Daily Herald the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 122 | Friday, December 3, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891
On next provost’s plate: tenure, academic plan
Alcohol, pot use on campus measured
By Mark Raymond Senior Staff Writer
By Jonathan Staloff Contributing Writer
Most students at Brown drink alcohol, and just under half had used marijuana this semester at the time of last month’s Herald poll.
THE HERALD POLL According to the poll, 84.1 percent of students had consumed alcohol and 41.8 percent had used marijuana at that point in the semester. Of students surveyed, 41.2 percent used both pot and alcohol at least once. For alcohol, the plurality of students said they drink more than once a week but less than daily. Among users of marijuana, the most common frequency was once a month or less. “Students usually overestimate, so usually what you think is going on is not what you would actually expect,” said Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services. “Our rates are pretty typical for college campuses.” Klawunn cited University survey data from 2009 stating continued on page 2
Herald file photo
Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 will step down in 2011 after five years in the post.
Provost David Kertzer’s ’69 P’95 P’98 decision to step down later this year will not significantly impact the Plan for Academic Enrichment, according to University leadership. Administrators praised Brown’s chief academic officer for his role in pursuing the goals of the plan and for his efforts to reform the tenure process, projects which his successor will inherit. “The plan started under a different provost, and when David Kertzer started there was no appreciable interruption in the flow of progress,” said President Ruth Simmons. “I would anticipate that the same would be true when the next provost starts.” The wide-ranging Plan for Aca-
By Sarah Mancone Senior Staff Writer
A watchdog group chastised the University for not taking action against a professor accused of academic dishonesty in a letter to the National Institutes of Health. On Nov. 29, the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan independent watchdog group, sent a letter to the NIH requesting more action be taken against ghostwriting in academic research. The letter
specifically referred to the alleged ghostwriting of a published article on a study headed by Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Martin Keller. The letter urges the NIH to take action in order to “strengthen scientific integrity.” Paul Thacker, investigator at the group and co-writer of the letter, told The Herald the NIH should “start cutting off funding of these researchers” and “fund seminars on ghostwriting and ethical behavior
By Amy Rasmussen Staff Writer
Herald File Photo
Theta Delta Chi is one of four program houses currently unable to host social events.
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Letter faults Brown for inaction on prof. Furnas in research.” In addition to requesting action from the NIH, the letter also faults Brown for a lack of response concerning Keller’s controversial practices. “Despite the multiple public revelations, Brown University has done nothing,” the letter said. The study in question, called Study 329, was testing the efficacy of a drug called Paxil in treating
Though each of Brown’s Greek organizations and nine program houses currently maintains an active on-campus status, “five or six” are working with the Office of Residential Life to further address issues of party management and new member education, said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services. Four of those houses — Alpha Delta Phi, Delta Phi, Phi Kappa Psi and Theta Delta Chi — are presently unable to host social events, according to Greek Council Chair Andrew Alvarez ’11. Araceli Mendez ’12, public relations chair of the Greek Council and a member of Zeta Delta Xi, said that though the council expects all ten of the Brown Greek organizations to actively recruit new members next semester, the list of houses will not
’11 wins Marshall Scholarship By Kristina Fazzalaro Senior Staff Writer
be officially confirmed until January. Ultimately, Mendez said, a house’s ability to participate rests with Bova. As of this week, Bova said, he has “not gotten around to” which Greek and program organizations will take part in new member recruitment. Each house will be carefully reviewed prior to the start of spring semester, he said. While all Greek and program houses are currently considered active because they are occupying campus housing, Bova said, the standings vary among the houses. “If I feel that a group is not participating in the best interests of the community, then I will adjust levels of activity as I see fit through discussion with those groups,” he said. At present, Bova said, he is working closely with “five or six different houses on specific issues that have
Andrew Furnas ’11 has been named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship, a nationally competitive fellowship which sponsors two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom. A minimum 3.7 GPA is required of applicants, but a 3.85 to 3.9 GPA is usually necessary to be competitive, according to Linda Dunleavy, associate dean of the College for fellowships and pre-law. Students also must demonstrate leadership skills, community involvement and a passion for their field of study. “Having all of those ingredients come together isn’t common,” Dunleavy said. But this was exactly the case with Furnas. “He inspired us,” Dunleavy said. “His passion and enthusiasm shone through his application.” A mathematics concentrator, Furnas had almost forgotten his love of sewing by the time he reached college, he said. He had sewed with his father and attended sewing summer camp as a child. “When I came back to Brown in my sophomore year, I decided to take a class completely differ-
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Four Greek houses barred from holding events
News.....1–6 Ar ts.....8–9 Editorial....10 Opinion.....11 Today........12
demic Enrichment, initiated by Simmons in 2002, aims to strengthen the academic experience and the University’s stature through increasing the size of the faculty and improving campus infrastructure, among other goals. Dean of the Faculty Rajiv Vohra P’07 said he hopes the next provost will continue to move forward with the Plan for Academic Enrichment, whether or not Simmons remains president in the coming years. “I do believe that a new provost will realize that Brown has a clear plan that it has been following, and following through on that commitment is very important,” Vohra said. “At the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that President Simmons has a lot to do with the energy and the
Study-abroad students celebrate Thanksgiving
New play exposes the tragedy of language
Arts, 8 195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island
editor’s note This is the last Herald of the semester. Daily publication will resume Jan. 26. Check browndailyherald.com and blogdailyherald.com for updates. firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
C ampus N EWS
Friday, December 3, 2010
“I can’t walk down the hall without smelling weed.” — Martin Aspolm ’14, Keeney resident
More students consumed alcohol than pot this semester, poll shows continued from page 1 that 77 percent of Brown students reported having zero to four beverages on a typical night of drinking, with 20 percent of the student body completely abstaining from drinking. “When I meet with students, it seems less like peer pressure and more like group momentum,” said Director of Health Education Frances Mantak. “There isn’t pressure to drink, but people get caught up in the group momentum,” she added. “I never felt pressured to smoke or drink, and I feel people are understanding either way,” said Martin Aspholm ’14. The administration’s policy toward alcohol and substance use mainly focuses on harm reduction. “We want to prevent the most dangerous consequences of excessive drinking,” Klawunn said. All students are required to take an online tutorial regarding the laws of Rhode Island and the University’s policies regarding substance use and the consequences involved in being caught. In addition, all freshmen must attend a program highlighting the negative consequences of alcohol use. “The assumption is that students can drink responsibly and that those that do drink, do drink responsibly,” said Professor of Community Health Christopher Kahler. “There has been a new rewrite of substance use policy. It tries to encourage individual responsibility for one’s actions around substance use.” At the time of The Herald’s poll, 72.9 percent of freshmen had drunk alcohol this semester, and that number increased to 87.8 percent for nonfreshmen.
