Daily Herald the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 86 | Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891
Boyd ’00: don’t fear social media
Wireless issues widespread, but some are easy to solve By Katherine Long Contributing Writer
From the corners of dormitories and from libraries across campus, people ranging from incoming first-years to returning seniors have been asking the same question: “Why won’t Brown-Secure work?” Many returning students, Apple users in particular, came back to campus after three months away to find that the Brown-Secure wireless network had uninstalled itself from their machines. After an early wave of complaints, Computing and Information Services was able to resolve the most common difficulty, which arises annually.
GOP seeks ‘Clean Slate’ in R.I. By Claire Peracchio Senior Staff Writer
The slogan is “A New Hope, A New Beginning.” But the goal of the Republicanbacked Clean Slate initiative — unseating enough Democrats to change the balance of power in the state’s historically blue General Assembly — is not new.
METRO Instead of funding individual candidates this November, the state GOP is pouring the bulk of its resources into a branding effort aimed at realizing its long-standing ambition of increasing Republican clout at the State House. While parties often rely on partisan appeals to win votes in low-turnout midterm elections, the state GOP is banking on multi-partisanship. By supporting a “clean slate” of Moderates and independents — in addition to Republican candidates — the party hopes to capitalize on national antiincumbent sentiment and Rhode Island’s high rate of voter discontent to transform a state legislature in which the GOP currently holds a mere 10 of 113 seats. ‘One more Republican’ According to Giovanni Cicione, chair of the Rhode Island Republican Party, the 2008 election results convinced the state GOP of the need for greater statewide coordination among
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News.....1–2 Metro.........3 Sports.........4 Editorial......6 Opinion.......7 Today..........8
Every summer, CIS updates the network’s security certificate, said CIS Help Desk Specialist Al Coulombe. Apple computers, especially those running the newer and more secure operating systems — 10.5, known as Leopard, or 10.6, known as Snow Leopard — do not recognize the newer version of the certificate as valid and so reject any attempts to log on to Brown-Secure, he said. In addition to problems with the security certificate, Apple users who do not follow the instructions when initially setting up Brown-Secure run the risk of creating a false user profile, which will then block attempts continued on page 2
By Ju Myoung Kim Contributing Writer
the future of German Studies would be,” said Professor of English and Comparative Literature Kevin McLaughlin. Over the summer, McLaughlin and other faculty members — including Susan Bernstein, professor of comparative literature and German studies; Omer Bartov, professor of history and of German studies; and Michael Steinberg, director of the Cogut Center for the
Danah Boyd ’00, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and social media researcher at Microsoft Research New England, thinks that social media is evolving into more than just technology. Boyd spoke Wednesday night to an audience of students, alums and professors in Salomon 101 about social media and its implications for social stratification, privacy and learning. An activist and ethnographer, she began her lecture, “Youth-Generated Culture: Education in an Era of Social Media,” by conceptualizing a new generation of social media, or Web 2.0. Unlike Web 1.0, which was about forming communities based on interests, Web 2.0 is about self-expression “in a field of people who already know you,” she said. Facebook is “actually a performance of close and dear friends,” she added. Social media has evolved in a way that “goes beyond what technology was designed for,” Boyd said. Youth are able to communicate internationally, connect with celebrities and present themselves as celebrities. On Twitter, there is “an entire server dedicated to the Bieber prob-
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Herald file photo
Difficulties with connecting to the Brown-Secure network can be due to the operating system or “dead spots,” among other issues, according to Computing and Information Services.
German studies looks at new approach By Amy Rasmussen Contributing Writer
The Corporation formally accepted a $3 million gift Saturday toward the Humanities Initiative, which, according to a University statement, will “foster the development of interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs” — a goal that, for the past five months, a committee from the Department of German Studies has been striving to achieve.
