Wednesday, April 6, 2011
vol. cxlvi, no. 43
UC Berkeley dean to be 11th provost By Shefali Luthra Senior Staff Writer
Mark Schlissel, dean of biological sciences at UC Berkeley, will take up post July 1.
By Sahil Luthra Senior Staff Writer
Due in part to expansion of research facilities, the rate the University applies to federal research grants for facilities and administration costs has increased from 55 percent in Fiscal Year 2006 to 62 percent this year. In 2010, the University received $89.2 million for federally funded research, more than half its total research budget, according to federal statistics. Facilities and administration costs — formerly known as indirect costs — essentially function as a tax to cover services provided by universities. For example, if a department needed $100,000 to conduct a research project, it would require an additional $62,000 to pay the University, and so would apply for a total grant of $162,000. The fees represent a key avenue by which universities recover the costs of research administration as well as maintaining and operating research facilities. The University’s facilities and administration rate is projected to remain stable for the coming
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news...................2-5 editorial.............6 Opinions.............7
Pointing to his three years on UCS, Farber said he has “a track record of getting things done that affect students’ day-to-day lives.” He served as campus life chair last year, and said he has developed strong relationships with administrators throughout his time on the council. If elected president, Farber said he hopes to focus on small changes that can enhance the continued on page 2
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Farber ’12, Nelson ’12 vie for UCS president By David Chung Senior Staff Writer
Ben Farber ’12 and Ralanda Nelson ’12 will face off next week in an election for president of the Undergraduate Council of Students. Farber is currently UCS vice president and Nelson is the UCS Student Activities Committee chair. Jason Lee ’12, Undergraduate Finance Board vice chair, and David Chanin ’12, a UFB representative, are running for the position
of UFB chair. The candidates must receive a majority of votes in order to be elected. Candidates for UCS and UFB leadership positions have submitted their statements to the Elections Board and the campaigning period has begun. Students will be able to vote on MyCourses from 12 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 until 12 p.m. Thursday, April 14. The board will announce election results at 11:59 p.m. April 14 on the steps of Faunce.
By Aparna Bansal Senior Staff Writer
“This is the decade of Latin America,” President Juan Manuel Santos P’12 of Colombia told a packed Salomon 101 last night. In his talk, part of the Stephen A. Ogden ’60 Memorial Lecture series, Santos urged the United States to look to Latin America as a strategic partner in the coming years. Santos, who was elected president of Colombia in 2010, began his lecture by describing the relations between the United States and Colombia 50 years ago, when President John F. Kennedy told the Latin American Diplomatic Corps that the two countries were the “product of a common struggle” and shared the “quest for dignity and freedom of man.” “But the tragic assassination of President Kennedy meant the loss of the American leader who best understood the significance of Latin America,” Santos said. When President Richard Nixon took office, Latin America was once again “left at the back corner” while China, Russia and Europe took center stage. Nixon told the then-U.S. permanent representative to NATO Donald Rumsfeld that
To get an edge, students turn to illicit study drug use By Natalie Villacorta Senior Staff Writer
Prescription drug use is the fastestgrowing category of drug abuse on college campuses today. Just over 5 percent of Brown students take prescription stimulants once or twice a semester as academic aids, according to last month’s Herald poll. More non-first-years, 6.4 percent, reported use than first-years, 2.3 percent. In 2008, about 12 percent of students reported non-medical use of prescription drugs during their time at Brown, according to a survey conducted that year by the Department of Community Health. Studying was the most commonly reported reason for use. The use of prescription drugs for late-night studying or finals period stress is not uncommon on any college campus. Six years ago, up to 20 percent of college students had taken Ritalin or Adderall for aca-
Presidente Q&A with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos P’12 Campus News, 8
Herald file photo
Students cite heavy workloads for use of non-prescribed drugs as academic aids.