“In the very beginning, a lot of people never had experiences drinking,” said Anatol Gudenus ’14. “They are still like scared and intimidated by the whole scene. As they grow up, they realize it’s really not that big of a deal.” “As you get older you become more comfortable with yourself and the idea of drinking,” said Emily Mepham ’12. The poll results show no statistically significant difference between men and women drinking, but the data show that men drink more often and in greater quantities than women. “For some reason, it doesn’t surprise me,” said Christopher Belcher ’11. “I have 11 suitemates, and the people I go to the (Graduate Center Bar) with are my guy suitemates.” “I feel I often see women get too drunk more often than I see men get too drunk,” said Daniel Jacobson ’14. While less than a majority of students are smoking marijuana, the numbers still might be high compared to the national average. A 2008 study of college students by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that 17.0 percent had used marijuana in the past month and 32.3 percent had done so in the prior year. “Statistics around marijuana are surprising. Well, surprising is a strong word. They are notable in that they are high among other colleges,” Kahler said. “I live in Keeney (Quadrangle) and I can’t walk down the hall without smelling weed,” Aspholm said. Among those who answered the poll, 90.7 percent of white students said they had drunk alcohol this semester, while only 75.4 percent of non-white or mixed-race students
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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.
On average this semester, how often have you used marijuana? 3.5% 6.4%
At least once a day
More than once a week, but not every day
About once a week
More than once a month, but not every week
Once a month or less, but at least once total
Not at all
Don’t know / no answer
60 Gili Kliger / Herald
On average this semester, how often have you used alcohol? 2.1%
At least once a day
More than once a week, but not every day
About once a week
46.7% 16.1% 8.9%
Once a month or less, but at least once total
More than once a month, but not every week
Not at all
Don’t know / no answer
35 Gili Kliger / Herald
had done so. Regarding usage of marijuana, 46.7 percent of white students said they had used the drug this semester, whereas only 35.5
percent of non-white or mixed-race students had smoked. “I think that people grow up with different social expectations, and I
think it’s more common for whites to have alcohol as part of socializing,” Mantak said. “Even in earlier ages, in high school and even junior high school, you see the heaviest use of alcohol among white students,” Kahler said. “Personally speaking, I’m South Asian,” said Riana Dutt ’13. “Parents just tend to be stricter, and they definitely pass on that idea to their kids that you should be studying, not drinking.” “I feel white kids might feel safer indulging in any illegal activity,” Jacobson said. “I think white kids have an attitude that’s more like, ‘F— it, no one is gonna give us s—. If they do, we can just talk our way out of it.’ ” The Herald poll was conducted Nov. 1–2 and has a 3.0 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. For the subsets of freshmen and non-freshmen, respectively, the margins of error are 6.0 percent and 3.5 percent. For the subsets of men and women, respectively, the margins of error are 4.4 percent and 4.1 percent. For the subset of students who identified as only white, the margin of error is 4.0 percent, while the subset of non-white or mixed-race students has a margin of error of 4.6 percent. A total of 915 students completed the poll, which The Herald distributed as a written questionnaire in the University Mail Room in J. Walter Wilson and the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night.
Friday, December 3, 2010
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
C ampus N EWS
“I think it’s not a big money-maker.” — Audrey Pondek, a RISD senior, on RISD Expose
Class of ’10.5 celebrated Thanksgiving abroad: Guacamole for gravy tomorrow in ceremony By Katherine Sola Staff Writer
By Sahil Luthra Staff Writer
The University is holding its midyear completion celebration Saturday to recognize students who have completed their degree requirements this semester. The ceremony, organized by the Office of the Dean of the College, will be held in Salomon 101 at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a reception in Sayles Hall. The group of students being celebrated on Saturday is “pretty mixed,” said Besenia Rodriguez ’00, associate dean of the College. Many of the students took a semester off between transferring from another school and coming to Brown, and several others took personal leaves of absence. “The midyear completers tend to have taken really interesting life paths and made interesting choices,” Rodriguez said. “In deciding to either finish earlier or later than the people they came in with — sort of off the standard track — I think that they tend to be a group of students that have done really creative and innovative things with their Brown education, both at Brown and outside of Brown.” Approximately 140 students are completing their requirements this semester, although Rodriguez said only about 90 are likely to attend Saturday’s event, since some spend their last semesters off campus and others may simply choose not to come. Many students’ families do attend, bringing the size of the crowd to between 400 and 500 people, Rodriguez added. Although midyear completers were allowed to walk in last May’s commencement, they will officially graduate in May 2011 and can also walk in the 2011 commencement, Rodriguez said. The ceremony will include faculty remarks from President Ruth Simmons and Associate Professor of History Robert Self as well as student speeches from Aliza Kreisman ’10.5 and Allison Pincus ’10.5. “I am definitely sad to leave the Brown community, and at the same time, I feel that Brown has prepared me really well for any number of things that I could do next,” said Pincus, who concentrated in urban studies. Pincus took a semester off after transferring from the University of Michigan and started at Brown in January 2009. Since she is also interested in education, Pincus said she is looking at jobs in Boston and New York schools and will start working in September. She said she hopes to travel to South Africa for six weeks before then and also plans to attend Commencement in May, though she does not plan to walk in the spring ceremony since she walked this year. Jason Harris ’10.5, a midyear completer who double concentrated in urban studies and international relations, said staying on an extra semester has made the realization of leaving “a little bit more drawn out.” “This semester has sort of been a different semester just feelings-wise because a lot of my friends graduated
in the spring,” Harris said. “I sort of went through some of the mental transition in the spring already.” Harris took a semester off in the fall of 2008 to do community development in Nicaragua and immerse himself in the culture there, which he decided to do instead of a traditional study abroad program. This spring, he will start a teaching fellowship at the Island School, an American secondary school in the Bahamas. “I still feel at this point that I want to work in urban education, but I am not sure if I want to teach yet, so this is an opportunity to learn a little bit more about teaching and work with students without being fully in charge of a class and before I commit to teaching in the long term,” Harris said. Saturday’s event does not involve caps and gowns, since the Corporation only allows one official commencement ceremony annually. But midyear completers, unlike most students at May’s Commencement, will be called up individually to the stage to shake Simmons’ hand and receive a letter personally signed by her, Rodriguez said. The Dean of the College has held the midyear completion celebration annually since 1989, according to the office’s website. The ceremony for midyear completers is a way to “take note of their achievements and their accomplishments as a distinct group,” Rodriguez said. Pincus added that she finds it “really amazing” that Brown honors its midyear completers. “In other places, graduating late or graduating at an unconventional time — they don’t celebrate it in the same way that they celebrate it here,” Pincus said.
Most Brown students spent their Thanksgivings eating traditional American food with family. But for students studying abroad, this was not necessarily a possibility. Kevin Foley ’12 found himself at loose ends in New Zealand for the holiday. He was hitchhiking to the northern tip of New Zealand with a Scottish friend when the “rides became fewer and far between,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. Just as they had resigned themselves to a night on the side of the road, they were picked up by two German girls.