The department may hire professors that have academic reach beyond German studies, if a proposal currently before the Academic Priorities Committee is passed. Following a series of vacancies in the Department of German Studies due to retirements and a tenure denial, the riorities committee sought “to go ahead in the strongest possible fashion,” said Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98. “The administration asked us to take a step back and look at what
Field hockey beats Harvard in double-OT nail-biter By Sam Sheehan Contributing Writer
In front of a raucous home crowd on the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center roof, the field hockey team (2-7, 1-2 Ivy League) edged Harvard (3-7, 1-2) 3-2 in the second period of overtime on Saturday. Bears for ward Abigail Taft ’12 provided the winning strike, pushing a cross from winger Kel-
SPORTS ley Harrison ’13 past Har vard goalie Cynthia Tassopoulos for her second goal of the afternoon and sealing the Bears’ first Ivy League victor y of the season. “Today was a great win for our program,” said Head Coach Tara Harrington ’94. “I commend the team and ever y single woman who wears that uniform.” Taft put on another offensive clinic, as her overtime heroics made her the team’s leading scorer this year. She has scored four goals in Brown’s past three
games. “Gail just has a real nose for the ball,” said tri-captain forward Tacy Zysk ’11. “She always knows where the defense is, and her stick skills allow her to pull around defenders and just make them look foolish.” This was Brown’s first foray into overtime this season, and the team prevailed against a tired Har vard corps through tactical use of substitutions. In collegiate field hockey, only eight players, including the goalie, play in the over time periods, three fewer than during regulation. This leads to a more open field, increasing the distance that athletes must cover and making fatigue a larger factor. “We had lots of people in and out,” Harrington said. “It kept in fresh legs, which equals fresh minds.” The strategy paid off, as the tight Brown defense turned away Harvard’s three overtime penalty continued on page 4
Jonathan Bateman/ Herald file photo
Katie Hyland ’11 was a key ingredient to Bruno’s field hockey success. Her assist helped the team to a 3-2 win on Saturday.
Hillel is more than just Shabbat writes a group VP
Susannah Kroeber ’11 thinks tuition should increase
Yue Wang ’12 blasts hypocrisy in immigration debate
letter to the editor, 6
195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
C ampus N EWS
Thursday, October 7, 2010
“We definitely don’t want people frustrated.” — Doug Wilkinson, network technology manager
Don’t demonize Twitter, Wikipedia, says social media expert continued from page 1
lem,” she said, referring to the popularity of Justin Bieber on the microblogging site. Such evolution of online public spaces is “happening at a much greater scale” than in the past, Boyd said, and so “what happens in social media is constantly complicating … boundaries and networks.” This is evident in the way that the Internet is “just as stratified as public space that we know more generally,” Boyd said. She discussed her experi-
ence with teenagers, who referred to MySpace as “ghetto” when the “cool kids” of their high school moved to Facebook. It was not a matter of choice, but rather a race- and classrelated movement, she said. Teenagers now also find “ways of creating privacy in public” using social media, Boyd said. They use song lyrics online to express their feelings so that only those familiar with the lyrics will know their meaning. On the “flip side,” she said, there is also a challenge to “take the moments of visibility to do good” in recognizing
privacy and acting to help those who speak in public spaces. Lastly, Boyd introduced social media’s implication for learning. She asked, “Why demonize Wikipedia?” Wikipedia provides “the opportunity of pulling knowledge together and also debating,” Boyd said, by openly showing the process of how the information is accumulated. She referred to a Wikipedia discussion page on the American Revolution, where people take on British or American perspectives in actively debating over the question of “patri-
German studies dept. proposes change continued from page 1 Humanities and professor of history and music — carefully examined the various interdisciplinary programs in German studies that have already been implemented at Stanford University, the University of Toronto and Duke University. All members of the group, with the exception of the two members from the Academic Priorities Committee — Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron and Professor of Classics John Cherry — were chosen for their expertise in German fields of study, Kertzer said. After seeing the interdisciplinary model currently in use at Stanford and Toronto, McLaughlin said he “didn’t think it was a good fit for Brown,” but noted that the study heightened the group’s desire to broaden the department. “We felt very strongly that languages should not be isolated from the disciplinary fields in which they’re working,” he said. A more interdisciplinary depart-
ment would “produce greater energy and excitement around the teaching of study of Germany, its language, culture and history,” Bartov wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. The model that the group recently proposed to the priorities committee would allow the Department of German Studies to fill their vacancies with “someone who would be of interest to another department,” McLaughlin said. “The impact of the appointment would have to be broader — would have to be beyond German.” Kertzer said the priorities committee should reach a decision on the proposal within the next few weeks. According to McLaughlin, the department hopes to begin its search for new faculty members within the year. Both Kertzer and McLaughlin spoke enthusiastically of the plans to develop a more interdisciplinary German Studies department. “It’s more desirable than one that is narrower,” said Kertzer, a former professor of anthropology and Ital-
Daily Herald the Brown
Editorial Phone: 401.351.3372 | Business Phone: 401.351.3260 George Miller, President Claire Kiely, Vice President
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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 member 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 email@example.com. 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.
