admitted nor denied any allegations” and that the “matters under investigation related solely to the actions of former Quadrangle employees.” According to the attorney general’s press release, Quadrangle stated, “We wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steve Rattner, who hired the New York State Comptroller’s political consultant, Hank Morris, to arrange an investment from the New York State Common Retirement Fund. That conduct was inappropriate, wrong, and unethical.” continued on page 3
Over 700 visit the Hill for a taste of Brown By Ana Alvarez Senior Staff Writer
After a record number of applications and months of student planning, A Day on College Hill welcomed over 700 prospective students to the sunny Brown campus. The two-day event, which gives admitted students a taste of life at Brown, officially began Thursday afternoon. Many prospective students had been on campus since Wednesday for Third World Welcome, a program focused on minority students. During ADOCH, admitted students are able to meet future classmates, pick through a variety of classes to attend during “shopping period,” stay a night in a Brown residence hall and attend many informative and social events. But what admitted students might have enjoyed the most on Thursday is the weather. Unlike last year, ADOCH volunteers did not have to welcome students with umbrellas and ponchos, said Sarah Evelyn ’12, a volunteer for the ADOCH Planning Committee. Volunteers were very thankful for the clear skies and warm temperatures, Evelyn said. While the weather on Friday
Nick Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald
President Ruth Simmons welcomed potential members of the class of 2014 on the Main Green.
“might take a turn for the worse,” it’s the “first day that really matters,” said Eddie Re ’12, co-coordinator of the planning committee. For the first time, the planning committee paired prospective students with hosts that shared similar interests, Re said. When students
volunteered to host, they were asked to fill out a survey of their academic and extracurricular interests, which were then matched with those of prospective students, he said. Because of this, Re added, “hosting ran very well.” “The only thing that has sur-
Engineering school will mean balancing act By Sarah Forman Senior Staff Writer
With a New Curriculum that offers nearly unadulterated academic freedom and a Division of Engineering that requires 21 courses from its bachelor of science concentrators, the University is in the midst of the same difficult balancing act as several other schools nationwide: expanding engineering offerings
while maintaining a commitment to the liberal arts. After the faculty voted last week to approve the creation of a new School of Engineering, which would replace Brown’s current division, that balance is set to become a little more complicated. ‘Training whole people’ “It’s very important that students have choice here,” said Iris Bahar,
director of undergraduate programs in engineering and associate professor of engineering. “You can come in, kind of explore and then make your decision about what you’re going to concentrate in.” Without strict distribution requirements or a core curriculum, engineering students have “an exceptional opportunity” to discover
John Racioppo ’11 is a wolf — or at least he is this weekend in Production Workshop’s newest play, “Red,”
ARTS & CULTURE
Nick Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald
Abby Colella ’12 and John Racioppo ’11 as Diane and Red share a tender moment while Mariagrazia LaFauci ’12 sleeps in P.W.’s latest production.
News.....1–4 Arts..........5 Editorial....6 Opinion.....7 Today........8
which opens Friday night in T. F. Green Hall. Written and directed by Daria Marinelli ’10, “Red” is a mature retelling of the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story. The play doesn’t offer expositions on how big the wolf’s teeth
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Gala planners have not paid Westin in full By Alex Bell Senior Staff Writer
are. Nor does it paint the wolf in a purely wicked light, and Diane, played by Abby Colella ’12, the play’s own “Little Red,” is no angel either. “Red” chooses to paint the world not in the black-and-white terms of good and evil so often seen in childhood fairytales, but in the varying shades of gray that define reality. “The play is about growing up and making choices when there aren’t any right decisions,” Marinelli said. When she started writing the play, Marinelli said she did not know that
Organizers of Saturday’s Gala have not paid more than the $5,000 deposit they had originally paid to the Westin Providence hotel, despite a contractual obligation to pay the remainder of a $20,000 minimum payment by Wednesday, Senior Director for Student Engagement Ricky Gresh wrote in an e-mail to The Herald Thursday night. The Gala, originally scheduled to be at the Westin, was moved to Andrews Dining Hall last week after members of the Student Labor Alliance raised concerns over a labor dispute at the hotel that led its workers to call for a community boycott of the hotel. But the contract with the hotel still holds the event’s organizers — Class Board and Key Society — responsible for a $20,000 minimum fee for food and other services at the event, even though it will not be held there, Ted von Gerichten, associate counsel for the University, told The Herald
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Passion, propriety and wolves in P.W.’s ‘Red’ By Kristina Fazzalaro Senior Staff Writer
prised me so far is how smoothly everything is going,” Re said. After registering with ADOCH volunteers at Sayles Hall, prospective students followed colorful chalk signs to the Pembroke campus, where they were served a barbecue dinner. There, admitted students were “already chatting with each other and being social,” said ADOCH volunteer Colby Jenkins ’12. The dinner was followed by a welcoming ceremony with President Ruth Simmons and Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73. Students sat under a heated white tent on the Main Green and laughed along with Simmons as she welcomed the class. Throughout the rest of the night, prospective students attended talent shows, heard a cappella arch sings and mingled with other admitted students over ice cream. “So far Ruth Simmons is one of my favorite academic administrators that I’ve met in my life,” said William Ryan, a prospective freshman. Ryan, who is still considering other universities, said that he has found Brown “more chill and less pretentious than all of the Ivy League
The Play’s the thing Shakespeare on the Green’s open-air productions of “As You Like It” and “Hamlet”
welcome, pre-frosh We badmouth other schools in the hopes you’ll decide to come here instead
Down with Barriers Tobias ’12 on apartheid, past and present
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“It can turn you into a monster or back into a human again too.”