“I guess we didn’t look too sketchy,” he wrote. They camped together and ate canned tuna, broccoli and pasta with basil pesto, which “just coincidentally felt like a Thanksgiving feast,” he wrote. He explained the concept of Thanksgiving to his
FEATURE friends, concluding that he himself was thankful he was “not sleeping on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere,” he wrote, adding that the experience “sort of fit the mold of Thanksgiving in a unique way ... and will probably be my most memorable Thanksgiving ever.”
For students studying abroad, the Office of International Programs provides guidance to those who will be away from home during the holiday season. Jessica Carnevale Forcier, a study abroad advisor said her department tries “to prepare them before they even go” for holiday homesickness. Carnevale Forcier said Brown programs host Thanksgiving dinners for students away from home. Lissa Mazanec ’12 had a very French experience during her Thanksgiving. Her program in PontAven organized a “small celebration” which she described in an e-mail as continued on page 4
Art for sale: RISD heads downtown By David Chung Staff Writer
RISD Expose, a small contemporary art show at 210 Westminster St. in downtown Providence, has given students at the Rhode Island School of Design an opportunity to display their work to the greater community. The second annual Expose (rhymes with “OK”) opened Nov. 11 and will close Dec. 10, said Production Designer Kellie Riggs, a RISD senior. Almost all the work in the gallery is on sale, Riggs said, with gift cards priced at a low of $5 while some paintings and furniture are marked at around $2,500. Misha Kahn, a senior at RISD and creative director of Expose, said he organized last year’s show on a whim with Riggs when he decided that he wanted to hold a student sale “that was a little bit more high-end than just having a table on the street.” Expose was sale-oriented in its
first year, displaying works that would be more accessible to community members, Riggs said, but she and Kahn tried “elevating the integrity” of the event this year. “To get more support from the institution of the school and to keep it more in line with the work that we make, we wanted it to be more of a temporary gallery space,” she said. RISD’s Office of Student Life is funding their efforts, and the faculty is more aware and supportive of the event this year, she said. The event has also been an effort to reach out to the arts community of Providence, with which RISD has not been highly integrated in the past, Riggs said. Expose would allow those in the city to become more involved with RISD students and more aware of their work, she said. Participation by RISD students sharply increased this year. Whereas about 70 students made submissions for the event last year and each piece
was accepted, about 190 students submitted applications this year, allowing only half to be included in the show, Kahn said. “In terms of the spirit of the event, we wanted to have it be really kind of overwhelming and really inclusive and show as much work as possible,” he said. “We tried to get one piece of as many people as possible in the show.” Tim Goossens, curatorial assistant at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1, served as a guest juror for Expose, providing an impartial eye in choosing works for the gallery from among the submissions, Kahn said. Students were invited to upload a statement as well as four to five images of their pieces with appropriate captions and prefaces to a website, Goossens said. He considered the artistic quality and seriousness of the applications and discussed procontinued on page 9
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
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Friday, December 3, 2010
“I didn’t miss the turkey.” — Leila Meglio ’12, on Thanksgiving abroad
Students find exotic Turkey Day New government relations continued from page 3 “a great mix of cultures.” After some wine tasting before dinner, they had turkey and mashed potatoes and enjoyed Moroccan couscous and spiced lentils with “other extremely delicious, if not customary food thrown in,” Mazanec wrote. The second course of their meal was bread, cheese and wine, followed by French desserts. After-dinner entertainment was a “local band, with our French language teacher singing lead vocals,” she wrote. Mazanec and her fellow students danced enthusiastically, “due in part to our intake of good French wine,” she wrote. As she explained to a friend in the
United States later that day, “I didn’t miss out, just celebrated a little differently,” she wrote in her e-mail. Alex Ashe ’12 had a “really nice, traditional Thanksgiving meal” in Colonia, Uruguay, with guacamole taking the place of gravy, he wrote in an e-mail. Sarah Denaci’s ’12 host mother in Buenos Aires made roast chicken, coleslaw with raisins and potato and egg salad. “She thought it was American food,” she wrote in an e-mail, but “it was Argentine food.” Leila Meglio ’12, studying in Amman, Jordan was far from homesick because she “never liked the holidays anyway,” she wrote in an e-mail. The students in her program made a “classic dinner” with turkey, stuffing
and mashed potatoes. Her apple pie, though, “turned out sort of strange because all of the ingredients are just slightly different,” she wrote. Instead of spending the holiday with her program, Meglio flew to Lebanon, and enjoyed a “very nontraditional meal” with her mother and family friends, she wrote. Their host was vegan, and dinner was sweetand-sour tofu, pumpkin kibbee and hummus, with marzipan to finish. She wrote that it was as “a fairly accurate representation of my time abroad: half western and half totally foreign, with a mishmash of Arabic and English at the table.” “And you know what? I didn’t miss the turkey, not even a little bit.”
Senior wins Marshall for applied math continued from page 1 ent from math or computer science,”
he said. Having already taken VISA 0100: “Studio Foundation” his freshmen year, Furnas decided to rekin-
dle his passion for design and take a textiles class at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was during this class that Furnas began to study the intersection of design, mathematics and computation, he said. The way in which a designer attempts to understand the structure and movement of a piece of fabric is similar to the way in which mathematicians study shapes and structures of a plane in differential geometry, he explained. continued on page 5
director began Dec. 1 By Claire Peracchio Senior Staff Writer
Former Congressional staff adviser Amy Carroll started as the University’s director of government relations and community affairs Dec. 1. Carroll previously ser ved as an adviser to Sen. Susan Collins, RMaine, and was a staff member on Senate committees on homeland security and science and technology. Carroll will oversee the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs, which directs Brown’s engagement with the public sector. She will serve as the University’s primary link to federal officials as well as its representative to national associations, according to a University press release. “I think I bring a rather unique perspective to this because I have a scientific background,” Carroll said. Carroll earned a doctorate in microbiology and environmental engineering at Cornell before working on Capitol Hill. On the Hill, Carroll ser ved as the primar y adviser to Collins on issues related to energy, the environment and science, she said. She added that there are many opportunities for enhancing the University’s efforts in these areas, including pinpointing research opportunities, using professors’ research to build new technologies and bolstering the University’s sustainability initiatives. Today’s political environment is a particularly exciting time to work in government relations, according to Carroll. “You have a new state gover-
nor, you have a new mayor, you have a new representative and the national face of Congress has changed so much that there really is an opportunity for Brown to educate these people and interact with them and have them be champions for issues that matter to the University,” she said. Brown’s chief legislative priorities are student aid and scientific research, Carroll said. Of the more than 60 candidates that applied for the position, Carroll stood out because she possessed a “rare combination” of policy experience and scientific understanding, said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations. “We’ll be looking to Amy to advise on the best way to affect either legislation or rule-making that would be beneficial to higher education generally and Brown more specifically,” Quinn said. Brown has pushed for reauthorization of a law regulating scientific research and development, legislation dealing with stem cell research, and passage of the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students a path to citizenship, Quinn wrote in an email to The Herald. Carroll’s scientific background is especially relevant to her new role, Quinn said. “Her range of experience and her depth of knowledge in science policy, and par ticularly with relation to energy and the environment, which are areas of interest to our faculty and our students and to the state frankly, will ser ve us well,” she said.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
C ampus N EWS Furnas ’11 to take excellence to England continued from page 4
“Fabric is, at a local level, at a very small level, like a plane,” Furnas said. “Depending on its weave structure, you get more bend out of it.” This study was Furnas’ first real foray into applied mathematics, he said. During his time at Brown, Furnas has worked closely with Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics Govind Menon, his textile professor at RISD and many others in the Department of Computer Science to further his research. He also collaborated internationally with friends and professors at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. In an e-mail to The Herald, Menon described a characteristic meeting with Furnas: “Last summer Andy solved differential equations that describe Chebyshev nets and then used these solutions to stitch coverings of spheres ... He was so surprised to see that everything worked as it should, that he ran from his apartment to my office carrying a basketball he had just draped perfectly. It was a funny moment of genuine discovery.” It was this unique field of interest, Furnas’ genuine, caring character and his impressive academic standing — he was also a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship his junior year — that earned him the University’s endorsement, Dunleavy
Courtesy of Brown University
Andrew Furnas ’11 will study in England on Marshall Scholarship.