ian studies. “It opens a lot of other exciting possibilities for students.” Universities across the country are moving from isolated areas of study toward a more interdisciplinary approach that blurs the boundaries between once indivisible departments, McLaughlin said. “For a long time, that’s what faculty lines were, and now they’re not indivisible — not all of them.” Of the Humanities Initiative, McLaughlin said he was pleased that the announcement of the gift came at a time when many other American universities are feeling financial pressure to direct money solely towards the sciences. “Brown is really sending a message that the humanities matter a lot to Brown, and to the way that we look at the world,” he said. McLaughlin emphasized exactly how important it is that universities begin to recognize not only the relationship that exists between languages and literature, but also their relationship to the history, politics and art that surround them. “We live in languages,” he added. “It’s not like we can just take them and put them off to the side.”
ots or terrorists.” This process is a “perfect opportunity to learn about media literacy,” Boyd said. “What we’re seeing is radical reworking of public spaces,” she said. Social media is a new form of public life that should not be feared, Boyd said. Instead, it is something we should “embrace and make sense of,” she said. It is something to be explored, like public space and college, she added. Professor of Computer Science Andy van Dam, who gave an introduction before the lecture and taught
Boyd when she was an undergraduate at Brown, said it was a “lovely lecture” that felt like a performance that was “very effective in getting the message out.” Many students in the audience said they found the lecture very interesting and unexpected. “I did not expect (social media) to be close to social dynamics and structural divisions,” said Alex Feldman ’11. Jenna Zeigen ’12 said the lecture suggested “a whole new direction” for educating youth through social media.
R.I. Republicans hope to restore Assembly ‘balance’ continued from page 1 conservative candidates. “We found that voters were quite often pleased with the policies of the Republicans that were campaigning
for state House and Senate but would push back and say, ‘Well, what’s one more Republican going to do?’ ” Cicione said. “When you’ve got a 70continued on page 3
CIS offers help with spotty ‘Brown-Secure’ wireless continued from page 1 to log on to the network, according to Coulombe. “I always had trouble (with Brown-Secure) when the school year started,” said Cydney Dupree ’11, who uses an Apple computer. “At first it was pretty frustrating, but I went to CIS once and they fixed it.” CIS representatives were quick to peg the new operating systems as the source of many problems that returning students faced. But for others, including new students, the network’s coverage has been spotty. “I just stopped using it because
it never works for me,” said Apple user Sarah Park ’13 about BrownSecure. “I just use Brown-EZ around campus and plug into my Ethernet cable when I’m in my room.” Park’s predicament is in no way uncommon: Many students interviewed in study lounges and campus eateries said they had difficulties with Brown-Secure. “Sometimes it says I’m logged on, but it has a really limited connection,” said John Lim ’12, who uses a Windows-based computer. “I have to keep restarting it to get it to connect.” Coulombe recommended that students having difficulties with the secure network either call the Help Desk or come in person to receive assistance in deleting false profiles and verifying the new security certificate, processes that take “about four or five minutes.” “Try to gather as much information as you can before you come in,” Coulombe said. “Where were you? What time was it? Were other people in the area also unable to connect?” Network Technology Manager Doug Wilkinson added that if students are experiencing “dead spots” — areas with little or no connectivity — they should call CIS, especially if the dead spot is in a residence hall. Wilkinson said CIS can either install a wireless access point or do something much more simple. “Sometimes, just moving a cabinet or a desk can affect how the signal comes through. It’s amazing how different building materials affect wireless connectivity,” Wilkinson said. Many students interviewed said they had not even considered approaching CIS with their wireless problems. But Wilkinson said students who cannot access Brown-Secure should contact the Help Desk or representatives in the library computer clusters. “We definitely don’t want people frustrated,” Wilkinson said.