demic use, according to the New York Times. The University’s Academic Code does not explicitly address the ethics of non-prescribed drug use for studying, coursework or exams. But administrators say non-prescibed
use would be considered an unfair advantage, which the code prohibits. A is for Adderall
It was 11:30 p.m. and Alex ’12 had barely begun a comparative
Is goodness the deity of modern religion? Opinions, 7
Researchrelated costs on the rise
Mark Schlissel, currently dean of biological sciences at the University of California at Berkeley, will replace David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 as provost beginning July 1. President Ruth Simmons announced the appointment at yesterday’s faculty meeting, calling Schlissel a “highly qualified administrator and scholar.” She notified the community in a campus-wide email yesterday evening. Schlissel was chosen by a 12-member committee of students, faculty and administrators. The committee was formed in November after Kertzer announced his intentions to step down at the end of the academic year. Candidates for provost, the University’s top academic administrator, came both from inside and outside of the University, Simmons told The
Herald. But she said the committee did not weigh candidates’ histories with the University as heavily as their general qualifications. “There are lots of opinions on internal versus external (administrators),” Simmons said. She added that while Kertzer was hired from within the University, his predecessor, Robert Zimmer, was not. Schlissel, who will be the 11th provost, will visit the University as soon as he is available, Simmons said at the meeting, adding that he is “amenable” to holding an event where he can interact with faculty. Simmons said Schlissel has expressed excitement about working at the University, especially because of the financial difficulties currently facing the University of California system. The freedom associated with a private institution may be a wel-
Colombian president to students: ‘Go South’
literature paper due the next day. (“Alex” is a pseudonym. Like all other students in this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity.) His roommate, seeing that Alex was stressed, offered him some of his prescription Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He showed Alex how to crush up the pill, use his Brown identification card to make a line and fold a $1 bill to snort the powder. It tasted like sugar, like an orange Tic Tac, Alex said. He became a “highlighter robot,” speed-reading and picking out keywords like needles in haystacks. He stayed up all night to finish the assignment, for which he received an A. “I read it over after the effects wore off, and I was like … ‘It sounds like I was on drugs,’” Alex said. The stream-of-consciousness style reminded Alex of Jack Kercontinued on page 4
t o d ay
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2 Campus News c alendar Today
4 p.m. “Medicine and Music,”
Journalist panel “Covering Invisible
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“Banning the Burqa, French Law,”
“On Descent: Stories from the Gurus
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Vegan Stir Fry Veggies with Tofu, Polynesian Chicken Wings, Grilled Key West Chicken, Tiramisu
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DINNER Cheese Quesadillas with Salsa, Dal Cali with Yogurt, Baked and Breaded Pollock, Macaroon Bars
Salt and Pepper Jerk Chicken, Egg Foo Young, Vegetables in Ginger Honey Sauce, Macaroon Bars
The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, April 6, 2011
UCS candidates look to increase visibility continued from page 1 student experience and facilitate communication with administrators on broader issues. He plans to support committee chairs and their projects and work with the communications chair to ensure that students’ opinions are heard, to increase “not only quantity but quality” of outreach. Nelson pointed to her threeyear tenure on the council, during which she has served as treasurer and a member of the Ivy Council Policy Committee and the Student Activities Committee. She said she has developed “great working relationships” with administrators and
has acquired the necessary negotiating skills to facilitate “professional conversations.” She hopes to makes sure that “lines of communication are always open and visible” between students and administrators, she said. She encourages students to use UCS to express their opinions on University governance and policies, she said. “I love this University, and I ruthlessly criticize this University,” she added. Nelson also believes the council should increase awareness of its activities among students, she said.“I never want them to say, ‘What does UCS do?’” Nelson said. UFB chair candidate Lee point-
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ed to his knowledge of various student groups’ inner workings, and said he believes he is aware of their needs. Though he said the chair is “responsible for having a non-biased, regulatory role,” he added that many people have made “empty promises” in the past and that he intends to continue his efforts this year, promoting professionalism, openness and student input. Lee has served on the board since his sophomore year and said students have frequently complained about the ambiguity of UFB decisions. Lee said he hopes to make the board’s decisions more transparent if elected. Chanin said his experience working with various groups encompassing athletics, identity and campus entertainment and serving as a liaison between UFB and the Brown University Activities Council has prepared him to take on the leading position. If elected, he hopes to continue efforts to create an online budgeting system, he said. The current paper-only budgeting process is cumbersome, he said. He also plans to enhance the relationship between UFB and the Alumni Association. He said he believes that if student groups, especially large ones, can reach out to alums for fundraising support, UFB can use its budget to support smaller groups which may have fewer resources and smaller alumni networks. The board could also increase interaction with students through surveys and by facilitating direct relationships with student group leaders, he said. David Rattner ’13, UCS campus life chair, and Michael Perchonok ’12, a UFB representative, are running unopposed for UCS vice president and UFB vice chair, respectively. But they will not be granted these positions automatically, Elections Board Chair Anthony White ’13 said. Unchallenged candidates must receive at least 5 percent of all votes in order to be elected. If positions are unfilled due to this stipulation, UCS will conduct an internal election at the beginning of the following year. All UCS committee chair positions, except the student activities chair position, are uncontested. Mae Cadao ’13, a Herald senior finance associate, Daniel Pipkin ’14 and Noelle Spencer ’14, who all currently serve on the Student Activities Committee, are running for the position of Student Activities Chair. The Elections Board will host a candidate debate for UCS president and vice president and UFB chair and vice chair positions April 7 at 8 p.m. in MacMillan 117.