said. “Andy’s unusual course of study epitomizes the promise of the Open Curriculum,” Menon wrote. Furnas was awarded the Marshall in early November after “grueling” months of editing his application and being interviewed, he said. The scholarship allows Furnas to design his own program of study — a factor that particularly enticed him to apply, he said. He said he is currently in discussion with individuals from the organization that administers the grant, planning what the next two years hold for him.
Friday, December 3, 2010
“We want to make sure that the momentum continues.” — Rajiv Vohra P’07, faculty dean, on the search for a new provost
Watchdogs call out ghostwritten articles continued from page 1 major depression in adolescents. While the 2001 study said there was evidence that the drug was efficient and safe, the study was later found to be flawed, according to the letter’s authors. “A mere two years later, the United Kingdom government warned British physicians to not prescribe Paxil for children due to fears of potential suicide. In May 2004, our own FDA issued a similar warning,” they wrote. According to a 2008 Herald article, some alleged that the researchers had suppressed data by removing cases that showed increased suicidal tendencies in children who took the drug. The article also may have been ghostwritten by an employee of the company that prepared the manuscript on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline, which produced the drug being tested, The Herald reported. According to the watchdog group’s letter, the allegations against Study 329 have not been hidden from the public, as they have been shown in a BBC documentary, as well as in BBC online reporting and the book “Side Effects” written by Boston Globe reporter Alison Bass. “Someone (at Brown) should
be talking about it, because the rest of the world is talking about it,” Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine Roy Poses ’73 MD’78 told The Herald in 2008. According to Thacker, members of the watchdog group went to the NIH in person and handed in a copy of Bass’ book. The person at the NIH who received it was “stunned that Martin Keller was still receiving funding,” Thacker said. “Brown has never responded to any of the allegations,” he said, but has “just run in the opposite direction.” Thacker said Brown should hold a “credible investigation” into the allegations against Keller. “The University takes seriously all issues relating to faculty research,” Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “Although we do not comment on individual personnel, whenever we receive substantive concerns about the conduct of research, the University reviews relevant information and addresses any resulting concerns through its internal processes in a timely manner,” he wrote, adding that “the University also regularly updates its policies and practices to insure that they are consistent with federal guidelines and other nationally recog-
nized best practices.” A Georgetown professor said ghostwriting is a widespread problem. “Many physicians and researchers have put their names on papers that they do not deserve to be authors of,” said Adriane Fugh-Berman, associate professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, who has published many academic ar ticles about ghostwriting. “This is really only the tip of the iceberg,” she said. Fugh-Berman recommended that academic medical centers change their policies and put in place stronger penalties for ghostwriting. In order to prevent ghostwriting in the future, Fugh-Berman said, specific questions should be asked about who is credited in a paper, creating a policy of “not having your name on the paper unless you fulfilled the criteria for authorship.” If this were a student, he would probably have been kicked off campus, Thacker said, but for a tenured faculty member, administrators “look the other way.” “Why are young adults held to a stricter standard of ethics than grown adult men in their 50s and 60s?” Thacker asked. “Academics should be held to the same standards as students,” Fugh-Berman said.
Kertzer praised for work on tenure, development as provost continued from page 1 pace with which we have been going to make these initiatives come to life.” “We want to make sure that the momentum continues,” he added. In an October e-mail to faculty announcing Kertzer’s decision to step down, Simmons credited him with working to reform the tenure process and helping the University follow through on capital projects during trying financial times, among other accomplishments. “As we tried to cope with the dramatic decline in endowment that we faced and some of the other impacts of the financial crisis, we made a decision that we had to protect the academic core of the institution as well as the quality of the faculty,” Kertzer said. The Herald reported in November that Kertzer plans to spend the 2011–12 academic year on sabbatical, conducting research in Italy. Administrators were quick to praise Kertzer’s accomplishments since his start at the post in 2006, and said his departure would not hinder the Plan for Academic Enrichment. “There is always a period of transition, but I think the Plan for Academic Enrichment is the guiding star for all of us and will be for the next provost,” said Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior advisor to the president. “When David became provost, he understood that he needed to continue implementing the plan,”
Spies said. “The challenge for a new provost is to keep moving forward with the Plan for Academic Enrichment while keeping it current.” Spies also commended Kertzer for his work on the tenure process, but said the issue remains an ongoing project that the next provost will have to continue to improve. “Even though the tenure process has been a very challenging conversation, I think people should give him credit for having the courage to get it going,” Spies said. “If it were easy, it would’ve been concluded a long time ago.” “There is no magic to it,” Spies added. “David’s persistence in that has been one of his strengths.” “It’s been a pleasure learning and growing into our roles together,” said Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron, who also began her position in 2006. She also praised Kertzer’s commitment to liberal education during his time as provost. With regards to the selection of the next provost, Bergeron said she hopes to see Kertzer’s replacement continue the work currently underway to improve the University. “In a way, it will be an exciting time for a new person to come in,” she said. Vohra applauded Kertzer’s efforts to recruit and hire new faculty even during the recent economic downturn. He said this allowed the University to continue its plan for growth despite a decrease in available resources. “The fact that during a difficult
financial period we were continuing to hire faculty as part of the Plan for Academic Enrichment was an important step,” Vohra said. “We were hiring faculty while some of our competitors weren’t.” As provost, Kertzer served as chair of the University Resources Committee and the Academic Priorities Committee, which gave him a key role in determining how resources should be allocated throughout the University. Jan Hesthaven, professor of applied math and a member of the University Resources Committee, said that as the committee’s chair, Kertzer demonstrated an ability to listen and gather facts. Hesthaven said this helped the committee in its budgeting process even when resources were scarce. Hesthaven added that the next provost will likely remain committed to the goals articulated by Simmons. “The Plan for Academic Enrichment is set out by the president, so it is highly unlikely that President Simmons would appoint a new provost who didn’t stand by the plan,” Hesthaven said. “She will appoint somebody she trusts to lead forward in her agenda.” Simmons stated that she will be looking for a replacement for Kertzer who is uniquely qualified, as well as willing to blend new ideas with the existing plan for the University. “Not ever y qualified person would necessarily fit into this position because of the uniqueness of Brown,” Simmons said. “We’ll be