Metro The Brown Daily Herald
“We can’t afford to be picky.” — Giovanni Cicione, chair of the Rhode Island Republican Party Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Page 3
New GOP strategy looks to curtail R.I. Democratic majority continued from page 2 year establishment supermajority for the Democrats, it’s hard to convince people that electing their local Republican is going to be the best choice for them.” Republicans last commanded a majority in the General Assembly from 1957–58, and they most recently controlled both houses of the state legislature from 1939–40. After decades of electoral disappointment, the party decided the answer to ending Democratic domination of the State House was to unite like-minded candidates behind the broad policy precepts of lowering taxes, improving education and creating jobs. Clean Slate’s office platform stresses its opposition to the car tax, which it claims is a consequence of municipalities passing along the cost of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly’s “self-created budget deficit.” The party’s vigorous recruitment effort allowed it to field candidates in more than 80 statewide races, and it largely succeeded in recruiting contenders for all races except those that are “absolutely hopeless” for right-leaning candidates, according to Dave Talan, who is the corresponding secretary of the state Republican Party, the chair of the Providence Republican Party and a Ward 8 candidate for the City Council. Talan disagrees with skeptics who believe a predicted Republican resurgence nationwide will fail to materialize in the Ocean State. “Everybody’s saying, ‘Yeah, that will happen in 49 states, but it will bypass Rhode Island like it always does,’ ” Talan said. “We don’t see it that way.” Regardless of November’s outcome, the state GOP is already feeling the impact of another national phenomenon — the Tea Party. The Rhode Island Tea Party is also a part of the Clean Slate initiative, and “at least 20” Clean Slate candidates self-identify as Tea Party candidates, Cicione said. The state Tea Party is part of a number of right-leaning groups that have coalesced around the Ocean State Policy Research Institute, a conservative think tank, according to Cicione. “We can’t afford to be picky,” Cicione said. “We’ve got to bring in every warm body, and the Tea Party has brought in a lot of people that have never been excited about being Republicans or being activists.” Cicione also reached out to Mike Stenhouse, a former Red Sox player and registered independent, to be the public face of the effort. The task of recruiting candidates was not difficult, according to Stenhouse. “It was very easy, and in fact, we had to turn people away,” Stenhouse said. In lieu of donating to specific candidates, Clean Slate has focused on public relations and has already bought advertisements on Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses and radio spots. “We’re not here to provide resources to candidates,” Stenhouse
said. “We’re here to build the brand statewide through advertising, public relations and other grassroots efforts.” While Stenhouse did not predict the Republicans would capture a majority in the General Assembly this year, he said that electing 20 or 30 Clean Slate candidates who could unite with conservative Democrats would create a new right-leaning faction in the legislature. “We can’t hit a six-run home run, and it’s going to take a six-run home run to take control of the General Assembly,” the former outfielder said. ‘A different atmosphere’ Clean Slate’s success in November will hinge on the strength of its candidates and its ability to get its message out to voters, crucial variables that remain undefined less than a month before the midterm election. “Statewide, they’re not showing a lot of strength at all,” pollster and WPRI News commentator Joe Fleming said of Republicans. “They’re lacking the money to get their message out.” The most well-funded Republicans — gubernatorial contender John Robitaille and 1st District congressional candidate John Loughlin — are not polling well enough to help downticket candidates, according to Fleming. While the Republican Party has traditionally performed poorly in the Ocean State, Clean Slate’s emphasis on multi-partisanship could generate “greater appeal” for the GOP, said Victor Profughi, Rhode Island College professor emeritus of political science and director of the polling firm Quest Research. “Having the broad base should position them with a bit more strength than they would have if they were run-
ning as Republicans only,” Profughi said. Despite facing an uphill climb in a majority-Democratic state, the Clean Slate candidates are hopeful that the new initiative will boost their chances this November. “There’s a different atmosphere this time around,” said Daniel Harrop, who is challenging Rep. Edith Ajello, D-Providence, for the third time in his bid to represent the district that includes Brown. Harrop, also the chair of the state Republican Party Finance Committee, said Clean Slate was nearing its target of raising $200,000 to promote its candidates statewide. As of Wednesday, the initiative has raised 38 percent of that goal, according to Clean Slate’s website. For Republican state senate candidate Morris Markovitz, a selfdescribed “underdog” in his race against incumbent Rhoda Perry P’91, D-Providence, Clean Slate’s appeals convinced him of the need to get involved in state politics. “I kept getting e-mails saying that so many Democrats are running unopposed,” Markovitz said. “They were begging people, ‘Please volunteer to run so that these people won’t run unopposed.’ ” Markovitz decided to act. “If I’m going to complain about things and criticize people, then why don’t I do something about it?” he said. “So I decided to do something about it and run.” While Markovitz’s last-minute entry into the race left him feeling “unprepared,” he said he is now enthusiastic about the prospect of changing the culture of the General Assembly and added that he would refuse a salary if elected. Richard Rodi — who describes
himself as a “fiscally responsible independent” — is among those endorsed by Clean Slate. He views the effort as a way to restore “balance” to the General Assembly. Rodi ran unsuccessfully against Rep. David Segal, D-Providence, in the 2008 Democratic primary and is now an independent competing with Democrat Chris Blazejewski to replace Segal, whose unsuccessful bid for the 1st Congressional District Democratic nomination prohibits him from seek-
ing reelection. Rodi cautioned that his association with Clean Slate does not render him beholden to the state GOP, but instead indicates his support for bringing “fairness and competition” back to the state legislature and for new solutions to the state’s problems. He said that addressing the issues confronting ordinary Rhode Islanders is “more important than Clean Slate, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and all that put together.”