P.W.’s ‘Red’ is a modern fairy tale continued from page 1
it would be a new take on the childhood story. “It’s not the seed of the play, but it lies tangent to it,” she explained. “There are echoes of the past story, but with some changes.” For one, Diane is a grown woman, engaged to her town’s soon-to-be-mayor, Roger, played by Ted Cava ’11. The two live with her grandmother, played by Mariagrazia LaFauci ’12, in a small house on the edge of town. Isolated from their neighbors by the surrounding woods, the family lives quietly and peacefully — on a good day. Unfortunately for Diane, today is not going to be a good day. The play opens, fittingly, with the howling of a wolf. Diane rushes out of her house — barefoot and anxious to listen to the beast’s call. She speaks to the audience directly, explaining her predicament in loose, metaphorical language. Diane was in love once — that much is clear — but that love, which she compares to a wild and everchanging river, let her down. Her one constant has been Roger, her lifelong friend who is all about tradition and propriety. He does things the way his father did them. There is a comfort between the two and their relationship is teasing, light and easy as breathing.
Enter Racioppo’s half-man, halfwolf character, Red, who shares a romantic past with Diane. Bounding onto the scene on all fours, Red returns to his former lover’s house to ask Diane for help. Roger has declared open season on wolves since his dear fiance has been kept up at night due to the incessant howling. Red fears the shooters tremendously — he is the only wolf in these woods and he knows they won’t stop hunting until they find him. Red begs Diane to let him stay, but the pair’s relationship is volatile. He cannot control his wolf side long enough to give Diane the stable, safe relationship she needs. But, at the same time, the two share something she and Roger do not — passion. Diane may love Roger, but it is a young love, sweet and relaxed. With Red, Diane can push aside all of the expectations that Roger, and the town may have of her and simply be herself. Their love is explosive and temperamental, but still comfortable in that Red knows her and accepts all of her. Diane must choose — the howler or the mayor — and it’s not so easy a decision. As Marinelli said, the play is about the “transformative power of love. It can turn you into a monster or back into a human again too,” she said. This is literally the case for Red,
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Friday, April 16, 2010
who can only fully become human when Diane willingly kisses him due to a curse he claims Zeus has placed on him. At all other times, Red is in a state of limbo — he thirsts for fresh meat, sheds all over Diane’s bathroom, nuzzles her leg and bounds around with the grace and strength of a wolf. Racioppo said he spent a lot of time looking at videos of wolves, as well as studying a source closer to home, his dog. Racioppo had to see how these characteristics would “fit a human body and, then, how you keep the wolf characteristics when you’re playing a man,” he said. Racioppo’s smart performance, which could have easily been overacted, was captivating to watch. He truly brought the wolf to life. Where Racioppo brought out his animal side, Cava’s Roger was all about propriety, and his quiet performance of the text definitely delivered. The star of the show, however, is Colella. Her Diane is both sweet and saucy at the same time as she grapples with her emotions throughout the play. Her sincere portrayal brings audience members into the action and keeps them on the edge of their seats as they await her decision. “Red” is running April 16–19 at 8 p.m. with an additional performance on Saturday, April 17, at 10 p.m.
— Daria Marinelli ’12 on the power of love in “Red”
U p for debate
Max Monn / Herald
Arthur Matuszewski ’11, a candidate for president of the Undergraduate Council of Students and a former editor of Post- magazine, participates in a candidate debate Thursday evening. He is running against Diane Mokoro ’11, currently the council’s vice president.
Friday, April 16, 2010
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“We are not training engineers, we are training whole people.” — Cherry Murray, Dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering
School would make engineering more accessible continued from page 1 other disciplines, Rodney Clifton, interim dean of engineering, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “That’s what the open curriculum is for,” said Francois Baldassari ’11, an electrical engineering concentrator. “I wanted to do more with college than just be an engineer.” Baldassari said he took five classes in each of his first five semesters in order to make room for courses outside of engineering that he “would not have been able to take anywhere else.” Harvard, like other liberal arts universities offering engineering, strives to maintain a similar balance between hard sciences and liberal arts, according to Cherry Murray, dean of Harvard’s recently created School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “We are not training engineers, we are training whole people,” she said, because global issues “can’t be addressed adequately without the entire body of culture, laws, sociology, business acumen and policy that is part of a liberal arts education.” Shakespeare and thermo Because of Har vard’s undergraduate distribution requirements, Murray said that Harvard’s engineering school reaches many students outside of the department. Engineering is a vital part of any liberal arts education, since without a basic understanding of math, science and technology, students cannot understand how the world works, said Venkatesh Narayanamurti, former dean of Harvard’s engineering school. “If I’m supposed to know Shakespeare, you should at least know the laws of thermodynamics,” he said. In redefining Brown’s engineering division as a school with more lab space and course offerings, Bahar said she thinks more students outside of engineering will be encouraged to venture into Barus and Holley and explore the discipline.