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Campus News 3
The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Schlissel Administrative cost rate for research increases ‘honored’ to be provost continued from page 1
continued from page 1 come change from Berkeley, she said, because the state school is in part governed by “well-meaning, perhaps, but not particularly well-informed outsiders.” “Brown is still building — we have a lot on our plate and a lot that we are trying to do,” Simmons told The Herald. “There’s a lot of work ahead. For someone who enjoys what he’s doing, who loves universities, that’s what’s exciting.” Schlissel wrote in an email to The Herald that he was attracted to the University because of its undergraduate program and the Plan for Academic Enrichment, one of the cornerstone initiatives of Simmons’ presidency. “I also look forward to helping the faculty fulfill their ambitions as scholars and teachers,” Schlissel wrote. “I am anxious to get to know Brown students. Their reputation for academic achievement and desire to positively impact the world is inspiring to me as an outsider.” Simmons said at the meeting that Schlissel understands that the tenure debate, which has been a subject of faculty discussion since spring 2010, is a “really important issue on campus.” She added, though, that he brings no preformed opinion to the issue, other than that the “quality of faculty” is important to a strong institution. Schlissel, who specializes in immunological research, is also interested in eventually transferring his research to Brown, Simmons said. But he is aware that his new job may not leave much time for work in the lab, she said. Schlissel wrote that because the job of provost is “large in scope and very demanding in time,” any research would be on a smaller scale than what he did at Berkeley. Both Kertzer and Cynthia Garcia Coll, chair of the Faculty Executive Committee and professor of education, said at the meeting they think Schlissel will be a good fit for Brown. “I think he’ll be a terrific provost,” Kertzer said. Simmons also called Schlissel “warm and approachable.” In particular, she described him as “articulate, persuasive and scholarly-looking.” His beard, she said, adds to that charm. “I am very excited by the opportunity to move to Brown and work with the outstanding leadership and faculty to help lead a great university to new heights in the years ahead,” Schlissel wrote. “I am truly honored by this appointment.” Schlissel, who joined Berkeley in 1999, was one of the chief organizers of a program last fall that invited incoming students to have their DNA sampled and analyzed, the Daily Californian reported in September. The program drew criticism when the California Department of Public Health said Berkeley needed a doctor’s permission before collecting samples and that the program needed to analyze the data with labs that had been approved by state and federal governments.
fiscal year. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget caps administrative costs at 26 percent, said Donald Schanck, assistant vice president and University controller. The University’s current rate of 62 percent comprises 26 percentage points for administrative costs and 36 percentage points for facilities-based costs. But the University’s administrative spending exceeds the 26 percent cap by 5.8 points, according to figures from 2008. Costs above the cap are covered through other sources of University income, such as tuition and the endowment. Expansion of biomedical research facilities — such as the 70 Ship Street Laboratory and Sidney Frank Hall for Life Sciences — is the primary reason for rate increases, Schanck wrote. Facilities and administration costs account for a minority of research dollars, said Roberto Tamassia, chair of the computer science department. The majority of money still goes toward direct costs, including costs of equipment and salaries, Tamassia said. Tamassia noted the University
could be more productive in its research administration. For example, it still uses a paper-based system for travel reimbursement. The University has “recently begun efforts to improve (its) administrative systems, including travel, that we hope will increase efficiency and reduce the amount of paper processing,” Schanck wrote. But Brown’s peer institutions also exceed the 26 percent cap, and increasing government regulations make it harder to contain costs, Schanck wrote. Harvard’s current facilities and administration rate is 68 percent, while those of Penn and Yale are 60 and 59 percent, respectively. In the early 1990s, some universities were using indirect costs to cover items not related to research, according to a May 1991 article published in the journal Science. Stanford University used some funds for costs related to its shopping center, decorations for the president’s house and the upkeep of a yacht. Tamassia said that Brown is “very conservative” in its use of funds, and he would be “very surprised” if the University were ever to use facilities and administration funds in a manner similar
to that of Stanford in the 1990s. Unlike some other institutions, Brown gives a preset percentage of facilities and administration support funds to each department, Tamassia said. While this frees departments from having to negotiate for funding each year, the process can also have its drawbacks, Tamassia said. “What you would expect is that the higher the volume of research grants, the more research administration work is done within the department, and so the higher the budget for the research adminis-
tration staff would be provided,” Tamassia said. “But there’s no direct connection between the two.” In general, Tamassia said the facilites and administration rate at Brown matches the rates of its peers, making it “not a major issue at this time.” He added that the staff in the Office of Sponsored Projects has been very helpful in supporting his department. “Brown has really excellent people that set policies for research-related expenditures, so I think that we’re doing great,” Tamassia said.