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Team’s stellar defense holds off Crimson in extra time continued from page 1
corners in thrilling fashion. Goalie Lauren Kessler ’12 kept the game alive by blocking a one-on-one breakaway attempt from Har vard for ward Chloe Keating in the first overtime. “She’s an amazing goalkeeper,” said tri-captain Katie Hyland ’11. “She knows exactly what she is supposed to do in ever y single situation.” Hyland, who also assisted on Taft’s first goal in regulation, was a key member of Bruno’s staunch defensive line after being moved to center back in the latest formation shift by Harrington. “She’s a veteran,” Zysk said of Hyland. “When it looks like it’s a dire situation, she’s ver y calm, she makes a smart play and she finishes strong.” Zysk added a goal to Taft’s haul, scrapping for a rebound from the stick of fullback Bridget McNamara ’12 in the first half. Catch the Bears in home action this weekend as they take on Davidson at 2 p.m. this Saturday and the University of Maine at 3 p.m. this Sunday.
Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald
Page 6 | Thursday, October 7, 2010
l e t t e r to t h e e d i to r
Hillel an umbrella organization To the Editor: From the recent article “The Arab-Israeli conflict on campuses” (Oct. 4), one might infer that Brown/RISD Hillel functions purely as a religious organization. Hillel’s Executive Board wanted to take this opportunity to clarify Hillel’s purposes and goals on campus. While Hillel maintains itself as the center of Jewish religious life through Shabbat and holiday celebrations, it furthermore encompasses all facets of Jewish life on campus. The article highlights the political groups of Hillel, Brown Students for Israel and Puzzle Peace. In addition to these, Hillel is also a venue for arts and culture: Alef Beats, the Jewish coed a cappella group;
Yarmulkazi, the klezmer band; Hillel Gallery Project and the Jewish Cooking Club. We explore issues of Jewish identity through Queer Hillel and other initiatives, as well as delve into intellectual development through Jewish secular and religious educational activities. We plan social events, such as bagel brunches and apple picking, and also serve as a center for social justice and community service. Learning about or providing feedback on Hillel and its current and future programming is encouraged. Cayla Saret ’12 Brown/RISD Hillel Vice President of Campus Relations Oct. 4 ale x yuly
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When Congress reauthorized the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008, a provision in the bill required the Government Accountability Office to study “the feasibility of developing a national student loan clearinghouse on the (Education) Department’s website that helps prospective borrowers make informed decisions.” The GAO interviewed a variety of stakeholders and evaluated existing websites, but it ultimately opposed the development of a new web-based tool to help students compare loan offerings. While we think the GAO’s concerns are reasonable, we also see at least one reason that the idea shouldn’t be written off quite yet. The report highlights several challenges that would impact a new addition to the Department of Education’s website. Because the student loan overhaul effectively gives students only one option to secure a loan from the federal government, the new website would primarily be detailing information about private lenders. As a result, the Department would have to invest significant resources to ensure information was accurate and comprehensive. It may also be difficult to present such information in an unbiased manner, the report said. The GAO also noted that such a website would likely duplicate resources available from other websites and schools’ financial aid offices. We think these points are reasonable, and if the idea ever gains traction again, these issues would need to be resolved. However, we think it’s worth pointing out that the legislation that passed in tandem with the student loan overhaul — the health care reform act — will be quite relevant to the broader issue of online resources. Prompted by the new law, the Department of Health
and Human Services over the summer launched healthcare.gov, a site that allows individuals to research health insurance options. Consumers can search a complete database of insurance providers available in their region, according to an August PBS story. The site also allows visitors to compare prices and coverage. We imagine the health insurance site dealt with challenges similar to the ones the GAO highlighted in its report on a possible student loan website. Of course, the site isn’t perfect — the “Find Insurance Options” page promises, “This tool will grow over time.” But it is clearly providing and will continue to provide a valuable resource for individuals and families. The health care law requires states to create health insurance exchanges by 2014, and most if not all states will probably end up putting information online. The states are, after all, the “laboratories of democracy,” and their experiences in creating web-based tools for health insurance shoppers will be helpful if the government wants to develop similar resources for other areas — like student loans. For now, we accept the GAO’s judgment, and the Department of Education also said it agrees with the findings. But the GAO’s own calculations are that 14 percent of undergraduates nationwide secured loans from private lenders in 2007-2008. As such, we hope officials are paying close attention to the implementation of the health care reform law for any broadly applicable insights that can be gleaned. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
correction An article in Tuesday’s Herald (“Vigil honors youth suicide victims,” Oct. 5) incorrectly stated that Raymond Chase, a student at Johnson and Wales University, faced harassment before recently committing suicide. Chase was not known to be a victim of bullying. An article in Friday’s Herald (“Taiwan issue discussed in ‘strait’ chats,” Oct. 1) gave the incorrect deadline for applications. Applications for Taiwan and U.S. delegations are due Oct. 8. The Herald regrets the errors. C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to email@example.com. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.