U. invested in embattled firm continued from page 1 Rattner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, was quoted by the Times and other media outlets saying, “Mr. Rattner does not agree with the characterization of events released today, including those contained in Quadrangle’s statement.” The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last month that the University had invested with Quadrangle, according to its 2008 federal tax forms. The University could not be reached for comment.
“We want to make engineering more accessible,” she said, explaining that a school of engineering would be better able to reach out to other departments than the current division. “It’s not just a matter of giving more to engineers.” Over the last two years, the number of students at Harvard choosing engineering as a concentration has increased by 57 percent, and there has been a 30 percent rise in the number of applicants interested in engineering, Murray said. Since its redefinition as a school, instead of a division, Harvard’s engineering program has also gained more faculty and more facilities, she said. Because Brown’s engineering program is still too small to offer most introductory courses both semesters, it can be very difficult to switch into the division, said Allison Palm ’12. Palm applied to Brown as a prospective engineer, but said she was not ready to take engineering courses until her freshman spring since her high school had not offered upper-level math and science. Since the courses she needed were only available in the fall, she could not begin the engineering track until her sophomore year, which means she will have to take five classes for most of her remaining semesters, she said. A field on the rise Not only would more introductory classes help the engineering program welcome outside students, but they might also be necessary in order to handle the increasing number of concentrators. Of the class of 2009, 240 students — about 17 percent — graduated with degrees in the physical sciences, among them 64 engineers, according to the Office of Institutional Research’s Web site. Nearly twice as large a proportion — 30 percent — of the students accepted to the class of 2014 indicated an interest in the physical sciences, according to an April 1 press release
from the Office of Admission. “Brown is not unique in its students’ expressing a larger interest in engineering,” Bahar said. Federal initiatives are pushing engineering as an answer to climate change and other global issues, contributing to some of that rise, Baldassari said. Many minority students, including low-income and first-generation college students, are also being drawn to the field because “they know they can get a job,” Murray said. Partly in order to accommodate the growing body of engineering applicants, many universities with a traditional emphasis on the liberal arts are expanding their engineering offerings. Every Ivy League institution except Brown now has its own school of engineering, though according to the University’s Web site, Brown was the first among them to offer any engineering program. Stanford University boasts an engineering school second only to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to U.S. News and World Report rankings. In fact, only three out of U.S. News’ top 10 engineering schools are solely technological institutes, suggesting that more engineering students want to “understand not only how things work, but also how the world works,” according to Narayanamurti. Other departments As Brown and other liberal arts schools change the nature of engineering to include more of a focus on the liberal arts, Professor of Anthropology and former Vice President and Provost William Simmons ’60 worries that Brown will lose “part of its identity as a university college,” he said. “I would have to wonder the degree to which the engineering curriculum is compatible with the rest of what Brown is doing,” he said. “They’re basically becoming a profescontinued on page 4
Essayist John D’Agata shares eclectic writing By Anish Gonchigar Staff Writer
Essayist John D’Agata read from his latest book, “About a Mountain,” to a crowd of about 60 people in the English department’s McCormack Family Theater Thursday night. D’Agata, a professor of English at the University of Iowa, merges ordinarily separate literary techniques, such as fictional storytelling, reporting and personal anecdotes, together into a book that a Los Angeles Times review described as a “meditation on post-millennial issues.” “I think you need to stop the racist segregation of genres,” D’Agata joked to the audience. D’Agata read from the end of “About a Mountain,” an excerpt that focused on the Yucca Mountain Project — the plan of the U.S. Department of Energy to store the nation’s nuclear waste in Yucca, a mountain 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, where it is expected to decay for 10,000 years. The author, whose writing wove together a set of eclectic topics that included the number nine and Norwegian inbreeding, linked the story
of the Yucca Mountain Project to his work for a suicide prevention hotline at the time he was writing the book. He then went on to describe the suicide of Levi Presley, a 16-year-old Las Vegas resident. D’Agata had spoken to a young man who called the hotline earlier on the day of Presley’s suicide, and D’Agata immediately believed — mistakenly, as he later discovered — Presley was that young man. Despite the heavy and tragic themes of his writing, audience members laughed in reaction to the absurdity of D’Agata’s work. The author also told audience members not to feel uncomfortable laughing during these moments. Thursday’s reading, sponsored by the Program in Literary Arts and the Department of English’s Nonfiction Writing Program, was the final stop on D’Agata’s book tour of over a dozen colleges since his novel was published in February. D’Agata, who had spoken at Brown previously, said he appreciated the literary atmosphere of the University. “I don’t mean to flatter you, but I really feel I’m saving the best for last,” D’Agata said.