looking for an outstanding scholar who has all the right experiences in terms of their scholarship and teaching, someone who is committed to undergraduate education, and someone who has the quality of mind
for a place like Brown. “If we get all of that, we would expect that the person will be able to formulate new directions beyond what we’ve thought of and continue moving forward,” she added.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
C ampus N EWS
Friday, December 3, 2010
“All students have a responsibility to act in a civil way.” — Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services
Greek houses face review from ResLife for party management continued from page 1
come up in the last year.” “There is no group that is not active at this time,” he emphasized. “They are just active at varying levels, set forth by this office.” Among the factors that indicate a house’s level of activity, Mendez explained, are access to the lounge areas located within their living spaces and the ability to host social gatherings. At the moment, she said, Theta Delta Chi and Delta Phi do not hold those privileges. Alpha Delta Phi and Phi Kappa Psi could not register events for the public this semester, but for reasons not on the same level as the other two, said Alvarez. They could not hold events because of a “minor” alcohol violation, but it will not affect rush for next semester, he added. “Four of the five or six groups that I’m working with are not having social events at this time,” Bova confirmed. “Every single one of them is different and unique,” he said of the concerns that he is currently addressing through meetings and discussion with the organizations. These issues arose from “some things that are present immediately, and some things that are systemic.” Bova noted that he is working with a few of the houses specifically
Brigitta Greene / Herald
Dean of Residential Life Richard Bova said he had “not gotten around to” which Greek and program organizations will participate in rush in the spring.
to improve the areas of party management and new member education. While Bova declined to elaborate on specific circumstances that may have led to the loss of privileges, he emphasized that any known issues that arise within the Greek system are promptly and appropriately addressed by the Greek Council and by his own office. “The ones that are under review for party management may have had their privileges temporarily suspended while we’re reviewing,” he said.
“It is imperative that we apply a due process.” It is important to understand, he emphasized, that the dozens of official recruitment events that take place during rush are not classified as parties, but opportunities for Greek and program houses to provide new member education to interested members of the student body. According to Bova, the biannual house reviews conducted by the Residential Council take into account a
number of factors, including member participation, cleanliness, social event behavior and relationships with independents. “A group that would be in an egregious state would display wanton, willful disregard of community members and would not take responsibility for their actions or behavior,” he said. “I currently have no such group.” Though the actions of individual students do not necessarily reflect poorly on a Greek or program house
as a whole, he added, it is something that is taken into careful consideration on a case-by-case basis. One of the reasons that he works closely with groups throughout the year, Bova explained, is that he does not feel a biannual review is sufficient to address many of the constantly evolving needs and concerns that arise in the houses. “The Greeks have benefited greatly from their interaction with the staff in terms of the progressive, ongoing development of their groups,” he said. “We want to continue that — it’s paramount for us.” “ResLife has kept their cards exceptionally close regarding their plans for (Theta Delta Chi’s) immediate future,” wrote Joe DeNotta ’11, president of the fraternity, in an e-mail to The Herald. “Our work with the University is still in a relatively infantile stage.” Delta Phi President Ryan Burakowski ’11 did not respond to The Herald’s request for comment. While Greek and program houses are commonly targeted for any instance of misbehavior, Bova said, it is important to remember that all students are expected to adhere to the same high standards of conduct within the residential community. “All students have a responsibility to act in a civil way,” he added. “To study, to enjoy the premises and to get along.”
Arts & Culture The Brown Daily Herald
Magical mayhem in PW play ‘The Sound’
By Kristina Fazzalaro Senior Staff Writer
The mansion comes to life as if animated by, well, magic. Doors open, walls shift, furniture enters and exits. A girl smirks as she snatches a glowing green bag off a table covered in books and vials of varying sizes. A door is opened and a mysterious woman sits there serenely before being locked up once again. A creature takes to the stage with a flair that hints at a deeper consciousness hidden behind the shaggy exterior. This opening scene from “The Sound,” starting Friday at Production Workshop, hints at all of the whimsical twists and turns the play will stage before the lights go out — perhaps with a flick and swish of a wand? Written and directed by Sam Alper ’11.5, this “new play about wizards” invites the audience to relive all their childhood fantasy-storyinspired imaginings. Whether it be Hogwarts, Narnia or the gaming world of Dungeons and Dragons, magical lands have ensnared the imaginations of people the world over. Alper originally wrote the play in the winter of 2009 for the actors of The Collectin, a New York-based acting group. The first production was directed by Dan Rogers ’08 at the Vampire Cowboys Theater Group out of Brooklyn on a minimal budget while Alper was studying abroad in Buenos Aires. Alper’s script takes the wizards out of the castle and into the everyday as protagonists Chris, Lyle and Lyle 2 (Ben Freeman ’13, Paul Cooper ’11 and Gabe Gonzalez ’12,
respectively) discover they are reallife magical folk. Alper said he was “a huge fantasy nerd” growing up, reading the “Wheel of Time” and Harry Potter series, as well as playing video games such as Dungeons and Dragons. The play was an exploration of what it is that made these worlds so alluring. These worlds present a very ordered, linear life in which the hero discovers a magic universe, receives a mission and gets points along the way until the goal is accomplished, Alper said. In contrast, Alper said, he wanted to create a fantasy universe complete with the messiness of real life, essentially making “fantasy a fantasy.” The result is an incredibly entertaining sojourn into a magical world fully integrated into everyday society. Chris is a preppy, a cappellasinging film student at Yale. Lyle is the “third most successful drug dealer” at the University of Southern California. Lyle 2 is a shy, unerringly polite boy, Lyle’s younger brother whose oft-overshadowed voice holds a great deal of wisdom. These characters leave the “real world” and are thrust into a magical mansion belonging to their Uncle Claude (Ted Cava ’11) when both of their sets of parents die in an eerie coincidence. Yes, this is also how “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” starts. Yes, the mansion they are sent to has a Great Hall. Yes, the cousins will enter into battle wielding wands and magical swords. The joy the boys experience upon discovering they are wizards is continued on page 9
Friday, December 3, 2010 | Page 8
Kyle McNamara / Herald
The minimal set design contributes to the somber atmosphere in “Kaspar,” directed by Ioana Jucan ’11 and running through Dec. 5 in Leeds Theatre.