4 Campus News
The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Students discuss study drug habits, experiences continued from page 1 ouac’s “On the Road” — “quality word vomit,” he called it. The Adderall allowed him to express his ideas creatively rather than precisely articulating his thoughts, he said. After taking Adderall, Alex experienced an increase in the concentration of catecholamines in his prefrontal cortex. Catecholamines are a class of neurotransmitters — chemicals that relay signals between neurons and their target cells — that includes dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in a number of behavioral and cognition processes including reward, motivation, working memory and learning. Though it may seem paradoxical to treat attention problems with stimulants, the drugs have a calming effect on people with ADHD, who are known to have a deficiency of catecholamines. Stimulants reverse this problem by increasing extracellular levels of dopamine, providing the necessary brain stimulation to keep individuals with ADHD focused on one task, rather than shifting their attention in search of engagement. The cause of this deficiency in dopamine is unknown, but studies suggest it may have a genetic origin. In people who do not have attention deficit disorders, stimulants have the opposite effect. Instead
of calming, stimulants increase alertness and wakefulness, as Alex learned from his experience. For this reason, students who take Adderall and other prescription stimulants may not have elevated focus levels. Rather, the drug keeps them awake, enabling the classic college all-nighter. From weed to speed
“People text me asking for it, and I’m like, ‘Don’t text me about that — come to my room,’” Kelly ’11 said. Kelly is diagnosed with ADHD and has a prescription for Adderall, which she refills monthly at Health Services. Her doctor gives her “wiggle room” with the medication, so she often has extra, which she sells to friends for $2 a pill. “I only sell to people who I really trust,” she said. Kelly has three regulars to whom she sells weekly, in addition to occasional customers who ask for pills when they have a particularly heavy workload. She has a nonchalant attitude about the transactions — she is just doing people a favor and being a good friend, she said. “I know how much it helps me,” she said. “Regardless of whether they do or do not have ADHD, I do see how it can help them.” Sarah ’11 sometimes buys from Kelly, but only when her regular dealer’s supply is short. In the past, when Sarah sold marijuana, she
would exchange it for stimulants. Director of Health Services Edward Wheeler said he worries about his patients selling their prescriptions and warns them that not only is it illegal, but also dangerous. If his patients begin asking for more medication after they have been taking a stable dose for a year or so, he said he becomes skeptical. If he ever found out that his patients were selling their medication, he would cancel the prescriptions, he said, adding that this has never happened. “People forfeit their right to be on medications if they are abusing them,” Wheeler said. He said he is cautious when prescribing Adderall and Ritalin — patients must be diagnosed with ADHD. Through Health Services, diagnosis is an in-depth process requiring an interview about habits and performance, in addition to neuropsychological testing, often completed through Disability Support Services. There is a perception that it is more difficult to get diagnosed by doctors at Health Services than by private practitioners, which may explain why many students seek offcampus doctors, Wheeler said. If a student comes in with a prescription written by a non-University doctor, Health Services requires proof from that doctor that a secure diagnosis was completed.
Three percent of prescriptions filled at Health Services are for ADHD medications, according to Wheeler. Fight or flight
Everyone is familiar with the fight-or-flight response brought on when, for example, a friend unexpectedly jumps from hiding. But the harmless joke turned deadly serious when Sarah entered her dorm room after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana. Her friend sprung from the closet, sending Sarah’s heart rate sky high. She had recently gone cold turkey on stimulants, since it was the end of the semester and she had finished all her academic assignments. She knew that her use of stimulants was irresponsible — she was constantly switching medications and dosages. That night her body retaliated. Her heart started racing, and it would not stop. “I felt like I had just run a marathon,” Sarah said. Misuse of stimulant medications can lead to serious cardiovascular complications, including increased blood pressure, elevated heart rate, shortness of breath and chest pain. Non-medical use of amphetamines is especially dangerous for those without prescriptions, who may exacerbate an underlying heart condition of which they are unaware, said Frances Mantak, director of health education. Electrocardiograms are recommended before starting use of stimulants to ensure that the medications will not cause heart problems. An hour later, Sarah’s heart was still racing. A friend living on the same hall decided to call Emergency Medical Services. An ambulance took Sarah to the emergency room, where her systolic heart pressure was measured at 185
beats per minute — average resting heart rate is between 120 and 180 bpm during mild exercise. The medical workers were convinced she was on cocaine. Sarah was given baby aspirin, and ice packs were placed on her chest. She performed breathing exercises, and after about an hour, her heart rate went down. A friend who had accompanied her to the hospital pulled one of the nurses aside and explained that Sarah had been taking various stimulants for an extended period of time but had recently stopped. Sarah was diagnosed with amphetamine abuse. “That’s in my medical records now,” she said. After the incident, Sarah went abroad for a year, during which she did not take any stimulants because her course load was less demanding. Upon her return, she resisted resuming her use of stimulants for about a month or two, before finding a friend with a prescription for Adderall. The friend, a Providence local, has now been supplying her with Adderall for about a year and a half. She pays $2 for each pill, which contains 20 milligrams of extended release Adderall. She takes a pill every morning, and said the effects last for about eight to 12 hours. “I felt that my medical issues happened because I was mixing it with weed, and maybe more likely because I was mixing different kinds, and I wasn’t taking it in any kind of regular way,” Sarah said. Now that she is taking it regularly, she said she is not worried about negative side effects. At least one or two students per semester come into Health Services with heart arrhythmias — abnormal beating of the heart — from taking too much Ritalin or Adderall continued on page 5
Campus News 5
The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Drug use concerns campus health professionals continued from page 4 without a prescription, according to Wheeler. “That’s probably the tip of the iceberg,” he said. An unfair advantage
According to the University’s Academic Code, which prohibits “using unauthorized materials from which one gains unfair assistance during an exam,” illicit use of prescription drugs could be considered cheating. “While you can make the argument that it’s cheating, I think you can also make the argument that it is detrimental. They are learning poor study habits. They are not necessarily doing better in their performance,” Mantak said. The use of prescription drugs is also just one of many academic advantages unevenly available to students depending on their ability to pay for it. “Some people are really great at sports and some people aren’t. I don’t think that using money or social connections to secure an advantage is any different from how anything in our higher education system works,” Sarah said. Kelly expressed a similar sentiment. She said she doesn’t view her use as unfair because it brings her “up to the level of everybody else.” Nor does she view non-prescription use by undiagnosed students as cheating. “The people that I am selling (Adderall) to aren’t breezing through their classes. … They are not doing it to compete with other people.” Kelly said Adderall does not make people smarter or more insightful. It just makes things happen faster, an effect similar to drinking three Red Bulls, she said. The University has never received reports alleging use of prescription drugs to enhance aca-