Westin not holding Class Board to deadline on Gala continued from page 1 Monday. “Discussions with the Westin are ongoing,” Gresh wrote in the e-mail. “I am pleased to say that talks have been amicable, and I look forward to a positive outcome.” He wrote that the Westin is “currently not holding Brown or the student groups to the due date.” Von Gerichten said the process of negotiations would likely be more along the lines of a “business discus-
sion” rather than a legal debate. Neil Parikh ’11, president of the 2011 Class Board, told The Herald Wednesday that he and other students were not privy to the negotiations, and were told instead to focus on planning Saturday’s Gala in Andrews. A spokesman for the Procaccianti Group, which owns the Westin, declined to comment Wednesday on whether any payment had been made or when the due date for payment was.
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“No one sits around as a child and dreams of being homeless.” — Jessica Salter, Vice President of Development at Amos House
Teach-in spotlights homelessness in R.I. By Clare de Boer Contributing Writer
“Being poor, and its corollar y, being homeless, is a crushing burden to bear,” Gregor y Elliot, professor of sociology, told an intimate audience in MacMillan 115 at the Rhode Island Hunger and Homelessness Teach-In on Thursday evening. At the teachin, sponsored by the Community Health Departmental Undergraduate Group and Kappa Alpha Theta, three panelists discussed the social and psychological consequences of extreme pover ty before answering audience questions. “The worst form of violence is poverty,” Elliot said, echoing Mahatma Gandhi. The poor, and particularly the homeless, “feel invisible,” said Jessica Salter, vice president of development at Amos House, Rhode Island’s largest
soup kitchen and a provider of professional training and support for the homeless. When “you get the message everyday that you don’t matter to the powers that be,” one way to “compel mattering is to do socially disruptive things,” Elliot said. This explains why “90 percent of people who come to (Amos House’s) programs have a criminal record,” said Salter. Elliot noted society’s dangerous distinction between the “deser ving” and the “undeser ving” poor — the former whose situation is no fault of their own, and the latter who are held responsible for their situation and are therefore disqualified from public empathy. “No one sits around as a child and dreams of being homeless,” Salter said, “we have to be less comfortable keeping people at arms length, or things just don’t
Friday, April 16, 2010
change.” Asher Oser, a rabbi whose synagogue is in partnership with Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest ser vice provider for the homeless, is engaging with the issue by providing meals for 350 homeless people each Sunday. His program addresses “mattering and delinquency” not only by providing for the homeless, but also by accepting volunteers who have been turned down to perform community ser vice as punishment elsewhere. “If you can give individuals the skills and the opportunities, most people do really want to take the steps to change their lives,” Salter said. After the discussion, many of the students signed a petition to increase funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which will be sent to Governor Donald Carcieri ’65. Students in attendance said they thought the panelists were insightful. “It was really informative to hear three different perspectives on homelessness and think about the issue on so many different levels,” said Marie Ripa ’12. Danielle Crumley ’12 said, “It helped me to understand the cyclical nature of poverty.”
Attrition remains a problem for engineers continued from page 3 sional school.” Elena Albright ’11, a biology concentrator, said she was happy with the proposed growth in engineering. “Brown is plenty prestigious, but if it’s going to attract another set of the country’s brightest students,” she said, “it’s a good thing.” Neither she nor computer science concentrator Joseph Browne ’10 said they thought that placing more emphasis on engineering would take away funding or interest in their departments. The faculty’s resolution last week discouraged the idea that other departments would be hurt by the change, as it insisted that “steps will be taken to ensure that the move to school status increases rather than impedes faculty and student teaching and research collaborations between Engineering and the rest of the University.” Drop it low The faculty’s resolution did not contain any reference to one of the major problems within the current division: attrition. Students and faculty gave varying
estimates of the number of students who leave the department, but Bahar said she thought it might be around 20 percent. “I don’t think that’s higher than other schools,” she said. “Attrition is a fact of engineering.” The advising program and course structure may be partly to blame for the attrition rate, said Gregory Lowen ’12, a Meiklejohn adviser in engineering. He said that he thought his advising partner was too focused on “trying to force engineers to stay in” to really help explain all of the different options — including restructuring some of the standard course schedules — to his advisees. “They’re confused, they don’t know what to do,” he said. Baldassari said he was also underwhelmed by his advisers, and said that his freshman adviser “gave me my PIN number, and that was it.” Universities need to continue working to address attrition, both by providing more flexible course modules and by reworking their curriculums, Narayanamurti said. “We need far more engineering graduates than we actually graduate,” he said.
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Friday, April 16, 2010
“That’s what theater should be. Theater for fun.” — Kate Doyle ’12, director of “As You Like It”
Shakespeare on the Green takes the show outside Pre-frosh
By Alexys Esparza Contributing Writer
Shakespeare meets the outdoors this weekend as Shakespeare on the Green, a student group that puts on outdoor performances of Shakespearean plays, performs two of his classic works, “As You Like It” and “Hamlet.” Kate Doyle ’12, director of “As You Like It” and features editor of Post- magazine, described performing Shakespeare on the campus green as a “nice, fresh, different way to do things” and as a “whole different style of performance.” The actors in “As You Like It” maximize their use of the open space of Lincoln Field, somersaulting and wrestling across the green. The audience sits at the bottom of the hill, facing Sayles Hall, which creates a two-level stage on the hill. The actors take full advantage of the sloping setup, running up and down the hill and hanging from trees. Due to the limited number of cast members, some actors take on multiple roles, which illuminates the versatility of the actors involved and fosters an intimate setting between the actors and the audience. “The play lends itself well to
Max Monn / Herald
Ben Jones’13 and Alex Wankel ’11 star in Shakespeare on the Green’s production of “As You Like It.”