‘Kaspar’: thought-provoking, but no fun By Shefali Luthra Staff Writer
Be warned: “Kaspar” is not a play about fun. It is dark, thought-provoking and tragic. It features gripping performances, particularly by Jarrett Key ’13, who plays Kaspar’s primary incarnation, Kaspar 1. “Kaspar,” Sock and Buskin’s senior slot production, opened Thursday night in Leeds Theatre. The play, written by Austrian playwright Peter Handke, is influenced by philosophies of language and social control. Kaspar represents a sort of “everyman” — he enters the play free, his perspective on the world unencumbered by the restrictions and sense of order language imposes. But as the play progresses, Kaspar is taught to speak, to label objects based on words and, ultimately, to lose his sense of liberty. “Kaspar” lacks a conventional plot structure. There are no true characters — only incarnations of Kaspar and the Prompters, who introduce him to language. Actual dialogue is absent from the play, substituted with monologues and choruses philosophizing on language. Rather than a typical introduction, rising action, climax scheme, the play is divided into “phases,” with each phase addressing a new aspect of Kaspar’s development with language. Directed by Ioana Jucan ’11, the play draws on Handke’s original script and makes use of voiceovers
and projection screens. Jucan’s goal, she said, was to make the play applicable to the everyday lives of Brown students. “The production also considers or extends the concept of language and the media, and I was very interested in this expansion of the notion of reality with the emergence of the digital and the virtual,” Jucan said. Jucan, who is concentrating in Theatre Ar ts and Per formance Studies and in Modern Culture and Media, said her background in MCM influenced her direction of the play. The use of technology in the play, for instance, was inspired partly by her interest in digital media and silent films. Sets are minimal in “Kaspar.” A red wooden closet, a table and a tower of black chair-like objects make up all the physical props. Two screens project particular images from the sides of the theater, while a third one displays pictures from the front. The mood in the theater is tense. The lights are dim, and the melancholy, instrumental soundtrack adds to the almost eerie vibe. Occasional bursts of rock music break the mood and are almost distracting — chords of The Police’s “Message in a Bottle,” for instance, feel more than a bit out of place. But for the most part, the play is consistent in its dark tone. But the highlight of the show is, without a doubt, Key’s performance as Kaspar 1. Key is energetic, and his struggle to grasp language is convincing. The progression of his
speech, from joyful stuttering to fearful to tragic, is done perfectly. Even in the second act, when actors switch roles and Key assumes the role of a Prompter, he is still the man to watch. His enunciation as a Prompter is cold and terrifying — exactly what the show calls for. “Kaspar” is not shy about revealing its message — language traps its users. Sentences, the Prompters tell us, “impose order.” It’s a slightly pretentious message, yes, but one that is nevertheless interesting to consider and discuss. Moreover, it is well-integrated into the show. Voiceovers enunciate in a unique Kaspar speech, and voices from cast members coalesce into a synchronized, commanding chorus that both emphasizes the language used and contributes to the tension in the atmosphere. The play slows down in the second half — characters seem to move around less, and the constant ambiance of tragedy is almost exhausting to watch. The end drags on, with each phase seeming less and less necessary. Two hours is, after all, a long time to spend with one mood and one theme, especially when there isn’t any real plot to carry the show. But particular moments toward the end energize “Kaspar.” In one sequence, the three Prompters switch their focus from Kaspar to directly address the audience. The change pulls the viewers into the play, creating — at least for that moment — an immersive experience. By the end, it feels good to get up from the theater. Although intellectually interesting, the play is hardly energizing. Friday night’s performance also features a talk-back after the play. Thomas Kniesche, an associate professor of German Studies, will facilitate a discussion with interested audience and cast members regarding the play. “I think I can just provide some context,” Kniesche said. “I think people will have questions after the play.” “Kaspar” will run through Dec. 5 in Leeds Theatre. Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Friday, December 3, 2010
A rts &C ulture
‘The Sound’ recaptures childhood imagination and fantasy continued from page 8 quickly overshadowed by the scheming of their eternally young uncle, who sends them on a hunt for the witch — conveniently, an ex of Claude’s — who may have caused their parents’ deaths. As they prepare for battle, the cousins also encounter various magical characters in the mansion. Laurel (Lorraine Nicholson ’12.5, a Herald opinions columnist), their adopted cousin, is a stoner who prefers certain magical herbs to traditional methods. Her sarcastic humor and bossy personality at once clash and meld with Lyle’s hot temper, causing Claude to deadpan, “I don’t care if it happens in
‘Clueless,’ I don’t like it,” commenting on Laurel and Lyle’s semi-incestuous romantic relationship. The actors all put in strong performances, balancing the comedic moments of the play — including a brief musical interlude featuring the beats of Weezy — with its more reflective timbre. The nods to popular culture inject an extra dose of humor and wit into this fresh take on fantasy. The script’s playfulness is reflected in the other elements of the production as well. “All of the design aspects were more integral because of the setting,” said Zach Segel ’13, the play’s sound designer. To fully explore the magic, the
production crew had to find a certain joy in the sounds, lighting and other elements, he added. The intricate set — boasting a malleable architecture which allowed for interesting entry and exit points, as well as fantastical scene transitions — was designed by Megan Estes ’12. Faced with the question of how she was going to create a world that fit everyone’s fantasy, Estes said she knew she wanted to include the simple and obvious magic used in the script. Estes set out to create her ideal space, only to realize she would not have enough funding to make it a reality. Estes decided to petition the Late Night Fund to acquire additional
RISD gallery showcases student art continued from page 3 posals he liked with Riggs and Kahn, he said. He was also the curator of Expose and collaborated with students to determine the placement of pieces in the gallery space. Audrey Pondek, a RISD senior specializing in textiles, said she had visited Expose last year and had been impressed by the work Riggs and Kahn had done. She chose to participate this year because she had recently started selling jewelry and wanted to let her work reach a broader market within Providence, she said.