demic performance, according to Kathleen McSharry, dean for issues of chemical dependency and associate dean of the College for writing and curriculum. McSharry said she is unsure of how the University would handle such a case should one ever be presented. “We have to have evidence,” she said. “If it is just a verbal report with no concrete evidence, we can’t proceed unless the student acknowledges it.” But students don’t often willingly admit to cheating, she said. “Short of evidence, what are we going to do?” The use of stimulants is not explicitly prohibited in the academic code — there is an endless list of ways to cheat and the code simply cannot cover them all, McSharry said. She is more concerned about students’ health and safety when it comes to prescription drug use than she is about cracking down on cheating, she said. “I am most concerned about kids’ potential to get addicted.” “The last thing they need is me to come down with a hammer on them,” she said. The University does have academic standards, she said, but “when there’s substance abuse we don’t think about right, wrong, bad, good, that kind of thing. We think about: The student is damaging him- or herself.” McSharry is also concerned about how drug sharing and dealing impact the Brown community, she said. “Our philosophy is about the student body and fostering conditions that make it more likely that you all will be able to function effectively and contribute as much as you can. We’ve got limited time and limited energy. There are some things that we simply just aren’t going to be able to do.”
‘A cup of coffee’
Though the 2008 University survey indicated that over 88 percent of students have never abused Adderall or Ritalin, perception of the drugs’ prevalence persists. People tend to talk the talk rather than walk the walk, Mantak said. “I do think it’s something that most people at Brown have tried at least once or will try at least once during their Brown career,” said Sarah, though she acknowledges her perception may be biased by her social group. The vast majority of her friends at Brown have taken Adderall or Ritalin regardless of whether or not they have a prescription, especially around finals time, she said.
Some students take the drug recreationally, often combining it with other substances. Kelly said she takes half of an instant-release Adderall pill before going out because it increases her alcohol tolerance. Another side effect of Adderall is appetite loss, which often results in weight loss. Of course, the practice is not unique to Brown. Study drugs are used at universities nationwide. But because of Brown’s open dialogue about drug use, some students think study drug use may be more acceptable and therefore more prevalent, Sarah said. At other schools, drug use may be more stigmatized, either leading to less use or more secrecy. Sarah said she thinks people at
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other schools might view stimulants as “hardcore” drugs, whereas at Brown, “people treat it like a cup of coffee.” Mantak agreed there is a perception that because prescription drugs are legal, they are safe. “They’re certainly safer than illegal drugs,” she said, but there are still many dangers associated with stimulant medications. The acceptance of drug use reveals a cultural, as well as a University, issue, Mantak said. Questions like “Are we overprescribing in some cases? Is it acceptable to share prescriptions? Are we too reliant on medication?” need to be addressed, she said. At the same time, stimulant medications are important for the people who truly need them, she said.
6 Editorial Editorial College overboard As Brown’s admissions statistics for the class of 2015 roll in, current students may find themselves wondering if they would have survived the selective cut had they been high school seniors applying this year. In the face of a shrinking acceptance rate, it’s no secret that one’s chances of getting in depend heavily on quantitative variables like test scores. Because the significance of grade point averages can differ from school to school, colleges typically use standardized exams like the SAT, SAT II and ACT to compare academic performance among applicants. Yet the question remains: How equal are the opportunities presented by so-called standardized tests? Recently the College Board, maker of the SAT, SAT II and Advanced Placement exams, reflected on the career of its longtime president, Gaston Caperton, who will step down from his position in June 2012, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Caperton’s reign began in 1999 and saw the addition of a verbal reasoning section to the SAT and a tripling of the number of low-income students taking AP exams. Minority students exhibited an increased participation as well. These supposed improvements are of mixed significance. The latter statistic involving minority students was advertised by the College Board, but lacks the context to convey anything of actual importance. In fact, the Huffington Post reported in February that while nearly 15 percent of students taking AP exams were black, only 4 percent of students actually passing those exams were black. Getting students to take the exams — and pay the fees — is not enough. Schools must have the opportunity to prepare them properly. As for the new verbal requirement, Caperton campaigned for the addition of the essay section in response to the University of California’s threat of removing the SAT from its admissions criteria, but its utility is questionable. Many colleges only give the extra section marginal consideration, and an MIT researcher has demonstrated that essay scores correlate more strongly with word-length than content. This creates mixed incentives for teachers, who may end up instructing students to write long, pre-formatted essays that don’t necessarily have to be factually correct. Similarly, the structure of AP courses and exams controls over a year’s worth of high school curriculum for advanced students hoping to be competitive college applicants. The alternative would be to forgo AP courses for similar subject-oriented SAT II tests, but admissions officers frequently stress taking the most rigorous classes, which in most high schools are APs. And the AP curriculum is not nearly as holistic as the International Baccalaureate Program in terms of preparing students to think critically and build interdisciplinary connections as they will need to do in college. This is to say nothing of the cost of taking these standardized tests. Though the College Board is a non-profit organization, the registration fees for exams and subsequent cost of sending scores to schools is so high that one has to wonder where all this money is going. Truthfully, even with fee assistance programs, the cost of taking and preparing for each of these tests can preclude bright-but-disadvantaged students from producing the scores that have become necessary for college. We commend the Office of Admission for selecting students based on more than just test scores and urge the University and other schools to avoid heavy reliance on the College Board. It is our hope that as the College Board seeks new leadership, it will progress in a direction that makes higher education more equal and affordable for all students. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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by sam rosenfeld
quote of the day
“I would like to give you a new slogan —
go South, young women and men.
— Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos P’12 See Colombian on page 1.
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The Brown Daily Herald Wednesday, April 6, 2011
In Good We Hope By Brian Judge Guest Columnist At first glance, it might seem inappropriate that the motto of an institution such as Brown would be “In God We Hope.” The God of our Baptist forbearers has had very little to do with our experience of the last four years. However, I believe that “In Deo Speramus” expresses something more relevant than ever as we prepare to leave the safety of Brown and join the world beyond College Hill — for all of our collective mistrust in traditional absolutes, there are some that still must be hoped for if we are to rise to the calling that this day represents. When this motto was first adopted in 1833, it would not have been particularly controversial or problematic. God was a given and His grace was universally hoped for, though not expected. Protestant doctrine provided the moral and intellectual compass for those who sat in our places many years ago, which was reflected in the curriculum. Obviously, this is no longer the case today. The Bible is not required reading, nor is it expected that we go to church on Sundays. However, the Brown education is still structured around absolutes in which we place our faith and hope. We speak of goodness in a similar way that God was spoken of at Brown in the past. Back then,
goodness was identical with God. Now the good is no longer the strict province of theology, but rather the guiding star of an intellectual culture based on reason instead of faith. The argument may be different, but the sentiment is the same. We hope that through reason and intellectual inquiry, we can discover the mandates of the good. Even though our society has progressed immeasurably since 1833, we still seek guidance from above. We still seek the
can politics to see the difficulty in assessing competing visions for society. This in turn requires the courage to see the world as it really is and not as we would like it to be. The danger of trying to force the world into our categories of thought is that we risk losing the nuances and subtleties that make the world complex and interesting. If your only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. The world does not exist in black and white, up and down,
We can hope that the good exists and is obvious, but we must be prepared to act even when it is not.
knowledge that we are doing the work of something bigger than ourselves, that all of our works can be toward the same end. We must hope that despite all of our differences, there is a good that we can pursue together, that we do not spend our lives pulling in opposite directions. As the world has grown more inclusive, it is now incumbent on us to reckon with the many different visions of the good. One need not look further than contemporary Ameri-
or good and evil — these are just ways in which we try to make sense of a world whose complexity vastly exceeds our own capacities for understanding it. For all that we have learned in the last four years, we still see through a glass darkly. Perhaps there will come a time when we will see the good face to face, but that is not this day. We must go forth with the understanding that our ideas about the good will necessarily be incomplete.
The world will fall short of our ideals. We can hope that the good exists and is obvious, but we must be prepared to act even when it is not. A liberal arts education is about uncovering the threads of these ideals in many disparate sources and traditions in order to weave them into a coherent understanding of our place in the world. The hope of the Brown education is that these threads lead us towards a universally accessible intellectual and moral compass that will guide us in our lives beyond Brown — in the good of our courage in the face of injustice, we hope. In the good of our ability to confront the problems of the world, we hope. Progress hinges not on being progressive, but on progressing. It is not enough to simply have an ideal — one must actively pursue it. Decrying the evils of the world is easy, but correcting them is hard. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is always right. Unlike our predecessors, we must work toward first principles, rather than merely accepting them. Just go, now, not to do something easy or comfortable, but something you think is important. Do not worry too much about what that is, because if we have learned anything from this place, it is that we will learn to recognize injustice when we see it. In Good We Hope. Brian Judge ‘11 is a philosophy concentrator from Chapel Hill, NC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pro-lifers fail to provide alternatives By Susannah Kroeber and Alyssa Ratledge Opinions Columnist and Former Opinions Editor Before spring break, Sarah Gassel ’12 bravely wrote in her column (“The case for infant rights,” March 18) about her personal relationship with abortion, making a case for adoption over abortion and criticizing Planned Parenthood for not providing sufficient adoption support services. Not many of us would disagree that giving a child up for adoption is a very noble endeavor, but not all American women have the freedom to make that choice. Gassel completely missed the point of the claim that anti-abortion activists hurt women. Few people would argue that we should not be encouraging adoption for desperate mothers unable to raise a child, but saying that such is the viewpoint of anti-abortion protesters is ludicrous. Anti-abortion protesters do not stand outside of organizations such as Planned Parenthood and extol the virtues of adoption. They scream and curse and sometimes even physically accost the women and men seeking health care services, irrespective of what those services might be. As Gassel herself writes, abortion makes up just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services — the other 97 percent
include vital health care services otherwise inaccessible to low-income people, like contraception, gynecological exams, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and education on safer sex. But anti-abortion protesters do not discriminate — for them, all women headed into Planned Parenthood are sinners. They are not educating them about alternatives or encouraging them to “choose life,” as their po-
rolled or lobbied for by the large pro-life organizations. No national pro-life organizations provide low- or no-cost prenatal care to lowincome women who would have to go without it. No national pro-life organizations lobby for better benefits in low-paid positions disproportionately held by low-income women of color, who cannot carry
Anti-abortion protesters do not stand outside of organizations such as Planned Parenthood and extol the virtues of adoption. They scream and curse and sometimes even physically accost the women and men seeking health care services, irrespective of what those services might be.