a ’60s theme,” Doyle said. The actors’ costumes are all ’60s inspired, including colorful prints and floral dresses. Various Beatles songs played during set transitions and scene introductions add to the 1960s mood. The actors play of f of each
other quite well, creating a light, fun and enjoyable atmosphere for the audience. There are many comedic moments throughout the play that are well represented by the actors’ interactions with one another. Like “As You Like It,” and most
Shakespearean plays, “Hamlet” has constantly been recreated and reinterpreted by actors and audiences alike. Margaret Maurer ’13, who is directing the Shakespeare on the Green production, wrote in an email to The Herald, “One of the major goals that we had with ‘Hamlet’ was to revitalize it, to make it into a play that ever yone — no matter what their previous exposure, if any, to the play — could see as though for the first time.” The Hamlet actors and the audience meet at the Van Wickle Gates and proceed to various green spaces around campus. Rather than utilizing one set space as the stage, Maurer wrote, “The play moves during the performance to a different location every night, so even night to night the play is a completely unique experience.” Shakespeare on the Green’s productions provide the audience with a fresh look at two of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. “That’s what theater should be,” Doyle said. “Theater for fun.” Shakespeare on the Green is running April 16–19 at 8 p.m. “As You Like It” will run on Saturday, April 17, at 3 p.m. 10 p.m.
continued from page 1 schools I’ve visited.” And, he added, if he does come to Brown, he hopes Simmons will be his “mom away from home.” Kyle McNamara, another prospective freshman, said that after taking the physical sciences tour, which focuses on Brown’s science facilities, earlier in the day, he was surprisingly impressed with science at Brown. “I didn’t know how far science was at Brown, but they seem to have a good handle on things,” he said. Now, McNamara added, he’s almost certain that he will enroll in Brown as an engineer. Natalie Mehra, also an admit considering Brown, said she was “really surprised” when she got in, given the record number of applicants for the class of 2014. Mehra, who said she has already found Brown “really nice, really friendly, warm and welcoming,” added that of all of Brown’s qualities, the New Curriculum is what appeals to her the most. Mehra said she is especially glad she came to ADOCH because it gave her a better picture of student life. “I thought I might not fit in with people here, but now I definitely see I will,” she said.
Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald
Page 6 | Friday, April 16, 2010
l e t t e r to t h e e d i to r
U. cuts show poor priorities To the Editor: Your article on how the impending staff cuts will impact the institutional knowledge and skills at Brown’s libraries (“University libraries face staff cuts,” April 8) is just the tip of the iceberg. The University’s cutting of 60 staff positions, on top of 31 positions cut last year, is just another example of the poor priorities of the Simmons administration and the Corporation. The construction of Brown’s new Life Sciences building cost a total of $67 million — nearly five times the savings of eliminating these positions. In the meantime, tuition is being increased by 4.5 percent at a time when general inflation is barely above zero. Students — and their parents, for that matter — should be marching in the streets and demanding a reorientation of the University’s priorities. Some cuts, like the layoffs at the Swearer Center that will severely limit Brown’s positive role in the Rhode Island community, are particularly damaging for a university still reeling from the public relations disaster that was President Simmons’ ten-year tenure on the Goldman Sachs board. How ironic
that another article from last week (“Brown group opposes proposed changes at Hope,” April 6) was about a Swearer Center-initiated student group helping to fight against rollback of positive reforms at Hope High School, and the accompanying reductions in staff. I support and laud these students’ efforts, but they should also be fighting closer to home! As an alum and resident of the city of Providence who pays more than $2,400 per year on property taxes for a condo in the West End while Brown pays almost nothing in property taxes on its sprawling campus, I am embarrassed to see the University undervalue some of its longtime employees, particularly those who have worked with students to have a positive impact on the community. Hopefully, the University will reverse its decision to lay off these employees and slow down its real estate acquisition and building binge. It does not serve students, faculty and staff or the broader community of Brown’s neighbors.