But money has not been her main concern, she added. “I think it’s not a big moneymaker,” she said. “It’s definitely: Show Providence what RISD does. Hence, Expose.” CJ Hill, a junior at RISD, said he also decided to submit his sculpture to the gallery after he saw how successful the event had been last year. Pondek said the location of the gallery may account for the low traffic. “You can walk down the street and not see anyone, even though it’s considered downtown,” she said. Kahn said that an increasing
number of students have been using spaces downtown to open special art exhibits, and Expose has been an effort to create the “biggest show possible and show the widest variety of stuff.” “I was shocked in a good way about how serious the students are at RISD,” Goossens said. “I mean even on a Sunday late afternoon, they were still working like crazy. So for the two of them, Kellie and Misha, to be so involved and to spend so much of their free time, which is apparently so precious up there in Providence, on this, I think it’s great.”
finances, and her budget grew from $500 to $1,200 as a result, she said. The result is a beautiful, shifting set that is just as magical as the characters that call it home. Segel composed the transition music in between scenes and the sound effects. “Part of the challenge in designing it, is that most plays aren’t set purely in the fantasy world,” he said. With the majority of sounds being things like spell-casting, Segel said, it was fun from a design aspect because he had a blank slate to work with. He
and Alper decided to go with a video game perspective, creating “blippy” sound effects that corresponded with much of Alper’s inspiration, he said. “The Sound” manages to capture the youthful sense of wonder and curiosity that first attracted Alper to fantasy games and novels. Its playfulness, humor and originality bring to life a world of magic worth visiting again. “The Sound” opens Dec. 3 in T. F. Green Hall and runs through Dec. 6. Shows are at 8 p.m., with an additional performance at 11 p.m. on Friday.
Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald
Page 10 | Friday, December 3, 2010
erik stayton and evan donahue
Alas, end is here. It’s been a wonderful year.
d i a m o n d s a n d c oa l
Thank you for reading.
Diamonds and Coal. A Herald institution. At the end of every week, we gather our staff, scour through the paper and pull out our best tricks. We try to make you laugh, we work to make you smile and we attempt not to be too inappropriate.
t h e b r o w n d a i ly h e r a l d Editor-in-Chief
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Ben Hyman Seth Motel
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A drama-filled diamond to the ongoing faculty tenure debate saga, our very own reality show turned soap opera. We don’t understand what you’re yelling about half the time, but it sounds an awful lot like the Real Housewives of University Hall. Diamonds to celebrity hires Chinua Achebe and Wyclef Jean. You have added so much to our campus by never being here, not teaching classes and — most importantly — never calling us back for interviews. Diamond to our professors, who received accolades this year from such journals as Playboy. Maybe it’s just because of our grading system, but it’s been a while since we saw so many D’s.
A diamond to Ocean State politicians for throwing DVDs, engaging in a “legitimate three-way,” landing in rehab and generally keeping things interesting. We’ve never felt so well-represented by our leaders. Coal to Gala, Cancun and the foam party. We’ve never felt so poorly represented by our leaders. Diamond to the 60 percent of students who said they had violated at least one Dining Services policy this semester. We hold you in higher esteem than the 40 percent of students who are liars. A diamond to the 121st editorial board — you may be squares, but to us, you’re perfect squares. P.S. The spare key is under the fake dog poop out front. At least we think it’s fake. P.P.S. Stay out of the basement. “Diamonds and Coal” is written by Herald staff. Write your own at diamondsandcoal.com.
e d i to r ’ s n ot e Due to an editing error, the published version of a column in the Oct. 24 Herald (“In defense of humanities”) contained phrases and ideas that were not fully attributed to their original source. Additionally, due to editing errors, the published version of an article in the Oct. 18 Herald (“Football still undefeated in Ivy League”) replicated the structure and language of writing published elsewhere, without attribution to the original source, and a column in the Feb. 17 Herald (“Off with our heads”) replicated language published elsewhere without full attribution to the original source.
Senior Staff Writers Ana Alvarez, Ashley Aydin, Rebecca Ballhaus, Alexander Bell, Nicole Boucher, Fei Cai, Kristina Fazzalaro, Sarah Mancone, Claire Peracchio, Lindor Qunaj, Mark Raymond, Luisa Robledo, Caitlin Trujillo Staff Writers Anne Artley, Anita Badejo, Aparna Bansal, Casey Bleho, Lucille Bluth, Amy Chen, Jacob Comer, Sarah Forman, Miriam Furst, Jeffrey Handler, Thomas Jarus, Abby Kerson, Kristina Klara, Ben Kutner, Chip Lebovitz, Shefali Luthra, Leonardo Moauro, Amy Rasmussen, Emily Rosen, Bradley Silverman, Anne Simons,
The Herald trains all its writers and editors in proper attribution and is committed to improving the training and editing process. We apologize to our readers and the authors whose material was referenced.
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Opinions The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, December 3, 2010 | Page 11
On property rights and the marketplace of ideas hunter Fast Opinions Columnist In a recent column, Elizabeth Perez ’13 decried Amazon’s endorsement of the free exchange of ideas while bending to consumer pressure to remove highly controversial books from its offerings (“Corporate power trip,” Nov. 29). While this may make Amazon’s corporate leadership disingenuous and two-faced, in no way did Amazon infringe on anyone else’s rights by choosing which books could be sold on a website that it owns and operates. Central to Perez’s reasoning is the conflation of the right to read a work with the right to be sold a work by any vendor. While the former is enshrined in the First Amendment, the latter is itself a violation of the property rights of booksellers in that the right to trade always and everywhere includes the right not to trade, whatever the reason. This is the true meaning of free exchange. After all, even corporations as large as Amazon are owned by groups of individuals — for publicly-traded firms, shareholders. These individuals, as with those who run small independent bookstores, are under no obligation to use their resources to transmit ideas of which they disapprove. Indeed, the refusal to sell a certain work is often itself a form of expression. For instance, one would expect that a devout Muslim who runs a small religious
bookstore might be disinclined to carry Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses.” In not doing so, is the bookseller infringing on Rushdie’s rights or those of his readers? Absolutely not — what appears on the store’s shelves is largely a function of the bookseller’s conscience. Even if he were motivated by the bottom line and not religious fervor, it would be a violation of his rights to force him to offer Rushdie’s works to his pious clientele. Furthermore, anyone who wants to read Rushdie’s works is free to purchase them
controversial books that cannot find a home elsewhere. Due to the global reach of the Internet, such a vendor could reach all the same markets as Amazon. However, since moral crusaders would not form a major part of such a company’s consumer base by definition, protecting free speech would not endanger its ability to run profitably. Therefore, free expression and property rights can coexist harmoniously. Over time, the market will segment such that certain vendors, like Amazon, will cater to those
As WikiLeaks has recently demonstrated, the Internet has proven to be a remarkable tool for disseminating information in the face of suppression. from a competitor. Because Amazon does not hold a monopoly over the sale of books, the removal of works like “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” from its catalog does not imply that these works are forever banned. Rather, anyone who wants to purchase a copy will simply have to buy from one of Amazon’s competitors. Even if every store on the face of the earth decided not to sell a certain controversial book, all hope is not lost. Any person in any reasonably free country can always start his or her own bookstore specifically to sell
who feel entitled to engage in moralistic witch hunts, while others will target a clientele that is smarter than that. Because people are free to purchase from suppliers that reflect their values, one does not need to demand that Amazon uphold the ideal of free expression in order to protect controversial — and occasionally important — ideas. As WikiLeaks has recently demonstrated, the Internet is a remarkable tool for disseminating information in the face of suppression. That being said, the free exchange of
ideas is severely threatened by the corporate interests behind the current attack on “net neutrality.” Perez mentions the campaign against the Internet’s tendency to treat data from different sources in a non-preferential way, but does not discuss the fact that it has far wider implications than the distribution of books on Amazon. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), now in the Senate Judiciary Committee, would give the American government the authority to shut down any website that engages in “infringing activities.” No government should be trusted with the power to censor the content of the Internet, in many ways the heart of modern civil society. Moreover, infringement could conceivably cover the state’s internal information as well. If the government can prevent the release of information that unelected bureaucrats feel should not see the light of day, then the cause of transparent government is lost. There is a problem in terms of corporate control over the exchange of ideas, but it is a much larger problem than whether or not Amazon decides to offer books about pedophilia. Amazon is fully within its rights to determine the content of its catalog, but no national government should be given — at the behest of Viacom and other corporate interests — the right to regulate the content of the entire World Wide Web.