Opinions The Brown Daily Herald
Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Page 7
Raising our Brown taxes
Susannah Kroeber Opinions Columnist Disclaimer: This column may contain information unpalatable to Brunonians of all political affiliations, socioeconomic classes and other societal groupings. The most unpopular debate on Capitol Hill is always taxes. No matter how many times the Obama administration points to the deficit, Congress will not quietly agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest tax bracket of Americans — those with yearly household incomes greater than $250,000. Sixty-three percent of Americans believe that Obama will reverse his campaign promise and raise taxes on the middle class. Putting aside that I do believe Obama should push for broader tax policy changes (yes, that is code for raising most people’s taxes), I think that we at Brown University should push for the progressive change that isn’t happening in Washington. Brown’s endowment has lost value. There is a hiring freeze. Many de facto full-time employees at Brown don’t receive full benefits. Departments’ budgets are shrinking. In national terms, this calls for a tax hike — at minimum, a reinstatement of tax brackets pre-Bush 2.0. In Brown terms, this calls for a radical tuition hike. Our national tax system is based on the notion that each person pays according to his ability. Those who can afford to contribute more to society in financial terms through governmental institutions are obliged to do so. It is called a progressive tax system.
There has been a lot of squawking around campus about tuition hikes over the past few years in editorials, op-eds, protests and general conversation. No one seems to have considered that since the invention of financial aid, tuition at Brown and her peer institutions is similar to a progressive tax. At Brown we assume that parents will pay for their children’s educations. Tuition is set, but the full amount is only paid by part of the student body, i.e., the portion whose families can afford the hefty $50,000 bill. Two years ago, parental contributions for families with incomes under $60,000 were
don’t adequately help their families. Luckily, our national government provides by example an easily implemented solution. Raise tuition. By a lot. Not by these wimpy thousand-a-year increases, but by tens of thousands. Increase tuition to $60,000 next year, or better yet, $75,000. I’d be thrilled about a hike to $100,000, but that seems unlikely. If the Corporation drastically raised Brown’s tuition, only people whose families can afford to pay full tuition now would be affected. Everyone on financial aid, whose family contributions are determined by the
Raise tuition. By a lot. Not by these wimpy thousand-a-year increases, but by tens of thousands. eliminated, and loan burdens for families earning under $100,000 were significantly decreased. When this year’s seniors were freshmen, only 143 students on financial aid had no loan burden; by the time we were sophomores, that number had increased to almost 1,500. Financial aid is the only budget item currently growing at Brown. Now, over 61 percent of students on financial aid graduate without debt. I’m not indifferent to the argument that there are students whose families pay full tuition and are forced to take on heavier loan burdens, or to the fact that many students feel that their financial aid packages
FAFSA, will pay exactly what they pay now. Increased revenues could mean more money for financial aid, which could then be allocated to all the students currently paying full tuition who, with the increase, would no longer be able to pay fully. But there is a significant subset of the Brown population whose families can afford a drastic tuition increase. They might not like it, but when it comes to education, most parents will shell it out after their quota of kvetching has expired. Look at those fancy nursery schools in New York City. The dollar number for tuition is a red herring. As we are continuously reminded,
our Brown education is technically worth $120,000 or $200,000 a year, depending on whom you talk to. But even that varies by person. A biology student who benefits from the wonderful new science facilities is utilizing the more expensive resources, so her education dollar amount is probably higher than a humanities student, whose main burden on the University is the occasional interlibrary loan. This boils down to a disassociation between the exact number of dollars it takes to give a student a Brown education. I don’t care if my biology friends take advantage of more University money to receive their education. We all benefit from the fact that resources exist for all departments, so that a humanities concentrator can have friends doing interesting work in the sciences, and each can expose the other to different methods of thinking. The easiest way for Brown to continue facilitating our education is by budget increases so it can build shiny new buildings, hire more faculty and buy more books for us humanities concentrators. Until Brown makes it clear that the cost of tuition means nothing, and that tuition is tied to a family’s income, many Americans will continue to believe private education is inaccessible and elitist. Let’s raise our taxes. Just like the rest of America, Brown students don’t understand that the vast majority of us won’t be affected, and those who will can afford it.