Peter Ian Asen ’04 April 13
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e d i to r i a l
Welcome, ’14s We fondly remember A Day on College Hill as a time of great excitement and anticipation. The ADOCH planning committee has put in a lot of hard work and done a great job of setting up informative and entertaining events, and you should absolutely make the most of this brief introduction to life at Brown. On top of the events, we especially encourage prospective freshman to seek out some informal interactions with current students. Don’t be shy — the overwhelming majority of people here are extremely friendly and willing to talk extensively about why Brown is such a great place. Pick out someone who looks interesting and strike up a conversation. Ask them where they’re from and what they’re studying. We’re confident that talking to current students will make you even more excited about coming here than you already are. For those ADOCH attendees who have settled on Brown, this visit is just a small taste of the awesome things to come. We won’t harp on the open curriculum or the fact that the Princeton Review rated Brown’s students the happiest in the country. But for those of you still deciding, we would like to offer a bit of objective, unbiased advice. Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 told The Herald last week that students who turn down Brown usually attend Princeton, Yale, Harvard or Stanford instead. Having spent some time here, we know quite well what a disastrous decision it would be to choose one of those other, far less reputable schools over Brown. So let’s consider Brown’s biggest “competitors” one by one. Princeton recently implemented a policy to stop grade inflation and cap the number of A’s that can be given in any class. It’s safe to say that Princeton
won’t be challenging Brown for the top spot in the happiest students ranking any time soon. “The nightmare scenario, if you will, is that you apply with a 3.5 from Princeton and someone just as smart as you applies with a 3.8 from Yale,” a Princeton senior told the New York Times in January. If this is the kind of thing you want to hear yourself saying in four years, then Princeton’s your choice. Anyone considering Yale should immediately search YouTube for a video called “That’s Why I Chose Yale.” Note that this video is an official production organized by Yale’s admissions office. One current Yale professor — who also attended Yale for his undergraduate and graduate studies — told the New Yorker, “It’s the God-damnedest thing I’ve ever seen.” Maybe so, but watching it could very well help you make this important decision. Somehow the geniuses at Harvard managed to mess up the school’s finances so badly that it can no longer afford to serve hot breakfast in upperclassmen dorms on weekdays, the Times reported last October. Are you really ready to give up eggs, bacon pancakes and French toast? If you choose Stanford purely on the basis of weather, we probably won’t blame you. But the Daily Beast’s recent rankings of the most stressful colleges — in which Stanford placed number one — should give you some serious hesitation. So there you have it — what you thought was a difficult decision is actually quite clear. Have a great day on College Hill, and we hope to see you all again in September. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to email@example.com.
Kristina Fazzalaro, Brian Mastroianni, Claire Peracchio, Anne Speyer, Night Editors Senior Staff Writers Ana Alvarez, Ashley Aydin, Alexander Bell, Nicole Boucher, Alicia Chen, Kristina Fazzalaro, Sarah Forman, Talia Kagan, Sara Luxenberg, Sarah Mancone, Heeyoung Min, Claire Peracchio, Goda Thangada, Caitlin Trujillo Staff Writers Anna Andreeva, Shara Azad, Rebecca Ballhaus, Casey Bleho, Fei Cai, Brielle Friedman, Miriam Furst, Max Godnick, Anish Gonchigar, Thomas Jarus, Sarah Julian, Julia Kim, Jessica Liss, Anita Mathews, Ben Noble, Lindor Qunaj, Mark Raymond, Luisa Robledo, Emily Rosen, Bradley Silverman, Anne Simons, Qian Yin Senior Sales Executives Katie Galvin, Liana Nisimova, Isha Gulati, Samantha Wong Sales Associates Roshni Assomull, Brady Caspar, Anna Cook, Siena deLisser, Begum Ersan, Tommy Fink, Ryan Fleming, Evan Gill, Rajiv Iyengar, Debbie Lai, Jason Lee, Katie Lynch, Sean Maroongroge, Zahra Merchant, Edjola Ruci, Webber Xu Senior Finance Associates Jason Beckman, Lauren Bosso, Mae Cadao, Margot Grinberg, Sajjad Hasan, Adam Fern Finance Associates Lisa Berlin, Mahima Chawla, Mark Hu, Jason Lee, Nicholas Robbins, Daniel Slutsky, Emily Zheng Design Staff Caleigh Forbes, Jessica Kirschner, Gili Kliger, Leor Shtull-Leber, Katie Wilson Web Staff Andrew Chen, Warren Jin, Claire Kwong, Michael Marttila, Ethan Richman, Adam Zethraeus Photo Staff Qidong Chen, Janine Cheng, Alex DePaoli, Frederic Lu, Quinn Savit Copy Editors Nicole Boucher, Zoe Chaves, Greg Conyers, Sarah Forman, Claire Gianotti, Aida Haile-Mariam, Victoria Hartman, Tiffany Hsu, Christine Joyce, Mrinal Kapoor, Abby Kerson, Matthew Lim, Sara Luxenberg, Alexandra McFarlane, Joe Milner, Rajan Mittal, Lindor Qunaj, Kate-Lyn Scott, Carmen Shulman, Rebecca Specking, Dan Towne, Carolina Veltri
A photo accompanying an article in Thursday’s Herald (“Pre-frosh invade campus,” April 15) was incorrectly credited. The photo was taken by Nick Sinnott-Armstrong.
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Opinions The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, April 16, 2010 | Page 7
No apartheid here Ethan Tobias Opinions Columnist If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don’t call it a chicken. Yet this is exactly what those who constructed a makeshift wall on the Main Green last week were doing. The wall stood as a protest to both “Apartheid in the Occupied Territories” of Israel/Palestine and the U.S.-Mexico border fence. Whatever you may think about South Africa, Israel/Palestine or the U.S. southern border, the fact is that these situations are very different. Building a wall that conflates the nuances of the three, rather than having a civilized discussion about the effects of certain policies, paints history with a broad brush. It serves to poison the discourse by making weak associations. The fact is that while some similarities do exist — there were fences in all these places — there are more fundamental differences among these situations. One of the most important is that the U.S. and Mexico are two separate countries. The system of apartheid in South Africa worked to separate people within a single country based on race, while the fence on our southern border separates peoples living in different countries. It is internationally agreed that nations have the right to control who can cross their borders. This right is essential for protecting countries from terrorists, criminals and drug smugglers. These two examples show how the situation
is strikingly different whether the separation is between peoples in different countries or within a single country. When fences attempted to divide a unified country, as in South Africa, it made sense to protest, support sanctions and encourage divestment. However, when fences serve to maintain existing national boundaries and provide security, as in the case of the U.S.-Mexico border, protests and divestment campaigns are misguided. Given the importance of distinguishing between fences within a nation and fences between nations, how can we understand the situation in Israel/Palestine?