Hunter Fast ‘12 is a lost econ junior who finds informational economics to be far more interesting.
Give thanks! By stephen wicken Opinions Columnist I have no doubt, dear reader, that you are a fabulously multicultural melange of intellectual vivacity and animal charm. We live, I heard somewhere, in an increasingly interconnected world, where groovy beings like you nibble Spanish pastries while sipping Argentine yerba mate tea, tapping your Chinese slipper-clad feet to Mongolian electro-pop. I’m sure your personal histor y is a rich tapestr y of cultures, styles and carnal positions. Certainly you’re fluent in three languages, competent in another two and know enough of another four to order the local delicacy flirtatiously in little hole-in-the-wall cafes. Some of us are not so effortlessly cosmopolitan. I myself, for example, despite half a decade spent as an alien (I like to think that I hide my antennas fairly well), remain a hopeless remnant of Ye Olde Worlde. Deeply fond as I am of Taco Bell, “30 Rock” and the Redskins, all pale in comparison with crumpets, Wodehouse and rugby. My (American) wife is under strict instructions to take extreme measures if ever she hears me use the word “pants” to refer to anything other than under wear. For your reading pleasure, I allow all the beautiful ‘u’s to be taken from my words and buzzing ‘z’s to be inserted in place of sensuous ‘s’s — but don’t think it doesn’t sting.
Let me say right now, however, through a mouth metaphorically still full of leftovers, that I love Thanksgiving. I say this despite — in fact, probably precisely because of — my cartoonish Englishness. As far as I’m aware, I’m the only member of my family to have crossed the Atlantic on a semi-permanent basis, so we’re not implicated in any of the horrors that came after the pilgrims sat down with the Native Americans. To me, therefore, Thanksgiving as a holiday means excessive caloric intake, excessive sitting and a dog show.
heady highs and some lows that I’d rather not contemplate. I spent the remainder of the pre-Brown decade at other universities, and one thing I’ve learned is that while lovers (yuck), friends and pizza are our main propellants through the occasionally murky waters of university life, they can’t do it all. (I’ve tried carr ying a backpack full of pizza around all day, and while it really does help get one through a boring lecture, it can also encourages others to question one’s personal hygiene in a way that undoes much of the good work
Allow me to give thanks publicly to a number of people around the University who have brightened many of my days on campus. My hope is that you’ll do likewise with the people who make your time a little more pleasant. The lack of gift-giving pressure makes it all the sweeter. One thing my antennas have picked up, however, is that Thanksgiving seldom involves Giving much Thanks. I get it. My family Christmases never saw us Mas much Christ either. But while still in my Tofurkey- and Holiday Spirit on the rocksaddled state, I’d like to use this final column of the year to, well, to give thanks. And what I’d really like is to encourage you, dear reader, to do the same. I’ve been at Brown for four-and-a-half years. That time has comprised some
done by all that cheesy, crusty goodness.) Allow me, then, to give thanks publicly to a number of people around the University who have brightened my 1,600-odd days on campus. It can’t encompass ever yone: My hope is that you’ll do likewise with the people who make your time a little more pleasant. (Think of it as a rogue Diamonds and Coal, but on a grad student salar y.) Paul Bergeron at the University pharmacy is always unfailingly friendly and helpful (as are all the pharmacy staff), and even once mentioned enjoying one of my previous columns, thus putting him among
the high-rolling company of my wife, my mother and … no one. All of us involved with the histor y department know ver y well that, regardless of tenure and fancy fellowships, Cherrie Guerzon, Mar y Beth Br yson and Julissa Bautista are in charge. Tr ying to ensure that a group of academics (and wannabe academics) do what they’re supposed to is like herding a gaggle of particularly vocal cats, and these ladies keep things under control with unfailing grace and good humor. The University librar y system is a labyrinthine institution full of fine people doing wonderful things to bring us books, digital collections and, erm, sofas. The circulation staff at the Rock frequently perform kind acts that make our lives easier. When one requires more specialist help, however, the Hay is the place. For those of us interested in European histor y and culture, Dominique Coulombe has long been a fabulous guide to the available resources. Thank you, then, to all of these people and ever yone else who helps to make the University feel more like a small college and less like the large corporation it in fact is. Thank you for sharing your expertise and your generosity of spirit. And thank you for your tact in never mentioning my antennas.
Stephen Wicken GS, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in history, would also like to thank you for reading this far. He can be reached at stephen_wicken@ brown.edu.
Today The Brown Daily Herald
New director of government affairs
1 december 3
BB & Z | Cole Pruitt, Andrew Seiden and Valerie Hsiung
Brown Stand Up Comics Show,
Out of Bounds Sketch Comedy
Salomon Room 001
Show, MacMillan Room 117
Brown University Orchestra Concert,
Ivy Film Festival Afterparty, Artisanâ€™s
Cafe, 345 S. Main St.
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
VERNEy-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH
Onion Rings, Vegan Curried Vegetables, Cucumber & Chickpea Salad, Raspberry Swirl Cookies
Chicken Fingers, Baked Vegan Nuggets, Corn, Vegan Rice Pilaf, Raspberry Swirl Cookies
Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline
DINNER Manicotti Piedmontese, Veggies in Honey Ginger Sauce, Baked Potatoes, Grilled Cheese
43 / 30
42 / 29
Friday, December 3, 2010
c a l e n da r Today
to m o r r o w
Wizard world at Production Workshop
t h e n e w s i n i m ag e s
Basmati Rice Pilaf, Spinach Pie Casserole, Grilled Chicken, Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Soup
crossword Classic Cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman
Classic Fruitopia | Andy Kim
Classic Hippomanic | Mat Becker