litical action committees claim. Protesters hurl epithets and deliberately intimidate women who dared to have sex, demonizing them, as though verbal abuse is the way to save a fetus. There are several ways to reduce the number of abortions performed in this country, exactly zero of which are bank-
a pregnancy to term without risking loss of employment. No national pro-life organizations run shelters for young women who might be beaten or kicked out for becoming pregnant. No national pro-life organizations provide pro bono legal advice to women con-
sidering adoption. No national pro-life organizations provide low-income women with resources after birth to keep their babies healthy — once a child is born, they seem to lose all interest. Pro-life organizations do not expend their time and resources effecting real change that would lower the abortion rate in the United States. They do not even support expanding access to contraception, the foremost way to reduce the abortion rate. Instead, they call women monsters, killers or sluts who should have kept their legs shut. Of course, this should not come as a surprise. The majority of pro-life organizations oppose contraception across the board because they take Gassel’s argument to its next logical step — contraception prevents “future Americans” from coming to be, which is a kind of murder, too. We are glad to hear that Gassel’s birth mother had the resources to carry her pregnancy to term and give her child up for adoption. But the fact that some women do does not mean that all women do. Shutting down Planned Parenthood — one of the few health care providers for low-income men and women — is certainly not a step toward changing that for the better. Susannah Kroeber ’11 is a Slavic studies and history concentrator. Former Opinions Editor Alyssa Ratledge ’11 is a public policy concentrator.
Daily Herald Campus News the Brown
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Q&A with President Santos P’12 President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos P’12 gave the 84th Stephen A. Ogden ’60 Memorial Lecture on International Affairs yesterday. Before the lecture, he sat down with The Herald. The Herald: What made you decide to come to Brown to give a talk? Santos: I was invited. I was invited and I felt very honored and the fact that my daughter studies here had something to do with that also. Why do you feel it is important to talk to college students at Brown about this country’s relationship with Latin America? President Obama was in Latin America just a few days ago and I think it is an important moment for the American people, especially the American students who are at this moment thinking in the future, to say to them, “Listen: You have in a way suffered what I call the hyperopia syndrome. The U.S. sees far away, but you don’t see very much what you have here. What you have here is a region that has a potential for prosperity — for both that region and the U.S. if we come closer together.” This is the warning that I want to give — don���t disregard it anymore, for your own sake. Not really for our sake, because China, Europe and the rest of the world is coming to Latin America. It would be a bit of a sad story that having had such good relations with the U.S., the U.S. would not
realize how important it is for the U.S. to have good and productive relations with Latin America. How do people in Colombia view the United States? Colombia is probably the most pro-American Latin American country there is. All the polls show that there is a great appreciation for the U.S. and for the American people. We are very proud to be a strategic partner of the U.S. and we hope we can continue that partnership and, as in every relationship, we can improve it. What issues are important in the relations between the United States and Colombia? We are trying to change the agenda. The agenda has been dominated by issues like drug trafficking, the war on terror, human rights. But now that in Colombia we have managed to make great progress on those issues, we are changing the agenda to things like the environment, education, transfer of technology and biodiversity. These are the issues that I will talk about with President Obama. Why did you enter politics? I come from a newspaper family. Newspapers in a way have a relation with politics. Since I was very young I started reading biographies, getting interested in lives of statesmen and I decided that public service was a good way to spend my life.