major breakthrough is there. The international consensus has continually been for the creation of separate states for Israelis and Palestinians. The Peel Commission of 1937 recommended separate Jewish and Arab states. The United Nations in 1948 voted on a resolution establishing the creation of two separate states. Even today, leaders from all across the world, from President Obama to the Arab League, have endorsed some version of a two-state solution. Given the overwhelming belief that a twostate solution is the best way to resolve the conflict in Israel/Palestine, it is clear that the
The situation in Israel/Palestine is very different from the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico or the systematic segregation along racial lines in apartheid South Africa. Israelis and Palestinians are very much two different peoples, with their own individual national aspirations. They differ in religion, language and culture. More importantly, they consider themselves to be separate nations. A two-state solution has majority support among both Israelis and Palestinians in polls conducted of both populations. The leaders of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government both support a two-state solution. They agree that any solution will be based on the pre-1967 borders, give or take a few land swaps. The groundwork for a
situation is much more similar to the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico than the state of affairs in apartheid South Africa. If the students who made the comparison between apartheid and the U.S.-Mexico border really believe their own rhetoric, then they must accept that they are citizens of an apartheid state, currently dividing the U.S. and Mexico. If I believed I were living under a system of apartheid, I would make sure I was doing everything in my power to end it before I started criticizing a foreign country for doing the same thing. Anything otherwise
is pure hypocrisy. The problem with repainting history is the tendency to subsume the individual nuances of different situations. The situation in Israel/ Palestine is very different from the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico or the systematic segregation along racial lines in apartheid South Africa. You do not have to agree with everything that the U.S. or Israeli governments do, but sincere criticism and protest go a lot further than name calling and guilt by association. It is easy to write off those we disagree with as acting like “Hitler” or “Stalin,” as the Tea Partiers do, but doing so is not intellectually honest. Instead, we should be debating policy respectfully. By associating the U.S. and Israel with the policy of apartheid in South Africa, those students on the Main Green chose to polarize the debate by brushing over important distinctions. The image that the word “apartheid” brings to mind is a harsh one. Those using such loaded language must make a clear and concise argument explaining why the word applies. Conflating apartheid in South Africa with the U.S.-Mexico border and Israel/Palestine situations diminishes the suffering that millions of South Africans endured. It is an affront to them and to every self-respecting person who values historical accuracy.
Ethan Tobias ’12 likes the view from this side of the Van Wickle gates. He can be reached at Ethan_Tobias@brown.edu.
The right side of history Simon Liebling Opinions Columnist I worry that often lost in the familiar heroic histories of grassroots political movements is the reality that today’s moral consensus on the justice of their causes belies just how unthinkably controversial these movements were back when they were actually being waged. The unanimous agreement that allows us to exalt these movements in retrospect — I’m thinking, for example, of the effort to end South African apartheid — makes it seem impossible that these issues were ever contentious. Sure, there was always an external target that needed to be compelled to change, but beyond that, the moral certainty of our present narratives can make it seem like everyone else was always united in agreement. Of course, the consensus is always new, and whatever the issue, there has never been any shortage of people at the time willing to defend the most backwards, antiquated and overtly racist or sexist views. Even in the United States, the campaign for divestment from South African apartheid was a battle for minds. It met active opposition domestically, far outside of the white South African ruling class. Countless people — Americans — defending what was a fairly mainstream political position wound up unambiguously on the wrong side of history. Brown itself resisted the divestment call for a time in the late 1980s. But we forget these things as the terms of acceptable political debate shift over the years.