Susannah Kroeber ’11 hopes that the U.S. will take a page from whatever book the Scandinavians are reading.
Learn to be American YUE WANG Opinions Columnist I want to assimilate. After all, it sounds fair that, to live in this land, one must learn the American language and the American way. So I sat down and made a list of things to which I must adapt. Item one: speak English. Check. Next? I stopped and put down my pen. Over the past two years in America, I have been introduced to so many ideas that I couldn’t determine exactly which ones can be deemed unambiguously “American.” The same can be said for languages. My friends back in China often ask why I haven’t learned Spanish yet. Considering how large the Spanishspeaking demographic is, how could I claim to have learned the American tongue when I still can’t speak with a sizeable portion of the population? Meanwhile, I have also been advised to pick up some Italian if I truly wish to call myself a Rhode Islander. Eventually, I gave up: If I am overwhelmed by the rich ethnic and linguistic diversity in America’s tiniest state and continuously drawn to competing views and values on Brown’s campus — a small place that projects a highly cohesive sense of unity and identity — my list of “American things” is bound to be neither conclusive nor authentic. In spite of my initial intuitions, I can only conclude that learning to speak English does not constitute learning “the” American language. Yet, there are individuals who believe oth-
erwise. Last week, in a lecture hosted by the Brown University Community Academic Advising Program, Terry Gorman, the founder and director of Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement, lamented that undocumented Mexican factory workers cannot speak English after years of living in the United States. Gorman felt “offended” because English proficiency “would be a courtesy to the country where they were living.” To learn a language, of course, requires ready access to many resources denied to immigrants, who often comprise a low-income group.
to learn English. He was clearly smuggling a religious motif into the debate about the national language. Shouldn’t we be concerned that if the country were to formally legislate a national language, the attempt to assimilate immigrants linguistically will be ineluctably mixed with less explicit but more constitutionally problematic efforts to co-opt them ideologically through scam “civic education” courses? Moreover, the recent passage of legislation in Arizona that criminalizes the mere
Even if all the immigrants suddenly started speaking English fluently, the anti-immigrant ideologues would still have plenty of other issues to aggrieve them. But these aren’t the central issues here. The issue is the hypocrisy of those who want to force new immigrants to speak English. For one thing, learning English won’t endear those immigrants to Gorman — or more generally, opponents of immigration — one bit. Indeed, even if all the immigrants suddenly started speaking English fluently, the anti-immigrant ideologues would still have plenty of other issues to aggrieve them. Not only must those immigrants speak English, but they must accept a whole package of conservative values before they might be seen as “American.” For instance, former President George W. Bush invoked “one nation under God” when he urged immigrants
act of being an illegal immigrant makes it increasingly possible that racial profiling will become the easiest and most direct tool for law enforcement in border states to identify illegal immigrants. This severely undercuts the civil rights of both legal immigrants and citizens. In a worst-case example, the selfstyled “America’s toughest sheriff,” Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., has made an effort to earn his title by resorting to unconstitutional methods to harass Hispanics in his jurisdiction. In light of the recent investigations into his office’s questionable practices — which allegedly include discrimination against individuals who cannot speak English — he has generated further controversy
by refusing to yield crucial public records to the Justice Department! Another layer of hypocrisy here is that not learning English actually does not make new immigrants less valuable to opponents of immigration. The status quo, in which immigrants who don’t speak English are condemned to permanent second-class citizenship, doesn’t make them less attractive to American agricultural and service industries, whether in a Manhattan grocery store or California grape fields. Speaking to the House Immigration Subcommittee recently about his day spent on a farm in upstate New York, where the toughest work was done by immigrant workers, comedian Stephen Colbert grimly observed, “After working with these men and women, picking beans, packing corn, for hours on end, side by side, in the unforgiving sun, I have to say and I do mean this seriously: Please don’t make me do this again. It is really, really hard.” Let’s face it: No matter how reluctant some Americans are to accept immigrants as one of their own, they are still very reliant on immigrants for their contributions to the economy. What the vehement objection to the offer of a path to citizenship has accomplished, however, is precisely that the workers’ human rights and decent pay can be conveniently denied. The true purpose of this striking double hypocrisy of the anti-immigration forces is medieval intolerance and savage exploitation through illegality.