You were a college student in the United States. How would you describe that experience? It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I went to two very different universities. University of Kansas, which is in the middle of the U.S., some people say it’s in the middle of nowhere. I had a great time there. I learned to value the American way of life. And then I was twice at Harvard and I learned very much in my experiences as a student at both Kansas and Harvard. That is one more reason why I appreciate so much the U.S. and what it stands for. What do you hope to accomplish during your visit? Tomorrow I’m going to chair the (United Nations) Security Council. From here I fly tomorrow to New York and the issue I want to discuss there is Haiti. The international community cannot allow a country like Haiti to continue suffering like they’re suffering right now. The UN has a moral obligation and the international community has a moral obligation — we all have a moral obligation to help that country in a much more effective way. So if I leave at least a doubt here at Brown — why we should look South — and (leave) the UN more worried about helping Haiti, I’ll go back to my country very happy. — Aparna Bansal
Faculty endorses public health depts. By Shefali Luthra Senior Staff Writer
The faculty voted unanimously in favor of creating four new public health departments at its monthly meeting last night. The departments will be devoted to the study of health services, policy and practice; behavioral and social sciences; epidemiology and biostatistics. Though it was not on the agenda, faculty members also discussed a recently formed committee on campus athletics funding, availability and academic standards. The faculty approved a motion to rename the Department of American Civilization the Department of American Studies. The motion, which was approved unanimously and without debate, will now go before the Corporation for approval. There was no discussion regarding the public health departments. According to a memo from Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98, when the proposal to establish the departments was posted online, a faculty member submitted one message in favor and no one expressed opposition. All of the departments fall under the general jurisdiction of the
public health program. The idea of creating separate departments came about because potential faculty members and graduate students expressed a desire to see an entire department, rather than a subsection of a department, devoted to their specialty, the proposal said. Later in the meeting, Kertzer congratulated the public health program on the proposal’s approval, citing the Department of Community Health’s growth since its creation in 1971. Having received faculty approval, the proposal will go before the Corporation at its May meeting for the final go-ahead. Faculty members discussed the athletics committee in response to a question posed by Luiz Valente PhD’83, associate professor of Portuguese and Brazilian studies and comparative literature, who questioned the “secrecy” behind the discussion of campus athletics. President Ruth Simmons said though the athletics discussion has been ongoing for some time, a presentation on athletic funding and the academic index for athletes at the February Corporation meeting sparked faculty interest in the subject. Simmons said Corporation members had “a lot of emotion” regarding athlet-
ics, because several members are former athletes. The Corporation subsequently decided to establish a set of principles regarding athletics, which led Simmons to create a committee of coaches, student athletes, administrators and faculty members. The committee is charged with creating a plan that addresses questions of spending on athletics, whether the University offers too many or too few athletic programs and the academic standards for athletes. It also intends to investigate the question of possible Title IX inequalities in the University’s athletic offerings. Dick Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior advisor to the president, sits on the committee and said its plan should be made public in the coming weeks, so the University has time to discuss it before the end of the academic year. Simmons said much of the data discussed with the Corporation cannot be disclosed, but since the topic seemed to have aroused faculty interest, it may be the subject of formal discussion at a future meeting. Faculty members also observed memorial minutes for Hendrik Gerritsen, professor emeritus of physics, and John Ladd ’75 P’06, professor emeritus of philosophy.
Larry Au / Herald
Colombian president Juan Santos spoke in a packed Salomon 101 last night.
Colombian president discusses drug cartels continued from page 1 “people don’t give one damn about Latin America now,” Santos said. “Today I come to tell you with deep conviction and absolute respect, it is time for the United States to reassess its priorities in international relations and turn its eyes to its own hemisphere,” he said. Santos explained that the United States is special to him because he lived and studied here for many years. But he wants to correct the country’s “hyperopia syndrome” — the United States can “see its distant options well but has terrible problems focusing on what it has close at hand,” he said. It is in the interest of the United States to consider “the potential that exists south of the border,” he said, adding that failing to do so would be “suicidal.” Santos elaborated on the importance of Latin America, a region that is larger than the U.S. and China combined and home to 600 million people. The audience erupted in laughter at the inclusion of Shakira and Christina Aguilera in his list of the region’s contributions to the world. He then presented eight reasons why he believes this is the decade of Latin America. The region’s nations have achieved high rates of economic growth, remained largely unaffected by the financial crisis and embraced globalization and foreign investment, he said. They also remain dedicated to the “democratic tradition,” the improvement of health and education and resolving regional differences. With the region’s abundance of fresh water, oil reserves and arable land, Santos sees Latin America as an important source of natural resources in the future. “It is time to remind them that the South also exists and not just as a promise for the future, but as a powerful reality for the present,” he said. He recalled a quote by Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, who in 1865 advised young men to “go West.”
“I would like to give you a new slogan — go South, young women and young men,” Santos said. “Go South and go soon. Don’t miss this train.” The lecture also touched upon a major issue facing Colombia: the war on drugs. “In Colombia, we have fought against drug trafficking perhaps more than any other country on the planet,” he said, adding that some of the nation’s best leaders, police officers, judges and journalists have been lost in the “bloody struggle.” He said the government has broken up large cartels, reduced land used for coca plants and decreased the amount of drugs exported. “As Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton said recently … Colombia has gone from being a source of danger to becoming a source of inspiration and a crucial partner,” he said. “But we don’t feel victorious, nor has the problem disappeared.” The atmosphere remained light during the talk as Santos made references to his daughter, Maria Santos ’12, and mythical Professor of Psychoceramics Josiah Carberry. When a student who asked a question mentioned that he was part of a visiting group from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Santos quipped that he “couldn’t get into Brown either” to great applause from the audience. Toward the end of the lecture, Santos turned his attention to other challenges the nation faces, such as income inequality, lack of investment in research and development and lack of productivity in the non-agricultural sector. He reiterated that despite these challenges, the region remains politically and socially stable. In a reference to Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he declared Latin America must not “be condemned to live in another hundred years of solitude.” “If President Kennedy could be here today, I am sure he would be proud to see how Latin America has found its own road to development,” he said.