The danger of the illusion of moral consensus is that we start vainly searching for it in present political movements as well. Rather than understanding that today’s controversies could well be tomorrow’s moral certainties, we take contentiousness to mean that popular causes now are simply not as compelling as the indisputable causes of decades past and thus not worth supporting. But views will change, and one student’s perfectly normal opinions today might end up completely repulsive in the eyes of their grandchildren. As we think about ongoing grassroots
Desmond Tutu writes, “Yesterday’s South African township dwellers can tell you about today’s life in the Occupied Territories.” Elsewhere, he has written that the situation in the Occupied Territories “reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.” Nelson Mandela has made similar comparisons. So did pro-apartheid officials in the old South African government, though they had slightly different intentions. Divesting from companies profiting from the occupation, then, is as urgent now as it was to divest from companies profiting from
The movement to divest from companies profiting from Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories could, in retrospect, become the moral imperative of our time. movements, then, we must remember that the student activists who supported movements like South African divestment were not simply volunteers doing the legwork for a foregone conclusion — they were courageous supporters of an unpopular position. Thus, for all of the controversy that today surrounds calls to divest from companies profiting from Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, this divestment movement could, in retrospect, become the moral imperative of our time. The moral equivalence is well established by those who were heavily involved in the South African anti-apartheid movement. Archbishop
South African apartheid in the 1980s. And as Tutu would remind us, we should not for a moment be put off by the controversy surrounding the issue. Divestment is so imperative because it is a rare way of compelling governments to reform their ways when they otherwise operate with impunity, accountable to no one — as was the case with apartheid South Africa. The simple force of law has proved inadequate in the case of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Israel’s government has disregarded binding legal decisions from both the International Court of Justice and its own Supreme Court that declare
the Separation Wall and other aspects of the occupation illegal — the Israeli Supreme Court has no recourse but to hold its own government in contempt time after time. The Israeli government exhibits such wanton disregard for the rule of domestic and international law because there is no mechanism to force it to obey; it can count on the support of the United States government and the private companies that facilitate the occupation. Divestment, though, grants the international community the enforcement power it sorely needs; it is a way to compel Israel to respect both the law and basic human rights in the Occupied Territories. Like the movement to divest from South Africa, the movement to divest from companies profiting from occupation draws broad and diverse international support. Brown Students for Justice in Palestine, the organization leading the campaign here, counts among its members Palestinians and Israelis, Muslims and Jews (like me). But perhaps most important are the members who are neither, who are driven to the issue not by the self-interest of identity, but by sheer force of moral conviction. They see unconscionable events in the Occupied Territories — events supported by their own University’s investments — and in divestment they see a way to do something about it. And like their predecessors who fought against apartheid in South Africa, history will bear them out.
Simon Liebling ’12 is from New Jersey. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Today The Brown Daily Herald
Teach-in addresses homelessness
schedule from the men as it visits Harvard today at 2 p.m., returning home to face Dartmouth Sunday at noon. Equestrian competes in Hanover, N.H. all day Saturday. Baseball and softball travel to Cambridge for a four-game series against Harvard Saturday and Sunday. Both m. and w. crew will race in Massachusetts Saturday. The men will take on Northeastern and the women will go head-to-head against Boston University.
c a l e n da r Today, April 16
tomorrow, april 17
4:30 P.M. — “Audience, Aesthetics, Assumptions: Putting the Groove into Classical Music,” - Steinert Hall
2:00 P.M. — Tamora Pierce Book Reading and Signing, Brown Bookstore
7:00 P.m. — Latino Gala, Andrews Dining Hall
8:00 P.M. — RED, a new play at PW, T.F. Green Hall
Diamond to the class of 2014 and prospective student William Ryan, who told The Herald Brown was “more chill” than other universities. Just wait until February.
Lunch — Hot Pastrami Sandwich, Zucchini Fritters, Onion Rings
Lunch — Chicken Finger Friday, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bar, Blondies
Dinner — Manicotti Piedmontese, Breaded Pollock, Roasted Butternut Squash
Dinner — Grilled Mustard Chicken, Toasted Ravioli with Italian Salsa, Chocolate Cinnamon Cake Roll
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Coal to Art Speigelman P’13 for letting us put a photo of him smoking on the front page. Don’t you know there are impressionable young pre-frosh around?
But diamonds to the majority of you who said you’re in favor of eliminating tableslips. Our domination of your breakfast table will soon be complete! A muddy old diamond to the College Hill ’Dependent for being good sports at kickball last weekend. You said the rain and mud conflict with your “aesthetic ideology” — looks like winning does, too. Coal to UFB Secretary Tyler Rosenbaum ’11 for telling the board that it needs to “improve relationships” with the community. We don’t think your board’s lack of communication is the reason you’re all single.
Cubic zirconium to the Wickenden Street “snuggery” Duck and Bunny — we like the sound of it, but aren’t those illegal now in this state? Coal to the Rhode Island state senators who want to ban tanning for minors. How will this state ever produce another Pauly D now? Cubic zirconia to the majority of you who told us you were attractive in our recent poll. We applaud you for your confidence, and would give you diamonds, but it looks like you think you’re pretty enough all on your own.
And coal to Sofia Pellon ’10, who has “been noticing recently a lot of the people (she’s) living with are coupled up.” What did you think all those extra toothbrushes were for? Want more D&C? Check out a retro-diamond at blogdailyherald.com, and write your own at diamondsandcoal.com.
comics Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline
Verney-Woolley Dining Hall
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d i a m o n d s a n d c oa l
menu Sharpe Refectory
to m o r r o w
Friday, April 16, 2010
s p o rt s a ro u n d t h e b e n d M. lacrosse will host Yale Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs come after defeating Penn and Dartmouth, putting them 2-2 in Ivy League play. W. lacrosse will host two games this weekend, starting today at 4 p.m. against Cornell, and continuing 1 p.m. Sunday against Boston College. M. tennis hosts Harvard today at 2 p.m. The team will then travel to Hanover, N.H., to face off against Dartmouth Sunday at noon. W. tennis features the opposite
Shakespeare al fresco
crossword Frutopia | Andy Kim
Hippomaniac | Mat Becker
Excelsior | Kevin Grubb