Yue Wang ’12 is a political science and German studies concentrator from Shanghai. She can be contacted at yue_wang@ brown.edu.
Today The Brown Daily Herald
Editorial: Scrutinize student loans
Kroeber ’11 wants a tuition hike
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Thursday, October 7, 2010
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Post- magazine, inside today’s Herald Post- gets a pedicure, fleeces a guy for mozzarella sticks, and
does it doggy
c a l e n da r Today
Bat & Gaz | Sofia Ortiz
Lecture on Global Health & Social
Boe Titla, Apache Balladeer, List Art
Entrepreneurship, R.I. Hall 108
WORD! presents The Gringo Choir A
Sci-Fi from R.I., Brown Bookstore,
Taste of the Atlantic, Salomon 101
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
VERNEy-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH
Hot Turkey Sandwich with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Chinese Fried Rice, Seasoned Fries
BBQ Beef Sandwich, Pasta Primavera, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar
Cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman
DINNER Creamy Parmesan Primavera, Salt and Pepper Jerk Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes
Cajun Pasta Chicken, Vegan Paella, Antipasto Bar, Chocolate Oatmeal Squares
a c r o s s to b e a r ACROSS 1 Prescriptions, for short 4 ___ mater 8 Plesiosaurus-like Pokémon 14 “Modern Family” channel 15 “Your Heart ___ Empty Room” (Death Cab for Cutie song) 16 Low tie score 17 Having a BAC level above .08, say 20 Laud 21 It’s found on many elephantine trunks? 22 Imperfection 23 Liqueur often mixed with lime, colloquially 25 Rhyme for “trapeze,” in a song 27 Impossible to predict the result of 33 Iron ___ 34 Scorer of 81 points in a single game 35 10th-century Holy Roman emperor 36 Scrapes (out) 38 The sun is one 41 Dingbats 42 Nubile maidens of myth 44 Years, in the Yucatán 46 Remy, in Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” for one 47 1991 MC Hammer hit 51 “The Wizard ___” 52 “It’s my turn” 53 “Undercover Brother” hairdo 56 Common bubbler 58 Beaver-esque? 62 Hard to believe 65 Trial or tribulation 66 “Wordplay” artist 67 “The Way I ___” (Timbaland song) 68 Must 69 “Don’t put this ___!”
Too To The Two
by Jonah Kagan ’13
Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline
Fruitopia | Andy Kim 70 4 ___ 2 = 0 28 Vermont ski resort that can DOWN be found in 1 ___MyBody.com “Pokemon”? 2 360, e.g. 29 Assail 3 Nae-sayer? 4 Spaceship feature 30 RollerCoaster Tycoon maker 5 Baton Rouge sch. 31 Like some 6 Gynecomastia, “healthy” food slangily 32 Basic CS data 7 Paul who wrote structure “My Way” 33 Got out 8 Inspect 37 Jizzed (in or out 9 Logical of one’s pants) conjunction 10 “Wouldn’t change 39 Like many feminists a thing!” and religious 11 Grind up on it? groups, 12 Edison’s middle informally name 40 “The ___” (cult 13 Plethora ﬁlm that takes 18 “You could ___ place in multiple much better” 19 Connected acyclic parts of a house that is widely graph that has a regarded as root node and leaf one of the worst nodes movies ever 24 Reason to plunge made) 26 Michigan’s ___ 43 He’s known for Canals keeping many 27 Capital that’s an Bunnies in his anagram of its house country’s former 45 Signiﬁcant capital other, slangily
48 Make like Beyonce or Justin Timberlake 49 Preppy brand 50 Awake by 53 Oodles 54 “Heads!” 55 Took a bike 57 Preﬁx with sphere 59 Coke serving size? 60 Capital of France and Italy 61 Oregon University with a student-run nuclear reactor 63 Cracklin’ ___ Bran 64 “Wham ___ thank you ma’am!”
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The Adventures of Team Vag | Wendy Kwartin
The October 7, 2010 issue of the Brown Daily Herald